Location: Oregon, United States

Monday, October 30, 2006

The last week of October

This morning, the water in the birdbath was frozen over and there was frost all over the grass and the rooftops. Then, as the sun came out and warmed things up a bit, the leaves on our maple tree began falling like giant yellow snowflakes. Absolutely beautiful. Good thing we didn't rake this weekend - it would have been an exercise in futility.

It was a gorgeous fall weekend here - crisp air, sunlight in the afternoon, fog in the morning, and the trees are peaking in their color. Saturday, we went to the playground at Stephen's school and played "Monster tag" for about an hour and a half. Sunday, Stephen and Thomas and I went to an apple farm nearby, had a hay ride, went through a maze, chose pumpkins and apples and generally had a great time. But not nearly enough time outside to suit me. Paul and William stayed back, watched football, and took the dog for a long walk/play time.

William is having another hard week with his Crohn's. I spoke to the doctor last week and he said the blood work we'd had done indicated that none of the medicines we are using at this time are working against the inflammation. Well, now, isn't that nice? Actually, the prednisone is working, but it is just a giant band-aid with lots of horrible side effects over the long haul and we're trying to eliminate it. So we are going in today to discuss our next option, which is weekly IVs. If that doesn't work, then I honestly don't know what is next. I don't even want to speculate.

The kids are all psyched up for Halloween. They are all wearing a black cape and plan to carry some sort of weapon. I'm not sure what they're supposed to be - just scary, I think. Frankly, I hate Halloween. The night itself isn't terrible - it's kind of fun to see the little kids come by all dressed up - but all the build-up for an evening of candy-gathering (half of which they let rot because it's not what they like) is just a bit much. As a rule, the kids get these elaborate ideas for their costumes and then I'm supposed to figure out how to make it happen. Then I spend hours making costumes because I refuse to spend $20 + at the store for something they will never wear again. Fortunately, this time around two of them already had black capes from previous years so I only had to make one. And we have an arsenal of fake weaponry to choose from, so that's covered. Whoopee. I can't wait.

The group I've been volunteering for has hired me on 4.5 hours per week for 10 weeks to do outreach to the youth in the community. That, combined with my 'regular job', brings me up to 20.5 hours a week. Ooo, don't strain yourself. By the time the 10 weeks are up, the shelter in Hillsboro should be open, and I will get all my hours there. At any rate, I'm thrilled to be working because it keeps me awake and alive.

Random tangent: speaking of being awake and alive, I would like to know what the heck happened to my youthful good looks lately. Now, don't go saying, "Oh, Lydia, you look fine... because I know a lie when I hear one. I blame it on the move, or maybe the lighting in the bathrooms here. My eyes are all wrinkled and puffy looking like the woman on the "before" pictures for the Hydroderm ads, my neck looks like I'm turning into a gecko, and I feel like Jamie Lee Curtis in Freaky Friday every time I look in the mirror - "Crypt-Keeper!" Ten years ago, I thought I wouldn't care about wrinkles, that I would just age gracefully and not try to cover it up. Now, Botox looks really good. Well, not that good. I'm still determined to age without plastic surgery, Botox, and the like. Maybe I'll get used to the "new me" in the mirror. Maybe I'll change the lights in the bathroom. Maybe I'll just never turn them on in the first place...


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