Basketball in Pajamas

Basketball Planet

(Photo credit: J.Gabás Esteban)

I get the kiddos all to myself for a few days **insert Muppet-type laughter**. Yes, the Reverend is gone for a few days while I whittle away the hours with nothing to do but knit **more laughter** Hold me.

I get to turn another year older tomorrow. That’s fun! And while we’re talking about birthdays, let’s talk about the fact that I was keeping myself up at nights for the last week trying to will myself to remember to renew my Driver’s License before this birthday. I don’t like to write notes to myself in bed because in the morning I will either forget that I wrote myself a note, or I will forget where I put the note, or how to decipher the hieroglyphics that I wrote in the dark. Too bad my best memory is while I am trying to sleep. I must have reminded myself often enough the last few nights, because I did it yesterday! Whew. That would have been awkward with the husband gone. Then we’d have to walk everywhere or drive illegally…and I wouldn’t do that. Ever. So we’d be walking. For a day.

You might as well know now, that I get distracted like a dog with a new scent.

Our small town has done major renovations in the hub of the “downtown” this year. I’ve not been downtown for months. I’ve seen it from a block away or edged close to it while walking the kids somewhere, but I’ve not taken a drive through and parked in its whole new street design. I did yesterday. I probably should have been aware that they haven’t finished the last phase of topping the road but that little fact escaped me. Now where DID I put that town newsletter **looking under STACKS of  paperwork** That little piece of information could have been useful to me. While I was exiting the vehicle and telling the girls to wait for me, I got distracted by my phone. The exposed curb came over and kicked me and, instead of rolling into it, I grasped at air as if it were a flailing rope and came up with nothing. SPLAT! Like a messy exclamation mark. The good thing is that we don’t live in a tourist trap where people’s phones are out and ready to record. In fact, I’m not sure there was another living soul on that street to see my fantastic leap of death into the air. Small towns are great like that. I was pretty sure my body would hurt for a few weeks.

Surprisingly, I woke up feeling a tad less like I was an elderly woman and more like I’d been rear-ended in a slow moving car.

Tonight I had the pleasure of taking our crew to Basketball practice. By that time in the day, I usually yearn to be comfy and warm. My body had begun hurting a little more and my PJ’s were calling to me. I didn’t care if I’d become “that mom” who wore PJ pants to public places. It’s a small town and I have little dignity left anymore. I’ve gone to Kid’s Club in slippers. If people are going to talk about my gigantic black slippers and fluffy pink pj’s then they really need some new material for town gossip! When you deal with arthritis and Fibromyalgia this long you start to think about survival in ways that make you happy. When flare-ups happen, Flannel PJ’s make my body all sorts of happy. So, out I went in my bright pink PJ bottoms with hearts all over (and a top, in case you were wondering) and I was ready to go.

After practice, my daughter said “Why did you go to practice in your PJ’s?” and I asked “Why? Did it embarrass you?” **a little dramatic eyebrow waggling** She replied ‘YUP!” I said “Well, I could have danced around like this.” Giving my best rendition of a shaking cha-cha with a little awkward belly dance move. I said “Now that would have been embarrassing.” Piping up calmly. “No mom, your PJ’s were more embarrassing.”

That’s when she offered that I should do the waltz with her in our small livingroom. Like I know how. Waltzing with me is a dangerous venture, as she found out, when we fell over the armchair and onto the floor. Well played, my girl. Well played. Fits of giggles later we had more requests for Mommy’s peculiar style of dance and once again the crowd was cheering.

I think there are definite possibilities for this time without The Reverend, like breaking all the rules. The Rev and I don’t waltz…at least, not yet.

For my birthday tomorrow, I have covert plans to drop consequences and current grounding. I will be nixing any groundings that have been in effect. I take life to seriously sometimes and I think my birthday is a perfect time to let my hair down (I may have fallen on my head). I want them to know how much of a pleasure it is to be their parent. Happy birthday to me! I have a plan to give them candy too. In their lunches. Teachers can thank me later. It’s organic candy.

I may even wear pants…well, not PJ pants. Normal pants. If I can get the laundry done on time.

Refills please

For those that do not know this important fact already, I am closing in on 43 years. Oh yes, I know you thought I was younger. They all do. Until they see a picture of me.

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If my age just alienated half of you then just forget I said anything. If you forget it though, you will wonder at the story to follow.

Today I had an appointment to see my Doctor. I’m getting on in years and these things happen now and again. My meds were about to run out. I can’t have that happening or things could get nasty and quick! Turns out a refill appointment was conveniently scheduled right during the flu of the season. I latched onto the examination table with both hands and hauled myself up. Laying down I tried not to cough into his face while he was listening to my heart. After many personal, and somewhat confusing questions, I absently crawled off the table and went out the door. Something in my brain nagged at me that something was amiss. I looked around knowing I was forgetting something. Oh right, the LONG list of meds that he was refilling/prescribing. It was an impressive list, really. I will never judge another person, with more medications than teeth in their heads, again.

Embarrassed, I asked him to reach for it and made a lame excuse about the fever frying my brain and if they had a cure for that. He said “No.” Funny guy!

I took my substantial stack of paper to my regular pharmacy and waited while they filled the needed items. The Doctor had prescribed a “broad spectrum” antibiotic. Apparently, he thought the shotgun approach to whatever was ailing me was a sound way to go. I’ll just be happy to kiss the mucus good-bye. Well, kiss is a strong word.

As I went to the line to pick up my meds, the pharmacist who knows me as a regular customer, made a quick beeline for me. He asked if I had ever used this medication before etc. etc… because it was usually used for pregnant women. I waved him off as doubt entered my mind for the second time. The Physician had asked a similar question. You see, I asked the Doctor to fill a prescription that a different Specialist has usually taken care of.

I am not the most detail oriented person ever. I had thought that the medicine started with a D and I knew of an anti-nauseant that started with a D so that’s what I went with…my memory. First mistake. When I looked over my prescription bottles last night I should have just put them in my purse and showed the doctor instead of relying on my memory. I know better than that! The good Doctor went with my memory, as puzzled as it made him, and signed off on it.

The pharmacist was not as easy to shake though. He looked at me like “Hey, old lady, are you pregnant?” but instead said “The medication is usually prescribed for pregnant women. Pregnant women take it for a reason.” Well, I know that. Migraines can make a girl barf too! He insisted that “It’s really meant for pregnant women….???”

“WHAT? Whoa!! I am not pregnant!” Then I almost burst into a fit of giggles. Imagine!

Oh….he thought I was pregnant and that would lead to a whole other discussion about what the dickens was I going to do about all those other meds? I asked him to look at my file. Sure enough, the medication did not even come close to starting with a D. Seriously, people, my brain is FRIED like chicken at a buffet.

A few embarrassed snickers later, we determined that he would fax my Dr. and get it straightened out. At least I didn’t have to be the one to look stupid again. Oh wait, I would be the one looking stupid but I didn’t have to humiliate myself in front of a medical professional again today.

Pregnant…oh, my. Now that would startle the Reverend something fierce!

The Longest 5km EVER!

I’m a prairie gal. Sure, I grew up in the mountains, but to recall that time of my life takes a scratch of the chin and a shake of my head. It was good to grow up where the winter was short. I’ve been known to belly ache about living on the prairies a time or two, but truth be told, I love it here.

I especially love that when I run (or walk) five kilometres it’s flat both coming and going. There may be a hill somewhere around here but I surely haven’t seen it. In fact, I’ve been told that I live on the hill here in my town but it took me about five years to see what they were talking about.

I was very excited to sign myself up for the Canmore Rocky Mountain 5/10km/half Marathon Run/Walk set to go for September 8th. It gave me a good long time to train and it was going to be in the MOUNTAINS!! I couldn’t wait to see my beloved mountains again. Then, I remembered that it was probably a lot higher there, as in, the air is thinner.

Less oxygen. More hills.

I didn’t check to find out just how much difference there was between my current prairie elevation and that of the mountains I was set to run in. Ignorance is bliss until you Google the heck out of it. I should have stayed ignorant.

When I arrived in the mountains the truth of the matter became quite clear. We were not in harvest country anymore. No sir! The exact difference in elevation between the two has not been calculated by yours truly, but the estimate based on my, then panicky state of mind, would be about 1400 feet. That’s a lot of feet! When I looked it up a  few days before my “race” I tried not to think about what that would do to my barely trained body. I went back to ignorant bliss.

Reality was a kicker.

It was a relief to see a variety of people lining up for the 5km. There were beautiful lean muscled people, young kids, plump people (hand up), thin people, old people, tall people, short people… I had NO idea where I would fit into the scheme of the real race and how fast everyone else was in comparison to myself. Growing up, I was the last person every single time we had to sprint/long distance run. I would try to convince friends to run/walk with me so I wouldn’t be the last lame excuse in the gym class. I hated running. Running and I have had a history. A short and painful history.

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There I was, close to the beginning of the start-up line. The horn blew and I was off. It was clear, from the get-go, that I was going to be passed by a few hundred people. I didn’t count. I was not that obsessed with how many were ahead of me. The lean-muscled, evidently well trained crowd hustled passed me. Soon the middle-agers were kicking my butt. Then, it happened. Right around the 3km mark. The old guy behind me pulled out whatever juice he had and limped past me. I kept running though. I’m not sure you can call it running because there were these walkers that were reluctant to have me pass them. They would run past me then slow to a walk. They did this several times until I let them keep ahead of me. I couldn’t have those tall walkers feel bad, what with all that leg length and everything they had going for them. Truth was, I didn’t have the energy to look behind me to see if I was actually last, for another pass…

Right around the 4km mark the 10km and Half Marathon runners converged with the 5km run/walkers. Then EVERYONE was passing me. Thanks, organizers, for helping me feel better about myself!

I blame it on the elevation and not because I didn’t run very much at all the last week before the race. Training took a kick to the gut when a migraine of scientifically impossible proportions took my head and threw it into the tree grinder. My migraine passed just as we entered the mountain paradise. No, it wasn’t a migraine that took me down in the end.

As I ran, my legs felt heavier and heavier. I looked enviously at the walkers, seemingly oblivious to my pain and enjoying the chat with one another. I thought to myself that I could probably walk faster than I was running so why not just enjoy the rest of the race and the beautiful scenery and walk? It beckoned to me. The sweet song of walking surrender.

I couldn’t do it though. My stubborn streak beat the siren of temptation and held it in a head lock while I put one foot in front of the other. I kept misreading the markers and mistakenly thought I had gone 3kms when I had actually gone only 2kms. From that point on the race only got longer. When the FINISH line appeared after what seemed like an eternity I sobbed. I cried and ran. Onlookers probably assumed I had run the Half Marathon and had accomplished some amazing feat. I had a  “Keep on going!” and a “It’s only 500 meters left!” shouted to me. I blithered and kept on running, holding  the FINISH line with my eyes and heart.

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I figured I should probably get myself together for the cameras that were surely going to capture my finish. I plastered on a smile as I passed my enthusiastic cheering squad and put a jig in my step. As soon as I had passed, I resumed weeping as I crossed that finish line.

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Five kilometers doesn’t sound like a lot, but it was a marathon in the making. I can tell you that it felt a lot longer than my usual prairie 5km. As I crossed that finish line I knew that God had done a miracle! As the man on the mat who had been healed by Jesus, leaped up and ran, so did I…without the leaping. The joy over the visible, if not instantaneous, healing is similar.

I’ve had a few “fit” people ask me “So, what’s your next goal?” Are they crazy? I just ran in the mountains. It’s time to hibernate! I’m kidding!! I’m going to tell you a secret… I’ve set another goal but I’m just not telling yet. Let’s just say, I am more informed about what elevation does to a body this time around.

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Summer Vacation story…and I’m sticking to it

Official logo of Winnipeg

Official logo of Winnipeg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Being in spiritual leadership is extremely taxing in both the spiritual aspect, the social aspect and just feeling the weight of the expectations on you. Every year we try to see family and fit some relaxation time in there with the four kids. Relaxing with four young kids could be considered an oxymoron. Perhaps there are those who think that The Reverend and his very Holy Family *sarcasm* should just go into seclusion and read their Bibles.  Then there are the times we end up in a big city with a lot of mesmerizing lights, go over to a random Italian home and enjoy an authentic Italian meal, drink homemade wine and end up in their basement singing songs from the ’50’s.  My sister is dating a nice guy who is from Italy and maybe they’ve invited us in to “The Family” *say that with a raspy male voice it makes it sound more impressive*It was hard to tell because they showed me the cellar and that worried me a little. I’m kidding. It was favaloso!

Today we had an odd thing happen. We went all the way to the beach and had NO ONE wanting to go swimming. Oh sure, the teenagers went in to dip their toes and the kids wandered around aimlessly but really all we could do was sit there and eat snacks. Sure, not every adventure has to be actually adventurous but it would help if MY kids acted themselves and spend the time in the water…that would have been normal. Some of them just hung around looking out of sorts. Halfway home “Mom, I’m going to barf.” and barf he did. I should have known b/c our older daughter was complaining of a very sore head so she was kind of out of sorts. But mommy says “We are ALL going to have a fun time at the beach because it’s holidays…RIGHT?” Ah so momma’s not always right. We tried though. It was early to bed for barf boy and headache Queen. Then the Queen of Scream showed up and made me rap her a lullaby. Well, I rapped and she screamed. So over tired was she that she did not appreciate my lyrical artistry.

I ran, jogged with my brother around Winnipeg yesterday. Right off my bladder seemed full. Yah. No bathrooms. So my game was a little off with that little middle-aged crisis. Ok, me with my short (and I do mean SHORT) legs can never keep up to a brother like mine so as I moved my legs at lightening speed he sauntered along…and did a very good job of looking like he was getting a good jog in. He’s nice like that. Even though I felt intimidated to run with a long-legged guy like him he jogged easily beside me. Twenty-two minutes of jogging and a day later and he must have been deceptively working me harder than I thought. My thighs are screaming and my calves are begging for jog day not to be tomorrow. But I will. I will let him work harder than me and my short legs will let on. I can be stealthy like that. YA right…

All in all my holiday has entertained and relaxed, kind of. I have more stories but have to ok them with my family yet.

I love being with my fam jam. They are kooky like me only maybe more so. I should go to bed now though. Insomnia does not cure travel weary stress brain.

 

 

No Cure

Difficult to Cure

Difficult to Cure (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As a gal who likes to get by in life by laughing at the sometimes stupid or difficult parts of life, it’s tough when there is nothing to laugh about. In fact, it’s downright alarming!  It may not be that I’m experiencing particularly difficult times but I am experiencing a humor dry spell. It’s hard, not having things to make light of. Well, there was the one time when I did that one thing that was super embarrassing…but you don’t want to hear about that. It would be based on bathroom humor and well, not everyone is into that…except my eldest son, who is my best audience for those sort of tales. Then he goes and tells everyone else and their pet mice about it and it’s not that funny after the 10097th time. It’s just embarrassing.

I think I’m experiencing the hormonal build up to the storm of menopause and it’s alarming the Reverend something fierce. After crying into my bed sheets about the end of the world because my daughter was being her usual self (ie, argues better than any lawyer I know) and then bouncing back alarmingly fast, he thinks I should go back to my shrink ASAP. Problem is, the insurance is all used up on that one, so you, my friends get to be my shrinks….riiiiight. Nah, I’ll just keep telling you the crazy stuff that goes on in my head. I don’t need opinions, I just need an audience. Ha! I figured it out, after about 5 of these eye-popping episodes, that it may be hormones wrestling with my brain. I mean, I’ve been jogging and I feel better over all, so you’d think that my brain wouldn’t be vulnerable to these vicious attacks by the rise and fall of hormones. I should be all Zen or in the zone or whatever the current train of thought is. I should be happily picking daisies and making flower braids…

Well, I can tell you, it’s not a party in this noggin. I can be blissfully dreaming dreams and living life and some sort of odd reaction to being middle-aged comes and smacks me upside the head. I told my dear Reverend just the other day that I think it’s just my body being bossy and that I’m probably going to be going through the biggest change since puberty in the coming decade. Lucky him! Not only does he have a wife going bonkers because of peri-menopause, he has two lovely daughters that will be flying into their pubescence right around the same decade. I’m not going to lie, I think my oldest daughter is lining up her puberty schedule early, from all indicators. It should be lovely.

Fear not! There is no cure for menopause. I may be in a funny story dry spell but it will surely not last for long. I will try to respect my children’s’ privacy, but there ought to be some good stories shortly, even if I have to make fun of myself…and my husband.

 

 

Jogging, Mammograms and #hashtags

English: Gwyneth Paltrow at the 2011 Venice Fi...

English: Gwyneth Paltrow at the 2011 Venice Film Festival (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just the other day someone said to me “You still look like you are in your thirties!” Hoky smokes, people!  I thought I still looked twenty-something (29 at least!). I guess it was a compliment. I just may have just slammed right into middle age. Here are some recent clues I have started paying attention to.

* I have no idea what the fascination is with #hashtags. I just did that right…right?

* I can’t text worth a darn and I forget my phone all the time.

* I just started jogging.

* My Dr. finally started letting me get mammograms after begging him for a decade.

* My psychologist said “Consider your age…”

* I’m seeing the wisdom of being who I am because not one diet appeals to me.

* When I see a newborn I think “I’m way too old for that” instead of wishing I had one myself.

* Eighty-years-old seems a young age to die.

* Kids that are getting married aren’t actually kids but look like kids to me.

* I look at people my age and think “Whoa, they look old…they are how old?” unless it’s Gwyneth Paltrow, then I get motivated to jog.

* My kids can walk faster than I can jog

* Embarrassing my kids overrules the fact that I am actually embarrassing myself.

* My friends have grandchildren

* I am writing a blog about being middle-aged.

I pretty much love being in my forties. I plan to enjoy as many years as God gives me and I also plan on having a sense of humor through it all. Unless I get the mean type of dementia…which means I am still laughing because my kids will have to deal with me. Call it the Nasty Nineties.