Monday, March 31, 2008

Spring Break Revisited

On Wednesday afternoon we went into Wilmington to the Children's Museum. The kids had a blast! Damien spent most of his time in the art room, tho he liked the grocery store, too. We then walked a bit along the RiverWalk. Ate at On the Border for supper.

Thursday, we took the kids to a play park for part of the afternoon, then on to Mike's Farm for supper. The kids got a kick out of the farm animals. Damien did a good job on his supper which was a farmhouse feast of fried chicken, roasted pork loin in gravy, mashed potatoes, gravy, mac and cheese, sweet white corn and green beans.

Friday we went to Onslow Beach which is actually on Camp Lejeune. Damien and Kayla played in the surf and we hunted for shark teeth, found lots. It was very, very windy and we had to cut our afternoon short because Ethan just could not take the sand and wind. But we had fun. Glad we didn't try to picnic. Waaaaay too windy!

For pics of our adventures, go to the link for Suzanne's blog.

Saturday was the long drive back. Took 11-1/2 hours. Kids did great but I felt like I had been beat with a stick when we got back. Just vegged all day Sunday because I was TIRED by God!

Not much happening in my world right now. Lots of laundry to do. I have finished work for the day. May have to go to Dad and Nora's tonight to cook dinner as Dad was just dismissed from the hospital this afternoon.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I think the stress test was just fine. Average workload with no chest, jaw or neck pain.

Spring Break in North Carolina - The Trip

Our trip went well, at least I think so. 11 hours, WHEW!! Nonie (Chris's mom) and her granddaughter, Kayla age 9, were with me and Damien. To have a 9 year old and a 5 year old in a car for an 11 hour trip is quite an experience.

But we had the dual DVD player for the kids and Doodle brought his Leapster to play. They watched movies, played CDs, napped and played games on the Leapster. We stopped at a Cracker Barrel near Savannah for lunch and stayed there a bit so they could run around some. Day lasted until 5 MINUTES before we got to Suzanne and Chris's house before he asked the ubiquitous question: "Are we there yet?" I was so impressed!

Suzanne decided, since they had been cooped up in the car all day, that the best plan for supper was CHUCK E. CHEESE so they could blow off some steam. Worked Great!

Today we are going to LapTime at the Library and this afternoon to the Children's Interactive Science Museum in Wilmington.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter is upon us

Good Friday has passed. We did the Passion Play with Veneration of the Cross. Did lots of music, Behold the Wood, Were You There?, Jesus Remember Me, and several more, during the Veneration. Easter is almost here!

I did sing the Psalm. Our choir director said I did a really good job with it. If it was American Idol I think the comments would have been:

Randy Jackson: "Hey man, it was a little pitchy in places. Overall it was just okay for me."

Paula Abdul: "That is such a beautiful song and you truly did it from your heart."
Simon Cowell: "I thought it was a complete and utter mess!"

Good thing I'm not on Idol. I would have been voted off!!! LOL

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Stress Test Cometh

My stress test is scheduled for Monday morning March 24th, the day after Easter. At least I will be blessed with having been to all the Holy Week services and receiving the eucharist every day for 4 days. Pray for me, all ye lands! I AM leaving Tuesday morning for North Carolina! I have faith.

Damien ~~ Hugs and Kisses

Damien, my Doodle-Bug, just left for school. Big, warm hugs. Lots of kisses. He sure was snuggly this morning. All that warm, pure baby-love. I know he's not a baby anymore, but that 5 year old innocence is so wonderful. He assured me that he would hug and kiss me tonight when he went to bed.

He is torn about going to see his cousin Katherine during spring break. He wants to stay with his mommy and daddy, but is so excited about going to see Katherine and Ethan and his Uncle Chris (the SOLDIER!!!) . . . (who has a real GUN!!!) . . . (and wears a UNIFORM!!!) and Aunt Suzanne (yes, Suz, you are an after thought). He has never been to visit them before and really wants to see where his cousins live.

When Chris and Suzanne still lived here, one year when they went to the Marine Corps Ball, they came by to show off their regalia. Suzanne was trying to get Damien to kiss her, but he kept stepping around her and gazing up at Chris with these huge, round eyes. There is nothing like a Marine in his dress blues!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My Life on a Diet

This is week 10 of my one year committment. As of yesterday afternoon, I had lost 16.5 lbs, which is (obviously) 1.6 lbs a week, practically perfect. Some weeks were more, some less, but the average is good. We start pole walking (that's pole-WALKING as opposed to pole dancing) the week of April 1st.

I think this diet is spot on. My new favorite snack food is 2 Tbs of hummis mixed with a half-cup of salsa and pretzel chips to dip. Hummis is pureed chick peas and olive oil with various herbs and spices mixed in for variety. My favorite is Sabra's Hummis with Green and Black Olives. I can absolutely do without any chips and dips when I have this. I also LOVE the 100 calorie packs of Oreo Candy Bites. They are so good!

I think my failure is going to be cake. It's an oral/texture type thing. I haven't given in yet but I feel that it is just a matter of time. I don't want just candy, ice cream, chocolate or just anything sweet. I crave POUND cake, chocolate layer cake with fudge frosting, chocolate ganache cake, pineapple upside down cake, cupcakes; and I want APPLE PIE! I have a recipe from The Pioneer Woman Cooks (see blog link below) for apple dumplings that look like they are fabbo (or maybe flab-o??). She said she had to throw hers away after eating several because "they are evil and must be destroyed." I can't wait to make them. But I'll do it with Splenda Baking Mix and diet Mountain Dew. See? I'm trying to be good!

And then there's Easter and I'm doing a basket for Doodle. Already have individual candies (no bags of stuff) and toys, so I won't be too tempted, except maybe by the jelly beans. Gotta have some Peeps, too!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Gigi's un-Excellent Adventure

Saturday I felt bad pretty much all day. It got progressively worse until I finally lay down and took a short nap before I started cooking dinner. When I got up from the nap, I felt like someone was sitting on my chest. By the time we finished supper, I really felt like crap, was short of breath and the sensation of something sitting on my chest was worse. Get where I'm going with this?

Anyway, Hugh decided that we needed to err on the side of caution, so I ended up in the Chest Pain Center in the Emergency Room overnight having serial EKGs, tronopins (cardiac enzymes), etc. to make sure I wasn't having a heart attack. Which I wasn't.

However, by the time I got to the ER, I was having true left-sided chest pain which was radiating up into my neck and jaw. The pain level was pretty low, maybe a 3 out of 10 at its worst, but was persistent, which was scarier than anything else. Three nitroglycerine tablets later, it was totally gone, even the sensation that something was sitting on my chest.

I got chided gently by the ER doc (Dr. Black is a gem!) for waiting for over 4 hours to come in when I started feeling weird. He said he would rather that I come in dozens of times (HEY! Who has to pay the bills here!?!) for a false alarm than not come in the one time I needed to and that I should let them determine if I should to be there. How many times have I preached this same matra? But I must say, if I went to the ER every time I got short of breath (did I ever mention I'm fat??) or started feeling weird, I'd be there several times a week.

Right now I'm waiting for 9:00 to roll around so I can schedule a cardiac stress test, my third in 10 years. The last one showed above average exercise tolerance for my age and "body habitus" (I have mentioned I'm FAT??). Mayhap I will pass this one with flying colors, too. We can always hope.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

My Doodle

I had to go and get my Doodle from Mommy and Daddy's last night. He just would not mind and had a major melt down. He didn't want to leave (he stays with them every weekend) but just would not listen to anything anyone said.

So. Hugh and I went and got him about 10:00. He cried and fought, but his mommy carried him to the car and put him in his booster seat. We told him if he could calm down that he could come back on Saturday afternoon.

We got two blocks from their apartment and he had quit crying, was talking coherently and by the time we got home, he was laughing, telling us stories and enjoying himself. I don't know what his problem was. He treasures his time with his parents. He really didn't want to come back home but just could not seem to get himself together enough to do what he had to do to stay there.

He didn't get to bed until about 10:30 which is waaaaaaay past his bedtime. But he did get up at 8 and came and climbed in bed with us to snuggle for a while. Then he had to have "real" pancakes (homemade) for breakfast. He was a delight all morning, running and playing, coloring, laughing. He dressed himself and was ready to go back to Mommy and Daddy's. We had a talk on the way back over there and he seemed to understand that respecting his parents is very important that being disobedient would get him sent back to Gigi's.

I don't like being used as a punishment, but somehow I don't think he sees it that way. He was too happy and content to be back home. My beautiful baby, the light of my life.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Holy Week

Holy Week is approaching with all it's sadness, tears, and finally joy and hope. It is my favorite time of the year. Some time during the week I will take some time and watch "The Passion of the Christ". I have to do it alone. I can't have anyone around. I cry every time I see it. I'm not talking a few dainty tears that require a tissue or two. I'm talking gut-wretching sobs so bad sometimes I can't catch my breath. It is a fearsome reminder of the suffering and sacrifice Jesus made for us.
I have been practicing the Responsorial Psalm for Good Friday which I may sing for Good Friday services. I usually cant the Stations service at 3:00 and unless someone else volunteers, I will do this also. What a beautiful, somber, contemplative piece of music.

Ps 31: Father, I Put My Life In Your Hands
arranged by John Michael Talbot.
copyright 1985 Birdwing Music

In You, O Lord, I take refuge
Let me never be put to shame
Into Your hands I commend my spirit
You will redeem me faithful God

For all my foes reproach me
Neighbors laugh and friends stand off
I am forgotten like dead unremembered
I am like a dish cast down

But my trust is in You, O Lord
I say You are my God
Into Your hands I place my future
From the clutch of foes You rescue me

Let Your face shine on your servant
O save me in Your love
Be stout-hearted and, come, take courage
All you who now hope in the Lord

Father I put my live in Your hands

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Does the time change bother you as much as it does me? I have such a difficult time adjusting to the "spring forward". Sometimes I don't really get used to it until the "fall back" is due.
Has any governmental agency ever done a study on how much work efficiency is lost because of the time change? They probably don't want anything to prove that it's a pretty stupid thing to do. I know I am not the only one it bothers. And I know it affects my work. I am so tired, I just don't get as much done and I certainly don't concentrate well.
I talked to the director the our sleep lab about it once and he said that he sees people every week who are suffering from lack of sleep because of the time change. He says they are usually people (like me) who have very strong circadian rhythms.
So I'm taking an herbal supplement called Mid Nite, which is basically melatonin and some lemon grass and stuff, to help me get to sleep. I hope it works tonight. I didn't get to sleep until after 12:20 (oops! that was 1:20) this morning and I have to go into work tomorrow at 8:30 for a meeting. Sleep is becoming a priority. Haven't had 8 straight hours since Friday night.
'Night, y'all.

Why does rejection hurt us so much?

An acquaintance of mine basically told me that she didn't want to talk to me anymore. No explanation. Just "please remove me from your lists." We had never been really friends, I guess, but we had talked and corresponded a bit, shared moves, family deaths, personal problems over a period of about 6 or 7 years. She had pointed me in some interesting directions and had given me some really good advice.
Truthfully, it has been a year since we corresponded and I guess I should not really be surprised but I did feel embarrassed. It has weighed on my mind. And, no, I didn't write her back and ask why. I will just let it go.
I can't say why this bothers me so much. I guess I valued what I received from her and obviously I wasn't "good enough" (and I know I am not expressing myself well here) for her to "keep". Does that make sense?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Doodle and Mommy

This is Doodle and his mommy wrestling on the couch in the den. He is such a joyful child.

Weighty issues

As evidenced by my picture on this blog, I am just a little bit overweight. Just a tad.

Weight has been an issue for me since I was in my 20's. Pregnancy did NOT play a part in it. I was the same weight with my second pregnancy as my first and had lost to below my pre-pregnancy weight within 6 weeks with both babies, so I can't blame it on that. I would blame it on my thyroid, but that so ain't true! That didn't go bust until about 3 years ago. I do have maltracking syndrome in my kneecap (patella) so quite often my knee catches and hurts. That hasn't helped. It has gotten better and hopefully will continue do to so. I sure don't want to have surgery!

I have, as have most professional dieters, tried every diet I could find from low carb to green tea. The only thing that has EVER worked for me has been calorie restriction and exercise.

Now the hospital I work for has these great programs at their employee gym. The first program is the ALED, Active Living Every Day, which helps busy people find the time and motivation to fit exercise into their schedules.

The second program is a year long course in weight loss, nutrition and exercise. I have completed the ALED and am in the second. The first 12 weeks of this program are pretty intense. My "personal trainer" said I am going to think I'm in boot camp before this is over. She is going to teach us "pole walking" which is using ski poles like you are going cross-country skiing, but there sure isn't any snow down here!! Anyway it is supposed to not only work the legs and arms but also the core. I'm actually looking forward to something new.

So far in 9 weeks I have lost 13 lbs with a really loooooooooooooooong way to go. I am glad this program takes a year. I always felt that I got "lost to followup".

Hi Y'all

Greetings from the South.

Don't know why I want to do this. It's not like I am just overwhelmed with spare time.

I do remote coding for a local hospital which just means I get to work at home. I pretty much can set my own hours as long as I am on during my "core" hours for coverage. I am fortunate in that my direct supervisor is pretty lenient as long as you don't abuse the system.

My husband and I have custody of our 5 year old grandson, my Dew, Doo, Doodle, Doodle-Bug, Bug-Face, Bugs, Bugs Bunny. The absolute light of my life. However. There is a reason God gave children to young people! I am EXHAUSTED!!! Doodle is home from school today with a stomach bug and is finally keeping gingerale down. I know ~~ he's supposed to have Pedialyte but I don't have any! You can imagine how much work I've gotten done.

I come from a rather large family, 3 brothers and 4 sisters. All 5 girls live within 15 miles of each other. My dad and step mom also live here. My mother died of cancer several years ago.

I have two children, a daughter who is married to our favorite Marine. They have two beautiful (I'm such a grandma!!) children, a 2 year old girl and a 6 month old boy. My son, the metal freak, is married to a like-soul. Their main occupations are tattoos and body piercings. They are the parents of my Doodle. They love him fiercely but just can't take care of him right now.

My dad has appointed me the "Family Matriarch" even tho I'm not the oldest. It just seems that a lot of family information is funneled thru me. I am the one called to relay information and arrange family gatherings for whatever reason.

The most recent will be for my niece and nephew-in-law. Brandon is in the USAF stationed in AZ. Bonnie and Brandon are expecting their first and will be coming home on leave over Easter. So, of course, Bon wants to get as much of the family together as possible. I'm arranging an Easter night supper for the family with BBQ, ham, salads, and desserts. Fortunately, with 4 sisters and several nieces here in town, the work gets spread around.

This will probably not be the most interesting blog you will ever read, but it will chronicle (I hope) my family life and happenings.