Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas memories 200

Santa was sneaky! He was quiet and he stuffed things so far under the tree that when Brandon and I came down it was apparent he had visited but we couldn't tell the extent of the items. There were so many items back behind the tree that we couldn't see when we came down. It wasn't till Brandon was sitting down on the floor reaching for what he thought was the last item that he caught a glimpse of the packages still in hiding. It was like a treasure hunt! The kids were so happy and that was the biggest gift I could get! In what seemed like minutes but was more lie an hour and a half later all the gifts were opened and the only thing was to try it all out and clean up the mess. I hope you all had a wonderfully blessed Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Beautiful Christmas love story

Below is a beautiful Christmas love story that I recently received
in email. Its a tearful but beautiful story, have a tissue ready.

One beautiful December evening Pedro and his
girlfriend Rosita were sitting by the side of the ocean.
It was a romantic full moon, when Pedro said,
"Hey, mamacita, let's do Weeweechu."

Oh no, not now, let's look at the moon!" said Rosita.

Oh, c'mon baby, let's you and I do Weeweechu.
I love you and it's the perfect time," Pedro begged.
"But I wanna just hold your hand and watch the
moon." replied Rosita.

Please, corazoncito, just once, do Weeweechu with me."

Rosita looked at Pedro and said, "OK, one time,
we'll do Weeweechu."

Pedro grabbed his guitar and they both sang.....

"Weeweechu a Merry Christmas, Weeweechu a Merry
Weeweechu a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year."

OK, so I needed the tissue cause I laughed so hard that I cried...I just thought I'd share!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas to all!

Its been a hectic month here in our neck of the woods. I am sure you all know how that is. We are done with the shopping and wrapping of gifts and looking forard to Christmas eve dinner and all the excitement of Christmas day. I think we were able to find all the right gifts for those on our list. Last Saturday we went to the local tree farm and cut down a tree, all of us: Bob, Shaun, Jackie(and her nurse, Linda), Nickie, Brandon and I piled into 2 vehicles. It didn't take us long to find the perfect tree. Nickie and Brandon lined up for the required photo.

Jackie and Brandon decorated the tree this year with Nickie's supervision! They did a fine job!

Brandon decorated the Christmas village all by himself!

Bob and I presented the kids with an early Christmas gift for the entire family. I'd like to present Rikki, the newest member of our family.

Many years ago we had a ferret and I'd been saying for sometime that I wanted to get another one when we had the space. If you've never had one of these guys for a pet you have no idea how much fun they can be. They love their people and the mischief they get into is tons of fun! Rikki is showing a little more personality each day. He already seems to have a routine. Each morning either Bob or I goes down to see if he is awake and he is usually up early each morning. If I get him then I place him in the bed with Bob to wake him up. If Bob gets him he does the same to me. After a few minutes of play I take him to Brandon's room to wake him up. Rikki seems to enjoy his job and its a much nicer way to be woken up then say a buzzing alarm!

I can't wait to celebrate with my whole gang in one house. I wish you all the happiest Christmas! May the spirit of God be with you all and may you stay safe!
Love to you all!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Silver Star Families Organization

Some months ago I was asked to help my friend Trish in contacting our Governor Tim Kaine to sign a proclamation to make May 1st Silver Star day in VA. I believed in what the organization was standing behind and felt compelled to help out. I was more than a little excited when I received the signed proclamation in the mail from Gov. Kaine's office. You can find a copy of the proclamation here. I have to admit I was very pleased with myself for having accomplished the goal. I promptly made a copy of the proclamation for myself and along with a beautiful thank you card I received from Trish and one from the Silver Star families I have set them aside to properly have them displayed. I was reminded last night when I received an email from Trish asking me to join the Silver Star Families organization. It seems they still need a representative for Virginia. I'm in the process of reading the rep requirements and by laws. I would love to be involved with this! I'll let ya know what happens.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

in an email from Trish today!

I had sent my dear friend Trish a Christmas card a few days ago and today in my email I got the below... See this is the way it is supposed to be... those of you that read my "inner circle" posts know just what I'm talking about.

I recently got this note in a Christmas card:

All I did was forward a wonderful e-mail sent to me in hopes of finding that one special family to receive this wonderful gift!! Click on the link below, and see the photos - It IS amazing - and what a joy to know this family is getting this done for them - they have a son who is autistic, and as you all know, my Lucas (grandson - age 5), is also autistic - so, this 'really' has a lot of meaning to me!! God bless this family and THANK YOU, Lillie!! Love you!!

Check this out!

Speaking of the show, rumor has it that Ty Pennington was kicked out of our Farmville Mulligans for drunken behavior and there is also a rumor that he got a DUI that night as well. I've heard this on the radio as well as from many of the locals. I've also heard conflicting info from those that were able to meet him in person. Some say he was a heck of a nice guy, while others said he was a complete jerk. I don't know what the truth is but I'll continue to believe that he is a nice guy until he proves me wrong. I'm sure rumors will continue to abound around here for years to come. It isn't often something that exciting happens in a small town like ours.

Till next time!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Move that bus!

The kids and I had talked about going to the Extreme makeover home edition site and had decided over the weekend after reading in the Farmville Herald that the shuttle buses were handicap accessible, that we would like to go and see them move the bus today. We made some new friends and saw lots of other friends there as well. We had a great time! We got there early before 10 am. We were entertained by pirates with some song and dance. They were pleased to see Brandon in his pirate shirt.

They spent time with Nickie too.

Jackie and I even got a picture ourselves. We even considered becoming pirates ourselves after watching them have so much fun!

It was interesting seeing all that goes on behind the scenes. There is a lot of hyping up the crowd and practice runs of everything.

There is even a test run of "the family" coming out of the limo and hearing the crowd say "move that bus". They used a fill in family to do the practice run. I wonder just how tired the cast gets of doing it over and over again. We met James Brown, no not that James Brown, this one.
He was a really nice guy. He made a fuss over Nickie. The EMHE that ran Sunday night was of a family in Vermont with a 2 year old that has the same condition that Nickie has, Arthrogryposis, and James said he wanted to meet her. So he talked to her and this really made Nickie smile. She loves to get attention from a good looking man. She is such a flirt, she even winked at him!
By 1 PM we were exhausted and hungry and after hearing that the reveal had been moved back to 3PM I made the executive decision to go home. Brandon was thrilled, Nickie was too since I think the huge crowd kinda freaked her out. There is a chance that she may be in a shot of the practice run of the move that bus, that was done. I think it was a wise decision to leave when we did since the parking lot was filled with tons more people making their way over to the site and the street had overflow parking filled up and down both sides of the road.
This of course means I didn't get to see the Lucas family's reaction, seeing the house for the first time but we will all get to see that on the air. I understand from some of the others at the site that the family was also given a beautiful quad cab 4x4 truck. You may be able to see a glimpse of it parked to the right of the house in one of those pictures above. I can't think of a more deserving family. I wish them a lifetime of happiness in their new home.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

And the numbers roll in...

Wow, I'm amazed! Apparently the posts (The "inner circle") that I have now restored to the site, brought in a record number of readers! I generally get one or two hits a day. Last week brought me a total of 77 hits! Again I say, WOW! I guess drama is what this site has been missing. Trust me drama isn't missing from my life I just never knew that it would interest the readers as much as it did! Well OK I did get a clue from the comments that were left and from the emails that were sent to me that there was an increase in readership but seeing the actual numbers just boggled the mind. Yeah I know that isn't that difficult to do but you can pretend it is and just flatter me here....OK, I'm waiting!

OK, so I finally got my classes lined up for my first semester back to school beginning next month! I was hoping to carry a full 12 credits but I had a conflict with one of the classes so I'll be carrying only 8.... LMAO only 8. After nearly 10 years of absence since I last attended a college class 8 is gonna be a complete shock to the system!

Bob and I stopped by the VIP tent of the Extreme makeover home edition and picked up VIP passes to visit the site. I was amazed that on our visit Friday the house was already practically complete on the outside. Demolition of the existing structure took place on Wed. and directly following that they began construction of the new structure. The local paper says that it is approximately a 2,500 SF home. There is also a small structure that is being built as a museum for Michael Lucas' very large Civil war memorabilia. I have decided against going on Monday for the "move that bus" or reveal portion of the show. For one Jean still has no idea of the crap these people have said, at least I don't think she knows. Jean and the family are in Orlando, FLA visiting Disney World and won't be back until Monday. I haven't wanted to spoil any of this for Jean and the family so I won't be telling her about it.

Funny thing is I ran into another home school family that had tried to become part of this group and got an interesting story from them. They were sited as not being welcome to the group because they felt they were transient people and they feared for the safety of their children and the children of the other members... Yeah guess who relayed this message to that family... you got it Nicole* There is a pattern here! Anywho... I have a busy weekend as I've not even begun to decorate nor to purchase any gifts! I guess I better move my butt! Till next time!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Thanks for all the GREAT comments!

I got some great comments and emails on my 3 part post of the "inner circle". I really want to thank you for your perspectives! I've chosen to remove the original post as it did serve my purpose, I vented and OMG how much better I felt to have done that! Great to know that so many of you agreed with me on the topic. I chose not to post any of the comments but I assure you all that not only do I have a copy of that post but also a copy of all the emails saved for my personal use! Again ty all!

Monday, December 03, 2007

I'm thankful for.....

1. Extreme Home Makeover, picking Jean and her wonderful family for the show!

2. my wonderful family.

3. my wonderful new church family.

4. my true friends, you know who you are and be assured I love you all.

5. another day!

6. my hardships for they make me truly treasure the good stuff.

7. my home.

The "inner circle" part Three

part one and two.

After receiving Jean's email I immediately sent this to Trish:

I wanted to let you know the link you sent about Extreme home makeover may well be helping a family in my home school group. Below is her details of a day of filming, with any luck she will make it to the top 5 and hopefully be the family picked for the show in the end. Keep Jean and her family in your prayers!

She wrote me back:

Oh, Lillie, thank you for letting me know - I'll definitely keep them in my prayers- let me know, ok!?! Love you!!

I was so happy for Jean and her family that I also emailed my friends to let them know the good news!

I wanted to send you an email sent to me from my friend Jean. I forwarded a link to extreme home make over that was sent to me by my friend Trish. EHM was looking for a family in our area to help out and I'd like to ask you all to pray for Jean and her family and perhaps she will be blessed and be picked. There was a time a good friend of mine, Ruppert, was doing his best to get us some help from this same show. God had other plans for us and saw to it that we got this wonderful house we are now in. Though not the perfect set up for a wheelchair it works well and I surely feel very blessed. Thank you Ruppert for everything you've done for us! Anyway, I'll be sure to keep you all updated on the results.

Suffice it to say I was more than a bit happy for Jean! Fast forward to last Friday. I'm on my way home from a trip to Richmond when I receive a phone call from Linda, telling me that there is a buzz around town about Extreme Home makeover. Apparently on Thursday night reps of EHM had been to a local church, New Life, and they were hyping up the group about a local family they were going to be helping. Wow! It was really going to happen! As soon as I got home I emailed Trish with the good news! I checked my email to see if any "official" word had come from the inner circle. Of course there was none. I was able to verify via a friend at New Life that the buzz was true and that the house was being built for Jean and her family in Rice. How exciting! In our conversation I found that through a friend of a friend she had information that my old HS group had sent out an email of the good news... just they didn't see it was necessary to let me know about it. This of course lead me to write to Nicole*:

I heard via Nickie's nurse that EHM did come to Rice so I can only assume she was picked! I wish someone had let me know! I feel so left out and I was the one that sent the link! Oh well.


Nicole's* reply:

EHM has not contacted anyone in this group to my knowlege. I talked to Jean on Wed and she was not even sure she would be selected. It has not happened. Until it does (if it does) I wouldn't be very inclined to contact anyone about it.

Now remember this is Friday I'm writing to her, this is important to remember as you will see:

interesting cause its all over town that something happened at New life last night to
kick the event off. . Now I can't be sure its about Jean but it is in Rice and that is where her house is being built. However since y'all wouldn't have known about them looking for a military family in need without my email to you all it's interesting that I'd be completely left out of the good that came of it... Now, I'm not blaming you Nancy that isn't my intention, however it would have been nice to know about it.
Besides I've also heard through the grapevine that the group has been aware since sometime this week. I'm happy for Jean and her family! I'm just sad that I was left out of the celebration. Yeah it is nice to be recognized for getting the info to you all and it helping out one of the group, but I suppose that isn't gonna happen.
God bless,

Drive by her house in RIce and see for yourself.I believe you will find everyting as it was when Michael left for Iraq. I will repeat, no one in this group has been contacted by EHM to my knowledge. Let me commend you for sending the link. I can now check that off my todo list.
I was at home in bed last night. If anything happened at New Life, it did not involve anyone in this group to my knowledge. There were a few people in the group instrumental in getting EHM Jeans info, a couple more so than you. I have not heard one of them say anything about needing to be recognized for their effort. That is absolutly selfish. Punching a couple of computer buttons does not quite qualify you for an award. Or anything else.
No one, as far as I am aware, has been asked to be a part of the show, nor has anyone "known" anything since earlier this week. I'm not sure where you are getting your info and I really don't care. However, you should recheck your sources. I am going to end this email now before i get ugly and will not engage in this discussion anymore. When I do hear any news or official information, you can bet, I will not be sharing it with you, although I may have before this evening.
I have had a very hard day.
Please do not bother me again this evening.

Ummmm Yeah of course if I were to drive by her house, even if I knew where it was, on any day prior to today, 12/3/07 would see the house in the same condition it was left in on Michael's deployment. Duh!

OK, I'll admit my use of the word recognized was not perhaps the correct word to have been used. What I had meant was I didn't want to be left out of the loop. I only wanted to be informed. Those of you that know me, know that I'm a happy go lucky person. I like to laugh and I'm a big kidder. I joke all the time. Most of what I say has to be taken in that context. I'll admit however, I wasn't in a joking mood when I felt I was being left out of the loop. Fortunately for me I didn't receive her reply to that email till I got back online today. Poor Nicole* and her very hard day.

Nicole* Wow! If you weren't trying so very hard to flat out lie to me Nancy I
don't think you'd be so angered. If you wish I can produce via a contact at New Life the original email from Lindsey. You know what a small town this is. So you all were well aware of this by I believe it was Thursday last week. I don't know why you feel like I wouldn't want to know. I'm so very happy for Jean and her family. And let me explain my recognition statement in the prior email. What I meant was not wanting or needing a pat on the back but recognition for being part of the group.... part of the process. I admit to not knowing Jean's family's situation so I was not able to nominate her. I had hoped that the information I had sent to the group would benefit one of the members or at a minimum one of the military families that you might know. Anyway, you've proven everything that I ever suspected of you to be true. I can't believe you can take a simple question like the first one I'd asked at the start of this email to this level. God bless, Lillie
Lillie, Your statement was that we had know from earlier that week. We
only found out Thursday late in the evenning. Like I said in my email.
It is not my responsability to see that you are informed of anything.
If you want to say I lied, feel free, that is subject to your own
interpretation. I feel fine about and stand behind my actions and
statements. You seem to have been acting very selfishly and implying that the
group "owed" you something. We owe you nothing. Had you approached this
in a different way, I think you would have had a much better result.
However, don't think you are going to jump on me with both feet and see
me play nice. This seems to be an ongoing problem for you. Acting
like a victim and blaming everyone for your own hurt feelings.

It had nothing to do with my thinking you wouldn't want to know. I
really wasn't thinking about you at all.

If you want to be a part of EHM, volunteer like anyone else, they don't
care what "group" you found out from.

And by the way, don't call me a liar and bless me in the same email.

And the truth shall set you free! Now you tell me was Nicole flat out
lying to keep me out of the loop or what? The evidence is before you and
I ask you to be the judge! I find it very telling that she likes to twist my
words into something to suit her needs. Something to justify the fact she told
a huge bold faced lie.

She sent this last bit just after sending the last one above. Now, I'd say her
anger is a direct result of having her hand caught in the cookie jar.

And by the way. Whatever you have suspected to be true about me and has
been confirmed now by this communication is BS. I have always been
nice to you. I have tried to be a friend to you. I have always been
sincere in my friendship. So whatever....grow up! N

Just one more note... I was talking to my friend at New Life about the emails
and she made a valid point. Nicole* could have easily taken my first email and
taken the higher ground by replying that she was sorry she hadn't thought to
contact me with the details. This would have admitted her "mistake" without the
added lie. I would have just thought OK so they forgot me, not, they purposely
left me out. Again I will let you all be the judge.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

The "inner circle" part two

find part one here.

In October of 2006 the group got together for a Halloween event at Red Hill , the home of Patrick Henry. They had fun stuff for the kids to do and treat bags at each station, not to mention a haunted hay ride. The whole gang came together from Stacy's* house as we had celebrated her oldest son's birthday party and followed one another to Red Hill to go as a group. We all stuck together and went from one activity to the next and finally went on the hay ride. After the hay ride we started making our way back to the parking lot. On the way back to our cars the group stopped near another stand and talked. Brandon wandered over to the stand and tried his hand at the fishing game. When he was done I turned to find the group had left. Brandon and I walked back to the car and found the rest of the group had left us. No goodbye, no nothing. I get to my car and find that somewhere out in the dark of Red Hill I'd lost my car keys. It was dark, people were leaving in droves and I was terrified Brandon and I would be left out there with no way to get home.

We ran to the office thankful to find some of the employees still there. I explained my predicament and asked if I could use the phone to call home. I wasn't looking forward to the phone call to Bob. It was late, I was more than an hour away from home and I knew he would already be in bed since he had to work the next day. Fortunately, he hadn't quite fallen asleep and thankfully, Linda, Nickie's nurse hadn't left yet for the night. He asked her to stay until he returned from picking me up. Linda really is a great nurse and agreed to stay. Bob and Jackie loaded up in the van to make the trek to get Brandon and I. The wonderful people at Red Hill waited in the office with us until they arrived over an hour later. Bob took my directions but in the dark got lost. Finally he found us and brought me his key to the car so I could drive it back home. It was well past midnight when we finally got home. Lets just say none of us were happy about it at all. Maybe its just me but whenever I've gone anywhere with a group I always like to know that all of the group left together. I feel responsible for them. Again I guess that is just me.

By now this group has lost most of its appeal but for Brandon's sake we attended group on occasion. Since we were still fairly new to this area and we didn't know any other children for him to play with, we continued. The only reason I did this next group event was again for Brandon. Before the Red Hill fiasco I had promised him that we would go Trick or Treating with the group. I had suggested to Brandon because of the Red Hill events that we not go trick or treating with them, but the look on his face told me we did have to at least do this one thing. I had asked the group in advance if this neighborhood that they were planning on trick or treating in had curb cut outs so that Nickie,who is in a wheelchair, could enjoy the nights events also. They assured me that it did and that they thought it was a great idea to take her too. We got there and I know you probably aren't surprised by this and in retrospect I wasn't either, they went on ahead of us. The only ones that hung back with us were Jean and her family, notice I didn't change her name in this account since I'd like her and her family to receive acknowledgment for their good deed and in later installments of this saga you will see exactly why they are integral to this story. If not for Jean and her family I'd have only bad memories of this night.

Some months later I hosted again. OK, call me stupid. At this point we have built our chicken coop and my young chickens that had just started to produce some eggs are out enjoying the longer days of spring. Everyone was admiring the coop ( the basic design of which I got from Nicole*) and the chickens. Again the moms came inside to converse, eat and drink coffee. I was pleased that a few more came this time than the last. It was just warm enough for the kids to play outside again and so they had the run of the out doors. I had no idea what a bad idea that had been.

After they left Bob and I go to lock up the chickens and in the dim light see that not all is well in the coop. Its much too dark to access the damage but I can see that eggs have been thrown about the coop and busted all over the inside walls and the fake ceramic eggs that I had just purchased to encourage my young chickens to lay eggs in the laying box and not out in the woods, had been broken as well. Let me explain that it takes a bit of force to break these eggs. They aren't as fragile as a real egg. I was heart broken. I didn't know if my chickens had been harassed in the process and you have to understand these chickens were my babies. I had raised them from day old chicks and I was concerned for their well being. I locked things up and had to wait till daylight to find out the full damage.

That night I had a restless night. I couldn't sleep thinking about how this great home school group that had such well behaved children could have caused so much damage, OK if you can't tell I'm being sarcastic. I ended up drafting an email that I had planned to send to the entire group about my disappointment when Bob came down asking me what I was up to. I explained that I was just furious and that I was emailing the group about it. He asked me to wait before I sent the email. I finished the email and left it as a draft in my account. I went up to bed and was finally able to sleep.

The next morning we went out to assess the damage. I was glad to find my chickens were no more the worse for wear and though it was a very disrespectful thing that had been done the damage wasn't as bad as I had feared. I cleaned the coop up vowed never to have the group at my house again. I never sent the drafted email just figured I'd not have much to do with the group. Later that same day I did receive a phone call from Stacy*. She told me her oldest son had confessed to her on the way home the day before and that she was punishing him by withholding allowance for a couple weeks and she promised to replace the broken eggs with eggs from her own hens. I assured her I didn't need the eggs. She put her son on the phone and had him apologize to me. This was a start though I do believe in person would have been the best option. I was very kind and told him all was fine that I commended him for confessing to his mother as I knew that was very difficult and that I'd like him to respect my property in the future. He agreed and the next time I saw him in person I again told him I was proud of him for coming forward. Stacy* then tells me that she is aware of the name of one other child involved in the destruction and that she would talk to that mother. I was very appreciative of her for this and she also assured me that if anything happened within the group not to hesitate to talk to her about it since she was the founder and she would deal with the issues. The other child it turned out was one of Nicoles* children. Yes, can you believe that? I never received even a phone call about the matter. Weeks passed before she had him say, " I'm sorry." Nothing more. What a great lesson he learned! I suppose being a lessor home school family we didn't deserve more? What the heck? Perhaps since we aren't a perfect Catholic family. We are Southern Baptists, by the way and proud of it!

By now I'm much less active in the group and only bring Brandon to play group maybe once a month. Jump ahead to fall. I receive an email from a good friend, Trish, we were part of a soldier support group some years ago and have managed to keep in touch even though both of us have left that organization. See the email below:

Subject: FW: Extreme Makeover Home Edition *** MOBCOM ALL ***
Extreme Makeover Home Edition is looking for an inspirational, heroic
that America can really root for in an upcoming episode. The show
a family with either the mother or father suffering from PTSD or TBI as
result of their service in Iraq or Afghanistan. This family has to live
Virginia, West Virginia or Delaware, must own a single family home that
visibly in need of improvement, and have children. They must be able to
producers how a makeover will make a huge difference in their lives.
will be screened by the show's producers before being picked. The show
like to identify candidates by early next week. If they are picked, the
will air early next year.

I don't know anyone that might fit the bill so I send this email to the group:

I don't know if any of you all would know of any military families that would benefit from this but if you do please forward this info. Would be great if someone, one of us knows could get the help. Lillie
Of course the email I received from Trish was attached.

Fast forward a few weeks and I attend the new co-op that the group has started and Stacy* thanks me for sending the link, and tells me that Jean had been nominated by one of the other group members. I was tickled pink! By this time Jean had already been contacted by EHM and they were in the midst of talks to interview her and her family.

When I got home I emailed Trish to let her know that someone in our group was going to be interviewed for EHM and that as soon as I knew more I'd let her know. She was so excited to know that the link was benefiting someone I knew.

The next email on the subject came from Jean:

THE TOTAL EXTREME MAKEOVER CASTING EXPERIENCE! Quintin Strack filmed from 2:30 to 9:30pm! For my community contribution (they ask for that) I said I wanted to help Joe's Occupational Therapist get the Autism therapy center that she is writing a grant for. So we were at the hospital for 2 hours filming OT Jason, OT Katie, the CEO, therapists I didn't even know, Joe having a pretend therapy session. Then we went to the land for 2 hours. Thank goodness Katie watched the boys for me at the land while he filmed me. Could not have done it without her. There he filmed me telling about our situation. I had not been out there at the land since Michael left because I knew it would be depressing. Well, it was. It looks awful. Now I know--that show is soooo staged! Everything they make you say is true, but between takes he is telling you exactly what to say and how to say it and exaggerating it greatly. And he keeps making you do retakes until you do it pathetically enough. I do not feel like I was good on camera. I feel like I rambled a lot but I guess that is what editing is for. He was so nice and enthusiastic and must be the most patient human on earth. They could not pay me enough to do that guy's job. I didn't see him eat or drink all day. I don't even know if he took a bathroom break. It was unreal. I've never seen anyone with that much energy. Not even my kids! Telling the world how pathetic we are and wallowing in self pity (which he makes you do) for 7 hours was tough. Just know if this ever airs, I'm not the big blubbering dope that it is going to look like I am. They really do push until they get you to that point. That is good television! He was here at the rental house for 2 1/2 hours. He told me he really wanted to see Michael's Civil War stuff. He said Michael should have a museum and I told him that Michael would love to. Then he told me to say this whole "build my husband a little museum on our land so we don't have to share our bedroom with his collection anymore . . ." thing. He told me to say it in a "cute" way. His idea, not mine. To me that was totally too much to ask! I was so dead tired at that point, and having worked with him all day, I knew that if I didn't say what he wanted, he would just keep doing takes until I did. If he had told me to climb out on the roof I probably would have if it would have meant no more takes. He knows what he needs on film and he pushes until he has it. I had to do my "plea" and the man went through at least 2 tapes of takes because he was not leaving until I cried for it. And for some reason I couldn't cry. I was just so tired that I was numb I think. Plus I still don't feel deserving enough at all. Anyway, finally he got me to cry like an idiot and he was happy and said that he had everything he needed. He didn't want food but I gave him a bottle of gatorade and he left for DC. We will see. At the house we had to do the shout-out thing--Hi abc we're the Lucas family . . . and Joe was not into it. When we got to the house, though, Quinton was getting some Joe footage and Joe looked right in the camera and said "Hi ABC". It was cute! Then he had him sit in the floor and show him all of his pirate toys. By the time we got here I was just saying whatever he told me. Who knows how it will be edited. I'm sure they will pick all of the parts I thought were stupid. Like when he saw some little prints I have in our living room of one of my ancestors and of a castle that belonged to another ancestor. I do some genealogy and he made me say "I'm a history buff too. . . " I felt like an idiot. Anyway, we got it all done. I'm just warning you guys that if we get chosen and it airs, it is extremely exaggerated (the truth, but just more pathetic)! It is like being in a soap opera. I totally have a different respect for actors now. We will see. I'll hear on Friday I think if we are top 5. If we don't get chosen, almost getting on Extreme Makeover is still a neat story to be able to tell people. I will let you know what happens. Thanks ladies. Thought I'd let you know we got through it. Jean
Now that is some exciting stuff! OK so now I'm thinking this is great! She's really in the running! I can't wait to hear more..... To be continued.

The "inner circle" - part one

I have bitten my tongue or slapped my hands to avoid posting anything about this subject in the past but I just can't keep quiet a moment longer. I had mentioned in the past about the home school group I was involved with and how much I appreciated them. I refrained from telling you about the horrors that I went through with the group, with the exception of a couple of the mom's, this group turned out to be a nightmare. I found the group through an online search for home school groups in my area. I found one local group that apparently didn't have much activity to the web page and the mother that started her own group sent me a message to tell me about her group. I looked it up and joined the yahoo group she had told me about.

When I first met them back in 3/06 they of course put on their best home school mom faces. They appeared genuinely interested in us when we came to the first play group and also seemed interested in Jean and her family who came for the first time on the same day. Both Jean and I have children with disabilities and they seemed interested in the challenges that those disabilities brought to our lives. Unlike most of the mom's in the group I had not been a home school mom from the start of my children's school years. Little did I know that this made me a lessor home school mom in their eyes. I know that my choosing to home school my son when I did was for reasons that I felt were best for him at the time. I'm not of the belief that home schooling is the best choice for all children, all families or that the choice to home school can't change over time. I don't feel home schooled children are better than any other children nor do I believe the opposite is true. I do believe that children that are either in public school, private school or home school still need the guidance of their parents. A public school education can be fantastic or it can be lacking but in either case with a parents involvement any deficits can be made up and for those lucky enough to have great teachers still need their parents support.

What I found almost immediately was that these mothers seemed to speak badly of parents/moms of public schooled children (PS). Heck they spoke badly of each other when ever they had the chance to do so. The sad truth is women are notorious for back stabbing. Let me assure you this isn't what I'm attempting to do here as you will see by the end of the coming posts that this is about telling the facts as I know them.

The "inner circle" is composed of 3 moms in particular. *I've changed their names to protect their identities. Nicole*, (Catholic home school mom of 6 children, yeah Catholic, but not the "perfect" Catholic that she seems to portray). I won't go into the specifics cause that would be airing dirty laundry. Stacy*, married (to a man that at least one of the mom's says is a hottie) home school mom of 2 young boys (Catholic wanna be from what I understand). Mandy*, wife and home school mom of 3 girls (not sure of her religious orientation or if she has any). I'm not giving the religious info for any reason other than giving some background of each. We are all sinners, we all fall very far from the example that was set for us by our creator and I know this includes me. This isn't a Sunday school lesson so I'll stop there. Just the facts, here. This "inner circle" keeps each other informed of the goings on of its other members. Speaking as if they are of higher power. Better than the rest if you will. The truth is they are no better than any other person in the group or on this earth. We are all equal. I learned fairly early on that I shouldn't talk about anything more than myself and my home school trials and tribulations. It wasn't long that I'd hear things that I had confided in one mom being repeated to me by another mom.

One afternoon I hosted the group at my home. The moms settled in the house for coffee, cake and other goodies set aside for all to enjoy as well as the usual conversation. Now mind you the group is pretty large and I have a modest home only about 1,800 square feet and the moms and children I numbered above were only a small part of the group. At one point Stacy* sees Bob, my husband, arrive home and he greets everyone and runs upstairs to get cleaned up. *Stacy remarks how cute he is. I thank her and tell her I thought so too. This get together went fairly uneventfully except for the mess left outside from the water balloons and plastic cups and such and the mess in Brandon's room.

A few play dates later and Stacy* mentions to me that she can't understand how I could stay married to Bob. Apparently she had a short conversation with him outside at the previous meeting at my house and he spoke to her about his wish to get out of his current profession. In that 5 minute conversation she had decided he was impossible to live with. Of course the fact that Bob isn't a drunk, abusive in anyway or the fact that he is a wonderful loving husband and father unlike her own comments about her husband made him impossible to live with. I suppose we have different ideas about what a good husband and father should be. I sat there in complete shock and though I should have said something like, "oh yeah a husband that drinks till he's drunk every night is the GOLD standard. I'm not sorry I didn't aim that high!" Instead I had no reply. Again I bit my tongue cause everything that came to mind was going to be hurtful. Believe it or not I do try not to be hurtful. Not to say that I haven't opened mouth and inserted foot on more than one occasion....
To be continued......

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Help for a Hero!

I'd like to ask for your help in spreading the word about Bill Krawczyk one of our American heroes! Read his story here. I received an email today from a good friend and a reliable source that this is legitimate. In addition to what you can do for him at the above site, his friend Monica is helping him to collect used cell phones to get money for his cause. Anyone that would like to help with that please contact me so that I can get you into contact with her. Please take a few minutes and read his story and share it with as many people as you can. Remember this man placed his life on the line to protect our freedom. Let's do what we can to help him in his time of need.

You have to read....

Ammie's blog! She's writing about some great stuff! I've enjoyed her blog for several years now and this particular set of posts, in 4 parts, strike a chord with me! I of course have the weight problem but for at least the last 12 years or so have come to terms with it. The only reason I really worry about my weight is for health reasons. I used to think that all men wanted a tall, white, skinny, beautiful woman, usually blond and blue eyed. I'm not blond. I'm not blue eyed. I'm not even white, I'm olive. I'm certainly not tall. I'm not skinny and never have been, so for most of my youth and early adult life I felt I had nothing but strikes against me.

I was pleased to learn that not all men like skinny women. Some actually like curves! Some love Latinas! Great! Though I felt like that was misleading too, since though I am Latina in blood and in looks I don't act like one at all. I don't have the Spanish accent I don't act like a typical Latina. I am as I've noted on here before American, born and raised here. Finding out that there were men that weren't looking for that "perfect" girl that the advertisers push at us constantly, helped me to realize that my hubby really did mean all those wonderful things he said to me. Calling me beautiful and telling me incessantly that he loves me. Funny how I started not to believe him until I realized that others saw beauty in me as well.

Now I know I'm as much of a Diva as any white, skinny, blond bombshell. I know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I know there are plenty of men out there that will say I'm fat and ugly but that is really doesn't matter since the only man that does matter, is the man I married and he will argue that with you till the death! Till next time!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thankful posts

I'm going to try to get on here and post as regularly as possible 7 things I'm thankful for in my life. I thought I'd start today by picking my daughter Jackie as the subject and pick 7 things I'm thankful for, that I fail to tell her often enough.

1. Jackie's kind heart!

2. The way she takes care of her sister Nickie.

3. I love her beautiful smile. I wish I could see it much more often.

4. Her laugh.

5. Her trust worthiness.

6. The way she is willing to be there for anyone when they need it.

7. The love she has for her family and friends!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving memories

Whew! It's been years since I cooked Thanksgiving dinner myself. Now I remember why! I spent hours preparing the meal. While everyone else was enjoying talking to family I was slaving over a hot stove! The funny thing is I really enjoyed it this time. You see usually I take a huge short cut and buy a Ukrops turkey dinner. You know the kind you only have to reheat. Their dinners are delicious but I was kinda tired of the same old sides and said this year I'm gonna do it the right way!
The menu was as follows:
Turkey, glazed ham, homemade stuffing, sweet potato casserole, broccoli and cheese casserole, string bean casserole, hot rolls, country ham slices, mac and cheese (brought by a friend), potato salad (my husband's specialty) and homemade gravy (made by a friend). Actually all the above was completely homemade. I did buy store bought pumpkin pies. It was all so good even if I say so myself.
It was great to see everyone. We ended up feeding 12 but had expected 18 so I had lots of extra food for everyone to take home with them. Its so difficult to get everyone together anymore. I remember in the early years when we would all gather at my grandmother in-laws (is that even a word? I dunno!) , Nana's, all hubby's siblings and their kids and his parents would meet at her house for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. Now we hardly ever see them all anymore. Sometimes that isn't a bad thing. The kids are grown and spread all out and a good number of those kids now have kids of their own. Not mine, mind you... and they better not anytime soon. I've threatened them within an inch of their lives if they think of making me a grandma anytime soon. My oldest son says not to worry he isn't ready for kids yet, he's 23. My oldest daughter isn't seeing anyone yet and isn't sure when or if she wants to have kids. My youngest recently said he wants to live with us forever and if he does marry he wants her to move in with us... take into account he is 9. I'm just happy he loves us so much that he doesn't ever want to leave. I know this won't be the case in his teen years. Anyway, I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

This should explain the lack of posts...

OK, any of you that have visited here with me for any length of time, know how I go through spurts of blogging. I ran across the below comic in an email and thought it should explain why this is.....

Not that most regular bloggers don't have a life... I surely don't mean that! A perfect example is MM.

The man has his hands full and still manages to blog not only frequently but in length! Though I'm typically long winded I'm not a great story teller, as you can tell. I do thank those of you that still come to see what is going on in my life!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

update part 2

OK so sorry to have taken so long as Naomi pointed out to me in comments.
First and most importantly, Tia, has gotten a clean bill of health from the oncologist. So thank you all for the prayers and support!

Nickie is back to school! She isn't having any hip/leg pain and is so happy to be back! She has been asked out on a date by her classmate, Brian. He too is a special needs kid. He's so adorable and so sweet. He asked me to pick him up and take him and Nickie out on a date. I suggested a movie. So I have to contact his parents to see if they will let him go on a chaperoned date with Nickie and I. I will most certainly be blogging and taking many pics if and when this happens.

I was offered the teller job but I decided not to accept it. I feel that I will do much better in school if I can focus on that and not be concerned with a part time job. I thanked them many times for considering me for the job and I even went into the branch to talk to the head teller that interviewed me. We hit it off really well and she said she was sorry that I didn't take the job but completely understood my reasons. She said she thought I was the best person for the job and they had even offered to pay a little more than the usual start up pay and even increase the benefits package. It feels good that they wanted me so badly. I really thought being out of the real work force for 18 years would have hindered me. I see that it did not! I mean I knew it was impossible for them not to want/need me. I'm so darn lovable and all that but of course I may be a little biased.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Out of the mouths of babes!

Yesterday while on a car ride home Brandon asked me about Nickie's learning to drive a car. I explained to him that Nickie's disabilities prevent her from driving a car. This made him really sad. So he said, "Mom, how will she get to go anywhere when she moves out on her own?"
I explained, "Brandon its not likely Nickie will move out on her own. She needs people to take care of her since she can't do it on her own. So whenever she wants to go somewhere I will be the one taking her."
"So she won't move away when she is grown up?"
"No baby, she won't, unless she decides to move to a place where they help people like her to live kind of on their own. It's called an assisstive living facility. They have people there that help others to live on their own. I think Nickie will want to stay home with us because we love her and take the best care of her."
"Mom, when I am old enough to drive I'll take her places."

"Oh Brandon that is so nice of you. Nickie will love that."

Then after a long pause he says.....

"Yes, Brandon."

"Do I have to move away?"

"No, Baby you can stay with Mommy and Daddy for as long as you want to."

"Good I want to stay with you forever."

"I'm so glad you feel that way! I would love for you to stay with us forever. I know you feel that way now baby but when you grow up and don't depend on mom and dad any more you will want to start a life with a wife of your own."

"Well she can come live with me at our house, can't she?"

"Well, she could but I know you will both want to live on your own and start your own family. That's still a long way down the road for you and we will just have to see what happens."

"Mom, if I don't forget about this when I grow up and I hope I don't. I will just live with you and dad forever."

Now you tell me... isn't that the sweetest thing you ever heard? I love my boy

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Update on things

My aunt, Tia, had a complete mastectomy on Wed. She had at first opted for a lumpectomy but after speaking to many friends decided for the complete removal of the breast. She was in a very up beat mood and I'm sure this in and of itself was what helped her to get through the surgery so well. I saw her again 2 days after surgery and the woman was up mopping her kitchen floor. Wow! Is she ever a tough one!

Nickie has been doing well with no hip pain and the school is making accommodations for her to be able to get back to school and have a place to lie down a couple of times a day to get her off her hips and rest. We hope this will keep her from having to have any more surgery.

I'm filling out applications locally as well as trying to find some legitimate work from home. This means Brandon will have to go back to public school, he's really OK with that idea. It will also mean some added income. I've been out of the "real" work force for so many years I'm sure it won't be a simple task to re-enter. I could really use your good mojo, happy thoughts, prayers etc. I'd also love any job ideas any of you might have for someone out of the work force for 18 years.

Friday, September 28, 2007

crazy busy here!

I'm tired just thinking about all the stresses of the last few weeks.

A few weeks ago I found out that my aunt, Tia, received the results from a biopsy that came back malignant. The dreaded cancer had once again found its way back into my family. I didn't really know what to say to her except that I was so sorry to hear about the diagnosis and that I'd be there for her any way I could. I offered to go with her to see the oncologist on 9/13/07. I would have to help her interpret what he had to say. Though she's been in the states longer than my 42 years she still has a lot of difficulty with the language. She and Mom came here from Cuba together but Mom faired much better in learning the language than Tia did. So the plan was for the three of us to go together.

Nickie receives a brand new spiffy power wheelchair.. this is the first time she has ever gotten a new chair that didn't require weeks of getting used to it. She loves this one and so do the rest of us. Its capable of much faster speeds and turns on a dime. Look OUT!

Then we made it home from our vacation and I noticed Nickie was having pain in her left hip/leg. She seemed fine as long as we didn't move her, well except for the fact she was contracting the leg or guarding it. Any position change or toileting caused her to scream in agony. I thought perhaps the storm that caused our quick departure from the beach, the fact that we had to grab her up and literally had to struggle to get her into the wheelchair that was already loaded into the van, perhaps we damaged something. I thought back to our departure and subsequent night stay at the hotel in Nags Head and I realized that Nickie didn't complain at all when I moved her into the bed, positioned her and did the reverse in the morning. So I don't think that is what caused her pain. We arrived home the next day and that is when the screams of pain began. I did everything I could to make her comfortable including giving herTylenol and Motrin but none of those seemed to help. I tried heat and cold and again no relief. So after a couple days I called the orthopedist to arrange for an X-ray. I couldn't get an appointment with her regular pediatric orthopedist in Richmond so I called on a local orthopedist in Farmville.

I should have known better. The minute he saw Nickie I think he panicked. He did take an X-ray but said he could see no problems and referred us back to her pediatric orthopedist. It took a few more days to get an appointment with Dr. Sharps but he decided to also X-ray her spine. He found nothing wrong with either x_ray and decided she should have a CT scan. guess what happens next?

Yeah you got it more days pass before we get notice of the date of the CT scan. We finally get notice that they would like to see her for the CT scan on 9/11/07. Since I already know I have to go to Richmond on the 13th for the oncologist I decide to stay in Richmond at my Mom's for the duration. This means I have to make arrangements with Nickie's nurse Linda to stay with us as well. Linda is a godsend! She agrees to stay with us and this helps me out tremendously!

We go to the CT scan on Tues. We are grateful to find out that she doesn't need to be sedated. (The doctor first suspects we might need to sedate her to keep her calm and still.) Thankfully the techs and nurses decide to try it without sedation first and it was successful. The staff was fantastic and we were in and out of the lab quickly... getting the disc with the results however took much longer than the actual procedure. Finally we get the disc and I have to carry it over to Dr. Sharps for him to read it and tell us what we are to do next.

9/12/07 Nickie's birthday, she's 17 today! We celebrate by going shopping for her birthday gifts. She picks out some Game Boy games and clothing and jewelery. She takes off in her new wheelchair leaving Linda and I in the dust. Linda takes off after her in one direction and I do the same in another trying to cut her off. No such luck we both turn our perspective corners and can't find Nickie anywhere. I pop into a couple stores to see if she darted in to one but no one has seen her. Linda proceeds to go down the mall and ask if anyone has seen her.. no luck. I spot security and ask them to help us to find her. Some 15 minutes later we find Nickie is in a nearby store shopping for video games. After giving her a stern talking to I agree to purchase the game she found. This would not have happened had it not been her birthday.

48 hours and still no word so I call the office to ask when I will hear about the results of the CT scan. I was shocked to hear that I won't get an answer till sometime early next week. I'm sick that Nickie has to deal with her pain that much longer without some answer and possible relief.

9/26/07 I finally here from the orthopedist today. He has some scary news... he is seriously contemplating surgery on Nickie's hip due to the deformity she has there. His nurse Tina explains the various options. There are several different surgery options from a total hip replacement down to removal of the hip with no hardware being installed and finally a wait and see approach. I update Tina on Nickie's condition at present. She is in no real pain at this time though she has been out of school for 6 whole weeks now, which allows her to rest her hip in bed. She decides to give this information to Dr. Sharps and promises to call me with his thoughts on what is best to do.

9/28/07 I hear back from Tina and Dr. Sharps agrees with me on waiting it out. He would prefer not to do any surgery on Nickie unless it is absolutely necessary! Yee Haw! Nickie has had far too many surgeries to date and I had hoped we might avoid having any others. They will be asking the school to provide a place for Nickie to take 2, 20 minute breaks each school day to rest her hip. We hope this will provide her enough of a break from sitting in the wheelchair for hours at a time and prevent the pain from returning.

I'll update soon on my aunt's progress and with any information regarding Nickie.

Until next time.

quiz time says I'm an Uber Cool Non-Nerd.  What are you?  Click here!

I always knew I was cool! Now I have test results to prove it!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Beach memories

OK this should have posted on 8/23/07 but didn't for some reason...I just realized it didn't...

Yes they are memories now but great ones! We left for the outer banks of NC last Wed. This was our long overdue vacation. I'm sorry to say its been over 3 years since the last one. This trip more than made up for the time in between. However I hope not to have to wait as long for the next one.

The weather was fantastic for most of our trip, with mostly sunny days in the 80's. We took a trip to Ocracoke Island. The Ferry ride over was great. Both Brandon and Nickie held up crackers to feed the seagulls. I was able to capture one picture of a gull coming down to Brandon's cracker. I think I'm putting that one on the wall.

We spent most of the day walking through the town and shopping. Both Nickie and Brandon enjoyed the stroll and the final outcome which of course was souvenir shopping. Nickie scarfed up on some wonderful beach jewelry. Brandon got some pirate stuff, can you say ARRRRRR! We ate at the Jolly Roger which is our favorite spot to eat on the island. Its an open air covered deck area at the marina. Every other year we have gone the heat made it nearly impossible to enjoy the meal... notice I said nearly. The food there is really good so not even the heat would keep us from eating there. This time though with the temperatures as they were and the constant ocean breezes it was truly divine. The Pelican pictures I posted are from the deck. It wasn't until I got home and could see the pictures up close did I notice that the Pelican had a hook stuck in him. It didn't seem to affect his flight in anyway, though. Despite the detail(when seen in full size) in that picture he truly was a good distance away from the deck so the hook would have been impossible to see with the naked eye.

We rented a 4x4 to make the drive out onto the point in Buxton. This is the only way we can get Nickie out on the sand as her wheelchair would just bog down in the sand and since even those beach wheelchairs cost a fortune this was the least expensive way to go.
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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Post Secret video

I've mentioned a couple times at least what a great site Post Secret is, now there is a video you have to see. What a difference he's made to thousands of people. Go check it out!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Feeling BETTER!

Just a week ago, though I was trying to keep my spirits up, I was finding it hard to see the end to the nerve pain. Thank God its gone and I pray never to return. Bob is also feeling better though still on a liquid diet. He's all skinny now. That's fantastic, though I must admit I'm jealous as heck! I could stay on a liquid diet for a full year and not lose what he did in less than 2 weeks. I have been trying to eat more healthfully and Jackie and I started going to the Y last week. Something I've been thinking about doing since February.

Yes I know call me the queen of procrastination. That's me! Now that I finally got the motivation what do you think has happened? Nickie's nurse has quit. Yes, the story of my life. She didn't even have the nerve to tell me about it. I had to hear about it from the nursing agency giving me less than 2 weeks notice. I've said it a gazillion times I HATE nursing care! In general I hate nurses, with the exception of the nurse that will be taking the full time position beginning in August. She really has been a Godsend. Nickie loves her and she really seems to love Nickie as well. We've had only maybe 4 nurses in the course of our 15 years of experience that have been truly great people and nurses. You know the type that went into nursing to help people! Most are in it for the almighty dollar and let me tell you this isn't the business for that. OK, I'm stepping down off the soap box... for now!

I'd like to wish you all a happy 4Th of July! Don't forget to thank a veteran for your freedom! Say a prayer for them all! If I have any luck I hope to have some pics from our celebrations. We are going to our town's celebrations, I hear it is a ton of fun. The truth is we haven't attended a fireworks display in I can't tell you how many years. Let's just say Brandon has never gone to one and he will be 9 on the 17Th of this month. Its sad, I know, what a terrible mom! Well we will correct that tomorrow. Till next time

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Pain, pain and more pain

Over the last couple of weeks Bob and I have been falling apart. First I started having pain in my left shoulder and arm and I'm sure in an attempt to have the bigger, badder pain, Bob begins complaining of severe abdominal pains. Well you all know how men are. Nothing is worse than a sick man. Am I right or am I RIGHT? Yeah I'm right! Or so I thought.

Last week I had moped around complaining of the pain in my left shoulder and arm feeling quite sure that I had a pinched nerve that was causing all my pain. I had decided that if the pain continued through the weekend I'd have to break down and see the Dr.

By Friday night Bob began to have severe stomach pains that kept him up all night and kept him doubled over in pain throughout the weekend. All weekend he moaned and groaned and made my moaning seem unimportant. As the weekend continued it was obvious he was going to need a Dr. as well. We scheduled an apt. with our old Dr. back in Richmond as we had to make the drive to pick Jackie up anyway.

What a mistake that was! Dr. "Doofus", I won't call him what I was originally thinking, didn't so much as take any blood or spend more than 2 minutes with either of us. His diagnosis for Bob was to take some magnesium citrate, a colon cleansing drug and don't call him in the morning. His answer to my pain was to take 3 Advil every 4 hours and he gave me a sample of some anti-inflammatory drug that didn't help in the least bit except to make my glucose level go through the roof. Thank you DR. Doofus.

So the following day I took Bob to the local Dr. and she did blood work and sent him to the ER for more testing. We hadn't been to this hospital before and were happily surprised to see no one waiting in the waiting room and he was taken into triage right away and back to the ER in moments. "Wow, maybe its a good thing to live in the country and have a small community hospital?". Bob said.
"yeah! Looks promising!", I said.
We went back to a room and the nurses quickly came in to start an IV and have Bob drink that tasty contrast to have a CT scan done. We were informed we had a 2 hour wait for the contrast to work its way through his system before the CT scan could be performed. We were thankful this little community hospital had a tiny TV screen we could watch for that 2 hour wait. Surprisingly the 2 hours went faster than I had imagined it would. They nurse came in to take him to his CT scan and promised to have him back in 10 minutes.
"Viola!, he's back!", said the nurse when she returned.
"Just as you promised!", I replied.
We patiently waited for the results of the scan. One hour passed, then two and our patience went out the window. The Nurse practitioner came in to say the specialist would be in to discuss the results. Fear set in. Why in the world do we need a specialist? Hesitantly the NP said they saw Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). Soon every nurse, NP and DR came in to ask how much alcohol Bob drinks. He isn't a drinker. He may have some beer with an occasional dinner out, ie: all you can eat crab legs or on some special occasion. They made us both feel we were telling less than the truth. How rude!
After spending more than 6 hours in the ER the specialist shows up to tell us he normally would admit a patient in his condition but if we would go back to our PCP in the next 2 days he would release him. He suggested an ultrasound to rule out gall stones. We agreed to his terms and went home.
Two days later we saw the PCP who did more blood work and told Bob he needed to go on a clear liquid diet for 2 weeks.
"2 weeks?", Bob and I said in unison.
"2 weeks!", said Dr. R.
Dr. R then wrote a prescription for pain and we were on our way.

Thursday will be 1 week and I'm surprised at his will power to eat, ummmm. drink a clear liquid diet while the rest of us eat as usual. I'm coping with my shoulder pain and it does seem to be easing up a bit. I have no doubt that my reading Joel Osteen's book "Your Best Life Now" has helped me to get through this. Joel is a great motivational speaker. If you haven't seen him look for him on Sunday mornings. I highly recommend his book as well. Till next time!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Harpers Ferry, WV

Thanks to my sis-in-law, Linda and her email about this festival. We planned a spur of the moment camping trip to Harpers Ferry, WV. It was a beautiful town.

The area is rich in history. We didn't have enough time to see all there was to see and we will certainly return someday when we have more time to see it all. We will also have to make time to visit the Charles Town races just minutes from Harpers Ferry for some horse racing and some slot machine fun. Many years ago Linda and Ronnie introduced us to the horse races but we haven't been back and we have yet to try our hand at slot machines. Some day we will do just that.

At the festival we saw some amazing things! Here is a picture of some awesome masks made from leather. I couldn't afford any so this was the next best thing.

Braving the hot sunny day was my diva Nickie.

Nickie was intrigued by a man in a power chair that painted with a mouth stick. I wish I'd taken a picture of her intently watching him. I was just as amazed! His paintings were beautiful and reminded me a lot of my friend Theresa. She paints with a mouth stick also and was born with the same condition, Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita, Amyoplasia, as Nickie has. She does some amazing work. Those two make me feel even the more inadequate due to my lack of talent even with the full use of my hands and feet. That was the one thing I kept feeling walking around so much talent at that festival, how I lack talent for anything. I wish I could paint, draw, make something creative. Something I loved and did well. Something others would want to purchase! Alas, it isn't to be.
Here is a shot taken by master photographer known only as "Brandon",
That's Linda, Ronnie, me, Bob and of course Nickie.
Bob found this to add to our living room.

They call them rocks on fire! I couldn't resist purchasing one.
Well I'm off to plan our next camping tip!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Paco the singing dog!

While visiting Diane last Saturday I got to see in person, Paco the singing dog. Now you can see him too.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Do you see any resemblence?

Thursday I had to have some work done on my van in Richmond. Mom met me and picked me up so we could have lunch with her. Jackie, Brandon and I piled into her car and decided to see if my aunt would also like to go. We swung by her house and switched cars since Tia's car is a bit larger. We decided to go to the Spinnaker's restaurant at Chesterfield Town Square. We were greeted and promptly seated. Our waiter arrived and took our drink orders while we decided what we wanted to have for lunch.

Mom made a comment to Jackie about the fact that our waiter was handsome and how she should wink at him to let him know she liked him. Well if you know Jackie you know that isn't going to happen. She is entirely too shy for that sort of thing. I hadn't really looked at him so of course I had to make sure I paid attention on his return. I don't know how I could have NOT noticed it before, because except for the difference in hair color our waiter, Brian, looked almost like my son Shaun's identical twin. Well if he actually had a twin. I had to ask Brian if he minded if I took his picture to show to Shaun and Bob. Here they both are. You tell me what you think.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's day

Happy first mother's day to Diane! Happy mother's day to all mothers. I was lucky to have all my loved ones with me today. Shaun and Alexis came and brought me one of those great Hallmark musical cards as well as a 2 pack DVD set of Grease one and two. I love those movies, especially the second one. I love the music in that one the best. Jackie bought me a 3 CD set of the 50's and 60's hits and a 3 CD set of the 80's hits. This should complete my collection since I recently bought a similar set of Cd's for the 70's. So now I have a really nice collection of the songs I love best. Brandon and Nickie worked together on a home made card and my loving hubby bought me the item I'd been wanting for a few weeks, a DVD recorder. Now I can transfer all our home videos to DVDs, YEAH!
On a slight twist of the traditional mother's day. My mom came and prepared dinner for all of us. A traditional Cuban feast, black beans and rice and pork. It was delicious and as usual we all ate too much. The food and the company was fantastic! I hope you all had as nice a day as I did!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Congratulations Diane!

On the birth of your beautiful baby girl, Annabelle Leigh! Born 5/5/07 8lbs 12.6 oz and 21 inches long. I can't wait to see her and hold her. Mom says she is doing well and getting into a routine. You can find her pics here.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Sad blogging news

I'm sorry to report my fave blogger MM's parents were both killed on Thursday in a horrible car accident. They were on their way to see their new granddaughter for the first time. I can't begin to imagine what MM, HLS and the children are feeling. Send your good mojo and prayers to them.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

military request

From the men and women on the war front is an online petition for enlisted to sign.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

From my inbox

I received this email from a friend who is forwarding it along as requested by a Lt. Col.

I'm Tired

Two weeks ago, as I was starting my sixth month of duty in Iraq, I was forced to return to the USA for surgery for an injury I sustained prior to my deployment With luck, I'll return to Iraq to finish my tour.

I left Baghdad and a war that has every indication that we are winning, to return to a demoralized country much like the one I returned to in 1971 after my tour in Vietnam . Maybe it's because I'll turn 60 years old in just four months, but I'm tired:

I'm tired of spineless politicians, both Democrat and Republican who lack the courage, fortitude, and character to see these difficult tasks through.

I'm tired of the hypocrisy of politicians who want to rewrite history when the going gets tough.

I'm tired of the disingenuous clamor from those that claim they 'Support the Troops' by wanting them to 'Cut and Run' before victory is achieved.

I'm tired of a mainstream media that can only focus on car bombs and casualty reports because they are too afraid to leave the safety of their hotels to report on the courage and success our brave men and women are having on the battlefield.

I'm tired that so many Americans think you can rebuild a dictatorship into a democracy over night.

I'm tired that so many ignore the bravery of the Iraqi people to go to the voting booth and freely elect a Constitution and soon a permanent Parliament.

I'm tired of the so called 'Elite Left' that prolongs this war by giving aid and comfort to our enemy, just as they did during the Vietnam War.

I'm tired of antiwar protesters showing up at the funerals of our fallen soldiers A family who's loved ones gave their life in a just and noble cause, only to be cruelly tormented on the funeral day by cowardly protesters is beyond shameful.

I'm tired that my generation, the Baby Boom -- Vietnam generation, who have such a weak backbone that they can't stomach seeing the difficult tasks through to victory.

I'm tired that some are more concerned about the treatment of captives than they are the slaughter and beheading of our citizens and allies.

I'm tired that when we find mass graves it is seldom reported by the press, but mistreat a prisoner and it is front page news.

Mostly, I'm tired that the people of this great nation didn't learn from history that there is no substitute for Victory.

Joe Repya,
Lieutenant Colonel , U. S. Army
101st Airborne Division

This needs to get all over the U S A.

I agree with him 100%