Friday, January 25, 2013

Failed Escape

I have been stuck in the house since last Thursday. Over the weekend it was brutally windy, and I have a hard time going out in that sometimes, so I just stayed put. And then the deep freeze set in for the week. There have been some days where it hasn't even reached 10 degrees (F)!! And of course the wind chill is even worse!! Needless to say, I'm going a little nutty being by myself this entire week. Even Mittens wants me to leave the house (no, he didn't say that, but sometimes I think he wants me to! lol)!

What have I been doing all week?? Besides going stir-crazy?

Well, I've chatted away on the phone with several people:

I baked some oatmeal cranberry cookies (except I didn't realize the dried cranberries I bought were really cherries.....still awesome cookies!!):

I also made a yummy pot of black bean veggie soup, which I think I'm addicted to making!:

I started walking on my treadmill again, something I've been meaning wanting forgetting to do for MONTHS:

I've been reading my book like crazy!! I'm over halfway through with it, it's so good!!:

I've done a little cleaning, but really, not as much as I could have done!:

And of course, I've been spending too much a lot of time online!

So today, I thought I might possibly go out for a little bit and run a couple errands. I thought it was supposed to be a little "warmer," but nope! When the oxygen guy came for delivery as usual on Fridays, I stood inside my living room talking to him while the door was open. Oh my gosh!! In those ten minutes, I froze my butt off!! I did NOT go outside this afternoon!! But I WILL go out tomorrow since I have a breakfast meeting/conference thing to attend with my mom in the morning! Supposedly it's supposed to be like 25 degrees. That's going to feel like a heat wave!!! lol

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I dove into the world of owning my own computer when I bought my first Gateway back in January 1997. I was still living at home at that time, and busy finishing my last semester of college. It was fun to be able to do all my homework on a computer and not a word processor (soooo boring), but what really fascinated me was connecting to the world wide web! That computer got a lot of use, including the huge cow box it arrived in. I still use that box today to store my wardrobe for the different seasons. Currently, all my summer clothes are in it!

When I moved into my apartment, of course the Gateway came with me. I continued the world wide web obsession, even though dial up left something to be desired. Ah well! It was fun!! And then suddenly, my computer died. NOOOOOO!! I had started going back to grad school, and well heck! I needed a computer!! So, I used part of my loan to buy another one, and I got another Gateway. It was a thinner model, and it wasn't a tower model, which I found kinda nice as it didn't take up too much space. I got through my grad school degree using it, and then it started having problems. NOOOOOOO!! I could barely get the thing to power up, and every time I did, I tried my best to save files and such on CDs. And then finally one day, that one died!! 

And so, I bought a Dell! I was tired of trying with the Gateways. My Dell worked quite well for some time, and then it started getting dinosaur-slow. Even though I was now hooked up to cable modem to get on the internet (which, let me tell you, I would leave as the very last thing to give up when trying to trim bills!! It's soooo convenient!!). Soooo, I looked into my first laptop! I bought that in June 2008, another Dell! It looks like this!

So, it's been almost 5 years since I've had this laptop, and besides a few issues here and there, I think it still works pretty well. It's not ancient slow yet, it seems to work, and I'm really hoping that'll continue for several more years before I really need to consider buying another one. The only problem is that up until this afternoon, my keyboard looked like this:

Yes, that is MY keyboard, not a stock image I found on Google like the ones above! lol Notice that some of the letters are completely scratched off? And the ALT key on the left side of the space bar is completely gone? Well, maybe the fact that I use my laptop pretty much every day, also pretty much several times a day, caused the poor keyboard to get so worn out!! Now, the scratched off letters weren't really a big problem for me. I'm one of those people who don't look while they are typing. That's because I had a typing teacher in high school who was VERY STRICT, and apparently I memorized the letters so I wouldn't get my knuckles rapped with a ruler (yes, I'm serious, and no, she was not a nun!). Unfortunately, if someone else tried using my laptop, and they used the hunt-and-peck method of typing, they mostly looked at my keyboard and got frustrated since they couldn't find the letter they needed!  What was bothering me a LOT was trying to actually hit some of the keys. Certain letters would basically need a body slam before the letter would show up on the screen, and then sometimes when it did work, the letter would show up at least 4 times. GRRRR!! 

I tried several methods of getting the letters on the keys. My sister tried using a Sharpie over the summer. That lasted only a few days, and my fingers got rather black. Then K. suggested using some labels he gave me a few weeks ago. I did try that, but I think the labels were too old. After several days, the letters started to peel off. And so then, he suggested using a permanent marker, and after letting it dry, trying to put a clear coat of nail polish over it. Hmmm, ok. Tried that, and failed! Even after letting the marker dry overnight, all the letters smeared out as soon as I put the nail polish over it. lol

So last week, I finally started researching how to change a keyboard on a laptop, and if that was even possible. Guess what?? It is! Then I looked up my Dell model on Ebay, and found several keyboards for sale. But before I bought anything, I searched for videos on Youtube for directions on how to replace the keyboard, and how easy (or hard) it was to do. I found a great video that made it pretty easy, watched it at least 5 times to get the steps down, and then went back to Ebay to buy a keyboard!

**By the way, aren't you amazed at what is out there online to help find info?? I mean, I googled, ebayed, Youtubed, and ebayed again for this entire thing!! LOL**

Today I got the keyboard in the mail. I was excited and nervous!! I was about to try being a techie geek!! I watched the video one more time before shutting down the laptop. I took stuff apart, being ever so careful not to break anything. Within about 10 minutes, I had this!

I DID IT!! I changed out my keyboard, and I didn't kill my laptop in the process! AND, the keyboard works!! WHOOO HOOO!!!  I'm so proud of myself! So, I will contine happily using my laptop until it dies, and I really pray that I didn't just jinx myself saying that!!! LOL

Monday, January 21, 2013


Last year, before the PHA International Conference, I found out that the PHA was looking for people to help them with videos they wanted to make about people living with PH secondary to another illness or condition. This included people living with Scleroderma, Lupus, HIV/AIDS, and Congenital heart disease. Oh! Congenital heart disease! Well, that was me! So as much as I was very afraid to be in front of a camera, because I'd never been filmed before, I told them I could volunteer if they needed me. And guess what? They needed me!

So on the Saturday of the conference, I went to an assigned room to film. I was interviewed, answered lots of questions, and felt like I was there for an hour. lol I was wondering when the videos would be made, and found out a couple weeks ago that they were all done!

Here I am, along with another congenital heart patient, and MY cardiologist from the Cleveland Clinic! I really respect him and all the research he likes to do about people living with my condition, not to mention that he's a really good guy!

(While I'm so happy I participated in this video, if I am ever asked to do something like this again, I need to try to smile more!!! And also, I really don't like the still frame shot of  me, but what can I do??? LOL)

Sunday, January 20, 2013


When I was younger, I was an avid reader. I could go to the library and check out the max number of books (maybe like 5-7?? can't even remember!), and spend the next week or two reading all of them. I could read for hours at a time. Sometimes I'd finish a book in a day. I totally loved to read fiction, sometimes biographies, thrillers. It didn't really matter too much!

In the past several years, I've really gotten bad with reading. I just don't seem to make time for it. It might take me quite a few months to finish a book, especially if I'm not totally into it. I feel guilty starting a book and not finishing it if I don't like it. lol So then it'll take me much longer to read it so I can move on to another!

So I decided to try and make it a goal to read more this year. Not a resolution, because I don't do resolutions, but a goal. So far I've got one book finished! 

Michael Jackson wrote this book in the '80s, and some of it was rather eye-opening. He talked about his life at the point of being an entertainer with his family. All the struggles they faced, what he saw behind the scenes, how difficult it was to make the albums of Thriller and Bad. I've always been a huge Michael Jackson fan, and so I found it an interesting read!

So, on to my next book, which I started a few nights ago!

If you don't know anything about the novels of Jodi Picoult, know this: they are mostly about topics that are controversial or eye-opening, and the endings can be downright devastating. I have literally bawled my eyes out reading two of her books (My Sister's Keeper and Handle With Care), and a couple of them have shocked me. So I'm looking forward to seeing what this one will do to me! It's about a teenage boy with Asperger's syndrome, with a penchant for forensic analysis. His diagnosis has caused family life to be sort of rocky at times over the years with his mom and his younger brother. I really like the book so far, which means I hope I won't be lingering over it for months, and finish it within at least a couple weeks!

On that note, my bed and bedroom should both be warm and toasty by now so I can get my pajamas on and read for awhile before drifting off to La-la Land!! 

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Counting My Blessings

A phriend of mine posted something on her Facebook wall several weeks ago, an idea that I totally loved. Basically, it said to get some sort of jar or container, and write down something you were thankful for every single day of the year. How awesome is that?? I know that some people have terrible days, myself included, but there is SOMETHING to be thankful for every day, even if it's just to be thankful for waking up! So, I've started my own jar!

I have an old Mason jar,
little white squares of paper,
and a black pen
I keep these items on my bedroom nightstand, and every night before bed, I've thought of something to write down, including the date. I fold the paper up, and drop into the jar. So by the end of 2013, I can go back and read all my notes to see the things I've been so thankful for during the year! Awesome idea, no?? I only wish I had known about it for last year, because that was a very amazing year for me! Oh well, at least I know about it now!! Maybe it's something you can do as well?? 

Friday, January 04, 2013

Another Year

Well, 4 days into 2013, and nothing too exciting has happened. lol I had a really nice New Year's Eve/day with K. We stayed indoors to bring in the brand new year at his place. He bought all the fixings for a very delicious dinner, including a ribeye steak,

roasted red potatoes (both which he made out on the grill),


and the best triple berry crumb pie I've ever had.

Well, it's the ONLY triple berry crumb pie I've ever had! It was fabulous! We had wine with dinner,

and rang the New Year in with pink champagne (well, I did anyway).

K. built a great fire in his fireplace,

and we spent the evening talking about 2012 and the things that happened. I mentioned some things I'd like to see happen for 2013, so we'll see what the year brings!!

On New Year's Day, we had breakfast together, and then K. left for a few hours to play tennis.

Since there wasn't an area where I could watch him play, I stayed at his house and played PS3. He has a game called Grand Turismo (picture is from Sony),

a racing game, and it's very cool! There are thousands of cars to race, tons of race tracks and goals, and well.....lots of entertainment for me. You see, I SUCK AT THE GAME!! I laugh hysterically through most of the races, because I constantly bang into walls, barriers, you  name it. I think if there was a way to run over the crowds of people, I'd do it! I even raced backwards for a couple minutes one time, and I couldn't stop crying, it was so funny! It almost makes me wish I had my own PS3 so I could maybe practice more, but I know myself. I'd be playing all day long!!! If only it could be a job, I'd sign up!! K. eventually got back, and we had some pizza,

played a little more driving games, and watched tv. I left earlier than I usually like to because I was rather tired, and stopped at my parents for a little bit before finally getting back home. It was the first time I'd spent New Year's Eve at someone else's home, and I have to say, it was a rather wonderful way to ring in the new year!!