Monday, March 30, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
The Kolp family has had a great Spring Break. Pete took the week off, too, and we did a lot of fun things. We went to the beach for the day Thursday, and were we surprised! Hurricane Ike really did a number on the Bolivar Peninsula. Many things were so different, yet some were still the same. First, driving onto the peninsula, we were shocked to see the beach right by the highway. We knew that the houses were gone and had heard of the ruination, but to confront the devastation with our eyes was a sight to behold. Everything was gone. We did not drive down very far, but where we stopped to have some fun, we had to park on the highway. The high tide line was only forty feet away! Second, the beach was inundated with sand dollars. Can you believe we found twenty-five? Only a few of them were barely broken- most of them were whole. Does anyone know what to do with twenty-five sand dollars? I know there must be some cute craft we could make. Finally, we did see some Portugese man-of-war, but luckily they stayed away from our crazy kids who just could not stay out of the freezing water. We had a picnic in the van and then drove home. What a great day at the beach we had.
Cookies, I mean sand dollars anyone?
This is a picture of a Portugese man-of-war we saw on the beach. We found one more washed up and the kids saw two in the water. Did you know that if you ever get stung by one at the beach all you have to do is cover the sting with sand and urinate on the spot! There is something in human urine that draws out the sting. Thanks to my former marine husband, I learned this new tip (hopefully we will never have to use it).
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
I leaned over and said, "Be sure to cover your eyes and ears if this gets too scary for you." Then I sat back and watched the movie, which was very good.
Half-way through, Nicholas climbed on my lap.
"Do you want me to call Daddy and have him come and get us?" I whispered in his ear.
"Are you kidding- this rocks," he answered, "I just love the looks of that alien girl."
Oh, no, I thought- he's only five! This can't start yet.
Later in the movie, Nicholas turns to me again with his fingers fanned out.
"You know," he said, "my fingers have the power to flash lightning."
"Really?" I said.
"Oh, yes. And I am not really human. I am just here on earth for a while and then I'll have to go back to my home planet of Pluto on my spaceship."
"I sure will miss you," I said sadly.
"Well...I don't think I'll go back yet."
This has gone on all afternoon and night, too. Nicholas' imagination is on fire with aliens, UFOs, magic powers, ESP, and the list goes on. All I can say is "Watch out fellow writers- here comes my baby!"
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
I have posted some pictures to share because I am at a loss of words right now. You see, Pete and I just got back from the cemetery. We found the baseball, right where David had placed it and left flowers from Jeni and the cardinal figurine from David. I had tried to reach the cemetery yesterday so that we could find Mary's exact burial spot, but will have to wait until tomorrow when they are open. I plan on going back again soon and placing some kind of temporary marker until the headstone comes in.
These are the flowers taken in Pete's car on our way to the cemetery. Pretty, huh?
True friendship was found in autumn
between two women who were
bound by the similarities of their past.
In winter they visited over coffee daily
as they shared their hopes and dreams
creating a bond that would last.
Spring blossomed like a flower of promise
and hope that their friendship could get
them through life’s troubles so vast.
Until the day before Easter
when their friendship died.
One took her very life
and the other survived.
Now they continue as friends,
for their bond would not end
only seeing each other
as feelings within.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Oh, and please pray for Eric's recovery.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
I am not in a very good place right now. My brother-in-law's mom passed away and I was back in the same funeral home yesterday that I went to a year ago when Mary died so unexpectedly. My brother-in-law's mom had Alzheimer's disease and was 77. But Mary- she was so young and had her whole life ahead of her. I can't believe that a year has passed and it seems like yesterday. I still have so many unanswered questions. Suicide is a horrible thing and it affects everyone. If only I could go back...
Friday, March 13, 2009
As you all know, I took a part-time job as a preschool art teacher at my church. At the time this job seemed like a dream come true- a chance to work only two days a week and make some extra vacation money. I love my children's art work and have pictures all over the house, but when I had to plan for sixty kids, ranging from the age of two to five and clean-up after them- well I found out real fast that I did not like my job anymore. I'd MUCH rather be at home writing. I was willing to try and make it work, though- stick with the job through May. Then GOD intervened.
During the Art show/Valentine's Day luncheon, I was sitting right next to the art teacher I replaced (we happen to be friends). I had bags under my eyes and a frown on my face because I was worn out from all the preparation. Well, we got to talking. One thing led to another and I told her I didn't really like being the art teacher. My friend (Brandi) told me she wished she had never quit, that she should have taken the leave of absence that was offered to her instead. Can you guess what happened next? We decided to see if we could switch jobs again (she had been subbing). We went home and talked to our husbands and prayed about it, then I called our boss the next week. The boss was shocked- of course, but very cooperative. So now Brandi is teaching art again and I am subbing. Thank you God!
Oh, and guess what else? I had promised to sub this week because a lot of the teachers were going to be on spring break. Well, Brandi and I got to sub together (they had to call off art because they were so short-handed) in the two-year-old class. The two art teachers together in the two's- how's that for irony?
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
Yesterday we had a visitor on our front porch and unfortunately he got away before I could...kill him! Yes- we had a snake. Everyone thinks this was a cotton-mouth. I do know one thing, well two- this snake was HUGE and the head was triangular. I was getting ready to tutor and happened to look out my front window as my student and her mom were walking towards the door. They stopped suddenly and the mom bent down as if she was looking for something. I went out the garage door because I knew something was wrong, but I did not expect to see such a huge snake. I told my friend to hold on, I'd go and get a shovel, but she said, "No. There's no way you and I can kill that snake, Laurie." My husband and neighbor were gone, so my friend threw a stick at the snake and he didn't budge. We could hear Steve Irwin egging us on, "Okay, here we have a tricky one." But we persisted, and still couldn't get the snake to move. She finally left and my student and I went inside (I put the garage door down) to start our work. Fifteen minutes into the session, this sweet ten-year-old said, "You don't think he could get to my house, do you?" She was thinking about the snake, of course. So, while she worked, I quickly put the garage door back up and went to check again. I was scared, but I tiptoed down our sidewalk (it runs along the side of the house to the front door) with a broom (that's all I could find) carefully, slowly looking for Mr. Snake. I moved very quietly and deliberately, searching and hunting. I even got my nerve up enough to move around the pot plants, but no more Mr. Snake. He was gone. Rats. I wanted to kill him! Oh well, my brother-in-law came over later on and we searched everywhere, but I guess Mr. Snake went home. Please stay there and don't come back. I might have to kill you, Mr. Snake. HISSSS!
Friday, March 6, 2009
The first test was an Electrocochleography (ECochG- I think that's how you spell the shortened version). I had to lay down and after they cleaned and flushed my ears out, an instrument was inserted in both ears. The lady said it would be best if I fell asleep for this test. I thought, okay- I'll pretend like I'm on a beautiful beach with my hubby. The test began and I felt like I was being blown off the island by a tsunami. One ear literally sounded like a jack-hammer was beating up and down as hard as it could while the other side had this constant buzzing sound. Twenty minutes on that side, and then it switched to the other. Okay, who can sleep through this? I thought. I decided to try to use my meditation techniques, to no avail. Then I said some prayers. I ended up talking myself through it, "Okay. I can get through this, I can get through this. I've been through much worse." Then there were several more minutes of other noises, silences and buzzes. Forty-five minutes had passed by the time this shorter test was over. I felt like I had been through the ringer. Where's my cigarette? Oh, yeah, I gave up smoking years ago.
The second test was a Videonystagmography, or VNG. The lady who gave me this test was so sweet. She told me we would be doing a variety of things and that the whole thing would take two hours at the most. Did I mention I couldn't drink coffee or have caffeine 24 hours before the tests? The first thing we did was a bunch of balance tests. I am so glad I never aspired to be a tight-rope walker. I guess the WII fit balance tests were correct when they said I was unbalanced. After the tests, she put some huge, bulky goggles on me. I had to keep my eyes wide open and follow a light back and forth, up and down, fast and slow for a series of tests. They were measuring the reaction of my pupils, I think to movements. Then they closed the goggles and I had more tests done, with eyes open and moving. The last part of this test was the worse. Air was blown into my ear for 60 seconds. Not once, but twice. On each ear. Hot air, then cold air. Then she had to do one ear again. I had to answer all kinds of weird questions after the air blasts, like name things that are red, blue, cities, states, Disney characters and movies, girls names that start with "J" and boys names that begin with "B". I guess they didn't want me to have a stroke?
After all this was said and done, the tests showed that my right ear tested positive for Meniere's Disease and my left ear tested positive for vestibular (balance) weakness. The doctor will have to read through the tests and make a diagnosis and recommendation when I go back and see him on the 20th. Until then, I'll be praying that this can all be treated with a pill. And thanking God those tests are over. Sigh. TGIF!
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Monday, March 2, 2009
Here are some of my problems tonight, in the order they occured:
1. Music. Someone, somewhere outside (hopefully not in my head, but I did think about that possibility) is playing music or watching T.V. I know my neighbors live close, but come on.
2. Ceiling fan is squeaking. I tried to remedy that in the dark, to no avail.
3. Okay, I'll get out my cute eye-patches I got the other day at Kohl's- maybe they will help.
4. I hear a noise in the hall and I know it's not one of the kids (their doors are loud when they open them). This time, light goes on-nothing there.
5. I get back in bed where my husband is sleeping oblivious to all of this. I'm just about to drift off when I hear another loud thud- this time from right outside my window. I wake up Pete, who mumbles something about the kids and rolls over.
6. I shake Pete awake, "No, honey. I heard a LOUD thud, like a pipe hit the wall right outside!"
7. I hear a "tuh,"- not nice voice- and then, "I would have heard a pipe hit" as I watch Pete get up and check everything (very briefly).
8. A few minutes later the heater goes on, which was probably the thud I heard.
9. Now I have to go to the bathroom. I get back in bed and Pete is already snoring (which he was not doing before I woke him up).
10. The toilet is stuck, so I have to get back out of bed and go wiggle the handle. How could I have gone from saying my peaceful nightly prayers to cursing in three hours?
Moral of the story- Don't ever decide to turn off your air filter when you are going to bed. It might sound funny, but at least the noise will lull you to sleep (and muffle out all the unfamiliar sounds that go bump in the night).