Saturday, February 26, 2011

Something's Fishy In This Post

Hi All!

Yesterday was a wonderful day of observations for me - six and a half hours! That is a good chunk on my way to 200! Actually, I am almost halfway there - 98 hours so far! Not too bad, huh?

Today I am excited because I have an excursion to the local school's annual book sale planned. This is the place that I get a huge pile of books for the amount of money that I would donate anyway! Score! I will have to show you all the books I end up with after the sale. I can hardly wait to get there and start browsing. The sale takes place in an old Old Navy store - it is huge and there are just rows and rows of tables full of books of all kinds! Maybe I will take pictures of that too!

Last night I made another foray into the world of Amazon's free mp3 downloads. If you like music and like free things (and have an mp3 device or like to listen to music on the computer) you should really check it out! I found several nice classical albums along with some soul songs and a jazz album. It is always interesting to see what you will find.

I enjoy looking at the free songs offered and then selecting one and checking out the ratings (there are some really good raters that make regular comments) for the song. I listen to the preview and, if I like it, I download it. Then I start delving a bit deeper into the world of free downloads. At the bottom of each song's page there is a list of songs that "people who have purchased this song" have purchased. I browse those and check out ratings and then check out more past purchases. Many times I end up finding songs/albums that don't show up on the main page and are "buried" in the other free songs. It is like a big treasure hunt and I really like it!

Continuing in my "theme" of past pictures I found these.

This is Hubby in front of a huge fish tank at the Texas aquarium (I think). We took a trip out to the aquarium to see a very special fish that someone had caught in a local lake.

It was this catfish. While the fish looks like it might be normal sized in this picture, it actually was gigantic! In fact, it was probably as long as I am tall (which is 5 foot 5!). I can't remember how much the fish weighed but I know it was a couple hundred pounds!


Some guy actually caught this beast while fishing! He donated it to the state aquarium so that it could be studied and then released. While it was being observed and analyzed, it was in this huge tank where the general public could come and see it.


It does make me think twice about wanting to swim in the local lakes if there are fish like this swimming around!




Voice Update: Rockin' and rollin'!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head . . .

Hi All!

Another picture dug from my seemingly endless archive of photos to illustrate the weather in my neck of the woods today! This is Q-Tip (yes, he looks a lot like Skor) posing with an umbrella. Isn't he cute (just ignore the glowing eyes!)?

This morning I took my walk in a fine, misty rain. Despite having an umbrella, I arrived home with all my clothes damp. The only part of me that remained dry was my head. I guess that is something, right?
While I was walking I realized that my walking pants (really yoga pants from Wally World!) illustrated pretty graphically that I am not like most people. You see, I am what you might call short waisted. The distance between my waist and my crotch is much less that what the clothing industry believes is "normal." This small distance means that I can usually pull the waist of most pants up to my armpits (or thereabouts!). If I don't choose to do the high-waisted look, I end up with the crotch of the pants hanging down around my knees. Not too comfy!
So - this morning I walked with my waistband sitting a good eight inches above my belly-button. For some reason I just couldn't ignore this fact. It wasn't uncomfortable but it just felt weird. I guess when you are a person like me who is "slightly" out-of-the-box of normality, you have to expect this kind of stuff now and again!
It was nice walking in the rain. It was almost relaxing as it was quiet and tranquil and not too cold (it was 62 when I woke up). A good way to start the day!
Speaking of days, it has been a couple days since I last posted. As usual, this was caused by business and observation assignments. Am I the only one who thinks this phase of my life will never end?
I am happy to report that Hubby is mostly over his man-cold. He still has some horrific coughing spells but is done with the fever, body aches, and stuffy head. Yeah! The bad thing is that he is still not willing to kiss me because he is convinced that he can still pass on this cold to me that way. Nice!
That is life, I guess!
Hope your life is going well!
Voice Update: Doing well. I am faithfully doing the massage and making sure to do exercises. I was thinking last night that it almost seems like I don't have SD at all - but then I thought about the time I spend working on massage and exercises and how my voice insists on giving me problems when I am tired, emotional, or in a noisy place. Apparently, I am just getting so good at the dance steps that I can do them without really thinking about it! Not too bad!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Memories From the Picture File

Hi All!

Since Hubby has been dealing with his man-cold and I have been working hard to stave off a cold of my own, nothing too exciting has been going on around here. However, I did find some interesting memories to share.

Over Christmas 2003 Hubby and I took a cruise through the Panama Canal. I loved, loved, loved it. I was just fascinated by the entire process and the canal itself. I even fought through crowds at the back of the ship to take pictures like this one of the locks closing behind us.

Just look at all the mechanical stuff involved in a canal transit!
This is a natural bridge in Aruba - sadly, this bridge has collapsed since I took this picture. Look at how blue those skies were!
Here is a pelican that wasn't afraid of all the people traipsing up and down the dock. He/she just sat there. Maybe he/she was waiting for us to throw some food his/her way?
Aren't these pictures lovely? I have been seeing a lot of different pictures thanks to a gadget provided by Windows 7. It is a little screen that is at the bottom right of my computer screen and which shows all kinds of wonderful pictures from my files - including pictures I have forgotten I have. True, there are some picture which continually show up - like a picture I made of how to fill the cat fountain for my cat sitters - but overall - I like the gadget a lot! It reminds me of my iPod when I put it in shuffle mode so that the songs are all mixed up!
Life in random order. Interesting!
Voice Update: Still doing really well. I have been working on the massage and getting a lot of voice exercise in each day.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

So-So Saturday

Hi All!

I must admit, right off the bat, that I am not feeling too enthusiastic today. About anything. I think that Hubby's man-cold has rubbed off on me. My head is a bit achy and there is gook in my eyes (more gook than normal). Eek!

There are things I should do today - more research, another paper or two (in order to be a bit ahead of the game), some sewing. However, all I really want to do is to get back into my bed and snooze.

Is that wrong?

Personally, I think it is a combo of a hint of cold and a lot of "I'm so ready for this entire college thing to be done."


Hope your day is going better.


Voice Update: Still doing well! My neck muscles (and shoulders) are still tense but I am working on that with my massager. Hopefully they will relax soon (but probably not until the semester is over!)!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Man Down

Hi All!

My skipped days on the blog are due to observations - as usual. Not because I don't love you all!

Anyway. It has been a busy week. I had a lot of things that needed to be done and turned in to teachers (four papers and a video) that I delayed by procrastinating so I had to do them all (well, the video I did on Wednesday) yesterday. That means that I did a massive amount of typing yesterday - luckily I was having a "good spelling day" so I didn't have too many problems with spell check!

In addition to the classwork, I have had several observation opportunities this week which have kept me away from home. Normally this isn't a problem at all but . . . Hubby is sick.

That is right - Hubby is down. He is down. He either has a bad cold or the flu (how can you tell the difference?). He came home from work on Tuesday feeling bad and then didn't make it to work on Wednesday - he slept pretty much all day. When I got home from my day long observation on Wednesday I went to the store for medicine. After a lot of wrangling, I got Hubby to actually take the medicine.

For some reason Hubby is resisting taking medicine regularly. I don't know if he thinks he can overcome the sick by just being manly (!!) or what. On my way back from classes last night I called and Hubby was upset that his fever was back. Of course the medicine (which has stuff to reduce fever in it) had worn off and he hadn't taken more . . . .

As I am typing this I hear Hubby in the kitchen having a bowl of cereal. That is a good sign since he has hardly eaten anything for the past couple of days. Hopefully, he is on the mend!

Men with colds or any kind of sickness can be . . . . interesting!


Voice Update: My voice is doing well. My neck is still a bit tense (I have to do more work on that)but for obvious reasons I haven't been able to have Hubby give me any shoulder rubs lately! I am working on my massage and exercises though! Plus I have been talking to enough people that I am getting in my talking workout despite the fact that I still haven't gotten back to the oral reading each day.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

So - It Is Tuesday . . .

Hi All!

Happy Tuesday! We have made it through one day of this week. Should we be proud?

Today was my second day of walking - in a row - this week. When I am snuggled up in my warm bed it is so easy to forget that walking really does feel good when you are doing it. If only I could remember that feeling so that I just jumped out of bed ready and eager to walk each morning! The temperature today when I started walking was a lovely 57 degrees. There was a hint of rain and Spring freshness (!!!) in the air as I headed down the sidewalk. It was wonderful!

After such a great start to today it must surely be a wonderful day, right? Here is hoping that is true.

My trip to the speech therapist's office yesterday went really well. Susan was happy with my voice and my throat for the most part. She was a bit concerned about the tension in my shoulders and neck muscles (can you say research paper topic?) though. Tension in the shoulders and neck muscles can easily transfer to the larynx muscles if you aren't careful and tension in those muscles made talking even more of a chore! Due to the tension I have some new "exercises." I am supposed to use my masssager on my shoulder and neck muscles at least twice a day and can even con Hubby into giving me some massages in between times! Doesn't that sound "awful?"

So - it was a nice day yesterday. It was even topped off by Hubby making dinner (a great pizza) and providing a heart-shaped ice cream cake for dessert (from Baskin Robbins). I LOVE ice cream cake! It was a perfect dessert for Valentine's Day!

Hopefully today will be just as wonderful!


Voice Update: I pretty much said it all in the post. It is good, people!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day and a Wedding!

Hi All!

Happy Valentine's Day!

As I was walking I saw this door all dolled up for the holiday!
Somehow it made me feel peppier as I was walking by!
Not that I was feeling bad this morning - this is what greeted me as I set out on my morning walk. A lovely sunrise!

I also spied some Cedar Waxwings gathering in a neighborhood treetop. I wish I had a better zoom on my "purse camera" but you can't have everything, can you?

This weekend, Hubby and I went to the wedding of one of his co-workers.
It was an interesting evening for us since it was a Vietnamese wedding reception and, of course, we aren't Vietnamese! We were lucky to sit with other people Hubby works with as well as five wonderful young Vietnamese people who helped us figure out what was being said and what we were eating.
The food was wonderful - well, the tempura lobster wasn't that wonderful because they just tempuraed the shell and all so you sometimes got a bite that was nothing but shell - and the reception was lovely. My only complaint was that the music was LOUD! Apparently, the volume isn't unusual for Vietnamese receptions because we were the only ones (we being the people who work with Hubby and wives, etc.) who seemed to think the music was too loud.

Hubby and I did dance (the sister of the groom took our picture!) and the music was a bit softer closer to the stage. Oh - the band was a Vietnamese band and they sang probably 90% in Vietnamese. It was interesting.
Overall, I would say that we had a good time!
Today it will be off to Speech (hope things are still doing well but I know my neck will be hurting for a while after the appointment because Susan will have to loosen things up!) and then maybe some time at the lab . . . doesn't that sound exciting?
Voice Update: Doing good even though talking at the wedding (over the loud music) did set me back a twidge!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

What a Sink!

Hi All!

Despite my best intentions It has again been a while since I last posted! I just don't know how that happens! Actually, I do know. First, you get a headache and dizziness and then you get busy!

I finally found a research topic : The recognition and proper use of register in community interpreters. Doesn't that sounds interesting? It really is! Now all I have to do is actually research the topic and the other one for Practicum and I am all set. It is so hard to get motivated to research.

At least I have been trying to read the book for class - in fact, I was reading that while dining at a local Mexican restaurant yesterday for lunch. It is a bit awkward to eat alone but . . .hey- everyone needs to eat, right? I had yummy fajitas and managed to get the first chapter of the book read. Score! Then I went to the restroom and saw this sink.

(Ignore me in the reflection and the reflection of my overstuffed purse!) I had never really seen a sink like this and was a bit mystified as to just where the water would come from when I turned on the "joystick" faucet control.

Surprise! This is where the water comes out! Not exactly where I thought it would come from but then again - I didn't really know what to expect.


A pretty upscale sink for a restaurant, don't you think?


After eating a great (and inexpensive) lunch I headed to the grocery store to shop - it has only been about three weeks since I went grocery shopping!


As I have said before, I really enjoy the shopping part of grocery shopping just not the getting everything into the house and put away part! Since it had been a while since I last shopped, I got a lot of meat - which then needed to be cleaned and vacuum packed for the freezer. Luckily, I got to chat with Mom on the phone to keep me distracted.

Once that was done I managed to relax for a while. It was heavenly! I even read a book for enjoyment (I did feel a bit guilty since I have so much research to do. I felt like I should be reading a research book . . .).

I think I should just take me cue from my darling kitties and do this all the time . . .




Voice Update: Doing well. Still a bit of a crunch throat going on but working on it with massage. I don't think it helps that my shoulders are holding a lot of tension (from picking a research topic and then not feeling well).

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

This Time They Are Current!

Hi All!

This morning I woke up and grabbed my camera to take these photos of our lovely Texas weather for you!

Yes, it is once more sleeting and starting to cover the ground like snow! YIKES!
I have no idea if the schools and things are closed (my college is closed - they called this morning at 6:00 to tell me!) but Hubby's work is delayed until 10:00. He is just leaving as I type this.
Hubby is actually taking my car to work this morning since it is front wheel drive and his is rear wheel drive - not as good on slippery roads as mine!
As for me - I plan to stay in and get researching on my two (TWO!!) research papers. I did finally think of a topic for the second one yesterday so I am all ready to go. The other people in class were sort of making fun of me because I had spent an hour in the library at the college "researching my research topic." However, I did find books to check out and I know that I have enough resources to do the paper. Those silly kids!
Maybe I will even get my research done ahead of time and get the papers written before they are due so I don't get really stressed about the entire procedure. Wouldn't that be nice?
I will keep thinking that way.
Enjoy your day and may it be warmer (for your area) than my day is looking to be!
Voice Update: My voice is still doing really well despite my continued neglect of the oral reading portion of my exercises. I think that is a good sign. There are even hours during the day that I actually forget that I have SD. And then . . . my voice reminds me by missing a sound. I think the SD just doesn't like to be ignored. Silly voice disorder!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Oh No! Not Again!

Hi All!

Do you remember this anomaly? Snow in Texas? Well, the weather people are all saying that we may be getting more of the same tonight! What is up with that? This will be the THIRD time we have had snow this winter when normally we have ONE snowfall (if you can call it that!) a year!
In addition to making my bones cold (with temps below freezing!), all of this ice and snow is really messing with my observations for class! After all, if you can't get out of your driveway you can't really drive to an observation!
Last night I had a lot of fun taking my friend, Beth, shopping for "professional" clothes. She was in need of some "nice" clothes for class and for future observations but didn't have the money to get them so . . . I took her shopping. I consider it investing in the future or "paying it forward!" It was such fun to shop with her. We got some really nice pieces and now Beth is all set!
Today I am getting together with my friend, M, for lunch. We try to do lunch once a month but get a bit derailed when her kiddos are on school breaks so this is our first lunch in a while. I can't wait to see what is new in her life and to just spend some time chatting.
After lunch I will head to the college to do some lab work to help improve my skills (as always!).
I hope you have a fabulous day and keep your fingers crossed that we don't get buried in snow again tonight!
Voice Update: I didn't do my exercises yesterday (I DID do my massage though!) because I spent time talking to Beth. My next speech appointment is next Monday so we will see how I am doing. I can't believe it has been six weeks already!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Passwords Everywhere!

Hi All!

This weekend, for reasons that are too complicated to bother with this morning, I created another email account for myself. Of course, the creation of a new account meant the creation of yet another password!

I realized just a short time ago that there are just too many passwords in this world. Each computer application that is protected needs a password. Each email account. Each online group you join. Even your ATM card!

Long, long ago, people used to only use one password. It was simple. It kept things from being so confusing.

And then - bad people started hacking into the computers of good people and stealing information and using the accounts to do bad things.

The "experts" (just who are these people and how did they become "the experts" who can tell the rest of us what to do?) started to recommend that each application should have a different password. That way, if a bad person hacked one password, he/she didn't have the password to EVERYTHING.

So - being a "good person," I listen to the experts and make sure that each of my password needing accounts has a different password. I try to make each password something that I will remember and something that is more secure (usually something with letters AND numbers).

The problem is that I am starting to forget which application uses which password!

Increase this problem with the fact that dear Hubby also signs up for things and puts in his own passwords. Then, I try to use one of these sites and have to think of what Hubby used as a password!


I would write these things down but . . . what if the "bad people" stole the note that I wrote all my passwords in? Maybe I should write the passwords in some kind of code.

But then, where would I write down the key to the code?


Voice Update: Doing well. My throat is a bit crunchier than I would like for some reason (must be some stress in my life somewhere) but . . . it is all working so far!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Blogging Obstacle

Hi All!

Yes, it is still snowy here but the sun is out trying to melt some of the stuff off the roads as I type. Miss Cleo is certainly happy to see the sun and is rolling around in her patch of sunshine. It is going to be a good morning I get to finally have a haircut around 11:00 today. As you can see from the pictures today - my hair is certainly growing!

Speaking of pictures. I asked Hubby to snap some shots to show you what I deal with when I try to blog - or do anything else on the computer.
Notice how precisely Skor has positioned himself so I must crane my neck to the right to see the monitor.
At least he is sitting down in this picture. He likes to stretch and stick his very fluffy tail straight up in the air to complete the blocking maneuver.

Here is Skor just finishing a "Halloween Kitty" stretch that completely blocked the screen. Notice how I have leaned back to try to actually see some part of the screen.

(Tilt your head to the right to see this picture correctly.)
How can such a cute little thing be so darn annoying????


In other news - On Thursday Hubby and I braved the icy roads to travel to see Doc Feely. We thought that this would be the visit where the Doc took off Hubby's one remaining big toenail. Unfortunately, this wasn't the case. Apparently there has to be a three month wait between "procedures" for the insurance to cover them. So - it won't be until April that the other nail goes.


In the meantime Hubby will have to soak the foot and wedge cotton under the nail to try to discourage the nail from growing into his nail bed. Doesn't that sound like fun??


In class news I have two research papers to write and am having a TON of trouble trying to figure out what my topics should be! I have been racking my brain and still have no clue! UGHH!!! The topics are due on Tuesday so I guess I need to kick myself into gear!


Did I remember to tell you that I didn't have any classes this week thanks to the ice and snow? Part of me was happy to have a break but part of me was sad that I missed two days of classes!


While I type I am listening to my iTunes - as usual. I am still so impressed with how good the music is when you put everything on shuffle. There is something that just makes you listen even more closely when a country song is followed by a gospel song which is followed by a classical piece. It makes me appreciate all the genres of music that much more!

Speaking of music - I am browsing the free mp3 downloads from There is one person who comments on the free offerings and rates each one. His/her comments are specific to each song and very thoughtful and thorough. I really appreciate that someone so into music takes the time to review these things. After all - hearing the previews doesn't always tell the real story of the songs. I also appreciate that puts these songs out there for free. I learn about new groups I wouldn't normally hear and did I mention that is it FREE? What could be better?


On that note I think that I will get out of here - time to get ready for my haircut!


Hope you have a great weekend!




Voice Update: Doing well. Doing well.

Friday, February 4, 2011


Hi All!

I have told you that I live in Texas, right? Well, we have had a week of ice and this morning when we woke up we saw THIS!

Voice Update: Doing well. That is all I am saying.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mish-mash and a Meme

Hi All!

Here is a very fuzzy picture of my thermometer this morning!

Can you believe that?
In TEXAS????????????????


And poor Hubby has to go into work. I am praying that he gets there safely - there is ice on the roads!

Because it has probably been a day or two since I have shown you some kitty pictures . . . .
Here is Miss Cleo in her new favorite spot - her "cube." She love sitting just like this - with her head poking out so she can see what is going on.

Skor is still enjoying his play time. In fact, he DEMANDS it! I guess it is okay since he looks so darn cute while he is playing!

Just look at the positions he gets himself into!

This face-off took place yesterday. The dove was cold and was trying to avoid the wind by sitting on our windowsill. Skor didn't think that that was a good idea!

Here are the new shoes I bought last week. I like having something to just slip into for those everyday kinds of errands, etc. There are perfect!


Yesterday, Hubby and I stayed in all day and kept warm. The sun valiantly came out and tried to melt the snow/ice but it didn't make much of a dent since the temps never got above 21!


Like I said, Hubby has to go to work this morning. His office opening was delayed until 10:00 so he got to sleep in just a bit. It was only a bit because the power went out around 6:45 (and the Carbon Monoxide detector makes a VERY loud beep when the electricity goes off or comes on). After knowing the electricity was off, it was hard to sleep since the alarms were all off (powered as they are by electricity!).


At about 7:15 (just an estimate because we were clock less!) I got up to watch the kitties eat and at the exact moment I stepped out of the bedroom, the electricity went back on accompanied by the CO2 detector's loud beep. Let me tell you - it stopped me in my tracks and scared the kitties!


At least Hubby could sleep for a bit longer now that the alarms were back on!


I had to reset the time on our automatic thermostat because when the power goes out it resets the time to weird times (this time it was 1:08P.M. even when the real time was 7:15!) and then the temperature settings we have are all wonky. The last time the electricity went out we couldn't figure out why it got so cold during the day - it was because the thermostat time was off by twelve hours and it thought it was night - when we have it set to be a bit cooler! Technology!

Yesterday, my friend Flea invited me to participate in a Meme about reading. You take a picture of the book(s) you are currently reading and tell a bit about it(them). This Meme sounds right up my alley so I decided to do it even though I don't normally participate in Memes!
Here we go!

This is my current reading list. From left to right:

Lone Star Ice & Fire by L.E. Brady. I am only into this book a little bit but so far, it seems like a winner! This is the story of two brothers, Sonny and Walker, who come from an abusive home. Their escape was their music.
Both brothers play blues guitar and both are very talented. They descend upon the Austin, Texas blues scene and quickly make it their own.
Mixed in with the music there are many tales of mistakes and triumphs that litter their way to fame.
Next up is a classic - Reader's Digest. This magazine is always fun to read with its humor and stories of people doing good in the world when most of the news is about people doing bad.
Third is Winter's Awakening by Shelley Shepard Gray. This is a book about the Amish way of life. The main characters are Amish and the book shows how they deal with interacting with "English" or non-Amish neighbors.
I enjoy reading books about the Amish since I saw many Amish people when I lived in Ohio. The farm that my parents own is rather close to some very popular Amish towns for the tourists. It isn't unusual to see Amish buggies along the roads in that area of Ohio.
Those, my friends, are what I am reading.
Well, besides THESE!

Books for class research papers!
Voice Update: I didn't do much talking yesterday but I did my massage and my exercises! I also did some reading out loud just to get into the swing of things!
P.S. Hubby update! Hubby isn't going to work this morning since he couldn't even get out of the driveway!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Blowin' On the Wind

Hi All!

We all knew it wouldn't last! Over the weekend my area enjoyed a bit of a respite from the unusually cold (okay - not COLD but at least chilly) weather which has accompanied this winter season. The weekend was beautiful- around 70 degrees (or more) and so mild. It was heavenly.

And then a wind started blowing . . . and we all just knew it was up to no good!

We were right! Check out what the wind brought up last night/this morning! (The thermometer reads 19 degrees by the way!)

Snow! Okay - it is really more like sleet. Tiny little ice balls. But . . . come on! We have been through this once already this winter! Once is usually our limit!

Yesterday, when I walked, I knew something was up because of this sky.

But the sight of these spring flowers starting to grow lulled me into a false sense of security!

This bird's nest made me think thoughts of spring when there might be new eggs inside . . .

This brave pansy with its bright face just kept me cheerful. I wonder what it is looking like this morning under all the snow . . .




Voice Update: Still doing wonderfully! Yeah!