Archive | December, 2012

Reach for the Sun (New Years–>New Life, Part 2)

31 Dec

I know the quote says “. . .moon, so you can fall to the stars” but I feel I need the sun, because I have a tendency to look toward the darker side of matters. So the sun is better because looking toward the bright, positive future is better for my psyche.  This post is all about stating clear and practical goals that address problems and get me headed in the direction I want to move.  Up.

Work

-Do my job the way I always do with much care and great work-ethic.  BUT if it’s something extra, and that thing is unappreciated–stop doing it.  I’m not going for martyrdom here–and these things add up and make me extremely bitter.

-Secondly, if I do have a legit concern, I need to bring it up to the person who has power to change it.  Immediately, and in an unemotional well-thought manner.  No more suffering and marinating on hostilities in (relative) silence.  No more keeping inside until it bursts out inappropriately.

-Third, and maybe most importantly–just work the minimal hours to pay my bills.  No more, because it hurts me inside.  True story.

Love

-Remember that it’s not my job to be responsible for Cool.  I can love and support, and make sure things don’t end up affecting ME–but I can’t do everything for her.  This year, as long as I am still OK, I will let her fail.  Though, I will continue to talk up the calender method of organization.

-On a lighter note, I will remember to do nice things often for Cool.  Just because.

-Appreciate at least one thing daily.

-Get back to weekly massage.

-Get back to more frequent cooking.

Education

-I will continue to make this THE priority.  As such, I will study when I don’t want to, keep up on reading, notes, and flashcards daily, and give 110%.

-My motto:  Just 10 minutes (more).  Pick up the studies just for 10, and put it down if it still sucks. When I want to quit in the middle of studying, give just 10 more min.  This really helps, and most of the time turns into a longer time.

-Combine physical activity with studying whenever possible.  I don’t know if this is a “thing” but I seem to retain info better when I study it in motion.

-As a side-note, I will MAKE myself overlook crummy professors and bureaucratic nonsense.  These things don’t matter to my life and only make me stressed out.

Time

-The very most difficult thing to do, because it’s constant and matters on a daily basis.  Also, the most important factor in success.

-Everything is just a small fraction of time–remember that.

-Get up at 4 AM.  Study a little school, and get to work early.

-Walk/study at least 3x/wk.

-Go to bed early, after reading for pleasure at least a tiny bit.

Money

-Save a little every month.  Even if it’s only $5.  Because that will add up and help for the big move to Colorado.

-Trudge through the undergrad loan forbearance procedures even though they are super-tedious and repetitive and stupid.  THIS is what really allows me to work part-time.

-This also comes under food, but be smart about groceries in order to minimize food expenditures   Which, unfortunately, were my #1 expense in 2012.

-2013 is all about living like a pioneer–simplify and appreciate the small things.  Enjoy free fun.

-No concerts in 2013.  None.  We can listen to music at home, watch DVD concerts, and appreciate music on Spotify.

-No travel either.  OK, that hurts too much and takes everything good out of this small life.  Minimize travel and look at keeping expenses low.

Exercise

-Keep running at all-weather track multiple times a week.  Keep working toward mile goal and all shorter distance goals in order to get there.

-Park further away.

-Find a way to renew Wii-Fit interest or do a in-house workout for winter.  Stick to this even when I’m tired.

Food

-Get to Costco seasonally.

-Go to Grocery Outlet every other Sunday morning.  Stop going to Safeway all-together.

-Get in the kitchen and fix something daily.  Even on work days when I’m exhausted.  Even on test days when I need to study.  Most people cook 2-3 meals a day–I can prepare at least one.

-Get back to cooking something interesting on weekends.  It’s one of our best date activities and we love it.  Also, it saves money.

-Continue to watch calories, but start to manipulate them–not just observe.

Drink

-Drink more water.

-Exercise/study/do art replace these behaviors by doing things that I like.

-Get Cool to be more supportive.

-Mind the calories.

-Latest possible in the day, because it helps reduce the amount.

-Change my thoughts and erase these routines.

-Read about this.

-Look at the above goals, and remember NOT sticking to this one negates any progress on the others.

Small steps, ought to help me get to the BIG goals.  Which are eventually:  Get a career.  Move to a loft in CO.  Be able to live like a person, financially.  Who needs luck when you have will-power?

Mirrors and Reflection (New Year–>New Life, Part 1)

31 Dec

It is that time again.  The time to look back, make changes, then look forward.

Moments of 2012.  I’ll do the countdown of BEST moments of the year in another post.  This is more an evaluation of life-areas:

working at Cat's MeowWork was, in general, a negative and stressful experience.  And yet I apparently don’t dislike it enough to really turn my life upside-down and find a new one.  Because it IS possible to get a new job.  Which I suppose, gives me very little room to complain.  The mantra regarding work–just bide my time until I can move out of Spokane, and into a real career.  Also, think long-term–don’t let them use me up.  Cost-benefit analysis.

Love.  Cool and I had more ups then downs this year.  There are many changes I want her to make, but all-said we still share love.  More on this in goals.

School.  Overall, I enjoyed my classes.  The paperwork, the loan debacles, the staff, the professors? THE shirt posterior Not so much.  Again, these things just come with the territory, plus they are not pervasive enough to make me want to leave all-together.  And it’s pretty much the story for any college, so they is no escaping anyway.  I DO love to learn, and especially like the opportunity to do things the right way–like I wish I could have done in Missouri.  It feels like a second chance, and feels good to build a viable future.

IMG_20110716_184322Money is tough.  Obviously, it’s difficult to pay bills, save, and still feel like a person.  2012 was not a great year for moderating restaurant eating.  I think this is because coming home to an empty house, while tired, just made eating out the easiest choice.  This next year I’m going to make sure Grocery Outlet trip occur every other week–but I guess that’s more of a goal then an assessment.  My finances need a little more discipline then I had in 2013 is the big story.

Family was probably not the greatest in 2012.  My parents (Mom) and I had a “thing.”  And we didn’t talk on the phone for months.  I cancelled my Montana plans because the extended family acted like $hit-heads toward me.  My mother-in-law is toxic.  Things to be learned here–if you can’t cut out the toxic, One:  Minimize the time spent with (or thinking about) them.  Two:  Just let go.  This is not to say, don’t hold them responsible for their actions, but don’t dwell either.  Just know they are crazy/selfish and write it off.  No need to be preoccupied by this crap like I was in 2012.

Exercise.  2012 was one of my best years since high school for physical fitness.  We belonged to the YMCA–and actually went often.  Then, we actually ran at the all-weather track frequently.  I really liked the fitness, and what it did for my body.  EXCEPT, as soon as the weather turned, I became sedentary again.  And now feel bad, unhealthy, and guilty.  So this needs work in the cold.  A cold weather plan can fix this one.

Food per the usual was bad, bad, bad.  Cookie dough for breakfast?  Yes, please!  I already feel fell, my cat cookiebut there’s more pie–I’ll take it.  Produce?  What is that???  I don’t mind a diet, and I do not limit myself in any way.  Luckily, I am naturally thin, but I can’t say I’m all that healthy.  So without going crazy over it, I’m just going to try to limit sugar, eat decent portions (at meal times).  Which also is more a goal then a reflection.

August 2011 105Drinking.  My numbers here are still too high.  I deliberate publishing them, because I don’t want this to become anybody’s ammunition.  But I want to hold myself accountable.  So maybe I can post a number that I know, but the reference would be too obscure for someone else to interpret.  196 too many.  This number is wrong and I know it. This year is the year I change it. I just have to DO it. That’s all there is to it.

2012 blog review

30 Dec

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 4,300 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 7 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Schnarf

28 Dec

pseudo mossI had probably my most embarrassing moment in an exam room EVER today.  I bring it up on here, because two people already know about it.  And I know they’re talking about it–so I might as well find a way to laugh about it too.  Except, my face still reddens every time I even think of it.

I was taking vitals on a kitty owned by a lesbian couple.  Not that it’s a factor in the story–I just notice these things you see.  We account for less then 10% of the population–females probably even less then that, and rural-ish conservative areas even less, so it’s something exciting when I see not one but two lesbians.

I was asking the history, asking questions about the cat.  Anyway, I’m not sure what occurred at all.  But suddenly something icky flew out of my nose.  I had not seen that coming, and hadn’t expected it.  Not only did it fly out of my nose, but it landed on the cat.  And I could SEE it.  I was horrified, not wanting to call any more attention to the scene by acknowledging it, but obviously, if I could see it so could they.  I didn’t know what to do.

There are some people like mothers or ultra-friendly clients that would break the tension by saying, “Oh you should SEE what comes out of my kids!”  or, “Hey!  That’s exactly what the cat has been doing!”  Not these two.  They just got quiet and stood there kind of sternly.  Watching what I would do next.  So by instinct, I just reached out with a bare hand and plucked it off the cat’s fur, which I’m sure they watched me do.  It was like, “Nobody saw this and that didn’t happen.”  But it HAD happened.  I tried to compose myself and hide it in my fist while I finished up taking the heart rate.  And I’m certain they knew why I was only using one hand and had a closed fist.  The cat was a little wiggly while I was trying to osculate and I opened my other hand, but the grossness was still in it.  So I just had to deal one-handed.  It was terrible!

And for so long–the substance was still in my hand.  And when I needed my hand to type, I couldn’tpseudo-seaweed wipe it anywhere, because the gals would totally know.  And I didn’t want to wash the hand and call more attention to the episode.  So I just didn’t type the vitals in the computer at all, instead making a hasty retreat.

Then, the doctor (of course) needed me to go back in the room to restrain the cat while she stained its eye.  So I had to face the lezbos again.  I.  Was.  Mortified.

Volunteerism–That’s the Ticket!

27 Dec

Actually, that’s kind of the wrong word, because though I would be helping others my motivation is not purely altruistic.  And I think it’s crummy when people “volunteer” to write it down.  And no one should go around telling people they’re volunteering if they have ulterior motives or hope to gain something from it.  I guess being up front about what I’m doing is the important point.  I realize I’m not going for angel-status, here.  This is mostly for ME.  My endeavor is more like work.  Unpaid work.  Much like I do now at the vet hospital–I joke.  They do pay me a little.  So Unpaid Work–That’s the Ticket!

uphill battle

Because of THIS year’s botched scholarship attempt, I have been searching the internet at large for more opportunities.  Because of my undergrad loans, there is never enough money.  If I could get scholarship funding, that loan money that I still have to take out every semester, can be used to pay undergrad loan payments, instead of current tuition.  I hardly hope to cut back any more on employment hours, or stop working all-together.  Just make ends meet.  And maybe I could take a third class each semester–which would help this seem career entry seem less dragging.  Except, most scholarships are awarded to those who do a lot of community service.  They require a certain amount of hours (which I have) but they require them from the prior year.  Which in the last 5 or so years I do not have.  Probably not a single hour in this last 5 years has been devoted to helping others.  Sad.

Not only do I miss doing community service–I got 8 scholarships in high school, and all my volunteer hours didn’t hurt in getting those–volunteering can look great on school applications.  When it comes time to apply to the AuD and back-up plan of SLP grad school, along with the 4.0 GPA, service would look good.  I just have to remember not to let the service get in the way of the grades. Meaning, I have to do this unpaid work during breaks from school.

Which is ideal, really.  Because my program doesn’t offer any of the pre-reqs I need in the summer (or breaks from school).  And sure, I could take electives or classes through the community college, but not only would it be less effective excuse to miss work, that costs more money.  And not loan money either–not enough credits or a degree program to count as loan funding.  So volunteering could take up that time, which will still allow me to work part time.  And that saves my psyche.

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Working full-time makes me stressed, depressed, and anxious.  I don’t like what it does to me, and I want to avoid those negative feelings without making huge life changes–which getting a new job would entail.  So volunteerism is my way out.  Besides, I feel if I’m not getting, and not eligible to get full-time benefits such as vacation, health insurance, and paid holidays, then why should I kill myself working those full-time hours?  It’s just better this way.

And I can help people.  As an aside to my own personal goals, I would actually be helping.  Maybe I can get more in touch with Spokane’s community, meet new people, or whatever.  Plus, I’m looking at volunteering for the V.A. and for the Spokane Public Library.  Both organizations I believe in, and as a bonus, both organizations having something to do with the Speech and Hearing Sciences.  Though that isn’t why I picked those places, they will allow me to get a glimpse of the types of people that I might be working with in my future field.  Volunteering will give me a view of future career possibilities–and that’s great.

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So unpaid work is good, good, good from what I can see.  I can rack up some hours that will help me get the scholarships, build the application to impress, take time in the summer when I’d otherwise be working and going insane, and see my future.  Oh and help people.  I don’t see a problem with that at all.  Solutions.  This is the new me.

Try to Fix this LGBT Essay Using Syntactics

24 Dec

Oh forget it.  Here’s a thing I was working on prior to today, but now it’s irrelevant.  So here is the old essay I was going to use, but now can’t:

As part of the LGBT Coalition, I learned about the marginalization of the LGBT community through exposure and education phrasal coordination.

Provoked, by the newly acquired information, I made a power-point presentation, “Transcend Not Transition,” conveying how the transgendered community wished to be treated, from their own words.

It seemed like a simple concept to me, but (coordinating conjunction) I was surprised how useful Midwesterners found the guidelines.

I was asked to speak on the radio about transsexual issues, and (coordinating conjunction) the Columbia chapter of Parents and Families of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) asked me to speak to their members throughout mid-Missouri and Kansas.
As a liaison between the LGBT and Missouri populations, I realized fostering communication and education (phrasal coordination) did a lot to strengthen tenuous relations between the two groups so politically at odds.

Wanting to take my activism a step further, I sought to address a greater variety of LGBT issues by co-organizing my own educational conference, “Rainbowlicious.”

There were several presenters on multiple topics including: Partner health concerns, opposition to the gay-marriage ban that was on the state’s ballot at the time, how tobacco companies target the gay community, and faith-based outreach.

This experience was rewarding, because (subordinating conjunction) it got unlike citizens to come together and (coordinating conjunction) I felt everyone went away with information that empowered them and (additive coordination) embraced diversity.

Why, Why, WHY???!

24 Dec

So you remember how despite much effort, how I can never get ahead and never win?  It’s happened again.  Last year, I missed the scholarship deadline, because as a non-degree-seeking student the school does not share much info.  I wrote down all the 6 essay topics determined to work on them throughout the year and never miss out on free money again.

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And I did.  I crafted those essays with much effort and care.  And save, for the clogging one, I felt they were good.  But today, I actually opened the scholarship form, ready to copy and paste my work onto the actual allotted space.  And to my surprise, either it was changed or I didn’t notice:  These “essays” each have a maximum length of 110 words!  Which.  Is.  Absolutely.  Nothing.

That’s no space at all.  I started to pair down the first one, taking out nearly ALL the content.  And it pretty much left it meaningless.  Plus, it’s still one hundred characters too long.  So my effort–wasted.  I pretty much just have to write a short paragraph for each.

It

Makes

Me

Ill

When will I ever catch a break?!

import 6-17-10 018

I literally copied a single paragraph out of every 2 page essay I wrote over the last year.  It made me sick.  It did substancially cut down my to-do list though, so I guess there’s that. . .

Just Appreciate the Sentiment

23 Dec

bearI am so tired of the “Merry Christmas” vs. “Happy Holidays” December refrain debate.  Firstly, I think it’s nice that people take the time to wish one another a good future for that little piece of December.  For someone to turn that nice gesture around to be something negative is idiotic.  Really.  If you’re a Jehovah Witness, Jewish, atheisest, or something else that doesn’t celebrate CHRISTmascrazy tree and someone wishes you a merry one, why say anything but thank you?  Don’t make a federal case out of it–they just mean to tell you they are thinking about you and have a little bit nicer of a life–big deal if it wasn’t your denomination.

I end up saying “Happy Holidays” more often, just because how could I possibly know every single person’s personal religious and spiritual dragonbeliefs?  So I find saying holiday is more all-inclusive.  But some people take issue with taking the Christ out of Christmas.  Lame.  Don’t they know where the word holiday came from in the first place?  Holiday started as HOLY-day.  Holy–meaning a very Biblical root, indeed.  So saying Happy Holidays isn’t the ruin of Jesus’ birthday, people.

Yesterday, I had to work reception–which is an endeavor for sure.  I’m cross-trained, but usually my x-mas 2always in the back.  So I was, of course, nervous.  Though I don’t work the front much at this particular hospital, I was one of two receptionists for 6 weeks in Seattle, and was the primary receptionist for 4 months at DVVH–so I’m no stranger to the wave-like influx of people.  But Saturday, I did not get one non-client trying to get in, no crazy emergencies called, no one kept me talking on the phone for a lengthy santa's planechat, not a single client fussed at the wait, and no one was angered by the price.  Unusual and stellar.  And I said “Happy Holidays” to every one of them.

But I paid for the pleasantness when it came time to close out the $ for the day.  Things were messed up somehow.  And after working  literal 50 hours in the week, the longer I looked at the numbers, the LESS things made sense.  It was awful.  Tony x-mas 6Then my calculator broke.  Surprisingly, I was not frustrated–just tired and confused.  I think I could have sat there calculating and recounting for 5 more hours, and still come out unbalanced.  I have never, never gone home past 1 PM on a Saturday (and can usually finish before that) but at 1:45 PM, the vet offered to look if I made a phone call to a notorious client.  And for the only time ever, in history, I was actually happy to do so. My brain was just numb from looking at those numbers.  Which I’m still not certain if they are correct and accurate–hopefully they are.

x-mas 3I made the call, and at the end of it slipped up and said, “Have a merry Christmas!”  To which the obnoxious client indignantly said, “I am NOT Christian and do not celebrate Christmas.  I had a wonderful solstice yesterday though.”  I wanted to reach through the phone and choke a bitch.  Instead I abruptly cut off the continuing diatribe and said, “Goodbye,” hanging up the phone.x-mas bulb

So during the holidays, whichever you celebrate or don’t, please hold back from being THAT douche that lectures when good (possibly erroneous to your very personal beliefs) sentiment is shared.  Whichever refrain is used, it’s better than someone saying, “Eff you and go to hell.”

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Back to Fitness

22 Dec

I gained 2 inches on my hip measurements. I’m not certain how. Like everyone I have my trouble spots.  And I could weigh 50 pounds and still have love handles and saddle-bags.  That’s just my body.  But still it hurts to lose my buff-tastic self SO quickly after all my awesome running of the summer.  It’s just that studying makes me more sedentary.  And the weather doesn’t help.  And having to work when I’m not studying/in class/sleeping.  I’m tired when I DO get any free time.  And free-time means guilt.  You can never study too much.  And you can’t ever go into work and clean too much–for money.

back to this

So it’s mission get back into control.  The whole thing is mental strength.  I just have to remember that a little exercise in my day and not eating garbage isn’t that difficult and it isn’t that time-consuming.  There is no reason to feel overwhelmed.

The FOOD:
Beer is out.

Sugar–severely reduced.

I need to make sure and eat before I feel super-hungry.  This is key for me as I have a tendancy to grab the easiest, garbage and stuff too much of it in my face when I’m already hungry.

I need to have good choices readily available when I’m really hungry.  This means planning ahead and shopping at the Grocery Outlet at LEAST every other week.  And if it’s still impossible–I just need to cook ahead and make sure good options are grab-able.

Water is IN.

Portion sizes will be reasonable.

Produce is as in as finances will allow.  This:  An unrealistic dream.  Maybe some canned jalapenos and some red peppers can be snuck in.

Don’t keep junk food in the house–b/c I have no self control and eat it all in the same day.

Smaller lunch time portions.

The EXERCISE:

Wii hoola hoop 4/7 days for that crunchless 6 pack.

Walk further (faster) in between classes.

Maybe (this is a tall order during a semester) do 30 minutes of Wii Fit at least 4x a week.  Maybe not–that’s not all that realistic of a goal during school. . .

And the progress in November?  Well, I HAVE  increased my walking distance between classes–which means my speed, too.  Since I have the same amount of time before my next class.  And I have managed to do at least 3 minutes of Wii hoola-hoop each day–though today I feel too French Foodtired/lazy/icky to do it.  But I will try to make myself.  But the food?  Modifying my crummy diet in ANY way?  It is not going well.  You see, I usually just eat what I want whenever I’m hungry.  And for the past 3 days I have been trying to be mindful about WHAT I eat.  So instead of my normal burger with english muffin and Miracle Whip for lunch, I had just the patty with some hot sauce.  And as a result I felt so starving that I couldn’t concentrate on my flashcards.  Then I polished off the cookie dough/brownie/oreo dessert that was in the fridge.  Then I really regretted THAT because I felt all tired and lazy and like my blood sugar was all effed and like my teeth would rot out.  And that’s one example of what has been happening pretty much all week.

Walking about-July 2012 009My progress in December?  Nil.  This became a distant memory as finals, projects, and work took over my life.  But hey, it’s the holidays and everyone gains weight, right?  Back on track after Christmas!

Also, I’m not sure if it was just bad timing, because I wrote this:  So I think I’m going to leave my food alone.  I end up doing a lot WORSE when I think about what I’m eating.  I suppose my body is already pretty good about telling me when I’m hungry and how much food makes me full.  I can’t mess with that.  With the afore-mentioned business and outside factors (yummy food-gifts constantly available at work!), or if I don’t do well moderating my food.  I’ll give it another shot now that I have more of a true winter break.

I can do this.

Merry Christmas, Grandpa George!

21 Dec

I always think of my Grandpa George during this time of year.  As a child, I always got just the right trinket from Grandpa George.  Unlike my Aunts, who gave me awkward, age-inappropriate gifts, and my maternal grandma who sometimes would remember, and sometimes even included a card and return address to tip us off who sent whatever it was–he always knew just what I wanted.  I had no idea until after he died that my parents were behind his gifts.  He always sent money, and if he didn’t (I still have no idea if he always remembered) my parents would buy something in his name.  Being so far away from family–that meant a lot to me, and sticks with me still today.

Hopefully, my writing will convey my true intent–I love my grandpa even though I knew there was something about him. . .  I don’t want to come across as spoiled, or hateful, or evil, but maybe this will.  That’s not my meaning at all though–just know that.

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You probably remember every other summer we visited extended family in Montana, which included my only living Grandpa.  Instead of looking forward to this, I dreaded it, hated it, and feared it.  Then felt guilty for feeling those things.  There was something about my grandpa I found unsettling.  I’m not sure what it was exactly.  He was always kind, but sort of in his own world too.  Sometimes in the middle of a visit he would just resume his television show and be largely oblivious that we were still there.  He (and his various houses and apartments) smelled a little funny, and his hands shook.  I didn’t know what (if anything) was wrong, but even though there was family-love between us, I didn’t want to hang around him very long.  It still makes me feel terribly guilty.  But I was just a little kid, so cut me a little slack.

My grandpa never called me by my proper name.  I don’t think he had true dementia, but he always got my dad’s (his oldest son) identity wrong at first too.  Granted, he did not see us often.  When my Dad entered his house (room at the assisted-living in later years), Grandpa George would go through the list of his own brothers, then my uncle, before finally guessing my dad’s name.  Anyway, for whatever reason, Grandpa could never really get my name right either.  He would settle upon some L-name or other, usually Laurie, Laurel's pics 050never Laurel, my given name.  But despite this chronic mistake I never doubted his love or adoration.  My grandpa relished me, anyone could see that.  Despite getting my name wrong, I always knew he cared.  Still, to this day I do not get upset if people mis-label, mis-pronounce, or otherwise mistake my name.  I figure if my own grandpa couldn’t ever get it, and I couldn’t say it until I was three years old, it can’t be all that important to be a stickler over it.  It’s one of the few things I’m NOT a stickler about, funny enough.

A large part of the dread I felt was just not knowing.  I had heard snippets that my Grandpa had tried to enter the military, but was refused based on some or other mental issue.  The diagnosis was never made clear to me.  I also heard that he was made to cook for all the farm workers even as just a little guy, and his brothers (maybe his father too) beat him pretty badly on a regular basis.  The poor man had also been through the Laurel's pics 195horrors of shock therapy, which made him fearful for the rest of his life.  But back in those days you were just “crazy” so I don’t know what prompted this.

I heard that he was a big drinker, and my aunt tells stories of him taking her and her younger brother to the bar and making them sit outside on a bench (in cold Montana) while he would get wasted for hours.  And a few times my dad would go in with the intent of our family visiting my Grandpa, but he would be drinking, so we would leave, without me seeing him.  Also his hands shook.  He was incontinent for awhile, and later my grandpa was diagnosed with diabetes.  Again, I was never privy to his medical conditions, so instead of compassion, I felt weary towards him.  Today, I wish I had some diagnosis to attach to my Grandpa George.  I’m glad mental health has come so far from just “crazy” or “dirty secret” too.  I think with education comes understanding–and that unlocks many doors.  Not to mention gives a clearer picture of hereditary genetic conditions.  I find it very scary that some undiagnosed mental illness runs through my family, that I am susceptible to get.  But this post is not really about me–so that’s a topic for another day.

My memories, aside from the thoughtful gifts, are of visiting Grandpa in the summers.  He would immediately want a ride.  Usually we went to the store.  At that time, in that small Montana community, all the containers seemed to be made of glass.  I was always on edge while my grandpa’s trembling hands would reach out, knocking the glass ketchup bottles in proximity, to grasp one.  It made me very nervous and I worried he would topple all the bottles to the floor, spewing red ketchup everywhere.  Shopping with Grandpa was very nerve-wracking.

Once, my friend Crystal and I danced with Grandpa George at the home.  He was very happy when Laurel's pics 508he was dancing, and you could tell in his day he probably danced a lot.  Maybe my love of music comes from him, because I guess he was also very proficient at playing the accordion and was in a band for a time.

I also remember Grandpa telling my dad that he liked the retirement home, because “A women–she bathes me, Jim.”  Even old dudes still have testosterone I suppose.  Anyway, the comment still makes me laugh when I think of it.  I’m glad my Grandpa was well taken care of and happy at the end.

So Grandpa George, even though I didn’t know you well, and didn’t understand you–I love you.  I hope you’re having a happy holiday season in heaven 🙂