October 24
       Hello to all!  It's been a bit of a busy week around here with lots to deal with.  Seems like it's just been one of those times when it's one thing after another.  At least we've continued to have fairly mild, though wet, weather for the end of October.  The daytime temperatures this week have been in the upper 50's to mid-60's range with nighttime temperatures in the 40's and 50's.  Last Sunday night was the only exception and we woke Monday morning to the season's first heavy frost that required scraping windshields.  We've had a bit of rain and some rather breezy days, but nothing too bad.
       After talking it over last week, Megan's pediatrician and I decided that the Adderall just wasn't controlling her A.D.D.   Darn!  It gave her such a "jumpstart" when she first started taking it, that we'd had high hopes.  Unfortunately, the effects seemed to last only a couple of weeks and now she is struggling with her school work again.  Concerta is about the only A.D.D. drug we haven't tried so I am really praying it helps her (she started taking it on Monday).  Additionally, the pediatrician spoke to a psychiatrist about Megan's emotional outbursts and shared her records with him.  His opinion is that we should consider putting Megan on Zoloft.  While I am about desperate enough to try anything that will bring us some peace and take the zing out of Megan's anger, I am really glad the pediatrician wants to wait and see if the Concerta works at this or any higher dosage before resorting to an antidepressant.  Her first day with Concerta was a bit rough.  She reported light-headedness, dizziness and blurred vision.  The blurred vision stayed for a couple of days but all the symptoms seem to have cleared up and so far she is doing pretty well.  Not perfect, but better.
       I started trying to make arrangements to rent a house for next summer's vacation on Wednesday.  Since we promised Matthew he could bring two friends along (better than them going off to the beach on their own) and Megan wants to bring a friend and a couple we are friends with might drive down for a couple of days.....WE NEED A MUCH BIGGER HOUSE.  There are only a handful of houses to choose from that will accommodate 10 people.  The cost eliminated the majority of them right off the bat.  The one we really wanted turned out to not be available during July.  Two others that we really like went up a good bit in price, but are still less than the ones eliminated at first look.  One agency suggested a house we hadn't asked about.  It is big enough, the location isn't bad and the price is good, but it looks pretty shabby in the pictures on the website so we're thinking on it this weekend and I'll have to email someone our decision this coming week before the houses are rented and we're out of luck.
       Thursday I drove a friend from work to a chiropractic appointment and afterward we were able to have lunch at Red Lobster (we both love shrimp scampi) and browse through a used book store before heading back to work.  Friday, the same friend and I drove kindergarten and first graders on a field trip to a Native American settlement.  Actually, it's just a recreation that a family interested in history built on their property.  The kids absolutely loved it and my friend and I may get hired on now and then to portray village members and explain various things to visitors.  I don't know when we will know about that and it wouldn't pay much, but it sure would be interesting and a lot of fun!
       Megan had a friend spend the night on Friday.  I picked up the Garfield movie for them to watch and ended up watching it with them.  What a cute movie!  Tim worked on Saturday...he's having such an awful time right now with irate neighbors, shoddy subcontractors, faulty equipment....it just seems like everything that could possibly go wrong on this project is doing just that!  Sometimes being the boss is not all it's cracked up to be.  Anyway, with Tim at work, the girls had to ride along with me to run some errands Saturday morning.  Matt went along, too, and we had just pulled into a parking space downtown when we witnessed a hit and run accident and ended up having to stick around for a good while to be witnesses.  Errands done and Megan's friend gone home, I took advantage of the sunshine to finish decorating for Halloween.  The path the trick-or-treaters will use is now heavily decked out in cobwebs, strings of orange lights, friendly spooks and torches we will light on Halloween only.  I also cleaned up the deck and readied the furniture for winter (now I just need to get Tim to take the air conditioner out of the window and we're ready for cold weather).  During the afternoon I got a "bright" idea about switching the locations of a couple pieces of furniture.  No big deal....except it was the computer desk and china cupboard.  Moving those two pieces turned into a major project that ended up involving rearranging all the furniture in the kitchen, living room and our bedroom!  Whew, but I was tired and sore last night.  It was all worth it, though, as the rooms seem more open and there is a lot more space.
       Woke up to escaped chickens this morning.  During the warmer weather this summer, the lower half of the coop door swelled and there was no need to hook that half.  Tim fixed the problem a few weeks ago, but the kids are still in the habit of not using the hook to latch the door.  It hasn't been a problem but it was quite windy during the night and it must have "popped" the door.  Luckily, the chooks didn't go far....just next door to the neighbor's coop.  Out for a visit, I guess.  Anyway, they herded back easily enough and seemed quite pleased with their adventure.  No church for us today.  We've decided not to continue going to the church we've been attending since Easter.  We really like it, but it is just too far away.  We rarely are able to get in to the activities and that makes it hard to get to know anyone or feel connected.  I guess we're going to look for something closer to home or maybe we'll end up going back to our home church eventually.  Tim has started talking to some of our friends from there again in recent weeks so maybe it's a possibility.  I made cinnamon rolls for breakfast and we all sat around watching a Bing Crosby/Bob Hope Road picture.  Funny stuff.  I love old movies and am a big fan of Bing's (that's my dad's influence).  I even named my new parakeet Bing because I was hoping he'd be a singer.  Tim worked on my car this afternoon.  I'd tell you what's wrong with it, but the list of what isn't is probably shorter.  It's all tied up with the fan/thermostat/radiator.  I think it all just kind of gave up the ghost at the same time.  I don't know what he did today, but he said it will work good enough for me to drive it to work this week and he will do a bit more work on it next weekend.
       My grandmother and Tim's sister both went into the hospital Friday.  Tim's sister is 46 and had a heart cathretization yesterday.  She is doing fine and should be home tomorrow or Tuesday.  No one is really sure what's wrong with Nana.  She may have had a heart attack, but the doctor can't tell without more tests, including a stress test, which Nana is probably physically unable to do.  She is 86 and has been living in her own world (she is virtually blind and deaf as well as physically weak) for several years now.  Mom and her sisters have decided against more testing or any heroic measures should we get to that point.  We all feel there is no point in using the miracles of modern medicine to prolong her life.  I know she wouldn't want that.  She always told me she didn't want to live so long that she was just a shell of a person.  It breaks my heart that that is exactly what she's become.  Anyway, the doctor is just watching and waiting for now.  A physical therapist is coming to evaluate her tomorrow and we'll go from there.  When she is released, she may have to move to a home more suited to someone in her condition.
       On another sad note, we had to put our dog, Abby, down last Sunday.  Poor old girl.  She is the dog, if you'll remember, that we adopted from the shelter as a companion for our poodle.  After living with her for two weeks and taking her to the vet, we discovered the shelter had lied to us about her age and her health.  There was so much wrong with her that the vet said she should have been put to sleep and never put up for adoption and offered to write me a letter to take to the shelter so they'd take her back.  I couldn't do that.  The shelter is such an awful place and after two weeks, Abby was our dog for better or worse.  She never did do much more than sleep and eat and suffer from her problems, but we tried to give her the best life we could.  Then in the last month or so she took a turn for the worse.  Her tumor started growing and she developed another one.  She could barely see or hear and then she could barely walk.  Last Sunday she began having explosive bowel movements and we took her to the vet.  The vet took in all that was wrong with her and said it was time to let her go.  We brought her home and buried her under the hedges by the garden.  It's always so tough to let a pet go.
       Maybe I should have told about Nana and Abby early, because now that I've depressed you all, I'm off to do some typing for Tim.  Hope you all have a wonderful week and a "frightful" Halloween!