Thursday, July 30, 2009

Texting While Driving Law

I have a friend who has lost all lunch time driving privileges forever and ever (amen) when we go to lunch, because she made the mistake of texting while driving with me in the car. At the time (several months ago) I was shocked. I had never seen or heard of anyone actually texting while they drove a car.

However, I soon found out that the practice of texting while driving is appallingly common. For god's sake, Virginia Tech even "did a study" and found out...surprise, surprise...that texting while driving is dangerous. A whole "study?" Really?

While people are writing laws, they might as well add laws against using a curling iron in the bathtub and jumping out of an airplane without a parachute. The fact that we now need laws to discourage people from doing something as obviously stupid and dangerous as texting while driving makes me want to sit in the corner, suck my thumb and bang my head against the wall.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dad Update

Dad's finally home and the Grand-Fabulous Ava did her best to lift his spirits and she worked like a charm. He's really tired, but happy to be home on on the road to recovery. Thank you for all your support and prayers.

Friday Night

My friends' bands will be playing at the Log On Cafe Friday night. Cover charge is $5 and the bands start at 8:30 p.m. Join us, won't you?

Log On Cafe
3805 Calder Avenue
Beaumont, Texas
(409) 832-1529

Monday, July 27, 2009

Really? At CVS?

I popped into CVS this afternoon to buy some eyeliner and bread and look what I found for $49.99...

Happy Birthday, Dad!!

Today's dad's birthday and he's coming home from the hospital in Houston. Yay! Happy Birthday, dad.

Dad will not be coming home today after all. He tripped on the walker and fell hurting his elbow.

They have a new doctor that came in today that wants new tests run. One doctor thinks the nightime rise in temperature is his lymphoma. This doctor wants to be sure. So, not coming home today.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Busy weekend and dad update

Dad Update
First the dad update for all the cousins and aunts and uncles. Dad's numbers (bilirubin, enzymes, temperature) are staying steady which the doctors see as a good thing even though some of the numbers are still a little high. He gets to come home tomorrow and he'll see his oncologist Wednesday for follow-up and to get back on his chemo schedule. Not sure if I posted it before, but his liver cells tested good which was a concern of mine since his bilirubin has been high for so long.

Dad's weak from being in and out of the hospital for the last three weeks, but we're hoping the physical therapist will kick that in the butt. Mom's in good spirits and glad to be on the way home and sleeping in her own bed after sleeping on hospital sofas for the last three (four?) weeks. I've lost track of time.

Busy Weekend (pictures later)
My brother and his family were in town this weekend from Arkansas and we had a fabulous weekend filled with Chinese food, cutting dad's grass, girl shopping, cousin bonding, grand-fabulous Ava spoiling and the best ever Thomas Jefferson Monthly All Alumni Gathering. Stu and Kim and the boys were able to spend time with dad in Houston while they were here.

Bounce Zone (pictures later)
Friday was my last day of full-time grandma vacation and Jamie, Ava, Jamie's sister, her son and I went to the Bounce Zone, then had a fabulous lunch at Chick-Fil-A. Did you know that Chick-Fil-A offers fresh ground pepper table side for your salad? And free snacks for the kids? I didn't.

Sugar Daddy Applicants
To sum up my week of vacation and family weekend, I am now taking applications for a sugar daddy so I can quit my wonderful job and just hang out and play and to quote Eddie Murphy "party all the time." Applicants should keep in mind that I only cook when I feel like it, I only clean when things are noticeably dirty and it's been so long since I had sex that I don't even think I remember what goes where. However, I can promise you this. You will not be bored.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I Thought Minimum Wage Went Up

I took this picture at the McDonald's on Dowlen yesterday...

Nice to know that folks of any size can make a buck.

Dad update

Just talked mom and dad's enzymes off, he has no appetite and has a swollen foot. The good news (there's always good news) is that his liver cells are okay. Looks like he won't be going home tomorrow after all.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

How I'm Spending My Summer Vacation

Friday afternoon last week, I decided I was going on vacation this week. Just like that. Boom. I'm taking a week of vacation. I usually plan vacations months in advance, but not this time.

This week, I'm helping out with grand-fabulous-Ava babysitting, watching Turner Classic Movies, watching Netflix movies, playing on my computer and staying up late. I'm also sleeping in my own bed, not eating in fancy vacation restaurants and not spending any money.

This has been one of my best vacations ever. This is what I did today (not counting the movies, television and sleeping late) ...

We did other stuff, too, but I didn't take pictures of the hide-and-seek with Nannie Bonnie, castle playhouse, dancing with the Aristocats or building castles with the big plastic Lego-type thingys.

Dad Update

Dad was transferred to Methodist Hospital in Houston Monday night. By Tuesday afternoon, they had replaced his stent with a bigger one and he's already doing better. Hopefully, that did the trick. Thanks for all your prayers and happy thoughts. Don't quit, yet. We're almost there.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

In Laurie's Brain

do I jump and bitch and moan every time a bulb sputters out when I flick a light switch. I act like it's never happened to me before and that I expect a light bulb to last forever and never go out. I take it quite personally.

can't I remember to check the pockets of my pants for old Kleenex before I throw them in the wash? I've had a runny nose since 1963 and I've been doing laundry for 40 years. No matter. I still rant like a lunatic when I open the washer and see bits of tissue all over my clean clothes.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Dad Update and Ava's Second Birthday Party

Dad Update
Dad's temperature is going up and his bilirubin levels are going up, too. So, he'll probably be transported back to Methodist Hospital (hopefully tomorrow) to get this situation taken care of. We're still not sure exactly what's causing all the problems. Hopefully, it's the drain tube and not the stents. I'll update as soon as I know something tomorrow.

Ava's Second Birthday Party
Last weekend was my grand-fabulous-daughter Ava's second birthday party. Below are a few highlights. Click here for a slideshow of all of my pictures.

"Now, this is what I'm talking about."


Nannie Bonnie's birthday gift...aprons for the family.

"Are you people still here?"

My birthday gift for the grand-fabulous Ava ... the Kitchen Helper.

Tribute to the princess.

"Seriously. When are you people going home?"

Friday, July 17, 2009

Dad Update and Facebook Farm Town Thieves!!

Dad Update
Dad is staying in the hospital over the weekend. His oncologist is going on vacation and, although his blood counts are still good, they aren't going down as quickly as the doctor would like. Everyone, even dad, agrees that staying a few more days is best.

Farm Town Thieves!
As previously mentioned, I'm addicted to Farm Town on Facebook. At first I kept "ignoring" all those gifts of cows and pigs and mango trees. Now, I'm kicking my butt for not jumping on board sooner. I'm jealous of the mansions on those other farms. Show offs.

I recently bought a lawn mower and a second dog house and they disappeared. According to Google searches, the disappearing farm stuff is caused by a bug in the Farm Town program. Bonnie and I think other farmers are stealing our shit. I wonder if I can hire my Mafia Wars gangsters to protect my farm. If I lose my house, I'm going to be pissed.

Damn economy.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Dad Update and The Official Procedure for Putting a 2 Year Old to Bed

Dad Update
Dad should get to go home tomorrow. He'll be on lots of meds, but that's okay. He's looking great and feels better than he has in a long time.

How to put a 2 year old to bed
Last night I babysat the grand-fabulous Ava and she has her own process for being put to bed. Keep in mind that she speaks in one word "sentences." We think she does this because she doesn't think we're smart enough to understand her own personal chatter-language. So, all of the below steps are communicated one word at a time repeated until the adult-type person understands her intent.

About thirty minutes before bedtime Ava is informed that it's almost bedtime.

Ava tells grandma she's hungry and wants cereal. ("Hungry." "Hungry." "Cereal.")

Ava tells grandma she wants to help make the cereal by standing on her birthday present that grandma bought her. That's not Ava in the picture below, by the way. ("Help." "Grandma.")

Ava tells grandma to be careful while transporting the "Kitchen Helper" to the counter. ("Careful." "Careful.")

Ava wants to eat her cereal at her new table in the living room. ("Table." "Table.")

Ava eats her cereal and is told it's time for bed. ("No." "No.")

Grandma says that it really, really, really is time for bed.

Ava wants to watch Monsters, Inc. ("Inc." "Inc.")

Grandma tells Ava that we'll watch "Inc." tomorrow, but now it's bedtime. ("Okay.")

We go to the bedroom and Ava has to put the dog out of her room ("Oakwee." "Oakwee." "Out!" "Out!"), use the bathroom ("Potty." "Potty."), try to poop ("Poo poo?" Poo poo?" "Try." "Try." *grunt* *grunt* "Can't." "Can't."), put lotion on her hands and on grandma's feet ("Lotion?" Lotion?"), read Green Eggs and Ham ("Ham." "Ham."), read a book about the rain forest ("Jungle." "Jungle."), kiss the family of statues on her dresser ("Kiss." "Kiss." "Baby." "Mommy." "Daddy."), ask grandma to hold her and walk her and sing to her ("Hold." "Hold." "Sing." "Sing.").

I finally put Ava in her bed about thirty minutes after the whole process began. There are a few final instructions from Ava: she wants all her dolls ("Mary." "Mary." "Terry." "Terry." "Huggle." "Huggle."), she needs her pink blanket ("Blanket. Blanket."), that would be a very specific pink blanket of her 352 pink blankets ("Big." Big!") That one took me a while.

Then, finally, "Kiss. Kiss." "Hug. Hug."

Yes. She is the boss of me.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Dad continues to improve and he'll probably get to go home this weekend. Doctors still aren't sure what to do about the tube that seems to be causing problems.

Tonight, I'm babysitting the grand-fabulous-Ava while her mom and dad go to the new Harry Potter movie. The day before Ava was born, we also went to a Harry Potter movie. Click on the label Ava below to reminisce about our adventures two years ago this week.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dad update and I told you I was a nice person

Dad Update

Dad's still doing well. They're keeping him in the hospital a few more days. Turns out it isn't the stent that's cracked, which is very good news. It appears now that the tube leading from the stent used for flushing the stent out for the first six weeks after insertion had a blockage. The radiology test they did to find the possible stent problem seems to have cleared whatever blockage there was in the tube and, hopefully, fixed that part of the situation. They're still watching dad for infection, but things are looking really good.

I was watching a movie with dad today on Turner Classic Movies and he called Yves Montand a bastard, so I knew he was getting back to normal.

I Told You I Was a Nice Person

When I was leaving the hospital, I noticed an elderly man walking past the parking garage in the 100 degree heat and he was obviously lost. I asked him if I could help him find something and he had a little piece of paper in his hand with his doctor's name on it. No phone number, no address, just the name.

I asked him if he would recognize the building if he saw it and he said he thought he would. So I called my office, told them I'd be late getting back to work and drove him around until we found the building. He had accidentally parked in the wrong parking garage. I drove him back to his truck and told him to follow me back to the other parking garage.

During our ride searching for the doctor's office, I questioned him about his family and friends. If he seemed to have dementia or anything, I was going to go with him all the way to his doctor's office. He knew what day it was. He knew what time his appointment was and he knew what street the wrong parking garage was on. He also said that someone usually goes with him to the doctor, but nobody was available today and the closest his children are to the area is Baton Rouge (about 3 hours away).

So, I left him in that parking garage and worried about him the rest of the day and I'll worry about him the rest of my life. I thought of him and all of my family and friends who might get lost one day with nobody to help them.

My distraction showed on my face when I got back to work and when my friend asked me if I was okay, I started crying. Then, I couldn't stop crying and everybody thought something had happened with my dad, so I had to keep explaining why my eyes were red. Because of my dad being sick, I couldn't blame the red eyes on allergies and get away with that. They would think I wasn't telling them the whole truth about my dad. Repeating the story kept making me feel worse instead of better.

One reason I couldn't stop crying was because I felt like God put me in that spot at that moment to help the man and it was an emotionally overwhelming feeling. My mom was about 10 minutes late getting back to the hospital so I could go back to work. If she had been on time, I wouldn't have run into the lost man.

The strangest part of the whole episode was my walk from the hospital to the parking garage where I first saw the man wandering around. I've walked up and down that two block long walkway many times over the past week. Most of the people don't make eye contact, because they're either going to work or leaving work or are preoccupied with whatever reason they're visiting the hospital.

My walk toward the garage before I met the lost man was different though. Every single person, and I mean EVERY single person, looked at me and smiled. It was so obviously different that I wondered if my shirt was unbuttoned or my hair was weird or something. I know this is going to sound weird or corny or something, but I feel like there were angels around me leading me to the lost man and the strangers walking toward me as I left the hospital could feel their energy.

I'm not saying you should go around picking up strangers or forcing old people to get into your car, but do try to listen to your angels.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Update on dad

Dad's temperature is normal, his incision site appears okay and he doesn't look jaundiced anymore. The bad news is that one of the stents they put in a couple of weeks ago is "cracked," whatever that means. We're waiting to hear from the doctors in Houston to find out our next step.

Now, a funny dad story. As I've mentioned before, dad not only retired from one of the local refineries, he has been a professional clown for over 50 years. Back in the '70s, dad also did some Ronald McDonald work for the southeast United States. He was even in the Orange Bowl parade one year as Ronald McDonald.

Dad would fly out to do Ronald McDonald work on the weekend and be back on Monday to work at the refinery. One weekend, he had a layover flight in Abilene and the stewardess told dad the layover would be about 30 minutes. In those days, there was no security and at the smaller airports, passengers walked right up to the plane, climbed the stairs and boarded on the runway.

Dad left the plane and, as it turned out, the layover was 5 minutes and not 30 minutes and the plane left without him. Dad freaked out because he had to be at work at the plant the next morning. He looked around the runway and saw a private jet boarding a couple of passengers. Dad walked up to the man getting on the private jet and asked him where they were going.

The man, his wife and secretary were flying to a private airfield in Dallas and offered dad a ride to his connecting flight. Dad got on the plane and the private jet guy called ahead and had a taxi waiting for dad at the private airfield which took him to the Dallas-Fort Worth airport. Dad made the flight with five minutes to spare, boarded the plane and sat in his seat.

Shortly after he got to his seat, the stewardess walked by, looked at my dad, dad looked at her and she walked away. He never did tell the stewardess what happened.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Update for family and friends

I recently found out that my relatives read my blog to obtain actual information and I haven't been very informative. So from now on, I'm going to give some of you more family news than you probably need. Off we go...

Today was the grand-fabulous Ava's second birthday. Pictures later.

The reason pictures will be later rather than now is because dad had to go back to the hospital today. Mom called us at the party and said that dad was shivering and had a fever. The home health nurse was there, so they called an ambulance to transport him because of his recent surgery.

The preliminary diagnosis is a slight case of pneumonia and possible infection at his incision site. He is also getting jaundiced again. Don't worry. It's not all as gloomy as it sounds and his oncologist is very involved in all of his treatments.

On another note, god bless each and every person who spends their days and or nights working in emergency rooms. What a sad, sad place to be. You're amazing people.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Things you think you learned while you were drinking, but didn't

I was out with friends the other night when the subject came up about limits on the number of marriages a person can have in Texas. I had never heard of such a thing and argued that there was no way in hell that the government of any state would or could dictate how many times a person can get married.

I was outnumbered. Several people thought the number of allowed marriages was between four and five marriages per person. As expected, I Googled it.

There are no limits on the number of marriages a person can have in any state. Here is the official Wiki Answer:

In the US, no state has a limit on the number of times you can get married, other can only be married to one person at a time.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

I Blame Farm Town

This blog is temporarily crippled by my obsession with the Farm Town application on Facebook. That's my farm up there. If you don't play Farm Town, you're thinking,"That's a farm? That's why you're not blogging? Lame-o!!"

If you play Farm Town, you're thinking, "Coooool."

To the girl who waited on me at Rao's...

  • It's not my fault you're understaffed.
  • It's not my fault you're having a bad day.
  • It's not my fault one of your cash registers is broken.
  • It's not my fault you didn't ask me if I was buying individual sandwiches or two lunch specials BEFORE you started ringing up my order.

I'm just sayin'.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Say what?

Today, I was talking to a friend about another friend when I thought she said, "She says she wants to go on the Bat Tour."

As she kept talking, I was thinking to myself, "Bat Tour? I wonder what the Bat Tour is? Is Ozzy Osbourne going on tour? Is it a baseball thing?"

Suddenly it hit me. Our friend doesn't want to go on the "Bat Tour." She wants to go on "The Bachelor."

That's what way too many years of standing in front of concert speakers will do for you, kids.

Friday, July 03, 2009

The Things You Learn at Lunch

I had lunch at Carmelo's with friends yesterday and the conversation turned to hospitals and doctors and such.

"We were at the hospital," said Robin, "And the...he...the doctor...."

Robin paused and looked confused. We all looked at her.

"What do you call those doctors who know their shit?" she asked.

"Specialists?" I offered.

"Yeah! That's it," she said. "We were at the hospital and the specialist came in...."

Personally, I prefer to think of them as guys who know their shit.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009