Saturday, August 29, 2009

This is Incredible

My first thought was that this is just incredible. My second was that Jacob would probably love it. :) Happy Birthday Jacob!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Avalyn

Avalyn Grace born August 24, 2009 @ 7:53 p.m.
5 lbs. 8 ozs.
19 inches long

Avalyn and Auntie Dee:

Monday, August 17, 2009

Day by Day (A.D.D. Alert - rambling again)

It's been an odd week. I have meant to post another segment in the Creation Northwest saga, but every time I start I decide to wait a bit. So, it hasn't been done. And I'm behind on the rest of my life. I mean that from a blogging perspective, but it seems pretty accurate all around. LOL

So, here is just a little recap from a few things that have been happening this week. I can tell how excited everyone is -- just look at all those happy people dancing with joy.

On Monday of last week, my daughter had her OB appt. and I always meet her there.
She doesn't really want me there when she has the exam, so I spend most of the time waiting in the waiting area. Last Monday she was 2.5 cm dilated and 80% effaced. Yesterday she had another appointment, and she is now 3 cm and 90% effaced. Translated, for the pregnancy illiterate, Avalyn Grace is about to fall out (to use my daughter's words.) She is very, very close. After today's appointment I wondered aloud as to why I was there, jokingly, and my daughter quipped back, "At least you are the first to know." LOL After the appointment today, we went to Arby's for lunch. I had a French Dip with no cheese. I think I recall reading they weren't too bad fat-wise, especially without cheese, but I've been afraid to look again in case I'm wrong. Trying to stay lower fat and eat out is a challenge.

I've had a few dental appointments this week as well. Three fillings down and a consultation to go. The consultation is with a dentist in the same office about how to handle cavities that are at the base of a root canal tooth, especially one that is part of a bridge. I had a crown put on a tooth last week, and paid half down. If the latest bill is correct, I only owe about $25 so far. I think I can live with that. I am very glad I bought supplemental dental coverage this year.

Thursday night, I consoled myself for missing Rookie of the Year at The Avalon. IT made me feel bad that I couldn't go since it was Ryan's birthday. I don't know him all that well, but between his facebook, myspace and a mutual friend, I kinda, sorta do, but not really. LOL Anyway, maybe next time. They seem to have a knack for coming on days I can't make it. With Bethany so close to delivery, I kinda grounded myself from shows for a few weeks at least.

Saturday, I went to a show called Momedy (music and comedy). I went to hear a young lady with a beautiful voice by the name of Emme Packer. IT was pretty close to my daughter's place, so I felt rather safe. My new Canon 50D came earlier in the week, so I took it along to try it out. The pics were not as sharp as I had hoped, but I guess with the higher resolution, it seems like they sharpen up a bit better in Photoshop. Anyway, I think Emme liked the pics. I'm still trying to figure out the settings on the camera. I finally got the date set tonight at least.

At any rate, I enjoyed the show, met up with a friend who worked in the coffee shop there, and tried some Red tea (rooibos) drink that tasted a little cinnamony/almost chocolately. I had a "brain freeze" because it was the texture of a thick milkshake.
I'm pretty sure it wasn't on my diet, but I substitued soy for dairy, and honey for sugar, so hopefully it was a little better. It was tasty, I must admit.

Sunday morning I went to church, of course. I met a new couple there who were sitting behind me, the pastor preached on 1 Peter and I was able to sing in Spanish and English. We have an Spanish-speaking congregation meeting with us. Rather than just rent them out the building, it was decided that they would ordain their pastor, and we would meet together for a month or two. After that time they will have a service at a later time of day. We have a translater, and the worship choruses are sung in English/Spanish at the same time, while the singers alternate the language. Sometimes I sing in Spanish, sometimes English. It's probably good for me.

Afterwards, I was able to get tickets to see Nick Vujicic for September 13. He is going to be speaking at the LDS Salt Lake Tabernacle. (It's free, but requires a ticket.) I not only got tickets for myself, but I think my neighbors may come as well. IT should be fun. I have one extra to give away now.

When I finally headed out towards the car, I ran into Michelle who was talking to the pastor's wife. She used to go to church there, but moved to Japan. She was visiting in Colorado, and actually came up to see us! How cool is that? It was so great to see her and get to chat!! :) I also had pics on my Zune from Relay for Life, so I was trying to find a few people who I thought would want to see the pics.
I ended up in the portables where there was a flurry of activity preparing for VBS.
I ended up helping to cut things out. I enjoyed the company.

Anyway, today started out on a good note. Mollie the dog has been whining... I get up with not quite enough sleep, to find that she has left a really ugly, messy and smelly present on her pillow. I needed to be at daughter's appointment, so I didn't really have time. I cleaned up as best I could. I made it to the appointment, barely. Poor Mollie is sick today. She is banished to the bathroom, and she's not happy about it. I've been taking her out lots, and trying to pay attention, but she is not a happy camper. Hopefully she will be better tomorrow. I don't relish a visit to the vet.

After my daughter's doctor appointment, we went over to Wal Mart and picked up a few things. I bought an 8 gig CF card. I figure with the baby coming and a new camera with almost twice as many megapixels, I needed a humongous card. LOL She picked up some food items and a tooth brush, and I bought a cantaloupe and some lunchmeat, among other things. I forgot about the lunchmeat.. so now it is no good. :(

I also realized that I was going to see if they wanted to use puppets for VBS, and I just now remembered. I used to have a good memory... once upon a time.

OH, yea, where was I again?

Tomorrow, dentist consultation.
Wednesday, back to work.
Saturday, my daughter Dee comes for a visit

Pray for me, I need it. I'm not ready. LOL

Friday, August 14, 2009

Stepping on Toes

Since this has come up in a few conversations:

I don't supposed more inclusion of government into medical services particularly, but my recommendation would be to take "end of life" out of the bill and just say medical consultations. Are end of life issues more important than the other life issues raised in the article and that physicians deal with daily?

Of course, that raises another concern, should it be a family doctor that does the consultation or legal/counseling professionals trained and well versed in the ins and outs of those issues? After all, doctors are not usually trained counselors and these consultations often result in legally binding decisions. Do I think this end of life care should be discussed with one's physician? Absolutely, after someone has done their own personal research and has decided what they want to do (getting professional help if they can or want to have professional assistance.) Their provider can answer medical questions as part of their routine care and they should play a part, but should this be a "paid consultation on end of life issues?" I've not met a doctor yet that wouldn't answer genuine medical questions during an office visit. However, they are not counselors or lawyers, nor should we pay them to be.

I think when funds get low, money will play a part in medical care and ultimately will play a part with regards to end of life issues. It does now to some extent. Just curious how long it will be before someone will be able to have palliative care paid for by "Uncle Sam", but if they want to stay alive and fight, they will have to foot the bill when such care is determined to be too "costly." I think this is a major concern, especially with those of us who are not kids anymore. Can this be an issue with insurance? Absolutely. Does nationalizing health care resolve this issue? Absolutely not.

This is one problem with government funding - the definitions get changed, and I think that is one thing that makes people who've been around a while just a little bit leery. Some people think that the "death panel" concept is ridiculous and perhaps they have a valid point. The fact is, however, that government run health care by necessity starts defining and redefining the terms of practice. In it's attempt to remain neutral, it rarely is. I recall being involved in an issue regarding AFP screening a while back in California and ran into an old friend on the opposite side of the issue. She supported mandating that the screening be offered and I didn't. She had a son with Spina Bifida. She thought I raised a few valid concerns regarding the state mandated brochure. Not long after she posted some frustration with her son being denied certain care because of his disability. This sort of thing is not uncommon, really. Perhaps we don't like it, but it's reality.

I was doing some searching on the net last night, and there was an MSN video on people in LA overwhelming a charitable organization providing medical care and citing it as evidence as people needing government subsidized health care. The example they gave was a single mom getting dental care for her daughter who had a bad tooth that ultimately was pulled. She had insurance, but the deductible was $2000. The problem is that government health care now cannot seem to afford root canals and crowns now so pulling teeth is what they will do. There will still be a disparity in care. There is no perfect system. There is no system where people will not fall into the cracks. The government is not the solution. Charity may be - I mean real charity - the sort that involves getting involved with others.
I think the orginazation providing medical care has the right idea. If they come here and it's even remotely feasible, I'll be down there helping out. Even so, the story didn't go far enough. It didn't give any stats on who was utilizing the care. Wouldn't you try to get free care if you could? I know many times there were things I wanted I couldn't get that a lot of people had that weren't really necessities. Certainly we weren't rich, so I'm sure I could have justified easily taking advantage of free clinics so I could afford something else. We like free things. LOL But in realtiy, nothing is really free.

The bottom line, whether it is governmentally run, or privately run, is ultimately paying for it all. Nothing is really free, except salvation, and even that cost Jesus his life.

And now I've probably stepped on a few toes.

God's blessings,

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Creation Book III

Thursday morning I was up early again before my phone alarm went off. I got my things organized for the days events and figured out for sure where I wanted to be at what time, but had resigned myself to perhaps seeing Kutless from a long distance in the evening. I was really excited to see Esterlyn at the Fringe stage (2 p.m), as well as Stellar Kart. I was debating whether to stay and see Stellar Kart or head for the main stage so I could get closer for Kutless, et al. Obviously, I opted to stay for Stellar Kart.

I had some bubble gum for Luke (of Esterlyn) and some Lemonheads for Joel, so I hoped to try and catch them early so I wouldn't have to carry them around long. Not long after I arrived, I saw Luke, but I waited as he was on the phone. I saw him several times and he was so focused, he didn't even see me. Finally, I spotted Joel and gave him the gum and lemonheads.

The first band to play the Fringe Stage on Thursday, was a band called Emsely. I believe they were local, and they had won a contest to play there. They weren't bad, but they hadn't really been playing together live all that long, so there were things that needed improvement. I'd like to hear them in another year if they all stay together.

Next up was a band called We As Human. They were pretty good. I was sure I had some great shots.

Finally, it was time for Esterlyn (at 2 p.m.) and I was excited to hear them play. It had been a while. :) I was front and center and totally enjoyed their set. I was sure I had some great pics.

Then I asked if someone could keep an eye on a few of my things and my spot by the stage to go and talk to Luke, et al., and get a photo taken. I went through the line quickly and talked to everyone. Then I ended up buying a really cool light blue Esterlyn tee with a penguin on it. I chatted a bit more, had a photo taken, chatted until they were almost done packing up. Then I headed back to the stage. Stellar Kart, et al, were setting up and getting ready to play. I took photos the whole time. Once Stellar Kart took the stage, they pretty much "hit the ground running" so to speak. They were very animated, and the vocals were good. They did a few movie covers. They asked the audience which cover they should do from a Tom Hanks movie. I shouted That Thing You Do, but they didn't hear me. Then they finally said they guessed no one had heard of it, and I rolled my eyes. Anyway, they then proceeded to play the song even faster than the original. IT was very fast. LOL They also played a sped up, more masculine version of "A Whole New World." The whole set was a lot of fun and at one point one of the guys come out into the crowd. I really enjoyed it. Afterwards, I went to buy their cd, and got in line for autographs. I talked briefly with them and moved on and waited to get a pic. Someone volunteered to take a pic for me with them, and she took 2. As I was walking away, I noticed that the pic was only a fuzzy close up of me, and some how the band wasn't even in the photo. Something got messed up somewhere. I was told to just get back in line, but shortly after they ended up having to leave with most of the line still waiting. I was kinda bummed, but it was still all good. :) I thought I had some great pics of them onstage. I had noticed that some of the pics had a greenish hue to them, but didn't yet realize how green or I would have looked for reasons. I did notice later that it was only the photos on manual settings (most of them.)

I can't recall the exact point in time between Esterlyn and Stellar Kart, but I believe it was after Stellar Kart, that I spotted Justin (lead singer) from We As Human at their merch table and started a conversation. I noticed that he had books and bracelets for the "Hands and Feet Project" which is something I support, and got pretty excited about it. He was pretty excited about it as well. Anyway, I totally loved talking to Justin. I bought the book and bracelet, and then felt kinda bad as I was out of cash for a cd.

At any rate, by the time I headed back towards the main stage Disciple was halfway through their set which I could listen to in the background, and was sure I wouldn't be able to get anywhere decent in the pit for the mainstage shows in the evening. When I arrived Family Force 5 had just started, so I watched them through my camera lens, snapping away from a long distance, and took photos of the crowd & scenery. FF5 is a lot of fun. :) I noticed at the end of FF5's set that a good part of the crowd was leaving, so I decided to take a chance and head down towards the stage. I saw two other girls have the same thought as me at the same time. LOL

I actually was able to get to the barricade on the very far right. At that part of the barricade, I barely reach and have to stand on my toes a lot. LOL But it wasn't a bad view. Brian Doerkson led worship and then Greg Laurie spoke. Just shortly after Brian Doerkson started with worship, I noticed the pics were really green and started to try and figure out the reason. Apparently somehow the white balance was changed. Oh well, most of the pics still look good in black & white. After Greg Laurie, it was time for Kutless. By then a few people had stepped back with friends or had left, so I was a little closer. Kutless was really quite good, and they did a more acoustic set that I loved as well. Most of the pics were not terribly sharp, but I got one or two that were passable. Maybe I shouldn't be so picky. LOL

There was some good worship time in there as well, especially when it was time for
Casting Crowns. By then, I had moved up just a little more and had a pretty good view. I can never remember Melody's husband's name (probably because I call him Melody's husband - his fault - that's what he called himself the first time I met him. LOL) I was standing in front of Melody's husband. Casting Crowns was pretty amazing, really. By the end of the night, I was pretty exhausted, though. I picked up a little trash, although not so much as in prior years, and then headed up the hill. Normally I stop at the late night cafe, but I didn't this time. I just wanted to find my tent before the lights went out and get some sleep, hopefully.

It still took me a little bit to see my car and tent, but at least I found the road easily this time, and I made it back before lights out. I put some batteries in the charger and checked my cooler. I had put dry ice in one of the coolers, in hopes things would keep longer, and it was reasonably cold still. I took out some turkey lunchmeat and ate a small piece. The packaging seemed cold enough, but the meat was kinda borderline, so I decided I'd better just toss the rest to be safe. In hindsight, I'm sorry I ate the small piece.

But I was fine for the time being and I prepared for bed, and tried as best I could to get a few hours of sleep. Tomorrow was another busy day.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Creation Book II

So far, my day had been trying, but I was happy to be at the barricade. I had hoped to be on the left side of the stage, so that I could at least attempt a few pics of Jonathan Chu with Skillet later in the evening, but it just didn't happen for me. I was on the far right. Still, I can't complain about at least making it that far. LOL
I did get one good shot of Jonathan, but noticed a huge smudge on the lens, so it looks rather interesting. LOL

It was a bit of a wait, and it was definitely hot, but as was the case during a lot of Creation this year, there was a small bit of a breeze now and then. The breeze was really nice while it lasted. After the long wait, it was finally time for things to begin. Prayers were said, and Remedy Drive was the first band on the stage. I had just listen to a few songs before. I liked them, but hadn't totally followed up. I'd heard good things about their live performance. The good things were all true. They were completely amazing live, and I even was able to get a few good photos surprisingly enough.

Afterwards, the schedule says there was worship, but I can't recall who led it for certain, mostly because things get so jumbled on my crappy hard drive of a brain. I just need a key word and it would probably all come back to me.
Then Bob Lenz spoke, and I think he had a bullseye on me. At one point he talked about being a complainer. After my day, I was definitely feeling like that is what I wanted to do - complain. LOL I am a complainer sometimes. I don't like to officially complain unless I have some ideas on a solution, but I know how to complain with the best of them. LOL You have gotta love Bob - there's just something extraordinarily special about him, probably the love of Christ. :)

Hawk Nelson was up next, and I was looking forward to it. Jason is always a lot of fun. I had hoped to get a few good pics for Brittany (from Montana) and was sad that she couldn't be there due to work. I also told her that if I saw Jason I would say "hello" for her, although I didn't expect that I'd have that chance. Hawk Nelson put on a great show as they always do. There were a lot of really huge fans there, including a couple of gals that I waited at the gate with. They tried unsuccessfully to get someone to go to the merch table and get a kazoo for them before the gates and merch tent opened. LOL It was just as well, as they did not play "Hello". Their set went by quickly, probably because it was so much fun.

After Hawk Nelson, the wait was on for Skillet. The set up took a bit, but it was well worth it. They came onstage and there was definitely a lot to see and take in. Not only did the music come on strong, but the set, lighting, risers, etc. were all pretty impressive. There were lots of fireworks, as well as steam, action, lighting, risers going up and down, and good music during their set. The did "The Older I Get" which is a favorite of mine.

I tried to get my purse from the other side of the barricade before the last song, but the guy in security didn't see it. They moved everything for a guy in a wheelchair to be on the other side of the barricade. I wanted him to be there (I suggested it to someone when it was mentioned that he was in the pit) but thought for sure they were going to stick him right in front of me (the short person. LOL) Don't you love those moments where you feel like a jerk for wanting to be able to see? At any rate, they managed to get him situated and I could see, but they moved my belongings to the left. Security guy tells me he will have to wait until the lights come up. So, I waited. I meant to get a copy of the set list and didn't so I was taking a photo of it, and I see my bag being handed to someone else; or thought I did.

I tried to say something, but wasn't heard. So I finished the pic, and went over to find out what was going on. My bag wasn't there. Now, this had all my credit cards, driver's license, money, etc. in it, so I was panicking a little, but not too much yet. The gal with security behind the barricade had me go back there to look - to no avail. So, I said my hello's to Jonathan and chatted a sec, and then I started to get concerned again. It hit me that if I didn't find it, I wasn't going to have a way to drive home. I wouldn't get far without fuel for one thing, and that usually requires paying for it. LOL The gal with security said someone took a bag to lost and found (what? I was standing right there and had been asking for my bag) and I thought it was a gal that took it (but later think she probably just handed it to someone else?)
At any rate, I didn't expect that a guy had it, so was doubting. I said something a little panicked about it having everything, and she said, "well, you put it over here" which upset me more and I was starting to cry at that point. (She is not a mean person, just wrong thing at wrong time on too little sleep.) I got a drink from first aid before I headed up the hill (I was feeling a little dehydrated at that point) and tried to pull my wits together. I trudged up the hill, and found "lost and found" and fortunately my purse was there. I started to cry. Then I thanked them profusely and headed back in to see if I could catch Hawk Nelson's acoustic set and video shoot. I thought I'd end up way in the back, but at the sides, the crowd was mostly hanging back a bit so I walked to the side not too far back in the crowd. Their acoustic set was amazing. You could really hear the harmonies well, and the harmonies were incredible! I tried to take a lot of pics, although there wasn't enough light for my camera. I really wanted my DSLR at that point. LOL

Afterwards, I waited at the side until I could catch Jason's attention and told him that Brittany and her mom said "Hello" (there are so many Brittany's I thought adding the mom part might help him know which one - I think I said from Montana, too, but can't recall for sure now.) Then I left and headed back to my tent. I ended up back at lost and found because I was lost. LOL I knew the general section I was in, but the paved road is set back, and I missed the junction somehow. The gal was so very nice that she walked back to the road with me, and we chatted. Then I headed for my tent and walked up and down the road until the lights went out, but I didn't see my car and tent. I had to say a few prayers, and was ready to drop at that point. Finally I spotted my car. It was set back a bit far (I think the other vehicles had moved up and so I just wasn't seeing it. I ate a small snack, made use of a Honey Bucket, then collapsed on my cot.

Morning would come early. I was excited for the next day, though. I was looking forward to seeing Esterlyn. I hoped the timing for everything would work out. As it is with the sun, you wake up earlier. I woke even before my phone alarm went off. I gathered my clean clothes, and headed for the showers. Everyone at Creation is probably quite grateful that I could shower. I'm sure I wouldn't have been too nice to stand next to. The wait wasn't too bad. The shower stall I chose ended up not working, and since I decided to wait a day before washing my hair, I thought I could try it. No such luck. It would have taken me all day, so I moved to another stall when it opened up. :) I was at the gates not too long after they opened up, and timing was working out well so far. I saw the gal from Lost and Found. She said she hoped I had a better day, and I said it could only go uphill from here on out. LOL

Thursday was a new day. :) And I was looking forward to it.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Another Day, Another Book?

Today was such a strange day, that it seemed natural take a deviation from my Creation/Switchfoot journal book to record yesterday's events into the annals of history. I still have yet to post anything regarding the weekends Relay for Life with the American Cancer Society. So, I will now compose books much like I read them, it seems - way further behind than I'd like to be and in the middle of more than one. LOL

Yesterday started out innocently enough. I got up, reluctantly, got dressed, and went to church. I was a few minutes late and arrived just at the tail end of the announcements. We have now doubled in size. There is an Hispanic church meeting with us. Apparently they were going to rent the facility, but the Pastor suggested instead that he train their pastor to be a Calvary Chapel pastor and ordain him and they could meet without charge. So the next few weeks we will be having all of the services translated into Spanish and eventually the Spanish speaking service will be held at a different time. It was really an interesting service. Josh, who just returned from Iraq talked about fellowship and what it meant (Acts 2:42) and he showed photos from Iraq in Iraq and talkd a little about what God was doing there.
Afterwords, I chatted with a few people, including Sylvio and Maria, although I did more listening than talking. Chris started a conversation with them about Mexico, and where they are from and the places she's been in Mexico. I have only been to Ensenada in the tourist area. There is a small possibility I could go to Mexico in September depending on the situation with my daughter and granddaughter (she's due anytime.)

After church, I came home and uploaded a few photos. Then I went upstairs to make me some lunch. I had half a sandwich made, and my husband decided he wanted to go and grab a burger. As it turned out, he wanted to look at a laptop at Best Buy. He has a laptop for work. I can't figure out why he wants a laptop, though. He doesn't really go anywhere. LOL We never did find the laptop in the ad he wanted to look at. All of the reps were busy with other customers, and my husband isn't terribly patient with such things, so we ended up leaving. He suggested Olive Garden, so we went to Olive Garden for lunch. I actually had something besides spaghetti. LOL There is an apricot chicken that was listed as low fat (probably not really low sugar, though?) and was dairy free, so I tried it. It was pretty good, actually.

After lunch, we headed for home. As we pulled up, I noticed that there were three guys standing around in our driveway having a conversation. My husband pulled up to the curb (he usually backs into the driveway that way) and I mentioned that it was our driveway. They were with the power company and wanted to use our driveway. I think my car was in their way. So my husband said he wanted to pull under the awning first, and he moved my car into the front yard. Then they went through an involved process of replacing a part at the top of the electrical wires. A guy on the other side of the street in a cherry picker did something on his side (disabled power - ours was quite obviously off during this time) and the guy in our driveway took off the broken part and replaced it. There wasn't really much else to do except stand there and watch and take a million pics with my cell phone. LOL While I was waiting, my daughter called and wanted to go to Wal Mart. I told her we'd have to wait until the power guys were done and she said it would be a little bit anyway.

Afterwards I went in and got my camera and took a few thistle photos. The air was pretty still until I got the camera. IT seems like that always happens. I do think I got a few interesting shots, but I need to try again without a breeze, if I can.

Then I came in the house, turned my computer back on and started uploading pics from the Relay for Life again. Before long, my daughter called and she had some bleeding, so I told her to call her doc and I was on my way over. I was about 3/4 of the way to her place when she sent me a message that it was probably just the plug and the doc said if it didn't stop of the baby didn't move to come in. It did stop, and the baby moved. So, we went to Wal Mart. By then it was after 6:30, so she just took me to a farewell get together for one of the ladies with my church at Boston's pizza. Most people had dessert, but I had a dinner salad and she had a Tuscan pizza. The pizza looked pretty good, actually. So did a lot of the desserts. I didn't have my camera, but I took a lot of pics with my cell, most of which turned out rather blurry.

Mountains on the way to Boston's:

Then we went back to Wal Mart (she had exchanged some items, but we didn't have time to shop yet)and finished up with a small bit of shopping. Then we went back to her place and put groceries away, and I cleaned out her litter box. Then I headed for home. Just as I was pulling out of the driveway, I noticed only one headlight. I hoped I could make it home without getting pulled over. No such luck. I was pulled over and now have a fix it ticket. :( Sigh.... I did finally make it home, though.

Then I came home and uploaded pics in between naps at my desk. LOL

And so ends another day in the life of... There is something to be said for nice, quiet, uneventful Sundays.

Peace out,