Blame it on the Rain

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A quick search left me feeling surprised that I have not used this phrase as a title before. Well I’m using it now.

The reason why I rarely post about my life has little to do with the fact that my children are getting older and are therefore not as cute and funny in the eyes of the public.

It’s not because the great adventure of moving to our dream home, in a dream neighborhood, in the one and only state we have been dreaming about living in for over a decade, has settled into comfortable bliss. Or that the kids are doing so well in school I have nothing left to piquantly rant about.

I don’t barely squeeze out one or two posts a week because I suffer from writer’s block. Or that I haven’t found my happy writing place in my new awesome home. And it has nothing to do with the fact that I’m so often uninspired I don’t think to write until “the moment has passed.”

These are all valid reasons.

However …

The reason why I don’t write more is really because of the rain.

For nine years I lived in perpetual sunshine. Rainy days were so rare I treated them like movie days. Cloudy days were still warm enough to go outside for a walk or play at the park. Rainy days felt infinitely more despondent. Rainy days called for the comfort of a snugly blanket, the familiar voices from the television, along with special treats like popcorn and Diet Coke.

Rainy days were not go outside and do anything days. Nor were they find something to do in the house days. They were the ultimate lazy days. They were do as little as possible days because rainy days had such a small window of opportunity and even then it felt as likely as seeing a unicorn finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Rainy days called for quiet reverence inside.

After nine long years of this mindset, you can see how lost one might feel when every day is a rainy day. When water constantly streams down windows and drips into ever present puddles and the temperature feels colder still from the 2,000% humidity, you can see why the words don’t come easily. Announcements from Wally Weatherman stating that it was the wettest February on record and the fourth wettest March ever, at least since they started measuring that stuff back in dinosaur times, only exacerbate the blame I am placing on the rain for my writing absence.

Life does continue. It’s not like we stop existing between posts. On Friday we learned we should never bring our daughter to a parent teacher conference. She is nothing like her brothers who were always shy and mute at those meetings. Not Gwen. Her confidence extends to situations involving adults who have taken a secret oath to only say positive things about her. She is aware of this and toots her own horn before anyone else has a chance. It’s okay. We still love her, including the confidence she has.

She spent most of her money on books at the book fair. I was impressed with her math skills. She even tried to figure out tax before she got to the register. She can’t spell to save her life (her friend suggested she make her passwords “incorrect” so when she misspelled the word it would show up in nice red letters on the screen!) But she is a smart cookie and everyone loves her.

We enjoyed dinner with friends on Friday evening. And General Conference the rest of the weekend. Then we played in Seattle on Monday where we ran into some friends from California who are also on Spring Break this week. That was a fun surprise. We went north to the Tulip Festival on Tuesday. It was nice to have so much fun as a family on the only nice days this week. Wednesday was business as usual. Rain, work, and writer’s block.

Until I get used to my less hectic life along with completely different weather, I blame the rain.

Hair Apparent

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Celebrity comes with talent. I can’t help but showcase my talents every day, which means people know. When people know, they treat me like a celebrity. I’m often booked for gigs – both private and group. Personally, I prefer the private gigs. This time it was a group. A room full of giggly, wiggly girls.

I have done these group tutorials in the past. They have not been successful. I have learned that it is next to impossible to teach more than two people the finer arts of hair braiding. I reluctantly accepted the invitation to teach 16 girls between the ages of 8 and 11. When I found out the leaders had been talking and wanted to change the activity to a spa day for mothers and daughters, I had to put my foot down. We were able to talk through my concerns that no one would be interested in learning in that environment. The activity went back to what I originally had been preparing for.

The threatened shift in focus was what brought on the brilliant idea of pre-recorded videos. It was a crazy plan that just might work. I really couldn’t think of any other way to effectively teach young girls basic hairstyling techniques.

I stood at the front of the room, armed with a handful of instructive videos. The volume rapidly increased to mosh pit levels as girls drifted in. It didn’t take long for girls to abandon chairs to dance wildly around the room. My own daughter was flipping her head between her legs. Her hair a waving mass of inevitable snarls. Not sure who was supposed to start, and we were already over five minutes into it, I passed out the True/False quiz I had made up.

It was going to be my talking points for the hygiene portion of my presentation. I realized that with the time constraints, and knowing the girls would want lots of hair practicing time, I kept the quiz for classroom management purposes. This was the perfect opportunity! Silence wasn’t immediate. More like hushed tones as they discussed the statements with one another.

Before long, the empty edges of the room called like sirens to sailors. The girls were back to dancing and moshing to the songs in their own heads. Hairbrushes made great microphones. No one listened as I said I was ready to start. Once that first video started, all bottoms were on chairs and all eyes were riveted on the screen.

I asked again for them to pair up and practice what they saw in the video – proper brushing technique for long hair as well as how to use an elastic in a ponytail. I told them to be sure to trade off so they each had a turn.

When the room naturally settled into chaos, I was back at the front starting another video. Immediate calm and tranquility followed as if someone had flipped a switch. As the hairstyle neared its end, girls began practicing on one another. I wandered the room. The cycle continued. Each time I wandered to observe and answer questions, I paused especially around the girls with short hair. I wanted them to understand how to use the techniques with their own shorter locks.

I showed one new 8 year old how to French braid her partner’s short hair. Somewhere in there I did a small French braid in the front of another 11 year old’s hair. She loved it! She went out of her way to tell several people that she wanted to carefully sleep so that she could wear the braid in her hair the next day! So cute! I love when girls have that reaction to anything I do in their hair. Girls were running in and out all evening. I realized they were running to the bathroom to check out their latest hair creation!

I braided another girl’s hair. My 8 year old friend, that I gave a personal French braid tutorial to, had asked if I could braid her hair. Unfortunately, the room had spiraled into noisy chaos again minutes before the parents were scheduled to arrive. I still feel bad that I couldn’t braid her hair. I texted her mom about it. Hopefully we can arrange something. I don’t want her to feel left out.

I tried to reign in the wiggly, giggly girls by going over the True/False quiz. Everyone had an opinion or a story to share. We didn’t make it very far before parents started appearing in the hallway. Soon parents walked into the room along with their conversations that were not whispered. The cacophony was too hard to ignore or control. No one even noticed when I stopped talking and just walked to the back of the room. Two leaders replaced me up front and asked everyone to kindly take their seats.

The last 15 minutes were informative for the parents. We learned the logistics of upcoming talent show activities and a Pinewood Derby. For girls. There are no words. That I should say out loud anyway. Gwen has spent most of her free time today browsing pictures online looking for ideas. So far she has about a hundred.

Pinewood Derby’s are not in my talent wheelhouse. Hair techniques apparently are. The activity ended up being more successful than my last couple of group presentations. I know the girls had fun and I believe they all learned something. Maybe not the 9 year old expert. She had a lot of fun though. My work here is done.

My prices haven’t changed. Still $80 a head for my magic fingers. Or free for group activities, as I seem to be accepting. At least until that 9 year old expert comes into her own and develops her own cult following. Which seems imminent. She picked up several worshipers last night! Until then, I will remain the hair expert everyone expects me to be.

The Indispensable Mother

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Some days start out and then just go and go. Or in this case, it started out very slowly and never seemed to end. The slow start had to do with the fact that some mornings I just can’t seem to shake sleep. Yesterday was such a day. I blame having to drink my breakfast at 3:00 am when I woke up to low blood sugar. Going back to sleep seems to completely zap me.

I was the walking dead making breakfast and tossing every pill known to man into Parker’s mouth. His allergies have arrived with a vengeance. My poor baby.

The only thing I had planned for the day was to visit Gavin’s school while he registered for high school. He texted me about it while the boys waited for the bus. He wanted to make sure I was aware of the meeting. I was.

The meeting was scheduled for 1:35 to 1:50. I did the math wrong and left later than I should have. I did manage to get to the school at 1:30. From there it was a mad dash to find the auxiliary gym in time. Gavin was sitting close to the door underneath a number 1. When I initialed next to his name I was told to sit under the number 12. I found that odd. As an invited parent, shouldn’t I sit closer to my kid? As if we were there together? And cared about each other?

With no seats next to Gavin and only one seat sort of close to the number 12, I went for the empty seat. I felt very uncomfortable. Nothing about the meeting made sense. I kind of resent that schools cater to helicopter parenting and include parents in things they really don’t need the parents involved in. After all, we did see the classes Gavin chose to take next year and we saw his four year high school plan of classes. We signed the paper as requested. What did they need me for?

I called Gavin over to me and asked if we should be sitting together. He didn’t know. The mom sitting next to me offered the most unhelpful advice in a fairly snotty tone. I decided she wasn’t my favorite person! “There aren’t enough chairs for both parents to sit with their kids.” Thank you Captain Obvious.

When seats opened up next to Gavin, I moved by him. I asked where he was told to sit. He said he never checked in with the lady at the door because he thought I was supposed to be with him. Since I wasn’t there yet he sat down. I was specifically told to sit under number 12. People were being randomly selected and taken to tables. There didn’t seem to be much order to the family selection. I wondered if specific tables were calling students under specific numbers. I suggested we move back to number 12 since the trio had moved on to their table appointment.

The clock on the wall said 1:50. Somehow we had not won the table lottery yet. Gavin and I were both quite confused about what was even happening. I was just told to show up. It was obvious they were willing to talk to students without parents. Not sure why I had to be there.

Finally a walking advertisement for painfully shy adults walked up to us and almost inaudibly whispered, “I’m sorry for the wait.” She was the exact opposite of authoritative teacher. It took my by surprise so much, a beat or two went by before I realized she was telling us it was our turn!

“Are you ready?” I stammered.

She led us to a table. We had been chosen! The woman at the table looked straight into Gavin’s eyes and introduced herself as the high school vice principal. She shook his hand. She looked at me so I introduced myself. I got the impression she could not care less about who I was, much less the fact that I was even there. No wonder Parker’s English teacher was so shy. The vice principal was nice enough. She just really could not be bothered with anyone else at the table. She had an annoyed, I-got-this vibe about her.

I was largely ignored while the vice principal talked to Gavin and they figured out his schedule. Eventually Gavin was told to go to the library to register his classes. I walked with him wondering how much longer my presence was required. It was pretty late in the day and he was hoping I could just give him a ride home.

We walked into the library where I saw several students registering on computers. The only other adult in the room was a school staff member. I quickly asked her if I needed to stay. Her ambivalent reply was, “Sure, if you want to … it’s pretty boring though. You can be moral support if you need to. Sometimes we can’t tell who’s supporting who though.”

Thanks for clearing up the awkwardness of this increasingly awkward situation.

I stood there as the lady helped Gavin register for his first class. When she walked away I asked him if he wanted me to stay. He was as decisive as the lady. I finally told him I was leaving and I would see him at home in an hour.

So I had done my due helicopter parenting part. It felt like the entire day had been arranged to include the school visit. Now my day was over.

Only it wasn’t. Our neighbor came over to give us the payment for her portion of the retaining wall between our yards. It turned into a house tour. We showed her the backyard and explained our plans. As things were mentioned somehow it turned into walking her through our entire house.

By the time we were done talking to her we realized we were out of time. Gavin and Parker needed to go to the church for Scouts. Parker was dying though. His ears were painfully sore. He was eating some cheese before taking Ibuprofen and a tooth came loose, making chewing quite difficult. It was a moment where everything was happening at once and he was frustrated.

He decided he didn’t want to come eat with us. He just wanted to stay home and wait for his ears to stop throbbing. We rushed to a nearby burger joint where we met the missionaries and a family from the ward treating them to dinner. We ate quickly but there was no time to take anyone home to Parker before Gavin had to be at the church.

Just before we left, Heath had told me to make sure I had my temple recommend with me. I forgot we were going to try to meet with the Bishop to renew our recommends. Heath had almost forgotten as well. We were both very underdressed for the interview. The Bishop gave us the schedule to interview with the Stake Presidency. Our ward was being seen that evening until 8:00. It was 7:30. Off to the stake building.

We finished our interviews there in time to rush back to the ward building to pick up Gavin. I had called Parker a couple of times. The medicine had kicked in and he was in much less pain. On the way home, we stopped off for gas. I was exhausted by the time we got home.

For a wasted day, we sure got a lot done. I was prepared to take Parker to the doctor. When he got up this morning his ears were fine but the gunk had moved to his eye. So one eye is bloodshot but doesn’t hurt and there is no gooey discharge. So I sent him to school with more medicine should he need it. He only took the nasal decongestant at lunch. Kids gave him a hard time about his eye. I have adopted a wait and see attitude. Given how quickly his symptoms move overnight, chances are his eye will be fine by morning.

His once pained throat is now only scratchy. His ears are fine. He has no more sinus headaches. Just the one weird eye. And one less tooth. Every day it seems like less and less of a cold and more and more like we are getting a handle on the crazy allergies. All the rain today was supposed to help knock down the pollen count. My poor baby.

Tonight I get to teach hair and hygiene tips to 16 Activity Day girls between the ages of 8 and 11. It’s been a busy couple of days around here.

Purple Heart

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frisbee

Frisbee has met an untimely demise after violently crashing into a brick wall at school. The boys practicing their mad Ultimate skills were disheartened. They play every day during their lunch break. Losing this valuable piece of plastic was difficult. Its memory has been honored with a purple heart cut out of construction paper.

While the loss has been deep, a replacement Frisbee showed up today. A nice black disc with red lettering. The look is intimidating and professional, being sponsored by the now defunct Ultimate Frisbee League. Memories often are honored by moving forward.

A group of local middle school boys are eager to get back in the game. Credit is given to the previous Scout leader of the disc’s owner. His love for Ultimate Frisbee had him playing weekend games with other Ultimate fans. That love inspired a young man and created a team of friends in Western Washington. They are obsessed with Ultimate Frisbee.

Rest in peace Ultra Star white disc. Rest in peace.

Paying it Forward

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Parker was doing some deep cleaning in his room. He decided that it was time to give away some toys. This is my one kid who actually plays with the toys he begs for. He is a toy man and always has been. I will say that he is always sure of the right time to give toys away. He never looks back and regrets this choice.

I think he has held onto some toys longer because he wanted something to share with young kids who visited our home. I had a couple of visiting teachers who came with young boys. Parker felt good about having those toys handy. We gave away the city rug before we moved. Now he has decided it was time for the Rescue Heroes to inspire another boy’s imagination. He was also ready to give up Buzz Lightyear. Buzz meant a lot to him over the years. But when it’s time, it’s time. I’m not going to hold onto things that aren’t being used on the off chance I end up with visiting teachers who have young boys.

I asked a friend if her son would want the toys. She was very excited to pick them up. Apparently her little boy is a lot like Parker. He loves toys and he plays with the toys he gets. She told me they can’t keep buying him new things every time he earns a reward. So three bags of toys is perfect for him to earn over time. It felt good to pass on the toys to someone who would love them as much as Parker did.

Heath finished up a phone meeting soon after my friend left. We weren’t planning on going to lunch today but meetings were shifted giving him more time than we originally thought. Work is stressful right now so we decided to go out. It’s kind of our guilty pleasure to be able to sit across from each other sipping Diet Coke eating food someone else makes and cleans up.

Sometimes we go to nice sit down places. Other times we go for fast food. Today we ended up at McDonald’s because it’s conveniently located for a late lunch. Funny side story – we decided to go to McDonald’s for dinner when Gavin was at a Scout campout. Gavin hates McDonald’s. Hates it with the burning passion of a thousand suns. We learned that our local McDonald’s gets crazy busy at dinnertime. Mostly with the type of people you see at the post office or the DMV. It was not a fun experience.

Lunchtime at that McDonald’s is quite pleasant. We walked in and there was no line. After finishing our order the cashier asked if we wanted anything else. Just then two missionaries walked in the door. Heath said, “And whatever they want! We’ll pay for their order too.” The missionaries are from another ward in our stake. They were hesitant at first because they don’t know us! We tried to say Mormon things like having a nephew serving a mission right now. Heath’s BYU t-shirt helped.

They took their order to go. I started mixing up my salad while Heath filled our drinks. He sat down and we saw our ward missionaries that we are having over on Saturday. They were happy to report how excited the other elders were that they got their lunch for free! I wondered if we should offer to pay for our own elders. As soon as that thought formed completely I noticed the doorway filling up with several missionary companionships. There must have been a zone conference or something that just let out.

We don’t do nice things for any reward. We do it because people have blessed our lives when we needed it so it feels natural to pay it forward. Although the selfish part of me wouldn’t mind if some good karma came back our way! That would work for me right now.

What if life tasted as good as Diet Coke?

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The sun would not only come out, but it would warm the air too.

People who say they are invested in others’ success would actually invest rather than sabotage.

Insurance companies would accept prior authorizations from doctors thus giving patients access to up to date technology.

Patients wouldn’t have to choose between compliance and cost of living.

Comfort food would come with surprising weight loss rather than a secret side of guilt.

The cast of Labyrinth would really come if you say you need them and help party your stress away.

Time would bend to the snap of your fingers as through the magic of television.

All houses would have two staircases and friends who pop in at whatever door is most convenient to where you are located.

Everyone would have their own soundtrack musically narrating their lives. And a laugh track.

Life isn’t perfect. It’s an adventure with ups and downs, twists and turns, and lots of Diet Coke to add magic. Raise a bottle, glass, or can with me to life made better with caramel colored carbonation and other addictive ingredients. *gulp* Ahhhh …

If you need me, I’ll be in my cell

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Perhaps one of the greatest perks of being a teacher nowadays, is assigning projects as homework. The messier and more elaborate the better. Maniacal laugh.

Parker was given the assignment of making a 3-D model of a cell. He could use any medium he wanted. So he picked food. *cringe* We tried to talk him out of it. We suggested using Lego bricks or anything else that didn’t have a high potential for being turned in as smoosh.

He insisted on food.

Food is an anxiety trigger for me for some reason. And then the assignment was due the day Heath left for San Francisco. Trigger number two. How to survive? Call Grandma.

Parker did his part. He figured out all the cake and candy he would need for each part of the cell. He had an elaborate drawing and everything. Once again we tried to talk him out of this idea. He stuck to his guns. So then he went shopping with his dad for all the refined sugar needed. I’m not even Catholic and I was ready to cross myself.

Luckily we were hosting a family dinner party on Saturday. Grandma and Grandpa came early. Somehow I was roped into preparing the cake to be baked. It was more like all of us were telling Parker to follow the directions and make the cake. When he had a deer in the headlights expression my control issues took over and I ended up mixing cake batter. My kids have led sheltered lives with me not ever really craving sweets.

After dinner the cake had cooled and was ready to be turned into a cell with Grandma. The kitchen turned into a confectioner disaster area. Gobs of icing dotted the countertop. Colored Nerds were scattered everywhere. It felt as though any dish not used for dinner had been used for the cell project. When I was cleaning up I asked Heath why his rolling pin was out and what he wanted me to do with it. He looked tired as he said, “I don’t even want to know why that’s out! I’ll take care of it.”

cell

I have to say, it turned out better than I imagined. Dark thoughts were transmitted telepathically to the teacher for also insisting the cell be labeled. Sometimes I am convinced that teachers are so jealous of parents for their role in children’s lives that the teachers go out of their way to make life difficult. Parker can be very resourceful. He quickly came up with the idea of using the label maker.

Parker had to own this project. He knew I was very much opposed to it along with the timing. Of course rain was forecast for Monday. Rain to rival the rains that inspired Noah to build an ark. Even if I was the kind of parent to take my kid to school, I couldn’t. Gwen still needs to go to school after her brothers leave, and my built in babysitter was in the air jetting toward San Francisco. Parker insisted he was fine carrying the cell.

I couldn’t shake the nightmarish vision of him tripping somewhere between home and school. I read some news story of a kid who tripped up the bus stairs carrying enough cupcakes for his class. The bus driver saw happy birthday smoosh and felt awful. After taking the kids to school she went home to bake and frost replacement cupcakes that she then delivered to the kid’s class. True story! No amount of sympathy could replace an unfortunately scrambled cell. Which is why I took pictures. For evidence. Proof to the teacher that yes, we did the blasted assignment and yes, at one point it looked great.

Overpreparing was unnecessary. Parker and his cell made it safely to school completely intact. He triumphantly brought it home after school. He has been eating it a little bit at a time every afternoon since. It makes my stomach turn but he loves it! For all the grief we gave him beforehand, I’m glad he is enjoying the sugar of his labors. And mad props to Grandma for her role in all of this. When your parents don’t love you, at least you have grandparents who do!

Malibu Ken Returns

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For my 7th birthday I got a Ken doll. Finally Barbie had a man! My Ken had sculpted hair painted dark brown and he had blue eyes. So handsome! His fair toned plastic muscles were constantly flexed with his arms bent at the elbow. My sister had a blond haired, blue eyed Malibu Ken doll with a golden tan.

I married a mix of the two Ken dolls. My man has dark blond hair, blue eyes, and no hint of a tan. Even my pale skin that has been deprived of sun exposure because we live where it’s always the rainy season, is darker than Heath’s skin. That all changed yesterday. He has been in San Francisco on business. And I am jealous.

San Francisco is cold and foggy. At least that’s pretty much my experience. Occasionally temperatures climb and I wonder if I should be more prepared for the impending apocalypse. In the summer San Francisco is a good 30 degrees cooler than where we lived over the hills. In the winter the temperatures are generally the same, sometimes warmer in the city. It depends. Fall is the best time to visit since San Francisco sees its warmest and sunniest temperatures of the year.

That all being said, Heath got a mild sunburn yesterday at lunch with a former boss. The sun was out warming the city into the low to mid 70’s. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we are experiencing monsoon season. Sheets of rain have been steadily falling from the black sky with no sign of letting up for days now. The nurse I met with on Monday said that normally the rain takes a break by now. Once again I am so glad I could enjoy unusual weather in a new place. At least it’s been a warmer rain this week. Highs in the low 50’s. Hello former freezing winter temperatures! Whether or not monsoon season is normal, temperatures in the 70’s are not really the norm for spring in San Francisco.

I’m sure Heath is glad he packed as much as he did. He laughed as he packed outfit after outfit as if he was some Barbie doll. Apparently I’m rubbing off on him. Sometimes you just don’t know what to expect and you want to be prepared for anything. Isn’t that the Scout motto?

Many things contributed to his overpacking – different weather including humidity levels, knowing he would work all day in the office but relax every evening. Last night he ditched his jacket before playing tourist. I tried not to stare at our landscaper friends doggedly leveling our backyard in the deluge. The sun went down soon after Heath left the hotel room but the air stayed surprisingly warm. Hm.

So I may be jealous of his new tan. At least I get to see him soon. Every Barbie needs her Ken.

Busy Day With Nothing to Show For It

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People get so upset on those home improvement shows when they find out a significant portion of their budget is going towards something that will be hidden inside walls. It’s important for safety sake so they do it. But no one sees a proper electrical job. No one saw the shoddy electrical work from before which is how so much of the budget is suddenly allocated to fixing the problem.

Sometimes the days of our lives are the same way. So much effort goes into things that no one ever sees. “Your kids are in school, what do you do all day?” I have no idea. Today I did a whole lot of stuff that adds up to nothing.

I was up earlier than I wanted to be for the second day in a row. Daylight Savings Time isn’t always welcome. The boys got themselves up early which surprised me. Parker turned on every hall light upstairs and every light from the front door to the kitchen once he got downstairs. One was up! Gavin was already in his bathroom when I went down to check on him. Two were up. I went back to my room to watch the news in the dark snuggled under the covers, as is my morning routine.

Lunches were made and boys were sent off to school. Parker took the cell he made out of cake and candy. More on that story later. It took three tries to get Gwen up. On the third time I yelled loud enough she bolted upright in bed immediately apologizing. I felt horrible. Waking up on the wrong side of the bed set her up for a frustrating morning. I felt horrible. There were lots of hugs and lots and lots of quiet, calm encouraging words. I prayed her day would improve. She came home happy enough, so at least that!

Once Gwen leaves I have to talk myself into my workout clothes. Last week I felt a cold coming on. It was an itchy, scratchy throat mixed with feeling worn out. I skipped my last workout to soak in the tub. No regrets. When I looked at that workout I wanted to delete most of the activities. That workout will forever remain a missed workout. No regrets! Somehow I managed to finish today’s workout without completely dying. Just barely.

Then it’s off to the showers. I wondered if I should have skipped today’s workout in the interest of time. I had a doctor’s appointment. The workout happened which made me have to rush to clean up and look like a normal person. I had a whole ten minutes to spare before I had to leave for my appointment! I watched the beginnings of My 600 lb. Life while my heart was in my throat.

I hate going to the doctor. Not only that but I had to drive there. In the rain. By myself. I know, I am such a baby! The clinic is a little over 6 miles away. It takes 20 minutes to get there whether by freeway or twiddly bits backroads. So far I have kept my promise of not ever driving on the freeways here.

Yesterday I drove Heath to the doctor’s office just so I could get a feel for the directions. Today I was on my own. In the pouring rain. Thank heavens for Gina GPS and her directions! Well, once she recalculates after she realizes she can’t get me on the freeway. I got there easily enough. Finding parking was a little tricky but I made it.

On the way home there was a cop car blocking the left lane I needed to take. I approached the squad car with the flashing lights very slowly wondering if there was a way to get around. When I looked down the road to where I needed to be I saw a large semi parked. It’s a two lane road with literally no shoulder to speak of on either side. There is no pulling over. The truck was basically blocking that half of the road. So I took the fork in the road to the right knowing Gina would redirect me. She did. Gina and I fight a lot when I know what I’m doing and she insists I go her way. But if I ever get off track she is very kind in getting me back to where I need to be. I know I can trust her when I’m lost.

The rains came down and the floods came up and I drove through many a lane sized lake. Soon I was home. A Diet Coke was my reward! Gavin texted that he and Parker were on the bus as soon as I pulled into the garage. I didn’t have much time to relax before I had to put my mom hat back on. I sipped my reward in front of the TV.

Homework was done and I helped solve problems. Dinner was made. We listened to a Hank Smith talk for Family Home Evening. Then it was bedtime.

So what did I do today? I’m not quite sure. So much yet so little.

The appointment seemed to rule the day. It was good though. I learned some new things, including the fact that One Touch is now basically obsolete. Medtronic doesn’t support it anymore. I said I have the Bayer Contour Next meter and would really like to use it since I like it better than the One Touch Ultra Link. The process has been started to see if my insurance will cover those strips. So far my last two insurance companies wouldn’t cover it. I was told that if needed, my endocrinologist will be asked to sign a pre-authorization form so I can get the strips I need. Finally someone in my corner!

When I asked my last doctor to get me pre-authorization, nothing seemed to happen. Of course he was an idiot. He knows nothing about diabetes and wrote my One Touch prescription for one test a day. I had to ask him to rewrite it. He couldn’t believe I test 7-10 times a day and still struggle to maintain good control. Um, yeah. I have Type 1 diabetes and am trying to have a machine be my pancreas! Thanks for the support.

Having to change insurance in January after changing in July for our move, ended up being a blessing. I think I only thought I liked that doctor because he was conveniently located. So far I am much more impressed with my new diabetes team members. They know what they’re doing! The drive will get easier. For now I am basking in the glow of having done something that is very hard for me.