Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Well Worth the Wait!

My date finally happened on Sunday. We spent the whole afternoon and evening together. We had a late lunch at Texas Roadhouse, walked around the mall, stopped at Home Depot so I could look at new doors for two closets (he was shocked that I WANTED to go there) then we went to see "Hancock". After the movie, we stopped by Target so I could pick something up. Then he suggested going to a park by the river to take a walk. We ended up watching the sun set. Once the bugs started to bite, Vince asked if there was anywhere else I'd like to go. I said he'd seen where I lived, but I didn't know where he lived. We went to his house where I made fast friends with his cat, Skunk. Yes, his cat's name is SKUNK! Vince said that as a kitten he had a white stripe down his back.

It was a very nice day. He was a perfect gentleman.....opening doors and paying for everything and he even brought me a rose.

Our second date occurred yesterday. I was out getting the great deal I already posted about when he called. He told me that he enjoyed our date, but there's something he needed to tell me and he didn't want to tell me over the phone so he wanted to come over after work. I agree.

For the next five hours, I wonder what could be so bad, is he......married, just out of prison, wanted by the law for murder, dying of a horrible illness, a former female? All these thoughts tumble around in my mind until he arrives. Once he tells me his secret, I practiccally sigh with relief. I tell him it's not a big deal to me, both my BFFs have done it and my oldest brother has done it 3 times. My other brother should do it. Vince said but he'd tried to make it work, but she wouldn't try. He said that being Catholic it was considered a sin, but at Christmas even his dad told him that he should file for divorce. They'd been married over 4 years, but having trouble for the last year and a half of it. The way he talked, he really feels like he failed. He told me that a lot of people don't know about it. He was nervous about telling me because other women have ran when he told them. Me? LOL I ended up asking him to stay for supper!

Buy One Get FOUR Free?

That's basically the deal that I got at Sears yesterday. I bought three tops, a black skirt and a gray skirt (hidden behind the tops) for a grand total of $36.20! I didn't realize until I got home, but each of the five items was originally priced at $36.00. That's 80% savings! My only dissapointment was that all the capris that I found on sale were size 12 or smailler.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

It's Been a Looonnnngggg Two Weeks!

My mama when she was in her twenties/early thirties....wasn't she beautiful?

This time two weeks ago, I was in the ER with my mother. I didn't expect her to live 24 hours. However, God was gracious enough to give me about 120 hours with her.

On that Monday morning she woke up in the ICU by 5 am and the nurse helped her clean up. Mom said that was the first time in ages that she'd been able to sit up without being dizzy and her head hurting. I washed her hair with these neat shower cap like caps that had no-rinse shampoo in them and then attempted to detangle her waist length hair. After about 2-3 hours of trying to comb her hair, we were both ready for a break. Mom said she was going to read her book ("The Journey" by Billy Graham) and try to take a nap. I was going to run to CVS to pick up a couple things and then go home for a few minutes to take care of the pets. I was gone for about 4 hours. When I got back, I discovered her ICU room empty. Her nurse said she was getting a echocardiagram. It was another half hour before Mom was back in the room and settled enough for visitors. My two BFF, who are twins that I've known since I was one year old had came to visit along with their older sister and grown niece. Mom was happy to see them and smiling. The only thing different was that she seemed to have a sore throat. I didn't think much of it because I felt like I was getting a cold.

After my friends left, I tried again to comb her hair. I was very tired with my feet hurting and Mom was getting mad because I couldn't get the knots out. At 10:00 (three hours later), I finally finished. Mom was still mad at me and I was getting upset with her. I almost went home for the night, but then I overheard the nurses talking. I finally figured out that they were talking about Mom.......she was getting worse. Something had changed with her heart. I stayed the night again and they came in several times to check her heart.

The next morning, her doctor pulled me aside and told me she thought that day (Tuesday) would be Mom's last day on Earth. They thought she may have had a heart attack (heart enzymes were up, but just a little). The doctor said Mom's sore throat was the beginning of her body shutting down. They started her on Morphine that day. She was out of it most of the afternoon.

The next day, I woke up at around 4am. Mom was still asleep so I went to the restroom and out to the waiting room to talk to my brother. I get back about 4:30 to find Mom awake drinking orange juice. She had a big smile on her face and said she'd had the best dreams.....she'd been dreaming of riding on clouds. Later that day, she was moved to a regular room so family could visit more comfortably...even moving the second bed out. Mom was on a low does of morphine at the time....out of pain, but she could still communicate. Three of my aunts and a cousin came back to visit. Mom wanted to talk to one aunt in particular and was waving her hand at the rest. My cousin said, "look she's waving at us". I replied that I thought she wanted to talk to Aunt Jo Ann alone so the others left the room. She told her younger sister Jo Ann that she loved her and that she was going to be okay because she was going to go to Heaven. I cry just typing that because it was just so sweet. Mom got many visiters that day---sisters, nieces, grandkids, and of course her kids. After the evening service that night, my friend Mary who's the wife of my church's pastor came back to visit. Mom could still whisper so they had a talk. Mary asked Mom if she wanted the pastor to come see her when he got back that night from Ohio or wait until morning. He had went there for the college he teaches because he thought Mom was going to be okay, but when he found out she was getting worse he'd cut his trip short. Mom nodded when Mary said "come as soon as he gets back" and Mom whispered and told her to bring Daniel who is their 23 year old son who has Down's Syndrome. Mom was all smiles when they came back at 1 am. She called Daniel her grandson and said he was beautiful.

On Thursday morning, Mom requested orange juice. She was "NOP" or "nothing by mouth" due to her swallowing difficulty. My sister got permission for Mom to have a little bit. THen Mom told her that it wasn't cold enough and it needed ice. I woke up a short time later. I told Mom that I had to go home real quick to take care of the furbabies. Ginger, the dog, hadn't been outside in over 24 hours....Mom opened her eyes real big hearing that. Then she told me that she wanted her necklace w/ my dad's picture back on when I got back (I'd been wearing it during her hospital stay). I came back two hours later and Mom was out again. She was unable to communicate the rest of the day and appeared to be asleep. That evening two aides had come in to turn her over. They were discussing which was to turn her and Mom turned herself to one side. The closest aid said "I think she wants to be on this side" and Mom reached out towards her. That showed me that she was aware of what was going on.

That evening Aunt Jo Ann said she had a feeling that Mom was going to pass that night. At 2 am, Mom was so still that I thought she wouldn't live to see daylight. God however, was gracious again and let me talk to her one more time. At 7 am I wake up and so does Mom. She asks for water and I dip the little sponge in water to wet her mouth, but she wants a drink. We got permission for her to have as much water as she wanted. I got to tell her one more time that I loved her and that even though I complained I was glad that I got to take care of her. She nodded that she understood and tried to tell me that she loved me. She was getting very aggitated and the nurse said that sometimes people hang on to talk or see someone one last time. I asked Mom if there was anyone else she wanted to talk to. I named my two nephews who were out of state...she shook her head. She tried to say "Aunt" so I started naming off my aunts...I was afraid she was wanting to talk to my aunt that was in IL in a coma. When I got to my Aunt Rosie, Mom nodded. I got her phone number and called her. She talked as I held the phone to Mom's ear. Mom tried to tell her that she loved her. The nurses had to give her a does of Adavan later to ease her anxiety....she was shaking like a leaf. Then they got permission from the doctor for a morphine drip. Mom was out for the rest of the day.

At about 8pm, we could tell that she was getting closer to Heaven. Her breathing became more and more erractic. My BFF's brother had mentioned earlier that day that when their mom died they were singing hymns around her. That sounded so peaceful and hopeful. Plus, I knew that Mom wouldn't want everyone just starimg at her and crying. I asked my BFF Lula if she knew all the words to "When We All Get to Heaven". She didn't but she called her sister who had a hymn book at her house. Lula's BIL brought it to us. Mary, Bro. Bill and Daniel just happened to show up a few minutes later so Mary and Daniel sang with us. We ended up singing for nearly two hours.

Shortly after 11 pm, my aunts decided to go home and get some sleep. Lula and I were sitting on one side of Mom's bed and my oldest brother on the other. My sister and I noticed that Mom was swallowing something that she hadn't been able to do earlier. The large lump in her throat appeared to be moving lower. At around 11:30,
it was just my two brothers, my cousin, Lula, and me in the room. My sister had just stepped out to use the restroom. I picked up the last taco that Lula had got me. I heard Mom take a breath, but didn't hear anything else. I drop the taco and turn to face her.....she was gone. It's like she was waiting for us to stop focusing on her.

One of my brothers didn't come around as much as Mom wanted him to. Once she said "he doesn't care", but looking back I think it was too hard for him to see her like that. He did apologize for all the trouble he'd put her through. He was a difficult child and never grow out of it, just got into bigger trouble I guess. He got upset with me on Friday moring because Mom wasn't on any type of IV for hydration. I told him that I had nothing to do with it, the doctor didn't ask me. I told him to talk to the doctor himself and he said "I'm sure you already told the doctor what YOU want". He got a whole mess started because Mom never appointed a POA, but we found out that Mom herself had talked to the doctor and did not want an IV or any life-prolonging procedures.

The past week without Mom has been hard, but not as hard as watching her die. I know that she's in Heaven with my dad, no longer in pain. I think she must look like she did in the picture above once again.

Lessons learned from these two weeks: Never take anyone for granted, tell loved ones that you love them, make sure you have a living will.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

So Far, So Good!

Just a quick update on the last thing I expected! Vince and I haven't had an actual date yet--that's coming up this weekend--but we've talked on the phone several times. In fact, tonight we talked for about THREE HOURS! We talked about a little of everything. Get this----even COUPONS! LOL And HE was the one to bring it up. I was talking about how prices were going up....canned Friskes up almost a quarter in less than a month! And then Vince says that he's started to use coupons! How cool is that?! LOL I told him about GC and our coupon swap. I also told him about my hound at CVS today and the 3 bottles of PertPlus I got for 50 cents a bottle. He said I sounded like a good bargain shopper. I even asked if he shopped at CVS and explained the ExtraCare Card.

I like him, girls! I'm not rushing into anything, but he's the best I've found in over a decade!!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

CVS Deals

Yesterday, I went to CVS to get the July deals. Frugalsuz had mentioned the CVS make-up removers being free after ECBs so I had to find out if I could get them at my store.

Here's what I got:

2 22pk CVS pantyliners = $1.98
2 Sure 2.6 deordorant = $5.98
1 CVS exfoliant face wipe = $3.49
1 Revlon ponytail holder = $5.99
1 Revlon hairclip = $5.99

Qs I used:

$4 off $20
$1 off each Sure deo (I also have a BOGO mail-in rebate to send in)
$3 off skincare
$11 ECBs

Total OOP = $3.81
Amount saved = $20
ECBs earned = $12.97

When I got to the car, I realized that I had a regular CVS make-up remover wipes in my bag that the cashier forgot to ring up. So I go back in to pay for it (and get 2.99 more ECBS.

1 CVS make-up remover = $2.99
used 1.98 ECBs
Total OOP = $1.08
Earned 2.99 ECBs

Next transaction:

3 CVS 15 ct. make-up removal wipes = $8.97
used $8 ECBS
Total OOP = $1.04
Earned 8.97 ECBs

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Cupid Comes In a Variety of Disguises......

But who'd ever expect to have their local mechanic to play cupid? LOL Sounds crazy, doesn't it? Ok, maybe Roger didn't EXACTLY play cupid, but he played a part in it.

I mentioned in an earlier that when I finally took my car in Thursday to have the other shop's mistakes corrected Vince said "There she is", like they'd been waiting for me or something. Well, I told my BFF, Lula, and she said maybe he was flirting with me. I laughed her off and told her that they were probably wondering what took me so long to get back. She said, "you never know!"

To be completely honest, I really didn't give it much thought or pay much attention to Vince. He looked familiar, but he wasn't one of the guys who used to be down the street from me. I was so happy to see Roger, Robbie and Dave that I could've hugged them all because I knew that they could fix the mess that Dave's ex's mechanics had made out of my car. I will admit that I noticed Vince.....he IS cute, but I just wanted my car to be fixed.

Well, Sunday afternoon I get a phone call from Vince. He asks if I've found a rachet and socket that he'd lost. I had just cleaned out the car (the first time in AGES!) and hadn't seen it so I tell him that I'll keep an eye out for it. He thanks me for looking and tells me he's hopes it's okay that he got my number off the book at the shop. I tell him it's fine.

Later, I start to think that maybe the rachet could be under the hood....Hey, Roger found a magnet thingy under there a week earlier and last October I found a huge screw driver that either Robbie or Roger left.....so it wasn't impossible. I go out and take a look....no rachet, but no cap on my resevior either! So I call Vince's number (that was on my cell) and leave a message. He calls back later and says that the resevior cap was missing when I brought the car in (so-called mechanics in IN lost it!) and he forgot to tell me. He chats for a minute and then says something about not wanting to be too forward but would it be okay to ask me out! I'm a little....suprised, but not completely shocked. He says that Roger (who's worked on my car for years and went to school w/ my brother)told him that I was a nice girl. I tell him that it's okay and I wouldn't mind. He then tells me that his last day working for Dave was Friday because he's starting back with his old boss on Monday. He also tells me that he filled in once over at the shop near me (when Dave still owned it) and had seen me before. I vaguely remember him, but I guess I made an impression on him!

We haven't made plans for a date yet....he's going out of town this weekend to visit his family and I've got to make sure Mom has someone with her before I can even leave the house. I don't know much about him, but we talked on the phone tonight. I'm just still suprised by this. I've always joked that I'm a weirdo magnet and he seems pretty normal so far. Good-looking, employed, nice voice.....and doesn't give me the creeps....that's more than I can say for most of the guys who've asked me out in the past few years!