Friday, September 6, 2013

So, Whatcha Been Up To?

Free to a good home.
Husband.  Retired.
'Nuff said.

This was my Facebook status a mere five days after Fred's retirement began early last year.  He was restless, he complained, he wanted something to do.  His retirement was my curse to bear, but it soon turned into a blessing.

A knee injury I had sustained the previous year worsened with use, and I was forced to undergo extensive surgery.  "Ethel's Nine Weeks in the Wheelchair" was nominated for best comedic short. The many scenes where tornado sirens were going off and Fred was trying to maneuver that decrepit wheelchair through mud, gravel, and driving rain to get me to the basement were hilarious, but nothing compared to the glare he met when he suggested that next time he rig a harness and pull me down the basement staircase, like hauling a big ol' bluefin tuna to the scales.

Yes, he got more than he bargained for when I was further sidelined by a blood clot in that knee, which broke apart a week later and settled in my right lung.  Let me tell y'all, a pulmonary embolism is nothing to sneeze at, and when you have two of the little buggers, and the CT contrast dye sends you into anaphylactic shock, well, lesser women have not survived.  But my pampered princess crown was still shiny and new, so I just told St. Pete he'd made a little boo-boo, and he let me slide.

Me and Pete...we got it like that.

I was just beginning to master the mechanics of a cane when Fred was bitten by a brown recluse spider and ended up spending three days in the hospital, where he drove the poor nurses crazy with his never-ending supply of bad hospital jokes and his stubborn refusal to take his condition seriously.  That spider left him with a small crater in his heel and partial memory loss.  But still he took care of me.

All those spring storms caused extensive damage to our roof, and the all-day hammering of the roofers brought about a mass exodus of brown recluse spiders from our attic.  When one scuttled across my bedroom floor in broad daylight, I told Fred I didn't care what it might cost, we were hiring a pest control service NOW.  What a blessing!  Since "the bug man" began his regular visits, I have seen only one live spider in the house, and it was doing the death dance.

So I hastened it.  Put it out of its misery.  Dr. Kavorkian isn't the only one with compassion, you know.

Symptoms of pulmonary embolisms and asthma can be similar, so it's understandable that I don't know when the embolisms dissolved and the asthma began.  But no sooner had my doctor diagnosed asthma than I was hospitalized following a severe asthma attack.  Steroids seem to be the only thing currently keeping my breathing in check, but steroids have an annoying little side effect: you gain weight.  They help tremendously with breathing, but you gain weight.  They keep pain levels at low to non-existent...but you gain weight.  They give you energy...but you gain weight.  LOTS of weight.

Okay, I'm beginning to depress myself, so let's get on with the good news.

Fred isn't the only one who retired recently...I did, too!  The cash-strapped Post Office offered VERY SMALL INCENTIVE early retirement to employees who met minimum age and years-of-service requirements, and I took that offer and ran with it.  I didn't care that I was getting a buyout of only 15% what  similar companies were offering their employees.  I just wanted and needed out.

Being retired means more than just choosing whether or not to remain in your jammies all day.  It also means you get to pick up the nieces from dance class and piano lessons, take Aunt Millie to the hairdresser, sign when the UPS man delivers Johnson Henry's new computer, and watch that the little Crenshaw boy doesn't climb over the fence to get in the neighbor's pool.  And keep Zoey when she's running a fever, and pick up new grandson Andy at daycare on Tuesdays!

That's right, I have two grandchildren now.  Zoey is two, and Andy is four months.  And they are the light of my life.

Zoey is a little charmer who has her grandpa wrapped tightly around a petite finger.  She is utterly feminine, enjoying her manicures and pedicures, and her favorite color, of course, is pink.

Andy is a happy cherub who changes every day.

Lots of you have asked about Willadean.  Since I retired, I don't have daily contact with her anymore, but I do keep up with her.  There will be plenty of stories to follow when I resume blogging.  In the meantime, I just saw a picture that reminded me of her, and I pass it on to you.

So, what have y'all been doing?


  1. Ethelmae...I don't even know where to start. The way you wrote this made me laugh, then moan, then say Ewwwww, then Awwwww. But, oh how sorry I am to hear all that has assailed you in the last year or two. Thank God for those two healthy grandbabies. I'm so glad you're posting again. I've really missed your wonderful writing style.

    1. Linda, 'tis alright, I'm still kicking, and those grandbabies keep me halfway young! Thanks for visiting.

  2. I'm so sorry that you and your Fred have been going through such difficulties but so glad to see that your delicious sense of humour has made it through unscathed.

    Also delicious are those precious wee ones. Oh how they must brighten your lives.

    I'm always thrilled to see when there's a blog post by you, and though I know you have exactly resumed blogging, I'll take what I can get.

    As for Willadene, if she saw that sign, she might be ... ummm... bummed. ;)

    1. Oh Hilary, I'd forgotten you are a master at word play! Bummed, indeed!

  3. Boy, you and Fred have sure been through the ringer. But I'm glad there was a happy end to it all. From the pics I've seen of your daughter, Zoey looks just like her. So happy you've got the Grandchildren you wanted. I finally got to see my newest (step) Grandson for the first time yesterday. He's 5 months old and has a 3 yr old brother that we had only seen twice before. But now they moved back and we'll get to see them more.

    Wishing you and Fred much continued health and happiness in your new stage of life.

    1. kden, yes, Zoey looks just like her mother, and in some pictures, just like I did as a baby. Congratulations on your grandson!

  4. Just today my husband retired from the post office after 37 years. I don't know quite what I am going to do with him.

    Man alive! You have had your share of health problems! I am glad you have those gorgeous grand babies to distract you.

    1. Birdie, 37 years at the post office is just too much to fathom. My hat's off to your hubby, and I have a word of advice: projects. Before my health issues became the focus of Fred's life, I got him interested in making some display cabinets for my collection of childhood memorabilia. He worked on those cabinets for weeks, and they are fabulous. Since then, he's done a couple of other smaller projects, but I'm still looking for that next big thing to keep him down in the basement for a few weeks. Good luck!

  5. When it rains, it pours, huh???
    Your grandkids are beautiful!

    1. Mary, it does pour, indeed. I forgot to tell y'all that Fred also had a very mild stroke back in February, but aside from being a bit numb on one side, he's had no lasting effects from that. Hope things are well with you, and thanks for dropping by.

  6. Ethelmae!! I was so happy to see that email from you!!!! Sounds like you've had quite a time lately!! Hope you are recovering speedily.

    Mr. Eva is mending slowly from his 2nd knee replacement; hopes to be home in a week or so.

    Book sales have been slow this year, but continue to straggle in on occasion. Check out my author's site:

    Hugs to you ...I've missed hearing about Willa Dean. That sign is priceless! You need to send that in to Jay Leno!

  7. Oh my goodness glory girl, the grands are just perfectly precious but of course I don't have to tell you that.

    We've had a hard, hard summer. My little MIL Alzheimer disease has progressed into a wild world of psychotic dementia that needs constant attention. The Missouri flood put the rich, low croplands of the Ponderosa under water (over 20"). My utility room and part of my family room flooded...mud...oh my! My own mother spent over 100 days in the hospital. That story is a nightmare and a half. I wouldn't of believed it but I am a witness. Everything from third stage bed sore to MRSA. Can you imagine havin' MRSA spread to your...ahhhuuuummm...Va~J~Jay???

    I've more than put the blog on the back burner. Heck, I snapped it off the stove and slung it plumb out the window. Heeeeehehehhee!

    I really do want to come back. I adore writing. Speakin''s the book comin' my friend?

    You take care and love those littles with all your heart. Believe me when I say they grow up fast!

    God bless and enjoy your week sweetie!!!! :o)

    1. Nezzie, my darlin'! I dropped in at your blog and saw you hadn't done anything in ages, so I assumed you, like so many of my blogging buds, had "retired" from the art. My goodness, I wish that was all it was, and not the horrid circumstances you've endured. I feel like I've been waltzing through the park compared to you and your family's woes.

      The book... I was sidelined for quite a few months by more pressing matters...such as dadgum Facebook and Words with Friends and some baby showers and birthdays and other functions for which I made invitations and banners and various other fun crafty things. But it's back on now and going very well. The few people I've asked to read bits here and there had very positive reactions and are anxious to read more. Not far from being done. Fred says he didn't know I was writing a book the length of the Bible.

      The grandbabies are already growing too fast. Zoey has new words every day, and tickled us all last weekend at a family reunion when I asked her if she wanted to go home or spend the night at my house; she promptly marched into the kitchen where her parents were doing dishes and announced loudly "I spend the night with Mimi!"

      You take care of you and yours!

  8. Anus Beef? Judging by the last two roasts I bought at Walmart(no I'll never buy another) that must have been what I bought.

  9. Don't think I'll try the beef somehow!!! ROFL

    Just stopping by to wish you well and hope all is OK

    Love the photos of the family.
    I shall be a grandad in a couple of weeks. Hugs ~Eddie

  10. wow. Just wow. You couldn't even make up a scenario like that- and brown recluse spiders are NO laughing matter, Thank goodness your pest control guy is getting that under control. In NM, we were told that they could really do anything about spiders- that was about 9 years ago- maybe things have changed? Congrats on the grandbabies :)

  11. Hi buddy... Attempting to make a beginning at making my rounds. Howdeeeeeeee. ;)). I updated my blog, it's your turn. When you're up to it a course.

  12. Glad to see you're starting back again. The grandbabies are GRAND!! Just beautiful. Sorry to hear about what you've been going thru tho. Wow.

  13. "like hauling a big ol' bluefin tuna to the scales."

    Hahahahahahaha! I so enjoyed this even though I'm late with the comment. So sorry for your heath issues, but glad to see your sense of humor is carrying you through. Please write more.

    I've been up to nothing. Just got back in the blogger mode. Hope it sticks.

  14. Belated Chistmas Greetings and a very Happy New Year. Eddie x

  15. Just popping over to say HI and hope you are OK.


Much as I love and appreciate awards, I can no longer accept awards with attached meme's. But please, leave a comment!

Fred and Ethel Go to Disneyworld


Blog Directory

Blog Catalog

Family Friendly Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory