Tuesday, April 28, 2009

"....nobody wants to see pig flu or Bea Arthur"

Travis sent me an email today and this is some of what he had to say...

"The blog is full of news...no body wants to see pig flu or Bea Arthur...we log in to see you and the kids...Pig Flu is not a "Meredith's Musing" is it? It's a downer!"

LOL, I guess it's back to our regularly scheduled programming!

Today I have been so busy with unpacking. The day has flown by and there is still so much to do. We are at my Mom's for awhile taking a break and eating dinner because our kitchen isn't ready for cooking anything yet. I hope that tomorrow it will be up and running for the most part. It's nice to be able to hang out at two places now. I'm still trying to gather all of our things from my Mom's and take it over to the new house... I have been taking it little by little so that I can actually put it where it belongs and not just have it sit in a box until I can get to it. It has made things more manageable to ease into the house.

I'll leave you with a picture of the cuties!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Swine flu...CNN An Explainer

This is all over the news right now and is a little bit scary. It's not that I'm really worried about it at this point, but it has been in the back of my mind for a few days now. When I was at the gym this morning and touching the equipment I was thinking about how germy everything was. I cleaned everything before I used it and after and also used lots of hand sanitizer today. There are 40 reported cases in the US right now, but none in GA at this time. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

April 27th, 2009
Swine flu: An explainer
Posted: 04:36 AM ET
(CNN) — The World Health Organization has called it a “public health emergency of international concern.”

Seemingly out of nowhere, the swine flu virus has spread from person-to-person in Mexico and the United States, triggering global concerns as governments scramble to find ways to prevent further outbreak.

Q. What is swine flu?A. Swine influenza, or flu, is a contagious respiratory disease that affects pigs. It is caused by a type-A influenza virus. Outbreaks in pigs occur year-round.The most common version is H1N1. The current strain is a new variation of an H1N1 virus, which is a mix of human and animal versions.

Q. Does swine flu affect humans?A. While the virus causes regular outbreaks in pigs, people usually are not struck by swine flu.However, there have been instances of the virus spreading to people — and then from one person to another.The only difference is, says the CDC, transmission in the past did not spread beyond three people — as it has done this time.

Q. What is behind the spread of the virus this time?A. Researchers do not know yet know. People usually get swine flu from infected pigs. For example, farmers handling infected pigs can contract the virus.However, some human cases have occurred without contact with pigs or places they inhabited.

Q. What are the symptoms of swine flu?A. The symptoms are similar to the common flu. They include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite, coughing, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Q. How does the virus spread?A. The virus spreads the same way the seasonal flu does. When an infected person coughs or sneezes around another person, the latter is put at risk. People can become infected by touching something with the flu virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose or eyes.An infected person can pass the virus to another before any symptoms even develop.

Q. Why is this spread troubling? A. Scientists are concerned whenever a new virus is able to jump from an animal to a person — and then spread from people to people.When the flu spreads person-to-person, it can continue to mutate, making it harder to treat or fight off.The World Health Organization has said the current outbreak has “pandemic potential,” and has urged governments to take precautions to prevent its spread.The current virus is a new strain of H1N1, which is a mix of human and animal versions. And if it continues to mutate, drug makers won’t be able to come up with vaccines fast enough.

Q. Can swan flu be fatal?A. Just like the regular flu, swine flu worsens pre-existing medical conditions in people. So people with already compromised immune systems can die after contracting it.

Q. But doesn’t the common flu kill more people?A. Yes, common seasonal flu kills 250,000 to 500,000 people every year. But what worries officials is that a new strain of the flu virus can spread fast because people do not have natural immunity and vaccines can take months to develop.

Q. Have there been swine flu outbreaks in the past?A. From 2005 to January 2009, 12 human cases of swine flu were detected in the United States, without deaths occurring, the CDC said.In September 1988, a healthy 32-year-old pregnant woman in Wisconsin was hospitalized for pneumonia after being infected with swine flu and died a week later. And in 1976, a swine flu outbreak in Fort Dix, New Jersey, caused more than 200 illnesses and one death.

Q. What does the World Health Organization mean when it says the swine flu has “pandemic potential”? A. If the virus spreads over a wide geographic area and affects a large segment of the population, it is upgraded from an “epidemic” to a “pandemic.”

Q. How deadly have pandemics been in the past?A. In 1968, a “Hong Kong” flu pandemic killed about 1 million people worldwide. And in 1918, a “Spanish” flu pandemic killed as many as 100 million people.

Q. How can one keep from getting swine flu?A. There are no vaccines available. But several everyday steps can help prevent the spread of germs: Washing hands frequently; avoiding close contact with people who are sick; and avoiding touching surfaces that might be contaminated.

Q. Are there medicines to treat swine flu?A. Yes, the CDC recommends using anti-viral drugs. They keep the virus from reproducing inside the body. And in an infected person, the drugs make the illness milder.

Q. Can one contract swine flu from eating or preparing pork?A. No. Pork and other pig-derived products, if properly handled and cooked, do not transmit swine flu. The flu virus is killed by cooking temperatures of 160°F (70°C).

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Two-time Emmy Award winner Bea Arthur dead at 86

I was saddened today to hear that Bea Arthur died. I LOVED her as Dorothy Zbornak on The Golden Girls.... she was my favorite. I started watching the show when we were living in Gulfport, MS while Travis was deployed. I found it on Lifetime and soon became addicted to it. I know this will sound totally nerdy, but I watched it every night and found it to be so funny and strangely comforting. When Travis got home from the deployment he started watching it too. I have seen all the episodes and can probably still quote some lines from them.

(CNN) -- Bea Arthur, the actress best known for her roles as television's "Maude" and the sardonic Dorothy on "The Golden Girls," has died of cancer, a family spokesman said Saturday.

Spokesman Dan Watt said that Arthur died Saturday morning at her home in Los Angeles, her family by her side.

She is survived by her sons Matthew and Daniel and grandchildren Kyra and Violet, he said.
No funeral services are currently planned, Watt said, adding that the family asked that donations be made to either the Art Attack Foundation or PETA in lieu of flowers.

Arthur's opinionated Maude first appeared on Norman Lear's "All in the Family" as Edith Bunker's cousin, and was so popular that Lear created a spin-off series.

In the '70s, "Maude" was ahead of the social curve, tackling hot topics not usually mentioned on situation comedies -- pornography, race relations and, in an episode titled "Maude's Dilemma," abortion.

That episode spawned demonstrations and generated hate mail for Arthur -- when Maude and husband Walter (Bill Macy) decided on that episode they were too old to raise a child.

But many saw Maude as an enduring icon for women's liberation -- a big deal for the shy, Jewish girl born Bernice Frankel in New York City.

During the Depression, Arthur's family left the Big Apple and opened a clothing store in Cambridge, Maryland. By the time she was 12, Arthur was nearly 5 feet, 10 inches tall, and self-conscious about her height.

But she masked her insecurity with comedy and eventually returned to New York to study acting. Along the way, she had a short-lived marriage she never spoke about, but she kept the last name -- Arthur.

The young Bea Arthur earned a living singing and doing stage work on Broadway and off-Broadway. Critics delighted in her haughty, serpent-tongued deliveries.

Her first television appearance came in 1951 in a long-forgotten series called "Once Upon a Tune," but she quickly made a name for herself with appearances on "Studio One," "Kraft Television Theatre" and "The Sid Caesar Show."

Arthur drew attention in "Threepenny Opera" on Broadway with Lotte Lenya, but she really turned heads in 1964 originating the role of Yente the Matchmaker in "Fiddler on the Roof."

In 1966, Arthur won a Tony Award for the caustic Vera Charles in the play "Mame," playing opposite Angela Lansbury in the title role. Eight years later, she reprised the role in the film version opposite Lucille Ball, but by then she was already well-established as Maude.

Arthur left "Maude" in 1978, making television and some film appearances afterward. She starred in a short-lived series, "Amanda's," in 1983 and then joined the cast of "The Golden Girls" in 1985 with Betty White, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty.

Her role as Dorothy Zbornak gave Arthur her other major television success as one of four older women living together in Florida. (Getty, the youngest of the four, played Arthur's mother). The role earned Arthur a second Emmy -- the first was for "Maude."

Arthur left the show after Dorothy remarried at the end of the 1991-92 season. White, McClanahan and Getty continued for another season on the show, renamed "The Golden Palace," but the show lasted only one season without Arthur.

Arthur entered semi-retirement after the show ended in 1992, returning to television in sporadic guest appearances and appearing at several celebrity roasts. In the early part of this decade, Arthur appeared in several one-woman shows.

Her last stage appearance was in 2006. Her last television appearance was on "The View" in 2007.

Moving, Moving, Moving....

The last week has been crazy busy. I was getting ready for the move, had the move, and am now in the process of unpacking the house. (Oh, and I managed to squeeze in a 20 mile walk.) I REALLY like this house a lot and the community has everything... great schools, a park, a library, shopping, and restaurants which are all just minutes away.

For a couple of days I was calling all of the utility companies to get service established. That was very time consuming. And, with this fees they charge....these companies should be rolling in the dough. I told my Mom that I had gotten spoiled living in Navy housing and not having to worry about utilities. Now I have to get used to living in the real world.

The Elders Quorum from our ward was so awesome to move our stuff in. We had a good turn out and with so many people it made the job easier, although it was still a lot of work. I really appreciate them and their service to our family.

Now, the unpacking has been going 222222222222222222222222222222220 ...oops, thanks Katy! The unpacking has been going well. I get so much more accomplished when I am by myself because when the kids are there they are right under me. So, I am doing it little by little. They have enjoyed seeing their toys they haven't seen for 8 months, it's like new stuff. Me too, I enjoyed unpacking one of my boxes of clothes that never made it here to my Mom's, so it feels like I have some new stuff too.

We are down to a week until Travis comes home and we are all very excited. I have a feeling this week will be crazy busy too with trying to get everything ready for his homecoming. We can retire Flat Daddy real soon.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

20 miles

Today was my longest walk before the marathon next month. Because it was such a long walk, I decided not to go to the same park I usually do, so I mapped out a course in advance in the new area we are moving to. There are miles and miles of sidewalks and it was a nice change. I started at 9:00 and the weather was great; sunny and clear. But it warmed up fast. The high today was 79 degrees.... the warmest day we've had so far and I realize now I should have started the walk 2 hours before I did.

The first 15 miles of the walk were good and I kept a strong 15 minute pace. But, by that time it was afternoon and getting hot and it was becoming really uncomfortable. The next couple of miles were grueling with no shade and the sun beating down on me. My sunscreen had worn off and I could feel myself getting burned. So, I decided to change locations and try to find some shade. I got in the car and drove down the road to a mile stretch that I walked earlier and thought that it would be easy to finish off my walk there. But, the shade was gone and there was just full sun, so I just sucked it up and started walking again. At this point I was pretty tired of the whole walk, and was just trying to finish it. The last 3 miles were pretty miserable and I started to slow down a little.

Overall I felt good and thought that it went well. Only 22 days to go to race day!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Stage 5: Anticipation of returning

Back in October I posted about The Emotional Cycle of Deployment:

1) Anticipation of Departure
2) Detachment and Withdrawal
3) Emotional Disorganization
4) Recovery and Stabilization
5) Anticipation of Return
6) Return Adjustment and Renegotiation
7) Reintegration and Stabilization

Now that the deployment is coming to an end and Travis will be home in a couple of weeks I am really feeling stage 5. Actually, I have experienced the whole cycle up to this point just how it has been described. I guess the Navy has researched this topic enough to know what they are talking about.

STAGE FIVE: ANTICIPATION OF RETURNING. About 4-6 weeks prior to spouse coming home, people begin to feel a sense of anticipation "He's coming home and I'm not ready!"

1) Compile a long list of things still left to do and begin to pick up the pace to get things done.

2) Experience feelings of joy, excitement in anticipation of the spouse's return and being together again.

3) Experience feelings of fear and apprehension. "Does he still love me?" "Will he have changed?" "Will he like what I've done?"

4) Clean house of activities required to fill the void- now- to make room for the man again. Some resentment may be felt at having to give up some of the things and having to change again.

5) Experience process of evaluating- "I want him back but what am I going to give up?"

6) Feel tense, nervous and apprehensive- burying fears/concerns in busy work and activities.

7) Experience a sense of restlessness again but it is generally productive. Some spouses may feel confused due to the conflicting emotions they are having.

8) Put off important decisions until the husband's home gain.

9) Experience changes in eating and sleeping patterns developed while the spouse was gone.

10) Children also go through a range of emotions and react to the temperament of the parent.

I just hope I can get everything done that I want to before Travis comes home. We are down to less than 2 weeks now!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Saturday fun

I love it when the kids are having fun even if it means that they wrestle and step on each other. As long as they are laughing and having fun then I'm all for it!

It all started off with Noah giving Lily a ride on his back....
and it turned into this. But, they were laughing and having a good time.

Carol invited us to Tate's Miracle League baseball game. I'm so glad she did because it was a lot of fun. It's for children with special needs. Each player gets to hit the ball twice and run the bases twice.

Tate hits the ball!

Noah got to be his base buddy and run the bases with him.

Carol, Tate, Noah, and Tanner in the dugout.

It was nice to see everyone working with these kids to make this a fun time for them.

After the game we went to Roly Poly to eat lunch. Yum, Travis we have found a place that you will love! :) We ate outside because the weather was gorgeous.

Mom's neighbor Miss Jo invited us over to roast hot dogs and marshmallows for dinner. Last week after a storm we had there were branches everywhere and she had the kids gather them up earlier this week so they could use for the fire.

Mom and her baby Katy

Katy enjoyed being able to pet Pad-Mae because whenever she tries to pet our cats Harry and Snowbell they run.

Noah helping Lily roast marshmallows. Lily does not like hers unless they are just lightly browned. So it took a few times for Noah to get it right and not burn them. I ate the mistakes because I love burnt marshmallows!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Grandpa Crowell

Travis' grandfather passed away recently after battling a long illness. I know the family is grieving his death, but it is comforting to know that he is not suffering any longer. He was a kind and gentle man. Whenever I saw him he was always smiling and upbeat. He was devoted to his wife and children. We will miss him.

Katy and Great Grandpa Crowell August, 2008 Tifton, GA

Thursday, April 16, 2009

You can't judge a book by it's cover!

I have watched this several times and it's just such a thrilling moment for Susan Boyle. It's just fantastic to watch.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A great walk!

I had a great walk this morning and it felt so good to get outside and get some fresh air. It was overcast and cool, perfect walking weather. I was so happy to be at the track instead of on the treadmill. I walked/ran 5 miles in 1:10:12 and at one point I definitely felt the endorphins kicking in. That is a great feeling.

Tomorrow I am planning to do my long walk, which is 12 miles, in 3 hours. I hope I feel as good tomorrow as I did today....better get some sleep!

Monday, April 13, 2009

So much to do...

I have had trouble sleeping since our plans changed and we are not moving to Japan. I have been thinking about all the things we need to do in the next several weeks and my top priority is to find us a place to live. I have been scanning Craigslist and other websites for rental properties and have even looked at a few. Nothing is quite right yet, there are so many things to consider... I have 3 more appointments lined up this week so we'll see how it all turns out. I'm sure I'll know when I've found the right place.

Last week while the kids were on spring break my training suffered. Because of time, bad weather, and lack of energy I wasn't able to get my long walk in, and what I did do was on a treadmill. So boring! I have felt like a real slacker and I'm anxious to get back outside again and get back to it. Tomorrow after I take Lily to preschool I'm going to do just that.

I really need to go to bed now.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!!!

It was the perfect weather today for Easter, beautiful and sunny. Everyone looked so cute in their Easter clothes, but as you can imagine getting the kids to cooperate for me to take their pictures was no easy task. I thought it would be a good idea to start off with Lily first and then add the others...
Here is our little Lily so pretty in pink.

Here she is coming....

and going.

A new pose with her basket.

Lily taking a moment

OK, Katy is outside now but not ready to stand still. She is walking off just as I was about to take their picture.
The girls with their baskets and Katy is trying to pull her headband off.

Katy didn't want to pose for pictures she wanted to sit on the ground.

Our handsome Noah!

The sweet and beautiful Katy

Lily did not appreciate Noah taking off her hat. She actually wore it all through church and when I tried to take it off just so I could talk to her without it being in my face, she immediately put it back on.

Finally a decent shot where everyone was looking in the same direction and no one was whining or crying
Here's the superstar as we are getting ready to leave for church

Last night after the kids were asleep I began putting their Easter baskets together and I thought about Travis. I felt a little ache of sadness because this is something we would usually do together for the kids. But, I am so happy that we only have about 3 weeks to go until he comes home and we will be able to have our family together again. The first thing we all want to do is a family pile!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter fun with the cousins...

We went up to Mark and Tonia's today to celebrate Easter. Living so close to family is the best! We talked, laughed, played, ate, and had an egg hunt for the kids.

And they're off...

Aunt Tonia showing Katy where to find a egg.
So happy!

Doing one last sweep of the yard to make sure they got them all.


Everyone got lots of goodies.

Sam, Lily, Lucy, Katy, Noah, Tate, and Molly

Katy watching Uncle Mark at the grill.

Hey Tate!

The guys spent lots of time playing basketball and then later a game of HORSE