25 February 2008

Back to work

Today I went to Hillcrest and filled in for Beth and to help Shelly out, since there were three people out of the office for various reasons. It felt good to be back at work, but I missed seeing Mike at lunch like I normally do and I missed the quiet solitude of my home and studying and reading.

I didn't really do that much at the office. I answered the phone, helped Shelly with some patients, drew some blood, processed labs, the usual research stuff.

In the down time, I did get some scholarship things completed that I needed to do. As usual though, due to procrastination, I have just barely missed deadlines for a about five or so scholarships that I was eligible for. Sometimes it seems like I can never get on the ball. Every February, I look at scholarship stuff and every February, I missed the deadlines by just weeks or days. Maybe next year I'll be more prepared . . . .

Betsy is supposed to come over and bake tonight with me, so that will be lots of fun. I think I might make cookies for Mike. :)

Well, that's all I've got for now. . . . ta ta for now. . . .

23 February 2008

Lunch Date

So I was doing homework this morning, and my phone rings. I look to see who's calling, and it's Thomas. He called to say he wanted to have lunch with me and would be over shortly. I was just speechless. So I got off the phone, and got dressed and put my contacts in. I was so excited that Thomas was going to come over for lunch! :)

When Thomas came in, he had Chick-Fil-A with him! He had gone to work for a few hours and brought me lunch!! :D I was so happy to be able to spend time with him. Mike was still asleep, so we visited and talked. He brought me three different sandwiches that he had made by hand, and fries. So I got to pick the sandwich of my choice. I chose the chicken salad sandwich, since he said he made it specially for me. Then I ate half of the #4, switch meat, which was a chicken sandwich with provolone and bacon and the special honey sauce. They were fantastically good! I felt so special! I have the best brother in the whole world! :D

22 February 2008

St. Anthony's Thursday Night

I'm not really sure how or what to write about this, except to first ask to please keep Becca and her family in your prayers.

Last night, Becca called me really upset and asked me to do her a huge favor. She couldn't get ahold of her husband, and her Dad was in the hospital. They thought he had a major heart attack. So, I left right after I got off the phone to go to her house to wake her husband up, if he was sleeping. I think I scared Jim pretty bad when I banged on the door, but I didn't know how sound of a sleeper he was, or if he was asleep at all. After I explained what Becca told me, I headed to the hospital.

En route I called Becca to let her know that I had spoken with Jim and that I was on my way. She said they were in the cath lab waiting area. The whole way I just prayed about the situation and for Hayden (Becca's Dad), and for Becca and the family. I knew Hayden's health hadn't been the best lately. I didn't feel nervous or jittery or extremely anxious, just kind of peacefully worried, if that makes any sense. Looking back, I think I knew deep down that it was Hayden's time.

I arrived at Saint Anthony's shortly after 1800. I found the cath lab waiting area rather quickly and went in and Becca was crying and we hugged. Then I hugged her sister Mary and her mom, who were also crying. Her sister Tara, whom I had only met briefly once before, was also there with her husband. I asked Becca if she wanted me to pray with her, and she said yes, so we went to a quiet spot and I prayed with Becca. She was pretty upset; the situation was pretty serious. She kept saying "That's my Daddy, I thought he was going to live forever. How can you prepare for this?"

The doctor came out of the cath lab and explained that Hayden didn't have a heart attack, but his kidney's were failing, so the situation was pretty critical. They were preparing to move him to ICU. The situation seemed kind of surreal to me. There would be periods while we were waiting where every one would cry, and then someone would say something to lighten the mood, and the tears would stop briefly, only to start anew a few minutes later. My heart really went out to Becca and her family. I didn't really know what to do or say except to pray and give Becca hugs as needed or put a hand on her shoulder.

Once we received word that he was in his room in ICU, we went upstairs. The doctors had tried to prepare the family that it was serious and he may not make it through the night. So when the family went in the room, Becca motioned that I come too, so I went in. I kind of stayed at the foot of the bed, out of the way, and just observed and gave Becca or Mary hugs as needed. It was pretty hard to watch them all say goodbye one by one and tell him how much they loved him and thanked him for being a wonderful father and for everything he had done for them. I could tell the nurse was pretty moved as well, although she maintained her professionalism and didn't let her emotions come through as much as I think they wanted to.

After a little while, Becca said she wanted to make some phone calls and I went with her. She was crying pretty hard. I didn't really say very much and just tried to be there for her. A little after 2000, Becca's mom, Jim, Becca and Mary were each around Hayden, holding his hand or kissing him on the forehead. I could tell that he was going pretty fast and I could smell death in the room. (For those who have not been around the dying or the dead, death has a smell unlike any other. It's pretty hard to describe, but to me, it's unmistakable.) I asked Becca if she wanted me to pray again, and she nodded yes. (By this time I had already cried with the family a few times as well.) I didn't know what to pray, and I wasn't sure I could find my voice to pray, but I put my hand on Mary's shoulder next to me and on Becca's (who was across the bed), and prayed to Jesus. I don't remember everything that I said, except for asking that the Lord's will be done and that Hayden not suffer any more and for comfort for the family. Less than five minutes later, Hayden passed away from this world with his family around him, holding his hands and I stood at the foot of the bed and watched all of this unfold. The nurse was now in the room, and confirmed that he was gone. Becca was so upset she could hardly stand. Jim was holding her and Mary was next to me and she kind of turned to me, so I just put my arms around her. Then Mary went to hug Tara and Becca came to me and I just held her as she cried onto my shoulder. I wanted so badly to take Becca's pain, but I couldn't. Hayden was her Daddy. I just kept praying silently.

I know the Lord was there in that situation. I know that Jesus was right there with Hayden while he was in the cath lab and while he was lying on that bed in ICU. I know the Lord was there in the midst of us, and I know that He knows what Becca is feeling. Becca says that she is not religious, but she knows that I am. That is why she called me (besides that we are close friends).

About 20 minutes after Hayden passed on, I knew it was time to go. Becca said she would be all right, so I went into the ICU room to get my coat and I squeezed Hayden's hand and said good bye and thanked him for being so good to me. And then I left the hospital.

I had cried a little while I was there, but for what I could do, I tried to be strong for Becca because she needed me to be. I didn't know that I had it in me, honestly. Truly, that could only have come from Jesus. When I got to my truck and started to pull out of the parking garage, I called Dad. He was the only person I wanted to talk to. He had actually called me when I was on my way to the hospital, so I had briefly filled him on what I knew, so he asked right away how things were going. I told him that Hayden passed away about 30 minutes ago. And then I started crying. When I was standing in that ICU room, I could see that being Dad, and I just tried not to think about it. I told Dad that I loved him and thanked him for being a great Dad. We talked for a few minutes, then he started asking medical questions and I calmed down and we talked the whole way home. I knew that Mike was asleep because he didn't answer the phone the two times I had called from the hospital, so I went to see Thomas before going home. I told him what happened and we got to talk for a while. Then I went home and Mike woke up and I told him what happened.

I have never felt like I felt last night. It is hard to describe. I have never seen a person die, and I have never seen a dead person - until last night. I have seen people really close to death, but that's as close as I have ever been. I didn't really sleep last night. I felt pretty numb. I prayed a lot. For Becca and her family as they go through these next few days and weeks and months. Becca's life is changed forever. I know that she was grateful that I was there and I'm glad I had sense enough not to open my mouth very much, but to just be there for her. I know that Jesus was there and I pray that Becca and her family will come to know Jesus through all of this. I cannot imagine how Becca is feeling and right now I don't know how to reach out to her, except to continue to pray. I have a peace that I know she doesn't have and I want so much for her to have that peace, the peace that only knowing Christ can bring.

21 February 2008

Reagan quote

"Speech delivery counts for little on the world stage unless you have convictions and, yes, the vision to see beyond the front row seats. The Democrats may remember their lines, but how quickly they forget the lessons of the past. I have witnessed five major wars in my lifetime, and I know how swiftly storm clouds can gather on a peaceful horizon. The next time a Saddam Hussein takes over a Kuwait, or North Korea brandishes a nuclear weapon, will we be ready to respond? In the end it all comes down to leadership. That is what this country is looking for now. It was leadership here at home that gave us strong American influence abroad and the collapse of imperial communism. Great nations have responsibilities to lead, and we should always be cautious of those who would lower our profile, because they might just wind up lowering our flag." ~~ Ronald Reagan

16 February 2008

Pharmacology

One of the classes that I am taking is pharmacology. Reading the first 12 or so chapters, I though to myself: why, this isn't so bad . . . I don't even think it's boring!

We had our first test yesterday.

I had procrastinated somewhat in studying this week, although that is partly because I didn't have all the notes because I missed class the Friday before because I was sick. Our notes our handed out to us (they're power points), along with worksheets to complete, study helps, etc. Linette was awesome though and emailed me the notes on Thursday.

I will never again miss pharmacology class, no matter how sick I am or how high my fever is. It's not worth it. Everyone else can just get sick. No more thinking of others when I'm contagious. I end up suffering in the long run.

The test was 101 questions. And it was brutal. It took almost everyone the entire two hours to take the test. After the first hour, only one person had completed the test. There were a lot of questions about which lab test (our of renal, hepatic, CBC or glucose) was the most important to monitor for a particular drug. All of those are important to monitor! The classes of drugs covered on the test included: antibiotics, anti-infectives, antineoplastics (chemo drugs), antifungals, antivirals and anti-inflammatory drugs. We had to know classes and at least one drug in each class, side effects, what to monitor (i.e. which labs, watch for certain side effects, signs of toxicity), things you should and shouldn't do when taking certain drugs (i.e. you should avoid sunlight or antiacids with some drugs), etc. Like I said, it was a rough test.

I'm pretty sure I failed. I'm not even going to hope for a passing grade. I'm just going to chalk it up to a learning experience and make sure that it doesn't happen again. There are four more tests, plus the ATI, and we have quizzes every week in class. So it doesn't mean that I'll fail the class. Hope of an A is most likely shot, but that's okay. It's a nursing class. Lots of studying, studying, studying, constantly, for the rest of the semester.

Now for a peaceful thought: an absolutely glorious heavy winter rain has started falling. It's rather loud - the best kind of rain fall. I think there's ice mixed in, but it's not freezing to the ground or anything. We need the rain, so it's a good thing. Great baked potato weather. And Mike has emerged from the bedroom, so I'm going to make breakfast for us. Perhaps we'll curl up together on the couch and watch a nice movie, and listen to the rain. :) ::sigh:: I love rain! Thank you Lord for the rain! :D

Valentines Day

Mike and I celebrated Valentines a day early because he has a class on Tuesday and Thursday nights. We had decided that we wanted to get dressed up and go out to eat, so we did.

It was a really wonderful evening. I was excitedly looking forward to it all day. :) After Mike got home from work, we got ready to go. I had decided to wear my slinky black dress with the hint of red running through it. Mike really loves that dress, and I don't wear it very often because it's a little on the formal side and a lot on the form-fitting side. Mike wore his gray slacks and a really nice shirt. I brought the camera to take pictures, but forgot to take pictures . . . that's all right. The memory is really great.

We had decided to eat at Cattleman's Cafe, in Stockyards City, which is on Agnew. Stockyards City is an older part of Oklahoma City and it is still the central hub in Oklahoma for cattle auctions. I believe they are every Monday morning starting at 0800. Anyway, we drove down and parked behind the restaurant. When we were pulling into the parking lot, I noticed that there was a horse and carriage nearby. I wanted to go and pet the horse and say hello before walking down to the front of the restaurant, which Mike thought was cute. However, by the time we had parked the car and got out, the cabby had driven over to our car and said we could get a ride up to the front of the restaurant. (Awesome!) So I said hello to the horse and took a few minutes to pet him and so on, and then we got into the carriage for our little mini carriage ride. It was so romantic. Mike and I were just beaming at each other. We arrived at the restaurant front door, thanked the driver and got down. And then thanked the horse. (What a great husband who seems to have caught this love of horses that I have. I found it quite wonderful that he didn't get impatient while I said hello and that he too wanted to pet the horse.)

I knew that there would be a wait for a table, so I wasn't surprised that there was indeed a 20 minute wait. The waiting room was upstairs though, and I have never been upstairs at Cattleman's. I thought it was pretty neat up there. There's a white fence that lines the brick walls, and there were old black and white pictures of various Cowboys and Native Americans lining the walls. I imagined that it was the room where President Reagan had eaten in when he had stopped by at Cattleman's almost 20 years before.

It wasn't long before our little buzzer went off and we went back down to get our table. We got a table in the main dining room (as opposed to in the back of the restaurant or the side dining room) and our waiter came by shortly to get our drink order. Mike had never eaten at Cattleman's, so it was an extra special treat for him. I love doing firsts with Mike; he always has such a great attitude and is so willing to try new things. I've been around a lot of men who put dampers on things that are new, and Mike has never done that. It's such a treat to go out and do things with him. Cattleman's had a special going that night: a 16oz Porterhouse with fried shrimp on the side. Mike, being the hungry man that he was, ordered that. I had a small sirloin wrapped in bacon. We both had side salads and baked potatoes and Mike also ordered sauteed mushrooms on the side. And we decided to each order a glass of Shiraz. Shiraz is one of my favorite wines (although the Shiraz from Australia is the best, they only had American wines on the wine list.) Mike had never had Shiraz, but wanted to try some. He said he liked it.

We shared such a romantic evening, talking about different things and enjoying being at the restaurant and enjoying each other's company. Of course, there was a lot of staring into each other's eyes like we always do. ::sigh:: :) Mike said he would like to bring Ruth and Paul to the restaurant the next time that they visit; he thought his Dad would really like it.

Our dinner came and we dug in with much enthusiasm. (We were both pretty hungry.) As I expected, the steak was awesome. I ordered mine medium rare, and it was perfectly seasoned and very tender. Mike said his steak was equally great. He exchanged bites, as we often do when we go out to dinner. It seems to have become a little ritual that we do when we go out to eat. We always look at the others plate, and then offer to swap forkfuls. I think it's really sweet that Mike is so willing to share. I also think it's really romantic. :) Mike finished his entire 16oz steak, and baked potato and shrimp and mushrooms and dinner rolls. I was duly impressed. I also finished my entire steak, it such a great steak. We did decide not to order dessert. Originally we were going to share an icecream at Brahm's, but we ended up being to full to do that. And we wanted to get home . . . >:)

On the way back out to the car, we stopped at the horse carriage to say goodbye to the horse and pet it. We also thanked the driver again and bid him a good night. As we were pulling away in the car, I thought too late about ordering a hot tea to go and bringing it out to him. Next time we're there on a cold winter night though, I won't forget.

All in all, it was an awesome Valentines Day celebration. I love being married to Mike and we thoroughly enjoy celebrating that love and our covenant with the Lord. I am so incredibly grateful to have a man like Mike in my life, and as my husband. I love that he thinks of me and wants to spend time with me and enjoys hanging out with me. He is a really great husband. I feel very blessed to be married to him.

11 February 2008

Why Women Are Abandoning Men

By Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Remember the days when little girls grew up dreaming about a knight in shining armor whisking them off their feet to live happily ever after? Remember when a woman's foremost fantasy was finding the man of her dreams?

Well, that's all over now as women are abandoning men in droves and learning to find happiness completely on their own. Two astonishing studies show just how alarming the trend has become.

First, there was the study, from the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University and others, that two-thirds of all divorces today are initiated by women. These numbers beggar belief.

RESEARCH SHOWS that when a man leaves his marriage he is usually leaving for another woman. Men, especially those who have already been married, don't function well on their own. They need to be taken care of. So it is rare for a man to leave his marriage unless he is leaving for someone else.

Often he trades in the mother of his children for someone who is younger and more submissive. But for wives, the very opposite is true.

Ninety percent of all women who leave their husbands go out into the wild blue yonder. They are leaving their husbands and accepting what is often lifelong single status. They would rather be alone than stay with a man who does not appreciate them. They would rather live by themselves than with a husband who doesn't speak to them, who won't share of his inner self, and who chooses the company of the TV over theirs.

The single woman may live in loneliness. But she lives with the hope that one day she will find a soul-mate who cherishes her. But what does the married woman who is abandoned have to look forward to? In my 20 years of counseling, I have discovered that the loneliest women of all are married!

An even more shocking statistic was released last Monday by The New York Times. For the first time in American history a majority of women are living without a husband. The Times reported that 51% of all women are living without a spouse, up from 35 percent in 1950 and 49 percent in 2000.

How could this possibly be?

SIMPLY STATED, women are giving up on men. Whereas they once harbored hope that men could satisfy their needs and make them feel appreciated, today they are finding far greater satisfaction in career over companionship and from female friends over husbands.

These are the consequences for a culture that for half a century has mercilessly exploited women as a man's plaything.

Beginning with Playboy, which coined the term "Entertainment for Men" in the early 1950s, and ending with the monsoon of smut that pours through the Internet daily, men today are subtly conditioned to see women as their subordinates. They exist to satisfy men. They have no will other than to look pretty for their male counterparts. They will starve themselves into thinness and submit their otherwise healthy bodies to the surgeon's scalpel, all in an effort to get men to notice. And when they commit the terrible crime of aging, they will inject poison - literally - into their foreheads to rid themselves of lines that were once proud symbols of experience.

Men have a sense of entitlement toward women which precludes them from making any honest effort to be worthy of them.

The net result is that the average man has no idea of how to please a woman. He doesn't even know how to talk to her. On a date he uses compliments not to make her light up, but to make her lie down. After marriage his purpose is not to attend to her emotional needs but to get her to attend to his domestic wants, as she slowly becomes his maid.

Quickly, however, she tires of this raw deal. Marital sex becomes a chore as he selfishly focuses on his own pleasure. And as for conversation, the most she can expect are boring meanderings related to practical matters, like taking the kids to after-school activities.

Now, unless women are complete toadies and sycophants, this is not something they're going to put up with for long. So they're dumping their husbands and abandoning the whole concept of marriage.

IT IS REVEALING that three most accomplished women in America - Oprah Winfrey, Condoleezza Rice, and Hillary Clinton - all share one thing in common: their choice not to share their most intimate selves with a man. (And yes, I know that Hillary is married to Bill, and I don't doubt that she loves him. But it's her career to which she is now really married.)

We men have to be honest. We are part of a new generation of males who have silent contempt for women. At college we use them for sex. At work we reduce them to body parts. In marriage, we push them into domestic servitude. Is it any wonder they're telling us to drop dead?

And it's not the women who suffer most. It's the men.

The Bible declares that when a man finds a woman, "he has found goodness." Women are a blessing to men. They refine them, ennoble them and deepen them, transforming them from errant boys into upstanding gentlemen. The lack of a woman in a man's life leaves him in a lonely and underdeveloped state.

So we men have to change, and here's how. Firstly, you single men: Date women. Don't evaluate them. Don't bed them. Respect them and get to know them. And focus on one at a time.

Now, you married men: Open up to your wives. Share your deepest feelings with them. Turn off the TV and talk to them. Help around the house so they aren't always tired.

And in front of your children always treat your wife with the highest respect so your sons become part of a generation that honors and respects women.

And maybe, by the time they grow up, they will find women that dream yet again of having a noble knight whisk them off their feet to a state of everlasting bliss.

Quote

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction." -- Ronald Reagan

10 February 2008

Spring To Do List

This is a rough draft to do list of things that I would like to do this spring, in no particular order of importance:

1. Finish reading the entire Bible . . . I just have a few more books to go
2. Do well at school
3. go to arts festival
4. visit 4 state parks in Oklahoma, one in each corner of the state
5. get birthday cards to people before or on the day of their birthday
6. finish buying necessary items for curtain hanging and then hang said curtains in apartment
7. buy two chairs and paint them
8. transplant my cactus into a bigger pot
9. finish Sam's birthday present
10. mail Sam her birthday present
11. finish the wedding collage stuff I started
12. start painting again
13. find stable to loiter at
14. get strength back
15. be able to run 3 miles without stopping by May
16. go to a Pow-Wow
17. go to at least 2 horse events at the State Fair

Well, that's all I can think of right now. Hopefully I'll be able to get everything accomplished . . . :)

Eowyn & Missy in the morning

video

09 February 2008

Nokota Horse

A native of North Dakota, horse tribes descendent from Sitting Bulls' horses. For more information, visit www.nokotahorse.org. Pretty fascinating history. Very similar horse to the Spanish Mustang, but not quite the same . . .

Just here

Well, it's Saturday morning here in OKC, a beautiful February morning, from what I can see outside . . . . Mike got bus driving duty this morning, so he's out doing that. He's supposed to return shortly with Chick-Fil-A for lunch.

I had my first exam this week, for my psych/mental health nursing class. I feel pretty good about it.

I have bronchitis - it sucks, enough said. Except that apparently I'm really contagious, so I haven't been going anywhere . . .

Not too much else to write about . . . no one seems to write these days . . . oh well, people have lives . . .

I'm really looking to spring and the warming of the sun on the Earth and the springing up of green grass. I'm thinking pretty strongly of finding a stable or horse ranch to loiter around . . .

Oh, and the storms. Mostly definititely looking forward to the storms roaring across the plains, trumpheting their power, the power of God, in the majestic sweep of rain, wind, lightning and ominous clouds. Damaging, reckless, yet healing, storms that bring spring rains to bring the grass and flowers up and signal the changing of seasons here in the Midwest. It's fantastic! One of the many things I love about Oklahoma. . . .

I suppose that's all I've got for right now . . . :D

06 February 2008

Oklahoma Facts

Oklahoma is celebrating its 100th anniversary of Statehood this year (2007).
Because most people think of theStage play ' Oklahoma!' when they hear the state's name mentioned,
Citizens are attempting to update the state's image by sharing
interesting state facts with others as we celebrate our Centennial.

Oklahoma is not only the home of Ado Annie and Aunt Eller from ' Oklahoma!'
but of the parking meter(invented in OKC)
and the shopping cart (invented inArdmore ).
The electric guitar also was invented in Oklahoma, byA Beggs musician named Bob Dunn .
The first 'Yield'Sign was installed in Tulsa.
Environmental Protection Agency recognizes Oklahoma
as having the most diverse terrain of any state in theNation.
The state, according to EPA, boasts
11 Distinct Eco-regions.

The state has more man-made lakes than any otherState,
which give us more than a million surface-acres
of water and 2,000 more miles of shoreline than the
Atlantic and Gulf coasts combined.



The Sooner State has produced more astronauts than any
other state in the union.
Owen Garriott is an EnidBoy, of course,
while Tom Stafford is from Weatherford,
Shannon Lucid from Oklahoma City,
WilliamPogue from Okemah
and the late Gordon Cooper from Shawnee.
Oklahoma is home to the Amateur Softball Association
and Hall of Fame,
a world class zoo in OKC
and more F4 and F5 tornadoes than any other state.
Oklahoma is the third-largest gas-producing state in
the nation and ranks fourth in the production of
Wheat, cattle and calves,
fifth in the production ofPecans,
sixth in peanuts and eighth in peaches.
The state's colors are neither OU's crimson and cream
nor the orange and black of OSU
but green and white.
Oklahomans practice 73 major religions.
The largest isThe Southern Baptist Convention,
with nearly 1,600 Church and more than 960,000 members.
Oklahoma gave birth to Dick Tracy
(cartoonist ChesterGould is a native of Pawnee)
and Donald Duck (Clarence'Ducky' Nash, the original voice of Walt Disney'sDonald,
grew up in Watonga).
Not to mention, Garth, Reba, Toby, Ron Howard, Troy Aikman and Brad Pitt!
Oklahomans have survived the Dust Bowl,
any number ofKiller tornadoes,
the 1995 bombing of Oklahoma City's Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building
and various oil booms and busts.
Oklahoma is populated by people who
are caring, giving, hard-working, patriotic and
fiercely independent.
Oklahoma is a good place to
live, work and play.
The challenge in this, our centennial year,
is to make the rest of America aware of what
Oklahoma has to offer,
besides 'beautiful mornings,' 'fringe-laden Surreys'
and 'a girl who cain't say no.'
The official statehood celebration will be in November.
In the meantime, individual cities are
restaging various events associated with statehood and
The settling of Indian Territory which eventually
Became our state.
It's a great time to be an Oklahoman!

05 February 2008

Birthday Party!!

Yesterday was Thomas' 24th birthday! Last week I sent out an email about a surprise party for him after dinner night. He knew about the Dinner Night and had requested lasagne with a cheese cake for dessert. I had a lot of fun last night, and I think that everyone else did too. Thomas looked quite surprised to see all of the decorations that I put up for him (a birthday banner and streamers). I thought about doing balloons, but I thought that might be a little "young" for him. I bought him some art pencils and paper for his birthday; he hasn't drawn in several years, and he has such incredible talent, so I thought he might like them. I'm not sure if he did actually like them or not. He had a lot of defense mechanisms up (as usual), so it's hard to tell what he really liked and was hiding, and what he didn't. He did love the Marine Corps flag that Kyle got for him.

Yesterday morning, I got up early and went grocery shopping, since I didn't get that done over the weekend. Then I started making chocolate chip cookies as soon as the groceries were put away. I had to stop baking in the middle to go to my nutritionist appointment, however when I returned, I put the rest of the cookies in the oven. After all the cookies were finished, about 5 or 6 dozen, I put them on paper plates and wrapped them up to take to Thomas at work. He knew I wanted to do this, but I guess he didn't think I would follow through. When I got to Chick-Fil-A, I went in and said I had a special delivery for Thomas. So the girl went into the kitchen and got Thomas. He looked pretty surprised to see me standing there with three huge plates of cookies. He kind of smiled and looked a bit embarrassed. He said thanks and vanished back into the kitchen.

Then I had to finish grocery shopping at Sams and go to WalMart to get wrapping paper. I came home and wrapped Thomas' gifts. Kyle and Betsy came over and helped me decorate, since I'm too short (even when standing on a chair), to reach high enough to put things up on the wall. Then I cleaned a bit and started making the lassagne. After that I started on the cheesecake. I have never made a cheesecake before, and I had the impression that they were the hardest cake to make. I didn't think it was that bad, although I had no idea how to tell if it was done or not. Luckily though, by the time it came out of the oven, Betsy and Katie (Abby's mom) were able to help me determine that it was done.

All in all, I thought it was a good time. We played some games. A lot of people came too. Abby came with Natalie, Caylee and Sery (Macy was sick). James came (Sarah was working ~ we all missed her being there), Michelle and Joe with Josh, Katie and Bill, my friend Linette from school with her sister Sam, Kyle and Betsy, Jason and of course Jake came. I completely forgot to get pictures until the very end, so I only got three :(.

I hope that Thomas enjoyed it. He seems to have wound himself up so tightly in defense mechanisms that it's hard to tell what's real and what's a front. He doesn't let anyone in and tries pretty hard to push people away. Luckily the guys are pretty thick skinned around here, and don't let that get to them and just keep trying. There is so much pain buried . . . we both came from a pretty messed up childhood, as childhood's go. We didn't have it as bad as some, but there weren't really a whole lot of smiles and laughter either. Even though I have spent years in counseling since then, I still don't have everything ironed out. Thomas never went to counseling . . anyway, I don't really want to get much more into that.

To conclude: it was a good night ~ great friends ~ awesome fellowship. :)

01 February 2008

Poor Brittney Spears

No, I'm not being sarcastic, I really do feel sorry for this poor woman. I have never been a fan of her music, but right it's kind of hard to not know what's going on with her from media reports.

My question is, if she is going through some kind of mental health crisis, why does the press continue to have to flock to her home and the hospital and keep tabs on her. How is it, with HIPPA and everything, that we (normal people) even know what's going on?? The poor woman has lost her children, she's divorced, and she's been committed. Why can't people just leave her alone so she can cope and heal?

It really makes me sick that people want to know so badly what's going on in her life that they will flock to the ambulance scene where she is getting ready to be taken to the hospital. She isn't a freak show, she's a human being, with dignity and feelings who needs to be respected and left alone by anyone who isn't part of her healing process.

What the heck happened to the privacy laws in California?? It must really be horrible to have to go through whatever it is that she is going through and having the entire nation know about it. She must be a pretty strong person after all . . . my hats off to you Brittney, and I hope you come out all right. And I suggest you move to a remote location where you can't be found . . .

10 Things I miss about horses

1. riding your horse bareback to the field gate after he's been basking in the warm summer sun all morning
2. putting your fingers under his warm, fluffy winter coat on a cold, crisp day
3. sharing "air kisses" ~ blowing into his nostrils as a greeting, and he blows back ~ it's how horses say hello friend
4. sitting down next to him in his stall and just talking
5. sharing a box of Cheez-it's on the porch on a slow summer day
6. feeling the wind and his mane in my face as we gallop down a trail or field at break-neck speed
7. quietly observing birds drying their wings next to a lake together
8. soft, low whickers of greeting
9. free lunging ~ watching him run circles around me with any kind of physical attachment, but he's totally attentive and listening to everything I say and do
10. grooming ~ the art of removing all the dust and dirt off your horse and onto you; they love it and so do I