Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fire it up!

Last Saturday night marked the second annual fall party at our dock friends Carl and Pam's home - and there was just enough of a chill outside that evening to enjoy a bonfire in Carl's massive fire pit outside (is the good doctor compensating for something, with a firepit this big!? Ok, so my husband built a deck as big as our house, I guess I shouldn't point fingers!)

We enjoyed a feast of wonderful food - Pam served a Cajun gumbo that was absolutely amazing - with rice, a spinach walnut salad and delicious crusty homemade bread... scrumptious. And for dessert, we had little cheesecake tarts, some kind of pumpkin bread/cake, a raspberry layer cake with a cream cheese frosting... But apparently I only took pictures of our friends, the bonfire and, of course, the wine!

Thank you to Pam and Carl for being fabulous friends and hosts, and getting us all together after lake season - AND for including us as honorary dock members, since our boat is in storage for the time being!

Good week so far, although I am SO ready for the first hard frost of the year to knock these allergies out once and for all.

Happy Fall!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Don’t Let Your Mom Take Me to the Vet

I had to laugh when my dad told me that yesterday morning, as he and my mom were waiting for the tech to call him back for an MRI. He had cataract/Lasik surgery on one eye a few weeks ago, and while they were doing all of the prescreening tests for the surgery, they discovered an issue with one of his heart valves. (As a quasi-medical person, I should be able to tell you exactly what it was, but I can’t.) They went in and fixed it, and now he’s having a post-procedure MRI, to make sure everything looks good with his aortic artery.

The joke about the vet has been ongoing for the last several years – he likes to rib my mom and tell us kids that anytime he has anything medical going on – “Nance, don’t let your mom take me to the vet”. We’ve always had dogs, starting with a couple of Dalmations when we were really young, then my dog Charlie, Rob’s dog Sandy, and Tara’s dog Sam – just a few of the many pets over the years. Growing up in a small town, many of our dogs met their end after developing the bad habit of chasing the speeding cars up and down the hilly country road where we lived.

But a couple of dogs in the last few years have had to be put to sleep with little to no notice, after becoming ill. Mom has always been the one to lug all of the animals to the vet for shots, illnesses and for anything else they needed. So she was the one that had to make the decision with the vet to put each dog to sleep.

And my dad, with his sense of humor, liked (likes, still, how many years later!?) to joke that he doesn’t know what happened - "One day the dog was home, and the next day your mom took it to the vet and we never saw that poor dog again. I don’t know what happened – just don’t let your mom take me to the vet, Nance."

The good news is the MRI went fine, he's doing great and there's no vet in the near future.

Happy Friday to all, glad the weekend is here!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Jace and the Thunder

Sounds like a title for a children's book, doesn't it? Nope, just Jace's fall baseball team. I had to laugh when I saw the fall roster- one of the other teams in the league is the Sand Gnats - pretty imposing mascot! Jace's games have been on Saturdays and Sundays, and I missed the previous weekend's game because we were in KC visiting Paige. This past weekend's game was at 10:30 on Saturday morning, and the weather was unseasonably warm with temps in the mid-80s.

What a difference from this time last year, when we attended Paige's homecoming at Jewell, sitting in the bleachers bundled in hats and coats, blankets draped over our legs, holding and sipping hot chocolate to stay warm! This past Saturday I was in jeans and a t-shirt, and was sweating by the end of the game. I'm ready for fall! But hopefully the temps will remain at least fairly warm for the next couple of weekends until their fall baseball schedule is finished.

Jace has had a good season, and is really having fun playing baseball. It has been fun to see him grow and improve, and learn the strategy of the game. His dad coached the team this year, which was good and bad - I do think he really worked with Jace on pitching and the other positions he played, but the coach's son always gets a harder time than the other players, and this season was no exception. His dad readily admits that he is much harder (and yells more) at Jace about plays, etc. than any of the other players. Of course Jace's dad isn't alone in this - I like to watch the other teams and see if I can pick out the coach's son - and usually it isn't too difficult!

But Jace weathered the season well, had some great games, learned a lot and is already looking forward to next year. He played the position of catcher in the game on Saturday, he hadn't done that all season; he told me after the game that he has played it just a couple of times over the past few years. The team's regular catcher was not feeling well, and the Thunder was ahead by eight points, so Jace went in to catch the last two innings. He did great at stopping the ball, but understandably his automatic reflex was to turn his head as the ball hurtled towards home plate and his face! More than once his dad yelled "Keep your eye on the ball and your head straight; that's why you're wearing a mask!" He enjoyed catching, and I also think it will help his perspective (and understanding) next time he's on the other side, pitching.

Lots of other things going on - Dave's home from Boston after a six day visit with his dad and family; all is going well with his dad, thankfully. My diet is officially back on track with a healthy lunch today, although workouts have been sparse. Most days after work I'm just too tired to think about going to the gym, especially continuing to battle this sinus issue. But it seems to be somewhat improving. And, I know that if I just get in the workout mode again that it WILL give me energy, curb my cravings for bad food, and all that stuff. It is just time to get back to it!

Busy week otherwise, and some additional news to share, but not until things are finalized, as to not jinx myself!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

We traveled to KC this past weekend to attend Paige's inducton into William Jewel's chapter of the freshman honors society, Alpha Lambda Delta. She's been back at school for six weeks now, and it was great to make the trip up to visit her. The only downside was that Jace and Neil didn't get to go with us, since Jace had a baseball game and time with his dad over the weekend, and Neil had a football game (and dogsitting duties, now that he's driving- very helpful for us!).

Dave and I gave Paige a guitar as a "congratulations" present, and she couldn't have been more surprised. She started learning how to play last year after having several friends who played, and she borrowed my guitar over the summer while she was home. But Dave wanted her to have her own guitar at school, instead of borrowing friends', and it was a perfect gift for her! I was impressed at all that she already knows, from her friends helping her AND her looking up chords/songs on YouTube - pretty impressive!

We stayed the weekend at Garry and Heather's house, but didn't get to enjoy their company, as they were celebrating Heather's 40th in Las Vegas! But we did hang with their 16 year old, Christian, who joined the three of us for dinner at an Irish pub on Friday night, and Cold Stone Creamery afterwards. There was no shortage of calories over the weekend, unfortuately - but it was loads of fun!

After spending a couple of great days with Paige and some KC friends, things got a little crazy on the way home. As we headed home on Sunday we got a call from Dave's stepmom; his dad had a balloon procedure last week to clear out some heart blockages, and was having complications that the doctors couldn't quite figure out. So Dave made the decision on Monday to head to Boston on Tues AM to be there with his dad for a few days. The report as of today is great, his dad is home from the hospital and feeling much better. I was on the road as well on Tuesday and Wednesday, heading to Poplar Bluff for my great aunt's funeral. She had been ill for sometime, and I was glad that some of our family was able to make the trip and be there for our grandmother.

My allergies, in particular sinuses (and ears) have continued to be the worst I've ever experienced - I have heard the same from many others this year, it must be a particularly bad year for pollens. Poplar Bluff is about three hours east of us, and just slightly south, but it must have been just enough of a change to trigger additional symptoms for me. My eyes watered non-stop while I was there, but it has gradually subsided now that I've been back home for 24 hours. I'll be glad when we get the first frost of the season, hopefully that will mean a big improvement in sinus symptoms.

Off to bed, ready for a good night's sleep.