I bought a truck. I’ve never purchased a vehicle before. My last vehicle, the ‘Balt whom I’ve mentioned numerous times, was a hand-me-down from my husband. He gave her to me when bought his car.
A week ago today, I saw a truck for sale at a local lot. It was nice, older but a decent price with good features. However, no one wanted to provide a loan for it because of the mileage.
So they “found” another truck for me.
You see, I’ve always wanted a truck. The Balt was nice but she was small and light and had an aversion to staying on the road and not on the surface of standing water when it had been raining. She also had a decent amount of miles.
I also grew up in pickups driven by my dad. It’s nostalgia for me. And the thought that I could haul literally anything I wanted when I wanted to.
So I bought a 2012 Dodge Ram Big Horn. I still have no idea the significance of the Big Horn part, and there’s still some features I haven’t figured out yet. But I love driving her (her name is Olive Oil) and her color is “sagebrush”. For once I’m driving a vehicle that if something happens I’m not the one who will get hurt it’ll be the other guy.
I would never cause an accident intentionally. I’m a cautious driver. Just thought that needed saying.
Anywho, the day after I bought her, the “check fuel cap” warning came on. So I checked it. Not loose. Still attached. Light still on.
Two days later the check engine light came on. The next day I took her to a local mechanic and he plugged her in. It said it was the fuel cap. He said more than likely it’s a fuel leak. If it’s a particular line, it would require dropping the tank. That alone is $100 labor.
I haven’t even made the first payment.
And I gave up the ‘Balt for $250. so if something bad happens to Olive, I’m in a pickle.
See what I did there. I have to joke it’s my coping mechanism.
I’m scared do death that I’ve made a horrible mistake, an impulse buy I will soon regret. She’s a big truck and she’s gonna be expensive to fix.
My husband had this fear, that it was going to be expensive. But shout out to him for letting me make my own decisions without influencing them.
I am willing to haul things for truck repair funds. And I know she has the power to, I dunno, pull a tree out with a chain?
This was not just your typical run of the mill every six months check up.
About six months ago, I came home from work, and the first thing my child said to me was, “mommy I fell but I’m not crying anymore!” Well that’s great honey.*looks at daddy* what the hell?
Baby daddy/spouse goes on to explain that Child was being her usual self and jumping on her little indoor trampoline (best worst purchase ever) and was told to be careful. Minutes later she fell. It’s been some time so I can’t remember the details but she bruised her chin but otherwise did not complain.
A few days later I was checking her teeth. I’m a paranoid momma and I wanted to a: make sure she didn’t hurt them and b: she was still a member of the no cavity club.
When I looked at her teeth, the first thing I noticed were her two bottom front teeth. They each had a dark line! I thought, “dear lort she’s cracked her two front teeth!”
But upon closer inspection, it turned out to be, I believe, markings left by her trampoline bar, when she fell. She said they didn’t hurt and were fine. So I sighed, “this child gonna kill me.” And I continued inspections.
That’s when we came to the root of the problem (ha). I first thought it was a cavity, as it was dark, and encompassed a large portion of her tooth. But, panic setting in, I used one of my flossers and cleaned it out. She’d eaten a brownie before and that was our fake cavity. The problem was: her tooth, a back tooth, didn’t look quite right.
My first thought was, oh no, my baby has tooth decay.
Good Dental Hygiene Wasn’t a Priority
Growing up in a lower income family? We didn’t have regular dental care. We couldn’t afford for a long time the “extra” insurance that was dental and vision, not until much later.
I remember when we got most of our dental work, was when dad was out of work and we were “on true draw”. Mom utilized that government insurance and took us all to get checked. Lort knew when we’d lose it, or when dad would have a a job, so, get while the getting is good.
It also wasn’t a priority to keep our teeth clean. At a certain age it becomes “if you wanna keep ‘em, you gotta clean ‘em”. I don’t recall a lot of being made to go brush. So as an adult I really want to instill the importance of good dental hygiene in my child.
The Child Grinds
Have you ever met a six year old who grinds their teeth?
Welp. Guess what Dr Dentist notices EVERY TIME?! Yup. Girl grinds her teeth. It’s not as often as it used to be. But it still happens.
So when we showed up for an out of regular schedule visit, I don’t expect him to take one look and say, “oh yeah, it’s where she grinds, she chipped it.”
Dude says what now?
Like, when? Where? Where did it go? Did she swallow it? Why? Huh? Of course my child…
These I didn’t ask. But I did ask, is there any way to stop the grinding? Nope. If she keeps it up into her adult teeth, she’ll need a mouth guard for the night.
The only option was to fix it, until broken tooth leaves and her permanent tooth comes in. With a cap.
Now, girl normally won’t even let them take an X-ray. I knew capping would be a battle.
Today was (supposed to be) the capping. She wasn’t having it from the X-ray to the green table. I admire and praise the dentist and his assistant for attempting but my girl was just a struggle. And it was a traumatizing experience. For both of us! They got far enough to put the material on, but she started to panic.
She has been scheduled for a sedation assisted procedure.
This one time when she wasn’t even walking, she swallowed a dime. She had to be put to sleep and scoped. That was five years ago.
Needless to say, momma is stressed from today and stressed just thinking about what’s to come! Luckily it’s over a month away so I can mentally prepare.
Here’s hoping it all goes smooth.
Thanks for Reading!
She told the assistant that the tooth cleaning stuff tasted like birthday cake and smelled like pickles. What time she wasn’t freaking out, she was being adorable.
In my last post I talked about a journey to… not dying. And the reasons why I’m not ready to shuffle off this mortal coil. There was a storm and flooding and I fear death and big rivers. Blah blah blah.
The point is that post was all about me doing things to keep myself alive and to make my life better. Though I know that Death waits for no man (or woman in this case), there are things in my life that I can fix or work on, that may or may not cause or contribute to my untimely demise (or depression).
The Reason to Live
My daughter. That’s it. That’s my only reason. It’s been settled in my heart and my head (both of which will have starring roles in the “problems” section) that if something were to happen to her, my life would lose all meaning and I wouldn’t need to be around anymore. But that’s a tale for another time.
Anyway, she is six, sleeps in the bed with me, is really great for your ego (typical “my kid” lines are “mommy I just love your hair” or “I just love your glasses” she’s even said “daddy I love your bald head.”). She’s amazing and young and learning and doesn’t need to lose me just yet.
And I don’t want to lose the joy I have being with her. So she is my reason. For everything.
The Physical Problems
I’ve briefly mentioned them in the last post, and I’ll go into slightly more detail.
Heart: I’ve had heart problems, seen by a doctor but as yet unnamed, for several years now. Three? Four? And I live in constant fear that I’ll have a heart attack and die. Post soon to come about heart attacks in women. Even now I have some mild chest pains. But is that my heart or muscle pain from raising my arms over my head instead of climbing a ladder? Dunno.
Head: I’ve had some dizziness and headaches pretty frequently lately and over the course of a few years. My mom, who passed away almost three years ago now, had multiple aneurysms. If she were here now she’d say: “yeah but they didn’t kill me” and also: “GO TO THE DOCTOR.” The very thing I would tell her. I know just because she had it doesn’t mean I will, but they can be hereditary. And also I’m paranoid.
Weight: you know what’s super annoying? When you call yourself “fat” and someone says, “oh, no you’re not”. But then you look at yourself then back at them, and go, “I have a number for my ophthalmologist” (had to Google that). I am fat, though. I am what modern science would call “morbidly obese”. I’m ok with it, I’ve been in this body for a while I’ve come to terms. I don’t want to be. But between work, parenthood and exhaustion I have no time to, well, anything.
Feet: while not an immediate “gonna kill me now” thing, I have very bad feet. Bad enough that I’ve wanted to find a secret corner at work and cry. They hurt terribly and I’m in a job where I’m on my feet for 6 to 8+ hours a day. Sometimes I climb stairs, frequently I climb ladders (lately I reach, explaining possible muscle pain). My feet are my number one source of pain, and I believe one of the reasons I don’t get much done.
Stomach: here’s another “my mom had it”. I have stomach issues. I’ve never been diagnosed with anything specific. My mom, over six years ago, so three before she passed, had to have a large portion of her bowel remove due to a blockage. She ended up on ventilator because she’d had some breathing issues during the surgery and didn’t come off for a very long time. I started having bowel issues several years ago. They’ve gotten worse over the years and I fear the outcome. She ended up with an ostomy (a whole in her side where poop could come out). She was strong and learned quickly (with the glorious and amazing help of my sister). But she also didn’t work in the public. I struggle enough with self confidence, I don’t think I could handle the transition to pooping in a bag. Not that I judge, she was an expert at her own changing process.
The Fixer Quicker Upper
Looking at that wordy list of issues, I can see the number one way to improve my problems and live longer (unless Death decides its accidental) is a lifestyle change. Healthy habits could lead to weight loss: less weight on my feet would improve them. No caffeine had been “suggested” (forbidden) for my heart issues. But man I love me a Pepsi.
Eating for better bowel health: self explanatory.
Clearly a lifestyle change, including healthier eating would improve several of my physical problems. My first step (even if it hurts) is a doctor appointment. I’m due some blood work anyway, and only a doc can check certain things.
But wait! There’s more…
However, it’s after 2am, my body isn’t physically capable of anything last 2:30, this post is already a mile long, and my kid is restless. I’ll be back for the rest of it later!
Thanks for reading.
Her favorite word is poop. She’s been known to say, “I love you poopy too.”
I have a complicated relationship with religion. I always have. I’ve said this here before, I’m sure. My parents were never religious, although my mom had her “deep thought” moments. If we went to church as children it was an infrequent occurrence, and I don’t remember my parents being there. So religion was not something part of our upbringing, nor was it something outwardly encouraged.
I grew to question more than believe. There were a lot of things in my life that led me to this, mostly inconsequential to anyone but myself. I question more and more as I get older.
I also don’t hate, judge, or question others in their beliefs. In fact I’m a little bit jealous of their faithfulness and dedication. Unless you’re the faithful for appearance’s sake, but not in your heart.
But I can without a doubt admit that there have been a handful of times I have prayed to God or thrown a thought or hope into the universe and even (lard people don’t come for me) prayed to my mom.
Here in good old temperamental Kentucky (the earth lately tbh) it’s been raining cats and dogs and cows and ducks for days now, resulting in dangerous flash flooding and water in the roads.
I drive a little old (literally old) 2007 Chevy Cobalt. Me and that old girl have been through some schtuff, so I ain’t trying to throw hate. But she be light and if you’re not careful and you hit a centimeter of water in the road the wrong way she will fly off into outer space.
Tonight on the way home from work, the pouring rain reduced visibility to darn near nil, and there was a conservative estimate of an inch or so of water in the road a lot of the way (I might have caused a tidal wave to hit Japan in some places). Needless to say, I was SKURT. It didn’t help that my ARCH NEMISIS THE BIG SANDY RIVER was to my right for 75% of my drive (that’s another blog post).
The point I’m so wordily trying to make here is that I may or may not have verbally dictated a request for leniency in the matter of life or death unto an entity that may or may not be God and/or my mom.
The basis of said request entailed my desire to live for the love of my life: my daughter. Also included was a not-promise-but-an-acknowledgment of my own responsibility in keeping myself alive. I’ve made promises of “I’ll be a better person” or “I’ll pray more” or “I’ll dance naked under the pale moonlight” before and I’m no good at keeping promises. Or dancing. Or nudity. Gross.
But on that long, slow, mentally taxing drive home I kept telling myself and who/whatever was listening that I just wanted to see her face. I mean my husband is cool and all but he knows she’s number one. “Please let me see her face. I need to be alive for her” was my goal.
Now, I know normal people wouldn’t have been afraid for their lives, but I’m not normal, clearly. I also have anxieties and fears that are irrational and I accept them and we’ve bonded. Not really they just won’t leave me alone.
“As I’m writing this it’s still pouring rain AND THERE ARE WEIRD SOUNDS OUTSIDE so, anxiety, clearly here to stay.”
Me, suffering silently 2020-?
As I was saying, I have irrational fears, not excluding the fear of dying in some way related to my car. I said we’ve been through a lot and there’s still more to come.
So I drive home, slowly, and tightly gripping the steering wheel, wanting nothing more to make it home alive to my sweet child. I cannot help but “tell” myself and this mystery audience that I suppose only my heart knows is there, “if you help me make it home safely, I will try to keep my end of the bargain, and continue to live.”
That doesn’t mean I wanted to die, nay. I fear death, heavily. I just wasn’t trying really hard to not die.
I Did Live
Unless I’m writing this in limbo, I clearly made it home to my daughter, whose first words upon seeing me were, “did you bring me something.” I did baby. I did.
When I pulled into the driveway and put the Old ‘Balt (that’s a thing I call my car sometimes) in park. I took a deep breath as I waited for the rain to lighten up before I got out. It didn’t.
By now, hours later, the rain has indeed lightened up, I can barely hear it now, and my tiredness is getting to me. I’ve not stayed up this late in a very long time. But I need to get this all off my chest before I go to sleep. I need to document what happened today, so there’s a least some written record of it.
I WILL Live. Period
I won’t be afraid of my heart exploding, or a heart attack, because I will try in earnest to stop drinking caffeine, my only drug of choice. And I will be able to climb stairs without feeling like death (except for that fear or stairs-you guessed it, another post). I will lose weight, even if I don’t want the flappy skin side affect.
And I will be happier, because I will either find a better job or get back into teaching.
Oh and I will also try to document my “journey” right here. So, y’all get to deal with my bonkers self ALL. OVER. AGAIN. Maybe WEEKLY even!
Thanks for reading!
My kid asked me to tell her about her brain and heart before going to sleep tonight. And she said something about “the little thing in my brain and what it does.” Has she been chipped and is self-aware?
I have to work tomorrow (technically today since it’s one in the morning). That’s not news, I work every day of the week but Monday and Wednesday. But I don’t want too.
Tuesday, the last day I worked, was a big pile of stinking festering garbage. I was short handed and the people who were supposed to be the closing team called in and left us hanging. I had to ask two of my people to stay late—they graciously agreed and I’m forever in their debt—and I told my managers I would stay late.
I’m not gonna complain once my pay check rolls in and I have overtime on it—OT WHUD UP—practically buy me a new car with that.
Anyway, after six I had three people on the front end, three breaks to cover (including my own) and a million things to get done. Honestly it’s not that hard it’s just complicated and you have to not mess something up.
Messing with the money of a major corporation is a daunting task. That makes me sound more important that what I really am. But that’s what I do. Essentially.
But as always we made it work and we are a good team. A teeny tiny little team but a good one. Those are reliable people and my faith in them has grown even brighter than it was before that night.
Because two people called in (more in the place called in, but two in one area is like a tornado going through a trailer park: devastation). And honestly it was two people I was looking forward to working with. Two people I enjoyed working with and it made me feel like they were abandoning me, and not just our front end and store.
I know that’s not the case. At least I’m pretty sure because they did not communicate with me. I wish they had. One of if them called in I was disappointed. But then I learned they both called in…
Let’s just say the stress of the last several months, and basically year, have really weighed down on me and I might have gotten emotional. I hid it well, at least the angry crying part, and managed to put my sore and damaged feet down (gently) and say, mostly to myself “screw this figurative ‘schtuff’, I deserve more.”
Management had been scheduling me full time and boarder line full time hours for ages, and more so during the Pandemic (crapdangit more like), and I worked it all—except for my two week leave—without fail. I might not have been as good at it as others in certain people’s eyes, but I did it.
So I resolved to ask my manager, first personnel then store manger, for full time.
In the eleven years I’ve been working at (REDACTED) I’ve always been part-time. I’ve worked full time hours on many occasions. More so since getting my current position and let me tell you this has been a rocky road. I’d rather have the ice cream. But I’d been asked about it before and I said that I didn’t want more hours away from my child and family and on my feet.
But since I’m getting that any way and I have been there, doing the job as best as I could, I thought I deserved it. Not the hours, I already have those. I’m talking PERKS!
I had the conversation with my manager and I came out of it, with a “I can’t make any promises” but also with confidence that he actually felt I deserved for the possibility to be looked into.
I’m not getting my hopes up, even if I think I’ve been seen as a worthy person, by at least one other human. Whether no one else does.
But I will also be keeping my options open.
And I’ve learned a lot lately.
1. Open your mouth for what you want or risk never getting it. 2. Faith and hope in another human being is about as valuable as a water logged wooden nickel (IT TOOK ME WAY TOO LONG TO SPELL NICKEL RIGHT). 3. I can make anything work. No matter how putrid the flaming dumpster fire I’m given.
From the time she was old enough to lift her tiny little hand my daughter had a thing about rubbing people’s noses and faces to fall asleep-especially mine. Now she’s four and a lot stronger and has a habit of pinching my nose closed, and hitting it. Not hard, but noses are tinder.
As hard as we try to break her she still picks her nose and eats it. Gross. I’m afraid she’ll get laughed at one day.
She’s super smart and loves to learn. I blame Daycare and YouTube Kids. I helped a little too. She’s got a good brain and learns fast.
Except for potty training. We’ve had lots of ups and downs. But maybe we will get there. Maybe.
She’s my whole world and I wouldn’t change a single moment with her. Not the poop, the nose slaps. Not the late nights or early mornings. Or those first six months where she barely slept at night and I was *this close* to jumping off a bridge.
I wouldn’t change a thing. I wouldn’t have another either. But I wouldn’t change a thing about the one I got!
I often have days where I want to stop. Stop. Give up. Quit. Throw in the towel, give up my seat. Give away. You know?
Today was one of those days. I didn’t have enough. Enough people, enough money, enough time, enough energy. I felt like I was messing up around every corner. And it was the busiest day. That made everything worse.
I stopped to do something and someone needed me. I had lines I had to shorten, and not enough people to shorten them. Get them down and they filled back up. Thought about doing something that I needed to do, I got pulled away.
I feel like a failure.
I feel like I’ve let everyone down.
Struggle. Struggle. Struggle.
When does it stop? When can I stop?
But now I’m home, two hours after my shift should have ended I’m crawling into bed. Next to my sweet one. My heart. My sunshine. She’s asleep but I can snuggle.
Snuggle snuggle snuggle.
And for a few hours I can pretend all is right with the world.
This is Pepper. She’s almost eleven years old. She’s normally an outside dog. But she got in the house today when a storm was rolling in. So we kept her in. She’s fluffy, so it wasn’t until today that I noticed that she has lost a great deal of weight.
It reminds me of her mortality and that she won’t be around forever, even though she’s been a huge part of my adult life. She’s been a part of our family for as long as my husband and I have been married. She’s outlived two other dogs. She’s escaped the safety of the fence to go exploring many times, and still came home safe.
She enjoyed her time inside and received her first bath in ten years. She noses through the garbage, she ate cheese and gravy. She played with children and took a nap in my bed when she was soaking wet (the bed is still wet).
We are going to be transitioning her in slowly, she can be indoor/outdoor. She will get to be lazy some, gain some weight, and we’ll take better care of her.
She is my Pepper dog, my pepperoni, my first “kid” and she greets me every day when I come home from work. There have been one or two days where I was afraid when she didn’t come out right away, but I’ve always gotten to hear her bark from inside the garage (she’s had free reign of the garage since she was too big to squeeze out the gate).
If I ever came home it she weren’t there to greet me, I’d be heartbroken.
When my husband and I first started dating, I was a broke college student. In our many conversations and in our many dates, I told him, “when I graduate and start working, I’m going to get myself an iPod Nano.” This statement really dates me, but at the time he’s just purchased himself one and I loved it. And I couldn’t wait to be able to get myself things.
You see, growing up we weren’t always able to get the unnecessary things we wanted. It was more or less “do you need it”. Sure, there was Christmas, and nothing made my mom more proud than being able to get us the things we would want. But I was never upset or angry because I didn’t get what I wanted. I understood.
Okay I might have had my moments. But I never resented it and always got over it. Eventually.
So, being college educated meant that when I was employed I’d be making good money, and could provide for myself. So coming up with things I wanted that I’d be able to have was like a game for me.
Well, Mr Man beat me too it.
Our first Christmas he surprised me. And if I remember correctly it was in a box, in a box. He bought me the iPod Nano. I was shocked, surprised, excited, and told him over and over that he didn’t have too. It’s a lot of money for someone you’d been dating for less than six months.
We eventually got married (he proposed with the second thing I told myself I’d get once I got my first post-college job: a Nintendo DS). And I eventually got a job, just not in the field I went to school for. This time I did but the thing I wanted. An iPod touch.
I gave the Nano to my mom thinking that since she liked music she could learn to use it and have a slew of songs to listen too while cleaning. I’m honestly not sure if she ever used it.
She died nine months ago, and I miss her terribly. I miss her nagging and griping and laughter and “I love you” and her cooking and her smile and her hugs and, well, everything. But my sister was recently helping my dad by going through some of Mom’s things and guess what she found.
That tiny iPod Nano.
I brought that bad boy home and, not only does it have songs I forgot about but also solitaire and sims bowling and best of all, pictures. Of her.
*normally I will not share photos of myself or my family here, but this is special.
I love and miss you silly woman, thank you for being such a good mom and hoarder and never throwing anything out.
I just had a panic attack when I realized one day I might not have this quilt.
I’ve covered up with the same quilt for the better part of 20 years. I can’t remember exactly when I got it, it was in a bunch that my grandmother sent us, and I chose it. She made it, by hand, and it’s been my comfort and my go-to for most of my life.
I recently happened to notice that the seams holding two patches together had come undone. I don’t have the skill myself to repair it the right way. Thats when I realized that I will likely one day have to put it away.
“What in the world am I going to cover up with then?!” I thought. For a moment, I couldn’t comprehend that there were other blankets in the world. Ones I own already, ones I could buy.
This quilt isn’t perfect. It’s not fancy or expensive or costly. But it’s mine. It’s dried my tears, kept me warm, comforted me after bad dreams. It’s currently keeping both myself and my child warm. When I asked her, as I do every night, “What blanket do you want?” She didn’t want the monkey, a new addition from her grandmother, the Paw Patrol, Unicorn, or the white one. No. “Share yours, mommy.”
True love is sharing a blanket when all you want is to burrito yourself with it.
And this blanket has been through a lot on its own. Back and forth to college, moved with me when I got married, and then to our new house. I wanted to bring it to the hospital when I had my kiddo. But, I figured it would be cumbersome to bring home with an infant.
Once, when I’d left it home during college, I came home to find burn holes in the corner. You see, my cigarette smoking brother preferred to sleep in my bed, as opposed to walking the 5-10 extra feet to his own room. And one night he fell asleep with a cancer-stick and burned a hole in my beloved quilt.
To say I was upset would be an understatement.
But, I was glad that the patches were basically polyester (I think) and mostly just melted silver dollar sized places, instead of cotton, which might have done more damage. Also my brother lived, I guess.
So I was willing to let it go, and keep the holes as a reminder. But, sadly, the fabric backing had been wearing pretty thin for quite some time, and I already had trouble keeping my foot from going into a hole. It was so bad that the batting inside the quilt was falling apart. I often woke with my foot tangled.
So I begrudgingly took the quilt to my grandmother to repair. I had it in my head that she could just patch it. But as a grown adult with minimal experience with fabrics, I now know better. She ended up removing everything from the topper and replacing it. And not only was the backer a different fabric that the original but she’s trimmed out the burns!
But I was grateful not only that my quilt was back to useable condition and that my foot could no longer hibernate inside it, but that my almost 90 year old grandmother was not only willing but able to repair my treasured quilt.
While my quilt has held up pretty well (old-fashioned handmade craftsmanship) over the years, my grandmother, however, has not. For several years now, she has been in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s. I will not go into details, but I’m sure the perils and heartache of this terrible disease are wildly known. And to be honest, it’s been years since I’ve seen her. She’s gotten worse over those years, and I know that, if she were in a place for it to matter to her, she wouldn’t want our memories of her to be tainted by anything.
I dreamed of her last night, in her old house, just the way it was when we were little, the smells the food the stories. She was happy and doing what she did best (besides, sewing, gardening, spoiling her fat chihuahua) making sure we were fed and taken care of. Great, now I want cat head biscuits and gravy!
My quilt will always be important to me. Falling part or perfect condition. It’ll keep me warm, comfort me, and it’ll do the same for my girl. We will use it until it falls apart.
Who knows when that’ll be. But nothing will replace it.