SPRING BREAK!!!

Ah, yes.  A wonderful time of year.  Here in Texas (at least in the area I live in) all the school districts have a similar calendar.  Including the colleges.  So both Sunshine and my husband are off this coming week.  My mom teaches as well, so she is off.  And its my birthday this week.  Oh and SXSW is going on.

I would have loved for something like this to occur when I was growing up.  “Spring Break” referred to the two days I got off from school right before Easter.  But if it was a bad winter, most of those days were “make up” days so that the school district could get 180 days of school in before June 30th (as per law).

Sunshine had an entire week off for Thanksgiving, nearly two and a half weeks off for Christmas, and now spring break.

She is already enjoying it.  She has been outside most of the day today.  And she came back from my parents house with shoes that were still oozing mud.

I just hope my health can improve so that I can do things with her this week.

I’m still couch bound.  But that’s an improvement from bed-bound, which is how I spent my morning.  With my legs elevated.  My blood pressure bottomed out.

I understand that medications (especially in my body) are pretty potent.  I just don’t like the blood pressure yo-yo.  I feel awful.

I have been through childbirth (assisted with an epidural).  I have fibromyalgia.  I have a 17 year history of migraines.  But nothing was like that wicked headache I had last week as a result of my blood pressure.  That was such intense pain.  Not in my usual migraine areas.  I swear I still feel the effects of it.

Its like a never ending loop.  I feel awful so I can barely navigate through my apartment, let alone exercise.  I gain weight as a result of the meds.  I also have lovely side effects like tachycardia and hypertension.  But in order to (naturally) deal with those issues, I have to exercise.  And lose weight.  Grrr!!

Ok.  Positive thinking.  Sunshine.  Just watching her interact with her friends, with my husband…its such a treat.  She is quite a mighty little human, and she will definitely be a force to be reckoned with as she grows.

The things that come out of her mouth are priceless.  Just seeing the way she thinks, how she goes about solving problems or analyzing a situation is incredible.

She blows me away almost every day with her intellect, her sense of humor and her zest for life.  I am truly blessed to be her Mama.

My goal this spring break is to relax and have fun with my family.  I’m sad that I will probably have to skip SXSW because of my health.  But maybe I’ll get a boost of health later in the week and I’ll be able to at least wander downtown and find some great music to listen to.

And I’m grateful there is no snow on the ground 🙂

Sunshine Knievel

© Ragnarock | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

© Ragnarock | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

 

I think I have sprouted more grey hair.

Yesterday was another BEAUTIFUL day here in central Texas. Like most children, Sunshine loves to play outside. She is of the age where I do feel comfortable letting her go out and play throughout the apartment complex, with frequent check ins.

My apartment complex is like Munchkinland. The child:adult  ratio is probably like 3:1. We live smack in the middle of it, right next to the playground.

Sunshine is a social butterfly. She pretty much knows everyone. And I know most of the parents in the complex. I usually feel comfortable that she is safe. Until yesterday…

Sunshine came home close to her time to come in for the night. Again, she was not wearing her shoes (I have no idea why this child refuses to wear shoes). I instructed her to go back to her friend’s house and gather her belongings and return home.

So I wait on the porch…I wait some more…and then I had to go inside for a few minutes to do something pertaining to dinner.

I come back out to see Sunshine climbing up on one of the platforms of the playscape at the playground…WITH ROLLER SKATES ON HER FEET!!

I have no idea how I made it down to the playground that fast. I was in my “lounging clothes” (read a ratty tanktop and shorts, no bra and no shoes. That is probably where she gets the “no shoes” thing) and had to literally scream over the din of children playing to prevent her from going down the slide with roller skates on.

I made it just in time. She was about to put her roller skated foot on the sliding board when she turned and noticed me. Thank goodness.

Now, I am a nurse. I used to work in pediatrics a decade ago. I have seen kids with broken bones, long hospital stays because of injury, adults with traumatic brain injury. But even that knowledge isn’t needed to know that riding roller skates down a slide is a bad idea. Especially with no helmet or safety equipment.

When she (carefully) came down to semi solid ground, she got the full wrath of Mama.

“What were you thinking? Who’s skates are these? You were supposed to come right back! WHAT ON EARTH WERE YOU THINKING?”

Sunshine: “I don’t know, Mama, it looked like fun”.

Be still, my pounding heart. I then gave her the usual Mama response: “do you know what could have happened?”

Sunshine: “Yes, Mama, I could have cracked my head open”.

Me: “You knew this and you still wanted to do this?”

Sunshine: “Yes, Mama. Because Lucy cracked her head open and she’s fine”.

Apparently Lucy is the rightful owner of the roller skates. Perhaps that is why she was allowing other children to partake in her “roller skates of doom”.

Walking back up to the apartment (after finally locating her shoes) Sunshine looks up at me and says: “I’m probably grounded aren’t I Mama” Me: “Oh yes you most certainly are”.

She also was treated to an earful of stories from me and my husband. Apparently he was a daredevil too, and once snapped both of the bones in his left forearm while jumping from a swing into a pile of leaves when he was 10. His arm broke his fall.

Hopefully, she learns from this, and I don’t catch her trying to prematurely grey my hair again.

Sunshine, meet Science

Today is science fair day. It wasn’t required for her grade level, but I wanted to give Sunshine the experience of doing a project to completion and then showcasing it at school. She decided on plants, because she normally sings to her plants anyway.

This is Sunshine's poster board

This is Sunshine’s poster board

So, we bought seeds, dirt and planted two plants in little coffee cups. Sunshine enjoyed singing to one of the plants everyday and leaving the other one in the guest room. I loved it when she came running one day “Mama, they are growing!!”

So now its time to make the poster board. The instructions clearly state that parents “should refrain from overly assisting their children”. So I typed up the info for the board (because her handwriting isn’t always legible right now) and printed letters of the alphabet to color and use to title the sections of her project.  I also used a recommended website to create a lovely graph of her data.

Sunshine did all the coloring, most of the cutting, and most of the gluing (and you can tell).

I take her to school today to drop off the project, and I see rows and rows of damn near professional projects. The one next to her’s looks like it is a college level presentation with glossy xrays of bones, little flaps with tons of information on it. Nary a glue stain or scissor error to be found. The title of the project is made out of wooden letters, painted in bright colors and glued to the board. I felt a little better when I noticed that “BONES” was spelled “BONS”. Just a tiny bit.

The little peek of the other projects revealed a hovercraft, demonstrations on the action of breathing (complete with soda bottle lungs and a balloon diaphragm) and similar projects to Sunshine’s. Only that one was professionally typed and put together. No kid (even in the fifth grade) has handwriting that perfect.

I understand the motives of the other parents to “help” their kids, but what is it teaching them if the parents are doing it?  Sunshine learned the value of starting a project, learning about plants, doing an experiment and exhibiting her findings.  She learned that she can’t quit halfway through, and that Mommy will only help with certain things.  She learned that its hard work to do something like this, but she did it, and now she has a sense of pride.

We will go to the official exhibit tonight to see if she has won anything.  She will get to see everyone else’s projects and we will probably have a discussion about the number of projects that did not look like a six year old did it.  I’ll have to explain to her that sometimes parents help their kids too much, and she did an amazing job because she did it herself.

She is learning a lot of life lessons this week..

Winter is not my friend

Yes, I know, Texas doesn’t have a real “winter”.

Growing up in Pittsburgh for 25 years, I am acquainted with real “winter”, and that is why I despise it.

I know people with autoimmune, chronic pain, osteopathic conditions are usually cold intolerant.  And I am no different.

I guess it began in high school.  I went to school in a “modern” building with a closed in plan.  It was build in 1970.  Basically, no windows except for these 1 foot in width, floor to ceiling “windows” that could be tilted to “open”.  The walls were cinder block.  The heat regulation in that building was terrible.  I remember wearing my winter coat, gloves and a hat in class.  Sometimes you could even see your breath.  In chemistry class we would light the Bunsen burners for added heat. On other days it would be a tropical jungle, although those days were few and far between.  We would complain to the office, but they would say that they couldn’t do anything about it.

We also had to take swimming class.  In winter.  In that building.  I wonder if my gym teacher ever looked into the veracity of my excuses of having my period, everyday, for a month.

The house I grew up in was very old, build at the turn of the 20th century.  Very poor insulation and drafty.  So I am well acquainted with freezing all winter.

I remember visiting Texas once December.  I was flabbergasted that my cousins were wearing shorts one day.  In December.  Completely foreign to me.  In Pittsburgh, all shorts, short sleeves, bathing suits (unless you were doomed for gym class) were packed away in September.  But apparently in central Texas, you can pull those out year round!

In my late teens, early 20s I noticed the cold intolerance thing getting worse.  Even out of high school, I was always cold.  Its just the way I was.  I always needed an extra blanket on the bed, warm socks, warm pjs.  And I do get this way in the summer too, if the a/c is blasting.

What does it actually do?  It makes me hurt more.  My joints ache.  They are stiff and sore.  I’m slower.  My feet and hands and fingers won’t work properly.  It normally takes me awhile to get warmed up anyway, so if I do go out, I have to come in and get under blankets to physically warm my body and joints.

So with my diagnoses, my history, I have been miserable the past few days.  Yesterday had a low of 25 and a high of 59 (that is in *F).  Ick.

My husband loves it.  Says its “invigorating”.  Right.  If you’re a polar bear.  Give me my snuggie.

A case of the “Mondays”

Feeling like this today..

It’s not that I’m on the corporate “Monday” schedule like I used to be. I’m just not feeling too fantastic this today.

Methotrexate on Friday evening (well, early Saturday morning).  Vegetated ALL DAY Saturday.  And yesterday I felt  the effects of the methotrexate, but I kinda pushed it.  Sunshine returned from Daisy camp with my mom and we spent almost the entire day at my parent’s house.

I actually cooked dinner for everyone yesterday.  It wasn’t a 7-course feast, but it was a decent crock pot meal.  And it was edible, and actually good, and no one has died from food poisoning.  Yet.

So, again.  Here I am on a Monday, feeling like a train has hit me.  This is starting to be a pattern.  Veg after the med, feel ok the 2nd day and push it, feel like crap the 3rd and sometimes 4th day.

Grrr.  I wish I had more balance.

But on the bright side, the second day is when my daughter is home….

I puked with the methotrexate this week, and had some pretty bad nausea yesterday as well.  I don’t like that.  It happened in the beginning when I was starting the med.  So I don’t like this side effect just reappearing.  On Saturday, I could point to the dinner we were having, salmon.  That last bite just didn’t quite make it down.  But yesterday morning?  No excuse.  Just wave after wave of nausea.  No puking though.  I hate puking.

Pain?  It’s ok.  Gets to the upper ranges in the morning and especially at night.  This morning I tried to kneel to accomplish something for Sunshine, my knees felt like they were going to explode, like they had fluid in them, or that the joint wouldn’t hold.  Sometimes they feel like they are going to give out from under me.  I don’t know if this is a steroid related thing or a disease related thing.

The joints in my hand occasionally throb.  I massage them and it usually goes away.

Fatigue?  I’m halfway to nodding off right now.  I want to make sure I’m in my bed when that happens.  Sleeping on the couch definitely increases pain to my back and hips.

I have noticed improvement in that I feel better as the weeks go on.  Almost normal.  But actually taking the med and the immediate side effects…I hate.  Again with the catch-22 bullshit.

I see my aunt’s rheumatologist tomorrow for a second opinion.  I don’t know where I’m at in thinking about it.  Part of me wants him to find a completely different diagnosis, one that is more easily treated with chocolate or something.  The other part wants me to have him just say “no, this is sarcoid, you can expect x,y,and z to occur, your doctors are doing the right thing”.

Its not that I don’t like my current doctor, I do, I’m just scared that they are missing something.  The number one thing I miss about Pittsburgh (other than my best friend), is the top of the line medical care.  I had an amazing neurologist.  Awesome pain specialist for fibro.  My internist was incredible.

Not that the medical care down here is subpar, its just that there is no medical school here.  Perhaps it is also that my parents worked in the medical field in Pittsburgh for eons, and they knew which doc to send me too.  And I also had my own little cliques through work that I could ask for referrals.  I don’t have that here.  I can only go by word of mouth from family.

Hopefully, family is right on the money.  Let’s see what tomorrow brings.

FRANKENSTORM!!

It’s coming for you!!

As I write this, I’m looking out the window at gorgeous weather. Sunshine, 70s and a light breeze. Will be in the low 80s the rest of the week. So obviously I’m not in the path of Hurricane Sandy.

I grew up in the northeast, Pgh to be exact, and I have tons of friends and family in the area. My bonus child and newly minted in laws and extended family live in Delaware. So I am keeping an eye on this storm.

I’m mainly concerned about my bonus child. His mother isn’t the brightest crayon in the box, and tends to panic or might get caught up in watching movies all day and not heed any warnings. So a bit of anxiety here for my husband and I. We call my bonus child every so often for updates.

I remember blizzards when I was a kid. 1993 I had a sleepover during that major blizzard. My parents were very concerned that 10 little girls were snowed in with them. But their determination (and a 4×4 truck) ensured that everyone made it back home that day.

I don’t miss the weather in the northeast.  At all.  I don’t miss the cold, the rain, the snow, the sleet, the ice.  Nor the possibility of things like this happening.

Yes, Texas has its fair share of crappy weather.  More of the “sudden” variety: tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, hail the size of grapefruit, flash flooding, wild fires.  It has snowed twice since I moved here.  Both times it was less than an inch, and it melted in one hour.  Occasionally, a hurricane blows through, and where I live in central Texas, we only get the rain (and the aforementioned flooding).

I’m watching CNN.  Right now, they are covering the fact that crane broke on a skyscraper in Manhattan.  Ok, we get it, hurricane force winds will blow things over.  A reporter was in Battery Park.  Morons were jogging.  And to New Jersey.  People had their kids out on the boardwalk, waving to the camera, “hey, look at us!! we are stupid and have no regard for our life or the lives of our children!!”  The anchor just asked a reporter who is in the middle of an intersection in Atlantic City “is that water you are standing in salt water or fresh water?” Did he want him to taste it?  The news cracks me up.  The only good thing about this storm is that it is sparing me from election coverage 24/7.

I should switch it to Fox News.  I’m sure they’ve declared the apocalypse by now.  Or have found some way to blame it on Obama.

I hope all my friends and family in the path of the storm remain safe and damage is minimal.

From what I hear, the grocery stores were out of toilet paper, bread and milk last week 🙂

 

Poly Tics (many blood sucking insects)

A disclaimer here:  I didn’t meet the deadline to get my voter registration in to the county in time for this election.  So my opinion basically doesn’t count.  I was going to go third party anyway.  I have been told that both equal the same anyway.

I find a few things attractive about Obamacare, and I have not actually read the bill, just things I have heard.  Of course, from a job security point of view, having a job for the rest of my life is appealing.  And I’m honestly scared with the pre-existing conditions thing.  Cause I’m screwed if any insurance plan tries to use that against me.  Also I’m on the verge of losing my coverage if my employer decides my physician restrictions on activity do not fit their demands for my position.

If you hear some conservatives tell it, namely people in my family, people who don’t have jobs or don’t have jobs that come with insurance, made poor decisions in their life and they get what they deserve.

What about me?  A more than likely genetically based autoimmune disease on top of another quasi genetically linked neuromuscular syndrome.  I’m not fortunate enough to have a husband with a job that provides insurance.  We are lucky that he has a job.

I make it a rule not to discuss politics with my family.  We just end up yelling.  My politics started to change when I got sick. When I started realizing how difficult it is in the “real” world, outside of mommy and daddy.  It was cemented in this last job when I started to work with the truly impoverished, people that lived in storage sheds next to the highway, the undocumented.  Amazing what people go through that a certain segment of our society has no clue about.

I may end up being part of the 47% soon.  We are more than struggling to make ends meet.  I have yet to get a short term disability payment from a program that I have paid in to through my employer.  Can you say “red tape”? I’m not sure on what my odds are on getting unemployment if I cannot return to my former position based on health.

My other thought on politics involves my uterus.  It is my opinion that those without the parts shouldn’t have a say with what to do with them.  Currently in my state, if I should elect to end a pregnancy, if medically necessary (as with  my health) or for “birth control” (that is such a myth) I would have to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound and be forced to look at the image and listen to the heart beat if present.  I’m sure the men who created and voted on this law have never had to undergo anything this uncomfortable and invasive unless they have bladder issues.

Think of that word, “transvaginal”.  Because early pregnancy cannot be effectively seen by traditional abdominal ultrasound (because it is a bundle of cells!!!), they use a phallic type probe that is inserted into the vagina in order to confirm pregnancy and determine gestational age of pregnancy. Most women know by 8 weeks if they are pregnant (don’t count the idiots on “I didn’t know I was pregnant”).  The heartbeat of a fetus can’t be determined until around 10 weeks.

I wish that every politician, upon election, would be forced to take a basic course in human biology before being allowed to run their mouths about human reproduction.  But it won’t matter.  They will believe what they want to believe and claim that scientific evidence is “faked” or “doctored”.

It is so difficult being a medical person in 2012, knowing how the human body works, also being a survivor and reading about our politicians, the people who make the laws that govern the rest of us, stating that a women can’t get pregnant during an act of “legitimate” rape because the female body “knows how to shut that whole thing down”.

Someone who sponsored a bill with this “legitimate rape” bullshit in it is now running for veep.  Are you kidding me?  And for prez his stance (today at least) is abortion only in case of rape or incest.  So what kind of proof do you need to prove it is rape or incest?  A police report?  Many women do not report their attacks for fear of reprisal or because they just want to “forget about it” and do not want to face their attacker in court.  If it is incest, good luck in reporting that one.  What if they live with their attacker and rely on them for room and board?

This subject is making me ill.  Again.

 

A potpourri for a Sunday

My aunt pulled me aside last night to talk about the family curse — autoimmune disease.  She has RA and lupus, her son (the groom) has vitiligo.  She told me the basics of her story, how it took awhile for doctor’s to figure out it was lupus and RA.  She wants me to get a second opinion and see her rheumatologist.  She also told me it will be ok.  I needed to hear that from someone who has been through it and who has been dealing with autoimmune for 20+ years.  I will probably look into the second opinion.

Still in limbo with my job.

Steelers embarrassed themselves on Thursday and lost to the Titans.  So I will spend today watching games rooting AGAINST the other teams in our division.  But it might not be easy.  That means I have to root FOR Dallas (ewwwww) and for a tie (which is now impossible) in the Bengals v. Browns game.

The issue with Dallas.  Supposedly they have the #1 franchise according to net worth.  People just love jumping on that bandwagon.  They have the immense stadium (I’ve been up there, not inside, just drove around) and it is impressive.  As per my husband, people become fans of the Cowboys in his neck of the woods only because they hate the home team (Eagles).  Apparently they have this grotesque song and dance ” Ain’t no fan like a Cowboy fan”.

Now I am from Texas.  My family has lived here for their entire lives.  I have met many Cowboys fans who have lived in the state of Texas for their entire lives.  No one who has lived here for their entire lives have ever heard of that stupid song and dance.

I just don’t like Dallas because they claim to be “America’s Team” without any input from America.  There was no vote.  No consensus.  And they beat my Steelers in Superbowl XXX.  I really don’t like Tony Romo and truly enjoyed their performance against Chicago two weeks ago on MNF.

I guess one of the reasons I don’t like the Cowboys is that their fan base is truly pathetic.  My husband, the Eagles fan, knows more about their history, their current line up, their strengths and weaknesses than the average dozen Cowboys fans put together.  Their fans are all gung-ho when they are winning.  When they suck, they abandon them.

In Pittsburgh today you will here a multitude of suggestions that Tomlin should make to the offense, defense (and I bet one of them is Ike Taylor) in order to avoid a repeat of Thursday.  I know for a fact that in Philly (and in my home) Eagles fans are clamoring for the head of Mike Vick and throw in Big Red for good measure.  But not so in Dallas.  They just shrug their shoulders.  They don’t know their o-line or their d.  I’ll bet some of them still think that Troy Aikmen is still their quarterback and he is still throwing long bombs to the Playmaker.

Enough football.  Let’s talk about why I will not see #87, #71 and #29 on the ice this year.  The NHL is already by far dead last in popularity of all the professional sports.  I honestly think soccer is starting to climb up the ranks in popularity and will outrank the NHL if this lockout shit continues.  I am a huge hockey fan, and of course my team is the Pittsburgh Penguins.  I love Marc-Andre Fleury and Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.  And, surprise, surprise, my husband is a Flyers fan.  I. HATE. THE. FLYERS.  I don’t mind the Eagles.  But since the Flyers are in the same division as the Pens, and they see each other 8 times a year, it tends to get messy here at home.

If the Flyers weren’t so filthy and out for blood, I think I wouldn’t mind so much.  But they definitely have it in for Sid.  Can you say Hatcher?  I actually ban Flyers objects from my home.  Seriously.  He has one shirt and thats it.  Phillies I’m ok with, Eagles, fine.  No Flyers.  Ever.

But I will miss my hockey.  And it doesn’t exist down here.  They do have the Texas Stars, the AHL affiliate of the Dallas Stars.  And their team is actually pretty good.  Its hysterical going to games with a bunch of Texans who know nothing of the game.  They think that icing is when the player sprays ice.  And most of the spectators are there for the cheap beer, so it gets pretty interesting.

Oh and its ZOMBIE day!!!

My bonus child hooked me on zombies a few years ago.  I have been a huge fan of  The Walking Dead ever since.  I missed a few episodes in the middle of season two, I think a lot of people did.  It was during that “we are on the farm looking for the little girl and we are just going to stand around and be lethargic for a few episodes” period.  But boy, did the shit hit the fan at the end.

I’m really looking forward to Michonne.  I’m hoping for certain characters to be killed off.  And that Rick’s backbone remains intact.

So as of right now, mentally and emotionally I’m feeling pretty good.  I delayed the injection of poison so I could enjoy my cousin’s wedding reception, so physically I am glued to the couch and have that all too familiar lead in the limbs feeling.  Slight nausea.  And exhaustion.  Due for a nap pretty soon.  I have been know to fall asleep at the laptop.  My head feels disembodied at times.  Fun.

Back to resting.

Mi familia

Today is the day I will see my extended family for the first time since I blew up like a blimp.

I saw them at my wedding, of course, and at the beginning of July, but the steroids hadn’t fully kicked in then.  And I wasn’t on the methotrexate at the time.

Now I have difficulty walking and moving around in general.  I look like the Pillsbury Doughboy (hoo hoo!) and I can’t keep my head together.

They all know about my issues through the family grapevine, and we also have a nifty family facebook message board.

The occasion?  My cousin’s wedding reception.  They had a private wedding ceremony last month at the JP and today they are having a true Texan reception.  BBQ, a band, the works.

I altered my medication schedule so that I can be there.

I usually do my methotrexate on Friday night in hopes that when I do return to work (if that ever happens), my body will be on schedule to feel like crap all weekend and be ok by Monday.  But I didn’t want to be walking around like Frakenstein today and I wanted to be mentally present (or as much as I can be) tonight to celebrate.

I can’t drink alcohol, but I probably wouldn’t have anyway.  I didn’t drink alcohol at my own wedding earlier this summer.

Dancing with my husband?  Probably.  If I can get him on the dance floor.

Food?  Appetite has sucked lately.  Not that I’m complaining.  Still carb craving like hell.  I know there will be cupcakes.  Lots of cupcakes.

I hope the increased pain I have been having stays in check.  I have been taking a tramadol a day in addition to two extra strength tylenol to combat the pain in my knees, feet, hips and wrists.

I need to take a nap before this all goes down.

Yee haw!! Where are my cowboy boots?

Sunday Funday

I was born a Steelers fan.

I remember as a child every Sunday in the fall and winter, my mom watching Steeler games.  My dad was a Dallas fan until his conversion after the Steelers lost to the Cowboys in the Superbowl in 1995.

It sounds like a religion, doesn’t it?

Well, it is.

I lived in Pittsburgh for 25 years.  It is unlike any other city in the nation when it comes to sports.  Pittsburgh is somewhat isolated when it comes to sports.  There is no other big city close to it that competes for loyalty of the fans.  So if you are born there, grow up there, even live there for a period of time, you eventually succumb to the black and gold fever.

And since all the major sports teams have the same color scheme, black and gold, it makes it much easier and cheaper, to show Pittsburgh pride.  It is not uncommon to see a Steelers shirt worn to a hockey game.  And visa versa.

Year round, you will see people wearing black and gold.  Year round people will talk Steelers football.  Football is numero uno.  You can walk into any bar, anytime of year and talk football.  There could be a serial killer stalking children in the city, but if Troy Polomalu is injured, it will lead the news.

When Ben Rothlisberger crashed his motorcycle? Dear God it was insanity.  It warranted a break in regular news programming.  For hours.  I kid you not.

But the way the city comes together is wonderful.  During playoff time, if the Steelers are making a run, it is so wonderful to see all that black and gold, all the signs, the songs.  That is one thing I miss being here.

I get so excited when I see a Steelers logo on a car or someone wearing a Steelers jersey down here.  Its like a beacon calling me to the good memories of Pittsburgh.

There are other cities like Pittsburgh when it comes to sports.   My husband is an Eagles fan.  I truly did not entirely believe the stories he told me until we had a recent visit to his hometown.  The local sports talk radio station is on 24 hours.  There are people that call in 24 hours a day to talk sports.  We happened to be listening at 1 am coming home from a family function.  They were debating the Eagles last season.  It was mind numbing.  They can really fill 24 hours a day with sports talk?

And yes, all the stories are true.  The Vet, the batteries, booing Santa.  There was even a fan that brought a flare gun to a game and shot it on to the field during a Monday Night Football game.  Apparently the Eagles were stripped of MNF games for a period of  time after that.

And the famous 700 level.  My husband tells me wonderful stories about those fans.  Good Lord.  No wonder they needed a jail in the bowels of the stadium.  And my husband has had the chance to visit said jail when his former brother in law started a fight in the stands.

So now we live in Texas.  In Austin, the Longhorns dominate.  It is a sea of burnt orange.  The Dallas fans are here, but they aren’t as passionate as we Steelers and Eagles fans.  My husband knows more about the history of the Dallas Cowboys and their current roster than most Cowboys fans.

My dad has NFL Sunday Ticket, so like always, we gather on Sunday to watch our games.  If my husband’s game happens to be on during “our” game, he watches in another room.  The house echos with alternating cheers and jeers.

Fantasy football is another post for another day…