28 June 2007

Summer Doldrums

It's not that I haven't thought about blogging in the past week and a half. It's just that nothing really sparked my interest to talk about. Don't get me wrong, I've had plenty going on...besides work and physical therapy (which seems to be taking up more and more time!). It's just that no one thing inspired an entire post. So this will be a grab-bag of comments.

Last Saturday I had lunch with 3 ladies from my former church. As a group, we ranged in ages from 80-something to me, the youngest, at 34. Missing was an even older woman who is currently sick and rather frail. It was wonderful to see them again, as we had originally gotten to know each other very well by doing a series of small group studies about 2 years ago. I facilitated those studies, and it was so gratifying to share experiences across different ages and life experiences. All in all we spent every Thursday night together for about a year, not counting the "breaks" we took between studies. After we finished having lunch we all went to visit the other member who couldn't get out of the house to join us. It was a special afternoon, and they are special women I will always cherish.

Last Thursday Lisa and I went to see "Hello Dolly" at the Iroquois Amphitheater. The show was one of the productions put on by Music Theater Louisville. Even though I've seen the musical on larger stages (with Carol Channing in her final run), MTL did a fabulous job. As always, I was impressed with the quality of the performers, the costumes, choreography, and staging. But there was one staging distraction...all throughout the first act there was a door that actors were supposed to go through multiple times, and it kept sticking! I'm not sure how many of the "blue hairs" around us noticed this, but Lisa and I were giggling mightily as the actors would yank and yank on the door, and then try to slide through the very small gap provided once they were able to get the door to open at all. It was fixed by the second act, but by that time the door wasn't nearly as central to the staging!

Yesterday I took the day off of work so that Scott and I could spend a little more time together. He's now working Fridays through Tuesdays, and our conflicting schedules mean that most weeks we get together for a couple of quick dinners and that's it. We went to the Frazier International History Museum and enjoyed delving into history, especially the history or armor and weaponry. I never thought I'd really enjoy the museum, but Scott and I went there shortly after we started dating, and it's fascinating. It was fun to go back. As always, Scott's knowledge of history amazes me. After a quick stop for ice cream, because it's awfully hot and muggy in Louisville these days, we headed back to my house. Scott wasn't planning on staying, but then he decided to help me out by putting together an etarge' I'd purchased at Target several weeks ago. He kindly admitted that even I could have probably gotten it together, but there's no way I could have lifted it on my own! Thanks, Hon!

Well, that brings you up to date. Today's my friend Stephen's birthday, so I need to send him an email wishing him an enjoyable day.

19 June 2007

"Oh How I Want to Be in That Number!"

This past weekend I went to the funeral of a 95 year old woman who I knew from my former church. For many years, Mom and I would sit in front of or behind this wonderful woman and her extensive family during the worship service. Beryl was a neat lady. She would tell you exactly what she thought, she had a firm hand on her 3 sons, 2 of whom were my high school Sunday School teachers and mentors, and she loved life. She listened to opera, watched sports, rode on motorcycles and 4-wheelers, shot firearms, and loved her church.

She had had to raise her boys without her husband, who was killed when the boys were young, but she raised them well. The two I know, Larry and Alvin, are highly successful professionally and wonderful fathers and men. They used to ride their motorcycles to church and exchange bike magazines once they got to our classroom. I remember Larry once answering the question, "What did the kitchen of your childhood smell like," with the succinct answer, "Scotch." As I said, Beryl lived life to the fullest! Thankfully, knowing Beryl and her sons, I knew that Larry's answer was surely true, but not an indication of a difficult home environment.

Beryl's funeral service was very thoughtful, and a reflection of her. We sang many hymns, some of the great hymns of faith, and we said an affirmation of faith that includes the lines, "We are not alone. We live in God's world. ... In life, in death, in life beyond death, God is with us, we are not alone." How fitting. And finally, after songs were sung and words were spoken, we concluded the service with a rousing send-off: "Oh when the saints go marching in!" Perfect for the woman from New Orleans who lived life to the fullest.

I told Larry that if, by the end of my life, I was half the woman Beryl was, I would know that I had lived a successful and full life. God bless her!

14 June 2007

Waiting for The Call

The morning that my friends and I were packing up to leave Cape Cod and head home, Scott sent me a text message telling me that the governor had "called a special session." After saying a few choice words, I called Lisa to get the scoop. Not so fast, she said. All the governor has said is that he's going to call a special session. *Big* difference!

I know that sounds like semantics to all normal people whose lives aren't affected by 138 legislators meeting in Frankfort, but for those of us in the business, we know one doesn't equate the other. You see, there's a difference between "calling a special session" and "issuing the call for a special session." The "call" is the actual piece of paper that the governor must file with the secretary of state on which the governor spells out the day the special session will start and the specific topics that the legislature is allowed to consider. The "call" is what's really important to those of us who work here, because up until that piece of paper is filed, everything is open to change and compromise.

I've been back for 14 days now, and guess what? No call has been issued yet. Rumors are running rampant about when the special session will start. Co-workers are holding their collective breaths, hoping that their summer vacation will miraculously not be ruined by the requirements of their jobs. That's right, if there's a special session, people end up usually having to cancel all of their plans. And the worst part of that is, unless the area of law you work with is directly being considered by the legislature during the session, you really don't have much work that relates to the session at all. Needless to say, we know it's part of the job, and most of us really like our jobs (as I do), but the possibility of a special session is probably our least favorite part of the job because you just never know when one will pop up.

So I'm still holding my breath, too, because although I don't have another vacation planned, my friend Kat is *finally* coming to visit me in July (for the first time in 7 years!). And of all the things I've thought we might do while she's here, sitting in my office watching the legislature debate a new law was not one of them!

Oh, the joys of politics!!!

11 June 2007

"Where's Your Pastor?"

My weekend started off slowly and gained speed as the days flew by. I was a homebody on Friday night and most of Saturday during the day. I was ok with that, as it gave me time to recuperate from the week and also allowed me to purchase and figure out the wireless router for my laptop. Woo Hoo!!! This should be considered a pretty major accomplishment for me, since I still don't understand how to download a CD onto my computer. If this blog service didn't give step-by-step instructions, I would still only be thinking about blogging because I never would have figured it out on my own.

Saturday night I did venture out to meet Scott for dinner downtown at the BBC on Theatre Square. Even though Scott was a tired boy after working that day, we did enjoy the lovely non-humid weather by taking a short walk around the blocks and seeing the progress, or lack thereof, of some downtown redevelopment projects. Scott and I both have a big affinity for the downtown area and are excited about a lot of the things that are happening down there.

But Sunday was the big day, in several ways. The Kentucky Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church started that afternoon down at the Galt House. The past two times Louisville has hosted the conference my Mom was in charge of all of the volunteers and making sure all of the "behind-the-scenes" non-business related things were taken care of. It's a huge job and I and many others were drafted into service. While you sleep very little and have 300 different questions asked of you each day, it's also a lot of fun (or at least I think so). Well, this year Mom has a slightly different role at the conference, which means I'm not living down there for the next 4 days, but I'm still volunteering. I was there from about 1:45 until 9:45 last night. Ugh! And I'll be back there this evening, too, for our Ordination and Commissioning service.

Anyway, my volunteer spot is the information booth, and I had just taken up my post and was trying to get oriented when an older minister came up to me and said "Where's your pastor?" He knew what church I belonged to because it was on my name tag. Well, I was dumbfounded, at least for a good 10 seconds. You see, I had joined a new church Sunday morning - the first church other than the one I grew up in and was a member of for 34 years. While I'd been going to my new church for over 6 months, I guess I still hadn't quite thought of the minister there as "my pastor" just yet. It probably doesn't help that I've known my pastor for 20 years, and know him in many different roles other than as the minister at St. Paul UMC. So when the gentleman asked, I was slow on my feet and had to consider exactly who the man was asking about. Eventually my brain caught up with his question and I was able to give him the correct answer: "I don't know, I haven't seen him here yet." But it made me realize that I have a long way to go still in wrapping my mind around the reality of my new church family and the pain I went through in leaving my other one.

08 June 2007

Highlights and Lowlights

It's been a pretty quiet week, despite my birthday celebrations. Mostly that's because I haven't felt great since Wednesday. I think I've finally narrowed it down to one of the medications I'm supposed to be taking. Physical therapy has been good so far. And if I get my appetite back, I'll be a happy camper.

I did have a great birthday, despite everything. Scott and I went out on Tuesday night (his "Friday" since he has Wed. and Thurs. off work) and celebrated with a dinner. He bought me this beautiful brown felt hat with black piping. The brown is a reddish-brown, so it looks great with my hair and skin. Of course, it's a winter hat, so I won't be wearing it just yet, but it definitely gives me a reason to look forward to those cold days to come. He also found this great old hat box from a milliner in Lexington. He did very well!

My upset stomach blew my Mom's plans for an impromptu surprise party on Wednesday night at my small group's gathering. She had brought little cupcakes and ice cream sandwiches for us to have as we started our next study, but alas, I wasn't there! She kindly saved me a few of each, and brought those along with my gifts over to my house. Mom was very generous, giving me an iPod, 3 DVDs, and a Best Buy gift card! I can't wait to hook up the new wireless router Lisa and I are going to get and test all my new toys.

My friends at work have spread my birthday out a bit. I was taken out to lunch on Tuesday, had a birthday breakfast on Thursday, and on Wednesday Judy brought me a beautiful linen jacket and a mesmerizing abalone ring. I have the best boss, and a wonderful friend!

So that about sums it up. My birthday was certainly better than Derby Day, but this herniated disk sure is mucking up life in several different ways! I just hope the PT keeps helping me make progress. I guess there's nothing to do for that but do the exercises they give me and wait and see.

05 June 2007

Awesome Trip!

Even though it's taken me a few days to jump back on the blog and write about my trip to Cape Cod, don't take that as a sign that it wasn't a lot of fun. Even with my back problems keeping me from doing a couple things, I had a blast. Going with Pam, Maria and Crady was so much fun!

Maria picked an awesome place for us to stay in Falmouth. We were right across the street from the beach - one of the 5 top beaches on the cape, according to Frommer's. The town itself was very pretty and quaint, but big enough to offer the necessities.

We spent a good amount of time just lounging on the beach, but by no means were we sedentary! One day we drove to Provincetown on the far end of the cape. We definitely enjoyed the interesting stores and art galleries, and the food was great. The great number of gay and lesbian couples was an interesting phenomenon to some of our group. The best part of the day was the whale-watching trip we took. We saw 15 different humpback whales, and the entertained us with lots of activity. We probably entertained them, too, as we rushed back and forth across the boat, trying to all see and get the best shot.

We also spent one day in Boston, walking the Freedom Trail, or in my case, part of it! I let the others walk the last part while I backtracked to Quincy Market where I rested and people-watched. Then we met up and went to dinner at this very cool Chinese restaurant that the Frommer's guide suggested. When we got there, we were the only Caucasians in the place, and all of the Asian guests watched us walk in and sit down. But we had some good dim sum and other foods. Yum!

Our last day was spent on Martha's Vineyard, which we could see at night from our balcony. Apparently the Vineyard is the "lower class cousin" to Nantucket, but I think I like it better because it's more laid-back. Even a short shower didn't stop us from walking around the towns, shopping, and enjoying the day.

There's too many stories to tell: the vortex that is Providence, R.I., the Hooty, the sailing trip that never happened, and on and on. Anyway, I had a blast!

Medical Update

The back/leg problems continue. I've not felt most of my left foot since Derby Day (one month ago today). After the ER visit, my regular doctor sent me for an MRI and a visit with a neurosurgeon who specializes in back problems. As for the MRI, that is a hellish experience that I hope I never have to repeat. If so, I want some Xanax or some other drug to keep me from hyperventilating, because it was not fun and I didn't think I was going to survive.

Anyway, the neurosurgeon tells me that I have a herniated disk. Thankfully, most of the pain is gone, most of the time. If I do too much it comes back, but I have plenty of drugs to take care of it: pain medication, anti-inflammatories, and muscle relaxers. He also prescribed physical therapy. Apparently either PT or epidural shots (Yuck!) work for about 80% of patients. I intend to be one of that 80% because I definitely don't want surgery.

Because the doc gave me the go-ahead to go to Cape Cod, the PT didn't start until yesterday. Before I went I grilled everyone I knew who had used PT so I knew what to expect. And I was pleasantly surprised. The therapist said that unlike some patients that have to go through pain to get better, his goal was to keep me out of pain and to get relief for my leg, first and foremost. Then we'd see if there was a way to lessen the impact of the herniated disk. I will do whatever they prescribe, including the exercises. Speaking of which, I need to close the door to my office and do those here in a minute!

Anyway, just wanted to let you all (all 4 of you! Ha!) know what's going on.