Thursday, May 31, 2007

Update on My Uncle

You may remember that my uncle Gregg was due to have surgery at MD Anderson to remove a tumor from his abdomen, as well as portions of his liver and colon. The surgery was successful. Here is the message from my aunt:

Gregg had his surgery, May 9, at M.D. Anderson in Houston. They removed the right lobe of his liver (Dr. said it was about 60% of his liver), a small portion of his stomach, a small portion of his colon, a small cyst outside of his liver and a layer of fat around the abdomen which sometimes hides live cancer cells. Dr. Abdalla said that the primary tumor had twisted his stomach and was entangled in his colon. He said that they untwisted the tumor from the stomach and it was only attached by a small piece and he just clipped it off. The medication that he was taking (Gleevec) had done its job and the tumors were dead. The pathology reports also showed that the margins were clear. God had been very good to us and sometimes miracles come differently than we hope. Of course, Gregg would have loved to been spared of this surgery but we are so thankful for the outcome. He was released from the hospital May 17. The doctor released him to travel home and we headed home on Sunday, May 20. He has had some good days and some bad days but that is to be expected with a major surgery. His appetite is low right now but I hope to have him on a high protein diet very soon to encourage the regrowth of his liver. Dr. Abdalla says that now all he has to do is heal.

Thank you for your prayers!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

It's Not All Kuddos & Attaboys

This weekend, David made his first notification call. He and another field officer were the only two free to make the house call over the weekend. Can you imagine opening the door to two uniformed DPS officers? You know it's not good. This is the toughest part of his job and a part that he hopes not to have to exercise often. His first experience wasn't easy, but he said the family took the news relatively well.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Enough Already!!!

Good grief, how many days in a row can it rain? Honestly, I've lost count. I hate to look a gift horse in the mouth, but.... N. Texas has been in a severe drought, so it's not to say that we don't welcome the rain. The lakes are now back to normal levels (and some out of their banks), drought restrictions have been adjusted or lifted altogether, the grass is finally coming out of distress. But really, do we have to have rain every day for a month? Because that's what it's sure felt like. I don't know about you, but I need a little sunshine in my life! And have I mentioned my little patio flooding problem???

Anyway, enough about that. Had a wonderful holiday weekend. I have to say that it was so nice to have an entire weekend that wasn't interrupted by something at the theatre...not that I don't love the theatre and all. Our big boss sent us home early on Friday, so I had an early start to my holiday weekend, which meant I got the house vacuumed on Friday before Derek got home! And then we enjoyed a quiet evening doing absolutely nothing. Got up early Saturday to clean the kitchen--the fridge was disgusting. Then I hit the road to run errands--Home Depot, which had absolutely nothing I was looking for, for plants for the back patio (which the rain prevented me from planting); Wal-Mart hunting for more plants; Albertson's for stuff for the Sunday BBQ; Tom Thumb to drop off RXs; dropped stuff at home; and then went to PetsMart to get Dori beautiful ('tis that time of year to shed the winter coat). I left Derek home--slow to get out of bed. He had cleaned both bathrooms and run the dishwasher in the time that I was gone. I spent the rest of the day doing laundry and just generally straightening, and I potted some of the plants that weren't supposed to go in the flowerbeds. Derek headed to the dump with a truckload of junk from the garage. We spent the evening christening Derek's birthday present--a new Weber grill (photos soon)--and hanging out with the neighbors. I hit the bed relatively early since I had to sing two services on Sunday.

Our Sunday BBQ in honor of Mother's Day was lovely--mom & dad and David & Olga came over. The ribs were great, though Derek would argue they were overcooked. Mom loved her garden-themed gift (shoot, forgot to take pictures of that) that served as the table centerpiece. We enjoyed visiting, as always. Mom & dad stayed over for a Monday of shopping. The boys went to Bass Pro, which opened just around the corner from us not too long ago. Mom & I hit the road to visit some yet-to-be-shopped scrapbook stores. We found quite a few things we couldn't live without. We then met Olga at La Madeleine in Rockwall. Took mom to Wal-Mart to get a new variety of lantana that I bought on Saturday (photos once I get it in the ground) that she really liked--the variety name is Susan (no, seriously). We had a few other things we were looking for anyway--mostly organization for our scrapbooking supplies. They headed back home with far more in the truck than they left home with. And Derek & I headed to the neighbor's for a little Memorial Day cookout.

All in all, a good time was had by all.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Holiday Weekend

Whew, made it through another (long) week. It's been a tough week. Can't really explain why. Every day seemed to drag. Why is it when you're doing something fun it seems you never have enough time in the day but when you're working the day can't end quick enough? My allergies have been in full swing this week. That just generally makes me feel like crap so I've been cranky. My sweet husband has been oh-so-patient, but I think he might be a little put out with me.

When I got home from rehearsal last night, he was almost finished putting his new birthday present together but was having a little trouble with the regulator on the gas tank. He decided to upgrade the grill, yet again. I don't suppose I can complain too loudly--we do use the fooey out of the thing. Anywho, I, being a nice wife, admired his new grill and oohed & ahhhed over it appropriately before going inside to get ready for bed. When I walked into the bedroom, I was met with a very icky eau de litterbox, and I must say, my stomach did a little turn. So I turned on my heel and headed back out to the garage to tell the litterbox emptier that he'd neglected his duties, in a nice way, of course. And I was met with, "I don't care about the damn litterbox." (For any of you who don't know Derek, this is out of character for him. I think he was a little cranky about the regulator thing.) Well, alrighty then. Apparently someone has had a bad day. So I quietly closed the door and went to bed. And do you know that stinker didn't even come tell me goodnight?! Perhaps he'll be in a better mood this morning. I'm almost afraid to call and see. =)

We're both looking forward to the weekend, even though our fun must first be met with chores. We're having friends and family over for the holiday. So we have the usual list of things to do. With all the rain we've had this week, the yard definitely needs tending--particularly the back where we'll be grilling & hanging out. I hope to finally finish the flowerbed clean-up and since some of my periennials have chosen not to appear, I'll be planting replacements. And since some of our guests will be overnight visitors, I need to attend to the inside, as well. So it's a typical weekend at the Fox household...clean, clean, clean. Yeah, I guess that is all we do.

Speaking of the holiday, I do hope that we will all take a moment or two to thank all of those active and retired military personnel who have fought so bravely to award us all of the liberties we so freely enjoy today.

On Monday, May 28th at 3 p.m., please join the U.S.O. in a Moment of Remembrance to remember those brave and proud Americans who have died for our freedom and to honor those who are currently serving.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Nice Weekend

Although I couldn't cross everything off my weekend to-do list, all in all, I would say that I accomplished a lot. It was payday for Derek, so that meant it was time to do the monthly grocery shopping. I'm not quite finished; there are always a few things I can't get at Sam's or Wal-Mart. Don't you just hate having to do your grocery shopping at so many stores?

I was finally able to work in the yard on Saturday. I got the ants baited, the grass fed, some weeds pulled, the trees pruned, some new plants in pots, and a part of the sprinkler system fixed (all by myself, thank you). There is still much to be done--I haven't sprayed the weeds b/c it was too windy and there is still much weeding to be done in the back flowerbeds. But it was nice to get out and get a few things accomplished.

Derek had a great business trip to San Diego, and it's the last trip for about a month. He's glad to have some weekends at home for a change. I enjoyed a great visit with a friend on Saturday. She cooked me dinner in exchange for me helping her with some music she has to sing this week. Yesterday's studio recital was a success. Everyone sang beautifully, and it was well-attended by friends and family of several participants. I had a very short rehearsal for Secret Garden last night, which meant I was home really early and could finish up the laundry while catching up on a few shows on the DVR.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Way to Go

Congrats to my brother who made his first big drug bust last night. The suspect was in possession of 17 lbs of marijuana--that's a felony, folks. (I would post the picture, but I don't know if I can.) Way to go, David!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Recital


You are cordially invited to attend a studio recital presented by the students of Janette Williams-Tull

Sunday, May 20th

4:00 p.m.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A Summer

After much angst, I received no callback for Little Women. While I'm a little disappointed, I've now begun the list of things I want to do with my summer break, which could be quite a long break considering I have absolutely nothing once Secret Garden closes.

Derek has a mid-year sales meeting in Vegas in July, and he'd really like for me to go with him. Hmmm. That is a thought. He has to get more details & I have to check into cost, but I just might take him up on that.

I made a list of crafty things I wanted to accomplish in '07, so I will begin in earnest to get caught up on that to-do list. And naturally, there are the usual house things that can be done--yard work, cleaning, going through closets, reorganizing the garage, painting, etc.

Yep, this is going to be a nice respite from the usual crazy schedule that I keep. And I'm quite looking forward to it! Once again...a silver lining.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Productive Weekend...Mostly

What a nice weekend. Finally, we went a few days without rain...not that I'm complaining about all the rain we're having. It's great. But to see the sunshine after so many days of clouds, well, it's just nice. You'd think I'd spend the sunny days outside, but the funny thing is I spent all weekend inside. It was hot & muggy, for one thing. Plus, I had lots to keep me busy inside. But it was nice to have the shades open and not have to turn the lights on, too.

I spent the weekend catching up on laundry. I've said it a hundred times before, and I say it again--how on earth can two people have so much laundry?! I also spent quite a bit of time in the music room--preparing for my audition & working on Secret Garden music. While I didn't really do anything fun, it was definitely a productive weekend. My audition for Little Women went well, I thought. I did an impromptu read for Meg, though I really think everyone had to read for someone. Thus far, I haven't received a callback, and given that those auditions are tonight, I'm thinking I probably won't. But I still feel good about the audition even if I ultimately am not considered for a role. I certainly have enough to keep me busy and would welcome a summer break if I'm not cast. I might actually get caught up on my scrapbooking. So many projects....so little time.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Make Lemonade

Sometimes, things just have a way of working themselves out. The last few weeks I've been really working myself into a tizzy over learning two roles at once. I know I could do it, but I'm just a worrier--will I be able to do it...juggle the schedules, can I do it...keep two roles straight in my head, how do I do it...and have a life, blah, blah, blah. Last night, I had that weight lifted off my shoulders. I've been bumped to understudy for the role of Sarah in Guys and Dolls. While I could sit and stew and be a sour lemon about it, I ultimately decided to "look on the bright side of life," to borrow a song title from Spamalot, and make lemonade of the whole thing. Thanks to getting bumped, I will now have a lighter schedule and more quality time to devote to my role as Claire in The Secret Garden, not to mention be able to spend more time at home. In this situation, I think I'm the winner. Blessings are always the silver lining, aren't they?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Another Weekend Upon Us

It's been a busy week, so I've been remiss in posting anything. And now another weekend is about to be upon us.

Had a very nice weekend. Friday night I had sushi with the neighbor. It's one of our favorite foods and neither of us had had it in a while. Then we came home and sat on the patio for the remainder of the evening since the weather was nice. Dori particularly enjoyed this b/c she got to play outside while Kelli & I chatted. I did, indeed, get the house all sparkling. It took me 8 full hours on Saturday. I didn't quite get finished with everything, but all of the parts of the house that a guest would see were definitely c-lean. I'll get the other spots this weekend.

Mom came over Sunday. We enjoyed a nice dinner at a Greek restaurant in Uptown--one that I have frequented. And then we headed to the music hall. Overall, I would say that we were underwhelmed by Wicked. I know, shocking. Overall, I felt that the story dragged. And there were several songs that were just downright too long or altogether superfluous. But all in all, the singers were fabulous, and my favorite songs are still my favorite songs particularly now that they have context. We were especially disappointed with some sound issues that made it difficult to understand the words of most of the songs. You would have sworn you were listening to a Russian opera. The dialogue was clear as a bell but as soon as anyone began to sing...total mush. Mom and I totally enjoyed ourselves on Monday though. We visited a scrapbook store that's been on our list for quite some time. We had a great time looking at every single thing in the store, and we both bought most of what we intended to. If we hadn't been rushed to get to things in the early evening, we would have marked every single thing off our lists. Then again, what fun would that be?! We have another trip planned for Memorial Day.

This week begins the marathon of rehearsals. Remember me saying I wouldn't double-book myself ever again? Yeah...well...I did. But sometimes, you have unexpected opportunities present themselves. And present themselves they did. As it stands right now, I should have some semblance of a weekend each week. So at least I'll have the opportunity to stay caught up on rest. Whether or not I can pull off two shows with simultaneous rehearsals? Well, that remains to be seen. I'm a little anxious at this point.

Saturday I have an audition for Little Women that will run the first part of August. I'm not as prepared as I would like to be. I prefer to take two pieces to an audition, even when I know there are scheduled call-backs. Why? Well, because you often find that you're asked to sing something else. But...the audition call only asked for one prepared piece so perhaps I won't get burned by not being prepared with two. I do still plan to finish learning the second piece. I actually already know it b/c it's one of my favorites; I simply don't have it committed to memory.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Ireland, Here We Come!

If you've scrolled down to the bottom of my blog recently, you may have noticed that I added a second countdown clock. What countdown clock? There's the one for the cruise that's basically visible all the time if you're in the habit of visiting any of the links in the sidebar or scrolling to look at the sidebar. If all you do is read the latest blog entry, you've likely missed one or both of the countdown clocks. And it's the bottom one that I'm about to tell you about.

Every few years, the Chorale takes a summer tour. I have only had the opportunity to go on one tour with them and had a blast. Mom was my touring buddy on that Austria tour b/c Derek couldn't go. And I couldn't go on the 2005 tour because it coincided with an anniversary cruise. In 2008, the Chorale's touring again--mom & I are going to Ireland! You'll probably hear a lot about the tour as we began saving in the "Ireland fund."

Friday, May 04, 2007

So Much To Do...So Little Time

It's been another wild week--not so much in scheduling but definitely in the weather department. In all of my years of living in Texas (and that's a long time, folks), I cannot recall a spring as active as this one. Is it because we now have better storm tracking abilities? The news is more interested in reporting it in a sensational way? Global warming is affecting weather patterns? Whatever it is...for the last month, we've had severe weather at least once each week. When I say severe, I mean wall clouds and tornadoes. This week, it was Wednesday. And I got stuck driving right in the middle of the worst part of the storm. Derek tried to convince me to skip choir, but as a paid singer, you can't really do that. I had kept an eye on things up until I had to leave home and thought I could get there before the worst of it hit the area I would be traveling...WRONG. But despite the blinding rain, hurricane-force winds, and serious flooding I encountered along the way, I made it to my intended destination safely.

Last night, I found out that I'm officially playing the role of Sarah in Irving Chorale's concert production of Guys and Dolls in May. While I've studied some of the music, I really haven't sunk my teeth into the role because (a) I wasn't sure I could sing the production at all and (b) I wasn't sure I would be cast as Sarah. So I've really put myself in a pickle b/c I have precisely twenty-two days before performance to learn my lines and my songs. I'm not worried so much about Sarah's songs. One I took to NATS so it's it in good shape. The others are familiar. However, Sarah has a lot of dialogue, and although this is a concert production, I really would like to do as much as possible off-book. This wouldn't be so difficult if I weren't also studying and rehearsing my role as Claire in The Secret Garden for RCT. Needless to say, the next twenty-two days will be "vewy intewesting," to borrow a phrase from Elmer Fudd.

It will be a busy weekend. Derek's gone to NYC on business, so I'm home alone. That means only one person will be home to accomplish all of the housework. Whah. If he had stayed home, I would leave him to all of the yardwork so I could focus solely on the interior, which is quite disgusting. But I have no plans until Sunday, so I will spend tonight and tomorrow doing as much as possible. I hope to have the house sparkling by noon tomorrow. I think that estimation is a little optimistic given the fact that I haven't done my usual serious cleaning in well over a month. So while I would ordinarily be able to do a serious cleaning in half a day, it will likely take me much longer to rid the house of all the dust bunnies, spider webs, dirt & grime. Plus, mom is coming to stay the night Sunday, so I would like the house to be guest-worthy. So...I may or may not get to the yard until next week. Meanwhile, the weeds are laughing gleefully as they proliferate in my flowerbeds, the fire ants are breathing a sigh of relief that they get a reprieve from poisoning for another week, and the grass is harrumphing that I'm not feeding it as scheduled.

Speaking of mom, we are super excited about Sunday. For Mother's Day last year, my brother and I bought her tickets to go see Dallas Summer Musicals' production of Wicked. (And I bought myself a ticket cashing in a gift certificate given to me by my attorneys for Secretaries' Day.) Why last year? Well, to get good seats, you had to buy tickets when they first went on sale...which was last spring. We have terrific seats on the very front row of the lower balcony. I've read nothing but great reviews for this particular show, so we are super excited to be going. Since it's such a late show (curtain is at 8 p.m.), we both took Monday off. So she's staying over, and we're planning to shop on Monday. Whoohoo!