eurodancemix: (Slumbers)
I haven't updated this journal in months. And when I finally do so, it's with sad news.

Mom passed away this morning, around 3:30 AM, after a fairly lengthy battle with Alzheimer's. I'm still a bit numb from it all, so I'll write more later. But at least I got the chance to see her last night, hold her hand, and say goodbye.

She's at peace.


(Right after I posted this, I noticed the irony and coincidence of my previous post back in May. It was on May 28 (exactly four months ago) and it was for Gaga's "Born This Way" album. Interesting.)
eurodancemix: (LDYGAGA)
Just came back from a trip to Montreal this past week during which "Born This Way" happened to be released. There was LOTS of media hoopla, including TV commercials and countless mentions in the local newspapers. Even though I'd already pre-ordered my copies of the album on Amazon, I was at Walmart at 8 AM on Monday, to get myself copies of the Canadian edition (I love the bilingual stickers). When I got there, there was a massive display in the center aisle, of which I *had* to take a picture. Not sure if US stores received displays that big.

There's also a shot of the bilingual sticker on the special edition.





eurodancemix: (Default)
In her confused state yesterday, Mom told me that the residence celebrated Easter by giving out candy, chocolate and condoms. When I asked, "Condoms?!", she chuckled and said, "don't worry, I'm too old for that, I don't eat those anymore, I have no need for them". I know she meant something totally different, but I love how my Mom has inadvertently and hilariously become quite the dirty girl in her old age, LOL.

Oh My Papa

Mar. 10th, 2011 07:41 am
eurodancemix: (Default)
Yesterday was my dad's birthday. He would have been 90.

When I spoke with Mom yesterday, it was a bit strange not having her mention his birthday. This time last year, Mom had all her faculties and we mentioned it during conversation. This is the first time no mention was made of it. I didn't bring it up as Mom was already having a bad day and she was very emotional.

Anyway, this will probably be the last year I mention Dad's birthday. I don't him to be like Elvis where years from now I'll say something like "Dad would have been 117 today." :-P
eurodancemix: (Default)
On Sunday night, while at a restaurant, I had to go to the bathroom. I unexpectedly passed a kidney stone! Fortunately for me, it was painless.

I've had kidney stones many times before, and the pain can range from slight discomfort to excruciating pain. I am extremely grateful this was uneventful.
eurodancemix: (Default)
FEBRUARY 2011

Overall, the month of February was rather calm: I called Mom almost every day, we had fairly good conversations, and things were good.

Calling her can be a little tricky becuase I've had to make some adjutsments to my calling pattern. Mom doesn't have a phone in her room, so I end up calling the nurse's station on her floor. Quite often, they don't answer and my call goes to voicemail. That's OK because I know the nurses and aides are attending to the patients and they can't always be there to answer an outside line (but I know they have pagers and cell phones for internal communication in case of emergency, so they can always be reached if it's work-related). The best time to call is between 4:45 PM and 5:00 PM because that's when Mom is usually on her way to the dining area and she has to pass by the nurse's station to get there. So that's what I've been doing. Sometimes I'm unable to get ahold of anyone and I miss her completely and, by the time I finally get to speak with someone, Mom's already back in her room asleep. I usually then ask the nurse to let Mom know I called the next time she wakes up. It's not a big deal...and fortunately for me, Mom doesn't remember that she hadn't spoken to me the day before.

One problem that resurfaced, though, is that her anemia continues and is still considered severe. Just a few weeks after her blood transfusions in January, her hemoglobin levels are back to where they were. Not a good sign. The doctor asked if I'd be willing to have Mom undergo additional transfusions and testing, including bone marrow tests, but I declined. At 85 and in the mental condition she's in, I just don't see the point. When I asked the doctor for her personal opinion, she agreed with me. Having Mom go back and forth to the hospital, and possibly spend several days there, would only aggravate her dementia. Not worth it. So we decided that they would do nothing to resolve it, other than to monitor her hemoglobin levels, and ensure she has enough iron and B12 in her system. As time progresses, the anemia will get worse, Mom will have to use a wheelchair, and she'll eventually have to remain in bed. Further progression will include vital organ failure, but that's all very much a way down the road. When it gets to that stage, they'll make sure she's comfortable and in no pain.

Not a pretty picture, but that's the reality of getting old.

Still, I'm thankful I have my mom and that we're still able to talk. She still recognizes me over the phone and I'm always grateful for that.

Before I conclude for today, I received a call yesterday from the director where Mom lives...it actually made me smile: she told me that they'd have to start locking Mom's closet doors because she's gotten into the habit of taking the clothes out of it and leaving them all over her room -the floor, the bed, the chair, etc.- It's become a tripping hazard so they need to take care of this issue quickly. As she told me this, I had a mental picture of Mom with her head in the closet and her arms flailing as clothes shot out of the closet.

Ok, that's all for now. Thanks for reading.
eurodancemix: (Default)
JANUARY 2011
January started off well: Mom was well taken care of in a new place, she seemed happy. I called her every day and we spoke. Things were good.

Then on January 18, I received a call at 2 AM from the night nurse at the residence. He had called to tell me that Mom had fallen while in the bathroom and had hit her head on the door frame. She was bleeding and they called 911 to take her to the ER. *sigh*...here we go again. There was nothing I could do so I went back to bed. Oddly enough, I wasn't panicked. I was comforted by the nurse's quick response and his immediate notification of me. He assured me that Mom was not in pain and that she seemed OK despite her fall.

In the morning, I called the hospital and got an update on her. She received stitches and that went well. She did not complain. There was, however, one heck of a surprise: they had discovered through blood tests that she had severe anemia! Her hemoglobin levels were very low, in the 60's when they should have been close to 100, which explained why she was tired so often and why she often seemed weak.

The doctor informed me that he would prescribe a couple of blood transfusions to bring up the hemoglobin levels. He also asked me if I'd be willing to authorize additional tests such as an endoscopy and a colonoscopy in hopes of determining the cause of this anemia. Because the levels are so low, he suspects possible internal bleeding. After discussing it with the doc, and getting his own personal opinion, I declined. I just couldn't see myself putting an 85 year-old woman with dementia through the trauma of having tubes inserted in various orifice,not to mention the possible dangers of anesthesia. What they'll do instead is closely monitor the hemoglobin levels and come up with an appropriate plan should things not improve. Mom was physically OK at that point, and I didn't want to start a routine of constant hospital visits.

She responded well to the transfusions and was released within a couple of days. Nevertheless, from having been bed-ridden for three days of so, she was having some difficulty walking on her own. She was still regaining her energy but she could not be left alone. She was eventually released from the hospital and returned to the residence, but with 24/7 in-room assistance. The social worker had someone assigned to her day and night to make sure she didn't fall while getting out of bed or while going to the bathroom. For the next few days, Mom seemed fine when I talked to her on the phone. According to the nurse, she was slowly regaining her strength.

Click for more info and a pic )
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DECEMBER 2010
On December 8, exactly one week after I left Montreal, the social worker called me to inform me that they'd already found a room for Mom at a nearby intermediate-care level residence. She was being released from the hospital that Friday. So I packed my bags and drove up to Montreal once again. (I need to add at this point that my employer was very understanding of my situation and granted me all the necessary time to go take care of Mom.) When I got to the hospital on Friday, Mom was already dressed up and ready to go. It was a very cold and windy day and the only coat she had was a bit flimsy (I'd completely forgotten to get her warm coat from the apartment). Still, I managed to grab a parking spot right in front of the hospital door and whisked Mom in the car as fast as I could. The residence was only a few minutes away from the hospital.

When we got to the new place, named Residence Jo-Li, the owner warmly greeted us and seemed very pleased to have us there. The place was fully secure: codes needed to be entered to enter and exit the building. We were shown Mom's room which was already furnished; it was a bit small but it was cozy. A nice touch: there was a small bouquet of flowers waiting for her in the room. The establishment as a whole was spotless: it looked and smelled clean, and the hallways were uncluttered. The staff was very pleasant and the other residents seemed well taken care of. I spent the rest of the day moving Mom's clothes from her apartment to her new room. I hung pictures on the wall to make the place a bit more attractive and I brought over her favorite chair and floor lamp to warm up the room. I also went out a bought her a new TV and ordered cable for her.

Click for pics and lots more info )
eurodancemix: (Default)
Well...it's been four months since I've updated this. Because of the amount of information to cover, I'll split the entire write-up into three or four parts, to be posted over the course of the next few days. So, here goes:

OCTOBER 2010
On October 21st, my mom suffered a slight brain hemorrhage. You can read more about it here in my previous entry: http://eurodancemix.livejournal.com/396974.html


NOVEMBER 2010
That first weekend in November, I went to Montreal by myself. Eric was supposed to go with me, but his mom was scheduled for back surgery and, understandably, decided it was best for him to stay here with her. When I got to the hospital, Mom recognized me right away and began crying. For some reason, despite me reassuring her on the phone the day before that I'd be seeing her, she had forgotten and she had somehow convinced herself that I was never coming back. Mom had lost more weight, but was physically OK. Mentally, it was a completely different story: she continued to be nonsensical and her speech was greatly jumbled.

According to the doctor, they would most likely keep her for a few more weeks until the hematoma went away. I asked about the odds of Mom regaining her speech, and they advised me that, due to her age, the chances were not good. Even with the hematoma gone, the brain had been damaged. An elderly person's brain isn't as supple as a young person's, it calcifies and hardens actually, and it doesn't "bounce back" as well, so any pressure within the brain essentially deforms it ever so slightly. In addition to this, Mom was diagnosed as suffering from advanced dementia.

I spent a week with Mom.









This is a looooong post )
eurodancemix: (Default)
I've been trying to catch up on writing a summary of the last four months...I don't have the time to devote to writing long posts like I once used to and it's taking me quite a while to get my thoughts organized and wrapped around all the stuff that's happened with Mom.

I should have something by Monday.
eurodancemix: (Slumbers)
I just realized I haven't been keeping this thing updated as regularly as I should or want. I must admit that the ease of Facebook has completely taken over, even though I should make more of an attempt to document my life here.

I call my mom every day. Every single day around 3:30 PM or so, I call her to make sure she's OK. It's something I enjoy doing.

On Thursday, October 21, I noticed something was wrong: her speech had become nonsensical. She was putting together words that didn't make sense and was even using made-up words. I attributed this to being particularly tired. When she's tired, Mom will forget some words and become frustrated as a result. So, I said goodbye, told her to get some rest and ended the call.

When I called her on Friday, same thing. I was now very concerned. I called the nurses' station at the residence and was informed that they had noticed this too. They ruled out a stroke since Mom was completely mobile, and showed no signs of paralysis and no facial drooping. They said Mom was very calm, and seemed very comfortable. They attributed it to, perhaps, a reaction to some meds they'd given her, or even a sudden advancement of her early stages of Alzheimer's. They assured me they'd keep monitoring her. We discussed the possibility of a TIA. The nurse couldn't confirm this, but she said it might be the case. Mom had an appointment with the doctor that Monday and would probably undergo neurological testing.

Of course, I was a mess the rest of the weekend. I continued calling Mom each day, but her speech was incomprehensible.

Monday came, and she was sent to the hospital for evaluation. Her physical revealed perfect vital signs: other than for this state of confusion, she was perfectly healthy. The following day, she had a brain scan and it revealed that she suffered a left temporal hematoma, which is essentially a bruise that results in some blood pooling in the brain. The doctor told me that there was no sign of a fall or hit, and that this is something that occasionally happens to elderly people. There is, unfortunatley, no remedy for this except time. The body needs to reabsorb the blood, and this may take days or weeks, depending on the person. Additionally, there's a chance that she will not improve at 100%...as we age, our brains harden and are less elastic, so they don't fully bounce back (literally) from issues like this.

I've been praying, and praying hard. I've been an emotional mess. When rationale takes over, I'm fine: Mom is not critically ill, she might need some additional supervision at the residence, it'll cost more but there is some money there to cover this, and there's the possibility that she'll recover enough. But when the emotions take over, I lose it: she'll remain unable to speak properly from now on, and I've lost the mom I've known all my life...it's like speaking to a stranger that has my mom's voice, and we'll run out of money for her long-term care.

Throughout all this, Mom has remained upbeat, positive, and seems to understand what she is told. She just can't reply properly. During some of our conversations, I've had to tell her that I don't understand her, and she's replied, "I know."

Eric and I will be going up there this weekend. It's a trip we had planned well before this happened. It was going to be a pre-holidays happy trip to see Mom and hang out with her for a few days. This has changed everything.

She's still at the hospital. The doctors and the social worker are meeting today to determine whether they'll keep her there a bit longer, or if they'll send her back home. I'd prefer she stay at the hospital, but if she goes back home, at least I know there's supervision there...it's not like it was over a year ago when she still lived on her own.

So, prayers, please. If prayers aren't your thing, then I ask for good thoughts, positive vibes, or whatever your personal beliefs call for in times like these.

Thank you.

Spirit Day

Oct. 3rd, 2010 03:25 pm
eurodancemix: (Default)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] neo_prodigy at Spirit Day
 


It’s been decided. On October 20th, 2010, we will wear purple in honor of the 6 gay boys who committed suicide in recent weeks/months due to homophobic abuse in their homes at at their schools. Purple represents Spirit on the LGBTQ flag and that’s exactly what we’d like all of you to have with you: spirit. Please know that times will get better and that you will meet people who will love you and respect you for who you are, no matter your sexuality. Please wear purple on October 20th. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and schools.

RIP Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh (top)
RIP Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase (middle)
RIP Asher Brown and Billy Lucas. (bottom)

REBLOG to spread a message of love, unity and peace.


eurodancemix: (Default)
It's hard to believe that it's been over a month since I've updated this journal. So much for my promise to keep this current.

What's been happening? Wow, so much, actually. Where to begin?

Well, first, I went to Montreal on August 20 to go see my mom. I hadn't seen her since December 2009, much too long. Because the budget was tight, I decided to drive there rather than fly. I left at 11:30 PM on Thursday night and took my time. I drove slightly above the speed limit (thankfully, because the cops were out in force in NY State), and even took a nap around 4 AM once I got into NY State from New Jersey. Made it to Montreal around 11:00 AM. Yeah, it’s a long drive, but gone are the days when I’d feel confident (stupid?) enough to drive 80 MPH the entire way, and forgo naps and bathroom breaks. My all-time best was 9 hours, about ten years ago, but I arrived in Montreal cranky and exhausted.

Anyway, seeing Mom after nine months was a bit of a shock. My, how she’d changed: she had lost more weight, and she looked old. To me, anyway. Mom has always looked younger than her real age, and that will probably never change, but in my mind I still picture her from when I was a teenager, so seeing her get older and older is not at all to my liking.

When I walked in to her apartment, she was so happy to see me. Poor thing began to cry, and she gave me the tightest hug she could. It felt good wrapping my arms around her. I held her for what seemed like an eternity…I know there will come a time when I won’t be able to do this anymore. It’s the simple things in life that often matter most.

I won’t go through each and every thing we did, but we had a good week. Overall, she seemed in good spirits, and in good health. I think she tired herself out on Saturday by going to the mall and insisting on walking throughout, and by Sunday, she was exhausted. So Sunday and Monday (yup, both days), she stayed in bed and slept. The nurses arranged for her meal trays to be brought up to her. I spent part of those days with her, then I’d go back to my hotel or I’d go run errands while she slept. By Tuesday, she was feeling much better, which was good because that was the day of her field trip: a cruise on the St. Lawrence River. It was too late for me to join them, so off she went for the day –paired up with her good friend Mme. Lechasseur—while I took the metro into Montreal and did some shopping.

Surprisingly for August, the weather the entire week was cold and gray. It rained almost every day. On Wednesday, Mom was feeling well enough to go to the cemetary to visit Dad. The following is true: on our way to the cemetary, which is about 40 minutes from Mom’s place, it began to rain. I was a bit disappointed because neither of us had an umbrella and I didn’t think Mom would be too keen on standing in the rain. But onward we went. As we got closer to the cemetary, the rain began to subside. By the time we had parked the car in the cemetary and got out, the rain had completely stopped. In fact, there had been NO RAIN in the part of the cemetary where Dad is…everything was dry and Mom was able to sit on a nearby bench without worrying about getting her clothes wet. She sat down and talked with Dad for a little while. Now here’s the unbelievable part…as soon as we got back in the car and drove away, it began to rain once again! We couldn’t have timed this better had we tried.

The rest of the week was just terrific: driving around, going shopping, going out to eat, and just enjoying my time with Mom. When it was time for me to leave on Thursday evening, it was difficult. So, around 4:45 PM, I walked Mom down to the dining room and said goodbye. She was on her way to have dinner, and I was heading to the hotel to sleep for a few hours before getting on the road around midnight. I was very close to tears, and I know Mom was very sad. The goodbyes were quick and tearless.

It’s very difficult living 650 miles away…I know so many people who live close to their parents. I wish I could but I don’t have that luxury. Mom needs to be a monitored environment, but her budget can only allow the costs of assisted living found in Canada. Her monthly rent, which includes two meals a day and 24/7 medical supervision, is around $1600. Here in the States, it would cost at least twice that amount. There are sacrifices in life…this one isn’t all that dramatic, but it doesn’t make the pain of not having my mother physically close to me any easier.

In addition to all this, there’s evidence of Mom’s slow mental decline. Granted, she’s 85, but more and more often, she forgets basic things. Within the last year, when she’s tired or very agitated, she forgets basic words and has much difficulty in putting sentences together. There have been times when phone conversations have been frustrating for the both of us…she tries to get the word out, but it’s like her brain won’t get in gear…it’s blank and she can’t come up with the word at all. Other times, it’s the completely wrong word.

Also, within the last month, she’s twice forgotten about where she put her money. She called me in a panic each time, thinking someone had come into her apartment and stolen her money. The first time, she’d lost track of a couple of purchases she’d made. The second time, just a couple of days ago, she’d forgotten that she had hidden it upon her arrival home.

This is very difficult for me to write…because, in its own way, it’s an admission, and a realization, that I’m slowly losing my mother. I pray so hard that she doesn’t completely lose her faculties. I’ll love her no matter what happens, obviously, but I don’t want Mom to end up just being a shell of a person, with no discernable traits of the fun, loving, vibrant mother she’s been to me all my life. Not that I wish this on others, but this is supposed to happen only to other people’s parents, isn’t it?

I’m writing this at work, and now I’m crying at my desk. Lovely.

I had hoped to write about other things, but I'm too tired now. Click on the cut for some pics.


Read more... )
eurodancemix: (Default)
This is nice. I finally have some time to update my LJ.

The last few weeks have been hectic and stressful to say the least:

-- I've been trying to mentally get myself ready for the 10-hour drive to Montreal. I would have preferred to fly to Burlington, VT, and take a rental car into Montreal, like I did last year, but my budget couldn't sustain a plane ticket. I'm renting a car here in Frederick.

-- Plus, my friends John and Mario, with whom I was planning to stay, already have friends from out of town staying with them and they're all heading out to New Brunswick a few days after I get there, so I had the unexpected expense of a hotel room.

-- Eric was out of town himself most of last week and this past weekend

-- I've spent the last four weeks at work training my two backups. They're both good learners and very capable, but I've come to understand that I'm not a good teacher. I've always been the kind to seek out answers myself, and most everything I know about my job, I've had to learn on my own. And because this is how *I* learned, it's difficult for me to translate this into something teachable and to break it down into step-by-step procedures. I know the processes by heart, I know all the steps that need to be followed, and it sometimes feels like such a bother to explain it all out in detail. But that's what I've been doing.

-- Of course, for a few weeks prior to me training these two people, my workload was manageable: busy but evenly paced. The moment I started training them, everything suddenly exploded and I've been madly trying to catch up since. I finally, FINALLY, got caught up yesterday (just a few minutes before I left for the day)...and even then, I had to pass on a voicemail to one of them to handle.

-- At 3 PM, I told my boss I was leaving early. He was cool with that. He knows I haven't taken a decent vacation since last December, and he's been worried about me burning out. I feel like I've been in burnout mode for a couple of months now. I couldn't get out of there fast enough yesterday.

Today feels like I can finally relax for the first time in months.

As much as I don't want to leave Eric and Aspen behind for over a week, I'm looking forward to seeing my mom again. I do miss her.
eurodancemix: (Default)
After almost three months without any decent rain (though with an occasional flash downpour here and there), our yellow grass can finally rejoice: we're supposed to have storms for the next three days.

I was awakened this morning by a very spectacular lightning show. Thunder soon followed, and then the monsoon downpour came. Though the timing was off a bit (I needed to take Aspen out and head out to work), I waited about 15 minutes for it to pass and then took Aspen on her morning walk. It was still raining a bit, just not as hard.

And my timing was good, because the hard rain started up again once I got in my car.

Work is stressful. I can't wait for next Thursday when I'll be on vacation for a week. Montreal (and Mom), here I come! Eric had looked into possibly taking a flight up there to meet me there over the weekend, but they were much too expensive ($300+). In addition, I've had to get a hotel room, as my friends John and Mario have some guests staying with them over the weekend, and then they're off to New Brunswick.

Fortunately, I've also reconnected with my friend Marc and I'll be having lunch with him one day. Marc has admitted that he hasn't been a very good friend in the last couple of years. His dad passed away in August 2008, a few months after my dad did. As a result of this, Marc went into a depression. Then, his partner Phillipe left him as a result, which only made the depression worse. He hadn't responded to any of the Facebook messages I'd previously sent him, until last week. I'm looking forward to seeing him again and catching up.

Mom's doing well. Her butt is still painful from the fall a couple of weeks ago, but it's getting better on a daily basis. On Monday, Mom was doing laundry and was going back and forth between her apartment and the laundry room. Upon one of her return trips, she walked in on Pauline, one of her neighbors, snooping in her apartment! Mom confronted her and told her to leave. Pauline tried to make some flimsy excuse and left. Mom and this woman aren't friendly to each other to begin with. Mom then went to the administrators downstairs and reported the incident. Since there was nothing stolen, there was nothing they could really do except advise Mom to keep her apartment locked at all times. If she believed something had been stolen, she'd have to contact the police. Here's the good part: in relaying this to the administrators, a few people overheard Mom describing the situation. And just like a good middle school rumor, the word got around quickly about Pauline's snooping. By the time of the afternoon activities, many people came up to Mom to tell them how sorry they were to hear what had happened, and Pauline was left sitting by herself in the corner.

Since then, Pauline has been extra friendly to Mom. Mom has decided to be nice back...she figures the embarrassment of everyone knowing she's a snoop is enough. I agree.

Anyway, time to get working. Thanks for reading.

Update

Aug. 8th, 2010 08:05 pm
eurodancemix: (Default)
Well, I did promise an update, didn't I? Stupid me. LOL

As I'm writing this, my lower back is in intense pain. I'm not sure exactly why this is happening, but this is almost unbearable. I'm thinking this is because of a new pillow I purchased last week. It's one of those foam neck-supporting orthopedic pillows, the kind that slowly "smooshes" down to fit the contour of your body. When I initially go to bed, it's super comfortable and very supportive. But I think that it flattens out as the night wears on and, by morning, my neck doesn't have as much support as it should, which results in back pain for me.

So right now, I have a bunch of naproxen in me as well as 5mg of valium. I thought for sure I'd conk out, but I haven't. I'm wide awake. The pain isn't as intense as it was this afternoon, but it's still there.

In other news, work has been incredibly stressful. I'm getting ready to go on vacation on the 19th, so I'm feverishly training my two backups as fast as I can prior to my departure. Unfortunately, they're new in their positions, so in addition to having to deal with all their new duties, they have to learn mine. Ugh. But I'm hopeful that this will all work out.

Mom is looking forward to seeing me again...she's been telling me everyday. She's also been crying a lot more during my daily calls to her...she misses me a lot. I wish we were geographically closer, but this is the financial lot we were dealt: she has to stay in Canada as it's the only place where we can afford assisted living. Right now, her studio apartment in an assisted living facility costs $1600 a month. Here in the States, the same arrangement would cost us upward of $3000 a month. Big difference.

Anyway, this is as much of an update as I can muster. My back is screaming and I need to go lie down.

Thanks for reading.

Still Here

Aug. 6th, 2010 07:16 am
eurodancemix: (Default)
I'm still here, still alive.

Work has been incredibly busy. I don't have time to update LJ at work, and by the time I come home in the evening, I'm exhausted and I don't care to spend much time in front of a computer.

There will be an update this weekend. Promise.

Oh, and Mom's doing fine.
eurodancemix: (Default)
SAD NEWS: My boss approached me yesterday and told me that he has liver cancer. Thank goodness I was sitting down, because I probably would have fallen over. My jaw dropped and I just sat there. He was in surprisingly good humor about it, telling me that he had just found out after having had a biopsy on Friday. He told me he was going ono vacation for a few days to forget about everything, and that he'd deal with it upon his return early next week.

Wow.

Late last year, when I was first told I'd be reporting to him, I was apprehensive about reporting directly to a vice-president. Who wouldn't be? But he turned out to be the nicest guy around. Our first one-on-one began with him asking me, "So, how can I help make your job easier?" He's incredibly supportive, and always has time to answer questions.

So, all I can do is pray, pray, pray. I hope he'll be OK.

Well, now that I've bummed all of you first thing in the morning, on to something more fun. Last evening, my friend Stuart and I went to the Jefferson Carnival, a little (very little!) local fair held yearly in the parking lot of the volunteer fire department. It's very bumpkin, very country; you definitely don't go there for class or elegance. But it's charming in its own way. Aside from the usual midway attractions (turtle races, ring tosses, pony rides, etc.), there was a 50's rock'n'roll band as well as some mighty yummy-smelling food. But I was good...I'd eaten at home before going and I didn't buy *anything*! Now, I was tempted by a waffle cone ice cream sandwich, but I didn't succumb. After I got home, I had a cup of blueberries instead. My stomach and my waistline are greatly thanking me this morning.

But I wanted to share this one picture from the fair...you know you're at a small local fair when you see a sign like this:




I wasn't tempted one bit since I don't like Oreos (yes, you read correctly).

Anyway, it's time to get to work. I'm training my backups today so it's going to be busy. Happy Wednesday!
eurodancemix: (Default)
On Friday, Eric and his mom flew off to Vegas for a video poker tournament, as well as to take a look at the house on which he made an offer a few weeks back. As a result, I'm a Vegas widower for five days.

On Friday night, I was supposed to go to a happy hour event with Stuart and Dave. Unfortunately, and interestingly enough, both Stuart and I came home from work with blasting migraines. So, we cancelled our plans and stayed home. Plus, the heatwave was in full swing, so I was more than happy to stay indoors and chill, literally.

On Saturday morning, my headache was gone, and I went to my Weight Watchers meeting. The results weren't pretty...since my Las Vegas trip on Memorial Day, I've not been following my plan correctly, and I've gained back quite a bit of the weight I'd lost. Stupid, I know. I haven't been making good food choices, and I haven't been tracking. Not good. So, I went on Saturday, faced the music and decided to start over. Oddly enough, that was the topic for the week: starting over...obviously, it was meant to be. So, I'm starting again as if I were on Week 1. I'm judiciously tracking all my food, and my group leader even asked me to bring my tracker in next Saturday to show her. If that doesn't hold me accountable, I don't know what will.

So far, the week's been good. I have to admit that I feel hungrier than usual, but since my hunger is often a result of boredom, frustration, or habit, it soon passes once I set my mind on other things.

On Saturday night, Stuart, Dave, their friend Jeff, and I went out to dinner. We were supposed to go to a rooftop club in Rockville, but with the temps being 102+ degrees, we decided against it. We went to Outback instead, and then went out for ice cream afterwards. And yes, it fit into my plan. :-)

We had a great evening. I came home a bit after 10 PM, walked the dog, took a shower, and promptly crashed in front of the TV. I was in bed by 11:30 PM. I'm definitely Mr. Party, aren't I?

Sunday was nice and relaxed. I went to brunch with Dave and Stuart. We were originally going to go to Moxie's, but we ended up at Joanie's Carroll Street Cafe in downtown Frederick. It's a little hole-in-the-wall, with NO air conditioning. The place looked very bohemian, and is incredibly relaxed overall...there isn't even a price list! The food was OK, but I have doubts about the overall cleanliness of the place. I'll probably have to decline if they want to go there again.

I spent the rest of the day relaxing at home, staying out of the awful heat and humidity. I even cut Aspen's midday walk to just 10 minutes, as she was showing signs of slowing down after walking just half a block. Much of the humidity was relieved by a sudden storm that passed through the area. We did well in Frederick, but much of Montgomery County and parts of DC were greatly affected and have been without power since. Around 5 PM, after the storm had passed, I took Eric's dad out to Bloom so he could get groceries...he no longer drives, and the store is too far for him to walk.

When I called Mom that day, she informed me that she'd fallen. Nothing was broken, fortunately, but she'll probably end up with quite a bruise. She was going for a walk in the garden, when she missed the last step and fell. She fell back on her rear end. The nurses said that nothing was broken, thank God, but that she'd be quite sore for a few days.

Work continues to be stressful. My spreadsheet and presentation yesterday went well, and NO ONE ASKED FOR ANY MORE CHANGES! But now I need to begin training my two backups. It'll be easy, just time-consuming. And I'm not a very good teacher, I readily admit that, so it's stressful for me.

Anyway, time to get working. Thanks for reading!
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