Saturday, July 31, 2010

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner!

Hi All!

Lately, dinners around my house have NOT been inspired at all! It seems like pulling teeth to decide on what to make. I think it might be because of the heat. I don't really want to have the oven on or work over the stove when it is 100 degrees outside. I would prefer to grill stuff but Hubby bulks at being outside when it is so hot - "Slaving over a hot grill!"

So . . . . my meals haven't been inspired! In fact, last night it was a mish-mash that I threw together at the last minute. Veggies, a cream sauce flavored with veggie cream cheese, shrimp, and pasta. It was okay - not one of Hubby's favorites though. He DID eat it, however, which is amazing progress from when we were first married and he wouldn't eat anything I made without a recipe!

Anyway- since my mind has been on food - I thought I would share some food related photos.

First - while preparing to eat dinner the other day (stuffed chicken breast, baked potato and salad) Skor just had to check out the fixin's!

He is actually very good about not trying to get any of the food but he does like to get as much of a smell as possible!

On Thursday I basically "railroaded" Hubby into having dinner at a pub he likes because they have his favorite beer - Old Speckled Hen - on tap.

This is a shot of our half-finished appetizer. It is called "Irish Nachos" and consists of cubed sweet potatoes covered with cheese and LOTS of bacon. It is served with spicy ranch sauce as well as regular ranch.
It was very good even though I was wondering if the Irish grow sweet potatoes.

Next up - the main courses. I ordered Guinness beef stew and this is it.

The bread bowl was very good but the veggies were cold (I ended up putting them in the stew to warm them a bit) and the stew was "Okay." Such a shame.

This is Hubby's standard meal when he goes to this pub - or any other pub - fish and chips.
Even though this picture is slightly out of focus - I think his meal looks more appetizing than mine did. It was probably tastier too . . .
Well - that is my trip down food alley for today.
Overall - not too bad for a dinner out which I didn't have to cook!
I hope you have some great meals this weekend!
Voice Update: Doing well. A few minor hesitations are hanging around but nothing major.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Hats, Hats, Hats!

Hi All!

I am all done walking/swimming for the morning and thinking about heading out for the day's activities. However, before I do that, I thought I would show you my hat collection.

Since I seem to be "sentenced" to wearing hats for sun protections, I have decided to pick up some fun ones. The best ones are the ones with big brims.

This one was actually picked up in Ohio on the way home from Hubby's mom's house. I had to have it because it is pink! It isn't the best for sun protection but it does have a pretty nice bill on it for those short trips out and about.

This is a hold-over from my teaching days. It was my first playground duty hat. It is very light weight and nice.

Here is my second "playground hat" and I must admit that I like it much better than the first one. It is made of denim and I think I look pretty nice in it. (Of course, you must forgive the lack of makeup and the dark circles and the second and third chins that taking the picture myself brings into focus!)
As evidenced by the tag, this is my most recent purchase. This is the hat that I am currently wearing while walking. The broad brim is perfect and the "straw" (which upon reading the tag I learned is really recycled paper!!) makes the hat ventilated.
I am thinking that I might just have to continue "collecting" hats if I am going to be wearing them all the time. I would like one which is a bit "fancier" to wear to church (not inside but on the way to and from).
Poor Hubby isn't too sure about my hats yet. He isn't too happy with change and the hats are throwing him a bit! He finally told me that it wasn't that I looked bad in hats, it was just that he wasn't used to seeing me in hats!
Personally, I like the hats. What do you think?
Voice Update: Doing a bit better. The hesitations are going away. Last night I read out loud for an hour but did it from the new Diana Gabaldon book I am reading instead of the Bible - just for a change of pace. And maybe because I was too lazy to get up and get the Bible when I already had this book in my hands!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ahhh. . . Swimming!

Hi All!

My walk/swim this morning was refreshing. When I set out it looked like it was going to be a hotter day with the sun blazing away but . . . during my swim (in the cool water) the clouds moved in to cover the sun. My walk home was nice and cool!

Here is my fractious drying rack. It is wet because I just finished "watering" the rack to keep it from falling apart. So far, the daily watering is keeping the rack together.

Yesterday was a good day. I finished blogging and IMing and then showered and headed out on my mini-mission to find a new hat. I headed to Wally World and found diddly.

Then I went to Cato Fashions. Again. Diddly!

However, I stopped at Quizno's for lunch - a tuna melt bullet and some broccoli cheese soup. After that I went next door again to a new frozen yogurt place for some "harvest peach" yogurt with carob chips. It was yummy!

As a last ditch effort to find a hat, I went to Target. I checked out all of the accessories but found nothing that I wanted. They had cute caps but nothing with a wider brim to protect me from the sun. I was disappointed but decided to wander around the store a bit.

I looked at clothes and books and CDs and then hit the gardening section. There, lo and behold, was the perfect straw hat! It was the last one they had and I snatched it up right away!

While wandering I also found a big plastic bowl (on sale) and a couple of new spatulas in bright colors. One of the spatulas (bright green) is actually double sided - one end is a large spatula and the other a small spatula. It is neat and so I snatched it up too!

When I got home I played a bit with the kitties and read a little bit before taking a short nap.

It was a good day!


Voice Update: Still a little "hitch" in my voice but I am working on it. Next week I head back to speech for another appointment (my how time flies)so Susan can tell me what I am doing wrong.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Finally - Pictures!

Hi All!

Finally! I have got some pictures to show you! I almost didn't but, I got myself outside after my walk and took some just for you!

This is a weird shot of the bloom on a plant which is supposed to be lavender - however, it is a different kind of lavender than I had before. I like the flowers . . .

My Coreopsis is struggling in its pot. I think it might not have enough room with the ivy and the other stuff (I forgot its name). Then again - the Coreopsis that the association planted in its flowerbeds didn't come back this year - aren't they supposed to be perennials??

The Blanket Flower in the front bed is blooming its heart out. Of course, that means that I "get" to deadhead pretty much every single day!

This is such a pretty, delicate flower. I forget what the bush is called but it looks very similar to the Butterfly Plant I have in the back flowerbed.
Well, that is the tour for this morning. What do you think?
Yesterday, I worked at the speech therapists' office. It was fun but the regular person will be back today and I am looking forward to just messing around. I enjoy the challenge of the work - having to multitask. However, I can live without that particular kind of challenge. It doesn't take that much thought!
One of the therapists did ask if I was interested in doing some typing for her from my house. I said - "Sure!" I mean, I can type pretty quickly and it is an easy way to make some extra money!
How much do people make for typing anyway? I have no idea how much to ask for!
Oh well - I have some time to investigate that!
My morning walk/swim was very nice this morning. The walk to the pool was a bit sweaty but the water was nice and refreshing and by the time we left, it had clouded up and there was a nice breeze! Lovely.
It is amazing to me that while swimming I can actually think of nothing. I have never been able to do that before but, while swimming it is possible. Yes, I have to think about moving my arms and legs and breathing but that is it. Nothing else creeps in to bother me. I don't ponder things. I just . . . .swim. How nice and relaxing!
When I finish my laps (26 today!) I do some push-ups and triceps lifts in the pool (easier that way - trust me!) and then I float. I just float. This lets me relax and I usually pray during my floating. This is the perfect way to start a day!
Last night I was tired when I got home from "work." I made dinner and then could hardly move to do anything. I did read a little but found that even that was tiring! So - I picked up my handy iPod and listened to some podcasts - you know how addicted to them I am! I listened to the first chapter of an Audio book called Shadowmagic by John Lenahan. It was short but it certainly caught my attention! Now I am downloading the entire book.
The first chapter involved a young man and his father. Apparently, the father is an expert in ancient languages and actually SPEAKS them! His son, having grown up with this practice, can also speak the languages. Both father and son are at home getting ready for the day when they open the door to a pair on horseback. The father immediately tries to attack the woman (but ends up hitting the man who falls off his horse and disappears). Did I mention that the visitors are in full battle armour?
Somehow, the father and son are captured and when waking up from a brief spell of unconsciousness induced by the capturers, find themselves chained to a wall in a dungeon.
Strange? Yep.
A bit "out there?" Sure.
Interesting? You bet!
I will be following this story on my iPod and I will let you know if the rest of the story is as intriguing as the first chapter!
Voice Update: Having a few hesitations that are not making me happy. I guess I need to step up my game - so to speak!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Still No Pictures!

Hi All!

Yes, I know that I promised to start taking more pictures and I am going to . . . starting today!

I got a call last night just as Hubby and I finished up dinner - it was from Holly, one of the speech therapists I used to work for. As you know, I subbed at the office for a couple days last week. Well - apparently the new person's husband isn't doing too well yet (he had surgery last week) so she isn't going to be in today. Holly asked if I would come in.

Being the soft-hearted person I am, I said "Sure!" So - I will be headed to work here in just a bit. Of course, now I am starting to wonder if I am going to be "sucked in" just like I was a year ago. If you remember, that started out as subbing also and turned into a steady job for nine months! This time I am going to be much more cautious!

While I am typing this post I am also downloading some free tunes from Did you know that on their MP3 page there is a whole bunch of free songs and albums? Many of them are very good. Of course, many are genres that I don't really care that much for (I saw a heavy metal sampler on there and that is NOT going on my iPod!). It is fun to browse the music and listen to the samples they provide. You can also read reviews that other people leave. This is how I got most of my "current" music.

I mean, I am not exactly in the "current" scene to learn about music that way!

While those songs are downloading I am listening to a song from the musical, "Bombay Dreams." How is that for multi-tasking?

Walking/swimming this morning was wonderful! It was a cool 74 degrees when I woke up and the sky was cloudy so the sun didn't burst through and make things hot. A cool breeze was blowing the entire time I was walking and the pool water was nice a refreshing. You can't ask for more!

Today marked the 33rd day I have swum this summer. My, how time flies by when you are having fun.

That is all of my excitement for today. I am feeling a bit bad about how boring my blog is but then again - my life is just as boring so . . . . that is what you get!

Have a super day!


Voice Update: Doing okay - I noticed that I was having some trouble this morning while walking and talking to my neighbor (who was walking/swimming with me!). I think that is due to the whole morning thing and the fact that I wasn't "warmed up" yet. Last night I read out loud for the first time in a while. I finished up the proverbs and am more than halfway through Ecclesiastes. Which, if you didn't know, is all about Solomon saying how meaningless life is. Not the most cheerful book I have read so far!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Where Are the Pictures?!?

Hi All!

Well, I finally finished Day of Confession by Allan Folsom. It was a VERY good book. In fact, I had to stay up on Saturday night until almost midnight because I was so close to finishing that I didn't want to stop until I was finished!

I don't want to give away any more of the plot than I have already in previous posts but I will say this - if you find this book . . . . READ IT!

Now I am reading 8 Sandpiper Way by Debbie Macomber - a sure winner.

The sun poisoning rash is still hanging around but it isn't getting any worse so . . .that is good. I did some more research on the subject and found out that sun poisoning is basically just bad sunburn. Of course, when it reaches sun poisoning level it starts getting a little dangerous. Sun poisoning is normally accompanied by other physical symptoms besides the rash - things like headache, dizziness, nausea, fever, etc.

Thinking back to my Ohio trip - I probably actually got the sun poisoning while riding the four-wheeler at the farm and it took a few days for things to work out. That was Wednesday and on Sunday I didn't feel well at all and the rash showed up. Hmmmmm. I don't know if we will ever know!

Oh well!

Have you noticed the lack of pictures on my blog lately?

For some reason I haven't felt like taking pictures. I think it is because my life has seemed pretty "tame" lately and not very picture worthy. It makes for a rather dry blog, doesn't it?

I guess I am going to have to work on getting some pictures for this place - to liven things up a bit.

Until then. . . sorry!


Voice Update: Still doing really well!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Return of the Rash?

Hi All!

Do you remember this "lovely" rash?

Well, it seems like this rash is coming back.
This is a nice, sun poisoning rash - a pretty severe sun poisoning rash as it turned out. I was given a lotion and some pills to "take care" of the rash. The medicine worked well and the rash retreated.
Well, mostly. The bumps and the itchiness retreated but the redness pretty much stayed. That wasn't too surprising since my skin tends to have deal with things through hyper-pigmentation.
If I have a "blemish" I have a reddish spot at the blemish site long after the actual blemish is healed. So - the redness in the rash area . . . not too concerning.
However, in the past couple of days I have noticed that tiny little red bumps have started to show up among the redness. This has me concerned - major time!
I am starting to feel like the sun is my arch nemesis and I just can't get away from it - especially since I live in such a sunny state! This is beginning to get me down! Already I am wearing broad-brimmed hats whenever I go outside even if it is just to walk from the car to a store or vice-versa.
I am feeling a bit frustrated with this entire thing. I will be calling the Doc first thing on Monday to see what he has to say about it. I really don't like dealing with doctors!
On to more "happy" things.
My "new" book that I am reading - Day of Confession by Allan Folsom - is REALLY good so far. It is all about a conspiracy at the Vatican. There is murder. There is a man hunt - actually two. There is intrigue. There is false identity. Exciting!
The basic plot is that a young American priest, Daniel Addison, works at the Vatican. He has a brother, Harry Addison, who is a high-power lawyer in Hollywood. The brothers haven't spoken in over eight years but, suddenly, Daniel leaves a message on Harry's machine asking for help. Harry attempts to contact his brother but can't. Then he gets word that his brother has been killed in a bus bombing and heads off to Italy to bring the body "home" for burial.
As soon as he steps onto Italian soil the trouble starts. Police intercept him at the airport and he finds out that not only do they believe that his brother assassinated a Cardinal but, they think that HE helped his brother!
At the funeral home, Harry looks at his brother's remains and makes the startling discovery that they are NOT in fact his brother! Now even more trouble starts. Now people are looking for Daniel and believe that Harry knows where he is.
Harry is kidnapped, tortured, and then shot and left for dead only to be nursed back to health by a band of gypsies and a disabled dwarf named Hercules.
Where will this story go? I am completely hooked!
Voice Update: Doing well. I talked and talked and talked to Hubby yesterday - pretty amazing considering how quiet he normally is!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Whew! What a Day!

Hi All!

Well - Thursday is officially over . . . FINALLY!

Let me tell you - it was quite a day! First, I swam and walked. That was a good thing. I felt good about exercising and I felt HOT! I managed to cool off a bit while watering my gardens - since I was already in a swimsuit, I figured a little water from the hose wouldn't kill me. It felt WONDERFUL!

Since I have started swimming I found that I needed something to hold my towel and shorts, etc. to dry after I got home. At first I was just draping them over the bathtub in my bathroom. However, that didn't work because they didn't dry by the next morning when I wanted to wear them again. Not good. So I started thinking of alternatives.

Finally I decided that I would buy one of those drying racks with the dowels that fold up accordion style when you don't need them (okay - not the best description but . . . do you know what I mean?). Off to Wally World I trotted and purchased my very own high quality drying rack. For about four dollars!

Once I got the thing home and assembled it with the help of a hammer - those dowels certainly didn't want to go into the little holes they were supposed to go into - I had a lovely drying rack. I took it out to the patio and thought that it was going to solve all my problems.

I was almost right.

The towel and clothes dried beautifully on the rack. They smelled like fresh air and were warmed by the hot, hot Texas sun. Perfect.

Sort of.

After about a week or so I noticed that the rack was getting a little wobbly. Then dowels started dropping out of it if you moved the contraption even an inch. Trying to put the dowels back in was an exercise that only led to OTHER dowels falling out. A never ending task!

The sun which warmed my towels and clothes had also sucked every last drop of moisture from the wood of the drying rack dowels causing them to shrink and drop out of the rack. What a dilemma.

Well, I solved the problem by removing all of the dowels and soaking their ends in a pitcher of water over night. They absorbed a bunch of water and swelled right up. Yes, they swelled up so much that I couldn't get them into the proper hole without using a hammer!

After a little pounding the rack was once more functional and I decided that it would get watered each morning just like my pots on the patio. So far it works like a dream!

That was what I did in the morning - before blogging and getting ready for work.

Work was . . . well . . . it was. As I said before, it is interesting to go back to a place I used to work - and which I basically organized - and see the changes. The new person is certainly not as organized as I was and that was a bit frustrating for me. Tasks which took me ten minutes when I worked there suddenly took me an hour to complete! Information I needed wasn't where it should have been and finding it took forever. It was a little frustrating.

Plus, the therapists were giving me work to do that the current person doesn't do too well so that it would get done. To help the current person "catch up." That meant a lot of work! Instead of getting out of there at 4:30 - I didn't get out of there until closer to six! Then there was the long, traffic filled drive home.

I was planning on picking Hubby up at the airport at around 8:00 yesterday evening. So - getting home at about 7:00 meant that I was squeezed for time. As I drove the last few miles home I was working out a tight schedule in my head.
Spend time with my cats.
Go next door and check on the cats I am cat-sitting.
Get the mail for us and the neighbors.
Change clothes.
Find something for dinner.
Jump in the car and head to the airport.

As I rushed in the door to the house, the phone was ringing. It was Hubby telling me that his flight was delayed - by FOUR hours! Even though I felt relief at having more time to do what I needed to do - I was also not too happy about heading to the airport at eleven o'clock at night! Such is life!

It turned out that Hubby didn't make it into the airport until about 11:45 or so and then we had a half hour drive home. It was a late night!

Between the morning construction job, the seemingly endless time at "work" and the long wait and airport pick-up the day seemed to last forever!

Today I am tired from the start. I overslept and didn't do the walk/swim thing and now I am just struggling to get myself going (Hubby is still snoozing away in the bedroom. He took today off rather than try to work with only four hours of sleep!)!

Wish me luck!


Voice Update: Between the talking to clients and therapists at work and reading some of my current good book out loud to the kitties I got more than an hour of speaking in yesterday. Things sound good even though I did notice that a couple times during the day my voice got "stressed." That was usually when I was trying to do something and was having trouble and then had to talk to a client or something. Not fun!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

Hi All!

I just got a comment from someone answering Chris about a comment she made about my new car. Chris had said that she liked the color and this person said that while the car is nice, the color is not too attractive! Well! Way to diss my new car! AND a backhanded slap at me - the person who specifically picked out that particular color and waited to get the car in that color! Nice!

Normally, comments like that don't irritate me but . .. come on! The commenter said the car looked better in silver - which I think is BORING - but - why didn't he/she just say that the car looked good in silver too? Why diss my color choice? I mean, come on!

Anyway - I am going to take a deep breath and forget it!

Now - I am happy to say that I finally finished the book I was reading - the one with 500 pages and the one which was taking me a while to get through. In the end, the book was good but it took a lot of reading to get to the good parts! I will tell you more about it soon.

Now I am on to a new book - whose title I can't remember (and I am too lazy at the moment to walk out to the kitchen to look!) but so far it is very good. It is about a man who is an entertainment lawyer in Hollywood and who is contacted by his long-estranged brother who is a priest in Rome. Before the brothers can get into contact, the priest is killed in a bus bombing incident.

Soon, the lawyer is on his way to Italy to claim the body and return it to the states for burial. Unfortunately, once on Italian soil, he is identified as a possible co-conspirator with his now dead brother to kill the Pope. What????

This is getting good. I can't wait to read some more and find out what happens!

Yesterday was a nice day for me. I finished my book, took a nap, watched some TV, went to the store for some fruit and just relaxed. I had to get ready for another day (today) of working and trying to figure out what in the world is going on in the mind of the new person who works there. *sigh* Oh well! I guess it is something different to do!

Hubby returns tonight from his conference and while I am excited to see him . . . it means the end of my "alone time" which comes so rarely these days! Yes, I am alone pretty much all day but it is different to be alone all night as well. I can sprawl all over the bed and hog the covers all I want. There isn't anyone snoring next to me who occasionally turns over and smacks me in the face! I have both cats to myself while watching TV - the both come and want pets more when I am alone (do they think I need more attention since I am "lonely?").

Well, life goes on!

This morning, my walk/swim was wonderful! I do have a puzzle though. There is a man who walks to the pool (I don't know how far away his house is from the pool) and then takes off his shoes, socks, and shirt to swim TWO laps before getting out, drying off, getting dressed again and walking off. TWO laps? TWO laps is worth walking there and taking off your shoes for? I don't think so! In my mind, if you are going to walk to the pool and take the time to actually untie your tennis shoes, you might as well spend some quality time in the pool! What do you think?

I guess I should stop rambling on and should get ready for work.

Ta-ta for now, friends!


Voice Update: Doing really well. I read part of the recently started book to the kitties - they seemed very interested until a small gecko made its appearance!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

One Day Done - One to Go!

Hi All!

Well, I made it through one day of subbing at the Speech Pathology Services and now have one more day to go! Today is m day of rest between the days of work. YEAH!

Working was fine - once I got into the office. You see, I used to have a key but, when I left I turned in my key. So - arriving at the office I got to sit and wait until one of the therapists showed up to let me and a patient, his brother, and his mother into the office. Once into the office I took a few minutes to get myself organized.

Then another therapist came in looking for a patient file - which we never found - and with a whole list of things that needed to be done. Most of the list were things that I normally did on Monday when I was working (the current person actually worked on Monday). Then I started working on stuff which I knew how to do (which was pretty much everything) and got the treat of realizing that the current person has a completely different way of doing things. Some of the "different way" were a bit irritating but . . . such is life. There were several things which I had to do before I could do the things I was supposed to be doing. Confusing? I know but I am not sure how to explain!

I can tell you this - some of the stuff I was doing needed other things to be done first to be completed. Those first things were the things not done . . .

Anyway - I survived and got work done so . . .

I also got to talk to people which means that my voice got a good work out. Nice!

Today I am going to take a nap and then I am going to try to finish up the book I am currently reading. It is taking a while but last night - at about 11:30 - it started to get interesting!

Hope you have a good day!


Voice Update: Doing really well!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off to Work I Go!

Hi All!

This morning's swim was much cooler than yesterday's. I don't know if it got cooler at night so the water cooled off or if they drained some of the water and added more to make it cooler - which is what my brother and sister-in-law do in Oklahoma. No matter - the water was cooler than it was yesterday. No, it wasn't what I would call "refreshing" but it was swimmable (is that a word??).

I did my 25 laps and then walked home. For the first five minutes or so after getting out of the pool, the air actually felt cooler and the breeze made it nice and cool. Then- well, it got back to being Texas hot again. Rats!

Today I reverted back to my normal walk- swim-walk routine and it felt good. I listened to some podcasts while walking and life is good!

Today I head off to the offices of Speech Pathology Services to work. No - I am NOT going to be working there everyday - I am just subbing for Doyle today and Thursday as her husband has some surgery. Two days of working with the therapists again. It should be interesting. I don't know if I am looking forward to it or not!

Hubby is a bit concerned about me working because I will have to take my new car into the parking lot! I had to promise to park far from civilization for him to be slightly mollified. Hey - I don't want any door dings either!

I will let you know what it is like being back in the office which wasn't mine then was mine and now isn't mine. I think it will be a bit weird! We will see!

Thank you for those of you who answered my questions about reading from yesterday's post. I am still interested in this entire question and will keep pestering people to see what their experiences with reading have been.

Yesterday was a nice, relaxing day. I watched Julie and Julia a movie I recorded during our free movie channel preview weekend. I must say that I truly enjoyed this movie and that it made me want to whip up some gourmet meal - which I didn't do because it was just me and that wouldn't be the smartest thing to do!

The movie is about a woman writer named Julie who decides to cook all 524 recipes in Julia Child's French cookbook and to blog about her experience. The movie also flashes to Julia Child's background while writing the cookbook. The entire thing was entertaining and interesting. A good combo for a movie, don't you think? I would say that if you get a chance, check this movie out. However, it might not go over too well with the male set.

Add in a nap and some time spent reading and that, my friends, was my day yesterday! Exciting, huh?

Today will be a bit different since I am -working!

Have a good one!


Voice Update: My voice is doing well. I talked to Mom and Dad last night (and Hubby when he called later) instead of doing my reading since I was all alone. Today I will probably get enough talking while working that I will be tired of talking by the time I get home! We will see how that works out for me!

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Reading Question

Hi All!

Well, this morning I actually drove to the pool and drove home - not because I was feeling particularly lazy (even though I was!) but because I was on my way home from taking Hubby to the airport and I just stopped by the pool. It was nice but I would rather not drive home while dripping every day!

The pool was warm - almost too warm in fact. It was hard to catch my breath while I was swimming because I felt like I was swimming in a hot tub! Not the best feeling! However, I did all my 25 laps. I did that by basically not thinking about it too much and just swimming!

Have you seen the commercials on tv about teaching your young child (babies, really) to read? They show little kids - 12 to 18 months old reading flashcards of words which are pretty difficult (outstanding, bully button, etc.). They also show a three year old girl reading from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Pretty impressive!

These commercials have gotten me thinking about reading again. I think about the differences in how people read every now and again because I am an avid reader and Hubby - not so much! I have asked him why he doesn't like to read (he has no clue) and if he sees the action of a book in his head while reading (no). Hubby has told me that he doesn't understand (comprehend) what he reads easily so that is one reason he doesn't like to read.

My current ponderings lean to if children who learn to read early (like the kiddos on the commercial for this reading program) tend to enjoy reading more than those who learn to read later. Also, does their reading early impact their education (as in better grades, etc.)?

This had led me to wonder about different reasons adults don't like to read. Does it run in families? Does it have anything/everything to do with if children are read to at home when young? Does having parents who enjoy reading make a difference? Does it matter if there are books in the home and/or if the parents take the child to the library? Does television play into the equation in any way?

So - my questions to you are:
1) How old were you when you started reading?
2) Did your parents read to you when you were young?
3) Were there books in your home and/or did you go to the library often?
4) Do you enjoy reading?
5) Do you "imagine the action in your head" while reading?
6) Do other members of your family feel the same way about reading as you do?

Just wondering!


Voice Update: I didn't read out loud yesterday but I did a lot of talking while getting Hubby ready for his trip. I also did a fair amount of massage. It is odd but my throat feels different when I massage it these days - it is more uncomfortable. I will have to ask Susan about that.

Friday, July 16, 2010

My Car's Interior!

Hi All!

Yesterday I showed you the outside of my new car so today I decided to show you the interior.

This is the main console of the car. There is the radio (with XM and iPod connectivity), the climate controls, the heated seat controls and the shifter.

With the Smart Key technology all I have to do to start the car is push this button!

Here is the front seats of the car. They are comfy!

Here are the back seats. Hubby and I have tested them out for comfort too. They actually recline!

Here is the cargo part of the car with the free cargo net!
The back door has a push button to automatically close the door.
I have already tried out the back for some groceries - not too many - and it works just fine!
I took my new car to Half-Priced books yesterday and picked up some totally un-needed books that look like great reads! I also picked up a book on religious sign language which I am sure will help me out in my future as an interpreter.
That is about all I did yesterday since my head started to hurt on my way to the book store. By the time I got home it was closing in on migraine territory and forced me into the bedroom with a cover over my eyes to keep out the light. I stayed there pretty much all afternoon/early evening until getting up to eat and watch the last two episodes of Big Brother.
Speaking of Big Brother - are there any other fans out there? I know a lot of people think the show is stupid - and it really is - but Hubby and I are pretty much hooked! We like talking about the show and coming up with our own ideas about who is going to be evicted, who will win what competition, etc. It is sort of fun to act like detectives!
It takes so little to entertain us!
Voice Update: Since I was hiding from the light last night I didn't read. I did do more massage (not enough but more) and my other exercises since I could do those with my eyes closed and while in bed!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My New Car!

Hi All!

I promised better pictures and here they are!

This is my new Toyota Venza. Isn't this color blue pretty? It is tropical blue metallic.
This back "gate" opens at the touch of a button and closes that way too! Not a feature I really needed but, it came that way so . . .

The pinstripe is hand painted and wasn't in the original deal but . . . I got it and I like it!

That front grill reminds me of a handlebar mustache (with the headlights) for some reason. Cute!
So - what do you think?
Personally, I love it!
Voice Update: Doing well. I am neglecting my exercises though - I can't get motivated. Of course, if I don't do them for long enough- my voice will "crash and burn" and then I will be really motivated. Not the best way to get going on my exercises. So . . . I will try to get to them before my voice starts showing the neglect!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

It's Here!!!

Hi All!

My new vehicle is here! Check out the picture!

Isn't she a real beauty? I am so glad that this dealership actually got it right and went and got this from the dealership in San Antonio.


You aren't impressed with this picture? No? Well, I will admit it isn't the best of pictures but I was in a rush to get it . . .

Okay - you still don't believe that this is my new vehicle?

I guess you are too smart for that!

Okay, smarty - here is the REAL vehicle!

Now, I apologize for the bad picture. You can't see how pretty it is. I was going to take the "glamor shots" of the car yesterday when I first got it home but . . . the battery in my camera was dead.

This morning, right after my walk, I snapped this quick shot to prove that I actually HAVE the new vehicle and it is in my garage. However, I didn't have time to get those "glamor shots." I plan on doing that this afternoon when there is nice light. When I show you those I will also tell you about my favorite new features on the vehicle.

I am not certain if I should call this a car, a truck, an SUV, or what. So - I am trying for vehicle at the moment.

This morning it is pretty overcast and it looked for a while (when I was swimming and walking) that it might rain. Now it seems to be clearing up.

Speaking of swimming - I certainly didn't feel like swimming this morning. I was tired! And I have a bit of a headache (which I am hoping WON'T turn into a migraine!). Not the best for walking/swimming but - I soldiered on and did my 25 laps. Now I am just waiting for my prize to arrive. It should be here any minute . . . I am just waiting . . .and waiting . . . and . . . waiting . . .


Voice Update: I didn't read yesterday but I did talk a lot to the people at the dealership - including the customer service manager who really liked to talk! My voice did shape up from the problems it was having in the morning. I think it was just off to a slow start yesterday. Today it seems to be doing well. I just realized that I have been a bit remiss in my massage for the last two days. I will hop on that right now!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hopefully, Goodbye!

Hi All!

Well, today is the day that I hopefully say a tearful goodbye to this . . .
My trusty Acura MDX. It has been a good car. It has been dependable (except when Hubby forgot to close the back door and the battery ran down overnight). I have enjoyed its leather seats, its heated seats (really nice in the Texan winters when the heater isn't warm until you are almost where you are headed!), it CD player, its satellite radio, all of its features.
Hopefully, the new car will be picked up today (I haven't heard from the dealer yet - I am hoping it isn't a repeat of the LAST dealership!) and I will start becoming acquainted with its features. AND - I will hopefully have some pictures for you here tomorrow. I hope everyone is keeping their fingers crossed (has anyone else noticed how often I have used the word "hope" in this post so far??).
This morning was wonderful for walking/swimming. The skies were overcast and there was a brisk breeze blowing. While the pool water was a bit warm, swimming was nice even though I was tired. For some reason I didn't sleep well last night. I wore my broad-brimmed hat and slathered on sunscreen - which, I hope (there is that word again!) will keep the sun poisoning at bay.
Later today I get to travel to the grocery store and then I "get" to unpack all the groceries I buy. Aren't you jealous of my day??
Have a good one yourself!
Voice Update: Only five more psalms to go and then I am into the wisdom of Proverbs! This morning, while chatting with my neighbor on our way to the pool, I noticed that I was having some problems. I don't know if it is just because it was early and I hadn't gotten my voice "warmed up" or what. A bit frustrating!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder . . .

Hi All!

After four days of sun poisoning induced indoor living I finally (!!!) got out this morning and walked and swam!
It was soooooo refreshing to dive into this wonderful pool!
Of course the walk wasn't what I would call "refreshing" but I supposed I did sweat out all the toxins in my body! That is if the toxins could fight their way through the layer of SPF 45 that was coating my body!
I also donned my broad-brimmed hat for the walk to give my chest some additional protection (yes, I probably should have just worn a shirt but it is SOOOOO hot!). I am thinking of getting one of those shirts with the SPF treatment on/in it to wear during my summer walks. I haven't decided on that yet though.
In non-walking/swimming news, Hubby is home sick. He started feeling bad Saturday evening (after we had been to Sam's Club but he didn't have any of the samples!) and got progressively worse until yesterday evening when he started feeling better.
Currently, he is snoring away in bed since I didn't think it was wise to go to work only hours after having a fever of 100.9!
My new car is supposed to be on its way to the Metroplex today and should be ready for pick -up tomorrow. I am excited!!!! Did I mention that the dealership actually called me on Friday to let me know what the plan for getting the car was? A lot better than the silence from the previous dealer!
Hopefully, I will get another call today letting me know that the car actually made it to the dealership. I still have my fingers crossed!
Yesterday I finally used up the last of my peaches and made a peach pie with jello glaze. While some of the peaches were a bit past their prime, they are still okay and - I must say that the crust (made from scratch, thank you very much!) is excellent! I am hoping that Hubby feels better today and can help me eat it.
I didn't take pictures of the pie because it didn't look too darn good. The peaches are tiny and some are darker because I didn't put enough of the color preserver stuff on them (I don't have any lemon juice!). Just trust me when I say it tastes better than it looks!
That is about the sum of my entire weekend. Exciting, huh? I hope yours was more exciting than mine was!
Voice Update: I didn't read yesterday but I did read on Saturday. I am still working my way through the Psalms. While I read I work on the few words and sounds that I am still struggling with. One technique Susan told me to try was to talk nasally. Apparently, one of my problems with these "difficult" sounds is that I stop the air and then can't get the sound going again. When I speak in a nasal voice I don't stop the air for some reason. So - I talk in a nasal voice to get the feel of how I should be making the sound and then try it out in a normal voice. This means I repeat one word of phrase several times in a row. Hubby says I sound like a skipping record (for those of you old enough to remember those things!)! Nice, don't you think?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Try, Try Again!

Hi All!

The rash is retreating pretty quickly. Currently there is only one little patch left and a couple of "splotches." It should all be gone by tomorrow and then I can start walking/swimming again! I miss it!

The doctor said that since I am so "white" I am more susceptible to sun poisoning - which I had already known - and that I should take precautions like wearing broad brimmed hats when going out during high UV times (between 10 and 4) and wearing sunscreen all the time. I think I am going to listen. This experience is NOT one that I want to repeat anytime soon!

Well, Hubby and I are going to try the entire "Buying a Car" thing again! We went to a different dealer yesterday afternoon and put down a deposit - AGAIN - on a car. Once more the car is not in the area and needs to be "picked up." Hopefully this dealership will be more forthcoming than the last one and I will actually get a car in the near future! Keep your fingers crossed for me!

By the way - it is the same kind of car - a Toyota Venza - in the same color and with the same options as the last car we tried to buy. We will see what happens!

In other news - I am not feeling well - AGAIN! It seems like I am always sick these days! I have a stomach "issue" which pretty much demands that I stay near my "home base" instead of roaming around. I had this problem pretty much all day yesterday and spent most of the day sleeping then Hubby picked me up to go to the dealership. Prior to leaving I took an Imodium and it lasted until we got home and I took another nap then . . . no dice!

Last night I was up at least three times (there might be more that I can't remember because I was SOOOOOO tired!) and this morning . . . still not back in "fighting form." I just returned from an eye appointment (I am heading towards needing glasses but I am not quite there yet. I will probably need glasses in another year or so!). Apparently, 40 minutes is the longest I can be out of the house because I was very thankful to be home!

My stomach is making sounds I have never heard before. Maybe I should record them and they could be some sound effect in a movie about aliens or something!

That is all my news since I was so "productive" yesterday! I hope your day was better!


Voice Update: Well, I didn't really talk too much yesterday so I also didn't do too much of my exercise list. I certainly didn't read out loud because I was asleep. However, my voice is still doing rather well, if I do say so myself!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Mystery Solved!

Hi All!

Well, all it took was a quick trip to the doc and the mystery of the rash is solved. The rash is . . . . . (drum roll please!) . . . . severe sun poisoning!

Apparently, sun poisoning CAN spread even though I have never had it spread before. It spreads when the skin cells die and then the healthy cells touching the dead cell die from their contact with the dead cell (etc, etc. I am sure there is a more technical explanation but . . .).Anyway - it is sun poisoning.

I now have a steroid cream to put on the rash and am taking - of all things - Zyrtec to stop the allergic reaction I am having. It is as simple as that! Well - almost.

I am also not to go out in the sun AT ALL until the rash is gone since the sun will only exasperate the situation. When I asked how I was to accomplish this since I do live in TEXAS and it is SUMMER I was told that I should wear a broad brimmed hat at all times when I am outside - even if just walking from the car to a store! My morning walks are also cancelled for the time being. Rats!!!

The good news is that the rash should be gone by Saturday at the latest - Friday at the soonest. I will admit that after only two applications of the cream the rash is already MUCH improved. YEAH!

My second appointment of the day was at speech with Susan. She told me that I am doing well. My throat wasn't too tight even though there were spots that were a bit "bound up." Her massage helped that out a lot! Now I am doing even better with my voice. We worked on several of the words/phrases that I was having problems with and one of my problems is that I stop the air when I get to "difficult" sounds for me. So - I am working on that . . . by talking while holding my nose. For some reason this works well. Odd, huh? It was a good appointment. We are still going for the once a month appointment. What an accomplishment!

So that is all the news. Except for this . . .

It is supposed to rain, rain, rain today. So far it has managed to work up a pretty good drizzle and that is it but . . . I have my fingers crossed!
Have a good day!
Voice Update: I said it all above!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Heading to See the Doc

Hi All!

Well, my rash is NOT going away. Actually, it is here with a vengeance! Last night there were new "welts" and the entire area was swollen and raised and itchy and painful!!! Not my idea of a good evening!

Because my rash is hanging on and it is now officially driving me nuts, I am off to see Doc Feely this morning. I am hoping and praying that he will be able to tell me what the heck is going on!

Here is the rash this morning in a picture with bad lighting . . .

Mom says it looks like I have a lace collar. *sigh* if only!

A couple of the lotions I have tried on the rash have been mentholated and that means that Miss Cleo has hunted me down for a lick.

Because I can't stand her licking my neck (or really any other part of my body) and she is DETERMINED to get at the menthol this is my solution . . .

I put a small dab on the towel and let Miss Cleo go at it. She will lick the towel for a LONG time making sure she gets every last bit!

By the way - I have talked to the vet about Miss Cleo's odd addiction and he says that giving her a tiny bit won't hurt her. After all - we have been doing it for at least 8 years!

Well - I am off to the doc's and then to speech. I am not sure what will happen there because I doubt if Susan would like to touch my rashy neck to give me a massage!

Have a super day!


Voice Update: Did my reading in the Psalms last night. My voice is still doing really well!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

No Car!

Hi All!

Remember how I posted that I was getting a new car? Well . . . apparently not. At least not this week.

Here is the story. We went to the dealership and told the salesman what we wanted. They did a search and found the car we wanted in Oklahoma (we had done an Internet search and found the same car). The dealer said they would get the car for us. They said that they had called the dealer in OK and told them that they wanted to get the car and that the OK dealer said fine.

Then. . . the delays started.

First it was that the OK dealer couldn't decide what they wanted to trade the car we wanted for.

Then it was the the car our dealer was taking to OK had a problem - the check engine light was on and they couldn't find the problem (doesn't that make you feel good about the service department there?).

Next it was that the problem needed a part ordered to fix it.

Then it was that they were putting in the part.

Then. . . . . silence.

Actually, there was a pretty healthy dose of silence intermixed with all of the above. We were only called once during this entire process. The rest of the info came from calls that we initiated! Can you say poor communication????

Hubby and I finally decided that if there was no car by today we would go and get our deposit check back and start over somewhere else.

Well - yesterday Hubby called and was told that they hadn't even arranged for the trade!!!!! WHAT??????

Needless to say, we now have our deposit check back.

What was odd is that no one from the dealership talked to us to try to get us to stay with the deal. No manager or "higher up" talked to us - the salesman just walked out with our check.

Apparently, they didn't want our business. Which, is a shame because we tend to be loyal to dealerships we buy from (in fact we had purchased my 4 Runner from this dealership about 7 years ago or so).

Oh well!

Now the search starts all over. At least we know what kind of car I want!

Today I walked and swam and my neighbor, recently back from Mexico, walked and swam with me. It is HOT here! Thank goodness someone invented the air conditioner!!!

I have a lunch "date" with a teaching friend of mine today and then I think I might peel peaches to make a "Jello" peach pie. That is a peach pie which isn't baked and which uses Jello in the gel on the fruit. It is scrumptious!

Doesn't that sound like a plan??

Oh- Skor apparently wants to go to the pool with me tomorrow!

Voice Update: Doing well despite my poor exercise habits this weekend. I didn't read but I did talk a lot and I did do massage.

Monday, July 5, 2010

My Weekend

Hi All!

I hope everyone had a wonderful fourth of July!

We were a little worried here that rain might foil the plans for our fireworks and for our annual 10K/5K run. Luckily, it stopped raining for the morning run and Hubby and I were out front cheering on the runners.

I cheer every year with clapping and encouraging comments. A lot of people think I am weird standing out there alone (or with Hubby but he doesn't clap) but I have had people thank me for the encouragement so . . . I keep doing it!

This year a young girl was running by and said "I think you were my fifth grade teacher!" When I asked who she was . . . sure enough! I taught her in fifth grade at McCoy Elementary! A while later her mom ran by and said the same thing! They live in the next town north/east of us. Small World!

After taking in the race (which was at eight in the morning), I headed out to meet some of my friends from college. We were meeting to wish Stephanie a "Bon Voyage" as she gets ready to leave for college on the East Coast.

We met at the Genghis Grill (a new favorite for me) and had a great time chatting and eating and chatting and . . . chatting!

It was nice to see Stephanie before she heads out. We will all miss her but we know that she will have a super time in college and will have experiences she will never forget!

Have I mentioned peaches lately?

My neighbor has three peach trees and this year each of the trees had a bumper crop of peaches! Of course, she has offered me many. I took a bunch and made two batches of freezer jam (which turned out a little runny but absolutely delicious!). Then . . .

She gave me MORE!

We had peaches sliced and over Angel Food Cake.

Then . . . while my neighbors are on vacation . . . I told them that I would pick the rest of the peaches on the last tree and use them . So . . . I made one more batch of freezer jam and . . .

Ice cream!

Doesn't it look yummy?

And then we added fresh peaches! Yum!
It was very good!
Car Update: Still no car! Very frustrating! We are giving them today to get the car and if they don't get it . . . we are getting our deposit back and going somewhere else. I mean - the car is only 180 miles away and it has been a WEEK and they still don't have it?!?!?
Not acceptable!
Not to mentions extremely frustrating!
Whenever I feel frustration taking over I just take a hint from Skor and do this . . .



Voice Update: Still rockin' and rollin'! I didn't read out loud Saturday because I spent all that time chatting with my friends and yesterday . . . well, Sunday is my day of rest. I have been massaging though and looking forward to a speech session this week!