Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Back to the doctor

My ears have been hurting like crazy for the last few days. So I went back to the doctor's office because I love listening to music while I write. Can't do this with an ear ache. The doctor checked me out and said I still not well. This means no trip home. And I am on antibotics for 10 more days, more steroids and some other med. And before I left the office, I got two shots in my hindey. What a day!

My plan, which I have not run by my boss, is to work late tonight and tomorrow. And be off Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Plenty of time for rest, rest and more rest. Fireworks are pretty but I have never been one to watch them outside. Instead of Silly Girl, I will be relaxation girl! I have got to get well. I want to see my family.

I am glad I spent most of my day at the NCCAR site watching kids make solar cars. It was so much fun. I enjoy talking to kids and watching them learn.

Well, I need to get back to work so I can head home for some R & R.

Daily Dose

1. Being at NCCAR

2. Twinkies--second best invention

3. Finding another newspaper junkie in this town

Monday, June 28, 2010

Wanted a day off for the day off

Today was suppose to be my day off. Instead of sleeping in, I spent my morning doing a feature on the NC Welcome Center on I-95. In order to get to it, I traveled about 10 miles to Virginia and turned around to get to the center on the other side of I-95. I had a blast talking with the manager and others who worked there. They have such a cool job. They meet people from all over the U.S. and other countries. I met a family from Montreal, who were headed to Myrtle Beach, SC. I grew up in SC so I know Myrtle Beach. I have always wanted to go to Canada. They came all this way to go to go to the beach. Amazing. I miss traveling. I used to do it a lot in college. So I am planning a small trip. I am going to visit a place, rent a motel room and be a tourist. Hell, I may even leave the camera and notebook behind. Well, maybe the notebook. And I'll probably invite D. I don't know where but I'm going somewhere.

It is so freaking humid here. I try to stay inside because I am still recovering. It's rough getting over an illness during the summer. My chest still hurts so I'm going to the doctor on Thursday. I want to be well to see my mom and JJ this weekend. I miss them both so much. I feel bad because I haven't talked to them like I should. This illness is exhausting plus trying to work. Even though, I have been very sick, I don't see my husband cutting me any slack on the child support.

I am trying to be more relaxed and chilled but things are pretty crazy at work with assignments for the newspaper, the magazine and special sections. Now how do I take it easy while doing all this work. I will figure it out. I do not want to be hospitalized for exhaustion. I love this job and I knew being in the big leagues wouldn't be easy.

I spent three hours today waiting for the board of education to come out of a closed session. I read magazines and planned my week. I am thinking about buying a rocking chair. I can rock outside my room and watch the traffic go by. It's a little unconventional when you live in a motel. My brother thinks it would advertise just how weird and nerdy I am to people. New flash, little brother, people already know. Seriously, six mugs of pens on my desk at work. I have climbed in a dumpster to retrieve magazines thrown out. People know I am weird. And they still like me.

Daily Dose

1. True Blood was awesome Sunday night.

2. Watching an NCIS marathon while eating pizza and quesadillas

3. Hanging out at the Welcome Center

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Relay for Life

Last night and today, I covered the area Relay for Life event. It was one of the hardest thing but inspirational things I have done. I talked to a lot of people and heard a lot of amazing stories.

Plus, the food at the event was awesome. I had pizza, nachos and cotton candy. I know it was not the most nutritious dinner. But it was sooooooooooo good. And I took some turkey barbecue home to eat for breakfast.

In the past, my newspaper has not given Relay could pre-coverage. I tried to get the word out as much as possible. It was hot and humid both days but I feel good knowing I played a small part in helping with Relay for Life. It is a very worthwhile event. Watching the cancer survivors take the track for their lap was amazing. I hope someday a cure will be found for cancer. It is an awful devastating disease that does not discriminate.

Today, I drove 45 minutes to a birthday party for a really cool lady. JT will turn 100 on July 4th. After writing about her early this year, I had to wish her a Happy Birthday. She gave me the biggest hug and introduce me to her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I was thanked several times for the article I wrote about her. All I did was write down what JT said. She is feisty and a really great lady. And is sharp as a tack at age 99. Go JT!

It's Saturday night. I should be painting the town red. Instead, I plan to go to bed early. It's hard balancing work and being semi-sick. I just need to crash for a few hours.

Daily Dose

1. Cotton candy isn't just for kids.

2. Taking the new Entertainment Weekly with Twilight Eclipse on the cover out of the mailbox.

3. Just chilling and not stressing or worrying for the next few days.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ultimately you walk the road alone

I am still on the mend. The heat and humidity are stifling at times. I did an amazing interview with a cancer survivor today. He was awesome and I admire his strength. On Friday, I will be doing the coverage for Relay for Life. I have mixed feelings about this. I am still coming to terms about my mother's cancer battle. I guess I scared I will be overcome with emotion. There will be tons of cancer survivors. And I know my mom will never be in that category.

I have to do this because it's my weekend to work. I needed to get this off of my chest.

I love my job but things are getting weird. Soon there will be a new managing editor. I worry what he or she's expectations will be. Will I live up to them? Then I realize there is no point in stressing. I am good at what I do. I can't do much in life. Writing is my passion. Everyone has a story. Some have two or three stories but for the most part, everyone has a story. And it's my goal to them a way to tell that story. Even if it's about an 8 foot tall sunflower.

In lieu of the Daily Dose, I am going to give you 25 things that you don't know about me.

1. In the course of a day, I will use 5 to 10 different pens.
2. I don't like peaches.
3. I'm a PC not a Mac.
4. 2 a.m. is my favorite time of the day.
5. I'm not scared of clowns but they are not my favorite.
6. I have never been to the circus.
7. I can't use a hula hoop.
8. I only eat grape jelly on my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
9. I love horror movies.
10. Secretly, I enjoy watching The Hills and The City.
11. I have never read the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I have no intentions of ever.
12. Reading Young Adult fiction relaxes me.
13. I hated rice as a kid but love it as an adult.
14. I am allergic to bananas.
15. I am not a big fan of Christmas.
16. Spring is my favorite season.
17. I have never liked beer.
18. I once killed a chicken.
19. I met my father for the first time at age 27.
20. I was in labor for five hours. I slept between contractions.
21. At one time, I was an excellent cook.
22. My favorite flower is a daisy.
23. I am afraid of frogs.
24. I like trying different flavors of milkshakes.
25. I think cheese in a can is the best invention ever.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Working on the balance

Today, I did two things I haven't done in a longtime. I left work at 5 p.m. I can't remember the last time I left work at 5 p.m. It was so weird. My fellow reporters were stunned but happy.

The other thing was to have a sat down and eat lunch on a plate. A lunch not eaten on the run or in my car. It felt good. D and I had a chance to dish about work and life.

I am not 100 percent yet but I'm getting there. My mom had her chemo today. I feel bad that I will not be able to be there this weekend but I am in no shape to be around her. I will be so glad when I get well. Thank God, I am in better physically condition now that two years ago. I would be in a hospital right now.

So the evening has spend putting up laundry from three weeks ago and reading magazines. Relaxation is hard. I truly have forgotten what it was like. Monday is my day off and I am going to this cool bird sanctuary with D. She is doing a story for a special section and I get to tag along. It should be fun and relaxing. It will be hot but fun. It is a way to work on the balance. I'll take my digital camcorder and record some stuff.

Daily Dose

1. Carrot Cake

2. Planning a day trip to Virginia

3. Just relaxing and enjoying life

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday happenings

My thoughts from the motel....

I ventured out today in search of a Sunday paper. I love reading the Sunday paper especially with some orange juice and a biscuit and gravy. What a way to start the week! I was testing my stamina since I return to work tomorrow. Best way to test stamina while staying cool--going to Wal-Mart. I spent 30 minutes in there and it was enough for me. I'm a Target girl. I go the Wally World for things I can't find anywhere else or because I'm bored. There was sidewalk sale outside. I brought a cute black sweater, grey denim like button down shirt and a black jacket for air conditioned summer. All for $3 each.

Once inside, I checked my favorite spots--magazines, pens and greeting cards. Brought a Stouffer's Baked Chicken breast meal with mashed potatoes and gravy. This is one of my favorite meals. Add some green peas and it was a nice Sunday dinner.

After my trip, I got home and put the meal in the freezer. I had to take a nap. This is what my life will be like for the next few weeks. I will venture out in the am to work, interviews and take pictures. And then work from home. I think it's a good plan. I hope the higher ups agreed.

Here in my room, I get 70-something channels. There is nothing on tv. Last night, I watched episodes of Criminal Minds and a special on Charles Manson. I need to get out more.

The combination of the steroids and antibiotics have killed my appetite. So I have set times to eat. This is working for me because when I was at the doctor's I noticed I have lost four pounds. I am somewhat comfortable with the way my body looks. Plus, I don't want to get any sicker.

I have seen a ton of commercials for the new Twilight:Eclipse movie. And I have to say I am on Team Jacob. D and I both feel like we are going to hell for the unpure thoughts we have about Taylor Lautner.

Daily Dose

1. Taylor Lautner--nuff said.

2. Rest is not a bad four letter word.

3. True Blood comes on tonight.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Using time

"I get up every morning determined to both change the world and to have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning the day difficult."--E.B. White

This is the quote I picked to live in 2010. So far, I think I have changed the world a little in RR with my writing. I having an okay time. It is sad that being sick has made me slow down and appreciate things. I have been in this room since Wednesday. I did venture out to the bank Thursday.

Thank you all for your support. I can't do everything and be everything. I just want to be the best daughter, the best mom and the best reporter. But in the process, I forgot about being good to me.So I have used my downtime to read, soak in the tub and eat spray cheese straight from the can. The steroids have kicked in. Marathons on cable are the salvation for the shut-in. One day it was Law and Order:SVU, another day Criminal Minds. Today is America's Next Top Model--Cycle Seven. I tried to watch the State of Play but it's a long movie.

One of my favorite things to eat when I'm sick is Spaghetti-os. They are recalled. I found out from my mom. I had just opened a can and heated some up. It sucked because I wanted to eat them so bad.

There is so much happening today. There is a fly-in at the airport, a festival, a free health clinic and Lake Day. I am bummed that I'm not there but I have made peace with it. I can't do everything and be everything to everyone.

Daily Dose

1. Spray cheese in a can.

2. Naps are the best medicine.
3. The Mentalist is a pretty good show.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Balance of life is so fragile

For the next few days, I will be home in bed. A mandatory break due to an upper respiratory infection that is dangerously close to becoming pneumonia. It is a massive wake up call. I love what I do but I have let it consume me. I work hard to make sure my beat is covered. I try not to get scooped by the competition. I hustle to come up with stories. But I am just a girl. A sick girl with a lot on plate.

Everyone and my mother has lectured on me on taking better care of myself. I know. I have worked so hard to maintain my weight, eat right and be mentally strong. But I bury myself in my work so I don't have to think about my mom being sick. Or being away from my son. Work is just a nice thing.

My illness has changed things in the newspaper. I think the powers to be realize the reporters are being worked to hard. I have to find a balance. Plus, I need to brush up on my swimming skills. I can't let such a nice bathing suit go to waste. Thank y'all for such nice comments. I love it. I have it hanging up so I see it everyday. It reminds me of how far I have come. And how much farther I have to go.

So I will take it easy. I have finished a John Grisham novel, a few magazines and some newspapers. I have to do this. I do not want to end up in the hospital. And want to hear something interesting. I am sick and in bed. I am on antibotics and steroids. My mom is out and about visiting friends and family. She is having a nice time. Good for her because she deserves it.

Daily Dose

1. Daytime television is quite interesting with cable.

2. D came by with my favorite juice.

3. The new blog layout come from my love of looking out the window when it rains.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Today was a fairytale

Well actually yesterday felt like a fairytale. I had a wonderful time at the Lake despite almost drowning. I jumped in not realizing the water so deep. But D and her friend saved my life. I coughed up a lung, put it back and continued to enjoy my day. I have to say ED was working overtime after I bought the bikini. I think the correct term is tankini. I looked awesome it.

I am posting a pictures of me posing in it. A few months ago, I would not have posted these pictures. Hell, I wouldn't swimsuit for that matter. Some major progress has been made and a little history. Yesterday, I felt like a swimsuit model. Stretched out on the deck, lounging in the lawn chair or just going out in the paddle boat. I have to admit I was freaked out a little about that. We're in the middle of the Lake. After a brutal week, it was nice just to kick back and relax. D cooked an awesome dinner. My contribution was witty banter and Beyer's Chocolate Cookie Dough ice cream. D make a casserole of summer veggies and cheese along with baked chicken with this awesome herb gravy. I ate until I almost popped. And then had ice cream. It was a wonderful day.

Today, my chest hurts from all the water I took in and working almost 70 hours has caught up with me. I can feel the exhaustion. My body just aches. For lunch, I wolfed a microwave meal and used the remaining time to sleep. Best 45 minutes of my life. I have tried to make this week as light as possible so I have some home time. Last week, I all I did was work and come home and sleep. I can't and will not continue at this pace. It's not healthy. Plus, I really need to take a beginner's class to get more acclimated with water.

I love my job. I love the people I work with at my job. But there are other things that are not going as smoothly with the job. They are not affecting me but I hate to see my co-workers so miserable and sad. It makes me sad and mad. But at least yesterday was a fairytale filled involving a pretty tankini, wonderful fellowship and just being able to be Silly Girl.

Daily Dose

1. I have coupons for the Hardees tenders

2. I went grocery shopping and didn't freak out to much.

3. I now own a swimsuit. And I look awesome in it.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Adventures in ..... in bikini shopping

In a year, I have come a long way in dealing with some major body issues. Last summer, I wore summery dresses that came to my ankles. And I laughed at wearing a shirt. I only wore shorts around the house.

I've come a long way! Tonight, I brought a bikini. I am not the best swimmer but my girl D lives on the Lake. After a brutal week, she invited me to her house tomorrow to chill. For the past few weeks, she has been encouraging me to buy a bikini. And thanks to her and my other friend T, I am wearing dresses that are knee length and higher.

It was 90 degrees today and I had two outside events to cover for the paper. I wore a cute black shirt with a black striped tank and white short sleeved shirt. I looked cute and didn't freak to much about my legs showing.

Last night, I rode a Ferris Wheel for the first time ever. It was fun and freeing. Then I brought some Chicken on a stick and headed home. Today, I was back at the festival working. No time for rides but I did make time for the best barbecue chicken. It was good.

Work has been brutal this week. Our week goes from Tuesday to Monday. When I turn my timecard in on Tuesday, I will have 70 hours. It scared me when I added it up. I love being a reporter. And I love the people I work with but things are getting tense and uneasy. I do my best to take out it. I have a crumbling marriage, a dying mother and trying to come from an ED. I don't need anymore drama or heartache. Next week is my therapy appointment.

I'll post some pictures of my bikini and possibly me in it next week. We'll see! Have a good rest of the weekend.

Daily Dose

1. Festival food rocks!

2. There is no sweeter view than one from top of a Ferris Wheel.

3. Heading to the Lake tomorrow for some R&R.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Needing to get back in shape

I have been working a lot of hours. And between working and traveling, I haven't been taking care of myself like I should. Today, I went to Medoc Mountain State Park. It was such a beautiful place. For awhile I forgot that I was only 30 minutes from work. It is the perfect getaway without getting away.

The park supt. took me on a tour. At one point, we were hiking on a trail. I need to make time to start back walking. I was tired after about 20 minutes. Before it got cold, I was running two mornings a week and working out twice at week. Since I now have to be at work at 8 a.m. and not 7 a.m., I am going to try to walk three times a week. I took the picture near this creek. It was so tranquil and peaceful.

Riding on the horse trail fell through today but one of the guys wants me to go riding on the trail. Don't worry, it won't be a possible Criminal Minds moment. The park supt would come also. I am looking at my schedule trying to find time to ride. I have always wanted to ride horse and lasso a bull. I'll stick with just riding the horse. I don't have time for broken bones. Most of my day was at the park so I am feeling very zen but tired.

My newspaper has a magazine so I am using it to gain magazine experience so I can do some freelancing. I volunteered to do daytrips. Might as well get paid while having some fun.

Daily Dose

1. I actually fantasized about sleeping during a town board meeting.

2. Enjoying myself at the state park.

3. I had an 95 percent ED free day.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Adventures from the first Monday of the month

I have returned to world of words at the newspaper.

My mom is doing better. She had a doctor's appointment today. Her potassium is great but they are concern with white blood cell count. If it dips or she gets an infection, hello hospital stay. Plus, she has lost a lot of weight so they are putting her on steroids. Hopefully, it will improve her appetite.

Today, I was totally the prepster with cute khakis with a sweater vest and white short sleeved button down. I look like I was going to play golf. Instead, it was county commissioners.

Tomorrow, I think I will be riding a horse for the first time in my life. It is part of a story so I am looking forward to it but nervous. Horses are beautiful but intimidating.

Sorry such a short post but I am hitting the bed early tonight.

Daily Dose

1. Sonic cheesesticks are an awesome snack.

2. Treating my two fellow reporters to Chocolate sundae pie at Burger King.

3. Feeling more balanced than I have in a longtime.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

In search of jeans

First, I would like thank everyone for their kind words about my mom. She is quite a trooper. Today, wasn't a good day but not completely bad either. She describes it as "not the best day but not the worst." She was having trouble keeping food on her stomach. But finally some mash potatoes with her. KFC potatoes and gravy always work in a pinch.

I am worried about her appetite. She is eating next to nothing. The chemo is trying to kick her butt. I think there are two more sessions left. I pray that she will make it. If this continues, she will be back in the hospital again. She has already lost so much weight.

Most of the day has been spent watching old tv shows like Good Times, the Jefferson and Soul Train. It brought back many memories.

I decided to hit Goodwill and see if I could find some more jeans. Since I started the meds, my appetite has been more consistent, which means I have gained some weight. I'm not freaking about it two much but I don't like my clothes to be snug. But I am picky about jeans. I tried on 26 pairs of jeans and four pairs of khakis. I ended with a pair of khakis, a white t-shirt, a cool pink and white button down shirt and cool gray t-shirt with a hood. Not bad for a non-shopper.

I have spend the rest of evening trying to write an article for the magazine but gave after my nephew asked a million questions. Right now, I am hiding out in a spare bedroom trying to escape the garlic. My aunt makes fresh veggie juice for my mom at least once a day. Tonight, she added garlic to a mix of strawberries, apples and broccoli. The smell about made me lose my dinner.

Daily Dose

1. Watching one of my favorite movies--Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood.

2. Talking to my mom about iTunes. So she is going to be calling me to download some music for her.

3. Sitting on the porch while it rains. This is one of the things I miss about not living in a traditional setting.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Back at the hospital and other thoughts

My journey home started okay. I made a special cd for the drive. In the middle of the drive, I receive a call from my mom. Her potassium level was very low and she needed to be at the hospital immediately. As I write, my mother is hooked up to an IV and is on her sixth bag of potassium. It takes an hour for each bag.

My mother was diagonosed with cancer in 2005. Today was the first time in all of those years that she truly looks like she has cancer. She looks so frail and she is in a lot of pain from the chemo. I feel helpless and scared. I know she is happy I am here. I feel guilty because I'm not here often enough.

So I have spent the afternoon making sure she makes it to the restroom and gets something to drink. And in few hours, I'll drive her back to my aunt's house and get her settled in for the night. As the postassium gets pumped in, I have watched a Law and Order marathon.

I plan to spent most of my weekend with my mom and then visit JJ before heading back. I really don't have much to say to my husband. As long as he receives a check from me he's happy. When I talk to him, I am civil. I would love to bring JJ to RR but I just don't feel like the drama. I am sick of having my stability questioned. I am sick of having my phone calls with JJ on speaker and having what I call supervised visits. I have quietly asked around about lawyers. I'm a reporter so I don't make much money. But I have got to do something. So I am keeping better records of the money I am sending for JJ. I'll keep you posted.

Daily Dose

1. Music makes long trip go by quicker.

2. I love my mom.

3. I know this hospital better than most people who work here.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Memories of my grandmother

I am headed for home this week. I haven’t checked in with my mom or my son has often as I should. With my mom, I just can’t handle anymore depressing news. And in order to talk to my son, I have to talk to my husband. I don’t feel like dealing with him.
I just wanted a few moments of “ignorance is bliss.” But early in the a.m., I head for home.
I read on the newswire that Rue McClanahan had died. She played Blanche on the Golden Girls tv show. This was one of my grandmother’s favorite shows. She was fun person to watch tv with. It’s moments like this that I miss her. On my nightstand is a picture her and I when I was in college.
While growing up, I was a grandma’s girl. Before the age of 12, I knew more life skills that most kids. I know how to kill a chicken, clean it and cut it up. A good skill to have in case I end up on Survivor.
I know how to freeze and can vegetables. During my summers, I help to make pickles. I hate pickles. I don’t even like the smell of them.
I have the same feeling about peaches but I know how to make perserves, jelly and ice cream how of them.
Knowing these type of things are a lost art. But they bring back so many different memories.
My grandmother had a deep freezer that held most of the things grown in the summer. We didn’t have much money so those items came in handy in the winter. It was from her I learned how to cook and do more with less.
She never understood me and my ED. Sometimes, she would said if she hadn’t have had the mini-strokes maybe I wouldn’t have gotten off track. She didn’t understand the logistics but she knew I was too thin.
Three years before she died, I had to leave college for a year after a suicide attempt and some major depression. Even though, I was away from my friends, I got to be roomies with her. We watched tv when I wasn’t working or talked about things. Emotions weren’t big in my family. But she expressed how proud of me she was.
I miss her so much because the numbers are dwindling. When she died, my mom took over as the matriarch and family godmother. I am know being groomed for the role of godmother and protector of the family. I will have two sets of big shoes to fill.

Daily Dose
1. I am addicted to chicken fries at Burger King.
2. Food Lion has had this awesome clearance on very expensive notebooks that are now $1 or 75 cents. I will be set for the next few months.
3. Be able to see two of my favorite people in the world.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

RR is alive with the sounds of music

Music is key in my life. I don’t know what I would do without it. As a teenager, I loved to make mixtapes for friends and families. And now, I love making mix cds to listen to on long road trips home or when I am out covering NH county. I guess along with pens, magazines and libraries, music is my thing.
Most of the time, when I am writing, I like to listen to music. My favorite thing is to turn on Itunes radio and just listen to various songs. It is how I discover musicians like Evans Blue or Sia.
It is one thing that remained throughout my struggles with my ED. I never loss my love of music. Sometimes it was the only thing that could calm my mind when it was consumed by thoughts of ED.

Words make you think a thought. Music makes you feel a feeling. A song makes you feel a thought.
--E. Y. Harburg

Some of my favorite memories are tied to songs. I can remember my feelings being at that Dave Matthew concert. I can remember how I felt seeing my mom dance to Earth, Wind and Fire and Chicago.
One of my absolute favorites is watching JJ dance to the Black Eyed Peas “Boom Boom Pow.” Music is how I connect to this world and people. I have used several songs as conversation starters in the past.
On this site, I like to put mini mixes of music that I am listening to. If you looked at the music library on my laptop, you would see that Dave Matthews Band dominates. They were the first concert that I ever saw. Plus, their music always put me in calm and zen mood.
If I am angry, one of the first things I do is turn on Slipknot and jump around the room until I’m calm. There is nothing in the world like a lazy afternoon (which are rare these days) listening to music while reading a stack of magazines.
I have started going Friday afterwork events with music. I am branching out more. As I learn more and more about me, I find my love of music doesn’t change.

Daily Dose
1. I am auditioning shows to take the place of Lost.
2. Discovering the group Evans Blue.
3. Taking it one step at a time and not panicking.

Happy New Year!!!!

Happy New Year! I will admit that 2017 wasn't the worst year of my life but it wasn't the best. I feel like I spent the entire time ...