Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Holiday blahs

UPDATE; The well guys came back and we have water now!! Although..he said that the water bladder in the tank under the house didn't sound right, so he wants to come back Thursday and check it again. He told us that today, we need to run the water for 15 minutes..off for 15, on for 15, off again, on again and that should help mix the chlorine and get it out of the water faster. This morning, Jeff said he had awesome water pressure but when I turned the faucet on later on...the pressure dwindled. I'm not sure if the tank is empty or if there's something wrong with the tank under the house where it's not giving constant pressure. We won't know until tomorrow..but I hope it's nothing serious b/c I don't know if homeowners will cover that or not. Ugh!
For those of you wondering how I'm doing...I'm still sick. I went back to the Dr. yesterday and am on my 3rd..yes THIRD..round of antibiotics. Plus a different type of inhaler which is just steroids and not the albuterol like the Advair is. The Advair was just sticking to my tongue and not being breathed in. So, now I have the antibiotics, nasal steroids, inhaler steroids and a pretty heavy cough suppressant. I'm still hacking up goo..but that's on a good day. Mostly, it's dry coughs from the drainage. My nose is still stopped up most of the time and if I breathe out too hard, I start coughing again. My chest aches from all the hacking and I still get headaches from it. How long can this go on??? Six weeks people. My first trip to the Dr. was Oct. 30th and at that point, I'd already been sick a few weeks. I can't call into work forever, but I feel like I'm pushing myself too hard with housework, work and traveling that I'm just wearing myself down. I started taking vitamin C to give my immune system a boost, but so far it hasn't helped much.

On top of that, we have some major home drama that developed yesterday. Yesterday, our power went off for about an hour. When it came back on, I just got back to my Tivo and didn't think anything else of it. Then I went to flush...no water. Hmm. So, I flipped the well breaker off and back on. Still no water. Damn. I called Jeff to get his thoughts and a few hours later he was home to check it out. We stood outside under a very dark, cloudy and oppressive sky and tested the power line to it. While he did that, I flipped out over an enormous black widow spider who's web we'd just destroyed while exposing the well. Yikes. She's dead now though...shew. Anyway..we had power running to the well..but not in the right voltage...yep...that's right, the power outage fried our well pump. Lovely. So..today, Jeff stayed home and called Trinity Plumbing and Well Pump Co. to come out and look at it. We wanted to make sure it was the pump gone bad and not an electrical problem.

These awesome guys showed up and had one hell of a time getting the cap off. The idiots who put it in, screwed the cap down when it's just supposed to pop off. Then we discovered that instead of using one solid pipe, they pieced together stiff PVC pipe..so we now have 300 ft. of PVC lying in the yard. He had to go back to get some stuff off his other truck and will be back later. He said we'd have water by tonight even if he was here after dark and being that it's 5:30...I hope he gets here soon. He's replacing the pump, piping and insulation..oh...and wiring. I knew it would be expensive..but no idea how much. Wanna take a guess?? It's $750 just for the pump..but it's bigger, better quality and will give us more water pressure. Then..it's about $750 for the installation of all this stuff....at least. Our homeowners covers power surges, lightening strikes, etc...but it's a matter of proving this was caused by that power outage.

We have a lot of power issues. In the 5 years we've been here, we've replaced the furnace fan 4 times b/c of power surges. We're at the end of the power grid, so we're the last to get power back when it goes out, it flickers constantly. The guy looked at our well pump and said you could see the power damage on the pump from surges and the high voltage. Woo. Progress Energy still swears there's no problem even though we call them repeatedly about the flickers, outages, etc.

Sigh..this year has been hell. Our water heater, our septic line, the fridge water hose, the furnace fan again, my car, now the well...what the hell is up with all this??? Jeff and I have both been sick..it's always something. Anyhow...even if our homeowners covers this, our deductible is $500. There goes Christmas. Now, on top of not being able to spend the holidays with family and friends, I can't afford to get them gifts either. If homeowners doesn't cover it..where am I going to get $1500???? Dad just gave me a savings bond that matured this month..so that's $515..but I was really hoping to save it and get something meaningful and important. I guess indoor plumbing is important..but you know what I mean. This also makes me wonder how they did it hundreds of years ago without indoor plumbing. They had to go pump their own water or get it from a stream. They spent their whole day harvesting crops if they were lucky enough to afford to grow them. Had to make candles to see by, make their own clothes, keep the farm animals inside the house so they wouldn't' freeze. They spent every day just trying to stay alive..wondering if there was enough food to eat. They worked their fingers to the bone just to survive meal to meal. Now..our meals can be ready in 5 minutes, our water comes right to our house, and we have light just at the touch of a finger. We have it sooo easy compared to our ancestors yet still have no time for anything.

I just feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders even though my problems are small in comparison to many. I can never get a break. I feel guilty for being out of work even though I'm sick. I don't want to get anyone else sick either..or catch yet another bug from someone there. I've been sanitizing my house like a madwoman. Well..not really..just spraying Lysol on every surface we touch constantly. Without water..we've been using hand sanitizer constantly and I'm really in need of a shower. It hasn't quite been 2 days..but that's long enough. Our dishes are filthy, the laundry's piled up...sigh. I know people at work will say.."You've been off work for a week!! You should be rested!" No..not really. Being sick takes a lot out of you. Life at home doesn't stop when you're sick. The dogs and cats still have to be fed, the laundry needs to be done, dishes washed, floor vacuumed, furniture dusted, bills paid..etc. I either can't sleep from coughing..or I sleep like the dead and wake up more tired for some reason. I tried to occupy some of my time by playing Guitar Hero III, but I coughed too much and had to stop.

Normally, the holidays make me happy. Turkey, presents, cranberry salad, deviled eggs, caroling, decorating the tree, laughing with family..but this year, I'm just depressed. Too much going on. I love buying stuff for people and seeing their faces when they open their gift from me. It makes me happy..so not being able to do that this year upsets me. I try to look on the bright side..like..if our well hadn't broken..we never would've discovered that black widow spider. If I hadn't gotten sick, I wouldn't appreciate having my health quite as much...but I'm at the point where the positive is a tiny light at the end of a tunnel and I don't care to even try to reach it anymore. I've paid my dues this year..I'm hoping next year will be fantastic...but I won't hold my breath.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Finally...some progress

As many of you know..I've been sick for about the past 5 weeks. It started as a head cold which was treated as a sinus infection: antibiotics, nasal steroids and an OTC decongestant. Two weeks later..it had moved into my chest and was treated w/ stronger antibiotics, a prescription expectorant/decongestant and an inhaler. That was last Wednesday. Today, I am finally coughing up some of this crap!! It hasn't been pleasant. I still sound like a frog, My body is trying to rid me of my lungs apparently as I can barely stop coughing. An unholy headache has set in due to all the coughing and my body aches from how hard I have to cough to see any results. But still..it's results.

Yesterday I tried keeping my head over a bowl of hot water w/ a towel over my head....closely resembling a terrorist trying to breath in the soul of an infidel. No matter, it still helped to some degree. This morning, I woke up with a fit of coughs and tried hot sauce, thinking surely that'll make me cough up some stuff. Eh. I've apparently developed some sort of immunity to the hotness. On to the whiskey. A shot later, I was hacking..but no major reason to celebrate. As I bent down to pet my Farley cat, he let out a SBD fart that made me gag. That did the trick. It might have been a combination of all 3, but I hacked up some nasty stuff...all thanks to my cat's ass. As I watched the green blob slide down the drain, I couldn't help but think of the Mucinex commercials and in a triumphant voice proclaimed.."Die you slimey bastard..DIE!! Now if I can just get the rest of his grotesque family out of my lungs, I'll be jubilent.

I was supposed to leave for Roanoke yesterday, but didn't much feel like it. I hadn't gotten much sleep, I was still hacking terribly and hadn't packed. I'd try..but I just wasn't with it..I kept forgetting stuff. So..by 3pm, I decided to wait until this morning. That gave me another day to get all my stuff together, take care of a few housekeeping necessities and rest. I hadn't intended on waking up at 5:30, so I'm not sure how this'll change my plan...we'll see. If I'm still sick next week, I don't know what the next step is. I don't think more antibiotics will help me. Maybe this is just something I have to wait out. Or..maybe I just keep reinfecting myself. Jeff has a lesser version of the same crap...and the Dr. told him everyone she'd seen last weekend had the same stuff. Great. An epidemic. I Lysoled the crap out of my house...and work for that matter. I hope it helps. My biggest fear is that I'll get my grandparents sick this week while I'm in VA. I'd feel bad if I got any of my other family sick too, but their immune systems are far better than my grandparents' are. I hope they don't banish me to the kids table or make me wear a mask. I can't imagine how hard it would be to shove mashed potatoes through one of those little filters, but dammit, it wouldn't stop me from trying.

Anyhow..I'm off to bed again. I hope the rest of you have safe travels, a joyous Thanksgiving and are fortunate enough to snag the last deviled egg. ;)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Life Update.

Ah..the past week has been awesome. Other than a bad trip to the vet with Jazz, it's been great. A few months back Jeff had made plans to take me to the mountains for my birthday...so..paying out a huge vet bill wasn't what I wanted right before we left, but it had to be done to board Jazz. Faith was overdue too so I went ahead and took her too. Jazz freaked out when they took her away from me to the back room so they made me muzzle her. As it turns out..Jazz has heartworms and hookworms. Faith's test was negative..which relieves me..but I'll still have to pay for Jazz's treatment and that'll run about $700. That seems a bit high to me..but my other option is just giving her Heartgard for 2 years for the worms to die and I'd rather not wait that long for more damage to be done. The vet trip was $400 I really didn't want to spend right before our trip..but it had to be done..sigh.

Anyhow, Friday morning, we dropped the dogs off and got the Miata on the road. We took a very relaxed drive to Fontana Dam, NC. We weren't in any real hurry and got there in about 6 hours. We took tons of pictures of the Dam and drove around seeing the foliage. It was peak color weekend too! Absolutely gorgeous!! We drove the Hellbender to Robbinsville and had dinner at Sweetwater BBQ..excellent if you ever get a chance!! Then, we had a few drinks at the bar and watched the night sky.

Saturday morning, we got up early since we'd planned to go to Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg to do some shopping. We drove the Tail of the Dragon to get there and woo! what a ride!! It has 318 curves in 11 miles..nothing but switchbacks and S curves. If you get car sick, don't ride it! They even have the Tree of Shame where people who've gotten stupid and wrecked their cars, hang parts up on the tree. We stopped along the way to take pictures and eat and then stopped in Pigeon Forge to get Jeff some shoes from the Rockport outlet and then get coffee from Harry & David. We also went to Smoky Mountain Knife Works in Sevierville and got some more Henkel knives for our kitchen.

Way too much money later, we left to meet Hannah, Chris and the girls for dinner. Thank God for GPS otherwise we'd never found our way around all the traffic! After meeting them at their cabin and figuring out where to go, we went back to Pigeon Forge to eat at Best Italian Cafe & Pizzeria..where we waited an hour or more to eat...so..by the time we ate, it was around 10:30. The girls were exhausted and the food wasn't as good as I remembered it. Still, I got to hang out with Hannah who I hadn't seen in months. We left and took a road through the Nat'l Park and got to see a black bear in the wild. That was one of my highlights! We didn't get back to Fontana Village until 2am and then slept until around 11 the next day.

Sunday, we explored an old abandoned church and house and drove the Dragon again. We walked around and saw an old cemetery and then decided to go back to Robbinsville for dinner. We took back roads and explored some of the little towns around there. We also took night pictures of the Dam where some sort of badger thing ran at me..LOL. Anyway, it was just a very laid back relaxing weekend...something I didn't realize I needed quite so badly. I decided that day that this was something I'd like to do every year and that's when Jeff gave me my gift. He bought me a timeshare at Fontana Village so we can go as much as we want!! Woo hoo! We can bank our points and go to other places too if we're tired of Fontana. That was the last thing I expected!! He's just awesome!

Monday, we checked out, had a really great breakfast and took the Blue Ridge Parkway to Asheville before hopping on I40. We had to take another detour around some traffic and by the time we stopped and had dinner in Lexington and got home..we'd been on the road for about 10 hours. I was so tired but I was more content and relaxed than I'd been in a long time. And..after all that, I still had 3 days off work ahead of me. I didn't do crap. Some laundry, some dishes, some grocery shopping..oh..and another trip to the doctor..but other than that..I watched movies and took naps..lol. My cold moved from my head to my chest but I didn't have any problems up in the mountains. Once I got back..bam..Congestion City.

Anyhow..I know this blog is probably pretty boring..but I just wanted to let everyone know how my birthday went and what's been up with me. Thanksgiving is next week and while I was denied next weekend off..I'm still going to make the most of it. I also have to work Christmas..again..for the 4th year in a row..so I have to make plans to have Christmas early with family. I'm not sure if I can get in the Christmas spirit since I don't have the money for gifts and can't actually be home during Christmas..but I'm going to make the best of it too and do my best to get another job so I don't have to work any more Christmas's..woo!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I'm now cultured.

This past weekend, Jeff and I made plans to go to the International Festival in Raleigh. It lasts 2 days and we were made aware of it by Anwar, one of Jeff's coworkers. Saturday..we were sick, so we slept in until 1:30. We decided we needed to get some type of inhaler or something since we have chest colds, so I mentioned going to Walmart and grabbing lunch. Jeff decided that if we're going to lunch...the best place to go would be Maggiano's..mmm. I love the way Jeff's mind works!! So, we had an early dinner at Maggiano's then wandered around a bit before going to Target to buy a humidifier and cold stuff..then went to Best Buy and World Market before hitting Starbucks on our way home.

Once home, Jeff and I cleaned up the office some, tinkered on the computers..and crashed early. Sunday, we got up, got dressed and headed to Raleigh..only to realize we were there early because of the time change. D'oh! That actually worked out great because I was starving. We got burgers & fries and sat down to eat when Jeff ran into someone he knew from Redhat. Sam..a cute bubbly blonde who happened to be running a jewelry booth at the flea market.

After our burgers were gone, we made our way to Sam & Tish's jewelry booth, titled..Broads and Beads. They handmake all their jewelry and it was all just beautiful. If they don't have what you want, they'll make it for you. We hadn't seen Tish in years, so there were hugs all around. Tish is the kind of person you can't help but love. She's loud, somewhat crude and always happy..and a biker bitch. Piercings and tats galore..she has a smile and laugh that can get you out of your worst mood. I really liked the earrings she was wearing, so she found some similar..but I didn't like the stones, so she let me pick stones I liked and made it right in front of me..and gave me a discount!! Woo hoo! They rock!! We chatted with them for about 2 and a half hours and during this time..noticed a large crowd gathering not far from us. We went over to see why..a big HUGE pig..named Smithfield..I'm assuming after the bbq...was painting. Yes, the pig was painting. He'd pick the brush up in his mouth and then smear it across the canvas..drop it and pick up another brush. His owner would put the brushes back in the paint and he'd keep going through them until he felt like the painting was done...then she'd announce it was for sale for $25. Interesting..and she even said she'd mark it w/ a hoof print. Wow. What else can you say? After that..we headed off to the international festival.

Once inside..the smell of sooo many yummy foods smacked you right in the face. Each country had their information booth..and then a food booth. Represented were Bangladesh..where I had lunch..yummy...France, China, Japan, Armenia, Hungary, Scandinavia, Philippines, Greece, Poland, Egypt, Ireland, Scotland, Brazil, India, Russia, Italy, Iran, Israel, Korea, Turkey, Kenya, Ethiopia, Finland, Nepal, Tibet, Portugal..uh..I know I'm forgetting quite a few..but you get the idea.

Each country also had dancers to perform traditional dances from their country. We only caught Korea, Ireland, Brazil, Israel, Turkey and the Finnish/Swedish dancers. One of the Brazilian chicks wore thongs under her skirt, so every time she twirled, all you saw was butt cheeks..Jeff's jaw dropped. The Turkish dancers did nothing but shake their boobs. My favorites were the Irish step dancers. They rocked that stage so much..I thought it was going to fall down. I think there were about 30-35 of them up there. It was so exciting!

We also got dessert at the Scandinavia booth and it was so incredibly yummy..I ran over some poor kid and didn't even know it because I was so glazed over with yummy induced bliss. It was some sort of chocolate torte...there are no words to describe it's decadence. Wow and yummy don't come close to describing it..or the cookies Jeff got from there. We wandered from booth to booth looking at each country's wares and information. Bangladesh was the neatest one I thought. They had a display of how they live self-sufficiently. They have poultry and livestock, a garden and a water pump. They have a gas chamber where they shovel all the manure and a pipe leads from that chamber to the house where they use the methane gas to heat the house and the stove. It was a really neat display and It made me wonder why no one here would be willing to do it. If one person stayed home to farm and the other worked...you could save so much money by using your own resources for food and heat, you could easily make it on one income.

Anyhow, after gaining some culture and having my name written in Farsi by a cute little Iranian woman, we headed back out into the flea market to say goodbye to Tish and Sam. We chatted with them for another 30-45 minutes and Tish told me that if I wanted to make dog treats, she'd sell them at her stand to see how they did and if it worked out well, I could get my own tent. She said there's only one other person there who sells dog treats, so I wouldn't have a lot of competition. Now that I know they're out there every weekend, Jeff and I are going to have to go out there more often and hang out with them. They're so much fun to be around. Tish is 40..but acts like she's 20 and she has a style all her own...she just is what she is and says what's on her mind and you have to admire that.

After hugs and goodbyes, we made our way back home..and accidentally ran into Brooke in Pittsboro, so I followed her home and we hung out there for an hour or so. I sat down and bam..had 3 weiner dogs jump in my lap at one time..that's lots of sharp little teeth and tongues all at once. They're so cute, but they never sit still long enough to really get a good look at their faces. We discussed our jobs, her family drama, my upcoming weekend getaway to the Smokies with Jeff for my birthday, my hair..you name it..we pretty much covered it in that hour. Once we got home..it was about 8:30..so we unwound by watching some tv, looking at our pictures from the day and playing with the dogs. Then it was bedtime..and I crashed pretty hard..slept all night last night and most of the day today before I trudged into work. I'm so ready for a week off..I can't wait until this Friday!! I'll be in the Smokies where I can breathe easy and curl up next to my husband without any interruptions for the whole weekend....and enjoy the last days of my 30th year..for on Monday, I'll be 31. I hate the sound of that..but maybe once I get into a happy job where I thrive instead of dying a little more inside, I'll be more comfortable with my age and purpose in life. Only time will tell...for now, I just have to be happy in knowing I get to go home to Jeff every morning and have family and friends who are always there to cheer me up and help me out...cause that's really all that matters anyway.