Friday, July 31, 2009

Massage Therapy is a wonderful thing!

As a licensed massage therapist, I spend a lot of time GIVING massages and not as much time GETTING massages.  I do get them on a regular basis, but it's never enough.  Anyone who has had a massage can probably agree with that.  I think one massage a day should be a minimum requirement.

My usual massage therapist is on maternity leave, so I have tried out two new therapists.  Both guys.  This goes against my natural selection of practitioners.  I always choose women doctors and I have always preferred women massage therapists.  However, I work directly with these two guys, who are both young enough to be my sons, and I decided to give them a try.  They are both very good and I feel totally comfortable with them.  And explaining my medical history of two brain surgeries and the results of that is always amusing.  There are certain types of massage I can't have around my head and neck and I ALWAYS need to make that clear for fear of damaging anything.

As I lay on the massage table today, I become the "typical" client.  I have the same concerns as every other client that confesses their concerns to me.  I didn't have to worry about lint in my toes, though, I wore flip flops.  Oh, and I shaved my legs and armpits.  However, I did make sure my bra was hidden under my clothes.  Also, I forgot to throw away my gum - do I hop up and throw it out and risk my co-worker now my therapist walking into the room and seeing me with just my panties on (ie:  boobs, fat and cellulite flying free and clear)?  Or do I lay on the table and just hold it in my cheek?  Or do I swallow it?  I swear, I was so close to just swallowing it.  I decided to hold onto it.  As he started massaging my head and jaw, I chewed my gum.  He said, "Um, Jo, you're not going to choke on your gum, are you?"  So I giggled and asked for a tissue to spit it out.  Then part way through, my stomach would not stop growling.  LOUD.  I know that is common, the parasympathetic nervous system kicks in and that is often the result.  Or maybe it's just that I didn't have breakfast.  Either way, I felt like every other client laying there thinking "Holy crap, stomach, SHUT UP!"

The rest of the time though, I was thinking, "Oh my goodness sakes, I am in HEAVEN!"  I can't wait for my massage again next month.  Wait, next month is tomorrow?  Maybe I should go back tomorrow!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ebb and Flow

Some days, I don't know if I am coming or going.  I get overwhelmed with all the stuff I have to do.  Sometimes, it's "stuff" I have brought on myself.   Scheduling too much in one day and waiting until the last minute to get done what I need to do.  Forgetting something on my grocery list and having to go back to the store before guests arrive.  I get a little frantic, but I guess not enough, because I tend to repeat these trends.

Sometimes, the "stuff" is out of my control.  Unexpected guests, plugged toilets (again!), cranky kids, cranky me.

Then comes the crash.  I did it!  I got it all done.  I squeezed it all in and there was success.  Now what?  Shouldn't I be doing something?  Surely I forgot something.  Should I start getting ready for the next crazy day?  Maybe if I prepare enough, I won't start running behind and hit panic mode.  Or maybe I'll just go with it and have a day to do nothing.  Hang out, go with the flow and not think about the next crazy day.  Yep, that is exactly what I will do.  Today you may find me lounging on the couch, or at the pool, or in my bed snoozing.  If you can't find me there, take a look around the neighborhood.  I may go for a walk, stop over at the neighbor's for a chat or hop on my bike.  No matter how I look at it though, some days are just for doing nothing.  At least until the next wave of "crazy" hits.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Observations at an amusement park

CJ, Sous Chef and I spent Sunday evening at our local amusement park while MG and Big E are spending some time in Canada.  I really should take a notebook when I go anywhere like this, because the thoughts are just flying through my head as I people watch.  Call me judgemental, but when people look, act and dress the way they do, they are opening themselves up for some serious judgement.
  1. The people who need the most amount of clothing seem to wear the least.
  2. Many lesbian woman are attracted to women who look like men, whom they are not attracted to.  (I have absolutely NO problem with same sex couples/homosexuality and if any of you care to shine some light on this, I am open to your comments!)
  3. What's with the saggy pants below the butt and those stupid truck driver gone urban hats?  First, these folks want to show us their asses and underwear, but then they cover their heads with the most stupid looking hat cocked to the side.  They truly look like morons from top to bottom.  (Get it? Top - the hats, to bottom - the pants.  Ha!)
  4. I think " 'Crackdown' on indecency" in the above picture was used very appropriately.  Don't you?
  5. Shoes.  I am a sandal girl myself.  Two of my kids, too.  The third son and my husband prefer sneakers when walking for long periods of time.  But there are those who wear their gigolo dress shoes or hooker platform sandals to an amusement park where they are going to be walking ALL DAY.  These people often fall into #1.
  6. Language.  So many must sense that I don't scream sentences with "FUCK" as every other word to my kids that therefore they are trying to fill that void for my kids.
  7. I am always shocked at how many people get pissed off because the ride attendants won't let a child who does not meet the height requirements ride a ride.  Don't they know those limits are there for a reason? 
  8. Why do people want to carry around tacky stuffed animals that are three times bigger than the average human?
  9. Relative to #6, why do people got to an amusement park, where there are tons of cool rides, and sit in an arcade and play games?
  10. Some women are really beautiful in their Hijabs.  I could never pull that off.
  11. After three times in a row on the Viking Fury, I totally understood why my husband calls it the Barf-O-Matic.  I didn't get sick, but I had to put my foot down in saying I would not ride it again.
  12. It's good to force your five year old to ride a ride he thinks will be scary but you know he will love.  See #10.  Then I could hardly stop him from riding.
Now, if I could only figure out how to take a picture of some of the above mentioned people without it being so obvious, I would.  However, I don't know how to do that and prefer not to risk my life at the amusement park.

(On a more serious note, I will be updating what I know about Stellan on the entry before this one.  Just look down below.)

Stellan

Prayers for Stellan
 

Updates are via MckMama's tweets and blog.  You can click on her blog here:  My Charming Kids to read her exact words.  If you haven't checked her out, I suggest you do!


UPDATE:  They are going home!  The new drug cocktail is working and MckMama and Stellan are heading home.  The hope is to that the meds will continue to work until Stellan is big enough/weighs enough to safely have the necessary surgery to repair his heart condition. (Aug. 2)

UPDATE:  Stellan is making huge improvements and being weaned off IV meds and put onto oral meds to control his SVT.  If all goes well, they will delay his trip to Boston for an ablation.  Putting that off as long as possible gives him a much better chance for a successful surgery.

UPDATE:  Everything is arranged for the transfer to Boston, EXCEPT having a bed available in the CICU (Cardiac Intensive Care Unit).  Once a bed opens, Stellan and his parents will be on a flight to Boston. (2:00PM July 29)

UPDATE:  This is via MckMama's tweet this morning:  Stellan had a good night. Zofran kicked in & he stopped vomiting. Sinus rhythm all night! He's still VERY swollen: sign of his heart failure.  They are still waiting for details to go to Boston. (July 29, 10:00AM)

UPDATE:  Stellan is out of immediate danger.  Plans for Boston are still being made. (10:15 AM, July 28)

UPDATE:  Stellan had an hour and a half of no SVT and his little body did some recovering before going back into SVT.  Hopefully, that break, and the rest it brought him, will get him through the night.  He has not been transferred to Boston yet. (posted 1:00AM EST).

UPDATE:  Stellan will be air ambulanced to the children's hospital in Boston.  He is not in "moment to moment crisis," but in serious condition and stable.  Last I checked, logisitics were being worked out for the air care flight.

UPDATE:  Stellan is detiorating.  Things seem to be going downhill fast.  You can follow Jennifer's (MckMama) blog at My Charming Kids.

Stellan is not doing well.  Do whatever you do when a little one is in need - prayers, thoughts, good vibes, healing energy - whatever, just do it.

Read my Tweets, to the right, for updates.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Yummy!


It's Saturday, but you'll find me at Wednesday Spaghetti today.

Friday, July 24, 2009

theBlogFrog is up and running!

It's true.  The new BlogFrog is live!  If you are wondering exactly what theBlogFrog is, it's a social network that allows bloggers to connect and interact with one another.  It makes your blog the center of your online community.  It helps bloggers to find one another.  It allows bloggers to chat in forums.  Really, what more could you ask for?  Now go on, check it out.

theBlogFrog has 30 or so awesome community leaders, me being one of them, so you will be hearing more about theBlogFrog as time goes on.

And if you haven't heard, BlogHer10 is going to be in NYC Aug.5-Aug.7.  I'm in.  Anyone care to join me?

(If you haven't already seen the video below, it's a good one.  I scheduled it to post early this morning, but as many of you now, the blogger scheduled posts is not working.  So I was watching the Today Show this morning and the bridal couple was on.  They just posted this video to YouTube on Sunday and it was meant for friends and family.  It has already had like a bzillion hits!)

Wedding Entrance

Well, after yesterday's post, I thought I would share something very unique, heartwarming and just down right fun.  All weddings should be celebrated with this much joy!  I don't know these people, but damn, I would have loved to been at their reception!  (You can turn off my music by clicking the pause button on the playlist at the bottom of the web page.)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Creating Space

I should have known that purging my brain earlier this week would just result in more space for other things to take over.

I can't shake the news that a friend from college committed suicide.  The image of someone who was so loud, happy, obnoxious, ornery and friendly being so distraught, so broken, so emotionally exhausted, so desperate to the point of taking his own life just doesn't make sense.  I have known this guy since I was a senior in high school and would visit the University of Cincy on weekends to see my beau.  They were friends and lived on the same floor in their dorm and eventually joined the same fraternity.  My sophomore year in college, I lived in a house with six girls total and he lived a few doors up from us.  He parked his motorcycle in our garage, he dated one of my roommates.  We saw him almost every day.  Together, all of us, my roommates and his, shared in the loss of one of his roommates who was killed in a motorcycle accident while we were all in college.  I did not keep in touch with him after college, but I got updates from friends who did.  He had his ups and downs like all of us, but I don't think anyone expected this.  It seems odd to say I am thankful he did not leave behind a wife and kids.  But in reality, maybe if he had had those relationships in his life, things would have turned out differently for him.  I can't stop thinking about his mother, his family, his close friends who will miss him dearly.

In my lifetime, I have experienced more than my share of losses through suicide.  That's what happens, I guess, when your family history includes mental health issues.  But to be hit with this death so unexpectedly has me a little rattled and it is taking up that empty space in my brain.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Blog Hopping

Today I am getting around the blogosphere by Blog Hopping with The Mommy Chef!  Feel free to join in!

Here's my recipe for my blog hop.  Just FYI - I often make this without the asparagus.


ROASTED ROSEMARY PORK WITH ASPARAGUS


INGREDIENTS:
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 large garlic cloves, minced
4 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 (5-pound) center-cut pork loin roast
2 pounds fresh thick asparagus spears, trimmed and blanched

TO PREPARE:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix the olive oil, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper in a bowl. Reserve 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil mixture. Spread the remaining olive oil mixture over the fat side of the pork and arrange on a wire rack in a roasting pan.

Place the pork in the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Roast for 2 hours. Toss the asparagus with the reserved olive oil mixture in a shallow dish. Arrange the asparagus around the pork and roast for 15 to 20 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer registers 160 degrees for medium or 170 degrees for well done. Slice the pork and serve immediately with the asparagus.

NOTE: Roasting the asparagus along with the pork gives it a delicious flavor.

SERVES: 12

Monday, July 20, 2009

Brain Purge

I don't even know where to start.  I guess I should have thought about that before I sat down at the computer, but instead I sat down and started to type...

MG made it home safely.  After some beverages, ibuprofen and probably muscle relaxers, he went to sleep.  I think his butt and body are sore after the long motorcycle ride to and from Tennessee.  I think it might be a good thing we are finished having children, because he might be sterile now.

I went to watch a friend get a tattoo.  A three hour tattoo.  I left about 2.5 hours into it, so I haven't seen the finished artwork yet.  I seriously considered getting my nose pierced, but for some reason, this place only pierces with rings and I want a very small stud.  The guy that owns the tattoo studio, which is about a mile from my house, I think is in some kind of underworld militia.  He scared me a little with his two handguns, a large knife and a taser all strapped to his belt.  And it's so funny this tattoo parlor is in my little conservative, somewhat uptight, suburb. I love that he's there and keeps these "oh my, a tattoo parlor HERE?" types all revved up.  Did you know I have a tattoo?  Here it is.
It's the Breast Cancer Circle of Awareness and I got it after I walked my first Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk in 2005.  It's a 60 mile, 3 day walk.  I went on to walk again 2006.  Over the two walks, me and my team members raised over $40,000 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

After the tattoo
ing adventure, I headed off to dinner with friends and then back to one of the friend's house for a girls only sleepover and movie night.  We were up until almost 4 in the morning.  Don't get all excited, though, there was nothing that would have interested any Girls Gone Wild video types.

I opened my kids college savings account information today.  They each officially have less money in them than we have contributed.  I understand the whole concept of dollar cost averaging and all, but one of my kids only has about six years to recover from these losses so the economy better get a move on turning around.

I colored my hair yesterday and, as I have become accustomed to over the years, you don't always get what you imagined or hoped for.  I will give this crazy red shade a few days to calm down.  If that doesn't happen, onto plan B which will be to try to fix it without frying my hair off my head.

I am so BUMMED I did not know more about the BlogHer convention when it first started being advertised and registrations accepted.  Maybe next year.  Some of my favorite bloggers will be there and I would love to meet them!

the BlogFrog is going to be coming out with a cool new website this week.  Check it out later this week or early next!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

It's a bikers life

I don't talk a ton about my husband, MG (Motorcycle Guy) on this blog.  In case you have missed the times I have talked about him, he is a great husband and dad, even if he does have a hard time keeping up with who I am talking about most of the time.  He also loves his vintage (I love saying that, considering the motorcycle is the same "age" as my husband, therefore, also calling my husband vintage) 1963 BMW motorcycle.  He bought this bike when we lived in Kansas City.  He bought it online.  He then flew to Chicago, handed the guy the money and drove it back to Kansas City, all in one day.  The bike has been his 4th child ever since.

This weekend, MG is totally in his element.  He took a ten hour motorcycle ride to a BMW motorcycle rally.  He is camping with a 1,000 other people that he doesn't know.  There will be motorcycle rides during the day and other activities, and camping, socializing and entertainment at night.  Though my husband can be rather introverted, I have a feeling he will talk himself hoarse this weekend with all these like minded people.

I am not really a worrier.  However, when he left today, I was a little anxious.  The weather here was nice, but it was very windy and there was going to be rain along the way.  I was very relieved when he called to say he was there.

Here he is as he was getting ready to leave for the weekend.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Fragments

This week has been much calmer, thank goodness! Check out Mrs. 4444 for more Friday Fragments.

I live in a neighborhood that is well represented by many nationalities, thanks to our proximity to a large complex of a multinational consumer products company. Considering there have been times when me and my kids have been the only ones at our subdivision pool speaking English, you would have thought by now my French would be perfected and I would have picked up a little Mandarin, Japanese, Portugese and even a little Turkish. I haven't. However, I was able to translate the Sanskrit yelled at me today from the convertible sportscar that passed me on my way to the pool and I am fairly sure he was saying "Hey wobbly lady on the bike, if you can't keep your damn balance, get out of the road."

My kids are all home, for now. We get another quiet weekend as they will be visiting my parents and a variety of other trips coming up in the next few weeks - without me.

Hawaii plans are well under way. If you have any suggestions about things to do in Honolulu or on Maui, please leave me a comment!
It's events like this that keep me awake at night. A dad, re-enlisting after ten years out of the service because he lost his job and wanted to be able to provide health insurance and income for his four year old son, is killed after being in Afghanistan less than a month. His body returned to Cincy earlier this week. RIP.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Who?

My husband frequently accuses me of going on in a conversation and mentioning someone's name and he has no idea who I am talking about.  Never mind that I just told him that I met her the night before at a social gathering or girls night out.  He swears he has no idea who I am talking about.  So now, when talking about someone, I will say, "Sharon, the new woman in my moms group I met last night..." and he can no longer accuse me of something that was really his fault to start with because he wasn't paying attention.

BUT if I do actually do this, I totally know where I get it.  My mom does this to me frequently.  For example, she called me today to arrange a pick up time for my kids since they are visiting with my parents this weekend.  Then she says, "Well, Earl died so I won't be able to come to get them until after the funeral."  All I am thinking is "???????"  Who the heck is Earl?  It finally dawns on me this is the husband of a dear friend of my mom's.  However, I have not seen Earl in 20 years probably and I have not seen his wife in 15.  They live in Arizona for the most part of the year.  If she had just said his last name, I wouldn't have to drum up all kinds of crazy images of someone named Earl before I finally recall who she is talking about.

A few weeks ago, she sent an invite to many of our family members for a gathering at her house in August.  Odd that she was sending it so early, so I knew something was up or it was just her passive-aggressive way to make sure everyone had it on their calendars and had no good excuse, in her opinion, for not attending.  Then when I saw her after she sent the invite she said, "Alex is getting married the weekend before."  Again, I am thinking "??????"  I finally just looked at her and said, "Who is Alex?"  She sighed and got all flustered and responded "Doug's daughter, ALEX."  Well, I realize many people would recognize the name of their own cousin, but in my defense, my mom is one of eight kids.  I have a gzillion cousins and, being one of the oldest, many of them were born long after I moved out and moved on with my adult life, so I really have no relationship with them.  I barely have a relationship with some of my aunts and uncles (and I am ok with that).

Basically, what I am getting at is I often find myself looking at my mom during conversations where she thinks I should have kept track of every single person that has ever crossed my path or that of my family's and in reality I have a dumbfounded "Whatchyoutalkin'aboutWillis?" look on my face.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Where can you find me?

I am blogging today at Wednesday Spaghetti. Check it out for a delicious and easy summer recipe!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Twitter? Twitting? Tweeting?

Check it out, I am now Twittering.  Why does that sound kind of naughty?  Anyway, I can't guarantee how frequent I will be with updates or how creative and entertaining my updates will be, but there you have it.  Feel free to follow!

Other news ... I have been asked to be a Community Leader for the BlogFrog, along with thirty other bloggers.  This is just now getting up and running but it looks like it will be kind of fun!

Read below for my original post today.

We are that couple.

Long ago, in a faraway land ... well, maybe not a faraway land.

I remember back when my husband and I were dating and even early in our marriage, we went to breakfast almost every Sunday.  I love going out to breakfast.  The places we went were always jam packed, often with other couples.  It never failed, each week, I would see couples together, each reading the paper.  I didn't get it.  All I could think was "are you really that uninterested in each other that you can't sit at the table and talk?" or "is your relationship that worn out that you don't have anything to talk about?" or "can't you read the paper at home and enjoy each other's company while you are at breakfast?"

Oh, what a naive twenty-something I was.  My husband and I now do this.  I realize now, it is a sign of just how comfortable we are with each other.  No need to make small talk (we do enough of that), no need to stare romantically into each others eyes over our morning beverages (we've never done that and it would be weird if we started now), no need to discuss every item on the menu and the pros and cons of each of item.  Nope.  We have gotten to the point where we are totally comfortable sharing a space without requiring a conversation.  Just BEING in the same space is comfortable.

Case in point - our kids were gone this weekend so we went to breakfast on Sunday.  Before we left MG grabbed sections of Sunday's paper that he wanted to read and then asked me what sections I wanted.  (FYI - I wanted Saturday's paper because I had not had a chance to read the advice columns or the soap opera recaps for the week).  Off we went.  We chatted it up while waiting for a table, we chatted while waiting for our drinks and to place our order.  Once that was done, out came the papers.  We read, we discussed little snippets of things we read that were new or interesting (Carly, on ATWT had to have her stomach pumped because she's an alcoholic and she drank herself nearly into a coma!), we waited for our food.  I looked around to see if anyone had a little bubble above their head with the thoughts I had had in the past about people like us.  Nope.  BUT I did see another couple, quite a bit older than us, each reading - one had the paper and another had a magazine.  Good for them, I thought, they obviously love each another enough to share a quiet space - no conversation necessary.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Doing my part.

Did you know I have given up my hair dryer and flat iron for the summer? It's true. I posted this on Facebook and was surprised how many people commented on how much energy I will be saving, Al Gore would be proud, etc. etc. I have to admit though, it didn't really occur to me about lessening my carbon footprint. I did it because I just wanted to give my hair a break from all of the heat and damage. However, I think I'll take the "tree hugger" approach and just smile and shake my head and say "Yep, I'm doing my part to save the earth."

Here are some photos of the result of not using any appliances (or shampoo, either, don't forget. Those sulfates and detergents are BAD for the environment, too!)  At 80% grey, however, I will NOT be giving up hair color.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Fragments


I know Friday is almost over, but I am slipping in under the wire with Friday Fragments! Visit Mrs. 4444 for more Friday Fragments and to see that I was, for the SECOND time, one of her Favorite Friday Fragmenters!
  • Don't be fooled by a plastic baseball.  When it is hit full speed, line drive by a 200 lb. fit man and it hits you in the eye, IT HURTS!  I thought I was going to pass out, I couldn't hear properly out of my left ear (my left eye was hit), my right nostril immediately started running non-stop for hours and it was all I could do to not cry.  Thankfully, today it is just swollen and bloodshot, and my hearing is back and my nose is no longer running, though my eye will periodically start to water and it is sore in my eye socket when I move my eye.  Have you tried to get through a day without moving one of your eyes. It's impossible.  I seriously considered going to the ER so I could get some good drugs - for now and later.  But I think with this whole Michael Jackson drug/death ordeal, doctors may a little conservative in their prescription drug writing.  Bummer.
  • I have had one crazy week and I am looking forward to it coming to an end. 
  • I don't go to garage sales, but I am having one along with a neighbor for our neighborhood garage sale.  It's amazing what people will haggle over.
  • I am going to have a quiet week - my two older kids are with my in-laws until Wednesday and my youngest is at my parents for the weekend!
  • Bedbug Watch '09 is going strong.  No bugs, no bites.  I am working with a travel agent for my trip to Hawaii with my BFF.  When I was telling her what we wanted to do, what type of place we wanted to stay, etc. I think I should have added "and I would like a letter of confirmation that my room will not have bedbugs and I will not need to debug when I get home."

Monday, July 6, 2009

Thank You notes

This post requires reader participation. Yes, that means you, the one who never comments.

Here we go.

How important are thank you notes? I grew up with a mom that required me to write and send a thank you note for every flippin' thing. I always thought it seemed silly to send a thank you note for something that I opened while the person was right there and I said "thank you" to their face, often with a hug and a kiss, and then again when they/we left the house. I still think it's silly. And I don't do it anymore  (Write notes, that is.  I do still thank the person in person, often with a hug and a kiss.  As do my kids.)  And I don't require my kids to do it. I know Miss Manners is probably reading right now and she is going to track me down and force me and my kids to write all those notes that are over due!

There is an exception, however.  I do think notes are appropriate when you go to a party/celebration, say a wedding or graduation party, and you drop your gift at a table for the gifts to be opened at a later date, not in your presence.  Then I think a thank you note is "required".  Also, when a gift is received in the mail.  Unless of course, you call the person to thank them directly, in which case, a thank you note is no longer necessary.  Basically, though, as long as some kind of acknowledgement is given that the gift is appreciated, I don't think the thank you note itself is so important.

Recently, we were at my parents celebrating my dad's, my nephew's and my oldest son's birthdays.  My parents invited long time friends over to have dinner with us.  They were kind enough to give my son and my nephew each a gift.  My mom, being the passive aggressive person she is, quietly, but loud enough for me to hear, said to Big E, "That was really nice of Judy.  I am sure she would appreciate a thank you note."  Really, my mom was saying two things:
  1. "Your mom has the etiquette skills of a moron, so I am telling you, in her presence so she can hear me and LEARN FROM ME, that a thank you note is appropriate"
  2. "I think it is important that you send a thank you note."  Of course that "I" is my mom, not me.
So I did what I always do when my mom behaves this way.  I did the exact opposite.  I made sure Big E thanked the family friend when he opened the gift and then again before we left.  Good enough in my book.  No thank you note.

What do you people think?  Come on, I want to hear from all of you!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Friday Fragments

It's been a couple of weeks since I spilled my fragments on Friday. So here they are. Visit Mrs. 4444 for more fragments.

Sous Chef, who is nine, was watching the news with me this week, which of course, was all about Michael Jackson. (I don't usually watch the news with them around, so he was paying attention!) He looked at me and said "WHO is Michael Jackson?"

Can you people see my green/black background? Whenever I look at my blog, I don't see it. And many times when I open my blog or someone else's, I get an "operation aborted" error. Is anyone else having this problem or is my computer in need of a tune up?

Thanks to Catherine at Evolving Mommy, I have a delicious recipe for (somewhat) healthy cinnamon rolls made with whole wheat flour and flaxseed. They were delicious and my house smelled so good!

We are off to a fun July 4th party. Huey Lewis and the News will be playing at the festival in the park that our friends' house backs up to. Man, I do believe I saw them in concert when I was about 16 years old! How do those old farts keep on playing "concerts," even the small shows at local festivals? I'm sure my kids will be saying "WHO is Huey Lewis and the News?" I will also get to see my oldest brother, his wife, my niece and nephew, their spouses and their kids. I only get to see them a couple of times a year due to some family strife that I choose not to get in the middle of.

While we were at an amusement park earlier this week, I was sure I had something unattractive in my nostril for all to see. I really wasn't interested in picking my nose, but I also didn't want to be walking around with any nasty shit hanging out. I didn't have a mirror or tissues and CJ and I were in line for a ride. I finally leaned over and quietly asked, "Is there anything in my nose?" He looked real close and said, "No, not really." I was concerned about the "not really" and asked, "What do you mean 'not really'?" His answer? "Oh, there's just a lot of hair." Lovely. The inside of my nose apparently resembles that of an 85 year old man. I think I am going to have to buy some nose hair trimmers.

I'm still using the oil cleansing method to wash my face. I love that it is free of chemicals, inexpensive and that my skin has never felt or looked better. (Although, the woman at Ulta would probably disagree!) I have a friend who talked her sister into using it. The sister has had adult acne all her adult life and has tried over the counter, drugstore and prescription skincare. Nothing worked. After trying this oil cleansing method, her skin is awesome and she is thrilled. Check it out here: The Oil Cleansing Method.

I also am still not using shampoo, unless I have been in the swimming pool or had a particularly stinky, sweaty day. I found this article recently on the Today Show website. Apparently, I am not alone in this "anti-shampooing" regimen.

If you follow the "For your reading enjoyment" section to the right, you will see I just read The Godfather. Wow! I love the first two movies and never turn down an opportunity to watch one or both of them. I do think the third one, however, sucks rotten eggs and have only watched it the one time and have pretty much vowed to never watch it again, unless I need to be reminded just how awful it is. But the first two? LOVE THEM. After reading the book, I totally understand why the movies are so good.

Each day, my list of followers grows! Thanks for stopping by - whether it's daily or just periodically. I hope to visit those of you that I haven't had a chance to and I will leave you a comment when I do! It might not be until after school starts, though.

Have you seen this?
This is the new viewing balcony in the Sears Tower in Chicago. I've been in the Sears Tower on several occasions, but not from this view (the balcony just opened to the public on Thursday!). I SO want to go to this. It might take me all day to overcome my fear of heights and step out onto this balcony, but since I recently was able to crawl through a chicken wire tunnel five stories above ground, I think I can conquer the Sears Tower balcony. Looks like a road trip may be in our near future.

Bedbug Watch '09 continues and so far, so good. No bedbugs spotted and no bedbug bites. Big E stayed all night last night with the boy who went on that trip with us, so hopefully they're home is not infested. I have hired an exterminator due to a little problem with ants this year. Thankfully, now that I am on their program, if we end up with bedbugs, the cost is covered in the plan and I won't have to pay anything additional. He did say he thinks that will change in the future because of the number of calls/treatments they are doing these days. Oh, the stories that man told me. Yikes! All I can say is, check your hotel rooms! (And you might want to check your kids anytime they stay all night with a friend, go to camp, visit a dorm room...)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Saturday Night at the Warehouse 1989/1990

It's a new month and I have some new tunes. A while back I mentioned my friend, Stephen, made a CD for me with music from our club days. I have included many of the songs here, but some were not available. Where I could, I just inserted another song by the same band. You'll notice this music is not as mellow as what I normally have on here, but when was club music ever really mellow?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Thrill seekers unite!

Tuesday, we spent the day at our local amusement park. We got passes this year and we plan to make the most of them, but we got off to a slow start. So now that we have broken them in, they will definitely get a lot of use.

There's a new rollercoaster this year called the Diamondback.  As in snake. The ride features a 230 ft lift hill with a 215 ft drop at a 74 degree angle. The ride features 10 drops and a top speed of about 80 mph.  You can read more about it here. Or you can just look at these pictures and ENJOY!
This is a picture from the top of the first hill.

Or even better, watch this live video of a local DJ riding in the front seat.  What you can't see in any of these pictures is that you don't ride in a traditional rollercoaster "car".  You sit on a chair and have a t-bar that goes between your legs.  There are no sides to where you sit.  It is literally like you pulled up a chair.



And actually, this post is not so much about this coaster, but more about how hard it is for me to go here.  I do love it.  I have lived in Ohio most of my life and I have been going to this amusement park since it opened in 1972.  I now live within minutes of this place.  We can even hear their fireworks at night if we have our windows open.  Over the years of living with a Chiari Malformation and eventually having two brain surgeries (do you people ever get sick of hearing about this?), I am not supposed to do anything that is high impact.  I definitely don't want my brain slipping out of my skull again and I certainly don't want to loosen that shunt that is so snuggly attached to my skull to stop CSF from building up on my brain.  So that elminates rollercoasters.  Which I love.  I am probably the only person in the park who has to wipe away a tear as my kids and husband go pulling out of the station on one of these awesome coasters.  I smile and wave and am excited for them.  I love to hear all of the details when they return to the station, even though they've ridden these coasters what seems like a 1,000 times.  But the reality is, I WANT TO BE ON THOSE COASTERS.  And it kills me to stand there and smile and wave.

Everytime I walk into this park, I experience moments and symptoms of grief and joy at the same time.  Grief for what I can't do and JOY FOR WHAT I CAN DO.  Because I know I feel SO MUCH BETTER now than I did twelve years ago.  But dammit, I want to ride those coasters and hear my kids giggling and screaming.  Not to mention I totally love rollercoasters and do a lot of giggling and screaming myself.  Oddly enough, it was my last rollercoaster ride at Busch Gardens in Tampa, FL in 1997 that seemed to be the onset of my more serious symptoms that eventually worsened over four years resulting in surgery #1.  Kind of ironic, eh? 

But today I said "SCREW IT!"  And I rode this.  All 26 MPH of it!  This one is a hanging coaster and we had to take off our flip flops so we wouldn't lose them.
And this, all 35 MPH of it.  This coaster has been at this park since the beginning and I remember the very first time I rode it.  I would have been almost five years old.
I don't know what I will do when CJ outgrows the Nickleodeon area.  They won't allow adults on these rides without children.  I'll most certainly be done with coasters when that happens.  For today, though, I was happy to hear him giggle and scream during the rides. I was happy to hear me giggle and scream, too.  He was unsure about riding the green and yellow one above.  This is the first year he was tall enough.  He finally said, "I think I can do it."  He smiled through it but I could tell he was somewhat unsure.  When we came to a stop, he said, "That was AWESOME!"  And all I could think was "Yes, indeed, this is awesome."  I finally got to ride a coaster with one of my kids.  We road it again later and he did tons of giggling and screaming.  Life is good.