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I'm happy, married, and looking forward to sharing my world with you! If you're interested, that is!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

How was YOUR Memorial Day weekend????!!!

Mine was, for lack of a better word, "interesting." (And let me warn you now, this will be a LONG post!!!)

Let's see. On Thursday night I went out to dinner with 5 women I used to work with, back in the day. We worked together for years and years and years, and we are all the best of friends. The company closed without warning and we scattered into the wind. We don't get a chance to get together very often, and the circumstances that got us together this time? Not so great, either. One of the companies that three of the women work for is closing their NJ office so 2 of them are once again unemployed. We took advantage of the fact that they would no longer be local once the office physically closed to make sure we met for dinner at the Barnyard in Totowa. We sat on the patio, ordered drinks and appetizers and food, and laughed and talked and laughed some more. There was a really good reason we all stayed working together for so many years, despite the horrors of that company itself - 'cause we all get along so well!!

I went home, we packed up for the long weekend, and went to sleep. I woke up the next day and my throat was scratchy. In hindsight, it was probably 'cause I was outside, with allergies, and yelling and laughing, but I sure didn't want to get strep again (see my previous blog post!) so I called the doctor. They prescribed 10 days of emoxycillin, 500mg, 3 times a day! Can I just tell you that I haven't taken it 3 times a day YET! I am not sick, my throat no longer hurts, so I forget to take it. This 10 day prescription will take me 20 to finish!!! Speaking of which, I forgot to take it today, too, so I will take it at lunchtime...

We had a 1/2 day Friday so we packed the car, picked up that prescription, and left for the lake, which is 42 miles away. Which took us three hours to get to because of the holiday traffic. 3 hours to go 42 miles. 3 hours for a trip that normally takes us 45 minutes. Yuk.

Jack had gone to Boonton, NJ, on the Thursday night I was partying with my pals, and he bought a boat motor for $700. Not cheap. We got to the lake, he decided he wanted to go for a putt around the lake so he propped the motor on the back of the rowboat and ran inside to get a piece of wood. I did ask him if it was safe to leave the motor there, and he did say yes, but apparently the motor gods weren't listening. While I stood there, worried it would tilt and fall into the water... It tilted and started to fall into the water!!! I literally jumped into the lake, in my sundress and in my shoes, and tried to grab it before it went under. Now the motor weighs about 50 or 60 pounds, and I know that the propeller end goes in the water, but I didn't think the motor end should be submersed so I rescued it! I grabbed it and hoisted it up and yelled for Jack. He came running, took one look at me in the water and grabbed the motor from me! (He hates it when I'm right!)

We went for a putt (yay! the motor works!). We got back to the dock and Jack thought it would be okay to leave the motor in the boat while it was docked. But the water is 2' down, a HUGE deal at Lake Hopatcong this season! And there are some cement platforms and cinderblocks submerged at the end of our dock. And I was afraid the motor would hit the cement and get damaged but Jack didn't think so until he thought about it for a few moments, so he decided to take the motor in for the night. Yeah, okay. He decided to take the motor off the back of the rowboat while.he.was.in.the.rowboat. (Read that again.) So he hopped in, loosened the clamps that hold the motor on the back of the rowboat and tried to pick up the motor. The motor that weighs 50 to 60 pounds. While the motor was centered, Jack wasn't so when he picked it up the rowboat tilted up under the dock and Jack was losing his balance. (Yes, picture it!) I was laughing so hard it took me a minute to think to sit down on the dock and put my foot on the boat to steady it so he wouldn't fall in! He put the motor on the dock and climbed to safety!

We ran to the store for some things, and had dinner, then came home and put our pajamas on to watch some television. (Yes, we lead an exciting life!) I missed Numbers (we both like that show!) and the news and woke up at around 11:45pm; David Letterman was doing the Top Ten. I thought it would be a good idea to go brush my teeth and turn off the TV and go to bed, so I did. Go to try to brush my teeth, that is.

I put toothpaste on my toothbrush, and turned the faucet on, but there was no water. So I thought, "Hmm, probably forgot to turn the pump on!" So I ran downstairs and - the pump was on! So I went back upstairs and turned the faucet on again, thinking that probably we ran the water without the pump being on and needed to send water on up to the second floor... We pull our water from the lake, folks, we have no city water at the lake house.

No deal. No water. So I go and wake Jack up and he goes downstairs to turn the pump on. Yes, it was on already. So then he went into the basement to check on the little piece that sometimes pops off the top of the tank but it hadn't popped off. So he came upstairs, got dressed 'cause it was chilly in the basement, and we both went downstairs. He banged on the regulator a bit; it worked the last time we had no water. He checked the pressure in the tanks. Pressure was fine. We checked the breaker to be sure we had electric running to the tanks. He checked the wires to be sure all was well.

The pump in the lake blew. For no apparent reason. We'd used water earlier. We had water earlier. Now we didn't.
So on Saturday we went to Lowe's and bought a $14 regulator (just in case 'cause we'd already changed it three times so maybe we needed another new one) and a $333 water pump.

You guessed it. It wasn't the regulator. It was the water pump.

Now keep in mind it's Memorial Day weekend. If we call a pump guy we're not going to pay weekend rates. We'll be paying HOLIDAY weekend rates. So Mr. Fix-It decided to do it himself. Now he's perfectly capable. It's just that sometimes he makes some questionable decisions.

Like when he decided to change the pump without going into the lake. He was going to do it from the rowboat. The pump is at the end of a 40' hose that's wrapped in heating wire and electrical tape. It's about 6' down in the water. And to make the story even better? The pump guy who put it in for us about 6 years ago tied a cinderblock to it to keep it at the bottom of the lake. But one cinderblock wasn't enough for Jack!

If there was only one cinderblock attached to the end, the hose could float off the lake bottom and get cut by other boats' propellers, so Jack.tied.6.more.cinderblocks.to.the.hose. (Read that again!) Mm-hmm. There were a total of 7 cinderblocks that he decided he would pull out of the water, one at a time, while still attached to the hose, cut loose and put in the rowboat so he could get the one at the end, the one attached to the pump, up out of the water.

I calmly suggested he might want to just put his bathing suit on and his water shoes and just do it that way, but nooooooooooooooooo, he was going to do it from the rowboat.

I have pictures.

To top it all off, when he hopped back down in the rowboat to start the 1/2 half of this fiasco and return the new pump to the lake, there were lobsters in our boat!! Not really - crawfish of some kind, but boy, were we surprised! They were apparently living in or on one of the cinderblocks that Jack hauled up into the boat and he just didn't notice them until later...
Anyway, the rest of the weekend was relatively uneventful. We had water. No one fell or jumped into the lake. We came home and had a BBQ with my mom, and did some laundry, and went to my sister-in-law's for Monday Night Dessert.
And since then, blah, blah, blah, nothing to report!!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Playing catch up...

So where should I begin?

How about last Wednesday night?

Watched some TV next to my husband (not "with" my husband - I was watching, he was sleeping!) and fell asleep at 11pm - I know this because I saw the end of the show I was watching and I know it was 11:16pm when I woke up - with a sore throat. And when I say a "sore throat," I actually mean a throat that hurt so much I couldn't swallow. At all. And it took a solid 16 minutes for it to get that sore. From 11pm to 11:16pm. With no symptoms before I fell asleep.

I was up until about 1am-ish, and finally fell asleep again, but not into a restful sleep 'cause when I woke up again, at 4:48am, I woke up convinced I had throat cancer. Now, those of you that know me well know I'm truly NOT a hypochondriac. But my eventually-will-be-my-brother-in-law just went through a course of radiation and two types of chemo for some throat tumors he originally suspected were swollen glands from a cold... So of course, I had throat cancer.

I called out sick on Thursday, and then called the dr at 10:03am. Angela, the wonderful office manager at the dr's office, squeezed me in at 12:15 so I drove over there at noon. For I think the first time ever, I only waited about 5 minutes. (Great doctors, but terrible waits in the waiting room!) I was escorted into the examining room, and the nurse came in to take my vitals: BP 120/80 (okay), pulse okay, slight temperature (99.6). She asked me what was wrong.

"I have throat cancer."

She slowly looked up at me and said, "What?"

So I explained that my BIL had cancerous tumors in his throat and so when I woke up with a really bad sore throat, my first thought was throat cancer. Although, admittedly, when I started to get a stuffy head and a low-grade fever, I changed my diagnosis to a cold or to the flu. (I started heading toward swine flu, but the nurse didn't really look like she had a sense of humor).

She told me the doctor would be in soon.

And she left me sitting there. Without an audience.

Until Dr. R. came in. "So, you're not feeling well, are you?"

"No, Dr., I have throat cancer."

Dr. R. is a much better audience.

"What makes you think you have throat cancer? You don't smoke. It says here in your file you've never smoked."

So I proceded to explain how T had cancerous tumors in his throat just a few months ago, how he'd gone through the radiation and chemo concurrently, how when I started to get other symptoms, I sort of disregarded my initial diagnosis of throat cancer...

"Brother-in-law, right? Not related to you?" I concurred. "Not throat cancer, Krys, but it could be swine flu."

LOVE this doctor!!!

Ultimately the diagnosis was pharyngitis. According to Wikipedia, pharyngitis is commonly known as a sore throat. (Duh, I could have told you that!) They did a throat culture just to be sure I didn't have strep, and sent me on my way with a prescription for Z-pac.

My, when you don't take antibiotics very often, they really work wonders on you! I took my initial two pills as soon as I got home, and my sore throat was almost gone within a little over an hour!!! I dozed during the afternoon, woke up for Dr. Phil and a little bit of Oprah. Watched Grey's Anatomy with Jack (LOVED it!!). Went to sleep.

Woke up on Friday, and took Friday off as well, even though I really was feeling markedly better. The doctor recommended I take the day off, and I had a full day planned for Saturday so I decided rather than wait until November to try and squeeze in the remainder of my sick days so as not to lose them, I'd just take another! So I did.

Watched quite a bit of TLC and HGTV, some more Dr. Phil and Oprah, then packed for the lake. We went up to the lake Friday night, and on Saturday, I spent the day scrapping at an all-day crop in Rockaway. LOVED the venue! I had a 6' table all to myself! They had food and snacks all day long, breakfast and lunch and dinner were served. Prizes every hour on the hour.

I wasn't as productive as I'd have liked to have been, but now that I know the women I won't spend as much time talking next crop! I'll be able to be more creative, and complete a few more projects...

My daughter is supposed to have a colonoscopy and an endoscopy on Wednesday, followed by another of her iron infusions, but she woke up today with some cold/flu symptoms (NO, she did NOT get it from me; I haven't seen her since before Mother's Day!). Don't know if they'll be willing to do the procedures... She's waiting to hear from the drs. Please keep her in your prayers. We don't want them to find anything wrong, but on the flip side, what could be causing all her symptoms??? She's run down, low iron, low hemoglobin. They keep saying she's anemic.

Okay, but why????? She wasn't for 3/4 of her life, just the past few years. They're going to test her for gluten intolerance, just for sh-ts and giggles (which, btw, I recommended a year ago!!!). She already took a look at the diet and decided she can't follow it - she'd have to give up too many of her favorite foods.

NOT! I referred her to GlutenFreeGirl.com. I've been reading Shauna's blog for about three years now, even before I found out she was an author here at my company! She's a terrific writer, and her recipes are to die for!!!

Anyway, gotta run - more later!!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I won an award from Ms. TawanaB!!!

Thanks, Ms. TawanaB, for the lovely award! That was so nice of you! And it's especially nice since you gave it to me after I posted about being a mom! That really means a lot to me!!!

I'm sick in bed so I'm not going to pass it along right this very moment, but I promise to do so in a few days, when I feel better! Maybe I'll find some new blogs to award!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

A New Me...

I've turned over a new leaf. Made a new resolution. Decided to have a better week.

I've been letting circumstances get to me. And they've been getting to me to the point that they're affecting me and my husband. And NOTHING, repeat, NOTHING will come between us.

So, here and now, I promise you, Jack, that I'm not going to let the outside stuff inside. I won't get so caught up in being annoyed with others that I let that annoyance spill out onto you. You don't deserve it. You are incredible. And even though you're not reading this, you will see a change in my behavior and in my moods - I'm sorry I've been so tough to live with these past couple of weeks. I will leave work at work.

The funny thing is, even with what I've been dealing with here at work, this job is galaxies better than previous jobs. I guess the difference is me: I'm not handling stress as well as I used to when I was younger. I admit, it's harder for me now to deal with change and stress and upset. But I had a conversation with God this Sunday, and I made Him some promises and I know I can count on Him to help me keep my promises to Jack.

Mother's Day was lovely. Church with Jack at 8am, breakfast with Jack and Mom and my sister and her beau. And he's doing well. He's stopped the chemo and the radiation: he wasn't able to finish the course of the treatment, but the doctors had chosen the high end of the range. They wanted him to take 34 radiation treatments; he took 30. They wanted 3 of one chemo and 4 of another; he took 3 and 3. That's still within the acceptable treatment plan, so they were okay with him quitting. He started to get burns on the back of his neck from the radiation on his throat; that's when he asked if he could quit. He's lost some weight, and you can see it in his face, but he doesn't look "sick, like he has cancer." I was so happy they joined us for breakfast!

Then we went to the cemetaries and planted some flowers at my grandmother's grave and at my dad's, and at my in-laws', too. Then Mom went home for a few hours and I cleaned my kitchen. Not too Mother's Day-ish, but it's the first weekend we've been home in months, so I took advantage. And my kitchen sparkles! I made some tuna salad for Jack to take to work this week, and I vacuumed downstairs and upstairs (just have the actual stairs left to do). And I need to straighten up and dust upstairs yet. And I managed to do some exercises with the hand weights. Then my nephew came over; he annoyed me a lot, but I'm not going to go into that here - I've already complained about him enough this weekend... Then it was off to dinner with Mom and Jack - mm, mmm, good! Then some computer work for the After-School Program, and some TV, then sleepies!

I also spent Saturday shopping in the mall. Surprisingly, even though I didn't find a gown I liked, I tried on some cocktail dresses, just to check out the colors and the styles. I was pretty happy to find some short dresses that looked pretty darn good on me - I'm feeling a bit less panicky about finding something to wear, now that I know I can find a short dress if I can't find a gown... I had hoped to post a couple of pictures of the ones I tried on but I couldn't find any photos online...

Guess what! Today I won a monogram stamp set on one of the blogs I read every day! I'm so excited! Thanks, Wendy Sue!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!!!

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there in the real world! Hope you have THE most wonderful day! You deserve it!

I've been thinking about the first time my husband referred to me as the mother of his children.

I've been thinking about how much it hurts that I've never had children of my own. This is something that begins to nag at me and hurt whenever my husband asks me what I want for Mother's Day. I always thought having babies would be a part of my life. I always assumed I'd have at least a few. But things didn't work out that way. My husband has two, from his first marriage, and he didn't want more. He wanted, instead, to spend the rest of his life with me. He wanted us to retire young, enjoy life together, and not have to work for the rest of our lives and die working. It was a hard decision for me to make, in some ways - should I have waited to possibly meet someone who might want to have babies? No, I decided that I loved this man, and I wanted to spend my life with him, even if I wasn't going to have babies of my own. And I don't regret that decision. But it wasn't an easy one, and just because I'm okay with it doesn't mean I don't miss that part of my life I thought would be there. Mother's Day is hard for me. I cry. I cry for the children I don't have, for the children I'll never have. But then I get a Mother's Day card from my daughter, and she tells me she loves me, and my husband gets me the most beautiful Mother's Day card he can find and he tells me he loves me and that his children are lucky to have me for their mother - and all's right in my world!

And I remember each year that there's someone in my life, someone who means so very much to me, who has never wished me a Happy Mother's Day. I think she just doesn't consider me to be a mom 'cause I ain't birthed no babies myself. But you know what? She's wrong. I'm a mom. I'm a darned good mom. I have loved and sacrificed and cared and worried, just like a "real" mom. And I hope she knows who she is. 'Cause it hurts when she ignores this day that means so much to me.

I've been thinking, too, about my mom. I just want to take a moment to pay tribute to her - she is probably one of the strongest women I've ever met. She has a heart of gold. She's strong-willed, she's opinionated, she's kind, she's thoughtful, she's generous. She's taught me that I can do or be whatever I want to do or be, that I'm capable of anything and everything. She has loved me, without exception, every day of my life.

If I can be 1/2 the mom she's been to me, then I'll have outshown every other mom on this earth but her!!!

Pictures, as promised...

Here's a picture of me taken in the bathroom in New Orleans. (Yea, TMI!) I can't figure out a good way to do a self portrait... so I try numerous times, in numerous places...

Here's another picture of me taken in the bathroom in New Orleans. At first I hated the lighting, but it's sort of cool. Hard to scrap, though - it clashes with a lot of paper...

This is Indian Island, which is about 1/2 mile from our lake house. Jack and I always look at it and think, "How cool would it be to own your own island?" Until that weekend we saw the guy loading 1x6s into a rowboat, one by one, by hand, rowing across to the island, and unloading them one by one, by hand. We decided living on the mainland isn't so bad...

Here's the cake from my niece's shower. Mm-mm, good! I was going to post a picture of her at the party, but thought I'd better get her permission first...

And now some scrapping pictures, since originally I'd thought that's what this blog would be, a place for me to be creative and post pictures of my work. Yea, we all know how that turned out! Instead you've been subjected to the rants and raves and stream of consciousness we loosely refer to as my mind!

This is a page I did for an online class... I may have posted it before, but it struck my eye going through my files - I have, over the past 10 years or so, developed a fondness for the color green. Before that, it was purple. Nothing else, no other favorite. Purple.

This is another project I did for a different online class. We had to create something that illustrated our mission statement, something that explained why we scrap. Heck, I have no idea - 'cause it's the only creative outlet I have? 'Cause I have no other hobbies? 'Cause one can only read so many books and watch so much TV?

And here's a page I did about my mom, in honor of Mother's Day. The journaling reads: This started out to be a page about my love for Mom, but when I had to do a page about my hero, this is the woman - this is the photo. I see love in her face, and strength. She has been through so much - leaving Poland, living in Siberia, and Kenya, and Uganda, and the UK. Moving to the US, raising 3 children, losing her sister, her parents, her husband - and still remaining the strongest person I know." I love you, Mom!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Not much to add...

I haven't posted in a while, I know, and I have virtually nothing to write about today. I was just feeling like I've missed my 2 readers (and you know who you are!) so I thought I'd pop in and say howdy-do!

So let's see, what's been going on...

Well, we went to the shower. It was lovely, and went off without a hitch. Well, almost. The groom's sister didn't come. That, to me, is unbelievable. Especially since the very day before, my niece and her fiance were at his sister's daughter's Communion. She said to T, "See you tomorrow, at your shower!"

And then, according to her phone call to her brother at 2:30pm (the shower started at 12 noon), she "forgot" about the shower.

Yeah, right.

Now there's a back story - she's married to a man who is, according to T's fiance, a jerk. With a capital J-E-R-K. He's apparently emotionally abusive and a cheat and an adulterer and a manipulator. This woman has been living without a kitchen for 3 years. Read that again: I said 3 years! He went out to do a job painting (his second job, that he uses for cover while he's cheating on his wife -yes, class act, this one!) and the customer said he could have the old kitchen cabinets she was tearing out so he came home, tore out his, brought home the others, and they didn't fit. So sister has been washing her dishes in the bathroom sink ever since. That was 3 years ago. T's fiance was living there for the past 5 years or so, so this comes from a reliable source.

To top it off, Jerk sent his wife an email at work last Friday that said he wanted a divorce and if she fought him on it or made a scene or did anything stupid, he'd tell the kids it was her fault.

Okay, he's a jerk AND he's dumb.

But fiance seems to think his sister will take the jerk back, yet again. Even though she's miserable. Because she's done it before.

I could not live that way. We all put up with stupid things our loved ones do, and I'm guilty of a few myself, believe me! But there are limits, and there are boundaries, and there is a line that you'd just better not cross. I personally think this man has crossed it, over and over, for years, and if it were up to me, I'd nail him to a wall!

So, back to the shower - my zebra stripes faded enough so that the dress looked nice on me and I didn't have to cover up with a sweater or a jacket. I need to find black sandals to wear with it so I can wear it to work - that's my goal this weekend.

This past weekend was Garage Sale Weekend in Hopatcong, the town our lake house is in, and we traveled all over looking for a deal. Found nada, basically, but we enjoy it! I did pick up some jigsaw puzzles for mom for Mother's Day, and a couple of beautiful quilted potholders from the nice Polish/Russion/Ukranian lady we know from church (I don't know what nationality she is, but one of those three is probably right!). Jack got a wand for watering flowers (for 50 cents! Can't beat that, he said!) and we got to meet official trailer park trash who live in a house!

Yes, you read that right, readers! It was 9:30 in the morning on Sunday, we were in the back-a$$ end of nowheresville, having followed the absolute BEST garage sale signs on the face of the earth to Church Lady's home and her neighbor, Trailer Trash Guy #1, had a motor for sale. It was tied to a dolly in front of his home, and marked $200, Must Sell. There was a phone number. Right next to the sign that said "Handyman Needs Work." Jack got out of the car to look at the motor and came back to the car to call the number. While he was dialing, Trailer Trash Guy #2 was walking down the street toward us, in dirty white painter's pants, with a flannel shirt and a t-shirt on, carrying a white supermarket bag with a 6-pack of beer in it. He walked into the yard of the house we were at, so Jack opened the car door and asked if it was his motor. It wasn't, but it was his buddy's and his buddy was home so he'll just go right in and get him. #1 came outside and the two of them stood talking to Jack for, like, 10 minutes. When he got in the car, sans motor, he said, "The two of them were already wasted!" We couldn't decide if it was leftover wasted from Saturday night or if they'd already started on Sunday morning, considering the 6-pack... Ah, rednecks-ville...

I had a really tough week or so at work. One of my colleagues was out and she put my name down as contact. In itself, that's fine, but there are three of us here. One of them has removed herself from coverage, and gotten away with it, and the other did a few faxes, that was it. All phone calls and emails were referred to me. Thanks bunches! When she came back to the office yesterday, arriving at around 11am 'cause she was "so tired from working 10 days straight," she said, "Hi." I said, in reply, "Hi! Change your voice mail!" And she was teasingly offended! "What? No 'Welcome Back'?" Me: "Okay, welcome back! Change your voice mail!" It was a rough week - so bad, in fact, that on Thursday and Friday, I think I did one thing for one of my customers, that's it! And that's not acceptable at the end of our fiscal year. I had a lot to do!

I know I'm jumping around from topic to topic, but it's a stream of consciousness thing... Got the invitation to my niece's wedding - it's beautiful. And I'm so angry and hurt. 10 years ago, when Jack and I were planning our wedding, we wanted a way to include our dads on the wedding invitations but we were talked out of it: it's a happy occasion and there's no pleasant way to include dead people on an invite. She managed to do it for this invitation (same printer!): Mr. and Mrs. REW request the honour of your presence at the marriage of their daughter T to K son of Mr. GB and the beloved AMB. Why couldn't we have done the same thing???? I know it was nice to have both moms on our invite, but we really felt that our dads should have been acknowledged there, too, and they talked us out of it. I guess times have changed, but that really ticks me off, I have to say. I was 38 years old, not doing all the matches and napkins and programs that younger brides do. We couldn't even put something in the program about our dads. That's why I chose to walk down the aisle alone - that was my daddy's job, and for the 15 seconds it took me to walk down that short aisle, anyone who knew my dad was gone was thinking about it (and him), I certainly was, my mom was, too, and those who weren't aware were wondering - so for those few seconds, we were all thinking about Daddy in one way or another...

My sister just sent me a DVD of The Phantom Tollbooth. This has to be my all time favorite kid's book, pre-Harry Potter. I still read it at least once a year. The author is Norton Juster and it was illustrated by Jules Pfeiffer. I can't wait to watch the animated cartoon this weekend!!! Thanks, P!!! I looked it up online; apparently there were some internal problems at MGM studios and the release was held up back in the 60s. I read that the author is apparently not fond of the movie release - I can't wait to compare it to the book! I'm going to read the book again this weekend!!!

Well, it's 9:04am and I suppose I should get to work. More soon, and I'll try not to let so much time elapse before my next post. And I'll get some photos together to post, too...