All posts by Angie

When Your Youngest Graduates

Seven years ago (almost to the day) I wrote a poem about my eldest growing up and being ready to graduate high school at the same time my youngest graduated to middle school. Note to young parents: Do NOT have children seven years apart. It may seem great timing early on, but it also means you will have a teen inhabiting your home for fourteen consecutive years. And they will go through major life events at the same time. This year my eldest and his wife made me a Nonna (Italian for Grandma) in April, and my baby will graduate from High School in May.

I thought my hair would surely turn grey with all the stress of the past eight months or so, but I still have just my few silver strands I’ve had for years. My daughter-in-law has a hematologic genetic issue (MTHFR mutation) that predisposes her to difficulty conceiving and increased chance of miscarriage, and she ended up delivering three weeks early due to uncontrolled pregnancy-induced hypertension. It was terrifying being so far away, but I think it made us all that much more thankful when everyone was confirmed healthy!

My youngest has had two good friends in his Senior class commit suicide this year. One was early in the year, the other was just a few weeks ago. He just wants high school to be over, to never set foot on that campus again. Fortunately, I’ve talked him into going to most of the Senior events. I think he’ll even agree to a graduation celebration as long as it’s while his new niece is there to steal the spotlight. Yes, he performed in a local musical in front of a sold-out crowd of six hundred when he was a kid, but he’s too much like me sometimes. I can speak in front of thousands of people, but am uncomfortable with a hundred people paying attention to me, not what I’m saying.

I got to look at his yearbook last night, and it was an incredible publication! I pulled out my own Senior yearbook for comparison mine was pretty awesome) but was blown away by the creativity these students showed. Yes, there is digital technology available now that wasn’t available in 1984, but there are a lot of things included in both that really define the feeling of the time period. Kudos to all Yearbook staffers everywhere!

John still has Prom, Senior Walk (I think this is a Louisville thing) and Graduation to go. Sadly, Graduation is on a Wednesday at 5:00 pm downtown, making it nearly impossible for extended family and friends to be there even with the huge venue (Freedom Hall). BTW, 1984 Defender yearbook staff, I do want to correct one error in the coverage of our graduation at Rupp Arena. The Assistant Principal who shook our hands was given six hundred pennies, not marbles. Marbles would have been dangerous. I brought and passed out the pennies myself because he wouldn’t let the picture the school-contracted photographer happily took be included in the yearbook.

Check in with Mama Kat for Throwback Thursday this week!

Seven Binge-Worthy Netflix Series

7qt_lyceum_v2I’ve only ever blogged about when to stop watching a series, so I thought I’d bring the positivity today and suggest some series to start watching. Just in case anyone is bored, can’t sleep, or is on bed-rest (which is HORRIFIC for those of you who haven’t experienced it.)

— 1 —

Black Mirror – depressing future world, blah, blah. But I didn’t have a book handy and I wasn’t sleepy, so I started it. Each episode is a completely different future. If it were a book it would be a page-turner! (BTW, don’t bother to correct my grammar. “If it were” is the past imperfect tense. Only 9% of English speakers use it. It’s much more commonly used in Spanish.)

— 2 —

Stranger Things – I paused this about thirty seconds in to see if Stephen King had suddenly decided to do script-writing. The font of the title is even Stephen King’s. And yes, I do realize how weird it is that I can recognize his font. I’m okay with that. The whole series could have come straight out of one of his novels. And I don’t mean one of his many books that have been turned into pale, poorly cast imitations of variations upon his movies, either. When I saw him (yes, saw him in person in the middle of a raging thunderstorm *insert smug smile and hair flip*) he made it clear he doesn’t have any interest in the movies made from his books. In his own words, “There’s one movie I will always think of when I hear the name Tim Curry, and it’s not ‘It’!” Yes, I stood and cheered at that comment. But the brothers who did this series are clearly huge fans. Just watch it.

— 3 —

Santa Clarita Diet – I’m not a Drew Barrymore fan. Honestly, I haven’t been impressed with anything she’s done since E.T. So I was surprised by how much I enjoyed her acting in this series. I know, the premise sounds stupid, but how would your family react if you suddenly started craving human flesh? She and her husband are realtors, which I think is brilliant. I truly can’t watch some of the shows on HGTV anymore because I imagine them munching on feet between takes. (Flip or Flop? Seriously? There’s no other possible reason they’re still on TV other than that their producers are afraid of being eaten.)

— 4 —

Lost Girl – This one had a long time between seasons, so when the fifth season came out I watched the first four seasons again first to catch up. I’m glad I did, since I’d forgotten a lot. It’s got true BFFs, a love triangle, the supernatural, and just enough action/adventure. It’s more about the mystery and the magical creatures, but there are some political maneuverings thrown in. The costume department is heavy on black leather and high heels, and their eyeliner person probably has to be replaced each year due to carpal tunnel, but it’s fun!

— 5 —

Grace and Frankie –  With this all-star cast you’d expect something serious and meaningful. We’re talking Jane Fonda, Martin Sheen, Lily Tomlin, and Sam Waterston. And the supporting actors are no slouches, either! Instead, we get comedy and unexpected friendships. A new season was just released, and I will totally binge-watch the whole thing in a couple of days. It’s that good.

— 6 —

Glitch – Do you love hearing an Australian accent? Think zombies are a cool concept? You’ll love this – watch ASAP!

— 7 —

No Filter – Oopsie – this isn’t a series, it’s a movie. But it resounded with me so completely that I added it to my list of recommendations. Here’s how Wikipedia describes it: “When a woman visits a Chinese doctor, she discovers her pain is due to pent-up rage, and the only cure is to fully express herself, whatever may come.” Yeah, sound like anyone you know? If only my behavior in recent months had decreased my pain 🙁

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72 Hours of Fear, then RELIEF!

I started bleeding on the way home from John’s jazz band concert Saturday afternoon. It worried me, since I hadn’t had a period in years and my labs had been in the post-menopausal range for two consecutive years. But I was too exhausted and in too much pain to really give it any thought that day. I’d had a really demanding week physically and mentally. A lazy week compared to my pre-constant pain life, but really tough compared to my current isolated, in bed twenty out of twenty-four hours life.

The next day the bleeding was heavier. I stayed in bed all day. But I used my iPad to Google possible causes for vaginal bleeding after menopause. When I didn’t find any answers I liked I started selecting my own causes and Googling them. “Hypertension causes vaginal bleeding” – improbable stuff like that. Then I pulled up a medication app on my phone and checked every medication I’m on to see if any of them could cause vaginal bleeding, even though none of my meds have changed in six months. All that was left was the answer to my very first search: Uterine Cancer.

Monday the flow seemed lighter, so I put off calling my doctor. I shaved my legs and did my nails, just in case. When my hair was mostly dry I put it in a sock bun. Out of the way for procedures, still looks nice when it comes out of the bun later. I don’t care what anyone tells you: Medical professionals appreciate a well-groomed patient. Then I made the call and they arranged an ultrasound for today.

After the ultrasound the nurse practitioner assured me that not only did I not have cancer, but that the bleeding was just a rebound effect from having my IUD removed a month ago.  She said to call if the bleeding kept going or stopped and then returned, but clearly did not expect that to happen.

I called my husband with the good news from the parking lot. I’d prepped him for bad news since I thought is was inevitable. His voice was shaking when he answered, as I’m sure mine was just a few minutes earlier.

So I now have shaved legs, OPI Cajun Shrimp nails, and my tummy is full of celebratory hamburger. I think that went well!

See other takes on this week’s writing prompts at Mama Kat’s.

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