So, I have no excuse for disappearing for, like, the last year. I’m a fickle person, what can I say? But things have been happening. Most of them not so good. But, first, the good things.
I got a raise! A big raise. Honestly, my Boss scared the crap out of me when he told me. Boss called me into his office, which is odd in itself, and started talking about how periodically our company goes over the details of a worker and makes sure things are in line with other workers who do that same thing etc. etc. etc. I thought for sure I was about to be fired but instead they gave me a pretty hefty raise. An extra $2 an hour, which pushes me over $15 an hour. A nice chunk of change, really.
And I could use the money because I took a vacation to Colorado in September. Spent a little more than I really should have but it’s hard to reign yourself in when you are having fun. Flew into Denver Tuesday morning and then drove up to Estes Park. Visited the Stanley Hotel (alas, my travel companion and I were too poor to actually stay there but we took the tour at least) and then took a jeep tour up into the National Forest. Dumpy ride and, of course, I had trouble getting in and out of the jeep. I needed a step ladder. I’m short, ok! And not very graceful.
The next day we went up into Rocky Mountain Park. Very pretty. Then we drove south to visit Mount Evans. Only made it up to Echo Lake because we spent too much time in Rocky Mountain Park and it was starting to get dark but it was really nice. After that it was even further south to Colorado Springs to see the Garden of the Gods, the Manitou Cliff Dwellings, and take the cog train up Pike’s Peak. So, so cold at the top but gorgeous and good donuts. Then we went even further south to visit the Royal Gorge, in Cañon City and that was ok. I wanted to skip it and head back up to Denver to maybe see some thing in the city but my travel companion wanted to go to it. So, I gave in and we went. There was a nice rock shop at the bottom of the road. Then we headed back to Denver, insanely late, and flew out Saturday morning.
I have tonnes of photos, which I’ll share over the next few weeks with more details of my trip. At Christmas, we went over to my brother’s house, had a fantastic meal, and then they surprised me with a boatload of Alice in Wonderland items they had picked up during their trip to Disneyland earlier in the year. I spent most of my time petting their cats. I miss my cats. Their cats are gorgeous. I am cat envious.
Now for the bad stuff. My Mom has always had health problems and the last few years have not been good. In August 2014 she went to the ER with severe stomach pains and went into surgery for what they thought was complications with mesh from a past hernia surgery. It was not. They found cancer and removed her small intestines and a hunk of her colon. It was pronounced stage four. My Mom refused further medical assistance pretty soon after that. Treatment would only prolong her life a little and, while I still fluctuate between understanding her decision and anger that she didn’t fight, she didn’t want to drag her life out.
My Mom went into hospice care at home. (About a month and a half of pure hell for all of us in which they insisted I still go on my vacation despite her illness.) She died on October 6th, 2014 at the age of 65. One second she was there and then the next my Mom was gone. I still don’t think it’s settled into my brain even four months later. I still feel like if I go over to the house, she’ll still be there, reading bad romance novels on her Kindle. Sucks does not even begin to cover it.
Of course, the universe just had to get another dig in. On November 1st, I broke my elbow. Yep, when I hurt myself I have to be special about it. Tripped over my own feet and fell in my apartment. I didn’t even land badly but I knew I had done something to my arm pretty much instantly. A trip to the ER (6 freaking hours) and a trip to the orthopedic doc, and it was announced I had chipped a bone in my elbow. Basically, a chip of bone at the bottom of my humerus had broken off and flipped up like a wing. (The humeral lateral epicondyle, if you want to be technical.) I went into surgery (the first major surgery in my life, imagine how freaked out I was) and was off of work for two months. Yay, short term disability! I returned to work just after Christmas. It was all about as fun as you think it was.
I’m in physical therapy right now. I can straighten my arm pretty well but I’m have real problems bending it. Can’t touch my face or hair. Can’t reach my mouth with a fork or cup. I have to do everything with my left hand. It’s a complete pain in the ass. At this point, I think I’ll always have mobility problems in my right arm but I’m hoping for more range as I work with the therapy people. Good thing I got a big raise! Too bad it’s all going to pay medical bills. 😦
So, the last 7ish months have truly sucked. Couple that with having to deal with my lovely uncle and aunt because of my Mom’s death and then a friend apparently deciding to preach Christianity at me, it’s just worn me down. I’ve read a couple of books but, honestly, reviewing them was the furthest thing from my mind at the time. I might post about the ones that stuck out in my mind. I won a ARC of Uprooted by Naomi Novik from Goodreads last week, so I want to take a look at that.
I’ve just been trucking along, trying to get through everything and hoping it calms down soon. That’s life, I guess.