JULY 8: Stuff

A lot's been happening that I haven't mentioned here. I had forgotten yesterday to mention a few things, but they seem pale in comparison to what I watched this morning.

I mentioned that we had watched a spectacular fireworks display from the water. What I forgot to mention was the fear I had after getting out of the water.

We had to walk about 60 feet from the edge of the water to the boardwalk and just beyond that, to the car. 60 feet of beach covered with people lighting off fireworks. A few of them hit the beach, one no more than 10 feet away from us and less than 5 feet away from a few other people. It was an accident waiting to happen.

Then, once we reached the car, we had to trek about a 1/4 mile down the boardwalk to what we thought was a bathhouse to shower and change clothes to head the 3 1/2 hour trek home. What we found was not what we expected and was in sorry shape.

What is it about people that they must be so messy and disrespectful of the people after them? What ever happened to the old saying 'clean up after yourself'? Nikki also mentioned in her journal about messy bathrooms at the Chuck E Cheese. It's sad, really.

So we walk in to the small bathrooms and discover a stinky, smelly, dirty place. The two commodes (with no stall doors, just a small partition) were nearly overflowing and crammed full of God knows what. Toilet paper was strewned everywhere and the trash can stunk of...I don't even want to think about it. There was one small clean tolet paper roll left.

I left my clean clothes in the bag, took off my wet things and left them on the, uh, nasty floor and pulled my dry things on my still damp body in a haste to get out of there. Ever pulled on sweats when your still damp? Not fun.

It took us 30 minutes to get the car headed in the right direction. The poor policemen directing traffic got heckled a lot. One guy, with a P.A. system on his van said, 'Any day now' when the policeman had to let a long stream of cars out of a parking lot because the nearby carnival closed down for the night. Then another woman (appearantly a carnival goer) stopped and rolled down her window and spoke to the policeman. To which he replied back, "You get out of here." His tone of voice was not too happy and I don't blame the poor guy. It's a thankless job. If I'd have had it, I'd have given a $20 tip to him.

It was a bit irritating though, later when we wanted to turn left, the policemen (and women) for several blocks urged us forward. Finally one allowed us left and we realized why. We were at a block long line of cars awaiting a right turn on to the highway. I kept praying we'd make it home alright.

Thankfully we did, especially since the next day I'd learned there'd been 10 deaths on Mississippi roads over the 4th holiday.

But that experience, especially the long trek across the 60 foot area of firework-riddled beach was nothing like I watched this morning (Er, rather 2 PM, after I woke up from sleeping in). I watched Saving Private Ryan. Let me tell you, if you can make it through the bloody, gory first 15 minutes, you can watch the entire thing. Actually a good movie.

The first 15 minutes depicts Capt. Miller and his plattoon(is that the right word?) storming Omaha beach in France. Capt. Miller sees the carnage that war is all about. The most striking scenes to me are when a man wanders around and finds his missing arm, and when a man walking suddenly gets shelled and becoms minus a leg. Horrifying stuff. ::shudder::


Drazil is gone. (Not gone as in dead...sheesh after the above topic, I have to watch what I say.) I felt he needed an owner who could take more time with him, who didn't care if he scratched the skin off his wrists and hands or get whipped by his long tail. I was a lousy owner, I admit that. So, now he has a better home. A home with two other iguanas that all share the same cage and hopefully frolic and tussle with each other. He has a nice owner, a pre-teen boy who is a good owner. I've watched him for the past year with his other iguanas. He'll take them out on leashes and pet them for hours. He'll sleep with the lizard on his chest. He feeds them good fresh veggies. I'm sure Drazil is in good hands, but it doesn't change the fact that I miss having him around. I miss him shuffling around in his cage, makeing me wonder what he's doing. I miss saving veggies for him when I make dinner (on the RARE occasions I made dinner). It serves me right though. He's happier now. :)

I don't think I've mentioned here that we now have health insurance. Let me hear a loud YEAH! from one and all! I didn't hear it. :) Anyway. This means that we can now have children when we feel it's time. The best thing is there is no waiting period! One insurance company we wanted to get in had a one year waiting period on maternity. This one doesn't.

Soooooo, do you know what that means???? It means I need to lose weight and get myself ready for a little one. My goal? Lose 40 lbs. by Christmas. I'm giving it my best shot. I've already started and I'll know tomorrow how much I've lost so far. I'm weighing weekly.

How am I doing it? Cut back on eating. One sweet thing per day, I'd go crazy if I didn't have something. Usually means one piece of candy, like a fun size Tootsie Roll or one piece of twizzler. Eat healtier, have a salad for one meal a day, eat fruit and veggies. Also, excersise and lots of it. Today I rode 4 miles on my bike. I'm going to try and do something different everyday for six days a week. I'm still limited in what I can do yet, for another month I can't do 'cutting' (as the dr. calls it) or side to side movements. So, no basketball, no rollerblading, etc. But I can bike, walk, jog, swim, use a stepper, left weights, etc.

Once the summer's over and I'm through with my full-time babysitting job, I'll only have two jobs: to lose weight and to write. I can't wait till the summer's over. TTFN!


I am so tired of traveling. We arrived home from Kansas at about 12 AM Sunday morning, then James' parents arrived late Sunday night/early Monday morning. I taught summer school Monday, then we hopped in the car and drove down to the coast. We stayed near Gulfport, MS in a nice hotel for Monday night. I think I spent the most romantic, and most beautiful July 4th ever! First we went walking around a museum/nature trail (I really got my excercize!) then we went to the beach for about 4 hours! There was a fireworks show on the beach at 9 PM. James and I floated out in the water and watched from an inner tube. It was beautiful and yet a bit frightening at the same time. When the fireworks would boom, it would echo several times out over the water. Actually kind of neat. I was also scared of sharks.

Speaking of traveling: We got our info today about two free round trip tickets. I found out it is for Hawaii, Caribean or Orlando. James and I were just thinking about where we'd like to go for our 'last big vacation' before having children. I think we can use these tickets. I've never been to Hawaii or the Caribean and I think it would be nice. We'd have to pay for the hotel rooms (including a minimum nights stay) and other stuff while there, but we can limit that I'm sure. I think it'll be fun. I wonder if we can use the tickets at the beginning of next year or in the spring time. Anybody know the best times of the year to go to these places? I have no idea.

I'm feeling the urge to write again and soon my life should slow down again where I can, I hope. :) I've been getting a lot of encouragement from various places lately. My mother-in-law even encouraged me in an indirect way. She said that she had always thought she could write a book one day, but never did. It gave me a good feeling to know that I've accomplished something that a lot of people only *wish* they would. It makes me want to do more, even be published.

A friend of mine and I have been discussing being published. We want to be, but the editors don't seem to think that way (Or rather my friend's having a difficult time being published in the novel market, I haven't even tried yet since my novel is still unedited). And I'm sure that the editors would turn down my writing right now too.

We've been discussing getting 'vanity' published and discussing the pros/cons of the situation.

Time to eat, I'm gonna run. TTFN!

JUNE 26: Busy again and really bad news

I've been very busy with summer school, rehab, AND babysitting. I can't believe it's been so long since I posted here, but I'm earning $$$ to buy a notebook 'puter so I can write more (at least that's my excuse for not writing now, that our desktop is being fought over).

The bad news is really bad. I think I told about my brother-in-law, Tim and his injury just before Mother's day. Well, yesterday, his two girls (9 and 7) told their mother on her cell phone that they couldn't wake him up. He had just gone home from the hospital a few days ago after spending nearly a month there. My sister was up visiting my mom (it was her birthday yesterday) and my sister was on her way home. Well, she called her preacher to check on Tim, and he couldn't find a pulse. An ambulance was called and he was revived and was taken by helicopter to Topeka. I think about the time they arrived at Topeka he had already died. They are saying that it was due to blood clots from his injury.

I'm not sure about funeral arrangements, but I'll probably be leaving tomorrow to go up to Kansas and be with my sister. I have a doc's appointment tomorrow that I don't need to miss, otherwise I'd be up there sooner.

This past year has been difficult for my family. If we can make it through this year, we can make it through anything!

MAY 31: Dr's visit

Well, it turns out, my foot is broken in 3 places. This doctor was very kind in showing us x-rays and even circling on my foot where the breaks are. All three are avulsion fractures, or bone chips. They are all around my ankle on the outside. Two toward the toe of the foot and one to the bottom back. The good news is, he says they are healing well enough to not need a cast or surgery and I'm starting re-hab on Friday! He gave me a brace and told me I could start walking on it, with crutches at first if necessary. We went shopping yesterday and I used the crutches while we were out to avoid over doing it, but mostly I can hobble around on it much like I did wearing the cast.

Best news is that now I can take a shower or bath without a bag on my foot! As a matter of fact, the doctor recommended a hot bath and some movement 'excercises' while soaking. Yeah! Time to hit the bath!

Hopefully tomorrow I'll have some news on progress on 'Silver Star'. TTFN!

MAY 29: It's been awhile.

Wow! Has it really been ten days since my last post!? Time flies. Let's see, what's happened since then? Hmm, I have a new cast, white this time. The nurses heard me mention that I had a wedding to go to and they assumed that white would be nice. Uh-well. I'll get purple next time.

Had a really long weekend. We went out of town Wednesday until early Sunday morning. James was a groomsman for yet another wedding (he's been in three since we've been married, I've only been a bride). Friday night, he kept the groom (his cousin) awake most of the night (1 hour nap only) and I stayed with the bride and the bridesmaids and we kept her up until 2 (the bride got up at 5:30). The house we stayed at seemed to have a zillion stairs. It was a nice two story house with the lower level a split level so there were stairs everywhere. Then, at the wedding, I was running around with my father-in-laws new camcorder getting great footage of the wedding, reception and the groomsmen decorating the car. By the time the day was over, my leg was bulging over the top of the cast. Then we spent about 3 hours in a van (I could stretch out on the back seat with my foot up) to James' parents house. Then we napped for about 4 or 5 hours to get up at 2 AM and drive home. In our itty bitty Pulsar, there's barely enough room to sit, much less find a place to prop up my foot, so it swelled again by the time we got home at around 8 AM.

Speaking of cars, we are buying a Geo Prism from a friend of ours. He and his family are missionaries in Canada and are about to move from Montreal out to Vancover. They are offering it at a great price and we thought it would be a good car to get us by for about 6 months until our insurance is clear with the accident. It's a '91, so it's an older car. We would really like to have another Lumina, '96 or newer. Hopefully we can get one in about 6 months.

I have another doctor's appointment tomorrow and a teacher's meeting for summer school. I'm worried about the doc appointment. It's with an orthopedic doc and I'm afraid he might say I need surgery to remove the bone chips in my foot. Part of me wants to go on and get them removed so they don't cause me trouble later, and part of me doesn't want to go through surgery and have a longer recovery.

I stepped on the scales the other day and realized I've gained 15 pounds through this time since the accident (5 1/2 weeks). I'm gonna start eating better and maybe I can keep it from climbing more until I can excersize again. The doc I saw last week said I could pretty much do anything as long as it doesn't hurt my foot, but I've noticed that my ribs still hurt if I stretch them too much and my knee hurts when I squat. I may try some sit ups or something though. I'm ready to do something! I wanted to go walking a bit everyday, but this cast is so hard it hurts my heel.

Anyway, I sound like I'm whining too much.

On the writerly front, I've been toying with the idea of a futuristic spy novel. It's developing slowly, not enough meat to really have a plot yet, but at least my gears are turning. Also, at the request of my sister and a close friend, I'm gonna start focusing on 'Silver Star' a bit more. I'll see what I can do with it. Also looking for some time to re-vamp this journal again. I'm tired with the current set up and every time I go to read other people's journals I think of much better ways to design this. I'm toying with some javascript and DHTML now that I have a new program to edit web pages. We'll just have to see what comes about. TTFN!

MAY 19: Good news and other stuff

I have myself a 'finish it or die' peptalk. 'The Allurement' now stands finished (in it's first draft) at 4,800 words. 1,600 words today in an hour and a half finished the job. :) Yeah! It has just a couple of holes that I need to research on, just a name or place put in here or there. It feels good to have finished something again. Whoohoo!

I found my mind wandering aimlessly this week. Ever notice that life sometimes foreshadows itself? There are several instances in my life where I've felt almost *psychic* in that I've said things and *poof* it happened. Or known things before they happened. When I was in junior high, I could have been the 'Spooky' Mulder of our school. I used to research OBE's, psychic powers, ESP, all sorts of things. I even made a set of those ESP cards (I've long since forgotten the name of them) and conducted experiments with my friends. I never saw any legitamite proof in my experiments there was actually any proof to the existance of ESP or other mind powers. But that was the limited experiments of a 13 year old.

After our accident, my in-laws came back for a visit. We sat around talking about the accident. My mother in law remembered something we had not. The day of the accident, the four of us went out to eat at a chinese restaurant. James had been joking about his fortune. He said: "Mine says I'm gonna have wild passionate sex with my wife tonight." (a bit of private joke in there I won't reveal ;) ) We all had a good laugh and then James said, "No, knowing my luck I'll get into a terrible accident and won't be able to have sex for weeks.(it wasn't actually THAT long, only one week :) )" Once my mother in law recounted the conversation, we all remembered. James' fortune, by the way, actually said 'Your wildest dreams are soon to come true.'

That conversation, combined with the nagging feeling I'd had that week to tell my class, "Now if I'm not here, we won't do this (a class incentive I'd cooked up)." I kept telling myself, that's silly. Of course I'll be back and teaching. I still couldn't shake the feeling that I wouldn't though.

Weird life stuff. What's really weird too is that when I was talking to my sister one day, she told me that our family has bad luck in the years with double digits. Namely, a family member dies. In 1988, my grandma died. No other deaths in the family until my dad died in 1999. Now, more recently, my grampa died in 2000. For a bit I worried that since this is actually a triple digit year, maybe it'd be worse, but then I remember 1999 was also a triple digit. I'm being silly anyway, but still, weird stuff, eh?

Want more weird coincidental stuff? My dad was born in 1933. Since he died after his b-day in 1999, he was 66. More double digits.

Seems like some interesting story fodder in there somewhere. TTFN!

MAY 15: More family tradgedy...

Tried to call my mom for early mother's day wishes Saturday night and got my brother. He told me that she was at the hospital in Lincoln with my sister and brother-in-law. Evidently my bro-in-law, Tim, had been out walking and twisted his leg in a hole. My sis and their children had been in Nebraska visiting my mom for the weekend, so no one was home to miss him. It happened about 9 Friday night and he laid there in shock all night in their trailer park. A neighbor found him at about 8:30 the next morning. He was flown by helicopter from Manhatten, KS to Lincoln and had a 5 hour surgery to rebuild the artery in his leg. The veins cannot be reconstructed though, so they might need to amputate the foot. The docs say that sometimes the body finds detours for the blood to get back to the heart. We have to hope and pray his body does find a way, otherwise, the foot will be amputated. He also faces complete knee reconstruction surgery in about 5 weeks. If all goes well this week, he can go home from the hospital.

The worst part of this: they have no medical insurance and they were just getting on their feet after some financial problems. My sister is really upset about it all. I would be too.

My mom set up this e-mail account for Tim. If you'd like to e-mail your thoughts or prayers:

I wrote 1000 words on "The Allurement" Saturday morning with the intent of finishing it this week. I don't feel much like writing today...although now is the perfect time while the hubby is sleeping in and the house is so quiet.

Been haning around the Rumor Mill lately. I posted a few things and realized later that I posted one in the wrong thread. Sorry! Everyone just seemed to ignore it, so I guess I got what I deserve.

Watched a movie based on a Patricia MacLaughlin story Saturday. I really like her stories. "Sarah, Plain and Tall" was a favorite of mine. This one was "Journey" about a boy named Journey struggling without his mother. His mother always had the urge to be somewhere else and the story/movie opened with her leaving her parents farm, leaving behind Journey, about ten years old, and Kat (or Cat, not sure), who is about fourteen. Each of the four main characters (the two kids and the grandparents) all have different ways of dealing with the grief of the leaving of Mia (that's the daughter/mother's name). The grandfather takes pictures all the time of everything. Once he hands the camera to Journey and he takes a picture of his grandpa with his best friend's baby brother. Later they are talking about the pic, about how it has fuzzy edges. The boy says it's not a good picture because of the fuzziness. The grandfather explains how neat it is that it frames the people in it. The boy says, "But it's not perfect." And the grandfather says, "Sometimes things just have to be good enough." That's what Mia didn't learn. She didn't learn to be content with life that was 'just good enough'. The grandfather was teaching Journey that.

It made me think. Writing doesn't have to be perfect, it can't ever be. It just has to be good enough. Good enough for me, good enough for an editor. I've been trying to hard to make it perfect, and if it's not perfect, then it's not worth the effort. It just has to be good enough, not perfect.

Well, that's my logic for the day...TTFN!

MAY 12: Stuff

Well, three weeks ago at this time I was probably on my way to the hospital in the ambulance. A lot has happened since then.

I'm walking now. Sorta. Yesterday I started walking on my left foot with about half the weight supported on crutches still. Today I got brave and just started walking. My foot gets tired a lot and of course I'm slower than the crutches, but hey, I'm walking. Plus, since I've been hobbling on it, the swelling has been getting better. I spent almost three hours messing with e-mail and reading journals today and my foot barely swelled!

Yesterday we had a woman come clean our house for 4 hours. And her husband helped for two of those hours. Our house was a disaster! Bless her heart, she even tackled the microwave! And cleaned under the burners on the stove!

This woman, who contacted me through a friend that used to have her niece clean houses, (actually the neice contacted us) doesn't speak much English. She's from Brazil and only speaks Portuguese. If she spoke Spanish, I could at least say a few things to her. I put in my language CD (17 languages on it with quizzes and stuff to learn) and tried learning abit. Some words were like Spanish (like please is porfavor), but some were not.

It got me to thinking how weird it would be to live in a place totally foreign. I looked around the house and saw things that had words on my tigger beach towel in the bathroom, or the framed poem that James wrote for me after we were married, or books or movies. I've never been in a place like that. The closest I've been to that was the time the summer after James and I were married we went across the border at El Paso, but there most things were written in both English and Spanish. The shop owners all spoke some English too. Hmm...something to think about and good story fodder too.

Speaking of stories...I've been trying to get motivated to working at the computer and writing some. I keep saying I will, but I use the excuse that I'm scared my foot will swell sitting at the 'puter. But I sit here doing all sorts of things, sometimes up to four hours! Sometimes I wonder if the spark of wanting to write has died in me. Whatever happened to that voice in me that urged me to write my first novel in about 44 days anyway? I'm trying to get the flame going again. Hopefully I will.

I've been reading some of my writing books lately and it's helping me get a bit more motivated. I'll keep reading it, surely it will eventully.

My book basket is full now. I got this basket and filled it with all the books I'm currently reading (I think I'm reading six at the moment, 1 fiction, 4 non-fiction, and a magazine). Not to mention about two fiction books in there I want to get into. I picked up another one at the library yesterday to add to it. I was just walking past the Star Wars section and nearby I found the latest Writers of the Future antho. There's a story by Ron Collins in there and W.G. Rowland. Those might be the only two I read in it since I have so much to read...and I'm anxious to buy two books.

If you haven't gotten MZB's yet, you've got too! An internet writerly aquantance of mine, Jonathan Fesmire is in there plus the first story, 'Butternut Ale' (sorry can't remember the author and don't have it handy) is hilarious! You gotta get it.

Gotta go, we're going to a party tonight and James is ready. TTFN!

MAY 8: I have a mean kick now. ;)

First of all, the drs visit to Montgomery went fine. Best appointment with the chiropracter ever! I think the extra calcium supplement helped. The bad news is that since we decided to visit several bookstores there and one pet store, my foot swelled to the max! If it swelled anymore, I think it would have exploded! But it came down quickly to the lowest it ever gets.

Today I got a call from the drs office. They said they heard back from the radiologist and that I do have a fracture. I don't remember what the doctor was calling it, but basically I have a bone in my ankle that chipped. The chipped piece is not in a place where it will cause problems and it will most likely not heal back where it's supposed to. So it stays there. But, about two hours after the phone call, I had a nice hard cast on!

I have mixed feelings about it. It's my first ever, so I'm kinda excited/nervous over it. They had to put my foot in a 90 degree angle (which my foot doesn't like and my toes have been tingling about) so it's not exactly comfortable until I get more used to it. In three days I get to walk on it though! In two weeks I get it taken off and more x-rays taken and most likely another one put on for another two weeks.

I was offered a choice of colors for this cast: white, hot pink, purple or dark blue. I chose the dark blue for now, but I'll probably get purple next. IF there's a third one (possibility), I'll get white for that one.

I got some great books at the bookstores in Montgomery. I got MZB's Winter issue (some good stories in there!), two of Stephen Leigh's books (The Crystal Memory and The Bones of God). I was looking for Speaking Stones or Dark Water's Embrace, but didn't find them at Barnes and Noble. I found those two at a used book store. The Crystal Memory looks very interesting and I'm looking forward to reading it. I'm going to spend more time reading and less time watching TV. Soon I'll make a books page or add a table in here to show you what I'm reading and what I'm going to start next. I'm in the middle of several books. Just finished one today though. James and I are reading 'War of the Worlds' together. I've never read it, should be interesting though. TTFN!

MAY 5: News

Had a drs visit yesterday. I scheduled one since I thought the swelling should have been better by now. The doc thought so to and ordered more x-rays. Now he thinks there is a hairline fracture in my ankle. He's sending the x-rays to a radiologist to know for sure. Either way, I'm off the foot for another two weeks. He gave me a souped up Motrin-type pill (samples, the best kind, you don't have to fool with pharmacies) for the inflamation and told me to do the same thing I've been doing, only elevate, elevate, elevate. He also said less 'puter time, since I can't elevate it properly at the 'puter. Phooeey!

So, I'm watching more movies. It's one of the few things I can do lying down with my foot elevated over my heart.

Oh, other news, the doc wanted to run a blood test to see how my kidneys are functioning (remember the CT scan at the hospital showed the kidney stone I had two years ago is still lodged in my urinary tract). The test showed they are functioning within normal limits. He wants to run a dye test to see exactly where the stone is so he can decide how to get it out. It costs almost $800! So, since we have no insurance, and that will be our responsibility to pay for, that will be a while. In the meantime, I'm doing some herbal things to cleanse the stone out and I think it's working. I've been feeling some very slight pains in that area and they worked their way down to my bladder. I'm almost positive its out, but I want to do some other things to be sure. That way when we run the dye test it'll be sure to be gone.

Maybe if I spend a few days with my foot elevated and take the souped up Motrin stuff, the swelling will be down enough for me to spend more time back on the 'puter. Hopefully so!

One good thing about it (well, I can't really decide if it's good or bad), is that I'm not teaching any more for this year. Part of me cheers, part of me misses the children.

Well, better go put my foot up! TTFN!

MAY 2: Busy, Busy, Busy...

Yesterday I barely had time to get on-line to check e-mail. I wasn't feeling well Sunday night or yesterday morning so I stayed in bed sleeping off and on until 1:30! Then it was straight to the shower and get ready to go. We had errands to run and then be at a friend's house for dinner at 3. We were late getting there, but still in time to eat. :) With all that running around, my foot swelled back up somewhat. But it's back down now, even lower than ever before, I think.

It's Gospel Meeting time at church, which means church every night this week. I barely got home last night in time to change my shirt and go. Then I talked to friends on the phone last night for a while. Today I piddled around, wasting time, on neopets. I now have (since Saturday) a second pet named Hideaki. He's a tigren, I think they are cute.

So anyway, I put this page together just now, the fastest ever. The person's website I got this from, Dawn Reber's site, put the code for the table up with it, so it was faster making this time. A link to her page is at the bottom.

I'm gonna force myself to work on writing tomorrow. It's like what Erin said, (I won't quote exactly, can't remember word for word) when you play hooky a few times, it's not so bad, but when you miss a week, it's hard to get back into the swing of things. It's been months for me since I've written daily, so I'm finding it difficult to get motivated. That's a good excuse anyway. :)

I read Nikki's new story! Cute! Check out her journal in the NAW journals to find a link there.

Time is running out on me, gotta run! TTFN! (I'm still messing with the text (size and color) on this page. Any suggestions, please e-mail. :) )

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