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

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Two Words: Men's Gymnastics

I am not a huge Olympics fan.  Sure I like to watch us win lots of medals.  And I always hope no one is seriously injured doing all these sometimes rather extreme sporty things...

But I have decided that I am most definitely a fan of Men's Gymnastics.

The pummel horse.

The high bar.

The parallel bars.

Oh, my.

That's all I have to say:  Oh.My.

That is one amazing sport.  I literally sat, frozen, watching those young men compete.  It's utterly amazing to me that anyone can have that kind of strength in their upper body, enough to not only support their own weight, but to swing their bodies around like that.


I can't even open a jar of salsa.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Playing Catch Up...

It's been a busy couple of weeks...  When last I posted, my cousins were coming in from Arizona.  Here's a photo of my cousin K, her husband P, and their beautiful granddaughter, A.  We had a lovely time at dinner - and it turns out A is a huge Harry Potter fan, too, so she had fun looking at the HP book J got me for Christmas... 

Our families live thousands of miles apart, and have for many, many years.  It's amazing to me how much can happen, how people you are related to can be so very different from you, can have different morals and ethics (NOT my lovely cousins in the above photo!), can live lives you wouldn't dream could be real...

Our 13th wedding anniversary was July 25th.  To celebrate this year, we decided to take a mini vacation to Lake George.  We visited the Historical Association, the library, etc.  We hadn't planned to stay more than two days, max - we booked a room for one night and thought we'd wing it for the second night.  We took a ride up 9N to Bolton Landing, walked around the downtown area, sent some photos home to daughter M, then started to drive up to Fort Ticonderoga.  We passed a gas station outside of Bolton Landing, and I suggested we get some gas but J didn't want to spend $4.69 a gallon.  So we continued up the road, and eventually found a visitor's center.  They said we had to turn around and go back to Bolton Landing for gas, continue the 10 miles up to Ticonderoga, or try to make our way out to Route 87 and find a gas station on the highway.

So we decided to head for 87 - the downhill part of 9N above Bolton Landing did a number on our brakes - they were hot, hot, hot AND our check engine light went on!  That clinched it - we decided to make our way home, rather than stay another night in NY state.  J didn't bring his code reader for the car, so we had to cross our fingers there was nothing seriously wrong with the car and head for NJ.  We stopped for gas, then for lunch, then got home in the late afternoon.  While I certainly wish our vacation had been longer, we had SUCH a great time!  Proof positive, in my humble opinion, that J COULD actually learn to enjoy retirement, if only he'd decide to actually retire!

Here are some photos from Lake George:

This was a beautiful hibiscus flower outside one of the tourist shops on Canada Street.  It was probably the most beautiful thing I saw in or around those stores - there were a lot of kitschy souveniers but not a lot of quality gift items, at least in my opinion.

This is the building in which the Historical Association is housed.  The curator told us that the reason there was scaffolding outside and windows boarded up is because a major hailstorm several months ago broke many of the windows and damaged the exterior.  They are now beginning the renovations.

This is one of the many artifacts we got to see, up close and personal.

We had just checked in and we were deciding where to go first.  I should have taken a photo of the back seat of our car:  there were probably 50 tourist maps and brochures we picked up in the rest stops on the Thruway...

We had coffee in this little coffee shop in Bolton Landing on Friday morning.  I had teased J the day before:  "So, do you think we'll run into anyone you know here in Lake George?"  We always do - we were in Las Vegas and ran into neighbors who lived near him when he was married the first time.  We ran into people in Atlantic City, on a cruise...  So we were just walking into this coffee shop when a woman and her child came out and started chatting with J.  I really thought it was just stranger-speak - you know, "Thanks for holding the door," etc.  Until I realized she was telling her son to "say hello to Mr. S."  He was a pre-K student this year; J said he saw either the mom or the dad 5 times a week when they were dropping their son off at school!  Go figure!

We stopped by the side of the road, on 9N, and I just snapped this photo.  GORGEOUS!

When we got back we picked some vegetables from our garden.  Last year we were amazed at the size of our cucumbers.  Well, 2012 has last year beat!  See?

We picked onions, tomatoes, basil, oregano, cucumbers - mmm...

You can see how overgrown the garden is in this shot - the tomato vines are through the railing and growing across the deck!

Lunch yesterday:  our tomatoes, our onions, our basil, our oregano, and some mozzarella and pomegranate balsamic from Saratoga Olive Oil Company in Saratoga, NY (we stopped for lunch on the way up).  We also bought dark chocolate balsamic (for me!) and fig balsamic for my sister-in-law.  Mmm...

Last night J helped me start hanging frames on the wall in the upstairs hallway.  Some of the frames are empty, and I have more frames to hang, and more to buy...  The gold frame will eventually be replaced with another white one - I want a new look.  I originally had mis-matched frames on this wall but I decided to make them all white this time around.  What do you think?

Well, that's it for now - it's almost 11:30pm and I have to go to work tomorrow, darn it...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Family tomorrow!

I'm very excited!  One of my cousins is coming to visit tomorrow with her husband and her granddaughter.

K is my first cousin on my dad's side.  She lives in Gilbert, AZ, and I haven't seen her since my cousin T died in May, 2008.  Before that, she flew out for my wedding in 1999.  I saw her in 1998 for her mom's funeral here in NJ; they had moved out to Colorado in the 1970s, after my grandfather died.

I don't see that side of the family very much, but in recent years, with email and Facebook and IMing and texting, it's so much easier to stay in touch.  We used to go to Granddaddy's house every Sunday; he lived in Bloomingdale, NJ, and I loved it there.  It was a small town.  And everything you thought you knew about a small town was true in Bloomingdale.

Yes, everyone knew each other.
Yes, it was safe.
Yes, we played outside whenever we were there, unless it was winter and cold outside.
Yes, we played on swings and walked around town and caught fireflies.
Yes, we picnicked under the giant shade tree.
Yes, Granddaddy hid candy in the newspaper for us every Sunday.
(And yes, Mom knew nothing about that until Todd's funeral when we talked about it!)
Yes, spending Sundays with my Dad's family made me feel loved and special and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Yes, I have lovely memories of my childhood and I wish everyone had the same...

I'll take some photos tomorrow.  I'm leaving an hour early today, and spending tomorrow morning cleaning and straightening the house for visitors, then shopping for food.  The family is coming over for dinner late in the afternoon.  Can't wait to update you all!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012


I bought myself a new book, one I saw recommended on a few blogs that I read.  The name of the book is 2: How Will You Create Something Beautiful Together? written by Dan Zadra and Kobi Yamada.

The very first page touched my heart.  I'd like to share it with you, and those of you reading this?  Those of you whose hearts this will touch?  You know who you are...  You're welcome!

"From the time we are very small, we know that one plus one is two.  But when the right people come together, one plus one is actually more than two.  Much more.

We are not made to go through life alone.  Everything about us is designed to become stronger, happier, and more fulfilled when we have found our love, our partner, our matching puzzle piece.

The miracle is that sharing life actually makes life bigger.  The arithmetic is magic.  Real love always adds, it never subtracts.  With love, we double our joys, divide our worries, and multiply our possibilities for a life of meaning, romance and adventure.

Yes, life was meant to be shared.  It's not what we have in our life, but who we have in our life that counts.  If you have found love, you have been given life's greatest gift.  How will you celebrate it?  How will you use it to grow? 

How will you create something beautiful together?"

My 13th wedding anniversary is the 25th.  I remember when my nephew got married the year after we did, a friend of my SIL commented to me that I wasn't "the bride" anymore.  You know what?  I still feel like a newlywed!  Maybe it's because I was older when I got married (38) so I have a better appreciation of time and have experienced how it flies much faster when you're older.  13 years is NOT a long time, considering I'm going to be 52 on my next b'day; I've only been married for about 1/4 of my lifetime!

I can't wait to read the rest of this book!  And I'm going to make a concerted effort to be a better wife to my absolutely wonderful husband.  It's so easy to take unintended advantage.  We say "I love you" to each other several times a day:  every time we part, every time we talk on the phone before we hang up, sometimes for no apparent reason and out of the blue.  But I want to show it.  I want to show it in my actions.  I want others to see it when they see us together.  Especially during the summers:  he's home 1/2 the day, every day, while I'm at work, so while I am not on summer vacation like he is, it really is a vacation for me.  The laundry is done, he cooks dinner (or at least gets it ready so all I have to do is heat it up if I get home before him), he runs errands (the dry cleaner doesn't see me at all during July and August!), he takes my Mom where she needs to go during the day so she doesn't have to wait until I get home...  I could go on and on.

And all I do is live the easy life for two months, then hate having to do any of that stuff the other 10 months of the year!  Here's my July resolution:  To read this book, take it to heart, make a real noticeable effort to "create something beautiful together."

We'll see how I do...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Health Update - Don't Get Scared!

Although admittedly, I did, for a moment or two...

It all started last Friday night.  We decided the day before we were going to go to the Olive Garden for dinner.  So we spent a lovely day on the dock and on the water - the weather was gorgeous, hot and sunny, but not humid enough to keep me inside all day...  We ran into a teacher friend of J's who happens to live in the area so we were standing and chatting with her, waiting for our little seating buzzer to light and and vibrate.

All of a sudden I noticed a C-shaped I-don't-know-what, at the perifery of my vision in my left eye.  I blinked, thinking it would disappear.  It didn't.  The only way I can describe it is to say it was a "C" made out of alternating triangles.  Eventually I read someone else's description of it as zig-zag and that might be more accurate, but it was flashing a bit, like the flashing lights you supposedly see when your retina is detaching.  (I read way too much on the Internet!  PLUS I have a best friend whose retina was detached in an accident years ago...)

It lasted about 20/25 minutes then disappeared entirely.  No lasting effects, no vision impairment, no headache.  J and I talked about it and agreed that I'd better call the eye doctor.  So I did, at 6:10pm.  They closed already so I called their "emergency number"/answering service.  "Emergency number," my eye!  (No pun intended!)

The lady was very nice, and she asked me if it was an emergency.  Now, granted, I did say I hadn't beein in a car accident and there was no head trauma of any kind, so technically it wasn't a rush-to-the-hospital-and-save-my-vision kind of emergency, but it was MY EYES, PEOPLE!

And I waited.  And waited some more.  And when I hadn't gotten a call the next morning, I called the office because the answering service told me they were open Saturday from 8am-12noon.  But the machine came on at 8:15/8:30-ish, referring patients to the answering service.  So I called them.  Again.

And THAT very nice lady told me that my message read "customer claims no emergency" and that the doctor would be getting my message on Monday, at 8:30am.  And if they didn't answer their phones, they must be closed.  "A lot of our clients forgot to tell us they were closing on July 4th, through the weekend, so that's what must have happened with them."

I explained (calmly) that I hadn't exactly said it wasn't an emergency, but I guess I sort of did - she doesn't apparently read mild panic about MY EYES as an emergency - she just heard the words "no car accident" and "no head trauma."

So I waited until they called me Monday (at 9:30am, btw).  The receptionist kindly rushed me in as an emergency patient at 1pm yesterday, so I left work and went home at lunchtime.

I thought I might have to wait a while but I didn't; they took me almost immediately.  They gave me drops, checked my eye pressure, then told me to wait 15-20 minutes for the drop in my left eye to work.  The doctor came in, did a pretty thorough examination with multiple light sources and magnifiers.

Thankfully he said my pressure was good, my optic nerve and blood vessels all looked fine, my retina was NOT detached (not even close!).  Then he suggested I go see my GP to eliminate the possibility of a TIA or mini-stroke.


That was the shoe dropping.

A mini-stroke?  A TIA?  Are you kidding me?!  THEN just to be sure I was paying attention, he tossed around words like neurological consult, brain tumor, preventative, etc.

Just for the record, folks, after that initial "WHAT?!?" I knew this was just a matter of eliminating other reasons for a most-likely one-time occurence that he had no explanation for.  Dr. Internet led me to the ocular migraine diagnosis on my own, along with confirmation of that from a friend we had dinner with on Saturday night who suffers from the same thing, but with the accompanying migraine headache.  The note my eye doctor wrote for my GP reads as follows:

- One episode of unexplained visual phenomenon
- Suggests ocular migraine/vs. TIA
- check clotting abnormality
- Carotid/Doppler only if you feel patient is at risk for TIA
- Neuro consult

1.  I had a clotting test done years ago when a blood center employee told me I had thick blood because it took her 2 HOURS to get one pint of blood from me when I was donating.  I was fine.  I don't have thick blood or a clotting problem.
2.  There's no history of TIAs or strokes in my family, a couple of heart attacks, and some high blood pressure, but not enough to worry me at all.

So tomorrow I'm going to my GP for a physical.  And I'm going to ask her to give me the works; I haven't had a complete physical in a few years, so maybe this is just God's way of making sure I know I'm okay.

I did try the ole "ocular migraines are stress-induced so I have to retire" thing, but J didn't fall for it.

Darn, he's smarter than I like sometimes!!!

I'll keep you all posted!