Tuesday, September 22, 2009

So, so close

All of my loyal readers (and I know there are hundreds of you, eagerly awaiting my new posts) may recall a post last month about the heat here in Central Texas. We were five days away from breaking a record set in the 1920s. I am sad to report that we did not get the record. We needed 70 days of over 100F temperatures. The final tally here: 68 days. I am so sad because now I cannot claim to have lived in Central Texas during the hottest summer known to man. However, I can claim to have endured the hottest summer known to me. Although fall is my favourite season, it is always with a bit of sadness that I say goodbye to summer. All that changed this year. To summer I say "Good riddance!" and I welcome fall with open arms (and a pair of jeans!).

Monday, September 21, 2009

The girl in the closet

Due to poor planning on our part, our apartment is next to a major road. Most nights this isn't a real problem. The sound of the traffic lulls us to sleep. But lately the major road has become a major problem. Because people travel this road at all hours of the day, it is next to impossible to shut down the lanes to do construction and repairs. Because the traffic is lighter at night, they work on the road at night, which they have been doing the past couple of nights. I get up at 5:30 every morning to go to work, therefore I like need to sleep, and this night construction has presented a slight problem. Last night, I had had enough. It was after midnight and I all I could hear was the constant "beep" "beep" "beep" of the construction vehicles. Husband kindly suggested I set up camp in our walk-in closet. I was willing to give it a try (I was also willing to drag my butt to a hotel, but Husband did not think that would be a practical solution). So there I was, at o'dark thirty, settling in to my temporary bed in our closet, hoping to get at least a couple of hours of sleep. Much to my surprise I had the best sleep I've had in weeks! I may start sleeping in the closet all the time. I could totally fit a cot in there...if I move all of Husband's stuff out! I'm sure he won't mind.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Weekend Adventure

Husband and I were invited by some friends to go to a grape stomping festival at a vineyard nearby. We decided to make a day of it and visit the Lyndon B. Johnson Ranch near the vineyard. Pres. Johnson was born and raised in Central Texas and the ranch he owned is now a National Park. We enjoyed driving through the ranch and touring the house that Pres. and Mrs. Johnson lived in and raised their family in. The ranch is nestled in a beautiful part of the Hill Country. The ranch is still a working ranch, so we encountered some livestock along the road. The cows have the right of way on the ranch and they know it! I am convinced that cows move slower when they know people are waiting on them.

LBJ's grave in the family cemetery

The Texas White House.

Hello cow! If you look closely you can see the LBJ brand on the horn. The cattle on the ranch are show cattle, so they are not branded on their hide.

Windmill on the ranch

A barrel of grapes

Into the barrel I go! It was cold, squishy and smelly, but super fun!

Husband gives it a try.

Husband proudly displays the fork he found at the vineyard. He was talking about taking it back to the barrel of grapes and tasting the grapes. We were able to talk him out of it though!

Part of the vineyard

After stomping the grapes, we took a tour of the winery. It was interesting to learn about the wine making process. This steel drum holds 10 tonnes of grapes!

Barrels stored in the barrel room. The room held over 2000 barrels.

Don't ask!

The vineyard's logo.

Us with Joshua and Alaina

Thursday, September 3, 2009

When nature calls, loudly

It's 1:10 in the afternoon and I am staring at my nalgene bottle, filled to the very top with water; 32 ounces of water to be precise. I have 20 minutes to drink all that water. I dread doing this, knowing that I will not be able to use the bathroom until after my ultrasound. Water tends to go through me like...well... like water. But I have to drink it and I do. Forty minutes later, bladder full and starting to send signals to my brain that it needs to be emptied, I drive to the doctor's office. It's now 2:15pm and I am filling out paperwork for the doctor. Name? Address? Social Security Number? I can't think. Sweat is starting to bead on my forehead as the signals from my bladder to my brain turn into loud demands. Somehow, the paperwork gets finished and I slowly walk it back to the front desk. Every step jars my bladder. At 2:23pm, I start to fidget. I stand up to try to relieve the pressure. It doesn't help. I sit down, crossing my legs in hopes of creating some sort of dam to stop the urine that is pushing it's way out. I pick up a magazine to try to take my mind off of the excruciating pain. Sweat is pouring down my face. My heart starts to beat faster and faster. I read the same sentence over and over again. I put down the magazine. There's a TV! Great! Something to distract me. It's tuned to a news channel. The segment is on this new product out called Go Girl! It's a carry-in-your-purse urinal for woman that somehow attaches to your body so you can pee standing up. The news reporter exclaims that this product will make it so women can go to the bathroom anywhere. So, it's apparent I can't rely on the TV to distract me from my pain. Women all over the world can pee whenever they desire thanks to this new product and here I sit with the contents of my bladder now spilling over into other internal organs. I hate the TV right now. I also hate my gynecologist, who order this ultrasound so she would have a snapshot of my insides "just for future reference". I hate thorough doctors! At 2:27pm the tech calls my name and I slowly stand up. The pressure is overwhelming. My brain cannot focus on anything but the signals my bladder is sending. I force my feet to move and I follow the tech through a maze of hallways until we arrive at the room, which I am positive is in another country, given the distance we travelled to get there. After leaving me in the room for what seemed like hours to change (seriously, if the only thing standing between your full bladder and the bathroom was an ultrasound, how fast would you change into your gown?), the tech finally begins. She pushes the probe (Is that what those things are called?) on my abdomen and my bladder cries out. I try to think of other things, but all I can think is "Do not pee! Do NOT pee! DO NOT PEE!". The tech is now pushing the probe into my stomach. I am sure she is barely pushing but to me it feels like she is using all of her strength. Oh no! I feel something warm on my inner thigh. Please let it just be sweat! I am going to pretend it's sweat. The tech lifts the probe up and hands me towel. I start wiping the gel off and she says "Wipe the gel off and then you can use the bathroom." The gel forgotten, I drop the towel and stand up, slowly though, just in case the warmth I felt a few minutes earlier wasn't sweat. I walk toward the bathroom as fast as my urine filled body will move; my gown is completely open in the back, exposing my butt. I don't care. I have one thought: getting to the bathroom, which appears to be on another continent. Once inside I have a Tom Hanks in A League of Their Own moment, and my bladder thanks me. The sweating stops and my heart rate slows to a more normal pace. I return to the table for a few minutes, then the tech says she's done and leaves the room. I dress and get ready to leave, but before I do, I go to the bathroom one more time...just because I can.