Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pill popping

My mom and I watched an interesting episode of Oprah yesterday. It was about a lady who was addicted to prescription medication. (Everything from pain killers to antidepressants.) They added up all of the pills that she roughly takes per year, and the staggering result was more than 7000. Then a clear canister was brought out that was filled with 7000 pills. It was interesting to see the visual of all those pills in one canister. It was a lot!

I'm on lots of prescription medications because of my paralysis... about nine or 10 medications in all, and that averages out to about 30 pills a day, give or take a few. (I also included the over-the-counter drugs that I take everyday.) My mom and I wondered how many pills I'm taking every year, so we tallied it up and the answer was almost 11,000!! I wonder what a canister filled with my annual dose of pills would look like! (Of course, all of my pills are legit!)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


When I was a little girl I had a huge fascination with school buses. I'm not sure how the fascination started, but any time I saw a school bus, I would excitedly exclaim, "Bus!” My dad went on lots of business trips when I was young, so that meant that my mom would have to drop him off at the airport. His flights were always very early in the morning, so I would have to go along for the ride since I wasn't in school yet. I loved the drive home because there would be so many buses out on their morning routes, and I had fun counting all of the buses that I saw. I even had a Fisher Price toy bus that came apart and turned into a classroom.

My nephew Kimball visited this past week, and he also loves buses. When the buses would come through my neighborhood every morning and afternoon, Kimball would run to the window and yell, "scoo bus!” It was very cute! He also enjoyed playing with my toy bus, although, some of the pieces have gotten lost over the years. I guess school buses are one of those things that kids love to love!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Visit from the Coffeys

My sister Annette and her husband Joseph and their two-year-old son Kimball visited from Arkansas this past week. We had a fun time playing games and visiting with each other. It was great to see my nephew Kimball. Children that age grow and progress so quickly, so he is always changing and doing new things.

On Wednesday we went to the zoo. The weather was very lovely and the zoo wasn't crowded at all. Here's a picture from the zoo:

And I can't resist adding this giraffe picture. I love giraffes!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

My namesakes

One of my favorite topics to talk about is baby names. I'm not sure why, but it probably has to do with the fact that I think that I have great taste in children's names. Unfortunately, I won't ever get to use my favorite names since I don't have kids and I'm sure I never will... in this life, at least! However, I do have two nieces named after me, and here is a little bit about how each came about.

The first is my niece Kate, who was born on March 19, 2003. I remember having a telephone conversation with my sister Sharon when she was pregnant with her second child (another girl). I asked her if she knew what she was going to name her baby. She said, "Katherine Irene." I was shocked that she was using my middle name for her baby. Actually, I passionately hated my middle name when I was a young girl. It's kind of unusual and I thought it sounded like an old lady name. However, as I grew older I minded it less and less, and now I actually like it. I hope Kate doesn't hate her middle name like I did when I was a little girl. This picture is Katherine Irene (Kate):

My second namesake is my oldest sister Miriam's third daughter, Courtney. Miriam was pregnant with her when I had my car accident. All of my sisters came into town that Thanksgiving (10 days after my accident) since it was unclear whether I would live or die. I remember asking Miriam if she knew what she was going to name her baby. She asked if I had any suggestions, and I remember saying, "Heather." It's kind of ironic that I suggested my name because I've never been overly fond of it. However, it was probably a stroke of inspiration, and Courtney Heather was born on January 12, 2004. This is Courtney and me:

I really feel honored having two of my nieces named for me, and hopefully they will both find it neat/significant someday.

Cooking lesson and lunch

Yesterday my friend Lacee came over for a cooking lesson with my mom. A few posts back I wrote about having a game night and how my mom made Better Than Sex Cake. Lacee and her husband Ryan were at my game night, and Ryan loved the cake. Well, Ryan's birthday is this coming Tuesday, so Lacee came over so that my mom could teach her to make the cake. (Lacee was having Ryan's parents over for dinner that night to help celebrate his birthday, so everything worked out perfectly!)

While the cake cooled, the three of us went out to lunch. I love sandwiches, so I decided that we should go to Mr. Goodcents. I actually haven't eaten IN the restaurant since before my accident, although I have had take out from there once or twice in the past six years. My sandwich tasted so good!

After we were finished eating lunch we went home so that Lacee could finish making her cake. Ryan called my mom about an hour ago telling her how good the cake was and thanking her for teaching Lacee how to make such an awesome cake. I'm glad he was surprised!

Interview, part two

This past Wednesday I went to speak to my friend Lacee's nursing class for the second interview in the three part interview I'm helping her with. I have to confess that I was quite nervous at the prospect of going to speak to Lacee's class; fortunately, the class is very small. (There are only seven students including Lacee, although, two of them were out of town, so I talked to four of Lacee's classmates and her teacher.) Once I arrived, all of my nervousness went away, and my mom and I answered questions for about 90 minutes. Everything went so well and I actually really enjoyed myself. The ladies were so nice and I loved answering their questions.

A couple of the nurses in Lacee's class seemed very interested in having me come talk to different doctors and nurses that they work with. Again, I kind of get shy when it comes to talking to new people, but if I can do any good by sharing my story and experiences, then I will try to overcome my timidity.

Lacee had told her classmates how much I love sandwiches (Quiznos, in particular) so they brought Quiznos, chips and chocolate cake (also my favorite) and we all ate together dinner after the interview was over. I was so pleased that Lacee and her classmates were so excited that I came. It was a really enjoyable evening!

Monday, September 14, 2009

What a rock!

A few of my friends and I were recently talking about jewelry -- engagement rings, in particular. I confessed to them that I've had my dream wedding ring picked out for about four years! I don't have a need for a wedding ring yet, but it never hurts to be prepared, does it?! I think diamond accent engagement rings are the prettiest. I love emerald cut diamonds for the center stone with baguettes on the side. Here's a picture of my dream wedding ring:

However, if I had to pick out a wedding ring today, I think I would just prefer a diamond wedding band, and not a ring with diamonds that stick up and catch on things. Again, I really like baguettes; I just think they make rings look so sparkly and nice! Here are two diamond wedding bands that I really like:

Jewelry is SO expensive, so I asked my friends what they think about fake jewelry that looks real. I told them that I wouldn't care if my ring were fake, especially if that meant that I could use the money that I didn't spend on a real ring to put towards a real house! As long as the ring doesn't look obviously fake, who really cares?! That's my opinion, anyway!

Game night

I had a game night at my house on Saturday evening. Nine of my friends came, in addition to my sister Laura and her husband Brett, and Chandra and me. That means 13 of us total, so it was a full house. My mom made Better Than Sex Cake -- I don't know where the name came from, but it IS the real name of the cake! Basically, you make a chocolate cake and then you poke holes all over the cake once it's baked. Then you pour hot fudge, caramel sauce and sweetened condensed milk on top of the cake and let it soak in. To finish it, you put Cool Whip and toffee bits on top of the cake. It was amazing! After we were all full of cake we played Scattergories for a while. It's one of my favorite games! All in all, it was a really great evening!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembering September 11

Since this is the eighth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, I thought I would write about my memories of that day.

It was about nine o'clock, and I was in my second period class, Spanish IV. I was taking a test when another teacher came into the classroom and told my teacher that there had been some sort of terrorist attack on the East Coast. All of the details were sketchy at this point, but as the day unfolded, more and more details began circulating around the school. I volunteered in the counselor's office for my fourth period class and I remember watching the media coverage on the TV. It was startling to actually see the destruction and to witness the devastation and hysteria of the people. I remember my English teacher, Mr. Brown, telling my class that the attack that had occurred that morning would rival the attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor. That put things into a bit of a perspective, and that was a sobering realization.

I had to work at the movie theater that evening, and I was surprised that there were actually people coming to the movies! However, we did have a record-setting low attendance at my movie theater. (I think only 29 people attended our theater that day.)

It's really hard to believe that it's been eight years already! It's surreal to see the Twin Towers when I watch movies or TV shows that have been filmed before 2001. For me, there's no way that you can see the New York skyline pre-2001 without vividly remembering that day.

Monday, September 7, 2009

My dear friend Lacee

This past weekend my friend Lacee came over so that I could help her with a school project. She's getting her Master's Degree in nursing education, and she wanted to interview my mom and me about our experiences since my car accident. (Her project is about a family dealing with illness/affliction.) We talked for about an hour, and that concluded the first part of the interview. I'm going to her class sometime in the next few weeks for the second part of the interview and the third and final part of the interview will follow that. Lacee is such a good friend to me, so I'm glad that I could help her with her project.

Lacee and I met in December 2000 when she started working at the same movie theater that I worked at. We were pretty much just co-workers at first, but over the next couple of years we grew closer and became friends. Our friendship grew when started the same nursing program in August 2003. After my car accident, Lacee's friendship remained constant which meant a lot to me since my life had changed so drastically. Anyway, I just wanted to brag about my awesome friend Lacee!

(This is a picture of Lacee and me working at the movie theater sometime in 2001 or 2002.)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Summer recap: July

I also had lots of fun times in July. My family was planning on having a barbecue at Cliff Cave Park on the Fourth of July, but since it was so rainy, the park was closed due to flooding. We quickly modified our plans and found another park to have our barbecue at. I would have preferred the sun to be out, but at least the temperatures were cool. (I don't mind warmer temperatures, but the people I was with would have been much more uncomfortable!)

My sister Miriam and her family visited us a couple weeks later. It's been two years since we'd seen Miriam and her family, so it was great to see them again. I was especially excited to see the girls since they had grown so much! We had a great time playing games and hanging out with each other.

My sister Sharon and a couple of her friends visited again in July on their way to Kansas City. Sharon had all four girls with her, so she left her two oldest girls, Elizabeth (8) and Kate (6), here in St. Louis to spend a few days alone with us. It was so much fun to be able to spend time with my nieces and to do some fun things with them. We took a tour of the firehouse in Arnold, we went out to eat and we visited the cemetery where my dad and their grandpa is burried. They are such sweet girls and I loved spending time with them!

Summer recap: May

Now that it's September and school is back in session, I feel like summer is over, even though it won't be "officially" over for another couple weeks. I'm always sad when one season ends because I know it will be another nine months before it comes around again. Although I don't like humidity, I love hot weather. Most people think I'm crazy for enjoying hot weather so much, but I love sitting outside feeling the sun on me! I've had a great summer, and here are some of the highlights:

My sister Sharon and her family visited the last week in May. (I know that May isn't technically summer, but I consider it summer.) It was so fun to see them, especially the girls. My grandparents also visited that same week, so we had a full house. We had a mini reunion one day that week because my sister Annette and her son were in town. My sister Laura and her husband came down from Maryland Heights, so five of the seven Johnson sisters were all here together.

I also went to the St. Louis Zoo when Sharon and her family visited since the temperatures were so pleasant. It had been eight years since I had been to the zoo, so it was fun to go again, especially since my nieces were so excited about being there.

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