I was holding out for a iPhone 6 Plus. And it was working out perfectly as planned. See our “upgrade” became available on November 4th. Right? Just in time for Christmas.
But instead, it looks like all my Christmas money gets funneled into the Gall Bladder Surgery Fund of 2014.
The fund that covers the removal of crappy gall bladder. The luxurious and all-inclusive day stay at the local hospital joint. This fund will save me from being ill all the time, because apparently, my gall bladder is full of sticks and stones. That *do* hurt me. And yes, it’s just stones, but feels like sticks in there too. Ouch!
I didn’t even know I was sick until I spent five days in Oklahoma with my sister. I had trouble with food. Seems like every place we ate made me sick. And come to find out, it wasn’t where we were eating (Ada’s Asian Buffet!). And it wasn’t the bag of Bit-o-Honey’s I couldn’t stop eating in the back seat of my sister’s car.
Nope, it wasn’t any of those things. It’s just my sucky gall bladder full of sticks and stones.
And now, nearly a month, and two gall stone attacks later, the doctor says it has to go.
I’m told I will feel ever so much better without it.
As the day of surgery draws closer (tomorrow!), I wonder what it will feel like not to have a tight band around my ribs. How it will be to have a normal stomach that doesn’t distend and feel grossly full after I eat. What it will be like to ditch the antacids and anti-nausea meds. The joy of not experiencing the twisting, charley-horse spasm while reclining on the sofa. All things I won’t miss and had no idea were even related to my gall bladder.
So maybe, they are right. Maybe losing the rocks will be a big weight off. BIG.
And although, it’s not an iPhone 6 Plus….at least I will feel normal again.
Photography 101 asked to see our bliss today. Maybe, it’s not a place close to me now, but this is definitely my bliss.
The beautiful Huntington Beach, California.
I took this on my last trip to California two years ago.
Tomorrow after my early Christmas present. If I am hurting at all, I will look at my bliss, hear the ocean waves, and smell the soft sea air. Ahhh…bliss!
Six years, five months, three days, and 18 hours, I met my husband for the first time on the driveway of his beautiful home.
Four years, one month, two days and 2 hours, I moved into his beautiful home and I loved our quiet neighborhood.
Two years, four months, two days, and 8 hours, I found joy in the solitude of my new telecommuting job. A job I can do from the comforts of my office nestled inside my beloved home in my quiet neighborhood.
1 day, 23 hours, and 2 minutes, I lose my peace. I lose my comfort. I lose my home to a shattering invasion.
Thank God, I wasn’t at home.
But just barely…
See, my husband and I had left the house together at 730 am. We took the girls to school and then he took me to a Doctor’s appointment at 8am. I had crippling abdominal pain all weekend and my doctor sent me to have an ultrasound on my abdomen to see if they could find the cause. The ultrasound hurt like HECK. The kind assistance helpfully pointed out my “sore” spot based on my grimacing face. So helpful, but whatever it takes to learn (and stop) the painful episodes.
After the torture, we stopped for gas, and to pick up my husband’s dry cleaning. Then a quick stop for a breakfast sandwich through a quick drive-in.
All of these things taken care of within three miles from our home, and all of it done pretty close to the start of my shift (9am). We only ran about 15 mins late. I had no idea how long the ultrasound would last, so I was feeling pretty good about our timing.
We pull up to our house and the first thing we see is a car in our neighbor’s driveway. Our neighbor that moved out about a month ago. We did know from the owner the house would be occupied next week, and in fact, met our new neighbors Sunday afternoon. They were not moving from Georgia until next week. And they did not drive a car with Texas plates that looked like that.
I didn’t question it. Why would I? It’s just a car in the drive-way. Maybe a cleaning person? Who knows? But my husband did not like it. He insisted it didn’t belong. And he walked to the end of the driveway and took a photo of the car.
My hands were full and I waited for him to unlock our door. He walked back over and unlocked the door, but didn’t miss a beat. He went back to the neighbor’s house as he insisted something wasn’t right.
I pause a moment to look at the car again. I still don’t see anything menacing. I open our front door and walk into the foyer. It is that moment. The moment I realize the car has everything to do with us and nothing to do with our empty neighbor’s house. I see my iMac on the dining room window sill. It is the only thing that registers from the entire scene. I don’t see the glass. I don’t see a burglary in progress. Just that. My iMac in a place I did not leave it.
I slowly back out of the house. I am frantically looking for Jason who has his phone and is clear across the neighbor’s yard. I motion for him to COME HERE. He says, “I think I hear someone walking over here.” I shake my head and make crazy jumping head motions to get him to COME HERE. He does. And as soon as we are side by side walking into our house. The mysterious car peels out from next door.
We watch where it goes and which way it turns.
I didn’t want to enter our house at that point. I knew what I would find. Precious things taken. Lost forever. And for what? Because someone decided to be a professional criminal, instead of a salesman? It’s horrifying feeling to be violated. I thought of all the things in easy reach of eager hands. My camera bag left at the dining room table. My other camera bag left on the couch. Most likely those are taken my cameras! I felt stones churn in my belly as we slowly surveyed the damage in the kitchen.
The mess is devastating.
We immediately see how they gained access as both the front and back door are still locked.
They threw a fireplace log through our beautiful window.
At this point, I am wondering where my kitty is. There is no sign of her…and all this glass! Is she cut? Is she bleeding somewhere? My heart hurts. I am in shock. That is when Jason says to get out of the house. We are a priority one and the police are on their way.
We wait while they investigate the house and check for anyone still inside. My old black lab is put outside to keep her off the glass. She was the only dog not locked in a crate. She is twelve-years-old. I doubt the poor girl had the strength to stand up to them. Those old bones don’t move so quick and I am very grateful they didn’t hurt her.
We answer a billion questions about where things were and what they might have touched.
Both iMacs were moved from the office. Those were definitely handled. The police took lots of time to dust for prints on them and the window glass. No blood was found. I don’t know how.
Eventually, they gathered up all the evidence they could (and the vehicle’s tag number from my husband’s picture!).
They left us to clean-up the astounding amount of glass.
Our biggest loss, we discovered in our bedroom. They took my husband’s jewelry box, dumping out all the credit cards and passport, but taking all his Marine coins and watches.
They dumped our nightstand drawers on the bed and dug out all my husband’s empty gun boxes. Yes, empty! All his guns locked in the gun safe.
The other photo is the place my jewelry box used to be. Yeah. They got it too. Along with every piece of jewelry my deceased step-father ever gave me. I doubt they get much for trinkets I received in a gold box at Christmastime. Their monetary value greatly diminished, but their sentimental value is crushing. I try to tell myself they are just things: my Mom’s charm bracelet, her baby ring, and baby bracelet. But it is hard. None of it is replaceable.
These thieves took more than my valuables. They took a chunk of my heart. They took my peace and they took my safety. I don’t know that I will ever heal from the intrusion.
I found my baby kitty under Molly’s bed. Her eyes as big as saucers and she ran to me as soon as I called her. She looked so scared, but completely free of any cuts.
I found BOTH camera bags. One was still at the kitchen table, but it was covered by my husband’s shirt. One was in a pink bag on the couch that said Somebody special calls me Grammy. Apparently, a pink Grandma bag didn’t look valuable to them.
We almost walked in on this burglary in progress (or did). I could have (should have) been home when it happened. The person waiting in the car might have used a gun if Jason hadn’t moved out of the driveway. None of these things escape my conscience.
Last night, we installed an alarm system. An interactive high-tech alarm system. It has a glass break sensor. If the window ever breaks again, it will set the alarm off. There is a keypad in the office AND the bedroom. No matter which part of the house I go, I have the security of a panic button.
I am still broken by the things we lost and relieved over the things we didn’t. I am still a little jumpy at home alone. But the new security system helps.
Tuesday morning at 9:15 AM, I discovered how easily a robber can wreck your safety, and your quiet neighborhood. I discovered I wasn’t exempt from clear and present danger that walks in our world today. Maybe learning these things will keep my attention on the surroundings. To question and not accept. And to guard valuables in heavy lock boxes and places they wouldn’t look.
Most of all, I hope this story helps save someone else from the same distress. Check your security. Check where your valuables are. And more than anything, be aware of something out-of-place in your neighborhood.
This is the time of year for robberies. Christmas is coming…
Waking with a start, I immediately stare at my right hand. The spot just above the thumb joint at the curve to the fingers is BURNING. Burning all the way to my wrist. Burning with the venom of a rattle snake that just nipped me six or seven times in that spot.
A rattlesnake that nips. Venom that burns. This should clue you in to the weirdness of the dream, played out in living color detail, both equal parts horrifying, and bizarre.
The star player of this nightmare – a rattlesnake.
Truthfully, he didn’t start out as the bad guy. In the beginning of the dream, he is sleeping peacefully coiled in a basket on the bar. Someone with me (not sure who) decides to pick it up. So, he grabs at it (yes HE) and was immediately struck down. I, in my dream, as some kind of fearless snake whisperer, went for the snake in order to protect my nameless, faceless idiot-who-pisses-off-sleeping-rattlesnakes friend from death.
The snake and I faced off in the arena like The Hunger Games.
I had moves like Jagger, but in the end?
He is a rattlesnake.
And this rattlesnake wraps itself around my arm sinking its fangs, ever so gently, into the soft skin of my hand over and over.
Like a vampire’s love bite.
And it BURNED.
I’m not sure what happened to the snake after that, maybe I blacked out, and it slithered away. Regardless, it was no where in sight, and I staggered around the bar stools holding my injured arm in need of immediate medical attention. It just so happens a doctor/nurse is on standby (at the bar?) with a handy antidote for deadly venom.
I waited while they prepped and opened all the medical stuff like they do. The waiting was a killer (heh)…. my fear began quickly rising, almost as fast as my hand grew terribly numb. Then the doc/nurse started to cut, with tiny little scissors, all the places between the fang marks (WTH?!). I am assuming to get more access to the venom? To keep it from spreading?
I don’t know.
All I know is the evil nurse/doctor turns to me with big smile plastered on her face as she laughingly tells me. They had NO idea the snake bit me SO MANY times, because, really? There just isn’t enough venom antidote to fix it.
THAT is when my eyes open to the hand that burns. Which is totally fine, and completely unmarked, but still very numb.
Rattlesnake – ONE
My hero dream self – ZERO
WEIRDEST. DREAM. EVER.
Apparently if you dream of rattlesnakes, and specifically getting bitten by rattlesnakes, you are awakening to something inside yourself that needs attention. I don’t know how true all the stuff about dream interpretation is, but I found it very interesting. Then, I found some incredible photos my husband took of one at the San Diego Zoo last summer (awesome job honey!).
Do you have dreams like this? What is the weirdest thing you have ever dreamed about?
Be wise in the use of time. The question in life is not how much time do we have. The question is what shall we do with it.
– Anna Robertson Brown, author
I blogged 78 days in a row (80 days if you count my private blog).
My longest streak ever.
I am not a pre-blogger or scheduler. When I post, it is from the heart, and right then. Most times, I don’t even know what is going to come out until I sit down. I typically call it….writing on the fly.
And I love it. I love that I’m not a planner, but a doer.
But you can’t plan for sick.
After seeing an allergist for the first time, I got confirmation that the consistent hives (big ugly, mean, red itchy things) were from my Grave’s Disease (a hyperthyroid disorder). And I have seasonal allergies with a very sensitive nose. He put me back on antihistamines (which I hate – Zyrtec you make me a zombie), but they work. I, also, had a sinus infection.
Instead of blogging, I slept.
And I adjusted to new medicines.
The good news is my hives are MUCH, much better. And my sinus infection is almost cleared up.
Another thing I have kept up with is my half-marathon training. I am still walking/running every week. The mileage will start to increase next month, but I can tell that my legs are getting more conditioned and will do just fine.
I have missed blogging. I will probably try to beat my 78-day record in the near future (starting February?). To all you daily bloggers (and planners), I tip my hat to you. It is not easy.
I took photos at the last event I attended. I hope to do a blog about the food served there. O.M.G. Soooo good!
This event was unbelievable. It was held at the Cowboys Stadium by Emirates Air. The MC was Daryl Johnston (aka, Moose). We had cocktails in one of the clubs, and then dinner on a linen-cloaked table right on the 40-yard line.
Wow! Does not seem to do it all justice. No expense was spared. They were promoting their new non-stop service from Dallas/Fort Worth to Dubai.
They used THOUSANDS of roses lining every entryway and every table. They also gave away free tickets. A co-worker of mine won two coach class airline tickets to Dubai. I hate her. Kidding….
Another major event that happened during my bloggy break.
My daughter was in another car accident. And again, it was NOT her fault. As she was stopping at a yellow light (rather than running it – we have red-light cameras all over) the guy behind her WAS running through yellow. He nailed her from behind at a pretty good clip.
The whole rear-end of the car is smashed. Front pieces on the dashboard FLEW off. The back trunk is buckled.
I’m really glad she didn’t see it coming. I think if she did, she would have tensed up, and been a lot more sore.
Poor kid. This is her third accident (not her fault) in an eighteen-month time period.
The worst part of this whole thing? The car will probably be totaled. I was rear-ended in 2010 – same car. It took MONTHS for it to be fixed. It wasn’t paid off then. It is now.
Even if they did fix it….how safe is it? It’s getting harder and harder for it to withstand impact. I have never seen a dash pop off like that.
Sydney has to say good-bye to a car she loved (and I loved). It breaks my heart. She faces the consequences of not having a car anymore, because someone was not paying attention.
I am praying it will all work out somehow, someway and we can get her another car.
So thankful, she is not injured, and it wasn’t bad enough to have the airbag deploy.
Why can’t we keep our kids in a bubble????
A big, safe protective bubble that saves them from idiots. Sigh.
Hope everyone in the bloggy world is doing well.
This afternoon, I get to head to a Qantas Air function at the DFW airport. We get to board a 747 the one that will be flying DFW to Australia non-stop. Can you believe that? I am definitely carrying my camera to this one too.
Some days, it’s pretty awesome being a travel agent (and photographer).