Monday, May 28, 2012

May wrap up

It's Memorial Day, and as I type this fireworks are going off in the distance outside my office window. There is a pretty pink sunset going on out there, too, and a wide eyed parrot sitting on my shoulder watching the show. He watches the sunset from his office perch most afternoons, but he doesn't know what to make of fireworks. He's staying close to mom (just in case!) but he's mostly just curious. Ginger, on the other hand, is terrified. She is in a corner of the laundry room, refusing to come out or eat dinner. Fireworks are not her thing!

I had every intention to blog more in May, but it's been another stressful couple of weeks. GB continues to deal with side effects from chemotherapy even though his last treatment was a month ago. He's had a great deal of nerve pain (peripheral neuropathy) around his rib cage where his incision was, which is not only painful but makes breathing difficult. He is slightly anemic, which makes him even more short of breath, and is altogether physically weak and run down. A couple of days ago he threw up several times, out of the blue, for no apparent reason. Every day seems to bring something new, and not in a good way. It's been discouraging that he's still so sick this long after the end of chemotherapy. I suppose one month really isn't very long, come to think of it.

Through all these long months of treating the cancer, we were just sure that once we got to this point in the year (early summer) he would be almost back to normal. Just goes to show how little we understood what was about to happen. So we're trudging along here, trying to keep life moving along as smoothly as possible when one partner has a serious illness. Free time to blog has not been available very often, what with a full time job, a sick person needing care, and housework/yard work/pet care being top priorities.

So that was our May--difficult, tiring, and somewhat disappointing. Thank goodness a new month is just around the corner. I'm counting on June to be better!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Small good things

Last week was another rough one for me. My husband's health took a bad turn. He was attempting to mow the grass (while I was at work, or I would have stopped him) and he lost his breath. He fell to the ground and couldn't get a breath for almost a minute. He panicked, naturally, especially since he didn't have his cell phone on him and had no way to call for help. Finally he got enough air that he was able to get into the house, but he was terribly frightened. Worse, he has somehow been set back by the episode. He has had some breathing difficulties since and more pain. The effects from the last chemotherapy are still very much an issue as well, since it has only been two or three weeks since the last treatment. Last night he couldn't even hold a conversation due to being short of breath, and so this morning there will be another round of tests and a doctor's exam to make sure everything is still ok.

My work situation continued to deteriorate last week. Two coworkers that I trusted and liked "threw me under the bus" so to speak, and let me take the blame for things they were responsible for. They joined forces with the crazy emotionally disturbed woman, and went to our boss and said some mean, nasty, untrue things about me. Then the boss (that I've always truly liked and respected) did nothing to help me in the situation. Not one thing.

It really hurts to be treated this way. Like getting kicked when you're already down.

When life is crazy stressful, I have learned that it really helps to notice and enjoy small good things. There are still lots of good things to notice and enjoy even though life continues to be difficult and scary right now.  Here are some of the little pieces of happy I've found to enjoy in the past week or so:

Small good thing #1

This is a sunflower that sprouted in our backyard this spring. It came from a stray seed from the birdfeeder hanging above it. Isn't it beautiful? Like a bright sunny gift given to us, for free.

Small good thing #2

HUMMINGBIRDS! We saw the first one at the feeder last week. Although I didn't get a picture of it, here is a Hummer from a few years ago that I did get to photograph.

(On a side note, I also saw a mated pair of House Finches sitting on the hummingbird feeder sipping sugar water. There's got to be a lesson in that somewhere.)

Small good thing #3

Homemade cherry pie!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Full moon madness

This has been a really draining, emotionally intense week for me. It seems that several situations at work are culminating in explosive, ugly scenes, and old resentments are boiling over all over the place. We have mini versions of this nonsense on about a monthly basis, usually when the moon is almost full.

This particular full moon seems especially intense. There is one coworker that is usually right in the middle of all the drama--a passive aggressive, insecure, immature woman that I am unfortunate enough to share a job title with--and she hated me almost on first sight. She constantly tries to bully, harass, intimidate, and undermine me. She seems to feel very bad about herself. She is forever having emotional "breakdowns" at work over bad personal problems, like getting evicted from her home, having her phone service cut off, having fights with her drug addicted mother...the list goes on. One also gets the impression that her husband isn't a very nice guy, and doesn't work much, and they have two kids...

I can almost feel sorry for her.

It was obvious right from the start that she resented my  happiness in life. I have a husband that I adore and a great marriage. We never have serious financial problems (not that we make much money, far from it, but we're careful). I tend to be a happy, optimistic person. I think she was probably able to sense those things immediately, and hated me for them.

I understand , but that doesn't make dealing with her any more pleasant. Especially since every full moon leads to her not only complaining about her PMS (something I hate) but also her acting out more that usual. Big drama. Big emotion. Big headaches for me!

Meanwhile, at least I'm getting lots of practice dealing with psychotic  difficult people at this job!

And I do love the full moon, provided I am at home watching it rise, and not at work! Our little family takes frequent nighttime walks--and the nights when the moon is big and bright are our favorites. We have been having nice moonlit strolls all week.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Bringing in the May

Vintage photo circa 1907
Fourteen little girls dance
around a Maypole.

The lovely month of May has arrived! This is a traditional day to give small baskets of flowers to neighbors and friends, to stay up late (preferable outdoors) and have romantic trysts, to dance around maypoles. New life is everywhere and summer is finally here!

In honor of the holiday I wove a very delicate wreath of jasmine vines. I have a large hedge of confederate jasmine growing in a corner of the backyard. It was almost dark when I made my wreath, and the first quarter moon was shining overhead when I finished. I can't wait to see it tomorrow morning! The flowers smell very sweet and the lengths of vine have lovely curly tendrils all over.

While out driving today I stopped at a farm stand and bought 10 pounds of tiny, sweet, perfect local strawberries. Some will be frozen, some will be eaten with cream and sugar over the next few days, and some (three pounds or so) were put in a basket and dropped off at a friend's house on the way home. This was my version of creating a May basket for a friend. It was so much fun to surprise someone with a little basket of spring happiness! I highly recommend giving a little basket of flowers, fruit, or some other little personal token of spring to a neighbor or friend.

Happy May Day to everyone!