Thursday, July 28, 2005

It's been a couple fo days since I've written, but I have had a lot of my mind. First, I got pulled voer for running a stop sign in downtown Plymouth. Basically, I stopped for the tourist pedestrians that pranced into traffic, but I did a rolling stop at the sign. I got a written warning, no big woop, but come to find out, my Florida license was coming up as invald. So yesterday I dealt with the fiasco that is the Registry of Motor Vehicles.
I'd like my friends to pray for my cousin Cheryl best friend Melinda. I have known her forever as well. On Sunday morning, her year and a half old daughter drowned in the family pool. Carrie and I went over to work with the children and offer support to adults. While I enjoy counseling and being a help to others, I don't thik I would have the strength to do it fulltime right now. I guess I better understand why Carrie is so drained from work.
Dialysis is the morning has been better. I either have had to get up once or NOT at ALL. I am still not pleased with the staff- they are messy and keep ruining my clothes. They aren't warm and fuzzy. But I have been able to sleep there so who cares. I saw my doctor to address my sleep and anxiety. The sleep has gotten better- but the meds keep in a haze in the morning. I need a jolt of coffee to get me up and out into civilization.
School ended tonight, although I still have a final paper to email in. I would have done it last night but I stopped to see Todd, Kristen and Scott, who were home for a wake. And tonight I went over to Steve's for a movie- "Hide and Seek", which I recommend if you like scary movies. Steve showed me pictures of his daughters and you can tell he takes a lot of prode in being a father. There aren't enough men like that in the world. Well, I have doctor appointments galore coming up: ENT, plastic surgery for my reconstruction I am hoping for, podiatry, dermatology and of course, the kidney folks.
Thankfully though, the tickets to Florida are cheap for November so I am hoping to get down for sure for Homecoming. Instead of rushing back, I think I may stay with friends for a while and arrange for dialysis at a center in Orlando. Yippee!
Detroit is looking to go to sleep - so I guess I should too.
more later...

Sunday, July 24, 2005

I'd rate today as an 8, again, getting back up there. I had my real estae class and learned so much. My hand was totally cramped by the end of the day so tomorrow I am bringing my lap top. Carrie and I ate dinner at e the East Bay Grille, I splurged a bit, but I figured I deserved a nice dinner out. My stomach was cooperative today and I slept well. I got a new blanket set for the fall, even though it is still July. I love back to school time. I have to check up on my Fall Northeastern registration. The class, although short and over on the 27th, made me feel alive and social again. I jsut wrote part of the skit for my presentation on Monday. I think I got a lot of the concepts, but of course, the group has the final say. Yolande and Cynthia brought Mandy home for wedding preparations. Mandy, intypical Mandy fashion, took her $5000 WEDDING DRESSED ROLLED IT UP AND WRAPPED IT IN DUCT TAPE TO PACK IN THE PLANE. Mandy is always good for a stroy like this, she would be the same if she didn't pull a stunt like this. She really seemed to appreciate the scrap book I made her. It was from the heart, she knows it. She is my SPECIAL PERSON OF THE DAY. One of the bestest friends I have. I have some more studying to do before class tomorrow. Keep your chattel to yourself~! I'll explain later.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

I haven't blogged in a couple of days. Mostly, I would say because dialysis has been kicking my ass. I had several doctor's appointments on Wednesday, including one with the psyhicatrist to address my insomnia and anxiety. Those days just left me wiped out. I had a paper I had forgotten about Tuesday night, so all in all it was a busy time for little Jilly. I have been trying to be better at returning phone calls, so I apologize if I haven't gotten to you yet. The big things this week: Date #2 with Steve. Truly a gentleman, we seem to be getting along as we get to know each other. Mandy comes home tomorrow in preparation for the big day. Kate and Cyn will be around too. I don't know why it is that it takes so much effort for all of us to get together. I have my real estate class all weekend: 12 hour days and I am not sure if I am physically up to it. Especially, since I have spent the last two days as a useless human confined to my bed. It will certainly be a challenge. I'll write more tomorrow. My special person of the DAY is REBECCA TAMBINI, my friend who knows the value of the geographical cure and was willing to help me find mine by driving in the bug with the dog all the way to Florida. THese are things you don't forget. Night night for now.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

SO the date was last night and I got home around 1am since it is an hour's drive from Revere, but all in all, I would say that it was a great date. I met him at the FourPoints Sheraton, where there is one of those japanese hibachi restaurants. What a great choice for a first date! Clearly, thisguy had done his homework. We were going to go to the beach after dinner, but it was packed with annoying teenagers and there was no place to park. SO we went to his place, which had a picnic table. He pulls out a full on picnic basket and blanket and candles...He had fruit and wine and cheese and crackers. All things that I love. Dare I say it was a 10. I was a little nervous, still just trying to get my feet wet in the dating pool. I talked to this guy, Steve, a lot on the phone so we already knew about each others stories. We seem to be coming from the same situation so he understands my trust issues as he was cheated on by his spouse as well. I like that he has a career, he is a fahter to two little girls he adores, and he seems to celebrate each day or live by the same credo as I. There's something special about him. So we'll see what happens. He already called and wanted to make plans for tomorrow- so I know he won't be that guy that says he'll call and doesn't.
Today was a really bad day at dialysis. They took off too much water and I experienced tunnel vision, temporary blindness, dizziness, low blood pressure, headaches and muscles cramps to beat the bands. I pretty much slept the day away, staying in bed and not moving my muscles to avoid pain. I haven't had this bad of a day in a long time- I would say it was no better than a 3.
WEll, I'm off to attempt to get some zzzzs. I just had the sweet dreams tea that APRIL sent me. It does seem soothing.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Today was a 6.7. Not so great, colon wise. I wasn't really digesting well, the whole malabsorption/CF thing. Enough said about that. I had to get up twice during the dialysis treatment. I am not sure about the staff on the early shift. There is no cooperation or collaboration. I asked my staff person to unhook me so I wouldn't have an embarassing situation and she told me to hold on- a machine beckoned. However, there were staff putzing around- doing nothing of emergency or great significance. One guy, seeing my pained look of fear as I tried to hold it, you'll have to wait. No, I won't have to wiat, get your ass over here and take care of my needs, so what if I am "assigned" to someone else. Patient care should be priority #1. It is different between shifts. The second shift watches one anothers backs and care for patients is mutual: not mine patient/your patient. I am thinking of using the differences betweens hift as my action project for class. I will be looking at staff satisfaction, employee satisfaction and safety factors. I think I have a fairly good experimental design set up. I love learning and this class lends itself to organizational/ industrial psychology. I know I want to pursue my Ph.D> but in what? Unfortunately, the only I/O programs are in other states- namely Florida, more specifically UCF. I would love to go back, but I don't think the timing is right yet again. Sigh.
I spent the night calculating the cost of tuition to finish the MS Leadership Program in Nonprofit Management at Northeastern University. I applied for financial aid so we'll see how things work out. I might have to pimp out Carrie to pay for school:)
Both doggies got baths today- that was probably the extent of what I did today- other than go to the can. While I was sitting eating dinner (99-takeout), a woman almost drove through my window! She must have hit the gas because she charged over the concrete stop block and hit the bush in front of the house! There are big gashes on the tree. Despite my hostile stomach- I could not resist my temptation for soft serve. I got a small and lopped off the top so it wasn't too bad, okay yes, it was still bad. I find myself giving in to sugar cravings lately, almost like I am pretending not to be diabetic. oops.
My friend Kara (My special person of the day) connected me to Irish Thursdays-a devotional group. Here is a quote that holds particular meaning for me today:

Don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself, each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

I am worried about tomorrow: date night. One would never think that I would be insecure in the dating world, but alas, here I am. This guy seems very nice and I have been talking to him on the phone, despite my disdain for such technology. Wish me luck. Sometimes happiness just finds you- lets hope I am in the right place when happiness shows up.
I think I'll finish Hooker's laundry for her. Its hot- our air is not working and its so humid in here. How ever will I sleep?
until tomorrow...

Thursday, July 14, 2005

In search of the perfect pair of jeans...
Today after a delightfully stimulating class on Leading Teams, I ventured to the South Shore Plaza on my way home. I made a rule that I would only go into Filenes, to which I had gift cards left from my birthday. It's always important to set shopping groundrules, lest I shop myself into frenzy. Anyway, my purpose was to find the perfect pairs of jeans: not too long, not too short, just right. After trying 16 pairs on- I walked away with two, neither would classify in the perfect realm so my quest continues, but for now, there pairs fit and are an appropriate length and don't bag on my ass like a diaper. Besides, I had to have something to where on my date on Friday. More about him at a later date. I don't want to jinx it.

ABove is a picture of Dante, my friend Kelli Catani Smith's family dog. He is a giant schnauzer and he is 12. Really a love bug despite his size. He would probably liken Detroit Joe to a chew toy. But I love schnauzers big and small. THE CATANI FAMILY are my special people of the day. Kelli was the only normal one in my dorm suite and we quickly became fast friends, best friends. I have to say she was innocent when she met me and I helped her discover what college life was all about. She loved me despite my illness and took care of me, cut my hair for me, was there through many boys and one little spark plug with blue hair. We managed to convince our parents that we needed an apartment and we moved to the Cricket Club. Kelli has been there through some prety tough times, especially this spring when she visited and I was so ill. Her parents always took me and treated me like I was one of their own. Paige is a great cook and Angelo has taught me so much, an example of what it is to be a dad, not ideal, but what life really is like. Gosh, I am pretty emotional- I guess I should call it a night and snuggle with my own schnauzer.

Until later today, since it is tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Yesterday, an okay day, probably a 7. It got worse after susnet when I started to swell and bloasted to uncomfortableness. The Gods of Fast Food were punishing me because I ate some McNuggets ont eh way home from getting Carrie at the airport. I was struggling all night, which means, I was n't able to sleep. Then came the dry heaving and vomitus. I had dialysis at 6am and was cared for by Raphael. Not so fond of him so far. First he was rough with changing my dressing, next there was a news flash and he left me in the middle if disconnecting me so I coulf RUN to the bathroom to go wathc tv, then he said I would have to wait to go to the bathroom- oh no yu don't make Miss Jill wait- her bowels do not have patience. When he mentioned something about his country- I tuned him out and cranked out of there early. I am done with people not understanding my digestive difficulities and getting "crap" for it. I had a dentist appointment this afternoon and although my stomch pain persisted my mother pointed out that if I cancelled at the last minute I would probably be charged. The old mouth got a clean bill of health and they even got out the mouth model to show sucular brushing to aid in the care of my swollen gums. This is part of that damn prednsione side effects.
Class was wonderful and although I'm not working right now, I have a lot of experience to draw on. I think I will put the jOhari window up for people to play with. Not tonight I still feel lousy. WHen I told Carrie about the events, besides the wicked animal stories, that happened like the date I have planned on Friday with a person I believe to be a wonderful guy. WE've been talking a couple of times a day and believe it or not, despite my hatred of the phone, we do have meaningful conversations. He is going to surprise me on our date- which makes me excited nervous! I also recounted how fulfilling class is for me. Carrie said, "JILLY'S ALIVE AGAIN!" I guess I go feel more alive, more renewed. These few good things have casta shadow on all the crap. Maybe they will help me get out of my rut. I am being more solution-focused. Instead of worrying about how I'll feel tomorrow- I am concetrating on today. What perspective! No I will go have a bedtime bowl of cereal. MY SPECIAL PEOPLE OF THE BLOG are DJ HAMILTON, who recently sent me his award winning short film "D-Grade", a riot of laughter. I am so proud he took the risk to make his dream come true. THEN< MY Russian MAMA, who got the most appropriate charm for me in her overseas travels: a hope, faith and love charm. I am so blessed to have people that think of me. All that prayers seems to work. Keep it up.
ALSO, if you have a particular scripture verse or quote of special meaning- please post!
"Speed Of Sound" - Coldplay: " A niice mellow tune for your enjoyment 1. Speed Of Sound - Coldplay"

Monday, July 11, 2005

Today was an 8 again. Not too shabby, I think. I was able to do everything I wanted to with minimal pain or effort so that is what qualifies the number. It was a perfect New England summer day and I took the dogs to my mom for a romp in her fenced in yard. Scooter loves the water and my mom hosed him down: Detroit, on the other hand, couldn't get far enough away from the spray. My grandparents visited and when they left my mom and I headed out for Fancy Nails. I was in desperate need of a mani and to have my peds cured, a must in flipflop season. Anywho, I look Ava the Avalon, my trusted coche and the animals back to Chapel Hill prior to going to the salon. AS I was drving up Summer Street, just by the skate park, a busy area for those of you unfamilar with Plymouth, when two adolescents cut out in front of me without looking. I had to jam on my breaks and I yelled out," Did your mother teach you to look both ways!" ( yes, I have become THAT lady (not even that girl, no that LADY)), when lo and behold as I am decelerating the Scooter puppa decides to jump out of the window of my moving car! I am panic stricken and I glance in my rearview to see him transversing the road. Thankfully, because of those despicable children and their poor street crossing manners, the opposite traffic was stopped- otherwise, he would have been poodle dust! There were a group of Harley riders stopped across the street and Scooter scooted over to the ladies who picked him up into the safety of their leatherlined arms. I had to bang a U in heavy traffic and of course all my compatriots on the road thought I was just an asshole driver so no one would let me in. I finally made it to pick him up and said my thanks to the Harley ladues. " Um, you might wanna roll up ya window." (Ya think?) " Yes, I think I'll put on the A/C." and with that my pulse returned to normal. When I got them home to safety, I arrive to the cat's mess she made knocking one of my plants over. Dirt everywhere. Always after I just vacuumed. I got some fresh water and stuck her in Carrie's room. The door needs to be shut anyway because the kitty litter stinks to high heavens! Transplant recipients can not empty kitty litter because the litter carries bacteria harmful to our next to nothing immune systems. Hooker returns tomorrow and can deal with the pets. 3 is way too much for one to handle. For me, right now at least. Like me, these pets are high maintenance. I did some laundry and ate at AuntAurie's house. When I checked the messages I had a couple messages from two different gentlemen. For once, not a collection agency or my mother!

School tomorrow. My wireless router is disabled for some frustrating reason, but I figure I should go to bed rather than worry about it.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Today was an 8. I had dialysis at 6am, and I was able to sleep for the duration of the treatment. I only had to be disconnected once to go to the bathroom. Perhaps this new schedule will work out. I am trying the tips for sleeping posted on earlier dates. I got some decaf tea in my care package from April and I enjoyed a cup of cammomiele mint before bed last night. I am trying to get into a routine for sleeping, going to bed when I feel sleepy and not punishing myself if I am struggling. Last night I slept rather than blogging.
Yesterday I went to visit my friend COURTNEY BUTTNER BRIDGE and her husband GW in their gorgeous new home in Sandwich, just over the bridge. They are my special people for July 8th. I have known Courtney since we were both 6. She has grown into a successful, smart, independent woman. She married GW (Gardiner Winthrop) last September. Seeing them together makes me believe in love again. GW is sincere and good natured, and while I would have never expected him to be Courtney's "type"- I realize that sometimes we are looking for the wrong thing and when we stop looking, love is in front of us. As one of Courtney's longest friends, I was concerned, as I would be with anyone she would choose, with her pick. But seeing how he dotes on her, listens to her (rare for men), and genuinely cares for her, I have no doubt that they make a great partnership. There new house is enormous and beautiful, offering plenty of space to raise a family. I am so happy to have them as friends.
Today was productive. Today's special person has to be my MOM, who went wild cleaning my Chapel Hill abode. I helped too of course, but then I realized that she was just re-cleaning everything that I did. She seems to enjoy cleaning so let her go buck wild! After the frenzy was finished we went to lunch at the Hearth and Kettle, which by the way has fabulous salads. We then did other errands like banking, dropping off money to Mrs. R for wedding attire/picking up the shoes for Mandy's wedding, then we went to my Aunt Deb Gilbert's house to get my bridesmaid's dress fitted. We ordered a big size in case my kidneys left my bloated- however, I am no size 16! So Deb has to take it in to a 6... I guess better to have it too big. Mandy's wedding is July 30th and is going to be quite the event- her mother has put for so much effort and really wants Mandy to have the best day of her life. No detail has been left undone and there are even a few surprises. I am really excited to be a part of it. I am tooling with a toast in my head- for the reception- since they asked if I would do one. I must say, I think I am pretty good with public speaking and I might look into Toastmasters.
To wind up my day, I did another painting. This one of geraniums, seems to capture light and dimension a bit more than the prchids I did last week, which seems to have good color but looks flat. I think I'll look into a class.
I haven't heard from Carrie, besides her post on the blog. I hope she is doing ok. I think it is best for her to be away from the toxicity of Florida- she seems to be more independent in MA. I also think it is great for her to be developing a close relationship with her aunt. She needs a good role model- as we all do- in her family. The dog is being better, but still requires constant supervision. I found him this morning with cat litter all over his face- I dry heaved. It doesn't take much for me to throw up. Even though I am home by myself- I am doing ok and haven't had any medical emergencies (knock on wood). I have been active so that has made me feel better. I am slowly finding things that supprt my mental health, which helps my physical self.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Yesterday I didn't get a chance to write so today will try to cpature both. I would rate both days as about a6.5 physically, but more like an 8.5 on the mental side. First, I got my new china cabinet delivered. Though I have never really collected anything, I found myself really attached to the china. There's something calming, perhaps the serenity of its elegance, about having it in order and in place. Its like me, delicate, but it can take more wear than you'd expect. I spent the night after class putting together the display. Its a relief since its been packed away for like 8 months.
The big news from yesterday was that I had my first class. I'm going to Northeastern University here in Boston. This class is part of the MS Leadership program. I am thinking about completing the degree in the Nonprofit Management program. It felt good to be a part of something social with likeminded people. Not that I don't like the old people at dialysis, but... The class is about Leading Teams. Part of the class grading revolves around processing and journaling and encorproating it in a reflective paper- I am all about that since that is primarily what I am doing with the blog.
So- reflection on effective teams:
1. Effective teams really only develop when the corporate atmosphere is supportive of the work the team is doing. A team can be a team in name only if the upper management empowers the team to work and make decisions. A team is doomed if they are demeaned and disenfranchised: successful teams feel that they are making a contribution. As I draw to mind my personal team experiences, of course I am citing all the negative aspects in TriCity, and all though Girls and Boys Town had an effective service and operation, they have issues too. Management team felt like we were constantly defending our work. Like we weren't given the opportunity to create opportunity for ourselves, those we supervised and ultimately the families we served. In order to create change, there had to be "proof in the pudding," with numbers and criterion. While I understand the rationale in this approach, sometimes I think that if something, a system, a piece of the adminsitrative puzzle, is askew, it deserves discussion about how it could be improved. TriCity was almost the opposite: you could meet and come up with plans, revisions, etc. But in the end, the process required multilevel layers of approval. Often the work plans for teams were created by people who had not idea of what day-to-day operations looked like. But because they were in the roles of organizational leaders, they made the choices, whether informed or not. I think the worst part of TriCity was the toxic environment: no one ever praised or gave recognition that, wow, your team did a great job. IF anything I would say that in the team process, the group built cohesion based on the fact that everyone felt the same: overworked, carrying the burden of unrealistic expectations, as we trotted to unproductive meetings and then bitched about it. That's a good reflection. I have to say though, I still love to get gossip from Jamie about the goings on. We both laugh at the shear madness of budget cuts, staff issues (usually demotions there), and the hoops one has to jump through. That company, my friend, is one sinking ship.
Today was ok too. I had dialysis at 6am and while I was hoping to get some sleep there- that was not the case. I am trying to get my sleep cycle back to normal ( I will be trying April and Rebecca's tips) so I avoided an afternoon nap, although the rainy day made for the perfect nap scenario. Instead, I finished a project I was working on for months. Its a gift for Mandy and I put a lot of effort in to getting it just right for her. My mom was nice enough to visit and deliver a freshly dry cleaned dress.
Scooter Pie, Carrie's toy poodle, ate my ATM card. The bastard( shameful Puppa pictured above) got up on the couch, fished it out of my purse and proceeded to chew it up. It'll be 7 days before I get a new card. I think he must miss Carrie because although, he likes to chew and does bark at night- he was howling ALL NIGHT. At least there were no cat mishaps today.
Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Today was a 6. On the lesser side of 6.
Why a 6? Well, the old colon was in an uproar tonight and as I might have suspected previously, I can very clearly associate it with excessive use of milk products- therefore, I fear the worst: lactose intolerance. I made stuffed shells, an eggplant lasagna, and a batch of meat sauce this afternoon as I was feeling quite domestic. For dessert, I had a bowl of corn Pops- and it wasn't much longer before I experienced pops of a different kind. Yikes.
I still haven't found Mr. Right on and I have taken to being upfront about my health concerns to weed out the creeps. The best email message I have gotten so far was the guy who said that if they sold me on, he would buy me and pay extra for overnight shipping- luv-lee...
ohhh, my stomach is getting upset. I'll have to write another time. This could drop today down to a 5...
"Work It" - Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliot: "1. Work It - Missy 'Misdemeanor' Elliot"

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Today was a 6.
I wasn't awake before noon. I resorted to 2 mg of ativan to sleep last night afterall. So I barely remember the mroning hours at all. I do recall my mom delivering some Marylou's coffee (thanks), but any events prior to my one o'clock shower are awash. At least I got clean today. Then I spent my day at dialysis. I got up twice to go to the bathroom, which they always seem to frown upon. Not Tracy though. TRACY is my special person of the day. She is the quickest at getting em off the dialyzer to go to the can- she understands that it is an issue of an dignity and urgency and treats me and my upset colon with respect. We appreciate that. All the old people had their red, white and blue blankets, sweaters, socks, etc. to show their patriotism. Some of them look as though they might have been around 229 years ago for our nations birth. I sat in my chair and nodded off without a pillow. And then, like in a dream, my mother appears with a plate of chocolate covered strawberries- can this be real? LIke an angel, she made the treat for the staff to thank them for caring for me. I have had a pretty rough time of things since I have been there, including the overdose of heparin I got, but the staff looks in on me to make sure I am mentally well and physically, not well, I guess, but stable. I took a strawberry and fell back asleep. If there is any special person in this world I have to recognize, its my mom. I'm afriad I don't thank her nearly enough for all her sacrifices. I know she'd give me her kidney were her blood pressure not so dangerously high. I am so blessed to have a mother like her.
After dialysis, I met Carrie at the Galletti house for some din din. Then we picked up J Bird and headed to the waterfront for some 4th festivities. We spotted money on Nana Rose's lawn (AS a Balboni I have the gift of spotting money from a great distance). I turned the car back around and sure enough, it was a $20. I took it as a sign from my grandmother to have the first round of drinks on her. Though I did consider that maybe my deaf aunt Diane had maybe dropped it. We all discussed it and decided that finder's keepers rule applied. We parked at Dr. Kerr's office in my handidandycap spot and walked to the Crow's Nest, which sucks, however, it was a delight for us because they had available outside deck seating and we got drinks and nachos while the fireworks blasted. All I remember about last 4th of July was that I had kidney failure for the first time. This year was better. Next year will be better still. I have tomorrow off then school starts on Wednesday- Carrie will be off to Florida. Can I be home alone?
Until tomorrow....
"Untitled" - Simple Plan: "Sometimes listening to music can connect us to our lives and the events that challenge us. Sometimes I feel this way .How could this happen to me? Untitled - Simple Plan"

Monday, July 04, 2005

This is probably the first time I have blogged before midnight. My sleeping sturggles persist though I did get some shut eye last night. Today was a nice day by my mom's pool, until I started to swell. My feet are uncomfortably huge and tomorrow should bring relief because of dialysis. But there is so much crud in my body every muscle is stiff and cramping, I can barely type. So tonight's blog will be brief. I was planning on attending Plymouth's parade (I was Parade Grand Marshall in 1999.), but I am thinking better of it to save my strength for fireworks. Have a nice holiday- Celebrate your independence.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Technically, I didn't write a blog entry yesterday. My entries have been written early (3am) on the days I blog so, oh well. Yesterday, instead, I found that my lack of sleep finally caught up with me and I enjoyed some natural sleep. It seems I have run out of Ativan, an anti-anxiety drug, upon which I was relying for zzz. However, now is as good a time as any so I'm getting of the junk.
Some noteworthy things happened the day I didn't write so I'll catch you up.
First, the special person is ALISON MARTIN. Alison went this Thursday to be tested to see if she is a kidney donor. Alison is my oldest friend. We played when we were still in diapers. She is the type of friend who you can go a year without seeing, but then when you do, it's like it was just yesterday. She is a confidante beyond words and has seen me, like so many of my special people, through the dark times and has joined me in celebration of the good. Beyond all of this she is one of the best mothers I know and her son CONNOR, now 8, is polite, well-behaved and smart as a whip. I am so proud of both of them and feel lucky to have them in my life.
So yesterday I visited the mulch factory and checked in with Johanna, my aunt's wife's daughter who I simply call my cousin, who also works for the family business (Plymouth Reprocessing). Johanna was going to call my stepmother Anne and find out about the bridal shower, or to be more specific, why I was not invited. J said that she hadn't had a chance to talk to A, but that I should just go anyway, after all it, who would really care, it was another present, right? However, I thought better of it and asked my mom for counsel. She advised that my plan could backfire and be a lot more painful. SO I bit the bullet and called Anne myself. I am an adult and although family relations, especially my exclusion from them, can be difficult, its better to be upfront. I think deep down I was hoping that it was a mistake. But,alas, no: I just wasn't invited. I told Anne I had heard it was Tiggy's shower on Saturday and was there a reason I wasn't included. She basically said that my brother Chris had made the invitation list and he made it based on who he thought should be there. After hearing other rationales and a bit about how my brothers and I aren't close, it became clear and those unsettling feelings I had last week came back to mys tomach: the boys really don't consider me to be a part of their family. This makes me astonishingly sad, I will admit, though I would probably never admit it in public. My baravdo is too much for that. Even though there has been a bit of a rift with the boys since I relocated to Somerville in 2002, I would never write them off and not claim them as family. Perhaps, they have never known loss or emptiness related to family. Though I have to claim responsibility for my own actions, Doug really f*cked things up for me with the Balboni side for a long time, too long really. I haven't gotten a chance to recover with Chris and Doug, unfortunately. Guess they won't be stepping forward anytime soon to volunteer a kid(ney). No that's selfish.
I think that I will begin the healing process, or that's why I hope it will turn out to be, with some letters. I think I express myself pretty well- why not give it a shot?
I got up at 12 today, which is really yesterday now that I see the time, and decided that I should join the world. I could have slept the day away, but then I wouldn't sleep tonight, you know, now since I haven't gone to bed. I just got a phone call from a match guy but do I want to talk to someone at 1:18am? I think I'll see how I feel when I finish this. I went to my mom's pool, where my mom, my grandparents, my cousin Cheryl and her daughter Hannah. It's funny because Hannah thinks my real name is Jilly Bean since that is how my family refers to me. CHERYL is my special person of the day. She is my most normal relative of my generation. She always checks on me and is just as cheerful as I am. She works hard and is successful. Though she had a great husband, Scott, she is the epitome of an independent woman of the new millenium (now 5 years old).
When I got home, I painted the shot glass shelf I got for Carrie's collection. I re-painted the believe sign I have in my living room then, feeling inspired working with all the paint, I did a canvas of orchids (see above). After I went to Ziggy's for a twist soft serve ice cream. I am not supposed to have ice cream or chocolate according to my kidney dietary restrictions. I had to say "screw it" tonight. I have probably been saying that too much lately. It's that wicked,wicked drug Prednisone that leaves me with horrible cravings to the point I would chew my arm off just to have the taste I desire. I don't wish Prednisone on my worst enemy (Ok- maybe I'd wish it on one person).

Well, it's now 2:09am and I am trying to get myself off to bed. Then plan is to work on achieving unadulterated sleep first, then trying to get the time frame adjusted. Wish me luck- please post anything you have found successful in conquering insomnis- there seems to be a bunch of us struggling with it.
"The Drugs Don't Work" - Ben Harper: "Me and Ativan: The Drugs Don't Work - Ben Harper"

Friday, July 01, 2005

Today's Rating: 7.5
I would say that today was another 7.5 day- not that I am complaining. I will say that since I rarely sleep and earlier than 4am, just as the sunlight grazes my window shade, I sleep the day away and feel like a loser. I got up today at 3pm, though by nature I get up a couple times to let the dogs out, but I am barely conscious. I was productive when I got up though. I brought the girls at Highland Medical Center an afternoon MaryLou's pick up, even though it was my first jolt of caffeine. Detroit Joe and I took a ride and a walk. His crankiness is getting better. You have to love anyone that would put up with the torture he endures. (see photos) Scooter was much more up for posing with the purple sunglasses.
No dialysis today so my feet resemble those of Fred Flinstone. (Yabbadabbadooo!)

I got some sad news today...Char (Fletcher) Fontan, a tridelta from Beta Lambda (UCF), just experienced the loss of her husband in Iraq when his helipcopter was shot down. Please keep Char and all our troops fighting this needless war in your heart and prayers. There are too many young widows nowadays and while I will keep my political inklings away from my blog not to disrupt the large number of Republicans reading the blog- politics belong somewhere else, not here. Char was a sweet girl, quiet in the majority of TriDeltas who let her star shine quietly among the galaxy of others.

Below please read THE CREED FOR THOSE WHO HAVE SUFFERED. This message has come to me again and again when I need it. I tried to find a Bible verse to send her, but I am not very good with a Bible (my hands keep burning every tiem I pick it up, no just kidding, don't mean to be irreverent). I hope that it finds special meaning for you.

A Creed For Those Who Have Suffered
I asked for strength that I might achieve. I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health that I might do great things. I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy. I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men. I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life. I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing I asked for - but everything I had hoped for. Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered. I am, among men, most richly blessed.
This poem was written by an unknown Confederate soldier during the American Civil war. I'm certain we can find echoes of our own prayers and anxious desires within his words. Unfortunately very few of us possess his wisdom and outlook on life.
As this seasoned soldier reflected upon his troubled life, he had the ability to look beyond the various ups and downs to see the greater good that God was always achieving for him. He was a man of faith. He understood the role God was playing in the midst of his suffering and heartache. In the end, his faith gave him the ability to say that among men, he was rich beyond measure.

Back to the Blog...

Last night after posting, I decided to web browse and I came across a beloved ex, DJ Hamilton's (pictured above on right) email address. Some may remember DJ for his infamous fight with Chris Day (LXA) over me on the front of the TriDelta lawn inwhich several shrubs were destroyed. DJ the DJ for 101.1 in Orlando, though not really up for a monogamous relationship, was great for fun. He's the type of guy who isn't afraid to put himself out there and be laughed at, but more often that not people are laughing with him. He once prided himself on the fact that he dated two UCF Homecoming queens so hemust be some kind of stud. I think of all the people I've come across, Dj taught me not to take life too seriously. He also taught me that you can only party like a rock star for so long. I'm glad he's doing well.

I thought that I would write daily about special people that I am thankful for. Today I am thankful for REBECCA HEJL and APRIL (DODSON) AGNEW, and of course, I would be remiss not to mention CARRIE "HOOKER" HOOKS. When I pledged Delta Delta Delta in 1994, I had no idea what to expect. I was very young (17 the whole first year) and my family was 1500 miles away. My sisters helped me through some very tough times. Its amazing the people that surprise us and become our most valued friends. These ladies have taken me into their hearts and they sustain me with friendship and support. I hear from them on an almost daily basis and when I was drowning in my own pity party, they threw me a life preserver and kept me a float. I am truly blessed. I don't think I have any pictures of Rebecca, but please see the other girls in the photo. More favorite people to follow...

Well, this feels pretty long. I want to thank everybody for the posts. I have gotten a boost of confidence from those that you telling me I'm beautiful- its been a long time since any one besides my mom has uttered those words. AW- shucks.

"Button Up Your Overcoat" - Various Artists - Memoir Records: "In REMEMBRANCE OF JANICE BALBONI. Today is my grnadmother's birthday.She used to sing this song to me... May she rest in peace1. Button Up Your Overcoat - Various Artists - Memoir Records"