Necessity is the mother of invention.

I was cleaning out the bathroom drawers.  I have been accused in the past of throwing out things I shouldn’t have.  I can usually counter that accusation by finding the item in question.  I am the record holder of “Supreme Finder” title in our family.  I can find things without even looking or getting up.

As I said, I was cleaning the drawers in the bathroom vanity.  I pulled everything out first, cleaned the drawer and then put everything back in.   Well, almost everything. There were the loose tooth floss toothpick things, hair ties, stray, Q –tips, old toothbrushes, etc. Those I threw away.

The real danger came when I approached John’s drawer.  I pulled the drawer open and felt my blood run cool for just a moment.  Okay, that may have been my imagination, but you get the gist of the apprehension I was feeling.

In his drawer were razors, empty toothpaste tubes, used stray toothpick floss things, an old handle for the blinds, combs and a few pens.  Pretty straight forward I thought.  A no-brainer.  Ah, no.  Nothing is ever simple with John.   It is my fault.  I should’ve realized it.  I should have tried to get into his brain while I analyzed every piece of bathroom paraphernalia in his drawer.   Hindsight is 20/20.

The next day John casually asked me if I had seen a white pole when I was cleaning out the drawers.  I didn’t remember until a few minutes of thinking about it.

“Oh, yeah, I threw it away, ” I don’t know why I felt so confident in myself at that moment. It didn’t last long.

“I had made it into a handle for my razor so I could shave my back”, he said quite calmly.

“Oh no! I thought it was just an old pole!”, I cried (it was just an old pole).

He was very calm, unlike him calm and said, “It was the handle from a blind and the end was broken in just the right way so the razor handle fit.” I thought this was a little strange to invent something when he could have bought one.

My first response to a problem, especially when caused by me is to begin to solve it.   I took a handle from the blinds in the bedroom, no dice.  I took one from Allison’s room, no.  My last one was from the kitchen and it didn’t work.

I felt terrible, probably worse than the situation warranted (as is also my way), but I kept trying to fix what I had caused.  I think I was also trying to save face.  I had always heralded the fact that whatever I was accused of throwing away I had always found it and felt quite smug about it too.

My first line of defense was Amazon.  I looked for something to replace “the rod”.  I found two things, so I screen shot them and sent them to John.  He texted back saying “I will figure something else out”. Always the martyr.

I had an idea of going to ACE Hardware with the razor and getting a piece of pvc that it would fit into.   I could also get some plastic tubing.  I meant to go there twice, but I always ran out of time.  Yesterday I went to the bank, the post office, grocery store, etc. and I thought I could fit it in.  I was in the process of trying to convince myself to go when I had an epiphany.

I had found a replacement “razor pole” and he said thank you, but no.  My part was done. I can move on with the other 15- 29 things on my to do list.

Who was I trying to kid? Of course, I didn’t move on!  I went to ACE today and told the guy what I needed and what I needed it for.  I asked for pvc pipe and plastic tubing.  I got it home and after much filing, shoving and twisting etc., I got it to work!

Pheww, that was close!  I almost wasn’t able to move on with my life.


I’ve included the blueprint to the “razor pole”  below in case anyone is in need of such a high quality gadget.

IMG_1668

High quality blueprint

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To be above all in levels of coolness, toughness, and swagger.

Allison has been in kind of a funk lately.  It’s her age, summer is too long, etc., etc.  I have (as is my way) been trying to fix the situation.  I get criticism from Allison that this is a “fault” of mine and sometimes she just wants to talk.  Point taken and so I usually stay silent.  Staying silent in the moment is one thing I can handle, but not trying to come up with a fix as soon as we stop having the conversation is another thing.

I have so many ideas and projects I want to do the list is ridiculously long.  I would have to hire an assistant to complete all of the fun things I want to do.  So in looking for something for Allison to pass the time, one thing I came upon was a great app called Stylebook.  It’s where you take photos of all your clothes and make your outfits for a whole week!  She was not interested.  I showed her how she can change photographs to really anything with Photoshop. Not interested.  I told her about a new Nintendo game app  where you have to find the Pokeman in real time, kind of like a treasure hunt.  Not interested.

Enter Tristan, my 20 year old son. I mentioned to him I had told Allison about the Nintendo app, but she was not interested.  I said it must have been the way I had explained it.  A few minutes later Tristan left and went into the living room where Allison was and this is what I heard:

“Hey, Allison, this game is superdope……”

I guess it is all in the delivery.

A Long Deserved Holiday

It was meant to be a great week.  John and I had not been on a vacation for 20 years!  When we decided not to divorce one of the things I asked for was to go to the beach, something I had been promised year after year.

It was off to a great start!  The resort was wonderful. We went to an all-inclusive for the usual reason of not wanting to do anything except eat, drink and sunbathe. We saw the dolphins and snorkeled.  We ate a lot and drank a lot.

One night we went to a little market that the resort set up with locals to sell us tacky stuff.  It was perfect for John.  He got a Bronco tiki mask and a three legged stool with Harley Davidson stamped on the leather seat.  Of course, that went downstairs with the Harley Davidson side table and the Jack Daniels wooden keg.

After we got home, I left the next day to fly out to visit Emily and the children.  It took me a little while to settle in.  I had “travelers’ diarrhea” so I wasn’t much fun or good to anyone for a couple of days.  After that settled I started to itch.  At first I thought it was mosquito bites, but more kept appearing and the itching was driving me crazy!  So much so that I went to Urgent Care.  Have you guess yet?  Yes… I had scabies!!!

In case you don’t know what that is, here is the definition:  “Known as the seven-year itch, is a contagious skin infestation by the mite Sarcoptes scabiei.”  It is highly contagious.  The treatment is EVERYONE that I had come in contact with had to put on a special prescription cream to kill the eggs.  Ewww! It still makes my skin crawl (no pun intended) to describe it.

I know none of you know my daughter, Emily.  Let’s just say she is a little bit of a germophobe and so is her husband.  As you can imagine, being infested with a parasite didn’t go over too well.  I not only felt like Typhoid Mary, I was treated a little bit like her.  Everyone, including the baby, had to be treated with cream.  We washed all of the sheets, rugs, everything that I may have touched.  I couldn’t hold the baby or hug my granddaughter.  I was pretty miserable.

I still don’t know where I picked it up.  It could have been in Mexico or in the airport.  I guess I’ll never know.

I’ve only told my family about the scabies.  Even though it wasn’t my fault, I still feel a bit of shame.  I believe it was caused by what my mother said when I contracted impetigo, “Oh, isn’t that a dirty disease?”

Lost in Lambert

The day had finally arrived!  The Adam Lambert concert was finally here!

The concert was downtown, an added, but not insurmountable challenge.  I took the extra precaution of reading their website about parking.  They had their own parking garage on the block next to them. They were making this really easy.  I have managed to get my “parknaphobia” under control for the most part, but just in case I entered the address of their parking lot into my map app.

My well-orchestrated plan when off without a hitch except until we got lost looking for the theater. By the way, using your map app does not work when walking.  All it did was confuse me more. After wandering around for 10 minutes I asked a couple for directions.  We still arrived there with plenty of time to spare.

The show was amazing!  Adam’s voice was just as good in concert as on his recordings.  The lights, music and sound were great!  We loved every minute of it.

I’m not a demonstrative person by any stretch of the imagination, but I did stand, clap and sway a bit during the concert. I even yelled a few “wa hoos”.   My outside appearance didn’t give away the excitement and utter joy I was experiencing.

I had expected old ladies and young teenagers to be the only ones there.  I was surprised by the mix of couples, children, teenagers, young women and there were some gay men.

A very enthusiastic, dressed to the nines 65+ sat next to me.  She danced through each song like it was his last (or hers).  At one point she nudged me with her shoulder and asked, “Are you a Glambert?”

“Uhhh, I don’t think so,” I said. I do know what the term is, but I’ve never been comfortable being one.  Most of my family just loves to rub it in though.

It was about 11pm when the concert ended.  Leaving the theater we followed the throng of concert goers headed toward the parking garage.

When we got there nothing looked familiar.  The colors were all wrong and the building didn’t have the numbers “410” on the outside of the building. After feeling like I was losing my mind for a moment I figured it out I must have driven into wrong garage thinking it was the theater’s garage!  The problem? I didn’t know where my car was because the only address I had was the theater’s garage.

We started walking confidently looking for our garage. We were in such a good mood from the show that we were even joking about what a good story this would make.  I mean how many garages could there be in this area? We were being naive about the severity of our situation.

While setting out on our quest, were realized that we couldn’t retrace our steps because as I wrote in the beginning, we got lost on the way to the theater!

We walked around and around downtown in the dark of midnight looking for the #$%*! garage with the “410” on it’s wall.  As if you couldn’t tell, I am terrible at navigation.  Not just regular “I’m not good with directions” kind of terrible,  I have been known to turn down the wrong street driving home.

Slowly our dire situation began to unveil itself!  I am a woman, you know that, and I had my very beautiful 13 year old daughter with me.  I felt a little vulnerable. Some of the blocks we went down were dark and having to cross to the other side to avoid homeless men sleeping on the sidewalks was really making me afraid for our safety.

Allison kept telling me she recognized some things from our walk to the theater.  Instead of letting her guide me I kept saying things like “let’s just take a look around this corner” and “no, I’m sure that’s not right”.

After 45 minutes or so of this I was beginning to worry.  My only hope was to find policeman.  They would know what to do.  Instead I found an angel disguised as a bicycle rickshaw operator.  As a side note, he looked like Robert Plant.

With great reluctance I explained our dilemma. Strangely, his face lit up and he said he loved a good challenge!  He offered to drive us around the area looking for the garage.  As Allison and I climbed into the seats I glanced across the street.  There it was on the wall ….the numbers “410”. I honestly could’ve kissed our angel /Robert Plant impersonator!  I gave him a tip and he waited until we drove out of the garage before he rode off.  What a great person. He really made an impression on me.

There is a silver lining to this story.  Allison and I never once gave up, panicked, cried or argued.  We just kept on going.  I also must give credit to Allison.  Almost from the start she recognized businesses and landmarks.  I think if I hadn’t found the rickshaw driver first we would’ve ran into it ourselves because of Allison.  That was a good lesson for me, I need to trust her more now.

It was 12pm when we finally got to the car.  I hugged Allison and drove home.

When I retold this story to family and friends, my family wasn’t particularly surprised. In fact I think it was Tristan who said,” So just another day for you?”

“The Great Christmas Crash of 2015”

I have been going to post around ten times in the last month. Each time starting, writing a line and giving up. I just haven’t been able to express myself in the same way since “The Great Crash of Christmas 2015”.

To bring you up to speed of my saga, I was suffering from tardive dyskinesia (uncontrolled muscle movement), a side effect of Abilify.  I had an urge to clench and un-clench my right leg and tap my left foot. My doctor and I decided to go off Abilify. Two weeks later I had a depressive meltdown. I went the next day to my psychiatrist and I started on Seroquel.

I was doing fine on that for about another two weeks until the depression hit again. I had no idea how bad I really was. The week of Christmas was a nightmare for me. The in-laws were here, my mom had died at Christmas just last year, Emily and kids weren’t there and my sister and Dad weren’t coming. I would excuse myself every night at 6 o’clock, go to my bedroom and drink wine. That didn’t put a dent in my mood. That should’ve been a clue, but still it wasn’t.

One morning I had a meltdown very similar to the last one six weeks ago. I called my dr to get in and he was out of the office on vacation. I couldn’t help crying on the phone to the receptionist. How humiliating. She gave me his cell number and I was too embarrassed to call so I texted asking for him to call at his earliest convenience. That’s right I was on the verge of suicide, but had the wherewithal to mind my manners.

He doubled my dosage of Seroquel. After a few days staying in bed watching every English mystery on Netflix , I finally felt better. John was amazing during this time. I will have to do a follow up on my new marriage soon.

After being on a prescription roller-coaster for the last three months all I can do now is stay the course and try to keep the fear at bay. I sometimes forget that even though medicated and a hell of a lot better, I still have a bipolar disorder to wrangle each day.

Hopefully I am back again, I would say normal, but that would be ridiculous.

[More to come, the rut of all ruts, drinking, medicinal weight gain, the turnaround of an abusive marriage, Adam Lambert, etc.  So much finally to  write about.]

 

Terminal Diagnosis

My mom was diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer today and I want to rewind time to last Saturday when life was trivial.

We have had rocky times especially in the last fifteen years or so.  When I talk to her now in between her dementia and pain she is the sweet, funny, smart mother that she often wasn’t.  I am grateful that I can at least get that mother now.  Of course, that is what makes it even more poignant.

All that wasted time.

Stunned

When I talk to my dad it feels like he is trying to protect me from the truth. I know he knows what it may be, but says it’s not smart to speculate, so he doesn’t tell me. He must understand how impossible it is for the human brain not to speculate when only given bits and pieces of information, not enough to form a complete picture. I know he is speculating, against his will, but he is speculating.

We were supposed to know last Tuesday and then on Thursday. All I have to rely on are quick cryptic text messages from my dad as the information trickles in from the medical professionals. In the meantime we are all looking up symptoms on WebMD and the Mayo Clinic website. Speculating.

Friday she ended up in the hospital, but was released and is now convalescing on my dad’s couch.

Monday. That is the day the labs come back.

Scared? Sad? My head is spinning, maybe I am just stunned. My mother used to be as strong as a horse physically. I never thought of her as old. My dad said he used to refer to her as an ant, carrying more than her body weight. Now she is so small and thin. Her hair is snow white and her skin is almost see through.

Our relationship has always been quite on and off. I had an old post that said how much it hurt when she stopped sending me birthday cards, but lately she has been trying so, of course, I welcomed her back with open arms.

I’m afraid she may have waited too long to come back and now she’ll be gone again.