Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Times, they are a changing

We’re going to Tulsa on Saturday to move Mom down here. I actually think she’s pretty excited. I’m excited too, I’ve missed being around her, and I’m looking forward to having a little more help with Dad (I haven’t managed to get up there to see him yet this week, bad daughter).

Did ya’ll ever think that I would be the voice of reason in my family? Neither did I. Kinda sucks really, but there you go. Gotta do what you gotta do. Now that we’ve got Mom’s house up for sale, and we’re going to get her set up here, we need to make some decisions about long-term care for Dad. Unfortunately, at the rate we’re going, we’re going to have enough money to keep Dad in the nursing home for two more years at the most. Then we’re going to be right back in the situation we were in before. So Chris and I have been talking about our options:

1. Win the lottery
2. Run away to Mexico and live on the beach
3. Talk to DHS and see if there is anyway we can get Dad qualified for Medicaid
4. Buy a duplex, Mom and Dad live in half, Chris and I live in half. I quit work and take care of Dad
5. ???
6. ???
7. any other ideas welcome

Personally, I like #2 the best.

I get my accountant’s holiday in a couple more weeks, I’m planning on making an appointment to talk to someone at DHS, but the basic situation hasn’t changed. Dad has too much income every month to qualify, he doesn’t even qualify for the trust deal. But I’ll go talk to them again and see.

Right now, Chris and I are leaning toward #4. If we buy a duplex now and have it set up for the wheelchair (while we still have the money to do it), I can try to get my boss to let me work part-time from home (most of my stuff is done through email and internet anyway). Then I’ll be right next door to get Dad up and down, give him his medications, fix lunch, etc.

Bad part about this deal – if I’m a stay at home person, I’m going to be expected to have a clean house, and have all of my laundry done, and dinner on the table when my husband gets home! I’m really liking #2 right about now.

But, I would still go to school – I absolutely refuse to give that up. After all this hard work, I’m not quitting now.

Good part about this deal – Dad’s out of the nursing home, much money saved. Enough that if I can’t work part time, they could pay me a minimal amount every month for care giving so that we could pay our own bills.

Bad part about this deal – it’s going to make it even harder for Chris to get Zebra off the ground. The original plan was to work for someone else until things picked up a little, and my salary would cover most of the bills until things really picked up (two or three years down the road). If I’m not working, Chris is going to have to get a job where he gets at least 40 hours per week, and as much overtime in the summer as possible. That’s going to make it difficult for him to do the stuff for Zebra.

Also, it’ll be almost impossible for Chris and I to go anywhere for a weekend, or even overnight. Chris thinks that we can probably hire someone to come in for a weekend to give us a break. We’ll have to look into that and see.

Right now we’re just brainstorming, no decisions have been made, and we haven’t even discussed this with Mom and Dad yet. Dad’s going to say “Hell yeah, get me out of here.”

Just got off the phone with Mom. I’m pretty proud of her, she’s working on packing up, make plans, dealing with getting the utilities turned off, etc. All in all, I think it’s going to work out okay. Think positive, huh?

Still, Mexico would be nice.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Husband of the Year

I have the most wonderful husband there ever was. You might think that you do, and I know that YOU think that yours is the best, but you’re both wrong. My husband is better than yours!

I feel like I should be sticking my tongue out at you.

Yesterday was not a good day, and by the time I finally got home at 9:00 (I had class last night. Aren’t you proud of me for going? You should be, cuz I really didn’t want to.) all I wanted was to curl up with Chris and cry. I hate crying, I really do, but sometimes it feels so good to cry.

So I get home, and Chris met me at the door and just folded me up in his arms. Then we went into the living room, and he had gotten me some flowers – beautiful tiger lilies (can you tell those are our favorites?), and a card. And so I cried, and he held me, and all is right with my world, just because he’s there with me.

We’ve agreed that I’m going to get registered to use the Indian clinic. In the meantime, I’ve made the appointment for the colposcopy for April 20th. Happy, happy, joy, joy. The colposcopy is like a pap, but even worse. And they snip you. Ouch. Then it’s wait for 4-6 weeks for the test results to come back. And then we’ll see.

I’m kind of assuming that it’s going to come back with the mild dysplasia again, and that he’s going to want me to come back in 6 more months for another pap, and then we’ll see what happens. Of course, he mentioned another procedure, the L.O.O.P. procedure, where they scrape away the abnormal cells from the cervix. That one I don’t want to do, it’s technically an outpatient surgery. It can be done in the office, but he’s already said that he does them out of the hospital, not his office. We don’t want to think about that one yet.

So, for all of those wondering: We’re not going to try to get pregnant until I have a normal pap, so it looks like it’s going to be awhile.

Monday, March 27, 2006

When in question, fear or doubt, run in circles, scream and shout

Well, I finally got the test results back on that pap smear I had done a couple weeks ago. This was the follow up to the abnormal one I had back in August. When we did the colposcopy then, it came back inconclusive, they couldn’t tell what had caused the abnormal result. The doctor said that it was probably either an infection or from the HPV.

I had to call the doctor to get the results from this one. They finally called me back this morning and said that it came back abnormal again. The nurse didn’t have any further information so had to have the doctor call me back after lunch. He said that the pap came back as mild dysplasia, and that I need to have another colposcopy done within the next month.

Mild dysplasia is not cancer, it’s pre-cancer sign. Whatever that means. Actually, from what I’ve read online, mild dysplasia often disappears without treatment within 2 years. It is still probably caused by the HPV, and does not mean that I’m going to get cancer.

All of that being said, this scares the shit out of me. Maybe it was mild dysplasia the last time and they just couldn’t tell for whatever reason. But if not, that means that it’s gotten worse instead of better. What’s going to happen in six months? A year? Will it continue to get worse or will it go away on its own?

Then there’s the money side of it. Another $600 test, plus the $200 I’ll have to pay the doctor for performing the test. Money that we don’t have. Money that we’ll have to come up with cuz we just don’t have a choice, do we? And what if it turns into cancer? What the hell are we going to do then?

Chris wants me to go sign up at the Indian Clinic and have it taken care of there. Which is actually a good idea, and something I should have done before now. However, they only take 34 new patients a month, you have to call in on the right day to get signed up. Then you have to show up on the right day to do the paperwork and have a physical (which is a month after you get signed up). Then I think you get to start using the facility – on a first come first serve basis. Show up at 7:00 in the morning and hope they have time to see you. Or that the doctor you need to see is there that day. Maybe they make appointments for stuff like this, I don’t know. I’ve put a call in, haven’t heard back from them yet.

Poor Chris, he called me right after I’d gotten off the phone with the doctor. I kinda played it down when I told him, then got upset with him when he mentioned the money thing. He’s been out looking for a job, we’ve decided that he really needs one that offers health insurance. I’m pretty sure that if you get insurance thru your employer, they don’t check the pre-existing condition thing.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Frustration is...

I was talking to someone the other day, and she was telling me about how she and her husband are looking for a house to buy. They are looking in the $100,000-$150,000 range. I’ve never met her husband, and don’t know how old he is, or what kind of money they make. What I do know is that she is pretty young, they have 3 kids, and she is a stay-at-home mom. And, they just recently bought a fairly new car.

So how in the hell are they going to buy a $100,000 house?

This isn’t the first time I’ve wondered about this. I keep running into people who I can’t believe are buying houses. I used to work with this girl, she was 18, got married the summer of 2004. In this case I happen to know that they don’t have very good credit and didn’t make enough money to save up a down payment. They bought a house last summer. I don’t know how much the house was or anything, she wasn’t working here at the time.

So how in the hell did they buy a house?

Chris and I are always talking about where we want to live, what kind of house we want to buy, how much land we want, hell, what flowers we want in the garden. I want a house of my own. I dream about it – what kind of kitchen and bathrooms we’ll have, the big wrap-around porch I want, a special little room for all of my books. A shed where he can keep all of his tools and do all of his little projects. A place in the yard where he can park his boat, and the travel trailer we eventually want to buy.

Maybe it’s just that we’re a bit older and (hopefully) wiser. We don’t want to buy a house until we have a good solid down payment saved up. Also, Chris doesn’t have any credit at all (not good, not bad, NONE), so if we bought a house now, the loan would be based only on my earnings (I’ve checked), and I hate to think what kind of house we’d get based on that! We’re working on the credit thing, I had to get him a secured credit card to start out. How do people get started? How did he get to be 39 without EVER buying anything on credit? I wonder if we got a joint credit card if it would happen any faster? Not that my credit is perfect, but at least I have some.

But, it’s still frustrating to see these kids buying houses, and we can’t – or won’t. We could probably find someone to loan us the money, even with his lack of credit. And there’s the whole first time homebuyer’s deal, where you don’t have to have a down payment, but I’m not sure if we’d qualify for that since I think my name is on the Tulsa house with Mom’s.

I just keep promising myself that one day I’ll have a home of my own.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

You just had to say it, didn't you?

Thanks a lot Sandie. You know what I'm checking after that last comment, don't you?!

Do you remember how when Phil started to gray, you couldn't really tell cuz his hair was so blond? At least until the gray overtook the blond, he he. Well, it's even harder for me to tell in my hair. I've got the gold blond, the darker, almost brown blond, the red, and I don't know what all else in there. And it's all natural!

So, I don't really look for any - besides, I'm only 35. I'm not allowed to have gray hairs yet.

For some reason, that reminded me. Chris is 40 this year, and I want to do a big Over the Hill bash for him. Suggestions welcome.

Monday, March 20, 2006

To pluck or not to pluck

I found a grey eyebrow hair this weekend! I've never been one to pluck - tried it once, hurt like hell, never did it again. But I'm seriously considering it now.

An exciting Friday night

Chris went on Friday to pick up his last check and when he got it, it was short $50.00 - a commission for some humidifiers that he had sold that his boss had told him that he was going to pay Chris for. So, of course Chris calls him to find out what happened to the $50.00 (Note: this exact thing is why Chris had to quit working for the guy. Every week he would either take time off of Chris' time card - which is illegal and why we have labor laws - or he would "forget" to put a commission on his check. Well, that and the fact that in the last 10 weeks Chris worked approximately 50 hours total). So the guy goes off on Chris, telling him that he's lucky he got a check, and how could he screw this guy by leaving, etc. Then he threatens to come over to the house and kick Chris' ass, and my ass, and on and on and on. Dude, it's $50.00. We knew you were hurting for money, but come on.

I told Chris that so far as I was concerned dude could keep the $50 and if I never hear his name or voice again, it'll be well worth it. $50.00 isn't going to kill us, and obviously it's hurting him pretty bad. (Note: I've absolutely despised this guy from the very first time I met him. Everyone knows that I just really don't like people anyway, but it's really rare that I hate someone on sight, and I did him.) So Chris and I had a three hour conversation (well, if you know Chris, he vented for three hours while I made appropriate noises), then we decided to go out to dinner. Applebees. Very good, we hadn't been there before. I had the riblets and they were awesome. Their death by chocolate dessert (not it's actual name, but you know the one I mean - 5 kinds of chocolate in one dessert) would be much better if it was served hot, but that was my only complaint.

Anyway, we get back to the house and have a message on the machine. Chris hits the button and we hear what sounds like 3 gunshots! So we look at each other, play the message back, and think "Oh my God, he's gotten drunk and gone psycho." Up to that point, my biggest fear had been that dude would get drunk and show up being loud.

Now, ours is a redneck house, the first gift that Chris ever gave me was a shotgun. He got his first shotgun when he was one day old. I'm sitting there picturing the shootout at the OK Corral in my front yard. Shit.

So Chris goes outside to see if he can see any damage to the vehicles or the house. Nothing. No more calls, nothing else happens.

(Note: No, we didn't call the police. We do not have caller ID, had no proof that dude was the one who called, nothing the police can do.)

Next morning, Chris is supposed to take his uniforms back to dude. He didn't leave them the day before because he didn't get paid in full. Then he's supposed to go work on Mike & Sandie's a/c. I'm worried he's going to get to dude's place and dude's going to shoot him or something, so I tell Chris he has to call me before he goes and when he leaves so that I know everything is ok.

So he calls me to tell me he's on the way, and right after that I get another call. The first thing I hear when I answer it is that exact same gunshot sound. And Dad says, "I haven't been able to get ahold of you for a couple days, wanted to be sure you're okay."

"What the hell was that sound?"

"What sound?"

"That sound I heard when I answered the phone."

We never did figure out what made that damn sound.

Friday, March 17, 2006

How well do you read?

I was reading Sandie's blog this morning (sorry Sandie, I was going to link to the post, but haven't figured out how to), and it reminded me of this email I've gotten a couple times. See how you do:

If you can read this, you have a strange mind too
Can you raed tihs? i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae the rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!

The first time I got this, I was just scanning email and not paying any attention, and it actually took me a minute to realize that there was anything wrong. I'm going, "Yeah, I can read this, so? Oh."

I'm so proud of him

I was re-reading the previous post, and want to make sure that everyone knows that I am so proud of Chris. We have had so much going on in our lives ever since we first got together, that it's difficult to find time to do everything that we want to do - including starting his own business. Chris has given me the chance to go to school and try to better myself and my chances of making a decent living, and in doing so has put off something that he has wanted to do for a long time - starting his own company.

Chris always wanted to wait until we had enough money put back so that he could get started right, and with school, health issues, and just life in general, it's been difficult to put any money back for a business. So we decided to take the opportunity that was given to us and run with it.

Zebra Heating & Air Conditioning

I haven't had much of a chance to post this last week between work and homework. Oh yeah, and setting up our new business, Zebra Heat & Air!

Chris has talked for years about starting his own company. It gets frustrating to sell a job, watch someone else put it in (half the time wrong or sloppily), another someone else make all of the profit off of it, and then not even get paid a commission for selling the job in the first place. There's just not much incentive to sell a job for someone else.

So, he's talked for years, but has never taken the contractors test so that he can get out there and do something about it. I've gotten him the books to study, and in fact just had to reorder one of them because the new books come out every three years, and guess what?

Right after he quit asshole (I'd love to put all kinds of mean and nasty stuff on here, so I figured I'd better not even get started), he got one job which turned into a slightly bigger job, and then Sandie & Mike's a/c finally died, so he'll be putting theirs in this weekend. So I decided (being the wonderful wife that I am) that I'd nudge him a little bit, and opened a small business checking account in Zebra's name. I've also put in a call to get some insurance coverage, and I'm getting ready to start working on some business cards. I've already set up the company in QB and started tracking costs and profits - and so far we have a profit. A bigger one this week than the last several checks he's gotten from asshole.

We are certainly not at the point of him working full time on his own yet, but if he will finally get started, he can go ahead and get a job from someone else, and work on his own customers evenings and weekends until it gets big enough that we don't need him to work for someone else anymore.

Oh, on the contractor's license thing, he plans on taking the test within the next 30 days. Unfortunately, it's a very difficult test, and it takes most people 3 tries to pass it (at $200 or more a pop), so until such time as he does pass the test, he is subbing under someone else's license.

See the little zebra I found - isn't he cute? Chris kinda rolled his eyes at me, but I couldn't find any stripes for the business cards, so I just tried the little guy to see.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

An end to terrorists

"The Pentagon announced today the formation of a new 500-man elite fighting unit called the United States Redneck Special Forces. These Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentrucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas boys will be dropped off into Iraq and have been given only the following facts about terrorists:
1. The season opened today.
2. There is no limit.
3. They taste just like chicken.
4. They don't like beer or pickups.
5. They are directly responsible for the death of Dale earnhardt.

We can expect the problem with terrorists in Iraq to be over by Monday."

Sunday, March 12, 2006

My first b-ball game ever

Chris and I just got back from an NBA game. Oklahoma City has had the New Orleans Hornets ever since Katrina, but this is the first game we've been to. Gloria got ahold of some free tickets, so off we went.

Another first, the game was at the Ford Center downtown, and I hadn't been there before. I've heard alot of talk: the seats are too small, it's too crowded, etc. Well, I'm here to tell you that it's all true. Granted, I'm not the smallest girl out there, and Chris isn't the smallest man, but those seats were made for 13 year old girls who haven't grown their hips yet. I was able to sit in my seat, but each hip was resting against a chair arm, my shoulder and Chris' overlapped, and you sure as hell didn't want to stand up. "They" elevated each row almost to the top of the row below you. The top of the chair in front of you is literally at ankle height, and it felt really steep. We all joked that if one of us fell, we'd bounce all the way down to the bottom. Granted, this was third (top) level, nose-bleed seats, but still. Hell, we were so high up, I asked Chris if that was a full-sized court down there cuz it looked smaller than on tv.

The Hornets played the New Jersey Nets - which is actually a team I have seen play on tv, and I actually know who one of the players, Jason Kidd, is! They kicked our ass. We were never more than 19 points behind, which in basketball isn't a whole lot, and we got within 4 points of them at the end of the game, but we never did take the lead, and even I could tell that we weren't playing as well. I never did figure out the whole foul thing. I'd see someone shove someone else down and that wasn't a foul, and they'd call a foul and I never saw what they were calling it on. And then, sometimes when they'd call a foul, the foulee would get a free-throw, but sometimes not.

Obviously I know absolutely nothing about basketball.

I actually tried out for basketball in the 9th grade (I think). Rachel and I and Susan did, I don't think Steph was with us. That's when I found out that not only could I not jump, or sink a basket, I couldn't even dribble the ball very well. I never was a sports person. Anyway, that was my only contact with b-ball.

It was fun though. Since we weren't doing very well, and I didn't know any of the other players, I kept watching Kidd play. He didn't score a lot of points, but I was amazed how several times, he would have the ball, and be looking at the player directly in front of him, and then without turning his head, would pass the ball to a player off to his right, right past one of our guys. He always seemed to know where everyone on the court was without having to look for them. Chris said that's why he's one of the best guards in the league.

Of course I had to get souveniers. I think Chris has finally given up on me and souveniers. I have to have one from everywhere we go if we've never been there before. Usually I'm able to get something pretty cheap, but we're talking NBA here. I could have gotten a key chain or something but instead I got a tie-dyed Hornets t-shirt, and I got Dad a Hornets pen. Chris was going to get a hat, but it was $25, so he decided not to get it. The t-shirt was only $20. Then, during one of the commercial breaks (which was kinda irritating by the way. They'd be in the middle of playing, the ball would turn over, or they'd have to throw it in or whatever, and they'd go to commerical and have the mascots or cheerleaders or whoever come out.) the brought out the cannon dealies to shoot t-shirts up into the stands, and one lands right in Chris' lap, so he got a Hornets t-shirt too!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

An interesting day

Yesterday was an interesting day. I got an email from my teacher giving me my grade in the review class I've been bitching about - it's 88.95% before the corrections on the last quiz I took. Did I mention that? Turns out that 3 of the questions were marked wrong even though they were correct, and at 4.55 points per question, that will raise my grade a bit. All that worrying and being pissed off and I'm really doing fine in the class. Especially since it's a pass/fail class and all I have to get is a C, and it doesn't count against my GPA.

Then, I got the phone call from Mom about moving down here, I discussed that in a previous post.

Then, just before 5:00, Chris came to my office - which he rarely does. He quit his job, which is actually not a bad thing. His boss was either on massive amounts of drugs or was just plain insane, I'm still not sure which. And it's spring, which is when everyone in heat & air is hiring, so he shouldn't have a problem getting another job. I just wish that he would buckle down and study for his contractor's test so that he could go into business for himself. He takes pride in his work and truly knows what he's doing, and with me to handle the office part of it he has a good chance of making it in the business world. And I'm not just saying that because he's my husband and the smartest man in the world either.

Then, there may be some changes in my life in the next month or so. I don't want to say anything else yet, just in case, but things could be looking up for me as well. And no, that doesn't mean that I'm pregnant! I won't find out the results of the pap for at least a week, maybe two. Then we'll see.

Resident of the Month Plaque

Originally uploaded by bookworm91770.
Here it is finally. Dad is still pretty proud of this. I am too.

More pelicans...and some seagulls too

Yesterday turned out to be a pretty interesting day, which I'll post about in a minute, so Chris and I went to the lake again to talk about some stuff, and what did we find? More pelicans! We tried to count, and we think that there's about 120 pelicans at Lake Hefner. Gloria says they were there last year too, so maybe they are living here. I need to find out what their normal migratory patterns are, see if I can figure out why they are in Oklahoma.

So, here's a couple pictures (I hope they look better than they appear on this computer - apparently it's not intended for looking at pictures). The seagulls are eating some popcorn that Chris threw out for them. It was pretty funny, when he first threw the popcorn out there, they kept swooping down and looking at it but wouldn't pick any up. Then finally one does and they all went crazy!

Ok, the stupid add picture link isn't working - again. I'll try to add the pictures later.

3/17/06 - The first chance I've had to try again - here goes: It worked, it worked! It's up at the top, but it worked!!!!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Calmer now

I was re-reading my earlier post, and realized that it sounded like I don't want my mother to come and live with me, and that's not the case.

When I was in my teens and early twenties, Mom and I would go round and round. I would tell her that she had to quit judging me by what I had done before, and give me a chance to prove that I had grown up and responsible (at least compared to how I was at 16-18). Now I'm finding that that's a whole lot easier to say than to do.

I know I frustrate Mom because I won't let her help around the house when she's over. The only thing I'll ever let her do is dishes, and that was her chore when she was a kid and she absolutely hates doing dishes now (which explains why as soon as we were old enough, dishes became Lesley and my chore!). We went through a rough patch after Mom had her aneurysm. It was a couple weeks before the wedding and she was staying with us, because she couldn't stay by herself. Every day when we came home, we had to dig through the trash to see what she had thrown away that day, which was anything that was left on any table in the house - pictures, candy dishes, candles, mail, whatever.

Mom doesn't actually remember all of the above - or many other things that I'm not putting on here. She has about a 2 month blank in her memory, and we just don't discuss what happened during that time because she gets really upset. (I happen to know that she doesn't read this blog or I wouldn't be talking about it here, so please don't mention it to her).

I really do try to not hold that stuff against her. It's not truly her fault - well it is, but it isn't. But I have a hard time not reacting to how she was before rather than how she is now. Which is 1000% better than then.

And, when she's not arguing with me about why can't we buy a house here, and then slowly move her stuff here, and then work on the house in Tulsa, and then put it on the market to sell it - while making payments on the house in Tulsa, we get along really well.

I've really been looking forward to her being here. I've missed my mommy.

Mom's moving to OKC

Which is what we've been wanting for about a year now. With her here, she can spend more time with Dad and help me with taking care of him. But.

Isn't there always a BUT? BUTT! She just called me and said that she just finished with a realtor and is going to list the house. So I asked if she had done the touch up stuff we had discussed - painting, replacing burned carpet, holes in walls and doors, etc. No, she decided to list it as is, starting price $75,000. Okay, I still don't think that's realistic, but if the realtor agrees, who am I to say any different?

BUT, she doesn't want them to list it until she moves out of the house, so she wants to come and live with me for an indefinate period of time.

Breathe...Breathe...Breathe. Ok, things were different the last time she stayed with me for more than a weekend. She was on massive amounts of drugs, and going thru withdrawal, and all of that. She has been much better and hasn't tried to throw away even one irreplaceable picture of Chris' mom in many many months.

I knew that she would have to stay with us for at least a little while, I just don't know if I can handle an indefinate period of time that could turn into 6 months or even more.

Then, on top of that, Chris and I are going to have to go help her pack up her stuff and haul it all down here. Which is fine, except I'm already behind in my classes, and have been freaking out over that, and I just can't take a weekend off to go take care of her stuff. Granted, next week is Spring Break, so techincally, I don't have anything going on, EXCEPT for the full chapter I'm behind in each of 2 classes, and the 6 topics I have to read before the following Tuesday's quiz.

Plus, I have to tell Chris that my mother is moving in with us! Actually, there are some days that he gets along better with my mom than I do, and I really don't think that he'll be upset or anything.

It's going to make it pretty uncomfortable to try to get pregnant though!

And if she throws away my replacement cake for our anniversary, I will not be held responsible for my reaction!

Which reminds me, does anyone have a deep freezer (that works) that they want to get rid of cheap?

Thursday, March 09, 2006

This weeks meme

Again from Laura at Booking Through Thursday here's this weeks meme:

Booking Through Thursday

  1. Do you have any books that are signed by the author? I have one book signed by the author

  2. Do you have a story behind the autograph? Lesley got me a ticket for my birthday one year to go to a bookstore to meet Anne Rice. The signing started at 4:00 pm, and was supposed to be over at 8:00. I arrived about 15 minutes before 5, and there were already several hundred (literally) people in line. At 8:00, I was still about 10 people outside the front doors. Ms. Rice stayed until she had signed a book for every person in line. It was after 10:00 before she got to me. When I got to the table, she was soaking her hand in cold water in between every signiture, and was still the most gracious person I've ever met. A wonderful author and a beautiful person.

Warning - Looking for Donations

Thought I'd warn the family that I'll be looking at you guys for donations in the coming year. This PTK society deal focuses on Fellowship, Scholarship, and Service (yes, in capital letters).

Anyway, one of the first projects that I plan on getting involved in is known as Project Graduation - in which we collect cans and books for needy people. I've already been asked to be on the committee when the project actually gets started, but that will depend on how we can arrange our schedules. However, I will want lots of contributions from EVERYONE that I know. Those of you NE can send stuff with Mom. I'll be posting updates when I know more. Right now all I know for sure is canned goods and children's books. So start collecting. And thank you in advance, especially for books - you all know how important that particular subject is to me.

I do wish that I'd known about this a couple weeks ago, before the library sale. I could have bought a couple boxes of childrens books for pretty cheap. Oh well, I'll know for next year.

Today's the day

I go back this afternoon for my followup pap after the last abnormal one. Everyone pray for me that it comes back normal. Especially all of you who want to know when Chris and I are going to get pregnant!

I was talking to a friend of mine last night, and she just had to go have a biopsy done. She had her first pap after her baby was born (about a year and a half after), and it came back low grade cervical cancer. So she had to go get the biopsy and it will take 4-6 weeks to get the results back. She's 19 or 20 years old.

I haven't really let myself think about it. I figure that worrying about it now isn't going to do any good, and I'll have plenty of time to worry about it if it happens. But it's a scary thought, especially since we don't have insurance. Thank God for the Indian Hospital. What do people do that don't have anything, just die? Do hospitals have to provide cancer treatment to people without insurance? I know that they can't turn you away if you are in an immediate life threatening situation, but what about something like cancer?

I've never been a fan of the national health care ideas, but it kinda makes you think about it.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Resident of the Month blurb

Here's Dad's blurb for the Resident of the Month from the March nursing home newsletter:

Roy M. Chosen Resident of the Month For March

Roy has been a resident here for about one year and has made many friends during his stay. Born in Tulsa, Roy graduated high school there. He married his high school sweetheart 37 years ago. They have 2 children, daughters, and 3 grandchildren, 2 boys and 1 girl. He owned his own carpet and tile business (his wife owned a wallpaper and drapery store) for 22 years before retiring. Roy is an avid collector of pens and has about 3,000 so far, all colors, shapes, and sizes. He began his hobby about 5 years ago, collecting unusual pens from his travels. So, if you happen to be out and about, and see a logo pen, or one that's funny or different, you know what ot do with it, and you'll enjoy a conversation with an interesting fellow to boot.

Now, from reading this, you can see that Dad and his selective memory gave out this information. Some corrections:
Married his high school sweetheart 37 years ago - while they went to the same school, Mom and Dad did not start dating until after graduation. They got married in 1969, so it will be 37 years in November, but not quite yet.
His travels entailed harassing every single person that ever came to the house to give him their pens. Now, he visits the nurses station, the front desk, and the administrator of the nursing home for his pen fix. Any time we take him out of the nursing home - dinner or whatever, he asks for a pen at wherever we stop.

The 3,000 pens I do believe. He's got stacks and piles of them everywhere. I need to find him a big box to put them in.

I really wanted to get him some pens made with his name on them for Christmas, but the cheapest I could get them for was $250.00, and those weren't very cool pens. I just couldn't justify the expense.

They told him that he got a plaque too, but that it would take a little while to get ready. This was in the middle of February. So, they finally gave it to him last Friday - know what it was? A printed piece of paper that says Roy M., Resident of the Month, and is in a frame. Which is nice enough, but I'm going it took two weeks to prepare that? I didn't have my camera when I saw it, so I'll get a picture of it tonight to post on here.

But, if everyone who comes to visit (which has been VERY FEW of you guys - hint hint), were to bring a pen for him, he would love it.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Phi Theta Kappa Induction

Well, it's official. I'm a member of Phi Theta Kappa. The induction ceremony was yesterday. The president of the school got up and talked to us, then we had to file down to the stage where they called our names and we got to walk across the stage, sign our name in a book, and received a white silk rose. Then we headed upstairs for a meet and greet and some cookies and punch. All in all not bad.

Poor Chris, he tried to take some pictures, but my digital camera has like a 3 second delay after you push the button before it actually take the picture. It makes it difficult to get the picture that you want. He got a couple good shots of the back of my head, and one great one of my boobs (and no, I won't be posting that one). So now he's mad at the camera, and who knows, maybe I'll get a new one with a better zoom on it!!!! Probably not, but it's a nice thought.

I did find it interesting that out of the 73 people inducted yesterday, less than half of them were male.

I never meant to upset anyone

I found out yesterday that I had really upset someone who was reading this blog and thought that I was talking about their child on a previous post about disciplining kids.

First, let me say that kids are kids, and I don't expect them to be little adults. What's the fun in that? Kids are curious and want to explore, and the way they explore is to touch. So, kids being kids do not bother me. They spill things, and draw on things, and all of that is clean-upable. (Not a word, but you know what I mean).

The behavior that I was talking about is when some friends came over with their 2 kids and the youngest child kept getting into my curio cabinet and pulling stuff out. I don't have a whole lot of stuff that I would really be upset if it got broken, but what I do have is in my curio cabinet. It's in the living room because we don't have kids and I like to be able to look at that stuff. So when the kid pulled out the antique Irish teapot and cup/saucer that Lesley gave me a few years ago, and the parent thought that was fine for her to play with, I got upset with the parent - and said something.

I may not like confrontation, but I will say something if I feel I need to.

Or when you're out in public and a kid's running around wild, knocking stuff over or getting into stuff they don't need to and the parents are totally oblivious.

That's the type of thing I was talking about.

So, I am so very sorry that I upset you, and I really and truly was not talking about you or your children - who I love as much as if they were mine. They can come over and crayon the tv whenever they want to.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Extended Family

I got curious so I counted everyone in our extended family. We are currently at 37 people, and that includes our 2 newest additions.

When I talk about my extended family, I am usually talking about my Mom's side of the family. I do have three cousins left on my Dad's side of the family, but we just haven't had much contact with them over the years. We did get to see them at the wedding, but aside from that I hadn't seen any of them in years. Dad is a bit closer to them, but even he doesn't see them often.

Happy Birthday & Anniversary

Happy Birthday to Greg and Kelly Beth, who both have birthday's in March. Also, Debbie and Ed have an anniversary this month - Congratulations.

On Kids

I was reading this post from Julie at A Little Pregnant, and it got me to thinking about how I interact with children - both in the family and with friend's children. (Other's people children are cute, cuz what kid isn't cute, but I don't interact with them.)

I grew up in a large extended family. Mom had a brother and 3 sisters, and between them they had 8 kids, plus a couple add ons (step child, foster children). I couldn't even tell you how many kids my cousins have added to the family - see the Bravenet calendar link if you really want to count us all. Last I remember, there's over 30 of us so far.

I am the oldest grandchild, and one of the few that doesn't have children of my own now. But the thing about our family has always been whoever was there kept an eye on the kid. I've been "disciplined" by every adult member of my family, and I have "disciplined" just about every one of my cousins and their children. By discipline, I mean "Don't do that, it's dangerous" or "Don't beat your brother over the head with that toy" or "That's not very nice, say you're sorry".

Chris and I have had discussions recently about children and how their parents allow them to behave. I'm not talking about tantrums - while irritating to have to listen to, that's standard kid stuff whether you think your kids are going to do it or not. I'm talking about parents who take their children places and then don't watch them, don't keep them out of things, until finally, in self defense you have to say, "Hey, I really don't think that your child should be throwing his body as hard as he can against the glass door to my stereo cabinet." I've actually had that happen to me. Do you want to know what the response was? Do you? "I let him do what he wants because I don't want to restrict his creativity" or some very similar shit. God forbid we restrict any creativity, we'll just hope that God keeps that glass from breaking and cutting off his head!

We have several friends with children, and Chris is constantly inviting them to come over to our NON CHILD-PROOFED HOUSE. We do not have kids, so we still have items on the coffee table and in the curio cabinet, and hell, just laying around everywhere. Sandie has mentioned being over at my house and having to keep a constant eye on Britt so that she doesn't get into anything (sorry Sandie). We have one other friend that watches her child when over. EVERYONE else, every single other person that has ever brought their children to my house, has let said child run around and grab whatever they want to. "Oh, sorry about that vase, I hope you didn't care for it since I'm not going to apologize or offer to pay for it or anything."

Back in the olden days of smaller villages or tribes - smaller groups of people living together - raising children was the responsibility of the entire tribe or village. That's the way I grew up, and the way I interact with the children in my life today. I would never spank someone else's child (and yes, I do believe in spanking a child - not beating them, but a punishing spank on the butt never "hurt" me, and it made sure that I was fairly well behaved, at least in public).

Children are curious, they like to explore and experience, and they have no concept of danger. They NEED discipline, and someone to watch out for them. That's why they have parents. Not just to love them and let them be creative, but to keep them safe and to learn how to get along in today's society, with other people.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Test Score

This is really, really sad:

"You had the highest score!!

Your raw score was 77, with the bonus you got an 87…great job!"

This is the email I got from my instructor. It's really sad that the highest score was 77. That, and I thought I had done better than that, but I guess if we weren't expected to pass it anyway....

Funny, but probably true

I get a daily funny fax at work, and the other day, this one was on it. Since Chris and I are considering starting our family, it seemed appropriate.

Try these before you have children:
1. Grocery Store Test - borrow one or two small animals (goats are best) and take them with you as you shop at the grocery store. Always keep them in sight and pay for anything they eat or damage.

2. Dressing Test - obtain a large, unhappy, live octopus. Stuff into a small net bag, making sure that all arms stay inside.

3. Feeding Test - obtain a large plastic milk jug. Fill halfway with water. Suspend from the ceiling with a stout cord. Start the jug swinging. Try to insert spoonfuls of soggy ceral (such as Fruit Loops or Cheerios) into the mouth of the jug while pretending to be an airplane. Now dump the contents of the jug on the floor.

4. Physical Test (Women) - obtain a large beanbag chair and attach it to the front of your clothes. Leave it there for nine months. Now remove 10 of the beans.

5. Final Assignment - Find a couple who already has a small child. Lecture them on how they can improve their discipline, patience, tolerance, toilet training, and child's table manners. Suggest many ways they can improve. Enjoy this experience, it will be the last time you will have all the answers.

Review Class

I've been frustrated with this review class from the very beginning. As part of the degree program, we have to take this certification test (I'll actually get to put initials after my name. I think it's A.B.A. - Accredited Business Accountant, but I'm not really sure.) Anyway, we have to take this review course over the internet. Last semester, the teacher came to our classroom to discuss it with us, and convinced me to go ahead and take it this semester. "It didn't matter that I hadn't taken any of the classes except the accounting ones (it covers business law, ethics, communications, etc as well as accounting), because the review book would cover all of that."


Besides being quite intensive - we have to cover 5-6 topics each week (about 100 pages of material) and take a weekly quiz, the book is an overview. It might tell you that you use the cost method to do this, but it doesn't tell you what the cost method is. So, if you don't know, you have to pull out a textbook to find out.

I don't have any textbooks for business law or any of the other crap. I haven't taken the classes yet, so I'm not going to know what the cost method is.

Then, we have to take 2 exams this semester, which are actually old real exams - the one we have to take for accrediatation. They are 3 hour tests, but you have to take them during the week, and the testing center is only open until 8:00. I think I already bitched about that.

Then there's been questions on the tests that aren't anywhere in the book - the whole class agrees on that point. I could just go on and on about the major frustration that I've suffered in this class.

So last night, we're discussing the exam, and Stacie tells us that the original teacher said that we weren't expected to do well on the exam because it's an actual old test. What??? Why have I paid $200 to take the class, another $100 for the review book, am going to have to pay $150 to take the actual certification test, and have spent the last few weeks so frustrated I can't stand myself??????

So now I really hope I kick butt on the test I took on Tuesday. Of course, if I do, the original teacher will just think it's cuz she's such an awesome teacher. NOT.

Test Scores

I got my Intermediate 2 test score back last night. Thank God, I got an A. Actually, I ended up with 100% on it, but I missed the bonus questions (damn it).

Part of why I was so upset about the review practice test score (and I figured out I haven't vented about that one yet - don't worry, I will) is because there are 5 of us that get together in a study group before each exam, and will go over our take home tests together. This is the same group that I've been taking classes with for 2 semesters now, and it's gotten to the point that if all of them have the same answer and I have a different answer, they will usually change their answers rather than me change mine. Not because they think I'm some genius or something, but because I can usually explain how I got my answer and they can't.

(I'm pretty anal - accountant's usually are - if I had to look something up to answer a question I write down what page I found it on so that I can easily go back to it later.)

So, when I got that B on the review test, of course that meant that all of them got B's too, and I feel responsible for that. Of course, maybe without me they would have gotten worse grades, but still.

So, on the Intermediate test, which we all went over together, I was worrying. I'd already gotten 2 B's, what was I going to get on this one? Well, my group got a 92, and then apparently there were others in the class that didn't do nearly as well cuz she gave us a curve again - add 8 points to make it 100!!!!! But I actually earned the A on this one instead of getting an A on the Income Tax one because of the curve.

I feel much better now.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

School Sucks

I haven't had much of a chance to post anything, it's been a very busy couple of weeks. I haven't even unloaded the new library books out of the back of the car yet! If I bring them in, I'll read instead of doing homework. Lots and Lots and Lots of homework.

I've been having some frustration this semester. I'm taking 9 hours and it's been a HORRIBLE MISTAKE. I had 2 tests last week and 2 tests this week. I got my first B's in a long time. Two of them. I was so pissed. Then I found out that this test I had to take last night was a three hour test, but the testing center was only open til 8:00. Let's do the math. I get off work at 5:00, with traffic, the earliest I could get to school would be 5:45 (if there were no wrecks etc). That left me 2:15 to take the 3:00 test.

I found that out after I found out about one of the B's, then I went to the next class and found out about the 2nd B. Now, on the second B, there was only one person who got a higher score than I did. Class average was 78, so she gave us a 12 point curve. I ended up with an A, but that doesn't negate the fact that this review course is completely worthless, takes up entirely too much time, and is affecting my other classes - the ones that aren't completely worthless.

So, I've decided to quit worrying about the review class. It's a pass/fail - as long as I make 70% I get a Satisfactory and it doesn't affect my grade point average. I think that I can get the 70% without much trouble, so I'm going to focus more on my other USEFUL classes and try to maintain my GPA.

I'm still waiting on 2 test scores to see how I did - better not be B's.

I did complete the 3 hour test in 2 hours, so that worked out okay. I always have tested fast - which isn't necessarily a good thing but there you go.

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