Looking Forward to Going Back to Work……NOT

I sometimes wonder which is worse: being exhausted from working so many hours or being exhausted from trying to play catch-up on my days off. Even though I enjoy my time off it gets so hectic trying to complete the multitude of “lists” I make for myself.

This is a list of my current lists:
shopping
to dos
books
doctors
sewing
home repairs
storage
groceries
errands
business
bills
family
painting
phone calls
Did I leave anything out? Oh, yes,…..get my hair cut, nails done, clean the fish tank, cut the dogs’ nails, hire another housekeeper (my grandson told me last night I have enough dog hair in my house to start another dog) and take a bath. (Actually the bath is understood otherwise I’d have to have a lot of lists just to keep up with hygiene.)

Additionally, the last two days I had off I suffered from nausea simply because I was so busy I forgot to eat. Maintenance medications and vitamins on an empty stomach do not get along. I gotta slow down! When I got ready to go to work today I felt dizzy, nauseated and was sweating profusely. I thought to myself that it might be a heart attack coming on until I remembered that I hadn’t eaten….again, and my blood sugar had to be in the toilet. What a difference a french fry made!

All this used to come so easily when I was younger, but I don’t spring back so well at 58. There was a time I thought I’d never retire. I loved working and planned to keep plugging away until I fell off a tower or out of the pipe rack. But now, retiring in 20 months sounds like forever. The good thing about having almost 2 years (oooh, that hurts to even think) before retiring is that I’m learning valuable lessons on necessities for retirement. I didn’t know until I paid off the house how much I’d need each year for taxes and insurance since the mortgage company has always paid those fees. Now I know I’ll need to save throughout the year for these expenses. Also, I’m learning to stay out of Walmart. I haven’t been there for 2 months. I never thought I’d see a time when I didn’t “need” something from Wally World. See? Already I’m saving money and it’s been painless. How freaking amazing!

Well, someone (I think it’s me) must go to work. Good night, Gracie.

Today I Am A God!

We all have our days when we’re down in the dumps and things are just not going the way we planned. But who ever celebrates the days when it all goes better than expected and they’re on top of the world? Exactly. Today is my day.

Twenty years ago I stopped smoking (so “fashionable” in the 1950s); after 22 years I was sick enough to finally stop and stay stopped. It is also Cinco de Mayo (way to go, Mexicans!). Also, I have fixed the telephone line, the DSL router, a laptop and the water in the fish tank. I went for my 1 year checkup at the cardiologist and was taken off half my medicine. I go back May 4, 2011. There was a substantial deposit made in my checking account (no, I’m not running drugs!) and I bought myself a Georgia Mud Fudge Breeze at Dairy Queen. Does it get any better than this? Yes, actually. If Ronnie ever gets to come home from work (he was swamped last time I spoke with him) he’s going to take me out to dinner at Berryhill’s Baja Grill. Yes!!!!!!! I told him if he was really tired he could sleep in the car while I drank Margaritas and I would wake him up when I was ready for him to drive me home. I DO NOT believe in drinking and driving. From the silence over the telephone I don’t think he got the joke, but at least I know he heard me.
“Hearing me” is a big thing at our house. Lots of folks are audiologically-impaired by this age. Even if you didn’t like electronics before there’s a lot of people that are “wired” at an advanced age. One of those will be my wonderful husband some day. Workers Comp has approved his claim so now he is waiting for his company to pay for his hearing aids. I don’t scream at him to be heard like the cartoons; I save that for when I really want to be heard. Fortunately for both of us that only happens about once a year, otherwise I’d have to apologize more than I do now. My husband has had hearing problems since before we met. It might be interesting to see what conversation’s like when we both really hear. It may be that we don’t like each other at all. Maybe the smiles and the sign language have him fooled into thinking I really am the little red-haired girl he wanted all his life.

Clean My Garage! Please!

Do you see a boat? I see how full my garage is. Any volunteers to clean it out?
So, this was the grand winner of the shopping trip. I forgot to ask when the first payment comes out of Ronnie’s check. He loves it and has taken it out the past two weekends. My first comment was “Well, it doesn’t look like much, does it?”. I thought he was going to divorce me on the spot (or shoot me which would have been just as bad). Honestly, I never thought about how it sounded; I just said the first thing that came to mind. Guess I know how he feels when I hyperventilate while opening the box of a new laptop and he sports a sick half-smile before turning back to the TV screen. I just don’t get it! Even the dogs were more interested than I was.
Oh, yeah, the dogs. We’re down to five now. Two months ago we had seven, which was 55 pounds of pure canine joy. I’m a sucker for a needy dog. Definition of needy dog: one that looks at me…..
Seventeen years ago I adopted a three-month-old blonde female Pekinese from the local SPCA. Two years later I bought another Pekinese that we lost to illness three years ago. It was sudden, heart-breaking and soul-destroying. I thought I would never get over it. But by the time she died we’d bought a long-haired Chihuahua from another pet shop, so she helped me to survive.
Five years ago my step-daughter gave us another Chi, which gave us four before Miss Baby died. All my girlz were spayed except the new Chi whose time under the knife was due. However, Ronnie decided we should let her experience motherhood. (Motherhood?) Though we already had 4 dogs, he was adamant, so after a couple of tries we had three new puppies. They were a precious five weeks old when Hurricane Ike hit. I refused to leave because no hotel would take so many dogs. While Ronnie and his mother slept I experienced the scariest night of my life wondering if, with the next gust of wind, my roof would disappear. But that fear was nothing to the eventual realization that I had to give the puppies away. What? But, but, but, THEY’RE MINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We gave one of them to my sister-in-law whose stud we had used and the male to my mother-in-law. Then we adopted another male from the shelter to help raise the puppy we bought from a street vendor (did I tell you my husband loved me?). Got it? Did you keep up with the doggie dosie doe? So….that made seven dogs (six female and one male). I was totally happy, with all the love I could handle. So many babies to snuggle, cuddle and to feel their warm little hearts beating against me. (SIGH)
But now we’re down to five………..

Well, A Deep Subject

I swear it felt like I was going down for the third time! After staying up until 10 A.M. this morning trying to fix the original blog, I decided to chunk it into the circular file and started a new one. Maybe Ronnie can give it an honorable burial at sea (if it ever stops raining).

As Arnie used to say, “I’ll be back!”.

Fishing Fool

Time marched on. Every day Ronnie had off he was elbow deep in the motor of the Fishing Fool. It didn’t get any better and it wouldn’t restart after it was shut down and warm. Finally he’d had enough of working on it, sending it to the shop and being towed in. So it sat in the barn and gathered dust while Ronnie worked and worked overtime, and then worked some more. All the while, if we ate fish, it was from Kroger. Years later he decided he wanted another boat, found a good deal on a smaller boat, bought it, went out in it…but it just wasn’t the Fishing Fool that he’d known and loved. So he parked that one in the barn, too.

Over time, the fishing need and the fishing fool reached fusion. It was January 2010 when he finally told me he wanted another boat. This time, not just any boat…he wanted a NEW one. Just as any other respectable wife when faced with potential disaster, I ignored him. After all, I’m getting ready to retire and as soon as I get his truck paid off I will tell my employer adios.

That was my plan. When all the bills were paid off I would no longer feel guilty about retiring before Ronnie and I could leave my job of 27 years with a clear conscience. A new boat would cost mucho bucks and I’m not working long enough to pay for it, no way no how, uh uh, nope, nein, ain’t happenin’ now, later or no time in the foreseeable future. I’ve worked for 42 years and I’m tired (don’t cha hate how that happens?). Nothing except death (his, of course) could make me stay longer in my job. (Come to think of it, I have insurance on him, so I could feasibly still retire.)

So he told me again in February and I realized that this time he was totally serious. When he told me the average price range of the boat he wanted, my life, credit rating and fleeting dreams of retirement flashed before my eyes. Cold, hard panic hit me! What could I do? What do you do when you’re 58 years old, in a panic and no one’s around to pull your flabby butt out of the fire? Sobbing didn’t work even though it had worked in the past. I was beginning to wonder if he could see me at all through the stars in his eyes. Once the tears abated and I put some figures on paper I decided he wasn’t as nuts as I thought he was, especially since he said he would pay for it, that I could go ahead and retire whenever I wanted to. What a sweet deal!

I thought back about all the things I’d spent money on since we’d been married (computers, cell phones, a few elective surgeries) and realized that if I added it all up it still didn’t equal the price of his new boat. And he would have three boats! Why would any sane person need three damn boats? I didn’t know anyone who had more than 2 boats and maybe 5 or 10 guns. This is Texas and everybody in Texas has more than one gun. But polygamous boating? And with my money? (Well, Community Property made half of it mine!) OMG! This man was going to kill me yet! However, I agreed as long as it debited out of his check so I’d know he was indeed paying for it.

Once he saw me smile he knew: my money and my fishing fool were going boat shopping.

So, Ronnie Went Fishing

And I was feeling so proud of myself for supporting my new husband in his endevours. A few hours later, the phone rang. Of course it was Ronnie on his cell phone. They were back onshore. They got out to fish, turned off the motor and anchored. But when they tried to restart the motor, it wouldn’t fire off. A passing fellow angler towed Ronnie’s boat to shore. He sounded disappointed but committed to fixing the problem with the motor (“probably just needs a tune-up”, he said) and they’d go back “next weekend”. I think I was more disappointed than he was. Ronnie worked on the boat.

So, next weekend the same participants loaded up with fresh bait, a full tank of gas, and lots of enthusiasm, and launched the boat once more. Out they went, full of pride and intentions. This time the U.S. Coast Guard towed them in. And after hearing my hysterical laughter when they got towed in the first time, Ronnie actually took pictures of them being towed across the water. At that point everyone involved was still smiling. Ronnie worked on the boat again.

There followed several instances of Ronnie working on the boat motor, but the boat motor worked on Ronnie, too. Finally, the boat went to the shop….the first shop. After X-amount of money the boat came out of the shop. The fishing trip repeated itself only with different friends and family but with the same outcome. This time it had to be bad gasoline. So they ran the boat around and around until the gasoline could be replenished by fresh cans of gas. Full of hope and conviction, Ronnie turned off the motor. And then turned it on. Total silence until the motor began laughing hilariously back at Ronnie. He didn’t share the humor.

So the boat went into the shop once more.

Losing My Virginity

While attempting to build a website last night I found out I could have a free blog. Is my life interesting enough for a blog? What do I write about? How long will this last? Who knows? But, being the person I am, I gotta give it a shot. Why not?

From reading tech blogs for years and having one friend, Becca, who has a pretty blog all the time, I feel intimidated. Gosh, there is so much impressive information on the web. Information highway. Yep. And mis-information at times, too. I don’t feel like I have any great need inside me to publish words like I once did, many years ago, when the poetry flowed and my head stayed solidly into seeing my world and rhyming the emotions. Now I’ve done it all. People have read my words. One even fell in love with me while reading my words. How cool was that? After ten years of marriage and reading his words, too, it’s still pretty damned cool!

My friend, Stevie, is writing her life story. She has sent me about a dozen exerpts that I am to put together in a cohesive unit, correct the spelling and grammar as necessary and send it back to her whole. What an undertaking! And I haven’t even started yet. Maybe that’s what I’ll do first. Maybe I’ll introduce you all to Stevie. Yeah. Uh huh. Guess I better get her permission first. I don’t think she’d litigate but I wouldn’t want to hurt her feelings for anything in the world. So I’ll get back to you on that.

My friend, Lal, wrote her autobiography and had it published in beautiful volumes. How much time did that take, I wonder? I know I’m not that committed, no Ma’am!

My husband, Ronnie, is fishing today. Not a big deal to most coastal dwellers you would think. But, this fishing trip has taken him 10 years to put together. When we got together 10 years ago there were hobbies brought to the relationship as well as love, friends and beautiful poetry.

Personally, I love tech. (We’ve bought over 60 computers over those 10 years. We wanted our friends and family, who are scattered all over the U.S. and the U.K., to be able to communicate with us and partake of the world alongside us.) I love the gadgets that come out ever so often, too. The virtual keyboard that projected a keyboard on the desk but you could throw in your purse or briefcase and take along with your PDA or laptop. I had one. The Palm Pilot (thank you Lal), I had more than one. The IPAQ, IPOD, IPHONE….of course. USB keyboards, disk drives, floppy drives, fans, pen drives, CD players and/or burners, DVD players and/or burners, wireless routers, wireless laptops, wireless printers, wireless phones and a car I can plug my IPOD into. I’ve had it all, and more. I LOVE my gadgets. Currently, between the two of us, we have 5 computers. We each have a 17″ laptop, then a netbook on the end table in the living room (it’s been there ever since we unpacked the Woot box), a desktop beside my desk (that I have some unholy attachment to) and a 12″ tablet that I use occasionally and also travel with. I’m crazy about electronics; no way around it. If it runs on batteries, is wireless or rechargeable, I want it, have it or have had it. Crazy is the right word, too. Ronnie, however, knew hot to turn a computer on. That was about the size of it. He had so much to learn back then (and has).

On the other hand, Ronnie loves to go fishing (gag me with a spoon!). He said he used to go all the time because it relaxes him and his family loves to go fishing together. He had wanted a boat since he gave away the ones he had when he got divorced and moved to Dickinson. Like a good little brand-new wife, I said, “Oh, you must have a boat.” So he started shopping.

Do you know how much a boat costs? Do you know how many computers you could buy for what a boat costs? I about had a heart attack!!!!!! Of course, I had to do it as quietly as possible. It was a new marriage and I didn’t want him to know so soon what a harridan he’d married. I clutched my chest and gasped but it didn’t help. He was looking at the boat, not me. So we bought a boat. Thankfully it was a second-hand boat. Less than $4000, then add some life preservers, lights, coolers, bait stuff, fishing poles, a few hooks, etc. I figure less than $5000 and he would fish to his heart’s desire and leave me alone to play with my computers and dogs. (I’ll get to the dogs.) I thought it was an okay deal. So much for thinking.

He spent all this time shopping for supplies; I even tried to help by pointing out all the neat stuff at Academy. But, he couldn’t use that because… or that because…or that…or that….well, you get the picture. So I just shut up and let him shop by himself. I checked the bank account online and cried every time it updated. But he was happy. Now he could start to fish again. He loaded his camera, got his family together, bought gas and bait and whatever else…..and left for the nearest body of water. I had done my duty as a wife. I stood at the door, holding the dog, waving and smiling as he left. Life was good.