Monthly Archives: January 2008

My Interesting Siblings

igloo.jpgHow many people have siblings who participate in a snowshoe race and build an igloo in the same day?  Here is my sister Patty in my dad’s backyard.  She and Paul, my brother, built this with his “igloo kit”–a gift from my nephew Isaac.  I asked Patty if it was warm inside, and she told me the plans to sit inside with a candle to see how warm they could get it were scrapped because of the fatigue of actually building the thing!  I wish I could transport myself to Utah and sit inside by myself and check it out!

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Where did the weekend go?

Tomorrow it’s back to work, and I hate to whine, but where did the weekend go?  What I did this weekend:

1. I washed, dried, folded, and put away 3 loads of laundry.
2. I cooked two meals.
3. I washed the dishes twice.
4. I read two articles in a Portuguese version of Reader’s Digest.
5. I took about 20 turns in on-line Scrabble.
6. I watched 2 episodes of Desperate Housewives (finished season 1).
7. I rode the exercise bike for 20 minutes (Yay!)
8. I paid bills.
9. I went grocery shopping.
10. I changed the oil in my car.
11. I vacuumed the truck.
12. I took a woman I visit teach to “Monster Golf” with her son.*
13. I took two baths (this is a very big plus because I had could only take showers for a week after the angiogram).
14. I thought a lot about whether I should apply for another job—is it more status?  Is it more money?  Those are the only things that might get me to change jobs, and I have a feeling it would be neither.
15. I read People magazine all the way through—check out the article on the Mormon woman in Utah with 6 kids with autism.  This item was part of #13.
16. I went shopping with Liz at Sam’s for a potato bar for 125 people.
17. I went out to dinner once.
18. I did not eat any snickerdoodles that Paul made even though I wanted to.
19. I ate something called a graple that is an apple that has been injected with grape juice to make it taste like a grape.  It was good, but I won’t buy any again.
20. I went to church, but only sacrament meeting because I had a vertigo attack in the middle of it.

I think I need to plan more fun and more exercise for next weekend.

Taking a look inside my heart

Yesterday I had an interesting, but unnerving experience.  Earlier in the week, I failed an ecocardiogram, so the cardiologist suggested that I needed to have an angiogram.  When they do an angiogram, they poke a hole in your femoral artery (not something I like to think too deeply about) and then thread a tube into your heart cavities.  They they inject some dye and take pictures to see what your heart looks like.

So there I was, lying on a long table with a tube going into my heart.  I could see the screens and see my heart beating on tv.  They’d given me 5 mg. of valium, so I wasn’t too worried about anything anyone might do to me.  I really got caught up in the fascination of the whole thing–that it was possible to do such a thing.  Not only possible, it’s downright routine.  My doctor does about 700 a year.

The first person who did anything like this was back in the 1920’s–As I recall, it was a German doctor who threaded a tube into his own heart from his arm and then x-rayed himself to prove it.  You’d gotta hand it to that kind of a pioneer!  I can just hear his wife saying, “You’re going to do what?”  I mean what kind of person would dare be the first to do something like that?

Well anyway, even though I have been a good vegetarian for 18 years, my heredity has given me high cholesterol, which has blocked 20% of one artery–not too bad, I guess.  I will just start taking a better cholesterol-lowering drug and proceed with my plans to walk in the Indy mini-marathon in May.  I am going to report on my exercise here, because I think that would give me an incentive to stick to my plan (I hope it won’t be too boring!)  I can’t exercise for a week because of the whole thing with having a major artery messed with, but after that, to the gym I go–wait and see!

Suddenness Happens

I haven’t written a lot about my trip to China, but one of the things that was really serendipitous is that our hotel was just two blocks away from the Beijing Zoo.  I’d wanted to see panda bears for a long time, and I knew they had some, so Paul and I took a walk down the street on our last day and went to the zoo.  I have to say, I was somewhat disappointed.  I don’t know of a more delicate way to say it, so I’ll just blurt it out:  they just looked a little dirty.  I don’t know if the bad air quality in Beijing makes them sort of gray, or if I had the wrong idea from cutesy bears or photos or cartoons.  Anyway, they just looked kind of sad (and in one notable case, drunk). 

As I was walking around the enclosure I found a great sign.  It said in English, “Please do not cross rails lest suddenness happen.”  Heaven forbid that suddenness happen—that’s the worst!

I didn’t stay long at the zoo—probably just 45 minutes—since we were trying to get packed and to the airport that afternoon.  But I go to zoos to look at people, mainly.  It’s a good place to see families interacting.  And sometimes you get to see some suddenness.

Tag, you’re it

Several weeks ago Sarah “tagged” me and asked me to write 8 little-known facts about me.  So here goes:

1.  I was hit by a car while I was playing Monopoly in my own front yard (I was 8),
2.  My Scrabble  rating  is 1070, and my highest word was “villages” for 158 points.
3.  I broke my leg by falling down the stairs in high school and had to go to a dance in a cast.
4.  I like meat, but I’m a vegetarian.
5.   I have lots of dreams about anxiety (missing planes, getting swept away by rivers, getting caught in a volcano, being left on top of a mountain, etc.)
6.  I secretly read People magazine–and not just in the doctor’s office the way most people claim–I subscribe!
7.  I really dislike people who won’t say what they want and yet expect to get it anyway.  Passive aggressive people positively make me crazy!
8.  I play the string bass (but I never practice, unfortunately).

So now you know it all!

How to feel better about your parenting without actually doing anything

Come on, admit it.  You occasionally watch those trashy shows, but don’t want anyone to know—America’s Next Top Model or The Biggest Loser.  Well, last night I was totally exhausted after a continued attempt to catch up at work (not successful, I might add), I was home alone, and I found Supernanny on TV. 

Here’s the thing, I made tons of parenting mistakes with my kids and they sometimes acted like total wild animals—but they never flipped me the bird, broke things on a daily basis, bit me, tackled me, ordered food as if they were at a fast-food joint, or laughed at me behind my back (OK, probably that last one they did).

 I watched the blunders of these parents last night and just glowed with satisfaction at my own good parenting skills.  Of course it’s also easier now that my children haven’t lived at home for years.  They have become the ideal children in the past 8 years or so!

 The other thing about Supernanny is that by the end of the show—a mere one hour—Jojo has solved each family’s problems, no matter how insurmountable. And it is usually something as simple as giving positive attention to children instead of negative labeling.

Anyway, if you are struggling, thinking you’re not doing a good job at being a parent, check out an episode—and if you’re not a parent, I think watching it could be an effective method of birth control!

Insomnia

Is there anything worse than not being able to get to sleep?  Last night I just could not sleep.  Not at all.  I wasn’t anxious, I just couldn’t sleep.  I should have gotten up and done something productive.  But no, I just lay there thinking about how nice it would be to be sleeping.

Sometimes I count backwards from a thousand, sometimes I envision butterflies and try to count them, and sometimes I just lie there being miserable (which is what I did last night). 

Here’s to a good night’s sleep to the whole world.

p.s.  I’m really glad Obama won the primary!