Thursday, January 23, 2014

For the record

Another week has rolled through.  I made it through the last one.
Today's best news is that when I called the power company this morning, and asked them to look at the past 2.6 years of our history with them, they saw that we (indeed) have paid our account on time, and so they were willing to waive the notice they'd sent us stating that they were requiring a $600+ deposit for the next three years until we'd proved our credit worthiness with them after they moved our payment date, and then shut off the power last week. What a monopoly! Grrrr.  Thank you to the nice lady who helped me.  

This week, started out with Dentist appointments, but due to the President of the USA and his lovely medical plan, all of our medical plans changed this year. The insurance office wasn't open on Monday due to the holiday, and therefore some transfer that had to happen with our dentist (who has always been our dentist) so that we could have our teeth checked wasn't able to happen. So, my kids didn't get to go to the dentist - even though we made them get up and ready by 8:15 on their day off of school.  Yes, they were loving me!

Tuesday, we had another Dr. appt for my husband. The one with the 1.5 hr. commute.  That Dr. told us that he's not quite sure that my husband's seizures aren't medically related.  All of the neurologists told him that they can't find anything so it must be mental/emotional.  Pot/Kettle/Black??  Then the Dr. told him that it is just recently that non-epileptic seizures are being recognized in the medical field, however, there is little or no research to rely on.  He recommended sending us to a neurologist for more testing....Feels like back where we started. Again.

Wednesday, I got to go to the dentist.  Not my favorite, but at least no cavities.  Thanks to my cousin, my previous dentist, I'm on a rolling streak! Speaking of rolling...we went roller skating last weekend.  Ummm hoping to never have to do that again?!  I was almost to the point of feeling comfortable on wheels again (guess my point of gravity has changed) when we (mercifully) decided to leave.  Our kids, though - LOVED IT!!

Yesterday afternoon, we met with some friends who are in town - we knew them in Colorado - and bought their piano from them. Then they moved, but it was fun to spend time together and catch up.  We went to Blue Springs State Park, and saw TONS of manatee (cause it is so cold here right now - sheesh!).  They had counted 238 at the park that morning... I'm not sure if we saw half, but we saw several close up, and it was fun - as always.

Today, another Dr. appointment, then a phone call visit with a financial adviser - that was useless.  He told us to find a local financial adviser.  I tell you - the fun never stops at our house.

I stayed up late working on tax returns (why won't that one mutual fund company send out year end documents sooner? I'm always stuck waiting on them!).  After I finish chronicling my exciting life, I look forward to a shower (hot, because it is so cold), and laundry folding, perhaps snuggling with the kitty, and a few music lessons before running around to drop people off at rehearsals.

Guess what?  Tomorrow.... another doctor!  Our daughter has an eye appointment.  One has an all day rehearsal for an all county band event, and the other an eye appointment.
A week of appointments.  I think the calendar is empty next week.  Thank goodness!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

One of THOSE days

You know those days? The dreaded ones? The type that you just can't believe is actually happening?
I'm having one.
Right now.

I was supposed to go walking this morning. It didn't happen. My husband had a bad night, and so, mine wasn't too great either.

I woke up, got the kids up, made healthy waffles, made a great healthy kale/cranberry/red pepper smoothie to give me a little pep and energy for my exciting day of new biking trails with a new biking friend, with a promise of a dedicated mountain bike trail - complete with jumps and dips etc.

Got the kids off to school, and took my daughter to Target before school because she needed 'close toed shoes' for her science project today (??).  She wore me down and she got Uggs.  As if furry boots were EVER needed in Florida.  Whatever.  At least they were on their way out, and only cost $10.56, and she pledged to pay for half.

Then, the fun began. I dropped her off at school and got home, texted my friend that I needed 10 minutes to get ready.  As I was rummaging around for my biking shorts, I heard a truck, then a cling/clang outside my bedroom wall, and the electricity shut off.  I quickly assessed my options. "Should I go to the kitchen for a knife? Where's the bat? Where did my husband say his gun was?"
I opened the garage door, and saw that the big door was open which was strange.  And then.
I saw him.
Evil man.

Sitting in the utilities company truck.  DUKE ENERGY.  Avoid them like the plague - I very very strongly dislike them, and have ever since we moved to FLORIDA.  Can you say monopoly?

I yelled "HEY" just as he started up the truck to drive away.  "I don't have any power", he replied "I know, that's my job".  WHAT??
"You have to call them to get it back on",  " phone isn't working and I don't have internet to get the number, what number do I call?"  He handed me a business card and said, "don't call the 1800 number, who knows where they are.  I'll be around as to turn it back on as soon as you work it out."

I headed inside.  Dialed the number.  After unsuccessfully trying to find a human, I was disconnected since I didn't have my account number memorized and handy, and couldn't find it without the power.  (So much for paperless filing).
I rummaged around the house and found a letter that I'd received 3 days ago, dated Dec. 30, 2013.  It said if I didn't pay my by the 8th, my electricity would be shut off.

By then, my husband had turned on his hotspot for his laptop and I was able to verify that I indeed had paid all of my bills to the utility company for the entire past year, 9 out of ten times even a week before the due date.  Come on - we are pretty responsible people.  Most of the time.

I called again and must have pushed the right button because I finally got someone on the line.  Ricardo. Poor Ricardo. I wouldn't like his job.  Not one bit, because I was angry at this ridiculousness.  He and I chatted about my payment.  Yes, he could see my payments had been received. Yes, but there must be a 'missing payment'.

APPARENTLY, sometime in September, I was notified that the payment due date was changing from the 10th of the month, to the 30th of the month (as in, 10 days earlier).

Unfortunately, in September, my husband had an appendectomy, then a prostate infection, many tests and Xrays, and then ended up in the hospital for several days, and is still not better.  Add two weeks of house guests, and the holiday season, and that pretty much sums up how I somehow missed the alert that the monthly payment date was being changed and accelerated.

It isn't their fault, it was mine.  Ignorance isn't an excuse.  I know.  But REALLY?  How about a phone call, a second notice? Something?  No sir - this monopoly doesn't mess around. They just turn off your power. I guess they got the results they wanted.

So, Ricardo explained that my meter is now read on the 6th of each month and payment is due by the 30th.  Pretty short billing cycle I'd say.  At least I guess I know now.

So I paid the bill.  That was apparently 2 weeks late, unbeknownst to me.  I'd figured when I saw the previous notice that the bill and payment had crossed in the mail since we've never ever been delinquent on a payment.

Moving along.
I found my clothes, then headed out to prep my bike.  I decided to use my daughter's since my wrists have had a lot of pain with my bike.  Her tire was flat.

I had a spare tube, and changed the tire.
We started along our way.
We got 6.14 miles when I went around a curve in the path and felt a 'swoosh' and felt like my back tire was sliding out from under me.  My friend looked at my back tire and told me it was flat.
What are the odds? Sheesh. 
We walked back to a nearby park, sat down and waited, and called my husband to put the bike rack onto the car, and come and pick me up.

I'm thinking about spending the rest of the day in bed!

I saw a post on FB that said, THINK POSITIVE, like if you are falling down the stairs, think about how quickly you got to the bottom.  :) I think that post was meant for me.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Holy Smokes - it has been a while!

We were so flipping excited to roll in a new year.
My husband's dr. told him he could come back in 6 months (YAY!!), but he's still seeing 2 other drs. in the meantime.
Our holidays were oh so very quiet this year.  Which is okay, but it didn't feel like Christmas to anyone for the most part. Anyways, the kids are back in school, and all of the Christmas clutter is put away (thank Heavens!).  The missionaries (the Elders and Sisters) came over for dinner on Christmas night along with some other friends, and we have flan and carne asada.
After many years of marriage, we finally realized that we have virtually no traditions for Christmas day evening.  We decided that since we don't like turkey or ham (once a year is plenty thanks), we should figure out a meal we really like.
So - if you wonder what we eat for Christmas dinner - Carne asada, black beans, rice, & flan.  If you were wondering about Easter - Taquitos and Trifle.  (Yes, I'm aware of the mixed nationalities on that one, thank you very much).

Not sure how I got onto that food tandem.
Moving along.

My husband worked 27.5 hours last week.  I think he felt really good about it.  The kids went to school, we moved a bunch of shelving out of our bedroom and some storage things around in our spare room and turned it into a home office.  This weekend, he graduated from a tv tray table to a table - and we picked up a 6' table for some other projects - like sorting 16 years worth of photos and putting them into albums.  Can I cry yet?
It also comes in handy for entertaining - we actually used it tonight - before I had a chance to spread out all of the projects on it.  Nifty nifty.

So.  Kids in school, husband working, me in a quiet house (except for when he takes piano breaks).  I've read a few good books, and have enjoyed re-locating my kitchen counters and floors (work in progress).  I also got 40.5 miles logged on my bike last week.  A family ride including dinner, a 20 miler for me just cause (and I explored some new trails!), and then a tenner with my daughter on Sat. with lots of water breaks as we combat her asthma.

I still have a feeling of being underwater - like there's so much to do, and I just can't find the motivation to get it done - things seem like they are going in slow-mo.  But, I'm slowly getting closer to the surface again (I hope).

I had a thought this morning which brought me comfort.  I was thinking about a friend who's son has been really sick.  Her husband has been out of town, and so yesterday, she called the Elders (that's their title even though they are only around 20), and asked them to give her son a priesthood blessing.  Last update from her this evening was that he is doing much better since the blessing.  Her son, he isn't 18 yet, he is still young.  I thought about - why was he sick?  As in, what would the purpose be?  He's very recently had a LOT of stress and very heavy challenges, and this seemed to be the straw that would break the camel's back.  So, what is the purpose of everything he may be going through?

Then I saw it.  The answer - just simple and there.  How could this young man ever expect to gain a testimony of priesthood blessings, if he never got ill enough to need to be healed through one?

Take it a little further.  Our experiences in life teach us, and give us opportunities to grow.
So - where am I/he/our kids growing right now?  Sometimes it is hard to see the forest through the trees.  I've learned that there are so many kind people, and I will be forever grateful to them for their kindness and compassion.  I've learned that things just don't turn out as planned.  I've learned that there are many worse things that a husband who experiences what is "formerly known as seizures".

My husband has been working with a counselor, and has asked me to join him.  I'm learning more about who he really is, and what he thinks.  Our relationship seems to change every day.  I'm learning that I'm maybe not very patient.  We have found opportunities to discuss many things, as we try to figure this out day by day.  During my husband's last session, I actually found myself remembering some incidents from MY childhood that I had buried deep down in the recesses of my mind.

I've also realized, that if you break an arm, it needs time to heal.  Whatever my husband is dealing with may (hopefully) heal very slowly.  It may also never heal.

But, one thing that I have learned is that I'm not in charge, and neither is he.  I have to let go, and let the Lord steer and guide us, and the closer I am to listening to the Spirit, the closer I'll come to understanding the meaning of this experience we are having.  Then again, perhaps not.  Perhaps, there is a much more subtle meaning from all of this, and I may never know.

The one thing I do know is that GOD Loves Me!  No matter what.  He is aware and mindful of my prayers and my needs, as well as those of the family.  But, as long as I faithfully believe on the healing merits and power of Christ and His love, I know that we can make it through this, and it will be all right.