Saturday, July 11, 2009

From hospitality to bah humbug!

Yesterday started out to be so good. Hubby was out of town so I had the house to myself... queen of my own time.

I tweaked the garden and deck flowers, posted some pictures here, wrote a snail mail letter to a friend who hadn't blogged for awhile, and was just getting ready to respond to e-mails which have been patiently waiting for days... when the phone rang.

It was Christopher telling me he was having friends over in the evening and if I knew how to make hot chicken wings. While the answer was no about the wings, I did offer this house and deck for his friends to enjoy and we'd talk about food when he finished his afternoon class. He took me up on that plan immediately.

So... since the house only needed a very small cleanup, I went through the recipes for cakes and cookies in my recipe card file. After checking the pantry for ingredients, I started making his favorite cherry chocolate cake and blond brownies in case there were those who could not eat chocolate (how awful). Everything was going fine. Sigh...

Then, out of nowhere, I became violently ill with nausea and light headedness which caused me to prop myself up against the kitchen counter. I pulled the chocolate cake out of the oven and poured the icing over it, then popped the blond brownies in the oven. I set the dishes to soak in hot, sudsy water before taking an antihistamine and heading for the sofa with Cheerios... not sure if the nausea was caused by weather changes or low blood sugar (and then realizing it was the latter).

Somehow, when my day took a different direction than planned, I had forgotten to eat anything after having had an early breakfast. Low blood sugar for someone who takes five shots a day can be dangerous and neither of my guys were in a position to come home.

I should have quickly downed some orange juice but one of the symptoms of plummeting blood sugars is confused thinking. Fortunately, I could keep the Cheerios down and they worked until I could take the blond brownies out of the oven, turn it off, and then head for the sofa to sleep. Yikes... I'm glad that doesn't happen often.

Thankfully, when I awoke an hour later I was better except for that "hangover" feeling one has for hours and hours after such an attack. I figured the party would still be no problem since Christopher was pretty much in charge and I could retire to my room with a book after saying hello to everyone.

Then the phone rang... one of the moms had asked Christopher to come over with her kids so she could meet me. He knew that would not be good news but we both agreed we should invite her. That changed everything, now I needed to spiff up the bathroom and make certain the kitchen was clean as adults tend to linger in the kitchen. I was so happy I'd set those dishes in hot, soapy water before collapsing on the sofa!

Okay, I was already more tense than usual since I didn't feel well when the phone rang again (perhaps my first mistake was answering the phone at all). This time it was hubby with his first crisis which was delaying his arrival home. That set in motion another crisis... how to get Christopher to the store and then over here as we'd expected the car (and Dad) to be home by this time and he hadn't left, yet. Thus, starting Christopher's own Perils of Pauline afternoon.

I had just finished cleaning the kitchen when hubby called again with a worse crisis. He had gone to drop his sister off at the place she had been staying when her friend said she had to leave. She couldn't handle her there, anymore. So hubby said he had to bring her home. Silence on this end at first and then I think I said something like "over my dead body" (which felt like that was going to happen).

I called Christopher and he had his own mini heart failure (and he called Stephanie). I had also called Stephanie and left a message on her cell phone to tell her my worst nightmare may be coming true and that no it was not Bigfoot in the forest but much, much worse... Dad was bringing her aunt home. His sister... the only person in the entire world... no, make it universe... that sends me over the edge within a few minutes. If this was a test from God, I told Him I was failing it.

Poor Stephanie... she can't escape family drama 1,000 miles away but it is her own fault. I always feel better after chatting with her. Poor hubby... he really is caught in the middle of all of this. To make a very long story short (which included lots and lots of phone calls between hubby and I), he was able to find a place for his sister to stay temporarily but that drama is still hanging over our heads. Which has been happening for about a year now as his sister is reaping the results of a lifetime of bad decisions.

So... the party did go on with Christopher ordering pizza with his own small bank account instead of my cooking, his friends all had a wonderful time and I was able to be somewhat human. I explained to the mother who wanted to meet me that I wasn't feeling well but we were able to chat about many things, including dulcimer music (she plays, I listen) and homeschooling as both of us had centered our homeschooling in a modified unit study approach around the study of history.

Hubby arrived home after a long drive to take over host duties. The mother was not only from his hometown originally but also had Norwegian grandparents who had settled in Minnesota. I left him nibbling cold pizza and talking... two talents he excels in... eating and talking. :)

I went to bed around Midnight leaving everyone else in party mode (the kids from early teens to young adult ages were all watching their second DVD of the night). The noise didn't keep me from falling asleep.

I'm so glad even with all the drama going on I didn't turn my back on hospitality. I learned I could turn it over to other people and go to sleep with a house full of company. Now, that wouldn't have happened even a few years ago. :)


Vee said...

I'm having guests for supper. This post scares me. Ha! Glad that it all worked out for now and will continue to pray for a more permanent solution for your hubby's sister.

Anonymous said...

Dee from Tennessee

Just sending you a big ol' hug.

scrappy quilter said...

Glad it all ended up working out okay (except the sister situation). Hope that gets resolved soon. Hugs

Anonymous said...

What an inspiration that post was to one who tries, but is still shy about hospitality. I make myself do it but I feel so awkward. Your day kept ratcheting up the tension with the added pressure of your health not being good that day too. Still you kept on working through it. Brenda do you have a big sign or at least a permanent card by your phone telling others about your medical problems? In case someone was in the home and you had a problem they would see it. You have others around besides your family and they might not know what to tell,.. say to the parametics. Our relatives had a paper size cardboard posted by the phone with pertinent information. You couldn't miss it. It had their name and name and telephone number of several people to call in caseand who they are to them. {daughter, Mother etc} The address of your house in case they had to direct someone there. Any medical issues and meds taken... and any other information that could be life and worry saving. Don't post it though so someone can read it from a window with ease. It is private information. While I am talking about such. I notice people have a big calandar with info as to doctor appointments etc. on the wall or refrigerator etc easily read through the glass in the door. So with one read a burgler could tell that on the 12th you would be at the doctors and probably gone 3 hours!! I am so glad Brenda you are feeling better than yesterday!! Jody

Rita said...

You handled things so well. I have quickly been put down like you were with a migraine headache. You managed to make it all happen nicely and still take care of yourself. Bravo!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you are all right! Isn't it dangerous to go to sleep when your blood sugar is low?

My husband has a brother who sounds very like your husband's sister. He stayed here a few weeks this year and still is in temporary housing elsewhere. He couldn't live by our rules so we made him leave. It is very difficult since he has a form of autism which is a handicap. But he still makes his own decisions and doesn't listen to us. I have a homeless shelter lined up in case he needs it. I'm thinking maybe they could help him more than us since they are Christian oriented and will insist he attend church, work, etc.

Anyway, I am praying for you and your family.

Friend Debra

Packrat said...

Oh Heavens! I'm glad you are okay, but please, don't forget to eat! Set a timer or something. Hugs and prayers.

She'sSewPretty said...

I've just been taking a break from studying and reading some of my favorite blogs. I've never thought of cheerios to raise my blood sugar but you are the second person that I've heard do that. I haven't had an insulin reaction in awhile. I usually eat a half sandwich and a glass of milk.
Works for me...
Take care of yourself Brenda!!

Marlene Depler said...

Whew! That makes me tired just reading it! However, I do relate. I've had days like that. I'm glad that everything turned out OK.

The Pleasures of Homemaking said...

Goodness! You are waaay nicer than I ever could be! I would have just said no to everyone and gone to bed! I don't know how you kept baking cakes and blondies while feeling awful!

I hope the situation works out for your husband's sister! My husband has a relative who's made many bad choices in his life and we've helped him out time after time. But he never changes so the last time we just had to say no to him even though it was hard. In the end he managed to resolve his problem on his own. Of course,now he's not speaking to us but my husband is more upset about that than I am.