Saturday, June 30, 2007

As parents, it is our job to teach our children to be independent at some stage in their life. We try to do this appropriately, so we don't teach our 4 year olds to cut the grass and cook dinner. As my daughter has reached teenager status, I decided a rite of passage was due. While playing her favorite game (World of Warcraft) the other day, she was locked out of her account and after a few hours, she came to me for help. I told her to call technical support and work it out. Was this cruel? ;-) She reluctantly dialed the phone and waited. "Dad, I hate this music", comes from the other room... I told her that it could be hours on hold and that the phone battery would probably die (trying to prepare her for the worst). After about 10 minutes or so, I could hear her talking to someone. "Dad, whose name is on this account?" My reply.. "I don't know.. just know my credit card is paying for it!". Some more time passes.. and my daughter comes walking into the kitchen. "All fixed?", I asked. "Yes", she replied, looking quite proud of herself. What should be next on the list? I guess she has a few years before she needs to deal with the MVA. :-)

Friday, June 29, 2007

Well, I was right.. the first place I ended up testing this wireless internet gadget is at the horse farm. It is working (I posted this from there), but the farm is on a fringe cell signal, so the speed is not great. And I have found another problem, I cannot seem to access my work network through this... more research needed.

We finally got some much needed rain.. probably not enough, but a little help!

Will be playing golf on Sunday, will post back if I can manage a birdie like Anne did in Myrtle Beach... can I get a Woohoo from AM too? Will see what happens!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Got a new toy today at work... a Sierra 875U wireless modem. I know.. pretty nerdy, but now I can access the internet from my laptop from anywhere. So with a little more persuasion at work, I can envision myself working some day while sitting in some relaxing location by the water, or maybe at a horse farm (OK that one is likely).

Managed to get by to visit dad at Hopkins tonight... he looked much more rested. They took him off his liquid diet and back to IV feeding due to a build up of fluid in his stomach, but it should only be a minor set back. He was missing his Italian ices.. but soon we hope.

Received a nice surprise call from a friend on a beach in California this morning.. I was at the 7-11 getting coffee.. what a contrast! :-) I was trying my best to picture myself there, but having never been to California it was a challenge.. so I pictured St. Martins and hoped it was close enough.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Quick update on my dad... he is still in the ICU, hoping to move to a ward tomorrow. He has been progressing well, there have been some minor issues, I think mostly related to him not getting much sleep. Seems like someone is in there every few minutes. I did not get a chance to visit today, but will be there tomorrow, I hope. I brought him Italian ices yesterday and those were a big hit. He still is craving a corned beef sandwich from Atmans, but that is hard to convert to a liquid diet. ;-)

He is getting great care and we all appreciate all the nice notes, prayers and concern.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

My dad made it through the surgery today. The tumor was a little larger than previously evaluated, but the surgeon was confident that he got the whole thing. He is in ICU tonight and probably tomorrow. I will give an update when I hear more details. Thanks for your prayers and positive thoughts, it is appreciated!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Busy days this week.. thank goodness I had such a wonderful weekend, dancing, road tripping, sunning, singing (off key?), and spending time with friends and family.

Last night I said goodbye to the support group I had been facilitating for over the last few years. I was one of the original members of the Ellicott City chapter that formed in 2001. The personal growth and healing that I experienced there was so important right after my separation and I have been "giving back", trying to help others in appreciation of that. Well, I said my goodbye and was overwhelmed with the number of people who told me that I personally helped them... you never know how you touch others sometimes. I will continue as an alumni and help support the organization, but my days of attending meetings and running small groups was due to come to a conclusion. It has been a very rewarding journey and I have made some great friends.

Father's day, I had my daughter, mom, dad and stepmom all over for an early dinner. My daughter surprised me with a laptop holder (so my legs don't get burned by this unusually hot Mac some days) and I proceeded to try to make a big dinner for my family. I ran out of propane 5 minutes into cooking the steaks and veggies. My spare tank was empty! Home Depot was out of propane (what?). I managed to salvage the meal and it was enjoyed by all. A friend was just saying how well prepared I am... I guess I still need some work in the cooking department. I wanted this Father's day to be special, since I almost lost my dad on New Year's. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in November and was scheduled for surgery in January to remove it. Unfortunately, he came down with pneumonia just before Christmas and spent the next two months in the hospital. He came out of that too weak for the surgery, so was destined to see what happened with the cancer. But as fate would have it, while attending a reunion of his medical school class two weeks ago.. the classmate and surgeon who was to perform the operation was so taken with his improvement in stamina and vigor that he decided to go ahead with the procedure. So this Thursday, please put my dad in your prayers as he goes into surgery. There are some risks involved, but I am optimistic that he will come through, if only because he still wants to beat me at chess. :-)

I hope all the other Fathers out there got to enjoy the time with their families!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

My drive into Rockville was unusually slow this morning, but with the proper daydreaming material and some music, the time passes nicely. I heard an old Chuck Mangione song on the jazz station this morning and was reminded of going speaker shopping in Columbus, OH with my college roommate. He wanted to hear all these different speakers playing the same song... must have heard that 20 times that day. I seem to have a lot of memories attached to songs... I guess everyone does.. but here are a few of mine.

Downtown by Petula Clark - first song I ever remember.. AM radio in my mom's VW Beatle in Myrtle Beach.
Lola by the Kinks - first radio I ever owned, a freebie from a radio station tour
Honaloochie Boogie - Mott the Hoople - first 45 I ever bought.. not a great first record, but I lived in England at the time. Telly Savalas had a hit record there!
Yes - Fragile tour (in the round) - first concert.
Time for me to fly - REO Speedwagon - driving all night to Daytona Beach for Spring break in college
She's a Beauty - The Tubes - playing DJ for my grad school dorm. Lots of those.. Spandau Ballet, Thompson Twins... trying to find stuff to get people dancing. (It was the 80's) ;-)
Sweet Love - Anita Baker - wedding song
My Yellow Blanket - Barnie CD - driving my daughter to school each morning (when she was in Kindergarten)... I hated that song!

There are many more... and I am working on some new ones! Anyone care to share a few of their memorable songs?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Well, it's official... I am now the parent of a teenage daughter. She turned 13 yesterday and celebrated it the way she wanted... with a sleepover party with her close friends, pizza, hot tubbing and DDR. Oh, and there was cake and presents too of course.

I expect the next few years to be an adventure as she becomes more independent, rebellious and emotional, hopefully not all on the same day! We are a lot alike in some ways, so that may help? She has a quick-witted sense of humor, a pretty laid back attitude on life and at most times common sense. Of course the action/consequence thing needs some work as she and her friends demonstrated yesterday by staying up most of the night... but I did that also when I was her age, so can't fault them too much.

It will be curious to see if I am still blogging as she reaches college age and beyond and I can look back and remember this day and the step it is towards her life on her own. Each year I think of the things I want to do for her while she is still young and try to balance what will be best for her today, next year and 10 years from now. Being divorced has made that harder in some ways.. but I do my best and am proud of the teenager she is today. Will see if I write that again next year. ;-)

Any suggestions from seasoned veterans out there?

Sunday, June 3, 2007

I was at an end of season pizza dinner for my daughter's soccer team the other day... the coach was talking about how hard this season has been. For a variety of reasons, we have usually only been able to field 9 instead of 11 players and the girls had lost all their matches, a few by 9-0 or so. The coach was upset about this, since it was just a rec league and for fun. So we went into the last match on Saturday with just 9 players.. expecting to be crushed. Not so.. the other team had extra players and gave our team two of their girls to even out the squads... the girls all played hard and the game ended a 1-1 tie. It was such a nice end to the season.. the two girls who played with us were even included in our team photo.

The rest of the weekend was very enjoyable, a charming date Saturday night, and experiencing a new church on Woman's Sunday. I could not remember being at a Presbyterian service, then it dawned on me.. the first school I ever went to was Presbyterian Day School in Memphis, Tennessee. I don't remember that very well (K to 2nd grade).. but between that, and the Anglican and Catholic services I have attended... I knew most of the prayers. It was very enjoyable, I met some fellow bloggers in person and got to hear a great sermon. Thanks for letting me be a part of that special day.