Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Birthday

Friday I celebrated my 32nd birthday. People often ask me what is it like to have a birthday on Christmas. To me, it is the only birthday I know. Here are the positives and negatives.

Negatives: People are often too busy around the holidays to celebrate with me, unless I am already going to see them on Christmas or Christmas Eve. It is harder to celebrate with friends. Combo gifts. Birthday presents wrapped in Christmas paper.

Positives: People generally don't forget my birthday. Even people I have not seen for 20 years remember my birthday. Some friends and family go out of their way to make my birthday special and separate fro Christmas. When everyone is done opening presents on Christmas day, I still get to open a few more.

I guess it is a pretty weird day to have a birthday. If anything, it is a good conversation piece. When people see my birthday, I'd say 75% of the time, people take up a conversation about it.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Birthday Candles

Last Saturday I celebrate my birthday at Bing Crosby's Piano Bar with my husband Ethan and my BFF Sarah and her husband, Kiko. It was a lovely time. We had cocktails, lots of yummy food, and a very special birthday dessert. Traditionally, I celebrate my birthday with Sarah on Christmas evening. This year we will be in Arizona, so we will not be able to get together. I think it will be the first time in 8 or 9 years we won't see each other on Christmas/my Birthday. I'm glad we were able to meet up the week before.

The morning before I received an e-mail from the animal shelter notifying volunteers that a shelter dog Radar was most likely going to be euthanized due to some health complications coupled with being at the shelter for 4 months without finding a home. I felt so sad, I wanted to do something to help him, but what? I can't adopted him and I can't donate enough money for his surgery. I was going to think about what I could do for a couple of days.

When my dessert was brought out to me, there were three candles. The waiter said, "Three candles for three wishes." I wished Radar would find a home, fast. I used it as all three wishes. The next day at the shelter, Radar had an adoption pending. And yesterday we was taken home to be with his new family! Not only did my birthday wish come true, but Radar found a home just in time for Christmas.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

You know you have CF when...

You are coming home from the pharmacy and your bag is so full of medication, the bag rips and all your drugs fall out the bottom on to the ground. As I just learned moments ago....

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Fill In

1. No, we will NOT let CF win.

2. A warm meal will always be served at the old kitchen table.

3. I watched the steam rising from the hot cup of coffee (or tea) and thought: that looks so yummy!

4. It's hard to believe it's going to be okay.

5. I'll take some good news, please.

6. Dogs are the best friends a girl could ask for, at least from my point of view.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to dinner with family, tomorrow my plans include celebrating my birthday with friends and Sunday, I want to bake cookies!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Santa Hearts

For two years now, my office has participated in a donation program to provide Christmas presents to needy people. The program is run by the local fire department. They find needy people in the community and give them one wish for Christmas. Then their name, age, a little description about the person and their wish is written on a heart. Volunteers can then choose a heart (or two or more) and buy the present the person is wishing for. This year our office provided for 71 hearts. I had two. One was for a 95 year old woman who wanted purple socks and a sweater. The other was for a man with AIDS who's wish was for dog and cat treats and toys for his pets.

It is a very rewarding program to participate in. And to see our office come together and help provide presents for 71 needy people makes me very proud of my co-workers. We are all dealing with a 15% pay cut right now, so I was not sure how successful participating in this program would be. But when I started to look at some of the wishes people had, I begin to realize how much I have to be thankful for and how lucky I am to have so much in my life.

I am a state employee and I often am subject to negative comments about government employees. Perhaps this is an example of how not all government employees are bad people, as we seem to have a reputation for.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

CF Tribute

The last couple of weeks the CF community has suffered the lose of several friends to CF. It has seemed to happen all at once. Although most of us only knew these people through CF social networking, I can tell how damaging this news is the other CFers. I follow many CF blogs and most people are posting thoughts and prayers to those who recently lost the battle to CF. We have a strong community and I hope to continue to build relationships with all my fellow fibros and cysters. But for those who have slipped away before I had a chance to get to know you, I am dedicating this song to you. If I didn't know better, I'd swear this song was written for the CF community.

Just Breathe, by Pearl Jam
"Stay with me...let's just breathe. "

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Holiday Shopping

I generally dislike holiday shopping. Well, I actually like it, I just don't like the crowded stores, filled with rude, upset and angry people. It ruins the holiday spirit. I try to have most of my shopping done before Thanksgiving. This year I still had a lot to do once Thanksgiving rolled around. One nice thing about shopping in December is all the sales out there right now. Macy's sent me a coupon for 25% off my entire purchase for an entire week. JCPenny's just sent me a $10 off coupon with a purchase of $10 or more. The best experience I had was last night at Kohl's. I had a $10 off coupon with a purchase of $20. I also had a 15% off my entire purchase coupon. I asked the sales person if I could use both in the same transaction and he said yes! I didn't notice, but the coupon had expired, so when he scanned it, it didn't work. I honestly didn't realize the coupon had expired, so I politely just said thanks anyway. He honored the coupon anyway and gave me the additional 15% off. I think that is just great service.

On a different note, I started No Two Snowflakes Are Alike one year ago today! I am glad I have stuck with it and have connected with some great people out there.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Credit Card Theft

I woke up Saturday morning to a phone call from my credit card company wanting me to verify suspicious activity. The transaction in question was a two dollar charge at a WalMart in Florida. Nope, not me. They then went on to ask me to verify other transactions. A few were mine, most were not. About $800 in chargers were accumulated with in a matter of hours. Most transactions took place in Arizona. Charges were at random places, including three transactions for pizza. Ironic, this is the same day Ronnie found out someone broke into his home.

Here is the scary part...I did not lose my credit card. It was in my wallet, just where it should be. Someone got a hold of my number and either made a card using my information or they were just using the number without a card. Even scarier, this just happened to me 3 months ago, but this a different card. Same situation though, I never lost my card...someone was just using my Mexico. As a precaution, I had a credit check run just to make sure my social security number was not being used to open up credit cards. Everything on the report looks good, thankfully.

In both cases of credit card fraud, the banks have been great. From calling me to verify activity to not being held accountable for the charges. The worst part about it is I had to cancel my account and open a new one, leaving me without a card for the moment. Its the only card I have, so I have no way to finish my online holiday shopping. I also have the hassle of changing account information on my auto billing accounts like the gym and netflix. Oh well, could be worse. At least I don't have to pay for the charges, that would be terrible.

Check your accounts often. Pay attention when the bank calls you to verify activity. I know it seems like a pain if the transactions truly are yours, but this services is priceless if someone really is really using your card number. Also, remember to let the banks know if you are going to be traveling out of state. It can help them manage theft better.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Shelter Puppies

There are two of these little ladies at the shelter right now. The puppies go fast, but they are just so cute, I had to post!

Friday Fill In

1. You get more out of life when you focus on the positive.
2. Move from one event right to another.
3. It's Christmas time.
4. Crocks look ridiculous!
5. I feel more informed.
6. Good luck and ...goodnight!
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to the gym, tomorrow my plans include Winter Whiskers and Wine and Sunday, I want to decorate for Christmas!

CF and Sinuses

After reading about Ronnie's blog about his first ever sinus rinse, I thought I would give some feed back to him through my own blog. I know sinus problems very is by far my biggest CF complication. Last June I started getting daily headaches. The headaches came on at the same time every day and were so painful, my neck would start hurting. Bottom line, my sinuses were completely impacted. I started doing sinus rinses at that time, soon after had surgery, still had headaches, went on prednisone, headaches went away and I finally started feeling better. However, I continue have problems with pressure and pain (not so much headaches, but pain in my cheeks and teeth). Around the same time I went on prednisone, my ENT started having me put TOBI right in the rinses. Was it the prednisone or TOBI that helped my headaches? Maybe a combination of both?

I have been TOBI in nasal rinses since March. I do four weeks on/four weeks off. During my off times, I feel terrible...during the on times I feel about 90% better. I think the TOBI is working miracles up there. I am in an off time right now and I am struggling. Pain everyday, even headaches. I am talking to the doctors about just doing TOBI all the time. The funny thing is, putting TOBI in nasal rinses really isn't "excepted" by the general medical community as having a scientific benefit. Because of that, my insurance won't cover the medication. Grrrrr.

Ronnie- I agree with other CFers out there, that nasal rinse they gave you was weak sauce. I use a neti pot, 8 oz of warm water, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and what ever meds. I am mixing in. Talk to your docs. about using this more traditional method. Mandi will be more pleased with the results :).

Monday, November 30, 2009

Christian Hunt

Meet my new nephew, Christian! He was born on October 20. He had a rough start, but is doing well now!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Fill In

1. We need MORE TIME.

2. I WATCHED BOONDOCK SAINTS and it made me smile.

3. If you want IT, HERE IT IS, COME AND GET IT.

4. I JOKE because I CARE.

5. Massachusetts has a proposed 5% sales tax on elective cosmetic surgery; I think THE GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO REMEMBER NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION.

6. FAMILY, FRIENDS, AND GOOD FOOD makes for a happy holiday.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to PLANETARIUM, tomorrow my plans include STAYING DRY and Sunday, I want to RELAX!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Long Weekend (A Week Behind)

Last week I had Wednesday off for Veteran's Day, along with a furlough Friday, so I decided to make it a long weekend and take Thursday off too. My BFF Sarah and I have a long standing tradition of kicking off the holiday season by meeting up for an all day shopping spree in San Francisco on Veteran's Day. We mostly shopped in Union Square, my favorite. I got some Christmas shopping done and bought a few nice things for myself. I don't have any really good ideas yet for what to buy for people.

Later that evening I met up with my husband's cousin, Heather. She is on maternity leave a little earlier than expected, so we decided to take advantage of both having time off and getting together. We went out to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory and then spent the night in SF at Hotel Bijou. This is a boutique hotel, with themed rooms! Each room is themed after a movie made in San Francisco. Our room was "Interview with a Vampire."

The next day we went to the DeYoung Museum to check out the King Tut Exhibit. The exhibit was awesome. The exhibit was mostly select items found in King Tut's tomb, discovered in the 1920's. The tomb dates back over 3,000 years. I was a little disappointed the exhibit did not include any mummies. With further research I learned that King Tut's mummy and tomb still rests in Egypt. I'm glad I had the opportunity to see this historic exhibit. Check it out if you are in San Francisco or if this exhibit ever comes to your local area!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

ENT Visit

Had my check-up with the ENT yesterday. I am one year post-sinus surgery. Sinus maintenance has been the key for me to keep infection/sinusitis/inflammation under control. Currently I do sinus rinses mixed with antibiotic once a day. The antibiotic is TOBI and I use it four weeks on, four weeks off. Generally, this has kept sinus flair-ups to a minimum. However, my sinuses are so sensitive, I think it just barely keeps inflammation under control. When I am not using the antibiotic I seem to have more problem, mostly feelings of pressure. Prior to surgery I was having daily headaches. I am still not having headaches, but my cheeks and top of the nose start hurting when the pressure builds up. It also makes me super tired. To help control the inflammation, I am starting Flonase (which I have been on before) and adding Pulmozyme to the sinus rinse.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Fill In

1. The last band I saw live was THE GOO GOO DOLLS (?).

2. What I look forward to most on Thanksgiving is PUMPKIN PIE. (if you don't celebrate thanksgiving, insert your favorite holiday)

3. My Christmas/holiday shopping is NOT EVEN CLOSE TO BEING DONE.

4. Thoughts of SHELTER DOGS fill my head.

5. I wish I could wear MY PJS TO WORK.


7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 9 (YES PART 9), tomorrow my plans include STAYING HOME and Sunday, I want to CELEBRATE CHRISTIAN'S BIRTHDAY!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday Fill Ins

1. Plans and schedules KEEP ME IN FOCUS AND ON TASK .
2. I'm happy when things ARE QUITE .
3. The last thing I drank was WATER .
4. One of the most valuable things in my life is MY EDUCATION.
5. I like JUST CHEESE on my pizza.
6. Dear November, GIVE US LOTS OF RAIN.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to THE GYM WITH A NEW PLAYLIST, tomorrow my plans include GOING TO A BABY SHOWER and Sunday, I want to VOLUNTEER AT THE ANIMAL SHELTER!

Saturday, October 31, 2009


In honor of Halloween 2009, I thought I would post my list for top 10 scariest movies!

10. Wizard of Oz- you know that witch is scary!
9. The Birds-Being chased by birds is terrifying!
8. Friday the 13th- I have seen this movie a lot, the boat scene scares me every time!
7. Silence of the Lambs- a man that eats people and another one making a human skin costume....nuff said.
6. Jaws- Makes you think twice about swimming in the open water.
5. Halloween (Original) So scary when Michael Meyer's face slowly appears in the dark background.
4. Saw- a scary psychological thriller, I spend most of this movie with my eyes covered.
3. The Decent- A movie about being trapped in a cave is scary enough...creatures trying to kill you while trapped puts this movie over the top for suspense.
2. Sorry, Wrong Number- an older flick, a woman terminally ill is home alone, unable to get out of bed. She realizes someone may be trying to kill her. Home alone and helpless, the movie builds on each scene, make each scene more and more suspenseful.
1. Psycho- the original scary movie, I don't know if its the music, the shower scene, or a cross-dressing weirdo that makes this such a powerful and timeless scary movie classic!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Fill In

1. It was a dark and stormy night, I WAS UNDER A BLANKET AND WATCHING A SCARY MOVIE.

2. IT WAS TOO COLD OUTSIDE, so I offered to take the books myself.


4. AS I WAS GETTING SOAKED...I think I heard a howl!


6. SMELL MY FEET-give me something good to eat!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to A RETIREMENT PARTY, tomorrow my plans include HALLOWEEN FUN and Sunday, I want to CLEAN UP FROM HALLOWEEN AND DECORATE FOR THANKSGIVING!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I started volunteering at the Sonoma County Humane Society a few weeks ago. I love it. This shelter is state of the art. The animals are kept in "habitats" a nice indoor room about 6x6. Each room has a window so people can see in and animals can see out. Most dogs have there own room, a few share rooms. Everyone has a bed, blanket, and toys. There are 6 or so cats to a room. The rooms play quite music. The dogs really can't see each other so the shelter is quite. Not a lot of barking. The shelter is completely funded through donations and revenue from the facility. They receive no government funding and it is completely non-profit.

At first I thought it would be hard to be around all the animals with no home. But the facility is so nice, some of these dogs probably have a better life than some dogs with homes. I am volunteering to interact with the dogs, of course. I get to play with the dogs, take them for walks, and play in the yard. Some dogs are so excited to be outdoors, others just want to be petted. No matter what, it is a great feeling to help these little animals. Plus I feel like I make instant friends. Usually as I am driving to the shelter, I think about which dogs are my favorite and who I want to play with first. Then when I get there, I find my favorite was adopted. Which, of course, is the best news, but it is hard not to feel a little sad that I won't get to see that friend again. But it feels even better to know that dog has found a new home.

In the picture is Niko. He is a very scared little guy. Right now, he does not get to go for walks. So we just play in his habitat. At first he is scared, but after a few minutes he just walks up and sits in my lap. He loves treats, so we play treat games. His tail is usually between his legs, but the other day when I gave him a treat, the tail came out of a quick second and he was even wagging it! Its the best to know that I am helping this dog not be so scared. I'd bring him home, but he really needs to be the sole dog in the home. Any takers?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

CF Clinic Visit

I had my quarterly CF Clinic visit on Friday. This marked my last visit at this clinic due to changing insurance. The next visit I have will be in January with a whole new CF team. My visit went good. I saw a new doctor on the team Dr. Hayes. Which was a little strange because I had to go over my whole history knowing I would not be seeing this doctor again. Anyway, we went over my PFTs, which he said looked great. I have to get all my annual blood work done and I will be going back on Flonase. My oxygen saturation was 98%. After the visit I made my usual happy hour stop at Gold Dust, followed by a little dinner at an Italian cafe, and then shopping at Macys. I'm going to miss these trips into San Francisco.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Discovering Apps

Slowly I am discovering some of the many apps out there. This morning I came across an app called "Face in a Hole." Complete time waster, as I managed to spend about an hour on it this morning. The results are just complete silliness and immaturity.

Friday Fill Ins

1. So are we going TO GET PUMPKINS?

2. HALLOWEEN FUN is what's up ahead.


4. PLAY GAMES of some sort.


6. FAMILY is the true elixir of life!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to SEWING, tomorrow my plans include HALLOWEEN BLOG PARTY and Sunday, I want to FINISH HALLOWEEN COSTUMES!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

PFTs and Other Doctor Stuff

Had my yearly PFTs done about a week ago. Yes, my insurance only lets me do PFTs once a year instead of every CF clinic visit. That is part of the reason I am switching insurance. Anyway here are the results.

FVC 102.4
FEV1 93.5
FEV1/F 90.9
25-75 72.7
PEF 96.9
FEF 50 83.3
FEF 75 48.7

I am really pleased with these results, considering I had a bad cough for the weeks leading up to this test. Although I could not dig up my 2008 results, here are my 2007 results for comparison.

FVC 96.1
FEV1 85.6
FEV1/F 88.4
25-75 61.4
PEF 85.1
FEF 50 72.2
FEF 75 36.4

In other doctor news, I had to temporarily change PCP. My previous doc stopped taking my insurance. So, I met my new PCP. (PCP will be changing again with new insurance in January). Changing PCP was not a heartbreaking moment for me. I never cared for my previous PCP. I think she was in denial about having a patient with CF. Anytime I came in with a CF related problem, she would always say "Yeah, that's normal for you, you have CF." Ok, but that doesn't mean the problem doesn't need to be addressed. Other times she would try and treat me like I didn't have CF. If the CF doc thought I needed a special test, she would usually respond by saying "People in their 20's don't need that test." Generally, I just felt like she never listened and never really cared. The worst was when I needed to go on TOBI, but I needed her to order me a nebulizer. Her response was "that seems like over kill. Can't you just take regular antibiotics as a pill?" Oh, then there was the time I asked for a referral to a orthopedic surgeon for by back and she said "No you don't need back surgery." Five months later, I had back surgery. Yeah, that should of been enough for me. But it just seemed easier to stay. There just never seemed to be a good time to switch dotors. I regret not doing it sooner.

This new doctor seems really responsive. I went over all of my current health care needs. I would like to see all my specialist one last time before switching insurance. He gave me a referral to every single one (there are four). No questions, no making me feel guilty, no asking me to justify why. Hmmm, that is what I needed in a doctor all along. He also got me set up with a flu shot. While I am a little disappointed he will only be a temporary doctor, he gave me the names of a few doctors to check out under my new health plan. Hopefully, the transition will be smooth and I will find nothing but great doctors in my new adventure.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday Fill Ins


2. GETTING SICK IS HARD ON THE BODY, especially for me.



5. Outstanding or not I WILL STAY LOYAL TO MY OAKLAND A'S.

6. TO GO BACK TO BED is what I want right now!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to HAPPY HOUR WITH THE GIRLS FROM WORK, tomorrow my plans include TBD and Sunday, I want to TAKE ETHAN OUT FOR HIS BIRTHDAY.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

New Health Insurance

I signed the papers today to change my health insurance. There are not a lot of providers accepting my current plan, at least not in the immediate area. I am tired of being frustrated with administrative complications with my current insurance company. Its is so complicated, I don't even feel like taking the time to blog about each issue. Let's just say, I am in need of a change.

Every year I think about changing health plans, but it never seems like a good time. I am always in the middle of a treatment and it's not a good time to make the transition. Last year it was sinus surgery; the year before was my back. By changing plans, I will have to get all new doctors. Even my CF doc. That is probably the hardest transition to make. I have been with this doc for almost 10 years. He knows me and my case; its hard to start that relationship all over. But my insurance has become so complicated that I cannot do any PFTs at his office. He is in San Francisco, about 60 miles from my home. The insurance company will pay for the visit with him, but no tests. They will only pay for test that are done closer to my home. So, I can only do PFTs once a year at the local hospital. I feel like I am being deprived of some basic CF stuff that should be part of every visit. Same with any labs the CF doc orders. I have to go back home, have the PCP order, arrange for testing. The results never make it to the right office. We spend more time at CF clinic tracking down test results, when we really should be focused on what the results reported.

With the new insurance, this will all be eliminated. I am switching to Kaiser, which is like the "all inclusive" health care provider. Its is still an HMO and I am sure it still won't be perfect. But all the services are provided within the system. My CF doc can order tests, I can have them done in his office, and all of my doctors will have access to the results. I guess I really don't know how to explain how Kaiser works, it is just a simplified HMO. Hopefully. If I don't like it, I can always switch back. But honestly, I don't think it can be any worse than what I have experienced with my current plan.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I've Got My Bracket Ready!

Today is the first day of Major League Baseball playoffs! I started a bracket challenge in the office. I put the Angels to win, although I am cheering for the Dogers all the way! The Dodgers didn't look so good going into the post season so I'm not sure what they can pull off.

Watching Yankees/Twins right now. How cute is Derek Jeter? I didn't name my dog after him for nothing!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday Fill Ins

1. I have a history of BAD LUCK.

2. HOW TO CURE CANCER is something I wish I knew.

3. I'm eating (or recently ate) A VERY YUMMY SUGAR COOKIE COVERED IN ICING.

4. I'M GLAD I'M NOT on the road.

5. So that's it, that's MY LIFE.

6. A LITTLE IS better than nothing!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to HAPPY HOUR, tomorrow my plans include WIZARD OF OZ and Sunday, I want to SEW, SEW, SEW!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Paul Smith Foundation

My aunt sent me a e-mail forward this afternoon, featuring the art work of a man by the name of Paul Smith. I found his story inspiring and maybe you will too.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Top 10 Reasons Fall is My Favorite!

10. Ethan's Birthday
9. The Electric Blanket
8. Pumpkin Scones
7. Fall Colors
6. Hot Cocoa
5. Warm Clothing: Sweaters and Coats
4. The Weather; I Love the Rain!
3. Post-Season MLB
2. Halloween
1. Pumpkin Pie

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins

1. One week ago I WAS AT DISNEYLAND.

2. I PLAYED CHURCH when I was young.


4. DOTTY, JETER, you and me.


6. IT will pass!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to SEWING, tomorrow my plans include CLEANING UP and Sunday, I want to SLEEP IN!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Southern California

Ethan and I took a short trip down to Southern California this past weekend, Thursday-Sunday. We spent two fun days at Disneyland and California Adventure. We stayed at the Disneyland Hotel, which was great. We could walk to the parks each morning, swam in the Peter Pan themed pool, and Mickey left us chocolate on our pillows! We also made our way to a Dodgers Giants game. Enjoyed the company of my brother-in-law Morgan and my good friend Kelcey. Dodgers won 12-1. They hit a grad slam in the 1st, plus three other home runs. It was a great game for Dodger Fans.

Disneyland was really fun. Even thought we spent two full days, it just doesn't feel like enough. The park has so much to offer: rides, shows, parades, fireworks. Its hard to fit it all in. My favorite ride in Disneyland is The Pirates of The Caribbean. I love the mystery of the ride. As you load the boat, you really have no idea what the ride is going to be like. My least favorite ride is Snow White's Scary Adventure. First, you don't see Snow White at all during the ride, so I am guessing you are suppose to be Snow White, as the rider. But then it ends with no Prince...but the last scene is They Lived Happily Ever After. Who? Does not make sense. Oh well, can't wait to go back.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Five years ago today we adopted Jeter from the pound!

Friday Fill-Ins

1. That's a LOT to be.

2. WAIT; I'm over here!

3. The possibilities include: SWIMMING, WALKING, OR ELIPTICAL.

4. HOT COCOA is one of my favorite cool day recipes.

5. How will you know WHAT TO DO FIRST?

6. GRAY CLOUDS and a stormy sky.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to MY DAY OFF, tomorrow my plans include DINNER WITH VICKY and Sunday, I want to SCRAPBOOK!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Desiree Davis

This is Desiree Davis. She was shot and killed in Oakland, California in broad daylight at a BBQ on Labor Day. She was 17. She is also the niece of one of my co-workers. Police have no idea who killer her or why. Sadly, she is on record as the 77th homicide in Oakland in 2009. Desiree was also a victim of Hurricane Katrina, where her and her family lost their home to the natural disaster. Its always hard when some you know is faced with a tragedy. Even though I didn't know this person, it still seems unreal that something like this can happen.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Monte Runs

For over two years now, my husband has been fixing up his 1987 Monte Carlo SS. He loves this car, as it was the first car he ever owned. He decided it was time to upgrade with a (almost) new engine and transmission. To give him plenty of time, he leased a Mazda 3 for two years to drive while the Monte was under repairs.

The project went longer than scheduled, as the Mazda went back at the end of July, even though the car was not ready. Ethan was at a point where he was trying to start 'er up, but something wasn't right and it wouldn't start. For weeks now he has been trouble shooting to figure out the problem. While I cannot comment on specifics, yesterday a milestone was reached and the car started! We are very excited, as Ethan has put a lot of time and money into this project. Below is a short video of the build up to the car starting. A few minor steps to take before the car is on the road, but the hard stuff is done.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A's Win

Yesterday we went to our first (and only) A's gane of the season. When your team is "the bad team" the expectations of seeing a good game are low. So I was pleasently surprised to attend a game that the A's won! Final score 9-5. They played Seattle. Both teams looked pretty bad from a defensive point. But we saw some good offense, including a two run bomb.
It was also breast cancer research awareness day. The give-a-way was a pink scarf. Before the game over 500 breast cancer survivors paraded around the field. The team also presented a check to a breast cancer research foundation for over $75000; thet money was what the team raised during the year. Go A's!!!!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Fruit or Flowers

Ethan and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary yesterday. Fruit or flowers are traditional gifts to give people celebrating their 4th wedding anniversary. To celebrate, we went on a picnic at Sonoma State, where we were married. Being married at my alma mater was very special to me. Returning there yesterday brings back not just memories of the wedding, but also the memories of college. I feel a special bond with that campus, I should try and visit more often.

Years ago, Ethan and I decided not to exchange gifts for our anniversary. Instead, we try to decide on something to buy for the house that we both could enjoy. This year we bought a Roku Box. This is a devise that you hook up to the TV and you stream movies from Netflix. We already have a Netflix account and the streaming feature is already included in the monthly fees. The really exciting part of the box is we can also stream MLB games. All of the games (execpt local games, they can only be watched once the live game has ended). It will be great watching the last month of baseball. The playoff race is on!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

What Am I Scared Of?

Above all things I think Cancer has to be the scariest thing in existence. You can't see it, taste it, touch it, or smell it. With exception of cancer caused by smoking, it appears without warning and without reason, seemingly random, and recs havoc on the body. Over the years, I have known several people to lose their life to cancer. In most cases, there is no real known cause, it just happens. It affects young, old, men, women.

I have a friend at work who has a friend diagnosed with Leukemia fighting for her life at this moment. She is about 40 years old, married with two young sons. I don't know her and I have never met her. But yet, I have been affected by her story. She was diagnosed last summer, under went a bone marrow transplant, went into remission, only to find 6 month later cancer was back, in full force. Now she lays in a hospital bed, basically waiting to die. On Thursday, the doctors didn't expect her to live through the night. She is still holding on, still fighting, but it is just a matter of time before her body gives in.

While I don't know this person, I think one of the reason her story is so powerful is it leads me to ponder the question: Why? Why does this person have the disease? What was she exposed to that cause it? She seems to be just your average person in society, which leads to the second could be anybody. That is what makes cancer so scary to me. No one is immune, not even the most healthy person around. It's out there, just lurking around, waiting to strike the next victim. Anyone could be next, including me or you.

I remember once when I was younger thinking AIDS would be the epidemic of my life time. I don't know anyone with AIDS...but it just seems cases of cancer keep popping up.

This is also why I feel my job has such an important place in society. By helping keep California's water clean, hopefully we can eliminate the exposure to cancer-causing chemicals in drinking water.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Does Anyone Actually Like the Dentist?

I had to visit the Dentist yesterday to have a *small* cavity filled. While this is a pretty routine, not-a-big-deal procedure, I still managed to have a panic attack during the first few minutes of the drilling. Here is what I think happened.

I am a pretty nervous person in general, but when it comes to medical tests, I can be...well lets just say sensitive. Most procedures make me nervous. From having blood drawn to sitting through an MRI, I just can't ever seem to be fully relaxed, or even a little relaxed for that matter. I usually manage to get through my nervousness because I know these tests/procedures are to help me and I get through them one way or another. And when they are over I almost always say "there was really nothing to be nervous about!"

Besides by-annual routine cleanings, I don't have a lot of experience with dental work. I did have my wisdom teeth pulled several years ago and I have only had a cavity filled one other time. So, at least I knew what to expect when having a cavity filled, but of course I was still rather nervous. To make things easier for everyone, I requested the "laughing gas." I though if I could be placed in a more relaxed state, I could relax and the Dentist would have an easier time.

This was problem #1. As the gas started to kick in, I felt like I was weightless. Is this normal? I asked myself. Because I really felt like I was going to pass out. Maybe the Dentist was giving me too much? Maybe I was going to have some sort of negative reaction? I could tell my heart beat slowed down, what if my heart stopped? As all these thoughts raced through my head, I was now more nervous about the side effects of the gas, opposed to procedure it self. I shared these thoughts with the Dentist. He adjusted the dose, stating I was probably just getting too much in my system at once. I starting feeling better. Until problem #2: the rubber dam.

The Dentist explained that they would be using a rubber dam during the procedure. I was pretty sure the devise was used with my previous cavity, so when they asked me if I had a problem with that, I simply stated no. As they started to connect the devise to my mouth, however, I quickly realized I was definitely NOT familiar with this devise. Oh well, what could be the big deal anyway?

With the rubber dam in place, Novocaine shots taking affect, and the laughing gas in my system, the dentist began drilling. At first I found myself in a very relaxed state and then something in my mind just started to panic. I felt the instant need to rip the rubber dam off my face. It was constricting and I suddenly felt like I couldn't breath. Then I realize I couldn't speak to the dentist with this thing on my mouth. More panic set in, not only about having this thing on my face that I couldn't get off, and not only about feeling like I couldn't breath, but I was back to thinking about the gas: what if I had a reaction to the gas and I couldn't tell the Dentist there was a problem? And how do I tell him all of these fears I am having at this moment? Then I felt like I was spinning. I raised my hand and the Dentist stopped. I'm guessing he could sense something was wrong and he asked me if I could breath and swallow. I said yes to both. At that point the assistant took my hand and said everything was fine. The procedure would be quick and it would be over before I knew it. They also cut me off of the gas, which I guess was for the best.

Having the assistant talking to me really helped. It helped me calm down. I just closed my eyes and it really was over rather quickly. It didn't hurt, I was fine. All that and it was all really no big deal. I wish I could train myself to realize these things are no big deal BEFORE the procedure, but the nervousness is involuntary. It's like trying to stop your heart beat, you just can't control it.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Up My Nose

This post is literally about going up my nose; well actually into my sinuses. Last June I started to get headaches everyday. After an exhausting experience convincing my doctor that there was really something wrong with me, she sent me for a sinus CT scan. At the discovery of all of my sinus cavities being nearly 100% impacted, I was (finally) referred to an Ears, Nose and Throat (ENT) doctor. It took nearly two month to get the referral, and then another 4 weeks to get an appointment.

By early November, I was in for sinus surgery. The procedure was nearly four hours. The goal was to open up the drainage ways so the mucus getting stuck in my sinuses would drain better. My sinuses are really affected by having CF. I just always feel stuffed up and I cannot smell scents very well. While that is still the case, the surgery really helped, at least in terms of the headaches. Although I still had headaches after the surgery, I have been headache free since March. Suppressing the headaches was due to not just the surgery, but finding the right maintenance for my sinuses, post-surgery. This includes sinus rinses twice a day. Every-other-month, I mix an antibiotic (TOBI)into the rinse. I think this has been key to keeping things in order.

I also go in for a check up once a month with the ENT. I just went in about a week ago. Recently he invested in a technology that allows the patient to see the sinuses as he is performing the examination. He uses a scope with a camera on it, puts it up the nose (way up the nose) and the image is displayed on a screen. During my last visit, I took a picture of the screen showing my sinus cavity. The pic is included below. You can see where the mucus is getting stuck still. But between the success of the surgery and keeping up with the rinses, it is moving through my system, as opposed to sticking there, causing an infection, followed by inflammation, and leading to a headache. I'm so glad to be feeling better, but it was a long road to get there.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Worst Parking Job Ever

Not sure if the pictures does this justice, but this is the saddest parking job I have seen in a long time. Not only did this person take up two spots, they are sticking out of the spot by 3 feet. Maybe they had their eyes closed?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sonoma County Fair

Ethan and I never miss the Sonoma County Fair. This year was really busy, but we still managed to spend an evening at the fair. The weather was perfect, the food was great, and the entertainment was super. Highlights this year include Fido 500 and The Pork Chop Review. We also like to spend time looking at all the arts and crafts. I won a carnival game. Below are a few pics.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

John Hughes

John Hughes was the mastermind behind some of the greatest 80's films. His passing is with great sadness. I give you my top 10 John Hughes films (as the Writer, Producer, or Director):

10.101 Dalmatians (Live Action)
9. Weird Science
8. Uncle Buck
7. Home Alone
6. The Great Outdoors
5. Vacation
4. Sixteen Candles
3. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
2. Christmas Vacation
1. The Breakfast Club

All of these movies are part of my home movie collection.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Good-Bye Mazda

For the past 29 months we leased a Mazda 6. Ethan has been driving this car while he has been working on his Monte Carlo. The Monte will be his daily driver, once it is running. The lease on the Mazda ended yesterday, so we had to take it back. The Monte is close to running, but its not there yet. So, as of this morning we are a one car family. Ethan and I are pretty independent with our daily activities, so sharing a car will be interesting. Hopefully it will only be for a few weeks. We want to roll the Monte with its new make over!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

CF Clinic Yesterday

Yesterday I traveled down to San Francisco for my quarterly visit to the clinic. Clinic is pretty uneventful for me, so there is really not much to report. Because my CF doctor is out of network, the insurance company will pay for the visit, but no testing: no blood work, x-rays, PFTs, or cultures. Their logic is all of those tests can be performed in network, so I have to get all testing done locally. It makes a little more work for me, because I have to schedule all my tests separately, as opposed to showing up to clinic and just having it all done in one place, on one day. This works ok, except with PFTs. I'd really like to have this done at every clinic visit, because it is a very important measurement of my health. We discussed this at clinic yesterday. We decided to do PFTs three times a year, bringing the results to clinic. Other results of clinic, oxygen sat is at 99% (sweet), I need a bone-density test, and blood work is not due until December.

After my appointments, I always spend a little time in San Francisco. I know my way around the city now, so I usually take the bus to my desired destination. Some times I hit up the gym, meet a friend for dinner, shopping, what ever I feel like to kill some time before making the drive home. I almost always end up in Union Square, as I did yesterday. Stops included Gold Dust for a few beers, dinner at Lefty O'Doul's, a little shopping at Macy's, and I finished the night off with getting a piece of cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory, to go. I'm sure I'll be back in SF before my next clinic visit in October, but I just love spending the day in SF.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mame, What The Hell Are We Celebrating?

Yes, the Santa Rosa Junior Summer Repertory Theatre is in full swing! Every year the SRJC puts on five different play simultaneously over the course of 7 weeks. Most actors are in at least two products, sometimes three. It is one of my favorite parts of summer. This year productions include "Mame", " Cat on a Hot Tin Roof", "The Wedding Singer", "Lend Me a Tenor", and "Barefoot in the Park". I went to Mame last week and I am making plans to attend the Wedding Singer and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. I wish I could attend all five productions, but it is hard to make time for 5 plays in such a short time, especially considering they only run one or two productions a day. Mame was wonderful...I love the musicals. The truly amazing part of this experience is the short time frame these productions are put together in. The sets, costumes, the band (for musicals), learning the lines, the steps. They only have five weeks to put it all together. I feel lucky to live so close the a theatre that does this every summer.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Cut Backs

About 5 years ago I discovered that the local Junior College offers great physical education courses for a reasonable price. I started taking Yoga twice a week at the JC for only $56 a semester. Its probably the best Yoga class I have even taken. I took it for four semesters, up until my back surgery in 2006. Feeling ready to go back, I went to the JC web site to register. To my disappointment, almost all of the PE classes have been cancelled, including the Yoga course. I know it is "only" PE and if a school needs to make cuts its going to be in that department, but it is depressing to see any school making cuts. We should be finding ways to cut everywhere else but education.

Also on another exercise note, the Monday night water aerobics teacher is now only teaching on Fridays at 10:15. Luck me to have *most* Fridays off so I can still go. But I really like going to the class on Monday nights. The gym is really crowded on Mondays. Going to the class when it is crowded, I could avoid having to wait for a machine. The course is still offered on Mondays, it is just with a different teacher. I'll probably still go on Mondays the weeks I have to work Fridays.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Back to Furlough Friday

We are back to having scheduled unpaid days off...this time it is three Fridays a month. Today is our first scheduled day off. Most State offices are closed today. I like have the flexability of choosing my unpaid days off, but I think it is more of a cost savings for the state to have them scheduled. It is nice having the extra days off, but with the third unpaid day now added, that will really hurt our pocketbook. At the end of the month the lease car goes back, so not having that payment will help with the most recent paycut. The worst part is I have so much work to do, but now with less time to do it. It just makes things more stressful.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

4th of July

This 4th of July weekend is most dedicated to relaxing and catching up with *minor* stuff around the house. After being so busy last month, I just needed a weekend to do NOTHING! I had to work Friday, but Ethan had the day off. That evening we went to a friends house for a BBQ and fireworks. The actual 4th, I didn't even leave the house. I spent a lot of time on my blog site, mostly reading other people's blogs and I watched Dial M for Murder. I like to stay home on the 4th of July because it is a really scary day for the dogs. They did ok with the firecracker nosie, but they were scared. They mostly just wanted to be right next to us. At one point in the evening, Ethan was reading comic books with Jeter on his chest and Dotty right by his side. I feel bad for them, but it is cute when they want to be so close.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Where Were You When Michael Jackson Died?

I was at work. I opened the Internet to go on to a work database, when I noticed a headline on my Yahoo home page: "Michael Jackson Hospitalized." Reading further the article said Michael Jackson was pronounced dead by an unknown, unofficial source. Thinking this would not be the first odd rumor posted about the man, I did a search "Michael Jackson Dead." And there it was, a confirmed article stating that Michael Jackson had indeed died. I was in shock. How can my childhood hero be dead?

Over the past couple of days, I have deeply reflected on the influence Michael Jackson had over my generation. The white glove, the red zipper jacket, the moonwalk, the short pants with white socks. Michael Jackson had numerous trade marks, which will always live with his memory. Michael Jackson was an 80's icon. What he did with "Thriller" is untouchable. No one has ever created such an imaginative, creative, and unique video. We were obsessed with it; everyone was. We knew the words, we knew the dance routine. We watched the video and the making of the video daily. The Thriller movement consumed our society. I don't know what it would take to top that one; I don't think anyone ever will. And yes, initially I was scared to watch it.

Another huge part of the 80's was "We Are the World" in which Michael Jackson was a big part of. I think I am very lucky to have lived during the times of these two videos.

I know Michael Jackson had developed a negative reputation over the last few decades, and lived a cryptic life of mystery. Undoubtedly misunderstood. No doubt at times I would see pictures of him and think "he is so weird." But this man needs to be remembered for all of his positive contributions to society, especially in the 80's. He needs to be remember for his powerful influence over people and the pure magic he created with his music.

Thus, I give you my Top 10 Michael Jackson Songs:

10. You Are Not Alone
9. Smooth Criminal
8. Bad
7. Beat It
6. Billie Jean
5. PYT
4. The Girl is Mine
3. Thriller
2. Man in the Mirror
1. Don't Stop 'till You Get Enough

Ethan with his M.J. jacket:

Hard to see it, but that's me with my M.J. buttons:

circa 1982

"Gonna make a change for once in my life. Gonna feel really good, gonna make a difference, gonna make it right."

You sure did.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Chicago Re-cap

Had a wonderful time in Chicago visiting family and friends. Here is a re-cap:

June 10-16
Lost luggage
Dunkin Donuts
Shoe shopping
Dinner at Grandma and Grandpa's
Wario Smooth Moves- Go Ray!
Arts and crafts with mom and Aunt Mike (card making class)
Old Style, Miller Lite, MGD
Greg gets speeding ticket (warning) by a bicycle cop
Liz and Brian's wedding
Baseball White Sox @ Milwaukee- Miller Park
Vito and Nicks
Bacon Waffles, that's bacon in the waffles.
Vince's graduation party
Pizza at Uncle William's old folks home
Black Jack
Lunch with Kelly and her kids
Dinner at Aunt Laura's with the whole family (minus Liz and Brian)
Corn Holes

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

June is Busy

Here is our crazy June schedule:

June 9- Allergy shot, Dotty to the Vet
June 10- Leave for Chicago
June 11- Downtown Chicago
June 12- Liz's Wedding
June 13- White Sox @ Milwaukee
June 14- Vince's Graduation Party/Dinner with Miehlich's
June 15- Lunch with Kelly
June 16-home
June 17- Field Work
June 18- Dotty's Surgery
June 19- Work at Home to Take Care of Dotty
June 20- Lauren's Shower
June 21-24 Sacramento for Work
June 26-28 Boonville for Joe and Kristy's Wedding.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Foursight Winery

May 17 marked the grand opening of Foursight Winery's Tasting Room ( Ethan and I made the drive up to Boonville to taste some wine, have a few treats,visit with Friends and suffer the heat. The cupcakes were the best part.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Dakota Hunt

Our furry friend Dakota passed away last night. He died peacefully in his sleep. Tyler and Natalie adopted Dakota about 9 years ago. He was probably 1ish when he was adopted, making him about 10. He will be missed.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Greater Tuna

I saw another play on Friday, "Greater Tuna" in Rohnert Park. This is comedy with only two actors, but they each play several characters. The setting is a small town in Tuna, Texas. It basically projects the stereotype of the southern conservative, racist, bible belt Jim-Bobs and Billy-Bobs of society. Aside from a funny story line and poking fun at the red neck culture, these two actors display a tremendous amount of talent switching between characters throughout the entire performance.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Top 10 Reasons to Love Summer

Fall is my favorite season, but there is so much about summer to love. Here is my top 10 reasons to love summer:

10.Concerts-seems bands travel more during the summer than any other time of year.
9. More daylight-the sun is shining when the alarm goes off.
8. Blockbuster movies.
7. Fireworks on the 4th of July.
6. The County Fair.
5. Weddings-people like to get married during the summer. This year we know four people getting married between June and August.
4. BBQ's and eating outdoors.
3. Fresh (local)corn-on-the-cob.
2. Fresh (local) fruit-peaches, strawberries, watermelon.
1. Baseball

Monday, May 11, 2009

Allergy Shots

I started my allergy treatment for dust mites last week. Allergy shots are the same concept as vaccinations, you r given shots containing the substance you are allergic to. The dose starts very low and it builds up as time goes on. I have to get the shots once a week for about 20 weeks and then once a month for up to 5 years. The idea is by exposing my body to the allergin over and over my system will build immunity. Over time I should technically no longer be allergic to dust mites.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Guys and Dolls

I saw the play Guys and Dolls Saturday with my mom and sister at the Santa Rosa JC. It is such a fun play, with a very talented cast. It looks like May could be the month of plays. I'd also like to see Greater Tuna, a two man comedy and The Mouse Trap, an Agatha Christie suspense play. Then of course, the SRJC starts their summer theater in June. Five plays in 11 weeks. I already have plans to see the Wedding Singer with a group from work. I'd also like to see Wicked, playing in SF right now. Between plays and weddings, this will be a busy summer!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

San Francisco in April

Thanks to Heather and Jake, we spent a beautiful weekend in San Francisco. It was Jake's 30th Birthday on Saturday and Heather invited us as a surprise to hang out with him. We decided to get a hotel room within walking distance of Fisherman's Wharf. We checked into the hotel room, walked around the Wharf for about an hour, then met up with Heather and Jake in North Beach. We had a yummy dinner at The Stinking Rose and then had a blast at the Jeffery Ross comedy show. This morning we met up for breakfast and then came home. The weather was so beautiful in SF. It's pretty warm here in Santa Rosa.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Chicago April 2-6

I went to Chicago last weekend to visit family and to attend my cousin Liz's Bridal Shower. The trip included some of the usual stops like White Castle, Vito and Nick's ($6.00 Old Style Pitchers, Yes!), and Dunkin Donuts (for the coffee). I had fun playing cards with family and learning some new games. I played Wario:Smooth Moves with the Stones, which was almost too much fun. The shower was a tea party, in which the Bride was showered with many wonderful gifts. The food was yummy. I was so thankful to be able to attend. Greg and I shared goofy websites, including Oh yes, now I have even more websites to waste time on! The weekend ended with a little snow. Nice getting home to Ethan and the dogs, but I sure do love visiting with everyone. Luckily, we will be back in June for the wedding. It is going to be a blast. I can't wait!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Science Fair

I was a judge last Tuesday for the Healdsburg Science Fair. This is my fourth (non consecutive) time judging. This year I was one of about eight judges for 8th grade physical science. I was responsible for evaluating 8 projects and then getting together with the other judges and discuss the best projects to pick a winner. There were about 50 project total. Judging this grade level is tough, because the students are required to submit a project, so most don't put in much of an effort. Of the 8 I was responsible for, there were two decent project were you could tell an effort was really put forth and where the scientific method was understood and followed. There were no winners in my group, they all came from projects the other judges evaluated. Regardless, I love being a judge. I wish I had more time to support science in the community.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Best Beer Ever

We had this beer in London, on tap. Love it. Its a hefeweizen with lot of lemon flavor fused in. I've never tasted anything like it. Ethan doesn't like it. I found at BevMo today while looking for Irish Cream Ale. Didn't find the ale. Had I been looking for the hefe, they probably would not have had that. At least I didn't go home empty handed.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

St. Patty's Day

So thanks to Julie I actually went out for a drink on St. Patricks day. We went to Toad in the Hole, Santa Rosa bar. Cute bar, but only served beer and wine. I had a Fullers London Pride and an irish cream ale. The cream ale was so good, very smooth. Not bitter at all, with a very interesting creamy texture. Prior to drinks Ethan and I had corned beef and cabage. So good. Enough left overs for a few more meals. From your Irish Girl!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

XM Radio

My new Saturn has XM radio. After the free trail, I purchased XM radio for one year. A few months ago XM merged with Sirius. I have been disappointed with the results. XM promises to provide commercial and interruption free music. Now they have annoying D.J.s providing commentaries on music, movies, sports, current events, and bad jokes. It seems to be worse in the morning, so I think they are trying to have a morning show feeling. Morning shows are the number one reason I don't listen to the regular radio in the first place. I feel like I have been cheated. This is not what I signed up for, nor paying for. I don't think I am going to renew my subscription for this sole reason.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Spring Training Vacation Days 1 through 4

Day 1 Tuesday 3/3- PM drive to Fresno and spend the night with the in-laws. Pretty uneventful.

Day 2 Wednesday 3/4 Long drive from Fresno to Goodyear, AZ. The drive was pretty long and boring. We were able to stop at the "Large Marge Sent Me" diner from Pee-Wee's Big Adventure (The Wheel Inn Restaurant). This is the place with the huge dinosaurs that Pee-Wee watches the sunset and is then chased by ANDY!. A total of about ten hours on the road and a one hour time difference, we arrived in Goodyear by about 7 PM.

Day 3 Thursday 3/5 White Sox vs the Dodgers in the new Glendale Stadium. Dodgers won 5-4, in the bottom of the 9th. First win for the Dodgers in their new Spring Training facility. When we got home from the game we were surprised to find Dotty and Jeter hanging out in the front of the house. They were home alone during the game and some how the front door opened. Who knows how long they were out there. I am just thankful they stayed at the house.

Day 4 Friday 3/6 Seattle VS Oakland. Oakland wins 2-12. Good game, except Giambi got hit by a pitch for all three at-bats. It would of been nice to see him get a hit. No home runs at this game...just a lot of good base hitting. Ethan got hit in the back with a foul ball. The ball was actually hit behind us, bounced off of someone's face, hit Ethan, and then hit the girl next to us. The ball then rolled under the one even got the ball in the end. Ethan is fine.

Monday, March 2, 2009

San Francisco Recap

Ethan and I spent the weekend in S.F. for the WonderCon comic book convention. We had a gret weekend, good weather with a little rain on Sunday. Ethan has his internet friend's that he meets up with for various events. I have met them a few times now too. I think it is great for Ethan to make friends with people he has so much in common with. Here is a brief recap:

February 27-March 1
Hotel Bijou
E.G. Daily autograph
Buco de Peppo with Heather and Jake
Kate O'Brian's
Blondie's Pizza
24 Hour Fitness
Union Square
San Fran Wine Tasting Event
Poker Party
A little more WonerCon

Me with Blade

My loot pile (mostly free stuff)

Monday, February 23, 2009


I watched the Oscars last night. It's one of three events each year that I miss being able to watch because we don't have cable (the other two are baseball playoff and summer Olympics). We went over to Norma's this year. I thought this year was interesting, lots of changes. First, I thought Hugh Jackman did a great job. I found it interesting they did not pick a comedian to host, as they traditionally have in the past. I also really like how they had five previous winners present the actor/actress awards. I think the only down-side to the event was I did not see many of the movies that were nominated, so I did not feel connected to the nominees. Best part of the evening...Sean Penn's speech, hands down. "For those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect and anticipate their great shame and the shame in their grandchildren's eyes if they continue that way of support. We've got to have equal rights for everyone." I think that even beat Tom Hank's acceptance speech for Best Actor in Philadelphia.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentines Day

We had a very nice Valentines Day yesterday. We started the weekend off with Friday the 13th Part 6, viewed on Friday the 13th. The morning of Valentines Day we drove out to Bodega Bay for breakfast at the Sandpiper Cafe We drove around Bodega Bay looking for homes for sale. The prices have come down there too, but it is still pretty expensive to own a beach home. After driving back, we spend most of the day around the house. Ethan worked on the car and I was just lazy. In the evening we watched Sweeney Todd. We always end up watching horror films on what should be romantic days. On our second wedding anviersary we went to the movies to watch the Halloween re-make. We really don't do much for Valentines (see Paws for Love posts). Ethan bought me a card and these yummy sugar cookies.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Paws for Love Recap

Paws for love was on Saturday. We had a great time. We bought a painting and won a silent auction which included a buddhabag, books, and a Safeway gift card. The buddhabag is perfect for Jeter. It's like a furry sleeping bag.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Taxes & Student Loans

I did our taxes this weekend. We owe for the feds, but are getting a return from the state, which put us at about a $400.00 net refund. We are lucky to have the mortgage interest deduction or we would owe like $8,000. I had to look up some information about my student loan (because you can deduct the interest paid) and I noticed I only have $1,300 left on my loan. It will be paid off around this time next year. My first thought was that went by fast, but in reality I have been out of college for almost 9 years. In terms of paying off a bill, that seems like a really long time to hold debt and pay interest. But in terms of an investment, it is the best money I have spent or probably will ever spend. But I am still going to celebrate when it is payed off!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Super Bowl Recap

Had a wonderful time yesterday watching the Super Bowl. Ethan and I went to "The Guys" house, who are a group of roommates with whom Ethan knows through work. They have a great place for hanging out and watching sports. They have two T.V.s with room for everyone to sit and watch the game. Besides the game they had beer pong, beer, the BBQ, lots of snacks and goodies. Ethan and I both won in the pool: I won 50 dollars for the 2nd Quarter score and Ethan 100 for the final score. Funny thing is, we won in a pool that I coordinated! I think the nicest part of the whole day was hanging out with such a great group of people. It is so nice being around people who don't bother me about having kids. In fact these are people who could give a crap about me having kids. It didn't come up once. There are just not many people I can be around anymore who can manage to not piss me off with the subject. I actually felt excited all day today because I was in a social situation in which the statements "You will see when you have kids" or "You dont understand, you're not a mother" were not stated. Yes!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

State Employment

A few months ago the Governor issued a directive for all state employee's salaries to be cut by 10%. In exchange there will be two days off a month. (5% pay = about 8 hours of work). I am always skeptical of these types of things, as I have see other directives go no where. A court order was issued today stating the the controller is order to implement the pay cut. So it is looking more and more likely. While I will believe it when I see it in my paycheck (and I take the two days off), I am pretty much excepting the paycut as fact. Ethan's paycut went into affect this month. So now the reality of 10% less income. Luckily, Ethan and I live a comfortable life style. We are able to save about 30% of our income for investments and retirement. There are other luxury expenses that we can do without which will be cut. A big relief will come in June when our lease car goes back and we wont have that payment anymore. While I dont want a paycut, I feel we all need to do our part to reverse the budget crisis.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Dog Purse

I made a new purse a couple weeks ago. It was actually an easy pattern and it only took a couple hours.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Paws for Love

I purchased my Paws for Love tickets this morning. Paws for Love is an annual charity event to benefit local animals in need. The event includes a silent and live auction, art created by animals, live music, food and wind. This will be the third year Ethan and I have attended. The first year we treated ourselves with winning a live auction package to include a one night stay at a pet-friendly inn in Mendocino, lots of dog treats, dog beds, a crate, and wine. We also purchased a painting by a yellow lab. Last year we purchased a painting and won a silent auction for four play tickets and a gift certificate to 3rd Street Ale Works. Because the event always takes place in February, this is how we celebrate Valentines Day. I love supporting animals.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


As 2008 has come to a close, the year has brought both joy and sadness. We started 2008 with Chicago family and friends. Ethan and I were able to take a few vacations including, Mendocino Coast (with pets), Spring Training, San Diego, and Bodega Bay for our 3rd Anniversary. I was awarded a Superior Accomplishment award at work. We supported the Paws for Love event for local animal shelters. We saw many plays, we even had season passes to the Community College's summer theater program. And probably most important to me, my residual pain from my back surgery just went away one day...and has yet to return.

But there were down times too, as I guess that is always what life has to offer. I suffered with sinus problems for months, which ended with a successful surgery. I lost two friends during the year: one suddenly to cancer and another suddenly to an allergic reaction to a bee sting. The loss of these two individuals is still difficult to accept. It is a lesson that death can really strike anyone, at anytime. Steve and Elmer, I miss you.

What will 2009 bring? Four weddings, more babies (Sarah, Craig, Cody, Jesse), Las Vegas in January, Paws for Love in February, 10% pay cuts for both Ethan and myself, Spring Training, Baseball, tattoos, Chicago in June, The Wolverine movie, and ???.