Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Hi All!

First of all let me tell you that the peach freezer jam that I made is ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL! I didn't have any thawed in time to go on my toast but I did have some on a piece of bread last night and it was amazing how good it was! I am impressed with myself even though I just followed the recipe on the packet of pectin I bought at Wal Mart.

For those of you who want the recipe - it is simple. Get a packet of freezer jam pectin from your local store. They have all kinds. I used Ball brand and it specifically said for freezer jam.

Mix 1 1/2 cups of sugar (or artificial sweetener) and the packet of pectin in a large bowl. Then stir in 4 cups of crushed fruit (strawberries or in my case - peaches). Stir for three minutes. Then ladle the stuff into containers (I used Ziplock plastic containers which held about one cup of jam), put the lids on and let set for about 30 minutes. After that, date the tops and pop them in the freezer.

To use the freezer jam you need to allow it to thaw in the refrigerator and store it in the refrigerator as well.


That was one success for the day yesterday.

The second success of the day was that Hubby and I bought a new vehicle to replace my SUV. We bought a Toyota Venza which is sort of an SUV/station wagon kind of thing but I am calling it a "smooshed SUV" and avoiding the station wagon label.

The vehicle is actually in Oklahoma and the dealer is sending someone to get it so I may get it today (Which I highly doubt) or tomorrow. Then I will have tons of pictures to show you of my new ride!


That is about it for my news of success!


Voice Update: Since I talked to the car dealer forever yesterday, I didn't read but I did do some massage. Still not enough but I am trying to ramp it up!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

An Update

Hi All!

Well, I have good news! My rash is going away! Apparently, it was the kind of thing that took a week and two days to go away. I still have no clue what in the world caused the rash (I am positive that Hubby wasn't trying to poison me though!) but it is going away. In fact, this morning, I only have splotches of the rash here and there instead of a total covering of the rash.

I do remember scratching violently during the night last night so all of the itchiness isn't gone but . . . progress! Yeah!

Speaking of progress . . . I made two batches of freezer jam yesterday. It was easy and, I hope the results are good. I plan on testing out the resulting jam in just a couple minutes on some toast.

Hubby brought up an interesting question while I was making the last batch of jam last night. He wondered where the idea for freezer jam ever came from (since he had never heard of such a thing until he met me and my family). That got me wondering too. Just where in the world DID the stuff come from? Obviously it doesn't go back to the time of the pioneers since they didn't have freezers. Personally, I think it was just an easier way to make jam - instead of all of the cooking and canning and all of that good stuff. What do you think?

Have YOU ever heard of freezer jam before?

This morning is the first morning in a long time that I have skipped walking/swimming. I do have a good reason though - it was storming when I was ready to walk. I didn't think that swimming in lightening would be a good idea and since I couldn't swim - I decided to head back to bed. It was nice to get another little nap while listening to the rain pitter-pat on the roof.

The hunt for my new vehicle is still in progress. I have pretty much decided that I want to purchase a Toyota Venza but we are still trying to actually get that from idea to reality. I will keep you updated with my vehicle-hunt progress. Hopefully, when it is all done I will have some pictures to share. AND - hopefully, I won't have to go car shopping in the 90+ degree weather for much longer!

Happy Tuesday!


Voice Update: Still holding its own! I did get to my reading last night and finished up the book of Job. Now I am into the Psalms and - based on the length of this book - I will be there for a long, long time! As for the massage, I did some while lotioning my neck and while washing my face. I am sure it wasn't nearly enough but it is a start, right?

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Rash

Hi All!

I have held off doing this so I didn't gross too many people out but . . . I need some help. Before I left for Ohio I had a patch of dry ickiness on the right side of my neck which was bothering me. I get these once in a while and moisturize the heck out of them to no avail. Then I got another problem. . . a rash!

I got this after sitting out on the porch at my in-laws reading. I was primarily in the shade but there was some sun hitting me on the left side so I initially thought this was sun poisoning (the sun and I are NOT friends!) but then . . . it spread!

This is what it looked like on Friday. It isn't the easiest to see but it is little red bumps and it itches like crazy!
Here are my theories so far:
1) Sun poisoning. Pros: I got it after sitting in the sun. My past sun poisoning episodes always had little red, itchy bumps. The sun and I are not friends. Cons: Only the left side of my neck was in the sun and this has spread to both sides now. It has SPREAD! Sun poisoning doesn't spread (in my experience). Normally, sun poisoning goes away in less than a week and it has been a week and a day so far.
2) Some mystery rash picked up from the pool. Pros: I swim daily so . . .it is possible. Other people swim and they might have something which gets in the water and then gets on me. Cons: I didn't get the rash until I had been in Ohio for at least five days. I didn't get the rash anywhere else on my body - which you would think I would since my entire body is in the water.
3) Poison Ivy. Pros: It is itchy and it spreads (maybe from scratching??) Cons: I have never had poison ivy before. The little bumps are fluid filled. I don't think I have been in contact with poison ivy and, if I had been, how would it have gotten smeared on my chest and not my arms or legs?
4) Hubby is slowly poisoning me. Pros: Can there really be any for this? Cons: pretty much everything!
5) Aliens are testing some new virus on me. Pros and Cons: I am not even bothering with this one!!
So - what do YOU think? I am under strict orders by Hubby to call the doctor and make an appointment but . . . this morning the left side of my neck seems to be clearing up . . . I am not sure if I should make the appointment or not . . .
Oh - the original dry patch is gone except for one red splotch. That whole area is now covered with the "new" red bumps.
In other news, my neighbors' peach trees are being very generous with their fruit this year and I am planning on trying to make peach freezer jam - for the first time ever! My Aunt Donna makes WONDERFUL strawberry freezer jam but I have never made that and I have never had freezer jam made from peaches.
Before attempting this plan I will be heading to Wally World to get supplies. And I might browse around a bit if they are FINALLY done rearranging things.
Tomorrow I will have to let you know how the jam making turned out. Keep your fingers crossed for a good outcome!
Voice Update: Doing very well. I talked to Mom and Dad last night instead of reading - mostly because the whole rash thing was depressing me and talking to the parents always helps! I haven't been doing the massage like I should be. I am thinking of putting post-its around the house to remind me.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Some Saturday Meditation . . .

Hi All!

It is a bit warm here - luckily, my walk and swim were pretty cool this morning. The water was cooler than it was on Wednesday and it actually felt good to swim! Today was a busy day at the pool. Three other people showed up. One man swam something like four laps and left. Then, just as I was walking out, another man and a woman (not together) showed up to swim. I am glad that I was finished because that would have made for a crowded pool!

Yesterday I went grocery shopping - finally. We were almost down to eating the stuff that we keep for emergencies and would really rather not eat! I got all kinds of fruit and veggies so we should have a shot at eating healthily this week. Not that we are going to really do that but . . . having the food is a good start, don't you think?

I also got my hair cut yesterday. We will see if I can manage to get a picture up here in the next couple of days. It doesn't look any different than usual - just shorter!

Are you ready for my Ohio Trip Picture of the Day?

Here they are.

This is along the path in the woods that I took on the four wheeler. It was nice and cool in the beautiful woods.
This shot is just of the woods along the path I was riding on. I liked the way the sun was shining through the canopy of the trees.

Riding through these woods is so relaxing for me. It is almost like meditating on the beauty and wonders of nature.

On that note, I think I am going to just look at these pictures and . . . . meditate a bit!

Have a super Saturday!


Voice Update: Still doing remarkably well. I didn't read last night (boo, me!) but, I did talk to my mom on the phone for a while and I talked to my neighbor during my walk. Yes, I know that I am making excuses when I should really just buckle down and get to my reading. Besides, I want to know how the book of Job turns out (just kidding! I already know the entire story!)!

Friday, June 25, 2010

An Adventure for Goat Food

Hi All!

While in Ohio, Hubby and I traveled down to the family farm - about an hour and a half from my parents' house. We met my parents there and saw my uncle (who lives at the farm). However, before we left to head to the farm, my parents asked if we could stop in the small town of Baltic, Ohio to pick up the "good" goat feed. Five bags of feed and a salt block.

Well, we were happy to do so. We wound our way down the country roads and found the Gerber Feed Mill in Baltic. We had a good time talking first to the woman in the office who took our order and our money and then with the Amish man who loaded the feed into our rental car trunk. There is just something about small town America which can't be described in words. . . .

Anyway, we hauled the goat food home (after a stop at the cheese shop I talked about yesterday) and when we got to the farm . . .

We got to see the goats!

Mom was shelling corn for them and they were crowding around the feed boxes. They are cute, aren't they?

This little one had a tick on him/her (I am not sure if it is a boy or girl . . .).

So Dad had to take care of that.

The goats have a rock pile in their pen and they like to play "King of the Hill."
Do you see how this goat's ears turn up on the end? Isn't that cute?
We had fun watching the goats and then I took a nice, fast ride on the four wheeler. Hubby, who had never ridden a four wheeler (ATV) actually rode it from the lake up to the house - which wasn't that far but still - it was a good step for Hubby!
The farm is such fun!
In other news - I walked and swam again today. It is a little cooler today since it is supposed to rain this afternoon. It rained a bit yesterday afternoon but not too much. We did have some impressive thunder and lightening though. The thunder actually woke me up from my nap!
Well, I suppose I have procrastinated enough. I need to get to the grocery store before it rains (Hubby washed my car yesterday so it will look nice if we head out to look for cars this weekend!).
Ta ta for now!
Voice Update: Still doing really well. Yesterday I actually remembered to read - with a little help from Hubby. It helps to get back into the routine of things since it makes remembering to read easier. Now I am in the middle of the book of Job.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Holy Cow!

Hi All!

Did you know that June is Dairy Month? No? Well, now you do so go out there and thank a cow - oops - I mean a dairy farmer!

This lovely little lady was in the cheese plant store that Hubby and I stopped at for cheese. Realistic, don't you think? Well, except for the signs on her side.

You could actually milk the cow but only water came out . . . not a very realistic experience!
Hubby and I had to have a picture with the little lady to prove that we do support dairy farmers and the dairy industry!

After stocking up on cheese and trail bologna Hubby and I headed to my parents' farm for a visit. There will be more about that tomorrow!

Good news today! I called the Home Owners' Association yesterday and today my key to the pool works! YEAH!!!! So - I got in my walk AND my 23 laps this morning. My neighbor went with me. The only complaint (other than the fact that it was 80 when I woke up which made for a very hot walk!) was that the water was just a bit too warm for exercising in. It was closer to tepid than refreshing.


I guess you can't have EVERYTHING, can you?

My neighbor and I peeled and sliced a zillion (don't you love that exact number) of peaches from her peach tree yesterday. She has a ton (again - so exact!) more but I don't know that I will help her with all of them. It was fun to work and chat together and it made the work go much faster. When we were done we had lemonade and watched "Deal or No Deal."

What an exciting life I lead!


Voice Update: Well, I totally forgot to read yesterday. I blame vacation - I didn't have to read because I yakked so much! At least I did talk to my neighbor while we peeled and sliced peaches so that might count . . . hopefully! My voice is doing really well. Only those few sounds still trip me up once in a while (plus "two" which I am considering replacing with either the Spanish or German word for the number because I can say THOSE!).

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Late Flight . . .

Hi All!

Whew! I think I need a vacation from my vacation! Either that or I need more sleep because Skor wouldn't let me sleep too much last night - which do you think??

Anyway - Hubby and I are back from our trip to lovely Ohio - where it was unseasonably warm while we were there! I guess we just can't get away from the heat!

Our trip started with a late flight. This was the view out of the plane window and the picture doesn't do it justice!

I know that the last two aren't sunsets but I thought they were nice just the same!
We had a direct flight on a TINY little jet which didn't have too much padding on the bottom of the seats. That led to some sore butts by the end of the almost three hour flight!
Oh well!
We had a lot of fun and saw a lot of people. However, we have almost decided that trying to see everyone while we are "in town" is just too much. After all, we have all of the relatives AND then friends. It is almost too exhausting to contemplate! I think the next time we will have to have an open house kind of thing and get it over with in one day!
I will let you know more about our trip in the upcoming days.
Now, I want to vent a little. You know that I walk and then swim every morning. The pool I use is the community's adult-only pool which requires a key card. If you go back a couple of weeks you can read about my struggle to get the right darn key in the first place. Well . . . today my neighbor joined me for the walk/swim and NEITHER OF OUR KEYS WORKED!!!! What is up with that?????
Needless to say, I will be calling the association as soon as they open at nine!
The good news is that the same neighbor took care of the kitties and flowers while we were gone and everything is alive and healthy! Of course that includes the weeds that I need to get to pulling now that I am home! In addition, the neighbor gave me a LOT of Texas peaches from their trees. She has a ton and I told her I would go over and help her peel and prepare the peaches for freezing. I can almost taste the peach crisp already! Yummy!
How was your week? I must admit that I didn't read ANY blogs while I was away so I will have a lot to catch up on.
Voice Update: Because I talked and talked and talked with friends and relatives during my trip, I didn't have to do any reading out loud. Of course, that means that I didn't get further in the Bible but, it is here waiting for me! My voice is doing really well. The only hint of my SD is when I have to start a sentence with a hard C or an H sound or when I try to say the word Two. Not too bad, I must say!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My Upcoming Week.

Hi All!

It is a lovely morning in my neck of the woods! It rained (one inch) during the night and everything is moist and wonderful (Okay, so the humidity is at 80% - you have to take the bad with the good, right??). The birds are singing as they flit from tree to tree enjoying the overcast skies (normally the skies are sunny and hot by this time of the day). gh
I was swimming (the back stroke) when I saw one of these beauties fly by.

It was my first Oriole sighting (this picture wasn't taken by me it is from Wikapedia) and it was beautiful!
I also sighted two hawks during my morning walk to the pool - a Sharp-shinned Hawk and a Cooper's Hawk ( they look very similar except for the size).
What a great start to my day!
Now, I need to warn you that I might miss a post here and there over the next seven days. Hubby and I have some big plans and I might be away from the computer for a while so . . . forgive any post less days!

I hope your upcoming week is full of excitement too!


Voice Update: Doing well. Doing well. I am trying to really get in some more massage since that was the area where I needed the most work according to Susan. I am also making sure that I get that all important talking/oral reading in. There are some days when I feel the need to talk to someone so I call up Mom or another friend and spend an hour or so chatting to get that voice exercise in!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Swim Goggles

Hi All!

Well, I slept a lot this weekend and I think I have defeated the Friday Fatigue. It was bad . . .

On Saturday I dragged Hubby along to have lunch with some of my friends from ASL. We ate at Genghis Grill - my first time there - and it was fun. Of course, now I want to go back and eat there again! Today! Maybe I will lunch there by myself with a good book. Who knows!

After lunch Hubby and I stopped at a Honda dealership to check out the Honda SUVs. Yes, our hunt for a new vehicle for me is continuing. We drove a CRV and a Pilot. I liked both vehicles but the Pilot was certainly more powerful and more luxurious. However, it didn't have a USB connection for my iPod! What??? The cheaper CRV had one standard but the more expensive Pilot didn't! I think that in this day and age it should just be a standard thing. Oh well. I know that won't be a contributing factor in my eventual decision.

On Sunday we went to church and it was just a bit weird. There is a new choir director (who sings the hymns too slow!!!!) and somehow the entire service just seemed "off" for some reason. I don't know if it is the fact that it is summer or if we sat in a weird place or what. Oh well. While sitting in church I did notice that my BRAND NEW SHIRT had a hole in it! Rats! True, it was only a cheapo from Wally World but still . . .

Later that day we took the shirt back (there wasn't another to trade it for so I just got my money back) and ate at What-A-Burger. I still am unable to eat hamburgers from restaurants but I do like their Honey BBQ Chicken Strip Sandwich (Or whatever it is called).

Isn't our life exciting?

Today I did my morning walk and my swim. This time I used my NEW swim goggles that I bought on Saturday and I really liked them. The water is super chlorinated (as most public pools are) and I was having problems with my eyes so I got goggles and it makes quite a difference! Yes, my face has goggle marks on it for a while after I take them off but the lack of burning eyes when I finish my swim makes it worth while! No more worrying about water splashing in my eyes while doing the back stroke. Now I can actually open my eyes under water while doing the crawl to see where that darn wall is! It is amazing what a difference a simple pair of goggles makes!


Voice Update: I was pretty good this weekend about reading (I am done with Nehemiah!) and I am trying to step up my massage so that my throat stays looser. We will see how that works out.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Friday Fatigue

Hi All!

Happy Friday! The week is finally winding its way down! Not that it was a bad week or anything. It just always feels good to be Friday - I am not sure why. Maybe it is a hold over from when I was in school and/or working.

Anyway. Today I woke up feeling odd. A bit tired and a bit headachey. Not a real, banging headache which will turn into a migraine but something weird was going on. Once I got up and moving the head thing basically went away but I felt incredibly tired. Now, I did sleep well (I think) and Skor didn't start to bother me this morning until around 6:00 so . . . I am not sure why I feel so tired.

I did get Hubby's lunch made and I did get myself out to walk/swim. The walk to the pool wasn't too bad but once I got swimming, I found that my legs and arms were TIRED! Through pure grit I managed to do all 23 laps and the exercises I do in the pool but . . . it took a lot of grit and determination because just floating sounded (in my head) like a much better alternative!

The walk home was difficult because my legs just didn't want to participate! I did get home and now I am sitting here thinking of my day and wanting to just take a long nap!

Hopefully I will get motivated enough to skip the nap and do what I need to do!



Voice Update: I am BAD, BAD, BAD! Yesterday I didn't do anything in terms of voice exercises or oral reading!!! I don't know what happened - I just sort of slipped through the day and didn't end up doing any. Not good! Today I will have to be motivated in this area, at least!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My Dance Lesson

Hi All!

Yesterday I had my first dance lesson* after a "hiatus" of about six weeks. Now, my partner** and I have been practicing pretty much daily during the hiatus but, we haven't exactly been doing everything that our instructor*** had told us to do during our last lesson.

Our dance^ has been going pretty smoothly lately. We rarely step on each other's toes or knock heads while changing directions. True, once in a while my partner gets a bit "independent" and decides to show me that I am not the only one who can lead the steps.

Anyway, the instructor was impressed with our work during the six week break from lessons. She did have a few minor corrections to make (like I need to do more massage and I need to work on a couple specific steps^^) but, overall, she was happy with our progress. In fact, she has reduced our lessons from twice a month to once a month. Yeah!

*Speech Therapy
**Abductor Spasmodic Dysphonia
***Susan (SLP)
^Living with SD
^^ Working on the sounds which still give me the most difficulty by focusing on the sounds after the difficult sounds.

Okay. If you deciphered all of that, you know how my latest speech appointment went. Now, I would like to address the reason I call my living with SD as a "dance" instead of a struggle, a journey, or anything like that.

The idea of living with SD for the rest of my life was very overwhelming for me. I struggled to "beat" SD and this resulted in a less than ideal situation. I soon realized that each and every time I attempted to "subdue" SD or overpower it, it would come back even more ferociously to "kick my rear."

I would work and work and struggle and then find myself taking the proverbial "one step forward two steps back." It seemed like all of my hard work was turning out to be worthless. And then, Susan sat me down for one of her "talks (she does this occasionally when I need it!)."

Susan told me that I was never going to "beat" or "subdue" SD because it was stronger than I could ever be. True, I am very, very stubborn but, SD is even more so. Each time I tried to beat SD it came back because, in reality, I was never going to completely beat SD. I just wasn't. It was here to stay and I needed to deal with that fact. Susan suggested considering living with SD not as a battle but rather, as a dance.

This dance has two distinct participants, me and SD, who need to learn to dance in harmony with each other without stepping on each others toes or trying to take the lead too strongly. If I could learn how to work WITH SD instead of trying to work AGAINST it, Susan assured me that my life would be much happier.

I went home after this little talk and I pondered what I had heard. Work WITH SD? Shouldn't I try to eradicate it? Smash it into dust? This dance stuff just seemed like crazy talk . . . at first. And then, it all started to make sense.

Any major relationship in life is more of a dance than a battle. Think about marriage. You work WITH your spouse (most of the time!) to live together. When things are out of sync (stepping on toes) life isn't too happy but, once you get back "in step" with each other - harmony and happiness.

So - dance with SD. I decided that the philosophy of dancing WITH SD instead of struggling against it just made sense. I knew that SD was incurable so I was stuck with it and learning to live with it just seemed to make the most of the situation. After all, struggling hadn't gotten me too far up to this point so there really wasn't too much to lose now, was there?

Over the past couple of years I have been learning the steps. SD is a demanding partner. If I don't show up for practice each and every day by doing my exercises and massage and now, reading out loud, SD gets cranky and tries to take the lead in my life by making my voice worse. The minute I decide to strike out on my own for a solo, SD is right there pulling me back and reminding me that my time for soloing is now past and that SD is here to stay. As with every dance, and with every dance partner, there are things which make life easier - I know the kinds of words which SD causes me to mess up the most so I work on those or I think of ways to avoid them. There are situations where SD is just going to show up more than in others (noisy background, large crowds, when I am nervous or upset or tired) and I make adjustments for this (amplification, relying on Hubby more, moving to a quieter venue, asking for music to be turned down, etc.).

Considering my life with SD as a dance has helped me to work with the disorder to find my voice again. Yes, there are times when my "partner" and I are at odds but, once I get my head right (somehow, SD is never the one at fault - imagine that!), we are back in step and dancing along smoothly.

Yes, my experience with SD is a dance. One for which I will never stop rehearsing but one which, when done well, is very rewarding!


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Knock-Out Roses and Hidden Kitties

Hi All!

Today has started out much cooler (okay - 3 degrees cooler) than yesterday. True, the humidity was still at 81% but that will get lower during the day (as the temperature gets higher, of course!). My swim got off to an earlier start than I have been getting because I just need more time in that lovely pool! I headed out the door around 7:00 A.M. this morning and had a nice, leisurely time in the pool (after I finished my 23 laps) floating and relaxing before heading home.

I decided to show some of the Knock-Out roses so that those of you who aren't familiar with them can see . . .

They really are more beautiful when they have their first bloom since there are no "dead" flowers on the bushes. The flowers are still nice throughout the summer though!

Here is a close up of one particularly nice bud on a plant next to the pool.

It is nice to have such colorful plants around the pool. I only wish they were planted in places where I could use them as markers to keep me from hitting my head on the side when I am doing the back-stroke!

Yesterday I had fun at the grocery store tinged with a little frustration. Our local Kroger's is smallish and this leads to limited supplies of things. For example, in the cream cheese section, they started carrying individual packets of cream cheese (nice for lunch boxes, etc.) but to do that they had to quit carrying my favorite kind of cream cheese - veggie. Also, they have about a zillion bottles of ranch dressing in all brands but only two different blue cheese choices, one of which is NASTY!

I am thinking I might try a grocery trip to the Super Target down the way - just to take a break from Kroger's. We will see how I feel the next time I head out to shop for food!

Hubby and I had a fun time playing Wii last night. I am trying to get Hubby to be a bit more active so I am conning him into playing Wii and walking with me (it was WAY too hot and humid to walk last night!). Last night we played Mario and Sonic Olympics (or something like that). Hubby beat me at table tennis and then I beat him in the javelin toss.

Next up was bowling - which I am horrible at both in real-life and on the Wii! We finished up with a boxing bout. Hubby won by KO. Yes, I went down and went down hard! Luckily, it was only a game.

I am still amazed at just how sweaty you can get playing a video game!

It was a really, really nice evening.

I have speech today (I checked on Monday just to make sure!) and after that I am planning on heading to the college to get some time in at the ASL lab. Hopefully, it won't be busy so that I can get some time in with an assistant - if not, I guess I will get some receptive practice in by watching a video or two.

Tomorrow I will fill you in on what all I actually get done today! In the meantime, I think I will share this with you. Yesterday, when I got done with putting the groceries away I couldn't find the kitties. Odd.

I walked back and forth past this a couple times . . . I didn't notice anything at first but then I took a closer look.

Miss Cleo was napping in the house and didn't show up at first in the dark (I woke her up with my flash).

Then I heard a slight rustle and looked down to find where Skor was hiding.
Have a fabulous Wednesday!
Voice Update: Doing well (in my opinion) but, I will be able to tell you what Susan thinks tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Yesterday's Woes

Hi All!

You may have noticed that I didn't blog yesterday. Was I sick? Did I have a headache? Was I at the doctor's? Did Skor chew through the computer cables?


Blogger wouldn't let me make any changes to my blog yesterday. I could get onto my blog, sign in, and read your blogs but publish a new blog myself - no dice!

Needless to say, I was a bit frustrated by this lack of "cooperation" on Blogger's end of things. I had things I wanted to say!


*whew* Okay. Now I feel better.

As you may or may not know, I live in Northern Texas in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex (That is really what it is called here!). Many people hear that and comment about the heat. Yes, it gets HOT here. The next thing people say is invariably, "But it is a dry heat, right?" Ha ha ha ha ha! Dry? I don't think so!

This morning, when I woke up and glanced at Hubby's weather station, it was 77 degrees with 81% humidity! 81%! That, my friends, is like walking into a sauna! True, sauna's are hotter than 77 degrees but . . . give it a few hours and we will be in near sauna temps here as well. Dry heat - no way! You walk out the door and are instantly sweaty. It is a lovely, lovely feeling!

It is a good thing that I wear my swimsuit when I head out for my morning walk these days because I end up drenched even before I get into the pool!

Bunnies run around our neighborhood like little little hairballs. Normally, they are cute. They eat the weeds that grow in our grass and we thank them for that. They give Skor some good entertainment when he gets a look at them hopping in the yard. Good all around, right?


The bunnies have an interesting homing device which allows them to home into my Cone Flowers! These poor things haven't much of a chance with those bunnies nibbling on them! I have tried different deterrents with varying levels of success. First I tried sprinkling the plants with hot pepper powder. That foiled the bunnies until they apparently developed a taste for spicy foods. I tried garlic powder. Again - it worked for a while until the bunnies decided they liked the spiced leaves. I tried spraying the plants with soapy water and the bunnies didn't like that too well until they figured out to "snip" off the leaves and dunk them into the bird bath to rinse them off. Really!

Well - I finally went to the Depot and got some fencing. After it hung out in the garage for a month or so I actually got it out yesterday and fashioned a fence around the Cone Flowers. We will see if the Bunnies figure a way around this too! Keep your fingers crossed!

Hubby was anxious the entire time I was working with the fencing. He was certain that I would kill myself on the wiring. Well, I finished the entire thing without even a scratch!

Then, in the evening, I was trying to clip a matt from Skor (who doesn't really matt except for under his "arms.") when I managed to slice my right index finger on the scissors! Now, how in the world did I manage THAT? I didn't even know I had done it until I looked and blood was dripping off my finger.

I showed Hubby and he just rolled his eyes and left the room (after bringing me a tissue). Wasn't that sweet??

Hopefully today will be better! I am going shopping for groceries - one of my favorite things in the entire world! (NOT!)- and then doing some work on some ASL stuff.

Tomorrow I have speech (I thought it had been rescheduled for yesterday but apparently, I was mistaken!) and then I will swing by the ASL lab for a bit to work on some skills I need to "brush up" on.

Here is hoping your yesterday, today, and tomorrow are wonderful!


Voice Update: Well, I am through the Chronicles and Ezra and on to Nehemiah. More names. *sigh* My voice sounds pretty good even though my neck is a bit "crunchy" and I am sure Susan won't be too happy about that. I will tell you more about things are going after my appointment tomorrow!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Saturday - What a Day!

Hi All!

This will be short and sweet - so to speak - because I am dealing with a "headache hangover." Yesterday I developed another migraine (what is going on with these things lately???) and took meds which allowed me to be almost human during the evening. However, the medicine also makes me feel "hungover" the next day - today!

Unfortunately, that meant that when I woke up this morning to go walking and swimming, I could barely move my head. So - it was back to bed for a while. I think a swim would have felt good but the effort of actually getting there just seemed too much this morning!

In fact, I doubt if I would have made it out of bed if it weren't for Skor's dogged determination that I get up to watch him devour his kibble. What a "good" kitty he is!

Since I don't have anything major on my schedule today I am hoping to get back to sleep to vanquish this horrible "hangover" feeling.

I hope your weekend gets off to a better start than mine has - I just spotted Bunny munching on my Cone Flowers!


Voice Update: I didn't read yesterday because I could barely move - let alone read. I should have speech on Monday but, I didn't get a call reminding me about the appointment so I am doubting that it is really going to happen. I guess I will have to call before I leave the house to make sure I really do have an appointment. It has been more than a month since I have seen Susan and I am a bit concerned about the "crunchiness" of my neck. But - I guess that is the way the old ball bounces, right?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Balloons - on a Plant!

Hi All!

Happy Friday! Yesterday I didn't blog because I had to go and get a mammogram - fun, fun, fun! Anyway, that messed up my entire schedule (it was at 8:15 in the morning) and I just can't make myself blog in the middle of the day for some reason!

I finished reading the book Flea sent me, Her Mother's Hope by Francine Rivers. It is a very good book and I am looking forward to the next book which is due out this Fall. The book follows the life of a mother from her beginnings in Switzerland to her own motherhood in California as well as HER daughter's life. There is a lot of strife between the mother and daughter which is based in the mother's background. Despite the stress caused by the rocky relationship, this book is full of hope and love and determination. This was a book that I had problems putting down. Despite the fact that it is rather thick, I read the entire thing in less than two days and then wished it hadn't ended so soon!

While I was swimming this morning, I looked up (between laps) and realized that there is a Balloon Flower plant among the landscape. It was blooming and it inspired me to take some pictures of my own Balloon Flower plant!

The plant is growing to take up all the space between the two shrubs (and of course, they are growing too!) and is much taller than it was last year.

I love the rich purple of the blooms - as well as the fact that they start out as purple "Balloons" before popping open into lovely flowers.

Here is a fuzzy picture of a "balloon" about ready to "pop!"

For some reason, the blooms seem to be clustered in groups of three (this is a different cluster than the first picture). They add such a nice "pop" of color to the front bed.

Here is some video of Skor and his "buddy," the squirrel.


Voice Update: I am doing pretty good. I am not doing my massage as much as I should but . . . hey - I am getting there! I finally finished 1 Chronicles and into 2Chronicles. All of those Biblical names are really getting to me!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

An Unwelcome Visitor and My Latest Reading

Hi All!

Skor has been busy most evenings around here with this unwelcome visitor.

Luckily, the squirrel (or it might be two who alternate for the evening shift) hasn't figured out the bird feeder yet. He (or she) has done some chewing on the wire holding the bird feeder up though!
I would love to get a photo of this little bugger when he/she is just hanging by his/her feet from the gutter without touching the feeder. However, each time I get the camera ready, the squirrel retreats to the roof!

Here are the latest books I have read. As per my new habit, I won't tell you about all of them but, I decided I would tell you all of their titles.

From left to right - Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns; Savor the Moment by Nora Roberts (the third in the Brides series); Hating Valentine's Day by Allison Rushby; Undue Influence by Steve Martini; Trouble With Angels by Debbie Macomber; Look Closely by Laura Caldwell.

Interestingly, all of these books was what I consider a "good" book. Any of them would be good reads. Undue Influence and Look Closely are about lawyers chasing down facts in unsolved mysteries.

Trouble With Angels is a light read about three angels helping people on earth in their own, peculiar, bumbling way.

Hating Valentine's Day is about a wedding photographer who hates Valentine's Day until she meets someone special.

Savor the Moment is one of Nora Robert's newest books and it is one I enjoyed. This is the third of four chronicling the lives of four best friends who run a wedding establishment. One woman does the planning, one does the pastries, one does the flowers, and one does the photography. This is a good read which departs slightly from the usual Nora Roberts formula. I am looking forward to the fourth book!

Cold Sassy Tree is a work of fiction written from the perspective of a young boy in the south at the turn of the century (the 20th not the 21st!). His family experiences ups and downs and the boy narrates the action. I was leery when I picked this book up but I found that it was a good read and it certainly held my interest. The story is filled with interesting details and the voice of the narrator sounds almost like he is talking only to you.

Well, that is my latest reading. All good books which I would recommend to you.


P.S. I just updated my records and from May 31, 2009 to May 31, 2010, I have read 59 books. A slow year for me!

Voice Update: Still doing okay. I got back on the reading "horse" last night and am struggling my way through 1Chronicles. All those Biblical names!!!!! I think I am past most of the genealogy and into the stories now though. I think my voice is pretty strong now. I am concentrating more on trying to get those last few sounds worked out!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Mellow Pictures for a Mellow Mood

Hi All!

My morning swim, walk, and watering routine has left me feeling mellow. Happy and a bit tired (you know that feeling after you have been swimming) and just . . . . mellow.

To honor that feeling I decided to share some "mellow" pictures with you. I took these during the last "Spelunk" that Hubby and I undertook.

Weren't those mellow? I hope I keep this feeling for a while!
Have a super week!
Voice Update: I was a bad girl and didn't do my reading this weekend. On Saturday, I figured that I talked enough with my friend Donna on the way to and from the musical that I didn't need to read. On Sunday and Monday . . . I was just plain lazy. My voice is doing okay - nothing stellar but pretty darn good for someone with SD!