Archive for 2006

Scrooged

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

Ever have one of those days where you just wished that you had never gotten out of bed? After returning from a great Thanksgiving vacation with my sister and her husband, Jeff was told that the “company” he worked for would no longer exist. He was closing down and getting out of the home remodeling business. I suspected this was going to happen at some point – geez when you agree to pay your ex-wife $4000 a month in alimony (which is almost the equivalent pay of 2 of the 3 employees of the “company”) how on earth could you ever expect to stay afloat?

The timing just sucks. Jeff’s upset that he wasn’t told before Thanksgiving. He would have canceled the trip. I suspect that’s why he wasn’t told until after he got back. But here we are 25 days before Christmas and Jeff is unemployed. Not the greatest time of the year to find full time work either. Couple that with no savings and just having taken off for 2 days without pay…it’s times like these that I wished we did have something lined up in another state.

Maybe when I’m not so bummed out and have had a little more sleep (I woke up at 3AM this morning and got out of bed at 4AM) I’ll tell you about the Thanksgiving to remember.

The Effects Of Absentee Parenting On A Home Schooler

Monday, October 23rd, 2006

I was always concerned that Megan was not getting a well-rounded education while being home schooled. She was missing out of things like Guidance Counseling, Career Counseling and work-study. She has had no exposure to the real working world either. An involved parent could have made up for the absence of these public school services. I tried to expose Megan to the type of work I do – I even hired her part time to do a few small projects for me. Her uncle also had her do a small project where he works at – he works for a direct mail company. Much of what I needed to teach her was hindered by her not having a PC. We did give her a PC for Christmas but it’s difficult to teach her all that she would need to know with her living in another state.

But I digress as usual. Megan wasn’t exposed to different career opportunities while she home schooled herself. I once asked her about the possibility of working with her father – his reply was that she needed a college education. On the surface that’s a good answer but it’s not one that would motivate her.

You can image how excited I was when Megan called telling me she had found the career she wanted to pursue – a Dental Assistant. Granted she came to this conclusion after seeing a commercial for the school she is going to on TV. This is where the benefit of a work-study program comes in. I was exposed to data entry and worked as a newspaper staff photographer through my high school work-study program. Then in my senior year as most high school students do – I got a part-time job. I didn’t have a car or a driver’s license but I had a job. Megan hasn’t been exposed to low paying service industry type jobs that could motivate her to want to do better. Instead her absentee parent told her to focus on finishing high school – again on the surface is not a bad suggestion.

So now after a few weeks of dental school the excitement has worn off. A few weeks back she mentioned nursing school. While that is even much better than dental school I still don’t know if that’s the line of work Megan would enjoy. It’s much better paying but it’s also a much harder field – it’s very demanding.

At this point I don’t know if she’s just having problems with the work or just doesn’t like it. If she’s having problems with her studies she will have a much harder time in nursing. If she just doesn’t like AND is doing well in her current program she will probably do just fine.

The other issue (which is not my concern) is that she has signed a contract for this program. More than likely, her father will have to pay for the entire program even if she doesn’t finish it.

So why do I feel like I have failed Megan when it’s been her father that has encouraged this? Maybe she should consider enlisting in the Air Force – I did at age 19 after working in retail for 3 years.

Reunions and Remodeling

Friday, October 13th, 2006

Got an email the other day – the Overseas Brats group is putting together a “HH Arnold High” reunion in 2007. It started out as a “1980 and after reunion” but has begun to change to include those from the 1970’s. Now people are registering and more than 100 Wiesbaden Warriors are interested or planning on coming. The location is Dallas, Texas in August 2007. They are already taking hotel reservations. Considering I have never been to a reunion, this might be the one to go to. I guess I had better start saving up for it now.

Jeff brought how some left over patio pavers for me to make a spot for my grill out in the back yard. It got me thinking about all the other little things that I’d like to do. Unfortunately, even little projects have “big” price tags. Things like removing the carpet from the stairs, then putting in wooden treads and replacing the interior doors can add up quickly. Then add hardwood floor and a kitchen remodeling. Then back outside to put in a patio, brick up the underside of the sun porch, put French door in the sun porch…guess I’d better find some really good freelance jobs.

At least Jeff’s Christmas wishlist isn’t as pricy as mine.

Post-Op Follow Up

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006

Haven’t really felt like posting anything in a while. Pre-op on Tuesday was rough because my veins are so tiny – I looked like a pin cushion. Three attempts to draw blood – finally got it from the back of my hand. Surgery was Friday (Sept 30). Had to be there at 5AM – more attacks on my tiny veins. The nurse blew the vein on my right hand but got the IV in on my left. I told her it hurt pretty bad but I didn’t want to go through another round of darts. Next it was off to the surgical holding area – I love the warm blankets – very calming. Went over the anesthesia with the anesthesiologist – mentioned the IV was still hurting but it didn’t look blown so again I figured I was going to be out soon enough. I get rolled into the cold OR and moved to the table. Another warm blanket. Next the mask – that thing is a little heavy and actually hard to breathe with it on. So now my shoulders are getting cold, no way to ask for another blanket and my doctor is running “late”. The chatter in the room leads me to understand he’s usually early. Finally I hear on the 2-way that he’s on his way – time to sleep.

So next I’m waking up in recovery – huge ice pack on my knee. Last round of vitals and I’m off to a room to stabilize before they let me go home. The IV comes out and my hand immediately swells – at least the damn thing was out. The nurse brings me crackers and Sprite. Talk about syrupy sweet. I had already decided I wasn’t going to mention nausea – the last time I did it delayed me getting out by almost 2 hours. In hindsight I guess I should have. I was so sick after I got home. Jeff took good care of me at home – if I needed something I just pushed the Nextel.

I was up walking around on Saturday – used the crutches more for stability than to stay off the knee. Got very comfortable on the loveseat with my knee all propped up for the ball game. Spent Sunday on the couch in my cocoon all propped up watching movies. Did a little more “walking” around without crutches – was able to up the stairs but still not enough bend in my knee to go down. My knee was still very very swollen.

Stayed home Monday, still had issues with swelling – it was finally starting to come down, but as it did that awful “pinch” was back. The pain is very sharp, enough so that it throws me off balance, even causing me to stumble.

I thought my doctor’s appointment was Tuesday but when I got there I found out it was actually supposed to be Wednesday. They got me in, I got the stitches out and asked about the “pain”. Got the expected reply – well it’s going to be sore for a while, yada yada. Okay, I’ll give it a month. I almost feel like I should use a cane to keep me steady when I hit that “spot” – it takes my breathe away.

Thursday will be the first Physical Therapy session – I’m going to ask if they have a copy of the surgical report. The PA that saw me showed me part of it and I need to learn more about the Grade III/IV stuff I saw. It was related to that “spot” that hurts.

The Old Grey Mare

Tuesday, September 19th, 2006

Well, that’s what I feel like at the moment. Went back to my orthopedic surgeon today because of the problems I have been having with right knee that started when I was out in San Diego. Now I’m scheduled for surgery number 6 to include Arthroscopy, Meniscectomy (this would be the 6th one of those) and Chondroplasty (that’s a new one to me). Chondroplasty means ‘reshaping the joint surface’ – ouch. I like Dr. Adkison – he’s a straight shooter – no need to go through another MRI – with my history, previous Arthroscopy and the amount of swelling I have he knew what was wrong. He said I could have tried going the physical therapy route but the “relief” would probably be temporary, if any.

I suspect all the walking I did in San Francisco didn’t help any. Then being on my feet while in San Diego and the walking in Knoxville for the TN – AF game. But I wouldn’t trade those memories for the world.

Just means I won’t be coaching the little kids for a while but I had already warned the folks running the program that I could be out.