January 29, 2009


We went out to eat dinner tonight. Next we headed over to ARC Thrift Store. Danny found a WeatherTech science thing that he is just gaga over. Geek Man in action!

Glad THIS week is almost over!

January 28, 2009


WHY ME? I know, that's kinda conceited. But the day did not start off right. Here's why?
1) First thing, I started a load of laundry and the machine made an thump sound in the middle of the spin cycle. I told Danny, who said that the noise was normal. My response was, "well, how often do you hear thumping in the spin cycle?" Since he wasn't going to investigate, I did. I went into the basement to find leakage...yes, leakage from the washer. Well, Danny decides that the drum got off balance. True, I agree, but what about the thumping? Turns out the bands holding the drum popped off...hence the "thump".

2) Then during the washer fiasco, Dad called from Texas. We all heard about the ice storm, right? Guess what? The heater went out. Dang! I was just there, too. He had to call an A/C & Heating company. $3,900 later...

3) Before we left for school, Tony decided this morning that his underwear didn't fit "right" anymore, so he is wearing his gym shorts for underwear. I just bought him new underwear in October!

4) A few hours later, Marisa called from school. She was in the Dean's office. "But, Mom, wait, it's no big deal!" Come to find out, another girl was bullying Marisa. Without going into too many details, the girl has been shoving Marisa in the hallway since December. Today, the girl flipped a chair over and yelled at Marisa IN THE CLASSROOM, in front of other students and a teacher's aid. So, Marisa had to file an official incident report with the counselor and the Dean. After talking with the Dean, I was assured this matter will be resolved in the morning (it was early release today and the kids split school quickly).

5) Back to the laundry...now it is just after 3pm and even though Danny worked from home today, the original clothes that were in the washer....STAYED in the washer. I'm having to dry them now.

That's it...like that's not enough. Have a wonderful evening everyone!

January 27, 2009


I returned to work today. I was glad to do so. Focusing on others keeps my mind from wandering too much. I still called the hospital to see how things were going, but I didn't have time to rumminate over it.

Marisa has a bunch of homework to get through tonight. Tony, well, he never has homework. He's a know-it-all like his dad! No kidding!

I told Tony I would take him to get a haircut. His hair is so long now, and blonde and shaggy. He wants to use my straightener. I told him no because he would look like Rod Stewart. Tony's response..."who's that?" (A sign of the times!)

January 26, 2009


I made it back to Colorado yesterday just in time to drive 3 hours in the snow. The nice thing about Colorado weather is that while it is snowing, the sunshine comes out as well. Which is a good thing, because I'm stressed to the hilt.

Danny and the kids "cleaned" up. Today, I recleaned because I can't stand walking on crunchy things that one might find at the of a chip bag or cereal box. You can't really see the crunchy things on the floor, but you can feel them. Maybe I'm over sensitive due to the stress. Humor me...

Mom is still in the hospital and not doing so well. I honestly don't know what else can be done to help her. I am going to burn a palm tonight (a veryy superstitous Catholic thing), but it makes ME feel better. I can't help but be angry right now. Too many "why" questions...not enough faith to stop the doubt. Maybe that's part of the grieving process and this feeling will pass. I don't know! I haven't lost a parent before and I am finding it difficult to draw from practical experience in order to process all this. Who cares that I'm a medical social worker and I see this in my job. This is MY mom I'm talking about now.

I am also feeling guilty for having to come home to my kids. But, they need me too. Lots of stuff going on at school for both of them. Tony is also getting braces. Marisa is trying out for the golf team. And, let's face it, Danny is the brreadwinner in our family. He can only take off so much to handle domestic/parenting issues that crop up eveyday. I know that sounds 1950-ish, but true! In this economy, we want to minimize the personal time off.

While I was in Texas, my cousin made the best homemade chicken pot pie! Flossie...you need to get me that recipe!

January 22, 2009

Hello, From Texas

Last time I tried to log into blogger while in Texas, I couldn't do it. This time, no problem. Go figure...

I've been updating on my facebook account, so if you have facebook and you are my friend, then you know what's been going on. Mom has a staph infection AGAIN that she is battling. Dad just had radiation treatment for skin cancer that he had removed and he is doing his IVIG treatments this week.

Danny is home with the kids having to keep up with homework and teenage stuff.

The weather here in Texas is awesome: not too hot, not too cold, it's just right. I come home from the hospital each day worn out, completely exhausted both physically and emotionally. I read my emails and facebook posts for all the support and prayers and I feel less alone out here.

I went to the half-priced book store to restock on my cheap reading habit and got a milkshake from Burger Box (one of my favorite places). I'll have to go to Wishes & Dreams to get a bunch of DeeJay's candles before I return to Colorado.

January 16, 2009

For The Next Week

I'm leaving in an Aztec (to the tune of, well you guys can figure that out). In the morning, I'm taking off for Texas, leaving the kids with Danny. Heavy sigh. I know they will have their basic needs met, but come on, we all know how Dads take care of kids.

Another sad note is that one of my BFFs Dad passed away yesterday. So, I will be attending a memorial service for them when I'm home.

Thanks for keeping up with my morbid blog. And, thanks for all your prayers. I pull strength from everywhere, so it does help. Now...if you can muster a prayer, chant, lighted candle, or something for my kids next week, I would sooooo appreciate it. Love to all!

Oh, I will be updating on facebook since my dad's computer won't let login on blogger.

January 15, 2009

Status Quo

Latest on Mom...she is out of CICU and in a regular hospital room receiving physical therapy. She has finally agreed to go to a rehab. I'm leaving early, early Saturday morning to help.

Kids are busy with lots of homework...good...it keeps them out of trouble. Tony aces everything. Marisa has to work a little more for her grades. She LOVES weight training and health class.

Tonight is our standard Thursday night sit-com watching party. Marisa and I get a kick out of The Office, Kath & Kim, and 30 Rock.

January 12, 2009

Snow. Snow. Snow.

It snowed today. Really, it did! We got about 4 inches in 2 hours which made for a messy morning. I was able to get the kids to school. Danny had to work from home. Dang, it's difficult getting around in the snow in a Spyder convertible, Dan-O. As Danny "worked", I cleaned. I had planned on heading up to Archivers to scrapbook, but decided against it.

Once the snow stopped, Danny got outside and shoveled the heavy, wet mess from the drive and sidewalk. Lucy had her eye on a pesky squirrel that taunts her! The squirrel was enjoying a nut of some kind about 2 feet away from Lucy's reach in the backyard. One of these days....

Anyway, Mom is still in the hospital. Her status changes hourly just about. The latest, as of 4:30pm mountain time, is that the surgery is too risky, so her heart issue will be treated with medication. Still deciding if rehab is the next step or pallative care at home. I'm still heading out to Texas at the end of the week.

January 11, 2009

Enough For Now

There has been only slight changes with Mom over the past couple of days. So I thought I would spare everyone for today and blog about something else, more so for my emotional stability than anything else.

Danny got up this morning, played the guitar, then headed out to fix the fence that blew down two weeks ago. We haven't been able to put it back up before now because Home Depot had no posts (lots of fences are down).

Marisa is still sleeping....probably because she has homework to do.

Tony was up early, made coffee, played on the Xbox360, helped Danny with the fence, took a shower, and is now eating.

Me...I making cookies, drinking coffee, playing on the computer, and starting a grocery list. Oh, let's not forget the never-ending mounds of laundry...

January 9, 2009


Mom had an emergency angiogram today. The bad news is that they could not fix the blockage because of the calcification. Her artery is 70% blocked. The other bad news is this blockage is not what is causing the fibulation. The good news is that she will be transferred to Baylor Hospital because, at Baylor, they have the equipment that will chisel away the calcification so that the artery can be opened. The fibulation is a progression of her Congestive Heart Failure. I plan on going to Texas, ETA pending.

Thanks everyone for the emails and posts. I REALLY appreciate it. The kids read all the support and they are appreciative as well. Peace out for now...

January 7, 2009

What? Not Again!

My mom is in the hospital again. This time it is her heart. I'm not sure of the official medical terms, but her heart is fibulating either as a result of a blockage or a faulty valve. In order to fix the problem, the heart has to stop fibulating, so she is in the cardiac ICU under sedation.

January 5, 2009


Last year, 2008, was pivotal for our family. While the year started off as any new year does, life's tide changed quickly. The first part of 2008 was dealing with Mom's disease as it progressed to a new level to the point that she was placed in hospice. Our family summer trip changed. We always came home, but this time it wasn't for the kids to reconnect and scrapbooking retreats. It was to take care of Mom. And, with God's Blessing, that's what I did. By August, she had failed hospice and was back (almost) to her old self. We were blessed to have her here for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Very truly blessed.

Marisa graduated middle school. No longer was she confined to a safe, morally controlled educational and social bubble. She moved into mainstream high school. And with that came teenage challenges, normal challenges, but new to her. Once again, with God's Blessing, we were able to work through them. While at times it seemed as though we were just treading water until the next "challenge" we made it through one semester! Marisa was also Confirmed and is now a full-fledged member of our Catholic faith. She attends Mass with her friends, not as often as Danny and I would like, but she does stay connected. For this we are thankful, and once again, very truly blessed.

Tony started off 2008 as any other pre-teen trying to find his way. The old adage "boys will be boys" is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to our son. He has always been that square peg squeezed into a round hole. For the most part, the fit worked, snug and on the verge of bursting, but workable. Until...8th grade. With Marisa in a separate school (previously, they had always been at the same school), Tony was on his own, no buffer, no big sister to help smooth relationships over. We had let Marisa have extra freedom, so we also gave it to Tony. But, as "boys will be boys", soon the square peg no longer fit. We moved our son to the neighborhood mainstream public school, but not without heartache, tears, doubts, and fears. Tony thrived. Surprisingly, square met square. For the third time, we were very truly blessed. In 2009, Tony will be Confirmed in our Catholic faith.

Danny continues to be our family's Rock of Gibraltar, always steady and calm. He was supportive when Mom got sick. With my trips to Texas every few weeks, he was in charge of the kids. They were fed, clothed, marginally supervised; and, the house was still standing. So, I am grateful for the support. As the kids progressed through changes and challenges, Danny was there as any papa bear would be: watching, listening, contemplating, then acting with a vengeance filled with protectiveness, but add reason. For this, we are very truly blessed.

Pets are very important to our family. We lost a pet this year. Ivy. We chose her from the Humane Society when the kids were little bitty. She was a runner and a fast one at that. She traveled to Texas with us, slept with us, played with us, and protected us with an ear-splitting bark. As Marisa was Confirmed and my Mom had entered into hospice, Ivy suddenly became old. We knew it was time. We prolonged the inevitable, then one morning we said our final good-byes to the old girl. Marisa sent herself a text message that said, "7:42am was the last time I saw Ivy". To this day, Marisa keeps Ivy's collar under her pillow. I can't change Marisa's pillow case without her reminding me to leave the collar alone. Ivy was a great companion and a wonderful bit of happiness for my kids. Very truly blessed.

And there is me, Angie. Throughout the year, I felt as though I have been tested to my utmost limit. Limit as in the end, no more, hang it up, get off the boat, out of the kitchen, walk away, stop the madness. It was difficult to "go with the flow", "let go, let God", "have faith", "mind the gap". Everything in me wanted to go against the grain, fight, resist, stand tall, walk with a big stick. That's my way...defiant self-determination...but it doesn't work. I needed by husband, my parents, my kids, my friends. What about their self-determination? My kids have transitioned up one more level toward independence. I have always been with them. When they were little I volunteered at the school. As they become older, I worked at the school. Now, they have made another leap onward. It was time for me to change as well. I left education and returned to social work. But this time, not with children and families services, but with the elderly, sick, and homebound. Am I reflecting my life in my work choice? A parallel? Or, a paradigm? I realize that I can't fix everything for everyone. There will always be sickness, death, rites of passage, struggles, and challenges. But, I have learned through this past year's trials and tribulations to "have faith" and for this I am very truly blessed.

January 3, 2009

Eldora Ski 2009

It has been a busy and fun week with Jase and the boys here. Below are a FEW of the hundreds of pictures of the clan on the mountain. First, I'll start with Tony:

This is my baby after 3 days of skiing. Does he look tired or what? Okay, let me back up...

Here's the crew on the first day, ready to hit the slopes. All fresh and anxious to get a move on.

Here's Tony. His technique is simply "point and shoot".

Then, we have Marisa. She is more into the "style"...bend the knees, square off the shoulders, keep the head up, use arms for balance and drive, etc.

Jase...he was trying his best to keep up with the younger crew. And, he did an amazing job. The only rest he got was during the lift rides. Thanks, Jase, for being the best uncle on the slopes!

And, Danny. Our only skier. No falls, spills, sprangs, or soreness. Great!

Parker...another "point and shoot" and sometimes, Tony's fall break. Nice form, dear.

Lastly, "Mr. I-don't-need-snowboarding-lessons-I-know-just-what-I'm-doing", we have Jaron. Another stylist, but with speed and natural determination to keep from wiping out on the way down. Look at that cutting edge...Cool!

As for me, I don't ski or snowboard any longer. I take pictures, hang out at the lodge, shop, drink hot chocolate, and read a good book while all the other crew is freezing their tails off and risking life and limb up on the mountain.

January 1, 2009

Happy New Years 2009

I hope everyone had a safe New Year's Eve. We went to eat at Rock Bottom. Then, the boys had the teen equivalent to a "frat party" in Tony's room...loud music, snacks, sodas, stinky boy smell, party hats, and loud music (oh, already said that). They were singing, jumping on the mattresses that are on the floor, had the window open, acting well like partiers do.

Marisa, on the other hand, was holded up in her room, mad. All I can say...boys, males, the opposite sex. Get it?

Danny, Jase, and I watched movies. Well, I fell asleep, Danny watched the movie. Jase had to go clean up throw up out of the bathroom sink because Parker got sick. Too many sodas and bouncing around. Typical when the cousins get together.

So, to bring in the new year, the kids are still sacked out this morning. I finished another book. Jase is watching our Dish because he doesn't have it at home. Danny had leg cramps from skiing yesterday, so he drank some salt water and went back to bed. Later on we are planning on eating the traditional black-eyed peas for good luck, going to see a movie, and just "hang out".

I don't have any idea what my New Year's Resolutions are goingn to be. I have the standard: lose weight, get out of debt, be a good Catholic, but I want to more. I'm thinking about adding: join a community group, join a book club, volunteer more, stuff like that. I have until midnight, I guess, to decide. What's everyone else thinking? Any ideas?