Do you know what today is? That's right! It's October 28, exactly 1 month until my new grand daughter is due. I'm still not sure that it has even sunk in, yet. But, in about a month or so, I will be a new grandmother! I'm also ashamed to say that I have not picked out a "grandma" name. I've got to get on the ball! I STILL have not found anything that sounds fitting.
Speaking of Justin and Chelsea, the last update I gave you had Justin out of a job. That has not changed as of yet, but there is hope on the horizon. He applied for a driver's helper for the upcoming holiday season with UPS. He has an interview next Thursday! I know it is only seasonal, but it's better than nothing! It would be great if it would get his foot in the door with UPS. But, I don't want to get ahead of myself. He is also checking into taking some classes to keep his schooling going. We all know that education is the key to a better future. He doesn't want to live in Scottsboro for the rest of his life.
Justin and his band, Wild Tangent, are playing a "gig" this Friday and Saturday night in Scottsboro. They are actually going to get paid. It probably won't be a huge amount by the time they divide it 5 ways, but it's a start.
On a different note, Chase and Jordan had their pictures in the same local newspaper on the same day this week! At first we heard about Chase's pic. We immediately went out and bought a few papers. There was an awesome shot of him diving to make a tackle. Kevin said that Superman didn't have anything on Chase! So, we were all happy about the pic. The next day at school, I was showing it around to some of the people I work with. Kevin called me after lunch and said that Jordan was in that paper, too. His picture was in an insert about half-time shows. He was standing there jamming on the bass guitar. So, I was a proud momma, indeed!
I did it! I am taking a vacation day to just stay at home all by myself! I love my family, but it is so nice to have just a little time at home alone. I'm not sure what I will do today. Just hang out and play it by ear, I guess. I will probably do a little house work because it is so much easier to do when there isn't someone messing things up right up behind me. I may catch up on some of the stuff I have recorded on my DVR. I am WAY behind on The Young and The Restless. So don't worry too much. I plan to do more relaxing that houseworking!
Last night was our last home game of the season. This also means that it was senior night. :-( It was be Chase's last game at Aggie stadium. This can't be right! It was just yesterday that he was playing on the junior high team. Wasn't it? Maybe not. But, time goes so quickly. He said that he is ready for it to be over. He just doesn't realize. These people that he has gone to school with since kindergarten will go their separate ways. Some, he will never see again. It's like a family.
I remember my graduation. It started raining at the last minute. It was supposed to be held at the football field. Instead, they had to move it all indoors while we waited under the breezeway. I'm glad the plans changed that night, because I remember looking around at all my classmates and wondering if I'll ever see half of these people again. Isn't it too bad that we often realize this stuff too late? If only we'd had more time. Now, through the miracle of Facebook, I have had a chance to reconnect with lots of those old classmates. It has been wonderful. Even if it is across the miles, I can keep up with what is going on with my friends.
So, last night they recognized the seniors at the football game. I was dreading this night all season. I did okay when Justin was a senior. But, for some reason, it seems to be harder this time. Maybe it is because I still had two others in school. Now, I will be down to one. Boy, I really will have a tough time when he's a senior. I don't want to think about that right now! I still have 2 years after this one. Then, I'll be blogging again...if I can fight through the tears!
Here are some pictures of my little boy who is growing up faster than I want him to!
Chase #35 in 7th grade; #26 Jose (a fellow team mate)
Chase #11; #23 Jose now; (#60 is not the same kid in the picture above)
Chase's introduction during senior recognition last night
That's what I'm trying to do. I am so sick of all the clutter around my house. It just makes the housework so hard. I have just started noticing all the crap that is everywhere. It's just in the way. I have started working on getting it cleared out. I've started in my kitchen. I'm trying not to get overwhelmed and crash and burn. (With Flylady's help) Just a little at a time. It's gonna take awhile, but I know that if I just do a little each day, I'll start to notice. I guess it took me finally getting tired of it to start doing something about it. So, my motto is going to be SIMPLIFY. I'll keep you updated on my progress.
I joined the gym today. The local radio station is sponsoring a free month to get people to feel the benefits of exercise. I feel them alright! I walked for 30 minutes on the treadmill, and you would think that I ran a marathon! I'm not sore. I'm just drained! I'm sure I'll feel better tomorrow after I get some rest. My friend, Penny, is going with me tomorrow. She has been going for a couple of weeks already. We are going to encourage each other. So, hopefully, this will be the turning point of a healthier, leaner me. I'll let you know how it goes.
I love Fall, and I love Halloween. I'm still a kid at heart. I remember reciting this poem as a little girl. I had forgotten the words, so I looked them up. Now, I'm sharing them with y'all.
Five Little Pumpkins Sitting On A Gate
Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate,
The first one said,
"Oh my, it's getting late."
The second one said,
"But we don't care."
The third one said,
"I see witches in the air."
The fourth one said,
"Let's run, and run, and run."
The fifth one said,
"Get ready for some fun."
Then whoosh went the wind,
and out went the lights,
And five little pumpkins rolled out of sight!
Good Saturday morning, friends. It's one of those cold, windy, cloudy days here in Alabama. At least it's not raining...yet. I've been a bit down and out the last few days. Feeling sorry for myself for feeling more like a maid and less like a wife and mother. Things are getting better, but I still do 99% of the housework around here...and hold down a full-time job. Lately it's been more than a full-time job. I've had to bring some things home to work on. But, I am seeing a light way down there at the end of the tunnel.
We headed out to Scottsboro last night. Our football team played there, and since Justin and Chelsea live there, they invited us to eat supper with them. It was a good time. They cooked barbeque chicken, green beans, potatos, shells & cheese, and rice. Chelsea is really beginning to poke out there! It's just a little over a month now until Millie will make her appearance. It's gonna be so great! Justin still hasn't found a job. He is feeling pressure from Chelsea's parents, mainly her mom. It's a bad situation because I don't know enough about Scottsboro to even go help him look for a job there. Around here, I know the places to go, and we have some connections here and there that could probably help. Justin wants to live here. He wants for them to be truly out on their own. Instead, they live in a mobile home that her parents are paying for, behind their house. As long as that's the case, they are going to be nose-ing their way into their business whenever it's convenient for them. I told him that Chelsea would have to be the one to get tired of it before anything would be done about it. I hope this situation works itself out soon.
On a positive note, our team won last night! It was another muddy one, but they pulled it out. The season is about to wind down. There's just a few more games to watch Chase play. He did ask me what I thought about him playing baseball this year. I told him that it was entirely up to him. He used to play, and he was pretty good. And then, back when Kevin's mom passed away, it was around the time to try out again. He decided not to. There was just too much stuff going on. He didn't play the following season, either. But, I think that since this is his senior year, he has decided to give it another go. We'll see. If so, I'll have to get the warm clothes and portable heater ready because baseball starts in February, and it is one cold season!
But, isn't it funny how the weather affects our moods? It seems that most of the people I've talked to lately have been down and out, including me. It's just a dreary state-of-mind. I wonder if it is because God just wants us to appreciate things, like the sun. It did briefly peep out today. I noticed it. I told the girls in the office to hurry up and look because it probably wouldn't be out for long. I was right. One girl, Cindy, that I work with said that all this rain makes her feel like everything is dirty. She said that her floors get mud and wet stuff tracked in, and it doesn't do any good to clean them, because they are just gonna get that way again in a matter of minutes. I heard another person mention that the animals were pairing up outside...waiting on the Ark, no doubt.
It's just hard to have a good outlook when it has been so dreary. We have sat out in a couple of football games right after a big storm and watched the players do their best to hang onto the ball all the while slipping and sliding in the mud. There's another game tomorrow night, and I haven't heard how the weather is supposed to be. Let me guess. Rain. I do remember hearing that it is supposed to get really chilly this weekend. Maybe our first real feel of Fall?
I'll take it...as long as Mr. Sunshine comes along with it!
We received some exciting news yesterday. Our high school band as been accepted to march in the 2011 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California!!! WHOOO HOOO!!! We went to Hollywood with them back when Justin was in 9th grade. That was 2003. We had a blast! I am really looking forward to this. We have a little over a year to save up for it. We don't know the cost yet, but hopefully, they will shed some light on that at the next band booster meeting. They are very good at allowing the kids to do fund-raising for these trips and all the profits go straight to that student's account.
I am so proud of our band. They have an awesome program every year. They have marched in the Macy's parade about 4 or 5 times...I've lost count. They've been on a Bahamas cruise 2 times. And remember, this band has over 200 members. They are extremely well-behaved, which allows them the freedom to be able to go on these great trips.
Here's a video from their half-time show last year.
just like He has me many times. With all the things that have been happening in my life lately, I have felt Him trying to get my attention. But, I have been ignoring Him. Do you ever do that? I knew He was there all the time, yet I felt like I had let him down, and if I would just ignore Him, then I could go on handling things myself, when all I had to do was to turn to Him for help. He always takes me back, no matter what I've done or how I've treated Him. He loves you and me that much. Please continue to pray for me and my family.
Our homecoming game was NOT a good one. We got beat 37-7. Bummer. I don't know why we always play hard teams on homecoming! We had rain and tornado warnings all around, and the game was delayed about an hour. It wasn't quite as muddy as it was when we played Etowah, though. But, you could see the water splash up when the players got tackled. Chase got the breath knocked out of him during the last minute of the game. He was okay. Thank God. But, the funnest part of the week was the festivities leading up to homecoming night.
At my school we started out with "Hats off to the Aggies" day on Tuesday. We all wore our hats to school. And then, on Thursday we had "Roll Over the Wildcats" day. We all wore our "biker" gear. We were a scary bunch!
Recognize this chick?
On Friday, our senior football players visited classrooms to read the kids a book. Those little kids had a blast...and I suspect those players did, too. They got to see how those kids look up to them. Since Chase is a senior this year :*( , he was one who got to come. Later, we had a pep rally at our school and the cheerleaders from the junior high came. It was a fun week.
So, you probably know that one of my sons, Jordan, plays bass guitar in the high school marching band. (I might have mentioned it a time or two!) Well, during the parade, there is no need for the bass guitars. Who wants to push that huge amp all over town?! So, Jordan's backup instrument is the alto sax. Most of the band members have to wear white gloves. Since Jordan plays bass, he has no need of white gloves...until he is going to play saxophone in the parade! So, he and I take off after school today to the only place in our podunk town that I know carries white band gloves (or white gloves of any kind, for that matter!). It turns out, they are closed on Thursdays. We tried one of the local tuxedo rental stores. No dice. So, we just about decided to just let him explain to the band director that he has no white gloves since he doesn't use them anymore. So be it. But, I had one more hat trick that I wanted to try.
Here's what I posted: "HELP!!!! Does anyone know where to get white band gloves besides B&C Music?!!! They are closed today. :( "
To which came the reply from a co-worker friend: "I don't know about band gloves but I was just in Wal-Green's in the halloween stuff and they had black gloves and white gloves."
I headed straight to Walgreens, which is only about 3 minutes from my house. Made my way to the Halloween section and desparately started searching for white gloves. After a few minutes, I spotted the black gloves, looked hanging behind them, and lo and behold, there were the coveted white gloves that Jordan needed. Who cares that they were Dracula gloves?! They were white. They would serve the purpose. And, they were only $2.99! I snagged those babies right up, paid for them, and took them home to Jordan.
Jordan put them on his massive hands only to realize that they barely fit over his hand. The bottoms of the fingers came up to his knuckles, but they would do. I carried him to meet up with the rest of the band.
So, when the band came by during the parade, I looked and looked for Jordan wielding his saxophone. I couldn't find him! Well, we have over 200 in our band, so I decided that I must have just missed him. But then, there on the back row, he came walking by, no saxophone, just walking. But, he had on those Dracula gloves...or so I thought.
This is the sweet part. There is another bass player in the band. He's a short, scrawny little fellow; one grade ahead of Jordan. He doesn't really look like a bass guitar player, whatever one is supposed to look like. After we all got home from the parade, Jordan said that he didn't have a band hat, anymore, so they just had them to walk with the band, no playing saxophone. He also told me that someone else in the band had an extra pair of "real" band gloves, and they gave them to him to wear. Well, the other little bass player dude asked Jordan if he had any white gloves. Jordan told him that he did, and that they would actually probably fit him better anyway. He also told him that they were Dracula gloves. To which he replied...
Jordan (in black) & the other dude (with the Dracula gloves)
That's the way things are going, lately. Kevin is doing a lot better, as far as I can tell. We go in the morning to the mental health center to start that process. It will be good to finally get an evaluation done by people who know about this stuff. So, this situation is moving right along now, but...
Justin called today and said that he doesn't have a job anymore. He went in to work this shortened-already 3-day week today only to be told that they did not need any of the temps anymore. So, he went back home. He still technically works for the staffing agency, so he is going to talk to them tomorrow when he goes to pick up his check. Maybe they will have something else for him. He said that he really wants to find a job on his own. That would be great. Then maybe he could get benefits. But, now is not the best time to be looking for a job. I worry about him and Chelsea. The baby will be here around the end of November, and I really hope he has a job way before then. She is on Medicaid and WIC, so at least that is taken care of. Please just keep them in your prayers. Pray that he will find the right job soon.
On a brighter note, it's homecoming week in Albertville. We play the Ft. Payne Wildcats, who have beaten us about 9 times in a row. I wonder why our homecoming is always scheduled with hard teams? I mean, how fun is it to celebrate a loss at the homecoming dance?! My boys are dateless this year. That's fine with me! Those homecoming corsages are expensive! I asked them if they were going to the dance, and they both said that nobody goes to those. Oh well. Things have really changed since I was in high school. Tomorrow evening will be the homecoming parade. I'll take pictures and post some. It's time to make this blog groovy again.
So, things are moving right along. Kevin is feeling a lot better. He said that he still doesn't feel totally like he thinks he should feel, but the medicine does take time to really start working. We are still going to the mental health center on Thursday to get the ball rolling on that. Hopefully, we will get him back on track soon. I can already see a major difference in him.
Justin and Chelsea came down for the weekend. That little belly is really starting to grow! It won't be very long now. I still haven't figured out what I want my grandkids to call me. I am still holding out for a hip grandma name...and nothing that everyone else is being called, either. I better put on my thinking cap and decide, or it will be decided for me.
Justin called me Monday morning and said that the place where he has been working cut his hours down to 3 days a week. This is just after he went in on Saturday and worked overtime! He said that he is gonna have to start looking for another job. He is still technically working for the staffing agency, so I told him to talk to them and see if they had anything else full-time. I was disappointed, as was he. We really hoped that this would turn into a regular job for him. Oh well. I guess things happen for a reason. There must be bigger and better things out there for him.
(Picking up where I left off with my last post. This was written on Thursday.)
The next morning after the ER visit, I proceeded to call the doctor's office that the screener told us to. The lady I talked to told me that she would have to call back that afternoon to see what they could do. She didn't call back. I called back around 3 p.m. and got their voicemail. I left a message to see if she had found out anything. When I talked to Kevin a little later and told him that I was trying to get him an appointment with the psychiatrist, he decided to try to call for himself. They answered the phone this time. The lady told him that she was still trying to work something out, and that she would call him between 4:30 -- 5:00 p.m. She didn't! I called at 5:30 and left a "nice" little message that my husband needed help, and it would be nice if she would do, at least, what she said that she would do.
The following day. (Wednesday) She must have gotten my message. She called Kevin. She told him that she knew it was frustrating, but they were booked solid, and she was hoping for a cancellation, or to be able to move some people around so that they could help him. Kevin told her that he just needed some medication until they could see him. She told Kevin that she would have to talk to the doctor, and she would call him back. Sure. Kevin and I were both beginning to get very irritated. I got home from work that day, and she still had not called him back. Surprise. Surprise. So, I proceeded to call. Got the voicemail. I was very nice and considerate and told her that Kevin just wanted to know if she had gotten a chance to talk to the doctor yet. A short time later, she called back and talked to Kevin. She asked him his age. Told them that they were booked solid into January, and that they had thought that they could send him somewhere else to be seen...but he was over the age limit! WHAT?!! Kevin was so mad!! I was, too. He told her that whatever happened would be on that doctor's hands. He hung up and threw his phone across the living room. He screamed. He hit the wall with his fist a few times. He grabbed his head. He asked why he wasn't important enough to get some help.
And, she didn't bother to call back...
What is a person to do that needs psychological help around here?!! We must live in just a God-awful podunk place. Of course, they told him that he could go back to the ER if he got bad. We CANNOT do that EVERYDAY!!!! He's out of work, and he just needs to be properly diagnosed and given the proper medication. That's all we ask. Is that so much?!
After all this took place, Kevin's sister called their brother who had dealt with a similar situation in his family. He suggested Brookwood Medical Center in Birmingham. It was 1 1/2 hours away, but he said that they could help Kevin. So, we took off there last night. They asked Kevin if he would be willing to stay. He said that he would be fine with whatever because he just wanted to get better. We followed a security guard to the psych ward. They asked Kevin to turn out his pockets. They checked him for weapons and such. They gave me a paper with instructions on how to get in to see him, and the visiting hours. I gave Kevin a kiss and left him there. The look on his face when I walked out said, "I'm sorry I am letting you down." But, he's not. I love him. I just want him to get better and enjoy life again. It will be better on us all.
I got a call from Kevin this morning (Thursday). He seemed okay. He told me that he DID NOT belong on that floor. There were some looney toons there. He said if he stayed on that floor much longer, he WOULD be crazy! He told me that they had mentioned moving him. The nurse didn't even think he belonged there. I haven't heard from him any more today. Visiting hours are from 7:30--8:30 tonight. Maybe he won't have to be in there for very long. Let's hope so.
UPDATE: (Saturday Morning)
Kevin called me around 4:00 on Thursday and said that he didn't care WHO I had to talk to, to come get him out of that place! I wasn't sure if I would be able to do that. I didn't know the policy on that, but he DID check in of his own free will. I called back, and talked to the head nurse and asked her if it would be possible for Kevin to check out, since he had agreed, voluntarily, to stay. She was very nice. She said that she would have to contact the doctor and get an "Against Medical Advice" release. She was able to do that. I talked to Kevin, and he said to get down there as fast as I could.
I programmed the GPS, and I headed down to Birmingham. Went down to the psych ward. Pressed the button on the intercom outside the doors and told them that I was there to pick up my husband. They said that they would bring him out. A few minutes later, there he was. He couldn't get out of that place fast enough! He said that he would get himself straightened out. He did not belong on that floor with all the drug addicts and just plain out crazy people. All he had wanted to do was to get some rest and medication that would help him. Instead, he said that they did "activities" all day, and he told us some stories about his "room mate", and some of the other crazies in there.
Friday we went to his regular medical doctor. She knows his situation, and she knows the family situation, also, because she was Kevin's mother's and daddy's doctor, also. It helped him a lot to tell her what was going on. She prescribed him something for his anxiety and something that is a mood stabilizer. She told him to keep the appointment that he has with the mental health center on October 8, and then just do whatever they think is best. She gave him a release for work, so he is going back tomorrow. (Sitting at home all day was not helping him!)
So far, things have been great. I think that just knowing that there ARE people out there that are trying to get him back on track has helped him. It was just frustrating to me to realize that someone who needs help IMMEDIATELY is unable to get it unless they go to the ER, which is just a temporary fix.
And, by the way, I will never recommend Dr. Ciaccio in Guntersville to anyone. We never talked to him, but his receptionist does NOT have good skills in dealing with people. The last time that Kevin talked to her, and she was putting him off...again. He told her that whatever happened would be on the doctor's hands, then he hung up on her. Threw his phone across the living room. And hit the wall with his fist a few times. She didn't even bother to call back. We haven't heard from that office since then.
(I originally wrote this around Tuesday of this week. I'm just now posting. A LOT has happened since this. Stay tuned.)
My life has not been very groovy for the past couple of weeks. I've mentioned before that my husband deals with depression and mental illness. It has reared its ugly head again. He was in such a good mood a few weeks ago. I should have seen this coming. Last week he bottomed out. I called around trying to get him in to see a therapist, but everywhere I turned, they either didn't take my insurance, or it was going to be weeks until he could see someone. I got very frustrated. What's a person to do when they need help RIGHT NOW?!! The soonest that I could get an appointment was Oct. 8. He was going to try to make it until then, but at work yesterday, he called me to come get him to take him to the ER. There they assessed him, and brought in a screener. Wes was his name, and he was wonderful. Also, while there, the ER doctor asked him if there was anything brought on to trigger his feelings. Well, come to think of it, possibly losing his mother over a year ago, his father fighting bladder cancer, seeing his son married and now expecting a child, yes, I would think that could be part of it. But, mental illness DOES run in his family. His mom was bipolar, and his grandmother was schizophrenic.
He seemed to think the same thing as I did. My husband is bipolar. What this means is that he will experience feelings of euphoria, but that will swiftly change to a severe depressed state. It's like a roller coaster. We just never knew what kind of mood he was going to be in from one day until the next. Anyway, they gave him a shot to ease his anxiety. Today we are waiting on a call from a psychiatrist so that he can be properly diagnosed and start to receive the help he needs. Just keep us in your prayers. I'll keep you posted on this journey.