PlazaJen: The Blog

Riding the Bike with One Pedal.

Category: stress (page 1 of 5)

X-Ray Vision

When I was a kid, I thought the idea of X-ray glasses was SO COOL. Imagine, being able to see through  anything you wanted! Clothes, wrapping paper, notebook covers, locker doors, the list was endless. Now, of course, I think something like that would be more of a burden than a blessing; imagine if you could see someone’s soul, their fears, their desires, their hatred, before you even spoke a word.

I had my annual mammogram today, pleased that they were open on a Saturday, bright and early. In the hallway, I was delighted and surprised to see the woman who gave me my first mammogram there, 8 years ago. She wasn’t my technician today, but we greeted each other, and while I waited for my results, she stopped by the small chamber to ask me how things were going.

I said, “I’m anxious. It’s been stressful. This election season has been like none other.” And we did that careful dance of words, establishing that we were both on the same side, so we could speak more freely.

See, she’s getting ready to retire. She’s been doing this for about 40 years. That’s what first drew me into conversation with her – what she had to have seen over her career, the advancements in technology alone would be mind-blowing, and knowing that in this gig, you’re going to also have your share of heartache to go with the joy of seeing  some survivors return – and others not survive.  She’s thinking that after she retires, she’s going to try and find a job as a caretaker for people with early on-set dementia, because she watched her son’s MIL decline, and the care out there being expensive and hard to find. She is one of those people that shows you her soul quickly, and it’s the soul of a kind, caring, wonderful human being.

She also told me that in the past year, more women have asked to not have her perform their screenings. Oh, yeah, now is when I’m going to also tell you something else about her, something that shouldn’t have any bearing:  she’s black. And apparently, in these crazy times, people now feel even more comfortable saying to her face, “You can’t know what you’re doing, I want someone else.” Tears of anger and compassion flooded my eyes as I conveyed my horror and shock.  We spoke of how hatred and racism surely have to have been there all along, but marveled at how emboldened it’s become, and how acceptable it now seems to be to show it, speak it,  act on it. She closed her eyes, shaking her head and said, “You know what, all I can do is live my life. I’m a flawed black woman and I will stand before Jesus and be judged, just like they will, and they’ll have to answer for their sins, just like I will.” All I could do was murmur something at that point because I couldn’t scream the invectives and curse words and denials, that they needed their comeuppance on this earth, that they need to be shamed and excoriated for their flawed choices under the banner of hatred.  That they need to learn and be different. That they should have let this kind, capable, experienced woman perform their exam.

I hugged her, because she may not be there next year when I return, because her retirement is on the horizon, and she’ll be somewhere else, giving of her time and wisdom to someone who needs it, giving peace and comfort to that person’s family.

I see what we have become as a nation, and I don’t like it. Hatred may have always been there, but clearly the shame attached to it has been lost. And I’ve picked it up, because I am ashamed on behalf of those women who could be so racist and callous to someone so undeserving. I shoulder the burden of bad choices by others, because when I know a wrong has been done, I feel compelled to try and right it, somehow.

Still, I’m grateful I don’t have x-ray vision, to be able to see so clearly those around me, their basest fears under their sleeves. It’s enough to speak up when you see it and hear it.  Maybe find common ground or understand what the fear is that’s fueling the hatred.  I’m looking at my own fears, and it seems like talking to our elders is a good way to go: every person I’ve talked to this past week who is over the age of 60, has a calmer view on where the election could take us: no matter what happens, we’ll still be here. We’ll get through it. We’ll do what we need to do. We got through the last (X), we’ll get through this.  And in the end, we must only answer for ourselves.

Choose wisely, my friends.

scraping the hull

It’s been a rough month, indeed. There was a brief respite – a quick trip to Vegas – that was an utter escape, lots of fun (no big wins) and I’d say Vegas is definitely like a Disneyland for adults. The rough spots have been lots of work, some serious brain chemistry working against me, and now, we find ourselves at a terrible spot with our younger dog, Tripper. He’s got a detached lens on his eye, an infected tooth, and his fever was too high for surgery. Now he’s panting, not eating, not drinking, and I’m desperately dropping pills down his throat to ease the pain and fight the infection(s). Plus an ice cube just now to try to get a smidgen of fluid into him. I’m taking him back to the vet tomorrow, and I fear deeply that unless they have answers and can stabilize him, our vibrant, goofy loving dog will be crossing the Rainbow Bridge before old age should have taken him. I’ve pretty much spent my weekend crying, not unlike each day the past month, so I’ll work to stay hydrated as well, and hope we all get through this with love, kindness, caring and the least amount of pain possible. And I’d like to ask for a new deck of cards, because I’m not doing well with what’s getting dealt to me.

When Will It Be Enough?

We’re inching ever-closer to some of the movies we thought would never happen – I’m thinking specifically of Natural Born Killers. The frenzy climbs, and media attention – even posthumously – seems to be the currency of the day.

I watched part of a video on CNN, the live feed of the reporter & cameraman being shot to death today. I recoiled, horrified, and cried at my desk. I want nothing more to do with any more video. I want to know nothing about the man who committed this crime, who posted more video on his Twitter account before going on the run and eventually killing himself.

I thought 20 children being killed along with their 6 teachers was when enough would be enough. I don’t even know what the answers are? But something has to change. This is heartbreaking.

Faith

As I’ve noted, December isn’t the easiest of months to sail through. Between the busy-ness of work, the pressure of holidays, the sorrows and reminders of family and loss, on its own, the month is taxing. (Oh yeah – gotta pay property taxes and estimated taxes by the end of the month, too. Fun!)  Throw in a couple other unexpected experiences, and I’ve felt of late that my faith has been shaken.

Which is interesting. I don’t worship a conventional god, deity, in any sense of organized religion. So when my reflective mind tells me, “Our faith has been shaken,” and I know it’s referring to the trust and confidence in people and situations, sardonic self replies with, “What faith?” Of course, faith isn’t simply faith to God or god or whatever you want to call it. My faith is rooted in a set of behaviors and values, and when things run perpendicular to those holdings, I question not only myself, but the world around me. I think that in times of struggle, our faith rolls like the tides.  Betrayals of trust, seeing what was hidden before, whatever the provocation, you see the water recede from your feet, exposing the flotsam and the sand pulls away from under your feet. And as you stand there pondering all that is strewn before you, and wondering when your faith is ever going to return, it’s easy to think it might not come back. Or that it will take a long time to return, at the very least.

But in my solitude today, I realized something. Something that I hadn’t allowed myself to see. Because I spent the first 30 years of my life viewing every problem as something that was mine, and mine alone to solve and resolve. To some extent, that’s still true. In the end, we have to live with ourselves, the choices we make, and that sometimes there is no resolution or clear path. But. I forget to see the faith others have in me.  And while they want to take away my pain (and can’t) or want to resolve my own internal struggle (again, they can’t), that support and desire to make it better remains.  It surrounds me, like the faces of my friends last night, or the arms of my husband, or the emails from people across the expanse, checking in, valuing me, saying hello.

And when I realized the massive volume of that love and support today, I felt my own tightly-wound spool spin unfettered.  Air went deeper into my lungs. The path before me no longer strewn with pitfalls and hurdles, but just a path. One that I must walk, with my own feet, on my own – yet not alone.  Faith, restored.

I Would Shoot This Week Like I’d Put Down A Rabid Possum, If I Could.

Hey, didja all enjoy the full moon this week? Beautiful, bright, havoc-wreaking full moon that it was? Good god. The Crazy ratcheted up pretty high this week, I must say.

On Wednesday, I met a couple friends for an impromptu lunch at Red Snapper. Upon leaving, I thought my back tire looked low. Indeed, it was. As in almost flat. Yikes! So I hustled across the street, got air back in it, skipped my errands, and came home. It stayed inflated pretty well and looked good the next morning, so we assumed it was a temporary seal thing, hitting a pothole, etc. But now I’m paranoid. So I left work yesterday with paranoia in my heart, looked at my tire, and decided it looked lower. Not like the first time, but lower and something must be wrong. (One thing to know about me: I go from blissfully ignorant to OMFG WE’RE GONNA DIE AND LOSE ALL OUR MONEY FIRST in about 8.2 seconds flat.) So I’m worrying. And as I start to drive in the parking lot, I hear this crazy noise. OMFG! I pull over, spanning four parking spaces, and put the car in park, frozen, listening. I’m quite certain this sound is coming from my tire. Except the sound continues, after I’ve stopped. I finally realized that it was a plane flying overhead. Yay! I’m losing my mind!

Get home, the Wo takes a look, agrees it’s low, and we come up with the game plan: tomorrow at some point, I’ll go in to Firestone, get the thing fixed, get an oil change, and be on my merry way. We refill a bit with the pump he has. He checks it this morning: pretty low again, so now we accelerate the time frame, and I’m heading up there for an 8 am appointment so they can get it taken care of and I can be in Westport by 9:45. Everything seems fine, I’m hanging with Mr. Magoo in the waiting area until he’s finished, then I switch seats so I can keep an eye on things, and get called to the counter around 9. Lookin’ good. Except for one thing. They can’t fix the tire. It’s all shredded on the inside, he says. And my two front tires have wear on the insides of the tires and you can’t see it unless the car is up on the hoochymomma thingy, but it’s really bad and I need four new tires, he gestures at wildly circled numbers on a sheet of paper and can I hang on a sec because he has to run something out to some manager in the parking lot.

I get out the phone, and call the Wo. Tell him briefly that I’m being sold 4 new tires and could he talk to the man when he returns. Which he does, at that moment. I hand the phone over, he goes through the spiel again, and hands the phone back to me.

Now. Here is where, for me, it really broke apart. I can be blissfully clueless and unaware at times. But the rest of the time, my antennae are set on “11”. And so, as I take the phone, and as most people do, my head tilts down to listen and talk. But I am still watching the employee – who is looking at the computer, and I see, in this short second, he rolls his eyes. So as I’m hearing my husband in my left ear “THEYARETRYINGTOSELLYOUTIRESYOUDON’TNEEDYOUNEEDTOGOSOMEWHEREELSE” I’m thinking, “You motherfucker. There are two people standing right here, and the only one who gets to roll their eyes at my husband? IS ME.” So I’m pissed. He’s pissed. The Wo’s pissed. I hang up. Store dude looks at me and I say, “OK, this is why I let him handle these things. Can we just fill the tire with air and I’ll pay for my oil change?” And he says, “Well, he sounded really angry, I’m just saying, if you don’t replace all four tires, you have AWD, you would void your warranty (I’m still puzzling that one, as the dealer’s warranty expired a year ago), and let me take you back in the shop and show you this wear, you can’t see it unless the car’s in the air, so you can explain it to your husband,” and I’m all, “NO, that’s fine, let’s just settle up here.”

Because if I go back into the garage, it’s another point of sales pitch to wear the little lady down, I suspect.

So I wait, and then another employee comes in and tells me all about her morning and how she was t-boned on her way in and blah blah blah, and then a new dude comes in and says it looks like I need to be helped. I decline, saying I’m just waiting. But here’s what I think is interesting. First dude has now gone back into the garage, and never comes back out to interact with me again. New dude is now “handling me” and feigns shock and awe at the numbers on my tires and that I’m going to drive off the lot with my car in such a state, even, but is all smiles and polish and tells me they will give me their recommendations and an estimate, should I want to return. Now, I’m not all-knowing in the world of auto repair but I felt like this guy’s appearance was definitely a planned move and part of the whole schtick. (I heard the schtick given by the t-boned employee over the phone, all the dreadful things they found and how much it would cost.)

I pay, collect my key, my receipt and go. In my car, I look at the price tag: just over $1,100. Yes, eleven-hundred. Dollars.

The Wo is already regretting having sent me there, but he wanted me to have a nice place to sit and wait, but now I’m going where he wished he’d sent me in the first place, to Larry’s Wholesale Tires on Wornall.  Larry, or his other cousin Larry, comes in from the shop to see what I need and sends me down the road to the U-Haul place (which he also owns, and I ponder this, thinking how unassuming he is and he probably is quite well-off), because that’s where they fix tires. Honestly, I don’t know why I ever thought I’d be incapable of driving a car in NYC, because if you can cross two lanes of Wornall without a light and make repeated left-hand turns while you’re on it, I’d say you could take on just about any traffic situation in this country. I get down to the U-Haul spot and for whatever reason, I am instantly reassured. I’m greeted, there’s no problem, just back it in here, okey dokey, the guy finds a 1.5″ metal shiv that’s in the main part of the tread, he extracts it, does other manly things to the tire (including patching it), tells me he doesn’t see any shredding, but at some point I’ll need A new tire, because the side seam looks a little worn, and they all blinked when I told them what their neighbors up the street wanted me to spend.

So then I ate some Indian food at Chai Shai with Beth and knitted and decompressed (and wished I’d gotten the mango shake instead of the iced chai, because o.m.g. is it good,) ran into Dan of Gone Mild there, always nice to see him and say hello.

Then I came home, and discovered the breezeway was filled with bits of foam and bright red maribou feathers. Because Tripper had GONE INTO THE CLOSET, removed one slipper, and systematically shredded it everywhere. Then he took JWo’s old shoe he’d already done a number on, and completely chewed off the toe. That fucking dog isn’t getting out of his crate until he’s 12.

Next on my list? Re-installing software on my laptop that was rebuilt on Wednesday. I told you, this week has just been from hell! TGIF, indeed!

A Face That Launched A Thousand Ships…

…in the other direction.

I felt a sharp pain in my eye on Sunday while in the shower, so naturally I assumed it was somehow my own stupidity, getting some soap or shampoo or facial cleanser in there, though part of my brain knew it was a different kind of pain.

Monday, I woke up to discover that what had been a couple of pimples on the mend had suddenly erupted.  As in, went the other direction in a hurry. Perplexed, yes. Eye? Still hurt. Kinda red.  Kept to myself.Made it through the day, came home, did usual life stuff, went to bed. Woke up on Tuesday, to discover worsened sores, and spots that had felt sort of like pimples on the verge? Turning into gaping weeping wounds. With my eyes now sporting shades of pink and red. Covered everything with makeup, went to work, again, kept to myself as much as possible, worked through lunch again, kept on trucking. We have a big new business meeting on Friday, so there was looots to be done.  A rep friend of mine stopped by, and upon seeing me, burst out with, “What the fuck is wrong with you?”

And friends? That’s the bluntness and shock I needed to hear. (Let me note for the record my husband told me I should go to the doctor on Monday.)  Because I was minimizing it like crazy. My eyes were weepy and swollen, not to mention the sores I was sporting on my nose and chin, and while I could have just seen her behavior as overreaction, I was starting to feel so bad, I conceded I could at least get myself to a Minute Clinic, once I got some more work done.

The first Minute Clinic I went to was up by Roe & I-35, Roeland Park. Technically the closest to my workplace. Annnnd it turns out, they arbitrarily closed at 4 that day. So I punted off to 75th & Metcalf, only to be told by the RPAC there, who looked at me with a little bit of horror, that she could do absolutely nothing for me, and I should go to Sunflower Medical Group’s urgent care…. back over in Roeland Park. I was almost in tears leaving the CVS, because I’d just come from there, and blah blah blah, let’s just say, things were getting a little more fragile.

Can’t say enough good things about the folks at the Sunflower Medical Group. The nurse was extremely nice, and then the doctor – oh my goodness, it was like the Wizard of Oz himself came in to see me. A slight build, bald head, glasses, quite the jovial sort, and he declared I not only had pinkeye in one, but redeye in the other. His diagnosis was a staph infection (which can then cause conjunctivitis in your eye(s)), and we’re still waiting for the test results to make sure it’s not the crazy drug-resistant strain of staph.  In the meantime, I have eyedrops and an antibiotic that targets skin, and a few more bumps and blisters have popped up.

(Confidential to the checkout girl at CVS on 79th & State Line: Staring is impolite. Staring once, given my condition, I get it. But every time I looked away? Your momma should have raised you better. And I find it hard to believe that even in my condition, I am the only stare-worthy person to come up to your register.) It was all I could do not to tell her to get her fuckin’ camera phone out and take a picture so she could keep staring after I left.

To say I’m a  little brittle right now might be appropriate. I started wearing bandages to work, since I felt a little relieved this wasn’t just “Jennifer has bad acne” but my eyes…. oh lordy, if they’re the window to the soul on normal days, mine have been the portals to hell this week. And this morning, they were so light-sensitive, I practically crawled into work, having had to stop and cry from the sunshine,  and then resume driving like a little old lady – which you KNOW I abhor doing.

Needless to say, I’m not attending the new business pitch tomorrow, and I’ll be working from home.  My part in the meeting was less than 10 minutes, actually. Still tough for me, though. I understand getting benched when you’re out of commission, but my force of will is so much that I think anything’s conquerable.  Howver, I can see how the bandaged, weepy-eyed person in the room might leave an unintended impression, too.

I’ve learned a lot about staph infections, though – you can get them anywhere, anytime, the bacteria can live on towels (and you can spread it around that way), you have it living on your skin right now, in fact. But a bug bite, or scratch, or pimple, any sort of ‘opening’ can give it a new home, and if you’re weak (stressed, low immunity, etc.) it can flourish.  In fact, I think it can even be spread through blogs, so you should really Lysol yourself after reading this. And if you comment? Bleach. Twice.

Hello, I Must Be Going!

Well, I am heading out tomorrow to St. Louis, to attend The Loopy Ewe’s Spring Fling. Knitters (and spinners!) will be flying in from all over to attend, including three amazing teachers – Wendy, Cookie & Anne – and then the dyemaster herself, Claudia, of Wollmeise.   I’m also excited to finally meet Sheri herself!

But the excitement doesn’t stop – there are going to be sooo many people there to meet, greet, hang out with, knit with, laugh with, all of it. I’ve made so many ‘internet friends’ between Ravelry and Plurk, I know it’s going to be a bit of an overload to match everyone’s little avatar and personality up with their real-life selves. Plus you have the thin sheen of anxiety that goes along with travel and big groups – did I pack everything? How’m I going to carry all this stuff? What if everyone hates me and I spend the weekend in my car, weeping? You know. The basics.  There is also the chance I’ll be breaking bad news to my husband, because George Clooney is shooting a movie in St. Louis, and a group is already planning a sushi dinner on Friday night…at the location where Mr. Clooney has been spotted every Friday.  I’m just saying. George probably has had his fill of tall, willowy model-types, and he might just be looking for a rotund, short, brassy sort of  knitter to round out his experiences in life.

(Probably not.)

(But when my co-workers asked if I’d knit him socks, the answer was an unequivocal, bellowed, “HELLZ YEAH!”)

Meanwhile, work crazes on, and it’s whack-a-mole times.  Partly because of the vacation time I’m taking (all whopping 2.5 days of it, whoa nelly!) and partly because the demands are there – this business has a crazy broken roller-coaster-ness to it, where things are slow and plodding and then suddenly you’re hurtling along at 100 mph and hoping your cart doesn’t go off the rails when you crest the top.

I’ll also be going to Trader Joe’s while I’m in STL – I can only hope that they ask for our zip codes when we checkout, as I know the Kansas City contingency plans to hit their store close to our hotel pretty hard before we drive home on Sunday. Listen up, TJ! Kansas City wants/needs a store (more than one would be awesome!) and we want it NOOOOW! (I’m bringing a cooler. And shopping for co-workers –  Three Buck Chuck, of course.  Perfect for the aforementioned roller coaster!)

James will be selling more tomato and pepper plants this weekend – a couple varieties have sold out already, but he’s got loads of great plants left. Cherokee Purple seems to be the hot tomato this year (yes, Virginia, there is a cutting-edge even in the gardening world!) and he has oodles of those.  It will keep him busy & off the streets while I’m gone, I know that much. EMAIL  him at jworley1@ HOTMAIL [dot] com if you have questions or want to place an order! Yes, you have to type out his  email, but it’s faster than leaving a comment – my computer access will be very limited.

So I’m off – I’ll be Plurking from my Blackberry, certainly, and then I’ll report back next week with pictures & stories! See you then!

Drive-thru Entertainment

Well, we didn’t go to any fish fries this year (hey, with my own fryer, we can have our own quite easily now…) but we did take Momma Linda and ourselves up to the Brazilian steakhouse (Em Chamas) while they were having their seafood-Fridays/$10 off promotion. De-lish, and the service was utterly top-notch. But we didn’t stay for dessert, and after all that meat-onna-spear, my husband persuaded me to pull into a McDonald’s for a cone. (I like a cone.)

So I pulled up to the order box, where I was greeted by a female voice, asking me if I’d be interested in the Double Quarter Pounder Extra Value meal, which, given the meal I’d had, was pretty laughable. I declined, and ordered the cones.

A male voice replied with the total due.

Suddenly, I got squirrely. “Why, MY how your voice has deepened, I must say!”

And the voice chuckled, and lowered even further, “Why yes it did.”

As we were driving around the corner, my husband informed us that those are recorded greetings (Who knew?! Not me!) so it then made sense – but I’ve always visualized someone starting the process, and then someone else jumping in to handle the rest. Tricky, tricky! All with the recordings now, this modern world continues to shock & awe! We pulled up to the window, and the guy was laughing, we were laughing, he said something about he gets that once in a while, and I said something about just learning it was a recording, and then I might have said something about how interesting it was when I thought he was having a sex change between the time I’d ordered & the time I’d paid. (I do this randomly, get utterly inappropriate & it hasn’t failed me yet. Yet.)

So by the time we get to the delivery window, apparently that guy’d been standing there waiting, cones in hand. He said something about how if we’d been any longer he was gonna eat ’em himself. I demanded to know if he’d licked them already.

It’s been a stressful week. I got drunk on meat. What can I say.

New Ways To Piss Me Off

Boy, I’ve been having a doozy of it. Between workload & being sick (hey! I think I’ve recovered – last night was the first night of sleeping all the way through the night without coughing!) – I’ve just been an extra bit stressy. Which makes my temper a bit shorter, and it makes me move into blunt whack-a-mole mode.  When there’s a ton to do, and other people are dilly-dallying or unclear about their direction, I find myself leaning more towards R. Lee Ermey. So far, nobody’s decided to off themselves in the latrine, so that’s good.  (this would be me making a reference to Full Metal Jacket, btw. I’m sure my husband will chuckle, knowing I just finally saw that movie in the past year.  And he did just remind me this week that I am no Stanley Kubrick.)

SO, even though there are plenty of things that stress me out & piss me off, let’s talk about the latest new thing that happened today. Some douchebag decided to put THEIR extra trash bag in OUR driveway. We already had two bags out, and since we didn’t plan for Douchebag Drop-Off Day, we didn’t put a trash sticker on the third bag because IT WASN’T THERE. But now we had to haul it back from the curb and wait until next week.

Oh. Yeah. Are you thinking what I’m thinking?  I looked at the bag. If there was any indication that there was something in that trash bag to indicate who tossed it there, I would have been in it in two seconds flat.  Not sure what would have happened after that, if I’d have actually taken my R. Lee Ermey act all the way up to someone’s front door, but I sure enjoyed thinking about it.  At the very least, I’d have returned it to them. The nerve!

Tomorrow is a big meeting-day, and then I should get a bit of a reprieve. There’s still plenty of work, but we should get a little breathing room on these high-pressure, hulking huge deadlines. It’s nice to be busy, as long as it stays below the panic line. Spring Break is next week, we’ll be getting some fishing in, I’ll still be working, but there are all sorts of demarcations in time that remind me things are shifting – the time change, the daffodils in the front yard, just waiting to explode, the seedlings under the grow lights winding and waving in nature’s destined journey towards the light, roots expanding and threading into the soil below.

Oh, and if you want to weep from laughter, and you didn’t see Letterman’s Stupid Pet Tricks last night, it was utterly priceless. Bailey, Play Dead. (I hope this works – couldn’t get it to embed.)

I could hardly catch my breath, I was laughing so hard. (I think it was the :second: playing dead that was so funny, like, OH!oh, hell, no treat yet? OK, I’ll play dead again real quick, mister.) I also really like it when it’s apparent that Dave is genuinely amused. Almost as much as I love  hearing my husband and I laughing uproariously, together. By golly, I almost forgot about that damned bag of trash. 😉

My Plague, It Has A First Name…..

It’s B-R-O-N-Chitis and no I don’t know if it has a last name, I’m simply too busy punching it in the face.

Yep, I went back to the Minute Clinic on Thursday because what with all the hacking, and I still have yet to sleep fully through the night, I was about ready to take the shreddy end of a hammer to anything in range.

Newsflash: the entire world is sick. My previous visit had no wait, and I zipped right in, and of course, it was too early to BE anything. But this trip, there were three patients ahead of me in line, all families with children. I waited about an hour, halfway through sitting there, I started to wonder if I should go to a different location, but then, seriously, that’s like the same mojo when you start eyeballing other lanes at the grocery store, only in this case, you can’t even SEE the other lanes. So I stuck it out. Though I do have a request for the CVS at 75th & Metcalf in Overland Park, KS: PLEASE PUT THE MUSICAL GREETING CARDS SOMEPLACE OTHER THAN THE WAITING AREA FOR THE MINUTE CLINIC.

I heard the opening music to Star Wars more times than I could count. And then one little girl discovered she liked to dance to a li’l C+C Music Factory, so I was flashing back to 1990 as “I’ve got the Power! Power!” played over and over. And over. Again.

Another family had an appetizer of Slim Jims while we waited, and I can tell you I’m in no hurry to snap into one of those any time soon, either.

BUT it was all worth it, because I walked out two hours later with a Z-pack (the elephant gun of antibiotic treatments), some cough syrup with codeine, and a nebulizer. I’ve never really used one of those, so it’s been a bit of a novelty, and I get this strange image of being a nerdy high schooler with asthma every time I use it. (I actually never knew anyone IN high school who used one, so this is all apparently colorful fiction in my mind’s eye.) The sucker really does work, though.  And I can tell I’m starting to get better, and then I get all ambitious and think about doing something….and then I take a 3-hour nap. I had to work pretty hard this week, and I had a really big presentation on Thursday, which I did at least get through without coughing in a frightening way. (I timed my coughs when people were laughing!)

I’ve got another big meeting next week, but then I’m definitely going to take a couple days off, go fishing with my husband, and maybe catch another one of those huge ol’ spoonbill! James has been working diligently on the boat, as well as growing seedlings, so I know spring is coming. Never mind six inches of snow last weekend, that was just a fluke!

OH the other thing I bought at CVS, because I was wandering around the medicine aisles while I was waiting for my prescriptions, was a little jar of Vicks Vapo-Rub. Actually, a little jar of the CVS brand, because the only branded product came in a tub the size of a mixing bowl, and that seemed like a little too much overkill for some nostalgia.  I put some on my chest & throat last night, and then a little more, and that familiar camphor-menthol smell alone just soothed me. I crawled into bed, thinking about how long it had to have been since I’d used the stuff – 30? 32 years? And as I lay there, it began to warm. Ever so much more. Perhaps I had been a little TOO liberal with the stuff.  So much so that I think, hypothetically, of course, that if perhaps a SWAT agent were to come into our bedroom wearing night-vision goggles, I am pretty sure a Blazing Beacon of Vapo would effectively blind them.

But then they’d still be able to find me, what with the coughing and the camphor. My imagination. Sometimes it needs to just take a nap! Sounds good to me……

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