Monday, January 31, 2011


I went last Wednesday night and hung out with my Momo who is still at the rehab facility at a local nursing home.
We played bingo.
Never in my life have I seen people get so worked up over picking cards and discussing if 4 corners was a true bingo. (We later decided that it was fair game because it seemed to be the hardest to get.)
But it was oh so much fun at the same time and I met a lot of wonderful people that were very happy to see such a young and smiling face.
I met a gentleman that played football with my Papa who told me all kinds of funny little stories about him. I met a man that I frequently see at my second job. I told him that his face looked familiar and he instantly said, "I go to Fontana's once a week for the spaghetti and because you have cute waitresses." His name is Paul and he is a sweetheart.
Momo was bragging about me being her granddaughter which made me feel good.
I am glad that Momo is getting out and about more at the facility as well. She has made friends with quite a few people and is becoming more social. I am sure this is helping her recover quicker as well. Walking to the dining hall has to be better for you than sitting in your room eating alone.
It still made me laugh though when the same woman would yell, "Did she say I26?" Apparently that was what she needed every game.
She never got it.

Monday, January 24, 2011


I had a very productive weekend.

Friday was a nice relaxing evening at our favorite BBQ joint...beef brisquet salad and beer. You can't ask for anything better. We went to be early and were able to get up early as well.
I cleaned all day again on Saturday. All day.
I got the soon to be "office" completely cleaned out...closet and all. It is now an empty room ready for us to do with it what we will. That will come later, but having a completely empty room feels kinda nice.
I then began washing ALL the bedding in our home. I mean even the stuff that is in storage and only comes out when we have parties.
I cooked a delicious dinner of stuffed peppers that my friend, Tiffany, came over to enjoy with me. Tiffany and I were once very close, but we drifted apart after she continued to stay with her cheating, nasty husband. She came over Saturday to tell me that she was finally leaving him. I'm very proud of her. And while I never wish a couple to divorce, I worry about her safety constantly because I know her husband doesn't use protection when he cheats. She realized that she didn't want her daughter growing up thinking it was ok for a man to treat his wife that way. She is very sad and embarrassed that her marriage didn't work out, but she tried, by herself, for 2 1/2 years to make things better. She realized that he wouldn't change because he didn't want to. And I think she realized that she deserves better. I know it was hard for her to talk to me about it and I did my best to listen and just be supportive and not make negative comments about him. But I did express my worry over her getting a potentially deadly STD because of him. She agreed that it was a possibility and I think the thought of it scared her.
Kevin came home from helping a buddy on Saturday evening after Tiff left. The first thing he did was hug me and then he told me how he realized how lucky he was to have me today and that he doesn't tell me enough how much he loves me and appreciates me. I instantly asked what he did wrong. He said that he and his friend had a long heart to heart and it made him realize a lot of things about his life. How he wastes a lot of time by doing for everyone else, but neglects him and I, how he drinks too much and how he thinks he is trying to fill a void by drinking and that it needs to stop, that he has gotten lazy and comfortable with our house, that he isn't doing any work to it because he is comfortable, but that he realizes that if this continues our home with deteriorate around us. I told him that this last one especially was frustrating to me because I have so many ideas for our home and that I feel like we live in a shell of a house, a house in shambles. That it is not a house that I am proud of because it looks like no one takes care of it. How I feel like he is very good at starting projects and then just letting them fall to the wayside unless it is something that is solely for the basement "man-cave" area. He agreed that he was horrible about this and promised to do better. He grew up in a home that was not nice, but because it was warm, his parents did nothing to make it look nicer. The home is falling apart now. Kevin is in danger of repeating this pattern because it is what he grew up with. I grew up with a family that took a house that required a lot of work, but we did the work and now it is an absolutely gorgeous home. It embarrasses me to have my family over to my home because it is constantly in the same state with no progress ever being made.
I hope that Kevin holds true to his awakening and begins to make progress in our home.
He asked me to quit my second job so that we can spend more time working on our things together...that maybe if I am there to push him, it will get done.
We will see.
Sunday, I went to dinner with 3 of my girlfriends. It was wonderful catching up with them all. It had been over a year since we were all together last. It was fantastic.
I then went home and made Bully a new dog bed, his being dilapidated from use. He instantly loved did Kevin who curled up with him and took a nap.
I then cleaned out our closet in our bedroom getting rid of a ton of stuff. Most of it is going to my friend that can use the clothes. The rest is going to Goodwill.
It feels so much better to have less "stuff" sitting around.
The process will continue tonight with our dressers!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Boom, Bang, Crash

Oh the joys of winter...
and ice storms.
My poor little red ranger is no more. Wednesday evening, heading home from work, I crashed my baby. It was quite a ride. I was only going 30, but let me tell you, I wouldn't have wanted to wreck going any faster than that.
I am ok. But my truck is not. When the sliding and turning was all said and done and the eerie quiet after a crash had taken hold, I was on my side...on the driver's side. My seatbelt did a fantastic job of holding me in place. I quickly looked for an escape route. The back window being too small, I turned the key to accessory and lowered the passenger side window and began my climb out. I'm no longer afraid of the walls I am going to have to climb over at the warrior dash, because I did a pretty kickass job of getting my butt out of the truck while it was on it's side.
My phone, which I searched frantically for inside the truck was resting in the snow outside the truck. I called 911 and began my wait.
40 minutes later a local city cop stopped by so I could warm myself in his car. 10 minutes later the statey finally made it. Of course, he was on the other side of the county. Lucky me.
Everyone was wonderful and so nice. I couldn't have asked for better help from better men.
Kevin was pretty disappointed and finally, last night, a day after the accident he gave me the comforting hug that I needed that night but never got.
I won't lie, I was pretty shook up and a wee bit nervous about driving this morning...but I managed.
My body feels like I played contact football with no pads, but I'm really lucky that I wasn't seriously injured.
My truck though, may not be so lucky.
I will find out soon...

Monday, January 17, 2011

I spent the majority of the weekend cleaning.
I walked in my home after work on Friday and was just plain sick of the clutter.
Now keep in mind I'm not fanatic about keeping my home SPOTLESS like my mother and father. As long as it is clean more days than not, I am happy. I work 2 jobs and recently started working out again. I just don't have the time to keep it as clean as I would like.
But, living with Kevin, cleaning can be challenging. He treats our kitchen table like his tool box. It is routinely covered in tools from the machine shop. The ones that fit in his back pockets. And tape measures. I find tape measures everywhere...but none when I need one.
Anyways. I walked in the door friday after work and began work on the kitchen. I pulled everything off the counters and scrubbed. I washed the walls, went through cabinets and got rid of some stuff I never used or just just didn't need. I moved all of Kevin's tools off the table to the basement, I swept and then mopped the floors. When I mop I boil my water. Call me crazy, but it cleans much better and I feel like it disinfects...even though I use a disinfectant on the floor as well. I cleaned for about 4 hours straight. Just in the kitchen, hallway, and bathroom.
Saturday I woke up and began on the closets. We have a spare bedroom with 2 HUGE closets that is pretty much our only storage in the house. I began going through all the totes and storage containers and got rid of a lot of stuff. So far, I have 8 bags of garbage. Just garbage. Amazing that I had it all stuffed here and there in those closets. Junk. I pulled out a bunch of stuff that we are either going to sell on Ebay. (My motorcycle ferrings for sure) we may just donate it to goodwill. I'm not about to have a garage sale. They are too much hassle and I live in the middle of no where. I have about 15 collector Barbi's that I have no clue what to do with. Either sell them or ship them out to my nieces. Either way, I want them gone. They are taking up valuable space.
Kevin has 3 LARGE totes to go through. I'm not touching them because I wouldn't want him to go through my stuff and decide what is important enough to keep and what is not.
My job this week is to go through all my Christmas totes...all 5 of them, and get rid of the items I do not use. I hardly decorate for Christmas anymore, so I don't know why I hold on to the stuff. I have one antique decoration from my Momo that pull out, but everything else just stays in the totes. I haven't even put up a tree in 3 years.
So, I'm hoping to change my 5 Christmas totes into 2 Christmas totes.
I'm also hoping to find a book shelf to put all my books on soon.
Kevin is paying for the much needed I beam for our basement this week at work. Hopefully we can get it into our house soon so we can actually start refinishing walls and laying floors. My beautiful slate tiles for our mudroom are still chilling out in the basement. I am dying to see them installed.
It felt good to declutter myself a little. I need to do it more often.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Saturday morning, my friends Beth, Amanda, and I braved a Zumba class. I loved it so much I went back again last night. I have never laughed and had such a good time while working out.
I was skeptical to say the least when Beth called and invited me to come along. It was all of our first times so we were confident in that we had each other.
Some of the foot work was a little tricky, but my cheerleading background definitely paid off. However, I still laughed at myself about 90% of the time and attribute my sore abs more to my constant laughing than from any moves that we did.
Zumba is a combination of salsa, belly, and hip hop dancing. Needless to say, my hips haven't moved this much in a long time. But, it is a great time and I burn calories without knowing it. Win-win if you ask me.
I have scheduled my second job to allow me to go to all the Zumba classes each week. You could say I am addicted.
Better yet, at last nights class I ran into an old co-worker from East of Chicago from my high school days. She was the mom of one of my class mates and one of my favorite people. She has lost almost 50lbs with Zumba. Now THAT is motivation!
Hopefully I can shake, shimmy, twist, and wiggle my butt down 50lbs too!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Kevin and I finished the book we were reading together last night. I made it to the second to last chapter before I had to hand the book off to him to read aloud. My sobs were coming on too strong for me to finish it.
Kevin reluctantly took the book and began reading in his slow methodical way. He thinks he is a poor reader, but he is not. He just worries too much about what is being thought of him.
So. Kevin took over reading right at the part where our hero dog, Enzo, is coming to the end of his life. We knew it was coming, yet we still weren't prepared. Kevin was doing great at the parts I was stumbling over. The parts where Enzo was talking about how his body was failing him. He got to the section where Enzo's master was holding him, and said "I love you," and his voice cracked. I was laying on the couch across the room from Kevin, holding the dog, sobbing. I look over and Kevin has giant tears running down his face. He has to force his voice out to continue reading and has to take frequent breaks to try to calm himself. He is what I was the other night while trying to read.
I take back over when he can go on no more and finish the book.
I put it down. Content but wanting more, like I am with all good books, and look at my husband. Our blood shot eyes meet and we both begin laughing hysterically.
I ask him if he liked it. He says yes, but wishes it weren't so sad. I thought it was a hopeful story. He then looks at me and says "you are making me feel things and I don't like it." I smile broadly and climb onto his couch with him. I explain that is one of the reasons I so wanted to share this book. So we could share emotions together. Not be afraid to open ourselves up. He still thinks I am crazy for developing the characters so fully in my mind, but I know that Enzo was alive in his head.
We agreed to read together again, but he asked me to pick a happier story.
I ordered 6 books today from my childhood that he has never read so that we can read them together.
I am excited to share these with him. They are the books that made me love reading. I hope that they will have the same impact on him.

What Dreams are Made of

I dreamt of you last night.
You, the man that was in my life for so long. A friend. A friend that I am no longer allowed to talk to because our significant others don't understand how our years of friendship override a few on again-off again moments somewhere in the middle. I used to dream of you a lot. Over the years though, they have dwindled down to once or twice a year. But they are always vivid. And I can always feel you.
Anyways. I dreamt of you.
I was back at the 'Berg. I was in the training room. The training room looked as it always has, but when you walked outside of the training room, there was marble everywhere. White marble with thin, stretching lines of the lightest gray. Far from the Seiberling that we spent so many years in.
I was in the training room and it had felt like it had been years since I had been there, probably because it had been. I was working with the head of the program, a man I had never seen before, but he seemed to be a combination of the male professors we had had over our 4 year career there. He handed me a yellow legal pad filled with complicated equations and told me to start completing them. I had never seen anything like them. I looked at him and told him that I never came across anything like this in my pharmacology class. He smiled and sat down next to me at the treatment table-what we always used for desks while in the training room, and began to show me how certain things canceled out so that you could balance the equation and know how much of one substance you were supposed to use in relation to the other substances. It looked like some kind of cortisone equation. It was the only thing I could think of anyways.
I hear something behind me, so I turn around and there is a whole class waiting to start. There was Paul, Brock, Greg, Seka, and Tess. All sitting on stools in a close little group. And right behind me was you. I smile with surprise and touch your knee and say, "I have a lot of catching up to do. I don't know anything anymore." You don't meet my eye and you give a short, mean grunt. I'm hurt and embarrassed so I quickly turn around. You aren't you. You aren't the large, muscular man I love. Your light green eyes aren't shining. The smile that I love so much is not there, no crinkling around those eyes. No cocky laugh like you always had in the training room during football season. That laugh is what made me fall in love with you. You are the shell of yourself you became when you attempted to wrestle at 181 pounds our senior year. Your muscular 225 pounds wittled away into a gaunt replica of yourself. You were a bear to deal with during that time. But I would be too had I only had rice to eat and too many pounds to shed between football season and wrestling season.
I turn my attention back to the treatment table, but you are laying on the one in front of me. Greg is laying on the one next to you. It was definitely football season, but you were at your sick wrestling weight. Greg looked like his usual husky self. Our two trainers that were also football players. All of a sudden needles came out of the wall over the table. It was like something out of x-men. They guided themselves into both of your hands and started pumping something into you. While I stared in fear and disgust, everyone else stared in excitement and anticipation. I didn't know what was going on, but I didn't like it. I kept asking where the 'Berg got the money for this technology, but everyone either didn't hear me or chose to ignore me. When I turned back around you had transformed into some type of monster. You were twice your normal height and your body was rippling with muscles, but the veins were popping out and your skin looked a sickly green and appeared to be slimy. You looked like some type of a ratfink monster drawing. I was instantly scared, but everyone around me was congratulating themselves. Greg looked similar to you, only larger. And he looked excited about his transformation. Flexing his muscles and such.
You looked down at me, you eyes bulging from their sockets. Those eyes I love so much. And I saw YOU. You looked scared but I saw the love in them. Your giant, overgrown hand reached for mine. I took it. My hand could only attempt to grasp two of your fingers. Everyone stopped and stared and then started laughing. Brock exclaimed, "Maybe you two will last longer than 6 month this time with this." I didn't get it. Then someone explained that the drug, whatever it was, caused the user to express his emotions clearly and fully.
I knew what they meant then. Our biggest problem as us being a couple was that we couldn't fully express our emotions to each other for fear of rejection from a person we cared about so much. It was our demise. Our downfall. We were too scared to lose the friendship we had established. Oh, if we only knew then what we know now.
I knew then that you needed me to protect you. You didn't like what they were doing to you. But I had no control over what was happening. Before I could do anything, you were taken away-apparently to the locker room, only it wasn't where it has always been.
The remainder of the dream I spent searching for you. Running down marble hallway after marble hallway, everything looking the same, yet so foreign. I was frustrated and scared and helpless. I knew I would never find you again. I found a bathroom, locked myself into a stall, and cried and cried and cried.
I woke up when I had convinced myself to go back out and continue my search, just as I opened the bathroom door.
Gone again.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cause and Effect

Kevin and I have been continuing our reading project together. We only have a few more chapters left of "The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein. On Sunday night I read for over 2 hours. We got through about 12 chapters in that time (they are short.) But it was a hard 12 chapters. Mainly, because I was sobbing through a large majority of them.
I can keep my emotions in check when reading to myself and will usually only shed a tear or two, if any at all. However, reading aloud did not allow me to push through the sad parts, tears in my eyes, to get to a happier section. No. At one point I had to put the book down, collect myself and try again. Sobbing. Voice caught in my throat, tears spilling, hard to breath sobbing.
Kevin thought I was crazy.
Here is where we see how we react differently to books. I develop relationships with the characters and they become alive to me. For Kevin, they are just a character. These people are real in my head and I feel the emotions they are going through. Kevin sits stone faced listening, but not feeling. If I read about the "hero" of my book losing his wife and "grabbing at the last of her" by feeling the dirt that buried her, it's going to be hard for me to not get emotionally upset. I'm tearing up now just writing about it. Kevin doesn't understand how I become so connected with the characters. This led to a great conversation about how the development of a character blooms in my head. How I picture the character and they become real to me. How, even after seeing movies, I still have my own clear picture of a character in my head, and they remain that way. How MY Lestat doesn't look anything like Tom Cruise. How MY Elizabeth doesn't look anything like Keira Knightly, though close. Kevin still didn't get it. I tried to explain how books allow you INSIDE the characters minds and with that gift you are given a passage to someone else's life for the time when you are reading the book. That I become so involved with the character that I feel their pain, their joy, everything. It is why I laugh aloud at times while reading. It's why I will be reading with a big grin on my face, or a frown, or a look of bewilderment...because I am feeling what the character is feeling.
Kevin still didn't get it.
I guess some people just never will.
I do know what is coming in the next few chapters though, and have a feeling it may cause Kevin to actually shed a few tears.
Why? Because it isn't about a human, it is about a dog.
Kevin and the love of his life...