Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!


Hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and that Santa brings you everything on your list!

Sometimes Things Don't Go As Planned

My original intent today was to write a post about the annual Christmas Eve breakfast my parents’ have at their house. They’ve had this breakfast for as long as I can remember and I had every intent of coming to their house early and taking photos of the cooks and the people eating. Sometimes good plans get thwarted by unexpected situations as was the case today.

As I was getting ready to leave, my mom called and asked me to stop and get her some medicine from the drug store. I loaded up the car soon after and headed that way; only to be stopped in my tracks by car accident number four. That’s right folks, not only am I not safe in my own vehicle, but apparently I’m not safe while driving my dad’s car either.

I was heading down Russell Street, which has no stop signs and when I reached Beirne, some people from out of town drove right thru their stop sign. I proceeded to blow the horn and slam on my brakes but still managed to clip the back end of their vehicle.

Needless to say, I was pretty upset about this. To top it off, our Christmas Eve dinner of potato soup was in the back seat and after the slamming of the brakes, was all over the floorboard – so now we have to figure out something else to eat for dinner.

I called the police who came and filled out a report. The people in the other vehicle were from South Carolina and clearly were not familiar with the area. The driver said she stopped, but as God as my witness she didn’t. Anyway, I’m okay and the car isn’t too damaged. I always thought things came in threes. I sure hope this isn’t the beginning of another set of threes because I’m really tired of being in car accidents.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Vacation Has Started

Today is the official start of my Christmas vacation. Yesterday I discovered I had as many vacation hours as I could accumulate and in order to receive more hours I had to take some time off. I was already planning to take three days of vacation next week for the three non –holiday days of the week, but went ahead and decided to take today off as well.

I began my vacation with a doctor’s appointment. This morning the two stitches remaining in my foot were taken out and I now do not have to return to the foot doctor for another nine weeks. The foot is healing quite nicely and I plan to return to the gym on Monday. I’m able to walk a little better every day which is really great because walking is quite important, you know.

I haven’t updated you all on Charlie, my neighbor, in a while and you will be pleased to know that Charlie put up a Christmas tree and has it lit in his front window every night. It only has blue lights but looks really nice. I took Charlie some peanut butter fudge on Tuesday and he said he liked peanut butter so hopefully he will enjoy the fudge as well. These days Charlie is driving a mini-van and I’m not quite sure why. I thought the mini-van belonged to his girlfriend but maybe not. I have no idea where the Porche has gone; maybe he retired it for the winter.

Right now I am using the free internet access at Panera and after I leave here I will run by Target and Publix for medicine and groceries. Then it’s back home to do some Christmas cooking and some Christmas napping and maybe even some Christmas movie watching. I hope to update again before Santa arrives. I hope you all have a great Christmas Eve Eve!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Voices of the Faithful - Book Review


Well folks, Christmas is in just three days! Three days, can you believe it? It seems just like yesterday that we were celebrating the beginning of 2010 and soon we will be celebrating the beginning of 2011.

I hope all of you have finished your Christmas shopping; but, if not I have a last minute gift idea for some of the ladies on your list. As you may recall, I made it a goal to be a daily Bible reader in 2010 and with the exception of a few days here and there, I have been completely successful and by the time December 31 rolls around, I will have read the whole Bible front to cover in 2010 and next year I plan to do the same thing.

Some people, however, had rather read a daily devotional rather than a long passage from the Bible and that’s where today’s last minute gift idea comes in to play. I received a copy of “Voices of the Faithful – Inspiring Stories of Courage from Christians Serving around the World”. The book is obviously a compilation of stories which were put together by Kim P. Davis. The book is introduced by Beth Moore who, as you may know, has written a lot of Christian books and studies for women.

What drew me to this book was that each of the stories are written by people who are serving God all across the world – missionaries who are in foreign fields bringing people to Christ. That’s encouraging in and of itself; and, as you may know, I have a lot of friends in the mission field (Caroline, Allison, Kimberly) and this book makes me think of them as well.



There is one devotional reading for each day that starts off with a scripture and then a story by one of the missionaries. There is a theme for each month of the year:

January: God’s Character
February: God’s Word
March: Prayer
April: God’s Grace
May: Witnessing
June: Persecution
July: God Working
August: Contentment
September: God Before Me
October: Spiritual Warfare
November: Compassion
December: Christmas Around the World

This devotional book would be a great gift for the Christian woman on your Christmas list – especially someone who enjoys reading stories and being inspired by the work of others. It’s available at Amazon for less than $12; but if you need it right away, I’m sure you can find it at the local book store of your choice.

This book review was written in coordination with my association with BookSneeze. All reviews are my own opinion. I was not paid for this review, however I did receive a free copy of the book.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Thought You Might Like This



Someone at work sent me a Christmas e-card and I thought it was so cute that I wanted to share it with you all. It reminded me a little of The Tide, only I don’t think she’s as well behaved as this dog or at least not as disciplined – I’m pretty sure she would have eaten all the cookies before Santa got there. Here's the link.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday Movie Review: Narnia - Voyage of the Dawn Treader




On Sunday, I went to see The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Lindlee and Nic went with me. You may remember that Nic has been my tag along for all the Harry Potter movies but ditched me this year because now that he’s 15 he wanted to go see it with a girl. I couldn’t believe it! His sister, Lindlee went with me instead and afterwards made plans to go see Narnia together. When I called Lindlee on Saturday to finalize our plans, she said Nic wanted to know if he could come and he was sorry for ditching me last time. So, out of the kindness of our hearts, we decided we would let Nic come long to see Narnia with us.

After church Sunday morning, we came back to my house and had a lunch of tacos. The kids watched Toy Story 3 while I cooked lunch. After we ate, we were running short on time and had to change our movie theater from Rave to Hollywood 18. Well, when we got to Hollywood 18 for the 1:15 movie, we discovered it was the 3D version that started at 1:15. I think Lindlee was excited. I didn’t really care to see it in 3D because 3D doesn’t really do it for me and it’s more expensive, but we didn’t have any other options so we went ahead and bought our tickets.

The movie was good – on par with the other Narnia movies. In actuality this was probably my least favorite of the three. I think I still like the first one best of all. I don’t know if it was because we saw this movie on a Sunday afternoon when I’m usually napping or if the movie itself was kind of slow, but there were times when I just wanted to shut my eyes and fall asleep. I’m pretty sure it had to do with it being Sunday afternoon and the fact that I was missing my required nap. This movie is great for kids and despite my wanting to fall asleep at times; it also had a lot of action in it. If you are a lover of all things Narnia, then you will probably like this movie as well. I won’t give away the plot or anything because I know some of my readers are planning to go see it later in the week. The ending was a little sad and if I hadn’t been so tired I might have cried.

I wasn’t too impressed with the 3D. The only thing I like about 3D is when things look like they are coming at you and there wasn’t much of that in this film, plus I had to keep adjusting my glasses which was annoying. I would say go see it in 2D; but as mentioned, 3D doesn’t do it for me. I really don’t see what all the fuss is about.

One of the oddest and funniest moments of the day was that a lady and her son were sitting on the row behind us and she would shush us anytime we opened a candy wrapper or got a piece of gum or anything of the sort. We were kind of afraid to even move in our chairs for fear that she might get up and stab us with her stilettos. With about 20 minutes to go in the movie they got up and sat on the row in front of us. We don’t know why – it was really strange. We started shushing them whenever they moved and of course it gave us a case of the laughs.

After the movie we came back to my house to pass the time until evening service and the kids finished watching Toy Story 3 while I made a batch of peanut butter fudge. It was a lovely afternoon enjoyed by all – if only we could have squeezed in a nap.

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Fun and Chaotic Christmas

Last night I had Christmas with Jackie, Troy and Ashlyn. I’ve had Christmas with Jackie and her family for as long as I can remember. You may remember too since I’ve posted the picture below several times before.


Christmas 1992

This year, Jackie’s mom is running around like crazy and has been super busy and couldn’t find a time that was good for all of us to get together for Christmas so this year, I hosted Jackie and the kids at my house instead. It was weird not to have Tim and Jan with us and also weird to have it at my house, but we still had a good time and that’s really all that mattered.

I cooked dinner for us and of course had to throw some chicken fingers in the oven for the kids since they are a little pickier than me and their mother. We had to put The Tide back in the bedroom, now known as “Tide’s Lair”, while we ate so she wouldn’t be drooling all over our plates.

After eating, Jackie and I cleaned up the kitchen and then we got out the Christmas presents which was the whole reason we were together, right? Well, the kids thought so anyway. I got to open my presents first since I had slaved over the dinner – ha! I opened Ashlyn’s gift first. She had picked out a Christmas decoration of a church building for me. It is very pretty.

Not an endorsement for IHop


My lazy eye is looking really lazy in these photos.
Ashlyn looks nice though -  a lovely smile!

Troy’s gift to me was next and he had picked out two Christmas ornaments which were snowflakes. We were going to find a place to hang them on the tree, but that became a thought of the past once he opened his gift.


What's inside the bag?

This is a good photo of Troy. Nice smile, buddy!
We like it when you smile for real - it's way better than the fake smile!

The gift from Jackie was next and she had gotten me a cute Alabama necklace which I knew about because I was with her when she got it. I know, I know. She also surprised me with a pair of candy cane socks that are supposed to moisturize your feet and also a gift certificate to one of my favorite eateries, Sam and Greg’s.


As you can tell I dressed up for the occasion with my finest Rudolph Run 5K shirt and sweats.
Hey, I worked all day and was ready to be comfy!

Tim and Jan sent their gift with Jackie and it was the last one I opened. They usually get me movie passes and when I reached in the bag I thought that’s what it was going to be, but I was surprised to find a gift certificate to Huntsville Massage Professionals for a facial. I’m really excited about this! I love facials and massages and anything else that involves pampering. All the gifts were wonderful – I am really blessed to have such a great family of friends.


Troy is reading what the gift certificate says.

We then moved on to the kids’ presents and I asked them to go one at a time so we could see their reactions when they opened their gifts. Ashlyn went first and received two Fancy Nancy books. I had asked Jackie a while back if Ashlyn liked these and decided to go ahead and get them and then a few weeks later Jackie said Ashlyn said she wanted some more Fancy Nancy books so it was a good gift, indeed.




As for Troy, I was really excited about the gift I got him and wouldn’t mind having one myself. It’s a book called "Harry Potter Film Wizardry" and it has all sorts of information and pullouts regarding the Harry Potter films. It even has a Marauder’s Map! Awesome! Not long after I got the book, Troy saw one in Target and asked Jackie to get it for him. There was only one copy and he was so afraid it wouldn’t be there any longer if she didn’t get it right then and there. So, we figured he would be excited about it and he was. He looked at it for most of the rest of the night except for the five minutes I was able to snatch it from him and look at it myself.








I had gotten Jackie a birthday/Christmas combo present back in September, but I always like to get her a little something else so she will have a gift to open when we have Christmas together. She received luggage tags and a passport holder which will come in handy should she get that big fat Christmas bonus I asked Santa to send her. Here she is trying to figure out what her gift is.



After the present opening was over and I threw some of the boxes in the garbage can, Ashlyn let The Tide out of her lair and gave her a stocking full of dog toys which she proceeded to rip the stuffing out of and tear to shreds. It was probably the most fun she’s had in a while, and yes, she is clearly feeling better since the weather has warmed up some.











Unfortunately, as I had a feeling I would, I forgot to give Jackie my gifts to her parents to take with her but I plan to run them by her office this afternoon. Hopefully they will like their gifts as well.

It was a great night filled with food, family, friends, fun, screaming, laughter, dog barking and everything in between and I fell asleep five minutes after they were out the door. Okay, maybe 10.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

I hope this letter finds you doing well. It’s only nine days until Christmas, and eight until Christmas Eve. I hope your elves have all the toys built and the sleigh ready to go for your big night.

I was wondering Santa, why is it you never eat the cookies or drink the milk I leave out for you at my house. Is it because you are already full from all the other houses? Perhaps if you took just one small bite and one small sip and every house then you would have room to do the same at mine. I assure you that my cookies are very good. But get there quickly or The Tide might jump up and eat them before you have a chance.

The Tide has been pretty good this year, Santa, and I hope you will bring her lots of treats and maybe a big bag of Iams Weight Management dog food so that I won’t have to purchase one for a little while longer. Dog food can get expensive you know and I’m saving up for the big trip to France, after all. The Tide has lost another four pounds this past year making it a total of 20 pounds lost over the last five years! I’m so proud of her so make sure those treats are low fat if you don’t mind.

Speaking of France, Santa, if you could see fit, please allow Jackie to receive a big fat Christmas bonus so she can join me in Paris for a week this July. There’s nothing like being in the most romantic city in the world with your best friend who’s just as cynical about love as you are, or at least that’s what I’m guessing since I’ve never been.

For myself, I would like a new car, but I know that you’re not really into giving out cars at Christmas, or at least as long as I’ve known you, you haven’t been. So, if you could sprinkle some of your magic Santa dust and give my car enough spunk to last until August, I would appreciate it. That way I won’t have to worry with purchasing another automobile until I get back from France. Funny how everything revolves around France isn’t it?

I would also like a new toiletry stand or whatever you want to call it for my bathroom, but I know your elves don’t have time to make it and my dad hasn’t started on it either so I’m pretty sure I won’t be getting one even though I’ve done my best to be good this year. So, instead if you would just bring some surprises that would be nice. Oh and some skillets. I’ve needed some new skillets for quite some time and had planned on adding them to my wedding registry next year, but I think you probably know how that turned out. So, I would like to add that to the Christmas list instead.

I guess that’s it for now Santa. I hope Mrs. Claus has your suit all mended and ready to go for your big trip next week! The Tide and I will be waiting for you and I’ve instructed her not to bark when you arrive since you are obviously harmless and will be bringing us presents. Don’t forget to eat the cookies and drink the milk this year, Santa. I’ll be so disappointed if you don’t. Oh and we will leave out some carrots for Rudolph and the other reindeer as well. Be sure and stop by to see all of my friends as well. Fly safe!

Your loyal friend,

Natasha

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

With the Exception of My Car, Life Continues to be Uneventful

Blue was towed to the mechanic yesterday and I haven’t heard yet what the damage is; but I’m sure I’ll end up owing hundreds of dollars and then I’ll have a big cry fest. Please pray for me; and while you’re at it, pray for The Tide too. She’s having a lot of problems with pain in her hips during these cold days. As you may know if you read this post last year, The Tide has had both of her hips operated on and when the weather is cold or a front moves through the area, she has a lot of problems with pain and walking and getting on and off the couch, etc. The past couple of days have been especially bad and this morning she was just so pitiful. She didn’t even want any treats! So, say a little prayer for my not-so-little dog if you don’t mind.

I wish there was something more exciting to write about so that you may actually want to come back to this site, but I’m here to tell you, things have been the epitome of boring lately. This past weekend, other than the car troubles, I spent sleeping and doing a little cleaning. I also did some reading and some TV watching. Oh and I took a bath at my parents’ house because their bathtub is bigger and easier to maneuver in, which is a huge help when you have to hang one foot off the side of the tub. So, clearly there’s not much detail to write about because the previous sentences sum it all up. I’m also fairly certain you don’t care to read about how I bought some meat to make spaghetti over the weekend and by the time I finally got around to pulling it out of the fridge to cook it (last night) the meat was no longer good and I ended up cooking a frozen pizza instead. See how exciting things are these days! Have no fear though, I plan to buy some more meat today and make spaghetti for tonight’s dinner.

In case you are wondering about the foot, it is healing up quite nicely and I am able to walk without the cane most of the time. I am still using it at work though because we have concrete floors and it causes me a lot of pain and I don’t want to topple over because I’m sure there would be some people here that would think that’s the funniest thing ever. Come to think of it, Jackie would probably find that funny too, which thinking about that makes me laugh as I am typing this. I get two of my stitches out on Thursday and the rest on the 23rd! So, I should truly be able to take a shower for Christmas and I’m pretty excited about that.

Thursday night I am having Christmas with Jackie and the kids and that should give you something to look forward to reading about because I will have done something other than nothing for a change.

It’s 11 degrees in Huntsville right now. 11 degrees! And it’s not even January! I’m really amazed at how cold it has gotten. I keep waiting for the roads to freeze over so I won’t have to drive in to work but I guess you have to have precipitation for that to happen.

I guess this about sums up all the boringness for today. If you have any subjects you’d like for me to write about please let me know in the comments. Otherwise I may write a post about doing laundry and then I may lose the only two readers I have left!

Have a good Tuesday, ya’ll!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Oh, What a Night!

Yes, I’m channeling the Four Seasons here today and their beloved hit from 1976, “December 1963 (Oh, What a Night)”; because although it may not be late December back in ’63, it is mid-December in 2010, and Oh, What a Night indeed.

Some of my friends and family who read this blog may know that the heater in my car, Blue, has not been working as of late. I seem to have had this problem every year for the past three years or so and every year I take it out to the mechanic in Owens Cross Roads to have the heater worked on so I can survive the winter, or at least defrost the windshield in the mornings. It sometimes takes two or three trips out there before the mechanic gets it working exactly right, but he finally does and my freezing face and hands are appreciative.

This year was no exception. Back in November when Huntsville experienced the first cold weather of the season, I thought, oh no, not again, but sure enough, the heater wasn’t working and only blowing cold air. I decided I would wait until my foot surgery before I took Blue to the mechanic because obviously I wouldn’t need a car for a few days.

I picked the car up on Sunday evening after my foot surgery and the heater still didn’t work. While I was still cold, I was mostly aggravated and didn’t feel like wasting any more money on the car right now and decided I would tough it out as long as I could.

This past Friday, after I left work, I put a full tank of gas in Blue and also had the oil changed. The rest of Friday afternoon things ran smoothly and they ran smoothly on Saturday as well when I took The Tide to the vet and went by my parents’ house.

On Sunday morning when I was backing into a parking space at church, I thought I heard a strange sound and after parking, I staying in the car with it running for a while to listen – I didn’t hear anything out of the ordinary and went on inside. When I left church later that morning to go home, the engine started overheating! I was nervous because the last thing I want is for my car to blow up! I made it home and put some more anti-freeze in it and then went inside for lunch and a nap.

All of this brings me to Sunday night – Oh, What a Night! On the way to church, the car overheated again and so I called the mechanic and told him what was going on; I then called my dad for the same reason and we decided to take the car to the mechanic after church was over. I was going to drive to my parents’ house and then to the mechanics.

We had an abbreviated service because of the weather last night and afterwards I started out towards my parents’ house. I had to pull over less than 10 minutes into my journey. I let the car rest a while and then drove for another few minutes and had to pull over again. Basically, I could only drive the car for four minutes and then had to pull over for 10. On top of this, there was no heat in the car and it was around 20 degrees outside and snowing. And the cherry on top was that I was driving down a dark curvy road with very few areas to pull over. NOT FUN!

I finally made it to my parents’ house and after talking with them for a few minutes and warming my buns by the fire, my dad and I headed out again. I thought he was going to drive my car and I his, but he jumped in his car and so I was stuck with Blue. I got maybe a half mile or so from there house before the car started to seize up and I had to pull over on the side of the road. To my knowledge the car is still there. I think my dad is calling the wrecker to bring it to the mechanic today. Good times, people, good times.

After abandoning Blue, we headed across town to my maternal grandfather’s house to pick up a truck for my dad and I took my dad’s car, which I am driving today – all of this in snowy weather. Blue really knows how to pick a night to act up.

I have no idea what the damages are going to be but I can only imagine it isn’t going to be pretty. I have done my best to keep the oil changed and keep the maintenance up on the car so I have no idea what has happened.

I will probably have to get a new car, but I just hope Blue can carry me through the end of July until I get back from my trip to France. When you are saying your prayers tonight, please remember me and my car troubles. I’ve had enough to last a lifetime and I need all the help I can get.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Final Selection

As you may recall, a while back I wrote a post reviewing Shutterfly’s selection of holiday cards and as a result, I received 50 free cards of my choosing. Thanks, Shutterfly.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my adventure taking photos with The Tide in the park and showed you the photo I decided on for my cards this year.

So, without further ado (drum roll please), I present to you my 2010 Christmas card. Some of you may have already received one in the mail. For those that didn’t, well, I may not even know who you are or if I do know who you are I may not have your address; but, at any rate, I wanted to share my final selection here on The Chronicles so I could wish you all a happy Christmas!

If you haven’t ordered your cards yet, there’s still time to do so and if you don’t have time to address and mail them, Shutterfly can do that for you as well!


This is the front



 And the inside.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

This Post May Bore You to Tears

Having spent the last few days working and then coming home to do nothing but lie on the couch and watch TV, I don’t have much to write about today. In fact, I have nothing to write about today; at least nothing of great interest to anyone. So, I thought I would take a few minutes to update everyone on the foot and also complain a little bit.

The foot is healing up rather nicely. The bruising along the side of my foot is clearing up and is a lot lighter than it was earlier in the week. I am still in wonder as to why there was so much bruising but at least it is healing up.

I still haven’t intentionally put any pressure on the heel and the few times I have unintentionally done so, it hasn’t been pleasant. The ball of my foot is sore as well from all the walking I have had to do at work this week. The fact that all of this walking is on concrete floors doesn’t really help matters. To top it off, my request to park in one of the handicapped spaces was denied since I don’t have a handicapped sticker or card and so I am still huffing it from the back 40. Seriously, by the time I reach the building I am so tired I just want to sit down, but I press on so that I can place my lunch in the fridge and walk another 10 minutes to my desk. While I am thankful I have the ability to walk, it sure does make me tired these days.

So, needless to say my foot is really sore today from all the walking about and I dread getting up out of the chair – which is oddly very similar to how it was before the surgery! Maybe one day I won’t mind standing and milling about.

In other news, I don’t know much about what’s happening this weekend in Huntsville as far as Christmas events are concerned. But here are a few things that I do know about in case you are interested:

The Twickenham Historic District Tour of Homes is this Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. This is a really great event if you like looking at old houses. Tony and I did this tour two years ago and I really enjoyed it. The tickets are $15 and can be purchased by calling Julia King at 256-534-0429 or Lynne Williams at 256-536-7718.

Merrimack Hall is presenting performances of “3 Redneck Tenors” this weekend. To find out more information, go here.

Not Christmas related, but unless you’ve been living under a rock then you probably know that “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Dawn Treader” is coming to theaters this Friday. I am planning on going next weekend since I’m still not very mobile right now. This weekend I plan to do nothing but prop my feet up and do well, nothing. Does anyone want to come clean my house for me? Yeah, didn’t think so.

BIG NEWS here people, BIG NEWS – Jim Brickman is playing a show in Birmingham tomorrow (Friday, December 10) night! I know you all are dying to go to see the move he makes after he tickles the ivories of the piano which I wrote about last year.

Speaking of my good friend Jim, while his post may still have the most ever comments at a whopping 12, the Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Concert Review has surpassed Jim with receiving the most individual hits per week! Way to go Les Mis! I didn’t think it was possible to boot Jim from his reign. Should we demand a recount? See if there were any hanging chads? Nah, I think we’ll let it stand!

Ya’ll have a good Thursday.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

American Idol Christmas 2010

This past Monday night, Erika was gracious enough to host our American Idol Christmas Party and we had a fabulous time. You may know since I’ve written about it before, but there’s a small group of us girls that get together once a week during American Idol season and we are therefore known as the American Idol Group or the Black Panthers, depends on who you ask. We’ve had members come and go, but there are seven of us who have been going since the beginning and are still sticking it out together.

This next year, we’ve decided not to watch American Idol now that our beloved Simon has gone and I don’t think any of us are very fond of the new judges. I suggested we watch the new Paula Abdul show that is coming out in January – it’s sure to be entertaining.

Anyway, back to the point of the post which is that we had a Christmas party this week and exchanged Christmas dish towels in a game of not-so-dirty Santa because some of us (not me!) are too nice to steal gifts. Erika cooked a dinner of Taco Soup and Brownies and it was delicious. I would like to thank all the girls for helping me out – fixing my plate, refilling my glass, etc. since I’m not very mobile these days. We spent a good three hours or so catching up and kicking off the Christmas season. I don’t know about the others, but this was the first Christmas 2010 activity for me.

I forgot my camera and the battery was low on my phone, so Erika and I took some photos with her camera. Here they are for your enjoyment:



Erika and Amy - and a pan of brownies not yet eaten

Amy and Jackie - getting ready to play not-so-dirty Santa

Kendra and Lisa - making their plan of attack


It's me with my foot propped up.

Here I am using my cane to talk abut something.
I don't remember what.
Erika was trying to get an action shot.

Amy and Lisa


Candy and Kendra - They are sisters

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Foot

As you probably know by now, I had foot surgery last Thursday. I had a heel spur that has been bothering me for a sweet forever and after nine injections in my foot (five of cortisone and four of something else) and no relief, the doctor decided it was time he cut that sucker out. I was glad too because I really was tired of being in pain every time I walked somewhere and walking is essential for getting around for most folks if you didn’t know.

So, last Thursday I went under the knife as they say. I was awake for the procedure as the doctor only numbed the foot. As you can imagine being awake during the surgery was really bizarre. The surgery itself only took about 10 or 15 minutes. The doctor was running late because of another surgery and then when he but the Novocain in my foot (I’m surprised I didn’t kick him in the face during this not so fun moment) I had to wait 20 minutes for my foot to go numb. Having a numb foot is a very strange feeling.

Once the surgery finally got under way, I could feel the doctor and two nurses tugging on my foot and leg and sawing down that pesky heel spur. I felt no pain though, which is most important. The doctor took an x-ray after he filed the spur and had to go back in and file some more two different times before he got it all – it was a doozie! Here are the before and after x-rays.


This first x-ray is the before shot. Can you see the little hook at the bottom of my heel? That’s the spur and what I have been walking on for who knows how long. It caused me a lot of pain.


This second x-ray shows the spur is gone and just like I am supposed to, I have a flat heel.


After the surgery my parents took me to get my prescriptions of pain medicine and anti-biotic filled and then we went and got a burger from Five Guys (yum!). We then picked up the medicines and headed back to their house. The Tide and I stayed with them for a few days while I recuperated. There was a lot of blood the first day – more than I ever thought there would be. The blood soaked through all the bandages and through my sock. I had to wear a plastic bag on my foot that night when I slept so that I would ruin the sheets. Actually I didn’t have to, but did to be courteous to my hosts.


All bandaged up and keeping ice on it.

On Friday morning, I woke up early as I always do and moved myself and The Tide into my parents den to watch talk radio on TV. At around 7:30 my dad got up and asked me if I was hungry. My reply was “Yes!” He said he was going to fix some pancakes. An hour and a half later, I was still hungry and without food so I got up and fixed myself an egg sandwich. This doesn’t sound very appetizing now nor did it then but folks I was hungry and just could wait any longer. Apparently my dad had gotten involved in playing a game on the internet or something and forgot about those pancakes he said he was going to make. Sometime during the day my mom suggested I use her old walker to get around the house and I pulled it out of the closet and put it to good use. I meant to ask them to take a photo of me using it but never did. It was a pretty funny sight if I do say so myself. Friday night my parents had a Christmas party for the church they attend and so I was fed thanks to the good folks at Hampton Cove Church of Christ. They even helped me fix my plate.

On Saturday morning I again rose before the rest of the house and piled my pillows, phone, etc. on a blanket and drug it behind me as I made my way to the den. At some point during the day, the walker became history and was replaced by a walking cane that my granddad had in the trunk of his car. I’m still using it today and have now tied a silk scarf to it at the request of Candy. We think this is funny because a lot of elderly ladies do that. My dad finally cooked those promised pancakes and my mom cooked dinner so I didn’t have to fend for myself much on Saturday.

Sunday I made it out to church for both services and wore pink socks with my dress. I honestly didn’t care how ridiculous it looked. I was without make-up too because I didn’t even think to bring any but could have used some because my face has decided to break out thanks to the high dosage of anti-biotic. I also forgot to bring a coat and had to borrow one from my mom. I really liked it. Mother, if you decide to get rid of that coast remember me, your daughter, the eldest of your brood.


The pink socked foot

Monday morning The Tide and I headed back to our own home and my dad came with us to help me unload the car and also went to the doctor with me. The doctor said everything is healing like it should be. My foot is really bruised and disgusting looking and I now have to change the bandage twice a day which is less than pleasant for someone like me who can hardly stand the sight of blood; but, I’m making due I guess. I get two stitches out on the 16th and the rest will be removed a week after that which means that for Christmas I can take a shower! I absolutely cannot wait! Taking a bath with one foot out of the tub is difficult, especially at my house where my bathtub is smaller than the one at my folks’.

Today I’m back at work and I think it took me about 30 minutes to walk from my car to my desk. My boss told me I can email HR and ask about parking in handicapped parking and I think I’m going to do just that because the walk from where I normally park to my desk is about 3/10 of a mile or so and any distance I can shave off of that would be much appreciated.

So, that’s the update on the foot. Hopefully I will be back at the gym and walking about before too long but for now, I’m keeping my feet propped up and trying to take it easy.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas Decorations at Hacienda Parker

I’ll write an update on the foot later on once I get some pictures taken (not gory ones mind you); but for now, I wanted to share with you the Christmas decorations at my house – thanks to Candy for the suggestion.

This sign that says “Happy Holidays from Natasha and The Tide has been placed in the yard for about the past four years or so. This year it broke, but I propped it up for a photo op and I can only guess that when I get home it will have fallen over again. I need to borrow a drill and repair it. So for now it just stays propped up – as long as the wind isn’t blowing.



This is the outside of the house in the day time. I have white lights around the railings and of course neglected to take a photo of it lit up because I am awesome like that.



My Christmas tree sits in the doorway between the living room and my bedroom. That way I can enjoy it from either room. I’ve always put it here and think it looks nice in this location. I have a lot more ornaments than are currently on the tree but didn’t want it to get overcrowded so didn’t put them all on there.




Candy gave me a gift last Wednesday night before my surgery of a new ornament. Since I don’t have a tree topper, I placed it at the very top because of my love of the ornament and what it represents. Can you guess why?



I don’t know for sure, but this may be the best gift of 2010! Well, unexpected gift anyway! Thanks Candy. This ornament rocks! I will treasure it always!

My Dr. Seuss How The Grinch Stole Christmas collection sits in my living room as well. This is a collection that my mom started for me a few years ago and she gets me a new piece every Christmas. I love it. It is my favorite of all my Christmas decorations.

This is my favorite piece in the collection. I love the details of the bag of toys and it’s after the Grinch has a change of heart and returns everything back to Whoville!



This piece is when the Grinch is tying antlers on his dog, Max. Hilarious. Just a note – I would never do this to The Tide.



The piece in the back lights up but genius that I am, I didn’t turn it on. The one on the right is a hinge box and the one on the left has a gift with my name on it. Thanks, Grinch!



Here’s a scene from when the Grinch is sending Cindy Lou Who on back to bed after she wakes up and thinks he is Santy Claus.



This tree is really neat as is has different Whoville items dangling from each of the limbs.



Here’s The Tide who is less than thrilled about having a Christmas tree in the spot where she usually lies on her blanket.



So, that about sums it up for the Christmas d├ęcor at hacienda Parker. I have a snowman face hanging on the front door of which I also didn’t take a photo. I have some other decorations but didn’t get a lot out this year. How about you? How do you decorate?