Sunday, November 25, 2007

Lots of Family Updates

My brother's family moved to the Rochester, NY area in Aug. Xerox's headquarters are there and since he's still climbing the corporate ladder that's where he needed to be. With Patricia in Boston at MIT it was a good move for them. She's settled in well with a wonderful Christian roommate. Greg wrestled in high school and taught her some moves so Patricia won the jello wrestling competition at the beginning of the school year! (Sounds like something MIT would do, doesn't it?)

My sister purchased her first home, a townhome, and moved in the end of September. It's very nice with a pond and ducks just outside her back door. She was only about 5 minutes from work at her apartment and is not enjoying the 30 - 45 min. commute she has now. She periodically calls Richard for advice on fixing things that didn't get done before she moved in so she's learning all about being a homeowner.

Our niece Marie has announced her engagement. She and Adam will be getting married Oct. 4, 2008 in Dana Point. Adam is a surfer so they wanted something near the beach. They've picked a beautiful site and I know it will be a gorgeous wedding. In order to serve food at weddings in southern California you have to purchase all kinds of permits making the cost so much greater than it needs to be. Leave it to So. Cal. to get so ridiculous about it. She will have her RN by the end of May and he will have his PT license. They love the area so will live in Orange County someplace.

Our granddaughter Christine has also announced her engagement. She and Nathan have been together for about five years and will be getting married Aug. 16, 2008. She has her CNA and after working for a year at a nursing home will further her education. She wants to be a surgical nurse. Nathan has been working with his dad in a family business but wants to continue his education as well. They are planning their wedding at a chapel in Pigeon Forge, TN. It's a beautiful tourist area in the Smoky Mountains. It's also home to Dollywood.

My dad needs further surgery for his skin cancers. He has three spots on his face, two of which have already had radiation so that is no longer an option. One spot is deeply embedded which makes it a difficult surgery. We're having a hard time getting him to see the right people due to his HMO. The radiology oncologist wanted him to go to UCLA but that request was just denied. We're still exploring alternatives so are not exactly sure what or when or where.

Mom has a cyst on her foot that will need to be removed. She missed her appt. so will have to wait about two months for a new one! Don't we just love HMOs?

Dayna received a small promotion at work. She had applied for three others but management decided to go outside the company for those. She was really disappointed but she likes her boss and is settling in to her new position.

Chris was hired as a permanent employee of Raytheon. He pretty much named his own terms as they found out he was looking elsewhere! It's not that he didn't want to stay but they took such a long time making him a permanent offer that he wasn't sure of his future with them.

Deidra is now a high schooler! Math is definitely not her strong suit so she started going to Sylvan for tutoring this week. She has both algebra and chemistry this semester so really needs the added help. After only her second visit she was so excited that she understood it! They also found out how they can help her at home and school with her study habits. She studies and learns in a way that requires her to be more active than just passively sitting and studying. So the evaluation helped in more ways than one.

The past three years my cholesterol numbers have been steadily climbing. They were so high this year I was told I needed to see my PCP for further treatment. Richard and I got to talking about it, trying to figure out why they should be so high. I eat low fat, walk for exercise and take Omega III. It just doesn't make sense.

We started evaluating the medications I take. Other than vitamins all I take is glucosamine chondroitin. I did some research on the internet and found many who have reported a rise of 50 - 100 pts. in their cholesterol as a result of taking the supplement. There are no studies in the US but doctors in Denmark and Sweden have just begun some as so many of their patients have complained about this phenomenon. Several here have contacted the FDA with their results asking them to take a proactive look into.

Bottom line, I immediately took myself off of it and will go back in about a month for another lipid test. I'm sincerely praying this is the answer so I don't have to take medication for it. I ache without the glucosamine but it will be a small price to pay for better health.

Monday, November 19, 2007


Things have settled into a routine. We have taken care of some Dr. appointments, spent a little time with the kids and grandkids, and begun work on some of our projects.

The first project was to buy and install a new TV. We purchased a 40 inch 1080p LCD Sony Bravia. The model number is KDL-40V2500. It has some very good reviews and we are pleased with it. We bought it online for the lowest advertised price which was from Abe's of Maine. It was delivered in less than a week by a delivery company that specializes in shipping electronic equipment.

Mounting it was a big job. I made a solid door to replace the two doors over the computer workstation, and then mounted the TV on it. The door is made from 3/4 inch oak plywood that I trimmed in solid oak and then stained to match the rest of the wood in our home. I used decorative fence gate hinges to hang it on the wall so we still have access to the cupboards behind it. It is very solidly mounted to insure that it stays put when we travel. Today I finished running all the cables so that job is officially finished.

HDTV sure is great.  Unfortunately, my DirecTV receiver is only SD, but I am able to receive all the Dallas stations in digital HD.  I have been watching a lot more broadcast stuff than I have in years.  Fortunately one of the broadcast HD channels is PBS!

We removed the old 26 inch TV and plan to build storage shelves where it was. That will provide a place to store all the stuff we currently keep on the top shelf of the kitchen island and some of the things in the drawers below the stove. When complete we will then be able to build a drawer in place of top shelf in the island, and then remove two drawers under the stove top so we can install a new oven we plan to purchase this weekend. Plenty to keep me busy until Christmas or beyond!

Saturday evening  we went to dinner with the Jennings.  We went to a neat restaurant in Sanger called Babe's.  You choose either fried chicken, smoked chicken, chicken fried steak, chicken tenders or catfish for your meat and they serve everything else family style.  It was really good, and reasonably priced.  The motif is eclectic western.  The building is an old warehouse in a small town.  No two tables match and the music was a variety of 50's, 60's, 70's and country.  One of the country songs was going and I looked up to notice that it was not a record.  One of the waitresses was singing all the country numbers!  She sounded professional.  By the end of the evening she had done three numbers.  We found out she has tried out for American Idol but not been selected.  Another waitress from the same place was selected a couple years ago.  She was fantastic and we expect to see her make it big if she stays with it.  She was that good.

We will be spending Thanksgiving with Jennings, and probably Christmas too.  At this point we are planning to make a trip to Chattanooga over New Years so we can see Darin and his family.

There.  Now everyone knows what we have been doing and what our tentative plans for the next couple months are.