Saturday, December 29, 2007


THANK YOU, Santa Armando!


I hope everybody is having a great weekend.

My sister and her family came to visit today. We went out for lunch and celebrated our Christmas together. We had a good time.

After they left, I worked a while on a book I am putting together for my parents with basic computer instructions. I don't want them to have problems when I am away in Chile. As I have been preparing their book, I am realizing how many things I don't really think about and just do out of habit. I had to go back and do the steps for several things, just so I wrote down which mouse button to click, etc.

Tonight we are going to sneak into bed early and watch television until we fall asleep. We are catching up on our sleep. Night Night!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Last night at work

Tonight was our last night at work. We are off Monday for New Year's which would've been our last night.

We will leave for Chile on January 14th and return on March 14th, 2008. I was listening tonight to a song called Summer Days and getting excited about being in summer weather soon! What a change from the cold we are having here right now. It is going to seem weird packing summer clothes in winter!

I have decided to wait until tomorrow to put the Spanish word of the day up on Viaje Español.

I am tired and couldn’t sleep well last night. Hopefully I can get in bed right away and sleep. Armando and I both have been having trouble sleeping lately. One of us usually wakes up with the smallest noise and then we both are awake and cannot sleep. We hope we can get our bodies trained to normal sleeping hours now that we won’t be working all night and early morning hours.

Night Night & Sweet Dreams!


I will post again soon. ;)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Creative Zen Stone MP3 Player

We got Mom an mp3 player for Christmas. I thought it was a good deal for $39.99. So I will write a little review in case others are trying to find an affordable mp3 player.

It is simple and really cute and portable. It has 1 GB of storage on it.

My Mom does not like technologically complex items. She prefers the Keep It Simple method when it comes to electronics. So this is a perfect mp3 player for her.

It has just a few buttons.

1. Play and pause button which also turns the mp3 player on and off when pressed for a longer time.

2. Forward button

3. Back button

4. Volume up

5. Volume down

We got her the mp3 player in red but they also have it in yellow, blue, pink, white, and black.


You can use the mp3 player at home with speakers plugged into the headphone jack or on the road with special cables.

If you are looking for a simple mp3 player this is nice. If you want a more complex mp3 player, then check out the sansa or zune lines. The price will be higher though for those brands. Of course there is also the ipod but I don’t have any experience with it I’ve used Sansa and Zune mp3 players before and I enjoyed them both.

I am such a silly girl. My parents both got their Christmas presents early. I cannot hold gifts very well when I think a person will enjoy them. Luckily, Armando offered for us to give them early and I was ALL for it. :D

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas Gifts Wrapped

I wrapped all the Christmas gifts today for our family. Our Christmas tree with built in lights died. We threw it away because a Christmas tree just looks strange without lights, Doesn't it? So the gifts are sitting in the living room looking rather odd without their tree.

Today has been a relaxing day. We gave my Dad his Christmas gifts early. A DVD-RW drive for his computer and power supply. Armando installed them. He was happy. He has been doing well with our weekend computer lessons. The last lesson I gave him was how to use Picasa picture program and he sent some of his pictures to be printed at Wal-Mart. I was so proud of him. Way to Go Daddy!

I got good news at my doctor's appointment this week. The doctor said that I can go to Chile as long as things continue to do well. I was a bit concerned she may say no, since it was a few months trip but she didn't. I have an appointment again on January 3rd to see how things are progressing. I will take plenty of nutritional drinks and carnation instant breakfast so I keep my nutrition well and I will hopefully continue healing.

I opened Viaje Español Store today. It was fun designing the shirts, bags and hats.

Armando and I are about to go to the store for some early a.m. shopping. It will be nice to beat the crowds, besides, we are usually awake at this hour anyway. Work has our sleep schedule very odd. We can't seem to be sleepy at normal bedtime hours.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Same 'ol Same 'ol

Just the normal same ‘ol same ‘ol has been going on around here. I slept so well this morning. I think I drifted into a deep sleep the moment my head hit the pillow. I awoke this morning with Chochi meowing a pitiful little “I’m hungry and thirsty meows” and then climbing up on my chest to further drive her point home! (She knows how to get her way. ) I am going to miss our cats when we visit Chile for that few months.

I’ve been downloading podcasts to listen to at work tonight. There is so much variety in the world of podcasts. Sometimes it is hard to decide which podcasts to pick. Armando upgraded to the latest Zune player and he gave me his Zune! I am thrilled with it. Mp3 players are something I enjoy but probably would never buy for myself so it is rather nice that Armando gives me his.

I’ve been trying to work on lessons for Viaje Español when I have time. I want to add more lessons teaching the basics and useful things besides just the words of the day. So, I’ve been marking my notebook with lesson plans and ideas for future podcasts. I definitely want Armando and I to do some Conversational Spanish in the future. I also need to submit my podcast to more directories and finish reading the podcast book we got.

I am looking into the idea of doing Medical Transcription. (Thanks Brenda for helping me learn more about it.) I’ve always found medical stuff interesting. I could remember drug names like Ketamine and Versed easily when I was sick as a child. I thought it was funny as a thirteen year old to joke with the anesthesiologist about what drugs he should use to sedate me.

Change of subject.

It is not long at all until Christmas!

I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow. (Oh, the dread.) Here’s hoping I get a good report and I will be allowed to purchase my plane ticket for Chile without any objections. Please, Please!

Well, I need to start gathering our things for work together.

P.S. You can listen to a song I like to the right. ;)

Have a good evening!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

O Tannenbaum!



I've been enjoying this Christmas tree for many nights as we deliver across the street for work. Armando was a sweet darling and brought the tripod tonight and took this picture for me, so I could share it with you. Bless his heart, it was cold out there tonight! The tree is in Hanceville, Alabama. I went to college in this town.


The tree had me singing O Christmas tree in German. I remember the first part of the song only! I learned it in school when we lived in Frankfurt, Germany for three years.

O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
wie treu sind deine Blätter!
Du grünst nicht nur
  zur Sommerzeit,
Nein auch im Winter, wenn es schneit.
O Tannenbaum, o Tannin,
wie treu sind deine Blätter!


We lived in Germany when I was a baby too, but I don't remember that. I do however remember the kinder eggs with little prizes inside. I LOVED those. I would buy one kinder egg for "a mark" while my sister, much wiser than me, would buy a whole bag of nectarines for "a mark". I ended up eating my kinder egg and sometimes she would share it with me but I always finished the egg in a hurry. I liked making the little toy inside too. My sister felt sorry for me and usually shared her bag of nectarines with me. :) We liked the fruit and ice cream trucks that came around the neighborhoods in Germany. All the children ran when they heard the music playing.

Armando and I work this job for another 7 days. We plan to go to Chile for two months. I am going to bring my notebook to Chile so I will be posting pictures and blogging. When we come back, Armando will be looking for a job in his field. Let's hope I heal quickly!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas cookies, etc.

Today, My Mom and I turned on the Christmas music and baked cookies for my Aunts and Uncles, a family friend and our mechanic. We made sugar cookies and decorated them, peanut butter cookies, chocolate chip and double chocolate chip cookies.

One set of cookies ready to be delivered tonight.


For supper, I experimented and made something similar to hamburger steak. I made hamburger patties and seasoned them with Italian seasoning. I sauteed onions and when the hamburgers were done, I added mozzarella cheese on top and let it melt. It was a nice change from regular hamburger steak. I made pan fried potatoes.

Pan fried potatoes recipe

Peel and cut potatoes up into thin circular slices.

Boil them in salted water until tender but not falling apart.

Drain the water.

Add oil in a pan, transfer the potatoes over and fry, turning regularly,until golden brown. Best if you use a pan with lid and keep the lid on in between stirs.

You can add butter to them when you take them off the stove or without it is good too.


It is very cold here and getting colder as the night goes on. It is 23.3 F right now. Brrr!

I didn’t feel very well Friday and Saturday but today I have felt better.

Tonight, My Aunt gave me a few things that reminded me of my Grandmother. She made chocolate oatmeal cookies and sent us some crème drops. My Grandmother always made chocolate oatmeal cookies for me and my sister. We always requested her to make those and biscuits with tomato soup. It was our favorite!

My Grandmother’s favorite candy was crème drops.


Armando took some beautiful pictures at Lake Guntersville today. Check them out here.

Last night I had an awful dream/nightmare. It seemed so realistic! I dreamed that I was in a doctor's office and the doctor was telling me that I needed brain surgery. I was in shock and asked him if there were any other options? He said no. I remember going to the Operating Room feeling very nervous. (I've been through many surgeries so that would be nothing new to me, but this was freaking me out.) I was having a hard time coping with what could go wrong and happen to me before I woke up. Then I remember coming out of surgery ok but then being concerned over my shaved head.

I don't know what brought that nightmare on. I remember reading an article the other day in Discover magazine about a new technique being used to put electrodes on the brain to stimulate people who have had a brain injury. Could it be that somehow got me dreaming about brains, or rather, my own brain? No idea. It was weird.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Fresh start

I gave our cat Chochi a bath and I got wet too. Chochi had took a visit down to the goat pasture (in one word, YUCK) and a bath was very in need. She is all clean and fluffy now and since her bath is over with, she is happy. Bless her heart, she was so upset with me for putting her through that.

We had a live video stream of our crayfish up earlier. I apologize if it blacked out for a while. I noticed it had when I woke up and Armando fixed it. It will be off air for a while because Armando and I both are about to format our computers. The Dell CD's arrived rather quickly.

I hope my computer is faster after the format. If it isn't, I will think that maybe this notebook is not able to handle Vista as an OS (even though it was sold with it on) and I may give serious thought to reverting to XP.

I hope your Saturday has been a good one. I will be back soon.

P.S. I apologize for not getting the Spanish word of the day on Viaje Español or the podcast yet.

Crayfish Show


This is real-time video streaming from our living room.

Meet our crayfish!

Note: Sometimes she moves into the background but she'll be back.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Dell support Drama

Some people that work at Dell are not well suited for their job. One man kept me on unending hold and then got hateful with me before deciding that the thing he got hateful with me about and told me couldn't be done, then could magically be done! Then he transferred me to somebody else.

Thank Goodness after talking about another thirty minutes, the CD's are supposed to mailed to me. The second person wanted to take over my computer remotely and check it out etc. He was nice though. That was good but why can't a person decide how they want to handle their computer problems if they have knowledge enough to do so and why can't Dell learn to be less stubborn and let people help themselves!?

Oh the drama to get recovery or operating system CD's these days! Just give me the CD's folks.

Sorry, I just needed to get my frustration out.

Now for a little humor.



Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Healing Drink

The doctor's visit went fine today. I have a pressure sore/wound on my right ribcage region. This can happen to people in wheelchairs, especially in bony parts of the body without much fat for padding.

The doctor gave me some drink mixes to drink once or twice daily. She said the orange is good when mixed with pineapple juice but the grape tastes like watered down koolaid.

We shall see... (tomorrow) I am not brave enough to try it tonight.

Let's hope this new healing drink has a good flavor.


We got in from work and Armando had to go back to the city we just arrived home from. (Poor thing)

My Dad’s driver had broken down so he went to pick him up.

I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow at 10 a.m. I dread it, but I need to go.

I did not sleep well last night. I hope I can sleep a few hours this morning.

I am reading two books right now.

The Morning of the Magicians

Reading this book is really a journey. It is a thought provoking book.

My Antonia

I am not far into this book yet but I do like what I have read so far.

I just finished reading:

On Writing by Stephen King

I laughed a lot when I read this book. The book was very open and honest. He discussed many parts of his life including childhood, family, drug and alcohol abuse, his accident and recovery. Most importantly, he gave great advice on writing!


P.S. Here are a few funny pictures of our cats from this past weekend and one from on the way to work.


This is Chochi sleeping on top of her cat food bin. This picture makes me laugh.



This is Cookie asleep in a basket at the end of our bed. She is getting TOO big for that basket. I need to find her a bigger one. She has grown a lot recently.

(Our cats love baskets.)


I must scoot and get into bed.

Night Night or rather, Good Morning!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Q & A session

Today we had a surprise visit from my friends Solomon and Lupi.

Their little boy is so funny and talks constantly.

He talked about hurricanes, tornados and the color of his new bedroom. (They are building a house.)

He told me that he was only speaking English. He then said he could be an English robot. I joked with him as he spoke like a robot and then asked, “Can’t you be a Spanish robot too?” Of course he could and did the Spanish robot for me also.

He mentioned their new bathroom and I asked him, “Does water spray out of your ears when you take a shower?” He came back with a quick answer, “No, I wear headphones!” (laugh)

He said many more things including that six weeks is not that long and he expounded on that by counting to six.


Then he placed his hands up and said, See? That is not a long time.

It was fun to hear a child's perspective on things.

Saturday, December 08, 2007



This evening we went outside a while and took advantage of the beautiful weather.

Here is a picture of Pollyanna on my lap this evening. Like Chochi, she was a rescue cat and bottle fed. I cannot believe she used to sit on my shoulder when she was a tiny kitten and now look at her!


Armando and I had an enjoyable evening at Cullman.

We mailed the wheelchair back (to be returned) through UPS. Then, we went to the office store and I got a nice black and white journal.

We stopped by the bookstore and browsed a while. We got “The Elements of Style” and a Podcast book. We both want to write some for enjoyment and have been learning more about it and The Elements of Style is supposed to be helpful. The podcast book explained many things that I haven’t been quite sure about. I am new at podcasting so I needed all the help I can get!

When we arrived home, I cleaned house a little while and sorted through magazines. I like magazines too much. I don’t know why... I like to browse the magazines and look at rooms decorated with color combinations that I find appealing. I also like to tear out recipes and projects. I guess magazines are my little bit of dreamland and they inspire me . Maybe I will never do the projects in the magazines but I would like to think that I will get to some of them!

After cleaning house, Armando made us soup. Soup is so delicious in the winter! We watched Citizen Cane tonight and ate pizza. I love old movies and that is a good movie. We only watched half of it though. We plan to watch the other half another night because it is getting late.

Now I will get ready for bed. Chochi is curled up on my lap already asleep. Our other cat Cookie is in her favorite place, laying on the back of Armando's computer chair sleeping.

Until Tomorrow… :)

Friday, December 07, 2007

Street in Huntsville, Alabama


I like this street in Huntsville, Alabama. The picture was taken after midnight tonight on the way home from work.

This street is right on the corner by Sammy T's music Hall. There is a coffee shop on the corner too. It can be quite a busy little street filled with people early mornings when there is an event at Sammy T's.


We got home from work before two a.m. Yesss! That is a good thing.

We are off work tomorrow but have some errands to run in Cullman. I have to return the wheelchair that didn't work at the UPS store. Then, we are going to the Pet Store to find some fish.

We have to move our blue lobster back into the smaller aquarium. You learn as you go and we have learned that she is not working out so well in the current aquarium. She has re-arranged the rocks, released plants and piled up rocks. We will keep her but in another aquarium without our plantings and driftwood and angel fish. The blue lobster is fun to watch! She just needs the right environment. Armando picked out some rocks and stuff the other day at the pet store so we will move her to the aquarium tomorrow with some new fish.

Good Night & Sweet Dreams.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Coffee and Go

I've been feeling lazy lately. Is it the cold weather? I don't know. I slept too late today so it's make coffee, grab coffee and go to work.


Have a good day!

Thanks for the sweet comments on my picture.

Pastel Sky and Trees


The pastel sky and trees.


I took this picture at the end of our driveway.

I like our neighbor's barn and the trees.

You can see to the right our grassy field where we sometimes have a vegetable garden.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Peanut Butter Cookies

I love baking cookies, candies, cakes and pies.

Last night I tried a new recipe for peanut butter cookies.

It only took three ingredients. It was so easy to make and they were good.

Here is the recipe:

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

*Makes approximately 2 dozen cookies.

1 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 cup peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)

Combine sugar and egg in mixing bowl, stirring till smooth. Add peanut butter and mix in thoroughly.

Roll into walnut-sized balls.

Place the balls on ungreased cookie sheets at least 2" apart.

Flatten with the tines of a fork. Turn 90 degrees and use fork again to create cross hatches.

Bake 10 minutes or until golden brown at 350 degrees F. Cool in pan before removing.


Monday, December 03, 2007

Vote for Cooper Green Hospital!

Cooper Green Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama has entered a rap video into this contest.

Vote for them daily through December 31st so they can win a much needed MRI machine!


Armando and I went to see Beowulf at the theater this evening. The movie was enjoyable. It was in 3D. Armando treated me to nachos with jalapeno peppers. YUM! It was raining when we came out of the movie and Armando let me wear his cap so I didn’t get totally soaked on the way to the car. He is such a sweetheart.

When we got home I made some coffee. Later, I stuck a frozen pizza in the oven.

The weekend passed so quickly. It is hard to believe it is over with already.

Night Night