Saturday, May 28, 2011

What's new, Pussycat?

It's more like "retract your cranky claws, Natalie". These past few weeks have been nothing but stressful, and quite frankly...I've been cranky. Not just a little cranky, but "leave me alone, I want to be by myself and I'm pretty much sick of everything" cranky. So, just to give you an update, here goes:

1) Kevin had been having recurring chest pain. Long story short....he had a stress test which came back "entirely normal and completely good" as his doctor put it. Although grateful for the outcome, next comes the thought of "great, when's the bill coming?". A stress test is over $3000, but thank God we have insurance. I still don't like bills.
2) Our basement flooded...not once, but TWICE in two days. Long story short...we had to file an insurance claim, the carpet/pad were destroyed and removed, mold was growing and now we have the joy of cleaning up and making sense of the ugliness left. The furniture must be disposed of and I really don't even like going downstairs right now. We got a bit of money from our claim, but nowhere near enough for us to contemplate waterproofing. So, we deal with the ugliness, clean what we can, throw out what we can and move on....and wait for the next round of water. Ugh.

The unfortunate thing is that now I am riddled with anxiety every time it rains. And, trust me...we are getting a LOT of rain nowadays. The other night when I went to bed I thought one of the dogs was moving the bed. Then, I realized it was ME who was moving. My entire body was quivering with anxiety as I listened to yet another thunderstorm roll on by. I was terrified of the thought of what water was creeping in our basement yet again. I feel like my chest is tight, I am stressed and quite frankly I am wondering if I need to make an appt. with my doc for something to calm my nerves before I have my first-ever panic attack. So, keep me in your prayers. Feeling REALLY strung out right now and I don't like it. I think the last 6 months have just been an overload from my job being so busy, to everyday stressors, to situational event stress/anxiety and it is just compounding into how I feel right now.

Now, the good news:
Kevin, his mom and I enjoyed a wonderfully relaxing weekend in West Virginia recently. His grandma lives LITERALLY on top of hill in the middle of nowhere. You have to drive through a field, a creek and up a bumpy LONGGGGGGGGGG, TALLLLLLLLLLL hill to get to her house. The whole world stopped for a while and all I thought about was the cool breeze, sounds of nature all around and the squeak of the porch swing moving to and fro. Just reading that makes me want to go She had the best ice cold well water and old-fashioned Percale sheets. Anyone that knows me well, KNOWS I LOVE SOFT SHEETS. Ahhh...

Here are some picture highlights from our visit.
Just a bit away from her house looking towards the woods where the LONG descent begins down that winding hillside "road". Pictures do not capture how steep and long this hill is once you enter the wooded area. Basically while standing here, imagine ending up at the bottom of a big hill to the FAR LEFT of yourself...yet being about a half mile away. If you know anything about WV's super steep. Super steep! So, imagine it but I can't really show you how far up we were in this spot. You gotta be there.

The signature porch swing. His grandma's favorite spot. She has two big shade trees that protect you from the sun when you sit here and the breeze blows right across here just melting away your frustrations.

From her house looking to the left, this is the top of one of the many ridges in that area. Again, the depth and distance is hard to fathom from a seemingly "flat" picture. I love the curve of this ridge, and the contrast of all the colors on this gorgeous sunny day. Ahhhhh...

Hubby and his gun. He and I were heading "over a hill, in the pasture, along the cow path, through the soggy mud, and up a ridge" to search for groundhogs. Grandma's beagle Heidi followed us and began to bark (aka howl) as she trailed something. So much for getting a groundhog. I do love his picture though. I think it just shows my honey relaxed, soaking up the sun and heading out to do something he loves in a place so dear to his heart. Sweet.

And, last but not least....I got to scrapbook with my Girlz last night here in Ashland. I am currently working on a gift album for my hair stylist Abby. She is due any minute now and we will be excited to meet her baby girl Kamryn Lane. Going last night (I am so tired that I had second thoughts.) reminded me that I MUST keep doing what I love, giggle uncontrollably and forget about my troubles for a while. I must or I'll die from stress. So, it was great to see the ones who could attend (including my wonderful mom) and I got a lot done.

Hope everyone enjoys their extra time off during this Memorial Day weekend and don't forget to remember those who lost their lives serving our country or have passed on after their tour of duty. I am thinking particularly of my Uncle Bill who served in the Army Special Forces in Vietnam. He died in 1995 from cancer.

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