Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day

It's been over a week since I've written. I haven't read the blogs I've followed nearly as much as I usually do, or as much as I'd like to.

What's up? you ask, if you haven't completely given up on me.

The first thing is Facebook Farming. I have TWO Farm Town farms and two Farmville farms. I don't spend as much time with the Farmville farms, but I've recently added rivers to both of my Farm Town farms, and the redecorating took some time. In order to afford all the crap amenities on my farms, I've been "working" for other farmers. I go to the market, tell them I give a great plow job and get hired. Who knew? It's interesting that my avatar that looks a little sultry (in an anime kind of way) gets more work from male avatars, while the motherly one gets work from older women looking avatars. Sad, pathetic, and amusing.

In real life, my son, daughter-in-love, and two grandchildren are still living with us. Life is better, though because they are really pitching in to clean & have moved from the living room to Mark's bedroom. Mark sleeps on the living room couch, but he isn't there all day.

Mark is attending and loving the multi-age inquiry-based public charter school I helped start and of which I am chairman of the board. School is great, school business is stressful. I am involved (as board chair) in a grievance hearing. I can't talk about that, which is part of the reason I haven't written. Almost anything I might write could be construed to be related.

We joined St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal church, where I have been working as a bookkeeper. Bob hooked up with both the traditional choir and the Praise choir (guitar) and it was all she wrote. Since St. Michael's is a small church, people notice if you join the church and especially the choir. It is very gratifying.

I appreciated their support (as well as the support of all my other family and friends) last week when I didn't have a heart attack. I did have chest pains that weren't horrible but didn't go away with my favorite standby Alka-seltzer. The pain radiated into my left jaw and arm. I'm embarrassed to admit that I spent the better part of the day reading WebMD & other articles about women's symptoms of heart attacks before going to the hospital. Well, not that embarrassed, since I didn't have a heart attack.

I had several EKGs and blood tests over night, then an echo cardiogram & nuclear stress test. My lung X-ray showed it wasn't pneumonia and all the other tests showed it wasn't a heart event. A cardiologist mentioned sleep apnea and I told him I was pretty sure I had that, since my husband says I snore like a drunk in a midnight choir and that sometimes I quit breathing. (Don't ask why I haven't had THAT checked out. I probably can't get past the part where I snore indelicately.) Anyway, he said the couldn't test me for that while I was in the hospital, I'd have to do it as an outpatient. Since sleep apnea isn't an emergency, the insurance company won't pay for the test even if you are already in the hospital. I sort of thought, then can we skip the nuclear stress test and let me go home? I will wish I'd said it when the bills come in. Even with fine insurance, we'll end up paying at least $1000. Granted the whole bill will probably be 5 or 10 grand.

I still have chest pains, headaches, and extreme stress. It's a little better since my kids have decided they don't want me to drop dead and have started picking up after themselves. This is comforting.

I am reading four books right now.

The Seven Outs by Brian Carpenter. It is a very practical guide to strategic planning designed for public charter schools and their particular needs. It's going to be very helpful unless it's moot & I get voted off the board next week. Oh well. Since I believe that the school is greater than the sum of its parts, I believe it will survive.

I read this book in the cardiac unit of the emergency room, so you can see it's an easy read, but still packed full of important information.

The Spectrum by Dean Ornish. Dean says he's been misunderstood and you can eat good tasting food that is good for you. And he says that not everyone needs an extreme diet, any movement toward healthy on the spectrum of eating well, exercising, and meditating helps.

I got this book after a discussion with my counselor about the food in the cardiac unit. I said, "I have always said that it is impossible to ruin green beans, but they did it." The beans were fresh (I think since there were still stems in them), and neither overcooked nor undercooked. They were just cooked. In water. No spice, not a drop of oil or butter or butter-like-substance. They tasted like the smell of newly mown grass. A nice smell, a crappy taste.

My counselor told me that Dean Ornish had come to that hospital and taught everyone how to cook with spices and herbs and still keep it healthy, even for the extreme diet needed to repair an unhealthy heart. I looked him up on the Internet and found the Spectrum website, then checked out the book from the library. I recommend the book, but my advice is that if you already know anything about health & nutrition, you may want to skim the first few chapters. But don't skip them, because there were some surprises, for me at least.

Teaching Godly Play by Jerome W. Berryman. I am helping out with the new Sunday school classes, which are Episcopalian Montessori. I'm looking forward to this. I think I'm a door keeper, which appears to mean I welcome the kids, send the parents off without hurting their feelings, and point the kids in the right direction. I won't be alone & the kids are 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders.... a perfect age in my opinion. Old enough to talk and think for themselves but too young to feel they have to suggest improvements in my dress or character.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith. What can I say?

Today being Labor Day, I plan to labor. I have accounting to do for two of my part-time jobs. I'd also like to get the pile of junk on my carport sorted: trash, keep, give-awy, sell. I actually pulled something out of the pile and put it to good use in the house. Maybe that was a good start.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend.


annie kelleher said...

its so nice to see you posting at all with all you have going on!! thanks for stoppng by and catching up!!!have a wonderful labor day and i hope all works out well... xox.... annie

Captain Dumbass said...

I just started Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. Love it!

Grilled mac & cheese:

Kim said...

I'm so glad it wasn't a heart attack. I've been busy too and just starting to catch up. I have just the one farm on farmville and I hate to say but I spend way too much time there. I'm glad the kids are pitching in to help now. Take a few minutes for yourself and breathe.