Friday, June 27, 2008

Alphabet Soup


I now have letters after my name for the first time! Today I took and passed my first certification exam...woot woot! This one was only 2-1/2 hours and I don't remember how many questions. The next step is to take the big one...250 questions in 5-1/2 hours. So now I'm off to order a study guide and register for an exam date.

Marilyn M. Damschen, NCICS (National Certified Insurance and Coding Specialist)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My Nutty Granny

I've been a fan of Janice Taylor, better known as Our Lady of Weight Loss, for quite some time. I so look forward to her weekly Kick in the Tush messages which include tips, recipes and encouragement. Janice's quirky sense of humor is wonderfully irreverent and her advice is always spot on and down to earth. And to top it off, she's artsy, too! Click here to check out the OLOWL site.

I submitted a recipe I'd come up with and was surprised and thrilled when Janice decided it jived (jove?) along with her topic of the week, nuts.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I loves my electricity!

Well, it turned out that over 350,000 people in the metro area were without power from the storm I wrote about in my last post. Ours was restored after about 48 hours and we were among the most fortunate. Many had no electricity for a week or slightly more. Apparently the failures, brown-outs and surges we dealt with while crews worked to repair the lines did some damage to both the fridge and the air conditioner, as both are giving off warning signs and sounds.

So, this is a very good time to be experiencing unusually cool weather. I am trying to be thankful for the things that are working and remembering what a pain it was to schlep all my water in by the gallon for the two days the well was out of commission. I'm grateful that flooding is not a risk here and glad to have a variety of places I can go to sit out the hottest periods of the day. Poor doglet spends long hours lying on the cool (but hard) tile floor and is either panting or sleeping at all times. Took her to the lake the other evening and she didn't hesitate to plow into the chilly water.Since we didn't do much except this weekend except prime and paint the newly renovated master bath, here's my meager photo offering for this post. The afternoon sun made the colors of my freshly-washed produce fairly glow. In spite of high prices at the pump and grocery store we're still fortunate to have one of the best food supplies in the world and I guess we all take it for granted. Good to remember what a blessing it is.

Monday, June 09, 2008

AWOL no more!

Greetings! Yes, it's really me. Sorry to have been away so long but life was happening in a big way lately. Now that I'm done with school (for the time being) and the first wave of major home renovations are nearing completion I can schedule many of my To-Do list tasks at my own convenience. One of those items is to get (and hopefully keep) the ol' blog up to speed, so keep an eye out for more posts in coming days.

We had a tornado touch down WAY too close yesterday afternoon, one of several that hit our area along with straight-line winds. We've been without power ever since so I am making this post from the public library, which has lights and computer access (there's a waiting list) but no A/C. Personally, I could go for 'puter and A/C with no lights but I guess those who've come for books might complain. We all have our priorities.

Guess we picked the right time (last week) to have our decrepit roof replaced. I had to collect a bunch of the neighbor's shingles from the yard last night. They estimate our winds were 75-80 mph for a brief period during the height of the storm and it rained buckets while the tornado sirens wailed on and on. Kidlet, doglet and I huddled in the basement until it passed and I've found no damage on our property so far.

Since my time allotment will end in 47 seconds I must close but I'll be back soon.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

It's Official...

On my 4th attempt and at the ripe old age of 46, I have finally earned my first college degree. Yesterday was graduation day and I gamely donned the awful polyester gown and mortarboard. Being as I attended a "career college" I had no fear of being the oldest student to graduate and DH and I thought it would be a good opportunity for DD to see what graduation is all about.
Here I am with one of my favorite instructors, Susan Miedzianowski. She gamely fielded my relentless questions and offered lots of support and encouragement during the past several semesters.

I worked really hard and managed to keep my grades high, earning some honor pins and finishing Summa Cum Laude. I intended to go on to earn a Bachelors degree in Health Information Management but have tabled those plans since I'm not confident I'll be in Michigan long enough to finish the program. Can't find a HIM program in the region of PA we're relocating to so it looks like I'll end up choosing another field of study. But at least I've finally finished one! Now if I can just find a job...
Our Nike and Adidas-only-wearing daughter surprised us by picking out a dress for the occasion. I thought she looked very feminine and grown up. (click photo to enlarge) But watching her walk in high heeled sandals reminds me of a baby giraffe, for some reason.
My precious friend Patrice sent these bee-you-tee-ful flowers for the occasion and my wonderful mother-in-law sent a box of enormous and decadent chocolate covered strawberries so it was a very fun weekend. And yes Margaret, we did go out for a nice dinner afterwards.