Saturday, January 31, 2009


Today is Mom's birthday and I have mixed feelings - on one hand I am celebrating how well yesterday's surgery went - but on the other hand I feel awful that she is having to spend her special day in Intensive Care in terrible pain and with only some hastily drawn flowers and a birthday greeting on the nurse's wipe board to remind us that this is not just any other day. (Joey brought her some beautiful flowers yesterday but she can't have them in ICU.)

When I first got here this morning she was very groggy but as the day goes on she is talking more and even joking around with the nurses. She is also showing a lot of initiative, asking questions and moving herself around in bed. The doctor said that she shouldn't need any more surgery so I am praying that she will recover quickly and be released in the next couple of days. (She has been here since Monday!)

We'll just have to plan on making up for this birthday when she gets home!

(For those who don't know, Mom has diverticulosis and began bleeding on Sunday night. Monday morning she came in to the E.R. In the afternoon they admitted her to the hospital. Tuesday the bleeding was still so bad that she required a blood transfusion and that night she was moved to Intensive Care. Wednesday morning she had a procedure to try to stop the bleeding and when that failed she had surgery to remove the bleeding portion of the colon. Thursday it became clear that a section of the remaining colon was not doing well so Friday a second surgery was performed to remove that section of colon. There was a risk that her lower intestine would be so impaired that she would require a bag but the surgeon did an excellent job and it doesn't look like she will need one. Her white blood cell count is a little high and there is some fluid in her lungs but the docs say that is to be expected the day after surgery. So now we are praying for a speedy recovery.)

Sunday, January 25, 2009


I'm getting over a touch of something or other and it's left me utterly pooped! I'm sure looking forward to hitting the sack tonight. Not much to blog about at the moment but here are some recent kitty pics.

Piper and Jojo under the table.

Tory warily watching her arch-nemesis, Piper.

Friday, January 23, 2009

More Icicles...

Yup people, this is about as exciting as it gets for Ross and I these days - pictures of and with our homegrown icicles.

Honeymoon is Over

"President Obama on Friday is expected to lift a ban on federal funding for international groups that promote or perform abortions, reversing a policy of his predecessor, George W. Bush. Obama will sign the executive order one day after the 36th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion in all 50 states." (Fox News)

How could a man so sensitive to the rights of the prisoners at Guantanamo be so indifferent to the rights of innocent, unborn babies? It truly is mind boggling to me. So, in addition to funding another 825 billion dollar stimulus package, my tax dollars are also going to be used to kill unsuspecting babies all over the world. It's going to be a long four years.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Out the Window

I suspect the man-sized icicles say something about the quality of our insulation, lol!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Certain Slant of Light

There's a certain slant of light,
On winter afternoons
That oppresses, like the weight
Of cathedral tunes.

Heavenly hurt it gives us;
We can find no scar,
But internal difference
Where the meanings, are.

None may teach it anything,
'T is the seal, despair,
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the air.

When it comes, the landscape listens,
Shadows hold their breath;
When it goes, 't is like the distance
On the look of death.

-Emily Dickinson

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It's Cold!

I'm assuming that blogging has slowed down so much out there because blogging requires typing, which requires extending your arms, and you'd rather keep your arms tucked tightly at your sides where they are doing valuable work as insulation against the cold. Am I right?

Fortunately, I've got my layers going at the moment so I'm going to try to update my blog, quickly, before my fingers get stiff from the chill in the air.

The job search continues. Everyday Ross tells me about a new job in yet another city, never around here. It looks like the best case scenario at this point involves selling the house we just bought last February and moving away from family and friends. As much as I would hate to move, I am more afraid of staying here and trying to stick out a recession some are saying is going to last another year or two, waiting for a job that never materializes.

As I begin to come to terms with the fact that a move may be immanent I've started looking at my house differently - seeing the things that would be a turn-off to a potential buyers (oh, so many things!) and mentally sorting belongings into lists of stuff worth keeping and stuff I should never have bothered to move into this house in the first place.

The cooking thing is going pretty well. For the first time in my life I think I may be getting the recommended allowances of fish, fruits, whole grains and vegetables (not by any fault of my parents but just because I've always been such a fickle eater.) This has not translated into amazing weight loss (just the 5lbs I gained over the holidays) but I am feeling healthier and have even had some energy for exercise.

Thanks to the awful weather and my related Fibromyalgia issues we didn't make it to church this weekend :( We did, however, take advantage of the Willow Media Player and watched the sermon from home. Willow is doing a series called "Families at their Best" and it has really got Ross and I talking about what kind of family we want to build together.

Tomorrow they are predicting a high of 0 with a windchill of -30 here in Chicagoland. Not good for Fibromyalgia, but excellent for home improvement projects and snuggle time.

Friday, January 09, 2009

The Sacred Journey

I'm noticing I gravitate toward biographies and memoirs when life throws me a curve ball. Makes sense, I guess. When you are walking through the valley, what could be more comforting than the testimony of those who have gone before you? And since there really is nothing new under the sun it is impossible to open up a good biography and not see some of your own struggles and fears represented there. Right now I'm reading The Sacred Journey: A Memoir of Early Days by Frederick Buechner.

In the book, Buechner examines his childhood and young adult life looking for, listening for, God. Here is an excerpt from the intro:

"Life itself can be thought of as an alphabet by which God graciously makes known his presence and purpose and power among us. Like the Hebrew alphabet, the alphabet of grace has no vowels, and in that sense his words to us are always veiled, subtle, cryptic, so that it is left to us to delve their meaning, to fill in the vowels, for ourselves by means of all the faith and imagination we can muster. God speaks to us in such a way, presumably, not because he chooses to be obscure but because, unlike a dictionary word whose meaning is fixed, the meaning of an incarnate word is the meaning it has for the one it is spoken to, the meaning that becomes clear and effective in our lives only when we ferret it out for ourselves."

Good stuff.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

What's Up

How is everyone's 2009 going? So far mine has been eerily similar to the final weeks of 2008.

One change is that, with the holidays over, Ross has ratcheted up the job search. He's been spending a lot of time on the computer doing referrals, networking, sending out querries... This morning he came down from his office and asked cheerfully "how would you like to live in L.A.?" He might as well have asked me how I would like a stick in the eye. Apparently there is a technical artist's position open there. I know that in the this economy we will have to take what we can get - but Los Angeles? Anyway, I'm praying harder than ever that something will pop up here in Illinois or, our second choice, North Carolina.

Another change, one of my New Year's resolutions, is that I'm getting more intentional about cooking. Our budget and my waistline require more healthy, home cooked meals. I bought a book on clearance filled with low-cost recipes and am excited by all the yummy possibilities. However, the best thing to come out of the book hasn't been any particular recipe, but the conviction that planning ahead and not wasting ingredients or left overs are essential to eating on a budget. I know a lot of you are probably saying "duh" but this is a new concept for me!

Another one of my resolutions is to go to church more regularly. Our attendance was really spotty in 2008. I know from experience the joys and benefits of meeting weekly with a community of fellow strugglers to worship God and learn from his word and I can't afford to pass up on the blessings of being a committed part of a church in 2009. So far we're 1 and 0 for the season ;)

Saturday, January 03, 2009

The 11th Doctor

After a series of "specials" in 2009 Doctor Who is set to come back in 2010 with a full series and a new Doctor. Today the BBC announced that Matt Smith will be replacing David Tennant as the 900-something year old Timelord. Here in the US, if you've seen him at all, it was probably in the PBS broadcast of Ruby in the Smoke with Billie Piper.

New Doctor Actor is Youngest Ever

Who on Earth is Matt Smith?


Friday, January 02, 2009

What I Did on My Christmas Break

I took a vacation to Unreality for the holidays. My days have been filled with fantasy novels, soap operas, movies and even a video game here and there - a schmorgasbord of escapism. There were a couple of days that I only got dressed long enough to run to the bookstore and then promptly scuttled home with my purchases and jumped back into my pjs.

The time in la-la land has been lovely but I'm beginning to miss some things about the real world (like my family, and fresh air!) Tomorrow I resolve to get dressed before noon and by Monday I plan to have my head out of the clouds (at least as much as it ever is.)

Hope everyone had a wonderful New Years!

Ross has reminded me that Monday is Lord of the Rings, Extended Edition Marathon Day so I'll have to push back my return to reality until at least Tuesday.