Caregiver’s Holiday

I am at loose ends

being hit from all sides-because it’s not not like I’m some spinster with nothing and nobody else to worry about…

I have a full-time job, 3 adult children in various stages of divorce, under-employment, quarter life angst….and  a boyfriend who just wants me to be “close to him”. Really?

Did I mention I have my own surgery coming up April 28th?

The reality is I am close to tears most of the time as in all day, every day. Almost anything anyone says to me-good, bad or indifferent (hate indifferent) sets off a cascade of physical reactions. My heart races and my head gets very warm. I can’t think, I pace, I mumble and take deep breaths.

Recognizing this crisis situation, I now have an appointment with a counselor on Monday. I’m not sure I will make it to Monday or if counseling will help. Today I considered calling the vets crisis line…I am a vet…Xanax seems like a good option.

Oh, wait-I titled this post “caregiver’s holiday” and forgot that I actually went away overnight last weekend. Feeling the need to escape and disappear I booked a posh room at a nice hotel about 100 miles away for BF (boyfriend) and me. The hotel was fab, he was mediocre. No, I do not feel rested or rejuvenated – the room as nice as it was did not have a bath…

I’m back to the same incessant demands-my brother is now complaining about the water pressure in my house. Not once but several times…with links to wikipedia and plumbers.

He is now 5 weeks in and is feeling the effects of the chemo and radiation. He says he is cold all the time-he has a space heater set at 82 degrees and still wears a hoodie. The radiation is causing swelling in his neck and he is coughing a lot.

The silver lining on this dark, dark cloud is that we are entering birthday season in the Inner Fire family. Everyone except my daughter in law has birthdays between now and June 24th. The plan is to squeeze in as many summer nights around this puppy as we can!




back to school! er, I mean back to work!!!

The move, the transition from living/working in Chicago to New York City is complete…all that is left is being handed my new ID badge at orientation tomorrow morning! It’s become apparent during the “on-boarding” process that I actually accepted this position back in May-May 8th to be exact- I saw the offer letter last week.

No one can say this was a lightening fast, flash decision, in fact it almost didn’t happen at several junctures for many different reasons but every time I felt it was the best thing to do at that particular moment-given the complicated circumstances.

I suppose the “correctness” of any major life changing event is understanding how you got “there”~whatever, wherever “there” is. As I sit here, at this moment in time, on the eve of starting a new job I feel pretty good about the whole thing. Basically, my old job had become untenable-I am still working on a lawsuit against (not the hospital) the lawyer who missed the deadline to sue the hospital, my old boss left and was replaced by a very naive, pollyanna director who would have driven me crazy. On this end I have been welcomed into a very stable, organized department at a verrrrry posh hospital (#1 in NYC).

Of course there are trade-offs-in this case: my garden, my boyfriend, my cat.

Too soon to know how it will all play out but I am hopeful!!!

what a weekend

No doubt this has been a brutal winter!  Just hopping in the car was impossible without excessive planning


and layers..images

images (1)….layers of shirts, sweaters, coats, hats, scarf..don’t forget gloves…boots…earmuffs….

This last weekend has been fantabulous~~windows open, just jump in the car or head out for a walk, in a t-shirt~~that’s it!!

A brief thunderstorm this afternoon but lots of gardening. everything just feels better, lighter.

We are anxiously checking the plants we planted last fall…before the deep freeze. It’s sort of a waiting game to see what survived but enough is coming up to give us hope.

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the day after

I am now 56 years and one day old and after spending Thursday night out late at the bar and a brief appearance at work followed by another evening, night and morning with Mr Special I am feeling not a day over 30!!

I haven’t been out after midnight in years but hanging out at a bar listening to Mr Special play with a band was fun! It was interesting to see the young people take photos and I wondered if this would be one of their memorable nights. Didn’t we all have nights that seemed innocent or uneventful but turned out to be life altering because of what we did or who we met or who we woke up next to???

I felt pretty good in the morning but after lunch I faded out fast~like a Malaysian jet over the Indian Ocean…in my case though, landing softly in Mr S’s bed, a mere 5 minutes from work.

After a long nap and some slap and tickle we were ready to go out to dinner at Nana’s. menu here

We got all the specials…deviled eggs with lobster, a salad from banana flower buds, skirt steak and fish…and I got pomigria-sangria with pomegranate juice!!

I had wanted to stay in but as winter is finally starting to subside here I voted to go out because we would be in the rest of the night.

Movie time!! after vetoing a bunch of science fiction, killer, weirdo movies we agreed on



I don’t know what I expected but it far exceeded my admittedly low expectations. For those of us whose childhoods were disappointing or interrupted….this movie says a lot. Mr S even got teary.

Off to the creaky bed for a good sleep, full of dreams and no. alarm. clock.

This afternoon I shopped for garden furniture with darling daughter and she treated me to a meal at Lake street bar and grill and again the menu is here.

Thanks to the California brigade I also got serenaded with a happy birthday video!

I am still promised a second viewing of the Muppet Movie and weather in the 60’s for the remainder of my birthday weekend!!!

Overall, I am feeling pretty darned loved up. I think people give with their heart and that’s all that matters, sometimes it’s an email and other times it’s this lotion

imagesThanks to all who contributed to my very happy birthday weekend~~~

gardening tips

some people think I have a green thumb…or rather that they don’t so here’s my gardening tips.

  1. Put the plant near a window, preferably a sunny one
  2. Every few days stick your finger in the dirt, if it’s dry add some water
  3. If the leaves start turning yellow move it to a sunnier window
  4. If new leaves start growing leave it where it is but remember to rotate the pot so it grows evenly


garden dreams

It’s been a few years since I have had my own garden…and a Chicago garden is a whole different type of garden than one in Birmingham England.
It is deep, freezing cold winter here in Chicago but by July and August it will be oven-roasting hot!
England always just sort of limps along-not too cold and not too hot~~
I have a small but wide open canvas here-we put in a 4×8 raised bed in the front and planted a rose bush, hydrangea, peonies, irises (i love irises!) and a bunch of bulbs-the question is- what will survive this weather?
We also have a 4×8 raised bed in the back for vegetables.
I just realized (with the help of Pinterest) that we really need to start make a plan for this little space!
What will we plant in this little space??? tomatoes, peppers, sweet and hot?…cucumbers? melons? maybe the herbs can go in pots? what about beets? leeks? and beans, peas and lettuce? oh, my….

DSCN0198Warning: lots of garden pictures over the next 8 months