Sunday, March 27, 2011

And the Party Goes On...

But I think it's over now! Sara came down Thurs. with the girls and made a huge deal out of my birthday. She brought me THREE cakes, including one that was an "over the hill" cake. She took rice krispie treat stuff, molded it into the shape of a hill, slathered melted chocolate over the top and poured crushed oreos on top of that to get a "hill." Then she had candles that spelled out "over the hill." She also gave me a bunch of "old" stuff. And she gave me the above sign, along with a tiara and cape that she made. It's all going in my new office when I move in there in a week or so. Afterwards, we went out to Jordan Creek and walked around all night. What a nice friend I have!

Oh, let's see, what else has been going on in my world besides turning 40?... The day before my birthday the boys and I, minus Ben, went to the St. Patrick's Day parade in downtown Des Moines. We had nice, curb-side seats, but I was disgusted by the children, and especially adults, that just crowded in front of us. I mean, people were clear up to the yellow line for the entire parade! How rude!

That night I was planning to go to Ladies Bible study and was sitting on the couch eating frozen pizza, getting ready to leave, when all of a sudden, my sister-in-law, Lisa walked in my house! I about fell over! She and Micheal just dropped in on us. They live in Council Bluffs and needed a break from their hectic household, so they decided to go to Branson. And they went out of their way to come out this far and swing down by our place. They said they came to deliver my birthday card in person - and they gave me $40! I was so touched by that!

Well, my bathroom is almost done! I have never had such a luxurious bathroom in my life. Of course, compared to the one we just tore out (mushy floor, bowed walls, sagging suspended ceiling) just about anything could be considered "luxurious!" I've been enjoying the extra deep and wide tub for a couple of weeks now. Paul got the shower sides up this weekend, so I'm assuming the next thing is the shower head. He installed a toilet this week and I've been using the double sink vanity for about 10 days now. Oh, it is SO nice! He just needs to build my towel cabinet and we'll be good! Yesterday he also worked on the passageway between our bedroom and the office. He's going to put a door in there. He said he wants to put the baseboards on in the office and then we'll be able to move the computer desk and my desk out there. Can't wait!

We got the fooseball table moved to the basement this weekend. It is SO nice to have it out of the boys' bedroom, after 6 1/2 years of it taking up so much space up there! We moved in a desk for David and totally re-arranged the room. Now Sam's bed is over in the corner, in a somewhat private area, blocked in by his dresser and toy shelf. He's surrounded by all his toys and he's happy!

I saw the dr. this week about my side pain again. He wants me to have a pelvic ultrasound and an abdominal ultrasound. He's wondering, too, if it could be related to my uterus. But I don't know. I've had a massive UTI over the last few days, which makes me think it IS my kidneys, even though the ultrasounds on those came back clear. I'm not too anxious to have further testing done and use up more of our flex spending, esp. since I have a funny feeling that my surgery charges are going to wipe out that account anyway. But yet, if there is something wrong - and generally, pain indicates that there is - I really should get it taken care of.

And it's all pretty minor in comparison, anyway. There is a boy in our homeschool group who is 12 years old and just found out that he has an untreatable brain tumor and will live only about 6 more months. Devastating. And this child was a miracle baby. His parents were unable to have children and finally had him in their 40s. And now they have to give him back. I can't even imagine. You might pray for the Moede family, if you think of it.

I am home today with David who has been suffering either with a cold or severe allergies the last two days. I think we can make it to evening church, though. I gave him a sleeping pill last night which helped him finally get a decent night's sleep and he seems to be doing better this morning - just raw around his nostrils. Poor kid!

Ben goes back to school tomorrow after a week of Spring Break. Thank you, Jesus! The week got a little long. He just doesn't know what to do with himself. I've got to fill up this summer with some activities for him. Now they will be back to attending on Mondays, too, until summer break.

And I'm caught up, I think. Paul has heard rumors that they are handing out bonuses at work this week, so that will be helpful, since hours are still way, way, way down. I'm looking forward to some good news tomorrow in regards to that!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Fabulous Forty

You're going to have to twist your neck to look at this one. Paul has the bad habit (always has) of holding the camera at an angle. I'm wanting to frame this in a frame Sara gave me for Christmas; I have a fuzzy feeling I'll be filling in part of the fill space with black cardstock. Oh well.

Well, I am 40 years old now and so far, I'm loving it! No, I have long anticipated hitting this milestone, even if it is the traditional start of middle age and the descent into elderly-hood. I still have not reached an age where I dread turning the next number or am tempted to lie and say I'm younger. And then, also, when Julie died last year I promised myself that I would never disparage birthdays. Birthdays mean you're still alive.

And, in my case, birthdays mean an opportunity for others to show how much they love me.

My actual day was Friday. It was a quiet day. Paul didn't have to work and he mentioned that morning that Nathanael, who is Will's 18 yr old homeschooled church friend and the son of good friends of ours, was coming over to help with the work on the house. Paul has really been hitting that hard for the past few weeks. Last week, especially, he worked so hard. Every single night he was up way past midnight. Since the work is on the other side of our bedroom and Paul has made a walkway between our bedroom and what will be the new office, I had a hard time sleeping. I was a little perturbed that Paul hadn't told me Nathanael was coming. I certainly didn't mind - he is a stellar young man - but I would have liked some advance notice so I could get some meals planned and the house cleaned up! Paul said that was why he didn't tell me. I had just had surgery and he knew I would rush around getting things ready. Nice thought, but I will kill him if he ever does that again.

So, I spent the morning, rushing around, throwing together a meal for lunch and picking up, all the while muttering under my breath. But I got things done. I spent rest of the day doing mundane things like paying bills and making a grocery list. We decided to go to the Machine Shed for supper and Paul says, "Oh, by the way, Nathanael is spending the night." Well, that was a little odd (to have a non-family member with us for a b-day celebration) but that was fine. So, we did that and then afterwards, Paul stopped by Walmart and picked up a little ice cream cake. And we went home and I opened my cards. Paul had put $40 cash in the card from him and also in the card from the boys.

I got quite a bit of cash for my birthday - lots of $40 gifts. I am giving serious thought to buying a used treadmill. Also, Menards has some antique-looking fan backed chairs that I have long admired. So I may pick up a couple of those for the deck.

I had plans for Saturday. A few weeks ago my friend Debbie from church had suggested that she and I, plus another friend from church, Danielle, all go out the day after my birthday for lunch and some shopping since all 3 of us have March birthdays. I had been looking forward to that ever since. I made lunch for all the guys in the morning and got some of my Sun. meal ready. Paul, Will and Nathanael were working full-bore on the house. At one point, Paul asked me, "Where is it you're going again?" I reminded him and he said, "Oh yeah - I remember you now saying something about that." He's good.

So, I met Debbie and Danielle in Des Moines. While I was waiting for them I got really, really dizzy and had a minor mini stroke. But it didn't bother me too much. I'm still having a bit of trouble with my eye, but that's all. We had a nice time. We went to Olive Garden and then picked up my new sunglasses in W. Des Moines and then did some shopping at Valley West Mall. It was just a nice, nice time. Paul called me while I was gone and asked me to pick up some nails for him at Menards. That's not unusual. But by the time I got done with that, I was so tired. My thinking was that I'd get home, take a short nap, and then finish making Sunday's meal.

So, I drove home and rather than going in the front door as I normally do, I walked around the back because I wanted to see how much work the guys had gotten done putting the siding on the new addition. I stepped into the mudroom and was shocked to see that it had all been cleaned up and vacuumed. Wow! That was a big job. Then I stepped into the back room and into the dark kitchen and was met with shouts of...

"SURPRISE!!!!" Half my Sunday School class was crowded into our kitchen. I could not believe it! Paul had totally pulled off the surprise of my life! He had supper ready, there were two cakes on the table, and everyone brought me presents. It was such a wonderful night! You know, we live a half hour from our church and most of the people there live right in Indianola. But yet, they were willing to drive out to Swan to celebrate with us. One couple actually lives quite a ways south of church and had an hour drive from our house. I was just so touched by everyone's care for me.

And Paul - boy, did he impress me! He had been planning this for a year, he said. Not only has he been up to his eyeballs in house work, but he's had this to do, too. He had given out invitations a few weeks ago. He and Debbie cooked up the scheme of getting me out of the house. The whole thing with Nathanael coming over was so that he could things ready. I guess as soon as I left, he and the boys quickly laid down the new linoleum in the office and bathroom and then Paul took off to Walmart to pick up all the food and cakes. And then they all cleaned the house, top to bottom. I will never understand why that man loves me so much and is willing to do so much for me.

One thing that struck me was this: I've always been reluctant to invite people to our home because it's just an old farmhouse and it's been a construction zone since we moved in. I have been to the homes of my friends from church and they all have very nice ones. But it occurred to me the other night when everyone was crowded into my house - they didn't care. They were there for me and for Paul and they like us, old house and all. What a wonderful feeling!

Today, my pastor's wife Facebooked me to apologize for not making it Sat. She's been sick for 6 weeks now and is just having a difficult time. I told her not to worry about it and commented to her that I still am feeling "warm and fuzzy" from Sat. night. I really am.

If my fortieth birthday is any indication of what this decade of life will be, then it's going to be a WONDERFUL time!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Inactivity Report

There's one good thing about all the sitting I'm doing these days - I'm getting caught up on my blogging so that I don't end up posting one ginormous post like I usually do.

I'm sitting here trying to keep from falling asleep. Man, those drugs are potent! I'm attempting to do more today, though. Paul happened to mention around 11 last night that a couple guys from church were coming over today to help with the work. So, I need to get a meal put together. It's going to be Caseys pizza.

Last Sunday was the day my article came out. That was fun. One of my friends actually insisted that autograph her copy! We had kept it pretty quiet, so most in our church were surprised by the bulletin insert. And then this week I got an email from a family in New York who has an autistic son. They had read my article and were blessed by it. I, in turn, was blessed by their willingness to write to me. How thrilling!

Will has said that he will write about having a brother on the spectrum for this website I'm going to be guest blogging for. I couldn't believe it! But I am so pleased. I happened to mention that to his writing teacher and she said she'll give him credit for it, too!

We got a note from Will's teacher this week just letting us know how he is doing since we weren't going to be able to make it to the conferences on Tues. She said he started out as an average student, but has morphed into this real writer in recent weeks. I am so pleased! This is more than I dreamed of when I insisted he take the class. I just wanted him to be able to function in the real world and to have enough writing skills to do so. He's far surpassed that now. His teacher said that she could see a future for Will in sports journalism. I mentioned that to him, but he wasn't too sure about that idea!

Yesterday afternoon my friend Melissa came over and brought us a meal and stayed for a good 3 hours, just talking. Oh, I needed that! I was really kind of feeling down yesterday. This forced inactivity has not been fun. So that visit really lifted me up! I'm hoping to make it church tomorrow morning, but we'll see.

Well, due to my unusual week of doing absolutely nothing, I really don't have any news to report. Today my bedroom closet is being ripped out and rebuilt. That's about all the excitement around here.

Until later!

Friday, March 11, 2011

On Not Mothering Girls

This is a post that has been brewing in the back of my mind for about 2 years now, honestly. From time to time, I'd think on it more, drag it out, look at it, and then push it back into my mind. Over the last month or so I got to thinking that I was probably close to being ready to write it. And then, Tuesday, something happened that clinched it in my mind. I'm ready!

I am a mother, but I am a mother to all male children. You probably already knew that. It's definitely not the way I planned things, but it's what happened. I remember growing up next door to a family that had three sons and I remember that I used to feel such pity for the mom, that she didn't have a daughter! I have to laugh about that now.

Two years ago I wrote a post on what it's like to have only boys. This post is not the same, although it may initially sound similar. Of course, having only boys means that I don't get to mother any girls. There is a difference in the two lines of thought.

It's kind of a different thing, because I am female and so I have a general idea of what it would be like to have a daughter. And there have been times that I really, really wanted one. I remember being pregnant with David and wandering around the sewing section at Walmart, seeing all the gorgeous, frilly little dresses, and thinking that if this baby I was carrying wasn' t a girl, I'd just die! I wanted to badly to have a little girl to dress up! Fortunately, my heart came around between then and when we had the ultrasound, so that when my dr. happily trilled, "Oh, this one has outdoor plumbing!" I could actually laugh and be happy about it.

And 99.9% of the time, I have been thrilled with my all-boy household. Rarely do I ever catch myself thinking, "Oh, well, if I had girls instead, this is what it would be like..." Well, sometimes I think that when the decibal levels get too high or when they've tracked mud onto my carpet via their big, clunky snowboots for the hundredth time that week. Or, more recently, I find myself dreaming about a household of girls when I am spending more at the grocery store than I do on my mortgage! But, really, I am one content mama. I did go through a rough period when Sam was about a year old and it was really hitting me that our baby days were done forever because we had planned to try and have another one about that time. And then, of course, we had to be done having babies before we wanted to be. And the knowledge then that I would never, ever have a baby girl to fuss over hurt for a little bit there. But I'm over it now.

Now, something happened Tuesday that was really offensive to me. And it's happened before and I've been just as bothered. When I was pregnant with Sam, a miraculous and wonderful event, so many people said to me, 'Oh, I bet you're finally getting your girl!" I never gave it too much thought because I knew from the moment I discovered I was pregnant that this was another boy. I remember my mom thought the same thing. So, we had the ultrasound, and had that confirmed. I remember feeling really dismayed by the number of people that expressed disappointment to me.

I mean, some really carried on. My MIL called me from Florida that night where she was vacationing and when I told her Sam was a boy, you would have thought I'd just announced that someone had died! She wasn't the only one. I lamented this to my friend, Danean, and she commented, "Why would you be upset over God's perfect plan for your family?" That's exactly it. God planned my family of males. How can I protest? As I mentioned earlier, I needed David to be a girl. So my dr. gave me advice about conception timing and a douche recipe that was supposed to eliminate the boy spermies. Obviously, God had a plan there that superceded my human efforts!

What happened Tues. was this: I had just awoken from the anesthesia and was pretty miserable. The nurse was taking me to the bathroom and getting me settled afterwards and to make conversation, asked me about my family. When I told her I had four sons she gasped, and cried out, "Oh you poor thing!" If it were an isolated event, I'd probably just chalk it up to an overreaction on my part due to coming out of anesthesia. But this has happened to me repeatedly through the years. And to be honest, it baffles me. Are boys supposed to be that bad or hard to raise? I admit, it's a little unusual to have as many as I do, so maybe that's what people are actually responding to. Would they have same reaction if I told them I had four girls? I don't know, but somehow, I really don't think so.

But maybe people say that in recognition of the things I won't experience, not having girls. And there will be plenty. There's no pink. There's no elasticized bows wrapped around bald baby heads. There's no Barbies. No child of mine has ever said to me, "I want to be just like you when I grow up!" There's no Hello Kitty, no Baby Alives, and no sparkly Mary Jane shoes. There's no pierced ear events (and there had better never be!), prom dress shopping, or playing house. I won't ever plan and decorate for a wedding (something that truly does make me sad, because I'd be good at it!). I don't have a child who reminds me of my myself at the same ago. There is no sparkly pink nail polish or shopping for clothes for "just because."

Now, my friends who do have girls are always quick to point out to me all the other things I won't be experiencing. They remind me that girls are messy (messier than boys? hard to imagine), gossipy, catty, tearful, moody, and argumentative, by turns. I seem to recall having all those emotions as I grew, so I think my friends sknow what they are talking about. Boys tend to be more solid, emotionally, even as preschoolers. I think they tell me all this to make me feel better!

So, what is it like not having girls? It's not a bad thing. I get to be Queen and I am finding, that as the boys grow, it actually gives me a quite a bit of alone time because they aren't exactly clamoring to spend time with their mother. I like alone time! Yes, there are fun things that I will never experience, though. But I don't mourn for that. Sometimes, I feel a bit wistful, like when I run across the most adorable tiny baby girl shoes. But I'm happy. I never would have planned a family of four boys for myself. I probably would have shot for 1:3, maybe 2:2. But then I wouldn't have gotten to experience the family God had planned for me. And I would have really missed out.

If I could tell anyone anything, it's this: don't feel sorry for me, as though I have missed out on something amazing. Don't view me as Super Mom because I am parenting all boys. I'm just another mom, fulfilling the role God planned for me, just as a mother of a house full of all girls or a house evenly divided between the sexes is. I'm not missing out and I'm not anything extra special.

Besides, I'm counting on having at least one granddaughter someday and then I'll be able to buy all the cute baby shoes I want to!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Well, that's a doped-up smile if I ever saw one! Paul thought we should take that picture for posterity after my surgery on Tues.

As I type this I am sitting on the couch, heating pad on my lap, trying to decide if it's worth it to get up and get another pain pill. Actually, I was doing pretty well this morning until about a half hour or so ago.

This surgery ended up being a bigger deal than I really had anticipated. I remember them putting a mask over my face and I commented that it smelled like paint. That's the last thing I remember until I woke up in recovery - in massive pain and needing to really use the bathroom, thanks to all the IV fluids they had pumped into me. I just thought this would be no big deal. The surgery was scheduled for 10:30 so I told Paul that as soon as I was out there - probably lunchtimish - we'd go get something to eat because I was starving and then we'd get home so he could work on the house. Hah!

I didn't get back to my room until 1:30. And I was in agony. It took them forever to get my pain to a reasonable level. We didn't leave the hospital until almost 5pm! Dr. Morgan talked with Paul, although I haven't seen her yet. Apparently, the machine they were going to use for the ablation broke down part-way through the procedure, so they had to switch methods. And then I ended up needing a couple of stitches. Paul wasn't sure why that was, but I'm guessing that it had to do with the opening of my cervix, since Dr. Morgan had mentioned that it is "little" and "tight."

But, anyway, the whole thing went well. I got to talk to with the anesthesiologists beforehand and explained to them my concern about anesthesiology and my stroke history. They were very reassuring and took extra steps to prevent the formation of blood clots. I was thankful!

So, anyway, we sat in the room and watched cable tv (I got to catch part of "What Not to Wear" - LOVE that show!) while I ate crackers (that were bad for me - I had Paul read the ingredient list) and drank Sierra Mist, waiting for the pain to subside.

Then, we went and picked up my prescriptions. While we waited we went to the mall. I wanted to check out suit prices for Will at Target and Sears. I had to hang on to Paul's elbow the whole time. I told him that people seeing us probably thought we were just so close; little did they know that if I let go, I'd fall down!

I haven't been doing too badly since, although my energy levels have really been down. I haven't done much, work-wise, except fold some laundry. I did have David haul up my summer clothes yesterday and I went through them, figuring up my jewelry needs for them (Do I live a life of leisure, or what?!) That was work! I couldn't believe how worn out I was afterwards.

What has been the biggest blessing has been the care and concern directed my way in the days since. I've had so many phone calls, Facebook and email messages. Our church has been bringing us meals all week long, which has flabbergasted me. I didn't have a baby, nor was I hospitalized overnight. But yet, they're still willing to trek all the way out here, hot meals in hand. And I'm appreciative, because I didn't realize how worn out I'd be. I planned meals for this week, but I don't really think I could have made them, seeing how I feel now.

Dr. Morgan says I should know in the next 6-8 months or so if the surgery worked. Seeing now how much this small surgery has taken out of me, I am even more reluctant now to have the major, cutting, surgery that a hysterectomy would entail. So I hoped it worked!

Well, I won't bore you with any more details. Hearing about somebody else's surgery is generally not the most fun way to spend one's time! I think I am going to give in and go take some Percoset now, though...

Friday, March 4, 2011

Can I Be Old Now?

I sat down to blog because it was on my to-do list. My list of things that just HAD to get done today is long and I've been powering through them for the last few hours. But then I discovered that two of my dear readers/encouragers/friends had written such nice responses to some of my recent blogs that I had to read them and rejoice over their kind words. So now I'm farther behind!

It has been another frightfully busy week here. Next week should not be so bad. But some of that may be because I'll be living on vicodan and not able to go anywhere. Whatever it takes, I guess!

Well, the big news is that Will bought his first car last night. It's a '99 Ford Contour with 93,000 miles on it. He actually bought it from a student up at Faith. Paul found the ad on Craig's List at 3:30 in the morning one day this week when he was up stoking the fire. And then he got me out of bed because he couldn't figure out how to respond to the ad! But because we have a history with the college and Paul is friends with the VP there, whom the car's seller goes to church with as well, she saved the car for us. Now, unfortunately it is still sitting there because it needs a new alternator and possibly a battery. So, I'm not sure exactly when we'll get it down to our house. I called our insurance lady and it won't be officially insured (and eligible for free towing) until she gets my $85 check next week. Our insurance is shooting up to $215 a month with this car. That's gonna hurt. But, Will is excited and I can't help but remember, as I posted on Facebook this morning, his history with cars. I remember when he was a baby - not even a year old, and he would look out our apartment window at the cars driving by below and call out, "Vroom!" That's what he called cars for quite awhile. And then he had his beloved set of matchbox cars (woe to any of us if he couldn't find one!) and then I vividly remember him jacking his riding vehicles up in the air and sliding underneath them to work on them, just like Daddy.

And now he's gone and bought his own car - kind of a bittersweet moment because it's another step of maturity and independence.

Last week Paul shot a squirrel in our front yard. There was something wrong with it - broken legs or it was sick or something. I wasn't home, but when I did get home, Sam excitedly told me how "Dad shot the cwerl!" I told him, "Yeah, there was something wrong with it. Dad was trying to help him out." Sam looked at me for a moment and then said, "No, Dad just wanted to shoot something." Well, he might not be too far off on that!"

I visited a new dr. this week. He's kind of in the middle - both holistic and traditional. I like him. He sent me in for an ultrasound yesterday on my kidneys because of the continual pain I've had for months now. I sure hope this is no big deal.

I spent yesterday afternoon with an older lady from our church. I really like her. She's been urging me to come visit her for months and I have really wanted to. I'm so glad I did. Her husband is in a nursing home now and, thanks to a number of strokes, is not who he used to be. Because of that, my friend is grieving and for the first time, all alone in her house. What I like about this friend, though, is that she is genuinely interested in me. She reads all my stories and always wants to know what I have planned to write next. So many older people I know always seem glad to talk to me but their interest, I feel, is just to have a pair of listening ears while they expound on all their aches and pains and the high cost of prescriptions as they age. And there is nothing wrong with talking about that, but friendship involves give and take and actually listening to the other person and what they have to say. So, anyway, it was enjoyable for me and I want to go back soon.

This week Sam was singing Chis Tomlin's song, "Indescribable" in the van. It was so cute! I don't only listen to Christian music, though, so I guess I should be thankful he wasn't belting out some of the other music he has also been exposed to! And I know he's listening because he asked me, "Who dis song about?" His little mind is definitely going!

Hey, guess what? I scored another FW win! I was so surprised! My most recent story got 4th place in my division and 10th overall, so I'm getting published again! I wrote about a young wife who's husband is dying. You can read it here: My stories about death and betrayal seem to be the most popular ones! Nobody likes my sunshiney stories - apparently I do macabre and morbid better than happiness! I also was notified yesterday that my story, "Road to Reconciliation" that I wrote in Dec. about a wife who struggles to forgive her sister after she has an affair with her husband (the wife's husband, not the sister's husband) is going to be the Featured Spotlight on the FaithWriters home page the week of March 14. What an awesome birthday present for me! I'm so tickled!

Oh, and speaking of writing...Will told me that a paper he wrote for his class a couple of weeks ago got graded at 100%! He has come so, so far with his writing this year in that class. The teacher is having the kids do all sorts of different writing and Will doesn't even complain anymore! It has been well worth the money.
This week he is interviewing his football coach for his writing assignment. Apparently, this really touched his coach. He thinks so much of Will, anyway.

Last Sunday night in church Sam was eating out of snack bag and he stuck a stick pretzel partway into his mouth and announced out of the other corner, "I 'moking!" (smoking). Paul and I just cracked up right there. I think we were shaking the whole pew!

Well, my big article comes out this Sunday! I'm trying to not get too excited...but, it is pretty thrilling!

Oh, and I managed to find a couple more clothing items I actually liked this week. I flipped through a Younkers mailer that came last week and immediately found two shirts that "spoke" to me (ok, that sounds corny - but they were "me"!). So I went out there this week and found the ones I had marked in the catalog right away. Anymore, I just don't care about sales. It's so difficult to find what I want and in the sizes I need, that when I do find it, I'm going to buy it. I think I'm set for summertime now, other than some capris and sandals I still need. What a relief! And what an indication that I think way, way too much about my outward appearance!

I have got to start breaking these blogs up. My readers are going to fall asleep before they hit the end. I've just been so busy lately, that I store it all up and then explode it onto my keyboard, which results in these frightfully long posts that are all about me, me, me!

One victory I did have this AM. I'm dealing right now with Medicaid in trying to get reimbursement for all the driving I have to do for Ben and his many, many appointments. I could have been doing this for the past 14 years, but didn't know about it until the last year. It's so nice how they are upfront with you about all you can get! Well, I got it done for Jan and it wasn't really a problem. But then I tried to do it in Feb and I was told that rules had changed and I had to get out of county approval from everywhere Ben needed to go. And then the therapists weren't faxing back the request forms so I couldn't "book" the trips. And then I found out that the transportation company hadn't even faxed the requests. I was just ready to throw my hands up in the hair and say, "forget it!" It's too much mental stress and frustration! But then I did get a reimbursement this week for January's trips and it was almost $60, which made me want to pursue this a little more, especially with the escalating gas prices. So, anyway, today I got a knowledgeable staff person on the line and we got it all straightened out, thankfully. I have Ben's March trips booked now and I don't have to do this again for another 4 weeks.

Paul stayed up until 12:30 this morning priming the new bathroom walls. He is wanting me to get the gray paint on today. But I just don't know if I am going to have the time. I want to because I know he is SO stressed right now with this house and some side jobs that need to be done, the new car, and right now our finances because his regular work is quite slow (his paycheck today for the last two weeks was $204!) and I want to help out in any way possible. I'll do what I can. I don't have anything planned tonight so maybe I can do it then.

So - another busy week in the life of a madwoman. You do what you gotta do. But I have to be honest - looking ahead to the rest of my life, I am really anticipating old age, when I might have a quiet house and hours that stretch before me. I know that will have its challenges, too, but right now, it's sure appealing!