Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Nancy's Whiny Mood

I'm not very happy right now, so I'm going to whine. If you don't want to tolerate my whining, leave now. This is my blog and I'll write what I want.

Sheesh - bossy today, ain't I?

Anyway. I lost at fantasy football again, this time to Carl. It's his first year, and I taught him everything he knows about playing the game. Apparently, I taught him too well. As an "award" for winning our game, I bought him a necktie with Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny and Taz on it. Naturally, they're playing football. He's promised me he'll wear it to church on Sunday.

But my main frustration right now is job hunting. I need (want?) a job I can do from home so that I'm here for my girls before and after school and besides, if I had an "office" job, what would I do with the girls during the summer when they're not in school? I don't want to give my paycheck to childcare - that's the reason why I left the workforce when Hannah was born. And working evenings isn't possible until Carl finishes school. So a work from home job is what I need. I know they're out there - you hear about them on the TV news all the time. I just can't seem to find them.

I suppose you're wondering why I need a job in the first place. Well, the obvious answer is - we need money. We're kind of in a hole right now, and we're not making any progress in getting out of it. And I don't need any financial advice: Carl handles the money and I have no clue when it comes to financial planning. (If you have advice, e-mail it to Carl.) What I need is for us to get less sick. We have decent insurance, but we still had alot of out-of-pocket expenses when Carl had his surgery. We haven't gotten the bills yet for my colonoscopy/endoscopy visit, and today I need to take Mary to an optomitrist because her pediatrician thinks she may need glasses. And then to top it off, our pickup truck is "sick" with a nasty ping in the engine. So far Carl's replaced four oxygen sensors and two ignition modules, but Red still pings. Carl has a knock sensor on special order that just came in to Auto Zone, so he'll get that tonight and try to install it before he leaves for Wichita (business trip) but if that doesn't fix it we'll have to try something else. Meanwhile, the outflow of money is exceeding the inflow of money, and it's stressing Carl out something awful. I hate to see Carl like this: spazzing out about every little expense, fretting and worrying when he should be exulting in his overwhelming fantasy football victory (he beat me by 20 points). That's the main reason I want to go back to work: to ease the pressure on Carl, poor guy.

Now, I know what you're thinking - she doesn't have the right to whine. Her family has health insurance through Carl's job, and there are people who have no insurance. She has a nice house. She has a good working vehicle. Her kids are healthy, and so's her dog. She has no right to whine. You're probably right. But just because we have health insurance doesn't mean we don't have expenses, and when you suddenly find yourself borrowing money to pay for things you didn't know you had to pay for, it causes stress. I don't like stress. Stress passes from one individual to the next like a virus, and then those affected get frustrated, and frustration leads to fights and arguments that really aren't necessary. I'm trying to avoid that. I'm trying to find a way to relieve our financial stress, and the only sure way to do that is with a paycheck. You can't relieve this kind of stress with chocolate.

More's the pity.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Strange Coincidences

Talk about weird. Carl's employer, Rockwell Collins Avionics, goes to a big trade show every year: the NBAA. (Don't ask me what it stands for - I think they're going to covert college sports tournaments.) Anyway. This year the trade show was supposed to be in New Orleans, at the Convention Center. Well, Hurricane Katrina took care of that. So the organizers of the show decided to move the show to Orlando. Well, guess what. Hurricane Wilma, the strongest hurricane ever recorded, is headed toward the U.S. and will affect - you guessed it - Orlando. The guys at Rockwell are calling the trade show "The Hurricane Magnet". The cruel thing is, Carl has to go this year. He wasn't supposed to, but the guy who used to be Carl's boss (the boss in charge of the group that sends equipment to the show) can't go for some reason. So this boss and his boss decided to send Carl. This trip is really going to make it difficult for Carl to finish his last set of classes, plus he's going the same weekend that I have my one and only craft show of the year. I find this all to be very irritating. I mean, I don't want to see Wilma cause death and destruction to Florida, but on the other hand I don't want Carl to go, either. As is testified to in my March 2005 blog entries, I don't sleep well when Carl's gone.

So maybe Wilma can cause just enough damage to delay or cancel the show, or maybe (like Carl said) they'll move the show to Las Vegas and schedule it even earlier. Or maybe this bonehead boss person can actually do his job and go, instead of sending Carl. I don't know - maybe I shouldn't pick on the boss-guy-person. I don't know why he can't go, and it does speak well of Carl that they would send him in to replace a boss. I hope this bodes well for our future. Hee hee! I said "bodes well".

Now, that's a deep subject...

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Football Update Week 6

Well, despite the best efforts of Colts defensive lineman Cato June, I did not win this week's game. Neither, however, did I lose. I tied this week's opponent, so now my record is 2-3-1 and I'm in eighth place. PU. Carl lost, and he's 3-3 and fifth in the league. Things will get really interesting this weekend when his team and mine go head-to-head. I plan to go to Bettendorf to avoid any marital conflicts.

Seriously. When my brother Keith told me he couldn't pick Mom up at the airport Sunday because he and Cindy will be at McCartney's show in Milwaukee, I jumped at the chance to take his place. Keith wanted to just take Mom's van to the airport parking lot and leave it, but I didn't like that idea. I'm not a big fan of long-term airport parking. I don't know why, I just don't like it. So Mom, if you can read this blog on your wonderfully luxurious cruise ship, look for me at the airport and not Keith. You'll know its me: I'm taller and I have more hair.

Speaking of Mom (and Jane) and their cruise, I hope they're having a good time. The cruise line is rerouting their voyage because their original itinerary would have taken them to Cozumel, which is right now being inundated by Hurricane Wilma. (Can't you just hear Fred yelling "Wiiiilmaaaaaaa!!!") According to the Princess Cruise website, Mom's ship is headed toward Sint Maartens or some such place. As long as its nice, and devoid of Dutch diplomats, I'm cool with it.

Meanwhile, back here in Iowa, we had a very summerlike day, so I took advantage of it by going out to the garage and doing some spray painting. I put polyurethane on a painted milk can, primered three more milk cans, and put red stripes on a blue and white washtub. All I have to do now is add stars to the blue field, put on some antiquing, and it will be ready for sale. I'm only doing one show this year, and it will be the same weekend that Carl is gone to the NBAA trade show. Go figure.

That's pretty much it from here. I'll let you know next week which Bode prevailed on the fantasy football battlefield. See you then!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Monday Blatherskite

Saturday was Mary's birthday. She and I went to her soccer game in Brooklyn while Carl and Hannah stayed home. It was a rare Saturday for Carl, when he had no homework and the weather was nice, so he did outdoor chores. After the soccer game was over, I called home and Carl went and got Pizza Hut pizza for Mary's birthday lunch. After lunch we had cake (chocolate, white frosting, covered with gummy worms) and then presents. She got a "Simone" singing Barbie, a silver and pink Razor scooter, and a "Barbie" house: three sets of cube shelves stacked together and lined with white contact paper. The contact paper is for Mary to color on, so as to make her "Barbie" house unique. Go figure.

You should see Mary on her scooter, though. She's a Razor-riding master. I think she learned "scootering" from the girls who live across the street from my Mom. They had a scooter and they let Mary ride it while they were playing together, and now she's a pro. Well, almost. No wheelies yet. She went riding it on Saturday and ended up bringing two schoolmates, Shannon and Peyton, home with her. The three of them spent the afternoon up in Mary's room playing Barbies when they weren't outside riding their scooters. Ah, the life of a kid.

And now, an update on my gut. (Just what you wanted, I know.) The new meds the doc gave me are working great. The fire in my stomach has lessened considerably, and with it has gone the urge to quench the fire by snacking. Hopefully I'll start losing some weight soon. I've started walking: we'll see how long that lasts once the cooler weather decides it's gonna stick around. The medicine is called AciPhex, which I think is funny because it's pronounced Ass-Effects. Must be sound medicine. (rimshot)

Meanwhile, back home, it's almost time for me to chase Mary up for her shower. I'll write more tomorrow when I know how Week 6 of the football season turned out. Right now I'm losing to my opponent by two (yes, two) points, and we both have defenders in tonight's game.

Go Indy!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

In The End

Well, the day of the endoscopy & colonoscopy has come and gone, and I have survived. And since I am alive to tell the tale, I shall begin the story at the beginning: yesterday.

Yesterday I had to go on liquid fast. No solid food, only liquids and non-red jello. I also had a truckload of shopping to do. So for breakfast I chugged down a bottle of apple juice and headed to town with a 7-up in my hand. I got my hair cut, then went to Theisen's, Waldenbooks, Wal-Mart, Menard's, Toys R Us, a couple of consignment shops, and Fareway. Besides getting the normal family supplies I was also shopping for Mary's birthday, which is Saturday. I was doing OK - I even scored a major find at one of the consignment shops. I bought three boxes of Peanuts "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" figurine toys (contents of each box was different) for a grand total of $15. The boxes had never been opened, but I couldn't bring something like that home and not let the girls play with it. However, Carl managed to save the packaging pretty much intact, so I can put the toys away after Halloween and keep a little of their collectible value. However, after the consignment shops I had to go to Fareway and get groceries. Ooooogh. Grocery shopping is hard enough on an empty stomach, but its close to torture to buy food and know that you have to wait until the next afternoon to eat any of it. But I got the shopping done, went home, unloaded and put stuff away before the kids got back from school.

Then it was time for the dreaded Liquid Colon Purging Solution. I started that at 4:00. I had to chug down a total of four liters (slightly over a gallon) by drinking an eight ounce glass every ten minutes. I was fine for the first three glasses: it tasted bad, but my doctor said I could suck on hard candies between glasses so I had a bag of Lifesavers handy for that. But after the first three glasses I was starting to feel full (and really gassy) so the next couple of glasses went down pretty hard. Shortly after 5:00, though, the medicine kicked in full force and the bloated, gassy feelings disappeared, along with the contents of my colon. I managed to drink the whole container of solution by 7:00, and had passed almost all of the solution out by 11:00. However, I didn't sleep very good. My stomach wouldn't let me.

Mother Nature wasn't being very nice, either. I was supposed to be at the hospital this morning by 8:30, and wouldn't you just know it, school was delayed for two hours because of fog. Carl, though, asked a friend who lives close to the school to keep the girls until school started, so that worked out OK except that Hannah missed her bus to Norway and the Atkins principal had to drive her. Arg. But we got to the hospital in decent time, and they set us up in a nice room. They made me change into the obligatory hospital gown, and then the nurse started asking me all the necessary questions, for which she got some pretty humorous answers. "Are you allergic to anything?" Stupid drivers. "Do you have any religious convictions that would prevent us from doing these procedures?" Well, I don't believe in dog sacrifices. "Do you smoke?" Only when I get a hot idea, then it rolls out my ears. By the time she was done with her form I about had her rolling on the floor laughing. Then Pastor Bill showed up. We prayed together, and then we visited for a while. During this time another nurse came in and put an IV thingy in my hand. Right around 10:00 the ops nurse came in to get me, and they wheeled me into the procedure room.

From here things get kinda fuzzy. I remember them giving me the sedatives (it burned) and I remember complaining about my stomach hurting (they said it was because they were pumping me up with air) but other than that I don't remember anything. I sort of remember them saying "You're all done" and wheeling me out, and I remember laying there trying to wake up but not doing very well at it. When I finally was awake enough, I got dressed, signed my discharge papers and left. We stopped at Wal-Mart to get some Citrucel (doctor's orders) and we stopped at Fareway to get ice cream (because I forgot it yesterday) then Carl took me home and made me scrambled eggs and toast for lunch. What a great guy. I spent the afternoon asleep on the couch, and woke up with a headache that I hope is caused by sedative withdrawl. But now I'm starting to feel much better (except for this persistent headache) and I really, truly, recommend that everyone have a colonoscopy. Its worth the trouble you go through to make sure that your gut is OK.

And yes, I mean you, Mother.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Football Update, Week Five

Yes, week 5 of the football season has passed, and with its passing we find Carl's team, Coyote Ka-Boom! in third place with a record of 3 - 2. My team, Nuclear Moose, is sixth with a record of 2 - 3. This wouldn't be so bad except for one thing: I traded Kevin Jones of Detroit to Carl for Deuce Staley of Pittsburgh, then dropped Staley and picked up Tampa Bay's kicker for one week to fill in for Jay Feely (NY Giants) who had a bye week. Carl needed a running back because of bye week problems, and of the two non-performers I had (Jones of Detroit and Martin of the NY Jets) I thought Jones was the better player. And of course, now that he plays for Carl, he ran for a bizillion yards and two rushing touchdowns. I couldn't believe it. All day Sunday, as we're cleaning house, I'm going "Did you see that? I give you Jones and he gets two touchdowns. TWO TOUCHDOWNS! This is so unfair!" Of course Carl was sympathetic: so much so that he (with Mary's help) dusted the whole house and vacuumed the upstairs. What a guy.

He would've vac'd the downstairs, too, if he could get around, but he can't. Right now all the furniture from the foyer and kitchen are in the computer room and living room because I'm working on the floors. I bought some industrial strength floor cleaner and some resealing topcoat and "refinished" my floors today. Man, that cleaner stuff was strong. The scent just about burnt out my nose hairs. But it did a great job with the cleaning, lifting off stuff I didn't think would ever come up. And then, after a quick trip to Norway to deliver Hannah's gym clothes (which she forgot again) I put down the topcoat and I figured I'd blog whilst I was waiting for it to dry. Something else I did while waiting was to contact my "career counselor" at Workforce Development (aka Job Service of Iowa) to see if there were any kind of work-from-home telecommuter jobs available. She hooked me up with A C Nielsen (of the Nielsen ratings) - they're looking for part time data collectors. So I e-mailed them my application. Hopefully I'll hear something from them.

In the meantime, the floor has dried, so I'm going to the fridge to get a drink...

Ahhhhh........Diet Mountain Dew!

Monday, October 03, 2005

That Which Is Loose

First off - The Moose Is Loose!! Yeah!! I whupped up on this week's fantasy opponent, handing him his first loss of the season. Carl, however, didn't fare as well, despite the fact that he very wisely benched Culpepper in favor of Griese. This sets both Carl and me at 2 - 2 for the season. I wonder who has more points, though?

Secondly - Mother Nature is loose and somewhat confused. Hey, Lady! It's October, not August. Get your vowel initiated months correct! Its 85 degrees outside, and my jeans and sweatshirts are still waiting for a prolonged session with cold weather. Yeah, yeah, I'll probably want this weather back come January. I know.

Thirdly - something is loose that I'd rather not have loose. It's my colon. I've been having some stomach problems so my doctor sent me to a gastroenterologist for a more in depth check up. Today was the appointment, and after answering the doctor's questions and listing my symptoms, he's decided that he is indeed going to conduct a more in depth check up. I'm scheduled for next Thursday (the 13th - lucky me!) for an endoscopy and a colonoscopy. To prepare for this happy little exam, I have to avoid fiber-rich foods starting next Tuesday, and on Wednesday I can't eat anything. I can only have clear liquids. Starting around 4 PM I have to start drinking this saline-based fluid stuff (Drano for Colons) plus I have to take two Dulcolax to make sure that my colon is flushed out. I'm not going to tell you what the nurse said about my BM's by the end of next Wednesday. As if what I've written so far isn't gross enough. But I'll let you know the outcome (HA!) of the exam.

Meanwhile, back to football. Last week I picked up Eli Manning for my fantasy team, and boy am I glad. Did you see him pick apart the Saint Louis defense? Of course, the bad news is Carl had the Saint Louis defense and it cost him four points. Grrr. But now I can't get that Three Dog Night song Eli's Coming out of my head. Oh, well.

Not much else going on around here, at least right now. Next week, however, is going to be a doozy. Hoo-boy....