Touch of Comedy for your Week

This has just been one of those weeks. It’s been hot and muggy this week. Entirely too hot to sleep in my bedroom where there’s no A/C, so since Sunday I had been sleeping on my couch. On Wednesday, I got a window A/C unit, nothing big, just one of the little 5000 BTU units, only weighs 35-40 pounds. No problem. On my way home from work, I stop and get an amazing hot stone massage and I’m all relaxed. Then I think great, I’ll go home and install my a/c.

Bad idea. First, I didn’t realize that you have to put the accordion things on the sides of the a/c or screw in that little lip thing on the top of it. So I did that, then I picked the worst window to put the a/c into. The one that gives me a hard time when I try to close it. The one that I have to pull down on it from the top.

Can you guess what happened? I bet you can. Yup, my brand new a/c unit went out the window. And I pulled the dummy move of trying to catch it by the cord. Cord staying in my hand and the a/c was laying there on the ground. Thank god I only live on the first floor. It was completely like something out of an “I Love Lucy” episode. Looking back on it, I can laugh, but I was so mad when it happened.

Not my a/c, but you get the idea

I was able to return it and get a new one. That one is still sitting in my car waiting for my brother to come and install it for me. I obviously can’t be trusted with that task.

But being all relaxed before exerting yourself like that is not the best idea. My muscles hurt through my back and arms because of the exertion and trying to catch the a/c. Years ago, I used to have this blue gel stuff called Mineral Ice. It worked great sore muscles. A couple months ago I was at the pharmacy and couldn’t find Mineral Ice, but I found what I thought was the equivalent in a store brand. I was wrong.

I put this blue stuff on my back, the back of my neck and my upper arms. At first it felt awesome, then in a matter of minutes, I felt like I was on fire from the inside out. Then I was all about trying to wash this stuff off to make the burn go away. I’m running through my house, stripping off clothes, turning on the shower to ice cold water and it’s not helping. It’s trapped in my skin, it’s been absorbed.

Yup, that’s how my back felt

10-15 in an icy shower helped. Realistically, I just had to wait for the stuff to wear off. That’s been my week, looking back, I can completely laugh at it all and shake my head and say “I can’t believe that all happened”. I hope that I gave you something to laugh at and maybe make you realize your week wasn’t as bad as you thought it was 🙂

Yes, I’m still Alive …

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. The death of my step-dad hit me really, really hard. I with drew from my classes at school for a couple of weeks. I just couldn’t give them the attention that I needed to and do well.

In a way that was bad, but in a way that was good. I found out when trying to start back up that I was running out of financial aid and wouldn’t be able to continue with my batchelor’s degree. But I did have enough funding to take 3 more classes and get my associates degree. So I switched gears and changed to an Associates program in Graphic Design. I conquered the dreaded speech class (I really, really dislike public speaking) and graduated in March. You can check out my final project at http://www.vickylyn.com. The final project was building a resume/portfolio web site. I love the way it came out.

I’ve had a crazy, busy Spring too. I decided right after I graduated that it was time to find a cheaper place to live but with a lot more light. My apartment that I was living in was cave like and though I was on the third floor I have very little natural light. I’m an artist, a creative person, I need light. It’s just a necessity. So I started searching Craig’s list and made many phone calls and sent e-mails and finally I got in touch with one person that was renting an apartment right now the street from my best friend’s house.

I went and saw the apartment, it was the first one that I had looked at and I knew as soon as I walked in that I was home. It has tons of windows, a built in China Cabinet in the dining room, a beautiful quote on the wall in the bedroom (“Life is not measured by the breaths that we take, but by the moments that take our breath away”). I put down a deposit before I left. I moved in two weeks. Granted it took me longer to finish moving and many wonderful friends and family helping me move. But I started the arduous process and was actually living at the new place within 2 weeks.

My mom, being the amazing, crazy woman that she is. Decided to drive up the day before Mother’s Day to come and spend a week with me to help me get everything in order at my new place. We enjoyed a pretty peaceful Mother’s Day. She went with my brother and did some stuff on Monday and on Tuesday, we finished getting my apartment in order. We were able to spend the rest of the week enjoying our time together. Mom is nothing if not determined.

Since mom has left, I’ve had so much going on, that I really haven’t had time to sit back and enjoy. Not that it’s a bad thing, I’m keeping busy. But this past weekend, while it was busy, I was able to enjoy. I had one of my favorite munchkins (she’s 7) come and stay with me. We went to the movies and played mini golf and went to ride a carousel. But we also spent time painting. She did some great stuff with watercolors. I had a canvas that I had started before I moved and it just had some purple on it. While my munchkin was painting, it came to me in a flood what I needed to put on the canvas.

Seascape

 

It’s not where I want to be artistically, but it’s a good start and it got my creative energy flowing. I can’t wait to get started on my next piece.

A True Love Story

One of my very good friends told me the other day that my mom and step-dad’s story was one of her favorite love stories. We lost my step-dad last week, he had been battling cancer for quite a while and in the end, it took him in just a couple of weeks. While I will always miss him, I am glad that he is no longer suffering and will always remember that he was in our lives because “it was all my fault” (I’ll explain that in the story).

My mom and step dad (his name is Guy) met in High school, they dated and were actually engaged. He was a year older and graduated before mom. He joined the Air Force after graduation and my grandparents thought it would be better for my mom if they broke it off and that she move on, they didn’t want her to have the lonely life of a military wife. She had listened to her parents but had always regretted it.

For years she looked for Guy at reunions, asking everyone there if they had heard from him or knew where he was. No one knew where he was or what had become of him.

Fast forward to years later, mom had me and my brother, she had married and divorced twice. She had lost a fiance to a blood clot (he died quickly and suddenly) and was living in FL with a man that I really, really didn’t like. Actually let me revise that, it’s not that I didn’t like him, it’s that I didn’t like the way that he treated my mom and I didn’t think he was good for her.  I knew that in order to get this parasite (yeah, he kind of was a parasite) away from my mom that I needed to find the love of her life.

I made it my mission to find Guy. And I did, I found him on Classmates.com. I paid for a temporary membership so that I could send him an e-mail and asked him to contact my mom. Now Guy was not technologically inclined, actually that’s an understatement. So he did not check his e-mail for a while. I think he got the message a couple of months after I sent it. Then he was scared, he thought mom was trying to reach him to tell him that I was his daughter, lol. He had no idea how old I was and was a little nervous about calling her. He finally did and was relieved to find out that it wasn’t to tell him that he had a daughter.

They talked repeatedly over the next couple of months. Guy had retired from the Air Force by then and was working as a trucker. The next time that he got a delivery to bring to FL he made sure that he and mom met up. The spark, the chemistry, whatever you would like to call it was still there. The love they had never died over those years.

They spent the next year with long conversations and visits when they could. Guy moved mom to TN and less than 9 months later they were married. They had the fairy tale wedding that they both wanted. Big dress, tux with tails, little chapel in the mountains of TN and a reception at the top of a mountain in a beautiful cabin. It was a small wedding, only our family and a few of mom’s siblings, a couple of nieces and a couple of in-laws, but it was what they wanted. And you could tell by the look in their eyes how much they loved each other. He was her world and she was his.

I remember in the days after the wedding Guy looking at mom while he was driving and him saying that he’s still amazed that she was there and now his wife. Of course my only thought at the time was “take your damn eyes off my mom and watch the rode before you kill us all” lol.

I am very thankful for the years that we had Guy in our lives. He would repeatedly tell me all the time (usually when I’d get annoyed at him for something) that “it was all your fault” meaning mine, because I had found him. He thought of me as his daughter, my brother as his son and my daughter as his granddaughter.

I will miss this man forever, he brought our family together, he brought joy to my mom. And though you could never watch a movie all the way through with him (he had to do a running commentary through the whole thing), and he loved to goad you into an argument (he loved to see how much he could wind me up), it was all part of the wonderful person that he was. I couldn’t have asked for a better match for my mom and a second dad.

Time to Slow the heck down!

I found this on Google when I typed in Slow Down, I think it’s fitting for me.

Since my lovely daughter has left for TN, I have been moving at warp speed. I am working my regular job plus a second job (that’s strictly volunteer) and school. To say that I’ve been burning the candle at both ends is an understatement.

So it’s time that I slow the heck down and take time to smell the roses, or another flowers for that matter. I fly out in two days to spend 10 days with my mom and daughter and I’m going to use that time to try and re-group and re-think how I tackle work, projects and just everything.

October 12th is my 19 year anniversary of being in remission, it’s only fitting that I be with mom and Tiff during this time and that I start to remember that life isn’t worth living if you don’t actually live it.

My volunteer job is what I actually love doing, I’m designing, contributing, brainstorming and working with an amazing group of people. Their love and support during the last few months has been what’s kept me going. I can’t stop being part of that, it’s become such an important part of my life. It’s helped me to grow and learn things about myself that I needed to learn.

School is important too, it’s teaching me the information that I need to know to help at my volunteer job. Becoming a Graphic Designer isn’t just a dream anymore, it’s becoming a reality. And while it’s not necessary that I get that piece of paper that says I have a degree, it’s really important that I see this through.

So I think it comes down to that I need to be find a way to manage my projects and school work more efficiently so that I can have some semblance of a life outside of these things. I need to find time for me. I need to be able to go back to the gym again, to spend time with my brother (who I have been neglecting, not that he’s not busy too, but I feel like I’ve been neglecting him), to spend time with friends and to have some down time too.

So while my life is about to get a heck of a lot crazier with multiple projects, I’m going to do my best to slow down and enjoy life, moments and people. I hope that everyone else does the same. Life is simply too short not to find joy!

Bit of Emotional Release

I’m coming up on my 19th year of remission from Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. I have a good friend going through cancer treatment and a family member that is dying from cancer, so it’s pretty much assured that my own treatment is heavy on my mind these days.

I’ve been thinking about my savior a lot lately. No, nothing spiritual, the doctor that saved my life with the experimental treatment. I’ve been wondering where he is, if he went back to Greece, if he was still at Dana Farber, if he was still doing research. I finally Googled him.

I found him in seconds. Why I didn’t think of doing that sooner, I have no idea. I’m on the computer everyday, for work, for school, I should have searched for him before. He is no longer with Dana Farber but another major Boston hospital. He’s still doing research but also seeing patients too.

I was inspired after finding him. I sat down and wrote a short letter thanking him. I know he’s a doctor, he doesn’t expect a thank you. Heck I don’t even know if he’s going to remember who I am, but that’s ok. It was good for me to sit down and write to him. It felt good. Maybe it’ll even brighten his day when he gets the letter.

Whether I ever hear back from him or not, I feel good because I was able to say thank you to him, something I don’t think that I ever did years ago.

Princess Cleo

There once was a Princess named Cleo. She was a very sweet girl, who thought she would melt if she went out in the rain. Sounds like the beginning of a story you’d make up to tell your children to put them to bed, right? Well Cleo is actually a boxer. A very sweet one that is sick. But she’s not just any old dog. She belongs to my best friend, Vickie (yes my best friend has the same first name, but spelled differently) and Cleo along with her brother Gunther hold very special places in my heart.

Princess Cleo

Isn’t she cute? How can you not love that face!

Vickie doesn’t have any children, her dogs have been her kids. And they are amazing personalities. Cleo is definitely the princess, who thinks that she will melt in the rain. Gunther is the protector, but he’s also a mush and loves to snuggle.

Cleo has had her share of scares over the years. I think it was within the first year that Vickie and her boyfriend had Cleo that she was hit by a mini van. She survived and they were able to put her back together. She’s got some metal holding her together but she pulled through like a trooper.

Three years ago, Cleo developed a heart condition called cardiomyopathy with tachycardia. They predicted she may only live another year. She’s proved them wrong, with medication she’s been doing great.

This summer she has developed a tumor on her leg. It started small but has grown. Gilbert (yes, Vickie named the tumor, we are silly and name inanimate objects) has gotten to the size of a really big golf ball and is on the verge of rupturing. If it does, then Cleo will have to be put to sleep.

So within the next two weeks Cleo is going to have surgery to remove Gilbert. But in order for her to have the surgery, she needs to have a complete heart work up completed first because of her heart condition. This is expensive.

Gunther, Cleo’s brother, had surgery on his knees a while ago and Vickie just finally got done paying for that and finished paying for Cleo’s outstanding medical bills. She was all caught up. Not she needs to come up with almost $3,000 for Cleo’s life saving surgery.

Cleo and Gunther

Cleo and her brother, Gunther. They are two peas in a pod.

I’m going to do something I have never done and probably will never ask again. I’m asking for donations for the “Save Cleo” fund. I created an account through a site called Chip In, that allows people to help each other out. Every little bit helps, if you could donate 50 cents, or a dollar, that would be great. And please pass this story along. Please help save Princess Cleo.

http://cleossurgery.chipin.com/cleos-surgery

Insanity Inspired

Its been a while since my last post, my life has gotten busier since my daughtermove to TN. I really thought that when she moved I’d have all this spare time,but that really hasn’t been the case ar all.

First I’ve started doing graphic design work for a friends business. That has kept me really busy, but I’ve loved every second of it. It’s great experience and could lead to a full time job with her in the future.

Then my friends have been amazing, keeping me busy and distracted when I needed it the most. I even took a trip to Coney Island with my amazing best friend. Neither of us had ever been, it was great fun. We saw a drag queen burlesque show, some very interesting people watching and a sans sculpture contest on the beach.  It was a blast.

This past weekend I eccentially locked myself in my apartment and cleaned all weekend. I feel so much better now that a lot of the clutter is gone. Though the cat hair is a little out of control. My beautiful Maine Coon cat sheds entirely too much. I vacuumed 4 times in 2 days and still can’t get rid of all the cat hair on the carpet.

My insane cleaning spree (it really was insane) inspired the artist in me. I’ve done 3 paintings tonight, I’m going to hang the in my office. There’s no art work there at all and I’m thinking that if I dress up the walls a bit it will help inspire me at work.