Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Big Tease And A Mammogram

"...As for driving to PA, it's a gorgeous drive! Be sure to have your camera handy. Of course, I love me a good road trip and what better than with a good friend? Sounds like fun to me. Maybe I'll fly down there and drive back with you...."

For just one moment of bliss this scene flashed in my mind: Me, GGG and Jenster. In GGG's new Jeep with my tricked out trailer following behind with as much luggage as we care to have, snacks everywhere. GGG looking into the back seat when it is her turn for shotgun and choosing whether to play her violin, guitar or the coveted shaker. Starbucks plotted by AAA all along the triptick. Laughing, photographing, crying, singing, bonding and driving. Much driving. And then I read on...

"...Just kidding, though there's a part of me that sort of considered it for even a minute."

Big Tease.

And speaking of Jenster, but not really. But sort of.

Be on notice that I have scheduled my mammogram for 20 August 2015. Just kidding. 2088. Okay, kidding. 2008 ~ it's 2008. And in honor of Jenster and GeorgiaGirl who I adore and have been personally touched by breast cancer, I would like to challenge you ALL ~GRETCHEN~ to schedule your mammogram for August 20th and we can go together. You know, the buddy system. Except not really. Cause we live all over the world. In case you didn't know that although you are reading this from your living room, I did not type it there.

Most likely I will be telling you all about my experience and how it was so much fun that I had already scheduled the next one. Now get on the phone. Go!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Here I Am ~ Epic Post

"This will be a daily Hamper Scamper post."


How about ANY post AT ALL??
Just call me underachiever and let's all move on. Shall we? I have been doing fairly well keeping up with the chores, and my family has been good about helping too. Things are starting to feel more normal around the house and a lot has happened since I last posted.

*TMI warning*

My Dad came for a lovely visit and we all spent many days in heated and mostly good-nature
d battle at various card, board and Wii games. He took my son fishing and even caught some catfish. Thankfully the farm where they caught the fish did all the fish preparation and they brought home only the fillets. Then my Dad taught us how to cook and eat the fish. I tried a bite, decided that it tasted like this fish ate dirt and that was enough for me. This is a picture of my Dad from his visit. As you can see he is a camera hog. Really loves having his picture taken.

I managed to get to Worship Team and Choir rehearsals at FUMC(and my Dad went too!) and am back on track finally (at least for now) serving both services and loving it.

I had my girly appointment with the girl who would be my favorite doctor if she were, say, my podiatrist. Sadly, she is my specialty Gynecologist and so she therefore, by default, cannot be my favorite. She asked me if there was any change and I said no. She allowed me to tell her excitedly how through the telling to you all of my gynecological history I came upon the realization about the catheter installation possibly being related to my current ail
ment and she grinned at me and gave me that look that people give me when they see my zeal and are afraid if they don't make nice, a limb of mine might fly off or something. I am so excited and I say, "So....I think if we just cauterize the thing or something like that and get it over with, then I can go on my merry way ~ happily ever after." She became a little less shiny in my eyes when she replied, "I would like you to go see the specialist." He is a gynecologist with urological background (or something like that) we'll call him my urogyno just for fun. She says he'll probably want to take a look inside the bladder with a camera. *jumping off the highest point of the Grand Canyon in my imagination* That, my friends, is called a Cystoscopy. It is a nasty business; humiliating, embarrassing, disgusting, uncomfortable, humbling, and strangely fascinating ~ that you have to be awake and un-numbed for. I tried to defend my personal space by pointing out that my Urologist had already done this procedure and that I could personally vouch for the interior of my bladder being in tip-top, working condition. I saw it after all. On the TV. In.real.time. She said, "Yes, I know. But Dr. Urogyno will want to see for himself."
I know that a good doctor will want to see my history and read what all the other invaders doctors have tried, tested, poked, prodded and postulated and then will want to do these things for his/her own self. And it truly is my prayer that he is a competent doctor who will have the diagnosis AND the solution right there in his Urogyno brain. But secretly, in a little corner of my tender little heart, I want him to say, "I know from reading your file t
hat you need to take this one little pill. One time. It will heal the tip of your crazy little Urethra. It will not make you gain weight. In fact, it will make you lose weight. All of the extra you have, but not one pound more. Losing that weight will cause your breasts to once again be perky, yet voluptuous, and not one bit saggy. And also, it will make it so you never have to have another well-woman exam again in your life. Cause after all, you have no cervix and no uterus."
But that's just me.
I asked her if she could please prescribe me something to help me sleep and she agreed. Also, she made me have the whole pelvic, breast exam. And as a parting gift gave me the order to schedule my first, baseline Mammogram. Oh the absolute rapture. Maybe I can get it the day before or the day after seeing Dr. Urogyno just so I can have a fun-packed week. Perhaps I will start some sort of count ~ how many strangers can touch parts of me that I tell all my children never to let strangers touch! Okay ~ maybe nobody would be interested in
that. At least nobody I really want to associate with. She told me that she had called and tried to put in the referral but was told by TriCare that I have to go to my Primary Care Manager to get the referral approved. That usually means being 'seen' by a doctor, in other words ~ examined ~ so that they can say, "Yes indeed, she should go see the specialist for an exam." But God stepped in and provided mercy for me and I was able to get the referral approved through mere begging phone calls. Hallelujah! Perhaps this week I will get the letter and I can make my appointment. Did I mention that I have to drive 3 hours one way to go see Dr. Urogyno?

So, the renovations to the east wing are mostly done. What we're working on now is finish work. Last sanding, one more coat, trim and the like. I can start posting pictures for you now if you'd like ~ or you can wait until it is completely finished. You just let me know your preference. I am really loving the change I must say. When we completely complete the east wing renovations, we will b
egin on the west end of the house which includes the master bedroom. We are still trying to figure out if we can improve the bathrooms without actually adding on to the house. (We hate roofing! ~ to prove it, I'll show you a picture of my misery roofing this house....)

What else has been going on? The price of gas and plane tickets!
Geez. GGG and I have decided that this year we will be road tripping to Chicas of Faith. It's about 1400 miles. I can't understand why everyone I discuss this with gets that 'oh geez! her limb is going to fly off' look. We have an unfair disadvantage as the worship leaders; we travel with our instruments. You have to pay for your luggage people. So, we automatically have TWO suitcases to pay for. GGG showed off in one of her recent posts about how she bought a new backpacker. The hater. However, nothing compares to your full-size, rich sounding, favorite guitar. Just nothing. We will be driving through some absolutely beautiful country in the midst of my favorite season. Plus, if we can actually pull it off without turning me into a complete lunatic(traveling beats me down) - we will get extra days of fellowship together. (I mean - the Cali girls all get to travel together, why shouldn't we?) And maybe, if she brings her backpacker too - we can rehearse in the car on the way to PA. I have already put in the request to my husband to trick out my little trailer to carry our luggage, and also to make improvements to my sound system to make my minivan bumpin'.

My brother is still very ill and still very much in need of your prayers for his salvation. He has been in the hospital for a week and says he nearly had to have his arm amputated due to an infection associated with his dialysis. He is lonely and frightened and lacks control over what is going on with him. He needs a Savior. As we all do.

I apologize to you that I have not only not been commenting on your posts, I have barely so much as lurked. I promise you that I do think of you daily. I am still going crazy, although as I said before, things are improving, and I really am doing the best I can. School starts again in a couple of weeks and we will be back into a regular routine. More progress. Praise the Lord.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Busy Bee

I have a lot to do today. I did not do any chores on my birthday. Yesterday I had dreams of doing great things, but after PWOC and the library I got a nasty headache/earache combo and that took me out for the rest of the day. Plus, my Dad is coming to visit tomorrow and he'd like a place to sleep and a place to sit at the table. I've got to arrange the things that are still stored in the dining room so that I can expand the table (it's one of the storage areas for the stuff we moved out of the east wing so that we could renovate). Those are the most important goals but not the only goals.
After dinner on my birthday, my husband cleaned up ALL of the dishes. NOT just the ones from baking my cake, no. ALL of them. He even hand-washed what wouldn't fit in the dishwasher. What a lovely birthday.
I got the new, new hard drive yesterday. My husband opened it up and saw that it is about 200gb less than MY hard drive that I PAID for. Sooooo ~ still no laptop. That one has to go back too. Also, I picked up an enclosure for the hard drive that crashed to see if I could retrieve my data. The guy at Radio Shack said it was the right one. It is not returnable. And it doesn't fit. FOOIE. I suppose I'll be spending some time on Ebay soon. As for now, I have to get to work.
I wanted to say, "Thank you" for all the wonderful birthday wishes and the gift verses. So awesome! A special thanks to my BFF IRL HisGirl for hosting my surprise virtual birthday party!
I also received a gift certificate for CBD from my parents(I've spent it 6 times for practice), a check for oodles of dollars from my in-laws, some birthday cards and emails ~ And these lovely words from a sweet friend who shares my same birthday....

Happy, Merry, Fun-Loving, Excitable, Cheerful, Wonderful, Unique, Rule Abiding, Guitar playing, Humorous, Religious, Beautiful-singing, Crab-huntin, Prayer-lovin, Picture-takin, entertaining hostess, humor-writing, Expert on linguistics, Social Butterfly, God-fearing, worldly experienced, Mothering & All the other cool words to describe you: BIRTHDAY to Judi. YAY!!!

*My life is good and I am blessed beyond hope by the Most High God.*

Monday, July 14, 2008

On This Day In History July 14th

This Day in History
2008: Some hater called me to "wish me a happy birthday" and just "happened" to mention that she was on her way to go visit Gretchen!(Who wished David a happy Birthday on the same day as mine!!)
1099: In the First Crusade, a force of European Christians conquers the walled city of Jerusalem, massacring thousands of its inhabitants.
1789: In the pivotal event of the French Revolution, a Paris mob storms and captures the Bastille, a royal prison fortress that is a symbol of the ancient regime.
1881: In Fort Sumner, New Mexico, Sheriff Pat Garrett shoots and kills the outlaw William H. Bonney, also known as Billy the Kid, who escaped from his jail three months before.
1933: The German government, having given Adolf Hitler dictatorial powers, outlaws all political parties except the National Socialist, or Nazi, party.
1958: A coup in Iraq led by General 'Abd al-Karim Kassem overthrows the country's monarchy, kills King Faisal II, and declares Iraq a republic.
1965: U.S. space probe Mariner 4 flies by Mars. On its mission the probe relays the first photographs from Mars back to Earth, which reveal the planet's cratered surface.

Born On This Day
1966 Matthew Fox (actor)
1952 Jerry Houser (actor)
1941 Maulana Karenga (originated kwanzaa)
1933 Del (Franklin Delano) Reeves (singer)
1932 Rosey (Roosevelt) Grier (football, actor)
1930 Polly Bergen (Nellie Burgin) (actress)
1928 Nancy Olson (actress)
1927 John Chancellor (radio/TV newscaster)
1926 Harry Dean Stanton (actor)
1923 Dale Robertson (actor)
1918 Arthur Laurents (playwright)
1918 Ingmar Bergman (director)
1917 Douglas Edwards (TV's 1st evening news anchor, TV panel moderator, host)
1913 Gerald R Ford (Leslie King, Jr) (38th US President)

Your Astrological Sign
Cancerians are nurturing, emotional, sensitive, conservative, and home-loving, much more aware of how they feel than what they think. They are artistic, have vivid imaginations, and have highly developed memories(BWAH!!).

Bowling And Cake

Bowling was fun... I used the maroon ball.

Here is proof that I won.

I know you were all wondering about the birthday cake. No, this has not been eaten yet. A piece fell on the floor when hubby was transferring it from the bundt pan to the plate. He added icing to the cavernous part and made it all better. The rolled up, taped up plastic cup is there to provide support for the foil so it does not rest on the icing and steal all the joy.
I had a fun day today. I got to go to a local Mexican restaurant for dinner and walk around Walmart afterward. I am so tired. This must be what old feels like.

Happy Bastille Day

Also, it is my birthday and LOOK, just LOOK at the wonderful presents I have already been given....

S4J and HisGirl(taken just this morning)

(I'm whichever one you think is cutest)

And also, I got THIS....

I only had to whine like a cranky teething baby for six months hop on over to HisGirl's Blog to find it. I LOVE this button! Do you SEE the guitar in the background? Do you SEE it?? HA.

I am happy and not ashamed even a little bit to report to you all that I am 36 years old today. Although being 36 has not seemed to bother me for the last 4 hours that I have been it, the realization that I am now in a different age group for registering for things and medical checkups and such - now THAT seems to be giving me a twinge. Possibly because they are now grouping me with 50 year-olds instead of 20 year-olds?

I am taking the twins bowling today and meeting hubby and some friends for lunch. I have to go. My face needs a bit more cosmetic attention than it did yesterday. Whatever.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


These are pecans harvested from our future home. We have about a dozen pecan trees. These are some of the leftovers from last year's harvest, and sadly - I have to throw them away because they have lost their shelf life. But not before I stopped filing to take pictures of them! Next year we know to freeze them ~ which will also kill the weevils. (I applied the kaleidoscope effect using Corel Paint Shop Pro X (trial version on my stand-in laptop))

Doing great on our tasks. Mostly the part that we're doing great at is not getting so wrapped up in getting the list done that we drive ourselves crazy and cease to enjoy life. The point is to keep a good house in an orderly fashion. The reason we desire this is because it makes our life more pleasant and relaxed because somehow, it feels easier to breathe when you aren't staring at an inch of dust on the mantle. And somehow, it feels easier to walk down the hallway when you aren't worried about breaking a leg on 14 pairs of shoes in your path. And as HisGirl has pointed out, it's nice to be able to say to someone, "Sure - come on in." Without having a panic attack for what they will think of how you really live and whether or not their immune system can handle the attack it is about to receive.

The filing is taking epically long today for 3 reasons. 1.)I am way behind so I have a lot to file. 2.) I have taken many breaks. 3.)I decided to purge files of old papers. The fun about living where we live, is that we don't need a shredder. We can just make a bonfire with our sensitive documents and save our identities for another day.

Needs to be done.

Having fun with my husband today who has baked me a really hilarious cake in honor of my impending birthday. Also seems to have left me the cleanup from said baking. We shall see.

Hamper Scamper

Make beds (each his own)
Check guest bathroom (12 year-old daughter)
Change bathroom hand towel (12 year-0ld daughter)
Change kitchen towel
Vacuum common areas
Set table for dinner (12 year-old son)
Make dinner
Clear table from dinner (12 year-old daughter)
Wipe table and chairs
Take out kitchen trash (12 year-old son)

Still up for grabs:
Vacuum van
Wash neon
Vacuum neon
Bathe dogs

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Cow's It Going?

Visited the neighbors at dusk. It's so mooving to see God's creatures up close.

Today I spent the day shopping around with a new friend so today's tasks were slightly neglected. All told, well worth it. I received the new hard drive for the laptop and it freaked out too. Dell is sending out another one. Waiting so, so, so patiently.

We completed all of yesterday's tasks, with the exception of cleaning the sink and the mirrors in the master bathroom. No biggie - I'll get to it.

Clean guest bathroom (12 year-old daughter)
Make beds (each his own)
Wash and vacuum van (up for grabs)
Sweep floors (12 year-old daughter)
Update checkbook
Water front garden
Water mailbox
Wash and vacuum neon (up for grabs)
Sweep back patio (up for grabs)
Mow front & back yards (Dad)
Bathe dogs (Up for grabs)
Set table (Dad)
Make dinner
Clear table
Wipe table and chairs
Take out kitchen trash

Friday, July 11, 2008

Getting Back On Track

We completed all the tasks on our list yesterday! And then some! As I mentioned before, we spent the holiday weekend at our future homestead. Here is a picture of what my future looks like.....

Today's Tasks:

Make beds (each their own)
Check the guest bathroom (12 year-old son)
Clean the Master bathroom
Change kitchen towel
Clean kitchen sink
Check house plants and water
Clean garbage disposal
Clean ionic breeze
Pick up dog poop(12 year-old daughter)
Mow dog yard(12 year-old son)
Bring up trash cans (12 year-old son)
Set table for dinner(12 year-old daughter)
Make dinner
Clear table from dinner(Dad)
Wipe table and chairs
Take out kitchen trash(12 year-old son)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Fall Of Perfection

Well, okay ~ the fall of the illusion of perfection. Since my husband left for Iraq, my life had been in a spiral of controlled chaos. We have been blessed so abundantly in our lives, and with those blessings have come many responsibilities. As time passed with my husband gone, it became increasingly clear that it was too much for me to handle on my own.(sprained ankles and debilitating colds didn't help) Add to that my ministries and various opportunities to do something besides a paying job and things started to slip. I began forgetting appointments, tasks, names ~ even every day words. Praise the Lord my husband came home! Right? Well yes, of course. And with the blessing of him coming home safe and sound, came some certain realities. I am not perfect. And now, my husband knows. Along with the failings that he was aware of while he was gone (see my financial disaster post), he has now become aware that I did not care for our property in a way that he would have liked and he is now paying the consequences because he has six months of catch-up to do. This is not because I didn't care, or was complacent about what needed to be done. It was simply too much for me to do. Also with the blessing of him being home, came the challenge of re-integration. He is having some issues related to the war which are affecting me. Sleep has been such a challenge and I have become exhausted to the point of not even feeling enough energy to go to worship practice. And I have become rather jumpy and agitated at unexpected noises. Then there's the fact that my regular weekly Bible study adjourned for the summer and thus ended my regular attendance to my Bible.(fault mine) And then ~ just to make things fun ~ we dove right into a major reconstruction in our home (not sorry about that at all, just pointing out the chaos.)
SO ~ last night, I shoved some box out of my path and got into the car and went to worship practice. There was no one there. Why? I don't even know. That's how bad it has gotten in the world of S4J. So - anyone that may have had illusions about my perfection or 'being all together', should be pretty clear that they were incorrect. I'm certain that I owe apologies for missed appointments and responsibilities and perhaps at some point, I will become aware of what those are and make the appropriate sorries.
I have been waiting on God to tell me what would be my tasks in the coming season, and I believe He has made it abundantly clear to me at this point.

* My family and my home are a ministry that God has given me and after Him they must be given priority.
* My body is a temple and it must be cared for with the love and respect of the guest whom I have invited to live in it which is Jesus Christ.
* After these priorities have been seen to, I am to care for women whose husbands are deployed and to care for my friendship relationships.
*This one is just me :) I love photography and I have a God-given talent for taking lovely pictures. I want to be a photographer who gets paid. More to the point, I want to be a photographer worthy of getting paid. So I am going to try to take a picture every day to post. Maybe I will start a photoblog just for accountability. It is also my desire to improve on the talent that God has given me and so I would like to take a photography course. Perhaps when the kids go back to school.

In the interest of priority one - I have revamped my home maintenance schedule so that jobs that need to get done are more likely to get done because I know they need to get done. There are daily, weekly, monthly and other frequency-oriented tasks. I have broken them down into manageable segments and have delegated more of the work to capable members of the family ~ although the majority of the indoor work to maintain the home is mine because I am the full-time household manager which was agreed upon by myself and my husband at the beginning of our marriage. This will be a daily Hamper Scamper post. And I will let you know if I completed the tasks or not. You can work along with me, or just hold me accountable ~ or even just ignore the whole thing. After all, this blog is really about me for me (and also to help others keep up on me) and the beauty of visiting friends on blogs is that you can visit with the freedom to read or not read, do or not do, comment or not comment.

Oh ~ and btw ~ my laptop hard drive died and so I am still working from another computer. The new (refurbished) one came today and my husband has promised to help me install it. Hopefully I'll be up and running again soon.

I don't have the Hamper Scamper button on this computer so for now, you'll have to imagine it.

Today's Tasks:
Make beds(each their own)
Sweep common area floors (12 year-old daughter)
Check and adjust guest bathroom (12 year-old daughter)
Change bathroom hand towel (12 year-old daughter)
Vacuum common areas
Mop common areas
Set table for dinner
Clear table table from dinner (12 year-old son)
Wipe table and chairs
Wash dishes
Take out all trashes (12 year-old son)
Curb trash cans (12 year-old son)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

I've Got The Uh-Oh's

So folks - we are out of town visiting the in-laws (and our future homestead) which has really doused my Internet access quite a bit. The uh-oh of it is that my laptop seems to have crashed. I can't know if it's really gone until I get home.
My gracious and giving husband is allowing me to use his laptop here and there - just to keep my blood circulating, but it doesn't have all my bookmarks and files and the like so I am doing minimal stuff.
On the bright side, I have been working on how to organize my crafting area to go back into the newly renovated music/catch-all room with the help of my Father-in-law and Hobby Lobby. You West-coasters may not know what this is, but it is like a Michael's on steroids with really good sales, Christian music and closed on Sundays.
I pray that you all had a beautiful Independence day filled with the thankfulness of living in a free nation!
Is anyone else astounded at the fact that it is July of 2008?? My birthday is coming up. (That was totally random, but I am going to leave it 'cause that's just me)