Tuesday, January 27, 2009

good day - and not done yet!

I have this thing about my throat. Maybe it is my long time choking-phobia or just something everyone has, but I like to be able to breath easy. So, this swollen pharynx or larynx or whatever it is that gets inflamed and irritated when I cough my head off is driving me nuts. I don't MIND sleeping on the couch (so I can sleep more upright and not wake Kirk when I cough) but I instinctively cover my mouth with my hands and whatever covers they are wrapped in and I wake myself up all the time.

I'm such a baby. I love to complain and I'm not liking being sick.

On to things I do like: my job.
Just started back at my full time teaching job yesterday and it is great. I love teaching. Love my students. Love my co-workers and my office and just ALL of it. I finally don't have that "What do I want to be when I grow up" lurking in the back of my mind. It is a great feeling. This semester is only 2 days in but already it is so much better than last semester. I was so overwhelmed with the full time thing and all the paperwork and committees plus one extra class that I felt like I was catching up all semester. On top of that was the huge fear and sadness of my dad dying. What a different semester this will be. I feel the loss of course (if you read by blog you know exactly how), but I also feel the relief - and no guilt that I feel that - and peace.

Today I optimisticly bought spackle and a wallpaper scraper and primer and paint samples (the kind you paint on). This is to do the boys room. Theirs was painted a long long while ago but it really took a beating and we need to take down the nascar border. I'm going with some neutral color that they can pick. I think I might do our room too, which has NEVER been painted since we got here. I love these projects. I love doing stuff in the house.

okay. that is all the stuff for today. It was a good day.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

the more

Another one by downhere called "the more"
Some lyrics from it..

..Wanna give You every moment, every minute
I'll take a lifetime to know You
Hold me Lord, keep me
Draw me closer every moment of my life

And the more You show me, the more You grow me
The more Your glory becomes all there is
And the more I know You, the more I need You
The more I love You, the more You become to me..

Monday, January 19, 2009

biggest fan.

One evening in december my brother kevin was playing his signature piece, Freight train. Later that day Karen, my mom and I were all grieving at the impending death of my dad and Karen said "Kevin is losing his biggest fan" (my dad just LOVED freight train and always requested it.)We knew it. No one could compliment like my father, make you feel important, like you mattered. He was a great encourager.

If you knew my dad, you probably also lost one of your cheerleaders in life.
I sure did.
I was sitting here looking at a picture I took of a yellow rose that I blew up and remember my dad seeing it the first time (and criticizing the matte color I chose :) ) and how much he loved it. So many things that I did were to hear his comment on it. That is sad, but it is also SAAAD. He isn't here to tell me how cool it is. He so loved photography.

He would also have loved this song.. which I love. NO Warning needed on this one. It is a happy song really. Cool chords and such..It is "My last Amen" by Downhere

miss him..

Monday, January 12, 2009

Bonaire to Blizzard

Time in Bonaire is almost done. It went very well. 3-person hand and foot is great fun!! The kids seemed to do well at home and I'll be grateful to see them soon. Marianne is back at school so I can't see her as easily but will see her soon I hope. I guess Illinois is expecting a blizzard or two in the next couple days so we will hopefully get home okay and on time.

My cousin Maggie and her husband, Rob's newborn has contracted bacterial meningitis. She is out of NICU and doing better, but will be in the hospital for a couple weeks. All prayers appreciated.

This was a great break from everything and i think it was good for my mom too. Only a few tears now and then from us and overall a good trip. My mom has some things I'm sure she dreads like having to take care of some things herself. Hopefully she will find things she is able to do now or try that she could not or did not because she was married or because my dad didn't want to. Maybe she can finally take up sky-diving... or.. something :) ha ha

I saw a creature I have never seen today. It was a squid at about 25 feet. I took a few pictures. As Kirk also noted, we also saw another thing we have never seen: someone diving with no suit (not 'no wetsuit') nothing at all!! This man was quite brave as I will not dive without my wetsuit because i have scraped myself on coral before and it takes weeks to heal. I'll be happy to never see another "junkfish" again.

Kirk and I navigated our own dive today as mom has a cold and did not want to dive. We did pretty well and came out at just the right spot. I did not fall but kirk tumbled and was washed with the waves. Fortunately, he is a smart diver and kept his regulator in his mouth and didn't need much help getting up either. When you fall on your back it is called "turtled" because you have trouble getting up, but since there were a few strong waves, they pushed him over and righted him so he got right up ;)

I guess it is back to the cold and the job and all that. What a great break this was, though.

Friday, January 09, 2009


What a perfect Bonaire day. We started out doing a shore dive at a place called Tori’s reef because they have seen many eagle rays there recently. We saw none and we really booked to try to cover as much ground as possible of the shallows to see them. The rest of the dive was nice. Then we rested between dives and since I was tired, we went to an “easy entry” dive called yellow submarine. It was very easy and we saw some nice things and toward the end of the dive, Mom spotted a young Eagle Ray!!! I got 4 good pictures of it and it was in no hurry swimming past us. What great luck!

We had heard earlier that day that dolphins and even a WHALE were spotted at the south end of the island (Tori’s is south too) but we were thrilled with the eagle ray.

We had planned to go to Jibe City (a pretty beach with a little café) because I always loved that. I got to thinking of my dad and how he loved their crab sandwich and how he would always complain that the chips blow away. That was the first time I really really missed him on this trip. Never thought I would miss his complaining, but I was, am now.

Otherwise, I’m getting some nice time with Kirk, nice time with my mom, a little sun and nice time with the fishies  Oh, and for those who said “have a drink for me” , I did yesterday.., a pina colada. Mm.

Two nights ago, we went to Cactus Blue, a great restaurant on the island run by friends and Moogie was playing. He played “What a wonderful world” and he inserted “joe” a few times like “Joe, what a wonderful world”. Moogie knew my dad and knows the family so he did that for my mom. It was so nice (but almost made us cry).

Tonight is the Rum Punch party. That will also have Moogie and he will play my dad’s favorite song, “ring ting ting” which I think he now calls joe’s theme or something. We will dance to it as it was the one song my dad made sure to get up and dance to even 3 months ago when he was so weak and only danced for a minute. If Dad had a preference, he wanted his ashes scattered here so we scattered some at our first dive site. Some we will scatter on a boat tomorrow in front of Buddy (where their condo is) and some we will take home to spread with other family in his pond. Closure: my dad and I both loved closure. Who doesn’t?

On a sour note, we got our video camera stolen in San Juan. We take a small puddle jumper and you have to stow most of your carry on luggage and they took it out of there. Rats. I do have video on my camera so it isn’t like we don’t have video, but what a shame.

Can’t complain anymore. I’m warm and lucky to have this vacation.
Here is the eagle ray- it has about a 3.5 foot "wing-span"

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Summing it up...

I posted on my Dad's blog for the first time so I skipped writing here. I posted on my sister getting married and what a happy day that was. His blog is linked to here on the right if you want to read it. Great pictures are posted there too.

This was one of the strangest time in my life and having a baby was almost more jarring, but it was also a happy time. Christmas was a blur. I did finally get into the spirit, but I became Scarlett O'Hara ("I wont' think about that right now. I'll think about that tomorrow") in dealing with it I think. I guess we each have our way. A friend of Karen's told me the hardest part is getting "ambushed" with a memory. He will be walking in the mall and smell his late-wife's purfume or something. yeah. Had that happen several times already.

I am leaving for Bonaire on Tuesday with Kirk and my mom. That will have some hard moments, but hopefully a nice trip as well. We will all scuba and relax.

The wedding day was so happy it was tear-free (just like Johnsons!!). Mark and Karen are so lucky to have each other and it was so cool to watch them gush during their vows. What a special day.

On a lighter note - we went as a family to see Bedtime Stories and we really liked it. I laughed so many times during one part that in our family we call it Tweedle dee laughing because of a time my mom got to laughing at Sea world watching people dressed up in those costumes try to sorta play soccer and they kept falling over and my mom just lost it and tried to hold it in. Same thing. I think it was a very funny movie. Nothing offensive even!(go see it, Mom!)

I'll write in Bonaire or shortly after.