26 January 2008

Logbook Entry

Stardate 1.26.07
After an initial rocky start to slumber, punctuated by periods of wakefulness due to coughing, I finally slept for a few hours straight. Tempted to boot family pet who started barking at 7:48am and could be heard in the master bedroom from the infamous, now dry pool bath, sleeping location of said pets. (Izzie - watch out for those Romulans - I've put out an APB on you!)

Am enjoying cup of coffee while making logbook entry with high hopes that today will be like that Michael Buble song:

"It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life
For me
And I'm feeling good"

So far so good - a grand total of 45 minutes. We'll see. Day 10 of antibiotic. Day 4 of 2nd round of steroids. Day 6 of breathing treatments. Must quit enumerating RX status or will have to delete song lyrics as I slip into a stupified silence on the couch.

Have renewed interest in "House Hunters" so feel recooperation must be around the corner. Downloaded some movies from Amazon Unbox to watch tonight. Afraid to go out anywhere due to rounds of Prednisone - that evidently gives me a big neon VACANCY sign for any infections others might have. I have enough of my own, thank you very much, so am not interest in "sharing". So will stay home until RX for that is finished (sigh, 6 more days...)

44 degrees F outside - warmest it's been all week for the morning. Promise of high temp in the 60's - will believe it when I see it. Winter has definitely come to south Texas - usually by now it's in the 70's, grass is greening up and the threat of days in the 80's is looming. Not so this year. Grass actually went dormant for once.

Until next entry, logging off.

24 January 2008

The "other" thing going around...

Jennifer and several others posted this on their web. You copy it off and fill in your own answers. Sounds like fun so here we go:

Tomorrow: is just another day, so I'll worry about it then (thanks, Scarlett - you've helped me ever so much with my worry issues...)

Feeling: Oh, loaded question after MY week - let's see, some words spring to mind like "sick, damp, annoyed, loneliy, singled out in the universe for every perverse thing that can go wrong with my house" tempered with "I'm a tree, I can bend..."

Happy because: the "flood" is behind me, my chest is improving and I ordered OUT for dinner! I should have some more meaningful, zen-like response, but after my week, happy means "nothing imminently threatening life or limb".

Today I: will NOT run over senior citizens in my SUV, jump out of airplanes nor try to lose weight...gotta have realistic goals, girls!

Laundry: is a fact of life. Get over it. Frankly, I find laundry much better than say, cleaning toilets, even if it does take longer. And I'm perverse in that I love to fold clothing warm from the dryer - especially if they are children's things. Baby things are a bonus. If you're lucky, you'll get a set of Bosch front-loaders - they are like the Mercedez Benz of the laundry world.

Something I know: Only one thing?? Seriously??? For real???? No WAY!!!!
1) I am loved by my husband even with my weight, my spending, my lines and wrinkles, my annoying habits and my proclivity to run up north to be with the grandchildren all the time - he has convinced me of this.
2) Possessions do not bring happiness - they are nice to have but do require upkeep so if you're barely keeping your had above water, why want something that you have to add to your "to do" list to take care of? Having said that, jewelry, really GOOD jewelry, is VERY low maintenance...
3) If you go into the hospital and give birth to a 9 lb. baby, you will lose exactly 5.2 lbs. It's unfair, but a truth.
4) 75% of women will find that the 5.2 lbs. in #3 above is the last time they will actually lose weight
5) 95% of husbands will really not care about #4 (and the other 5% obviously don't care about their women)
6) You are never too young to take care of your skin and ALWAYS use sunscreen unless you want to be a prune face by 40. Having said that, it is a truth that most women can't afford the "good stuff" in their 20's and 30's so spend a lot more money in their 40's and 50's on the "remedial" stuff. Find a fairy godmother/mother/mother-in-law who will hook you up with the good stuff on a regular basis.
7) Children who are not potty-trained by age 4 are just as smart as those who are. However, children who have NOT had sex and have NOT used drugs by college ARE smarter.
8) At mealtimes, it's more important for the familiy to share and enjoy the time together than it is for strict manners to be enforced, military style.
9) A dad who loves the mother of his children is the best dad in the world.
10) Parents who PARENT their children become FRIENDS with them when they are older. Parents who want to be FRIENDS with their children find they don't see them at all when they move away and only hear about them when the "tell-all memoir" comes out. That's when they change their name and move to an obsolete country somewhere.

Currently reading: my blog page - seriously, I'm not THAT good a multi-tasker! Okay, sarcasm aside, I'm ready "Atonement" (in lieu of finding ANYONE who will go to see the movie with me), my nightly "M&M's" (Moments with the Master) written by members of our church, one week's worth per author and then there is the eternal stack of magazines. Thank goodness I love interior design as those are like picture books for adults. Oprah magazine - well, that takes some serious reading commitment, friends. I find I don't get to it often enough to warrant my subscription.

Wanting: TO BE WELL AGAIN. And weigh 120 lbs. I have a shot at being well anyway...

Favorite gadget: My Clarisonic facial washer Mike got me for Christmas (via Jennifer who always looks out for her mother on the "gifting front", bless her...keep on watching Oprah's Favorite Things, please!) It's fantastic - my skin is really improving and feels so nice. Oh, and my Nespresso machines. Okay, so I did two - so sue me...

Thankful that: I live back in the USA and have all those gorgeous children and grandchildren so much closer by than when the Atlantic was between us among other things.

Wondering why: my pool bath flooded when there was no blockage in the drain line at all. It's a mystery - a very uncomfortable "will it happen again" mystery. Not really big in the whole scheme of things but in my isolated world of germs right now, it's a big thing to me. Must refer to the "Tomorrow" entry above...again, thanks Scarlett O'Hara!

Somewhere over the rainbow...

Well, I survived the great flood of 2008 in my pool bath. The plumber came out today - no blockage on the drain line at all. Mystery waters - no clue. Called my insurance company. I have a $11,300 deductible. Fantabulousa. So it's me and the warped boards. I'm drying it all out now with fans and dehumidifier and have GREAT hopes (read: last chance before big buck handout...) that the boards will dry out and flatten again. Talked to the builder and they said those boards often do. My wooden floor was built with screeds so the water isn't directly on the wood - it's in a recess that is OBVIOUSLY flowing towards the garage because that's where my new fim "A River Runs Through It" is currently on location. No kidding! The water from the bathroom flowed under the screeds, down towards the kitchen pantry, exited from the pantry into the single garage. Gravity - at least this time it's my house and not my face or boobs. And it's a good thing too or else I'd be sitting in a water feature not designed for my home interior.

So it's been an interesting day. But more than that, it's been a day of IMPROVEMENT on ye old crackly chest. I guess all those steroids, breathing treatments and sleepless nights are paying off (sounds like college - oh, wait, I didn't go...). I have guarded optimism that I might actually get several hours of continuous sleep tonight (oh, Jennifer, how I understand your situation with Luke and the vacuum of night called sleeplessness). Anyway, it's nice to breath and NOT feel like a bowl of Rice Krispy's with milk poured on them - snap, crackle, cough (that's the one that didn't do well in the test market - 'pop' got the job.)

Mike made it to Kazakhstan from Amsterdam. Always good to hear he's landed and actually made it to his hotel room when he goes to these far off places. Now he's 11 hours ahead which make for a narrow window of phone conversation possibilities. But that's life - well, ours anyway.

I feel quite cosmopolitan as I have a nifty little Nespresso machine IN MY OFFICE! How cool is THAT? Now I can sit at my desk, blogging away and think, "Hmm, I'd like some coffee!", reach over and press a button and soon I have my own steaming cup of Volluto coffee. Or Capriccio. Or whatever flavor I want. We have a built-in one in the kitchen - coffee on demand - and it's delightful. We had this little portable unit and took it to Disney with us as well. When we got back, I put it in my office and it's so cool to have right by the desk! (Of course, I had to let my cute Italian butler, Dano, go, but we had to make allowances....just kidding!)

Well, enough ramblings from the fried brain of Ms. Pharmacy. Hopefully I'll be back to my semi-sane self next week. Until then, may your toilets not overflow, your chests be clear and garages be dry!

23 January 2008

...which is followed by a truly UNmagical moment...

Still sick. Doctor called in stronger steroids. More breathing treatments. HGTV is losing it's charm as I'm getting to the repeats of things I've already seen (and personally, I don't care "HOW MUCH YOUR HOUSE IS WORTH" anymore...) And if walls could talk, they'd be blackmailing me now, I'm sure.

So, to my unmagical moment. I noticed water in the hallway near my study and the back stairs. Hmm, curious. In the pool bath, water everywhere. Evidently the toilet overflowed of it's own volition. So I plunge - nothing. I plunge away once more - still nothing. Then I give it the real heave ho rapid action series - it starts to go down BUT....glug, glug, glug....it's going in the (oh gross, please come decontaminate my house Mr Clean) shower stall! There's at least 2" of "water" in the shower stall. It all looks clean, thank goodness. Don't know if it's a drainage problem with the neighborhood, debris left from construction that just now "caught up with me" or what. But thank goodness for a merciful builder - even though we've been in here almost exactly 2 years, they are sending out a plumber tomorrow morning to solve the mysterious tide in the pool bath. I knew I loved Peterson Home Builders from the moment our eyes locked across the open fields of our neighborhood (that and the meticulous detail to wood trim - always a good way to get my attention.) Why is it these things never happen if your husband is at home?

So now I'm wondering if water leaks are also contagious and we got it from Tim and Megan....it's a small world evidently intent on being covered with water. Anyone see a rainbow anywhere? Anyone? Just a little rainbow??? A teeny tiny one will do....

My truly magical moment

I've been mulling over our recent trip to Disney and all the different sights, sounds, foods, cute things said, reactions, etc. And one of my favorite memories was of a waitress at the new Yak & Yeti restaurant in the Animal Kingdom. It was the restaurant Tim and Megan picked out (each couple was given the choice of one sit-down favorite) and it was so new, Megan had to call again and again to finally be able to make a booking - they had to have an opening date before they could take bookings. It was THAT new!

They got a reservation for 5pm one day - we arrived and the hostess was coming out the door as we were openining it. "We're closing!" she said. "But we have a 5pm reservation!" I replied. She said, with a hint of resignation (not a Disney trait usually), "Are you the party of 13?" Yup, that was us. Turns out another large party had shown up at the last minute and they had seated them thinking they were us. Well, they WEREN'T and we weren't giving up our reservation. After a bit of waiti\ing and hearing them to and fro on the phone ("so and so can't handle that much at once - I know - but they were the ones with the reservation") we were beginning to feel a bit unwanted, truth be told. And if it hadn't been Tim and Megan's choice and so hard to come buy, I would have been tempted to tell them to stuff it.

But we waited and eventually the semi-hostile hostess told us our table was ready. We traipsed back to the two tables set out for us (the only single table long enough to accomodate us having already been taken by said earlier party of interlopers - in the same room, right next to us I might add). So two families sat at a large round table and two families sat at a square table next to it. The long table next to us was noisy, rude and rambunctious. I was thinking, "Wow, this is going to be some 'fun' dinner."

Then Dawn arrived, our waitress. First of all, she looked a lot like Marisa Tomei. And she had a lovely smile. And she made us feel welcome. She told us she'd be taking the larger round table orders first and then the smaller table - she didn't want us to think we'd been forgotten. Service was excellent, the food was excellent, and we soon ceased to even notice the long table of rude people sitting where we thought we should have been. We all tried different things, the kids were happy with some novelty we'd bought earlier in the day. Dawn mentioned that the children were the best behaved she'd seen - they'd had kids who screamed the entire time, ran all over the place, threw things across the room. Must be a battle zone sometimes.

As the meal wound down and we noticed we were the only ones left in our dining room, perhaps the entire restauarant (Animal Kingdom closes at 5pm - the animals DO need to get their beauty rest, you know!), Dawn started visiting some with us - how old are the children? was this our first trip? how was our stay going? We visited with her a bit and we told her about how we'd been coming since 1980 and had always looked forward to taking our grandchildren some day - back when our own children were barely in school themselves. I told her about the 3 babies born this year, about how close in age the two sets were, our hopes that they'd always be close especially since they each had another cousin close in age. She related how she and her daughter had been coming for years and she had the same hope some day.

Our bill was brought and I paid it. When we got up to leave, she came over and told me, with tears in her eyes, "You really touched my heart! I only hope that one day I'll get to be a grandma like you are!" and she enveloped me in this huge bear hug. It was really sweet, really touching. And right then I had one of those "I'm doing something right" moments and felt quite at peace.

For me, it was a Magical Moment indeed.

And thanks, Dawn. It was a GREAT evening and I hope you DO get to bring your grandkids to Disney World someday!

21 January 2008

A little ditty...

Okay - really corny entry here but I figure I can blame it on the medication. It's amazing what modern chemicals can do to a normally functioning brain. I checked the information sheet that came with my prescription for possible side effects but "non-inspirational song writing" wasn't listed. I'll be sure to contact the pharmaceutical company right away. They need to know about this - who knows how many are suffering? But this is dedicated to all you who blog out there - be sure to sing it to the tune of, "Let's Give 'Em Something To Talk About!"

Hit it!

Let's Give 'Em Something to Blog About
by Cheri Drennon

People are blogging, blogging ‘bout dreams
I read their missives, live’s interesting things
We wonder who’s reading? Who’s looking inside
Of our brains as we blog into the night.
We write of life day by day
Dissecting the “whys” on the way
And read each other always
Maybe we’ll see we’re not in this alone!

Let’s give ‘em something to blog about!
Please give me something to blog about!
If I don’t blog I might shout,
Blogging ‘bout li-i-i-i-ife

I don’t feel so alone, I want the world to know
All about my manias and fears
I don’t think I’m alone in this world we call home
So let’s write and share all our tears
Now I check your blog day by day
And I leave comments (isn’t that the way?)
And hope you’ll read my blog in a day or two…
We live for comments, don’t we? We wanna know that you do!

Let’s give ‘em something to blog about!
Please give me something to blog about!
If I don’t blog I might shout,
Blogging ‘bout li-i-i-i-ife

It's a small world after all...evidently CRAWLING with germs...

Well, after THAT auspicious title, I'm surprised you're still reading. But the truth is, we all came back from Disney to our respective abodes and every single family has had illness since - but none of it the same thing! We ARE a family for DIVERSITY! Kennedy had her infamous ear infection "whilst on holiday" and evidently Lleyton had a cold upon return (plus the added bonus of their house having been mini-flooded by a leaking water heater but you'll have to read HER blog for that!)

Then I hear that Jason is sick - so sick he (a) doesn't go into work and (b) goes to see a physician. Well, I don't know about YOUR family, but in MINE, if a man voluntarily goes to see a doctor, he must be on death's door! He got his meds, stayed home another day and then had the blessed weekend to buy him some more healing time.

Meanwhile, I am feeling pretty good about having gone to Disney and escaping any of my past issues while there - one year Mike and I had to have the Medical Concierge come out and take care of us as we were both really sick with upper resperatory issues. Another couple of years, my back was out. Then there were the "sciatic pain" years which meant I had to rent that electric cart thing to get around. Anyhoo, I'm back, I averaged 15,000 steps PER DAY on the trip (feeling MIGHTY fine about that one folks!) and decided I'd try to keep up the walking routine. Headed to Katy Mills last Tuesday with Marilyn and Carleeta and walk their three laps and, other than a knee starting to "ouch", feel pretty proud of myself. Went to a movie and dinner with Mike that night. Then I woke up Wednesday - could NOT breath, sounded like a static electricity storm every time I breathed and my head was pounding. Went to doctor - bronchitis. So, now I'm nebulizing (is that a word?), on steroids (well, there goes MY stellar reputation in sports!) and on all kinds of meds that make me dry up, breath and supposedly heal. Still workin' on it folks, still workin' on it. I'm the 8th dwarf, Wheezy.

Well, as I'm in the doctor's office waiting my turn, Jen calls and Ben has mono! Now, Mike is in Europe and I'm wondering when the Miserable Fairy is going to shine her good fortune upon him or if he escaped just in time! Call Chris to warn him in case Mirai starts acting unwell only to be told Jenjer is about well now and Mirai was sick and is now better.

So Jenny and I were talking. We went to Disney and managed to ALL come home with something different. My, like I said, we ARE a diversified family. And let me tell you, it has NOT been a MAGICAL MOMENT FOR ME!

I shall now retire to my couch where my HGTV awaits me - which is good considering the screen writer's had the nerve to go on strike when sick men and women of America NEED THEM MOST! In my delirium, I wonder if McDreamy is through with Meredith or will Meredith finally see the light; will the Kiss Me Not killer strike again while the Women's Murder Club is out on hiatis with no one to catch him/her; why can Heroes save the world but not the networks; how can all these young families with little bitty kids afford these huge expensive houses on House Hunters; if all these youngsters are living together that are buying a house on Property Virgins, why are they still called virgins? INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW!!

Hmmm, think I'll go read the information that came with my medication - wonder about some of these side effects....

19 January 2008

Friends in high places...I mean HIGH places!!

Personalized scrapbook from Mickey Mouse
Mike and I received a very special gift this week - I will attempt to photograph and share it (wishing I had Jen's Nikon right now, but you're stuck with my humble Sony for now.) It was a special delivery from none other than MICKEY MOUSE! He sent a personalized autograph album completely filled in with autographs including some VERY rare ones like TINKER BELL!! Every single page is filled - it's amazing!! It was such a surprise to receive this marvelous gift - one we'll enjoy sharing with the grandchildren for years to come! And ALL the grandchildren's names were listed in front. How DOES he know?

So, thank you, Mickey. We had fun in your Magic Kingdom and are thrilled you thought of us in this way. It was indeed a magical moment. And, hey, buddy, we'll "see ya real soon!", okay?

18 January 2008

The Little Princess

Princess Kennedy">

Ever since it's inception at Walt Disney World, one of the things I've looked forward to was Kennedy being old enough to have an appointment at the Bippity Boppity Boutique. You have to be 3 years old - and Kennedy was! So on Wednesday of our vacation, Megan, Kennedy and I went to Cinderella's Castle to the boutique and Kennedy selected her Princess outfit - Snow White - the original Princess and a CLASSIC! (Good taste, Kennedy!)

When you check in at the desk, you're given a pager so your "Fairy Godmother" can summon you when it's time for your transformation. You pick out your hairstyle and costume then as well. Then you go to your "throne" where you have your hair brushed out with great ceremony. Your hair is then pulled into a pony tail and then you're summoned back to the dressing rooms where you are told, "Look what Tinker Bell left for you!" as they pull back the rich velvet curtains to reveal the ENTIRE outfit laid out in a deluxe dressing room - dress, shoes, hairpiece, wand - it's truly a magical moment right then!

After a lot of "oohs" and "ahhs" and "look at THIS, Mommy!" moment, Megan helped her get her dress and shoes on. Then back out to the salon amidst other patrons "oohs and ahhs" to get back on your throne for your hair and makeup. The whole process takes about an hour or two for the complete process and again, Kennedy was very patient through the whole thing. I figured she'd "have enough" at some point but she didn't! Her only meltdown came when it was finished, we had paid and she was given her bag of goodies (nail polish, makeup and headband she didn't use since she had on her tiara of course!). She wanted to put more makeup on!

The only "fly in the ointment" was the ill-planned decision on Disney's part to have the makeover done in the castle and then expect us to somehow transport our little princess through the crowds back up Main Street to the Exposition to have her photos taken! I don't THINK so! It would have truly been a "magical moment" for the grandparents and parents to have been whisked away in a pumpkin carriage led by white horses to said photo session but no - by foot was the expected route. So we forwent said photo session on that day and did it another day in another outfit. There's just so much a princess can stand you know.

Here are some photos from our session - Kennedy knew exactly what she wanted. When offered choices on nail polish color, hair style, outfit, eyeshadow color - she was very decisive. No hesitation whatsoever.

Long reign Princess Kennedy! How happy you've made the Queen Mother, Gramma Cheri.

Happy Belated Birthday to Jennifer

Last Saturday was Jennifer's 30th birthday. She didn't have the best day I'm sure what with packing up at the resort at Disney World, getting luggage to the airline check-in on time, killing time until their flight in late afternoon, flying home and then arriving fairly late in the evening to bags to unpack, Christmas decor to get packed away, etc. But I was thinking about the day she was born 30 years ago in a small county hospital when we lived in Bay City, our first transfer with Amoco. We lived in a 2 bedroom apartment, had been out of university for 9 months, did not own a washer or dryer and had a car payment for a GREEN Ford Pinto wagon of all things. We were almost newlyweds having been married only 18 months. But one thing we knew for sure, we were ready to be parents, we were ready for this baby to be born and it was with great excitement (and some trepidation) that we left for the hospital. A few hours later, Jennifer made her appearance and life hasn't been the same since - in a GREAT way!

So, happy birthday Jennifer! I certainly hope I'm around for your next 30 years!

08 January 2008

Gone to Disney!

I'll be back next week with more - but we're in the HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH!! So pardon my absence while we are in Walt Disney World with all the kids, all the grandkids (and some days, seemingly everybody else in the world - man the parks have been busy for January!)

Mickey says hello by the way...