The random ramblings of a perpetual procrastinator. These are the life & times of a nursing home CNA navigating the ups & downs of living with someone who's living with a disability. A sometimes amusing, sometimes bittersweet look at my journey into real adulthood.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day!

My grandparents both served in the navy & are buried at Ft. Indiantown Gap, a national cemetery about an hour away from my house.  Last weekend my grandfather's brother & his wife were visiting from Wisconsin, so we went to the cemetery.  They hadn't been there since the last time they were in Pennsylvania, which was probably 10 years ago, so it was very important for my Uncle Bob to do.

On a regular day, the cemetery is strange as that may sound.  Every year they have a big event for Memorial Day, so they were already decorated last weekend.  The grounds are covered in American flags, one to represent each soldier buried there.  A cemetery is what it is, & there's no way to forget it when you're there, but seeing all the flags is a more emotional reminder of the sacrifice & loss made by all those buried there.

Today I don't have much to say. Just thank you today & everyday to all those brave men & women who served their country, some who are still with us & some who aren't.  We owe you our freedom.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

I know I already posted today but...

Lovely  Jane enjoyed my post & offered me her badge.  Woo hoo!

The World of Warcraft is in my house

If I want to go somewhere, I get up & go.  Be it the mall, to see a movie or to grab a drink with friends, I have the freedom to just do it.  And I absolutely take that for granted, as do most people.

I bring it up because lately there has been a lot of arguing in this house.  There has been one major cause:

WOW.  World of Warcraft...or Warcrack, depending on who you speak to.

DJ is an addict.  Tuesdays & Thursdays are raid nights, so I know not to make plans.  Now he's gotten into an arenas team (two teams kick the crap out of each other until one team is completely wiped out) with a few of his friends, & they spend countless hours doing it.

In addition to the WOW addiction, DJ is a vampire.  He stays up all night & sleeps all day.

Since we started dating, a lot of people have come down pretty hard on him for his lifestyle.  I'm not innocent either, but I've adjusted to it over time.  Relationships are about give & take.  I'm far from perfect myself.  He convinced me to start playing, & I learned a thing or two about why it's so important to him.

Aside from it actually being really fun, it allows him to keep in constant contact with his friends from Florida.  The friends he went to high school with don't really do the same things as he does, mostly because he's not capable of doing them.  Whether they do it intentionally or not, they don't make a lot of time for him.  The Florida friends share the same hobbies so they can spend lots of time together, even though they're a million miles away.

Then there are the other "friends" he plays with; people who have never met him & probably never will.  These people may or may not know about his physical limitations, but they don't care either way.  They don't see him as the guy in the wheelchair.  To them, he's just a fellow WOW junkie.  I can't begin to imagine what a relief that must be.

There's been a lot going on lately with me getting ready to switch jobs & us getting closer to getting a mortgage on the house.  When I stop & think about why he seems to be spending more time than normal in front of the computer, the reason is the people who share the hobby.  Those people are his sounding board when things get rough (just like blogging has become for me), & he doesn't deserve to be ridiculed for that.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Is it June 11th yet?


Are you sure?

Really, really sure?


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Oh, how I've missed you!

I haven't posted in ages!  It's been a really busy week, but I'll sum it up:

Work is crazy.  Getting the stuff together for the mortgage is crazy.  My life is crazy.

Now that we got that out of the way, let's get on to the good stuff.

I was surprised on Friday evening when I found out the my great uncle & aunt were visiting from Wisconsin.  This is my grandfather's brother & his wife who I haven't seen since I was 15...& I'm 25 now!  They brought my grandfather's cousin Ron & his wife Gloria too.

Last night we had a cookout at my Uncle Ronnie & Aunt Sheila's house.  Nothing extravagant, just chicken on the grill (yum!), Bud Light lime (bleh!) & lots of stories about the old days.

Today we visited Ft. Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, where my grandparent's are buried.  There were lots of tears & also lots of hugs to dry them.

My dad, who I haven't spoken to in 3 years, was there.  Although we smiled in pictures & sat next to each other, he didn't even try to talk to me.  It was awkward, but it's the way things have to be. 

But that's a story for another day.  Today, I'm not going to feel anger or resentment.  Today was all about love, & I'd like to keep it that way.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sounds great. Now you plan it.

My day started with me recapping the awesome House episode for my boss, who skipped our weekly "text while watching" session to watch the Yankees last night.  After we got through the episode & cliffhanger ending he said, "This is going to sound strange, but I was laying in bed last ngiht & realized that you're not going to be here anymore."


The day ended with a discussion of a going away party, which means a drunken night out.  A coworker offered her son as a designated driver.  He's more than happy to safely ferry everyone around the town & home at the end of the night...but on one condition.

Whenever we make a pit-stop at a non bar location (gas station, diner, etc.)  we can only speak pirate.

How much fun would that be?!?!?!?  After much pondering, this little gem was born:

AARRGGHHHH, matey!  I'll be needin' some Mentos.  I've got scurvey on me breath.

I can't wait!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Vacation, all I ever wanted. Vacation, have to get away.

This week's Weekend Warriors topic is vacations, & DJ & I have only been on one together, I thought I'd share some pictures & a few stories.

Last summer we went to Tampa, FL.  The original plan was to visit one of his friends who was sick, but unfortunately we didn't make it in time.  DJ used to live in Tampa, so there was still plenty of visiting to do. 

We decided to drive from Pennsylvania to Florida, along with DJ's sister & brother-in-law (who got married the day we left!).  Exhausted from a long, eventful day, we crammed everything in the car & set out on our long 2:30 in the morning.

As much as I would have liked to, I didn't take many pictures on the ride down to Florida.  I was far too miserable.  It was late when we finally got there, & I was deliriously tired.  But was was totally worth it the next morning.  This was the view from our hotel room window.

We spent a day at the zoo where we:

hand-fed some sting rays,

...and some giraffes...

made friends with some penguins,

and ate enormous sno-cones during the worst rain storm of the trip.

We spent another day at the aquarium where we:    


                                                                            saw some fish

& got up close & personal with some inquisitive penguins  

who were very interested in the wheelchairs.

The rest of the trip was spent laptop shopping, fighting over the baby, watching each other play Rock Band, long games of Warhammer & eating everything from all-you-can-eat barbecue to delivery sushi.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Open letter to a reckless driver

Dear Guy in the gold Honda,

You're a fucking asshole.

Here's an idea - how about you leave a little earlier in the morning instead of driving like an idiot & endangering all the people unlucky enough to be driving around you??  Oh, but I'm sure you're far too busy staying up late & watching porn to be on time in the morning.  What was I thinking?

I'm not sure if you noticed as you were speeding past me to beat my to the stop sign (by the way, how did that work out for you?), but you killed a bird.  It all happened so fast that I'm not sure how I even noticed.  Lucky for me you were going so fast that when the poor little guy flew in front of you HE HIT YOUR GRILL & EXPLODED!  Come to think of it, maybe you did notice...I don't really know how you could have missed the mushroom cloud of feathers billowing across your windshield.

Yes, I'm one of those overly sensitive animal lovers.  I'm sure you don't share that sentiment.  Maybe to you it was "just a bird."  But what if that bird had a family?  What if that was a mamma bird bringing some food back to the nest?  Even worse, what if it wasn't a bird at all?  What if your reckless behavior injured, or killed, a person?  I'm sure that thought never crossed your mind as you were rocking out to Nickelback this morning.

Believe it or not, I hope you never do get into the catastrophic accident I'm imagining.  Though I don't know you (& I don't want to), I don't want anything bad to happen to you.  Furthermore, I don't want anything bad to happen to anyone else either.

The purpose of this letter is just to say:  Thanks for ruining my morning, douchebag!  I hope you were late to work.



Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Because I'm worth it

I work my ass off every single day.  I deserve to be proud of the things I've accomplished.  It is absolutely true that you reap what you sow, & I deserve all the good things that are coming my way.  I've earned them all - several times over.  I will not feel guilty about the good things in my life.

...and that's what I'm going to start telling myself the next time some ungrateful, undeserving A-hole tries to make me feel any differently.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I wish it didn't have to end.

This was such as great weekend.

I spent Friday night with the boyfriend.  We had pizza & watched Sherlock Holmes.  I live for nights when it's just the two of us doing nothing at all.

On Saturday DJ's sister had us over for a Mother's Day dinner.  There was picnic food & chit-chat.  I am so ready for summer & more of the same. 

Afterwards my best friend Amanda & her husband came over.  Even though DJ & I have been in our house since the end of January, we did not have a blender yet.  Our friends bought one for us as a late housewarming gift so we could make mudslides!  We drank too much & played board games.  (FYI...If you don't own Life Twists & Turns, you should.).

Last summer a coworker of mine suggested a drink called a Transfusion.  Amanda & I made some for ourselves last night, & they were excellent!  It's vodka, Sprite & grape juice.  I am currently envisioning us spending hot summer nights sipping more of those on my deck in the very near future.

Today was a typical lazy Sunday.  I work up earlier than I would have liked to & cleaned a little bit.  This afternoon was a Mother's Day party with my family.  We got together at my aunt's house.  There were lots of snackies & more pizza (You can never have too much pizza!).  We watched some baseball, then some basketball & then my MomMom opening her gifts. 

I got home about an hour ago & my own mother just texted me to say she is already wearing the PJs DJ & I got for her.  I had a bit of an issue with my mother not too long ago which you can read about here.  Lots of people (DJ in particular) don't understand why I would even want to be around her on Mother's Day...let alone give her a gift. 

What most people don't understand is that I had a very, very dysfunctional relationship with my father - until three years ago, when I stopped talking to him completly.  For better or for worse, she's all I've got.  Although our relationship isn't picture perfect, I know that I wouldn't be who I am today if it weren't for her.  And that is at least worth a pair of PJs.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Weekend Warriors

I think Weekend Warriors is a beautiful, fantastic idea.  Kudos to all the mommies raising little ones with special needs in a world that doesn't always make that easy.  While I can't begin to imagine what that must feel like, I think I have an interesting perspective to share.

I am madly in love with a man living with muscular dystrophy; LGMD to be exact.

It's a disease that he inherited from his father, who was misdiagnosed as a child.  LGMD is a progressive disease, so it's gotten worse as he's gotten older.  When he was younger, DJ was able to do almost all of the things a "normal" kid was.  Now he's about to turn 27, & he's in a wheelchair full time.  Although he's still physically able to walk, it's not safe for him to do.

Are there challenges in our relationship?  Yes, everyday.  There are simple things we can't do, like decide to go to dinner or to see a movie. So what.  I can pick up dinner on the way home & we can rent a movie.  When I met DJ he was already in a wheelchair.  I'd be lying if I said I knew exactly what I was getting myself into, but I can tell you that it didn't matter to me.  I fell in love. When I love someone, I go all in.

I plan on this being the first of many Weekend Warrior posts from me.  There are days when it's hard & I have trouble keeping a smile on my face.  I'm thankful that in those times I can get some encouragement & strength from the stories of all the other Weekend Warriors out there.  Hopefully, my stories can do the same for someone else, too.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Come on get happy

Lately there seems to be a lot of good things coming my way.  New job, new home & a happy family. 

So, before life provides it's next proverbial pinch to wake me, I just want to take this opportunity to remind myself of the things that have put me on cloud 9 recently.  Here goes:

  • My cousin finally saw my new house!  I've missed him so much.
  • My mom & I went shopping tonight.  I started buying scrubs for my new job!  I can't wait to put them to use!
  • Just watched Sherlock Holmes with the boyfriend while surrounded by a pile of fur balls.
  • Giving notice at my current job went more smoothly than I ever could have imagined.
  • Mother's Day presents are already purchased & neatly wrapped.
  • Tomorrow morning I'm going to wake up & bake a cheesecake - I'll be testing a new version I dreamed up.
  • Tomorrow night DJ & I are headed out to celebrate my new job with my best friend & her hubby.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Change is good. Don't be afraid.

Assuming I pass a drug test & physical, I was offered the job I applied for.  So,


I'll be working at a county nursing home.  They're providing paid training to be a CNA, so this will be the first step in my journey to nursing school.  The position is second shift, which is going to work better for what DJ needs, & it pays almost a dollar more an hour than what I'm making now.  Yay!!

All day I've been dreading telling my boss.  I know this is absolutely the right move for me, but I'm attached to my job & the people there, so it is hard to leave.  I texted him tonight to see if I could come in early & talk it over with him tomorrow.  I ended up spilling my guts about everything on the phone.  Much to my surprise (and releif), he was totally fine with it.  He was very supportive & understanding...which is the kind of boss he is anyway, so this shouldn't have been such a shock.

And the best part is, the new job is very flexible about me giving notice at the current this transition should be really, really smooth.

It hasn't totally sunk in yet.  I'm still a little bit dazed because things are happening very fast -  & things generally don't so so smooth for me. 

It's a bittersweet moment in my life, but this is one leap I know I need to take.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Dr. Sheldon Cooper, for the win!

I shared this video with my Facebook friends, & I just had to share it with Blogger too. My MomMom & PopPop turned me onto my new favorite TV show, The Big Bang Theory. If you haven't seen it, I suggest you look into it. HILARIOUS!


Sunday, May 2, 2010

This is a little redneck, don't you think?

I did all my cleaning yesterday, so I have nothing to do on this lazy Sunday.  Woo hoo!

It's cloudy now, but it was beautiful here this morning.  Ripley & I hung out on the front porch for a while before it got too hot.  I'm sloooowly crocheting a blanket, so I worked on that & listened to some music.  A few months ago I was introduced to Pandora, so I created a Jon Secada station because I can't get over the early 90s.  Don't hate.

After that I had lunch in bed with the boyfriend.  He doesn't do breakfast...because he sleeps through it.  For the last few hours, we've been watching a marathon of National Geographic shows.  Very informative.  Did you know that box jellyfish have 24 eyes?

I should be doing laundry, or cleaning the crime scene off my ceiling (there's a serial bug killer on the loose!)...but I'm not going to.  Instead, I'm going to lounge around the house & hope for a wicked thunderstorm!