Wednesday, January 28, 2009

An excerpt from The Bells by Edgar Allen Poe

Hear the loud alarum bells -
Brazen bells!
What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells!
In the startled ear of night
How they scream out their affright!
Too much horrified to speak,
They can only shriek, shriek,
Out of tune,
In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire,
In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire,
Leaping higher, higher, higher,
With a desperate desire,
And a resolute endeavor
Now - now to sit, or never,
By the side of the pale - faced moon.
Oh, the bells, bells, bells!
What a tale their terror tells
Of Despair!
How they clang, and clash and roar!
What a horror they outpour
On the bosom of the palpitating air!
Yet the ear, it fully knows,
By the twanging,
And the clanging,
How the danger ebbs and flows;
Yet the ear distinctly tells,
In the jangling,
And the wrangling,
How the danger sinks and swells,
By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells -
Of the bells -
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells -
In the clamor and the clanging of the bells!

Read the whole poem here.
There are four parts to this poem by Poe. This is my favorite excerpt; the other two are about jolly jingle bells (woah), happy wedding bells (but you know death will be a part of it somewhere), and death bells tolling (ding, ding!). My heart started to race as I read this section; I just sensed the apprehension of waiting to find out just what WAS the emergency in which the bells were sounding? I love it when he writes:
...Of the bells- Of the bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells-

I can hear his agitation and panic. And madness, let's not forget madness. Love it.
Just in case you didn't know... Edgar Allen Poe's birthday was January 19, 1809 (this, of course, bears a strange coincidence to it being my brother-in-law's birthday-he can do a great, ominous laugh, btw). This is the 200th anniversary of the year of his birth. There are celebrations the whole year through! You know what that means, don't you? That we will celebrate here, on my blog. Oh yeah, I'll wait for you to stop leaping for joy.

Happy Birthday, Poe. Dude, I love your stuff.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Love these things. I recently did this for Facebook and thought I would post it here. Consider yourself tagged.

1. I'm way more girly than I used to be. I Love jewelry, make-up, high heels (with cool hose or tights), interesting color combos, and jackets (year round).
2. I loathe winter though I love winter clothes (scarves and a vintage leather Agner trench I adore).
3. I've just started (in the past year or so) reading the "classics". I refused to read them in high school because I didn't want someone to tell me what to read. I used Cliff's Notes. Cheater, cheater pumpkin eater.
4. Come to think of it, I cheated a lot in high school. My mother is so proud. Stop cringing, Mother.
5. The older I get, the more OCD I get. About everything. Don't get me started on laundry.
6. Alright, you got me started. All the laundry must be clean, all the time. It doesn't have to be folded and put away, but it does have to smell good. I must smell every piece of laundry as I fold it. Sniff, mmmm. Sniff, mmmm. Sniff, mmmm. Some of you know this and are rolling your eyes right now.
7. I have very vivid dreams and nightmares. Sometimes, I wake up and don't know where I am. And I scare the crap out of my husband with screams or sobbing.
8. I love chocolate (if you've known me for ANY length of time, then you know this), but I cannot eat it anymore because I think it is linked to me having dizzy spells (what? I can say "dizzy spells" like an old lady) and headaches.
9. I. Want. To. Have. More. Babies.
10. I enjoy cooking. A lot more than I did than when I got married. I was a tad bit intimidated of my in-laws and their ability to cook amazing southern food. I think we had been married for three years when I ventured to be brave enough to try a recipe on my own.
11. I'm incredibly lazy, which is why Facebook is so appealing. It's pretending to do something, while you're really just being very, VERY lazy. "Hmmm, I think I'll look at Flair and give it to somebody. They will love it. I'm so productive." Flair is fun.
12. I love pretending to be the bad guy. I love to do an evil laugh (bwahahaha) and tap my fingers evil-ly. Especially with my children, who like to run from the room, screaming. Need a baby sitter?
13. I wish I could play the guitar. I can't get past the whole "wow, my fingers are really bleeding" thing.
14. I christmas-treed the SAT's in high school. Yeah, I didn't do very well on it. Wait, I only did that on the math part. There, that makes it better.
15. I don't like taking prescription medication. I think it's because I have a bit (BIT) of an addictive personality.
16. I never smoked weed. I did smoke two clove cigarettes in college (Yes, Bible college) and got as sick as a dog. I'm talking green and laying on the bathroom floor kind of sick. Never cared much for the smell of cloves after that.
17. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I just love to dress up and pretend. I never really grew out of that.
18. I'm a wee bit morbid. It kind of goes with that "I like to pretend I'm the bad guy" thing. And I adore Edgar Allen Poe. By the way, did you know that January is his birthday month? It's true. I'm gonna have to do something about that.
19. I know a lot of information about Ted Bundy. A lot. Yes, the serial killer.
20. I want to lose ten pounds. Never satisfied with my weight. Pretty frustrating, actually.
21. I'm going to bleach my sheets today. I LOOOOOOVE the smell of bleached sheets. Sniff, mmmm.
22. I've learned to love running. But you may be bored hearing about that by now. "yeah, yeah, we know. You love to run. Shutup."
23. I wish I were more disciplined with stuff. And not so lazy.
24. I want to make the goal to be three inches taller. Yes.
25. I'm only motivated to clean my house when there are people coming over. And there are. In about five hours. Toodles.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Five Things I Thought Were True About Running

1. Fancy, shmancy running clothes make you faster. While this is not true, they do make you look cooler and that counts for something. For me anyway. Because I'm a vain peacock.

2. It looks painful. Or beautiful. Depending on who you watch run. I probably look like I'm in pain, especially if I'm singing a lil' ditty.

3. It is a good way to get in shape. This is true, but not in the way I'm thinking. I'm thinking I should look like Kate
by now (duh, from Lost), but I don't. I'm thinking she probably exercises a LOT more than I do and generally eats less. And she definitely has cooler hair. No, I'm NOT jealous. Okay, maybe a little. (Hello, THIS WEEK is the season premiere!)

4. It's boring. It's not boring. I actually, ahem, like it. And like it more every week that I do it. It's alone time, chatting time (with Melanie- we run together twice a week), laughing time (alone and with Melanie- yeah, sometimes I look crazy), and a time for me to think and process and recover and contemplate and be goal-oriented and be thankful and be mad and be happy and be curious and think about my humanity.

5. You'll grow to hate it. Not so. I've grown to love it and look forward to it. To feel sweaty, feel my feet beat the pavement, feel my arms swing, to go slow, to go fast- I feel very human and very alive.

Here's a great way to start.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Daddy and Felix have a conversation.

Daddy: "Hey, Sweet Cheex Beex!" He says this in his "I'm talking to the kids voice", which is so cute.

Felix: "I not a sweet cheex, Daddy. I a big boy."

Daddy: "Well, you're a silly goose!"

Felix: "I not a silly goose, Daddy. You don't hear me cock-a-doodle-do, do ya?"

I guess not.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wearing Pink

I'm sporting pink today, in honor of Magdalena. She passed away on Monday morning in her Momma and Daddy's arms. Magdalena had Edward's Syndrome. Her Mom, Julia, started keeping a blog in May of 2008, after she was told that her baby she was carrying was going to be born with Edward's. Go here to read her story. Quinn shares a class with Noah, Magdalena's Daddy, and has admired his courage and his faith in the Sustainer of our strength.

Today is the funeral. They've requested people attending the funeral wear pink, in honor of their precious baby girl. I'm not able to go, but am there in spirit.
Pray with me as they go through their grief.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cake Withdrawal


I feel a lot better.

The vertigo has gone away, for the most part (I still have occasional twinges). I'm so glad.

I miss cake.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Proof A Photo Can Haunt You

Can you find me? Yeah, the creepy lookin' one. Please note: all the other girls are smiling (my sister-in-law, Kerri, on the far right-standing). I am not smiling. I am intimidating. And apparently modeling the most awesome hairstyle ever.

This is from Camp Ikthus, maybe in '97 or '98. We dressed that way (what way??) for Kangaroo Court. I loved it. I'm sure there are more of these out there.

Fun times.


The scan was clear.

We found out Friday afternoon that the scan was clear, which is good news (duh), but that leaves me still feeling dizzy and not knowing why.

I talked to the nurse, who seemed at a loss for words (did she want the scan to NOT be clear???). She said, "Well, do you want to come back in?". Um, why? I told her I would call them back if I wanted to talk to the doctor or if I needed a referral to see an ENT (ear, nose, and throat specialist). (Don't call us, we'll call you). I started thinking (ouch, OUCH!), and was determined to figure this thing out myself. At this point (around 4:00 Friday afternoon), I was actually feeling okay (the headache did not have its vice grips on anymore) and the dizzy "cloud" (that's what it kind of feels like in front of my eyes) had lessened.

So....what was the difference? I had taken a Meclizine pill (the prescribed medication for dizziness), which might have helped, but I had still been feeling bad three hours after I had taken it that morning. The only other thing I had done differently that morning was sliver off chocolate cake periodically throughout the morning. Pause... And I had eaten a fat slab of it the night before... and the night before that. And woke up feeling wretched the two mornings in a row after consuming it. Hmmm... Maybe it had something to do with sugar overload. I did google "can sugar contribute to dizziness?" and saw chat rooms and web sites where people were talking about that. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) can cause dizziness and such and it does run in my family, but I didn't think that it would carry on for two weeks. However, I decided to limit (cutting way back) on my sugar over the next few days to see what would happen. On Friday night, I didn't have any dessert, and woke up Saturday without the hangover-type headache I had woken up with the prior two days, though the dizziness "cloud" was still there (but to a much lesser degree than the day before). I took another Meclizine, had an egg for breakfast (instead of cereal), and started taking a vitamin supplement called lipo-flavonoid (I picked it up at CVS), which is supposed to help with "inner ear health" and Meniere's disease (Jan, you should check this out!). By Saturday afternoon, I felt almost completely better. The dizziness cloud was gone and my headache was minuscule.

I will continue to lower my sugar intake and take the supplements for the remainder of this week to see how it goes. This morning I woke up with a little bit of the "cloud", but no headache.

I know you all are hanging on a thread waiting to see what will happen.

"Oh no, no chocolate cake? Whatever will she do? I just can't wait to see what happens this week with her new diet! This is so exciting."

I know, that's you. You'll just have to wait and see.

Friday, January 09, 2009

What Am I Doing Right Now?

...Listening to my Pandora station

...Running white vinegar through my dishwasher to help dishes not be "cloudy"

...bleaching my sheets because of a disasterous nosebleed Silas had. He kinda freaks when he sees blood. He rarely cries if he's injured, but if he sees blood (even if he's not injured), he totally freaks. The spray of blood on my sheets looks suspicious. Hopefully CSI won't come with one of their blue-light thingy-s (official name) to find blood. Well, hopefully they won't come at all. I'm guessing they won't. No murders here, lately.

...putting away a mound of laundry that looks suspiciously like I'm hiding something under. Like a dead body. The red chair in my bedroom attracks laundry.

I swear I'm not hiding a dead body.

What the heck? I must have CSI on the brain.

...comtemplating the CT Scan today, which I've come to believe will be a complete waste of time. And money. But we're going anyway.

...wearing pajamas, because I'm home from work. I like being home.

...packing for Grandma's, because we're going this afternoon to pick up Cheex (that's Felix), who's been with Grandmother this week. I've missed him so much.

...diagnosing myself, because I'm an expert at such things. I believe I have Benign Positional Vertigo, which (I remembered today - would've probably been helpful information yesterday at the doctor's office), that I was diagnosed with this 10 years ago. The exercises are what is horrid about the recovery.

...unless, of course, I have Meniere's Disease, which means I'll treat symptoms forever.

...Either one has no preventable measures. Unless you count "avoid head injuries", as preventable. Which I can't and can't.
What can I say? I'm clumsy.

...thinking about going to chiropractor to see if he can do something with my ear crystals. Sounds weird, but several people have mentioned it, and I've been reading about it today. And, call me crazy (too late), but I'm tired of being dizzy. And headachy. And nauseated.

...sigh... need to go finish get ready for stuff.

Thursday, January 08, 2009


So I went to the doctor today.

Long story (very, very long) short, I've got Vertigo.


Also, for your information, I'm not pregnant, I don't have high blood sugar, my blood pressure is a-okay, and, in general, I'm the picture of health.

Except for the nagging Vertigo symptoms, I'm topnotch.

The doctor was concerned about my Vertigo symptoms because there was no sign of why I should have them (usually, this time of year, Vertigo is accompanied with fluid behind the ears because of colds and/or allergies). So, he decided I should have a CT Scan.


I'm sure everything is fine. Though, there is a slight discomforting feeling when the doctor says, "I kinda wish I DID see something in your blood tests."

What does that mean?

He actually was very kind; thorough and gentle. I liked him.

Tomorrow I go get the CT Scan.

Today I'm taking medicine to help with the Vertigo. It's helping. A bit.

Here's to being normal soon. For me anyway.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


I like eggs, but I don't like the smell of them cooking (until they are done) or the smell they have as they are washing in the dishwasher. Bleah.

The same goes with ground beef.

I always like the smell of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil, for those who aren't in the know. like me). I like the smell of it cooking or straight from the bottle. It just smells good.

The same goes with shampoo. Except that I never cook shampoo.

On Tuesdays, I eat lunch with Silas and his class at school. I get asked a lot of interesting questions, like today when little Joshua said, "Hey, Mrs. Hill, do you want to see how I can flatten my cheeseburger to make a pancake?" Ugh. No, but thank you for checking. Also, if children ask you, "Mrs. Hill, do you want to see us race to see who can drink our milk the fastest?", the correct answer is "no", otherwise I cannot be responsible for what you see coming out a six-year old's nose and mouth.

I still have Vertigo symptoms. Annoying, annoying, ANNOYING. I'm almost ready to go to the Doctor. Almost. I loathe a co-pay. And taking medicine. And going to the doctor to have them tell me, "Yes, ma'am, I'm afraid you have Vertigo. There's really not much you can do about it, but thanks for stopping by. Will that be debit or credit?" Or, even worse, to have them tell me (like a doctor did ten years ago when I had inner-ear Vertigo in college), "This is what I want you to do. Sit down in a chair and vigorously shake your head back and forth and up and down for thirty seconds. Then, immediately stop and focus on an object in the room. Do this three times a day. This will re-train your brain to not have Vertigo." And also make me throw-up. A lot. It's torture. I did it the other night (sheer desperation), and then slept for twelve hours after I couldn't open my eyes from the migraine headache it produced.

So, that being said, I'm afraid I'm going to be one of those old people who has to tell you all of my aches and pains. I don't want to be that way. So, nix the previous paragraph, unless you already read it, then, um, I'm sorry. Just pray I don't get pregnant while I have a blog. You're in for it then. I'm not a pleasant pregnant person. Alternate personality takes over.

Yawn. Well, my goodness, it's 8:07pm and I'm pooped out. Off to bed.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Resolving to be a Resolver

It's misty, humid, and gray outside. Supposed to rain all day. Matches my mood. The house is a total wreck, my Christmas decorations are up still, and I have three packed suitcases that need to be unpacked. I'm dizzy (though I feel there is improvement in this area-finally) and unmotivated. I haven't exercised in a week (because of dizziness, throwing up, and the like) and it sends my wee neurotic brain into overdrive.

And I'm reading all over about New Year's Resolutions.

There is something about them that appeals to me. Starting fresh, making a list, checking it twice, gonna find out who's naughty and nice (wait a sec- sidetracked). So that appeals to me, until I think about when I fail (which I inevitably will, because I'm a human being TA-DAH) and then I'm not interested in making the list at all. I hate looking at a list I've not completed. It reminds me that I'm a loser.

So if I were to make a list, it would be the total loser list of things I can accomplish in one day. Or something I already have accomplished, like "quit smoking". Well, I don't smoke so I can check it off. Or "be neurotic about laundry". Well, looky here, I AM neurotic about the laundry. Check. Or "lose 10 more pounds". See, that one just annoys me because I've been on a diet (ish) forever (like since I was a preteen) and it's never really accomplished because I'm never (ever) satisfied with my weight. Even if I did lose ten more pounds, then I would wonder how difficult it would be to lose five more. Grrrr.

It's interesting that I do accomplish things. I can run four to six miles at a time. I've been able to stabilize my weight for approximately four and a half years (not including pregnancy). I've become more organized (no, really) out of necessity and I'm not a complete slob (unless I'm sick - like now). I love to take pictures, and I see marked improvement in that area. I've become more confident in teaching about music and I try a lot of different recipes that would've scared me to try five years ago. See, I'm counting up all of my righteous accomplishments. Aren't I good?

Life is messy. Life is unpredictable. And I can't make a list of resolutions that will fail. It reminds me of my own humanity. And, quite frankly, I don't want to be reminded. Reminding me of my own humanity makes me realize that I need Jesus. I can't do jack on my own. I like to do things on my own. It's fun. And rewarding. And makes me a tad bit arrogant in my own failing skin. And though it's accomplished, it's flanked with failure, because I'm HUMAN.

So maybe I do need to make a list. Purposely reminding me that I need Jesus. Why does my flesh fight Him? Why do I not want to remember that I'm human? Why do I want to be a superhero? I want to remember my own accomplishments, even though they are streaked with my own sin and failure.

Maybe I will make a list.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Jump Rope Fun

My parents bought some outdoor fun things for the children to do while we were down there. The most popular thing that was purchased was a long strand of rope that we used for a jumprope. We took turns turning the jumprope and singing the old-school songs while the kids jumped. It was so fun!

Even Uncle Nick got in on the fun! Although he looks like he may be enjoying a leetle too much.


I've been very sick. Bleah. We are home now and I'm still recovering from what I thought was a wretched stomach bug, but am now thinking is some kind of vertigo or something. Dizzy and headachy, which came hand in hand with nausea. It made the last four days of our trip in Florida pretty miserable for me. And the trip home was like a 12 hour roller coaster (in a not good kind of way). And the baby is congested which means he pukes. A lot.

So, we're home now and recovering. I will post some pictures later from our trip. But am feeling a little dizzy right now.