Rained in & St. Patrick's Day

In the past few months, Oklahoma has had just an inch or so more rain than Phoenix in the desert, or so said someone from my church. I think, then, you can imagine my delight at the fact we're supposed to get lots of rain this weekend. In fact, I don't even mind that I'm going on vacation and getting rained in ON vacation. I'm going with John's family to the Broken Bow area and staying in this HUGE cabin that I'm pretty sure is bigger than my house.

Oh, and no, I didn't forget. It's St. Patrick's Day. Yes, I am of Irish descent.
Google and Wikipedia both have links to more information; St. Patrick's Day is more than just another reason to get drunk on beverages green or otherwise. St. Patrick is credited with at the very least, helping to spread the influence of Christianity in ancient Ireland. St. Patrick's Day is meant to honor his memory and celebrate all the wonnder that is Irish-ness. I may not love all of his methods (instead of introducing a new religion, he adapted his new religion to include pagan rites so it would be more palatable, possibly compromising the gospel he taught, just as hundreds of thousands of priests had before and would do after he did, so it's not just him), but I can still honor the memory of a man whose influence still did more good than harm, I think. I can also get behind celebrating Irish history and culture, and even the consumption of green and/or Irish food.

Of course, I am going to request that you be responsible in your observation. If you're going to drink, get a designated driver. Getting so drunk that you make bad decisions and hurt people in the process brings no honor to anyone. Don't let Irish heritage be your excuse to get sloshed and get stupid.

Now kiss me! I'm Irish!!


Fun things I learned today:

1) Hawaii has only one incorporated city: Honolulu.
2) The proper name of Honolulu: "The City & County of Honolulu"
3) The aforementioned "City & County of Honolulu" actually covers the entire island of Oahu, as well as all of the territory that belongs to Oahu.
4) What mainlanders think of Honolulu is actually "Urban Honolulu"
5) All of the rest of the "towns" in Hawaii are "CDP"s, or Census Designated Places. In fact, as far as the Census Department is concerned, only "Urban Honolulu" is "Honolulu".
6) If you have Vonage, calling Hawaii is free. Hawaii is over 3000 miles from where I am. Mexico City, by contrast, is just over 1100 miles from me, and it would cost me 6 cents a minute to call. It's cheaper for me to call an island I can only get to by FLIGHT 3000 miles away than it is to call a city I could concievably walk to (well, not that I would...walking that far would take me something like 10 years, and I don't really find that an attractive or enjoyable prospect, but I think you get the idea) that's 2000 miles CLOSER. I LOVE Vonage.

Yes, I called Honolulu. No, I didn't call Mexico City. I just picked a foreign country closer than HI that isn't Canada (because I can call Canada for free, too, and Puerto Rico.)

Also: The Leeward sides of the Hawaiian islands are drier than the Windward sides; the volcanic mountains that form the islands cause the currents to dump their rain on the windward side. Thus, most of the touristy stuff is on the leeward sides of the islands.

Everytime I spell Hawaii, I do so incorrectly. Well, in standard English (be that Commonwealth English or American English), it's OK. But Hawaiians spell it Hawai'i, where the ' is a glottal stop between the two i's. So why am not using Hawaiian English? I'm too lazy at the moment. Hawaiians: I apologize for being a lazy snot. Please don't flame me.

I learned more today, but at the moment, I think my head might pop from information overload if I try to explain it all. So I won't tell you about the forbidden island that is privately owned and not allowed to have visitors, or the hike up Wiliwilinui Ridge, or how the other side of the Koolau volcano fell into the ocean, and so the Koolau Range on Oahu is really just half of a volcano, or where the term "Shield Volcano" came from (but I will tell you that every volcano in Hawaii is one), or why it's nearly impossible to hike the entire length of the Koolau range, or the correct Hawaiian English ways to spell all of the above terms.

Go spend some time with Wikipedia. Between it and Google, you should be able to find everything I did, and even stuff I've forgotten how to express already.




John and I are looking forward to a cruise later this year, early fall. This will be the first time, since our honeymoon, that the two of us will have taken an extended vacation, just the two of us. I've gone on trips without him, we've gone on long vacations with our families, and we've taken long weekends away...but to actually GO AWAY together? That's been a while. We're so excited!!!

Grizzly Bear

Those are pictures from earlier this afternoon when John and I took the dogs on a walk. The boys LOVE to go out and walk, and are starting to learn "come" and "sit", particularly when treats are involved. That means obedience school should be easier for them.

Grizzly is the larger of the two dogs, on the right,IIRC, and Bear is the little one, on the left. You can also tell them apart by looking at their coats; Bear's got more black mixed into his coat, while Grizzly is pretty red.

Oh, and they've discovered Kit, who discovered them, and formed a mutual dislike society. Kit hisses at them through the window, and they bark back. Good thing I keep the cat inside and the dogs out. :D

I have more pictures of them online in my yahoo group: if this link works, you can use it to join!

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Enjoy, all!


Just a brief little note...

before I go to bed in a minute here.

Sleep is good. Sleep, I think, gets highly under-rated. It's magnificent. And now, in celebration of the wonderfulness that is sleep, I'm going to go get some. Sleep that is.

Yes, I know... I'm a dork. But if you've known me for more than 5 minutes, that really shouldn't be news...


Good News

Well, this morning was my appointment with the pulmonologist (lung specialist), Dr. Haddad. It seemed a wise step to take, considering how sickly I've been this winter. I got nothing but GOOD news.

1) Thanks to an unseasonably warm winter and just plain weird year, I'm not the first person he's seen with almost the same complaint...so I'm not alone, and it's not all in my head.

He ordered some tests: a sinus and chest x-ray, and spirometry

2) Sinus X-ray was clear. If it hadn't been, I would have been off to another specialist to address the sinus issues in an attempt to help control the asthmatic ones.

3) Chest X-ray was clear. No active, current infection, and no damage to my lungs that we can see that way.

4) Spirometry came back 90% of normal...but normal is 80% or better...so I'm fine there. My lungs function just fine, so I've not had any permament damage.

Dr. Haddad (HAD-id) added Singulair, which is not a steroid, and emphasized the importance of staying on the Advair that I've been taking. These are both maintenance meds, meant to keep my lungs working their best. He also said I need to be certain to use my albuterol inhaler 15-20 minutes before I have any exertion, and as needed beyond that. If these aren't enough to get things under control for me, he'll add a home nebulizer...a liquid medication is added to air in a mist and I breathe that in to treat the airway constriction.

I'll go back and see him in 3 months unless something changes between now and then, and if things go as well as he anticipates, he'll see me again 6 months after that, and then, just as I need to.

But there's no permanent damage, this is asthma, and he deals with that all the time, and I should be just fine. YAY!

I needed the good news.