Sunday, March 24, 2019

Boy Did I Get Behind!

What can I say? Life got busy, and I got out of the mood to blog.

And {drum roll} I FINALLY am having hot flashes! I don't WANT to have hot flashes, you understand. But I DID want to finally get properly into menopause, and it looks like that's where I'm going. They aren't horrible, but they aren't fine, either. I am already a person who does not do well with heat. I'm the person who is in shorts and a t-shirt in 40 and 50 degree weather. But I know it could be worse. My son's mother-in-law has been having really, really bad hot flashes for a year and a half now -- the kind of hot flashes that have sweat pouring off of her in buckets. When Thomas was undergoing his treatment and radiation for his prostate cancer, he had horrible hot flashes like that where sweat was pouring off him. And he is the person who is in many layers of clothing, coats, and hats when it is 70 degrees outside. He is so sympathetic to me right now lol.

A few days ago I had to gown up to screen a baby in semi-isolation, and I had a hot flash while I was doing the screen. When I came out of the room and took off the gown and gloves, they PEELED off me, and it was the first time that my clothing was actually sticking to me! I thought I was going to have to change scrubs. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

NaBloPoMo, The Seventh Post

Does This Count?

This won't be much of a post, I'm afraid. 

Last week someone commented to a blogger on a thread in the FB group "NaBloPoMo Revival" that she would have liked to have left her comment on the actual post but didn't have a Blogger (or was it Google?) account and didn't want to be rude and post as "Anonymous." So she was commenting to this blogger's post in the FB group. 

Blogger no longer supports Open ID, so I think you must have a Blogger account to leave a comment that shows your name. I don't mind if someone posts as "Anonymous" on my blog as long as it is a real comment and not spam. I have my settings so that I have to approve any comments, so I can tell if it is a real comment from a real person.

So if you want to comment and can only do it as Anonymous, please go ahead. You can always give your name in your comment if you'd like. 

Today is my last day off for a few days; back to work tomorrow. I'm feeling much better today, so I guess I did well to take it easy. I'll have a potentially long day tomorrow.

I'm a dog lighter at my house. The little Pomski I was dog-sitting went home today; my English Setter is happy to have me all to himself again.

And that's about it for now.



Monday, November 12, 2018

NaBloPoMo Sixth Post!

Six Days Late!

Oh well! I haven't managed to do a post every day.  This is the first time I've failed at NaBloPoMo -- well, failed in that I've missed multiple days. But I still plan to make 30 posts this month, even though some days will be multiple-post days.

I started feeling bad last week with a head cold/sinus congestion/sneezing/maybe allergies/who-knows-what kind of thing. I have not run a fever and it hasn't gotten bad, so I didn't take off work last week, but I just didn't feel up to much when I got home each evening. I had four days off in a row to look forward to, and I'm on that third day right now. I don't go back to work until Wednesday. I'm monitoring myself and treating my cold symptoms in order to make sure that I don't -- or haven't -- contracted something contagious. I work with newborn babies, so I can't work if I think I might be contagious. I usually take Claritin and Flonase every morning, and that usually keeps my congestion away, but I ran out of Claritin and kept forgetting to stop to get more, and when I do that for a few days in a row, then I can get head congestion that takes longer to get rid of. I really do think that that, plus our onset of colder weather and some long, stressful days, have resulted in what I am now experiencing.

Saturday I didn't do much of anything, just tea and naps on the couch with the dogs. Yesterday was more of the same with a bit of housecleaning and a visit by our son and his wife yesterday evening. Today I'm again taking it easy and actually feel like blogging, so here it is, such as it is.

Things I want to blog about, in no particular order:

• Dog-sitting
• My job
• Our daughter's wedding
• Our daughter's illness
• Pets
• My mother
• My sisters and brother
• My father
• Some visits to some past blog posts
• Home schooling

Seems like there is enough fodder there to fill out the rest of the month, doesn't it?

So, I will try to post every day, perhaps a few posts today, and we'll see if I can catch up. I not only feel like blogging today but like reading other blogs as well, so hopefully I still have some readers (!!), and hopefully I'll see you around the blogosphere!

Ta for now,

~~ Lori

Monday, November 5, 2018

NaBloPoMo Day 5

Venting My Spleen

No, I'm not going to vent it, I'm going to talk about it. It's an expression I like. I was skimming over some older posts from this year and in one of them I mentioned "relieving" or "venting" my spleen. Do you ever use that expression?

In ancient Greek medicine it was believed that there were four "humors" that determined behavior and emotion. They were Sanguine, Phlegmatic, Choleric, and Melancholic. The organ associated with the melancholic humor was the spleen and the qualities were cold and dry. I wonder if when Shakespeare wrote Petruchio saying of Katherine, "I'll tame her mad and headstrong humor," he was speaking of changing her from a hot and dry (choleric) humor to a cold and dry (melancholic) humor. That might fit. But why did the spleen change from symbolizing melancholy to anger? 

My first introduction to the phrase being used this way was when I began reading Georgette Heyer at about the age of sixteen. Heyer used a lot of historic slang, appropriate for the period she was writing about, and she used the phrase about venting one's spleen more than once. Back then you couldn't look up phrase origins on the Internet like you can today. But I was an avid reader with eclectic tastes, and at some point I came across a book where one of the characters believed in phrenology -- the
Victorian notion that one's character or natural tendencies could be told by "reading" the bumps on one's head. I brought this up in conversation with my elder sister, Barbara, who had an encyclopedic knowledge of obscure subjects, and during the discussion we covered not only phrenology but humors as well. She told me about the spleen being one of the sources of the humors, and we discussed venting the spleen meaning anger, which I knew it did by the context of what I was reading.

Now, of course, we have the Internet, so we can look up things like this.  One of my favorite websites is The Word Detective, and he says of the phrase, "The spleen's job is to act as a sort of filter for the blood, but in medieval times, when each bodily organ was thought to be the home of one emotion or another, the spleen was regarded as the seat of melancholy.... There was apparently a brief period later on when the spleen was suspected, improbably, of supplying humor and good cheer, but by the late 16th century it was decided that the spleen was the source of rage and ill-temper. Thus 'spleen' has for several centuries been a metaphor for 'anger,' 'resentment' and general crankiness."

And it was my general crankiness of which I was relieving myself in the earlier mentioned older blog post. I don't "vent my spleen" too often, though. Aren't you glad? :)

Ta for now,

~~ Lori

Sunday, November 4, 2018

NaBloPoMo 2018 -- Day Four


Our J-Land friend, an anchor of our online blogging community, Donna Diggins, passed away today. I first met Donna through her AOL Journal This and That and Hockey For a while Donna kept a blog on Blogger called D's Designs, but it won't load for me when I click on the link that I have. 

Donna used to enjoy creating animated graphics that she would "tag" for her friends and offer on her blog. I still have several that I got from her over the years. (For the life of me, I can't recall what the program was that she used to create them.) She was a pretty good photographer, too.

We stayed friends on FB after AOL Journals shut down, and our Facebook J-Land community mourns her there.

On another sad note, an elderly friend of ours passed away this morning also. She was a spunky, outspoken lady in her eighties. Wanda truly loved people. She "never met a stranger," as the saying goes. We will miss her greatly.

Again, Dedicated to you, Donna.

And that's it for today, folks. I'll try to be more creative tomorrow, but I'm a bit drained right now and still nursing a head cold.

Hug your family. Call your mom and dad. Say "I love you" every chance you get. Don't waste your minutes, your breath, or your health on getting angry about little things or differences of opinion. Everyone have a good night.

Ta for now

~~ Lori

NaBloPoMo -- Day Three, Belated~~

Yesterday I was just TOO tired!

I missed my post yesterday! I don't think I've ever done that during NaBloPoMo; at least I don't remember if I have. I worked yesterday and my day ended up being longer than I had expected. And then in the evening I started getting sick with a head cold, sneezing and feeling a bit achy. So I just went to bed.

Feeling a bit better today, but I definitely have a lot of head congestion. I know so many people who have had a nasty stomach thing rampaging through their families, so I won't complain too much about a head cold.

Going to close this now, though. I'll make a proper post for today before I head to bed.

Ta for now!

~~ Lori

Friday, November 2, 2018

NaBloPoMo 2018 -- Day Two

What A Very Busy Eighteen Months

My blog doesn't really have a theme, especially not now that the kids are grown and married. I guess if there were a theme it would just be "continuing -- but changing -- everyday adventures of the Helms family." If you are new to my blog, welcome! I think I'll post a few entries from the past in some future posts, just because some actually are worth sharing again, and also to introduce myself to new readers. 

So much has happened in our family in the past year and a bit more. I've written about most of it here but not all of it. Thought I'd give a quick synopsis for my second post this month -- mostly because it is getting late, and I need to get to bed, and I don't know what else to write about! :) 

So last year Thomas was diagnosed with prostate cancer. It was caught very early thanks to our family doctor insisting that he come in for his annual checkup, including blood workup. He underwent 49 days of radiation, and afterwards his PSA numbers were back to a nice low number. At his most recent appointment his PSA was a bit higher than his urologist "would like to see it," but not too high. He goes back in three months, and if it is any higher at that time, then they may want to do something about it.

Andrew and Alexandria got officially engaged and then upped their wedding date and got married in July in a simple, sweet, outdoor wedding, with just close family and a few friends present. We're very happy to have Lexi as our daughter-in-law, and the two of them are very happy.

Eler Beth got engaged back in September and I had the pleasure and excitement of planning a BIG wedding for her and Anthony. And it was beautiful. I never thought a person could actually spend as much on a wedding as we did, but it was actually surprisingly (and depressingly) easy lol!!  We wanted to, though. Anthony has a large Italian family where the weddings are always big, and we wanted him to have one at least as nice as his two sisters' weddings were. We had an unexpected windfall that came just at the right time, and we used some of our savings and were rather proud that we were able to pay for everything without going into debt for any of it. I still need to post pictures from the shower and the wedding itself. 

Around December of last year Thomas told me that he was pretty sure the company he'd worked for most of our married life was getting ready to make some big changes. He felt that at the very least there would be a big layoff, probably around March, and that he wouldn't be surprised if the company actually closed. Well, in the past his hunches have usually been proven true, so we began making some plans. These included knee surgery for him.

He'd needed surgery on his right knee for a very long time but had kept putting it off -- mostly because he didn't want to be off work for several weeks. But the knee was bowing out to the right so badly, and the pain was getting so bad, that we knew he'd have to do it this year. He wanted to be able to walk Eler Beth down the aisle and dance with her at her wedding, so we planned for the surgery to be in January. He went on medical leave and had a very successful surgery. The surgeon didn't just replace the knee, but he had to do some reconstructive surgery there as well. Thomas' recovery was rapid. At his six week checkup the surgeon talked about how much work he actually did on the knee as well as the muscles and tendons around it. Then he said, "If I have many patients like you, I'll have to go into another line of work!"

Toward the end of his medical leave he learned he would, in fact, be laid off on March 22, so he had really called that right. And then we found out that the company was actually closing at the end of April. So he'd called that right as well.  He had been putting out feelers during his recovery time before he even got his layoff notice, so he had several jobs lined up to choose from by the time he was released to go back to work. He chose the one that we felt would work best for him, and that is where he is still. He likes the work he is doing, the location, and the hours, but a couple of his supervisors are proving to be a bit underhanded. Also, he isn't getting the overtime hours he'd been promised, and if you have known us for long (in real life or as online friends) you know that Thomas is a workaholic and likes to know that he is making enough money to provide for the family by himself if needed. So he has found another company he wants to work for and has begun their testing process. We'll see what happens there.

Around January I decided I might like to take a part-time job. We were using Thomas' short-term disability while he was on medical leave, and I figured we'd probably have to dip further into our savings or 401k after the wedding before he got back to work -- and knew that we'd definitely have to if he did have to change jobs. So a little extra income would help out. But also, I felt like it might help me during the transition to "empty nester" after Eler Beth's wedding. So over the course of a couple of days I played around on "Indeed," updated my resume, and put in some applications. Then I got busy planning the bridal shower and continuing with the wedding planning, and forgot all about it! Toward the end of March I got a call from a company at which I had applied asking if I was still interested and would I like to set up an interview. I couldn't even remember what the job was for! But yes, I was interested, I did interview, I did accept the job, and I love it! More about that in a later post. Hint: It gives me my grandbaby fix so I don't pressure either of our kids into having babies before they're ready :).

I started the job the week after Eler Beth's Bridal shower. She and Anthony were married in April and spent 10 days in Florida. They were both working here in town, living in an apartment only a couple of minutes from our house, and then Anthony got a job offer that he really couldn't turn down about an hour and a half from us. That was a bit of a hard blow at first. If you know us at all, you know how close Eler Beth and I are. They moved up there only a month after they were married. And it is fine. She calls or messages me every day, and we usually see each other every week to ten days. Seriously, I don't think more than ten days have gone by since they've moved that we haven't seen each other. She comes down here for doctor's appointments, spends the night, and then goes home. Or I (or we) go up there to spend the day with them. Or both of them come down here to spend the weekend with us. 

The bad thing is that Eler Beth has been having health issues since right after they got home from their honeymoon. They actually had started before the wedding, but the symptoms changed and got bad right before they moved. She is doing better, and I will write more in detail about that later. 

We have three new dogs and one of our dogs died of old age very recently. 

A couple of weeks ago my Mother's baby brother died, so that leaves my Mom, who will be 95 in December, and only one brother surviving of the nine children. My Mother is doing very well, and I need to get down to see her more often.

My brother had a heart attack the same day that my uncle died, but he is doing well now. He has congestive heart failure and has been bedridden for the past two years from the stroke he had 20 years ago and from other health issues including issues arising from Agent Orange from his time in Viet Nam. So his health will just continue to deteriorate, but for now he is holding his own.

So I think that brings us up-to-date pretty much. I'll expound on these happenings in our family's life in future posts. I used to enjoy posting funny things the kids did when they were little, and I think maybe I can dig out some current amusing fodder for future posts if I try hard lol. 

Ta for now.

~~ Lori