Jenster's Musings

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Oh, the Irony

If you've been reading my blog for any length of time you probably know I complain a lot about the weight I gained from breast cancer treatment. First from the chemotherapy and then from Zoladex injections. And since my hysterectomy - which was indirectly related to the breast cancer - I'm finding it harder and harder to lose weight.

Why am I such a sucker for products with pink ribbons on them? I know in my head most of them are just a sales ploy. Oh, sure they give a portion of the proceeds to breast cancer research. But I still think it's probably more of a manipulative merchandising tool than anything.


So why did I buy these today? Yet another reason I can blame my weight on breast cancer!

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Friday, September 28, 2007

Reason #7,384 Why I'll Never Be Mother of the Year

I just got back from the 7th grade nurse where I had to drop off paperwork and an Epipen for Katie "just in case". When Katie was a very young toddler we discovered the hard way she had a peanut allergy. Thankfully she didn't actually eat the PB&J I had made for her, only played with it. I don't know if it's because she was too tired to eat - we'd just gotten back from a hard morning of grocery shopping - or if she didn't like it.

I was busy putting groceries away while the kids were eating lunch, but she was being so fussy. When I looked up I was shocked to see her looking something like Quasimoto with an eye swollen shut, the other very puffy and lips so big she couldn't drink from her sippy cup.

I left the rest of the groceries, managed to get some benadryl down her and packed up the kids for the pediatrician's office. One look at her when we walked in and our wait was extremely short. The few minutes we sat in the waiting room, however, was horrible. Parents looked at me like I had beaten my child. It was an easy assumption to make. Her swollen eyes were a reddish/purplish color and she just looked awful.

Scratch testing at the allergist's office the following week confirmed she had a severe peanut allergy and mild allergy to most other nuts. The doctor then proceeded to scare me witless with stories of people dying of peanut allergies when they ordered chili from the new restaurant with a "secret ingredient" that happened to be peanut butter and stuff like that.

She has eaten things with almonds and pecans, though she's not a big fan. Most people who are allergic to peanuts are not allergic to tree nuts - completely different family. As I said, she had a mild allergy to most tree nuts. If they show any symptom at all it's just mild congestion. Nothing life threatening.

So when she was in second grade and wanted to try pistachios I said okay. Todd was at his parents' condo in Little Rock hanging pictures and the kids were supposed to be helping me in the kitchen. Their job was to empty the dishwasher and both had grumbled about it.

She ate one pistachio, said it was okay and asked for another. So I let her have another. Then she started saying her tongue was itchy. "It's just the salt making your tongue feel funny, Katie. You're not allergic to pistachios." She took a couple things out of the dishwasher and started complaining about her itchy tongue again.

I told her to go brush her teeth and rinse real good. She skipped down the hall to do what I told her, only to come back and say it didn't work.

By this time I was getting exasperated at her use of a true medical problem she had to manipulate the situation. I truly, with everything in me, thought she was faking.

She walked over to the dishwasher again, pulled out an item or two, and complained about her itchy tongue.

"Kaitlyn Louise, you are NOT allergic to pistachios! Come here and I'll prove it to you."

She came over to me, I de-shelled a pistachio, ran it over her check and immediately a red welt sprang up. Um, apparently I was wrong.

I very calmly told Taylor to get his shoes on, grabbed some flip flops for Katie and called Todd while we drove to the hospital. By the time we got there about five minutes later she was talking funny as her throat was starting to close up. We walked in behind a teenage girl with a broken arm and her father, but when I said, "nut allergy," to the triage nurse we were immediately seen by another nurse. She asked to look in Katie's mouth and when she opened up my poor baby threw up.

That was all the nurse needed. Katie was in a hospital gown and hooked up to an IV faster than you can imagine. She was given epinephrine and benadryl - the epinephrine wiring her and the benadryl making her drowsy.

Todd showed up and offered to stay with her so I could take Taylor home, but I had done this to my precious little girl. There was no way I was leaving. Within an hour or two all the swelling had gone down and we were told as soon as the IV was finished she'd be able to go.

Before the IV was done, however, she broke out into traveling hives. They'd start out on her legs then clear up and show up on her back, moving from one spot to another. Instead of being released she was admitted to the pediatric floor for observation.

It was a rough night only because she was hooked up to a pulse-ox machine and every time she'd fall asleep it would go off. I don't think it actually had anything to do with the allergy as I do the same thing when I'm in the hospital. But we didn't get a lot of sleep that night.

Todd showed up in the morning and I did go home then to take a shower. She was released a little after lunch and was pampered silly after we got home. People sent her flowers and teddy bears and mom waited on her hand and foot. Guilt was definitely working in her favor.

She may have been whining about an itchy tongue at home, but she was so brave and hardly complained at all in the hospital. She actually looks back on that event with fondness. The cafeteria makes a mean chocolate cake and, ever my girl, she loves her some chocolate cake.

The next week we went back to the allergists and he did another scratch test. Sure enough, she had a rather quick reaction to pistachios. Still nothing like her reaction to peanuts, but now we just stay away from all nuts.

I still feel horrible when I think about that evening, but I'm so thankful it turned out okay.

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

William Tell Momsense

I saw a clip of this on Good Morning America a few minutes ago and it brought me so much pleasure and joy I started tearing up. The woman receives a standing ovation at the end and it is so well deserved!

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Fried Green Tomatoes and Stuff

Katie and I watched Fried Green Tomatoes last night. It’s times like that when I love having a daughter. Oh, I suppose there are other times I love having a daughter, too. But chillin’ together with a chick flick is just fun.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen this movie, but watching it brings up such pleasant memories and emotions. Some things in life are pure Southern – things I’d never even heard of growing up in California. Things like chiggers, crawdads, fried okra, sweet tea that can pass for pancake syrup, kudzu, fried green tomatoes…

There’s a little town just east of Little Rock called Scott that reminds me of the little town in the movie. In Scott you can find a shack of a famous restaurant, the back of which is on stilts over a creek, called Cotham’s Mercantile. It was built in 1917, has been a general store, a jail and a military commissary. Regardless of how primitive, the joint is always jumping. I’ve seen it packed from wall to wall with distinguished business people from Little Rock and farmers alike.


Every time I see Fried Green Tomatoes I think of Cotham’s. They even serve – you guessed it – fried green tomatoes.



Another thing about the movie is the mythical warrior Towanda they call on for courage. When I was going through chemotherapy I was part of a wonderful on-line community of women who all started treatment in June of 2005. Towanda was a part of our kicking cancer's butt attitude.

The day after my last treatment, November 23, 2005, my family took me to a Build-A-Bear where I was told to pick out whichever animal I wanted. I chose a white teddy bear and when we had it stuffed Todd pulled out four sound chips - one for each paw. He and the kids had recorded messages about my courage and how much they loved me.

I named the bear Towanda because she's a symbol of how I had gone all Bruce Lee, Jet Lee and Tommy Lee on my cancer. She sits next to my glider in the sitting room and I see her every morning - assuming I get out of my pajamas. And now Katie gets why I named the bear Towanda.

***

Todd was out of town on business and Taylor was at a Student Leadership meeting at church last night. I had told Taylor to come tell me goodnight when he got home because I was pretty sure I'd be watching TV in bed by then. I heard him come in, heard the lock click and the porch light switch clack, heard him go into the kitchen and I relaxed. I promptly fell asleep, only to be jarred awake by this big kid jumping onto the bed to tell his mama goodnight.

As shocking as that was I must admit I loved it. Here's my baby boy who is taller than I am; has a girlfriend; is starting to think about college and what he may want to be when he grows up; and I saw a glimpse of the little boy he used to be. We chatted for a little bit -- or he chatted and I mumbled -- and then he kissed me, said, "I love you", went off to bed and I fell back to sleep with a big grin on my face.

***

Hangin' and giggling with the girl and getting some mama love from the boy. Yeah. It's good to be me.

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

For a Friend...

September 22nd through the 29th is National Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Week. Pulmonary Fibrosis is a debilitating disease marked by progressive scarring of the lungs that gradually interferes with a person's ability to breathe. There is no cure, and currently there is NO FDA approved treatment. The disease is fatal, within 5 to 7 years of diagnosis. Approximately 128,000 people in the United States have IPF, and an estimated 48,000 new cases develop each year. You can learn more about PF at The Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis' website.



The Coalition for PF takes donations via check, credit card, even PayPal. You can donate by clicking the link below:



Please Donate!

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others

I'm not taking NyQuil anymore. It takes me too long to get going. Thankfully Todd was home to make me coffee this morning, otherwise I'd probably still be stumbling around.

The TV was on and there was a commercial for something - a new show, a website, I don't know. Anyway, I thought it said, Psychics, Mediums and Lithuanians. The obvious answer was Lithuanians. Then I realized nobody asked the question. So I backed up the commercial and found out they had said, Psychics, Mediums and Clairvoyants. Not sure how I got Lithuanians from Clairvoyants, but there you have it. The sad thing is I don't even think I can blame it on NyQuil.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Forget the Booze, I'll Take the Nyquil

One of the "hazards" of working with kids when you're not used to it is picking up every little germ and virus the little angels bring to school with them. Add to that an uncertain immune system and you can be assured of taking home your very own little illness.

Yesterday at school I thought I was having an allergy attack. But last night I was running a slight fever and I realized I had a cold. My first cold in a very long time. So I made sure I had a good eight hours to sleep and took two Nyquil. After nine hours of sleep I got up to chat with the kids before they left for school. It was nice not having to rush around. After all, I didn't have to be at Bible study until 9:15 and the hostess lives less than five minutes from me.

I still felt a little fuzzyheaded and curled up in the big, comfy, green chair to chat with Katie. I reminded her to go brush her feet and to please take her dirty dishes to the bathroom. So she covered me with a light blanket, kissed my forehead and told me to go back to sleep. Then she left.

I figured I'd just rest for a little bit before I went to take my shower. When I opened my eyes to look at the clock I thought I'd only been asleep for about 10 minutes. My blurry vision told me the clock on the mantel said 7:30. But after rubbing the haze away I realized it was 8:30!

It took me several more minutes before I was able to actually pull my body from the comfort of the chair. So I went to Bible study with no shower, no makeup, and a mind that was working only slightly better than it had been at 7:00.

Still it was great to get together with the ladies after our summer break. And last Spring my participation was sketchy with all the stuff I had going on.

I just need to remember to take my Nyquil earlier next time.

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

I Work Hard For The Money

Today I completed my second four-day week of working as a teacher's assistant to a class full of two-year-olds. I think I'm starting to acclimate as I don't have to down two ibuprofen, soak my body in the jacuzzi tub and take a nap after lunch.

The director is actively looking for another assistant for Monday, Wednesday and Friday which would mean I would only work two days a week. That's my preference, but I don't mind working Monday through Thursday right now. It just gives me twice as much to spend at Barnes and Noble and Starbuck's.

The Tuesday/Thursday class is quite a challenge. We have nine boys and one girl; one boy with Down's Syndrome; a couple boys who I believe have some aspect of Autism; and a Chinese boy who speaks no English. The Down's Syndrome boy is sweet, but we have to watch him very closely as he likes to pull hair and pinch faces. But he did pretty good today. He and a couple other boys are speech delayed so they do baby ASL, which the other teacher and I are slowly learning.

It is the most physically demanding job I've ever had. But watching their little faces light up when they see you in the morning makes it so worth it.

***

Todd had a business trip to New Orleans so the kids and I were on our own last night. Taylor was supposed to have band practice at the church, but they already know the songs so it was cancelled. That meant we could go grab something for dinner and not worry about being back at a certain time.

When we lived in Arkansas the kids and I frequented Sonic - especially when Todd was out of town. Imagine our disappointment when we moved here last year and found out there was no Sonic in the entire state. But because we were faithful God blessed us with a Sonic in Lancaster - about an hour from here. That's how I see it, anyway.

Driving an hour away on a school night for fast food is insane. I'll be the first to admit it. I would never consider doing something so frivolous. Lucky for us they opened another one much closer. Only about 30 minutes away. Somehow that makes it much better.

So at 4:30 yesterday afternoon the kids and I set out for the new Sonic. Our friends that kept the kids when I had surgery in July found the new place and Betsy told me where it was. I thought she said it was on 29. So we headed down 29, but after about 30 minutes I realized she probably said 23.

We had been heading in the same direction as the Lancaster Sonic and I had to make a decision. Do I keep going or turn around? And if I turn around where do we eat? We couldn't go in anywhere because Katie didn't wear shoes. So we decided to keep going.

You know how when you're going to a place you've been to a few times and you know it's just around the next bend or over the next hill, only to find out it must be the next bend or hill? Yeah. There were a lot of nexts last night. We finally made it to Sonic around 6:00. So it took us an hour and a half. Ridiculous, no??

Thankfully my children are used to these kinds of things with me. Katie gave Taylor and I a French lesson, we listened to Taylor's favorites, the kids watched the first episode of "The Office" on his video iPod. I kept apologizing but they both said it was okay and they didn't expect anything less. Not sure how I feel about that comment.

We got our beloved Sonic food (Cheddar Peppers are only 5 Weight Watcher points) and headed back home. The car needed gas so I stopped in at a Wawa to fill up and buy the kids a treat as a peace offering for keeping them out so long.

Last Sunday we stopped at Wawa for lunch (they make great subs) and since I was going to be starting back on Weight Watchers the next morning I wanted a last hurrah of Ben & Jerry's Vermonty Python. To my overwhelming disappointment they didn't have it. So when I saw it in the freezer last night I bought some for myself. Sort of defeats the whole Weight Watchers thing, but I've made it last for two days now. I doubt it's going to make it to three since the night is still young.

We finally pulled into the garage around 7:30. Just call me Skipper - or Gilligan - because it was a three hour tour. Next time I'll try Highway 23 and see where that lands us, Little Buddy.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Love Fest

Back in July I was honored with the Schmooze Award by Em at Notes From My Corner. The funny thing was that I awarded him with the Blogger Reflection Award the very same day. As I told him, we had our own little mutual admiration society going.




The word "schmoozer" brings to mind a greazy used car dealer or a slimy lawyer (I've known both used car dealers and lawyers - not all greazy or slimy). But the dictionary offers this definition: someone skilled at conversation I'm not sure how skilled my conversation is, but I can surely talk. So I accept the honor and pass on the love to a blogger with the power of schmooze.

Swishy at Waiting for My Real Life to Begin has schmooze powers of epic proportions. She blogs while sitting in a coffee shop or waiting for a plane at the airport. Last night she live-blogged during the Emmy's. I love reading what she has observed and her use of visual aids (i.e., pictures) adds to the feeling of being there.

***

Then in August I was given the Nice Matters Award by Eileen at A Life of Triggers. If you've ever read any of Eileen's comments you know how perfect this particular award was for her. She's always kind, always considerate and always encouraging.



This award is for those bloggers who are nice people, good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspirations. Also, for those who are a positive influence in our blogging world.


I feel a bit like a fraud. I haven't been a very good blog friend for the last couple of weeks and sometimes I think I'm too snarky and sarcastic. Still, I gratefully accept the award and pass it on to Gretchen at Quantum Leap. Visiting Gretchen's blog is like sitting down to a cup of coffee with a good friend. It just doesn't get any better.

***

At the beginning of this month Dan at Danny & Family bestowed the Blogger Reflection Award on me. Dan is a proud husband and father and his love for his family shines from his posts. So to have received this award from him is quite an honor.



Dan said this about my blog: Jenster is a cancer survivor who writes about her family. She is a woman of faith and although I haven’t been reading her blog for a very long time, I took to it quickly and read it often. This short paragraph I'm writing about Jenster's blog doesn't do it justice. It’s also a good-looking blog, and I wish my blog looked so good. Very sweet.

So I now pass this award on to Kim at The Merits of the Case. This is an incredible woman who is physically in the same place I was in 2005 - going through chemotherapy for breast cancer. But she is also going through law school at the same time. Her blog is frank and honest and sometimes it's like reading something I would have written two years ago. She has a great attitude and a gorgeous smile - I can't imagine that hair on her head would make her any prettier. I've only been hanging out at her place for a few weeks, but I always come away from her blog contemplating one thing or another.

***

I really am humbled to have been thought of by these bloggers in such nice ways. My impulse is to say it's because they don't know the real me, but then Todd will get all mad at me so I'm just going to say thank you to Em, Eileen and Dan. I'm in great company!

(I have no idea why the banners on this post are so big. I used the smallest setting when I uploaded them, but they're still showing up large. Anybody got any ideas why??)

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Mused by Jenster :: 8:20 PM :: 13 People musing:

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

middle name meme

Jodie Lee at Throw the Book at Me tagged me for the Middle Name Meme back in August. I'm finally getting around to posting it.

Here are the rules:

1. You have to post these rules before you give the facts.

2. Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of their middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.

3. When you are tagged you need to write your own blog post containing your own middle name game facts.

4. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

I had a hard time with this one. Every word I came up with made me sound either egomaniacal or idiotic. Then I made the mistake of asking Todd and Taylor for a couple words to describe me. I didn't use any of them.

So after much hemming and hawing, here's my middle name:

D – Devoted: While I do possess several character flaws I will NOT be admitting to any time soon, I am totally devoted. I’m devoted to God – I owe Him everything. I’m devoted to Todd – he’s the other half of my whole. I’m devoted to my kids – they keep me young.

I – Indomitable: This isn’t a word I would have used to describe me a few years ago. But it does describe my attitude while dealing with breast cancer. I absolutely refused to let it get the best of me. I was incapable of being overcome, subdued, or vanquished (American Heritage Dictionary). Funny thing - most of the women I know who have had to deal with this same disease could be described the very same way.

A – Agreeable: For the most part I’m pretty easy going and agreeable. In fact I’ve been known to be rather door-matish. There are times when I insist I have my way if it’s something very important to me. But most things, unless they’re the big things in life, aren’t so important to me.

N – Nutty: Trying to find two good words that start with “N” is not easy. Too bad for me I finally figured out I had two Ns in my middle name when I was in high school. I found N-words like nerd and nincompoop, numbskull and ninny. I’m sure there are several people who would call me any one of those names on a regular basis. But this is my blog and I refuse to let you know the real me. So I’m going with Nutty for my first word. I think this is self explanatory.

N – Noodge: The dictionary describes “noodge” this way – One who persistently pesters, annoys, or complains. I don’t complain much, it’s possible that I annoy, but I definitely pester. It’s the highlight of my life.

E – Enthusiastic: When I’m telling a story I become very animated – arms flailing, facial expressions, the whole bit.

I'm going to bend the rules and pass this meme on to three people instead of six. The three I choose are:

Shauna at The Coffee Stop
Becky at Stuck in Frump, Striving for Fab
Jen at Life on the Mountain

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

DON'T FORGET!

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Rhode Island Part II: The Wedding

Sunday night I stayed in Glenn & Cristie's room with Cristie while Glenn slept on a roll away bed in our room. Monday morning was another fabulous breakfast, a trip to the salon and getting ready for the wedding. The minister came to the B&B and we followed him to The Forty Steps where we met up with the photographer. Todd and I pulled double duty for the wedding. Not only were we the best man/matron of honor, we were also the bouncers. We stood at the top of the stairs after the wedding and kept people from walking down while the photographer took pictures.



As you can see it was a gorgeous day for a wedding. The wind was pretty fierce up top, but when we got down the steps it calmed a great deal.

After the wedding we went back to the B&B for a little while and then headed into town for dinner. We had reservations at a swanky restaurant, but ended up eating at The Red Parrot instead. It was casual and relaxed and delicious.



As usual, I took pictures of everyone’s meals, but I’m not going to post them. Not in the mood. Sorry.

When the meal was finished we headed back to the B&B, dropped the newlyweds off and then went for a drive. Here are a few photos of the surrounding area.






This is self explanatory












These were a lot of fun to watch. These guys were on what looked like a wide water ski and the parachutes pulled them over the water, sometimes pulling them twenty feet into the air. I wish it had been lighter outside so I could have gotten a better picture.









I thought this was a cool picture of lifeguard stands.













St. George's School by sunset.







By the time it was dark I needed something resembling chocolate. After looking for an open coffee shop we ended up at Starbucks. I ordered a toffee almond bar to go with my White Chocolate Mocha, Todd ordered a piece of lemon cake to go with his funky kind of tea, and we kicked back there for a while. The music was good, the company was good, the food was good – what a great way to cap off a great day.

Tuesday morning found us with the usual mixed emotions we have after a get away. We thoroughly enjoyed our weekend. Hanging out with Glenn & Cristie; seeing the sights; relaxing in the B&B garden or a coffee shop; reconnecting as a husband and wife as opposed to a mom and dad. But at the same time the roles of mom and dad made us anxious to get home and see the kids.

So after a breakfast with the wedding couple we hit the road. The traffic was so much better coming home than it had been going up. We only had one glitch in the form of the biggest idiot I've ever had the displeasure of dealing with.



If you know the owner of this car, please feel free to kick him in the shins as hard as you can whilst wearing steel-toed shoes. (Please do not translate as a plea for someone to break his kneecaps or anything like that)

The speed limit was 55, we were in the fast lane going about 70 (as was everybody else in the fast lane), when the bonehead came zooming up behind us at an extremely high speed. Todd couldn't get over because there were cars in the middle lane. He was going to speed up so he could get around them quicker, when the moron pulled over onto the shoulder as if to pass us. There was a cement barrier and not enough room.

That made Todd mad so he didn't speed up any. Didn't slow down any, either. When we were past the cars in the next lane he was about to pull over, but the boob shot in between us and the car in the next lane, weaving in and out of lanes in his effort to drive as fast as he possibly could.

Whatever. Todd pulled over into the middle lane and then the fool did one of the dumbest, most asinine things I've had the misfortune to witness. He jerked his car into our lane and slammed on his breaks. On the freeway. Apparently he was miffed that Todd hadn't sped up to let him pass faster.

This miscreant who was in such a dadgum hurry slowed down to somewhere around 30 MPH. He'd speed up a little then slam on the breaks, causing the people behind us to have to slam on their breaks. The jackass was lucky he didn't cause an accident.

There are no words to describe just how angry I was. Me, the nonviolent one, wanted nothing more than to slug the daylights out of the imbecile. Cars and trucks were whipping around us, honking their horns and gesturing angrily at the blockhead. And the schmuck wouldn't let up. So I grabbed the camera and shot this picture. Then I flipped open the phone to call 911, but he saw me and zoomed off at the next exit. I like to think that wasn't his planned route and he was frightened off by my quick and vengeful wit.

What a pitiful loser.

The rest of the ride home was quite nice. Except for sitting on the George Washington bridge in New York. But once we got past that it was clear sailing the rest of the way home.

And now you know the REST of the story.

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Monday, September 10, 2007

My Behind is Getting Bigger

Meaning I’m getting more and more behind.

On my posts. Though after the last couple of weeks I’m probably getting more and more behind on me. But that’s another subject for another day.

I desperately need to finish my Rhode Island post. It would make a great novel. You know, love, wedding, coffee shop and dramatic ending. Could be the next great American short story. (how’s that for a teaser???)

I never did go back to bed Friday. I fell asleep in the chair a little after 10:00 and Todd called and woke me up a little before 11:00. Good thing, too, because I had to wake up for my interview.

Taylor’s girlfriend won the regional homerun derby for her division a month or so ago and yesterday she got to participate in the Eastern Pennsylvania Homerun Derby at Citizens Bank Field where the Phillie’s play. Her parents were able to get a good deal on tickets for the Phillies’ game later in the day so we bought four. We were there at 8:30 to watch the derby and then played around for a while before the game started. It was a great game, too!

Kristen was the first in her division to bat and she missed placing by one point. She probably would have placed if she hadn’t batted first because they were still adjusting the pitching machine and it threw her off. Still she did wonderful and it was a lot of fun to watch.

Check this out. A 15-year-old boy jacked the baseball out of the park. FIFTEEN! If that’s not impressive I don’t know what is!

Yesterday was also Todd’s birthday. When Kristen’s mom found out she asked if he would be okay spending the entire day at the ballpark on his birthday. Psssh, yaaaah. It’s his most favorite place to be. It’s his Paradise, his Mecca, his Disneyland.

Not only were we at the ballpark all day, but it was hot and humid. By the time we got home last night we were all whooped. On the answering machine was a message saying I had gotten the job and they’d like me to show up this morning at 8:30.

So guess what I’m doing. I’m a teacher’s assistant to ten 2-year-olds. I’ve decided this is going to be better than joining a gym. I had quite a work out in the 2 ½ hours the kids were there. Then I went grocery shopping, came home, baked a four-layer chocolate cake and cooked a big dinner. Well, not so big a dinner. It just seemed big because I’ve gotten very lax about cooking dinner. Now we’re getting ready to watch Wild Hogs.

In response to comments on the previous blog:

* I’m sorry for those of you who now have the song which shall remain nameless stuck in your head.


* I was on Lunesta for about two years and went off it a few months ago. I sleep fine when it’s not hot and another week or two and it should start cooling off.


* I’ve never heard of a toonie before, but I like the way it sounds.


* I’m happy to know others share the book obsession with me. Hello. I’m Jenster and I’m a bookaholic.


* I hope the Farmer’s Almanac is spot on!

* I seriously didn’t think there was a female over the age of 25 who hadn’t seen Steel Magnolias. Are you over 25, Swishy??

* May nobody who reads this blog ever get an infected “them”.

* I was entering the last book in my book log and realized I read TWO books in August. Go me.

* If I had made the kids a big breakfast for no apparent reason they would be traumatized.

* It’s September. There’s no way for me to make up my chances for Mother of the Year. I have no reason to even try. And really it’s much more fun to embarrass, annoy and freak out the kids anyway.

* Todd and several other people aren’t on my sidebar. I haven’t been very good about updating my blog and I apologize because I have a bunch of great blogs to add. So I will make that a goal – for the week? Or maybe the month. Definitely by the end of the year!

* I’ve also been pretty bad about visiting my blog buddies and replying to my emails the last week or so. I apologize and hope to figure out some sort of system for getting all my computer playing in on a regular basis.

Just like Paul Harvey, I’ll get to the rest of the story in the next day or two. Promise!!


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Mused by Jenster :: 9:59 PM :: 24 People musing:

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Friday, September 07, 2007

**We Interrupt Regular Broadcasting**

It's 3:30 as I'm typing. 3:30 a.m.. A.M. as in morning. I've been awake since about 1:00 and the two things that keep rolling through my mind are:

1. I can't wait for the dead of winter. If it was freezing in here I'd be blissfully bundled up, sleeping like a baby instead of flipping and flopping and trying to get each side cooled off by the ceiling fan. It's not even that hot, but I can't seem to get cool or comfortable.

2. All that's left is a band of gold... I can't get that stupid song out of my head.

I tried reading, but that didn't do any good. So then I picked up a financial budgeting book thinking that would bore me into somnolence, but obviously that didn't work, either. It just made me want to check my bank balances.

So I'll tell you about my Thursday and hope this post will make sense by the light of day. Then again this is me we're talking about. My well-rested, caffeinated self doesn't always make sense. What makes me think my blurry-eyed, muddled-headed self will?

I had to see the nurse at the plastic surgeon's office in Philadelphia this morning. At one point it took me 8 minutes to go 1 mile. Then when I pulled in to the parking deck I got behind a lady in a walker. Seriously. The woman was walking up the middle of the lane in a walker, up hill, and I couldn't get around her. The whole stinkin' length of the parking garage.

Surprisingly I didn't feel aggravated. It made me laugh because it was so incredibly ridiculous. That and I wasn't in a rush so who cared.

Oh. Also because I had a yummy mint mocha iced coffee from Wawa. Except I don't recommend drinking it while you're eating a Reece's Peanut Butter granola bar. Then it just tastes like mouthwash.

Anyway, I had to see the nurse because the right side of my recent little procedure became infected over the weekend. She said that there was some breakdown, but that's very normal. She also told me I was doing an excellent job taking care of "them" and the doctor would be pleased when I saw him for my regular follow up next Wednesday. Then she prescribed me an antibiotic.

After that I had a routine checkup with the White Russian. I had a little over two hours to kill so I hung out at Borders. Stupid, stupid girl. I ran in to buy one book. Lord John Grey and the Brotherhood of the Blade by Diana Gabaldon. Found it with no problem. And four other books I had to have as well. Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn and Hal Iggulden; Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier; and two historical fiction books set during the English Restoration (King Charles II). The books are downstairs and, while I may be awake, I'm not in the mood to run downstairs just for the titles. But ever since I read Forever Amber I've been fascinated with that time period.

I seriously need to stop this madness. If I was still reading three or four books a week that would be one thing. But I only read one book the entire month of August. That's horrible! I think part of my problem is that I need a change in genres. I do this every once in a while. I've been on a romance kick for a while and I love romance novels, but it's time for a change. Thus the straight historical fiction.

And since the nurse told me I was such a good girl (or something like that) I treated myself to an iced white chocolate mocha and a chocolate cherry scone. Well, I was hungry and that was all Border's cafe had to offer.

When I left the store I noticed a used book store across the street. Apparently it's been there for a while, but this is the first time in over a year that I noticed it. So I filed that bit of information away for later.

Saw the White Russian and got a great report. My blood work is all within good limits. My blood pressure was excellent. The nurse and I crossed off several medications and narrowed it down to two. Well, three if you count the antibiotic I'm on. Though I'm thinking I could surely use some Lunesta tonight. Maybe we were a little too quick with that!

I promised the kids I'd stop at Hope's Cookies after the oncologist's visit. That's not exactly true. What I said was, "Let's just say I was to stop in at Hope's Cookies after I see the White Russian, what kind of cookies would you want?" But that was close enough to a pledge for me so I bought chocolate chip for Katie, Peanut Butter Chip for Taylor and White Russian cookies for me. (It's a theme with me, okay?)

That used book store I'd spied earlier is right behind Hope's. So I meandered over there for a quick looksie. Guess what happened? I bought a book. I bought a beautiful leather bound copy of Milton's Paradise Lost. I swear it jumped off the shelf and I had to catch it so as not to let it's beautiful cover be marred from bouncing off the cement floor. Then we bonded and I had to take it home. Or something like that.

Once I got back in the car I endeavored to look straight ahead on my way home lest I be tempted by yet another book store. All this book buying is probably why I felt the need to peruse the budgeting book this morning.

Todd is out of town and Taylor was busy with school and social functions, so Katie and I went to dinner, picked up my prescription and came home to watch Steel Magnolias. Remember my comment a couple posts back about needing to schedule time for a breakdown? Not so anymore. I am cleansed! All it takes is a little Sally Field having her own meltdown after her daughter's funeral. Why didn't I think of that earlier?

It was rather funny. Katie was laying on the love seat and I was sitting in Todd's green chair (Yes - it's back to being his chair) and we were both sniffling and hooty-puckering and laughing at each other all at the same time. And then when Clairee offers Ouiser (I checked the spelling on IMDB) as a punching bag we became nearly hysterical.

Good times.

Now it's 4:05 and I have got to get some sleep. I'm interviewing for a part-time position with our church's new preschool tomorrow. The position is 9:00 to 12:00 and I had originally thought I might like to work two days a week - Tuesday and Thursday. But when the director called me about setting up an interview she said she would love to have someone (hopefully me) all five days. But I don't want to give up my ladies' bible study on Friday mornings so it may turn into four days a week. We'll just see.

If I don't get to it tomorrow, I'll get to the wedding and the rest of Rhode Island on Saturday. My alarm is going off in a little over two hours so I'm going to try to fill that time with dreams. Good dreams. Dreams that involve a snug sleeping bag and a cot in the frozen tundra and no bands of gold.

Until later...

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Mused by Jenster :: 3:29 AM :: 30 People musing:

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Discuss Amongst Yourselves

I'm working on a post with pictures from our weekend in Rhode Island, but things are very slow. So in the meantime here's a little something for you. There's no video to be found for this song, but listen and read the words and then riddle me this:



Is he gay?

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Mused by Jenster :: 1:25 PM :: 15 People musing:

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Rhode Island - Part I

We made it to Newport and back again and had a great time. We left mid-morning on Saturday and expected about a five-and-a-half hour drive. Silly us.

For those of you who live along the I-95 corridor, you have my deepest sympathies. We felt like we were back in L.A. We made it in just under eight hours. Somewhere between New York and Connecticut it took us near three hours to go about 100 miles. That's insane! That's also I-95 on a holiday weekend Saturday.

There was a big motorhome with NY Mets stickers all over it that we'd pass, then it would pass us, and we sort of played leap frog all the way to Newport with them. Every time we'd pass them Todd would hold this up either out the window or out the sunroof, point to it and yell, "Phillies, Baby!!!" And before you freak out, I was the one driving.



We passed this on the way to the B&B. I had to take this picture because I thought it was kind of funny. A cemetary on Farewell Street. No doubt that's what was meant.



We drove through swarms of tourists in the very trendy wharf area of Newport and found our B&B in a quiet area a couple blocks from the beach.



It was absolutely lovely. Quiet and serene - the perfect place to relax. Some more pictures:



This B&B is a little different in that the breakfast is brought to your room. I had just made a pot of coffee when the owner, Noreen, knocked on the door. We were going to eat outside, but it was too cold. So we broke our fast (too many medieval books) at the cozy little table inside.

After breakfast we took off to enjoy the sites. We drove over to the Bellvue area where there are beautiful old mansions. There wasn't enough time to tour them, but some day I'd like to go back and do that. Here's a little sampling:



Most of the mansions back up to the Cliff Walk so we took a little stroll on the path and enjoyed some gorgeous views:







This is a picture of the Forty Steps, the wedding site, from up the trail a bit. That is not a wedding going on in the picture, however. Just a bunch of tourists walking up and down the steps.



We left that side of Newport and ran over to Fort Adams. And since a picture says a thousand words I'll leave it at that.











And some local wildlife:







By the time we finished at Fort Adams it was time for lunch. So we found our way to this little cafe where we had a yummy grilled cheese, bacon and tomato sandwich.



After lunch we went back to the Murray House to wait for Glenn & Cristie's arrival. We lounged around in the pool chairs and both dozed off for a bit. They got there safely and we visited with them on our porch while they ate lunch.

The rest of the day passed pleasantly - them going to the beach and us finishing our snoozes. It was Cold Stone for dinner and run through town before turning in for the night.

Yikes! This post is pretty long and I haven't even gotten to the wedding. I think I'll let you all savor the beautiful pictures on this post and finish up with the wedding at some point tomorrow.

[ARGH! Blogger won't let me save my drafts and it won't let me spell check, either. So please ignore any errors. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter. Sincerely, Jen.]

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Mused by Jenster :: 12:06 PM :: 14 People musing:

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