Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Re-education of Skor

Hi All!

You may remember that my adorable little kitten, Skor, has been waking me up WAY too early in the morning with his whole snuggling, kneading (with claws) routine. Well, I decided that I wasn't going to put up with it any more.

I talked to Hubby about the entire situation and as he is a bit ambivalent about trying to re-educate Skor, I decided to leave him on his own and to take charge of myself.

Last night, or should I say this morning, Skor entered the bedroom in his usual M.O. He popped onto the bed and, after a few testing "meows" to see if I was awake, began the routine. He snuggled and cuddled and I let him. However, the moment the claws came out and headed towards the face - I pushed him away roughly. When he persisted - it was out of the bed.

It took two cycles of snuggling, cuddling, kneading to the face, and being dropped out of bed before he seemed to get it. The third time Skor jumped on the bed - sniffed my ear (talk about a weird sensation!) and then moved over to knead Hubby's shoulder. A few minutes later, Skor returned to me and laid down next to me purring away. There was no kneading with claws. Just a lovely, purring kitten.

I am not sure if this will work but, I am determined to try!

Wish me luck!


Voice Update: Doing well but my neck is a bit crunchy and sore right now. No clue why!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Care Pages

Hi All!

Do you know about Care Pages? I just found out about them today when my friend with Cancer let me know about her blog there. Apparently, Care Pages is a blog host for people with serious health problems (like cancer!). There are also links to find hints and tips from others with the same kind of problem and support for you and your family. It is really interesting.

Currently, I am reading about my friend's journey with cancer. Apparently, it all starting in February when, at a regular checkup, the doctor found the mass in her abdomen. That lead to many appointments with doctors and surgery. And then a second surgery when another tumor was found.

My friend and her husband take turns blogging. He blogs when she is unable and then she takes over when she is feeling better. It is an intimate and touching picture of their lives dealing with cancer.

Whoever thought up Care Pages is amazing. Such a great place to put feelings into words and to find support.

Please continue to pray for my friend and her family as they continue their journey.

I will leave you with another of my sunset pictures. Hubby says I am turning into a sunset "junky!" I can't get enough!

Have a super weekend!


Voice Update: Still doing well.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Blog Block and Cancer Sniffers

Hi All!

Remember just a few days ago when I said that I had a lot of things to post about and would have to choose one to share each day? Remember that? Well . . . I have apparently lost all memory of those many things. I can't think of anything to post today!

I have blog block!

I know! I will try to retrace my thoughts. When was I thinking about the blog last? Right before I fell asleep. I was in bed pondering the story line of The English Patient which I had just finished reading. Then I was thinking about my blog . . .but WHAT was I thinking?

Rats! It isn't coming to me!

I did remember that I can do a book review soon, I also have pictures to load onto the computer and share with you. I can also tell you that Skor was very good last night - he only came in and started his "nuzzling" routine at about six in the morning.

Wait . . . it is coming to me! I remember!

On one of the podcasts that I listen to, I recently heard about animals that can sense illnesses - epilepsy seizures, diabetes, cancer, etc. There was one anecdote about a woman whose dog kept licking and nuzzling a mole on her arm. She went to get it checked out and it turned out to be melanoma!

There was also a story about Oscar the cat who "senses" when people in the nursing home are about to die. He curls up on their bed to keep them company until the end.

The research which has been done on this topic points to the superior sense of smell that most animals have. It is thought that dogs and cats can smell cancer and other illnesses and can be trained to alert people to these problems.

So . . . I was thinking . . . do you think Skor is nuzzling my throat because he can smell that something is wrong with it?

An odd thing to think about!


Voice Update: My throat is a bit sore from Susan but my voice is still doing very well. I am a bit "down" on the whole SD advocacy thing though. I have been for a while (since my last rant) but, I am sure I will get back "up" again soon!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I Really Am Not Liking Skor Today!

Hi All!

I am tired. Very, very tired. This is due partly because Hubby decided to stay awake watching television until well past 11:30 P.M. It is also partly (and mainly) due to my kitty, Skor.

What could Skor have to do with me being tired? Well, let me tell you!

This morning at about five in the morning, well before my alarm was set to go off, I got a fuzzy visitor in my bed. Skor hopped up and began to literally try to burrow through my neck.

The burrowing is something that Skor has always done and, normally, it can be very cute. He likes to get his head in the hollow between my neck and shoulder and then he nestles there purring and kneading my shoulder (or neck or face or whatever). Normally, a good thing.

This morning . . . not a good thing. He was particularly violent in his burrowing and his usually gently kneading was very hard and involved claws. Despite all of my efforts to keep his paws out of my face, he was bound and determined to have his paws there. Skor's efforts were go vigorous that even Hubby - who sleeps like a rock - woke up and tried to distract Skor from his obvious mission.

Let me just say that I am not too happy about my early wake up call!

Sometimes, when Hubby forgets to fill the food bowls before going to bed, Skor wakes me up (gently) to let me know that he is hungry. This is normally when Miss Cleo also joins in the fun or sits in the doorway watching. They are a good team.

This morning - the bowls had plenty of food.

I don't know what was up with Skor but . . .. I am not liking him too much today.


Voice Update: Speech yesterday. Susan was surprised that my voice was doing so well after my cold and the stress of finals, etc. Also, my throat was a bit crunchy but not too bad at all! We did some tests on pitch and breath support, etc. on the computer and saw that my voice is really improved from even three months ago. Yeah! Of course, we both understand that there is no guarantee that my voice will stay like this forever but for the next few weeks . . . I think I am good to go!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My Sky and Please Pray

Hi All!

Today I am going to show you some shots I took during a walk with Hubby. This was at about sunset and a storm was whipping up in the area. The combination made some very interesting cloud formations.

I like the way that the sun peeked through the clouds in this shot.

How in the world do clouds get into these formations?

Sometimes I like to play around with framing shots with trees. What do you think?

The sky reflected in the pond was very pretty too!

It just makes me feel so small . . .

I can look at these and take a deep breath and let things go . . .
Now for something a bit more serious.
One of my college room mates just friended me on Facebook. We have kept in touch - sort of - through Christmas cards and stuff like that. The occasional letter back and forth. She is a wonderful person with a husband and two sons.
I was quite shocked to find out today - when she replied to my general inquiry as to how she was doing - that she has cancer. Apparently, she has a rare soft tissue cancer called leiomyosarcoma which had spread to tumors on her liver. She has had surgery and the original mass and the tumors on her liver have been removed but since it had already spread, the doctors are really worried about recurrence.
After she recovers from the surgeries (she had two) she will probably get radiation and other cancer treatment.
Please pray for her and her family. She is such a special person going through such a difficult time. She is my age - 40.
Voice Update: I head to speech today so we will see what Susan says about how things are going after my cold and the stress of finals and all of that good stuff. I think I am doing pretty well overall.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Birthday Celebration/Girls' Day Out

Hi All!

Last Saturday a bunch of girls (technically women) got together for a luncheon and movie to celebrate my birthday and Tricia's birthday - which are two days apart. We went to Mimi's Cafe and had a great lunch. Of course, most of the time we just chatted and had a good time. I took along my trusty purse camera and got these shots.

The cafe gave Tricia and I complimentary chocolate mouse cake. Yummy!

I got to blow my candle out - Tricia's mysteriously went out before she got the chance. Beth kept telling her that she DID blow out the candle - she just didn't remember. Yeah, right!

Doesn't this look good? Sarah is trying to hide in the background!

Beth whipped out her own purse camera to take a picture of me taking a picture of her!

Tricia and Stephanie had fun on their side of the U-shaped booth. Tricia says she takes horrible pictures - I think this one is pretty darn good!

This is the entire bunch. Don't we look like fun gals?
After lunch we headed to the movie - with the exception of Stephanie who had to head home so she could make it to a friend's wedding on time. We missed her!
We saw Night at the Museum: Smithsonian of whatever it is really called. It was good - of course, Beth and I kept pointing out all of the impracticalities throughout the movie - quietly so we didn't bother others. Finally we decided that movies called upon the audience to have a willing suspension of disbelief. It was fun.
There is nothing like having friends! Hopefully, we will do this again this summer!
Voice Update: Doing pretty well. Skor helped me out last night by massaging my throat. Of course, his claws got in the way once in a while so I have a little scratch at the base of my throat. So hard to find good massage therapists these days!

Monday, May 25, 2009

So Much to Say . . .

Hi All!

Normally, I have some problems trying to think of what to say in my blog. Today . . . I have too much to say and not enough space to say it in. Oh well! I guess I will start and then save some for future posts.

I think I will start with this.

You remember that I said I had an easy open coconut, right? Well, here is the scoop.

The first step was to piece the "softest of the eyes" and drain the liquid. Finding which was the softest eye was interesting but . . . I did it.

The "water" drained really slowly out of the coconut. I just kept shaking and shaking . . . I tasted it because I have seen people drink it from coconuts on those travel shows.
Not my cup of tea!
The next step was to "tap along the grove to open and get to flesh."

This was my first attempt. Failed! Next, I tried several things which I didn't end up taking pictures of due to my rising frustration.
I tried a regular screwdriver - hitting it with my hand. Nothing.
Next, I moved on to a larger flat head screwdriver and a hammer. It took a while but that did the trick - after a lot of pounding which scared both cats into hiding!
I finally cracked open the coconut (again - no pictures! Sorry!)! Victory! I tried some of the coconut.
Now, I don't know if the kind that comes in the package from the store is sweetened or what but this stuff . . . not too palatable in my opinion.
Not wanting to waste coconut I put the two halves in the fridge where they are still lurking. What do I do with it now???
Happy Memorial Day!
Voice Update: Doing well. That is all I am saying today.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

My Friday Adventures

Hi All!

It is Saturday and I am feeling pretty refreshed after over-sleeping! Yes, I overslept and didn't get in my morning walk! Luckily, Hubby and I took a walk last night after dinner so I sort of made up for missing this morning proactively!

Here is a look at what has been going on at my house lately . . .

I saw this at the grocery and just had to try it. I have seen them before but never actually had the guts to buy one. This week . . . I decided to go for it!

Does it look like this has a little face on it? I like the way coconuts look. So hairy and cute. If you look really hard you can see a ring around the coconut towards the bottom. That is a score line which is supposed to make the coconut easy to open. We will see about that!
Skor has found a new favorite place to hang out.

I had to cut the handles so he didn't get stuck in them. When he first tried to get in the bag, he got his head through the handle and then couldn't get out. He was a little panicky but let me unhook him. Then I got out the scissors.

Yesterday I went to Wal Mart and just strolled around looking. I found these cuties on sale for only one dollar! Needless to say, I snatched them right up. Who can pass up cheapy shoes which are cute AND colorful? I also snagged a pair of red ones for my mother. Gee - now I have to get them in the mail to her!

Tomorrow (or Monday) I will continue the coconut saga (is it REALLY easy open??) and fill you in on more Wal Mart happenings. As for today - I will tell you that I made homemade spaghetti sauce . . .it wasn't too bad but I still need to work on a good recipe!


Voice Update: Doing well. My throat is a bit gunky (the last of the gunk from the cold - I HOPE!) and crunchy but getting better.

Friday, May 22, 2009

This and That

Hi All!

This morning it was a little warm for my morning walk. 71 degrees with virtually no wind. It really makes me think about what is to come in the Texas summer! Sweating if good for me, right?

My clematis - one of the two plants I have - is blooming. In fact there are multiple blooms at one. Sadly, the white clematis is not too showy against the white fence. oh well! I still enjoy the blooms!

Imagine my surprise when I saw this. A duck egg in my cactus! Can you say "ouch?"

Later Hubby told me that he had found the egg in the yard and put it in the cactus. He was thoughtful when I told him that the ducks certainly wouldn't sit on it in there.
I really like yellow flowers in summer - so bright and cheery. Here is my close-up version of my own lovely yellow blooms.

On other topics. . . last night I dug my knitting bag out of the closet. I needed something to do while watching tv with Hubby and didn't feel like reading (besides, Hubby was hogging the side of the couch with the good reading light). Now, I am far from being an experienced knitter. I have done several projects but am still still a strictly amateur at the craft. However, there is something soothing in knitting. The feel of the yarn and the needles in your hands.
We will see how my project goes. I am infamous for starting things and then not following through to the end.
Voice Update: Pretty good. Still have a crunchy throat but the massage is helping.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

My Walk

Hi All!

After my little SD rant last night, I feel better. It is frustrating to have to constantly explain that I DO have SD and why my voice sounds "so good." I guess I should take it as a compliment - I have worked very hard to get my voice sounding this good and the fact that most people can't tell that I have SD is a good thing. Right?


Oh well! Onto a new topic.

My new purse camera and I went walking this morning. Here are some of the sights. Oddly, there wasn't a lot to take pictures of - normally I see about a million things I want to photograph but not today.

Here is a duck which hangs out at the same place pretty much every day. I love him/her for the different coloring.

It is a Mallard Duck from what I can tell but the back is pretty much all white. Beautiful! Of course, he/she didn't want me to come too close. I respect duck privacy!

I was fascinated by my shadow while I walked. My legs alternated between looking like tree trunks and tiny little sticks depending on how the sun was hitting them.

Calla lilies always remind me of funerals - even though I have never seen any at funerals.
Anyway, these Calla Lilies are pink and beautiful.

This is a "new" flowerbed that has been planted by the HOA. I like the look of it with the empty spaces between the plants. I want my front flowerbeds to look sort of like this. See the yellow flowers in the front of the picture? I have made it my mission to "dead head" those flowers so that they keep blooming for as long as possible.

A man stopped and watched me dead head. He sort of made me nervous. I wonder if he thought I was picking the flowers. Now that would be odd to see!
That brings me to the end of my walk pictures for today. I love my little camera!
Voice Update: Doing well but I really don't want to talk about it today. I am working on the crunchies.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I DO have SD, I DO!

Hi All!

Excuse me for a moment, I need to vent and that is what a blog is for, right????

Okay, how crazy is it that I am feeling bad that people can't tell that I have SD? I mean, when I had absolutely no voice for about a year, I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY wanted my voice back. Now I have about 95 - 96% of my voice back and I get a bit "miffed" when people in the SD community react negatively to me being involved because they don't believe I have SD. Crazy, right?

Part of it is that I feel strongly about advocating for people with SD. Helping them learn to deal with the disorder. Helping others understand the disorder. Spreading awareness. Seeming to not have the disorder makes me look suspicious to some people. Like a fraud.

I finally find something that I can throw myself into 100% and now I am being looked at with suspicion?

Come on! I just want to help others who have to go through the same voice issues that I had to go through. I know what it is like. I KNOW! I have BEEN THERE and definitely DONE THAT! If you don't believe me, check out my early podcasts. And THOSE were made when my voice was much better than when I first went to speech therapy! MUCH better!

Just because, through some miracle of fate, I managed to get my voice back, does that mean that I should just give up on my self-appointed mission to spread the word about SD? Should I just pretend that everything is "normal?" That I never had to deal with SD? That I never learned what it is? Should I?

Constantly having to tell others that I DO in fact has SD (no, it isn't only muscle tension - IT IS ABSD!) is getting wearing. Maybe it would be better for everyone if I just bowed out gracefully (yeah, like I am graceful at anything!) and just stayed silent and happy with my voice.

If my voice ever gets bad again, then maybe I will be more accepted but - I really don't want THAT to happen, do I?

So very frustrating!



Bookmark Mania

Hi All!

Hubby says that I am "really getting into this stuff." He means making bookmarks. I have been making a lot of bookmarks lately. I made the batch to give away to my ASL classmates and now I have another batch all made up and ready for someone. I don't know who . . .

Anyway, I enjoy beading these things and they keep me busy. Now, if only I knew what to do with them.

Here is a review of some of the latest.

This one has three little strands of beads at the bottom. I like this design and made another almost the same - different beads, of course!

I think this one is destined to remain in my permanent collection - after all, it has my initial on it! I really like the combo of the green beads and the silver.

To honor Hubby's Alma mater, I made an Ohio State bookmark. For those of you who don't recognize the brown thing on the end . . . it is a real buckeye. The nut from the Buckeye tree - the state tree of Ohio. Ohio State's teams are the Buckeyes and their mascot is Brutus Buckeye. I love Brutus!
How was the tour? Now, if you would just tell me what to do with the bookmarks!
Voice Update: Doing well. My neck is a bit crunchy but nothing I didn't expect from the week of coughing, sneezing, etc. I am missing a bit on words starting with "c" but not so much that people who didn't know would notice. Lori, the co-leader of the support group with me, did notice when I talked to her on the phone but, she knows my voice pretty well!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hi All!

I had planned to show you some more photos from my new camera but . . . blogger isn't cooperating so . . . maybe tomorrow!

Yesterday was a good day. Trying to get back into a routine after classes and my killer cold - which, happily, is almost gone from my life. The morning walk is back on the schedule and going well. So far this week the mornings have been cool which makes it really nice to walk. So far, the weights and Wii are waiting to be put back into the morning line-up but, they will!

Happily, I managed to read a lot (sooo much better than plunking myself in front of the tv - this way my brain has to work!) and play the piano. The piano is something I have been neglecting for a while since I had classwork to do. Now I am getting back into it. Skor - who you may remember likes to climb IN the piano- has taken to sitting either on the bench next to me or right under the bench while I play. Last night he even got on the piano and tried to get in it while I was playing. I am pretty sure that he got his paw smacked with one of the hammers.

I don't think he will try that again!

Hey! I got a picture! No - I got two. Hold on . . . I am going to try for a few more . . . Okay. I got three pictures and I am not going to press my luck for going with more. Here are the selections for today.

Hubby and I walked on the golf course and I got some interesting sun-set pictures.

It was bit dark so . . .not the best but I like it. Also, if I had Photoshop I am sure I could work with this a bit.

Next up is a picture of the Heron we saw strolling along the little creek. I tried to get closer but . . . when I got too close (just right for a good picture) the Heron flew away. Can you blame it?

Final shot of the day - another sunset. I like the orange sky in this shot.

Those are today's pictures from my birthday camera! Hope you enjoyed!


Voice Update: Doing okay. I really need to step up my program though. Getting into a new routine and including my old ones is a bit tough.

Monday, May 18, 2009

My Birthday Present

Hi All!

Thank you for all of the birthday wishes. It was nice to hear from so many of my blogging friends! My birthday was very nice. I didn't do too much but had time to relax, read, play the piano, and make some bookmarks.
Hubby gave me a nice present.

My very own "purse camera!" AND it is pink - my favorite color! I am so excited.

Isn't it pretty? I like the reflection in the desk (!!) too!

It has a nice big screen to view things through and a handy strap to keep me from dropping it into weird places.
The camera has all kinds of fun settings to explore - which I promptly did much to Hubby's amusement. I skipped all over the house and took all kinds of weird pictures to test things out.
This photo is using the "up close" setting. I think it worked pretty well.

This is another close up of a paperweight .

I moved on to odd "still life" scenes. Like this . . .

Of course my kitties were fair game during the testing process.

Skor was being so cute peeking through the rungs on his favorite place to nap - one of our bar stools - but I just couldn't get a good picture. This one is close!

I caught Miss Cleo in a rather awkward pose but . . . I think it works for her!
There are many, many other pictures just waiting to "thrill you" on my blog but . . . I think that is enough for now. Blogger and I are not playing nice when it comes to moving pictures today!
Happy Monday!
Voice Update: I still have a surprising amount of "gunk" in my throat which makes my voice sound a bit hoarse once in a while but . . . my voice isn't doing too badly. I was having problems with words starting with "c" yesterday for some reason. It is always something!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

It's My Birthday . . .

Hi All!

Well, it is my birthday! I turn the quite impressive 4-0 today and you know what? I don't mind in the slightest!

Many people have problems with growing older. They feel like they are missing something with the number of candles on their cake. They think that since they are not young and "hip" anymore, their life is becoming meaningless.

Well, I don't know if I was ever "hip" even when I was young. I also think my life is becoming more and more meaningful as I age. Let's face it - when we are young we don't know the important things that we discover as we live. We don't know that the important things in life aren't the things that we pay for but rather, the things which happen along the way. We don't know that material things, while wonderful, don't make the difference, relationships make the difference. We don't know that grey hair is a mark of wisdom, not just age.

I am glad it is my birthday. I am also glad that I am getting older. Are there things that I thought I would have accomplished by now which I haven't? Of course. But, there are so many more things that I never imagined doing which I have done and done well.

My life is a good one!


Voice Update: Still struggling with "gunk" in my throat but still doing pretty well. I think most of the hoarseness is behind me and most of the coughing is as well.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Let There Be Flashes of Light?

Hi All!

Sometimes I start thinking about the many things in this world and this life that we take for granted. We have many things our ancestors lived without. Dishwashers, garbage disposals, microwaves. Things we take for granted until . . .

Until the microwave suddenly decides to act up like mine did.

While my parents and my uncle were here, I was preparing dinner and decided to "nuke" some leftover corn. About three seconds into the heating cycle the microwave lit up with a bright white light and made some seriously scary sounds. I stopped it right away.

What in the world was going on? Did I put something metal in the microwave? I took the corn out and checked even though I knew there was no metal in the corn. I tried to heat the corn again and everything was fine. Weird.

Two days ago I decided to make myself some microwave caramel corn. If you haven't tried this stuff, it is wonderful! It is difficult to find but worth the hunt, in my opinion. While it isn't as good as the "real" caramel corn my Aunt Donna makes, it is good for those times you want a quick fix!

Anyway, I was bopping around (well, bopping as much as a person with a head cold can bop!) and put the bag of popcorn in the microwave and hit the "popcorn" button. Then I headed out to the living room to catch some of the show I was watching. My kitchen and living room are open to each other so I had a good view of the microwave from the couch.

Not more than ten seconds had passed before the microwave lit up like the fourth of July. I hustled back to the kitchen and opened the door stopping the cooking. Smoke trailed out the open door and there was a distinct odor of burned something in the air.

It wasn't the popcorn - it was barely warm and nothing had popped.

I checked out the inside of the microwave and found the source of the smoke and the smell. There is a little circle of what looks like cardboard in the top panel of the microwave. There are two little metal clips which come through the bottom of the cardboard circle and one of them is obviously a trouble maker since the cardboard around it is scorched and black.

How could metal which is designed as part of the darn microwave cause a problem?

I guess it doesn't matter since I am now without the use of the microwave until Hubby either figures out how to replace that part of until we get a new microwave.

Doing without a microwave, which I didn't think I used that much, is certainly making me appreciate all of the modern conveniences I have left!


Voice Update: I am still a bit froggy and scratchy from the cold but my neck is surprisingly loose. Must be because I am done with finals! I am now finding that my throat is really, really dry all the time. I think it is because I am sleeping with my mouth open since I can't breathe through my nose!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

It Cures What Ails You

Hi All!

Well, my folks and my uncle are safely back in Ohio after their visit, Hubby is off to work, the thunder is rumbling outside, and I am feeling a teeny, tiny bit better.

Yesterday, I used that wonder of wonders that seems to cure just about everything . . . sleep. I decided to take a nap right after my parents and uncle left and ended up sleeping for about 5 hours. I woke up feeling much better. Thirsty but much better!

When I got up I watched a Nora Roberts movie which I had recorded from Lifetime - Northern Lights (I think). It was fun. I then realized that there are at least four other Nora Roberts movies that I can watch. I see my plans for the rest of the week! Of course, that will have to be after I am done with my LONG naps.

I am bound and determined that this darn cold will be out of here as soon as possible and sleep seems to be the best medicine right now. Skor doesn't like for me to take long naps and wakes me up about every hour - I like to think he does it to make sure I am still alive but . . . who knows what is going on in his little head!

Speaking of Skor - his neck is still not better. Well, let me clarify. The growth seems to be smaller but it is not going away. I suppose that means I will be calling the vet soon and taking Skor back in for another "look see!" Pets can be such fun!

Ah! The thunder is rumbling and crackling away outside. I love that sound! My mom thought I was nuts a while ago when we were at a dollar store and I bought a CD of thunderstorms. She didn't understand why I would want to hear a thunderstorm. They are my relaxation tapes. Much, much better than almost anything else I have found.

Well, I guess that is about it for my boring post of the day. I think/hope things will pick up when I am finally rid of this cold.


Voice Update: I didn't end up going to speech yesterday because I wasn't feeling well. I decided that if I was falling asleep while talking to my parents it might not be a good idea for me to drive 30 minutes on Texas highways to go to speech. Besides . . . I was in dire need of sleep! My voice is sounding hoarse and deeper due to the cold. I am doing my massage and things are remarkably loose for the moment. Weird.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I'm Done, I'm Done, I'm Done!

Hi All!

I didn't get a chance to blog yesterday because . . . well, a number of things.

First of all, I had finals! Yikes! Add to that the fact that I had (and still have) a "nice" cold. Then stir in a healthy helping of house guests and a dash of doctor's appointment and . .. you have my day!

Chronologically, I started the day off by waking up with a doozy of a cold - you know the kind that clogs up your nose, stuffs up your head, and oozes constantly down your throat causing a cough that just won't go away? Doesn't that sound like fun? Let's just say it didn't put me in the best of moods. Then again, the source of my "less than pleasant" mood could have been that I wasn't able to sleep much the night before. I think the total was about 3 1/2 hours.

So . . . I wasn't too happy. It was nice to talk to my parents and my uncle though as I waited to leave for my doctor's appointment which I thought was a noon.


My appointment was for eleven! I showed up at noon! Oops! The cold obviously wasn't letting me think too clearly (perfect for Finals day, right?). The doctor agreed to see me anyway (she is SOOOO wonderful!) and I got out of there at about 1:15. Because I was having blood work done, I was fasting (another possible reason I was grumpy!) and so I needed to get some lunch before my final - at 2:00!

Luckily, my doctor's office is only about 20 minutes from the college so, I whipped through Wendy's drive-thru (Why do they insist on spelling things wrong? No wonder kids can't spell!) to pick up a burger and a Frosty (as a reward for the doctor and because I have a cold!). Then I got to school, prayed that I would find a close parking spot, thanked God that I found a spot in the front row, rushed into the building, and scarfed down my lunch.

Sound like fun yet?

Anyway, I am done with my finals. I didn't do as well as I should have because, let's be honest, the cold wasn't doing me any favors in the thinking department. I do know that I passed everything though!

My traditional saying for this time of the school semester is "I'm done, I'm done, I'm done!"

Today, my cold is still here and still making my life oh so much fun. I have speech today which will be interesting with my cold. I am thinking of canceling and going back to sleep after my parents and uncle leave. We will see how it goes.

Last night I had just fallen asleep when I woke up feeling like I was drowning from everything draining down my throat. I put on a spectacular coughing exhibition which my audience of two cats seemed to really enjoy. Hubby . . . he just kept sleeping! Once I was done, I went back to sleep. About an hour later, I woke up and coughed once. Not too loudly. And Hubby . . . woke up worried that I wasn't doing okay. Go figure!

This morning I got up and walked with Mom even though I got really out of breath. Darn it! Normally I can walk forever but this darn cold!

Oh well!


Voice Update: Doing as well as can be expected with this darn cold!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Weekend Happenings

Hi All!

Sorry I didn't get any posts up this weekend. I was busy studying for my finals which are on Tuesday. I also did a few other things.

On Saturday, Hubby and I went to see the musical Rent.

Apparently, Hubby and I have been living under a rock for the past million years because we seemed to be the only two people in the audience who hadn't seen Rent before. We also seemed to be the only people who hadn't memorized all of the songs as well as all of the entrances for the actors.

Hubby and I had no clue why people were literally screaming seconds before certain actors walked onto the stage for the first time. We also didn't know which lyrics were being covered up by wild applause and cheering during certain songs in the show.

Is it just us? Do you all know Rent by heart?

Anyway, the musical was enjoyable. The sound was a little too loud at times, especially when two people were singing a duet, and it made it nearly impossible to actually hear what was being sung. The actors all had amazing voices which made the solos particularly enjoyable. The ensemble work blended well but it seemed like the women were out sung and they were a bit hard to hear when everyone got going.

The setting was simple - one set with movable tables and chairs to depict different places. This really let you focus on the story and the actors. The costumes were nice even though they were pretty pedestrian. The character of Angel, a drag queen, certainly brightened up the place with his/her bright costumes which included a Santa outfit with zebra striped tights and high heels.

Over all, this was a good show to see. Three of the cast were originators of their roles on Broadway (which might be why people were so darn excited to see them walk on stage) and one was an American Idol contestant who dropped out of AI to perform on this tour.

Definitely worth seeing if it shows up in your city.

My only real gripe - the soundtrack was selling for $36 and that was a bit out of my price range. I am looking on eBay and found one for just over $11. Maybe when I get it I will have a chance to listen to the songs a bit more closely to figure out just what was said during the cheering.

Next, I spent an evening making these.

I scanned these so the picture quality isn't too hot but . . . they are book thongs. You know, bookmarks! I plan on giving some to my ASL class buddies tomorrow. I think they turned out really well and . . . as an added bonus, I got to make them while watching Grey's Anatomy! Yeah!

I hope you had a fabulous weekend and a great Monday. It is raining here! Lovely!


Voice Update: Well . . . it is a bit rocky right now. Why? Well, I had a very, very annoying "tickle" in my throat starting on Friday which is slowly turning into a nice, full blown cold (just in time for finals!). Anyway, the tickle REALLY made me want to cough to get rid of it. Coughing, in case you don't know, isn't very good for your vocal cords. So - I resisted as much as possible but . . . eventually, the tickle won out and I started coughing. And coughing. And coughing. Fun. Today my voice is very deep and hoarse from the coughing and the "gunk" which is draining down the back of my throat. Darn cold!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Finally Friday

Hi All!

It is Friday! Yeah! Boo! Which is it?

I am glad that it is Friday since it means I am just that much closer to being done with classes. Then I will have time to do other things - like grocery shop, read books, make bookmarks, etc.

I am really unhappy that it is Friday since it means that I am just that much closer to being done with classes. Then I won't see the friends I have made in the past several months. I won't be learning new things. I won't be practicing my sign language.


All I know is that Friday is here, good or bad!


Voice Update: Still doing well. I am massaging and exercising but, after my finals, I will have more time to do more of that!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Baby, Look at Me Now!

Hi All!

Do you remember the cactus that my mother sent to me in the mail? Three little pieces of sad looking cactus all the way from Ohio. I was so proud when I took this picture of it - it had grown!

Well, look at that "poor little cactus" now!
It is blooming!

There are two flowers right now but there are probably six or seven more buds just getting ready to pop!

I think they are absolutely enchanting! What do you think?

Go, cactus, go!

My parents and my uncle are here visiting from Ohio. Hubby and I picked them up from the airport and went to Babe's to eat. This is a local chicken place which serves stuff family style. The food was good and the atmosphere was fun. There was music and the setting was rustic. The waitress was wonderfully helpful and friendly. I think we all had a great time.
I did feel bad for the waitresses though when they had to do the "Hokey Pokey."
This morning we headed to the local Wal Mart which has a Budget rental car franchise in it so that Dad could rent a car for their trek up north to Oklahoma. Right now, Dad is out in the driveway washing the car that was just washed because it looked horrible. I took a look at the thing and he is right - they did a horrific job washing that car. It certainly wouldn't have passed my quality control test!

Today is my last day of "regular" classes. Next Tuesday is Finals! Yikes! I am starting to get a little nervous!


Voice Update: Doing well and going strong. Massage, massage, massage, ta, ta, ta, da, da, da, ta, da, ta, da. Those are my exercises . . .

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Nugatory and Prescient

Hi All!

As I deal with all of the little stresses in my life, I have picked up a book to read - of course. This one is more of a non-fiction read about the founders of the United States. It is very informative and interesting reading but . . . I just wonder about the vocabulary sometimes.

Nugatory and prescient appear within a paragraph of each other. Say what? Do YOU know what these words mean????

Now, many people have said that I am fairly intelligent but I have no clue. Okay, to be honest, I DID have a clue about prescient but wasn't sure about its meaning. I dug out my good old electronic dictionary (present from Hubby for Christmas!) and looked up the words.

Nugatory: inconsequential, worthless

Prescient: showing foreknowledge of events

Hmmmmm. Cool words - especially nugatory. I mean, say it out loud. It is fun to say! What a good way to tell that annoying person at work just what you think of him/her. "You are just nugatory!"

Okay - my point. I love finding new words since I am sort of a geek that way but . . . do these people just write big words to prove how smart they are? Honestly, how many people are going to look up the meanings? Do the authors assume that the people reading the book will know what these words mean? Do most people already know what the words mean and I am just FAR behind the curve?

Just something to think about. Oh - by the way, the word nugatory was used in a 1790 statement from the state of Virginia regarding the choice of the site on the Potomac River for the new national Capital. Maybe people were just smarter back then!

Update time! My parents and my uncle are arriving this evening to visit the Texas/Oklahoma branches of the family tree. My niece has a dance recital this weekend and of course Grandma and Grandpa HAVE to be there!

I still have some cleaning to do around the house before the arrival of the parents. Doesn't that sound like fun? I also plan on going to the Deaf Action Center for a visit and then hitting Kohl's to see if I can use some Kohl's Cash which expires today. Maybe I will find some neat shoes!

Finals are racing towards me . . . Hopefully I will be ready for them! Last night at classes I had to leave early due to some stomach "issues." My last class of the day was cancelled so that was good but I had to leave early from my second class because my stomach sounded like it was going to explode. Actually, it sort of felt like it might too!

I got home just in time to head to the bathroom where I was ensconced for most of the evening. Fun, fun! I am feeling better today but think I may limit my food intake a bit until I am absolutely sure!

Life is just so full of interesting things, isn't it?


Voice Update: Still doing pretty well. I did some covert massage during ASL presentations but need to do a bunch more since my neck and shoulders are a bit tense right now.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Long Distance Wishing

Hi All!

Remember the last time my parents came to visit? Mom bought these shoes.

Well, lately, I have been thinking that these would be nice to have for myself. Of course, I haven't gone out to look for them but . . . maybe soon! Maybe tomorrow while I wait for my parents and my uncle to come visit.

These shoes would look perfect with my dress slacks and skirts for the summer.

At the time I couldn't think of why I would need them. Now . . .

Isn't that always the way it goes?


Voice Update: Still doing well. I am getting a bit of "tension" in my neck and upper back as we head towards finals time but I hope to get Hubby to give me some back rubs and I plan on "hitting the ball" to stretch things out. My new exercises for speech . . . well, they are going okay but not as well as they should be. I am going to have to get on that!

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Monday Mess

Hi All!

Has the swine flu hit where you live? In my neck of the woods, major school districts are shutting down ALL of their schools for a week or more. Tens of thousands (or maybe even hundreds of thousands) of school children are "at home" being told not to congregate for fear that they might pass on the flu.

Now, the media has been telling all kinds of different stories about this flu "epidemic" around here but, from what I can tell, only one person has died in the United States and somewhere around 100-200 in Mexico (actually, I thought the number was much smaller but my neighbor heard the larger number so . . .). It is hard to know what exactly is going on.

There are a couple questions about this whole thing rambling in my mind. First, doesn't the "regular" flu kill at least that many every year? It seems to me that every year people are told that they need to get the flu shot to prevent death - from the "regular" flu. So . . . if this Swine Flu has killed fewer people . . . .

Second, the schools are closing so that the kiddos aren't congregating in large groups. However, you know darn well that all of the parents can't just stop working to stay home with the kids (true, some older kids can stay home by themselves but the younger ones need supervision!). They are looking for somewhere for the kids to go. Where is the most logical place? Day Care centers - where groups of kids are put together. Doesn't that sort of defeat the whole purpose?

And . .. what if the parents can't afford a Day Care or what if all the Day Care Centers close (many have for the same reason as the school districts). Then what? Leave the young kids at home? Miss work and risk losing your job all together? Have a neighbor watch them (again with the congregating)? Is it just me or is there a problem here?

Maybe the entire state should just shut down for a week or so. No one should leave their houses. They can stay inside and watch the new digital tv that might one day be the "norm." They can rent movies from one of those places that mail them to you - oh wait. Getting the mail could be a problem if you can't go outside. Hmmmm.

What a mess! Luckily, we are hearing that the outbreak is on the decline in Mexico so it should be on the decline here as well.

On to other topics . . .

It has been rainy here. And I do mean RAINY! We got another 3 inches of rain or so on Saturday which, when added to the rain from Wednesday, added up to more than 5 inches. There is rain in the forecast again for this week - I think. My poor strawberries need some sun to ripen before they rot!

Skor is getting better . . . I think. The growth on his neck seems to be getting smaller even though it is still pretty darn big. I get to talk to the vet again today to see what we need to do. The antibiotics are almost gone - hopefully, I won't have to get more and can stop the whole "antibiotic dance" Skor and I have been doing twice a day for a week now. The tooth issue seems to be doing well but it could be because of the antibiotics and the steroid shot. I have a feeling we will be going to see the vet again just to be sure. Fun, fun!

I am reading the final chapters in my Deaf Culture book. It is a good feeling to be almost done with the ENTIRE book! Yeah! I don't have any more reading to do for any of my classes but now the studying will start. I promised a girl from my ASL class - also named Tricia by the way (but she spells her name wrong!) - I would study with her. Apparently, she thinks that if she studies with me she will do better on her final than she did on her mid-term. I didn't have the heart to tell her that I don't really study too much. Maybe I will do really, really well on the final since I am going to study!

Okay - I am off to work on something related to school. I am trying very, very hard to remain positive. So far it is working. Sort of.


Voice Update: Doing pretty well. My neck is still loose but I need to really keep up the massage. I am feeling a bit "down" about the whole SD thing - imagine that! I don't want to have anything to do with it. Bah!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

A New Day Dawns . . .

Hi All!

Yesterday's post was cathartic. After I wrote it I took a short nap and then headed to the ASL lab to watch the last required video of the semester and to chat with the lab assistants - one of my favorite things to do.

When I got home I felt lighter. Are there still things bothering me that I can't change - of course. Do I still have some feelings of negativity hidden in the dark corners of my soul - sure do! Is the need to wallow in negativity still around - nope!

Writing about wanting to be negative seems to have vented all that need leaving a lighter feeling in its place. No longer do I want to violently hit something until I can't hit any more. Now, I just think about the things I can't change and sort of shrug. Life goes on.

Speaking of which . . . it is the weekend! YEAH! I plan on being a lazy slug this weekend with a little studying thrown in for good measure. I plan to enjoy the slightly nutty flavor of multi grain Tostitos and the refreshing slide of ice cold water as it is swallowed. I plan to read and listen to music and to spend time with my husband. I plan to recharge so that I can face the negative with a more positive point of view in the coming weeks.

On Thursday, in Deaf Culture class, we started watching the movie "Mr. Holland's Opus." This is a movie I have never seen before and one I really have wanted to see. We watched about an hour and 45 minutes of the movie and, so far, it is really good. I can't wait until Tuesday when we will finish watching it!

Nothing else too exciting going on here - other than my change from negativity to positivity!

Hope you have a nice, restful, wonderful weekend!


Voice Update: Still doing really well. I was massaging as the computer was booting and it is only VERY SLIGHTLY crunchy. Such an improvement. It is amazing how much of a difference it makes in talking when my throat is loose. I don't have to work so hard to talk! Before I got SD I never even imagined it would ever be an effort to talk (okay, maybe when I had a sore throat).

Friday, May 1, 2009

Nestled in Negativity

Hi All!

For all of those who believe that when I momentarily sink into negativity that I am complaining . . . stop reading RIGHT NOW and come back tomorrow. This post is going to be negative.

Fair warning.

All of my life I have been taught that I should rise above negativity in my life. When bad things happen, I should look at the positive side and try to make the proverbial lemonade out of life's "lemons." Putting a smile on my face was the way I should face negative events in my life and I should just "suck it up" and "move past it."

Generally, with a tiny bit of wallowing once in a while, I have managed to do all of these things. Despite my apparent negativity at a SD support group meeting, almost everyone who knows me struggles to think of times when I have been negative. I honestly try to deal with negativity by looking for the proverbial silver lining.

I have looked at negative people and tried to find the good in them. People who have tried to spread their negativity onto me have been viewed with a forgiving eye.

But . . .

Every once in a while - like now - I feel like taking in the negativity and holding it close letting it fester and grow for a while. I want to be negative and to look at the world in a non-Pollyanna way. I want to react with major passive aggression or just plain aggression. I want to get in the face of the negativity and out negative it. I want to tell negative people just how I really feel about their attitude and behavior. I want to punch people who tell me to "suck it up." I want to scream and cry and hit things. Maybe even throw an item or two.

I want to be negative. I want to be consumed by the feeling instead of trying to fight it back with positive thoughts.

I want to say whatever I want without thinking about how it will impact people who hear it. I want to tell the honest, brutal truth to people instead of either avoiding the comment or trying to find a way to "soften the blow." I want to tell people how they are inconsiderate and messing up my life!

I want to nestle in my negativity.

Is that wrong?


Voice Update: Things are good. My neck is still sore from the massage Susan gave me on Wednesday. I did a bunch of massage yesterday while watching a movie in Deaf Culture class. It was a bit painful but I did it!