Saturday, December 30, 2006

Adding The Lady Justitia

Due to my (Cassie) error; The Lady Justitia was not included on the page as a link. This was a gross oversite and I have been duly reprimanded.

Thank you!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

I guess I passed...

I studied really hard for my sleep test last night.

Apparently, I don't sleep very well. I went to bed at the Sleep Study Center about 10 pm, after an hour of being glopped and goobed with goo and wires. Then I coughed for a while, got up to use the bathroom--although before my foot hit the floor I heard a shriek from the walls, "Don't move! Wait for me!" and April came trotting in to unhook my motherboard and wrap it around my neck.

Back to bed, more coughing, right side, left side, cough some more, stare at the night light on my finger (they said it was measuring my oxygen, but it didn't have any little ruler lines on it), and after some more coughing April came in with some water. I was grateful, although it was hard to swallow with wires hanging out of my nose. I thought I fell asleep a few times, but after a while April appeared again with a sleeping pill. I guess it worked. When I woke up at 8:30 this morning, I had a mask covering my nose, and I don't know how it got there.

So, April said I was getting about 60% oxygen, which sounds like not such a good thing to me. She said I'll probably get a machine to wear on my face when I sleep. After breakfast, they put the night light back on my finger and I went back to sleep until about 10, when I dragged myself home.

I don't recommend sleep tests, for the record. I didn't like being away from home and hooked up to all those wires and having people speak to me from the walls. On the other hand, I felt pretty good today. And that's worth a lot. I've had a bad bout of bronchitis--my yearly illness--and had begun to feel like I wasn't going to recover, so I'm wondering if half the night with the C-PAP made this huge difference in how I feel. I haven't felt really good in years. Could the C-PAP be the answer to prayer?

By the way, April said it can be genetic, and both my children have sleep apnea, and so does my ex. Maybe we got it from him?

Resolutions

I gave up making New Year's Resolutions years ago. I always started out strong, and with great committment, waiting for January 1 so I could put my resolution into practice. I knew there was magic in the process, and somehow, mysteriously, I would be a completely different person by January 2.

Year after year I vowed and resolved to do all the things that would change me into the person I so much wished to be: I would diet, lose weight, exercise daily, read my Bible religiously, never raise my voice in anger, stop complaining, learn to be content and make lemonade out of my life-lemons, journal daily, write a novel, take classes, clean the closets...

I don't know if I could live with myself if I became the person who did all those things! All these years later, the worst that's happened is that I am older, and not so disappointed with who I am, in spite of my resolution failures. Along the way, I learned some things.

People like me; it's easy to be on the A List when I make the list myself! I do things that matter to me, and that makes a difference to others. It doesn't matter what others think; I have opinions, they're mine, so there. I make mistakes and life goes on. My grandchildren think I'm great, and who matters more than they do? And when I have bad days, I know they'll pass.

So, I don't make New Year's Resolutions any more. Rather, I limit myself to one that I make anew each day--sometimes several times a day--to keep doing the best I know how. No one can hope to achieve perfection, the best resolution is to just keep practicing.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

What do you want for breakfast? I asked Jack.

"Mashed 'tatos," he answered. I looked in the fridge and couldn't find any leftover mashed potatos, so he settled for pumpkin pie.

Daycare was closed today, and mama had to work, so I stayed with Jack. After we made about 72 play-doh balls we played twucks for a while. Mostly, Jack likes to sit on the floor and cwash the twucks into each other. I hate to think when he starts driving... By the time we finished cwashing twucks, yaya was getting pretty tired (must be all the meds) so we 'nuggied into the big chair and watched the new VeggieTales movies. Jack has The Toy That Saved Christmas, and The Star of Christmas. Both were pretty cute, and Jack was wonderful to snuggle down with me so I could doze until we took our nap.

Even though I was completely at peace with my little guy, it was nice to see daddy arrive home early. I came home and took another nap. I'll probably start feeling good by next Tuesday, when I have to be back at work.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve



It is the wee hours of Christmas Eve...1am in fact. I've been wrapping gifts all evening. The cat and I are trying to get in the mood for Christmas. As I put things together for the local grand, I found gifts I forgot to mail to the Houston grands. I guess they'll enjoy getting an after-the-fact package.

I so looked forward to this break, and I have been so sick with this miserable cold it hasn't been much fun so far. My son in law's parents and Granny came up for the holiday, and they all are doing their Christmas tomorrow. I didn't understand why, exactly, but it's ok with me. My daughter graciously invited me to come over and join the morning mayhem, but I opted out. It is a long trip for them to be with their family and they don't need me there. I always have plenty of time with Jack and his mommy and daddy.

My friend gave me an opportunity to 'gift' her yesterday morning. She needed someone to stay with her mother (in her 90s) while she went to the airport to pick up daughter #3 and husband, so I went over in my robe and nightgown and slept on the couch for a couple of hours. Grandma didn't wake up, and neither did I. This friend has always, always, always been there for me; I'm so glad I could do something so simple to make her life a little easier.

I've uploaded a digital picture of my little tree. I can't seem to focus, and I don't know how this picture came out. I hope it's ok...I also didn't check it before I uploaded it. I know how to turn on the camera, and I push buttons randomly until something happens. I'm going to see if my daughter knows how to erase all the pictures in its memory.

Ok, I'm going to take out the trash and check the mail. Yes, I said it is 1am, and I haven't done either of those yet. Then I think I'll turn off every light in the house and go to bed. Happy Christmas Eve.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas-ish



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In the first image, I was playing with some items to see if I could put together a collage I might use as a Christmas card. I wasn't happy with the result for a card, but it's ok, and shows a couple of pieces I have stitched. The Santa is a pin, and the other two are ornaments for grands. The second image is oil pastels and acrylic paint. This is an art project I found for a teacher friend to use in her classroom. Her students' projects turned out wonderfully! They were made into notecards which the PTA will sell. I sketched a simple design, colored it with oil pastels on printer paper, then carefully wrinkled the finished project. After smoothing it out, I painted it with a thinned mixture of acrylic paint ("Soldier Blue") and water, then rinsed it and laid it flat to dry. The paint adhered to the cracks created by wrinkling the paper, and gives it a batik effect. I kind of like it.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Jingly Things

Himself was a cute little elf. He sang with gusto, shook his wrist energetically (unfortunately, NOT the wrist witht he jingle bells on), and looked absolutely adorable in his elf hat. And then he saw me and shouted, "Yaya!" and waved and waved. He made it through the Toddler Two part of the program, but collapsed in a heap of artistic nerves and tears at the grand finale, so we didn't hear him sing "We Wish You A Merry Christmas." It was a wonderful program. I didn't know other people's kids could be cute, but they were.

Earlier today I had a phone conversation with my Houston Grands. Typically, I asked questions and they answered when they remembered they were on the phone. The oldest turned 8 yesterday. I made him a secret book: a copy of Treasure Island cleverly hollowed out to create a secret place to keep special things. It was worth the extra $$ to the post office to know that he received his birthday gift on his birthday. And I am pleased that the gifts (and the little boy's Christmas stocking) arrived before Christmas Day. Their first Christmas together, I didn't get things mailed until January. Now you know what kind of Grandma I am.

In my defense, I'm fighting an awful cold. I began coming down with it while our power was out last week, and stayed home Monday and today from work. I was a mess yesterday, too, and never should have gone in. Now I am officially on Winter Break, which I choose to refer to as Christmas vacation. My time is my own. I can stay up as late as I want; only I'm so tired with the cold that I just want to go to bed, so that's my plan.

TTFN

Sunday, December 17, 2006

It's so nice to have heat again!

It was our turn, and I really don't mean to complain. So many people have been hit hard with natural disasters over the past year or two, I almost feel petty mentioning it. Nevertheless, our huge windstorm knocked the power out Thursday evening, and we didn't get it back until evening yesterday (Saturday).

The fireplace helped a little, although I don't have a woodpile, and those 3-hour logs don't give out too much heat. I have a gas stove, and was able to light it with a match, so I could have hot water and I could cook on the stovetop. It did get pretty cold in here, and I spent a portion of yesterday at my friend's house, where I took a shower and curled up to nurse my chestcold.

I got home in time to throw myself together before another friend picked me up to go to the Christmas Revels. We went last year, and it was great fun aqain this year. http://www.pugetsoundrevels.org/ This link will tell you more about it, but in a nutshell it included some of the history Quebec and the French Canadians, a dance duel between a French Canadian and the devil, the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance (http://www.timetravel-britain.com/columns/traditions/traditions01.shtml), and the Rapper Sword Dance (http://www.kickback.btinternet.co.uk/Mr.Leslies/Banbury.Rapper.html). There are many other things, and the audience participates in some of it. I'm really glad I had the chance to go, and I send my gratitude to the friend who invited me.

Meanwhile, Christmas moves toward me at an alarming pace, and I am not prepared. My greatest concern is getting the packages out. Cassie says nothing will arrive in time now...to which I say phooey, and why didn't I get things together sooner, and that won't stop me trying. So, I'm off to wrap and pack!

Saturday, December 9, 2006

What does a sheep say?

According to Jack, a sheep says "blaaah!" This just cracked me up. I went over for tree decorating this afternoon. While Jack was playing with the nativity figures, we asked him what a sheep says. His mommy and I thought that was a pretty cool answer.

I didn't go with them to the tree farm today; I was concerned my back wouldn't let me do the walking involved. It's a family tradition, and it delights me that they are able to continue it. In 1977, when Steve was three, his preschool class made a fieldtrip to a treefarm (The Green Branch Ranch, now defunct) to cut and buy a Christmas tree for their school. I didn't go on that field trip, but I think the kids' dad probably did. At any rate, we liked the idea, and a tradition was born.

When we were stationed at Scott AFB in southern Illinois, in 1984, we found a tree farm there to continue our tradition. If there was snow, the trip was especially fun, and if not, a trek through the mud wasn't so bad. There was always a candy cane and hot cocoa to enjoy, too.

I don't know if they have tree farms in Texas where the other grands live. My cousins in Michigan used to (and maybe still) take truckloads of trees to Texas for Christmas sales.

Finish of story: Jack had a wonderful time helping to decorate the tree. His daddy was so patient with him, teaching him how to hang the ornaments, and the tree was very pretty with it's cluster of decorations all at Jack's eye level. These are the important parts of holidays: passing on the traditions.