Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Photos and yet another doctor's appointment...

Here is another round of pictures of our house.

First is our guest bedroom. Yes, that's an air mattress, but it is the comfiest air mattress I've slept on (multiple times). It comes in quite handy when I want to escape from Joe getting ready to go to work just after 3 am for a little more shut- eye.

Here is our guest bathroom. I can't believe how much it cost just to get some towels, rugs, and a little color for this bathroom.

Here's Joe's office. The walls were already painted and the car borders were already there. Wait until you see my office. I know he's jealous!

So today I drove to Tacoma to see an ENT doctor to find out about my cough. He asked a lot of questions and said that part of it COULD be from acid reflux/GERD and the other part COULD be from my sinuses. So I'm going to try some sort of nasal spray contraption and Zyrtec to see if that helps my sinuses/post-nasal drip and he'll follow up with me in a couple weeks via phone. I'm also going to start taking that medication (generic Prilosec, I guess) to see if that combo works for me. Hopefully it will.

Monday, August 25, 2008

More pictures and updates

Life sure seems to have thrown a lot at us lately. I hardly know where to begin...

I had an appointment with a physician's assistant on Thursday last week regarding my shoulder. I was kind of hoping my shoulder would be at it's worst that day, but after killing me on Tuesday and hurting immensely but not quite as badly on Wednesday, it didn't hurt very much at all on Thursday. I explained where it hurt and tried to explain when and how it hurt the best I could. The pain was in multiple muscle groups, and she told me she believes it is just a muscle strain injury. So, I'm supposed to ice it for 20 minutes every 4 hours as needed and take some Aleve as needed and follow up in 3-4 weeks if it doesn't get better. Luckily, it hasn't been hurting much at all since then. Thank goodness! So I am going to start going back to Curves this week. With travelling and the injury, I think this has been a rough month for me physically and emotionally.

Then yesterday after church, Joe spoke with his mom on the phone and was told his grandmother, Lorraine "Mootie" Manderscheid passed away. It was something the family was preparing for, and he seems to be taking it well. I have been emotional about it all, but with my hormonse being all crazy and me being the emotional person I've always been, that's not a surprise to me at all. She was very wonderful and I know she's at a better place, but I will miss her greatly, as I'm sure everyone who knew her will.

Yesterday Joe and I were set apart for our new ward callings. He will be teaching Sunday School to 12- and 13-year-old kids. He's excited about it. I am excited that he'll get more exposure to kids that age. I have been called as the Enrichment Leader for Relief Society. I'm not entirely sure what my responsibilities are going to look like, but I do know the woman who was in charge of it before was in charge of the book club. And there is an activity coming up on September 10th, so they're putting me right to work. I'm pretty excited and nervous about it all.

I'm thinking this might be a good day to take pictures of the house, since we are cleaning in preparation for my parents & Lori (my oldest sister) to visit starting tomorrow. For now, I figured I'd show off a couple pictures of our entry way. We finally have a picture frame for the picture Joe's mother gave us for the entry way (above the plant you can see in one picture), so I'll have to take pictures from that angle as well and post more pictures soon.

And I will say that I haven't forgotten about my friends in Bellevue, but I don't really want to invite people over for dinner until we have a dining room table that is bigger than that Ikea table we have right now. Once we have that, invitiations will start going out. And I'm excited about that.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


I really wanted to like Seth Rogan as a person. I like seeing people act who did not get their part because of their looks. I'm not saying he's a good actor and I'm not saying he's a bad actor. But I wonder how well he'd be known if he didn't star in movies he helped write and/or produce. But I digress.

He appeared on The Daily Show earlier this month, and Joe & I happened to miss that episode but caught it recently on a repeat. We decided that he is a total loser. And I'm not saying that because he dropped out of high school or because he smokes pot but because of how unintelligent he is in his interview and the "advice" he gave to kids.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Favorite Movies

A few posts ago I asked what some of your favorite inspirational books are. Now I'm curious what some of your favorite movies are-- and why. A lot of my favorites are comedies. I also like a lot of romantic comedies. Here are some of my favorites (in no particular order):

1. Dodgeball - the characters are losers but lovable, and some of the lines/scenes are just absurd and funny because of the absurdity. It's a nice break from reality, and Ben Stiller's character is ridiculous.

2. So I Married An Axe Murderer- I find this movie quite funny. Sometimes that humor is quite subtle. But it reminds me of dating someone and always wondering what is going to turn out being horribly wrong about them. Every person I've dated has had some flaw (real or perceived). Sometimes it can be a perceived flaw that is something we know we can't live with, and this takes that to an extreme. Plus, a lot of Mike Meyer's characters in future movies are similar to his characters in this movie. His role as Charlie's father is great. I love quoting this one.

3. While You Were Sleeping- I love Sandy Bullock, especially in this movie. She's a dreamer, much like me. And sometimes you learn that your dreams are much better than reality. But she is a genuine character who appreciates those she meets in this movie and I really cheer for her to find that happiness. There is some good humor in this one as well.

4. The Emperor's New Groove- The humor in this movie is fantastic. And the subtleties really add to the story. The way the characters interact with each other and play off each other is a joy to watch. It's not too often that you find yourself rooting for bad guys and good guys alike.

5. Batman Begins & The Dark Knight- I really like what Christopher Nolan has done with the Batman movies. The characters have more depth and emotion, and you really get a chance to see another side of Batman and his enemies through these action-packed, suspenseful films. Heath Ledger really did an awesome job as Joker, also.

I have many more favorites, but those are all I'll list for now. I want to hear what some of your favorites are.


I have PCOS. Before my appointment yesterday, I looked up information about this online, since I really had not heard much about it before recently. In talking with the OBGYN yesterday, he reviewed a lot of what I'd read. He downplayed the possible negative effects of PCOS, encouraging me to montior my blood sugar levels regularly because PCOS can lead to an increased risk of diabetes among other things.

When we talked about my painful and irregular periods, he first recommended birth control pills, which I cannot take due to my history of DVT. So the only option there is progesterone pills. He said that there is a slight increased risk of getting another blood clot, but he did not consider it to be dangerous for me to take the medication if I wanted to have more regular periods. I have decided to do that and will start the medication in a couple weeks, after having some more blood work done.

The other issue is possible infertility. He said not to worry about that at this time. When we're trying to conceive, I should simply stop taking the progesterone pills. And if at that point in time, after 3-6 months of trying, we're still having difficulties, then I can talk with him about other options. I'm not sure what other options I have that will be okay because of that DVT. So even though it's some time in the future before I SHOULD start even thinking or worrying about that, I'm already thinking and worrying about that.

I have an appointment tomorrow to check with a doctor about my shoulder. I'm hoping that before too long I'll be able to start going to Curves again without risking further injury to my shoulder. In fact, I think I'm going to call them to see what their recommendations are for today & until I know what's going on with my shoulder. There are at least a few machines I can do that don't require any use of my arms, plus the aerobic exercise. And I can always go for walks until I can get back into the full swing of things.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What else?

I have been having a lot of health problems as an adult. Sometimes those health problems have led to weight gain and sometimes they're a result of weight gain. As you may or may not know, I have difficulty dealing with stress without turning to food (especially sugary, chocolaty, delicious comfort food). And I also have a problem (more recent in nature) with depression (I have never been on anti-depressants). And I started having really irregular periods (skipping one every so often) starting the same year I started my internship for my master's program. I always informed my doctors, who always attributed it to stress and/or brushed it off as no big deal, even though it was very abnormal for me.

So I figured that if I could figure out how to get my stress levels down or just wait until things that were stressful (like my internship, moving, getting married, house-hunting, etc) calmed down a bit, things would resolve themselves. But so far they haven't. My new doctor (it's great to have health insurance and a doctor who doesn't appear to be more or less a quack like my last one) ran a lot of blood work. Most of it came out fine, but what didn't come out fine (plus my telling him I want to have kids one day in the hopefully near future), led him to refer me to an OBGYN. I have an appointment today, to rule out PCOS.

I just did some research on that and really hope that's not what I have. But as it talks about the possible symptoms (some of which I know I do have and others I know I don't), I'm really starting to wonder. If it is, I hope that it doesn't lead to infertility, as I do want to have kids one of these days. I don't know if I could emotionally or physically go through some of the helps for PCOS/infertility/irregular periods due to my health history, so that has also been weighing on my mind.

I still have the cough, so GERD has been ruled out as a culprit for that (taking the Prilosec did not help my cough at all). So I have also been referred to a ENT and an allergist for follow up there.

As part of the GERD recommendations, I was told not to sleep on my right side. I had been trying to avoid that as much as possible. And now I'm finding myself wishing I could feel more comfortable sleeping on my right side (or my back or stomach) than I do on my left side. I have been experiencing fairly frequent pain in my left shoulder. Unlike my knee injury or broken foot, I didn't feel or hear a pop. I didn't notice during any particular event when it started hurting. It just did. In fact, I was laying in the floor in my family room reading a book when I first felt it. The pain wasn't too terrible but instead felt like I needed to pop it (kind of like how it feels when you think you need to pop your knuckles or something). Massaging and the like have not really been helpful with getting it to go away completely. It's not a 24-7 thing, but it has been more noticeable on some days, almost the entire day starting with pain while sleeping (probably from sleeping on it). Shoulder injuries run in my family to an extent, and I'm hoping this is just something small that can be fixed fairly easily.

So, what I have been doing is working out and working on losing weight to see if that helps with any of the aforementioned issues. Now with the shoulder hurting, working out is tough to talk myself into doing for fear of hurting myself worse. I saw my PCP last week, have an appointment today with another doctor, have an appointment next week with a third doctor, and have 2 more appointments to schedule now (one with an allergist and one with my PCP about my shoulder). This is very disheartening and frustrating!

Anyway, if you have any knowledge to share, any words of comfort, or are willing to keep me in your thoughts & prayers, I would very greatly appreciate it. This has been a very tough time in my life and sometimes I wonder how I can get past these obstacles.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Happy Sunday (misc. ramblings)

Today Joe and I got to sleep in. It was fabulous! I woke up several times over the course of the night, but I have no problem going right back to bed.

It has been hot the last couple days and sometimes a fan just doesn't cool you enough. It's amazing the temperature difference in our house from the first floor to the second floor on days like this. Last night Joe said that he wanted to buy an air conditioning unit one of these days so we have it handy for those handful of days each year when it would actually be used.

I woke up around 7 am but quickly went back to bed, only to be woken up again around 8:45 by my cell phone ringing. "Hi. My name is Mark and I'm with Dur Heck TV. I'm at your house. Is anyone home?" This is super annoying. So I told him that I am home (we didn't hear the door over the noise of the fan & air purifier in our room) but that I'd already cancelled this appointment... more than once. He said he'd let the company know and that was that. Then a few minutes later I got a call from a woman with Dur Heck TV (although the name of the company she gave me was something I hadn't heard before) confirming I do want to cancel this apointment. I told her yes and the call was ended.

You see, an hour or so after Thursday's debacle, I received an automated call telling me Dur Heck TV would be here on Sunday between x-and-x time to complete the installation. Apparently the system rescheduled the appointment for today. So, the automated message told me to "press 3" to cancel the appointment. So I did and had to talk to someone (and then someone else and then someone else) to get it cancelled and get the money I'd already paid refunded to me. I thought it was finally taken care of, and Joe even let me know that the money had indeed been refunded to our bank account.

I should've guessed when I got all the paperwork in the mail from them welcoming me that something wasn't right. But I figured maybe it'd been sent out before that call. GRRR. And Jest also dropped off some sort of installation disk at our front door on Friday (and I got some welcome mail from them too), which now has me questioning whether or not they really cancelled things on their end also. I really hope this is over now. It's so annoying.

So when we moved here, we got various little "gifts" for our house. We received a small package from the local country club inviting us to join and giving us a free round of golf for 2 and a complementary lunch dinner (up to $50 in value) at the lounge or restaurant. Yesterday we decided to take them up on their offer for the free food and dressed up nice (because it was a fun excuse to do so) to go there. The food was so-so, but the dinner cost us a $10 tip and nothing more, so that was nice. There was also a pretty nice view of part of the course and a live band performing in a nearby room to entertain us while we ate. We also got to check out some really nice cars right outside since they had a car show going on at the same time we were there.

After eating, we had a little time to kill, so we headed to Fred Meyer's to see if they had received any more boxes of the entry bench we wanted to get. We'd gotten a rain-check from when it was on sale but in our multiple return visits to the store, we still were unable to pick it up. So they called another Fred Meyer store that wasn't too far away and had them hold one for us.

Then we headed to the nearby $2 theater to catch a movie. When we arrived, it was just past the time the movie was listed as starting (previews anyway). We took a look at the line of people waiting to get in and changed our minds about seeing a movie there. Instead, we decided to drive to the other Fred Meyer store to pick up the entry bench. Afterwards, while driving home, we decided to swing by the grocery store and pick up a "few" groceries. By the time we got home, it was fairly late, so we watched an episode of 24 and then went to bed.

Those are the kind of "date nights" we usually have. We may go out to eat, or we may stay in to eat, but they seem to more often than not end in us watching a movie or something at home. Guess we just like our home sweet home.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Oh... my... word...

Guess who just showed up at my front door.

The installation man for Dur Heck TV.

I shouldn't be surprised. Really, I shouldn't. With everything else that has happened, you'd think I expected this. Maybe from one of the other companies, but they at least seemed to have their stuff together when I called and cancelled the installation. I had just enough time after hearing his truck pull into my driveway to compose myself before he was at the door.

When I told him I'd cancelled the installation and apologized (because he had to make the trip for no reason), he dropped his shoulders in frustration, hung his head, and said, "That's okay. The story of my day."


I am a terrible wife... I have been remiss

I realized I never posted about how awesome my husband is and the wonderful things he's done for me lately.

The day we were at Target shopping and I saw the ad for the Guitar Hero Aerosmith game, I told him I wanted it. I wanted to make sure that what I was seeing actually existed, so I searched online and found out it did indeed exist and would be coming out. I told him I wanted it. That day he went on Amazon.com and ordered it for me. I didn't know this and added it to my wish list and incessantly blabbed about it, excited as ever. About a week after the game was released, it was delivered to me, as a gift from him. We do little things like that for each other or give each other permission to buy things we want because we have been horrible about giving ourselves an allowance for such things, but it still was a very nice and appreciated gesture.

The other big thing he did for me happened about a week ago. I'd had a terrible day at work and was crying throughout and even after my shift. I told him I was worried I was going to get fired (I can be so dramatic sometimes, I know) and I was inconsolable. I finally decided to go to the gym instead of turning to food to deal with stress (like I normally d0), and that helped me feel a little better. But when I got home, he wanted to check in with me and it all came back to me. So I fumed and vented upstairs as I started to undress for a shower. I stomped up the stairs, right past a big vase of flowers (red roses & some purple accent flowers) he had left just inside the front door for me to see when I got home (I'd gone in the other door and hadn't seen them yet).

I was still mad but a part of me softened at that gesture. When I got into the bedroom, I noticed a vase of yellow lilies (my favorite flower) next to my side of the bed. I didn't acknowledge them and continued to rant then hopped in the shower, but another small part of me softened at that gesture. I had time to think and calm down a bit in the shower. I thanked him for the flowers after I got out. Then when I went downstairs again, I noticed the sweet & touching note he'd left on the vase with the roses. What a great guy!

Yesterday as I was running around frantic after work (going to the doctor's, working out, showering, getting ready for the book club), he was more than willing to help out. He helped me print some bookmarks I wanted to hand out off my printer. He talked to the Jest representative on the phone. He cleaned the entry way. He set up chairs downstairs in our living room. He vacuumed the living room rug.

I am so lucky to have him!

Books that have changed your life

I apologize for multiple posts today, but I wanted this particular topic to have it's own post. And this may not be my last one before the day is out either since I have today off (consider that your fair warning).

During my conversations last night in my book club and with Joe afterward, there was talk of books that have really had an impact on one's life. I LOVE to read but like to fill my time with quality books. I don't just like self-help/pop-psychology/counseling-focused/etc books. I do enjoy good fiction- suspense books, mystery books, etc. I always enjoy recommendations on every front. However, it was suggested to me by the woman who showed up for the book club that maybe people should share what books they find have been most influential in their lives and then we can choose from that list for our books to read. I kind of like the idea of discussing fictional novels (at least every now & again), but I liked her idea as well. She mentioned that there are 5 books she could list right away that she said have "changed her life." She then shared with me those titles. I have not yet read any of them, but here they are (in no particular order):

1. Personality Plus: How To Understand Others by Understanding Yourself by Florence Littauer (in doing a search for this one on Amazon.com to add to my wish list, I noticed the author also wrote a Personality Plus book for couples and one for parents)

2. A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

3. Of Monkeys and Dragons: Freedom from the Tyranny of Disease by Michele Longo O'Donnell

4. Natural Cures "They" Don't Want You to Know About by Kevin Trudeau

5. (The title she gave me I can't find an exact match to) Wayne Dyer is the author and the title given was Tao Te Ching. I found a book titled: Living the Wisdom of the Tao: The Complete Tao Te Ching and Affirmations, so maybe that's it.

Like I said, I haven't read any of these books yet, so if you have and have feedback (they don't all have super positive reviews on Amazon.com), feel free to share that feedback with me and my blog readers by adding a comment below.

This got Joe and me to thinking about and discussing non-scripture books we'd say have either "changed our lives" or had a very strong impact on us and our perceptions.

Here's my list (in no particular order):

1. Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

2. The Miracle of Forgiveness by Spencer W. Kimball

3. Choice Theory: A New Psychology of Personal Freedom by William Glasser

4. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

5. The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work and Why Marriages Succeed or Fail: And How You Can Make Yours Last by John Gottman

6. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini (who incidentally was one of my psychology professors at ASU. He talked about some of the stories included in this book during the course of the social psychology class I had with him, and I am thrilled that just now I found he released on August 8th the 5th edition of this book titled Influence: Science and Practice. I had lent my copy to someone a while back and have been missing it ever since, so I may just have to pick up the new edition one of these days.)

In adding Joe's 2 cents, here is a list of books he says changed his perception:

1. The Law by Frederick Bastiat

2. Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman by Richard P. Feynman

3. The Illustrated Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

4. Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin A. Abbott

5. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

6. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki

Out of all of the books on Joe's list, I've only read the one that is on both of our lists, so I've got a lot more reading I can do! But before I get started on that, I want to finish reading Jane Austen's Emma and the 2 books I have checked out from the library.

What books would you say have had a strong impact on your life, whether life-changing, perception-altering, or the like? (For those who receive this blog currently via email, I'd love if you answered this one online so you can share your choices with others who read the blog and have a great place I can refer to when I'm looking for a good book to read. If you don't know how to post a comment here, let me know and I'll try to help.)

In case you didn't notice...

That last blog entry was written by Joe. He has so graciously agreed to join this blog as an occasional author. I am glad he chose to do so, because I think sometimes he has things to say from his perspective that I know at least his family would like to read about.

When in settings for blogger blogs, you can make your blog private and only have certain approved readers be able to see your blog. I thought I was approved to see 2 different people's private blogs, but for whatever reason, I can't subscribe to see when they're updated, and I can't leave comments on there, which is a bummer. I don't know that we'll ever make this blog private, but who knows.

Another setting that I've enjoyed is the email option where you can have up to 10 different email addresses entered that are emailed whenever you post to your blog. I have entered 10 email addresses, but with my large family and Joe's family, I haven't been able to guarantee that everyone I want to read certain blog entries is able to do so. So, I think I'm going to only send the blog to myself and to Joe each time we post, and that way we can forward the blog entries to people we want to read the particular blog entries (I think that sometimes it's not necessarily a blog that anyone needs or probably even wants to read, and knowing that it is going to be emailed out to those 10 email addresses has kept me from writing some things I may have otherwise written). So (for those who currently receive my blogs via email), please visit my blog here if you want to read each and every blog entry we write. But if you prefer to just receive the general updates, those will be forwarded to you via email.

And on to other news...

After work yesterday, I just wanted to go to the gym, but I also had to prepare for hosting the book club. Only one person ended up showing up to the book club (annoying!), but we had a good time chatting for a couple hours so I didn't consider it a waste. I did get to the gym and burned about 550 calories (the most ever in one single workout for me) and am paying for it today! It felt good to workout after about a week of not doing it because of the trip and then my laziness. We'll see if my body & mind will be able to make it there again today.

While getting ready for the gym yesterday, I got a call from Jest yesterday. They wanted to confirm my installation appointment for today. And they were telling me that the installation would be in the window of 8 am - 5 pm. SO NICE OF THEM to narrow it down like that! After getting that automated phone call, I got the option to "Press 1 to confirm the appointment; Press 2 to change the appointment; Press 3 to cancel the appointment" but there was no option to reach through the phone and strangle the person/people responsible for me receiving such an annoying call after my ordeal the other day. Bummer. So I pressed 3 and was placed on hold for the longest "2-3 minute wait" of my life while my cell phone was dying and Joe was in the other room with the bank trying to add me as a shared account member on our credit card. The somewhat incompetent person he was talking to said he needed to speak to me, so we switched cell phones. Then he put me on hold. GRR. Finally, Jest came to the phone and Joe explained to them that we did NOT want those additional services and that I had called trying to tell someone that already. Well, the person he was talking to found out that the incompetent woman I'd spoken to who had set up the services had created a Brand Spankin' New account for me to add services instead of adding them to the account I had already had, which is why the other 2 women I spoke to later that day weren't able to find anything even listed for me. We finally got that resolved (I hope). It's almost "8 am - 5 pm" so I guess I'll find out soon enough if everything was cancelled correctly.

Now that I don't have to worry about Jest or Dur Heck TV coming over for any installations, I am enjoying my day off. In fact, I am contemplating not doing anything productive at all today (yeah, I like to dream).

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Petition to remove front licence plate in Washington State

Not long ago, as I was reading through some threads on http://www.pstoc.com/ I found a thread about someone trying to get together a petition to remove the requirement to have a front license plate in Washington State. I found myself curious about this idea and went to investigate. The thread was old and it seemed that nothing happened with it. So I decided that a new petition would have to be written so....I wrote a new petition.

The reasons for my desire to remove the requirement are many and can be found in the petition itself. From a suggestion from my wife, I have posted about it on this blog. I ask you to please read it and if you agree with it, sign it by following the link here:

I have been in contact with some Washington State representatives who deal with transportation issues. Unfortunately, it has become apparent that I need more support for this idea to be looked at with any seriousness. I would appreciate any support with this project. Thank you.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The lesser of 2 evils...

What are you supposed to do when you have 2 options, neither of which is all that appealing to you? Sometimes spending hours on the phone (like I have done) is not something that you want to do, when the end result is either poop dolled up on a plate or poop in a bucket.

I have a current bundle package for my cable, Internet, and home phone with a company I'll call Bombast. It's bombastic. Not only do we never really know what to expect as far as whether or not our cable will go out, we have features on our home phone we don't want or need, and we have TV channels we never watch. We want a DVR (we are spoiled with it and will probably have difficulty going without). We want few specific cable channels, but we don't need a lot of what is required to pay for in order to get what we want.

So, when realizing just how much we were paying Bombast to provide us with such unnecessary frivolity, we decided to see what other options are out there. That's when the phone calls started.

First I called Dur Heck TV. I spoke with a very persuasive salesman and was all ready to switch over to them, despite their 2 year contract that requires you to pay $20 a month for each month you terminate that contract early should you choose to do so and despite a couple other bothers (not to mention a satellite dish). In fact, I locked in to that deal by paying their $21.75 equipment shipping charge and was told I could call back and cancel the installation should I change my mind later.

Then I spoke with Bombast. I wanted to simply remove my cable from my package deal to shave off some money there. In trying to get me to stay with them, they went the route of it'll-cost-you-just-as-much-for-Internet-and-phone-because-you'll-lose-the-package-deal. This actually had an opposite effect on me. I started to think, "Well, then I guess I'll have to quit all my Bombast services."

So in came Jest. I called Jest to see if I could be hooked up with phone and Internet services. I don't know a whole lot about DSL versus high-speed Internet connections in a battle of annoyance/effectiveness, but I was willing to give it a try. Even knowing I'd have to pay $99 to have someone switch up some wires in my home so I could have a secondary line (that I already have) through Jest for work, and I'd have to buy a DSL modem and I'd have to jump through flaming hoops of fire, I was still interested, especially when they said I'd get a package deal because I was going to be going with Dur Heck TV for my satellite cable. It sounded like I'd be saving about $50 or more a month than what I was paying at the time for my Bombast package and even $15 or so a month cheaper than the cheapest comparable deal with Bombast.

I ran the information by Joe, and we decided Dur Heck TV and Jest were the companies we wanted to go with. I had already had an installation date for Dur Heck TV set up for this Thursday, so all I had to do was call back Jest and Bombast and I'd be on my way.

I tried to contact the Jest employee who had originally helped me, in case they work off commission, twice. He was nice enough to give me his email address and told me to email him when I was ready to sign up so he could then call. But when I emailed him at first to ask him a quick question, I got no phone call and no reply. Then I emailed him later telling him, "We have decided to sign up and I want to give you the commission (if' that's how that works), so please call me." No call. Then we went out of town.

So yesterday, I decided I'd better hop to it, hoping everything could be taken care of on Thursday. On my lunch break, I called Jest and talked to an incompetent woman. That call lasted about 35 minutes (5 minutes longer than my lunch break) and had me on hold quite a lot of the time. Even though Jest said that we'd have to switch our home phone #, I decided to stick with the plan. I even got a cool new home phone # from them. She gave me a confirmation # for my order and said I'd be getting a call from someone about setting up the phone lines.

So I called Bombast later and spent some time talking to a very competent and persuasive person there who didn't want to lose my business. She explained ways I could stay with them and save money. Plus she pointed out different reasons WHY I should want to stay with them. And when she knew there was an issue with their computer system, she asked if she could call me back instead of putting me on hold for several minutes while trying to figure out what was going on there. She called back and made the changes to our services, matching the offer with Dur Heck TV and Jest if not beating it because of extras and not having all those installation/equipment fees, etc.

Then I had to call Dur Heck TV and Jest back to cancel the upcoming installation and services. I spent a fair amount of time doing all this. But the thing that was most annoying and baffling was that Jest apparently didn't even have anything on my file indicating I wanted anything other than the phone line I already have for work. Apparently, the incompetent woman I spoke with never issued the work order, even after giving me that confirmation. Or so the 2 people I spoke with yesterday afternoon who were trying to figure things out said. That made us very happy that we chose to stick with Bombast, currently appearing to be the lesser of the 2 evils...

Monday, August 11, 2008


Joe and I went to Oakley, Idaho on Thursday to visit his grandmother. We drove up with his parents and their dog. The trip took about 10 1/2 hours each way. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to make it with my poor circulation and with some other factors, but I'm glad I decided to stick with it and take the trip. All of his grandmother's children were able to make it to see her, and we were able to see some extended family as well. I met my nephew, Jace, who was born just about 4 months ago, for the first time and also got to see most of my other in-laws. We had some great conversations in the car with Joe's parents (we carpooled), and it was nice to get the opportunity to spend that time getting to know each other a little better. We got home last night a few hours before bedtime. We were exhausted and glad to be home. We really appreciated the hospitality of Joe's aunt Jane allowing us to stay in her home. With everyone who was visiting, we were still able to get our own room. We even had a kitchen where we were able to have shared meals with the rest of Joe's immediate family.

Joe's best friend, Jacob, is flying into town today and will be staying with us through Wednesday. So now that we're home, we have to settle back in and clean up from our travels quickly before he arrives today. I'm sure Joe will enjoy having some time to spend with him.

I will be hosting a book club meeting on Wednesday at our house, so it might be a little chaotic, but I am looking forward to it. I've wanted an excuse to make some more cookies without having to worry that I'll be the one eating them all, so this seems like quite the nice opportunity to do so. I may have to pick up a few more things from the store to nibble on, but we're really needing to carefully watch our expenses, because of the extra money we've had to spend on the trip and to take time off work for the trip.

I'm going to have to think more about what I want to do with my life, because I'm not really happy with my job more often than not these days.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

My sister is getting married!

With so many siblings, there seems to be SOMETHING going on with SOMEONE at almost all times, whether it is someone moving, being pregnant, having a baby, starting school, finishing school, getting a new job, looking for a new job, injuring one's self, etc. It has been quite a hectic 12 months.

My sister Emily gave birth about a year ago. My sister Karla gave birth early this year. My sister Erin recently gave birth. Even my sister-in-law Jillena gave birth this year. I have had 3 different jobs in the past 12 months. Joe has had 3 different employers in the past 12 months. We have moved. Karla has moved. My brother Scott started a new job. My sister Karri started a new job. And on. And on. And on.

And now, the youngest sibling is getting married. Congratulations Karena (she's the busty one in the front)!

Friday, August 1, 2008

And we're walking... and we're walking...

My work recently provided me with one of these bad boys:
All I had to do was fill out a form saying I was willing to join the new "walking club" and use the pedometer. No obligation. Just the agreement that I would give it back if I don't use it.

Let's just say that when I received it, I was very impressed. It retails for about $60, so I'm told. It has a place where you enter the time. Then it has a place where you enter your weight. It also has you measure how long your stride is and enter that. It stores up to 7 days of steps at a time, resetting to zero at midnight every night. It even appears, as I just noticed right now, to tell you how far you've walked and how many calories you burn. Then you can scroll through previous days to see how your current day compares to your previous days. You see a USB cord in the picture because you can go online and download your information to track your progress and set walking goals based on how many steps you're actually taking. This thing is high tech and yet very easy to use.

So I have been obsessed with measuring how many steps I've been taking since I got it. I check out where I'm at often. Now, I didn't say that I have changed my habits to take more steps, but I am now fully aware of just how little I do walk. In fact, I can go a whole day, like yesterday (my day off) without walking a mile (less than 2000 steps). Yikes. Then again, even when I do work, if I don't get out of the house, I don't necessarily walk much then, as my office is less than 50 steps away.

Today I got a wild hair up my butt (not literally) and decided to walk to the gym. That is crazy thinking right there, I know! At least for someone as unfit as me. I mean, I made it through my first month at Curves and even got a little reward for going at least 3 days a week every week, so I'm getting better, but I'm still far from where I want and need to be. The directions from MapQuest puts the gym at about 1.2 miles away taking the shortest route, and I figure the walk there for me today was just about that much. Not a big deal. I started off with just over 900 steps in for the day and motivated that I could hit (or at least come closer than I have previously this week) my 10,000 recommended steps today. But when I made it maybe a little less than 1/3 of the way, I almost turned back to get my car. I'm so lazy sometimes! I stopped myself from turning back and trudged up the hill and along the route to the gym.

It felt like it took forever, but as I thought back to the days when I used to have to "run" a 15-minute mile in gym, I remembered that you could walk most of it at a brisk pace and then jog only a short amount and make it in that time easily. So I looked at the handy pedometer clock and realized I'd only been walking 10-15 minutes. I had plenty of time to get to Curves before the last workout started.

Once I arrived, I felt so proud of myself for making it without huffing and puffing or getting hit by a car or bicyclist or other aggressive pedestrian. In fact, I briefly wished I had brought my wallet so I could treat myself to Dairy Queen or Baskin Robbins so conveniently located near the gym. But no sense on dwelling on what I couldn't have, so I looked at my pedometer (close to 3900 steps at that point) and then worked out-- and worked out hard.

I typically burn from the mid-to-high-400's calories each workout, and a few times have broken the 500 calorie mark. I figure that's not bad, considering it's only about a 30 minute workout. Today was no exception to that achievement, even though I did feel a little bit more worn out during the circuit because of my brisk(ish) walk to the gym. I drank plenty of water before and after working out, checked out my pedometer (approximately 5000 steps) and then I headed home.

Maybe it was because I didn't have to walk uphill this time, or maybe it was because I didn't reward myself with a fattening and yet delicious ice cream treat after working out, but the walk home seemed to go more smoothly, quickly, and easily. I even stopped at the small park near my house and stared at the water and the ducks who were swimming and then waddling so boldly toward my direction while my thighs and calves tingled from the uncommon use. Then I headed home and sat down, away from my kitchen so I wouldn't blow that workout by eating homemade cookies or ice cream.

I'm at 8484 steps right now, and I do think I could possibly reach my goal today. I'm even thinking I might walk to the gym again at least once a week, although I might save those walking trips for when I'm really wanting Dairy Queen or Baskin Robbins.