Friday, October 31, 2008

The partners at Daniel's company generally meet quarterly to discuss "business." Unfortunately, due to the slow in building and development, there have been more meetings more often. The last two meetings have been followed by layoffs. We are nervousness because the partners met today and it is not a quarterly meeting. We are not sure what this will mean for next week. We are praying that he will still have a job, but only time will tell...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

ER De Ja Vu

So I am sitting in the ER (again) waiting on a final explanation as to what is wrong with me. I fear that there is no definitive answer to that question.

Sometime around 10, I started to experience severe pain in my chest whenever I breathed in. Fearing that my pulmonary embolism had gotten worse (since being discharged from the hospital yesterday) Daniel and I headed back to the ER.

Thankfully I got right in. My blood pressure upon arrival was 144/80. They quickly gave me oxygen, did an EKG on me followed by inserting an IV. Before I knew it, I was on my way for a CT scan (the second in a week). After the CT scan came a chest xray. Then the doctor told me that the scan cleared me of any clots in my lungs - which is good news, but still does not explain the pain I am experiencing (he suggested pleurisy, but this seems to be a catch-all explanation).

He gave me some meds for the pain and then got me in for an ultra sound on my leg. And now I am waiting for those results and to go home. My current BP is 112/60. This just shows that my pain when I came in was real, but it has subsided for the moment.

Mostly I am just tired. I need sleep and I want to be in my own bed. Daniel is pretty exhausted himself. I will be so glad when this ordeal is over...

Sleep please... and no more pain...

Just got update from doc - I am outta here as soon as the nurse comes to unhook me from everything and my ultra sound showed that the blood clots in the leg are also getting smaller.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

1 in 2000.

This is the statistical likelihood of women using birth control to be hospitalized from getting a blood clot. So if you know me, you now know one person who has been hospitalized for this very reason.

Scary stuff. I am under 30. I don't smoke. I am not obese. I am fairly healthy. And here I have been in the hospital for 5 days with a blood clot in my leg that managed to also become a pulmonary embolism.

I guess I just want to warn all of the women I know that it is possible to get blood clots from the pill. Based on those of you who have told me that you know someone else that has experienced this same problem, it seems that this is more common that the stats say.

I am so grateful that there are people in my life that told, no forced me, to do something about the pain in my leg. They wouldn't let me blow it off. They told me to get help and thankfully, I listened. If you are currently on birth control, please listen to your body. You never know when something could be terribly wrong.

According to this site, one way to remember the warning signs is ACHES which stands for:

Abdominal pain
Chest pain
Eye problems
Severe localized leg pain.

Notify your doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms.

I personally had abdominal pain, headache and severe localized leg pain.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


It would seem that Daniel and I were due for one of our yearly visits to the ER. It has, afterall, been almost a year since Daniel's last fiasco involving a table saw...

Here is a recap of this week for me...

night around 10 pm I had severe abdominal pain, but went to bed hoping to sleep it off. Around 1:30 I woke up in even worse pain. After doing some internet research, I took a bath which temporarily relieve said pain. Soon after I was sitting in the hallway crying. After a call to Daniel's dad, we were on our way to the ER. The ER didn't really have a definitive answer for why I was in pain. They sent me home with a pain killer prescription and orders to rest.

was a day of rest for me and I felt fine.

I went to work feeling fine. Sometime after lunch I began to experience pain in my right foot and calf muscle. It really felt like a leg cramp, so I ignored it. Tuesday night brought more pain. I tried calling my sister for advice. When she didn't answer, I sent her an email listing all of the reasons I felt that I was "falling apart."

Sometime early
Wednesday morning I woke up in severe pain in my leg. I wrapped my heating pad around it and tried my best to sleep. I woke up for work around 7:30 and found that I could not stand up. The pain in my right leg was excruciating. Daniel helped me into the shower and the pain subsided. Daniel made me call his dad who told me that he thought I had a blood clot and to see a doctor immediately.

I called my friend, LaCinda, who referred me to her sister Kathy. Kathy told me to walk in to her clinic. She agreed that she thought that I had a blood clot in my leg and referred me to an imagining center for an ultrasound of my leg.

After the ultrasound, they told me to go immediately to the ER. The ER checked me in and soon had me taking a CT Scan where they discovered the clot in my leg had broken and small parts of it were now in my lung. Then they left me to hang out for 3 hours while they found me a room to check into. By 11 pm I was finally checked into the hospital and in my own room.

Last night I felt very much in the dark with little communication, but today my nurse has been much more informative. They finally let me know that any danger seems to have passed. They are keeping me for observation while they transition me from injections to a pill. The pill has to build up in my system so I am hanging out at Presbyterian Hospital while they transition me from one medication to the other.

The pain in my leg has subsided substantially. I can get up and move around and I no longer have to be inverted in bed. The biggest thing I may suffer from is boredom. I am enjoying the extra time to read and cable television is a nice (albeit expensive) benefit.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Life Is Good

Today has been an example of what I think Sundays post-house renovation will be like. Yesterday Daniel hurt his back so today we put a stop on the bathroom project. This meant that we have actually been able to do something relaxing (still wish we were getting things done, but it is better to embrace a relaxing day than to be annoyed).

So here is what we have in store for us whenever the house gets finished:

We got up and went to early service followed by breakfast at the Pancake House. Afterwards we went to Joseph Beths to read magazines to our hearts content. Following this we went to Crate & Barrel to get ideas for furnishing the rest of our house (after renovation stops). Now we are back home enjoying a lazy afternoon. The only thing that would make this day more perfect would be if we could go mountain biking (which is off limits due to Daniel's back, but a girl can dream).

Too bad I still have to do laundry, grocery shop and plan my lessons for the week...

Saturday, October 18, 2008


This is a topic that probably concerns everyone - both individually and also on a national and even world level right now. It is amazing how much debt we have all accrued.

For some time, Daniel and I have tried to slowly pay off debt that we have accumulated over the years. Our greatest amount of debt fall into the categories of our mortgages, student loans (I put myself through college at a private school, with help from scholarships), and credit card debt - most of which remains is what we have put towards home renovations. We own old vehicles (that we have purchased outright) so no debt there.

In the past 10 months, since I started working full time again, we have really upped the amounts we are paying towards debt. We have worked hard to be frugal in many parts of our lives. On a combined five-figure income, we have managed to pay off significant amounts of debt this year.

Recently Daniel sat down and figured out that if we continue down our current path (with absolutely no changes) we could pay off ALL of our debt in six years (including our mortgage). This is pretty astounding to think about. I am not saying that this will happen, but it is definitely within the realm of possibility.
This does not take into account having a family or any change in jobs.

I have no idea what our financial future holds, but with all the financial crisis' that are happening, it makes me feel better to know that on a personal level, it is possible to be completely debt free by the time we are 34.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Received this survey twice recently and feel like procrasting...

1. What is your occupation right now?
Designer and Teacher

2. What color are your socks right now?

No socks for me

3. What are you listening to right now?

Pandora - specifically Pearl Jam at the moment

4. What was the last thing that you ate?

Just got back from lunch at Big Daddy's - chicken sandwich and onion straws

5. Can you drive a stick shift?

Currently this is all I drive (or my bike)

6. Last person you spoke to on the phone?

Probably by brother

7. Do you like the person who sent this to you?


8. How old are you today?


9. What is your favorite sport to watch on TV?

Do the Olympics count?

10. What is your favorite drink?

Pumpkin Spice Latte

11. Have you ever dyed your hair?

Of course

12. Favorite food?

Breakfast at a diner

13. What is the last movie you watched?

Does 24 on DVD count? Otherwise, I think we saw Indiana Jones recently...

14. Favorite day of the year?

Any day that I can spend outside

15. How do you vent anger?


16. What was your favorite toy as a child?

We didn't have toys growing up... just kidding. Don't know that I had a fave.

17. What is your favorite season?


18. Cherries or Blueberries?

Both, but I love blueberries for breakfast when they are in season (and affordable)

19. Do you want your friends to e-mail you back?
20. Who is the most likely to respond?
21. Who is least likely to respond?

22. Living arrangements?

A partially remodeled house

23. When was the last time you cried?

I don't cry too often. Probably last weekend when I was frustrated about a house project

24. What is on the floor of your closet?

shoes - maybe I need a shoeskirt...

25. Who is the friend you have had the longest that you are sending to?

26. What did you do last night

Watch Ugly Betty, then the last disc of season 6 of 24

27. What are you most afraid of?

being alone

28. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburger?

cheese with all the fixin's

29. Favorite dog breed?

Labs or Goldens

30. Favorite day of the week?


31. How many states have you lived in?

3 states, 1 province, 3 countries

32. Diamonds or pearls?

not big on jewelry

33. What is your favorite flower?

Gerber Daises

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Night Riding

Tonight Daniel and I rode the 4 miles to the Benson's for life group. The greenway connects very nicely between our home and theirs. The ride there was perfect, especially with the cool fall weather.

The ride home was nice in a different kind of way. Riding your bike in the dark makes all of your senses work harder. While on the greenway we actually turned our lights off and rode by the light of the moon. It is amazing how bright the moon can be and how quickly your eyes adapt to the surroundings. We did have to use our lights for the connecting trail through the woods to the neighborhood. We also kept our lights on while we navigated the streets in our neighborhood - not so we could see, but so that cars would be able to see us. I love riding at night. The last time we did that was last December on the beach at Hilton Head.

Tonight when we got home, we took the time to lay in the hammock underneath the cloudy sky and the full moon. It amazes me that the moon was so bright that I couldn't actually look straight at it for more than a few seconds.


Why do some jokes never get old? Some even seem to get funnier with time. Ever since I started working with the creative group at Enventys back in January, I have tried to explain to Daniel what it is like to work with the group of people that I work with. Some days the jokes and laughs border on mania and we always seem to spend at least part of our days laughing.

Last night Daniel and I went to a surprise 50th birthday party for my former boss. For the first time, Daniel was able to experience the antics of the people I work with - now he has a little glimpse of what my days can be like.

Now that two people have left our little group, hopefully the laughs won't stop. Obviously they will change since a lot of the jokes seem to have revolved around Ron and Jason. But there will be new jokes to be made... they are already starting with the possibility of a M. Pate (pat-tay)... we shall see how things go.

As for the party, it was a lot of fun and Ron was completely surprised (border-line shocked) to get home to a house full of people. It was probably the best "surprise" party I have been a part of...
well our good-bye party for Ron was a pretty good surprise too - so that may be a toss up...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

So this past week, we did not do so great with the no car experiment. It seemed to be rainy and cold (at least in the mornings) all week. Really, I guess we can chalk it up to laziness. I did have a dentist appointment on Tuesday morning and lunch with a friend on Friday - both necessitated the use of a car. We have been trying to be better at combining trips out. For example last night we did a massive return to Lowe's and then we did our grocery shopping afterwards. This takes more planning and we were out until 11, but it does save on our gas usage.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

9 Day "No Car" Experiment

Here is a breakdown of how we managed with our "No Car" Experiment.

Thursday, Sept 25:

Daniel rode motorcycle to work. Cheree drove car 1.5 miles to bus stop, rode bus downtown, walked 0.75 miles to work.
Daniel rode motorcycle home. Co-worker drove Cheree to bus stop, rode bus back to car. Drove 1.5 miles home.
Miles driven in car:

Friday, Sept 26:

Daniel and Cheree rode motorcycle to work - cold and raining lightly.
Daniel and Cheree rode motorcycle home - raining hard, did not see any gas stations open on ride home.
Miles driven in car:

Saturday, Sept 27:

Daniel rode motorcycle looking for gas around town - no luck (car is on fumes at this point). Daniel and Cheree rode bicycles to Cotswald for lunch at Chipotle and to pick up milk for breakfast.
Miles driven in car:
Miles biked (C&D):

Sunday, Sept 28:

Daniel rode motorcycle looking for gas around town - found some in SouthPark. Called Cheree to drive to get in gas line. We had to wait 20 minutes to fill up (this was early in morning). Rode motorcycle to church. Biked to Walmart to buy groceries for week. Rode motorcycle to life group.
Miles driven in car:
Miles biked (C&D):

Monday, Sept 29:

Daniel rode motorcycle to work. Cheree biked 1.5 miles to bus stop. Could not get on the Express Bus due to it having too many bikes on it. Waited for the regular bus. Dropped off at transit station downtown, bike 1.5 miles to work (late for meeting - oops).
Daniel rode motorcycle home. Cheree biked 0.75 miles to bus stop. Rode bus most of the way home. Biked 1.5 miles from bus stop to home. Cheree drove to Rock Hill, SC to teach class at York Tech.
Miles driven in car:
Miles biked (C):

Tuesday, Sept 30:

Daniel and Cheree rode motorcycle to work (wanted to get home at a reasonable time because my brother was coming to visit).
Daniel and Cheree rode motorcycle home.
Miles driven in car:

Wednesday, Oct 1:

Daniel and Cheree rode motorcycle to work.
Daniel and Cheree rode motorcycle home. Cheree drove to Rock Hill, SC to teach class at York Tech.
Miles driven in car:

Thursday, Oct 2:

Daniel rode motorcycle to work. Cheree drove car - had to drive car because I needed to go somewhere during lunch.
Daniel went and worked at service project from 4-9, then rode motorcycle home. Cheree drove home. After dinner, Cheree drove to pick up movie and get coffee with visiting guests.
Miles driven in car:

Friday, Oct 3:

Daniel and Cheree carpooled to work - had to drive car because we were meeting friends for dinner.
Daniel went home at noon to take a nap and to pick up our trailer. He came to pick me up at 5:15. We drove to Concord Mills to meet friends and to do some shopping. Had to have car with trailer to pick up our tile saw that we had lent to friends.
Miles driven in car:

Nine Day Recap

Total Miles By Car:
80 of those miles were for teaching and not to be held against us. So if we do not count those, we only drove the car 80 miles unnecessarily in the past 9 days. This means we only used about 3.5 gallons of gas unnecessarily.

I did not include miles ridden on motorcycle. This comes to a total of around 180 miles and 3 gallons of gas used.

Total Miles Biked:
20.25 for Cheree and 15 for Daniel.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

A Great Recipe For Life (from a friend)

1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. --- It is the ultimate anti-depressant.

2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Talk to God about what is going on in your life.

3. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, 'My purpose is to __________ today. I am thankful for______________'

4. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.

5. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli , almonds & walnuts.

6. Try to make at least three people smile each day.

7. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, or on issues of the past, negative thoughts, or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

8. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.

9. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

10. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

11. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

12. You are not so important that you have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

13. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.

14. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

15. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

16. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this matter?'

17. Forgive everyone for everything.

18. What other people think of you is none of your business.

19. GOD heals everything - but you have to ask Him.

20. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

21. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. ----- Stay in touch!!!

22. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

23. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements: I am thankful for __________. Today I accomplished _________.

24. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.

25. When you are feeling down, start listing your many blessings. You'll be smiling before you know it.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Thoughts on the Bailout...

The other day I was listening to NPR and they were discussing the fact that Japan went through a similar financial crisis (to our current one) back in the 1990's. The country ended up going from around 30 national banks to the 4 they have today (my facts may be slightly off, but this is the gist).

Anyways, I was relaying this information to a friend who said something about that being a scary thought - only 4 banks in a country. Well my thought is that with a bailout of this magnitude, aren't we basically creating one bank - run by the government? I may be wrong here, but that just seems ridiculous. I am not a financial analyst and there are many things I have no clue about, but I have a hard time knowing that if this bailout passes, we, as taxpayers, will be footing the money for the high risks these banks took.

Below are some interesting links I have read recently. One is an alternative plan that Dave Ramsey is proposing. I really like Dave Ramsey and his view on money management and I think he may be on to something.

The other is a commentary by Jeffrey A. Miron, senior lecturer in economics at Harvard University. I whole heartedly agree with his commentary - if any other company was in this type of situation, they would declare bankruptcy (think the airlines in recent years). Our economy needs help, but I can't help but feel that more government, at the cost of the tax payers, is not the best solution.

Addendum: These are my thoughts as a taxpayer. In terms of the positive effects that the bailout will hopefully have on the company I work for and companies across this nation, I know that it is important for something to happen soon - many jobs are dependent on it...

Family Hike at Fiery Gizzard

On Saturday we had originally planned to go on a group hike on the Fiery Gizzard Trail , but it was cancelled at the last minutes. So...