Taking the Scenic Route

Gettin’ Old here

9th February 2011

Gettin’ Old here

I am pretty sure my next glasses are going to be bifocals. I keep catching myself holding things farther away so I can read them.

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15th January 2011

Happy Birthday To ME!

The first birthday in many, many years that we celebrated on the actual day.

We met my parents and Steve & Nora at Il Vincino, my favorite spot, for my birthday dinner.  It was, as usual, awesome.

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22nd October 2010

No Cross, No Crown

I took a terrifying leap and got back into theatre after a twenty year absence.

From a blurb I found online:

You know Karen Robu from her theatre work in Wichita since 1993. She now presents her first written play about the life of Antoinette Brown Blackwell, first female ordained minister in the United States and a Suffragist who encounters other historical figures such as Lucy Stone, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, and Fredrick Douglass as she fights not only for the right for women to vote, but for the right for a woman to stand in the pulpit. A wonderful time for this play to be presented since this year is the 90th anniversary of the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote.

I played a very minor role, Ernestine Rose, a feminist, atheist and orator.  It took me a bit to get my footing on the role, and I realized how out of practice I was at the craft, but I did finally get t0 the point that I wasn’t humiliated at the performance.  I wish the run would have been longer because I never got to that magical point in front of an audience that I was just beginning to achieve in front of the mirror at home. I know the next time I do it, I should be at that point before I get in front of the audience.   But, at least I wasn’t mortified at my performance, and that was a real possibility at some points along the way, especially as I was struggling with the accent.  I had to lip sync some of the music because I am a contra-alto/tenor and, in an all-woman’s chorus, with everybody else being a professional singer except for me, my voice wasn’t going to blend in the higher ranges.  In the songs where they just wanted it belted out (like when we were “marching”), non-perfect voices was the aim, so I could contribute heartily in those songs.

It was so good for me to do this.  It was sheer terror at times, especially when the music rehearsals started and I realized the level of the musicians, and, despite being held in a church, most of the actors where professionals, and it is a good thing I didn’t have access to their bios before I started, because I would have been even more intimidated than I already was.

In the end, it was an awesome experience, and re-awoke my passion for the stage.  I should have been doing this all along and can’t imagine why I haven’t been.  It fills a place in my soul that I didn’t realize was empty.  And next time will be easier and better because I finally figured out *how* to do it again.  (how to memorize, how to analyze the character, how to find my rhythm). I wasn’t, by any means, the best actor on the stage, not even close, but I felt like I was able to hold my own.  It was an absolute honor to be able to perform in such awesome company.

It was also fun to be in costume again.  And yes, that is my real hair.  My real hair, in a seriously unflattering style, with a ton of product making it feel like Barbie doll hair.

After the show, Zora (who had been downstairs in the nursery) was fascinated with the costume.  It was a very hot and heavy dress, made out of upholstery material, even the fringe was upholstery-like.  There were copious “Scarlett O’Hara” comments.  Unlike most stage costumes, this one was NOT designed for quick changes.  I think it took almost as long to get on as my wedding dress did.  I did discover that hoops are much more comfortable than crinolines though, and much quieter, as long as you don’t sit wrong and flip the whole skirt up into your face.  lol.   Learning to walk so I am not swinging like a bell was a trick too, especially since it was easier for me to wear heels than to shorten the costume.

After the show Zach told me that during the intermission the people in front of him pulled out their program, looking specifically for my character.  Upon reading the bio again, they commented to each other that “it was amazing that they found a Polish actor here in Wichita”.  I guess I nailed the accent.  Yay me.

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26th June 2010

playing with photoshop

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18th February 2010

Pity Party for me.

Our external hard drive, where we store ALL of our pictures (and the scrapbook pages I have spent hours on) and all of our videos, including heirloom pictures that we scanned in and no longer have access too, FAILED. It is a mechanical issue. (most likely a spindle motor failure…sad thing is, the very first Google result when you type in the problem is our exact drive.) The data is most likely still there, but it costs between $1200 – $2500 to recover it and nobody does it locally. The cheapest we have found so far is a place where we would pay to send the drive to them for them to diagnose how much it will be and charge us $65 just to tell us what the total bill would be.

Zach has been looking for a way to fix it, but so far, it looks like it requires a clean room/anti-static room to work on it, so it probably isn’t something we can do ourselves, especially since the data is so precious to us.

I have been sick for days. My fever returned about an hour ago, which means that my once a month, MUCH needed mom’s night out (autism support group meeting) is out. I haven’t been able to go to the gym for over 2 weeks now due to illness. We have no insurance (for the adults) since dh lost his job. We have very little money.

I am so sad. There are are around 15,000 pictures on there, not including the scanned photos, videos, and scrapbook pages.

I know there are worse things, but this sucks.

Any advice on data recovery related stuff would be welcome.

posted in Health, Me, Tech issues | 1 Comment

16th February 2010

Sick days

I was down for the count for a good week.  Fever, chills, massive sinus and chest cold, but thankfully no gastro issues.  Doing the low carb thing meant that my usual sickness stand by, chicken noodle soup, was out, so I was in search of something with a similar feel that would be healing.

I ended up taking some chicken/bone broth, a bunch of frozen chopped spinach, several cloves of garlic, then streaming in some eggs at the last minute for some awesome egg drop soup.  This, along with lots of hot tea, an avocodo and some oranges became my menu for the week.  It was a good choice.

I feel much better now.  I do have a lingering cough, but from my understanding it may hang around for a good month or two if it follows the trend of everybody else who got knocked over with this bug.  Last night was my first night back in bed with the rest of the crew and I didn’t have any coughing fits, so I think I am on the mend.

So far, Zach hasn’t gotten sick at all.  Zane was sick the day before I was, never had a fever, and was better in two days.  Zora started coughing earlier this week, but hasn’t progressed to a fever, so she might luck out too.  I am SO glad that it hit me harder than the kids.

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7th February 2010

Girly things

I have not really worn make-up, except for special occasions, since my last day of work when I was 5 month pregnant with Zane.  I was in hotel management and wearing make-up and being really well put together was a requirement of field, so I spent over a decade having to wear make-up every day, whether I wanted to or not, and when I was finally able to live a life not worrying about being written up for not having on a full face of make-up and pristine clothes, I didn’t wear make-up again and happily settled in to comfortable clothes and Birkenstock shoes.

I hated make-up, partially because I had a bump on my nose and some skin tags near my eyes that made it really difficult to make it look good. (foundation seemed to highlight the things I hated instead of camouflage them).  Well, the same day I had dental hell last week, I also went to the dermatologist and got the nose bump and most of the skin tags taken care of (I just couldn’t take it any more on my eye area…I got the main ones on the edge of my lids that interfered the worst, but I wish I could have handled it and had all of them.  I was just hurting too bad).

Since my nose is healing, and I have felt more like “taking care of myself” than I have since, well, since I was in my early 20s, before/at the beginning of the weight gain, and have actually been looking at things like skin care and make-up and other girly things that I haven’t ever really cared about.  (or, only cared about in my dating years because you were supposed to do those things.)  It was always for external reasons before, and when I was able to, I refused to do it for other people.  However, lately I have been wanting to do it for myself, which feels a little weird, but maybe it is a part of getting older or something.

Anyway, I have been looking into skin care stuff and never realized how much stuff is out there, and how much stuff I can’t fathom spending big money on.  Then I found out about Aldi’s skin care products.  They have a line called “Lacura” that has actually won awards and beaten out the high end stuff in testing in Europe.  It is made in Germany (Aldi’s is a German company) and although it is pushing the budget, it is cheap enough that I decided to give it a try.  So, for the first time since my teens, I went out and bought cleanser, toner, moisturizer, eye cream, skin masks and body lotion from the line.  I also picked up bath gels stuff, which I never get,  and shampoo (I was out of shampoo) while I was there.   Tonight I realized that I haven’t done anything beyond shampoo and soap for nearly 20 years, and it felt really nice to pamper myself.  I’ll let you know how I like the stuff, but I already know that I like how I feel after taking a few minutes after my shower to indulge some girly-ness.

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28th January 2010

Ouchy, Ouchy, OUCH!

I can’t believe I am even posting a picture today because I look as rotten as I have looked in a long time. I have an excuse though. My mom came up today (thank you mom) so I could have a driver, so that I could Valium. I started my day at 7:30 this morning with scaling and planing 3/4 of my mouth, with Valium on board and many shots (I am really hard to numb and have always had really sensitive teeth).

After that, I took a break to go to the dermatologist. There I found out that my feet thing is mostly likely Schamberg’s disease, which basically just means I have hyperpigmentation on my feet, like my dad and his mom. Lucky me. (it doesn’t hurt or itch, it is just embarrassing) I also found out my mole/brown spots are not cancerous, but I will probably keep getting more as I age (yay me) and had the giant witch’s mole in the middle of my nose taken off, along with a skin tag that grew a skin tag near my eye. Both required MORE shots to do, and I gotta tell you, a few shots in your nose would have been the suckiest thing I have experienced, had it not been for the rest of the day. She took as many skin tags off of my eyelids as I could handle…those are without any anesthesia because it would have cause my eyes to swell shut and bruise horribly. I got the major ones that cause me issues.

Then a few minutes to try and spoon a little soup into my mouth. I only had the lower left corner with any feeling, so it was a messy proposition. Even mom couldn’t keep from giggling when I had to use my fingers to help my lips make a seal around the straw to take some more Valium.

Then back to the dentist for the true marathon. I was in the chair for three hours, getting fillings. I have a serious problem with both scraping sounds and the sound of the drill, which is a big part of why I needed Valium, but I also combatted it by cranking up my Mp3 player loud enough to compete with the drill. (the assistant told me she liked my music afterward. lol)

As I have said before, it is really hard to get me numb enough, and I stopped counting the shots somewhere around 15…there had to be at least 2 dozen by the end of the day, counting everything. I was SO THANKFUL to be taken seriously. I have had dentist not believe that I could feel anything and keep going, which is why I developed such a dental phobia. He was awesome. His staff was awesome. They did such a good job on matching the color that if I didn’t know where every cavity was (due to photoshopping my teeth in pictures that I like, but are ruined by my ugly teeth), I would never be able to see it wasn’t my natural tooth. I literally cried when I saw my teeth in the mirror at the end. (granted, I had to use my fingers to get my lips out of the way. lol).

Then I finished my marathon by having that last quarter of my mouth numbed to do the planing and scaling on them. I used up the last of the Flexible Spending Plan, and maxed out my dental insurance, but I am so thankful that I could get it done and that the office worked with me to get it accomplished in one swoop, and before the end of January when both the insurance and the Flex Spending runs out for us.

I also got some heavy duty pain meds, and they are kicking in now. I still have one numb spot, probably the nerve to my front upper tooth, and now that the shots have mostly worn off, I can tell something got hit in my nose and it hurts and is causing my nose to run almost uncontrollably. It is still worth it though.

So, here is the horrible picture of me, right after I got home and Zora asked what was wrong with my face. I am trying to smile, but I am numb from my lower eyelids to my throat and, in person, look like one of those people who are addicted to plastic surgery with duck lips and too high, too big of cheek implants. I iced my face for a few minutes, then I went to bed and slept for about 5 hours after this photo.

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26th January 2010


Ten dress sizes. I knew my 22s were loose, but imagine my shock when mom took me to Kohls.

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21st January 2010

MY BUDS! The Autism Parent Meet-Up Tonight.

Once a month there is a meetup for parents who have kids with Autism. It is a great group and we always have a good time blowing off steam and giving each other the local scoop on autism services. Sometimes it is just a small group, sometime we are a much bigger group, just depends on weather and whats going on. This group is a sanity saver for me.

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  • Zane's age

  • Zane is 22 years, 5 months, and 2 days old
  • Zora's age

  • Zora is 18 years, 5 months, and 6 days old
  • Random Quote

  • I doubt that we can ever successfully impose values or attitudes or behaviors on our children – certainly not by threat, guilt, or punishment. But I do believe they can be induced through relationships where parents and children are growing together. Such relationships are, I believe, build on trust, example, talk, and caring. — Fred Rogers

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