Jenster's Musings

Sunday, December 30, 2007


Friday we left the house around 4:30 and drove into Philly for dinner and to see Stomp. Katie and I enjoyed Ted's Montana Grill so much the previous Sunday we decided to take the entire family there. Everybody had bison except for me. Todd dared Taylor to order his hamburger by saying "tatunka", but Taylor wouldn't do it.

The show was in the Merriam Theater - another beautiful Philadelphia theater, though not as impressive as the Academy of Music.

The show was great. Except for the intoxicated couple behind us. I kept having flashbacks to an Eagle's concert Todd and I went to several years ago when I almost ended up in a fight with a drunk chick. Another story for another time. But imagine. Me. Miss Non-confrontational. That's what I get for trying to rationalize with someone hammered.

Anyway, they talked through the entire show. Todd kept flashing them "the look" and the guy was at least smart enough to realize they were being rude. She, on the other hand, didn't seem to care.

For the most part we were able to enjoy the show since most of it is pretty loud anyway. There are some parts, however, that are very subtle and it was hard to hear with the mouth - which became more and more slurred as the night went on - behind us.

ARGH! There was so much I wanted to say to them, but I know it wouldn't have made any difference. For example, when the show was over and everyone stood up, Todd told them point blank they were rude and something about them being drunk. She said they weren't drunk and I almost turned around and said, "Oh honey. Go with the drunk angle so you at least have an excuse for your disruptive behavior." I also wanted to point out the young children who were more respectful and well behaved then these adults, but it would have been lost on their inebriated selves. So I didn't even look at them.

OH! And she told Todd he couldn't stop looking at her because she was so hot!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! I guess they gave us something to talk about. So for all of you who enjoy a drink before a show - and I'm not judging because I had a glass of wine with our dinner - DON'T GO SMASHED BECAUSE YOU WILL MAKE PEOPLE MAD!!

Okay. Back to the show. Todd saw Stomp several years ago in New York City and apparently it's changed a lot since then. The percussion is still as impressive, but they've added more of a humorous element to it. It was truly one of the most entertaining shows I've ever seen. I finally know what I want to do when I grow up. I want to play the trash can.

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Mused by Jenster :: 4:25 PM :: 17 People musing:

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Friday, December 28, 2007

The Un-Surprise

I'm taking the family into Philadelphia tonight to see Stomp. Up until about an hour ago it was a surprise for the kids. As happy as they were when they found out what we're doing tonight I'm a little sorry I hadn't told them earlier.

I'm looking forward to it, but I think I'll take enough Tylenol to pass around just in case.

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Mused by Jenster :: 12:15 PM :: 17 People musing:

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A Few Things...

Lately I've been waking up in the middle of the night with my nose as cold as a lonely Eskimo's. Nothing else is cold. Just my nose. So I bury my face beneath the covers to warm it up.

I hate doing that for two reasons:

1. If my nose is stuffy I've been breathing through my mouth. If I've been breathing through my mouth it's very likely I have poop breath. You'd think it wouldn't matter since my nose is stuffy, but the stench somehow manages to seep through the stuffiness and into my olfactory glands.

2. People end up in the hospital or dead because of carbon monoxide poisoning all the time. So I start worrying about carbon dioxide poisoning. Can I get sick by breathing my own breath? Isn't that how cats steal a baby's breath? You can see how this is very disturbing.


I went to lunch and a movie with my friend, Kris, today. We had decided against seeing P.S. I Love You because we didn't want to cry. Unfortunately it was the only movie worth seeing so we braved it. We stopped on the way and bought our own little kleenex packages. She called me all manner of bad names - or maybe it was only one bad name several times - because I forced her to watch this movie. I told her I proudly wear the title and refused to apologize.

It was one of the best "chick flicks" I've seen in a long time. Yes, it's sad and good for a cry. But there's so much more to laugh about. And how can watching a movie with an extremely charming Gerard Butler be a bad thing??


On the recommendation of my cousin and very good friend, Stacy, I bought Apples to Apples for a family Christmas present. We played it last night and laughed so hard it's a wonder we didn't pee our pants. Oh wait. I think Katie did. But anyway, it was hysterical! We had so much fun we played it two-plus times. Good stuff.


Between some Christmas money and a surprise bonus at work I bought a photo scanner yesterday. I'm so excited to get all my old pictures onto the computer. I also received the latest Photoshop from Todd. Does anyone know if that means I can airbrush photos of myself?? Just curious.


I'm reading my 41st book of 2007 (The Boleyn Inheritance). I really hope I finish it before midnight on the 31st so I can add it to this year's reading list. Even so, 41 is pathetic. But I'm okay with it. I suppose 41 is better than 21.


That's enough random for one post. The Funniest Commercials of 2007 is coming on in a half an hour so I gotta go!

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Mused by Jenster :: 7:53 PM :: 21 People musing:

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Philly Fun

I know I said I probably wouldn't be doing much blogging, but I just couldn't help myself. Katie and I had so much fun today. I can't think of any words that can adequately convey just how great it was.

We drove into the city and parked in the theater parking lot. From there we walked a block away and ate lunch at Ted's Montana Grill. Katie had pot roast. Bison pot roast. It was delicious! I was chicken and had a plain old beef hamburger.

After lunch we walked around a little bit because it was too early to go to the theater. It was drizzly and very windy and as we walked up to a red light at a corner I told Katie to stand back so she didn't get splashed by cars driving by, though it didn't really seem to be a problem. So guess what happened. I got splashed by a car driving by. I think they did it for a laugh. I certainly know I would have been laughing if I'd been them. Heck, I was laughing and it was me!

The ballet was performed at the Philadelphia Academy of Music and that alone was worth the price of admission. It's the oldest opera house in the U.S. which is still used for its original purpose. Built in 1855, the theater is known as the Grand Old Lady of Broad Street and it's simply beautiful. Of course you know I could go on and on about the history of the building, the chandelier, who all has been there, etc., but I won't bore you with those fascinating details. I'm probably the only one who gets into all that stuff.

I wish I would have had my camera with me because the photos I found on the internet just don't do it justice.

The first picture is looking at the seats from the stage and the second picture is of the gas lanterns they still use today. Never fear. I'll get better pictures eventually.

The ballet itself was incredible. The sets were phenomenal, the costumes were spectacular, the music was divine, and the dancing was superb. I even teared up when the Philadelphia Boys Choir sang while snow fell on the beautiful dancing snowflakes. It's almost like I can't handle so much beauty or something.

When we left it was starting to rain so we ditched our plans for walking around for a bit until we found just the right place for dessert. Instead we stopped at the Cheesecake Factory at the King of Prussia mall and grabbed some cheesecake for the family. Of which I am now off to eat!!

(Hey Beans! We were totally there at the same time because we got there a little before 4:00! Where were you sitting? We were sitting in the front left corner looking at the building. lol)

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Mused by Jenster :: 9:08 PM :: 16 People musing:

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Holiday Fun

We had company Friday night in the form of some good friends of ours traveling from Missouri to Maine. Technically it was Saturday morning around 1:00 or so. It's a really good thing they're planning on stopping here for a couple of nights on their way home because we have a LOT of catching up to do.

Yesterday afternoon the four of us went to a late lunch/early dinner at Max & Erma's right next to the movie theater. When Todd finished he ran over to Lowe's to pick up a couple things he needed while the kids and I just kicked back and ate our delicious fresh baked chocolate chip cookies and milk, leaving me to pay the bill. It was only after I'd paid and we were leaving that I remembered we'd chosen Max & Erma's because I had a Gift Card. Looks like we'll be going back.

Do you know what movie is coming out in May? Do you? This is HUGE! This news is even better than a second National Treasure movie. Are you ready?

Indiana Jones: The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Another reason to live!!

We saw National Treasure: Book of Secrets and thoroughly enjoyed it. It's a great family movie, though it may be a little intense in spots for very little kids. If you have any questions just email me and I'll give you my child appropriateness opinion.

I'm not sure which one I liked more. Both were equally fun and exciting. And funny. This movie will definitely have to be owned by this family.

It was an early night for all of us since we'd had so little sleep the night before. Now we're getting ready for church and then Katie and I are going into Philadelphia for a nice lunch and the ballet. I don't know what I'll do when she's grown and gone. I don't think I'll be able to get Todd to go to the ballet with me. Theater, yes. Ballet, probably not. I suppose we can go see the Eagles play and I can listen to music in my head and pretend they're dancing. I dunno. I guess I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. Right now I'm trying to work on Katie for a Metropolitan Opera adventure.

I'm out. I have no idea when I'll be back. And I have been visiting a lot of blogs, but this overwhelming "so much to do" feeling I have right now is preventing me from commenting much. I'm sorry!

So for all you who celebrate Christmas - remember why! Or if you'd like to read about the Christmas story but you're not sure where, read the first couple chapters of Luke. Or at least chapter two. Chapter one is kind of like a prologue. If you don't celebrate Christmas than enjoy the season.


Mused by Jenster :: 9:46 AM :: 8 People musing:

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

More Nothing

I have it on good authority that holiday calories don't count. I thought this meant whatever you eat from Thanksgiving until January 2nd was free. My Weight Watcher's points tracker hasn't been filled out because I haven't been consuming any points at all since the fourth Thursday in November. Or so I thought.

I had to have a semi-physical and TB test for work this morning. You know what that means. I had to be weighed. And while it IS cold outside and I'm wearing winter clothes, I don't think the nurse bought my standard lie. The one about my clothes weighing about 30 pounds. Though I was wearing tennis shoes and I'm pretty sure they're close to five pounds. Each.

I refuse to divulge what the scales said. I will say, however, that I'm firmly a size six. Figuratively speaking. And that was probably a silly size to chose for my illustrations because if I ever do lose the weight I want to I'll end up being somewhere between a negative two and a negative four.

So now I'm thinking it's only the specific holiday foods that have no calories. But that's kind of confusing because let's say I go to Starbuck's for a White Chocolate Mocha. That's available all year around so I would have to count those calories. BUT if I were to order a Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha - a holiday special item - then it would be free. Or what if I were to make sugar cookies in the shape of something other than a holiday figure, maybe a butterfly or a spring-time flower, would that still count as holiday food? You see my bemusement.

Thank goodness the entertainment food rules are clear cut. For example, lunch in tandem with a movie is included in the calorie free items along with the popcorn, candy, etc.

I am drinking a Coca-Cola Cherry Zero right now. That's gotta count for something.


Taylor has a pulled trapezius. I'm sure you already know this, but if not, a trapezius is NOT a swinging apparatus, but a muscle between the shoulder bone and spine. Anyway, he's apparently done a good job of it because he's in quite a bit of pain. Unlike my drama queen daughter, he's usually pretty tough and it takes a lot to make him complain*.

Now I have a standard rule that says unless you are puking, bleeding profusely or running a fever you WILL go to school. I need to add semi-paralyzed. Poor guy could hardly move last night and ended up sleeping in the big green chair downstairs with a heating pad.

Somewhere in this blog I have established my lack of compassion. More likely it was Todd who pointed it out, but whatever. It's true. I have never claimed to be good nurse material and today is further proof. I understand the boy can't move without it feeling like someone is ripping the muscle in his back. Which means I'm having to wait on him. I don't do waiting on him very well. I'm sure I'll endure, though. hahaha

I did get a glimpse of my little punkin' head this morning, though. He had walked into the living room, managed to get the Christmas tree lights on and fell asleep on the couch. Gave me all kinds of warm fuzzies. Maybe I should think about that every time I start to get frustrated.

*I need to clarify here. Taylor complains all the time.

Me: Empty the trash and take it to the curb.

Taylor: *Heavy Sigh*

Me: Clear off the table and load the dishwasher.

Taylor: *Heavy Sigh*

Me: Clean up your room.

Taylor: *Heavy Sigh*

But he doesn't usually complain about being sick or in pain.


Taylor's school band concert is tonight, but he can't lift his trombone let alone move the slide. Since we're not going to that I'll be going to the preschool Christmas program. Please pray that I can get up off the floor of the stage in front of all those people without embarrassing myself.

And we'll be having Jesus Birthday Cake. Nothing says "holidays" more than that so I really hope I get a corner piece!

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Mused by Jenster :: 2:24 PM :: 25 People musing:

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It's Almost Here!!

Movies are so expensive that we never just go on a whim anymore. But we plan entire days around some movies. Like this one...

Saturday we're going out to lunch and then to see the new National Treasure movie. I've been waiting for this to be released ever since I heard about it. And because we hardly ever go to the cinema we will enjoy the complete movie experience which includes a soda and candy. Seeing a movie in a theater isn't a perfect experience unless Goobers are involved.

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Mused by Jenster :: 3:44 PM :: 16 People musing:

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Hockey Ballet

A neighbor boy of ours is in the 1st grade (I think) and plays hockey. His team got to play between the 2nd and 3rd periods of the Philadelphia Phantoms' game tonight and Katie, Todd and I went to watch. Not only did we get to watch Alex and the rest of his team out on the ice, but we got to see the Phantoms play for $10.00 a ticket! You can't beat that.

Next Sunday Katie and I are going into the city for a girls' day out after church. We'll have a nice lunch at a fine restaurant and then gain some refinement as we watch the Pennsylvania Ballet dance The Nutcracker. As one of the players was doubling over after what looked to be a rather painful crotch shot Katie said, "We don't have to go to the ballet next week. We can see the nutcracker right here." Whose kid is she???

Alex's team was fun to watch. Even at that young of an age their skating skills amaze me. And then the way they're able to maneuver the hockey sticks. Remarkable.

By the end of the game Katie was nearly hoarse from yelling. I love watching her at a hockey or football game. She gets so into it and it's just so much fun.

I hadn't actually planned on blogging tonight but I had to share Katie's comment. Now I'm going to bed so I have the energy to fill in tomorrow at preschool.

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Mused by Jenster :: 9:38 PM :: 16 People musing:

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

My Bad

My fans are clamoring for me to write another post. They both think it's been too long since my last one. I'm sorry to tell you, Mom and Aunt Thea, that my posting is going to be mighty sporadic until after the first of the year. No doubt most of you can relate. Christmas is closing in on us and there's always so much to do, so little time. I do believe my shopping is finished which is a huge relief. But I haven't even done my Christmas cards and it's looking like it's not happening this year. Maybe I'll do a "Happy 2008" card in January instead.

I have so much nothing to say. Having trouble getting to sleep at night? Just keep reading.

School was dismissed two hours early on Thursday due to bad weather. Thankfully Todd was already home because he was sick. Not thankfully he was sick. But thankfully he was already home. Though I don't believe the streets ever did get slick, it was still fun to have a family evening at home on a cold night, watching Transformers. Except for somewhere along the line we lost both the kids - Katie to bed and Taylor to a phone call with his girlfriend - and Todd and I finished out the movie alone.

The kids went carolling at a nursing home with some of the young adults from church last night. They had a blast. While I sometimes pine for my babies or toddlers or preschoolers or elementary age kids, I also thoroughly enjoy having two teenagers. No, I haven't caught Todd's fever. I really mean it. The only thing I truly get tired of is playing chauffeur. Sometimes I can't wait for Taylor to get his license just so I'm not constantly driving all over the place for him and Katie. And when I need a gallon of milk. Rationally, however, I'm not excited about that prospect at all. I know how I am and I'll be a nervous wreck when he's not home exactly when he said he was going to be. It will be time to step up the hair coloring regimen, I'm sure.

Anyway, they were gone so Todd and I got a Hawaiian pizza and watched Mr. Brooks last night. I'm pretty prudish when it comes to bad language in movies and there were a lot of F-bombs in this particular flick. But we watched it anyway and it was okay. Not the best movie I ever saw. Not the worst.

I have thrush again and this time I have absolutely no idea why. I haven't been on any antibiotics and I don't think my white count is low because I'm pretty sure I'd be sick if it was. My tongue has been more swollen than normal for the last week or so, but last night I had a lovely yeasty coating. So I'm downing yogurt and drinking Swizzle (Thanks, DebC) by the teaspoonfuls. It actually seems to be helping, but my tongue still hurts from pushing so hard on my teeth. I would really like to know why I'm still dealing with this two years after chemotherapy, but my doctors don't appear to be interested in finding a reason.

Katie and I did a little bit of shopping today. We went to the Outlet stores and froze our patooties off. While I love the new outlet mall, I do have a gripe. It's an outdoor mall which means today it was freezing between stores. To keep warm while you're walking around you need a good coat. But the stores are kept so warm that I'm surprised people weren't passing out from heat stroke. So Katie and I decided to leave our jackets in the car. Which meant we were like icicles running around outside. We did warm up in Starbuck's after we finished our few errands and then, fortified with liquid heat, made a bee-line for the car. Except we couldn't find the car and it was windy making the 32 degree temperatures feel more like about 22 degrees and we were in long sleeved t-shirts and sweatshirts. I think our reason centers were frozen or something because we were laughing like idiots while Katie held my keys up over her head and continually hit the alarm button to no avail. Finally we realized we had come out the wrong way and were in the wrong parking lot altogether.

I am having to endure hockey on TV. I love hockey and, in fact, am going to a hockey game tomorrow. But I hate sports on TV. My unreasonable husband won't even look for something we both might enjoy because I'm typing on my computer. He didn't even care when I said I was almost finished. I think his recent illness caused a spike in testosterone or something. I could take advantage of his weakened state and make a grab for the remote...

I suppose this is enough mundane for one night. Until the next time.

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Mused by Jenster :: 8:38 AM :: 13 People musing:

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Okay, I'll Spill


I really wanted to crawl back in my bed after the kids left for school. It was cold and the funk was still upon me. But I couldn't give in to it because it was my turn to host Home Team. God is so smart that way. If it had been at someone else's house I'm pretty sure I would have succumbed to the warmth of my comforter. As it was I had to "attend" and I knew it was exactly what I needed. My "homies" (as one of the ladies calls us) were the perfect prescription for what was ailing me. By the time they left my soul felt as light as a feather. I love my homies.

After all they did for me I was rude and kicked them out so I could make it to the preschool Christmas lunch. It's the only place I can think of where ladies will sit around a table laden with delicious holiday food and laugh about snot.

That evening was our neighborhood ladies' ornament exchange and I had planned on going, but by Friday afternoon I was in a lot of discomfort from the procedure so I stayed home. Todd's Christmas present came early - a 46" Sharp Aquas - so we watched one of the best movies EVER - Live Free or Die Hard. Except I fell asleep on the love seat.


I removed the last of the dressings Saturday morning. There was no whiskey involved because: a) we don't have any in the house; and b) I was going to a brunch at church and I didn't think smelling of liquid courage at 9:00 in the morning would endear me to anyone. Neither did I bite on any leather as I didn't want to leave teeth marks in one of Todd's belts. So I did the next best thing. I sang while I pulled the tape off. And not well, either.

No balloons or streamers were necessary. It was a non-event. Like taking a band aid off a paper cut. No biggy.

As I said, there was a ladies' brunch at church that morning and once again God knew exactly what I needed. I thoroughly enjoyed everything about it - scrumptuals, coffee, gabbing with friends, making new friends, an Anita Renfroe clip, a devotional and a bible study. It was another soul-lifting experience.


I'm afraid I may have mislead you all into thinking I did something really embarrassing at church, but it wasn't SO bad. Seven short clips from Christmas movies were shown and we each wrote down what we thought they were. After the last clip our Director of Adult Ministries had us call out the titles. The first six were easy --

Home Alone
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Fred Clause
Christmas Vacation
The Santa Clause 3
It's a Wonderful Life

Most of the congregation knew the movies so I just sat quietly and let everyone else yell their answers. The last clip, however, stumped the crowd. Someone yelled out Miracle on 34th Street, but that wasn't right. When it became obvious no one else was going to confess to knowing what the last movie was I blurted out Bad Santa.

Both the kids were working in the children's classes and Todd was home sick with an upper respiratory infection, leaving me sitting by myself. All of a sudden there were somewhere around 300 pairs of eyes on me while I was trying to convince them it was an educated guess. Which it was. But I don't think anyone believed me.

Anyway, I won the annual fruit cake for my mad Christmas movie skillz. And here's the funny thing. The reason I thought of Bad Santa was because it looked like Sarah Silverman in the scene. My thought process went something like this:

It's Sarah Silverman

I don't like Sarah Silverman

Sarah Silverman is bad

Bad Santa is bad

Must be Bad Santa

Turns out it wasn't even Sarah Silverman. By using my stellar powers of deductive reasoning I have come to the conclusion that Jesus wanted me to have the fruit cake.


Remember the drawing by one of the preschoolers I told you about? I took a picture of it with my phone this morning. How funny is this??

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Mused by Jenster :: 2:21 PM :: 24 People musing:

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Checking In

Thank you all for your encouragements and kind words to my last post. They were all taken to heart. And Gretchen - thank you for your sweet prayer, my friend.

I had a great weekend I'm anxious to tell you about, though I don't know when I'm going to get around to it. But here's a little teaser:

I humiliated myself in front of the entire third service at church yesterday and won a prize because of it.

So until later...


Mused by Jenster :: 8:43 AM :: 13 People musing:

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Frankenboob: The Sequel

This morning I was able to take the dressings off the three incision revisions. In my vast surgical experience I've decided removing tape is the worst "procedure" there is. Next time I'm throwing back a shot of whiskey and gnawing on a leather strap.

I found myself on the brink of dangerous territory as I looked at the doctor's handiwork. It would have been so easy for me to go down that path. In fact I took a couple steps in that direction. I know I've said I don't expect perfection and I really don't. Why would I need perfection anyway? As I've stated time and again, I gave up my nude modeling career years ago.

However, knowing that in my head and believing it in my heart are two different things when I see the blatant evidence of the disease. And I suppose that's the problem. Not so much the fact my left breast is still misshapen, though not as much as before, or the fact my chest is just a series of scars - they will fade with time. But what all those imperfections remind me of.

And once you start hanging the streamers and blowing up the balloons you're only a cake and some punch away from an all-out pity party. Without any effort on a good day I can let myself become depressed about such superficial things: the scars all over my torso that nobody outside of the medical profession and Todd will ever see; the 30+ pounds brought on by different medications that seems nearly impossible to budge; two rounds of menopause, including hot flashes and night sweats. And those thoughts lead to wondering what the last two-and-a-half years would have been like if I'd never had cancer.

It doesn't take much to trigger the melancholy. A hot flash, the feeling of my still-swollen tongue as it pushes against my teeth, waking up in the middle of the night because I don't feel quite right... Even something as ridiculous as looking at a woman on TV or in a magazine in a low cut dress or bikini that I would never wear anyway, but knowing no matter how good of shape I'm in I'll never be able to wear anything like that even if I was inclined to because of my scars.

However, this morning as I looked at the raw, bruised revisions and began wishing for a normal looking body, I decided to pop the balloons and tear down the streamers. I must have missed a couple because I've been in a bit of a funk today, but it could have been so much worse.

I gave everything to God two-and-a-half years ago and He was ever faithful to bring me through the most difficult period I've ever known. Why don't I give him this small thing in comparison? It's not like I'm new to the peace and comfort and joy He gives so freely. I'd already experienced all that long before my diagnosis and was overwhelmed with it when I needed it most. So what's my deal?

My deal is that I've taken my focus off Jesus and put it on my physical issues. The things I'm struggling with are so minor compared to what I've been through so I decide to just manage them myself. Stupid, stupid girl. I know better. I really do. But it's time to start walking the walk, not just talking the talk.

I'm going to try to give everything to God again. That's not to say I won't still whine now and then. Heck, that's part of my charm! I also know I'll still get the blahs. God may be bigger than anything, but I am still human.

We'll see how I'm doing on Saturday when I remove the rest of the dressings!

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Mused by Jenster :: 7:48 PM :: 23 People musing:

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007


You know, when I had my breast reconstruction I had no idea I'd still be having procedures nearly a year later. And I'm still not finished, though hopefully the only thing left will be the tattooing.

I'm sitting here again trying to think of a delicate way to put what I had done yesterday, but nothing comes to mind. There's just no way to phrase "I had a reconstructed nipple gone bad fixed", in a way that won't make some people squirm. Sorry. And the only other words the thesaurus has to replace "nipple" is "teat" and "udder". I refuse to use those terms as it relates to me. *WHEW* Since I've now gotten past that I can go on.

Remember when I had my nipple reconstruction in August? It all seemed to have gone well, even though I did end up with an infection on the right side. Once that cleared up, however, all appeared fine. Except for the left "protrusion" decided it didn't want to be anymore. So I had it built up again yesterday and hopefully it will choose to stay around this time.

I also had the incision on my left breast smoothed out. This is probably getting to be redundant for many of you, but I'm going to explain my reconstruction yet again.

May of 2005 I had a left radical modified mastectomy. What that means is they took everything that even slightly resembled breast tissue. I was left with an 8-inch horizontal scar from the center of my now extremely flat chest to just before my back.

Last December I had a breast surgeon remove the right breast, but she left most of the skin and sort of scooped out the tissue. Then the plastic surgeon took over. First he basically performed a tummy tuck, then he kind of stuffed the right breast, replacing what skin was removed with a patch from my stomach. After that he re-opened my left mastectomy site and because skin is only so elastic, used more skin from my stomach to fashion the skin of my left breast and then stuffed it with tummy fat. This patch was approximately 6" X 3". He also did a bit of microvascular surgery so that these "transplants" would have their own blood supply.

For any of you who sew you can see how difficult it is to insert a rectangular patch into a straight cut and make it nice and round. Instead of a round breast the left side looked more like a trapezoid. So I had three areas along the incision smoothed out yesterday as well.

Imagine yourself standing in front of a surgeon who is holding a purple felt tip pen. Now imagine you're half nekkid and pointing out areas on your boob for him to draw on. Yeah. Funny thing is I didn't feel any embarrassment or discomfort. It was a very "whatever" moment.

Just like last time I hop up on the table and he shoots my desensitized breast with Lidocaine. This time, however, I felt the needle when he was on the outside of the incision. He left me alone for a few minutes and when he returned started to work. First was the patch where my cleavage is. He begins cutting with the scalpel and guess what. I FELT IT! Not the pressure like I described the last time. No. I felt THE KNIFE CUTTING MY SKIN!

You all are yelling things like, "Oh, No!" and "You poor thing!" right now, aren't you? Well don't cry for me, Argentina, because it's not quite as bad as it sounds. It felt more like a scratch. I told him I could feel it so he shot me up with more Lidocaine. It didn't do a lot and I felt every stitch he gave me.

It was the same thing for the other two areas on the incision. I laid there thinking, "This would be so much better if I were unconscious." The nipple, however, was gloriously pain-free.

Tomorrow I get to take the dressings off the three incision sites and then Saturday off the nipple. I don't expect this time to be as traumatic as the last since I know now what it will look like.

This is kind of funny and I wish I would have thought to take a picture with my phone. But yesterday morning I show up to work and there's a picture on the bulletin board. It's two circles with two slightly larger circles around them and then two big circles around those. Think of the "O"s on the Hooters signs. I asked Beth if I was supposed to take it to the surgeon as a reference for him. She laughed and said one of the little girls in the Monday class drew that for her. It was her eyes wearing glasses.

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Mused by Jenster :: 10:37 AM :: 18 People musing:

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Monday, December 03, 2007

A Lawn Mower, A Snake and a Phone

A Lawn Mower, A Snake, and a Phone

Because I have nothing to blog about I’m going to tell you a story. It’s a story about a lawn mower, a snake and a phone. I like to call it, “A Lawn Mower, A Snake and a Phone.” Hope you like it. Here’s how it goes…

Once upon a time there was a wife who loved her family very much. Her husband worked hard and provided well so she was able to stay at home to take care of their children. Because she felt such gratitude for her husband she decided to mow the back yard so he could come home from work and relax.

Now the lot the house sat on was a fairly large lot. Some might even say they had “land” because it measured a fourth of an acre. The town in which they lived had a law that said land owners may have one horse for each acre. The wife amused herself greatly with the thought they could own a quarter horse since they had a quarter of an acre.

The husband, being manly and riddled with testosterone, thought they needed a riding mower. The wife, being much more practical and grounded, thought it was silly, though the idea of driving an almost-tractor did sound fun.

This particular day she walked out the back door and, as she headed to the lawn mower, caught some movement out of the corner of her eye. When she looked closer she realized it was a snake, quietly slithering toward the deck she stood on. Not inclined toward dramatics, still the wife squeaked and ran inside to call the man she called hero. Her husband.

But alas, he was no longer in his office given it was lunch time. She left this frantic message on his voice mail: “Are there any good black snakes?” then hung up. As she waited for the husband to call her back she watched intently for the cold reptile through the bay window of the dining room. The last thing she saw was a shiny, dark tail as the offending creature slid under the deck.

When, after several minutes, the husband didn’t return her call she thought it best to page him – this being before he had been issued a cell phone. The husband and the wife had a code amongst them to alert the husband if the wife was in a true emergency. After leaving the phone number on the pager she was to add 911. Believing this was not a true emergency but an almost emergency, the wife entered 910, that number being almost 911. Unfortunately, the wife was so anxious she did not realize she had entered her phone number incorrectly.

The husband, being in a hurry to catch up with his co-workers for lunch, had listened to the voice mail but did not consider it to be critical. When he received the bewildering page while at the restaurant, however, he became concerned that a venomous snake had bitten his wife and already the delirium had set in.

Even though mobile phones were commonplace at this time, nobody at his table seemed to carry one. So he appealed to the good graces of the restaurant manager to let him use the phone for an emergency. But the manager was of a bad ilk and had no good graces, directing the husband to a pay phone in the entry way of the restaurant.

The husband had no change on him, thought thankfully was able to scrounge some up from his friends. Fearing the worst as he called home, he was greatly relieved when he found out the wife had not been bitten by the snake. His relief was replaced with huge guffaws as she explained why she used 910 as opposed to 911 and at that moment he vowed never to let the story die. In fact the husband was in a terrible hurry to get back to his table and share the tale with his friends.

After assurances from the husband that it was a garden snake and perfectly harmless, the wife decided to risk everything and mow the lawn as originally planned. This, however, meant she would have to walk across the deck the serpent had slithered under. Being an intelligent woman and having seen Anaconda, the wife knew the snake was capable of bursting through the decking, biting her heel and dragging her down into the bug infested great abyss beneath the porch.

But the wife’s love for the husband overrode her mounting dread so she ran down the steps, jumping as far onto the deck as possible and clearing it in two bounds. She sought refuge on the seat of the hulking lawn mower and managed her passes by the deck on the side opposite the clutch so she was able to lift her foot high, rendering an ankle attack useless.

The End

If names had been used in this story, they would have been changed to protect the innocent and the not so innocent. There are those among us who like to change the story to their whim, but this is the truest, most authentic telling.

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Mused by Jenster :: 7:54 AM :: 29 People musing:

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Sunday, December 02, 2007


I've finally updated my blogroll. Take a gander and let me know if you need to be added. Or if you're on there and you'd rather not be I'll remove you.


Mused by Jenster :: 10:10 PM :: 6 People musing:

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New Look

I'm thinking about going with a cleaner, crisper look for my blog. Thoughts? Comments? I'm still in the tweaking and adding stage, but what do you think so far? Please - only honest answers. About the blog. Not about what opinions you have of me personally.

Thank you.


Mused by Jenster :: 7:40 AM :: 18 People musing:

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Saturday, December 01, 2007

I Starved My Children

One of the great things about having two teenagers is the freedom to go out without getting a babysitter. Last night Todd and I had a swanky little soiree at the Philadelphia Art Museum to see the Renoir Exhibit with his company, so I ordered a pizza for delivery for the kids and we left.

As we were driving into Philadelphia with our friends, Stan and Betsy, Todd's phone rang. It was Taylor. Apparently our new Pizza Hut does not accept checks. Who knew? I'd written hundreds of dollars worth of checks to Pizza Hut in Arkansas over the years. I figured since it's a chain the policy would be the same. Obviously not.

Between the two kids they had something like $7.00 so the guy left with the pizza. When Taylor called he was most unhappy, especially when I told him there wasn't a whole lot I could do about it and they'd just have to find something to eat at home. "We don't even have any bread," he whined. Okay. So that was true. But we did have frozen stuff like chicken tenders and meatballs and Weight Watchers entrees (which are pretty darned good).

After we hung up they scavenged the house, looking for enough money to buy a pizza. Katie had a stash of quarters and Taylor managed to find a few more dollars. They ended up with about $20.00 cash. I'm not sure if it was the humiliation or what, but they called another pizza place to deliver a pizza. The guy took their order, the address and told them it would be 45 minutes and approximately $15.00. Everything was looking great.

Thirty minutes later or so the phone rang. It was the pizza place they called. "Where do you live?" Taylor gave him the address again and explained where the neighborhood is. The guy put him on hold for a while, then came back and said, "We don't deliver there."

By this time my laid back boy was over the top frustrated and just gave up. He ended up having a Fiber One bar and an apple for dinner. When he told us that I blurted out, "Holy crap!," which then made me laugh because, well, that's a lotta fiber! He should be as clean as a whistle by now.

Meanwhile in Philadelphia, we went through the exhibit - which I thought was fabulous - then found a table on the balcony overlooking the jazz band and had a glass of wine. We'd met up with another couple so there were six of us there, trying to have a conversation and yelling over the band. Marble does not lend itself to good acoustics.

The menu was less than thrilling so we decided to ditch the museum and go to London Grill, a hip little eatery in the trendy Fairmount section of Philly. Our party kept growing as we snagged a young man who had been through the exhibit and didn't want to wait for the company bus he had ridden in on. It was a miracle we were able to get a table for seven at 7:30 or 8:00 on a Friday night, but we were seated almost immediately.

Dinner was good, the company was great and the entire evening was delightful. At least for Todd and me. I almost felt guilty for enjoying our dinner when I knew the kids were at home scrounging up whatever they could find. Almost.

Can anybody guess what we're having for dinner tonight??

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Mused by Jenster :: 11:20 AM :: 18 People musing:

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