Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Too Soon Gone

Yesterday afternoon, my friend Mikey passed away.

There is no doubt in my mind where he is now. Michael was a strong Christian who shared his faith with anyone who had the great honor to know him.

I first met him in the basement of the pastor's house. I was new to the band, and Michael played guitar and sang lead. The basement was, at that time, where we rehearsed.  Since we were a church with no permanent building, we rented a school on the weekends and used their auditorium.

Our repertoire was larger than any other band in history, or so it seemed. We did country, bluegrass, Beatles, rap, and a lot of Christian artists. Harmony was our forte, and most times we did it well.

Mikey and Todd were the usual leads, while three others, me included, harmonized and sang backup. We sang for weddings, funerals, an Easter Egg Hunt called the Eggstravaganza, and almost anywhere else we were asked to provide music.

Mikey, Jetta, me, and Todd at the Eggstravaganza

I sang with the band for over ten years. During that time, Michael's talent was always there, always able to adapt to any style. He was a constant.

More than that, he became a dear friend. 

This past year of his cancer diagnosis, treatment, and finally acceptance of the inevitable has been so hard for his friends and family. I know God has a reason, and HE knows what it is. I just wish he would let all of us know.

Michael was too young at 42 to be taken. He had too much to do, too much loving and raising kids, and loving his wife and family and God. He had too many people who cared and prayed for him and loved him.

Too many for him to be gone so soon.

I miss our band, our band of friends. Kevin is gone, and now Mikey. 

I told Mikey the last time I saw him that we would sing together again. I can't wait for that day. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

One Hot Mama

Dear Doc recently started me on a small dose of plant-based estrogen.

I started taking it because I was sick to death of sweating buckets at the drop of a hat, and having the same argument over the thermostat night after night. If it isn't 72 degrees or lower with AC set to ON, I might as well be in a hot bath.

Because, appealing as it sounds, that's how I look when I'm sitting in the recliner.

I love yoga, but I ended up getting sick to my stomach every time I did it. First I would get cherry-red cheeks, and then I'd start sweating so much I'd have to have a towel within reach. Finally, my lunch would end up reappearing.
It was not a pleasant sight. So I stopped the yoga.

At work, I have a similar problem. I could swear the building temperature goes up by ten degrees every afternoon. I have a fan in my office that is in constant use, even in winter. I tell people I keep it on for the sound, but that's a lie.

My family knows the air conditioning must go on before I get home from work. If the temperature gauge in the living room does not read below 72 degrees, I am not pleasant to be around.

(Not that I am under perfectly normal conditions, anyway.)

Even if the temp is set to below 72 degrees, whenever I get to the table for dinner I become a hot, sweaty mess. The Girl, The Boy, and Hubster complain about the icicles hanging from their noses, while I glow with uncooled heat.

I am my own little furnace.

My personal summer seems to last all day long, until I go to bed at night. At that point, I have to have double the covers Hubster uses. Of course, I keep them on only long enough to kick them off in my sleep.

While we were in Hawaii, it was 90 degrees and above every day. I wore this around my neck almost constantly:

It was a lifesaver. Not to mention it was handy for brow-mopping when needed.

Dear Doc says to give it a couple of weeks to see if the pills help. 

If they don't, I am considering a career change - to lifeguard.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


I find life nowadays is full of changes. Heck, life is full of changes, all the time. All. The. Time.

When Mom had her stroke/heart attack over seven years ago, my life began more change than I ever, ever wanted. My rock was gone. Our roles had reversed in the blink of an eye.

When she died almost seven years ago, I went into a grieving process that lasted years. In some ways I am still grieving; still in the process.

While in the process, I changed. I stopped many of the things I used to do. I stopped singing in the band at church. I stopped going to church. I cried a lot. I stopped being reasonably happy, and instead concentrated on getting through each day. 

Many days I didn't want to get through the day. All I wanted was to stop all the changes from happening at one time. I wanted to stop hurting. I wanted Mom, alive, healthy and happy.

And while I have never publicly admitted this before, I wanted to die, too.

Of course, I didn't want to kill myself. I just wanted to die. 

I wanted God to ZZZZZZZZZZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOTTTTT me with a lightning bolt or make me have a seizure that killed me, or make me run my car into a tree, resulting in instant death. I never wanted the pain. I just wanted the end.

I just wanted it all to be over.

At that time I started a blog that I THOUGHT was private. One where I could talk about my feelings, be honest with myself. A blog that would take all the hurt and pain and depression and despair I felt. A blog that wouldn't judge me, but would just, in a sense, listen.

Unfortunately, I found that blog was not as private as I thought.

After I wrote in it for some months, I got a call from a good friend of mine. She said she wanted to meet for coffee. She said it was an emergency. She said she HAD to see me, and it had to be NOW.

I had no clue.

It turns out that a friend of hers had been reading my blog all along. All the time I thought it was only me and the blog, it turned out I had at least one eavesdropper. And after reading, the eavesdropper was alarmed enough to alert my friend that I was apparently suicidal.

Let me say this now, to clear up any misconceptions: I am not now, nor have I ever been, suicidal. 

I just wanted someone or something ELSE to kill me. *I* did not want to kill me.

There is a fine line there, granted. But rest assured, I am far too much of a coward to ever go through with it, no matter how much I hurt. Add the fact I still had school-aged children, I knew what it would do to the rest of the family, and I knew people who had done it. All of those reasons culminated in one fact: I wasn't going to off myself.

But God bless her, my friend was worried. She acted on her worry, which is sometimes more than I've ever done. She cared.

I immediately deleted the blog, but I still remember the gist of the entries. Since then, my friend has gone through her own loss. She is now doing some of the things I did when I was grieving, following many of the same patterns I did. She's going through her own changes.

And you can bet I will be there if and when she needs me. 

I know how difficult change can be.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Royals MANIA

THIS is Kansas City's Union Station, a full two hours before the victory parade actually begins:

We had to block off the entrances to the parking lot here at work, because people are trying to find places for their vehicles over two miles away from the closet parade venue.


After the first World Series win in over THIRTY YEARS, we have a right to be!

It took me an hour and a half to get to work today. Normally it's a thirty-minute drive at most. Hoards of people were trying to get downtown early, and the freeways were jammed solid. Much of the time I was on the road my car was at a dead stop. Did you know overpasses actually jiggle with heavy traffic? Not something I wanted to find out!

The kind people here at work are letting us leave at noon today so we can either try to attend the parade and rally, or take the sensible route and GO HOME. Since I went to the parade in 1985, the last time we won, I will be taking myself home.

Go Royals!!!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Horror Story

Most folks think of spooky things this time of year. I, however, have a downright horror story.

It's called......my bathroom.

Little children are scared to brush their teeth at the sink.  Grownups have been known to cry when the shower is mentioned.

And we won't even discuss the commode.

The floor is a bright, bird's-egg blue tile.  It is covered by a too-well worn carpet.  Apparently it dates back to when the house was first built, some fifty years ago. It is cemented in with wire underlayment, making it almost impossible to remove unless the person removing it uses a jackhammer.

They knew how to build houses to last, way back when.

Well, sort of.

The tile in our shower is another story. Not only is it caving in on two walls, but blackish mold has shown its ugly self between some of the tiles. It does not come off, even using bleach. The shower pan is cracked, and likely leaking water as well. Outside the shower, trim tile is falling off of the wall.

It isn't pretty.

There is no exhaust fan in the bathroom, so humidity has nowhere to go. Neither does any other gaseous substance.


Thankfully, this is not the main bathroom for the house. Even more thankfully, we have found and hired a contractor to rid us of this scourge. He will begin work week after next.

As Mr. T so aptly stated, "I pity the fool."

He will have his work cut out for him. We're having him basically gut the whole room, replacing everything. When he is finished we should have new everything, with wall ready for me to paint.  

I can't wait. But I will, because this is more like Christmas than Halloween.