Category Archives: holiday

Let it snow! Let it um, snow…oh crap it’s gonna snow

Happy holidays, everyone! Whoa wait, what? Who am I and what have you done with Ro? Yeah yeah yeah, so I’m not all bah humbug this year, what can I say? something about being a part of a happy family with a child, in the cold, with the scent of a pine candle on a warmer next to my computer has made me embrace the holidays like I haven’t done since I was newly sober and life was shiny and new. Hmmm, shiny new life, happy with the holidays. coincidence? I think not.

Anyway, snow. The first time it snowed here a week ago, it felt magical. We woke up to everything covered in sparkling white, at least that’s how I imagined it. The kids had the day off thanks to the once monthly teacher planning day, and the sounds of happy children filled the air.

I put on the heavy winter coat I bought at Value Village over my normal layers, added a heavy crochet scarf (granny squares sewed together that was supposed to be a bed coverlet that I gave up on) and my new fur lined boots and went outside with Jayden. We walked up and down the street with the kids and I marveled at the feel and sound of crunching underfoot. David’s ten year-old kept brushing piles of snow off Jayden’s nose. the kids filled a wheelbarrow full of snow from people’s cars to build an ice fort in the front yard of the house across the street from David’s. There was so much joy!

Then I started feeling the cold and my scarf was getting kind of gross since I had it wrapped around my nose and mouth and did you know that cold makes your nose run?

When we stepped into the house, my body instantly began baking in my layers, my boots squeaking as snow melted and I realized my feet, and Jayden’s, were wet and tracking snow into the house. Not so magical, I thought.

I peeled off layers and dried our feet and settled in to drink coffee and read some Twitter while the kids played outside. When it was time for Jayden to have a pee, I bundled up, wrapped the scarf around my face, laced my feet into my boots, and went back outside to enjoy the snow again. David’s son came into the yard and pelted me with a snowball. It was on!

I picked up the nicely packed snowball and rubbed it up, imagining red stitches against the white, my fingers across four seams. I narrowed my eyes at the giggling child at the plate, wound up and let fly. It went way left and was most definitely a wild pitch. A runner on third would have scored easily. All the ten year-old’s snowballs hit me squarely. Hmmm, this isn’t fun like I remember it the few times it snowed in Tucson when I was sighted, I thought, as a kid, or as an adult at the pool hall when we scooped snow off of cars to throw at each other since it didn’t stick on the ground. That night had been the first time I’d driven in the snow,, and last, unbeknownst to me. It looked like warp speed on the Starship Enterprise as the flakes were caught in the beams of my headlights.

This time, there was no snowball fight with friends in a parking lot and no warp speed stars. the kids went off to a friend’s house and with no happy little voices frolicking around, just Jayden and me crunching around in the snow alone, we went inside to where it was warm and where David, accustomed to the Washington weather, waited with coffee and a hug.

The snow turned to ice after some lovely freezing rain and temperatures, and I got used to bundling up for the minute it takes Jayden to relieve himself. Apparently, this weather hasn’t been normal around these parts for quite some time, though more snow is coming. Just in time for the frigid air, a big box full of winter clothes arrived on my doorstep from a Rays fan friend in Florida. She’d lived in the Pacific Northwest for awhile, and those clothes were going unused, so now I have a variety of sweaters to choose from, rather than this Rays shirt, or that Rays tank top, with this Rays hoodie, or that one. She even sent a hooded wool coat. thanks, friend!

I think I’ll wrap this up and go make some chocolate peanut butter candy to see how the boys like it. I get to make Mom’s old favorite holiday sweets now that there are plenty of people to enjoy them.

Merry Christmas!

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Filed under baseball, coffeeholic, crochet, family, gratitude, holiday, Jayden, mom, num num food, relieving, sobriety, twitter me this, weather, working dog

I’m Home

It wasn’t a geographical in the AA sense of things, since I wasn’t running away from something, I was running to something. And I think I’ve found way more than I bargained for.

That was the thought running through my head this morning that made me run to my computer after refilling my coffee, knowing I needed to write a blog post. I got out of bed early today since I lay awake thinking of how close I was to finishing the first draft of the memoir – finally. I used NaNoWriMo this year to fully commit to the memoir. I studied memoir in October, reading “The Memoir Project” by Marion Roach. The book was recommended on Twitter by Josh Hanagarne @JoshHanagarne), author of “The World’s Strongest Librarian”, and I will be forever grateful to him for that recommendation. The book showed me how to structure the memoir and how to plan to write it. It showed me to find the message I wanted to convey, and that helped me narrow down which parts of my life were relevant.

What I have is a 50,550 (cool number, eh?) word sketch draft of this memoir, with the ending I imagined while doing my prep work.

I have a finished, first terrible draft of a book!

I’m pretty sure it’ll be longer than what I have now, because as I wrote, I would remember things that will need to go in, but I just jotted those down as notes to be added during rewrites. I’ll be learning Windows and Jaws *gulp* for the editing process, because the Mac and Voiceover is sorely lacking in the word processing department. Luckily, I’m in the right place with a Windows geek who can help me with that. Pray for him. *wink wink*

When last I posted, I listed all the challenges I’d been through with my benefits. I had planned to post again with fun stories about moving here, and I’ll still do that, but not in this post. Today I just wanted to post about finishing my first draft, because the feeling is incredible. I’ve finished multiple drafts of two short stories now, and those felt great, but finishing the first draft of this memoir, a book that’s been fighting to get out since way back when I had a Blogger blog, feels absolutely incredible.

I think it’s this move to Washington. It felt like home before I ever got here, and I’m so grateful it has felt more and more like home the longer I’ve been here. My creativity has grown in leaps and bounds here. I can stand outside in the front yard and just be, just listen and feel and smell. It’s so alive here! Everything is alive. Grass, trees, the nearby ocean that I smell when I step outside, everything is living, including me.

Without a doubt, I know this is home now. though I suppose we’ll see what I say in February, eh?

I’ve had to put some money down on warm stuff, but not much. I got thermal underwear on Amazon that I wear every day under my sweats and three tops, ha! David’s, and now my, friend took me to Value Village for a member’s only sale. This woman knows how to bargain hunt! I got two winter coats and a bunch of warm stuff to wear around the house. I’m currently wearing wool socks, thermal pants, sweats, a tight tank top, thermal shirt, fleece shirt, hoodie, NaNoWriMo beanie, and fingerless gloves. I’m pretty much warm, ha! I freaking love it!

It’s not so fun when it’s wet, but I’m getting used to it. The raincoat I bought for guide dog school hangs in the mud room, ready to grab to keep dry, and I’m waiting on a rain coat I ordered from GDB for Jayden. I certainly never expected to be buying a doggy raincoat. I never expected to move to Washington, either, so it just goes to show how unreliable expectations are. Tip: don’t have expectations, and prepare yourself for the unexpected.

Near the end of October, while I was preparing for NaNoWriMo and taking a fiction writing class, we met up with some of David’s family and went to the Hobuck beach at Neah Bay. David, his son, and cousins, all surfed. In the cold. I’ll be trying it in the summer if all goes as planned. Hey now, watch those expectations.

For Thanksgiving, we went to David’s parents’s house for salmon dinner. A lot of Salmon is eaten here, which is excellent, because salmon is a good anti-inflammatory food. Antiinflammation food? Hmmm. Anyway, we eat a lot of salmon and I love it.

There have been challenges. I’m still ironing out all the benefits stuff. It turns out that Medicare does follow you from state to state, but if you have a Medicare advantage plan like I had in Arizona, tying Medicaid and Medicare together with an insurance company like United Healthcare, you have to do more than just cancel your state’s Medicaid. Unbeknownst to me, my Medicare stuck to Arizona even after I cancelled Medicaid, and the only reason I found out was because when my new doctor tried to write a neurology referral, my new health group didn’t take my Arizona insurance, which I thought I had cancelled. Long story short, I had to call Medicare and get on a basic plan, and get on a prescription drug plan. As far as I understand it, everything should be straightened out on December 1, and I’ll officially be a Washingtonian, *knock on wood*.

I wasn’t planning on going into all that, but the fingers write what the fingers write. I have another call to make about my Medicaid, because I have a navigator woman with my medical group, who said I should not be on that ridiculous spend down thing. So fingers crossed she’s right.

So there’s another update for you, my one dear reader *cough* Torie *cough*. I’m thinking as I revise the memoir, maybe I’ll post things that end up on the cutting room floor. Though perhaps not until I know for sure. Better safe than sorry.

***Tip*** When taking your dog to the beach, no matter how short a leash you have him on, he’s still at risk for beach gut. Did you know that’s a thing? Yup, that’s a thing. My did Jayden get sick. Silver lining: I took him to the neighbor’s vet, which I really liked.

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Filed under accomplishment, coffeeholic, family, GDB, gratitude, holiday, Jaws, Jayden, Microsoft, num num food, twitter me this, vet visit, Voiceover, weather, writing

A Tweet to Remember

I would not want to be Wil Wheaton. For some reason that guy gets tons of hate on Twitter. I guess that’s just part of being a celebrity but why must it be so? I follow his wife Anne too and she gets hate as well. It’s so ridiculous. They are the nicest people. Wil is very vocal about his opinions and those opinions have created trolls, for sure. I learned to guard my opinions on Twitter after I was trolled in direct message where no one could come to my aid. Now I keep my opinions on politics to myself since it seriously rattles me when people argue with me and they make no sense so how on earth do you argue back? I can’t even imagine that times two million since Wil Wheaton has over two million followers though I’m pretty sure the majority of those people are those of similar opinion to himself and not trolls. As his wife pointed out, people who troll her aren’t even her followers.

Anyway so last night Wil Wheaton retweeted one of his many trolls and it was just such a mean tweet that I replied:

@Raynaadi @wilw I just don’t understand people.

I thought about it for a couple minutes and then tweeted him:

@Raynaadi @wilw *hugs* Do those of us who don’t hate you need to be more outspoken or do you know we’re out here?

I then went to bed. When I get up in the mornings I rob a few sips of coffee from the pot while it’s brewing (thanks for the tip of adding extra coffee grounds so robbing the pot doesn’t kill the whole thing Professor Twain) and cuddle with Jayden on the couch checking things on my phone while I start to wake up. After emails and app updates I opened my Twitter client and checked mentions. There was a mention from a stranger both to me and Wil Wheaton telling me my comment was a good one or something like that and then, the mention to start my Thanksgiving off with elation:

@wilw@Raynaadi I hear you 🙂

OMG OMG OMG OMG! I mean OH EM GEE you guys. Wil Wheaton replied to me on Twitter. Wil Wheaton! Wesley Freaking Crusher you guys! Fourteen year-old me was totally freaking out. I mean just dying right? I was sooooo in love with him when I was fourteen and he replied to me! He noticed me! Cue the dancing on the bed screaming.

So I won’t be forgetting this Thanksgiving any time soon and now I have the blog post to remember it along with the tweet. So I’ve had tweets from Evan Longoria and Wil Wheaton now I just need Josh Groban. It’s a Twitter bucket list! It just goes to show that you never know what will catch the eye of a famous person you admire on Twitter. I was just feeling bad for Wil Wheaton and those feelings flowed through my fingertips at him. More tweets with honey than vinegar? Haha! Just remember Mr. Wheaton, haters hate up, in the words of Ice T.

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Filed under coffeeholic, evan longoria, holiday, Jayden, NaBloPoMo 2014, silly girl, twitter me this

Hanging with Ro Episode 14 – New Year’s Eve in Flagstaff Style

On New Year’s Eve, B and Jayden and I piled into the car and drove up to Flagstaff, AZ. The band Quiet Riot was doing a show there so we had been planning the trip for about a month. When he first asked me if I’d want to go I thought it would be fun to chill in the hotel while he went to the concert, but then I considered going to the show. It had been years since I rang in the new year anywhere other than my bed haha! I ended up not going though because it would have just been too loud for Jayden and for me. I like my hearing, thank you very much.

The drive up was uneventful. I listened to Josh Groban non-stop. B started telling me about snow on the ground next to the highway the closer we got to Flagstaff. Snow! When we arrived at the hotel the temperature change was quite drastic and the breeze bit my skin as we walked to the lobby. Inside I quickly put my Rays hoodie on.

The room was great! It had a little kitchen with a full size coffee maker. I brewed the coffee they provided but it wasn’t good so we’d have to hit a Starbucks so I could get some instant.

We relaxed for a bit in the room and after I fed and relieved Jayden, we headed to the casino to eat. B had to pick up a player’s club card which was the ticket to the show. Sitting in a diner at a casino at 5pm is super creepy. Unless it was just this particular one. It sounded like the most depressing place. There was no laughing, no idle chatter, no music and I kept hearing what sounded to me like a zombified game of Marco Polo.

As we ate I listened and finally got that people were walking by the diner saying, “Kino,” and the staff at the diner parroted them back in a very lackluster voice. Alrighty then.

Then B noticed the band walking right by the diner! He named each member as they passed. The drummer was last, the only original member of Quiet Riot and B said he was the only one with an entourage. Me: Really? B: Yeah, two people.

They were carrying their own bags and everything. Life as a washed up old hair band? It was still cool though.

As we were walking onto the actual gaming floor to get B’s pass, a security guard stopped us. I couldn’t hear what he was saying so he spoke up. He was asking if Jayden had paperwork. I blurted that I have an ID for him but I think the guy could tell I was shocked at the question. He said something like, “what are those dogs called, I can never remember.”

“I’m blind and he’s my guide dog.”

He let us go then. It was bizarre.

The game floor was so smokey! It rather disgusted me and I couldn’t believe I used to do that. I guess I have become the grumpy ex-smoker haha! It’s not so bad outdoors but inside there? Whew!

B got his pass and we went back out into the cold. Wow cold. I mean, cold!

We headed back towards the hotel and I used Siri to locate a Starbucks. Now I had real coffee and was good to go. We hung out for a bit and B tried watching that awful duck show. He switched to New Year’s stuff and there was a year in review show that was rather interesting. We never watch TV other than sports, so it was an experience haha! They discussed things I had only read about on Twitter. Pop culture anyone? It’s lost on me.

After B left I decided on a whim to record a voice note and it morphed into a Hanging with Ro episode. It had been awhile since I recorded myself being a goofball haha!

Ok so now for Hanging with Ro Episode 14. How perfect is that? Episode 14, ringing in 2014. Whoa. *opera voice* Spoooooky! *end opera voice*

So there are two files. This first one is the longest. I think it’s around forty minutes or so. I had no idea where it was going when I started haha! Topics include but are not limited to:

*Breaking the rules with Jayden

*Being out on New Year’s Eve. I just remembered the last time. It was 2005/06 and Georgie and I went to an AA New Year’s event. We were both in our first year sober and we were so scared we’d get hit by a drunk driver.

*Muttmuffs

*B stands for…

*Getting distracted and laughing at the TV

*Seriously? That’s CNN? Anderson Cooper giggling.

*Remotes hate me.

*2013 year in review. Colorado to see Chupa and my first Rays game. Feeling fabulous in Colorado.

*Hip pack humiliation.

*Bad summer, bad health oh who’s singing?

*Josh Groban. How I love the Josh Groban.

*We need to move. Teeth. Not move teeth. Ow.

*Gamma

*I don’t get TV.

*I make a cup of instant coffee but not in the closet.

*I sing la la la and the Josh Groban love begins with gusto.

*Flagstaff smells good.

*I try and describe the Grand Canyon.

*More Josh Groban drool only this time with songs on the iPad. I’m pathetic.

*Ok Josh maybe I didn’t hear that right from you I can’t be certain because you all talked a lot.

*Wow I was sniffling already. I got totally sick the next day.

*The song that made me cry in the car is a Stevie Wonder cover.

*Here is the translation to the song I was swooning over.

*I tell you to look up this clip on youtube so here it is.

*Ok wow I really am happy being me, trust me.

*Who’s outside the window?

*I wish I could shut up my humming.

*I waste time trying to play a song. I didn’t realize I had lost my wifi so I couldn’t get it from the cloud. Here’s the other Brave song by Sara Bareilles. You’ll probably recognize it from those Microsoft commercials.

*I wrap up this portion finally haha!

New Year’s Eve Part 1

And we’re back. This one is about sixteen minutes.

*I’m paranoid it’s not recording.

*Two minutes away from 2014.

*Loud upstairs neighbor.

*David DeJesus is mentioned. Baseball must be on the brain.

*Sleepy girl

*Midnight in New York phone call.

*A totally lame Arizona midnight but at least I checked the time at the exact right moment.

*Evan Longoria. He is seriously mentioned in every single one of my audios. You’d think I do nothing but talk about that man!

*I talk about the Phoenix trip I had forgotten to mention in my year review. Who got to go on the field at Chase Field? Thank you David Price!

*Phoenix killed me though. Well not really since I’m alive but you know.

*Disappointed girl in a Vanderbilt shirt.

*Dave and Andy!

*Learning from mistakes.

*Sleepy iPad scrolling. More talking about Josh Groban. Here’s the song I talk about where his voice becomes part of the instrumental. I really think that’s one of my favorites.

*Finally come to my senses and wrap it up. I also mess up a New Year blessing haha!

New Year’s Eve Part2

I was up when B got back. Just after I stopped recording, fireworks started and there were a lot of people outside the hotel. When I took Jayden out I couldn’t believe how cold it was! Wow. When I asked Siri she said, “brrrr, it’s twenty-two degrees.” B and I talked about the show and then I tried to sleep and failed miserably.

The next morning I woke up way too early and sat on the strange uncomfortable couch waiting for B to get up. Even he couldn’t sleep late. That hotel was so noisy!

We took our time getting ready and headed out to the Grand Canyon. I was sneezing a lot and wished I had taken some of the cold meds I brought with us. The Canyon was about an hour and a half from the hotel. On the road leading to the Canyon, there was suddenly a huge heard of elk! Do they roam in heards? Is it spelled that way? Hmmm.
Anyway, B had exclaimed, “deer! Wait, those are too big to be deer.”

“Are they elk?” I asked.

He said I was probably right and explained that a few crossed the road and several were on the side grazing on grass. Cool!

We parked and found the restroom and I had a total panic attack in there because it had hand dryers that sounded like freaking wind tunnels and they hurt my ears and Jayden was affected by them too and holy crap it was good to get out of there.

We made our way to where B could see the canyon and I listened to all the accents around us and children and different bird sounds. It was very cold and breezy. I did not feel well. There was much more walking than I had expected. I mean it’s a huge hole in the ground. It doesn’t seem like you should have to walk very much to find an edge. It had been sixteen years since I’d been there so couldn’t remember. I wanted to get to a good spot to get a picture with Jayden and me in front of the canyon but it was going to involve steps and there were too many people and yeah. Blah.

I snapped some pictures with my iPhone and sent one to Twitter and apparently it was lovely. Let me see if I can find the tweet. Ok I can’t find it so I asked Twitter. Might just have to upload it again. I should really figure out Word Press pictures haha. Here’s the picture. Thanks, @L_Squared!

So I just got sicker and sicker as we went back to the hotel. I collapsed for a bit and then we started trying to figure out food. The only two places that were open on New Year’s Day were The Outback and Sizzler. Sizzler? They still have those? That was my first ever job. I was a salad bar keeper. Fried shrimp entered my brain and that was all I could think about. So we went there and there was actually a huge snow drift in the parking lot! I had my fried shrimp but I was so miserable I hardly remember it. Bread pudding for dessert. I thought a rap in my head: I had dinner, at the Sizzler with my mister, on New year’s Day, while I had a fever. Wow. Um. Yeah hi. I won’t quit my day job. Oh wait, I don’t have one.

We went back to the hotel and I did some packing up and crashed. That was pretty much it! It was a really good time and I’m glad we did it. I felt pretty good there in Flagstaff, minus being sick of course. It was like how I felt better in Colorado. High elevation and cold, I tell ya. I used to think I’d like to live in Flagstaff but I don’t think so. Just too cold and there’s an odd feeling there. Just like in Sedona when I went with B several years ago. We both feel it in northern Arizona. Just an odd feeling. It’s a nice place to visit though!

Happy 2014 everyone! I hope you enjoyed the audio if you listened.

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Filed under apple Inc, baseball, coffeeholic, Dental Health, evan longoria, Gamma, gratitude, hanging with ro, holiday, Jayden, Microsoft, music, new year, num num food, plugs, random stuff, sicky sick, silly girl, sobriety, spoons, twitter me this, Voiceover, weather, white cane, wow, youtube

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

You know, normally I am Mrs. Bah Humbug on Christmas day. I seemed to live in the past or something and not just accept what Christmas is for me today and that is a very simple day of relaxing with b. Why did I have so much envy for the people posting their family stories on social networks? Why couldn’t I be happy for the people with children to spoil with gifts? Why couldn’t I be thrilled for adults with big Christmas trees and plenty of wrapped presents to open from loved ones?

Something changed in me this year and I’m just so incredibly happy! There were no presents to open, no new toys and gadgets to play with, just me and B and Jayden and the cats and the dinner I’ve been planning since Thanksgiving when we once again ate from a food establishment.

There is peace in the thought that Gamma isn’t suffering through another lonely Christmas missing her husband. I miss her. I miss talking to her on the phone today. But I’m cooking Mom’s roast in Gamma’s pot and while I was preparing it I couldn’t help but smile thinking about how both of them are represented for me today.

So what if my Christmas isn’t “typical”? So what if there aren’t decorations and bows and wrapping paper? Ice T put it perfectly in a tweet of his this morning. He wrote something like, if you have a warm place to sleep, you are having a Merry Christmas.

I will embrace my inner peace today and not question why I am happy. I just am! And that is a lovely place to be.

PS – I’m starting to smell the roast cooking!

PPS – B was in charge of picking out a pie since I was too ill to bake one like I wanted. Why did I even bother to ask what he got? peanut butter, of course!

PPPS – I’m going to post this completely as is to capture how I feel in this moment. 🙂

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The Latest

Singing hurts when your jaw hurts, did you know that? Whoa, why did my iTunes radio just stop? Odd. It’s like it knew I had just written that singing was painful. Oh well, I put on some local radio since I had just been thinking it would be nice to hear some other music mixed in with the Christmas music I had been listening to on iTunes radio.

Christmas music? You’re listening to Christmas music?

Why yes, yes I am. I don’t start listening to it as early as most seem to do, like right after Halloween, but I was in the festive spirit this morning and Christmas music lifts my spirits. I just need to remember that singing hurts. This station doesn’t seem to be playing regular music with Christmas music though. Anyway, I wanted to write an update about my dental hell, er health, not music.

I can’t remember what I last wrote about though, let me go take a gander. Oh so I did already write about irrigating the sockets and stuff. I had completely forgotten. Wow. Next time I whine about my normal MS fog, I need to remember the pain and Vicodin induced fog, ok?

I had decided to write a post while I was having some chocolate ice cream for lunch. Yum, right? Yes, when you are having ice cream as a treat. Not so much when you just need calories and sugar in you because you were dizzy but if you ate anything solid you’d have to irrigate your sockets so ice cream is just easier. Also, I really like additives in my ice cream like chocolate chips or brownies. My how I mis texture!

I am developing an addiction to Stouffer’s mac and cheese. I’ve always liked it but since it’s really the only thing thats comfortable to eat right now, I’m eating a lot of it. So wait, is this addiction or dependence? I am dependent on Stouffer’s mac and cheese. Hi, I’m Ro and I’m a Stouffer’s mac and cheese addict. Hi Ro!

Speaking of addiction, I’m keeping a very close eye on me and this Vicodin. When it comes time to take a pill I take stock of my pain to make sure it’s needed. I told my massage guy last night that one thing I’ve noticed about being on Vicodin is that the rest of my body benefits from it, too. However I hate hate hate the additional cognitive issues and it makes me sleepy.

My sleep has been all over the place. I’ve really noticed that my sleep seems to be effected whenever I introduce a new medication of any kind. Wednesday night I could not get to sleep, which is usually never a problem. After B came to bed I decided to get up for a bit thinking that would help but when I went back to bed I was still wide awake so I just didn’t sleep at all on Wednesday night. I had a massage at 4pm Thursday and luckily was able to doze for a bit in the afternoon before the appointment and last night I slept all the way through after waking briefly when B came to bed. We both said uh oh, but I fell back to sleep quickly.

This morning I thought I might be able to clean up my kitchen but no. Just making the bed and messing with some tangled computer cables wore me out. I’m just so under nourished! I forgot to ask B to grab some Ensure from the store yesterday. I started sweating while organizing the cables and had to turn the heater off.

The heater? In Arizona?

It’s rainy and cold out, yes. We do get cold weather sometimes. I turned the fan on and before long I was cold. I’m glad I’m having my thyroid checked next month though I suspect the elevated temperature sensitivity has to do with all the work my body is doing to heal my mouth and the narcotic in my system might have something to do with it as well.

So that’s where it stands. The left side of my mouth doesn’t hurt at all anymore but that pesky right side is taking forever to catch up. That’s the side that had a really deep root and the pain goes all the way down to my jaw and up into my ear. Woo hoo!

I have more dental work to get done next year but there’s no way there will be this much pain. I’m glad I did all the extractions at once so that when this is done, it’s just done.

You know what I can’t wait for? Chili Cheese Fritos!

Oh PS – My massage guy and his wife adopted a career changed dog from GDB and when she was dropping me off last night, A said Jayden always looks so happy. She said she’s been paying more attention to the guide dogs at work and some of them look so sad. She said whatever I’m doing keep doing it. That made me happy because it was a great compliment, but sad knowing there are miserable looking guide dogs. I remember hearing a woman talking to her guide dog one day at the blind center and the angry edge in her voice was sharp as glass and I thought, poor dog.

I got to thinking last night about Jayden being a happy dog and beyond the fact that I love him more than life, I think I just always remember that he’s a living being first and a service dog second. I’m just so glad he looks happy! He has been such a rock for me during this last really really difficult couple months, as always.

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Filed under Dental Health, GDB, guide dogs, holiday, iTunes, Jayden, music, num num food, spoons, weather

A Relaxing Thanksgiving

Today when I woke up I thought it was around 10am because B’s alarm clock was going off. Spinelli was crawling on me and when B moved, she ran over to him. Finally I propped myself up on an elbow and B said, “hi, good job.” He always says this to me when I sleep in but I was astonished when I checked the time and it was 11:10am. Whoa!

I was thrilled since I haven’t felt rested lately and I was pretty sure all that sleep was going to do me good. It’s a good thing I stayed up later than usual last night finishing up the Dexter show with B because I took Jayden out later so he wasn’t bursting this morning. B did joke that we had a four legged alarm clock in Spinelli.

It was bizarre getting up at the same time as B on a day off. On weekends he sleeps later than I do so going through my morning routine with him awake was something different.

The day was just nice and relaxing, lounging on the internet, reading people’s tweets as they prepared their feasts and enjoyed family. B and I contemplated going out to eat but in the end just got Boston Market take out. He decided to watch a movie from different categories so after we ate, we watched a horrifically bad parody of The Hunger Games, called The Starving Games. When it was over I remarked that I always forget I haven’t enjoyed a parody movie since I turned twenty. It had its good moments I suppose haha.

Now I’m just writing this while B watches another movie. I’ll post it and go back to Twitter and keep on relaxing. Sleeping tonight won’t be a problem even though I slept late today haha, already sleepy. Happy Thanksgiving!

Oh and thanks, Boston Market, for being open! B said the lady who rang him up said he was just in time since we got the last turkey and he didn’t have to wait in an hour long line like everyone else did all day. I told him I’m sure they were getting paid well but I still felt bad. He said they looked like they were having fun so I was relieved. I remember back when the town was completely shut down on Thanksgiving. Now there’s no such thing as a day off in retail/service industry jobs. My how times have changed.

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Filed under holiday, Jayden, NaBloPoMo 2013, num num food, Spinelli, twitter me this

“The Blanket” – My First Short Story

Back when I took the F2K Free Creative Writing course, I discovered how much I love writing short stories. After several lessons were under our belts, we were given a short story challenge. Participation was voluntary and if we so desired, we could try our hands at the guidelines. These were, write a story with a beginning, middle and end, one thousand words or less, containing these three objects: a blanket, a TV stand and an empty glass.

I couldn’t believe the ideas these three objects sparked. Long time readers of my blog will be familiar with this since I’ve asked you to submit these objects that I call sparks for a few short stories here. The first story I wrote is dear to my heart and I had originally posted it on the blog until a fellow writer told me if I ever wanted to publish the story, it couldn’t be published elsewhere. I contacted one publication that focuses on the kind of material this story is about but they don’t publish fiction.

I’ve decided the story doesn’t belong anywhere if not that publication or right here at the Roof. It has been just sitting in my computer collecting dust and a writer wants her creativity to be experienced by others. So, I decided Thanksgiving would be a good day to publish my first ever short story here. I hope you enjoy it!

Word Count: 993

“The Blanket”

The sun was setting as I left, a slight chill in the air. My name was called from the direction of the smokers, and as I turned, I saw Troy breaking free of the haze as he tossed his smoke and jogged toward me.

“Troy, congratulations my man.” I took him into a warm hug.

“Pat, thanks. And thank you for being a part of this last year. I have a favor to ask you…” he trailed off, as if afraid to continue. He often called me is sober mom, since I was old enough to be. When he walked into the rooms a year ago, he was the shell of a boy lingering on the threshold of manhood. How things change, I thought. I urged him to ask his question by saying nothing, only squeezing his hand.

“I watch you crochet those blankets,” he began sheepishly, “and I wonder if you’d make me one. I’ll pay you.” His eyes filled with tears and for a second, I couldn’t speak. I hadn’t expected that, the question, nor the show of emotion.

“Of course I’ll make you a blanket but you can pay me by explaining why asking for it filled those beautiful baby blues with tears.” I grinned at him and he relaxed.

“Deal. Can you make it in shades of green?”

“You got it darlin.” He had no other requests as to the pattern or anything, just shades of green. Interesting, I thought as I walked to my car.

Over the next few weeks, I worked on his blanket. When I crochet something for someone,a little love goes in to every stitch. I thought about Troy and how far he had come, and a few tears even made their way into the strands of yarn. When the finishing touches were added, and the blanket washed, I called Troy and we met for coffee.

As we settled in, whisps of smoke in the air and Nirvana spilling from the speakers, the blanket tucked neatly into a bag at my feet, I faced Troy, sipping the bitter espresso. “Ok, you know the deal, spill.”

Troy sighed and took a long pull on his mocha. “My mother crocheted me a blanket when I was 16. I mean, sure it was nice and all, but hell, I was 16. I wanted cds and nudey mags, you know? I don’t think I ever even used it, but I always had it, even when I left at 18, immersed in my drinking. I started dating this girl who found it and washed it and draped it over my couch. It looked so stupid. A crocheted blanket in shades of green on my stained, beat up blue couch,” he laughed and took another long pull of his mocha.

“When I was 19, mom was killed in a drunk driving accident. She was the drunk one. I hated her for that.”

I sat there, the warmth slowly fading from my cup.

Troy continued, “ironically, I hated her for being what I was becoming. One night some buddies were over and we got loaded. One of the guys ended up puking everywhere. I was already blacked out by then. Another guy grabbed that blanket off the couch, mopped up the vomit, and took the blanket to the dumpster.”

“I woke up the next morning, sprawled on the floor by the tv. I reached up and touched my aching head and it was sticky with blood. I had fallen into the tv stand the night before and busted open my eyebrow. I remember staring at an empty glass next to the tv. Had that been my glass? I still don’t know. I don’t remember how I found out about the blanket, but I remember running to the dumpster, only to find it completely empty. The damn trash man had already been there. I drank even more in those last few months, eventually landing myself a good ol’ DUI and walking into my first meeting after a nudge from the judge. When my head started clearing, and I saw you making those blankets, I knew I needed one.”

He stopped talking and flopped back onto the couch, fishing in his pocket for a cigarette. He tried lighting it with shaking hands, until I took the lighter and lit it for him. I didn’t speak and neither did he. When he was done smoking, I reached down and handed him the bag. He gingerly removed the blanket from the bag, lovingly caressing the different textured yarns in many shades of green. Finally he broke down, leaning forward with his head in the folds of the blanket arms on his knees, shoulders wracking with sobs. Now a grown man, unabashedly sobbing in the coffee shop.

We could have looked like mother and son there in that hazy shop, as I set my cup down and wrapped him in my arms as the blanket soaked up his tears. When he had calmed, he sat up and gave me a winning smile, mouthing the words, thank you.

“No, thank you,” I whispered. Brushing his hair from his forehead I said, “I knew that story would be the best payment you could have given me for this blanket. You are a miracle my son. I’m so honored to be a part of your amends to your mom.”

His eyes widened. “Amends?”

I sat back and smiled. “How do we make amends to the dead? We live our lives with grace and dignity and maybe we recreate something we lost of them. Isn’t that what you did?” He laughed and said he hadn’t thought of it that way, but agreed that I was right.

The sun was setting as we left the coffee shop, hand in hand, mother and son in sobriety, his story still swimming in our minds, a part of both our pasts now, and pushing us forward into the future, one day at a time.

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Filed under coffeeholic, crochet, gratitude, holiday, misty eyes, NaBloPoMo 2012, plugs, short story challenge, sobriety, writing

Happy Game 162 Anniversary

Today is the one year anniversary of the “wonderfully improbable” game 162. If you’re a Rays fan, that needs no explanation. I don’t think there’s a single one of us who doesn’t smile at the mention of game 162 and today kinda feels like a holiday. I started feeling it last night when the Rays were on the verge of their eighth straight win to put them two games out of the final wild card spot. It’s all so reminiscent of last year and it’s impossible not to have hope that it could happen again. When Dan Johnson, now a White Sox, came to the plate in the ninth inning last night I held my breath out of fear and respect for what that man can do in a clutch situation. Luckily he just made an out, but a scary out at that. If Matt Joyce hadn’t caught it…

This morning I ran across this highlight montage of this date last year. I had forgotten that it wasn’t just the Rays with the magical night. It was magical around the entire league! As I listened to the highlights, I started feeling emotions well up inside me at the memory and when I heard ‘Safety Dance’ begin to play the tears began to fall as I knew what moment that would be. Dan Johnson would hit a home run to tie the game, and last night I had cringed while Dan Jo, the Great Pumpkin, was at the plate against us. The clips continued and when I heard the electric violins a happy sob escaped my throat as I listened. I remembered last year, listening to the game in the bedroom since it had gone to extras, chatting with my fellow Rays fan friend JB in Boston and tweeting with all my friends in Florida. All the memories came rushing back this morning as I listened to that montage, and then I remembered I have a recording of the radio broadcast of “those six minutes”…
In those six minutes, the Red Sox lost to the Orioles, the Trop finds out and goes nuts, the Rays are tied with the Yankees, at worst the Rays would have a play-in game with the Red Sox but if they won…

And then Dave Wills says, “I’m ready to party lets go…”

Here is what Evan Longoria said about the anniversary when asked about it yesterday before the White Sox game. The way he remembers it is the way I remember it, so many feelings, a jumble of memories really. For me the memory is completely untainted. It is pure bliss. It is unlike anything I remember ever feeling and probably like nothing I will ever feel again.

Until they do it again…

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Doggy Diaries – Audio – Hanging with Ro Episode Five – Sleep Deprived Goofiness

This is fairly loopy audio since I didn’t sleep very well last night. Enjoy! Oh, I promise the flatulence sounds are the popping of the bubble packaging stuff.

Topics include:

Opening the box of goodies from Amazon for Jayden

*Silly accents

*Comments on music playing on b’s new iPod speaker

*Stephen King books

*End of the holidays

*Dirty silverware drawers

*Reviews on Amazon

Direct youtube link

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Filed under Amazon, apple Inc, Audio books, coffeeholic, cool product, Doggy Diaries, Gamma, gratitude, hanging with ro, holiday, Jayden, music, silly girl