Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Is There Such A Thing As A New Year Gift?


I want this. A book made from my 2008 blog posts. The big problem is that the software to import all my posts, does not support Blogger. So, I will have to do ALL of the work manually. There is a way (or two) around this - but they are nearly as time consuming as the first option. Don't worry - I have already started my 2009 book, so I will just put them into the book as I post them and then on December 31st 2009, I can just click "order" and have my beautiful journal in 7-10 days. So, if some kind soul wants to take pity on me and put my book together for me, I would be more than happy to give a big fat hug. I would also say a mighty, "Thank you!" if you felt like gifting me with a gift certificate to purchase the book. Seeing as how I have 244 posts in 2008 and 20 in 2007 that I will include, I am thinking the book will be a wee bit pricey.

The picture above is borrowed from the blurb website, and is linked directly to their blog book page if you want to have a lookee-loo.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

One Last Passing In 2008

It is with sadness (and a good deal of Christ's hope) that I announce the passing of my youth (my husband was already old).

In about 10 days our 17 year-old estranged daughter will be giving us the early gift of Grandparenthood.

The good news is - my husband is going to make one hot Grandpa!

It is my sincere prayer that we will be allowed to hold this precious little hand.


More than that, I ask that you pray with us that our Daughter would come to know Christ and choose a saving relationship with Him.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Nothing Much *

*edited to include missing pics

My husband is sad that I, "sold him out" that he doesn't take me on many dates, and also he is bored with my last post and would like me to give him something else to read, and also requests that I post about him. We have been on vacation since the 23rd here at our property in Texas and I haven't posted much because there is not a whole lot to report.
I AM glad to be able to tell you that for Christmas we bought tickets for the entire family - including the Grandparents to go see Bedtime Stories on Christmas day. We all enjoyed it very much.

But before we headed to the movies, we walked our property and of course, planned out our compound homestead. My priorities have changed slightly from; Hubby's shop first, fence second, house third, pool, vegetable/cut flower garden, guest cottages....

to; Fence first, Hubby's shop second, my recording/photography studio third (who cares if we have to live in a trailer for 3 years - only half the kids will be still at home by then) and then whatever else. (By the way - I got a remote control for my camera for Christmas and so I could take a picture of myself while recording a song. I know you agree with my priorities) And think of all the jam sessions when singing friends come to visit! (I will only charge them nominal fees) Maybe then my Chicas will be happier about visiting me here. 'Cause it'll be way cool then.

My hubby showed me this tree he found when he was working on clearing some of the back 40 and he called it the climbing tree. It has a limb growing from one tree into another.



He then exhibited to me how it got its name.



There are lots and lots of trees here. Some of my favorites are the dozen or so Pecan trees which seem to give off a crop every couple of years or so, several Osage Orange trees which are neat but the fruit is really weird looking and makes a giant mess, and then we have a bunch of one of my favorite species of tree - the Honey Locust. Now this bad boy, currently is dormant from the winter - but it does not loose its macabre thorns. Here is a small sampling.



My father-in-law would like to cut them down because they are pretty dangerous when riding around on the tractor, and those thorns have flattened a tractor tire in their day - I am hoping though, that we can just prune them high enough to be able to go under them with the tractor cause I surely do like the looks of them. I'll show you them in bloom when I am here during blooming. The twins took ill night before last and we have been having the on again-off again barf-fest to close out 2008 with a bang. Today I was in Sam's club and there was a family with 9 month old twins buying piles and piles of diapers and piles and piles of formula. *cue cha cha music ~ and dancing ~ my twins are thirtee-een, my twins are thirtee-een* They were really so cute though and I had to work really hard at not staring and making a scene.

Blogger is resisting uploading the rest of my pics, so you have two choices:

1.) Post anyway and follow tomorrow or so with the rest of the pics
or
2.) Save as a draft and post when it can be done in its entirety.

What's your vote?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Seven Pounds

Ugh. My husband rarely takes me on dates. He took me on one tonight only to have us sit through a very un-s4j-pleasing type of movie. SLOWWWW and deep and not even a happy ending to tie it all up. Even most of the acting was weird and creepy to me. I would not recommend spending your dollars or your date night on it.
On a happier note, when we got home (and the kids think we didn't notice them shutting the lights out) I came across a fun post from Jess at Mourning Into Dancing on the subject of Fun Christmas Posts. Thanks for salvaging my evening Jess.
Oh - and thank you honey for taking me to the movies.

Vituperate

I will not vituperate you today.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Reflections

With Great Pride!

It is with great pride and joy that we announce the early graduation of our eldest child from High School!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

In Memoriam


In loving memory of my Grandfather's wife Millie Woerner

Friday, December 12, 2008

Shower, Shout Out And A Hamper Scamper For Good Measure

Big day. Lots to do. Having trouble focusing.

Shower:
Have you ever cleaned the shower while taking a shower? Well I did this morning. Cleaned myself first then the shower. Nothing like combining tasks. I could be the queen of multitasking. (How about you? What tasks have you combined for maximum efficiency?)

Shout Out:
Hey Gretchen! *waves* I was thinking about you this morning. (NOT while showering). And I just wanted tell you, "Thank you" for being in my life. You're a treasure to know. virtually.

Good Measure:
Look - I know it's the busiest time of year for many of us, me included - but don't forget that we are celebrating the birth of our Savior, and you still need a clean toilet seat. So.....

Time to clean your shower.... GO!
(You thought I was going to say, "toilet seat" didn't you?)
(No you don't have to be naked)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

WHOOPS! I Missed It!

It's my belated bloggerversary! On December 9, 2007 - I posted for the very first time. It's such an indication of my life at this moment that I am 2 days late posting about it. Life is abundantly good and overflowing with busy-ness. School was cancelled today because snow was sighted in the area (okay, that could be a bit over-simplified) and so all of my children are home. This will require a bit of a shift in my schedule. Lord help me to see this as the blessing You would have it be for me. I will leave you with a reprint of my very first (and still one of my favorites) post.


Today was our Christmas cantata - A Celebration of Carols. (Funnily enough, the front of the program said, "Sing for joy") My choir director said to me, "I love to see the joy on your face and in you when you are singing. You are such a blessing." How little she knows about what a gift it is to me to be able to be a part of this most amazing and beautiful choir. I am reminded of the verse from Jeremiah 20:9 which perfectly describes my NEED to sing to the Lord ...."But if I say, 'I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,' his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot." Indeed I cannot. Even if I wanted to. I sometimes am so completely overwhelmed by the need to worship the Lord that it feels like if I don't get it out, the power of it will shatter my bones into pieces. And truly when I am worshiping with this amazing group of people, I feel so full, that there really is nowhere else for the joy to fit and it just runs over. Right over the brim of the cup the Lord has given me. I urge you to find the thing that the Lord has given you to do on this earth and do it with all your heart. Truly, when you are doing the thing that God has created you for, you will be able to do it no other way and you'll be so happy about it to boot.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Bittersweet

My dad received these during a lunch with an old friend the other day. He had taken them in 1976 when we lived in Westminster, CA. He had heard about my brother's passing and dug them out to give to my dad. So thoughtful!


The first two are my dad and my brother, and I bet you can guess who the fashionista is sitting with the cutey little boy and his car....


Yep. JEN-YOU-WINE fur coat baby.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Moment You've All Been Waiting For

More news about my urethra! The referral for the new specialist to go have that new special test which the super specialist could not do had not yet come through and the neurontin experiment was not working. Well....with the exception of it helping me sleep and make nice to people, and stopped the tremors in my hands. Sadly though, none of these were what the prescription was intended for. So, when I met with the gynecologist who is part of my Primary Care Manager system, and has to approve and submit referrals, I explained to him that I am done. I do not want to see any more doctors, there is nothing medically more that can be done about this situation, and the shot-in-the-dark medication did not help ~ not.even.one.bit. He said that decision was certainly mine to make and should I change my mind at some point, we can certainly revisit. I suggested that I should stop taking the medication (and not because I don't like it) and he agreed that would be wise. I told him my concerns about stopping it cold turkey with the way it had affected me and he said I could taper off however I felt comfortable. I am currently weaning from that and I am down to half of what I was taking. I already am crankier and more prone to irritation, and my hands have begun trembling again. Such is life.

So here is the bottom line. Science is exhausted. Man can do nothing. If healing comes ~ it will be the Great Physician who healed. And you will see me shouting that from the rooftops.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

New Job Every Day (Otherwise Known As Spam)

Has Michael Vincent been working to find anyone else a new job as diligently as he has been working for me? Maybe he has only had time to focus on me since nearly every day in my email he notifies me that he has found me yet another new job. Astounding the dedication this man has for me. Really.

Been sick since Saturday with a bad throat and still having to do most of the stuff on my schedule. I delivered some pictures on Monday morning and I was feeling so crummy. The delivery did not go well, and I left feeling less than satisfied. I am in the process of making right with the client, but like I said - I've been sick. It's failures like that which plant the seed of "quit" and the seed of "you're not good enough".

Started antibiotics last night and already see improvement this morning! Which is good because I am expecting to have about 20 people around my table for dinner tomorrow and today, although I cannot finish our work in progress of a home, I can at least make it clean and welcoming.

I went to the newer gynecologist for a follow-up about my urethra last week. I'll tell you more about that in another post.

I also have had a post brewing for many weeks now about perspective and perception. Maybe since I claimed it here, I will have to write it for sure.

Friday, November 21, 2008

I Quit Obstetrics School Halfway Through....

....having my hand inside a turkey tookus trying to convince the neck to come out through the opening and pondering whether I would have to enlist the tongs.

I have been extra absent lately and still super busy. I guess we all know it's that time of year. Today I am homebound, editing pictures and roasting a turkey for the squadron Thanksgiving party this evening.

It's gross. I know now that I could never deliver babies. Too bad all that medical school is going to go to waste.




Here are my efforts thus far. Perhaps you will get more updates throughout the day. Perhaps not.


and here it is all covered up in it's nice warm tent...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

November 15, 1995

November 15, 1995 was a day that will live in infamy......
It was a day like no other (at least no other that I had ever experienced) On November 15, 1995 my husband and I checked into Parkview Community Hospital in Riverside, California for a scheduled c-section. FINALLY.

I was pregnant with twins at 37 1/2 weeks gestation. I had gestational diabetes, a club foot, and my knees were barely able to support the extra 72 pounds I had gained. My very good and very generous friend had actually bought us a new California King size bed for a wedding gift and that was the ONLY reason that we could still fit into one together.


This is boy twin. He was born at 7:57am at 9 pounds 1/2 ounce (his head was 15cm!!!)



This is girl twin. She was born at 7:58am at 6 pounds 14 ounces


Just yesterday I came across a couple in the store who were carting around their own set of toddler twins. I whispered that mine were turning 13 and that it DOES get easier and funner. They really couldn't believe me, but I promised them.

Today my twins turned 13. You can read my earlier post including thoughts on my children growing up, but I will add this....
When I was shopping for their gifts, I DID get a little bit veklempt. But I won't admit it twice.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Exercise Your Rights!

I am so excited to report that I exercised my right to vote which is protected under the 19th amendment to the Constitution of the United States!!
Now you do the same!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

What I've Been Doing

Went with Hearts@Home ladies and their children to Anderson Farms.

Portrait Session with A. as a gift for her husband.


Personal Portrait Session with Y. as a gift for her husband.


Family Portrait Session with the H.'s
Product Portrait Session - CristinArt.

Chicas Of Faith 2008 - Riddle: How Do You Get 5 Booties And 450 Pounds Of Luggage Into A 4 Passenger Vehicle?

Answer: You don't. Aint no way on God's green earth that is going to happen.

So, I have a little confession to make. I have been ~just a little bit~ waiting for someone else to tell the rental car story because I actually do not really know all of the details. Perhaps no one has figured out how to tell the story in an edifying Christian fashion.....I will tell you what I know and then hope that someone else will pick up the details.

We finally got the Cali Chicas' luggage and hopped a shuttle to the rental car company who shall remain nameless because I don't remember it due to the pending lawsuit. We entered the line to await our turn to receive assistance from a representative of the rental car company, and as we are waiting, we begin the discussion of how best to handle the rental car gas tank. Pay ahead and risk over paying? Don't pay ahead and risk not having time to gas up, hence - over paying? Don't pay ahead and be sure to fill up the gas tank on the way into the airport? I, being the most reasonable of the group, gave my opinion; "I am not a driver on this trip AND I am in the group that leaves 2 hours before the other group. Therefore, I do not have to have an opinion on this subject." Thank you. As we are running through this discussion, I happen to spy the businessman in line behind us just looking at us all in awe. I smiled and laughed, he smiled and laughed and then asked, "Is it always like this??"

Me: "Worse."

We all shared a good laugh, and then I had an epiphany. I am not a driver on this trip (you, being very observant, would have noticed this already) I don't have to stand in this silly line. I am going to enjoy one of the leather chairs in the corner and get out of peoples' ways. So, I excused myself from the ladies (still trying to decide what to do about the gasoline) and made a beeline for the chair.

This was a wonderful place to sit and watch weary travelers as they came and went, hoping for things to go smoothly so they could just peacefully continue on their ways. It did NOT, however, give me a good view, or auditory awareness of what was happening with my Chicas and OUR rental car.

As I sat and sat, pondered taking a nap, watched people, and sat some more, this couple came in.... I would say, older - maybe late 50's - early 60's - and the lady of the couple has bright red straw hair with the black/gray roots about 2 inches grown out. She is wearing black jeans, and some kind of black rock and roll tank top - and sportin' some tattoos on herself. She tells the man of the couple that she will wait here with the luggage whilst he secures their next mode of transportation. She then proceeds to show me the tear in her luggage and explain to me that the airline, rather than unzip the suitcase to inspect its contents, cut a 3 inch gash in it, in order to get at the 'powder' substance that showed up on the x-ray. When all the while, said 'powder' substance is just chili powder and she cannot fathom WHY they would destroy her luggage over packets of chili ingredients. She is just outraged. Outraged I tell you.

I, after expressing my condolences to her regarding her defamed luggage, and while watching her do her yoga poses in the rental car office, suggested to her that it looked like a tear that might have happened during transit. She could not accept this possibility, as it was clearly ridiculous and unfathomable.

"Why," you ask, "Do you have time for all of this? Shouldn't you have driven off like, hours ago??"

Refer to my confession above. Beg someone else to tell the story to you. I got nothin'.

I also saw a man come back in with the keys he had been given and complain that the car he had been assigned to was filthy and disgusting and that he was not accepting that.

There was also a man who came back in with the keys to the car he had been assigned to saying something about how it was a smaller car than what he had reserved and paid for and he would not accept that.

Me? I just sat and sat. I thought sure that I heard the voices of some of the Chicas here and there, but passed it off as them excitedly speaking to each other...

FINALLY they made for the door, and I made to follow them. We found our assigned car and worked to load the luggage, hook up the BEST TOOL EVER fondly named, "Madge", and pile us ladies in so that we could meet our date for dinner in King of Prussia. I don't really understand what was happening, but the girls were sort of randomly looking around and saying things like, "Oh! We don't have one of those??? Well what is THAT and THAT and THAT? Hmph and haw and fuss and hmph."

Me: "Uh... YEAH, THAT'S RIGHT! LOOK RIGHT THERE! HMPH."

We worked to tell Madge where we were wanting to go and waiting for her to direct us and had a wee bit of a glitch with that so, we called our date to clarify where, exactly it was that we were meeting her - and then we were on our way!! Yahooo!!

I'll put up a teensy post in a little while just to show you what I have been up to lately...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Chicas of Faith 2008 - Picking Up The Cali Chicas

Picture it: God's Guitar Girl and Sing 4 Joy sitting in a row of seats at PHL, relaxing and waiting for the 30 minutes to expected arrival to pass. Did you notice that we showed up ON TIME? Mmhm. That's right. All of a sudden, the clouds parted, the heavens started singing and all time and space warped; except for the part in my line of vision where the most gorgeous group of women I have ever seen ~ aside from myself and GGG that is ~ was walking toward us, the leader of the group, my BFF. It was like breathing a breath of fresh air seeing her again and she was more beautiful than I even remembered.

To tell you the honest truth, much of the trip is quite a blur, but this part my heart remembers. I was saying to a friend the other day that my favorite part of these trips is the planning..... second only to the moment when I get to see my Chicas. So true. After hugs all around voluntarily, introducing GGG to the new girl Jtothe2nd, and scolding them for coming in early, we determined the direction to baggage claim and off we went. GGG and I had been together for a couple of days now, not really sleeping, GGG popping pills to fight off that stinking migraine, and me to tame my urethra, and maybe we were still a little jacked up from the awful color that they claim was the 'original' color in the courtroom part of Independence Hall. I guess we'll never know. But whatever the cause, we just sort of stood back and cracked each other up, at one point all the way to the floor, while we were waiting for the others to spy their luggage and gain us our freedom from PHL. (This, we will find out later was just a pipe dream)

This trip sparked a couple of new picture series for me. One being, the Peep series which is basically like a Where's Waldo? but with real life and people. This started because GGG was telling me about one of her favorite pictures from her cruise and how she wanted to do more and of course I was all over that! Well, GGG has sparked a revolution. Another series, the Papparrazzi series, began at the airport - when some unwilling Chica got upset that I was taking pictures of her after her long day of travel and put her hand in front of my camera.
Don't you know that you cannot stifle art?
GGG and I were beside ourselves with laughter over how she was going to peep the other Chicas without them noticing. Sad to have to report we never managed it.
Waiting waiting waiting.
WHEN will the luggage come?? We have a DATE with Jenster in King of Prussia and we still have to glide in, pick up the rental car and glide out.......mmhm.

Oh my goodness, will you look at the time?? I have a photo shoot this morning and I am still not dressed. Back later!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Conviction From The Real Housewives Of Atlanta?

Sounds crazy right? I think so too, but stick with me here....

Yesterday was my day at home. I have been forced to schedule one for every week because my schedule has become so crazy.(TOTAL blessing) I try to ask my husband what one thing he would like me to accomplish that day and use it to tie up one of the many projects we need to finish, clean house, do laundry, blog and whatever else I can fit in. Yesterday, this included sitting down with lunch in front of the TV. I came across this show on some cable network called, "The real housewives of Atlanta." The show is filled with exceptionally wealthy women, who aren't even necessarily married, but are living in a house in Atlanta. Anyway, there is this one wife who is married to an NBA player. They have just purchased the estate of their dreams and are in the process of hiring the staff. Personal chef, nanny AND governess (whatever that means), estate manager, personal assistant, gardener, blah blah blah...
So this particular wife is saying how because of her husband's job, during the season he is away from home 6 out of 7 days of the week. And she keeps saying how it's like she's a single mom having to do it all herself. "I mean, if I didn't have this personal chef and I had to make breakfast AND get the kids up for school - they would be late. I just couldn't do it all myself." Golly gee, how DO you manage with your millions of dollars and all your staff and CHILDREN WHO ARE OLD ENOUGH TO DRESS THEMSELVES to do it all without just crumbling for lack of your man help?
As I am sharing my shock and outrage over this ridiculousness with my children (something along the lines of - "Guys! I saw the most outrageous thing on TV today") I was called back to several moments in my recent past when people judged MY situation less important because they held it (and what they believed to be the truth of it) up to THEIR situation and found that their suffering was, "real" suffering and, therefore, mine was not and I should just crawl quietly into a hole where I would stop bothering people who have real problems.
I do agree that there are, in fact, worse problems in this world than I have experienced in my life, and it is right and good to be thankful for what I have and how I have been blessed.
But let me be clear about something - just because I laugh, or smile - or do not tell you the depth of the truth of my situation, does not mean that my suffering is not real. Just because the only time you see me is on Sunday morning when I am praising my Lord, does not mean that I must be able to do that because there is no pain in my life. Just because I don't choose to lay on the ground every minute of every day flogging myself and crying to every passer-by about the struggles I face, does not mean that I do not struggle.

And THAT, my friends, has brought us full circle. Whoops. The truth is, that whatever my beliefs about what can be done with money and wait-staff, I have no idea what this woman goes through and I have no right to say that my life is harder than hers so she should just get over it, strap on her big girl panties and deal. And here is what Paul tells me about that....

So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.

Galatians 5:16-26

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Chicas Of Faith 2008 - Search For Independence

Where were we? I laid down and went to sleep! Guitar strung and mostly tuned. Ahh. The next morning was super cool. The sound of rockin' guitar playing came from somewhere in the house. Not from me - no. Not from GGG - no. But who? Taylor! The boy of the host family was quietly playing his guitar in his room. What a way to start the day! I too, sat down and finished tuning my guitar. I tested it out by running through a couple of songs. BLESSED BE YOUR NAME and REVELATION SONG (This one I even played from memory! Who knew I could do that?) GGG had come down and here and there, when I wasn't being so loud that I could only hear myself, I could hear her dropping the harmony. Ahh - a life of worship....

Jenster gave us the tour of their basement, AKA Rock Out Central! A wall of guitars, a keyboard, some brass instruments, amplifiers, etc etc. And THEN adjacent to Rock Out Central was Mr. Jenster's workshop. "Who cares about man tools?" Well, my friends - this is not your ordinary workshop. No. This is the GUITAR workshop. He has a desk with a nice piece of carpet laid across it. Also on the desk, a Black and Decker cordless screwdriver with guitar machine turner attachment. I'm sure there is an actual technical name for this tool, I just don't know it. *Dear Todd, we did not touch your tools! Although, having spent at least a good 2 hours the night before restringing my 12-string, I really could have used that bad boy. Truly, if you had been home, I would have paid you to do it for me.*

So we got the tour of the best rooms ever and wiped the drool on our sleeves. Then it was time to admit that we had actually come east for tourism. We really loved this family. They were all so gracious and warm and we would have happily stayed with them. But GGG and I had flown in early so that we could go and meet Philadelphia.

So we arranged our luggage neatly downstairs; which we would retrieve later at dinner so we didn't have to figure out how to lug it all over Philadelphia. Then we loaded up into the car with Jenster and the kids and headed over to pick up Taylor's girlfriend - 'cause the Jenster family were visiting a pirate exhibit in Philly (not touring around with us. Whatever.) Taylor's girlfriend was as cute as Katie.

Jenster really is a GREAT person to be your tour guide! She drove us through Valley Forge on our way into Philadelphia. Guess what?? I finally pulled out my camera!


I am learning that there is just not enough time and I have to accept that I am not going to see it all in4/5 days.

So we get into Philadelphia and Jenster is telling us about where to find a Philly Cheese steak, where to do this and that and then all of a sudden - she pulls the car over and tells us to GET OUT! I am not even kidding. She kicked us to the curb! Literally! Some drivel about,"I realized this would be the best place for you to go visit the Liberty Bell." Psh. She just wanted to be rid of us.
She did get me super close to the Liberty Bell though. My dream was to touch it (and then sanitize my hand after, of course.) They made it impossible for me to experience my dream without getting arrested. I considered it. At any rate I took lots of pictures of it.

We also toured Independence Hall, which originally was named the Pennsylvania State House. Interesting. I know. I am a history buff. Get rid of the jealousy and move on people. We have a lot of ground to cover.

Here is me AT Independence Hall.....




Here are just a couple of shots of the architecture...



Let me just share with you, that you can't have a better companion to experience historical stuff than God's Guitar Girl. I adore this lady. She is passionate, outrageously funny, intelligent, strong-willed, godly, beautiful, quirky and she loves me back. We just went together, imagining the scene as men met to iron out the details of their futures and the futures of their descendants. Being willing to meet in this way at the risk of their very lives. Amazing.
Of course we ate the Philly Cheese steak from Sonny's (mine with no onions), and we also used the public transportation system - all the way down to the airport to pick up the other Chicas. GGG wrote an awesome, "get to know the '08 Chicas" post. You can read that here. (I am the Chica that you think is the cutest) Chicas of Faith 2008 was now officially about to begin.......

Friday, October 17, 2008

We Interrupt The Chica Update

So, I have not had time today to write a great story (including a blurb about how I stink for not visiting old friends in airport cities) because I have been working! I had a photo session with a super fun couple and have been given permission to give you all a sneak preview. I took 639 pictures today and somehow managed to weed it down to 148. Some of those are just quirky, fun ones from our session and really for the eyes of the Mr. and Mrs. only. Feast your eyes upon this gorgeous and fun couple; A Chaplain home on R&R from Iraq and his lovely wife....



Snow in Louisiana? Hubby says it could happen.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Chicas Of Faith 2008 - The Jenster Of My Dreams

Our plane got in a little before 8:30pm and as we are walking through the airport discussing where it is we are going to find our ride/tour guide/hotel hostess, we hear our names being called by a tiny voice in the distance. We turn and see a petite lady with a giant smile coming toward us. Do you know, Jen (as I am now allowed to call her) is nothing like I thought she would be and just like I thought she would be all at the same time. She is a softer, sweeter version InRealLife of the she of my imagination. Here is a summary of Jen gathered from our entire trip of knowing her.

J - Joyful
E - Eloquent
N - Nutty
S - Sweet
T - Triumphant
E - Encouraging
R - Radical

It was as though we had grown up in the same family. We fell right into conversation as we made our way to her prime parking space and loaded up our luggage. (Guitars made it safe and sound in case you were wondering)

GGG rode shotgun and she and Jen spent the ride back to Jensterville chatting about history, trivia and theology and all things interesting yet way too above me to participate, except for the ridiculous crack here and there. Jen pointed out to us that in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, many of the skyscrapers in Philadelphia were lit up in pink lights. That was so neat. Sorry - still haven't taken any pictures yet. I can't remember all the talky talk that went on on the way to Jensterville (otherwise known as home). I just remember smiling the entire time and thinking how wonderful it is that my two friends were hitting it off and that I got to sit in on it.
We made it to the house and unloaded our luggage. Jen showed us to our room. There were chocolates set out for us on our bed! And also, we got to room with Arwyn! Arwyn is Jenster's husband's Martin made guitar.
*Dear Todd, although we lusted mightily after Arwyn, we did never one time touch her in any way, shape or form. Also, we lusted mightily after your Black and Decker tool with the guitar string twister attachment thingy, and restrained from fondling her as well.*
So anyway, here is where you can go over and give sympathy to Jenster for she had to endure the euphoric part of the cycle of my current medication. I am pretty sure that I told her my entire life story. All.night.long. I could not stop talking. I kept thinking to myself and then saying out loud, "Oh my gosh! I HAVE to stop!" Then I would say, "I am SO SORRY. You do not have to endure this! You can go to bed." She was so gracious and kind and funny. She finally told me that I was going to have to stop apologizing. What she probably wanted to say was, "NO, I didn't need to know about that bunny you had when you were 2 that was later used to make a pregnancy test for the neighbor who lived on the farm next door because they had already eaten their bunnies the winter before." Okay, I didn't tell her all that. Mostly because she finally ran away at 1:30am and maybe a little because that never happened. I was just trying to give you a fictional, yet dramatically accurate indication of what she had to endure. I was about 1/4 through the process of re-stringing my guitar at that point and nowhere close to ready to sleep. GGG had given up shortly after we had arrived at the house because she was fighting hard against a migraine. This was to be her fate the entire trip the poor dear. She was such a trooper though.

Sidebar: I know you are all wondering why I would re-string my guitar on vacation. Let me explain. I am a novice at tuning my guitar. When the strings(all 12) are de-tuned, or loosened, it is an equal amount of work for me to re-tune it, or replace the strings all together. When you fly with a guitar, it is possible if you do not loosen the strings, that it could actually snap into pieces. As I am not willing to take that chance with my beloved, the strings must be loosened. SO, because it is so much work for me to re-tune anyway, I try to make it a habit to put on new strings when I travel with my guitar.
I forgot to mention that Jen's children arrived home while we were chatting and I got the pleasure of meeting them. They also were not what I imagined, but they were just as they should be.

So, now I was faced with being completely dressed but ready to go to bed while my suitcases were in the dark in the room with the lady fighting the migraine. It took me about 20 minutes to decide whether I should just lay on the couch fully dressed across the room from Sookie in her crate and possibly disturb my host family like some crazy vagrant OR awake the poor dear with the goingtoruinhertrip headache. I decided that I would go quietly as I could upstairs and just get in the bed fully dressed. I know how to compromise and reason.

Thankfully, when I cracked open the door, GGG was sort of lucid. She said that she needed to take another pain pill. So she needed just enough light for me to be able to find my jammies. There you have it. Off to dreamland I went thinking, "I heart Jenster."

Chicas of Faith 2008 - Gotta Get To GGG

Well.......good, bad or ugly~ here we go.

GGG and I had had the BRILLIANT idea that we would road trip all the way to Philadelphia seeing as how we could not find reasonably priced plane tickets and we needed some catching up time. What's 25 hours in the car?? Somehow that morphed into ME driving 6 hours to HER house 2 days before Chicas and us jumping a plane together the day before Chicas. All well and good. I attended PWOC on Tuesday the 7th and then headed off to her house. I had a lovely trip. Stopped twice. Once to visit Walmart's facilities, and once to purchase petrol.
Once I got there, I met the new children she adopted. In between the time that she moved away from me a couple of years ago, and the day that I arrived back at her house - she had sold HER children and replaced them with ones that were grown up! They used words and drew pictures and ATE WITH FORKS. What on EARTH? I'm still reeling from the betrayal of it all. These new children hugged me as though they knew me. Must've been pre-conditioning from GGG. No other explanation.
THEN - they all treated me to the OG. That's right! Olive Garden. Never-ending-pasta-bowl baby! Thank you God's Guitar Girl and impostor babies. During dinner we fell right into a groove of chatting and laughing and just being together. Plus the boy of the adopted pair kept asking me funny 3 year old questions. And Lil' G was just a charming young lady. We stayed up way too late talking and musing and dreaming.
The morning of the 8th was so nice and leisurely! Our plane did not leave out of Austin until after 1pm so we (we being me) slept in until we (we being I) felt like it. And made our way to the Austin area where we ran an errand and headed for the airport.
We were SO stinking excited to get to meet Jenster InRealLife, as she was picking us up and putting us up. Or, maybe putting up with us is a better description. Because we were so distracty we did not pay attention to what we were reading on our boarding passes. So, here I am, using the airport facilities and I hear GGG yelling, "S4J(name changed to protect the lame)! GET OFF THE TOILET! THEY ARE CALLING US TO BOARD THE PLANE!!" People, we nearly missed our plane to certain adventure because we had to potty! We were flying Southwest airlines, and if you don't know what that means, it means that you don't have assigned seats. You get what you get. And because we were the last people on the plane, what we got was a whole lot of middle seats that were taken by purses. We went all the way to the back of the plane and all the way to the front of the plane before braving up and asking one of the purses to move over. I got to sit between the two polar ice caps, and you'll have to read GGG's description to hear about who she sat next to. You can be sure it wasn't me. I tell you, the lady who the purse belonged to was T-I-C-K-E-D that her purse had to give up its seat to someone who breathed and paid.
I started praying! Lord, let me be Your light. All I want to do is be mean right back. Take over HS...get to it Man! I pasted a huge smile on my face, and started passing notes back to GGG. At some point I wrote something about how I was not going to hide my light under a bushel, NO - I was going to let it shine!! So, I asked random questions to the lady, "Are you visiting Philadelphia?"
She replied, "NO. We are going to PROVIDENCE." And looked quickly out the window.
Me, "Oh! How nice!*smile smile* I've never been to Rhode Island!"
She, *yelling across me* "Tommy! Do you want a SNACK?"
He, *shakes head no, looking embarrassed*
She, *yelling across me* "Tommy! Do you want me to tell you when it is time to shoot up??"
He, *shakes head no, looking more embarrassed*
I'm passing notes with GGG ~ something like, "I think this is going well. I think the polar ice caps are starting to melt."
Anyway, the lady ~ Vera I think her name was ~ saw the little notebook I had taken my notepaper out of and asked, "Are you a member of PWOC?"
Me, "Why, yes!"
She, "I also am a member of PWOC."
Me, "No way!! Oh my goodness!!" *thinks to God, "Lord you are KA-RAYZEE"
Anyway ~ Me, Vera and Tommy chatted it up the rest of the flight. Chatted about serving on the board of PWOC, retirees and their place in PWOC, life in the military.... That's right! Turns out Tommy over there (who shoots up insulin and by the end of the flight had TWO women harassing him about snacking and testing his blood sugars and properly taking his injection) retired after 26 years in the Air Force. What do you know? Then he retired from another company, and then if I remember correctly - another one.
We talked about different places we have lived, their collection of over 300 Christmas village buildings of which Vera and Tommy disagree about the placement of such so Vera has solved the problem by inviting her local friends over for tea and decorating. Tommy will have to be satisfied to cut the tomatoes and cucumbers from his garden. Vera's favorite assignment was Spain.
We landed in Philadelphia and started discussing how we would recognize Jenster seeing as how we had never actually met her InRealLife, yet we were accepting her invitation to sleep over. Judge away. I can't care. We realized that we had no idea who we were looking for. (The only picture I remembered seeing of her, she had no hair)......

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hooie, Otherwise Known As Writer's Block

Okay. I want to tell you all about Chicas of Faith 2008, but I keep getting stuck on where to start.

"Start from the beginning," you say.

All righty....

Once upon a time in July of 2007, on a plane on my way home from Chicas of Faith 2007, I started praying and musing over where I would be going for our Chica adventure in 2008.....


"Ummm.....that's a little TOO far back," you say.

I know.

"Start from when you actually KNEW where you were going," you say.

All righty....

Once upon a time in I don't remember what month of 2007, after much prayer, we knew that we would be going to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania for our Chica adventure 2008. It would be months of planning, decision making, praying, searching, re-searching, saving, praying....


"Meh. Still too early in the timeline," you say.

See my drama?

"Start the day you left for your trip," you say.

All righty....

Once upon a time, on the sweltering Louisiana 8th day of October, I attended PWOC; then skeedaddled out of there, dropped my friend at her home on my way out of town and hit the road for GGG's house in Texas.


"Och, that's really boring too! How about some pictures?" you say.

Yeah, about that... I didn't actually take any pictures until I got into downtown Philadelphia on the 9th.

"Hmm. Okay, well tell us more about your pre-retreat with GGG. There's GOT to be something good in there," you say.

I think you may be right. Let me think on that for a bit and I'll get back to you. Thanks for helping me work this out.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Home Now

I made it home from GGG's house a couple of hours ago and am working to get caught up and settled in. I will try to post about my trip, but it may be a little sporadic as my calendar is looking insane! The trip was so so good from beginning to ending. Well, the ending was a bit dramatic 'cause, of course, I got lost. A lot lost. Added like 2 hours to my trip home. I also stopped a couple of times to take pictures, eat and get gas. (that didn't come out right - but notice I am leaving it anyway) I took approximately 1250 pictures during the trip. I have to edit and weed and googly-eye over them, so that will take a bit of time too. I'll try to build some collages so you don't have to see the 80 pictures I took of the Liberty Bell, but just a well organized, graphically designed smattering of them.
Okay - now that we have the fine print out of the way, I will work to get you all the details I can remember in a refreshingly funny and gripping way to keep you interested and coming back for more.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Just Dropping By

Oh my beloved internet! How I have missed you so! The Amish, they just do not understand me and you and our relationship. My dear, sweet lovely internet. I now know that I could never marry Jacob Yoder and have his Amish babies. Poor poor Rebecca Lapp, how does she live without the wonders of web browsing? I'll never know. I will try to fill you in on all my adventures since we have been separated from each other, but for now, I will leave you with a picture postcard....




The Declaration of Independence
(c) Sing4joyphotography

Here I Am At Independence Hall

Thursday, October 2, 2008

In Loving Memory


In loving memory of my brother Raymond L. Stevenson III
January 8, 1971 - October 2, 2008

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

In Christ Alone

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

Monday, September 29, 2008

Attention!

Amber loves me just right.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

You're Still The One

To an imperfect husband from an imperfect wife...
Thank you for being my love, my partner, my friend, my cohort, my caretaker, my hero, the one who stood together with me for these last 13 years. I love you.
Happy Anniversary Honey Oat Bran.



Friday, September 19, 2008

Confident Trust - HooHaws And TahTahs

This post is going to take the long jump WAY over the line of information that you may want to know about me, so you may want to reconsider and come back for a less personal post. The ultrasound results are in and if you just want to know those, you can scroll down to the big bold text toward the bottom.
You have been warned.

Yesterday was the big UroGyno appointment. My day started way earlier than I would like because the doctor's office is 3 hours away. On my way out the door, I saw THIS on the counter...



Rockin'! It's already a great day. I was really having stress about this appointment because I felt like we are really getting to the end of the road for options and doctors who could possibly solve this problem. Plus, I made the mistake of investigating the doctor's website where I read things like 'urodynamics' and 'robotic assisted gynecologic surgery' and 'cystoscopy' and all manner of torturous things. Praying and being still was the only thing keeping me from flying out of the car and hiding in Mexico.
We were able to find the office with little fuss and went straight up to get signed in. They had sent me the paperwork to fill out in the mail, so I had already done all that. And I had worked really hard to make sure that Dr. Urogyno had all my previous records and was hopeful that he had had time to read them prior to my visit. These are the things I had with me that brought me comfort...
Took my Chicas with me in the form of my chickie socks that were gifted to us at one of our retreats. You guys were even with me during the exam of neverending torture.

This is my most beautiful, quilted, Bible study bag - hand made specially for me. I will make a special post just to show you this bag, and even tell you where you can get one. It was so peaceful to just hold the handle and rub the beautiful stitches and know that each one was placed there in love for me. I rubbed the handle almost the whole way up there.



I also had the comfort of being accompanied by my husband who had returned from his efforts in Texas. Thank You Jesus. On the way up there he offered such a sacrifice to me that if this became too much, then I could tell him and we would stop pursuing it. That he loves me and we would work it out. I cannot tell you the relief I felt and the overwhelming feeling of someone being willing to sacrifice out of love for me. I didn't ever know that I would see my husband modeling God's love for me.

Finally, I had my Bible. Speaks for itself, does it not?


The nurse took me back to the exam room even before my appointment time. That happens like once in century. My husband came too. She said, you two can go ahead and sit in the chairs over there (bypassing the ominous stirrups). She told us that the doctor likes to talk a lot before he ever examines. We sat and waited and waited and finally the doctor came in - yes, 15 minutes AFTER my scheduled appointment time. Which I was a little irritated, but not a lot because I figured, you know, maybe he just hadn't had time to go through my records yet and so he was doing that now. I mean I guess I can't expect him to take my stuff home and read it over dinner. Sadly this time left to ourselves in the girlydoctor's office, caused us to ponder if doctors such as these subscribe to magazines such as vagina weekly. When he came in, he had an electronic notepad. Made all his notes on there. Conspicuously absent were my medical records. Hm. So, we talked for a while about what was going on with me. I said - oh, I made sure to have my records sent over. He said - oh, I don't have those. I raised my fists in the air and growled out loud. Here is the thing - not only do I not want to spend my office time rehashing all the junk that you can read - I CAN'T REMEMBER EVERYTHING. I NEED YOU TO LOOK AT MY RECORDS SO YOU CAN KNOW WHAT WAS ALREADY DONE FOR ME. So we talk some more, he gives his thoughts on what it could be - he's pretty sure at this point that it is Interstitial Cystitis, which I say, I believe me and all my very personal friends had ruled out. But he explained that it can be illusive in certain kinds of tests but there were some good ones that were pretty sure to identify it. Yes, well I don't know if those have been done because we do not have my records. He talks about the option of physical therapy, which just sent me into a tailspin of trying to imagine what on earth kind of physical therapy you would DO for the tip or your urethra.
So he says, okay - The blue one there goes on top, open to the front - the white one is for your lap; I am going to step out while you COMPLETELY undress because we are going to examine you from TOP to BOTTOM. Yes, I said from top to bottom. TahTah's to HooHaw and beyond. So, my husband and I have one of those retarded discussions. "Should I stay or should I go now? If I go there will be trouble. If I stay it will be double...." I am stressed, and my mind is going a hundred miles an hour and I can't possibly know what to do. My poor husband really doesn't want to stay, but doesn't want to be a jerk if I want him to stay. So I think, he really does not need to see what is going to happen to me. He'll just have to read about it. Haha. So we agree that he can go out and about and I will call him when I am finished.
The doctor comes back in and tells me all the things you girls already know - place your feet in the stirrups, and lay back. As he is doing the breast exam I tell him about the 'mass' that was found on my mammogram and he says, "Oh? I don't feel it. Don't feel a thing." Then looks at me and says, "It's nothing to worry about." So he finishes that and then on to my abdomen and pelvis. Poke poke poke (Do you know that that hurts? Geez.) He finishes that portion of the move to the south and then he moves to the end of the table and says ~ say it with me ladies ~ "Slide on down to the end of the table." WHO can 'slide on down'?? There is no graceful way to get to the end of the table. None. No not one. But, truly, at this point how lame is it that I am still caring about my dignity? Do I honestly think I have a shred of it left? By the way, I had had a discussion about this the prior evening with my Chicas, and as a result, I literally laughed out loud when he said that. Thanks girls. So, as previously discussed, over the last three years we (me and my personal friends,otherwise known as every doctor in the southeast) have determined that it is the TIP of my urethra that is the problem area. And as we also know, each new person that comes to the party has to determine that for themselves. He did the most thorough interior exam I have had to date.
Does it hurt here?
No.
Here?
No.
Here?
No.
Here?
No, just when you bother the tip on your way to "here".
Okay, here?
No.
Here?
No.
Here?
When is the last time you had intercourse? We tried yesterday. *Wishing that the table would just swallow me whole*
Hm. Does it hurt here?
Um, I can't tell if that hurts or if you are pulling on the tip.
Okay, here?
YES!!*My foot automatically responded by making contact with his nose, and my thumbs went in my mouth.* *Well, maybe that didn't EXACTLY happen.*
That IS the tip.
YOU THINK?*Some crying going on now. Trying so hard to be brave*
Here?
No.
Okay, yeah - it is definitely just that tip.
Thank you. It is nice to have confirmation of that. Again.
Now you are going to feel some pressure in your Anus.
HOW have I not completely dissolved from utter humiliation?
Okay good.
I want to rule out those std's that we talked about before and I can do that with swabs, so we'll do that now. Tell me if I am hurting you.
Okay *quiet tears* (That really hurt; my urethra AND my heart.)
I don't think you have either of those things, but at this point we need to be sure to be certain we have ruled out all possibilities.
After that was all done, he let me sit up so we could talk about what he thinks now that he has done an examination. He is less convinced that it is IC, but he wants to have certain tests done for that because, again, at this point we have to be sure that we are certain we have ruled out every possibility. HE, however, does not do those particular tests. Only a urologist can do those tests, and you may remember that my urologist moved his practice to Houston.
SO - guess what?? I get to go see YET another new doctor. Oh but the exciting news does not stop there. No. There is more. I have to wait until Dr. Urogyno (who can't do some urology stuff) tells my primary care manager that I need to go to a urologist and then wait for HIM to request the referral from Tricare. Hopefully without requiring me to make an actual appt and come back in to discuss the whole matter. And then wait for THEM to process it.
So where was I? Oh yes, our course of action. He tells me that I am not really a candidate for physical therapy because my muscles are all in great shape. Except, of course, for urethral massage. Mmhm. He thinks, that when I had my weekly sessions with my gynecologist for this lovely adventure, that we just didn't do it enough times for long enough. That it really could help to desensitize the area if given proper time and attention.
So, what I want you to do, S4J is to MASSAGE YOURSELF TWICE A DAY FOR FIVE MINUTES. EVERY DAY. AND KEEP TO IT. DON'T GIVE UP. You are the best person for the job. You are very in tune with your body, you know exactly where the problem is and you can just reach in ~ and I am not kidding here folks~ he actually made a motion at himself of 'reaching in' and wiggled his fingers to give me the general idea of what I would be doing.
Keep on taking the Neurontin - it's a great idea - take it long term. It will need time to take effect. And go get those tests. I am sorry, but there may be no answer to your problem. We may just have to do pain management. Has anyone suggested numbing creams or gels such as lidocaine?
Oh yes. Been there, done that. No worky. Not.Even.A.Little.Bit.
Okay ~ we will have the results of the std tests by Monday and we will call you. I will call Dr. S and request that referral. And you will do the things I told you and we will go from there. You can go ahead and get dressed and head out.
Thank you and goodbye.
Now I am weary and sore and sad and tired. I clean up. Get dressed and slowly walk out of the office cause walking is painful. Call my husband as I am heading down in the elevator and we make our way to the car. Slowly. Did I just have a baby?? Geez.
Hubby offers to take me shopping as we drive by Hobby Lobby. Had to say no. Had to say no to all shopping because I wouldn't be able to tolerate the walking. So hubby found us a big city place to eat lunch - The Macaroni Grill. Here is our table covering. (As always, you can click on the pic to enlarge)

We finished lunch and decided that we needed to get on home as the kids were riding the bus home to an empty house if we didn't show up. I was really done with the day and just wanted to get home and sleep it off. In my room. With the door closed. And no one else there.
Sorry. Not yet. On the way home, we got this....




For this...


Wow. That is a day. We got home, I went straight to my room and went to my bed. With the door closed. And no one else there.


I finally heard today back from the hospital about my ultrasound! The ultrasound shows that the mass is a cyst. That it has no blood supply of its own and the follow up needed is a mammogram in six months. Thank You, Lord for mercy.

I am most sad that I missed the opportunity to tell Dr. Urogyno that he has not met my God if he thinks there is no solution. I pray that the Holy Spirit takes over next time and gets the job done where I am lacking.

Again I say...
In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You, Lord, alone make me dwell in safety and confident trust.
Psalm 4:8

Please Stay Tuned

Hi All. I just wanted to drop in and let you know that I haven't forgotten about this wonderful world we call (or maybe just I call) bloggyville. I just have been unbelievably unable to focus on my own wants lately. My needs yes. Wants no. Anyway, some more needs are in the way needing attention today, but I hope to be able to write you a nice, lengthy, funny, poignant, hilarious, enthralling, riveting, memorable TMI post later.
Or maybe I'll just tell you my business and you'll be grossed out 'cause let's face it, I'm not the likes of writer as some other blogs we know and love and give 875 comments to. But some day...oh some day bloggerworld. I shall. I shall.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Hasta La Vista Ike, Hello Power!

Well, Ike has left the building ~ so to speak. He is still making messes north of here and still enjoying a good bit of power. And speaking of power...
Ours came back on just about 1/2 an hour ago. The whole family cried out (minus the man) with glee when the lights suddenly came on! Way to go Cleco. Really wonderful timing actually, cause I was just feeling the connection between the window a/c and the extension cord going to the generator, and it was HOT. We were going to have to turn the thing OFF. Oh woe. woe is me. It is absolutely amazing to me how cranky being hot can insight me to get!
On a happier note, it took me a whole 1/2 hour to get to blogging because I put nice fresh, clean sheets and pillowcases on my bed and am blogging right from it this very minute. A little silver lining to being married to a hero called to duty - I have the bed to myself for just a wee bit of time and I am taking advantage of it.
I am thankful that my husband is willing and able to help people in need, even at risk to his own self, and even when they were dumb in the first place. How could I complain at such a blessing?

Ike Update - Selfish Ranting Involved

Still operating on generator power. The electric company is saying that they may have the power back on by late Monday night. Cold showers are awesome. It's getting dark now so we are going to hunker down for the night in the living room with a window a/c unit.

I am feeling pretty selfish and angry at this moment, so you may want to turn your eyes away, or just skip the rest of the post. I just had to say goodbye to my husband who has been deployed to Houston for search and rescue operations. Yes, you read right. My husband had to LEAVE HIS FAMILY and go into HARM'S WAY, in order to find and rescue PEOPLE WHO WERE TOLD TO LEAVE THAT AREA AND DECIDED TO IGNORE THE ORDER.

Thank you very much from Mr. Hero's wife and children who are now without their hero because you didn't feel like evacuating. Awesome. When you see him, tell him I love him.

Obviously I need to get on my knees.

Ike Is Visiting

Just an update to let everyone know that we are doing okay. The cable ~ which is also the internet and the phone went out several hours ago. That was followed by the power going out. My husband discovered that the cable came back into operation a few minutes ago, and we are using generator power for the internet modem, TV and refrigerator. I'm thinking later on we'll be running a window a/c. Geez! It is windy and rainy here and the yards are a mess, but no trees down so far and the water is still at full pressure. If I see anything interesting to take a picture of, I will post them as our internet access allows. So far our cell phones still work.
Ike is massive and is making a massive mess. I guess it should go without saying to pray for those people in its path.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Saying Goodbye

Saying, "Goodbye" to my precious little crafties! Do you see why I hoard? Do you SEE?

*if you click on the picture you can really see how sweet they are*

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I'm Just Like The Marines

These are some of the things I used before 8am. Just like the Marines.


Okay. I used these things before 11am....
Okay, okay - by ONE O'Clock I had used all of these things and more.
So, maybe I'm more like a retired marine.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Confident Trust - Scheduling The Ultrasound

In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You, Lord, alone make me dwell in safety and confident trust.
Psalm 4:8

I am truly sorry that I have dragged this on for so long. I meant to share with you much much sooner how things went down with the ultrasound, and then I forgot!

I went down to the radiology department on my way to pick up my medication and scheduled the ultrasound appointment.

Radiology Lady With Kooky Fake Hair: "Our first available appointment is September 11th at 10:45"

Wanting Some More People To Look At Her Tah-tah's Lady:"Hmmm. September 11th is ringing some bell in my head."*wonders now if that had anything to do with the TWIN TOWERS - HELLO*

RLWKFH: "Better to be safe than sorry, how about September 12th at 10:45."

Me: "Okay thanks."

There it is folks: more waiting.(Sorry to do that to you)


I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for Him."
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him,
to the one who seeks Him;
Lamentations 3:23-25


Isn't it interesting that this passage is found in a book called, "Lamentations"? That even while Jeremiah was struggling through what was, to the world, a horrible situation and lamenting about it, he had confident trust in the Lord.

What does this mean? Well, it means that though man may even perish in sorrow, God endures. And because God endures, the great purpose and workings of God endure. God never does anything temporarily; all that he does endures forever. Jeremiah sees that what God has taught him in his grief will have a practical use. Even if he were to die in the midst of his grief, God's purposes endure. God is simply preparing now for a work yet to come. God is not limited by time. He is eternal. His throne, his authority, endures to all generations. In practical terms, the prophet is realizing that after he has been through this time of grief, he will have learned a truth about God that will make him absolutely impervious to any other kind of test. Once he has been through this, nothing can reach him, nothing can upset him, nothing can trouble him, nothing can touch him or overthrow him. He is now ready for anything. And in God's great purpose there will be an opportunity to use that strength. (commentary in gray by Ray Stedman)


Me too.



Saturday, September 6, 2008

Friday, September 5, 2008

Confident Trust - Epic AND TMI

In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You, Lord, alone make me dwell in safety and confident trust.
Psalm 4:8

Confident trust. Seems to be a theme that many are struggling with these days. Waiting takes confident trust. Not the kind of waiting where you are whining and fussing and scrambling around working toward a solution without ever having consulted the One who can do all things and loves you so much that He sent His Son to die so that He could have a relationship with you. No. That is not confident trust.

Confident is defined as, marked by assurance, as of success. It comes from the Latin confidere which means, to rely on.

Yesterday I went to the doctor for two reasons. The main reason was to see my primary care manager in the gynecology department to request a referral to go see a urological gynecologist for my girl problem. Yes it is still a problem. Yes. After THREE years of doctors, tests, procedures and medications it is still a problem. The second, and ironically enough, lesser reason I was there was to have my mammogram results read by the doctor so that he could prescribe a course of action. You may remember that I had gotten a call from MY gynecologist that there was a mass detected on the mammogram and it required follow up. That was Wednesday. I had to wait a week and a day to see the doctor.

I was irritated at the inconvenience of having to go to yet another doctor so he could do yet another examination just so I could wait to be able to get an appointment to go see yet another doctor. And irritated at having to wait to get information about where the breast health journey is going to lead me. And by the way, "I am NOT sitting on that examining table with the stirrups. I am sitting in a chair. You want me in stirrups, you're going to have to work for it." Hm. That somehow doesn't sound too appropriate. I suppose it is good I didn't say it out loud.

The doctor came in holding only my urology records and my mammogram results. Did you ever watch that show Ally McBeal where they acted out whatever was in her imagination? Like, one time, her crush said something that hurt her heart and you see a red arrow going right to her chest and piercing it. She was fine of course, it was only her imagination. Well, I imagined whipping out one of those sticky rubber hands and smacking him upside his noggin with it. I said, "Those are only my urology records, there is more." And he said, "Oh, they only gave me these..." grr. "So, what are you here for today?"

Oh. it's going to go down like THAT is it? *slips on boxing gloves and oils up naked bulging muscles* So after feeding him some leather giving him the, "I want to go see another doctor and you need to tell me what is up with my cha cha's and stop making me wait some more" talk, we settled in and had a nice get to know me conversation. He asked me to tell him all the things I could remember about what has been done so far about my issue. Well let's see, there was those four weeks where I had a weekly tea party urethral massage with my gynecologist, or the time that big camera ignored the do not enter sign and showed me the inside of my bladder on tv, cystoscopy, or the myriad of medications which have helped me to now move into the category of obese according to your lovely, uplifting little chart there.

Truth be told folks, I liked this doctor. You could see his wheels turning in earnest interest and medical consternation. I just wish that he had done the reading first. So he says, "Okay - I know of another nerve drug that we could try and I will also put in the referral request for you to go see the Urogyno." "It's possible that we may not be able to fix this." "What you mean like EVER?" "Yes." "Like, NEVER?" "Yes." "Like, for the rest of my life, for always and ever, I may never have intercourse without pain??" "Yes."
"That is not acceptable."
And now, on to the mammogram. "Ah yes, I see that they detected something on your mammogram that they would like followed up on. I'll go ahead and put in the order for the ultrasound. You'll just need to go down there and schedule it." That's all you get Mrs. MoCracka S4J.

Oh no you DI'INT! "Hey, Dr. S ~ is this something that should be marked urgent, or right away or something that I need to be FREAKING OUT about?" "Nah, not urgent." Well thank you man of many words. "Now, are you up-to-date on your pap?" *rubber thing snaps and this time takes out an ear* "I HAVE NO CERVIX YOU JACKAL Um, yes. My last approved visit with my gynecologist was used for a well-woman exam. Which is in those records that you don't have in front of you." "And how long ago was that?" "Just a couple of weeks ago." "Okay, we'll skip the exam today then." *Raises fist in the air and brings elbow back in excited cheer* (yes I really did) "THANK YOU!"

"Oh, and come back and see me in two or three months so we can see how the medication worked and also I am pretty curious about what Urogyno comes up with." "Well, it is certainly my pleasure to satisfy your curiosity."

Okay - explanation of the medication which I started taking yesterday. The theory is that there is a nerve that is misfiring, causing pain when it is disturbed(and by the way this is my lame'mans explanation - please do not publish this on medrx.com [cause I know you wanted to]). So we are going to try to convince it that it can give up the game with the use of Gabapentin(neurontin). I am starting at the lowest dosage which is one 300mg capsule three times each day. I will try that dosage for one week. If it doesn't work I will take two 300mg capsules three times each day for one week. If that doesn't work I will take three 300mg capsules three times each day for one week. If THAT doesn't work we know it's not GOING to work and I will be done taking it. If it does work, I could be taking it the rest of my life. AND also, nurturing my marriage the rest of my life. so there.
I know the medication is affecting me already (no we didn't try it out you dirty-minded GGG)because about 2 hours or so after I take it, I get WHACK. Like super funny. So funny in fact that I crack myself up. Regularly.

What else? Hmmm What WAS the other thing? I'm trying to think but can't remember so much, and I see that this post is really long already. I guess I will have to wait for another post to write about it.