Jenster's Musings

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Let the Ceremonies Begin

I will now commence to handing out the Rockin' Girl Blogger award to five well deserving girl bloggers. Not only did I receive the award from Slackermommy at Slacker-moms-r-us, I also received one from Jenn at Jenn's Shenanigans. I'm totally feeling the love. So now I'll share.

As I stated in my last post, this is Hard with a capital "H". There are so many bloggers I could give this to, but I'm only going to pick five.


And the five are... (may I have the envelope, please?)

Swishy at Waiting for My Real Live to Begin. Not only is she real and honest, but she thinks silly thoughts some times and she has a camera wherever she goes. If I don't come away from her blog with a smile I come away with the urge to hug her.

Monnik at Frazzled But Loving It. Her stories about her kids make me giggle and sometimes, when she's talking about her little one, it makes me miss having a little one.

Tori at Radioactive Girl. This girl is an amazing chick! She's a married mother of four kids (a set of twins included) AND she's a thyroid cancer survivor. While our cancers and treatments are much different, we have a bond. And she has a great attitude and joyful spirit, regardless of what she's been through.

Manic at Manic Mom's Mental Myriads. Manic has written a book, is working on another, has an agent and it's only a matter of time before she is a published author. And we'll be able to say, "I knew her when"...

Amanda at Bookwormom. Amanda is a wife and mother of three fabulous teenagers (or two fabulous teenagers and a fabulous almost-teenager). Her kids are amazing and it's obvious from her posts they are a family to be envied. Not only that, but she regularly posts poetry - giving me just a little bit of culture now and again.

Congratulations to the recipients of the award! You all ROCK!

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I Rock!

Slackermommy bestowed upon me one of the coolest awards ever!



Can I just tell you this self-proclaimed dweeb is just a little overwhelmed at such high praise. And what she said about me was so nice and unexpected it made me cry. I'm not saying it was unexpected she was nice because she's always nice. But you know what I mean!

Now it's my turn to share the love and favor five more rockin' blogger chicks. This is so incredibly tough because I can think of a whole lot more than just five. But rules are rules and I'm ever the rule follower. Usually.

I am, however, going to have to postpone the award show. There's a hellacious thunder storm nearly upon us and it makes me nervous to be on the computer at the same time. So you'll have to check back in over the weekend to see who I've honored.

Today was the Philadelphia Art Museum and tomorrow is the Big Apple. I hope to have many stupendous photos to post this weekend.

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Tuesday's Doings

Day two of Katie and Mom week.

We had a very slow start this morning but that was kind of nice. We drove up to Amityville to a rather large antique mall. Nothing caught our fancy so we left and drove the rest of the way to Reading (as in the Reading Railroad on Monopoly) where I had a return at the Outlet Mall.

Katie lucked out again because she's just so darned much fun to buy for! Two more shirts and a package of socks. I also bought myself an uber-fuzzy bed jacket. Not that I'll be needing it any time soon as it's sweltering up here. But it will be nice to have when it cools down. It's so hard to read in bed with cold shoulders.

After we got home I left again to see my dermatologist. My gynecologist wanted me to see him to be sure I don't have an infection before she does surgery on Monday. It was the quickest, easiest doctor's appointment I've ever had.

I wanted to laugh - and I did while I was driving home - because he asked how she was going to do the procedure. "Will she be going, you know, through there?" he asked as he pointed to my nether regions. The man is a doctor, for crying out loud, and he couldn't say "vaginally". LOL! But what was worse was when I tried to say abdominally I ended up saying abominably - which may not be too far from the truth.

The rest of the evening is just hanging out and getting to bed at a decent time so we can get up and head to the Art Museum at a decent hour.

More tomorrow...

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Monday Fun

Todd and Taylor are on their way to a Christian Youth Conference in Tennessee so this week is all about me and Katie. Today started out with a trip to the hospital for pre-admission. Exciting, isn't it?

Katie sat in the waiting reading a magazine and listening to her iPod. I went back to have my blood drawn and when I walked out the nurse followed me. She was holding about 8 baggies with four tubes of blood in each one. Katie's eyes got huge and when I sat down she said, "Was that all from you?"

After that we went to Handel's - best ice cream place on the planet. I should have started this post by saying I've lost 6.5 pounds in the last two weeks on Weight Watchers. I've been so good, but I had a scoop of ice cream anyway. Chocoholic Peanut Butter Crunch. It was divine.

Then it was off to Bed, Bath and Beyond to make a return. We were two empty spaces away from a little Subaru and when we got out the Subaru's alarm went off. We were nowhere near the car so I didn't think we'd set it off. When we came back out I hit my little remote to unlock the doors and the Subaru alarm went back off. When I pressed the lock button it stopped. So Katie and I sat in our car for about 5 minutes hitting unlock and then lock and the alarm would go off each time I hit unlock and then stop when I hit lock. It was the funniest thing. In a way it was sad, though, that she and I found so much entertainment in the whole thing.

We finished off the afternoon by going to King of Prussia Mall. Hit a few stores and bought Katie clothes - because somewhere I already established that it's fun buying the cute little clothes for her that I wish I could wear. I did buy myself a pair of fuzzy, hot pink, thong-type slippers, though, and the thought of wearing them this evening is thrilling.

Tomorrow is an outlet mall, a huge antique mall and the dermatologist's. The real fun will start on Wednesday, however. The Philadelphia Art Museum and then Thursday we'll go to New York City for two days.

I think after this week I'm going to be ready for a little R&R at the hospital.

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Ghost Rider

We watched Ghost Rider last week after returning from camping. I had four thoughts about it I'd like to share.

THOUGHT #1: Peter Fonda is in this movie. Some of you may recall I mentioned I have a cousin who used to be a stunt girl. She is actually my third cousin, but my cousin nonetheless. Her heyday was back in the 70's and at one point she actually lived on Peter Fonda's yacht. Not with Peter Fonda. As far as I know, anyway. Knowing what I know now about Peter Fonda I wonder if she ever partied with him and Dennis Hopper and anyone else. The speculations boggle the mind.

THOUGHT #2: This movie brought back memories I had stashed away. When I was young I traveled with my parents and one sister from Southern California to West Texas to visit my oldest sister. If you've ever been in the deserts of California, Arizona and New Mexico in the summer then you know how oppressive the heat can be. So we left early in the morning to take advantage of the cool darkness.

One particular dawn we were somewhere in the middle of Arizona, nothing but flat desert on all four sides with the faint outline of a mesa or two in the distance. The sun hadn't shown itself yet, but the sky was turning a beautiful periwinkle in anticipation. Stars still glittered and I remember seeing a planet - it must have been Mars because it shown red against the lightening sky.

My dad had picked up an AM station and country music played softly from the radio. All was well with the world until Ghost Riders in the Sky came on. Suddenly the planet was no longer an exciting sight, it was an evil red blip. Staring out over the panorama I could almost see the spectral horses kicking up fire and their skeletal riders. I remember shutting my eyes tight, but the macabre was too powerful and I had look again. It was, of course, my vivid imagination. But to this day the song sends shivers up my spine.

THOUGHT #3: The heroine's name was Roxanne and you all know how I feel about that name. If not, read here.

THOUGHT #4: Sam Elliott, a favorite of mine, is also in the movie. One of his lines was, "Good morning, Bonehead." We all got a good chuckle at that one because I've said that to Taylor many times.

And that's all I've got to say about that.

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Friday, June 22, 2007

The Bionic Ovaries

It's official. I truly am too much woman.

I saw my gynecologist yesterday to discuss what's to be done about my girly parts. I had originally been scheduled for a D&C and endometrial ablation at the end of May because I was having horrid bleeding episodes due to the changes and thickening of the endometrial lining caused by the use of Tamoxifen. My gynecologist had finally convinced me my ovaries had completely shut down, I was NOT producing estrogen and, as such, my bleeding was not a period.

I had to cancel the procedure because at that time I had rashes and/or blisters on my entire body. I was concerned how my overly sensitive skin was going to react to the anesthesia and minor trauma to my body. But since I wasn't producing estrogen (my sworn enemy) it wasn't a big deal.

Turns out I AM producing estrogen. Post-menopausal levels are 27 and below. I had blood taken a week ago and those levels were 92. So I am now scheduled for a total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingooopherectomy (meaning they're taking both of my very stubborn ovaries) on Monday, July 2. I'll be in the hospital at least one night, possibly two. If I stay two nights then people everywhere across this great nation will be setting off fireworks in my honor when I come home. The public support is overwhelming.

The doctor looked at my chart yesterday and said, "Since you had a C-section I can just go through that incision." I told her that would be fine or I had another one from hip to hip from my reconstruction in December. It was her choice. Since I've given up on my nude modeling career it doesn't really matter.

We left her personal office and walked down the hall to the scheduling nurse. Being the prepared girl I am, I whipped out my calendar so we could find a good date. And when I say calendar, I mean calendar. As in wall calendar. I don't think I would have gotten as many strange looks if I'd had a pocket calendar. Maybe I should look into one of those.

I really hadn't planned on having another major surgery just six months after my last one, but whatever. As I've mentioned before, I really like the feeling of going under and I'm excited about the prospect of being medicated for a day or two. Sounds like fun.

The worst part in all this is that our modified plans for the summer may have to be remodified. The kids and I had planned to drive to Arkansas at the end of the summer, but that remains to be seen. We'll just have to see how well I do. I dreaded telling them we may have to cancel, but they both took it well. **WHEW**

By the time summer is over I expect to be rash free, blister free and female issue free. I also wouldn't mind being taller, thinner and tanner. I'm just sayin'.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

8 Facts or Habits

I’ve been tagged by April at For His Glory and My Good and Colorado Writer at Adventures in Writing to list 8 facts/habits about myself. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

I asked Todd for some of my habits and he came up with about a bajillion, none of them favorable. I have an image to maintain, even if it is false, which means I can’t list those.

So without further ado, here are 8 facts about me and/or habits of mine:

1. I would rather scrub toilets than unload the dishwasher. Which is why unloading the dishwasher is a daily chore of a kid in my house.

2. When I took the career test in high school it said I should be either an architect or a cruise director. We lived close to San Pedro where the Princess Cruise Line (Love Boat) departed and I looked into the cruise director thing. I fancied myself a younger version of Julie McCoy. I don’t know if they still do it the same way, but in the early ‘80s the entire staff of the ship, except for the officers and sailors, had to double as the entertainment. The thought of getting up in front of all those people and singing was more than I could bear. Mom and Dad were fairly encouraging, though I think it was because they saw free cruises in their future. I’m sure they were a little disappointed when I didn’t pursue this line of work, but they had the good grace not to let me know.

3. I have Radio Station ADD. That’s when I’m driving in my car, listening to a great song on the radio, but I think there might be a better one on a different station, so I surf all the stations looking for the best song. Typically it was the one I was originally listening to, but when I get back there it’s over.

4. Before I got married I worked for a law firm in Rolling Hills, California. Rolling Hills is a very posh section of Southwest Los Angeles County – beautiful horse farms, mansions on the cliffs overlooking the ocean, etc. The office next to ours was Chuck Norris’ production company pre-Walker, Texas Ranger. Chuck Norris is not a big man, but his body guard/chauffeur is humongous! About the size of a door.

5. Taylor says when I get excited about something I fist my hands and do a quick knuckle clap in front of my chest – I don’t know how to explain it. Maybe if I add “Goody, goody, gumdrop” you can picture it better.

6. I had my tonsils out when I was 17 and I hemorrhaged. They had to put me back under to cauterize the small vessel that was squirting blood into my mouth and down into my stomach. I knew there was something wrong when I started coming to in the recovery room. The nurse kept saying it was normal post-operative bleeding, but when I’d filled my second or third tray with blood she decided to call the doctor. He poked a little vacuum thing down in my throat to see what was going on and I have an extremely sensitive gag reflex. It looked like something out of a horror movie, but I think it served the doctor right for missing that little vein. While it seemed like I’d bled gallons, it wasn’t even enough to make me anemic. It just sounds so dramatic to say I hemorrhaged and I’m all about the drama.

7. Todd says I have a habit of leaving dryer sheets on the floor on his side of the bed, but I don’t think that’s a habit. It’s just something that happens and I have no control over it. Other than to walk around the bed and pick them up, but I never think about it. You know – out of sight, out of mind.

8. When Todd and I were first married – and for a long time after – I had a horrible habit of holding things in. When he would do something that bothered me I’d wonder if it was that big of a deal and not say anything because I didn’t want to make mountains out of molehills. Or I didn’t want to be a nag. So we’d go along peacefully for months and then he’d do something – like eat the pizza I’d been working hard for – and I’d explode like Mount Vesuvius. He’d be totally dumbstruck as I’d be mentioning these totally insignificant incidents and he’d had no idea they had upset me. I still struggle with this sometimes, but I’ve gotten much better. In fact, I’m sure I could be called a nag at times and that’s a good thing!

I tag:

Amy at Random Ramblings
Amanda at Bookwormom
Jenn at Life, Love, Kids
Eileen at A Life of Triggers
Rosie at Nobody Asked Me...
Monnik at Frazzled But Loving It
Jen at Life on the Mountain
SeaSpray at It's a Wonderful Life

You ladies will be forgiven if you choose not to accept this assignment. :o)

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Monday, June 18, 2007

And It's Over

I had to post this picture of a champagne glass jacuzzi for Barb because that's what she associates with the Poconos. I didn't see any at the campground, though.

The camping trip was everything it was hoped to be. Restful, relaxing, fun -- just what I wanted.

Todd led a team at work several months ago and the individuals on that team received awards Friday afternoon. So we didn't get out of Dodge until 6:00. No biggy.

** Just have to insert here that we passed a law firm called Fitzpatrick, Lentz & Bubba. Does anyone else think it's a funny name for Yankee firm or is it just me? **

** Across from our trailer was a fairly nice motorhome. Dad looked like the lead singer from Judas Priest, mom had lots of tattoos, son (about 8) had a Mohawk and a skull and crossbones t-shirt, daughter (6-ish) and baby didn't have any distinguishing characteristics. Can you guess what music they had blaring from their RV?? John Denver, The Carpenters, Roberta Flack! **

Okay. Back to the weekend. The plan was we'd get set up, get comfy and then watch one of the movies Katie and I bought (Eragon and Ghost Rider, the latter of which I have a few things to say about, but that's another post for another day.) Taylor had been in charge of packing the little TV and the PlayStation which doubles as a DVD player. He's hooking up this cable and that cable while the rest of us are getting our jammies on, excited about snuggling and eating popcorn and watching a movie, and he says, "Did anybody think to bring the PlayStation controller?" Everyone stopped what they were doing and gave him the greasy eyeball because that was part of the TV and Playstation stuff HE was supposed to get! So no DVDs for us over the weekend.

It rained off and on all day Saturday. Katie and I managed a nice walk around the campground and a couple games of tether ball between showers. When the family decided to play one of our many board games we realized we didn't have any with us. So when it was clear we all walked up to the general store and bought Skipbo and a cheap poker set. We played a rousing game of Skipbo and I thoroughly trounced the family. I maintain I am not competitive, but whenever I say that they argue with me. Just because I gloat does not mean I'm competitive.

Late in the afternoon the kids decided to go play tether ball. I locked the door behind them so I could put up the luau decorations and surprise them. They came back before I was finished and I think we sufficiently freaked them out with the locked door. The looks on their faces were gold when I opened the door just a fraction of a smidge, threw money at them and told them to go play video games. They were truly horrified. Bad Jen wanted to just let them stew in their own repugnance while she laughed her evil laugh. Good Jen, however, told them she had a bit of a surprise for them that wasn't quite ready. The relief they showed at that vital piece of information was priceless.

This is what's to show for all my hard work:




And to make everyone think we were in Hawaii I played this:



I brought a bottle of wine for me and Todd and had looked forward to our dinner the whole week before. When it came time to open the bottle I couldn't find our corkscrew. The one we had for the trailer has somehow made its way into the house and Todd didn't want to spend a buck fifty for another cheap one from the general store. So I looked around at the other campers to see if any of them were drinking wine. Nobody was. I was very distraught.

Now before everyone starts thinking I'm a lush and I had to have my wine I have to explain. It was just like when Todd and I were first married and we ordered a pizza on Friday night. Saturday I had a list of chores I wanted to get done and my reward was going to be leftover pizza. I thought about the pizza as I cleaned the shower, I fantasized about the pizza as I scrubbed toilets, I contemplated the pizza as I mopped floors. Finally I finished my tasks, cleaned up and ran to the kitchen, my prize uppermost in my mind. But when I opened the refrigerator there was no pizza. NO PIZZA!! Todd had eaten all the leftovers! That was probably 18 years ago and I still have forgiveness issues over it. So anyway, the wine was kind of like that. I had thought it to be part of my reward, an enjoyable dinner of grilled teriyaki chicken, fried rice and pineapple with a crisp glass of Riesling. But I guess it wasn't meant to be.

After dinner the boys went out to start the campfire. Katie had been itching all day to roast marshmallows. When I finally got outside Todd and Taylor were sitting under the awning because it had started raining again. That didn't stop Katie, however. She stood in the drizzle, holding marshmallows over the smoldering, smokey logs. I told her she was a silly girl, the rain would pass and Dad would build us another fire. I was right. When the flames were going good the kids both got up to roast marshmallows. I told them proper marshmallow roasting requires red hot embers, not flames, and they should be patient like I was. But then it started raining again. Since I'd been denied my wine there was no way I was going to be denied my roasted marshmallows! So I stood in the drizzle, holding marshmallows over the smoldering, smokey logs.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Dreams and a White Russian

Last night I dreamt Will Farrell was dressed up as Elton John at a costume party and when I showed up without a costume I said I was Kiki Dee so I wouldn't get in trouble. Unfortunately Will Farrell heard me and said I had to come sing "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" with him. I agreed, but kept finding things I had to do first to avoid getting on the stage in front of all the people. Thankfully I woke up before I had to sing.

Why? This dream is more insane than the Oprah dream. Or at least as insane. Zeek - would you like to interpret this one??

****

I had my regular checkup with the White Russian today. It was nice to go in for something other than a problem. Their computers were down and it had the entire office in turmoil. I usually go straight to an exam room, but today I had to go back to the chemo room. It's the first time I've been to the chemo room at this oncologist's office and it gave me a moment's pause.

I don't know how well I can explain this, but I'll give it the old college try. It's been my experience that oncology doctors and technicians and nurses are among the nicest people on the planet. When I was going through chemotherapy I had to go in to the office every week for blood work and received chemo every three weeks. While I wasn't thrilled to have several gallons of what was comparable to fertilizer pumped through my veins, I did enjoy the people there. They were cheerful and compassionate and a fun group. Today I remembered just how much I enjoyed them and it made me a little melancholy.

But I got over it quick. I was given a great report and don't have to show up for another three months. My blood counts were all great. Both my rashes and blisters are clearing and I'm starting to feel almost normal again. I think, anyway. I'm not sure. It's been so long since I've felt normal I could be far from it. But whatever. I feel way better than I have for a long time.

Father's Day was the day we were to leave for Hawaii. Instead we'll be in the Poconos. Tomorrow we're taking the trailer up to the mountains for a much needed family get away. Even though I'm feeling much better and my skin seems to be clearing up, I'm glad we postponed Hawaii. I still don't know how my skin is going to react to suntan lotion, sunshine and bug spray. Guess we'll find out this weekend.

After the last six months we've had we're all looking forward to this weekend. We need some time away from phones and T.V.s (though we have a small one - lol) and just connect as a family. I'm planning on getting a book or two read, also.

This will probably be my last post until next week. At that time I'll have glorious pictures to share. Or at least a story or two. And I apologize for not being a very good bloggerfriend. I sort of freak out when things don't go according to my "schedule" and nothing's gone according to my schedule these last two weeks. So I've been to visit all of you, but I haven't been leaving comments because I've been too frazzled. I'm sure you'll be sorry when I come back from camping all refreshed and revived and have lots to say to your posts.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

More Kid Stuff

Since today is the last day of school and I'll be forced to endure my children 24/7 for the next three months, this will probably be the last my-kids-are-so-wonderful post for a while. Oh, I suppose "endure my children 24/7" is a bit dramatic. They do have to sleep sometime.

KATIE

Turns out I didn't completely ruin her surprise today. The music teacher handed out certificates to all the students who participated in music class and certificates to all the students who participated in choir. Katie and I thought those were probably her "awards". But then the teacher handed out plaques to four outstanding music students. Out of a class of 600. I was so proud of Katie that when I stood up to get a picture of her receiving her award I hit the wrong button. By the time I found the right one she was gone and I got a snapshot of the principal.

She had the choice of leaving with me after the ceremony or finishing out the day with her class. Without hesitation she said, "I'm staying!" I would say she's adapted quite well to Pennsylvania.

TAYLOR

Taylor played his electric bass for the worship band at the Baccalaureate service last night. Even though we knew a few of the graduating kids our purpose for going was to watch Taylor. But we couldn't leave when he was finished, which was fine because it was very enjoyable. Until the first of three ministers got up to give his message. Each message was only supposed to be about ten minutes and while the first minister was entertaining, he went on and on and on. We'd think he was about to wrap it up and then he'd say, "I've got this little story to tell you." By the time he sat down we were clapping for relief. Windbags notwithstanding, it was a very moving service and I was happy for the experience.

Tonight Taylor had to play his trombone with the rest of the high school band at the commencement service. He called me from practice this afternoon to tell me he needed a white shirt. If Todd's motto is A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part, Taylor's motto is What plan? It is, of course, never his fault. I guess he's getting a jump on the summer exasperation.

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Monday, June 11, 2007

Random Happenings

Did you know that David Hasselhoff is a T.V. giant and one of America's greatest entertainment legends? Me either. But they just said so on America's Got Talent so it must be true.

Last week we received a letter addressed to "The Parents of Katie" letting us know she's going to receive a music award at the assembly on Wednesday. We were very excited and I put the letter up on the refrigerator so we won't forget. Saturday Katie was getting something out of the fridge, read the letter and said, "Um, Mom. Did you read this last bit here?" Apparently I didn't because it said, "Your child doesn't know so please keep this a surprise." I apologized profusely while she just laughed and told me she'd act surprised. So we started doing that part in "Miss Congeniality" where Sandra Bullock is practicing how to act - and I said, "If my mom only had a brain." Of course, if you've never seen the movie you have no idea what I'm talking about. Just believe me when I say it was funny!!

Todd took Taylor to get his hair cut Saturday and I'm more than pleased to say all parties concerned are satisfied. Amazing!

Yesterday Katie and I went to the mall after church to get her a bathing suit. We had so much fun and we didn't even argue over suits or anything! We shopped and walked and laughed and ended up in Fridays for sodas, appetizers and a dessert. It was a blast.

I ran to the grocery store today and as I was pulling some Jell-O ready made pudding off it's little holder thingy I cut the tip of my index finger. I bled all over the place! Well, not really. I did bleed, but I was able to staunch the wound before I passed out or made a mess of the store. And I'm so dedicated to my computer that I'm typing through the pain.

I think this is enough riviting drama for one post. At some point I'll tell you about our experience hosting wine club Saturday night and all the running around I did looking for dishes. It all came off fine, but it was questionable there for a while.

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Kid Stuff

Before I get to the real subject of this post I feel I must address another matter of the utmost importance.

1 – I am so excited about the fourth Indiana Jones movie! That’s one of my favorite series of all time. You younger folks won’t remember, but there was a time when movie theaters didn’t have surround sound and the screens weren’t quite as big. I was lucky enough to see the first movie with my friend’s family in Westwood, California, in one of the first surround sound movie theaters. We’d never seen a movie in that way and the part when the giant boulder comes after him was spectacular in that theater! The whole place shook and I remember Cindy and me and probably everyone else in there flinching and crouching down for fear of being trampled.

2 – It is with a heavy heart I read that Sean Connery won’t be playing Indiana’s father. If I had to choose a favorite it would be the third one, due in large part to Sean Connery. And with his beard and glasses he looks like my dad! In fact, when the kids are discussing which Indiana Jones they want to watch it’s, “You mean the one with Papa or the one with the snakes?” Notice they never mention the one with the monkey brains.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way I shall continue.

KATIE

Katie’s final softball game was last night. Have you ever been moved by the Spirit to throw your hands in the air and praise God, but you deny that prompting? That was me when they lost their second playoff game last night. I didn’t think it would go over well with the girls, the coaches and half of the parents. I could see the other half of the parents were struggling to control their joy like I was, though.

Her team came in dead last in their league. They only won one game, though most of their games were pretty close. The best part, however, is that they were the most spirited. Spirited to the point of annoyance, but at least they were having fun.

Now it’s over and I’m glad. Katie likes playing softball, but she doesn’t have a passion for it. And at her age if she doesn’t have a passion for it then it’s not worth dictating our family’s spring schedule. So I think this will be her last year and I’d love to say I’m sad about it, but I’m not. At all.

TAYLOR

Remember THIS post about Taylor’s hair? The lack of badgering has paid off because he wants it cut. Last night I even dreamt about cutting it myself. But that would come to no good end because I have no talent in that area. I wouldn’t be able to get it even and he’d end up bald. I’m sure because he’s a teenager I won’t like how he gets it cut, but that’s okay. At least he won’t be doing the Prince Charming flip anymore.

He’s been asked to play his bass for a band which will be playing a few songs at the High School Baccalaureate next week. It’s quite an honor because he’s only in the 9th grade and the other guys in the band are either graduating or already graduated. As you can guess, he’s pretty excited about that.

BOTH

After leaving Katie’s room where I had covered her up and smooched on her neck, much to her giggling dismay, I walked into Taylor’s room to tell him goodnight. He gave me this funny looking writing pen and asked me to give it to Katie. So I went back to Katie’s room and gave it to her. She pushed a button and we heard “Hi, Buddy,” in a little recording. So she had to record a message and I took it back to Taylor. After he heard, “Buddy, buddy,” he made another recording and I was directed to return it to Katie. So I did and by this time we were all cracking up. She then recorded, “Goodnight, Bobbie,” (her name for him when she was little) and I had to take it back to his room.

I realized this could go on all night so instead of taking it to him I stood at the door and flung it at him, yelling “Goodnight, Guys! I love you,” and ran down the hall to my room. I’m sure it was because they were tired that they dissolved into gales of laughter, though I was giggling pretty hard. Poor Todd is in Vancouver so he missed out on all the fun.

So many of the blogs I visit are written by moms or dads with small children. I love reading about their kids’ antics and it makes me think fondly of my kids when they were that age. I miss those days; however, I still have so much fun with my kids. Except for when they’re being annoying. Which sometimes seems like all the time. But other times, like last night, they’re just fun.

And they don’t require a babysitter anymore. And that there is HUGE!

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Mused by Jenster :: 8:52 AM :: 14 People musing:

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

My Day

Saturday night is our wine club and we're hosting. We don't have enough wine glasses for everyone so I ran into Bed, Bath and Beyond to pick up a case of twelve goblets for $9.99.

It was a gorgeous day - high in the low 70's, low humidity - just the kind of day I like. This is a picture of the sky through my sunroof. Perfect, no?? So I jumped in Sally ("jump" may be a bit misleading, though I think I may have hopped with excitement) and headed for King of Prussia.

There's not much I like better than a car ride on a pretty, warm day with great tunes. Except for a car ride on a pretty, warm day with great tunes and an iced White Chocolate Mocha. So I made a quick detour to Starbuck's and even though I think I got gypped on the whipped cream I'm still glad. Turns out they were doing roadwork on the highway so I had to take a detour. And nothing brings joy to an unexpected alternate route like an iced White Chocolate Mocha.

I had a vague sense of where I was going and meandered over the river and down a very trendy main street, only to find a lovely little park across the street from some beautiful old homes and churches. So I stopped and took pictures.

The park is also home to mammoth squirrels. I thought it was really cool that he posed for me with a nut in his mouth so I could take this picture. But then because I've watched Animal Planet a time or two I realized this was abnormal animal behavior and it sort of freaked me out so I quickly left him alone.

After I left the park I continued on my way and got stuck behind a trash truck. But that was okay because I was able to appreciate and photograph this really cool stairway covered in ivy. Unfortunately I didn't get stuck in quite the right spot. This picture doesn't do the coolness of it justice.

My detour took me through Valley Forge, but I didn't take any pictures there because I've already got a bajillion photos of all the monuments and houses and bunkhouses and wildlife, etc. Though I did look in the rear view mirror for a second and saw the sun shining on my hair through the sunroof. I thought since I'd said it had red highlights I'd get a picture of it and show you.

I did finally make it to Bed, Bath and Beyond and got my case of wine glasses for ten bucks and a really cool indoor/outdoor table cloth. And since they were only doing roadwork in the eastbound lanes my ride home was very uneventful.

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Mused by Jenster :: 9:01 PM :: 17 People musing:

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Spoils Of My Wins

After Mother's Day a few weeks ago Manic Mom had a contest. Whoever could guess exactly what she got at Cold Stone Creamery would get a gift certificate to the same place. Being the devious, I mean resourceful person I am, I hightailed it over to Swishy's blog. Sure enough, Manic had left a comment as to what she ordered from Cold Stone on Swishy's blog. So I won the gift certificate!

Then a couple days later Swishy put names of her commenters in a hat (or something) and picked out a few to receive a Grey's Anatomy CD. I won that, too! Except it was actually two CDs!

Now that my blisters and rashes and whatnot seem to be healing I've decided I need to start eating right and exercising again. With that in mind I figured I'd better go get my ice cream as a sort of last hurrah. So yesterday I listened to my new CDs while I drove to Cold Stone. It was perfect! I got a Peanut Butter Cup Perfection in a chocolate dipped waffle bowl with peanuts. Look how humongous it is!! It was my lunch AND dinner.

So today I was supposed to start the whole eating healthy/exercise thing. But I ended up getting an iced White Chocolate Mocha at Starbuck's while I was running errands and Chinese food for lunch. But I don't think I should have to take responsibility for the Chinese food because it was next door to the cleaner's I had to stop at and the smell lured me in.

Maybe tomorrow...

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Mused by Jenster :: 7:34 PM :: 28 People musing:

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Nineteen Years and Counting

Nineteen years ago today Todd and I were married. It truly was one of the happiest days of my life. Two years before our wedding Todd had moved from Southern California to Arkansas where he had multitudes of aunts, uncles and cousins. At that time I was twenty and he was twenty-one and 1600 miles just seemed too far to maintain a relationship. So we broke up. However, we still wrote letters and talked on the phone weekly. He dated. I dated. We were both miserable.

Every time I got ready for a date I would wish it was Todd I was going out with. It was horrible. I finally decided I had to tell him we couldn’t go on like we were. Either we had a relationship or we didn’t. And if we didn’t I couldn’t talk to him anymore because it was too hard.

When the phone rang at its usual time I took a deep breath and answered, prepared to tell him what I had to. But before I had a chance he said, “I can’t take this any more. Will you move out here?” That filled me with bubbles of giddiness. Truly. Bubbles. Not just any bubbles. Giddy bubbles.

But as thrilled as I was at his unhappiness (I know that sounds awful, but that’s the truth of it), I wasn’t about to pull up stakes and move 1600 miles away from everything and everyone I knew. So six months after he moved I went to visit. I wanted to know if our feelings had been romanticized by the long distance or if they were the real thing.

They were, as it turns out, the real thing. So we got engaged with plans to marry the next summer when he was out of school. But I had a great job and was getting great experience and was trying to finish school myself. And I guess I freaked out a little. So we set the date for June 4, 1988.

A two year long distance romance is not something I would necessarily recommend. However, by the time we did get married we were as sure as you can be. We both knew this was exactly what we wanted.

Ah… So young, so in love… (This isn't actually the picture I wanted to post. I hate to admit this - mostly because my mom reads this blog and now she'll know - but I can't find my wedding album. I know it's around here somewhere in a box. And I don't have an excuse for not finding it yet because we moved in a year ago yesterday. But I'm sad to say I haven't finished unpacking. OH! But I did find the box of books I've been wanting for the last several months.)

It’s been a wonderful 19 years. Oh, we’ve hit a few bumps here and there, but nothing that any marriage doesn’t go through. Especially when you’re still growing up. LOL! And I’m looking forward to seeing what the next 19 years bring. I know when we got married I didn’t think I could love him any more. But I was wrong. So I wonder how I’ll feel about him in another 19 years.

Katie has a play off game tonight so we’ll be celebrating with hot dogs and sodas from the concession stand. It just doesn’t get more romantic than that. Someday when we have the time we’ll truly celebrate by going out to a nice dinner and just spending some time as us. I can’t wait!

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Mused by Jenster :: 5:10 PM :: 25 People musing:

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Friday, June 01, 2007

The Notorious Port

Two years ago today I had a subclavical port installed (I sound like a car) so I could receive chemotherapy without compromising the veins in my arm. I had a love/hate relationship with this little thing. I hated it until I had to have a treatment. Then I LOVED it!

I thought I would share with you what I wrote about that day. Can I just say drugs and my mouth don't mix? I have no need of pharmaceutical agents to make me say stupid things.

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Our new insurance went into effect on Wednesday, June 1st, the same day I was scheduled to have outpatient surgery for a mediport placement. As we sat in the posh waiting room I noticed that this particular surgical office also did breast augmentation. How ironic.

The nurse called me back and asked me her list of questions as we walked to my pre-op room, one of which was had I had my tubes tied or a hysterectomy. I told her no, to which she replied they would need a urine sample. "Heaven forbid I'm pregnant, too," I said with a laugh.

She handed me my lovely gown with instructions on how to wear the current fashion and left to check my sample. Upon her return she informed me the news was good. No pregnancy. I explained to her it would be difficult to explain a pregnancy to my vascectomied husband who lived in another state.

It was then time to take my vitals. As I sat back in the reclined bed with nothing on other than my gown, she looked at me and asked which side I had the mastectomy on. That hurt a little because, well, couldn't she tell? But I let it pass and told her.

Pretty soon the anesthesiologist came in and asked me the same question. I looked down at my chest and could see the left was slightly flatter than the right. But instead of the comment I was thinking I just said, "The left."

He then asked me what I liked to be called when being woken. I thought this was a strange question and wondered if it was to check my mental faculties. I simply told him I liked to be called something nice. So he looked at my chart and asked if "Jennifer" would be alright.

Hm. Let me think about it. I suppose, if you can't come up with something better. Again, instead of saying what I was thinking I agreed that "Jennifer" was as good a name as any to call me whilst waking me up.

After that the doctor showed up. I'm sure by now you can guess what question he asked me. I don't think it was completely out of his mouth before I snapped, "The left! I had my left breast removed! Can nobody tell?" Thankfully they had started the IV so I could blame my outburst on drugs.

Todd came back and I complained to him how nobody seemed to notice that I actually had a right breast. I knew I was small busted to begin with, but this had gotten ridiculous. Luckily for him it wasn't very long before they took me back and I was mercifully taken to my unconscious happy place.

The next thing I remember was waking up. -- Before I go any further, I want you to remember two things. One, I found out in the waiting room this surgical clinic did breast augmentation; and two, the anesthesiologist asking me what name I liked to be called. With that in mind you'll understand why I said the next two things upon waking. Or thought them very loudly.

"I don't suppose they made a mistake and gave me some nice boobs instead of a port," and, "I think I might like to be called Roxanne." These statements were met with laughter, leading me to think they were spoken out loud.

While most people who know me would argue this point, I don’t usually think things without a reason. Roxanne, for example, didn't just come out of nowhere. It's Terri's middle name and one I've always liked. I also thought that Roxanne would be a great name for a well-endowed woman.

But, as luck would have it, I was still missing a left breast, my right breast was unchanged and I now sported a cool valve a few inches above said right breast.

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Mused by Jenster :: 8:34 AM :: 28 People musing:

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May Reading

I'm sad to say I only read two books in the entire month of May. They were great books, but only two. This is getting frustrating. Before chemo I averaged three to four books a week! Now I just don't have the concentration I did. I'm sure bloghopping has nothing to do with it. Really.

My books were:

Sinful Pleasures by Mary Reed McCall
The Templar's Seduction by Mary Reed McCall

These are books two and three of her Templar Knights trilogy. Mary is a high school teacher and does a lot of research for her books. One of the things I really appreciate about her is that at the end of each book she explains where she may have taken liberties and why. But for the most part her books remain true to what is known.

The series begins in France on Friday, October 13, 1307 - The day King Philip IV of France had the Templars arrested and began an inquisition. The books follow the lives of four Templars and how they escape and what happens to them after. Good stuff, Maynard!!

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Mused by Jenster :: 8:20 AM :: 1 People musing:

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