911

Today I got to do my heroic duty to society. Tonight, whilst on my way home from work I used my cell phone to call 911.

It happened while I was on the freeway. I was driving along, de-toxing from a long day at work by listening to the radio, when all of a sudden there was a white mustang, weaving in and out of the lanes. Usually when this happens, it’s some hot shot, going a 100 miles an hour.

Only…. the car was going slower than a bike rider. “Gosh,” I thought. “If you’re going to take up a few lanes swerving all around, at LEAST go fast!” Actually, I didn’t have time to think this, seeing as I was forced to suddenly veer sharply onto the shoulder of the freeway to avoid slamming into his rear bumper.

As I passed, I saw the problem. The person’s hood was flat up against their windshield!

Now, if this, “ZERO VISABILITY” thing happened to me while I was on the freeway where powerful machines are known for going over the speed limit, I would pull over. But NO! This person had their blinker on, headed for the middle of the freeway! Why???

I looked in my rearview mirror. I could see cars swerving and careening around the “deadbeat”.

So I did my civic duty. I called 911.

For the record, dispatch centers in Texas are a million times better. The guy answered on the first ring, called me “Ma’am” with his lovely Southern drawl, and sent me on my way with a thanks and “we’ll get right on that”. What a sharp contrast to the time I almost ran over a wandering drunk naked guy harassing parked cars on Whittier Blvd and got put on HOLD for 1/2 hr.!! Dear me, good thing I wasn’t on fire!

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Annuale SNL skit

I don’t know if this will be deleted by the time you try to watch this, but it’s downright hilarious.

Visitors From Beyond…!

It’s Monday evening. I’m about to walk into my piano lesson, when I check my phone.

4 missed calls from Jesse, 1 missed call from Courtney. All in the last 20 minutes.

I listen to my voicemail. I hear Courtney’s panicked voice.

“Kelly, call me as SOON as you possibly can!”

Of COURSE I called her back immediately. I mean, who died??

All she had to say though was that they had meant for it to be a surprise, but she, Michael and Christine were coming for a visit on the weekend! To make a long story short, Jesse had been scheming with Christine for HER to drive up from Houston to surprise me for the weekend.

When I got sick last week, however, and started talking about scheduling makeup lessons for all day Saturday, Jesse had to spoil the surprise and tell me what they had been planning. I asked Jesse if there was any way that he could make work it for the next weekend, mainly since I didn’t want any of my piano students to yell at me!

Little did I know that Christine was trying to surprise BOTH of us and had been plotting with the Unruhs! So, of course, when Jesse called Christine to ask if another weekend would work, she freaked out and called Courtney. Then they both called Jesse and told HIM the whole truth. And then they all called me panicked.

Needless to say, I happily moved all my makeups to another weekend. And voila! On Friday night, there we were, sitting in our living room happily but tiredly conversing with all 3 of them. We pulled out our hideaway couch bed for Michael and Courtney (they refused to let me pull out the trundle to make our guest bed into a king) and let down our privacy curtains for Christine to stay in our guest alcove.

On Saturday, I woke up early and went to give one 1/2 hr. piano lesson down the road. When I came back, the girls had made a eggs/bacon/toast/coffee breakfast. After we all ate, we did our group prayers before our family altar. It felt great to be one big happy godfamily (Christine, you were our surrogate godsister for the day!). We said our normal family prayers, the troparians to all of our different saints, and then listened while Courtney read aloud the Scripture chapter reading for the day.

After that, Michael and Jesse went off to buy cigars and beer while Courtney, Christine and I went to do a little sightseeing in the “RICH CASTLE-LIKE homes” town of Southlake. It was a very beautiful sunny day, even for Texas! We ended at the wonderful mall and visited my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE store, Anthropologie!!!!! Christine had never been there, but she was quickly won over by all the cute clothes. She and I tried on stuff for a while as Courtney gave fashion critique. From there we headed to Corner Bakery where we split 3 different desserts and drank more coffee.

From there, we sped on home to pick up the boys for Vespers at St. Seraphim. We made it at 5pm, just in time! Even if our Vespers services are only 45 min., they are still so refreshing, and such a great way to prepare for Liturgy on Sunday morning.

Once we were done, we gave them a small tour of inner Dallas, including SMU, then headed to our favorite Mexican restaurant, El Chico! Courtney and Michael already had very fond memories of this place, as it was where we all GORGED ourselves after a hard day of moving our stuff back in August. After much eating and talking (yummy sopapilla and fresh guacamole!) we went back home where there was more talking. Courtney and I even squeezed in a quick workout in our apartment’s fitness center. It definitely reminded me of the old days!!!

Sunday morning, we actually made it to church only 5 minutes late! Anyone who knows Michael and I, and can also picture 5 people sharing one bathroom realizes that this is a grand accomplishment. And, of course, the best part about church was getting to stand in line once more with our wonderful Peter and Elizabeth to take the Eucharist πŸ™‚ After the divine liturgy we went to the fellowship hall for the weekly potluck (seriously- Orthodox people LOVE their potlucks…). We introduced them to our friends, Rod Dreher, Katy and Christiana, Jenny and Heather. They would have met Heather’s husband Josh too, only he was across the room chatting with Archbiship Dmitri. They also got to meet lovable Father John, who, in an effort to get Michael to stay in Dallas, offered him a job that he knew of…. teaching 1st and 2nd graders. Well, it was a nice thought, but thanks anyways!

After church, we went straight to La Madeleines with Katy, Noel, Christiana, Curtis, and the rest of the gang. We stayed talking for a long time, mostly because the boys got in a debate about something religious. I dunno, it was probably important πŸ™‚

Alas, all good things must come to an end- we came home and Christine packed up her stuff for her long drive home. Since Michael and Courtney’s standby flight didn’t leave for a few more hours, the boys fit in one last smoke while Courtney and I went shoe and MacBook-cord shopping. At around 8 we said goodbye and dropped them off at the airport, promising that it was only a “temporary goodbye” so we really shouldn’t be so sad. That didn’t really help much though, at least for me 😦

All in all, the weekend was fantastic, and showed me many things- mainly, just how hard it is to live without those who are near and dear!

Please, anyone else wanna come visit??

Yay!!!

This weekend is gonna be awesome.

That’s all for now:)

My belated birthday dinner- FINALLY!

Even though my birthday was over a week ago, we have been trying to plan a birthday dinner with our Dallas friends for quite a while now- only, ever since my birthday, I’ve been SICK! It started while Ben was here. I had a sore throat, which, on the day he left, was accompanied by a bad cough. By Monday (which I took off work, hallelujah!!) my voice decided to completely leave as well. I managed to croak my way through lessons on Tuesday, but felt completely wretched by Wednesday.

It was by this time that I decided to visit the Minute Clinic. In case you haven’t heard, these are the “doc-in-a-box” centers inside your neighborhood CVS Pharmacy. They are very limited to what they can treat, it turns out. We went to the one only a block away from us, only to be turned away the minute I mentioned “wheezing” as one of my symptoms. Turns out, if the patient even shows a hint of pneumonia, they have to refer them without even taking a blood pressure. This is for legal reasons since they can’t test for oxygen intake or take a xray of your lungs and such.

Anyways, being referred to pay $200+ at an ER or a CareNow clinic doesn’t look like much fun, especially when you have no insurance (alright, I’ve been a bit of a slow poke about getting the paperwork done…) and when you’re mom’s a nurse who’s had pneumonia a million+ times and is pretty sure you don’t have it.

So, while we don’t advocate this kind of behavior, we simply drove to another Minute Clinic 20 mi. away and didn’t mention the wheezing:) For 59 bucks they diagnosed me as having bronchitis and sinusitis. Both of these did not take a genius to figure out, based on the fact that the entire area around my nose and forehead was and still is swollen up like a tomato (…eww??) and I was coughing up my lungs. SO I got my antibiotics and my lung-numbing pearl-like pills and was on my way. Kind of a scary concept, those lung numbing pills. What if I swallow a spoon??? How will I know or cough it up?? There are lots of things to ponder when you’re sick.

The long and short is, I only worked a total of 15 hours this week, and, as a result, had many many lessons to make up. I rescheduled them all for this Saturday morning, only to come down with ANOTHER fever Friday night!!! SO not fair. I had to cancel everything, along with our confession appt. with Father John and the birthday dinner we had planned with our friends.

But it turned out okay. We rescheduled for tonight, and surprisingly, everyone was able to make it on short notice. We went to Chili’s and had a great time talking about philosophies of education (hey, Josh, Photius and I are all High School English Teachers, so what’d you expect??) and listening to Photius go on about the theologians he hates most- the “Three A’s- Augustine, Aquinas and Anselm”. Obviously Allanah had a bit of a problem with this, seeing as she’s Catholic and her closest brother is actually NAMED Anselm after the man himself, but she was able to take it all with a grain of salt and chuckle as we rose to their defense. Maybe a better word than defense would be a “more moderate” opinion.

Anyways, here are a few pictures if you want to see!

Here is my birthday dessert:

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Here is the human vacuum finishing off my dessert after everyone had taken a bite:)

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This one is just the girls, if you discount screaming Isaac and also absent little Genevieve who was with her daddy across the table. From left to right- Allanah, me, Heather, Jenny and Carissa.

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Here is all of us together. Not the grandest of pictures, but my camera battery was dying.

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That’s all! Here’s hoping I won’t get sick like this again this season, but also being thankful for the fact that we have friends who were willing to reschedule so many times for my birthday:)

Remember the Ben

This last weekend, the Ben came to visit Jesse and I. He flew in late Thursday night, then went to Greek with Jesse on Friday while I went to work for 3 hours. After that, we all went “castle sight-seeing” and ended at Cheddar’s for dinner.

Once Jesse and I had eaten tons of shrimp and Ben lots of steak (grr for fast days!!!) we went on a hunt for beer. Now, this sounds easier than it actually turned out to be, for Irving and its surrounding cities are dry. So, after much driving, we finally found an Alberstons in the middle of Carrollton that understood our plight and gave us alcohol. Back at the apartment, Jesse and Ben smoked cigars and drank beer while I walked on the treadmill and talked to Miss “I-Just-Worked-21-hours” Courtney.

On Saturday morning, Jesse and Ben made a very yummy eggs and bacon breakfast while I slept in. I was feeling the beginnings of some sort of illness coming on, and I figured, what with 75% of my students getting ill, that my time was up. The boys went out to buy more cigars, and came back to smoke and drink by the pool. I FINALLY felt pretty satisfied with the weather, as it was a sunny but not muggy 70 degrees. It made for pleasant relaxation.

Around 5pm we went to Vespers at St. Seraphim, drove around a bit of downtown Dallas, and ended at El Chico where we stuffed our faces with made-at-your-table-guacamole and queso dip. We went home, rented a movie which Jesse and I love called, “Once”, and went to sleep exhausted.

Sunday morning, I was feeling pretty ill, but still went to church with the boys. And man, if I had missed it, I would have been disappointed. It was quite a sight to behold! There had been a conference at St. Seraphim this weekend in preparation for Lent (which starts in 4 weeks! boohoo!!) and so there were tons of people from other churches there along with the normal crowd. Picture a place built for 300 squeezing in over 500!! Good thing everyone stands the entire service (yes, even the homily!). You can fit a lot more people in that way. The whole place reminded me of a herd of elephants, especially when it was time for communion- the normal 3 chalices was upped to 5, with 2 in the back for those who couldn’t even MAKE it to the front. On top of that, His Eminence was presiding over the service, and when he is there it’s always cool, with different singing and all. There were also a lot of famous people there, including one who stood next to Ben the entire time. He turned out to be one of the monks from St. Katherine’s at Mt. Sinai who accompanied all of the icons over to the Getty last spring!

As if we hadn’t overwhelmed Ben enough, we brought him to La Madeleine’s where we actually fit over 16 people around one table! We had our normal crowd- Katie and Noel, Curtis, John, James and Benjamin, but I had also invited our new young people friends Carissa and Photius and their two darling children along with Jenny, Heather and Josh. It was CROWDED!!!

After we finished at La Madeleine’s, we went home to rest. I needed it, especially considering the fact that I had all but completely lost my voice and had a sore throat to match it. We rested in the apartment by reading, and then went and sat by the pool again. As evening started to approach and we gradually came to terms with the fact that Ben was going to be leaving us soon, we decided to give him one final Texas experience- a real Texas barbecue. Dickey’s is wonderful, because on Sat. and Sun. they give you any meat sandwich on their menu with the exception of ribs for only 1.99. They also give you free icecream afterwards:)

Alas, all good things must come to an end. At 7:45, we reluctantly brought Ben back to DFW. With the exception of Mirabelle who even took to hissing at his BACKPACK, we really really enjoyed having him here.

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Happy 22!!!!

Today was a good day, aside from the fact that one of my kids walked out of my class this morning. Apparently, I was “squelching his individuality” by not allowing him to cuss.

But it was beautiful sunny 75 degrees all day (I KNOW!!) and almost all of my kids were adorable and fun. Or maybe it’s just my perception, I’ll never know:)

The best part was I got off of work at 6:30 instead of 8 because one of my families was out of town for the week. Allanah, Jenny and I were supposed to go to a movie, but Allanah got the flu, so just Jenny and I decided to go to a scary movie- the Eye. Jenny SAID she was reliable when it came to scary movies, that she never jumped or got scared…but this was no ordinary scary movie. Granted, it wasn’t as scary as some, but there were a LOT of jumpy parts! Anyways, at one point, this thing comes out of nowhere, and Jenny screamed and grabbed my arm. I’m a sympathy screamer, so out of pure reflex I let out a blood curdling scream.

The plus- we were hearty entertainment for everyone else in the theater- we had them in laughter and tears at our expense. One guy even laughed and pointed at me after the show.

Here’s a picture of us, right after we got kicked out of Starbucks for taking pictures (new rule, I guess?? The dumbest thing ever if you ask me….)

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Psychotic Weather

Oh- and it was a sizzlin 81 degrees with a 61 degree evening today!! My goodness! Hard to believe that on Thursday it was 15 degrees with the 50 mi./hr. wind gusts!

I never thought that warm weather could make me cry, but I think it did….finally, I don’t feel cold in every corner of my being! Literally, I think I had forgotten what it was like to feel warm….

But, as Texas weather goes, it’s not going to last. They’re already saying that on Tuesday, it’s going to start out warm, drop 40 degrees by the afternoon, and then be back in the 70s by Wed. morning. WHAT THE HECK!??!!!

Super Bowl Party

WOW, what a crazy finish to a game! I used to think our friend Heather was quiet and reserved, but that was until I saw her jumping off the sofa in excitement (okay, I didn’t see her because I was jumping up and down too..).

We had our friends Carissa and Photius and their two kids, Isaac and Genevieve over, along with their sister Jenny and our newly chrismated friend Heather (her husband Josh couldn’t make it, seeing as he had SERIOUS amounts of homework due tomorrow for grad school). Isaac and Genevieve were absolute terrors, but so cute and fun that it was quite a delight. Actually, Mirabelle didn’t think so- she spent some serious time growling and hissing at them. Genevieve kept trying to pet her!! Oh well, this just means that next time we’ll need safer “toys” (or pets) for them to play with!

A plus- we finally opened our first bottle of wine since coming to Dallas! I know I know…..anyways, it was a Paso Robles Zin, and all of them were like, “Wow! What great wine!” It’s always fun to say, “Yeah, that came from our hometown!”

Here are a few pictures, but for all of them, go to my Facebook.

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I am very proud of all the cooking we did- I personally homemade cookies, spinach dip, and baked brie with brown sugar and pecans. Jesse experimented and made excellent buffalo wings. Admittedly, it was with with resigned humor that all of us girls got to talking instead of even remotely paying attention to the game! Oh well, the first 3 quarters were basically a stale-mate anyways. All that changed in those final 10 minutes- so exciting!!!! I am glad Heather is a fellow football fan- we both love the Colts. I never thought my hands could hurt so much from clapping.

Even if we didn’t pay attention to the entire game, it was wonderful to have people to talk to. I’m glad Jesse and I finally made a commitment to reach out this semester!

So far, “Project Socialization” – success!

More Apt. Pics

There were a few fun things that I neglected to take pictures of last time, so as I am cleaning for our Super Bowl party tomorrow, I will post a few more.

I am now very into decals. Here are some:

The first one is around our bedroom light switch. The second is Mr. Owl in the guest bed area. The third is also in the guest bed area, but is appropriate since our wall of bookshelves are also in there. I love how you can see the missing blinds- still haven’t gotten around to having maintenance come and fix them!

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Here’s the shelf that Jesse made me a few months ago using an old shutter I found at an antique store paired with some Anthropologie shelf brackets.

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In our guest bedroom, we also have a new comforter cover and sheets. I ordered the cover way back in October, but entered in the wrong zip code so it took 4 months for Urban Outfitters to sort it out. Now it’s finally here!

The birdies:

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The sheets:

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That’s it! I’ll be posting pics of our party tomorrow!