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Toy Story Land

As most people know my two favorite Disney movies are Monsters Inc and Toy Story. It’s been a couple of weeks since I returned from the most fantastic graduation trip with Emily. It’s been about eighteen months since she became a Physical Therapist and she could have time off for vacation. We both love Disney and Halloween so what better time to go then over Halloween. We also heard the park goes to sleep on Halloween night decorated for Halloween and awakens the next morning decorated for Christmas. That indeed is true which will be a different blog post.
Toy Story land opened in Hollywood Studios over the summer and I was so excited. The three-dimensional shooting game that was already there was incredible and major fun. I was looking forward to riding the slinky dog roller coaster. Walking into that section was like the movie had come alive. There was a giant woody greeting folks as they came in.

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Up by the rollercoaster was a giant Jenga game with Rex on top who also spoke.

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Standing in line for the ride was like being in the box the roller coaster would have come in. The attention to detail was mind-blowing including the wall of “stickers” with some missing. They had artwork of Andy’s and how the coaster would go together. I must say it was the smoothest roller coaster I have ridden to date.


It was just the two of us so of course I needed photos of us with Buzz and then Woody and Jesse.

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When the first movie came out, Emily was three years old. She refused to go to the movies to see it. I finally saw it when I bought it on VHS. It would be a few years later before she admitted she was scared of the cowboy (Woody). So to get her to be in the picture I told her she could be by Jessie and I would be by Woody. I walked up to Woody and hugged him. I was so excited, like a kid at Christmas and then I stepped on his boot. This caused me to lose my balance and I almost fell. He grabbed my arm and saved me. Although he never spoke a word, I could tell he was very concerned by his body actions which was really cool to me.

Before we started the photo’s, Jessie noted that I had a bucket o soldiers in my hand. A green army man just happened to be walking by so she waved him over to show him the bucket of soldiers. While we were busy taking pictures he autographed my bucket o soldiers. While walking around the park a guy my age asked where I found them and then proceeded to tell me he would light his on fire when he was a kid. I informed him he was just like Sid in the movie. After I got home, I opened the box and sure enough, the injured soldier that Andy’s mom stepped on was in the bucket.

Mole Moral ~ Never let a trip and near fall stop you from having your photo taken with the scary cowboy.

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Two incredible amazing people.

 

It was May of 1991 and I had been a burn nurse for nineteen months when Gary was found in a car that was on fire after the fire had been put out. The fire department did not think anyone was inside. His burns were extensive and he had breathed in a ton of smoke so Dr. Ayvazian told his fiancé Linda that he would not survive. Gary and Linda had both worked on the movie White Palace which was filmed in St. Louis about a year prior to his burn. I have never seen the movie but always remembered this fun fact.

Anyhow Gary was with us for a few months  and then he was discharged home. The thing I remember most about him was the day they were making the mold of his face for his pressure mask. They inserted straws into his nose for him to breath through and then pretty much covered his head. I was his nurse that day and had to think hard about other things as I was having a claustrophobic panic attack for him. I am pretty sure I gave him extra Valium, Versed or something to make it more tolerable for me. Hee hee

     It wasn’t too long before we started seeing him again. There was a Burns Recovered Support Group that was run by a guy who was before my time. It wasn’t long until he passed away and Gary and Linda stepped up to take over the group. I believe they met once a month and Gary would come visit patients once or twice a week during the day time.
     After seeing an article in People magazine about a burn camp in Texas, Linda felt called that  Missouri needed a children’s burn camp. After doing research she discovered we had none so she and Gary decided to start their own. The first year (1997) they had 17 campers and no child has ever paid for camp. The camp is located at the Lake of the Ozarks. Brian’s parents have a house at the lake so one summer Emily, Kayla and I made a visit to burn camp. Either Linda gave me bad directions or my lack of GPS skills were showing because I somehow managed to miss the turn and ended up driving to Jefferson City. I turned around and went back to the lake. Brian got his map out and gave me new directions. We found it the second time around. Although we didn’t stay long, I immediately knew it was a wonderful place for the kids. A week where they can be just kids and not burn survivors.
     I have had so many burn unit memories over the past couple of weeks. Linda shared my blog and I heard from a nurse friend I have always remembered and wondered what happened to her. Back in the day people would ask how I could work there. And my answer was pretty much everyone got better and went home. I never really knew how most of them did after they left. There were certainly days when I left wondering if all the torture I and the team inflicted on these patients was worth it.
     So on Friday I went and spent the evening with Gary and Linda. I had such a wonderful time that I ended up staying past eleven and the next day went to Universal Studios on four hours of sleep. I would have done it on no sleep! They are both two amazing selfless giving people. They took the support group to an amazing place and they started the camp from the ground up. I am sure at the time of the accident if you would have asked if this would have been their path in life they would have said no way. I can’t help but think God had this planned all along. I use to see Gary in the cafeteria on Tuesdays from time to time. It was always an exciting day for me. I cannot remember (even though we just talked about this) if they retired and moved four or six years ago. I do know it took me close to two years to stop looking for Gary in the cafeteria.

 

     I’ve never felt that were truly recognized nor appreciated for all they have done, especially by the hospital. However it’s as if God purposefully put these words of Jesus in my head (yes I had to look up exactly where they are located. Bible bees locations are much like patients names. I know their story but not their names)
 Matthew “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. 

“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you 

These two live this every day. I’m so thankful that I decided to share my Dr. Ayvazian blog with Linda. She responded with an invitation if you are ever in the area please come see us. She was probably blown away when I said I will actually be there in three days, free on Friday. Originally Emily and I were both coming on Saturday and starting trip on Sunday. Since I’m a theme park nazi I decided we should start on Saturday and fly in Friday. She took a red-eye so she could work on Friday and the rest is history.

Mole Moral ~ Gary and Linda are my providential people. (Another church term). Meeting them changed the direction of my life and so many, many more and for the better!

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Our Wedding Anniversary

Yesterday October 20, 2018 marked twenty-eight years ago that Brian and I said we do. Ten years ago our anniversary ended in disaster with Brian saying he was never going anywhere with me again and I deciding to go to counseling so I could divorce him. I went to counseling but things did not go the way I thought they would. You can read about The Love Dare which saved our marriage here. It had quite the following on Facebook back in the day.

Any day that involves a gift from Brian is always interesting. I must admit this year he did not disappoint. Our pizza cutter broke over a month ago (he’s the only one that uses it) so you have one guess what he gave me. Not to forget nuts, this year I received soy sauce and wasabi almonds which are some of my favorites. He also managed to give me the same card he gave me a couple of years ago which had us both cracking up.

He decided we would go to Tuckers for dinner and he told me to dress sexy  I’m pretty sure he expected me to be in jeans and a T-shirt but I think he was pleasantly surprised when I came out wearing this.

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Tuckers is right across from South County mall where we ended up on our blind date. He suggested we go over there and walk around. I said let’s do it! A couple of weeks ago I managed to track down my friend that set us up on the blind date thirty-three years ago. Not too long after the double date she was in a serious car accident and broke her neck. Recently Brian’s golf buddy Dave broke his neck. Brian and I were watching TV and the advertisement for the new Halloween movie came out. After Lisa got her halo off Brian and I took her to A Nightmare on Elm Street part 2. I looked at Brian and said I’m a stalker, surely I can find Lisa  I had lost her address twenty-four years ago and she never joined Facebook but that didn’t stop me. She called today and left a message so I will be calling her back soon. She fixed us up because I liked skinny guys, none of us realized it would lead to twenty-eight years of marriage, three girls, best friends and a whole lot of fun. He told me when you talk to her tell her “thanks a lot” super sarcastic but I know he’s just as thankful as I for her!!

 

Mole moral ~ Marriage is hard work but the rewards and joy are well worth it

 

 

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Monday Night Golf League

Brian has been in the Monday night golf league for what seems like forever. He has no idea when he joined and neither do I. This past Monday he came home early and totally freaked out. I thought for sure he got his first speeding ticket of his life but his evening was way more traumatic.

Golf was finished for the night and some of the guys were sitting outside drinking beer and doing whatever it is guys do when all of a sudden Dave falls out of his chair. He lands on the ground and is unresponsive. Brian springs to action to see if he’s breathing. His chest is not moving so he tells one guy to check for a pulse and barks at the others to call 911. The other guy can’t find a pulse (I’m really not sure if I could find a carotid pulse either in that situation) so Brian says to him you are going to have to start chest compressions. The guy is like I don’t know how to do that. Just then Dave wakes up and says he is fine except his neck hurts. No one had managed to call 911 so they skip calling them. Brian drives Dave home from golf and stays with him until his wife gets home. The next day after work I make Brian text Dave to make sure he is still alive. A person usually doesn’t go unresponsive, apneic and potentially pulseless for no reason. Dave answers right away that he is fine but his neck still hurts. Sometime later that evening Brian’s text message buzzer goes off and the next words out of his mouth are something to the effect of holy shit. Well I have a nose problem and ask him what is up. The text is from Dave.

Dave decided to go to urgent care because his neck was hurting so bad. They did a CT scan and determined he broke his neck and they were sending him by ambulance to Barnes. So the paranoid nurse in me was like, he was walking around with an unstable neck fracture for 24 hours, he’s lucky it didn’t extend into his spine and paralyze him. How crazy is that a fall out of a chair can lead to a broken neck. I am also secretly thinking they will check out his heart to see what caused the episode leading up to the broken neck.

Brian heard back the next day and after 2 CT scans, 15 x-rays and an MRI they determine surgery wasn’t needed but he will be in a brace for two weeks. I of course ask what about his heart. “I don’t know” was Brian’s response. Trying to get information out of dudes is almost impossible. I do know Dave won’t be finishing out the golf season except for maybe the after golf drinking and doing whatever it is dude’s do.

I was super impressed with Brian’s take charge attitude of the situation. He has taken CPR at least three times that I can remember. It’s probably because he has lived with bossy pants me for 28 years. Also so caring of him to drive Dave home as well. I really do have an awesome husband!

 

Mole Moral ~ Guys never stop thinking they are invincible even when they are all over the age of 50!

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Running Down Memory Lane

As most people are aware Pokemon Go is still my current obsession and it’s turned out to be one of my better ones if I am really honest. For starters, it really makes walking and running way less boring. Thanks to one of the guys that use to work at U-Gas I found a Facebook group for it that is fantastic. Tony who runs the Raid Bus decided to start a facebook group chat for people to talk smack. I joined it because I am almost childless and it gives me something to do. So this weekend I was home alone and started talking-to the girl who sat by me on the bus twice. Her first time, I think Tony twisted her arm to come and she was afraid it would be weirdos. And so so happened to sit next to me, the biggest weirdo of all. SUCKER. Ha. No actually if I don’t know someone I really am shy and don’t talk a whole bunch. I must have been OK because she sat by me the next bus too. I really liked her and thought maybe she was twenty-four at the oldest.

Anyway we are talking and she asks me if I by chance live in Arnold/Imperial area. I knew exactly where this was headed. Yes, she sees me almost every day running or walking. This debunks my “Im invisible when I run” theory. I wouldn’t be able to run without thinking no one can see me. It’s part of my mental disorder called low self-esteem, not an athlete, and not wanting to be noticed. So she told me where she lived and the next day on the way home from Kimswick (yes playing Pokemon) I decided to see if I had the right street. Oh yes indeed it was the way we always went to Emily’s friends house so I decided to drive out the other way through the subdivision. I then started naming off in my head all the cool people who I went to high school that lived there. Scott Hart, Steve Underhill, Pam Bridges, Mike Hammers and then when BJ Bock got married he and his wife moved into the subdivision. It’s so weird how I can remember this stuff but not be able to keep daily life straight. Anyway, after that I remembered the summer my sister and I raised money for Muscular Dystrophy.

My sister and I went skating almost every Saturday night at Rock Roll-O-Rena. I always wanted my own pair of roller skates like the cool kids but they were a luxury and too expensive. However the skating rink did a fund-raiser for Muscular Dystrophy and if you raised two hundred dollars you got a pair of roller skates. It was game on for my sister and I. It seemed like every night for two months my mom would come home from work and drop us off at different subdivisions and come back a couple of hours later to pick us up. Imagine this is back in the day of no cell phone how did we survive. Anyway I was super shy back in my middle school days so for me to go door to door and ask people if they wanted to donate shows how badly I wanted my own roller skates. As I was driving through the cool kids subdivision I remembered the lady that gave us a couple bucks but also told us that we were probably lying and using the money for candy. My feelings were hurt because I am not that kind of person. When my mom came to pick us up we told her the story. She asked which house it was and drove to it. She got out of the car knocked on the door and made the lady take her money back. It was awesome! I am sure the lady felt like a real piece of work after that! Crazily enough I can still point the house out even though I have maybe driven through that part of the subdivision a handful of times since high school.

We hit our goal and I picked out a pair of white skates with blue wheels. I had them probably until my mom pitched them long after I was married. I can’t remember what my sisters looked like. We also made it into the drawing for a ten speed bike and I ended up winning that as well. I’ve been back to the skating rink a few times in my adult life. I think the last time I actually skated was almost nineteen years ago at Emily’s skating birthday party. As long as it is not in line skates but the old-fashioned four wheels, I am pretty sure I could still skate. The skating rink looks the same. I mean it’s updated but the same people still worked there and owned it and they remembered my sister and I. Heck we probably paid their bills back in the day. My sister was the Pac-Man expert. She was really good at the game and used her extra money for that. I of course hoarded mine or got a drink with it. My girls really never got into skating which is just as well since it was never over until ten. It use to drive my mom crazy because she would get stuck picking up instead of taking and my friends lived all over the school district.

 

Mole Moral ~ It’s amazing how much more your appreciate something when you work hard for it. And yes I really am shy until I know a person and then I don’t shut up!

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A Hunkins’ Wedding

Brian has been part of a golf league on Monday nights for at least fifteen or so years. He can’t remember when he started and I sure can’t remember but it seems like forever. The guy that is in charge of the league is Tom Hunkins and I have liked him since the day I met him. He is super funny and always loves to aggravate me. Somehow I manage to fall for the same stupid joke. He will ask me if I have any boyfriends and well you know me I have a whole list of boyfriends so when I say yes, he puts his arm around me and tells me I need a man friend. Yesterday we attended our second Hunkins’ wedding. The first I had remembered was his daughter Emily and I told him wasn’t it in February and on a bad luck day but I can’t remember the date. As soon as he said Friday the thirteenth then I remembered. I think he was kind of impressed I remembered the month. I seem to have gift for remembering crazy things like that but can’t keep day-to-day life straight. Anyway we received the invitation months ago and his son was marrying another dude. At first this presented a bit of a dilemma for me because I’m old as dirt and was raised in different times.

When I was a kid my aunt was gay (that’s what we called it back then so please do not political correct me). We had to keep this a secret because my mom was worried if other people knew, they would not allow their kids to associate with me. I remember my aunt at one time did marry another woman (however that worked back in the day) but I don’t think my mother attended. I cannot remember even though I still remember the gals name. They eventually divorced as well. My aunt was also an alcoholic so probably twenty-five years ago, she found Jesus, quit drinking and basically turned celibate. The guy I dated my senior year in high school came out in college. He was not careful and ended up with HIV and passed from AIDS. Actually quite a few of the guys I dated, ended up coming out so I have always told Brian he wouldn’t leave me for another woman, but a man. He has never found this as funny as I do.

With the introduction of the internet and social media things have really come to the forefront on this. Marriage between same-sex has been legalized. Honestly, I have never had an issue with that but I am old school in the fact I don’t think a church should be forced to married same sex just because it’s legal. These two were going to get married at River City Casino so that solved that issue for me. (As we know, it’s all about me.) Then came the struggle do we go to the ceremony or just the reception. It came down to the day before when I finally decided we would go to the ceremony as well. I had no clue what to expect or how things would be done. I was pleasantly blown away.

For starters, they had twenty people in their wedding party. I can honestly say back when Brian and I married I don’t think we had twenty people that we were close enough to have stand up with us. And each of them chose both girls and boys to represent them. So when it came time for the procession or whatever it’s called, the music started and I knew I made the right decision. Tommy (Tom’s son) has three sisters and they all walked down together arm in arm. They had cute little cocktail dresses and looked fabulous. The rest of the party was spiffy too. One guy had on like dark blue jeans and suit coat and I immediately thought of Howard from The Big BangTheory. And then the grooms walked into together and my first thought “Holy smokes, they are both hot as hell” and then “go figure”. That’s my old school, stereotypical, judgmental, racist, old lady self coming out. I’m trying to work on this.

I expected the ceremony to be short and simple but instead we got a bit of a non church sermon. The guy that married them was interesting but at one point i was thinking please just shut up so we can get on to the good part, the vows. They wrote their own and Tommy’s was mind-blowing. He actually said he thought he would marry a trophy wife and live out his life that way. What’s really sad about that is, people did this all the time. It would be difficult enough knowing you are “not normal” (although normal is just a setting on a washing machine) but then to live a lie has to be awful. So I am glad that he doesn’t have to live like that and can be who I know God created him to be. And this leads to the reception and how my intense like for Tom Hunkins turned to pure love.

Tom’s family is very strong catholics. Brian told me quite a few refused to attend. I find this sad because refusing to come isn’t going to change Tommy’s sexual orientation. However I cannot imagine how difficult it must be for a heterosexual man to come to grips that his son is not. I don’t know how long it to Tom to process this but he has embraced it in a way that makes Jesus proud. I mean if Jesus (God) feels such emotion. His speech was fabulous and he talked about how after he married his three daughters off he thought he was out of the woods for covering weddings. Then Tommy came along and changed that mindset. He wrote a song to My Boyfriends Back and changed it to My Boyfriend Zach. His sister’s were the back up singers and although none of them would ever make it on American Idol, it was one of  the sweetest most thoughtful things I have every witnessed. It made me wish I was part of the Hunkins’ family.

Brian and I had a very good time and didn’t get home until 3:00 in the morning. We took our first Uber ride and in true Shleprock fashion the first driver could not locate us and cancelled. So we had to order a second one. Well Marvin had his act together and knew exactly where we were. We made it safely home and a twenty-seven dollar fare was way cheaper than a DUI and all the aggravation that entails. The hotel wanted 189 before tax for a room. Now that is outrageous for a hotel in Lemay when you are as tight with money as Brian and I are. I came up with the Uber idea at the same time I decided we should go to the ceremony. Most of the time I am smarter than I look.

I am really glad we went. It changed a lot of my mindset and made me realize and think about things that had never occurred to me. I also had a nice conversations with Tom and actually got to tell him he needs a Woman friend. It was perfect and beautiful.

 

Mole Moral ~ If we could only love others the way Jesus did instead of being judgmental holier than thou assholes, the world would be a much better place. Heck it would represent Heaven.

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If you are going to do something, do it right.

Most of my Facebook friends saw my post today but that turned out to be only half of the story. And because I always have a story, I decided this one is blog worthy.

This morning work called me in early. I was driving down 270, minding my own business, singing Big Stuf camp songs when it sounded like I blew a tire or something on the passenger side. I immediately pull off, crawl over to the other side and get out to look at my tire. I discovered this

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I then took a picture and sent it to Brian. I then called to ask if I should drive to work (I was about three miles away). He suggests I call triple a and have them put on the spare. So I call work and then call triple A. I decided to use the free time to friend request people on Pokémon Go to complete the latest task. The guy shows up and I get out of my car to look at tire with him. It’s at this time I notice the side of my car

I do believe the first words out of my mouth were Holy F bomb. First of all,who manages to run over a bungee cord and then have it wedge itself into a tire? The same person who then has the tar beat out of her car by said bungee cord. Luckily the other hook end broke off before it did even more damage. The guy changed my tire like a NASCAR professional and was super nice and I could tell truly enjoyed his job. So off to work I went remembering the last time I had a flat.

It was maybe January of 2001 and again I was on my way into work. Brian had taught me how to change a tire by jumping on the tire iron to loosen the lug nuts. So I first called work who told me I had to come in after I got tire changed and then I called Brian. His response was can’t you change it. I said sure if I wasn’t five months pregnant and it wasn’t snowing. So he reluctantly agreed to leave work an hour early to change it. Of course it was on the driver’s side which was also 270 traffic side right before Manchester. While I am waiting for him a cop shows up and I tell him my husband is on his way. He says oh good I just came on duty and I don’t want to crawl on the ground. Next the roadside assist guy shows up, I tell him my husband is coming and he also leaves. I probably shouldn’t have told Brian this because he was beyond annoyed. But he changed it and on to work I went.

 

Mole Moral ~ If you are going to have tire trouble make sure you do it on the busiest most annoying highway and destroy your car for good measure. Bahahaha