Last weekend I got a wonderful surprise. Aaron texted me that his fiance, Catherine, would be performing (with the Morehead State University Concert Choir) in downtown Louisville. I knew Michael wouldn’t be home from work in time to make it, so John and I were going to go alone. Just as we were heading out the door Aaron arrived! This ended up being a really good thing since I have no sense of direction and we’d have never made it to the actual location of the performance without Aaron (and Catherine’s mom talking us through the maze of the Convention Center via cell phone). Anyway, I got to hear Catherine perform for the first time since they’ve been in college, and it was wonderful! I’m looking forward to this Spring when I get to see her in Faust As a completely non-musical person anyone with serious musical talent seems magical to me. I just sit there, enthralled.
The weekend couldn’t be all fun and games, though, since we finally had all the paperwork in hand to start taxes. Michael, God bless him, does our taxes every year online, and does a marvelous job. I used to do our taxes way back when Michael didn’t have his own business, and it was a stressful event that necessitated me being completely alone in the house all day, with a bottle of wine chilling for when I was done. I hated it. And, as anyone with a college-aged child knows, taxes don’t just mean our taxes. They also mean Aaron’s taxes, and then the dreaded FAFSA. And since this has been such a complicated and unusual year financially I had no idea what to expect. It looks like everything’s going to be OK, though, so maybe I can avoid an ulcer until next year.
I’ve been trying to find some sort of physical activity I can do regularly for months now, and it’s been pretty disheartening how limited I am physically by my multiple spinal surgeries. I’d secretly hoped to start with brisk walking and eventually get back to running, which I used to love, but that’s obviously not going to happen. Yoga in any way, shape, or form isn’t going to work, either – my range of motion is just too limited by the fusions. My latest attempt has been tai chi, and I think I may have found a winner. And it’s calming, which is good.
Just to keep everything in perspective I got to worry for twenty-four hours about my youngest having a serious heart condition this week. We went to the pediatrician for a regular check-up, and while John was away from me (down the hall giving a urine sample) the staff convinced him to see a different doctor rather than his usual one. His usual doc is female, her new partner is male, John is thirteen. I was fine with it, although I’d have preferred if they’d have let me discuss it with John. After waiting for ninety minutes in the exam room an elderly gentleman came in, made a few jokes I probably would have laughed at if I hadn’t been so annoyed at the wait, and proceeded to do a very brief exam. By brief I mean he listened to John’s heart for about three seconds. Then he proceeded to tell me that John had a heart murmur and needed to see a pediatric cardiologist and have an echo. He obviously mistook my shocked silence for lack of understanding and started explaining to me what a murmur is. After I interrupted him and told him I’d been a cardiology nurse for 23 years the back-pedaling started. But you can’t un-ring that bell. So I called the best pediatric cardiology group in town while we were pulling out of the parking lot and left a message for their appointment scheduler to call me back (still haven’t heard from them, BTW). Thankfully, one of the adult cardiologists I’ve worked with for the past two decades was willing to take a listen to John the next day, so I pulled him out of school at noon and high-tailed it to the office. After a real exam he assured me all was well and no further workup was needed. You can bet I called my pediatrician’s office as soon as we got home, had them note the exam results in John’s chart, and told them we would never be seeing Dr. Poor-Assessment-Skills again.
I’m trying to take an online writing class this month, but it’s requiring a level of concentration I just can’t seem to maintain. How in the world can I analyze writing and write well myself when I can’t even find the candles I bought on sale last week at Hobby Lobby. I put them “in a safe place”, which means I will probably run across them in about six months.
When John was off school Monday I did manage to check something off my “Goals for 2012″ list. I watched Inception and (I think) understood it. Both the boys have been after me for months to watch it, telling me how good it is, but the bits and pieces I’d seen while they were watching and their descriptions had me totally befuddled. I kept John handy to pause the movie and answer questions should I need it, but I only had to check a couple of things with him. Really good movie, by the way. Just not one you can do anything else while you’re watching. I mean, like, not even eat popcorn.
Even though I swore after last season I wasn’t going to watch Real Housewives of Orange County ever again I’ve gotten sucked back in. I think I like the new housewife, and I’m sure I like her husband, who doesn’t seem to take himself too seriously even though he’s apparently a billionaire. Any man who runs late getting ready to go somewhere because he’s playing with his kids gets my vote. What I really want to happen is for Caroline from New Jersey to fly out there and set all those OC housewives straight. She’s like the Real Housewives honey badger, don’t you think?
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