BACKGROUND

Monday, February 26, 2007

Busy Day for Death


The Grim Reaper was busy today. Dear Husband's maternal grandfather, Bill, died and my mother called tonight to inform me that Father Tom had died. Father Tom was a wonderful priest who really embodied all that a priest should be. He was very good to me and helped me when I was going through some tough times in life.

Both Bill and Father Tom had been ill for quite some time, but the finality of death still hits hard.

That said, it amazes me how many people are afraid of death and will do anything to keep any mention or sign of it away from their consciousness. Personally, I do not have such a fear. We are all going to die. It's part of God's divine plan for us so death itself doesn't bother me.

And while we're at it, I'll reveal a (possibly twisted) quirk of mine: I enjoy cemeteries. I find them peaceful. I lived right next door to a cemetery when I first moved to Houston. It was the College Memorial Park Cemetery, one of the oldest burial grounds for African-Americans in Houston. It is no longer a "working" cemetery and unfortunately has not been kept up well, but it was still quite peaceful to walk through. The photo on the left is an actual picture from the College Memorial Park Cemetery.

On another note, I think it's best to have a good sense of humor about the whole death thing. We should celebrate the life of the person who passed and remember that they are in God's hands and that they would probably appreciate a little humor now that they are through the hard part:)


I truly believe that those who pass before us are always watching over us, helping us when they can. I believe in angels and I think many of our relatives become such when they pass. It's a comforting thought.

Anyway, tonight I will be praying for the souls of Father Tom and Bill. Father Tom has probably already befriended Bill up in Heaven. He was just that sort of man. They are both in good company with each other.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Gym Rat

I'm very much into working out at the gym. So much so that I probably qualify as a Gym Rat. I have several different weight training routines and cardio routines that I do. When my goal was losing weight, I worked out six days a week. Now that I am maintaining, I work out five days a week.

Tomorrow will be my first day back in the gym in about a week. My bout with food poisoning really threw me for a loop and recovery lasted longer than I thought it would. It feels odd to have been gone so long when I'm used to being there so often. I'm looking forward to getting back in there and stretching my body, using my muscles. There's nothing like that great feeling you get after an intense workout. I call it "good tired." It's really one of the best feelings to know you've worked out hard. It's also a nice benefit that you are sculpting and toning your body not to mention giving your heart a good workout, which is essential for staying healthy.

I've decided to get into the gym every morning at 6:30 a.m. the way I used to do instead of later in the morning or early afternoon. It really is a wonderful thing to finish my workout before I even start my day so I can feel good throughout the day knowing I've done something healthy for myself.

Friday, February 23, 2007

What's happening


It's been a quiet week as I continued to recover from the horrible food poisoning that struck me last weekend. I didn't realize that I would need several days to really recover. I tried eating Baked Ziti on Tuesday out at lunch with some friends and that just was not a good idea. For the next two days I felt queasy. Didn't throw up or get sick from it, but it was just too heavy so soon after being so ill.

So the last two days have been bland foods that are easy on my stomach and that has helped a lot. Tonight, Dear Husband and I will be going to Olive Garden. I feel ready for heavier food now and I am sure it will be fine since I've been eating light all day. Plus, it's date night. Dear Husband has been working a lot of hours this week and will work this weekend as well so we're taking this opportunity to spend some time together.

In other news, our high-speed Internet connection was down/slow for most of yesterday. It was so bad, it was like having dial-up again! Oh, the horror!

In better news, Peanut is growing like a weed and her Coccidiosis test came back negative yesterday, which is really good. Her brothers are getting used to her and even letting her lay next to them sometimes. Yesterday, when I took her to the vet, one of her litter mates was there and the staff brought her out to play. Peanut and her sister ran around together playing in the vet's office. It was so cute! She's such a little love and the apple of my eye...as if you couldn't already tell that.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Be Someone's Angel

I recently learned about Chemo Angels through a website I am on. It was quite by accident that I learned of this as the site I speak of has nothing to do with it. I think that's the definition of divine intervention.


Chemo Angels matches up patients going through chemotherapy with "Chemo Angels", which are people who keep in touch with the patient through cards, letters, and gifts. You have to commit to keeping in touch with the patient at least once a week. You can also sign up to be an Angel to a senior citizen as well.

This is a very easy way to give to people who could really use some cheering up and some brightness during their dark days.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Better Me and a Better Dryer!

I'm feeling 100% better today. I got a good night's sleep, which helped quite a bit and whatever was bugging my system is not doing so anymore. I had a banana for breakfast and some cereal. I was feeling hungry, but didn't want to have anything too substantial. I'll be going to bed early again tonight as I think another full night of sleep will be helpful.

In other news, we got a new dryer. Ours went kaput on Friday. Dear Husband researcheddryers, we discussed the budget for it, and he purchased it and installed it on Saturday. I love it! It's got a larger capacity than our old one. We're considering getting the matching washer. We think we can swing it in the budget and it would be nice to have a completely new set. Our old washer is functional, but...well...old. It belonged to Dear Husband's parents and he's had it a long time. It would be nice to get something new.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Body Mutiny Continues...


Until about 3 p.m., the body mutiny continued. I stopped throwing up at 9:30 a.m., which I was grateful for because by that time, I was tossing up the water I had drank to keep myself from being dehydrated. I ate a banana, which I kept down. Unfortunately...the [ahem] "other" end continued to try to rid my body of whatever was getting on its nerves. Finally, at 3:00 p.m., I took a blanket and two pillows into our guest bathroom and laid on the floor. I really needed to sleep, but I had to get up every few minutes to use the throne so it just made sense to sleep as near as I could get to it.

As it turned out, I was able to sleep for a couple of hours on the bathroom floor and that was SO helpful. I got up and I was weak and feeling UGH, but I wasn't having to run to the bathroom every few minutes. I'm now drinking some peppermint tea and eating some crackers. I need something on my stomach as I do feel a bit hungry, but I cannot even start to think about "real" food.

I'm going to bed around 8 p.m. tonight. I'm SO tired and I think I'll feel tons better in the morning if I get some real sleep tonight.

What goes down must come up



Someone please kill me. It's 5:30 a.m. and I've slept maybe one hour tonight. I went to bed around 1 a.m. feeling a bit queasy. In the 4.5 hours since, I've thrown up five times and... well, let's just say throwing up is not the only way my body is trying to get rid of whatever is bothering it.

I'm so tired, but I can't go to sleep because it's not that comfortable when I lay down. My tummy still feels like there is more work to do if you know what I mean. I'm going to go drink some water now and see if that helps any.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Puppy Couture

Today has been a productive day. I marked several things off my to do list. Many of them were small things, but I still felt a sense of accomplishment when I completed them.

One thing that needed to be done was the purchase of another crate for Peanut. It's a hassle to cart her crate from the living room into the bedroom at night. During the day, she spends time in her crate in the living room so she can be around me and her doggie brothers. At night, she sleeps in her crate in our bedroom because if she was by herself in the living room, she'd be scared. In the morning, after I let her out and she eats and plays, I will sometimes let her nap in the bed with me and her brothers. She likes that.


In addition to the second crate, I also got Peanut a couple of outfits. I know, I know, she's a dog, but she's so cute and she gets cold when she goes outside in the morning. She got a little T-shirt to wear around the house and a little sweater for when she goes outside. She's SO cute in her little T-shirt that says "Puppy Love."

I didn't get the boys any clothes because they don't like them. Dear Husband tried that before and it didn't work out well. This is the first time Peanut has worn clothes and she seems ok with it. We'll see how she likes her sweater when I take her to the vet's office next week.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The ER: where everyone knows my name



What a day. I'm exhausted. My friend Angel, the one who was in the car accident last month, got really ill on Sunday. She had what sounded like a bad cold. This morning, when I called to check on her, she sounded horrible and said she felt so tired and she couldn't breathe. So I took her into the ER. We're getting to be regulars there:)

We were there about 4.5 hours, which isn't bad considering I've known people who had to wait all night in the ER. Turns out Angel has Pharyngitis and an upper respitory infection. She was prescribed antibiotics and steroids. I picked those up after we got out of the ER. Took 45 minutes to get the medication, so I shopped for groceries while I was waiting. Angel slept in my car. Poor thing. She was so tired.

I took her home and as I was coming out of her subdivision, I was stopped by the police for speeding. Sigh. Thankfully (THANK YOU GOD) they only gave me a warning. I cannot afford a speeding ticket right now so that was a true blessing.

On the plus side, I actually got two things done of the three I wanted to do today. That's perfectly acceptable to me since I spent most of my time in the ER today. And as is so often heard here in the South: Tomorrow is another day.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A little of this, a little of that



Lately, I have no motivation. None. Nada. Zero. Did I mention none? I don't know why. Maybe it's because life has been crazy since I quit my job January 5th. That date is a glorious day in history for me and will remain so the rest of my life. It's the day I escaped the Asylum with (most of) my sanity intact.

Anyway, I have so much to do and it seems the day gets away from me before I accomplish much of anything. I haven't kept up with friends as I should be doing (sorry guys, I promise I love you and appreciate you all) and I just feel so tired and unmotivated to do much of anything on my ever growing "to do" list. So tomorrow I am making it a priority to prioritize...hmmm...since I used the word priority in two different forms in that sentence, that means I must be serious about it. Right?

In other news, today is Valentine's Day and Dear Husband and I had a nice evening together. For the first time in a long time, he was home before 6 p.m. so I made a nice dinner of roast beef and mashed potatoes. We followed that up with a trip to Cold Stone Creamery, which is a wonderful ice cream place down the street from our house. Love it, love it! I don't go there very often as it really is decadent and quite expensive, but Dear Husband and I both had coupons for free ice cream this time. WOO-HOO!


Of course, I cannot blog on Valentine's Day without mentioning my early Valentine's present, which was my puppy Peanut. She's running me ragged. She's still a young puppy, which means housebreaking her is a challenge. She doesn't quite have the control of her elimination muscles (so to speak) that she will have when she's older. Thankfully, I have the crate to help out and except for the first two days she was here, all her accidents have been in the crate or on the kitchen floor. This is good because both are easy to clean. Sorta. The crate has a towel on the bottom of it for her to lay on and since she's peed on her towel every single day, I've done several loads of towels in the last three days. I'm tired of washing towels, but I do love her so much so I roll with it.

And lastly, Dear Husband could not let a Valentine's Day go by without giving me a frog. This one was too cute and I love it so I had to share.

Oh, one more thing...I WILL GET AT LEAST THREE THINGS OFF MY TO-DO LIST TOMORROW! You heard it here. I'll report back tomorrow night with my progress.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Clear Lake is a bit muddy

Something is in the water in Clear Lake, Texas. Three women with major issues have made national news there in the last six years. They are:


Andrea Yates: In June 2001, she drowned her five children in the bathtub in her home. She was convicted of first-degree murder, but that sentence was later overturned and I believe rightfully so. This case was going on while I was in law school in Houston, so I followed the case as it wound its way through the system. I personally think her ex-husband is as much to blame as she is for this, but that's another blog entirely.


Dr. Clara Harris: In July 2002, she ran over her husband with her Mercedes in the parking lot of the Hilton Hotel in Clear Lake. She had discovered he was cheating with one of the women working in the front office of their dental practice. She was convicted.

And finally, we have Lisa Nowak: This month (February 2007), she drove from Houston to Orlando, Florida in an attempt to get rid of a woman she saw as her rival for the affections of another astronaut. She was arrested at the Orlando airport after sneaking up on the woman in her car and using pepper spray. She was found with several suspicious items such as a BB gun, a four-inch folding buck knife, a new steel mallet, black gloves, rubber tubing, plastic garbage bags and about US$600 in cash.

Many people have commented to me that Harris and Nowak are both incredibley intelligent women with bright futures so how could they have done the heinous things they are accused of doing? My answer is that being intelligent does not guarantee a stress-free existence or a lack of mental illness. In fact, I think being as smart as they are sometimes increases the chances of snapping and I do believe that is exactly what both Harris and Nowak did - they snapped.


Often, being smart, dedicated, and ambitious can lead to a lot of anxiety and burnout particularly for women. You're expected to be the best and be at your best all the time. No one, man or woman, can achieve that kind of perfection day in and day out. It is not humanely possible to do so. There are so many expectations on the gifted and intelligent in this country, it's no wonder things like this happen from time to time.

It's also worth noting that mental illness crosses socio-economic boundaries. The rich, the poor, the intelligent, the not so intelligent...anyone and everyone can suffer from mental illness that causes poor actions like those we see in Yates, Harris, and Nowak.

And then there is what I like to call acute mental illness. I tend to think of this as when people just snap as I believe Harris and Nowak did. It's interesting to note that they snapped for the same reason: a man. They wanted men who were apparently drifting away from them and they made the decision to do something harsh to stop that. It's obvious they weren't thinking clearly, particularly Nowak, given that she drove from Houston to Orlando to carry out her scheme. That's right around 850 miles. She must have been quite driven (pardon the pun) to do this as there was plenty of time to think it through on that long drive. She had this singular focus on doing something that was not advisable under any circumstances. I tend to think something snapped in her mind to allow her to keep that kind of focus on a ridiculous set of actions such as the ones she perpetrated.


The reasons Yates, Harris, and Nowak did these things will forever be debated. People always take sides and always try to unravel the mystery of these types of actions. Maybe we do that because deep down we can relate to what they did and that scares us. We want to know what the trigger point was for them to actually carry out their harmful schemes. We may never know. What I do know is that I won't be drinking the water in Clear Lake.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Training the puppy...and the human.

I learned my lesson after Peanut peed twice on our bed the first night she was here (Friday). So, I looked up training on the internet and found that crate training is a popular method with a good success rate. So, on Saturday I bought a crate and a chew toy for my little one.

She's been doing really well with it. She had a couple of accidents in her crate at different times, both of which were actually my fault in that I left her in there too long. Monday, I had to be gone for several hours as I was meeting with my pro bono client and that took a few hours with travel time, the meeting time, and so on. So I can't blame her for that. The other time, I should have let her out one more time before putting her in the crate.

Other than that, she's been doing great. I got her some new rawhide bones today, which she seems to appreciate. She came from the vet with one, but it was getting pretty gross so new ones had to be purchased. It's neat how excited she gets over something like new rawhide chews. Peanut is so playful and sweet. I love how innocent she is and how she wants to explore everything in her new world. Yes, I will probably be bragging on her for awhile.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

31 candles and other things



On Sunday, I turned 31. Super Bowl Sunday. It was actually a good day to have a birthday. Dear Husband and I had a little party on Saturday with pizza and cake. Very low key and fun with friends.

DH got me some wonderful gifts including a facial at a local spa. I haven't had one of those in years so I'm looking forward to it.

Sunday, DH and his friends got together for the game and a friend of mine and I went out to Olive Garden and to see The Pursuit of Happyness. It was the best time to go out because the restaurant and movie theatre were dead. We got in and out of the ticket line with no problem. By the way, The Pursuit of Happyness was a wonderful movie and definitely worth seeing. My best friend, Britt, blogged about it awhile back.

In other news, my newest little one has a new name. I just wasn't seeing Godiva in her. So over the weekend, we observed her and decided she's a Peanut. That fits her personality so much better. She's such a sweetheart and I am so in love with her. So, like any new parent, I have to show her off:



Just FYI, dear readers, when you get a new puppy, it's a very bad thing to have your washing machine go kaput. Ours did just that on Friday. DH ordered the parts needed and they had an estimated delivery date of Wednesday. This was a problem since Peanut had decided to pee on our bed (twice) the first night she was here. So...I ended up at the laundry mat washing our sheets and comforter on Saturday night.

Thankfully, the parts arrived yesterday and DH fixed the machine last night so we're back in business. Not so thankfully, that meant I did about six loads of laundry today. That's a lot for two people, but when you have a new puppy who goes through towels like there's no tomorrow...well, you do a lot of laundry. But she's definitely worth it. I wasn't planning on getting another dog, but I just couldn't pass this one up and I'm glad I didn't.

Friday, February 2, 2007

I'm a Sucker

This morning, I took our boys in to the vet to be groomed. We have two dogs, both shitzus. They are 6 and 7 years old. While I was at the vet, I saw the cutest little puppy they were trying to adopt out. She was so sweet. I held her...and that was it. I called DH and ran the idea by him of having another "child." He agreed. So may I introduce the newest member of our family:



Her name is Godiva. She is 8 weeks old and all puppy! She's running around, jumping, and being playful as puppies are wont to do. Our other kids have no idea what to do with her. But I am sure they will get used to her. They've just never been around a puppy with such energy before. It's been many years since I've been around a puppy too. It's going to be quite the adjustment, but she's so sweet, it's worth it.