bipolar mom shares her insights on everyday life

Archive for May, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dad!

My dad is 70 today.  That doesn’t even seem possible.  He doesn’t act 70.  (Just like I don’t act 42!)

I have been told by many that I am like my dad. 

We are both a little jumpy, to put it mildly.  I remember my mom asking my brother and me to go wake Dad up from a nap and tell him it was time for supper.  Oh, man.  That was like taking your life into your own hands.  We’d argue about who would do it.  I remember walking into his room very quietly and then whispering, “Dad?”  He usually didn’t move.  A little louder, “Dad?”  “WHAT?  WHAT?  OH!”  He jumped as high as I did.  Every single time.  He and I really hate to hear people put away dishes in the kitchen.  As he puts it, “It sounds like they are dropping the dishes from the ceiling!”  I agree.

We are both pretty emotional.  As in soft-hearted.  I like that trait, honestly.  I don’t like to feel sorry for someone (like a homeless woman on the side of the road), but when I do, I feel human.  Like I have a heart.  Dad passed that one along to me. 

He saved my life once.  My family was swimming in a pool when we were camping.  My brother, who could not swim, was floating on a beachball and had drifted into the deep end of the pool.  My dad asked me to go and get him.  No problem, so far.  When I reached my brother, however, he let go of the ball and jumped on my back.  I sank to the bottom of the pool like a lead weight.  I used my feet to push off the bottom and get some air, but then I would sink back down.  I just couldn’t handle the weight of my brother.  (Who, by the way, thought I was playing and giving him the ride of his life.)  I did this several times, and then the last time I thought, “I can’t do this anymore.  I’m just going to have to quit and drown.”  Then I heard a splash and my dad was there, pulling me out of the water to safety.  I have no idea where my brother was, all I knew was that Dad had saved my life.  He sat with me on the side of the pool while I sobbed.  Then he told me to get back in.  I looked at him like he was crazy.  He told me that if I didn’t get back in I might never get back in since I would be afraid of drowning again.  I trusted him and got back in (he got in with me too, of course), and I’ve been swimming ever since.

My dad loves breakfast.  Oh yes.  Another wonderful trait passed on to me.  The love of coffee and a good breakfast.  My day is not complete without breakfast and I could eat it three times a day.  Give my dad some eggs over-easy, bacon or sausage, toast, and coffee and you have a happy man.  I try to always have a pot of coffee ready for him when he comes over.  He’ll always say, “Good coffee, Shell.”  I doubt that it is always good, but he says it anyway.

My dad has hugged me a lot through the years.  I always love those hugs.  He has had many shirts get tear-stained, thanks to me.  A time I remember vividly, was when I went off to college.  Prior to leaving, I COULD NOT WAIT to leave St. Louis and get out on my own.  My family was cramping my style, I guess.  But, when it came time to actually leave, I was beside myself.  I ran to my dad and hugged him and cried.  I said, “I don’t want to go.  I don’t want to do this.”  Rather than stand there stiffly and tell me to get in the car, he hugged me and said soothing words to me.  Then he shoved me into the car.  No, not really.  But, I knew he cared.  That was huge.

As I’ve mentioned before, my dad has really been there for me during this whole bipolar incident.  (Everyone has.)  Just last week, he met me for lunch when I was having a really tough time.  He was my rock that day.

I love that we can talk about anything and everything.  We both think the other one is very funny.  He has a great sense of humor that he doesn’t always let everyone see.  But, I love it.

My husband is my best friend.  My mom is my best “girl” friend.  But, I’m a Daddy’s girl and always will be.


Crimson and Clover

Where has all the clover gone?  I noticed this the other day while driving my kids somewhere.  Very few lawns have clover.  Many, many dandelions.  (termed “footprint of the white man” by the Native Americans because there were no dandelions until the Pilgrims and their friends came.  I know.  I’m a wealth of information.)  But, no clover.  You can tell who has a lawn service (or really takes care of their lawn) because their lawn does not have any dandelions.  Feast or famine, I guess. 

But what has happened to the clover?  I remember sitting in my yard as a kid and making necklaces from the clover flowers.  Many, many necklaces.  My children will never learn that craft.  Of course, there were lots of bees pollinating with the clover, but I would just move to a new patch.  And, there were always more patches.

Clover was soft to walk on, too.  Not like prickly dandelions. 

Of course, if it weren’t for dandelions, I never would have known that I was going to have 17 children…

And Then Depression Set In

I’ve been having a tough week.  Been very sleepy.  Can’t seem to concentrate long enough to read anything of length.  Been eating like crazy (to keep awake and just seem hungry all the time).  And weeping.  Not the huge breakdowns, but weeping, just the same.  And, I don’t feel better when I’m done.

Yesterday, I called my dad and told him I was having a bad morning and asked him to meet me for lunch.  He was quick to agree and did wonders for me.  Helped me talk about other things.  Helped me analyze what had been happening that could have triggered this episode.  Waited at home for me to find out what the doctor said.  He was awesome.  Just what I needed.

So, fortunately, yesterday I had a scheduled appointment with my psychiatrist.  After I updated him on the past six weeks, he said that it sounded as though I was depressed.  After thinking about it (and the above symptoms), I agreed.  So, he’s upping the Cymbalta.  Which I was going to ask about anyway.  So we were on the same page. 

The only problem is that now I have to wait at least a week for this stuff to start to make a difference.  My patience is as short as Herve Villacheze.  I hate that more than the weepiness.  I know I am short on patience, but it just rises to the top so quickly that I can’t seem to do anything about it before it spurts out.

Sorry to bring everyone down, but this blog really helps, plus I can let my friends and family know without having to repeat it and (gasp) talk on the phone.

Getting Some Zzzzzz’s

My son fell asleep in the outhouse at Boy Scout camp this weekend.

End of story.

Lock It Up!!!

Does anyone else besides me remember the commercial “Lock it and pocket the key”?  It was designed to remind us to lock our cars and take the key with us.  Wow.  Does anyone leave their car unlocked anymore?  Hey!  Maybe that campaign worked!

Well, this isn’t about locking your car. 

It is about a strange item I have noticed that is locked up.  For my male readers, you have been warned.  You are about to enter….The Women’s Bathroom!!!!!!

(Let’s be honest.  They are more interested than ever now…)

In my latest trips to public restrooms, I have noticed something I found very odd.  There is a lock on the little box where women deposit used items in the stalls.  (I’m still considering the men’s feelings here.  We women know exactly what I’m talking about.)  A lock on the box.  A lock? Really?  Is this a crime that has gone unreported?  Has Channel 5 News not investigated this?  Why is there a lock on here?  Are there women out there that want that stuff?  Used?!?!?!  Blech!  Someone suggested that maybe girls use it as a prank.  Oh my gosh!  Those are some twisted girls!  Therapy needed in Aisle 1!  If this is the case, maybe we need to start a support group.  We could call it GPA-Gross Pranksters Anonymous.  When I was in high school, girls used to put pads on other girls’ lockers just to embarrass and humiliate them.  But, believe me.  They were unused.

I’ve asked several people about this, and they are as perplexed as I am.  Of course they’ve never noticed it.  That’s just some weird thing I do, looking for something about which to blog.   I would love to know if anyone on this planet knows why these are locked up. 

Anyone?  Anyone?

Happy Birthday, Honey!

Today is my husband’s birthday.  He’s out celebrating it in Beverly Hills.  I know.  Tough, right?  But, I know he’d rather be home with his family, so that makes it a little better.

Tom is 43 years old, but he doesn’t look it or act it.  His smile can still melt me like butter.  He also has the greatest legs and always has.  He loves to play around with the kids (some game called Space Monkey that involves a lot of rough-housing and giggling.  I can’t be in the room.  Makes the mother in me nervous.)

Tom has been there for me through thick and thin.  I remember his mom telling me on our wedding day that she knew Tom would always stay faithful to me.  She remembered that he had a girlfriend when he was little and he stuck with her the whole time.  (I have no idea how old they were, but I don’t think I need to be worried about her showing up and stealing him any time soon.)  Tom is very loyal to his company, the church, and just about anything he has agreed to do.  If he says he will be at every meeting, then you had better make sure there is a spot for him, because he will be there come hell or high water.  (love that saying.)

Tom is always on time.  His saying is, “If you are on time, then you are late.”  I’ve had to bend to that one.  I had a habit of being late to most things.  I didn’t like it, though, so I always ask him, “What time do you want to leave the house?”  Then, I make sure I am ready to go.  I appreciate learning that lesson from him.

So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TOM!  Your the Ernie to my Zuzu and I love you! 

Swimsuit Shopping

Women often run screaming when they hear those two words “Swimsuit Shopping.”  And, for those of us on the “plus” side, believe me, it is one of those things you make yourself do.  Just like those yearly exams we are supposed to have.  Ugh.

My daughter and I went shopping yesterday for a bit.  She bought a few things including a swimsuit.  Of course, she’s 10 and has the cutest figure and looks great in anything.  So, she’s trying on a two-piece (no boring old one-pieces for her!) and checking herself out in the mirror, shaking her hips watching the little ties on the sides flip around.  In her mind, there is nothing more exciting than that new swimsuit for summer.

Then there’s me.  Blech.  Not only are the swimsuits I’m looking at WAY more than I want to spend, but if I want to spend that much, I want to look good.  And, that ain’t happenin’, folks.  FINDING a swimsuit in your regular department store isn’t easy when you are looking for the women’s sizes.  (By the way, my dear friend was helping her sister look for clothes one time and announced, “Hey, sis, here is an 18 Wide!”  Needless to say, her sister sat on her and said, “W=Women, not Wide.”)  They don’t have a section for Women’s swimsuits.  Ours are mixed amongst all the others.  (Thankfully, not the petites.  Those little bitty things have their own section.)  I finally found one swimsuit that even had women’s sizes.  ONE!  So, I started ranting to my daughter, “So!  This is what it has come to, huh?  THEY decide that THIS is the only swimsuit overweight women can even pull off?  Is THAT what they are saying?”  She was sweet enough to just shake her head in empathy.  “Ugh!  And, check out the price!  PUH-LEEZE!  For that much, it should come with sleeves and a coupon for free liposuction!”   I did find two more suits that carried the Women’s sizes.  I decided on one, and bought it.  No way was I trying that thing on in the store. 

After I brought it home, I had buyer’s remorse.  Did I really need a new suit?  I have a couple that are perfectly fine.  Don’t look worn out at all.  Plus, we aren’t going anywhere this summer that would require a suit.  We may go on a float trip with Tom’s family, but I wouldn’t want to buy one just for that.  So, I’m taking it back.  Along with the cover-up that I bought.  Seriously, that thing isn’t going to cover up nearly enough!  😉 

So, the new swimsuit and the mirror will never meet.  Awww.  Too bad.  I think they are both better off not seeing each other.


First of all, let me say that I do believe that anorexia is a real disease and I am not trying to make light of it.  So, please don’t email me or make comments about my being insensitive.  I know someone who is anorexic and it is so very sad and I pray for her.

Now, with that out of the way, let me say that I think I am “non-anorexic.”  Anorexics look in the mirror and think they look fat no matter how thin they are.  I look in the mirror and think, “Hey, I’m lookin’ pretty good!”  (The scale and my clothes disagree.)  Granted, I don’t look in the mirror often.  Just when I’m heading out the door and want to make sure my skirt isn’t tucked into my underwear.  Otherwise, it’s just a look in the mirror to put on or fix my makeup.

Is anyone else like this?  Did Mama Cass look in the mirror and say, “You are one groovy lookin’ chick, babe!”?

This is Getting Nuts!

If you’ve been following the last two posts, you know we have some tropical fish issues. Yesterday, 3 of 6 fish died.  I read on the internet that they were not the type to put in a new tank.  (Great!  Thanks so much for telling us that!)  Then, this morning, we saw two babies.  (This type-Platys-give live birth).  They bit the dust during the day.  Then an hour or so ago, another fish died.  I started thinking, “What are we doing wrong here?”

So, I called Petco.  I was asked, “You bought a tank yesterday and put fish in it the same day?”  Now, you know there is a right answer to that and a wrong one.  I was going to give her the wrong one.  “Yes.”  “Who sold you the fish?  Did they know it was going in a brand new tank?  Because you never put fish in a new tank.  You have to wait at least 7 days.”  That’s when I had to roll over on the great salesman we had.  I explained that he had been terrific helping us out with picking out a tank, buying the right food, etc.  But, he was not the one who actually got the fish that Karen wanted.  But, he did check us out, so he knew we were going to put the fish in that day.  The store manager said, “He’s a great guy and a great employee, but he should never have let you do that.  I’ll have a talk with him.  He’s not in trouble, but he needs to know to ask questions and be more observant.  I am very sorry for any heartache your daughter went through.  We will be happy to replace the fish in 7 days.  Again, I am very sorry.”

Now, that, my friends, is how a manager should be.  She was apologetic and took responsibility for the event that will forever be known in the Farmer household as “Black Wednesday/Thursday.” 

I’m a Great-Grandmother!

After yesterday’s death of 3 fish, I honestly expected to find the other 3 floating this morning.  I tried going in before my daughter woke up and use a flashlight to see if they were dead, so that I could prepare her before she found them herself.  All three were lying on the rocks.  Unfortunately, she woke up after I’d been in there just a minute or so. 

She then came down and asked if she could turn the on the light on the tank.  I told her that would be fine.  i waited for her to run down and let us know they were dead.  She came down the stairs and said, “Mommy, I hate to bother you again, but I think my fish had babies!”  Her brother and I ran up the stairs to peek.  Sure enough, there were two teeny, tiny babies hiding among the rocks.  (Apparently, the babies can be eaten by their moms.  Ewww.)

We rescued them after much effort and put them in a small container filled with water from the tank.  We have no idea what to do.  I’ve checked the internet, and apparently we need more plants for them to hide in or a breeding container.  So, I guess we’ll be heading to Petco this afternoon after school.  This is becoming a little more maintenance than I thought.

I will say this was a nice bonus after yesterday’s deaths.  We may end up with a tank full of Mickey Mouse Platys.  We’re going to run out of Disney names!   Can you name a fish “Annette?”

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