Friday, November 30, 2007

Modest expections for December

This is my Curves-O-Meter for December:




As you can see, I have modest expectations. Between work, work, work, exhaustion (see "work, work, work") and Christmas... I just want to cut myself some slack.

I've told Ed to expect me to do nothing besides work, eat, and sleep over the next two weeks. (We ship the biggest issue of the year on Dec. 14, with a few "leftovers" to be shipped the following Monday or Tuesday.)

So that's the story. I promise I'll get back on the horse. It just may be in January with all the New Year's Resolution-types. :)

This blog entry cracked me up!

One of the many blogs I read is called "Testosterhome: On the Care and Feeding of Boys." (She and her husband have five.)

These kids are a RIOT, and I mean that in the best way. This entry amused me no end, so I thought I'd share it here. Many of you will appreciate it, too.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Update

Toby is sound asleep in his crate. :)

My day, by Toby

We got up at 5 a.m. That was REALLY early. The cats hadn't been fed yet.














When the cats' food finally "dropped," I watched the cats eat.














Then I begged to eat, and Fox begged to eat. Only Fox got to eat though. I knew something was UP!

A trip to the vet's is what was up.

I got my teeth cleaned. This year's cleaning went MUCH better than last year's did. Last year, I had to have 11 teeth pulled and extensive work done on my gums. AND Ed had to crush my food in the blender for two weeks. AND I had to be on antibiotics for 14 days and pain meds for several days.

This year, my teeth cleaned up quite nicely, and I didn't have to have any pulled. (Rebecca and Ed really DO need to brush my teeth more often, though. Bacteria from my mouth could further weaken the valve in my heart that's already not working so well.)

Unfortunately, I had something called a lipoma that had to be removed. Humans get them, too, but I'm more interested about lipomas in animals.

This is what the incision looks like. I even have STAPLES in there.














It's hurting a bit. To make it not hurt so much...


















...Rebecca or Ed are supposed to put an ice pack on it for 5 or 10 minutes every six hours or so.














They will give me a pain pill twice a day for the next five days. Because of my heart condition, I'll also take antibiotics for five more days. (I started taking antibiotics on Tuesday.)














Rebecca and Ed are pretty good at giving me my medicine, so I don't mind too much.


















Ed, Rebecca and I think Fox is feeling a little jealous of all the attention I'm getting, so Rebecca gave him some extra pets after I took my medicine.

As for me, I've been spending a lot of time in my crate sleeping.














This picture was taken earlier today. I want to be near Rebecca, so she moved my crate into the living room. I think I'll spend a lot of time there for the next little bit. My crate with the bed is a great thing. I think it may be the best $30 they ever spent on me...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Again?!?

Wasn't this award just handed out, like, yesterday?

No, it's been a year... here's proof.

Now I'm a REAL photographer!

I have a tripod. Merry Christmas to me from my dad.

Oh, the trouble I'll get myself into now.

I told Ed we're definitely going to Stone Mountain to take Christmas pictures, now that I can do long exposure times.

God help us all...

I try to keep this a Britney Spears'-free (BS-free) zone. Not really interested in her goings-on, and I don't think many of my readers (all three of them --heheh) are either. But God help us all -- and most of all her -- if this is true.

60 degrees F

It is cooler than 60 degrees F in some of the offices here. The warmest office I've found was 62.

It is freaking freezing. I need a parka.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Toby video

Ed says this doesn't do Toby justice... that he just kept running and running and running (and then rolling and rolling and rolling on his back). And chasing Fox. And chasing Fox who was chasing a dog on the other side of the fence.

video

Does this look like a dog who has a heart condition and arthritis?

4:29 p.m.

I'm still awake -- and productive -- but I'm GLAD I have only 31 minutes until I get to go home.

5:57 a.m.

I got to my desk at 5:57 a.m. and logged into my computer. I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Then, my Outlook wouldn't work.

Thankfully (after about 8 minutes of "fiddling" with stuff), I remembered that our computers won't CONNECT to the network until 6 a.m.

I restarted, and connected just fine.

As of 6:16, I'm still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, but check with me about 4 and see how I'm doing. :)

Off to work...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Dear God...

Dear God,

It's going to be a hard three weeks at work. (January issue, you know.) Help me sleep well at night, work hard during the day, and stay sane. Also, help me to remember to be kind to Ed, who often gets the "brunt" of my grumpy moods.

Love,
Rebecca

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Our Panther Creek adventure


As mentioned in a previous post, Ed had been talking about Panther Creek since we've been together. In fact, he may have mentioned it in the year before we started dating, but I can't be sure.

Ed estimates he's done this hike at least six times. One of those times was with two other people and two dogs, starting at midnight on a night with no moon. Black as pitch, in other words. (Dogs and humans wore headlights.)

Knowing that Toby was never going to be in any better condition than he is now, we decided yesterday was the day for the 7-mile hike.

By the end of it all, even Ed said "never again." (He might go again, he says, but I won't go with him.) I'm in pretty good shape now, but I don't think I've ever done anything more physically challenging in my life. The last quarter-mile to the falls (at least, Ed says), I whined. I wasn't whining for whining's sake, but because I was exhausted, I hurt, and I'd had enough.

It was a very steep decline. At one point the rail put up to assist hikers had been pulled out of the ground. I generally can do anything I put my mind to, but I almost gave up before we got there. It felt torturous.
As you can see from the photo (taken at the falls), I did enjoy myself in the main, but I was in pain and exhausted. AND we were only half-way finished. (Ed had forgotten to make the reservation for the helicopter to pick us up at the falls. Ha!)

I think Toby did the best of all of of us, with the possible exception of Ed. In fact, if it were not for Toby, I probably WOULD have given up before we got to the falls. I was extremely proud of him.

I was walking like an old lady last night and am not much better today, but we feel blessed that all dogs and humans came through it without injury. We met a couple of people on the trail whose dog had fallen 30 feet. He was getting around o.k. (albeit slowly), but we don't know how badly his internal injuries might have been. Also, Fox got spooked at a crevice about 3/4 of a mile into the hike... in a place he used to just hop up. On the way back down, I had to pick him up and hand him to Ed. (Fox generally doesn't allow me to pick him up.)

So, it was a good day (despite my whining), I'm glad I did it and glad Toby did, too. But I'm equally glad we have checked that off our "to do" list.

Some more photos of what really is beautiful country are here. I put and captions on most of them, and I hope you'll take a look.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

We made it!

But we're never going to Panther Creek again.

More tomorrow. For now, we're headed to bed. Before 8. Very tired.

Panther Creek

Ed and I are going to Panther Creek today with the dogs. This is the hike I said we wouldn't be able to take because of Toby's heart issues. But after talking with the vet, we learned that he's in the very, VERY early stages of MVD. So if we're gonna do it, there won't be a better time.

If I don't blog later today (or tomorrow) it's because I fell off a cliff or died of embarrassment because I had to "use the facilities outside," a.k.a. "do my business near a tree," or something.

BTW, this is my 200th blog entry. Alert the media. Or the funny farm. (Or both.)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007


Thanksgiving table, originally uploaded by RebeccaMaty.

We had Thanksgiving dinner at my aunt and uncle's house (as has been the case for many years). A good time was had by all. It's about ten minutes until nine, and I need a snack. I guess this means I didn't overeat. Way to go me. :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Rockefeller Christmas tree

The Rockefeller Christmas tree is going to be greener this year. It still uses a TON of electricity, but it's a start.

My. Thighs. Hurt.

The joint right the top of my leg (where it joins the pelvic bone, I guess?) hurts, too. And I have a bruise/knot/something just above my right ankle.

Apparently, someone isn't used to riding a bike for exercise.

Ibuprofin, anyone?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

And while we're still speaking of hearts...

I am still experiencing "Curves aversion" (darned woman who talked about my bouncing breasts). But I haven't worked out in 10 days, and I'm feeling it. Also with the Toby stress I have all this nervous energy.

So I dusted off the stationary bike. (I haven't ridden it more than a few pedals since February of 2001.) I rode it for 25 minutes and just under six miles. I am really proud of myself. :)

I've added a "Non-Curves Workout" note to my sidebar. I'll add bike rides, hikes, and the odd Jazzercize outing. :)

Hearts

Looks like Toby's isn't the only heart in our family I should be worrying about. Here is a somewhat scary article about coronary artery disease and women under 45.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Toby



Toby is officially a heart patient.

Two years ago, he was diagnosed with a grade 1 (mildest) heart murmur. Today, the vet heard the murmur more distinctly and did the X-rays we were planning on doing when he had his teeth cleaned.

His left atrium is enlarged. He'll be on medication for the rest of his life. This is the medication we're starting with. In a couple of months, the vet will do another check of his kidneys (the first organ after the heart to "go" in this situation), and we'll see if we need to modify anything. Thankfully, the medication is one of the $4 prescriptions one can get at Wal-Mart. (This is one time I'm definitely glad for Wal-Mart.)

Mitral valve disease (or MVD) is the leading cause of death in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. I knew this when I adopted Toby. But MVD in Cavaliers causes them to go downhill pretty fast, at least compared to the progression on other dogs. The first link in this paragraph explains the whole thing quite well. Here is a snippet from that link and gets to the heart of the matter:

"Mitral valve disease is the most common heart disorder in older dogs of all breeds, affecting more than a third of all dogs over 10 years of age. However, in the Cavalier King Charles spaniel, the prevalence of MVD is about 20 times that of other breeds. Also in Cavaliers, the onset of the disease typically is much earlier in the life of the dog. It has been reported that, once diagnosed, mitral valve disease is much more rapid in Cavaliers than in other breeds, possibly reaching a life-threatening stage within as little as 1 to 3 years, rather than the average 3 to 5 years."

Bummer.

As most of you know, Ed loves to hike, and we love to take the dogs hiking. Toby, being a "royal" breed of dog who was bred to sit on laps (really) shouldn't like hiking, but he does. The vet says exercise is still o.k. -- even good -- for Toby, but that we need to go easy. This means the hike to Panther Creek we've been planning since Ed and I have been together (more than two years now) may still happen, but we'll be buying a "Toby pack" before we go, as 7 miles will be too much for him. (We knew we'd have to do this eventually, but...)

Toby doesn't know he's sick. I'm not saying I won't tell him (I'm a "full disclosure" sort of girl), but I'm not going to treat him like a "porcelain puppy" either. That won't be fun for any of us, least of all Toby who, for example, whines if we stop too long while we're hiking.

Toby is a happy dog. I'm a sad human right now, but I guess that's to be expected.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The mountains!


Originally uploaded by RebeccaMaty.

We had a great time in the mountains. I spent a lot of time taking pictures (of course), and also read quite a lot. I even managed to get out a bit. Not much, but a bit.

I have tagged all the photos in this set, but I need to put titles on them. I'll probably do this tomorrow. Some of the sequences will make much more sense once I title and describe them. So check back tomorrow or Tuesday. :)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The mountains await!

I'm heading to the mountains in less than an hour and a half, yet I just sit here.

I really AM looking forward to the trip. It was just so nice and warm in my bed with my husband and my dog and (part of the night) my husband's dog.

Now I must collect junk food, DVDs, books, DVD player, etc., for the trip. And clothes. I must not forget the clothes. Or the dog. And his stuff.

So much to remember...

See you tomorrow!

Friday, November 16, 2007

C-Day

Ed's colonoscopy went just fine. He's as handsome on the inside as he is on the outside. :)

When it was all said and done, I think today was harder for me than it was for Ed. He was awake through the whole procedure and watched it on the monitor. AND he didn't feel a thing. Meanwhile, I had to sit in the waiting room and, well, wait and wonder and worry.

This is the fourth time in nine months I've had to wait and wonder and worry while Ed's had surgery/been under sedation. I don't realize how stressed I am until AFTER it's all said and done, which is probably a good thing. :)

After we took a nap, Ed's more or less back to normal. Meanwhile, I'm still dazed and confused. I'm supposed to be packing to go to the mountains tomorrow morning, but I just don't have the energy. I'll be getting up early tomorrow to get ready.

So, it's all over. We, I mean Ed, have to have another colonoscopy in five years because colon cancer is in his family. I hope we don't have to spend any more time in a recovery room together until then.










Care to guess which photo was taken before the procedure and which was taken after? That is one relieved Ed in the bottom photo. And one relieved wife behind the camera.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Reba and Ed's Excellent Adventure

Well, it's actually Ed's adventure, and it's not "excellent," but I am trying to put a happier spin on all this.

Ed started drinking his "whatever" solution at 4 p.m. He says the solution is "awful" and gets worse as time goes on, but he's doing it. He drinks 8 ounces every 15 minutes. As of 6:45, he had consumed 3/4 of the gallon of solution. This is one time when being a pessimist is actually being optimistic. This particular "glass being (more than) half-empty" is a GOOD thing!



Ed ate Jello for breakfast and Jello and broth for lunch. All things considered, he's feeling pretty good. The clear liquids (which include juice and water) have kept him from being hungry.

The "funny" thing about today is that because of work stuff, I didn't get to go to lunch until 2:45, by which point I was REALLY hungry. I ate my sandwich and realized there wasn't much more I could eat, as Ed had accidentally forgotten to give me a spoon for my yogurt and applesauce. So, HE'S the one who can't eat "real" food, yet I'm the one who's hungry. :)

In an attempt at solidarity, apart from the granola bar I ate on the way home, I won't eat anything else until he finishes the solution. Then he will eat some broth, and I will eat... Well, I don't know what I'll eat. I feel bad eating when Ed can't.

In the meantime, bottoms up.



And then brush your hair, just so you look pretty.

Not exactly the Couric Effect...

Ed's having a screening colonoscopy tomorrow at 2 p.m. I know that my posting (only non-gross) stuff here won't produce Katie Couric Effect-like results, but I hope writing about Ed's experience might make someone who stumbles across this blog a little less anxious about his or her own colonoscopy.

Anyway, this morning, Ed starts a clear-liquids-only diet. He was drinking his coffee black when I left for work and was still drinking it when I got here. His diet will consist of juices (no pulp), Jello, and chicken broth between now and 11 a.m. tomorrow, at which point he cannot eat anything until after the procedure.

Oh, yes. Then there's the gallon of "whatever" he has to drink to REALLY prep for the procedure.

So think good thoughts or say a prayer for Ed. He's not looking forward to any of this, as you can imagine, but I'm so proud of him for doing it. The Lord willing, he won't have to do it again for 5 or 10 years.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The book signing

Ed behaved himself. :)

I told Deborah my favorite Deborah Norville Writes Rebecca story. It has to do with advice "Aunt Deborah" (her words) gave me in 1991 about how much my taste in men would change over the years. It was so wonderful to tell the story with the evidence standing right next to me. :)

If she remembered me, it was only vaguely. But that's o.k. I had a lovely, adult conversation with her. (By the way, the 15-year-old Rebecca was shaking in her boots.)

After her book tour is over (whenever that is), I'll drop her a note and thank her for how kind she was. She, like everyone else we've ever met, said she could see how much we love each other written all over our face.

She even made note of our happiness -- and her hopes that God would always keep us as happy as we are now -- in the inscription in the book she signed for us. Very sweet. It was a nice time. I'm glad I went. And I'm even happier Ed was with me.

Ed and Debbie Norville

Ed called a little while ago. He's going to meet me for the Deborah Norville book signing.

I hope he brings the 53-year-old adult who "knows" her as Deborah, not the twenty-something-year-old who "knew" her as Debbie Norville from when she worked at WAGA in Atlanta. (When Deborah left WAGA in 1979, I was 4. Ed was 25. I feel either really old or really young right now. I'm not sure which.)

:)

Deborah Norville

Today after work, I'm going to see Deborah Norville at a book signing for Thank You Power.

I'm excited. As you can see, I so excited that I took a PICTURE of the reminder that popped up on Ed's car's navigation system this morning. I also brought my camera, should any opportunities for picture-taking arise at the signing.

I'm also nervous.

For several years (from when I was 15 or 16 through a bit beyond college), I wrote her fairly frequently, and she wrote me back occasionally. I wanted to BE Deborah Norville for much of that time, i.e. work in television, perhaps on air. (The thought makes me shudder now, but whatever.)

When I met her 10 years ago at a book signing for Back on Track, she absolutely remembered who I was.

Except for a quick e-mail through her Web site a few weeks ago, I haven't written her since 1998ish.

The adult Rebecca knows it's quite unlikely she'll have a clue who I am and knows that's o.k. The 15-year-old Rebecca that still lives deep within me desperately wants her to remember me.

The 15-year-old Rebecca almost doesn't want to go for fear of having her adolescent self crushed. The adult Rebecca is trying to convince both selves that it will be nice to see her anyway, whether she remembers or not.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

93%

The Chinese restaurant I've mentioned previously has had another inspection by the health department. Their new and much-improved score is 93. (The inspection report score immediately after our complaint was 69; the score a week later was 72.)

That doesn't mean I'll eat there again (and Ed may not ever eat Chinese food again), but I'm glad they've gotten their act together. I hope it stays that way.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Fall Color Extravaganza


Originally uploaded by RebeccaMaty.

We went to Stone Mountain today, so I could take fall color pictures (and to hike). I got some pretty ones, if I do say so myself. Check them out.

Curves update

Good news and bad news.

The bad news: according to an older woman I was stretching out with, I need to get a new sports bra. I am entirely too young, she says, to be "bouncing that much." (My apologies to my male readers... and to some of the female ones.) I honestly believe she was trying to be helpful, but it really took the wind out of my sails, after my good news... Which brings us to...

The good news: Today was my 100th workout. For this accomplishment, I received a lovely Curves key chain -- complete with itty-bitty flashlight. I also was weighed and measured today for the first time since mid-August. (I took a break from monthly weigh- and measure ins and concentrated on just doing the workouts for a few months.) Since December 11, 2006, I've lost a total of 11.25 inches. My weight is the same as it was when I started. (It's gone up and down a bit, but for now...)

My stats (12/11/06, 11/10/07, amount lost/gained):

Bust: 36.0 in. 33.0 in. -3.0 in.
Waist: 28.0 in. 26.25 in. -1.75 in.
Abdomen: 35.0 in. 36.0 in. +1.0 in.
Hips: 40.50 in. 40.0 in. -0.50 in.
Thighs: 23.0 in. 21.0 in. -4.0 in. (two inches per arm)
Arms: 11.0 in. 9.5 in. -3.0 in. (1.5 inches per arm)
Weight: 135.0 lb 135.0 lb -0.0 lb
Body Fat% 31.40% 31.30% -0.10%

So I'll try to focus on the positive. 11.25 inches is a LOT. And think how much worse the bouncing would be if I still had the extra 3 inches in my bust. :)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Is there such a thing as too many Osmonds?

You be the judge...

Sweet story, really.

Francis playing with the neighbor's kitten














How sweet. Francis is pretty cute, too! :)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

What's natural?

This article is interesting. I wonder if the tide will turn toward "real" natural foods?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

This is a new one...

I'd never seen a Chinese food menu rubber-banded to a shrub.

Until I came home from work tonight and found this.

Maybe they heard that we'd had trouble with a DIFFERENT Chinese restaurant and are trying to rustle up some business?

By the way, that OTHER, unnamed Chinese restaurant was inspected last Wednesday and scored a 69. The recheck was today. They had several repeat violations. Their improved score was 72. I'm expecting a call from the health department tomorrow to update me. I wonder where they go from here.

Heat!

I think they've turned the heat on in our office.

Or the building is on fire.

BUT it smells like it ALWAYS smells when the heat is first turned on, so that's the theory I'm going with.

I wonder if they're just teasing us? (It's usually FREEZING in here.)

Monday, November 5, 2007

The button used to change the clock in my car broke recently...









It's actually 6:32. So in about 4 months the time will be right again. Come on, Daylight Saving Time!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

A Stone Mountain Sunday


Originally uploaded by RebeccaMaty.

Photos from our trip to Stone Mountain today.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Hike yesterday


Originally uploaded by RebeccaMaty.

Well, our trip didn't go quite as we planned. We got a wee bit lost, and decided to go to Vogel State Park instead of DeSoto Falls. It was a great day anyway.

As expected, Fox barked off and on the whole way there. Video below.

video

It's a good thing he's so cute.

I took almost 700 pictures (a lot of 'em not so good). I've edited the halfway decent ones, which can be seen here. :)

By the way, I found my keys this afternoon. They were "hiding" under a sofa cushion. We'd looked there before, but hadn't seen them. Go figure.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Found it!

Take "wallet" OFF the List of Important Things Rebecca Has Lost in the Last Week (or whatever I called this list in my last post).

Right after I hit "publish post," I remembered that I'd been riffling through my purse yesterday on the way home from work. Sure enough, my wallet was squished between the driver's seat and the seat belt buckle.

Now think good "key finding" thoughts. Who knows where I might have put those.

Wallet

Add "wallet" under "keys" on the List of Important Items Rebecca Has Lost in the Last Week. (They keys disappeared sometime after I returned from Curves last Saturday.)

Thankfully, I wasn't stopped by the police on our trip today; I didn't realize I didn't have my wallet (and my license) until AFTER I'd driven most of the way there.

Both items are likely in the house. Hopefully, they'll turn up soon. Ed doesn't mind driving me places when necessary, but this would be ridiculous!

Today...

Ed and I are going h-i-k-i-n-g with the dogs. (I have to spell, even in the blog, because Fox is so smart, especially when it comes to talk of h-i-k-i-n-g.)

We're going to DeSoto Falls. It's about a two-mile hike, which Ed described to me before as "little." I say 2 miles is two miles. :)

Wish us luck. Fox likely will bark the whole way there. (It's an hour and a half away.) Ahh, kids... I mean... dogs...

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Nothing scary here!


Nothing scary here!, originally uploaded by RebeccaMaty.

But if you want to see more pictures from Halloween, click here.

Ten dogs that changed the world...

Someone once said that I thought my dog could do no wrong (which isn't the case, by the way). Toby has NOTHING on the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel mentioned in THIS article (dog number nine).