Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wednesday Wisdom: Troubles

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Basket Full of Old Shoes

As I mentioned, I'm conducting a pre-spring cleaning overhaul in our little Atlanta apartment.  

I just got back from donating a car load to Goodwill. I've been there a lot over the past year. I donated some of my old clothes, games, accessories, etc.  My friend who works at the Goodwill in Nashville tells me every time I donate, I am creating jobs. Warm-fuzzies. 

Tonight, I started to tackle Jimmy's closet. 

Some of the stuff in his closet was put there a year and a half ago when we moved in. I really haven't touched any of it since. 

Like... Jimmy's old shoes. 
This laundry basket full of shoes has been in the corner of Jimmy's
closet since we moved in Oct. 2011 
Jimmy can't wear a lot of his old shoes.  We have no way of knowing if they were ever too tight or caused blisters.  That type of thing now could create big skin problems, so we have to buy shoes a little bigger/wider for him. 

During a crazy cleaning-out stint today, I decide it was time.  I asked Jimmy if he cared if we went through his old shoes, really not knowing how he'd respond. He said it was fine. Kind of anticlimactic.

I probably got that response because the Tarheels were on -- and winning.  

I went through all his shoes pair by pair.  Some of them I had never seen, so I knew it was time to toss them. Like some chunky black boots that were in style, in like 2004.   

Some, though, I certainly had seen and they placed me right back in our former life. It was hard. They're just shoes. And yet, so hard. Just shoes.  

Maybe this is why I hadn't touched the basket full of old shoes for a year and a half.  My brain/heart are subconsciously so smart and protective.    

There were some shoes I still couldn't part with. Four pairs. 

1) Jimmy's old work shoes.  Those smelly-ass Nikes are so Jimmy. So photogy. Even Jimmy said to dump them because they stink.  Sorry, not ready.  And, really... I don't have to smell them.  They are going in a far corner of the closet.  I feel proud I got Jimmy to finally wear ankle socks with these shoes.

2) Jimmy's golf shoes.  Man, he looked so cute in those. Those are staying.    

3) Also, some brown loafers that I'm 90% sure were the last pair of shoes he bought himself. 

It goes without saying that we'll be keeping his Rainbows.  Don't even get me started on those. I could cry right now thinking about Jimmy in his Rainbows.  

So, we did it. We donated Jimmy's old shoes. Insert some cheesy line about getting rid of stuff from the past so we can make space for the future, etc.

I don't think I expected the walk down memory lane or all the emotions today, but I knew when I approached Jimmy's closet today it would be a challenge. 

We'll leave his clothes for another day. 

Baby steps. 

Cups of Newsrooms Past

"TV is a fickle business. I'm only good for the length of my contract."
-- Tom Brokaw

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Spring Cleaning


On The Mend

Today is the first day I've had enough energy to actually open the laptop and type. I've been sick with either food poisoning/stomach bug since Monday.

Oh. My. God.

I have a fear of throwing up. In fact, I honestly don't think I've thrown up since college. Maybe shortly after. So, puke free since 2003(ish)?

I don't know.

But that streak is over, my friend.

Whether it was spoiled condiments on the second half of my sandwich in which I let sit in my purse too long, bad soup, something else I ate at this bakery lunch or just catching what a lot of people have right now -- I dunno.

I do know I was pathetic for the better half of the week.  Like, moaning like a child to Jimmy. 

This was the first significant sickness I've had since Jimmy's crash. He felt bad he couldn't do more, but I assured him he was doing plenty.

I know now there are certain things I just have to take care of myself, and that is that. But, I did get a very important Pedialyte delivery from a friend, which was huge.

I found myself walking in Jimmy's room during the 'critical hours' to make sure he knew I was alive. I would be worried if I were him. I still managed to feed him (with gloves) when I could, and if I wanted to lay in bed instead of the living room, I'd leave my door open so he could see me and we could still talk.

Me checking on him, him checking on me.

Yesterday, I finally mustered up the strength to shower, change my linens and sprayed down my bathroom with bleach and Lysol. Oh sweet glory.

I actually put on some jeans and went to the grocery store where I got hit on by a stock person. Nice.  As lightheaded and weak as I was I said, "thank you" instead of what I was really thinking... "really?"

My shower yesterday, was... something special.

My mind compared the situation to that of Curly Sue (a fav) when Bill and Sue were taken in by the rich lady and were forced to finally lather up after their time on the streets. Bill was unfamiliar with things in the shower and little disoriented (Me, yesterday).

I think the same music was playing in the background yesterday when I was pouring the shampoo in my hand.

I was washing my hair thinking... yeah... there could be allllll kinds of stuff in this rat's nest.  I spent a little extra time sudsing.

But today, I'm finally feeling a little more like myself, although, still unable to have my coveted morning cup of coffee.

Nothing like water in the morning... woo!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day 2013

(In no particular order...)
"Moldy" meatballs
Peach roses
Car wash
A Call From YOU
Chicken parm wrap
The Tourist
Sitting in the sun
Seeing another "Wheelie"
Sitting in my bathroom together, just talking
Getting a little relief with the vent
Being happy while going to sleep

I Suck At Being Italian

They look innocent enough...
I really do not make my ancestors any kind of proud.

Jimmy called me while I was out running errands today and asked me to make homemade meatballs.

Easy enough.

I called my mom and asked her for her recipe. Hers are thee best. I miss them, actually. A big plate of homemade meatballs and spaghetti with homemade sauce?!


Swimming in Marinara
I mean... I forgot to add the bread crumbs. A major component. Also, the parmesan. Basically I just made hamburger balls. Also the bread I used was clearly too old to be touched. They actually made the hamburger balls taste weird.

Luckily I could drown them in pasta sauce to make them edible.

Really, this is my first attempt. So, I can only go up from here.

Jimmy. Bless his heart. He said, "They're better than the frozen ones."

I need to practice being a better Italian. Or not experiment on a holiday.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

So My Husband Can't Walk. Big Deal.

I've gotten to where I can say that and mean it...  on my strong days.

Especially after hearing this:

A dear friend of mine recently got some tough news. A family friend of hers has been diagnosed with Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer. He's 41. He's married. They have a small child.

Is your heart broken yet? Because mine is.

His name is Noah and I wish I could hug him but I can't. I'm a stranger. It would be weird.

His wife, Jenny, is unbelievably strong as she writes their CaringBridge.  Her first journal entry letting the world know what they were up against:

"Today Noah (aka "Apollo" for the Rocky fan that Noah is) and his entourage entered the offices of Dr. Wadehra to receive the news of who he would be fighting. The opponent is one of the meanest, ugliest and just down right dirtiest of all time, metastatic pancreatic cancer (aka "The PC"). While we all were hoping for an easier opponent, we all had to take deep breaths, fight back the tears and now get to business on how to proceed. Get your gloves out because the announcer has spoken and the bell has been rung. Noah is in the ring and will be fighting for the biggest of all big prizes, life. We need the all the trainers and cheerleaders we can get to be in his corner. Please send us your fighting words for encouragement!"

My friend who knows them shared something amazing with me that Noah wrote on his Facebook wall recently.  She thought it could inspire Jimmy and I.  That's an understatement.

"I am looking forward to doing so many things I have put off for no good reason: watching movies at home and movies in the theater. Reading books that expand the mind and spirit rather than my career. Giving my dogs the affection they deserve. Meditation, exercise, and sports. Taking a short trip just because. Cooking. Really listening to music. Going for walks in the rain. Painting a wall o...r room to suit my mood. Drawing a picture of my wife and son, to show them how I see them in my heart.

These are the important moments of life, not the incidentals. These are what I should have been making priorities, not options I hope to get around to.

When I did get to this or that, I made a typically poor effort to be fully in the moment, instead keeping the greater part of my attention on some future event that may never arrive.

I knew all this before, but consistently fell flat in my efforts to change the way I actually conducted my life. Without going into why or how, life has called me out and challenged me to actually live my life fully. I am grateful for the opportunity."

Wow.  What a new perspective this gives me.

Sometimes I think Jimmy is immune to diseases now that he has suffered such a traumatic injury. I'd like to think, "Okay, we're done. Now leave us and let us deal with our thing."

The fact is, Cancer runs in Jimmy's family. I count my lucky stars each day he seems healthy.

With that said, I am reminded of something we heard once in peer support. That spinal cord injuries are one of the few injuries/diseases where the patient is most likely to get better -- not worse.

So my husband can't walk. Big deal.  If it means I can live with him and hold him and continue to ask for his help with simple math -- we'll take it.

I will think of Noah and his family often.  His attitude makes me smile. Jenny's candor and strength gives me something to aspire to.

I wish for them to beat this thing.  

Never lose hope.

Just keep going!

Wednesday Wisdom: Permanently

I love this..

Sunday, February 10, 2013

An Early Valentine

When I returned tonight from a weekend trip, I saw that I had gotten a letter from my sweet 90-year old grandmother Ruth, who resides in North Carolina.

I opened it to find just the cutest-sweetest-cutest little Valentine's Day card you ever did see.

I think what made this lil' old-fashioned snail-mail experience even better is the fact that she wrote, "Buy yourself an ice cream cone" inside the card and included $20.

She knows ice cream ain't cheap like it used to be.

God bless grandparents.

An old photo of Grandmother Ruth and her dashing late husband John, our beloved Grandfather
The 1940s

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Suit and Tie

"As long as I've got my suit and tie... I'mma leave it all on the floor tonight... "

James Walter, 8 Months
Thanks to Jimmy's sister Sonya for sending us this little gem.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Dos Outings

I'm relishing in success and contentment right now. I somehow managed to get Jimmy to agree to go on back-to-back leisure outings. This never happens!

Yesterday, we went to see a movie. I'm still not sure why he said yes, but he did. I took him to the romantic(ish)-comedy(ish) zombie movie that's out now. It. Was. Awesome. I'm not even a part of the zombie movement that's happening right now.

Most people: Do you watch the The Walking Dead?
Me: No...
Those Same People: GASPPPPP!

This was cutesy and PG-13. I'm a nerd. I checked beforehand. I needed to know what I was myself getting into. Rated R? I might not have eaten beforehand. There was only minor brain-eating, though (It's white jello... It's white jello... It's white jello).

Today we had couple's counseling.  We talked about some things he could do while I was away this weekend. Somehow, sushi came up but talking about it made him hungry for it.  So, I quickly looked up some spots online and came across the Atlanta Fish Market in Buckhead.

You can't miss it.

There's a massive, massive metal fish there that could give some buildings a run for their money. This is an angle that makes it look like one of those sandworms from Beetlejuice, though. True?

Jimmy got his calamari and sushi. ALL TO HIMSELF.
My non-seafood eating self had some edamame and salad. At least it was a good opportunity for me to stay semi-healthy.
I think Husband left with a happy belly.

When we got home we took a walk/roll around the apartment courtyard to enjoy the last bit of sunlight.
Jimmy and I had a stupid, crummy morning, but today certainly got better. Because of fatigue issues, getting out and about is such a treat.   
Yay for new memories and adventures in Atlanta.

Wednesday Wisdom: Your Best

When Ms. Maya talks, you listen...