Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wednesday's Word

Rictus / RIK-tuhs / noun
1. The gape of the mouth, as of birds.
2. A gaping grin or grimace.

A rictus of cruel malignity lit up greyly their old bony faces.
-- James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

His belly swelled grotesquely, his hands curled, his cheeks puffed out, his mouth contorted in a rictus of pain and astonishment.
-- Tony Horwitz, Confederates in the Attic

Then, as the sympathy and praise engulfed him, Hector would invariably roll over onto his back, legs in the air, his mouth twisted into an otherworldly rictus.
-- Bruce McCall, "Writers Who Were Really Dogs", New York Times, June 5, 1994

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ten Months

It's so surreal that it's only two more months until our one year anniversary. It has gone so quickly. We've started to talk about what we're going to do, but we have no concrete plans as of yet.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Airfest 2009

This past weekend was Airfest at the airport. We're always very excited when this time of year comes around. This year, Airfest only ran Saturday and Sunday. Past years, there was a Friday evening show that we usually went to.

I headed to the airport after work on Saturday to meet up with everybody that was already out there. Since there was no Friday evening show, Drew's work had their hangar open on Saturday with food and beverages galore.

Here is a C131 that the US Army uses. This plane had some parachuters during the airshow.
I have no idea what this one is, but it obviously folds up for compact storage. Neato!!
Drew called me while I was at work and told me that he was going to sign a waiver so that he could be a part of the show. I came to find out that he was going to be a pole holder for Team Oracle. The plane flew between the two poles that were being held and cut a wire.


You can see the line that the plane cut in this picture.
This is a B1 Bomber. According to everyone, it's pretty badass.
This video showcases the F22 Raptor during its takeoff. You can tell that it certainly doesn't need much space to get up and go.

video

This video shows the F22 doing a high speed pass and then climbing. I can only imagine the stress that gets put on those engines.

video

Sunday, August 23, 2009

AYKM - Kids These Days

As Drew and I were driving to UW Madison on Friday we were listening to Connie and Fish on Z104 - my favorite radio station to listen to in the morning. I was actually quite happy to be heading to Madison because getting Z104 where we live is hit or miss.

Anyway, they were talking about a new line of shirts that Hollister has introduced targeted to young teenagers.
Photo from here

These shirts sport the slogans: "Girls just want to have sun", "Legal-ish", "What tan lines?", "Save a wave ride a surfer", "I heart the woody", and "The twins are quite a handful".

Yes, you read all of those right!

And one caller told the story that she was in a restaurant once and a girl, who was about 15, was wearing a shirt that said "I heart my vagina".

I just can't believe this. And parents wonder why their kids are screwed up. And having sex. And getting pregnant. Because companies promote things like this. And parents are doing nothing to stop it. They are either buying these items for their kids, or the kids are buying them on their own and the parents aren't monitoring it.

I guess that this is starting my rant on teenagers and parenting. Drew and I have, I feel, similar beliefs on raising children. He believes in spanking. I'm not against spanking, just so long as it happens in the home and not in public. I don't feel that we should embarass our child in public like that. I truly believe that kids are so disrepectful and disobedient these days because there is a lack of fear of the parent. When I was growing up, my dad put the fear of God in me. I was terrified of getting in trouble from him. He probably doesn't know it, but I didn't do a lot of things because I knew of the trouble I would catch from him. I also need to add that I do feel that my dad went about punishing me in the wrong way. Kids will always be kids and get into mischief, but there is some that is acceptable and some that is totally unacceptable. Lying is an example of something that is totally unacceptable. As a parent, when I am a parent, I will be more forgiving if my child is honest to me. If I catch my child doing or saying something and lying about it, you better believe that I will be livid. I do not tolerate lying!!

So, tell me, what do you think of the new shirts from Hollister? Will you be buying them for your teenager daughter?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Cancer Free

I was supposed to go in for my colposcopy today, but the doctor's office called on Wednesday and scheduled an appointment at UW Madison for the second opinion today. Drew and I had to be there at 8:45 AM. Once we got there, we registered, and then went to Radiology where they did another ultrasound. Both external and internal. Seriously, not fun!

After the ultrasound, we went to Oncology to meet with Dr. Rose. The waiting room was filled with people. And lots of them had on scarfs or hats. It was so sad. And I was terrified waiting for whatever news was going to come. We checked in at Oncology and the lady gave me a pager and said that they would call me back to do my labs in a little bit. Fantastic. Drew and I went out in the hallway to wait. After about 10 minutes, the lady came back and said that Dr. Rose decided to meet with me first and then do labs. Drew and I were then sent through a set of doors to another waiting room. This waiting room was also filled with people.

We were called back pretty quickly and were put in an examination room. A nurse took my vitals and a little information. Then, a physician's assistant came in and she talked to me a little bit more about what was going on. Then, as she was leaving, she told me that Dr. Rose would be in to do another pelvic exam. (BTW, I have decided to keep a count of the number of people who have seen my lady parts during this whole ordeal and my number has now reached 5. I'm a married woman who is not pregnant. That is way too many!!!)

So, I undress, for the second time, and sit and wait. He comes in and talks to me a little bit about what's been going on. He pulled up my ultrasound and told me that there are two cysts on my right ovary. One is 2.4 cm and one is 2.7 cm. Not huge, but not teeny either. He told me that they aren't cancerous and he's really not concerned about them at the moment. Dr. Rose said that the symptoms that I'm complaining about are pretty indicative of endometriosis. He says that they really don't do surgery anymore. They treat the symptoms. With birth control!!!!

My heart sank at that point. Yes, I am overjoyed that it's not cancer that I'm dealing with. But, I do NOT want to start taking birth control. I asked him if there was anything else that could be done and he said that there are hormone shots, but he doesn't recommend them. They would be on a trial basis and I would have to stop after no more than six months or I could risk damage to my bones.

So, he did another pelvic exam (where he pinched me with the speculum and stuck his finger in my booty. Is that normal? I think not!!) and told me that I should schedule a follow up with my doctor here. I guess that is the next step for next week. Maybe she'll have some different suggestions besides birth control.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

AYKM - Compassion My Ass!!

I think that I'm going to start a new installment here on the ol' blog. It's going to be the "Are You Kidding Me" chronicles. "Are you kidding me" can be said in a couple different tones. I can be delighted. I can be shocked. I can be outraged. There are lots of reasons to exclaim "Are You Kidding Me!!". This installment will, from here on out, be referred to as AYKM.

Drew and I were watching the news last night and saw this story being reported. Scotland has freed Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, who is also known as the Lockerbie bomber, because he is terminally ill with prostate cancer. This man is responsible for the deaths of 270 people, and he is being released on compassionate grounds. AYKM!!!!!!

Al-Megrahi was convicted in 2001 of taking part in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 on December 21, 1988. The airliner, which was carrying mostly American passengers to New York, blew up over Scotland. Everybody on board - 259 passengers - and 11 people on the ground died. And Scotland is freeing him. Unbelievable. Utterly unbelievable.

Does this outrage anyone else?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wednesday's Word

Furbelow / FUR-buh-low / noun
1. A pleated or gathered flounce on a woman's garment; a ruffle.
2. Something showy or superfluous; a bit of showy ornamentation.

In a season of ruffles, frills and furbelows, simple cuts in neutral shades stand out.
-- "Designers Head for Neutral Territory", St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 27, 1997

Patience is required to get past some of the director's more baroque cinematic touches, decorating the story's dark center with visual furbelows . . . and aural gimmicks.
-- Lisa Schwarzbaum, "Movies: The Evil That Men Do", Entertainment Weekly, October 23, 1998

It is a story that, for all its hyper-animatedness, all its flips and furbelows of style, is confusing and wearisome.
-- Christine Stansell, "Details, Details", New Republic, December 10, 2001

Monday, August 17, 2009

More Reasons to Love Being a Woman

I've been fighting with whether or not to post about what's going on with me health wise. On one hand, blogging about it will probably help sort out some of the emotions that I have running through my head. And help me keep everything straight. But on the other hand, I'm not exactly sure who reads this, and I know that there may be a couple people who read this that I really don't want to know what is going on. But, I have to keep reminding myself that this is my blog and I originally started it for me. And my family. And my friends. So, I'm going to go ahead and post about it.

Do you remember me posting here about me going to the doctor? I went to the doctor because of those sharp stomach pains that I was experiencing. Here is where I talked about my trip to the ob/gyn. I never posted after that, but they called me and I had an abnormal pap come back. They want me to have a colposcopy. I put it off because we were going to North Carolina, and from the reading that I did, it can screw up my cycle. I did NOT want that to happen with us going on vacation. Especially since I get those pains during my period.

So, I got those pains in May, which made me to the doctor. Then again in June. And again in July. July almost killed me. I always get the pains on the second day of my period. That just so happened to be a Friday. I have no idea how I made it through work with the pain that I was in. Thank God for Amy who basically let me sign off my drawer and sit on a chair and focus on not passing out. I even called Drew to drive me home. That Saturday sucked too, but somehow I made it.

After that ordeal, I decided that I could no longer deal with the pain I was in, and I scheduled another doctor's appointment. They decided that they wanted to do a 5th day ultrasound to see what is going on with my uterus to cause me such pain. August period came and I scheduled the appointment for the ultrasound. I felt so nauseous and sick this cycle. For about a week. It was horrible.

I went in for the ultrasound on Wednesday. Boy, am I excited to get pregnant so I can do that again! (Please note the extreme amount of sarcasm in that statement.) After the ultrasound, Drew and I met with the doctor. And here we go....

I have a Dermoid cyst in my right ovary. A dermoid cyst is made up of different kinds of tissue from other parts of the body, such as skin, hair, fat, and teeth. Sounds pretty nasty! My right fallopian tube is blocked. Both of these could be contributing to the pain that I'm experiencing. Since I have the cyst, she wanted to draw blood (::bug eyes!!!:: I didn't sign up for that when I made the appointment. You already got to shove crap inside me and now you want to poke me and take my blood too!!!) to see if the cyst is cancerous.

She called me today to let me know the results of the blood draw. It came back with a 45. If it was 35 or under, the cyst was nothing to worry about and would probably go away on its own. If it was 145 say, that would mean that it was cancerous. 45 means that it could go either way really. She said that it could be elevated because of the blocked tube or the possible endometriosis. So, she said that she wants to send me for a second opinion to the gyn. cancer doctors at either Madison or Northwestern.

I talked to my mom and have come up with some questions that we want to ask the doctor. When we met with her on Wednesday, she said that most likely I'm going to have to have a Laparoscopy. This is a surgery that (hopefully) alleviate some of the problems that I've been experiencing. The problem right now is that nothing is really certain. You can never tell how bad (or good) something is until you get in there to look at it. She said that the surgery would probably be used to remove the cyst, possibly remove my fallopian tube, and figure out what the situation is with the possible endometriosis. (You can't know for certain if you have endometriosis unless you have surgery.) If I'm going to end up having the surgery anyways, my mom and I feel that it would be best to forgo the second opinion and just get the ball rolling on the surgery. I'm scared to death of this, so I'd rather just get it done and over with if I'm going to have to. I'm going to call and talk to her about it tomorrow.

Right now, I have an appointment on Friday to have the colposcopy done.

So, that's the update. I will keep posting here as I get more answers.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Farmhouse Barbecue Muffins


This recipe has been a favorite of mine and Drew's, but I haven't made it for a long time. I made these the other night and have been asked for the recipe.

Ingredients:
* 1 tube (10 ounces) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
* 1 pound ground beef
* 1/2 cup ketchup
* 3 tablespoons brown sugar
* 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
* 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
* 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:
In a skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. In a small bowl, combine the ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, and chili powder; stir until smooth. Add to meat and mix well.

Separate dough into 10 biscuits; flatten into 5-in circles. Press each onto the bottom and up the sides of a greased muffin cup.

Divide the meat mixture among biscuit-lined muffin cups, using about 1/4 cup for each. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 375 for 18-20 minutes until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes before serving. Yield: 10 servings.

My mom originally made these for my family a lot of years ago when she was receiving the Taste of Home magazine. That's where the recipe (along with the picture) came from.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wednesday's Word

Luminary / LOO-muh-nair-ee / noun
1. Any body that gives light, especially one of the heavenly bodies.
2. A person of eminence or brilliant achievement.

There's something comforting in those occasional lapses when a luminary lurches and trips over the humble stone his powerful torch somehow failed to reveal.
-- Brad Leithauser, "You Haven't Heard the Last of This", New York Times, August 30, 1998

. . .such jazz luminaries as Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Jimmie Luncefrod, Louis Armstrong, and Earl Hines.
-- Daniel Mark Epstein, Nat King Cole

Before winning the famous prize, she wasn't a luminary outside the scientific community.
-- Brought to you by the 3rd Generation Prius

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Walk Through the Bible

One of the goals on my 101 in 1001 list is to read the Bible. Today, I've decided to dive into that goal. But you didn't honestly think that I'd be able to just read the Bible cover to cover did you? Neither did I.

This is the Bible that I'm reading because, frankly, it's the only Bible I own. Good reason, right? At the beginning, there are different reading plans. The second reading plan is A Walk Through the Bible. "In four weeks, you can visit some of the highlights of the Bible in chronological order." Sounds like a winner to me.

So, I dove right in. Today had me reading Genesis chapters 1 and 2 which was about Creation.

I feel that, with everything that has been going on lately in my life, I need to grow closer to God. I pray; I ask The Lord for blessings and praise Him when we are blessed, but I need to strengthen my relationship with him. I miss going to church. I used to go every Sunday. But that stopped because I was dating a guy who didn't put religion as a priority and I, stupidly, put my faith aside in order to be with him. Oh.... dumb, dumb, dumb!!!

I told Drew that I want us to start finding a church that we can go to. It won't be long before we start to talk about kids and I want our kids to grow up in a church. I want to belong to a church and feel a part of that community. I also told him that after we find that church, that I want to then join a bible study.

Do you want to know what gave me the final push to start this? I started reading this blog. Kelly seems like such a sweet, sweet woman; I would love to be friends with her in real life. God has truly blessed her and her family. Throughout all her struggles, she never lost faith. I feel like God led me to her blog. Especially after my breakdown last week when I felt like he was doing nothing but laughing at me.

Stir Crazy

I'm feeling extremely stir-crazy lately. My hours at work got cut down to 20 hours a week. That leaves me with a lot of extra time to do nothing really. Yes, I am applying for other jobs. But until another job comes along, I need to find something to do.

At the moment, we're kinda broke. That is a direct result of my hours getting cut. And the result of having bills. If only I could get rid of those pesky things! I would love to be able to do some home improvements but there is no money in the budget for that.

Ok, this post is quickly turning in a big whine fest for me and I'm trying really, really hard to stay positive throughout this whole ordeal. I know that God will send me a job when the time is right. I just need to be patient. That is the hard part.

I changed the layout to my blog a couple of weeks ago, but I'm still not really happy with it. I want something different. I would like to have something that ties into the "journey" theme. I also would like to have a photo, or two, or ten in the header. Or maybe one photo that changes every time you click to a new page. So, where did you get your layout? Are there any suggestions that you can offer me?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Play Day

I had Wednesday and Thursday off this week, so my sister came over on Wednesday and stayed the night. Since Drew has Thursdays off, we all went mini-putting and to the driving range today. It was a bright, sunny day; a little toasty, but a great day to spend outside with some of my most favorite people. We decided to go to Hickory Knolls since Drew and Rachel have never been there. I remember the mini-putt course being a lot better than it was. It was still fun though.

After we went mini-putting, we bought a bucket of balls and went over the the driving range. Drew was his usual rocking self. Me...? I was so shocked at how well I did. I really was driving those balls pretty far. Further than I have ever driven them before.


I wish that I could have days like this more often. I love spending time with Drew. And I love spending time with my sister. Being able to put them both together is just awesome to me.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wednesday's Word

Brio / BREE - oh / noun
Enthusiastic vigor; vivacity; liveliness; spirit.

Though my judgment was no doubt affected by all the wine we'd consumed, I remember being elated by our performance that night: our inspired spur-of-the-moment dialogue, the actors fleshing out their roles with such brio.
-- Gail Godwin, Evensong

For him, life must be a party, a ball, an endless carnival. Each person must invent a role for himself and play it with brio.
-- Lydia Flem, Casanova: The Man Who Really Loved Women (translated by Catherine Temerson)

The Internet has always been home to plenty of unvarnished brio.
-- Timothy L. O'Brien, "Corporate Love Letters: Youstink.Com", New York Times, April 4, 1999

Saturday, August 1, 2009

101 in 1001 August Update

Time for another update and I'm so excited about being able to cross even more items off. Again, items in red are completed.

1. Take Drew to Arizona
2. Read the Bible
3. Visit the Daughtry’s in North Carolina
4. Visit the Landgren’s in Colorado
5. Make dinner every night for a week
6. Go to church at least one Sunday a month
7. Take a dance class
8. Move out of our apartment
9. Buy a house
10. Start our family
11. Pay off all credit cards (0/4)
12. Go to a Cubs game with Drew
13. Watch at least 5 Cubs games each season with Drew (and not complain about it) 2/15
14. Learn sign language
15. Learn to play the piano
16. Go on a spontaneous overnight trip
17. Go snowboarding or skiing
18. Don’t drink pop for an entire week
19. Go to Florida
20. Read 5 books that have turned into movies (2/5) (Twilight, My Sister's Keeper)
21. Watch the movies too (1/5)
22. Do a drastically different hairstyle
23. Get braces
24. Read the Twilight series (4/4)
25. Organize the closets
26. Host Christmas Eve for my side of the family
27. Go to bed before 10PM at least 60 times (6/60)
28. Go on a second honeymoon
29. Organize address book
30. Find 4 new recipes to cook for dinner (1/4)
31. Start a family tradition with Drew and me
32. Find a family doctor
33. Have 8 girls’ night (0/8)
34. Take a yoga class
35. Get a massage
36. Go to Starlight Theatre three times (0/3)
37. Clean out Drew’s clothes
38. Pick and print out wedding pictures for frame
39. Go to the movie theatre with Drew
40. Try 5 new restaurants (2/5) (Granite City, Land's End Tavern)
41. Stay off the computer after work for one week
42. Get a job in my field
43. Take a cooking class
44. Put my feet in the Atlantic Ocean
45. Put my feet in the Pacific Ocean
46. Go golfing
47. Make a new friend
48. Teach someone something
49. Play hookie with Drew one day
50. Play a video game with Drew
51. Pick apples from the apple orchard
52. Plan a big surprise for Drew
53. Make dinner for my family
54. Make dinner for Drew’s family
55. Spend a day with my brother
56. Let Drew teach me something new
57. Learn one new word a week and blog about it (30/143)
58. Put at least $20 into my savings account every two weeks (15/71)
59. Eat dinner at the Signature Room again
60. Volunteer anywhere
61. Be a Chicago “tourist” – Go to the Museum of Science and Industry
62. Be a Chicago “tourist” – Go to the Shedd Aquarium
63. Be a Chicago “tourist” – Go to the Field Museum
64. Be a Chicago “tourist” – Go to the Hancock Observatory
65. Be a Chicago “tourist” – Go to Adler Planetarium
66. Go to Navy Pier
67. Stay at a Bed and Breakfast
68. Go to Brookfield Zoo
69. Go on a picnic
70. Go camping
71. Read “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” when I become pregnant
72. Take a photography class
73. Cross stitch a picture
74. Set up a 401k
75. Get a physical once a year (1/3)
76. Pay off bills as soon as they come in rather than waiting until they’re due
77. Host Thanksgiving
78. Throw a surprise party for someone
79. Send out birthday cards every month for a year (0/12)
80. Completely clean bathrooms every week for a month (0/4)
81. Recycle
82. Completely clean the tables off every night for a month (0/30)
83. Vacuum and dust every week for a month (0/4)
84. Don’t swear for a week
85. Go skydiving
86. Become known for making or doing something
87. Take a ballroom dancing class
88. Take an acting class
89. Research getting an MBA
90. Drink only water for a week
91. Splurge on a spa day for me
92. Splurge on a spa day for me and a friend
93. Encourage at least one other person to make a list like this one
94. Purchase a china cabinet
95. Purchase 5 new pieces of clothing and DON’T feel guilty about it (5/5)
96. Host a game night with our friends
97. Clean and organize garage
98. Do something I don’t want to that will make someone else happy
99. Preserve my wedding gown
100. Donate $5 to a charity for any uncompleted items on this list
101. Make a new list at the end of 1001 days and include any items I didn’t complete on this list