Monday, July 27, 2009

Family reunion

I have a couple of photos from the family reunion/birthday party for my Grandmother. I read a version of what will appear in tomorrow's Miss Mom as my contribution for the entertainment. One of my brothers read an original poem. Despite his disclaimer, his prose was quite nice. My sister sang, and another brother and one of my nephews did a fantabulous drum duet.

We estimated 66 people in attendance with either 39 or 40 who were just family. One of my cousins and her younger son had traveled from Utah. There were only 10 in the large King clan who were unable to attend, if I counted it correctly, and it had been five years since we'd had a gathering of that size. That had been for Mama's 90th.

So without further ado, a few photos.

The birthday girl

All five generations of King.

Friday, July 24, 2009

A Not So Fun Day.

So, I've been an allergy sufferer for years. I've taken step to limit my access to the things Im allergic to, but not completely. Hard to avoid dust mites and grass here in the south. To add to the fun, I developed asthma symptoms about a year ago.

This summer has been "fun" in the asthma realm. I never know when an episode is going to show up. I keep a rescue inhaler nearby all the time, as I've needed it about once a week. I have had some changes made to my medication in an attempt to control the symptoms, with some success until last week.

I don't know exactly what started the downhill spiral that led to today, but about a week and a half ago I started feeling lousy, wheezy, and just tired all the time. By this past Tuesday, I left work early and was at my family doc, who prescribed me a z-pack, another inhaler, and prednisone. (I LOATHE prednisone)

I opted to hold of a few days on the steroids to see if the z-pack and the new inhaler would work. By this morning I knew that was a "no" so I picked up the new meds, ran a couple errands and headed off to work.

I walked into the building and new immediately that my rescue inhaler was going to be needed before I started my shift. I grabbed a cup of coffee knowing that it often helps, used my inhaler, and then the mother of all asthma attacks hit.

For those of you who don't have asthma, let me tell you it is scary, when you can't catch your breath, and then you get dizzy, then you get scared which causes you to hyperventilate, worsening your breathing ability. My co-workers wanted to call 911. I had them call my husband, and then I managed to call my allergist who told me they'd be waiting my arrival.

By the time Bill got there, I was so dizzy I was afraid to try to walk outside, so they stuck me in a wheelchair, which just scared me all over again, and wheeled me to Bill's truck.

May I mention that the folks at Allergy Partners of the Foothills off of Skyland Drive are phenomenal? They were waiting and ready for me, had me in a room and on a nebulizer in less then ten minutes. It would have been faster but I'd been drinking so much water that morning, that I had to pee about as bad as I had to breathe. Within about 20 minutes, things had calmed down greatly and I could actually speak in sentences again. They sent me home with a new toy, my very own nebulizer which I used again this evening. The entire staff was very kind and supportive. Thank you so much.

Much gratitude also goes to my boss and my co-workers who helped where they could to help me feel better until my knight in shining armor arrived. They are awesome people to work with, and it was great to know they were there to help, especially as I was quite frightened. Bill, well he was so calm throughout. He tucked me into bed afterwards, picked up my new prescription, went to the grocery and even cooked me dinner.

I am still tired, somewhat wheezy, but that should ease off as the Prednisone does its job of reducing the inflammation in my lungs, while puffing me up like an irritable blow fish. The nebulizer will likely get a few more uses until this all blows over, then it will be my handy back-up plan for those really tough days.

Hopefully, I'll get this thing under control. I don't like being out of control, so its been somewhat frustrating.. We are looking into more ways to to trigger avoidance on the things we know bother me. And I'll be diligent with my medicines. I am also working to try to eat much healthier. I want to resume exercise again, but I got to stop needing my inhaler when I do a yoga pose. I am still needing a work-out nazi. You know the person who makes you get on that exercise bike and not get off until you've pedaled at least three miles? Any takers for the position??

I'm still navigating uncharted waters with this, so I'll be asking lots of questions, learning along the way, and continuing to fight this. I told Bill last night, that even when I don't feel great, I try to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Its just nice to know I have people helping me along.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Big weekend ahead

Tomorrow starts a big weekend for us here at the Galloway house. First will be my son, his girlfriend and her little boy coming for a week long visit. Yep we'll be a bit crowded around the place but it will be wonderful to spend time with my eldest and his little family.

Then there will be Sunday when the King clan all gathers in Spruce Pine, NC for the purpose of celebrating the birthday of one of our members. My grandmother, who will be 95 years young on that day. We will be celebrating with food, BBQ style and King induced entertainment. Meaning we will be doing goofy skits, singing and playing songs, and watching what the younger generation of our clan does at the shores of the small lake were we will be meeting.

I wish I had managed to sneak in a week off during all of this, but I didn't find out Mike's plans until too late and by then vacation slots for my department were already grabbed up.

I'll be putting up pictures of the birthday party next week, and there will be a tribute to my Mama' that will appear in next week's Miss Mom column. I am reading a version of it as my contribution to the entertainment. That is if my dad doesn't rope me into doing a silly skit.

Stay tuned.

Friday, July 10, 2009

What Price Fame?

I have been writing my Miss Column for several months now. It is a project I find highly rewarding on a personal, creative level, and Steve Shanafelt, my esteemed editor at where my rambling are found deems my work worthy enough to pay me for what I submit. Granted its just a stipend, but HEY, I'm a published and compensated writer.

Being somewhat neurotic and concerned that I am taking up print space, I wonder often if anyone even reads my stuff. I have recently been assured by friends and family that at least they do and actually enjoy the goings on I tell about at the Galloway abode. Plus my editor told me that the site does get a healthy supply of visitors on Tuesdays when the articles come out.

This week I got a bit of a surprise. Out of the blue I get an email about a piece I had written way back in March. The column in question was entitled The Great TP war. It was about our struggles to keep toilet paper on the holder in the bathrooms in our house. I mentioned a famous brand of toilet paper once during the story, knowing that it is often synonymous with toilet paper in general, not that at the time, I'd been using that particular brand.

The email was from a marketing firm. Apparently someone had seen the article and the fact that brand X was mentioned. They offered to send me a sample kit of a new product line they carried. I emailed my editor, and as usual, he didn't reply. (I know Steve, you are a busy dude), . So I asked a few friends one of whom is in publishing herself. Everyone said, "Hey, its free toilet paper, you know how expensive that stuff is." So I emailed the person back and accepted the offer. Little squares wrapped around a tube will likely be arriving at my house in a few weeks.

So, is there more to come? Will my next column catch the attention of a cereal company and they send a years supply of sugar bomb cereal? Will a cruise ship company think that I am in dire need of a free vacation? Will a Hollywood producer be so enamored by my story of my long embittered fight with head lice in my children's hair that he sees the strong possibility of a tv series? (I do need to post that story someday)

Who knows, but at least that my fame has garnered me free stuff...uhm, that you flush....and that is safe for septic tanks.