So beat…

It’s Tuesday and I’m already ready to call it a week…

Ok I wrote that first sentence went to bathroom and while I was washing my hands looked in the mirror and counted 5…. FIVE grey hairs…. 2 in my bangs… that is NOT ok ppl… and I’ll tell you why… because I pulled out 4 grey hairs last week… the curse of Grandmother is coming… I can feel it… she was grey by 28 or something rediculous and the stress of work and school is just bringing it on that much faster… AHHHHHHH i wanna cry…

Ugh… but seriously, life is insane, can you tell my by complete and utter lack of posts… maybe 2 a week at this rate… and that’s even including the fact that I have weekends off… I stilllll can’t keep up… doesn’t help that my flash drive decided to die on me yesterday… technology hates me I tell you…

But none the less… this schedule is a killer… you would think the 10 am start would be fabulous which it is… but the walking in the door at 7:30-8pm at night… not so fab… bah… humbug…

And late night dinners… killing me… I need to get a fix on the food/dinner thing and fast… Steve even said so because its the one meal he consistantly eats and he’s eating like 3 portions and at 8:30 pm… gotta fix it…

But on the good note… Some day last week I can’t remember when… I discovered that Steve has a thing for citrus… lemon flavored things, orange flavored things… so when I made the lemon butter chicken he about died…

In the spirit of citrus I made parm panko crusted chicken (my fav) and lemon butter spaghetti with peas… BIG HIT!!! goooooo me…

some of the yum yum parm panko chicken

his plate* i'll explain the his plate her plate in min

her plate

someone kept trying to help herself so she got a timeout

So Steve is a rediculously picky eater….. like as in, i don’t want chunks in my pasta sauce picky… there shouldn’t be meat in my lasagna picky…. i don’t like thick burgers because they don’t cook right picky…. (and I thought I was bad when I was a kid… at least I had a go to meal of mashed potatos peas and a hot dog)…

sooooo basically I’ve started to make half the meal Steve’s way if possible (casseroles he has to suck it up and pick ou the chunks) and half my way… and to tell the difference we use a white plate for him and a blue plate for me… kinda sad but it is damn efficient…

The white plate is also a little more spill proof because it has a little lip on the edge which he swears I need more than him but with the speed that he eats I’ll let him have the food guard…

Hoping to make stuffed shells tonight inspired by Picky Palate … because i’ve got some italian sausage in dire need of cooking and some shells and ricota cheese begging for my attention too… once again… steve’s will be special made Mr. no meat in my pasta sauce… god i don’t know how the italian in me can date him….

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I’m disabled…… what?

It’s official… I’m registered with the University’s Disability Resources and Services Center…

WHHHHHHHHHHHAT

source 

That’s the face some of my friends from high school are making as they read that…. then again some are probably saying DUHHHHH your common sense is non-existant…

But ok let’s get to the meat of why I’m even posting this… Why did I need to registers with the Disability Center?  Why would a grad student like me who seems completely “normal” (which is a bad word to use by the way) need to do such a thing… well lets lay it out there…

I got through high school just fine… graduated top 5% in my class of 500+ students… made it through college ok… had a 3.85 GPA out of my undergrad program and I’ve gotten accepted to a pretty good graduate school I think… all without any consideration for any type of disability or condition… why now?

Firstly… let’s be honest… when we hear disability or learning disabled what comes to our mind?

  • dyslexia
  • ADHD
  • mental handicap / low IQ
  • Autism/Aspergers

or physical disabilities such as

  • hard of hearing
  • blind
  • paralysis

As a social worker by education I like to think that I don’t hold on to the stereotypes that society can’t seem to let go of… but as I was faced with my own dilemma of whether I wanted to register my “condition” – which we’ll get to in a minute, I was shocked to find myself going “but I’m not disabled”.  Oh my lord did I just want to smack myself after I realized what I was thinking.  Seriously, was I that egotistical that I thought I was better than other people because I was deemed a “normal” – there’s that word again – person by societies standards?

Here we are in this hush-hush society about learning disabilities and even non-learning disabilities that can in effect actually impact our learning in the long run.  What are we teaching our next generations about what is acceptable and what they should feel comfortable with?  Are we breeding underlying discrimination by saying ‘oh you have ADHD, that’s ok we’ll tell your teachers, but don’t tell the other students’?

So what led me to this whole epiphany…

from living with migraine (http://migraine.co.nz/)

 yes…… migraines…. they make my face and head feel like they are blowing up and tearing apart and I just want to put a drill through my face to diffuse the pressure…. I’ve had them since I was 16 and nothing has ever really worked to treat them that was affordable…

Finally in May they got to be too much to handle… They were lasting for 3-4 days at a time and then after one would finally end within a couple of days it would be back again… it truly was debilitating… So at that point I saw a neurologist… She put me on a cocktail of medications, both preventative and reactive… the preventative is working… the reactive one not so much but I hardly need it given that the twice daily dose of Topamax is keeping those migraines at bay…

The only problem…. with all medications there are side effects…  The one I had hoped for was weight loss… I have lost my appetite a bit but eh…..

Here’s the big issue…  a known side effect of Topamax is problems with word recall, short-term memory and confusion… well guess who hit the lottery with those suckers???? your’s truly….

I’ve never been the best public speaker to begin with and now lets add in when I’m in the middle of talking and my whole brain literally just wipes completely blank… I’m lucky I can remember my name and the last thing I just said… I usually end up repeating myself or what the person before me just stated and then after a minute I can get my speech and brain jump started again and I’m back on track…

However it makes me come across as unprepared or even stupid at times… wonderful first year of grad school with oral presentations out my tukkas and I can’t even put a full sentence together half of the time without a stutter…

So I went to my advisor and my boss who is also a professor in the school and asked for advice… My boss refered me to the Disability Resources and Services Center.  It took me two weeks to suck it up and go.  I didn’t want to be stigmatized.

After speaking with one of the counselors over the last two weeks, I’m not the only person with migraines that needs a little bit of help.  Apparently severe migraines are a covered chronic medical condition… WHO KNEW?! and who would classify that as a freaking disability… most people tell you to take some Advil and suck it up…

Bottom line is I’m not asking to be excused from any of my projects or any tests…  I’m not asking for anyone to go easy on me or not call on me during class… I’m just asking my professors to understand if it takes me an extra minute to put my thoughts together that there’s a chemical reason why… or if I’ve had to miss a class it may be because I really cannot be in bright lights because I’m in the midst of a full on migraine…

Most of all, after this entire process I don’t want to be quiet about my migraines or about the medication I take and the side effects it causes… I want to tell everyone to stand up for themselves and to say hey I deserve to be treated just like you no matter what my situation… I still think I’m normal even though my newly registered status at DRS may define me differently… because honestly, more of the population is suffering from some type of disabling condition then we’d like to admit… and if we’d all just open up and talk about it maybe we’d end up being a healthier community in the end…

Think about it…

I urge everyone to look into their local disability centers in their communities, schools, or work places and see just really what they offer because I guarantee there might be something there that you find you or someone you care about may actually find beneficial… forget the stigma… RISE ABOVE IT….

out of nowhere

Those sunday breakdowns I mentioned way back when have ceased since putting in my two weeks at Dave and Busters and recently Steve has been spending Sunday’s here…

And I’ve been so busy that really I just haven’t been feeling that tore up about Dad recently… I even said last week that I was doing better than any recent years… His birthday went by and I did ok, a week passed, I did ok… I’m in school getting the same degree that he did and I’m doing ok…

And then today, I’m on my way home from work and school and I just started crying… nothing triggered it… well nothing major… ok… well maybe something… I’m worried how I’ll hold up if someone who really did know my dad runs into me during my schooling and really asks me about him or what impact he had on me and my decision to pursue this career…

Sooooooo, not like there is much of a chance of that happening… I share a last name with a former starting NFL QB and will probably get asked more if I’m related to him but still… In the healthcare community, my dad was a CEO for 15 years, who’s to say that someone won’t put 2 and 2 together and ask me about him etc….

I pulled myself together pretty quickly but a couple times as the night has gone on I’ve just had a quick burst of tears… they last about 2 minutes and then I’m done… so weird… I feel ok… But my god I miss him…

Then I’m watching DWTS and Jennifer Grey is on and she has a breakdown about Patrick Swayze … and she called him fearless and what an amazing word to use to describe someone… I’d like to think that I’m fearless but I know I’m not… I hope that one day I can be…

I hope Dad wasn’t afraid of what he was facing… and now I’m crying again… because I know that he was… I remember him saying he was scared… and what do you tell a man who knows he’s dying and is terrified of what that means…

I hope it wasn’t anything to be scared of in the end Dad… I hope it was and is beautiful… and I hope you aren’t in pain and that you understand everything… I hope that you know I love you even when I say that I hate what happened… And most of all I hope you know I would give up about anything to have one day to spend with you…

whoops

Ok so that promised post didn’t make it up this weekend…

Instead, I ended up climbing up on the roof of my house and helping my boyfriend tear off one of the gutters and eves to reveal rotten wood and the beginnings of a decaying roof, not to mention that the past owners of the house had put a roof over a roof and I have two layers of shingles up there…

Basically in the next month we’ll be doing a DIY project with some of Steve’s friends/co-workers to replace the roof which should have been done 5 yrs ago by the previous owners and then shortly after that we’ll be tearing off the shingled siding and vinal siding combo the house is rocking…

As time goes on I can’t help but feel completely jipped by my home inspector who said sure you’ll need the roof replaced soon but you’ll be ok for a while, or sure this will need done but its not a big deal… basically his only freak out was the waste stack in the basement which was leaking… that was replaced before moving in but when the plumbers replaced it then never rechecked the plumbing leading to the day of move in a sewage back up in the basement…

Needless to say I flipped on the realator and the plumber because there is no way they flushed a toilet after replacing the wastestack and didn’t notice water backing up into the basement… 600 dollars later, I’ve had the pipes jetter and snaked and doing all I can not to tear up 15 feet of basement to replace seperated terra cota pipes… basically I love my house, but I never would have bought it had I had a PROPER home inspection…

we still don’t have access to the crawl space in the attic which was sealed up years ago apparently, honestly we wouldn’t be surprised to find a dead body up there at this rate…

But none the less, it was a heck of a bonding experience to think I was going to fall of the roof and die while steve and I lowered down the gutter and tore off rotting wood…

School and work have basically taken over my life… I don’t cook dinner on Monday’s and Wednesday because I’m not home until 8 pm… Tues and Thurs I stumble in at 7:30 and try to throw together some type of meal that can come together in 30 minutes or less… and by Friday after my morning class I am absolutely exhausted…

Take tomorrow for example…  I have a presenation to attend from 8-10 another from12:30-2:30 a meeting for work from 2:30-3:30 then class from 5:30-7… I feel like I run from one to another and just can’t ever seem to finish one task before starting the next one…

I guess I’ve got to teach myself how to plan, organize and just take it one step and a time…

Exams start up in just another week and I will have to make sure that I set aside enough time at night and in the morning before coming into the office to get them completed… We’ll see…

What keeps me going is how excited I am to see where this all takes me… I want to see how far I can go… I want to make something out of myself… I want to make the health care system better and the delivery of it to the public better…

Speaking of… I need to send in my membership forms to all of the orgnizations that office student memberships… gotta build that resume and get in good standing for chances at scholarships next year…

quick check in

Tomorrow I promise a much longer post… with lots of good stuff and reflection on things that have been coming up in my life…

But basically life has once again been incredibly insane from Monday night-Friday afternoon and I am now at 8pm on Friday just getting a chance to breathe and thing… between school, work and a horrible disagreement with something I ate yesterday which resulted in about 2 hrs of sleep last night i’m just worn out…

It makes me realize that I made the right decision to quit coaching and to quit Dave and Busters because I HAVE to have Saturday and Sunday to read all of my homework, do my assignments and to get my chores and laundry done… and i’m still a bit overwhelmed lol… at least I haven’t even had a chance to think about Dad… This is usually a really hard time of year for me and I feel completely fine in regards to that right now…

Anyways I look forward to catching up with the blog tomorrow!

kicking back at the B&B

Friday night Steve, his brother Dan and I all went out to visit family friends of his in New Florence, PA at a bed and breakfast they are getting ready to open. 

Northview Inn Bed and Breakfast will be up and running in no time and we got to get a behind the scenes look at things and sample the sleeping quarters and the scrumptious food.  On Saturday Steve and Dan did some tree work and I snapped some pictures while battling a lovely allergy migraine. 

The house and grounds are spectacular and even though we didn’t head in, the B&B is only minutes from historic Ligonier, PA.  If you live in the area, and want to have a nice get away, check them out.  Sorry for not writing more but I think pictures speak for themselves :).

the old Northview sign that was long gone by the time we left on Saturday afternoon, a new sign is made and will be hung up soon!

The B&B in the morning sun! Beautiful old gothic farmhouse

the posts that greet you when you walk up to the main walk way

HUGE inground pool - all closed for the winter but look forward to enjoying it next year!

sitting room/living room for guests

one of the bathrooms - with a heated floor!

romantic breakfast spot for a couple

our breakfast set up

Chocolate chip scones!!! MMMMMMmmmm

fresh produce from the garden

some of Linda's fantastic gardening

a litte more

and how about that adorable face!

and of course Steve being a crazy man cutting down trees

It was a good weekend, took my mind off of Dad and the Steeler’s won… Couldn’t ask for much more!

Remain

Let me at this moment profess my love for the musician Tyrone Wells and the art he produces because there really is no other word for it, it is pure art.  He is fantastic, soulful, can yodel, knows how to entertain not only with his music but with the small stories in between the songs, and his music simply has talked to me in a way that little ever has.

I had the luck of stumbling upon one of his songs when it came up on a Pandora station I had created.  I immediately knew I had to listen to more.  I bought – yes bought – no limewire on this one, I try to support artists who impress me… all of the albums he currently had out and was enthralled by his music.

I signed up for tour alerts and waited for the news that he’d be coming to Pittsburgh.  That fall the fabulous news that he was playing in the city came through my email and I frantically searched for someone to go with me.  Melissa agreed to tag along and thankfully she loved his music too once she heard him. 

Since then I’ve continued to follow his new releases and when I heard his new tour was bringing him back to Pittsburgh I jumped on the chance to go.  As luck would have it my night class last night was cancelled because of the Jewish holiday and I was able to attend the whole concert including the opening act Mike Cali – good job!

And of course the Songs and Stories kick off for Tyrone Wells.  Fantastic set including some new songs, some of the great old hits and some of the background on the songs that just make them that more relatable and that much more special…

The man Tyrone Wells rocking it out

There is one song that Tyrone Wells has always done that every time I hear it I have to fight back tears and I’ve never really known why.  The song is called “Remain” and it is about staying with someone no matter what, that maybe you don’t feel like things are safe or that love is consistent there is a line – “I will remain – feel my hands on your face”  Sure the song is about two people in love and the man trying to convince the girl that he won’t abandon her but as I listened to him sing it live last night I related to it in a completely different way…

I felt like it was my Dad speaking to me… Dad always used to squeeze my face between his hands and kiss me on the top of my head and tell me if you only remember one thing remember that I love you no matter what…

When he died things ended so badly and I as I listened to the words of that song that as everything changes as nothing remains the same that he will always remain I could hear him telling me that he would always love me and that nothing would ever change that and I really do believe that…

Dad would have been 60 this Saturday coming up…. and I think I’ll take a minute to sit by myself with the quiet close my eyes and just listen to the nothing… because in that nothing is where he is… that is where he is wrapping his arms around me, holding my face in his hands, kissing the top of my head and saying, Binkster if you only remember one thing, remember that I love you…

I’ve spent a long long time being angry at him for how he died and what happened… I think its time to move on…

PLEASE check out Tyrone Wells’ music… it’s available for download on itunes, he’s on twitter, facebook and I’ve linked his name to his website…