Sunday, March 24, 2013

Happy Blog-aversary to PB4UGO!

It has been five years since Becky told me I should be writing a 'real blog' rather than my sometimes rants over on the blog feature of MySpace.
Here I am still. Mostly pointless drivel, just goings ons in my life. I love reading about what is going on with my kids, family, and friends on their blogs. Even just keeping up on Facebook.

Thank you all for being such great sports.

A couple of months back, Mr C had the pay TV turned off. Too much expense for too little return. I don't think it has bothered any of us too much, except for when some sporting events are on. This morning, Mr. C has set out to procure an old fashioned rooftop TV antennae. I doubt he will be able to put it up today, as it is blowing a gale outside. Not to mention snowing. Oh wait, I did mention snow, didn't I, in saying not mentioning it? Yes, it is snowing. Not much, but still. It is MARCH 24... and we live in the SOUTH.

Yesterday and the day before, I worked some extra hours at O'Reillys. I got to do two major planograms that were three weeks past due. BossMan wanted to get with me and discuss changing my position within the store from freight to planograms. We never quite got around to having that discussion. I don't mind doing the freight. I really enjoy doing planograms. However, the last week, I have been on steroids. Short term steroids. Two days left to go on them. This morning I feel like I was dragged through a rock patch by the hair of my head. I don't know that I can handle doing planograms all the time.
 I was laughing Friday afternoon as I removed products from the shelf, turned, bent, placed them in a tote. Reached for more products, turned, bent, placed them in a tote. Repeat/reverse x6 hours. I laughed because the nurse at the doctors office says ones job does NOT count as getting exercise.

We are one month out from our next planned venture to Ohio. This will be the first time we have stayed in any of the rental cabins. I'm looking forward to getting to spend time with Becky and the kids, as well as meeting nephew Luke's baby Leigha. I have been trying to keep an eye out for inexpensive little items to entertain the kids on the loooooonnngggg ride up there. When my kids were little, I would try to make up little games for the trip. Car bingo- where you watch for different items on your list. You see many interesting things out the car windows when you are observant!
(A guy walking down the access road with a bird in a birdcage?)

Daniel and Sam are planning an adventure with Tommy in a couple of weeks. They plan to meet out at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge and spend a day hiking. Tommy's first trip there was the day after he was born. Of course, I just sat out in the sunshine with him while the kids ran and played, but it was his first trip. This will be Daniel and Sam's first solo drive beyond local limits. Almost six hours away, through two major cities. I'm nervous.

Guess that's all the news for now. Have a blessed day and Thank you for reading!

Thursday, March 21, 2013


With an arthritis diagnosis, I am becoming a bit more willing to live with the physical limits that my body has been setting.
At work, I figured I was hired to do the job I do, and should not be asking for help in doing it. If I can't DO the job, they need someone in the position who can.
So I have felt like I was sluffing my job off onto others when my lower back would start protesting over the repeated heavy lifting required on this job. I never liked using old age , or being a female, as an excuse..
By becoming more willing to ask for help, the guys see I'm no super-woman. I do as much of my job as I can, but there are some days when I do need help. I had seventeen outgoing batteries yesterday, and there had been more than a dozen rotors coming in. I asked for help, and the guys took care of both. Today was 'oil day'. That is the day we get in our weekly supply of oil, stock of batteries, grease, five gallon buckets of tractor fluids, cases of antifreeze and windshield washing fluids. It is usually three or four pallets of freight. (Normal days is one to one and a half pallets.)

I breezed through the freight and oil today. Even Tim (the boss) noticed. He remarked that I must be feeling better. I had to agree I do feel a LOT better. It is remarkable that I didn't realize how much pain I have been in for such a long time, until I am suddenly (relatively) pain free. Steroids!
As I told Tim, the steroids are a very short term solution to a long term problem. I am on them to clear up an acute arthritic flare- and they are not going to be part of regular medication.

Until I got to researching arthritis, I didn't realise that I should probably of been diagnosed long ago. Since I am QUITE aware that foods can have a huge negative impact on how much pain I inflict on myself (thanks asparagus!) I am going to try to modify my diet. My O'Reillys store is located right across the street from the McKee factory. For those of you who don't recognise McKee.. I am sure you will recognise their product: Little Debbie Snack Cakes. Their reps bring over about a dozen boxes of various goodies every week. If anyone gets to feeling 'snacky'... We grab a Little Debbie. The week prior to, and during the acute flare, I had several snack attacks. Cream Cheese crumb cakes, "cloud cakes" (LD twinkie), powdered sugar cinnamon donuts... I don't usually eat so much sugar, or flour. No more Little Debbie for me. :( 
The dietary guidlines I have found on the Internet recommend limiting red meat :(  , as well as peas, many legumes,  (I have to check which to avoid, we eat a lot of beans!) Tomatoes, as well as potatoes. Refined sugars, refined flours. I seems to serve tomatoes, potatoes, or beans almost every meal!

I need to eat more fish. We already eat a lot of chicken. While I have not been exercising for the past year, I need to get back with walking, as well as light strength training with the weights. The very fact we have five lb. dumbells in the house is proof I have done some free weight strengthening in the past! (The guys all use the macho weights!)

So... Here I am. I find out next Thursday what the actual diagnosis may be. And what the doc expects to do from here. If I am willing to go the diet/ exercise route, he may see no need to treat with drugs, except for during the rare acute flare up.

Monday, March 18, 2013

It wasn't tendonosis....

The doc took a good look at my arm this morning. He turned both arms this way and that, to suit him. At one point, I took my arm away from him. I said, "My arm won't turn like that!" He says, "Well yes it WILL turn like that. (as it obviously was!) It just HURTS you to turn it like that."
OK... yeah, can we stop turning it now?
He told Jeanie (his nurse) to schedule me for a whole bunch of blood work, and tells me I have been having an acute osteoarthritis flare. I'm on prednisone for a nine day run. The prednisone is also supposed to clear up the persistent itchy rash I've had... unless said rash is scabies.
I was sent over the the lab, where they took about eleven quarts of blood (more or less) and sent me off to have my prescription filled. I have a follow-up set for ten days down the road. By then, the doc may be able to decide what variety of arthritis it is-  whether indeed osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or lupus or whatever.
I asked if it was OK to wear the compression bandage to work. He said I could, but it shouldn't be necessary once the prednisone hits my system.
It has had me wondering if several prior 'incidences' over the years have been arthritis flares. About a dozen or so years ago, in Marlow, I was struck by something so hard I could. not. walk. I went to the doc, and was treated there as if I were begging for prescription drugs. After 10 days or so, I gradually felt better. They ran no tests at the time, just said they would 'wait and see' if I remained in pain. A few years back, here in AR I was getting 'crippled up' again- needing help up and down the steps of the house. It cleared up over time. About the same time of year the following year, the same symptoms hit.
I began to wonder if it might be a food in my diet. The only food difference I could pinpoint was asparagus. We LOVE fresh asparagus in season! Later in the year, I had been feeling fine. I got some frozen asparagus and had it for three meals in a row. By the evening of the second day, I could hardly walk. My joints were in such pain I couldn't even get out of bed to go upstairs for ibuprofen. I have avoided asparagus since then!

So... until later... have a blessed day! Thanks for reading!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

St Paddy's

Happy wearing o' the green to you.
After two very warm and sunny days, we are back to a chilly day with a predicted high of 48*, and 80% chance of rain.
I had my green jammie bottoms on this morning, but when I dressed, I didn't think to put on green. As cool as today is, I did put on a green sweatshirt as an afterthought! Good thing, because when I came out, Mr C was going to pinch me! (Not sure where pinching ever entered in to St Patrick's day... may have to go ask Mr Google.)
My wrist seems to be better/ worse by spells. I have an appointment for 9 am Monday so Doc Benjamin can have a look at it.
Between the time change, and Oreilly's and just life in general, I seem to just stay tired. By 6:30 last night I was fighting sleep, and by 7, I gave in and laid down 'for a minute'. I woke at 8:55... just in time to go to bed. I was awake this morning at 6:15- the usual time I have been getting up. Jaffa had clicked his toenails down the hall and into the bedroom to tell Mr C that he had overslept... and when I got up, he still was waiting for Tom to waken! I called him out of the room and let him out. It didn't take him long to take care of his business... it seldom does when it is COLD and wet outside. (He'd rather dance about with his legs crossed than go out in rain or snow!)

I'm coming up on FIVE years of posting here on Blogger. The anniversary of the first post is March 24. So very much has happened over those five years. Two kids left home, three grandkids born, one wedding, numerous deaths. My kids and grandkids. Things I never spoke of- suicide attempts (not me) and prison sentences. Moving to Ohio... and back. Job changes. Chronicles of my life as presented to the world.

With my day already started here, I am working my way through Mt. Washmore and thinking I need to do a good Spring cleaning. I noticed a dust rhino (way to big to be a dust bunny) hiding behind the bedroom door. Little stacks of ignored clutter have become toppling piles. I have been lethargic and really haven't cared a whit about much of anything around me for a year. I need to overcome inertia and get on with living, instead of just existing.

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Any more shoes to drop?

This past weekend was hard. Saturday was the one year anniversary of the last time I ever got to speak to Bill Joe. Sunday was the one year anniversary of his death. Saturday night, my right wrist began aching, stiffened up, and swollen. Sunday it was worse. I finally remembered to check that it might be tendonosis. The symptioms fit to a "T". Recommended treatment was Ice (check), compression bandage (check), and NSAIDs. (Ibuprofen, check). Interestingly, one noted precursor of some attacks of tendonosis was stress/ emotional distress. (Check).

I wore the compression bandage while awake, removing it for sleep. Wore it to work Tuesday, removed it on arrival home. It was significantly better last night.  This morning, I was almost back to square one...

So. Last night I took two chlortabs before bed. Those things knock me out.
One of the boys woke me at something past 10. I wondered why Tom didn't wake me before he went to work? I was LATE! Who was on the phone?
Wait... maybe I wasn't late, I was just disoreinted. It was after 10... but still night. I hadn't been in bed too long at all.

The phone call was from the step mother of my friend Robin Craig. She wanted to let me know Robin had passed away a short while before. I had sent Robin a card in the hospital, after a mutual friend let me know Robin was hospitalised for long term care. I don't know what caused her to be hospitalised.
Robin and I had known one another since we were in Mrs. Phillips second Grade class at West Hurst Elementary. We would of been 8 years old at the time. Robin and I are two days apart in age- me the elder!
In high school, Robin and I took most of the same classes. I was asked to be Matron of Honor at her wedding in April, 1981. The wedding happened to have been on my due date, so Robin found another person to ask. It was good she did, as I was in the hospital in (false) labor when she walked down the aisle. Bill Joe was born on the 29th, just a couple days later. Robin was Bill Joe's God-mother.

We lost track of one another for a few years, but had re-established our friendship by mid 1989, shortly before I moved to Oklahoma. Robin and I wrote back and forth regularly, until the internets came along. Then we switched to email and Instant Messaging! (Still we almost always remembered to send one another a birthday card! Forgetting one another's birthday was like forgetting our own!)

Robin never got to have children. Her Juvenile Diabetes caused her to drop into a coma during her only pregnancy. As she lay unconscious, her husband had the doctors abort her baby, to save her life. It took many years for Robin to come to grips with that. Today, I know she has met that baby for the first time. (Her husband later left her, citing he wanted children as the cause for his desertion.)

In the last decade, Robin found the Lord. She was full of the love of God, and never failed to let her light shine. She cried with me over Bill, but also reminded me, before we are born, God knew the number of our days. Whether I was ready or not, God already knew the number of his days. Looking back over our last email conversations, Robin had made peace with her life. She had been disappointed at not having children of her own, but accepted that she had what God intended for her to have. She was good with what He had given her.

In some ways, it seems like this is just "too much".  In the past year, Bill passed on. Then my friend Whitney lost two separate pregnancies, my son and his wife, one. My good friend Laurie passed away after giving birth to a healthy baby boy. My brother Roger left us behind,  My aunt Thelma, and now my 'oldest' friend Robin.
None of us know the numbering of our days. Don't take them for granted.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Common Courtesy ...

I used that title some time back, didn't I?
Or was it "Etiquette"?
I was then speaking of  being courteous on Facebook. One should not learn of funeral arrangements on Facebook if one were at all close to the deceased. The effort to 'educate' didn't work any too well.
When my brother recently passed away, we were still in the process of letting family know, when someone put the word out on Facebook... and we had numerous upset family members calling us with, "Why didn't you let me know!" within moments. We were TRYING. It was a horrible way to learn of a family member's death. We were having to make apologies as well as give out information.

Some things need to be left to the owner of the information to share. My parents should of been allowed to share the tragic news of Roger's passing before it was spread by others.
Don't share news that is not your news to share! If someone wants you to know that they are expecting a baby... they will tell you! It is THEIR choice to share on  social media, or not! Perhaps they have reason not to make public announcements of things once held in strictest privacy.

Common courtesy would also hold that if one receives a gift, one would thank, or at least acknowledge the gift, to the giver.  It seems that very few people send out Thank You notes these days, but even a call or an email to let the sender know that a gift arrived would be the courteous thing to do.
 As a child, I had to write Thank You notes for gifts received on birthdays or at Christmas. With  smaller children, if the parent doesn't write a note for the child, an email or phone call would be nice. A photo of the child with the gift is a treasure! If one intends to acknowledge a gift via social media such as Facebook, one might consider posting a picture/ acknowledgement on the senders 'wall', not simply on ones own wall, where it might be buried among dozens of other posts... if one happens to be a person who posts quite a few items in one day.

That's all from the soapbox today.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

March marches on...

Today is my Dad's birthday! He 'doesn't do birthdays'. If he did, he would be 76. He is the longest lived male Beard in the known family history. Tom and I went to East Texas to see him this weekend. Mom came up from Ft Worth and we all six had a nice visit. (Dan and Sam stayed home... their very first overnights without adults!)
We drove home Monday. The 4th marked one year since I last saw Bill Joe. Saturday (the 9th) will be the one year mark from the last time I ever got to talk to him. I think I did OK- not crying too much on the drive home.
Dad had built a wooden box that Roger's cremains are in, until we have an interment service later on- perhaps when my Aunt and Uncle are in from California later this year.
My Aunt Jean is having her 80th birthday in a little over a month! As Becky was saying, Granny's 80th birthday was not all that long ago. As Kermit the Frog says, "Time's fun when you're having flies!"
Trying to think of other news this week... Work is work. I am slowly getting things caught up- but still haven't got to do any "planograms".
Mr C did finally get our cabin booked for his Mom's party at the end of April. He seemed astonished at the expense... as if I had not been telling him about it since we first heard about it in what, June? Not sure if Tommy, and Becky's DH Stephen, will get to attend- flights in are VERY expensive, and the 1,400 mile (one way) drive is very hard to do on such a tight time frame. (They can be off on Friday, but both need to be home by Monday morning!) Ben and Paula cannot come- they will be some 6 weeks from Paula's due date and freshly moving to their new home. (It needs a lot of renovation before they can even start moving in, so they may not even be moved in by then!) Chris, of course, is otherwise occupied and cannot attend. So far as I am aware, all the rest of Arlene's kids/ grandkids will be attending.
Anyways... you all be lifting us up in prayer as we hit the one year mark. It's been a tough time.

Friday, March 1, 2013

It's been a WEEK since I've been here?

Well, the dryer went out. I realized from looking back over old blogs- every year about this time, one major appliance or another seems to need to be fixed. The dryer sounded for all the world as if I were drying an entire load of sneakers in it... even if it was running empty. Mr C took it apart, and we concluded it needed new 'bearings'. A strange thing to call flat nylon strips backed by cork. (One site called them 'glides'.)
We sent for some from They were literally 1/3 the price through Sears than they were from any other source. We ordered Monday. Tuesday, the shipment tracker said our parts had left Mesquite Texas! That is fairly close by! On Wednesday, the shipment tracker said UPS had them in Springdale, a mere 25 miles away! Whoo Hoo! UPS drove right past our house without stopping Wednesday. I looked at the shipment tracker... it said the business was not open. WHAT? We were here... they didn't stop! Thursday, UPS drove right past the house. Thursday night, the tracker said that the package had been turned over to the USPS for processing and delivery. The USPS sends it through Little Rock (four hours southeast) for THEIR sorting.
 WHO is in charge of these things? Had Sears sent them by ordinary USPS mail, we would of had them Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest, from Mesquite! Had UPS put the part on the truck that drove by our house (two days in a row!) We would of had the part Wednesday or Thursday! At least it arrived today. Mr C spent his lunch installing the part(s) and once I got home, I tackled Mt Washmore.

At work, the truck failed to show up on Friday due to the snow/ ice storms, which were worse in Missouri, where our warehouse is located. Saturday I not only got the freight for both Friday and Saturday, I got freight for the new Spring Planograms! I worked 7 1/2 hours. One pallet had 35 totes on it, another had 12+, as well as bulky items. Probably the second or third largest freight day our O'Reilly's has ever seen. I have barely been finishing 'regular' freight, and done very little towards getting the store back in order.
Some things just make me twitch... and I have to let them go for lack of time. I have yet to personally get to do a planogram. Everyone else HATES to work on them... I think they are fun. But they do have to BE done, and in a timely manner... without overtime. So the full timers have to grumble their way through them.

This weekend, I am headed to my Dad's.  His birthday is the middle of the week. His big 'surprise' party last year was the last time I ever saw Bill Joe... and it was at Dad's. That is NOT why I am going. I am going because I want to see my Dad.
But the one year mark looms large in my heart. One year ago, the 4th, the last time I saw Bill, last time I hugged him, last pictures. The 9th was the last time I talked to him, though we spoke nearly every day between the 4th and the 9th. Then, the 10th. Sunday. The one year mark. I knew it would come. I am glad I am off work that day.
I know I am 'better' than I was then. Not as prone to crying, But still grief hurts. My Baby brother Roger lost, two months now. My friend Laurie died due to complications of childbirth, her birthday is this weekend. It seems that the past year has been grief upon grief, sadness upon sadness.
At times, I didn't know how I could make it one year. But the days turned into weeks, the weeks into months, and now the months approach a year. Family and friends who have lost children tell me that in time, the lump in your throat gets easier to swallow, but all say the same thing. You don't get 'over' it. Through it, get by, whatever. But it stays with you.

Thanks for reading, I will try to post more than once a week!