Monday, November 24, 2008

La Bella

Today is Elizabeth, my youngest sister's birthday. She's 22 and she also had her dental school interview. She said it went pretty well, so say a prayer.

Yay 93.9!!

I know it is early in the season, but the radio station 93.9 has started playing Christmas songs 24 hours a day.

It is one of the big things I look forward to every Christmas season. I love hearing all the different songs and different versions of the classics. I was driving to lunch today and one of my very favorites came on "Dominic the Donkey," I love it.

Listening to the music really gets me in the mood for all the rest of the holiday traditions, decorating, buying and wrapping presents, making cookies, shopping. It really is the only kind of shopping I enjoy.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Two years and loads of memories

About a month ago, Nathan and I celebrated our second anniversary and I thought I would post about some of the interesting or comical things that have happened since we got married.

Ten doughnuts

We have lived in Tinley Park since we got married and go home to DeKalb County quite frequently. We used to take back roads so we didn't have to deal with tolls and one of the roads skirts the community of Minooka. There is a kind of strange Citgo there that we used to stop at for gas and a driving break. We did so one fall afternoon and Nathan went in while I stayed in the car. He came back out with a white paper bag.

Me: What's in the bag?
N: Doughnuts. (He handed me the bag)
Me: How many are in there?
N: Ten.
Me: You bought ten doughnuts?!
N: They were fifty cents. (Not individually, fifty cents all together)
Me: You bought ten doughnuts?!
N: They were fifty cents!

We went to a wedding of friends of his at a very upscale restaurant and hotel in Naperville. We sat down at dinner and each table had a basket of bread and a plate of butters which were in flower forms. We were sitting down and I was talking to someone sitting next to me when I turned to look at Nathan who had a flower-butter halfway to his mouth.

Me: Don't eat the butter, Dear.
N: (Looking sheepishly) I thought it was chocolate.

One evening it was 12:30 a.m. and I was actually about to fall asleep, in that little place between sleeping and not sleeping, when Nathan said, "Honey, when was the heyday of pirates?" We had not been talking about pirates, we had not been watching anything about pirates. Pirates came totally out of the blue. My response was "What?"

Monday, November 17, 2008


This is one of the little things I learned not long after I got married. Nathan's first action, upon coming home is to take his socks off...and leave them where he is standing. This was annoying, but I was willing to mostly let it go. I usually end up picking them up out of habit later in the evening.

What I noticed later on, and bothers me a bit more, is his absolute nonchalance about whose socks he is wearing. It wouldn't be such a big problem if his ankles and legs weren't at least twice as big as mine. He has worn out the elastic on many of my socks and I have recently threatened to have my sister embroider his name on all his socks. (By the way, in the picture, those are my socks.)

He says he does this because I put the socks in different drawers (which is true, they go where there is space for them) and he doesn't have time in the morning to fish his out, so he grabs what he can. To facilitate his wearing his own socks, I went through the two dressers in our bedroom, there is another in the computer room, but that is all his clothes anyway, and pulled his socks out, piling them on top. I hope this helps him find his own socks.

I hope there's no driving in Heaven.

Not only do I hate driving, I hate cars and everything to do with them. On my way in to work today, my little red neon lost its power steering. Not that big of a deal, except that it meant I had to turn the wheel really hard. At lunch, I went to Target to see if I could add power steering fluid and fix the problem.

It took me about five minutes to find the power steering fluid and then as I was taking the cap off the reservoir in the car, it slipped out of my fingers and fell down into the engine compartment, getting stuck.

I have a very generous 45-minute lunch break, that at this point, was slipping away from me. I called into work and told them I would be back late, then, at Nathan's suggestion, went back into Target to buy something long and slender, with which to knock the cap out of the car onto the ground. I found camping forks.

It took quite a while because at first I just knocked the cap farther down so it was resting on the axle. Then a nice gentleman stopped and asked if he could help. After a few more minutes fighting with the cap, I finally knocked it onto the ground and he pushed my car back for me so I could get the cap.

An afternoon of phone calls followed, trying to figure out what to do about the car. In the end I drove it to our mechanic in DeKalb where my in-laws (whom I love) picked me up and drove me to Pecatonica (which is pronounced how it looks) where I borrowed my grandmother's car. I did not return home until 9:38.

I sincerely hope that when I make it to Heaven, there is no driving.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


February sixth to eighth is the Love Is Murder writer's conference in Chicago. It is the very first writing conference I will be attending. I just registered for it today. I'm a little nervous, it means I have to have the book in top shape by then and I still have a ways to go with it. But I'm part of a very supportive and honest writer's group who have helped me immensely and are the ones who encouraged me to attend the conference.


The real danger of jumping is that it doesn't always work. Invariably, at least once, you will end up falling flat on your face. And recently, though it may be for the best, Nathan and I had a bit of a crash landing.

The house we were going to buy needs a little too much work for it to be a feasible option for us right now. Apart from the roof and windows that we knew would need to be replaced if not this year, then in the next couple of years, the furnace needs to be replaced this year.

My little car, which I got free from a family member when I was a senior in college is not in very good shape and will also likely have to be replaced in the next few years. On top of the down payment, this is just a little too much money up front for us right now.

While this is a sad development, we both really wanted to live in that house, it also frees us up for another of our goals. We will probably be able to adopt sometime this year or next. I'm a little concerned that no one will want us because we will be living in an apartment or townhouse, but I'm still optomistic. Ideally we would still like to be living in DeKalb County near family, but right now we're just excited at the prospect of beginning the adoption process.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

On the Couch

I hate calling in sick to work. I hate it even more when it's the day before my actual sick days kick in. However, I don't have much of a choice today, I have to go to the doctor.

Waiting to call the doctor at noon I noticed something. If you've taken the day off work you are far more likely to watch something on TV you would never watch regularly. For example, I watched that horrible Tim Allen movie "Jungle 2 Jungle."

I don't know why, probably just because it was on and I was afraid of what else might be on.

It was as awful as I had always imagined.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Penny for the Guy

In all the post-election saddness, I forgot to wish everyone a happy Guy Fawkes Day. This occasion would have passed completely unnoticed if, by chance, Nathan and I hadn't watched one of my favorite movies the other day "V for Vendetta," which deals heavily with the Guy Fawkes story.

Guy Fawkes was a 16th century Englishman who, along with Robert Catesby intended to blow up the English parliament in the Gunpowder Plot. Guy Fawkes Day is more commonly known as Bonfire Night when in commemoration of the plot's failure, bonfires and fireworks are lit in England. The phrase "Penny for the Guy" comes from the old tradition of children asking for money with which to purchase fireworks for the celebration.

So to all, Happy belated-Guy Fawkes Day.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Family secrets

My parents were always straight with me. They never tried to hide or sugar-coat anything. I was always told when I had to go to the doctor's or the hosptial. I was always allowed to express my feelings about it and they did their best to make me feel better.

The older I get the gladder I am they did things this way. I don't think tricking children into going to the doctor, or surprising them with it is very good for them. Plus, after each appointment or hospital stay I always got a treat, be it a meal out or a new book. That always made things go better!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


To say the least, last night's election didn't go quite the way I wanted. I really wanted this to be an angry post about how this country just elected a lying (lawyer) crook (Illinois politician).

But I have been annoyed all day by a little (tiny little) feeling of enthusiasm at the back of my mind. I imagine it is because we are all ready for a breath of fresh air after President Bush. If you really want to change things, Mr. Obama, and you really want to be my president, let's see you really change things.

Change the culture of death in this country: don't encourage death related bills: no partial birth abortion (I would say repeal Roe vs. Wade, but I won't ask too much of you just yet), no "right to die," and no death penalty.

Make your changes with vigilant respect of this country's history and principles.

All in all, my first conclave was way more exciting and productive than the first presidential election I've ever voted in. And I didn't even have a say in the conclave.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

So proud of me...

For the second time in my adult life, I have successfully secured a referral for myself to go to a pediatric cardiologist. I didn't even have to go to an adult cardiologist this time to get a letter. My records themselves were sufficient. Maybe they'll stop questioning me all together now...a girl can dream.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Thumbellina Foundation

My parents were young when I was born and hadn't dealt with anything that would have prepared them to deal with my health up until that point. Everything they know, they learned by trial and error.

They also didn't have a great deal of money and already had my brother to take care of. It is mostly because of them, and because of the great lack of attention that I have witnessed towards congenital heart defects that I would like to start the Thumbellina Foundation. It is my idea of a non-profit agency that helps congenital cardiac defect patients and their parents at all ages and stages of their conditions.

It is named not for the Thumbellina story, but for a doll I have always had that I used to take to the hospital when I went. The only problem is, I have no idea how to start a non-profit and what to do once it is started. So for now it is just my idea...I have great hopes for it one day.

A Triumph

I have actually, successfully knitted a scarf. It's a small feat, and I didn't even get around to putting fringe or tassles on it, but I don't know how. I was just happy I could knit a scarf and have it come out looking as nice as this one did.

This is Anne, my middle sister, modeling it. It is half white and half green because those were the two colors I bought and I was not quite adventurous enough to knit stripes.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Oh Mine Papa

I was very distressed after Pope John Paul II died that I hadn't made more of an effort while he was alive to get to know him. I suppose it almost makes sense, I was only in college when he died and only just coming to know myself as a Catholic.

But I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't make that mistake again. To that end, I have just finished reading "Milestones" by Pope Benedict XVI. As stern and aloof as he may seem in public, his memoirs were suprisingly warm and witty. They were interesting from a historical standpoint as an account of a child's life at the beginning of the Nazi regime in 1933, when young Joseph Ratzinger was 6 years old. He served a short term in the military and was put in a POW camp by the American liberators. After that his religious and seminary work began in earnest.

The theological sections of the work are a bit dense to wade through, but they also can be charming and surprising. If you want to know more about His Holiness, I recommend you read this book. The work of a life is often dictated in how a youth is spent