Thursday, August 30, 2007

So what I wanted to say yesterday was

All of the talk on TV and articles in the newspaper about the anniversary of Katrina hitting New Orleans has had me thinking a lot about 2005. It was a big year full of highs and lows - Katrina being one of the biggest lows for the country; my shoulder being crushed and having to be replaced being one of the biggest for me personally.

I know it's been two years, but since '05 was such a blur to me for a few months, I feel sure I never got around to thanking everyone who took care of me after my shoulder replacement surgery and how much I still appreciate it. First off, Mom and Angie, thank you so much for being at the hospital so much, you know when I'm sick, no one takes better care of me than my Mama! Next, I want to say thank you to Tamara and Helen for fixing my gowns and dresses with Velcro and snaps on the shoulders so that I could easily get into and out of them; to my kids for bringing me food and pain pills and keeping the house clean for me (then and always) during that time; and to Frank, of course, for putting up with me snoring, tossing, turning, whining, sleeping, sweating, oh, my gosh, just everything from feeding me to bathing me. I don't think I ever felt so helpless.

Though they will probably never read it, I say thank you to all the folks at Hendersonville Sports Medicine for working with me and pushing me to "work it!" I never thought I would ever be able to tie a bow in the back of my dress or fasten a necklace again - but, I was wrong - thank goodness! One of my trainers was a former neighbor, Jeremy "Wister" Wist. He pushed me the hardest and made the most fun of me at the same time which, of course, helped pass the time while I was in such agony doing all those strenuous exercises.

I guess I should also thank my doctor, who by his own accord, swears it's a miracle that I can lift my arm over my head and who, also by his own accord, says he is responsible for that because of his expert surgery (I personally give the glory to God for guiding Dr. Brooks hands and for leading me to such a skilled doctor.) Turns out, because everyone was on vacation that week, Dr. Brooks was pretty much my ONLY choice. Who knew he was considered one of the best? His bedside manner needs work, but I feel pretty confident that his talents have allowed me to be able to move my left arm again. He replaced the shoulder, repaired the rotator cuff, and pretty much re-built the humerus bone, making it strong enough to support my shiny new titanium shoulder. Apparently, shoulder replacement surgery is not very common so to find someone as good as Dr. Brooks had to be divine intervention.

As for work (or lack of) during the couple of months after my surgery, I have to thank Lynelle and Clint for taking care of EVERYTHING there just as though I had never left (makes me wonder why I was the one in charge in the first place!)

Speaking of Lynelle (nice segue, heh?) 2005 was the first year of our friendship. She came to me in January for an interview - one I tried to put off because I HATE interviewing people. She said, "I can appreciate that you are busy, but I have rearranged my schedule to be there so I am on my way," and I thought, "Well if she can push her way into an interview with me, she is going to be great at sales!" I was right about that, but I would have never guessed anyone that pushy would turn out to be one of my closest friends. She started for me the following Monday and preceded to sell about 90% of the ads in our second Wedding Guide! We broke all goals because of her! I was so proud of her ... and so blessed because of her. When I broke my shoulder, she was there all the time, either on the phone telling me what was happening in the office or coming by to check on me at the house. I will be forever grateful for Lynelle.

Now on to my personal Katrina memory ~ Lynelle is from New Orleans, her mother, father, sister, brother, and many other family members were victims of that horrible hurricane. Lynelle did not have cable TV or the weather channel during the storm so I got to be her medium. We stayed up on the phone all night long tracking the storm. Our cell phones died two or three times before we finally just plugged them in and realized we had home phones ~ duh! She was able to keep up with her mom and sister because they hauled it out of there up to a campground in northern Louisiana. Her dad didn't want to leave so he went over to try and protect his childhood home from looters and shortly after the levees broke she lost contact with him. For days we used the internet and kept watch on CNN for names of victims and those who were posting their names as being safe or who were looking for someone. We sent text messages to his phone, dialed it too many times to count even though we knew his cell battery had probably died days ago. Every day she came to work and I would look at her and she back at me and if she didn't say anything I knew she hadn't heard anything yet and we both burst into tears. I wish I could remember just how many days we did this, if she ever gets around to reading this maybe she can leave us a comment because I am sure she knows EXACTLY how many days it was. Anyway, when the day came that she had heard from him, the story was unbelievable. He had stayed in the home until the water go so high that he had to get onto his roof and wait to be rescued. He was finally rescued and was on a bus headed for Texas when he asked to be let out on the condition he not go back into town. He walked (and he's not a young man) for days to get to safety and food and water, heading toward Baton Rouge or Shreveport, I can't remember which but definitely headed north. Lynelle continued to worry about him of course for weeks and worry about what he and her mother and sister would find when they returned to New Orleans. Her mother's house was pretty much destroyed as she lived very close to Lake Pontchartrain; her sister's house suffered cosmetic damage but not flood damage and their dad moved in there for a while. Her brother lost a lot, too, in his business and his home. Everything about what Katrina did to this family is heart wrenching and yet, there was a small silver lining ...

Lynelle's sister, Shelly, moved to Hendersonville. Here she was able to give her two young girls a much better way of life in a town moving much slower and allowing little girls to be little girls and give us all the opportunity to add one more "really good friend" to our lives!

So, as you see for all the ups and downs of 2005, it all ended well. God is good indeed!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

1.0 lb! Still have 50.2 to go!

Watched all my points and exercised a few times and lost 1 pound! Yeah!

Even better news? My passport came yesterday! This year we have to have them to go to Jamaica - my picture is absolutely horrible but from what I hear, if it was a good photo they would swear it was fake! No chance of that! Getting it somehow made going to Jamaica again seem more real. Now I am getting antsy!

We will be very busy from now until New Year's Eve it appears - this Saturday we are having a send-off party for Nate who has been deployed by the Army; on the 15th we will celebrate Harmony's 4th birthday (where has the time gone? I can't believe she is 4!); on the 29th we will celebrate Art's birthday; getting into October, we celebrate Frank & Helen's birthday and we leave for Jamaica on the 26th; we'll be back into town just in time for Mom's birthday on the 12th of November; Justin, Me, the Pilgrims and the Indians celebrate birthdays and Thanksgiving two weeks after that; and then we're into December and who knows what parties and gatherings that will bring! Anyway, just thought I would share all that with you sense I am feeling a little overwhelmed with my early deadlines for Labor Day. Sometimes I think I would rather work that day than do double duty the week before and after just trying to catch up from one short holiday. Does anyone else feel that way? BTW, if you have something I need to include on our calendar - please leave me a comment and I'll make sure we added to the mix.

Whew - that leaves me a bit out of breath so I will go for now - check back later for a new post as I have something I really want to share here on this anniversary of Katrina heating New Orleans.

Video from last trip to Jamaica-Frank took the video of EB with our camera as we chased Rusty the turtle ~ Enjoy! (Let me know if you can watch the video - it is a new blogger feature I wanted to try out.)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Want to see a great feel good movie?

I watched this today and though I am a golf fan, I think I would have enjoyed it even if I weren't. It was so wholesome and clean and uplifting ... and true! It's the story of Harry Vardon and Frances Ouimet, two of golf's early stars. If you get the chance to rent it or watch it on tv, do so. The little boy, Eddie, will make you laugh and the fact that there are no curse words and it is so inspiring will make you wish there were more like this one to rent. I loved it. If you watch it, let me know if you agree!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Ready, Set, Go!

This is my new "Before" picture even though it is really an after picture since it's one year (and 50 pounds less) after I started Weight Watchers. I love the picture even though it is a bit blurry. Frank took it after dark at Patriot's Point last Saturday when we went to Charleston. So, today I put my mind back into weight loss mode. I am halfway there and I am not going to give up even if it does take another year ... or another year. Julia told us today that the years are going to come and go whether we do anything or not, so we shouldn't let the time it takes to accomplish something be what hinders us from starting that something. So today is my LAUNCH DAY again - see why I chose this pic? Not only do I like the picture, but being on a torpedo is kind of an appropriate way to LAUNCH my next 12 months of Weight Watchers.

Last year when I started I added up the pounds lost - got up to 55 pounds before I took a little hiatus to let my body, brain, and closet catch up. I've put back on 7.8 of those pounds by not paying close enough attention and by skipping meetings (due to work mostly) so when I went today my total weight loss was at 48.2!

So this is the deal, when I get back to the 50 pound loss I am going to start counting down the second 50. So each week instead of telling you how much I've lost I am going to tell you how much I have left to goal. I think this will be a different approach as it will keep me striving to see that number dwindling (like me) instead of increasing. Make sense? So keep your fingers crossed and your tempting foods outta my way because I'm on a mission!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Guess Where My New Car Got to Visit Yesterday!

It was just begging for a road trip - so Frank gave in and we took a ride to Charleston. I do so miss that city! We left Hendersonville around noon on Saturday and traveled to Charleston via I26. Our first stop was in Irmo at Mathias' Sandwich Shop where we enjoyed a double cheeseburger and a chicken salad sandwich, both were pretty good. The sandwich shop seemed to be a favorite in the town ~ it was filled with Gamecock memorabilia and pictures from when it was started in 1946.

We got back on the road and made our way to I526 - the shortcut out to James Island and Folly Beach. I thought I wanted to get my feet wet, but by the time I sent Frank in the wrong direction by about 20 miles and we finally made it to the beach, I realized that the beach is NOT the reason I come to Charleston ... Charleston is the reason!

Of course, Frank knows this, and when he pointed out the fact that going on the beach would lead to sand in my new car, well, that just confirmed that we needed to head north to the city. On the way there, we picked up the City Paper and decided to try dinner at Meritage. It has been around on East Bay Street for a while but always seemed closed or too fancy when we were there before. The ad in the paper said it had recenty been reopened as a Tapas Restaurant. We love Tapas! They are little plates of foods that are meant to be shared. Last night we started off with steak tartare with onions, mustard, capers and toast points; then we shared 3 broiled scallops with boursin cheese mashed potatoes; then pad thai noodles with chicken satays; and finally tenderloin over wilted spinach topped with crab confit! Yummy! It sounds like a lot but the dishes are like appetizers with very small portions - two to three bites each - just enough to give you a nice taste without filling you up on just one.

After we ate we looked for a hotel and none were to be found less than $80, so we drove home. Got back in around 5:15 am and went to bed. All in all it was a long and delicious day. I got the travel bug out of my system for another couple of weeks at least and my car got to meet my favorite city! It did quite well, too, averaging about 36 mpg on the trip. By the time I make my way to John Johnson's on Tuesday it should be right at 3000 miles (just in time for it's first check-up and oil change!)

BTW, sorry I haven't written in so long. Hope to get back into it this week. As of Wednesday, it will be one year since I started Weight Watchers. I kind of took the summer off a little, letting my body adjust to the 55 pounds I had lost. I have put back on a few of those and am sitting right now on a 50 pound loss. On Wednesday, I will be starting again at full force on those next 50 pounds I need to lose. I am very proud of what I have been able to do so far and the fact that I have maintained within about 2 to 5 pounds during my hiatus of heavy duty working at the diet. As of Wednesday, expect my weekly updates to start once again and the race to lose that 100 pounds starts all over again!
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Thursday, August 09, 2007

Happy Birthday, Luke

Happy Birthday, Luke! Here's a layout I did a while back of Luke with his friend, Phillip.