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Carine’s Blog

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  • Need a Ride?

    Posted on Thursday, May 2, 2013

    Need a Ride?

    This week, while doing some driving for an article-I was asked:  What kind of car is that?

    I was taken a bit aback-as my car isn't that unusual looking!  It's a quite typical pearl cherry sedan.

    My description is:  I own a Chrysler 200 S, it's the little sister of the Chrysler 300.  Or the updated version of the old Sebring.  I have a totally black interior.  Don't ask me what the "S" stands for-honestly, I don't know.  

    This encounter started me thinking about the cars I've owned since my first one at age 16-which was a used Toyota Corolla that was as cute as a car in 1974 could look and still cost under $2 grand.  I'm sure if I hadn't been graduating high school that June and entering college I wouldn't have gotten a car.  Plus, I had a part time job that took a bit of driving to get back and forth too.  Then there was the added facts that my parents counted on me to do the grocery shopping and cart my sister to various things that a 10 year-old occupies her time doing.

    That Toyota was white with racing stripes.  It was also a money pit.  So after working out my first year classes so that I went from Tuesday through Thursday so that I could have it spend 4 day "weekends" being fixed-my parents helped me buy a cute Chevrolet Chevette in beige.  I loved that hatchback and kept it through the remainder of college and right up through the birth of our daughter when I was 24.

    Steve and I turned it in along with his Toyota for a Toyota Tercel wagon in gold.  He was using the work truck from my parents  business since he worked pretty much 7 days a week.  We then kept that car until Adam was I believe 2.  At that point we realized that I couldn't haul around the kids, strollers, extra clothes, a cat in a cage and a German Shepherd and groceries in that tiny thing.

    I had been eying the Dodge Caravan with a great deal of love for its size.  We traded the Tercel in for the base model of it and didn't trade it in for 6 years.  Oh, and Adam took one look at our big cream colored beauty and dubbed it "WOW".  Seriously, we named it 'WOW'.

    We were thrilled with it and what we could hold so much that after 6 years we bought another one, this time top of the line though:  leather and full powered seats and windows (yes, the base model had us using our hands to roll down the old ones), it had a computer system that practically told us everything except how to get somewhere.  Remember this was long before the invention of a device commonly called "GPS".

    Then while shopping one evening-we were called to the front of the market and told to go outside.  Some teenager was being taught how to park by his uncle.  The uncle decided a crowded parking lot was the best place to learn this task.  After that time, our car may have looked the same-but it never drove the same again.

    We took this time to buy a base model G20 by Infiniti (after a never to be mentioned horrible used car) so that we'd have a second car.  Yes, we had been a one car family all these years!  Loved the G20. It was a beige manual, which worked well for us until my RA was so bad that all that shifting caused me to scream in pain.  We traded it for a used J30, also Infiniti it was pearl and had matching pearl leather interior.  And eventually we turned the Caravan in for a Nissan Pathfinder-also a base model and white.
    We seem to like those.

    The J30 stayed with us for many a year until Steve traded it in for his present car-a Chrysler Crossfire.  It's white with red leather seats and he's had it 9 years now.  Adam took over the Pathfinder and I went for my "late" PT Cruiser.  A car I had drooled over since I saw the prototype picture in a Popular Science magazine.  Until the day it was so horribly murdered, I loved that 10 year old vehicle.  Still, it saved me so I feel compelled to love my new red car and ride it with a fair amount of over compensation on the "following the rules" part and not driving at night.

    When I think about all this and realize I've been pretty much driving for 40 years, I really can't say I change my vehicle very often and there's always a pretty serious reason for the change.  

    One cyber-friend, Kathy Holmes, has written a few "chick lit" books with the title of the first being "Real Women Wear Red".   I usually try to stay on the more sedate side of things, so I think I chose my car's color with her heroine "Cyn" in mind-instead of clothing, I'm going for Real Women Drive Red Cars.  

    Just don't ask me what the "S" stands for-I don't know.


    2 Replies
  • UNCLE already

    Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013

    UNCLE

    Yes, I'm saying it on behalf of our family:  UNCLE.

    Let me explain.  I'm not writing this in any order of how serious it is-so forgive the jumping around on this blog.

    A few weeks ago our son's neck became stiff and quite painful.  He figured it was just that-a stiff neck.  He did the usual:  NSAIDs, muscle relaxers and some heat applications.  It wasn't getting better.  He proceeded to the Urgent Care who confirms there was nothing wrong with his bones, so it must be muscular.  

    After a week, he had wearied of waiting for it to get better and decided to try a chiropractor.  That made things much worse!  We took him to an emergency MRI-the result?  Seems he's more of his mother's son than we had imagined-he has a bulging disc!  He'll be paying a visit to my pain management doctor next week.  No word on how a healthy 29 year-old gets a bulging disc.

    In the same week-that very same doctor was appalled by my GP not having actually examined the knee I injured and keep complaining about from the accident.  He ordered an MRI-which we are waiting for the results on.  Good news on last week's lower back epidural!  It has helped that part of my war torn body!

    Then our older nephew, Lucas found out that he has "mediastinal mass spanning his cardio thoracic".  He turned 27 in March.  The layperson's term on this mouthful:  Cancer around the heart. It happened so fast, I don't think he, his parents or the rest of the family have had time to digest the diagnosis.

    Sigh.  He's already had round 1 of chemo.  For the moment, we haven't got more than that, but having never asked any of you out there before for any favors-I'm asking now:  PLEASE, SAY A PRAYER OR TWO, SEND OUT POSITIVE THOUGHTS AND IF YOU HAVE ANY, and ADD HIM TO YOUR PRAYER CHAINS.

    I thank you in advance.

    My mom lost the sight in her right eye.  Our son turned 29. Our pup is just about recovered from being spayed and I have several articles on my plate to finish in the next week.

    One last thing-our younger nephew, thank God, will live to see his 21st birthday on the 13th.  Yes, Jonathon had to follow in his aunt's footsteps and get practically hit head on by a drunk driver.  He's sore, bruised and has a concussion (same thing for me).  The difference?  He was hit by an SUV-mine was a Silverado.  His guy was taken away in handcuffs, mine got a citation.

    Now the fact that I've asked for prayers for Lucas has no bearing on this next request:  Hello God, please-we've really had enough since Thanksgiving of 2012-will you give us a pass on all this "fun" stuff for the rest of this year?


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  • Living Like a Celebrity

    Posted on Friday, April 19, 2013

    Living Like a Celebrity-Good for a Week!

    Sigh.  We slowly paid off our cruise-literally since the first day of our last one and now, it's over.

    The Celebrity Silhouette docked, fed us, had us snail our way through the customs line (1-1/2 hour's worth) and then before we knew it-we were on a plane, in very tortuous seats back to Phoenix.

    It was worth every cent and it was really nice to do it with half of our kids.  Not as romantic (we only had 2 breakfasts alone) granted, but it was great to see things through the eyes of our grandsons, Dylan and Aidan.

    There were a few "bumps" in the trip:  Aidan had to see if his mom was right about her hair straightener being hot.  That was on formal night-blistered his thumb and cried bloody murder.  The medical facility gave us some antibiotic salve and we came with Band-Aids.   Aidan wore himself out and getting pictures of him was a challenge.  

     Then he learned a huge lesson about the Fun Factory-if you misbehave enough, they suggest that maybe you shouldn't be allowed to enjoy the activities.  Of course, all was forgiven by the next try-but he learned a valuable thought on the importance of not interrupting other kids.

    Dylan, our little "hambone" sort of heckled the magician.  I say "sort of", because the magician was talking about how he loved kids because they were a little weird.  Dylan yelled out "Hey, I'm a weird kid!"  Everyone laughed to the point where no one heard Aidan saying, "I'm a kid too."
    Then the magician came out and said, "Well, I'm looking for a kid, but I'm looking for an ugly kid."  

    Dylan, who had had his face painted to look like a pirate in the kids club said, "I'm an ugly kid."

    Of course that got another round of laughter, so the magician took Dylan to the stage-where between the two of them, everyone was in stitches!  He gave Dylan a signed DVD of his tutorial on magic.  

    Getting to Ft. Lauderdale was pretty arduous as well.  Six of us on Southwest (who doesn't believe in assigned seats) with a stop in Chicago proved to be exhausting.  Upon arrival it took our hotel (the same one that Steve and I hated 4 years ago, but he booked anyway because "they would pick us all up and then take us to the pier) 45 minutes  to pick us up.  

    This hotel is close to NOTHING people. NOTHING.  It was so windy and humid that the pool was closed for safety reasons.   So there we were with 2 little boys who had been trapped in airports/airplanes and nowhere to play.  Then we were in our little rooms and the breakfast room.
    By the time we got on board the ship (waited in a car during a downpour and the line to board the ship) the boys had enough ants in their pants that they were driving Sarah crazy.  

    Thankfully, the lady who took our reservations for the Lawn Grill said the boys could come, run on the grass and create their own flatbread pizzas!  Thank goodness!  

    Our ports were all great and had fantastic weather-the cruise before us had nothing but rain for 7 days, so we were more than thrilled.

    Cozumel had the boys in the kids club while Sarah and Alex did a tour and Steve and I window shopped and walked.  The Grand Caymans had our kids going on a Dolphin excursion and us doing more walking.  Jamaica we all took a tour with a wonderful guide.

    However, here was another hitch.  We booked the tour for 4 hours.  It was 5.  Now normally no one would complain-but here was the problem:  The daily paper told us not to wear ANY jewelry and only take enough cash to tip our guides.  Alex decided to take a credit card for emergency purposes.  We were given a stop at a restaurant for some Blue Mountain coffee and banana bread (included) and then we were off to Montego Bay.  Where we were told we had 2 freakin' hours to shop on "hip strip" and/or go to the private beach-which only took CASH, $6 a person!

    You're wondering what 4 adults and 2 kids did for 2 hours (and the rest of our bus?) we all went to Margaritaville and sat their drinking Coca-Cola.  Believe me; we gave them an earful on that on our "review" questionnaire
    We loved our waiter and assistant waiter. Koray and Oleksander took excellent care of us and made sure the boys were happy at every dinner. They made sure I had very tasty and dairy free food-and 7 different flavors of sorbet. We told Celebrity about their wonderful service.
    Our day at the private island was really great!  It was the first of 4 trips there that the sun was out and the wind was mild.  Dylan found some baby crabs!

    Sunday morning came too soon.  The kids stayed an extra night, but Steve and I were up at 6 to shower and dress.  We all were out of our cabins by 7 and had our first and only breakfast in the main dining room.  

    The getting home was pretty rough-my spine was telling me how unhappy it was for the entire time.  Adam picked us up at 6:15, we swooped by and got Sam and took them to dinner to thank them for watching Pepper.  Then we took him home, unpacked and collapsed at what would be 2 a.m... eastern time.

    Woke up to sending Steve back to work, 3 large loads of laundry, shopping, picking up Lucky, walking her and making dinner.  

    Our week included getting Lucky spayed, my 2 interviews and their write ups, my spinal epidural and a few other tasks that need not be mentioned.


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  • #32 is smooth sailing!

    Posted on Friday, April 5, 2013

    I know, I said I was not going to post until we came back to are desert oasis, but I wanted to say “Have a great week!”

    Today we’ve already been up since daybreak (all right, it was 6:30, because our little Chihuahua had to potty) and have had the weeds killed, breakfast out (our usual Hot Bagels hangout), Steve is out getting new tires, I’m getting the animals ready for their “vacation” and in a bit-our daughter and I are heading out for a very much needed (read that desperate) manicure.

    This will be my first since my first hand surgery a year ago.  Obviously, despite two sets of tender scars-I’m well overdue.

    I’ve got my clothes ready to go into the suitcases, there’s a full bag of cat food and treats to go to Adam and Sam’s home for Pepper and I’ve already bagged and tagged Lucky’s food for the Pet Hotel.  Pepper pretty much hides for at least 1/2 the vacation under the bed with Toby (the Maine Coon that Pepper helped raise).  He’ll come out and pal around with Lily, Billy and Brianna.  Now that he’s back to having his own dog-he’ll probably be hunting around for her.  It was decided that Sam and Adam (and the soon to be Jackson Dale) have enough on their plate without having a 3/4-house trained pup on hand.

    Tonight we’ll spend at Sarah’s-as the shuttle is coming to pick all 6 of us up at some God awful hour of 5 a.m..  Ugh!

    Last night was our 32nd anniversary-we spent the day trying both a new breakfast and dinner place.  Breakfast was okay and dinner was pretty good.  Then we went downtown and saw Spamalot.  It was funny and quite entertaining.  The couple next to us were slightly appalled-didn’t matter that this was  a spoof on a spoof-they were gasping at the sacrilegious humor.

    Oh well-we had a great time.

    And now-I’m stalling to finish up some tasks that really must get done.  As I’ve been writing, I realized that I didn’t count out some fairly important unmentionables!  So I bid you adieu until the middle of the month.

    Woo Hoo, Celebrity Silhouette-here come the Nadels (and the Krises!)


    3 Replies
  • As Junie B. Jones Would Say...

    Posted on Thursday, March 21, 2013

    As Junie B Jones would say....
    My grandsons love Junie B. Jones-a mischievous girl, who when the books began was 5 and entering kindergarten.  Her favorite comeback to fun and exciting events in her life is:  Wowie, wowie, wow!

    That fits perfectly for me this week.

    First off-a warning of TMI!

    Our little baby Lucky has officially become "a woman".  Sigh, they just grow so fast.  

    This is a good thing because we set her up to get spayed after we came back from vacation.  This brings me to the next items on my list:

    Just had another epidural.  Here's hoping it does something good.  Not particularly impressed with the first two.  Of course, that could be because 3 days after the last one Lucky decided to play with the boys on the "dead grass" patch and turned into a totally stinky 5 pounds of dog.  I gave her a bath.  During that few minutes I happened to hear a familiar (and awful) snap.  The opposite shoulder tore.

    Only I could tear part of my rotator cuff bathing a sedate and tiny dog.  Whatever.

    After I finally got to the point where I could breathe in again, I realized that I was now due for the last of this series of fun procedures.  My next question?  Hey doc, are you ever going to address my lower back and my knee???  Sure, the later no longer looks like a bat hit it, but it is still bruised, swollen and giving me grief.

    Now for the good parts of the Wowies!  Sam and I are taking a quick trip to Orange County for Easter weekend.  It's a road trip.  No laughter please, just prayers.  We have a very capable pregnant woman and a woman with no spine driving across the desert.  We're leaving after breakfast.  Our goal is to make it to our destination in time for dinner.
    Sam has a triple celebration (our main reason for the trip): a friend's baby shower and 2 family birthdays. My main reasons are to see my parents and sister (family too) and to get a VERY needed haircut. Seems the people I've been to here in my new hometown do not understand that SAYING you love to cut short hair is NOT the same as being ABLE to cut short hair.
    I know this because despite my warnings of having more cowlicks than any other person on earth-the two "stylists" who put their scissors to my hair have made every single one of them show themselves to the world.  Wowie, wowie, wow.

    When we return to eat dinner with our hubbies on Easter Sunday-we'll have had a lot of fun and be totally exhausted.

    Then a few days later-Steve and I will celebrate, big time, our 32nd anniversary.  He found a 2fer on Groupon to see Spamalot.  We love the theatre and haven't been in years!  

    And if that isn't wonderful enough-we'll carry our celebrating right through until Mid-April by taking off with our daughter, son-in-law and grandsons for a long awaited Caribbean Cruise!!

    So after this post-I'm taking a "refresher vacation" break-I'll surely come back with lots of new stories and anecdotes.

    Until then-Happy Passover to those who celebrate, Happy Easter who celebrate!
    Carine


    2 Replies
  • Questions

    Posted on Friday, March 15, 2013

    Questions

    Lately I've had a lot of questions come up-can't remember them all, but I thought I'd share and hope that anyone who takes a peek here, gives their own 2 cents of how they'd answer them:
    1)My baby has either colic or GERD, possibly both-what should I do?
    I was asked to chime in on this post by a cousin by our daughter-in-law Sam on FaceBook.  Adam was severely colicky for his first 6 months.  Besides, after running a day care for 10 years-I know gas and colic.

    My answer was: raise the top of the crib, get a hot water bottle, use whatever the latest and greatest bottle is that doesn't allow air into the chamber.  Put the baby into its car seat and place them on the dryer and turn it on.  Go for a car ride.  Get a swing.  If nursing-review what may cause gas and STOP eating it.  If on formula-it's not the right one.  I also said that no matter what, Adam screamed so loud and long that he herniated his navel.  We put him on Phenergan and then-we got ear plugs and kept on rocking him until he stopped.  He sat up the same week.

    2)What's more important-making your parents happy or yourself?

    This won't be popular with many.  Everyone has their own reasons for whatever answer you would say, but I think you need to be happy.  Let's face it, if mom/dad say you have to become a doctor and you have an aversion for sick people-they may be happy but you'll not do what's best for those people looking for relief from what ails them and you'll be miserable-making you a rotten doctor who no one wants.  Same goes for any other topic that any parent thinks they have a right to tell you how you should respond.  That goes for what exercise you enjoy, books to read, movies to watch, etc...

    3)When you're writing, what do you feel is the most important thing to get across-the facts or the feel of what it is you're trying to write about?

    This may seem like the same thing-it's not.  For me, the facts have to be correct.  No one wants to read an article that may sound great, but has so many inaccuracies that it's hard to know whether or not you should trust what you're reading.  I always want to put my interviewee in the best light, but you shouldn't put made up items in there either.

    4)If you couldn't write, what would you want to do instead?

    There's a scary thought.  For those who aren't writers-exchange it for what you do love to do for your career.  I did put my writing aside for 25 years.  Then I didn't mind one bit, because I had done so voluntarily to raise our kids.  Now though, while I'm certainly not ever going to even be able to keep my own head level with the water line-I need my writing to be me.  It's part of who and what I am.  I'll end here because honestly-that question threw me for a complete loop-de-loop and I still don't know what I'd replace this part of my life with.

    Have any of you had a poser put to you this week?  If so, share it and maybe an answer will come through the post that will help!


    3 Replies