Friday, June 30, 2006

Just for the Thrill of it

Summer trips growing up often included camping, canoeing at Willow Springs, and cliff jumping at Clear Creek. My favorite of the three was definitely Clear Creek. Dragon’s Head was kind of the “rite of passage” in my eyes. We’d climb up the side of the cliff and Dad would yell things like “If you jump we’ll buy you an ice cream cone” or “just spit and use it as a target” or “don’t think, just jump!” Mom, on the other hand, would get scared for her little babies to be jumping off a 20 ft. cliff into the water, but she allowed it and no one ever got hurt too badly. She climbed up on Dragon’s Head once or twice and both times she was so scared she wouldn’t jump so my dad had to help her climb down again.

The highest cliff I jumped was Cherry. I always like to say it was 80 ft., but in reality I think it was only 50-60 ft. If I could get myself to do it once during the trip I could usually do it at least 2-3 times. I think I was only 5 when I first jumped off Dragon’s Head (the 15-20 jump).

Matt has quite a long weekend open. He gets both Monday and Tuesday off as a paid holiday and today is his "every other Friday off" Friday. So I told him that rather than just sit around here this weekend we really ought to do SOMETHING fun. I started looking around the area for cool things to do and I found this. I'm totally trying to talk him into it and I think it would be AWESOME! I want to do the thrill seeker combo so we could do all 4 things. It's a little pricey for us, but really it's the best time of our life to do it. Do it! Do it! Do it!

I was just thinking last week how I'd love to go cliff jumping again. Oh how I miss Clear Creek (scroll down for pictures of people jumping) and the thrill...

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Before, After, and Beyond

This is the progression of the coffee table. It turned out as well as I was hoping, and the color match was actually better than I thought it would be. Now onto the ratty old dresser we also snatched from charity's doorstep.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Yes, I did it. I killed Yvette. I hated her so... much... it... it... the... it... the... fee... flames... flames... on the side of my face... heaving... breathless... heaving breaths...

100 points to anyone who knows what movie that's from. And that's how I feel. Like I could strangle the phone (or whoever's on the other end that thinks our line is a fax line)!

I keep getting these calls that aren't calls really but the stinking fax beeping. Whoever is trying to fax something to our phone keeps trying and trying and trying and trying. AND THERE IT WAS JUST AS I WAS WRITING THIS! THE SIXTH CALL I'VE RECEIVED TODAY WITH THE STINKING BEEPING. It's like the Chinese water torture but with the phone...

This isn't the first time. It's happened numerous days, each time with the sender trying our number at least 10-15 times. I think our number must have been a previous kinkos number that went out of business or something...

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Tickle your Brain

Though I have no recollection of actually taking an IQ test when I was little, I must have becauce starting in first grade I was admitted into the "gifted program" at school. All of the kids with an IQ score over 130 were bussed to a different facility a couple hours one day a week to expand our minds without the restrictions of a conventional classroom. There we were given puzzles, mind benders, riddles, and problems to solve in a fun and creative manner. Our reaction times were timed. We were given random materials, odds and ends really, and then were told to figure out how to make them work for us in accomplishing specific goals.

I think I would have really enjoyed it that first year except that it meant leaving my sweet, gentle and loving first grade teacher Mrs. McGrath (who was also our neighbor and family friend and had taught all 5 of my older siblings) for Miss Tahata. Miss Tahata was much younger than Mrs. McGrath and she looked it. She wore tight and bright crazy clothes, had huge hairspray caked red hair, and sported ultra long fake fingernails painted bright pink to match her lip stick. It was the 80's after all. I, not being versed in the fashion and styles of the day, found her (and her style) to be very frightening. She scared me so much that I refused to go to gifted for two years, even though it could have been a fun diversion from spelling lists and reading packets that were far below my abilities. It wasn't until fourth grade that I began to attend again because there had been a change of teachers. Mr. Evans was a nice, creative and very fun guy. He was what a gifted teacher was supposed to be in my mind.

School and studies generally came easily for me growing up. Yes concepts were generally easy for me to grasp, but I still had to memorize and learn fractions like everyone else. I genuinely enjoyed school and learning.

The other day as I was browsing the web, I saw an add by Tickle for an IQ test; I figured didn't really have anything better to do so I took it. I've still got it going on! Oh yeah. My IQ according to Tickle is 133 (not a genius, but still concidered "gifted" if I'm not mistaken). This is what it had to say about my strengths:

You are gifted with the natural fluency of a writer and the visual and spatial strengths of an artist. Those skills contribute to your creative and expressive mind.

Insightful linguists can take complex concepts and articulate them to just about anyone. You have a gift with words and insight into processes and the way people think. These talents enable you to explain things clearly to people.

You have an uncanny ability to work your way out of sticky situations using your talent with words. Crossword puzzles, debates — you're particularly well equipped to come out on top since you can read people well.
As for the crossword puzzles and debates, they couldn't be more wrong. I've always hated crossword puzzles (I'm too impatient) and I was always too emotional to really set a good argument out in debate. I'm sure if I would have had some training on how to separate myself from the issues I could have done well (I sure was opinionated enough growing up, and I never had a problem voicing those opinions).

I scored in the 90th percentile for both the math and logic sections, and I scored in the 100th percentile for the linguistic and visual-spacial sections.

Jobs it recommended I look into are:
  • Publicist
  • Translator
  • Graphic designer
  • Teacher
  • Broadcaster
  • Public speaker
  • Attorney
  • Politician
It's an interesting array. I don't know if I would have been able to compile that list from what I know of myself and my interests. I originally wanted to go into photography but wasn't admitted into BYU's program. Graphic designer would have been AWESOME. I concidered teacher and translator (I took 4-5 liguistics classes to see if I wanted to do something with that...3 of them were in Spanish--my minor). But broadcaster? And politician? I used to tell people I was going to be the first woman President. There are elections coming up...I better get on that! (Can't let Hillary beat me to it!)

Monday, June 26, 2006

It's Party Time

After catering for New Haven's family weekends and a couple of weddings, I now think in terms of FOOD when it comes to parties. I quite enjoy coming up with party menus now that my entire life doesn't revolve around food.

Yesterday after church I over heard a woman telling the R.S. President she didn't know what she was going to do about food for her daughter's wedding. It's her first child to get married, they're converts so they've never been to a Mormon wedding reception, and her husband (the mom's, not the daughter who's getting married) could possibly be deployed to Iraq close to the time of the wedding. She sounded pretty stressed out and I piped in that I'd help her if she needed help. Since I'm not cooking all the time, I don't mind doing a little charity catering if someone really needs me.

The R.S. Pres. called me today and asked if I could meet with the woman tomorrow to go over possible menu ideas. Naturally I spent the majority of my day today coming up with different ideas. It's quite fun to put ideas on paper. We're keeping it really simple because of the budget and I thought I'd share my ideas with you all. These are easy things to do for any get-together so if you have a party coming up, by all means cheat and use my menu! If you need recipes to go along, just tell me and I'll post those later or email them to you.

Bon Appetite!


  • Meatballs (In red sauce or in other marinade)
  • Rolls
  • Caesar Salad
  • Pasta salad (or plain pasta to go with the meatballs…probably penne)

Mexican: (mind you, the family is Mexican so I have more options in this one)

Menu 1
  • Taco Salad (Lettuce, tomatoes, diced onions, seasoned ground or shredded beef –could do chicken if really wanted—, sour cream, guacamole, shredded cheese)
  • Chips
  • Black bean salsa
  • 7-layer dip
Menu 2
  • Shredded beef barbacoa
  • Flour tortillas
  • Rice (Mexican or Spanish)
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Pico de gallo and other toppings

Menu 3
  • Chili con frijoles
  • Chips (Fritos are good, but a little pricey comparatively speaking..)
  • Sour Cream, shredded cheese
Sandwiches and Salads:
Sandwich options
  • Chicken Salad on croissants, white or wheat (I’d suggest croissants because they don’t get dried out as quickly.)
  • Egg Salad Sandwiches (I would only do these as a supplemental sandwich. To do all egg salad would be too time consuming. However, if you’d want some for a vegetarian option, I could do a few.)
  • Shredded Beef on dinner rolls or ciabatta rolls (I’d suggest dinner rolls unless you want to do French dip. In that case, I’d use ciabatta). Can have BBQ sauce on the side or mixed in.
  • Spiral sandwich rollups (deli meat, flavored soft cheese spread, lettuce rolled up on a tortilla wrap and cut into sections)
  • “Party Sub”—this is the most informal.

Salad options:

  • Caesar Salad: Romaine lettuce, Parmesan cheese, croutons, Caesar dressing, (can have chicken, but this would obviously make it a little more expensive.)
  • Vinaigrette Salad: Romaine lettuce, craisens, feta, red onions, cashews with a vinaigrette dressing.
  • Spinach Lemon Poppy Seed Salad: Fresh spinach, sliced strawberries, craisens, cashews or candied nut with a sweet lemon poppy seed dressing
  • Ranch and Bacon salad: Spinach or Romaine lettuce, sliced mushrooms, bacon pieces, sliced red onions, olives, with a homemade ranch dressing.
  • Tortellini Salad: Tortellini with mixed fresh vegetables and a balsamic dressing served cold
  • Tomato & Cucumber Salad: Sliced tomatoes and cucumbers with either a balsamic dressing or a white vinegar dressing. I’d suggest adding fresh mozzarella if the balsamic dressing is used.
  • Fruit Salad
  • Frog-eye Salad

Optional Sides and Desserts:

  • Veggie pizza: Croissant dough as the base, dill cream cheese spread, assorted chopped fresh veggies
  • Fruit pizza: sugar cookie bottom with a cream cheese frosting and assorted sliced fruits placed in an appealing pattern
  • Shrimp Cocktail
  • Cream puffs: I could make these, but in all honesty I’d just buy them from Costco.
  • Chocolate covered strawberries
  • Fruit Kabobs and fruit dip

Drink Options: (Since we don't drink, all non-alcohol beverages...)

  • Non-alcoholic frozen strawberry margaritas
  • Party punch made with: ginger ale, orange juice, and fruit punch (or pineapple juice)
  • Party punch made with: pink lemonade, pineapple juice, cranberry juice, ginger ale
  • Wedding punch made with: frozen orange juice concentrate, frozen lemonade concentrate, sprite, and raspberry sherbet
  • Plus I’d serve lemon water in addition to any of these…

Friday, June 23, 2006

Lack of sidewalks a contributing factor?

After moving here I've decided that sidewalks (or lack thereof) can be a huge factor in inactivity that leads to being overweight. I just searched online and found that it can be a contribution to obesity. Sidewalklessness is an odd phenomenon that I've not experienced anywhere else. However, sidewalks are not common here. They will end in the middle of the block if the housing ends in the middle of a block. I've felt quite constricted and confined to the housing developments with which we are clustered. After that it is "un-sidewalked territory" and it's rather frightening to try and run on the street.

Picture University Ave. in Provo with no sidewalks. That's what it's like on our University Ave. here except here it's larger and busier. It's the very busy 4 lane road that runs in front of our neighborhood. It connects our portion of the city to the shops and grocery stores. I would probably walk there every other day (just so I can get out and about) if there were sidewalks. But no, they've neglected to connect us with the others.

As I'm looking for work it's frustrating to google the location and see that it's less than 3 miles from my house, but not very accessible to me without a car. I'd ride a bike, but that's almost unheard of here, and I don't know if cars would know what to do on a busy street with a cyclist.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

"Pop" quiz: Failed with a capital F

About 10 years ago on a visit home, my brother Bryan (who's 10 years older than me and knew/knows pretty much everything there is to know about pop-culture and music) and I were driving to my grandparent's house to visit them. As the song "Fields of Gold" came on the radio he turned to me and said, "K. Cel, who sings this?" I looked at him blankly like he was from another planet. I had no clue. None. I mean, I could sing along with the song, but I didn't know the title or the artist. "I don't know," I replied a little sheepishly. He was completely dumbfounded that I wouldn't know something as simple as "Sting." He continued to quiz me to and from our grandparents and I failed. Big time. (But I would like you to know, Bry, I remember that one now.)

My high school had a large end-of-school assembly where they played song clips that summed up all the seniors. We had a small enough graduating senior class (I think about 175 kids...maybe less) that by grouping people, they were able to hit most every senior with a song clip. For instance, Russ B. (my senior crush) and I were grouped with 5-6 other "semi-couples/couples" with a clip about "I wanna hold your ha-a-a-a-a-a-and". Anyway, the week before this final assembly they called in kids they thought would know a wide variety of music. I was one chosen, yet when I got there I was at a complete loss. I started looking through CD's and song lists and I had another stinging (and embarrassing) realization that I knew NOTHING!

For one who's life largely revolved around music (i.e. piano lessons, vocal lessons, choirs, band, etc.) as a youngster, I knew next to nothing about pop culture, music, or movies. One could hardly blame me (right?) seeing as though there was only 1 "rock" station (96.5) available for my listening pleasure, and that was spotty at best. We didn't have MTV (you know, when MTV actually meant music television and they played music vidoes) the majority of my life because we often had no cable. I could count on my hands the number of movies I saw in a theater during my pre-college years because the closest theater was 1/2 hour away. (Bambi, The Lion King, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Romeo and Juliet, The Titanic, and maybe up to 5 I can't remember...)

My little brother tried to help me. He introduced me to music I'd never have heard on the radio. It was right about the time Napster hit and he could obtain free music! He'd spend hours in the late evenings trying to download 1 song at a time on our dial-up connection. Poor kid. He thirsted for better music than that of 96.5. I didn't generally think about all that I was missing. Jimmy Eat World, MXPX, The June Spirit, Dashboard Confessional, Blink 182, etc. Bit by bit I was introduced to the world of alternative rock, punk and "emo."

I listened to the radio more at college and through roommates I was exposed to a wider variety of music. I could identify a few artists, but I still couldn't give Bryan a conclusive answer when I was leaving for China. He wanted to burn me some CDs for my trip and asked what kind of music I liked. I gave him a very vague answer of "I've been listening to oldies lately with my roommates." He asked what era and I couldn't even give him that! "You like kind of groovy lounge music?" "Uhhh....sure." I had no idea. Goodness. Over and over I failed his "pop" quizzes! He made me 2 CD's of music I'd never heard before. Truthfully I listen to them way more now than I did 5 years ago when he burned them.

And here we are today. I still don't know a ton, but I've been trying to pay closer attention as I have Launchcast Radio on all day. It's the first time I've had all the info. in front of me as I'm hearing the song. So this is the conclusion I've come to about my music preferences:

  • I have to have variety. I can't listen to any artist, era, genre, etc. too long without getting testy and restless. I don't care one bit if it's the Temptations one minute and T.A.T.U. the next. In fact, I welcome instrumental film scores followed by Weezer.
  • My most listened to style would be Alternative.
  • I don't generally like a ton of music from the early 80's or late 90's. There are a few exceptions.
  • The 60's and 70's had some GREAT music and artists. The Beatles, The Who, Simon and Garfunkel, The Temptations, The Supremes, James Taylor, Cat Stevens, CCR, etc. That era of music is my next most listened to after today's alternative.
  • I love Jack Johnson but mostly dislike similar artists such as John Mayer and Dave Matthews Band.
  • I don't enjoy listening to women as much as men. I guess you could say I'm also heterosexual in my music preferences (that was a reference to an entry by th. that I can't find for the life of me). A few exceptions to this are: Ella Fitzgerald, Norah Jones, and Alanis Morissette.
Hopefully the next time I'm presented with a "Pop" quiz I'll have done my homework and receive better than an "F"!

Monday, June 19, 2006


On Matt's first day back to work he noticed his "cube mate" had moved out. Hmmm...he wondered....was she transferred up to McKinney?...was she fired?...did she quit? He was unable to get his questions answered that day because no one was working. You see, they get every other Friday off and that happened to be the off day. He had to work so he'd not be put on short term disability because of his blasted appendix.

Today he had a meeting with his super-supervisor and asked what had happened to his cube mate. "Oh, they haven't talked with you yet? I figured they'd have told you by now. The McKinney office had a project for a new hire. They tried to get a hold of you last Friday, but you were out sick so they grabbed her." Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.....He would be working in McKinney right now, I would have a car and could get a job, he'd be able to sleep in an extra hour, and he'd not have to commute if only his body hadn't gone on strike last week! However, his super-supervisor also said that there was an opening in McKinney for a new hire with more of a math back ground (which his cube mate had) so they might pull her over to that project and bring him to fill the position he originally would have had.

SO GIVE A LITTLE PRAYER, CROSS YOUR FINGERS, WISH ON A STAR, or FIND A FOUR LEAF CLOVER! We need all the help we can get! It would be absolutely wonderful for us if he could come up here.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Tying up loose ends

  1. Happy Father's Day to my dad and every other guy out there who is a dad or will one day be a dad!
  2. HAPPY BIRTHDAY LADY STEED! I promise there are things in the mail if you haven't already got them. Sometimes I'm a little postally impared and I struggle getting things out in a timely manner.
  3. I did not get the secretarial job or even an interview out of the deal. I only know the position is no longer open because it is no longer posted on their website. I'm not quite sure if it's because I applied after it'd been open for about 2 weeks so they were close to wrapping it up, or if I just wasn't cool enough for the job. I choose to believe the first.
  4. I stained the coffee table and it looks pretty good. I like the color though it's not an exact match for the other pieces of wooden furniture in my living room. Matching stain is quite difficult to do and the little picture on the front of the cans can be misleading. I now just need to put on a nice shiney top coat and then I'll take a picture for y'all. (I really don't say y'all but I figured it was a little obligatory because I've been living here for over a month now...)
  5. Matt's feeling quite a bit better, though his abdomen is still a little swollen from surgery. The antibiotics they put him on after surgery made him sick and he was throwing up on Wed. so we had to take him back into the Dr. They gave him a couple more suggestions and perscriptions so we're now a mini-pharmacy. I guess when we get a little low on funds we have something we can sell...
  6. I've been going a little stir crazy here in the house. I've really wanted to do something out doors, but there's not much I can do by myself. I go running in the morning and I walk the neighborhood in the evening. I've REALLY wanted to go rock climbing, but we're in TX. As my husband once said, "We could go to home depot and buy some rocks/bags of dirt and you could camp out and hike around them." I must be getting desperate if that sounds like a viable option...
  7. We bought 2 in. wood blinds for the kitchen and they look really nice. Slowly we'll get this place up to par.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Domestic Diva

I should have my own show called: How to Do Everything

I mean, what can't I do? I'm a regular Martha Stewart, without the jail time.

I just finished my latest home betterment project. Because we are thrifty (i.e. cheapskates) we really couldn't bring ourselves to putting in nice blinds in all 11 of our 35 X 62 in. windows as of right now. We tried the bamboo roman shades which were great looking, affordable, and completely see through at night. Nope, wouldn't work for me. Matt suggested the CHEAP vinyl blinds, but I absolutely refused, even though they were cheaper than the paper temporary blinds come to think of it...hmmm...Anyway, after 7 years of apartment living and disgusting vinyl blinds in each place, I just couldn't take it.

So that left us a couple of choices:
  1. Live in a "fish bowl" (as a friend of mine calls it): go blindless
  2. Pay money we don't want to spend on blinds we only sort of like
  3. Put temporary paper blinds throughout the house
  4. Buy curtains
  5. Make curtains
Up until now we've only had temporary blinds in our bedroom (I mean, there are a few things that take place there I didn't want public) and the rest of the house is a fish bowl. It has taken considerable restraint for me to refrain from walking around the house in a towel or in my underware! I'm too much of a free spirit to remain much longer in the fish bowl.

All of the "affordable" faux wood blinds at Lowes and Home Depot were only so-som, although we'll probably end up putting them in the kitchen; curtains would just get too dirty and greasy from my amazing cooking. Yeah, they'd probably end up looking like my old cooking jacket, which I can assure is quite disgusting.

Temporary paper blinds throughout the house would be plain tacky because if we were to do that they would likely be as temporary as our entire stay here. We're cheap, but we're not that cheap. Buying curtains seemed like the best idea for awhile, but once you factor in the rods and the curtains, it was still more than we wanted.

So that left one option for the living room: Make curtains out of Wal-Mart $1/yard fabric and buy cheap but nice enough looking rods. The only problem with this was my lack of a sewing machine. I've asked for it the last two Christmases, but it's just not practical when you're traveling. I figured it's a good investment because I'm a domestic diva who'd surely use it for many future projects. So I researched and found an affordable but good machine and began my first project.

You can't really tell, but these are made of a nice thick cotton weave of burnt orange and white. They're actually a little darker than this because there's quite a bit of light shining through them. I didn't have a pattern, but as you can see they're very simple because that's how I like it. And don't mind my eclectic thrift store furniture. I promise it's not permanent.

Matt hung the first rod before his whole surgery thing and because he's technically still "in recovery" I couldn't bring myself to pester him about hanging them. So today with a little coaching from him I hung the other two. Oh yeah. Not only am I domestic, but I'm handy with a power drill too. (And I mowed the lawn yesterday! Though I used to have a "lawn mowing service" in High School with my little bro., Matt generally does it because it allows him to contribute to the household upkeep. It was dirtier than any other lawn job I've done, but it was kind of fun...Tangent.)

And for an update on the coffee table: It's completely stripped and I have the stain, but I forgot to buy a brush. So that will probably end up taking place tomorrow.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Svithe Alive

This was quite the weekend. Two visits to Urgent Care, a mis-diagnosis, two CT scans, multiple x-rays, an ambulance ride, a hospital stay, a correct diagnosis, and surgery. (Not to mention a couple of fevers upwards of 102 that I think finally broke last night about midnight or so.)

Though I was not the one experiencing the afore mentioned ailments and treatments, I was the heart wrenched wife standing by feeling completely helpless, wanting to help but not having much to give in the way of relief.

I never really thought he was going to die, but I have to say that when he came back from surgery he looked dead and I was very glad that he indeed was not dead. The first night we were in Urgent Care we were talking about how many family members would most likely have died without the advanced medical services we're so blessed to have here in this day and age.

warning: the following examples may contain inacuracies. I am trying to go off my memory as best as possible. Keep in mind though, that I am the kind of person that can re-watch movies because I can't remember what happens much of the time...
We concluded most of Matt's families would be gonners.
  • Matt's mom very easily could have died while having their last child. Who knows if he would have made it through that...(Also, she very well could have died while giving birth to Lady Steed. During that first birth her appendix was very close to bursting. Luckily they were doing a C-section, they routinely checked it, and they ended up having two surgeries for the price of one.)
  • Matt's dad...well, lets just say he's not the luckiest man when it comes to medical issues. He had two of the largest kidney stones the hospital had ever seen at the same time, one in each tube. They did not believe they were kidney stones because they were so large. Additionally, given his luck, had he lived in a time a primative medicine, he would have died of an infection to one of his multiple bones broken in his life (one being a broken arm right before Lady Steed and Thmazing got hitched).
  • Lady Steed had some complications while giving birth to the Big O. My guess is that he would have had a hard time surviving without that emergency C-section and immediate cleaning out of his lungs.
  • Matt himself would be dead. When he was a little kid his dad felt like he should check on him in the middle of the night. I think (though I could be getting this story a little wrong, so feel free to correct me Lady Steed) that his throat was constricting to the point he couldn't breath. Dad Bras(s) rushed him to the hospital and they were able to save his life. Also, this whole appendix thing could have been bad. Our Bishop told us (thankfully after Matt's surgery) that his cousin died just 5 years ago from his appendix bursting while he was at the hospital...
As for my family, I think we'd have had more living than dead, but who knows...
  • My oldest brother Bryan had some medical issues when he was around 2 1/2. Even the doctors had a hard time figuring out what was wrong. If I'm not mistaken it was a chiropracter that "saved his life."
  • Though I don't think she would have died, my sister J. may have lost her eye sight after falling out of a moving vehical and getting rocks full in her face and eyes.
  • J.'s daughter Becca gave them a real scare when her heart beat dropped so low it was off the charts during delivery. Without an emergency C-section it would have been a very touchy situation.
Anyway, I guess the moral of this is that I'm very grateful for life and that we've all made it through what we've made it through...

In Romans 8:28 it says, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God." Also, we are often adomonished to count our many blessings when life is harder or more troublesome than we'd like. So I thought I'd go ahead and make a little list, mainly because I like lists (as you could probably tell from above).

I'm very grateful:

  1. the R.S. gave me a list of Medical and Emergency facilities when I first got in town.
  2. Mapquest gave me the quickest route to the Urgent Care.
  3. Matt did not die.
  4. the R.S. President knew someone that could give him a blessing on short notice.
  5. the men who gave him a blessing came even though they didn't know us.
  6. in the blessing they told us to seek further medical attention.
  7. he had a fever the second time we went into Urgent Care because that meant an automatic admission to the hospital.
  8. they discovered after his second CT scan that the problem was one of appendix and not of kidney stones.
  9. this happened here rather than UT. His insurance has much better coverage than mine had.
  10. though we didn' t have our insurance cards we were able to call another LDS Raytheon employee who was able to get us all of the numbers we needed to figure it out.
The list goes on, but 10 is a nice round number and I like things to be neat and orderly if possible. We felt very supported by our parents and by church members. I really am grateful to be a part of such a huge network of caring people who are willing to help you even when they don't really know you. It's quite amazing if you think about it.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Left ureterolithiasis with renal colic

That's what started this whole mess. Last night Matt came home with horrible stomach pains. He thought he had food poisoning or something. When it persisted and worsened we decided to take him to urgent care.

After the blood testing, urine testing, and CT scan they concluded he had a kidney stone. They said it was small so all they could do was give him so Vicodin and send him home to hopefully pass it within 2 days.

The Vicodin has done absolutely nothing for him and he's been vomiting since 2 AM (it's now 10:20 AM). The paper we got from Urgent Care said to call or bring him in if this happened, but I keep calling and no one will answer. So much for urgency. Their hours are 10 AM to 10 PM. They should be open. Why are you evading my call??? My husband is writhing in pain and I can't do anything for him. He' getting progressively worse and feels much more awful that when we took him into Urgent Care. He's getting the chills and he can't keep down liquid or anything for that matter. There's no way he'll pass this stone if we can't get him hydrated.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Is it hot in here, or is it just me?

Yesterday on my run I passed a woman walking 3 dogs going the opposite direction. We said our mutual "hi"s and we continued on our separate paths. At the end of my run I ended up passing her once again. We said "hi" again and then she said in broken English "You so fast. I tired. I a old lady." I stopped and walked with her a few minutes and we talked. It's amazing what you can find out about someone in less than 2 min.

She first asked "You at the High School?"
"Yeah, I ran by the High School today."
"No, no. You go the High School?"
"Haha. No. I've been out of High School 7 years now."
"Oh. You look so young and good. I a old lady. I walk long time every day and I still fat. You know how old I am? 48. My husband never home. He gone two weeks and come home a few days. So I walk my dogs. They my babies. You have any babies?"
"No. Not yet. Just a husband."
"These my babies. Their names Cowboy Jo, Sexy, and Nakami (or some other Asian word that was foreign to me)."

She told me her name is Dee and she showed me where she lives. She turned down her street and I continued on my run. A pleasant but unexpected meeting. I don't know what it is, but I think that I look younger every year. I was quite an early bloomer so people ALWAYS thought I was older than I was in Jr. High and High School. Since I've been married, though, I've had multiple people inquire as to if I was still in High School. Hu.

The humidity varies here; the short time I've lived in TX, I've experienced as low as 23% humidity and as high as 90%. I've always lived in the desert. (Well, I guess I did live in Virginia for a summer, and that was a little humid. And China. It was so thick there in the summer I could see the moisture in the air most days.) Anyway, my body is fairly used to dry climates after 25 years. Sure, I needed some lotion and chapstick, but I never have experienced a nose bleed or anything like that because of the dryness. Today, as well as every day this past week, it was around 75-80% humidity and about 75* F at the time of my run. It makes for a very, very sweaty run. By the time I finish running and I start yoga, I literally am dripping wet. It's a bit slippery on my mat, but I figure it has to be as good as Bikram Yoga (the kind where you do it in a room heated to about 90*+). Sometimes I feel like I'm exercizing in a sauna. Sweat out the toxins, right?

Monday, June 05, 2006

A Step

I took a step today and I'm not sure if it's in the right direction or just a new direction. Though I'm uncertain if it was a step forward or sideways, I'm at least confident it wasn't a step backward. So I'll go with it.

I turned in an application to the McKinney North High School for a House Secretary position. The work time is 215 days a year with May and June off. (Plus all major holidays and the full Christmas break the school would get.) So, that's not bad. The pay isn't outstanding, but I wouldn't expect it to be. The lowest base pay isn't much less than my last job, and depending on how qualified they deem me, it could actually be a 4-5000 more a year.

I still feel a little jaded by my inability to get a secretarial job on BYU campus, but I'm hoping the competition here is not so fierce nor saturated. I guess we'll see won't we? I've done all my stuff online and all I have to do is send in a hard copy of my resume and my college transcripts. The job wouldn't start until July, so I'd still have a little break until then if I were to get it.

Sunday, June 04, 2006


With the up and coming 6/6/06 should I be alarmed that my blog patrol counter hit 666 people today and has been at that count the majority of the day? Maybe it's a sign.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Star crossed lovers

Sometimes I think to myself, "Man, it seems like Matt and I are from two completely different planets. You know, like Jupiter and Neptune, or Uranus and Earth, or Mars and Venus." I think I could write a whole book about our differences and call it just that! "Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus." I'll make millions.

Dang. I just googled that to make sure I cornered the market and realized that some guy named John Gray already beat me to it. I missed my one great chance for fame. *Curse you John Gray, curse you.*

Just kidding, kind of. Being an MFHD major, I definitely know of John Gray and his little book, though I never did actually read the thing. But I can see why he wrote it.

Before there was a high-tech

We've been trying to put in some sweet upgrades into our little abode. You know, things like ceiling fans and a quazi "sprinkler system." The first fan we put in went wonderfully smoothly. It was of the smaller type since it was in a smaller room, so there weren't TONS of doodads and doohickies. Plus we read the instructions.

The second fan didn't go quite so smoothly, and I'll tell you why.

Problem #1: We started too late in the afternoon so we ran out of natural light. Since we were improving our unnatural lighting, we didn't have anything to help us out really.

Problem #2: Because the corner of our ceiling slopes, we needed an extension down rod.

Problem #3: We bought the fan at Lowe's and the down rod at Home Depot. big mistake. "Standard" my foot. It's like saying "One size fits all." It's just not true.

Problem #4: Because we were totally experienced in fan putting together since we'd done it once before, we opted out of reading the directions carefully. Never a good idea.

Problem #5: Because we had a rod that wasn't the greatest fit nor did we employ the smartest route of installation, we accidentally stripped and broke a necessary screw piece. Oops.

Luckily the piece was available at Lowes so Matt bought that and a new down rod after work on day 2 of our installation attempt. However, we continued to have a few more issues.

Problem #6: The fan had a remote control option we tried first. Though we could use the control we discovered that it rendered two of our wall switches useless. Gah.

Problem #7: Had we actually read the installation manual we probably would have understood the afore mentioned problem #6. But we didn't. So we spent another good 45 min. to an hour trying to discover where we'd gone wrong and why the wall switches didn't work.

In the end we resolved it by taking out the remote control thing and reading some troubleshooting things in the internet about the wiring. All in all it just took us about 5-6 hours longer than it should have.

As for the sprinkler situation, if we had some sweet mula we'd be able to put in a real sprinkler system instead of our low-tech 20 hose system we worked out today.

Starting June 1st McKinney put us on a tier 3 water restriction. That means we're only allowed to water our lawn once a week. During the summer, we're not allowed to wash our car at home or run through the sprinklers. There goes my summer fun.

Anyway, we were trying to figure out the range of the sprinklers we bought today. We weren't actually watering watering our lawn. We were just trying to set up the system so it would be most effective the one day we can water. We were close to finishing figuring out the front yard positioning when one of our neighbors drove up his drive way. We hear him saying to someone in his house, "They're watering on a non-water day." Hijole. We got a little spooked that he was going to turn us in or something so we stopped our positioning project. If we were found guilty of watering on a non-watering day it could be up to a $2000 fine. Yikes.