Jenster's Musings

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

What's Going On

This is just a quick update on things

Blisters/Rash - The steroid cream helps to dry them up, but it doesn't keep new ones from popping up. I'm very tired of this. My winking pirate now looks like a diseased pirate who lost the tavern brawl. If you don't know what my winking pirate is I'll have to explain it in a later blog. For those of you with dirty minds, it's not dirty. Anyhoo, I see the dermatologist next Tuesday, at which time I'll get these annoying stitches removed. I'm starting to wonder if I have some strange virus or something since they keep popping up. They have to be gone by June. I can't go to Hawaii all pock-riddled. I just can't!

Girly Issues - I have no idea what's going on here. My gynecologist finally got a hold of my oncologist who told her that I only need to have my ovaries removed if I'm positive for the BRCA gene. WHAT??? First of all, I've never been tested for the gene. Don't really care to be as that information won't do me any good and will either give Katie a false sense of security or a fear of something that may never happen. Second of all, HE'S the one that said I should have my ovaries removed. My gynecologist doesn't think I actually had periods. She thinks they were just "episodes of bleeding due to changes in the uterine lining from the Tamoxifen". Hogwash. I have no doubt that they were periods and that I was producing estrogen - my enemy. *sigh* I think the oncologist had me confused with someone else when he was talking to the gynecologist. I have a checkup with him tomorrow afternoon and I really hope to get this all settled at that time.

All these ologists are driving me nuts!

Weight Watchers - So far so good! A whole day and no mess ups! Wonder how much weight I've lost so far? LOL I haven't been hungry today at all so that's good. The only problem is all the peeing I have to do from all the water I'm drinking. I wonder if I can count running to the bathroom as exercise.

New Car - We've named her Sally. I love Sally. (Bessie who?) She's just plain fun. I'm anxious for a real road trip. In fact, I'm excited about my trip to the doctor tomorrow. Not the actual appointment, but the drive there and back. If only I could have a White Chocolate Mocha to complete the experience.

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Mused by Jenster :: 9:36 PM :: 6 People musing:

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Weight Watchers

The Hawaii trip is a little less than four months away. I had really hoped to be HOT by the time I stepped on the plane. Or if not exactly hot, then at least restored to my former glory. The glory that was me before I gained 30 pounds on chemo. While not hot, I was at least comfortable with myself. Wanting to be 15 pounds lighter is a whole lot better than wanting to be 45 pounds lighter.

I’m not sure if Todd is simply delusional or full of malarkey. I used to think it was the latter, but the older I get I’m starting to think he has a fantastical image of me in his head and that’s how he sees me. He’s taken to calling me his trophy wife – T-Dubya for short. But the reality is that I look more like a CPW – Consolation Prize Wife. And while I should be glad that he thinks I look good, I can’t help but think of the vacation photos that will shatter any illusions I’ve created in my mind. I can deny the truth for a while by avoiding mirrors, but eventually it will catch up to me.

Even if the vacation wasn’t looming, there’s still the matter of clothing. I was in Kohl’s the other day and they have some really nice clothes. The styles for this spring are so cute, but I refuse to buy anymore clothes in this size. Not only that, I also have vacuum bags filled with clothes I like, but can’t wear at the moment.

So I went to my first Weight Watchers meeting this afternoon. I’ve done the Flex Points on-line a couple of times and had a modicum of success. But I want to lose 45 pounds at a minimum and I think I’m going to need the extra oomph of actual meetings. I wonder if they can give me enough oomph to lose it all before I go to Hawaii! Yeah. You’re right. Probably not.

I won’t be starting the actual plan until tomorrow. Which means I need to eat anything and everything I want to today. I’ve already stopped for one venti White Chocolate Mocha and the day’s still young. Hm. What can I eat next? Maybe a whole loaf of fluffernutters. I’ll need another White Chocolate Mocha for that!


Mused by Jenster :: 8:54 AM :: 10 People musing:

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Ode To Bessie

Oh Bessie, my Bessie
Although for us you may be gone
Your memory, it still lives on
All the good times that we had
The countless fun trips and the bad

For many miles upon miles
You brought to us a thousand smiles
Delivering us with tender care
From over here to over there

Oh Bessie, my Bessie
Some of them were family trips
“Are we there yet” from children’s lips
Until the travel DVD
Then quiet reigned for you and me

Adventures with a friend or four
Laughing, crying and then some more
Secrets told within your frame
Secrets kept, no naming names

Oh Bessie, my Bessie
We said goodbye this Friday past
Who knew that it would be our last
We hadn’t planned to buy the car
But buy we did, so there you are

You sat alone, we drove away
I hadn’t expected to feel that way
Though my sadness didn’t get too far
‘cause I really like my brand new car

Todd and I planned to look at cars after having our taxes done Friday morning. Our 2006 tax year was much different than normal years due to moving and the company's relocation package so we had no idea what we were looking at. Would we owe this year for the first time ever or would be getting something, anything back.

We were very pleased to find out we were getting a nice little chunk back. So instead of looking at new cars, we just bought one. I got that 2007 Saturn Outlook with the sunroof. The only concession I had to make was the color. Instead of the Ocean Mist I really liked I ended up with a navy metallic blue. I could have ordered exactly what I wanted, but that takes up to two months and I don't think Bessie had that much in her. We were lucky to get what we got for her trade in.

I'm anxious for a pretty day and an excuse for a road trip. Doesn't look like it will be in the next day or two, though.


Mused by Jenster :: 2:13 PM :: 7 People musing:

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

GPS - Gender Particular Suppositions

Todd and I didn’t exchange gifts for Christmas this year. Instead we purchased a GPS. Apparently, he is not amused by my frequent and unintended use of alternate routes.

I have to be honest – I wasn’t thrilled about this idea for two reasons:

1) I had a great Christmas list. I took the time to figure out what I wanted, where to get it and how much each item cost. It was a concise, organized and informative list. Just the sort of list a Type A personality such as Todd would like. Most important to note is that this list included jewelry;

2) I felt a GPS system would diminish my value. I know it’s irrational, but hear me out. It’s already been established in a previous post that I’m kind of good at a lot of things, but not really good at much of anything. Except directions. My sisters and I have always been good with directions. It’s one of the few things that I’m very good at. We may take a wrong turn here or there, but I can get us anywhere.

What my family doesn’t seem to understand is that just because someone is very good at directions doesn’t mean they won’t miss a turn. Especially when: a) the actual streets don’t quite match up to the map; b) they can’t see the street sign until they’re right up on it; or c) there isn’t a street sign. So when we drive past the road we were supposed to turn on I get all the flack. “Are we in New Jersey?” “What now, Misdirection?”

I will admit to perpetuating the jokes, but I’m tired of them now – especially in light of my competition – the GPS.

I never actually said okay until he called me from work and said he was getting ready to purchase it online. Then it was kind of like, “whatever.” He, being a man, took my silence on the matter to mean assent. Me, being a woman, took my silence on the matter to mean I really want the pearl earrings but I’m not going to say that because it sounds selfish and how can you, after all these years, not know this!?

I don’t have much of a temper, but this made me mad. Partly at myself for not saying anything before the purchase was made. Again, I didn’t want to sound like a petulant child, though I had no problem acting like one AFTER the purchase.

Her name is Jill. Todd thinks she’s wonderful. My thoughts are decidedly different. Todd likes her sultry voice. I find her voice grating. Todd wants to take her everywhere. I want her to stay hidden in the back of the shelf in the closet.

She’s not always right, either. Sometimes she takes us some ridiculous way that makes absolutely no sense. Todd doesn’t seem to think anything of that. After all, we always get to where we’re going.

I admit to taking us ridiculous ways sometimes, as well. But we still always got to where we were going. Do I hear any praise from Todd for getting us there? No. Just criticisms for the wrong turns here or there. He’s much nicer to Jill.

For the most part I’ve gotten over my hatred of Jill and even suggested he take her last week for our visit to a new doctor. I knew how to get to the town well enough, but I wasn’t sure exactly where the office was. And I will admit, Jill was very convenient for that.

However, I still have my moments. Like the time Jill was telling him to go one way and I was telling him to go another way. I kept telling her to shut up and I think I probably called her a bad name. Finally Todd said to Jill, very nicely, “I’m sorry Jill. I know you’re just trying to help, but I can only listen to one wench at a time and I have to sleep with her,” or something like that. Pfffft! At that very moment I got a picture of Todd, in the guest bed, with Jill on the pillow next to him.

What thoroughly irritates me the most, I think, is when he uses Jill to get home from, say, the mall. How many months upon months have we gotten home from the mall without her help? Why does he need her now? I think he just likes to listen to the harpy.

I do hope that Jill and I will be able to come to an understanding because I can see how she would be useful for certain road trips. Still, she is the “other woman.” I think pearl earrings would go a long way towards assuaging my hurt feelings.

Mused by Jenster :: 12:24 PM :: 10 People musing:

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Drive By Update

Uterine Biopsy - Negative

Pelvic Ultrasound - Fine

Funky Rash - Drying up

Torn off Blister - Healing

Hopefully my surgery, which should be the least invasive type, will be scheduled by the end of this week for sometime about the middle of March.


Mused by Jenster :: 8:33 AM :: 5 People musing:

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Tick... Tock...

I'm sitting here, in my jammies waiting, w a i t i n g, w... a... i... t... i... n... g, for the doctor's office to call. I was supposed to get the results of the uterine biopsy yesterday. It's now 1:00 of the next day and I still haven't heard. I am impatient for a shower, but I know as soon as I step in they'll call. I choose to believe the results must be negative or else I would have heard by now. What I'm really waiting for, however, is to find out which surgery I will be having and when I can have it. Next week would be good. I just want it over and done with.

I do have good news:

1. My bleeding has tapered off significantly. No hemorrhage. Just an angry uterus paying me back for disrupting it last week. I guess that will show me;

2. No staph infection, either. The dermatologist's office put a rush on that biopsy because my gynecologist won't operate if I have an active staph infection. So from that angle I can have surgery at any time. Apparently what I have is a funky case of dermatitis. Probably brought on by eight hours of anesthesia and the miriad of other medications (like my beloved morphine) I was given back in December. I've never had a reaction to medicine before, but six months of chemotherapy will change a person's chemistry. My oncologist told me last summer that it takes about five years for your system to get back to normal. I guess I still have 3 1/2 more years to go. The steroid cream is helping significantly.;

3. I had my pelvic ultrasound yesterday. That in itself isn't necessarily good - it's not necessarily bad - it just is. But what IS good is that I got to spend the morning with my friend, Betsy. Todd, being the overprotecting Alpha male that he is, didn't want me to drive after my "problem". And I'll admit, I was a little pale and weak on Monday. So Betsy came and got me yesterday morning and drove me to the imaging center.

Knowing my propensity for White Chocolate Mochas, she offered to take me to Starbuck's after. But I declined. Can you believe it?? She did say she HAD to stop at Wawa's, though, so I decided to get coffee from there. It's yummy stuff. But not as yummy as the Vanilla Cream donut we each got! That's some good stuff!

I was telling her about my little crying spell for messing up the kids day off school and how sweet they were about it all and she decided Stan needed to buy the kids cookies from Hope's Cookies. No, Stan does not work at Hope's. Stan is Betsy's husband who works with Todd. But she designated the cookie money as Stan's. No wonder they rank among the kids' top favorite people of all time. And yes. I got my White Russian cookie;

4. The kids are going to a conference this weekend with the youth group. Todd and I will have a weekend to ourselves. I can't begin to express how much I'm looking forward to that. We used to take a weekend away a couple times a year, but haven't been able to do that for a while. So here are our plans for Saturday :

a) Take a trip to the Saturn dealer to look at the Outlook, take a test drive, figure out what we want, etc. We won't be purchasing anything yet, but hopefully before the end of March;

b) Have a late lunch at Max & Erma's with the gift certificate we received at Christmas from a parent of children in the youth group that we work with. How sweet was that??;

c) Go see "Music & Lyrics". Of course, there are about a bajillion other movies I want to see as well, but I think this will be the one. Three others at the top of my list are "Amazing Grace" (though I don't think it's out yet), "The Last Sin-Eater", and "Because I Said So".

Looks fun, huh??

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Mused by Jenster :: 1:05 PM :: 4 People musing:

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Abba-Zaba Baby!!

One of my favorite candies ever is the Abba-Zaba. Not so good for the teeth, but very, VERY good for the tummy. Unfortunately they're not so easy to find any more. But fortunately, there is a candy store in the King of Prussia Mall that sells them. I was in there buying candy for Christmas stockings and picked one of these little numbers up for myself. I hadn't gotten around to eating it and yesterday I was so glad! I ate it and watched "The Quick and the Dead" in my bed and it was a long moment of sheer pleasure. Yea for me.

I'm off to see the gynecologist in a little bit. My "normal post-biopsy bleeding" has turned into what we think may be a slow hemorrhage. My very cynical self is thinking, of course it is. My poor kids have had to cancel whatever plans they'd made with their friends today and I know Todd really wanted to spend his day off work taking care of me. Oh wait. That's always what he does on his day off work.

Taylor came in my room to see how I was feeling and I started crying. Poor guy. LOL When I could finally talk I told him I was so sorry he was having to cancel his plans today and what a lousy day off school it was turning out to be because of me. He just hugged me and said it was okay. Then Katie came in and I apologized to her for the lousy vacation day and she also said it was okay and gave me love.

*sigh* You know, even in the midst of all this medical stuff, it's still good to be me.

Mused by Jenster :: 11:23 AM :: 13 People musing:

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Lots and Lots of Random Thoughts

When I was trying to decide what to call my blog I came up with “Jenster’s Mundane Musings.” An apt description for sure, but one that would probably cause people to just keep going. Who wants to read mundane? Except, of course, for the people who feel some responsibility for reading my blog. Like family.

And while most of my posts ARE mundane, this one really takes the cake. So be forewarned. You may be asleep before you ever get to the end.

Another thing. This post will contain still more whining from me. I promise I wasn’t always so gripey. But I have found in the short time I’ve been blogging that it truly is therapeutic. So when I feel whiney, I’m gonna whine. I'm going to break this post up into different catagories. That way you can just skip the parts you don’t want to read. I’ll try it in this post and you all can let me know what you think.


1. I think I very much like my new gynecologist that I met on Tuesday. She’s nice, she seems to be very thorough and appears competent. Except for the fact she never told me I would experience bleeding after my uterine biopsy. Now I was smart enough to expect a little, but I’ve been doing quite a bit of it. I got on line and read that it’s very common to do that for a week so I feel okay about it. I just would have liked to get that information from the nurse or doctor.

2. I saw the dermatologist yesterday about those strange blisters. He suspects it’s a staph infection I got from being in the hospital for 5 days in December. I suspect he’s right. So he gave me a strong antibiotic cream and a strong steroid cream to put on them twice a day and a strong antihistamine to take at night for itching. Then he biopsied two of the blisters and it HURT! Well, not the actual biopsy, but the shot they gave me in each blister to numb me before the biopsy. I was kind of wondering what the point was. But since each biopsy required a stitch I suppose the burning, stinging agony of the needle and acid-like serum was the lesser of two evils.

3. When the dermatologist biopsied those blisters yesterday the nurse asked me if I was allergic to medical tape. I usually have a slight reaction, but nothing bad so I told her not really. After taping gauze over the stitches she told me to leave them on for 24 hours. So I removed them in the shower this morning. Oh. My. Gosh. I nearly screamed! The first one came off without a problem. There was some irritation, but it wasn’t too bad. The second one, however, literally tore a chunk of skin off my stomach. I had what looked like 2nd degree, blistered burns where the tape had been and I pulled one completely off. Between incisions, blisters and now this I’ll NEVER be able to resume my nude modeling career!!


School was closed on Wednesday. While we had snow all day Tuesday, we had sleet after midnight and continuously until about 12:00 on Wednesday. After the sleet we had more snow. Todd worked from home and every time he’d hear a motor start he’d get up and look out the windows to see which neighbor had a snow plow. They all did. Our snow plow is nearly 15-years-old and continually grouses instead of purring like a well-oiled engine. After the sleet stopped the boys got outside and shoveled the driveway, the walkway and the area in front of the mailbox. After plowing his driveway with a snowplow, our next door neighbor came around the corner and plowed our sidewalk. I’m pretty sure he would have done the driveway if Todd and Taylor hadn’t already done it. The neighbor across the street was plowing his driveway when the city plow came through the neighborhood. Apparently he was next to the street and facing the house when the truck plowed a ton of snow onto his back. Todd and Taylor watched the whole thing. Supposedly, Todd was about to yell to him to watch out, but I’m not so sure I believe it.


We don’t usually do much for Valentine’s Day. The kids and I used to make a heart-shaped chocolate cake and decorate just for the fun of it. And I’d buy them candy and a card, but we never really went all out. This year the young adults at church were going to come get the kids and Todd and I were going to go to a movie. “Music and Lyrics” was the movie I’d chosen. But because of the snow we had to cancel those plans. Todd and I didn’t have anything for each other, which is fine. He doesn’t have to give me flowers or a card for me to know how he feels about me. But he did do this after he and Taylor finished shoveling the snow while I was in the shower. It’s on our side yard and I have a great view of it from our bedroom window. And it’s still there. :o)


1. Have you seen the Fabreze air freshener spray commercial where the lady sprays a circle and then immediately inhales, smiling as the fresh scent permeates her nostrils? Am I the only one who thinks it’s stupid to sniff air freshener? Is she really smiling because of the clean scent or is she getting high? And is this something we want our children seeing? And what about the effects inhaling chemicals has on the lungs and air passages? I think she should receive hazard pay for that commercial.

2. This is an embarrassing admission, but Todd and I used to watch “In Living Color” a very long time ago. Last night he and Taylor had gone to the airport to pick up some friends, Katie was asleep and I was flipping channels. I came across reruns of the show on BET so I watched it.
First of all – it was obviously filmed before J Lo started paying thousands of dollars to have that famous eyebrow waxer flown cross country to do her brows. Still, the girl could (and still can, I’m sure) bust a move and made a great Fly Girl.

Second – one of our favorite skits was “Men on Film”. Lucky for me, this particular episode had that skit in it. I had to laugh because when Taylor was a baby he ended up in the hospital for observation. He had been throwing up and the doctor thought it was an allergic reaction to an antibiotic he’d been taking. So they had to put an IV in the poor baby. They tried his arms and his heels and had no luck – all the while that child was screaming and his mama was crying, but that’s another story – so they finally put the IV in a fairly large vein in his little bald head. He was about 9 months old and kept trying to get the tape covering the IV off his head. (I promise there’s a point to this story) So the nurse took a Dixie cup, cut it in half and taped it over the IV so he wouldn’t be able to get to the tape. It sat at a rather jaunty angle and once the ordeal was over and we were resting in his hospital room I started laughing. He looked like Blaine! Or was it Antoine? Which ever one Damon Wayans played. Todd failed to see the humor of it, but I ignored his sour looks. He was a little offended that I was laughing at my baby’s plight. But you know, he hadn’t been in the IV room with me and the boy. And besides, he finally came around. Now it’s a huge joke in the family. Except to Taylor. I sometimes call him Blaine and he doesn’t appreciate it at all. Which, of course, is why I do it. So anyway, now you see where I was going with that.

3. I made the kids listen to Earth, Wind and Fire this morning while we were cleaning the house. How can anyone not get jiggy to the three elements? I nearly fell off the treadmill last week getting all funketated to it. No matter how hard I tried just to walk, I couldn’t. I had to get that 70’s dip and snap (you know, dip the knee and snap the head back at the same time) and I determined one cannot do that AND stay in an upright position on the treadmill for long.
4. Blogger made me switch to Beta. I had no choice. So far I don't like it. How in the world do you post a YouTube video? I was going to load "Got To Get You Into My Life" by EW&F (from the ever amazing movie - "Seargeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"), but nothing but a red X shows up.

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Mused by Jenster :: 4:38 PM :: 13 People musing:

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Yet Another Thing

When I woke to a steady snow this morning my first thought was, “Great. I bet they cancel my doctor’s appointment this afternoon.” I didn’t used to be so negative, but the last couple years have instilled the “expect the worst” program in me.

Thankfully I was wrong. Bessie (my van) hydroplanes when it hits sweat from the road crew so there was no way I was going to drive. Todd took the day off so he could play chauffer. Niiiice.

We met with the doctor, gave her my history and we talked about my options. Remove just the ovaries or the whole shebang. I’ve been taking Tamoxifen for a little over a year and have four more to go. One of the very slight risks is uterine cancer so my thought was just yank the entire package. However, after examining me (PLECH!) she determined that removing my uterus would require invasive abdominal surgery. While the thought of a morphine pump makes me nigh giddy, I’m not anxious to have my tummy cut more. So I told her I’m good with just the oophorectomy (that’s doctor talk for removing the ovaries).

Then she asks me, “Did you have a uterine biopsy after these bleeding episodes?” **sigh** I know they were both regular periods because I felt the pinch of ovulation a couple weeks before each time. Also, my hot flashes and night sweats had stopped so I knew I was producing estrogen. But that wasn’t enough confirmation for the lady with the medical degree so she did a uterine biopsy. I wish to never have one of those again. I’m truly not worried that it will come back positive for anything suspicious. Even still, there’s that tiny part in the back of my mind that is just the teensiest bit scared. I think it’s linked to that “expect the worst” chip, but I do pretty good to ignore it.

Next step is to get an ovarian ultrasound. When the doctor has my biopsy and ultrasound results and has talked to my oncologist we’ll decide for sure what procedure I’ll have. I’m really hoping it will be a simple laparoscopic oophorectomy.

When we left I told Todd my girly parts were unhappy so I needed a White Chocolate Mocha. Since there was no place to park in the lot I jumped out of the truck (figuratively speaking) and ran inside (again, figuratively speaking) to get my steaming cup of liquid happiness. I know this is going to sound silly (a first, I’m sure), but something about walking through the falling snow whilst holding a venti White Chocolate Mocha is so joyous a thing that I don’t have words to describe the depth of my emotions.

I was going to also tell you about these itchy blisters I have on my abdomen and how my GP wasn’t able to figure out what they were and that the steroid dose pack he prescribed did absolutely nothing and today the gynecologist said she had no idea what they were so now I’m seeing a dermatologist on Thursday, but it seems like all I do is complain about one ailment or another. And if I continue to tell you all of my physical ailments you’ll begin to worry every time you come to my blog, not knowing what I’m going to describe and praying I’ve not resorted to relating details about my bowels. I promise never to do that. Cross my heart and all that.

This post has gone on long enough, but I’m going to leave you with this little story from this afternoon:

Taylor asked if Sam could hang out here tomorrow if school was cancelled and I told him sure, but if the roads were bad enough to cancel school then there was no way I’d drive the van to get her. So he says...

“Tell Dad to stay home from work so he can go get Sam in the truck. Use your feminine wiles on him. You’ve got all that new equipment, you might as well put it to good use.”

Mused by Jenster :: 10:35 PM :: 22 People musing:

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Monday, February 12, 2007

Blizzard Food

According to weather people everywhere, we may or may not be getting our first storm of the winter tomorrow. They all agree it will snow. That's not in question. What IS in question is how much. Will it be merely a nuisance snow or a plowable snow? I don't think they have any idea and we'll all find out at the same time.

I hate going to the grocery store the day before a "winter precipitation event" and usually try to avoid it. But even if the forecast for tomorrow was sunny and 70, I still couldn't have waited. And heaven forbid we do get stuck in the house for a couple of days with nothing more than microwave popcorn, saltines and water. Hearing "There's nothing to eat," is bad enough when I can point out several different food options. When there really isn't anything to eat I can't be my usual snarky, righteously indignant self.

So I braved the zoo in an effort to stock the shelves. I got the usual two gallons of milk, a dozen eggs, bread, lunch meat and regular dinner stuff. But in honor of the potential for being homebound I got the usual blizzard fare. You know - Double Stuff Oreos, spray cheese, cocoa and two bags of mini-marshmallows, chocolate chip muffin mix, ramen noodles, Pillsbury Valentine's day pre-cut cookies, dark chocolate, etc. I almost bought a chocolate cake mix and frosting, but you know I'm wanting to lose weight. So I restrained myself.

So what do you think makes snowstorm-worthy food?

Mused by Jenster :: 2:59 PM :: 8 People musing:

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

10 Weird Things About Me

I've been tagged by Amanda and I'm supposed to tag 10 more people, but I think everyone I know has been tagged. If not, consider yourself tagged.

Here are ten things about me that you may or may not find weird:

1. I like peanut butter and maple syrup on my pancakes and waffles.

2. I don’t like country music so much, but I love bluegrass and love to attempt to play it on my grandpa’s fiddle.

3. My pillow has a large fan on it and the opening is crocheted with lace. I can’t get comfortable unless the fan is facing the right way and the lace is on the outside of the bed.

4. I catch myself singing out loud to the muzak in the grocery store.

5. I carry on complete conversations with myself.

6. I can’t lie without laughing. I can’t make direct eye contact when I lie, either. (courtesy DH). Obviously, I don’t lie often and NEVER about something important. LOL

7. I laugh at every stupid thing Taylor says (courtesy DH). So does DH, though he won’t admit it.

8. I’d rather clean a toilet than unload the dishwasher.

9. I love driving. I don’t mind flying, but given the choice I’d rather drive cross country.

10. I hate my voice. I know people always say that, but really. Whenever I hear a recording of me I cringe and want to cry. I sound like my 12-year-old daughter instead of a grown woman. Seriously.

Mused by Jenster :: 4:26 PM :: 13 People musing:

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Silly Dream or Nightmare? You Decide

I have to rant, or whine, for a minute before I tell you my dream. If you've been hanging out here for the last couple of months you know I'm going to have to have a hysterectomy. My ovaries are like the Energizer Bunny and they won't stop. Since I can't have estrogen coursing through my body because my breast cancer was estrogen fed, the ovaries have got to go. We just moved to the state in June and I found a gynecologist on a recommendation of a friend. I had an appointment with this new doctor this morning at 10:30 in their Collegeville clinic. When I showed up there was no one AT the clinic. Turns out my appointment was not here, it was in Paoli. The cranky girl who made my appointment three weeks ago told me Collegeville!

The receptionist in the information booth called them and now I have an appointment - IN PAOLI - next Tuesday. It's not such a big deal other than I feel like there's always something I'm waiting for. I waited forever to get my reconstruction and then this hysterectomy mess popped up. I just want to have it over and done with and go about my business again.

Okay. That's my whine. Or rant. Or whatever you want to call it. I did stop for a Starbuck's Venti decaff White Chocolate Mocha to assuage my pouty self, so that was good. And why do I think, though I know better, that if I order a decaff it means there's no sugar or fat in it, ergo no guilt? I dunno.

Now for my dream.

I had been invited to be on Oprah. I didn't know exactly why, but okay. They want me on the show. I walk through the doors and an assistant leads me up a grand, sweeping staircase, but there's no walkway or hall or anything at the top of the stairs. Instead there's a two or three inch ledge that goes across the wall to the doorway we're headed for. So little by little we make our way to the door.

Then in the way of dreams, I'm all of a sudden backstage and now I know I'm not there to be interviewed by Oprah. For some reason, I'm going on HER show to be the interviewer, not the interview-y. I start to panic because I haven't taken any notes. How many questions are there to ask Oprah?

I'm watching Cybill Shepherd doing something on the stage from the wing and when she walks off she says to me, "I have some fantastic lip gloss you're more than welcome to use." Great! I think I'll just quick step into this little powder room off the wing and freshen up my lips.

When I walk in there are about 20 round cases of lip gloss, all in the most beautiful shades. Not good because I can never make up my mind and I've got to be on stage, with Oprah, in like 30 seconds. I just grab one and look up into the mirror to apply the lip gloss and I'm horrified. I have not an ounce of makeup on, I'm blotchy, and my hair is in a ponytail, except I don't have enough hair for a ponytail so it's kind of like a sumo wrestler ponytail with hair coming out of the rubberband. I'm wearing the tackiest pair of jeans and I think an old, tattered sweatshirt. CRAP!! What was I thinking??

Then I'm on the stage with Oprah, totally baffled at why the makeup and hair and wardrobe people didn't help a sister out a little. Too late now. I'm on National Television in front of millions of people. You only have one chance to make a first impression and I've certainly done that with the majority of America and how ever many other countries watch the show.

It starts okay and I don't really have to say anything, then we move to commercial. During the break I whip out my battered spiral notebook with recipes, phone numbers, 6th grade math problems and crazy doodles and jot down some questions while Oprah is just looking at me like I'm an idiot. Which, okay. I am. She's sitting there looking all beautiful and regal and I'm in my jeans with no makeup.

Thankfully this was about the time the alarm went off and I didn't have to endure any more. I believe that some dreams do actually have some kind of subconscious meaning, but other dreams are just dreams. I'm hoping this was just a dream because I don't want to know what it may have meant.

Mused by Jenster :: 11:42 AM :: 14 People musing:

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Just a Regular Day

I had my first solo outing today in six weeks. I went to Target and the grocery store. It was exhilarating. It didn’t even matter that it was only 22 degrees outside.

I looked at purses at Target, but nothing struck my fancy. So I moved on to the intimate apparel department and looked longingly at bras. It's been over two years since I bought one and I think I have a bit of an obsession. When I cleaned out my drawers before we moved from Arkansas I counted 36. Why does one woman need 36 bras? Maybe it was to make up for my lack of… um… yeah. Whatever. I’m still not supposed to wear a bra and I’m not even sure what size I’m supposed to get yet – things are still “settling” – so there’s no use in getting one at the moment. But someday… Today I bought tank tops. Not so exciting, but uber comfortable.

Then I went to the book section. I had just posted on Kristie’s blog this morning that I was worried because I hadn’t bought any books for a while. I’m not worried any more. I bought three books.

The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

Slow Burn by Julie Garwood

Not only were they books I’ve been wanting for a while, they were all paperbacks and on sale. I couldn’t resist. Now I'm waiting for The Boleyn Inheritance (Philippa Gregory) and Shadow Dance (Julie Garwood) to be released in paperback.

After a few more purchases I went next door to the grocery store. My list was full of healthy foods and I pretty much stuck to it. I did, however, have a couple things that would not fall into the healthy category. A big jar of Jiff Creamy Peanut Butter and two large jars of marshmallow cream. One jar for Katie (no contact with peanut butter) and one jar for fluffernutters. What can I say? I’m hooked.

By the time I got home I was sore and worn out. I managed to get all of the booty into the house and the cold items into the refrigerator, but that was about it. OH! And I also did three loads of laundry today.

It feels good to be able to do normal, every day things, but I’ll be glad when I’m back to full speed. In the meantime I think I’ll just read.

Mused by Jenster :: 9:04 PM :: 5 People musing:

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I'm Out of Control

I sat in the chair, playing on my computer, for nearly two hours this morning thinking about what to have for breakfast. Thankfully my coffee cup ran dry, forcing me out of the seat and into the kitchen.

I went from fridge to freezer to pantry to the huge Costco barrel of cheese balls on the counter to the fridge and around again. The whole time I was thinking, I shouldn’t be eating these cheese balls – I need to find something healthy, almost as in a trance. Something about seeing the bright orange coating on my fingers after about the third handful made me snap out of it.

I decided on something simple. Toast with crunchy peanut butter and seedless black raspberry jam from the Intercourse Canning Company (**giggle** I said intercourse). I know. Not the healthiest, most lose-five-pounds-in-a-week meal, but I’ll start that tomorrow. While the bread was toasting, I went to the pantry for the peanut butter.

Two shelves below the peanut butter were the Salt & Vinegar kettle chips and before I knew what I was doing I had poured a Shaquille O’Neal handful into a bowl. I didn’t want to eat them, but I watched my hand pick out the crunchiest chip and carry it to my mouth. I loved the chip and hated the chip all at the same time.

I don’t have the best eating habits in the world, but I usually have a little bit of self control. My utter lack of willpower was a bit baffling until it hit me. I had that most hated Zoladex injection last Thursday. The stupid stuff not only makes me retain fluid, but it gives me the munchies. SERIOUS munchies – like Cheech and Chong on a doobie bender.

I need to go to the grocery store, but I’m afraid I’ll come home with all manner of chips and cookies and ice cream and completely forget the milk, poultry and salad greens. Maybe if I eat a bag of M&Ms before I go. A one pound bag.

I see my dream of getting out of these “fat” clothes and into my regular clothes dwindling with each goody I eat. Hawaii is four months away and I’m probably going to have to rethink my wardrobe. No grass skirts and coconut shells for me.

Mused by Jenster :: 2:30 PM :: 9 People musing:

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Ignorance is Bliss

Have you seen this headline?


182 different species, to be exact. Why do we need to know this? Does it truly serve the public's best interest to be informed of this? Somebody with OCD somewhere is now soaking in a tub full of straight bleach, scrubbing their flesh with steel wool to get rid of all that bacteria.

To be fair, the article does go on to say that this is NOT cause for alarm. The body actually requires good bacteria to survive and this skin bacteria is not harmful.

Still, I believe with all my heart there are some things that are better left unknown. It's how I've gotten to middle age (YIKES) relatively happy.

Mused by Jenster :: 10:37 AM :: 0 People musing:

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Monday, February 05, 2007

Superbowl Commercials

Seeing as how I watch the Superbowl for the commercials as much as the game (maybe even more) here are just a couple that made me snicker (Pun intended).

Snickers Kiss

Bud Light - Rock, Paper, Scissors

Mused by Jenster :: 10:00 AM :: 7 People musing:

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Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Queen's Fool by Philippa Gregory

This is Ms. Gregory’s second book in her Tudor series and ever bit as fascinating as her first book, The Other Boleyn Girl. She has an incredible gift of taking true events and weaving a story around them without compromising history. I’ve read some reviews that criticize her interpretation of history, but let’s face it. History is subjective and only as accurate as the eye witness’s point of view. I’m no historian, but I know enough to understand these books were carefully researched and as factual as possible.

What makes this story interesting, however, is the way it’s told. Hannah Green, previously Hannah Verde – a Spanish Jew, is 14 when she is begged to King Edward as a Holy Fool because she has the Sight. The tale is given in first person by Hannah and spans the period of time from just before King Edward’s death to Queen Mary’s death and all the court intrigue and plotting and treason and heretical activities and sibling rivalry in between. It is a tumultuous time for Hannah, whose mother was burned at the stake in Spain as a heretic during the Inquisition. She becomes one of Queen Mary’s most beloved servants and she loves the Queen in return, though if her past is discovered she could become another one of Bloody Mary’s victims. She is a confidant of the Queen, Princess Elizabeth, Robert Dudley and John Dee and is acquainted with several other historical figures.

If you’re looking to read a romance novel, this isn’t for you. While there is a little romance in it, this is definitely historical fiction. The book ends with Princess Elizabeth preparing to take the throne (I haven’t given anything away as you should already know this bit of history – LOL) and the next book, The Virgin’s Lover, deals with the reign of Queen Elizabeth.

So what do I read next? Grave Peril by Jim Butcher? A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray (thanks Dance Chica!)? Or do I continue with this series and read The Virgin’s Lover? Decisions, decisions. I think I’ll just watch the Superbowl (currently 7 – 6 Bears) and the commercials (which is really why I watch it anyway) and figure it out tomorrow.


So far Bud Light has the best commercials, though the Snicker's commercial with the auto mechanics was pretty funny.


I THOROUGHLY enjoyed Prince!


I decided not to read The Virgin's Lover yet because I've still got Hannah Green on my mind and I know I'll be disappointed when she's not mentioned. So I'm going to read a couple other books before I pick it up. Sort of like cleansing the palate. I had already brought Grave Peril down so I've started reading it.

Mused by Jenster :: 5:45 PM :: 4 People musing:

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Saturday, February 03, 2007

A New and Wonderful Experience

At noon today five young college/career women from church came to clean house for me. I had never even met three of them until this afternoon. They swept, dusted, vacuumed, mopped - my house hasn't looked this clean or smelled this good for quite some time. What's overwhelming to me is that they took time out of their Saturday afternoon to come do this for me. These ladies are a perfect example of God's hands in motion.

The rest of this post should be full of deep thoughts and inspirational conjecture about selflessness and service. And it would be, too, if I hadn't had a life changing experience after they were finished.

The instigator of the cleaning crew, Cristie, and another sweetie, Krista, stayed after the other girls left. We were standing around chatting and laughing and enjoying each other's company when the subject of fluffernutter sandwiches came up. I told them I hadn't even heard of a fluffernutter sandwich until right before we moved up here and that I still hadn't tried it.

The look of shock on their faces was priceless. The conversation continued with what makes the perfect fluffernutter sandwich - white bread and creamy peanut butter - and pretty soon we were all drooling.

So Cristie and Krista ran to the store to get all the fluffernutter provisions. When they returned they set up their assembly line - Cristie on peanut butter detail and Krista administering the fluff - and put together nearly a whole loaf of fluffernutter sandwiches. I made chocolate milk to go along with the sandwiches and then it was time.

It was a thing of beauty. The way the marshmallow cream mixed with the creamy peanut butter, the melting of the white bread on the tongue until there was only fluffernutter in the mouth, the way the two flavors moved with each other in an exquisite dance as sensuous as the tango.

Up until that moment I hadn't realized my life was incomplete. How could I have made it to the age of 41 and not known this? It's as though I'd only been watching life from the outside, not fully engaged. I have now experienced the joy and the ecstasy of a fluffernutter sandwich. I am whole.

I will never be able to fully express the gratitude I feel in my heart to Cristie and Krista. Two finer women there have never been. I love you girls!!

Mused by Jenster :: 4:01 PM :: 16 People musing:

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Friday, February 02, 2007

What's In a Name

On our way home from the doctor's office Wednesday we pulled into the auto mechanic's to see if he could tell us why Bessie was squeaking when we drove. After taking Danny, a very nice guy, for a short ride, he decided it sounded like the brakes. He threw Bessie up on the rack and sure enough. It was the brake sensor squealing. So Danny tweaked the sensor to make it stop squealing and then said, "Your brake pads are getting low. If you're going to trade her in soon, just don't drive her."

Which brings me to my story. We drove Todd's truck to my appointment yesterday and, as I said in yesterday's post, it was snowing. His truck is a huge hulk of a beast. It has four doors and four-wheel-drive and a big-enough-to-pull-a-house transmission. It's a manly truck, to say the least.

He was so pleased with how the truck was handling the snow and slick roads that he started patting and stroking the dashboard, whispering endearments and making kissy noises. It was kind of hot -- but I digress.

So I asked him, "What's her name?" For a quick second he was offended that I called his manly man's truck a "her" until he realized how wrong it would be for him to be sweet talking and smooching a "him". He came up with Bertha. I thought the name appropriate.

If anybody here is a Bertha or related to a Bertha, please accept my humblest apologies for saying Bertha is a masculine girl's name. I don't know of any Berthas and the name conjures up a very large, probably hairy woman in my mind. I'm sure there are any number of lovely, extremely feminine ladies with the name of Bertha. I just don't know any.

Todd took Wednesday and Thursday off work so he could take me to my doctor's appointments and it was nice to be with just him for a while. He had already taken today off so he could drive up to Martin Guitar Company in Nazareth. He bought a Martin guitar a few years ago in Nashville and he's had problems with it ever since. The people at Martin are so nice and have tried to fix it numerous times, but to no avail. They decided they'd just replace it.

So this morning after the kids left for school we hopped into Bertha and drove an hour and a half or so through some beautiful country. I don't know about you, but I LOVE road trips. After being trapped in the house for the past five weeks today's ride was like a balm to the soul. I like that Todd and I can ride in companionable silence or we can chat and laugh and talk about anything.

As much as I've enjoyed spending all this time with Todd, it's time for him to go back to work. After all our running around he comes home and works and will probably hide himself away this weekend to catch up on stuff he's got going on at the office.

One more thing. Taylor smacked Todd's face with one of my gloves in a challenge, wherein Todd threw him down on the floor and got him in some kind of wrestling hold. Between the laughing I heard Taylor say, "Curse you and your superior body mass." Boys!

Mused by Jenster :: 5:40 PM :: 7 People musing:

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

WHEW! It's Over!

We drove through the snow today to get what will hopefully be my last ever Zoladex injection. And like most things, it wasn't quite as bad as I had imagined. Don't get me wrong! It was bad enough that I deserve sympathy! (How shameless was that?) Just not as bad as it could have been.

I sat on the exam table while two nurses looked at my belly, trying to figure out where to place the implant. It has to be under the skin, but not into the muscle. My post-surgical belly is definitely not flat, but the nurses couldn't find enough "fat" to pinch.

**Uh, yeah. Gisele just called and she wants her abs of steel back.**

They finally decided on the area below my incision which is still swollen from surgery. She was able to get a good pinch in there. This is a picture of the spring-loaded needle they use. (Again - I'm looking for sympathy here, though this picture doesn't do it justice)After they've got a fair amount of flesh between their fingers, they s*l*o*w*l*y insert a needle that looks just like the elephant tranquilizers I used to see on Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. Once the needle is right where they want it, they push the button and SNAP! The medicine is spring-loaded into your hide and then the breath you didn't realize you've been holding is released in one big WHOOSH.

Todd stood by and let me crush his hand while I stared at him out of my right eye because my left eye was squeezed tight and my face was all scrunched up. As if contorting my face this way somehow alleviates the pain. I'm sure all it really does is cause more wrinkles.

But I think the worst is yet to come. I still have to remove the band aid. While I was happy they didn't have to mess with my tender belly, I'm afeared yanking the band aid off will be akin to a bikini wax. Maybe if I just leave it alone it will fall off on its own after a few showers.

So now that's over and my next step is to see the gynecologist next Thursday to find out when I can have my blasted hysterectomy. Hopefully it will be within the next month so I don't have to go through this yet again.

Mused by Jenster :: 1:09 PM :: 13 People musing:

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