Archive for the my amazing mother Category

have you left me?

Posted in bff, family, forward my mail, Life, me, my amazing mother, superheckyes, the engaged life, the glass is half FULL on June 17, 2009 by drbolte

…or are you just melting somewhere in the death hot?

my main goal every single day lately is to stay alive in this heat and to stay hydrated at the same time. it takes effort, i want to tell you.

i’m off to nc tomorrow morning to spend a week with my family. it will be wedding preparationspalooza, with a side of going to the apple store and forcing them to replace my shorted out power cord and some time spent at the gym and blissfully asleep in the seriously air conditioned house, hopefully with a cat or two by my side. i feel like naps are definitely going to be in order.

i’m very excited. i don’t think i’ve been this excited to go anywhere for a while, and that makes me very happy. i can already feel the weight of stress leaving me.

changes of scene are good.

the bff is not so excited to see me leave, for which i feel a bit guilty.  i will miss him, of course, but i am thrilled to be able to go hang out and get taken care of by my mama.

i need it. i’m not ashamed to admit that at all.

the bff will be here, finishing classes and working at a new job and probably playing a lot of ncaa football 2009 and (i hope) doing fun things with his friends too.  i am hoping he will catch up on his sleep as well. and i am really hoping he will eat while i’m gone.

(i feed him a lot.)

come what may, it will be good. when i return, i will return to my first bridal shower and the start of the summer class that i will be teaching up until the wedding and the sprint to the finish.

the finish, of course, being the absolute bliss and blessing of starting our lives together.

i’m not sure if i’ll blog this week. i imagine i might, but i’m not sure. so keep me on your readers and i’ll pop back in when i’m back, when my computer is fixed, and with heaps of updates on lacy, frilly, pearly, gorgeous things i bought and fun times i had.

it will be good.

take care of yourselves and each other in the meantime. and drink some water, will you please? it’s hot out there.

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tandem.

Posted in bff, dissertation, domestic goddess, etcetera, faith is action, family, i love my life, my amazing mother on February 19, 2009 by drbolte

i am exhausted. no idea why. mom’s in town (YAY!), which means my mattress is on the floor, but it’s still my mattress so i really have no earthly idea why i wouldn’t be sleeping well.

and yet i toss and turn and often find myself checking the clock at 4 a.m., thinking that it’s time to wake up and face the day.

when i told mom this, she asked me what i was worried about.

i have no idea.

what have i to be worried about?

it’s nothing in my life. i mean, the perpetual sword of damocles called my dissertation looms ever larger over my head, but i am about ready to tackle that in a big way. i am ready to be finished with it–at least the first draft of all of the chapters–so that i can move on.

i have other things that i would like to do, you know.

when i imagine life post-dissertation, i can’t.

let me say that again.

i can’t imagine my life post-dissertation. to not have it looming over everything that i do–to NOT have a perpetual source of angst and guilt cloud every book i choose to read and every weekend i choose to do nothing (or, let’s be real…every week) remotely related to academia–i just don’t know what that will be like.

knowing me, i’ll quickly replace it with something else. such is life. but i think when i finish i will feel a sense of accomplishment that i have never felt before. and perhaps a bit of a mourning period that school, for me, really is over. i’ll never be a student again. that’s weird. it’s how i’ve defined myself for so long.

i guess i’ll have to get to work redefining myself, eh?

but that’s neither here nor there. my point in writing, other than the fact that i haven’t written in ages and was feeling the bloggery guilt (good grief…what’s with that?), was to take you through my wandering thoughts about stress by proxy.

because boy am i stressed.

and it has nothing to do with me.

(well, that’s not entirely true, but i’ll get to that.)

the bff has had a week, let me tell you what. it really began last week with a government exam on friday. the weekend was good but packed with activity, between valentine’s day (amazing) and church and mom coming into town (they like each other! they really want to impress the other! yay!). religion exam on wednesday, for which he was studying monday and tuesday. rehearsals, as has been the case for what seems like THE ENTIRE MONTH OF FEBRUARY, for his concert coming up t0morrow and saturday (i can’t even express how frickin’ happy i will be when that is over…). an english paper due tomorrow. work meeting tonight. three work appointments. his mom coming into town for the concert (and to see her kid, of course) on friday. the whole my-mom-meets-his-mom thing at the concert. a duet with me in church on sunday. an english exam on monday.

and that doesn’t even cover trying to spend time with me.

i mean, seriously, just writing it all down turns my stomach into knots. i have no idea how he’s been doing it, but he’s been remarkably unstressed. he says it doesn’t help. (of course he’s right.) i don’t think he’s not thinking about it or blowing it off at all–just taking one thing at a time and doing the best he can do.

(you can see how such an example would be incredibly beneficial for someone like me.)

but i feel stressed.

stressed like my week is that busy.

stressed like i have two exams a paper four hundred rehearsals eight million work things to do.

i think that’s what happens when you’re a we, but i’ve never been a we like this before. we have this weird rhythm now. it made itself especially manifest to me when we were washing dishes, as strange as that might seem.  i didn’t even have to say anything to him. he knew exactly where i was going and what i was doing. while i washed the pans, he cleaned the counters. when we needed to be in each other’s areas (he needed something under the sink, i needed to grab something from the stove), we didn’t even speak.  we just knew, and moved aside gracefully and effortlessly to allow the other one access. it was the strangest, coolest, most impressive testament to how well we know each other and how much we have grown to become two parts of one whole.

so now, amid all of this hectic chaos and the disruption of our normal routine, i feel like i am joyfully filling in the gaps for him, trying to make things easier and better. today, he needed to leave for school and hadn’t eaten. so i made him lunch. i knew an hour before that i would need to do that and that he wouldn’t eat if i didn’t. so i did it.  i’ll make him dinner tonight because he won’t have eaten for one hundred hours and i’ll read his paper and i’ll be glad to stay up until two to do it.  and i’ll restrain myself from just doing it for him (hello…so difficult sometimes because when he’s this busy it seems like it would be easy to just really step in to ‘make things easier’) because i know that this is all part of his learning process.

and the weirdest part is that i love doing it.  i’m tired and stressed for him, but i love that i can help.  i love that i know what to do without him telling me. i love that the meager things that i do, even as helpless as i still feel, actually DOES help.

i love that we are two but that we work as one.

updates.

Posted in bff, c, dissertation, etcetera, family, grrrrr., me, mirror mirror on the wall, my amazing mother, oh so very random, sigh, someday I'll be a real middle class girl, teaching, the joys of living in Florida, will work for food, you should really worship me on February 12, 2009 by drbolte

hi there.

i know, it’s been ages.  this week has flown by and with it, seemingly, anything interesting to say about my life. i’ve mainly just been trying to keep on keeping on.

but i have a few things to updated you on/vent about/describe. enjoy. (or don’t. some people don’t like these update-y posts. more power to you, but it’s what i’ve got.)

  • the toe.  still broken. turned an impressive shade of purple earlier in the week. i have yet to try to wear regular shoes, although the doc told me to wear more supportive shoes than flip flops. i’m having trouble understanding how that can happen since these allegedly more supportive shoes often require me to STUFF MY ENTIRE BROKEN FOOT (whatever. toe. i know. hyperbole.) INTO THE WHOLE THING.  that seems, i feel, counterproductive to the whole “i avoid pain” campaign.  (pain. campaign. ha. i’ll be here all week.) but as a result of walking strangely, hobbling, and trying to walk normally (these happen in succession usually and i’ll let you guess which one i do most often), the outside of my right leg (the one with the wounded wing) hurts. in a strange way. it feels strained or pulled or something. i’ve tried massage (well, i whined a lot and got the bff to rub it for me) and it didn’t really help.  i’ve tried ibuprofen. didn’t help.  so, yeah…the broken toe is SUCKAGE.
  • can’t work out really because of the toe. or, i should say, i’m afraid to try this week since it hasn’t even been a week and i really don’t want to screw it up even more than i have.  so i’ve been doing random things like crunches (which i’m actually sort of starting to feel, hallelujah) but those don’t give a good calorie burn (stupid. stupid. stupid.). but the result is that i’ve had to be SUPER self-disciplined with my eating in order to not dig myself into a hole that will freak me out and require massive amounts of effort to extract myself from.  so, the result is that i’m probably going to WAY slow down the progress, which is SO. FRUSTRATING., but…that’s life, right? you do what you can with what you’ve got.  pretty soon i’m going to try the stationary bike.  that can’t possibly hurt my foot, right?
  • actually wrote a page and a half of my dissertation chapter yesterday. in a relatively short amount of time (total actual writing time? like 45 minutes.  of course, i spent three hours doing other random crap on the internet, but let’s focus on the successes, shall we?).  this gives me hope, which anchors my soul.  i believe that i can actually accomplish this thing.
  • had an interview for an adjunct job on monday in jax.  i expected it to be one of those interviews where, you know, you try to sell them on you.  wrong. i walked in there (limped, probably, but that’s neither here nor there) and she basically already wanted to hire me and spent the next forty or so minutes convincing me that i wanted to work there–or at least telling me all of the things that i would be getting myself into.  it was a nice switch, let me tell you, from the solemn deathmarch that is the tenure track job market right now.   so…i’ll be working there in the late summer.  possibly in the fall as well.  and she mentioned the possibilities of visiting professor lines being opened up next year. so, there’s that. which leads me to my next point…
  • decided that i’m staying in florida for the timebeing. actually, probably for a long time.  i feel really good about this decision, which is completely opposite to what i thought i would do.  i feel like even if it means adjuncting for the rest of my life, cobbling together a living based on jobs here and there, the payoffs are definitely worth it.  some things are just more important, and i’ve always felt that way.  besides, i’m still not completely counting out high school.  that actually seems sort of fun to me. does that make me insane? maybe a little.
  • valentine’s day is coming up. i’m working on that project that i solicited help for. i’ve been told that i need to post the final playlist when it’s finished. i will, i promise.  i hope it’s good. your suggestions were WONDERFUL, and in some cases led me to other things which were amazing and perfect so…you all win. and hopefully i win with the bff too.
  • mom comes on sunday! YAY! she hasn’t been here in AGES…and she gets to meet (finally…) the bff.  despite us being best friends for nearly three years, she’s never met him.  it’s about time, eh?

that’s about all that’s going on in my life. what’s new in yours?

not.

Posted in blogging, etcetera, faith is action, fall is football, gators, i love my life, i promise you that you won't care, me, my amazing mother, the glass is half FULL, the internets, the joys of living in Florida, Uncategorized, you should really worship me on November 13, 2008 by drbolte

she‘s the cool kid, so i’m jumping on her bandwagon.

i am not afraid of challenges, though i am afraid of failing at them. i am not stoic, much as certain circumstances make me wish i was. i am not difficult to read. i am not often at a loss for words, but lately that comes with greater frequency. i am not a believer in sitting by and waiting for life to happen, although i used to be.

i am not likely to be up early, ever, unless that early morning errand is followed by a nice nap.  i am not averse to making my own bread, learning to make my own clothes, or otherwise living by a pioneer standard; however, i do not have time to do that right now.  i am not frequently zen-like; i am almost always thinking of something that has me stewing.  i am not sure what no stress feels like anymore. i am not a fan of dishes, laundry, or mopping floors, although i feel ridiculously productive once i’ve finished those chores.  i am not sure i can marry someone who won’t agree to take out the trash.

i do not believe any aspect of life will ever be truly easy; that’s why i’m always surprised by them when they come around. i do not often believe in my own work until i see evidence that it isn’t the crap that i make it out to be.  i do not wear heels very often, but the more often i do the more i love them. i am not a girly-girl, but i also don’t ever want to pee in the woods.  i am not afraid to sweat like a crazy person during workouts anymore–if someone has a problem with that, that’s theirs and not mine.  i am not afraid of questions.

i am not kidding when i say that i bleed orange and blue, although i am a bit surprised about how that all happened.  i do not feel out of my element talking about college football, although i have a lot left to learn. i am not looking forward to fall saturdays outside the swamp. i am not amused by arrogance, which is why i don’t like professional sports.  i do not think there will ever be an era of gator football like this one, because tebow is truly one-of-a-kind.

i will not eat cottage cheese, under any circumstance. i am not going to listen to your complaining without suggesting ways to fix the situation. i do not have patience with people who refuse to do something to change the things that don’t work in life.  i do not ever want to be a stereotypical anything, but i rebel against those that critique others for, in the course of being who they are, fit into those molds. i do not understand why i have such vivid memories of some things but have whole years that are foggy and seemingly unimportant.

i am not afraid of my family history of breast cancer. i am not inclined to get genetic testing, even though my mom may do it.  i do not believe in chasing trouble, nor do i believe that such information would do anything other than inspire a lifetime of freakouts.  so, i am not delusional, but i do what i want.  i will not live my life in fear.

i do not work well without some sort of pressure. i do not make deadlines very often–i usually am off by a week or so, which i hate.  i am not usually early to places anymore, which invites more anxiety than necessary.  i am not like my mother in so many ways–i fill my gas tank when it’s almost empty, i pay my bills on the day that they’re due, i stay up obscenely late, i buy clothes that she would never look at–but i am not ignorant of the fact that when i bang dishes around the kitchen in a passive-aggressive demonstration of bubbling frustration, i am exactly like her. i do not have a problem with that weird balance.

i will not be in a band, although i’d like to be in my secret hearts of hearts.  i will not have twelve kids, although i once wanted that many. i will not travel the world, more than likely, because i would rather spend my money on something closer to home.  i would not be surprised if my future family involves children that i adopt.

i do not want to live here forever, but i don’t want to leave.  i am not usually the one who understands her own potential; more likely than not, i am the girl looking back and saying ‘what the heck…look how far i’ve come.’ i do not know who i would be if i hadn’t come to florida, hadn’t gone to graduate school, hadn’t grabbed my life and made of it what i wish.  i am not a fan of regrets and wishing for do overs.

i am not who i once was.

what are you not?

thank you. sincerely.

Posted in my amazing mother on July 4, 2008 by drbolte

yesterday was mom’s last radiation treatment.

she is already healing, she says.

it’s independence day in lots of ways, folks. thank you so much for your kindness, your encouragement, your good thoughts, and especially for your prayers. they made much more of a difference than you can even know.

loves.

Posted in domestic goddess, family, mirror mirror on the wall, my amazing mother, oh so very random, you want me to walk HOW far? on June 27, 2008 by drbolte

today was a good day.

it was hotter than i imagine the blazes of hell would be, but if you listen to john milton, hell will actually be the absence of light and warmth which actually makes more sense, but leaves me without a really cool metaphor to describe how horribly hot it was.

and yet i made it through.

i got my hair cut, which always scares me just a little bit.  i have a love-hate relationship with my hair. for a very long time, when i didn’t love my body at all, it was the one thing that i could fixate on. i still like how i can dye it whatever color i want or cut it however i want and it’s this impermanent but utterly powerful way to immediately change things.  the cut turned out pretty well. it’s a bit longer than i thought, and has more choppy layers, but it’s different and i like it.

i bought new shoes.

did you catch that? i bought NEW SHOES!  i got some new trainers, which is a very british or australian way to say sneakers, but it’s very much the best way to describe them since they are TRIATHALON shoes.  did you know that they had triathalon shoes? me neither.  but they’re pink and silver and have these super cool bottoms that help the shock to be absorbed which is awesome and, as a result of all of this, the most beautiful thing ever happened.

i got back on the treadmill.

and walked.

for an hour.

on an incline.

something is wrong with me when that fact makes me so utterly happy that i can’t even really articulate it.  weird. weird. weird.  my mom came home from her treatment, saw me on the treadmill, and said “you must be a glutton for punishment.”  i think she probably thought i was just walking on an injured hip anyways.  i wasn’t.  although it’s sort of twingey now but i don’t want to talk about it because HOORAY IT DIDN’T HURT WHEN I WAS WALKING.  life is beautiful.

also, where i bought my new trainers they were having a MEGA shoe sale.  and i bought some cute blue plaid flip flops for $10 that actually have some arch support and are adorable and did i mention that they were on sale?

and then i went to target.

i bought a book and luna bars, which are my new obsession.  i think i’m going to change one of my 30 in 180 items to trying every single luna bar that i possibly can.  because they are yummy. and there are 14, 13 of which i will try (chai tea? no thank you because that’s just gross…).  that means that i have 10 more to try…i’m especially looking forward to chocolate raspberry.  it’s the simple things, you know?

and my mom just said “the word on the street” about something with a completely straight face.  that made me laugh.

days like this restore me.  i wish i could stick around longer here so that i could take care of mom, who i think could really use me, but maybe this is her test–to ask for help from others when she needs it.  i think that she will, when she needs it. in the meantime, i’ve been enlisted into cleaning the bathroom duty tomorrow.

and i am happy to be drafted.

happy weekend, all.

is it possible to punch a disease in the FACE?

Posted in my amazing mother on June 22, 2008 by drbolte

do you know what radiation does?

it burns you.

you might not have known this.  i’m not sure that i really did, except that my grandmother went through radiation too and i remember her talking about her skin being really tender. she started wearing my grandfather’s old undershirts (you know, the cotton ones that had gotten really soft and worn from use) instead of a bra under her clothes towards the end.

but it’s literally like going in every day and getting sunburned.

for six weeks straight.

and radiation builds up.  so the first few weeks are good. and then, at the end, it starts to hit you.

so mom is tired. she’s burned so badly that it’s wicked painful to wear clothes.  on top of that, sometimes she just gets random spasms of pain from the area where she had the two surgeries because, hey, guess what added bonus all of that tissue gets inflamed and swollen. so, obviously, she’s basically at the end of her rope.

i knew this going in to this trip. i planned it so that i would be here for this exact reason.  but i guess being upclose and personal with it is a different story.  at first, i tried to figure out what was wrong and what i could do. it was frustrating to say the least because i didn’t KNOW what to do and the things i knew to do she wouldn’t really let me do because she felt bad because she’s the mom and i’m the kid and i’m tired (futon sleeping and NC allergies don’t make me a very happy kid) but HI YOU HAVE CANCER AND I DON’T.

and then i realized that the best things that i could do were two things: get her to rest (i.e. do everything humanly possible to lighten her load, including but not limited to cooking, cleaning, errand-running, taking care of the cats, etc.) and act normal and/or like a sugared up crazy person.

apparently me doing a goofy thumbs-up sign is one thing that can make her laugh.  i have no idea why, but whatever works, you know?

so i’m laying on the couch–oh, sweet couches of home how i love thee–about to eat some leftover coleslaw (hey, we are high rollers here in NC) as i watch bridezillas and listen to the rain on the roof of the porch behind me.  and all is well because mom’s asleep and i’m here one more week.

and in that week, i will make sure that i do everything that needs to be done–mop the floor? cook every night? do every speck of laundry in the special way that i have to with no perfume/no dye detergent? run every errand known to man?–before her last seven treatments.  it’s really all i can do.

oh, did you know?

once you go through about 27 treatments, you have something that’s called “the boost.”

no, it’s not as good as it sounds.  it’s not the boost that you get in your smoothies that make your immune system work faster and makes you full of energy.

it’s a superconcentrated dose of radiation focused directly at the site of the cancer.

’round these parts, we call it the blast.

did i mention that cancer can kiss my butt?

i thought i did.

hey.  breast cancer blows.  click here to support research. or, even better, stick around and read my blog because, come october, i’m gonna get all hot and sweaty at a 5K.  i’ll post pictures for you if you sponsor me.  or, heck…go buck wild and do both. you’ll feel good about yourself!