Friday, May 29, 2009

Old Schoolin' It

I'm posting in the car, how cool is that? The wonders of modern technology are amazing - we have this cellular card and I've already gotten a little work done this AM. Now I'm on to more fun stuff, like updating the blog! Our drive last night was long, left Springpatch about 4:30 and didn't get to Nashville until after midnight. The saving grace of the trip was listening to tunes - Dave has downloaded his library of CDs to his Iphone, and also synched it with Paige's, who has quite a library as well, courtesy of sharing with several friends.

So our tunes last night were definitely old school, and not the bubblegum stuff, as Dave kept telling me. Selections included The Who, Lynrd Skynrd, Neil Young, Neil Diamond, Loggins & Messina, Cat Stevens, Meatloaf, Boston, the Doors, and the Beatles. I actually knew a lot of what we listened to; apparently I only know the bubblegum Neil Young, but I did know a lot of the other stuff.

Now we're back in the car this morning, and have picked up my 22-year-old brother, who was in Nashville visiting some friends before heading to Ann's wedding. Dave warned him that he was in for some classic music, and Thom said he was up for that, and requested some Queen (for those of you who know Thom, you'll understand why we got a chuckle out of that one!).

Ok, the mobile card is working well but the computer battery is almost dead and the cord not going to be easy to reach, so I'm signing off for now.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


That's what my friend Dana always says I have when I come to work stressed about all the things I have to do before leaving town. Today and tonight are no different- work was a pile-up of issues that I really need to take care of before being done with my day tomorrow, and at home I'm feeling a tightness in my chest about all the packing that needs to happen AND wanting to have the house clean since my stepdaughter Paige will be doggie-sitting here while we're gone. Ack!!

So what am I doing? Taking a break from all the stress to sit down here for a minute and blog. I was checking out MSNBC's Test Pattern today, which is a regular column on their Entertainment page. Today's topic was called the "Rod Stewart Rule", in which the author says "I call it the Rod Stewart Rule. In my head, I keep a list of three musical acts that I just can't stand to hear. If one of those acts comes on the radio, I invoke the Rule. The Rule gives me the right to change the station, instantly, no questions asked, no argument, simply because that act is on my list."

I had to laugh- I know I have a few of those myself. I would say my top three are Celine Dion, Mariah Carey and Kid Rock- if I hear any one of those (with the exception of Kid's new song that has the rif from Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama", but I may only like that because of them) I change the station immediately. Anybody else have any artists that make them cringe? Let's hear about 'em. Ok, now I'm back to packing.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away! (A fun, but rainy, holiday weekend)

Note: I realized early this morning that although I had taken many, many pictures this weekend, there was not a single one of ME in here! So, this will tell the story of our weekend, but you'll just have to trust that I was there! (Dave said he would take one of me this AM, but I said no --- a picture this morning would only be a testament that I was lookin' pretty rough after almost three days on the boat, AND that I was doing a nice job of cleaning up the boat before we left!)

Well, the Missouri weather as of late did not disappoint for the holiday weekend; much of our time at the lake was spent avoiding the intermittent showers. We did have a great camping experience on Friday night with friends Shana and Damon and their kids, and celebrating Paige, Neil and Damon's birthdays. Dave was the grill king Friday night, with roasted corn, pulled pork (smoked at home on Wednesday before we headed to the lake), baked beans and S'mores, in addition to birthday cake and ice cream.

Shana and Damon tried out their new pop-up camper, and Jace & Neil set up a tent on the campsite. Dave, Paige and I "camped" in our boat, which was right near the campsite. The kids enjoyed the evening, playing whiffle ball and, of course, the S'mores were a huge hit. Saturday morning the kids woke up early, and Dave started our day out with omelets on the griddle and hashbrowns/bacon on the campfire.

The weather was beautiful; the sky was partly cloudy when we woke up, but by 10 AM the clouds had burned off and we were in for a sunny day. We headed down to our dock and got the kids started fishing. Ryan, who is four, had apparently worn out his fishing pole casting off his back deck (sans water) for the past several weeks. He was SO ready to go fishing and catch one, or two, or fifty! Dave let Ryan reel in a couple that he had caught, but then finally Ryan caught one of his own, and boy, was he proud!

The kids fished for awhile but then they were ready for the next activity of the day - swimming. So we fired up Banana Pancakes, piled everyone aboard and headed her out down the lake. Neil was the driver for the day, with Dave's supervision; he just turned 15 and took his test for his learner's permit for the car, but actually already took his test for boating last year. Dave has been teaching him how to drive the boat, and he really is doing a great job. We headed out to a quiet cove, dropped the anchor, and jumped in for a swim. I actually ended up getting in, and it was cold but really not as bad as I thought it would be! Paige had to be at work later that afternoon, so we headed back to the dock mid-afternoon.

Our return trip was timely-- as we pulled into the dock the rain started, and we weathered torrential rains under the cover of the dock for about 30 minutes. At this point, we realized that we had not checked to make sure Neil & Jace had zipped up their tent before heading out for the day. Shana and Damon had similar issues, with a couple of their windows still partially open on their pop-up. The verdict was not a good one, with the tent totally waterlogged inside and a good portion of the pop-up wet as well. We chalked it up to a lesson learned, and we all enjoyed some brats and burgers before they packed up and headed back to Springfield. We agreed that we would find another weekend soon, one with better weather, to get back together and camp/boat again.

Neil and Jace stayed with us on the boat that night, and we enjoyed some tunes with our friends, Dennis and Sarah. The rest of the weekend was relaxing but rainy; Sunday was actually worrisome, as the toilet on the boat had stopped working on Saturday night. Dave spent about three hours getting into the engine compartment and pulling the pump system apart. But he figured it out, got it fixed and we stayed Sunday night as well.

Carl, Dave and CD

We made some new friends with several of our dock neighbors, including Carl and Pam (I have known Carl for years, actually; he is a psychologist in Springfield, but I hadn't seen him in a couple of years, nor had I met his lovely wife) and shared some dinner, stories and of course, wine, with them and others on the dock. CD and Jana came to see us later Sunday night- it was a quiet weekend for them, too, with the rain, and Jana had to work today.

Dave with a bottle of our Sonoma Valley wine

We loaded up the cars mid-morning today and headed back to Springfield. It was a wonderful weekend, but I had probably ten loads of laundry to do, including all the bedding from the boat, so I was glad to have the afternoon at home to take care of it. A busy week awaits me, with work on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and then heading to Nashville, TN Thursday night and on to Gatlinburg on Friday morning for Annie's wedding!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

We're getting ready for the holiday weekend-- camping and boating with friends Shana, Damon and their family. I'm taking a half-day off work tomorrow, and getting everything ready to head down after Jace gets off school. Dave is heading down tonight, and will be up early to wash the boat.

On another note, I've had an emotion-filled week, but one that has been good. Dave and I are continuing to go to counseling, and it is helping both of us so much. Dave's boss actually commented to him at length yesterday how much of a change he has seen in Dave over the past month, and in our interactions together when he's seen us. Dave is so more open about things than he ever was before and is committed to making things work and just making some changes in himself and how he deals with things in general.

And now I have had to face some things in my "closet", some things that I did wrong. I have to share the blame for some things that I caused within our marriage and at the time of our break-up in December; some things that I had not shared with Dave and that were very hurtful. But he has responded to me with understanding and forgiveness as well, and I am so thankful that we are together and both committed to what we have in each other and in our marriage.

So, we start our weekend with a new outlook and I plan to enjoy the time with Dave, Jace, Paige, Neil and our friends, and am so thankful for all that I have been given. I'll post pictures on Monday - the kids are planning to swim, so I am sure I will have a pic or two with their blue lips since the water is certain to be COLD!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Just some updates because I'm glad it is Friday and have lots on my mind

An update on the cookies yesterday; thankfully some of the other gals here in the office also found the cookies in the breakroom and finished them off, so I wasn't able to eat any more of them.

Had a call from my dad this morning, checking in on our weekend plans to make sure we are still heading to his house to continue/finish up the project we helped with a couple of weeks ago. He told me two or three times in the conversation that if this weekend wasn't good for us then we could do it another weekend. I reassured him that it was, for two reasons - first, because it IS a good weekend, but second, because we want to finish up the project before lake season starts! So we will head to his house first thing in the morning.

While I was on the phone with Dad, he gave me an update on my brother, Rob. Apparently the day before yesterday Rob headed into work and when he got there he had a very rapid heart beat and was sweating profusely. They admitted him for observation and some tests (he is the assistant CFO of a hospital in IL, so luckily he was in the right place at the right time for medical care!) The update as of today is that he is out of the hospital and actually already back to work this morning. Dad joked that Rob was just faking it to "get out of mowing the lawn and pulling weeds at home." (a typical thing that Dad would joke about, I'm not surprised!). I wonder (in my non-clinical but quasi-medical background) if it isn't anxiety-based, but I guess time will tell. As anyone in healthcare can tell you, times are tough in this economy for hospitals, and maybe Rob is feeling the stress of his job, in addition to being a busy dad and husband. At any rate, I know we are all glad that he is feeling better and that the heart tests didn't show any issues.

Dave is heading down to the boat this afternoon, to be there while we have a new audio system installed on the boat. He has a few things he would like to do as far as improvements on the boat, but we are hesitant about spending much money on updates. However, this one was easy to talk me into, since I love music and the stereo was 13 years old, came with the boat when it was new. It was apparently a top notch system in its time, but it is outdated now and all four speakers on the top of the boat are blown. So we will be doing a reasonably priced upgrade to a Ipod-compatible audio system with new speakers and a couple of remotes (that are water proof and float, just in case) that can control the audio and Ipod from anywhere, even if we are floating out in the water listening to tunes.

Dave's also taking my car in to get the connections on my blinkers looked at (they keep going out intermittently, not all the time, so he says it is a connection) and he's also picking up the dry cleaning. I've said I was going to this week, but haven't managed to get there yet, it has been crazy! Since he has the afternoon off, I appreciate him taking the time to get these things done while I'm at work.

And now I'm back to work-- we have a survey at our cancer center today, and I am one of the directors, although am really on the periphery, but still have to be there for some of the day. Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cookie Monster

It has been a rough morning, one of the nurses baked homemade chocolate chip cookies for her breastfeeding education class last night and there is a whole Ziploc bag of them in the breakroom. It is one of my biggest weaknesses, and I have not resisted temptation! :(

On that same note, shouldn't stress help you lose weight? But ironically, the chemical cortisol that is produced when you have anxiety actually makes you keep and add weight around your midsection. So, if I were LESS stressed, I would probably lose weight. Hmmmm. Will have to work on that one. R&D today at 4:00pm with my gal pals, and one glass of wine (90 calories and 2 Weight Watcher points). Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Catching Up

Well, it seems that I'm reduced to posting weekly lately, so this will be a lengthy post to catch up on all of our activities. Last week was just plain crazy, we packed so much into it. I had a meeting Tuesday night, then we headed out of town Wednesday right after work for Jace's field trip to the Capitol in Jeff City. That was all day Thursday (we went up the night before so that we didn't have to get up at the crack of dawn Thursday AM and could sleep in a bit) and then we rushed back Thursday night to get Jace to a practice baseball game and Dave to a Springfield Cardinals game for a work event with clients. Here are some pics of the Thursday trip to the Capitol. I hadn't been since I was young, and Dave had never been, since he grew up in Boston. It was fun, I know the kids enjoyed it- a day away from school and all together having a good time!

This last picture was of the Thomas Hart Benton room, it was one thing that I remembered most from when I visited the capitol as a child. The entire room is a mural, and when we were there Thursday the guide told the chronological story of the walls, working her way around the room. She had some Q & A for the kids as she progressed through, and it was a great history lesson for the kids, and for the grownups.

Then Friday after work Dave picked up Neil and the four of us (Dave, me, Neil and Jace -- oh, and the two dogs) headed down to the lake to relax and spend the night there... does it SOUND relaxing!? Well, the boys fished, which was fun for them, and Dave and I did some spring cleaning on the boat. We did enjoy a couple of hours on our new friends' boat, while we were there. Dennis and Sarah have a 12-year-old daughter, and she hung out with Neil and Jace playing video games while the four adults talked and listened to Dennis play some tunes on his guitar.

We woke up Saturday morning and took the boat out for a bit, and the boys fished some more while we continued some cleaning. By noon we were heading back to Springfield to get Jace to baseball practice and to get ready for Paige's highschool graduation that evening.

Paige is going to William Jewell, and the photo in the frame above is a picture of the three of us when we visited the college with her in April. There is a red phone booth on campus that I thought was so cool, and we took a pic of the three of us in front of it. When Dave and I saw a replica of a phone booth as we were shopping a few weeks ago, we just had to get it, and pair it with the photo as part of her graduation present (in addition to some money of course, and a plane ticket to go with us to Boston in August to see Dave's family). I think Paige liked the phone booth, I think her phrase was that it was a "clever gift". Dave suggested that she take it with her on her travels, and take a picture with it wherever she goes, kind of like the commercial with the dad taking the stuffed monkey on his trip and taking pics, etc.

We enjoyed being a part of Paige's graduation on Saturday night, and I know she was happy to have her grandmother, Dave's mother, there with us as well for dinner and the graduation. We're so excited and proud of Paige, she has done so well in her high school career, and has such a promising future ahead of her! I'm glad she will have a pretty relaxing summer, the first one in several years that she hasn't had cheerleading, summer school, college classes and work. This summer she will just be working and preparing for school in the fall.

Now I'll close and get ready for work - I've already been up this morning, finished my workout with Jillian from the Biggest Loser ("C'mon, there's no phonin' it in, you've gotta give me all you got!") and now having my cup of coffee and grapenuts. Happy Hump Day to all!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

For the Record

These pictures won't matter to anyone reading this blog other than my siblings (of course, does any part of this blog really matter to anyone-- there's the real question!)- but in my last post I talked about Dave and I heading to St. Clair and that "we" would be jackhammering up part of the patio with my dad. And two of my siblings came back with a comment about the fact that it would be DAVE doing the work... So, yes, here is a picture of Dave doing the jackhammering, you've got that right!!

But I did do my share of work over the five hours, hauling concrete as Dave broke it up. Here's me and Dad, hefting rocks into the wagon - we hauled six wagonfuls of concrete pieces down to the ditch by the barn!

While we worked, the doggies played. We brought Rocky and Zoe-Wilson with us, and they gave poor Quigley a run for his money. He's been the only dog at my parents' house for the past several months, and has become very sedentary. But they were all three worn out by the end of the day Saturday, after chasing each other around the yard all day.

Here's the finished product; some of the concrete was a FOOT thick! Dad said it had been there for 50+ years, and that our grandfather, Pop, was the one who put it in. Instead of "rebar" (is that the word?) he just used whatever metal he had... there were several big old barn door hinges, part of a tin roof from one of their old barns, and just various odds and ends of scrap metal that held the concrete in place. One section of the concrete was newer, and easier to break up, but the majority was old, and it took Dave the better part of five hours to break it all up.

My dad called yesterday (Monday) to tell us that he had already picked up all the little rocks and raked the small stuff into a pile, getting ready to put some topsoil down and plant his garden there. It was nice to help him work on it; we are going back in a couple of weekends so Dave can help him repair some of the foundation on the house back by this area. That will be the last visit for a few months, as far as home project weekends go- we wanted to help him get it all done BEFORE lake season hits! Of course no worries about that at this point, considering we have had days of non-stop rain, and no end in sight.

Tomorrow night we are heading with Jace to Jeff City for the fourth grade tour of the capitol. It is Thursday, and I am one of the chaperones. He is riding with us to Jeff City on Wednesday instead of riding the bus early (6AM) Thursday morning, but he will be riding the bus back home on Thursday afternoon with all his buddies, and I know he is looking forward to that!