Sunday, May 31, 2009

Quick Recap

I'm finally feeling like blogging again. Things were crazy there for a few weeks and I just couldn't give energy to everything. So let's see if I can cover everything you've missed.
  • The recital went off without a hitch. It was well-attended with 60 or so in the audience, despite the fact that it was Memorial Day weekend. I won't tell you that everything was perfect b/c it never is, right? But I'm always amazed at how much more we grow vocally each year - or 6 mos., in this case. Whitney and I are so blessed to be employed at LHUMC with so many opportunities to spread our wings. 
  • You may have noticed the obituary I posted last week. Derek's grandmother has been in declining health for some time, but her passing was pretty unexpected. We had just received the news that she had pancreatic cancer. Within just a few short days, she had passed away. Despite the fact that Mamaw will be dearly missed, it was truly a blessing. She is now without pain - something she had not known in more than 15 yrs. The funeral was very nice, and I was pleased to be able to sing at the family's request.
  • We bought a new car this week. Derek has complained for several months that his Escape was not safe in bad weather. It was too light for windy days and simply wouldn't hold to the road on rainy days. Given how much he drives for work, this was not a good situation. Having only had the Escape for about 18 mos., we were obviously very upside down, even though I've been making extra payments for some time now. In the end, Derek's dad approached us about taking the truck from us. When it was all said and done, that's exactly what he did. And that's freed us from a third car payment and allowed us to replace the Escape with a Jetta TDI. A car? Yep. Surprisingly that thing has tons of interior room, and it gets awesome gas mileage (40+ mpg). The diesel engine should allow us to keep this car for 250k miles or better - a HUGE bonus (why didn't we think of this sooner??!).
  • We enjoyed time with friends last night for Derek's 4th annual birthday bash. It was a smaller group than in years past, but we had just as much fun. Thanks, Dan, for hosting the shindig this year. And a huge thanks to Bob for cookin' up some awesome mudbugs!
  • This afternoon, we're headed to N. Richland Hills for a family shindig to celebrate my cousin Scott's high school graduation. I CANNOT believe he is going off to college in the fall! I'm definitely feeling my age today. (Now I know how my uncle felt when I graduated high school (he was my age at the time).)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Open Letter

Dear Xerox:

Your products suck! Especially on days when I have high volumes of copies to make. Like today. On the last business day of the month. Paper should not jam Every. Effing. Time. A. Piece. Feeds. Through. The. Machine. !!!!!!

Again, I say, you suck!

The end

Things: Installment 21

Here's a fun one that I totally stole from my friend Daon. Let's talk about teeth. Aww, come on. It'll be fun!

Things about My Teeth
  • When I was 4, a boy was carrying me and dropped me. I fell smack on the ol' mouth and bit through my bottom lip and knocked one of my front teeth up into my gum. The tooth had to be pulled. As a result, my permanent tooth was "scarred" with lighter-colored enamel on the corner where the baby tooth jabbed it.
  • When I was 12, I had this light spot on my front tooth fixed. The dentist essentially ground a hole in my tooth and filled it in with matching fake stuff. Needless to say, tooth whitening will prove tricky for this tooth.
  • I sucked my thumb until I was about 6. What does this have to do with my teeth? Well, basically everything. As a result, I had a HORRIBLE overbite, amongst a few other dental issues. And I earned some pretty awful nicknames in grade school.
  • In 4th grade, I got braces.
  • In 5th grade, I got my headgear. And yes, I had to wear it to school. How else do you get in the requisite minimum of 18 hrs a day??! I wore the headgear for about 3 yrs but was able to give up wearing it to school at the end of 6th grade.
  • I got my braces off at the very beginning of 9th grade.
  • I have a hot pink, glow-in-the-dark retainer. Somewhere in my bathroom drawer. Nope, I do not wear it anymore. But I probably should. My teeth have started doing a little shifting.
  • My bottom retainer is permanent. Rather than gluing it to two teeth, mine is glued to five. Oh what fun it is to floss around that stupid thing!
  • I was a "test case" for my orthodontist. I believe he was seeking specialization certification from the American Board of Orthodontia. Anyway, I fit some type of profile he needed. We got a discount as a result. But it also meant he did some experimenting in my treatment. (See also the reference to my bottom retainer.)
  • I had all of my 12-yr molars pulled to make room for my wisdom teeth.
  • I saved all of my baby teeth. My dentist even gave me "tooth trunks" to keep them in. Unless mom threw them out, I'm pretty sure those trunks are still hanging around somewhere.
  • I had the same dentist from ages 6-31. I finally got a local dentist last year after my long-time dentist developed some serious health issues. It was about time to give up that 2+ hour drive anyway.
  • My current dentist is my s-i-l's sister. And I really love her practice. Everyone is so nice and the equipment is state-of-the-art. I highly recommend her if you are in need of a dentist!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pansy R. Crow (1919 - 2009)

Pansy Rebecca Crow, 89, passed quietly from this life Sunday, May 24, 2009, in Fort Worth.
Pansy was born Nov. 25, 1919, to Homer P. Hicks and Pearl Griffin in Lone Oak, Texas. She was the daughter of a farmer who instilled in her an excellent work ethic that she carried her entire life. After graduation from Lone Oak High School, she entered nursing at City County Hospital in Fort Worth, now John Peter Smith Hospital. She met I.C. Crow and they married in 1940. On Jan. 1, 1945, they opened I.C. Floor Service, which they operated together until I.C.'s death in 1982. She continued operating the business in partnership with her son and grandchildren until her health prohibited her active participation in the business at 83 years of age. She was a 50-year member of Polytechnic Chapter 420, Order of the Eastern Star. The Cowtown Posse Riding Club of Fort Worth was a large part of her life for many years, and she and her husband acquired many lifelong friends through their membership in the club. Pansy was a member of Southcliff Baptist Church. She retired to Covenant Place Assisted Living in 2005 where she made many friends. The family wishes to express a heartfelt thank-you to Covenant Place and her special friends for their support during the past four years. Words cannot express our gratitude to Dr. Tim Allen and the 5th floor staff at Huguley Hospital. We wish to particularly recognize Belinda at Community Hospice in Burleson for her understanding and care for our mother during her last days.
Pansy was preceded in death by her husband; daughter, Jackie Crow; her parents; four brothers; and two sisters. Survivors include: Son, Tom Crow and wife, Katie, of Fort Worth; daughters, Mickey Fox and husband, Derrell, of Cedar Hill; and Gayle Luck and husband, Randall, of Joshua; grandchildren, Jennifer Fletcher and husband, Scott, of Joshua; James Luck and wife, Mindy, of Mansfield; Derek Fox and wife, Susan, of Rowlett; Reagan Perez and husband, Roy, of Fort Worth; Koleen Bray and husband, Isaac, of Allen; and Ashley Tully and husband, Jon, of Fort Worth. She was blessed with 10 great-grandchildren; a special devoted niece, Peggy Decker; numerous nieces and nephews around the country; and a lifetime of friends.
Visitation: 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Greenwood Funeral Home
Funeral: 11:30 a.m. Wednesday in Greenwood Chapel
Interment: Mount Olivet Cemetery
Memorials: Polytechnic Chapter 420, Order of Eastern Star, 1429 Wilderness Trail, Weatherford, Texas 76058

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009

Things: Installment 20

How funny is it to think how far TV has come in the last 20 years? Things that were racy back then seem pretty doggone tame, don't they? Let's look at some of my faves from my childhood, shall we?

Things I Watched on TV in the '80s
  • Chips - Aw, who doesn't remember Paunch?!
  • TJ Hooker - William Shatner & Heather Locklear. What an interesting combo.
  • The Dukes of Hazard - Did you catch the reunion episode? It was surprisingly NOT disappointing! I still love watching the reruns on CMT. I, on the other hand, outright REFUSE to watch the movie remake - Jessica Simpson will never pass as Daisy Duke in my book (Daisy was not a trashy bimbo, thankyouverymuch)!!!!!!!!
  • The A-Team - I think we can all sing the theme song, can't we?
  • MacGyver - Who didn't fall in love with Richard Dean Anderson? Oh, and there were, of course, all the cool things you learned to do with duct tape!
  • Miami Vice - That Don Johnson, he looked pretty cool in that white suit!
  • Magnum PI - Tom Sellec always managed to get out of those sticky situations w/ the ladies! And the scenery wasn't too bad either. Didn't he live in Hawaii??
  • Dallas - *gasp* I know! Pretty scandalous to think I watched this show. I aspired to be Sue Ellen. How's that for funny?!
  • The Fall Guy - my brother & I used to watch this show when we were home in the summer. It came on in the middle of the day on UPN, I think. The bounty hunter always got the bad guy on the run.
  • Knight Rider - come on, we all loved Kit! The remake, however, sucked big bollocks! Glad it got cancelled.

What shows did you watch?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Friday, May 15, 2009

Things: Installment 19

I don't know about you, but I have a very eclectic taste in music. So let's just put it out there for all the world to see, shall we?

Things on my iPod: a small sampling from A to Z
  • Airs d'opéras Français by Natalie Dessay
  • Be Here by Keith Urban
  • Caedmon's Call by Caedmon's Call
  • Day & Age by The Killers
  • Evening of Song by Whitney Dewell, Susan Fox, and Ben Plocher
  • Frank Sinatra Sings Rodgers & Hart by Frank Sinatra
  • Get a Grip by Aerosmith
  • How Glory Goes by Audra McDonald
  • I Want Magic! by Renee Fleming
  • Jekyll & Hyde partial soundtrack
  • Lost Highway by Bon Jovi
  • Mozart for Meditation by various artists
  • New Day Has Come by Celine Dion
  • Paint the Sky with Stars by Enya
  • Richard Marx: Greatest Hits by Richard Marx
  • So Far So Good by Bryan Adams
  • Third Day by Third Day
  • Victor Hugo en musique by Wolff & Sam
  • When Harry Met Sally by Harry Connick Jr.
  • Zoot Suit Riot by Cherry Poppin' Daddies

Alright. Now that you've seen my all-over-the-map list of music, out with it. Go ahead. Don't be shy. Leave yours in the comments section. I'd love to see it! *grin*

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Radio Silence

Just so you don't wonder what happened to me, I'm stepping away from the blog for a bit. I have several Things posts scheduled to run over the coming weeks, so you won't be completely without some form of hilarious entertainment you've come to expect. Aren't you excited?! I'll pop back in soon. Promise!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Things: Installment 18

Since I tend to be a home-body, at least these days, I thought it would be fun to delve into Home for this week's Things. And away we go.

Things About Our House
  • We started the grand house hunt in February of 2003. Our landlord actually recommended our realtor, who we ended up liking a lot.
  • We looked at a LOT of houses in Coppell, where we were living at the time, before we took our realtor's lead and ventured further east. We didn't intend to build a house, but when we toured the brand new neighborhood we're now in, we fell in love with it - ideal location, nice houses, reasonable prices well within our budget, halfway between both sets of parents, not too far from work, and access to public transporation.
  • We broke ground on our house on April 5, 2003 and closed July 15, 2003. We couldn't have asked for better weather to build, which is why the process went so smoothly & was finished so quickly. We likewise had a terrific project foreman who took great care of us & met all of our requests to a T (well, except for the trees but whatever). We were on site every day, so nothing slipped by us (or by him b/c he knew we'd be checking in on the crew every day!).
  • It took the biggest moving truck U-Haul had plus four trucks and several cars to get us moved. Good lord we had a lot of big furniture and lots of junk! (And we've only added to the collection over the last 6 yrs. It would probably take three trucks now. LOL!)
  • Generally, the house is fairly clean on any given day. Nothing a quick run of the vacuum and stashing of the clutter wouldn't fix anyway. So I guess you could call it guest-ready on most days.
  • The closets and garage, on the other hand, are not visitor-approved. Peek in at your own risk - and I do mean risk of life & limb! They're on the to-do list this year (again).
  • Our fence has been half-stained the last 4 years (or so). My dad & brother started the project and Derek and I were supposed to finish. *ahem* Haven't exactly gotten around to it. We even have the 5 gal. of stain! *looks away rather embarrassed*
  • I also have five unopened gallons of interior paint that I bought the same time we bought the fence stain. *sigh*
  • Our last big house project was the back patio makeover. Next up on the list (um...aside from the fence staining & interior painting) is new flooring.
  • Speaking of projects with dad, he installed the chair rail in our formals, painted the guest room, helped us install our first patio extension, installed several of our ceiling fans, helped me install the tile backsplash in our kitchen, installed our dishwasher, amongst many other things on the honey-do list. He's quite handy!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

How 'Bout Some Edumacation?

I've had several people (and one faithful blog follower) ask me recently, "what the heck is celiac disease anyway?" So rather than answering you all individually, I thought we'd have a little lesson in biology today. The following information is from this website.

What is celiac disease?
Celiac disease is a digestive disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. People who have celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten, a protein in wheat, rye, and barley. Gluten is found mainly in foods but may also be found in everyday products such as medicines, vitamins, and lip balms. When people with celiac disease eat foods or use products containing gluten, their immune system responds by damaging or destroying villi—the tiny, fingerlike protrusions lining the small intestine. Villi normally allow nutrients from food to be absorbed through the walls of the small intestine into the bloodstream. Without healthy villi, a person becomes malnourished, no matter how much food one eats. Celiac disease is both a disease of malabsorption—meaning nutrients are not absorbed properly—and an abnormal immune reaction to gluten. Celiac disease is also known as celiac sprue, nontropical sprue, and gluten-sensitive enteropathy. Celiac disease is genetic, meaning it runs in families. Sometimes the disease is triggered—or becomes active for the first time—after surgery, pregnancy, childbirth, viral infection, or severe emotional stress.

What are the symptoms of celiac disease?
Symptoms of celiac disease vary from person to person. Symptoms may occur in the digestive system or in other parts of the body. Digestive symptoms are more common in infants and young children and may include
  • abdominal bloating and pain
  • chronic diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • constipation
  • pale, foul-smelling, or fatty stool
  • weight loss

Irritability is another common symptom in children. Malabsorption of nutrients during the years when nutrition is critical to a child’s normal growth and development can result in other problems such as failure to thrive in infants, delayed growth and short stature, delayed puberty, and dental enamel defects of the permanent teeth.

Adults are less likely to have digestive symptoms and may instead have one or more of the following:

  • unexplained iron-deficiency anemia
  • fatigue
  • bone or joint pain
  • arthritis
  • bone loss or osteoporosis
  • depression or anxiety
  • tingling numbness in the hands and feet
  • seizures
  • missed menstrual periods
  • infertility or recurrent miscarriage
  • canker sores inside the mouth
  • an itchy skin rash called dermatitis herpetiformis

People with celiac disease may have no symptoms but can still develop complications of the disease over time. Long-term complications include malnutrition—which can lead to anemia, osteoporosis, and miscarriage, among other problems—liver diseases, and cancers of the intestine.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Good News for Starbucks Fans

Good news for all you celiacs out there. Starbucks has released its first gluten-free muffin to rave reviews from customers! Read more about it here.

Reduced to This?!

You: Have she run out of things to talk about? So that now she's forced to post comics rather than interesting tidbits?

Me: Pretty much. But, in my defense, there have been so many good ones lately! Seriously! Like this one on Bizarro's blog today:

I find this comic humorous for a number of reasons.

  1. We often joke about our dear tabby cat, Adda, who is a bit round around the middle. By all measurements, she's not technically overweight. No really. Even the vet says so. We often say that she's been "put together by committee" b/c she has an itty bitty head and the rump of a Maine Coon, which basically means that "she's got some birthin' hips." And she seldom puts herself in positions that are particularly flattering. (If I think about it, I'll rummage around & post an example pic. We definitely have some!)
  2. We all have our "trouble spots." Mine would be my hips. No matter what, they're always gonna be a bit on the wide side. And that's okay. At least I have a little shape, ya know? Still, it's funny to get to poke fun at those little areas once in a while. I'm just engineered to look "hippy." (No, not hippie! Lord knows I'd never qualify as a hippie. Well, except for the aversion to shaving the ol' legs. But that's just laziness. TMI, yes? LOL!!) =)
  3. Have you ever noticed that men's polo shirts have horizontal stripes and aren't made to tuck in? Which naturally accentuates those qualities that they most often like to hide, like that extra donut they had for breakfast .... every day for the last year or that biggie fry they've been getting with lunch twice a week for some time now. Just something interesting I've observed in the myriad of polos hanging on Derek's side of the closet - not a single one has vertical stripes!

So am I the only one who thinks the gag in this comic is funny??

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Did you know that Cinco de Mayo actually has no significance whatsoever in Mexico?? Nope. It's a totally made-up American holiday. Bring on the 'ritas!

So is it me or did the weekend just fly by? I looked up & it was Monday. And I thought to myself, "WTH! Where'd my weekend go??" Seriously. And it's not like there was that much going on either.

Did I mention last week that Derek & I both finally joined the gym? We did. We've been talking about it for a long while but hadn't actually gone & done it until this week. You get a free fitness assessment & session w/ a personal trainer as a perk for joining the club. I had mine on Friday. Wow. Am I sore. But I did enjoy it & ultimately decided that we'll both benefit from having a personal trainer. Lord knows neither of us will torture ourselves into shape! *wink* I have my first real session this afternoon. I hate to think what a real session will be like! LOL

We had dinner with some of the neighbors on Friday night and then stayed up (much past my bedtime) playing karaoke on the 360. I had an earlyish morning rehearsal with my recital accompanist on Saturday. It wasn't too bad, though it would have been much better had I not sung those crazy low pop songs the night before! LOL I had a studio workshop on Sunday afternoon that I'd forgotten about & was thus not well prepared for. But it also went surprisingly well. Otherwise, about the only thing we accomplished this weekend was keeping our heads above water. (But our patio was dry!) Was that rain not crazy???!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Open Letter

Dear Wal-Mart,

Oh, how I love thee b/c you are so cheap & have almost everything I need on my monthly grocery lists. But today, you really suck! Why would you think it a good idea to restock all of your shelves on a very busy Saturday at noon???? Surely you must know that everyone and their dog comes to visit you on Saturday at lunchtime?! I don't mind dealing with your stockers when I come to your store early on the weekends. In fact, I expect to navigate your aisles around them anytime before 7:30 a.m. But when I decide, rather stupidly in hindsight, that a trip is warranted midday on a Saturday, I do not expect to see your friendly(ish) stockers in the aisles. It's hard enough to navigate around the myriad of idiots - all or some of whom are likely carrying on a conversation with a phantom on the other end of their wireless earpieces and at decibels likely to deafen the dead - & their screaming rugrats on a busy weekend! But now I must contend with shelf stockers too??? My dearest, Wal-Mart, I'm afraid that you've gone too far!

Most sincerely,

P.S. At least the checker was (sort of) friendly ... once her conversation with checker #2 was interrupted.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Things: Installment 17

So....last week's post kinda sucked, right? Perhaps this one will make up for it. I didn't join a sorority in college. Despite the fact that there was little else to do in C-town. Biggest reason? Been there, done that. In high school, no less. I can't tell you everything about it. Else I'd have to kill you. *wink*

Things about the Hi-King Klub
  • The Hi-King Klub, or HKK for short, was formed by a group of young ladies as a hiking/social/philanthropic club more than 50 yrs ago.
  • Membership is by invitation only and with express parental permission.
  • Until you're fully initiated, you're called a Scum. (By the end of the week, you smell like scum. That's for sure!)
  • Initiation is also known as "Hell Week." Each day of initiation has a theme, like Baby Night or Farm Day, and these events are open to the public. Crowd participation (i.e. jeering & cheering) is highly encouraged. Only one night during initiation week is private: Initiation Night.
  • Scums are responsible for raising money for a chosen charity and will do all manner of things to get donations from the crowd, like eat raw eggs, do a skit, or sing a Scum Song to name a few. (My hair has never been shinier, by the way. And I learned that raw eggs aren't so bad so long as you don't break the yolk on the way down!)
  • There is a general set of rules you must abide by lest you face a) punishment or b) banishment from the club. For example, you cannot shave your legs for the entire week of initiation, and you must wear a specified "uniform" to school and to each evening's activities. Banishment only occurs if you break the rules of secrecy or do something to tarnish the integrity of the club or yourself. (And it does not happen often.)
  • Assuming you make it through initiation, you're inducted into the club your junior year as a Little Sister at Presentation - a big, expensive formal affair to which you must be escorted by a cute, tuxedoed guy and wear a fancy dress. You graduate to Big Sister your senior year and get your official club jacket.
  • As a club member, you participate in many community activities, like canned food drives and charity fundraising. We also fundraised to cover costs of Presentation.
  • HKK is a sisterhood. It taught me a lot about myself. I have great memories that I'll always cherish, and I learned some life lessons that have proved invaluable over the years.