Tuesday, July 31, 2007

PH Chat

About 2 weeks ago almost, I asked my fellow PHriends whether anyone would like an afternoon chat. We have chat practically every night during the week, except for Saturdays. So I posted the question on the PH boards. And it looked like it was going to be a grand idea!! So last Tuesday (the 24th), I hosted the first afternoon chat. And it was a success! In the hour and a half that I could be there, I saw at least 14 different people come and go. It was so good to see so many of us come together to chat. Many were people who can never make it to the night time chats for various reasons. So I was pleased!

Today chat was very busy again! So I'm so glad that I asked everyone whether it was a good idea. And I plan on continuing it for as long as I can!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Harry Potter Snafu!!

I read an article earlier today about some people who were missing pages out of the new Harry Potter book. They were either completely missing, or they were just in the wrong section of the book, causing some problems in reading it coherently!! Some people are keeping the book as a collector's item, and some are trading them in for a new version.

Tonight I was reading my copy, and I got up to chapter 15. I like to skim and see how long the chapters are, so I was trying to figure out when chapter 15 ended, and chapter 16 started. I soon realized that I had 33 missing pages!! I couldn't believe it, just my luck!! I called one of my sisters to tell her (she finished the book in 2 days, so she said I could borrow hers to finish reading!), and then one of my friends. After getting off the phone, I looked at my book again, and discovered that I really wasn't missing the pages after all. They were just in a completely different section. Soooo, I can continue reading the book!

On Ebay, however, I found 2 copies of misprinted books. One is going for $50 right now, and the other is going for a little over $80. So I might have to consider putting my book on Ebay after I'm done for some extra cash!! Of course, I would have to get myself another copy of the book, and hope that it's not missing pages either!!

Monday, July 23, 2007

My Most Inspiring Possession

A dear friend named Judi, whose journal I've been reading for years, has brought back her ARTSY ESSAY CONTEST! I'm very excited about this, and hope that others will read the wonderful essays already posted in Judi's blog!

Here is the topic for this month's new installment:
What is your favorite and most inspiring possession? Tell us about it, and if you want an extra creative challenge... tell us about it without naming it until the very last sentence of your essay:):):)

I own alot of possessions. When I first moved out of my parents' house, almost 9 years ago, I took this possession with me. It was mine, I had bought it, but I did allow the other members of my family to use it from time to time while I was at home.

This possession has been a tremendous outlet for me to do a wide variety of things. I was able to record the barking of our first family dog, something that was cherished when she sadly died way too early for her doggy lifespan. I also was able to save my wonderful pet bird's singing, to remind me of the most loyal pet I have ever had as a child, up until I got my cat a year after living on my own.

This possession has helped me create over 50 essays and papers during the years I spent in school for my teaching degrees. It gave me tips on how to phrase something, and told me if I spelled something incorrectly. It provided a list of synonyms for a word if I was overusing it. It also sometimes lost my work, which would lead me to almost throwing this possession out of the window.

This possession has allowed me to play games of all sorts. I've mastered some card games that I had never heard of before. I've survived fighting games, if only for a short time before I made a mistake and lost. Although they drove me nuts, I've attempted several strategy games, before I couldn't figure them out anymore, and I gave up. I've excelled with word games, even crosswords, which always makes me happy! The games often made me procrastinate on the essays I should have been writing!

This possession has allowed me to teach children when I no longer could be in the classroom. I've been able to use my teaching degrees in a way I never thought I could do. I've helped hundreds of lost children figure out how to use an exclamation point, what the steps are in writing an essay, and how to look up words in a dictionary. I know this possession allowed me to see so many children who were thankful for the help!

This possession has allowed me to expand my media library to include artists I had never heard of, and to collect songs of artists I've loved for years. It has allowed me to see videos I had forgotten about, to watch clips of childhood television shows and movies, and to see crazy animals doing all sorts of things. I have also been able to store the many hundreds of photos of loved ones, pets, and other things on this possession, which will help bring back memories of so many events in time.This possession has also allowed me to share all these things with other people, who also might have never experienced them like I have!

This possession has allowed me to meet people from all over the world. I've met interesting individuals from the US, Canada, Australia, Europe, just to name a few places! I've met people with all sorts of jobs: teachers, journalists, construction workers, business owners, ice cream makers, and the list goes on. I have also chatted with people who have hobbies ranging from collecting things, to reading and poetry, to creating beautiful objects with paints, beads, stencils, you name it. It is so wonderful meeting so many others who have different ways of living, but who can also share some similar experiences!

This possession has also allowed me to explore my creativity, and to share my thoughts with people.I write about almost everything, whether it is just a comment on the day, or thought-provoking ideas. I've shared personal likes and dislikes, through words, through stories, through jokes, and through pictures.

With everything I've been able to do with this most inspiring possession of mine, the one thing that is most endearing to me is being able to meet people with pulmonary hypertension (PH). I have lived with this rare lung and heart disease for my entire life, and never once did I know anyone who dealt with what I went through as a child. The extreme shortness of breath from doing very small tasks, or trying to play with my friends was brutal. The constant hue of bluish purple that reminded everyone that something was wrong with me, was something I never saw until I was an adult. The feeling of my heart beating out of my chest after climbing a flight of stairs was an experience no one around me could even begin to comprehend. Not until 2003, when I found others who were just like me with my most wonderful possession!

I communicate with these people, PHriends as we call each other, almost every day. I read messages from them, ranging on all topics, from diagnosis to treatments, how-to's and what if's, triumphs to failures. We share personal stories, prayers to each other, and just a wonderful support for those facing this scary illness. Without my possession, I would have never found and connected with this great support system. I would have continued to feel so alone with this disease.

What possession has allowed me to meet so many people around the world? What possession has allowed me to get utterly lost in a good game of solitaire? What possession has allowed me to share photos, and thoughts and ideas with others? What possession has allowed me to create bonds with people who share the same disease as I do? My most inspiring possession is black, comes in many parts, which all connect with wires. My possession gets plugged into the wall, and it's name is Dell.

My most inspiring possession is my computer. :)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Harry Potter Time!

The final installment of the Harry Potter series came out today. My sister, Joan, and I went out to hunt for it. We were successful at our first store....Walmart! Not that I thought it wasn't going to be available, but you never know!

I've started reading it already, but only a few pages. Very intriguing already. And that's all I will say about it, since I have several Potter fans reading my blog, and I will be shot at if I divulge anything about the book. lol

Does Harry live or die?? That is the big question on everyone's minds!!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Cutie Pies!!

Today was the first of 4 days that I'll be babysitting my niece, Sydney. She is one of my best friend's daughter. Sydney is 2 1/2 years old, and she was just as excited about coming over to see her Aunt Colleen as I was to having her here!

They got here around 7:30am, and Erin left a bunch of things I would need, and some just-in-case items, and left for work. Sydney and I had breakfast together, watched some tv, read books, played with cars, colored, put stickers on paper, tried to find the cat, and tried to find all the fish in the house. She got overly excited every time she found one (I have 6)! Sydney also asked several times why I wore "that in my nose." She was referring to the oxygen. I just kept telling her that it helps me to breathe. She also kept trying to help bring my tubing with me whenever I walked around. Sometimes almost ripping it out of my face, but still, she was trying to assist!

Around 11ish, my mom came over with Hailey. Sydney was extremely shy! Hailey was not! Hailey was so excited to see everything, and every time she saw a fish, she said "Dorothy! Another Dorothy!" In case any of you didn't know, Dorothy is the name of Elmo's goldfish on Sesame Street! Eventually, after I made lunch for both girls (peanut butter & jelly!), they started playing together. It was rather cute to watch!

Erin came to pick up Sydney, and before I walked down the stairs with them to see them out, I took off my oxygen so I wouldn't trip anyone. Sydney saw me and said, "Are you done breathing, Aunt Colleen?" I thought that was too cute, and too funny!! I just told her no, that I would put it right back on when I gave her a kiss and a hug goodbye!

I will see Sydney on Monday, Wednesday and Friday next week. I need to go through some of my preschool stuff in the basement to see if there is anything we can work on. I had fun though, and I can't wait to see her again!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Thieves!!

I was robbed this morning. Twice in fact. Within approximately 30 minutes.

It was so scary, seeing my items stolen. The first thief had the audacity to bury my item under the tree in front of my house. Right in front of me!

I caught the second thief outside my window. He had his back turned to me, and when I yelled "You blankety-blank!", he turned around and proceeded to eat my item while staring me down. The nerve!! The boldness!!

I'll get those darn squirrels for stealing my grape tomatoes!!!! The first one took a nice almost-red one. The second one took one that was green!! Grrrrrrrr!! I had to pick all the rest of them before they could take those, too!!

Queen-sized Bed For A King-sized Kitty



I'm so glad I don't have to share the bed with him at night! He has it during the day, and I have it when I go to bed. A nice trade-off, I think!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Rugs For Areas!!

I'm sooooo excited! Today, my mom and I went area rug shopping at Kmart. Kmart was having a sale! So we figured, why not look? I'm very glad we did! I now have 3 rugs for my two rooms that just became carpet-less! One of my aunts was very kind to give us some money for something I needed, and we were able to use it for all 3 rugs, which I thought was awesome!!























































Saturday, July 14, 2007

Mittens' Adventure

*Editor's Note: This is written by Mittens. He wanted to tell his own version of what happened today!*

I woke up this morning when I heard Mommy get up, as usual. I greeted her immediately, and as usual she said her good mornings and asked how my night was. Why can't she just skip all that and get right to feeding me breakfast?? I don't care that she has to put in her eyes and everything. Geesh. This particular morning, she kept saying something about going to the vet. She had been saying that for days now, like I was supposed to understand who or where the vet is. All I wanted was food!

Mommy finally fed me, and she began her morning ritual of eating breakfast and reading news on the computer. She's always on that darn machine, can't she give it a rest?? Anyway, I went about my business, checking up on her every once in awhile. She kept mentioning that vet. She was starting to make me nervous.

Mommy went to lay down for awhile, she had said something about not feeling well today. That happens, and I just let her be. But after awhile, she was moving around again. She caught me in her computer chair, though. I froze, she froze, and I really thought she was going to start yelling as usual. I know I'm not allowed in her precious chair, but it's soooo comfortable. However, for some reason, she let me stay in it. She didn't come running in for me to get out. I was a bit confused. Just for my own safety, I decided to jump out of it anyway.

A bit later, Mommy started moving about like someone was coming. She put the kitchen chair in front of one of my favorite escape zones, the kitchen cupboards. She also shut her bedroom door. Oh man, did I start to panic. Next thing I knew, she let Grandma in the house. Oh gosh, what was she doing here?? I really tried to hide in the cupboard, but man, Mommy blocked it well. But then, Mommy started tempting me with drugs. She calls it catnip, but I think it's heaven! Ooooh, she was trying to offer it to me, and then when I'd get close, she kept backing up. Right near the big black canvas luggage-looking item on the floor. She threw the catnip in there, and I started going in to get it, and the next thing I knew, Mommy is trying to shove my entire ass in there!! What the bleep???? I start panicking more, and then Grandma came over to help Mommy out. They were laughing and laughing, but I did not find it one bit funny!! Didn't they see me trying to struggle back out of that thing?? And then they finally zipped me in there, and I was trapped. Oh the humanity!! What did Mommy think she was doing?? I sat in that black bag crying and whining, and she just wouldn't let me out. I began to plot my revenge.

Eventually, Mommy and Grandma picked me up and started taking me out of the house. Out of the house! I have always wanted to go out of the house, but Mommy never lets me!! And now she was letting me, but I was trapped in a big black bag! Grandma put me in this thing they called a van. Mommy sat next to me, and tried petting me on the way to wherever we were going. I was starting to think it was that vet Mommy kept talking about. I kept up with the constant crying. Apparently Mommy still can't understand me. After almost 7 years of owning her, she still doesn't speak my language. It's rather annoying. I did sense that she felt bad, though. She kept telling me she loved me and she didn't want to bring me to the vet. Well why the heck was she??

Finally the van stopped. Grandma and Mommy got out, and brought me into a building. I sensed other animals in there. Mommy signed me in, and within 5 minutes, they were bringing me into a really small room. Mommy was told to get me out of the bag, so they could put me on something called a scale. At least Mommy got to hold me for a hot minute! We left that small room, and rounded a corner to the scale. I heard some people gasping and saying "Wow, he's big!" Mommy put me on the scale, and it said I weighed 20 pounds. Dang, I'm so surprised Mommy can even hold me! Then she picked me back up again, and brought me back in the small room. She put me on this cold shiny table, and I proceeded to crawl right back into that black bag. I mean come on, I felt I was more than ready to go home by then!

Eventually, this woman came into the room. She said she was a Dr. Apparently she was new to the place. Mommy proceeded to tell this Dr. that I've been having issues with licking. Geesh, Mommy, you've seen me do it for almost 7 years, don't you think it's normal? I guess I've been doing it too much lately. It has been a bit annoying. I've got a few red patches of skin in some areas, and I really do feel like I'm just licking the hours away. This Dr. started to pull my fur and look into my eyes. Then she was trying to pry my mouth open. For the love people, leave me alone! I was trying to tell them that, but again, they didn't understand me!! Anyway, the Dr. said something about cortizone. She talked about some other shots, too, that I might need. Like rabies and heartworm stuff. She told Mommy it was up to her if I had all that stuff, too, but I guess Mommy didn't really want me to go through all that as well. How kind of her to think of me. The Dr. left and I thought it was all over. But noooooo. She came back in, all quiet and talking to Mommy. Mommy held my head, petting me so nice like she usually does, and all of a sudden, I felt this sharp pain in my butt!! WHAT THE HECK WAS THAT??? That Dr. was NOT nice at all!! All that time she kept saying "there there, my friend, you are alright" as she was checking me was such a lie. She is not my friend, she just stuck something sharp in my ass!! After she did that, Mommy and Grandma opened my black carrier again, and I gladly got back in it. I had enough with this place!

Grandma brought me back to the van, and Mommy stayed inside the building for a few minutes to do something. I think she was paying those people for my torture session! Mommy came out and back to the van. She told Grandma that it wasn't as bad as she thought, she only paid $62 for what just happened inside. I feel a tad bit sad for her, for she used some of the money she saved for the new Harry Potter book to help me. But if she had just let me alone in the first place, she wouldn't have had to do that. Suits her right!

Grandma drove Mommy and I back home. Mommy kept saying on the way that we were almost there, but it seemed to take forever. Finally, we got there, and Grandma brought me back in the house. Mommy opened that darn bag, and I was free!! Back home! Away from the madness!! Away from that crazy Dr. and her sharp objects!! Mommy kept telling me I was a good boy. Of course, I was a good boy. I really didn't have any options there, did I? She gave me catnip! Whoooo hooo! What a way to end that tortuous event. I sure hope I never go through that again!

Mommy said the same thing!

Friday, July 13, 2007

I've Won The Battle Of The Ugly Orange Carpet!!!

YAAAAAAAAAAAY!!! The ugly gross orange carpet from the 70s gets to disappear next month when my friends come back to the Falls again to visit!! How did I win this battle, you may wonder?? Well, my best friend told me that, since I will be babysitting her daughter for a week, she will buy me an area rug for my living room! I was like what???? And she said, "Well, would you rather have cash or an area rug for the room??" Seriously, I want the crappy orange rug out of there!!! Did I mention that it's ORANGE?? Here, don't believe me?? I took pictures!! lol Trust me, I'll be taking new ones when all the ugliness is gone, and there is a nice new area rug underneath!! Whoooo hooooo!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Uh Oh! Someone Has A Dr's Visit!!
















Mittens is my baby. He is strictly an indoor cat, and for this reason, I've only taken him to the vet three times since I received him as a Christmas gift back in 2000. So he hasn't gone since 2003. He has been fine. No major issues, no loss of appetite (obviously, he is a big kitty!), no illnesses, nothing. Until this spring/summer. I do believe my poor little man has allergies suddenly. His right eye watered for a few weeks when spring started, which has been cleared up for awhile now. But for the past few weeks, all he keeps doing is licking! And licking, and licking....on and on. I've found several "hot spots," pinkish red areas of skin beneath his thick fur where he's licked himself to death. Unfortunately, when I called the vet's office today, the only thing I can do is bring him in to get a checkup and most likely a cortizone shot. I don't want to for 2 reasons: 1) It's gonna be a huge effort trying to get him in his carrier! I bought one that looks like luggage, just in case I ever needed to bring him to the vet again. I was hoping not to use it, but now I guess I'll have to see if he'll actually go in it. Voluntarily or not. Thank goodness my mom can help me! 2) I can't afford it. Sure, I have my credit card. Obviously, that's how I'm gonna have to pay for his visit. Of course, I'll do it b/c after all, he is my baby! But it's just hard when you have no money to all of a sudden pay almost $100 for your kid. Oh well, I just want him to STOP THE LICKING!!!

Blog Update

I've been fiddling around with the html in my blog the past couple days, and today I changed it again. I feel like I should be seeing a beautiful tropical fish or a dolphin swimming by at any moment! hehe I love it though! I think I might actually stick with it for awhile. And since I'm in the mood for changing things (and not in the mood to wash my dishes), maybe I'll change my Myspace page!!

Air Conditioning - YUCK

I live for the summer weather, because I just love the warmth and comfortableness of not having to deal with harsh cold, and wearing layers. I hate the very hot and humid days when there's really no choice but to turn on the a/c. And I think today I realized why I despise it so much: I feel so claustrophobic!! I can't stand it when I can't open my windows, and feel the nice warm air, and hear all the sounds of summer. I finally reopened my windows tonight after having the a/c on all day, and I felt relief! It still is muggy outside, but not as bad as the daytime heat. I'm glad it won't be so terribly hot for the next several days, because all I want is to have my windows open!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Carpet-less Floors!!

MY FLOORS ARE AWESOME!!!!

I know I don't have any before pictures of the rugs (of course, I thought of taking them AFTER they were pulled up, duh!), but I just had to post some pics of the hardwood floors!! My friends worked so hard, and they were even excited for me when they saw how the great condition the floors were in! The only trouble spot was in the bedroom, where a rather worn-out area of the floor was found on one side of the bed. I think that is because of the steamer I run every winter, and the fact that I spilled a tremendous amount of water one night right in that spot. They tried to moisten it up as best they could, but really, eventually there will be a runner on the side of my bed right on top of it, so it's ok! Anyway, I had an emotional moment after my friends left, because I was just so happy they were willing to help me out with this. I have awesome friends, who help me in so many ways, and I just love them all so much!!







































































Thursday, July 05, 2007

Renovations

On Saturday, a few of my good friends are coming over to help rip out the carpet in my bedroom. It's old, it's gross, and it just needs to go! I'm excited to see how the hardwood floors have held up, since the first owners of this house buffed them every year until the elderly mother couldn't do it anymore (although she kept trying!), and they put down carpeting. I will not be replacing the rug with anything other than a runner alongside the bed, and a smaller piece in front of the bed. Hopefully, it will look nice!! My bedroom has totally been my comfort zone since repainting in September, and decorating with red accents.

I had a little chat with my mom this morning, and asked if it was alright it we also rip up the carpet (if you could call it that, it's flat as a pancake!) in the computer room. My mom said she wouldn't object, but to leave it up to them if they want to. I know they said they would do it, too, but considering I don't know how long the bedroom is going to take, I don't know if we should. I'm hoping my one friend, who is driving up here from near NYC this weekend to help do this, will call me soon so I can ask for sure. There is sooooooo much more stuff in here to pack up than there was in the bedroom! Geesh, I've accumulated alot of crap in 7 years! So I don't want to start this room if they think they won't be able to do it.

I'm rather proud of myself today. I've gotten so much done since this morning when I got up! I've been pacing myself rather slowly, which is the SMART thing to do! I'm going to have a busy several days coming up, so I don't want to tire myself out!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007