Sunday, November 30, 2008

I'm so proud...

While I had settled in to watch a little Desperate Housewives I heard a commotion in the kitchen/utility room area and then I saw my cat streak trying to hide something from me. She had a mouse! I was so proud! She is a 12 or 13 year-old cat and in the 10 years we have been together she has NOT once caught a mouse. Two and a half years ago I moved into this house after it sat vacant for years and within a few days we found a mouse. Instead of going after it she walked away from it. She left me to kill it (I'm not proud, but I actually killed it with my bare hands. I felt horrible and have a real aversion to killing mice now). She even turned her nose up when someone left their pet rat with me for a couple of hours. She wouldn't even go near it. I have never been so proud of her in all my life so I videotaped her celebratory dance with the mouse. If I get this excited over my cat killing a mouse, can you imagine me with a child?

Four day weekend wrap-up

A couple of things I learned the past four days:

  1. A body at rest, rusts.  No kidding.  I have gone to the gym the past couple of days and my knees and quads are a mess.  Yesterday while I was walking I could feel my patella clicking as it tried to find the patellar groove.  I finally reached down and manually manipulated it back into place.  It lasted all of four steps.  I am definitely doing the ice, ibuprofen and exercises now!  I'm so cold that when I ice my knees I put a bunch of blankets and the cat over it so the rest of me doesn't freeze.  The worst isn't my knees (although they certainly don't feel good).  The worst is the band of muscles right above my knee.  I don't know if I tore something or what, but the area is swollen and tender and has been for over a month.  I want instant gratification and I am certainly getting it right now.
  2. I'm sick of turkey.  'Nuff said.
  3. Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer is NOT all that.  Yep, I read the entire thing in 24 hours and kept expecting it to get better.  I guess in a way I am glad it ended this way because I was all torn up over the way the 3rd book ended.  It just seemed like she wrapped it up a little too neat and tidy.  I guess I am just too much of a realist because that didn't work for me.  There didn't seem to be the action or romance that the previous books had.  Maybe it is just me.  Trust me, if I ever release the book I am working on it will not be all neat and tidy. 
  4. I'm really stinkin' sick of turkey. 
  5. My house looks pretty freakin' clean.  It's amazing and I think my mom was a little surprised at how I was able to pull it all together.  I need to take photos as a reminder that it was once clean and has the potential to be again.
  6. I'm working on my Christmas list.  Honestly the things I want most for Christmas aren't things and I can't put them on my list.  It makes shopping a little difficult. 

Thanksgiving was pretty awesome and turned out differently than I was expecting.  My mom snuck into my house early Thursday to start the bird.  Seriously, she let herself in while I was sleeping and she had the dang thing cleaned, stuffed and in the oven before I woke up.  That was kind of freaky.  Even the cat didn't meow to let me know.  K.Y. and K brought a bottle of mango flavored wine--awesome!  And B & J brought Indian mango pudding--this was totally unplanned, but it was very good.  It was nice to learn of customs from their homelands and my dad was networking and trying to get some job leads.  Everything was pretty nice and then my sister and her family arrived and my dad's Boston Terrorist dog was released--it was absolute chaos and I enjoyed every minute of it.  I never thought I would have enjoyed a house full of noise, but I really, really do.  I had ten people and two animals crammed into two small rooms, but it worked. 

Now I am debating what I should do with the rest of my afternoon off--take a nap, go to the gym, get groceries, or put the Christmas tree up?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Christmas--it's what's for dinner

While I snuggled deep under covers with the cat working as a living heat pack (she vibrates too, what a combo!), my sister, her husband and our father all decided to, um, pop their Black Friday cranberry by hitting Wal-Mart in the largest city in this state.  I had my concerns about this--not for my sister and my unborn nephew/niece (oops, guess I let a big cat out of the bag on that one)--but for my father.  He's not frail, the man is a very youthful 50-something, but he is tall and like other big & tall people he learned early not to push and shove.  For us shorties pushing and shoving is sport, for tall people it is assault.  I flashed back nearly two years ago to the cruise around the harbor in Hong Kong that Chennie's parents bought us.  It was a cruise ship with a buffet line (there is a reason you don't find buffets in many places outside the US--not hatin', just sayin') and a dance floor.  We were the only pale faces surrounded my mostly mainlanders.  For those not familiar with Hong Kong or China, there are some significant differences between these two groups that goes beyond language and food preferences.  People in HK basically view the Chinese much like we mid-westerners view our Kentucky neighbors.  There are certain behaviors that the mainlanders participate in that the HK people find a bit offensive.  One of them is swarming.  Fortunately for me I had experience and I was able to throw elbows with the best of them to sample all the different foods.  Honestly a buffet with the Chinese is like 5 am at Wal-Mart on Black Friday. My poor father, the gentle giant, just stood there with his plate in his hands waiting for his turn at one of the many buffet tables.  By then I was on my second plate and heading back for dessert. 

So I obviously had my concerns.  My poor pregnant sister got slammed into a wall this morning when the doors opened, but my dad beat a path to the TVs with the best of them.  I wish they had taken photos because my sister's descriptions of the event were priceless.  She said there were overturned carts with TVs in them.  Others were dragging the TV sans-cart to the check out.  Oh, and the smarties at Wal-Mart in our illustrious capitol city thought it best to put the TVs in the frozen goods section of the grocery store.  What???  Personally I am glad I stayed home.

My sister called me high on shopping pheromones to brag about her conquests for the day and even started teasing me with "guess what I got you for Christmas?"  Ok, those of you that have read my blog posts from the last week probably know I don't handle that well at all.  Ok course, I pummeled her with "tell me!" Kind of like the zip it bit in this Austin Power's clip

In the background my dad starts to talk about my gift and to be honest I didn't hear a word of it, but I struggled to catch what he was saying.  Sarah heard my silence and then started yelling at Dad because she thought I had heard what he said.  She gets back on the phone and said something like "well, now you know that you are getting xyz and the surprise is gone".  That's when I started dying of laughter--until she told me I didn't have a clue what she had bought me!  Oh, that's the oldest trick in the book and she fell for it.  Let the Christmas games begin! 

I am Thankful for so many things this year.  I'm thankful for the pumpkin pie and summer sausage/cheese/Triscuit sandwiches I had for breakfast this morning.  And I am going to try and be thankful for the laps I am going to force my fat ass to walk today at the gym.  Actually, I am thankful for that as well.  I developed "runner's knee" about 6 weeks ago and have been in too much pain to walk or elliptical.  The joke is that I don't run, I just have really weak quads.  Like really weak, thank-god-one-of-my-best-friends-is-a-physical-therapist weak.  She wrapped them both last weekend and I have been using ibuprofen and ice (well, does having an indoor temp of 62* count as icing?  I wasn't sure). 

A lot has changed since last Thanksgiving.  Last Thanksgiving baby Haven was just a whispered hope that I shared with my mother.  Today he is a hope I shout out loud.  I look forward to the Thanksgiving dinner that I will someday share with both of my children when they are no longer my someday kids.   Where ever they both are today, I am still thankful. Kodak 358

A picture of the empty harbor cruise ship in HK.  Kodak 391

And pics from the top of the cruise ship.  Kodak 360

All lit of for the holidays.  I can't wait to go back! 

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels to all who are traveling far (some very far) and near to visit family this year.  Enjoy your travels and visits with family:)

I woke up yesterday feeling quite chipper about the upcoming holiday and today I woke up feeling like a 10 year-old on Christmas day!  Last year I hosted my very first Thanksgiving at my house and I loved it.  Loved. It.  I have no idea why I get so perversely happy about making TONS of food for my family and friends to consume.  It's not like I enjoy cooking dinner every night because I've had at least Lean Cuisine dinners so far this week.  And I get stressed out in crowds, especially when a bunch of people are packed into a small space (my house). Somehow I just have an intense feeling of happiness when I cook a big, over-the-top meal for people.  I'm even making cranberry sauce!  Never have I sat through a Thanksgiving with cranberry sauce before! 

I also need to clean because I have some special guests this time.  I have invited a couple of international residents to enjoy the feast with me--a couple from India and a couple from Malaysia and Japan.  I'm hoping every thing turns out well--of course, I'd be happy if the turkey was secured in my fridge right now instead of 40 miles away. 

You know what is after tomorrow?  Christmas!  I love this time of year--the smells, the sounds of Christmas, the food, the friends and family, all the traditions that families stick to. 

What kind of traditions do you have?  Are any of them a little bizarre?

Monday, November 24, 2008


Yesterday as I was entering the church my pastor addressed me and asked how things were going (this rarely happens) and when I told him about my week he looked at me like I was crazy.  He said something to the effect of "you're still incredibly blessed".  And he is right.  I'm a weenie.  I needed to process through some things and re-set my expectations and realize that life is still pretty good.

Then tonight as I was cleaning up one of my closets (I was trying to re-distribute my junk so it looked like there was less) something kind of sharp fell into my face and before I had a chance to react it hit me square in the eye ball.  Instead of cursing the fact that my nose hurt and my eye was on fire, I was relieved that I was wearing my contacts and it protected my cornea from an abrasion.  I did lose the contact, but the eye looks pretty good and I don't think anyone will be able to tell what I did.

I saw Twilight last night - yippee!  Kate, have you seen it yet?  I loved it, but I figured I probably would.  I wasn't the biggest fan of Edward from the previews I saw, but they do have some obvious chemistry so it works.  I even dragged Michael to it and he didn't complain heavily.  He later admitted that it was entertaining and that he liked it.  Of course, that was before I told him that there would be three more movies that he would have to sit through with me.  Hey, it's pay back for dragging me to watch Rocky 8 or whatever the last one was called. 

And tonight as I was getting ready for bed my Windows Media Player was choosing random songs and this is the one that came up:


It pretty much sums up how I am feeling despite my frustrations over other things in my life.  I am incredibly and wonderfully blessed. 

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Because I need a laugh, even if it is twisted

You should know that Sarah Palin had just pardoned a turkey 20 seconds before the cameras started rolling.  And in case you aren't clear on the concept, the guy behind her is KILLING the surviving turkeys.  Yep, I can't make this crap up.


I like familiarity. I like knowing what is coming next and I don't like surprises. Don't ever tell me "I got you something" and then make me wait until some far (or not so far off) date and time. I don't like it.

I don't like what is going on right now. I am being forced to readjust my expectations. It's not a happy place to be. I'm working on it, I'm just not there yet.

I retreated for a little bit to re-evaluate my situation and work my way through my disappointment. I wrote a lot and then decided it was time to spend that time with family and friends. While I don't have pictures of my friends I do have some of my family. This video was taken today at my parent's new house. They are in the process of renovating the house and as such, have nothing more than a love seat, a few folding chairs, and lots and lots of boxes. Evidently 3 year-olds LOVE boxes.

Ok--after attempting to load this video several times blogger is still not cooperating. I'll try to load it again later.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Love Song

It's been a rough couple of days for a number of reasons and I tend to seek comfort in music.  I happen to love the lyrics to this song and it is beautiful regardless of religious affiliation.  Unfortunately when I youtubed it I couldn't find a video that didn't have graphic scenes of violence from the crucifix scene from "The Passion".  The only others had Christian interpretive dance which I think Christians have totally ruined (I admit it did at least make me laugh--especially of the lovely couple dancing by a huge trash dumpster in an alley. At the very least they could have chosen their location better).   Not a fan of the violence either since I tend to avoid TV.  I will, of course, make an exception for Twilight that is opening Friday.  Maybe now is the right time to start on Breaking Dawn....;-)

Anyway, if you read this please say a quick prayer for me. 

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Improving the economy one purchase at a time...

I think I have been in a chronic state of saving.  As a kid I saved because I wanted a new Barbie and because I had hopes of leaving the dippy town I lived in and knew that a college education was the only way.  Throughout most of my 20s I saved for college (yes, the second degree) and while I was still in college I saved for a house.  Shortly after purchasing my house I began working towards my China adoption and began collecting every little penny I could find in the couch cushions or the backseat of my car.  Then I started a second adoption and somehow decided that I could live on next to nothing in order to try and get the money saved towards that.

No more.  I have depriving our desperate economy of the much needed stimulus (guess what I did with my stimulus check--bought a camera and saved the rest--hehe).  My cousin/contractor came out to measure the space in the living room that I am going to convert into a bookshelf/desk unit.  He's going to use cherry wood and I'm not ashamed to say that it is going to kick ass.  Today I bought a four tiered shelving unit for the kitchen.  Yep, time to organize and get stuff off the floor.  And if that wasn't enough I just blew $100 at the grocery store.  Yes, one hundred dollars for one person.  I guess this is what happens when I don't shop regularly.  That and I was really lusting over the fresh fruit.  I'd rather have fresh raspberries, melon, pineapple over chocolate any day.  I made some pork loin with a mushroom sauce and I am working on a poor man's healthy beef stroganoff because when in transition I cook and clean.  Too bad I'm not putting my energy into some gym time--that is really where I should be burning off my energy. 

Ahhh, life is good.  


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Baby Cate is on her way!

Part of my trivia from the early part of this week was about El Paso...Illinois.  What makes El Paso significant?  Well, I pass through it every time I visit Kristen and this weekend I took a very special trip to Wisconsin.  After two years of waiting, Kristen was finally going to China to pick up her daughter! 

We started our journeys as strangers over two years ago when we were both accepted into the China program at the same agency.  I still consider that a miracle because NONE of the other agencies I contacted allowed singles and only two days before I applied I was told that they would NOT be opening their doors to singles again because of the rumored single exclusion.  We competed (I hate to use that word, but there were only a few slots available) against a number of other single applicants and we were accepted the same day.  I wasn't aware of Kristen until she posted that she was DTC--up until then I had been in the lead, but being the good sport that I am I emailed my congrats and our friendship began from there.   Even though we live several states away we manage to see each other several times a year and talk and email constantly.  Yeah, it's one of those really cool friendships.  We have so much in common it would have been a real shame to have never met. 

Today she left for China and while I write she is still in flight with an expected touch down somewhere in the wee hours of the morning--or early morning depending on how you define your sleeping hours.  So, Friday I happily drove up to WI to celebrate Cate's arrival with her friends and family with a toddler shower.  Let me tell you, that girl got some loot!  It was all I could do to stay out of her toys!  Hopefully Kris won't mind me posting this photo because her daughter is absolutely stunning!  Cate on a bike

Feel free to stop by her blog and say "hey".  Her brother is supposed to be keeping up with posts while she is gone.  I'm already restless--I can't wait to meet me newest little niece! 

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What the...?

Do you ever have one of those days when nearly everything you hear or see gives you pause?  Seriously, I has to be a full moon or darn near.  Now that I am the only analyst I have been getting these calls: "so are you now involved with project xyz?  Must be you since you are the only one left."  or "I didn't see you at the project meeting for abc...did you forget?"  NO, I didn't forget.  I haven't been assigned and I am not volunteering--I finally told someone today "I can't carry anymore weight.  You are going to have to wait." 

I work with really nice people, emphasis on nice.  But some of their phone calls are making me freakin' insane.  There are a couple of them that like to call, but aren't prepared to discuss the subject they are calling me on.  I am doing a favor for them and they don't have the courtesy to cut the shit and get to the point.  Honestly, one called me today and couldn't remember what she called me about or what she needed.  I kept telling her "just call me back when you are ready" but she was smart enough to know that I had NO intention of picking up that phone again!  So while she fiddle farted around trying to remember what she needed to tell me I actually put the phone down and used the bathroom.  Yep, I'm getting tired and I am really, really looking forward to my LOOONG vacation. 

Which is why I found this picture so funny tonight:Rockin' car

The quality isn't good since I took it with my cell phone, but it was funny enough that I actually blew the 10 cents to send it to my email, my sister's phone and my brother-in-law's phone.  It is your everyday "economy" sedan with a WOODEN rear spoiler.  No kidding--I laughed my toots off when that kid pulled up.  Not only that, it is nailed into the trunk.  It is a couple of 2x4s nailed together and although you can't see it, the stamp from the lumber company is still on the wood.  He even drilled a number of holes in it--I imagine it's to decrease the amount of wind resistance and drag on the car.  The kid didn't even paint it!  He also had a racing stripe down the front of the car, but it appeared to be a peel off or a very sloppy home paint job.  I wonder if he made this in shop class....?

Monday, November 10, 2008

El Paso--which one?

In August 1975, El Paso became the last city in the continental US to convert its telephone service from manual switching.  Prior to that date, telephones in the city could not be dialed directly from any outside location (the assistance of an operator being necessary to place the call) and local telephone numbers consisted of four digits only.

Now that you know that little tidbit, where am I?


There is something about road trippin' (yes, contrary to what the previous post indicated, I can spell correctly most of the time) that makes me happy on a weird sort of level.  I love to see the different cities and different terrains.  I love to listen to their music and try to figure out why the local radio stations care so much about the stupid stuff they talk about--it's just kind of fun seeing (or hearing) how other people live. 

On Thursday of last week, the last analyst in my department quit.  I am now a unit of one.  Hmmm....can you say busy?  I tried to get out early on Friday, I even had permission, but when you are essentially the only one trained to do a particular job what do you do?  Well, at least I can find comfort in knowing that I will likely not be eliminated--at least not until some new ones are hired and trained.  It is hard because I counted every one of them as friends.  I hate losing contact with those that I enjoy, but it becomes so hard to maintain relationships when you aren't in frequent contact.  At least at work you are forced together.  It's just a nice little bonus when you realize you enjoy their company. 

What else is knew....oh yea, where did the cold and snow come from???

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Road Tripin'

I think it is going to be a fun couple of weeks. I'm road-trippin' for a few weekends leading up to the big trip. I'm becoming quite practiced at sitting for hours on end in uncomfortable seats. When I left home on Friday is was under 60s, low 70s, breezy and sunny. Somewhere just south of El Paso it started snowing--talk about ugly!

Any idea of where I am?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Puny, but sassy

Thank you for all your well wishes.  I have finally stopped yelling "Fire in the Hole!" every time I flush so I am definitely on the mend.  The biggest problem right now is that I became so dehydrated so quickly.  I think I have been drinking nearly a gallon of water a day since Saturday and I'm still dried out.  Even my eye lids are peeling.  Also, for anyone reading that I may have infected, stomach pain, queasiness and an overwhelming thirst were early symptoms.  Start drinking fluids NOW.  Trust me, I've had food poisoning and never had anything like this.  Oh, and try not to sneeze.  It will only serve to embarrass you later.  Or cough.  Or break wind.  All are very bad ideas.  Believe me. 

I was worried that I would not be well enough to vote today, but I was!  Because we had early voting for so long, I didn't really have to wait in line.  I brought a magazine with me, but didn't get past the advertisements. 

Did it feel like Christmas to anyone else when they marked their ballot?  I couldn't get over the level of excitement that was felt by the others entering the polls, and I admit to having an extra thrill when I punched my candidates name.  Eight years ago I was working in home care and I had one elderly woman (I didn't dare call her that!) that followed politics more closely than anyone else I'd ever met.  When I stopped by her house on November 5th, her blood pressure was elevated and her blood sugar was wacky.  Evidently she had stayed up all night yelling at the TV.  She was quite upset over the outcome of that election and until she died she complained bitterly that the democrats had been robbed.  I wish she was alive for this one--I think she really would have enjoyed herself.  

I will admit that even as much as I support my candidate, I'm really glad the campaigning is over.  For at least the last six weeks I have had an average of three daily contacts from his campaign office.  Honestly, based on the number of crazy people that I do know, I'm a little nervous about the unknown ones having my phone number and address.  Just sayin'. 

Monday, November 3, 2008

Out damn spot!

It's been a really crazy week with a lot going on.  I have two big things I'm working on and the excitement/stress of it all has been a bit overwhelming.  At times like these you really find out who your friends are.  I was quite surprised to learn who is really there for me.   

So, anyway, it's been a big week which is why I kind of blew off the some morning queasiness and strange stomach pain.  My co-workers were trying to convince me I was pregnant (immaculate conception?  Try a devilish GI bug).  I won't go into the details, even though as a nurse I wanna (hence the title of this post...hehe).  Nurses LOVE to brag about their grossest patient stories, and well, I'm pretty sure I am the grossest story right now.  Which is why I am at home today instead of work.  Evidently my sister and I shared more than popcorn when we had our "Fright Night" sleep-over last weekend.  She was the first to come down with it and I was the second and I am really, really, really hoping I didn't give it to Kristen (who was visiting this weekend) because she leaves in 9 days to get her daughter!  

My sister missed several days of work due to this virus and I am hoping that this is the only day I miss.  I do have plenty of water, a little bit of jello and Michael was nice enough to make a TP run for me last night.   I guess I am all set for a "who my baby daddy" marathon this afternoon on TV!


About This Blog

This started as my story, but has evolved to OUR story. This is the story of life as a single parent to a wonderful little boy while we wait for baby sister. China LID 2.12.07.

But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day.
Habakkuk 2:3

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