Thursday, February 28, 2008

Warm Weather

The weather today was absolutely beautiful. Though I stayed home all day, I did not once go outside but I did open the windows and patio doors of our house. The cats enjoyed the fresh air and listening to the chirping of the birds.

Savoring the fresh air was not a treat I could enjoy peacefully. When I try to take a deep breath, all I get is a fit of coughs until I gag. My chest congestion is trying to clear but I am grateful my throat and ear pain is gone because all that together would hurt like a mother bear.

SIGH ... summer is almost here. I say "summer" because there really isn't a spring season in Vegas. Either that or I just don't notice because all I'm looking forward to is shedding layers from my clothing and feeling the warm sun against my bare skin. When it's bright and sunny every day...and everything including the air is dry...and winter feels like light years away.

I Has Remote Control

Elgy is in love with the t.v. It has been around since we adopted her but only recently did she start to take interest in it. She'll perch on the t.v. stand, her face inches away from the display, and then she sits there for as long as we allow her to. Her ears perked, she cocks her head left, and then to the right intently studying each pixel.
I don't know if her watching the t.v. so closely is harmful to her but we've had to bring her down from the perch after she's been there for a while.


So what does she do?



Hogs the remote control.
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Mr. Chia Pet Turtle is sick


I think Mr. Turtle is sick too. He's just quiet about it unlike me.
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Late Bloomer

I've been watching this Tiger Lilly bud try to bloom for several days now. I'm not sure if I should help it along by prying the leaves open or what.
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Cat Toy or Silent Spy

Everytime we put this stuffed crab cat toy away, it mysteriously appears around the house. On the couch, in the lounge, in the bedroom, in the office... It's Havi, our calico cat's favorite toy but those eyes make me wonder if it is a silent spy.
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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Going to the Chapel

Sometime during my vegetative state from overdosing on cold meds, we received the news that my husband's cousin and long-time girlfriend just got engaged!! If I remember correctly, they met on the same day my husband and I met each other--July 4th, though I don't remember if it was the same year or a year later. So they have been together for a long time and it's about time. YAY!!

Tiffany's ring is SO BEAUTIFUL, I wanted to share the good news and these photos with you (I would like to show a picture of the happy couple but I'm not sure how they feel about having their pics splattered all over the Internet.) Congratulations, Sam and Tiffany!!
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Sunflower

From my sweetheart.

Actually, he is the one who deserves flowers for taking such good care of me over the past few days. I don't think I would have recovered as quickly without him waiting on me hand and foot. I am so lucky because when he had the flu, ... and weeks later, the cold earlier this winter there was little sympathy from me (because men are good about taking physical pain but tend to be whiners when they're sick and I had forgotten how miserable it was to be sick). So I'm eating a piece of humble pie tonight though my husband is not the type to make me eat it. I just hope he knows how much I appreciate his love and caring.

First Day Back

Went back to work today and so far so good. For the most part, I just sit at my desk on my computer. I don't have walk-in guests and rarely get phone calls. All was going really well until I went down the hall to talk to a co-worker. Then I went into a fit of unstoppable coughs (cough, gag, cough-gag), tears streaming down my face. I was so embarrassed though she kept saying "it's okay" (I'm not sure if she knew I was recovering from being sick).

After that, the coughing became more frequent so I was sent home. I was actually glad to be back at work and to be doing something productive other than veg out on the couch all day trying to take naps with my throat/ear pain. I was ready to sit at work all day rather than the couch for a change. Today wouldn't have been so bad if I didn't have to use the common bathroom stalls that we have in our building. You see, in the past few days I've only been able to have chicken noodle soup (nothing else sounded good and the warm broth soothed by throat). But if that's all I'm consuming is a bunch of liquids ... well--what goes in ...

So that was my first day back at work. Maybe I'll stay home tomorrow until I can get some solid food in my stomach and the coughs go away. I didn't realize how much effort it took just being at work though I'm still sitting all day. Whew.

I write all this because someday, I can look back at these posts about being sick and it will remind me to have more empathy because damn if I ever get sick again (which I hope won't happen for years and years to come, maybe forever and ever).

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Feels Good

I think I overdosed on pain killers but it's so worth it. I'm nauseous and even upchucked a couple times but the unbearable pain in my throat and ears have temporarily subsided. I can't sleep without waking up every few hours to take more medication and drink water to lubricate my throat. When I'm awake, it hurts my throat to swallow or breathe (the air passing through my nostrils dries my throat, which makes me swallow, and oh that hurts like hell but I'm caught in this vicious circle).

I went to see a doctor yesterday. He diagnosed me with larynx-pharyngitis which is basically inflammation of the throat and vocal chords and put me on a five day antibiotic treatment. I have lost my voice which is just fine because it hurts to talk anyway. (My husband said it's the least I've ever spoken and he misses our conversations.)

(My ears just drained) So I'm basically deaf (from mucus accumulation behind my ear organs) and mute. (Luckily I can still see and type, ha!) I haven't been to work since Friday when I came home early. I've been housebound since I came home except for that moment I went to see the doctor. Going on four days now ...

I guess I should sleep while the pain is gone. I've had the cold or flu years and years ago but this is by far the worst. I can not wait to get better.

Feels Good

I'm nauseous and even upchucked a couple times. I think I overdosed on pain killers but it's so worth it. The pain in my throat and ears are just unbearable. I can't sleep without waking up every few hours to take more medication and drink water to lubricate my throat. When I'm awake, it hurts my throat to swallow or breathe (the air passing through my nostrils dries my throat, which makes me swallow, and oh that hurts like hell but I'm caught in this vicious circle).

I went to see a doctor yesterday. He diagnosed me with larynx-pharyngitis which is basically inflammation of the throat and vocal chords and put me on a five day antibiotic treatment. I have lost my voice which is just fine because it hurts to talk anyway. (My husband said it's the least I've ever uttered and he misses our conversations.)

(My ears just drained) So I'm basically deaf (from mucus accumulation behind my ear organs) and mute. (Luckily I can still see and type!) I haven't been to work since Friday when I came home early. I've been housebound since I came home except for that moment I went to see the doctor. Going on four days ...

I guess I should sleep while the pain is gone. I've had the cold or flu years and years ago but this is by far the worst. I can not wait to get better.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Breaking the Law

Corrin brought up a good point in response to my recent post about the limo tint on my car when she said that Limo tint is illegal in Illinois and Indiana! I wasn't sure about the laws in Nevada so I went to the Nevada DMV, Department of Transportation, and Department of Public Safety to search for the words, "window" and "tint" but came back with nothing that was relevant.

Then I found this website that monitors data feeds from various media sources for the latest changes to the window tint laws in each state. There's some interesting stuff on window tint including 6 Reasons to Tint Your Car--all are applicable to my case.

Then I checked out the Nevada window tint laws and found that:
  • any tint darkness can be used on the rear window and rear side windows (I think that's standard in most states?)
  • but the front side windows must allow more than 35% of light in (my husband just said it's 5% on my car--YIKES!! I'm breaking the law).
He also said I don't need worry, the window tint on the Rabbit may be illegal but doesn't think the law is enforced in Vegas unless I'm driving like a douche bag ([thus drawing attention to my car] okay, is this where that advice about honesty in a marriage apply? Just kidding. I haven't had a ticket in ... eleven years (knock on wood) and, interestingly enough, driving an SUV taught me to be a safer and patient driver. I no longer drive like a bat out of hell in a compact vehicle like I use to be...LOL.)

The past four vehicles my husband has driven in NV have had either a limo tint or the tint was above the legal limit (I think he said 15%) but he has never been pulled over for it so I am not too worried. If I get called on it, I think I can plead for mercy and tell the law enforcement officer, my husband did it (and I'll get him to undo it)!!

NoOOoo ... it cannot be

Sorry I haven't written for the past few days. For the latter part of this week, I haven't been feeling too hot. I was trying to fight a sore throat from what I thought may have been intense breathing through my mouth while I was working hard on the elliptical trainer but this morning became a scratchy sore throat like ... (GASP) the kind you get from the common cold.

I started drinking vitamin effervescent tablets since my suspicions emerged days ago and dousing my food with Tabasco (I think that's my personal vaccine) but my efforts were too little too late.

This afternoon I thought, oh shit, I think I have the cold or flu. I can't tell but I have sore throat and ears, my chest is congested so I have to clear my throat often, and my body aches. We will not be able to go to John and Maggie's for dinner as we had planned. :(

I can't remember the last time I had the cold or flu. I know it has been years. Let me check previous posts ... the last time I recall being sick was April 2005. It has been a while so I guess my streak has inevitably come to an end. All I know is being sick royally sucks my big Flintstone toes! (f$ckin' sh!t c@cks$ck!ng toad, it's not that I don't like being sick. I HATE being sick.)

This Cannot Be

Shit, shit, shit! I hope I am not getting sick. I rarely get sick and hope now is not one of those rare times. My throat has been sore the past couple days and last evening, it got worse turning to a scratchy throat this morning. I have phlegm buildup in my lungs and have been sucking on throat lozenges all day.

This cannot be but I think I'm getting the cold?! I read some prevention tips, "exercise, eat right, wash hands constantly, don't share glasses/spoons, etc." blah, blah. I do all those things and it's not just to avoid colds. And guess what?! I'm coming down with the fucking cold!

SIGH. Just what I need. A set back in my exercise routine and hard-earned progress. I have been doing so good. Going to the gym every day during lunch or after work and staying active during the weekend like walking/hiking trips to Valley of Fire or Zion National Park or I'll do a plyometrics workout DVD at home.

Groan ... why me?! Why now?!


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

It's Dark Outside ...

It appears very dark outside when I look through the limo tint of my car. We finally got it tinted today. The VW Rabbit has so many big windows, anyone close by can see everything inside my car and often times I feel like like I'm sitting in a big glass display.

My husband got a taste of what it felt like "to be on display" when we switched vehicles for a day so he can get the oil changed on my car. He wasn't as concerned about the lack of privacy as he was about the damaging sunlight on my skin and the interior of the car. Yesterday during the drive to Zion National Park, the sun glared down on me the entire time; cooking my skin and so that was the last straw--he took the car in today.

The car looks great and the tint will help save my skin from the harsh Vegas sunlight. Driving the car takes some getting use to though--I feel like I'm sitting in a cave while driving around in broad daylight ... lol.
Bit by bit, we're making changes to the Rabbit and Projekt Peter is going well. These are photos of the car without the tint and before we made any modifications.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Trip to Zion National Park

Who would have thought that a canyon oasis would be just two and a half hours' drive away from Las Vegas? Our trip to Valley of Fire was amazing but Zion National Park is another natural beauty we were glad to have visited this past Sunday.

We took a scenic drive through Zion Canyon, took several hikes to explore the Emerald Pools, walked along the Riverside Walk to the Temple of Sinawava, and hiked to Canyon Overlook after driving through the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel for the best view in the park!

Before we started our journey through Zion Canyon, some delicious food was in order so we stopped at the Historic Pioneer Lodge for lunch in Springdale; just one mile outside of the park. I had a Reuben sandwich and my husband had fish and chips.

This town is so cute and perfectly nestled at the foot of the picturesque surrounding canyon. There are several neat little shops and tons of places for jewelry and Indian art. We would've have loved to browse around but we had a full day of walking ahead of us. Soon enough, we were on our way along the scenic drive.

Our first stop was the Emerald Pools where we took a 2-mile hike to the lower, middle, and upper level pools. Though the path was paved, it was covered in snow and ice until we reached the lower level pools. Water fell from the Middle Emerald Pool above into this lower pool as we walked underneath it along our path to the middle level and upper level pools. I can imagine when the weather warms up, how the waterfalls would cascade down--it was just amazing to be right there, I felt like Indiana Jones on an adventure!

(The rock formations and canyons are just larger than life, I simply couldn't capture the feel of being there in person with my point-and-shoot camera. Looking at my photos would be like looking at a magazine full of food instead of eating and tasting the yummy goodness of real food--they just don't justify the true beauty of Zion Canyon!)



The view from atop the trail was breathtaking when we would stop along the narrow path and look around. The path had long and steep drop offs that neither of us wanted to fall into as several deaths have occurred from people who have fallen.
Middle Level Pool

We really enjoyed the 1.1 mile drive through the Zion-Mount Carmel tunnel. At the time of its completion and dedication in 1930, the tunnel was the longest in the United States creating a direct access to Bryce Canyon and Grand Canyon from Zion National Park. It was pitch black in the tunnel except for the occasional archway peepholes overlooking the canyon every now and then.

When we had reach the other side, my husband spotted the Canyon Overlook trail which was our best hike by far! One mile of narrow, winding, and at times vertical steps to the Canyon Overlook. The 163-foot ascent felt more like we were climbing the Empire State Building or something! But our efforts were well worth the panoramic view where we can see the other points (The Sentinel, Altar of Sacrifice, the West Temple, and Bridge Mountain).






We had a great time hiking and our trip made this extra-long weekend that much nicer. There are more photos on Flickr from our trip but Zion National Park is a place where we think you just have to be there in person to truly appreciate.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

New Song Tracks

I've added several song tracks to the TuneFeed.com player in the sidebar that I found this weekend. There's one bubble-gum pop song and the rest are electronica/dance. Most of these songs are relatively recent (there's one older) but I think the majority of these tracks are absolutely kick-ass motivating songs for a great workout and that's why I love them!

Lucky - Lucky Twice
Justify - ATB
What Hurts the Most - CASCADA
Adagio for String - Tiƫsto
White Lies - Paul Van Dyk featuring Jessica Sutta
Until You Love Me - 4 Strings


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Listening to: Lucky Twice - Lucky (Hot Stuff Short Mix)
via FoxyTunes

Zion National Park


We're exiting Zion National Park and heading for home...

Friday, February 15, 2008

Mr. Mature Chia Pet Turtle

I think Mr. Chia Pet Turtle has finally reached his prime age. What do you think?


He sure looks pleased!
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Valentine's Day in Pictures

  • I discovered Lifesavers Gummies Fruit Explosions during a run to Kinko's to pick up my printed photo projects
  • Havi and Elgy kept me in the kitchen when they were not napping
  • John and Maggie (my husband's parents) joined us for dinner
  • Dinner consisted of appetizers: caprese salad, crockpot teriyaki chicken, veggies and dip, cocktail shrimp, and potato skins
  • We drank wine and ate finger foods while we watched Stranger Than Fiction, starring Will Ferrell (and loved it even though it was my second time watching it in one week)
  • During a break from the movie, we opened Valentine gifts and John opened his birthday gift
  • Drank tea with Maggie's homemade banana cake with caramel pecan frosting (YUM!)
We had a nice night and as always, fun with our wonderful company!

Homemade Jerky Time

I am making beef jerky again. This time, I purchased the beef to cut and trim myself, by hand. I take a lot of pride in the process and the last time the butcher block cut my meat by hand (instead of using a meat cutter), they did not cut the slices evenly and so the jerky doesn't dry evenly in the dehydrator. So I figured this time around I can screw it up myself and then I'll have no one to bitch about but myself!
I can never remember what cut of beef I used so I found this image to help me remember. It was top sirloin. A little pricey of a cut for beef jerky and more tender than bottom sirloin and round which I think are the ideal cuts for beef jerky. I think there's better tear and chew in the jerky if I use the tougher cuts.

Oooooh!! [Drooling] I can not wait to go home and taste the jerky!! This time around, I put brown sugar and red pepper flakes on them.
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