Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Even though Leonie is home in Germany....

I still have to get my blueberries picked!  Lee went with me this morning for an hour or so.  We got almost 13 lbs.  That cost $13.40.  W00t!  Afterward we stopped at the store & they had little Starbucks samples  This is probably the right size for the calories, huh?  :)

The title is because Leonie REALLY liked eating Oregon blueberries :)

Birthday photos

We're on the email list for Red Robin.  We all get a free birthday burger when it's our turn.  Plus a dessert & a song.  Connor has come to expect this, and it works for us :)
We got there a little late since Trevor had taken Lee to see "Inception," and they only got home at 7:30ish.  We stopped at the store to get a cheesecake, but we were too full from dinner to eat it (we had some today tho).  I think it was a nice birthday.  He got to relax after 5 days of strenuous work at the new job :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Happy 49th Birthday, Lee!!

Thursday's Child has far to go...

I think he's there now :)  Lee is in better shape now than he's been since we got married.  He's just landed a fantastic job from out of more than 4,000 applicants, and he has more energy than a lot of his much-younger co-workers :)

I'm extremely proud of my husband for all the hard work he put in to losing his weight, and the phenomenal job he did with his interviewing at his job.  I knew he could do it, it was just a matter of time.  Things had to line up right and it looks like they finally have.

Even though times have been tough with this economy and all, Lee has never lost his sense of humor, and there is always a lot of laughter around our house.  Our kids are doing well -  Connor is very happy in his school & continues to improve, Diana is becoming more independent and enjoying her college life, and Trevor is also maturing and figuring out he's responsible for himself & that his choices affect what happens later.  I'm very optimistic about our future!

All this & Lee looks hot in his new blue jeans!  This is going to be a good year :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Big Grocery Shopping

A long time ago, I don't even remember how long it's been, Lee created a 2-week menu based on foods we like that the kids will eat too (for the most part).  We have one menu for summer/warm weather, and another for winter/cold weather.  It really just revolves around the use of the oven for cooking, as we don't have air conditioning right now.  And more salads in summer too.

In any case, it's two weeks of family dinners.  Then Lee figured out how much of everything was needed to eat for two weeks, and he created a shopping list.  The list has EVERYTHING necessary, so the first thing you do after printing the list is go through the pantry and fridge & eliminate things you don't need to buy on this trip (condiments, baking supplies, etc.).  This does save us from running out of flour suddenly, and you also notice if you're getting low & should be looking for bargains.

Trevor helped me check what we already had, and then Diana joined me for the actual shopping.  My arm is still healing, so I needed a helper for lifting and moving things.  Usually we start at Grocery Outlet, which is exactly what it's called.  There are often off-brands, but there are also Canadian and European items available for a lot less than if we got them at Safeway, for instance.  We usually stick with brands we know anyway.

After Grocery Outlet, we go to the big warehouse-style store here called Sherm's Thunderbird.  It's only in Southern Oregon, and they also have very good prices, but more in line with the typical grocery store.  If there's anything still missing from our list, we'll go to Fred Meyer (again, NW store) or Safeway.  Usually we're done after Sherm's.

Today, Grocery Outlet actually had 90% of the list.  Diana & I were in the store, with Diana reading the list from the clipboard (it's in a spreadsheet format) and I was getting the items.  A lady walks by, and does a double take to see the list.  "Wow!  That's really organized!!" she says.

I answered with, "That's for our two-week menu that my husband created.  It's about $200 for a family of five for 2-3 weeks.  You always have what you need on hand, and it really saves a lot of money."

She responds, "I've always wanted to do that and have never gotten around to it.  I don't suppose you'd be willing to email me that?"

I'm like, "Sure - give me your email address.  I'll send you the menu and the list.  No problem!"

She wrote her info down & was really happy.

Wait'll she finds out it's a low-cal vegetarian menu - I forgot to mention that!  Oops!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Kinda Weird

For the longest time, at least since the advent of instant messenger & email, Lee has had ready access to a computer at home & at work.  We would email each other during our breaks with questions, suggestions for dinner or just a little "how's it going today?" kind of thing.  It would take me longer to correspond this way, since I work with kids rather than in front of a computer most of the day.  The actual time for the message was less than a phone call, though.

Lee started working full days yesterday.  There is no computer access as he's working on putting together a store for the grand opening on August 11th.  Even once he's doing his regular job, he won't have any computers other than the ones he's trying to sell.

It's very odd to me to not have any access to my husband during the day now.  I know this is pretty normal for most other people, but it's not how it's been for us.  Yes, he can call, but if I'm out doing stuff or in the yard, I'll miss it & just have to hear the message.  And once I'm back at work, that's not an option during the day at all.

Don't get me wrong - I'm totally thrilled he has a full-time job at a fantastic company, and all kinds of opportunities for advancement.  I just kind of miss the electronic contact.

I'm thinking our weekly date after our TOPS meeting will be more date-like now - it's a good trade :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

For Carolyn & Co.

See her cute paws?  And the last picture she's smiling :)

Here's the deal...

Trevor & Diana live at our house for free.  They are both old enough to move out & live on their own.
To stay at our house rent-free, there is some work required.  They have house cleaning & dishes chores daily.
When they aren't in school, they are also required to do yard work.  They are not big fans of yard work.  The deal is if they get jobs, they can hire other people to do their yard work.
The dog just watches :)  But she has pretty paws because she just got groomed :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I got a call last night from our HR department.  My SAIF claim had been denied.

Most people will be surprised to hear this.  I think it goes back to the doctor I saw at the Urgent Care.  For whatever reason, he doesn't like worker's comp claims.  I had to press him into letting me get an MRI, and then the ones he ordered didn't even use the dye to check for things like a tear in the rotator.  His wording was, "Well, that's expensive."  Why the heck should he care?  If worker's comp wasn't going to cover it, I still have good insurance - I was in pain!  This doctor was also pretty rough on my arm and kept telling me to "relax" even though I had no control over the stiffness in the shoulder.  I could NOT move it on my own.

Yes, it took me a while to file a worker's comp claim.  I fully believed my shoulder was bugging me because of muscle tightness brought on by stress.  I work in a stressful environment, and about this time we learned Lee would have his hours dropped to 20/week AND we found out Trevor had screwed up at college and was likely going to lose his financial aid - so yeah - I was stressed!

I tried 4 sessions over 4 weeks of acupuncture.  A little relief, but then I got worse.

Then I went to the chiropractor.  Again, a little relief, and then it got worse.  At the last visit, he really manipulated things around, and it was very painful.  At this point, he said he couldn't do anything more for me, as I probably had something wrong in the joint.

I had to think really hard to remember what I might have even done to injure my shoulder.  During my work day, I wasn't doing much physical activity, other than morning stretches & carrying stuff like my bag/purse and stuff like that.

At home, I really only ride the exercise bike, probably to the detriment of my arms, since I took the arm attachments off to be able to use the bike while I play World of Warcraft at my raised computer desk.

I finally realized I HAD hurt myself on a day at school when we were moving books & computer equipment back to the warehouse.  We knew we weren't going to get any other students, and we didn't need all the extra stuff.  We also knew we'd be changing locations and everything would have to be moved anyway, so why not get a jump start on that?

The actual injury occurred when we were lowering a heavy box into the back of my van.  The lifting technique was all good, it was the lowering & releasing when I felt a twingy-pop thing in my left shoulder.  I shrugged it off though, and I seemed to be okay.  Well, soon after that the tightness started, and just kept getting worse, no matter how much I babied my left arm.

So that's why I even went to the Urgent Care in the first place.  I should have gone straight to a physical therapist, but I think I needed to see the regular doctor first for worker's comp anyway.  Once I had the MRI's done & the doctor saw them, he told me there was nothing wrong with my arm.  I still don't get it.

He did prescribe me some meds, which I used while we were in Canada.  Once we got home, I got a referral to a physical therapist.

Flash forward to today.  Physical therapy is working.  The therapist thinks it's a tear which caused my shoulder to freeze up.  He thinks the chiropractic manipulation sped up the 'freezing' process, which he now thinks is already on the 'thawing' phase.  So I'm doing my exercises & I still intend to see the orthopedist next week.

On the claim - I know I can file an appeal.  I did find out, however, that I can still get sick leave, since I was contracted to work over the summer in the special needs room - where I can't work since it's not safe for the kids or for me to lift them.  I have a substitute in place, and I have lots of sick leave hours, so that's all good.

I have also gotten a couple of checks from SAIF before they denied my claim.  I just put them into my savings account, in case they might ask for them back.  I don't know - I've never dealt with worker's comp before.  I found out to appeal, I need to hire a lawyer.  It's supposed to be mostly covered, except the stuff like phone calls & travel expenses & such.

Now I'm wondering since I can use my sick time, and I've got insurance, if I should appeal after all.  If the medical costs come out to be about what I got in the checks from SAIF, it's a push anyway.  I have 60 days to file the appeal.

I'm going to wait until after I see the orthopedist before I make any decisions.  While my shoulder seems to be doing better with the physical therapy, I still want to be sure I'm expected to completely recover before dropping the worker's comp completely.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Diana @ Day Camp

Every year, there's a week-long Day Camp for Girl Scouts during the summer.

I can't recall Diana ever being a camper, because it was kind of spendy to go.  The girls are there from 9:00 to 4:00, and they get a t-shirt and lunches + snacks.

Diana DID participate for a number of years as a PA (program assistant) to a camp unit leader (like a counselor).

Now that she's graduated from Girl Scouts, she's helping out as a unit leader, herself.  She gets to have PA's to help her with her group of girls.  This year, she has the Kindergarten/1st graders.  She started with 10 girls, but they may split her group up.

Either way, I'm happy she's volunteered to do this again.  I know it's a lot of work, but it's also a great experience for her, plus it really helps the girls in our area.

Oh - She designed the logo for the t-shirts as well.  :)

Go Diana!!

Facebook albums - Wyckhouse visit

Carolyn & I both took a lot of photos while she was here with her family.  The links below are to the facebook albums I created.  Let me know if you can't view them - they should be shareable.

Graffiti 2010

Carolyn & her family visit

Monday, July 05, 2010

Our last day in Canada.  We had a nice dinner with Mami & Connie's family & then we went to Cindy's house to visit a while.  

It was a fun visit :)

Canada 2010 - 8th

We got to go & see Aaron get 'graded' for his green belt.  He did very well, and was able to answer all the questions, and also knew all his moves required. Master Dan asks a lot of historical questions, so his students know why they do their exercises when they learn how to to them.  I think it's great to have a discipline like this while growing up.  

Canada 2010 - 7th

Lee, Diana & I went to our favorite Indian food restaurant again :)  It's called Chutney, and our waiter reminded Lee & Diana of cousin Daniel.  We got him to take a photo with us, but he made a weird face, so it's hard to see.  He had similar mannerisms :)

The food was outstanding, as usual :)