Saturday, May 31, 2008

An Explanation of Extra Words

No idea what possessed me to think I didn't need to explain all those words, but duh, if you're not from there, you just might not have a clue what some of the terms mean.  So, here's an explanation, followed by some more terms I thought of.  And since I'm giving specifics that gives away where I'm from, I'll stray from my cryptic writing today and let you know that I grew up in NOLA, although I'm sure many of you figured that out from my anniversary post.

K&B Purple--K&B (Katz and Beshtoff) was a local drug store. Their sign was purple, and that particular shade of purple became known as K&B purple around the city. I'm feeling a little silly now because I was going to mention their ice cream, but it seems as though who ever wrote for wikipedia managed to cover that too.  K&B NEVER should have sold to Rite Aid.  K&B was SOOOO much better!  Rite Aid made a near fatal mistake in their purchase too--they had a contract to only sell Pepsi products, so Coke products could not be carried in the store for a period of time (one year?) after the purchase.  BIG mistake in the south, especially among the large group of people who did not want K&B to close.

Grocery--kind of self explanatory.  It's a grocery store, but I just said grocery (left off the store part) growing up.  Apparently people around here find that weird.

Snowballs--are just like sno-cones, but they are made with the most amazing shaved ice as opposed to crushed ice.  Every bite is like letting flavored snowflakes dance on your tongue. Delicious!  Hansen's, I believe, began the whole shaved ice idea.  They are very well known in NOLA.  When I was little, my parents and their friends would get a HUGE snowball from there for the adults (and perhaps add an adult ingredient) and another one for the children (we're talking small garbage can size) and go to the park.  My parents actually still have one of them that they use as a fun garbage can.  Pontchartrain Pete graciously allowed me to link his visit, and let's face it, if you can't go yourself, the next best thing is tagging along for the ride. 

Bobo--a booboo, but there we said bobo.  My skin crawls when Linus says booboo.  I'm just a bobo person.

Gimme some sugar--give me a kiss.  It's just part of a greeting there. 

Alligator pear--an avocado.  Think about it...the skin of an avocado looks like and is rough like an alligator and it's shaped like a pear.

Neutral ground--a median.  The neutral ground was literally neutral ground years ago between the French and the Spanish.  At least I think that's the case.

Poboys are sandwiches made on long pieces of French bread.  They're called subs, hoagies, heroes, etc elsewhere, but trust me, they aren't on real French bread!

A muffaletta is a sandwich made with ham, salami, provolone cheese, and olive salad served on a large (Italian?) round loaf.  It's yummy, but it will make your breath stink!

Dressed--lettuce, tomato, get the picture

Grillades--meat (veal?) served with gravy, often with grits for breakfast.

Gumbo, at least within my family never mixed seafood with meat. Never.  We always had seafood gumbo. Here they make seafood, chicken, and pork gumbo all mixed together.  

Shotgun house--small, narrow house with doors connecting room after room. Supposedly you can shoot a shotgun from the front door, and the pellets will go through the back door.  The houses we were looking at were much wider than traditional shotguns, but they still have the room after room theme.

Camelback--a shotgun type house that has a second floor added to the back, thus looking like a camel's back.

Break tag--an inspection sticker.  

A go cup is literally a to go cup for outside.  When I lived there, they were plastic rather than styrofoam, but that may have changed. Usually they contain a drink with alcohol. **I need an itsy bitsy bit of clarification here.  Go cups can (or could, I haven't done it lately) contain alcohol in them on the streets, and you didn't get in trouble. I think that's actually why they were used.  While talking with a friend (at the park of all places, I'm going to hell!), she told me that you can't have alcohol in any open container outside.  Is this true? I though open container was an open beer can/bottle, NOT a cup!  Yikes! 

And now for some I forgot:

Hello????  How could I forget Lagniappe?????  It's definitely not used everywhere!

Y'all, if you're in NOLA, it's a streetcar, never ever a trolly.  It cracks me up when tourists try to fit in, yet they'll make mortal errors like trolly.  

Directions are explained according to the river.  I was dumbfounded (which likely has a lot more to do with my utter lack of geographic knowledge outside NOLA) the first time I was given these directions, "At the intersection, go west for 1.5 miles."  Huh?  Army can find his way out of a maze blindfolded, but I can't get to my destination even with a gps.  I need directions like 'go towards the river!'  That I can do.

And for fun, I'll do a pronunciation guide soon. Look for the CORRECT way to say New Orleans, praline, cement (haha, I know it's not just a local word, but I found out recently that people from New Orleans are the only ones that say it the way I do), etc. :)

So, do you use any of these words? Do you have any word that you want a pronunciation for? ;)

Extra Local

Nola had a post a few weeks ago that made me think about words or phrases that are only used locally.  I commented that I was shocked to learn that "K&B Purple" was not universally understood. 
There are several others that I've found to be only local words and phrases.  When I moved here, I was unmercifully teased about saying, "I've got to stop at the grocery."  Apparently people expect to hear the word store immediately following grocery, but where I grew up we just left it at grocery.  Another one is the term sno-ball when referring to a shaved ice treat.  Around here they say snow cone.  I'd never heard anything other than sno-ball growing up (unless referring to Hansen's).  
We also said "bobo" (as opposed to booboo).  I've since learned it's the French influence that makes bobo common back "home."  And while we're on the subject of French influence, I'll mention the amazing difference in pronunciation of words where I grew up and where I live now. Wow!  

How 'bout "Give me some sugar."  I didn't realize that one wasn't universal until earlier this year.   I actually still think it is, and people around here just don't know what it means! :)

Alligator pear.  Do other people really not call avocados alligator pears?  Really, the term makes perfect sense to me!

I called a "median" a "neutral ground" for years after we moved here, and for years I got the strangest looks.  

I eat poboys, not hoagies or any other term that's used!  That opens up a whole new topic: food!  I didn't know grillades weren't universally prepared.  I'm not a fan of them, but I assumed grits and grillades went together everywhere.  And gumbo? Here they mix chicken, pork and seafood in the same gumbo.  NEVER was that done in my family.  Maybe I should stay off the food topic, 'cause I could go on and on about how French bread just isn't the same anywhere outside the area where I grew up.  I could also go off on muffalatas.  A real one does not contain mayonnaise or tomatoes.   One more about food: it appears the term "dressed" isn't universal either.  I got the most disgusted look when I used that term for the first time here.  

When we were looking at houses, we looked in a subdivision here that is supposed to be modeled after some homes where I grew up.  I commented that I'd rather a camelback than a shotgun, and the guy who claimed he was from my hometown had NO idea what I was talking about.  I knew by his fake accent that he wasn't really from there, but his lack of knowledge confirmed it.  I guarantee anybody who lives in there knows those terms.   Really though, I did not know they aren't used by all.

Break tag--no idea that wasn't the term for an inspection sticker everywhere.  Actually, I'd never heard the term inspection sticker until I moved.  

Nobody here knows the term "go cup" either.  It seems kind of obvious to me.

I'm constantly finding other words and phrases that are not used where I live now.  Of course, there are words/phrases that are local to where I now live that I'm leaning too.  

What words/phrases are common where you live but not elsewhere?  And for goodness sakes, if it doesn't sound like it's spelled, give me a pronunciation guide or I'll ask you to pronounce Tchoupitoulas!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Little Extra Organization Talk

We are attempting to move most of our stuff to the new house, and the movers will mostly move furniture and large items.  In theory it's a great idea because it will save money.  In reality it's another story. For example, I set a goal of emptying my kitchen by the end of the weekend.  After I cleaned all the cabinets at the new house, I moved my dishes over.  I bought one pack of paper plates last weekend so that we'd have plates to eat on.  It's been easy, and I must admit, it's been nice knowing that I have accomplished something towards getting us moved.  There has been one little problem though: dinner last night.  We had filet mignon, twice baked potatoes, and asparagus...on paper plates.  There's just something about a filet; it needs to be served on a real plate!

Another thing I have moved is hanging clothes.  Army thinks I have some anal tendencies, and truth be told, he's probably right.  Now all my hanging clothes are grouped by color.  They are NOT in rainbow order as I HAVE to start out light and end up dark, and let's face it, yellow is lighter than red.  My long sleeve shirts are on the top row, and my short sleeve ones are on the bottom.  For the past four years, Army and I have shared a closet.  Our entire married life before that we had separate closets.  It just hasn't been feasible to have things completely my way in the closet we share, but now that I'm moving on over to the other one, I'm LOVING it!  Army walked in just as I got the finishing touches on my hanging order, and before he made it completely in, he said, "Hey, Lanny, I'd be willing to bet you have your clothes arranged by color, huh?"  Apparently I'm predictable too.  

Army thinks I'm a little bit on the obsessive side that my closet is arranged like it is.  I think I'm just a little organized. I'll admit they are also in size order right now (because yes, things do vary between two sizes in my closet), but I know they won't stay in size order. That'd be too difficult to maintain once we move in. If I were anal, I'd keep them in size order, but since I'm not, I'll let that go. ;)

So, how are your closets organized?  

PS-There's also a slight possibility my spices are in alphabetical order (it's easier to find the one you're looking for that way), and there may be a few more issues like that, but I still stand by organized rather than anal.   Maybe my question should be a little more broad: how are things organized in your house (not only your closets)?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Extra Heartbroken

My heart is broken.  My best friend's six month old baby has passed away.  Not only do I grieve the loss of a precious little boy, but I ache with all my being for my friend. Losing a child is my biggest fear in life, and she's experiencing it. 

Friday, May 23, 2008

An Extra Confession

I am a nerd. A big ole nerdy nerd. 

How sad!

My nerdiness became quite apparent the other day.  There is a big, nationally televised sporting event practically in the backyard of our new house.  I can hear the announcer from my back deck, it's that close.  Unfortunately, since it's such a big event, the traffic in the area has increased exponentially (trying for the nerdy words) over the past few days.  To offset this increase, our city has stationed several police officers in the area to direct traffic.  Keep in mind directing traffic in our area simply means manually doing the traffic lights.  

Army and I had to go to the new house Wednesday night.  Without thinking, we went in the main entrance to our subdivision.  As we came over a hill, we were met by a police officer who was standing about 300 feet from the traffic light.  Army had to come to a complete stop because he was standing in our lane.  He walked up to the car and filled his chest with air, tilted his SUNglasses down a bit on his nose so he could look over them (it was dusk, no need for sunglasses!), and in his crisp white short sleeve cotton shirt, polyester blue shorts that were pulled up to his bellybutton, tennis shoes, and socks pulled up to just below his knees (lovely image, huh?) said, "Son, where do you think you are going?"  Army told him we were planning to take a right at the traffic light because our home was off that street.  Mr. Police Officer rolled his eyes (!) and said, "IF you planned to turn at that street, you needed to have your turn signal on before you came over that hill. Do you think I can read minds? I need to know your intentions, that why we have rules, Son."  Army simply said, "Yes sir" and rolled his window up as quickly as he possibly could, mainly because he knows I, in all of my nerdiness, know traffic rules like nobody's business. He was scared to death I'd say something and get him a ticket.  Normally, I am as NONconfrontational as they come, but throw in a little PMS and I get a mighty attitude.  As soon as he got that window rolled up, I said, "Yeah, of course you should because we are certainly 100 feet from our intended turn. Good gracious, I stink at measurement, but even I know we're waaayyyy more than 100 feet. We're a stinking football field away from the turn."  And I really was ticked  As in fuming ticked. I was vicious that he'd expect us to know that he'd be there from the other side of a hill and know to put the signal on THREE TIMES before the law says you have to.  So ticked, in fact, that I came home and googled it to make sure I was right. I was.  Don't get me wrong, we have an awesome police force, and I have the utmost respect for people in law enforcement, people who put their lives on the line everyday for our safety, but what I canNOT stand is abuse of power.  Ever.  And this guy, in my PMSy mind, was doing just that.  

The next day I told the story to my mom.  The instant I heard it coming out my mouth, I realized just how absurd I had been. Really? What does it really matter? It doesn't. Humor the guy and put the dang signal on.  

So after lunch yesterday a friend brought up something silly she did when she was PMSing. I laughed and told her my story.  Then her husband's good friend, who is a police officer, said, "Oh, that sounds like Officer Friendly. Let me see if he was on duty, 'cause I bet he was. The guy is constantly getting in trouble for stuff like that.  You know, our force is so tight that he'll likely get kicked off soon.  One time he made an old lady cry because she didn't know where her lug lock key was when he was called to help her change a flat. He told her she didn't belong on the road if she couldn't be a responsible citizen."

With that, I began to wonder if I had really been that pathetic with my rant after all. About a nanosecond later, I realized that yes, I was just as pathetic as I originally thought.  

Wish me luck. This sporting event goes through the weekend, so I'm sure I'll encounter Officer Friendly many more times.  I sure hope I don't run over his foot or anything.  Not that it will matter though 'cause I'll have my signal on from 300 feet back. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

An Extra Gas Story

Yeah, title sounds appealing, huh?

Remember the last time Linus embarrassed us with a gas comment?  Well, Linus strikes again!  Today she announced, "Gas accidentally came out Daddy's hole."  Yeah, you should have seen the looks we got!  Turns out she was talking about the dripping a car air conditioner does onto the concrete when it's parked.  So it wasn't actually gas, nor did it come out of any hole that Army has, though it was his car. 

Monday, May 19, 2008

Extra Info

Let me start of by admitting I'm a big ole hypocrite.  I honestly thought the preschool graduation would be silly, but seeing my baby up there changed everything.  I'm still not sure it's necessary, but it is absolutely fun!

Since we were parents of a graduate, we had to get there early with her.  We walked her to one of the classrooms, and we were promptly kicked out.  They wouldn't let parents help with the cap and gown or anything.  That can be an itty bitty bit of a problem for any parent who just might be slightly on the control freak side.  I made it though.  

Army went down to get us a seat (and he got PERFECT seats) while I hung back to talk with a few of the teachers she had in MDO.  Her class is very unusual in that most have been together since MDO started. We hang out together, and we truly like each other.  

Once we were all seated, one of the teachers began passing out Kleenex.  For those of you who don't know, I HATE crying in front of other people. Hate it!  Many people took several Kleenexes.  Then the lady behind me (whose daughter's entire first and middle names are ONE letter off from my child's name--yeah, the teachers loved that!) said she didn't need any, she wasn't a crier.  Thanks lady, up the ante for me not to cry!  I took one Kleenex so I'd have it if I really needed it, but I didn't look like a blubbering idiot to her. Army immediately leaned over and said, "It's ok Lanny, you can close your eyes and just watch the video when we get home."  

They marched in--and SCORE!--Linus was seated directly in front of us!  She was smiling ear to ear.  We all stood and said the Pledge of Allegiance which was lead by the graduates.  My mom has always loved that I used to say "roll call" at the end because when I was little my teachers would say that and begin to call roll. I just assumed it came right after.  I got a great giggle when a two year old in the audience screamed, "AMEN!" at the end! :)  

Then the kids sang the sweetest song.  You could hear the sniffles from all around. Not me though. I had my iron will on and refused to let my eyes do more than sting as I held those tears back.  It wasn't just the song and that my child was graduating, it was that Linus put her heart and soul into that song. She sang with all her might.  While most of the children's lips barely moved, there was a trio standing together who led the whole thing. Linus was in the middle of that trio! :)  

Then they handed out diplomas.  Ok, not that is kind of laugh-worthy.  Really? What is the preschool course of study that it states they've completed?  I guess it is a sweet reminder of the times possibly.  As the director read the names, she'd tell what each child wants to be when they grow up.  This class was really heavy on the dentists.  Add in the requisite teacher/dancer/princess/artist/cowboy and that rounds out the rest. Except Linus. She wanted to be a fire fighter.  Most parents commented that they were surprised by their child's answer. Not us, we pegged Linus long ago.  

After the diplomas they played a song for the children to walk out to.  As the kids faced the aisle and waited their turns, Linus and one of the other trio couldn't help themselves. The music had a good beat, and they couldn't let that go ignored. Those bounced like there was no tomorrow.  I had just commented to Army how pleased I was that she behaved so well during the whole ceremony, then she singled herself out with her dancing. But you know what? I LOVED IT! Dancing IS Linus, how could I expect her to stand still? 

We took her to the restaurant of her choice afterwards, and she ordered entirely on her own (I'd like a lemonade, grilled cheese, and a side of soup, please). Sniff sniff.  My baby is growing up.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Extra Crossed!

We've got our fingers crossed. We've even got our toes crossed. Maybe our legs too?

Our house is UNDER CONTRACT!

Linus is really excited that we'll get to move to the new house soon. And she found out something that made her even more excited today.  Here's to hoping everything works out!

Graduation update tomorrow.  :)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

An Extra Graduate on the Loose

 Linus asked me today if she was getting a television for her room. Um, NO!  I asked her what on earth made her think she'd get one.  "Maaahhhhhh-mmmeeeeee, you know! LocalElectronicsStore said it would make a great gift for a graduate. I graduate tonight, you know."

Yes, Linus has preschool graduation tonight. Call me a party pooper, but I just don't really see the point in it.  And yes, around here they do kindergarten graduation too.  Y'all all know I'm sentimental, especially where Linus is concerned, but come on! It's PRESCHOOL!  They have a whole ceremony complete with caps and gowns.  And they're supposed to flip the tassel to the other side when it's finished.  

And now, thanks to this little ceremony and a certain commercial on tv, Linus thinks she should get a tv for her room. 

I'd post a pic afterwards, but I have NO CLUE how to do it on my mac yet, and my tainted hands touched Army's computer which is now broken. I promise I don't do anything to these machines, they just break when I'm near.  

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Extra Sorry

First of all, thank you so much to those of you who left comments, emailed, or took the time to read the post, for your encouragement with my dad.  He means the world to us, and we are so very proud of him.  My sister and I have even gotten random calls from him lately, which thrills us.  He used to call and email us often just to check on us or tell us a joke.  We definitely missed those calls and emails.  


Poor Little Linus seems to have gotten herself in a bit of trouble lately.  As her preschool teacher put it, "Linus had a little trouble at school today. She was kind hyper--you know, kind of like she always is." UGH! Two days in a row this week, I got the same report from her teacher.  We discussed it, she lost a few things, and I asked her how she wanted her teacher to remember her since this is the last week of school. I was hoping she'd want to be remembered as somebody who is sweet and respectful. Linus had other plans: She wanted to be remembered as a fun girl.  I asked her why fun, and she said, Nobody remembers the quiet ones, Mom."  *Choke!* I had to be really creative to get my point across after that.  

Then she got in trouble at home twice.  I told her I was disappointed in her behavior, and again we discussed it and she lost a some things including getting to go to the park with our friends.  She lost (misplaced-lost, not taken away-lost) a purple watch a few months ago, and when I found one just like it I snatched it up.  She's has to earn it though.  Obviously that hasn't happened yet.   

On the way home from running errands, we were discussing her behavior yet again.  As we drove past the park, she noticed it was packed, so she commented, "Look Mommy! There sure are a lot of people that didn't get any time-outs today!"  

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

An Extra Day at the Office

Guess who went back to work yesterday?  :)  He worked 7 hours, which I think is pretty amazing.  

Go Dad!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

An Extra Birthday

One year ago today, I got one of the worst phone calls a person can get.  

Linus and I enjoyed a fun Mother's Day Luncheon, then Army and I headed out with our agent to look at houses.  While we were out, my mother called.  I confirmed that we were planning to go to her city the next day, and then asked her if I could call her back when we were finished.  She realized just how busy we were, and readily agreed.  She planned to go shopping with one of her friends, and then possibly out to dinner.  My father was out of town.

As Army and I were driving home, my cell phone rang.  I fished around for it, and just as I found I found it, voice mail picked up.  I looked at caller id and grumbled when I saw it was my mother.  I though, ugh, she knows how busy I am--I told her I'd call when I could.  Right before the tone went off to let me know I had a message, I though to myself, oh no--what if something is wrong.  I dialed her number, but I got a busy signal. She has call waiting, so I knew that meant she had to be calling somebody else.  I went ahead and listened to my message. It was short and her voice was filled with fear: Lan, I need you

I tried to call back, but now there was no answer.  I thought about calling my dad's cell, but since he was out of town, I knew all I'd do was worry him.  Just as I was in near full panic, Army's cell rang.  It was my mom.  I could only hear his side of the conversation, but I knew instantly it was really bad. Then he handed me his phone.

"Lan, I'm on my way to SmallCity (where my dad was).  They found Dad in a parking lot.  Lan, he wasn't breathing and he didn't have a pulse. They think he had a heart attack. They have him at the hospital now. That's all I know. Can you come?"

"Wait, Mom. What are you saying? Is he dead? A heart attack is impossible. He had an angiogram not long ago, and he had no blockage.  Something is not right.  I just don't understand. Yes, I'll come. Where is he? Is he alive? Who found him? How long had he been down? Mom, IS HE ALIVE?"

"Lan, I've told you all I know.  Can you come?"

"Mom is he alive? What hospital?"

"Lan, I don't know. I think he's alive. They had him breathing when I spoke with the hospital, but he keeps slipping."

"Hang up now! Mom, you've got to call the hospital back and tell them he's on a blood thinner and all his medications."

My dad carried a list of all his medications in his wallet, so thankfully they were able to have immediate access to all meds and dosages.  "Lan, I've done that. Can you come?"

"Mom, who is with you? Have you told Sis? What about your sister?"

"Lan, I'm alone. I really need you.  I called P, J, J, and K. None of them answered their cells.  I was supposed to go out with P and J. They are probably in a store and not getting good reception. I haven't told you sister yet.  I can't Lan. I just can't do it and drive to SmallCity.  I've just got to focus on your father living."

At this point, I'm in tears.  We pulled into our garage, and I'm immediately greeted by Linus.  In my not-so-finest-hour, I barked at Linus to go to her room. I didn't want to make her panicked.  Duh, not quite sure about seeing her mommy in tears and telling her to go to her room was going to keep her from getting upset. Thankfully we had a great babysitter here, and she went and took care of Linus.  WonderDog was already at the vet's clinic--we had boarded her since we were planning to go out of town early the next morning.  

Mom called back and said J and P had  called her back when they saw their missed calls, but that she told them not to go up, she'd be fine.  I called J and begged her to go to my mom even though mom had said no.  J told me she and P were already in the car--they were dropping off J's daughter and then headed for the hospital in SmallCity.  Funny thing is, they had no idea where the hospital was. Army went to med school in that state, so he knew and had to get them there over the phone.  I felt better knowing my mom wasn't going to be alone the whole time.

I called Mom again and asked if she'd told my sister yet.  She said she hadn't and that she couldn't.  Calling my sister was soooo hard.  She was in the car with her whole family.  I asked her to call me back when she got home, but she could hear the emotion in my voice and demanded that I tell her what was wrong right then. I told her and she fell apart. 

Next I called one of my mom's sisters despite my mom asking me not to.  I had no idea at the time, but my aunt had just learned my uncle was terminally ill, yet they didn't have any answers beyond that he would die.  She dropped everything and decided to come right up. I knew she would. My mom and that aunt are super close, and I also knew she'd make the trip with my sister. My sister had decided that her husband would stay home with the girls, and she'd come alone. I didn't want her making that trip alone.  

Next I had to focus on getting us out of there. It took us a little while to pack and get on the road (it felt like forever!) because I had no idea how long I'd be gone, nor did I know if I'd be attending my father's funeral.  It was awful.

On the trip to get to SmallCity (about 5 hours away), I was on the phone constantly.  I tried so hard to be very cryptic in what I was saying--I wanted to shield Linus as much as possible--but it was near impossible.  We called Army's brother and asked if we could drop Linus there for the night, and of course he said yes.  I called my mom's other sister and asked her to pray.  She lives about 15 hours away from SmallCity that my dad was in. She offered to take the next plane out, but I asked her to wait and we'd assess everything in the morning.  

On the way there, there was an unbelievable amount of road construction, so our 5 hour trip ended up closer to 7 1/2.  I was constantly in contact with my mom and sister getting updates.  

I prepared my mom for seeing my dad with tons of tubes (assuming he was alive) and his color being off. Thankfully, Army knew exactly what to expect, so he had me tell her exactly what she'd walk into.  Finally she was able to call us with the good news that he was alive.  Better yet, he didn't look bad at all. Sure he had a few tubes, mom said, but he looked just like himself.  Why I believed that, I'll never know. I guess I needed to believe it. 

Mom called and asked us to stop at her house and let her dog out. I wasn't all too happy, because I wanted to get to my dad, but we did it.  At that point, I decided Linus would go on with us.  She knew something was up, and I could NOT just toss her off to a relative.  

After what seemed like forever, we arrived at the hospital.  My father had been moved from the ER to CICU.  Since it was a small city, they had a small hospital, but that small hospital was wonderful.  They didn't want my mom to be alone (before her friends got there), so they had one of the security guards available for anything she needed. He brought her fresh coffee constantly, bottled water, blankets, etc.  We all came to love this man.  He checked on my dad for the longest time after the incident.  They also had a private entrance to the CICU.  We LOVED that!

We finally learned that what we were originally told wasn't accurate.  Dad had been in a place of business when everything happened.  This business had security cameras that captured it all, so we were able to get a detailed story.  Apparently Dad had cardiac arrest (but NOT a heart attack) and his heart and breathing stopped.  He dropped between two displays, and it took three minutes for anyone to see him. Once he was seen, they called an emergency, and two other people there began CPR.  An ICU nurse noticed the commotion and removed the CPR guys because they were doing it incorrectly. By this time a person at the business trained to use a defibrillator came (seriously, what are the chances?) and she and the ICU nurse shocked Dad back into a good rhythm.  They continued with CPR until the ambulance arrived because he still wasn't breathing on his own.  He had to be shocked multiple times and eventually he even began breathing sporadically on his own.  He tried to tell them about his medicine, but he was unable to talk.  He continued to go into bad rhythm in the ambulance, so they had to shock him in there too.  

When Army and I went to see my dad, my mom, Sis, and aunt were already back there. Linus stayed with mom's friends (she knows them well). Linus, naturally, entertained the CICU waiting room.  My mom lied! My dad looked AWFUL. He had tubes coming from everywhere.  His ventilator tube still had the attachment they use in the ER while they are trying to keep the mouth open, so it was shoved in there and made him have a grimace on his face.  He was completely unresponsive.  

When the doctor saw new people in the room, he came in immediately to explain, yet again, what was going on. I asked Army a question, and the doctor gently explained the answer to me. When he found out Army is a physician, he gave him the rundown in words that are way above my head. Army asked a few above-my-head questions to which the doc answered above-my-head answers. Then doc turned to me and saw the completely lost look on my face and brought it all back down to my level. That meant the world to me.  Within seconds of him leaving, Dad began choking on secretions in his vent.  They called a RT, but apparently Dad couldn't wait for her to arrive.  The ICU nurse went into action, tubes went flying, a doc came running, and my sister and I broke down.  Army walked us out of Dad's room, while Mom stayed behind.  As soon as he got us to the waiting room with my aunt and mom's friends, he ran back to be with my mom.  It was awful. Absolutely awful.  

Despite the fact that it was now about 2 in the morning, Dad's nurse insisted my sister and I come back to his room again so that we could see that he was now ok.  I'll forever be grateful to her for that. 

Mom's friends went home, and Mom decided to stay the night in the CICU waiting room.  Because of Army, I knew the statistics: most people who code do it again and do not make it.  I wanted to stay too, but Mom wanted me to take Linus to a hotel. Army, Linus and I headed out. Mom, Sis, and my aunt stayed.  

The next morning when the doc rounded, he told my  mom how happy and surprised he was that Dad made it through the night.  That stung like I never imagined. I was happy to know my father was still with us, but hearing how close he came was awful.   We were also given the news that if he didn't wake up within 24 hours (he was in a coma), that he likely wouldn't.  

We all looked for glimpses of hope, yet Dad did not wake up.  We'd think he moved a finger, just for a nurse to tell us we imagined it.  Hour by hour went by, and our fear grew.

Saturday night (over 24 hours since the incident) my sister went back to the hotel with us. She had a connecting room.  She called me, and we had the dreaded conversation: what if we have to have the really dreaded conversation--do we remove him from life support?  They had prepared us that we may have to discuss it since he didn't wake up.  Army kept insisting that we give him 72 hours. If he still didn't wake up, he'd want a brain function test run, then run again 72 hours after that.  

Sunday morning (Mother's Day), they let us know that 24 hours had well passed.  Mom insisted Dad has always done things in his own time, and that 24 hours didn't count for him. Army insisted we give 72.  During the past day and a half, I'd made calls to other family members to keep them up to date. Many of them are physicians too, and they agreed with Army: 72 hours was a must.  Somehow I was appointed the family spokesperson, a job nobody wants, so I had to speak to zillions of people.  

Late Sunday afternoon, we decided to go for 72 hours and screw the 24 hour idea.  My sis had been out of town the two weeks prior, so mom sent her home to her kids, and my aunt home to her ailing husband.  Army called work and let them know to cancel his appointments...he wouldn't be there.  

Later Sunday afternoon, a priest was called in to say a blessing over my father. I begged everyone to tell my dad that this was NOT Last Rites, but nobody did (I was at the hotel with Linus, so I couldn't tell him myself).  They all thought I was nuts--Dad was in a coma, it didn't matter what they told him.  I, however, had been watching his vent like a hawk, and had seen that he was beginning to breathe over his vent and on his own some.  I also noticed that his respiration number changed very obviously when we were in the room talking.  I KNEW he could hear us.  Anyway, nobody told him it was NOT Last Rites.  The priest got started, and within a few minutes, Dad kicked his leg hard. It was as if he was saying I'M NOT DYING!  Army got the nurse, and she got the doctor. He did that dreaded sternum rub (for those of you who haven't seen it, it's awful---they rub their knuckles into your chest as hard as they can). Nothing. Not a budge. They called it coincidence that he moved. We knew otherwise.  Then Army pointed out the respiration number and that the respirator was doing 100% of his breathing. They said he was slipping further. Army said he had worn himself out trying to kick.  

They sat us down and said that patients simply do not "just wake up" like that, that they do it very slowly.  Mom said leave it to my dad---he'd 'just wake up' like that.  The doctor said he certainly hoped so and asked if he could add Dad to their prayer chain at his church.  Of course!

Mom and I though he opened his eyes just a tiny bit, but we were told he didn't really.  Nothing significant happened that night.  Army spent the night at the hospital that Sunday night while my Mom came back to the hotel for some rest.  Naturally she couldn't sleep, so she was back at the hospital before dawn.  Then I got a phone call: Lan, HE'S AWAKE! Come quick!

I raced over there.  He sure enough was awake.  He was fighting the vent, so they removed it with the warning that he'd likely have to have it placed again.  He didn't.  Once the vent was removed, he began reading everything on the tv.  We were amazed. So was the doctor.  My sister rushed back.  They asked us to leave while they assessed him, which they said would take 1-2 hours, so we grabbed a bite to eat. When we returned, Dad was eating a popsicle, though he was begging for banana pudding instead.  They said he had to have the popsicle, and that he couldn't have anything milk based for at least another day.  Within an hour he was eating that banana pudding. :)

It took a few more days to get him moved to a bigger hospital in a larger city.  During those days it became rather obvious that this would be a long road. He did not know who any of us were, what he did, where he was...nothing.  

He had to have surgery at the big hospital, then a few weeks later was moved to a rehab facility. He was in the rehab facility for a month or so.  While there, he began to learn our names once again.  He did, however, have tremendous memory issues.  There was no way he could be left alone. His license was taken away (no complaints--he obviously couldn't drive!), his freedom was taken away.  

Once he left the rehab facility, he went home, but he still required 24/7 care.  It was very difficult to see my strong father in such a state, but we were so thankful he was alive.  

After several months, we began to see little sparkles in his eyes, symbols that he was regaining his jovial personality.  We collectively breathed a sigh of relief.  Fear was replaced with hope. Although the dad I had grown up with may never return, I at least had a little bit of him.  I could hug him. Linus could sit in his lap.  A wife had a husband, two girls had a Daddy, and three girls had a grandfather who we all almost lost.  

Exactly one year later we celebrate a re-birthday with him.  I'm so proud of his accomplishments. Through tons of hard work, he's regained his independence, his life.  Last week, he even got his license back.  He taught a bunch of family and friends to never give up.  That's a lesson that will take us so very far!  Actually, we've learned that lesson twice--my uncle, the one who was terminal, is still with us.  And he's not listed as terminal anymore!

I love you Dad!  Thanks for sticking around! :)

Friday, May 9, 2008

Extra Info

I got tagged by Lou, who has a private blog so I'm not linking her, to tell the story of how Army and I met.  

Here's the short story: He brought my best friend home from a date. 


It's really not as bad as it sounds.  At least not to me. ; )

Longer version to follow...

Thursday, May 8, 2008

This is Extra Ridiculous!

I'll admit that I'm a conditioner snob.  I didn't used to be, but then I tried some really good stuff.  My hair is baby fine, so it needs all the help it can get.  I also live in humidity central, so that doesn't help the frizziness.  My hair place recently quit selling my conditioner because it (conditioner) was bought out by a new company, and they changed the ingredients.   

How do you like this conversation:

Hi,  Jaci usually cuts my hair, and she said she'd leave a new conditioner for me at the front desk.

Hmmm, I don't see any here, and she's with a patient right now.

(Gives confused look) I don't know anything about the line y'all are carrying now.  Do you have one for fine hair?

Yes, we sure do. Most of our patients really like the one that's a little more moisturizing better though.

(Thinking maybe she thinks I'm a chemo patient or something) Um, patient?

Yes, we provide healthcare for hair, so we cater to our patients, not clients. 

(Thinking WTH?) Oh ok. Well, hmm, my hair is a little more on the oily side than the dry side, so I'm not sure I really need the moisturizing one.  Maybe I'll just get whatever Jaci uses on my hair next time. Thanks a lot for your time though.

Seriously! We have gone waaayyyy too far. I cannot stand the semantics game.  

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

An Extra Treat in Her Treat

Linus had a small bowl of ice cream tonight.  It came with something Army brought home.  As she was eating, she noticed a chunk of ice in her ice cream.   She wasn't too happy, and belted out, "Hey, why is there hail in my ice cream?"

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

An Extra Language Oops

Here's the conversation from the car today:

L: Daddy, do you have a cockulator?
A: (big eyes) A what?
L: A cockulator.
A: I don't know what that is.
L: Yes you do. You have a black cockulator.
A: Well, if I have one, why did you ask? And what is that anyway?
L: Ugh! A cockulator. You know Daddy. A cockulator is a cockulator.
A: No, I don't know Linus. What does it look like?
L: A cockulator has lots of numbers on it.
A: Oh, a CALCULATOR! Linus, can you say calculator?
L: That's what I said Daddy, a cockulator.


Thanks to those who have left paint ideas.  I appreciate you input.  I'll grab some paint chips this week and check them out.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Extra Pictures

House pics:

Thoughts for a color for the walls in the dining room? Not that I'm trying to match my walls to my china, but my good china is ivory with a deep blue and gold. I just don't think that works well with the red (pinkish) walls.

As far as the kitchen goes, I'm not liking the green with the backsplash. I tried a really pretty deep green/blue color, but I'm afraid that would make the kitchen waaayyy too dark. The countertops are black-ish, so I can't go too dark on the walls without making the room a dungeon.

The ceiling

The ceiling w/ wall:

Kitchen paint with backsplash:


If I get really brave, I'll post some pictures of the rest of the house.

Pictures will be up at some point today.  I was in bed sick all day yesterday, and now I'm trying to catch up on everything that didn't get done while I was sick.  

Friday, May 2, 2008

Extra Slow

I'm *trying* to load a few pic of the new house, but I'm apparently too slow to figure out how to do it on my mac.  Any normal person would go upstairs and just use the pc, but I must not be normal.  No comments necessary on that fact, thankyouverymuch!  

The paint in the kitchen is bright green. As in green apple with a splash of neon.  It's not a horrific color by itself, but the backsplash is grey, and they do not work together. At all.  My current kitchen is a sagey color, so I grabbed some paint chips and tried a similar color, but it's a no-go.  That doesn't work with the backsplash either.  

The dining room is red (but a pink red, not a red red) with a gold cathedral-ish ceiling.  Not what I would have chosen had I been the one making that decision.  I can't figure out what color would work with the gold ceiling though.  And no, I'm not changing the ceiling.  Waaaayyyyyy too much work because of the angles and the chandelier.  I know, I know, hire a professional. I would, but since money isn't dropping out our derrieres at the current moment, that ain't happenin'!  We've already bought new furniture and still have more we need to buy, new carpet for the upstairs, cleaned the basement carpets, contracted to get the deck/porch/deck (yes, it's three) refinished,  oh yeah, and we're paying a double mortgage right now.  Oh, and there's one minor issue there manly man of a husband has gone all girly on me and says he likes it.  Like a man should care about this stuff. Seriously!  

Hopefully I can load the pics up at some point and one of you geniuses (and I mean that honestly, not in a sarcastic way!) can come up with a great paint idea.