Thursday, December 29, 2005

dang disease

So far today, I've taken five insulin shots.

I got up this morning and wanted some orange juice. Because that's what happens when my throat hurts. Drinking orange juice required a shot.

I wanted to eat breakfast but nothing sounded good. I managed to eat a banana and drink some more orange juice. That required insulin.

A couple hours later I was hungry because all I had was a banana and orange juice. Time for a cereal bar. That required another shot.

Lunch time. Again, nothing sounded good. But I decided a bowl of Honeycombs wouldn't be too bad. Yes, more insulin.

I checked my blood sugar after lunch. A little high. Not a surprise these days. Another shot of insulin. Hopefully that will bring it down, although it's not feeling like that's the case.

I still have dinner and my other insulin that complements the meal-time doses. At least seven shots.

Now, some would say here: What about the insulin pump?

I in turn ask: Do you really want something attached to you all of the time? I mean all of the time.

Yeah, it doesn't sound appealling to me either.

Oh, by the way, I faxed the last few weeks of my blood sugar readings to my endocrinologist in Louisville. Her nurse called to ask a question about something that was cut off on the faxes. Then said, well, the doctor said maybe you're just out of the honeymoon stage of diabetes (sometimes people's bodies will make some insulin, even with insulin-dependent diabetes) and it's just becoming harder to control.

In my head, to the doctor: Well, yes, it has been harder to control. That's why I sent for help from you. I didn't need you to tell me that. I needed you to offer some suggestions for managing it better.

I'm not sure why sleeping on the couch is better than the bed when I'm sick. But I do know being sick — well, at least not feeling well — is more complicated with diabetes.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

It's Dec. 27 ...

... That means I get to start using my new day-planner-calendar-thing. (I love new calendars more than new months.) Yes, I know it's not really the new year, but the calendar actually starts on Dec. 26 with it's weekly agenda-thing.

(Yes, I have thought it was Dec. 26 all morning. That would be because I didn't flip by day-by-day calendar far enough off. Because it sure feels like a Monday. Plus I don't use a calendar much on the weekend, especially when they are sitting on my work desk and I'm spent the weekend not thinking about work.)

... That also means I should get to wear my new winter coat. But, no, it's supposed to be 63 degrees today! I asked my mom for a new coat for Christmas and she came through in a good way. It's light blue. The inside layer is fleece and the outer layer is a waterproof windbreaker. So it's warm and practical. But the best part is I can wear either layer by itself. It's like three in one!

Louisville, Ky. 40291

So the Hills had our first Christmas away from 5311 Schureck Court. I didn't know if this would affect me much, and it really didn't other than I thought about it. Here's a recap of the weekend, most of which was sitting on the really comfortable couch and recliner my parents bought when they moved almost a year ago.

There was something I wanted to talk to my mom about. I had been waiting for a good time. (Is there such a thing?) Anyway, I was talking to my sister about something along the same topic lines, and she confessed she and mom already talked about the thing I thought my mom didn't know but I decided I wanted her to know. (Vague, huh?) Anyway, so it's weird to spend time thinking about how and why and when to tell someone something, then that person already knows. But Mom and I talked about it more, and it was good to get it out in the open, even though it was something I had hoped would turn into a surprise.

Yeah, so, anyway, there were some good bonding moments with Mom and Cassie. Sometimes I think we are all so different, but then we'll connect every now and then I'm grateful we have at least one similarity. We watched "Rumor Has It," and I could identify with Jennifer Aniston's character (No, I didn't sleep with the same guy my mom and grandma did. I'm certain they never slept with the same guy anyway ...) because she sometimes felt removed from her family. I think sometimes families keep so many things on the surface when in fact these are the relationships that are most likely to be unaffected in the long run by emotional, dramatic situations.

With that said, I think it bothers me sometimes that my family is so removed from my life in Murray. People here know me as a Taylor, which is fine. I think I just wish sometimes that my family knew more about my day-to-day life. Now, I realize that's what happens when people live in different places. Still, my brother has never been to Murray. Never. I went to college here for four years and I've lived here for 2 1/2 years. My dad has been here probably three or four times total. But Mom and Cassie have been here many times. I also realizes that's what happens when we grow up and makes lives of our own.

Still, having these separate lives, which is how it feels sometimes, is a nice way to escape Murray when I need a break. Like I did this weekend. Greg and I had two really busy weeks leading up to Christmas with work parties, work meetings and family commitments. Now, I really like kind of stuff. I mean, I enjoy all the holiday festitivies, but combined with the frequency and how I was warding off sickness last week, I was really ready for a break.

And that's what I got. It just came in Louisville, as it has other times this past year, rather than my lifelong childhood home.

Friday, December 23, 2005

silly wishful thinking

Does it make me ignorant that I keeping hoping/wishing/thinking a 55-year-old man will change his ways? Seriously, why even carry silly expectations around inside myself?

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Which came first ...?

The head cold or the diabetes frustrations?

Yeah, I don't know either. Every morning this week, I've woken up with much-too-high blood sugar. That is frustrating because I don't know why and because it makes me feel really sluggish and makes getting out of bed a difficult task. So every morning, I've taken extra insulin and most days it still isn't down by the time I get to work and want to eat breakfast. So I take more insulin with my breakfast and gradually it goes down. But then in the afternoon and evenings, my blood sugar has been rising again.

Every night, I just think about how I hope in the morning it's back to normal. I'm doing everything I know to do, and my just isn't cooperating.

Now, I've also had this head cold this week. Sickness affects diabetes because it's stress on the body. Another variable is female hormones. (No, I'm not pregnant.) See, insulin in a horomone, so it affects other hormones and other hormones affect it.

By the way, I want to say that the egg came first, but I just can't figure out how the egg got there without the chicken.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

So what if we don't owe people money?

I swear, this country encourages debt. Probably in more ways than one, but my soap box today (and this isn't a new soap box ...) deals with one.

Neither Greg nor I believe in spending money we don't have. Now, don't try to argue, well, something happens to the car and you're on vacation so you have to charge it ... Yes, I know, there are exceptions. But, generally, we don't believe in charging things and then paying them off — at more expensive rates, thanks to interest — later.

We got our first credit card a couple months ago. We tried to get one a little sooner, but nobody would approve us. We finally went through the bank, which verified we really do have some money, and ended up with a low-balance card. Good for us. We use it for gas and ocassionally other things, but we just pay it off with money we have.

Fortunately, we own our house (thanks to his parents) and both our cars. He got his as a college graduate present and I paid for mine in college with some money my late aunt gave me. Still, we realize we are fortunate with those two things. But, unfortunately, the corporate world doesn't care that we pay for things as we can afford them.

Our cell phones are jointly in Greg's mom's name and our names. We could have gotten then solely in ours — after I had a cell phone in my own name with another company for five years — but we would have had to pay a $400 deposit EACH. That's just stupid. We're going to pay the freakin' bill.

It took us countless tries to get a credit card, like I said. Guess what? We plan on paying that bill too.

So, here we are, we want to get windows. My dad is going to help us out, but we shopped around for the best deal. At Lowe's, which gave us the cheapest estimate anyway, we can save 10 percent — or almost $400 — on materials if we buy them with a credit card that has no interest for a year. We thought it would be a perfect chance to get our windows and build some credit. EXCEPT that the store wouldn't approve us for a credit card.

Seriously.

How is one supposed to build credit if is impossible to do the things people advice doing?

I realize we won't help the credit card companies, which make their money from people NOT paying things off before high interest rates are slapped on, but I also know we won't hurt them.

Now, I understand we are in a good place. But, here's part of what bothers me, I'm independent. That's what oldest children are (although I think Greg missed some of that birthing-order generalization). I don't like relying on people — these days primarily Greg's parents — to do things we can afford to do. I know it really doesn't make a difference; we are still managing our lives financially like we want. BUT I hate that corporate American doesn't encourage people like us.

spare some conversation

This song has been playing often in my car.

Can, can you spare some conversation
Can, can you spare some conversation

I need a yellow taxi cab today
I need your taxi cab to take me away
I need a yellow taxi cab today
So take us, driver, take us far away

I need someone like you
Someone to see me through

People looking happy
While sadly I wait for my taxi

She was standing next to me
I looked alone she took me home
In her arms I laid my head
She listened to everything I said

I need someone like you
Someone to talk to

I need a yellow taxi cab today
I need your taxi cab to take me away
I need a yellow taxi cab today
So take us driver take us far away

I need someone like you
Someone to see me through

Can, can you spare some conversation
Can, can you spare some conversation

I'm standing out here all alone
I need someone to take me home
She was standing next to me
There's room for you and room for me

I need someone like you
Someone to talk to

And we shared some conversation
And we shared some conversation


—Matt Costa, "Yellow Taxi"

Christmas quiz

Again, I'm stealing this from Alexa:

1. COLORED OR WHITE LIGHTS?
White, although my mom always used colored lights when I was a kid. I actually like the white lights on my tree so much that I haven't turned them off since I put it up the Monday after Thanksgiving.

2. REAL OR FAKE TREE?
I grew up with real trees until I was in college and my mom made the switch. I understand how a fake tree (seriously, though, fake? I mean, I know they aren't real, but let's call them artificial!) is much less hassle, so that's the route I've gone. Plus I think Greg appreciates that because he's not exactly crazy about the tree in general.

3. WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT THE HOLIDAYS?
The people who get stressed out with activities and shopping. Christmas is supposed to be a joyful time.

4. WHAT IS THE ONE THING THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE UNDER THE TREE THIS YEAR?
I pretty much know everything Greg is getting me, so I know I'll love those things, especially the new QuicKutz font for scrapbooking.

5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO/BUILD IN THE SNOW?
Watch it from inside.

6. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE HOLIDAY DRINK?
Hot chocolate

7. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE HOLIDAY SMELL?
Cinnamon

8. WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE REINDEER?
Prancer. (Remember that movie?) Plus everyone probably will say Rudolph, so I'm trying to include the others.

9. WHAT IS YOUR CHRISTMAS EVE RITUAL?
As a kid, my family went to midnight Mass at church. Then usually us kids would exchange one gift. Most years we watched "Funny Farm" too. Now that everyone is all grown up, it sort of just depends on when Christmas is. If it is on the weekend, like this year, we usually end up at my parents' house becuase it makes sense logistically.

10. ARE YOU A FRIDAY AFTER THANKSGIVING SHOPPER?
No. Definitely not.

11. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE HOLIDAY FOOD?
Fudge. (I don't know make it, I just like to eat it when other people make it.)

12. HOW DID YOU FIND OUT SANTA WASN'T REAL?
I don't really remember. It probably had something to do with my mom wanting help wrapping presents because I'm a nerd and I love wrapping presents. I do remember the year I was completely convinced he was real ...

13. WHO DO YOU WANT TO BE UNDER THE MISTLETOE WITH YOU?
Mistletoe is an interesting concept. Maybe Greg and I need to get some of that.

14. HAVE YOU BOUGHT ALL YOUR PRESENTS YET?
Yes. I finished yesterday. I LOVE Christmas shopping. (That's my favorite part about the season — shopping! — no question has asked me what my favorite thing is yet!)

15. DO YOU SPEND CHRISTMAS WITH A LOT OF FAMILY?
There are a lot of Taylors, so we have an annual party with them. Seriously, like 50 people. There's not near that many that come into town all at once in my family. One of my favorite recent Christmases was in 2001. My grandma died in 2001 and both my mom's brother and sister and their families came into Louisville at the same time. It was really nice to have everyone together in honor of my grandmother, who was the one who really made holidays what they were, especially the food.

16. DO YOU STILL MAKE SNOWMEN AND SNOW ANGELS?
I'd be more tempted to make a snow angel. But there would have to be a lot of snow and I would have to have no place to go when I got finished except under a blanket on my couch.

17. DO YOU STILL HAVE SNOW BALL FIGHTS?
I believe last year when it snowed a lot I got hit with a couple snow balls. Does that constitute a fight?

18. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CHRISTMAS MOVIE?
Does "Love Actually" count?

19. WHAT DO YOU PLAN TO DO FOR NEW YEAR'S EVE?
We're having friends over to our house. It'll be the first time ever (after four years of college and three holidays living here) I've been in Murray for New Year's, meaning it's the first I'm I've ever celebrated New Year's in the central time zone. Do these people know the ball drops in the eastern time zone?

20. WHAT IS THE MOST EXPENSIVE THING YOU'VE GOTTEN FOR CHRISTMAS?
Hmm...A TV, glasses, a stereo? I never have gotten a big gift from a significant other, cause, well, you know.

21. HOW EARLY DO YOU WAKE UP ON CHRISTMAS MORNING?
These days 9 or so would be perfect, but I imagine that's asking a bit much. As a kid, my brother and sister camped out on my bedroom floor and we all got up way too early for our own good.

22. WHAT DO YOU USUALLY GET IN YOUR STOCKING?
I have great stocking givers. My mom, Greg's mom and Greg's grandma all give me stockings. Well, Greg does too, but I know most of the things because he bought them when I was with him. :) Anyway, Mom usually gives underwear, a movie, gum and socks. Greg's mom gives random stuff. (We're saving our stockings until later in January when his brother John gets home from Iraq, so we didn't open them this weekend when we did our presents.) Greg's grandma usually puts in socks, gloves and a gift certificate.

23. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CHRISTMAS SONG?
O Holy Night. Third Day sings this song called "Manger Throne" and Jennifer Knapp sings "Sing Mary Sing." I pretty much just love Christmas music.

24. WHAT DECORATIONS ARE ON YOUR TREE?
White lights (Didn't I already say that?) and ornaments from my childhood, Greg's childhood and ones we've gotten since we've been married

25. WERE YOU EVER IN A CHRISTMAS RECITAL?
No, and you should be thankful for that.

Monday, December 19, 2005

his job and mine

I haven't been around long enough, but I too see this disappointing trend:

I love my job in a business in which circulation is shrinking, the news hole is shrinking, the size of the paper is shrinking and respect from our readers is at low ebb. There's a message in there somewhere.

Our job has been to write about uncertainty ... and now we're living it. At a time when we all need to know more about our wide and complex world, newspapers are being given less resources for the job.

So I keep asking myself: If we don't explain, if we don't tell the stories, if we don't connect the readers, who will?


— Bob Hill in Saturday's Courier-Journal

It's Christmastime!

Well, that Taylors spent the weekend celebrating Christmas. The Hill Christmas is still to come.

Seriously, you have got to love a holiday that takes weeks to celebrate.

We had three parties last week — my work, our church friends, Greg's work. Then we have another (well, sort of two more) this week — with the local attorneys and the Christmas program/party at our church. Then it's off to Louisville on Friday, first for the UK-Iona basketball game then for family (and maybe some friend) time the rest of the weekend.

* "The Family Stone" was a good movie. I especially was glad to see Claire Danes back. It made me miss "My So-Called Life."

* We can know record TV shows to our computer, much like a TiVo, thanks to Greg's Christmas present from his parents.

* I got the new tennis shoes I couldn't find in a store. I guess Adidas just aren't cool enough for stores to carry much of a variety. And I got a new fleece jacket, which is appreciated, especially because my now old one was from high school. I loved it, though, and I didn't want to part with it until I had a proper replacement.

* I really love that I walked into the living room at Greg's parents' house and his mom and Angela were talking about how much they liked the gifts I bought them. I backed into a compliment, and that's really the best way because I know it's real.

* I have a Christmas wish (which is only a Christmas wish because it's Christmastime; any other time, it would only be a wish) that I think for some reason if I don't talk about will be more likely to come true. Yeah, I don't know about that philosophy. But, then again, the less I talk about it, the less disappointed I'll be, right?

* UK beat Louisville. That's good redemption after the beating by the Hoosiers.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Back to T-shirt sheets we go

Greg thinks our flannel sheets are making him sick, or rather keeping him from getting well, because they make the bed too hot to get a good night's sleep in. I don't know, those flannel sheets are so comfortable. But, then again, I do keep waking up with much-too-high blood sugar. Maybe the wintry flannel sheets do need to go.

Too much CSI?

Recently, I've been having weird dreams that take place in my childhood home. One was about a guy hiding in the downstairs coat closet and the other was about a guy hiding in a pile of leaves in the front yard. I wake up a little tense, then everything is fine.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

understanding the most from the least-understood situations

"You may be going through a confusing time. You may not know how God is going to use a situation in your life or why certain things have happened to you. But you can be encouraged and strengthened by recalling what you know about God in the midst of uncertainties ... recounting what we know refreshes us ... you can always know who is faithful."

—Beth Moore, author

any day is better than this

Courtesy an e-mail forward...

Rob is a commercial saturation diver for Global Divers in Louisiana. He performs underwater repairs on offshore drilling rigs. Below is an e-mail he sent to his sister. She then sent it to radio station 103.2 on FM dial in Ft. Wayne, Ind., who was sponsoring a worst job experience contest. Needless to say, she won.

Hi Sue,
Just another note from your bottom-dwelling brother. Last week I had a bad day at the office. I know you've been feeling down lately at work, so I thought I would share my dilemma with you to make you realize it's not so bad after all. Before I can
tell you what happened to me, I first must bore you with a few technicalities of my job.

As you know, my office lies at the bottom of the sea. I wear a suit to the office. It's a wet suit. This time of year the water is quite cool. So what we do to keep warm is this: We have a diesel powered industrial water heater. This $20,000 piece of equipment sucks the water out of the sea. It heats it to a delightful temperature. It then pumps it down to the diver through a garden hose, which is taped to the air hose.

Now this sounds like a darn good plan, and I've used it several times with no complaints.

What I do, when I get to the bottom and start working, is take the hose and stuff it down the back of my wet suit. This floods my whole suit with warm water. It's like working in a jacuzzi.

Everything was going well until all of a sudden, my butt started to itch. So, of course, I scratched it. This only made things worse. Within a few seconds my butt started to burn. I pulled the hose out from my back, but the damage was done. In agony I realized what had happened. The hot water machine had sucked up a jellyfish and pumped it into my suit.

Now, since I don't have any hair on my back, the jellyfish couldn't stick to it. However, the crack of my butt was not as fortunate. When I scratched what I thought was an itch, I was actually grinding the jellyfish into the
crack of my butt. I informed the dive supervisor of my dilemma over the communicator. His instructions were unclear due to the fact that he, along with five other divers, were all laughing hysterically.

Needless to say I aborted the dive. I was instructed to make three agonizing in-water decompression stops totaling thirty-five minutes before I could reach the surface to begin my chamber dry decompression. When I arrived at the surface, I was wearing nothing but my brass helmet. As I climbed out of the water, the medic, with tears of laughter running down his face, handed me a tube of cream and told me to rub it on my butt as soon as I got in the chamber. The cream put the fire out, but I couldn't poop for two days because my butt was swollen shut.

So, next time you're having a bad day at work, think about how much worse it would be if you had a jellyfish shoved up your butt.

Now repeat to yourself, "I love my job, I love my job, I love my job."

Friday, December 9, 2005

like silver

He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.
—Malachi 3:3

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.

One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible study.

That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says:

"He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver."

She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?"

He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy — when I see my image in it."

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

My Favorite Things (The Holiday Version)

Disclaimer: I admit to stealing this idea from Alexa. But all the items on my list are truly my thoughts, regardless of how much like hers they may sound.

* The satisfaction of finding good gifts for people. "What do you want for Christmas?" is wearing on me. I can't count the number of times my mom and my mother-in-law have asked me that. Really, I just want them to shop for me and find things that make them think of me. That's how I think people should shop. Granted, I understand gift-giving isn't everyone's love language like it is mine. I really enjoy picking out gifts for people. Although, I admit, I struggled with Kevin this year. But I found something.

* Candy canes, especially the soft ones that almost literally melt in my mouth

* Having no other lights on in my house except for the Christmas tree. It's funny that growing up, my mom always had colored Christmas lights, and sometimes a strand would randomly flicker even though that's not what she planned. Now, I love the white lights that don't flicker. I've been keeping the tree on at night so if I have to wake up to pee, I see its glow when I go into the bathroom. (Oh, maybe that's too much information...)

* Christmas music. I'm alternating between City on a Hill and A Very Special Acoustic Christmas. Yes, I waited until the day after Thanksgiving to start playing them.

* Smells. Cinnamon. Fudge. Peanut butter. Candles.

* Fudge. It's definitely my favorite form of chocolate.

* Extra days off work. I worried I wouldn't get one this year because Christmas and New Year's Day are on Sundays, but I was surprisingly wrong. I'm looking forward to Dec. 26 and Jan. 2.

* Cards. I am sending out 60-something Christmas letters to our family and friends and another 30 or so for people I know through my job. It's really just a good excuse to mail people cards and letters, much like I justify buying gifts.

* Good movies. I've seen "Walk the Line" and "Just Friends" and now I'm waiting for "Pride and Prejudice" and "Ice Harvest" to come to Murray. And those were just the ones out for Thanksgiving. I'm looking forward to "The Family Stone."