Ah, Family!

This weekend was the Husband’s family reunion.  Normally we skip this event, except for the year that it’s our branch’s turn to host.  Then there’s no way he can get out of it.  The extra bonus is seeing our Niece and Nephew and their kids.  And their parents, although I don’t think their parents like us very much.  (Based on their reaction to the multiple invitations to visit our home.)  They stay with my SIL, because she has room and can keep her mouth shut when they say something she disagrees with.  (Not so much the husband.)

When we host the reunion, we do so at my SIL’s church.  She has taken over the matriarch role since my husband’s parents passed and she is the keeper of all family history.  She knows relatives names to 1,000 places.  And their birthdays and how they are sort of related to us but not really.  We all decided to meet at the church at 9:30 am to get things ready.  Dinner was to be served at 1:00, but people could be expected to start showing up around 11:30, since they were coming from all around the state.   When we got there at 9:30, there was already a crowd working on setup (who knows what time they got there) so every thing was pretty much done by 10:00.  (Many hands and all.)  That made for a fun couple of hours sitting around.  But it was nice to have more time to visit with the people we care about.

We ate some good farm food and ate some yummy deserts and had the silent auction to raise money for the next reunion.  Everything was going as usual.   Until one of the shirt-tail cousins came in the door carrying her two year old and calling her sister a C-U-Next-Tuesday at the top of her lungs.  Apparently, there is some strife between the two over a rental property and a lawsuit.  Just a little.  So sisters are screaming at each other and one is spouting profanity at the other in the church community room.  Their mother seemed oblivious to the situation, so I felt free to butt in and ask them to please have some respect.  Believe me, I used my grown-up voice.  And when Cussy McCusserston decided she was taking her toys and going home, I helped her carry them out.

You do not disrespect my SIL in her place of worship.

The (obviously) saner of the two sisters sort of apologized and helped us start cleaning up, because people had somehow disappeared while we were “working things out.”   Which was okay by us.  We got out of there about an hour earlier than planned.

So, aside from that, and Husband leaving to “let the dog out” for over an hour while I stayed behind with his family, the family reunion was a success.  We won’t have to go for another three or four years and by that time who knows how much family there will be to reunite?  Many of us would like to start having reunions of just the bloodline of Husbands grandparents.  I’m all about that.  And then we could have it on a Saturday!  And maybe Husband would want to go.


A few other things:

  1. Went to the oncologist yesterday and per their scale I have lost five pounds since my visit to my regular doctor on the 7th.  I would have liked it to be more, however, I am trying to not get hung up on numbers and just focus on the health.  I don’t have a scale at home and probably won’t be weighed again until October.
  2. Still keeping up with the splashing class.  The instructor was out last week and three of us even met at the pool to do some working out while she was gone.   Most of the friends I’ve started with have quit going but I made a new friend in the one who hasn’t.
  3. I am not even close to menopause.  Sigh.
  4. My reduction of sugar in my diet is going well.  Not perfectly by any means, but enough that my beloved Caramel Macchiato was too sweet this week.  I’ve added Salmon to my diet about once a week (even though it’s super expensive).
  5. I’m remembering how good it feels to eat well and move more.  (Why do I always have to remember that?)
  6. I did not take a single nap this weekend!  While I love my naps, I don’t like feeling like I have to have one to get through the day.  And I prefer that reason that I’m not taking one be that I’m busy doing something active.
  7. I bought a skort.  I bought it to wear to the reunion because it was hotter than the surface of the sun that day and I decided I didn’t care how ugly my legs were, I was going to go for comfort.  I don’t really know what I looked like but I looked at least as good as anyone there and I felt cute so that’s all that matters.


  1. Incorporate some movement into my days when I don’t have class.
  2. Cook more.
  3. Get more sleep. I’ve taken to staying up too late again.  I need sleep.  Sleep is good.

What Works and What Doesn’t

Things that are working well for me:

  1. I have made it to Water Aerobics four weeks in a row.
  2. This is my fourth week without soda. (Diet or regular.) (Yes, I still want one, especially first thing in the morning.)
  3. #1 has made me strive to move more. We’re talking baby steps here.
  4. I’m getting out of work on time. (Although this has more to do with the fact that we’re woefully short on work than my own tenacity.)
  5. My friend gave me her mother’s steel guitar. Learning to play the steel guitar has always been on my bucket list.  Based on the research I did yesterday, I will be 80 before I can produce anything but sound.
  6. I went to the farmer’s market and bought some fresh veggies and a loaf of wonderfully dense wheat bread.
  7. I resisted both bagels and an amazing cake at work last week. (The cake was from a bakery called “Love and Buttercream”.  SERIOUSLY?  I’m salivating from typing it.)

Things that aren’t working as well for me:

  1. Still struggling to not let the job piss me off.
  2. Still struggling to not condescend when talking to my mother. (Even though she says stuff that makes me want to hang up on her.)
  3. I have pain in both knees and my right hip. It doesn’t bother me too much, but climbing stairs has become a real challenge.
  4. I went to the Dr. on Tuesday and have gained 15 pounds since my last appointment, 3 months ago.
  5. She also put me back on Glucophage because my insulin was high, even though my blood sugar was normal.
  6. And she told me that I am nowhere near menopause yet, so the Tamoxifen/Effexor combination is going to be the only thing that I can do for the foreseeable future.

All of this pales in comparison to the one thing that happened and is both bad and good.

The boy is not going to the fancy art school in September.

I am heartbroken.  He is sad but is dealing with it, which makes me prouder still.

He received his final financial aid statement on Monday.  He was excited that he got a couple of government loans and a grant.   But the part I saw was the remainder due.  He was $30K short for the year.

I kept stressed about it and did some research until he went to meet with the Advisor on Wednesday.  That’s when he came home, having pretty much already decided not to continue.  The part that hurt me was when he said I’d need to cosign and I told him his mother has super shitty credit and is currently over extended (and has been that way for the last 12 years), so I could not do that.  Nor could I get a PLUS loan because I’m not ready to add to my debt load at that rate.   We also talked about how he’d be $100K or more in debt at the end and his dad and I really didn’t want that burden for him.

He agreed, also pointing out that he would not have any time to work on his current project, since a full credit load would be required.  The only thing he’s missing is the opportunity to mix with people like himself.  The social aspect was the biggest part.  That and having to tell everyone that he’s not going, when his mother made such a big frickin’ deal about it.  (My mother’s second sentence, of course, was, “Can I have my $100 back?”)

The plan is this:  Boy will take at least one class next semester; either at his community college or the local university.  It should be a class that will count toward any future education.  He’ll research other colleges that can provide the degree he wants and then re-evaluate in January.  Also, he will get his 2016 FSFA application in early enough in the year to make a difference.   For my part, I’m going to solidly work on getting our debt-load down so the possibility of helping him is not completely out of the question.

So…current goals are:

  • Continue to reduce work stress.
  • Be aware of/reduce the “Glycemic Index” of my diet. (Except on pizza Wednesdays.)
  • Move more.
  • Reduce debt load.

I know you all atwitter waiting for the results.  Stay tuned.