Screaming Banshee

Screaming Banshee
Make Sure You Laugh When There Are Days Like This!!!

Monday, January 7, 2013


I miss my little boy. I miss him SO much! He was smart, funny, sharp, quick and needed his Mommy. He was so amazing and wonderful. Now, he is gone. My little boy is gone.

In his place is a young man. This young man is thriving! He is smart, funny, sharp, quick, amazing, wonderful... all of those things my little boy was. But this young man is ten times, fifty times, even hundreds of times more. He is his own man with his own ideas and preferences. I want to do things for him and be his Mommy. It's so hard to step back, but so rewarding to watch him become his own person.

On the one hand, I am sad for me and the loss of my little boy; but mainly, I am so proud and happy to get to know this young man. Is this how it feels when they grow up? I'm so conflicted. He's in the right place at the right time, doing so well, and he's so awesome. I loved being his Mommy and I love watching him become an adult.

But, why does it make me feel so inept now? Is there nothing I can do for him as a parent? What about all of the things I forgot to tell him? What about the things that come up that I didn't think about? What if he takes the wrong step and I could've prevented it, saved him some pain? Just like when he was little, I want to suck up any and all pain. Just like when he was little, I know that I can't and I might even be the cause of some of it.

Congratulations for growing up, little boy. Congratulations for becoming such an amazing person. Please forgive me for the things I did wrong. All I know is that I couldn't be a prouder parent.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Just in case the Mayans were right...

I figured I should blog one last time in case the world does end. Here are some of the notable things that happened in 2012:
  • Ginny got into a trial for a new drug for Cystic Fibrosis
  • My kids became older siblings to their half-brother in February, 2012
  • Drew graduated from South River High School
  • We had a great showing at the Great Strides for Cystic Fibrosis walk in Annapolis
    • Their grandfather on my side and grandmother on their father's side came
    • Their stepmother came for the first time with their new baby brother
    • Ginny got to meet Gina Kosla, who mentored Ginny through her first hospitalization and dealing with CF as a teenager, face-to-face (but not too close since CF folks can't be together!)
  • We had a great trip to Idaho!
    • Drew didn't have a seizure so I was able to put the fear of our 2011 trip behind me
    • We saw 3 moose, one REALLY close up!
    • Ginny got to have another great summer with her "bff/sister" Amanda and they stayed in the loft above her house next door to ours
  • Sadly, while in Idaho, we learned that Gina Kosla was put on the list for a second double-lung transplant due to chronic rejection. She was promoted on August 2, 2012 to begin her role as Angel/CF liaison in Heaven. She is not alone in that role, but is our direct link and we feel her watching over us
  • Drew started college at High Point University in North Carolina
  • Ginny started 10th grade at South River High School in Maryland and started realizing she isn't far off from getting her permit to drive *gack*
  • Ginny and I drove down to High Point to visit Drew for Family weekend - amazing, beautiful campus
  • Ginny made it through her October/November "risk-time" without being hospitalized - thank you, Gina!!!
  • Gay marriage legalized in Maryland and other states - finally, Equality for my friends, Rob & Jeff
  • Me and the kids went to my parents' house in Orlando, Florida for Thanksgiving - haven't been there in a couple of years, so it was great to be home!!!
So, that's the overview list for 2012. My kids got notice, as did the moose! I'm still waiting for a great year for me. This one wasn't awful, as years go, but I'd like more for myself. I just haven't figured out what the "more" consists of, so that's something to reflect on going forward. My immediate goal is to use my Keurig more. :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Ain't that some Shit!

Well, there's been some news toNIGHT! Osama Bin Laden has been killed. His body is in "custody" of the American military.
Holy Humpin' Hannah!!!!!
So many thoughts here.........

"Custody" of his body?
Ummmmm.... what does that mean? We can beat the crap outta him? I'm just glad he's dead. I'm sure there have been orders for quite some time indicating Osama's wishes, "I will not be taken alive!"
No friggin' shit! If I were you, I wouldn't want to be taken alive either..... Too bad you weren't!

"Gee, does this mean we can get on an airplane without as much security?"
I HOPE to HELL, NOT!!!!! Explosive underwear is one "small part" of the issue (apologies to any who think their underwear should be a "larger part" of security.)

Okay.......can't even express what's going on! Celebrations outside the White House, non-stop news coverage, tweets, FB posts, the vigils which must be happening in New York City, The Pentagon, and a lonely field in Pennsylvania which had a much larger impact than we might ever know.........

Monday, November 1, 2010

When did Cystic Fibrosis get here?

I know Ginny was diagnosed when she was 3 months old. It's a genetic disease, thus determined from conception. Before we knew it was CF, there were many tests done while in the hospital to figure out why she wasn't gaining weight, had anemia, vitamin E deficiency, etc. Once diagnosed and on the correct meds, things improved and life settled in.

Over the years, Ginny has had colds, coughs, strep, ear infections, etc. Those have been easily resolved with anti-biotics. Her lung function (PFTs) has always been in the 107% - 118% - ideally, you want your lungs to function at 100% so she's been in GREAT shape!

Ginny's weight was a struggle until they introduced us to "the hungry pill" (don't remember the medical name). The goal was to have her BMI above the 50th percentile. She was usually no higher than the 20th until that medication. They had started hinting at a G-tube, but we told them to come up with something else. They did. Within 4 months of being on "the hungry pill", her BMI% shot from 21% to 49%.

Don't get me wrong.....we've had our stressors and struggles with all of the appts, meds issues, germ warfare, insurance, trying to gain weight, trying to kick colds/coughs, etc. But, after the initial difficulties, we settled into daily life with CF......

...... That is, until her PFTs dropped to 89%....... we upped her meds, increased nebs, added Cipro and were to return in 1 month to check again............ they dropped to 81%...... *THUD*.....

She was admitted to the hospital -
She was in for 1 week of IV anti-biotics, respiratory therapy 4x/day, Chest PT 3x/day, and food galore. Just as she was finishing breakfast, snack would arrive - when that was done, lunch was delivered and all meals/snacks were wrapped around all of the other therapies. She has come home with a PICC line so she can continue the IV anti-biotics. There are 4 per day and we had to really schedule things carefully to fit them in with the proper spacing between - not to mention that thing called school, maybe even life.

Guess I can no longer live in my happy, little denial about CF. It's always been there, but now it's sitting at the table.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The 24-Hour Whirlwind - The Taming of the Dew - Part III

Okay, I haven't done this in forever, but I need to close it out so I can blog about all the other stuff going on.

When last we left our heroine, there was a phalanx of men with tools - ripping, sanitizing, examining, evaluating, and itemizing. Over $3,000 had already been spent and estimates were being calculated by the thousands. Troy, the sewer technician, was estimating the cost of ripping out 1-2 dogwood trees, tearing up a portion of the cemented, tiered walkway, and digging down 10-12 feet just to get to the pipe which needed replacement - with a minimum price tag of $10,000. Alan, the BGE guy, was pricing the replacement of a compressor (the most expensive repair possible when an a/c goes kaput, but he might be able to get it under $3,000).

On to the FINALE:

There I was, waiting for another $15,000+ worth of repair estimates to be thrown at me. Alan, the BGE guy, came in after having spoken to his warranty/parts department. Tim, the Servpro guy sanitizing my basement, was coming up the stairs at the same time.

HERE'S where things REALLY get crazy............

Alan tells me that the previous owners DID get the extended warranty. The replacemenet of the compresser would be done at NO COST to me. That means, the potential $3,000 a/c repair has ended up as a $0 estimate. He came in and made this statement aloud. There would be NO COST to repair my a/c. I looked at Alan, admitted that I didn't know him that well, but that I really wanted to kiss him. Tim from Servpro, who had just charged me $2500 to rip the crap (literally) out of my basement, just looked at him. Tim's response, "Great. You make the rest of us look bad.".........fer sure!!! Alan's big-ass repair was going to cost NOTHING!


Troy came in after examining the option of destroying my front walk, 2 trees, and digging a 12-foot trench in my front yard. The look on his face was very confused as he told me that he thinks his machine was picking up my solar lighting features. He took the search for the underground beacon out to the backyard. Lo, and Behold........... the sewer line went out the back of the house, past the walk-out portion of the basement. The pipe was right next to the foundation of my deck, but the cost went from $10,000+ to just under $5,000.


New estimates:
A/C repair = $0 rather than $3000
pipe dig-up/replace = $5000 rather than $10000+
downstairs devoid of sewage = priceless

Thursday, July 8, 2010

OMG - I really have to blog

I really should have been blogging over the last 2 weeks while I've been relaxing out here in Northern Idaho.... sitting on the deck, looking at the lake, looking at the mountains surrounding the lake, watching the Osprey pluck fish from right in front of our dock, watching 2 Osprey chase down a Bald Eagle.......
Maybe that's why I didn't spend the last 2 weeks blogging. It was too, too perfect to do anything but sit back, relax, and enjoy!
Tomorrow is our travel day. Over 12 hours of a combination of security checks, flights, layovers, baggage claim. Won't be fun, and the weather will be barbarically hot when we return, but we will be home. I will have some time to blog before my next life adventure begins. I've got to finish up my "really crappy day" story, and do some catch-ups here and there. I also have some profound thoughts to ponder.
SO.......I'll catch ya after we return and I've had time to smooch & snuggle with my pups!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The 24-Hour Whirlwind - The Taming of the Dew - Part II


So, the Friday craziness continues. Quick Recap: Brad the Plumber snaked my sewer line - $550 and Tim & Israel started cleaning up the aftermath once I paid $2500 up front....they gotta have payment up front because they aren't offering a product that can be re-possessed....and it's not like they can shoot your crap back into your house.

So, the next one to arrive was Troy. Troy is a Sewer Technician with myPlumber. He brought the camera to snake down the sewer line to confirm it was all cleared out and see if there were any tree roots or blockage. He fed the camera down the line and had a portable screen. Tim (from Servpro) and I couldn't help ourselves....we had to watch. I mean, how often do you get to see the inner bowels of your house. With fascination, Tim and I looked at the screen as it made it's way through the pipe. It was just a pipe, nothing interesting ...then.....EWWWWWW....... we both looked away as the camera came upon some messy stuff. Tim suggested that we stop watching, I agreed :).

Tim & Israel continued to soak up and sanitize my basement. Troy came up to announce there were tree roots in my line and that it was 90% blocked.... the roots were like fingers just waiting to catch anything that came by. The camera has a beacon on the end of it which was left at the roots while he took a machine outside to pick up the signal. He did this so they would know where to dig to get to the pipe to replace it.....GREAT! That won't be expensive or anything!!!
Remember that I originally stayed home on Friday for my A/C to be repaired? Well, while Troy was outside and Tim was going in and out of the house as he disposed of items, Alan from BGE Home arrived. When I explained that the A/C was tripping the breakers whenever it turned on, he expressed his hope that it was just a short somewhere and not the compressor. Thanks....I really need to worry about THIS worst-case scenario, too! Whatever!

Within the first 5 minutes, Alan was able to tell that it was the compressor which led me to share my sob story with HIM! Wow....he said....yes...Wow... The compressor would be a few thousand to repair. Because I have the service contract with them, labor would be free and I would get a discount on parts which could drop it closer to a couple thousand....great, thanks! Alan asked if I had the warranty information on it because most systems come standard with a 5-year warranty. No, I don't have that information and I've lived here for 7 years and how do I find out how old the system is and if an extended warranty was purchased? (Because I needed one more thing to research and make calls about right now). Alan told me that he would call the service department, find out any warranty information, and get the repair quote...might take about 15 mins....Okay......great.....I'll miss you while you're gone....... *sigh*

While Alan was in his truck racking up my next bill, Troy asked me to come out front to talk about my tree roots and his findings. Along the walkway to my house are 2 dogwood trees. There's some sort of water main type thingie to the left of them. Troy told me the beacon was responding just under the dogwoods...... that would mean the pipe is coming from my basement out the front of my house which is not a walk-out. That means the pipe is about 10-15 feet down and to get to it, I would lose 1, maybe both dogwoods...... this would be a 5-digit job....ummmm...that means $10,000 or more....... GREAT!!!! I had just spent over $3000 on the snaking and the clean-up and I was informed of my layoff less than 24 hours prior to this...... what's another $10k......, along with the pending compressor estimate.......... THAT'S IT!!!!! I can't do this anymore....I just can't do it....I can't afford any of this.... I wish I lived somewhere else!!!!!

But, I don't! I live here, and it is mine to deal with. So, I shall deal....*breathe*

Please....bear with me....the fun stuff is yet to come....really.... I promise....this IS a sitcom!