April's Life Adventures
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The ever Sultry man in my life has chosen to go by the name of Sultry Husband within the walls of my blog. Occasionally he will post his thoughts and experiences here as well. A writer by trade as well as passion, he keeps our home a happy and inviting place.
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Wednesday, November 30, 2005Surreal
Last night I had a very interesting experience. I was getting myself ready for bed, when my husband went out to let the Dog's in for the night. He came back and told me that I needed to come outside with him. I looked at him like he was crazy, after all it was about 9 degrees outside (Fahrenheit for those who care). Anyway, he insisted that I needed to see something and he would meet me outside.
I proceeded to get dressed in the usual outside gear and headed to the back door. Keep in mind that it was about 10:30 pm at this point. When I opened up the door, it was as light as day. My husband was standing clear across the yard from me, yet I could see every feature of his face. It was lightly snowing, so there were high level clouds everywhere, you could not see a single star, yet the clouds were somehow lit up from beneath.
I know that it was probably just reflecting light back at us, but I wonder where the original light was coming from. I live in a rural community where we have a street light every few blocks or so, but I get nervous going out at night because of how dark it gets. Yet last night, I could see everything. It wasn't a natural light that we see from the sun, it somehow felt artificial. The entire world seemed hushed. It was very peaceful and yet very strange at the same time. We talked out there in the back yard for about an hour as our dogs ran around us and acted like puppies.
Copper,(the golden retriever) was leaping around in the snow like a gazelle, while Phnarph, (the little guy) tried to take him down. Copper would then lay down in the snow to pretend that Phnarph had actually wrestled him to the ground. Just to let the little one feel all important. It was almost like there was some sort of bug flying around infecting us all, but I felt more light hearted out there than I have in quite some time. I was loath to return to the inside world, yet we were feeling the effects of long lengths of time in the cold, so we regrettably headed indoors.
Whatever the phenomenon was last night, I hope it happens again sometime soon. A surreal experience for sure. It was darker this morning at 7 am than all of last night.
Monday, November 28, 2005Thanksgiving
Last Thanksgiving, we stayed home. It was wonderful! We decided that since we do all of our traveling at Christmas time, we could take a holiday off and relax. This year, my parents decided to come up and visit us as well!
It is a well known fact that I am married to a creative man. When I call him that, it is to explain how he is not known as Mr. Fixit. In fact, nine times out of ten, when something is broken in our home, it is me that fixes it and not my husband! My dad on the other hand is the ultimate Mr. Fixit. He knows everything I swear! The week prior to my parents arrival, my Mom asked me to send them a list of everything that I wanted Dad to look at while they were here. I sent an e-mail detailing each and every item, including a few digital pictures.
The list included difficult tasks such as cutting down the pine tree that died last summer, to finding out why three outlets in my kitchen/dining room have never worked. Each item on my list was quickly checked off, and more items were added to the list as he saw things that I didn't even realize needed fixing! (really Dad, I didn't remember that the lid to my toilet seat falls off... I guess we are just used to it).
My mom suggested a wonderful plan to us. We get what we can done from the lists but not at the expense of "happy memories". This idea came from my ultra brilliant big brother who thinks of everything! Because of this desire for happy memories on the part of my kids, we took about three hours off and went up to the woods to cut down a Christmas tree. This was possible only because my Dad has the coolest truck you have ever seen! Our little car could never make it up into those mountain hills this time of year, but his neat-o four wheel drive beauty didn't even make a complaint. We had a wonderful time, and I swear that we have the most beautiful Christmas tree that only cost about five bucks for the permit!
All in all, it was a very busy weekend. I cooked Thanksgiving dinner and everyone raved about my gravy and apple pie. It is always wonderful to see my parents and we have added many happy memories to our collection. I did feel bad about how hard my Dad worked, that is until my Mom called and told me about what a wonderful time he had fixing up our house. At least he enjoys fixing things... It makes it easier to ask him to do it again next time he visits...
Friday, November 18, 2005Midnight Madness
I was never spontaneous until I met my Husband. Really, I suppose that on occasion I would show some spunk, but mostly I was a planner. Everything had a plan, including meals, vacations, and especially dates. He on the other hand, is spontaneous within every fiber of his body. Needless to say, he has rubbed off on me.
Where is this post going, to this point really. I had to go into the local city last night for something so my husband and girls just came with me. While we were carrying out our duties, we drove past the Movie Theater in town, where I saw some people camped out in line outside the building. Instantly I wanted to be one of them.
Last year, a friend of mine and I went to the midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I remembered this awesome adventure that I had with her and instantly called this friend on the phone again. If they had tickets for that night's performance, would she want to go with me. Her answer, Of Course! So, My husband stopped and I bought two tickets. It was at this point that I realized that I really shouldn't go home or I would not get a good seat. All I had on me was a light jacket that once belonged to my brother, but he left it at a family function... I stole my husband's jacket and double layered myself and prepared to stand in the cold.
When my husband left, I realized how truly cold it was! I then noticed that I was in theater 10, all of the people who were already in line were for theater 6... I was first in my line! It was 7:30, and I was first in the line for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire! My friend came around 9:00, they let us into the theater at 10:45... The rest is history... What an awesome movie!
My only regret was that my friend had to get up and go to work this morning... I was able to sleep once I got my husband and kids off to work and school. Ahh the blessings of school. The truly funny part about the evening was that by the time we got home, my body was still cold. Not even an entire movie was enough time to take the chill away. Was it worth it? OF COURSE! Will I do this next year? Perhaps, if I plan better and bring a coat!
Wednesday, November 16, 2005Silly Uncles
So, my brother's comments the other day about old uncles of ours made me remember a few choice stories about some of them. One in particular made me start giggling, so I decided to share it. Besides, my last post was way too much of a downer, so I need to lighten things up a bit again.
One night my Uncle C got out of bed to go to the bathroom. He didn't want to wake up his wife, so he left the lights off and went traipsing down the hallway to use the facilities.
Upon finishing said duties, he headed back to bed. As he was walking toward his bedroom, he noticed something strange. There was a half naked man coming out of his wife's bedroom! This could not be tolerated under any circumstances. Something needed to be done.
He crouched down, and snuck toward the bedroom. He realized that the man at the end of the hall was also trying to be sneaky, so Uncle C decided upon a new tactic.
It wasn't until he heard the shatter and felt the pain that he realized that he had punched his own reflection in the door mounted mirror. That shadowy figure coming out of the bedroom was, yup you guessed it, himself...
Ahh good times, I love my funny Uncles.
I inherently try to keep this blog on the upbeat side. Perhaps it is just because I want people to like me like ABQ, but I try to find something funny to write about every day. Doesn't always work that way now does it? I also didn't really want to mention my new business here because it would take a lot to explain everything and I really don't want to do that. However, I think that I need some "blog therapy" as Fourth Fret named it, so here I go.
I have a new business. I am very excited about it, especially because it is something that I truly enjoy and I know that if people would just think about it, they would realize that they really do need my services. That said, I will also state how frustrated I am right now with the whole idea. I mean, I borrowed some money to get myself started, get the right equipment, get myself set up, and a little for advertising. I was all ready to go.
So, I perfected my product, I am ready to sell my services and what happens? Nothing. That's it, nada. I began running spots on the radio starting last thursday. Using up the last precious reserves that I have for this business to pay for them. I was told by the radio people that others who advertise on the radio, usually get calls on the very first day it airs. I have not heard one single call. Not one! I am starting to wonder if the radio is the right way to market for me after all. However, I am out of ideas! I mean, what is left? I can think of having a "party" like Mary Kay or Pampered Chef, but then I would be just like all of those people that I dispise! Just read my post on "Invitations". I would never want my friends and family to think that I am just hitting them up or anything. All I want is a few actual clients, is that so much to ask? Just a little validation from the public that my dream is worth while... Is that so hard?
I remember back when I mentioned this idea for a business to my husband, he was very supportive. He could see that I loved the idea and he supported me full force. There was one question that he did ask me though, "how would you feel if no one called?" I told him that I knew people would call so he didn't have to wory about it. I could see that he was only concerned for my well being and wondered how I would take it if my venture failed. I am not at the "failure" point yet, but I am at a crossroads. Where to go from here will take some major contemplation.
Saturday, November 12, 20051J
I did not grow up in Idaho. Therefore, I was unaware of how the license plate system worked here until I went to college. There is an interesting system that was created by our state government that comes in somewhat handy at times. Each county in our state has a different prefix to the licensee plate numbers. Therefore, we can instantly know what part of our state a person is from.
There was one particular county that I was always warned against while I was in college. And that, was the 1J. These people all grew up on farms and knew nothing of how to drive on the highways, thus whenever we saw a 1J driver out there, we panicked and passed them as quickly as possible.
The truly ironic part of my story is that I am now living in 1J territory. The license plate on my car states boldly that I am a 1J driver. I must admit that my husband and I find this quite hilarious, especially when people try to pass us quickly to escape. It has given us many moments of amusement because we know what the other drivers out there are thinking when they see our car. “Oh no, there is a 1J!”
Today while merging onto the highway, a nice looking Explorer hurried into the passing lane to get around us. I looked at their license plate, they were students up at the University where I first went to school. We were merging onto the highway, so we quickly accelerated up to the necessary speed. This poor couple barely made it past us before we caught up to them. They wanted to drive in front of us no matter what, consequently as we tried to speed up, they sped up. When we slowed down because of another car, we could not pass them because of our friends in the Explorer. We laughed at first, but became annoyed enough that we took the first opportunity to get around them that we could. My husband decided that it was worth risking a ticket on this heavily patrolled stretch of road just to thwart them. He succeeded in passing them eventually and played their own trick right back on them. I kept warning him that a ticket could come to us because of his silliness, but he stated boldly that it would be worth it. My husband would not slow down until we had turned off of our exit. We have an excuse to drive this way of course, after all we live in 1J territory. Beware drivers, we are 1J’s and we know how to use it.
Thursday, November 10, 2005Euphoria
I am always surprised by the feelings of euphoria that come after playing in a good concert. I find that I am completely happy no matter what is going on in my life. I had another concert last night and it was fabulous!
We performed that 20th century piece by Samuel Barber that I told you all about a few weeks ago. We were all pretty nervous about it because we botched it completely at the dress rehearsal. Last night however, it was almost perfect! We also played the Nutcracker Suite which includes the ever popular Trepak or Russian Dance. My personal favorite, it is a great show stealer, and even though you are not supposed to clap after it because it is only a movement of a large piece, there were a couple of whoops that the audience could not contain.
There is something magical about being up on stage and knowing that the audience is there to hear you. It transforms a few musicians into something magical. Makes me feel that I am more than just me, if that makes sense. I am part of a greater whole, I am one of many and although my part is important, the entire group is what really matters.
I never realized just how much I missed being part of a good orchestra. When I was married, we lived in a college town where the orchestra really wasn't very good. I found myself growing frustrated with the group, and the conductor in particular, so I quit. I decided that my time would be better spent with my new husband. Now that I am back in an area with the option of a good orchestra, I find that giving up one night a week is no sacrifice at all. It is addictive, it is amazing, and most of all it is part of who I am. May I always live in a place where music is an option.
As Oliver Wendell Holmes once said "Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons, and you will find that it is to the soul what the water bath is to the body."
Tuesday, November 08, 2005Birth Stories
I had not planned on joining the recent craze of posting about birth stories, but here I am. I will not be including every detail because much of the story is quite personal. Here goes. My daughter is now five years old. She is a spitfire and loves life! We are so happy to have her as part of our family, especially when you hear the circumstances of how she came into the world. There you go... I have told you already that this story ends up happy, but know this, the ride to get to healthy was a rocky and tear filled time for me.
My husband and I were still in college when we became pregnant. Summer arrived and we decided to go live with his parents for a few months and get higher paying jobs. I saw my doctor before leaving and he did an early ultrasound just to make sure we would be fine for the summer. All systems go and we left.
While in California however, we still went into another doctor for office visits. He never indicated that anything was wrong with either me or my baby, so we assumed that everything was going well... How wrong we were. You see, this was my first baby, so I really didn't know what to expect. I was actually leaking amniotic fluid the entire pregnancy and I never even knew.
When we returned from our sojourn into the Californian wilderness, I immediately made an appointment to see our Doctor again. We were scheduled for an ultrasound to find out if we were having a boy or a girl. I was at 29 weeks genestation, I had plenty of time left before the baby was due. As the visit progressed, our Doctor became more and more quiet. He started saying very alarming things like "hmmm I can't seem to locate the babies stomach", or "now the baby should have kidneys there". Needless to say, he didn't have a strong enough ultrasound machine to figure out what was really going on, so he scheduled us for an appointment with a specialist the next day.
We didn't know what to expect when we got there. My Mom drove up and met us at the office and we were invited into the ultrasound room. Immediately the Specialist could tell that there was something wrong. He measured my placenta and the flow through it and deemed it "half dead". It was noticed that my blood pressure was spiked way higher than it should be, and I was labeled with Toxemia and Pre Eclampsia. They determined that we would be delivering within the next 24 to 48 hours.
I was taken into a birthing room to wait the two days. As soon as they strapped on the special stress test belt, they realized that my daughter was in serious peril. She was acting as if I were having contractions and I was not feeling a thing. Her tiny little body was under so much stress that they decided that I needed to deliver immediately or we may loose her. In the mean time, my blood pressure spiked again and they feared a stroke... One of those questions of how many strikes can you have against you and still live situations.
As I was whisked into the operating room, I was very nervous, and my husband was stunned into silence (which rarely happens). The first thing that I noticed was the feeling of peace in that room. The doctors had chosen to play a recording of The Three tenors which immediately put me into a relaxed and peaceful mood.
As the c-section progressed, they realized that my little one was smaller than expected. My placenta was not functioning as it should, so even though she was 29 weeks genestation, she was the size of a child at 24 weeks. We had lost 5 weeks of growth because I was not nourishing her enough. Also, she was tucked up under my ribs, so they had to cut me vertically as well as horizontally in order to get her out fast enough. For this reason alone, I will never be permitted to feel actual labor pains. If I ever feel labor, I am to immediately run to the emergency room.
We did not expect my little one to breath on her own at first. We were instructed before the birth that children born this early rarely breath on their own. She let out the most beautiful wail before she was whisked into the NICU. She did eventually go onto a ventilator. Several times in fact, but for the first 12 hours, she did it all on her own.
The rest of the story is filled with a roller coaster of ups and downs. Phone calls at 4 in the morning because another "procedure" was needed and I had to go sign a form to permit it. Everything from RSV to blocked intestines. To say that my little girl is a miracle would be an understatement. This is where I leave the story however because I need to keep some of the personal details out of this blog. Just know that I am so thankful for modern medicine. I and my baby would not have lived without it.
Sunday, November 06, 2005The Gimp Strikes Again
So last night was an amazing night for me. I was invited to play in a concert with Kurt Bestor! I was placed as the principal (or first chair) viola. For those of you who have never heard of Kurt Bestor, I highly recommend that you listen to his "Prayer of the Children"... You will cry! I absolutely loved the concert, and my husband raved about it for the entire ride home. Not to mention Kurt told the audience that we were the best group of musicians that he had EVER worked with... A great ego boost to be sure!
On to the rest of my post. When I was young, I crashed my bike into a truck. No it was not moving, yes I broke many bones including a hip, and yes I have been embarrassed by it ever since. It was not the first and definitely not the last of my embarrassing situations. One main theme in my life however is that I accidentally hurt myself. Not quite as often now as I did when I was in high school, but enough that I earned a nick name.
After my bike accident, I suddenly had one leg that was longer than the other (bones didn't heal right... Long story). I still have hip problems to this day and would need my cane on average of one week out of every month. Anyway, I tripped a lot. I sprained ankles, wrists, shoulders. Nothing really serious, except for one thing. I always seemed to be going to school using either crutches or a cane. This can be social suicide in high school, and it was. I was known as "The Gimp" or "Gimpy" for short. I hated that name. I truly was not just clumsy, I didn't know why I kept falling it was just a part of my life.
Just before I left home for college, we finally figured out the whole one leg longer than the other thing. This revelation was huge for me! I suddenly knew why I was tripping all the time! I began to compensate for the difference, and cut down on my accidents dramatically.
Occasionally however, I am still haunted by the attention that accompanies an accident. Last night, I ran into the store for some baby wipes after dropping off my baby sitter. I was still in my black concert attire complete with these pretty black heals that I absolutely love. I was on a high that always comes from performing well, and last night was no exception. On the baby isle, there was a small spot of water, and with my luck, I walked right through it without thinking. Next thing I knew I was flat on my face in front of a lot of people with an ankle that I couldn't stand on. I wanted to cry. Since we had come to this town, I hadn't needed my cane much (three weeks out of the past two years), so I was able to hide the fact that I have a deformed hip to most everyone. Here I was, in front of caring people who refrained (thankfully) from laughing. I know that a lady dressed from head to toe in black flying through the air is comical, but if they had laughed I would have burst into tears right there.
I finally regained my feet, but it was quite painful to put any weight on my foot, and definitely couldn't put my shoe back on. I was ready to skulk out of there when the store manager told me that I needed to fill out an incident report because it happened in their store. Ugh. They fetched me a chair, and I sat there on the verge of tears filling out a stupid report and enduring the pitiful stares of strangers. I did however make it into my car before I cried... For that I am proud. Some day I would like to leave the gimp in a grave somewhere. However, I am realizing that she is a part of who I am. But next time I see someone fly through the air, I will be the first one there to help them escape the situation with their pride intact. I am still embarrassed, but thanks to the wonderful shoulder that my husband provided for me to cry on, I am dealing with it a whole lot better than I used to.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
The Scary Butterfly's pumpkin...
My Scary Butterfly
My kids absolutely loved Halloween. The five year old had been at school all day, so she tired out much faster than her younger sister who had the benifit of a nap. The two year old was chanting over and over near the end "One more house!" Eventually, we had to ignore her pleas and take them home to bed. My husband and I then enjoyed an evening filled with Van Helsing our favorite halloween movie! A great night all around! As promised, here are some pictures... I have obscured the kids faces, My hubby is a bit shy of putting our pictures out there on the web... hope you understand.