Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sending Out Prayers

I was just reading updates about the horribly sad earthquake tragedy in China. It just is too much to think about so much life lost in one fell swoop.

I was on Guam in 1993 when an 8.2 earthquake lasting 60 seconds struck. It was the most terrifying minute of my life, as I knelt in a doorway of my 3rd-floor apartment while the whole building rose and fell around me, praying for myself and the others on the island. Even though all my furniture and belongings came crashing down, the building held together.

I can't imagine what it must have been like for these thousands of people in China to be trapped or crushed under those collapsing buildings. It's too disturbing, and I will continue to pray for those who have died and the many survivors who have to rebuild their lives.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Time for a Religious Flashback

A couple of my young sibling progeny (aka, my niece and nephew) are taking their First Communions this month. It's a big stepping stone in the Catholic faith. I remember my own First Communion well, surprisingly enough since so much else of my life has disappeared from memory as the grey matter disintegrates with old age. I was going to Catholic school, St. Joseph's, in Indiana at the time, and it was my favorite of all the schools I went to. I was only there for grades 3-4, which was a little late for making a First Communion, but for some reason I had been delayed a year. This resulted in my having the same ceremony as my younger brother, Danny. Here's a picture of me in my white dress and veil. Look at those chubby cheeks! I actually kept that angel pendant for many years and passed it on to my Goddaughter when she made her First Communion. I like to think she'll keep it and pass it on, but who knows? Kids today!

I discovered it's much harder finding appropriate sacrament gifts for boys than girls. Girls have all the jewelery and figurine and girly stuff options. What do you do for boys? I have to say I don't still have anything I was given as a gift for my First Communion (other than the pendant), so I'm not too sold on getting any type of keepsake. It's tricky. Card, easy. Gift, not so much.

Ok...quit laughing at my picture and go back to your daily lives now!

Friday, May 9, 2008

A Courtesy Reminder

Randy and I attempted to clean our office this week. I say "attempted" because I'm looking around now and thinking, "What the heck happened?" It's amazing how fast the crap re-accumulates!

We actually did get a lot done. There was an amazing layer of dust on everything. I can't get over how dusty this place gets. Mind you, I'm not the best person about keeping things clean; but I NEVER had to dust as often or remove as much when I was living in Ohio. It's not just inside either. Our patio starts looking like a dig site when I don't sweep it regularly. It's bizarre.

The other major thing we accomplished was going through the stacks of paperwork we had both accumulated. This is bad to say, but we both had unopened bills and letters going back a couple of years just piling up around us. Now regarding the bills, obviously for the most part they were accounts we'd taken care of online or automatically, and the paperwork was redundant. But little did we know how close we'd come in January to losing our cable/internet/phone when we failed to open an important communique from Comcast. Check out this letter, paying close attention to the red highlighted areas. (Click for large view.)
Yes, you read it correctly: Comcast was going to terminate our service because we had paid our bill and had a $.00 account balance! My goodness they're getting strict! And we had never opened this letter. Just imagine...we would have been sitting around watching "Dancing with the Stars" or "The Amazing Race" and all of a sudden...nothing... Then we would go to our neighbors and borrow their phone (ours would have been cut off) to place a call to Comcast only to be told our service had been disconnected because we didn't owe them money. I'm almost sorry it didn't happen; that's a phone conversation I would have LOVED to experience!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Annie he Ain't

This week is Children's Week on our favorite computer game, World of Warcraft (aka, WoW). We got to pick up a little orphan child with our players then take the child around with us visiting different cities and sites he was interested in. Here's a picture of my orphan boy, Randis, with my warrior player (seated). He wanted to get an autograph from his favorite hero, Lady Jaina (standing, facing away from camera), so there we were. We also got some Orc orphans with our Horde characters. This pic is of Randy's and my Tauren (moo) characters taking the orphans for a boat ride. They spent a lot of time while they were with us asking weird questions like, "If a glove is too big, does it still fit like a glove?" or "If a fly doesn't have wings, is it a walk?"

Once we finished escorting our orphans around Azeroth, we had to turn them back in and were given the option of selecting a pet or a cash reward. I wanted to keep the orphan, because he was really cute running around with my warrior. But I realized I couldn't take him with me, into the face of danger, since the frequent bloodbaths I find myself in might scar him for life. So I returned him to the home, and selected a pet rat as my reward. I didn't expect to particularly like the rat, but look at him--he's pretty snazzy!!

Scrooge that he is, Randy took the cash reward instead of a pet. I asked him if he'd like to go get a REAL orphan for a week, take him around to see some sights, etc. His immediate and emphatic response was, "Not particularly." I've learned this is his pat answer when he is not sure how serious I am about something. He's a man of few words, so I've had to learn to interpret. It means, "I really don't want to do that at all, but I will do it if YOU want to do it because it would be easier to go along than try to get out of it." Sometimes I will respond with, "Ok then, let's do it!" In this case, I let him off the hook. I don't think the orphans are ready for us...

Friday, May 2, 2008

Another Birthday...sort of....

I know it seems like this is becoming the birthday blog, but I have another one!

My father turns 72 today. (Here he is in a picture taken almost 12 years ago, passing on his fashion sense to a hapless grandchild.) Allow me to point out that today isn't his actual date of birth, just the day we've always celebrated it. I didn't find out till I was an adult in my 20s that he wasn't really born on May 2. I'm not quite sure how it slipped his mind to inform us of this fact, but it took that long for it to come out. We were just sitting around chatting one day and he said, "You know, I don't think I've ever mentioned it, but May 2 isn't really my birthday." My reaction, of course, was, "Whaaaaaaaaaaa....??????"

Here's the story, and I'm sure he'll correct me if I get this wrong, since he's now reading my blog for a change. He was actually born on April 29th, in Puerto Rico, where they had a law stating newborns had to be registered within 5 days of their birth or their parents had to pay a fine. My grandmother didn't feel this law should apply to her, so she didn't get around registering him till well into May. Rather than pay the fine, she fudged the paperwork and said he'd been born on May 2. Now you know where I get my clever, scheming gene.

So my dad went through his formative years celebrating his birthday on the real day, April 29th, since the family all knew this was when he was really born. It wasn't until he joined the Air Force that this falsification came into play. Because his documents all said he'd been born on May 2, that's when people started recognizing the event. So he started getting birthday wishes and parties etc on May 2 instead of April 29th. By the time he got around to having kids, it had become the traditional celebration day, so that's when we celebrated it as a family. And it never occurred to him to mention it till years later.

Does anyone out there have a weirder family than mine?

Anyway, Happy Birthday, Dad! Hope it's a good one, whatever day it is!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

Yes, it was my birthday today--Happy Birthday, Me! Randy took the day off to help me celebrate. We went out to IHOP for breakfast, then to a movie. After the movie, I spotted a Cold Stone Creamery, so we hit that for some ice cream, then spent some time walking around the shopping center. We found an Apple store to go look into, since Randy is interested in switching from PCs to Macs after all our computer problems. We got a lot of questions answered and the systems were very cool, but much out of our price range for now. Maybe in future.

We were supposed to go to the Cheesecake Factory as my birthday lunch or dinner, but I was so full from the breakfast and ice cream we decided to pass on it for today and do it tomorrow or Wednesday instead. It's like having an extended birthday!

The movie we saw Nim's Island, which was pretty good, if not very original. Shades of Romancing the Stone, As Good As It Gets, and Stranger than Fiction in there. The upcoming movies we want to check out (and saw some previews for, so we're getting excited!) are Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Indian Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and one we hadn't heard about before we saw the preview, The Forbidden Kingdom. That looks VERY cool! Good special effects AND Jackie Chan slapstick...how can you go wrong? Gonna be a good movie summer!

All in all, it was a good birthday, shared with someone special, so I'm happy. Thanks to all who made it happier with your good wishes!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A Sweet Birthday

Today is the birthday of my most faithful blog reader--my mother. That's her in the picture on the left, holding my little hand and preggers with my little brother. Don't you love the glasses? She hasn't been able to read what little I've been blogging lately because her router crashed. She and my dad are working on getting back up and running, though, so hopefully that will be in time for her to see her blog b-day shout out! Happy Birthday, Mom!! I'm dying to hear if you liked your present.

I am celebrating my mom's birthday by getting back to a job search. I'm feeling a lot better in the last few days (woohoo!), so it's time to get the feelers out so I can return to making an honest living for myself. The lottery winner jobs all seem to be taken, so instead I'm looking for some type of office work. I dusted off my resume and will be sending it out today and tomorrow. We'll see what crops up!

I've also been celebrating by noshing on some Lindt chocolate eggs. I scored some on sale that were left from Easter. Foolish shoppers don't realize Lindt makes the best chocolate ever and left them on the shelf. I bought a mixed egg set, and while I figured what 3 of the 4 egg types were before I got it, the fourth was a mystery. Red is my delicious favorite, the milk chocolate truffle. Blue is Randy's favorite, the dark chocolate truffle. Gold is the okay-but-not-as-good-as-red white chocolate truffle. The mystery was the orange wrapped truffle egg. I gave one to Randy last night and after he ate it I asked what flavor it was. He said he didn't know, and that it tasted the same to him as the milk chocolate ones. At this point, I realized I was wasting Lindts on him because he obviously has an underdeveloped palate. Back to Mars bars for him. I had one today and realized the orange wrapped eggs were peanut butter truffles. Very subtle and very tasty! I'm a happy camper.

My birthday is next week. Maybe I'll get myself a whole bag of the orange wrapped truffles to celebrate!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A Hairy Situation

I was feeling a little frumpy last week, especially in the hair area. My hair is usually a frizzy mess, but it cleans up nicely so I let it be. But lately the uneven ends have been distracting, and it came to a "head" a few days ago. I woke up early one morning, looked in the mirror and said, "NO MORE!!"

Now a normal person at this point in time would have picked up the phone and made an appointment with a stylist to get the scraggly hair cut. Then there's me. Instant gratification monger that I am, I couldn't go that route...I needed it taken care of right then and there!! I was on the verge of picking up some scissors and chopping it away at it myself when I realized...hey...there's another person here! heh, heh, heh!

So while Randy slept soundly, I broke out the hair color (Revlon Colorsilk #11, Soft Black, for those who are interested. Good stuff!) and removed all the grays. Then I washed, blow dried and straightened it. This was an easy way to figure out where all the different lengths fell. It was already looking a lot better...but not enough. It was time...I woke Randy up and informed him he was going to cut my hair.

He's a brave soul and didn't balk, until I told him I wanted him to cut all the hair up to the point of the shortest section. He argued, but I made him do it. He made the first cut, then handed the hair to me. I suddenly understood why he had balked. It was a good 8 inches! Yikes!

I let him finish (kinda had to!) and by the time he was done my hair had gone from being down to around my butt to just below my shoulders. I'm starting to get used to it now. It's a weird feeling...my arm keeps moving with the brush long after there's nothing there for it to hit. It looks a LOT better, though, and that's what's important. And even if it didn't look good, that's the cool thing about hair...it grows back so you get do-overs!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Return of the Prodigal Daughter

Oh, such a sad, pitiful, neglected little blog! Now you know why I could never be an award-winning writer--besides the fact that I don't write well! Such lack of commitment. Bad, bad blogger!

Well, let me do a categorical update, since it's been so long...

Health - I continue to mend from my surgery. Sadly, it's not the major difference I'd hoped; however, I'm slowly but surely getting better. I try to do a little bit more every day so I build my stamina back up, and I'm hoping to be back on an exercise program soon. I still have a lot of pain in my back, but the side and front have let up somewhat. It so doesn't help that the site of the worst incision--by my navel--is right at kitchen counter height. Talk about some zingers every time I forget not to lean in!! Someday I'm sure I will be pain free--hallelujah!

Randy - Randy is doing fine too. He's been taking great care of m e, or trying to since I'm a difficult patient. He went to see his endocrinologist yesterday, who got on him about some high blood sugar readings since his last visit. He claimed holidays. You know...Valentine's chocolates, Easter candy...the evil stuff. We of course were on a special portion control diet over the Easter holiday--eating Cadbury mini-eggs instead of regular eggs. I guess it didn't go over well. So now we have to get him back on track. But overall she says he's doing fine, much better than when he first started visiting her last year!

Family - My dad is recovering from his cornea replacement surgery last month, and after a corrective surgery this past week to reduce the pressure on his eye, I'm sure he will continue to do very well. He's a little concerned about the fact that the eye is now blue instead of brown. This is not supposed to happen with a cornea replacement, since eye color is determined by the iris, not the clear cornea. But my dad has to be weird, like me. His doctor says it will go away, and he says none too soon. I'll have to get him to send me a picture to post. In other family news, my sister Veronica is laid up after a fall that tore the ligaments and tendons in her left ankle. The damage was so extensive they want her to wear a boot for a month and let the swelling go down before they even evaluate it to see what they can do to fix it. She tried going back to work with the boot, but the swelling was too bad so she's on bed rest now. So I anticipate some calls to keep me company from a bored sister this week. Woohoo!

Webkinz - You know you want to hear about them!! Two of my pets celebrated a birthday last month--Rumpy, my basset hound, and Dian, my gorilla. They had a big party (see first picture) to celebrate, and got a little loopy, but not too out of hand. I can't remember if I'd mentioned my newest pet, Puddles the duck. I've had him for awhile now, and he's fitting right in. The big news with my Webkinz is that I finally won the Webkinz Crown of Wonder! Took a lot of gem collecting, and the final gem, the Ember Amber, eluded me for quite awhile. But victory is mine! Dian is modeling the crown here at right. Yes, I know...it's quite stunning. And for those of you who were following my scavenger hunt progress with bated breath, still now word on winners from that contest. I figured it would take them awhile to go through the entries, but this is ridiculous!

Lottery - Still haven't won it. Dammit.

Not much else for me to report right now. I'll save my Dancing with the Stars critique for another day! Thanks for continuing to check in on me over my dry spell!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Holey Belly Button, Batman!

Ok, I have a few hours of blessed clarity now that Randy is sleeping and not over medicating me, so I must get my blog done while I can!

The surgery went fine yesterday. I have no recollection of it at all...I lost 3 hours of my life there. One moment I was putting on my little blue hat, the next I was waking up in pain and confusion. (Reminds me a bit of a college party I went to, but let's not go there...) I was quickly doped into a painless state and able to leave the hospital within 2 hours. I almost didn't get out of there--the nurses kept arguing that I needed to stay overnight. They had a room all ready for me. But I was actually feeling pretty good with all the drugs (er...meds), so I decided to go. They were even surprised I was able to walk out on my own without a wheelchair!

Of course, I'm paying for it now. It's a lot more painful so far today, but I'm a lot less dopey. Randy insisted on giving me a Vicodin every couple of hours yesterday, since he said the prescription says I can take 1-2 tablets every 4 hours. He and the nurse both were on me about staying ahead of the pain instead of waiting for it to hurt and trying to control it then. But then you fall asleep and wake up 8 hours later with no meds in your system and your lead is gone!

I also discovered I couldn't sleep lying down. Luckily I have a very comfortable chaise lounge which, after we pillowed it up, worked quite well for me. Slept very soundly. I have the feeling I'm not going to be moving out of that chair very much over the next couple of days. These are the times I wish my laptop were working!

I didn't get to see my gall bladder or gall stones, and I'm kind of bummed about that. Maybe they showed them to me and I don't remember. The doctor did say they were pretty big stones, so they were going to send them to pathology to have a look at. I don't know if that's normal procedure or not...since it's me, probably not...oh dear.... I have 5 little holes in my belly now. Randy says that the surgeon really only needed 2 holes to work, but the other 3 were for students to observe. No stitches, just those really sticky tapes that stay on for days. My belly button is all taped up too. I hope it's ok...it was such a cute little belly button before the surgery!

The only other problem I'm having is that they seem to have chipped my front tooth with the breathing tube! It's very minor and I think it might just smooth out on its own over time, but right now it's driving me a little nuts. I think I'll mention it to them if they call me for follow up today. Maybe they can have someone at their dental school smooth it out for me.

Thanks for all the good wishes! Here's hoping for smooth sailing from here on out!