Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Thursday Thirteen

 Getting to Know Me, brought to you by the letter B.

1. Baptized - I was baptized a long time ago at the First United Methodist Church of Humble. My twins were also baptized there when they were three months old.

2. Bells - I used to have quite an extensive collection of bells. Pretty bells, a sterling bell that belonged to my grandmother, a bell my dad bought me, angel bells, a replica of the Liberty Bell, and bell made of cranberry glass, and so on. I don't know why I quit collecting them or why I only kept a few of them.

3. Betrayal - I've had a few of these in my life. I don't want to talk about them, but I believe they shape who we are and how we perceive the world around us.

4. Beverage - My favorite beverage is Coca-Cola Classic.
5. Blood - I don't give blood. There was a period in my life when I was having to give blood so frequently that my veins collapsed. In fact, I collapsed, just passed out, when I was having my blood drawn once not too long ago. It just freaks me out now.

6. Bologna - I ate a lot of bologna when I was a kid... until I got sick after eating a bologna and mayo sandwich and drinking a cream soda. I wouldn't eat bologna for a long time after that, but I do now. I'm the only person in my family that eats it.

7. Bones - I've had two broken bones in my life. When I was about 18 months old, my dad tucked me into bed too tightly (not a crib, but a big double bed). In the process of kicking off the covers, I fell out of bead and broke my collar bone on the metal bed frame. I also broke my wrist doing a back handspring when I was in 8th grade.

8. Books - I love books! I just finished The Crossing by Michael Connelly and I'm halfway through Deadly by Julie Chibbaro.

9. Brains - I consider myself a "smart girl." I don't know it all, though I sometimes pretend I do, but I know more than enough. I respect myself for my brains.

10.  Bible - I find peace in reading my Bible each day.  Last year I read the One Year Bible.  This year, I'm reading the One Year Chronological Bible.  It makes so much more sense when the events are presented in chronological order.

11. Brown - The color of my eyes (which I always wished were blue).

12. Bruise - Poke me on the arm, and I'll get a bruise. I've always bruised easily, but I'm not sure why.

13. Bubble Bath - I love a long soak in a hot, bubbly bath.
Visit more Thursday 13 here.

Brought to you by the letter C

C is for Cousins!

According to Wikipedia,  cousin is a relative with whom a person shares one or more common ancestors. 

My sweet aunt Mary passed away this Sunday, and I'm distraught.  She was my dad's last remaining living sibling.  This opens up a whole new can of sadness for me.

However, there is some good that comes out of it.  I get to see my COUSINS.  They live a whole state away, and we don't see each other as often as we would like.  So, I took a day and a half off work, and my dear husband drove me to Arkansas so that I could be there for them.  Here are some scenes from when I last say my cousins in 2005.

I love them so much!

Linking up with ABC Wednesday

Monday, January 25, 2016

Random Tuesday and Coffee Chat

Time for a Random Tuesday post with Stacy.

Last Thursday, I wrote about my sister having shingles and about getting the shingles vaccine.  Well, I did it.  And doesn't it just figure?  I would be in the group that not only has all of the "normal" side effects, but also some of the rare ones.  The injection created a square patch of bumps, sort of reddish and sort of yellowish in color about 3 inches by 1 1/2 inches.  The center was a knot.  The redness spread, without bumps, to most of the rest of my upper arm, and it was itchy.  Redness, swelling, headache, achy muscles, and joint pain.  But hopefully, it will prevent shingles and the nerve damage that sometimes comes with it.

So, my sweet mother-in-law had to go to the hospital Sunday.  She'd had a cold, and she was having trouble breathing. They were supposed to keep her overnight, but she improved quite well and was allowed to go home.  I wasn't able to visit her while she was there due to my recent shingles vaccine.  She has a weak immune systems from her previous cancer.Thankfully, she is back home now.

And to top it off, my aunt died Sunday morning.  I'm leaving town today to go to Arkansas with my husband.  It's a long drive but he doesn't mind driving too much, whereas I fall asleep at the wheel.  The road hypnotizes me.  My sister can't go  (shingles), and my mom doesn't feel like she can make that long drive up one day and back the next, but there is just no way I can NOT go.

See, my dad passed away about ten years ago.  I don't think I've really gone through all the stages of grief yet.  My aunt that just passed is the last surviving sibling, and she was always my favorite aunt and my dad's favorite sister.  I loved her so much.  She was the sweetest lady, beautiful both inside and out, and she always cared for my dad and us.  My dad's family name is completely gone now as none of his male siblings had male children, and neither did he.  And with the last sibling gone now, I just feel an emptiness.

I have always wished I lived closer to my cousins.  Both my mom and my sister are about an hour away, but my in-laws are closer.  Do you live near relatives?

And now it's time for Coffee Chat.

Our dear host at Ink Interrupted asks us ...

Do you have a personal theme song?  Have you thought about picking one each year;  much like how blogs choose One Word?  

I've thought about having a "theme song" before, but I can never settle on one song.  So, I used this link that our hostess posted, and here is my result:

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Thursday Thirteen

I found out my sister has shingles, so I am going to get the shingles vaccine.  I used to say, "I'll take my chances," because the cost is so high and is often not covered by insurance.  Now it's hit close to home, and I am willing to pay to prevent this condition. Consider this a public service announcement.

1.  Shingles is a virus  that is already in your body if you have ever had chicken pox.  It lies dormant in your body and will reemerge in 1 out of 3 people causing shingles.  Not good odds.
2.  The reason it resurfaces is unclear, but it may have something to do with age and/or a weakened immune system.
3.  A person with shingles is contagious to anyone who is not immune to the chicken pox virus until the shingles sores begin to crust over.  If the virus is passed to anyone who hasn't had chicken pox, they would get chicken pox, not shingles.
4.  The virus can only be spread by direct contact with open sores.
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5.  The symptoms include pain,  a red rash that turns into fluid-filled blisters that eventually dry up and crust over, and itching.
6. Other symptoms can include sensitivity to touch, burning, numbness, tingling, fever, headache, sensitivity to light, and fatigue.
7.  The rash often develops as a path of blisters that wraps around the torso.
8.  It often occurs on the face, neck, and hands as well.
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9.  Anyone who has had chicken pox can get shingles, but it is more common and more serious in people over age 50.  People who have HIV or cancer, are receiving cancer treatments, or people who are taking anti-rejection drugs are at increased risk.
10. One of the complications is postherpetic neuralgia, damage to nerve fibers with severe pain long after the sores are gone.
11. Shingles can also cause eye infections which may lead to vision loss and bacterial skin infections.
12. In extreme cases, shingles can lead to encephalitis, facial paralysis, or hearing and balance problems.
13.  There is no cure, but there are treatments available to speed recovery and prevent complications.  There are anti-viral drugs that can be prescribed, pain relievers, and topical creams that can help ease the symptoms.
Vaccine Finder
I am going to get vaccinated because I would much rather prevent the virus from attacking me than have to deal with the rash, pain, and possible complications.  Thank you to the Mayo Clinic for providing so much information.

Link up with Thursday Thirteen!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Random Tuesday

It's time for another round of Random Tuesday with Stacy.
What's your random?

My daughter left for England last Wednesday, so it's been a week.  I'm used to not seeing her daily or even weekly, but usually at least twice during a semester.  That isn't going to happen this semester unless I take a trip "across the pond" to see my dear one.  Can I make it happen?  To see this face?  You bet I can!

She got to see Willie from Duck Dynasty at the airport.  She thought that was pretty cool.

Do any of you have any experience with overseas travel?  How many days do I need in a row in order to make it worth its while?  My husband actually has relatives in England, so we probably wouldn't even need a hotel, at least not for every night.  Any suggestions or thoughts?

So my darling is calling this lovely place home for the next four months.  The college owns two Victorian houses that they use as dorms for the study abroad students.

Each house has four floors, and each floor has a kitchen, bathroom, and 2-4 bedrooms.  She is living in the basement room which looks out onto the back garden.  She has one roommate and two other floor mates.  They share a bathroom and kitchen, the four of them.  And she likes her new roommate. I don't believe they had ever met before the started this study abroad together, but I'm sure they'll be great friends for a long time to come. They have each class together except for one.  Built-in study buddies!
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As for me, I sat in a boring "Professional Development" today.  I learned... absolutely nothing. The sessions didn't provide what they were advertised to teach.  Typical.  I would MUCH rather have been teaching, but the students were off for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  I think teachers should have been off school, too.

Oh!  I get to go on another scrapbook weekend pretty soon.  I'm excited.  It's about a three hour drive from here to Temple, Texas.  It's call Rockin R Retreats.  You should check it out!  Pretty nice!

And I have officially watched all ten seasons of Criminal Minds in the last 7 months.  Are the regular episodes the 11th season, or is it just not out on Netflix yet?  I'll have to find out.  I LOVE this show!  What would you recommend I watch next?  I've seen every Law & Order,  L&O SVU, Breaking Bad, Lost, and a few others.  I need some entertainment!  LOL Suggestions?

How about I watch a few cute cat videos like this one?

Have a great week, everyone!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Thursday Thirteen

My daughter left today to go to England to study at Oxford.  She will be there the entire semester at St. Hugh's College.  I've been helping her prepare by doing some research about the United Kingdom.  It's been so fun!  But I am going to miss her dearly.  So as not to waste some of the intriguing bits of information I have learned, this Thursday Thirteen is dedicated to our friends "across the pond."
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1.  Brighton, England had the first "naturalist" beach in the UK.  (Yes, that means nude.)  It is called Cliff Beach.

2.  Like the US, England has a budget deficit.

3.  Oxford University is the oldest university in the English-speaking world.  The university is made up of 44 colleges.

4.  St Hugh's College was founded in 1886.  It is one of the largest colleges at Oxford.
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5.  Another thing they have in common with the US is that immigration is one of the top five concerns of UK residents.

6.  A flight from London to Rome costs approximately 177 US dollars and takes about 2 and 1/2 hours.

7.  One US dollar is worth 69 pence (.69, like cents). One British pound is equal to $1.44 in US money.  The UK does not use the Euro like some other European countries.

8.  The "chunnel" connects England to France.  The trip of 30 miles across the English Channel took 90 minutes by ferry ride, but now that the tunnel is built, it only takes 35 minutes to get to France.  The tunnel, which opened in 1994, goes under the English Channel (hence the name "chunnel").
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9.Some grocery stores charge a fee for the plastic bags that shoppers put vegetables in.

10.Like the US, drunk driving is unacceptable; unlike the US, the drinking age in the UK is 18, and drinking at lunch is common; Certain bars and restaurants will serve beer, wine, or cider to kids aged 16 and 17 if they are at a table with someone over 18.

11.College sports are fairly unimportant in the UK unlike the US,

12.  The Tube (subway) from London to Oxford or Oxford to London is about an hour and a half trip.

13.  My daughter got to see 'Willie from Duck Dynasty at the DFW Airport, so her trip is off to a good start!

Thursday Thirteen

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Friday Confessions

I'm linking up with Aubrey, host of Friday Confessional.  Confession is good for the soul.

I confess...
My daughter is leaving for England soon, and I am a bundle of mixed emotions!  She is going with about 30 other students from her university to study in Oxford for the entire spring semester.  I wanted to go see her during spring break, but she won't be there.  That is when they will take an out-of-country trip to Italy, Spain, Greece, or even Germany.

I confess...
This girl is lucky to have this opportunity.  It was through the generosity of friends and family that she earned enough money to go, and to her own credit, her application was accepted.  She is missing one of her good friend's weddings, but this trip is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Oxford University, the oldest University in the World, is actually made up of many colleges.

I confess...
I am afraid.  Will she be safe?  What if she gets sick?  What if a disaster strikes while she is over there?  How will I know she's safe?

I confess...
My heart aches.  It's been so difficult having her a day's drive away.  How am I going to survive having her half the world away with a six-hour time difference?  I talk to her about once a week when she is up at college, and sometimes we skype, and both of us are easy to reach via text any time of the day, but in the UK, not so, not so.  I have never gone four months without seeing my kids ever! Granted, they're not kids anymore.  They're 19 (twins).  Luckily her brother will still be living here for this next semester.

And I confess...
I have no idea what I'm going to do when they're BOTH gone!

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Random Tuesday

I had good intentions about starting this new year on the right foot!  Eating healthier, fostering family relationships, spending time in the Word, improving my prayer life and church attendance, getting more organized (for example, my closet)... Things have been going well at work, so that wasn't really on my radar as an area that needed improvement UNTIL
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The first day back to work, yesterday, was a professional learning day for teachers.  I was all set to give a presentation on blogging (can you believe it?).  I worked very hard on the presentation itself and the steps to create and go live with a blog on the platform my district uses.
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AND I OVERSLEPT!  I'm so ashamed!  I basically woke up at the time I was to start presenting. I had to forgo my normal morning routine, and thankfully I live fairly close to work, but I missed about half of my own presentation.  And wouldn't you know it?  My desktop nor my tablet would work, and I had to use someone else's tablet which, thankfully, I was able to connect to my projector.

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 Ah, well, the only thing I can do is just move on. I am hoping and praying that this is not a trend for 2016,  Perhaps it was just a fluke.  I'll wake up early and get to work on time for the rest of the year.  Riiiiiiight.

Join Stacy for some randomness today!

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Purging the Closet

I've seen this simple tip many times, but Connie from Family Home and Life said it well.

Suggestion:  Put all your clothing hangers backwards in your closet once a year, then after you wear an item of clothing, hang them back the right way, forward. After a year, throw out all the clothing items that are still backwards because you haven't worn them.

What better time to start than the beginning of the new year?  This is my closet.  I've turned my hangars backward, and anything I don't wear will be donated at the end of the year.  Great idea!

I may not set resolutions, but I sure do set goals!

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Happy New Year!

How did you celebrate New Year's Eve this year?  Did you go to a party of some kind?  A game?  A parade?  The movies?  Or did you stay home and watch New Year's Rockin' Eve? Or movies? Or a local celebration?  Or perhaps you had family over to play cards or games?

Whatever the case may be, I am wishing you and your friends and family a healthy, happy, safe 2016!


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