Sunday, July 27, 2008

My Favorite Things

Our church is holding a summer series on "What is Right with the World." I think it was partly inspired by everyone being a little exhausted by all that there is to be outraged over. It's a nice way to focus on the positive in life. Today's was actually the first in the series that we've been to so far--I can't believe it's been over a month since we've been to church! (For those of you who are reading this, in disbelief that Megan is going to church--relax, it's the Unitarian Universalist church, where religious ambiguity is accepted, and expected!)

Today's sermon was made by a lay minister and member of our church, Loyd Dillon. The talk was entitled, "My Favorite Things", and his basic point was that it's the "little things" that are actually the "big things", the things that link the globe across lines of religion, culture, ethnicity, race, gender, and age. He gave the example, for those who don't see this, that when he is on his deathbed, will he be clutching his most impressive pay-stub, or the card that his son wrote him, about what a good example he had been growing up? The answer, of course, is obvious. And his thesis is that this is true of every father (or at least, most fathers). And that one day, hopefully world peace will be one of the things that ends up on everyone's favorite things list, and then it may be so.

The majority of his talk, however, focused on actually listing his favorite things. And like me, once he got going, he could not be stopped! I don't know exactly how long his talk was, but it was long--although I found him captivating and enjoyable to listen to. He revealed parts of himself throughout his talk besides his favorite things--he has three sons, he has/had cancer, he is a bibliophile, and loves design of furniture/housewares. After he was done speaking, the next speaker also revealed that he was a design professor--I suspected that throughout his talk, for he had quite a professorial air about him. A few of the items on his list were esoteric references to periods and styles of design (he even brought in examples of some!), but others were much more general, like laughter, hugs, crisp fall mornings going to get the paper, strawberries. Many of these have also been found on my lists before as well. In fact, I made a list of things that make me happy (I guess that's a My Favorite Things list) a while ago on my previous blog.

I decided that in the spirit of a lazy Sunday afternoon (which will most likely appear on my list), I will make a second list. I don't know how long this one will be, but in the spirit of Loyd Dillon, I don't care. Without further ado:

--new shoes
--talking with my mom
--learning more about my grandmother
--finding something fantastic at Big Lots (we just went there this afternoon)
--when rustling leaves sound like flowing water
--cool whip and raspberries
--a new magazine
--summer thunderstorms on a covered front porch (double points for a rocking chair)
--memories that remind me of the wonderful life I've led
--searching through real estate listings
--cooking a great meal
--fresh-brewed coffee
--kissing my husband
--feeling put together
--exercising (I only remember that I like it after I've done it--never before, which is a shame)
--baby animals
--watching Monk
--finishing a book
--yard sales
--lazy afternoons
--cleaning and organizing
--finding things every month to donate to Goodwill
--the smell of the YMCA
--historic preservation and restoration
--purses with classic lines made of good leather
--a good cry, just because
--holding hands in bed
--picking out paint colors
--pumpkin candles
--our sweet kitties, curled up and making sleeping noises
--antique furniture
--the smell of freshly dried laundry
--bluegrass music
--spending time with old friends
--clipping coupons
--the smell of old library books
--red wine
--getting up early for no reason whatsoever
--sleeping in
--joy that can only be expressed by tears
--mid-century architecture, especially bungalows
--handwritten notes
--how well I get along with my in-laws
--National High Five Day
--Farmers' Marker produce
--unexpected phone calls
--saving money without sacrificing quality of life
--the grounds of the University of Virginia
--mountain streams
--making a difference, no matter how small
--Wheel of Fortune
--looking through pictures that you had forgotten about
--reading blogs
--public parks with water features
--riding bicycles
--feeling connected to history
--my husband, my husband, my husband
--kitchen gadgets
--rooftop terraces
--a song that evokes memories of high school
--going barefoot in really plush grass
--making lists
--imagining our family in 5 years
--cool breezes that make summer heat bearable
--most things French
--the European lifestyle
--feeling alive

Does anyone have anymore that they'd like to add? Feel free to comment and leave a list of your own!!!

Friday, July 25, 2008


So, we obviously had Jim's post-op appointment, and it couldn't have gone better! We saw all of our favorite people at Total Spine, and it looks like the next (and last) time we'll see them is in 5-6 weeks. Kelly came in and asked the basic questions, about how he was doing, and she was all smiles about his progress. Then Jamie came in, who is Dr. Tsahakis' assistant, and asked more probing questions. While Jim was explaining some of the residual effects of the nerve damage in his leg and toes, I just kept giving Jamie the thumbs-up and smiling. His official report on the chart he brought in ended up as an underlined smiley face! :)| just like that! Then Kelly came back in, removed the 3 stitches, and covered him back up. Now all Jim wears is a band-aid!!! And it's just to keep his pants from irritating the site. The glue will eventually flake off by itself. She referred to dealing with Dr. Z as having a child--though she swore us to secrecy!! I thought it was very funny!!
Dr. Tsahakis was the last to see us, and he seemed very happy with how Jim was doing. He assigned us the "best physical therapist ever" (He went on about this woman for 5 minutes, as did Kelly, so I am really excited to meet here eventually!)

A funny story while waiting back in the room. I was reading my book for class, and they had Jim lay down on the table facing the wall so they could see his site. A nurse came in to tell us that it would only be a few more minutes, and I said, "It's okay, I'm reading and he's sleeping." Jim promptly said, "I'm not asleep." A few minutes later, I moved to the seat closer to Jim, and noticed he had goosebumps on his back, and then I watched them disappear. It was really cool. So I was telling him, that I was going to give him goosebumps so I could watch them disappear again, so I was blowing on his back every minute or so, and then I started non-stop laughing hysterically (I get like that every now and then) and just kept blowing on his back, watching them form and disappear. It was so cool! And I'm talking to him this whole time. Finally Kelly comes in for the initial questions, and he comes to, and says, "I wasn't asleep." On the way home I was describing all of the events that transpired, and he didn't remember any of it!! So, yes, he was asleep. Okay, after writing it all out, it doesn't sound as funny as it actually was. Damn.

Then, yesterday, I had my class where I would have to take the pre-test in order to qualify for the state test. The class made me feel more confused than ever, but I passed both tests, with an 85. That's apparently very good, so I was excited.

So now I just have to schedule the actual exam. I will probably try to do it in about a week and a half. I am headed up to Richmond next weekend, so either I take it before hand, which might be tight scheduling since I won't see Larry until Tuesday, or I take it after, which will make me feel like I have more time to prepare and get everything straight. I might even make some flash cards. Those always worked for me in college when I had to memorize a lot of stuff.

We also joined the YMCA so that Jim could use the indoor track to get some good walking in and the pool, and obviously I would like to use the rest of the stuff there too. I'm excited about it, and hope I start to make it a priority.

Everything else is good. The weather around here has been crazy lately. We definitely brought the rain with us--this town rivals Charlottesville for "Rainiest Town". Two days this week, rain blowing sideways with those creepy yellow skies!!

I found this picture on my computer this week--it has nothing to do with anything in this post--but it just made me very happy. I loved our yard in summertime on Ironworks Ct. Lots of pretty flowers, beautifully leaved plants, and butterflies, lady bugs, and bumblebees. Now we don't have a yard, I don't miss mowing the grass, but I do miss having flowers around all the time.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Post Op Appointment Tomorrow!

We made it! Jim has his post-op appointment tomorrow at 3:15 with the surgeon. What a champ he has been these past 2 weeks! For the past few days, he has been almost normal, except he can't bend over at the waist or lift a lot of weight. We both brush our teeth in the shower now, as a result. Funny! After the meeting I'd like to see Dark Knight, but he'll still have to get up every 25 minutes or so to stay moving.

Other news...I talked to Marta today, who was on the train from Chicago to NY. It's always good to talk to girlfriends, since I have so few!

I have been studying for my Life, Health, and Accident Insurance class, which meets on Thursday, so that I can get my Life Services Assistant License. Basically it means that I can fill out Insurance applications with our clients. Wow, does the excitement ever end?

Tomorrow is the day that I can call the furniture company (again) to see where the rest of our bed is, and when I can send back the side table. You can be sure that I will update you on the progress!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Pictures as Promised

So, the only theme of this post is pictures. I just synced my phone (which I haven't done in a while--oops!) and realized that I have some pictures that I'd like to share. So, here they are, in no particular order:

Mispies is our strong black female cat. Her one weakness is snuggling with daddy at the end fo the day, and working her big butt into his arms when he's asleep. She doesn't normally look like she wants to kill me, but here, she is definitely showing it!

Riley is probably the closest thing I'll have to a gay son. Here he is nestled in a velvet beaded throw blanket, talking to my new yellow heels. He loves sitting around my shoes. If I thought he would behave in a purse, I would take him shoe shopping with me. Alas, this would never work.

Jim bought me a mic stand so we could sing and play guitar or drums for RockBand. It definitely adds a degree of difficulty, but it's really fun! Here he is totally rocking Black Hole Sun. And, since his surgery, he's lost a lot of weight. I think he looks particularly slim here! (And yes, this is post-surgery. What a champ!)

Jim's not the only star in the house! Here is Riley watching himself on TV! Every time the door was open, he would sneak in and just stare at himself. How cute is he!!!!! AAAHHH!!!

Finally, Jim's surgery site revealed! This is very close to it, so it looks big, but it's actually only about 1 1/2 inches long. It's shiny because of the glue they used to seal it. And the purple around the site is marker, not bruising.

Well, that's about it, I guess. These were just on my phone, and they make me smile when I see them, so I thought I would share.


I decided to switch my blog over to google. Most of my friends blog here, so I figured there must be something worth checking out. So here I am!

I'll be sure to post something of substance soon, to REALLY check it out!