Wednesday, April 30, 2008

"Why did you not post last night," you ask. Well, frankly, after spreading out the fertilizer, I could only use my right hand and did not have the energy to peck at the keyboard single-handed.

Yes, I am happy those weed killer granules are out on my lawn, even if it means the left hand portion of the yard will be rather, rather bare if they work. I am still thankful to L for running that errand while we were having our Girl's Day Out. I am also glad the seemingly unending rain stopped so that I could apply the special fertilizer. However, the application process did cause a bit of a problem with me.

I do not have one of those push fertilizer spreaders (I really don't have a place to store one). Instead, I have one that you hold in your left hand and spin (spread) with your right hand. While the spreading took just about 15 minutes, my left arm was trembling within just minutes of holding the spreader. By the time I finished, it was more like a wet noodle than an appendage.

The rest of the evening, I had to figure out ways to do my tasks with only one arm. My left arm simply would not work. When I tried to lift it, I felt as if I were dragging it through mud and what little function I did have was so weak that it was ineffective, i.e., I dropped things. The whole experience was rather disconcerting.

However, I am trying to focus on the fact that, hopefully, my labors will result in deadened weeds across my lawn and the future spread of beautiful green grass.

NOTE: The one drawback to my job is that there is no human resources person. You basically have to make do yourself. This might not be so bad if there was a clear process, a self-help guide, and a central location for all information. This is not the case at work. On top of that, the one person I keep getting pointed to practically freaks out if you ask her things, and dancing around her frustrations at having to deal with employees when human resources is "not her job; not what she was hired to do" to keep a lid on her reaction is quite draining. Well, today, after a week of trying to contact the health insurance person, I discovered the four messages I left were actually for another woman; the phone number on the contact sheet was incorrect. When I got to the right person, I discovered my information had never been entered. It had never been entered because my form was lost. However, had it been entered, it would have been faxed to the wrong number as had the other new employee's form had been. I rather hastily filled out another form and faxed it to the insurance agent myself. The down side is that I cannot get proof of insurance for 3 business days even though my coverage will start tomorrow. I literally spent several hours chasing down this information today and ensuring both myself and my co-worker was covered. The only plus to the day was the fact that my office was not sweltering due to the colder weather we are currently experiencing. I'm probably the only person in the North East who is rejoicing over the return to winter-ish weather! However, I must also add that I was informed that all air in the building will be turned off next Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday as the work on the HVAC system progresses to the next stage. Too bad a warm front is moving in on Friday.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Last night at dinner, L served this rather tasty wine. It is Fetzer Gewurztraminer 2006. Now, I am just not a great drinker of alcohol, primarily because I know the dangers of multiple generations of alcoholics and addicts in my family. I also happen to despise the taste of beer. And my step-father collects wine, so I am a bit of a wine snob. All that adds up to the fact that when people offer wine with dinner, I generally decline.

However, last night I had two glasses and would have downed a third had we not finished off the bottle.

Today, I schlepped over to Target after work because I have been sneezing like crazy and my beloved Zyrtec has started to make me sleepy--well, quite drugged actually. After sneezing my way through my wonderful day with L, I decided it was high time that I tried that Claritin-D stuff that is all over the TV. After all, I want to be "Claritin Clear!"

Well, there I was, walking down the aisles when I thought about that wine. Would you believe that when I scanned the shelf I found that not only Target carried the wine but that it was also on sale for $6.99? That was $3 off what it was as Giant. More than a few bottles might just have jumped into my cart!

NOTE: The dreary weather meant that my office was almost, not quite but almost, pleasant today. Amongst other tasks, I personally stamped 380 copies of our newsletter today. The total mailing is 1,800, but I am no longer the one responsible for doing everything myself. I signed up for affixing stamps because it doesn't really matter if I stick them on less than straight.
Being part of a team is great!

Congratulations goes out to B.
She had total victory over her laptop after many minutes (hours) of failed attempts to validate her copy of XP!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

I had a good day today!

My friend L needed company on a trek to an outlet mall, so I agreed to take a road trip with her. I nearly left my wallet at home because I did not want to spend money, just enjoy her company. That would have been a mistake.

Her reason for going was to treat herself with a new Coach bag,her treat from their tax return. However, the store was filled with so many shoppers, we could barely squeeze ourselves inside. Just a few moments of being a sardine was enough for L, and I was glad to follow her back outside. We then set out to cross off a few more things from her household list.

In one store, I found this tiny dish that was perfect for Fancy's daily rice offering. I have been using the top of a plastic container, but did not really like putting it in the microwave over and over again to reheat the rice. The dish was only $0.95. A genuine bargain. I bought two so that I could always have a clean one. Right next to the dish were some dish towels that were just plain beautiful. I picked through the pile of them because when D was here with her children, I realized after running through two dish towels rather quickly that perhaps the three I had might not be enough. I bought two of them that paired nicely in my opinion, so my total at the store was $12.01. You would probably laugh if you saw dish towels because you would know I was thinking of my dear friend B at the time...they are a rich floral pattern that is a brocade, with the base color of one green and the other purple.

But the best was yet to come!

Chico's, my favorite clothing store, has an outlet in the complex. At first I was not going to bother checking it out because while I have a gift card that has been sitting in my wallet, I just don't want to shop with my recent weight gain. However, I did venture inside and found two suits, one blazer, two shells, and one blouse for the amazing price of $131! That means I have more than half the gift card left and yet walked out of the store with a bag full of clothing! I was plumb giddy for a while.

I did make one other purchase: a small black metal basket with six round holes for glass votive holders that are sized for tea light candles (think of a small-sized milk bottle container). Three years ago, someone gave me a package of 100 citronella tea light candles. They have been sitting on a shelf because I did not know what to do with them. Now, I can put them in the holder, light them, and sit outside in the evening without worrying about the mosquitoes, leaving the glass holders in the basket or spreading them around the deck.

I consider the $12.10 purchase an early birthday present to myself, since it was not particularly as necessary as the small dishes and the towels were. Besides, L said that it was almost embarrassing how little I spent at an outlet mall since the gift card didn't count. I think I did fairly well given how much I admired but resisted carrying over to a register--just under $25.

L's best bargain was this very tall, glass vase that was originally listed at $99.99 and ultimately marked down to $10.00. She also found two frames for photos on her desk at work and a small basket with a lid to hold extra toilet paper in her power room half-bath, both of which were marked down 40%. Not a bad day of shopping.

Throughout the excursion, L was so very kind in carrying all the bags while we shopped. She is so very thoughtful of my needs, from parking to walking to bags to carts. I was humbled by her care.

L even went a step further and popped over to The Home Depot before we left Leesburg so that I could get the weed killer for the lawn. And she stopped by a grocery store when we were back near her home so that I could get the Gatorade, rice, milk, and other supplies I needed for my cupboard.

Before heading home, we picked up Chinese food and had dinner with her husband B. I'm probably the thousandth person to say it, but the Lord sure made a match with them. I've never met two people more meant to spend their lives together. They are truly two halves of a whole.

The day was long, with much driving and riding in cars, which means much pain for me. I was most stiff getting out at the grocery store. Yet the day was so very wonderful, full of fellowship and laughter and such good company, especially with the thoughtful care L showered upon me. The bargain shopping was just an added fillip to the blessing that is L and her husband B and the friendship they have offered.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I mowed and then came inside, put a towel down on the couch, and took a nap. Fancy took a snooze with me. Two hours later, I went back outside to edge, weed, rake leaves, and put away all of the lawn supplies. I think it is time for another nap...just after I finish admiring the neatened appearance of my yard!

Friday, April 25, 2008

It was a year ago today that I almost died. It was a year ago today that but for DB glancing through a window and speaking out against the hospital personnel who were ignoring my cries for help I would have gone to be with my Savior in heaven. It was a year ago today that I my life changed once more.

March 3, 2001 was another day I almost died. It was that time that a guy popped over, something he had never done before, and found me laboring for breath. A doctor, he recognized what I had failed to see. I was in great distress. He scooped me up, rushed me to the hospital, and saved my life.

Struggling to breath is absolutely frightening. Total fear coupled with overwhelming helplessness.

Lying on the gurney in the wee hours of the morning, begging for help from medical personal who kept flipping through my chart and insisting that I did not have asthma and only needed to calm down was the most maddening experience of my life. I knew my time was slipping away. DB had been waiting a while and for some reason, set down his book, stood up from his chair, and looked through the window. If not but for the grace of God, go I.

I had a lawyer review my medical records. He agreed there was gross neglect, but you can really only sue for malpractice. And then you must show permanent harm. A second trip to the hospital and months of recovery are not permanent harm.

I sought help from a counselor to learn what I might have done differently to be treated for my health, not a label from my past. She didn't even understand my request for help, "Just tell the doctor before hand that you do not metabolize drugs very well and he or she will take care of you." A blithe, and somewhat callous response if you ask me. I did that. My own doctor backed up my warning that I would take longer to awake after surgery, but she was out of the country and the surgeon just didn't believe me. She took my earlier discomfort with being unclothed because of my past and subsequent request for unmentionables to wear into the operating room coupled with my slow regain of consciousness and lingering disorientation and leapt to the conclusion that I was having a phychotic break. All the medical sheep that followed never once considered the fact that I had little sleep, no liquids, and no food over the next three days might have been the reason for my deteriorating condition. I was just a crazy person broken by her past. A specious bit of folderol nearly cost me my life. And the truth of the matter is that a part of me feels as if I were raped all over again, first by those horrible hospital personnel and then by some of the people in my life who just couldn't fathom that I might not be safe in a hospital.

Days of no liquids, no food, and little rest did take a terrible toll that took months to recover from, but the minutes when I was being resuscitated, the minutes with horrible lucidity sprinkled between the darkness, is something that I still struggle to swallow from time to time.

A visit to a second lawyer has laid the ground work so that, legally, B can now step in and watch over my care, making decisions based on my condition, not perceptions of how well or not well I've dealt with my past.

I have done what I could to ensure a repeat does not take place. I certainly learned then and through the months that followed, who my friends were and who were really not interested in befriending a person whose life is not easy.

I have been on this incredible journey of learning patience at the feet of a sovereign God who knew what April 25, 2007 would bring. He knows about the turmoil that still lingers over that day and the words I feel have yet to be heard. He knows about the pain I have had of late and about the sweltering heat in my office and the burden that brings. He knows my heart and what I need better than do I.

My new friend L (she and S were the two friends I made at my last job) had lunch today. L was in a horrible car wreck a few years ago and understands me immediately when I say that what happened last year changed my life, even though it was belittled, dismissed, and even disbelieved by others, even those in my life I thought cared about me. Her life was changed in such a moment and the ripples from her accident wash over her in unexpected ways at unexpected times. I, too, understand what she means.

So, on this day, what a wonderful blessing it was to share her company over a rather tasty meal of queso and chicken fajitas and my beloved Dr Pepper!

I am thankful for the lessons of our Lord, even if they are not always ones I understand or ones that I would ever choose for myself. While I have been a bit too vocal of late about my growing weakness, the truth of the matter is that my faith is stronger today than it was a year ago.

After that not the only thing that truly matters?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

As soon as I walked in the door this evening, I took a muscle relaxer, a mood relaxer, and a narcotic pain pill all together. I am rather hoping my potent cocktail might make a difference. Since I am feeling rather loopy just now--the pain is diminished, but still present and the room is tilting ever so slightly--I emailed B to ask if she would call and make sure I awake tomorrow morning. Am I being risky? I think not. I took the prescribed dose of all of them, and I refrained from washing them down with a bottle of hard apple cider that B and I got from Trader Joe's. If I sleep any better, my plan for the weekend is to crank down the air-conditioner to 68 or so and drug my way to Monday. The hope being that I get enough rest to face another wearing week of my sweltering office.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

It was announced at work today that the HVAC repairs would take 3 weeks.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Still stinking hot in my office. I know the management company has been working on the HVAC system in the building, but it sure is taking a long while to get the problem with the system that serves my office resolved. I said it before and I will say it again: The fact that the chocolate in the bowl on my desk melted speaks volumes as to just how sweltering it is in there.

Still much pain.

I think, right now, even if my dear bosom buddy B were here I would ask her to go away. Maybe. I am such horrible company. When I am working, I can shove the pain away to concentrate on that which needs doing. But once I get home, I lose the battle and I struggle to concentrate on anything else.

Last night I slept with two scarves wrapped around my wrists because they hurt so much. I awoke off and on because of the pain in my legs. My back is stiff because I forgot to take my Celebrex this morning. ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!

I need to focus on the positive, eh?
  • I have had visitors 3 weeks in a row.
  • I have a GREAT new job.
  • I am on a weird winning streak in Scrabble.
  • I did not have to mow my lawn this past week.
  • Fancy is still hanging in there.
  • Three days of rain and no water in my basement.
  • My wisteria is blooming.
  • T called to chat me up even when it hurts her to hear that I am struggling.
  • B sent me a wonderful LADYBUG card.
  • I have plenty of Dr. Pepper in my refrigerator thanks to J.
  • I have a new book to read also thanks to J.
  • I could serve chocolate fondue with the melted chocolate in my office.
  • I am the child of a sovereign Lord who is working out His will in my life to His glory.

Monday, April 21, 2008

I am vaguely aware of Saturday. I am not sure where Sunday went.

My friend DB popped by on Saturday to heed the call of my grass. Well, actually, it hadn't really even begun to holler much...more like clearing its throat. I was huddled on the couch when he arrived, all full of vim and vigor. Popping around like a kid, he twitted and poked me as if we were hanging out on the jungle gym in an elementary school playground. Each place he poked hurt, and I told him that in no uncertain terms. He made mocking frowny faces, and but for the fact that he had not yet pushed the mower about the yard, I could have killed him had I had but even an ounce of strength. I was, as you may surmise, not in a good mood. I hurt all over.

My wrists, my ankles, my hips, my back...joints were my enemies. Aligned with them were my rather uncooperative muscles, weak muscles laced with shooting, searing pain. DB finally got the point and left to mow.

I started napping while he was working and do not really remember his departure. I did awake a while later to play with Kashi and Fancy, if you can call feebly tossing his toys about and letting Fancy waddle all over the blanket under which I was huddled (birds really are not meant to walk).

Then I crawled off to bed.

While I know I was awake on Sunday, I truly cannot relate anything of substance. I did not eat. I did not get any writing done. I did not fold any of the laundry at the end of my bed. I did see to Kashi's needs. I did make my way down to the green chair. In short, I basically spent the entire day dozing off and on, while struggling to find a bit of patience with the pain I just cannot seem to escape no matter what pills I chose from my medicine cabinet.

Last week, I stay up late with my Second Cousin D and his family because it was such a rare opportunity that I got to visit with them. I then rested in bulk before meeting up with them again late Sunday afternoon. Thursday, I stayed up late with my dear friend J because I had not seen her in 13 long years. I was so tired after working that I did not realize that I drove them around for 45 minutes trying to take them to find a late dinner. J mentioned the time when we got back and all I could think that it was a good thing that we arrived home safely. For me, it was but a moment in time. I would not change the visits for anything. I have such little company, and frankly I get rather lonely at times, wishing I had places to go and people to see.

But if I did...could I? Could I go and see and do on something other than a rare basis?

Blurred vision, fatigue, and pain seem to have been my new normal of late. I am not ready for this to be true.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The HVAC is still broken. The weather has turned and the HVAC is still broken.

I left the office in tears today. From mid-day on it was a mighty struggle to keep my temper and stay conscious. I was rather weak and weary by the time I called it a day after failing to upload the newsletter that I have been working on for three weeks for the third time. I fear I was less than pleasant with the printer rep on the phone. I have some apologizing to do on Monday.

On Monday when I go back into the office to bake.

The chocolate I have in a dish for fellow co-workers has now melted. That's how hot it is in my office.

When I arrived home, I dialed the thermostat down to 68 degrees. I plan to chill myself for the next two days in the hopes that for a while, at least, I shall survive another day at work.

I know that might sound dramatic, but heat is a horrible thing for people with multiple sclerosis. It exacerbates symptoms and is completely debilitating. While the symptoms subside once the person cools down, I have spent day after day in oppressive heat.

This job is what I have been waiting for...waiting for so long. I have been learning lessons, many rather difficult ones, but ones that stand me in good steed just now. I do feel as if the Lord has been showering lessons of patience upon me. While I am grateful for what I can see changing in my life, I struggle with how difficult such a wonderful opportunity is. When does the peace come?

However, even in my utter despair this afternoon, I was ashamed to find myself wallowing in my fears and frustration when I have been so very blessed of late.

Yes, I have had pain in my legs for days and days. I have found it rather difficult to fall asleep at night for the burning that races up and down my legs, seemingly slicing my muscles with the heat of the pain. I read until I can barely hold my eyes open and then lie there waiting for exhaustion to overcome the pain. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would say the pain is about a 7. The high dose of Celebrex that I am on for my arthritis does not even touch it. Or maybe it does and that is why I can bear it. In any case, I have been blessed.

I had a wonderful visit with B and her family at her cabin. I came home to a new job offer and just one more week of chaos. I started a challenging position with a witty and whimsical, exacting boss at an agency doing good work in the community where I get to write and organize for a living. The next week I have my dear friend D come to visit with her daughters. The week after that my Second Cousin D and his family are here. And the week after that, last night, I get to see my dear friend J for the first time in thirteen years! A friendship of letters, emails, and now cell phones that has borne the weight of time and distance quite well. J is a remarkable woman.

She arrive for the briefest of visits. I was a weigh stations of sorts for her and her husband and one of her children. I had meet none of her family, so greeting them was wonderful. The truly amazing part of her visit was that she came bearing gifts aplenty.

I opened the door, stepped out to meet them all, and found myself standing between two packages of Dr. Pepper. She also brought books and creamy yogurt and gorp and Earl Grey tea and macaroons and other goodies...including a special lotion for feet and legs.

Now I had not yet written about how much my legs are hurting me. She had gleaned all my other likes or needs from my blog, but not that. Not that at all. God knew how I have been feeling. He knows.

The lotion makes my skin tingle, which is soothing and cool and distracting.

So, I was in tears leaving work and am worried about what Monday will bring. In truth, I am most worried at how much weaker I am and what that might mean. I have had far more pain of late than I care for...and yet it is ever so clear than I am cared for...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

After arriving at work to find another hot office, I asked (politely) to request that management send out a repair man to investigate the matter. Many hot hours later, I learned that, yes, indeed, the HVAC system is not working. A proposal for repair will have to be submitted to management and then approval sought before the HVAC will be repaired. I foresee many more hot days in my office.

I am feeling that should I finally be able to send the newsletter to the printer that I shall request to work from home on Monday and every day until the day the darned thing is repaired. I am so very weak from the heat that I am literally counting every moment until Friday at 6:00 so I can sleep away the weekend and try to recover.

Currently, I am ensconced on the couch with Fancy on my shoulder and Kashi curled in a ball at my feet, trying to restore myself with some Tillamook cheese, lightly salted peanuts, and some Orange Gatorade. Added to that is an episode or two of Dr Who (I am partly through season one), PLENTY OF AIR-CONDITIONING whether I need it or not, and, hopefully, a game of Scrabble with B!

The latter is a bit iffy, but I formerly put in my request for B time on the way home from work. Lately, we have been in some weird dimension where I win the majority of Scrabble games. While I am absolutely confident that soon the universe will right itself and I shall once more fall victim beneath her superior intelligence and skill during Scrabble games, right now playing, for her, is just not quite enjoyable. Me? Well, I am ensconced in the 600s. Her? She's longing for the 500s.

Winning is great...but then, again, you don't get to gripe about losing!

NOTE: While B and I are heart sisters and have much in common, that shared joy does not extend to nuts. For example, she actually consumes pistachios! Ugh! While we both enjoy a snack of cheese and peanuts, she finds my lightly salted peanuts rather disgusting and I find her roasted peanuts entirely unpalatable. She will also consume walnuts and pecans. Mostly I find them obstacles to eat around, especially in desserts!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

J sent me a Dr Pepper patch!

I arrived home after a long and stinking hot day at the office to find one of her special letter packets, this time in the form of a handcrafted note card. Inside were a special bag of Earl Grey Ceylon tea, an article, and retro Dr Pepper patch. Oh how she made me smile!

What a wonderful, marvelous thing it is to be thought of in such a loving manner!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I got a wee bit of a contract job this evening that might last a few days, depending on whether or not they wish to further edit the work I have on this task. That would be a very good thing since I just sent off a rather large credit card check to the government to cover the taxes on the money I made doing contract work while I was unemployed last year and last Fall. I am ever so grateful for the money, but I do think that after all is said and done it is something of a incomprehensible notion that I would somehow owe taxes!

This evening, I am working on sponsorship agreements for an international trade show in China. I really enjoy the glimpses I get of other industries and large corporate machinations when I do this sort of contract work. And I enjoy taking really bad documents and turning them into clean, tight marvels of communication! This job was based on other agreement work I have done, so I also have the opportunity to demonstrate the efficiency of all the groundwork I laid last Spring for this company.

Of all the contract work thus far, I have enjoyed the strategic planning and business development work best. Then the knowledge management work. Then the communications work. Then the editing work.

In truth, I have been ever so blessed with the continuum of jobs that have come my way because just one person actually noticed that I had a brain in my head last Spring when I was out selling my soul in temporary work. For example, a few weeks ago I got to see what American Express wanted for a rather large sponsorship; the privilege of the job was the lesson I learned while doing my part of the agreement. What I got to do in the Fall, and to a lesser degree now, is a great reward for those hours and hours and hours of collating, copying, and filing, while trying not to think about the fact that I have 3 college degrees!

NOTE: My brother expressed great sardonic praise for my bark photos. Now, why ever did he not find them to be most wonderful? I guess if the moss photos elicited a "Gross!" from him, I should be grateful the bark only resulted in gentle ridicule, eh?

B, J, and my Cousin D liked the photos! Oh, do I enjoy feedback!!

B has been exploring photography (it turns out that she has a keen eye for composition), and I had thought we might get to do so together whilst at her family's cabin. I was so excited when I posted the photos, that I called her and made her open my website and start viewing immediately. [I am not above solicited effusive adulation when I feel I am deserving of such.] I explained that while I was exploring the macro setting on my cameras with SM, I couldn't help but wish B was with me. B so rightly pointed out that for us to be able to photograph together, we would need to be without children.

She is right. I would probably let J and E fall into the creek in my enthusiasm to capture the best photo of the water or rocks or algae or something equally beautiful in the Poconos nature. I need to contact her husband G and try to book some B alone time.

Don't you think B ought to pop down for my upcoming b-day? I thought 40 was hard. But I did not realize at the time that at least then (and every day since then) I could say I just turned 40. Turning 41 means I am committing to the decade.


Monday, April 14, 2008

I spent part of the evening working on my two bonsais. While at the arboretum, I realized just how neglected they were.

I have one this is just over 10 years old and another that is over 50. The older one is a mess. I need professional help for it. While I gave it a much needed pruning, I had to admit to myself that the shape is hopelessly lost. I need wire. I need vision. I need help.

The younger one, while a mess in its own right, was much, much more manageable. It is has a bulbous root system and a much more discernible "right" and "wrong" shape for the plant. I think it is fairly well back on its feet.

I enjoyed snipping and studying and studying and snipping. Such peace comes from shutting all else out save for the small piece of God's creation in front of you. Brings about much needed perspective...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Today, my Second Cousin D and his family spent the afternoon with me before heading back down South. I picked them up at their hotel and drove out to the National Arboretum. My Second Cousin D's wife SM is an artist, reveled in the inspiration all around her. She had her camera and I had mine. We took photos together. I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoyed doing so with another person and with folks who would stop to admire the photos I took, giving praise and constructive criticism alike. Below is a selection of the ones I took. As you will see, I primarily worked on figuring out the macro setting on the three cameras I had with me. The tulips at the end were at the stoplight by the Arboretum. I couldn't resist hanging out the window to take a photograph because I found both the mixtures of colors beautiful and the fern sprinkled throughout the corner bed an added fillip!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The grass called. Actually, its cry has been growing louder all week. I should have taken care of the matter after work yesterday, but I was tired.

This morning it rained. The front that moved in caused much pain, beginning last night and lasting through this afternoon. So then and for the better part of this day, I huddled in the green chair curled in a ball. The pain in my legs was particularly bad.

Late this afternoon, we had sunshine long enough to dry out the yard sufficiently so that the grass started calling again. It was actually higher than when I mowed on the 30th, so I just had to face the fact that I needed to get myself outdoors despite how I felt.

The height of the grass was such that I had to double mow. Twice the work. Whilst mowing, I struggled a bit to ignore all the weeds. The only good thing is that once they were all mowed, the yard looked rather nice. Boy, do I enjoy the first two days after I mow and edge and weed.

Since I skipped the edging last time, I went ahead and took care of it...and that is where my concern arose. Now, I have fainted umpteen times mowing the yard because of the heat. It is frustrating, but while I have asked for help, I haven't gotten any and I have not found someone whom I could afford to pay to mow it. I did work at the end of last summer to be better about being careful as I mowed, and I resolved this mowing season to do just half the yard (either front or back) if need be to be safer. While I was hot and bothered today, I did manage to mow without overheating. The problem? Half-way through the edging I was in tears.

I wash my hair at night so that it can dry while I sleep. I do this because I cannot hold a hair dryer any more. The muscles in my arm and shoulders are too weak for sustained use over my head and my hands cramp with just about any sustained use. It simply hurts too much.

However, last summer I had absolutely no problem holding the weed-whacker I use to edge my yard. I always edged after I mow and yet still had no problem. Today, that was just not the case.

My hands began cramping and my grip would slip from the power trigger. The muscles in my arms and shoulders began screaming in protest. I would stop and rest and then start again. I shifted my grip and adjusted the way I held the weed-whacker again and again and again. Before long, tears were streaming down my face in both pain and frustration.

Hours later, I can barely hold a glass of milk...with both hands. The muscles in my arms are trembling and weak. As I type this now, the laptop is resting on my legs so that my fingers are taking the brunt of the labor to post. I tried typing with it on the TV tray I keep in the living area, but raising my arms high enough to do so was too much work and the trembling worsened.

After the children were asleep, B played a game of Scrabble with me, which was a great distraction. I told her about how I was feeling and then typed (in the chat window) that the whole situation frightened me a bit. I feel as if I am getting weaker and am fearful of what that means. She didn't respond, but I wonder if she missed the text due to the fact that I sort of got practically all the high point letters and was winning the game.

When we went to the cabin, I had way too much stuff in my car. I had my baggage and baggage for Kashi and Fancy. I had all my extra pillows that I need to sleep and Kashi's bed. I had Fancy's cage. I had games and DVDs and cameras and groceries and cooking utensils. I think I am getting better at reducing what I bring when I visit, but I am probably in denial.

I just hate the thought of B or her husband G emptying the car, so I try to do it myself. They are quick to pitch in when I come. I do usually end up packing it all back up myself. I pack up and then spend at least half the time driving home with trembling muscles, wondering if I should even be driving.

Now, loading and unloading pounds and pounds of stuff is one thing. But spending 20 minutes with a weed-whacker? How could that be so difficult? Granted, I did have to push harder with the mower since the grass was still a bit damp. But was it really that much harder?

I washed the dishes a lot at the cabin because there was no dishwasher and I wanted to be helpful. Doing so made my hands cramp and the muscles in my arms ache before I finished. Standing in front of the sink also made the arthritis in my lower back protest the labor. While washing the dishes, I wondered why it hurt so much. I know that scrubbing or gripping something for a while makes my hands cramp. I know that. I just feel like a year ago...or perhaps two...I could have done the dishes without gritting my teeth and hoping I could minimize the complaints that seem to slip out from between my lips far too easily.

While B was taking care of the children, I tried to chop up some wood because we were running out and both of us were reveling in having her cozy cabin heated by the fireplace. We had looked for some fallen wood that might be ready to burn. I found a few pieces that were only a few inches thick. I thought that we could at least use that to supplement the dwindling pile. B was in the house when I swung the ax. All too quickly I felt my muscles begin to tremble. I admit I persisted too long at my futile endeavor because I wanted to prove myself useful at the cabin. I wanted to add to our household, not just be a drain on it. However, I suddenly realized that I was not sure I could make it back to the cabin. I actually crawled up the half flight of steps and stumbled across the porch. I struggled to open the door and collapsed on the couch.

I wanted to call B. I wanted her to tell me that I wasn't going to die from my stupidity. I wanted to not be alone in my fear and confusion. I wanted her company. But she was doing something with the children, putting them down for their naps or something equally important. I couldn't bring myself to call her to my side. When she was finished, I tried to tell her what was happening, how bad I felt. I think she understood, at least in part. To her credit, she just let me lie there like a lump on a log and recover without chastising me or declaring me useless. I love that about her. She sees me at my worst and never punishes me for it.

I know. I know that I could weed-whack just fine last summer. I never gave a single thought about my grip or how long I would need to hold the weed-whacker. When taking care of the lawn, my only concern was for the heat.

Now, I am worried about more...and what that means...

Friday, April 11, 2008

Happy B-Day Dear W!

I had a bit of a lesson today. You see, yesterday I got spoken to rather strongly by my boss who was mistaken about what she heard. Then I was spoken to rather strongly about what she thought she was mistaken about. Several mistakens later, I was still being spoken strongly too when all I have done since I arrived was work, work, work while trying to figure out my new world. Been pretty darned protective over 10 days, if I may say so.

Anyhow, I called D on the way home because I didn't want to rant to my Second Cousin D and his family when I haven't seen them in oh so many years. D has this most wonderful attitude about women: "We support each other; that's what women do!" She was juggling three children and dinner when I called and asked if she could call me back. I told her sure, but that I was meeting folks for dinner so it would have to be latter. When she realized I just needed to vent, she told me to hang on a moment, settled her children briefly, and told me to spill my day.

Those five or so minutes were just what I needed.

I had wanted to talk with my boss about the exchange. Sometimes, she says these things that could be devastating if I were to take them at face value. I mean, I know she's been under staffed for months and has a colossal backlog. While I would love to roll up my sleeves and bring order to the chaos I see (some organization and data and boilerplate materials would go a long way), what I want, while very much needed, is not what she needs. She needs someone to stand beside her and just pitch in while she tries to find her own balance.

I'm okay with that. After all, I have a MUCH better salary, a WONDERFUL commute, a job in an HONORABLE company, and work that I ENJOY and where I can WRITE. And today I was reminded just how witty and fun my boss can be. I laughed through my interviews, at peace with the possibility of working with her even though I knew she was ever so particular about how she would like things designed.

I wanted to say something, but I didn't because I didn't want make a deal about it. First, it just doesn't matter. My last job finally taught me that. My self image has nothing to do with how I am perceived by other people or how my work is received. I just needed to be patient.

I was. I didn't speak. I took my respite of D's listening ear and my verbal spew and set them aside. I enjoyed the evening with my Second Cousin D and his family and took myself off to work today with a willing attitude.

So, as I said, I slogged through much work and then enjoyed a hearty repartee with my boss. It was as if in that moment, God stood beside me, reminding me of the value of His lessons, especially when I actually follow them!

I have been working on patience in so very many areas. Patience in pain. Patience in a career. Patience in purchase. Patience in decisions. Patience in speaking.

Now...B would say that my next lesson should be patience in griping. She might be right!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

To all of you who have been sending well wishes and prayers my way, I would like to announce that for this day, at least, I had air-conditioning in my office! I was practically giddy with relief. Now, by late afternoon, I did feel a trifle warm again. However, I am thinking positive at the moment.

I had a meeting this morning with a web designer and a web developer. I prefer to use one-stop shopping when it comes to redesigning websites, but this was a meeting set up prior to my arrival. The meeting was to learn about Joomla. Frankly, in the research I did to prepare for the meeting and now after the presentation, I believe this is not the product to use. I would like to pursue Contribute. Joomla is a true content management system, more of a development orientated approach. Contribute is a content editor with drag and drop features and photos editing (tweaking) capabilities. More investigation is needed...

My Second Cousin D (as opposed to my Cousin D or my Third Cousin D whom I don't really know), his wife, and his daughter had a surprise visit to DC this week (I am a bit surprised they didn't book a room in my Basement B&B). He up and called me to get together with all sorts of plans to go to the Kennedy Center. As tired as I have been, I just cannot go out and socialize after work. I called my Cousin D when I first got Second Cousin D's message because I was worried that he would want to do just such a thing and I didn't want him to think I didn't want to see him and his family when I declined. Cousin D thought things would be fine, so I suggested to Second Cousin D that he and his family come over to this rather fantastic Thai place by my home.

Now Second Cousin D's wife SM is from Malaysia, so it was a bit of a risk suggesting the restaurant. However, I truly believe it has a rather remarkable menu. I am fairly pleased to report that she found the food to be some the of best she has had. That's saying a lot! Cousin D had liked the Massaman (sp?) Curry, so they tried it with two other dishes, ordering everything super hot. I stuck to my favorites, mild but savory.

Afterwards, we finally broke in a gift card that I received for Cold Stone Creamery. I know someone who terms the place her therapy. She gave me the card for as a thank you for some work with her daughter. I had asked B to share it with me, but strangely enough three times we failed to do so. Oh, my, it was so very tasty. I had cake filling icing with graham cracker crust and Reese's peanut butter cups hand-folded into the ice cream. And...there is enough for three more trips to the wicked place even after treating my relatives.

They stopped by my home after our long evening meal. SM needed to use the computer for a bit since she is still working though on vacation. Second Cousin D and his daughter K looked at my old family photos from that collection I scanned and archived a while ago. All of them also admired my moss gardens...after only a little prompting and without even laughing at me!

K, a sophomore in high school, happens to like fantasy books, and I happen to have an extra copy of the most wonderful books ever, Dragonology, so I passed it on to her. She will be lost for days working her way through it. My writing student K gave me my copy a while ago as a gift, one that ranks up there pretty high on the all-time-best-gifts-received-in-my-life. Some of the other gifts on that list are: a home-made card from B, a tin box container that looks like a book (a free gift J passed on to me because she was thinking of me and rather unselfishly did not keep it for herself although she would have been happy to do so), Kashi (my graduation gift to myself), Uncle D's unexpected donation to my Italy trip fund, a timely loan from D, Dallas Cowboy lounge pants from W.

I ended up driving them back to their hotel because it would be a much shorter trip than the Metro at night and the neighborhood they picked is not the greatest for a night-time walk from the nearest station. We all laughed that they have a Magellan, too, and call theirs "Maggie" as well. Even with Maggie's help, I had several wrong turns there. Having three other folks in the car to interpret was most helpful.

Worried about getting home, I called and woke up my friend DB (I added a second letter because frankly there are a lot of D's in my life). He's the one who drives me to Sugarland concerts in other cities even though he does not particularly care for their music. Though sleepy, he was obliging as my "escort." I arrived home without a single wrong turn.

Kashi's in a bit of snit because I was gone so long today. I am utterly exhausted, especially since I talked a mile a minute having company around. [To be honest, I do get rather lonely.] Although I need to be in bed, I am watching some of The Abyss on television (even though I own the movie and could skip the commercials). Fancy needs some Momma Flock time and Kashi some Alpha Dog time. [Can you guess which I am, Momma Flock or Alpha Dog?]

You know, my dearest puppy dog will be 13 years old in just a month...Why cannot dogs live a human lifetime????????????

NOTE: I have noticed that lately, sometimes, eating ice cream has started to make me cough. Tonight, I quickly popped my cough pills. Since the cough was lingering a bit, I added two puffs of my emergency inhaler when I got home. Now, could I be becoming allergic to ice cream (what could possibly be different in there from all the milk I drink?) or could the cough be from the fact that I am consuming something so very cold when cold is one of my asthma triggers? Neither one of those answers is a good one for me because both imply that I should not be eating ice cream.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Still stinking hot. About 2:00 I start to peter out, longing for an escape. This sweltering office problem really is an issue.

Today, I spent most of my time Googling Contribute and Joomla, trying to learning the differences between the two Content Management Systems. My choice, before the two vendor pitches, is for Contribute. The webinar I watched was quite encouraging in the fact that it seems like the learning curve would be pleasantly low.

Tomorrow, I have to wake up early so that I can sit through a presentation of Joomla. It will be the first time I have to figure out how to set up the computer and projector in the conference room. Don't you just love technological challenges?

At work, they were going to purchase a two drawer lateral filing cabinet for me. Then, someone needed a larger one, so I was asked if I would take hers. Grateful to have some more storage, I readily agreed. The woman I am swapping with drove my "new" filing cabinet into my office on a dolly this afternoon. It is actually a three-drawer one that is the perfect height for standing and sorting things. It is as if my office got a counter top!

Two drawers are now each half filled and the third will be storage for some supplies I have (I am NOT writing about the top loading sheet protectors I found...I swear they are breeding!). The two rolling file holders that had been tucked beneath my desk are now passed on to others and I am enjoying the extra space.

Once I plow through the old binders on the bookshelf, I will be all moved in and my office completely organized! I haven't the heart to ask if I can paint the walls to abandon the beach theme. If I keep with the (gulp) ocean blue and sandy brown color theme that I am sure is adding to the sweltering factor in the room, I might just collapse permanently instead of just for a few hours each evening on the couch.

While there are interesting decorations about the room, I am the only one without artwork on the walls. If I could have my green walls, my plan was to print some of my moss photos and use them. I wonder...if I went ahead and hung them, would the clashing colors drive my boss to suggest that I pick up a paint brush?

It really is great that I work for a woman who takes such an interest in creating a comfortable working environment!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

For the past 7 work days, I have been sweltering. For the past 7 work days, the skies have been quite overcast. While I am struggling with the former, I am grateful for the hot sunshine pouring in the great big picture window in my new office!

After much scrambling around to schedule some interviews and hastily write several articles for the newsletter, I am just one piece and two photos shy of finishing it. I did have to come up with a graphic to accompany a chart I created to show the difference in funding in housing between the proposed 2009 federal budget and the 2008 budget. My solution: I found some clip art of a house that was a simple line drawing. I put dollar signs representing the changes, colored green for increases, red for cuts, and black for flat funding. The red dollar signs are spilling out the bottom of the drawing. My boss was not impressed...but I never, EVER claimed to be a graphic artist.

I thought I would show you the fountain I mentioned yesterday. If you remember the photo from umpteen posts ago, you will see that the basin has changed (this is the $3 concrete base I found). The wide angle view shows the turtle that rests in the basin. Sometimes Kashi will put his nose right up against the turtle's to check him out. He will sniff a bit and then continue on his way.

In many of my pots, I have tiny ceramic or stone frogs or turtles. I also have some mud Asian mud figurines. For example, I have a small cottage and tiny bridge that sit in one of my favorite moss gardens.

The second photo shows the hairy things growing up out of the moss. I think they are strange, but then again...I just love the fact that there is moss growing on my fountain!

Once it is warm enough, I will plant some flowers in the holes scattered over the rock. They will make up for the fact that once my local flock of birds start frolicking the water to escape from the summer heat the moss will be torn off by their claws. The past few years, I have planted impatiens because they grow lush surrounded by water.

Since it has been raining for days and days and days, the water is running particularly clear and I have not had to remove any debris from the sides of the pump (something that involves a bit of a contortionist move on my part and a conquering of fear since I cannot see where I am putting my hand). When the water is running this strongly, I can hear the melody of the fountain through the kitchen door.


Monday, April 07, 2008

My boss was out of town again today, so I found some time to do a bit more unpacking and some organizing. As for the former, I have now settled all I can in my office since the storage is a bit lacking. She did tell me to order a lateral filing cabinet, so I will soon be able to add the box of things that I put back in my car for the duration.

I started working on a press archive by organizing all the articles I found spread amongst several places. I arranged them in chronological order, slipped them in top-loading sheet protectors, and put them in a binder with divider tabs by years. Such pleasure gained whilst tackling this task! The next step will be putting them all into a spreadsheet so that I can start analyzing the organization's media coverage.

I also spent some time with one of my staff, talking a bit about affordable housing and a bit about writing for affordable housing. Friday, I sent her out on an interview (I had wanted the task myself, but my boss wants me to groom her), and she presented the article for the newsletter this afternoon. We slugged through editing it and another piece she did, with several comma lessons. I deserve some award for chocking back my acerbic rejoinder when she actually told me, "When I write, I never pay attention to grammar rules because I write so well intuitively without following any particular rule."

While I have some reservations about some "attitude" I seem to see at times, she was thankful and appreciative of the help and told me that she looked forward to learning from me. I was also thankful that out of the 26 photos she took at the interview, one was actually usable for the newsletter that I am trying to hastily put together.

She is rather good at tackling small things for me. For example, when plowing through organizing the press pieces, I found two folded newspapers and did not have the heart to find the article that mentions my organization. I gave them to her and asked if she would check them out whenever she had a chance. When I got back from lunch, she had found the articles I needed to save. I was thankful for the assistance. I think, perhaps, my one learning curve here will be learning how to NOT do everything myself.

I finished my day by getting two more of the newsletter articles written and set in place.

I had to highs today: 1) I met my former cubicle mate for lunch. I really do miss her company. We chatted up a storm over Chipotle burritos. 2) I attempted to reduce the mass of stuff in my study closet (this is where 3 degrees worth of literacy studies materials are tucked away).

As for the latter, I would give myself an A for effort, but a D+ for execution. I only managed to reduce one of the towering piles by a mere 8 inches (I just cannot part with such good research materials). I did say goodbye to a wooden basket-type box that has a teddy-bear on it, my old day timer, a miniature slide viewer, a plastic fountain, and a piece of old luggage. Perhaps B's daughter E might like the basket.

Frankly, I really do need to let go of all things teddy-bear (except for my old pal tucked up in the corner of my own closet).

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Today, I moved all the plants I have been wintering indoors back outside. I know that I am pushing it a bit with the weather still chilly, but I just had to give myself some space. Never do I feel my home is so spacious as do I when I make that spring pilgrimage with my plants.

My friend DB, who stays at my house for me when I am out of town, failed to water my plants while I was at B's cabin. I tried not to complain because I am appreciative of his help. But I do have this funky palm sort of plant that only puts out one stem a year. I have had it seven years. Before I left, it had 7 stems. When I came back home, 5 of them were either dead or yellowing in death.

I was worried about my two bonsais, but they weathered the water strain fairly well. The oldest bonsai I have is nearly 50 years and is in dire need of re-potting, but I am fearful of tackling that task since the last time I attempted to re-pot a bonsai, it died a lingering death. The other one is not that old, but it has been loyal to me. [I will not talk about the more than dozen bonsais that were quite disloyal and up and died on me despite my lavished loving attention.]

When Miss Z walked outside, she became fascinated with my fountain, pronouncing it, "COOL!" on more than one occasion. I had cleaned out all the winter leave debris and the birds have not yet taken to perching on it, so it is more than half covered with moss just now. Much of the moss is sprouting these alfalfa like sprouts. I supposed that is a part of it growth and development, but it does look like something out of Dr. Seuss.

I swept up the pieces of the two pots that did not survive the winter and disinterred the remains of the two plants that also succumbed to the cold. While doing the latter, the old crate that they were perched on collapsed. B and her husband G had brought it to me. Although I had put deck sealer on it every year, I suppose it was just not intended to be outdoors so much. I kept the two ends because I thought I might be able to make something out of them.

Finally, I consoled myself by creating a new moss garden. It is in a tiny oriental pot. I hope that there is enough space for it to flourish, but will seem way too small to interest the blasted squirrels who have the audacity to dig in my moss garden pots.

Working out doors was rather peaceful and enjoyable to me, despite the gray drizzle. I only wish B was here so that I had someone with whom to share my puttering in the yard.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

My D's visit went by in mere heartbeats!

Awaking to the lovely chattering of Miss Z as she comforted M whilst she was stuck in the Graco travel crib, I couldn't help but smile as she told her a story about Miss Matrisha (that's her version of my name). Given the wee hour of the morning (not quite 8:00), I half slept through changing M's diaper and preparing breakfast for both girls. D awoke and went to fetch herself some Starbucks (mine is a coffee free home). When she returned, I headed back to be to finish my evening's rest.

Unfortunately, I slept until 11:00 and awoke to discover D needed to leave by 1:00. We enjoyed a tasty meal at Panera's, but it seemed like just moments passed before she drove off into the distance.

Miss Z rode to Panera's with me, once her doll was safely buckled in the seat next to her. I couldn't help but take some photos of such a cute pair of "girls."

The funniest part of the visit was when Miss Z was racing around the corner of the dining area to follow her mother to the basement bedroom suite and came to a squeaking halt in the kitchen.

"Mommy!" she cried. "Mommy this kitchen is soooo small!"

I just had to laugh. Frankly, I feel as if my kitchen has shrunk each year I have been in my house. Soon, it shall disappear all together!

Friday, April 04, 2008

I am happily ensconced at the computer, typing away. Now, normally all computing at home is happily done, but this is more so because my friend D came over for a visit. She has been missing from my life for quite a while, for reasons that sadden my heart. But when she could look up from the unexpected wreckage of her life, she found courage and purpose and reached out to those who had been her friends.

She brought two of her children with her, M who is 18 months and Z who is nearly five. Two delightful girls I must say. M is a little Cindy Lou. She is wide-eyed, exploring every part of her surroundings. I chuckled to see her test every sitting surface in the living room...the stool, the doggy bed, the scale, stepper.... She clearly enjoyed "riding" one step down, but could not figure out that if she were to switch to the other step, her ride would continue. Miss Z, as her mother oft calls her, is quiet and loving and full of stories. Of course, I had to take the time to teach Z a game. In no time flat, she fully embraced "Go Fish!"

D is going back to school to provide for her family now that she is a single mother. Going back to school means planning and preparation and the dreaded essay application. Before she came, she sent a text message asking if we could work on the latter, especially since she knew that it would be no source of dread for me. D is very, very talented as a writer. She enjoyed a healthy blog following until she needed to pull her online journal due to the difficulties of her divorce. But the idea of writing a personal statement, especially now when her life is so very personal, was a bit overwhelming to her.

So, here we are, dueling laptops, churning out stories. She is telling that of her life. I am working on Aryanth's. Now, I would be remiss if I did not admit that she passed me her laptop for a sentence or two (or more), but what I do know about D is that whatever I craft for her will only be a mere shadow of the masterpiece she will eventually reveal. Alas, I do rather envy her way with words, the way she can wend her way through a message with just the perfect words and rich language that is an arrow shaft directly to your soul. You knew her when you read her blog. You became her as she walked the path of a mother and of a wife, celebrating the lives of her children in a way that I had never encountered. Sorrow fills my heart at the destruction of her life as a mother, but I marvel at how she has embraced, albeit sometimes with tears streaming down her cheeks, the challenges before her as she rebuilds her life.

From the moment I first knew her, I found D to be someone who encourages me as a woman and inspires me to continue to take the dark parts of my childhood and turn them into beauty in my own life. We share the truth that we had a childhood that really was not. While I know I am no longer trapped there, trapped then, I marvel at the woman she has become and long to join her as one who thrives despite this, despite that, despite all.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

There is no avoiding it. I am still hot.

I try to tell myself that the temperature in my office is better, but that is really a simply specious claim. In reality, I have dressed as if it were the height of summer.

I am trying to remain calm. I am trying to be the model of equanimity. I am trying to be a leaf on the wind.

I am, however, still hot. Still struggling with debilitating fatigue. Still getting a bit disorientated as the day goes on...and on...and on...

I am ever so thankful for this job, for the opportunity it represents.

Would the fact that I used the air-conditioner to cool the house down to 60 degrees last night so that I could sleep better once I collapsed on the couch after arriving home for the day convey just how difficult it has been?

Oh, my, have I been hot...

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Today was much better with regards to the overwhelming heat in my office. But I did find myself wilting rather noticeably around 2:00 PM. I hung on until just after 4:00 and then volunteered to drive some stuff to a thrift store. Of course, had I been a bit sharper, I would have realized that rush hour is not exactly the best time to run any errand. I spent over an hour navigating my way to the thrift store and then on to my home. Once there, I collapsed on the couch and slept until 10:30.

I have tried to talk with a couple of friends about the heat, but the just don't seem to understand how serious this is for me. I was to scream in frustration, but have not the energy to do so. Instead, I am just trying to hang on until some air-conditioning miracle is wrought in my life.

After my lengthy nap this evening, I designed a program for a benefit piano concert that is coming up in May. I am sort of pleased with my labors, but my new boss is most particular in her opinions, ideas, and vision. Being the next one down on the totem pole, I have no problem with her directing collateral development...but I sort of wish she was ever the weeist bit more encouraging. Instead, she just launches right into what works for her and what most decidedly does not work.

The situation is a bit ironic. When I work with writing students or editing clients, I always say that they need to understand that my comments are never personal...they are just about the writing...what works and what needs some further crafting. Being on the other side of the editing process might possibly be a bit harder than I have given credit to my students and clients.



NOTE: In case you are wondering, the healing of my finger has made some progress. The swelling is nearly gone. The pain is less. Typing is getting easier. And all the schlepping of boxes has had the added benefit of doubling as physical therapy so well that I can bend the joint significantly more than when I posted on the matter last Saturday. There is this disconcerting lump beneath the skin, but I am assuming that it is internal scar tissue given the fact that pressure upon it brings about much more pain. I must remind myself to stay away from Kashi's teeth!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

How goes the job?

The commute is great. The pace is a bit frenetic and disorganized. My boss is quite intelligent and will be a great model for me. All good, eh? Well, good for growth, I would say. There is one pretty significant problem.

My office has an HVAC vent right above my desk that has been blasting hot air into the small space.

Yesterday, I came home at 7:00 (yes, I need to work on that work:life balance), opened Fancy's cage, let Kashi out, and literally collapsed on the couch. I awoke at 11:00 to let Kashi out once more, cover Fancy's cage, and stumble upstairs to bed. Heat is oh, so very bad for someone with MS.

Today, I went into work trying to remain positive. I climbed up on a chair (and a phone book) to close the lever that would block the air to duct to my office (a lesson learned while managing the building my first boss in this area owned). And I unpacked my desktop fan and planted it right in my face. The office went from intolerable to merely sweltering. I am a bit worried and am wondering how long until central management will decide that winter is over and the likelihood of us freezing has passed.

I just need to hang on...

NOTE: I was a wee bit hot under the collar when I posted on Friday and typed 4 mistakes into my article. I corrected them...can't believe no one pointed out my bonehead typos...wonder if you can find my edits...