Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Still Alive & Kickin'!

I can't believe how long it has been since my last post. And since this past weekend when I was kindly urged by some family (you know who you are, D&L!) to get on here & say something - here I am!
Thanksgiving was great. I got up, puttered around my house, went for a run, & then headed over to Mom & Dad's to make some noodles. I went to Mike's grandma's with him for the noonish time meal & then we went to my parent's for the 4ish time meal. Needless to say, we weren't very hungry for round two. I feel kind of bad for my mom b/c the meal at their house is always #2 for her kids. We just don't have too much appetite for another round. But, I did eat her stuffing with much more gusto that Grandma Stewart's oyster stuffing. OH MY! Does anybody out there like that oyster stuff?
The day after Thanksgiving started early. I had to work my 2nd job from 2-9, so I had to get my shopping done quick! My family has a completely insane tradition of shopping on Black Friday. It's not just me & my parents; it's also my siblings & their families, my grandparents, & my aunt & uncle. All in all, it's 15 people. We can't count Mike b/c he says he would have to smoke some weed to be able to go out that day. So I gladly let him stay home ;-) So I shopped, I worked, & then I crashed. Saturday was a lot the same.
Sunday morning was when things just went totally south. I had the feeling that I was coming down with something late Saturday night. I woke up & my left ear was really painfully achy. I hadn't had that feeling since I was a little kid. Sunday morning I got up & just felt really draggy as I got ready for church but I was hoping I'd shake it off after I had some coffee. It was a 5th Sunday so we had our regular morning service, a fellowship carry-in dinner & then an afternoon service. We also had a short choir practice after that for the Christmas Cantata. I got home at about 3:30, changed my clothes, & drove myself to the urgent care clinic. My ear was hurting very badly & my throat was getting scratchy. NOT GOOD. I waited forever (trying not to think about how I was breathing in all the germs from the other sick people) & finally saw the doctor. He thought it might be a mild ear infection. I was chilling but had not developed a fever so he wrote a script for a z-pack & sent me on my way. I got it filled & started taking it immediately. Went home, Mike came by & tucked me in & I was asleep by 8:30 or 9:00.
Monday was worse. In fact, it was probably about the worst day of sickness. My fever was around 103 for hours & my throat was full of infection (I'll spare you the details). I called my regular doctor & he advised me to go to the ER or see him first thing the next morning. I opted not to rack up a bajillion dollar hospital bill & waited to see him Tuesday morning.
So, I'm at the doctor's getting a chest x-ray & blood work b/c he thinks I either have pneumonia, mono, or leukemia. Yep, leukemia. Evidently it can start with a terrible throat infection. Who knew? My mom took me home to wait for the phone call. At this point I'm pretty upset. I didn't' really think I had leukemia, but I was really concerned about the mono thing. I didn't want to think about how long that can linger & how it affects the rest of your life. Scary stuff.
The phone finally rings that afternoon. Leukemia - no. Mono - no. So what gives? What is making me so miserable??? Acute tonsillitis. I never knew it could be so bad. I was given strict orders not to go anywhere until I had seen the Doctor again the following Monday & he gave me a ten day course of Levaquin (an antibiotic that has the side effect of rupturing tendons - how fun!).
So, ten days of drugs later I am feeling pretty ok. I still get really tired by the end of the day. I think I have begun to realize that I need more sleep on a regular basis. I just can't do what I used to do - how sad...I'm aging!
And it seems like the last couple of days I've been surrounded by people with upset stomachs. Fun! I am terrified of the stomach flu. I am scared to throw up. I am scared about feeling nauseous. Am I the only one? Seriously, I should probably be counseled about it; it's a huge stronghold of fear in my mind. Pathetic, I know.
Anyway, I spent a whole week at my house & I really loved having the quiet time there by myself. I got to feeling a lot more comfortable there. I know the sounds & smells better, if you know what I mean. The worst part of the whole deal is that I didn't have any paid time off left. My company is a little unconventional in the way that they handle vacation, sick time & personal time. It's all considered the same & they are fairly liberal with how much you get (I'm a six year employee & I get 26 days a year plus 7 paid holidays). The catch is that none of your days carry over year to year so many employees are trying to get their last days of in December. Since we only have 9 employees I try to make sure all my time is used up so that we aren't too short-staffed. Well, let's just say that plan totally came back to haunt me. I missed 5 1/2 days of work with no pay. And I missed all of my scheduled hours at my 2nd job, too. So it's going to be interesting the next couple of weeks as I figure out where to cut some corners. I had some money saved (thank God!) but that is kind of a lot to cover, especially this time of the year when I had been spending a little more for Christmas gifts & things.
All of this to say, the Lord has been right here with me the whole time. I am so grateful to Him for protecting me when I am afraid, helping me sleep when I don't feel well, & comforting me with His Word. I had some wonderful hours during that week just reading my Bible & loving it more than I have in quite some time (to my shame). I also had a nice visit with my sister. She came by one morning & we spent an hour just catching up & enjoying each other's company. Somehow I let my life get too busy/overwhelming to delight in those kinds of moments on a regular basis.
NEWS FLASH!!! I just got a text from Mike that says he is NOT getting laid off at the end of this week. Thank God they are keeping 65 employees & he is one of them. The Lord has been so good to answer prayer in this matter.
I have more great stories to tell, but they will have to wait for a later date. Hopefully soon I can give you some details about the wedding. We haven't planned much b/c we were waiting to see if Mike would be laid off. That question has been now been answered so it's time to move forward!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sooo...Now What?

So, now I'm engaged. I have this beautiful ring, I have this guy I really love that I want to marry & now what? I had started picking up bridal magazines here & there. I flipped through them all & looked at all the wedding dresses online at David's Bridal. Hmmm...I don't really like anything. I hate strapless. I hate foofey. I really don't like the idea of spending tons of moola ('cause we don't have it). And then Mike got The Letter.
The Letter would be a layoff notice from his employer. He has worked for the same manufacturing company for about 13 years. The company is experiencing some hard times & truthfully there have been layoffs going on at different times for over a year. Silly me, I kept saying, "You've been there so long they'll have to shut the plant before they get to you!" Hmmm...guess what? They might shut the plant.
The Letter says that as of December 18th there will be a plant-wide layoff. Of course, they expect this layoff to be temporary. They usually have a shut-down period of about two weeks over the holiday anyway. So, my thinking is that they are not sure at this point if they will be able to keep this plant open. They lay everyone off & then they can save some money because they won't have to pay them holiday pay (bah humbug!). Then if they need to shut down, it's already in process. In the employee meeting that was held, they said that they intended to call about 70 workers back as of January 5th. Mike is about #45 in seniority. If they call back by seniority, he should be included. Since they aren't union, who knows what criteria they will use to select employees to call back. Higher seniority = higher rate of pay so that may cook his goose.
Sooo...now what? I was thinking April for the wedding. Now we're not so sure. I've been kind of discouraged about it. But my heart & mind keeping coming back to the assurance that the Lord is in control. He knows all about it; He knows our anxieties & our desires. He will lead us for the right timing for our wedding & I'm praying He'll provide great deals along the way as we plan things.
In conclusion, if you're wondering when we will set the date for our nuptials, just know that we're wondering, too! And praying & seeking the Lord's will. Pray along with us, please.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

All the Nitty Gritty Details!

For those of you who are interested, here is the extended version of our engagement story...

At the beginning of the week of October 20th, Mike suggested to me that we do something fun together on the following Saturday. Since I bought my house we have been on very few actual dates (unless you count trips to Lowes & Menards) & it has been a long time since we had done anything that wasn't family related. I readily agreed. Later that week my brother & his family decided they would come up from Kentucky for the weekend. Friday night was quickly planned full with a backyard campfire cookout for my dad's birthday (2 weeks late). A good time was had by all, but I was wondering how I could get some extra visiting time in with my niece & nephew & still do something fun with Mike that next day. I got up early (Mike doesn't usually so that worked in my favor) & went to a homecoming parade with my family. After that I picked Mike up & we went to Nashville for a few hours. It's a wonderful little town that has street after street of artsy gift shops. We had a really nice time just wandering around, looking, & even doing a little buying. I was very suspicious that he was going to take a moment somewhere during the day & ask me. We were in several really nice picturesque places but nothing happened. Hmmm....

As the afternoon wore on we were in a bit of a rush to get back to town for dinner at Olive Garden with the family. I know, I know...my family gets together so much it's probably damaging. Anyway - no proposal on Saturday.

Fast forward to Monday, October 27th. Mike had asked me if I would come over to his apartment for dinner in between my packing & getting ready for the Vienna trip craziness. I agreed with my suspicions once again fully aroused. That day was the one year anniversary of our first date. About 4:30 he called & said that his afternoon had not gone according to plan & he didn't have a plan for what to cook for dinner so would I please pick up a pizza on my way to his place? Once again, I'm confused. Pizza is not a very special dinner. In fact, we've had pizza a bizillion times since we've been dating. I was a bit disappointed. So I ordered pizza & headed out to his place. When I got there I noticed that his little kitchen table for two had been moved. Normally it sets in the wide doorway between the tiny kitchen & tiny living room. I walked into the kitchen & this is what I saw:

He's so funny! He was all nervous. He had gotten 2 dozen beautiful red roses & he had worked really hard to get his new candles to look all drippy. What a guy. He asked, I said yes, we ate pizza, took some bad pics that I will probably never post b/c we look so tired & goofy, & then we went to my parents house to show off my beautiful ring.

It was perfectly Michael. He's not one for big showy, fancy things & I loved the way he proposed b/c it was simple & beautiful.

Anybody else want to share their engagement story?

Monday, November 10, 2008

I've Got Some News!

I'm happy to confirm the vicious rumor that yes, I am engaged! Mike proposed to me two weeks ago today on October 27th, our one year dating anniversary. That was also the night right before I left for Vienna. I was a little surprised, but not completely. I knew he had the ring (we had designed it & picked it out together) I just didn't know for sure when I was going to get it ;-) You can't tell a whole lot from the picture, but the ring is in white gold with a pear shaped diamond in the center. There are pear shaped sapphires on the sides. So very pretty!

I haven't posted sooner b/c I've been trying to call friends & family to let them know first-hand. It's taking awhile & some of you are still going to get a call :-) We haven't set a firm date for the wedding yet, but we're thinking April 11th or 25th. I've also got to decide if I can plan a wedding & train for the Indy Mini!

So it's exciting times here. I'll blog about Vienna & give wedding details as they come together!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Up, Up, & Away!

I have just a quick second to check in before I'm done with work & officially on vacation! I have so much to do before I leave for Vienna tomorrow, but it's getting there little by little!
This past weekend was so much fun. My brother & his family were in town Friday - Saturday. Friday night we had a family cookout to celebrate my Dad's birthday. Saturday morning we got in on a little hometown parade action. The kids got tons of candy. Then Mike & I headed to Brown County to spend a few hours roaming the shops in Nashville. He bought some beautiful pottery & we had a great time just hanging out. Saturday night we met up with Mom & Dad, Beth & Brennan & their kids for dinner at Olive Garden. Yum! Then I went on a little shopping spree. I needed a new coat & some new jeans before I headed over the pond & I also picked up a pair of Dansko's (very expensive but supposedly very good for your feet shoes). Anyone else ever buy them? Opinions to share? So far I like mine. Then yesterday was church (evangelistic meeting started & wow - good stuff so far!) & some more bustling around followed by an Amazing Race party at Beth & Bren's. Very busy, very fun weekend. I'm blessed to be able to spend time with such wonderful people, family & friends alike.
This afternoon I've got laundry, tidying, & packing to do. Oh, and today is our one year anniversary as an officially dating couple. Anybody else out there completely surprised that I've been able to keep him this long? ;-)
And I'm happy to report that I have already voted. I will be getting back to the States on Election Day so I had to vote early. Voting is a very precious freedom. I recommend the movie "Iron Jawed Angels" to any person who wants to gain a greater understanding of what women in the past endured to enable us to vote today.
All right, I guess this is adios for now! I would say good bye in German, but I've got no idea how!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The During

Instead of skipping to the After, I'm going to have an intermediate step called the During. I don't feel like I'm officially to the After yet. I'm still unpacking, still situating, & the kitchen won't even appear in these posts because it is SO in the midst of progress. So here are the Durings. Hopefully after a very productive afternoon & evening today, I'll have some After pics to post soon - with furniture situated, boxes unpacked, laundry done...you get the idea ;-)

This is the lovely, little old time medicine cabinet that I preserved in the bathroom. I love it. Everyone asked me if I was going to replace it & I firmly said no. I love it. Mike put in two lovely new lights on either side of the cabinet & put in wainscoting & paneling above. I love the two tone blue. It's cheerful & makes me happy.

In the space next to the shower where we took out some old cabinets Mike built in this lovely shelf. This is the top half. And this is the bottom half. The lowest compartment is just the right size for my tall laundry basket. Very handy. Eventually I plan on making some curtains to hang on the inside for at least this bottom spot. This is the bedroom. The walls are Cranberry, the trim is Honeysuckle Bloom & the ceiling is Flax. It's hard to tell the colors from these dark pics, but I love it! It's a bit intense, but very warm.

I love this picture because it allows you to see a little better how it all comes together. The crown molding with the corner pieces was Mike's idea & has been considered a stroke of genius by us all. I think crown molding looks like the icing on a fancy cake. Beautiful! You can also see a little better the color of the ceiling. I promise, it does match the roman shades. I know in that other pic the color of the shades seems a little out there, but they really do look great.

Yikes, the clutter of moving! This is the living room During. The color of these walls is Lindhurst Mushroom & the ceiling is Quail Egg. It's hard to see much, but maybe you can see a little of how it's different.
And finally, the dining room During. Since it's very open between the living room & dining room the walls & ceiling are painted the same colors. And I have to thank God that I do actually really like all of the colors I've selected. That has definitely got to be a work of His kindness because I've never done this kind of thing before & I prayed often that He would help me. No one has the time or money to redo things, you know?

That's all for now! I hope that I really do get a lot done today so I can have some more pics for you this week!

The Before

I'm going to try to organize the posting of my house pictures. I wanted to remind you all what I started with so here are some "before" shots:

The massive plaster hole mess in the bathroom.

This is the space next to the shower where we took out some cabinets.

The bedroom before. If you know me well, you know that lacey, floral wallpaper & sheer curtains are just not going to cut it.

The living room before. The couch & chair you see are the ones that I sold on Craigslist.

The dining room before. See all that lovely painted-over wallpaper that I had to scrape off? And that's my mom & dad checking the place out just before I bought it.

Monday, October 20, 2008

My First Overnight Guest!

Roxi was here! She came in last Sunday for a quick visit. She got here before Mike & I got to town from one of his family get-togethers. I felt terrible that Roxi was on her own in our exciting town for about an hour before I got there to meet her. She was in a forgiving mood & we're very grateful ;-)
We met up just in time for the evening service & then came back to my house for some gourmet Pizza Hut. We visited & watched The Amazing Race then turned in early 'cause Monday was going to be a big day - The Covered Bridge Festival! Roxi came all the way from Ohio to spend the day with my family as we shopped the biggest junk sale in the Midwest! I'm a fan of the CBF but not because of the wonderful handmade crafts (there really just aren't many); I'm a fan because of the food! My dad always has something in his hands that he's sharing - roasted nuts, fudge, kettle corn, etc. It was a good thing we were walking around all day! I bought a big rug for my living room (which may later be relocated to the bedroom - this decorating business is hard!) & a harvest decoration for my front door. It was a wonderfully exhausting day. We were there from about 10 am to 6 pm. Whew!
Thanks for coming, Roxi! We all enjoyed having you here!

Not So Much...

This has been the picture of me for the last 15 days (who's counting?). I've had a terrible sinus infection/upper respiratory yuck going on for so long that I kind of forget what it feels like to be the normal Mary Ann. I was hoping this morning when I woke up I would feel like a new woman...not so much. Still coughing. Still fatigued (I think that's the worst part). Still getting sinus headaches. Still blowing my nose way too much.
I've finished a full 10 day course of antibiotics & I've been popping M*cinex DM like a junkie. I'm just praying that I can get over the whole deal completely before I fly next week. My ears can't hardly handle a flight when I'm 100 % well so I'm fairly certain that 3 flights on my way to Vienna could be completely miserable if I'm stuffy headed.
What do you think - is Airborne effective? Should I try it? And does anyone have any flying tips they would like to pass along? I'm always happy to get travel advice so let me know what you know!

Mobile Meltdown

I've had a super frustrating week trying to deal with a cell phone that has been on the blitz. It wouldn't charge all the way, it was sketchy about when it would it would turn on, it would turn itself off. Sometimes it turned itself on (don't know how that was happening & it was a bit creepy). Anyway, long story short, I ended up getting my mom's old cell activated for me b/c I'm at least three months from my new every two discount. I'm thinking this is a great deal b/c I just don't want to fork out the cash for a refurb or a new phone. One small problem - I have about 150 phone numbers saved to my phone. They assured me that if I had them backed up on-line (which I did) that I just needed to login & transmit the contacts to my newly activated phone. Awesome! Easy! Free! Yay! So that's what I did. Or that's what I thought I was doing. Horror of horrors I watched the computer screen reset with my mom's 20 contacts that she had saved to her phone when she was using it. Now I can't call anybody. I don't know anyone's phone number.
If you know me, love me, & want to talk to me please call me, text me, or e-mail me with your number(s). I feel so cut off; I feel so all alone! I feel so angry that this happened at all. Grrrr...Wahhhh...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Poll Question!

For all you fellow bloggers out there...I've been thinking a lot lately about why I blog & why I read blogs. When I first found a group of Northland bloggers out there, I was so excited! It was really fun to read up on where people were at, what they were doing, see pictures of their kids, etc. So I decided I had to have a blog, too. Just in case there were people out there that were wondering about me & where I was & what I was doing. And even though I don't have pictures of kids to post, I do have a cute boyfriend that I can post pictures of...heehee ;-) Anyway, the basic idea was to get in touch with people I had lost contact with & to maintain contact with others who are far away. And I've done that some.
But after some more in depth reflection I have decided what my one main reason is for blogging and what my one main reason is for blog reading.
I blog b/c I like to write. For those of you who know me well this will not come as a surprise. I love to type out a post about something funny that happened, or a strange question that arose in my mind, or an answer to prayer I've had, or insight about the Lord I've realized. Oftentimes I don't have time to actually sit at the computer & write the posts. But I get to think about them & that process, for me, is much more than half the fun.
I read blogs b/c I am a voyeur. Not in an icky, creepy way. I've always been a snoop - I wanted to know what other people kept in their bathroom cabinets so when I was a kid, I had to look (I promise I haven't done this in YEARS!). When I'm driving, I kind of glance around at the people in the other cars. And if you leave your curtains open at night you're just asking for me to look in as I go by. I just can't help it. And reading other blogs kind of satisfies the same nosey urge in me. Can't help it. Curiosity compels me.
So...why do you blog? Why do you read blogs?

Google Reader

I'm kind of slow on computer stuff. As with all things electronic I usually just learn enough to function in the most minimal way, which drives Mike nuts; he wants to totally figure out my laptop & ipod - I say, more power to him! Anyway, I decided to give Google Reader a try. I go through the craziest blog to blog to blog path to try to catch up with everyone's new posts so hopefully this will save me some time. We'll see. It's always fun to try something new, right? Plus, I've got a really bad sinus issue (bad enough to call the doc for drugs today) & we're really slow here at work. I had to have something to do. I already worked on my Sunday School lesson for this week & reorganized my materials. I have tried to hook my camera up to this computer but I can't figure out how to make it work. Alas, still no house pictures. An update on my pumpkin - I'd had it sitting out on my front porch for less than 24 hours before a squirrel or some other varmint took a big bite out of it's backside. Hilarious!

Monday, October 6, 2008


Yep, I am finally moved into my house! I closed on the house on April 18th (my niece Madison's birthday as well as the day we had an earthquake) so it had been a little less than 6 months ;-)
I got off of work a little bit late & Mike's truck broke down so we didn't get off to a promising start. I was also kinda worried because I hadn't packed anything at Mom & Dad's. I didn't want all of my helpers getting impatient with me as I stuffed boxes & ran around like a crazy woman. I got home & my grandparents were there, ready & waiting with their truck. I know it sounds awful for me to enlist the help of my mid-eighties grandpa, but he is such a great packer, tier-downer, & he insists on helping. My grandma is a great cheerleader so we had to have her along, too. I'm not sure I've mentioned it before, but I LOVE my grandparents. They are such a source of joy & wisdom for me. My mom was a huge blessing to me because she had stuffed several boxes full for me while I was at work. I started piling up what was ready to go, they started carrying it out to grandpa's truck & a little bit later Beth & Brennan arrived to help. Caleb & Madison even got in on the action by carrying out smaller things. Moving is a terrible pain (I'm sure you can all agree!) but it was wonderful spending those few hours with my family. We got it all moved in about 3 1/2 hours. Very little of it has been situated or put away, but it's all there except for my tv & a couple of other things. I've even been staying there the last two nights. Yesterday my family went to a pioneer/harvest festival thing & I even bought a pumpkin for my front porch ;-) I'd take some pics & post them for you all but I cannot find my camera anywhere. Imagine that! I work both jobs today but I have high hope for organization & unpacking for tomorrow & Wednesday. This has been a long & ongoing process. I've been a bit exhausted & exasperated at times, but the Lord has been so good to provide just what I've needed all along the way. I can't thank Him enough for the people in my life - my family, Mike, Virginia - who have been so faithful to encourage & help me along the way. I'm so blessed.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Official House Update

As of today here is the rundown:
  • the bedroom is DONE! Except for some touch up painting which shouldn't take more than five minutes.
  • the living room is DONE! Touch up painting note applies here, too.
  • the bathroom is DONE! All we need to do is reset the toilet, reinstall the shower door & then I need to clean.
  • the dining room just needs the woodwork washed, the floor stripped & waxed.
  • the kitchen is an utter disaster. We'll label it the current work in progress. ;-)

And for the BIG NEWS - I hope to move in a big way on Saturday! It's gonna be an interesting process because we won't be able to start until about 3 pm because I have to work my second job. I'm excited; I can't wait! It's gonna be a major mess but oh well! Roxi, I hope you're ready for some chaos when you come visit :-)

Terrible Tuesday Curse Broken!

I thought things were all lined up for Terrible Tuesday #4. The day did not start out in a promising way - I woke up for work WAY late. As in I had about 10 minutes to get ready & I was still late. Not good. Thank God for a kind boss. After work I headed over to my house to check in with the sewer repair guys. I have to say that I totally do not envy them. Not a very fun job at all. The men that were working for me were so nice. They let me hover & ask all kinds of questions about what they were doing & what I could do to help prevent this from happening again. Basically I have to totally replace the sewer pipes with plastic or cut the trees down. I don't think I'm going to do either at this point. So I'm going on a strict regimen of Root Kill down the drain. Anyway, they dug down to the pipe & removed a patch (evidence of previous work), put the snake thing in a pulled out roots that were woven together so tightly that they looked like a carpet. What a mess! I'm so grateful they were able to get it all cleaned out. I was a little anxious about the bill. I could only imagine it was going to be huge because they had come out to work on it two different days & they had to dig, etc. I was pleasantly surprised when the bill was only $335. Thank God - a direct answer to prayer with that amount. I had tried to brace myself for the worst because everyone kept telling me it was going to be a very painful bill. I am going to remember who I called for service this time so I make sure that if I have a problem again, I can be a repeat customer.
I am cautiously hopeful that the Terrible Tuesday curse is broken ;-)

This & That

Wow, that's a little picture! I uploaded it from my cell phone. I'm sure you're all dying to know that I cut my hair. It seems like kind of a dramatic cut to me. It's as short as I've had it in years & I'm wondering why I waited SO LONG! Excuse the expression on my face; I don't know why I'm looking so weird.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Recent Happenings...

First of all, let me say that I "heart" craigslist! I have a couch & matching chair that I inherited with my house. They are nice I suppose but not the style or color that I like. Plus they are not super comfortable. The chair isn't too bad, but the couch cushions like to slide right out from under you. It's not exactly relaxing to need to wrestle your pillow back under you every 10 minutes. So, I took some pics the other night & posted them for sale on craigslist. I've never tried to sell anything online before & frankly, I have never understood the phenomenon that is ebay. I didn't have high hopes that anyone would be interested, but I could have sold them three times over! I had them sold within 48 hours of posting. We still haven't ironed out pick up details & I don't have cash in hand yet, but I have 2 other buyers lined up if buyer #1 falls through. Yippee!
Now for the bad news. It would seem that my streak of Terrible Tuesdays has not exactly ended. The first Terrible Tuesday my car's computer went kaput. The second Terrible Tuesday I hit a deer. Last Tuesday was a Terrific Tuesday - I worked just one job, worked on my house for a little bit, then met my sister & the kids for dinner at Fazoli's. Yum. Then we spent the evening at their house - went for a walk, played some badminton, got the kiddos cleaned up, read to, tucked in, & then Beth & I had some chatting time. I've really missed those relaxing catch up moments for us. It was a great day. Then came Terrible Tuesday #3. I went to my house after work & Mike helped me get the lawn mower going & I tackled the yard. I'm ashamed to admit that it had been about 6 weeks since I had mowed. It was hard work, let me tell you & a mistake that I do not intend to repeat. While I was mowing Mike went to Lowes to get some stuff we needed. He forgot his wallet. Oops. He came back empty handed realizing that he left his wallet at his apartment (about 10 miles away) & my fueled needed light was flashing. Thank God he didn't get stranded on the side of the road! So then we decided to start hanging the crown molding in the bathroom. Thanks to lovely Virginia the bathroom is now all painted & just needs this last bit of trim to complete it. Yay! We got the crown all hung except for one piece that I still need to buy. We took a little break (by this time it's about 9:30 & we still haven't stopped for dinner). I went to the bathroom & noticed a major toilet malfunction. As in, it wasn't flushing & I could hear water running somewhere. Mike ran to the basement & told me not to come look. I went anyway. I shouldn't have. Water was coming through the floor. Say it with me people, NOT GOOD! Thankfully we spent some time rearranging things in the basement this last weekend & so nothing important got wet, but yuck! We realized that there was obviously an obstruction in the drain & since the water couldn't go down it had ruined the seal on the toilet. We went back upstairs, removed the shower door, removed the toilet & put it in the shower (it looks quite comical) & then stared at the pipe in the floor that was full of water all the way up to the rim. I wanted to scream. I wanted to cry. I wanted to go to bed & not get up until noon on Wednesday. Instead I decided to listen to Mike. He thought it would be a good idea for me to go get gas in my car & get some take-out for our dinner while he went & retrieved one of his many tools from his parent's house that would allow him to snake down the pipe & see what might be clogging it. Say it with me again, YUCK! That's what we did & by the time I got back he had already run the snake & come up with a big wad of little tree roots. I called the city yesterday & they checked their end of the sewer (of course it was fine) & I have some people scheduled to come check out my end tomorrow. It's a blessing I'm not actually living in the house yet b/c I would have no toidy & no shower. I'm praying that it's not a tremendously expensive repair. That will make me want to scream, cry, & go to bed early ;-)
Since this was the Third Terrible Tuesday hopefully now the trend will come to an end!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Toyota Trauma

Recently my car has been having a very hard time. A couple of weeks ago the check engine light came on & it started shifting really hard. My brother (who is an engineer for Toyota) instructed me to take the gas cap off & re-tighten it and also to remove the battery cable for 30 minutes to reset the computer. It worked like a charm. For a week. Then it started having the same problem. So I took it in to have the codes read. I took it to the garage where we get all of our company vehicles maintenanced so I know the mechanic fairly well. He gave me a call & delivered the bad news - my car needed a new computer. Yikes! So then I hauled it into the dealership (a place I hate doing business b/c of past experiences). Turns out, the computer was still under warranty. Thank God! I'm pretty sure a repair like that would have sent my finances reeling.
Fast forward to last night. I have been experiencing excellent performance from my little car - just like it had never had any problems. I was driving on a country road at dusk (& I'm sure you can guess what happened!). I whacked a deer. The damage is minimal - I hardly even felt the impact - but the bumper is all caved in on one side. No fun. So I called the insurance today & found out that this kind of claim is covered under comprehensive & I have no deductible! I also have rental coverage so when the work gets done I won't be dependent upon everyone else to get me to & fro.
These little difficulties are a bit trying, but I have to say that the Lord has been very faithful to take care of me. Since I bought my house & have been pouring every extra penny into it I tend to get a bit more disgruntled when things like this come up. He has definitely covered my every need & I'm so grateful!

Monday, September 8, 2008

It's A Small World!

Yesterday as I was sitting in the choir loft at the beginning of the Sunday morning service I couldn't help but notice some visitors sitting with one our church's families. There was an older couple & a lady sitting there with them. I did a double take because the lady sitting there looked just like Miss Wagner, my freshman speech teacher at Northland. Surely not, I thought. Why in the world would she be visiting my church & how would she possibly know the family she was sitting with? After the service I worked my way over to shake her hand & sure enough, it was Miss Wagner! We had a great time catching up for a few minutes when she told me about how the Lord had moved her from Northland to a counseling ministry in Denver. I got to tell her about how the Lord had led me to a job in pharmacy. It turns out that her dad is the pastor of the church that the family in my church had previously attended in Michigan (did you get that?). How funny. I was just thinking the other day that I had such great memories of my time at Northland but that it was very sad that it is geographically so far away that I don't get up there to visit & I never just bump into anyone from there. I'm sure the Lord was smiling, knowing that just a couple of days later I would get to see Miss Wagner!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Guten Tag!

This summer has been a lot different for me. Generally I've taken lots of little trips or a few bigger trips & done lots of fun things. Not so much this year. The summer of '08 will be remembered as The Summer of the House. And we're still not done! But progress is being made...gotta remember that.
Anyway, I was feeling kind of restless the other week here at work so I started searching Kayak.com for tickets to Vienna. The prices were outrageous & the layovers were like 23 hours long. Definitely a no-go. The restless feeling hit me again last week. So I decided to hit Kayak again & maybe change up the dates a bit. Eureka! I found some flights for about half of what they were before (& about $400 less than I paid last year) & the flight plans had 2 layovers that were less than 2 hours each. I sent the info to Missy & waited to hear back from her.
I got to talk to Missy via her cool Vonage phone on Saturday & we decided the dates were good & the layovers should be workable. So I head out to Vienna on Tuesday, October 28th! I'm so excited! The Lord has provided me with another opportunity to visit Missy & Kai & He also provided a fabulous deal on the ticket. He really does want us to have abundant lives. I sometimes get caught up in thinking that He is glad to meet my needs but that's really all He's interested in. How wrong is that! The Lord continually blesses exceeding abundantly above all I ask or think.
I will be flying from Indy to Chicago on United, from Chicago to Dusseldorf on Lufthansa, & then from Dusseldorf to Vienna on Air Berlin. And then the way home is the same just in reverse ;-)
Gotta see if the library has any German tutorials on CD. Gotta know how to say, "where's my gate?" & "where do I get my boarding pass?"

Thursday, August 21, 2008


This last weekend Mike & I headed out on a little road trip. His older sister Jackie, lives in Quincy, Illinois. Since Mike & Stew have sold their house, Mike is trying to do a little down-sizing in the furniture department. He has a really nice entertainment center armoire thing that Jackie really wanted & Jackie just happened to have an old car that Mike wanted to have as a gas-saving option (since he normally drives a big Dodge Ram). So, we rented a car transporter, hitched it up, & headed out. We arrived in Quincy without incident, made the swap, and headed over to Home Depot to do a little looking since we don't have one in our town. My oh my, how my life has changed. I used to hate going to stores like Home Depot & Lowe's. Now I'm getting excited when I visit a town that has a new home improvement store. We wandered around in there forever (incidentally, any of my readers have any idea of how I could make my own roman blinds? At over $100 a pop, I'm doubting I will ever buy them). Anyway, after H.D. we headed over the The Olive, a FABULOUS Greek restaurant. I enjoyed a Greek salad & moussaka. Just divine, let me tell you. Jackie drove us all around Quincy & I was totally impressed with the lovely old homes. I thought we had some nice old houses here, but they are nothing compared to the brick lovelies we passed by. I love old homes & I could have spent all day walking around the neighborhoods. We hit the road a short time later. We were both a little nervous about pulling the car, but Mike did a great job of driving & navigating gas stations. He has a dvd player in his truck (it's really cool with a flip out screen & everything) so I was able to watch a movie on the way home. I kinda made fun of him for buying it but now I have to say that it's really a great thing to have! We pulled back into town about 2 a.m. - a bit of a long day but we had a good time together & thank God for the journey mercies.

Gettin' Together

Each year there is a group of us Northland Girls that tries to get together for a few days. This year we were down in numbers (usually there are at least 7 or 8 of us with about 14 little boys running around). Even though we didn't have every one with us we still managed to have some great times. My camera went kablooey so this is the only pic I have (thanks Dellie for e-mailing it!). We slept in, went for walks, talked, ate, baked pies, shopped, talked, made homemade pizza, talked, & prayed. What a precious few days! We missed you, Chrissy, Rachel, Becca, & Angie! Here's looking forward to next year & praising the Lord for godly friends!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

House Pictures Part One

This is me at the bank right before my closing. That little piece of paper in my hands is my down payment/closing costs check. Yowzas! It seemed like a biggie. Bye bye savings!

After the closing, Mom & I headed over to my house. I know it looks like I'm flexing my guns for you but I'm really just holding the key up.

This was the first step in renovating - removing the old wall paper. Beth & Brennan stopped in for a few minutes to help me peel.

Mike was on duty in the living room. We both took a couple of vacation days so that we could work hard on getting some stuff started.

I was trying to teach Caleb how to use a scraper.

My dad bought a Sam's Club cake to celebrate my house purchase. I promise you, any little occasion & that man is headed to Sam's to buy a cake. He loves 'em!

This is the living room after it was painted. The color of the walls is Lindhurst Mushroom & the ceiling is Quail Egg. I'm doing the same colors in the dining room since the area is so open. Thank you, Virginia for all your hard work!

Here's Mike standing in the doorway of the bedroom. I chose Cranberry for the walls, Flax for the ceiling, & Honeysuckle Bloom for the trim. Since I took this picture we have hung crown molding & it looks great! All that is left to do is touch up some paint, do some caulking, & clean. Yay! Thanks Mike, for all of your hard work!

I'm a little bummed because I thought I actually had a few more pics than this. Oh well, there will be more to come! We've started on the bathroom now so hopefully soon I'll have some finished pics of it!

Velvet Ants

I mentioned in a post a long time ago that we have cicada killers here at my work place. This year I've noticed a new neighbor. It's this little lovely here - the Velvet Ant. When I first saw one I was more than a little disconcerted. The thing was a good 3/4 of an inch long & moved really fast. So I did a bit of Internet research & identified it as a Velvet Ant. The website www.whatsthatbug.com is very helpful, by the way. I learned that these critters are actually flightless wasps that can deliver a very painful sting when provoked. Reputedly the sting is so painful that it can kill a cow so another name for them is Cow Killers. Ugh. Kinda makes me want to stay inside!

Off the Wagon/On the Wagon

I have to admit that I've never really understood the expression "She fell off the wagon" or "She's back on the wagon." I'm fairly certain that it has to do with keeping resolutions regarding behavior. Maybe I should google it? ;-)
Supposing that definition is correct, I have to admit that lately I have kind of fallen off the wagon regarding regular exercise. I was really working hard to get ready for the Indy Mini so when the race was over I was ready for a break or a change in routine. Plus I figured it would be beneficial to give my feet a bit of a rest. I had decided that this summer I would cut back on the running & spend more time biking & doing yoga or workouts that revolve around strength training. Well, I've been busy. And I would really just rather run I guess because it's been nearly impossible to make time for the other kinds of exercise. I have all kinds of excuses - my work schedule, my house renovation, Beth's illness...you know how excuses are, they go on & on. So, I've tried to reevaluate a bit and come up with a new plan.
  • ride my bike to work at least 2 days a week (this week that would be today & tomorrow)
  • ride my bike on Saturdays for all errand running unless I need to go somewhere that I could get killed on a bike
  • lift weights with Mike whenever he wants (he has a small personal gym thing - it's kinda fun!)
  • do at least two other workouts a week using my exercise ball & DVDs from my collection or the library
  • get some sleep! I think if I could work up to at least six hours a night I would feel a little bit more like exercising

So there's the plan. We'll see how it works. Mostly my schedule is out of control. If I could slow down a bit it would really help. Here's what I've been up to this week:

Monday - worked both jobs (7am-9pm) & then went to Lowe's with Mike to get some tools

Tuesday - worked both jobs & then lifted with Mike

Wednesday - worked 7am-3pm, haircut, prayer meeting, hung the crown molding in my bedroom

Thursday - work 7am-3pm, 2-3 precious hours at home to tidy up & clean/relax, dinner with DeAnn to celebrate our birthdays, mow grass at both houses with Mike

Friday - work 7am-3pm (while my family enjoys the day at Holiday World & Splashin' Safari!), grocery shop, work on the house

Saturday - get up super early so that I can exercise & go to the Farmer's Market, work 9-1, help Mike begin to pack, clean for Mom, have my birthday dinner & party

Maybe now you'll forgive me for STILL not posting pics of the house. I promise that one day I will do it!

How are all the rest of you doing with your summertime fitness goals? Any hints, encouragements, or tips? Everyone feel free to comment!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


I'm rejoicing today in an answered prayer. Actually, I have to admit that it's an answered gripe. You see, I am not normally the type of person who misplaces things or breaks things. I like to think that I'm more responsible than that (heehee!). But this summer I have had a definite issue with sunglasses. I had a pair that I loved; I lost them. I had a pair that were specifically made for my prescription glasses; I lost them. I had another pair that I had bought at a gas station out of sheer desperation & I kind of broke them. Grrrr...so in the back of my head for the last few weeks I've been kinda gripey about it. And I refused to buy another pair b/c I just didn't trust myself with a new pair. But God is good, you know. Yesterday I was digging through my car because I had lost my Nalgene (see, losing stuff left & right!). In the process of looking for the Nalgene I found the two lost pairs! Yee haw!
Another cause for rejoicing today is that Mike & his brother Stew are closing on their house today. They have owned a home (a fabulous historical home) for about 9 years & it's been on the market for a little over a year. Stew has been commuting to Indy for work for at least 10 years & he's ready to be done with that. The time spent on the road together with the increase in gas prices has made it difficult for him to justify living here. So today they sign the papers & the packing/down-sizing & yard-saling/moving fun begins!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Hiya Strangers!

Man, I have been WAY absent from my blog lately. So much has happened that I'm not sure how to recap, but I'll give it a shot!

Let's start with an update on Beth. Many of you have asked what her status is at this point. It's been a long road, complete with 2 night stay at the hospital in Indy. I was so overtired & mentally worn during the 24 hours I was there with her that I took the stairs every time I went from her room to the cafeteria or gift shop. There are exactly 214 stairs from top to bottom. Anyway, while she was there she had a whole group of interns & a couple of neurologists working on her. There has been a lot of blood work done & they have tweaked the dosage of medication that she had been taking. She also saw a nutritionist because some of her difficulties have come from being uncomfortable with eating. Her sensation of swallowing changed a lot & it made it hard for her to eat. The nutritionist suggested that possibly she should try a gluten free diet because sensitivity to gluten can cause the body to experience neurological symptoms. She has been home for a couple of weeks now & slowly she seems to be coming out of this episode. She has been following the gluten free diet for a couple of weeks now & she has also been trying to increase her physical activity. She went for a walk with me on Sunday & she went swimming yesterday. She is still having some pain (today her neck hurts some) & she is still experiencing some insomnia (something that both of us struggle with sometimes). Thank you so much for your prayers, expressions of concern & love. The Lord has been so faithful to strengthen us all through this & I pray that the lessons we have learned will be deeply written on our hearts. Please continue to pray for Beth. They still haven't diagnosed anything & there is the realization that it could worsen at any time. She has a follow up appointment with the neurologist on the 18th. We'll see what happens then.

Now let me update you on my house. I have had some tremendous help lately. I am happy to report that the living room is done! A wonderfully sweet lady from my church, Virginia, loves to paint & she has been really working hard for me. She primed both the bedroom & living room. Then she came back for more punishment & painted them both. She did the living room all by herself while Mike & I helped in the bedroom. The bedroom just needs to have the crown molding nailed up & then it will be done. Yay!
We have also started on the bathroom. We pulled all the trim off & have begun to hang wainscoting & paneling. The walls in there are just too uneven & messed up to paint. So the bottom half will be wainscoting & the top half is another type of paint-able paneling. Mike has gotten two walls done. He also removed some cabinets that were next to the shower. He is going to build me a custom cabinet so that it will be the right size for hampers & other things that I want to hide in there. The cabinets that we pulled out may actually get used in the kitchen (they match exactly). We're going to replace the lighting in the bathroom as we go along & once all the walls are done, Virginia is ready with her paintbrush!
Then all that's left will be the kitchen & dining room. I think that once the bathroom is done I might try to start cleaning up & moving some. I don't like living in the middle of a remodeling project, but thanks to my parents I've had lots of experience doing it! :-)

Work has been going really well. I've been a technician long enough now that I had to recertify & renew my license. That was a flurry of continuing education & form filling out. I'm glad it's behind me for two more years. Strangely enough, I did learn a lot from my CE. If you have any questions about Medicare Part B or how to regulate thyroid hormone levels, give me a call!

Six weeks ago I made a major change that I should have posted about. I got my hair whacked! I had about 6 inches chopped off & do I ever wish I had done it sooner. It would have made for some fabulous before & after shots but alas, I didn't get it done.

And now for some milestone occasions that have passed...Mike & I have been dating for nine months. That's about 8 1/2 months longer than any of my other relationships - lol! I kinda can't believe he's still hanging around but he still seems to like me ;-) Also, I celebrated my 31st birthday this last Sunday. My parents were on vacation (yeah, what kind of timing is that???) so I had lunch & cake with Beth & the family. Then after church that night Mike made me dinner - homemade pizza. Yum. And yeah, he got me a present. Good man that he is he got me exactly what I asked for...a salad spinner! I know I'm weird & all that but seriously, I hate soggy romaine! I've been told that they don't really work but we'll just have to give it a try anyway. It's super cool - it even has a brake on it. My family is having a bash for me this Saturday night. If you're nearby please drop in! ;-)

So that's my massive update. Hopefully I'll have some pics of the house posted in the next couple of days. How's that for a little teaser?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Update on Beth

Beth loves butterflies so I thought I would put some on display here. Many of you have asked what her status is so I will attempt to update you thoroughly. I have waited a little bit so that I could have some remarks from her most recent appointment. She met with the neurosurgeon. He does not feel that all of her symptoms can be attributed to Arnold-Chairi Type One. He ordered 2 MRIs. The first she has already had done & the second will take place on the 30th. It will show if there is obstruction of the cerebral spinal fluid. The only way she would be a candidate for surgery is if there is obstruction of some kind. If there is no obstruction, there will be no surgery & she will just have to manage her symptoms (say it with me people, complete misery!). This week she saw a neurologist at IU. He seemed to be very interested in her because her symptoms read like the complaints of a 70 year old person who has had diabetes for decades not a presumably healthy 32 year old. He performed the regular in-office tests for reflexes & strength which she passed easily. He also does not think that the Arnold-Chairi is responsible for all of her symptoms. All of her complaints involve peripheral nerves (except for the tongue weakness) rather than central nerves. So he ordered lab work. Beth has had lots of blood draws since this all started but this dude ordered much different tests - from the order sheet it looked like he ordered some way out of the ordinary stuff. He wants to test for autoimmune disorders that attack the nerves (both my mom & her sister have Lupus, an autoimmune disease) & who knows what all else. He was very reassuring in letting Beth know that he does not think she will have any dramatic loss of function or onset of pain. This booger is a progressive thing & shouldn't land her in any kind of emergency situation. However, he did tell her if certain things happened that we should bring her to the E.R. at I.U. & contact him so that he could come evaluate the situation. This is a relief because no other doctor would offer that assurance. She has a follow-up appointment with him in six weeks - once again, nobody is in a hurry but us. *sigh*

So, how is Beth today? I spoke to her on the phone a little while ago & she is really feeling weak. Even though the doctors have not restricted any activities, she hasn't driven in several weeks because of this persistent weakness. Their home is out in the country, about 15 miles from my parents home, & she doesn't feel capable of making the distance. She is sad, in pain, fighting anxiety, & feeling like a burden. Please pray for her spirit & soul as much as you pray for her body. She is making a valiant effort to trust the Lord in all of this. She has dug deep into His Word & posted promises that are a blessing to us all throughout her home. Please also pray that we can all rally around her family & help her husband as well. My parents are all trying to juggle full-time jobs with many responsibilities as well as do what we can to be there for them.

That's the status of things in a nutshell. God has been very good to us this far. We're just waiting, praying, & praising Him for all He has taught up to this point about His grace, His peace, & His sustaining strength. We also are so grateful for the people who love Him, who have helped so much. Our church family & friends have really gathered round & been so warm & loving to our family - God bless you all! Thank you so much for your continued prayers on Beth's behalf.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Praying For Beth

This is my lovely sister, Beth with her daughter Madison. Just over a month ago my family & I were enjoying home made ice cream after Sunday night church. Now we are spending much of our waking hours caring for Beth & praying for her. They suspect that she has Arnold-Chairi Type I. It's a condition where the lower tonsilular lobes of the cerebellum descend from the skull into the spinal space. It can pinch off the circulation of cerebral spinal fluid. Beth had a terrible episode of sickness 15 months ago that they diagnosed as a viral neuropathy. It's uncommon in a woman her age & who enjoys good health but the burning pain in her arms & legs could not be explained any other way at that point. She got better but has struggled off & on since then with terrible pain & numbness. They have explored fibromyalgia, lupus (prevalent in our family), and even Lyme's Disease. Last week our family doctor did some review of MRI results, etc. & discovered what he feels is an overlooked case of the Arnold-Chairi. In the meantime, Beth has suffered a terrible flare up of numbness, pain, & muscle weakness. She has lost some of her ability to swallow so she is barely eating soft foods. She was successfully referred to a well-known neurosurgeon in Indianapolis (one of my co-workers has has been his patient 3 times). That appointment is early Wednesday morning. It's been a tremendously long wait for this appointment (7 days down 2 to go!). Please pray for Beth. Pray for her peace of mind. Pray for the Lord's continued direction in testing & treatment. Pray for us as her family to be the right kind of support for her. Pray for her children (8 year old son & 5 year old daughter). There has been a network of tremendously loving people from our church who have really "circled the wagons" & we're so grateful. I personally am praying for a miracle. Each night before I go to sleep I ask our powerful God to erase the whole problem before Beth awakes the next morning. If He chooses to do it, I will praise Him; if He chooses not to do it, I will praise Him.

And so we wait on the Lord. He never disappoints.

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,

and he shall strengthen thine heart:

wait, I say, on the LORD.

Psalm 27:14

Friday, May 30, 2008

Of All Things...

Mike has been working a crazy evening shift & the last couple of Friday nights I have gone to meet him for his "lunch" hour at 9:30. Tonight on my way home I was stopped at a busy intersection waiting to right turn on red. There was a lady crossing the street in front of me & as I was checking traffic an older gentleman in a burgundy sedan turned left & hit the pedestrian. It was a horrible sight to see her go up in the air, her sandals flew off, & then she hit the ground. I was completely stunned. I hollered out my window to her to ask her if she was OK & she insisted she was. She got up & limped over to sit on the curb of a Starbucks parking lot. Several teenagers in a pick up truck in the lane next to me heckled her, yelling at her to get out of the way. The old man drove away & not a single other person paused to see if she was all right or call the police or anything. I dialed 911 & spoke to the dispatcher. He was completely unimpressed with my lack of information. No, I did not have the license number of the man - I never saw the back of his car. No, I don't know if she was drunk - I don't drink; I've never been around a drunk person so how do I know how they act? I was trying to get my car over to where she was & talk to the dispatcher at the same time. Remember this is on a really busy corner. The lady was back out in the intersection, slowly limping around trying to gather her sandals. I just simply could not believe that no one else was concerned about what had happened. Not only had she been hit by a car, but the driver left the accident! Am I the only person who thinks that is a big deal? By the time I got my car over to her side of the street she had gotten up & was walking down the road. I told the dispatcher & he said he would send a car out to look for her. I'm still stunned & sickened. God forgive me if I can ever witness a scene like that & just keep going on my own way without any regard for other people. Maybe I'm being dramatic; maybe she was just fine. I don't see how that would be possible, but maybe. I feel like maybe I should have done something else like follow her down the street. I pray she is OK & that the old man doesn't EVER get behind the wheel again.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Thomas W. Bailey
Thomas W. Bailey, 88, of Terre Haute died at 2:15 a.m. Tuesday, May 20, 2008, at Meadows Manor North. He was born in Arkansas on Aug. 7, 1919, to Henry F. Bailey and Mary E. Sluder Bailey. He retired from the former Quaker Maid where he worked in the shipping department. His wife, Rosalie Johnson Bailey, preceded him in death on May 8, 2005. He is survived by two sons, Thomas L. Bailey and wife Becky of Rosedale, and Steven R. Bailey and wife Kathy of Texas; a brother, Earl S. Bailey of Arkansas; his grandchildren, Robin Rice and husband Scott, Birch Bailey, Betsy Leslie and husband Dan, Ryan Bailey, Brian Bailey, and Michael Bailey; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by brothers, Charles, Emery, Elmer and Lester Bailey; and sisters, Gladys Johnson and Zelphy Foster. He was a Navy veteran of World War II, serving in the Southwest Pacific Theatre with the Seabees. His memberships included Terre Haute First Church of the Nazarene, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 972, and he was a former member of Southside Evening Optimist Club. Funeral services are 11 a.m. Saturday at DeBaun Springhill Chapel, 85 E. Springhill Drive, with the Rev. Ryan Bailey, a grandson, officiating. Burial will be at Westlawn Cemetery in Farmersburg, with VFW Post 972 conducting military rites. Visitation is 4 to 8 p.m. Friday.
This is my darling great Uncle Wayne. He went to be with the Lord this week. Although it makes me sad to know that I won't hear his happy voice call me Baby Doll anymore, I am rejoicing in the fact that his days spent in the misery of ill health are over. Uncle Wayne always told the most hilarious stories from his childhood. He hated going to school in the one room schoolhouse in Arkansas, so he would get up very early & go skunk hunting. Once he got himself a fat skunk, he would generously apply skunk fat to the steam radiators in the building. You can imagine the odiferousness of the school building once those radiators started heating up. Yep, school would get called off & he couldn't have been a happier boy! He was married to my Aunt Rosalie for more years than I even know. Even though she passed away several years ago, he still referred to her as his 'Sweetheart.' They used to have a great house in the country with a huge garden & a deep, skinny finger of a lake behind their home. That's where I took my first swim in natural water rather than pool water. I was about three years old & I just jumped right off the dock. I think I about gave my parents a heart attack, but I (vaguely) remember enjoying myself, splashing around in that green, slimy water. I spent the rest of the afternoon wrapped up in a bath towel while Aunt Rosalie washed my clothes.
Since last Memorial Day I have lost two uncles. As we go about our holiday activities they won't be there. That reality makes me sad, but knowing that they are in heaven in the presence of our Lord more than soothes my soul. Thank God they are no longer suffering. Thank God they are forgiven through Christ & enjoying the benefits of being joint heirs with Him. Thank God for my wonderful family.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Like A Good Neighbor...

I have had State Farm insurance ever since I became a driver. It has been a fairly friendly relationship & they also cover several other policies for me. Recently I received a statement that let me know what my car insurance premium would be for the next six months. They had incorporated all of the changes to my policy from moving and adding homeowner's insurance, etc. The very next day I received a check from State Farm for over $400! I was a little confused. So today I called & asked my super nice agent to check it out for me. I was worried that my homeowner's payment had gotten applied to the wrong policy or something crazy like that. He did some digging around & discovered that the corporate people are doing a huge audit to determine that all policyholders have received the discounts they are eligible for. It appears that I was gypped the multi-car discount for two years while I was living with my parents. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT??? What a blessing - to get a whopping check like that out of the blue & then to find out that I get to keep it!!! Jehovah Jireh. Sometimes I feel like the Lord is just loving on me more than I can stand. And I'm so convicted because I don't deserve one bit of it.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

My Momma

This is my Momma. She is a very smart lady & she has accomplished many wonderful things in her lifetime - raising 3 kids, grandmothering 4 grandkids, taking care of my dad, reaching high goals with her career & education...you get the idea. Very intelligent, my mom (& I think she's really pretty, too!). So I just had to tell you about a blonde moment she had last night on the way home from church. We have to cross a river to get from there to here so it's kind of like countryside, river-y bottoms type of area that we drive through. Last night we're driving along & I commented that I could see a deer. My intelligent Momma's response, "A real one?" Ummm...yeah.
Love you, Mom!

I know, I know...

the promised updates are slow in coming, aren't they? I have now gotten all the pics loaded onto the computer so maybe I can make a little more progress now. Just to keep you baited, I plan to fill you in on my house progress, I have some great pics from Easter & the kid's egg hunt at Great Pa & Great Ma's house, Madison's birthday, & Aidan's birthday. The fun is just beginning! Oh, & one thing I forgot to tell you about the Race - I'm an official die hard runner because I lost a toe nail! I know that's gross but it's a rite of passage for runners (or so I'm told; really I'm just kinda worried about sandal season!). But as the t-shirt says, "toe nails are for wimps!"

Update #1

The RACE! Two weeks ago I was really dreading the Indy Mini Marathon. I'm not sure why; I think it might of had something to do with several facts - I was going to run the whole thing alone, the longest distance I had run was 5 miles (although I was regularly walking much longer distances), & our plans for accommodations were really last minute. In the end, everything pulled together really nicely & we all had a blast. I drove over to Indy with Autumn & her co-worker/friend Jessica. We stayed with a couple that Jessica knew (she is the ultimate networker; I'm totally impressed by her people skills). They had a fabulous huge house & we were all very comfortable & were able to get a wonderful night's rest. The next morning it was off to the race! I was a little anxious about the time I was going to have to wait in the corral before I got to the start line. I was all the way back in corral U which meant that it took about 29 minutes to get to the start. I am not a crowd person. I get really antsy when I can't move without bumping into someone. And I am super protective of my personal space. Those were the longest 28 minutes of the whole race for me!

I had come up with a little strategy for running. I knew that I could easily run at least five miles. So my plan was to go at least that far before I hit any of the pits or before I started walking. Last year I hit every pit & had to stop to go to the bathroom 2 or 3 times. That was a mistake I did not want to repeat. I ran the first 5 & felt pretty good. So the next goal I had was to run all the way around the Speedway track. I knew that once I had reached that goal I was well over half way through. I wore my Baby G wrist watch & used the stop watch feature all through the race. I'm not sure when I decided it was important but I determined that I wasn't going to walk. I was just going to keep running no matter what. I was willing to let the pace slide if I had to, but I was keeping a close eye on that as well thanks to my Baby G. I was also carrying my cell phone (to make sure I could meet up with everyone after the race - no, I'm really not that psycho about having my phone with me all the time!) & my sister sent me a very encouraging text about mile 10 that gave me just the boost I needed to finish up strong. I completed the race in 2 hours 15 minutes with an average 10:22 mile. Definitely a personal best & I was thoroughly pleased. I think I have discovered that if I want to run the race to have fun I'd best bring a friend. If I want to run the race for a good finish time I'd best run alone. All in all a wonderful experience!

After the race we cleaned up & then headed to P.F. Chang's for dinner. I had never been there before & it didn't disappoint! Great food & wonderful company. I have picture here of Autumn holding her niece Audrey, me, Abby (Autumn's sister) holding her daughter Adeline, & Jessica. Autumn, Abby, & Jessica all did a fabulous job in the race, too! I'm excited for next year & for the next race I run in - yet to be determined!

So that's the scoop on the race. I've been pretty lazy since & I've only been running once. I'm hoping to go a couple of times this weekend though.

And by the way, here's a shout out to Anonymous...who are you???

Friday, May 9, 2008

Just a Little Teaser...

To all my devoted readers out there (yes, all 3 of you) ;-) I am planning A Colossal Update that will bring you up to speed with what all has been going on in my life. Let me tell you, there have been some busy days! But through it all the Lord has been very good to provide, encourage me, & give me the strength I need. So stay tuned! Hopefully within the next 72 hours you will get to see & read the rest of the story!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Earthquakes & Hot Seats

Wow, this has been a strange day. I was awake this morning at about 5:40. I had just gotten back into bed after hitting the snooze button (I can't help myself, ok?) when I heard this horrible noise that sounded like a huge dog was running through the house. Then my bed began to move - I had the funniest thoughts running through my head. What was going on? Did a big animal just jump onto my bed? That sounded like the wind but there's no wind blowing...it was an earthquake. I've actually experienced an earthquake once before. It was 20 years ago & all three of us kids were sitting in the back seat of the old Maverick. Andy was 15, Beth was 12, & I was 10. We were sitting at a red light when the shaking hit & Dad accused us of not being still in the backseat. Us kids were like, whatever - we didn't move the car. Then we heard about the earthquake on the news. Such a strange feeling to be moved around like that. I've also been a bit worried b/c I did not choose earthquake insurance on my home owner's policy. Now I wonder, was that a mistake???
And the hot seats. Each day here at the nuclear pharmacy we go through the restricted area doing what we call 'wipe & survey' tests. The wipe test consists of just wiping a piece of paper towel over surfaces & then putting the wipe in a machine that tests to see if radioactivity is present. The survey test is just moving a Geiger counter over different surfaces to see if there is radioactivity present. Basically we have to check for contamination daily. On Friday we test our vehicles & the unrestricted areas as well. I got that job this morning & I was buzzing through the "swipes & slurveys" (that's what I like to call them) when I discovered that two chairs in our break room were reading a little bit hot. Hmmm...I had actually sat in one of them a little bit earlier. So I told my boss & we did a couple more surveys & wipes & pinpointed a little more clearly where the contamination was. I want to assure you that it was nothing major. Just a little hotness. So then we all lined up at the survey meter to check out our hineys. There's nothing like waving a Geiger counter over your posterior end! The real mystery is that no one had hot pants, shoes, or hands. We haven't been able to tell how the activity was transferred. Very interesting. Don't I have a fascinating job?
My house closing is in less than an hour...anybody else out there as excited as me? I have never written a check for such a huge amount in my entire life - & I kinda hope I never do it again! Stay tuned for more...

Thursday, April 3, 2008


I am trying to supress a panic attack as I realize that the Mini Marathon is just one month away! I've had such a hard time training this year - super busy schedule, this house thing, super cold weather, & my persistent 'injuries'. I go to see a sports doctor on Friday afternoon to discuss why I still have minor swelling, discomfort, & tightness in my right ankle & calf every day. That's right, rain or shine, run/walk/or no work out days, I have the same problem. So we'll see what he says. I'm scared he'll say no running ever again but hopefully not since it was doing it even when I took my three month break. I've never been so tempted to quit training, but I'm going to keep at it! I'll be at the Y tonight trying to get some miles in.
What are some of your fitness goals? How do you like to stay active?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Next Level

Mike & I have taken our relationship to the next level. He's working nights (4pm-12:30am) this week so I don't get to see him much. When I got off work yesterday I stopped by his house to see him off to workie-poo. We were just talking a bit & he told me about this new game he had for his PlayStation Portable. This game has several Atari games (the classic versions along with a new 'enhanced' version) & when you master all of these games it will unlock a whole 'nother slew of games to play. So he let me bring it home with me. That's right everybody, Mike let me take one of his favorite toys away from him for 3 days! I won't get to see him again until Saturday so he will be PSP-free until then. I'm not sure about how you might rate these kinds of things, but I feel as if he has taken our relationship to another plane. ;-)
And I'm a little tired today because I stayed up too late last night trying to master the Breakout game. This little booger could be quite addictive!