Sunday, November 2, 2008

Book Lover's Meme

My friend Dee challenged me to do this. Frankly, I don't have a clue what a meme is, although I found an explanation on this link. Bottom line - here is a list of questions that I'll answer and challenge the rest of you to respond or repost. Be sure to send me your link if you post your responses. Here goes:

1. Do you remember how you developed a love of reading?
I don't remember not reading. We visited the library regularly in elementary school, and I read a lot then. In junior high, the library was adjacent to the study hall room, so I was a frequent visitor. I don't have memories of lots of trips to the public library as a child, but I know that I always had plenty to read from school libraries and books we had at home.

2. What are some books you loved as a child?
Henry and Beezus (anything by Beverly Cleary), A Wrinkle in Time

3. What is your favorite genre?
I don't have a favorite. I like mystery, romance, adventure...I've even read some science fiction and fantasy that I like. I've read more non-fiction in the past few years than ever before, and I have really enjoyed many of them.

4. Do you have a favorite novel?
To Kill a Mockingbird

5. Where do you usually read?
In the car and in bed

6. When do you usually read?
Any road trip; just before falling asleep

7. Do you usually have more than one book you are reading at a time?
I do now. I never used to have more than one book going, but lately I find myself with a fiction and a non-fiction going at the same time.

8. Do you read nonfiction in a different way or place than you read fiction?
Not really. When I get into a book, where and how I read doesn't really change based on the kind of book it is. I do try to read books that I plan to learn something from while I'm in a sitting position rather than lying in bed. I try to either highlight or take notes as I'm reading, so I need a more active reading environment for those books. I don't always read nonfiction to learn, so that's the difference. Gee...does this response make any sense at all???

9. Do you buy most of the books you read, or borrow them, or check them out of the library?
Good question. I probably do a little of all three. I buy a lot of books, but I don't borrow many from friends. I'm usually the loaner; I love sharing books with my friends! And, of course I check books out of the library. I try to keep something from the PHS library on my bedside table all the time, and I usually read from the Paris Public Library during the summer.

10. Do you keep most of the books you buy?
Yes, I keep most of what I buy unless the people I loan them to don't return them. Many times I'll donate books to the PHS library that I think kids or teachers would enjoy.

11. What are you reading now?
My friend Cheryl loaned me a James Patterson novel - Mary, Mary. I have a partially read Max Lucado on my bedside table as well.

12. Do you keep a To Be Read list?
No, I don't have an actual list, but I do have some titles in mind that I'd like to read.

13. What’s next?
Another good question. I really need to whittle down the stacks at home before I buy anything else. And, I really have to bring something home from school to read.

14. What books would you like to reread?
To Kill a Mockingbird, He Still Moves Stones

16. Who are your favorite authors?
Max Lucado, Marilyn Meberg, Patricia Cornwell, John Grisham, Dee Henderson, Chris Crutcher

If you're interested in seeing what I've read recently, check out my reading blog at A Book is Good Company.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Perfect Day

I had been looking forward to today for weeks. The Kimball Art Museum in Ft. Worth has 92 works from the Impressionists collection from the Art Institute of Chicago that I was determined to see. The exhibit ends on Nov. 2, so I waited until almost the end of the exhibit to see it. It was wonderful. I'm sorry that I waited so late to go because I won't have time to see the exhibit again before it returns to Chicago.

Monet, Manet, van Gogh, Cezanne, Degas...what's not to love? Monet is one of my absolute favorites, and we were treated to several of his paintings. The Artist's House at Argenteuil and Poppy Field (Giverny) made the biggest impression on me today. Caillebotte's Paris Street; Rainy Day was quite impressive as was Seurat's Oil Sketch for "La Grande Jatte" . I would love to go to Chicago to see the actual,full-sized painting.

Just to make the day more enjoyable, I got to spend it with my friend Julie and her daughter Trish. We had a great lunch at Esperanza's before going to the museum. (If you haven't eaten there, you should definitely give it a try.) The weather was wonderful...couldn't have asked for better.

Here's the icing on the cake that has nothing to do with my wonderful day in Ft. Worth: The marching bands from Paris High School and North Lamar High School competed in Area competition (state qualifier) today in Longview. Both bands placed in the top 7 during preliminary competiton today and competed in finals tonight. NL qualified for state (YAY NL!!), but Paris did not advance. This may have been the first time ever for Paris to make finals at Area. I know it's the first time in at least 14 years. What a great day for the Paris and NL bands!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Too young

We lost a student this week in a car accident, and I just heard that North Lamar lost one this morning. Both were seniors. Is there anything more difficult than losing a child? I can't imagine it. My thoughts and prayers are with both families and with both senior classes. Like one of my friends said on her blog this week, it's time to hug our kids - both our own and those we teach - and let them know how much we love them and how special they are to us.

Is it really mid-October???

Has it really been three months since my last post? Maybe that's an indicator that we've had a pretty busy fall.

Nick, Anglea, and Ethan have gotten settled in Jarrell and are doing well. We got to spend a short weekend with them a few weeks ago on our only free weekend until after football season. We went to Nick's football game on Friday night and to a marching contest on Saturday morning. We shopped with Angela and Ethan Saturday afternoon while we waited for Nick to get home. Unfortunately, we had to come back Saturday night because Chris had a rehearsal in Arkadelphia Sunday afternoon.

Ethan is officially a big boy. He has pretty much mastered potty training, is going to school, and can ride his bike just like the older kids. He also had an adventure at the ER with stitches! They went to the bowling alley for a family outing where Ethan fell onto a bowling ball. He had to have six stitches in his chin. OUCH!

Natalie and Brandon are great. Nat is taking 18 hours this fall and will take a class in January so that she will be able to graduate in May. They're both RAs this year in the same dorm/apartment complex. Wedding plans are moving right along. Her dress came in this week, and all of the bridesmaids have their dresses. We still have tons to do, but things are moving along pretty well.

Chris is super busy with marching band. Marching contest is next week, and we're deep into football season. He is the official truck and trailer driver for the band. He's still playing tuba with the Arkansas Brass, the South Arkansas Symphony, and a new group called Mass Brass. We're driving to Malvern, Arkansas tomorrow for a MB concert which should be lots of fun. We saw several old friends at the last concert a few months ago.

We're staying busy in the library. In fact, this six weeks is one of our busiest. We have research classes scheduled every day for the next three weeks. In addition to all that, our district technology director moved to Austin recently to work for TEA. I've been asked to coordinate all of our websites and work with each campus webmaster. It's been a lot of work, but I have enjoyed it.

Life continues to be good for the Kornegay's. We're thankful for that.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


There are times when God just brings us to our knees because of how He provides for us and loves us. Nick just called, and I'm overwhelmed.

Nick: Well, the truck is unloaded.
Mom: Great! Who did you call to help?
Nick: We started unloading and this guy from a few doors down came by and helped us. You won't believe this - the guy is a former professional mover. He's huge! The two of us (scrawny, skinny Nick and the burly fellow) unloaded the piano by ourselves.
Mom: WOW! That's great!
Nick: Guess what, Mom? He has a son who is 2 1/2 also. His birthday is three days before Ethan's! He and Ethan played in the waterhose and while we were unloading.
Mom: You're making me cry!!!
Nick: And, there's another family three doors down that has a 3 yr old son.
Mom (still crying): How wonderful! God has surely taken care of you, hasn't He?

So...can you count the number of answered prayers?
1. Jobs for Nick AND Angela
2. Awesome place to live
3. Not just help unloading the truck, but a professional mover!
4. Not one but TWO boys Ethan's age for him to play with!

Thank you, Lord, for taking care of my kids!!!!!

A really long day

We spent Friday helping Nick and Angela pack and move to their duplex in Jarrell. We left Paris at 8:30 Friday morning and returned at 5:30 Saturday morning. Yep...21 hours. The things parents will do for their children and grandchildren!!

Angela rented a moving truck which they had just gotten home with when we got to Bedford. Nick and Chris left pretty soon after we got there to get their stuff from their storage unit while Angela and I packed. She had these great boxes from Outback that were all the same and made packing and stacking go very well.

My main assignment for the day was to entertain Ethan. We took walks, ran errands, watched movies, and played in the truck while the others did the hard work of loading the truck. My favorite Ethan quote of the day was while he was "driving" the truck - "Look out all you peoples! Here comes Ethan!" He was so adorable. His absolutely favorite thing to say these days is "Is it?" which is 2 yr. old speak for "What is it?" We played "Is it?" with everything in the truck from radio to air conditioning to speedometer to signs and posters inside the cab.

We finally got on the road around 8:30 last night, obviously much later than we planned to leave. What a caravan we had! Nick drove the big truck, Angela followed in her car, Ethan and I were next in Nick's car, and Chris pulled up the rear in the Jeep. Ethan was asleep before we got one block away from the house, so I didn't hear a peep from him for a couple of hours. I discovered that my cell phone was dying and that Chris had my charger, so we stopped in West to get it. The next stop was even more unexpected - Chris got stopped and ticketed for having a tail light out. I pulled over at the next decent place to stop and waited for him to catch up. Sheesh! Just what we needed.

When we got to the duplex, Nick and Angela were walking around using their cell phones as flash lights trying to find the breaker box. The four of us wandered around for a while until Chris finally found it. What a relief to have lights and air conditioning! We spent a little while with them oohing and ahhing over their duplex and then unloaded the three cars.

Unfortunately, we couldn't stay last night to help unload the truck today. (Chris has to be in Hot Springs, Arkansas, this afternoon with the Arkansas Brass for a wedding.) I made Nick promise he would get on the phone and find some teachers or coaches or kids or SOMEONE to help them unload. The boxes won't be a problem for them, but the furniture and piano will require additional muscle power.

The duplex is fabulous!!! It's a two-story, three bedroom, two full bath unit with a galley kitchen, great pantry, and large living/dining area. It's 300 square feet larger than the house we built in Little Rock. I'm including a few pictures from another duplex that is arranged just like theirs. I'm thrilled that they found such a great place so quickly that is close to work for both of them. (Angela will be teaching middle school math in Jarrell!!) The only negative is that they're at least two hours farther away from us.

It was about 1 AM this morning when we left Jarrell. We stopped a couple of times for drinks and snacks and to replace the pesky tail light. I napped a little and made Chris let me drive the last couple of hours while he slept. We fell into our bed around 5:30 this morning. YAWN!!! What a day!
1st picture - Front view; they have the unit on the right
2nd picture - Living/dining looking toward kitchen
3rd picture - Ethan's room with the dormer window

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th!

Celebrating the 4th of July always meant a huge family gathering when I was growing up. Unfortunately, we've gotten away from that in the past few years, but I caught myself thinking about those fun days quite a bit today.

My grandparents hosted a 4th of July celebration from as long as I can remember until they couldn't do it any more. They had two daughters and a cousin who lived with them who was just like a daughter to them. Each of their daughters married and had children (two of them had 4 children, and one had 3), so when just our families got together we had 11 kids. I was the oldest of the group, but I don't think that distinction earned me anything. Mamaw and Poppa each had several brothers and sisters, so most of the time some of them and their families would join us. By the time my generation got married and had kids, we had four generations under one roof. Trust me, when the Woolard clan gathered, there were LOTS of people involved.

We spent the day outside eating and playing all kinds of games. I remember playing in Poppa's freshly plowed field making what I called "foot houses." We climbed trees and played in a wading pool. They lived outside of town and their water came from a well, so that dip in the wading pool was cold! My kids are mortified when they see home movies or pictures of us in the pool wearing nothing more than our underwear. No one thought ahead to bring bathing suits, so we just stripped down to our whitey-tighties and jumped in.

Food was always a major component of any Woolard family gathering. We didn't grill hamburgers and hot dogs like most people do on the 4th. We just pot-lucked it. I remember one year that we had some really good barbecue - barbecued goat, that is. I think a cousin brought a friend that year, and everyone watched to see what he thought about the barbecue! We had everything you could imagine to eat. Poppa built some extra long picnic tables for us, and one was always completely filled with food.

Poppa always grew watermelon. I never see watermelon without remembering Poppa's garden. He grew red and yellow watermelon and always had a cold one ready to eat. He was pretty particular about his watermelon - I remember him throwing out just-opened watermelon if he thought it was too ripe or if it just didn't taste right to him. I learned at an early age how to spit watermelon seeds particularly at my siblings and cousins.

After lunch, it was firecracker war time. Oh my, did we have fun! We each had packages and packages of Black Cat firecrackers to pop. It was a sign of maturity when we graduated from propping our firecrackers on the sidewalk or fence post to light and then run like the dickens before they popped to being quick enough to light and then throw them. Another rite of passage was twisting the fuses of several firecrackers together before running or throwing. Of course there were always misfires and firecrackers that were thrown in the wrong direction, but thankfully we never had any serious injuries. I remember one year when Uncle Ken threw several at me and I threw a hissy fit. He still makes fun of me about that. We never got really big stuff for after dark. We always had Roman candles and sparklers and bottle rockets, but we didn't get much that went "boom" with big displays. One year my Roman candle was a dud and sent balls about two feet in the air. I couldn't wait for the next year to come so that I could redeem myself. We had fun with various forms of "chasers" that chased all of our moms out of their lawn chairs more than once. About six years ago we went to my sister's house on the 4th and did some of these same things. I felt twelve years old again with my cup full of Black Cats and my "punk" lighter! I think I scared Natalie!!

Even though Poppa was a World War II veteran and my dad served in the Marine Reserves and Uncle Ken served in the Air Force, I don't remember spending time talking about patriotism. For my family, patriotism was something we lived, not something we talked about. We spent the 4th of July enjoying our freedom to gather as a family. It was always the highlight of our summer. I'm so thankful for my grandparents and my parents for making sure that we spent time together as a family. My, do I miss those days!

Here's a trip down memory lane and a picture of my sisters and me in Mamaw's kitchen on July 4 in 1981 or 1982. Sorry I don't have a picture of me in the wading pool to share!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Catching Up

Here's what's been happening with the Kornegays this month:

IRL Race. Chris and I celebrated the end of school in least in a way that I really enjoyed. We decided at the last minute to go to the Texas Motor Speedway for the Indy Racing League race on June 7. What a blast! I had a great time, and Chris indulged me the whole night. We got to the track early, shopped in the souvenir stands, rented our scanners, got some junk food, and found our seats. IRL races in Texas aren't well attended, so we scored some awesome seats on the front stretch not far past the start/finish line. It was a great HOT night for racing, and we enjoyed ourselves. I called Karen from the track and told her that we have to consider the whole race weekend next year. She loves all things NASCAR, including the truck series. The trucks run on Friday night and the IRL guys run on Saturday night the first weekend in June. It would be great fun for us to go together.

Nat is home! Nat and Brandon got back from Greece on June 1o, although technically it was June 11 when they actually returned to Texas. They had a great trip, saw wonderful sights, and visited many locations where the apostle Paul worked, preached, and was jailed. They took hundreds of pictures and had great stories to tell. The toughest part of their trip was when they returned to the US. They landed in Washington, DC on time, but they were six hours late leaving DC. They got to DFW after at 1:00 AM on the 11th instead of 7:00 PM on the 10th. By the time we found out that their flight was delayed, we were already more than half-way to Dallas. We passed the time with Nick, Angela, and Ethan at Cabarras, Southlake Town Square, and finally at their house. Needless to say, we all slept pretty late the next morning since we didn't get home until around 4 AM. Brandon stayed until the 12th, so we had time to see all of their pictures and hear their stories. I'm so glad she had this opportunity. It was a great experience for her. Here's one of my favorite pictures of Nat and Brandon from the trip. They were in a beautiful place called Meteora. She leaves for Alaska for her next big adventure on Thursday.

Certification!! I am officially certified as a principal!!! Scary, isn't it? I got my official certificate in the mail last week. I can't wait to get it framed and hang it in my office. Who knows when I'll use it as an administrator, but I'm quite proud of myself for accomplishing it. I met a goal I set for myself several years ago, so I'm thrilled to have it.

Job Search. Nick has taken a job in Florence ISD as the band director. WOO HOO!! He reports to work tomorrow (July 1), and Angela and Ethan will join him as soon as they get an apartment secured. He's excited about it, but he's also a bit nervous about it. I know he'll do a great job. We'll just have to make sure we make lots of trips to Florence to see them. I have several friends who have children in the Austin area, so I'll just have to get together with them to make a road trip to see the kids. Just what I needed - another excuse to go to Austin!!

50th Birthday. Everyone was here to help me celebrate my 50th birthday last weekend. We kept Ethan while Nick and Angela went to a wedding in Little Rock, and they were back in time for us to celebrate together. Natalie got a great cake, lots of candles (though she didn't use 50 on the cake), and ice cream; Nick and Angela gave me lots of old people gifts (Depends, Fixodent, and prune juice); and I got lots of funny cards from family and friends. The best part about my birthday was spending it with my family. I really didn't want anything else.

If you've held on this long, you're up to date with the Kornegays. It's been quite a month, hasn't it?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

30 Years?!?

Yep, that's right. Chris and I are celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary today. My, where has the time gone? When we talked about it this morning, we couldn't quite wrap our minds around the concept of 30 years. It seems like we've always been together, but just the thought of 30 years is mind-blowing.

One word I'd use to describe our relationship is commitment. Through thick and thin, good times and bad, we're committed to each other. He's my best friend...the person I want to wake up with every day of my life...the person who truly accepts me as I am. I'm a much better person because of Chris, and I honestly can't imagine a day without him.

I saw "Sex and the City" last night, and I discovered what a romantic Ludwig von Beethoven was. One night, Carrie read love letters to Big, and she read an excerpt from "Immortal Beloved," letters Beethoven wrote to his love. The third letter was quoted most in the movie. Of course I looked up the letters as soon as I got home. I guess the romantic way the lines were used and thinking about our anniversary today really made them stick with me. Here are some quotes that made me think of Chris and our marriage:

Can our love endure except through sacrifices, through not demanding everything from one another

Remain my true, my only treasure, my all as I am yours

Is not our love truly a heavenly structure, and also as firm as the vault of heaven?

Oh, continue to love me - never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved... ever thine, ever mine, ever ours

Enjoy these pictures of our wonderful day 30 short years ago. I hope the next 30 are as great as the first 30.

Greece, anyone?

Natalie is on another fantastic trip. She's in Greece for the travel component of a class she took in the spring - Acts and the Pauline Epistles. She and Brandon are with a group of 12 on a 12-day tour called The Journeys and Letters of Paul. They're touring several places Paul visited as well as many other important historical locations. They have to journal while they're gone as part of the course requirement. What a way to start the summer!

Nat and Brandon were both RAs during the May term at ETBU which didn't end until Thursday, May 29. After closing down the dorms late Thursday night, they got to Paris around 1 AM Friday morning. We unloaded their cars and tried to get some rest before leaving Paris at 6:30 AM for the airport. I felt so bad for them - they were exhausted before they started their trip. We made it to DFW airport just in time for them to meet their group at the ticket counter. Their plane left Dallas at 11:30 AM on Friday, and they arrived in Athens at 2:00 PM on Saturday.

We've heard from them a couple of times via email. They have to pay by the minute to use the Internet at the hotels, so they're not taking much time to communicate. That's fine with us; it's great to hear from them, but I don't want them feeling that they have to contact us. I'd rather they spend their time and money enjoying themselves. I tend to take a "no news is good news" approach to overseas travel. Nat's trip to Zambia in 2005 taught us that. This is Brandon's first trip out of the country, and he's been the one sending the email. He's so sweet...both messages have included statements about how safe they are. Just what parents need to read.

This wonderful adventure ends on June 10. They'll return to DFW at 7:30 PM. We're planning to drive over after lunch on Tuesday to spend some time with Nick, Angela, and Ethan before we meet Nat and Brandon at the airport. I have no doubt that they'll spend most of the day Wednesday sleeping and getting back on our schedule. Brandon will probably have to leave on Thursday. I know his parents will be anxious to see him back on US soil.

I've been the typical librarian-nerdy mom for this trip. I bought a map of Greece, and I highlighted all of their stops. I needed to "see" where they were. I also checked a book out of our church library on Greece that has lots of pictures so that I can kind of virtually visit Greece with them. Of course I've looked at all kinds of websites on Greece as well. Another really cool thing Nat sent before she left was a list of the hotels they'll stay in complete with web sites. That's an even more specific way for us to trace Nat's travels. Don't forget the world clock on the cell phone. Mine is set to Athens, so I can see what time it is in Greece. Oh, the wonders of modern technology! It truly does make the world seem much smaller.

I'm anxious to see the souvenirs they bring home. One special souvenir I hope they get is a beautiful picture of themselves to use as an engagement picture for the newspaper. Other than that, I'll be happy with a magnet or bookmark.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Arkansas Brass

Chris started a blog for his quintet last weekend. Check out what's going on with the Arkansas Brass!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Graduation Day

Mother's Day couldn't have been any better. We were in Arlington for Nick's graduation from the University of Texas at Arlington. We're so incredibly proud of him - especially for his perseverence to complete his degree in music education. Now for the fun part - finding that first job!

The weekend was great. Natalie and Brandon got to Paris on Thursday and took care of some wedding stuff on Friday morning before going to Frisco. They shopped at Sam Moon and Stonebriar and the surrounding shopping centers until Nick met them to drop off Ethan. Nick and Angela had a some things to do Friday night and Saturday night, so we volunteered to keep Ethan for them. Nat and Brandon did well driving home with Ethan...or should I say that Ethan did well in the car with them. Anyway, they made it in safe and sound. It certainly got fun around here pretty quick!

Nat and I took Ethan to the Paris Art Fair on Saturday morning. What fun! His first order of business was the inflatables. He climbed almost to the top of the big slide before the older kids crowded him which scared him. Aunt Natalie to the rescue! She climbed the ladder and took Ethan down a couple of times. He loved it. Next was the bounce house. We were sure Ethan would have a big time, but when a well-meaning dad latched the "door," Ethan got scared and wanted out. No problem...there was still lots to do. He rode in a buggy pulled by a miniature horse, shot basketballs, picked up ducks, ate a corn dog, and picked out prizes. We also took in some of the art and exhibits in the Civic Center. We had a great time.

Graduation day arrived and we were eager to get to Arlington to see Nick and Angela. My mom met us here and rode with us. Daddy and Evelyn spent the night in Dallas, so they met us in Arlington. Nick found us in front of Texas Hall and gave us our tickets. We got in and got everyone upstairs to the balcony so that we'd have a bird's-eye view of the stage. Besides, Ethan could roam around without distracting too many people. Nick was all smiles as he and his classmates processed onto the stage. The preliminaries were pretty short, so we didn't have to wait long for Nick to walk across the stage. We clapped and yelled and made sure that Nick could hear how proud we were of him. Chris did a great job capturing Nick's walk across the stage on the camera.

After the ceremony, the whole gang met in the courtyard for pictures and then went to a great Mexican restaurant for dinner. Soon we parted ways - Nick, Angela, and Ethan went to Bedford; Natalie and Brandon went to Marshall; Daddy and Evelyn went to Texarkana; Angela's mom Diane went to Cedar Hill; Chris, Mother and I went to Paris. It was a long day, but it was wonderful.
Here are a couple of pictures of the day. We'll get to do this again next May when Natalie graduates. We can't wait!!

Monday, March 31, 2008


Natalie was a contestant in the Miss ETBU pageant this past weekend. Yep, that's what I said. Our a beauty pageant. She was wonderful. She represented Student Foundation, one of the many organizations she's involved in.

The competition included interview with the judging panel on Saturday morning, and then evening gown, talent, and on-stage interview Saturday night. She wore her two favorite prom dresses - the gorgeous black sequined dress for the runway portions and the blue shorter dress for the talent portion. She looked beautiful and did a super job on her clarinet solo and in all of the on-stage competitions. Even though Natalie was definitely the winner in our eyes, she didn't get the crown on stage. Here's the article from the Marshall newspaper.

We celebrated the evening with Nat and Brandon at IHOP, the college students' favorite late-night hang out. We are so proud of Natalie for participating and jumping out there and doing something unexpected.

The pictures of her on stage didn't turn out so well, but I hope you can see how great she looked.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Hospital time again???

What a week! This was one of those weeks that reminded me that I am NOT in charge of my life.

Just after lunch on Tuesday I began to have pain in my abdomen. I left school thinking that going home to my potty would make things better. Two hours later with no relief from the pain, Chris took me to the ER. I continued to writhe in pain until we saw the first doc around 5. Thank God for Demerol! Two x-rays and one CT scan later, the diagnosis is obstructed bowel. The second doc ordered the CT scan which confirmed the diagnosis; doc #1 was certain I was coming down with stomach flu. Anyway, the next thing I know, I have an NG tube, an IV, and a room on the 5th floor. (This is the Reader's Digest version of the story; I didn't get to the room until midnight.) The best guess is that the obstruction was caused by scar tissue left from a surgery almost 15 years ago. Who would have thought that it would cause problems so many years later.

Wednesday was a miserable day. The tube and the general yuk involved with it were awful. The pain was gone, and the tube did its job of clearing the obstruction. Obviously, I couldn't have any food or even water until the tube came out. The tube finally was removed Thursday morning, but I still needed IV antibiotics and other meds until Friday morning. I finally got to come home late Friday morning. Sleeping in my bed last night was heavenly!

Chris has been a prince. He felt so helpless on Tuesday, but he got help for me as quickly as he could, let me squeeze his hand just like I did when Nick was born, packed a bag for me by following my drug-induced instructions, called my absence in for me, and even called my professor to let him know that I wouldn't make it to class Wednesday night. He got supper for me from Magel's last night, and today he made breakfast and went to the grocery store and fixed the light in the kitchen. What a guy! He truly is the best husband in the whole world.

I haven't ventured far from the sofa and my easy chair all day today. I was hoping for more energy by now, but it's just not here yet. I plan to try to get out and do as much as I can tomorrow so that I can get back to work on Monday.

So...what can I do to prevent a recurrence of this experience? Eat healthy foods, drink lots of water, watch how I eat and how much I eat, and keep everything moving.

The bottom line, though, is that we never know what's around the next corner. It doesn't matter if it's a sudden health problem or an accident or an unexpected blessing. God is totally in control, and He uses every experience we have to teach us something either about Him or about ourselves. The best we can do is acknowledge His sovereignty and thank Him for getting us through. This experience has certainly taught me that I can't ever take my health for granted and that I have to slow down and take much better care of myself.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Old Friends

I had the chance to see an old friend last week - one that I hadn't seen in at least 13 years. Chris's quintet had a concert at a small university in central Arkansas in the same town where my friend Debbie lives. As soon as I found out about the concert, I started making plans to go with Chris so that I could see Debbie. We had a great time talking and laughing and catching up with one another.

Debbie and I met at library school at UCA in 1992, and we immediately became fast friends. We couldn't believe it had been 13 years since we had seen each other; it felt more like just a few months. We picked up right where we left off and we talked and talked for a couple of hours. Her sweet husband hung in there with us most of the night. We talked about our schools and our libraries and about our families and our grandchildren.

It's amazing how our lives have taken almost parallel paths. We're both school librarians, and we're both finishing our administration certification. There are pages on her library website that are almost mirror images of some of my pages. She has more grandchildren than I do, but we both enjoy the wonder of havinging those little ones in our lives.

I hope it's not another 13 years before we see each other again. We had a great visit which left me wishing we lived closer. Chris and I didn't get home until 2:30 that night, but it was certainly worth it.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Welcome to 2008

Happy New Year! I hope that your 2008 is everything you want it to be. We're thankful to have another year together. Chris and I will celebrate a milestone this year - our 30th anniversary. WOW...amazing, huh?

We rang in the New Year in a pretty boring way. We were awake at midnight watching TV, but that's about all we did. Natalie and Melissa joined the youth group to watch TV and shoot fireworks. Again, nothing special for any of us. We slept in pretty late on New Year's Day and got up just in time to watch the Cotton Bowl Parade, the pre-game, and then the game. Unfortunately, the Razorbacks didn't show up for the game. Bummer.

Natalie went back to school on the 2nd to help get the dorm ready for the semester. One dorm has been closed, so a lot of girls will be moving into her dorm. She'll have a few more girls to be responsible for this semester. There are times that I wish I could be a fly on the wall to watch her in action. She's so mature and so responsible but I don't think she realizes how well she does at things like this. I say that but then I'm reminded of how scatter-brained she can be at times. She called not long after she got back to Marshall and told us that she left several things at home - all of her hanging clothes and her make-up mirror. We met her in Mt. Pleasant last night to make the delivery and have dinner. It's always fun to see her. I miss her when she's not here.

I saw the dr again on Wednesday for my final post-op visit. Everything seems to be healing fine...although kind of slowly. The biggest piece of advice he gave me was no lifting. I'll probably never lift anything over 10 pounds or so. I told my dr. that I really like him, but that I don't want him to have to repair this stuff again. Recovery has been so much slower than I expected, but I've learned the hard way that I have to take better care of myself.

Speaking of which, the new diet starts tomorrow. Today I'm cleaning out the pantry and buying groceries. I've got to start cooking breakfast and healthier meals for dinner. Lunch is mainly salads and chicken or tuna. Yum Yum! And, the exercising starts next week as well. I'm planning to go to a class after school two days a week for an aerobic workout, and I'm going to walk and practice yoga on the other days. See I've put it in writing, so I have to do it! I hope you guys will help keep me accountable! I need to do this for myself as well as to get myself ready for the wedding.

Thanks for stopping by.