Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Always Watching

Hi All!

Well, it is Tuesday and that means that I will soon be hitting the road to make the 45 minute trip to the college to work on school stuff. I have all of my homework completed but there are other assignments that I can get a jump on so . . . I plan to spend some time doing just that!

Before heading to school though, I plan to contact one of the agencies to see if I can get some observation time in for tomorrow. I am a bit nervous about calling. In fact, my stomach is in one big knot just thinking about it!

Talking on the phone has never been easy for me. You can't see the other person and I am always worried I will sound like a big dork! Then there is the whole talking to someone I don't know! Yikes! Yes, I am always good at talking to strangers but that doesn't meant that I actually enjoy it at first! I ALWAYS have that knot in my stomach! I wish I could do something to just loosen it up a bit!

I think that I am just going to pause a moment and make the call now. Like ripping off a band-aid - faster is better, right?

Hold on . . .

Okay - it is done and I survived! Yes, I am pretty sure that I sounded like an idiot but . . . it is done!!!! Now I just have to wait and see if I get any assignments. Keep your fingers crossed since I need 200 hours this semester and that means a lot of assignments!

On to other news . . .

My walk/swim was nice this morning. Well, to be honest, the walk wasn't too fun since there was 81% humidity. The swim however, was refreshing and relaxing! I still can't think of a much better way to start the day off!

While I was swimming I noticed a proliferation of HUGE dragonflies. They were at least four inches long! Yes, there were some puny one and two inchers flitting around but those four inch suckers were pretty impressive! Until they started to dive bomb me while I was floating in the water! Talk about a bit un-nerving!

Luckily, none decided to become suicide bombers and they all "pulled up" at the last minute! Whew!

Now let's talk zucchini bread!

Last night I decided to make zucchini bread. I had been planning it for a while and had gotten some nice big zucchinis when I shopped on Sunday. So - out came the recipe and off I went. The first item on the recipe was 3 cups butter - or so I thought! While I was thinking that that was an awful lot of butter, it never occurred to me that I had read the recipe incorrectly. Deciding that I would only make a half batch since I didn't have three cups of butter in the house (!!), I slopped in one cup and went on with life. Until I thought it was odd that there was no sugar in the recipe.

Taking the card in hand once more, I looked at the recipe carefully. The first item was NOT 3 cups of butter but in fact 3 cups of SUGAR! Oops!

I glanced into my mixer bowl and the cup of butter happily co mingling with the eggs and the oil. Now what do I do????

Deciding that I could do nothing but soldier on, I kept mixing. Now I needed to make some adjustments to the recipe because a cup of butter is a LOT of butter - even for two loaves. I put in all the other ingredients on the recipe but fudged the amounts a bit. More flour was added to hopefully offset the melting of the butter while the loaves baked.

Then I scooped the stiffer than normal batter into two pans and . . . crossed my fingers as I put them in the oven.

After an hour (maybe a bit less), I took the loaves out and they looked good. Fifteen minutes later I turned them out on the cooling rack and they still looked good even though the centers had sunk a bit. Fifteen more minutes later I sliced into one loaf, took a deep breath and took a bite.

My first thought was that the bread wasn't sweet enough. Then I thought that it was too sweet. For some odd reason, there appears to be a crust of sugar on the loaf which, while tasty, was totally unexpected.

This morning I plan on trying the bread again to see if it is really edible or not. Then - if it is edible - I hope to get rid of some by taking it with me to school.

No - I don't have a picture of the bread - it is a sore subject!

I do have a picture of Skor for you.
Lately, Skor has become almost obsessed with bug and gecko hunting. He is always sniffing around the edges of the rooms and around furniture looking for something to chase.
To be fair - he is a very good bug hunter. He almost always gets a bug -which we then take from him - and that helps keep our house bug free.

In this picture it isn't a bug he is focused on.

It is this guy - the squirrel sitting in the seed that the birds are rejecting and Hubby is hoping to get rid of.


The squirrel dug through the seeds to find the sun flower seeds and then sat right in the bowl and ate them. Skor wasn't happy!


I tried to get a video of Skor "scolding" the squirrel but he wouldn't "talk" for the camera! Rats!


I hope your day is full of fun things to chase and new information!



Voice Update: Doing remarkably well. I am sort of waiting for the other shoe to drop - so to speak - but, even if/when it does, I am confident that I know what to do to get my voice back in shape. I was reflecting this morning about how lucky I was to have been diagnosed quickly and sent to Susan quickly. Some people go for years bouncing between doctors and therapists before they find help. Me - I got help right away and I am certain that is one reason I am doing so well.


That does bring up a different topic - one which I have been struggling with. Do I continue trying to keep the SD support group together? AND do I go to the SD convention near my hometown? Currently I am thinking the support group will go and that I will attend the convention just as a "regular" person and not a leader. Still pondering though.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Starting a New Week!

Hi All!

Well, it is Monday again! That means another whole week to experience and - hopefully - enjoy! I am looking forward to seeing what this week will bring my way!

Today I don't have anything planned but I am sure that I will find many things to do. I know that my friend from class and I have a "phone date" to talk about an assignment for class in about an hour and that will be fun. After that . . . who knows!

This weekend was nice and uneventful for Hubby and me. We just did some chores around the house and had a good time. I did head to the grocery store because Hubby had nothing for lunch today. Normally, I shop on Monday but . . . a change is good, right? I will say that the store kept up its reputation for stocking things whenever I try to shop. There were people everywhere putting stuff on shelves and in coolers and bins. This wouldn't be too much of a problem if they didn't block the aisles while they did their work!

Oh well!

One oddity that I am pondering . . . this morning, when I woke up my left, bottom eyelid was swollen. I mean - puffy parka swollen! It is still a bit puffy but it is slowly going down. Now, what in the world would cause ONE eyelid to swell like that? Weird!

My morning walk/swim was wonderful. The temperature wasn't too bad (79F or 26 C) but it was really, really humid. I stepped outside and by the time I took three steps, I was sweating! By the time I got to the pool - I was looking forward to a plunge!

The water was nice and cool and after the initial shock of the cold water felt absolutely wonderful! It was so nice to swim in cool water and to feel refreshed.

The walk home wasn't too bad but . . . again - HUMID! I was dripping when I was watering my flowers!

Oh - have I told you about the cat that comes and "visits me" every morning while I swim? Normally, the cat just shows up and wanders around the edge of the pool while I swim. He doesn't come close when I am in the water (I guess due to that whole cat/water thing!) but today, I was out of the pool when he showed up. He came right to me meowing. After an initial "getting to know you" sniff session, he decided I could pet his head and back.

He is a sweetie. I was a little worried he was going to follow me home but he didn't leave the pool parking lot. I guess I will see him tomorrow!

Since I didn't want to leave you picture less today - I dug this one up from my files. This is me all ready for Halloween. It is one of my favorite pictures!

Look at those chubby cheeks! Not much has changed!
Have a wonderful Monday!
Voice Update: I read this weekend and actually did my exercises. The massage is still falling short but . . .

Friday, August 27, 2010

Funky Friday!

Hi All!

It is Friday and I am in a good mood! YEAH!

My walk/swim went well this morning with the temperature hovering at about 71 degrees (for my friends who don't do Fahrenheit - that is 21.67 degrees Celsius) and the water delightfully chilly. Again, the first couple of laps were rather shocking but - after that it was lovely!

I talked to the pool guy and asked when the pool would close for the season. He said he wasn't exactly sure but that it wouldn't be until sometime closer to November! YEAH for that! That means more swimming days - of course, that could mean more COLD swimming days but . . . that is fine with me!

Walking home from the pool was nice - the sun was shining and there was a slight breeze. The heat of the sun felt good after the cool pool and the breeze kept the sun from being too hot.

I am certain that it will be up in the 90 (around 32.23 Celsius) degree range today but this morning was perfect!

Yesterday I didn't do a whole lot out of the house other than go to collect the mail. I got caught up working on school stuff and there went the day! Of course, I did get a lot done for school so, hopefully, I will be hitting the ground running - so to speak!

So - other than schoolwork, my day was pretty boring so I thought I would borrow a picture from my mother to make today a bit "funkier."

This is a fungus that is growing on my parents' farm. Pretty funky, huh?
Have a super Friday!
Voice Update: I got myself back into the reading and exercising mode. After all, I don't want to have to go back to seeing Susan more often now that I have made it to six weeks between appointments! Not that I don't adore Susan . . .

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Hi All!

I know that I said it was chilly yesterday morning but . . . check out this temp (the temp to the left under the sun icon on the display)!

Sorry about the blurry picture but I wasn't quite awake myself when I took the picture!

At least this beautiful sight greeted me when I shivered my way out of the house!

As I walked along I noticed that these people were having a slight "issue" with their driveway! Imagine having to deal with this first thing in the morning!
My walk/swim went really well. The pool water was finally cool - of course, today it would have been nice if it had been warmer! The first two laps were pretty uncomfortable but then I warmed up and the water felt good. The air once I got out of the pool was another story!
Yesterday was a busy, busy day for me! I headed to speech and Susan told me that she was very pleased with my voice and that I could come back every six weeks unless something happens. Good news!!!
From speech I headed across the Metroplex to the Toyota dealership to get my license plates. They offered to put them on so . . . why not! Things got a little more complicated when I told them that they needed a bracket for the front plate. It normally comes with the car but wasn't in my car when it came from San Antonio so it was ordered. Of course, they had to look in the car to make sure a bracket wasn't in there even though I told them it wasn't (who would believe me???). Then they had to look all over the dealership to figure out who had the part.
Once they found the bracket, you would think it would be smooth sailing right? Wrong!
The dealership in San Antonio had put a different kind of screw on the car for the plates and this dealership doesn't use that kind of screw so they had to hunt down a different screwdriver to take care of the screws. That took about 15 minutes.
This entire time everyone kept apologizing for making me wait. I was fine with it. I pretty much expected that I would have to wait - that is the way life goes for me!
Once the screwdriver was found - and different screws, the kind THIS dealer prefers - thing went quickly and I was off on my way home.
After a quick stop for gas I zipped to Wal Mart to pick up some school supplies.

Aren't they pretty? I need the two notebooks for my observations. I thought it would be nice to have them matching . . . snazzy, huh?
I can hardly wait to use them!
Does that make me a school geek?
I like school!
Voice Update: Doing surprisingly well considering . . . Susan said that whatever I was doing was working well so . . . stay the course (the course which included massage, exercises, and reading out loud!)!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Chilly and Overcast!

Hi All!

This morning it was only 72 degrees when I woke up! Yesterday it was 82 and today - ten degrees cooler! What a difference! As I set out for my walk/swim it actually felt just a little chilly! The water, which was a bit warm, felt good since the wind made it feel even chillier while I was swimming. The sky was a bit darker than I was comfortable with so I did skip the floating and exercises beyond the laps and headed home a bit early.

When I got home I debated as to if I should water my flowers or not - since it looks like it might rain. Well, I ended up watering just because of the fact that if I didn't - it wouldn't rain . . . . We will see if the logic works and it rains today . . . keep your fingers crossed!

Last night (really afternoon) was my first class of the semester. It is Practicum I (Roman numeral, not letter!) which is sort of like an internship. We go out and observe certified interpreters at work. This helps us build skills and also lets us see what the job really entails. In addition to the observations (200 hours worth), we also have class assignments and class for two hours a week.

I think it is going to be great. I am looking forward (sort of) to observing even though it is a bit scary to go out with someone you don't know . . .I guess I will get over that quickly. Our teacher is wonderful and seems like she is easy to work with - not at all like the teacher from last semester! Thank goodness!

We will see how things work out as I start my observations. . . .

It was a bit strange to get out of class after only two hours . . .compared to last semester's four hour marathon this seems like we are done right as we started! I even got home before it was dark! I almost didn't know what to do with myself!

Another thing to get used to!

Today I have a speech appointment. I hope it goes better than the dream I had last night about speech. In my dream everything started out pretty much normal - except that the office wasn't the real office but another "new" space. Susan and I started our "normal" routine and then she gave me a class ring for my interpreting program which all of the therapists had chipped in for. It was a big gold class ring with a pink stone . . . they had called the ring company and found out what I liked (how??). Then Susan started doing sort of weird things like putting water in my left ear to find out something (I can't remember) and measuring the length of my index fingers . . Then she told me that she was moving and Jean would be taking over my therapy.

I woke up very upset about the whole thing! Hopefully, nothing like that will really happen today! I am sure that Susan will tell me that my neck is tight and that I need to do more massage . . . it has been over 7 weeks since my last appointment.

We will see what happens. . .


Voice Update: My voice is doing pretty well considering . . . I didn't read out loud last night but I did talk to my friends before and after class and in class as well so I figure I got a good workout.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Remember This?

Hi All!

This is the pile of (very unfocused)school books from my ASL 4 class a couple of semesters ago.
Why am I showing this picture?
Well, today is the start of a new semester for me. I am starting a practicum class today - formally the class only meets once a week. I think there will be a ton of out of class work though . . .
I guess I will find out tonight!
I am a bit nervous about class starting and I am a bit excited all at the same time! I will get to see my friends - who I have been with since ASL 3 - again after the summer and they are such wonderful people! The fact that my interpreting 2 class was cancelled might be a good thing since it mean I will take it next semester and Beth will be able to take it with us next semester as well! Yeah!
My morning walk/swim was nice this morning. Once again the water was close to being refreshing. This was surprising as the temperature topped 107 yesterday! I think someone finally got smart and decided to add more water to the pool overnight to make it a bit cooler! The closing date for the pool is still a mystery but I might just have enough energy today before class to figure it out! I agree with you all - it surely can't be when the weather is still hot! We have been known to be in the 90s during September and October so . . . hopefully the pools will be open a long time!
That is about all I know for today - I will let you know how class works out tomorrow!
Voice Update: I still am not reading but I did bother Mom on the phone last night for over an hour so I think that counts!

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Prince, A Hitchhiker, and A Class

Hi All!

First of all - let me say that I got a little confused about the title of my podcast book I am listening to. I said it was The Prince of Oak and Hazel when it is really The Prince of HAZEL and Oak. I got the order wrong but, the review was right. It is a good book. If you get a chance - listen to it!

Now - I am happy to report that I got back into my walking/swimming routine today. Last week I put it off during my cranky spell because . . . well, I was just too darn cranky!

The water was moderately refreshing today - a little surprising after the heat of the past weeks here. I don't think that I did my normal amount of laps but I certainly did laps and then got a chance to relax as well. Swimming is a good thing.

My mom keeps telling me that the pool will be closed for the season soon and while it is hard to imagine when the temperatures are still in the 100s - I suppose I should check and see when the pool is closed for the season. I hope it isn't too soon so that I can get more swimming in!

As far as actual book reading (instead of podcast listening) I am re-reading the entire series in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (or is it Universe? I can never remember). Hubby's nephew is getting married and he and his bride like the book - they are getting married on 10-10-10 which translates into the number which the book reveals to be the meaning of life - so I have decided to make a "weird" wedding present with components which refer to the book. To do that, I must read the book again since it has been a while since I originally read it.

As my vision for the present becomes clearer, I will share it with you. Currently, all I know is that his and her towels are involved in some way!

Looking ahead - this week promised to be interesting. My one and only class starts tomorrow. Then I have a speech appointment on Wednesday (supposedly - it has been rescheduled three times so we will see!). After that . . . who knows! I am sure that I will have work to do for class and all kinds of stuff popping up now that school has started again.

Fun, fun!

Have a super week!


Voice Update: Well, I have been a bad speech patient since my cranky spell hit. I haven't gotten back into the swing but . . I will, I WILL!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Hoping for a Serene Saturday

Hi All!

Well - the crankiness spilled over into yesterday. I was pretty good in the morning but could feel the crankiness around the edges just wanting to come out. I fought the good fight but, by the evening, it just flooded out and I was cranky. Instead of inflicting this "lovely" crankiness on Hubby, I decided to just retreat to the bedroom and listen to some music.

Well, I am happy to say that the music did the trick. I listened to my normal melange of music and after about 45 minutes I was almost calm and in a good mood! I took a short walk around the yard while listening and it was only about 97 degrees at 7:45 (Did I mention that it is still HOT here?)!

The kitties must know that I haven't been feeling too chipper lately because this morning they let me sleep until about 7:30!!! No - I didn't walk/swim this morning. I have decided to get some extra sleep to see if that will keep the crankiness at bay. So far so good!

Hopefully, today will be a happier day for me. I know we WON'T be going out shopping since it is the state Tax-free weekend. For those of you who don't know what that is - Texas has one weekend a year, right before school starts, where all school supplies and clothes (and a whole list of other stuff) is tax free at all stores. I mean ALL stores. The stores then help things out by having good sales.

Let's just say that the scene looks a lot like the day after Thanksgiving - crowds everywhere!

Hubby and I just take shelter and wait for it to blow over unless we absolutely have to go to the store.

Yes, I know that we are probably missing some good deals but - I would rather pay tax then have to deal with all those slightly crazy people!

One good thing that is going on right now is that I am now listening to the second book in the Shadowmagic series. If you recall, Shadowmagic is a podcast book (and a real, paper book too that you can buy) that I found. I finished that book and luckily, the author has a second book out ready to be downloaded.

I just started listen to this book - called The Prince of Oak and Hazel (by John Lenahan) and it is good! I am only on the second chapter but . . . I am already eager to listen to more!

Here is hoping for a serene Saturday!


Voice Update: Well - being cranky has kept me from doing my reading. Of course, if I WAS reading the Bible I might feel better. Too bad I just thought about that now!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Cranky C. McCrankister

Hi All!

It has been a day or so since I posted. That is mostly due to the fact that I have been C.R.A.N.K.Y. So cranky in fact that I think it was making my stomach upset yesterday. So cranky that I didn't want to interact with anyone - even by blog! So cranky that I just hid in my bed for most of the day. I didn't even go swimming.


Today I don't feel quite as cranky. In fact, I woke up feeling pretty darn good. Until I figured out that I didn't have time to water my flowers. That brought back a bit of the crank. However, I am trying hard to fend off another attack of cranky. Wish me luck!

WHY was I cranky?

Well, there are just so many reasons that I came up with which could possibly be the cause.

First, I have been having this weird gas attack lately. I had one a while back - the gas makes my chest hurt (right side) and then I take a Gas X and things get better. However, this time it was compounded by the fact that I saw a commercial about one of the medications I am on causing heart problems. Naturally, I immediately began to wonder if the gas was really heart issues!

That led me to consider going to the doctor to find out if my heart is okay. However, I don't really like my general doc too much and I don't want to go to him to find out that it is only gas. Also - I don't have pain when I swim or walk which - I would think I would if it was my heart, right??

I am so good an justifying everything. Anyway - I don't have pain in my chest (right side) anymore. So the problem is moot until the next time . . .

Another possible reason for the cranks is that I signed up for TWO classes this semester but only ONE of them is actually going to happen. That means that I will have at least another semester of school in my future. It seems like this is the never ending education!

Don't get me wrong - I am all about life-long learning but . . . this is just getting ridiculous! I am READY for the formal stuff to be over with!

Yet another possible reason (a real long shot) for the cause of the cranks is that school is starting Monday here. Now, it has been a couple of years since I stopped teaching and, to tell the truth, I am sort of glad that I am not teaching anymore. However, there is something about the whole "going back to school" thing which sort of tugs at my heart. I really, really, really love teaching and I am very good at it. *sigh*

Still another possible reason is that it is still HOT, HOT, HOT here with absolutely NO RAIN! I got a message on Facebook from a friend who lives in the same city - she said it rained at HER place. Not so much as one drop at mine! Not. One. Drop! I even watered my flowers hoping to lure in the rain!

It seems like the rain constantly goes around my house. In fact, yesterday Hubby came home and said that he drove through rain to get home from work. DROVE THROUGH RAIN! Of course, the rain stopped before he made it to our house! We must have some sort of rain-proof force field around our house!

So it is back to watering.

Are those enough reasons to be cranky????

Like I said - today I don't feel nearly as cranky so hopefully, it will be a better day.

Hope you have a happy day!
Voice Update: Still doing well. Enough said.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

All Wind and No Rain!

Hi All!


Once more we have missed some much needed rain. The weathermen showed storms all around us - north, west, and east - but NOTHING actually happened in our neighborhood except this . . .

videoOf course, winds like this are not uncommon in our area. We often have high winds with absolutely no chance of rain. Which we REALLY need. Did I mention that we need some rain around here?


This morning, the clouds left over from yesterday's storms were still in the area and while I was swimming my laps I spied a flash in the far distance. With that I was out of the pool and drying off. I was not going to be taking any chances with lightening in the area - even if it was far away!


I did manage to get in ten good laps AND my walk to and from the pool. There was even a brief shower (about a dozen drops) while I was getting my gear together to leave the pool. Unfortunately, that shower didn't last even until I got out of the gate and onto the sidewalk! Rats!


Even thought the dark clouds are still hanging around, I did water my flowerbeds. I have learned from experience that if I don't water then it definitely WON'T rain. But, if I water, sometimes, just sometimes, it really does rain! I have my fingers crossed!


Yesterday wasn't too exciting. I headed to Big Lots to get some "filling" for a package I sent to my parents (hey Mom, be watching for a package! And don't worry - I DID buy some stuff but it was not too expensive and you and Dad are worth it!). Then I bopped to the post office where I was the second to three people in line. That was an anomaly since there is ALWAYS a huge line at our post office - the home to the slowest moving employees in the world! After the post office I went to the new pizza place for a yummy pizza lunch and time to read my latest book. After eating I headed to Kroger's for fruit.

Going into Kroger's was a bit nerve-wracking for me because Hubby had stopped in late last week for some milk and reported back that there had apparently been a problem with the seafood counter. The entire store smelled like rotting seafood (with some rotten veggies thrown in for "flavor") and bleach. This made me hesitate a bit about going into the store. . . .luckily, there was no lingering hint of the nasty smell! Yeah!


Oh, the small things which make my day!


Have a wonderful Wednesday!




Voice Update: Doing well. I read my hour sitting out on the back patio in the nice breeze.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Thought About Clouds

Hi All!

Let me just say that it is HOT here! We are supposed to be getting a "cold front" (yeah, right!) but so far - nothing! At least we had a few clouds this morning that kept the sunlight out of my eyes while I swam. We haven't had many clouds around for a while.

The clouds - and the lovely empty headedness I can attain while swimming - have me thinking. As I go back and forth - and back and forth - and back and forth- I gaze up at the clouds (not every lap but often enough). Sometimes I see objects in the shapes of the clouds. Other times I watch the planes flying through the clouds.

And then there are the times that I just look at the clouds and think that God must have been having fun "finger painting" with the clouds.

You must admit that at times, clouds do look like a big finger painting picture.
Check it out the next time you have a moment. Just look up at the clouds and imagine.
Voice Update: Still reading but still being the big procrastinator (or the big ignorer?) of the massage and exercises. Not good. Not good at all!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Passing the Time . . .

Hi All!

Blogger is being weird about letting me on the darn site. I moderate a comment and then can't do anything else without having to log in again. What is up with that? I guess it is better than not letting me on at all - which was happening last week!

This weekend was nice for me. I had lunch with Beth - a good friend from ASL/Interpreting classes. She is such fun to talk to and to discuss philosophical issues with!

When I got home I took a nap - nice!

On Sunday Hubby and I made a trip to Wal Mart (he didn't have any lunch meat for today and that would have been disastrous had we not gotten some right away!!). While there we were talking about the emails which show "Wal Mart People" - funny people seen at Wal Mart (we saw our share!) and commented that we probably fit right in!

Now that is scary!

Other than the lunch and the trip to Wal Mart, my weekend was quiet. I am still waiting to find out if the two classes I signed up for this semester will actually be happening (they might not due to low registration). I read a good book (actually two books in one) by Debbie Macomber - Country Brides. It was a nice, fast paced book just fluffy enough to be deemed summer reading. I also listened to some more of the podcast book I am listening to currently.

Shadowmagic By John Lenahan is a podcast book (a book written and then "published" as a podcast with the author reading the book) about a parallel world populated by elves, imps, banshees, and leprechauns. A young man, Connor, finds himself thrust into this world and has to deal not only with the oddities of the world but also the fact that many people are trying to kill him. Just because he happens to be the son of the one handed prince!

If you are into podcasts, check out Shadowmagic!

Skor had a good time at the "Kitty Entertainment Center" watching the birds this weekend. Of course, his "friend" the squirrel came to play too!

Poor Skor! So close and unable to touch!
Have a wonderful Monday!
Voice Update: I am pleased that I don't have too many hesitations or breaks lately. I must admit that in the past couple of days I haven't been doing my best on the whole massage aspect and the exercises but I have been diligent about reading out loud. Yes, I know that I SHOULD be more regular with the massage and exercises but . . . it is so easy to forget about having ABSD when my voice is doing well. The same trap that I fall in from time to time. *sigh*

Saturday, August 14, 2010

New Shoes and What's Up With Blogger?

Hi All!

Here are pictures of my new Croc flats. They look like brushed suede but are really all plastic/rubber. The insides have the normal Croc insoles and they are really cushy. I think they will be perfect for standing on my feet interpreting!

I think that the lighter brown strip on the heels adds a nice touch!
The only problem I have seen so far is that the textured plastic collects cat hair! *sigh* Another thing to use the lint roller on!!!
Okay - if you use Blogger I have a question for you. Have you had a difficult time logging on lately? I log in and get sent right back to the log in page! Everything is right - the user name and password - but it won't log me in.
I couldn't get in at all yesterday!
Today I had to try to get in three or four different times and then finally went to my blog site and logged in from there. Frustrating!
Currently, I am reading Summer's Child by Luanne Rice. It is very good and I would rather read it than do much else. However, I do force myself to do things like clean, cook, wash dishes, etc.
This book is about a woman who has been missing - presumed murdered - for nine years. A retired detective is still bothered by the case and keeps following any new leads which come up even though they are few and far between. The missing woman's grandmother - who raised her - still lives in the same house and is privately grieving the loss of her grandchild and great-grandchild (the woman was pregnant when she disappeared).
Then there is the small community of Cape Hawk in Eastern Canada. A new woman and her daughter moves in and the daughter immediately makes friends with Rose - another nine year old girl. Rose has severe heart problems which have needed multiple surgeries in her short life and one more "final" surgery looms in the near future.
Interestingly, both the new woman in town and Rose's mother have a shared past. They have both left abusive husbands and came to Cape Hawk to hide out and start again.
Things get more interesting as the retired detective starts following a lead which might take him right to Cape Hawk and to these two women.
I am getting close to the end of this book and can hardly wait to find out what happens!
I would say that if you see this book hanging out in your local shop - snatch it up for a nice, addicting, quick, read.
Voice Update: Well, I am now done with the Song of Songs and moving on. The Bible really is interesting, isn't it? My voice is holding its own with few hesitations, etc. My throat is a bit crunchy but that tends to happen when I wait so long between visits to Susan!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My Butterfly

Hi All!

Believe it or not, I went to the bookstore and DIDN'T BUY ANYTHING!!! How weird is that?!? I was looking at American Sign Language Dictionaries and found a couple that might work. I want to take another ASL student with me to get their opinion before I shell out the bucks!

After browsing the bookstore I headed out into the Mall. I had some "oriental chicken" from the Manchu Wok and then a cookie from Great American Cookie. Then I walked down to Lane Bryant to check out the clothes.

I didn't find anything I HAD to have so I started the walk back to the car. Then I found a pair of shoes at the Croc kiosk I had to have. I will show you tomorrow!

Then it was home to finish up my book - An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon. Let me tell you - it was good! Normally, the story line of books wraps itself up towards the end of the book - this book just kept going - right up until the last page!
Now I can't wait until the next book comes out to find out what happens. Too bad she takes more than two years to get a book out!

I guess the good things are worth the wait!

Now some pictures of my Fiberoptic Butterfly. I think I told you that my Mom sent me the butterfly that my Aunt Donna (my FAVORITE Aunt Donna!) bought me. Aunt Donna thought that we should all have at least one. Well . . . it is working. It is solar powered and changed colors at night.

I have included a video to let you see it work but first, a little "shout out" to my Hubby and his college roots. . .


Hope you enjoyed!




Voice Update: Doing well. Now that I finished my book I will be back to reading the Bible soon.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My Digital Picture Frame

Hi All!

No - I didn't post yesterday because . . . well, I sat down to get my swimsuit turned right side out (I had recently washed it) and . . . I fell asleep. I woke up about an hour or so later with the swimsuit still in my hand! I guess I needed some sleep!

Anyway - when I woke up I called Mom and chatted for a while but never really felt like I was "awake" all day. I read some more of my good book and watched another "chick flick" I recorded from the Hallmark channel.

Then I listened to some more of the podcast book Shadowmagic by John Lenahan. Remember, I told you a bit about it a while ago when I first started listening to the book.

The book is about a young man (who is still in high school so maybe 17 or so??) and his father (who only has one hand) getting ready for the day when two strangers on horseback appear at their door. Two strangers dressed in medieval looking clothes. Two strangers who try to kill the young man, Connor.

However, instead of killing Connor, the strangers capture Connor and his dad and take them to a mysterious world full of magic, imps, elves, banshees and more. A world where trees "talk" and must be asked for their wood and fruit. A world where it seems like everyone wants to kill Connor.

Luckily, Connor's mother - a sorceress of shadowmagic - shows up and saves Connor and his father from certain death. Then . . . Connor finds himself on his own after his father is injured by his aunt (who was trying to kill Connor NOT his father). On his own, Connor finds a couple of odd friends - one is a banshee and one is an imp prince. They have adventures while trying to reunited Connor with his mother - in the hopes of sending Connor back to the "real world" where no one is trying to kill him!

The last part of the story that I heard had Connor and his friends facing an imminent attack from an entire clan (troupe, tribe, group?) of Banshees.

I can hardly wait to see how they get themselves out of THIS mess.

As a side note, the podcast book is accompanied by Irish music from a band called Lunasa. I have been spending some time looking into their music this morning and . . . they are a good Irish band. So - if you are into Irish music, check them out!

My walk/swim was nice this morning - except for the humidity! True, it was 81 when I woke up and hotter by the time I got home but . . . it was the humidity that really made things difficult. It was like getting slapped in the face when I walked outside!

The water this morning was warm. Not too warm to swim in but, it certainly did make catching my breath tough at times. Unfortunately, it was too warm outside for the water to make the ambient air feel cooler when I got out so . . . hot, hot, hot!

Hopefully, today I will make my way to a local mall to check out American Sign Language dictionaries at the book store, to eat lunch at the food court, and to just wander around for a bit! Doesn't that sound like fun?

I am ending the post with a picture. I recently got my digital picture frame up and running again. I put on a bunch of miscellaneous pictures and have the frame set to run automatically during the evenings.

It is fun to sit and watch the pictures change. Every once in a while a picture comes up and it is just so pretty. Like it should be framed and hung on the wall all the time.

This is one of them.

Have a super day!
Voice Update: Doing well despite my rather lax exercising lately (due to headaches) and my cancelled speech appointment. I am still reading out loud (still from my book by Diana Gabaldon) as much as possible.

Monday, August 9, 2010

I Take My Cue From Them . . .

Hi All!

Well, it has been HOT, HOT, HOT here. I think we have had ten days in a row over 100 degrees. When things get THAT hot, I watch the cats and take my cue from them . . .

I spend a lot of time laying belly up these days!
Unfortunately, I have had a run of headaches for the past couple days. I had a bad one on Thursday and then Friday was spent feeling like I had been hit by a truck. Saturday was better and then on Sunday - just as we sat down in church - another headache hit!
Since this time my eyes couldn't take the light and the normally dim sanctuary seemed as though it was lit by spotlights! The white paper of the bulletin was horrible because it reflected the light right into my eyes.
So - I kept my eyes closed most of the time.
I did peek when the baby was baptized - you have to see the baby!
After church we went to a Wal Mart in a neighboring town to get some oil for Hubby's car - we couldn't find the right kind of oil at our Wal Mart. That was a lot of fun for my head but . . . I survived.
Then it was home to take some meds and try to sleep the headache off.
Didn't work.
I ended up taking more meds last night and so this morning . . . the headache is gone but that "hit by a truck" feeling - it is here in full strength!
I did managed to get out and do my walk/swim this morning which helped a bit.
Today I plan on hitting the grocery store before succumbing to another nap forced by my headache!
Wish me luck!
Voice Update: I did manage to read from my book this weekend but on Sunday my eyes didn't want anything to do with the print. So - I badgered Hubby into talking to me a lot so I could get my exercise in. Poor Hubby!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

So Close!

Hi All!

Well - we almost got rain yesterday. The skies certainly looked right and we got thunder and lightening. But . . . about 15 raindrops and that was it. Rats!

Supposedly there is a chance of rain all this weekend. We will see how that goes!
To be fair - places around us got rain. In fact some even got bad winds which ripped off shingles and knocked down fences. We are happy we didn't get the wind but the rain . . . we could really use it!
I got my hair cut yesterday - short again (not that it ever was very long!) but this will be good with swimming and the heat. For everyone who thinks that I should let my hair grow out . . . you really have no clue how hot this darn hair can get!
I have no idea what is going on this weekend. I might be meeting some friends for lunch - don't know for sure yet. We will see how things go! I do plan on taking a nap though!
Have a super weekend!
Voice Update: Doing well. I didn't do a whole lot of reading yesterday but I did enough to give my voice a nice workout.

Friday, August 6, 2010

A Bug and Dinner

Hi All!

Well - yesterday was pretty much a wash - I woke up with a horrible headache at about four in the morning. I took meds and went back to bed. When the alarm rang at about 6:30 - there was NO WAY I was going to get up. I told Hubby he would have to eat out and shut my eyes.

That only worked for a little bit. Skor AND Miss Cleo both decided that they NEEDED me out in the kitchen before they would eat. Great!

Hubby was kind enough to let me keep my eyes closed (I had some MAJOR light sensitivity going on) and he guided me out to the kitchen and then back to bed. He is a WONDERFUL man!

Anyway - after that it was back to sleep until about 8:45 ish when I called Mom to tell her that I wasn't going to be on IM - due to the headache which was still with me. The next time I woke up it was about noon and I shuffled out to have some luch/breakfast.

After that, the whole day was sort of . . . blah.

I always feel like I have been hit by a truck after a headache like that. This time was no exception.

Hubby did point out a very interesting "stink bug" for me to take a picture of though.

Isn't it funky?


It was hard to get a semi-good picture because the sun was so bright outside. Oh well - I like the spikes on his/her legs. Very medieval!


After taking my car for a short shoppping trip with Hubby in the passenger seat to check out the new windshield (verdict: the new windshield is perfect!!), we both headed home for some dinner. Grilled chicken salad - which was Hubby's suggestion.

You have to understand that Hubby usually doesn't suggest anything involving green stuff. This was an impressive suggestion!


This morning I feel better. Not completely better from that dang truck but . . . better.


I didn't walk/swim though - I just needed a bit more sleep.


Later I get my hair cut. I am thinking of going pretty short for the rest of the summer to make the swimming thing easier. What do you think?




Voice Update: Well, I didn't talk a whole lot yesterday but I did talk to Mom for a while which took place of reading since my eyes didn't like reading yesterday (thanks, headache!).

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Expected Home Today

Hi All!

Yesterday evening I got a call from Frank, the service guy at Toyota who has temporary custody of my Venza. Frank told me that I was indeed getting a new windshield and that my car will be ready to come home with me today around 4:00. I am excited!

While the Camry that I have while my Venza is in the shop is fine . . . I miss my Venza!
So - it will be nice to have it back home where it belongs!
Yesterday I made a mammoth haul at the grocery store. Since I hadn't shopped for meat for a while, I loaded up yesterday.
Luckily, we have a vacuum packer to package our extra meat for freezing. We have had it for a while and use it all the time.
Upon returning home from the store and lugging all of the million of grocery bags into the house (actually, there weren't quite a million bags because the bagger liked to pack each bag full, full, full!), I immediately set upon the meat. Because there are only two of us, I normally package the meat into two portion packages. I did the pork chops, the hamburger/turkey, and the breakfast sausage. Then I combined some more hamburger with ground pork and made a meatloaf for me to eat during the week.
Well, that didn't work out too well.
The meatloaf smelled wonderful but the addition of the pork made it less tasty than normal for some reason. I still ate a bit and then sliced the rest of the loaf and froze individual portions.
When the groceries were put away and the meat all packaged and the meatloaf cooked and packaged, I pulled the sheets off the bed and threw them into the washer.
Then I headed outside to rig up a clothesline to dry the sheets on.
No - my drier isn't broken. I just like the smell of line dried sheets and since it was already 103 degrees outside, I knew that the sheets would dry quickly.
Despite the clothesline looking a bit less than impressive, it did its job admirably and last night Hubby and I slept on fresh smelling, sun dried sheets.
I wish I could have taken a video of Skor while Hubby and I were making the bed. For some odd reason Skor LOVES to play on the bed while we are making it. First he likes to get all wrapped up in the sheets before we actually get them onto the bed.
After a little encouraging, he finally gets out of the sheets and allows us to put the sheets on the bed. Then he rolls and scoots around on his belly. He romps all over the King sized bed and just has such fun. Hubby and I have fun watching him and trying to figure out just why this cat likes to do this.
I wish I had a video. Maybe next time I will!
Voice Update: Still doing well. My throat is a bit crunchy but not too bad at all. I was supposed to have a speech appointment today but it has been postponed until next Wednesday because Susan won't be in today. I did my hour of reading yesterday- once more in my current book (it is about 800 pages long so I will be reading out of it for a while!).

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Secret to Grocery Shopping With a Smile

Hi All!

Well, today I have decided to stick pretty close to home. I am going grocery shopping and then will do some laundry. Doesn't that sound like fun?

I know that many people don't particularly like grocery shopping but, I know the secret to making it almost enjoyable. That secret is actually several rolled into one.

1) First, you need to go into the whole thing like an adventure. Shopping is more fun if you look at it this way. A chore? No way! This is like a treasure hunt. Yes, you need to pick up the "usual" things but there is always something different that you can find to bring home. I like to find something different each time I go shopping. It could be a different fruit or vegetable or a different kind of meat. You never know what I will come home with!

2) Next, don't look at the other shoppers as annoyances, look at them as stories waiting to be told. When I find my path blocked by some elderly woman's cart or by some man checking out pasta sauce, I take a second and imagine a story for that person. True, it is surely way off the mark in terms of truth but, I must say that my stories keep me amused!

3) Chat with yourself while going through the aisles. I do this all the time - at the insistence of my speech therapist so that I get vocal "practice" during the day - and it really makes things "interesting." You get a lot of strange looks and sometimes, people even come up and ask if you are okay. Also, this sometimes solves the problem of people blocking your way. If you are talking to yourself - other people tend to move out of your way pretty quickly!

4) Finally, if all of the other suggestions don't work, just think of other things you could be doing which are actually worse than grocery shopping. My list includes cleaning up hair balls, dealing with insurance companies, waiting in an emergency room waiting room, sitting in a very boring college lecture, giving my cat (either one) medicine, and dealing with sun poisoning rash. Compared to these things . . . shopping is heaven!

Well - at least it isn't too bad when I can come home and take a nap like this fellow . . .

By the way - who stole all of our clouds? The skies are clear and the weather is HOT, HOT, HOT!


Have a super day!


Voice Update: Doing well. I am still reading from my latest book and I wish I could read it while driving and grocery shopping but . . . I can't!