Saturday, August 30, 2008


Another Hurricane Post. Skip if you are sick of reading about it! :P

WLBT meteorologist Barbie Bassett just told the Jackson viewing area (that's us) to be prepared for similar conditions to those we faced with Katrina. Interstates are being routed to for one-way traffic out of coastal areas. Shelters have opened today and more will open tomorrow. Generators are selling as soon as they are unloaded and police continue to patrol businesses that sell them.

I am as prepared as I can be. There is really not much more to do except watch and wait.

And pray.

A lot.

Friday, August 29, 2008


We are still watching Hurricane Gustav. So far, we really can't tell exactly where he is going to hit at this point. Even if he does not directly hit the Mississippi Gulf Coast, that does not mean that we will not be affected. These pictures are from 1992 when high winds brought about by Hurricane Andrew uprooted a healthy tree in our front yard, slamming it into the room that is now my office. Thank goodness, neither of us was in the room at the time. The tree did not just fall on the roof, it smashed through the wall and demolished the hardwood floor. It took almost a year to get our home back to normal.

I can totally understand that my husband does not want to risk going on a trip and coming back to something like this. But that does not keep me from hoping that things are under enough control by Tuesday morning so that we can leave without worry.

Meanwhile, I am packing and still hoping for the best!

Thursday, August 28, 2008


OK, in the light of morning and having had some sleep, I do realize how selfish my post last night seems. Losing a trip is nothing compared to losing a home.

So, I have gone from starry-eyed traveler to hurricane watcher. I have already been out this morning to stock up on bottled water and non-perishables. My tank is full of gas. We have candles, lanterns, and batteries. I even found some disposable grills on sale at the Kroger store. We are about as ready as we can get.

So, I am watching the weather channel and hoping for the best.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


My husband and I have had a trip planned since last December. For our 25th wedding anniversary gift to each other, we are going to the Pacific Northwest. We plan to see friends while we are there and enjoy a week together before he starts his 12 hour a day (14 with commute) 6 day a week schedule for the plant shutdown. We have not had a real vacation together in 5 years.

But another man has come into the picture. His name is Gustav. Right now, his path is headed straight for the Louisiana and Mississippi Gulf Coasts. And guess when he is due to arrive? You guessed it. The very day we leave on our trip.

My husband has already said that we are not leaving if there is any chance of damage to our home or that of our neighbors. One neighbor is pregnant and the other one just had ankle surgery. Neither of them is going to be able to climb up on a rooftop and secure things if a tree falls or part of a roof blows off.

So, I am praying really hard that Barbie Bassett (WLBT weather person who correctly predicted the severity of Katrina way in advance) is wrong this time and that Gustav blows himself out before he gets here.

Breathe in...Breathe out...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sam's Dad

Tomorrow, Sam's dad has more surgery on the ankle he broke last year. It has robbed him of the ability to do the kind of construction work that he has always done to support his family. He has not been too successful trying to find something new to do in today's tight job market. All of this has been very hard for him (as it would be for most men) to deal with.

Bless him, he is a "glass half empty" kind of person. He has little faith in the doctor being able to restore his ankle to his previous level of functioning. As people who have dealt with serious injury and/or illness know, attitude is everything.

Of course, Sam is anxious about all this. And I am concerned for her as well as for her dad.

So I will say a prayer for them both tomorrow. For healing, for peace, and most of all, for them to feel God's presence in their lives.

Monday, August 25, 2008


For those of you who do not watch this show, DWTS stands for "Dancing With the Stars." This is a show I discovered a couple of seasons ago and have fallen in love with. I am a klutz, so I admire any non-dancer willing to put him or herself out there in this way.

I just read where 82 year old Cloris Leachman is going to be a contestant. I love her as an actress and hope she shows the young whippersnappers a thing or two about dancing.

I can't wait!

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Talked to my dad yesterday. Bloodwork shows his cancer is still under control. This is round 2 of the same cancer, which makes it harder to treat. But, so far, so good. Dad is 75, but otherwise in good health. He walks 2 miles a day, tends to his lake place, and travels with his sweet wife. The shadow of cancer just makes him more appreciative of what he has.

So, breathing a sigh of relief until next time.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


see more dog pictures

When I saw this I had to laugh. It is so like me.

When I was a kid, my mom had fits trying to get my nose out of books and into doing my chores. I read with a flashlight under the covers and sitting on the floor of the bathroom late at night because I could not turn on the lamp in the room I shared with my sister.

As I have gotten older, I have more trouble focusing to read. I can't listen to audio books because I fall asleep! So it is pretty rare that I get something I cannot put down these days. The exception to this has been Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" series. It has time travel, romance, and Scotland. I can't ask for much more than that.

Excerpts and more information can be found here.

These books are rather massive, but totally worth the effort.

I am on the last pages of the last one and I hate for it to end.

Le meas!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Little Things

I am sometimes amazed at how important relatively small things are to my day to day life with myasthenia.

For example, most people take going to the grocery store for granted. Get in car, drive to store, park, buy groceries, unload and put away groceries.

Simple, right?

This morning, most of the stars and planets aligned to where I was able to shop for groceries for the first time in weeks. I pulled into Kroger, where all of the handicapped spaces were either taken or clogged with buggies. I circled until I found a another spot that was still within walking distance for me.

First objective accomplished!

Now for the really tricky part. Could I get the one functioning Sit and Shop buggy? They have four, but three have been out of order for weeks.

Got it! Scooooooore! And it was even charged enough to get me through the store!

To the checkout stand with my items. Nothing open but the self-serve lane. This makes the job a bit harder. Fortunately, the clerk saw me struggling and this one actually helped me wrangle my groceries across the scanner and into the flimsy plastic bags.

Take the buggy out to the car and, because I had to park out of the disabled zone, I was not able to get close to the back seat where I put my groceries because my scooter is riding in the back.

Park buggy, manhandle groceries into the car. See my dad walking across the parking lot and roll down my window to chat for a minute.

Groceries loaded. Check!

Home, where I take the bags of perishables in first. Put them in fridge. Some stuff needs to be packaged for freezing, but it will wait.

Rest for half an hour.

Get rest of bags out of car. Bring in.

Rest for another half hour.

Put away the rest of the groceries.

Rest some more!

My little scooter is nice, but mine does not have a basket and even if it did, it would hold precious few groceries.

If I had not been able to get that parking spot or the buggy, my shopping would have had to wait yet another day.

We have a new Kroger opening up soon. It is supposed to have more handicapped parking and twenty Sit and Shop buggies are on order.

I 'm counting the days!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


My name is Karen and I am an Olympic-aholic.

There. I said it.

I get totally jazzed about the Olympics. I love the opening ceremonies (The Chinese did an amazing job with this), the glimpses into the host country's culture, and, of course, the events!

The highlights so far have been the male swimmers winning the relay after being taunted by the French team and our young gymnastics team winning a bronze medal, despite losing their two best gymnasts prior to the games.

So, I will continue to watch and be amazed at the feats of strength, agility, and endurance.


You betcha!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


Today, I took the plunge and ordered myself a new red scooter. My old one still works, but I can't fly with it and it is hard to take apart. My new one will be this spiffy model.

I still can't pick up the heaviest piece by myself, but my darling husband will be able to while we are on our trip. When we get home, I will have a tow bar attached so that I can use it with my lift.

I figure I can buzz around Powell Books and OMSI just fine this with baby.

For many, my scooter would be viewed as a negative thing.

But for me, it is freedom!

Monday, August 04, 2008


Today it really hit me.

In less than a month, my husband and I will be taking our first trip to the Pacific Northwest. We will fly to Portland, Oregon on September 2. This will be our slightly early 25th anniversary celebration. I do not want to be anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon line on our actual anniversary, November 26th. In Portland, we hope to hook up with one of my friends and get her to take us to Powell Books I know that we will have to twist her arm something fierce to get her to agree to this! ;P

From Portland, we plan to take AmTrak to Seattle, rent a car, and head up to Mt. Vernon, WA. There, we will take shameless advantage of a friend who has offered to take us sightseeing into Canada.

A return to Seattle will find us looking up yet another friend who will hopefully be able to spend some time with us if the busy social calendars of her young children can be worked around. ;)

My pink and black polka dotted suitcase came in the mail today. Yes, I am serious!

I am ready!

Sunday, August 03, 2008


I usually don't have much trouble going to funerals. I am thankful for the chance to pay my last respects to friends and loved ones who have lived a good life.

But I am dragging my feet about going to one that will take place in the morning. It is for the infant twin daughters of my sweet, precious fellow church member and chiropractor. One of these babies was stillborn and the other died at 6 days. The idea of losing not one, but two babies in 6 days is just beyond my comprehension. There are no comforting words or thoughts for this situation.

Just the thought of walking into that funeral home brings me to tears. But, I will put on my big girl pants and be there for this family.

But I am taking plenty of Kleenex.

Saturday, August 02, 2008


Anyone who knows me very well, knows that I preach the importance of boundaries. As a child, I grew up with few boundaries. As a young adult, my lack of healthy boundaries eventually lead to a severe bout of depression.

I have worked very hard to develop and maintain healthy boundaries since then. Most of the time, I do pretty well.

As you regular readers know, I am having trouble with vocal nodes and a new bout of bronchitis. These have necessitated establishing some very strict boundaries about using my voice, particularly on the telephone.

But, there are always people who just have to see if I am going to stretch my boundaries just for THEM. When I am in a period of enforced silence, I usually post on my message board, and send e-mails to my friends telling them that I am not answering my phone and am using a whiteboard to communicate with people face to face.

The only exception to this rule is if one of the 'rents calls twice in a row. Then I know that it is an emergency worthy of risking the future of my singing voice for.

When I can talk at will, I will let the world know.

So, till then, shhhhhhhh!

May 21st

May 21st is the day I have scheduled to get my second hip replaced.  I am not looking forward to the process, but I know that in the lon...