Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Rough Times

Ted's coughing is better.

His back is a little better but still hurts.

My back is a thousand times worse. I can't believe how much pain I'm in.

He took me to the chiropractor this afternoon, and then we had to go to the hospital for x-rays. Vicodin does nothing, except give me weird dreams.

I just want to go to sleep and wake up when I'm feeling better.

Monday, February 25, 2008

When it Rains, it POURS!

Around noon on Saturday I had to take Ted to the chiropractor for an emergency appointment. He was in absolute misery. Ted asked me to go in with him. His chiropractor is just WONDERFUL! He's often told Ted that if he has a problem on the weekend, to just call him at home, so that's what he did. The dr told Ted that he would meet us at the office.

This was the first time I'd ever been in a chiropractor's office, so I was rather interested in what was going on. The doctor explained each and every thing to me and it was really quite amazing. The table stood straight up, then Ted leaned against it with his feet on a metal plate. The doctor then pressed a button and made the table go to the horizontal position. Watching the doctor use his different tools on Ted's back was really something. Heck, even Ted doesn't get to see it because he's face down on the table!

The doctor even used one of the instruments on my hand so I could see how it felt...68 pounds of pressure per square inch! I learned a lot from that visit and of course commented to the doctor about how I'd never had to visit a chiropractor's office. He said that some people get through life without that visit.

By the time Ted and I left, he was feeling MUCH better!

That night we were watching the movie "Twister" for the umpteenth time and I felt a little uncomfortableness on the right side of my lower back. Within an hour, I was in pain. And it was not fun.

I must have twisted something without realizing it and it has been causing me incredible discomfort and pain since then. By last night Ted was telling me that I really needed to go see Dr. Bill, his chiropractor. I told him I was worried. I admitted to him that the whole idea of that table moving really freaked me out, and there was NO WAY I could handle the movement from vertical to horizontal. Fortunately Ted understood my fear, and said that he would talk to Dr. Bill about it at his appointment today. Then he told me that I wasn't going to be able to go to school today. I told him that I had to go to school because we had a snow day on Friday and my lesson plans weren't finished. He understood, but still wanted me to think about not going in.

And then...he started coughing...and coughing...and coughing...and throwing up from the coughing, over and over again. It's just like the bronchitis was hitting him again. He spent the night on the couch and wandering around, because he couldn't sleep. Of course he was also coughing and throwing up from the coughing.

By this morning, he'd had no sleep at all and I'd had very little. He was in bad shape and I was not doing well either. He said that he was going to move his chiro appt to the afternoon and I was going to go to work. Although I'd been up since 5, I was not able to be ready to leave until a few minutes after 7, because I was moving in s u p e r s l 0 w motion due to the pain. I had a really rough time getting into the car. We have an SUV and I just really struggled getting my leg up high enough to get inside. Eventually it worked. Thank goodness I had a cane with me because it really helped.

I got to work a few minutes late and, as usual on a Monday, it was crazy. The principal was putting on her coat as she rushed down the hall. (Later I found out why...a teacher had to call 9-1-1 for her mom and would not be in today, but needed her bag. The principal was getting it out of her room and taking it to her as the teacher and her mom live across the street from the school.)

I told the secretary that I was only there to do my plans. Fortunately as a reading intervention teacher, they can get along without me if they have to. We're so short on subs that there have been times when they haven't gotten one for me, along with the other reading teachers. HOWEVER, I needed to be ready just in case. When my principal came back and stopped in the room, I told her that I was leaving after my plans were done and she said that she would put the sub who was coming in for the other teacher in my place and just split up the second grade class among the other two second grades. This is definitely an advantage to having such small second grade classes! They each only have 16 students, and 6 were absent in the missing teacher's class today!

Anyway, I got my plans done just as the sub came in. I explained things to her, then left. On my way past the office, my principal said that she was planning on me taking tomorrow off too. It was awful trying to walk down the hall and get into the car again. I've been in a lot of pain since I got home too.

When Ted went to see Dr. Bill this afternoon he told him about my fear of the table and he said that he could treat me without going up on the table. As soon as I heard that I called and made an appointment for tomorrow.

In the meantime, Ted is still coughing like crazy and losing his voice...AGAIN.

Ted's back is bad, mine is bad, and he is getting sick again.

What next??

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Cindi and Ted, Chapter Seven

After we had dated for a little over a year, we needed to prepare for a challenge.

I would be leaving home and going to the main campus of the college branch I attended. Even though it was a little over an hour away, we would be apart.

On one hand, I looked forward to the experience of being away from home and having to be responsible for myself. On the other hand, I was really going to miss Ted a LOT!

We'd spent so much time together that it was going to be very difficult to be apart. However, I knew that we would be able to get through it...somehow.

Although I was going to be going through a big change (a new place to live, new classes, being more responsible for things, just having to grow up, being without Ted on a daily basis), Ted's life was going to change in only one way: I was not going to be right there and he would have to get along without me for a while.

We knew we weren't going to break up. That just wasn't an option. We were way too in love to even consider that. We were going to try our best to stay in contact as much as possible.

Keep in mind that this was L O N G before cell phones and computers. Long distance phone calls were expensive, so we couldn't just call each other at the drop of a hat. We couldn't text each other. We couldn't send email back and forth several times a day. And we certainly couldn't meet on any type of messenger service online.

Nope, we were going to have to rely on writing letters and an occasional phone call! And that's what we did. There was a big blue mailbox one building away from the apartment I shared with a couple other girls. The mail pick up time was posted as 5:00 pm. And I took that to MEAN 5:00 pm. Not 4:59, and not 5:02, but FIVE O'CLOCK P.M.

That means that I had to have my letter to Ted IN THAT BOX by5:00. I didn't want to seal the envelope until right before 5:00 in case I had something else to add to the letter, so I was always cutting it close. I needed to make sure that I had stamps and envelopes all the time, necessary items if you're going to be writing letters!

After one week of school, Ted showed up on Friday to bring me home for the weekend. On Sunday, he took me back to school. We fell into a routine then...every Friday he would arrive, and every Sunday he would take me back. Of course each quarter my schedule changed and there were some times when I could go home on Thursday night, so he would pick me up then. We usually didn't leave home to head back to school until sometime early Sunday evening, so we could spend the day together doing different things.

The letter writing lasted for the entire first quarter. After that, he started calling. Every night, at either 10:00 or 11:00 (okay, so I'm getting older and I don't remember!) he would call the apartment and we would talk about how our days had gone.

To be honest, I think that this year apart bothered Ted much more than it bothered me. I had so many new things going on that I didn't have extra time to sit back and think about him and miss him all the time. He, on the other hand, had plenty of time to think about and miss me.

In April of that year, when I was home for a weekend, we had spent Saturday night with some friends. We were out sort of late when Ted finally took me home. I thought our night was ending, but he had something else in mind.

Around 1:00 am on Sunday morning, April 22, Ted asked me if I would MARRY HIM!!

We had discussed this fairly often, but never "officially" if you know what I mean. It was always "well someday when we get married..." or "when we eventually get married..." or "after we're married..." BUT THIS WAS DIFFERENT!

This was serious now. It was the real thing. A proposal from the man I loved. A diamond RING!

Well, without a second's hesitation, I said YES!!

We were so giddy and happy that we just continued to sit and talk for at least another hour. Eventually Ted left and I went to my bedroom. For the first time I really looked at the ring.

WOW, he sure did a fantastic job at picking out something I would like! Back then they didn't have the fancy bridal sets like they do now. You got an engagement ring, then a separate wedding ring. The ring was simple, yet elegant. I absolutely loved it!

I knew that my mom would come in my bedroom early in the morning to wake me up for church and I didn't want her to see it before I had a chance to tell her about it first, so I took it off and put it back in the box. I slipped the box under my pillow and went to sleep with a huge smile on my face.

To be continued...

My Blog Layout

Paulie, you've mentioned the layouts on my blog and I want to address your questions.

Yes, I changed to the green thing recently. I had seen it on someone's blog and really liked it. I worked on it and thought it was....okay....then sort of changed my mind. I didn't care for it as much as I originally thought I would.

Then earlier this week, I went back to a layout that Blogger has. I'm not all the crazy about it, but it's alright. I guess I just haven't seen anything that really excites me. There wasn't anything wrong with the pink that I had before, but the green one I saw really struck me. I suppose I could go back to the pink, but now I'm sort of on the look out for something different.

I'm sure that you can change things around a lot with what Blogger gives you to work with, but I just haven't taken the time to delve into it too deeply. Maybe that's a project I can work on over spring break!

Anyway Paulie, thank you for noticing and commenting!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Slight Change in Plans

Today I was planning on writing the next chapter in the "Cindi and Ted" story, but instead it's a very BRIEF installment in the "What could go wrong NOW?" story.

Alex and I were both home today as there was no school anywhere in the county due to the snow that we got. Joey is always home on Fridays, as he has no classes on Fridays. Of course Ted was here.

I called the doctor's office for Ted to see if the report came back yet about the blood work and/or the x-ray from yesterday. The nurse called back to tell him that his blood work was just fine but his x-ray report may not be back until Monday.

Then Ted was in another room and moved suddenly, and his back went out. When that happens, he's absolutely miserable. Today was no different. So in addition to wheezing, coughing, being short of breath, and just feeling generally LOUSY, his back is out of alignment.

I suggested that I call the chiropractor for him to see if he could get in today and he bellowed, I mean he nicely suggested, that I wait to see if he could straighten up first. After a couple of hours of moaning and groaning, I told him that I was calling. He said that I probably should.

(Didn't I want to do that originally??)

I called and the receptionist said that he should come up right away. When I told him that, he BELLOWED again, I mean he nicely mentioned, that he needed to get his shoes on. After he did that, I asked if he wanted me to drive him and he said YES.

(Darn it, I should have taken that mind reading class in college.)

Off we went. He was in there for about 25 minutes, and when he came out he said he felt much better. I didn't go in with him because I knew we were in a hurry and I didn't take the time to change from sweat pants into jeans and I also didn't change from my slippers to real shoes. Besides, he and the chiropractor spend a lot of time together and I thought he could handle it, which he did.

When we got home, Alex said that the doctor's office had called and said that his x-ray report came back just fine. It didn't show anything out of the ordinary, thank goodness.

Just a little while ago, he meanly yelled, I mean casually asked in a pleasant manner, for me to help him get up out of the chair so he could go to the bathroom.

(Again, that mind reading class would have come in pretty handy.)

He told me to get the cane out of the closet so he could attempt to stand up and didn't want me to help pull him up. However he did take my hand and it cracked a few times because he was holding it so tightly. Then he used the cane as a base and rolled off the chair onto his knee, then eventually stood up and somehow made it to the bathroom.

He's back in his chair now, thank goodness, and I'm off to finish some of the chores I started earlier today.

I sure hope that nothing else happens because we've had about all we can deal with for now, especially Ted!

Thursday, February 21, 2008


I’ve been a little “on edge” for the past few days. I attribute it partially to the fact that Ted is still, yes STILL under the weather. Another reason is that I had an appointment with my oncologist this afternoon. Even two and a half years after my colon cancer diagnosis, these appointments can really rattle me. Dr. R, my oncologist, is a great doctor and he has always made me feel good when we talk, however, he IS an oncologist and my visits to him are a constant and continual reminder that I’ve had cancer.

Hopefully the time will come when I don’t think about cancer each and every day. I can be doing something here at home or at work, and suddenly it just POPS into my head. I realize that I’m extremely fortunate, having made it through the surgeries and the chemo successfully, but the thoughts are still always there.

I had to take the afternoon off of school because of my appointment. Last week our regular doctor said he wanted a phone call about Ted this week, so I sat down to make the call right after I got home, since I had a little bit of time before I needed to leave. I told the nurse that he is a little better, but is still coughing, wheezing, short of breath, and goes back and forth between feeling a little better and feeling lousy. She told me that Ted would need to come back in so they made an appointment for him for this afternoon.

In fact, our appointments were at almost the same time and in buildings next door to each other. We drove over together and each went our own ways.

My appointment went GREAT! In fact, my oncologist thinks I’m doing so well that he has now promoted me to the “SIX MONTH” visitation schedule!! Just last summer he moved me to the four month schedule and now another move in the right direction! I was so relieved. He went over some numbers from my blood work and was very pleased, as was I. It was a great visit! Of course it started off well when the phlebotomist was again successful at getting blood out of me. She is so good with my terrible veins. I told Dr. R that she didn’t get paid enough and he laughed at that. He was glad to hear that she was so good at drawing my blood. My next appointment is right before school starts in August!!

When I walked out of the building, there was Ted sitting in the car. Dr. K told him that he needs patience as he gets over this. It just takes time to recover from bronchitis. The doc renewed his antibiotic and then told him that he is NOT to go back to work until Monday, March 3, and he gave Ted a letter stating that. The doc didn’t order blood work or a chest x-ray though, and I thought that would have been a good idea.

As we walked in the door here at home, Alex told us that Ted was to call the nurse at the doctor’s office. Apparently the doctor forgot to fax the prescription in and she needed to know which pharmacy we used. She also told Ted that she was surprised that the doc hadn’t ordered the chest x-ray. After he relayed the phone information to me, I called her back and said that this is what I wanted…the x-ray and blood work. She agreed whole-heartedly and said that she would let the doctor know that I had specifically requested that. Not more than 15 minutes later she called back and said that the orders had been faxed to the hospital and we should go right away so they can get the results in the office tomorrow.

Now…if I had been able to go to the appointment with him, this would have been taken care at the time. We could have just gone from the doctor’s office straight over to the hospital, which is in the same complex, but nooooooooo, things had to be difficult.

Anyway, we went back over there, and he got blood drawn VERY EASILY (I’m so jealous) and then was x-rayed. Hopefully we’ll find out if anything shows up tomorrow.

So enough doctor and medical stuff for a while. Tomorrow it will be back to another chapter of "Cindi and Ted!"

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


We've had a fair amount of snow here lately and it's been so pretty at times. I love seeing the big flakes coming down and occasionally it starts coming down fast and thick and it's almost a white out.

But the best part for me is when it's dark, yet everything seems so light as the moon reflects off the snow. It seems so bright.

I also love it when you step outside and just listen. Everything is sooooooo quiet. I know absolutely NOTHING about science, but I do know that there is a scientific explanation for what you hear...or don't hear. Each sound seems so crisp, yet so quiet. I don't know if the sound is absorbed by the snow or if it bounces off the snow, but I just know that it's a type of "quiet" that can't be replicated in any other way, and I really love it.

Seeing freshly fallen snow, with no grass peaking through, no footsteps, and no tire tracks....wow, it's almost indescribable. I love seeing that.

Where we live now is just outside the city limits. Although there are some houses nearby, it's by no means crowded with houses on top of each other. Occasionally we have deer go through our yard to the fields around us. What I would really love to see is a deer bounding through our snowy backyard, with the moonlight reflecting off the snow. I'm sure it would be just beautiful.

Those of you who know me are probably thinking, "What's up with her and this post??" But that's okay...it's just something I've been thinking about lately as we've seen the snow fall, accumulate, blow around, melt, and then start all over again.

Snow....it can be so pretty sometimes.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Daytona 500 Rambling Thoughts

As I've mentioned before, we are NASCAR fans. Sunday we watched the season opening Daytona 500 together; not just the race, but the pre-race stuff too.

Although it was the 50th running of the race, they spent way too much time going over the same stuff again and again, showing the same clips, playing the same interviews. Just once would have been plenty.

Yes, it was sad that Dale Earnhardt died during the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500, but let the man rest in peace now. I think if it's only mentioned a couple of times during each race and pre-race show, that would be fine.

They could have easily cut the pre-race stuff down to an hour...EASILY.

Trisha Yearwood was there to sing the National Anthem. She did a fantastic job of it. She didn't try to doctor it up with riffs and extra stuff. She didn't try to draw it out to a 12 minute song. She sang it straight and to the point, and it sounded wonderful.

Darrell Waltrip...good old Darrell Waltrip...I normally like the guy, but it just wasn't his best day in the broadcast booth as far as I'm concerned. And the "group" command of "Gentlemen, start your engines" is great when it's done by one person, but when you want all the past winners of the race to do it, it just doesn't come off very well.

In the past few years the directors have struggled somewhat. It seems that they can't get to any on-track action quick enough and we just miss seeing things by a split second. Sunday's race was no exception.

I only heard one reference to the fact that Dale Jarrett is retiring after the fifth race of this season, and heading into broadcasting, but a couple of UPS commercials drove the point home. I've always liked Dale Jarrett and think that he not only has done a lot for the sport, but has remained a good role model for the younger drivers.

It did not fall on deaf ears, however, when Dale Earnhardt Jr. once again made it clear that he's having a WONDERFUL time at Hendrick MotorSports. I'm sure that his step-mother Teresa noticed it too. I'm not getting involved in their issues, but Jr no longer drives for DEI, the company his late father built and Teresa now runs. I'm sure that there's more to it than has come out in the press though.

It would have been nice if the race had started at an earlier time. Starting at 3:30 pm eastern time was a little late in my opinion. I had things to do as evening rolled around and wanted to be able to do them without missing any of the race.

Anyway, just a few thoughts on the subject... Ted and Alex will be going to Bristol, TN in a little less than a month for a race weekend. About 6 years or so ago I was fortunate enough to be able to get tickets to the Bristol races for spring and August, and I will probably never give them up! We can never use the August tickets because that's always when school is starting, so we always sell them, and have absolutely NO TROUBLE doing so. A couple of times we had to sell the spring tickets because of things going on here at home, and again had no trouble. But once you get Bristol tickets in YOUR name, you never give them up!

And I won't!!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Cindi and Ted, Chapter Six

Before you knew it, I was beginning my second year in college and Ted was going to continue to work for his dad on the family seed corn farm. I was very fortunate that I was attending a local college branch and would be living at home. Although a lot of my time was going to be taken up with going to classes and studying, however, there would definitely be time left for Ted!

We settled into a routine of seeing each other on the weekends and once in a while during the week. I had some classes in the evenings, so we needed to work around that. On the nights that we didn't see each other, we would talk on the phone after I got home from class.

We seemed to go to a lot of movies back then...in fact, the first movie we went to see was the original "Star Wars" movie less than two weeks after our first date. I didn't understand it then, and I certainly don't understand it now! I'm not a science fiction buff by any means, so most of it went right over my head!

Other than movies, we would either watch TV at his house or my house...spend some time with some friends, go out for dinner...things like that. Just typical date things. As long as we were together, we were happy.

Not too long after I first met his brother Tim, he decided to leave his job in the newspaper press room and begin working on the family seed corn farm. Ted would spend the day working with his brother, so that was nice for the two of them and for their dad.

Throughout that first fall and into the winter we would spend Sundays at Ted's parents' house. In a rather small TV room six adults would watch the Cleveland Browns football games. It was Ted and me, Tim, Patty, and Holly, and Peg and her boyfriend Mac. Ted's parents would usually stop in and say hi, then go on about their business. There just wasn't enough space in that room for anymore people, and they didn't have an TV in the bigger living room. Fortunately Holly was under the age of two and usually took naps during the games. We really got loud though, always rooting our beloved Browns on!

That November, Ted's sister Peg came home from a date with her boyfriend Mac, and showed off an engagement ring! There was now going to be a wedding in the family and something to look forward to. They wanted to get married the following June, so there were plans to make. Although I wasn't in the family at that point, I still got to hear about the plans and that was exciting. Peg even asked me if I would either be in charge of the guest book at the wedding or pass out the programs. Time has played its tricks on me and I can't seem to remember which one anymore!

Things went smoothly for us as our relationship made it through the first holiday season, the first winter, the first spring, and then Peg's wedding in June. By the time our one year anniversary came around we pretty much knew that it was "real" and we were in this for the long haul!

However, a challenge awaited us....

To be continued....

Friday, February 15, 2008

Cindi and Ted, Chapter Five

It's been a while since I've written a chapter in "our" story, so a brief review may be in order.

Ted and I knew who each other was (is that proper grammar? or should it be "were?" whatever...) in high school.

However, we didn't get together until a friend we have in common, Jim, arranged a date for us. We went to a concert with Jim and his date and had a great time. Then we started seeing each other pretty often, getting to know one another.

This is Jim with his young son Justin, taken in the mid '80s.

Check out that great smile of Jim's...and his son is just a DOLL! Jim just happens to be Ron's younger brother. Readers of this blog may remember that Ron and his wife Nora live in Texas, but were here in Ohio in July for his and Ted's class reunion.

Ron and Ted have been great friends since elementary school, and even though Ron moved to Texas, have stayed in touch over the years. Jim moved to Texas first, followed by Ron soon thereafter. They felt that there were more opportunities for them there.

So back to our story....

Ted had told me all about his family, but I hadn't met any of them. About a month into our "dating" we had gone out to a band show in a nearby community. I was still interested in seeing marching bands in action and since I was getting a little older, really enjoyed watching them as opposed to marching in them!

After the band show, he calmly suggested we stop by his brother's house.

OH MAN. I quickly tried to pull up everything I could remember about his brother, from my memory bank. Let's see...he was 5 years older than Ted, married to an italian woman, had a 1 year old daughter, and worked for our local newspaper in the pressroom.

I was getting more and more nervous as we were getting nearer to their house. We pulled up, and there was an additional car in the driveway. "That's my mom's car," Ted said. WHAT?!?! I'm going to meet his MOTHER too??? This might be too much for me. I took a deep breath, and decided that it would be fine...really....well, maybe...then that old adage, "you can only make ONE first impression" ran through my mind.

We went up to the door and walked in. Ted introduced me to his brother, sister-in-law, niece, and.....HIS SISTER! Whew! His sister was using his mom's car and she had stopped by. What a relief!

I sat down and Holly, his niece, was playing near my feet. What a sweetheart! She was absolutely adorable, with a headful of dark blonde curls. She smiled a lot and was so playful. She was as pleasant as could be, and she even let me hold her for a while.

We all talked for a while and I tried my best to listen more than I talked because I didn't want to come across as someone who just yakked all the time (okay, those of you who know me in real life can quit laughing now!). I really enjoyed getting to know these people that were so important to Ted. After an hour or so, Ted said that we needed to get going. When we got out to the car, he immediately wanted to know what I thought of his family. I thought they were great! They were so easy to talk to and it was obvious that they all had good values and morals.

But the REAL question was....what did they think of ME???

I couldn't wait for the feedback on that, but would have to be patient. Ted wouldn't find anything out until after he and his sister were both home and they had a chance to talk. Then he wouldn't be able to tell me anything until the next night.

So the next night when he picked me up, I was a little nervous. We got in the car, and the first thing he said was, "They like you...they really like you...so relax."

Wow, I felt like a gigantic weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

HOWEVER, a bigger challenge lay ahead a week later. On Labor Day he came and picked me up and took me back to his house for a cookout with the family. I would be meeting THE MOTHER, THE FATHER, AND THE GRANDMOTHER.

It took me about an hour to decide what to wear. Afterall, it had to be perfect. I was the FIRST girl Ted had ever brought home to meet his folks. Oh gee, talk about pressure. What I didn't know until later was that until that day he'd kept me a secret from his folks and had told his sister and brother not to say anything about me.

As it turned out, I really enjoyed his parents, and they seemed to like me too. After we ate, his dad got out the slide projector, screen, and slides. I didn't know that his dad was really into taking slides. His parents had also gone on our band trip to Houston, and had taken a bunch of slides while there. We were looking to see if I showed up in any of them. We also saw slides of his parents' trip to Hawaii.

By the time we left so he could take me home, I felt as though I had passed yet another major hurdle...it seemed as though the parents liked me, WHEW!!!

Then time started to fly by....

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone! I have a few comments on that, but need to mention a few other things before I do.

First things first....we had school today, yippeeeee!!!! So Terre, from your lips to our superintendent's ears! It was a rather confusing day, with everyone thinking it was Monday, instead of Thursday, but we'll all get it worked out. It was just nice to be able to go back. There is, however, a rumor floating around that there's going to be snow again next week. That's fine with me, but just don't let it be so much that it will cancel school!

Secondly, Ted Jolie is no more. His first comment this morning was, "I'm afraid to look in the mirror. I may see Jimmy Durante!" (For those of you who don't know who Jimmy Durante is, you'll have to do a little research on your own!)

Fortunately everything on his face is normal sized right now. He's still coughing a lot and can't get a deep breath, but he's feeling a little bit better. If this keeps up, he may get to go to work next week. I think he missed Alex and me today, since we were both back at school, but that's okay. He was able to get along just fine without us.

Now, for Valentine's Day...I hope all of you have a great day filled with love, either from a loved one, a pet, or yourself!

We have friends who were actually married on Valentine's Day, so Happy 27th Anniversary Mario and Vickie! Mario is the contractor who built our house, and two years ago, for their 25th anniversary, he was spending a lot of time here. I was giving him suggestions for a nice gift for her...something along the jewelry line, but he just seemed to have a problem with the beautiful ring I had seen at a local jewelry shop. He liked the idea of the three diamonds (past, present, and future). He liked the idea of it being platinum. He liked the idea that it came from a local shop, and not "the mall." HOWEVER, he wasn't too crazy about the price... $32,000. I really can't say as I blame him! He did end up getting her a very nice necklace at the jewelry shop though, and she was very happy with it.

Ted and I have never made a big deal out of Valentine's Day. We say the requisite "Happy Valentine's Day" to each other and sometimes exchange cards and candy. But we express our love and affection other ways throughout the year. He's so good to me. He does anything and everything I ask him to do. In addition to taking care of all the outside stuff here, he also helps inside. He has never once in all our years of being married, asked me to make dinner. I do that because I want to, although it seems to be happening a little less often these days. I'm so fortunate to have married a man like him.

There's just one teensy, weensy little thing. It took about 20-some years before he asked what my favorite flower is. Now he knows!

I love pink roses!

Happy Valentine's Day!

"Cindi and Ted" will be continued....tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Ted Jolie

Oh my....Ted started some different medication last night and he has had some kind of a reaction to it.

It's really not funny, but I'm finding it hysterical, and to be honest, so is he.

This morning he said, "Look at my lips. LOOK AT MY LIPS!"

I looked at them, then really looked at them. I started to smile and he said, "It looks like I've had freaking BOTOX!"

I told him that his lips looked like Angelina Jolie's. They're all puffy and swollen.

Once we stopped laughing about it, I called the doctor's office, and the poor receptionist was laughing so hard about the Angelina Jolie reference that she could barely talk to the nurse. Anyway, the nurse said that he was to discontinue the new antibiotic and check the pharmacy this afternoon for a different one.

This whole sickness has been so hard on Ted. I feel so bad for him. However, something good has come from this.

He and I both believe in "signs." We are approaching the four year anniversary of his dad's death. My father in law died of lung cancer, and had smoked rather heavily for 60 years. Ted is also a smoker. He tried to really cut back after his knee surgery last April, especially since his orthopaedic surgeon said that if he didn't quit, he'd be dead in 10 years.

Ted did well for a month or so, then gradually started smoking more and more until he was almost back at his pre-surgery frequency. Although I've never smoked, I can completely understand the addiction. Afterall, I'm addicted to food, and I readily admit it.

He's felt so lousy that he hasn't gone outside for a cigarette in over a week and a half. After a couple days, his comment was, "Don't get excited...I haven't quit."

But for the past 4 or 5 days, he's said, "That's it. I'm done with smoking." Thank goodness!!

I know this will be a difficult journey for him, but the boys and I will support him in every way possible. I'm SO proud of him for wanting to do this!

He and I both feel that this is a sign from his dad and he's really taking heed.

Changing the subject here, yes, it's the middle of the day, and I'm writing a post. You know what that means. Yep, another snow day. This is day number SIX, so it will be made up this Monday on Presidents Day. We were supposed to have it off, but will now be in school.

I love the snow, but I'm hoping we can get back to school tomorrow!

(By the way, Ted told me I could write about his lips in today's post. He said that RON would get a kick out of it!)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Snow Day #5

(For those of you looking for the next chapter in the "Cindi and Ted" story, stay tuned...it's coming very soon!)

Well, this is it as far as freebies are concerned. If we have another snow day this week, then we will need to make it up on Monday, Presidents' Day.

We really did get a fair amount of snow. In fact, it's still snowing lightly right now, at 4:00 pm, and it began sometime during the night.

Alex didn't have school either, and even Joey's college classes were cancelled. Of course Ted is still home, still sick.

So sick, in fact, that we went back to the doctor again this morning. He's on a "big gun" antibiotic, as the doctor says, along with something different for the coughing. His coughing is absolutely horrendous, yet he still thinks that he may go to work tomorrow. Nope, not gonna happen. I seriously doubt if he'll go at all this week. He's feeling a lot of guilt about that, but there's no sense in going if he can't do the work. I understand that he "thinks" he's letting everyone there down, but come on...they'll really be upset with him if they catch what he has!

I did some cooking and cleaning yesterday, but today I haven't done much of anything except take Ted to the doctor in the snow. Oh well, that's the way it goes sometimes! I could really handle taking a short nap, but I doubt that will happen.

Pepina has become very attached to me lately for some reason or another. She was sleeping on my shoulder last night, but had to get down when I had to get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. When I came out of the bathroom, there she was, waiting for me on the bed. She tried to settle back into her spot on my shoulder before I could even lie down. She's meandering around my ankles right now as I type. If I leave to go anywhere, she hears the garage door open and close and waits for me at the back door. Such feline dedication...I love it!

Well, it's off to either start dinner...or take a nap!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Snow Day #4

So technically it's really not a SNOW day, but it's a COLD day. There's no snow on the ground, but with the wind chill it was down to about -15 earlier this morning.

We started off last night with a 2 hour delay for this morning. That was reported close to 9:00 pm. By around 10:20 last night, it turned into NO SCHOOL. It was sooooooooo windy yesterday and into last night, and through early this morning. Right now it's up to 8 degrees (above zero) and with the wind chill it's -5.

Here in Ohio we are granted FIVE calamity days that do NOT need to be made up. Anything over and above that alotted FIVE, does need to be made up. We are at number four today. Of course NO ONE wants to finish a school year with any UNused calamity days...they're like a little bonus!

Now we're getting into that gray area though, where we'll still take them, but let's be careful how they're used, because we do NOT want to use more than 5. It's not fun when the beginning of June arrives and we're making up days.

One year we had a terrible ice storm on January 2 while we were still off for Christmas break. The ice then turned to snow and it stayed so cold that the snow wouldn't melt, and the ice was still underneath it. We ended up having an additional TWO WEEKS off because of that! We ended up with a Christmas break that lasted four weeks and it was awful! We also had a few other snow days thrown in throughout the winter and we only took Good Friday off for Easter to make some of them up.

Well today I'm going to try to use my day in a productive fashion. I might clean the bedroom...or I might not. I might do some cooking...or I might not. I might try to straighten up and organize the den...or I might not. I might do some more laundry...or I might not.

Or I might not do anything.

Tough choice.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

NASCAR's Back!

Call us rednecks if it makes you feel better, but WE are NASCAR fans!

Last night was the Bud Shootout, which is the first race of the season. It is, however, NOT a points race. The only drivers who can participate are those who earned a pole position last year, in addition to the previous winners of the Bud Shootout and the old Busch Clash.

Last night was special for another reason too. It was the first NASCAR event since Dale Earnhardt Jr. left the company his late father founded, DEI (Dale Earnhardt Incorporated) and began driving for Rick Hendrick of Hendrick Motor Sports.

This was a decision that Jr. made late last spring. I really think this was a good decision for both sides. Dale Jr lost his father when Dale Earnhardt Sr was killed in a last lap crash of the 2001 Daytona 500. Jr was in his mid 20s when this happened and he has been missing that "father" figure in his life since that terrible accident.

Rick Hendrick lost his son, Ricky, in late October of 2004 in a small plane crash. All eight passengers and both pilots were killed as they were on their way to a NASCAR race in Martinsville, Virginia. Ricky was 24 at the time.

The Hendricks and the Earnhardts were friends and respected each other's talent and commitment to the sport of racing. It was hard for both Dale Jr and Rick to go on after their individual losses, but push forward they did, and with guts and determination, they both have succeeded.

However, Dale Jr felt it was time to move on from DEI and was entertaining offers from several car owners. On that day in early June as I watched the press conference announcing that Jr would be driving for Hendrick, tears slowly slid down my cheeks. (Yes, I cry at almost everything and I felt this was an emotional scene.)

Here was Rick Hendrick, stepping into Dale Jr's professional life, knowing that that he would help Jr make even more of himself in the racing community AND provide the possible guidance that Jr had been missing since his father was killed.

And here was Dale Jr, stepping into Rick's professional life, knowing that he might be the young man that Rick needed to share his fatherly (and boss type) advice with.

They were soon to embark on a journey that would enrich both of their lives, helping each other continually deal with the losses that each had endured. Although neither of them could ever possibly replace the loved ones they lost, both of them would be fulfilling a need for one another. This change though, wouldn't actually take place until the beginning of the 2008 racing season, which essentially started right after the 2007 season ended!

Last night as the Bud Shootout was winding down and they were on the last lap, I couldn't help but think that it would be fabulous if Jr won, not only for himself and his new team owner, but for his late dad and his late friend. As Jr led going into that last lap, I knew it was a long way around that two and a half mile track and a lot could happen. I was just hoping that Jr could hold on and block to keep his position.

Jr won.

Although I've been watching NASCAR for years and I've seen guys excited over winning a race, I don't think I've ever seen anything like what I saw last night. Jr was absolutely thrilled, grinning from ear to ear, and you could hear it in his voice and see it in his face. He and Rick Hendrick must have hugged and shook hands a dozen times in the first few minutes after the race. You could almost hear them thanking Dale Sr and Ricky.

Yep, NASCAR's back.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Sick Hubby

Ted is sick.

He's been miserable for a WEEK now.

So sick, in fact, that he didn't go to work at all this past week...and will probably not go back until at least the middle of next week.

He even called the doctor's office first thing Monday morning, and they had him come over right away. He was there by 7:45 am.

He was diagnosed with sinusitis and prescribed an antibiotic.

He has not had a fever throughout this, but has had coughing bouts that last an eternity. He was coughing so hard that he threw up quite a few times. Then that gave him a headache. When he didn't throw up, the coughing made him dizzy. He has been having trouble catching a breath, and hasn't slept worth a crap in a week. It seems that the only way he can sleep is sitting up, and it has to be almost leaning forward. The recliner doesn't help him. He gets so worn out that he tries to lie down, but that only lasts for about 10 minutes. He coughs all night long, on and off. His ribs ache from the coughing too.

Thursday he called the doctor's office and told them that he wasn't any better and the coughing was worse. They called in a prescription cough medicine with codeine. Ahhhhhhhh...that should have helped. It did, just maybe a tad.

Yesterday afternoon he called me at work to tell me that he had another doctor's appointment for 4 pm. I told him that I would take him. His coughing was bad again and he felt like crap. When I got home from work, he was in the midst of a coughing bout that lasted for almost 2 hours. There was about a 15 second window of silence between each series of coughs. Poor guy.

The doctor said that this "crud" that he's dealing with has not gotten any better and has now moved down to his lungs. He's wheezing a little now. The doctor prescribed prednisone (which I dearly LOVE because it makes my knees feel better!) and an inhaler. Doc also said that these things might make him cough a little more for the first 24 hours, but then should help him feel better.

Well, we're 24 hours into it, and I think we may possibly have turned a corner. At the very least, he's no worse. I consider that an improvement.

He has told me repeatedly that he feels miserable. He has asked me if he’ll ever get better. He has even said that he thinks that he is going to die from this infection.

Most men I know don’t handle being sick very well. And that’s all I’ll say about that.

I know he doesn’t feel well. We can all tell. I gently reminded him that this is fairly similar to what I had last fall, except I had bronchitis. I also told him that he WILL get better. Eventually. Today I told him that when I was a week into my sickness last fall I had a routine appointment with my oncologist. (I’d already been to the regular doctor and was on all kinds of medication.) My oncologist told me that it would take another two weeks before I felt half way decent. He was right.

Today Ted is one week into this, so that means another two weeks of not feeling so great, but slowly improving. I wish we could fast forward to that point now.

I feel bad for him, but I’m also a little selfish:

I do NOT want to get this bug.
I can NOT get this bug.
I will NOT get this bug.

I’m sure the boys won’t get it…that never happens.

Get better soon Ted!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Cindi and Ted, Chapter Four

Ted called me the very next evening. Little did he know at the time that he was committing a HUGE blunder.

My dad does NOT like the phone ringing during dinner. Now come on…how in the world would people know exactly when we are eating dinner??? To him, though, that’s irrelevant. You just do NOT interrupt my dad during dinner.

Ted and I hadn’t mentioned that during our first date, so how would he know that he was calling while we were having DINNER?????

Whenever the phone would happen to ring while we were eating, we always sort of glanced at dad out of the corner of our eye, just to see how he would take it. His usual response was “I’m not here” and then he’d absolutely ignore the continual ringing. Nowadays, the answering machine kicks on after the fourth ring, but back then we didn’t have a machine and the phone would ring…and ring…and ring…and ring…continually.

So when the phone rang this particular time, my dad responded with “I’m not here” and my mom jumped up to answer it so it wouldn’t interrupt my dad any longer than necessary. Then she looked at me and nodded. I ran to my bedroom to pick up the phone so she could sit back down.

It was Ted. He told me that he had just gotten a new car that day and asked if I would go for a ride with him. I told him that I would love to go, but not to pick me up until around 7:00.

When I returned to the table, of course I was asked who had called and I told everyone that I would be going for a ride with Ted later on. I could hardly contain my excitement, but knew that this was NOT the time to start gushing.

After dinner, I cleared off the table and rinsed the dishes. I went to take a bath and get ready, knowing that my mom would be washing the dishes, but I would still need to dry them before I left. Yep, I had “chores” and the only way to get out of them was…well, there really wasn’t a way!

Ted picked me up in this shiny, red car and was such a gentleman. As we walked to the car, he opened the door for me (he had also done that the night before when we went to the concert) and off we went.

We spent at least four hours just driving around on that summer night, talking and getting to know one another. And yes, I did mention the “no phone call” time, hahaha!

Over the next several months I learned about his family, he learned about mine. I found out about his friends, he found out about mine. We shared our thoughts on current events and dreams for the future.

We had a wonderful time during those months, including the first time he took me to his parents’ house…

To be continued...

Friday, February 1, 2008

Cindi and Ted, Chapter Three

Being that this was my first concert AND the fact that I was pretty naive (I still am!), I was in awe of the whole atmosphere. The venue was huge and we walked around a little, then found our way to our seats.

There were some people milling around with bright yellow "STAFF" t-shirts on and I had no idea what they were doing or who they were. I asked Ted and he patiently told me that they were people who were showing some people to their seats and making sure that no one went where they weren't supposed to go....in other words, they were security.

As the time for the start of the concert drew near, I could faintly smell something in the air. I casually mentioned that it smelled like burnt pork chops. This was NOT Ted's first concert, so in my opinion he was the resident expert. He quietly mumbled something.

I said, "What?"

He once again mumbled something, but a little louder this time.

Again, I said, "What??"

Then I heard him clearly...."it's pot."

My eyes must have bugged out of my head because he chuckled just a little.

Okay, so for the first time I smelled pot. We still laugh about that.

The concert began and it was great. Although I didn't know many of the songs, I really enjoyed seeing the bands play LIVE. We had a great time.

All too soon it was time to head home. Not too long after we got on the interstate, Jim and his date were asleep in the backseat. Ted and I just talked for the next hour and 10 minutes until we dropped off Jim's date, then Jim.

I really had a good time...the concert was fun, and Ted was a very nice, polite, and kind person. I was sooooooooooo hoping that he would ask me out again.

When we got to my house around 1 am, he walked me to the door and asked if he could see me again...WOW! I was thrilled! But of course I couldn't lay all my cards out on the table, so I simply said, "Sure, that would be great."

And for the most part, that ended our first date.

After I went inside and got into bed, I couldn't fall asleep. I was going through the entire evening in my mind, minute by minute, step by step.

Yep, it was a nice night, and hopefully there would be more nice evenings to come.

Little did I know...