Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Hey friends in Blog-o-land, I have a request. I would appreciate good thoughts, vibes, and/or prayers of any religious persuasion tomorrow, March 1, as I'm undergoing some minor surgery. I'm having a carpal tunnel release, which apparently looks like this:

From the site:

I'm also having a DeQuervain's Tenosynovitis release on the same (right) hand. The following graphic is from :

Anywho, I know it shouldn't be any big deal, but can't help but have a bit of anxiety.

I'll have an update posted sometime tomorrow, though I can't swear that the typing will be coherent. ;) It may be funny as hell, though, so that alone is something to look forward to!


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

My Tenth Anniversary being a Non-Smoker

Ten years ago today I made one of the best decisions of my life. I quit smoking. I quit cold turkey and I've never (thankfully) had any real desire to start back. Not to say that, if cigarette smoking were not harmful, I wouldn't joyfully resume, but we all know that's not the case, so I remain tobacco-free.

Why did I quit? Because I was ready to. I had smoked since I was a teenager, first stealing my parents' cigarettes, and then, moving in to buying my own. I cringe to think of that now, but it is what it is. I loved smoking -- I loved the feel of it, the way it looked, the calming I felt when inhaling that (nasty) smoke. I also liked the feeling of being a rebel, doing what people told me not to do, being a little bit on the edge.

I tried to quit a couple of times. Once, I quit for a few days because I was too hungover to smoke. Now, that has to conjure up a picture that isn't pretty, as well it should. In my pitiful defense, let me add that this was the New Year's Day that I was supposed to see my first ex-lover and his new wife at a gathering, and I think that knowledge goaded me into consuming way too much alcohol. Duh, you say. Yes, you're right -- duh! Funny thing is, he didn't even attend the gathering, and actually, neither did I, because I was feeling like roadkill myself. I resumed smoking within a few days.

The second time I tried to quit was during my first marriage -- the marriage to the emotionally abusive alcoholic. In fact, we both attempted to quit at the same time. BIG mistake. HUGE. The ensuing tension we both felt fed upon itself, and made me realize in just short of a day's time that there was no way we would survive each other if we both quit at the same time. So, we started smoking again.

The last time I quit was on this day 1o years ago, when I had bronchitis with a sinus infection AGAIN. Now, I've always had sinus infections, ear infections, etc., since infancy, so that alone was not anything new. But this time, it hurt too much to inhale that poisonous smoke, thank goodness. I had spoken with my family doctor perhaps a year prior to this date to ask him for help in quitting. That was when you had to have a prescription for "The Patch". He told me, very wisely, that he would give me the prescription, but he urged me NOT to fill it just yet. His advice to me was that I "needed to get my head right" about this first, that no amount of chemical help was going to be worthwhile until and unless I was completely ready to take this step. As it turned out, I never had to fill that prescription.

I still have two siblings who smoke, and it tears me up to think about. My brother has a lifelong history of asthma, and my sister has a son with asthma. She herself has been battling repeated upper respiratory problems this year especially, and her little son needs breathing treatments on a fairly regular basis. I know this is at least in part because of her smoking around him. I've tried to be as supportive and encouraging as I know how to be, because I truly do understand how hard it is to quit and how much you really enjoy those cigarettes. But if I could accomplish one positive thing in my life, it would be to help these two precious loves of my life overcome their addiction and habit.

So, if you think of it, raise a glass for me today, and say a little prayer for my brother and sister. If I could do it, and my other sister could do it, the other two can -- I just know it.


Thursday, February 22, 2007

Apparently, a punny week....

Musical joke
A C, an E-flat, and a G go into a bar.

The bartender says: "Sorry, but we don't serve minors." So, the E-flat leaves, and the C and the G have an open fifth between them. After a few drinks, the fifth is diminished: the G is out flat. An F comes in and tries to augment the situation, but is not sharp enough. A D comes into the bar and heads straight for the bathroom saying, "Excuse me. I'll just be a second." An A comes into the bar, but the bartender is not convinced that this relative of C is not a minor. Then the bartender notices a B-flat hiding at the end of the bar and exclaims: "Get out now! You're the seventh minor I've found in this bar tonight." The E-flat, not easily deflated, comes back to the bar the next night in a 3-piece suit with nicely shined shoes. The bartender (who used to have a nice corporate job until his company downsized) says: "You're looking sharp tonight, come on in! This could be a major development." This proves to be the case, as the E-flat takes off the suit, and everything else, and stands there au naturel. Eventually, the C sobers up, and realizes in horror that he's under a rest. The C is brought to trial, is found guilty of contributing to the diminution of a minor, and is sentenced to 10 years of DS without Coda at an upscale correctional facility. On appeal, however, the C is found innocent of any wrongdoing, even accidental, and that all accusations to the contrary are bassless. The bartender decides, however, that since he's only had tenor so patrons, the soprano out in the bathroom, and everything has become alto much treble, he needs a rest -- and closes the bar.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Where are you?

make your own map at:
Can anyone see this map? I can't when I view it, but I'm not sure if that's just me, or what. :) Could one of you lovely people let me know? Thanks!

Monday, February 19, 2007

WARNING -- Punny post ahead

With permission from Kayakdave from ApplachianGreens, I submit the following. Remember, you were warned....

{AppalachianGreens} "Got these in E-mail."

(1) King Ozymandias of Assyria was running low on cash after years of war with the Hittites. His last great possession was the Star of the Euphrates, the most valuable diamond in the ancient world. Desperate, he went to Croesus, the pawnbroker, to ask for a loan. Croesus said, "I'll give you 100,000 dinars for it.""But I paid a million dinars for it," the King protested. "Don't you know who I am? I am the king!" Croesus replied, "When you wish to pawn a Star, makes no difference who you are."

(2) Evidence has been found that William Tell and his family were avid bowlers. However, all the Swiss league records were unfortunately destroyed in a fire, and we'll never know for whom the Tells bowled.

(3) A man rushed into a busy doctor's office and shouted "Doctor! I think I'm shrinking!!" The doctor calmly responded, "Now, settle down. You'll just have to be a little patient."

(4) A marine biologist developed a race of genetically engineered dolphins that could live forever if they were fed a steady diet of seagulls. One day, his supply of the birds ran out so he had to go out and trap some more. On the way back, he spied two lions asleep on the road. Afraid to wake them, he gingerly stepped over them. Immediately, he was arrested and charged with transporting gulls across sedate lions for immortal porpoises.

(5) Back in the 1800s the Tates Watch Company of Massachusetts wanted to produce other products and, since they already made the cases for watches, they used them to produce compasses. The new compasses were so bad that people often ended up in Canada or Mexico rather than California. This, of course, is the origin of the expression, "He who has a Tates is lost!"

(6) A thief broke into the local police station and stole all the toilets and urinals, leaving no clues. A spokesperson was quoted as saying, "We have absolutely nothing to go on."

(7) An Indian chief was feeling very sick, so he summoned the medicine man. After a brief examination, the medicine man took out a long, thin trip of elk rawhide and gave it to the chief, telling him to bite off, chew, and swallow one inch of the leather every day. After a month, the medicine man returned to see how the chief was feeling. The chief shrugged and said, "The thong is ended, but the malady lingers on."

(8) A famous Viking explorer returned home from a voyage and found his name missing from the town register. His wife insisted on complaining to the local civic official who apologized profusely saying, "I must have taken Leif off my census."

(9) There were three Indian squaws. One slept on a deer skin, one slept on an elk skin, and the third slept on a hippopotamus skin. All three became pregnant, and the first two each had a baby boy. The one who slept on the hippopotamus skin had twin boys. This goes to prove that the squaw of the hippopotamus is equal to the sons of the squaws of the other two hides.

(10) A skeptical anthropologist was cataloging South American folk remedies with the assistance of a tribal brujo who indicated that the leaves of a particular fern were a sure cure for any case of constipation. When the anthropologist expressed his doubts, the brujo looked him in the eye and said, "Let me tell you, with fronds like these, who needs enemas?"
(By the way, the guy who wrote these 10 puns entered them in a contest. He figured with 10 entries, he couldn't lose. As they were reading the list of winners, he was really hoping one of his puns would win, but unfortunately, no pun in ten did.)

In honor of Squirrel Squad Squeeks

From the site :
(Best sung at the top of one's lungs)

Artist/Band: Snider Todd
Lyrics for Song:
Beer Run
Lyrics for Album:
Other Songs

B-double E double R U-N-beer run
B-double E double R U-N-beer run
all we need is a ten and five-er,
car and key and a sober driver,
B-double E double R U-N-beer run
a couple of frat guys from abilene
drove out all night to see Robert Earl Keen
at the K-pei swine and sworay dance-
they wore baseball caps and khaki pants-
they wanted cigarettes-so to save a little money-
they got one from this hippie who smelt kina funny
and-next thing they knew they were both pretty hungry-
and pretty thirsty tooo
B-double E double R U-N-beer run
B-double E double R U-N-beer ru-unn

all we need is a ten and five-er,
car and key and a sober driver,
B-double E double R U-N-beer run

found a store with a sign-said
there beer was coldest-so they sent
in Brad- cause he looked the oldest
-he got a case of beer and a candy bar
-walked over to where all them registers are
layed his fake id on the countertop
the clerk looked, he turned up, he looked he stopped.
he said "son, I'm not gonna call the cops, but im gonna
have to keep this card"-
the guys both took it pretty haard
B-double E double R U-N-beer run
B-double E double R U-N-beer ru-un

oh how happy we would be-
had we only brought a better fake id
B-double E double R U-N-beer run

they found this nother old hippie named
sleepie john-claimed to be the one from the Robert
Earl Keen song
so they gave him all their cash-he bought em some brew
-was a beautiful day out in Santa Cruz
they were feelin' so good it shoulda been a crime-
the crowd was cool and the band was prime
they made it back up front to their seats just in time
so they could sing with all their friends
they sang-"the rode goes on forever and the party
never eends"
B-double E double R U-N-beer run

all we need is a ten and a five-er car and
key and a sober driver
B-double E double R U-N-beer run

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Anna Nicole Smith and Kim Nowak

I have to weigh in on the media frenzy surrounding these two women. I can't hold my tongue any longer, so, fair warning -- rant on the way.

I am very disappointed in the number of people who seem to take great pleasure in ridiculing these two women. The really disappointing part is that many of the people who are taking part in this are supposedly respectable people. I would have thought that part of respectability would have included compassion, but perhaps I should now go find the definition for "respectable", because I certainly don't see much evidence of compassion in the things I've read about Anna Nicole Smith and Kim Nowak (astronaut).

Naturally, their behavior has been less than exemplary, at least in the good sense. If anything, they both serve as cautionary tales for women for different reasons. Anna Nicole seemed to lack any kind of moral barometer; Ms. Nowak seemed to lack a sense of propriety.

My take on Anna Nicole is that she had the idea that she was worth no more than what she could parlay with her body. Yes, she was pretty, but that prettiness came with a heavy (no pun intended) price tag -- she had to maintain it. It's one thing when you're in your late teens to early twenties, but quite another when you're over 30 - 35 and not quite as lithe or juvenile-looking as you were a decade or so ago. She had a lot of help with her delusional self-image -- many men and probably more than a few women certainly gave her the idea that all she had to do was look & act pretty and the world would be her oyster. But then reality set in -- she gained weight. We all know that's the worst thing a woman can do if she wants to be considered pretty. (I certainly hope you pick up on the semi-sarcastic tone here.) The media and people in general took great pleasure in her becoming heavier, as though this was something she "deserved".

As a woman who has battled weight issues since childhood, I know what it's like to be discounted and overlooked based on the way my body looks. In my case, the biggest problem was probably that people at times grossly underestimated my intelligence and abilities. I always felt like an outsider, a geek, a person who was unworthy, and not as "good" as other girls. To this very day I still find myself feeling a little intimidated around new people, especially people I admire and want to like me, and most especially if they are "pretty" women. Make that, "normal" women. I admitted this the other day to a friend, and learned that she always felt out of place herself, but because people assumed that she was just another pretty face, a piece of meat. Flip sides of the same coin, don't you think? Now, I've come a long way toward self-acceptance, and, frankly, I've lost 30 lbs since October. Guess how I did that? By INCREASING the amount I eat daily. Apparently, I have been eating too few calories to even allow weight loss in the false belief that not eating much would lead to weight loss. It was metabolic testing at the hands of an Endocrinologist that began helping me unravel the complex diet/weight history I've acquired. If only I'd been educated long ago -- or maybe if only my parents had been educated long ago...I don't know. Bottom line, I have better info now and I'm putting it to good use. But enough about me....

Kim Nowak, on the other hand, seemed like a woman who had it "all". She was an astronaut who actually walked in space. She was a wife, a mother, and who knows what all else. But for some reason, that wasn't enough. She developed a love rivalry around another astronaut, and made the dangerous decision to try to eliminate her "rival". Clearly, she'd thought through her intentions, but definitely not the consequences. Why did this intelligent, accomplished, heroic woman feel it necessary to act in a manner best suited for a high school gym? Why wasn't it ENOUGH to be who she was already? Why did she feel it necessary to be MORE than Superwoman? Now all anyone can focus on about this amazing woman is the fact that she (ingeniously) wore a diaper on her cross-country drive to enable her to avoid as many stops as possible.

I saw where someone wrote that they wondered where Ms. Nowak's girlfriends were who could have told her not to follow through with her idiotic and very ill-conceived ideas about revenge. I think they were where Anna Nicole's friends were -- non-existent.

Here's what I'm sayin' -- what does it say about our society that these things happen, and then that people seem to delight in the misfortunes of those who CLEARLY HAVE EMOTIONAL PROBLEMS??? What don't we understand about compromised mental health, whether by the choice of taking/abusing substances or by just plain bad luck with brain chemistry? Does no one remember that both of these women left CHILDREN in their wake? What about them? What will they feel when they read the nasty snide things people say about their Moms??? They didn't get a choice in that, but they will pay the price for their mothers' mistakes for the rest of their lives. They can't escape it.

I guess I'm still aching from so many family deaths in this last year -- if we can make it till February 19 without another passing, then we can say we only lost 6 people in our family this year. Six people that are mourned, warts and all. Six people who meant something to me, to my family. I'm probably being overly-sensitive, but I just find myself sad for these women and their utter confusion about their worth.

And, I just think it's wrong to make fun of people, public figures or not. Anna Nicole Smith and Kim Nowak were real people with real families and friends and feelings, just like all of us. I just wish we could all have a little more compassion, a little more consideration, a little more walking in the shoes of the current laughing stock on the news. A wise man once said "That which you do to the least of these, you do to me..." Makes you think....


Thursday, February 8, 2007


The word of the day is CHRISTIAN. Recently, I've begun to ponder the ways in which that particular word is used sometimes more in reference to one's behavior or state of morality, so I wanted to see exactly what a widely accepted dictionary would have to say. Below are two entries that I found at

Chris·tian [kris-chuhn] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
1.of, pertaining to, or derived from Jesus Christ or His teachings: a Christian faith.
2.of, pertaining to, believing in, or belonging to the religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ: Spain is a Christian country.
3.of or pertaining to Christians: many Christian deaths in the Crusades.
4.exhibiting a spirit proper to a follower of Jesus Christ; Christlike: She displayed true Christian charity.
5.decent; respectable: They gave him a good Christian burial.
6.human; not brutal; humane: Such behavior isn't Christian.
7.a person who believes in Jesus Christ; adherent of Christianity.
8.a person who exemplifies in his or her life the teachings of Christ: He died like a true Christian.
9.a member of any of certain Protestant churches, as the Disciples of Christ and the Plymouth Brethren.
10.the hero of Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress.
11.a male given name. Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.
American Heritage Dictionary - Cite This Source Chris·tian (krĭs'chən) Pronunciation Key
  1. Professing belief in Jesus as Christ or following the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus.
  2. Relating to or derived from Jesus or Jesus's teachings.
  3. Manifesting the qualities or spirit of Jesus; Christlike.
  4. Relating to or characteristic of Christianity or its adherents.
  5. Showing a loving concern for others; humane.

  1. One who professes belief in Jesus as Christ or follows the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus.
  2. One who lives according to the teachings of Jesus.
This information became more important to me last week, when a dear friend who was the absolute pillar of our church died suddenly in the early morning hours of Thursday, February 1, of a massive heart attack. This is how my late husband died, so it follows that this death struck even closer to home than some.

This man, this pillar of our church, who cooked for everyone, who coordinated church-wide events ranging from a yearly auction to block parties in the parking lot to the annual Thanksgiving dinner available to one and all, so that no one had to be alone on holidays -- this man that I'm describing was Gay. He was also in a loving, completely committed relationship for nearly 20 years. His partner was and is equally as generous with his time and efforts with our church community, and I've learned that they were both also very active in their own neighborhood, caring for elderly neighbors as you might a beloved aunt or grandmother. My friend's greatest love was senior citizens, and, each quarter, he and all the helpers he could get would prepare a beautiful, elegant and very nutritious brunch, just for seniors. Some of these folks were unable to come to services often, due to various disabilities, but my friend made sure they had transportation to his brunch, so that they would be reminded that we loved them and hadn't forgotten them. I've only gotten to participate in the help for the brunch once, but I'm certainly going to be participating in the future events.

I say all of these things because some of his family members not only ostracized him from the family, but also condemned and criticized him, his partner, our church, and even the tone of his Life Celebration Service (his wishes were followed to not have anything morbid and to remember to celebrate life, not mourn death). These people, his family, call themselves Christians. They even mostly belong to the church of Christ.

Based on my experience of this beautiful man, my understanding of "Christian teachings", and now the specific definitions of what the word "Christian" means, I believe that my friend, the gay man, was the Christian, NOT those who claimed to be but yet had not one ounce of charity in their hearts.

I don't know if what I'm writing will mean anything to anyone else, but I had to say these things for myself. I loved my friend -- I love his partner -- and I am honored to have been, with my husband, the person called first after the minister was called. I'm honored to have spent from 6am Thursday morning until 8pm Saturday night, ministering to (not my term) a human being in the agony of loss. I consider myself exceptionally fortunate and blessed to be someone another can turn to for comfort. That, my friends, is the mark of a successful life.

Please remember to love one another as you love yourselves. And if that means you need to do a better job of loving yourself, well, DO IT. You can't help anyone else if you yourself are drained and struck to the bone with sorrow or fatigue or sickness. We all need each other -- in "real life" and here online. It was my online life and my online friends who got me through those first bleak months after I lost my husband. It was online, too, that I found my current beloved hubby. Love is love -- doesn't matter how it developed or whether it's romantic/platonic/paternal/maternal, etc. John Lennon said "Love is all we need", and I think he had it right.

Peace, and, in case I haven't told you -- I love you! You blogfriends out there -- yes, Y'ALL!!! I LOVE YOU ALL, and am so grateful to count you among my REAL friends.


Sunday, February 4, 2007

About what I figured

I am:
"You're probably one of those chicken-littles who thinks maybe we should worry a little bit, occasionally, about the fate of the planet that our lives all depend on."

Are You A Republican?

I just had a conversation with my cousin this afternoon about political parties, and whether we were Democrats or Republicans. I told her I was a Democrat, but then I had to correct myself and say that I really tended to vote based on issues, not parties. She said she did the same.

So when I saw this little quiz on Appalachian Greens' blog, I thought I'd check to see what the results were. Try it yourselves and see what it says. It might surprise you.


Thursday, February 1, 2007