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It's Thursday!!!

Welcome to the BEST night on TV! Seriously! I'm very impatiently waiting for Grey's Anatomy to air. Tonight is the conclusion to this 3 part event. I can't wait to find out if Meredith is really dead, or if she is revived, and what subsequently happens to McDreamy and friends as a result. I just hope that whatever happens, I don't end up balling like last week. Seriously! Although a good cry would clear up my stuffy nose.
Natalie's been off school all week for Mardi Gras/Easter/Spring Break, and with her came a devastating cold that has hit us all pretty hard. My head hurts, my body aches, I can't breathe, and I've been hacking up what feels like a lung. You know it's bad when Nyquil doesn't even work! Hell Mucinex isn't even doing me any good! I'm miserably sick and it SUCKS! I at least hope that TV is good tonight!


Mardi Gras Parade Floats & Fun!

This weekend we experienced a few Mardi Gras parades going on around town. If you're wondering about Carnival, Mardi Gras, and Parades; Carnival, which is Latin for "kiss your flesh goodbye," is a long season between Christmas and Lent. Carnival officially begins in New Orleans on the Feast of Epiphany, or Twelfth Night - Jan. 6 - and continues until the midnight of Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. The intervening weeks are filled with balls, banquets and other social activities. "Mardi Gras" (which is French for Fat Tuesday) technically applies only to the day before Ash Wednesday. But "Mardi Gras" is also commonly used to refer to the whole Carnival season, especially the final frenzied two weeks when the most parades occur. If you associate Mardi Gras with nudity, then you should know that as far as nudity goes, it depends on where you're standing. In general, it occurs within the French Quarter. By nudity, I mean the flashing of body parts, either for beads or for other reasons. Which is why they warn people to keep their kids away. But don't go thinking that Mardi Gras offers nothing for kids, there are plenty of parades all over town that are kid friendly! Obviously since we have a 7 year old, we stayed away from Bourbon Street and caught some of the more family oriented parades. These parades boasted elaborate floats, costumes, and marching bands. Natalie, with our help, managed to catch hundreds of beads, plenty of stuffed animals, doubloons (which are coins commissioned for each parade), and plastic cups thrown by the parade Krewes and riders. Although parking was a major pain, we had so much fun, and learned a lot about which parades are the best for viewing for next year. Posted below are some of the hundreds of photos I have. You can also find more info and updates on Mardi Gras here.


Cute Quirk or Total Dork?

Anyone that knows me knows that I am a HUGE Grey's Anatomy fan. I own both Season 1 and 2, and NEVER miss an episode! Anyone that watches the series, knows about last night's episode. Ruben and I watched it as the DVR recorded all my other Thursday night shows. While watching the show last night, my emotions got to me, and what I would like to think as my cute, quirky side took over. Or at least this is what I tried to convince Ruben of when he was laughing at me for my actions. As I was saying, last night's episode was pretty freaken emotional. I don't know what Shonda Rhimes was thinking when she wrote these 3 episodes, or really what the outcome is going to be until next week. But last night, knowing Meredith was in the water, thinking that she may die, seeing McDreamy carrying her out of the water and perform CPR on her, all just made me cry. And not just cry, but I mean really cry, sobbing and all. I cried most of the hour, and then continued to sob on Ruben's chest for about another half. At first he thought something serious was wrong, but then I told him it was TV, he started to laugh and poke fun at me. Then when he realized how serious it was, he just held me and told me to let it all out. He kept telling me over and over that she can't die, since it is HER show. It IS Grey's Anatomy, and SHE is Meredith Grey. But it wasn't just the thought of her impending or potential death that had gotten me so upset, it was HOW he saved her. Such an incredibly romantic gesture; jumping in the water, saving her from drowning and hypothermia, carrying her ashore. It was his look of helplessness and desperation as he sat there waiting as the others worked on reviving her. Yes I got caught up in all the drama, and emotion; how could I not? Mer & Derek are my absolute favorite couple of all time - even if their love isn't really real. Maybe it all hit a little too close to home, the hurt of losing someone you love - or - maybe I'm just a big sappy dork! For now all I can do is just hope and pray that everything turns out okay in next week's conclusion. Till then keep those fingers crossed!


Decoding Dreams?

Ever had a really weird or unusual dream and woke up feeling scared, hurt, or wanting to know what it all meant? Seems I have odd dreams all the time. Actually, the dreams have only increased since my mom passed away last summer. Is that unusual? Shouldn't I be having dreams of happy memories, or getting loving messages in my sleep? I can even understand having dreams about her as if she were still alive, because most of my dreams are set in "present day". Also besides my mother, it seems one other common factor besides my dad, is Mexico. That may not seem all that odd given the fact that prior to her death my parents had retired to Mexico, but in all my dreams, the 3 of us are traveling to Mexico by one method or another, and something always happens. Sometimes slightly bad, really bad, or really out there things happen. The bad things that happen don't really happen to any of us, it's not like any one of us dies or anything, it's just this threat of something bad overshadowing every event. In this last dream, my mom, dad, and I were driving to Mexico in an RV. What's weird is I have never really been to Mexico, only as a shore stop on Cruise vacations. Anyway, we're driving, but inside the RV I somehow unleashed an ancient Mexican demon, a curse. I know, weird right? Anyway, I can't actually say what it looked like, as I don't remember. It was kind of like an evil black fog that creeps out - and again while no one got hurt, there was the threat that it was deadly, and I was the only one that could save us. I had what seemed like lightening that came out of my fingertips, and I had to destroy this thing and I had to do it a specific way, otherwise it just came back all over again. I kept struggling to kill it and flush it down the toilet, but in the end I never could manage to do it right, but before anything bad happened I woke up. I remember during the whole dream it was like I really physically hurt, and I was so angry and sad, and when I awoke I felt almost the same way, except I was feeling sick to my stomach and my head hurt. I'm not sure what any of symbolizes, maybe the demon is my mom's liver or death from it, and deep down I feel like I am the only one able to save her. I don't know. I don't understand why no one else is ever there, or why we're going to Mexico. I don't know why I have these weird dreams. I find myself not thinking about her as often as I should, and when I do, I feel guilty for not grieving more, although when I do remember her, like in the case of a special day, I just hurt. I feel like my heart is empty, like I can't breathe. But don't get me wrong, I am constantly saddened by her death, but at times feel like I should grieve more. All the time I am reminded of her by the silence, reminded of how much she used to call me, and how much I hated it, how it drove me nuts cause she'd call me several times a day, and now that she's not here to call me all the time I miss it so much, and I feel so bad for ever thinking or feeling that way, and just wish that I could go back in time and cherish every call, and make sure to tell her every time we talked how much I loved her. I'm sure the first couple years will be the hardest, and that I'll probably never feel the same. There are no do overs, I have to live hoping I did the best I could, that I was the best daughter I could be. It's just that she died so young, and what seemed like so suddenly. No one even knew she had something wrong with her liver, and it had been less than 6 months between the time she was diagnosed and when she died. Both my husband and myself have fears that I will end up repeating history, because of the damage I could be doing to my liver by being on all this medication. And still after all these months, I STILL don't understand why she couldn't get a transplant - there were many of us that volunteered. They make it look so fucking easy on TV and Movies, oh someones sick, let's do surgery and make it better! Why hadn't her doctor done a liver function test before, knowing that she was on tons of medication and it could be damaging to her liver, on top of knowing that nearly 30 years ago she had had this bariactric procedure done that was very much like the modern day gastric bypass surgery, and that this surgery alone could have caused the damage. Why was there no accountability from her doctor? She just prescribed, prescribed, prescribed. Something hurts? Let me write an RX. Well who checks for all those drug interactions? They say the pharmacist, but they really don't. I read an article the other day that some musician had died from taking xanax, an anti-depressant, and like 2 different kind of pain killers. They ruled it an accidental overdose....well I take all those things, so now I worry each time I take an ambiem that I could go to sleep and never wake up! But my doctor and pharmacist both gave me the ambiem knowing full aware of what I am on, and never said a word. Hell I worry just adding an antacid to it. What pill will be the one that makes it too much? I know, ya'll say what a morbid thought for Valentine's Day, but this is what is on my mind at this time. I also know that the rest are saying well just stop taking the medicine. Well that's not all that easy when you have major anxiety and depression issues on top of chronic pain and cancer that is in remission. So for now I just keep taking my meds one day at a time and find myself wondering if my meds are causing my freaky dreams, or if underlying guilt is. Will I ever find out the cause? Will I ever know the meaning? Will they ever stop? It seems I just can't win, it's either sleep and have these dreams, or suffer from insomnia. Sometimes I am afraid of going to sleep or dreaming. Can't I just have a normal loving memory like dream of her? UGH!
I at least hope the rest of you have sweet dreams, and have all of them come true for you this Valentine's Day. Me? I'm just waiting for my honey to come home from work so I'll get the dozen Godiva chocolate covered strawberried he ordered for me. I know, $80 for 12 strawberries is insane, but they are so divine!


Wind, Rain, Hail: Early Morning Storm Tears up the Town

Around 2:15 am, we awoke to the sound of the EAS Evac alarm sounding. Not like we had really been asleep with all the thunder, lightening and rain. We turned on the TV to see that a Tornado was heading our way. Ruben went and grabbed Natalie from bed, as I took the dog. We all camped out in the downstairs bathroom till about 3:00 am once we heard the storm had passed. Luckily the Tornado didn't touch down near us, but did go on to hit 3 other towns in Jefferson Parish and Orleans Parish. For a rather small twister, it certainly caused quite a bit of damage. It tore through a motel, flipped a firehouse, reduced lots of houses to nothing but sticks, and not only injured several, but managed to kill one (that we know of.) The storm left 30,000 people without power this morning. The storm reminded me of when I was a child growing up in Illinois. It seemed like half my life had been spent in the bathroom. There's times I remember my mom calling me from work, telling me to go sit in the tub until she called back and told me it was OK to get out. Luckily I've never experienced a Tornado first hand, although I have seen one fairly up close and personal while watching an air show on Scott Air Force Base. Getting up at 7:00 to get Natalie ready for school just was not an easy task, as I don't think I ever went back to sleep. Actually I was quite surprised to find that school was in session today, but I guess that's kind of a good thing, she needs all the school she can get. Ruben and I are both extremely upset with both the NV School System and LA School System. After enrolling her in 1st grade (where she should be, she graduated kindergarten in 2006), they determined that she did not meet the requirements of the LA School System. I always said that 2 hours and 45 minutes of kindergarten in NV was a waste of time, and it appears I was right. The school wanted my permission to send her back to kindergarten. Ruben and I got the impression that none of the 1st grade teachers wanted to deal with her to try to catch her up, which is why we're so pissed, but according to the principal, the kindergartners here are on NV 1st grade level - meaning they can already read and write. The 1st graders here are expected to read a book each night, write a 5 sentence paragraph daily, and do math which included beginning Algebra. Hell I wasn't even taught Algebra till 7th or 8th grade! I know every school or state is different, and we know we enrolled her in the highest ranked school in the district, but still to be reduced to a nap time at 7 is so upsetting to us, because we know she is much smarter than that. UGH! I just try to remain focused on the positive, being in a top ranked school means a much better education than she could get anywhere else!
Anyway, check out the damage done to this motel:


Scrappin' Dreams

I finally managed to find my way over to a Joann's store to do pick up some scrapbooking supplies (like I need more HA!), but found much to my disappointment that this particular store had very little to offer the world of scrapbooking. This store seemed to specialize more in fabrics and sewing notions than anything else. However, I did find a few great bargains there. Anytime I find new supplies, I start getting that itch, the desire to crank out some pages - but with all of my things spread out in boxes all over the place and no real area set up to work at, all I can do is wait until the creative urge passes. In the meantime, I found the hedge clippers and started trimming up the bushes in front of the house. Ruben was definitely surprised to see all the work I had done when he got home. But it seems that bit of yard work not only made my arm sore and hand/wrist hurt, but it also used up all the energy I had in me. Yesterday Ruben started to bring the desk upstairs to set up the scrapbook room, but I just didn't have it in me o do anything. I found myself sleeping on and off most of the day and wondering why I am suffering so much from fatigue. I wish I could find something to give me the boost I need. There is still so much to be done around here, and I can't find the strength to do anything. I don't quite get it. How am I ever going to meet my goals of being published or getting on a design team if I can't even find the energy to unpack a few boxes? At least I did manage to get a few things out of the way, since I found and met with some of my new doctors. I saw the general surgeon last week, and he's getting the ball going on getting approval for another mastectomy. I'm waiting to hear back from him and the plastic surgeon once things are approved and we're ready to schedule my first surgery. I'm nervous, but anxious at the same time. I can't wait to close this chapter of my life and start the next.