We had a grand time with extended family last night at Margarita House in the Providence area of Mount Juliet. Left to right, Me, Aunt Felicia (back), Susan (front), George and cousin Mollie! NO it wasn’t George’s birthday but we had a photo app and took it! I called us the Fabulous Five for the evening. It was so much fun we vowed to do it again in another quarter or so! I loved hearing the stories and reminiscing on George’s side of the family. Lots of laughter. It’s been a good week for smiles and laughter.
The fajitas were good. The steak and shrimp was exceptionally good as were the peppers and onions with their chargrilled taste. The chicken was a bit mushy though. It wasn’t really very good. I’m not sure what happened there except maybe it was overcooked or something, so I ate all the shrimp and steak and left the chicken. lol
I Get the Moderna Vaccine Today
So I get my Moderna shot today around lunch time. And then I will get something through a drive thru for lunch on the way back. I might oughta eat first to tell you the truth. Not sure if there will be a wait or what. I’m a little nervous about it.
Stress and Blood Pressure
Also my blood pressure was worse this morning. It was 165/89 the first time and I took it three times. The longer I sat there, each time it got better. It was 149/88 at the lowest. I don’t know why the meds are not working anymore. However, it’s been almost 24 hours since I took it. I take it in the mornings when I get to work. That seems the best time to take it.
I really need some solitude and some down time. I would like to take the rest of the day off today, but it’s quarter end and I’m going to need all the vacation time I have to get Mom where she needs to be the rest of the year with this move and doc appointments and such. On the other hand, I’m no good to anyone if I stroke out. But I’m sure I’ll head back over to work like a good little girl. But I covet the thought of just being able to come home and get things done that have been nagging at me, getting laundry started, dinner started and chilling out. But I guess that won’t happen.
My to do list is stacking up as we have not had ANY free time at home to get anything done but just eat and sleep. And most of our weekends we will be gone to pack up Mom’s house. I’m trying to meditate some as I can find a few seconds (bathroom stall to be quite honest, TMI!!!) for just a moment of deep breathing and releasing and letting go and just letting the thoughts come in and go out.
There are some things I want to do in the house with housework, shower gift to wrap and get in the mail, moving things around a bit to make room for Mom’s stay here, and not to mention all the personal “to do’s” that I have.
Anyway, I just need some rest and rejuvy time but there is none to be had. We’ve pretty much gone about 3 weeks straight with no down time and it’s really starting to wear and tear and show in my mind and body. I’m trying to hold it together. My mind and body is also requiring a full 8 hours sleep and honestly that does not seem to be good enough. It’s so hard to get up in the mornings. One morning I slept through two alarm clocks and George had to wake me.
Self – Care
I’ve also decided I want to go shorter on my hair as I’m having to mess with it so much to get it to work. It’s hard for me to cut the back. So I think I will move up my appointment and that will help me to get a bit more time in the morning. If we can get rid of the masks soon I’ll start wearing makeup.
I’ve also decided that I’m going to start getting my nails done again as a treat to myself. I don’t ever have time to do them now as it takes a good hour or so with the filing, painting, and drying time and such so I don’t mess them up. I don’t have an hour every week to do it now. So I think I’m going to make an appointment and what they do will last 3 weeks. That will save 2 hours a month! lol Then when I retire I will go back to doing them on my own.
Life is Good
Life is good though. I just have to get settled and figured out and adjusted in this year’s new normal. We’ve been used to a slower pace. I’m happy and content and excited about getting Mom up here so we can be with her and help her. She is excited about the new place. But I do need to see what is going on with the BP. I am going to monitor it for about a week and see if this is just a fluke b/c of all the additional stress lately or if it’s truly the meds are not working anymore. It may be he needs to adjust the meds. So I’ll monitor for a few days and then make a doc appt I guess. Or call. Maybe he will just change the prescription.
In the mean time I’m also trying to figure out natural ways to reduce the BP levels and the stress! So Ya’ll take care and say a few prayers for me to get straightened out. I’m thankful for the weight loss tracker though – b/c I’d not known that my blood pressure was high. I knew I was stressed a bit, but didn’t know the meds were not working it’s magic.
We had our Thanksgiving around 6:30 Thanksgiving Evening. It gave us the day to do other things, including chores and relaxing coming off of a very short work week but with long work days packed. It was just the two of us. Dinner went from elaborate to least work possible since Mom wasn’t coming. We had refined the menu down to a basic Thanksgiving meal for two and agreed on the meal’s contents days earlier.
I’ve been a bit emotional and trying to figure out why. Most of the time it’s the lack of vitamin B or D and yeah maybe I do need an increase this time of year. But I think it’s just that so much has changed and morphed over the years and not being with ANY of our family just seemed odd. Not being able to plan and count on anything is frustrating for me. Then at home with Maisy and Roger’s age, knowing they will not be with us for much longer, along with all the COVID mess, and everything else, just made for a whirlwind of undercurrent of emotions. All that said, as per previous posts, I have been grateful for our 4 days off, low key. It does have its perks.
Long Lost Family
I got a text from my sister who I hardly get to talk to, long story, but that started the tears of Thanksgiving- eh, well maybe not entirely – as my eyes watered while praying earlier in the day. But actual spill over tears ran down my cheeks when I got my sister’s text. She cares, after all, I was thinking. Grateful that she texted me. I miss our older sister selves when we could share our lives and support one another and share our moments of humor. That drifted away. I always thought we’d have each other. And true there is a lot to work through with all of the mystery that has happened in the last couple of years. And my guess is just a lot of misunderstandings among other issues.
I’m always open to repair and mend and trust again, but it will take some work on both of our parts. Neither of us wants to be judged by the other, cursed by the other, distrusted by the other, and neither of us will be the doormat that puts up with such.
I’m not normally open about this on my blog. But it’s already known among most people that know us – that things are not right on my side of the family. It’s NO SECRET. And that is all I will say as this is not the place to park or air those things – but I think it’s the perfect place to say I am in hopes that all can be repaired and I’m thankful for a Thanksgiving text – whether out of duty or love – I will take it. I had kindof given up in a way, thinking I’ve been misjudged through it all. One can’t always wallow in hurt and pain and life has to go on. And I suppose that is what I always try to do. Well most of the time. But it gave my heart delight to get a text. It gives a small glimmer of hope.
Where’s the Sweet Potatoes?
I was thinking how wonderful that the one thing that stayed the same although slightly changed, was at least our Thanksgiving menu of turkey, stuffing, pea and asparagus casserole, japanese sweet potato, dressed eggs, and key lime pie. One can count on that!
No doubt this Thanksgiving is hard for George too in his own way. His Mom gone, no longer a big celebration with the extended family as we kinda had branched off doing our own meal with Katy and Cody, and then they got married and live out of state. We followed them there for Thanksgiving a couple of times which was perfect for us. A perfect time of the year to go to Texas too when the temps are mild.
Then I switched jobs into payroll, although easier on me year round than the stress of HR was, it’s a little more stressful during the Holidays. It makes it harder on others when I’m on vacation too (there’s really not a lot of people that I am allowed to use to fill in for the actual payroll- just one person or maybe two with the smaller admin stuff ) so I vowed not to do that to my boss again this year at Thanksgiving this year. And she normally is off at Thanksgiving and I was happy for her to be off this year. She was so good to fill in for me and take on double work the year before. I remember crying last year but it was tears of joy getting to see my girl on the day and how blessed we were to be on the ranch with them. Lovely memories.
Long story short, my dedication to work kept us from getting to have Thanksgiving with Katy and Cody which impacts George too! He REALLY loved being out there the week of Thanksgiving. We had hoped it would be our annual thing. We all did. But then being loyal to work and not wanting others to go through a hard time while I’m gone and not wanting to usurp a long time employee’s normal Thanksgiving week vacation, I bowed out for this year. Just trying to be fair and reasonable and responsible. And so there’s being burdened with all that this week, not only for me, but for him too and my Kate and Cody. I feel the burden for having us all miss what could have been. It was really really sad not seeing family on Thanksgiving for both of us. And while we try to be all grown up and accepting about it, the current of it’s undertones was very powerful on Thanksgiving Day. But we had each other.
Then there is the Maisy girl three days in of lethargy, not eating much, and only wanting to sleep. Yet another change coming I feared which totally exposed and made any tense nerves become raw by afternoon of the big day.
We put on Thanksgiving music (light jazz) and ate on china. George carved the Smoked Turkey from Aldi’s – already cooked with excellent flavor and just had to be heated.
When we fixed our plate, I was looking around for the sweet potatoes, one of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes, and one that was on the menu. I didn’t see it. George had decided to delete them from the menu the day of, unbeknownst to me. I was so shocked over it, but didn’t want him to know that I excused myself with an urgency to get to the restroom. The tears spilled.
No SWEET POTATOES? He changed the menu even after we agreed? If he didn’t want to fix it why didn’t he just say so? It was just going to be baked? It was easy. He said he felt with the two of us that we had enough to eat. I shed my tears and came to the table but I knew he’d be able to see I’d lost it. I was embarrassed to shed tears over sweet potatoes. I really didn’t understand why I was so emotional. So I said “I’m sorry I cried over not having sweet potatoes”. The realization that I had done so- I think actually made him feel sad and then mad, spouting that he always disappointed me. I asked him not to be that way that I think I just was surprised and realized that it’s the first years of my 58 years of life (except as a baby) that I’d not had sweet potatoes on Thanksgiving and in a year of such change that was the straw that broke the camel’s back! He began to get them and bake them and I told him it was too late now as we are eating and he promised to fix them for the leftover dinner the next day. That didn’t happen either but it wasn’t a big deal then as we had been through so much yesterday, the day after Thanksgiving, that it just didn’t matter anymore. A very tiring day indeed with had with Maisy and the vet. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
We were both quiet during the meal of Thanksgiving. I was mad at myself for spilling tears over the missing Sweet potatoes and trying to figure out how such a thing could make such an impact. I felt silly, but couldn’t speak as I just thought I would really sob my eyes out over EVERYTHING if I did. George certainly didn’t say anything. He knew I was disappointed. He felt bad that he had disappointed me. I felt bad that he felt bad and we both felt bad that a meal we looked forward to had brought unhappiness instead of making the most of the situation. I could kick myself. I mean how could a Thankful heart which I’d been in prayer of all day counting my blessings, turn into such a downward cast on a meal? Oh. My. Heart. It just feels! I can’t help it. I detach and detach from things but life just hurts sometimes.
But by the time the pie came around we were into Netflix, and it seemed like a normal day at that point. Bedtime came early for me and I was happy to be in bed – rid of the Thanksgiving holiday let down of sorts. We both agreed tomorrow would hopefully be a new and better day.
I was a bit stronger with the holiday itself being done. I told George I realized after sleeping it was (all of the above stuff I’ve just written about) and not over sweet potatoes and it was likely the growing concern over our Maisy that set me to edge. He said “I know”. I was grateful for the understanding and not the blame. I guess 29 years of marriage came in at that point so that we knew not to blame each other for all the other circumstances happening around us that makes us less than happy.
Thanksgiving night I snapped a pic of these two laying together. Both older dogs. But with Maisy’s condition worsening over the last three days, I could feel the impending doom of the days to come. With them laying close, I decided I should take the picture. I feel like one or both of them will be gone soon. I thought it would be Roger first, but now I’m not so sure.
It had felt good to curl up with my doggies Thanksgiving Eve, us all together in a knot, and George there too eventually – not knowing how much longer these cuties will be with us.
To the Vet We Go for a LONG 2.5 Hour Wait!
So the next morning we took a much weaker and sicker Maisy to the vet. She is not eating much at all, not pooping much of anything but an odd gel of a poop in small batches. Sorry for the graphics but giving you the picture of this situation. Her tummy all swelled up. Sad, lethargic.
We could not get an appointment but they agreed she should be seen and took us as a walk in. We had to wait in the car – no one waits in the lobby during COVID. But we were able to come in this time into the exam room once finally called after two and a half hours of sitting in the car. Thank goodness for cell phones and that they let us use the restroom when we couldn’t wait anymore.
They recommended x-rays and bloodwork and fecal tests. Often we waive those out until necessary and we’d not run the bloodwork or x-rays on her ever but we both agreed this time to do it so we would know what we were dealing with and could be prepared to make decisions if we had to.
Here are the findings which is best to just paste in here instead of having to retype it all.
But basically she has three main issues: fluid in the lungs (a bit, not a lot), liver enlargement with increased enzymes, heart disease (huge heart murmur), inflammation within her intestines.
We have five meds we are giving her – for liver, for heart, for fluid on lungs, and for her intestines. We know this is a LOT going on to heal from. Lungs can be healed, heart condition controlled for a while, and the intestines in control with probiotics, but the liver is tricky. The vet did not tell us these things, but I’m not ignorant of these things. There is only a tiny of sliver of hope we can bring it into control with the meds. The meds I’m not familiar with. But I know when the liver is involved it can be a bad thing for sure.
So we got home and began to try and give her the meds. She squirmed, spit them out, would eat, we tried tricks that everyone told us. It exhausted us all. We had to stop trying and let her rest, and let us get some new ideas and some more resolve.
Much like anything else in life, giving a dog a pill, has a learning curve. With Tugie, our poodle, it had been so easy. Just wrap it in meat or cheese and pop it in. Boom. Done.
This one is a fighter. At least she is not trying to bite us. Just wiggle away and clenching teeth. I learned she had a place on the side of her mouth where she was missing a tooth and you could wiggle a finger in. We corner her on the sofa (no getaway), with me beside her and George hovering over. He works to get her mouth open. I pop the pill in as far past the tongue hump that I can toward the back of the throat. He holds her mouth upward and closed with one hand and massages her throat with downward strokes. The little pills are easy and the bigger pills not so much and they take numerous tries. George gets mad at me for trying to hover over her mouth too early but I’m trying not to miss my moment. I’ve asked him to say when he’s ready for me to drop it but he won’t do so. I don’t know what he can’t just say Ok now. It’s hard for me to tell when it’s time to drop the pill. But men don’t like a woman to give them ideas (no directions, no better ways of doing things, no instructions) – at least that is what I’m seeing with nearly all the men I know/have known. I’ll say 99% because there might be at least one of you that is different. LOL LOL LOL But I will say regardless of his stubborness to say when to help me out, we at least would get it by “take 3”. There are 5 meds so do the math. Up to 15 repeats of all this, TWICE a day!
So after a brief learning curve, we were able to get the meds in last night finally and again this morning. That is a gift in itself to be able to work together to get something done. I looked at it like “Candy Crush”. The first game board of a new level is new and you have to learn the trick for getting that game board cleared. Each time you get closer. That is what happened with us getting the pills in. Just keep trying, learn and tackle new approaches, and don’t give up.
She is sleeping a lot now, not wanting to eat anything today, a bit of staring and such, drinking a lot of water. Meds are kicking in. No doubt her tummy is in bad shape with the meds now on not much food. Still she has not vomited so that is good we are not dealing with that. Shhh don’t tell the evil spirits as we don’t want to deal with that. If she starts we’ll be calling the vet as it’ll be a new symptom.
She still wants to follow me around for the most part to sleep where I am. She will pee and poop some. Drinking lots of water. Loud sounds at 1:00 in the morning when we went out coming from her backsides but couldn’t see what happened. I guess I should take a flash light but at 1 a.m. who wants to inspect such in a dreary sleep state out in the morning when skunks and fox and coyotes abound and the fact that it is a time that criminals are awake doing their things. I hate to be outside in the middle of the night.
We are supposed to go to the vet again in 2 weeks. We are waiting to make an appointment as George may be working from home longer than just a week due to COVID and he can work it around lunch or end of day. If things don’t improve with her eating, we know we will be going in soon. It was a $444 dollar day yesterday. But we had to know what we were dealing with. The vet did not suggest anything about making hard decisions but mentioned the words “concerning”, “older dog”, and in two weeks we will “figure prognosis then”. They (vets) are trained not to devastate you but to slowly bring you to the light of understanding. I’m sure they know this regimen is not likely to work. She is wasting away – other than her large little belly. In this past week she is much lighter. I do not want to sit and watch this over the next few days. But I am willing and wanting to give the medication a chance b/c what if we truly could have a happy Maisy again for another few months or a year or so. We have to know that we’ve tried. I can’t send her off not knowing that we have not tried. I’m a realist. You all know that. I’ve lived my 58 years. I know how things work.
I’m ok. Yeah it hurts. But I’m ok. I have a slight hope but know the odds are against us here. I am grateful for all the time we have had with her and for the days, how many ever there are with her. I don’t want her to suffer and don’t want us to watch her waste away but we will give it up to the two weeks or less if she continues to get worse and not better.
I have told her all along how much I love her. Every day. Every night I sing to her those words. Every night I thank God for her. I know that God gave me my Maisy at a time that I needed her most. Her love, her loyalty and her followership, has saved my psyche on many a night. My own private buddy in which no other void but God and a dog (God spelled backwards) can fill.
I know that the Lord provides. He will get us through this. He knows what He is doing. He knows we love our fur babes. He knows what lies ahead for all of us. I’m trusting Him. It may not be easy. I know that He provides brighter days ahead and that He provides comfort during the bad times. He even provides the sweet potatoes of life, when the time is right. And as George has said “Things will work out as they are supposed to”. He also trusts His Master.
So Thanksgiving has come and gone but guess what? I see the Sweet Taters on the counter and while everyone elses are close to gone by now—I’ll be getting mine today!
My chin is up and I’ve gathered the Fall Decor and will be putting out Christmas and trying to do some of the things I said I was going to do yesterday but didn’t get to do.
Inside I’m bouncing out of the sad wallows. I will take the sunny day as it is right now and begin to give us some holiday cheer and decorate. All is as it will be. It will all be alright, whatever happens. God says we must learn to lean on Him and trust and I know He is inviting me, and has for some time, to DO JUST THAT.
George fixed a fine meal Saturday night of pork chops, sauteed spinach with pine nuts and potatoes and corn. It was all so good.
The spinach is one of my favorites that we took away from a show called “Spain….On the Road Again” that had Gweneth Paltrow in it. It calls for the spinach to be sauteed in a really good EVOO, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, pine nuts added and a bit of fresh lemon juice which along with the olive oil and pine nuts make a great taste! And the pork chops were pretty tasty too.
Saturday afternoon/evening I was able to get started on the next video. Being that I cleaned most of the week and finished it Saturday morning put me in an excellent position to play with that this weekend. So great progress made. I do need to film a little segment for the “value added” portion, sometime this week or weekend. But I should be able to finish the video by the end of the weekend.
Around 11:00 yesterday I quit working on the video as we were meeting my Aunt and Uncle and Mom in Columbia. George had to stop at a gun store on the way to get a gun repaired. So we gave ourselves an extra hour an a half but it did not take very long at all. So we headed on down to Columbia and hung out on the square until our reservation time after driving around a bit.
George was excited to see places he never sees. We are always sitting on the sofa on our devices, all of us, including Mom, so while he has been to Columbia numerous times, he’s never been shopping there. He saw a gun store, and outdoor store, a baby shop, and he said “we are going to have to come back here and shop some day”. So, it’s really nice to have a hubby that likes to cook and shop! 😀
We drove around one of the local parks near the shop. I remember this area mainly as a ball park in my days growing up. And I believe the ball parks are still around that area.
Here is the court house taken through the car window. I have a video shot of it but will save that for the 3rd video or so coming down the pike. (I actually have enough footage to be several videos out now with all the Texas trip and now this outing). I kinda like that. And hope to get in a regular rhythm soon but I have to stop and figure out a few things about storage and back ups and my security system is about to be outdated with the new updates coming to Mac – so will have a brief interruption to get all that figured out. But back to Columbia…..
I guess I failed to say that this is my hometown of Columbia, TN. I grew up here. It is a quaint little town for the most part. The square area was not really where any of us hung out though back then. It was mainly open Monday through Saturday and you went only if you had business there. It is much the same today but there are more restaurants and even tap rooms and breweries and ice cream shops all about the area now. Back then beer was only drank at places everyone called “honky tonks” and quite frankly it was looked down upon. Now the breweries are like coffee shops all across America and a place for gathering like coffee, not a night club.
Excuse me for saying it but isn’t “honky tonk” considered a racial term now? I mean if we choose to be politically correct? lol. I guess I can say that word as there is a restaurant in Nashville actually called that in name. George says that the term “honky tonk” collectively is not as it’s meaning is a beer joint, lol. I beg to differ. Because “honky” is what a black person has called a white person for years, among other names. And if we were to tack on certain titles to the word “tonk” it would not fly. So I think I will take offense then to the “honky tonk” term. I am just making a point. I really don’t care who calls what or what calls who. But anyway all that to say that it was quite different back then.
While I’m on the subject of race here and speaking of past history. And in doing some research on line, I verified that there was a business district that was a black business district on a hill in the offshoot streets from the square. It was known as the “Mink Slide”. Don’t worry, it’s NOT my term, so don’t get mad at me, but apparently an official term that is in the history pages of that area. I was told growing up not to use the term in case it offended someone but in the realm of history since it was actually called that, I will mention that here only.
I’ll continue sharing some pics from the square. Then I need to get ready and head to work!
We went to the Taps on Main while walking around and had a C’Zanne’s while waiting for time for reservations at Puckett’s. Here it is below.
George and Uncle Ken took interest in this cool old car parked on the square. Got a pic of Mom and Aunt Martha here as we walked in to Pucketts.
George may have forgotten how to wear his mask! It was sooooo good to see everyone and to be able to eat out again with everyone.
We were incredibly full but we still had some Hattie Jane’s ice cream after.
What a wonderful day! A wonderful time with family. It was good time to go at 2:30 as we missed lunch and evening crowds. We will have to keep that in mind!
OK I’ve got to get ready and get to work. I’m almost caught up but have a few things I need to do today before the next payroll run. And after work I’m fixing chili. I have been craving it for a while. I crave it in August and also again in October – every year. I’ve not had many cravings this year but I think now it is more of a habit. Anyway it’s spicy so it will have some flavor and taste good!