Do you ever have a day when your best intentions to accomplish great and mighty things are all for naught?
Sure you do.
Today was that day for me. I’ve been fighting allergies for a few days now, not sleeping well, and waiting for the Flonase I picked up to actually make a noticeable difference. I must have been tired last night because I did not wake up until 9:45 am. Thankfully, my daughter’s dog did not make a mess in her kennel before I let her outside! (We are responsible for the “grand-dog” while she is at college during the week.)
I planned on working on a project, but then I got a couple of business calls, one of whom was a potential client. I’d prepared four quotes for her (she is having a difficult time figuring out what she wants to order), but there were a couple of other possibilities she wanted pricing for. So I prepared three more quotes, and now I guess we will wait and see. By the time I got finished with that, it was pretty late in the afternoon, and the project I’d hoped to work on hadn’t been touched for all practical purposes. So I’m going to see if I can get a little done while I wait for laundry to finish.
Tomorrow is an exciting day — my sister and I are going to a film viewing at my niece’s college, about three hours away. My niece loves movies. She doesn’t just love to watch them, though. She analyzes them, studies them, critiques them. (If you like to watch a movie without thinking about it too hard, she is not the movie buddy for you.) Anyway, Tara wants to make movies, and so she is attending college to do so. When I first heard about this dream, I kind of poo-pooed it (to myself, of course), because I didn’t realize how truly passionate she was about this dream. I’m really glad my sister is her mom, rather than me (although a lot of people have said my niece and I look more like mom/daughter than they do). My sister never doubted her kid’s dream and so she has gone the distance to make sure Tara has a chance of fulfilling that dream. Like I said, Tara’s lucky to have such a great mom, and she has really appreciated the opportunity she’s been blessed with.
She’s worked so hard in her classes that her advisor recommended upper level classes her sophomore year. She takes extra care when working at the film house (an old house used for filming class assignments), always making sure she leaves things better than they were when she arrived. Because of her diligence, she’s been granted additional responsibility and favor. Probably the most exciting thing to happen thus far is this: she is attending the Cannes Film Festival this year! Her college is taking six students, all of whom had to apply to and be chosen by a committee in California. She wrote essays, had her advisors review them before submitting them to California, and then she had to go through a telephone interview. And she was the first chosen of the group from her college, and has received scholarships that will cover half of her travel expenses!
The students will be working during the two weeks they are in France, as baristas and such, serving the movie industry professionals in attendance (directors, actors, etc.), and if I remember correctly, attend workshops. Work ends at 5:00 pm, though, and then they are able to enjoy the festival. They will earn college credit for this experience, plus memories to last a lifetime. I’m so proud of her and can’t wait to see her dream become reality. She is working so hard, I have no doubts she will succeed.
But I digress with the back story. Tomorrow’s excitement is the film school equivalent of a piano recital. The documentary class students will be presenting their 15 minute films for viewing and we are going to cheer for my niece. I can’t wait to see her work!
With a bit of a delay, thanks to an unexpected battle with pneumonia and some additional drama, the College Girl (formerly known as the Teen Girl) is finally settled into THE apartment at the University of Houston.
In the days leading up to August 19th (also known as Move-In Day), we started making lists of things needed to set up housekeeping away from home. Since the College Girl is living in a college apartment, rather than a dorm, she needed furniture. After seeing the one bedroom “model” apartment, it was clear that we would have to be mindful of furniture size because she is sharing a bedroom with another college girl. We had an extra twin bed to send with her, but she needed a desk, so we went to the place where all in need of cheap, DIY, flat-boxed furniture go: IKEA.
Thanks to their website, we’d already done some reconnaissance and knew which desk would allow for the most storage and the smallest footprint at a reasonable price. She tried out some chairs and selected a desk chair conducive to sitting “criss-cross applesauce” that was on sale, hallelujah! We also picked up bedding (high thread count, but on sale FTW!), a table top ironing board, canisters for coffee beans, and a few other things.
When we got to the checkout, we were all chattering until the cashier mumbled the total. I swiped my debit card and then glanced at the total again:
WHAT? I was pretty sure that we had NOT purchased enough cheap, DIY, flat-boxed furniture to achieve that lofty total. The young man started going through the list and discovered the plain jane, wire paper towel holder my husband had dropped in the cart — the paper towel holder with a $1.99 tag — had scanned for over $1,000. Corrections were made, I scanned my card again, and we were on our way.
The week before Move-In Day, the College Girl had one of her dearest friends fly down from upstate New York for a visit. We had a wonderful time (I love this girl and want her to move to Texas — Powerpoint promotions are being designed to convince her husband that Texas is their destiny)! The visit ended much too soon, and the College Girl and I took my new daughter to the airport to fly home.
A few miles from the airport, my girl became increasingly quiet and by the time we reached Pearland, she was feeling very poorly.
I felt her forehead and she was burning up. Because I’ve always let fevers do their thing (kill the bad guys) unless they get too high, I didn’t give her any Tylenol or Advil. By the time we got home, she was running between 101 and 102 temp. It was shocking because she had been blowing and going with her friend for five days without any sign of impending illness. When her temp went up to 102.3, I gave her some Tylenol to control it through the night, and we headed to the Altus Emergency Center the next morning since it was Sunday. They checked for flu and strep which were negative, said it was viral and to use Tylenol and Advil to control the fever and make her comfortable. So we did.
For two days we followed their advice, but every time the medicine wore off her temperature would go back up. On Tuesday night it went up to 104.3, scaring us pretty badly. The Tall One advised a cool bath in addition to the Tylenol/Advil regimen, and so after conferring with my sister, The Nurse, who agreed, we convinced the College Girl to put on her swimsuit and take a “swim” in the tub. She hated us for making her get in that cool water because it was so uncomfortable, but it brought her temperature down until we could see the real doctor the next morning.
Thank goodness we went — after blood work and chest x-rays, we learned she had pneumonia in half her right lung. The doctor prescribed TWO antibiotics, and within twenty-four hours she was running a normal temperature again without any Tylenol or Advil. She was exhausted, though, and not in any shape to take care of last-minute shopping or move to THE Apartment.
What in the world did we do before smartphones? While she rested at home, I ran errands to find the last few things she needed. I probably took at least a dozen or more photos of things, sending them to her in text messages: “Do you want the purple or the blue toothbrush holder?” “Is this shower curtain okay?” “Do you need a butter dish?” Thankfully I managed to get everything she needed before my phone battery died!
Because she was still feeling pretty rough on Move-In Day (August 19th), College Dad, the Tall One, and I took her furniture up to THE Apartment. I am SO GLAD she was not with us, because I would hate for what we found to be her first impression of her first apartment. We walked into THE Apartment and almost gagged. The previous resident had apparently had cats… and based on the smell, no litter box. It was just terrible. Considering the residents of this two bedroom apartment are paying a combined total of almost $2,000 monthly, there was no way we were going to allow our daughter (or these other young women) live in that filth. After filling out the condition sheet with “filthy,” “filthy,” “filthy,” “broken,” “broken,” “filthy” — I marched down to the laundry building to turn the sheet in and get the College Girl’s gate key. But I did not just hand the sheet in and take the key. When I walked up to the table and the bright-eyed, bushy-tailed student helping out asked if she could assist me, I said “Yes. You can send someone to THE Apartment to see the cesspool you expect these young women to live in.” She looked a little startled and then directed me to the woman sitting next to her, who apparently had some authority.
The condensed story is: by the next morning THE Apartment had a fresh coat of paint and they were in the process of installing new carpet. Before they put the carpet padding down, I sprayed the concrete slab with an enzyme to break down the cat pee that had soaked through the old padding. And throughout the day we stayed on their case about other things that needed to be addressed. I still have a couple of things I’m nagging them about (like the non-GFI rated outlet under the kitchen sink next to the pipe that was leaking before the College Dad fixed it with some tools he brought). But for the most part, THE Apartment is livable and the College Girl and her roommates have settled in and seem pretty happy.
So why do I call it THE Apartment, rather than “her” apartment? Because as exciting as this adventure is, as anxious and excited as she has been to move on to this new part of life, every time she refers to THE Apartment at the University of Houston, she refuses to call it “home” or even “my apartment.” I told her it was okay to call it “home,” but she disagreed. And I have to say that meant a lot to this College Mommy’s heart — it’s good to know that she is enjoying her weekdays at the university, but she looks forward to coming home on the weekends. We’ll still have Sunday lunches with the Tall One and the Texan Who Claims to be from Oklahoma, we’ll still have Brew-n-Bake coffee dates, and when time and studies permit, we’ll marathon our favorite shows like Alias, Doctor Who, Friends, and Warehouse 13 while we do cross stitch and embroidery.
No matter how many things in life change, she’ll always be our girl. ❤