Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
Wow...that was a blur. It seems like November 14, the Tracey kick-off to the Christmas season was just yesterday. I can't believe they'll be taking down the lights on Monument Circle in just 9 short days. The lights from Monument Circle are one of the things that I always look forward to at this time of year. I used to hate the darkness of winter; I go to work in the dark and I come home in the dark most of the time. But, my route always takes me past the circle so that I can see the Christmas lights. I've even figured out the exact point when I need to look to the right when I am driving to work through the 65/70 connector through the city. I drive home at street level, so it is much easier to see, but I always look forward to those lights.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
I said I'd never do it, but I did. I signed up for Facebook. And that, along with a few other things, have prevented me from getting back to this blog. It's not like I ever post anything on Facebook though. Mainly I just lurk out there, reading posts from my friends, and playing games like Farkle and Yacht. And unfortunately, I figured out that I am pretty good at the Facebook poker. (But I'm smart enough to know that if I were actually in a room with someone playing poker, they'd know exactly what was in my hand.).
Sunday, September 20, 2009
My brother Keith organized a work weekend at my Mom's farm this weekend. I am so tired, and I know everyone else is too. But, we got a lot done. After all was said and done we were able to: remove storm windows, paint, caulk, clean, and replace the storm windows; power wash the house, garage, lawn furniture, deck, and Red's barn; remove rust from the barn door and porch railing; paint the barn and barn door; tear down the shed under the apple trees; put round-up on all needed areas; clean out the barn loft; repair the roof of the barn and re-shingle; paint the porch roof; organize the desk area in the kitchen with some new filing cabinets; organize the computer desk; and do general cleaning inside...i.e., dust, vacuum, clean bathrooms, kitchen cabinets, and the bar area in the kitchen.
Monday, September 7, 2009
This has been a great weekend, and we still have one day left. A lot of stuff has gotten done around my house and my best boy Trevor and I have had a lot of fun too. Trevor has been staying with me on Labor Day weekend for the last 4 years. We always are happy that we have an "extra day" to do something special.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Very nice weather tonight in Indy and the deck at Plump's was full of people and dogs. But you know my Tiger, he is a looker. No less than 10 very pretty girls came up and asked Johnny if they could pet his dog. I'm sure if I wasn't there, he would have ended up sitting at a table with a bunch of them. Even he agreed.
I always tried to get my nephew David to take Tiger to the dog park to see if he could meet a girl, but he would never do it. I just don't think he realized the power of the Lucky Dog.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
The medicine has side effects. I've gained 12 pounds, had a low blood sugar episode, and had lots of energy. The energy has helped some, because I've been super productive at work, but really still not worth it.
My Mom cut an article out of the paper for me about Poison Ivy and a holistic remedy that you take in March and April before the leaves even come out. I'm going to have to research that a little more to see if that will work for me. I may be willing to try. I will be willing to get someone else to trim around the house next year. I will also be sure that the June roundup step is never again skipped.
I'm hoping I never have poison ivy again. But, as you know, hope is not a plan. I need a plan.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Tonight I cooked for some friends at their house. I made Calzone, and there are pictures now on the host's website. It was pretty good eats. Chris at the Goose hooked me up with some amazing meats, and I always get my sauce from the Goose too. Very good dinner, followed by a fiery dessert!
After dinner, the hosts broke out the Wii, where they have the "Rock Band" set. I got to be drummer! It was hard, but they say for a beginner I did okay. I kept wanting to do an Elvis song or something. But, I don't think any of those will ever make it on a Wii or any other brand of game. I had a great time. I know that I am no drummer, but it was fun pretending for a night.
Unfortunately, this was probably one of those "one night only" performances. So if you missed it, I guess you are out of luck.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
- Driving through the Mountains is hard - If your trip involves crossing any sort of mountainous region, you may want to check a topographical map prior to mapping your route. Mountains take time to go up and down and up and down and up and down, and really aren't as fun as when you were 3. The Scenic Views are cool, but if you have the elevation sickness that sometimes effects people in my family, you're not going to be looking over those cliffs anyway. Check your maps, the flatlands may be less time, even though it takes a few more miles.
- Make reservations - This is not 1988. When you are driving along the highway, don't plan on finding a vacancy at any random Holiday Inn Express. There are a lot of people out on the road. They have cell phones and they have all called ahead. You're going to end up driving a lot longer than expected if you don't have a reservation.
- If you are good with directions, follow your instincts (especially if your navigator is a senior citizen with one good eye). Sorry, had to stick that joke in there Mom. But really, had I not been pretty sure of where we were going, we would have been going in the wrong direction many times.
- Don't plan the most stressful activity for the last day of your vacation. Trying to navigate Washington, D.C. streets is really better done when you are full of energy. Because really, the Capital Beltway is no fun on a Friday afternoon during rush hour (see photo above).
- If you bought a special map for the trip, bring it with you.
It was a great trip. I have a great family. I am so lucky, sometimes I can't believe it.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
It's raining again. Not as bad as May, but still rain is expected every day. I'll tell you a secret....I like it a little bit. It isn't too hot, and we still have lots of things to do, so it isn't that bad. And everything is green, what I think Ireland would look like. Everyone seems to be having a great time, especially Billy. He was so excited that he couldn't sleep. He was up early ready to have fun.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
We are actually in Virginia now. And relatively well rested, given the circumstances. Yesterday was a long drive. I got up early and had lots of chores to do before leaving the house. Including doing a lawn treatment in the back yard.
After getting everything done, we left the house at 1:00, only a little later than expected. Trouble was, we kept going back (like 3 times) to get stuff that had been forgotten. I'd get two blocks away and say, "Oops, forgot to take the garbage out", and head back. Much better to go back and do that than return to a smelly house.
And then we headed off toward Kentucky. We were planning to stop in Greenup, Kentucky to visit my Mom's cousin Joe Mantz and his wife Diane. You've heard of Greenup, right? Right. They were national cheerleading champions in the 1990's if you ever kept up on that sort of thing.
Around suppertime we finally made it to Joe and Diane's house. It was so great to see them. I hadn't seen them in several years and neither had my Mom. We had a sandwich and I heard some neat stories. Joe told us about a flood in 1937 (when he was 4) and they had to bring boats to the 2nd floor windows of the house where we were sitting. It was hard for me to imagine water that high.
He and my Mom also talked about visits to their grandparents. It was interesting when they were talking about their Grandpa Jackson, I remembered my own Grandpa (his son) doing some of the same things with me. We’re all connected. It hasn’t been that long ago when I was walking and realized that there are times when I walk with the same gait as my grandfather.
My Mom also tried to tell me about a store at the end of Powell Lane in Flatwoods, Kentucky that was a store, the post office, a gas station, and something else, and a guy changed hats depending on what he was doing. I believe the store was there, but the whole changing hats thing….I think she is confusing her life with Petticoat Junction.
We left Joe and Diane’s around 8, and planned to drive another hour or so and stop. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a vacancy. We ended up driving until midnight. I was pretty tired, but it made today very relaxing and fun. I’ll fill you in on that later.
So, I'm just adding a few pictures here. Trev and I attended the U.S. National Swimming Championships in Indianapolis. Very cool event. We almost saw a world record broken by Ryan Lochte in the 200 Individual Medley. I think he is very strong in the breast stroke, so he was under world record time after his breast stroke, but lost time on the freestyle. He ended up over the record by 3/10s of a second. Very close and very exciting!
Sunday, July 12, 2009
I don't know whether you all realized it, but July 4 was like 8 days ago. I realize that is still relatively close (since I celebrated my May birthday on June 26, maybe I am being a little harsh). It isn't even in the double digits yet, but COME ON! My dogs have not been able to relieve themselves in peace after dark for 2 weeks.
So really, what is the deal? Last time I checked, there weren't any under 22 year-olds living on my side of the street, but yet you're shooting off bottle rockets every night. Bottle rockets? Really? What is the big thrill in that? And, by the way, if you are going to shoot them off, I invite you to come to the vacant lot next to me and shoot them toward YOUR house. I'm just a little tired of finding the remnants of your "fun" on my deck every morning.
Isn't there some sort of law against this?
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
The past few days, we’ve had a sluggish start to the car, but really it’s been about 106 degrees out, I’m a little sluggish too. And today, Bruce did not want to start. He was begging to go to the Goodyear.
The good thing about the Goodyear is that they drive you to work when you drop off in the morning. So, the guy who has been working on my car for the last several years drove me to work this morning, as he has for the past few years. There is always interesting conversation in the car. This morning’s topic started with Fun Facts about Indiana. But the trip from Delaware/10th to South Harding can sometimes be long, so on the conversation strays.
A few years ago, the conversation strayed to a point where I found out that my mechanic believes in time travel. Yes, you read that correctly. My friends at work insisted that he was trying to flirt with me, and I am never aware when that is happening. But, I can tell you that, “Hey Baby, I’ve got a time machine in my basement” is not the line that is going to impress me. This guy does an Internet radio broadcast every week with guests that speak of the time travel and conspiracy theories that have entertained me on several rides to work. Let me know if you’d like the link.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
You see, not too many years ago, when I lived a different sort of life in Bloomington, Indiana, my whole work/life schedule was way different than it is now. I worked in this alternate universe where time was measured in semesters. You worked really hard while school was in session, and then when the summer came you enjoyed your town. You could get into your favorite restaurants, take a swim at the outdoor pool, actually have space to work out at the SRSC, and walk your weiner dog across campus in peace. The town moves at a slower pace in the summer.
But...the one thing that drove me crazy back then, was a Country Time Lemonade commercial that talked about the end of summer, and they always started showing it on June 21. Just like December 21 can make me happy because the sun starts being out longer every day, June 21 is the day when the sun goes down just a little bit earlier each night. But when that commercial started playing, it always said "Summer is almost over..."
Now, I don't live at the university pace, but lately "normal" hasn't been normal. What happened to this year? Wasn't it just Christmas? I guess I've been busy this year, and lately, I feel like I need to plan for one of those "hang out days" where Trev and I pack a lunch and go to the park and just do whatever. But if you have to plan for it...it's just not the same.
Pretty soon, the end of summer vacation will be here and then it will be back to school. I am looking forward to fall weather though. That will be nice.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Eye surgery on TV is much quicker than the real version at Witham Hospital. What they don't show you on TV is the 4 hours of prep work and eye numbing drops that are put in every 30 minutes or so. It is also different than dog eye surgery. My dog Rocky had eye surgery and his was very quick. He was my big, tough boy who did many a surgery without anesthesia. He couldn't have it because of his heart problems. So, even Rocky's surgery was pretty fast.
The good news is that Mom is 20/20 now, but only in the one eye. Maybe I could sign up for this surgery and dump the glasses. Wouldn't that be great? Mom is thinking she'll be able to drive tomorrow, but I'm not sure. How will she do it. With one good eye and one bad eye, her vision will be messed up if she wears glasses, or if she doesn't wear glasses. We'll talk to the doctor again tomorrow and see what he says.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
I remember one drive from New York to Marysville, Ohio playing one cassette tape over and over. I was leaving camp with a lot of things unfinished, and did not want to go. I started the trip in tears, but 12 hours later, I was better. I think I was 25 at the time. Later on when I lived in Bloomington, I drove the 37 or 67 route between Bloomington and Indy a lot. Sometimes at weird hours of the night, but always with some music playing. The loop around Lake Monroe was good too, just watch out for the boat ramp on the south side of the lake. It is easy to miss in the dark and you might just drive into the lake!
Lucky for me, tonight I figured out what was up in about 30 minutes. And, I didn't even play my Taylor Swift CD to the point of having to give it away. Bonus!
I think I've been trying to figure out what happened to the 23 year old me. I feel like I was taller then. I know I had better hair. I think I was always funny. But what happened to all the things that I had planned? What were my expectations then and did I live up to them? And then somewhere south of Martinsville I realized that the dreams of a 23 year old didn't come true, but the life I have right now is pretty darn excellent. The 45 year old me is a lot better than the 23 year old ever dreamed.
Sunday, May 31, 2009
And the last thing....My friend Marianne always posts pictures of the food she makes, so I thought I'd share one with her. On vacation, I learned how to make spinach. I've never really cooked spinach much in my life, but I've made these little spinach, cheese, and tomato pita bread pizzas a few times now. They are pretty amazing.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Sometimes I look at the stars, sometimes I count the airplanes, sometimes I just sit and enjoy the sounds of the neighborhood. Kids playing, birds singing, people talking and laughing in their backyards. It is going to be a great summer.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
But, I don't consider myself a race fan. I am not really fanatic about much. If racing is on the TV at home, most likely Trevor is there. If I am at a race track, Trevor is with me. He likes it, and actually it is good for him to learn about racing. This weekend we talked about how special the Indianapolis 500 is compared to other races, the differences between open wheel cars and stock cars, differences in tires (rain tires vs. regular tires), differences in how the cars are built and how it impacts speed, and lap speed averages. All things very interesting to me and my favorite 8 year old, whether or not I'm a race fan.
John Andretti qualified on Sunday, 10 minutes before the track closed.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
This was our little cabin in the woods. Very nice. Ratatouille lived there with us for the week. He liked Fig Newtons. Notice the fire on the grill, I was getting ready to cook up some dinner.
On Friday, we talked about what we'd be doing during the summer. Cindy would be at camp, I'd be working, and BJ would be gardening. As it turns out, the local residents in her area have been encouraged to plant gardens and donate what produce they don't personally use to local food banks and churches. Since she is in a rental home, BJ has started a garden with a friend at her home. This is no ordinary garden though. As BJ explained, "Y'all, I straight up dug a Peace Corps Quality garden", and she explained what that meant.
BJ and Cindy both were in the Peace Corps. Cindy was in Costa Rica in her 20s, and more recently in the Urkraine. BJ was in the Dominican Republic. I never was a Peace Corps volunteer, although I thought about it from time to time. I was just never that rustic. I mean, I worked at a camp. I can sleep outside. I can build fires with the best of them. But, whenever I did that, I always knew that a clean hotel room was no more than 12 days away.
So, BJ went on. I guess in your typical Peace Corps training, you have many training classes and workshops on gardening. BJ alleges that she was trained how to grow a garden in a shoe, but Cindy has no recollection of such a class. So, this Peace Corps quality garden is "triple-dug", where you remove 6 inches of soil and set it to the side, remove 6 more inches and set it to the other side, then you loosen the next six inches of dirt and mix in several inches of yard waste such as leaves, twigs, etc. Then you add back each layer of dirt so that you have a somewhat raised bed that is loose dirt 18 inches deep. I'm expecting some pictures of this garden at some point this summer.
So, on we drove north to New Jersey. And then today I got on a train to the airport, went through what seemed like an episode of the Amazing Race to catch an earlier flight home, picked up the doggies, and relaxed. I'm so glad to be home. But I need tomorrow to get back in the full swing of things.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
It has been a nice relaxing week. Playing cards with the "Axis of Evil" terrorist playing cards, watching Dirty Dancing, and generally belting out old tunes like "King of the Road". We have swam every day, which was on my list of things to do, cooked out in the rain, built a fire, and read. Not too many naps, but I seem pretty rested anyway.
And, we have laughed a lot. Today Cindy told a story about BJ, which is how I got the title to this post. A first experience at the Fresh Air Fund was an interesting one for BJ as the "Nature Lady". Although the campers enjoyed her classes, her lesson plans had to change quickly.
This is just a warning to all of you. Someone is going to have to look out for me as I get older or I may have to be institutionalized. If I am belting out a song from the 70's, making owl calls or other weird noises, and laughing at my own jokes....I am normal. Please don't let them put me away.
We've also decided to research how many former counselors from Camp ABC decided not to have any of their own kids. Freaky coincidence or were those campers just some sort of permanent birth control?
Monday, May 4, 2009
I flew into New Jersey, and I hadn't been to New Jersey in 4 years. I almost forgot what it was like. Take that back, I did forget. As you fly into the Newark-Liberty Airport, you can see the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty in the distance. Looking out the window, I thought, there it is....crowded, busy, dirty...not so sure I want to go there.
Having just left the beautiful new Indianapolis Airport, I was surprised when I got off the plane, and it wasn't the same. Not that it wasn't the same as the Indianapolis Airport, but it wasn't what I had remembered either. I had remembered the EWR being similar to the new Indy airport, lots of windows, white floors, wide aisles. I must have been in a different terminal. I walked down the blue carpeted hallway where we pretty much had to walk single file. The other part of the hallway was taken over by security with cameras and scanners and people in sock feet. Downstairs to baggage claim, and then it all came back. I had been here before. It had changed a little, I think there are less Continental baggage carousels now, but that hint of urine smell in the air means it is definitely the Newark Airport.
My plane was wicked early (since I'm doing a flashback to my twenties, why not throw in a Boston word) and I called my friend Susan who was picking me up from the airport. They were still about 20 minutes or so away, but we worked out a meeting place at curbside, and I looked around a little. I looked at the airport seating and wondered when the last time it had been wiped off with a lysol wipe or anything like it, and decided standing was a better option. Maybe still wondering how I did this so much in my youth.
I remembered the episode where I was stuck at the New Jersey airport and a little terrified. Even then, I was the Lucky Girl, because somehow with $100 cash in my pocket and a call to my brother, I got out of a scary situation and back to Indianapolis. People's Express was the cheap airline of the 80's with a hub in Newark. I had heard they were going out of business and canceling flights left and right, but I still headed to the airport alone trying to get home. I was told my flight was canceled and that there were no other flights until the next day. The thought of having to spend the night at this airport was not good. I had no credit card, ATMs did not exist, it was me, all my bags from a summer at camp, and my $100, and that was it. My brother worked some sort of magic and got me on a flight through Dulles to Indy. I can imagine the conversation with the airline people that he had, but I am sure that the airline people wanted to get me out of Newark too. Terminal D was infamous. Poof, I am on my way out, and other people who were stuck were in disbelief.
I stepped outside to the curb. And then it hit me. That smell of exhaust in the air. Horns were honking, a taxi stand in front of me, people talking and yelling and schlepping bags everywhere. Ah, yes, I remember. I looked to the left and recognized the area where I used to catch the bus to the city from this airport. Oh yeah, I do remember. Yankee Stadium, Lincoln Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral, the Poet's walk in Central Park, the subway, Canal Jeans, Little Italy at Christmastime. All of that is worth a little crowd and some dirt. Maybe I do want to go back.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Sadie was diagnosed with Cushing's Disease a few months ago. After several tests over the course of nearly 4 months, the confirmed diagnosis said that she had Cushing's. When we were to begin treatment in March, Sadie came down with a bladder infection, and then she got Kennel Cough, and finally she was well and we could begin therapy a week ago.
The standard therapy is to do what is called a "loading dose" of the medication Lysodrene, look for changes in Sadie's symptoms, do a test to see if her cortisol is at the correct level, and then put her on a maintenance dose. The trick is the directions on the Lysodrene are pretty scary. Lysodrene is considered a chemotherapy tablet, so it is attacking parts of Sadie's body as it works.
Sadie started Lysodrene last Tuesday and her behavior changed (i.e., she slept through the night) on Friday night. On Saturday she went into Noah's for her ACHT test to see if she was at the correct level of cortisol. We stopped the medicine at that point, and we were waiting for the results. Only thing is, Sadie went into "crisis" (as defined by the directions I was given by Noah's) on Sunday. I called into Noah's on Sunday evening and they directed me to start Prednisone therapy for Sadie to bring her out of crisis.
Sadie still had the symptoms of the Lysodrene overdose ("crisis") on Monday evening, so I took her into Noah's they did another blood test, and we're continuing the Prednisone therapy for the next 10 days.
But this is the weird part about the Cushing's/Addison's connection. So, the Dr. explained that Sadie probably only overdosed by about one dose, but now has really no cortisol at all (her level is .2 and is supposed to be anywhere from 1 to 4). I guess the way this works is that the overdose may have killed off part of Sadie's pituitary gland which has resulted in an Addison's like state. Hence the treatment of Prednisone to bring the cortisol to a more normal level.
So, it gets even stranger...the Dr. said there were three possibilities that could result from this overdose: 1.) Sadie's pituitary gland has been damaged by the Lysdorene and will never produce enough cortisol for her in the future, and Sadie will now be diagnosed with Addison's Disease instead of Cushings; 2.) After the Prednisone therapy, Sadie will go back to her "normal" state of Cushing's and her levels of cortisol will be elevated. At that point she will be able to go on the maintenance dose of Lysodrene; or, 3.) And this is the weird one...the Lysodrene has killed off the perfect amount of Sadie's overactive pituitary gland and after the Prednisone therapy, she will be a normal dog, no Cushing's, no Addison's.
The Dr. went on to explain that some "old School" vets do the overdose on purpose to kill off the pituitary gland and treat the Addison's Disease because it is easier to treat and control. I'm just amazed that what could have been a mistake, may be something that actually means she may not need medication in the future. I expect that is a big long shot, but who else could it happen to other than the Lucky Girl and the Lucky Dog.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Sometime late last year my neighbor hired a lawn guy to cut his lawn and trim the weeds weekly. By that time I think it was August and I was tired, so I hired the same guy to do the "public" area of my lawn. I'm on my own in the doggie's yard. I know it seems like a weird set-up, but with the way I have my gates secured, that is just how it has to work. So every week, the "Lawn Mower Man" visits and for $20 does the front and alley grass and the weed trimming. Pretty good deal.
The Lawn Mower Man has been a great stress reliever. I always worried about how my yard looked to my neighbors. On my own, I did what I had to do in the time that I had to do it. Which means some weeks a weed trimmer was used, and others it was not. Also, depending upon the time of year, my allergies would kick in and it would take me forever to get everything done. Now, I can do the back yard pretty quickly without breaking out. I also don't have to worry about what the neighbor's think if I'm a little late getting it done.
The thing is, I talked to a friend at work once who said "You shouldn't waste your time doing the things that you really don't enjoy doing." And while that seems like easy enough to say, it is a wonderful thing that the $20 a week has done for me. I still work in the yard some, but last year I focused more on the flowers and they actually looked decent. In years past, I spent so much time on the grass and trim work that I was not worried about flower beds at all. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed planting flowers and taking care of them. This year, I plan to plant more. I also plan to take more bike rides and swim more.
So, the funny thing is, I have let the doggie's yard go too long this spring. It hasn't had it's first cut and tomorrow will be the third cut on the front yard. So, today, being the loser that I am for not keeping up with the grass, I had to take the weed trimmer and take the top off of the grass so that I can think about running the lawn mower over it tomorrow. For a lawn cut with a weed trimmer, it doesn't look all that bad, but it is definitely not good either. We'll see if this technique works.
Monday, April 20, 2009
My big fear was that I would keep swinging and totally miss the ball every time. During the session I totally missed the ball less than 10 times. So for a first day, I count it as a win. Now, much like my softball swing, I tend to pull the ball and hit straight down the third base line no matter where I think I'm aiming. That would be the frustrating part if I was on a real golf course.
I'm ready for another trip to the Golf Dome.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Never say never, BUT I really doubt you'll see me on You Tube anytime soon. But not my boy Tiger!!
Thanks to the good people at The Lucky Dog Retreat, Tiger is a You Tube star in this video, along with his friend Riley. Tiger is known as the "King of the Puppies" at Lucky Dog, because he plays with the little ones so well.
I'm so proud!
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
One of the things that started my "unplugging" was a need to be a little more focused on just me. I went in for my yearly check up in February and there was some blood work numbers that were off and had the doctor a little concerned. And so, I have had some need to focus on that, and I also had a pretty big project going at work.
Some of you know that I have been on thyroid medication for about 9 years, and maybe some of you don't. I have low thyroid, which ties directly into my energy level. There are times that I used to feel so sluggish that I would say, "I think I have been drugged". You know, that kind of feeling where you almost can't keep your head up. I haven't actually felt that way in a while, but my doctor wondered if I had any energy at all based upon the blood work numbers that he was seeing.
Before I go any further, everything is okay. The doctor did change my medicine and I've been trying to watch what I eat, making sure to get enough fruits and vegetables. I also haven't missed a dose of medicine, which is really good for me. I actually do feel better, and the blood work numbers are now back in range. So, I will keep at it, and more blood tests come next month. I think that the doc is just going to monitor everything for a while.
And so, there is more to catch up on, but I'm going to hold for now. A vacation update will be posted this week for sure, so catch you later.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
I worked with 4 students today, 3 boys and 1 girl. Two of the students (the girl and one of the boys) were my regular students who I tutor in reading. The boys were more into the activity that the girl. I've been trying to blame it on the "superheroes" theme, but I'm not sure I can really do that. The girl, a 4th grader, my star student, would not do the assignment. She kept saying "I can't draw", "I don't know how to do this", "I'm not good at writing stories", etc. Where did that come from?
I remember when I was in the third grade, I was so nervous about an assignment that I wrote in the tiniest printing possible. I think the teacher needed a magnifying glass to see it. I was embarrassed. I didn't want to be wrong and somehow I thought if I wrote so small that no one could read it then it it would be all right. It wasn't. But along the way, I got encouragement. I started taking chances (even though it made me nervous).
How do we replace "I can't" in the language of young people with "I want to learn to" or "I'm going to try my best to"?
Sunday, March 15, 2009
1. Remember the Meat Overload entry? Well, I had a repeat trip to Fogo with my friend Scott. I think that I may have been sick for 2 days after that. I had thought about that meal for a while and what it would be like to go back, but it just didn't go as planned. I have received some coaching if I ever go again, which is that you must get the papaya yogurt for desert. Something about the yogurt breaks down the meat and makes the digestion process go easier. I just don't know if I'll get a chance to try that out.
2. I went to the doctor for my yearly check-up. There were some wacky results on my blood tests. Since then, I've not been eating desserts or drinking soda. I also am cutting out the "real" eggs in favor of the egg-beater type egg for a while to see if it has impact. I don't really eat eggs all that often anyway. I have to check some things in a few weeks and hopefully they will all be back to normal. My cholesterol, while not technically high is out of whack between the goods and bads. I'd have to get the results out again to really look at it and figure out which is the bad number. Anyway, I'm sure the Meat Overload just a few days before the blood test didn't help either. I'm paying attention to everything and writing it all down. Hopefully, I'll have some good data for the doc when I go back in (I even have a spreadsheet!).
3. Sadie has been struggling with Cushing's Disease and other things. She isn't done with her testing yet, but has had some issues that prevent us from continuing the tests. She spent 2 nights at the vet last week. She's home now and okay and on a stronger antibiotic.
4. Okay, so all of you out there on Facebook and MySpace...yes, you. All you proud Facebook users who keep inviting me. No, I'm not going to be on Facebook, BUT...Trevor did convice me to get a Webkinz. That is right, I have a Webkinz. Trevor and I can now play games like "Go Fish" and "Connect Four" online. It is actually kind of cool. But, I still don't think I want to participate in the grown-up versions of Webkinz (Facebook and MySpace).
5. And last but not least, I won a jackpot at a casino! My Mom and I went to a casino the other day to join a friend and her mother. We had about 30 minutes to kill before we were to meet for lunch and on the third pull on a 1 cent slot machine, I hit the big jackpot for $1000. I had never hit the big jackpot in my life before. It was pretty cool.
So, that is my story. I'm home today doing laundry. Hanging out with the doggies. Having a pretty good weekend. My plan is to get back to blogging, but I may lay low for a few more weeks. Spring break is coming up and I'll be in Florida with my family. I'm sure I'll have some tales to tell when we get back.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
So exciting, in fact, that I purchased the Gilmore Girls DVDs for Seasons 1 - 6. I know. I'm 44 years old and buying TV that was originally shown on the WB. So, when Season 7 rolled around, and the new writers were involved, it wasn't quite the same, but yet it was still Stars Hollow growing a little older. I had always been convinced that I didn't see all the episodes in Season 7, so I have netflixed it and started watching tonight. I can't figure out if I came across an episode that I hadn't seen, or if the new writers were so un-Gilmore like that it was unmemorable.
Sometimes there are characters in books that I read that I like so much that I don't want to let them go. I slow down at the end of the book because I know that the characters will end on the last page and I want to prolong their lives. Maybe that is why I'm sometimes drawn to books in a series like the Sue Grafton mysteries. Kinsey Milhone will always be around to solve another crime, at least until Z comes around.
I wonder what has happened to Lorelei and Rory. Sometimes I think of Rory during President Obama's press conferences. Maybe she is sitting in the middle of the room behind Helen Thomas and Chuck Todd. And maybe she was there to offer him that stick of gum just when he needed it.
My brother and sister-in-law went out of town for Valentine's weekend, so I got to be with my valentine Trevor. I picked him up on Friday, right after school. Friday night was kind of uneventful, we just did the regular stuff...walk dogs, play outside (not regular for February, but it was warm!), dinner, watch "Space Buddies", and then off to bed.
Saturday, however, was a different story. I don't usually wake Trevor up when he is at my house. I usually let him sleep in while I attempt to do my normal weekend chores (laundry, dishes, and napping). This Saturday we had scheduled an early visit to the zoo with my friend Scott, so I had to wake Trevor up. But he is always happy to get up for Scott! To read about our trip to the zoo, complete with pictures, go here. We had a great time, and the zoo was very quiet in the morning. We also got to see lots of zoo staff feeding and caring for the animals.
Then of course, we went to Steak and Shake.
After lunch, Scott dropped us off and we took care of the doggies. We played with them for a while and took them on a walk. Then, they were off to the kennel for a couple of nights because we were headed to French Lick on Sunday morning.
On Sunday we were to pick up a friend at 9:30 a.m. and my Mom at 10:00 a.m. for a trip to French Lick. But first, Trevor and I decided we would go see the Boxer show at the Indy Winter Classic Dog Show that started at 8:00 a.m. With much enthusiasm, we left the house at 7:30 a.m. and headed for the fairgrounds. The dog show was interesting. I think Trevor enjoyed it too. It was interesting to see all the Boxers and their different markings and other characteristics. We could definitely tell how some dogs were related to one another. We stayed for about an hour, which got us through all the male dogs. Next year, we'll have to go again and plan on seeing the whole show.
Off to French Lick. Here we stayed busy at the pool, playing games, watching the Daytona 500, and just walking around the hotel. They have some pretty cool shops to browse around in. I know I had thought at some point about sitting in one of the beautiful lobbies and reading, but I don't think we slowed down enough to do that during the trip.
By the time I dropped everyone off, picked up the doggies and headed home it was about 7:30 p.m. on Monday night. Just enough time to get settled back in before my guests arrived at 9:00. I am a very lucky girl.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Last week was an adventure all its own with a foot of snow here in the Hoosier State. On top of that, it was audit week at work, which equals long days with lunch usually coming out of a vending machine. When I used to work at a college, all of my co-workers would talk about how bad orientation week was for everyone working. I want to make sure that all of you know that every job has its orientation week. Accountants have tax season, retail has the holidays, and pharma companies have regulatory agency visits. None of them are fun, but if you do well and keep it together, things can be great when they are over.
So after working several long days last week, it seemed like I would get home and always have to shovel. I don't know how that worked out, but that is what happened. In the mix of it all, I aggravated an old knee injury (from the dark ages of 1987) and on Friday (luckily after the audit was over) my knee popped and it was out. I'm glad I had a Target shopping cart in hand when it happened. I hobbled around Friday night and tried to take the best care of it that I could. Aleve, ice packs, etc. But we had a family trip planned for the weekend, so I had to get it together.
Remember the work picnic when I won the great prize! That is right, we were headed to the Great Wolf Lodge this weekend. And, actually, I really needed it after the week I had. So, I packed up my cute little overnight bag that I got for Christmas (thanks Diane!) and got some rest.
I did feel better on Saturday morning, but it still took me awhile to get around. I was running about a half hour late to drop off doggies, pick up Mom, and then pick up Trevor and his parents. And then off to Ohio. The Lodge was actually great, terribly crowded, but great. I spent the majority of my water park time in the wave pool and the lazy river. I had to meet with an Athletic Trainer at work on Monday and he confirmed that spending time in the water was the best thing that I could have done over the weekend. So, I'm very glad I went. My knee felt great after I got home.
The coolest thing about the Lodge was that we stayed in what was called a "Kid Cabin" suite. The room has an area that looks like a cabin with 3 twin beds where Trevor, my Mom, and I slept. The other area of the room had a queen bed and a pull out couch. After dropping everyone off at home, I got home around 8 on Sunday. I had some dinner and headed to bed, missing the last play of the Super Bowl.
Unfortunately, I forgot to take my camera. But maybe I'll get some pictures to post from my Mom. I'd love to figure out if there was a season when they weren't so busy.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
I got this link to create "Obamicons" from my friend Scott's blog. This morning, I was playing with it a little as the doggies nap after their breakfast. I'm headed off for adventure today, and maybe I'm a little too excited to sleep. Will fill you in on all that later.
For now, my Obamicons:
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Twitter is sort of like instant messaging to the world. You have 140 characters to answer the question "What are you doing now?". And you answer it over and over as "tweets" to your followers. A lot of people use twitter as marketing, so sometimes twitter seems like spam that you have willingly signed up for. I learned this by signing up to follow the wrong people. They have since been blocked.
On Tuesday night after the inauguration, FoxNews reported on Barack Obama's tweets using Twitter. They reported incorrectly, but nonetheless, Twitter is becoming more popular. It is fun to follow some people like Greg Grunberg of Heroes. But, my twitter experiment is over. I may update Twitter on occasion, but really my Tweets have just become a conversation between me and my friend Scott. And really, I should just pick up the phone if I want to talk to Scott.
And really, who cares that I spent Friday night doing my taxes? Or should I even admit that on a live feed going out to the world?
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Brownies are a standby for me if I need to take sweets to an office party or someone's house. Everyone always loves my brownies. They always ask for the recipe, but I never really tell what it is that I do. Even my Mom has asked me for my recipe. Today, it will be revealed right here on the blog.
First, I go to the store and buy the absolute cheapest plain brownie mix I can find. Lately, I have been using the Marsh "Food Club" version. And next, and this is the important part....I follow the package instructions. Can you believe it? Yes folks, that is the big brownie secret. Now, my pan is over size, so I actually use 3 boxes of brownie mix, so that may make my brownies a little thicker. I also believe that my pan is magic, because everything made in that pan tastes good.
Sometimes I use embellishments for the brownies on top. Today I am using the mini-M and M's. But the topping really has nothing to do with the baking of the brownie.
So, that is it.