Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Get Your Sleep To Help Fight Off Colds

I know when I get a cold, the best thing to do is sleep. I just want to sleep when I don't feel well. In THE CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER, there was an article that said eight hours of sleep can build up your immunity and might be the best defense against getting a cold.

According to the article, in a recent study, some
scientists followed 153 men and women for two weeks, keeping track of their quality and duration of sleep. Then, during a five-day period, they quarantined the subjects and exposed them to cold viruses. Those who slept an average of fewer than seven hours a night were three times as likely to get sick as those who averaged at least eight hours.

It seems sleep and immunity are tightly linked The question is, how do I get eight hours of sleep a night? If I go to sleep at 9 p.m. and get up at 5 a.m., that would do it, provided I sleep all through the night and do not wake up with night sweats, or have to go to the bathroom or my cats coming on the bed and waking me up. Sometimes I do sleep all the way through the night, but more likely than not, some of these things happen.

I have to get up at 5 a.m. because I take Levothyroxine which should be taken the same time every day when I first get up and for work I have to get up at 5 a.m. so even on the weekends, that's the time I get up. The hard part is going to sleep at 9 p.m. I usually can get to sleep by 9:30 if I'm not wound up from losing my bet on a football game. Since I'm currently off work on short-term disability, I can do this but when I'm working, that doesn't leave me much time for my blogging. I used to try to get up at 4 a.m. to give me a couple hours of blog commenting time before I leave for work.

With the weather changing, this is the time of year when I usually catch a cold. I guess I just have to decide what I'm going to sacrifice, my sleep time and my health or my blogging time. I think my health is more important, so I'm really going to shoot for the eight hours of sleep and maybe I'll actually get at least seven or seven and a half. What about you? How much sleep do you get? Anywhere close to eight hours?

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sky Diving Looks Like Fun But Can Be Deadly

One thing I always thought it would be fun to do is to go sky diving. For some reason, as a kid I thought it would be fun to be able to fly like a bird and sky diving seemed to be the closest thing I could get to it. I've never done it though and now, I don't even want to.

I read in the newspaper last week about a young girl who went sky diving for the first time with a veteran instructor. Apparently, it's common practice to take a new person along with the instructor using just one parachute. Unfortunately, this time the parachute didn't open all the way and both were killed. I thought this was just so sad because the girl was adventuresome and just wanted to enjoy different things in life and the instructor had done this lots of times before and was very capable. For some reason or other, he couldn't the emergency cord to get it open all the way.

So, after reading about this, I no longer have the desire to sky dive. Call me chicken if you will (cluck, cluck, cluck) but it's just not worth the risk. Anyone know a virtual game I can play to experience this?

I just found this quiz "What Kind Of Adventure Do You Crave?" today and thought it went well with this post:

You Crave a Physical Adventure

Life has gotten a bit unchallenging lately, and you really would like to push yourself to the limit.
You want an adventure that gets your blood pumping. You want to test yourself and see if you have what it takes.
Whether you're climbing a tall mountain or sky diving, you won't feel like you've had an adventure unless you've accomplished something big.
You love the confidence you get from taking risks... as well as the bragging rights!

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Meet Bill and Jeff--Two Christians Who Left the Homosexual Lifestyle (Part 2)

This a Part 2 of the “Tough Question--A Christian Response To Homosexuals?” This was the sermon Pastor Dan preached on August 30, 2009 at Parma Heights Baptist Church. After his sermon, he then interviewed two Christian gentlemen who left the homosexual lifestyle they were in. This post picks up with their stories which I found both fascinating and mind boggling. Both these men sought help from The Way Out non-profit ministry to gain freedom from homosexuality and found it.

Bill’s Story:
Bill had a background of emotional, physical and sexual abuse. He was an Eagle Scout. By the age of 10 he had been abused by eight different men. Growing up, he began to notice boys but thought it was just a phase--it wasn’t but it didn’t feel right to him. In college he became actively involved in the “Lifestyle Choice” group. He went to church and heard Romans 7 preached talking about the inner struggle the apostle Paul had and identified with that.

Jeff’s Story:
He grew up in a loving Christian home. At age 9 he was molested by an older boy. He was saved at the age of 10 but had feelings towards other boys. He felt God rejected him and that he was an abomination to God. He went about seeking to earn God’s love by going to a Bible college to become a Pastor. He thought certainly God would love him then. In college, he got a homosexual roommate and so he continued in that lifestyle and did not become a Pastor. Then he figured if he got married and just had a “normal” home, that would do it. He got married and lived a double life for 15 years. He went to a men’s conference and got counseling.

Here are the questions Pastor Dan asked them and their answers:

1. As a Christian who has/is struggled with same-sex attraction, what message does the church need to hear?

Jeff: Show love and kindness to homosexuals.

Bill: Don’t say homosexuality is a choice because it just proves you really don’t understand. Show patience, compassion, love and try to understand that it is an urge that we don’t control but that we don’t have to give into and act on it.

2. How can the church (Christians) minister to those struggling with homosexuality?

Jeff: The myth is that we’re born this way and can’t change.

Bill: Realize that acting out is a sin but thinking and desiring men is a temptation, not a sin. Help by realizing a change in desire is necessary. I turned from desiring to act out on my urges to desiring to develop a relationship with Jesus. The opposite of homosexuality is not being straight, but being holy.

3. How do I respond to a homosexual family member who is living with a partner? Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, family get-togethers… I don’t want to condone or accept their lifestyle, but Christ calls us to reach out in love and compassion. How do we do that? What does that look like?

Jeff: Let Jesus shine through you and realize that everyone is entitled to God’s grace.

So, be nice, people! I must admit I find it creepy if I see two guys or two women kissing, but condemning them or labeling them and name calling is certainly not acceptable. I admit I don’t understand homosexuality but do know that God loves them too!

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tough Questions: How Should Christians Respond to Homosexuals? (Part 1)

I know this is a "hot" topic but it was one of the questions from our congregation that Pastor Dan preached on August 30 at Parma Heights Baptist Church. Homosexuality is widespread these days. Many families have people who are homosexual or know someone who is so this is a very relevant topic. By posting this I am not trying to be controversial but sincerely want to let homosexuals know there is a way out and that all Christians do NOT hate you.

Basically, homosexuals think Christians hate them. Some may but they are wrong! We should love like Jesus. Jesus does not hate homosexuals!

On August 30, 2009, Pastor Dan preached on this topic at Parma Heights Baptist Church, looking at the world’s perspective and then comparing it to God’s perspective. Then we heard from two men who left the homosexual lifestyle to find out how Christians can minister to homosexuals.

This is such a long post that I’m going to do it in two parts. Tomorrow I’ll post the stories of Bill and Jeff, the two former homosexuals that shared with our congregation how best to respond to homosexuals. I found this to be very interesting and helpful in understanding homosexuality a little better than I did before.

The World’s Perspective--Prevalent Attitudes:
Who am I to judge, to each his own.
Homosexuality is an alternative lifestyle.
Every couple ought to have the right to marry. The trend is legalizing same sex marriage.

Pastor Dan quoted Ex-gay activist, Michael Johnston who said:

The world was telling me that if this is the way I felt, then that was who I am, so go ahead, live that lifestyle. But what I needed to hear from the church was what God’s Word says. That homosexuality is a sin. Did I like hearing it from church? No way. Did it make me feel comfortable? No. What it did was convict me of my sin and bring me to repentance. Homosexuals need to hear the truth about their sin because it’s only in hearing the truth that the truth will set you free.

God’s Perspective--What Does The Scripture Say?

Leviticus 18:22: Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman. That is detestable.

Romans 1:24-27:
Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

I Corinthians 6:18-20:
Flee from sexual immortality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

Genesis 2: God’s plan for our sexual fulfillment has always been 1 man and 1 woman in 1 marriage for a lifetime. That will never change.

Churches have usually dealt with the issue with one of three approaches--none of which is like Jesus’ approach:

1) Condemnation: Through picketing, labels, protests, rallies, no wonder homosexuals ask, “Why do Christians hate us?”

2) Embrace: Some denominations say it’s okay, they are tolerant and even ordained gay ministers. Tolerance though is the virtue of people who don’t stand for anything.

3) Ignore it: Some choose what they think is the middle ground by just ignoring it and not addressing the issue at all.

Jesus’ approach in dealing with people’s sin was always with love and compassion so that is the example the church should follow too. Personally, I try to do this.

Examples of Jesus:
The Samaritan woman who was married five times and had a live-in boyfriend, Jesus confronted her but did not condemn her. (John :1-24)

The woman caught in act of adultery was not condemned, but forgiven and told to go and sin no more. (John 8:1-11)

According to Romans 2:4, it’s God’s kindness and patience that leads to repentance.

HELP IS AVAILABLE! Check out these resources if you need help leaving this lifestyle of sin or if you know of someone who may need some help:

Exodus International--North America
P.O. box 540119
Orlando, FL 32854

The Way Out: Seeking Freedom from Homosexuality
Betty Kalbes, Director

When Homosexuality Hits Home: what to Do When a Loved One Says They’re Gay by Joe Dallas

You Don’t Have To Be Gay: Hope and Freedom for Males Struggling With Homosexuality Or For Those Who Know of Someone Who Is by Jeff Konrad

Loving Homosexuals as JESUS Would: A Fresh Christian Approach by Chad W. Thompson

I haven't read any of the above books but have included links to them on Amazon so you can read the customer reviews about them and make your own decision as to if you think the book would be helpful to you or not.

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Friday, September 25, 2009

5 Things I Learned This Week--Part 38


On Twitter, I found an article by Andrew Wong called "How to Grow Your Twitter Followers". Some I already knew like don't jumble up a bunch of Tweets, spread them out and of course don't tweet others' stuff without "RT" and don't talk about your boring things that no one else would care about. But, it also included a good list of what type of things to tweet which included: inspirational messages, good book you read, lesson learned, helpful links, facts that could benefit others, meaningful local events or seminars and interesting or humorous things. Also included was a list of what not to tweet. Here's my twitter page:

At GoodNCrazy I also discovered a way to add "Tweet This" to your Blogger blog posts. She gives the the HTML code to use in your Blogger template with instructions on how to do it. I'm going to try it. See the Twitter bird at the bottom of this post? Click on it to see how it works. It should take you right to your Twitter sign in page and then automaticaly inserts a tweet referring back here.


I came across a new blog, "I'm Living Proof That God Has A Sense Of Humor" this week written by a mother of two sets of twins under the age of 4 who had some helpful parenting tips that Super Nanny is invited to try including "I've Got My Eye On You" technique, the "Freezing Cold Hands" technique, the "Always Keep Them Guessing" technique and "They Know Where Their Bread is Buttered" technique. If you have small kids, be sure to check out this blog! Even though I do not have children, this blog is hilarious--has to be the best new blog I discovered this week through SITS.


I noticed that some comments I get I can respond to by email while others say "noreply@blogger" so can't respond by email. This week I learned why. It's all because of one little box being checked or not checked on your blogger profile. For more specific instructions, check out "Dear No-rely Blogger" at GoodNCrazy.

Vet Bills

When reading Sassy Sasha The Lovable Shih Tzu, I came across an interesting post stating that "the ASPCA supports H.R. 3501, which would amend U.S. tax code to allow qualifying pet care expenses, including veterinary care, to be tax-deductible." You can help by writing your U.S. representative today urging them to support this bill: Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years (“HAPPY”) Act H.R. 3501. To read more or for a form letter, visit ASPCA Advocacy Alerts.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Are You Joyful?

Even though I am recovering from my lumpectomy and face more treatments I am so thankful the cancer was discovered early and that it can be taken care of. We can't control what set backs or bad things come into our lives but we can control how we respond to them. With Jesus my Savior I know He will help me through anything and because He is in control, I can relax.

This is why I can be joyful even while going through this situation. I met with the medical oncologist today who told me based on her experience and the nature of my cancer, she doesn't think Chemo will be needed; however, she has to wait for another report on the recurrence score to confirm that. What a waste of a trip that was--why don't they wait until they have all the information they need before scheduling an appointment. I didn't find out anything today that I already didn't know.

This quiz was right on for me. Take the little quiz to find out how joyful you are:

I am Very Joyful

You may not be happy all of the time, but you experience frequent moments of joy in your life.
There are moments so perfect that time has stood still and you wish you could freeze it forever.
You are so joyful because you appreciate the small things in life. You know joy is more about who you are than what you have.
You are thankful to be alive, and you know that things could be a lot worse. You are content with your life.

For further reading on Joy, check out Living Beyond Yourself--Joy

Monday, September 21, 2009

Wonderful Weekend--Except for Sunday Football

We had a great weekend overall. Saturday, Abby had her last dog training class. It's so funny how people make such a big deal about little graduations nowadays. I always laugh when someone says their son or daughter graduated from Kindergarten! Whooppee, I think. Then I find out that at PetSmart, they actually have graduation caps for the dogs to wear after completing their 8 weeks of training. It cracks me up! They also gave us a certificate and like the proud parents we are, I can't help but post the pictures to show you. Abby wrote all about this on her blog: I Graduated!

Saturday afternoon we had a nice time at our puppet team picnic at Pam's and took Abby along too. Pam has a wooded area at the back of her property where Abby had fun exploring. This is a picture of me anjoying my annual hot dog. I also had the sweet corn which was very good that was oooked in the fire. We have a lot of young kids on our puppet team this year but still 6 or 7 adults too. It's a unique group because of the wide age range. We enjoy working together and since we have so many this fall, I am able to just help with directing behind the scenes and sort of mentor the newer members. Our director has been involved with puppets for 38 years and this will be our 12th year on the Sonshine Gang Puppet Team connected with our church.

Sunday was good too, except for the afternoon when both the Patriots and Browns lost. There was a lot of yelling going on at our house and after both games we walked the dog to calm down. Dogs are great for that! The morning though was the highlight for me. I felt so much better than I did last week and my class went very well. Last Sunday was the first week I taught after my surgery and the class really made me feel better. I had twelve 5th and 6th grade boys and had some fun things planned that would make it a bit easier on me like balloon volleyball for the discussion on friends and doing the David and Saul skit outside in the courtyard. The boys loved it and I could just relax for awhile. Gerard helped me.

Yesterday though, I did it solo and had 16 5th and 6th grade boys. We did our football review game at the end which is always fun, although this week the score was lopsided 20-0. We had a new kid who refused to come to Sunday School for a long, long time because he had a bad experience with a Sunday School teacher early on. I was thrilled to see him in my class this week and see him participate and enjoy it. He did a good job in the skit and even made an interception in the football review game. I keep taking my camera and then forget to take the pictures. Oh well. This is a picture of football review from my previous class. The 6th graders will start in their own class next week--we were waiting for another teacher so one of the boy's dads volunteered.

To read about my game coverage see: Here We Go Again--What's The End Zone?

Friday, September 18, 2009

4 Things I Learned This Week--Part 37

Cleveland Zoo

Through Twitter I learned the Red Panda Triplets were born at the Cleveland Metropark Zoo! Red Panda's are SO cute! I must go see these soon!

Kitchen Safety

I got an email from a friend this week about how to put out a common kitchen fire--oil in a frying pan. DO NOT EVER DUMP WATER ON IT--it will explode! Just turn off the burner, wet a dishtowel and lay in on top over the pan until the fire goes out. Do not attempt to remove the pan first. Here's the video clip worth watching--only 30 seconds!

Work--Not Yet

After returning to work this week after having surgery Sept.1, I found out I wasn't ready after all and will take all the time recommended by the doctor. My advice to anyone under a doctor's care, just take the time he says it will take to heal before going back to work as long as your employer is okay with that.


While reading Raining Cats and Dogs by Laurien Berenson, I learned that there are different size poodles and that they are very smart. The Standard Poodle is the biggest, isn't yappy and can be very good therapy dogs. I always associated Poodles as being yappy little dogs. Poodle owners are very attached to the breed.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Exhausted After My First Day Back To Work

I started back to work Monday after a rough weekend. I haven't been feeling up to spending much time on the computer these last few days so you know I'm not feeling normal. At a co-worker's suggestion, I tried getting some Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar and put just a little in my low sodium nasty tasting V-8 juice. YUCK! It may be just a coincidence, but it seems as though that's when the problems started. That and my decision to return to work. I'm going to spare you the gory details, but Friday night I had some flu-like symptoms.

Saturday found me waking up with a big headache and queasy stomach so we didn't go out to breakfast like we had planned--Gerard was both worried and disappointed. I took an Advil and started feeling better. I felt okay then as the day went along but Sunday morning, I woke up feeling crappy again and didn't feel like going but off we went. I had said I would teach my Sunday School class this week so again with the Advil. It helped and Christ gave me the strength to go ahead and teach. Gerard stayed with me to assist me in case I needed help because we had 5th & 6th grade boys together. They found a 6th grade boys teacher, (thank you, Dave) but he won't be able to start until the last Sunday of September. I actually felt okay then and watched the Browns game. Only dozing off on the third quarter. Gerard kept telling me I shouldn't go to work Monday.

Monday morning off to work I went. I walked so slow thought that I almost missed the bus! Fortunately, the bus driver saw me trying to get across the street and waited for me. I felt Okay at work but by the end of the day, I was really ready to come home. I had an easy work day and everyone welcomed me back. It was nice to see many but was disturbed to find out another layoff happened on Friday which included one of the secretaries on my floor. Some said I shouldn't be back so soon. I hoped they were wrong about that.

By the time I got home an hour later on the bus, I was exhausted! My neck was stiff from sleeping on the bus and my shoulders were all tense, I was walking extremely slow (like a 90-yr.-old woman), I wanted to lay down, eat, and shower but didn't know what order to do it in. Laying down won out. Gerard's telling me to eat but I was just too tuckered. Finally about 7:40 I ate some salad. I was going to have some oatmeal too but was just too tired to fuss with it and I don't like how Gerard makes it.

How tired was I? I was SO tired . . .
I didn't even pet my cats!
Didn't unpack my bag.
Didn't make my lunch for Tuesday (Gerard did).
Didn't clean the litter boxes (Gerard did).
Didn't hang up my blouse because didn't want to go upstairs (Gerard did).
Didn't put my shoes in the closet.
Didn't even go near the computer at all!
I slept...until around 7:40 when I finally got up and made myself eat some salad that didn't take any preparation.

Gerard was worried and kept yelling at me to eat something. (Looking back it was kind of funny.)
I decided to shower in the morning instead because I was just too tired.

Yesterday I started out good again and gave work another try, but when I was getting tired in the afternoon, I decided to leave early so I didn't have a complete collapse like yesterday. My firm was very understanding and even gave me a cab voucher so I wouldn't have to wait for the bus and do that extra walking. Our HR person even brought it up to me to save me some steps. I am so fortunate to work at such a great place! I called Gerard to let him know so he wouldn't have to worry about me again and he liked that idea! He didn't think I should have started back so soon anyhow--he was right! I laid down when I got home and Abby hopped up on the bed with me. Then later I watched the show "Army Wives" that we tape and made sure I pet my cats!

I will see the surgeon today, will let him know about this and ask him to fax in an extension for me to have more time off. I think I jumped the gun. Can't believe how worn out I got! This time I'm going to take my time. I really thought I was ready to go back, but guess I was wrong.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

How I Find Great New Blogs

By reading others comments on blogs I comment on is a great way to discover new blogs. Here are some I found this way that you should visit:
Lions, Tigers, & Boys
Lions, Tigers, and Boys, Oh My!

My first blog was on Personal News Network (PNN) and I have found some good ones through their Home page. Here are a few I like:
Mama Bear
Kimlink by Kimberly

Just recently joined The Secret's In The Sauce (SITS) and have found so many interesting blogs about family which I now follow. Here are a couple I found this way:

Better in Bulk
All In A Mom's Life
SITS has a roll call every day with over 300 people checking in. I keep wanting to just go through the list and visit all the blogs but so far just haven't had the time.

I also have found great pet posts/blogs through "Pet Pride". It's a Mr. Linky every week. You can leave a link to a post about your pet and check out other fun pet posts too. Here's some I found this way:

Bruce's Paws
The Creek Cats
Sassy Sasha

From other people's blog rolls:
I can't think of specific ones I found this way but know there were some.

The last way is to participate in forums and visit other people's blogs that way who leave comments you find interesting. Again, although I've done some of this it's rare that I spend much time on forums. There is life outside of the computer!

What is your favorite way to discover new blogs?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Gerard Likes His Visa Print T-Shirt

I tried ordering a Vista Print t-shirt for the first time for Gerard with a picture of Abby on it. You need to have a good resolution picture for it to turn out well. My new digital camera has 8.1 mega pixels and the photos I uploaded taken with that camera said it was good. The ones I tried using that were taken with my first digital camera that was 6 mega pixels I think weren't guaranteed to produce a good quality picture on the shirt.

There were lots of design choices from which to choose but Gerard likes his new shirt that says "I [heart-"love"] Abby. I used a picture of her that was a close-up of just her face that I thought captured her eyes and sweetness well. I would have liked to have used one that had her tongue hanging out making her look like she is smiling, but unfortunately, all those like that were taken by my other camera. She is not a very good model yet so I just went with this one. Abby was honored that he wore this shirt instead of one of his football shirts--he really likes it!

On Labor Day, they had a 50% off special so I ordered two shirts for me--one with Spunky Doodle on it and the other with Manny. Both these cost about $20 which included shipping. Not bad at all for custom shirts, right?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Abby Never Ceases To Amaze Us

We still can't believe how awesome Abby, our dog, is that we found on Pet Finder. Not only is she doing very well in her dog classes, but she also gets along great with other dogs, cats and people of all ages. Gerard and I felt very proud of her when her dog trainer said how awesome she is. Abby posted all about it on her blog: Dog Trainer Is Impressed With Me.

On Labor Day we finally decided to take her to the little dog park about 10 minutes from our house. It's a small patch of land with a few trees, 3 picnic tables, a box of some dog toys surrounded by a fence. There were four dogs there and although they were all off leash, Gerard and I were leery about letting Abby go free so Gerard just walked around with her. All the dogs were very curious and excited to see her and all came to greet her. The Boxer started jumping at her which we didn't like so then we left shortly after that. I guess he wanted to play but Abby didn't want to play that game.

We took her up again after Gerard got home from work on Wednesday last week. This time there were eight dogs there and we let her go off the leash. We were both so proud of her that she still followed us around and her and I raced to the fence. It was a tie. Gerard and I both stood far apart and took turns calling her to come and she did! There were various sizes of dogs and it is a nice place to go to meet some of our neighbors. We look forward to going often.

Friday, September 11, 2009

4 Things I Learned This Week-Part 36


At Everyday Adventurer I found 10 Tips to get Close to a Deer. Ratty posts some really good nature pictures on his blog. Basically, you need to be quiet and don't let the deer think your interested in it by avoiding eye contact, approaching slowly and at an angle. I think it would also help not to have a dog with you!


I learned through the PLAIN DEALER this week that it's against the law for ladies to wear pants in public in Sudan. Check out my post about it on my Zemek's Updates blog here.

Next Of Kin

I got an email from a friend that told me about the ability to add next of kin information through the Ohio BMV so that in case of an accident, they can find out who to contact that way. I don't know if other states have this or not, but you may want to look into it. Here is the link to the Ohio one where you can register the information. It took me about 3 minutes:

Back To Work

I'll be going back to work on Monday but still will have time off for my upcoming docotr appointments. Really no reason why I can't work now--I'm feeling fine without any pain! Thanks for all those you have been praying for me.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thank You Grover Trophy--What A Nice Surprise!

After I got back from my doctor appointment in which he confirmed that the Cancer in fact did not spread to the lymph nodes and that it is treatable with a hormone pill, the doorbell rang. I looked out the window and saw a truck from a florist--immediately thinking flowers, but no. I got something much more useful--a basket of fruit and hard candy with a note from Grover/Trophy Music wishing me well. This is where Gerard works. I thought that was a very nice gesture on their part. Manny had some fun helping me get it open while Spunky Doodle napped on the bed.

As far as the big update I thought I'd get today on my treatment, I found out I have to make an appointment with a medical oncologist to find out if I need Chemo or not and then another appointment with the radiation oncologist. Nothing was available until September 22 and 25 so more waiting.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Football Rules Are Goofy!

I am glad football season is starting again and enjoyed watching the OSU-Navy game with Gerard on Saturday. Of course, we were cheering for Ohio State and were happy they won. What I don't get though is how college football and pro football have some different rules. For example, on the one play when Navy was going for a 2 pt. conversion, the Buckeyes intercepted the pass and ran the whole length of the field to score . . . what I expected would be 6 points for a touchdown but they only got 2 points because it was a 2 pt. conversion play. This seems very unfair to me. If a guy runs the whole length of the field to the end zone, it should be a touchdown in my book.

That guy did a lot of running for just two points, but okay, can understand that. Gerard explained to me that in the NFL, if a pass is intercepted on a 2 pt. conversion play, the ball is dead, play over and the intercepting team does not get to score on it so 2 points is better than none. Humpf! Why the difference in the rules?

Then another strange thing occurred after the play. Instead of the Buckeyes kicking off to Navy, Navy kicked off to the Buckeyes. I thought after a team scored they would kick off to the other team. Usually that's what happens. When I questioned this, Gerard just looked at me like I was nuts. I didn't think it was a dumb question at all. In every other game I saw the scoring team kicked off to the other team. Football sure has some goofy rules.

What are some other rule differences? I'm sure there are others. What about the celebration rule?

For my other football post, see "Fall Means Football"

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I Cooked! (This Is My 500th Post By The Way!)

Anyone who knows me knows I am not a cook. I do not spend more than 20 minutes a day in the kitchen and most of that time is spent feeding the cats, the dog and preparing Abby's Kong toy for when we leave. Lately though, I've had a taste for scrambled eggs and kept thinking that we'd be going out for breakfast soon and I'd get some then. It seems though, we never went out for breakfast yet and I still wanted some. I asked my friend, Tim, from our puppet team who really likes to cook for a simple recipe for scrambled eggs that I could make in the microwave.

Even then I didn't have any eggs so had to buy some. I chickened out the first trip to the store but the second time, I decided to give it a try Friday morning. I felt so good that they turned out that I made a couple more right away. Sorry you can't see my excitement in the picture but Gerard was out walking Abby at the time.

Here it is for anyone else who is kitchen challenged like me and still doesn't know how to make scrambled eggs:

2 eggs
1 Tablespoon of milk
Mix with a fork
Cook in microwave for 1 1/2 minutes (that's what mine took) May want to start with 30 seconds and just add time until they are the right consistency
Mash around with fork and done!

Linking this post up with Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop prompt:  Write a post inspired by the word "eggs."

Sunday, September 6, 2009

What Cell Phone Service Do You Recommend?

Gerard and I put off getting cells phones for a long time because we just figured we wouldn't get much use out of them. Finally, Christmas of 2007 I decided to get some for us and now we're spoiled. We found out we use it more than we thought we would. I really hate how they lock you in for two years!

Now after a little over a year and a half, Gerard's isn't working. I tried turning it off and on, which sometimes does fix the problem, but not this time. He couldn't answer my call or bring up his contacts to call me. We headed over to the shopping mall where I had purchased them and found out:

(a) We have to go to some repair shop about 25 minutes from us to see if they could fix it; or

(b) Get an upgrade for mine and then have the guy change it to Gerard's number because he's not eligible for an upgrade until October 1. Then take his old phone back for an upgrade October and have the guy change it to my number. This sounds fishy to me. This just blows me away--we got the phones at the same time! Why would not both be eligible for an upgrade by now?

(c) Of course, if we got an upgrade, we would again be locked in for two more years! Do we really want this poor service for another two years--don't think so!

Gerard did not want to bother going to possible get it fixed. His solution is to go without one until October and just try charging it again and hope it works tomorrow. Who knows, maybe it will.

I do not want to keep paying for a busted phone. I am so annoyed and upset about this. I hate being locked in. I wish I could just go to get different phones from someone else but then I'd be paying two cell phone bills! AAARRRGGHH! I hate to complain but sometimes if I write it helps me feel better and get out some frustration. I also thought that perhaps you could give us some advice on what cell phone service is more reliable that what we have.

Revol? Verizon? T-Mobile? AT&T? Altel? Which one do you recommend? All we need is a simple phone. I do not use it for twittering, email, pictures, just phone calls. Is there any that doesn't lock you in for a certain amount of time?

What Grade Should You Teach?

Since I teach 5th grade boys in Sunday School, this quiz got my interest so I took it just to see what it would say. It said I should teach 5th grade. I enjoy this age group because they are energetic and still willing to learn things. I think it's a fun age.

You Should Teach Fifth Grade

You are laid back. You have a great sense of humor and figure "kids will be kids."
You have a lot of energy and endurance. It is hard for kids to wear you down.
You're able to roll with a rowdy classroom if you need to, but you also know how to keep students in line.
You are flexible and spontaneous. You can throw the whole plan out the window, if you need to.

Why not take the quiz just for fun to see what grade you should teach. Share your result in the comments.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Who Holds The Power In Your Relationship?

After being married for 12 years now, we have learned to compromise and work together well I think. This quiz backs that up.

You Both Wear the Pants in Your Relationship

You and your sweetie seem to have stuck the perfect power balance.
It's not that you don't disagree - it's just that you've learned how to compromise well.
You're both mature enough to know that you can't always get your way...
And usually, you're both adult enough to reach an agreement - even if that sometimes means giving in a little.

Friday, September 4, 2009

3 Things I Learned This Week--Part 35

Chemo Update

Although the initial news on my surgery is good, as far as they could tell the Cancer did not spread to the lymph nodes so he did not remove them all, they still have to inspect them more closely this week. There are also two other tests that will determine if I will need to have Chemo or not. I won't know the final results until next Wednesday when I meet with my surgeon who will then discuss my further treatment. So far so good, so I'm still trusting the Lord to help me through this and give me a speedy and complete recovery.


Mountain Woman and Tim from Everyday Living have teamed up to do a blog about weight loss based on exercise. It just started this week so be sure to visit and get in on the ground floor. Both these people have lost a lot of weight so can really be helpful. They are making it very interactive and are even giving away a $100 gift certificate to Dick's so it's worth checking out: Get Moving With Mountain Woman and Tahtimbo.

Driving in a Downpour

My husband tried this and he said it worked. Most of the motorists would turn on HIGH or FASTEST SPEED of the wipers during heavy downpour, yet the visibility in front of the windscreen is still bad...... In the event you face such a situation, just try your SUN GLASSES (any model will do), and miracle! All of a sudden, your visibility in front of your windscreen is perfectly clear, as if there is no rain. Make sure you always have a pair of SUN GLASSES in your car. Amazing, you still see the drops on the windshield, but not the sheet of rain falling. You can see where the rain bounces off the road. It works to eliminate the "blindness" from passing semi's spraying you too. Or the "kickup" if you are following a semi or car in the rain.

For More Friday Fragments click here.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I'm Alive And Well--Praise The Lord!

UPDATED 9/3/09: I was reminded today that there is still a chance I'll need chemo after all--boo! They need to inspect the lymph nodes more closely, and there are two more tests to do. I meet with the surgeon again next Wednesday and I think at that time he'll have all the results in. Please continue to pray for complete healing and I really hope I don't need Chemo yet. I thought I should move the update to the top for those who already read this so they would see it.

My Major Concern
: My lumpectomy was Tuesday and although I had a few concerns, on the whole I basically trusted that God had healed me and would bring me through--He did! Just in case something went wrong though, I made a list of "Things To Do, People to Call" for Gerard with phone numbers and instructions for things I do such as banking online, blogging, fixing the TV when it goofs up, how to record and play back TV shows and where our important papers are along with a note that he was a wonderful husband and he should feel free to remarry if he finds someone else. My biggest worry was that if something went wrong and I didn't wake up, he would be a total wreck with no clue what to do. This may or may not be true, but I wanted to be a help to him just in case. By doing this, it gave me more peace of mind. I am a list maker, can't help it! After recently reading "The Last Lecture" I too wanted to be a realistic optimist.

For me, about an hour and a half of my wait was sleeping. I had no pain and woke up about a 45 minutes after the surgery ended. The cancer appeared not to reach the lymph nodes so I probably won't need Chemo and lymphodemia (very limited use of arm and need it wrapped for life) most likely will not happen which was my other concern.

The day was actually easier on me than it was on him I think. It's always hard when you feel so helpless when you want to do something to help but can't. Waiting is extremely hard, but especially for Gerard who doesn't have much patience. That's why I thought I'd let him give his summary of the day:

Gerard's Synopsis: The day started as usual except Karen couldn't eat breakfast--her favorite meal of the day or even drink anything. She gets really growly when she gets hungry so I wasn't sure how that would work. I took Abby for a walk, took a shower, ate breakfast and took Abby for a long walk to the park while Karen had her quiet time and commented on some blogs, then off to the hospital we went.

Our first stop was to pay $15 to the surgeon's office for completing the FMLA forms Karen needed to submit to work. Can you believe they even charge for filling out papers? Then on we went to the main hospital at 10:00 A.M. They took Karen off to change into the hospital wear and I was in the waiting room with a TV which had a stupid game show on. This was annoying to me; I like news. I spent the day pretty much in constant prayer. I got to see Karen for a little while, but then I was sent back to the waiting room while she went at 11:00 for "mapping." She says that was the painful part.

She got out of there at noon and we were reunited. Surgery was moved back to 2:00 from 1:30 because they said it would take the mapping dye a couple hours to get down to the area. I was so nervous and hated to see Karen with that IV in her and just laying helplessly waiting. The IV was to keep her hydrated, give her vitamins since she couldn't eat and insert the anesthetic through it. I wished it was me instead going through this.

Pastor Zerby from our church came in and that helped a lot. He had a real calming effect on me and it made the time go faster. Two o'clock came and went, then 3:00 came and went and a nurse or volunteer called to find out what the hold up was. She told us an emergency came up and that's why he was delayed. This did not comfort me any. I started praying for that person to pull through. She let us watch TV at least in the waiting area which helped some so we saw some of the U.S. Open. Finally close to 4:00 it was her turn for surgery. I so wanted to take her home with me.
She insisted this would be a good time for me to go home and walk Abby so I did and then back to the waiting room again. The doctor came in around 5:30 and said everything went well. Thank you, Jesus! Then I had to wait for her to wake up which was around 6:30. Then I had to wait until she was up to going home. I brought her home around 7:30 or so and she went right to bed. I took Abby for another short walk. I did finish reading "Public Enemies" by Bryan Borrough while I had all that time to wait.

Then I watched the end of the Red Sox game. They won, but of course not easily--more stress for my day! It was a long day, but all ended well so glad Karen is home and well now! Hope we never have to go through that again!

We are praising the Lord! He answered our prayers and those of many of you, co-workers and church friends. Karen was anointed by the deacons of our church last Sunday for healing as instructed in James 5. It sure is helpful to know God in times like this!

I took the picture above of Karen sleeping in until 8:15 the day after her surgery with our two cats on the bed with her. (Abby was in the room too part of the time but stayed on the floor.) She loves when the cats come on the bed with her!

A Fun Honeymoon!

Gerard and I are not travelers. We found Saw Mill Creek Resort to be a perfect place for us to go for a honeymoon and was only a little over an hour’s drive. It’s near Cedar Point. It had tennis courts, a golf course, a woods, an indoor and outdoor pool with a hammock (something I always thought would be nice to have), a gift shop and restaurant.

We were there the first week of September and it wasn’t crowded at all. We practically had the whole place to ourselves. The first night, I modeled all my nightgowns that I got for Gerard but of course, he liked naked best! (No pictures for you, sorry--for Gerard only.) Our first might there around midnight we were in bed and I smelled smoke. It seemed to be coming in through the air conditioner. Apparently, it was just from a cigarette that someone had dropped outside our room so we just had to switch rooms. After that, everything was fine and we had a wonderful relaxing week.

We played tennis every morning after a delicious breakfast, then did different things. We walked through the woods, swam in the indoor pool (just the two of us), played golf and did better than I expected. Gerard did not play but he talked me into playing. We checked out the gift shop and bought a little black stuffed bear we named “Smokey.”

The highlight was finding a deer park close by that Gerard suggested we go to. He drove while I navigated and we found it without any trouble. We had such a good time there too! As soon as we brought some food in the pen, ALL the deer came charging over to us! We keep saying we’d like to go back sometime but haven’t yet. I don’t see it happening as long as we have our pets! We would miss them terribly!!

This may not be your typical honeymoon, but we both had a great time! What was yours like?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Where To Live?

When we were first married we lived in Gerard’s house in a small suburb. I remember how impressed I was the first time I went over there before we were married. His yard was very tidy, trimmed nicely and he had beautiful roses. His favorite was the peace rose. He said he used to bring roses to the bank tellers. Inside his house was very neat and clean. Nothing was every out of place and he had a big adorable, floppy, stuffed dog named Patch Dog. He also had a big dog named Fletcher who lived next door and barked a lot.

When we first moved in, we both slept in his single bed. His nephews helped move my double bed over shortly after we returned from our honeymoon. His house was old and the bathroom and bedrooms were all upstairs. This was something I didn’t like. The bus route was not convenient there either so to get to work, I drove to my dad’s and got the bus from his house.

We only lived there a month before moving into a house we both liked and purchased together. I never would have felt that his house was mine and he would never have been able to feel like my place was his. I truly believe this was a very smart move on our part, to buy a house together that we could look on as ours. We’ve made a lot of improvements to it in 12 years, but we still like it and hope we don’t have to move again. This is how our house looked when we first bought it--old drive and sidewalk, tree in front, lilac bush which have both been removed and we put in a new drive and sidewalk shortly after moving in.

Where did you live when you were first married? Are you still there?

(Having my surgery today, please pray all goes well.)