Monday, December 29, 2008
*** Note - in the middle of things the space bar began working again! Yeah!
Today, Hubby and I went to the dentist. Yes, we live in Texas and our dentist is still in Ohio. Yes, we have lived in Texas for a Decade and our dentist is STILL in Ohio! Just take a minute to wrap your mind around that and we will move on.
Ok. So - as I was saying - Hubby and I went to the dentist. Hubby was fine (other than needing four crowns redone which will take more time than we have on this trip) but me. Well, I might have a cavity or I might not. The dentist couldn't see anything but I am having some sensitivity to sweets (I know! Why sweets? I love sweets at this time of year and I have to have a problem with them? Why couldn't I have a problem with something like . . . turnips or sauerkraut?). I am going to have to go back to the dentist on Wednesday to have an old filling replaced and a new filling put in to "seal" the area. Supposedly, that will fix all the problems. Keep your fingers crossed!
Yesterday my dad's side of the family got together for dinner. We were supposed to eat at a local winery (local to THEM - not us. We had to drive an hour and a half or so to get to the place) but - the winery stopped serving at 2:30 and we got there at 3:00! Oops! Then we all climbed in cars and caravanned to the nearest city and planned on eating at a different restaurant - which was dark and deserted when we got there! Strike two! We finally ended up dining at Bob Evan's which is always open and always good!
It was a nice evening. I got to see my two cousins, one of which lives in Cincinnati and one who lives in North Carolina. We had a nice time catching up over the meal.
After dinner Hubby and I decided to pay a visit to his youngest sister who just happened to live pretty close by. We headed out and got to visit with her, her significant other, her son, and his girlfriend/fiance. Hubby was only a little embarrassed when I asked the girlfriend about her tattoo and her pierced lip and the holes in her ears (the ones that are stretched out bigger than regular piercings). Personally, I think that if I want to know and she is willing to talk about it - why shouldn't I ask? It would be worse to continue living with my own conclusions, wouldn't it?
While visiting, we also got to visit the alpacas. What fun. There was one baby - about four months old - who actually liked being petted and would come to see you when you went into the barn. Along with the alpacas was Blanco, the guard dog. He stays with the alpacas and guards them in the fields. He was BIG. And I do mean B-I-G! His back was almost up to my waist and his head - well, I think both my kitties could fit in there and still have room to run around a bit. He was a BIG dog! Very docile and nice though. Apparently the only time he gets a bit "feisty" is when someone tries to mess with the alpacas. Be assured that I will never do THAT!
Hubby and I finally made it back to my parents' house at about 10:30. A pretty long day for me! Did I mention that I started out at church in the morning? It was a neat service of Christmas hymns and some background information about them. Very interesting!
That is it for now - I hope you are all recovering from the holidays
Voice Update: I have done two sessions of massage so far today and I did THREE yesterday! Yeah me! My voice, other than being a bit overworked by all the relatives, is doing well. In fact, it is very strong today. I am going to keep going!
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Well, Hubby and I traveled to Ohio on Christmas day and guess what! We are still here. Our friends are taking care of the kitties (God bless them - they have to deal with Skor!) and the house so we are enjoying the unusually warm weather in my parents' neck of the woods for a while.
My parents gave me a digital photo frame for Christmas and I am having a grand time playing with it. The pictures I took at the Christmas party for my mother's side of the family are already on the frame. Very neat! I can't wait to get it back to my house and decide where I want to put it for the best visibility!
Hubby got a really, really interesting gift. I will wait until I get home to show you a picture of it but trust me . . . you will laugh! I did! In fact, I laughed for about 20 minutes straight after he modeled it for us. I am chuckling now just thinking about it! It will be worth the wait!
Have you heard of Piano Puzzlers? It is a radio show (I honestly have no clue which channel or time or anything like that - I listen to it as a podcast) in which Bruce Adolphe, a composer, "hides" familiar tunes in pieces he writes in the styles of famous musicians. For example, he might take the tune, "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" and write it in the style of Mozart. Next, someone calls into the show and tries to guess both the hidden tune and the composer. It is tricky but, if you like music, it is fun to try to guess along with the caller.
I never get the composer right but I almost always get the tune.
Anyway, my mother is a pianist and is always looking for new music to play. This year I got her the sheet music to the Piano Puzzlers (well, at least 30 of the pieces) and made her a CD of some of the podcasts. It should be interesting to see if she likes them or not. She hasn't tried them yet because yesterday she hosted the family Christmas party (and cooked LOTS of yummy food - including a peanut butter pie!!!) and today was spent shopping for birthday gifts for my brother's youngest daughter.
I spent my day making bookmarks. Again - pictures will be forthcoming. I made three bookmarks for my niece and four for me (even though I think Mom is taking one of them, we will see if I really give her one. No - I am not being mean. She has told me repeatedly that she doesn't use bookmarks so why should I give her one?). It was a productive day.
I hope everyone who celebrated Christmas is recovering from all the festivities. Personally, I have one more celebration to attend tomorrow. Fun, fun!
Voice Update: Well, I did massage on the plane on Thursday but then didn't do any the rest of the day or on Friday. Shame on me. I did do two of my three sessions today and plan to do the third in just a bit. I am back on track! My voice is doing pretty well. On Friday it sort of wore out as I continued to talk to all of the family present. Luckily, they love me even when they can't hear me!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Every year, my dad's side of the family gathers for a dinner and gift exchange. Since no one really needs anything anymore and there are no little children, the gifts are small and the emphasis is on the fun instead of the gift. Part of the fun is the traditional "present passing story." I say traditional because HAVING a present passing story is the tradition. Each year the story itself is different. For the past several years I have been in charge of writing the story.
This year I would like to share it with you.
Oh - the way the "present passing story" works is that each time the word right is said, the presents (still unwrapped) are passed one person to the right. Each time the word left is said, the presents are passed one person to the left. At the end of the story everyone opens the present they ended up with.
Here we go!
A long, long time ago, RIGHT before that certain big event that LEFT an indelible mark on everyone's memory, a tiny baby boy was born. The boy's mother, RIGHT out of high school and with all of her previously bright aspirations slipping RIGHT out of her grasp, wasn't too happy. After all, having a baby LEFT her with few options.
Thinking about her ruined future, the mother made a decision. Wrapping the tiny baby up, she kissed him RIGHT on the tip of his nose and LEFT him on the doorstep of the wealthiest people she knew, the McRIGHTsons.
Scrugg McRIGHTson was the RIGHT tackle for the town's semi-not-close-to-professional football team. He was a large man. Rowena, his lovely bride, was the last member LEFT of the town's founding family.
Rowena and Scrugg adopted the tiny boy and named him Norbert. After a few years, the McRIGHTsons were worried that something wasn't quite RIGHT with Norbert. He never seemed to grow. At the age of fourteen, he was only three foot six! In Scrugg's mind, the only option LEFT was to send Norbert to military school to toughen him up. Surely that would set everything RIGHT.
So, tiny Norbert set off for the military school. At first, he did very well since he was naturally very tidy and liked the tight organization. The only trouble was the marching. Every morning, noon, and night, the cadets gathered on the parade grounds to practice their marching. The drill sergeant would chant:
LEFT, LEFT, LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT.
LEFT, LEFT, LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT.
All of the cadets marched RIGHT along. Except for Norbert.
Poor Norbert, with his tiny, little legs just couldn't keep up. He would do a LEFT and a RIGHT and the cadet behind him would walk RIGHT over his head! Soon, the entire squad had LEFT Norbert behind. The drill sergeant was very upset and made Norbert practice even after the other cadets LEFT.
It wasn't uncommon to see Norbert, all alone, on the parade grounds marching and chanting:
LEFT, LEFT, LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT.
However, no matter how he tried, poor Norbert just couldn't get his legs to stretch enough for his stride to match that of the other cadets. And yet, Norbert continued to try.
One night, RIGHT at midnight, Norbert was out practicing his marching but, something was different. Each time he stepped, he heard a little jingle.
LEFT (jingle), LEFT (jingle), LEFT (jingle), RIGHT (jingle), LEFT (jingle).
Looking up, Norbert was shocked to see Santa marching RIGHT along with him.
Stopping, Norbert asked Santa what he was doing there. Santa chuckled and told him that he was really an elf. His mother, you see, was an elf who had LEFT the North Pole to find a better future. She hadn't planned on a baby though and was embarrassed to call Santa for help so she LEFT Norbert with the McRIGHTsons.
Later, the poor mother had returned to the North Pole and told Santa everything. RIGHT away, Santa headed out to find Norbert and to return him to his RIGHTful place.
Santa whisked Norbert away from the military academy and took him to the North Pole where Norbert fit RIGHT in since everyone was only three foot six! Finally, Norbert was completely happy but, sometimes in his dreams he was still out on the parade grounds chanting:
LEFT, LEFT, LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT.
I hope you enjoyed the story! Have a very Merry Christmas!
Voice Update: I did it! I did my exercises yesterday! I can put up a number 1 on my little chart! Can I make it for day number two? I hope so! Check in tomorrow to find out!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
It is another chilly day here in Texas. While the temperature is supposed to climb up the the high 50's a bit later in the day, the morning is chilly and misty with light rain. The perfect day to snuggle up with a good book and a hot bowl of soup.
My soup isn't quite done yet. I ended up going out to lunch with friends yesterday so I have the ham bone broth in the fridge waiting for my ministrations today. I haven't decided what all I will do to it but I know it will be yummy and perfect for this kind of weather!
As for the book, well - I am starting a new one today but I have two good ones to share with you.
The first is an oldie but goodie - Where Love Has Gone by Harold Robbins. Another of my treasures from Grandma's house, it is a pretty satisfying read.
In this book a father who has been separated from his daughter by a nasty divorce is called back to her side in the middle of the night when he learns that she is being charged with the murder of her mother's boyfriend. Leaving his current wife, who is due to have their first child at any time, the father, Luke, travels to California to stand at his young daughter's side during this difficult time. The daughter, Danielle, is only 15 and so will not stand trail for murder but will instead be subject to a juvenile court review of her custody until she is an adult.
The mother, Nora, is a narcissistic sculptor who is widely acclaimed in the American art world. She is vain and controlling and is jealous of her young, beautiful daughter.
Luke returns to his daughter's life after six years away at the insistence of Nora. He is driven to do some investigation on his own of the situation as he simply can't believe that his daughter committed such a crime.
During his time with his daughter he re-examines his life with Nora in poignant flashbacks during which we learn a lot about both Nora and Luke as well as the world which surrounds them both.
The book is an easy read and the trail of Luke's investigation keeps the reader's interest throughout. While I wouldn't put this book on my top ten list of all time favorite reads, it was a nice diversion.
Next is a book which I had trouble putting down. Absolute Power by David Baldacci.
This is the second of Baldacci's books I have read and I was certainly not disappointed. I will say that the picture of Clint Eastwood on the cover had me wondering just what rock I was under since I had no clue that there was ever a movie by this name in theaters!
Anyway - this book is a thriller which starts with a seemingly simple robbery that turns into a nightmare of corruption, murder, and intrigue.
Luther Whitney, a lifetime robber, breaks into a plush mansion and suddenly finds himself an unwilling witness to sex and murder. The murder isn't just your average, run-of-the-mill murder either. It is done by secret service agents and the situation involves the President of the United States!
Once the people involved find out that there was a witness to the crime, and the following cover-up, they are obsessed with finding, and eliminating him. Meanwhile, the homicide detective in charge of the murder case finds himself with a cold trail which just doesn't seem to add up to what it looks like.
With unexpected twists and turns, this book held me on the edge of my seat until the last word of the last paragraph. I had a difficult time doing anything yesterday as I didn't want to stop reading until I had finished the book. What a read!
If you like intrigue, pick up this book. It is worth the time.
Voice Update: Well,***Break in the action as I go to investigate a "suspicious sound" from the kitchen. A certain kitten, who shall remain nameless, *cough - Skor - cough* had managed to find my stash of Moonflower seeds. It took me a while to scoop them all up and return them to their containers. Darn kitten! Yesterday I managed only one and a half sessions of massage. Horrible, I know, I know! I am sooo angry at myself. I just can't seem to get into the swing of the routine! I HAVE to get into this routine for the sake of my voice. It would be horrible if not doing my exercises regularly resulted in a relapse of my SD symptoms! ARGHHHHHH!
Monday, December 22, 2008
Occasionally I do post about food on my blog but, for the most part, I am just an ordinary cook who produces pretty plebeian food. My food is not usually blog worthy and I am humbled to read blogs by people who actually create recipes and have well stocked pantries!
Today I am digging an old ham bone (well, it is from Thanksgiving so it isn't that old) out of the freezer and will be attempting to make soup of some sort with it. I have never done this and have absolutely no clue how to really go about it. Right now the bone is simmering in some water on the stove. We will see how it turns out. My soup will probably be a crude recreation of the "Stone Soup" story as I scavenge things from my pantry to add to the mix.
I'll let you know how it works out.
Today I got out in the cold weather (only 26 degrees! I know that isn't cold for some places but for Texas, it is COLD!) and walked. Of course C didn't walk and I actually didn't stop as I walked past her house. Oh well! I guess some people aren't as dedicated as I am. Or maybe she just isn't as nuts as I am!
My weight routine was completed this morning also! I feel so good about that. Now to get to my vocal exercises and massage. Hold on a minute while I do session one . . .
Okay - that is done. Only two more and I will be back on track for the massage and exercises! Wouldn't that be good? Maybe Santa would put me on the "nice" list instead of the "naughty" list then!
Yesterday Hubby and I got busy organizing our bonus room. That room wasn't supposed to be in our house but the attic space was so large that we had a room put up there with a nice dormer. I really like the space and so it is pretty much mine. I have my computer up there and do my podcasts up there. I also have a nice new couch and a tv which works so I am set. My sewing machine is there too for when I feel inspired to sew, sew, sew.
Anyway - I have boxes and boxes of stuff from my teaching career stored up in the bonus room. I had it all stacked neatly in view next to my desk in the dormer but decided it looked a bit too much like a warehouse motif. Hubby suggested that we move the boxes to the area behind the couch where they would be a bit hidden. So - with Hubby sweeping the carpet and me carrying the heavy boxes (it was a bad day for Hubby's back), we got to work. While I was up there this morning doing my weights I realized it looks pretty darn good! Yeah us!
Sorry this post is so darn boring. The muse just left me this morning when I sat at the computer. Hope to do better tomorrow!
Voice Update: Well, other than falling off the wagon, so to speak, with my routine, I am doing pretty well. As expected with not working out my cords, I am missing some of those unvoiced consonants once in a while. I am back on track though!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
When Hubby and I first moved to Texas, it was in September and the temperatures were still in the hundreds. Couple this with our visit to look for apartments in August and I was certain that we were moving to HELL! I had never lived anywhere that the temps were that high. I didn't think I could ever get used it to and I was pretty much right.
Then came the winter. True, Fall sort of flew by in the space of a week or so but winter was WONDERFUL! It was chilly but never really too cold. I think that during that first winter it only got down to around 32 degrees once and then warmed up to a respectable 40 or so for the rest of the "cold spell."
As the years passed I learned to deal with the summer heat by basically staying inside where the air conditioning kept things cool. The winter was when Hubby and I did most of our our doors activities such as gardening and walking the neighborhood. Apparently, everyone had the same idea because the sidewalks would be full of people in the winter and practically bare in the summer (with the exception of those runners who run no matter what the temperature is!).
Most winters I would wear my Fall clothes from Ohio and sometimes I would even wear short sleeves. There were many days when I would wait for Hubby to pick me up from school (we car pooled - he said it was the only way he could be sure that I would come home at a decent time) and sit outside in the sun with no coat on and be fine. This was the life! Or so I thought.
Then came all of the talk about global warming. I was a little worried. I mean, it already hits the hundreds here and if it is getting warmer . . . that doesn't sound good! However, I was pretty confident that the winters would be warm (well, relatively anyway).
This year has been strange!
Our normal winter cold snaps last a week, maybe two, tops. This year it has been COLD for longer than that. Normally the really cold stuff doesn't hit our area until after the first of the year - maybe January or early February. This year the cold started in November and has kept on coming. BRRRRR!
Sunday is the day I allow myself to sleep in (the whole church thing is being discussed by Hubby and myself but is on a hiatus right now). I don't walk and I don't IM with my mother. The pressure to be somewhere by a certain time is pretty much off my shoulders. So - this morning I conned Hubby into feeding the cats at 6:30 and I snuggled into the covers and snoozed blissfully for a few more hours. *Note - the cats had been on top of me since about 5:20 so I was awake but I didn't want to actually get up!
At about 9:00, I woke up, stretched and decided that I had slept enough for the time being. I was getting up to start my day. Hubby was awake and so we decided to look at his handy-dandy weather station to check the temp. That is when I realized it was only 22 degrees! Hubby wanted to find out what the coldest temp had been (and when) so he checked the history function and found that it had been 21 degrees just this morning. The coldest temp of the year! Yikes!
We live in Texas! It isn't supposed to be that cold. I got rid of all my long underwear years ago. My wool sweaters haven't seen the light of day for years!
Something just isn't right around here!
Voice Update: Well, I sort of fell off the wagon yesterday and only did massage once. Somehow I just forgot! I know, I know. That isn't a good excuse and I am pretty upset at myself. I am getting right back on that routine today! Why is it so hard to do routines which are good for you and so easy to fall into bad routines - like watching tv and eating bon-bons?
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Today is the big game! My college, Mount Union College, located in Alliance, Ohio, is playing Wisconsin White Water for the division 3a (I have no idea - is that the REALLY small college division???) football championship. The Alonzo Stagg Bowl. How exciting!
The most exciting thing is that we can actually watch the game on television. Every other game of the season we have had to listen to on the computer. That is right, we listen to it on the radio on the computer. The only radio station that really carries every game is the college radio station WRMU. We can stream it live and let me tell you - it is an experience!
College radio means college students doing everything from the play by play to the news and weather. The students calling the game are pretty good, in my very amateurish opinion. The ones doing the news and weather, however, can be a very different story.
Hubby and I like to pick out "favorites." My recent favorite was a girl who read the weather like she was translating it from ancient Greek. She would get a word or two out and then pause. Another word or two and a pause. Sometimes she would get an entire sentence out. Of course, it made absolutely no sense and she would follow it with an apology and another try but, it was an entire sentence. I felt so sorry for her!
Hubby's favorite is the guy who sounds like he should be in a melodrama. His voice seems more suited for voice overs or infomercials than for the lowly weather and news. You can almost picture this guy twirling his mustache while tying a helpless woman to the railroad tracks.
Back to the game. I can't tell you how excited I am. Well, I can, really. I am more excited than when I "get" to go grocery shopping but less excited than when a new Grey's Anatomy is on. How is that for a gauge?
Last year, my college lost in the championship game and it made me way too nervous to watch through to the end and I had to leave the room. Hopefully, today will be better, both for me and for the team!
Go Purple Raiders!
I am proud to have completed another day of vocal exercises AND another day of walking and weights. C, who told me she was walking "for sure" today, stood me up! Oh well! That just meant that I got to listen to more of my podcasts!
Voice Update: Well, I was thinking I was doing really well and then Hubby came home. For some reason I had a lot of problems talking to him. Was I nervous? Was my voice not used to talking to other humans (I talk to the cats all day long)? Frustrating, especially since I am being good about my exercises and massage! *sigh* Having SD as a dance partner is always unpredictable!
Friday, December 19, 2008
I just finished walking (I stopped by C's house to see where in the world she has been lately - she was making gumbo!) AND doing my weights! That is three days in a row - I think. Or is it two? I am getting so confused! Because of my propensity to lose track of the days (according to Hubby that is what happens when you don't work), I have decided to add a list on my sidebar keeping track of my consecutive days of massage, walking, and weights. Won't that be fun?
To be honest, the walking and weights will just be consecutive while skipping Sunday since I take that day off to rest. The massage though will be seven days a week!
Speaking of massage, I was good yesterday and did all three sessions of massage. Another big "Yeah" for me!
Do you Wii?
Hubby and I do. We got the Wii a while back and have been having fun with it ever since. No, we do not have children but, the Wii is fun for adults as well as for the younger set. Hubby is practically addicted to the bowling. Me, I like to spread my attention around. I do the sports, Mario and Sonic's Olympics, and Mario Galaxy. Maybe I have a short attention span?
Last night Hubby and I got out the Wii right after he got home from work. He wanted to take a nap but the sheets were in the wash so . . . we Wiied. After three games of bowling we went on to a round of golf (nine holes). Then we took a break to eat dinner (stuffed shells from Sam's with cheese bread and green beans) and to watch Hogan's Heroes (Hubby's newest TV obsession). Then we played baseball and tennis. Hubby wasn't too fond of the tennis (probably because I beat him) but sort of like the baseball once he found out that he could throw different pitches which I just could NOT hit.
For those of you who think Wii is a passive game like most video games - you are mistaken! After doing all those sports my arms, already complaining a bit from the morning weight routine, were really letting me know what they thought of me! That is a good thing, right?
Buckeye update: Do you remember the tray of Buckeyes I sent to Hubby's office for the party yesterday (Buckeyes are the peanut butter things)? Well, he came home with a tray which was practically licked clean. He said that the Buckeyes were gone in less than half an hour!
Voice Update: Doing pretty good since my massage is on track. Last night while I couldn't sleep I thought about getting mister timer out and trying to figure out how to set it for four hours to help me remember my three sessions of massage and exercise a day. I will have to get him out and see if he even goes up that high. If not, I guess I could always use the timer on the oven!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
After I make the centers (peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar) I put them in the freezer to facilitate the whole dipping routine. If I don't do this I tend to lose them off the toothpicks into the chocolate and that is just a big mess!
I couldn't quite pull of a picture of me actually dipping the centers since I needed two hands and Hubby wasn't in the mood to help me by taking pictures. Isn't that funny? He didn't feel like helping me and I was making these for HIS party? Ironic!
A slightly fuzzy close up. I love these things. They are so yummy and are addictive! I could have eaten them all up right then. Lucky for Hubby, I controlled myself and only ate the one that fell into the chocolate and didn't have a nice center showing (if you look closely at the fist picture you can see it in the row closest to the front).
This morning I neatly arranged the little balls of peanut buttery goodness on a holiday tray for Hubby to take to work. Isn't it interesting how all that work doesn't look like all that much on a tray?
I did save a few to give to the neighbors and to snack on. How could I resist?
Drip . . . drip . . . drip . . . drip . . . drip . . .
While I had the camera out I took a picture of the truffles I had left from last week. There were only a few of them left but you can get the idea. Some were rolled in cocoa, some in powdered sugar, and some in pecans. They didn't take too nice of a picture because they had spent a few days mingling in the same baggie together.
That is is for cooking and/or candy pictures for the time being.
Hubby and I bought the kitties a new cat tree at Big Lots! last night. It is well made and sturdy. The only problem is that it doesn't have a scratching post tall enough to let Skor really stretch out and scratch. Hubby is thinking of how to amend this to accommodate our kitten.
Both cats really took to the tree right away. Miss Cleo seems to think the little tunnel at the bottom is her own personal hide-out. Skor seems to like the upper apartment better. The only problem is where we have the tree in this picture. Why is that a problem you ask? Let me show you!
The mantel has been one of the only places the little bugger hasn't been able to get onto. When we saw this we knew that we had to move the tree so we moved it back by the window in the background. It is far enough to ensure that Skor doesn't leap onto the mantle but is a bit in the way when we come out of the master bedroom. The door to the bedroom is to the right past the fireplace.
Drip . . . drip . . . drip . . . drip . . . drip . . .
Do you hear that? That dripping sound? No? Listen closely.
Drip . . . drip . . . drip . . . drip . . . drip . . .
Now do you hear it? Yes? What is it? Well, that, ladies and gentlemen, is the sound of water dripping down the downspout right outside my bedroom window. No, it isn't raining. This dripping is from the fog that is enrobing this part of the world. The humidity is at 100% at night and the fog gathers on the roof and condenses and then drips. ALL. NIGHT. LONG.
Last night was the SECOND night of the dripping. Hubby didn't even notice it on the first night until about 5 in the morning. Me - I heard it all night long. ALL NIGHT LONG!
How annoying is it to have that constant drip you might ask? I am about ready to go out and rip the stupid downspout off the house.
Let's just hope it doesn't drip again tonight.
Voice Update: I was good yesterday and managed to get in all of my massage. I even worked the "thumper" for a while. Now let's see if I can do two in a row. My voice is sounding really good with few breaks. It is amazing how much following Susan's advice helps me out!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
A while ago I copied some weight routines (I hesitate to call them weight LIFTING routines as they only use two pound weights) from my copy of the Oprah magazine. They seemed perfect for me. Why? Well, primarily because they promised to only take ten minutes a day!
You probably know by now that I have some problems getting into a routine and sticking with it. Wait - that reminds me to stop and do my massage and exercises. Hold on a minute . . . .
Ooh - my throat is a bit more "crunchy" than it was yesterday. Not good.
Anyway - back to the weights. Oprah Magazine had this article about working out in ten minutes a day and it sounded perfect to me. Now I do walk every morning for about 45 minutes to a hour so this would just supplement and give me some weight work to help with my arm flab. Plus the article had nice pictures showing just what to do. There are three routines which you alternate for a total of 6 days. On the seventh day you rest or do yoga or something else.
I copied the article and put it in my "to do" envelope. And quickly forgot about it. Every once in a while I would think about it again and think that I should get the article out and get to work. After all, I had the weights up in the bonus room. Well, on Monday I actually started! Since it was very, very cold here (yes, I KNOW it gets colder than 25 in other parts of the country but this IS Texas, you know!) I didn't walk but rather spend some quality time huffing and puffing on my elliptical machine. Then I spied those colorful pictures.
Taking a minute to regain my breath from the elliptical, I lovingly put the articles into plastic page protectors so that my sweat wouldn't ruin them. Then I read day one (and four). Hmmmm. I think I can do that! I grabbed my weights and went to town. I felt so good when I finished the entire set (which is only four different exercises)! Then I realized that the article suggests that you do two whole sets of the exercises for your ten minutes.
What? I had barely gotten through the one set in ten minutes! I guess it is something to work up to!
I felt good all day for actually starting that exercise routine. Again - you know me and routines! I didn't do anything yesterday other than walk an abbreviated route in the below freezing weather. No weights. No new routine (and only two sessions of massage!). Nuts!
Well, today it is a bit warmer out (a whole 30 degrees when I started walking!) and I did my walk and then went right up to the bonus room and did day three (and six) of the routine. Yeah! Maybe I am heading in the right direction!
Wish me luck!
On other topics: yesterday I installed a wireless card onto my computer upstairs - which is the "reject" computer from downstairs. This is the computer on which I record and edit all of my podcasts. Up until now I have had to put the podcasts on my jump drive, come downstairs, start up the computer down here, and then load the podcast to the host site. What a pain in the neck!
Yesterday I recorded a short podcast and I put it onto the host site all at the computer upstairs. It was heaven!
Hubby and I went out to eat last night at Boston Market (which, by the way is where we originally met about 12 and a half years ago - not the same exact restaurant - one in Ohio). I got a chicken potpie. This shocked Hubby since I almost always get the meatloaf because he doesn't like it and I don't make it at home. The potpie was hot out of the oven (I saw them bring them out just before I ordered) and was just perfect for a cold night! The meal was surprisingly filling as well. All night I had a pleasant full feeling.
After Boston Market we hit Sam's Club. No, we didn't rob it or anything like that! We just went in and bought stuff we didn't really need. Hubby gets his contacts from Sam's and so we go every once in a while for that and then pick up stuff while we are there. This trip yielded rubber gloves (Hubby uses them when changing the oil in the cars), frozen stuffed shells (very good!), frozen snow crab legs (our "new" item for this trip), ink cartridges for the printer, and a pumpkin cheesecake (my favorite!). What a haul!
The irony of the cheesecake purchase is that Hubby's mother and brother sent us a package from Omaha Steaks which we got yesterday. It included four fillets and a cheesecake. But - it wasn't pumpkin!
As you might know - pumpkin rules!
Voice Update: If you want to hear how things are going, check out my newest podcast. I wasn't too happy with the way I sounded but others say I sound great. I only did two sessions of massage yesterday. For some reason, I guess I thought that thinking of massage at noon would count! WRONG! Still, twice is better than none at all, right?
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
"Oh no, not now, let's look at the moon!" said Rosita.
"Oh, c'mon baby, let's you and I do Weeweechu. I love you and it's the perfect time," Pedro begged.
"But I wanna just hold your hand and watch the moon." replied Rosita.
"Please, corazoncito, just once, do Weeweechu with me."
Rosita looked at Pedro and said, "OK, one time, we'll do Weeweechu."
Pedro grabbed his guitar and they both sang.....
"Weeweechu a Merry Christmas,
Weeweechu a Merry Christmas,
Weeweechu a Merry Christmas,
and a Happy New Year."
And may GOD Bless you all!
**Editor's Note: I got this in my email today and thought that there were some Chihuahua loving folks out there who just might enjoy it as well. Trisha
First up is this oldie but goodie. This book has three "romantic" stories in it and is from my Grandma's stash of books. I went into this one thinking if nothing else, it would be quick since there were three stories.
Boy, was I surprised when the first story Marta in Love reached out and grabbed me and wouldn't let me go until I had finished the entire story! This is a nice, simple story without all of the sex which is such a standard in modern "romantic" stories.
Marta, a so-called spinster who takes care of her ailing mother, accepts a job in a warmer climate (they never really tell you where that climate is) for her mother's health. The job is housekeeper to a single man so she and her mother concoct a story in which Marta is married to a very sick husband. The husband is so sick that he is in a sanatorium - which explains his absence.
Everything seems to be working out perfectly for Marta and her mother until the neighbor girl - who thinks she is engaged to the single man (who just happens to be young and handsome) - starts causing trouble. And when I say trouble, I mean TROUBLE!
Next in the line up is Girl in the Mirror. This story is about a young girl who inherits a rather posh hair salon. Along with the salon she inherits several characters who work there and a young, arrogant lawyer who thinks she should just sell the place and go home.
The girl, Maleah, finds herself drawn into the world of the salon and fights to save it when another interfering woman tries to bring it down.
Finally is No Price on Love. This story is the typical working class girl in conflict with the rich boss-woman. Eileen, the secretary to rich Miss Copeland, struggles with her feelings for a man whom she assumes Miss Copeland has her eye on. I think we all know about assumptions, don't we?
All three of these stories were fun to read and I enjoyed them very much. They were very refreshing in that I didn't have to skim my way through torrid sex scenes just to keep going with the story line. I have another book similar to this one (three "romantic" stories) and I am looking forward to reading it soon! Score one for Grandma!
Next up is a Nora Roberts novel, The Pagan Stone. This is Book three of the Sign of Seven Trilogy and I have been waiting to see it in paperback in Wal*Mart for a LONG time.
As a big fan of Nora Roberts' writing I almost hate to admit that when I started this trilogy (a LONG time ago) I had a hard time getting into it. The books felt almost formulaic to me - three men and three woman with some sort of mystical powers getting together to solve a horrific problem and eventually falling in love. Yes, the books are formulaic but they eventually caught and help my attention.
In this trilogy the three men unwittingly awaken a powerful dark force on their tenth birthday (they are all born on the same day) while becoming blood brothers. Now, every seven years this dark force emerges and terrorizes the little town the men are from for seven days. The men feel responsible and so they try to keep the carnage to a minimum to the best of their ability and they try to fight the dark force.
"The Seven" as they call this dark week is soon approaching and with it comes the feeling that THIS one is the BIG one. The one in which they need to defeat the dark force or be defeated themselves. Of course, the men have no clue how to defeat the thing. So - enter the three women who, of course, have skills complimentary to the men's skills plus additional ones which make them vital to the whole project.
In this third book the last of the men, Gage, and the last of the women, Cybil, are explored a bit more in depth. Both have the gift of foresight - seeing into the future. They use this gift to attempt to see how to defeat the dark force which is becoming both more powerful and more evil as "The Seven" draws near.
While I do think this book (and the others of the trilogy) are pretty formulaic, I found them very readable and enjoyable. In some ways it is nice to know and recognize the pattern the books are going to follow so that you can concentrate on the other things, like the plot differences.
If you are a Nora Roberts fan, read this trilogy. It is fun and classic Nora.
Voice Update: Two days in a row! Whoo-hoo! I have done my massage and exercises for two days in a row now. Can I go for three? I am certainly going to try my darndest! My voice is strong with only a few breaks thrown in to show me that SD is stronger than I am! One of these days I guess I will remember that I have a permanent "dance partner" in my life and will quit ignoring it.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Well, it seems that the last tag that I was given wasn't good enough for the researchers to follow me around as I accomplish my stunningly exciting daily routine so . . . I have been tagged again. At least this time the collar isn't so tight!
Seriously, I have been tagged by Coffee Bean over at The Righteous Buzz for this interesting tag.
First, she gave me this wonderful award:
Thanks Coffee Bean! If only I looked that great and was walking a cat instead of a little pooch. Of course, I don't know that either of my kitties would tolerate the whole leash thing. Maybe if they thought they were walking me . . .
Okay - the next part is to tell you all five things that I am addicted to and/or passionate about. The original was addicted and it morphed to passionate about so I will use whichever works best for me!
1. I am addicted to playing Klondike Solitaire on my iPod. I start because I am bored and then I just can't quit. I am obsessed with winning and, since winning isn't very common, I have to keep playing until I win. And then I want to win AGAIN. *sigh* vicious cycle!
2. Speaking of iPods, I am addicted to my iPod. All of my music is on the device and I love shuffling everything together - you just never know what you will hear next and I find that I appreciate the music more hearing one song from an album at a time. Listening to the entire album is super too (okay, did I date myself by saying album? Should I have said CD? I never know these days!) but you kind of get used to the type of music when you do that. Shuffling continually keeps you a little off center so you are surprised by each new song.
3. Continuing the theme, I am addicted to collecting music. I love all different types of music except, perhaps, heavy metal and death rock. Any time I hear some interesting music I MUST get it. Why? To put onto my iPod, of course! I am also addicted to making music (which I think counts in the same addiction). Playing the piano relaxes me and I also like to collect instruments to play and display in my music room.
4. I am addicted to reading. Some people might think that I am simply passionate about reading but, I am pretty certain that I am addicted. If I don't have a book to read I literally get depressed and cranky. This has gotten to the point that even Hubby will notice and suggest that I go get a new book.
****Wait just a minute while I complete my morning massage routine. I almost forgot! Speaking of massage, I got the "thumper" out last night and really worked my neck and shoulders over (carefully around the neck because you don't want to massage your windpipe and choke yourself!). It felt GOOD!
5. This last one is a passion. I am passionate about spreading the word about Spasmodic Dysphonia. This is such an unknown disorder that I think people need to hear about it. Not being able to speak keeps many SD people from getting out there but I am just nuts enough to speak out even when my voice is bad. Speaking of which - do YOU know about Spasmodic Dysphonia? If not, please head over the the National Spasmodic Dysphonia Association website and read up on the topic. Then, spread the word about SD!
There! I finished my tag. Hopefully, this one will stick for a while! I am supposed to tag five other bloggers but my problem is that I don't want to tag someone who has already been tagged. I am giving it a shot and, if I tag you and you have already been tagged for this post, let me know!
Voice Update: Getting stronger as I get on with my routine. I was a good girl yesterday and did all of my exercises. It is hard to remember though! However, it is worth it! While I still have some missing 'H" words the p's and the troubling c's are back loud and clear.
Now I am to share 5 things that I am passionate about (Angela changed it from addicted to) and then pass it along to 5 other bloggers. However, I am going to answer with the 5 things I am addicted to because... well... I'm just feeling silly. I've given it a good think and decided I should put those things which I absolutely must do each and every day!1. Bathing!2. Moisturizing!3 Brushing my teeth!4. Wearing clean underthings!5. Eating!Bloggers I am passing the award on to:1. Paula2. Laura-Peach3. Chris4. Trisha5. April
Sunday, December 14, 2008
It is Sunday, the day of rest. Which means that I have been resting. Sort of. I got up to take my morning meds and stayed up playing with the cats and checking out the sale circulars. Then I listened to some podcasts on my iPod (love that thing now that it is working well!).
Then, it was time for a nap - just as Hubby was getting up for the day. While I snoozed - after listening to another podcast about classical music - Hubby went to the store to pick up some more Christmas card envelopes so we could finish our annual card chore. Yes, we make our own Christmas cards. They are so much more personal that way. I think Hubby thinks it is a big hassle but since I am the one who actually does most of the work . . . . Hubby does get the stamp and address label duty along with the closing duty.
Of course, I hand address all of the cards. It is fair, right?
As I am typing this the last twelve cards are churning out of the newly inked printer and the end of the card chore is in sight at last! YEAH!
Also, Hubby is working on the office as we are going to move the desk to the other wall in the office. That means moving all kinds of stuff since Hubby doesn't exactly subscribe to the "neat office" tenant. At least I have an excuse for another couple of cards and can sit and blog while he works. Isn't that nice?
Oh - I have to apologize for the lack of pictures of the candy I took to class and to the party. For some reason I totally forgot to take any. I even told myself to take pictures while I was making the truffles but . . .
I still have some left so maybe I will recreate for you!
Oops! The last card is done so I have to get into the "moving" action around here!
Have a happy one!
Voice Update: I was good yesterday with the massage and am being pretty good today so far. My voice is responding nicely making me wonder why in the world I ever neglect my exercises! Silly, silly, silly!
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Do you ever feel just a bit . . . "off center?" A little whacked. A tiny bit nutso? A tad off kilter?
Well, join the club!
Now, I have always admitted that I was far, far from "normal," whatever that might be but, crazy. Not so much. Until recently. These days I think that my "not normal" might be slipping just a bit into the "crazy" realm. I am not too certain just what I think about that.
For example. It must be crazy to make three different kinds of truffles (white chocolate, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate), fudge, and buckeyes (for those of you who don't know this is a peanut butter and chocolate candy) all in one morning to take to class instead of studying for the final. It also must be crazy to sign up for not one, not two, but THREE classes for next semester, each of which has a 20 hour requirement in the lab. That means I will need to spend 60 hours in the lab next semester. No - I can't overlap hours!
So - what do you think? Should I start looking into reservations at the asylum?
***Editor's note: This post in NO WAY is intended to poke fun at the mentally ill. The writer of this blog completely understands that mental illness is a serious problem and is no trying to make light of the plight of many wonderful people.
Last night Hubby and I went to his office Christmas Party. This is the second year that there has actually been a party after a hiatus of several years. Everyone gathers and eats Mexican food catered by On The Border and then we play Bunco. Door prizes are given out periodically during the game and then prizes for winning the most and least games and the most Buncos. Neither Hubby nor myself won anything but we did have fun.
Many people commented on my voice. Last year I attended the party with my faithful companion, Spike the Spokeman (a personal amplification system aka a microphone!) strapped to my arm. This year - no amplification and I could be heard just fine. I think I may have over done the talking and laughing as my throat feels a bit wonky this morning but . . .Wait! I need to massage!
Okay - I am back. Whew! I almost forgot to get in my morning massage! Unfortunately, I did forget yesterday and only got in two sessions - one on the way to the party and one of the way home!
Okay now I am doing my inhale "e" routine. . .
That and the added distraction of a kitten on my lap purring his heart out made me pause for a bit.
Skor is back - I guess he will be co-writing this blog with me today. He keeps licking the keyboard. Interesting. . .
Wait - where was I? Oh, the party. It was fun and I think Hubby enjoyed it too. He never really reveals his feelings about these kinds of things but . . . I think he had fun since we were among the last to leave. I was happy that pretty much all of the candy I took (half of the candy I made to take to class) was gone. I must say that the Buckeyes were the favorite - I don't think they lasted for more than 30 minutes after I arrived!
We didn't get home until about 11:45 last night and then decided to feed the kitties in an attempt to keep them from waking us (that should really be ME) up at 4 in the morning. It meant that we didn't get to bed until about 12:30 but it did work - sort of. I got woken up at about 6. Two more hours than normal!
*sigh* That is life with kitties, I guess!
Voice Update: Well, I already sort of told you. I didn't do my exercises like I should yesterday (and will be flogged later this afternoon) and over did it a bit talking (again - there will be more flogging). I am getting back on the horse (so to speak) today and have already done one session of massage and inhale "e's." I think I will do an extra session or two today to make up for yesterday.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Well - my ASL 2 class is OVER! I am done with ASL 2 and with that teacher and with all of that nonsense! Done, done, done!
You can't tell that I am excited or anything can you?
It was actually a rather pleasant experience. The test wasn't too hard - except for that first sentence in the receptive section. The sentence used a sign for Shakespeare which no one in the class remembered. That means that there were five blank faces staring back at the teacher when she signed that sentence. To her credit, she did try to help us out by giving us a few hints. It didn't work.
After the test four of us hung around and had a little "party." We brought food - SHE brought sandwiches and plates and napkins, etc. It was really nice. One of us (one of the favorites) had to leave right after finishing the test because her cousin was having a baby. The rest of us hung out until everyone was done and then chatted and the teacher even told us what the receptive sentences were.
SHE was surprisingly friendly. (For those of you confused about who SHE is - SHE is a woman who, at the beginning of class, just was nasty to me. SHE mellowed quite a bit during the progression of the semester but . . . .) To my shock, SHE even hugged everyone when they left class for the last time. EVEN ME! Wow!
I guess SHE isn't so bad - just very, very STRANGE!
Next topic -
I would love to "freshen" up my site a bit and need some help/advice. How in the world do you create new headers? What program do you use? How big does it need to be? Help, help, help!
Voice Update: I did it. Yesterday, I kept to my new routine and massaged three times (once in the parking lot of the grocery store) and did the inhale "e" routine three times. This was hard to do because my neck is SORE from Susan's ministrations on Wednesday. It is still sore today but I am determined to keep going with my routine until it is just a habit. Wish me luck and - if I lag - kick me in the rear!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Here is Skor in his self-imposed "kitty jail." He jumped into the hamper and the lid closed. He couldn't figure out how to get out. Doesn't he look peeved?
And yet - do you think he will learn from this? I doubt it!
On to Speech. Well, I had an appointment yesterday for the first time in about a month (due to the holiday, etc.). Let me just say that Susan was NOT happy with my voice. Like I have been saying - it isn't doing really well. I have been having a lot of breaks, etc. Well, I got a good tongue lashing about how my recovery has been miraculous but that I can't just rest on my laurels (not exactly her words) now. I need to keep up a routine to make sure that my voice is at its best and so it doesn't backslide.
The thing that Susan really emphasized was the massage. When my larynx gets tight it makes talking harder and that just snowballs into "bad voice."
Of course, I KNOW all of this. I KNOW it but I procrastinate and don't DO it!
Well, I have been properly chastised and now I am determined to get myself on a good routine of massage and exercises three times a day (at least) with the "thumper" massager at least three times a week.
Hopefully, that will improve the state of things and keep my voice at its best.
Tonight is the last part of my ASL final. This is the written test covering history and grammar rules as well as the receptive part where the teacher signs things and we have to write down what she says. Doesn't that sound like fun?
Several of you have mentioned you would like to see me tell a story in ASL - I might get up the gumption to actually record something for you.
Voice Update: It is better - I did some major massage yesterday with Susan and then I also did a session at home myself. On to the routine!!!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I am back! For those of you who noticed that I didn't blog for a couple days . . .I am still alive. It was just some computer issues that Hubby and I had to take care of. For those of you who didn't notice . . .thanks a lot!
Here is the story in a nutshell. On Saturday, Hubby was streaming the Mount Union College football game when the computer just started acting nuts. He kept getting kicked out of the internet. For a couple of days he messed around trying to fix the problem himself. On Monday Hubby finally broke down and called the computer people who took over the computer and fixed it. On Tuesday morning, I wasn't sure if it was finished being fixed or not so I didn't blog. Today - I know it is fixed so, here I am!
Last night was the expressive part of my ASL final exam. That means that I "got" to tell a story to the teacher (and class) to be graded. I did pretty well - everyone in the class except for HER understood the story and laughed at all the right places. Of course, SHE didn't even try to understand my story so . . .nuts to her. The whole class was interesting considering that we had to evacuate the building twice due to fire alarms and the fact that it was literally freezing outside! Luckily, our class is small and we didn't have to actually do our test while the alarms were still going off (they went off for about 45 minutes the first time). Some classes were taking written finals and had to take them during the noise and chaos!
My friend "T" from class called me afterwards to tell me that she thought my story was the best of the class. Of course, I didn't get the best grade in the class - we only knew the grades that the two of us got but she got much better than I did. Typical for the teacher. I knew going in that there was no way that I was going to do really well. I will probably end up with an A in the class but . . . what a hassle it has been! At least Thursday is the last day. I think I might even study a little bit today for the test.
Last night while I was trying to fall asleep I thought it would be a good idea for the ASL department to publish vodcasts (podcasts with video) for the ASL students to be able to access at home for additional practice. In my dreamy state I even thought it might be a good job for me - editing the video and getting it online. Of course, I doubt that they have money to pay me and the college probably has tech people who could/would do the editing, etc. I still think it would be a good idea.
Then I thought that I should be getting busy on a new podcast of my own. I thought of a good title - "Can You Hear Me Now?" I think it will be a review of the info about the amplified phone and the microphone for people who may have missed it. I still need to get in touch with the doctor who gave the lecture at the NSDA symposium to see if I can use the recording I made on a podcast. I should probably do that today!
Later this afternoon I have speech - the first time in about a month. It should be interesting. My throat is not too loose and I am still having some "skips" in my voice. I don't think Susan will be too happy with me. Oh well!
I am sure that there are other things I wanted to "talk" to you about when I couldn't blog but . . . I can't think of anything else at the moment. I hope everyone is doing well and I will be trying to catch up a bit on my blog reading.
Voice Update: I already told you I had speech today. I have been having problems with the unvoiced "p, h, and c's" and my throat has been awful tight. I am sure that Susan will "beat me up" by massaging my throat today. I wonder if I will be sore all week. Maybe I will get my thumper massager out and try to loosen things up a bit before I go.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
For the past several mornings it has been at or below freezing here in Texas. While it is a bit early for this kind of cold weather here, I have actually been grateful for it. Well, I thought I would be grateful.
You see, I am fighting the Allergy Wars down here! In Ohio, where I was born and raised, I never, ever, had allergies. Here. It is a totally different story and I am not adjusting well. I HATE, HATE, HATE allergies! They are mean and nasty and I could definitely live without them.
Luckily, I am not like my poor Hubby who has really bad allergies for which he needs to take medicine and stuff. No, my allergies are more sneaky and annoying. I get a little tickle in my throat a couple times a year which won't go away no matter what I try. Then, I get a few sessions of sneezes. And by sneezes I mean the HUGE, no holds barred sneezes which make you think I am going to sneeze my brain out through my nose. Those come up about four times a year. And then there is the eye thing . . . .
I have been getting these nasty little headaches right behind my eyes. Not behind both at once - it takes turns behind each eye. They are not the Knock-you-out migraines that I get - just little aches which remind you constantly that they are there. Now, I thought that the headaches were due to my needing glasses so I went to the eye doctor and got my eyes checked. She told me that I didn't need glasses yet and that the probable cause for my headaches was ALLERGIES! Eye allergies!
Most people I know who have eye allergies tell me that their eyes get itchy and sort of burn. My eyes never itch or burn. They just feel very, very tired. The eye doctor told me that there were several options to deal with eye allergies. First, I could take prescription eye drops. I would need to use then every day even if my eyes were fine. That didn't sound too fun to me. Next, I could try over-the-counter eye allergy drops. That sounded a bit better. Finally, I could try just moisturizing drops to flush out my eyes when they feel bad. Bingo! I decided to try to least daunting and, if I had to, work my way up the chain.
So . . . for the past several months I have had a bottle of eye drops hanging out in my purse and stuff. When my eyes feel tired I flush out my eyes. It is sort of neat because it makes me look like I am crying with the drops rolling down my cheeks.
Anyway - my eyes have been fine for several months and then about a month ago - the little headaches began again. Darn those things! I am determined that I will conquer these things. I have been flushing my eyes and making sure to use nose spray when I get a bit stuffy (just to make sure the headaches aren't sinus related). My strategy seems to be working. However, I need to flush my eyes out several times a day and usually when I am driving home from ASL lab. Not a problem. Just do it at the stop lights. WRONG! Yesterday I really needed eye drops and EVERY SINGLE LIGHT I GOT TO WAS GREEN! Yikes!
What does all of this have to do with the weather? Well, the cold, cold weather is supposed to STOP all of the allergens, right? I don't think it is doing its job this year because my headaches are happening during the cold snap! *Sigh* I guess I will just have to keep fighting the Allergy Wars.
Does anyone have good ways (without prescriptions) to fight allergy eyes?
Voice Update: It is doing well. I need to get some neck and shoulder massage going - the allergy war really makes me tense and that isn't too good for my voice!
Friday, December 5, 2008
Well, after taking a little break from reading for my parents' visit and the Thanksgiving cooking, I got back to it while I wasn't feeling too well. Personally, I can't think of anything more relaxing than reading a good book when you aren't feeling well - okay, next to sleeping that is!
Here is my most recent read: City Woman by Patricia Scanlan.
This is a thick book - 653 pages - but I still felt like I didn't want it to end. Always a good sign!
There are three main characters in this book, Maggie, Carolyn, and Devlin. They all live in Ireland and each have very unique stories to tell yet they are the best of friends. Maggie is married and has three adorable children. She is at the start of a promising writing career and dealing with a husband who is less than supportive. Carolyn is a recovering alcoholic who is married to a man who is hiding his true sexuality from the world and from his overbearing mother. Devlin is a successful business woman who owns an upscale spa and gym and who is dealing with a painful tragedy.
What else could you ask for in a book? What is that? A love interest or two, you say? Well, this book has that as well. Maggie is tempted by another writer who shows her support when her husband doesn't. Carolyn starts to explore the possibility of other relationships as she distances herself from her husband. Devlin's main squeeze, Luke, is a partner in her business and wants to be much, much more.
Throw in a few exotic locales like Abu Dhabi and this book is a great read. It helped that my parents lived in the middle east for several years and that I knew about the different middle eastern locales through them. I felt familiar with the places mentioned in the book.
If you are looking for a good book which you can savor - this is it. The stories of the three woman are told individually but are so intertwined that you feel as if they are told as one story instead of three. Reading about these woman makes you appreciate your women friends as well as that special someone in your life (sorry men - I guess it will make you appreciate your special someone also as well as her friends!).
City Woman is a good read!
Voice Update: Doing okay. Not back to peak performance yet but not too bad.