Thursday, November 29, 2007

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my Mom’s birthday. Let me tell you a little about my Mom. She is the most unselfish person I have ever known. She always looks after others. She has always been there for me and my sister.

I remember as a child that when school started, My Mom always got sad, because her girls didn’t get to spend the day with her like in the summer. Most parents were happy for a break away from their children by that time, but not my Mom. I also remember that I did not like going to school and being away from my Mom. At one point, I faked stomach aches to get to come home and be with Mom. That stopped abruptly when I stupidly said to my Mom after being picked up by Mom and Dad after a stomach ache “episode”, What are we going to do when we get home Mommy? Dad sternly said, you are going to bed and will stay there all day. Mysteriously, the stomach aches never came again. (hehe)

She patiently taught me days before the first day of school, the route to walk to school, just a short piece away from our home. On my first day of school, I came inside the big front doors of the school and had an anxiety attack and walked right out the front doors and all the way back home crying. She, always the patient and loving Mom, walked with me back to school and helped me find my class and explained to my teacher what had happened.

When we lived in Louisiana, My Mom was known as the neighborhood Mom. We always had a house full of children. Only my Mom would call ALL the women of the neighborhood to see our dog have puppies. She was so excited! It was hilarious to see a house full of women trying to gather in the small area where the dog was having puppies and hearing them offer sympathetic little soothing encouragements for the dogs "puppybirth" pains.

My Mom always let me be creative when I dressed as a child. She would just look at my outfits and grin and say, you have your own style. She didn’t say, OH MY GOD! Look at what she intends to wear today. She just let me be, my own crazy unique self.

When I was sick, my Mom, being as we were southerners, knew exactly what to fix as my comfort food. She made me a big bowl of grits with melted cheese. Ahhhhh! I still love cheese grits.

I got sick at 13 years old and had an extended several years almost non-stop hospital residency, she was the one who comforted me and stayed with me daily at my bedside and offered loving support. (My sister and Dad were usually close by as well.)

Now that I am an adult, she is a constant and loving support in my life. She is positive and very much a Mom and a friend to me. She is a life-saver when it comes to chores in the house which I cannot do. She helps me one day a week to do the things that are difficult for me to do.

Happy Birthday Mommy!


I love you

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Crochet fish Cat Toy

Per B's (Put Another Blog On The Fire) request, I crocheted another cat fish toy. I hope you like it. :)

I "tested" the toy on my cats before making it for Kat's (Katsoup) new kitten.

Sorry it took me a while to do this and show you.



You can find the pattern for the fish here

Note: I modified the colors and just divided the total of 15 rows by three and changed colors every 5 rows.


A movie and tears

Tonight I watched the movie Reign over me. I laughed and found some parts funny but I cried much more.

The movie reached down deep and touched my heart. It is worth watching but have a  box of Kleenex nearby. It will make you stop and think about your life and the people that you cherish.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Good Morning

We arrived home from work at around 4 a.m.

(Big load of car parts to be delivered, etc.)

The normal Alabama and Mississippi run but most

every store we had to stop at tonight.

It was a long night and morning for us.


I came home and recorded an ending (with Armando’s help)

for the podcast and posted today’s Spanish word of the day.


It’s so cold this morning. Brrr!

I am looking forward to getting into bed underneath the covers.


It would be nice if people could get by on less sleep. Say, 4 hours or 2 or 3. ;)


Just a quick post to say Hi


Monday, November 26, 2007

Learning and More Learning

This weekend has been filled with a lot of learning!

At first I was using an audio program called wavepad to try and mix audio files. I was learning on it but I had just got everything mixed the way I wanted it and was close to saving it when one of the cats jumped onto my lap and distracted me and I was trying to place my headphones up and either I or the cat hit a key on the keyboard and just totally made the file weird and I could not repair it because I had no idea what had been pushed.

Luckily, about that time, Armando found a really wonderful program called Sony Soundforge Audio Studio 9.0. We had seen it while out shopping Saturday. He saw that it has a free trial so you can test it first before buying.

I started using it and Armando did too. We liked it. It is a great program if you need to clip and mix several voices, files and music together or if you want to make a podcast. It was easy to learn and very intuitive.

I opened a podcast at and learned how to use it. (I put a button to the right if you want to hear.)

Armando and I made a little picture file for the podcast website. (See below)


I made word of the day files for all of this week and audio samples for the Viaje Español website and Armando helped me. I have posted the one for Monday now.

Ok, I guess I have rambled enough. I am pretty tired but satisfied.

One more thing, before I am off to bed. Our cat Chochino is a GIRL! We rescued her when she was a little baby in bad shape (after being abandoned) and all the time since she was little we thought she was a boy. So now we are calling her Cho-Chi.

We were thinking Cho-cha but we like Cho-chi better.

Night Night and I hope you had a great weekend. :)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

New microphone

Armando and I had an enjoyable evening out in Huntsville. We went to Best Buy and Office Depot and then to Nothing But Noodles for supper. I had Thai Beef Curry and Armando had Shrimp Scampi. It was delicious!

We both splurged and bought ourselves computer microphones. Sadly, Armando's Microsoft Bluetooth headphones did not sound well, the quality was awful and very disappointing. He tested it with his friend on Skype and he ended up going back to his old headset which lately has not been working well either.

I plugged up my new headset and microphone, a Plantronics Audio 650 and I kept doing the initial setup test and it did not hear my voice and I thought, OH NO! Not again. I have a bad history with microphones not working for me. I called Armando over feeling a bit silly because I could not figure out how to make it work. He suggested updating a driver and we did and I rebooted and it worked. I was so happy! I haven't ever owned a computer microphone that worked and made my voice sound clear.


So, I guess that is why I am up at 3:30 a.m. after testing audio programs out and learning how to use them and working on audio sessions for my Spanish learning blog. Armando will do parts of the recordings and I will do parts so there will be a native speaker and of course, me, an American learning Spanish.

But, I have to admit, this is all very new for me. I am really critical of my own voice when I hear it played back. Maybe that will go away when I get more comfortable with doing audio lessons.

Starting Monday I will have a Word of the Day/ Palabra del dia with audio lessons and text lessons on my Spanish blog.

Click here to visit Viaje Español

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!


I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!

Note added later:

It is a good time of the year to reflect.

I wanted to take a moment and thank all of my blogging friends who comment and always bring a smile to my face. You are such a supportive group and you mean a lot to me!

I have so much to be thankful for and life has truly been wonderful for me this year. I married the man of my dreams. We made it through the immigration process. We are healthy and have everything we need.

We had a very nice Thanksgiving. Mom and I cooked and my Dad's side of the family came over. Armando brought flowers home this morning when he came home from work. They are beautiful.

Armando and I worked on the projector tonight and tested the speakers. We have not watched movies on the projector in a while. Armando had to go and buy a new cable. We are still having an issue with the projector. Maybe one of the cords has stopped working. We have only black and white movies and they should be color. We will try to troubleshoot it more later.

Right now, I just want to go to bed early and rest.

Have a good night and sweet dreams!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Recipe/ Small chat before work

Yesterday I made barbecue ribs on our grill. It is the first time I have ever grilled anything and I like grilling!

I made a potato casserole that was very easy. The recipe follows:

(We had my Aunt, Uncle and cousin over and they liked the casserole.)

Potato Casserole


1 can cream of chicken, mushroom or cream of celery soup (I used cream of chicken)
1 8 oz sour cream
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 stick melted butter
32 oz. pkg. frozen hash browns or 2 lbs.
Salt & pepper
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

clip_image001[1]Cooking Directions:

Melt butter in 9"x13" pan. Add ingredients and mix. Microwave for appoximately 20-30 minutes. Sprinkle cheese on top after taking out of microwave.
Microwave 20 to 30 minutes, stirring several times during the cooking time.


Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes

Sprinkle cheese on top after the casserole comes out of the oven or microwave.

Today we did not have to leave at 4 p.m. for work so we have a little time to relax. My Father had to go to Birmingham for something else and to pick up our work truck and he kindly offered to pick up our load and bring it back to us! My Father is our current boss.

I just finished adding some podcasts from NPR to Armando’s Zune mp3 player. I have misplaced the cord for my sansa mp3 player so I have not been able to take it lately because it needs a charge. I think we will find it soon. I think I’ve accidently left it in a truck or something.

Mp3 players are so nice when you are on the road as much as we are. You can listen to news, podcasts, books on tape and of course, music. I really don’t know what Armando and I would do without our GPS system and mp3 players at work. The GPS keeps us from being lost and the mp3 player keeps us entertained.

I will scoot now and get our drinks and work things together.

Have a fun evening!


(A frog family I keep on my computer desk.)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Fish tales

Last night we went to a pet store and got a few fish. We got blue gouramis, corydoras and a blue crayfish that I liked a lot.

I just finished adding fish profiles for the gouramis and the corydoras on our aquarium journal. Armando added the crayfish profile last night.

If you like fish and aquariums, you can check out our aquarium journal, it is listed at the links on the right of my blog.

I am feeling better today with the help of pain medication after a few days of nerve pain in my back. Mom and I went shopping and out for lunch today. We had a delicious steak with mushrooms, onion and cheese on top. It was fun having a Saturday out with Mom. We haven’t done that in a while. Tonight it just feels good to relax.

Here is a picture that Armando took recently of our 55 gallon aquarium. He took it in the early morning.


Have a nice and relaxing weekend and enjoy yourself!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Wheelchairs, arrrgh!

My new wheelchair arrived and some of the options I chose were not the best. My thinking was that the solid casters would be so nice, because I wouldn’t have to worry about airing them up so often. But, I did not realize that they would also make my main tires solid as well. My first thought after seeing it was ok, so that might be good because I don’t have to air any tires up.

This morning after arriving from work, I got into the wheelchair for a test. It worked flawless in our living room and turned so easily. Then later when going to the other room where there is a slight bump in the threshold, I realized that I could not go over the bump without a lot of effort and planning way before I got there and going very fast. That is not very practical to have to be doing that every time I go over a bump. So, that is one problem area. Another is the seat size. My cushion does not fit well. This new wheelchair is very narrow at 16 inches by 16 inches. I really need 17x18. Another problem, the armrests are too far back and short. I need longer ones.

I have to return this wheelchair and pick another one. This is not working out well.

I will pick another brand and have to spend several hundred dollars more and wait another few weeks for it to arrive while still riding around on my current wheelchair with the front caster problem.

I guess you learn from your mistakes but, arrrgh!

I was a bit frustrated and told Armando, Why do they make wheelchairs like that, with things that don’t work? He joked and said, Maybe… I don’t know, for someone that lives in a very flat house. I laughed and said, But it is not flat out in the world we live in.

Well, it is late or rather... early. I should head to bed. First I must take Cho-Cho to his bed. He is curled up and is asleep on my lap. He is becoming such a big cat. Cookie is also.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Morning's Light

Morning’s soft and radiant light

Carries with it a luminous glow

And offers brilliant brightness

Layered with colorful hues

Pinks, oranges, yellows and blues

One of nature’s prettiest paintings

An eye-catching display in full view

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Hi again!

Sorry for the break in posts. Here is a quick update on what has happened around here.

As some of you know, Armando and I live in our little apartment, three rooms attached to my parent’s home. We have our own entrance but share a kitchen. Actually, this apartment was built wheelchair accessible for me before I met Armando but it works nicely for us right now as we face our new life together. It is our landing space before we get settled more permanently into our own home. These rooms originally were planned to have a kitchen but cost-wise and accessibility wise, the plan did not quite work out to make a kitchen in here too. So, that is why you often here of my parents in my conversations because they are in essence, our close neighbors!

My Dad’s two goats had four baby goats. We were all out in the pasture and Dad and Armando were building a warm goat house for the Moms and babes when we witnessed the birth of two of the babies. It was amazing to see it. I will share a picture of two of the babies at the end of this entry.

It has turned much colder outside and I’ve been wearing my boots. Boots are one of my favorite shoes to wear.

My wheelchair front tire (or caster) has broken causing a little apprehension about it breaking to the point of not being able to enjoy accessibility. It will be about 10 days or more before a new wheelchair arrives. Can you believe it was cheaper to buy a new wheelchair than replace all wheels on my current one? Silly.

Sunday Armando and I went out for sushi at our favorite restaurant. We had not done that in a long time. I tried sake for the first time. It had an “interesting” flavor. I sat there a few moments trying to figure out what it tasted like, if it was like anything I had tasted before. Nope! We also went to the bookstore and I bought a little book journal and My Antonia to read.

I was like a kid at Christmas because I got several book gifts this week. I love reading.

Armando bought me “The Morning of The Magicians”.


My sister sent me these books for my Birthday.


Junque Du Jour,

I will crochet another fish and post a picture here soon.

My sister is coming to visit on Friday and my little nephew Ryan. He is two years old. I am looking forward to the visit. My sister and I don’t get to spend much time together anymore except by telephone and email. So I plan to make a meal and we can catch up on each others lives.

I have to say bye for now and go make a quick supper before work.

Here are two of the new baby goats asleep.


Until soon!