Daily Post 133: Finally Back Home

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I’ve been back from Dever for a few days now. I got back Wednesday evening around 8:45. I drove home and saw Ox. We went to sleep only to wake back up at 3 in the morning. He headed to work and I drove to Fremont to cover a shift at the clinic there, then came back to Lincoln. Ox and I met up for lunch before going back home. We had Chinese at a place we’ve seen before. I really liked it and hope to continue to be able to go there on those special occasions where we go out.

Thursday evening I should have gone into the class for my last chance to participate in clinical, but I didn’t. Instead, I stayed home that evening, going to bed early to wake back up and cover a shift at my own clinic Friday morning.

I was dead. Not one of those “I’m sort of tired but it will burn off as the day goes on” sort of deads. No. This was a physical barrier of, “I’m your body and you’re asking too much of me so I’m going to make you feel like crap for the whole day because fuck you for not taking better care of me,” sort of deads.

I was ridiculously slow at everything I did on Friday and the only reason we stayed on schedule was because it was me, the float RN, and my FA on the floor and both of them were running circles around me. I’m grateful for them pulling my slack because I wouldn’t have been able to make it through the day without them.

It was good to see all of my patients after an entire week’s absence. I got to share my adventure with all of them and that most likely contributed to me being “behind”. All of the time I spent talking and catching up with people was time that I wasn’t working or making sure all of the tasks on my PCT checklist got done.

It was a pretty good day overall, just one where I knew right from waking up that surviving my day would be my main goal. Mission accomplished, if just barely.

The trip itself wasn’t as awful as I thought it would be. I ended up getting into Dever close to 4 pm. I messaged Chrys since I had time to kill that evening. I booked an Uber out to Aurora and spent the evening with her and her son. We had homemade spaghetti for dinner and EJ got to read me a few bedtime stories. Once her son was in bed we were able to chat for a bit before I had to get back to the hotel since I had an early morning to prepare for.

Overall, it was a fantastic way to decompress from the trip out there and a very nice last minute addition to the trip. Having some social time with someone I care about was definitely restorative and a pleasant break from my normal routine. I made it back to my hotel room around 9ish. I met my roommate for the event and was pleased that she seemed pretty nice. Her name was also Jen. Go figure. XD

The first day of the event was decent but long. I didn’t sleep well the night before and had to fight off a headache for most of the day. We got into things like the MBTI and communication skills and conflict resolution. All sorts of psychology things, so I was fairly engaged through most of it.

We created our own personal credos and then graded ourselves on how well we were living up to it currently. Balance was one of the things on mine and the area where I graded myself the lowest.

I’ve picked up a lot of overtime for the coming two weeks. This week is going to be my only “normal” week work wise and that’s still with having to take the final tests for my CNA class, so even it isn’t going to be all that restful.

I need to remember to maintain balance and to not burn myself out. I need the things that make me feel fulfilled and which recharge me. I need time to grocery shop and do laundry and meal prep. I need time to go to the dojo and the gym. I need time to sleep enough at night so I don’t limp through my days depending on coffee to survive. I need time with Ox to feel connected with him. I need time to have phone calls with Jon and the other people in my life that I love. I need time to cross-stitch and write.

I need “me time” and I can’t have that if all I do is work seven days a week.

So while I can’t really back out of the obligations I’ve already given myself, I can be more mindful going forward and that’s what I intend to do. The new year should see things being a bit smoother. The new tech will be with me for a few weeks to train on our machines. We just hired a new RN since the other one wasn’t working out. She has to give 30 days at her current job, but it should only take her about eight weeks to go through the training process. I’ve already talked to my FA about taking time off of work in February to visit Florida. I could see Jon. I could run the Warrior Dash that’s held there. Big Bad said he would be interested in running it with me. I guess that means I have to work on that whole running thing again so I don’t suck. I could see my old teammates and patients. I could see a handful of other people from my inner circle. I could have lunch at my sports bar.

There’s all sorts of things I could do that I’ve wanted to do. It gives me something to think about and look forward to.

Chrys ended up having Wednesday off since it was a federal holiday so she drove me to the airport. That was also a nice change of plans. Both the fight out and back were non-stop flights on fairly small planes so I got to have a window seat by myself rather than being stuck between two people the whole time.

When I got to work Friday I had an email saying I had made it to phase two of the leadership application process. I haven’t worked on it any more than the rough post I wrote the other day, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot.

As far as this weekend goes… I’ve paid bills. I’ve gone through my email inbox. I’ve gone through the pile of papers that was next to my computer desk. I’ve unpacked fully. I’ve done laundry. I’ve meal prepped and am back to doing low carb meals. I’ve sent a message through Facebook to my sensei explaining my extended absence. I’ve bought Christmas cards to give to my patients. I’ve cleaned and dusted my computer desk with plans to open up my computer tower to clean it out later in the week with Ox. Ox has also been extremely helpful. He’s washed the sheets for the bed which we made together. He’s helped me fold the laundry and put it away. He’s cleaned his own areas of the room so it’s not as cluttered or icky feeling anymore.

He went grocery shopping with me yesterday where we had lunch together, just us. We got a new shower curtain and bath mat set this morning while we were out getting aluminum foil which he set up for me while I put bacon on the cooking sheets for breakfast. Go, team!

Spotify sent out their end of year stuff. I’ve listened to something like 4500 new songs this year. That’s almost 12 songs a day. And here I thought I slacking on expanding my music selection.

I finished the fairy cross-stitch pattern I’ve been working on, so I’ll most likely make a post with all of those progress images. I’ve started a new project, but since it’s for Ox and he’s not allowed to see it under penalty of death, I won’t be posting progress images of that one either. I’ll save posting a completed image of it until after Christmas once he’s had a chance to open it.

My class is almost over. This coming Tuesday I have the final test for the class and I sign up for state testing. Thursday is the state written test and for those signed up, the state skills test. Everyone else will have to wait until the following Tuesday to complete their skills test. Part of me wants to go on Thursday and be done with it. The other part of me wants to wait until Tuesday so I have more time to freak out and/or study. Mostly freaking out though since I know that’s what I’ll do.

I really do have other things my time would be better invested in other than freaking out but there you go.

I’m sure there are other things I could write about in regards to my trip or the events leading up to my departure as well as the events since my return home, but I feel this post covers a lot of it.

Ox and I have been doing well. He was supportive of me while I was gone, including taking a phone call where I asked if I could be honest. He said yes and I admitted to wanting to come home while tears rolled down my cheeks. It wasn’t a bad trip, but when you’re an introvert surrounded by 650 other people, forced to participate in team trivia where they ask which Super Bowl did the Broncos most recently win… you kind of just want to curl up in bed under the blankets and hide. Only you can’t because then your roommate is going to want to know what’s wrong or think you’re weird and can’t handle human interaction.

Ox promised that I could come home and hearing those words, as silly as they may seem, made me feel more ok.

We’ve had a lot of sexy time since I’ve been back. Totally ok with all of it. Just yes. All of the yes.

Anywho, aside from feeling like I’m caught back up for the most part with life, I think that’s about it. For now, I’m going to go cross-stitch before working on some discussion posts for my class later in the day. The rest of today should be fairly calm and relaxing. No working on the addition. No trips into town. Just hanging out and resting before what should be a fairly normal day at work tomorrow.

This coming week is the calm before the storm, but I’m already planning for that. I have a container of chili in the freezer. I want to make a batch of chicken taco soup which freezes nicely as well. I want to prep well in advance since I’m going to have so little time in the next two weeks to truly meal prep. I’m doing a keto BLT salad this week which seems to be doing well. I tried it yesterday. I might add more bacon to it the next time I make it, but overall I think it turned out well which is good because it was cheap and simple to toss together. Another meal I can add to my arsenal for the coming battle.

It was a good trip, but I’m glad to be home. And with that, I’m off to continue with my decompressing.

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Musing Moments 119: A Heartfelt Thank You

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I stayed an extra two hours at the clinic last Friday, wrapping things up and making sure the clinic was in a good spot before my trip out to Dever for training. While I was there I took the time to write a letter to my FA. I had been wanting to do this since getting my wage increase at work but had never made the time to figure out exactly what I wanted to say. Sitting alone, surrounded by the quietness of a place I know feel a part of and comfortable in allowed the words to flow and to express what I never seemed to be able to say during the busy hours of work. This is what I wrote.

 

Side note: I changed the greeting line to avoid using actual names.

 


 

Hey Amazing FA,

Firstly, I hope your morning is off to a good start; at least as good as it can be at 4 in the morning. : p

Secondly, I wanted to type this out since I felt that a sticky note wouldn’t be able to fully explain the stack of papers you’ll find under this one.

I’ve recently had a hard time keeping up with all of the in-service documentation during normal clinic hours. I took time Friday evening to catch back up. While I was cleaning the top drawer of the PCT deck I found a few in-service documents dating back by quite a few months. I apologize for this lapse on my part.

To prevent this from happening in the future I have placed a hanging folder in the second drawer of the PCT deck which will only be used for my incomplete in-service paperwork. This, ideally, should prevent further in-service documentation from being misplaced or forgotten.

     –     –     –     –     –     –     –     –     –     –     –

And last but not least, on a personal note, I would like to take a moment to write something that I haven’t figured out quite yet how to express in words in regards to my wage increase.

Thank you.

And I don’t mean that in just a normal “thank you” sort of way. I mean it in a heartfelt way. I mean it in a very real and human sort of way in which those words cannot truly express or encompass everything I wish I could convey.

Some people may look at my increase and see only digits being added to my paycheck or dollars being taken away from the company.

This increase to me, however, IS my dojo and I needed you to know that.

It wasn’t just numbers to me. It wasn’t just digits changing the bottom line. Your kindness gave me my safe place. It gave me my “me time”. It gave me personal growth and fun and challenges and my inner strength and a way to cope with my grief over mom’s death.

You made it possible for me to have something that I was struggling to afford and for that, I will always be grateful. For that, “thank you” can never be enough. “Thank you” cannot possibly hope to contain all of the gratitude I feel and yet I have no better words other than those two.

So… thank you, deeply, sincerely. for everything. Thank you for reading this novel of a letter. Thank you for supporting and encouraging me. And most importantly, thank you for being my FA.

Try to have a good week. I’ll see you on Friday. : )

Your PCT,

Jen

Daily Post 131: A Thankful Test Drive

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It’s Thanksgiving.

Today has been a decent day. I’m currently typing on a new keyboard. Yep. That’s right. I finally replaced the refurbished keyboard with its finicky spacebar key that I’ve had since I got this desktop computer. My companion of so long. Part of me feels… something. Not really regret or a sense of “badness”. There wasn’t truly anything wrong with the keyboard but I’ve wanted a new one and now that I have it I guess I feel a little like I’m being less than responsible.

This new keyboard is still too new to know if I like it or not. The keys feel different. It feels as if it’s at a slightly different elevation angle with the footrests out. It’s not my old keyboard that I’ve had for almost 10 years and my fingers can feel the difference. The spacing is just ever so different. The clicking and crispness of the sound is foreign.

I’m not expecting this post to feel the same because of it. It’s essentially a test drive. The keyboard is wireless which is nice. It came with a new mouse which I’m also trying out. It slides differently than my old one. There will need to be a trial period were I adjust to the changes.

I also got a laptop. A 15-inch Chromebook. It was $200. For all that I complain about the credit card and how I can’t make progress on it, I realize these purchases may seem counterproductive and not in line with my goals or true wants.

I’m glad I have the laptop though. It’s currently charging and my next post will most likely be written on it.

Yesterday was a decent day at work. There’s not much to report on that front. I’m still waiting to get the itinerary for my trip. I still need to fill out the application for the leadership course. I still need to write the thank you letter to my FA for my raise. Our new patient will most likely start on Monday. Tomorrow is still most likely going to be a disaster. My goal in that regard is survival. I’m not planning to go to the dojo afterward. I’m planning to come home once I’m able to and be done with it all for the weekend.

I was supposed to go to the dojo yesterday but didn’t. I came home instead because the thought of being home felt better then being around people or waiting for two hours for my class to start with literally nothing to do. I couldn’t write since I didn’t have a laptop. I couldn’t do school work for the same reason. I didn’t have my cross-stitch with me which isn’t something I’ve thought about having with me since I never have free time. I don’t know why, but yesterday I didn’t want to be around anyone; not even at the dojo. I didn’t get as much of a sense of fulfillment about going and sweating and pushing myself to be a better me as I did at the thought of being home with Ox and spending the evening together with him gaming and me stitching while I watched Netflix.

So I came home instead. We ended up going to the gas station and getting a bottle of Jack Daniels and ingredients to make chip dip. We drank together. Sexy time happened. I spent a fair amount of time afterward crying and talking about mom.

I told him how it felt like every step I take forward, every success and accomplishment feels like a step away from her. It’s a step away from the hospital room where I held her hand. It’s like I’m leaving her there to die by her self and even though I know that’s not what’s happening I can’t make the feelings stop or change and I struggle with that so much. I know she’s already dead. How can I leave her somewhere to die? I’m living life and doing the thing she would want me to do so how am I betraying her?

I talked about some of the stories I have of her. It felt good to be drunk and to cry and to voice all of these things that are mostly thoughts inside of my head that eat away at me. I’m not the only one who knows about them anymore. Someone else knows and that makes it seem more bearable.

I know mom wants me to strive to be happy with the life that I have, but there’s always the grief side of the equation now that I have to figure out and make peace with. Getting my raise at work and getting back to my starting square income-wise is not a betrayal to her, but there is a very real part of me that thinks that way and I have to figure it out.

It was a good night, tears included.

I’ve felt more on top of my life since Monday. More secure. More capable. More like effort does pay off and is worth it. Throwing down the burden of responsibility for a night helped too I think. Having today off where I’ve literally had no obligations to anyone or anything has been nice and today I got some things for myself that I’ve wanted for a while. Since I’ve been writing so infrequently it feels like I’ve done that a lot recently but I think on a logical, timeline level, I really haven’t.

I got the punching bag and the bike rack. I have the dojo membership and the gym membership. I got new clothes and additional scrubs. I paid for my new license plate and the CNA class. I got new work shoes and the new Vibrams for my race. There was also the new pillows and sheets for the bed. The cooking set… Soon there will be the expense of additional contacts, but I have the HSA account with work for that so I’m not sure if it really counts…

I’ve done things for myself here and there in small doses, making sure it didn’t interfere with my monthly expenses and that everything still got paid. I might not have made the progress in certain financial areas like how I wanted, but I’ve taken care of things that needed to be done along with getting things that made my life feel better.

I’m thankful that I am at a point in my life where I can buy things and not have to hold my breath while I put gas into my car or alter my grocery list because what I originally wanted might have been too expensive and put me over budget.

I haven’t used the laptop yet so I don’t know for sure if it will be what I’m hoping it will be, but I’m content in knowing that I own it. I’m content that I’m the one who picked it out and that I’m the one who paid for it. It’s mine. 100% and I like that. I like the thought of the freedom it will give me. Saturdays after the dojo I could go to my new sports bar and write and pay bills and make my shopping list before going to Walmart and then heading home.

I’ve talked to my older brother today. It’s been the first time in a while. I got to tell him about all the developments with work. I got to tell him about the dojo. I finally told him about living with Ox and his family and how his kids seem to like me. I told him about minigolf and Stuffed Fables and the pumpkin patch. I told him about the heart attacks I’ve had about not knowing how to be a parent and the fulfillment of watching the kids share in my hobbies and learning new things.

He’s happy for me and I’m surprisingly relieved that he finally knows my whole situation. With my history of relationships, I’ve been hesitant to share that side of my life with anyone. My blog is my safe space. A phone or in person conversation where I could be judged or may have to defend myself is a different situation. I can’t blame people for worrying about me or wondering if I’m messing up again. This is the healthiest and most supportive relationship I have ever been in though, and I want people to trust me and hear me when I say those words.

I talked to Allison today as well. She had tried calling last night. We talked until my phone died. We have plans to try to talk later tonight since she had to get going for her Thanksgiving plans anyway, but if we can’t talk later we have backup plans to continue talking on Sunday. Jon and I chatted for a bit, and now here I am, charging my laptop and typing away about nothing all that important on a keyboard that I’m starting to get a feel for.

It’s been a nice day. The only things that I might still try to get accomplished are calling my dad and Chrys so I can be caught up with most of the people in my life.

I’ve put the clothes away, finally.

Ox brought a keyboard home for me on Tuesday which I never wrote about. Like, an actual musical keyboard. He found it while he was at work and remembered me talking about wanting one. He brought it home to see if it worked and it did, so I now also own a four and a half octave keyboard which currently has no designated home, but I own it. I can play music again for the first time in ten years. I honestly don’t remember how to place my fingers properly since I switched to percussion during middle and high school, but I still remember how to read music and I remember all of my scales and parts of the pieces I played during marching band. I can pick away at the keys and it pulls at something within myself to do it; something long dormant and that I’ve missed. I’m looking forward to going into town at some point to get a keyboard stand and a few books. I want a beginner book for sure so Lil’ Ox and I can play music together and maybe an intermediate book. I could buy the sheet music for Two Trees like I’ve wanted to since I first heard that song.

I don’t think there are words to express how much it meant to receive a gift like that. I haven’t talked about wanting to play music in so long, and even when I did I’m pretty sure it was more of an in passing comment. “It would be nice if one day…” sort of a thing. But he remembered that conversation and went out of his way when the opportunity presented itself. Even if the keyboard hadn’t ended up working it wouldn’t have mattered. Knowing that he thought of me, that he went out of his way to do something like that for me, still fills me with warmth. That soft warm feeling of being snuggled up in your favorite blanket. It could have been the crappiest day ever but in that moment everything is ok because you have that warm feeling protecting you and the familiar scents surrounding you.

It’s that type of feeling.

Things really are ok. I’m actually able to take care of myself and all areas of my life are fairly figured out and my living situation is a positive and supportive one and I really don’t know what to do with my life not being a complete and total clusterfuck of what the hell.

Thank you, Universe. Thank you for letting me be here. And thank you, mom. Thank you for raising me the way you did. Thank you for everything you did that went into me being the me I am.

Daily Post 129: Boxes

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Today started out a little rough. But I guess before I get into that I should go back to yesterday.

Yesterday started with a 3 am wake up alarm. I showered and had breakfast before having a cigarette with Ox and hopping into my car to drive an hour and a half to get to the Fremont clinic. I’m proud to say that even though it’s been a while since I’ve been to the clinic that the route felt familiar and I only needed my GPS as a confidence booster.

I worked with a nurse and a tech that I had never met before. They were both fairly nice though a bit distant. Not as warm or welcoming as other workers I’ve met but the day went fairly smoothly. I got to see one of the patients I really like and had a good conversation with another one. I spent most of the downtime in the back room making CVC packs.

I was able to leave around 10:30. I didn’t make it back to Lincoln until close to noon which meant I would have been late for the class at the dojo. Since it was a super cold and icky day I decided to come home instead. That worked out for the best since it started snowing out of nowhere shortly after I got home and didn’t let up until well into the evening.

Instead of doing anything with the addition or outside, Ox and I played World of Warcraft. I still have 14 days left on my subscription. I got to talk with one of my favorite guildmates for a while and run some dungeons with her. All in all, it was a good day. Low key while still being mildly productive what with work happening right from the get-go.

I didn’t cross-stitch and I didn’t write, but I was ok with both of those things not happening. I haven’t gamed in a while and I haven’t “hung out” socialized in what feels like even longer.

Sexy time happened. It was deeper than physical. More than mental. It reached into the emotional and though I hesitate to say it, spiritual side of things. As an INFJ I have no problem accepting that truth within myself or believing and being non-judgemental of others when anything spiritual is mentioned. There is this pervasive feeling of vulnerability verbalizing that truth out loud, though. Even to Ox. Even here, on my blog; my little corner of the Internet where I can say whatever I want.

One of the things I value about my relationship with Ox is how we “beta-test” experiences we share or situations we find ourselves in. We talk about whatever it is outside, on the front porch, usually while we smoke together. We talk about what we liked. What we didn’t like. What we’re still unsure about. What could have made it better.

Our beta-testing is a safe time. It’s open. It’s honest. It’s secure and unjudgemental. It’s information to help both of us continually improve because you can’t become a better you without feedback.

Even in the safety and security of our beta-test time it was hard for me to admit that our experience reached deeper into my self than any of our sexual encounters over the past 10 months.

My heart still feels broken from mom’s death. Talking about or acknowledging my heart in the emotional sense, is something I struggle with. I function. I live. I have found new passions in the form of martial arts, and I have gone back to old ones in the forms of gaming and cross-stitching. But loving someone as fully, as deeply, as unconditionally, as I did my mom scares me.

For most of these 10 months, I have harbored sadness because I have felt like I could not love Ox the way he deserves to be loved. I have thought my heart could no longer work that way. I can and could love, but not completely. Only in a distant, halfway broken way because everyone is going to die so what’s the point in opening myself up to that type of pain again?

I think maybe that’s changing. Maybe I’m not broken and I’ve just needed more time to heal. Maybe I needed the words he said last night. Maybe I needed someone to take me down to that deep dark place in myself where my pain and sorrow and brokenness regarding relationships resides and confront those things with me.

I have known logically for a while that I am not alone. Emotionally I have felt less alone as I keep moving forward and for the most part standing tall since mom died. But now I’m starting to feel it in the place where for so long I have felt my invisible wound that no one can see. The one in the center of my chest that’s circular and aches at the edges when my grief flares up and demands my energy and attention.

I’m starting to feel love and closeness in my heart. In my chakra. In my self. And that scares me. On some level it makes me want to cry from fear. The fear of feeling that horribly soul-crushing feeling of aloneness again. But there’s also feelings of safety and acceptance. Things I hadn’t realized I missed or was denying myself.

I know all of these emotions are things I need to work through. Just when it feels like I’m finally getting one area of my life and emotions organized I find another box that needs to be sorted through and the only way to sort something is to make a mess to see what all you have to work with.

I’m scared of this mess though, and I’m not ashamed to admit that. This box contains all of the soft, squishy, girly, emotional stuff. It’s the broken pieces of my heart. The one that was stabbed when Zane cheated on me while mom was in the hospital. The one that was yelled and cursed at. The one that was never good enough. The one that still has a hard time beating sometimes with the knowledge that mom is dead and I’m not.

It’s so much easier, safer, less painful to keep it incased and locked away, shoved into a dusty box tucked back into a dark corner with other, less important boxes burying it down and keeping it from sight.

But alas, that’s not how I want to live my life and that’s not how I want my relationships to be.

So here we are, back to being emotionally confused and working through shit. /sigh

It never ends, does it? ;-;

Since this is such a recent development, there really isn’t more to say about it right now. I feel better than I have in a while emotionally. I feel more connected and grounded in the present. I still have a lot to meditate on, and none of that is going to be figured out overnight. So I guess the best way to sum it up is that I’m still healing, but I actually feel like I’m making progress and I think it’s a very positive type of progress.

I was up until about 11 last night due to being irresponsible and gaming. Because of that, I wasn’t ready to start the day when I woke up at 6:40. I didn’t get out of bed until after 7 and even then I could tell I was a little on the grouchy side. I decided to curl back up in bed for a bit and I think that did the trick. The second attempt at the day was better. I felt more with it. There was more sexy time with Ox. There was an amazing breakfast and lots of chore productivity before I headed into town for my hair appointment.

The roads still had a bit of snow on them, so I got a little bit of experience driving in it on my own. I had the same hairdresser that I did the last time I got my roots bleached so we were able to talk about what’s been going on in our lives and our plans for the holiday season. It was a pleasant experience and I’m glad I got everything taken care of. I currently have dye soaking into my hair. I’ll eventually shower before bed to rinse it out.

I made a trip to GNC to get two more cases of Bang since they are buy one get one half off. I made a trip to Walmart that was way more frustrating than it needed to be. I survived and made it home, but just barely. I picked up some stuff for work while I was at the store since we’re making Thanksgiving care packages. I tried finding pants that I liked but that’s still a no-go. I’ve been wearing my scrub bottoms since those are the only pants I really own aside from two fairly thin yoga type pants. They don’t exactly cut it in 20-degree weather. Who knew?

I’ve finished all of my meal prep for the coming week and the laundry is dry. I should put it away but instead, I’m most likely going to run to the gas station with Ox and pick up Subway for dinner before coming home and gaming a bit before going to sleep. That may change to cross-stitching so I can finish watching Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood… We’ll see.

But yeah, overall it’s been a good weekend. I even made an eye appointment for tomorrow after work so I can get more contacts since I’m on my last pair.

And on that note, I’m going to go since I’m hungry.

Daily Post 126: Slackin’

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Emotionally I’ve still been sort of all over the place. Tuesday was where it really started tanking downhill but I’ve been slowly recovering to the point where I’m at today. I screamed in my car on the drive home from the dojo Wednesday and I cried again Friday night, but both of those times were healthy cries that I feel I needed to have.

I’ve been struggling with feeling lonely and I feel bad for Ox because he seems to take the brunt of that discord since he’s the closest person to me. Jon called Tuesday before I left for class. When I answered the phone I was pretty much already in tears. He knew instantly that something was up and asked if I was ok. I told him that nothing was really wrong. I was just sad and he said he hoped I felt better.

It sucks when I’m like that. I feel bad for the people around me. There’s really nothing that anyone can do. It’s something I have to get through, breathe through. I still don’t know what to do to make the pain and loneliness go away. There isn’t a “fix” other than time. There’s a part of me who feels like I shouldn’t need another person; I should be able to figure my emotions out on my own and not require outside forces to pull me out of my sadness. Because of that mentality, I don’t reach out for the support that would probably help me get through my downs faster and easier. I don’t like thinking that I “need” someone. Needing means you’re dependent, so what happens when suddenly they’re not there anymore? How do you keep functioning then?

It’s another topic in the long list that I have that I eventually need to meditate on. All I can say is right now I still make it through those times. I might not make it through them with the grace I would like, but I still come out on the other side so that hopefully still counts as a win.

All of that aside, Ox and I are doing well I think. We spent most of yesterday shopping for me again. I got winter socks from Walmart. We went to a few stores looking for snowshoes but were unsuccessful in finding something I wanted to spend money on. I did get a pair of snow pants to go over my work clothes. Ox and I talked about that for a while. Originally we were thinking about getting me a few sets of thermals, but since you wear those under clothing, it would be annoying to put them on, then my scrubs, drive to work, undress then redress so I don’t overheat while I’m working the floor. Getting something that could go over my clothing seemed like a smarter option for the type of work I do. So I got a pair of black snow pants for $40 since they were on sale. I haven’t worn them yet aside from trying them on, but I think I’ll like them and I think they’ll work well of what I’m looking for. Right now they’re folded up and waiting for our next snow day.

I was also able to find a long-sleeved shirt that I like. It has thumb holes!!!! I got two of them since I figured I’ll only be wearing them, maybe, on my days off. Two should suffice. I really like them. I wore one yesterday once we got home from shopping to get a better feel for it. It’s soft and stretchy. The hand part fits snuggly, and with the thumb holes, I don’t feel like my wrists or fingers are being restricted. With having lived in Florida for so long, I don’t like wearing long-sleeved stuff much, and with how often I wear workout gear, I don’t like clothing that doesn’t stretch or move easily with me. It has made finding winter things that I like a little harder than what it most likely is for other people. I have very specific criteria for what I’m looking for. Luckily I’ve been able to find things that match what I want, it’s just taken a bit more time and not settling for “good enough”.

Overall, it was another day of win for the shopping list. Only snowshoes, scrubs, and potentially pants left to go.

We also stopped at a few places to price mark laptops since that is something on my radar. Right now it seems like I would be spending around $500 for something along the lines of what I want. Not bad, but not something I’m going to do right now. During one of our conversations, Jon brought up the fact that he has yet to pay me for the Surface I gave him while we were in Vegas. That would be $200 I could put towards a new laptop.

There are still a few other options I want to look into before settling on something. I would like to investigate more into a Chrome book since Google runs my life. Regardless of what I find, I most likely will hold off until Black Friday / Cyber Monday to see what deals pop up. Not “needing” a laptop means I can wait for a while. There’s also the marketplace thing for my work that might have decent deals.

One of the things we got last week was a gallon of apple cider with a bottle of caramel vodka. It’s an amazing mix. Just throwing that out there though I am very aware of just how many carbs are in 8 fluid ounces of apple cider alone. So worth it.

I didn’t have breakfast containers for yesterday or this morning so I made breakfast bowls with tater tots, onion, pepper, mushroom, salsa, sour cream, cheddar cheese, egg, and steak. It turned out really good. It’s the first time in a while I’ve had anything potato related. I guess it’s a bit of a guilty pleasure, but it’s been an extremely pleasing breakfast both times.

My meals for the week are done since I froze my leftover soup and chili from last week. Both of those recipes make eight servings, so the food shopping for this week was pretty light. The only cooking I have to do today is my roast and that’s pretty much just putting it in the oven and letting it do its thing until I need to cut it up.

I did laundry yesterday since I spilled my Bang a little bit on the bed. Talk about a party foul. : /

I still need to put the clothes away and repack my gym bag. Aside from potential school work, though, my day is pretty chill as far as chores are concerned. Roast, clothes, lunch for Ox, taking care of the cardboard tote… Yep, mostly just minor things.

The cut on my left hand is doing better, but now I have a cut on my right hand which sucks. I can’t win for losing apparently. I don’t even know what I did to get this one. I happened to look down while I was putting groceries away yesterday and noticed it. It sucks how something doesn’t start hurting until you notice it, then it’s the only thing you can think about. Still no signs of infection or anything. Just a little red around the edges from being angry because it has to bend so much. Stupid fingers and their bending… >.<;

Oh… on the subject of food. The chicken taco soup actually turned out really good as leftovers. I’m happy about that because when I first tried it I didn’t know if I would be able to eat it for a week straight. I think the next time I make it I’ll either use a different seasoning since I’m not a huge fan of the chipotle flavor profile or use regular cream cheese instead of the jalapeno flavor. I do think the base recipe is a good one and that with slight modifications it could be added regularly to my rotation.

I went to the dojo both Wednesday and Friday night. I only stayed for one class each time, but they were good classes and I’m glad I was there. I got to do drills with one of the guys on Friday. That was fun. He’s a teenager, most likely around 16 or so. After our first few rounds of drills, we were both more comfortable with each other. We’re both going to have bruises on our shins for a while, but that’s part of it.

I think the more I keep going, the more I’ll get to know everyone, the more comfortable and at home I’ll feel. I enjoyed working with the instructor and I do think I’ll enjoy being his student.

I still need to mess with JeFit but during one of the conversations with Jon the subject of it turning my music off came up. I guess it’s a setting I need to poke around with because his music plays just fine with the app. Good to know. If I feel ambitious today I might take a look at it.

I’ve still been cross stitching. I feel like I’ve been making a decent amount of progress on it. I didn’t take a picture last week, but I will later tonight before going to sleep. I’ve decided that since I haven’t been posting pictures for this project on my blog, I’ll wait until it’s finished to do a post with all of the progress pictures. That way they still get posted, but it’s not a “six here, one or two there” sort of thing. They can all be together.

School is going well. We had our first exam. I got 104% since I got the bonus question. Everyone passed. I didn’t see anyone else with my score though. A lot of 100%s, but it seemed like everyone else missed at least one question.

I still haven’t figured out my scrubs yet. I need to get that taken care of sooner rather than later. I also need to get my background check completed along with obtaining my school ID so I can participate in the clinical portion of the class once it gets to that point. I’m saving both of those tasks for Tuesday because my future self is going to need something to do.

Work has been surprisingly quiet and smooth. We hired a new nurse, though she has several years of dialysis experience so she’s not really new. I met her Wednesday. She’s pretty awesome. Friendly. Knowledgeable. I feel secure as a PCT with her. She’s going to be our float nurse for the next bit and I’m ok with that. I think we’ll work well together once we figure out a flow.

The acid machine got fixed at work, so I mixed a batch of acid Friday. I was having anxiety over it the whole time, waiting for smoke to start billowing up again. It went flawlessly, though. The pH tested within range and I was able to transfer it to the holding tank. I’m not sure if we’re going to use the jugs until their gone or switch over to the batch of acid I made when we open on Monday, but either way, the clinic is taken care of and ready to go. Woo!

I didn’t work overtime this week. It’s the first time in a while. I got permission to start using my PTO to round out my hours on the weeks that I don’t reach 40 from working at my clinic alone. I used five hours this week. Hopefully, that will slow down how quickly I’m earning PTO hours and keep them from capping on me. I would rather not have to cash my hours out since they’re taxed so heavily if you do it that way.

I was supposed to have a work outing yesterday night. There were plans for bowling that Ox and I were voluntold to go to. It got canceled though since I guess most people weren’t able to be there. Totally not heartbroken about it. I liked how my day went without the added stress of having to go be social, too.

Oh, and the FHM meeting was interesting. I’m hoping to be invited to more of them in the future, but even if I’m not, I’m glad I had the experience. It was nice to meet our medical director and to see another side of the clinic.

So yeah… I guess that’s about it. I’m doing alright in a tentative, low energy sort of way. I know I’m sensitive right now and I’m trying to be mindful of that fact. I’m looking forward to working on Monday and going to my class on Tuesday and to the dojo on Wednesday. I’m glad I wrote and I’m glad that the sun is out and shining even if it’s a cold and windy day.

It feels like a decent day.

And with that, I’m off to continue being a slacker. : 3

Daily Post 122: My First Call Out

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I called out of work today. It’s the first time since I started working here in Nebraska. The first time in seven months. I’m glad to say it wasn’t because I didn’t feel like going in. At 3:20 am I started having discomfort in my right kidney again, as if I were about to have another kidney stone.

I wasn’t going to risk being in the middle of driving to work or on the floor initiating a treatment when it decided to start passing. I messaged my FA and told her what was going on and that I would be late. She said she couldn’t open the clinic without me.

After a few phone calls on my part and some of my co-workers agreeing to switch shifts with one another, I got someone to cover my shift for me and the clinic, as far as I’m aware, is ok. Maybe running a little later than normal, but running none the less which is awesome.

I haven’t had any more waves of discomfort or pain. I was actually able to go back to sleep until Ox got up to go to work. My right side is a bit more tender. I’m consciously aware of it, so I’m not sure if more is yet to come or if I’m just overly sensitive, or imagining things in my head since kidney stones suck so much and now I’m paranoid about them and the pain they cause.

I’ve been drinking a lot of water this morning. Already at the one-liter mark, which normally doesn’t happen until around noon for me.

I’m hoping that this one is due to dehydration. I know I’ve been slacking on water for the past few days; roughly three to four in total. With the high protein diet I’m on, that’s not a good thing. The process of the body metabolizing protein can lead to kidney stones if there isn’t enough water intake to dilute the concentration of urine in the kidneys.

I haven’t been having cramps associated with dehydration, but I have been running overly warm and have had headaches a few times. My lips have also been chapped a bit. I was aware it was an issue but I guess I wasn’t doing much to combat it. I don’t know why it’s so hard to stay on top of my water consumption sometimes, but it is. I get caught up in what I’m doing or I’m not able to take a break like I normally would and before I know it I’m a liter behind and it’s bedtime and oh well… I guess I’ll try to do better tomorrow…

It’s also been pretty warm outside which probably only adds to the water issue on top of still working out.

All I can do right now is be mindful and keep drinking water and hopefully catch myself back up.

I drank a lot yesterday which might be why this one, if it is a stone, has only caused mild discomfort so far. It might be that my body has been able to get back to a normal pH level and so the stone dissolved on its own without having to pass. Here’s hoping.

Anywho, that’s how my morning started.

I was supposed to work four days this week since I’m working tomorrow at Cap City. I was looking forward to having the overtime on my check, but at least I’ll still be able to meet my normal hours without dipping into my PTO, not that having to do that would be such a horrifically bad thing. I have something like 80 hours saved up again. I have the time to use if I need it.

Yesterday was a bit of a heavy day. I went to the gym and trained. I had a weigh in. Up in muscle, but also up in body fat. That sucked. It didn’t make the day any better having to contend with that fact.

After the gym, I went to Home Depot. Since I got the punching bag and have it hung I got foam tiling to go under it. Rubber would have been better, but for the price and coverage, foam was cheaper so there you go. I got two packs the other day and while it does a decent job area wise, I feel a little cramped and there’s no extra room to do something like yoga or core work, so I went out and got another three packs yesterday. I haven’t laid them out yet, but depending on how today goes, if I end up in agony passing a stone or not, I might try to get a workout in.

I went to the bookstore to get the books for my CNA class yesterday as well. That starts this coming Tuesday. Sort of anxious about it. They were out of the workbook I need but I got the textbook and the little binder whatever handout thing that was required so currently, I’m at two of three items needed. They gave me a number to call. That will be on the to-do list today I suppose.

I also went ahead and did the grocery shopping since I work Saturday and only had enough breakfast to get me through today. I did a bunch of food prep when I got home, unloaded, loaded, and ran the dishwasher. I did laundry yesterday, too. Even made stir-fry for dinner.

For a heavy day, I think I did pretty alright.

Ox and I have finished watching Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Bladeworks. I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending. I don’t know, with how good the rest of the series was the ending felt sort of weak. We watched the first episode of Fate/Stay: Apocrypha last night after the epilogue for Bladeworks. It seems interesting but I heard it wasn’t the best storyline. I guess it’s another “wait and see” sort of things.

Wednesday was a decent day at the clinic. Busy, but decent. The nurse practitioner rounded. An RN shadowed. I think I like her. I didn’t really get to talk with her all that much but she didn’t seem all that phased by the pace of the clinic. She seemed pretty battled hardened and that’s something I want as a PCT. I don’t want the nurse looking to me to call a code. I want them to be confident in their role because I can’t do it for them.

Our new trainee was also there on Wednesday. I really like her and I think she’ll work out well at the clinic. She’s supposed to be there today, too. I was looking forward to spending more time getting to know her but I feel like I made the right choice by calling out. It will still be about two months for her to get through training. Hopefully, we’ll have a nurse on our team by then as well so we can open back up to six days a week. We have a 15 patient wait list.

Tuesday was another day at the gym with my trainer. He had me do box jumps again. It was awesome. I really felt with it Tuesday which is why I guess Thursday sucked so bad. I’ve felt like I’ve been burning and improving but that’s not what any of the numbers said. Stupid numbers…

Anyway. Tuesday was another day of pretty decent productivity. That was the first day of going out to get mats for the punching bag. I applied to the college for the LPN program. I got an email yesterday saying since they’re changing from quarters to semesters that I needed to apply a different way, but, I applied. Go me.

I also emailed my doctor since I forgot about my biometric screening form while I was getting my birth control replaced last Thursday. Of all the things to forget. >.<;

She said I could pick it up today, which I originally wasn’t going to be able to do. It might work out that I am able to swing by there and pick up the form along with getting the workbook I need. That’s still to be seen since I need to make the phone call first.

Let’s see… I got the birth control replaced. That sucked. Things were being touched that aren’t meant to be touched so I spent nearly all of Thursday sleeping and feeling yucky after the appointment. It was like having cramps from the Period from Hell that’s trying to kill your insides. Not fun and I wish I were exaggerating.

It’s the third time I’ve had the IUD placed so I knew what to expect and while I know both my fractured rib and previous kidney stones hurt worse, at the time all I could think about was how much it sucked and I just wanted the pain to go away. It leaves me feeling vulnerable and weak; like a wounded animal that could easily be picked off. It took me 30 minutes of sitting in the parking lot before I felt ok enough to drive home.

I’m not ready to have a child. I’m not… I don’t think responsible is the right word… maybe dedicated would be a better word? I’m not dedicated enough to remember to take a pill at the same time every day. My life isn’t set up for that to really be possible but maybe that’s an excuse on my part. Maybe I could take it in the morning before work, but that means waking up at 3am on my days off to do it and that sounds sort of shitty, too.

I’ve tried different birth controls in the past so I know with some of them I do have side effects. One of them made me suicidal to the point where even I knew I was being bat-shit insane and that I needed off the medication. I don’t want to have to go through that trial period of finding out if my body will react negatively to something new. At least with this one, I know what I’m getting into and after a day or so things go back to normal. My body adjusts and the cramping goes away.

Neither Ox nor I want I want a barrier between us. And neither of us wants to abstain because let’s face it, sex feels good. It’s what we’re biologically programmed to do and it’s an experience I want to share with him.

All of that taken into consideration, this is the life I choose to live and the choices I choose to make so the consequences are what they are, cramping and yuckiness included. It’s not so much that I feel it’s “worth it” because even as a masochist an IUD insertion is not something I want to go through or would wish on an enemy, but it lets me keep what I have so it’s more like I accept it.

The kids were here last weekend. We got through the second chapter in Stuffed Fables. Lil’ Ox didn’t want to play, most likely because she’s eight and we had already gone through the story and she wasn’t as captivated anymore. She wanted to play Minecraft instead. Ox ended up playing her character. Ornery Ox stayed and played with us. We sort of got screwed on the first map since Lil’ Ox wasn’t trying to play and making choices just because rather than thinking about the party and what we were trying to do. We might have been better off restarting the page, but didn’t. Regardless, we defeated the second boss of the Nightmare Lord and can now progress to chapter three.

We have the kids again this weekend so we’ll most likely play again. They’re supposed to be here around 3 or 4 this afternoon. It’s Ornery Ox’s birthday. He turns 13. Officially a teenager. I’m sure that’s going to make the coming years interesting. Girlfriends, learning to drive, track meets, friends who make not-smart choices… Yeah… And I’ve only had seven months of parenting experience so far…

I paid the citation for my license plate. I’m still waiting on the paperwork to come through the mail. Not much to report on that front since I’m not able to do much of anything.

Oh, and I guess I never wrote about it since I’ve been so slack on writing, but I bought my very own punching bag. That happened last Wednesday, the day after I wrote about the whole pregnancy scare thing, which, by the way, I’m still not pregnant. Woo!

I was driving home Wednesday after work and thinking how it sort of sucked that I still didn’t have a dojo to go to and how my gym doesn’t have any sort of punching bag to use and how I really just wanted to punch something. I know that sounds bad. Violent, maybe. There’s just something about combat that helps me zen out and I miss it and last Wednesday I really wanted it so I said fuck it and researched a bunch of stuff online and then bought a punching bag off Amazon with expedited shipping.

In my defense, it was only a $10 difference between regular shipping and expedited… When you’re already spending $190 you might as well throw in another $10. >.>;

The bag was delivered on Friday, a day that ended up being a 16 hour day for me since I worked my shift in Beatrice then drove up to Cap City to close their clinic. 3rd shift there wasn’t bad. It’s not a full shift and everyone was on by the time I got there. All I had to do was discontinue treatments and clean stations and close the water room. Super chill actually. The only downside was that it was super late by the time I got home, after 10, which sucked and I don’t want to have to do again if I can help it. The teammate who asked me to cover for her has been extremely kind to me, though, so I agreed to take the shift. I wanted to help her. She’s the one covering for me today so we’ve done each other both a solid.

Anywho, I wasn’t able to do much with the bag other than hug the box when I got home Friday night. Since it came filled I’m sure the FedEx guy hates our house right now. Zero fucks given. I have my bag. My very own bag.

Saturday Ox helped me hang it in a section of the addition were we shouldn’t have to do too much work. Sunday was the first day I got to use it. I love it. I love wiping it down once I’m done with it. I love how there’s just enough give in it when you punch or kick to make a bit of a dent, but enough resistance that you still have to use force if you want that dent. My knuckles are wimpy again. I need to work up to be at the level I used to be at. My shins faired better. I’ve found a few workouts online that seem like fun. I’m looking forward to doing them.

I’ve had a few down days recently. I started cross stitching again, which made me miss mom. I actually curled up with her urn either Saturday or Sunday night and cried my first intense grief cry in a while. It felt good to do. I cried again on Thursday as I headed to the gym. That was the first time since I moved here where I screamed. That, too, felt good. Letting out the pain and sadness and anger and injustice rather than trying to convince myself that it’s ok and I shouldn’t need to be so loud, so expressive, so “overly emotional”; it made me feel better.

Mama Ox and I were talking in the kitchen one evening recently. I think it was Tuesday night.

Mama Ox: What was your mom like?

Me: *painful smile with unexpected silent tears* … My mom was awesome.

Out of all the times I’ve talked about my mom. Out of all the times I’ve had to explain what happened to people. Out of all the times I had to admit and own up to the fact that she died… No one, ever, has asked me what my mom was like as a person.

I wasn’t prepared for those emotions. I had never played out a conversation like that in my head.

I wasn’t prepared to be so woefully inadequate at explaining who she was.

The best I could come up with were those four meager words.

My mom was awesome.

It’s like explaining color to someone who has been blind their whole life. Blue is the color of water and the sky and my eyes and my birthstone, but if you’ve never seen blue none of that means anything.

Mom was empathic and compassionate and funny and emotionally strong and caring and all of these things but unless you had actually met her it doesn’t matter. No one will ever be able to experience mom and know just how truly unique she was. No one will ever know HER compassion or HER humor or HER strength. No one will ever know her color and there’s no way for me to even remotely do it justice by trying to explain it, describe it. It could only be experienced and that’s not possible anymore. Not like it used to be anyway.

Realizing that sucked and it’s been hard to accept that inadequacy in myself. It’s hard for it to not feel like a failing on my part. If I loved her so much, if I was so close to her, shouldn’t I be able to explain who she was? But I can’t. You can’t explain a person. That’s not how life works. A person is more than words. They’re feelings and experiences and trials and triumphs. Love and heartbreak. They’re laughter and tears and shared moments through countless years all swirling together to make them uniquely them.

I mean, yeah, mom raised me. In ways, I’m a reflection of her, but I’m still myself and so it’s not the same. It’s the best that anyone will ever be able to get, but it’s not the same and so when I was asked for the first time, “What was your mom like?” it was the first time I had to face the fact that no one will ever know. Not anymore.

I know it may seem like a low note to end a post on, but I’m sort of done with writing. I guess in my mind it’s not really sad. It’s a fact. It sucks. I wish it were different, but it’s not and this is reality.

In my reality right now I’m about to start CNA classes. I have a punching bag of my own. I have a car that runs. I have a job that pays my bills and teammates who support me. I have an amazing relationship with an amazing person who holds me when I cry and makes me laugh and laughs with me.

I am pretty sure mom would want me to be happy and to enjoy those things so I’m going to try to do that a little bit more than what I have the past few days. I’m going to try to be happy.

Daily Post 118: Combat, Work, and No-Tato Success

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Today has been good.

Yesterday was good, too.

And I think Tuesday morning was the last time I wrote, so the rest of Tuesday, you guessed it, was good. And since that’s when I last wrote, that’s where I’ll start, working my way to today.

I didn’t get as much done Tuesday as I wanted. I did, however, go to the gym to row before my rescheduled training at 3:30. I did upper body machines while I was there, figuring my trainer would focus on my lower body so I didn’t need to worry about being sore later. Overhead presses still suck. All of the other machines I was able to up my weight on though, so that was nice. I also figured out the hours for when a staff member would be in the office so Ox could come talk to them about joining my account.

When I showed up for training I realized I was sort of fucked because of all the days my trainer could have picked to completely change everything and do a focused workout on my upper body it’s the one day where I’ve managed to go to the gym and do it myself already. I mean, of course, that’s how life works… >.<;

At one point he asked if I wanted the weight I was at to be lowered. I responded with no, it just hurt. I wasn’t going to let that stop me, though.

We did some stuff with the TRX bands, too. Those were fun in a “my arms are going to hate me so much” sort of way.

I had a bit of time to kill before the SCA combat practice. Ox had messaged me saying that going didn’t mean that I had to fight. We could just go and talk to everyone. We could see if anyone would want to play Stuffed Fables. We could socialize and catch up. I didn’t “have” to fight if I went.

That made it feel more ok to go. I loaded up my gear, you know… just in case. I also packed up the pull out drawers for the cabinets I had bought forever ago. The receipt said I could still return them, so I wanted to try doing that while I was in town.

The return was super painless and they refunded me all of the money to my card. Woo. I got to look at pot lid holders and all sorts of kitchen organization gadgets while I was at the store. Ox called and I talked with him for a bit while he drove to the store since he was off work.

We took his car to combat practice. The marshall showed up with the loaner gear and so began the process of gearing up. I actually did put most of my armor on. It was fun. It felt good. I didn’t fight since there were some new people and the only helm that fits me was being used by one of the new guys, but I was ok with that. It felt good to simply be back. I was ok with not fighting, especially after how intense the day had been on my arms already.

I talked to some of the members and we’re going to be getting measurements next Tuesday so I can have my own helm made. There’s a part of me who’s sort of giddy about that. It will be the first piece of armor that’s mine. Specifically mine. Made for me, mine. I know it won’t be pretty or amazing or fancy and I’m totally ok with it. It will be my first piece of armor and I’ll love it for forever.

Ox and I came home a little early and had dinner. I gamed for a bit. When we laid down for bed I tried sleeping but couldn’t. I only got about an hour and a half of sleep before having to get up to go to work on Wednesday. That sucked and it was the first time I legitimately wanted to call out. I pushed through it and I’m glad I did.

The day wasn’t bad. It was actually fairly smooth considering we had an RN shadowing as well as the social worker and our nephrologist doing rounds with the patients.

My FA bought lunch for everyone since so many people were at the clinic. Normally I would give myself shit for eating pizza, but yesterday I didn’t care. I’ve been doing pretty good with my eating since I’ve been back from my vacation and I did pretty well while I was away. So yeah, I had two slices of pizza with a couple of breadsticks. I even had one piece of the cherry strudel dessert pie thing and it was as amazing as it looked.

Since there was a ton of food left over my FA voluntold me to take some home with me. It ended up being dinner for everyone at home. I shamelessly had a second piece of the cherry strudel thing after Ox woke me up since I fell asleep almost as soon as I got home. It was a much-needed nap. Waking up was the best part. Who doesn’t like being woken up with sexy time?

I gamed in the evening. I fell asleep pretty easily once it was bedtime and slept the whole night through. It’s become common for me to wake up between 12 and 2. Not last night though. I slept soundly and almost slept through Ox’s alarm.

We had a cigarette before he left for work. I laid back down for a bit, but today was another day of early training at the gym, so I didn’t get to rest for too much longer. I got up, got dressed, had part of my breakfast, then drove to Beatrice.

It’s been raining a lot recently here, which I think is relevant. This morning and yesterday I’ve been coughing a lot. I used to cough pretty bad when I first moved here, but it’s been tapering off. Normally it’s only really bad when I first wake up, but by the time I’m done with my shower, I’m fine.

Not today. I coughed the whole way down to the gym. I was still coughing as my trainer weighed me in. I’m down one pound of fat, but I also lost a pound of muscle. I’m not too concerned about this weigh in. It wasn’t until Monday-ish that I started feeling my metabolism picking back up so I wasn’t expecting to have lost much. We’ll see how next week’s weigh in goes.

Since I was coughing so much, we didn’t do a lot of cardio. We mainly focused on lifting, which I was ok with. He mentioned that I might be allergic to something in the area since I didn’t have any sort of respiratory distress while I was visiting my brothers. The rain kicks stuff up into the air and can agitate whatever unknown sensitivity I may have. It’s something I plan to ask about during my doctor’s appoint on the 30th. I’m also going to try taking antihistamines again since they helped me a lot when I first moved here.

After training, I came back home and started cleaning. I cleaned the kids toy shelf, reorganizing everything since it was a disaster. I cleaned the corner of the living room by the bookshelf since there were piles there, too. I put up the boxes of mason jars Mama Ox wanted to keep. I cleaned up the kitchen table, which I don’t know if I should have done that…

It’s sort of like Mama Ox’s office. It’s where her laptop is. Papa Ox also has an area on it, which only leaves about half the table for actual use. I wanted to wipe the table down though and the more I moved and shifted things, the more I realized I wouldn’t get it properly cleaned without clearing it off…

So… I moved everything. The only things I threw away were things like old candy wrappers and stuff that was very obviously trash. I did stack the papers that were on the table though. I messed with stuff that wasn’t mine. I know it would have bothered me if someone had messed with my stuff when I wasn’t home. I also feel I would be understanding that the table really did need to be cleaned.

I don’t know. So far no one has said anything to me about it. No hostility. No “don’t do that again”. So I think I’m alright and I shouldn’t have to do it again for a while.

I cleaned up the bedroom, making a pile of clothes that needed to be washed. I washed the new sheets Ox and I bought together. I folded and put away the towels so I could move Mama Ox’s clothes into the dryer. I folded and put my own clothes away since they’ve been in a basket for a while. I loaded the dishwasher with the dishes that were in the sink. I sent a message to Mama Ox asking if it would be ok for me to use the steaks and cook dinner for everyone tonight. She didn’t put up a fight over relinquishing that task.

I gamed a bit again, finishing the quest line to become a black mage. Once that was done, I made a shopping list and packed up to head to the gym for the second time. I was going to row for a bit, maybe lift some, then head to the store to do the shopping I needed to for dinner and the coming week.

That’s where things changed a bit. I had just finished rowing. I decided to stretch instead, then shower and head out. While I was stretching, Ox called me and said he was off work. He was heading to the gym so he could talk to someone. We both agreed it would be easier to figure out what we wanted to do if I was there since it was my account.

I finished stretching after we hung up then went to the shower to rinse off. By the time I was done Ox was there and talking with one of the staff members. It took longer than I thought it would, but Ox is now a member of the gym and can go with me. We’ve agreed that it would be easiest for it to be charged to my card and for him to give me his portion of the membership in cash, sort of like what he’s been doing with groceries.

Since by then it was later than I wanted, I decided to go to the market at the gas station for the things I needed for dinner and to save the rest of the shopping for Saturday since none of it was essential.

Ox paid for the groceries which I’m still getting used to.

When we got home I started cooking. Once everything was at a point where it could cook itself I started prepping the grapes for the snack bags I’ve started making. I made Ox’s lunch. The wash got switched.

I made my no-tato recipe for the family, explaining that if they didn’t like it I had bought a package of the instant potatoes that I knew everyone liked. I could make that instead if the no-tatoes were a total no go.

They didn’t turn out bad, but Ox said they were extremely strong. I use two tablespoons of steak seasoning in them, so next time I’m going to try it with only one and see if it turns out better. Other than that, dinner was a success. I didn’t overcook the steaks. Totally high fiving myself on that one since I only eat my steaks rare.

I’ve already finished cleaning up the kitchen. I’m waiting for the sheets to finish drying so Ox and I can put them on the bed. By then his load of clothes will be ready to switch to the dryer. I might not get them put away tonight, but with everything else that I’ve gotten done today, I think I can be forgiven if that lapses to tomorrow.

And… AND… I’ve written.

I don’t know why today was so productive. I just know that I’m grateful that I can still have days like this.

I haven’t done anything with the LPN paperwork yet, but it’s on my radar and I know that it’s getting pushed back in lieu of other things. Maybe I’ll buckle down and get it done this weekend.

I’m going to leave that for another day, though. Right now I’m going to finish this post and then game for about an hour, then go to sleep so I can finish up my work week on a strong note, and then move on into the weekend where we’re going to figure out the last little bit of the kitchen shelving. My pots and pans will hopefully have a home.

I’m very much looking forward to working on one of the many projects going on around me and possibly getting it finished. :3