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Wow, it's almost 2008

I have this post I am working on, as a year end review of the best and worst of 2007 - however there is still much work to be done to it and we are heading back down to the French Quarter this afternoon. We want to pick up some UH Sugarbowl stuff for my sister who wanted to come so bad, but couldn't.

So hopefully tonight I will finish my prior post on the events of 2007 - but I can tell you that personally speaking my 2 "BEST" moments of 2007 happened just a few days ago.

1) getting a Chase Disney Rewards Card. It has a $5k limit, earns 1% rewards back as DDRD (Disney Dream Reward Dollars) that can be used on all sorts of Disney stuff - a must have living this close to Disney World! Besides, who doesn't like a card with a reward? This may be kind of a silly "BEST", but it surprised me and made my day, therefore it qualifies to me!
2) finding out that my bestest friend in the whole wide world, whom I've known more than half my life, went to school with since 6th grade, and haven't seen in nearly 12 years (since we both live in different states, are married, and have kids - though hers is younger than mine......) has FINALLY gotten an internet connection and has email. This to me is definitely one of the "BEST" for 2007! I'm always so excited to hear from her, but now she can keep up to date on my blog and recent pictures and videos I post. WooHoo!!!!

So as for the rest I will hopefully get to it tonight, as now I must go get ready to leave. But for now, Happy New Year, or at least New Year's Eve. Go Get your party on, just don't drive!

Happy New Year


Online Madness

Natalie has been busy playing online checking out all her favorite sites and making sure to take care of her Webkinz - I however have a bit of a problem with the amount of traffic online, as she keeps getting kicked off the Webkinz site! They should have anticipated this "craze" and upgrade the site. It seemed all of Christmas and the day after, there was no getting on. Somewhat upsetting when you buy these little stuffed animals that come with an online game, yet you can't access it. To me it's it's just about the same as Nintendogs, the game made for Nintendo DS - Natalie has every single one made! But to her DS is kinda out, and Webkinz is the new fad. Besides learning and getting experience using a computer will be very beneficial for her. I posted some pictures on Flickr, one is posted below.

French Quarter Fun

Went downtown today to visit the open air market, which is somewhat like a flea market. Natalie had taken $30 with her - $20 of which she earned helping around the house, and the other $10 was from 2 visits from the Tooth Fairy.

On the way there, we stopped and watched some street performers that were hilarious. I uploaded some pictures onto Flickr for you to enjoy - but I also took 2 short videos, that are posted below.

I had brought my camera along just in case we happened to see Brad and Angelina somewhere down there, as they are (or were) back in town at the house they own in the French Quarter for Christmas - but I had no such luck seeing them, dangit! We even saw some fancy tour bus parked in front of the House of Blues, but never got a peek at whose bus it was. Turns out it was either Dr. John plus Jon Cleary OR Slang Angus plus V.I.T.A.L. emcee with Illegal Alias - neither of which are artists that I know of!

So anyway, once we got down to the open air French Market, we really couldn't find anything to buy - although along the way we came across some cool shops where we picked up more movie memorabilia, like a little Yoda, the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, Gizmo, The 3 Stooges, and Napoleon Dynamite. Natalie bought herself a set of Dinosaurs, an Alligator hand back-scratcher (and yes, it is a real hand, it has scaly skin, and claws!) We also stopped in one place and bought a variety of chocolate items to share. Then we went through Jackson Square and into St. Louis Cathedral. In a matter of 15 minutes, we witnessed 4 weddings going on in various places in the square. I went into the church entryway, purchased 3 candles - 1 for Ruben's dad, 1 for my mom, and 1 to bless our family & friends. I even put on Holy Water without burning, so I guess I am not pure evil. I've always wanted to go into the Cathedral and light candles, so I'm glad that a year later I finally got the chance (in the past the cathedral has either been closed, or the gift shop where you purchase the candles at had been closed.)

After our day of fresh air and exercise, we headed home and I mentioned to Ruben how I would like to have a fire as it plans on being both warm and cold next week (it was chilly today), but we didn't have any firewood and the gas station down the street doesn't sell any either. I mentioned to Ruben to drive around the neighborhood cause someone may have recently chopped down a tree and put the wood out to be picked up by the trash guys. We were in luck, right by where you turn on our street a house had just put out quite a bit of wood similar to that we burned at Christmas which had come from this little patio-like area we had out back. While it may not be tree wood, it was burnable wood - and it was sitting on the street to be picked up, so we loaded up most of it in the back of my Durango. If you ask me the timing was perfect, although we did feel a little strange just taking the wood from a house in our neighborhood - but if they didn't want to get rid of it, they wouldn't have put it at the curb, right?

Anyway, here are the 2 videos I took today, plus a picture of Natalie with her hair in pigtails. She looks so cute. I need to take a picture of her without the cap on, as I just highlighted some strands of her hair that frames her face for her birthday party. I'll try to get some tomorrow, as right now it's time to hit the sack! Enjoy the videos!


What I love most

about this time of year........all the Best & Worst recaps of 2007. It seems just about every type of magazine has some kind of recap of the events of 2007 - and me being the celeb-gossip junkie I am, absolutely LOVES it all. Besides, you can learn a lot of useless pop culture trivia out of it, aside from good movies to see or music to listen to. As Entertainment Weekly says, it's your guide to the Good, the Superbad, and the Ugly - and People named Patrick Dempsey star of the year, which I think I most definitely agree with! So keep posted, I will post my list as soon as I can!


A Recap of Events.....

Things around here were a little lonely for us as we have no family here and the few friends we have obviously had plans with their own families. Also not helping matters was the fact that Ruben and I agreed not to buy for one another. I mean really, we are adults and buy whatever we want when we want, so who needs Christmas gifts? When it comes down to it, the whole holiday is for kids. Our mission was to make it special for Natalie, and keep the belief in the whole magic of the holiday and Santa alive - which we succeeded in for another year.

Since Ruben and I didn't buy for one another, all the gifts we spent the last few days wrapping had been for Natalie. After I laid all the gifts out, I saw it was going to be a VERY Pokemon Christmas! Natalie is so into collecting all the Pokemon figurines and cards that nothing else really mattered to her. In fact, I think she only asked for one other item - an art easel! She is such a little tomboy!

So anyway, Ruben and I had spent the days leading up to Christmas wrapping packages, but we didn't put any gifts under the tree till midnight Christmas Eve when we had just finished wrapping the last of the gifts. We took all the gifts downstairs, put out a half-eaten cookie on her "Cookies for Santa" plate, and a glass of milk (later after Ruben had eaten the remaing piece, she had said she wanted to send it in for DNA testing - LOL!). Ruben was concerned because we had a fire burning that night, but I told him not to worry about it, it's all in the "magic" of Santa. So at about 12:30am Christmas morning, we went to wake Natalie up, telling her that a sound on the roof and Lexie's subsequent barking had woken us up - we decided to wake her then cause Ruben's mom always calls right around midnight and wanted to talk to her. At first she was dazed and confused and had no idea what we were talking about as she sat there trying to wake up. Then suddenly it dawned on her that it was Christmas and Santa must have come. She couldn't get out of bed fast enough, and pushed at us to get out of her way so she could run downstairs and see. She got to the bottom of the steps, saw the tree and just said OH MY GOD. She couldn't get over all the present that sat beneath the tree. I told her that they were all hers, and she just sat there not knowing where to begin. Finally she realized that one half eaten cookie sat on the plate, and began to tell us how Santa comes down the chimney - she said he touches his nose and the fire just goes out allowing him to come down the chimney and not be burned - and that once he leaves, the fire just starts again. I even managed to capture a picture of her pointing to her nose as she told us the story, it's 1 of nearly 200 I took that night! All are posted on Flickr, just follow the link. At first she was very slow in un-wrapping her gifts (cause she was on the phone), but after about the 10th one she finally picked up speed. Other than all the Pokemon gifts she got from Santa, us, and Grandma - she also got a reindeer Webkinz from Santa, although she thinks it came from Rudolph, and a cocker spaniel Webkinz from Lexie (our dog). She was actually very excited about those gifts, even though I think all the Pokemon's were her actual favorites. After about an hour she was finally done unwrapping them all, and she started playing with them as Ruben and I tried to surprise each other. We weren't supposed to buy gifts for one another as I had just gotten a new camera and s Bamboo Fun tablet, and he had bought a Blu-Ray DVD player, as well as a new laptop as his dvd drive quit working. But I tried to surprise him with something kind of small. I bought him seasons 1, 2 & 3 of The Office. He loves that show so much, but has missed so many episodes. He bought me a 18kt and diamond Fleur De Lis pendant cause I've been wanting some Fleur jewelry for a while now. Living in New Orleans you'll find that everything is Fleur De Lis, it's just that I couldn't find any jewelry in yellow gold which is my preference - but he managed to find it somewhere. We were both pretty happy with the results. Christmas was pretty spectacular. Even the weather managed to co-operate, as it got a tad chilly just in time. The only thing that we didn't do was the "traditional fare" (normally I would have cooked just like Thanksgiving) for dinner, as this time around I am still in pain and healing from my surgery, so I just roasted a small turkey breast in the oven, made my mom's famous fried green beans, this cajun rice stuffing dish I had tried at the store, and a pan of rolls for dinner. Dinner turned out great, and was much better than the Burger King we ate for dinner on Christmas Eve - I had been out running around all day getting my prescriptions filled and ended up being too exhausted to cook! We spent Christmas evening watching season 1 of Heroes, and just enjoyed the time together as a family. Tomorrow I'm sure Ruben will be back to work, then it will just be me and Natalie till school resumes on the 7th - although we do have her birthday party coming up on the 5th (her actual birthday is on the 4th, but it's a Friday), which will be a bowling/High School Musical theme & be just as hectic and as crazy as Christmas, so wish us luck. It's always so hard dealing with both events so close together.

Ok, so it's time to go back to cozing up on the couch and watching the rest of Heroes. When we stopped the last disc at 1:30 this morning, it had ended in a real climax so I gotta go watch the last couple discs! Hope you had a fantastic holiday as well!


Merry Christmas

Here's a picture of Natalie that was taken shortly after Santa left very EARLY this morning! She was very excited, and had a wonderful Christmas, as we all did.
For more pictures take a look at Flickr, I just posted nearly 200 pictures from about 1:00am this morning. Enjoy, and Happy Holidays!


I just had a moment....

Ok, so everyone knows that I have this list of know, like as on Friends - the 5 people you could sleep with if ever the chance & it would be okay with the hubby cause he has his list. Kinda like a get out of marriage (for one night) free card. So I've mentioned in the past Viggo Mortenson, although I have more of a "thing" for Ashton Kutcher, Orlando Bloom, Patrick Dempsey, sometimes Nick Lachey, other times I come up with fresh faces, like Emile Hirsch (although he is a bit younger I suppose) or the guy from Chuck - he's a cutie, and it shows to bring out my "inner" geek. Well I was checking out IMDB for the movie Eastern Promises in which Viggo has a nude fight scene. Well if you've ever been to IMDB you know it is chock full of info - like did you know he was in Witness with Harrison Ford, or A Perfect Murder? Both are old movies, before I even knew who he was. This was pre-LOTR. Just like I learned the guy that played Gimli in LOTR was also in 2 Indy Jones movies. My God he looks so different when he's not portrayed as a dwarf!

Anyway, I learned on IMDB that Viggo is 49! Now I know Patrick Dempsey is a bit older than me (he's 41 - so 8 years), but most of my celeb-crushes are around my age. But 49! Holy crap! Never have I found a man old enough to be my daddy so freaken sexy. I mean c'mon, have you ever wanted to screw someone 15 years older than you? Okay, so he's not exactly old enough to be my dad, but 15 years is still quite an age gap - and NO I DO NOT have a daddy complex! In fact, I used to have a rule no one over 30, but I had to revise it considering my hubby is 34 and I am 33. I'm no cradle robber either! I'm just blown away by the fact that he is that old, cause he looks damn hot for his age! I'm just in shock!!

What about you, do you have a list of 5? Do you harbor celeb-crushes, and if so who? Are they older than you? Is it okay to crush on someone 15 years your senior?

Happy Holidays

Saw this on Lora's blog and I loved it so much. Everyone knows how much I love Ashton Kutcher, and even posed as Santa, he is still freaken hot!

This is surely rated R, so beware - but then again, I think my whole blog contains a whole lot of NSFW!

School Pix

Been meaning to scan and post these for a while now. One is Natalie's fall 07 school picture, the other is when Santa came to visit the school - we're lucky that on that day she didn't have to wear her uniform! Enjoy!


Party Like a Rockstar

Ugh! I'm so worn out and I haven't even done much. Guess I'm just burnt out. It's this time of year - all the shopping, presents, cards......and then 10 days after Christmas we do it all again for Natalie's birthday. Actually from like now till February is "our" busy year. We've got Christmas, and all it entails, then Natalie's birthday(1/4), then mine (1/26), then our anniversary (1/30), then Valentine's Day. All those days take a lot out of a person (shopping & doing cards) not to mention their wallet!
This Christmas I prepared about 90 cards to send out, and now I'm filling out about 30 invitations for Natalie's birthday. My hand needs a break from all that writing! Plus I am still in pain from my surgery. I saw the doctor the other day and all is good, but he agreed that it is going to take some time before the nerves in my armpit area calm down and stop hurting so bad!
Anyway, back to Natalie's party. She wanted a Pokemon theme, but you can't find party goods for that theme anywhere. So instead she's having a whole High School Musical theme, cause as she said, she doesn't want anything girlie themed cause there will be boys there. So Princess stuff is out. I kinda figured so since she does play mostly with the neighborhood boys. Her age group is kind of young, but even so I've noticed there is a lot of cattiness between the girls around here. But I figured HSM is neutral, and she is a fan of it. Next I had to figure out the whole party thing. Chuck E. Cheese is booked solid till February, and honestly not something I want to do. McDonald's is out of the question because our local Mickey D's has horrible service. A few weeks ago we went to a Bowling Birthday party - and as much as I hate doing the same thing so close to the original party, I really didn't have many other options. It's not like they have karaoke bars for kids, and I thought the 6 to 8 year old crowd might be a little too young for laser tag. In any case, Natalie really enjoyed the bowling party she went to. It was her first time, and she didn't do half bad. So she's excited about what was booked, and at $12 a kid the price isn't half bad. I don't have to set up or clean up, so no complaints there!
So at least that's taken care of, now we move on to wrapping gifts which hasn't been done yet. I'm not looking forward to it - in fact I think I hate wrapping for Christmas! Ruben and I didn't buy for one another, so it's all for Natalie! Each year we always buy too much stuff for her, especially when she has Christmas and her birthday within 2 weeks of each other. She can't even keep her room clean now with all the crap she has! I foresee a hefty donation to Goodwill in the coming weeks!


The long road to recovery.......

So Monday I went into surgery for another go around with reconstruction. The procedure was successful, and I was sent home afterwards once I was stable. I really preferred having it done at the hospital versus the surgical center I had my last day surgery at. The hospital took really good care of me, as they always do - and even made sure to feed me before sending me home. My past experiences (at other facilities) when waking up hungry usually lead to saltines and a sprite, but when I requested crackers and a soda this time, I was giving a full lunch. Can't complain about that. Usually they won't give you food right after surgery, as they don't want you throwing up from the anesthesia or morphine shots for pain - throwing up can rip your stitches. But I had no problems and went home feeling well.
Once home I did little more than sleep. In fact the first 2-3 days are just a blur to me.....I slept so much and had such a problem staying awake that my dear hubby thought I had been taking too much medicine. But I think it was a combination of things that left me so sleepy. Besides, better to sleep through the pain than to be awake and in agony! So like I said, the first few days are kind of hazy to me, but I do recall on the 2nd day I think, a problem with my drain tube. Each time I go in for surgery the doctor places a drain tube in my side so that any fluids from surgery can drain from my body. The drain itself consist of a tubing like that of an IV. About a good 12" of the tube is placed inside my body, held in place by a single stitch that wraps around it, then several feet ending with a suction bulb. While the purpose is so the fluid drains from my body, the doctor warned us that in some cases infection can travel upwards. It's one of those things you have to watch carefully for several days, recording the amount that drains each day. Once it reaches a certain point where hardly anything is coming out, it is then time for it to be pulled out. The drains them self are not all that pleasant to have - especially if you're a side sleeper like me. I've had so many of these things you can almost play connect the dots with all the little round scars I have on my sides! So anyway, it seemed as though I had a problem with this particular drain, cause on the 2nd day it back flowed. As I had been in and out of sleep I didn't notice much of a problem with it. I remember the bulb being near full and ready to be emptied when Ruben found that I had what appeared to be blood all over me. Instead it was fluid from my drain. I'm not sure why I didn't think much of it - must have been cause I was so out of it, but I never thought about calling the doctor because that had been the only problem we had with it until Saturday.
During the week I'm mostly sleeping, which is amazing since it was so hard to get comfortable. It seems that this time around I have had more pain in more places than any other time. My chest doesn't hurt so much as my side, underarm, and back. Many of these areas hurt with a painful, stabbing, burning sensation. All week I've been looking for a bruise to develop on my inner arm, but there's nothing. For whatever reason, all my nerve endings in these areas are freaking out. So I'm in tons of pain and my drain isn't working correctly. Saturday night had been Ruben's work Holiday Party. Obviously I wasn't able to attend - I would have been a major party pooper! As Ruben was getting ready, I had him help me with changing my bandages. He asked me how my drain has been lately - if I have had anymore problems, etc. I noticed that the bulb was full of air instead of being compressed as it should be, so that the suction works right. I drained it, squeezed it tight, then returned to bed. Ruben came up to say goodbye before leaving for his party and once again noticed that my drain was not compressed, which means there had to be a leak somewhere. He left for his party, and I decided to call the doctor about it. The doctor agreed that it wasn't operating properly, and said it needed to come out right away. Well since Ruben had already left it meant that I had to do it myself. Oh joy! He told me to carefully use scissors to clip the stitch and not the tubing. If I accidentally cut the tubing he'd have to take me back into surgery to remove it - so no pressure there! I was careful to wash and sanitize my hands and scissors. I cut the stitch, opened the valve, then had the hard part of pulling about 12" of tubing out, which really didn't feel that good - especially since the tubing tends to stretch thin. But despite the pain, I was able to successfully pull the tube out before some type of infection traveled upwards and caused some kind of sepsis. However, pulling the drain didn't relieve the pain in my side and underarm as I had hoped. All I can do is hope the pain goes away in a few days. But despite all the pain and problems I've been having at least the incision site looks great, which is a big relief! Maybe, just maybe this expander will be a keeper.


The Day is Here

As always the weekend flew by leaving us still much to do - hang more lights, another load of laundry or two, steam clean the upstairs carpet, spot steam a few areas downstairs, run to the grocery store for a few items, plus many other "To Do List" items. Oh well, eventually they'll get done, but I am doubting we will return home early enough from my surgery today for Ruben to knock out the majority of them, but I'm sure he'll do a grocery run and possibly a load of laundry. It's too bad he can't run home and do these things while I am in surgery, but the hospital is way on the other side of town from us. It's easier for him to wait or run down the street and shop. More than likely he'll just hang out playing his PSP till they tell him I'm out. I don't think he relaxes (at all!) until he knows.
It's hard to believe that in about a half an hour I have to start getting ready to go. I got up early to let Lexie outside. It's not like I have much to do. I can't eat, I can't drink, but I can brush my teeth provided that I don't swallow (who swallows toothpaste???), and I can take my morning meds with just a sip of water. I don't have to be to Kenner Oschner Regional until 8:30, but we'll want to leave about 7:15 in case of traffic. And while I may not have to do much prepping to leave - just throw on comfy clothes, brush teeth, and finger-comb hair (can't really "do" much with it. I'm not even supposed to have any gels, lotions or hairsprays in it!) We're mainly getting up so early as I've got to get Natalie ready for school. Even though we'll be leaving long before the bus comes! My neighbor Nina volunteered to take her before school, and after if we aren't home by 4pm. I didn't want to impose, but she's not working today, and said she'd have no problem with it. Luckily it's not like we have to be at the hospital at 6 - 8:30 is a much more reasonable time!
Anyway, I was just checking in before I head of to surgery. Wish me luck! I'll keep you posted, and will post as soon as I am up to it. Just cross your fingers that this procedure goes well and I heal right this time!



Got a delivery today. It was actually meant for yesterday. I know this because the card said "Just because it's Friday". Guess the flower shoppe made a little mistake. Especially cause yesterday I would have answered the door, but this morning when they came I was still asleep and Ruben answered the door. Big surprise, or at least it was once I woke up. They're beautiful though. It's nice because these are the first flowers I've gotten since my surgeries began in July. Besides, it always nice to get flowers from the hubby, and I love tulips - almost more than roses I think!



Had to do this after the whole Elf Yourself thing.

This time I created a Saints SuperFan. Check it out here and create your own - or at least get a good chuckle!



Mental Constipation

Was checking out Lora's Blog earlier, where I happened to pick up a new link among other things. The Urban Dictionary , is definitely not your Merriam-Webster Dictionary. In fact, the Urban Dictionary is a slang dictionary containing YOUR definitions. I can actually see the need for a reference item such as this - especially in today's society which is laden with Reality TV, Sidekick's, Internet, and email/text messages. As I browsed the site I came across this:

  • mental constipation
    An inability to articulate one's thoughts or ideas, resulting in significant psychological distress and frustration.

An example of Mental Constipation is:

Mark: "So, you know, it's like... uh, er... damn, you know, that, uh... thing!"

Dave: "Yeesh. It's too bad that they don't make a laxative for mental constipation!"

This slang term and definition was perfectly clear to me. Some people I know - myself included, has suffered from some sort of Verbal Diarrhea. The kind where you run at the mouth, excessively. But the slang definition for Mental Constipation so accurately describes me post chemo. It's so funny that I can relate to this so much, and even makes me glad that there is finally a word describing my condition. I just wish that this was something my doctors would have told me about as a side effect to chemo. But it's all good now. I totally understand. Sometimes I wonder how Ruben understands half the things that come out of my mouth. Especially when maybe only every other sentence makes sense, I often combine parts from 2 different words to make a new word, and how sometimes I am at such a loss for words that I often feel like chemo reduced me to that of a 5th grader despite college education. But it's nice to finally know that there is a word for it, one that is PC.

I have this feeling I will be adding lots of "new" words to my vocabulary thanks to them. = )


I couldn't resist

Saw this on Cynthia's Blog, and I laughed so hard I nearly wet my pants!

Check it out for yourself. I'm sure you'll get a good laugh at this and soon have your own!

Go Elf Yourself!

Also check out some of the new pix on Flickr. Natalie & I got our flu shots today and she handled it sooooooooooo well!

I can feel it coming on

The temperature around here finally dropped for at least a few days in a row. The high will be close to 80 again on Friday, like it was last week. Yesterday I woke up to 42 degrees. This morning wasn't much better. This has been like the 3rd time the heat has been on "this" winter. Now here I am, the countdown is on for surgery on Monday, and I have a slight tickle in my throat and a bit of a cough. It's bad enough I'm all stuffed up, and I can feel it in my head when I bend over. I didn't get my Flu shot like I should have (I usually get one every year). I'm going to have to make it a point to get there before they close sometime this week - and somehow I need to find a way to talk my daughter into going with me and getting the shot as well. She's not too keen on shots, but with all the germs at school and a parent that cannot afford to get the flu, it's kinda important. Ruben however is an absolute NO! He refuses to get the shot, and there is no talking him into it. I doubt if sexual favors would even get him to do it! But anyway, with all the running around I've been doing, it certainly feels as if a cold is coming on. Being worn out no doubt helped this cold incubate. But if I am to get there before they close, AND bring Natalie along, I will have to pull her out of school about 30 minutes early. Maybe I can bribe her with an early Christmas present - one she doesn't know about yet.

Have you gotten your Flu shot yet? Do you plan on getting one? Do you get one every year?

I'm not usually a germ-a-phobe, it's just with all these surgeries, healing, and cancer remission, it's important that I protect myself as much as I can. So this ought to be fun. You know I just love needles so much, although a shot is nothing compared to an IV. Let's just hope that I haven't already been exposed.


It's all set

Went to my Surgeon's office yesterday to fill out all my pre-op paperwork, then headed to the hospital for my labs and to have a chat with the anesthesia department.
Of course along the way I had lots of stops to make. One of which was to buy Natalie a new mattress. At first I wasn't too sure if she had enough room in her current location. Even though her room is a whopping 20x18, the wall where her bed sits now isn't just a flat 18' wall. Our house is an Acadian style (4 sets of windows with a slanted roof in between) So each window section is 6' wide, she has 2 of them with a 6' closet for her toys in the slanted portion in between (she also has a 2nd closet not counted in the square footage that is for clothes!). On one side she has her bed and nightstand, the other is strictly a play area where she has a little table and toys. The rest of her furniture (a chest, mirror, dresser, trashcan, hamper, and dollhouse) is along the opposing 18' long wall, then along the 20' wall when you walk into her room between the door opening and the "play area" she has her other furniture - a desk, hutch and 2 bookcases. The size of her room, and the furniture set she has played a huge part in our decision to buy this house! So anyway, without re-arranging her room she only has so much space for a bed and her nightstand. Luckily just enough for a full size, which will at least give her a bit more room. I made sure to buy her a comfortable, quality Simmon's mattress, so it will hopefully last years -although this low end twin has been around for about 3.5 years. We picked up a bed frame, but I forgot the sheet. We'll also have to eventually look into getting a new headboard from Ashely Furniture that matches the set. But that will have to wait till after her birthday.
After getting the mattress, and having Ruben come load it in his truck, I went on to my next stop, Christmas Village. Yeah I'm still on the hunt for yard decorations. Theirs can be so expensive, but are much cheaper if you buy just the frame. Besides, Nina told me that she had some lights I could use if I bought the frames. Of course these people have no idea what's going on. They didn't know what was in stock or what was sold - so I'm waiting for a call back from them. Hopefully it will be soon, since Christmas IS in a few weeks!
From there I headed over to Esplande Mall. I had to have my jewelry inspected per the ESP, plus I had to send my diamond tennis bracelet off for repairs. The last time I sent it in to have the clasp repaired, and a link fixed I ended up losing a diamond in less than a week. So much for inspections! So for the last 6 months I have not worn the bracelet, because I don't go to Kenner much - it's about a 25 mile drive for me one way. Also I wanted to complain about the sizing they did on my wedding set. First off they didn't make it small enough. Secondly they did a crappy job which left the gold worn and thinning, as well as indentation marks from where they cut the rings and soldered it back together. I expected better quality of work, cause what I ended up with is reminiscent of a Flea Market job. However as bad as a job they did, I did not have them repair the rings as they are telling me that even with my ESP, I will have to pay $135 per band to have it fixed and filled. You would think my jewelry was bought from Zales. I expected more from Kay's as a VIP customer, but I guess from now on we'll buy my things at Jared or Aucoin Hart Jewelers!
Finally after all that running around I made it to Kenner Regional and did all my pre-op stuff. I'm all set for surgery on the 10th, but I don't know what time yet. They'll call me on Friday to let me know what time I have to be there. I'm sure it will be near the crack of dawn - it always it!
Also - I posted lots of pictures on Flickr of our neighbor's yard decorations. I wanted to re-do some of our own yard work today, but it's downright chilly out, but that's to be expected for a temp of 49. Anf to think just a few days ago it was 80 out. This is some crazy weather!


Christmas Decorations

Man I tell you this house is humongous! Ruben has put up lights, but they are hardly noticeable. We have numerous yard displays, but not enough to cover our yard! Our house is on a corner, so we have front and side yard visibility. Ruben has already overloaded the circuit a few times with what little we have - then yesterday it happened. One of our neighbors decorated their house. OMFG, let me tell you I swear you can see it from space! They have some really cool, but unusual pieces. Keep in mind this IS Louisiana when I tell you that they have lighted displays of Santa fishing, fish whose lights have movement so they look to be jumping, frogs that do the same, a gator that I love, a crab, a shrimp, a crawdad, Santa on a boat lead by 2 gators, several candy canes, 2 huge wreaths and 2 huge angels. Oh, and none of these displays are small by any means! I will try to sneak over after dark and take some pictures. I couldn't get any last night as it was too late by time we got home and their lights were off. What's cool is that Nina used to have a shop where she sold these things (that why she has so much!) Craig took us into the attic and they have tons of pieces for sale. I'm not sure what it's going to cost us yet, but we picked up 2 lanterns, a nutcracker drummer boy, and a nutcracker horn blower - oh and a big snowman which they are working on. I'm afraid of the price she'll charge, but these things are awesome! So here is a picture of our house kinda as a before shot, like as in before we found the good stuff. We plan to change quite a bit, but not sure when we'll get to it. I'm hoping to drive over to River Road (borders the Mississippi) and take our annual family picture there with one of the bridges in the background - it's slightly overcast which may be a good thing as I am aiming for a certain look. So I don't know how much we'll get done on the house - it's like 80 today, and the mosquitoes come out at dusk and attach with a vengeance. But I will take plenty of pictures as we go about and get it all done. The first year of decorating is always the hardest, lots to figure out. Next year we'll have a better plan I hope. I posted lots of pictures on Flickr, some of outside, ones of some of the rooms (so you can finally see how we remodeled), pix I played with in CS2 using different action preset made by Holly - whom I am still waiting for assistance with my Bamboo Fun. No I haven't figured it out yet, and she said she'd help me accomplish at least one thing I'd like to be able to do! But in the meantime I am having a blast playing with & figuring out my new camera. Man I can't wait till next year to take those Photography and Photoshop classes! You know I have Photoshop 7, CS2, Element 4, 5 & 6 and I'm hoping to soon add Lightroom to my collection. I have all this software, and lots of actions, filters and stuff, but I really don't know how to use it fully.

Oh, almost forgot - tomorrow I go back to my surgeon to start my pre-op stuff. Get my lab orders, RX's, and such. So tomorrow I will hopefully have a nailed down date for surgery. We have been shooting for the 10th, but tomorrow I will know for sure. I'll keep you posted.

Take a look at all the new pix on Flickr and enjoy them. I will post more soon! In the meantime, I'll be doing the usual - laundry, cooking, wrapping gifts and playing Lego Star Wars The Complete Saga. Yes I found a game I like to play! Woohoo!


Another Lifted Item

Stole this , um, I mean lifted this from Lora's blog this morning. Did it because of one particular questions - Lora went the safe route, but I think there is more that can be said. Can you guess which question?

Have you ever thought about getting your lip pierced? Once upon a time, I used to have my Eyebrow, Belly Button & Tongue done (all gone now) but I once considered a Nose piercing (not through your nose like a bull - but a small delicate piercing on the side), and a Labret piercing (which is the one between your lip and chin) - but I must say piercing the Lip, I just couldn't fathom it, because to me, if you have these rings around your lips how do you kiss passionately without getting hurt?

Does a kiss make you feel better? Sure, I guess. A kiss should make everything feel better - like boo-boos. But when it comes down to just having a crappy day, I think a hug works better.

Have you ever passed out on the bathroom floor? Yes, I’m afraid I have. More than once.

Do you start the water before you get in the shower or when you get in? Before - I like hot warm, so I start it before to let the cold water out first.

What did you do today? Nothing much yet, just got Nat ready for school. Not really sure what I will do today. I cleaned most of the house yesterday.

Have you had more than three boyfriends/girlfriends at the same time? Hmmm, can't say that I have. I tried dating 2 guys at once a couple times - but it didn't work out.

Would you rather be in a relationship or play the field? I like all the things that go along with being in a good relationship.

What do you do when you first wake up? Trudge toward the bathroom - wash my face, use the bathroom - then trek downstairs for a soda (need caffeine!), come back up and assist Natalie with her hair. Then it's outside to wait for the school bus - and yes, I usually venture out there in my jammies, but then again, her bus picks her up right in front of out home.

What color is your shower curtain? It’s shades of beige/goldish yellow/eggplant/teal and has Kokopelli's on it - we have all the matching pieces (towels, dispensers, etc) as well as the bedroom comforter set.

Have you ever had stitches? Yeah, lots. I could tell you all where, but that may take awhile!.

How long ago did you hug someone? This morning when I said goodbye when Nat left for school.

Did you believe that boys/girls had cooties? Only some do. :)

Do you know how to use chopsticks? If they were the only utensils I was left with, I’d starve - or eat with my fingers.

Lyrics stuck in your head? "The whole damn world is just as obsessed with who's the best dressed and who's having sex. Who's got the money who gets the honeys. Who's kinda cute and who's just a mess and you still don't have the right look and you don't have the right friends. Nothing changes but the faces, names, and the trends. High school never ends. " - High School Never Ends by Bowling for Soup

Do you like Oilers or Flames? Neither?

What are you doing tomorrow? Probably finishing decorating the yard & trying to find a location to take our annual family picture for Christmas cards.

Who was the last person you couldn't take your eyes off of? Like I can remember!

Have you ever given money to a homeless person? Nope.

Have you ever run over an animal? Nope (at least none that weren't already roadkill)! I even saved a little froggie that jumped to the street off an old over the road train track! I thought he was dead and was carrying him in my hands in the car when he suddenly woke up and scared the crap out of me when he jumped out of my hands!

What is your favorite cereal? Hardly eat cereal, but when I do I usually go for Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds.

Have you ever had an Oreo with peanut butter? No and doubt if I ever would. Oreos are best as is - it's the cream that makes them so damn good in the first place!

Do you think its right for straight guys to get their tongues pierced? First off, what's up saying straight guys, it's not like only gay men do it. Also as Lora said, who's to say what is right from wrong. But let me just say that the tongue rings heightens oral stimulation for BOTH men and women. So no, I find that there is nothing wrong with a straight man having his tongue pierced or even women for that matter.

Where's your favorite place to be? That's a hard one, I have lots of favorite places - my whole house is one. But from all the traveling I've done I'll have to say Hawaii and Disney World. The cruises were okay, but I've had better rooms, food, etc.

What's your favorite song? It’s impossible to name one favorite. But, I think my favorite artist (at least at the moment) is Nickelback.

Have you ever thrown shoes on a telephone wire? Nope….why throw away a perfectly wearable pair of shoes?

Have you ever been skinny dipping? Yes, and Chunky Dunking too, as I've been both thin and fat!

Have you ever climbed up a water tower? Nope, but I have climbed up on old railroad trellises growing up in Illinois.

Do you dream in black and white? I have, but I don’t very often.

Do you talk in your sleep? Sometimes.

Do you snore when you sleep? Not really, I rarely do it. I'm more of a drooler.

Funniest thing you heard all day? Can't recall, but it was something my daughter said while getting dressed for school.

Have you ever gotten a mosquito bite on your face? Yes. I've also gotten them everywhere else. They thrive here in Louisiana. Damn little bastards!

What are you afraid of? Used to be of Cancer returning, but not anymore!

What does the 14th text message in your inbox say? Save up to 50% during our 3-day sale (mail from Circuit City)

What does the 10th text message in your outbox say? Re: Shower. Cant say anything more than that.

Do you like someone? No, I love someone! My hubby & daughter just to name a few.

Do they know you like them? Of course.

Can you recite the alphabet backwards? Nope, not drunk OR sober.

What's your middle name? Christine.

Need to get something off your chest? Chest, what chest, I have NO chest at the current time. Check back in a few months and I may finally have my new perfect, plastic boobs.

How do you feel about your life right now? There are still ups and downs, it all comes with the whole cancer/remission/reconstruction and menopause thing - BUT other than that, life is good!



Anyone out there with a Wacom Tablet (I just got the new Bamboo Fun one as an Christmas gift) please, please, please help!!!!

I want to make my own hand written signature, and a watermark stamp for all my photos - but I am struggling with finding out how to do this!

Holly McCaig once commented on her older blog that this is how she did hers:

  • I had someone ask me about my signature and watermark on my photos. It is my handwriting. I used my Wacom Tablet in Adobe Illustrator and wrote out my name the way I sign things (well, when I'm not in a hurry). I then brought it into Adobe Photoshop and turned it into a .jpeg for my blog signatures and then a brush to stamp on top of my photos for my watermark. Easy peasy!

No, not easy peasy! I've tried CS2 Illustrator, CS2, Photoshop Elements 5, plus the 2 other programs it came with - Nik Color Efex Pro & Corel Painter Essentials 3. I'm lost. I don't know what I'm doing and feel like such an idiot! Someone please help me!

I must now send Holly a message begging for her expertise.

I wanted this thing so much cause online it makes it look so cool and so fun and easy to use. Someone, I BEG of you to PLEASE, please, PLEASE help me figure this thing out. It virtually came with no instruction for how to use it - Besides, my new Canon PowerShot A720 IS compact camera arrived yesterday afternoon, and I have some reading to do, as well as playing! I wanted a small camera to carry around in my purse all the time, cause my Sony DSC-H5 is too big to lug around daily!

We'll catch up later. But if you do know how to use Wacom's Bamboo Fun or their other line of tablets, please leave a comment below - I think I may need some step by step help! Thanks!!

Celeb Mug Shots

I found this mildly entertaining. Many Mugs not known about.

I hear certain old Mug Shots are sold as art. Jeremy Piven of Entourage has the Mug of Frank Sinatra in his living room, but I'm not sure what company it is that sells them.



A Preview

Didn't get much time to play around with my new toy. Gotta run into town to Michael's to return this Christmas item I bought. Here's what I did manage to do - just a sampling of the things to come!


UPS Delivered

UPS just came and they brought some goodies. I'm sooooooooooo excited. One of the packages contained my new Wacom Bamboo Fun set, however the package containing my new camera hasn't arrived yet = ( But in any case at least I have this to play with in the meantime - that is if the Hubby doesn't make me wait till Christmas. I love new toys, don't you? I'll have to play later cause right now I need to run to the store = ( But once I've opened it (that is if I can!) I will let y'all know all about it!!!!

Oh, almost forgot. I got my stitches removed today. The surgeon says it looks great and they are working on scheduling a date for me to go back into surgery and try reconstruction again. I go back on the 3rd, will get my orders for pre-op labs, and other stuff. I think we are aiming for the 10th. Wish me luck!!!


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.


Time For a Change.

1) new sub-title.

2) new profile photo.

Just wish I could figure out how Lora changed the comment part of her blog to read non-lurkers??? Hmm, if I wasn't so frustrated I'm sure I could easily figure it out, but there's a frog in the house I must catch and release.

Also, I will be adding some pictures to Flickr from a birthday party we went to this weekend. Natalie bowled for the first time in her life, had a blast, and scored quite well for her first time!



So yesterday I concentrated mostly on things I was/am thankful for. One of which is the double oven we have cause it made cooking a hell of a lot easier on us! Other than that, here is what I came up with in no particular order:

  • Obviously being alive!
  • What little family & friends I have left.
  • Our dog Lexie, who is my baby!
  • Great Medical Insurance that covers my cancer & reconstruction & doesn't cost a fortune.
  • A WONDERFUL husband, who has stood by through-out all highs & lows of cancer, menopause, multiple surgeries, and caring for myself and carrying the household while I was on bedrest healing for 3 months!
  • I'm extremely thankful to not have had any tropical storms or hurricanes close in on NOLA this past "season".
  • To be blessed with the life we have that allows us to live a life of excess - buying what we want, when we want - to have 2 vehicles that are fairly new, nice and paid for - to have a beautiful 4,000 sq. foot home, as a roof over our heads - to not have to worry about money and bills and have little to no debt. I am very thankful for being able to live comfortably!
  • To have plenty of food to eat, a roof over my head, warmth when cold, A/C when hot, cable, internet, and lots of other things normally taken for granted!

Now if only we could all lose all the excess weight we have, become healthy, and be able to fore go surgeries, that would really make me thankful!

So what are you thankful for this year? I can't wait to hear!


Another day turns to dusk

Well for us Thanksgiving is over. We've ate, rested, put away the left-overs, and even did the dishes. Thanksgiving is done and we've survived. Not to mention the food wasn't just edible, but it came damn close to tasting like Mom's - which made me not just feel good, but feel like one hell of a cook!
After letting our food digest for a while, it came upon time for pie. I even mastered the whip cream. The only down-side - my pies were store bought. Ruben joked why didn't I make pie myself. I don't know how to make pumpkin pie! I almost hit the roof till he said he was joking. I said maybe next year I will make another dessert besides ambrosia salad. Geesh, let me master one thing at a time! Besides, I'm not into making pumpkin pie, maybe pumpkin cheesecake.... I have done that before, or there's this other cheesecake I like to make. It's not traditional cheesecake. I have the recipe for it upstairs, but I recall off the top of my head that you mix cream cheese with Dream Whip, and it makes this "fluffy" style cheesecake. Good stuff. He said he likes custard, which was my brother's favorite - but I don't know how to make custard pie. I'll have to ask my Mom's old friend, the neighbor who had helped me figure out stuffing and gravy, maybe she knows how to make custard pie. But like I said, maybe next year.
Ok well it's back to the couch for me. I took a short nap after eating and had very weird dreams, but this time instead of going there to nap, I want to go be ready for CSI when it comes on as I don't think there is any Grey's on tonight. Anyway, enjoy your evening, however you spend it. I have all my pictures now posted, so check them out when you can!

Dinner almost done

We've taken our time preparing the remaining items for dinner today. I've got the last few items in the oven. I'm very thankful that we have a double oven. I love it and it's really helped speed up much of the process. We've snacked most of the morning on the Spiral Maple Glazed Ham I prepared last night. Ruben is outside frying the turkey now, which is nearly done. We've sampled much of the sides as they were being cooked. Ruben loves the stuffing. I'm amazed at how well everything is turning out, and quite proud of myself for pulling it all off. I've posted many pictures already at Flickr of everything as it was being prepared. I hope you enjoy our Thanksgiving pictures, as well as your own Thanksgiving!

The Platter

This is "The Platter" that every memory of Thanksgiving as a child revolved around.

Mom, I'm glad I got a chance to keep this important piece of family tradition!


Happy Thanksgiving!

Tonight I am coming at ya from the kitchen as I get a head start on all the cooking for tomorrow. So far I've put together the ambrosia salad, the spiral sliced glazed ham is done , the turkey giblets are on the stove simmering slowly in a pot, and the turkey is sitting in a brine soak in the fridge outside. Hell I've even managed to do all the dishes thus far! I'd say that I'm sitting pretty damn good for tomorrow. It's not like anyone is coming to dinner - all of our single friends have other plans, as well as all our married friends. After all, Thanksgiving is a time for family, food and fun. This particular holiday holds much meaning for me, and has brought to light many unresolved feelings about my Mom's death.

In preparation for Thanksgiving, I have realized that deep down I feel like a lost soul without my Mom. Even at 33, not only do I feel incomplete without her, but I also feel very incompetent because I had no idea how to do much of the cooking to carry out this family tradition I am so used to. Since her passing many times I have felt much like an orphan. Shortly after her death, my step-father held a memorial, sent my Mom out for cremation, tied up all his loose ends in town, and quickly returned to their home in Mexico. He didn't even take her remains with him. Instead they were given mostly to my brother. His behavior surrounding her death, and quick exit left me wondering. Over the last year my suspicions have pretty much been confirmed - I am the ugly red-headed step child. The same can be said for my siblings. Except for the occasional phone call, which we receive about quarterly, it's as if we no longer exist in his carefree retirement days, that resemble that of a college frat boy with all the smoking, drinking, and going out. It sometimes makes me wonder if in the last years he really did love my Mom, or if he's happy that he's free of her. I also wonder if when I'm 55 or 60 if I will feel the same about my husband? Or maybe it's just a result from the injury he suffered several years when he fell 2o feet and landed mostly on his head. Or it could be as Jennifer Aniston once said - he, like Brad Pitt may be missing a "sensitivity chip". It's just that after nearly 17 years of marriage, I don't understand his lack of grief or family values. You're probably wondering why I bring all this up and what the two have to do with anything, but I think it's a culmination of all these things that have left me feeling so empty and lost. And in feeling this way I've lately found myself feeling depressed , detached, unmotivated and uninterested. I love my husband and daughter dearly, but my heart aches. Sometimes I often think that I have no "home" to go to. I have my sister in Hawaii, but I have no mother and no father. Adding to all this, I have little memory of extended family beyond that of my siblings - so not only do I feel like a lost soul, but I feel like I don't know who I am or where I'm from, which only adds to the "lost" sensation. As I've been feeling this way for several weeks, I've refrained from Blogging due to lack of motivation and interest. I've been trying to sort through all of this, and resolve what I can cause I am tired, sick and tired of feeling this way - and that's just it. I FEEL sick and tired! This blog was supposed to be a journey through survival, yet it doesn't feel like I am surviving anything. I know this is all a little too deep for Thanksgiving, but so much of this has been MY food for thought. So for the next day all I am going to try to concentrate on is what I feel thankful for - Ruben says I should feel thankful for being alive, and I do, so hopefully I can find my way out of the deep end of this pool. I'd chalk it all up to holiday blues - but I think it's more than that.

I'll try to post Friday what I'm feeling thankful for this year. What makes you thankful this holiday?



It's been kind of a lonely, sad week for me. Ruben is out of town, my brother-in-law went home, so it's just me, Lexie & Natalie. It pretty much sucks! Don't get me wrong - Natalie and I have had some great mother/daughter time together, but I am Poke'd out! First, take into consideration the fact that I know NOTHING about Pokemon, add together the facts that I do not play any of the games, watch the cartoons, or really know any of the character names. That said, in the last few days I have learned more about Pokemon than I care to know!
Lexie is bringing me down, just because she's being the sad, pathetic pup she always is when one of us is gone. She is so mopey! Luckily, Ruben comes home Sunday. I'm ready for some adult inter-action/conversation. Ruben is on vacation next week for Thanksgiving, and Natalie is on break from school. I finally have everything all figured out for Thanksgiving. I got some help from my Mom's old neighbor from when she lived in Vegas. Thanks to her I can master gravy and stuffing now. I also got some help from my cousin who has a "recipe" for the way my Grandma made sweet potatoes - although Grams passed around my 3rd birthday. I bought everything I needed - aside from a 10lb young turkey, I also bought a small maple spiral-sliced ham. We'll have more food than we know what to do with, but that's okay. The important part is carrying on the tradition. I can't make it exactly like Mom's, but over time I will get better, and improve with age and time. Plus, over time, this will become our own tradition and will also become important "family time" together. It's something I definitely want to pass down to my daughter. I think I may even take pictures of it all and create a little Thanksgiving recipe scrapbook so she'll at least always have the recipes to go off of. Unlike my Mom's style of cooking. At least Mom gave me the most important piece of Thanksgiving tradition during our last Thanksgiving together - a Thanksgiving turkey platter that she had used for as long as I can remember. Thanksgiving always revolved around that platter.
Holidays are just cruising right by. I really need to finish up Christmas shopping, get a move on the cards so I can get them in the mail by the 1st, and figure out what to do for Nat's birthday. So much to do in so little time, especially since I will be having a surgery right in the middle of all this. Which reminds me : 1) family photo for Christmas cards - what to wear this year? 2) what do I want for Christmas? 3) what should I get Ruben?
Natalie is over here making her list for Santa....a good writing exercise, but of course it's Pokemon stuff. Big surprise there! Oh great, I feel a headache coming on now, I think it's due to Pokemon. Wonder if I can expect this for the rest of the holidays?


Girls just wanna have fun

Yesterday Ruben and Danny left for Vegas. Danny finally got home-sick and decided he wanted to go home after 3 months. Ruben's only there for 8 days on a business trip. Unfortunately, their plane left early in the morning, so Nat & I were forced to go home as no stores were open yet. We came home and rested for a little bit before deciding to go to Houma to shop. I wanted to hit up several stores, but in town they are spread out all over the place. In Houma everything is located within a few blocks.
While driving there I felt like I was having some problems with my contact in my left eye, after bothering me for several minutes I decided to pull over, so I could take the lens out and rinse it. That's when I noticed something was wrong with my eye itself. The pupil had been largely dilated compared to the other, and I knew that something was wrong. I called my sister who used to work for Lenscrafters. She told me that I should probably go see a doctor, but told me to wait a bit as my BIL was heading to work and he would ask one of the doctors there....he works in the optical department at Costco. After shopping for a couple hours I noticed that it still had not changed. My sister called shortly after, and told me that the eye doctor even recommended I go to the hospital cause it could be neurological damage, or maybe even nothing at all. Since I had just had surgery on the 6th, I was told to start with him first. I called his answering service, explained my concern, and waited for someone to call me back. Not long after, my doctor's office assistant returned my call and told me to go to the ER since it was a weekend and and already 4pm. So I filled up the tank and asked my neighbor if she could watch Natalie while I go, but they insisted I not drive myself. We began heading to the hospital and almost got as far as the bridge, when my plastic surgeon called. He told me that I didn't have to go the the ER, he knew what the likely cause was. Prior to surgery he prescribed this Transderm Scop patch that you put behind your ear 2 hours before surgery. The Scopolamine in the patch is known for causing such side effects, as well as many others you can read about here. As the prescribing doctor he was very familiar with the common side effects of the medication, and told me that I didn't need to go to the ER - that I should go only if I experience changes in my vision or the pupil gets so big you can no longer see the blue in my eyes. So we turned around and headed for home. Miss Arlene was nice enough to let Nat stay and play till 9pm so that I could rest and relax, then she had her teenage son walk her home since it was dark. Have I said how great my neighbors are? Ruben was so paranoid about the whole surgical procedure before leaving town, but made sure to talk with the neighbors and ask them to look after me and help whenever possible. I told him that it's only 8 days, I think I can take care of myself for that long! We'll just have to leave day 1 out of the equation!


Alive & Well

At least all except the huge pain in my side! Once again I have a drain tube in my side, and it hurts like all hell! Once I go through all these surgeries I'm going to have so many round scars that you will be able to play connect the dots on each side! My chest (where the hole was) so far feels good (don't know what it looks like yet, as it's all bandaged up) - it's just the pain that I have in my side from this tube. But at least all went well, and I'm home again in my nice comfy velour track pants and t-shirt.....lounging around, watching TV, and surfing the net. Sounds fun, eh? Ruben ran up to the store to pick up the Ratatouille Movie.
Hopefully things will continue going this well, and the pain from the rube will subside a bit.
Hope y'all are doing better than me!


Surgery & Thanksgiving

Well tomorrow's the BIG day. I have to be at the surgical center at 6am, which means we'll have to leave our house around 5:15! Holy Crap! There goes staying up to watch Weeds tonight! Thank goodness we have a DVR. I can watch all my shows when I get home, as I doze in and out of sleep. I'm not really sure how long this procedure will take, all I know is that I will be home "sometime" tomorrow. As soon as I feel up to it, I will post so y'all know I'm alive and well!

Ok, so Thanksgiving is coming up. This will be the first year I will actually be preparing/cooking everything myself. I only hosted Thanksgiving once when we lived in Elko, but my Mom came up for the holiday and worked her magic (I basically helped and maybe prepare one dish!) Now that she's gone, I can't even call and ask her for help or how she made stuff. I'm not really sure what or how to prepare everything. Nothing will ever compare to Mom's Thanksgiving. I'm not sure if Ruben plans to deep fry the turkey or if I will be cooking one (we have a double oven but still it's only so big) with only 3 people, how big of a bird do we need? Maybe I should just do chicken. Ruben wants stuffing, and I don't know how to make the kind that doesn't come from a box - of course he doesn't like that kind. He also likes gravy. Another thing I don't know how to make. I usually buy a bottle of premade gravy. I know how to do the mashed taters, green been casserole - but I'm not sure how Mom made her sweet potatoes. I know they were canned, but how did she make the syrup? I know how to add the marshmallows. I'm such a mess. Been married for nearly 8 years and I don't know how to cook Thanksgiving dinner. I do know how to cook other things, but there's such nostalgia and tradition to Thanksgiving. So any ideas? Any help you can offer? I would sooooooooooo appreciate it!


It's a miracle!

The garage is FINALLY clean and organized after only 10 months! Plus both vehicles fit with plenty of room - though there is only about a foot between his bumper and the garage door! Ruben's so happy all his hard work has paid off - it's been more than 5 years since he's been able to share the garage with me. Our last house's garage wasn't long enough for the truck to fit in - also the truck was almost too tall to fit when the snow tires were on. I never would have thought that all of our junk could have been arranged to let his truck fit in, plus still have all the excess room in the shop portion of the 2 1/2 car over sized garage. Especially when we have 8 snow tires that surely aren't needed here in Louisiana, not to mention the snow blower. Whatever will we do with this crap we can no longer use?

Also, I uploaded more pictures today on Flickr. Enjoy!

Time to let go (or at least try!)

Ruben says that I have the tendency to dwell on the past too much, and he's right.
I can't help it that even after a few years I still have so much heart ache over a friendship that I put so much into, gave so much for, and after several years of being friends our friendship was turned into a nothing more than that of mere acquaintances - priorities changed, and I just wasn't one of them.
Or how about a case of acquaintances. A friend of a friend. Someone I knew and considered a friend, and tried to set up with a very good friend of mine, but found that his friend was actually a better fit for her. When I learned that she lost her job and was looking for another, I stuck my neck out on the line - as well as my job, so that she could gain employment. Later I found that she twisted words, made up stories to ruin my relationship with other office friends, stabbed me in the back, then basically copied my resume, interviewed for the same positions as I did, and talked badly about me during interviews. My heart may not ache over this one, but it surely taught me to never put my reputation on the line for others. But what does upset about this "friend" was all the other friends she cost me, not to mention the fact that she nearly cost me my current position, as well as the one I was later hired for. I still remember that she had everyone going, saying that the only reason I had my job was because of my husband. Sorry but my resume spoke for itself.
And let's not forget the bitch at work who went around spreading rumors based off of nothing, about me & my hubby's sex life. I always hated the fat bitch cause it seemed like she was hitting on my husband telling her details about her life, while he was her boss. But after the crap she pulled, I really hated the cat-piss smelling, ugly, fat bitch. Luckily she quit contacting my husband for non-work related items when he started ignoring her emails and phone calls. Even still though, I think I would take great pleasure in kicking her ass.
So how do I let go of this crap once and for all? I can't help the fact that I am a very emotional being - and that I can easily hold a grudge and never let go. I mean after all, these items here are just a few of the many scars I carry. I've tried to re-build lost friendships with a few, but they never really took off the ground. My guess is because it's an issue of trust now. How do you get past that and learn to trust again? How do you put your guard down? Especially when the one who twisted my words, lied, made up stories, and stabbed me in the back is still in the picture - they wonder who to believe, the person who seems like a friend because they have never hurt them, or the one who walked away hurt and angry, but did so without a fight?
What's really kind of funny to me is that chemo seemed to wipe away most of my memory. I only have few memories of being young, growing up, friends in high school, and names.....I can't seem to remember any names beyond the last decade. Yet through all this mind-wipe, I still remember a whole lots bad stuff and hardly any good stuff. Sucks, huh? Maybe one day I'll be lucky enough to forget all this too, and my scars will heal.


Too young to drive!

Took this video today of Natalie and her friend playing on her 4 Wheeler now that it has FINALLY cooled off to 75!

Where do I begin?

First let me start off by saying that I've sat by quietly wondering if I should make a post. They say that if you don't have anything good to say, then you shouldn't say anything at all. It's not like I am a negative person, it's just that I'm a realist. There are positive and negative moments in every day, and I except them as they are, try to learn from them, and cherish what I can. This past week or so has been especially trying for me. I sat back not sure if I should say anything, but have since concluded that this is my blog where I share the good and the bad of my life with others - so basically I should be able to say whatever I want. That said, let's start at the somewhere near the beginning...........
I've been very busy with daily doctor appointments for the last week and a half. Aside from that, I've been very stressed out due to many of those appointments.
Last week I get a call from my brother who is having money issues again, and is severely short on funds to make his rent for November. My step-dad has been re-imbursing me for all the money I've paid out so far to help him out, but told me last time that it had to stop. Unfortunately I don't have enough money to support my brother, nor do I have the heart to break the news to him - so I told my step-dad that he would have to be the one to call him and tell him that he wouldn't help him anymore. Well I'm not sure how that turned out, cause when my brother called me needing money I told him he'd have to call our step-dad. I also sent a rather hurtful email to him, as this whole situation is tearing me apart inside and breaking my heart, not to mention stressing me out to the max and I have a surgery coming up on the 6th and cannot handle this anymore. I was not raised to turn my back on needy family, so this whole concept is new to me. So I'm still not sure how all this has turned out because I haven't gotten a return email or any phone calls - but let me just summarize that if my brother has not been taken care of and has been kicked out of his apartment, I will be beyond a bitch. I am not someone you ever want to fuck with or piss off cause I will find a way of making every day of your living life fucking hell. That said, I think it's time to move on as I am getting upset again.
So anyway, as if that weren't enough, I saw a new oncologist on the 22nd, afterwards I went down to have labs done for both him and my plastic surgeon. Well after starving all day, and waiting forever, I gave in and ate a piece of candy they had there. Well needless to say I was supposed to fast for one of his tests, so instead I just had my pre-op blood drawn. A few days later I found out from my surgeon's office that they totally screwed up after fishing for and popping my vein, and didn't run the proper lab tests and I needed to go have them re-done. That sucked cause I am not a fan of bloodwork, since I have delicate veins - and since they majorly fubarred the tests, I decided I was not going there to have my other labs drawn or to get my bone scan. Well my oncologist only works out of 2 places, so it was either there or an hour drive. I said hell with it, I'll find a new oncologist then. So I had my blood drawn again at the surgery center this time, hopefully they won't make any errors - especially since they will be hosting my procedure on the 6th. I'll also be having another procedure done a few weeks after this one, but I'm not sure exactly when or where yet.
Also I just had an eye exam as I needed new contacts desperately. Of course I get there and I'm having problems focusing, and find out that something was wrong with my eyes and had to wear my glasses (which are the wrong scripts!) for a week and use these medicated drops. All that had me very freaked cause this guy was acting like a jerk and I wasn't sure if he'd even give me contacts again. He acted like I was mis-using them and this and that. Fact is I scratched my cornea. Not sure how, but I rub my eyes a lot, sometimes hard, so it could have been from an eyelash. So finally after a couple weeks and some check ups, I am finally back into contacts - a trial pair while I wait for my order to come in. But man is it nice to actually be seeing clearly again!
Oh, I also had 2 teeth pulled last week. After seeing 3 different dentist, this had been the only one that I could get to even agree to do something. Fixing them was not an option (or so he said). He claimed no dentist would ever agree to work on my mouth due to the medications I take. He yanked them while giving me gas, and only a few shots of Novocaine. I felt the one come out, and man has my mouth hurt since!
I can't deal with medical problems and personal issues just before a surgery. My system can't handle the stress. Unfortunately my face takes the brunt of it in the form of acne. No matter what I use (ProActiv, Aveeno, Cetaphil, Clearasil, or other products with either Benzoyl Peroxide or Salicylic Acid) NONE of them really work, and I still develop blemishes while using it - all because my acne is either stress induced or as a result of chemo and medications. I'm tired of people always asking me what's wrong with my face! How rude is that! I look them straight in the eye and say nothing is wrong with my face, it's acne - while in the back of my head I'm following up that statement with what's wrong with yours. Actually I should say that next time, cause this last time this little old lady asked me, and I just really wanted to say something rude to her because really, as if I don't feel stressed out and bad enough after a crappy week I have to listen to this 70 year old lady rudely ask about some blemishes on my face. Luckily I use a digital camera, I so love the healing brush in Photoshop - it fixes all those pesky spots!
I will say that at least Halloween was a lot of fun, although it was rather warm and my make-up was running off my face! It was a long, tiring, fun-filled evening. We were even surprised to find that our HUGE cauldron of candy still had a few inches left in it, but it was A LOT of candy, so we must of had lots of trick o' treaters here, or the people just took handfuls of candy. I'm just glad we didn't get tee-pee'd that's why we left a huge cauldron of candy out, cause I for one don't think it's quite right to decorate for Halloween, then not be home to give out candy on the big night. We knew we'd be going to Imperial Woods again this year, but wanted to make sure we left something for all our neighbor kids. Looks like it turned out well, judging by the left-overs. I posted lots of pictures from our night, plus many more over at Flickr.
Other than that I've been mostly trying to chill out the last few nights. Ruben will be going to Vegas on the 10th and will be gone for 8 days. Danny will be going home then. It will be just me and Nat, and I'll be on the mend from surgery. I need to relax and de-stress. The procedure that is coming up is just a minor day surgery, but still, being this tense is not good for me and has the potential to mess with the healing. Wish me luck that this week goes better!



Today Natalie's school had an Octoberfest-ival at the school. We met her there at 12:30, and for the next 2 hours proceeded to play games, munch on jambalaya, and nachos. Afterwards we checked her out of school early and head to Baton Rouge so we could do some shopping at Kohl's for new shoes for the whole family. We like the selection there, and they usually have some great sales prices. Natalie walked away with 2, and even though I won a free pair from Ryka, I still bought a new pair. I want to get rid of all my old ones, and have a dedicated pair of comfortable walking shoes for the treadmill. Ruben got a new pair, as well as both my brother in Vegas, and his brother who has been staying with us. We're trying to make up for missing Danny's birthday, plus thank him for spending the last few months out here helping us. As for my brother, I always make sure he has plenty of clothes, and the things he needs - as he lives alone in Vegas and is pretty strapped for cash. I also picked up the cutest pair of baby Nike shoes as an x-mas gift for my nephew, who has stolen my heart! As for the rest of x-mas, who the hell knows what will happen!
Anyway, after shopping, we stopped st Joe's Crab Shack and ate dinner. I know, so sacrilegious when you live on the Bayou, but the restaurant chain holds dear memories for both myself and my daughter. It happened to be one of my mom's favorite places. My daughter was practically raised there! J/K! But man did being there bring back some memories, lots and lots of memories. I miss my family so much and wish that I could see them (in person and more often!)

So are y'all excited that it's almost Halloween!?!?!?


I Miss Crops!!

I had a blast today at my Scrap Class. I made the most adorable mini albums, and had a day all to myself! The class began at 11 am and I didn't get home till close till 8 pm! Luckily it was a small class, which meant we spent equal amounts of time talking and scraping. Karen the instructor is going to let me know when she will be hosting the Disney album class again, otherwise she will put together a kit for me to purchase, since I just missed the add on class for it and I told her about my trip to WDW earlier this year. She has some of the cutest little albums.

To see what I made, please visit my Flickr page. The photos I previously posted here didn't quite do justice to the work I had done.



Sorry for being MIA

I've been so busy, sorry I've been MIA. I've been actively chatting in this scrapbooking circle journal group. I've never participated in a CJ before, so there's lots to learn - plus I had to go out and buy the supplies I needed (an 8x8 album, cardstock, etc), and of course I had to think of a theme. Our little group is not one of your everyday sort, and I've been told that these CJ's are not ones that you leave out on the coffee table due to their sensitive nature. They are definitely provocative. It wasn't the nature of the CJ's that drew me to the group, it was the group itself - it harbors some wonderful people. I'm almost certain that my theme will be "Sex, Drugs, & Rock and Roll". I have DCWV RockStar Stack paper that I just love, and I'm dying to use it. So my desire to use that particular paper plays a big part in my theme. Otherwise I think I was leaning towards "Dirty Little Secrets". It will be many months before these CJ's are completed, but I am very excited to not only start, but to see the final results.
This weekend I am going to 2 scrap classes. One is to make an accordion Halloween album and the other is to make an album that when opened is a star shape, that is princess themed in Once Upon a Time. I'm so excited to be doing both these classes, but I have a little problem. I went to the eye doctor on Tuesday cause I am over-due on an eye exam and out of fresh contacts. Well it turns out that I couldn't focus on anything without my lenses. He'd do the whole "1 or 2, 2 or 4" and I would pick the one that seemed the clearest, then he'd ask me to read the line and I'd blink and everything would get blurry. He dilated my eyes and said that I had some kind of cloudy haze and some scratches on my cornea, so he couldn't give me a new contact lens rx, but he did give me a rx for some medicated drops - tobradex. I have to use them 4 times a day for a week then go back for another exam, until them I can only wear my glasses - which not only do I hate, but are the wrong rx. So I've walked into a few walls lately. Also, somehow, I managed to scratch my glasses last night - the right lens, right over my eye. So now it's even harder for me to see! So driving to the scrap store on Saturday and actually scrapping should be real interesting to say the least!
Oh, I also saw my surgeon yesterday. My wound is so close to being closed. I'm expecting a call from his office as to when and where they can schedule a day surgery before Ruben goes to Vegas for his annual Manager's Forum. The doctor asked if I wanted to go ahead and have my wound sewn shut and have a new tissue expander placed - but Ruben wants me to wait for the second part of that procedure as he is going out of town, so for now, he's just going to go in, cut away some hard, dead tissue and sew closed the top layer of my wound. Then in 6 weeks I will go back in to have a tissue expander placed. Hopefully the next try will go well! But I will surely keep all posted


I won, I won!

Today I got a package in the mail. I thought that maybe one of the two scrapbook orders I made online had finally arrived. I ordered them on the 1st, and regardless of a shipping confirmation, I have yet to see either one. Instead I was surprised to find a shoe box. Inside there was a brand new pair of Ryka tennis shoes worth $80. I was shocked because I had not received notification of winning a pair, however my sister did. She enrolled in the give-a-way after the post I made about free shoes back in September.

According to Ryka's Give-a-Way Site, the contest is open till October 25th. Enter for yourself and hopefully you'll win a pair as well!

"You know how when you find some great new product you just can’t wait to share it with your friends? That’s how we feel about our new Fall footwear and apparel line-we think it’s pretty special and we really want you to try it!
So from September 5 to October 25 we are GIVING AWAY 50 pairs of shoes and 50 performance tees EVERY SINGLE DAY. Click below to register and then spread the word-we’ll enter your name in an extra time for every friend you tell who registers as well so get your e-address book ready!
And because we are committed to bringing fitness to ALL women, for every shoe we give to you, we’ll donate one to the
Women’s Sports Foundation to distribute to organizations across the country providing health and wellness programs for women.
Get a shoe, give a shoe-it’s Good For Your Sole!"

Here's the pair I won. Aren't they cute? New shoes for my new treadmill. The Gods must be sending me a message to get my ass up and start working out! LOL!