Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Yes, for those of you who missed it, today was Cassie Appreciation Day. (Although some of you appreciate me more than others - smooch.)

I was treated to a day of full body aligning and re-adjustment, massaging, de-toxing, and de-worming. Yes, you read right. After today, any lurking parasites residing in my body are dead. Mitch told me so.

My friend Dana is a massage therapist and health nut who just happens to be married to Mitch the Chiropractor. Yay me. They invited me down to their office in Clear Lake for C.A.D.

First, Mitch rubbed me down like a tough side of beef, then cracked my spine, shoulders, wrists, and ankles. It felt better than it sounds.

Then I was given a fizzy cup of vitamin C water to gulp and it was off to the candlelit massage room. Soothing music and the sound of a tabletop water fountain serenaded me as I lay facedown and naked under cool, smooth sheets, ready to be marinated. Dana oiled me up and did a great job massaging out my knotted muscles while we chatted away.

One short hour later I had to get up, (I hate that part), and get ionized. Mitch did a detox procedure on me called ionCleanse. I put my feet in what looked like a pedicure bath and he placed an electric gizmo in the water and sprinkled salt in with it. The gizmo charges the water and the charged particles are supposed to be absorbed into my feet through my pores, circulated through my body attaching to waste particles and dragging them back out through the pores in my feet. I don't know about all that, but I do know the water started off clear, then turned yellow, orange, brown, and finally, black and foamy. Yuck.

Next, I was de-wormed.

Okay. Technically, they didn't call it that. But they did have me put my feet on a device that sent electrical charges through my body that are supposed to kill any parasites that have decided to call me home. I'll tell you if I pass anything unusual over the next few days and we'll all know it worked.

I felt great.

But wait - the best part was yet to come. Dana and her daughter, Devon, whisked me away for a sushi and sake lunch. Mitch had a patient, so he met us later. It was delicious and we had a great time. That's when they told me it was in honor of Cassie Appreciation Day.

I'm home now, my headache is back, the kids hate riding the bus, and we're out of cat food.

It was nice while it lasted.

Monday, August 27, 2007

On getting started

My kids started school today. It was the usual mish-mash of ambivalent feelings, but I didn't stop to dwell on crap. I actually had quite a productive day.

I'm editing a short story I wrote about an older, mixed race couple; my longtime blog readers will recognize Sam and Grace (or a Tale of Grace, as I ended up calling it when it was published in the Liberty Outlook magazine.)

I had to cut over 600 words and it looks like I'm going to have to cut the mixed race part in order to submit it to the magazine I want to. I hate doing that, but I need the money and I think it's the only way it will work. We'll see. Here's to bowing down to the mighty dollar.

The important thing is, I actually wrote today like it was my job. I got the kids off to school, did some chores, sat down with a cup of coffee and worked about three straight hours. It felt really good. I think I'm off to a great start.

Now, if I don't get struck by lightning in the next two minutes or hit by a bus tomorrow, we'll see if I can keep it up!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

What would you do?

Suppose you only have one last day with a person before they die? What would you do?

I had a dream last night that I woke up the week before Nathan died. I was aware of the fact that he was going to die on Thursday, so I just tried to enjoy him. We had a great time with the family, laughing and having fun; then Wednesday came, and I knew he was going to die on Thursday. I kept asking everyone what should I do? They just looked at me like I shouldn't make waves. I tried not to, but I kept breaking down and crying. Nathan looked at me puzzled, and I asked myself in my head, "What would you do if you knew you only had one more day with someone?" So, I got up and hugged him really tight around his neck and told him I was proud of him.

And then I told him not to go swimming tomorrow.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Mother of the Year

This week has been a mad rush to get the kids ready for going back to school.

If I were a more prepared parent, the supplies would have been purchased weeks ago, the backpacks organized, the clothes acquired a few at a time all through the summer, and my little darlings would be back on a more normal sleeping and waking schedule.

As it stands, Katie still doesn't have supplies or clothes, Joseph only has clothes because my mom took him shopping yesterday, and I've decided to let them stay up as long as they want until they figure out on their own how much it sucks to have to get up early when you didn't go to bed until 2. Experience is the best teacher, right?

Their teachers are going to love me.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Just when you thought it was over, or at least bearable

Someone pointed out to me today that I never gave you guys the update on Nathan's toxicology report. It turns out that the original report was correct; the investigating officer had just never seen one so clean, so it caught him by surprise. That and the fact that it came back so fast.

So, Nathan was living right and doing what he was supposed to do. And he still is, as far as I'm concerned. Just not where we can be with him for a while.

His girlfriend, Whitney, came over today. I've had my ups and downs with her in the past, but honestly we had a good visit. It was nice to be with someone who still mourns his loss and will talk about it with me. I mean, I know other people would talk with me if I asked them too, but they don't feel it, they're not still going through it. She does and she is.

It was disturbing, too. I cried again today for the first time in a while, and I didn't see it coming. It just blindsided me like a smack in the face. I have never felt so out of control of myself in my life and it scared the shit out of me.

I wish I could be one of those tiny little dainty women who cry when they feel like it and it's so precious. Tears well up in their big, beautiful eyes until they brim over onto their delicate, porcelain cheeks and it's all so sweet. Some gallant gentleman offers a handkerchief or tissue and they dab the tears away and look even more lovely and fragile when it's all over.

With me, it's a big, huge, white-knuckled fight to hold it back until everything finally explodes in a nasty combination of waterworks, snot, red-nosed, swollen-faced, body wracking, heart wrenching sobs. My eyes nearly swell shut and my face ends up puffy and blotchy for hours. There isn't a graceful thing about it.

Kind of like when I exercise.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The newest milestone of my mid-life crisis

Today I discovered that I am only one year younger than Elvis was when he died. Holy crap.

I'm sure glad I haven't peaked yet.

Or have I?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

You may call me "Your Majesty"

I am the queen of all I survey - which currently consists of a computer desk, a messy office, and the keyboard in my lap. But even so, I am the queen!

Allow me to explain.

I have resumed walking the track with some friends over the past couple of weeks, and last week Zach joined our little group. Yes, Zach the Marine, who is in fantastic shape even though he gripes about how lax he's gotten since he's been home.

The kid (he'll always be a kid to me) has fantastic posture and makes running the track in this wet Texas heat look like an effortless romp through the park. He makes it easy to forget, in fact, that he's a walking, talking, military-made fighting, er, fitness, machine.

We all naively agreed to let him lead us in doing "core" exercises. Some in our group asked if they were "corps" as in Marine Corps, or "core" as in body core. It turns out they are body core exercises, but after experiencing them first hand, I refer to them as "corpse" exercises - because if they don't kill you initially, you will wish you were dead the next day.

These delightful drills consist of holding a position for a certain number of seconds before switching to the next pose, beginning with a push-up stance and working through a total of 8 variations. Zach said we were supposed to start by holding each position for thirty seconds, eventually working our way up to two minutes, but he had mercy on us the first time by just making us hold a few of them for 15 seconds. Not so the second time. We did 30 in each one, with me loudly protesting the whole time. He was not pleased.

He couldn't make it last night, so I led the drill, kind of fudging by only holding some positions for 15 seconds instead of 30, but still we did it.

Tonight, though, he was there. He had already teased me all day for being such a baby and complaining, so I knew I was in for it. He made me lead the drill. No fudging allowed.

I was sure I wouldn't make it past the third hold, but guess what? Not only did I do it, but I completed every position, leading the group and counting out loud to 30 during each one. Take that, G.I. Jane.

Now, I must go. There's a tub full of hot water waiting for me and I have to find the ibuprofen.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Now and Zen

Over the last two days I took a few hours to forget about everything and just live in the moment.

I was reading a book on the couch at about 3 yesterday afternoon when Savannah crawled into my lap for a cuddle. She was just laying there and I thought she might enjoy a read too, so I told her to go get a book. She grabbed a couple of Junie B. Jones books and we read together for about 15 minutes. She was thrilled to be on chapter 2 in such a short time, but both of our eyes were getting droopy so we decided to move our little reading party to my bed.

After gathering all the requisite paraphernalia, i.e., Savannah's "sitting up" pillow and fuzzy pink pillow, more picture books and a blanket we both could share, we were settled in nicely for the rest of the afternoon. She was asleep in about 10 minutes.

As I lay there with her arm curled around my waist, her little body neatly spooned against my back with the blanket tucked around the two of us, I made a conscious decision to not worry about anything for at least an hour. I took a big deep breath and blew it out, and with it I let everything go. I was asleep in about 5 minutes.

We slept away the afternoon together and I let all my spinning plates fall, if only for a little while.

Today I went swimming with the kids. It was my first full romp in the pool all summer and we had great fun. As usual, when I finally make it into the pool I think what an idiot I've been for not getting in sooner. I could really tell how out of shape I was though, and my neck has been causing me serious problems, so I've begun exercising again and I'm going to the chiropractor tomorrow.

How's that for a jump?

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Can I get a jump?

We returned to Ikea on Wednesday and finished Zach's room. It makes me want to do the whole house. It looks wonderful and, as my mom says, it's the first time Nathan's bathroom has been clean since we moved in four years ago.

Zachary being home has breathed new life into the place. It's good to have him here, especially for the kids since I'm still in zombie mode.

I saw a picture of myself taken a week or so ago and I look tired/stressed or something. Do I look like that all the time? I am absolutely disgusted with being so morose. Stop the ride, I'm ready to get off. I know I'm the only one who can make anything change, but for the life of me I can't seem to move into action. Yuck.

Stupid, huh? Dede found out her chemo and radiation treatments are going to span 7 months and I'm perfectly healthy, wallowing in a pit of feeling sorry for myself.

Check, please.