December 20, 2021

sentences or not, fit in or not, travel or not, get squished or not, bloodwork wrong or not, & segues galore & news

Ed texted me last week. It said I WANT TO TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO THANK YOU FOR TEACHING ME TO WRITE IN COMPLETE SENTENCES. He was in the middle of a huge group project and he was editing the pages one of the group members contributed. At first I thought maybe he was being sarcastic, which is the default mode for all Shenanigans, so I called him to verify what the message meant. No, he was being genuine. He said this kid could not write a sentence and he was having to fix all of his work. I puffed my chest, and then slumped as I considered that one day this will be Tank in his group work. I've tried, but good grief, Tank resists basic sentence structure. I don't know about you, but when I was a student they still insisted that we write in sentences. 

Speaking of sentences, Mini reads most of my chapters before I share them with my writing group. She is a decent critic and an energetic fan. Most of what I've written was drafted a while ago. I edit HEAVILY to get each chapter up to par before I read for the group. Well, several of my chapters have ended with a similar question, because I believe at one point I learned that a chapter should end with a question, something to compel the reader to keep on reading. It just so happens that a few, OK maybe more than a few, of my chapters have ended with a similar question:  WILL I EVER FIT IN? . . . um, I now realize that this would NOT encourage readers to see what happens next. They might instead toss my book into the nearest garbage bin. 

Friends, it is HARD for me to admit to you, who I hope will someday be excited to read my memoir and have the opportunity to read it, that I have written that sentence MORE.THAN.ONCE. I attribute it to rushing to wrap up the chapter, and getting lazy at the end of the chapter. Well, when Mini proofed the chapter I read this past week, she read those words and she will NOT let me forget it. Perhaps laboring as a professional critic is not in her future as she hurled feedback at me in the form of:  CHEESEY.  And NO YOU DIDN'T. And ARE YOU SERIOUS? You are at a loss though, because you are not able to hear her mock me in a seriously whiney voice "WILL I EV-ERRRR FIT IN? " Her pathetic facial expressions compliment the words perfectly. Needless to say, I have removed that sentence and vow to never print it again. 

Speaking of removing, I had my mammogram last week . . . removing my clothes is the segue here in case you are confused. I usually squeeze this appointment in at the end of the year. Squeeze, get it? Anyway, the woman asked me when I had my last mammogram. Last December. She asked me where. I didn't know. I waited too long last year to schedule and I had to drive to where Jesus lost his sandals, because all appointments near where people actually live were gone. 

She paused. Acted as if I might have to re-robe. What? She was adamant that I remember where I was last time. Well, my exam happened at another office within the SAME group. So just look it up, was my suggestion - said nicely, of course. I'd be dumb to be rude to a woman wielding a boob-squishing machine who could inflict additional pain if she so chose. (I'm kidding, I wouldn't be rude anyway). Um, apparently if I went out of this region, even though it was still through Amita Heath, she couldn't see it in her computer. 

Kind of unrelated, but as I'm getting ready to
 print my envelopes, I want to share with you
 what I found next to the couch in the study
 when I was cleaning for the party I hosted
 last week. It's my old, broken printer kept
 cozy by this Yoda stuffed animal backpack
 that was Tank's when he was little. Who's
 missing a volleyball? What
 on earth? All I want for Christmas is
 to get this place organized. 

I leaned in to examine the calendar on the wall. IS THIS 2021? OR HAVE I TIME TRAVELED? Don't computers track stuff like this? Even or especially for big medical groups? It was weird. She wanted to compare the two photo shoots. Fair enough/good plan, but I'm here, topless, and the clock is ticking and I left Tank home with sleeping toddlers/babies. Can we just get 'er done? I told her I'd call my doc office the moment I left and ask them to look up last year's photo shoot. She agreed. *I did call my doc and 3 minutes later I called Ms. Mammogram and told her where I'd posed last year.* Despite not knowing where I'd been flashing my boobs last year, I proceeded to scrape all skin surrounding my very flat chest in order to plop something on the machine. I checked that off my list.

Speaking of list (is this getting annoying?), I have to make a list of gifts to buy because Coach has decided that we aren't going to take the kids to Budapest. Sigh, sort of. Part of me is relieved or I would've fought to stick to the original/tentative plan. Making that trip happen was a lot to wrap my brain around. Part of me is bummed. The global pandemic sort of killed the pipe dream. 

I suggested we incorporate another dream into Christmas . . . "Let's gift the three youngest with travel plans to Florida over spring break." Coach, relieved that I wasn't begging to do the Budapest thing, was like SURE. They kids will be excited. They still talk about the time we took the 3 of them to Florida for spring break a few years ago (Tank was traveling with his buddy's family, also to Florida). It was a chill, no agenda to sight-see kind of trip, and great weather and we laughed so much. Great memories. 

Speaking of Florida (wait for it), I had my physical yesterday. All bloodwork was normal, except I have VERY high cholesterol. My number was 186, I think, and medication is recommended if it's 190. Hello, look at me, twinning with Suz in Florida. The doctor and I:  shocked. I eat healthy. I do put cheese on my salad and my Mexican food, and hello sour cream. The doc was confused. I workout daily. She wonders if it was a fluke. We're re-testing in 3 months. She also wonders if it's in my genes. DO YOUR SIBLINGS HAVE THIS? Well, as of Tuesday Pat didn't know what I do for work. Cholesterol hasn't come up.

Tank even took photos
 while he was at the park.
I was able to get my physical and my allergy shots done Wednesday last week, because I enlisted Tank's help. It was over 60 degrees. I sent him to the park with 4 toddlers while the baby slept and I worked on arranging the photos in the margins of my annual Christmas poem. I got a lot done while chuckling at what I was hearing in the next room. 

During lunch Tank said things like EAT YOUR FOOD, OR I'LL EAT YOU. and his old standby that makes no sense, but the kids love it RAISE YOUR HAND IF YOU'RE AN ARMADILLO. 

I think some people can get away with not being all that great at sentence structure. 

Oh, the basement fridge - officially needs to be replaced. Repair isn't an option. And to keep things interesting, the dishwasher isn't working. Fortunately I have two - glad I put my foot down on installing 2 when we did the addition, but they've been out to fix this one twice. It was new in 2017. A Bosch. *Eye roll.* 

3 tots eating with Tank, never boring.
 The baby is behind him in the high
chair. That's right - we've
 got him surrounded.

Any recent times when you wondered what year it was? Any family members who struggle with sentences, but have plenty of positive attributes? Surprised by bloodwork? Anyone else squeezing in year end doc visits? Do tell, and if you're like me and finding it hard to find time to get everything done, I hope you have a Tank-like substitute to step in and 'be you' for a bit. My tots are sure to be bored with me from here on out. I have a post set for Wednesday, but in case you aren't back, have a very wonderful Christmas or whatever you celebrate. 



Ally Bean said...

Yes, I had to write in complete sentences when I was in school and college. I occasionally use fragments, but only for emphasis. I like the challenge of writing properly. Keeps my brain clicking. [See what I did there?]

As for wondering what year it is... about daily I wonder this. I'm trying to plan med visits and vacations for 2022, while remembering that in many cases 2019 or 2020 was the last time I did something. I am often flummoxed.

Nicole said...

Oh no! Poor Mini! I hope she recovers quickly.

Ugh, so sorry about your fridge and dishwasher! Good luck getting new ones! I just replaced my dryer which is the easiest appliance to live without, so I am feeling very lucky.

ccr in MA said...

Oh, poor Mini, I hope it isn't too bad. And so sorry for all your upset plans. And the dishwasher, and the fridge ... whew, it's a lot all at once.

Pat Birnie said...

Oh no. Sorry to hear about Mini. I hope it’s a mild case and doesn’t go through the house.

Also sorry to hear about your cholesterol. I just went through the same thing this year - my cholesterol is borderline plus I have “some” heart disease. I have always been healthy and exercise daily - I’ve run 19 marathons for goodness sake! To top that off, we even changed our diet to 90% vegetarian 3 years ago to improve my husbands cholesterol. I was told to continue my healthy lifestyle and accept that it’s sometimes genetic. (My otherwise healthy mother died suddenly of a heart attack at 88- so it seems I inherited it from her). It is disappointing though, I get it.

Jenny in WV said...

I got (still get) terrible writers cramp as a kid, so I wasn't a fan of complete sentences either.

A no agenda trip to Florida sounds awesome! I've been to Florida a few times, but each trip had an agenda that wasn't my idea of lots of fun (aka I don't like rides - Disney is not my thing).

Due to user error, I didn't leave a comment on your last post, but I was going to give you a list of things the dog chewed (and still likes to chew) and also note that the high bed is sometimes called a Captain's bed, which makes it sound classier than it actually is.

Hope Mini feels better soon and the rest of you stay healthy!

Kari said...

Oh no, Mini. It might be a quiet Christmas. And by quiet, I mean loud by our standards. :)

I haven't had bloodwork in years, so I'm overdue. I can't believe you have high cholesterol. If you do, there is no hope for the rest of us.

Beth Cotell said...

Oh no! Well maybe a laid back Christmas will be just the thing you need. Think of all the organizing you can get done!! Seriously though, I hope no one else gets sick and that you guys have a lovely Christmas. Also, Mini mocking you with your own words has me rolling with laughter. Teen daughters can be brutal!

Charlie said...

Oh no, poor Mini. I hope she’s on the mend and feels better very soon. I also hope she keeps it to herself.

Think of all the extra time you have now you’re not babysitting. Florida sounds fab. That’s definitely one of our favourite holiday destinations.

Gigi said...

Yes, complete sentences were mandatory when I was in school. I remember in high school once I was put into an English class full of people who could NOT write in complete after the first term paper, we were then made to do basic worksheets for the rest of the year. Well, THEY did, I did all my worksheets at one go and then spent the rest of the year using this class as a study hall to get all my homework done.

Oh no! Poor Mini! I'm so sorry and hope she only has a mild case and recovers quickly!

Busy Bee Suz said...

Poor Mini-I hope that was the worst of it (chills) and that no one else becomes affected. :( What a sucky Christmas gift!

I notice a lot of people can't write properly much less sentence structure. I mean, I went to high school with some of them and some have COLLEGE degrees. How does that happen? How did you fake it for 16 years?

I'm so sorry about your Cholesterol. I hope you didn't catch it from me! BTW: mine was around 215-250, so you are still winning when it comes to it being lower. Hopefully it was just a fluke, but maybe check with your siblings and parents? Also, put in your newsletter what you do for a living. Ok?

Armadillos don't have long arms. I LOL'd at his silly phrase!!

Bee well.

Maddie said...

Ugh. Poor Mini! What a lousy time to get sick. Hope she feels better soon and everyone else stays healthy.
Florida sounds like a perfectly wonderful substitute! All that sunshine and I bet they have swimming pools! :-)
Hope you and your fam have a wonderful Christmas!

Suzanne said...

Oh no! I'm so sorry mini has Covid! Hopefully she gets past the yucky part quickly. So sorry you aren't able to work this week either! What a bummer! Wishing you all a healthy and happy christmas.

Ernie said...

Ally - Yes, fragments for emphasis. I like it. Otherwise, I think kids need to get with the program. I edited Reg's essay today on Brit Lit. It was unpleasant. Understatement.

How can it be about to be 2022 when I'm still confused about what year we are in?

Ernie said...

Nicole - Mini felt lousy for 24 hours. Now she's just bored.

My dishwasher WILL be fixed. Damn it. The repair guy comes out again Thursday. This time I insisted they bring a part or two. A sensor seems to be messed up. The dang thing fears that it is leaking, but it IS NOT, thank goodness, LEAKING. So new sensor, or new control board, PLEASE. We are using the fridge, that stays partially cold, in the basement to keep veggies and the freezer works, so bonus. I guess we are just too busy to replace it, so it's just like doing a giant jigsaw puzzle every day trying to fit stuff that we don't want to spoil in the main fridge.

Ernie said...

ccr - It is a bummer timing with covid in the house, but we're hoping that it stops with Mini. The appliance thing is irritating, but we are managing. Grateful for the 2nd dishwasher.

Ernie said...

Pat - It does seem to be a mild case. No one else has gotten it. Fingers crossed.

Sorry to hear about your cholesterol troubles. I can't imagine changing my diet AGAIN. I do hope it's a fluke, but I will adjust if need be. I won't eat fish though. I have my standards.

Ernie said...

Jenny - I am dying at Captain's bed. Lawdy, please don't tell Lad. That's all we need. Him thinking he's a captain. Why is it so hard for him to keep the sheets ON the bed? Yes, Florida does sound great. No agenda. Yep.

Mini has a mild case. So far no one else has it.

Ernie said...

Kari - Yes, Mini being sick sucks. What sucks more is that a girl on her basketball team came to school for a week with a fever and not feeling well and didn't bother to get tested until she'd shared it with half the team. I'll let you know how she handles the bill I plan to send her for my lost income after I couldn't babysit this week.

I laughed that everyone is in trouble if I have high cholesterol.

Ernie said...

Beth - Yes, loads of organizing will be done on Christmas. Mini mocking me was so funny. Merry Christmas to you too. Thanks.

Ernie said...

Charlie - I am getting a lot done without babysitting and I can't imagine how I would've gotten it done with the short people here. Yes, we love Florida.

Ernie said...

Gigi - What kind of school did you go to? That's awful. Mini has a mild case, thankfully.

Ernie said...

Suz - Yes, chills is the worst of her symptoms - unless you count the kids screaming at her to keep her distance and triple mask, etc.

What are they teaching kids? I would venture to say after our time with H and D that all they care about is NEW MATH. Well, it might be time to start teaching them how to write a new sentence. I am not a tutor. Why are my children relying on me to teach them to write a sentence?

I am laughing that I could've caught my cholesterol issues from you. I am hoping for the fluke as the solution here. That'd be the best, right? Messing with my diet would blow. I rarely eat anything fun anyway - take away red meat and sour cream? It's a cruel world.

The armadillo thing is so funny. Not sure he considered that they have short arms. I never really know what he is going to do with them next. He once carried a baby girl around and made all the toddler boys kiss her hand and call her princess while they were eating breakfast before school. He's a laugh and a half until one of them stinks, then it's all GOOD LORD DO YOUR JOB AND CHANGE THEM.

Ernie said...

Maddie - Florida is my kind of vacation, if I'm honest. Going to a foreign country is work. With kids. Extra work. Unsure if they'd know what gluten is - a real nightmare. We can just be uncultured and hang in Florida.

Back at you with the Christmas wishes. Here's hoping the gifts wrap themselves because I'm about done here with all of the extra work.

Ernie said...

Suzanne - Thanks, yes it seemed to be a mild case. The nice thing is kids her age can take care of themselves and they just sleep a ton when they feel lousy. We are bracing for a quiet Christmas which will be more of the same - taking hours to choose a movie we all like and eating until we want to pop. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Bibliomama said...

From what I've heard from actual doctors in our family, high cholesterol is almost always hereditary and if you have it diet and exercise isn't going to move it - medication is necessary. It's not something you should feel like you should have improved.
Is this three of your kids that have had Covid now? What crappy timing for this one. What a blessing to have a son who's that great with toddlers, though!

Ernie said...

Ali - I almost hope there isn't anything I can do to help the cholesterol because then I can still eat my favorite barbeque pork dinner that is so easy to make in the crock pot. Not excited to limit my diet any more than I already have.

Yes, 3. Ed had it with no symptoms a few weeks into college. Tank had it in early December last year - cost me a butt load of income. Now Mini. This was crappy timing, but she also didn't miss a ton of school, which was good. Tank is crazy good with toddlers. Honestly though, most of my kids - even the other boys, are good with the littles. They can distract them, make them laugh, feed them, read them books. They've been immersed in a world of babies and tots for 7 years, so it they know their way around small people. The boys' future wives will thank me someday. Am I right?