Friday, November 23, 2012

Ushering in the Christmas season

It was a tough day.

But then, I was trying to put together my Christmas cards online. I was searching for the perfect photo for the last slot on the card and Lucky did THIS.


My good boy...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Turkeys and Thanks

So it's Thanksgiving. And I know I have a LOT for which to be thankful. Texts and phone calls and Facebook messages have been pouring in all day to remind me of the friends and family far away who I miss desperately. This morning I started my day with the Village, as our coffee shop opened from 7-9 to accommodate us (they didn't expressly limit coffee to us, but we like to think we're the reason they opened today). Between Village Thanksgiving last weekend and coffee today, I can't help but feel especially thankful to be part of such an amazing group of friends that feel like family, particularly this time of year. I spoke to my sisters and was reminded of how wonderfully our relationship has grown this year. I am so thankful that's come along so well, and for continuing to know them better as well as my nieces and nephews. I got a text from my godson, who's all married now and headed into the Navy (I still think of him as a toddler, chasing a rabbit around the pine tree in my front yard). I heard from local friends that I adore. And I spent the meal in the community which has helped take such good care of my parents. And then I came home and hung out with the three best pets on the planet. Lucky and Maggie even snuggled up with my at nap time.

Of course I spent a good deal of quality time with my folks today. It's been a rough week for us; my dad fell, of course, and hasn't been feeling very well. Yesterday we were given the opportunity to move him to Assisted Living at the beginning of next month. It's probably greatly overdue for him, and frankly, I'm trying to get my mom in as well, because I think their quality of life would go up so dramatically. My mom especially is resistant, and I think my dad feels a little defeated. This stymies me a little. I think they're mourning the loss of their independence a bit, but I also think they have this idea that it's a nursing home, and it isn't. AL is just that - assistance. And the cold hard fact is that their limitations already exist. Not fun, no one is denying that. But frankly, if I could pay someone to cook me three meals a day and do my laundry and be on demand to meet all my needs, I might be all over that (this place has a SPA, for Pete's sake). And the particularly nice thing is that this AL is in the same building they already live, so my mom can visit all day if she wants. Plus they'll let Maggie visit. It's going to be expensive, but worth every penny, for my dad's comfort as well as my and my mother's peace of mind. Having said all that, it was a very difficult decision to make.

Today was lovely, though. I brought them coffee and breakfast, came home and put the finishing touches on a pie (I was recently reminded of how my grandmother used to make my mom a lemon meringue pie every Thanksgiving from when she was little because she didn't like pumpkin) and went back to share the meal with them. Dad was feeling pretty good today and we all managed to go down to the dining room to enjoy the festivities. It was really delightful. I stayed and visited a while after and then let them rest (and came home and took my own nap).  I'm about to head back over there to help my dad get tucked in for the night.

Post nap, I also started putting up my Christmas decorations today! My tree - which I bought last night - looks lovely. And I got all nostalgic pulling heirloom decorations out. I also found our stockings - I need to get another one for Olivia this year. And this year I have a much nicer mantle on which to hang them.

It's a nice little life I have.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Twenty

1. I'm grateful for a job that I love. It wears me out and is a lot of work, but it's rewarding and ALWAYS interesting.

2. I'm grateful for the lessons my parents have taught me, and how that's shaped who I am in so many ways.

3. I'm grateful for the sweet puppy sleeping next to me right now. She's been with me through an awful lot.

4. I'm grateful for the two crazy cats who wandered into my life and my house. They keep trying to knock everything off my coffee table, my counters, and my nightstand, they run amok at all hours of the night, and they create general havoc. They're hilarious.

5. I'm grateful for the love and support of good friends.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Nineteen (wait, what?)

How is it already the 19th of November? Wow, this month is flying.

1. I am grateful that my work week is half over. How cool is that?

2. I am grateful for really good, homemade pasta sauce that I had for dinner tonight. I made it yesterday in the Crock Pot and divvied it up tonight into little aliquots in tiny tupperware that I then put into the freezer. It was super easy, and it's super good.

3. So, midway through writing this post, my dad fell and bonked his head. So now I'm grateful for fabulous hospice nurses that will drive 40 minutes each way to reassure me that my neuro exam is right, and he looks neurologically intact.

4. I am grateful that I made the decision two and a half years ago to move my family down here. I'm so grateful to have them close to me at times like this.

5. I am grateful that, through strength, resilience, and the grace of God, I am not the hot mess that I'm entitled to be, but am as high functioning as I am.

And I have to get up every three hours and call my dad to check on him, so I? Am getting my tuchas to bed.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Oops.

So I got a little distracted. My sister and niece and great-nephew were in town and we were trying to pack in the family time as much as we could. But I'm back. And so....

1. I'm obviously grateful for family. We had a wonderful visit and it was great to have them here. We covered a lot of ground in a short period of time.

2. I'm grateful for friends who feel like family. Last night was Village Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday of the year. We had so much fun. And have so much to be grateful for, as a group. I'm very blessed to have such a solid group of friends.

3. I'm grateful for fire pits, laundry room raves, and people with whom I can be myself (and more than a little silly).

4. I'm grateful for my gluten free life. I indulged last night - I figured it was the one night of the year I could give in and eat gluten - and boy did I pay for it today.

5. I'm grateful for Sunday night dinners and some quality time with my parents.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Twelve

Right? Is today the 12th?

Anyway.

It's been a long day and I am wiped out. My dad is feeling a little better, so he sent me back to my house to sleep. Which I will do shortly. But before that...

1. I'm grateful for the good moments I got with my dad today.

2. I'm grateful for the good moments with my mom as well.

3. I'm grateful for the amazing UNC Hospice staff and what very good care they're taking of my whole family.

4. I'm grateful for a flexible job that accommodates my needs on short notice.

5. I'm grateful for Valium tonight. Because as much as I'm pleased to be in my own bed, I'm also anxious to not be staying at my parents' tonight.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Life

It's been kind of a rough weekend. I finally got rid of my migraine today, at least.

However, my dad's not been doing so well this weekend. I'm hoping it's just a little setback, but we'll see.

So tonight I'm grateful for family. I'm grateful that I was raised with a strong sense of it. I'm grateful for friends who have my back. I'm grateful for my strength and resilience. And on this Veteran's Day, I'm especially grateful for the men and women who have served to protect my freedom - and those who continue to serve.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Eight

Today I'm grateful for....

1. Friends that feel like family. In fact, friends that feel more like siblings than my actual siblings, even though they're far away and I don't see them very often. 

2. That I'm getting to know my biological siblings. They came into my life late, but not a moment too soon. 

3. My dog. She's currently chasing her tail and cracking me the hell up. 

4. The opportunity to be a doctor, with all its responsibilities and privileges. It's an exhausting job some days, but it's still the best job ever. 

5. My bed. I have this really wonderful, very cozy TempurPedic.  People complain that they're a little warmer than traditional mattresses but I find this to be very soothing. I know it's only 7pm, but I may just go retreat to it right now...

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Hail to the chief....and hold the hail

1. In case you missed it, I'm incredibly grateful that our president gets another term to do even half the things I think him capable of. And now the gloves are off, because there's no next term. Bring it.

2. I'm grateful to have the discerning sense to strive to be what I think (and don't argue with me on this, it's what *I* think) is an actual Christian. I.e., I try to be a good, accepting, compassionate person who is interested in humanity and tries not to repeat her mistakes when she inevitably makes them. Look, none of us have it "right" as far as religion is concerned. We just try our best to get through this life and make the world a little better than we found it. I identify myself as a Christian but it is only one tradition I draw from. And yeah, I learned that open-minded acceptance from Jesus.



3. I am grateful to live in a place where I can freely and without fear of prosecution say things like that. Especially as a woman. 

4. I am grateful to be living in the most connected age ever, where we can all express ourselves equally - even though that sometimes means I get in touch with what analysts would describe as my primitive homicidal rage. 

5. I am grateful that the mistakes of each generation do indeed fade like a radio station if you drive out of range.


I am also so grateful for my warm, dry, powered home tonight. Please, please keep those in the Northeast in your thoughts/prayers/vibes/mojo tonight as they batten down for yet another storm while still in the aftershocks of Sandy. It feels so unfair, and I'm holding hope for my friends up north tonight. 


Obamanos!

I finally peeked. Oh thank God.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Get out the vote (and then hide from it)

Today I am grateful to live in one heck of a great nation. Yes, we have our quirks and our pitfalls, but on the whole we're a caring lot. We're amazingly diverse and - although we still have a long way to go - relatively tolerant. I won't go so far to say we're the best country on Earth, because this is the only one I've lived in, and there are some other nations out there that do pretty well, too. But it's pretty good here, all things considered.

I am extremely grateful that I have the right and privilege of voting for those who govern me, and I sincerely thank the women before me that secured and protected that right.

I am so very grateful for the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to protect my rights. I don't always agree with the decisions we make with our military forces but I absolutely support those who serve.

I am grateful I got the chance to support the Wounded Warrior project a couple of weeks ago when I worked as a volunteer at the Tough Mudder Carolinas, a half marathon with 25 military-style obstacles which raises money for the WWP. A group of my crazy, badass friends ran the race and so, to support them I signed up to volunteer. I ended up working a lot harder than I'd anticipated, but had a lot of fun, too. It was great to be at the finish line when my friends came across. And WWP is a great charity.

I am also grateful today that I have the ability and sense of self preservation to insulate myself from the election tonight. Yes, that's right, I'm being a big chicken and avoiding anything to do with politics today. I can't handle the anxiety of it! The race is too close, and the way I see it, the outcomes potentially too dramatically different. So I'm off the grid - no Facebook, no CNN.com, no election returns on prime-time TV. I worked late, listened to my satellite radio music stations on the way home, and am now watching reruns of SVU on USA. If all else fails I'll go to the DVR. And tomorrow, I'll wake up, and with any luck...no, I don't want to jinx it. I did my civic duty (I voted last week, actually) and now am placing my faith in my fellow Americans to make good choices. Here's hoping.....!!!

Monday, November 05, 2012

V

Today I am grateful for...

1. The patients that place an inordinate amount of trust in me and let me into the most intimate corners of their lives.

2. Starting my morning with good friends and interesting conversations.

3. Coffee. Or as it were, coffeeeeeeeeee.

4. Mexican food and its heavy reliance on (gluten free) corn masa.

5. My very entertaining cats.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Days 3 and 4

Okay, so I was watching my friends' son last night and passed out on their couch when I'd intended to blog. So let's recap day 3. Which, frankly, was a rough day and I needed to express my gratitude more than ever, because let me tell you, it was hard.

1. I'm grateful for the innocence of a child, and for when they can retain that innocence appropriately long enough.

2. I'm grateful I still have some of that innocence and wonder in me.

3. I'm grateful I have a good shrink and that we've been able to do some hard work lately.

4. I'm grateful for good friends who trust me enough to leave their most precious possession in my care.

5. I'm grateful for the time I had to hang out with my mom this morning.

Day 4...

1. I'm grateful for the comfort of ritual and the flexibility to meet my individual needs.

2. I'm grateful for good friends and the repeated hilarity that comes with them.

3. I'm grateful for Sunday night pizza with the folks.

4. I'm grateful when I can listen to my body.

5. I'm grateful for the strength my body possesses and the moments I can acknowledge its attributes.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Day two

1. Oh, I'm so grateful it's Friday. (I'm pretty sure you'll see that one repeated this month...)

2. I'm grateful for good friends who can make menial errands into an adventure.

3. I'm grateful that this is the last week for a while I work five full days between my three jobs.

4. I'm grateful that, even if I'm still not making real doctor money, I'm making more than I was as a resident.

5. I'm grateful for Whole Foods Strawberry PiƱa Colada Popsicles.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

A month of gratitude

So one of my friends on Facebook reminded me today about the trend over the last couple of years of posting things we have for which to be thankful every day in November - not just one. I'm a big fan of gratitude, and I think we (or at the very least, I) take too many things for granted. So I decided to take it to the blog, where I have a few more characters with which to work. I can't guarantee that I will, of course, but, ya know. 

I have a lot to be thankful for. More than one day can hold. More than a month can hold, honestly. But I forget that sometimes. So I'm going to start off with five things today. 

And as I was typing the above, it also occurred to me that November is NaBloPoMo - National Blog Posting Month. The thing that got me started to begin with, with the daily blogging that I miss so much. So I'm all signed up. Let's get this party started. 

Day 1:

1. I am grateful to be alive. To have my house, my job, my pets, my family all intact after Hurricane Sandy. It was a non-event in North Carolina, fortunately. We lost power for a whopping hour. We got a little rain and a little wind. 

2. I am incredibly grateful that my friends up north also survived the storm. Barb came through with class and cake, fortunately. Buie wasn't so lucky. She lives on the water and ended up having to swim for her life in the middle of the night to the rescue boats. She lost everything material, but she, and her dogs, are safe and sound. Her siblings and their families are also safe. As bad as things are, I can't even imagine the alternative. Prayers, good mojo, positive energies - whatever your thing, send some her way, would you?  

3. I am grateful it's Friday eve. Today was one hell of a long day at work. 

4. I am grateful to have had the unexpected time I've had with my dad. He's still going reasonably strong. We'll take every day we're given. 

5. I am grateful for the love of a good dog - again. I was unexpectedly reminded today of my old boy Wolfie, whom I had to put down ten years ago next month. He was a special, special dog. With some special needs - unbeknownst to me, we think he had metastatic cancer when I got him, and he spent the next twelve months having seizures, needing medicine, and with a horrible bilateral ear infection he couldn't shake. Poor buddy was probably miserable, but never showed it. He was sweet and protective and just the best dog a girl could hope for. And I think he sent me Maggie. Who continues the tradition of being the best dog ever.