Monday, June 30, 2008

If, if, if …

If I run the Space Coast Marathon, I have five months to train. Considering that I haven’t run at all in nearly two weeks (I’ve been walking, not running), I would have to spend the month of July getting ready to train. And since the first two weeks of July are pretty much booked, I can only imagine what August through November will feel like, training for a 26.2-mile jaunt along the Indian River.

Then, of course, there’s the husband, who thinks 26.2 miles is about 13.1 miles too many for me to run any time.

The more I read about this marathon, though, the more I think it would be perfect for my first. There is, of course, the theme. Space! Flying! A rocket launch on the Jumbotron to get you out of the gate and you can watch yourself crawl across cross the finish line on the same Jumbotron at the end.

Then there is the location. At first I thought it was in Titusville, which is about an hour north of my dad’s home. With a 6 a.m. start time, I wasn’t sure about the logistics. Upon closer scrutiny, the venue is much further south, making it easier for me to get up and be there on time, and easier for my family to make it to the finish line.

There are two major drawbacks. The first is the actual date – it’s the Sunday after Thanksgiving. We will have to stay here in the Middle of Nowhere for Thanksgiving, given that my mother-in-law would otherwise be alone. I’m not sure how up for running a marathon I would be after driving for two days.

The most exciting drawback is that my husband and I are thinking of snowbirding from January to March, 2009. If we do, it would be silly to make the effort to do Space Coast in November when I could do Miami on January 25. Wouldn’t it?

Decisions, decisions.

Laura asked in a comment yesterday if I was going to donate my CDs, now that all the songs have been loaded onto my computer and iPod. Um, I’ve read too many horror stories about crashing hard drives and broken/stolen iPods to get rid of them. So, no, I don’t think so. I might ditch the cases and just store the CDs in a binder. Like I said before:

Decisions, decisions.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Le projet - il a fini!

I probably could have spent the time more productively, but I’m actually very happy to report that the great CD Transfer Project is as finished as it’s going to be for now.

This (the top three shelves):

now fits on this (with lots o’ room to spare):

What remains to be transferred are my husband’s classical CDs, most of which I don’t listen to and I can pretty much guarantee I won’t need them on my next road trip. I like peppy, familiar stuff when I’m driving, and I have more than 3000 tunes (3417 to be exact) from which to choose. If I should get a hankering for something soothing, Copland’s Appalachian Spring and Beethoven’s Symphony #7 are already on the iPod.

Also on the iPod are Juno – I used an application called Handbrake to compress it for iPod viewing – and Scrabble®! I just found out that it was available for the iPod and for only five bucks, how could I resist? Tetris is available, too, but – gasp! – I’ve never played Tetris, so I’m not shelling out the big bucks until I try it.

Okay, I’m now backing away from the computer. Time for baseball (Yankees at the Mets) and knitting.

And the winner is …

Mindy!

You had a pretty good shot at winning, since only three people guessed. Waaaaaahhhh! No one loves me! No one reads my drivel!

Mindy, send your snail-mail address to me at:

shrinkingknitter AT citynet DOT net (you know the drill) and I’ll get your little prize right out to you.

No one guessed all five in the correct order, though. Here they are:

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Great CD Transfer Project

One good thing about transferring music from CDs to iTunes to your iPod is that you really can’t snicky-snack while you’re doing it. Even if I wanted to, I wouldn’t want to get crumbs on my CDs or have something spill in the CD tray. I’m taking a chance just drinking coffee during the process.

This is going to take a long time. I’ll get some exercise doing it, though. We keep our CDs in an old lawyer’s bookcase in the house. The computer is in the upstairs of the garage. I could dump the CDs in a box and bring them all over at once, but:
  • it would be too heavy to carry, and
  • I would miss out on the stairclimbing activity.
I’m in the Ds now, but since iTunes alphabetizes by artists’ first names, I’m really still in the Bs. And since I’m only about a fourth of the way through the Bob Dylan collection, I’m going to be here for, oh, a while. Maybe another lifetime.

The shopping trip yesterday turned into some kind of weight workout. I didn’t realize just how wobbly one of the front wheels of the shopping cart was until I’d already loaded it with 80 lbs. of water softener salt, 40 lbs. of dog food, two cases of water and all the other crap I couldn’t live without. I couldn’t figure out why my arms hurt when I woke up this morning – it was from trying to keep the cart going straight, when all it wanted to do was turn right!

Running? Knitting? Lately, not so much. Maybe today, though, for both. Have a great weekend! I plan to.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Hmmm … it never occurred to me

that you would have to read the previous comments in order to post your pennant guesses. But, oh well. As I said yesterday, thinking isn’t my best thing. Keep on guessing; it’s great to have comments! My name is Debbi, and I’m a comment slut.

Okay, it’s been six weeks since the great South Beachy-beach experiment began. As both of you regular readers know, I’ve had some travel-related challenges – and, to be honest, some at-home ones as well – but as of this morning’s weekly weigh-in I’ve managed to maintain that Month One five-pound loss. I’m very encouraged. However, I keep feeling like I have to go back and do two more weeks of Phase One perfectly every time I stray from the plan. Frankly, it probably wouldn’t hurt to do that.

And then I look at my calendar. How realistic is it, really, to think I can stick with Phase One during the time our guests are here? Or at my granddaughter’s first birthday party? Or while I’m waiting for my dad to get through a long and risky surgical procedure?

Time to cut myself some slack. It looks like if I mostly stick with the plan, I can at least maintain. This is new territory for me. And I read something last night in a magazine (it was either Health or Real Simple) that it can be a good idea to lose five and then maintain it for a month before losing the next five. Whether that’s true or not is, I guess, up to the individual.

I can only say that, considering what’s been going on in my life (and what’s to come), staying the same weight feels pretty darned good.

Today is Day One of my pre-travel “transfer all my CDs to iTunes and then to the iPod” project. I’m in the “Bs” right now. Knowing me, I’ll do all this work and then forget to pack the iPod. Heh.

And I’m not going to get very far into the project today, because it’s also “go to Sam’s Club to stock up for the Fourth of July” day. My husband is out of town for a few days; this is the first time since he’s retired that I’m making this trip solo. Hallelujah! He’s the kind of shopper who sticks to the list and wants to get in and out of the store as quickly as possible. Me? Not so much.

I hope you all enjoy your day as much as I’m going to enjoy mine.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The First (and last) KnitRunRepeat Pennant-Guessing Contest

Sometimes I have the best ideas when I’m out walking.

If I’d been thinking properly, I’d have dreamed up the idea of a contest in the earlier post. Ah, well. Thinking has never been my strong suit.

At any rate, if you’ve been reading this blog or the old one for any length of time, it shouldn’t take you too long to figure out which pennants we’re going to hang in our dorm room. Leave a comment with your guess; I’ll toss all the correct guesses in an empty Sugar-Free Cool Whip container and choose a winner.

Also – and this is important in determining which prize I send you – in your comment, tell me if you are a knitter or not. I’ll announce the winner Saturday morning.

Absolutely no entry fee required – c’mon, what’ve you got to lose? Tell your friends! One guess per person, please. Let’s fill up those comments. Let me know you’re out there! What other enthusiastic platitudes can I throw up here?!?!?!?!?

Heh.

Because I never had a real dorm room

I have about two years’ worth of college credits to go with my life experience, which probably doesn’t count for much on a transcript. All of those credits were earned by taking random classes here and there, while also working and/or raising a family. Thus, the only dorm room I’ve ever been in was my son’s during his freshman year.

My husband and I spend a great deal of our time on the second floor of our garage, which is an office/family room combo. Since his retirement, we’ve taken to calling it our dorm room. We have a couple areas dedicated to our political activism (note the dorm-sized refrigerator; it’s filled with Diet Lime Coke and A&W Diet Root Beer – we’re such party animals!):

Here’s a close-up of the bumper-sticker wall:

No dorm room is complete without a couple posters:

And a set of plastic stacking drawers:

My desk area, which is only clean(ish) because we’re getting ready for 4th of July company:

And finally, a bit of sports stuff. My husband did his post-grad work at WVU; when he retired, one of his co-workers made this for him:

And we just ordered five banners to go above the obligatory big-screen television. Because we’re not really college kids, after all. We would have a very hard time watching TV shows on our iPods. Can you guess which team banners we’ll be pinning up there?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Mad, glad, sad

To someone who eats compulsively – that would be me – it really doesn’t matter what the occasion or emotion is. Mad, glad or sad, food is always the answer.

I’ve had varying degrees of all three (and more) of those emotions lately, and food has been my go-to response. The only time I’m not thinking about eating is when I’m concentrating on some kind of project. Lately the project has been cleaning out bookshelves and the yarn closet.

My yarn closet long ago overflowed its confines; what didn’t fit into that 5- by 10-foot space got tossed into six huge lidded plastic tubs, all of which have been stacked (and ignored) in the ground level of our two-story garage for quite a long time. Until this weekend. I now have two empty tubs and the other four are considerably pruned. One of our garbage bags this week will be filled with odds and ends that no one would want. The rest of it goes on eBay after life calms down again in July.

Beginning today, I’m going to be busier than I like to be. This week is Fourth of July Prep Week. We have guests coming July 2-5. I head to Florida by way of North Carolina July 5 and I’m not sure when I’ll be home – hoping to leave there on the 11th, but it depends on how my dad does following his surgery on the 9th.

All that busy-ness, though, may mean I won’t think so much about food. There’s not much time in the upcoming schedule to be mad, glad or sad.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Yesterday I said that food had not been good. I don’t mean to pass judgment on food. Food is inherently neither good or bad; food is food.

My response to food, or my use (or abuse) of it, is another story.

Let’s start by acknowledging that I eat when I feel pressured, anxious or – I really dislike this word – stressed. And let’s further acknowledge that the past month has been nothing but pressure, anxiety and stress. When the most relaxing thing you’ve done in several weeks is fold laundry, you can bet that tension is high.

Let’s throw another wrench in the works – a bit of family drama, say – and sticking to a strict Phase One of South Beach was beginning to be more of a burden than a blessing.

I do fine for a while, and then I reach my own personal tipping point. It happened Tuesday evening, when the Universe handed me the three things I needed to go on a bender, of sorts:
  • Time
  • Money
  • Opportunity
I had a little extra time prior to my volunteer gig at the prison, I had my purse with me and a convenience store is conveniently located along my route. And they sell chocolate.

You will not find chocolate anywhere on anyone’s list of allowable Phase One foods.

So I guess I started over yesterday. Again. (Because I didn’t eat all of the chocolate Tuesday night, no-no-no, I saved some for Wednesday. Stupid, stupid, stupid.)

Coming up: More family drama, a family reunion, my dad’s second (of three) surgeries, two out-of-state trips. Pressure. Anxiety. Stress. Time. Money. Opportunity.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wanted: Moderate temperatures, low humidity, all year round

Running in our current weather conditions could not be more perfect. I don’t have to get out early to beat the heat, I go farther and faster (well, faster for me, not faster than you) without pooping out and I enjoy it so much more than when the number of degrees equals the percentage of humidity.

I know some of you can walk this fast, but I can’t – the combination of short legs and advanced age precludes it. Any day I can break a 12-minute mile is a good day. (I walked the last third of a mile. Just so you know I wasn’t dying on the fifth lap.)

Anyone know of a place on earth where it’s 70° and around 50% humidity all day, every day? If you do, I’m moving!

Food has not been good the past two days and I’m afraid to look at the scale. So I’m not going to.

So there. Heh.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

We are the champions … again!

I've been a Boston Celtics fan for a long, long time. And last night was a long time coming. The game was an almost total blowout over longtime rivals the Los Angeles Lakers (the Lakers enjoyed a four-point lead early in the first quarter). I’m not sure the boys from L.A. quite knew what hit them. It was such a blowout, and I was so seriously tired, I considered going to bed at the end of the third quarter. But I persevered and enjoyed the trophy ceremony almost as much as if I’d been standing on the parquet floor.

I remember the high hopes every fan had when the Celtics drafted Len Bias in 1986 – their last championship season. Bias was a star player from the University of Maryland; acquiring him pretty much guaranteed the continuation of the dynasty, at least for a few years. Twenty-two years ago tomorrow, however, Bias died of a cocaine overdose.

The circumstances of his death were the catalyst behind the draconian cocaine drug laws which are just now being reformed. We have a long way to go. My volunteer work at Alderson Federal Prison Camp (where I was honored to be named Volunteer of the Year this year) brings me in close contact with about 100 women each week who have been sentenced under these laws. But as quickly as they are being released (due to the long-overdue revisions), the prison beds are filled again.

Interesting how one thing leads to another, all these years later.

Moving on …

I learned an important blogging lesson yesterday. It’s better for my sense of accomplishment if I don’t tell you my exercise plan before I actually do it. More often than not, I end up not doing what I thought I would do. Most of you are well aware of this quirky little rule, reporting what you actually did, instead of your intentions.

My intentions yesterday were to run, plain and simple. I instead ended up walking six miles with my husband on a lovely, shaded road that winds by a creek. (He walks this route nearly every day; he likes to say he does a daily 10K.) It took us nearly two hours and was thoroughly enjoyable – much moreso than a hard four-mile run would have been.

I’m now a third of the way through the baby sweater sleeves. Blowout basketball games = plenty o’ knitting time.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Check this out!


This may very well be the week I begin training for a fall race. Could these conditions be any more perfect for running?

Well, yes, that is a lightning bolt there for tomorrow. But it never thunders or lightnings all day long; I’m sure I can squeeze a run in in between the raindrops.

I had intended to begin training for a fall race on June 1. However, I found myself in hot, humid, sunny Florida June 1, so training – hell, any running at all – didn’t happen. And the Florida weather followed me home, so all I’ve done since then is walking. Slowly.

But it feels great out there this morning. The combination of good weather, a good night’s sleep and the race motivation sounds like a perfect training storm, doesn’t it? Well, it does to me, anyway.

Which fall race? I’ve been thinking of the Space Coast Marathon, so my dad can watch me cross the finish line (he has said he will go anywhere in Florida to see that happen). However, my husband and I enjoyed our time there so much that we’re actually thinking of becoming snowbirds. If that’s the case, I’m sure there’s a race or two in southern Florida in January or February.

Speaking of southern Florida, it’s gratifying having such good blog company as I take a stab at South Beach. My husband lost about 50 pounds many years ago eating meat and vegetables, so he’s solidly supporting me, as well. I got back on the horse yesterday. I’d love to see another five pounds drop this month.

Hey. It could happen!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Ketchup

Or, rather, catch up.

Now that I’m an eBay enterpreneur, I spend a lot of time at the computer but very little of it has been spent blogging. You obviously know that, since both of you were checking up on me over the weekend. Heh. I find myself obsessively watching My eBay to see how many items will sell and which ones have too high an opening bid.

In between those demanding tasks, I check and respond to e-mail and play solitaire or Scrabble®.

I did find time this weekend to complete the little knitted doll I’m giving my granddaughter for her first birthday next month. Even my husband pronounced it ‘sweet.’ Each time I’ve made one of these I’m convinced it’s going to be too small. She turned out to be 12 inches tall – half an inch shorter than the pattern original and just the right size for a year-old baby.

I’m back to working on the triplets’ sweaters now. The first of six sleeves is about half finished. Six sleeves sounds daunting, but baby sweaters are so little that it really hasn’t been bad at all. Ask me again when I start the sixth one, though!

No running happened this weekend here in the Middle of Nowhere. At. All. I’ve had some kind of contact dermatitis thang going on for several days now, which has been keeping me up at night. Lack of sleep = lack of energy; thus, I’ve been pretty much doing what has to be done and the heck with intentional exercise. I think I’ve figured out the issue. One thang that had to be done yesterday was to launder – using a third brand of detergent in four days – all the bed linens and all my clothes yet again. I have some slight itching now, but nothing like it’s been the last two or three days. I really should get out there for a walk, at least; the temperature is perfect right now. A wee bit chilly, as a matter of fact.

And today I need to get back on the South Beach horse. It works for me, but it’s boring and there’s no wiggle room for stress or fatigue or any of the other excuses I use when I want to eat crap. When my husband and I were in Florida we found a little Greek restaurant that had the best warm pita bread either of us have ever eaten. I made hummus and homemade pitas for him yesterday (from the dogs, for Father’s Day), and I can tell you right now that my diet downfall will always, always be bread. Not chocolate, not candy, not even ice cream. Soft, warm, chewy, doughy … okay, that’s enough o’ that.

I was up until midnight last night watching another Celtics comeback slip away. Oh, well, victories at home are much sweeter. (I sure hope I’m not jinxing them by saying that.)

My dad continues to get better and better and better. I will never question miracles or angels again. Never.

That is all …

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I did it. Sort of.

Thanks to all of you who, ahem, weighed in on my ice-cream obsession.

The first two or three days of the Florida trip were fine as far as meals went. Then I started needing something, one special treat each day. I won’t post the food porn here, except to say that ice cream was definitely on the list, and I didn’t ever get around to having any when I was there.

That one craving just kept lingering. When I went to the grocery yesterday I tossed a half-gallon of Breyer's Carb-Smart Vanilla into my cart. Ninety calories per half-cup serving, and no sugar.

With the price of gasoline these days, and the fact that going out for ice cream is a 24-mile round trip out here in the Middle of Nowhere, a $3 sundae now costs $7. And, yes, I'm worth a $7 sundae but I'm cheap thrifty by nature.

I really enjoyed my little dish of guilt-free ice cream last night. It helped that I hadn’t eaten much all day – it still amazes me how filling a morning omelette is. I forgot to eat lunch and had a Greek salad with grilled chicken for dinner. All in all, a pretty good day of healthful eating. And I really don’t feel like I need to dive into the rest of the half-gallon any time soon.

Thursday is my weigh-in day. I was going to skip it, but decided to just, oh, what the heck, hop on and see where I was after a week out of town. I’m very happy to report that I stayed the same. I’ve lost five pounds in one month.

I’m still knitting, too, of course. I worked on sweaters for the triplet grandsons while I was in Florida and went as far as I could before I needed yet another needle I forgot to pack. Then I decided my younger granddaughter needed a doll for her birthday next month, so I started my favorite pattern a couple nights ago. It will be finished in plenty of time for her party.

If any of you knitters are addicted to eBay looking for yarn, I have three auctions up for wool right now. Probably not a great idea trying to sell wool when the the 90-degree temperature matches the 90-percent humidity, but hey … I’ve never been much of a salesperson. Heh.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Stress eating …

or, How I Expect Too Much of Myself.

Today is my third day home from a traumatic trip to Florida. While the outcome of the trip ultimately was the best possible one – my father didn’t die – the stress of the 14-hour nonstop drive down, the waiting, the worrying, the not sleeping, the inevitable family drama, the two-day trip home and my everpresent still, small voice telling me how fat I am has taken its toll.

I’m quite a wreck. I want to eat everything, in sight or not, especially if it has salt in it. And I’ve also had ice cream on my mind for, literally, days!

I had to visit an Urgent Care while I was in the Sunshine State to treat a rash on my forehead that started spreading to my eyes. (If I were a True Blogger I’d have taken a picture of my little piggy face to show you just how bad it was. Believe me, if I went to an Urgent Care, it was bad!) I’m still on steroids for that, so I can blame some of my current agitation (and puffiness) on drugs.

My dad has improved enough that he can answer the phone in his hospital room all by himself. I call a couple of times a day; his wife usually is there to run any necessary interference (he still gets confused sometimes, and the pain meds he’s on tend to knock him out mid-sentence). When I called early yesterday evening, she hadn’t yet returned to the hospital. It was just him and me, and he was, frankly, talking kinda crazy. Said he was going home, he needed some rest, he wanted to take himself off all his meds and IVs and just let nature take its course.

My Husband the Shrink took over when I was just about to lose it, and we eventually called the nurse, who promised to go in and assure my father that there were other people in the 500-bed hopsital, that he wasn’t there all by himself, that he needed to stay in bed with an IV for a while longer and that his wife would be arriving soon. Which she did.

Turns out that his BUN is still elevated, which can cause confusion and crazy talk. The thing that bothered me the most, I think, is that he sounded perfectly normal while he was saying crazy things.

The post-drama found me wanting to eat and eat and eat. It’s a Good Thing I don’t keep crap in my pantry, although large portions of healthy stuff can be just as much of a problem when you’re trying to lose weight.

Bet you didn’t know that. Heh.

Anyhoo, I’m not sure when I’m going to get back on the straight and narrow. Right now just doesn’t seem like the time. I think I can do this most of the time, but if I don’t cut myself some slack, I’m going to end up in dire straights.

Or a loony bin.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Home isn't exactly where the heart is

I love my home, really I do. It’s beautiful here in the Middle of Nowhere. My dogs are here, I don’t have to figure out where to find a size 3 knitting needle (as I did in Florida, since I forgot to bring one with me), food is easy to prepare and we don’t have to tip the wait staff.

But my dad is almost 800 miles away, and that’s where my heart is.

He’s doing much, much better – amazingly so, actually. He’s been moved out of ICU into a step-down unit and is getting both occupational and physical therapy. He sat in a chair for a little bit yesterday and is eating regular meals instead of broth and Jell-O and pudding. Blood levels are returning to normal, which means less confusion and no more dialysis!

Thank you all for your good wishes for his continued recovery. We have a long way to go, but he could actually come out of all of this better than he’s been in several years.

If ever I needed a wake-up call to not take my health for granted, this situation with my dad is it. All of his current health problems – all of them – ultimately are due to obesity, which is one of the, um, biggest (sorry) risk factors in Type II diabetes, which he’s had for many years.

(For my dad, it’s gone like this: Obesity led to diabetes which led to difficulty walking which led to a knee replacement which led to leg wounds which led to infection which led to septicemic shock. Maybe not in that exact order, but all of those things have been intertwined, leaving him severely limited in mobility and in a great deal of chronic pain. And as we all know, you don’t much feel like taking a walk when it hurts to walk.)

Most people who are diagnosed with the disease are obese at the time of diagnosis. Not everyone who is overweight will develop it, of course, but several risk factors can indicate who is more likely to, and I’m certainly one of those. In fact, the only risk factors that don’t apply to me are race and high blood pressure.

It seems to me that Type II diabetes is probably about as preventable as AIDS and as treatable as hypertension. That may be simplifying things a bit, but Keep It Simple has always worked for me. And the first thing I need to do is once-and-for-all lose this weight.

If you’ve followed my weight-loss saga the past couple of years over at the Shrinking Knitter, you know how difficult it’s been for me to drop pounds. Seems like no matter how hard I work out or how healthfully I eat, my body likes to weigh about 40 pounds too many.

I did some major stress eating while I was gone, and worked out not at all. (How do you guys in Florida ever manage to run?) I felt (and feel) badly about the lack of progress while I was there, especially when I could clearly see where I’m headed if I don’t change my wicked ways.

I had just completed the second week of South Beach when we left, and found it to be a manageable, pleasant and effective (five pounds lost!) way to eat. Yesterday I was back on the horse, so to speak, including a three-mile walk and – get ready – a short weight-training session. Today will be more of the same – clean eating, exercise and continued progress. It’s long past time to get this done!

Oh, and if you don’t have your own wake-up call, you can borrow mine.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Sunny night in Georgia

Don't you just love people who quit posting to their blog, start a new one and then quit posting to that one, too?

I learned last Saturday as my husband and I were getting ready to go to a luncheon that my father was critically ill in Florida. I live in West Virginia. That call came around noon; we were in Florida by 4 a.m. Sunday.

He was in septicemic shock due to an infected knee replacement; the infection was throughout his bloodstream and was attacking his vital organs. Kidneys first, which meant dialysis. Then his heart - he suffered an MI Sunday or Monday. He needed surgery to remove the infected knee appliance but was too ill to have the surgery.

His doctors eventually decided to sedate him, scope the knee and flush it with antibiotics rather than put him under a general anesthetic. This is a stopgap measure; he will eventually have to go through the surgery but not until after he's been on IV antibiotics for three or four weeks.

I consider myself a spiritual person, although not a particularly religious one. The only way my dad was going to recover was through the power of prayer, and that power was present in a big way. On Monday I thought he was going to die. Last night he was singing! This morning before I started back home he was drinking coffee and eating grits. God is good, and miracles happen.

He'll have a long, difficult recovery ahead. At least two more knee surgeries and months of rehab. He's still confused and trying to puzzle out how he could have lost eight days of his life. He thinks he lives in Ohio and it's December, but he knows his dog's name. And mine.

I'm in Savannah now, about halfway home, and this is the first chance I've had to get on a computer that will let me access Blogger. (The hospital system blocks blogs, MySpace and YouTube - all the fun stuff.) Sorry about being MIA all week, but my priorities were in order, I think.

Go hug your dads, and tell them you love them.