Jenster's Musings

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Reconstruction

Whew. Okay. The counter says 12 more hours, but I have to be at the hospital in 10. I've not been very nervous about the whole thing. Afterall, it's in God's hands. For me that's a huge comfort and something that I believed wholeheartedly and got me through a hard year last year. But I have to admit that the closer it gets the more anxious I'm getting.

As those of you who have been with me since my diagnosis know, the night before my mastectomy I had a couple glasses of wine to help me relax. Only after did I read in my information packet that I was to have NO ALCOHOL 24 hours prior to surgery. So I downed 40 ounces of water in about 20 minutes and spent the whole night peeing - not relaxing in the least! Won't be making that mistake again tonight.

And I have to wonder what ridiculous thing I'm going to say to the medical personal tomorrow. Will I be singing I Wanna Be Sedated as they wheel me off to surgery? Or will I tell the recovery nurse that I think I might like to be called Roxanne? I don't suppose it could be as bad as when I had my appendix removed and I told the operating room staff my mother would be mortified if she knew I had on holey underwear. The last thing I remember is fading laughter while the room darkened.

I still have to pack so I'd best be about that business. I'm going to have Todd or maybe Terri respond to this post after the surgery when the opportunity presents itself. Thank you all for your well wishes and prayers. It's more of a comfort than I could possibly express.

Mused by Jenster :: 7:14 PM :: 15 People musing:

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What We've Been Up To

Like everyone else, these past couple of weeks have been incredibly busy. My in-laws are here and between all the usual Christmas celebrations we've been trying to squeeze in some touristy things.

Last Saturday we took a ride to Amish country and started out at the Intercourse Canning Company in Intercourse, PA.

I'll give those of you with dirty little minds a minute to stop snickering.

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Actually, I don't think it matters how pure of thought one is, the name does give one pause. But the Random House Dictionary says:

in·ter·course
–noun
1. dealings or communication between individuals, groups, countries, etc.
2. interchange of thoughts, feelings, etc.
3. sexual relations or a sexual coupling, esp. coitus.

[Origin: 1425–75; late ME intercurse < ML intercursus communication, trading, L: a running between. See inter-, course]


Okay. Now that that's out of the way, I'll continue. The canning company has some of the best jams, jellies, salsas, dips, picked veggies, teas, coffees, etc. Before we even arrived there I had in mind to buy another jar of seedless black raspberry jam and a bag of Chocolate Peanut Butter coffee. What I hadn't planned on, however, was the incredible 75% off sale they were having on all their tea paraphenalia.

So I walked away with a $90.00 tea set for only $22.00. CHRISTMAS CAME EARLY! Isn't it lovely? Simple, yet elegant. Plain, yet beautiful. Makes me truly happy.

After driving around and gawking at the poor plain folk in their buggies - though I don't really feel bad because we spent enough money in various places to keep their draft horses in oats for years - we came home and stopped for pizza from Vince and Tony's. Pizza from Vince and Tony's is one of the advantages of living here. It beats the pants off Pizza Hut!

Sunday was a day spent going to church and finishing with our Christmas preparations. It was nice and relaxing.

Christmas itself was nice. Now that the kids are older and have lost their Christmas innocence it seems to fly by even faster. I'm not sure what we did between opening presents and eating dinner. I don't have Christmas dishes, so we used the good china and I decorated around that color scheme. Maybe not such a big deal to those of you with an ounce of decorating talent in your pinky, but for someone like me this was HUGE! lol I wanted to post a picture of the decorated table, but blogger isn't cooperating with me. I probably wouldn't choose the same china 20 years later, but I do still like them. They're white with tiny flowers in various shades of blue around the edge and rimmed in silver. Obviously, I did a blue theme.

Tuesday we went for a ride along the MainLine - a rather swanky, old money part of suburban Philadelphia - and stopped for lunch at Kelly's Pub in Bryn Mawr, which happens to be right next door to Hope's Cookies. Of course we had to buy a dozen or so.

Yesterday we went into Philadelphia, walked to the beautiful and historic Christ Church, stopped at Sonny's Famous Steaks for - what else - a cheesesteak, and then toured Independence Hall.

After that we took the City Trolley Tour and got off at Macy's, which used to be Lord and Taylor's, which was originally Wanamaker's and is the department store that unforgettable cinematic wonder, Mannequin was filmed in. They have a Christmas light show there that we popped in to see. Infinitely more impressive than the light show was the $60-something t-shirt my mother-in-law bought for $6.50. We then jumped back on the trolley and continued our tour.

This is the third time I've done the trolley tour and every time I learn something new. If we lived closer to Philly I think I'd like a job as the tour guide.

According to my counter, my surgery is now officially looming. So today I'm packing and trying to catch up on my board/bloghopping since it will be several days before I'm back on-line again. Though I am planning on posting once more before I go to bed tonight.

What are all of you doing for the New Year's weekend??

Mused by Jenster :: 1:28 PM :: 4 People musing:

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Friday, December 22, 2006

This and That

It doesn't seem like Christmas is only three days away. I have all my shopping done, though nothing is wrapped. I was going to wrap tonight, but I'm frankly not in the mood.

I was at the grocery store on Wednesday buying all our Christmas food when a little girl about four years old started singing Feliz Navidad at the top of her lungs. I couldn't help but smile - she was so cute. But nobody else seemed to notice. Everybody else in the store looked miserable. I think they all were missing their souls because she was adorable.

Took the kids and the father-in-law to King of Prussia mall tonight. I really thought it was going to be horrible - the odds were stacked against us. Not only is it a Friday night, it's the Friday night before Christmas, which is in three days, and it's raining. Turned out to be fine. I guess since it's such a large mall there was plenty of room for all the crowds. lol Best part was the father-in-law bought us dinner and then I ditched them! Bwahahahahaha!!! It was rather delightful.

As I was getting dressed this morning I was hit with a very happy thought. Today is the last Friday I'll ever have to put my fake boobs on! Yup. This time next week I will be blissfully unaware of just about everything going on around me AND I'll have a flatter tummy and a symmetrical bosom. Only six more days of constantly adjusting my chest - I feel like the equivalent of a baseball player who is always doing the old C.A. (crotch adjustment), except I try to be much less conspicuous.

I need to come up with a system for bloghopping. Not only have I been pressed for time, but my laptop has been doing some funny things. Todd just told me he fixed the router in the basement, though, so maybe it will start running better. I have to admit that I'm looking forward to having nothing better to do than read, watch TV and play on my computer all day with NO GUILT! Woo hoo! OH! AND I get to take pain medication. I think I may have issues.

And finally - my birthday purchases. Remember the B&N GC I received for my birthday? I finally used it last week and Wednesday I received my purchases. It was like Christmas early! I got:

The Rules of Seduction by Madeline Hunter
Sinful Pleasures and Beyond Temptation by Mary Reed McCall (I've heard good things about her medieval Templar books - anybody have any opinions here?)
Splendid by Julia Quinn
Star of the Morning by Lynn Kurland
and
My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding - an anthology with stories by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Charlaine Harris, Jim Butcher, L. A. Banks, Rachel Caine, P. N. Elrod, Esther M. Friesner, Lori Handeland and Susan Krinard.

I also bought Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water CD. My sisters had this album when I was very young (so you don't think I'm any older than I really am) and I loved it. So I've had a little trip down memory lane the last couple of days.

I'm so glad tomorrow is Saturday. The thought of sleeping in makes me nigh giddy! Happy weekend and Christmas Eve, every one!!

Mused by Jenster :: 10:10 PM :: 8 People musing:

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Pachelbel Rant

This is a little long, but it's kind of cute.


Mused by Jenster :: 7:48 PM :: 2 People musing:

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Friday, December 15, 2006

Just Some Thoughts

I think they should make it a law that when there's commercial construction going on anywhere they have to post a sign letting people know what exactly they're building. We have several new shops going up near us, but we have no idea what they are! It's very frustrating. Should I be excited? Disappointed? What??

I also think it would be a great idea to have scrolling LED signs on automobiles so that when we see someone singing and/or dancing to what appears to be a great song on the radio we would know what it is. I'm truly not a nosey person by nature, but I'm always left wondering what song is making her scrunch up her face like that while she sings or which tune is so jumpy that he can't sit still. Just a thought.

Thought this was funny. I was listening to an iPod and started putting stamps on Christmas cards when "That Thing You Do" came on. Get it?? If you haven't seen the movie then you won't understand. But if you have seen the movie, then it was just EXACTLY like when Liv Tyler was stamping envelopes and listening to the little transister radio with earplugs when "That Thing You Do" came on for the first time. Yeah. That's how I think.

There is something beeping in my family room and I have no idea what it is. It's driving me batty!! I guess I should just turn up the volume on my little iPod thingy so I can't hear it anymore. Surely it's not some kind of alarm... I suppose I should probably investigate instead.

ADDENDUM

The mystery of the beeping thing has been solved. And it's so stupid that if I hadn't had a witness I wouldn't 'fess up. My car was in the shop, the shop called to say it was ready and my friend, Betsy, came to give me a ride over there. I was in our driveway when I heard the beep again and looked around. I told her, "There is something beeping and it's driving me crazy! I can't figure out what it is and now I'm hearing it out here, too. Maybe it's the radon thingy!!" So we're driving down the road when we hear it AGAIN! Oh my gosh! It's following me. Turns out it was my cell phone beeping from my purse because there was a message. LOL!!!

Mused by Jenster :: 1:04 PM :: 7 People musing:

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

What a Day!!

I was scheduled for an 11:00 appointment with my plastic surgeon's nurse practitioner to go over the surgery (in just 15 days!) and have some presurgical screening done. The hospital is only about 30 miles away, but I allowed about two hours because one never knows about Philly traffic. Also, those two hours included a stop for a venti White Chocolate Mocha for the road trip.

It was a good thing I left so early. It took FOREVER to get there. On my way I passed a sight that struck me as rather curious. Two police cars had pulled over a hearse. Is it just me or does that seem peculiar to anyone else?? I'm hoping it was an empty, off-duty hearse and the ocean of traffic wasn't a funeral procession gone astray for lack of a leader.

I don't mind traffic when I'm prepared for it. And thankfully, I was prepared for it today. But I can't help but feel sorry for the people who drive into the city every single day. What a nightmare for them! Getting into Philly from the west is a challenge in itself. Freeways narrow from four to two lanes with cars merging on both sides and exits on the left instead of the right. Thank goodness for my Los Angeles driving background, is all I can say.

I got to the medical offices about 40 minutes before my appointment. Not a problem as I had a book with me. Gleefully I thought about all the reading I was going to get to do in the waiting room. Alas, it was not meant to be. It took me 25 minutes to find a blasted parking spot!! Wait. Let me rephrase. It took me 25 minutes to find a blasted parking spot ANYONE COULD PARK IN! What is with these people in little cars who take up two spots???? Come on, folks. Parking is a precious commodity and all of us space seekers driving around mindlessly like drones were there for a reason. Like a bloomin’ doctor’s appointment!! And MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

So I didn’t pass the patience test very well. Finally found a spot – of which I hate to admit I was over the line on one side. But that wasn’t my fault because the car on the right was over the line into my space and the car on the left was over the line into the space left of it. So there was enough room for me, just not nicely between the lines. If my kids had been with me they would have said I was parked like Grandma Flossie (who they never even knew – smart alecs!)

Got to the waiting room, had to fill out reams of papers that were identical to the reams of papers I’d filled out back in October, and finally got to read. I’m reading A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. Oh. My. Gosh. It’s embarrassingly funny. I sat there with what I’m sure was a stupid grin on my face while my shoulders shook with uncontained mirth. There were a couple right out bursts of laughter.

Got called back, did my thing with the nurse practitioner and then was shuffled across the street to the hospital for blood work and an EKG. Why is it when I try to tell the medical staff who weighs me I’m wearing about 30 pounds of extra clothing they laugh? I’m not trying to be funny. *sigh*

I was glad to see that the cars on either side of me were still there because I was worried about being cussed out by someone else who thought I had inconsiderately parked in two spots. Unlike all the other rude people who did that, I had a good reason.

Traffic coming home was much better. The freeway runs right by the high school and, ironically, when I was at about that point my phone buzzed me with a message. It was the school. Apparently there had been a bomb threat and the school had been evacuated. You know that panicky, sweaty, cold/hot, shaky, I’m-going-to-burst-into-tears-‘cause-it’s-better-than-passing-out-while-I’m-driving feeling you get when you think one of your kids is in danger? Full force, baby. Thankfully the next message was Todd calling to explain the call to me so I wouldn’t burst into tears or pass out while I was driving. Taylor is in high school, but he’s in the 9th grade and they have their own 9th grade center across the street from the big high school. The big high school was evacuated to the 9th grade center, bomb squad complete with dogs were called in and a thorough sweep was done. No bomb anywhere.

I have to say that even though it was the high school and not the 9th grade center, it didn’t make me feel a ton better. Yesterday in another high school in this same county a boy walked in to school with a gun and committed suicide. I’m thankful he didn’t shoot anyone else – they don’t seem to think it was ever his intention – but it’s still so overwhelmingly sad.

And that, in a nutshell, is why I spend my Sunday nights with a bunch of wild and crazy teenagers at church. I don’t delude myself into thinking I will make a difference to any of them, but in the immortal words of Fats Waller – One never knows, do one?

READING

As I mentioned above, I’m reading A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. This is a true (but no doubt exaggerated) account of his trek from the bottom to the top of the Appalachian Trail. The book has had me laughing, snorting, giggling, chuckling, guffawing, snickering – you get the idea. Hysterical.

And for those of you who are interested, I finished Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas a couple days ago. I loved the book and I very much liked the characters. So much so that I can’t decide between Derek and Sebastian so I’m calling it a draw. If I was forced to decide I might choose Derek simply for the fact that he overcame so much adversity to get where he was. But don’t hold me to that. I’m extremely fickle and likely to change my mind.

Mused by Jenster :: 3:25 PM :: 10 People musing:

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

People in my Bedroom

A day before the movers came to pack up our house in Arkansas we got rid of our headboard/nightstand combo. I didn’t particularly care for it and I was afraid that if it made it to Pennsylvania I’d be stuck with it forever.

We also did some furniture swapping with Taylor so in our pale blue bedroom right now we have a red nightstand and red dresser with all manner of sports balls for drawer pulls, a tall wire basket system Todd uses for a dresser, a plywood cubby tower I use for a nightstand, a bed with no headboard and the one thing in there I love – a beautiful standing mirror Todd gave me for Christmas back in 1984 (when I was 8).

We do have plans to eventually purchase an entire bedroom suite and new bedding. The room and bathroom at that time will be painted some warm color and window treatments will be added. Pictures and such will then be hung on the walls. But since no one ever sees the bedroom it’s the last thing on our list.

Downstairs takes priority and we’ve made a start with painting and furnishing the living room. I need a couple pieces for my dining room and a couple pieces for the entry way. And I need window treatments for the entire bottom floor. So obviously it’s going to be a while before we get to the bedroom.

I tell you all this because Sunday night at about 10:30 we ended up with somewhere around 20 people in my bedroom and bathroom. You know. The room I haven’t worried about anyone seeing.

It all started like this. Todd was out of town and I was doing my thing at the Sunday evening youth group. The way that works is junior high hangs out from 6:00 to 7:00; worship service for junior and senior high from 7:00 to 8:00; and then senior high hangs out from 8:00 to 9:00. I usually leave around 8:30 with Katie. A little after 8:00 Matt (Youth Minister) came up to me and said, “Do you have a garden tub?” Silly question, if you ask me. But I told him yes. “Can we use it to baptize someone in?” LOL!!! I told him as long as they were small and as long as I had time to run home and pick up any unmentionables that may be lying around.

So Katie and I came home and straightened up. I figured there would be about five people, but at 10:15 they started flowing in. Through the front door, up the stairs, and into my bedroom. I think we fit about 12 people into the bathroom, which included me standing on the vanity with a video camera, and the rest were trying to watch from the doorway. It was pretty cool.

The bizarreness of the situation notwithstanding, it was such a joy to be part of this event. From what little I know about the young girl taking a bath in my tub, she’s had a rough and wild life so this was a HUGE thing.

Our house isn’t huge, but it’s quite a bit larger than what we had in Arkansas. While we see it as a blessing and want to use it to serve others, we were thinking more along the lines of feeding people (like young college students), having bible study, letting kids come over and hang out in the basement, etc. Never in our wildest dreams did we think our bathroom would be a part of that “ministry”.

And a bonus? My bathroom is now nice and clean.

Mused by Jenster :: 9:08 AM :: 5 People musing:

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Friday, December 08, 2006

No Snow and More

Apparently there were a few flurries through the night but not enough to leave any evidence. We did have an atrocious amount of wind last night. Todd's out of town and Katie ended up in bed with me, which I was glad for because it was COLD! She may be tiny, but she makes a good little heater.

Here are some new favorites:

Candy - Hershey's Kisses filled with cherry cordial creme. Oh My Goodness!! These are so scrumptious! I'm going to have to hoard them because they're only out for a limited time.

Radio - WMMR in Philadelphia. I LOVE this station! Here's the thing. I usually listen to contemporary Christian, but I haven't found a CC station around here that I like. So I found WMMR. It's classic rock and alternative and is just awesome. And the clincher for me was when they played Turning Japanese by the Vapors, circa 1980. How could I not have a fondness for this station after that?

Shoes - My new Timberland zip up waterproof shoes. Not sexy, I know. But comfortable and warm and they make me want to find a puddle to splash through.

Blanket - Another Timberland purchase. It's a big suede blanket with lambswool lining and is so warm and plushy. It makes me happy. What makes me even happier is that it's listed price is somewhere around $130. We bought it at an outlet with a coupon and I think we payed $29.99 for it. Who knew an inanimate object could provide such multifaceted joy?

I still haven't done the work for my bible study this morning. I'm a horrible procrastinator and think I'll do it before Friday and then the next thing I know - BAM! - it's Friday. Maybe I'll do better with it next week.

Mused by Jenster :: 7:26 AM :: 7 People musing:

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Blogger's Block

I can't think of a thing to blog about.

Actually, that's not quite true. I can think of about a bajillion things to blog about.

Well, that's not entirely true, either. I have about a bajillion fragments of thoughts scrambling around in my head. Trying to grasp one of those scraps and form it into a coherent blurb is proving futile.

I'm reading Dreaming of You, but I'm not very far into it. I'd like to read it in one sitting but I have too much to do. And not enough energy to stay up all night reading.

Tomorrow will be pleasantly busy. I have my bible study in the morning - of which I still haven't done my study! And then tomorrow night I'm going to a neighborhood ornament exchange party for the women.

It's looking like we might get some snow finally. Not enough to do much, but that's okay. The first snow of the year is always exciting. That and I'm just glad it's cold enough so when I get another one of my power surges (hot flashes) I can run outside and cool off. While I'm thankful to have hair this year, there are times when I miss the G.I. look - like when I feel as though I'm about to spontaneously combust.

I suppose that's enough insipid babbling for now. For those of you who made it this far, thanks for sticking with me. SmileyCentral.com

Mused by Jenster :: 8:04 PM :: 4 People musing:

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Monday, December 04, 2006

Per Aunt Terri's Request...

Taylor mowing and Katie trying to keep him shaded:


Mused by Jenster :: 3:33 PM :: 11 People musing:

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