Sunday, February 27, 2011

Movie Time

The other night I watched We Are Marshall. What a great movie!!  Yes, you will need tissues close at hand, but so worth it! And I think child friendly - older kids - say upper elementary. There's a few cuss words, but not too bad.  The subject matter is heavy - death always is, but it's inspiring to see how a community can rebuilt after such tragedy.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The New Question

When Dad was going through his check-in for the follow-up appointment at the neurology clinic, I learned that there is a new question in life from doctor to patient.

No longer are the questions the normal do you drink, do you smoke, are you in pain today. No, now we have a new question to ask:  "Do you have a living will?"

Really? Wow.

Now, there's a sobering thought.   Just when you thought it was a normal appointment, you begin to wonder if they know something you don' if you're worse off then they are telling you...

But Mom said no. It's just part of the new health care system. Everyone is to have a living will.

 I can't remember if I do or not....If I don't, does that make me a criminal???

Friday, February 25, 2011

Where the Crazies Live

This week my father had a follow-up appointment with the doctors that treated him in here locally when he had his fall just before Christmas. Once a week the neurology department holds a clinic. We were told to be there at 8:30 to check-in.  After re-reading the letter, my mom and I realized that this is a check-in time - not an appointment time.

We saw a long day in our future.

But we got there just before 8:30 - ready to be checked in.  As we were waiting in the waiting room for Dad to be called up to the registration window, we meet our first crazy of the day.

He was in a wheelchair, holding a cane, moving the wheelchair with his one good foot. Probably in his 30's. And he likes to talk to strangers.  A whole waiting room full of strangers. As he passed our section of waiting room, he started to talk about a wedding that was to be on Saturday.  At first I thought it was his wedding, but mom said no, it was his room-mate's wedding.  Our wheelchair-bound friend apparently did not want the wedding to happen.  As he started to tell us loudly. 

As we all put our faces in our books or eyes focused on the TV, he decided to share his unhappiness with another capture audience - the next part of the waiting room.  Yeah!

After Dad was called and completed his registration - complete with an arm band as if he would be staying over night- we went down to the end of the waiting room where the neurology's clinic was located.  On our way, we passed by another crazy.

This one concerned me. He didn't talk out-loud. He just sat there. With darting eyes.  You know the kind. The kind that spells our C-R-A-Z-Y.  There was something just not right about them.  And he was alone. Never a good sign.

Thankfully, he stayed in his part of the waiting room and we stayed in ours.

But don't worry. Our part of the waiting room provided up with lots of entertainment.  We had the guy in the white shirt next to be that must have thought the contestants on The Price is Right could actually hear him. (Which by the way, he apparently watches the show EVERY DAY!!! EVERY DAY!!) He also liked to make loud commentary about anyone else in the waiting room.  I'm thinking he was born without a filter between his brain and his mouth....

There was the lady in her robe.  Yes, it really was a robe - not a long dress. Nice dark green.  A robe. In public.  Can only imagine what Stacy and Clinton would say about that.

Then there was the boy and set of grandparents behind us.  The boy had to be about Ben's age - ten or so.  What stood out to be was his bright orange basketball jersey he was wearing. It matched the large cheese puff bag he was carring and then proceeded to consume. Not even nine in the morning and the cheese puffs are almost gone!

After he finished them, he proceeded to quiz his grandfather on where lunch would be held - MacDonald's or Burger King??  The grandfather's answer? "I think I can get you to school in time for lunch."

Really? Seriously?  That's the only reason to send your grandson to school is for the free lunch??   And why exactly is he here at the clinic instead of school when he's NOT the patient????

No matter what size, shape, or color this world is full of CRAZY people!!!

The Case for Christ

Yesterday I finished the Case for Christ by Lee Strobel.   If you are a Christian and have not read this book or another similar that explains why the Bible really does stand up to critics and has stood up to the test of time - you need to.  The Bible is an amazing book. It has withstood over thousands of years. It's older than Homer's Iliad!! To me that's wonderful and amazing.

I find so many Christians don't really know how the Bible came to be - and that they are afraid to discuss with non-believers.  Or they can't really explain this part or that part. This book gives straight answers.   It's an easy read in that it's compelling - but I did find it pack with so much information that I had a hard time remembering it all.

But that's okay.  I can always re-read it.  Hopefully, you will too.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Mysterious Mind of a Twelve Year Old

The other night we were at a restaurant for dinner, Melissa ordered her normal: Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad.  Several times during the meal the waitress stopped to ask how everything was. I just looked at Drew and the kids - all seemed well, so Drew and I nodded and said we were fine.

As we were nearing the end of the meal, Melissa said, "Mom, they forgot to add the croutons and the Parmesan cheese to my salad."

Me: "Well, why didn't you say something when the waitress stopped by?"

Melissa: "I didn't want to complain."

Me: "Excuse me?  You didn't want to complain??!! You? Who complains all the time at my dinner table? You don't want to complain?!!"

Melissa: "Well, I didn't want to hurt her feelings."

Me: "Seriously? You didn't want to hurt her feelings? Her? She didn't even make the food! The cooks in the back whom we don't even see, cook the food! You didn't want to hurt her feelings, but you complain and hurt my feelings at my dinner table?! Seriously!!?""

She had no answer. Drew said not to let it bother me - this is normal. She wants to hurt our feelings as its all apart of being a teenager and rebelling. I don't think I like that answer. Not. one. bit.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Streak Continues

While we have had no shortage of illnesses and injuries that have required trips to the ER, we have yet to have any broken bones. We have had face glue, stitches, CAT-scans, run-ins with hard concrete, peanuts...well...just read here.  It's really just too many to list.

And that's really just when we were in Guam. Since we have been back in the States, we had to deal with Melissa being ill enough to be in the hospital, my father taking a horrible fall down his driveway, William with the flu and some oral surgery. But no broken bones.

I find that on the un-usual side based on the stories of my friends.

But today I thought that streak had been broken. Benjamin comes in the kitchen with his skateboard in hand saying he had fallen (and while he was able to get up) his arm was hurting. After an hour or so with ice, he said it was still hurting a lot.

So, off to the ER we go. And let me say, we - Drew and I - were very impressed with the portable X-ray machine...even if none of us were asked to wear an apron like you normally are...So, if I sprout another head, we'll know why!

Back to my story - While we did get a hard splint, the X-rays showed no break.

Deep sign.

The streak continues - thank you, Lord!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy (Belated) Valentine's Day

We really had a nice weekend! A great weekend! The weather was so nice - the kids played outside just about all day on Saturday. I re-read one of my favorite books. Sunday brought perfect weather again. We went to a state park about twenty minutes away after church for a hike. It was so very nice being outside in the woods. But we all agreed we needed to return in a month or so when everything was in bloom. It was a little brown.

Monday was a great Valentine's Day.  I got some tulips - my favorite flower. We all enjoyed chocolate covered strawberries- my traditional gift to Drew - and now the kids every year.  Although all the kids have decided that they really don't like chocolate...just more for me.  I did make them vanilla dip strawberries for them.

Drew and I ended up going out for dinner Monday night. I really didn't think we would - I had already had dinner planned, but he came home wanting to go out, so who am I to say no??  We didn't have to wait too long - Olive Garden was busy, but we were seated within twenty minutes or so. 

And of course, the food was yummy!

Valentine's was a little tempered for me though.  A step-son of a dear friend from Guam passed away. He was just nineteen years old. So sad. The whole family has been on my heart and mind since I found out.  Such a sad part of life.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Weekend Time

We have a free weekend!! YEAH!! And the best part??? 65 degree temps!! We're thrilled.  My vote is to on a hike.....after sleeping in....I'm really into sleeping in lately.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


While school was back in session, William did not make it. His face was so swollen today, his eyes were almost closed. And he was still in a lot of pain.  He took him medicine and took a three hour morning nap.

While he was sleeping, I got several chores done - that's always a good feeling. 

The swelling was down a lot by the end of the day and he was joking around with Ben. Yeah....he'll be going back to school tomorrow!

And the best thing about this coming up weekend???  The weather. Sunday? High of 62.'s going to be so nice!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Snow Day

Today we are having our third snow day, but guess what's missing?? SNOW!

The two largest school districts here announced the cancellation a 5 last night.  I was very surprised that they called it that early.  In the school districts we lived in in the past, waited until 5 AM to decided.  Weather systems can change a lot in twelve hours.

Supposedly, we'll get snow around two this afternoon.  We'll see. Right now it's just raining...a little sleet at times, but mostly rain.  The schools really could have gotten a half or at least a whole day in session.

Of course, the kids are loving the day off.  They have just laid around watching TV most of the day - except for a few hours this morning when we played cards. I won.  Yeah for me! And yeah for me for surviving grumpy kids - oh, they all were in a great mood until the cards turned.  I threatened naps. 

Maybe they'll get a little happier when the snow starts to fall.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The End

Today I watched the last movie in the Millennium series, The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.  While this was my favorite book in the series, it was my least favorite movie.  Very disappointed!!

In the book there was a wonderful court room scene.  The movie totally did this scene a disservice! The book had great dialogue between the lawyer for the main character and a witness for the defense.  The screenwriters should have just taken it word-for-word from the book, but instead used about three lines and ended it.  Left out all the great drama.

Hopefully, when they make the American version of the films, this court room scene will be done closer to the book's version.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


 This weekend I finished the last book(The Mockingjay) in the Hunger Games series.  I was disappointed.  I didn't like this plot line or how the book was on the meloncholy side.

I also, read some of the book Confessions of a Good Christian Girl.  That didn't thrill me either.  It's a non-fiction book -which I usually love, but  I just couldn't get into this one.

So, I'm trying to read all the magazines I got from my mother - like several months ago....they've been sitting on my nightstand for a while....time to move them.

Not sure what I'll read next.....maybe Chocolate Wars.

The Irony of it All

A few days ago a friend put up a "note" on facebook about being a military wife.  She had a list of things...well, lessons really that she has learned and lived as a military wife. She asked for opinions of other military wives.  I had to think about it for a few days.  This life I live, I just live it. Don't think about how to describe it too often.

Her thoughts and others had the same theme of "we make do with what we have"....whether it's turning friends into family because our natural family is too far away or making the most of the time we have together...celebrating birthdays or anniversary six days or weeks or months early or late because of a deployment.  I added that we military wives have to find a balance between being self-sufficient and relying on others.  We have to know when to ask for help and be able to accept it.

And that's where the irony of my life happens.  I had that kind of morning.

Well, it really started last night when Melissa said her toilet was clogged. We've had issues with these toilets getting clogged quite often.  A plumber did come out to investigate and while these are not his words, we apparently have big poop. Either that or we don't know how to flush correctly.  Jury is still out on that.

But while it's an easy fix, I can't fix it.  While I try to use the plunger, I am just not strong enough.  But Drew will be home in 24 hours, so that can be left to him.

Then this morning I woke up to William coughing again.  So, one more day of no school for him.  But I had the dilemma of "do I go to Bible study and leave him here or do I stay home"??  He's 13 and does not really need me to hover over his every cough and sniffle.  He's got his DS and the tv....he really doesn't need me.

Then as Melissa was cleaning up from her breakfast we discovered the kitchen faucet was not producing water.  Really?  Deep sigh.  Tried not to cry. It's amazing how something like this can send me to the edge of tears, but I tried not show them to the kids.  After all, at the moment I'm the only adult around. I can't fall apart. (While this onset of tears maybe due to being female having female issues, that does not negate that there are real problems to dealt with!!)

What to do?? Water at every other faucet...just not that

Next we Ben to add to the list. First thing out of his mouth this morning??  "I don't want to go to piano!!" "But you play so beautifully!!" "I don't care. I don't like it!"  Me: deep sigh. He is normally grumpy in the morning...but not this argumentative. But I did not feel like an argument. "You really need to have this conversation with your father...not me." Then I basically ignored him knowing that within a few minutes he would be much more cooperative about getting up, breakfast, and going to school.  (And yes, he will go to piano this afternoon.)

(Almost forgot: our desk-top computer has a virus....I can't figure out how to get rid of it...very frustrating. Need my personal computer tech guy. Yes, that would be my husband.)

I went ahead and showered and dressed....just in case I actually make it to Bible study or I have plumbers in the house. Either way - I needed to be clean and presentable.  At 8:00 I called the builder of the house.  It's still under a one-year warranty and he has told us to call him for any problems. I totally took him up on that offer.

Over an hour later he still had not called back....what to do...what to do....  So, I left a second message.  Thirty minutes later still no answer.  Bible study not happening...  So, I broke out the big guns.

I called Drew.

"What do I do now??!??" 

He suggested I call the builder's partner. So, I did and thankfully he answered his phone.  We both thought it was frozen pipes. At some point a plumber or the builder himself will come and add more installation to the pipes in the attic on an outside wall. 

Just before 11 o"clock the water started to flow again and from what I can tell no pipe actually broke.

The irony of this?  Drew is in DC taking care of our rent house because a pipe froze and broke and flooded the house. Badly. So bad that if it was a car it would be totaled. 100% percent.

But during all of this craziness I can't but help see the "treasures in the trail".  God is so good... blessings still flow...  William is really just about back to normal - he should be at school tomorrow...We have insurance, enough sky-miles for $10 plane tickets, friends to help...oh, those friends in Waldorf. You  are the best.  Drew had enough leave build up at work that he can take off this week to take care of all if this.  And to me a HUGE blessing: Drew can take care of this - not me!!

Another blessing: Pie Works Pizza deliverers. While the pizza pie was delicious, I really enjoyed that coke-a-cola. Calories and carbonation be damned...almost as good as chocolate (which I may dig out later....)

Best of all? I get to end this day by taking a late-night drive to the airport to pick Drew up.   Sleep that's been missing for the last week and half will be so sweet tonight.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Winter in Louisiana

Last week it was like 70 degrees here - which I loved. Such a nice way to spend winter...not too cold, not hot.  But this week??

Oh, my. It's like 24 degrees with a wind chill of 10 right now.

Growing up I always said I loved winter. I think really I just liked the sweaters that you could wear in weather.

Now, I still like my sweaters. But I'm done with winter.  Or at least this cold weather.   I really am not looking  forward to August and 100 degree plus temps, but I'm not liking this extreme either.

Spring, oh, where art thou?