Wednesday, January 30, 2008

What is going on at Flickr?

Um, I just got a note on one of my Flickr pics from a guy asking me to comment on the size of his "meat". How do these freaks and weirdos find me? I had to block him. He had hundreds of contacts but only 3 of his own pictures. 2 of which were of him holding his, um, "meat". Gack!

Poor Bob. He went to the dentist today and found out that he has a pretty bad case of gum disease. Also, he needs 3 of his wisdom teeth pulled. Since it's been so long since his last dentist visit, they are cleaning his teeth in quadrants. Today they did the upper right side. His next appointment is on the 12th. They will clean 2 quadrants that day, leaving 1 quadrant for cleaning. They gave him a coupon for a SoniCare toothbrush. I am jealous. When we get our tax return, we will go and get him one.

Work is still crazy busy. The weather is still crazy cold. We are still planning on moving to Florida. That's about all that's going on from here.

Florida? Can you please hurry up and help me find a job?

This is the actual temp right now. Notice the windchill...that's what it feels like outside. I got dressed twice this morning. Once with my regular clothes and once to go outside. Just to walk from my house to my car and from my car to work I wore the following: Boots, winter coat, scarf, hat, and mittens. Usually I just wear my jacket...and usually not zipped up at that.

Here's the forecast for the next week:
You know it's bad when you look forward to a high that is STILL below the temp at which water freezes.

Friday, January 25, 2008

I Passed!

After much study, worry, and anxiety, I took the Property and Casualty licensing exam this morning and passed! I passed with a 72, so I just barely eked by. I was hoping I would either pass or fail spectacularly. There is nothing worse than failing just under the 70 mark. If I'd tested and ended up with a 69 or 68...well that would just irk me to no end. Thankfully that was not the case. Now I just have to apply for the actual license and if I so desired, I am now all licensed up with a Property/Casualty AND Life/Health license so I could sell insurance. However, I am not so sales inclined. My current job requires me to have the Life and Health license because I service annuity products. There are other jobs out in Big Bank Co land that require a P&C license, not because of sales but again, because of servicing. Anyway, right after the test, I called my brother-in-law and left a message on his voice mail to let him know he was off the hook because I passed.

I do have more observations about taking classes with the masses. First off, when the instructor says, "Please turn your cell phones off or to vibrate", that means everyone. Yes, even you! There were 2 guys sitting behind me who left their phones on and every time they got a text (which was at least 4 times an hour), their phone chimed. Also, we were given a 10 minute break every hour. Yet at every break, all the guys immediately pulled out their cell phones and began making/taking calls. What is so urgent that occured in the past 50 minutes that can't wait until lunch or after class? Also, there was one guy who texted during the entire class. Arg! Finally, what is the deal with guys having to back their cars into parking spaces? There were at least a dozen guys who held up the parking lot because instead of just pulling into a space, they pulled up and then backed up and swung around and then backed in. Is it really so hard to back out of a space? Really? Is it harder than backing into the space to begin with? Thank God I'm done with that. At least until we move and I have to do it all over again for another state.

Bob is doing OK. He's still not 100%. He is going to the bathroom more frequently and is losing some of the water weight. His legs, feet, and ankles are still puffy but not as bad as they were earlier in the week. His blood oxygen is still really (dangerously in my opinion) low in the morning but he is working on breathing more deeply and using oxygen when needed. The clinic called and they have him scheduled to see 2 specialists next Friday and 2 more specialists the Friday following. I already have permission to take half days both days in order to accompany him on those trips. I hope we find out something and that it isn't more of the same where they say, "Well, we see that you have these symptoms but we don't know why, what causes them, or really how to treat you." Bob hates that. Well, I don't love it, but I know doctors only know what they know. We are going to the University hospital which is also where the MDA clinic is, so maybe with everyone working together they will figure it out this time.

Florida stuff has been on the back burner but with February fast approaching, I need to get a move on the application process. I am compliling our tax info this weekend and setting up our tax appointment and after that, it's all Florida job information acquisition.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


I went to the place where I was to take my property and casualty license today. When I checked in, I gave my name and spelled it. The check-in chick said, "Oh! Just like your instructor!" I asked who that might be and when she told me, I about choked. My husband's brother was teaching my class! Freaky. At first it was a little weird but after about an hour, he just became my instructor, not my brother-in-law.

I have another class tomorrow but he's not teaching it, some other guy is. I'm not sure how I'll do on this test. I think now I should have scheduled the test for Saturday or Monday instead of first thing Friday morning. I don't think I allowed myself enough prep/study time. There are 2 seven and a half hour classes and then we should put another 7-10 hours of personal study time in as well and I am no where near having that much study time. Yipe!

Bob went to the doctor today. He was supposed to just have a physical but he's been struggling health-wise. He is exhibiting similar symptoms to a time about 3 or 4 years ago when he was actually hospitalized in ICU for breathing difficulties and extreme water weight gain. We were fairly sure that after seeing him, the doc would admit him to the hospital again today but that didn't happen. Instead, he took a bunch of blood, some x-rays, urine, and other tests. Then, he is working with other doctors in the clinic and is working on scheduling one day for all of the necessary physicians to see Bob. That way, Bob won't have to go to appointment after appointment, which is a good thing. In the meantime, the doc prescribed diuretics for him so he might be able to pee off some of that water weight. Also, Bob said if he feels like he is putting on more water weight and isn't feeling much better in the next day or two, he will admit himself to the hospital. That makes me feel better. Still, we don't have any answers right now. The doctor said that while he was very concerned, he didn't think it was a matter of life or death right now. I hope he's right.

When Bob gets this sick, I just worry. He jokes that with him gone and out of the way, I can marry a real man and have a real marriage. You don't even want to know how angry this makes me. If I were to lose him now, I'd probably just pack up and leave and start over somewhere where no one knows me and I don't have to really deal with anyone. Maybe become a hermit and live and work off the beach taking pictures of tourists for cash. Although I don't really know what I would do. I just hope I don't have to find out any time soon.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Graduation Open House

Little did I know when I scheduled the date for my graduation open house that it would be held on the coldest day of the year!
That's a minus sign in front of the 13. That was the actual air temp when I left our apartment to run a couple of last minute errands yesterday morning. It is also the same exact temp THIS morning when I left to go to the laundromat to do our laundry. Brrrrr.

So, the party. I invited probably nearly 150, planned food for roughly 100, and had 15 show up. I LOVED seeing the people that came but I was a little bummed. I knew it wasn't going to be as well-attended as I had hoped when I sent out the invites, but I was not prepared for as small a turn-out as I got. I ended up sending 2 meat and cheese trays, buns, and chips home with 2 different friends. I have nearly half a cake, meat, cheese, veggies, dips, and chips to bring to work tomorrow. We can't eat it all before it goes bad so it has to come to work with me. The next party I plan is definitely going to be a pot-luck.Anyway, I did have fun. An aunt and uncle I haven't seen in over 10 years stopped by. They met Bob for the first time and he loved them. I knew he would because this particular uncle is a character just like Bob.Another fun surprise was that a former college classmate of mine from the FIRST time I attended college in Sioux Falls showed up with his wife. I was trying to think of the last time I saw him and can't remember. I went back to the school in 1990 for what would have been my graduation had I not flunked out but I can't remember if he was there when I was there visiting. Otherwise it would have been in 1989.Other friends of mine showed up as well. My faithful prayer group women and a couple we know from our former church. Also, my former roommate and the maid of honor at our wedding. So, even though it wasn't well-attended, I got to visit a little more than I probably would have with those that did show.So what's ahead? Who knows. This week we have a new person starting at work so I will be involved in her training. I am also taking the class and the test necessary to get my property and casualty license this week. Bob has a doctor's appointment and I hope he is able to get some answers to some pressing health issues he's been experiencing. I also have another PT appointment tomorrow. Not to mention more job hunting in Florida via the internet.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Weather Graphics for Dummies

This is another reason we want to move to Florida. See the numbers on the top? Those would be our weekly highs. I like how they write “cold” on the graphic. As if we can’t look at the numbers and realize on our own that it’s cold.

I was tooling around Northern Florida real estate websites last night and am surprised at how much house (& land for that matter) you can get for the money in the panhandle. Plus a lot of it is situated between the gulf and a lovely state forest preserve. Now if only I could find a job to pay for a house/place to live. I am sending resumes, letters, and applications nearly daily and have yet to hear back from anyone. Not even a “no thank you”. We might end up resorting to our least liked plan and just move when our lease is up and look for work once we get there. There are plenty of employment agencies, so temping might not be out of the question for a while. The only fly in THAT ointment is insurance coverage. In fact, we are so set on moving to Florida that we are foregoing the Alaskan cruise and are using that money for the move. Thankfully it was Bob’s idea. I thought we could actually do both but Bob decided that he would rather live in warmth near the ocean at this time.

I spent the weekend recovering from the crud from last week. My eyes and nose watered nearly constantly. All weekend I had that particular tickle in my nose where it feels like I had to sneeze but never could. Most of Saturday was spent doing laundry and cleaning. After sitting around my apartment for 2 days I felt like a good cleaning was in order. I also found a good deal on humidifiers. I found a cool mist humidifier for $15 at our local Aldi. I put that in our living room. Then, while on a drug run to Walgreen’s, I found a warm mist humidifier on clearance for $10! I put that in our bedroom. I don’t know if Bob’s noticed a difference, but I sure have. The cats aren’t sneezing as much and we aren’t shocking one another with every touch.

Yesterday I was determined to get out of the house. I went to Kohl’s to take exchange a place setting of Fiestaware. I was given a place setting as a gift but it’s in a color that dominates our dishes. I wanted to get the newer green but this particular Kohl’s only have the red, orange, and yellow. So I got the yellow. I also found a 2-opening frame on sale so I picked that up to house my official graduation photos.

Once I left Kohl’s, Bob called and asked if I could pick up his prescription and I also had to pick up some new bird food and a couple of things at the grocery store. Once home, I started a roast in the crock pot and put everything else away. I ended up cutting the roast in half, shredding 1 half and using it for enchiladas. They turned out fabulous! The other half we will have for dinner tonight with mashed potatoes and gravy.

Tonight I have physical therapy. I was originally scheduled for 3 times a week, but it’s going so well that my PT said once a week for now is good. After next week we will re-evaluate. I don’t really like it, but whatever. As long as I don’t need surgery, it’s a good thing and I’ll endure.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


I have the crud. It started yesterday with sniffles and a not quite sore throat but a suspicious niggling ache. It got worse as I left work and went to the grocery store when I began to feel achey and my head stuffy. As I picked out eggs, mushrooms, bread, and meat I realized that though usually hungry at this time of day, I was not only NOT hungry but I was actually repulsed by the food around me. I checked out of the store, got home, put it all away, and fell on the couch. Bob knew I was sick the minute he saw me. He says he can see it in my eyes. They apparently look a certain way when I don't feel well. I was in bed and asleep by 7.
The symptoms of this crud seem to be, sore throat, full/stuffy head, chills, fever, sniffles/runny nose (oh man! I probably got it from that kid at the PT's office on Monday! Nice!), muscle aches, stuffy/achey ears, fatigue, and realistic pregnancy dreams. Well, maybe not that last one, but I dreamt a dream so startingly realistic in it's presentation, I woke up rubbing my belly and franticly trying to go into labor. (In the dream I was in labor but couldn't find the hospital in which to deliever the baby.) Oh, and I don't know if it's the crud or if it's all the juice I'm drinking to try and heal my sore throat, but I also have diaherria. Lovely.
I'm staying home today. I need to go back to bed now.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A Degree Comes in Handy...Who Knew?

I just applied for the perfect job for me.  It is for a public relations officer within the state of Florida environmental protection offices.  Basically every class I took towards getting my BS in Communications was training for this job.  I don’t know if they will seriously look at persons outside the state of Florida but I won’t know if I don’t try.  I was just so excited to see the posting and apply.  It’s in an area we hadn’t yet considered as it is more inland but is only 25-30 miles away from the coast.  So we could live near the coast and I could commute.  Not bad.

Today I told someone we were considering moving and their immediate reaction was, “Don’t you know how hot it gets there?” And my immediate reaction is, “Don’t you know how cold it gets here?”  And in regards to erratic weather, did anyone see the news that there were tornado touchdowns in Wisconsin last night?  That’s one state over…about 200 miles from me.  So we know from erratic weather.  We just think it would be nice to have erratic weather AND ocean access.

Did I write about my PT yesterday?  I think I did.  No more walking cast, stretching and strengthening exercises, checking in once more this week and twice next week and then a re-evaluation.  Did I tell you about the 12-13 year old boy I was about to kill while hanging out in the waiting room?  Seriously, this kid sniffled that wet, snarfly sniffle at 1-4 second intervals for 20 minutes!  I was about to jab the RX advertising office pens into my ears with the PT showed up.   Sheesh, we were in the waiting room of a medical building.  I’m sure there was a tissue somewhere nearby.

What is going on with the weekend of January 19th that almost all of my RSVP regrets are coming back with, “We hope you have a great party but we can’t come due to it’s XXX’s birthday that weekend and we are celebrating.”  Seriously, I have received nearly a dozen of these.  Were all my friends and /or their family members born on January 18th, 19th or 20th?  Weird.

Monday, January 07, 2008


Work was kind of crappy today. I ended up getting a lot done but personality clashes were frustrating today. Also, a co-worker announced that her daughter was pregnant and another's daughter JUST had a baby boy over the Christmas holiday. I can be happy for them but I still have a hard time not feeling sad and jealous.

Bob and I went to the Timberwolves game yesterday. It was on OK time. I'm not a huge basketball fan but there is enough going during the game to divert and hold my attention. Seriously, when did basketball become the sport of fans with ADD? There is constantly music playing, screens flashing, and the game. During time outs and quarter breaks there is entertainment. We saw the team dancers, a breakdance team, a magic act, a hoops contest, and other filler. It was kind of crazy. Our basketball team is an embarrassment right now. But we played the Mavericks and they had an amazing blond Adonis on their team that really played well. He was fun to watch. Not surprisingly we lost the game. I think the final score was 78-101.

I had physical therapy today. It went OK. My ankle is actually still a little swollen but is doing quite well. My range of motion isn't quite what it is on the right ankle but the therapist gave me some exercises to do and I go back on Wednesday for another evaluation. I also see her on Monday and from there we will reassess. I can also go without the boot though I'm to have it with me in case I get tired and need the support. I can also go back to driving my own car. Bob will be glad to have his van back.

I think I need to talk about why we are thinking/planning/desiring moving. Bob is in a wheelchair. He cannot walk or stand on his own for more than a few steps/minutes at a time. He definitely cannot stand or walk in snow or ice. He cannot move his wheelchair through unplowed or unshoveled snow which renders him housebound for a lot of the winter months. He is at his best health-wise when he an get outside in the sunshine for at least a half hour a day. When it's snowy and cold he does not get outside. We want to move to a sunnier, warmer place so his health can improve. Since he does not work, he needs a kind of place where he can get outside and maybe even find a ministry with which to volunteer.

We picked Florida because we have visited there often. We like it. We feel at home there. We also picked it because we both love and adore the ocean. There is nowhere better to find a home near the ocean in warmth and sun than Florida. The cost of living is better than California and my company has offices there. I am looking on our online job board and applying for openings there. If I get one of those, my insurance, 401K, pay, seniority, etc will transfer. If I don't get a job with my company, I have several other options open.

When I was 22, I moved out to the East coast and lived there 3 1/2 years. It wasn't easy. It wasn't the same. It wasn't what I was used to but I loved it and I did it. Bob has never lived anywhere but here and is a little more nervous about all of this than I am. I've done it before and know it can be done.

We don't have friends in Florida. Yet. We do have some family in one of the areas we are looking into and that would be nice. However Bob is not particularly close to his family and my family lives far enough away that I only see them about 4 times a year anyway. Both of us are friendly, outgoing people and make friends pretty easily. We are not worried about moving somewhere and making new friends.

As to the changing weather...well, we have that here too. The temp can be 95 degrees and in 30 minutes it can drop to 60. Or, in the case of last week, it can be as high as 20 one day and 40 the next. We have snow, ice, tornadoes, torrential rain and flooding, high winds, hail, sleet, etc. No matter where you live you have to contend with Mother Nature. We just want to live somewhere with warm weather near an ocean. Florida fits the bill for us.

Oh, I sent emails to some of the pastors of the churches I found online and one of them answered! He sent a lovely email and said he'd be praying for us. He also gave me his home phone number and said we could call him if we had more questions about the area, their church, or anything else. How nice.

Yeah, we've not worried.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Southern Churches

I haven't been writing much. I think it's partly because things are so busy at work and partly because a lot of what is going on with me and Bob right now is internal and not actual external events.

Work is still crazy. Thankfully, my boss is hiring someone on Tuesday. Still, that person will not be up to speed right away. Time will have to be spent training that person and helping them learn the ropes. Who knows how long that will take. There are also some issues my boss has brought to my attention and I am now being watched quite closely, so I've got to be on my game all day every day. I am doing several different jobs in addition to the job I was hired to do and in the past trying to get it all done on time made me a little sloppy. No more. If I get behind, I get behind and things will be done right. However, this also means that now when people ask me if I can help them with their workload, I am having to say no which seems to be kind of taking them aback. Oh well. I have to do what I have to do. Thankfully, Bob is a great listener and a good sounding board so I can share with him what's going on at work.

Operation Move to Florida is still in the discussion stages but seems to be in the forefront of both our minds. We agreed that we will talk, think, plan, and pray about the best way to move ahead. We are looking at cities/areas we would like to live in, be they on the Gulf Coast, the East Coast, North Florida, or South Florida. I have a road map of the state of Florida on our wall with the possible communities highlighted. Then I am going to church websites for those areas and looking for churches that might fit what we are looking for. This is proving to be an interesting exercise. I started looking in the Pensacola area and while there are HUNDREDS of churches, the majority of them seem to be quite conservative in nature.

Bob and I are looking for a church that is more interested in serving its community than itself, more interested in people than buildings, and more interested in outreach than in programs. We also like churches that are different from the norm. Maybe they have services at night, or meet in a movie theater, or welcome street people to join church festivities. I am not finding a lot of churches that are different. They all seem to be cut from the same cloth. They all seem to be wound kind of tight. They all meet on Sunday morning before 11am with Sunday School prior to the service. They all have a Sunday evening service as well as a Wednesday night prayer meeting. They all have programs for teens, kids, singles, adults but no real outright community service. They all feature pictures of older or elderly pastors in suits and ties with a boatload of similarly suited and aged church leaders. I did find some that at least list local Pensacola area ministries that they partner with so that was helpful. I went through a listing of hundreds of churches and came away with 10 that might be possibilities for us. I am going to email the pastors at those 10 churches and tell them our story and ask them to pray for us.

So, that's what's going on with us. Today we are going to see the Timber Wolves play. We won tickets from our apartment management office. We're not big basketball fans and the Wolves have been kind of pathetic since they lost KG but it's time out together doing something different and fun.