Category Archives: the why

A civilian’s look at police after Boston.

I’m talking about the words of The Wise Guy, who has written about his change in perspective thanks to the actions of Richard Donohue and Sean Collier during the Boston Marathon bombing. (As a reminder, Donohue was critically wounded and even died for 45 minutes, while Collier was killed in a shootout with Tsarnev earlier that day.) You can read it here: The Next Time You Think “I Don’t Like Cops”

Now, obviously if you’re here, you’re in one of two camps on police: love ’em or hate ’em. (I’m in the former, which I guess you could figure out.) But the written expression by a civilian, otherwise uninvolved with officers, is powerful to me. Not only is it amazing to read about a civilian showing respect for an officer anymore, it’s so heart-warming to know someone is actively and openly talking about it. That’s how word is spread – someone has to start the conversation.

If you’re a LEOW like me, don’t be surprised if you break into tears, like I did. All I can say to The Wise Guy is Thank You. Thank you for being brave enough to share a publically averse opinion so eloquently – like the officers that we love so much do every day.

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Dusting off the keys

I see it’s been four months since my last entry. Here’s the short list.

  • I recently got over a relapse – “flare” didn’t seem to cover it – that lasted almost a full two months.
  • I developed optic neuritis, which has improved since its initial appearance, but has not left me yet.
  • I switched medications from Rebif to Rebidose, and it is SO MUCH BETTER. No more painful injections (much smaller needle), no more loss of medicine because of loading my own syringe , (I lost four one night in less than 20 minutes), and only a slightly more obnoxious auto-injector (inasmuch as the whole thing is use and toss, so it must be left to warm and disposed of as a single piece).
  • We lost Tucker (our GSD female, and my “pregnancy nanny”) to complications from lupus in March. She now has a comfortable bed covered with roses in the backyard.
  • We brought home my Service Dog in Training (SDIT) from 5L Farm German Shepherd Kennel in North Carolina, a 16-week-old German Shepherd we named Abram. He will be trained mainly for balance and mobility, to offset my physical losses during a flare; for medical alert, so I can be aware that a flare is imminent (if possible – I’m not sure how or if it’s possible to scent-detect a MS flare); protection, since I will be out on my own with our son and can no longer trust myself with grip or aim on a handgun; and of course, obedience. His first public open testing will be for his AKC Canine Good Citizen, so that I can ensure that he is ready to be publicly acceptable (beyond the SD vest).
  • OUR SON TURNED A YEAR OLD. It’s a miracle we all survived. This year has been much easier than everyone says, though.

Nothing has really changed. We still live with my in-laws, and they still find new and different ways to drive me batshit. I stepped down from my nonprofit position and became a SAHM only, though I still keep my fingers in various pies. The boy, the dog, and my husband are my primary concerns, as always. When they are taken care of, then I can concentrate on the next thing, which generally means cleaning some room of the house AGAIN; or scrubbing the dog(s); or something along those lines. It’s been a rough couple of months, I’ll admit, but there have been a lot of good points, and a few bad ones. I’ve changed a lot, and my temper has flared more often than it used to. My memory is often shot, as is my eyesight some days. Not every day is bad, and not every day is good.

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The Village that “they say” is so important.

Breaking my silence only to say that the “village” it takes to raise a child should consider appearing only when and/or if requested, and its opinions can be left at its home base. Nobody said anything about needing a village for unwanted advice, opinions, orgrabbiness. It’s not that I need time off from my son as much as I need time away from the village. I’ve never had the village offer to clean its shit out of my truck, or offer to fix the door panel that mysteriously broke while I wasn’t driving it, or spontaneously clean house. It just shows up and dicks up the things I’ve cleaned, put away or fixed.

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MS will lead you down a rough road.

Two weeks ago, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. I went to the ER after I fell trying to get to my son one morning
, and they did a CT scan, which led to a neurologist’s appointment, which led to KRIs and a lumbar puncture and blood draw after blood draw – all culminating in a diagnosis of MS due to the lesions on the white matter of my brain.

Initially, the positives of my diagnosis included ruling out mini-stroke and cancer – essentially untreatable – and knowing why I was often off-balance, and experiencing site-specific paralysis. Now I have been prescribed a tested interferon-b drug (Refib), and I feel like the rug has been jerked out from under me, and rolled up around me. You can’t breastfeed or get pregnant on an interferon drug without running the risk of harming the child, or losing the fetus. I have been successfully breastfeeding my son for 8 months, and now I’m told I have to stop immediately before I start my therapy.

My in-laws mean well, but do all they can to whisk my child away from me at every juncture, especially to church. Don’t get me wrong: I like our church, and I appreciate the impact of raising a child from early on with a solid moral foundation. But I don’t think it’s my church’s job to introduce or reinforce it. Church is not perfect, because its full of people, most of whom mean well, but generally end up using church and “fellowship” as an excuse for gossip and snark. It is my job to parent my child, not “the village.”

I’m not exactly thrilled about jabbing myself three times a week, ir being on lifetime therapy. I am looking forward to regaining full use of my left aem and leg, clear vision in both eyes, the ability to drive on my own again.

Yes. I have MS, but it does not have me.

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In with the new.

In 2012, we moved back to Georgia. My husband got on with a local department. We got two new (to us) vehicles, and kept up with the bills.

We welcomed our first son. I found something that I love doing, and I made it happen.

We also found out our beloved GSD has lupus. I wrecked our Crown. The department (or the city) hasn’t been the greatest. I spent more time in the hospital than I ever have in my life, and I have recently suffered some medical issues, yet undiagnosed, that have been making life very difficult.

Every year has its ups and downs. Here’s hoping 2013 is no worse than 2012.

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Some things defy explanation.

I had all intentions of talking about cleaning, organizing life.

But today, my voice is quiet. Please kiss your babies, and hug your husband when he’s home from his shift. You never know.

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So, make housework easier.

I said yesterday that I didn’t like doing housework because I wasn’t good at it. So I looked into FlyLady and found that maybe it’s not so bad after all – when you do it right.

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Here’s a picture of my shiny sink. That’s the first baby steps in FlyLady lessons: shine your sink, so you can get a sense of accomplishment. When I first looked at FlyLady, I passed it off because I thought it was kinda stupid, but now that I have a baby, 4 dogs, and 3 adults to take care of it may not be so bad after all. It’s a big house, and there’s a lot of work to do on a daily basis. I can’t do it all in a day, not to say I haven’t tried.

In two days, I’ve done dishes, done a load of laundry a day, put away clothes, taken care of the dogs, and all my other usual daily activities. You start off easy with basic habits, like shining your sink everyday and getting “dressed to shoes” (which is making sure that you put on all your clothes and your makeup and do your hair before you ever get started in the morning). It’s really amazing noticing a difference that you feel in between wearing jeans and tennis shoes to get all your stuff done, versus wearing same pajama pants you wear to bed.

Not that I don’t love my pajama pants. But they’re not conducive to productivity.

The trick, if you decide to try FLYing (or already do), is to not get wrapped up in the imperfections – the scratches in the stainless steel of your kitchen sink, the old stain in the toilet bowl, that rough patch in the floor that never seems to buff out. Do the best you can. Go for clean, not perfect. It’s not about the destination, its about the path.

Go shine your sink. If you’re like me, you will feel better immediately.

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I am not a good housewife.

I would suck as a maid. I don’t dust, I hate to vacuum. My most hated chore is folding and putting away laundry, mostly the folding. The putting away irritates me because it all ends up in a pile in drawers, and then how can I put away Tue rest?

It wouldn’t bother me if I didn’t feel like such a disappointment to my husband.

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Worthless day.

The MIL is at home for the week, since she took off three days and the county gives them two for Thanksgiving. I don’t know if it’s that it seems like she has gotten so much done while I barely managed to get eight invoices typed, or that I just had an off-day. It’s hard for me to adjust to sudden changes in schedule when not on my dime, and having her in the house with me 24-7 is not something that I would opt in to given the choice. If she helped me get more done, then yes, but it usually just ends up that I’m taking the boy back. It didn’t help that I had no real schedule for today, and somehow I feel guilty for that.

I don’t know how women did it in the 40s and 50s. Raised to it, I guess, because I can’t do it all. I can barely keep the floors swept. But then, I am cleaning and cooking for four grown adults, four dogs, and a baby – and most of the time, the dogs seem to be better at keeping their space clean than the people. It never fails that by the time I get to the back part of the house, the front needs cleaning again. And before you say anything about getting the rest of them to pitch in, let me add that I can’t even convince 354 to put his socks away in the hamper most days. (And he wonders where they all go…)

I need a maid. Or, a decent babysitter. Either would help me out tremendously.

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Realizing the benefit of unemployment.

I bitch, I’ll admit. That was the founding purpose of this blog, after all – as an outlet for my otherwise unreleased negatives. But sometimes I look and see things that remind me how bad it really isn’t, and I scold myself for acting as if the world is crushing my pretty lil’ head.

I am, for all intents and purposes, a stay-at-home mom, even though my boy won’t officially be “here” until June. I live in a three-bedroom, one-bath house with my husband, our three dogs, and his parents; we live here without expectation of monthly financial compensation or payback with interest, though if we had the means, we would supplement however we could. Neither of us are employed full-time, though we are actively looking despite a down economy and me being in late-stage pregnancy. Looking at all this as most people would, we are in a shitty spot: in our 20s, married and expecting, with 3 mouths to feed already and another on the way; no careers to speak of, a mountain of existing debt (thanks, college education and credit cards!) and more on the way, mooching off his parents and the state (medically speaking only). From the outside, we are the kind of people your parents – hell, my parents warned me about becoming.

But you know, we’re doing the best we can. We’re not living here because we’re lazy and don’t want to get a job or pay our way in life; we’re living here because circumstances dictated it was this, government housing, or our cars. We’re blessed to have family that supports us as best they can, until we can get back on our feet, and is thoroughly excited about having another mouth to feed new baby in the house in a few months. My husband has a part-time job with benefits available until something else comes through. We have a friendly, loving church family that is willing to do whatever needful to help anyone in their time of need. And despite the fact that I am a college-educated, independent woman in my 20s who should be holding down a budding career like my peers, I am instead finding myself appreciating the little things through the day, like a clean kitchen floor, freshly washed dogs, and hanging laundry on the line.

I will continue to bitch, because I feel like some things need to be bitched about (like people’s general un-appreciation of police officers and their positions), and some things I need to get off my chest before I open my mouth and say something out loud (such as situations with my in-laws, or the fact that the nursery-in-progress is repeatedly cleaner than my bedroom because my husband can’t remember to put his dirty underwear in the hamper but will throw a fit if the dust isn’t swept off the nursery floor paper covering when he’s done working). But this is here as a reminder to myself, and anyone else, that there is a silver lining; that it really isn’t always that bad; and even when it is that bad, it will get better.

“Everything is all right in the end. If it ain’t all right, it ain’t the end.”

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