My Sophia

Here’s Sophia – she’s always moving so I have so many pics of her blurry!

Sophia is a joy to me! I love when she visits and stays close to me, which she does very well. She is practically glued to my sides sometimes and it is hard work AND fun at the same time.

Some things that I’ve taught Sophia the last few days:

Saying “Oh no you didn’t” with her hand on her hip

Saying “What’s your problem?” (I am such a good Auntie…..)

She has been practicing her letters on me…..she is learning lots.

I just love this little girl! She is so loving and loyal…..well, she’s way more loyal to her Mama than me! Even when I am pretending to beat Deana up because she’s tickling Sophia or something, Sophia will turn on me and say “Hey, don’t make my Mama cry!” She is sweet and I love her.

And Stepha, if you’re reading this, I am often called by your name. 😛

A Post NOT about any of my organs

I have heard some people indicate the site is not reliable, but I love reading Wikipedia everyday. While some articles might have erroneous data, or information that is not referenced, I find that the majority seem reliable. They also do a good job of noting when something had not met the reference standards, etc.

Each day, the site has a section called “On This Day”. Here is some of what occurred on January 30th:

* 1649 – English Civil War: King Charles I was beheaded for high treason in front of the Banqueting House in London.

* 1826 – The Menai Suspension Bridge connecting the island of Anglesey and the mainland of Wales, one of the world’s first modern suspension bridges, opened.

* 1930 – The world’s first radiosonde, a device attached to weather balloons to measure various atmospheric parameters, was launched by meteorologist Pavel Molchanov in Pavlovsk, USSR.

* 1948 – Nathuram Godse shot Mahatma Gandhi (pictured), political and spiritual leader of India and the Indian independence movement, to death with a Beretta pistol at Birla House in Delhi.

There is also another section called “Did You Know” which has random information that, at times, really blow my socks off. Each item has links to read more about the people or events involved and its quite fascinating!

So, welcome to a weird part of the life of Gina.

Bad breath and other symptoms

Sophia has been very sweet to me during my illness, although she tells me often, “Auntie Gina, your breath is KICKIN’!” I suppose that is a result of being sick? I hope so.

So today I went to see my regular doctor, who confirmed that I have a kidney infection. She shared that the medical center failed to do a few tests, so she would do them today. Also, she determined the red swelling of my feet (which is prickly painful!) was an allergic reaction to the antibiotics that I received the day before. So she switched my meds and said if I am not feeling better by Wednesday or Thursday I need to come back in.

I just took a power nap and feel a bit better right now. My feet and back still hurt, and Sophia confirmed my breath is still kickin’. However, I have a bit of energy to share a little more details about my visit to urgent care.

First of all, I HATE going here so it should suggest the pain I was feeling to decide to go there on a Sunday. Yep, it was jam packed with various stages of sickly people, mostly with gross coughs and running noses. I got there around 11:45 and left there at 2 something. 3 something? Yeah, it was a long time.

When I finally got into the room, they did a few obvious tests, which I will spare you the details. After several minutes, the Physician Assistant came in and looked about 20 years old. She asked me why I was there, etc. Here is how the conversation went:

PA: So why are you here?

G: well, my kidneys have been killing me since Friday, getting worse each day, I feel nauseous, and I figured I should come in.

PA: how do you know it is your kidneys and not a strained back?

G: well, I have hurt my back plenty of times before, but this is different. It does NOT feel like muscle, but inside.

PA: (after touching my back) well if it hurts there it has to be muscle

G: I told you it is not muscle

PA: Well, you said your back hurt

We went back and forth about this for a few seconds, getting me to the point where I said, “do you think I would come sit in this urgent care for hours on end for a backache? I am 40 years old and have never felt this way before in my life”

After all that, she says:

PA: Well, you lab tests show high levels of {something} that indicates you have a kidney infection.


WHY did she just put me through the inquisition if the lab tests already showed my infection???? Um, yeah, I asked her but she didn’t answer.

One highlight of the time spent at urgent care was one member in the group, which Sophia had a grand time visiting with:

Sophia whispered to me at first, “where is my present????” She had fun with Santa!

I had a much better time today with my own doctor’s office. Whew. And they were kind enough to get me in today, which is always quite a miracle.

SPECIAL SHOUT OUT to Nathan and Elizabeth B. who celebrated their 2nd Wedding Anniversary today – woohoo!

Okay, that is the extent of my energy for now, so happy reading.

The results are in!

I have a kidney infection.

Symptoms? Pain!

I received a somewhat painful shot and a strong antibiotic and was told I need to see my doctor tomorrow. If I can’t get in, I was instructed to go back to urgent care tomorrow.


I knew it was serious when I couldn’t stomach my morning coffee! At least it doesn’t appears to be kidney stones – THAT would suck!

Blah and Other Ramblings

When I was 19, I had the unfortunate pleasure of having a bleeding colon. Let me tell you, it is a very unpleasant and painful experience.

Today, the pain I feel in my gut is very similar to this! Blah for sure!

Not sure what the deal is – could I be under stress???? Nah, stress in MY life! LOL

But I don’t want to focus on the negatives, rather today I have had plenty of thoughts about many of you who have blessed me over the years. Here are but a few!

Here is my Dad and my Grandma

My Dad is pretty awesome! He is very loving, caring, sympathetic, strong, handsome, immensely intelligent, and a wonderful father. He has blessed so many parts of my life, it would take days to share them all. I try to model many of his characteristics even today. I credit him for my “can do” attitude and confidence. When I was little, he would often ask me “what would you do if I wasn’t here?” when I asked him for help. Not that he wouldn’t help me if I needed it, but often I realized I COULD do something without his help! That is a very, very small example of how wonderful he is.

Here is Deana in 1994 (big hair was IN then!)

My BFF, Deana, who has done so much for me the last several years, I would be hard pressed to summarize everything. She is funny, nurturing, very smart, and is great at encouraging me. It was Deana who encouraged me when I considered going back to school and even suggested I check out Biola……and here I am today having GRADUATED from Biola!!!! She has helped me so much with the kids and other aspects of my life as well.

Here is Rona at work

Rona has been a wonderful example of how Servant Leadership is really done. She sets an amazingly high bar for those to follow, but this bar is not one to intimidate. Instead, she gives support and is willing to help anyone reach the goals they have set out for themselves. I have been blessed to witness this at work and in her personal life. She also was interviewed for several of my papers at school and I appreciate the A’s I received!!!!

That’s all for now – I am very tired. 😉 I’m 40 now you know!


My Commute…..

….aka “Things that make me go huh?”

Here are questions I often ask myself as I drive to work each morning:

~ Why do people feel the need to pay money for a license plate frame that tells you what kind of car they have? Ex: I saw a Trail Blazer that was clearly marked as such, but then their plate frame shows me again. Was the driver telling me I’m stupid????

~ Do you notice how many people put the registration stickers on the wrong sides? Ex: Year sticker on the left, month sticker on the right. Is it really that difficult to read the MO and YR that is painted on the plate????? Maybe they’re just rebels.

~ I don’t mean to diss these sort of people in the least, but I have always been confused when people place “In Remembrance” stickers on their car for loved ones that have passed away. While I know we all grieve differently, what is the remembrance part? The car? Or the life of the driver?? If someone knows, please pass it on.

~ People who buy “spinner” hub caps from PepBoys really need to not do it……

~ People who smoke but don’t want to get the “smell” in their pretty cars crack me up. You can tell these people because they hang their cigarettes out the window – which is barely cracked – so the smoke doesn’t get in their car. Do they not know they REEK of smoke????

Okay, that’s all I have right now. Peace.

School has begun……FURIOUSLY!!!

Okay, so my first class in my MBA program starts tomorrow (Thursday). I registered last Tuesday when I attended orientation at Hope. At that time, I was told I would have access to my class by the following Thursday the latest. Well, I DID receive my sign on information (the classes are hybrid – you receive lectures and other materials online, you hold 4 of the 8 classes online, and attend the remaining in person), however the sign on information did not work. After several attempts, I escalated to the online help desk, who informed me that my account had not yet been set up. This was acerbated by the fact we were heading into a 3 day weekend……so my study days were lost as I had no idea what to study! I wasn’t worried though – maybe Hope wasn’t like Biola and we didn’t have homework due on the first night…..

I finally resolved the sign on issue yesterday…..and realized I had to read 7 chapters and write two papers by Thursday! Dun dun dun! I DID panic at this point – very much so. It went something like this:

“Oh my word, how in the hell am I gonna do this? I am so ticked that all those days were wasted! I could have done so much this weekend!!!!”

Then, when I took a few breaths, I said:

“Come on Gina, remember high school? You KNEW about the homework then and CHOSE to wait until the last minute to do it and you did well… can pull this off!”

So a melt down was avoided!

But wait……I realized the second textbook – and the one that I needed to read 5 of the 7 chapters – was the one that the bookstore didn’t have when I attended orientation and which was ordered (supposedly) the next day. I hadn’t heard from them! I called and pretty much they were not sure what the deal was… the point where I didn’t get a warm and fuzzy feeling that I would have my book in time. Being the very industrious person that I am (need I add modest?) I checked out Borders (not in stock), Barnes & Noble (not in stock), and Amazon (I could have it in my hands the next day…!). So I ordered it from Amazon and I will be reading my heart out tonight!

Well, really, so far this material is very much repeat for me… is almost identical to the material I learned in my Principles of Management at Biola. So while I have enjoyed reading the two chapters in the text I have, I think I can speed read the other chapters tonight. So don’t even worry about me! 🙂

I also need to write two papers – no biggie. I started one last night and remembered how much I hate to START papers. I hate to start them! But once I get through the wall of “the beginning”, I can really start rolling. So that’s what I look forward to doing today at lunch.

Let me clarify something – the above words might paint a picture that I am stressed about school. I WAS, to be sure, initially. But you know what I am feeling now???? Excited, energized, challenged……it’s all positive. I love this and really don’t have the words to express how relieved I am to be back in school (only have had a couple sips of coffee….). I look forward to learning and incorporating my knowledge into my job – not just for “the career”, but for my own enjoyment. I love my job and yeah…..again, lack of words.

Okay peeps. I know my blogs have reflected the crap in my life the last several days. I know some of you have shared your concern. But it’s not all bad. I promise.

The Accused

While this is a movie – one in which one of my favorite actresses, Jodie Foster, won an Academy Award – it is not the movie I am referring to. Today, I am speaking about when perceptions and even words of others – even those that aren’t meant to be heard or read by the accused – are shared that have caused great pain.

What the heck am I talking about?

Well, suppose you found out that someone accused you of doing something that was totally off the mark. You stumbling across the accusation innocently, by mistake, and the spirit of the accusation rips you apart. It is so painful, for the most part, because it is so off the mark – so completely the opposite of the truth of the situation. You are first so shocked that you read the words again, sure that you’ve misread them the first time. But when you confirm the vile accusation, anger overcomes you.

I wish I could feel that anger right now, because it was much easier to bear than the pain and anguish I feel now.

I will not share the accusation or justify it by pointing out why it is so wrong. But let me just say this – if you are reading this, there is a chance that you are the accuser. And if you think you are, let me tell you, you are entirely wrong in your assessment of me. And my heart and spirit is entirely broken and……

I am done.

BTW, this has nothing to do with Deana’s siblings.

A Visit with my Mother

Today I went to visit my mother with Deana and Sophia – here we are walking into the apartment building where she lives.

My mother has advanced COPD – Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Many will recognize emphysema more than this term, but it rolls into her disease many other factors that she deals with everyday. Bottom line, she has about 11% use of her lungs and her quality of life is not very pleasant. She has a grocery list of other ailments, including dementia, diabetes, and a heart condition. She is still a spitfire, however. Here she is with me and Sophia:

My mother has also painted for many, many years. While many of my favorites are gone, here are pics are a few of them that I have loved over the years:

I walked into this visit with excitement, even joy. But, without getting into too many of the details, I have left with a heavy heart. Part of it was seeing her in her present condition, while other aspects revolve around many of the things that have been present my entire life. All of it, despite the turmoil I am experiencing right now, make up my mother. I am overall glad that I went, but honestly struggling with the aftermath. I have too many crashing thoughts to articulate them well here, but suffice it to say – today, visiting my mother, has been difficult for me.

The ABC’s of Me (stolen from Deana)

A- Age: 40 (yeah, I know I look much younger…..)
B- Band Listening to Right Now: Red
C – Career Future: Ruler of the World
D – Dad’s Name: David Francis
E – Easiest Person to Talk to: Rona
F – Favorite Type of Shoe: Born (comfort, baby)
G – Grapes or Grapefruit: Grapes all the way
H – Hometown: Seal Beach, CA and Cerritos, CA (moved when I was 13)
I – Instrumental Talent: In order of preference and ability – drums, bass guitar, guitar, steering wheel
J – Juice of Choice: Tomato
K – Koala or Panda: Panda
L – Longest Car Ride: CA to Michigan for my Grandma’s 80th Birthday
M – Middle Name: Marie
N – Number of jobs you’ve had: “Real” jobs (after High School) 6
O – OCD Traits: Dishwasher must be loaded a certain way, computer files must be very organized, I have to fold my napkin a certain way before I eat, I have to put my socks on before my pants.
P – Phobias: heights (except when sky diving!)
Q – Quote: “Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them to become what they are capable of being.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
R – Reason to Smile: My faith in Christ, my wonderful kids and family, my friends that are real and true, and – now this is kind of cool – I love my job.
S – Song you sang last: some kids song that has “teamwork” in it
T – Time you wake up: 7:00 am or there abouts. What the heck, this is SUNDAY!!!!
U – Unknown fact about me: I cry a lot but never in front of people!
V – Vegetable you hate: Lima Beans, Brussel sprouts
W – Worst Habit: biting my nails and cuticles
X – X-Rays you’ve had: Toes (multiple times), fingers (ibid), wrist. All but wrist were broken.
Y – Yummiest Food my Belly Likes: Steak, cheeseburgers, coffee, sunflower seeds
Z – Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius. I am the life of the party, just so you know.