Sunday, August 29, 2004

If I Could Be....

Some people in Journal Land are participating in this little quiz and I thought I would take part in it too.  Feel free to participate in your journal if you would like to also!

If I Could Be


If I could be a time of day, I would be:  the middle of the night, I am always up in the middle of the night, lol

If I could be planet, I would be:  earth, it's so natural  

If I could be a direction, I would be:  heading any direction towards the beach!  

If I could be a piece of furniture, I would be:   my bed, most useful piece of furniture I have ever known!

If I could be a stone, I would be:  an amethyst

If I could be a tree, I would be:  a birch tree, the wood is beautiful.  or maybe a weeping cherry tree!

If I could be a bird, I would be: a flamingo 

If I could be a flower, I would be:  a rose

If I could be a kind of weather, I would be: cool, about 65 degrees :-) 

If I could be a musical instrument, I would be:  a xylophone 

If I could be a color, I would be:  purple 

If I could be an emotion, I would be: love

If I could be a sound, I would be:  a baby's giggle 

If I could be a car, I would be: anything Toyota 

If I could be a material, I would be: cotton

If I could be a taste, I would be: chocolate

If I could be a scent, I would be:  freshly baked biscuits

If I could be a word, I would be:  hope    

If I could be a facial expression, I would be:  :-)

And if I could be anyone, I would be:  me, 'cause Jesus made me me!

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Pics of Stephen

I just spoke with my nephew Stephen on the IM.  He told me he dyed his mohawk blue!  He sent me these pics.  Here is his handsome self! 

Red Plaid Pants

Wow!  It's been a long time since I made an entry.  My schedule has been so  hectic lately.  But here I am now. 

Today consisted of nothing exciting, just doing errands.  Then I had an important phone interview with an agency.  They were supposed to call at 1:30 PM.  I waited around from 1:00 PM till 3:45 PM by the phone and no phone call.  I finally called and the secretary said the women who was to call me had been in training all afternoon!  I guess she had completely forgotten about me.

Today while John and I were driving around we saw a man with a purse.  Not a back pack or a bag, but a purse.  I wondered if it was a European thing or something. 

Well nothing much exciting going on.  It was exciting this past weekend, though, when I got to spend more time with my sister Therese.  Her husband Tony and one of their sons came up also.  Their son's name is Stephen.  He is a very handsome young man (in 11th grade), and stands 6' 2".  Of course he appears even taller because he has a mohawk.  But he is harmless, really!  He is very sweet.  He just wants to look cool.  And yes he is cool too.  But I think  he is mostly sweet.  He is going to kill me for writing this, lol.  It is written from an Aunt's point of view.  While he was visiting with all of us at my parent's house he walked to the mall, and bought some clothes.  He came back with some red plaid pants.  He said they were British punk pants.  He tucked them into his black "British boots".  Then he put on the fishnet shirt he had bought!  We thought that looked a little much!  He covered it with another shirt he had bought (a black t-shirt with a bright red ant on it).  I was mad that I didn't have my camera with me, lol.  If he sends a pic I will put it in here.

Well, Chelsea and Matt (Val's children) and their family no longer have a  house in Florida.  I was told today that it will have to be bulldozed.  Just completely bulldozed.  They were all going to split up and go to separate houses and join back into the house in Florida in a few months (except Chelsea, who is coming up here on Saturday to live with Val), but now I don't know what they are going to do.  I haven't heard.  I can't imagine being a family living in separate households, being split up like that because of a disaster to a house.  And now they have no idea when they will all be back together again.  Wow.

Well, on a less serious note, I better get off of here, John wants to watch my television!  

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Scar Neck and Bottled Water

Today was a fun day.  Valerie and I were going to get together for a girl's day out, but at the last minute we decided to invite John along.  We all got salads and brought them to the park to eat, along with a game to play when we were done eating.  It was so sweltering hot that I left my sweater at home and we chose to sit under a pavillion for shade and started to dig into our fresh salads.  About ten minutes later it started pouring down rain.  No, it started storming.  Thunder and lightening.  And  it started coming in sideways into the pavillion.  We were getting soaked.  Our napkins and utensils were blowing away and worst of all we were just wet and freezing.  There was no way we were going to be able to make it back to the car.  And the storm just wouldn't stop.  Val and I huddled behind John and made him our shelter.  I wished I had my sweater.  Val asked John if he was wet, since we were wet and he was in front of us.  "No, just sprayed!" he said.  I knew he was underestimating.  Finally it stopped raining so much and we made a dash for the car.

We went back to my house and played the game.  I had protected it from the storm by wrapping it in one of the plastic bags we had gotten from the grocery store that the salad came in.  Otherwise it would have been no more.  We had a great afternoon having fun playing a game.  Valerie of course won, as she wins most word games.  John and I are always very close, but somehow she seems to always win, especially on Scrabble type games!  I forgot to mention, John went back out in the rain and got us chocolate chip cookies.  That is because he is and always will be the biggest sweetheart in the world!  He does just about anything for me, lol.

After we were done I looked at Val and noticed her neck had a little scar on it.  So I called her "Scar Neck"!  She took an open bottle of water and threw it at me.  Mind you she didn't throw the bottle at me, she just chugged the water through the air so that a huge amount landed on me.  Right in the house!  Then we both let out a huge amount of laughter!  I told my Mom later and she said that was not good what I did but my sister thought it was funny.  You see, what we both did broke the tension because we both have been through a lot lately and we had a big laugh out of it.  Maybe you would have had to been there but it was really funny.  We are close enough to know that each other meant no harm, and it really was hillarious. 

Speaking of Val's neck, she told me "I don't just have a scar, I have a tube (or whatever she called it) running through my neck."  She took my hand and placed it on her neck so I could feel it!  She showed me how it started at the top of her head in the ventricles of the brain (yes you can actually feel it in the head too) and how it comes down and goes down the jugular!  And then if I remember correctly it empties into an area in the heart!  It is called a v/a shunt.  At first she was going to have a v/p shunt but she has had to many surgeries and problems with her abdomen.  So they made the shunt end at her heart instead of her abdomen.  Well, I hope that wasn't too much information.  And I wish I could have explained it in more medical terms, but the site I wanted to go to has been discontinued and I am trying to explain it from memory, and probably very poorly at that.  

John and I got to spend a lot of time together and that was really nice.  We are going to go to Mass in the morning.     

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Drilled and Filled

It's another late nighter for me.  I slept in shifts all day so here I am awake at 2:30 AM.  I haven't written in this journal for awhile because I have been busy.

I visited with my sister Therese this week.  She came up from Maryland to stay with my parents.  We had quite a fun time.  She is very artistic and likes to do lots of sewing and crocheting and photography.  She showed us her latest projects.  She brought along her crocheting yarn and was working on it while we were there.  She had all kinds of sparkly and textured yarns!  She also had Japanese fabrics because she is making a Japanese quilt.  She also showed us a very beautiful Japanese shirt she had made. 

For an update on Chelsea and Matthew and their family - their roof has fallen in and their things are ruined.  Everything is mixed with fiberglass.  They have had to evacuate.  There is no telling when they will be able to return to their house.  Valerie is flying Chelsea up to live with her in about a week.  I only wonder where the rest of them will live?

Today John had his teeth worked on.  He needed two more fillings on the right side done (for a total of seven so far this month). The dentist drilled and filled for forty- five minutes.  At the next appointment she is going to do the left side of his mouth.  Then he will have to go to a specialist to get a root canal, and get the temporary fillings replaced.  Then he may have to get partial dentures.  Good thing he has dental insurance! 

Tonight for fun John and I played Upwords.  Michael jumped up on a chair and sat right up like a person the entire game (about an hour) watching us, as if he were playing.  It was so cute! 

I guess that's it for now. 

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Can't Sleep

Here it is 3:35 AM and I am awake.  I don't know why my sleeping is off.  I just woke up.  Maybe I will fall back to sleep tonight (this morning) and maybe I won't.  I probably will sometime towards five or six.  Because I need to get a couple more refreshing hours of sleep before I go to church.  But I am not tired at all.  Sometimes I sleep in shifts like this.  A few hours on and a few hours off.  My doctor told me it wasn't real refreshing sleep, but it happens to me sometimes anyway.  Strange.  I feel fine though.  I do need to get a regular schedule though.  My psychiatrist was telling me that people who are prone to depression in the morning and feeling better at night (like me) should sleep the schedule of 9 PM to 3 AM.  It is a study that just came out.  It alleviates some people's depression to go to bed earlier in the evening and wake up earlier.  We discussed trying that at some point if other things didn't work for me (if my depression continued).  I think getting up at 3 AM would be great.  I love the middle of the night.  Going to bed at 9 PM would be hard, because I love the middle of the night, LOL.

I spent the day with John breaking down a bed and moving it.  Actually, John did all the work, I watched.  I chatted with Val as the guys set up a bed for Chelsea at Val's house.  Then John and I went to my parent's house and had a nice time.  John and I played a game called Upwords.  I don't know if I have mentioned it before.  But I absolutely love it.  I usually don't play board games, but I like this one.  It is similar to Scrabble but faster moving.  That is why I love it.  John and I are good competition for each other in it too.

Chelsea and Matt's house sustained some damage from Hurricane Charley.  At first (Friday night) it was just the shingles on the roof, and some rug damage, and a torn part of a fence and a bent swing set.  But then I heard after the second part of the storm came through (Saturday) more damage was done.  I didn't get to hear the whole report, but I think Val said some of the roof fell in (or was it blew off?), and the carpet was ruined from water damage, and perhaps she said the wall fell in, but I am not sure.  Pretty scary, huh?  But at any rate, everyone is okay, and that is all that counts to me.

I have other relatives in the path of the hurricane all along the coast.  I hope they will be okay also.

Well, gotta run for now.  Take care.        

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Little Ol' Me

Well, turn about is fair play.  I put a photo of Valerie in my last entry so I figured I would put a photo of myself in this entry.  I absolutely HATE having my picture taken or seen, lol.  But I decided if I would do it to her I would do it to myself, lol. 

I did it because it is nice to see who we are conversing with in J-Land.  I have seen many nice pics of you all, and you have not seen a pic of me yet.  This one was taken about a year ago, but that is as good as you are going to get, because like I said, I don't allow people to take my picture, lol.

Well, I need to get off of here, it is thunderstorming.  

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Floating Photos

It's been a month since my sister Val's surgery.  I snapped this photo after the surgery.  It took me this long to get it back, because the photo made its rounds.  Everybody wanted to look at it!  Chelsea (her daughter in the picture) took a bunch of photos too.  Valerie and I can't locate a single one of them.  That means they are floating around somewhere.  Valerie made a joke about bald pictures of her floating around who knows where!  Chelsea wanted pictures of her mother so she took the photos.  I told Valerie, "Well you can't deny your daughter, she wants pictures of her mother."  And Val said, "I know, but how would you like bald pictures of you floating around!"  I didn't think of it that way!  At any rate, Val said she didn't really mind being bald.  Yes, she gave me permission to put this picture in here, lol.  And all in all, I think it is a beautiful picture of both Val and Chelsea. :-) 

Monday, August 9, 2004

My Sister's Journal

I just wanted to let everyone know that now that Valerie is feeling better and has her computer set up she has restarted her journal.  Her first new entry is dated August 7.  You can check it out at Val's Thoughts .  Well, I need to run.  I hope everyone is doing well. :-)

Saturday, August 7, 2004

Squash Recipe

I just got back from Wal-Mart.  I bought a rubber ducky for my sister Val to put in her bathroom.  Chelsea is arriving on the 20th to live with Val, and has asked for the theme of the bathroom to be duckies, lol.  I want to surprise Val tomorrow with the duck.  So tonight it was almost midnight and I was trying to think where in town I could get a rubber ducky.  I decided to call Wal-Mart.  The phone rang and rang.  A woman answered.  "This is not a joke," I said. "Do you have any rubber duckies?"  "Rubber duckies?" the woman started laughing.  "Really, this isn't a joke," I said.  "My sister is decorating her bathroom in duckies for my niece and I need to find one."  "Oh, ok," she said.  I didn't tell her my niece was 18!  She told me that they MIGHT have some duckies, and probably did.  I asked her IF they did, where would they be?  She told me in the infant's section.  I asked her where the infant's section was.  She said near the grocerys.  Getting information from this woman was like pulling teeth.  Anyway, I thanked her and hung up.  I went to Wal-Mart and found said duck and my mission was complete. 

Today was a good day.  I was much more up today.  Well at least tonight.  The morning was rough.  But then I started feeling better and started getting a lot of things done.  John and I went grocery shopping.  I did the dishes.  John and I went to Wal-Mart (yes, I went twice today) and bought the game Upwords.  I am looking forwards to playing it for the first time. 


I also made dinner.  It was squash and tomato casserole.  The reciple called for zucchini and tomato casserole but I changed it.  Because I had yellow squash on hand.  I imagine either way would taste great.  It was so easy to make.  The measurements from the recipe were not exact by an stretch of the imagination so I winged it.  I never use exact measurements anyway.  This is basically the recipe:

one and a half yellow squash or zucchini thinly sliced
one large beef steak tomato thinly sliced
one onion (if desired) thinly sliced 
a little bit of margerine or butter (love these measurements, lol)
enough bread crumbs to put on top of a round casserole
lots of mozzarella and cheddar cheese to put on top of the bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a round casserole dish (I used a glass one) layer the vegetables.  When you get to the top, dab the vegetables with butter or margerine in a few spots.  Then cover the casserole with bread crumbs.  Cover the dish and place it in the oven at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.  Then remove from oven and cover casserole with cheese.  Leave cover off casserole.  Return casserole to oven and bake an additional ten minutes.  

Very yummy for vegetable lovers!


Let's see what else is new.  John says he might have to get a root canal work done instead of just cavities.  Ouch!

Today Sam the Landlord came by and said he was sorry for spraying the spray in the window.  He said that he believed that he had gotten them all now.  He said he was using something different.  He showed me the can.  It said "Wasps Be Gone" or something.  Those things weren't bees, they were wasps!  He told me they were all gone.  Actually, I saw two of them were still there.  So they weren't ALL gone.  Several hours later I saw him back AGAIN spraying.  I hope they will be gone soon.  He did apologize though for spraying in the window and having Michael jump down on my face...

Well, gotta run, I am going to go to Mass in the morning (Saturday, which it will already be by the time you read this!) and then go over and help my sister do some things).  Nighty.   

Friday, August 6, 2004

5 Fillings Down!

Poor John.  He went to the dentist today.  He had five cavities filled.  John said he has more cavities, enough for two more appointments!  Then the dentist will decide whether or not she will recommend doing a partial bridge.  All these teeth problems come from medication he has taken through the years.

All 50 bees are still alive and well outside my door under the paneling.  I don't know what the landlord is spraying but it is not working.  I am going to have to tell him he is going to have to call the exterminator.  Dodging these things just isn't working.  With the reaction I had last time with the bee (that lasted about a week), risking getting stung is a no go.

Valerie is doing so exceptionally well because of her shunt that she moved into her new apartment today.  She wasn't able to move all her stuff in, but she took a few things over.  One of the things was her cat Honey.  She asked me to put a pic of her cat Honey in here and I told her yes, so I will put her cat in  here in a few days.  She had one hard time putting Honey in the cat carrier.  Honey was scared to death and didn't want to leave my parent's house!  Val finally wrapped her up in her pajamas (Val's pajama's, we don't believe in putting our pets in clothes, lol) and stuck her in.  My Mom told me she looked really funny wrapped up in there!  Valerie and I are going to go over this weekend to my parent's house to move more things over to Val's apartment.  I just want to say that Val is one of the fastest healers in the world, with one of the best attitudes I have ever met, and I am SO proud of her.  I have never met somebody with chronic illnesses that does as well as she does.

Let's see, what else is new.  John went to his astronomy club tonight.  There was a speaker from the local college.  She was explaining about Doplar Tomography and taking images of stars.  It is something similar to CAT scans.  It is WAY more complicated than that.  Because you can't actually take an image of a star but there is another way to figure out the image of the star.  He is trying to explain it to me right now but I have no idea what he is talking about.  This stuff is WAY over my head.  I just like to go look through the telescope.  

On an entirely different note, I felt a little blue today.  Sort of a lot blue.  I have to kick this mood.  Sometimes I feel like I am not accomplishing very much.  People in my life say that I do a lot, that I am there to help them out.  Oh well, maybe tomorrow will be a better day.

God bless all.            

Thursday, August 5, 2004

Cat Jumped On Face

The day today with John's Dad and Mary Ann was pretty nice.  Or should I say yesterday - it is past midnight right now.  One of the reasons it went so well was that I had gotten plenty of sleep.  The evening before after I had bought the iced tea I feel asleep on the couch for about two hours, and when I awoke, John had cleaned my entire apartment!  Suffice it to say he is more than a sweetheart!  So I went to bed early to wake refreshed.

John's parents arrived at 11:30 AM and could only stay till 3 PM (three and a half hours), but we had a nice time while they were here.  We caught up on a lot of things that were going on in each others lives.  And of course we went out to eat.  Everytime they come up we went go to Hoss's.  Or the Chinese Buffet.  They also gave us some presents.  Mary Ann gave me a lot of bath and body products that were very nice.  I felt like it was Christmas.  I felt bad not having things for them, but I think parents feel like giving you things sometimes!

One thing that was a bummer today was that bees or wasps (I don't know the difference!) have built a nest outside my front door.  Actually it is the only door to the apartment.  So to get out or enter the apartment, I have to run through the bees.  There are literally 50 or some of them out there.  I can't get rid of the nest because they have built it up inside a hole inside of the siding and it is impossible to reach up into there.  They just fly in and out of there one at a time.  And many of them gather together at once outside the hole. 

The landlord keeps coming by and spraying them every few hours with something that doesn't work.  All it is doing is angering them.  He has been doing this for about two or three days.  The first time he did it the cat thought the spray can was a hissing cat and jumped off the window and ran in terror.  I don't have the air on, instead I have the windows open because it is not too hot.  With the air on it is too cold.  Early this morning I came out and lay down on the couch for a few minutes and the landlord came by and sprayed again; he sprayed the spray right into the window, right into my face!  The couch is by the window, which is by the door.  And then later on in the day, he sprayed again, and the cat was in the window, and I was resting on the couch again, and he sprayed.  Michael thought the spray was a hissing cat again, and jumped down right onto my face, claws out.  I screamed.  Sam (the landlord) said, "Did I spray that into your house?" and I said, "Yes".  Perhaps I was too curt, but he had been spraying it into my window for several days without warning me.  Right into my face or onto the cat.  I think he could shout into the window, "Is anybody by the window?"  That would be helpful!  Actually I  have been seeing him spraying in two parts by the window so I am almost sure there are two nests.  Oh well, I hope this ends soon.  I guess I need to just close the windows and put the air on.  That is what I have done right now.  But Michael scratches to have the windows open, lol!  He likes to sit in them!  He will scratch until I open them.  Anyway, even if I keep them closed, that still doesn't stop the problem of trying to run through the bees when I open the door.  Earlier today when John's family was over I opened the door one bee got in but John's Dad chased it out.  Oh, well.

Well, Michael is trying to get my attention, I better get off, lol.  

Tuesday, August 3, 2004

John's Dad is coming

I just got back from the grocery store - I needed to pick up some iced tea and snacks.  John's Dad and StepMom are coming over tomorrow.  They drove up from Florida a few days ago and were staying at relatives, and called up today and told us this, and said they would be over at my house tomorrow in the morning.  Wow, we didn't even know they were in the area.  They usually call up and tell us about two weeks before they come up, but this time they didn't even give 24 hours notice!  My calendar isn't clear but I guess I will clear it, as John would want to see his Dad, he only comes up once a year.  

I guess I will run around and do a few things.  The place is not very messy at all, but you know how it is - when somebody is coming, you want it to be perfect (especially when it comes to parents).  Actually I shouldn't care, he called such last minute.  I should just go to bed. 

On another note, Valerie is doing really well.  She said today is the first day her neck finally healed up, praise God!  I think it was July 7th that she had her surgery, and this is almost a month later, and it is finally healed.  It still has a scab I think but it is not leaking anymore!  And there is no hole!  Thanks for everybody who has been praying.  And her hair has grown in just a tiny bit too!

Well, I must run.  I will let you know how the visit goes tomorrow.

Monday, August 2, 2004

New Terrorist Threats

Yesterday Tom Ridge announced that some financial institutions in New York City, Newark, NJ and Washington DC could be hit in the days ahead by al Qaeda.  The country is still going to remain at Yellow Alert (elevated alert), but the financial institutions of Newark, and the whole city of DC will be raised to Orange Alert (high alert).  New York, which has remained Orange (high alert) since Sept 11, 2001 will remian so.  Ridge gave New York officials the option of being Red if they wanted to but they decided against it. 

Ridge says the threat potential remains through the Nov. 2 elections.

The government has obtained a wealth of detail in the past 24 hours, according to a senior intelligence official who agreed to speak anonymously (source: AOL article dated Aug 1, 2004, entitled Governemnt Warns of Threats Against Financial buildings).  The official said al Qaeda had information on security in and around these financial buildings; the flow of pedestrians; the best places of reconnaissance; the construction of the buildings; traffic patterns; locations of hospitals and police departments; days of the week where there is less security at these buildings; etc 

Here are some examples according to the official that al Quaeda has figured out:  in one particular place, how much pedestrian traffic there would be (There would be midweek pedestrian traffic of 14 people per minute on each side of the street for a total of 28 people.); they have also ascertained which explosives would not be hot enough to melt steel; and they have figured out which buildings probably can't be toppled because their construction is too sturdy.  

Pretty extensive, huh?   


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