Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Our boys arose
And just as they were taught,
Came to our bed
And thusly said,
"Let's go see what we got!"
Their plea denied,
Their dad replied,
"Not yet, you understand?"
He scurried past,
Then back so fast
With gift for me in hand.
Inside, an Elph
From Canon's shelf,
With charged up battery,
-4 gig for me!-
For pictures 'round the tree.
Then down the stairs
We went in pairs,
With Dani close behind us
And took our seats
Beside our treats
Where Santa knew to find us.
And Lego packs.
Soft Bath and Body lambies.
Puzzles to do,
Fatigues for two,
And Star Wars Lego jammies.
The paper flew,
The laughter grew,
The boys were good and jolly.
But 'cross the room
The Office game,
A robe (so lame),
John Lennon book (she flaunted),
iTunes. And yet
Is all she really wanted.
For Darren - YES!
For geocaching jaunts.
A cool fifty
To spend howe'er he wants.
And then for me,
New game for Wii:
The Dance Dance Revolution!
Size 12s I'll fit!
This may be the solution.
The day is spent
How fast it went!
The family's soundly sleeping.
Except for me,
These memories for keeping.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
On Wednesday, I caught up on sleep and stayed in bed until a naughty hour, then made three 6'x3' banners for the Madrigal Feast Dani's choir was putting on.
On Thursday, I started the day with physical therapy (my therapist prescribed another 3 sessions and a re-evaluation, which she'll do tomorrow), then I went in to the office for 4 hours, then crammed in some errands before arriving at the performance hall, where Darren and I slaved away in the kitchen, preparing and plating food for the wenches and serfs to deliver to the royal court and their guests.
On Friday, I made a last minute decision to send Christmas cards this year after all, created 50 of them (after paring my list way down), and got them ready to mail. Then Darren, the boys, Darren's mom, our friends Tina and Wendell, their son Connor, and Tina's mom and sister all went to The Madrigal Feast together. This time, Darren and I got to be royal guests instead of kitchen grunts. The Madrigals put on a FABULOUS show - so entertaining and fun to be a part of.
The thing I loved most was how they entered the hall through the audience as they sang, allowing us to hear each choir member's voice individually as they went. The Madrigals are a 25-voice choir, and each one of them are incredibly talented - not a so-so voice in the bunch! It amazed me that they could be so far apart, in motion, with audience chatter going on around them, and they STILL sayed on key and together through the songs. I'm so glad that Dani gets to be a part of such an awesome group during her last year of high school!
On Saturday, I shopped. Up to that point, I'd only bought two gifts, but with a strict list in hand, I conquered most of Tarrant County's main shopping districts in under 6 hours, and crossed all but three small items off my list. I crossed two more off today and only have one more gift to buy. YAY! I've even wrapped most of them. Go me! (My foot hurts. A lot.)
Today, I decorated and prepared for the Fortress YDC Christmas Party. The Sunday School class that I teach was performing at the party; my 1st and 2nd graders - all boys - performed a skit about the shepherds who followed the star and found Baby Jesus just as the angel said they would. The boys wrote their own lines several weeks ago and have been practicing at home and on Sundays during class. They did such a fantastic job! I was so proud of each one of them today. Their audience was an overflowing, standing-room only crowd of 120 or so kids and adults, but they weren't nervous at all.
Tonight, the five of us hopped in the car and drove around to all of our favorite Fort Worth neighborhoods to look at Christmas lights. We made a game of finding "the worst lights we've ever seen", an honor which went to a certain house not far from home, and we oohed and aahed over the lights on the huge oak at Park Hill, the Lowden house near Rivercrest, and the backyard docks on Luther Lake.
And now I sit here, planning another week that's sure to be as busy and fun as this past one has been. I promise to blog as I go, though. I PROMISE.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Speaking of Wii, I've gotten hooked on tennis. Darren and I play here in the family room after the kids go to bed, and tell me this isn't weird: when you play Wii Tennis, you don't have to actually move your body. All you have to do is move the remote. That's not the weird part, though. What's weird is that I cannot play worth a patoot unless I move about as if on the court. I position myself for either a backhand or a forehand shot, serve overhand, and even grunt ala Serena Williams when necessary. When I stand there and just move my remote - which works for some people whose names begin with AIDAN - I miss the dern ball everytime.
What's been happening is wonderful: I'm getting an actual aerobic workout bee-bopping all around the room, AND for once in my life, I'm able to play more than 1 volley of tennis before falling dead on the cement.
My favorite tennis memory: busting my little brother in the eyebrow and thinking I'd knocked his eyeball out when blood starting spurting all over the court. It was ALL HIS FAULT! If he'd have stayed on his own side of the court instead of being such a BOY and hogging MY SIDE too, my backhand would've never found its way to his face. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Is it possible to get tennis elbow standing in my family room? Methinks yes.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
"On my fifth Christmas, it was calm," I read aloud. "We talked about Jesus
christ and how he effected our Lives. We got no presents that year. I did
not care about presents. I care about my family. Oh, how I Loved that
christmas. it was so peaceful. Dear god. Thank you for are food and famLy,
thank you for everything. in Jesus name amen."
I glanced over at Aidan, who was smiling sweetly, clearly proud of his effort. I thought for a moment about what to say.
Finally I said, "So, Aidan. I don't remember this Christmas."
"That's because I made it up!" he exclaimed, breaking into a huge grin. "I couldn't remember any Christmas memories, so I just made one up!"
I congratulated him on his wonderful story and told him I thought it was beautiful. Then I called Darren from right there in the hallway, trying not to laugh out loud.
"Hey, listen to this story Aidan wrote and see if it rings a bell to you. It's his favorite Christmas memory, but I'm having a hard time remembering it myself. "
We had a good laugh, talked about how sweet the whole thing was, and then wondered if getting no presents THIS year would go over well.
Then I searched out Mrs. Bradshaw; I wanted to make sure she knew the story wasn't entirely accurate before she nominated us for KLTY's Christmas Wish or something. I can hear it now... Frank Reed sniveling and weeping, "Today's Christmas Wish comes from a second grade teacher, Mrs. Bradshaw, in Fort Worth. 'Dear Christmas Wish, I'm nominating the beautiful Kocur family because their poor children don't get gifts (sniffle snarvel chokechokechoke) on Christmas Day, but they're so precious they don't care. They went all semester without a haircut and looked like ragamuffins until someone finally took them to SuperCuts over Thanksgiving. (hey, gimme a break. I had a broken foot.) Sometimes they don't wear socks. (That's Aidan's preference, thank you very much.) They have to eat peanut butter every single day for lunch. (I try to make them branch out, but hey - they're peanut butter connoisseurs.) I want them to know the joy of opening a gift, for once in their sweet (snarf, stammer, sniff) lives."
"I found Aidan's story," I said when we found the teacher, "but he neglected to tell you that it wasn't a real memory."
"What!" she gasped, turning her attention to Aidan. "You MADE THAT UP?!"
I thought he was about to get reamed.
"I can't believe you made that up. Aidan! Have you ever thought about being a writer?"
He looked at the floor and barely shook his head.
"If you can write something that good sitting in class without even thinking about it, you should definitely think about being a writer when you grow up."
Then she looked at me and said, "It was such a sweet story."
I think she was disappointed that it wasn't true.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Darren and I began building our Christmas music collection the first year we were married. For many years, we bought one Christmas CD each season, and we got to take turns picking out the year's album. On my years, we acquired stuff like "The Coolest Christmas", "A Very Special Christmas", and "Christmas with the Stars". I like compilations. When it was Darren's year to pick, we added the likes of Aaron Neville, "Celtic Christmas" and "Christmas with the Judds". One year, a friend gave us Celine Dion's Christmas album, and I threw up in my mouth a little. That is, until I heard "The Prayer", her duet with Andrea Bocelli. That song instantly became one of my lifetime favorites. I doubt I'll ever tire of it, partly because it reminds me of Aidan as a tiny baby. I'd play it over and over, singing in English and a sad excuse for Italian while he snuggled in my arms.
These days, we just cruise iTunes in search of a CD's worth of tunes. This year, I discovered an artist named Ali Matthews and became mesmerized by her silky smooth voice - it's so pure and melodic. Check her out! Her Christmas album is called "Looking for Christmas". I also discovered MercyMe's new Christmas album, "The Christmas Sessions". I went to high school with Bart Millard, the lead singer, but he was a lowly freshman and I was a snobby senior, so I never even knew him. I regret that every time I hear his warm, gravely voice on the radio.
A few years ago, I uploaded all of our versions of "O Holy Night" to iTunes and burned a CD for Darren. It's his favorite song, and I thought it would be really cool for him to have a CD of all its different variatios. I never did figure out if he thought it was cool or not.
This past weekend, I took a wise friends's sage advice (okay, it was Darren) and set aside an hour after the kids went to bed to slow down and just be. With no projects on my schedule (not that there weren't projects to be done - I just wasn't allowed to DO them!), I discovered time to do something I've wanted to do for a long time: I uploaded all of our Christmas CDs. Then I carefully and painstakingly chose a 25-song playlist of the tunes I can't live without each year.
- O Holy Night by John Berry
- Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy by Bing Crosby and David Bowie
- The Prayer by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli
- Santa Claus is Coming to Town by Bruce Springsteen
- Ave Maria by Andrea Bocelli
- What Sweeter Music by The Cambridge Singers
- Still, Still, Still by The Cambridge Singers
- Have A Holly Jolly Christmas by Burl Ives
- O Holy Night by Point of Grace
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by The Smithereens
- The Friendly Beasts by Garth Brooks
- The Christmas Song by Aaron Neville
- Winter Wonderland by Aretha Franklin
- Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree by MercyMe
- Christmastime is Here from A Charlie Brown Christmas
- Sweet Little Jesus Boy - Natalie Cole
- In the Bleak Midwinter - Ali Matthews
- One Small Child - Ali Matthews
- O Come O Come Emmanuel/What Child is This - Ali Matthews
- Baby It's Cold Outside - Louis Armstrong
- We Wish You A Merry Christmas - Relient K
- Hallelujah Chorus - A Soulful Celebration
- I Saw Three Ships - Sting
- Angels We Have Heard on High - Point of Grace
- The Wexbury Carol - Yo-Yo Ma with Allison Kraus
It's a mix of old and new, tried and true. Still and solemn, rocking and energetic. I love it all, and I love it all mixed up. Music - it's one of my favorite things about Christmas.
I do love working again, though. And I've managed not to show up at the office in my pajama pants even ONCE! ;)
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Yesterday, I had to restrain myself.
See, I was sitting on the bed/table thingy in the doctor's office, and when Doc looked at my x-ray, then felt up my foot, then said, "You're fractures healed beautifully. Your ligament is healing. You can drive....", it took everything I had in me not to jump down off the table and kiss him full on the lips. Thankfully, I'd already warned Darren that if I got released to walk and drive, I'd be hugging the good doctor. Darren warned me to behave myself. ahem.
I celebrated today by taking my good friend Mecca out to lunch. She's the one who rescued me from my melancholy last summer and forced a pedicure and Lili's lunch on me. She's the one who called on her way to Target however many times to see if I needed anything since she was going anyway...the one who walked down the street once a week and carried my dirty laundry home, then brought it back clean and folded the next day. The one who invites my boys over to play "because it helps her out". Oh yes, I love me some Mecca.
I wore a pair of cute shoes for the first time in 8 weeks, and I felt marvelous! Walking seems a little treacherous, though. It's weird to be aware of every single bone and muscle as I plant my foot with each step. My ankle feels weak, and by the end of the day, my calf and hamstrings are sore. This poor leg has a long way to go before it's normal again. Bring on the physical therapy!
But today, I'm thankful that I'm on my way to full recovery. I'm ready to walk. Heck, I'm ready to RUN!! Thank God for continued healing, and for friends like Mecca who are seeing me through the process. :)
(Is it wrong that the next verse cracks me up 'cause I'm totally taking it out of context?)
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
One month ago, my doctor told me to move my bedroom downstairs until my foot healed.
This past weekend while I was out of town, Darren moved us back upstairs to our own bedroom. WOO HOO!
Psssst. Hey neighbors! The show is over! I hope you got your money's worth! bwahahaha
Yep, it's true. For the past month, we've been camping out on a futon in the front room, in front of a big window with sheers for privacy, and a glass-paned front door. It's nice to be back upstairs in my own bed, under my ceiling fan, enjoying the ambience, and able to undress with the light on. And now, I don't have to worry about Mecca walking right into my bedroom! (Love you, Mec! We really WERE just taking a nap that afternoon, though I know you'll never believe it!)
It was good for me to be away, as the old adage proved true once again: absense makes the heart grow fonder. It MUST be true, because I awoke one morning to hear my roommates giggling about the dream I'd had that woke them all up. I wish I could remember it - it sounded quite delicious!!
When I arrived home Sunday night, Darren had a surprise for me. Not only had he moved everything back, he'd also cleaned up and... get this... lit candles! Our bedroom was flickering with romance and smelled heavenly. It made me realize how much I'd missed my bedroom. Everything is just as I left it - the Texas Monthly with Matthew McConnaughey still lies on the floor next to my side of the bed. I think I'll never move it. *sigh*. The stack of books I've yet to read have gathered dust on the side table. The pillow I was using to prop my foot up on as I slept is still shamless. And the walls are still sunny yellow during the day, and golden rich at night.
Today, I'm thankful to be back in my bedroom, thankful to be safely traversing the stairs, and thankful for romance. :)
Monday, November 10, 2008
- Assist in short- and long-range strategic planning activities to create and implement public relations goals and objectives.
- Work closely with staff and leadership to assess both public relations needs and priorities.
- Direct the production of printed publications; write materials for and direct the layout of informational materials
- Initiate, develop, and maintain local media and public contacts for disseminating information; research and write news releases
- Create and implement plan to recruit volunteers where needed
- Communicate regularly with volunteers, donors and potential volunteers and donors to convey needs of the program and updates on progress through the following methods:
Post weekly on Fortress blog; write and publish monthly E-newsletter; update website at least once a month; write, publish and mail quarterly newsletter
- Establish and maintain local church relations as it pertains to communication
- In-Kind Donations
Create and implement a plan to secure needed items through in-kind donations, soliciting groups, churches, classes, families, etc. for donation drives/collections
- Dinner and Auction Fundraiser
Chair committee; Recruit committee members and volunteers; Design all marketing materials and market event throughout the year; Create and implement plan for displaying auction items
- General Fundraising
Help develop materials and resources for fundraising/development purposes;
Be willing to reach out to sphere of influence and share funding needs and opportunities
Today, I'm thankful for a job that landed in my lap. I'm thankful that I'll get to keep working with people I love, doing work that I'm good at, and on projects that interest me. I'm thankful that it allows me to use my talents and skills to benefit a ministry that I'm passionate about, and that I'll be getting paid for work I'd likely be doing anyway! I'm thankful that Michael offered me the job and then convinced the Board that I was the best candidate for it. I'm thankful that I can help provide for our family in a tangible way, and still be home for the kids when they're not in school!I'm exceedingly grateful.
I'm happy. :)
I give thanks to Him Who has granted me [the needed] strength
and made me able [for this], Christ Jesus our Lord,
because He has judged and counted me faithful and trustworthy,
appointing me to [this stewardship of] the ministry.
I Timothy 1:12 (Amplified Bible)
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
I went to a new salon because I wanted a new 'do by someone who wasn't afraid to let me be bold. I wanted someone edgy. I was told that Magnolia Ave was my answer, and I booked a consultation and appointment on blind faith.
He proved he's on my side; I've thrown my lot in with him.
Now I'm jumping for joy, and shouting and singing my thanks to him.
Psalm 28:5-7 (The Message)
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Darren and me at Wendy's election party.
I don't generally discuss politics. Save for this entry (and now this one), I doubt I've ever mentioned politics on this blog. There are a few reasons for that. Number one, I'm not well-read enough to carry on intelligent conversation about policy or candidates. Often, I'm an emotional thinker rather than an analytical one, and that just doesn't bode well in political discussions and debates. And number two, I'm a terrible debater, so I just avoid them altogether. :)
The sad truth is, politics just has never really interested me. History classes were barely tolerable; in fact, the only thing that kept me awake during Mrs. S's class was guessing how much thigh she'd show while sitting at her desk, and then watching everyone wince and gag when the view became R-rated.
Dani, who at 17 can't be heard yet, is quite the little pundit. She knows what she thinks and she thinks analytically. She can hold her own on any political subject. For fun, she reads books about the Holocaust and the 1960s; tonight, she started reading this. Me, I even snoozed through the week we played RISK in Mrs. S's class, which everyone else thought was the best week of the whole semester.
So - I don't generally talk politics. And I won't start now, except to say that today, it was a privilege to cast my ballot. My vote didn't make much of a difference here in red Texas - I mean, we're still a red state - but nonetheless, I cast it, and that alone is enough. I feel invigorated and optimistic about the future, and I'll always be proud that I participated in this historic election.
Today, I'm thankful for the privilege of casting my vote.
I agonized over my decision, riding the fence, feeling overwhelmingly one way, then sliding toward the other side. Ultimately, this morning as I looked down and saw the candidates' names in black and white, I was thankful for clarity.
Monday, November 03, 2008
me, Nikki and Kristi - the past Sunday at Fortress
Five years ago, I stepped through the doors of Fortress Church for the first time, having no clue that it was about to change my life, literally. Because of Fortress, Darren and I decided to stay here in Fort Worth instead of chasing dreams of New England. We laid down roots (finally) and commited our resources and lives to the very worthy ministries under Fortress's umbrella. In so many ways, our involvement with Fortress has blessed and enriched us.
For the first year, I kept wondering WHY I felt so strongly about being there. See, Fortress exists to serve the kids who live in the urban jungle of Fort Worth. KIDS. I make no secret about the fact that I'm not a kid person. I love my own kids more than my own life, and I love my neices and nephews and my friends' kids - but mostly only 'cause I love my friends. I never enjoyed babysitting as a teenager. I've just never been a kid person. And so I kept asking myself, "Why are you HERE? What is your purpose?"
For several years, I'd been praying for a best friend - one who didn't belittle my faith, one who was on the same road of life I was on, one who could give as well as take. One day, it finally dawned on me. I was at Fortress because that's where the answer to my prayer was! Not only had I found the best friend I'd longed for, I'd found them in PLURAL!
I'll blog about them this month, in more detail. But today, I feel especially thankful for Nikki. When I walked through those doors that crisp November morning in 2003, she was a senior in high school. I never dreamed back then that in a few years, she'd be one of my nearest and dearest friends, that she'd take to calling me her ABFF (adult best friend forever), or that I'd cherish her as I do. She encourages me by noticing my accomplishments and remarking on them. She's always ready with a squeezy hug. She laughs at my lame jokes and makes a bazillion lame jokes of her own. She's a total goofball, and I love it!
One night several months ago, she was behind the wheel and stopped in the middle of the road, calling a Chinese Fire Drill. Cara, Kristi and I - because we're the mature ones - jumped out of the Suburban and started running around the back of the vehicle. Nikki gunned it and went roaring down the road, leaving us in her dust to fend for ourselves in an area of town well-known for prostitution. I could've been furious, but as soon as we caught up to the car, which Nikki had pulled over into the turn lane, her riotous laughter completely erased my ire.
I love this girl, and thank God for her everyday. I heart you, CBFF! (college best friend forever)
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
11:08 AM CDT on Wednesday, October 29, 2008
By JESSICA MEYERS/ The Dallas Morning News
Marilyn Mock went to last weekend’s foreclosure auction in Dallas as a dutiful parent. She left as a minor celebrity. Now, she’s a national hero.
The 50-year-old Rockwall woman acted on instinct when she bought Tracy Orr’s Pottsboro home back for her while Ms. Mock’s son was signing papers on his first house. But at a time when economic woes rule the headlines, a stranger’s big-heartedness can make national news.Ms. Mock’s good deed prompted Good Morning America to knock on her door before dawn, drew local police to investigate CNN’s satellite truck, and led to a slew of interview requests from the Oprah, Ellen and Dr. Phil shows.
“All these people are calling and calling and calling and calling,” said Ms. Mock, who runs a rock yard with her three children. Two pot-bellied pigs wander around outside.
“I don’t understand it. I just happened to be there, and anybody else would have done the same thing.”
But few others have agreed to bid on a piece of property they’ve never seen, for someone they’ve never met. Ms. Mock paid about $30,000 for the house in Grayson County and plans to use her dump truck as collateral against the mortgage payments. Ms. Orr will make payments to her instead of a bank, Ms. Mock said.
The women are awaiting final approval from Fannie Mae before they visit the single-family home for which Ms. Orr, 38, took out an $80,000 mortgage in 2004. She lost her job a month after taking out the loan, and earlier this year she lost the house.
“I’d kind of already accepted the fact that this was the end. It was closure,” she said.The two women were sitting by the auction door Saturday when Ms. Mock struck up a conversation with the sobbing Ms. Orr and discovered that she was about to lose her house.
“Then she was standing there and bidding and someone was shaking my hand,” Ms. Orr said.
“She didn’t even know if I had a job or was a nut case. She didn’t even see a picture of the house.”
None of that mattered, Ms. Mock said. “She needed help. That was it.”
Ms. Orr’s fairytale rescue happened amid a sea of foreclosures. At least 4,200 homes in the Dallas area are scheduled for a foreclosure sale in November, according to Addison-based Foreclosure Listing Service. More than 46,000 homeowners have been threatened with foreclosure this year, a 31 percent increase from the same period last year.
“All these things were going through my mind,” Ms. Mock said. “I grabbed her arm and pulled her with me and tried to make her understand.”
After the purchase, Ms. Orr disappeared. “I thought, what if she left?” Ms. Mock said. “What would I tell my husband, ‘Hello, honey, I bought a house for this lady and I don’t know where she went?’.”
But Ms. Orr, a former U.S. Postal Service employee and now a housekeeper at All Saints Camp and Conference Center, was waiting outside in tears.
Then a news camera showed up.
“They caught us,” said Ms. Mock, who was hoping to keep the deal quiet.
The Mock family is adjusting to the extra attention, said her son Dustin,27, who accompanied her that day.
“I said, ‘I can’t believe you just did that. What are you thinking?’.” he said. “It’s a little annoying,” he admitted about the endless ringing of the phone. “People are calling to say, ‘The story touched me so much.’ We appreciate
it, but we are trying to get stuff done.”
The women talk on the phone daily but haven’t met since the purchase or worked out details of the financial arrangement. In the meantime, Ms. Orr said she doesn’t mind the barrage of media, saying she hopes others will follow Ms. Mock’s lead.
“More than my house, she gave me something inside, and that’s more important than material or financial things,” she said.
I was surprised to read THIS one. I SURVIVED MY FIRST EARTHQUAKE, and I didn't even know it!
Two minor earthquakes shake Dallas-Fort Worth area 08:26 AM CDT on Friday, October 31, 2008
By ARLINDA ARRIAGA /
The Dallas Morning News
Dallas-Fort Worth residents received a pre-Halloween scare as two minor
earthquakes shook the area overnight.
The U.S. Geological Survey says a 2.5-magnitude earthquake centered in
the Grand Prairie area was reported at 11:25 p.m. Thursday. A slightly stronger
3.0-magnitude quake centered in the Irving area occurred 36 minutes later.
Law enforcement agencies across northern Texas said they received some
911 calls from concerned residents but no reports of damage.
Irving police spokesman David Tull said his agency received about 25
calls around midnight from people inquiring about the vibrations, which set off
car and building alarms.
Grand Prairie and Fort Worth officials also reported no damage. "We
just learned about it on the news this morning,” said Dawn Atkins, a Grand
Prairie emergency dispatcher.
USGS geophysicist Randy Baldwin said the quakes, which lasted only a
few seconds, most likely felt "like a lightly loaded truck passing by, kind of a
sharp jerk and then a rapid vibration."
Irving resident Christine Laughland said she was sleeping when the
earthquake woke her up. She's from California and wasn't too shocked by the
vibrations. But she couldn't say the same thing for her dogs. “They were barking
hysterically because it was their first one,” she said.
Reports of the quake also came from Dallas, Euless and Hurst and
Fort Worth, Mr. Baldwin said. Aftershocks could last several days. There is also
a possibility of more smaller quakes in the coming days that no one would likely
Texas occasionally has earthquakes. An April 7 earthquake in southern
Texas had a 3.7 magnitude. A minor earthquake was felt by some people in
Amarillo on March 30, 2002. The Amarillo area also recorded seven minor
earthquakes in 2000.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
2. Post the rules on your blog (this is what you are now reading).
3. Write 6 random things about yourself (see below).
4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.
Ok. Now that we have THAT out of the way...
1. I'm a crazy driver. This wheelchair has two speeds: turtle and rabbit. I love to go fast, and because I'm not real good with the joystick that controls this thing, I've taken paint off of doorfacings, a chunk of wood out of the french door, busted a porcelain knob right off the kitchen cabinet, and run over two friends' toes. Even the cat is scared of me now.
2. I'm addicted to Dove Dark Chocolate and Blue Diamond Bold Lime n Chili almonds.
3. I won't drink out of a cup at a restaurant unless it's with a straw. I hate to even share my drinks with my kids, so the concept of drinking out of a cup someone else used this morning grosses me out. I've seen too many lipstick prints on "clean restaurant cups".
4. I kinda miss the workplace since I started working from home 6 years ago. I'm moving back into a full-time job, and am hoping to be full-time by this time next year.
5. The first thing I notice on a man is his calves. Then his butt. But if his calves are exposed, that's where I look first. Since Darren started running last year, his calves have become beautiful, and his butt.... never mind. I don't wanna embarrass my Mom.
6. I'm thrifty, frugal, and sometimes downright cheap, but there are a few things that I'm a brand snob about:
- paper towels must be Viva, and white.
- Mac-n-Cheese must be Kraft.
- Coke must be Coke, not Pepsi and especially not "cola".
- cotton swabs must be Q-Tip
- Aveda hand therapy lotion
- Secret deodorant - lately I'm hooked on the Asian Pear scent!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
It scared me at first.
"That's good, right?" I asked.
He replied enthusiasticly, "That's excellent! It's what we were hoping for."
"So... we don't have to talk surgery?"
"Not today, at least," he answered. "I'm cautiously optimistic."
So, all these hours of riding around in my wheelchair and making people run my errands is paying off. I have to continue staying off the foot for two more weeks. Then I get to start putting weight on it a little at a time... still in my boot and on crutches... 25% for 2 days, then 50% for two more days if there's no pain, and then 75% for two days. On the seventh day, he'll X-ray again and we'll see how it's reacting under pressure.
YAY!!! There's an end in sight! I can't wait to be able to walk again!
You should see my right leg. The little bit of muscle definition I'd developed over the last few months is gone. It's a sad little sorry excuse for a calf compared to my left leg. Doc says that I'll require rehabilitation, because my quads and joints and calves have been dormant for so long. It'll be 7-8 weeks from the day he declares me "healed" before I can count on walking for exercise or doing Nia.
Even so, I'm ecstatic!!! If I can just be good for two more weeks and stay off my foot, bone fusion surgery is getting drop-kicked out the window. YAY!
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
2. Ian said to Darren last night, "Will Mom be back before my bedtime?" (no) "Well, give her a message. Ms. Bailey (his art teacher) said she likes everything Mom does." awwww!
3. I laughed out loud several times tonight at Denny Crane.
4. I'm drawing near to a major deadline and that always gets me revved up.
5. I'm really happy with the job I finished today.
6. My orange pants are too big!!
7. The kitchen is clean.
8. The laundry is caught up.
9. The boys did their homework without complaint today.
10. I get to leave the house tomorrow. :)
Monday, September 29, 2008
It's still broken.
The bruising appeared early last weekend, and turned all sorts of purple and black - across and around and under my toes, mostly, which I think it weird. It's now a muted purple/green and doesn't look as gruesome. I should've taken pictures, but decided that no one needed to be subjected to that, so I didn't. You can thank me any time.
When I'm wearing the boot, the swelling seems to be a lot worse, and then my toes go numb, and my leg starts itching, and I get all kinds of cranky, so mostly I keep it off. All I'm doing is sitting around on my rumpus anyway, right?
I haven't walked or driven or even stood for any length of time in almost 2 weeks, and for a person as active as I am, well.... you draw the conclusion. I feel trapped and homebound and like a drain on society. Ha! People keep commenting that it must be nice to be waited on hand and foot, but I gotta tell ya: I'm not enjoying it so much. When I need a drink, I'd rather be able to get up and get it myself. When I have to ask someone, I feel like a burden, especially when 30 minutes later I have to ask again, and 20 minutes after that, my tongue is sticking to the roof of my mouth and I'm still waiting. It infuriates me to have to depend on others; I really hate being so needy. I told Darren to just buy a couple of feed sacks and tie 'em around my neck. Hey - it works for horses, it could work for me!
Thank God for Cara, my nurse friend who finally laid eyes on me crutching around all hunch-backed, and adjusted my crutches properly. She saved me from a debilitating case of Quasimodo Syndrome, which I'm certain was setting in. It's amazing how much easier it is to get around on those things when they're adjusted correctly!
Even so, my house is full of stairs. You can't get IN without climbing stairs. Not in the front, nor in the back. Once inside, you can't get to a bathroom without traversing more steps. Even though the downstairs bath is down a short flight of only 3 steps, let me assure you, my friends: three mere steps with no handrails, ample bazooms, a pair of crutches, a foot that won't bear weight, and general hurriedness combined with profound clumsiness does not a pretty picture make. I've fallen three times. Imagine, if you will, leaning over and trying to hop down one step. First of all, I HAVE to lean over to even see the step over my bahombas. Secondly, when I lean over, my center of balance is all screwed up. I sometimes think we should video my bathroom treks, especially on those occasions when I'm not wearing a bra and the clap of boobs-on-belly sets off seismic activity that's picked up in Marin County CA. Surely we could win $100,000 on Funniest Videos, which would then allow us to install an elevator.
Going up is much easier. I use my right knee and my left foot, which leaves only one position for my butt: up in the air. I've actually gotten pretty fast at ascending to my bedroom. The cat stares and cocks her head, but no one else has had the nerve to laugh out loud yet.
Pain-wise, for the past two days, it's been mostly non-existent unless I'm waking on it. Which, of course, I'm not supposed to be doing. The broken bones should be healing just fine, but the ligament is what the doctor is worried about. Next Wednesday, we'll reX-ray and go from there. Until then, I have to try to stay off of that foot. Anyone have a feed bag I can borrow?
Monday, September 22, 2008
- run a 10k
- wear a size 8
- own a VW bug again
- finish my degree
- publish a book
- climb a 14er
- tour Italy
- live in Ireland
- own a mountain cabin
- 2 Peas in a Bucket
- Orthopedist's office
- Doctor's office
- The Wild Bunch
- Pow Schpuh Hoooh Ahhh PshouPshou (the boys having light saber fights)
- Brick House (Cara calling)
- the landline ringing
- someone clacking on a keyboard
- Spanky, the next door dog
- mail dropping through the slot
- ice maker
7 Real Restaurants Where I Last Ate Out
- Lili's Bistro
- Old Neighborhood Grill
- Flying Fish
- Mi Familia
- Chadra Mezza
6 Things I've Recently Scratched Off My To-Do List
- get packages ready to mail
- get quotes from printers
- cut letters for Kristen's wall
- design YDC newsletter
- work on lesson plans for Bible class
- sort the kids' outgrown clothes
5 People I Don't Know but Would Like to Hang Out With
4 Songs That Make Me Happy
- I Will Change Your Name
- I Can See Clearly Now
- Song Sung Blue
- Forever Young
3 Things I Hate To Do:
- Get out of bed in the morning
- Come home to a messy house
2 Things I'm Really Good At:
1 Bad Habit:
- Picking at my cuticles
And now... how did I answer these same questions 2 years ago?
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Have you ever had something happen to you and it seemed like you were just, through no fault of your own, completely in the wrong place at the wrong time. In Texas we call that dumb bad luck.
Stacy wanted to do something fun for herself this week. First, she thought about getting a pedicure. But she stepped outside and it was one of those gorgeous sunny fall days in Texas, so she decided instead that she'd like to pick me up from work for a picnic lunch by the Trinity River.
So, she picked me up around noon and we drove down 7th Street to Trinity Park. When we got there, though, they were doing construction on the roads and parking lots. There was nowhere to go, so I suggested a little parking area on the other side of the river that I'd driven by many times. So, we crossed back over the Trinity and went down Forest Park Blvd. until we found the spot.
It was a beautiful spot. There was a picnic table, but Stacy had brought a blanket because she wanted to lay in the shade under a tree. There was a nice pecan tree nearby with a flat grassy area so we made our picnic there. It was great. We ate and talked and lay there and had a great time enjoying being outdoors on a beautiful day.
The weekly tornado siren testing let us know it was 1:00 and time for me to head back to work. I grabbed the trash and drinks and headed back to the car, leaving Stacy to bring the blanket. I was halfway to the car when I suddenly heard Stacy screaming. She was clearly in terrible pain. I set all the stuff on the ground and ran back to her.
When I got back to her, she was rolling around on the ground, holding one leg up at a funny angle. I thought she had dislocated her knee. I asked her what was hurting she couldn't tell me, she was in too much pain. I knew something serious was wrong. I gently grabbed her leg and foot and she flinched and yelped. Finally, she told me her foot was hurt.
To try to figure out what was wrong, I reached for her foot, but at a touch from my fingertips, she winced and flinched again. I knew it was bad, and I told her I thought it was broken. I said we'd go straight to the doctor's office and went to move the car to the closest part of the parking area.
When I got back, I saw Stacy was laying on her stomach looking into a hole. She had been walking to the car and all of a sudden her left foot and leg had sunk into the ground all the way to her thigh. Her weight had suddenly shifted to her off-balance right foot with no time to prepare, injuring it. I was wondering to myself how there could be such a deep hole in such an innocuous-looking spot.
Upon closer inspection, I realized the hole had not been there before. There was still grass covering the hole and it had obviously been torn by her foot. At the bottom of the hole, there was a mound of fresh dirt and grass that she had knocked down there. Stacy had stepped on a weak spot in the ground, where a sewer line ran underneath, and the ground had collapsed beneath her.
The sewer line had an opening at that point for a drain, but no drain had been installed. Instead it had been covered with dirt. Over time, the dirt above had gradually collapsed into the sewer line underneath as water washed through it, until there was a cavity in the earth below with only a few inches of soil held together by the roots of the grass. One step on that would've sent anyone crashing through. Stacy was the person with the dumb bad luck to step on that one spot first.
I tore out the grass from over the hole so it would be visible to anyone else walking by. Then I helped Stacy onto her good foot and held her up as she hopped a few hops. Each hop brought excruciating pain to her hurt foot. We made it as far as the nearby picnic table. I went back to the XTerra and off-roaded down to the picnic table, where I helped her to gingerly get in. A call to the doctor got her in quickly thanks to a last-minute cancellation, so we headed straight there.
At the doctor's office, the X-rays confirmed two broken bones. The X-ray below is not Stacy's, but I circled the part of her foot where the breaks were. The doctor called a nearby orthopedist to arrange a visit for that afternoon.
From there it was on to the orthopedist. We parked in the handicapped parking and joked about getting a ticket. "I think I could get us out of that one," I said. Thankfully, both the doctor's office and the orthopedist had loaner wheelchairs, so Stacy mostly got to roll around. It was tricky getting in and out of our high-clearance XTerra, though. Stacy practically had to do a chin-up using the handles above the door!
The orthopedist touched Stacy's foot all over to ensure that the pain matched up with the breaks he could see on the X-ray. He was also concerned that she might have strained or torn the ligament holding her big toe to the toe next to it. Meanwhile, Stacy was mortified because she had spent the earlier part of the day walking around barefoot, so her feet were quite dirty, and she hadn't shaved in a while. But she got through it and we decided to go with a boot rather than a 3-week splint followed by a cast.
After a trip to the drugstore for crutches, Darvocet, and chocolate, we went to pick up the boys. (Our good friend Tina, whose child is in school with Aidan and Ian, had taken them home from school while we were at the doctor.) Then, I went out and took pictures of the hole—to post on this blog and as evidence for our upcoming discussions with the city's Parks department...
(Using a broom handle to measure the depth of the hole)
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
It's full of cotton and weighs 1000 pounds.
My eyes are buzzing.
Someone squirted silly string all up in my nasal passages.
My ears need to pop.
My neck aches.
And my head hurts.
oh, wait. No it's not. I have one more thing to whine about.
Biggest Loser Family premiered tonight.
I watched even though I had mixed emotions about it.
Desi and I poured our hearts into auditioning for this season, but then they went and made it a FAMILY show and we were disqualified. Hmmmph. As I watched the new teams, I kept thinking, "We coulda taken them." "We have more personality than they do!" "She's a wuss."
But what REALLY pissed me off?
Even though I've lost 60+ pounds since sending in our audition tape, I still outweigh a couple of the girls on the show.
I coulda been a contedah!
I've hit a major plateau. Been stuck on either side of 60 for a month now. Methinks I need Jillian to kick.my.BUTT. Kick it HARD!
Monday, September 15, 2008
It's '80s Day at Dani's school. Of course, she informed me of this last night at 10:15 when it was too late to get my hands on leg warmers and top-siders. Instead, we dug out some old pink foam rollers for her to sleep in, and I hacked up one of Darren t-shirts Irene-Cara-style. It's amazing how those radical 80's hair skills like, totally came back to me! With a hairdryer in one hand and a can of hairspray in the other, I majorly Molly Ringwalded Dani's hair. I only wish I'd had a can of Aqua Net on hand!
We pegged her jeans, plastered on the blue eye shadow and scrunched down her socks. What I wouldn't have given for some twister beads this morning. Dani cracked herself up when she caught her reflection in the mirror. "I can't believe y'all thought this was a good look! I can't believe I'm leaving the house in this."