February 25, 2014

That boy of mine...he's going to be the death of me yet. (AKA - don't allow your child to go to a college more than ten minutes away)

On Sunday, I took that sweet boy of mine back to school.  And, for once, he actually stayed awake and conversed during the trip.  A miracle, I tell ya...a pure miracle.

Upon arriving home, I puttered around for a bit, put on my jammies and settled in to read for a while.  And then I received a text that said....

And thus started a barrage of texts back and forth about his need to see a doctor and how soon.  Being that the child is two hours away, puts me at a distinct disadvantage.  Just so you know.

Finally, I pulled his father into the mix - hoping for better results.  Didn't work.

Man-Child claimed that he didn't NEED to search out an Urgent Care facility.  That he could wait until the next day.  AFTER he attended his classes that he claimed he absolutely, could NOT miss (yeah...like he's been this diligent about all his classes!  Need I remind you that this is the same child who gladly skipped his Monday classes to attend a concert with me?  Now, all of a sudden, he HAS to attend these classes or FAIL?  Give me a break.).

Apparently, not long after I dropped him off, he went to play basketball.  He jumped up to catch the ball, landed, heard a *pop* and dropped to the ground.  He couldn't put any weight on it and, as you saw, it was very swollen.  But no.  He didn't NEED to go to a doctor immediately.  Silly mom...

Finally, finally yesterday I heard from him (WELL after lunch, I might add) after seeing the doctor on campus.  He has badly sprained it (no fractures, as I had feared) and will be wearing a boot and crutches for the next week or so.

This, coupled with a co-worker sharing a picture her son sent her of his sliced up finger that he insisted only needed a band-aid, has us convinced that these boys of ours delight in riling us up by showing how "manly" they are.

It has also convinced me that we need to figure out where to buy these shirts...

..no really.. your girlfriend however..
No really.  I need to know.  We figure this covers their birthday presents this year.

And I wonder why I have to dye my hair so often....

February 22, 2014

"...but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird." - Atticus Finch

Today a friend and I went to the local community theater to see To Kill A Mockingbird.

And, as usual, it was a comedy of errors to get there.

I had read about the play in the paper about a week or so ago and immediately sent her a text to see if she wanted to go.  She immediately responded with, "It's a date."  And then I never heard from her again.  I did know that her husband was going out of town so that last weekend was out of the question.

She finally called me on Friday to see if we could try to catch one of the last shows this weekend.  Unfortunately, Man-Child was coming home and needed a ride to Raleigh.  Or so I thought.  So we decided to hit the Friday or Saturday evening show.  Until I went online to buy tickets and discovered that both shows were sold out.  And I was depressed because I really wanted to see the show.  I loved the book.  I loved the movie.  And I was prepared to love this play.  And now, I wouldn't get to see it.

Until I got up this morning.  Whereupon Hubby informed me that Man-Child (who had come home after I went to bed last night) had come home on the wrong weekend.  It's NEXT weekend when he needs me to drive him all over the damn state.  It's a long story...maybe I'll post about it next weekend; after I drive him all over the damn state.

So I called my friend and we made plans again to hit the matinee today.  Until I got online to buy tickets.  There were very few seats left and I spent a good ten minutes trying to purchase them.  But nowhere on the page could I find the "BUY" button.  Finally, I decided to close the browser and try another one - I was getting desperate - there were only about four or five seats left.  Using a different browser was the key and I was able to snag the last two seats together.  HUGE sigh of relief!
We decided to meet at a local restaurant for lunch prior to the show.  Big mistake.  I should have known better - she is a slow eater, bless her heart.  We rushed out the door and flew to the theater.  She was following me in her car, or so I thought.  When I saw that she got caught at a light a few blocks from the theater, I called her to tell her how to get where we were going - only for her to say to me, "You aren't in front of me?  In the silver Corolla?"  *face palm* I drive a BLUE Corolla.  It was by the grace of God I suppose that the silver car she'd been following had been following ME!

We finally arrived with about three minutes to spare only to discover that parking was scarce and had to park a few blocks away and practically run back to the theater - shouting "WAIT!" as they were beginning to close the doors.

How we made it, I will never know.  But I'm so glad we did.  The play was perfect.

Well....*spoiler alert - if you've never seen it or read it but want to, stop right here and then explain to me just HOW you have been living under a rock to have never seen nor read this classic, iconic story? Go rectify this travesty right now!*

As I was saying, the play was perfect except for the fact that EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I read this book or see the movie/play - I am always, ALWAYS shocked that Tom Robinson was found guilty.  Of course, it is with grim satisfaction to find that karma finds it's way to Bob Ewell eventually.

It was also disturbing - despite the fact that it was true to the story and time - to hear school-age children hurling "the" word around with such casualness.  I'm sure their parents and the director have impressed upon these children what a hateful word it is and that they only had to use it for accuracy.

And speaking of the school-age children who played Scout and Dill (both local 4th graders - which makes them about 9!) were flawless.  These children knew how to play to the audience and had their roles down pat.

The gentleman who played Bob Ewell nailed his part so well that my friend whispered to me at one point, "He's so good, I want to beat him up after the show!"

If the play comes to a community theater in your area I would definitely encourage you to see it.  It's one thing to read it or see it on television but it takes it to another level when you are watching real people right in front of you portray this story.  It will take your breath away.

"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside his skin and walk around in it."  -- Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Truer words have never been spoken.

February 19, 2014

So there I was, all smug and thinking I've GOT this...and then reality crashed in *sigh*

I don't know if I've mentioned it - but in the last couple of years, the Good Ole Boy Network has acquired a couple of companies.

Not that I'm bragging.

I'm not bragging because, although we've acquired these companies, we haven't added to the staff to run said companies.  Which means exactly what you think it means.  Those of us peons that do the actual drudgery have had more tasks added to our already over-loaded plates.

At first it was a bit of a struggle - what with already supporting three and a half attorneys, plus doing my "real" job.  But somewhere around mid-January, I hit that "sweet spot."  You know, the one where it all seems manageable; where you think, "Good!  I've GOT this!  It's ALL under control".

And then...all of a sudden, it's not.

Between the unprecedented snow storm, which kept most of us out of the office for one and a half days - some of us for two and a half days; and the most recent federal holiday, suddenly I find myself completely and totally under water over here.  All the while wondering, what the HELL?!

And then, while it's all crumbling under your feet, you realize...it's "YEARLY REVIEW TIME."  The week or so that the managers only seem to notice EVERY. LITTLE. MISTAKE you've made ALL year long. *sigh*

At any rate, here's hoping that next week I will be back in the "I've GOT this mode."  Because this week?  This week is a lost cause.

February 14, 2014

Billy Joel: A Southern Snow Storm: Valentine's Day

I know, I know.  Once again, I'm lumping everything into one, large, catch-up post.

The Billy Joel concert was AMAZING!  Even Man-Child was impressed.  Billy (I can call him that because I love him so) exceeded my expectations.  I mean, come on.  He hasn't been on tour in YEARS and, let's be frank, he isn't the young man he used to be - but even so the show was OUTSTANDING and he played to a full house and, judging from the reaction of said full house he was fabulous.  And yes, it was SO much sweeter considering the good news I received on the previous Friday.  In fact, it was so great, that I would urge you to go if there is a tour date in your area.  You can check here.

There was only one "issue" during the event.  This concert covered a huge demographic.  There were youngsters, people my age and much older people.  One row ahead of us and just a few seats down was a couple.  A very inebriated couple.  A couple that insisted on standing throughout the show.  Despite the fact, that there was a much older woman sitting right behind them.  Despite the fact, that her son asked them politely, several times, to sit so his mother could see.  It almost escalated into an "incident."  Luckily, it didn't.

I have also determined that any concert I attend in the future will include a shuttle.  The hotel we stayed in had a free shuttle to and from the concert.  We had to reserve our spot for the ride in but it was first come, first serve on the return.  This was a fabulous perk that the hotel offered and we loved it.  One person though was not to thrilled when she discovered that she didn't get a seat on the first return trip.  In fact, she let this pretty much ruin her evening.  Oh well, shame on her.  It was a beautiful evening and the rest of us were content to wait our turn.

Turns out, just about everyone staying in the hotel that night went to the concert.  And everyone that we spoke to enjoyed it as much as we had.  With the exception of the one lady; but I think we all figured out pretty quickly that she is one of those people who is never happy with anything.  We all felt rather sorry for her boyfriend/husband.

The Monday after the concert was a day spent driving.  Endless hours of driving.  I had to take Man-Child back to school from Raleigh.  Raleigh is easily an hour and half drive from our home.  Man-Child's school is two hours from our home.  You do the math.

The worst part?  It started to snow.  The trip DOWN the mountain was a very tense one for me - this Texas gal who has NO idea what to do when the white stuff starts to fall.  Luckily, at that point it wasn't sticking.

Tuesday was rather uneventful.

Wednesday, the weathermen were in rare form.  All week long they'd be forecasting crazy amounts of snow and ice.  And for once they were right on the money with their forecasts.  Right down to the hour that it would begin.

Usually here the predictions are that we will get dumped on.  And usually, those predictions are wrong.  Not this time.

Depending on where you live in our area, it was anywhere between six to ten inches of the white stuff.  And then it froze.  And then it snowed again.  It was crazy.

For the first time in the history of the company, we were told to go home early and to stay home if we didn't feel comfortable driving the next day.  Of course, the entire workforce stayed home on Thursday.

I'd never seen anything like it - and I think we only got about six inches.  We were paralyzed.  We couldn't get out of the house.  Well, not with our cars.  We did walk up to main road just to see what it looked like.  It was fine.

Toward the end of the day on Thursday, I thought I was going to lose my mind.  Not so much because I was at home but more because of knowing that I COULDN'T leave.  And the horrible television.

Finally, about 4:00 pm, a snow plow came through the neighborhood and we cheered.  Well, I cheered.  Escape finally seemed possible!  Hubby was able to get out around 5:00 pm and made a run to the grocery store.

I was able to get out late this morning (albeit with white knuckles as I maneuvered my way out of the ice-riddled streets of the neighborhood) to make it to work.  A majority of my co-workers couldn't get out at all (those are the ones that ended up with ten inches!).

So now, I can say, that I've survived an actual snow storm (well, a "snow storm" by Southern standards anyway - hopefully that won't happen again any time soon!)

And then this - today is, of course, Valentine's Day.  As a couple, we've never been big on this holiday.  Well, maybe eons ago, when we were young and childless we were a tad more into it.  But now?  Not so much.  Now, we'll exchange cards and maybe the Hubby will bring me flowers.  Maybe dinner out.  And that's fine with me.  Really.  The fact that he spent two hours shoveling our driveway yesterday means more to me than dinner out or flowers.  That tells me how much he loves me more than flowers.

Although the beautiful tulips he brought home tonight are pretty awesome too.

February 8, 2014

How it came to pass that I booked a hotel and then promptly forgot where I would be staying

Life has been a bit hectic around here lately which TOTALLY explains why things - important things - have been slipping my mind.

Sure, I freely admit that in the past few years I haven't been as on top of things as I normally would - but then the last few years have been anything BUT normal.

But in the last month things have been slipping a little more than usual; and that was never more apparent than when I made a hotel reservation online for this weekend, actually assumed I'd receive the confirmation email and promptly forgot where I had booked the room.  And of course I never received that confirmation.

Yes.  That seriously happened.  Which is how I found myself calling various hotels in Raleigh that are located near the PNC Arena trying to find out where I would be staying on Sunday night.

You see, Sunday I am attending a Billy Joel concert (yes, I realize he isn't "happening" or "now" or whatever, but I love him nonetheless and I will not tolerate any teasing.  That man is a genius and can play the piano like nobody's business) with Man-Child.  Yes, you read that right.  Man-Child will be attending the concert with me (willingly, I might add.  What can I say? I raised him right.  He has an eclectic taste in music that includes rap, country, rock and Billy Joel).

At my very first Billy Joel concert I was newly pregnant with Man-Child.  It was amazing.  Since then I have tried to see him in concert every time he was in town or even close to our town.  As some of you may know, he "retired" some years back to focus on classical music.

I was heartbroken.  Because, despite the fact that I love Billy Joel, I'm not really into classical music at all, but I wished him well.

Then Twitter came along and, after my initial rejection of it, I was sucked in and who did I find on Twitter?  Why Billy Joel, of course.  Although, I have determined that it's not actually Billy Joel doing the tweeting; it's his "people" which, means it's not actually a fun Twitter feed to follow until I started noticing that his feed was announcing concert dates.  The first one was in Florida and I figured it was some kind of "special event" since he was retired and all.  I begged Hubby to take me but he just laughed.  Honestly, after all these years he should know better.  Then I began to see all the announcements for shows at Madison Square Garden and my hope began to bloom.

I even responded to one Tweet with something along the line of how I'd go to the show if he'd just come to North Carolina.  Anywhere in North Carolina.

And lo and behold, one day a Tweet came across that he was coming to Raleigh!  I told my husband that the ONLY thing I wanted for Christmas was tickets and he came through.  But, being the old, stick in the mud he has become refused to go; whereupon Man-Child piped up that he would LOVE to go with me.  And this will be his first Billy Joel concert - "outside of the womb" (his words, not mine). And this is a blessing, because I was willing to sell that extra ticket and go by myself if I had to.

All of which leads me to making hotel reservations for this Sunday.  To the hotel I couldn't remember and as to why important details like this have been slipping my mind.

Back in January, I finally had my mammogram.  And I walked away feeling smug and self-satisfied that I had finally met all my health check ups as I promised myself (and you) that I would do.

Until I received a call a week later.  Asking me to come back in for "another image."  I felt a prick of fear but quickly told myself that it was just a bad image and they needed another.  Unfortunately, they were booked solid for about another week or so.  But I was fine.

Really, I was okay.  Until after the second mammogram when they took me back to the little room to get dressed and asked me to wait.  Then that little, prick of fear blossomed just a bit.  But, I calmed myself down and told myself that they just wanted the radiologist to look at it immediately to keep me from worrying myself silly.

And then the doctor came into the little room and shut the door.  And began telling me about new calcification and that although seventy-five percent of the time it's nothing, it could be the beginning of something more (he even used the "C" word!) and told me he was going to schedule me for a needle biopsy the next week.  Needless to say, my stomach dropped and I was numb.

I went back and forth between crying and telling myself I would be fine all the way home.

Before I got home, I had stiffened my upper lip and spine.  I had to hold it together for Hubby.  He's a worrier.  No, scratch that.  He is a WORLD CHAMPION worrier.  I told him what was going on in a very cavalier fashion and pretended like I was fine.  Despite the fact that my guts were churning.

Hubby met me at the Breast Center on "the" day.  For a moment, while standing in line to check in, I almost passed out I was so scared.  The only things that kept my feet under me was knowing how that would freak Hubby out and the utter embarrassment I would feel if I actually fell out in the waiting room.

As always, they didn't keep me waiting but called me back fairly quickly.  As the nurse ushered me into the little room to change she asked if I was okay.  I nodded.  Apparently, that didn't convince her since she asked again.  And I crumpled.  I began to cry and told her I was terrified.  She wrapped me in her arms, rocked me and told me it would be okay.  She stayed with me until she was sure I was fairly calm.  I love that woman more than she will ever know.  I wonder if they know what a treasure she is?  I wish I'd gotten her name so I could tell them.

When they brought me into the room where the procedure would be done I was faced with what looked to be a table constructed for the purposes of torture.  It was HUGE and there was all kinds of terrifying equipment spread around the room.

The radiologist came in and explained exactly what was going to happen and then informed me that I wouldn't receive the results until the next day.  Maybe later, if the lab was backed up.

The procedure, while not painful per se, was uncomfortable and long.  But successful on the first try - which, apparently, isn't always the case as I learned as I waited on that uncomfortable table while the sample was taken for an x-ray for what seemed like forever.

Once the biopsy was over and I was bandaged up, I was subjected to ANOTHER mammogram (honestly, three mammograms in a month's time is REALLY asking a lot out of a woman) to make sure the titanium chip they had placed in my breast was in the correct position.  Apparently, they place this teeny-tiny chip in just in case something IS wrong so they can find the problem area easily if they have to go back in.  Then I was sent home to wait.

Poor Hubby, when I walked back into the waiting room he was just about a basket case.  He is quite capable of working himself into a state without my help at all.

I got the call yesterday at work.  I am fine.  It was all I could do to keep from crying with relief at my desk.

And all that explains WHY I couldn't remember where I'd booked my hotel reservation...I've had a lot on my mind in the last few weeks.

But, as luck would have it, I finally figured out where we are staying...and I will be able to enjoy this weekend without anything hanging over my head causing me angst.

Life is good.  It's really, really good.