Saturday, August 01, 2009

wait just a minute

For your viewing pain, a very badly exposed family portrait from aboard the Mobile Bay Ferry.

**

I realized today what is the source of my strange feeling of loneliness. It's interesting how expressing myself in this way provides a feeling of companionship.


I miss my blog.


Last weekend, The Mighty Hunter looked for some lost something or other in the barn. Our barn is a refuge for our flea-bag dogs and cat. So, their fleas take a break from the heat by jumping off the animals for a while, (meaning our barn is full of fleas.)


anyhoo


The Mighty Hunter returned from the barn with a few very unwanted hitch-hikers. After helping him pick several fleas off him, while he stood on the driveway in his underwear (and resisting the terrible urge to spray Off! down said underwear) I have been "feeling" fleas on me.


For almost a week, I feel a little tickle on my toe or my ankle or my calf and am convinced that it is a flea. I actually sat and stared at the big toe on my right foot to try to catch the little bugger ON MY TOE and VIOLENTLY KILL IT.


There was nothing on my toe. I watched my toe.


And watched my toe.


And watched my toe.


It tickled.


Nothing was there.


Tonight, it's my left ankle.


Yesterday, I did, however, find the Terrible Fuzz Flea on my hip and took out my vengeance and insanity on it.


I choose to ignore the fact that the Terrible Fuzz Flea is harmless. I choose to focus on the positive feelings of achievement and relief and brutality that I am swimming in.




As you can see, I haven't changed very much. I'm still crazy.


But I'm the funny, harmless kind of crazy.

Monday, June 15, 2009

pardon the interruption

Today is the final (hopefully) hearing regarding The Mighty Hunter's bankruptcy. Please pray that the judge will approve the settlement and sign the orders and stick the proverbial fork in it.

Hopefully we will get a phone call from our attorney this evening with the good news. Then 10 days from now, we will begin again.

Hopefully.

Prayerfully.

Thankfully.

ps: Sissy made all-stars!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Everything


The silence. It is deafening, no?


I covet mowing my yard. It is 90 minutes of peace and quiet - except for me singing at the top of my lungs to my iPod, which no one else can hear but that doesn't matter. Last week, before mowing, I had to rebuild my mowing playlist.


Yes, I have a playlist with songs specifically chosen for mowing the yard.


Shut up.


As God would have it, my playlist changed some. I couldn't remember exactly which songs were there before. I did remember to NOT include John Mellencamp's "Cherry Bomb." The snare drum rim-shot that starts it scares the crap out of me every single time. I can imagine The Mighty Hunter inside, seeing me jump out of my skin and looking around me for what in the world I could have run over with the mower and then giggling at myself.


But a song I added in was Avalon's "Everything to Me." This is a song with a message that is so similar to my own childhood and life. At least I wish it were that way.


There just isn't a song about a person who grew up in church, was taught the Necessary and Important Things in Life. Led to a saving relationship in Jesus. Turned away for a few years to determine if it was the life she really wanted. Then half-heartedly returned to live for her Lord and Savior.


Yessiree, Bob. I can talk the talk. But I'm not walking the walk.



"and looking back over my life at the end,

I'll gonna meet You

saying You've been

Everything to me"



I sing those words, blades whirring, grass flying and I cry. Weep. I truly FEEL them in the bottom of my heart. In that heart, I know that Jesus is the most important thing. In my life, I am not living it in any way that would make anyone realize He lives in my heart. Forget that. No one would even guess that I even know His name.


We all have gods in our lives. Some of us have God in our lives. Some of us with God in our lives allow other things to become gods. And there is not enough room for God and any other gods in one's heart.


I have allowed many things to push God out of my life.


Instead of reading my Bible, I read blogs.


Instead of praying, I watch tv.


Instead of listening for Him to speak to me, I talk on the phone.


Instead of raising my children to know Him like I do, I have neglected my responsibility as their first and most important teacher.


Instead of being the wife He has called me to be, I look voyeuristically at my friends' lives on Facebook.


Instead of spending time in church, I sleep late or make any excuse necessary to not go.


Instead of living a life that might be an example to those who do not know Him and His incredible love, I have lived a life just like theirs.




Not only is my spiritual life a mess, my home is an equal wreck.


Lucky's bedroom is full of boxes of files.


Sissy's room is a disorganized scramble of stuffed animals, puzzle pieces, Hannah Montana/Barbie shoes and toy horses.


The Mighty Hunter's and my bedroom is inadequately prepared for his suitcases when he is home from work.




This summer, I will make some very important changes in my life.


I will spend time in His Word. I will pray more. I will find a church that meets my needs and where I can contribute to His kingdom and my children will be nurtured and taught. I will teach my children the priorities that I have neglected for too long. I will devote myself to be a better wife. I will "get a handle" on my home and become the manager that my family needs and deserves.


I will blog less, if at all.


I have reduced my Google Reader list to my 7 absolute favorite blogs. The rest, while dear to my heart for their particular flavor and style message, don't need me to continue to be good bloggers.


I will post photos when I get a free minute. I understand that I just can't instantly withdraw you from my dangerously cute kids. Sorry for the inevitable DTs.


If you want to keep up with me, find me on Facebook. I'll pop in there from time to time.




I love blogging. It helps me to make sense of the thoughts and ideas and concerns and gripes and worries and frustrations and joys and wonders and tragedies of my life.


I don't know how I would have gotten through the closing of our business last Fall without being able to pour my very heart out here to y'all. The kind, loving and supportive comments I received were just the prescription my hurting heart and pride needed.




::Do you want to know what I've learned about financial crises? Big deal! If the worst case is that you have to file bankruptcy, then suck it up and get a lawyer. Bankruptcy sucks, but it really is not the end of the world.::




This summer will be a busy one - even if I weren't tackling the disaster that is my life.


Until next Wednesday, Sissy is taking swimming lessons. She still has 3 softball games left. It is a possibility she will be chosen for All-Stars. The 3rd week of June, VBS starts, but we will miss most of it as we are going to Dauphin Island for a few days. The last week of June is soccer camp.


We will be going back to DI for the 4th of July. Later in July, Sissy, Lucky and I will probably be flying to wherever The Mighty Hunter will be working and will spend time with him, exploring as best we can.


Sissy is in the local library summer reading program and has already read 3 dozen books. Including The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe! We're starting Prince Caspian tonight. We checked out 24 more books today. Her goal is to read 4 books each day. If you're keeping count, that means we're going back for more Monday or Tuesday.


She has also set a goal to learn the names, spelling, capitals and location of all 5o states.


We are hoping to do some exploring in our local area also. My brother (who is doing fairly well, btw) works for NASA and can get us free passes to the Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville. We are thinking of going next Thursday.


My dad has a tumor on his right auditory nerves. It is possibly a meningioma (yes, the same tumor as what my mother had on her spine. and yes, I'm beginning to wonder when all the neurological problems will leave my family alone!) The neurosurgeon told him today that a radiation-type of surgery will be the best treatment. (It drives me bonkers that I don't know the NAME AND SPELLING AND EVERY DETAIL because I didn't go to the doctor's appointment and relied on Mom and Dad to listen and get the information. Don't they know I NEED TO KNOW EXACTLY EVERYTHING??? I even offered to listen in to the consultation via cell phone.) Anyway, the treatment/surgery will take 6-9 months and may begin as early as the 3rd week of June. "Traditional" surgery will likely cause him to have a significant facial stroke and permanent hearing loss in that ear. I am only beginning to think of all the ways this will impact my parents. My dad does not handle "rest" or "relaxation" or "recovery" or "recuperation" well at all. My ADD is just an itch compared to his never-ending mental rabbit-chase.


"Squirrel!!!"




So, I ask that you not forget me.


But more than that, I ask that you pray for me and my family.


Each of you who have read and commented on this here blawg have reached out and hugged me in a very personal - albeit, geeky - way. And, I pray for each of you.


God bless.


And I hope He is everything to you too.

Friday, May 22, 2009

If you give a kid an ear infection...

I had this idea of how to tell you about the Week of the Ruptured Ear Drum in a whole "If you give a mouse a cookie" voice.

Except I'm just so dad-gummed tired that I can't make it work.

Basically, it would have gone something like this...

Sunday afternoon crying, "something must be wrong" behavior
night-time fever
Monday morning ear infection
$15 copay
$43 in prescriptions
alternating tylenol and ibuprofen for 3 days
crying
clinging
screaming
liquid diet
a few goldfish crackers
a few saltine crackers
sleepus interruptus
Wednesday night better sleep
Thursday morning yellow, draining ear
ear wax/pus crustiness on beautiful new comforter
$15 copay
$30 in prescription
cancel swimming lessons to begin in 10 days
forget to buy more tylenol and ibuprofen and water-proof ear plugs for bathtime
crying
clinging
fever is gone
puking up bright RED slushy-type drink Grandmother gave him
eating 12 "chicky balls" (aka popcorn chicken)
falls asleep at 7:30pm
optimism about night's sleep
11:30pm wakes up and wants to get in Thinking Chair and play
screams when Mommy lovingly brushes his ear
tylenol and ibuprofen alternating again
refusal to go back to sleep in the bed
will only sleep in the recliner
wakes up in recliner
refuses to sleep in recliner
will only sleep in bed
wakes up in bed
refuses to sleep in bed
will only sleep in recliner
wakes up in recliner
refuses to sleep in recliner
will only sleep in bed
8:30am phone wakes up Mommy
9am kid wakes up
crying
clinging
liquid diet
doesn't want to watch Blue's Clues or Handy Manny or Backyardigans or Hip Hop Harry or Phineas and Ferb or - wait! Pink Panther! yup! will watch Pink Panther
contentedly sits with Sissy
ear is crusted with nasty stuff
Mommy doesn't care

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ruptured Ear Drum

And on my beautiful new dry-clean-only comforter too.

Did you know that ear wax can be lemon yellow? Yessirree!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Treading Water

Tomorrow is the last day of second grade for Sissy.

Dear Lord, help me. My little girl is growing up.

The Mighty Hunter and I were talking about surreal it is that our children are growing up. It's the kind of experience where you are intellectually aware that a certain event will occur or a period of time will pass, yet you are unaware of the the event's approach or the passage of that time.

Suddenly, she is 8 1/2.

As he put it, we're halfway through our time with her.

I cried.

It was very inconsiderate of him to say such a thing.



Lucky has a raging ear infection. Sunday afternoon, he began the pitiful act. During the night, he ran a fever. Monday morning, we stalked the doctor's office, waiting for them to arrive after dropping their own children off at school. We walked in and begged attention. His left ear looked very bad. The pharmacy was $44 richer after our 2 prescriptions.

Welcome to the reality of penicillin allergies.

He is still not much better. His fever is controlled by tylenol and ibuprofen, but when they wear off, he is miserable. Crying. Wailing. Tossing. Turning. Clinging. While they're active in his body, you'd never guess he was sick, except for tiring a little easier than normal.

He has hardly eaten this whole week. Today: some fish crackers, 2 banana popsicles, half cup of chocolate milk, cup of apple juice, cup of Sprite, and is now eating an apple.



The Mighty Hunter flew to Seattle last night. He tried to arrange for me to visit him this coming weekend. I just wasn't willing or ready to ask someone to keep the kids for 4-5 days. I also am not ready to leave Lucky for that long. He hasn't been away from me for more than 24 hours at a stretch yet. He's mommy's shadow.

Soon, we'll have enough frequent flier miles that all 3 of us can fly to see him and have a nice visit away from home.



My neck and shoulders are so tired and achy from holding the 35 lb boy up close and rocking him and hugging him and consoling him. I'm also more than a little sleep-deprived from his waking and not being able to rest well.

Dear Lord, please help us both to rest well tonight.



My friends are separating tomorrow. My heart breaks for all of them. They are turning the world upside down on those kids.



If I had a pillow right now, I'd be asleep.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Brother's Day

Because I can't seem to put thoughts together, Sissy is guest-blogging for me today.

And she is sharing her slide-show creation in honor of Brother's Day, 2009.

What? Your calendar didn't have "Brother's Day" on it?

hmmmmm......

Oh, well. Enjoy this anyway. It's guaranteed to make you smile.

video

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I blame Facebook

Blogging has been a wonderful way for me to vent my frustrations and express myself through words. I've enjoyed it a lot. I've had my high and low spots and haven't deleted a single post. Oh, I'm sure there are some posts that really ought to be deleted and shredded and hit with a Klingon disruptor ray. Yet they're still there, for whatever reason.

But Facebook is killing my blogging instincts.

It just fits so nicely with my ADD, that I just have nothing left for here.

Oh, I've got ideas.

I've got photos in my head that I want to take and describe.

I've got funny stories to tell.

But I just can't seem to keep my head in one place long enough to do more than this whiny post about not being able to compose a real post.

So, bear with me. I'll be back. New and Improved. or not.

Whatever.

Right now, The Mighty Hunter is here and I really want to spend time with him and the kids.

Oh! And the kids? They've been in rare hysterical form. I wish I could capture all their adorable cuteness and humor forever. I try, but batteries need recharging and dvd's need replacing and, well, I forget!

Just remember I love each every three of you.

On a weather/softball updatey note: it has rained out several games. Sissy finally got to play yesterday - in the rain, go figure! They lost to the Steroid Girls 6-1, which is better than their previous losses of 13-2 and 14-3. Sissy went 2 for 3, with a single and a solo homerun. She did her best yet at 3rd base; she just needs to remember to TAG THE RUNNER AT THE PLATE!!!!

7 more days of school, and then we get to sleep late for 2 months!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Will this year be any better?


9 years ago today, I peed on a stick and the sleep-deprivation began.


Last year, I was treated to a hectic lunch at Ryan's Steakhouse Buffet Madness. I did not enjoy it. Something Ryan's uses causes me, um, stomach "distress". I lovingly refer to it and Krystal as "gut bombs." The Mighty Hunter sat at the end of the table and talked to his aunt and uncle while I tried to eat 3 bites while feeding the then 1 y-o and escort the then 7 y-o to and from the buffet for her 4th helping of corn.


I don't think I had 3 bites.


I do know that when I came back from our 3rd trip for corn, my plate had been removed by the over-zealous server.


The Mighty Hunter was surprised when I "expressed" my Frustrations and Disappointment and HUNGER.


But, hey, if I didn't get 3 bites, then the likelihood of the gut bomb's explosive nature was significantly reduced.


Today very well may be an exact repeat of last year. The aunt and uncle are coming and will be eating lunch with us. It is their idea to go to a restaurant, "so no one has to clean up afterwards." Clearly their stomachs are lined with Teflon and not offended by Ryan's over-use of preservatives and C-4.


I fully intend to suggest at least 5 alternatives.




3 years ago today, I was about to pee on a stick.


Today, I will not pee on a stick, nor do I plan on it anytime soon - as in, EVER.


But I love my kids. They are the joys of my life. Sissy's heart is so full and tender. Lucky's eyes are bright and observant. They love each other and their parents. And they know we love them. I fail them as their mother every single day. Yet, I try to be the best mom I possibly can be. I never want them to doubt my love for them. I know these simple things are important because I learned them as a kid.


I never doubted my mom's love for me. She sacrificed so much to insure that I could be whatever I dreamed. I'm one of the lucky ones. While my mom wasn't perfect, she was perfect for me. She taught me so many things. She loved me unconditionally. She taught me of Jesus' perfect love and his sacrifice for my eternal soul. She tolerated my attitudes and misadventures. She forgave and corrected me. She set a great example for me to follow.


I love my mom. She's my hero.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

A day of fun and sun

One day, long ago, in a land not far from where we live, the sun shone. The rains didn't fall. The water flowed. The children played outside.




































And then it rained again for 212 years.









Monday, May 04, 2009

Helpless

Good friends of ours are divorcing.

They have 2 children together, 8 y-o daughter and 6 m-o son. He is a long-time friend of The Mighty Hunter. He and I have been friends for 20+ years. (sheesh, we're getting old!)

I wish she and I could have been closer friends, but our personalities clashed at times. My opinion of her as a friend works perfectly with the reasons for the divorce.

She is leaving him "for purely selfish reasons."

He is devastated. He still loves her. He is still in love with her.

There have been rumors for months (6+) that she has been seeing someone else. There may even be paternity issues with the newborn son.

My heart breaks for him. He has asked her to go to counseling; she has refused. He will be alone in the house they have filled with their family for the past 4 years; she is leaving and taking the kids. He has devoted himself to her; she isn't looking back.

My heart is sad for her. She has so much; she is dissatisfied. She has someone who loves her unconditionally; she is indifferent. She has a good family; she is tearing it apart.

I checked. My rose-colored glasses are put away. I know him well enough to know that he is a miserable, gloomy-gus most of the time. Oh, he can and will charm you if you work with him or aren't close to him. Once you become important to him, he reveals his inner Eyeore. I have often wondered what it must be like to live with someone who seems so unhappy and know that he has it good. To tolerate someone's growls and clouds and go on and make your own life joyful. To teach your children that daddy loves you dearly but is just grumpy.

That must be its own hell.

The Mighty Hunter and I have gone through our own hells before. WITH EACH OTHER. We have pushed the other away for whatever reason. But we have always waited for the other one to come out and join life again. I never doubt that The Mighty Hunter will be there for me. I will always be there for him as well.

But our friend's wife is leaving him. She refuses to make any efforts to reconcile. Yet she is still being intimate with him and has offered for him to tell the kids goodnight and "get together" with her then too.

Which will be just another hell for him.

The story is much more complicated than I can even describe. I have suspicions that go beyond an affair. I wish I didn't think these things about her. I wish that we had been able to become the kind of friends that tell the hard truths with love. I wish I could go kick her selfish tail.

I wish those kids weren't about to experience the hell that lies in front of them.

My heart breaks for them in a completely different way.

Pray with me, please.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

What's been going on...

It has rained here. A lot. We were in a drought for the past 3 years and had gotten used to it a little. We have compensated. We are caught up. We are wet. We are soaked. We are tired of it.

The Mighty Hunter has been here since Friday the 24th. His work schedule started back on Wednesday the 29th, but he is getting to work here. When you consider that his having to fly everywhere and stay in hotels around the swine flu-infested country, I am glad that his schedule has him here right now. It's also been fun and a nice change of pace. Someone else "jumps up" when there is a diaper to change.

This past Friday morning, we all rode together to take Sissy to school. The Mighty Hunter had an appointment at the podiatrist, and I was going along just to spend a little extra time with him. Lucky went too, because Lucky goes everywhere I go, prettymuch. anyhoo... As Sissy got out of the Pimped Out Mamamobile, some thunder rumbled.

"otts at daddy?"

I answered because The Mighty Hunter wasn't paying attention for some reason. "It's God riding a wagon on a bumpy road." (Which was how we explained to Sissy, and it worked then.)

"ats monkeys jumpin on a bed!"

me: "those monkeys better get off that bed!!!"

"yup!"

**************

We're talking about potty-training, but no one is interested in trying it. He likes his diapers very much right now. Thankyouverymuch.

**************

We've worked on a craft project lately. Enjoy...
video

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Notice to the Headache That Has Pestered Me All Week:

I understand why you would choose to spend the week with me. I'm lovable, sweet, funny, kind, and not unattractive. I smell nice and cook yummy meals. I have adorable and funny kids. If I knew me, I'd hang around me too. It just makes sense. And, hey! The weather here this week has been great. The thing, Headache, is that I can't really enjoy this weather or my adorable and funny kids when you're here.

You're no fun. I know that is a harsh thing to say. I'm sorry, but it is true.

But it's worse than that. You're a pain. An honest-to-goodness, make-my-life-miserable, please-go-away-and-don't-come-back pain.

That was even more harsh, and, again, I'm sorry. But it had to be said. You need to know the truth. You need to know how I feel about you. You need to know how you affect my life.

So, I'm breaking up with you. I hope you understand and leave gracefully and with the dignity and self-respect that keeps you from coming back and stalking me.

I'll always remember our times together. Well, most of them. Sometimes you were such a pain that you left holes in my memory. And, for that, I will never forgive you.

But I'll make you a deal. Go away and don't come back and all is forgiven.

Sincerely (Really and Truly),

Keri, the Auburn Gal Always
Former Migraine Sufferer

Monday, April 20, 2009

You're not gonna believe this...


Remember him?

He went back to work Friday and today.

Cool, huh?

That adorable cuteness in the helmet is his youngest daughter.

Thank You (part 1)

Bo is a dear friend who worked for The Mighty Hunter and is now in nursing school. I've attempted to help her with some of her classes (bless her heart!), and we've become very close.

Bo has 2 sons. That is them you see to the left, surrounded by the Service Flag graphic. Lucas is an Army MP and serving in Iraq. Chris is the younger. He is an Army mechanic and on active reserve duty, awaiting deployment later this year. I adore these two young men. I admire them as well.

Two weeks ago, Bo got a message from Lucas, saying that he would be home soon for leave. His approximate arrival was the 17th or 18th. I can't describe to you how excited she was - nor is it necessary to even say it. Just know that her enthusiasm is contagious, and I came down with a big case of it.

I cried several times, thinking of how wonderful the reunion would be. How beautiful our rolling ridges and mountains, lush in shades of green and spotted with the whites and pinks of Dogwoods would welcome him. How he would fill his belly with fried chicken and pinto beans and corn bread and countless other Southern foods. How being in a comfortable bed without fear of bombing or gunfire would rock him to sleep. How natural and foreign it would feel to talk to his brother and hug his mother.

I cried thinking how grateful I am that he has given himself to our country and our world for our safety.

Thursday morning I started checking my phone constantly for the text from Bo that would announce his arrival time. Only twice (ok, maybe three times) did I text her with the straight-forward message of "????"

Friday afternoon, I knew when I saw her on the caller ID that she had gotten the news: Sunday morning, 6:20am, Atlanta airport.

(here's a helpful aside for my fellow logistic/planning compulsives: Atlanta is on Eastern time. I live in Central time. Atlanta's airport is 2.5 hours away. The kids and I could go, but my cold would make the EARLY morning drive painful for me. The Mighty Hunter has Mariott points out the wazoo.)

A quick phone call to The Mighty Hunter, who was stuck in the airport in Memphis all day long, got him on the job of getting us a couple of rooms near the airport for Saturday night. Another phone call to Beboo determined that we would drive two cars so that Lucas and Chris could stay in Atlanta and have some brotherly-bonding time if they wanted.

After Opening Day for Sissy's softball season Saturday morning, I threw a change of clothes and necessary toiletries into a small purple suitcase. Emptied the Pimped Out Mamamobile of the amazing amount of junk that it had accumulated in the month since WDW. Bathed Sissy and dried her hair. Lay down and napped for 25 seconds (ok, maybe 30 minutes) until Lucky woke me with kisses (btw, pretending to be asleep and going bye-bye are the only ways to get kisses from him). Loaded the Pimped Out Mamamobile and left home. Realized I had $12 cash and the banks were already closed. Returned home to get cash out of emergency stash in the safe. Drove through the carwash to get the 3" of dead bugs and pollen off the windshield. Wished I had time to use the free super-vacuums to get the 2,815 cheerios out of the floor and seats. And drove to Beboo's house to meet Chris, Bo and Beboo and leave for the hotel.

Do you know that when you arrive at a Mariott and you're a Platinum Rewards member you get treated with a little better attitude?

The rest of our evening was...

A trip to Walgreens for poster board and markers and drinks.

A quick stop at Krispy Kreme. It's the law that you must stop when "hot and fresh" light is on, and I'm a law-abiding citizen!

A sad attempt at lettering and decorating poster board with a welcome home message.

A room filled with sleepy eyes but excited hearts and minds.

A clock that was screwy after Beboo tried to set the alarm for 4am, but instead changed the time to 4am.

At 3am I woke up, afraid that I would oversleep and be the cause of not greeting Lucas the minute he arrived.

... to be continued when I get the pictures from Bo.

Friday, April 17, 2009

funny memories from WDW 2009

Someone should have told this man to do some push-ups YEARS AGO!


Why would someone (some DAD) do this to an incredibly cute little boy?



I saw this lady in my picture after we got home. I swear in this picture she looks just like Lisa Kudrow. (She's not. How do you know? I didn't tell you about how Lucky and FIL sat next to Lisa Kudrow on the monorail! 'Cause it didn't happen.)



How can there be birds all over a place like WDW and no bird poop?



Why did I allow Pluto to eat my daughter's head? Was I not worried about all the germs in his mouth?


That is all.

You're welcome

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Random Randomess from March and April 2009

video

We tried the new Digiorno's Crispy Flatbread Tuscan Chicken pizza for lunch. New fave!

Easter lunch was a lot of work but very worth it. I'm still enjoying the Potato Corn Mash and the layered chocolate dessert (especially that!). Also, the ham was huge. I'll be freezing some of it for another day and a few casseroles.

I started exercising today. The sight of me in a sleeveless dress was way more depressing than I had prepared myself for. I was the girl in high school that had the awesome, muscular arms and hard, ripped stomach. Now I'm just the girl that went to high school and then turned to flab.

Watch out, calories. Get ready to burn!

Sissy is home from school sick (again!) This time it's a sinus infection with the beginning of bronchitis. Hopefully we got the antibiotics in time to keep it from getting too bad, although it was already pretty miserable.

The Mighty Hunter went to Phoenix today.

The son of a dear friend (see the little patriotic image to the left) is coming home either Friday or Saturday for a few days from IRAQ! IRAQ!!

Did y'all know that I want to redecorate? srsly

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Not at all what I SHOULD be doing

This weekend will be quite busy.

Sissy is attending a fancy-schmancy, overnight birthday party for her BFF Lauren at a Renaissance Mariott hotel and then watching the Hannah Montana movie.

The Mighty Hunter will fly home Friday (on schedule) or Saturday (if work keeps him over). Either way, he WILL be home for Easter.

Our church will have an egg hunt Saturday afternoon. We will attend.

...unless Softball coach schedules a make-up practice that conflicts. We will go practice and have our own egg hunt in my intentionally over-grown grass. (It was my intent to not cut my grass short for this weekend. It makes for better egg-hiding!!!

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!

I need to paint my toenails.

Fingernails can forget it.

My house will be clean (-ER) tomorrow afternoon after Bev helps me out. (Bev, I love you.)

I have to iron a shirt for The Mighty Hunter.

I have to find a light sweater or wrap or something for my sleeveless dress for Sunday. (When I modeled it for The Mighty Hunter over the webcam - get your minds out of the gutter - he said it looked like camouflage. Either I have horrible taste or am going blind or we need to get a higher quality video-call service.)

My brother and family, Bev and Carl, my parents and my grandmother are coming for lunch Sunday after church.

I am planning on cooking most everything: ham, potato corn mash, bacon-wrapped green beans, macaroni, dessert, crowder peas, deviled eggs...

I'm a complete idiot.

Also, I should be doing something that is conducive to actually, you know, getting some of these things done before the LAST MINUTE.

But instead, the idiot is getting her blogging fix.

I'll see y'all Monday with lots of Easter egg hunting pictures. And hopefully there won't be any rain until after dark on Sunday.

Did you hear that, Lord? Please keep the rain in the clouds until after dark on Sunday. Thank you. I love you.

ps: I hate you Whoppers for only making Robin's Eggs candy this time of year. (shakes fist at bowl half-full of cute little addictive candy goodness)

You really should click away from this drivel

I had to look up "drivel" to make sure I was spelling it correctly.

Today, Thursday, April 9, 2009, I'm thinking of a few things I'd like to have. And since I'm a narcissistic blogger, I am compelled to document and share it here. Actually, I'm contractually bound to post drivel like this from time to time.

See, I have no choice. It's in the contract.

*I want a stove with 4 (four!!!) burners. Instead, I have this wonderful (?) Jenn-air (big whoop) unit with a built-in grill (which hasn't been used in 19 years, I KNOW!). That cute little towel with the Easter-egg-shaped, purple-plaid baby chick covers the grill. Without a towel over the useless grill, there would be a loaf of bread crumbs filling it.


*I want a kitchen faucet that turns on to a moderate flow level. The handle of mine is stupid. There is just no other word to describe a faucet handle that will only turn on to full-force, Niagara Falls flow and is difficult to put somewhere in the middle.

*I want a guest bathroom faucet that doesn't spit everywhere.

*I want a recliner for The Mighty Hunter that is not a hazard to life and limb with its broken springs sticking out the back.



*I want a couch (or two) that is not just fugly and filthy and in a fabric that doesn't scream 1994 bad taste.


*I want a light fixture in the kitchen that is brighter.

*I want a light fixture in the guest bathroom that doesn't have a short and where both bulbs will work.

*I want a light fixture over my vanity area that doesn't scare me to change the bulbs. (two words: exposed wires)

*I want walls without rough-hewn, 1977 DARK paneling.



*I want pretty curtains.

*I want a pretty bedroom suite.

*I want a mattress for Sissy that is not a broken-down wallow.

*I want a little boy who will give me kisses whenever I ask for them.

*I want a little boy who makes the funniest faces for me and my camera. (check)

*I want a little girl who knows how to speak without whining when she's the least bit upset.


*I want a little girl who loves with all her heart. (check)

*I want fewer toys with a million pieces.

*I want this sore throat to go away and stay away!

*I want to want to clean house.

*I want someone to plant and care for my garden.

*I want to sleep until I can't sleep anymore for a few hours and then sleep again until I'm completely rested.

*I want to know what in the world "JA in a Day" is.

*I want my friends to have more peace and prosperity in their lives.

*I want my family to have their health restored.

*I want everyone to know the real meaning of this weekend's events and celebrations.

*I want to be excited about - or interested in - going to church again.

*I want to wake up and find that the President didn't say this is not a Christian nation.

*I want to wake up and not worry about my future.

*I want to remember that I don't have to worry about my future; Jesus took care of that worry for me.

*I want all two of you to have a great weekend and eat too much and find all the eggs before they rot.
(some observations from my want-list: We have some safety issues in our house. I need to get a grip. I have a lot to be thankful for and need to quit my whining and wishing for more than what God has already generously provided.)

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

80 cents + + +

Dear Highway Toll Administration LLC,

I wanted to take a moment to thank you so much for your conscientiousness. It is such a relief to know that my tax dollars are being spent so responsibly in this Government Bailout Age. I am truly thankful that you are attempting to collect each and every penny that is owed to the multiple toll road and bridge departments in this country.

Also, providing access to toll receipts for rental cars online using a rental agreement was a great idea. This makes completing expense reports a little easier. It can be hard to keep up with all those little receipts. Thank you for allowing me to pull up this information in a pretty easy manner.

Bravo.

On the other hand, I must ask you to consider the economics of sending out an invoice for an eighty cent toll. I feel certain that you have a discount account for mailing large quantities of items. I don't know the exact discount, but let's just grab a number out of the air - 39 cents.

You spent 39 cents on postage to mail the invoice to me.

You printed the invoice.

You purchased the mailing envelope.

You purchased and included a pre-printed return envelope.

You paid someone to punch a few keys and filter your reports to find this invoice and print it and send it to the machine that folds it and stuffs the envelope.

You paid someone to load the bag or box of mail and deliver it to the post office.

When I mail you my check for 80 frizzy cents, you will pay someone to process the payment in your computer system, enter the deposit into your accounting system and make the deposit.

You will probably mail me a receipt, so that's another bulk-mail postage fee, envelope and print/fold/stuff expense. Plus the labor costs for punching the keys and filling and lifting the bag of mail and delivering to the post office.

How much do you think you actually made on my 80 frizzy cents?

On second thought, I retract my gratitude for being so responsible with my tax dollars.

Like the Donald would say...

"you're fired!"

Monday, April 06, 2009

It's clear he inherited his intelligence from his mommy



At Steak N Shake today, Lucky turned around and pointed out the two empty high-chairs parked behind him at the end of the booths.




"wook, Mommy! wook!"




yes. big boy chairs. just like yours.




"two chairs!"




yes! two chairs! very good!




"two chairs!"




can you count all the big boy chairs? (pointing at the one he is and starting him off) one...




"two... fwee!"








Nevermind that yesterday he ran frantically from me when I was trying to get a stray eyelash out of his eye... with his hands over his eyes.




THAT he gets from his daddy!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

The cab ride at WDW story

Monks in Merrells. (You can't see the Merrells, but they're there. Also not shown is Bev, who is "posing" so that I can take a picture of the monks in Merrells without being obvious. 'Cause I'm all about not being obvious.)




I promised you this one...

Thursday, our dinner reservations at Jiko at the Animal Kingdom Lodge were at 8pm. This was our regular meal time during the trip. If you think about it, we live in Central time zone, so it was only 7pm. And if you factor in that Daylight Savings Time began only a week before, it was realy 6pm! But if you think about how tired we were and how many miles we walked that week (65+) and that we had only had a late breakfast and a bag of chips or an ice cream cone, you'd still think we were crazy for scheduling dinner that late.


Well, you'd be right if you'd change it to "Keri was crazy for scheduling dinner that late."


So, we had this lovely dinner where we each ordered an appetizer and shared and tested and tasted. Except me, who was at the end of the table, surrounded by the kids and they ate all my delicious, exotic cheeses and interesting crackers. (Jiko would probably protest my using the word "crackers" here, but I can't think of a more accurate way to describe small pieces of crisply toasted slices of bread.) (CRACKERS, but yummy delicious, FLAVORFUL crackers!) Everyone accused me of hogging my delicious, exotic cheeses and delicious, FLAVORFUL crackers to myself. I told them that the kids were surprisingly aggressive when they're hungry.


Also, Lucky threw his styrofoam cup of Sprite on the floor, and it BROKE, leaking Sprite all over the place. I'm all "what do I do? what do I do?" and resolved the situation in a very practical, albeit rednecked, way: I put the cup in my glass, much like you'd see it in the sink at home, waiting to be washed. The waiter was very appreciative of my quick-thinking and superior problem-solving and took away the dirty-dishes-stacked-in-the-sink Tower O' Glasses from the table quick, fast and in a hurry.


By the way, did you know that a cracker can be spicy?


So, we finish our delicious meal. Berbere-braised pork shank, for me. (yummmm. Wishing I had just eaten that again instead of the 2 hot dogs with cheese and bbq sauce.) (No, I don't know what Berbere is. I think it means "fall off the bone tender and juicy and delicious".) Everyone else was pleased with what they ate. Except Lucky who was recovering from an ear infection and cutting his last baby tooth and not eating well at all still. I might know what the other adults had eaten had I not been at the end of the table surrounded by two aggressive and hungry kids.


Yes, Lucky had an ear infection while at WDW. He woke me up sometime before dawn on Wednesday with a very high fever. We spent the day at doctor's offices to learn that he had one ear infected and the other one jealous and trying to get infected too.


As we leave, we realize that our understanding of the WDW transportation system was lacking in how to get us from Animal Kingdom Lodge to Pop Century Reseort. The free buses don't go resort to resort. And there was nary a bus to be seen at this hour anyway to take us to some park and then to our resort. A cab was the obvious and quick answer.


There was one waiting for us. The typical Chevy, looks-a-little-like-a-police-car cab. Yellow and everything.


Not counting the cab-driver, there were 4 adults, an 8 year-old and a 2 year-old. We had no car seat. Our bellies were dangerously full. Someone probably had gas.


Cab-driver Man was willing to take us to our hotel, but The Mighty Hunter had to ride up front, being the biggest of all. We stashed our backpacks and miscellany in the surprisingly clean trunk. (I don't know why it surprised me that the trunk was clean. Maybe because mine is never clean. Also, I don't have a trunk.) I sat in the middle of the back with Sissy in my lap, seatbelt across both of us. Bev was on my left. Carl, on my right. Carl, for some strange reason, put Lucky on the seat between him and me and then tried to stretch the seatbelt across him that way. After a scolding and correction from the momma, the baby was correctly placed in his Carl-seat (get it? haha) and seatbelted in.


As we left the portico for the Animal Kingdom Lodge, Cab-driver Man turns his radio up just a little bit.


"Jesus take the wheel" is playing.


The irony of this playing on the radio for 5 adults and 2 children without out a carseat in a 5-seat cab does not escape me. The exhaustion of the week only added to my giggles.


When the song ended, I threw out a question to Cab-driver Man, "what would the fines be for how many people you have piled up in here right now?"


The Mighty Hunter shushed me, very emphatically.


More giggling followed, "What if I were one of those 'secret shoppers'? I'm not. But wouldn't that just stink?"




The poor guy got a $6 tip for his $14 fare.


The Mighty Hunter felt sorry for him.

Sissy's shot of Tigger from 1900 Park Faire at the Grand Floridian Resort.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

video

Sissy just came to tell me that the woodpeckers outside are about to mate!!!

"give them some privacy"

She tells me that you need to know what kind of woodpeckers they are: Wally Waily Woodpeckers. (thank you for the spelling correction, Sissy!)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

cock-a-doodle-doo


She has a mild case of chicken pox. The health department was notified. Thanks to the vaccination, she should be spot free and able to return to school Tuesday or Wednesday.

We have faithfully checked for new polkadots at least twice a day since Thursday night. I began losing track of which ones were new and which were there the last time I looked. So I had a stroke of genius...

I marked each spot with a very small line with an ink pen.

Yeah, I'm one of those moms. The kind that is not ashamed to write on her own kid's ass.

I'm also the mom who received a fart right in the face tonight as I was checking said chicken pox lesions and ink pen marks.

I guess that makes us even.

WDW self-portraits and supper

Sissy took many self-portraits while at WDW. This is my favorite. It was taken outside Chefs de France.

This was taken at Chef Mickey's breakfast at the Contemporary Resort.

*****************

Yesterday, we took a nap. Everyone except Sissy, anyway. During my nap, I dreamed of a taco casserole.


2 lbs ground beef
chili powder
cumin
cinnamon
1 lg onion, chopped
1 pkg taco seasoning
3 T taco sauce
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 can fire-roasted, diced tomatoes, drained
1 c sweet kernel corn, drained
1 can diced chiles
1/2 pkg low fat cream cheese
1 c cheddar cheese

Sprinkle the meat with chili powder, cumin powder and cinnamon, add onion to meat and cook until meat is browned and most of the grease is evaporated. Stir in taco seasoning, taco sauce, cream cheese, corn and tomatoes. Blend until cream cheese is well combined. Add in cheddar cheese. Transfer to oven safe dish (or if you have a wonderful Pampered Chef Professional Series sauce pan, you can just leave it in that, covered with foil.) Bake at 300 for 20 minutes.


Sprinkle with more cheese. Serve with chips, sour cream or Paula Deen's Santa Fe Wrap mixture (which I've only made as wrap sandwiches ONCE, but have made as a dip at least a dozen times. Also, skip the olives and spinach.)


Eat until you can't walk. Roll over to the 'puter and tell me how much you loved it!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

if you listen closely, you may hear clucking...




Sissy may have chicken pox.




I'll let you know in the morning.




Now, pardon me while I share a prayer of desperation with you...




Dear Lord, I love you and thank you for loving me. Sometimes I'm not loveable at all, but that has never stopped you. Thank you also for restoring so much of my brother's health in such a miraculous way. I never doubted your power, and I get so excited when I witness it and have the joy of sharing my experiences of it. Thank you for that too. Here's the thing, Lord - not that I need to TELL YOU. I just know you like for me to talk to you. And, yes, I'm aware I need to work on my LISTENING TO YOU problem. Anyway, here's the thing: Tomorrow, The Mighty Hunter flies in from San Antonio. My mom has 2 doctor's appointments. Her car is complaining lately, and she needs me to drive her to those appointments. You were able to time The Mighty Hunter's flight arrival (remember? I have to pick him up from the airport this time) and mom's appointments so that it would work out for me to be the chauffeur for both. But now, Sissy seems to have these little bumps on her. And Lucky has never had the chicken pox either. And I don't know if The Mighty Hunter had them. And if he can't remember, his dad certainly won't remember either. And, well, you've got his mom up there with you, which kinda limits my access to her memory. KWIM? Carl and Beboo have had the pox, so they're safe. M was with Sissy Sunday, so she was exposed too and could share it with her boys. So, if it is AT ALL POSSIBLE, could you make sure The Mighty Hunter remembers having had the chicken pox at some point in his life? Could you also work it out for Beboo to care for Sissy tomorrow and get her to the doctor for me, the deadbeat mom who is currently stressing over this whole being-pulled-in-30-directions thing? 'Cause I need to remember who's got my back... I'd also hate for M and dher boys to get the pox from us because she was following your Good Samaritan example. Thank you for all the other miraculous, wonderful, amazing, cool, yippee-skippee things you've done for me. Most of all, thank you for my salvation. Amen.


Now, if you haven't had the chicken pox, go disinfect your screen.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

blah yuk gumble groan


I don't want to write anything. Not here. Not anywhere.


I've got all these great pictures from WDW, and I want to share them. I want to put together the slideshow that holds those pics and make it cute and sleek and add music and captions.


But I don't want to actually, you know, do the work.


Truthfully, I am aware that I never finished the slideshow for Lucky's 2nd birthday. What a deadbeat!


So, if you're waiting patiently - or not... right, M? - for some kind of post or stories about our WDW trip, keep your pants on. It may take me a while.


Just don't let me forget to tell you about the cab ride and the song on the radio!
******************
Let me tell you about a friend of mine and what she did as a favor to my brother and me.
As I drove home from WDW Saturday, I talked with my brother on the phone. He asked me if I had any experience with online legal forms. I told him that I did not, but I would ask a friend who has legal experience.
That night, this friend put together a general will, living will and other legal forms for my brother. The next day this friend rode with me the 1.5 hours to Huntsville where my brother was in the hospital to review, witness and notarize these documents.
Does anyone out there have a better friend?
I'll bet my left thumb you don't.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

He's on his way home...

The Auburn Brother Always is on his way home from the hospital. His pacemaker did its job last night and kept his heart a thump-thump-thumping along like it should.

He is very sore at the site of the pacemaker, but is doing well otherwise.

Thank you all, again, for your kind comments and prayers.

(For all you google search alert-ers: carotid artery dissection, veterbral artery dissection, stroke after chiropractic adjustment) ;)

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Teaser and an update for you...

Our trip to WDW was wonderful. Except for the sinus infection and dual ear infection and high fever and trip to the ER/Walk-in Clinic. I'll post pictures and details later. Today, I have 1,382, 073 loads of laundry to wash and dry and put away and a yard of wild onions to mow and a floor full of toys to put away and a filthy Pimped-Out Mamamobile to wash and daughter to get to softball practice and homework to supervise and dinner to cook and... holy crap, I'm already tired.


My brother is improving. Here's the low-down. The chiroquack did assassin ninja neck twist move on him, but that wasn't what hurt him. After the assassin ninja neck twist, he put R on his side on the "bouncy table" (R's words) with his heck supported by the "bouncy cushion." He showed him a strange fist and said, "I'm going to press on your neck and realign your vertebrae. You will feel a lot of very intense pressure and pain for a few moments, but it will pass quickly."

pop

crunch

And R said he began moaning and crying out in pain that was so intense that he couldn't stop the yelling and groaning. Chiroquack touched him and R pushed him away, it hurt him so badly. He was helped to a chair where he vomited for 5 minutes (no lunch or breakfast to vomit.) They asked him if he wanted them to call 911. He waited for his wife (S) to arrive - 20 minutes. Then called for an ambulance.

was it not obvious that he needed an ambulance immediately? is it normal for their patients to scream out in pain and violently vomit during their adjustments?

?!?!?!?!?

He suffered a mild stroke in his cerebellum. His carotid artery and vertebral arteries were dissected, but not completely. He was unable to speak or stand or control his arms or legs or see. Most of these issues had resolved themselves quickly, with the vision taking the longest time.

Since those first 2, critical days, he has experienced heart arythmias, particularly during the night. They tested him for sleep apnea, which was negative. His heart is stopping for as long as 8 seconds at a time. They tried medication to regulate this, and it was unsuccessful.

He is on strong anti-clotting medications. These meds caused serious dehydration after they removed his iv. He is now tied to a saline drip 24/7 again and drinking unbelievable amounts of water.

He received a pacemaker this morning and did well with that procedure.

He asked about a stroke assessment test. This gave the doctors the opportunity to explain that they never did one, as they never expected him to survive. The huge portion of patients with his injury do not live.

CTs show that the carotid and veterbral arteries have not healed on their own yet. They may require stents, but the anti-clotting meds will make this very high risk and only a last resort.

I saw him yesterday. I was very encouraged and excited to see him doing as well as he is. If you didn't know what had happened to him, you'd never guess it. The only remaining effects from the stroke (besides the cardiac issues and arterial dissections) are balance-related. He was stronger than I expected, but tires easily. He is being very cautious and communicating very well with the nursing staff about how he feels. They are taking very good care of him.

He is almost "out of the woods". He may be home from the hospital late this week. They are being very cautious with him, but they do expect him to survive now.

Thank you all for your prayers and kind comments.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday, the End of My Obnoxious WDW Posts

We have breakfast at Akershus in Norway, in Epcot's World Showcase today. It is a princess themed meal.

Dinner is also in Epcot at Japan's Teppan Edo, a cook-in-front-of-you, throw-knives-in-the-air, make-flames-flash-up-from-the-griddle restaurant.

We will pack our bags tomorrow morning and load up the Pimped-out Mamamobile and take The Mighty Hunter to the airport for his next work assignment in God-Knows-Where, USA, and drive the 562 miles back to the Auburn Family Always Homestead.



I'm considering changing the name of my blog to WDW Gal Always. What do you think?

Prepare yourself for a slideshow of many obnoxious pictures.

Good grief, I dread the laundry I'll have to do tomorrow.



Wanna know a secret? I'm totally nuts. I wrote this post and all the other ones about our WDW week's plans at 1am Friday, knowing that I have to get myself out of bed and load up and wake the kids and leave town by 7am.

NUTS, I know.

I'm hungry too, but I'll ignore that and get to sleep. maybe

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thursday Surprises

We have meal reservations today, but will wing it on which park we'll go to.

Breakfast is at 1900 Park Faire at the Grand Floridian hotel. Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland and Pooh are the regular characters here.

Dinner is at Jiko at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. I'm excited about this one. It's a "Signature Restaurant," meaning it uses 2 meal credits and is schmancy. I've also wanted to look around this hotel, and this will be my chance!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wednesday and The World

Today we will eat a quick breakfast. This is the only day we do NOT have breakfast reservations.

I know. Just think of the pig's lives we'll be saving in just the bacon consumption alone!

We'll probably receive some award.

oohhh!!! Maybe a lifetime supply of bacon!

At 11:40am, we will eat lunch in Canada at La Cellier. We've had dinner here before and absolutely LOVED it.

Dinner is at 8pm at France's Chefs de France. We ate here once on Sissy's first trip and choked on the cost of the meal. The Deluxe Dining Plan allows to be able to justify it.

btw, the Dining Plans can save you a lot of money, if you choose your restaurants carefully. We got the Deluxe plan, which give us 3 meals at Counter Service (fast food) or Table Service restaurants plus 2 snack credits per person, per day. We are using most of our meal credits at character meals or very nice TS restaurants. Without the plan, we'd pay a crap-pot of money to eat at those places. With the plan, we pay a daily rate and eat the most expensive thing on the menu, plus an appetizer and dessert EACH!

So, while I expect to walk my Asics to death, I will probably not lose any weight due to the massive amount of calories I'll be stuffing down.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St Patty's in the Magic Kingdom

We're starting today a little later than our first few days with breakfast at Chef Mickey's at the Contemporary Resort.

I've planned the evening with the precision of, well, um, a WDW-obsessed planning nut.

The Spectromagic parade is at 8pm.

The fireworks are at 9pm.

Dinner at Cinderellas Royal Table (in the castle) at 9:40pm. (Yes, that seems late, but remember WDW is in the Eastern Time Zone, and I live in Central! Which means that 9:40 there is really 8:40 for me. So, it's not horribly late. And! AND!!! when you calculate stupid Daylight Stupid Time in, dinner is really at 7:40!)

Are you getting sick of this yet?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Mystery Monday

This morning we will have breakfast at O'hana at the Polynesian Resort.

We have dinner reservations at Tutto Italia in Italy, in Epcot's World Showcase. I love me some good pasta!

The rest of the day is open to whatever whim strikes us!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunday fun

We're having breakfast at Disney's Hollywood Studios with the Little Einsteins and Jojo and Goliath the Lion.

We've never spent a whole day at this park. I'm looking forward to it.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Guess what I'm doing today?

We're having breakfast in Ddisney's Animal Kingdom and dinner at the Polynesian Resort's Spirit of Aloha show.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Did I mention...

that I'm on my way to Disney World?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Auburn Brother Always

Randy is better.



The chiropractor adjusted his neck, at c1 and c2, with such force that Randy asked to leave the table and sit on a chair. He had to be helped to the chair, where he began vomiting and fainted.



911 was called.



His blood pressure was very high. He could not see or speak clearly or coherently. He could not walk.



The adjustment compromised his carotid artery and caused a 1/2" tear on the inside layer. The trauma and tear caused him to have a "mini-stroke" in the left side of his cerebellum.



Blood pressure is normal again. They're being all Edward Cullen and drawing blood every 2-3 hours, which is showing within normal ranges already.



He is able to move and feel in his extremities. He is able to sit upright, unassisted for a few minutes. But tires very quickly.



He is still experiencing double- and triple-vision, blurriness and extreme light-sensitivity.



He has a bad headache.


His neck still hurts.



When he was telling the ER staff what had occurred leading up to his ambulance ride, there was some rolling of the eyes and knowing sighs and nodding of heads.



He has already recovered from much of the damage. This is excellent news.



He will remain in the hospital for 2-3 days for monitoring. If he should have another stroke, then he would undergo surgery to place a stint in the carotid at the site of the dissection.


(How did you like how I threw in that medical term?)



He's gonna be fine. He has a long, tough recovery ahead of himself.



He will never again allow a chiropractor to examine or treat him.







Neither will I.



He has insisted that he is fine - fiiiiiiiiiinnnne!!! And we are going on with our trip to WDW.



Please continue to pray for him and his family. They're special to me.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I'm making like a tree and splittin

or something like that.

Friday morning, I will load the Pimped Out Mamamobile with suitcases that are large enough to hold both Sissy and Lucky and weigh more than Sissy. I will retrieve Carl and Bev from their home. We will drive I-75 until we make a left turn and then follow the GPS to meet The Mighty Hunter.

Saturday morning we will begin our week at Walt Disney World.

That is if my brother is ok. Today, he went to the chiropractor for a sore and stiff neck. He had been a few times already with this complaint. Immediately after getting his neck "adjusted" he vomited and fainted and couldn't stand on his own.

The neck "adjustment" seems to have torn his carotid artery.

No shit. It caused him to have a stroke.

A stroke, people.

From the chiropractor's visit.

He's in the hospital tonight, waiting the results of the MRI to confirm all this. He will meet with a vascular surgeon and possibly have it repaired. He has already recovered from the "event" a great deal. His speech is not slurring anymore. His thinking is clear. He can feel and move his extremities (spell that for me, please!) He is still too dizzy to try to walk, but we're hoping that will recover soon also.

Please pray for Randy.

Truthfully, I'm not certain we'll go to WDW. I can still reschedule our trip. I really don't know what to do.



But, I do want to share with you a free pdf book that I will be printing to read while we drive to WDW or sit at the hospital. It's the link at the top of the right column. Click me.

lookie lookie

I was reading the Pioneer Woman and hopped the links over to Wild Olive Tees.

I love these tshirt designs. They're totally something I would wear as part of uber-cool mom uniform. They might even distract your eye away from my ugly, dirty Asics (the only shoes I can wear now. Thankyoustressfracturedfoot.)

Go look around.

Spend some money.

Stimulate the economy!!!

Get your verse on!

Oooh! And save some money. Free shipping through March 31.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The things I think about... (be afraid, be very afraid!)

When I shower and shave my legs, I think about my childhood friends that shared ideas, techniques, helpful hints, warnings, etc. about how to best get a smoothly shaven leg. How best to avoid razor burn. Am I the only one who associates things like that?

And do you shave the back of your thigh? I tried when I was a kid and thought it was necessary. But considering I'm lucky to put blade to hide once a week now, the back of my thighs are ignored - other than soap, bath oil and lotion. Part of the hair on my body is still sandy-blonde and thus only gently reflects the sun's gentle kiss of light, so I am convinced that no one sees it.

How many pairs of panties do you own? I have several. Honestly, I've never counted. But I wear my favorite 4 pairs until I realize that I don't have time to dig in the clean clothes basket to find the freshly-washed ones and resort to the ones that are the exact same brand, style and size, but do not fit or feel as well.

How many bras do you own? When I was pregnant and nursing Lucky, I had 3 bras. They were identical to each other. I simply rotated them equally, as I didn't identify any single one as being superior to the other's for some mysterious and impossible-to-quantify reason. When I stopped nursing and my milk and bosoms dried up, I tried a few different styles from different manufacturers and stores. I liked one particular bra from Target, but their selection was always spotty. I found one at Wal-mart and liked it. I returned and bought 2 more. A few weeks ago, I realized that 3 bras might not be a sufficient supply for 7 days at Disney World, so I got 2 more. (I would have gladly made the trek to Target - not in my town - to buy more from them, but W-M beat them for simply having the inventory and selection - every single time.)

Do you wash your undies in the washing machine?

Do you dry them in the drier with your other clothes?

I wash mine in the same load as towels and socks and pajamas. But I fish out my bras and lay them atop my drier to dry. I've somehow convinced myself that this lengthens their life. Nevermind that I have the most abusive washing machine in the world. It can turn a pair of blue jeans INSIDE OUT. I've never figured out how. I just know that I've removed jeans from the washer that were right-side out when they went in, only to find them inside out when the cycle is complete. My bras are safer and in better shape because they never go in the drier.

When I sit on the toilet - not that I'm on the toilet now, nooooo. ahem. - I raise my feet up and only put my toes on the floor. It's a comfort thing. It's not a phobia thing. I'm not afraid to touch the floor with my whole foot. The good Lord knows I'm not skeered of the germs on my bathroom floors. I've laid on them many hours, begging the pukes to stop.

I have chronic dry lips. I used medicated chap-stick for years -which, interestingly enough, causes your lips to only dry out more - thinking I could fix what biting my lips was doing. I just need to stop biting my lips.

I bit my fingernails until I was in the 3rd grade. Then, one day, I decided that I would quit, and I did. Now, I only bite the nail on my left thumb. This drives The Mighty Hunter crazy. My left thumb was squished off when I was in the 4th grade and is misshapen with a very thick nail that I can barely trim with clippers. So, I bite it from time to time.

When I was in high school, I over-tweezed my eyebrows, until I looked like a freak. A friend told me her dad said that she was prettier than me because of my eyebrows. I let them grow back in. I was not going to allow over-plucked brows keep me the ugly friend. She still has bushy brows and crooked teeth and her head is as big as a horse's. She scared me the last time I saw her in W-M, with her big horse head.

Why do some people gain weight on their heads?

Did you know that some people are allergic to certain brands of toilet paper? (Hey, M!) And some of those people have wonderful friends who deliver a package of dye-free tp to them at their new job. And then those friends call the tp-allergic friends and quote Ray Steven's songs while the boss is standing in front of them.

I sang along with Beyonce's "Single Ladies" song today, with Sissy sitting next to me in the Pimped Out Mamamobile. Should I have done that? Is that a song that is appropriate for my 8 year-old to hear her 22 year-old mommy sing along with?

Shut up, I can say I'm 22 if I want to.

I'm through now.

You're very welcome.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Things I've seen lately and liked

Ben Stein on CBS Sunday Morning News yesterday...

And Michael Phelps ad in my Kohl's email from yesterday...









Yesterday was a good day. Donchathink?

Friday, March 06, 2009

No need to call the HAZMAT team

Yesterday, I took a large black garbage bag, a backpack, a reusable shopping bag and a duffel bag. With these important items, Sissy and I cleaned out the Pimped-out Mamamobile.

We threw away receipts from the beginning of time. Stickers from every single stinkin' day of kindergarten, first and second grades. Candy wrappers. Snot rags. Shriveled-up french fry crumbs. Old, used flosser sticks. Straws. Napkins. Spoons. Forks.

We dug out jackets, loose change, toys, batteries, notepads, pencils, pens, clothes pins, socks, pacifiers, crayons (gasp!!!), empty dvd cases, dvds, and a million other things.

You can see the carpet in the van again.

You can see the carpet in the van desperately needs cleaning.

You can step walk from the side doors to the back seats without crushing something or breaking an ankle.

You can sit in the seats without wondering if you'll have crumbs on your butt.

You can ride without feeling the urge to wear a surgical mask or hang your head out the window.

The garbage bag wasn't full.

But the backpack, reusable shopping bag and duffel bag were full.

Now I've just got to find a place in the house to put those things that were stored in the van.

This completely ruins my organizational plan!!!

channelling my inner Scarlet O'hara: Whatever will I do???

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

I'm sharing... 'cause it's the Christian thing to do

I have a favorite sandwich that I like to have for lunch. It's nothing exotic. It's nothing interesting. It's nothing much, except yummy.

And because I'm a wonderful, loving person, I'm sharing my sandwich recipe with you, my bloggy friends.

Sun-dried tomato basil wrap
6-8 slices of brown sugar ham
Ranch dressing or Santa Fe Wrap mixture (I skip the olives when I make it.)
shredded cheddar cheese
fresh green onions (only the green part)
fresh basil (chopped fine)

Preheat a skillet to medium-high heat. Microwave the ham until it steams (approx. 15 seconds.) Spread a small amount of ranch or Santa Fe Wrap Mixture onto the center of the wrap. Plop the ham onto the center of the wrap.

You must "plop" it. If you don't "plop" it, it will instantly become rancid and your toenails will grow crooked summer.

Sprinkle cheese, onions and basil on top of the ham.

"Sprinkling" is also required.

Fold the wrap into a square. Gently place the wrap into the skillet, allowing it to turn golden brown. Turn our wrap over and heat the other side.

Do not burn your delicious sandwich. You will cry and wish you would just curl up and die.

If you have succeeded in making this work of edible art, eat it and come back here to let me know what you thought.

Did you add or skip any ingredients?

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Crisis

The life and world as we have known it - at least for MY life - will be changing. And it may be ending. I don't remember who said it, but I remember a very profound quote: "We are living in a nation where the belief in God and heaven and hell has ended. I can't think of anything more hopeless than to live believing that there is nothing left for us after this life."

And this is the crisis we face. Our nation is filled with hopeless people.

Hopelessness is a lack of faith. Faith in one's God, one's self, others. Faith in life itself.

If we don't have faith, don't believe in anything or anyone, then there is no reason to work, to play, to grow, to experience, to encourage, to live.

We are becoming a nation of wimps. We are so dadgummed afraid to offend someone, that we will intimidate into silence those who speak the truth. We are so accustomed to coddling those who will not take responsibility for their actions, that we bail them out of every jam they get themselves into. We are so convinced that those have who never provided for themselves can't, so we prop them up and arrange the world around them, perpetuating the cycle. We give birth to children and never allow them to mature and become adults; adults who support themselves and do not rely on government agencies or charities to save their tails. We teach them that the phrase "government of the people, by the people and for the people" means that government is there to take care of them. To provide for them.

What happened to us?

We have gone from the Greatest Generation to Flower Children to Generation X. Did the Greatest Generation not pass on to their descendents the traits that allowed them to overcome so many difficulties, conquer such evil, create vast industry, and witness incredible progress? Did us, as those who stride in the shadows of that age that overcame so much, rely upon their accomplishments and become lazy?

Or did we reach that point of diminishing returns? Did we build and spend and borrow until we created an excess that offends even our own selfish, spoiled sensibilities?

I am well aware of the complexities of the economic issues that our nation and the world face. I am not arrogant enough to claim to grasp even a small portion of it. It is greater than I.

Yet my Lord is greater than any financial, housing, mortgage or military crisis that we face today or tomorrow. I have confidence in knowing that this world is not all there is. I have faith that when my heart stops beating and my lungs stop breathing, my soul will leave my body and this Earth and go to another place. This other place is where I will meet my Lord. This other place is where I will account for the things I have done in this life.

I know these things. I believe these things. I have faith.

A sad fact is that even if others don't believe as I do, they will still face the same accounting. Believing in God is not a requirement for his existence. Denying Him does not eliminate Him.

I have decided that many in our country who rely upon others, when they are capable of doing for themselves, do not have faith in themselves. They lack this faith because they never saw it lived out before them. They lack this faith because we have told they are "underprivileged" and "disadvantaged" and "discriminated against."

I am not saying that discrimination has ended. It has not.

I'm saying that discrimination has been the excuse of choice. I'm saying that we should stop making excuses for others. I'm saying that they should stop accepting those excuses. I'm saying that ALL of us should stop making excuses for why we haven't achieved the things of which we are truly capable. There is no excuse for not doing what we can do.

As long as you hold on to excuses, you can't begin to believe in yourself. Why should you? You're underprivileged, disadvantaged and discriminated against. If you can't believe in yourself, then faith will forever elude you. And without faith, you will have no hope.

We can talk about change. We can talk about believing. We can talk about hope. But until we have hope in the Right Thing, hope in the Truth, we will always be looking for something more. We will always be looking for some magical change to make things easier, better, nicer. We will believe lies.

My perspective on all things political and economic right now centers on faith. We, as a nation, have placed our faith in things that are temporal. We have failed to remember Who allows each breath and to worship Him for that and the endless list of other gifts. I honestly believe that God is teaching a lesson to those of us who will learn. He is reminding us that this world is His creation, and He, alone, controls it. He is letting us see the flaws in the systems that we have planned and the programs we have in place. He is allowing us to fail so that we can learn from our mistakes.

There are those who will disagree with me. That's fine. This is my blog, and I'll say what I want. I've been pretty quiet lately. I haven't had anything on my mind that I felt was even remotely interesting or memorable to share. But this - our Crisis of Faith - has been nagging at me for days. I don't know that I have shared it effectively. I've simply let my thoughts flow out my fingers.

Just remember that we are in this together. If we spend money we don't have, then what must we sacrifice to afford it and repay it? Are we not doing the same with our federal spending that we criticize in those who borrowed more than they could afford to repay? Are we not in effect "maxing out our credit cards?" Who will preside over the federal government's bankruptcy? China? Saudi Arabia? Some other wealthy country whose ideals and beliefs are not compatible with ours? In an effort to appease those who can't pay their bills (many through no fault of their own), are we signing a promissary note that will haunt our children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren for the rest of their lives?

I don't know the answers. But I am honestly concerned that there are people making decisions about our money - YOUR MONEY and MINE - that have no real understanding of what they are doing.

What part of increasing our deficit don't they understand?

That's all.

Thankyouverymuch. (stepping off soapbox. smiling sheepishly.)
And if you have stuck with me this long, you deserve a "reward" of some kind. Here's some silliness I captured around our house lately.


I have no explanation for this...
He is convinced he is Cookie Monster when he wears this. And Cookie Monster sounds a lot like a horse.