Saturday, January 31, 2009

The 31st of January no post, post

Time for me to wash away the winter time blues with some memories.

In Tennessee we could get the Best Wash with Nothing Touching. There, amongst all those signs!

A whole lot of family history

"Yes, our rooms all have wireless internet" Got ketchup?
I'm sorry, I cannot hear you

No, we don't go around taking pictures of cat boxes. Look closer at this gem of a photo.
Nashville. 'Nuff said.
A picture of our ever faithful Aussie friend, Lee.

Written with smiles and great memories for you, S2. Enjoy.

Perfect, my friend...S2

Too funny...just noticed something in those tomato pics. No matter what time of the day it was (and I know for you it was breakfast, and for me, lunch) we always knew where the sunglasses were. Now tell me: how many people do YOU know that wear two sets of glasses at all hours of the day??? I think that my children would rate that pretty high on the "dork factor." (Next time we must wear those very big ones that Clara loves so much.)
Gee, first of the month and indents magically appear. It just keeps getting more and more curious.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Earthquake! and I missed it

At somewhere around 5:30am the dogs woke me up as if it were truly morning. I vaguely remember shushing at them and rolling over. At 7 I let them really wake me up. Out to do chores we go...the pups overly frisky. The horse is doing this thing that she does when she is anxious. Almost like a cow chewing its cud. I checked her mouth and then fed her and opened the door to the barn.

I get some wood. Something has been in the woodshed and toppled some of the not-so-neatly- stacked piles. darn raccoons.

Start my day. Email then the news. Seems we had a little earthquake centered just north of me. 4.6 on the scale, at 5:23am. Maybe I will start listening to my dogs.
G2...the shameless author of this blog who really only wanted to post pictures of the dogs!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Grandma living alone

I think a new product should be put out for those of us who live alone. Glasses WITHOUT hinges. I suspect you are getting my drift here. I wear glasses. I wear no line Bi-focal glasses. I really could care less if they close, but I DO care a lot if the screw comes out of the hinge that holds the temple to the main frame. My new glasses have screws that are so tiny that I cannot hold them between my fingernails and get them in the teeny tiny hole. "Tweezers," suggests my well meaning daughter from the cell phone that I am balancing on my shoulder as I am trying desperately to find the tiny screw with a magnet after I dropped in on the carpeted floor. I knew approximately where it dropped so was successful. After patting myself on the back and hanging up the phone I get the tweezers. I grab the aforementioned teeny tiny screw, which is really a bolt, with the tweezers. I am now thinking that I owe my daughter lunch...darn if I didn't think that too soon. Teeny tiny screw is not happy to be squeezed in the jaws of the tweezers, and now FLIES across the room to places unknown. sigh. The very small glasses repair set comes with a half a dozen different sized screws. None of them fit. At least I don't think they fit, as I really cannot see for sure if they are stationed correctly in the hole. Out comes the magnet, but no success. OK, I give up. Enter twist-tie. Strip off the plastic/paper covering and put into hole and secure with a few well placed twists. It obviously sets the glasses off by a bit, as I am getting really sea sick just typing this blog. Tomorrow I will be driving to Silverdale for repairs. And I will be asking if they make hingeless glasses frames. least I think that is a "G" and a "2"

Oh, and thanks dear daughter. You owe ME lunch!

the question? what is Hurry up and wait

the answer? The attitude of hospitals nation wide.

Never mind that there are those of us that have had more than enough of hospitals. Nor that hospitals are getting a bad rap nationwide. It makes me wonder who the hospitals are really serving. Of course they serve the very ill patient; but once that patient is well enough to ask questions it is time to duck, cover and run. Run? yeah right! It is especially taxing (Yep, that is the word!) when they mark a few parking spaces "patient discharge, 1 hour." Of course there is also the fact that you must pay after 30 minutes, and it seems to be pro-rated by the minute. And yes, there is a patient pickup area at the front of the hospital, but you cannot leave your car. I suspect there is a security person with his finger on the tow truck alert button; there is no way I would ever consider stopping there unless it is to drop someone off; in which case I would slow to a crawl, open the door, and use the ejection seat to shoot them through the doors and into the lobby.

Any way, the story goes something like this. The call comes, "I am being discharged...I think." Quite the standard for a teaching hospital, as there are so many different "teams", or tiers of docs and nurses, and all say something that has a hidden message. Now, in order to catch that hidden message one must be of a VERY clear mind; how possible is THAT when the patient is on pain meds? Of course what is said to family and friends is so gushingly nice that it makes the non-patient feel the need to wash afterwords. Anyway, I eventually make it to the ferry, knowing that there is still the REAL doctor that needs to attend to the questions and concerns of the patient. Note that I used the word "attend." The real doctor has just the person for that...he/she is called" ta-da: the ATTENDING. Interesting, very interesting. So figure, with waiting for a ferry, traffic and parking; plenty of time to get things together for discharge, right? Uh huh. Until they see the whites of the eyes of the transporter nothing gets done. Nada. Zilch. So, since nothing gets done, there is the obligatory wait of "30-45 minutes" for pharmacy...per drug of course, since they don't have an order for one very important one. While waiting for the wheelchair transport, the custodial staff person is pacing outside the door with mop bucket at side. The nurse, or perhaps it is the clerk, is trying to see that signatures are had, quick, now, we sure wouldn't want anyone actually reading the forms being signed. Witnessed. "No, that's OK" says the clerk/nurse person. "I will witness them" while tapping her foot as a somewhat drugged, and now in pain, almost former, patient tries to read what she is signing. We are almost there...nope. No walker that was promised. Another call to be made. Now clerk/nurse person is really struggling to keep a smile on the tightly pursed lips. Why the rush, I wonder. No transport, no meds, but, OH NO! has been over an hour and I am parked in a one hour spot. Will I get to the truck only to find a cement barrel attached to the bumper? It quickly becomes apparent that once the papers are signed the patient is no longer a patient. The cleaning person is now very visibly pacing. Do we dare do a quick sweep of the room before we exit in that "business class" sized wheelchair? Thank goodness we take the time...prescription glasses are safely hidden away in a drawer. We make it out the door. We get the meds, minus the one important one that would have taken another hour. We exit the parking garage where I am told, I am two, yes TWO, friggin' minutes past the limit of the first pay scale. Dig out another dollar and get the heck out of Dodge. I just need to get out of there and into the rush hour traffic. Not too bad since my co-pilot knew the "secret passage" to avoid the greater part of the traffic...until I take an exit. All is fine, at least for the transport driver.

Welcome home, S2. Someday we will look back on this and laugh. For now, just get better. I have missed you. No more hospitals for a while, OK? See you soon on the blog pages. This place needs another grandma...


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Hope for Spring, and the wonders of the internet

It is that time of year again. Yes, indeed, I now have at least two screens open at all times watching for baby horses to be born. Ah the wonders of the internet. The site for many that I watch is called Generally it goes like this: Watch, switching screens back and forth, for a week or two with a certain mare. Every time she lays down the adrenaline begins to pump and folks on the message boards go crazy..."is this it?" Then she gets up from her power nap and wanders and eats. On and on for a week or two. Each morning when I get up I expect to see eight legs instead of four. Most of the time the foal appears during those few minutes when I make a mad dash to the store. The worst was the time that I had been watching for about two weeks. Suddenly she was down and the feet were sticking out. Someone decided to post a "high alert" on Mare Stare. The resulting rush of people made the live feed begin to pixelate, and then crash. It is now an unwritten rule that no one touches that "high alert" button. Only once had I seen the camera go black after several minutes with little progress. That is a bad thing. Another unwritten rule is that the camera gets turned off if it looks like a bad outcome. Luckily those are pretty rare. For the most part it is better than watching "reality tv" as it is indeed real time and unscripted. I don't think I would put my horse on Mare Stare for the simple reason that I dress funny when out in the barn. It is great for the working person, as they will have hundreds of eyes on their horses. (There are emergency numbers posted if the mare really starts to push; usually the owner's cell phone.) I remember last year the owner's mother was out there in her bathrobe looking very distraught and calling her daughter every few minutes in hopes of teleporting her home. It was quite humorous, but gave me a pretty good sized reality check. The other fun one was when the barn cat at one farm decided her job was to keep the mare company. She made herself a bed by the horse's head. For a while I was thinking she was going to jump on top of the laboring mare. Some of the bigger farms will have several cameras going at once. That makes me a bit crazy because they hop from one to another and I don't always want to move on when the cameras decide it is time. And then there is the pile of poo. Could it be? Is it a nice wet little foal? Nice and wet, indeed, foal, nope. Yes indeed, the wonders of the internet....

I am missing my partner in crime. I won't call the hospital, because I hated having the phone ring when I was just falling into the narcotic bliss. She will be home next week and I will be picking her up and taking her there. I am hoping that she will feel back to normal, whatever that may be. Send her some healing "vibes" after you read this, please.

For now, it is time for a salad and some I watch a mini horse pace in her stall somewhere waaaay east of here.

S2 called last night and sounded pretty darn good. All went well and she will hopefully be sprung on Tuesday.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Comic relief

I think there are a few of us that need a bit of tomato magic. Take care, all that are away from home.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

It is official

The Mamas and the Ta-tas (Kira's idea for our team name) will be part of the Breast Cancer 3 day in the Seattle area on 9/11-9/13. I am pretty excited, although I really HATE fund raising. Kira and I went to the meeting tonight, where we laughed and we cried. After signing up I took the woman who was running the meeting aside and lifted the pant leg to show off my Koi fish tattoo...well, not exactly, but you get my drift. She is hooking me up with another gimp woman who has done the walk more than once. I really really really want to do this, and I shall. I now get to pound the pavement and be a part of the cure of this ugly disease. The older I get, the more people I know that have had to deal with it. I will be making a shirt with the names of those I will be walking for. For now, I am exhausted. Tomorrow is another day.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Back on track

Today I have been drinking water like crazy, and eating as I salad, fresh veggies. Part of it is due to stress, which I may or may not address on this blogsite at a later time. It is something that I needed to deal with and have been closing my eyes to. Buying clothes is just not fun when some of the weight that I worked so hard to take off has slowly been creeping back. So, today I am back on track.

I have also begun my training for the Breast Cancer 3 day event. I seriously want to do this in September, and I don't want to wimp out. I am trying to figure out the logistics of it all. So much more planning when the "gimp" factor comes to play. Walking sticks or crutches, crutches or back up wheelchair. Then the question of prophylactic cyclosporine since I know I will be beating up my stump something awful, not to mention the likelihood of blisters on the long side. As the numbers continue to climb of friends that this disease has touched, it is something that I feel incredibly driven to do. Crazy? Perhaps. It is also a test for my self. I cannot explain the need I have to do this. It just is what it is.

Prayers and healing "vibes" begun in earnest, my dear sister. I am crazy with emotion right now. Just know that I am with you. See you in a few days.


I think you are crazier with emotion than I am right now, sis. I'm just tired, and numb, and considering staying up all night, ain't that crazy? It's just that I have to be up by five am, and then I'll be chemically asleep by 7:30 or so and from then on sleeping the sleep of morphia, probably for days. Might as well catch up on my reading, and maybe even do some housework, why not?

About the walk...what about you and I teaming up and doing support stuff for the walk? We're just as needed there as on our feet. I hate to see you risking your health, and I know this isn't the year for me to put more stress on mine. I would even wear pink...if you will.

(who has gotta stop reducing body weight through losing body parts, heh)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Interesting Moments on the Live Feed

G2 and I were talking tonight, and we had both seen interesting entries on the Feedjit thingie, so in honor of that talk, here are a few:

I notice that a person who googled "ear tubes for Down Syndrome" and landed on my blog entry about my 25 year old daughter (who has down syndrome) and the fact that she is soon going to get ear tubes (again, for the umpteenth time). I am now concerned that this was a parent with young child who has Down Syndrome, who has now been exposed to a reality they weren't ready for. 25 years old???? STILL getting ear infections and needing ear tubes? Aieeee! Not for the first time, I wish I could follow those links back to their source (feedjit, see sidebar), and let them know there is more to the story. It's all going to be ok, Nebraska parent. The gifts will outweigh everything else.

Or how about the person from Vietnam who googled 'Did I hear that Correctly?" and landed on an entry about those things you hear incorrectly, that are really much more fun than what was actually said. I wonder what that person in Vietnam was actually looking for? How much of a nut did he/she think this US citizen is? Did it make sense at all (probably not, is my thinking).

My current favorite is the person from Plano, Texas, who googled "hummers in the snow" and got my entry on the little hummingbirds that came to my feeders when we were in the deep freeze a month back. They were probably looking for large Detroit generated vehicles that did well in the snow! I hope they had a good laugh, I know I did.

How come 'googled' isn't a word, according to my spell checker, but 'umpteenth' is?

How come it says "CAP NOW EASIER TO OPEN* on the bottle of Arrowhead Water, yet I still have to get a knife and hack in to every fourth one? Get real Arrowhead, your cap openers are still…not good. Maybe I can talk Costco into carrying a different brand of spring water. Yeah that's right, Costco is going to change brands on my say so, ha ha ha.

How come I did a post with Sarah Palin in the title, and got not one hit, google wise? It was just an experiment in understanding the workings of google searches. I think that it means that America (and her citizens) are smarter than I suspected. No one really cares.

How come I'm starting to sound like Andy Rooney?

And how come (and this is very important): I did this entry in word, with no paragraph indents. Then I had to paste it into an email, and mail it to myself in order to change the html into something blogspot can handle. Still no indents. Cut and pasted that into the blog entry box here on blogspot, still no indents. Published it, and voila! Paragraph indents! I really don't get it.


Oy yeah, so NOW I get the bloody pencil!!!!!! (G2, slinking to her corner)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Is "Petrification" a word?

Yes, indeed, it is Amiee, the last of the Scottish Terriers to grace my bed at night. And, of course, I didn't really harvest her along with the other rocks and boulders.

An incredibly talented artist friend painted this rock for me as a birthday gift. The eyes really are Amiee...
When I moved here I brought along three dogs. Tillie, the matriarch of the scots, Arthur, a wonderful Rottie with Wobbler's disease, and Amiee. All were upper middle age. Within four years all were gone. Tillie and Arthur were helped to the bridge by a wonderful mobile vet who came to the house. Amiee finally succumbed at midnight one night, to organ failure brought on from her Cushing's disease. It was rough, to say the least. All dog breeds have some weakness, and with genetic research as it is, those problems are beginning to be bred out, making the purebred dog stronger...unless it is puppy mill bred, or turned into a "designer" mutt, but I will not go there. Suffice it to say that those kind of operations, as well as the backyard breeders, generally are not at all interested in producing sound animals, it is only about $$. Those "doodles" hold no health guarantees. A well bred dog does, believe it or not.
Anyway, back to Amiee the rock. I am in awe of this, and when given it did not really sit and look at it. Now that I have it brings a tear to the eye. Thanks, Sharon!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Yes, 'tis a bumper crop

of rocks! The past week I have spent at least a couple of hours each day removing big rocks from the pasture. It gives the corgwyns some frap time, and it is something that needs to be done so that I can seed again. Each year I broadcast seed the entire pasture. Funny, but the grass just doesn't grow well on rock. I am not talking the bitty drain field size rocks, of which there are plenty. I am talking rocks from softball size to bowling ball size. Each year more "grow." I have uncovered a few that I cannot get out. It would take blasting them to be able to remove them. I am guessing that one is at least the size of a grocery cart, without the wheels. So, my field, which just a few short weeks ago, was getting compliments from my neighbor with the "perfect" lawn, is now looking like it had a major mole infestation. One of my fears in taking on this project, is that my mini horse could step into a hole left by rock harvesting, and twist or break an ankle. So once I remove one I then have to stab all around the remaining hole with the shovel so that there is no longer a hole, but more of a "dip." Anyway, as I harvest I set the rocks in piles around the field and then bring in the wheelbarrow and remove them all and dump them onto what I have respectfully named "the ex." A couple of years ago someone came a took all the rocks away for her landscaping. I sort of missed having that boot hill type grave site/rock mound...where I mentally put the "ex."
Now I have a new spot, and it is quickly getting big enough to look, once again, like I have worked very hard to give him a proper burial. In reality, I am thinking buried alive under all those boulders. Ah, sweet revenge!! If I could just get that great big boulder out...

Dear Kate had her/our first handling class today. There were six to ten of us and after the hour we are all posing our dogs and the instructor picks the top four from which she then picks best of show. Katelan was the second pulled out! I am feeling so much more comfortable, but will do at least a couple more sessions before I go to Oregon. My biggest issue is that when we do the "down and back" she is wanting to smell the floor instead of walking proudly with her head up. That could kill it for us, so I will be working on that this week. I also am going to get out the dremel and do BOTH dogs' toenails. Henry goes past the "red line" whenever I try to do his toenails and I have been paying a groomer to muzzle him and do them. It is time for this silliness to stop. The instructor has a Shiba Inu who is the same way as Henry. She said that the trick was for her to just shut up and get relaxed by turning up the TV. When he went ballistic she did the hand on the trachea thing to assert her dominance. Once he cooled back down she continued until she was done. I will do the same with Henry. This is one of those times that it is good to live alone, and up in the woods. No one will be calling the ASPCA on me for torturing my dog.

Y'all have a great week. Each passing day gets us that much closer to spring!! I am noticing the light is lasting a bit longer now, but sadly I also noticed that the dogs' swimming pool has a layer of ice on it tonight. Two steps forward, one step back...


When corgis frap their wormfots, then what happens? And pray tell, what is "to Frap the dogs"? You're going to need to make up a dictionary of 'dog speak' for the rest of us land lubbers :)


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Interesting Facts about January 17

If today is your birthday, January 17

These people have the same birthday as G2! Happy birthday, sister! Now this is an unusual group, what a bunch of creative individuals :) You have Benjamin Franklin but I still have Che Guevara and the birth of the US Army, heh heh.

· 1989 Yvonne Zima (actress)

· 1971 Kid Rock (rapper)

· 1962 Jim Carrey (actor)

· 1959 Susanna Hoffs (singer - bangles)

· 1949 Andy Kaufman (performance artist)

· 1942 Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay) (boxer)

· 1939 Maury Povich (talk show host)

· 1931 James Earl Jones (actor)

· 1934 Shari Lewis (Hurwitz) (puppeteer most famous for "Lamb Chop")

· 1931 James Earl Jones (actor, narrator)

· 1929 Jacques Plante (hockey)

· 1928 Eartha Kitt (singer)

· 1928 Vidal Sassoon (hair stylist, beauty expert)

· 1924 Betty White (singer)

· 1899 Al Capone (Gangster)

· 1884 Mack Sennett (Michael Sinnott) (silent movie director)

· 1860 Anton Chekhov (short story writer)

· 1820 Anne Bronte (author)

· 1706 Benjamin Franklin (statesman)

Just a little woo woo:

The Year Ahead

Forecast for January 2008 to January 2009

A trine between the Sun and the Moon in your Solar Return chart this year is a fortunate aspect. It suggests that your domestic and career needs are not in competition with one another in the year ahead. Your inner needs tend to be mirrored by external events, and vice versa. This aspect is very powerful and rewarding. It suggests that you will be on top of your game this year, for the most part, and positive connections with others can be made fairly easily. A comfortable level of personal popularity helps to keep conflict to a minimum. With the ability to handle your emotions successfully, there is less stress on both your mind and body. Your self-confidence and positive attitude will reward you!

With Venus and Mars in a hard aspect to each other, your affections are strongly stimulated, and you are more acutely aware of your powers of attraction. Romance, love, and sexuality occupy your mind more than usual. You can enjoy an increase in personal magnetism (as well as libido!), but be wary of competitiveness or tension in existing love relationships, as this aspect ignites your passions in general, whether they‘re feelings of love or anger!

Venus forms a harmonious aspect to Neptune in your Solar Return chart this year, however, suggesting that you are more imaginative and attuned to the world of beauty and romance. Gentleness with others is the best way to harness this energy and to attract what you want into your life. There could be truly "magical" times on a romantic and social level. You might even find and fall in love with the person of your dreams. Benefits come through paying attention to your dreams and intuitions.

Mars opposes Pluto at the time of your birthday, adding quite a bit of intense energy to your year. You have powerful, transformative energy at your disposal this year, and much will depend on how you handle it. Channeled positively, you could move mountains when it comes to pushing your projects ahead. If mishandled, however, you could be argumentative, stressed, and hell-bent on having your way! Avoid taking extreme measures to make things happen your way, and avoid people who might be doing same. Deliberately trying to maneuver things in order to get the upper hand will be a lesson in frustration. Mars also forms a harmonious aspect to Neptune, helping to soften your disposition. You are more inclined to act upon your intuition, your sexual fantasies may be especially strong, and your creative impulses are potent. In stark contrast to the intensity of the aspect described above, there will be other times this year when you will have a "what will be, will be" attitude. This influence favors dancing, swimming, photography, arts, and entertainment. If you are an artist, this could be an especially inspired, imaginative, and productive year. Pay attention to your gut feelings, which will, more often than not, give you valuable information. If you are involved in sales, you will be able to tune into your client's inner desires and motivations.

With Mars trine the Moon's North Node, you may be actively involved with teamwork and collaboration with others this year. This can also indicate an increased need for sexual union, as it stirs the passions and generally indicates ease in satisfying one's desires through positive connections with others. This aspect is one indication of getting engaged, marrying, the beginning of a significant new relationship, or the intensification of an existing romance.

A Mercury-Chiron conjunction in your Solar Return suggests that this is an excellent period for opening up communications with others, as you are more sensitive than usual and more willing to listen. Getting your point across is easier, as it's not only about what specific words you choose to communicate, you intuitively express the meaning and intention behind the words. You can effectively use words to soothe, heal, and teach this year. You are also more open to new ways of looking at problems, thus it's considerably easier to find solutions.

Jupiter harmonizes with Saturn at the time of your birthday this year, suggesting a period of constructive accomplishment. In general, you are practical, realistic, and your judgment is especially sound--and you derive much satisfaction from practical accomplishment. The key to harnessing this wonderful energy is to identify and find pleasure in the simple things that make you happy. A nice balance between optimism and practicality is with you this year.

More involvement with groups enhances your life, and the ability to find a balance between optimism and practicality helps you to achieve your goals. Some intensity and a tendency to overdo is likely, however. Avoiding power struggles with others and jumping into decisions before giving issues careful thought, will be necessary. Plenty of romantic excitement is in store, and while there can be some tension involved, there could also be some truly magical moments in your love life this year. Your creativity soars.

2009 will be a Number Two year for you. Ruled by the Moon. This is a year of potential companionship. It is a quiet, gentle, and mostly harmonious year that is less active than other years. Instead, you are more responsive to the needs of others. If you are patient and open yourself up in a gentle manner, you will attract both things and people. This is an excellent year in which to build and develop for the future. Advice - be patient, be receptive, enjoy the peace, collect.


Hmmmm No romance, except maybe with life! That horoscope reminds me how much the stars come in to play when one is "in love." I remember well studying the horoscopes when I was in junior high and high sure I had "the one." When I married...well we will leave that to the stars, eh? As far as all those famous people: I have always enjoyed sharing a birthday with Betty White. I adore her. Who doesn't like James Earl Jones? He is so well loved that he even gets listed twice. I would love to have that man read to me every night. Anyway, thanks for letting the secret out of the bag, my dear friend. Your flag day is coming...I have six months to plot.

Hey, it's Kevin Costner's birthday, too. Two events that were in the paper today:
1778: English navigator Captain James Cook reached the Hawaiian Islands, which he dubbed the "Sandwich Islands".
1943: A wartime ban on the sale of sliced bread in the US went into effect. It was aimed at reducing bakeries' demand for metal replacement parts.

You are officially hotter than sliced bread. Hooray for another birthday!

(who is scared, real scared :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Liver and other Delicacies

Funny thing, liver makes me think about my mom, too (see the post entitled 'Childhood Memories' down a couple). She made it every so often, but what I remember most about mom was her unparallelled ability to turn a perfectly good piece of liver (calves liver, NOT beef!)(unless you really like gristle) into something that more closely resembled the sole of a shoe. For mom, liver (or anything else of a meat-like nature, for that matter) was cooked, until it was really really really cooked. I mean sooooo cooked that you needed a table saw to cut through it. No piece of meat dare show the slightest shade of pink and expect to hit the plate on our table. She used to talk about the horrors of undercooked pork, and that I really do understand. I'm just not so sure that every other food out there carries the same threat of contamination that must be stamped out with all means possible.

So what I'm saying is, my dad really knew how to cook liver. Tender, smothered in onions, oh yum. I still love it, and the reason G2 knows this is that I have a penchant for ordering it in restaurants. And we have been on vacation together, so she really does know. I rarely cook it anymore, because, hey, it stinks the place up. I know you are thinking, turn on the fan over the stove. Ah, but I live in an apartment, and one of it's more charming attributes is that, yes I have a fan, but no, it is not connected to a pipe that carries the sucked up air and it's odors OUT. It just...recirculates. Apparently, while this is lame, this is also legal. This is why I got one of those George Foreman grills, and whenever I want to cook, say, fish...I plug the thing in and set it out on the balcony. If I cook fish in the apartment I can still smell it three days later. Wonder if you can do liver on a George Foreman grill? It never occurred to me before, hmmmmm.

Ease up on me about the liver btw. I know, it's full of saturated fat, heavy metals and isn't supposed to be good for you anymore. I only eat it maybe twice a year, and it does have nutrients in it that are good, and thank you, my cholesterol level is always low. Sometimes, it's just what I want...sort of like, liverwurst. I seem to remember that when I confessed my liverwurst binges (who knows why, sometimes it just sounds like what I have to have), you confessed to them too, G2. It was a bonding experience, hehe.

But back to Mom. Her worst offense was against the poor, innocent little vegetables. What she could do to a perfectly healthy stalk of asparagus, well it was just a crime. I was 25 before I found out that asparagus could actually be good! Once or twice a year, she'd splurge when asparagus was in season, and she would commence to boil it. The dinner hour would come and we would sit there, staring at the limp, pale grey-green long things, collapsed into waterlogged submission, waiting on our plates. "But Mom, I don't really like asparagus" was met with "Eat it, it's a delicacy!". By God, we were going to eat it, every....last....piece. I developed an asparagus strategy (you couldn't hide it in your pockets, like the boiled peas). Cut into two inch lengths, lay on tongue pointing at throat, drink a slug of cold milk and wash that baby down before it could touch any taste buds. I ate it, but mom would be sighing and shaking her head. I just didn't appreciate good food.

My brother will back me up on this, btw. We loved our mom and she was wonderful at many things. Cooking just wasn't one of them. The two of us sometimes regale each other with tales of things she cremated, I mean, cooked. Well, we did survive to adulthood, lol.

Grandkids are the bestest

Last night was the Christmas Nativity play at the preschool that all three of my grand kids go to. It was snowed out by our much heavier than usual Christmas time snow fall. I got three long stemmed pink roses for the girls; after all, after a good job all actresses deserve a "bravo" and a rose, right? I took my seat, row three and , of course, ended up with the couple with the biggest heads in front of me. Next year I will just stand in the aisle off to the side so I can get some decent pictures. Anyway, it was adorable and we all laughed until we cried. In my family we had Mary and two angels. We also had the littlest angel. All had speaking parts. I have no idea what 90% were saying, but that was part of what made it so darn cute.
Grand daughter number one was "Mary" and took her part very seriously. She wore a gown from Ethiopia that was actually perfect for the part. Behind her is a cow; you can tell by the spots, silly!
After the play they sung Christmas songs to us. (I actually got two of the grand kids in one shot!!)

I need to dress and get my day started. You will be happy to know, just in case you had a sleepless night just feeling so bad for poor me, that my house no longer smells of liver. It is still around 62 degrees and I need to stoke the fire and dress and head out to buy show clothes....which may very well be the subject of my next blogging.........


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mama Mia...

You can dance
you can jive
Having the time of your life
oh see that girl, watch that scene
Digging the dancing queen

Guess which movie we are watching AGAIN tonight?

Forgive me for counting down a bit until I am done at the group home and get to go home. This is the third time for that we have watched Mama Mia. Each and every young lady has their very own copy, and of course, they each want to watch their very own copy.

There are two ladies living here right now (one of which, even though I have gotten her evening meds and supplied a bedtime snack which she is in fact eating while the movie plays, cannot abide the fact that I am typing on the laptop, deep breath, and is asking question after question)...where was I?

Of course my 25 year old daughter is here with us as well, and she has her copy of the movie too. Forgive me, but I think three Mama Mia's in three days qualifies me for a little laptop time :) After all, I am sitting in the same room, and I even sing along...some of the time. No way can I sing along with Meryl Streep on 'The winner takes something something something"...she did well with most of the singing, and in fact was great in the movie, but that song is just such an awful, awful song. Why oh why...well, time for a wee nap.

I remember seeing this as a play, and even thought it is full of irritatingly catchy ABBA songs, I had a great time. I have taken people to see the movie five times (always with daughter dear), and I admit I enjoyed, for the most part. Well, ok, I slept through parts of the movie the last couple of times, but the parts I stayed awake for were fun :) I tend to fall asleep whenever Pierce Brosnan starts singing (Sorry Pierce, I know you tried)

My daughter called her Dad tonight. He could hear the movie in the background (he has a deeply held antipathy to ABBA)(actually, so do I). I told Ramona 'hey, I know what! You can take your new movie with you to your dad's and you guys can watch it together'. He says he's gonna get me for that. Just doing my little part to spread the was an amicable divorce, really, I swear it.


Childhood memories


I went to the grocery store a couple of days ago. In the meat section there is the bin of "reduced for quick sale" meats. I always check in there, if only to see if my body is craving red meat. Low and behold! A plastic container of beef liver! Normally I have to get it frozen, and I never think to take it out of the freezer to thaw. $1 off means a pound of liver for less than a buck. Score!!

Now, lest you think I am a liver fan, I need to tell you that liver is used as "bait" for show dogs. With Kate's first show less than a month away I need to make liver brownies. It is quite simple to make them; puree liver in blender, add wheat germ, corn meal, and flour, with some garlic. Spread the mucous-like slop on a greased cookie sheet and bake. It takes about as much time to prepare as it takes for the oven to preheat. Now the drawbacks:

First there is the fact that the dogs won't stay out of the kitchen once it starts to bake. I have ceramic tiles in there, and it is amazing how slick dog drool makes the floor!

Then the obvious. The smell, which is of course what causes drawback numero uno. No amount of febreeze, scented candles, air freshener, or perfume can get this stench out of my house. It reminds me of my childhood. My mother LOVED liver and onions. (I wonder if she ever tried liver and garlic.) Retch. As a child I would come home from school and know immediately that Dad was working late. As I got older I would call friends up looking for a place to go for dinner. Yes, I know S2, you like liver and onions too; want me to save you some liver brownies?? (Non dairy, I could take the ferry.) It is not my favorite memory of Mom, that is for sure. In fact, it isn't even one that makes me smile happily and further reminisce.

I know that there is no escape. If I leave, no matter how long I am gone that smell will be here waiting for me. Why do I torture myself, you ask? There is NOTHING that perks up a dog like liver brownies. I once took some to obedience class. Big mistake. Even the instructor's dog got out of her chair to come greet me. I was easily the most popular human in class that night. I am obviously getting a bad case of nerves. I will break this batch into small pieces and put it in the freezer. If I don't there will be none left and the process will begin anew. Next time y'all watch a dog show take notice of the humanoids on the other end of the leash. See how they keep taking something in and out of their mouth? That, my fellow persons, is more likely than not to be liver brownies. The only way to combat one's dog posing for the next handler over is to at least equal what they are using as bait. Yes, indeed, I will likely have to have this stuff even closer to my nose on the 14th of February. sigh


GAH!!!! Yourself! In...your...mouth???? Yes, I have seen them do this, and although I knew 'whatever it was' had to be, at the least, non tasty, I had no idea of the reality. Do they keep it in their mouths so the other dogs (and theirs) won't smell it until the opportune moment?

I have a suggestion for the cooking process. Invest in a toaster oven and baking trays for same. Plug them in out on the patio and cook the stuff out there. Make sure all exits are securely closed or you'll lure coyotes, ha ha. Other idea: Plug in and cook out in garage, same toaster oven. Although, now that I think of it, we don't want your motorcycle stinking like liver, now do we?


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Page 56, sentence 5

We've been tagged by Grandma at Pet Peeves and Other Rantings, and here are the rules:

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open to page 56.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 2 to 5 sentences, along with these rules.
5. Don't dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual book.
Pick the nearest book!
6. Tag five other people to do the same

First, I'd like to say this...there are two of us Grandmas writing in this blog, so I hope G2 will do this as well. Also, I don't know too many people with blogspot blogs as of yet, so I'll not be tagging others (unless I happen to think of a likely victim, bwa ha ha!).

Second, I'm currently working in a group home for developmentally delayed adults, and the nearest few books don't happen to have 56 pages. That being the case, I grabbed the first of two books I brought along with me:

The nearest book is: How to Publish your Nonfiction Book, a Complete Guide to Making the Right Publisher Say Yes, by Rudy Shur.

Page 56, fifth sentence:
Will the book sell enough copies to make money for the company? Just as in large firms, an acquisitions editor of a moderate-sized publishing hous is usually responsible for signing on books in a specific category. Knowing his market is critical. To increase his chances of signing on "winning" titles for his company, he mush be aware of the type of books within his category that have sold well. He must understand why some books are winners, while others are not.

Tag, G2 :)

Who would like to thank Grandma for sending this along and getting me 'out of my head', so to speak. I'm having surgery (maybe) that I really really really don't want, next week. I've been obsessing and worrying, and I really did need to get myself out of that headspace.

OK, here goes nothing

The book closest to me may not even have a readable page 56, but I will see what happens.

I have, closest to me, a rather dog chewed, no not dog eared, book titled For the Life of Your Dog by Greg Louganis and Betsey Sikoro Siino. And, lo and behold, page 56 is intact! The next 2- 5 sentences after the fifth sentence (which would make it sentences 7-12) state: "There isn't a perfect line either.But you owe it to yourself, to your family and friends, to your dog, and to the whole dog family at large to be informed and prepared about health issues when you bring a new dog into your family." (Oh come on, Greg...surely that could have been divided up into at least three or four sentences!!) sigh. "You will not only be prepared to make a wiser choice, you'll also have a better idea of what to do if things go wrong. Genetic problems have to be addressed through screening and family history because they probably won't be apparent when you first meet a litter of adorable little puppies, or a big strapping shelter dog." (are we there yet?) "Beyond that, you have to do some on-the-spot health evaluating to get an idea of the animal's overall health." (Phew, done)

I am not sure what the purpose of the exercise was; perhaps to get me to once more admit that one of my new dog's first acts in my house was to eat this book. But I have done it for the other two Grandmas. Not funny that I would have this book sitting at the computer; I have been researching handling classes today and was using it earlier to look up a few things. Then I decided that I would just sit and look at the picture of one of my idols...who is aging quite nicely. At any rate, it is done, and I am done as well. Sorry to disappoint; I am not reading much right now.

Henry reminds me, quite insistently, that it is time for chores to be done.( I wonder if Greg has any good answers for the "un-patterning" of dogs. Perhaps I need to sit and read this cover to cover instead of just looking at the pictures.)


I bet you HAVE been looking at the of Greg Louganis, ha ha. I want to see the pictures, too...S2

well, it was either that or "I am Sam, Sam I am, I do not like green eggs and ham."(Nice pictures, and the dogs aren't bad either...G2

Well my other choice would have been "Good Work, Amelia Bedelia", the last page of which was page 56 (I swear this is true). But there were only two sentences on it. S2

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I now must confess that I, dear readers, yes, I, taught my poor little dog all about routines. I had no idea that they were such a part of my life. I have been in denial, likely for many years. In fact, likely since my children were born. Why, then, do I hate predictability, you ask? Great question, and one I have no answer for. I think perhaps it is a survival thing for me. All of my life, or at least until last week, if memory serves me, I have not wanted one person to know everything about me. In 27 years of marriage there were some things that I purposely held back from my husband. Nothing big. Silly things like favorite color, books, etc. But there were things. As I reach my "senior" years (almost time for a discount at eateries and casinos) my routines become clearer and my little "secrets" much more transparent.

OK, if you made it through the ramblings in the first paragraph you may need a break at this point. Go take some ibuprofen, a few deep breaths and maybe a potty break. I will wait on you.

Routines. I have them. From the moment my foot touches the carpet in the morning until the next morning, when my foot again touches said carpet. And it makes me CRAZY when something interrupts my routine. It goes something like this (with a few bumps along the way):

Slight movement of the bed clothes causes dogs to compete for who gets the cherished facial area on their morning greeting...also known as pig pile on G2.

Awake and reach for glasses, knock them on floor, get off bed and out from under corgwyns, to crawl around searching for my link to reality; my glasses.

Once on, then put on leg, making sure that the toes point forward. At this point it is time for the bathroom; thanks children!!

Outside quickly so dogs get a release spot outside, not on my poor carpet.

Then turn on hot water, grab dog bowl, bathrobe (thanks for the reminder, Henry) right foot into left boot (at this point that is what feel "right" no left, oh forget it) and head out to let the horse out.

Dogs frap joyfully around the pasture at full speed waking up neighbor's dogs, and neighbors. Feed horse, open doors, entice pups back to the house asking constantly "are you hungry, want some breakfast, hungry, huh?"

Once back in house (62 degrees) it is time to feed the dogs, grab a cup of cocoa, and sit at the computer.

My morning computer routine is suddenly shattered and I am quickly in a rage. It is a good thing I have not started the fire yet, because I am plenty hot. How DARE they mess with me by changing the format on one of the daily newspapers! I cannot find a thing. Everything is changed. I get so worked up that I say, outloud, that I am now done with reading that paper first thing in the morning. "More user friendly" they say. Yeah right. I am the biggest user. Wait, that isn't right! Well, I hope it isn't. Now I don't know. I am too worked up to care. My routine is destroyed, and I know that the day will continue along in a similar manner. Drat!

However, this all leads me to wonder something. Hey S2, what do you think? All those elderly that think they are suffering the early effects of Alzheimers or you think we can blame it on the e-newspaper format change?

I am out of here to think about better times; butterflies, rainbows, sunshine, motorcycles, and being able to quickly find my way through all the news worth reading. THAT'S IT!! The darn editor is trying to get more of his newspaper read! By jove, I think I got it. Now, what was I talking about????


Monday, January 12, 2009

But then I forgot

I knew what I wanted to write about as I drove down the road tonight. And then I got here. Sigh. Just another meno-moment...


Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Phantom had me, then a fish/cat saved me

In 21 years I have had maybe three really bad episodes of Phantom pain. Last night was the biggest ever. Picture yourself standing by an electric with enough power to jolt an elephant into submission. (I know, poor example if you are a PETA supporter). Then take an end of that fence and shove it deep into the arch of your foot, or maybe into your ankle. The fence pulses, as does the pain I feel. About the time it is over and you get maybe five breaths it hits again. This one, by the third jolt had me on the floor screaming. I am so glad that no other human lives here!! The dogs knew something wasn't right. Kate would come up and give me the tiniest of licks. Henry stood back about a foot and a half and barked a shrill awful scream of his own. In the past soaking in hot water has helped. So I crawled to the other end of the house and started a bath. Then I called S2. If anyone can get me "out of my head" it is S2. It is a best friend's calling, right? We talked, we ranted, we laughed...all in between "contractions." Sadly, these contractions don't yield a baby, nor even a new leg. Finally I gave up and took meds. A lot of meds. Then we talked until the nerve pulses went away. They went away at about the same time the phone battery began to chirp that it would soon be dead. Today I am tired and I am sore. All of my muscles are stiff and sore. You see when that pulse occurs it makes all the muscles contract. I remember 21 years ago this month I was told by the amputation team that I could be left with chronic phantom pain. Thank goodness I have not had to bear that fate. I truly am not sure how I could live that way.

now speaking of PETA:
I need to give credit to the PETA website for this copy and paste. Something to ponder. (We will have a test and discussion at a later date.)

Yesterday we wrote to Whitefish High School and suggested that it change its name to Sea Kitten High in order to let people know that sea kittens are just as deserving of love as their land-dwelling counterparts. We were so excited to hear back from Jerry House, the Whitefish schools Superintendent. Superintendent House announced that he thinks the change would be a great idea, not just for the high school, but for the whole city!
House suggested that instead of "
Sea Kitten," it might be more appropriate to call the city "White Kitten," given Montana's lack of proximity to the ocean. "White Kitten High School, the White Kitten City Council, the White Kitten Fire Department—it has a certain ring to it, don't you think?" We really do think so, Superintendent House, and we love that you can see our point so clearly.
And if you break the law, House warns, "[Y]ou'll be arrested by the White Kitten Police Department, and taken to the White Kitten Jail, where you'll be treated with soft, furry paws and a purr of compassion." Aww … I'm totally moving to Montana.
He even suggested that the new name would bring new business to the town—perhaps the National Federation of Sea Kittens, instead of the outdated National Federation of Fly-Fishers that they're used to? House looks forward to it: "The fur will be flying, and they'll have scratching post exhibits." They'd better get started on that name change, because it looks like they've got some prep work ahead of them. As our new favorite superintendent said, "[W]e're going to have to bring in lots and lots of litter boxes."
Posted by Lianne Turner


They have just made a big break through getting people to see fish differently and you think it is a waste of time? Even small steps make big impacts. If they change their name the story behind it will always be told and the important information that fish are intelligent and can feel pain will be passed on with it.
Posted by: Kate
January 9, 2009 07:42 AM
I wouldn't want to work for the white kitten fire dept if I were a dude!! Too feminine. But I do understand the point of the name change.
Posted by: Ashley
January 9, 2009 09:41 AM
Amen, Kate.
Glad you understand the situation ;-)
Posted by: Tom
January 9, 2009 03:09 PM

Once again the universe is in alignment.

Friday, January 9, 2009

T is for Tinnitis

*****Oh. The cruelty of it all. I was half way through this entry, when my browser crashed. After I restarted it, all that is left of my post (which I had not saved) was the title. Cruelty! Note to self: While I still have this cut rate piece of you know what loaner laptop computer (mine has been in the shop since the day after Thanksgiving), all writing will be done in notepad and then pasted. When the browser crashes (as it does several times a day), it does not effect notepad. Sigh.*****

Song of the day: Funky Town? Life is strange.

Yesterday, our ear doctor (the aforementioned 'Dr. McCoy' saw both Ramona and myself. As I've noted in some of my earlier entries here, I've been miss-hearing quite often these days. While this can be amusing at times, it's not a good sign when you are 58 and the veteran of (quite literally) hundreds of rock concerts throughout a lifetime. The good news is, my hearing is unusually acute (for someone my age, now why do they always have to ruin it by saying that?). It's excellent.

What I do have is exceptionally LOUD tinnitis. I hear a combination of whooshing and static, along with several high pitched whining tones at all times. They measured it at somewhere around 40-50 decibels (ok I'm probably exaggerating), and people, that's a lot! I knew I had tinnitis of course, how could I not know? I've always been told there is nothing I can do about it.

Now we could blame the loud music, but the reality is that it started before most of the music was ever listened to. When I was 17, my best friend was Mary Lou. She and I had perfected the art of looking like the most cooperative, normal and trouble free teens ever, and so, when her parents were going to be out of town over Easter vacation (it was still called Easter vacation back in those days), I was invited to stay at Mary Lou's house to keep her company. Score!!!!! We had a complete week of partying and carrying on planned. Nobody ever looked forward to a week more than we did.

The week before, my dratted little brother (not you, Pete, that other one that must never be named) came down with scarlet fever. Scarlet fever! It's not just something that got you quarrantined in the twenties, but in reality, is strep throat with a rash. Perfectly treatable in the antibiotic age. Friday, yes, FRIDAY, I developed a sore throat. I said not a word and when mom noted a slight scratchiness of voice (along with the comment that maybe I'd better stay home), I still said not a word except, I don't have a sore throat and I'm fine. After exacting a promise that I would call and come home immediately if I developed said sore throat (like THAT was ever going to happen), she dropped me off at Mary Lou's.

Commencing to party, I tried to avoid person to person contact (I did at least know that much) and carried on. I smoked. I drank. I partied on. Well, I should say we partied on. It was the sixties, people! And apart from the mother of all sore throats, all seemed more or less well, until the following Saturday night. My ears were starting to hurt at bedtime, and at some time during the night, the pain in my ears raised itself to a full blown roar. You know when the doctors ask you to rate your pain from 1 to 10? Well this was a clear 11. And, I wanted my mommy. At first Mary Lou tried to talk me out of calling my mom (partly because we still had major cleaning up to do, I admit), and offered me aspirin. This pain laughed in the face of aspirin. She got out their heating pad, which promptly exploded in a cloud of smoke, smut and sparks upon my pillow when we plugged it in. Fortunately, I hadn't laid my head on it yet. It was over...I called my mom and begged her to come and get me.

In tight lipped silence she drove me home. She had some codeine, and a working heating pad. Then, since she was a head nurse at Stanford Hospital and knew a thing or two (like how long I had probably had that sore throat), she commenced to rant. I'll spare you, but clearly I deserved it. In the morning (Sunday=extra cost) she took me to the pediatrician, who, aghast at the state of my eardrums, prepared to lance them. I was a famous weenie when it came to anything pointed back in those days (I've toughened up since then), and with the help of my mom (who was probably secretly delighted) and another nurse, they held me down and accomplished the deed.

Well. I was more or less deaf. And by the next day, I lost all sense of equilibrium. This lasted for two weeks, during which I stayed home. I enjoyed seeing how far I could walk down the hallway before I fell into the wall. I got to stay home from school. And toward the end of the two weeks, my ears began to ring.

Except for one five minute period of of complete silence in 1980, when the ringing miraculously stopped, they have rung ever since. I'm sure the loud music didn't help any, but it wasn't the cause, and at any rate I started using ear plugs years before it was the thing to do. Apparently, there is a clinic in Portland Oregon that specializes in the treatment of tinnitis. I called, my insurance, such that it is, won't cover it. Also apparently, Xanax can help. Don't know if I'd want to go there.

Apparently it's affected my hearing, lol! I've developed coping mechanisms...I don't like it when it's quiet, I always have a television or music or radio playing. I've tried sound machines, didn't work for me. I've learned to just ignore it, or keep my mind occupied at all times with something or other. I've noticed it far more in the last couple of days and it's bothered me more, because I've been focusing on it. I've tried vitamins, but so far, have never tried anything that is advertised in the back of magazines. I figure, if it worked, it would be in an article in the front. I've done biofeedback. Inconclusive. I'm a little tempted by the Xanax. Apparently for some people, it really works. However, I am a pretty calm person...would it turn me into a zombie? I don't sleep well at night, but really I think that's lack of hormones.

I don't know. I'm open to suggestions, but I really think I'm just stuck with this. Hopefully I'll be back to sublimating this soon. Too bad they can't just stick an eartube in it!

(Huh? I can't hear you!)


While trying to leave S2 a message I found myself feeling as though I was one baby step from losing not only our identity, but my sanity as well. Losing reading eyesight is already a given for this old lady, I'm afeared.

As one is on the last step to "publish" the comment one must get through the spam protection by copying a "word" into the little box. It is always an interesting array of letters in an almost impossible font that leans and sways with the morning coffee/cocoa. I tried my best to copy the darn word, but twice blew it. Now I am worried. Will the computer gods think that I am trying to break in and sabotage my blog? Am I some evil identity that came about from S2's Palin controversy thread. (There you go, S2, I didn't drop the number two most goggled name, that of Johnny Depp....oops ;-))
Anyway, I am finding that I cannot understand accents due to decreased hearing and the constant ringing in my ears. This makes calling tech support a royal pain, but so it goes. This weird word thing leaves the same "taste in mouth." So in my panic to get the word right the third time I actually got out a flashlight to shine on the screen, a magnifying glass just hoping that if I made the word bigger I could decipher it, and said a little prayer to the google gods in hopes they would give me an easy one for the third try.


OK, is this case sensitive???


Ear Tubes Anew

Song of the Day: There's More Pretty Girls Than One (I have asked the music gods why I am haunted with this one)(no one answered), But there's more pretty girls than one....

My youngest has a long, long history of trouble with her ears. She has Down Syndrome, so she had strike one from the start...people with DS often have smaller eustachian tubes and their ears don't drain properly. Strike two: her two older sisters also had many ear infections, as did their dad (as I recall). It's a family affair. Poor kid never had a chance.

She has had more courses of antibiotics than I like to think about. She's had a series of ear tubes placed the number of which I have completely lost track of. At first it was the small tubes that were meant to be short term. Later on they put the long term, grommet looking variety in (imagine a molly-bolt for the eardrum). Several times.

Finally she seemed to have outgrown ear infections. But because of the repeated assaults on her eardrums, she had a permanent gaping hole in her left drum. She had moderate hearing loss in that ear (a legacy of both infections and hole), and started developing 'opportunistic' infections that were arriving via the hole. Decision made to give her a new eardrum, the things that they do these days! Long story short, they harvested a piece of fascia (covering the membrane between skin and muscle) from underneath her scalp, and bring it down to sew into place. This was around age 17 or so. My concerns about whether or not the fascia could act like a real eardrum were allayed by the doctor saying, well enough we think. Don't you just love it with they 'think' something? Well something had to be done, the fascia was the best thing anyone to come up with to use for fake eardrum, so, we went with it.

Her hearing has, ever so slowly, improved over the last few years (she's 25 now), but she started having the odd infection here and there. A regular ear drum is soft and it sort of drapes (hard to explain but it does), but her fake ear drum is more rigid and less permeable. Fluid builds up behind it, and because that ear is just a mess anyway, the fluid has nowhere to go. Her ear always hurts, no matter what we do, because of the pressure of too much fluid we figure. There for a while, it looked like the pain might be from an outer ear (in the canal) infection, but it was not to be. It looks like she guessed it. An ear tube placed, the tiny kind. When it falls out, the hole it leaves will be permanent, since the fascia won't heal unless it is stitched back up and we tell it to.

The hope is that the doc (who is very good at what he does) (and will answer to Dr. McCoy when Ramona calls him that, as well as give her the vulcan salute) will be able to make just the tiniest wee little hole possible for the tube, and that after it falls out, there will be just the tiniest wee permanent hole in her ear drum, so that the stuff that collects in there will have somewhere to go and quit causing her all that pain. Her ear hurts ALL the time, imagine how irrascible and grumpy you would be if it was you.

I remember when I agreed to the fascia graft. I worried at the time that the infections would start up all over again, but I had to admit she couldn't have that big old hole there, either. I always thought, well that's a bridge I'll cross when I have to. Hi, bridge. One part of me hates to make a hole in that lovely graft that has done such a good job. The other part knew would probably happen. So, it will be back to custom ear plugs when she wants to swim or take a bath. Wonder if she will want this one to look like a little orca like the old ones did? And hey, at least the other ear is a healthy ear!

It is up to me at this point, I told the doc I would go home and think about it. The appointment was yesterday and I've thought about it. Yup, think we'll have to do this. Ramona is up for it if it will make it so her ear doesn't hurt anymore. Let's see, will this be hospitalization number 20 or 21? I've lost track.

The doc saw me as a patient yesterday, as well. But, more on that later.

(who has had it up to here with doctors lately) (but bless them for being there)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Paperwork vs e-work

I went to an insurance agent today. I have transferred all of my insurance (house, truck and motorcycle) to a new place. Cheaper, even. I do so little paperwork any more I was astounded as I signed my signature about six or seven times...maybe even eight. The good thing is that I now have no problem written 2009!! I could have done everything via email and phone, but it was really important that I know that everything is checked and rechecked. I hate surprises that mean another signature...this time on a check! Anyway, the good news is that I will get my motorcycle premium from the former insurer back, and that I will also get back the insurance I paid on my truck. It was double covered for the entire time I had it, and I didn't know until a month ago. Now that is taken care of too. The house insurance was due to draw from escrow mid February, so that timing was perfect as well. I guess all the stars must be in alignment.

The past few days I have been shredding paperwork that is no longer needed. Partly out of paranoia, I must admit. It came about following the divorce. 28 years with a person means that he knows almost everything. Nothing is safe. However, I also know all about him. Does that mean we are equal? I will leave that alone. So, e-work or pa[erwork? It all comes down to how secure I feel about the computer not crashing...pretty stupid. I think I will go pick up a few thumb drives and start storing stuff that is important on there. Of course everything is important, but budgeting stuff. Bill stuff. Bank stuff. I am delighted that I have a 5 drawer filing cabinet now again...anbd I also have enough shredded paper to start fires the rest of the winter. WHY can we not recycle shredded paper??? HMMMMMMM


Sarah Palin Ate My Brain (ok she's not the only one)

  1. (even though I love it, it's a time vampire)

  2. Mahjong at quicktime (where time ceases to exist. I've told you yourself a favor and never go there in the first place).

  3. Anything to do with Sarah Palin. Just accept that conspiracies swirl about this woman, that Trig isn't hers (oh come on, you know he isn't, but what a sweet little campaign move), and move on. And know that she is scary. (This is S2 talking...I know that my lack of conservatism is not everyone's cup of tea. And G2 does not agree, so don't give her a hard time, lol)

  4. Wondering what's next for George Bush.

  5. Soap operas. Nuff said. (I broke that habit years ago, I am pleased to say).

  6. Trying to figure out why my new 4gb SDHC card from refuses to read, no matter what method I use (two different computers, where I tried on each: USB flash drive, MMC/SD port, direct cable from camera, it doesn't matter, the thing ain't a gonna read. Must accept defeat.

  7. Thinking that Ramona will become independent in regards to time. Today's telephone exchange, in support of this: Ramona: What time is it? Me: You have a watch. Ramona: And you have a clock. What time is it?

And I think this is enough wasting time at the computer for today! Unless I think of more, in which case, I'll certainly be back.


(who took a great photo for this blog, but it unfortunately cannot be freed from it's SDHC prison)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Claustrophobia and near panic

and the question is:

What happens to G2 when her prosthesis jams on.

Scenario: Got up with a million things to do. Fed animals in the bathrobe, coat and boot (yes, Henry was very happy). Came in and started dressing. Shirt? check. Jeans? I take my leg off to put the pant leg on from the top of the leg and pull down. Then put the leg on, button, zip and done. Oops, Houston we have a problem. As soon as I bore weight I knew there was a huge problem. However, now I couldn't get the latch to release ME from the leg. This has happened before and I always get a bit panic stricken. I jiggled, I wiggled. No luck. I then managed to release my "residual limb" (politically correct way to say "stump") from the liner, but still could not get the liner from the socket. Now I am sweating. I call the prosthetics shop, knowing that I cannot be the only one this has happened to and that they will walk me through some kind of emergency release. Nope. Can I get in there? I am sitting at the computer. No pants. No crutches. Bummed up right leg that has me not wanting to hop. Slick car port even if I could get my crutches and shorts on. Not to worry. James, the technician, will drive the 30 minutes to my house and fix it. I look around. The house is really a mess. (This is why I have always had a clean house; you never know when something might come up.) I tell them to let me find a way in. I will call them back. At this point I am really starting to freak out. I can feel whatever it is that has jammed the mechanism. If I can just get it out. I now decide to hop. Down the hall and into my bathroom to grab some hemostats. On the way back I stop and grab the crutches and some shorts. I wiggle, I jiggled, I yell, the dogs cringe. Then? SUCCESS!!!!! The universe is once again in alignment. I am exhausted and feel, and look, like I have run a marathon. With excitement and utter relief I call the shop back and let them know that all is well. I will be picking up the little two pronged tool that removes the valve that holds me into my leg.

Now I will go back to cleaning. And I will take a nap. Too much adrenalin. Now quit your laughing!


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

song of the day

Crimson and Clover-Tommy and the Shondells

The song is stuck in my head but, unlike most, makes me smile. It is from an album that was given to me in my "tween" (doncha love this new English?) years. I remember playing it on a little suitcase style record player. I also got "Snoopy vs the Red Baron" by the Royal Guardsmen, but it was a 45, so I had to lift up the little hole adapter and remember to change the speed of the turntable. I was so shocked to get the album; one of my siblings bought it, but the fact that my parents "allowed" it is pretty amazing. However, unlike Simon and Garfunkle, I think Dad could actually say their name, so maybe that was the key. I grew up with music on all the time. I learned to appreciate all kinds of music. My parents were "easy listening" folks. Montovani, Lawrence Welk, etc. I remember Dad getting REALLY upset when I told him he was listening to a "soft rock" song, or the Gazillion Strings playing the aforementioned Simon and Garfunkle. Oh how I wish I had internet back then, just so I could prove my case. The good thing was that he liked to listen to the easy listening stuff, so that when he was in hospice I was able to climb on the bed with him and sing some of those 60s songs that we both loved so much. I also remember getting him tickets to a couple of concerts; no huge thing, Boots Randolf. I was in high school at the time and playing sax in the jazz band. I enjoyed it as much as he did. How many of YOU can say that you went with your Dads to concerts in high school?

In junior high and high school we were very involved with the Drum and Bugle Corps. To this day my heart gets a flip flopping when I hear nice loud brass and drums. There truly is no better sound. It is one of those things that just gets in the blood; I remember a few years back flipping stations and finding a Drum Corps competition. It is a lot different now, with the various marching band percussion and all. But that big brass sound is still there. I would go back and re-live that part of my youth in a second, but only THAT part. Practices a couple times a week, parades and/or competitions every weekend in the summer. We had no time to get into much trouble. Then there were those military inspections. They were done prior to every competition, and they were done usually by a couple of Marines. On the guys, no hair touching the collar, nor the ear, and side burns mid ear. I remember the inspections before the inspections...once the directors son had to shave his side burns with just a blade. Perhaps he got a few less gigs with the bloody patches. I was in the horn section and had to wear my hair up and in a net. Times have changed, for sure, but it would be interesting to attend a drum corps function. By the looks of it a few years back, I would be willing to guess that those inspections still exist. However, today the members would blend into the norm a bit easier. Those are the days that drove me to a major in music. Sometimes I miss it. Taking out my horn makes me feel complete in a way I cannot describe. Now it is my link to my parents.

Music is still deeply embedded in my psyche. I do little with it now, but there will be a time when I go back to it. I played in a church musical a year or two ago and found that I wasn't as bad as I was afraid I had become. Perhaps it is time to find a group of these days.

Until then I am going to just keep on keeping on. My life is good. I have my bumps in the road, but feel good about who I have become. Every bump has shaped me a bit (no denying that, eh). I think the biggest lesson has been to not be unhappy. Too many people are wrapped in a whole lot of stress and unhappiness, looking for the teeny tiny bit of good. While I try to always look for the good, it makes me sad to see my children or friends stuck. Being stuck, and I know stuck, chips away at a person until all strength has gone. Life is way too short. I feel bad for the example I set as a Mom. However, in an effort to permanently ban the "Guilt Queen" from this house, I only use my experiences as examples. I am no longer that Queen of Guilt, and take no part of her into my life as it is now. It took a while, but 7 years to erase 27 isn't really too bad, don't you agree?

Perhaps these words are important in my life, and now refer to my feelings of my self. Hmmmmmm

Now I don't hardly know her
But I think I could love her
Crimson and clover
Ah, well if she come walkin' over
Now I been waitin' to show her
Crimson and clover, over and over
Yeah, my, my, such a sweet thing
I wanna do everything
What a beautiful feeling
Crimson and clover, over and over
[Repeat to fade:]Crimson and clover, over and over


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dad

He would be 86 today. It makes me smile to think that he and Mom are finally together again, but I still miss them.

It is snowing so hard here right now, that I keep losing the signal to my satellite dish! I have gone out and brushed the build up off already...only had to do that once during the last snow. If that is any indication of what we are in for, this is going to be really bad. My hoses hadn't thawed enough to fill the water trough, and now it looks like it will be a few more weeks of hauling buckets of water. Enough already!!!!

I've been cleaning like crazy. It has been WAAAY too long since I did a good cleaning of the house; paying particular attention to the spare room. It has become that place where I put the piles when there is someone coming over. I started there. I was so eager to get things in order in there. I did the divided pile thing. Keep, recycle, shred, and trash. Tomorrow I was going to load up the truck and head to the recyclers. sigh. Unless there is some miraculous event weather wise, it ain't gonna happen. I guess I will load up the truck anyway so that I can't just get it out of the house. I will then re-do the whole room and make it a lot more user friendly for myself, and a lot more grown up for the grandkids.

So, for now I am resigned to stop the cleaning thing. Instead I will sit here and try to fill out my entry form for the dog show in Albany next month. Sitting amongst the bags of packing peanuts, shredded paperwork and flattened cardboard boxes. Oh yea, it looks SO much better after a day of toiling.

I just took the dogs out; two inches of snow was on the front porch. I think I need to borrow a kid so that I can "play" in it. I need to change to a bit more positive attitude, and it is quite obvious it won't be coming from the dogs.

Bah, humbug...G2

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A new year

Wow. Very Strange. I decided to write something and I got published before I finished the title!!

This whole "new year" thing has me baffled. First of all, it never feels like the start of the year. I am not sure if that is because it all happens in the darkest part of the year, or what. For as long as I can remember it has not felt like something "new." It is almost as though the date just got dropped there. What begins anew (excepting the calendar)? School is in session, winter is already here, all the deciduous plants are deep in hibernation, football season hasn't even ended yet, and riding weather is still quite a ways in the future. We do our weird little celebratory it sending helium balloons into the cold night air, making war-like noises with explosives, sipping champagne with loved ones, or watching a movie snuggled up with a blanket on the couch. Some of us watch the slow demise of Dick Clark. Am I just a real fuddy duddy? I am afraid to go out on the roads. The bars and Casinos begin to fill up by noon on December 31st. People actually go bar-hopping. I really don't get it.

So, with that said, I chose to start the New Year as I ended the old one. Mucking the barn. The snow is almost gone now, but it is a chilly 28 degrees as I write this. Many of the rhodies didn't survive the big snow. They are all pretty old and quite leggy. The weight of the snow has broken the limbs right off. I will try cutting them way back and see if they survive. If not, something will replace them. The animals got a good run in. I think all are happy to have the white stuff gone.

Yesterday Kate and I took the trip to my sister's place. It is a rather nice two hour drive from here. However the ice and snow made me a bit more cautious. Within five minutes of my arrival the snow began to fall. While I was tempted to jump in the truck and take off for home, I chose to stay and have a great day. The new place is really quite nice. I loved their old farm as well, but this one has quite quickly taken a little spot in my heart. The great news is that the old place has sold so no more double mortgages. The bad news is that my sister has to be the fix it arms for the next six months. Poor Ron. He has so much he wants to be doing to get the farm up to snuff, and cannot do a thing. My hope is that he follows the surgeons orders. I must admit he is the first guy I have ever known that has a major orthopedic procedure done and, short of the cast on his arm, you would never know it. Then again, he also went three or four days with his bicep muscle up in his shoulder before he even went to get it checked out. Ouch. So, any way, they loved the ornaments. I had started to doubt my choice of gifts. Would I want a picture of myself on a Christmas ornament? Hmmmm. So, I wrapped them up, didn't put names on them and gave each one, not knowing which was going to open which. My reasoning was that perhaps she would better like a picture of him, and vice versa. In reality, it was all about the horses. So, my New Year's resolution will be to stop doubting myself so much. I will go with my first instinct and try not to second guess myself. Now if I can just figure out when MY new year starts!