Things are finally looking up

It’s been a while since I posted, but I think I can say things are looking up.  Hence, a blog post.  *Grin*

The munchkin finally got her all clear from the doc last week.  It took a little longer than anticipated for things to return to normal, but her oxygen saturation is back at 100% and her blood pressure returned to normal.  It’s pretty darned scary when her blood pressure was higher than mine for the longest time!  She’s gained back the 10 pounds she lost, and has added almost 2 inches in height.  She’s settled into middle school routine well, and all her teachers seem to be on top of their game.

As I mentioned in an email to a friend of mine, I was just trying to weather out this dark cloud over my head.  Things had gone so ridiculously well for me for so long, I knew a downturn was coming—it’s just the wheel of life, the yin and yang of things, you know?  The major downers were the deaths of two beloved family members, and the munchkin being in the ICU.  There were plenty of other “minor” annoyances to add to that list.  Hubby strained his back at work and was seriously limping around for about a week.  This is a man who never complains and never calls in sick- -he ended up taking a week off.  Thankfully that finally cleared up and other than a twinge here and there, he’s back to normal.  I ended up with a sinus infection.  The weather went from broiling hot to cool and rainy, and I was doing a serious happy dance!  But with the cool and rainy came moldy and pollen, which led to the sinus problems.  Ibuprofen, heavy-duty decongestants, antihistamines, nasal spray and other meds were required, which always make my skin crawl and my stomach queasy.  It did relieve the sinus blockages, though, and I could breathe once again.

We came close to being squished on the highway because of an idiot driver who decided they just *had* to take the exit that was about to pass, even though they were 3 lanes away from it.  Hubby slammed on the brakes and swerved just in time to keep us from getting hit.  Then a couple of days later the battery in my car died.  Kaput.  No warning whatsoever, and nothing was left on to drain the battery, either.  It was turning over normally, no slow start, nada.  The darned car has 15 million different warning signals, but nothing for a dying battery.  I was leaving my dentist appointment when it decided to give up the ghost, so my dentist was sweet enough to come out, pull his vintage car around (don’t ask me what kind it was, but it was beautifully restored) and give me a jump so I could get home.

At the moment, we can’t seem to find firewood.  The usual place we get it at, the guy had a couple of employees out injured and they haven’t gotten the wood split yet.  Another place we called said they’d call us back as they were waiting on a delivery, and never did.  The third place won’t pick up the phone.  So we’re still looking.

Last on the list of minor annoyances- -my hair.  My mantra at the moment is “it’ll grow out”.  You see, my beloved hairstylist we had gone to for years moved to Florida due to family circumstances.  She was AWESOME.  Never had a bad haircut with her, and the munchkin absolutely loved her.  The salon where she had been at offered us 25% off the price of a haircut and style if we’d stick with them and try another stylist.  (Yeah, you can see where this is heading).  My hair was past my shoulders by about 4 inches.  I found a style I liked, and had pictures of the front, sides AND back- -just past the shoulders, layered, with a face frame and fringe bangs that you could sweep to the side.  Not anything out of the ordinary.  Monica could  have done this with her eyes closed.  *Sigh*

We go in, the munchkin with one stylist and me with another.  The munchkin, whose hair is long with layers at the bottom for volume and tapering towards the face, just wanted to have the split ends trimmed off and the layers touched up.  I show my stylist the pics of the style I want.  And then the nightmare began.

Even though I can’t see crap without my glasses, the first thing I noticed was her technique was nothing like Monica’s.  She didn’t section the hair, comb it upwards and cut it at an angle for the layers.  Since she was young, I figured maybe, just maybe, she had been taught a different way to do layers.  She does her thing, blow dries my hair and then continues cutting.  She styled it NOTHING like the pictures I had brought- -used a round brush and turns it all under like a bob.  She then proceeds to tell me all I have to do is use a curling iron to flip the ends up to get the separated layers/curl on the ends like the picture had.  Of course, I’m wondering why the hell didn’t she style it like that in the first place, since I’m paying for the shampoo, cut and style?

In the meantime, the other stylist cuts the munchkin’s hair.  Remember I said she wanted to trim the split ends and touch up the long layers?  This chick cuts off THREE INCHES in length- -straight across.  Even the manager (who had offered us the 25% discount to begin with) realized this was a huge f’in mistake.  She knocked 66% off of the munchkin’s price.

Since my stylist had styled my hair so differently than the pics I had brought in, I didn’t realize exactly how bad it was until after I washed my hair at home and tried to style it.  It was two inches shorter than the pics I had brought in, and that was the least of the problems.  After a week and a half, and multiple dreams/nightmares regarding my hair, hubby told me to go to a different salon and get an opinion on how to fix it- -this coming from a man who will find a plus to compliment on just about anything, and couldn’t come up with one for my latest haircut.  Yes…it was that bad.

I go up the street to where hubby had gotten his hair cut last- -they did an awesome job, and I figured at this point a buzz cut would be an improvement to what I was currently sporting.  A young woman greeted me, I told her my tale, and she was willing to take on the task of “fixing” what was on my head.  After looking at the pictures I had originally presented, she combed through the back of my hair and said the layers weren’t done too badly, which I agreed.  Then she started going up my head, and along the sides.  OMFG!  The sections that were pulled up, which should have been cut straight but at an angle, looked  like pieces of a very bad jigsaw puzzle.  She couldn’t figure out what in the heck that other girl had been trying to do.  After going completely over my head, she told me it was very “disconnected”.  It was fixable, but she was going to have to go shorter.  (Just shoot me now).  I told her to do whatever she needed to do.

I spent twice as long in her chair as I did with the original idiot.  By the time she was finished, it did look like the photos I had brought in, but a shorter version.  Considering there were originally chunks missing in places, she did a fantastic job of “connecting” everything.  I haven’t had my hair this short since I was in fourth grade and I had obviously pissed my mother off before she took hold of the scissors.  But at least it looks stylish-  -depending on the styling products and items I use, I can either go “edgy”, or “cute”.  I’m hoping by Christmas I can go for “normal”.

We’ve had a few good tidbits thrown in, which makes me hope that the wheel is turning in the “up” position.  We got the fireplaces cleaned, and the chimney guy gave us a discount on the second chimney since it wasn’t too dirty.  Hubby got my car running again by swapping the battery out himself.  The munchkin  got all A’s and  one B on her progress report.  Hubby got the nondescript bush cut down in front of the brick pillar on the front porch.  It really opened up the area, and I found a bunch of neat pots on clearance to put in the area and plant a variety of semi-shade loving plants in.  A search on Ebay turned up a bunch of cool seeds and landscaping materials a heck of a lot cheaper than the local stores wanted.  I no longer look like my haircut was the product of a weedwhacker incident, even though it is much (MUCH) shorter than what I wanted.  I’m no longer in agony when using the exercise equipment, I’m starting to see muscle definition, and my hot flashes have gone to nil.  Hubby is moving around better, the munchkin is back to normal, and cooler weather is here- -woohoo!

And last, but not least, I think I’ve found a solution to my writer’s block.  When things were really in a turmoil, I’d stay up after I’d finished work at 12:30 AM and work some on my story.  That tiny bit of normalcy helped keep me sane.  Still, I wasn’t progressing much at all- -just a sentence or two here and there.  The solution came with picking up the munchkin from school.  We live 1/10th of a mile too close to qualify for school bus service, so hubby drops her off in the morning and I pick her up in the afternoon.  Given the layout of the school property, unless you arrive 35 minutes before school lets out, you will find yourself parked in a long line of cars on the main road leading up to the school.  Sucks?  YES.  So I leave 40 minutes before school lets out, and I’m approximately the 10th car in line in the pickup lane.  I just happened to grab a composition notebook and a pen one day before I left.  For 35 minutes, I get to write- -literally write.  No distractions, no interruptions.  I managed to get down what would normally have taken me two weeks to etch out.  I don’t know- -maybe I have attention deficit disorder.  When I’m in front of the computer I’m tempted to look at my email, check out the news sites, play games, etc.  When I have a notebook and paper, what else is there to do BUT write?  As a result, I’ve made leaps and bounds in my snail’s pace.  Yes, I keep second-guessing myself, changing stuff around, but I’m making progress, which is a good thing.  I might actually have two, maybe even three chapters to send for beta.  (Yes, hell has officially frozen over, lol!).

All in all, I think things are turning around.  Especially after today.  I got the hospital bill in the mail.  Of course, it doesn’t include doctor fees, radiology, laboratory, etc.  But from their original $25,000 price tag for a 3-day ICU stay, given what the insurance paid, what the discounts were for being “in-network*,  our final price we had to write  a check for was $401.  I can live with that.

Keeping my fingers crossed that things continue on an upward swing, and wishing all my friends the same!

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