Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas eve tradition

We made our traditional gingerbread cookies. Jman insists that each of us have our own type of each cookie, so there is always three of each kind, with a few extra for Santa.
Every year I seem to forget to get icing or cookie decorations, so we make due with what is in the cupboard - black sprinkles left over from Halloween, multicolored dots that were from some other project. Hey, we worked with what we've got and they turned out just fine.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Packages mailed

Whew, as of this morning all our holiday packages have been mailed (which is 90% of the gifts we give). All that is left to do is to get stocking stuffers and do some holiday baking (the fun stuff)...which is good since the creeping crud has crept into our house, infecting Jman and me.
The poor little guy is laying on the couch, all bundled up, mouth half open (stuffy nose), fevered eyes, and drool coming out of his mouth. If it had to hit, at least this was a semi-good time for it to happen. It struck Saturday afternoon, which is lucky, since his Arrow of Light ceremony was Friday night and popcorn delivery for scouts was Saturday morning. So he got most of everything he needed done done before the germs knocked him for a loop.
I'm fairing better, which a lower fever, sore throat and stuffy nose. It is not unexpected that we become sick this time of year. This is a busy time of year for me at work and I am literally in close personal contact and exposed to about 100 more people per day than normal. My immune system has built up some defense to it, but I think I may have brought it home to Jman. Poor baby. I'm just hoping it is not strep throat. I really don't want to go to the doctor's office.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Artist in residence

Jman's artwork was displayed at our local Barnes and Noble this past week. Out of the 1000+ students in his school, about 2 dozen students had their artwork chosen to show. We are so proud of him, especially since last year at this time we were getting notes home from the art teacher telling us that Jman was going to fail art because he was not doing the work. Now, he talks excitedly about it, discussing the medium he is using (watercolors for those who are interested), what each art project is attempting to demonstrate (ie. depth, dimensions, etc). His art teacher is passionate about his love for art and it is contagious.

(The theme for the picture was summer fun - Jman visited Washington, D.C. and this is his version of the Washington Monument. Notice the reflection pool in the foreground.)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving thanks

I'm thankful for...

the love of my family and friends,
that our health scare with J this past year was just that and that he is relatively healthy,
that even if I do get laid off at work, my family will survive,
that I can turn to my blog family to vent, to share, to have support.

Happy Thanksgiving folks. Eat, share, and take the time to reflect on all that you have, rather than what is missing from your life.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Work has had some interesting news today, mainly that there will be large layoffs within my company, with hiring freezes across the board. They are waiting until after Thanksgiving to announce them, so for now we just have to guess who is getting the axe. I believe I am safe, although my hours will be cut, how much I do not know. I hope I don't get laid off - I'm not fully vested in my company until February. It'll probably be the middle management folks who get laid off first, since they are considered more "redundant" than other positions. The sad thing is that my company has made a profit this year; they are just cutting costs to cover themselves for the future.
Bit off the topic - while we were discussing the possible ramifications these cuts would have on our jobs, one of our employees asked "does this mean we don't get our bonuses this year?" I think it is a safe guess, that yes, we don't get bonuses this year.

Update: We are getting bonuses..if we're still around to receive them.

Monday, November 17, 2008

New recipe for dinner

In my house, we hate coming up with ideas for dinner. When we do come up with an idea, there is always someone who does not like that dish (not that they get anything else for dinner, they just suffer in silence). However, last night, hubby made a dish both easy and tasty. We had jalapeno cheese encrusted pollack. It had a creamy cheesy flavor with a kick of jalapeno and a bit of crunch to keep your mouth entertained.
Sounds complex doesn't it? Not if you use the secret ingredient he used...crushed jalapeno flavored Cheeze-its. It may sound odd, but it was good.
For 2 large fillets of white fish (ie. cod, scrod, pollack, etc.) you will need about 2 tbls melted margarine or butter and about 2 cups crushed jalapeno Cheeze-its. Drizzle the fish with the margarine, then coat it with the crushed Cheeze-its. Extra coating can be added on top of the fish to give it more crunch. Cook in a 35o F degree oven for 15 -20 minutes (we needed 2o min. because our fish was still frozen in the middle when it got put in the oven) until fish is tender and flaky. If you are smart, you will line your baking pan with aluminum foil first so there will be minimal clean-up when you are done. Everyone had seconds at our house, so you may want to double the recipe.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

To continue or not to continue

Jman has reached the end of his cub scouting career and is considering going on to boy scouts. I say considering since two weeks ago he told us that he wants to quit scouting, wants to quit it now. This is after he has done all the work to qualify for the Arrow of Light ceremony (the highest privilege in cub scouts), and has done all the work for super achiever as well. Also, this is after he sold over 500 dollars worth of popcorn for which we are waiting on delivery.
Why does he want to quit? He will not say other than "the meeting stop me from doing things I want to do, like read". We told him he has to at least finish cub scouts, since he has done all the work and should at least get the awards that go with it. We want him to continue on since scouting has helped him grow as a person. He has already learned so many skills (first aid, how to change a tire, fishing, woodworking, etc.) and has developed into responsible individual (many, many community service projects have helped him do this).
I think he may be having a change of heart - last night at our den meeting, as he was decorating his arrow for the ceremony, the scout leader asked if he was considering going on to boy scouts. He said, "I'll give it a try". Yay!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The dress

I have something that is trivial to discuss. I should be discussing what I believe the ramifications of our new president-elect will have on our country; but I can't. I have to discuss it...Michelle Obama's dress. She looked very pregnant in it. One might say it looked like a left-over Halloween costume - the almost black widow hourglass design was very distracting to me.
As I was listening to Obama's speech my eyes and mind would wander over to Michelle's dress and all concentration would go out the window as I would start to think "what was she thinking, this is for the history books and she chose that..."
I am so superficial.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Go vote.
Even if it is just for one candidate, vote and skip the others.
Your vote does count - ask Al Gore.
Waiting for 2 hours in line is not a sacrifice; it is a privilege. Our men and women in uniform have already made the sacrifice for you.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Stomach ache many gummy Lifesavers, Starburst, Skittles, and Snickers... tummy hurts.

Sunday, October 26, 2008



That's how much gas was a gallon when we filled up the car today. A year ago it was close to the $4.00 a gallon mark. I was happy to see this.

Now if only milk would drop from $4.29 a gallon to $2.29. That would make me very happy.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Death and family

My family suffered a loss this past week, with my uncle passing away unexpectedly from lung cancer. While we took care off all the normal funeral arrangements, we observed several things.

1. Family can always make the time to come to a wake, but not to a celebration. We often think, "I visit later, or I see them around the holidays". Take the time today to tell your loved ones what they mean to you, resolve those differences, forgive those grudges. You may not have the time later on.

2. If a man's wealth can be assessed by the amount of folks who come to his wake, my uncle was a very rich man. The funeral home's parking lots were full, and street parking was at a max. The number of cars that went to the grave site was at least 1/2 mile long. I don't know if he knew how many lives he touched while he was alive, as my uncle lived a simple life as a carpenter, but I can only dream that I am able to touch that many people in my lifetime.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


Jman and I sat down to a nice dinner of pork tenderloin and Asian mixed vegetables with cashews. While Jman was eating his dinner, he started to complain that his stomach hurt. At first I thought he was just complaining that he did not like the dinner, which in our house, means nothing. It's your dinner, you eat it, no complaining allowed.
I was soon proven wrong. Jman started vomiting, not much, mouthfuls at a time. This would seem odd to most folks but it signifies something else to us. Hubby is severely allergic to certain nuts (cashews being one of them) and his reaction always starts with vomiting. Now we tested Jman for allergies when he was 5, since we did not want to have him go through an allergic reaction if possible. He has no reaction when he was a child to these tests, just to mold and dust.
Now I'm worried that Jman has developed an allergy to nuts. We'll have to schedule another appointment with the allergist to be sure, but for now we'll have to be more vigilant about what he eats; as if we weren't already cautious with his foods due to his cholesterol. Poor kid, his genetics are stacked against him.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Quote of the day

Be kinder than necessary because everyone

you meet is fighting some kind of battle

I truly believe in following this, although I may not succeed everyday in my attempts. It's how I rationalize when folks are rude or abrupt, insensitive or short-tempered with me.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Autumn leaves

I love the fall, the changing colors, the crisp bite to the air and the smell of burning leaves. Oh wait, I live in Texas now - there is only one season here - hot. At least I won't have to rake these.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Rant against insurance companys

One thing about Texas homes that is different than many home across the country is that our homes are required to have "weep holes" in the buildings, which are purposely made holes across the surface of your brick home that helps compensate for expansion of the building materials during extreme heat, which helps prevent cracking of the bricks. It is the law that builders build these into our homes, it is not a choice here in Texas...and we are being punished for it.
Many of us here Texas have had our insurance adjusters come out to look at the damage brought on by hurricane IKE. Many of us have had "windblown rain damage", which is normally covered in home owner's policies. Except in Texas, there is a sub-clause (not printed in any of my documents or any of my friend's insurance documents) that states that any windblown rain damage must come from a "created hole" and can not from rain being forced sideways into your home through these weepholes. So, unless you have a hole in your roof (lifted shingles don't count), you're screwed if suffered any water damage in your home. Which is the case for 90% of my friends. So the $30,000 + damage a friend suffered to her home, not covered. Why do we pay for insurance that is not there for us when we need it? We've already been punished for living in this area after Katrina/Rita and saw our deductible have a mandatory raise if a cyclone (i.e. hurricane) struck, now we can't even get paid for the coverage that we do have.
Look at your homeowner's insurance policy, see what it covers, then call your insurance company and ask what that really means - you may be sadly disappointed.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Calamities are of two kinds: misfortunes to ourselves, and good fortune to others.
Ambrose Bierce (1842 - 1914)
With folks around here recovering from hurricane Ike, it is interesting to listen to folks who've had their homes damaged. Some are able to see positive. A friend of mine had flooding throughout her home, down the sheetrock, destroying the carpeting and the walls. Her response as she ripped out the sopping carpet, "Well, we planned on getting wood laminate flooring in the future, I guess the future has arrived."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

16 years

It is officially the 16th anniversary of my first date with hubby. Yup, even after all this time, I still remember the day. We were young and silly, now we're older and still silly. Thinking about hubby, still makes me smile, every day.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Morning after Ike

Early morning light brought this to our attention. We've got an uprooted tree. The tree on the left used to be straight up and down too - the winds have encouraged it to lean a bit. Although you can't tell from the picture, the rain is still going sideways with strong winds. There are whitecaps on our little lake back there. We thought we might have lost part of the roof since I found a puddle on the floor this morning, but on second look it seems that it is just rain water forced through the roof vents (keeping fingers crossed).
We're also one of the lucky few who already have our power back. Most of our neighborhood is till dark, but our little section is lucky. We were last to be built in the neighborhood and we were tied into the local college's power grid which gets fixed quickly. The groceries did not defrost last night, so our food is still good. We're not sure about the water, we've been advised to drink our bottled water only. We've got our bathtub full of good water, plus our "ice" is all drinkable water as well. We should be good.

UPDATE: Now that the rain has slowed down, we can see the roof and there is some damage. Whether or not it is more than the deductible is not yet determined....

Friday, September 12, 2008

Between my windows and the wind

This little piece of metal is what holds the plywood onto our windows and protects them from 100+ winds.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hurricane preparations

So, we all know to put the yard decorations away, stock up on water, candles available,etc, but what about the other prep that no one tells us about?

Laundry - there is a chance power can be out for 2 weeks. Do you have enough clean clothes to make it through that time frame? No air conditioning + dirty clothes = stinky people who you will be in close contact with for awhile.
Dishes - run the dishwasher before the power goes out. Again, who wants to to be responsible for that full dishwasher of dishes that has been fermenting for a day or two.
Books- no TV, no power; how are you going to keep yourself entertained?
Pictures - the before pictures so that the insurance company believes you when you submit claims afterword.
Jewelry - time to put on all your jewels in case the roof blows off and you need to leave in a hurry. Better to be prepared and looking like a princess than leaving your precious jewels behind.
Alcohol - It's a perfect time to have a block party. Your food is defrosting anyway, so turn on the grill and lets make it a celebration. I suggest making hurricanes.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Another storm coming this way

Ah, the hurricane season is on us full force and we have yet another storm headed our way. Will it hit us? How hard? Will there be power? If it is out, how long? Will the shelves be empty for weeks like they were after Katrina and Rita?
We're prepared, as we have been since the beginning of the season. Now we just wait and see.

UPDATE: Looks like we are going to get hit with a category 3 or 4 storm, which means wind damage and power outages for our neck of the woods. We'll be doing our last minute preparation, so posting will probably be suspended for a bit. I'll update when I can.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Beach Day

We went to the beach on Labor Day. With the incoming hurricane, it was deserted. We went for the waves that the turbulent surf had created. It is great for body surfing.
As a precaution, the volleyball nets had all been removed from their posts. This picture just caught my eye.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


We got to the doctor's office today, 20 minutes early. As we waited our turn, I "admired" the decor - orange, green, purple, with furniture covered in triangles and swirls. I guess they choose the decor to distract the children. Shortly I hear "J's mom" . Assuming they need my insurance information, I arrive at the desk, digging through my purse for my insurance card. "We have you scheduled for September 19th at 11:20" What?!? "But I wrote down the time when I made the appointment on my schedule at work, my time off request, and my calendar at home..are you sure?" "Yes ma'am, I don't see any notes saying there was a reschedule...who did you speak with when you made the appointment?" We discuss a bit more, she goes to get the nurse who I spoke with at the time when I made the appointment. She comes out, remembers making the appointment but not changing the date to the 3rd. At this point, I can't take any more of the stress. We've waited months, I'm in knots and feeling desperate. We are so close to an answer and I'm being told we have to wait 2 more shoulders drop, my eyes start to well-up with tears. As I reach for a tissue, the nurse tells me to wait, she'll see if we can some how or another to be fit in.
They were able to fit us in after about an hour, which is pretty good considering the wait for this place. The doctor was very through in her questioning of J's condition and our family history. She heard my concerns, took the time to research possible contraindications that J's medications could be having on his body, and just really listened.
J's numbers are not "high enough" to warrant medication at this point, and although we have to go a liver panel function test, the doctor thinks right now we have to continue the wait and see attitude with one change - fish oil. It may be the "miracle pill" we're looking for. In three months when we go back for more testing we'll see if it worked.
So for now, we're done. I have a sense of semi-relief, but also feel completely exhausted right now. I hadn't realized how stressed I was until after the appointment. Now I need a nap, to recuperate from it all. Then it's up again to schedule the next round of tests...and to take some fish oil pills (the odorless type, for those who are curious).

We see the doctor today

Today's the day. In 10 hours we get to finally see the specialist for J and hopefully get some answers. I honestly have no idea what they are going to do or if they can do anything at all. J is going to see a GI specialist and he's been ill for the last few days, which may or may not negate any tests they do. I should probably reschedule the appointment, but we've waited so long, I just need some answers. I'll update later once we get back from the doctor's office. I should sleep sometime today so I can be well rested and alert for his appointment.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Neither rain, nor wind, nor sleet, nor...

J's appointment with his specialist is almost upon us, at which we will hopefully get some answers to his medical problems. It's been on our minds constantly, mine and J's. We're both nervous about it, J because of the testing he is going to endure, me because of the possibilities of the results. I've got my work schedule rearranged and already informed the school J will leaving early.We've waited over a month for this day and nothing is going to stop us from going....

Hmm,what's that on the horizon? Wind, rain....oh a hurricane, due to land the day before his appointment. Argh. Even though the likelihood of it hitting us is low, the hospitals around here tend to cancel all non-emergency appointments for the day prior the storm, the day of the storm, and the day after. If we have to wait another month, I will truly be upset.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Quote of the day

Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.

-- Kurt Vonnegut

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bathroom ettiquette

Modern technology has greatly accelerated the decline in etiquette in society. Case in point: I was at the airport today and went into the ladies room. As I walked in, I overheard someone conversing, to whom I don't know, since it was a one-sided conversation. It was coming from one of the stalls...the stall that also had quite an odor coming from it. I freshened up, and the woman was still talking on her phone, while she was on the toilet.
I don't know what she was saying, since it was not English, but the tone of voice she was using was a conversational tone, not one of panic, anger, or sadness. What is so important to discuss that it can not wait until you are out of the bathroom? The person on the other side of that conversation had to be able to hear the flushing toilets, the hand dryer, and the other noises that go along with using bathroom stall. I wonder if she would invite that person into the bathroom with her in a face-to-face situation, since that is essentially what she was doing here.
So, am I old-fashioned in being affronted by this action? Is it appropriate to talk on the phone while using the toilet?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Gold in 2016

J has finally found a sport he enjoys, one that he has a desire to pursue: gymnastics. After his first class, he has been a wealth of information on the topic - the different forms, different equipment, how chalk benefits you when you're on the rings. It's quite exciting to see his excitement.
The gym he is attending is the same one 2 of our current Olympic team have attended, so I know he will get good instruction. We didn't search for that particular gym, it just happens to be the one closest to us.
He has a "competition" (in house testing of skills) tonight that he is looking forward to attending; he has already asked me "do you think I could go to the Olympics?". My answer? "To reach the Olympics you must be dedicated and persevere, you give up a lot to reach that goal, but you can work towards that goal. Anything is possible."

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Deadly water hazards

We were hit with hard news yesterday - our scout leader had his 17 month old son die in a tragic drowning accident. It seems they returned from a day at church, put the child to bed and the mom lay down for a quick nap herself. When she awoke later in the evening, she checked on her child who was missing from bed. It seems the little one wandered into the bathroom and turned on the water to the bath. It is a recessed tub, so once he got in he could not get out and subsequently drowned.
I can not fathom the guilt mom must be feeling, nor the absolute despair she must be experiencing. To lose your child in such a sudden way (any way for that matter) is heart rending. As a parent, you can't help but reflect on what you would do if this happened to your own family. How would your marriage suffer? Would the guilt tear the relationship apart? What about the siblings, will they blame themselves?
It's funny (in an odd way), I know of several families who lost young children to disease or accident. Each of these families are very religious, with their beliefs being that their God is a kind and loving god. How do they maintain their faith when it seems that God is against them, that he seems to be a cruel vengeful god?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Medical update

We finally got our appointment with the specialist - September 3.
The "triage nurse" at the specialist office didn't have our paperwork (faxing tends to cause misplaced paperwork) but agreed that we could not wait on it to come through before scheduling J's appointment; the high triglycerides are a serious concern in someone J's age. She also has us on the cancellation list, so that if someone can't make their appointment we can get a call to come in.
We probably will get a call in August since Hubby is gone the whole month and I'll be forced to deal with it on my own.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Back from vacation

We just got back from visiting family in KY and I've decide I want to move there. There are hills, there's greenery, and their traffic is laughable. Of course, the other positive, there is family there. My dear sister-in-law and her hubby where kind enough to play tour guide to us while we were there, putting up with the chaos of us and my father-in-law and his wife too. They are used to just the two of them, so I am sure they were happy to have their peace and quiet back once we all left.
We weren't sure how the trip was going to go since we arrived near midnight, got the rental car, and got pulled over within minutes. Seems are driving triggered the suspicions of the local airport police. We were lost, so when she came to the car window asking if we needed some help I immediately spoke up and asked for directions. Hey, I wanted to get some sleep! Much to hubby's dismay, I also took a picture of him and her together, to start our vacation photo album off just right ...hehe.
Although we saw many sights, we were happy just hanging around the sister-in-law's house. J discovered fossils in her back yard and spent hours digging and cleaning them. I think the toughest part of the trip for him was deciding which ones to take back (the 500+lb slab had to stay).
On the last day of the trip, hubby lost his glasses -he was not happy! We had gone to a water park and he was putting stuff away in a locker when he heard them fall, but he could not find them. We all searched, high and low, for them but they were gone. I even had the attendant open the locker beneath ours to see if they had somehow or another fallen in there. It's as though there was a black hole in the back of the locker, sucking in all matter, never to be seen again.
Luckily, that was the only downside to the trip. We made it back safe and sound and I even had the forethought to schedule a few more days off from work so that I might have a "vacation from my vacation" so that I could rest up before heading back to work.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Mysterious Palm

See that plant? The palm-like growth? It mysteriously appeared in my front yard at the beginning of the summer. I have no idea what it is, or how big it will get. I'm thinking it may have originated from a seed sent from my mother-in-law to my son as a souvenir from her vacation to Jamaica. The child insists he did not plant it there, however I do recall him asking me at some point if I thought it could still grow.
It has already grown about three feet, as you can see if it is going to get large, its placement is not ideal - it would be blocking my front door. So, can someone help me identify it? You may not be able to tell from the pictures, but it also has sharp teeth-like thorny growths along the edges of the stalks of the "leaves".

Friday, June 27, 2008

Part II, J's results

As I mentioned, we did the second blood draw on Monday and waited for the results, which would be at the doctor's office by Tuesday.
10am, Tuesday morning. I called from work and left a message for the nurse to call me at my work number with the results. I reminded my fellow coworkers that I was expecting a call, they would ask for J's mom, so they would be asking for me under a different last name. No problem, they all understood how important it was for me to get this call. So I went about my business, waiting, working, waiting.
3:00 pm, Tuesday afternoon. I had yet to hear from them. I know from working in a clinic most test results are reported back to the patients immediately after lunch, before the office opens up again. It is a planned time for the office to catch up on paperwork, and this office is no exception. I called again, stressing that I wanted to hear back from the nurse, even if the results were not in, so I would not be worrying over them. I then left my home number for them to contact me and said they could even leave a message on the machine if need be. No phone call ever came.

8 am, Wednesday morning. I leave a message again telling them I really would like to hear from someone. No phone call.

2pm. Wednesday afternoon. I call again. I ask the answering service when does the nurse normally return phone calls. I am told "between patients". Since I've about lost my patience, I snarkly reply, "So, they've not had a break from seeing patients since yesterday morning?". The answering service lets me know that they will send another message.

2:30 pm. I finally get my call back. The nurse starts telling me that his numbers are a bit high, and that the doctor would like to have him retested in 6 months. I stop her, asking for the acutal numbers. She then suggest a fasting blood test. Argh! I tell her it is a fasting, and a retake. I then ask, "Did the Dr. actually review the lab work, since he is the one that ordered the retest because of those high numbers. Did he really take the time to look at the chart?" At this point she back peddles a little and says she will have the doctor look at them again and will call me tomorrow with his response. I honestly do not think that the doctor had looked at the test results, I think she was giving me a standard response. Why do I say this? Well....

1:30 pm, Thursday. The nurse calls me back and informs me that after reviewing his results, and the results from the last few tests plus his chart, the doctor is recommending we see a GI specialist. We have some concern about liver functions. They are doing the referral paperwork to day and will send it to the specialist today. I am to await a phone call from that office.

So we are waiting. I do know referrals can take some time to go through. So I'll wait until next Thursday before I start calling and harassing the doctor's office again. If need be, I may just sit in the waiting room, until the paperwork is done. This is my son's health, it is something I take seriously. I will not allow someone elses incompetence to jeopardize his well being.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

J 's doctor visit, part I

J went for his annual check-up last Friday, and several things have me thinking it is time for a new doctor's office for him.
Let me back track to the scheduling of the appointment. One thing I like to do is get the blood work which I know will be requested done before the appointment, so that we do not have to schedule a follow-up visit. When I called to make the appointment, I mentioned this along with the fact that it was J's 10 year old well child visit. The scheduler asked me when his birthday is (July 4) and then could not get it through her head that even though he was not technically 10 yet, we still needed to book the appointment. She kept saying things like "so this is for his 9 year old appointment". Even after I explained that my insurance covers it, she still said "well, I'm making a note that you are the one asking for this appointment." The same thing happened with the blood work...she would not believe me that he had to get it done before the appointment (even though his chart has the order in it).
I got the results of his blood work before our appointment, with the results being high and not what was expected. When I expressed concern, the nurse said we should try again with a fasting blood test...but that was what we just had done! When I pointed that out to her, she suggested my son must have drunk soda before the test. One, he is not allowed to drink soda except special occasions, and two, he understood perfectly well what "fasting" entailed and was not going to put himself through the torture of more needles for a snack.
At the doctor's office, I expressed my concern and the doctor says the same thing, that we should get a fasting test. Exasperated, I point out that it was a fasting test, that the numbers are off the wall and that family history has me concerned for my son's health.
To give the doctor credit, he stopped, took the time to really review this year's and last year's results and apologized and thanked me for making him slow down to review what was in front of him. He agreed that the results were screwy and that it might be a lab error, so he ordered the blood work to be done again. He finished his exam, left, and we waited for the nurse to return with a vaccination for J.
And we waited...and waited..the doctor came back in, asked if we had been seen, went back out, chewed out his nurse (I could hear him), came in again, apologized for the wait and had the nurse come in.
Now, J had had the blood drawn on his left arm and wanted to have the vaccination in his right arm since the other one had already been traumatized. When he asked the nurse if he could do this, she said no, it has to be in the let arm. What?!? Both J and I asked at the same time "why?"(it is intramuscular, the arm choice does not matter).
The nurse got flustered, couldn't really give an answer and had to go confirm with someone that it was indeed OK to have the vaccination in either arm. After getting the vaccination in the arm of his choice, we were off, to return Monday for more blood work.
The blood draw was fine, it was getting the results that cause some trouble... (to be continued)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Hubby's work

I've never mentioned what hubby does for his job, since it is a security-sensitive job. However, I will say that he works to help stop the scum of the world from causing harm to the innocents of the world. His name is Clark Kent and he often wears a red cape....
Seriously, his job does expose him to some of the seedier sides of our dear state. Usually I don't know what he is doing (security reasons) but I sometimes get to find out later. Our normal dinner conversations will go something like this.
Me: How was your day?
Hubby: Busy (and that is all I get)

I might get a the response of "It was really interesting...I wish I could tell you". Hubby also will ask things like "did you see the news today?" (the answer is always no, but then I know whatever he was doing has become public knowledge and I can at least read the news article on-line to get an inkling of what he has been involved in).
Today, I do know where he is headed. I also know that if he "succeeds" at his job today it will be a very sad day for him, because it involves children, very young children, and he won't be able to save them.
Hubby has always been a serious man, reserved and quiet. Since he started his superman job, he has become more withdrawn. His job does not allow him to discuss the details with me, his confidante. I often wonder what kind of pressure that has a person, and just how much can a human being absorb before it effects his soul in a negative manner. It has changed him already, to be more cynical of our society and to lose a bit of faith in humanity. I just hope it doesn't change him too much.
I do know that when he comes home today, he will look at his son and probably give him a hug.
J-man, being 9, won't appreciate it since he won't know what his dad will have witnessed today. I'll be hugging hubby - he'll need it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Locker room etiquette

Jman had a field trip at daycare today, so I had just enough time to go to the local YMCA to work out before I had to pick him up. As I was coming from work, I had to get changed completely once I was there. I walked into the woman's locker room, started to get changed, and noticed that there were several children in there as well. There were 3 girls and 2 boys...boys that appeared to be older than the "5 or younger" age limit which is allowed in the woman's locker room.
So, I asked them how old they were and one of the girl's told me that the boy's were 5 and 10 years old, and that their mother was getting changed (on the "wet" side of the locker room). I mentioned that they should let their mother know that they were too old for this locker room, but that there was a family locker room they could use.
I was waiting, and waiting for the mother to come out, since I was not going to get undressed in front of a prepubescent boy. The mother finally came out (she was not finished changing), and I started to mention to her that there is a family changing room right next to this one, since the boys were too old to be in here. She interrupts me to tell me she speaks English..OK...I again say there is the family dressing room next door...she interrupts again to tell me she can read English. Great, if only she could understand it and follow the rules. As I try to continue to talk to her, and ask her to have her son go at least go into the closed off area so he is not staring at everyone.. she goes off on me. She tells me I can change in the toilet I don't think so. I mention again the family dressing room. She has the audacity to say that she does not want get undressed in from of him, and that is the way the room is set up . What? So it is OK for me to get undressed in front of him? I finally have had enough and go to get one of the staff.
At the same time, I run into another friend of mine. So, the staff member gets ahead of me a bit as I'm explaining to my friend that she may not wish to get changed into her swimwear just yet since the dressing room has some older boys in there.
I walk in and hear the staff member explaining the rules to this woman. The woman starts saying how she does not want to leave them alone while she gets changed, but obviously "she", meaning me, "who doesn't have children wouldn't understand". I replied, I do have a child, and he's a boy too. The staff member, who was quicker to the point, mentioned that the YMCA offers daycare (free) for this purpose. The woman makes a snide comment that she'll be sure to keep the boys out when "that woman" is in here. The staff member responded with, "well, it is all the time...they are not allowed in here at all".
It's funny, I probably would not have involved the staff if the woman had just acknowledged that I had a right to feel uncomfortable with her 10 year old boy in the locker room. If she had said something like"I didn't realize anyone else was in here..." or "I didn't know there was a family room" or "let me gather our stuff, we're all done here". Instead, she wanted to insist that she didn't have to follow the rules and she thought that if she confronted me I would back down. I don't think so. The rules (which, by the way, are printed in big letters on a placard in the locker room) are there for a reason.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Grocery shopping

As everyone knows, grocery shopping is more expensive now than it has been in decades. Used to be that we could buy a weeks worth of groceries and it would cost $70; now, it costs $140. Every penny counts and I strive to make my money last. Every once and awhile I do manage to find some bargains, yesterday's shopping trip being one of them. My bill originally came to $134.00. After all my coupons - $80.90! Woohoo! I had some super coupons worth $5 and $7 off, plus some awesome deals.
As an example, my grocery store does "convenience packaging" for dinners which will contain all the ingredients to make a well balance meal, ie. a raw pork roast, fresh carrots, potatoes, celery, and onions. This package can easily feed a family of 4. I don't normally buy them since they're over priced; however, yesterday was a different story. I found a package that had been marked down to just $2.99 (it's freshness date was today) and I had a coupon for $2 off any meat purchase. Our meal last night cost us a grand total of $.99! Try finding that on the McDonald's value menu!
My family laughs at me when I cut coupons, but hubby admitted last night, there is a reason why I do the grocery shopping.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

In a rut

It's that time of year, the time where I feel a need for change. In the past, this would have meant us moving (hubby's job had us on the go all the time). We're not moving, but I still feel like something different. Since we've been in this house almost 5 years, it is time for an update. Seems like we are here to stay, so we might as well some of our personality to the house. So, for the first time ever, I've got a list, a "honey do" list.
change the three bathrooms light fixtures and mirror
repaint bedroom
add crown molding throughout the house
add beadboard to bedroom walls
redecorate J's room with his input
build patio off back of house
replace kitchen counters with marble kitchen countertops
make raised garden beds

OK, the list is not going to get done this summer (our economic stimulus check is not that big), but we have one. It reminds me of the list folks always had taped to the closet door in our back hallway, taped there so Dad would always see it on his way out the door. As kids we would joke that if the list ever got finished, my folks would have to move. 30 odd years later, the list is still there at their house,they are not going anywhere; I'm hoping the same happens here.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A thought....

As I was rushing around this morning at my son's school, trying to accomplish 15 things in 4 minutes, all before the fire drill was set to go, I realized I was having one of those mornings, one where I wished I could be done with the day right then and there.
I mentioned this to a fellow mom, as we exited the building, fire alarms wailing, and she said something that made me pull up short and really listen.
She said " When you're having one of those days where nothing is going right and your rushing everywhere, slow down. It is all going to happen anyway, you might as well catch your breath and take your time."

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Phone call from school

I came home from work today and saw that the answering machine light was blinking. The first message I hear..."Hello J's mom, this is the ----, Vice-principal at the elementary school and I have J here in the office with me....
The thoughts "What? He took his medication today...what did he do?" quickly rush through my head. This is not the way I want to end my day....

"..This is a good phone call ...we are calling you to let you know that J acted in an exemplary manner today, he went out of his way to help a fellow student with a broken arm....." and it goes on in some detail with a description of how helpful he had been.

A good phone call home? How odd...but a nice surprise. We all try our best to raise our children to be kind considerate beings, but honestly, how often do we see the results? To hear it from another person, someone not related to you (because we all know family can be biased) always manages to brighten my day. It's proof I am raising him right! :)

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is right around the corner and it always make me stop to think about Mom and what she has given me in my life. Growing up, it was mom who was the disciplinarian (Dad worked 3 jobs at times, so he was not home). She is the one who stood up for us when teachers were not being fair. I remember in 3rd grade my mom going to school to complain about my handwriting grade. I was a bit of a perfectionist back then, and always worked towards getting straight A's every year. I had gotten a B, but none of the papers I brought home had been less than A's. I was rather upset about this, so Mom took it up with the teacher - sure enough, she had made a mistake and had transposed my grade with some other student's.
Don't get me wrong, Mom was not one of those moms who thought her children were always right, she just believed that it was her job to support us in our decisions. If we made bad choices, she let us fall on our faces if need be so we could learn important life lessons. School science fair projects were our responsibility - she did not help us with them (unless it meant driving to the library). If we procrastinated, we faced the consequences. My brother was always well aware of these...he spent many a last minute finishing a project. He still had to do house chores and responsibilities, after all, it was not the family's fault that he did not budget his time and the garbage still had to go out, dishes still needed to be done, etc.
She taught us to take responsibility, that if we saw something that was not right, instead of complaining we needed to step and make the change. When we were younger, the street I lived on was often used as a shortcut for city trucks to go to the landfill. They would go 40mph on a street that had a 20 mph speed limit, a street that was a rural road, it was narrow, had hairpin curves, and many children played on it. No trucks were supposed to use this road, but they were and nothing was being done about it since the truckers were in cahoots with the mayor.
So, mom took action. She circulated a petition to get our street closed to nonresidential traffic, she called the local press and staged a protest. The protest consisted mainly of my mom, we children and a few neighbors. It got some attention and the ball rolling. Yet things stalled and dragged on for years. Mom never gave up, and after years of complaining, they finally closed the road to trucks. Perseverance.....something she taught us and demonstrated to us.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Quote of the day

When you come to the edge of all the light you know
And are about to step off
into the darkness of the unknown,
Faith is knowing one of two things will happen . . .
There will be something solid to stand on,
Or you will be taught how to fly.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


As I've mentioned in the past, Jman is involved in scouting. A few weekends ago he had his Webelos Do Your Best competition/camping outing. This outing gives the different scouts from across our district a chance to shine, to show off their camping skills, and a few other things as well. They are judged on their campsite (safety aspects, neatness, creativity in set-up, etc), their den flags, and on their den yell. It is like the Superbowl of cub scouts.
Jman had been looking forward to going with his dad for this fun-filled weekend. Hubby had even scheduled off for the Friday they were to leave so that they could get an early start...only Hubby decided to stop in at work to tie up some loose ends..then the phone rang as he was walking out the door. I think everyone can guess where this is leading....Hubby ended up getting called into work that night, which left Jman without his camping buddy and me to break the news to him.
So, Jman came home from school, tossed his backpack on a chair, looked around and asked "Where's Dad?"
When I explained to him that his dad was not going to be able to take him camping that night, J's face dropped. The disappointment was written across his face. I tried to brighten it up for him a bit, explaining that dad would be able to come to the campsite tomorrow and that I would be able to take him instead. This did not brighten his mood much, although when I mentioned that I was ready to go as soon as he changed out of his school clothes he did perk up a bit. After all, if he had to wait for his dad, it would have been hours before they could go.
So off we went. When we arrived at the campsite, I told Jman that he was going to be completely responsible for our tent, since I had never set it up before. It was quite comical watching him, and 2 of his buddies try to set up the tent. None of them were quite tall enough to attach the poles and clips together at the top, they didn't realize that the poles and clips were color coded, and J spent the first 15 minutes using the directions for the rain cover as the directions for the set-up of the tent. With a little help from me, they were finally able to get it up.
Then it was time to get the water. Jman volunteered to be quartermaster for the camp, which meant he had to lug the water from one of the 2 spigots in camp...all which were at least 1000m away! Poor soul, he had to get enough water for cooking, cleaning, washing dishes, and for the fire patrol. Normally there would be at least another scout to help, but he was coming the next morning, leaving J in the lurch. So, I stepped up to help my boy, after all, they are not allowed to leave the immediate campsite without a buddy and this buddy had strong muscles good for carrying buckets of water!
By the time camp was set up, dinner was served, clean-up was done, and schedules were distributed for the next day, it 10pm and time for bed. Jman and I headed to the tent. We both were amazed at how clear the sky was and how many stars we could see - we could even see mars. As we were pointing out the constellations in the sky, we saw a shooting star go by, a first for both of us. It was a nice ending to our day.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Forgive me for not posting...I have plenty to say, but am currently surrounded by sea of sadness. Within this past 2 week, I've had quite a bit of negative news around me. Two folks I know died from complications of cancer - a caring mother of teenagers and an 12 year old brilliant little girl. I also found out that one of the kindest women who works at the college with me is having to take a leave of absence to treat breast cancer while my cubicle sharing co-worker (and friend) received a phone call this morning with the news that her father has stomach cancer. What made it tougher was that she turned to me for answers (due to my medical background and my knowledge of cancer from personal experiences), and the information she had to share with me was not positive. How do you tell your friend that her father sounds like he is terminal? Obviously, I didn't, but my face probably gave something away. She even said to my boss, "the first thing through my mind when my mother told me was to ask Dawn so I would know what was going on..what to expect".
So forgive me. I do have some wonderful scouting camping stories to share, but right now, I just can't.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

dinner guest

My neighbor and I often call each other if one can not meet our children at the bus stop, with the other one bringing the children to her house. Recently, my neighbor's 7 year old came over because his mom was at the hospital with one of the other children. He was going to stay through dinner, which is not usual. So when I spoke with his mom, I asked if she thought he would eat the plain chicken cutlets (which I was making with him in mind), couscous, and edamame. She assured me that he was a good eater and would definitely eat it all.
So, we sat down for dinner, Jman, neighbor boy, and myself. As we eat, neighbor boy starts complaining that the chicken doesn't taste good, that his chicken is "wet", that it is going to make him throw-up. He keeps saying that, while my son insists that neighbor boy is crazy, that this meal "is actually good, unlike some of mom's food". I start to worry that maybe he got a piece that was not cooked completely, so I check it out. Nope, cooked perfectly, moist and tender. Then I realize what the problem is -neighbor boy often eats processed chicken nuggets as he meal. He doesn't know what non-processed food tastes like!
Well, we finish dinner, the boys go to play, then bam!....he throws up. Come to find out, his brother was sick the week before with the very same thing. It wasn't my food, it was a virus!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Would someone please finish my taxes for me? I have them sitting on my table, 90% of the way completed, yet I can not motivate myself to finish them. The deadline is fast approaching and they need to be done since, for the first time ever, we owe taxes this year. That's probably why I am reluctant to complete them. If I had money coming back to me, they would have been done as soon as my tax documents where in my hands. As it is now, I am procrastinating on paying back my "interest free loan" from the government....hehe

Monday, March 31, 2008

Thank you's

It's getting to the time of year when I like to send a little note of thanks to the teachers who have made a difference in J's school year. Usually they are pretty worn out by now and I figure they can use the boost.
J hates school, but when pressed, he'll admit that a few of his teachers are too bad. His current favorite is his art teacher. When I asked why, he said it was because Mr. Art "always encourages me, he's nice". J comes home excited about whatever art project he is working on - this is from the boy who says he is not artistic at all- and goes into detail describing it to me. Any time a teacher can make school seem positive for J is someone who deserves some recognition.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


I took J to the dentist for his semi-annual teeth cleaning. As the hygienist was cleaning his teeth, she mentioned that he had to work harder at it since he had some plaque build-up, etc. She started suggesting that I should be cleaning his teeth (I disagree - he is 9 1/2 y.o., old enough to do his own dental cleaning). She asked both of us how often he brushes his teeth; my reply was morning and night and his was morning and night as well, "except, I haven't really been brushing them lately, not in the morning at least". My jaw dropped and an expression of disbelief crossed my face. I heard the dental hygienist in the next cubicle over start to laugh as ours said, "at least he is honest about his brushing, unlike some adults who come in here". She asked him if he had the materials to floss his teeth, which he answered yes, then thought better than to ask him if he actually flossed. She could see the answer in his teeth and did not think I should hear spoken what the answer was, since we all knew what it would be.

Friday, March 21, 2008


--looks around blog, notices thick layer of dust covering all the letters..gets out dust cloth and starts wiping away the grime--

I am coming back, I promise

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Quote of the Day

Why should we worry about what others think of us; do we have more confidence in their opinions than we do in our own?

- Brigham Young

Monday, February 25, 2008

Quote of the Day

Each time someone stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope.

- Robert F. Kennedy

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Food Network

I have a new's food network. We've only had cable a few months now, and I find myself drawn to the food network, especially Everyday Italian with Giada. I think it is because the recipes are ones I love, ones I have tasted before but didn't necessarily know how to make. My husband laughs at me and asks me who this"Giada" is that is keeping me away from him. I tell him it is for his own good - my menus are being invigorated, with new recipes and ideas. Even my son, Mr. Picky himself thinks the recipes all sound delicious.
My other favorite on that network is Iron Chef. Again, it gives new ideas to common ingredients.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Maybe the world won't be so bad...

The other day, Jman and I were watching the news, when a promo flashed up about an upcoming story, a story covering why grand jury panels in Houston are predominately white.

Jman (remember, he is 9 1/2 years old) turned to me and asked "What do they mean when they say white?" My son has not been exposed to color bias?!? You mean, he might actually grow up in a society that judges people on their ability and not their skin color? I was overjoyed that he did not understand why/what the color of a person's skin had to do with jury selection.
Then I thought about it...when I ask him to describe his friends or classmates, the color of their skin never comes into the description. Hair color, yes; skin color, no. This could be due to the fact that he has every shade of brown in his class, plus yellows and whites. How could you classify any of them into groups? What shade would differentiate one person from another when grouping? I wish many adults thought the way he does.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Vacation thoughts

The weather outside is beautiful - 75 degrees and sunny. It has my mind wandering to summer vacation and where we should go. Last year we went to Disney World and had a blast. This year, we are up for anything - backwoods to seascapes, posh to perilous. The only requirement is that it is in the U.S. (have to support the economy - especially since we'll be using the check we receive from the "economic stimulus"bill that just passed the Senate and House).

Now I just need idea - anyone have a few to spare?

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Job search

So, like Kil, I may lose my job in the near future (April to be more exact) - the college I work with may choose not to renew the contract my company has with them. I've been thinking about it a lot lately, since one of my colleagues is driving me bonkers and it is a escape mechanism for me to dream of a future of which he is not a part.
But what would I do? My life has taken so many twists and turns that I have experienced many different job paths. I am not living up to my potential, but do not know how to get there (I believe my potential includes winning a Nobel Prize. I have a lot of work ahead of me).

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Winter doldrums

Raise you hand if you are ready for winter to be over....

I've hit the mid-winter blahs; since I'm not allowed to stay in bed all day, I need something to keep me going until spring. Any suggestions?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Love your body

We recently got cable, and I have been exploring the many channels now available for my enjoyment. Once show that caught my eye was "How to Look Good Naked" with Carson Kressley.
I thought it was going to be a show on how to "fix" problem spots and how to apply makeup, etc. It isn't - it is a show to "fix" how real women view themselves. I've watched two episodes, and it is amazing how skewed the women's views of their bodies are. Carson teaches them how to respect who they are, how to play up their attributes, how to love themselves. The fact that he is able to convince them to pose naked at the end of the show can give you an inclination as to how far they have come in accepting their bodies.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Holiday Travels

We made it back, safe and sound, from the visit to my sister's house. It was a nice trip, without too much excitement. My nephew does have a knack of injuring himself - every morning he would have a new scrape, bruise, cut, etc. which would seem to mysteriously appear. Of course, he is a bit of a monkey, and the flying leaps off the back of the couch could be one explanation for a bruise or two.
While visiting, we traveled to the Mexico border. If you were to form an impression from that border town alone, you would say that Mexico is a country of pharmacies, liquor stores, and trinket shops. While there, we had children coming up to us to see if we wanted our shoes shined. One child first offered a shoeshine for $10, then $20 (going up in price after I said no), then $1. My sister was talking to one of the boy, he was but one year older than my son and was working to help support his family. I tried to use this as a life lesson for my son....he did not listen too well.
Our only excitement was as we crossed back into the US. As of right now, you do not need a passport to get into the states. I had my license for me and the "child find" ID card for Josh (definitely not a legal ID). The border guard asks me where I was born, which really made no sense since it is not listed on my license, and then asked Jman his name. Jman was not paying attention, so I nudged him to answer the woman, which he did. She then asked "who is this woman?". Jman looked at me, then turned to the border patrol and said "I don't know". ARGHHH!!! At that point border patrol looked back at him and said, "if you don't know, then you will be staying in Mexico". He quickly answered her after that. I was ready to choke him - he just did not understand the seriousness of the border. Needless to say, we had quite a discussion after that about when it is OK to joke around and when you need to be serious.