Saturday, July 18, 2009

Still Here

2009 has taken a huge toll on my psyche. Daily disasters, family health issues, deaths, bad weather, and the economy have stomped the joyful part of my soul into the mud. I'm desperately trying to rebuild my optimistic outlook on life. This has been a hard journey when I constantly take one step forward and two steps back.

I always used to "count my blessings" when I felt down. This year my banes have started outnumbering my blessings. Trying to find blessings to count only deepened my despair, so I quit.

Nature has been my salvation. Fledgling birds at our feeder, hordes of dragonflies, hummingbirds with an attitude, 3 deer, and the beauty of bald eagles soaring against a bright blue sky have all been gently prying me out of my despair. I have been taking time every day to "stop and smell the roses". Now, I am trying to create NEW, but scaled down, blessings in my family's life.

I need to return to writing here on a regular basis. Writing my thoughts down helps to clear my mind. I need to release the thoughts that are swirling in my brain and muddling my thought processes. Organization has always been my forte, but lately I've just been struggling to make it through each day's essential chores. I really NEED to write the final chapter in my Duluth trip saga! I need to face what happened so I can start re-shaping my life into some semblance of fulfillment.

I have lost a lot of the love I thought I had in my life, but I am now building on the love I hope will be there for the future. If I've learned nothing else this year, I've learned that love does work in mysterious ways.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Slow But Sure

I'm trying to cling to the warm/fuzzy feeling created by SME and Doug's glorious visit. We had a fantastic 4 days together even though the 3 of us had to work 2 days out of the 4. We laughed 'til our sides hurt and tears streamed down our cheeks. We hugged, and talked, and ate, and played, and shopped, and relaxed, and then hugged some more. Internet and phone communications are sadly lacking in the hug factor.
This was the first time that L, Z, and I had had FUN since Christmas! 2009 continues to be a year of tragedy for us. This week we lost 2 more friends, one of whom was like a member of our family. A 3rd friend(we grew up across the street from each other) is brain dead from a gunshot wound in the Twin Cities. Apparantly the perps meant to kill my friend's roommate. What are the odds that I have had 2 friends murdered this year?

June was an up and down month for my Dad. Biopsies taken during his colon surgery revealed that he has more cancer and will require chemotherapy. 2 weeks ago, Dad had a stent placed in one of the arteries of his heart. We're hoping that this procedure will give Dad more energy. On the bright side, Dad's latest PSA test was less than 1, .9 to be precise. Dad's urologist was thrilled that his treatments for prostate cancer are going so well. We're hoping that Dad will respond equally well to his chemo treatments, which start on Monday.

Z is now the morning dishwasher/cook's helper at the restaurant. He's doing a great job and Boss appreciates having reliable help for a change. His hours are 8 am-1 pm, Mon-Fri. His hours leave both of us free for homeschooling in the afternoons. This new routine has helped Z's sleep problems immensely. Z is responsibly putting away half of his paycheck every 2 weeks. This still leaves him $70/week to spend on himself, which makes him a very happy kid. I co-signed on a checking account for Z, which gives him a debit card. Now he can place his own online orders and start establishing a credit rating for himself. My baby is growing up way too fast.
I should really write a post about what happened to our former morning dishwasher; her stupidity defies belief.
Here are 2 drawings by my 2 favorite artists: SME and Doug. Doug drew the above picture of L in about 10 minutes. What a gift his talent is!
The bottom picture was doodled by SME. Her cartoons are always a treat to behold!
We're s-l-o-w-l-y troubleshooting the problems with our phone lines. Fortunately, I feed the phone company's repairmen breakfast every morning. We've become friends over the years and they are doing everything in their power to get our system running smoothly.

We were totally without any phone service for 2 days. The repairmen finally fixed that problem by switching "pairs" on our service. This re-instated phone service, but our phone lines still sounded slushy, and our 3meg DSL was running between 28k and 270k, but mostly in the 62k range. My repair guys admitted that this was unacceptable service. The next step was to replace our 2-month-old line filters with a new set of filters. (According to the repair guys, these filters are often faulty.) Changing the filters seemed to solve our problem....until yesterday. Now we're wondering if the phone company's Siemens wireless modem could be the problem. We already know that Siemens makes substandard hearing aids, so maybe...