Thursday, March 31, 2011

I've Never Had An Overwhelming Desire To Glow In The Dark

Amazing! Trace amounts of radiation found in the milk in California. However, parents are being told not to panic. In the age of full disclosure, including 200,000 diplomatic papers in the hands of Julian Assange, we seem to feel the need to know everything. Why? To cause panic?

Tell me something. We know the radioactive iodine is being spread to the US. We keep hearing how minimal it is and how we don't have to worry. However, we aren't hearing what we need to know which is, what the hell can we do about it? The obvious answer is absolutely nothing. So, since we don't seem to need to be proactive in protecting ourselves, why are we being so fully informed? Forgive me, I had a weak moment. The reason is called ratings.

Back in the 1960's almost every news reporter knew of JFK's peccadillos with other women. Was it blasted across the airwaves of our nightly news? No, of course not. Back then, private lives were...well...private. Not so today. Today, gossip is now news. It seems that the news media has caught onto the ignorance of the average American, and is using it to boost their ratings.

Back in the day, before Americans embraced ignorance and called it "transparency", I saw a movie. It was called "China Syndrome". I felt, that given the nature of humans and their ability to screw up nearly everything they touch, I didn't want to trust that nuclear energy would remain a safe option for very long. That feeling was cemented by the near melt down on Three Mile Island, which was caused by...human error.

Another thing that bothered me is the storage of nuclear waste. The town of Love Canal in NYS became a major brownfield of toxicity because chemicals were stored in underground barrels. If chemicals could eat through these barrels, what about nuclear waste? How good would all that released nuclear waste be for the health of our children? Would this so called transparency apply to that situation should those barrels, buried in a mountain, start leaking? Funny thing, there is no answer for any of those questions, yet, we use nuclear energy to create electricity. Apparently, some folks don't believe in human error.

The good thing about all this, is that I will save a bundle of money since I won't have to buy organic produce. Think about it. With all this radioactive iodine floating around, produce grown under any situation will contain it, in trace amounts. What the heck, since I'm going to be exposed to all those trace amounts of toxic radioactive iodine, I might as well save my money. Probably need it for the doctor bills.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's My Chair...Well...Sometimes.

Back in 2007 when we moved everything to our present location, we also moved the location of my computer. Finally it was off the dining room table and installed in what could be termed a rightful place. However, I was still using a kitchen chair as my seat. My Christmas gift that year was a trip to Staples to pick out a computer chair. One that was ergonomically correct and first and foremost...comfortable. Back then I was still spending a great deal of time sitting on my butt in front of it, so comfort was a major concern. I bought a large brown microfiber chair commonly called an executive chair. It has the lower back support in the correct position for when I wish to lean back and read.

Back in 2007, our resident kitty was Bashful. She was a well behaved kitty who only used the chair when I wasn't in it. Butterscotch, on the other hand, thinks it's his. Once in it, he will not give it up. I've tried sitting on him and he will not move. He, is a 13 pound cat, I am an extra large human. I have no desire to squash him flatter than a pancake, he has that figured out and holds his position. I can't leave this chair for a minute without him making himself at home in it.

If I bodily move him, by picking him up and setting him down on the floor, he jumps up to the keyboard tray and sits on the keyboard. When bodily removed from that place, he jumps up and stands on the desk directly in front of the monitor. I can get back to what I'm doing faster if I just move the chair he's in over to the other side of the room and bring that chair over here. That chair is Hubby's $15 garage sale find. It's not as big as mine and is made of fake leather which makes it cold and clammy to sit on. It doesn't have the lower back support that mine does. And I sit on it while Butterscotch takes a bath, or a nap in mine. If by some strange happenstance I do manage to win the argument, I am kept up all night long by a kitty who wants to play. Before you tell me to close the bedroom door, we've tried it. If the door is closed, he will use the hallway as a handball court by batting his mice against the door.

WHAT AM I...NUTS? I almost spend more time playing musical computer chairs with a 13 pound cat than I do using my computer. I don't have that kindof time to waste. At the moment, I am using my own big brown chair while the cat is distracted by something outside. He is turning his head towards me periodically to see if I'm moving anything besides my fingers. I'm not, at the moment, but will be in a few minutes. Once I remove myself from this chair, he will place his little butt in it and I will be out of luck.

I have figured out the only way to have full posession of MY executive chair is to find another home for Butterscotch. That would reduce my monthly expenditures equal to the cost of cat food, kitty litter and toilet paper. Oh yeah, he still steals toilet tissue, and any paper product not placed beyond his reach. I would then have my chair all to myself...and my home would feel empty. No more paper bits stuck all over the place...and no more warm bundle of purring fur to soothe my jangled nerves when I need to relax. On second thought...I'll keep him.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Singing The New Blog Blues

I don't know why some icons do not take anyone to the blog the icon is attached to. All I can think of is that the owner isn't allowing the blog to be listed. Just because your blog shows in your profile doesn't mean it will show elsewhere in Blogger.

In your settings, the third entry is this question:

Add your blog to our listings?

There is a little box next to it that has an arrow. The box contains the words Yes and No. The arrow allows you to chose which response you want. Mine says Yes and the title of my blog shows up when you click my icon in your Followers widget. If that's not the problem, then I have no clue.

Also, Bella said this last week but I'm adding my voice to this. In all the time I've been here, I have never had a spam comment. All the word verification thing does is annoy people. Blogger has a spam filter these days which it didn't have back when I first joined.

On some of your blogs, the word verification thing is available when you write your comment. It depends on the blogger template you use. However, if it isn't set up the way Bookworm's or Whit's is then people leaving comments don't know they have to wait for it. Which means you never have the joy of reading it, because they think it's posted and they leave the scene of the crime without seeing it isn't there. I'd advise disabling the word verification on your blogs.

Scratch didn't get a comment from me because I forgot to wait for the verification thing and didn't realize it until I went back to see if he answered me and there was no comment from me there. It's up to you how you want to operate your comments, but there is another solution if you're concerned.

In Settings, under the tab Comments, there is an application for comment moderation that you can enable. This will allow you to see the comment prior to allowing it to post on your page. I'd suggest you use that if you're uncomfortable with an open comment forum. That way you won't lose a comment into the void and you have the power to file 13 any comment you don't like.

Blogger can be more complicated than Blogstream was. However, here we have more control of how our blogs look and what features we want to add. All the added features add to our confusion, but sooner or later we'll all figure it out together. It's just going to take time.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Apparently Once Was Not Enough

Meet the Fuzzinator, that's his name. He's a Rumpy Cabbit Manx. Or maybe it's a Cabbit Rumpy Manx or it could be a Manx Rumpy Cabbit. Not being a Manx expert, I'm not sure. For the uninitiated, Manx is his breed, Rumpy is the length of his tail and Cabbit means his front legs are longer than his back legs. The reason he's of interest is because, he disappeared this morning.

He and another calico Manx female belong to my neighbor John and his girlfriend Dianne. It seems that Muffin was tormenting Fuzzinator and during the chase they hit a screen in a front window. Screen popped out. Muffin sat and cried for her staff, Fuzzinator took the opportunity to go exploring. His disappearance left John and Dianne quite concerned.

We took turns prowling the neighborhood calling for Fuzzinator which was a total waste of time. If you call a dog they might come, if you call a cat, leave a message and they'll get back to you. When they're ready to. Or if they're hungry.

He's not allowed to roam. Not exactly a house cat as he is allowed outside on his tiedown. He seems comfortable with that most of the time. It allows him as much freedom as any dog has and it keeps him out from under the wheels of any passing cars. It also keeps him from chasing skunks and porcupines which like Martha Stewart says is a good thing.

Alls well that ends well as Fuzzinator returned to the fold just about time to eat. He's been examined for wounds, fleas, and assorted other things that might find themselves attached to his fur and found to be clean. Somewhat annoyed by the unwanted attention, but none the worse for wear.

I posted this for the first time in June of 2008. It is being reposted (I hope) because Fuzzinator did it again. I'm not sure how he got out of the house this time, it being still cold and we are not yet leaving windows open for air. However, when I went to leave for work this morning, there sat Fuzz on my deck.

I wasn't sure it was him at first, but when I came out he spoke to me and started to walk down the steps. He would stop every so often to see if I was following him, and when I saw which direction he was intent on traveling to, I did. By then I knew it was him and he wanted to go home.

John had left for work, but Dianne was at home sleeping. It took quite a bit of pounding on things to wake her up. Fuzzinator sat quietly while I did all the work and as soon as she came to the door and opened it he bolted into the house as if the hounds of Hell were after him.

She was absolutely shocked, had no idea he was gone, nor when he left. The only thing we can figure is he got out when John went to work. John just left here a few minutes ago after coming here to thank me for seeing to it that Fuzz got home safely this morning. He believes that Fuzz escaped when he went back into the house for something he forgot and left the doors open. He was in a hurry and never saw Fuzz outside. He and Fuzz take walks every day. Apparently Fuzz thought it was walk time. This seems to be the only explanation for the escape since Fuzzinator may be a Manx of many talents, but he can't walk through walls.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Last Time We Saw Each Other

My Mom and Dad were expecting me in 1949 at the same time his cousin Leah and her husband Ed were expecting a bundle of joy. Leah and Ed beat Dad and Mom in the baby birthing lottery by a month. Darlene was born August 15, I arrived on September 20, although Dad said I was due in August as well.

I never really knew Darlene even though we were in homeroom together in our Senior year. She ran with the "popular" crowd, while I was the bookworm who wasn't interested in clothes and makeup. She was blonde to my mousy brown and was quite beautiful. I, on the other hand was average in the looks department. I was the better student. There was no animosity nor jealously between us, we just weren't on the same page as people. Friendly, without a desire on either of our parts to get to know each other except superficially. We both thought it odd that we attended all the same schools and it wasn't until 12th grade that we wound up sharing a homeroom. Our last names were one letter different.

I haven't had a chance this week to read the local daily paper and took the opportunity to do so this afternoon. That was how I found out that Darlene died unexpectedly and her funeral was this afternoon. I didn't attend although there was time for me to do so. We hadn't kept in touch after graduation in 1967. I didn't feel that I needed to intrude on her family's grief. I haven't seen any of them in so long, I doubt they'd remember me.

When I called my step-mom to find out what she knew, she was in the dark as much as I was. However, she, without remembering my age kept saying how young she was and how scary it was that she died so young. By the time we were off the phone, I found myself with an urge to hug my boss. Had she not chosen January for our annual assessments and physicals, that obituary very much could have been mine.

Since it was a sudden and unexpected death I'm making an assumption of heart attack or stroke. If ever I needed an impetus to keep me on the doctors program, this was it. All of these changes I'm making aren't easy. I've spent so much time eating in an unhealthy manner that I constantly have to fight against the urge to slide backwards, or give it up entirely. There are days when I arrive home from work tired and have no desire to do all that preparation work in the kitchen. I do it grudgingly, but I do it. After today, I'm very glad I do it, and will continue to do it because I'm not yet ready for the alternative. I like breathing too much.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Butterose, The 140 Character Smart Ass Side Of Me

Sometimes I don't have anything that I can use as content for a blog. Sometimes what's on my mind can be expressed best in one or two short sentences. Which is what my Twitter account is for. My life has become so full that I barely find the time for Twitter, which is fine. However, once in awhile I check my profile to see that my tweets say about me what they should say. I surprise myself sometimes when I read what I've posted. Most of my posts in Twitter are in response to what others are saying, sometimes they're links to what I'm reading or posting on my blog. I couldn't use the name Sherry in Twitter as it is all ready taken in all of it's forms, so I finally chose the name Butterose. I couldn't use 2 r's in it because someone else, no longer posting, has used it.

The following are 10 tweets I've posted within the past month that are just what was on my mind at the moment. Little incidents or news notes that captured my mind for the moment. Somewhere in there resides a germ of an idea for an entire blog post. It's probably the battle over the "executive" chair or maybe the "Hoomans are silly" tweet. We'll see what develops, won't we?

My warm bundle of purring fur says "Hoomans are silly, they don't know enough to avoid company they do not like".

I come over here knowing I have absolutely nothing of importance to say. I say things anyway. ;)

Ok, cat and I are having a battle over the "executive" chair. I'm an adult, he weighs 12 pounds. Why is he winning? ;)

Seems to me that Huckabee hasn't learned the first rule of holes. When you're in one stop digging!

Seems to me that since John McCain let the Palindora out of Alaska, he should be the one to put her back in and CLOSE THE DAMN LID!

Cat was kicking up a fuss at window. Looked to see a big ass skunk wandering through the yard. I nodded and told cat that's just Gov. Walker

I keep questioning the sanity of voters who elected Michelle Bachmann to Congress. Then I remember they voted for Jessie Ventura as governor

Everything we say doesn't have to have importance. Sometimes we need to remember life has it's silly moments.

Hey, if Hollywood ever makes a movie about Ghaddafi, they should cast Charlie Sheen in the lead. Bwahahahahah!

Now we can buy Girl Scout Cookies with credit cards. I'd be happy about that if a Girl Scout EVER knocked on my door to sell me some.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Remembering A Real Crappy Day

After yesterdays bad day, I decided I needed a reminder of just how bad some of my days can get. I took a look through my older published in Blogstream posts and found this one I posted on December 11, 2009. After reading this again, maybe yesterday wasn't as bad as I thought.

Yesterday I started out for my clients house and about 5 minutes away from home, the inside of my car started smelling rotten. Really rotten, the kind of stench that makes you breathe through your mouth and imagine you can taste it rotten. So, I'm thinking that mice made themselves a home in my engine compartment and I'm cooking the offspring as the engine heats up. It's not 20 degrees out there, and with a 20 mile per hour wind it was feeling like 0 degrees and I'm driving with my window open. I get all the way to my clients house and in her door before I find out what's wrong.

I'm in her home and getting ready to start the vacuum since she's all ready had her shower, she turns to me and says:

" Good Heavens! What is that smell, it's terrible? What do you have on your shoes?"

Me: "Eeew, I must have stepped in something, let me go outside and clean it off."

So, there I am in the wind with no coat on, scraping animal feces off my shoes. All over the side edge of BOTH shoes. I walk back to the car to grab some paper towels and step into animal feces in her driveway. Animal feces that I apparently brought with me from home. How else would I have been smelling that odor otherwise? Am I going to admit to that? Only if she askes me outright.

I clean up the driveway and I'm not smelling anything so I go back into the house to resume my tasks. Ten minutes go by and I can smell it again. So, I tell her I have to go home and change my shoes and I'll be back as soon as I can. She counters with a suggestion that I just check the bathroom and clean in there and go home without coming back. I'm apologizing all over the place to her, she's holding her nose and telling me she feels bad for me, but she can't stand the smell. I call the office, explain the problem and leave. Driving home with the window wide open because I can't stand the smell of myself either.

Bolt out of the car and there it was in the path between the driveway and the steps of the deck. The biggest pile of animal turds I've ever seen in my life, all nicely camoflaged by the dead golden brown leaves that were all around it. One single size 8 and 1/2 shoeprint right in the center of it. I'd say it was dog, only, it doesn't smell like dog and there aren't any dog owners in the area that allow their beloved pets to roam. Whatever left that pile isn't small and it definitely eats dead and rotting things. Which leaves me with wild dog or coyote droppings...errr...excuse me, I should say dumpings. Frozen dumpings, which is why I didn't smell it until the car was warmed up enough to thaw it out.

When I got into my own house and removed the offending shoes, I discovered the feces were wedged up into the non skid cleats of the soles. I got it off the ridges of the shoes, but not from up inside the cleats. I had to wire brush both the bottoms of my shoes and the carpet in the car. The car stunk for days, but my shoes were fine. I tried Febreeze on the carpet in hopes that the car would smell better. The Febreeze didn't work immediately but the car began to smell better after a few days.

The client didn't call the office complaining that I left a calling card on her carpet, which makes up some for the embarrassment I felt bringing that stench into her home. The supervisor didn't write me up for violating the "wearing of strong scents into a clients home is not allowed" regulation, so I survived.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Dangerous When Wet

It's Monday. I've dealt with snow, sleet, freezing rain, more snow, more sleet and now rain.

And that's ALL I'm gonna say about that!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Learning Patience

I was lucky enough to see last night's Supermoon as it should be seen. Shortly after dusk as it rose on the horizon. I had to keep checking it until it was above the treetops since the entire breadth of it was hidden, in places, by those trees. As I was viewing it through the trees I was reminded of many a Halloween image of a yellow/orange moon shining on a dark background, complete with bare tree branches and a witch on a broom stick obstructing the full view. There was, of course, no witch, just the branches. I declared it a beauty ascending and waited with bated bated as breath can be while running from window to window to see which had the best view, to view it in full magnificence. By the time it cleared the treetops it had lost it's orange luminescense and was just another full moon. The higher it rose, the smaller it became. Sadly disappointing except for the beginning. That beginning was truly awesome, even with the trees in the way.

Now that I think on it, the experience was no different from any other which contains a strong element of anticipation. "Anticipation, an-ti-ci-pay-ay-tion is making me wait!" Ahem! Sorry, it appears I was channeling Carly Simon for a bit. Where was I? Oh yes, the supermoon, bated breath and the fall into the rut that we create when we build something up too far in our imagination. I do that all the time, I think mostly because I believe I lack patience.

I have patience enough to drive behind a real slowpoke without getting nervous or angry. I can wait in long lines at stores. Even, sometimes, giving up my spot to someone with just a couple of items in their hands who might be waiting behind me. I have patience with Butterscotch when he's been his naughty little self. I have patience with my slow moving clients, even the wilfully disobedient ones. However, my patience doesn't extend to bullies, con artist, the wilfully stupid Fox News watchers or to myself. Yes! I have no patience with ME. Zilch, zero, nada, none.

I constantly over estimate what I can accomplish in a day and then leave half of it undone. Which, of course, makes me angry at myself. By the time I'm home from work, I'm tired, and have very little ability to do at home what I've just spent all day doing for others. I do the lick and a promise type of activity and plan on catching up over the weekends. Unfortunately I am in the process of establishing a new blog which means I need to pay attention to it, treat it kindly or whatever. I'm doing that instead of accomplishing what I had anticipated doing. And at the same time I'm anticipating how much time I need to dust, vacuum, mop floors, clean the fridge, etc.

My doctor said I need to learn to have patience with myself. I'm thinking she should have suggested some self discipline along with it. In the interest of actually getting things done today instead of sitting here in front of the computer getting upset with myself, I'm going to post this and actually go do housework. Today I will not fall into a rut by taking a computer break believing I actually will only stay for 15 minutes. I will turn up the music, and boogie on down with a broom and a mop. I will use my power of positive thinking to lift myself out of this chair and go do something, and I will not be back until it's done. Just one more thing...does anyone have a cup of motivation I can borrow?

Saturday, March 19, 2011


I don't think I know anyone who always makes the right decision in life. Errors in judgement are driven by many different personality characteristics. Some decisions are based on our belief system, some on instinct, some entirely on our own emotions. Each mistake in judgement should be a lesson in how to do it better, or maybe differently next time. Personally, I think we should aim at better, which I fully understand isn't always easy to do. Somehow it seems that most of us just keep making the same bad decision over and over.

Many of my clients have dementia issues to varying degrees. For some it's short term memory loss which can lead to a bad decision now and again. For others it's an emotional regression to the sneaky childhood age of willfull disobedience complete with attempts to hide things or lie about them when they get caught. For people in these stages of dementia there is little that can be done except to frustrate yourself trying to make them understand why they have to take their medication or why they must do what the doctor orders.

I had a client confide in me that she had decided she didn't need her blood pressure medication. Her pressure was fine every time she saw her doctor so she must be cured. Fortunately, her granddaughter sets up her meds and caught her not taking them. It's also very fortunate that this client isn't in the willfull disobedience stage and she realized her granddaughter was right that her good pressure numbers were a result of her medication. She shared her mistake with me after the correction occured and with the sort of embarrassment one feels when we've made a mistake. It was a rather sheepish admission that she had made an error in judgement.

What bothers me about some of my clients is that they don't have dementia and they make these errors in judgement constantly. They pick and choose which of their doctor's orders that they will comply with. Overweight clients with bad knees who are told to walk as much as possible buy used electric wheelchairs so they don't have to walk at all. I agree, it hurts, but it's going to hurt less if they build strength in their leg muscles and take off some weight. I have a client whose doctor wants him to go to rehab for his back problem so he won't have to take so many pain meds. He won't go. I have another client looking for another doctor because her's lost patience with her and told her "No one should be this fat.".

This woman weighs over 400 pounds. She complains constantly about having leg pains and having difficulty breathing when she lies on her back. Her bed is a mass of wedges designed to elevate ones head for comfort and pillows to hold her arms up. She has the biggest lift chair manufactured and she's so heavy the leg rest won't elevate her legs high enough to avoid the swelling. Instead of following her doctor's instructions to cut back on what she's eating, she's looking for a different doctor. One that won't tell her she's fat.

I don't understand any of it. What part of making changes so you feel better doesn't she understand? Why do some people continually make excuses for themselves when all it does is cause them to suffer with health problems that would improve if they'd make necessary changes? I know these changes are not easy. I'm making them.

I made a decision to spend the rest of my life without having to cope, on a daily basis, with pain or other limitations. This decision means I have to give up a lot of things I really love eating. It means I have to move more and when I think I've moved enough, I have to move more yet. Thanks to my job and the clients I care for, I saw what my future was going to be. I saw it, and I chose to change it. For someone who has made more than her share of bad judgement calls, for once I did good and I'm proud of myself.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Hard Work Makes Me Hungry

Two days of gorgeous, gorgeous weather and I'm one happy camper. Of course it's going to change to something worse I imagine. It's soon enough for me to welcome Spring, but it is still only March. I'm almost afraid to listen to the weather report, it's probably going to say something I don't like.Yep, I was right, Weatherman Mike just said that four letter word and it wasn't rain.

A trip to the doctors yesterday went very well. She got a kick out of my effort at making Chili from scratch, even laughed when I admitted we ate pizza. She didn't even say "don't eat that" as I expected. I like that any questions I have about something I'm considering will get answered. It's not always easy understanding the labels of all the foods we consume. And the government guidelines don't help any.

I happened to mention that we changed our margarine again from one that says it's transfat free to one that appears to really be free of partially hydrogenated oil. I asked her why they can say it's free of transfats when it contains partially hydrogenated oil. That's transfat. She explained that the government allows a certain percentage of transfat in their 0 grams of transfat advertising guidelines. Those guidelines applied to almost everything we eat are the reason why she doesn't insist on buying organic this time of year to new patients. Much of what we buy in the stores isn't fully organic.

She has a list of local NYS places where we can buy organic goods in season. The idea is that we should plan ahead and buy in bulk and freeze it ourselves. These farms offer a discount for those buying in bulk. There's a co-op of true organic growers here. I'm looking forward to the exploration of these places, but it won't be until late summer to early autumn. In the meantime we can save the money to make the bulk purchases. I know I pass one of the farms on her list 3 times a week driving to a client. That is the local source for organic eggs, stopped to make a purchase on my way home tonight and was pleasantly surprised that the eggs weren't a whole lot more expensive than what we all ready buy in the grocery store.

My challenge is going to be to get these healthier foods past Hubby. He's a meat and potatoes kind of guy and I can't get him to try anything made with whole grains. No brown rice, no whole wheat bread. He isn't willing to try a wide variety of vegetables, although he does like greens. I have managed to get him to try and actually like turkey burgers. When grilling season comes, I can see if I can get a few more new items by him. Otherwise I'll be doing twice the work to cook. That may not be a bad thing because everything we actually expend effort on causes us to burn calories. The more work I manage to do, the more weight I'll lose. Can't argue with that.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Photo Op, 1955

Granny loved to take pictures of her oldest grandchild. She had one of those box Brownies that were so popular back in the day. This would be the only picture existing of Mom, Dad and Me together. Funny how I never realized just how much I really looked like Dad. Mom's coloring, and everything else was Dad's. I'd have druther looked like Mom, she was beautiful.

Notice the fancy footwear on me? Brown oxfords which I was stuck wearing until long after the divorce. Dad flat would not allow me to wear the ever popular Mary Jane except for church on Sundays. I wanted a pair with the swivel ankle strap that would allow me to wear it strapped or pushed back behind the heel to create a pump. Patent leather preferably. Never got them.

Thanks to Dad's insistence on oxfords, I never got the hang of wearing high heels. Which is probably OK since with Dad's genetics, they wouldn't have done a damn thing for my legs. Oh well, he did want a boy.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Love, Heartbreak and a Pack Of Lies

I've never been able to look at his picture without having an urge to cry. This was our little Munchin Kitty that a neighbor had palmed off on us back in the day. I believe it was 1994 and I learned a lesson that I would rather have avoided.

Hubby was visiting the neighbor the night this little guy was born. He has the softest heart when it comes to any animal and he  told the couple that we'd take one of the kittens. He'd go over there and play with his baby every chance he could. I only went once and found myself with some serious reservations about the whole thing.

None of the kittens eyes opened when they should have. According to the wife of Hubby's friend, it was bad mothering on the part of the Mama Kitty. She claimed she had "Instructions from the vet" on what to do and she had begun the process.

About a week before they were old enough she showed up at my door with this baby. She was upset, claiming that the dog was killing the kittens and we needed to take ours now rather than wait. Like everything else she'd said about the situation, that was a lie that we didn't find out about until their daughter told on them.

Among the lies we had been told was that they had taken the Mama Cat from a friend who was moving and had been told she was spayed only to find out when she took a supposedly sick cat to the vet that she was having kittens. And of course the bad Mama Cat wasn't doing any mothering because she was sick with Feline Leukemia Virus. Something they knew since they had exposed the Mama to their own unneutered male who had died from FeLv before the kittens were born. The dog wasn't killing the kittens, they too were dying from FeLv. All except Munchin.

His eye made me call our vet the day we got him and make an appointment for the next day. He didn't even weigh a pound, but the vet thought he was doing ok, otherwise. The eye ointment didn't cure the problem, so it was back to the vet. He'd gained weight even if the eye problem didn't get fixed. Another type of ointment and no change so another visit had to happen. By then the vet was suggesting bloodwork which yielded the information that his eye was never going to get better, he had FeLv. We decided to give him a chance since he had gained weight, and although we weren't able to keep him to a ripe old age, we did get 3 years.

Someone was watching out for us as our existing cat Bashful didn't contract the disease. We had her innoculated and let Munchin become a thorn in her side until he couldn't fight anymore. He was a playful, happy cat until the last week of his life. Content to let Bashful rule the roost as long as she let him sleep in our lap. She didn't mind, she wasn't the lap kitty kind.

This experience taught me that when it comes to pet ownership, not everyone does the right thing, even if they're saying they are. My caution saved our youngest son's family from heartbreak last week. They were looking for a ktten and had found a breeder that they were planning on purchasing from. I went with him for the visit, saw a few things I wasn't happy with and suggested that we see the vet bills so we know what they would be dealing with. The breeder, and I use that term loosely, wouldn't allow that.

Youngest declined to purchase a kitten, and he decided to report our suspicions to the local Humane Society for investigation. Sure enough, she's running a kitten mill. Sometimes I really just don't like people.

Monday, March 14, 2011

I Thought I Knew How To Cook

Trying to change from eating habits that are bad for ones health to those that are good for ones health isn't easy. Healthy cooking is labor intensive and time consuming. I have to work for a living so I need recipes that can cook quickly so I'm not in the kitchen still trying to create a healthy meal when it's bedtime. I have yet to find a 30 minute meal that one can cook from whole foods. Actually I have, but Hubby won't eat it.

The philosophy behind the Whole Food movement is that food in it's natural state is better for you. It's nutrient dense and doesn't have any preservatives added. Of course, organic is preferred. I can't always afford that so I'm trying to do the best I can with the fresh produce I find at the grocers.

I was doing really well with it until I decided to make a pot of Chili for supper. Since one can't use canned goods in a whole food meal, this means I must cook my own whole tomatoes and kidney beans from a dried state.

The process of cooking tomatoes means you have to skin them by boiling them in hot water until they start to split and then plunge them into ice water which will make the skin loose. Once they're skinned, out comes the food mill so you can crush them up and remove the seeds.

One needs to do twice the amount of tomatoes because they will cook down and if I'm needing say 1 quart, I need a lot of tomatoes. Two to three hours later I have a big pot of crushed, uncooked tomatoes and it's time to clean the kitchen because this process is really, really messy.

One pound of kidney beans had been put to soaking the night before so while I was mucking about with the tomatoes, the beans had been cooking on the stove. They were ready, the tomatoes still needed to cook down. Another hour at least if not more.

Put the tomatoes on the burner, start cleaning up the mess and by now I really, really need to go sit down. The tomatoes hadn't cooked down much so I went and plunked my bottom down in front of the computer. After checking the simmering tomatoes and figuring out that they weren't cooking down very much I looked at the flame under the pot. There wasn't one, I'd run out of LP in the gas bottle.

It was now 3 pm on a Saturday afternoon, I'd been working on this pot of chili since 11 in the morning. I'm tired, I'm hungry and I don't have a redolent pot of chili simmering on the stove which means I have nothing cooking for supper.

Hubby strapped the 80 pound tank into his pickup to go get it filled. I put the tomatoes and kidney beans in containers in the fridge. Hubby got home just before 5 with my LP gas for the kitchen range and a pizza. I can eat that, it's got peppers and mushrooms on it.

The chili was finished off the next day. Cooking it healthy meant I shouldn't use beef. Hubby won't eat it without beef so I used half beef and half ground turkey. He was satisfied and I made a decision.

There are just some things that I will continue to use canned food for. I figured out that I spent close to 8 hours cooking that pot of chili, imagine what it would be like to do a pot of spaghetti sauce this way? I don't even want to think about that.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

With Whipped Cream and A Cherry On Top

Anyone who knows me understands that I have some really bad eating habits. While I don't come near to being among the super obese, much of my life has been spent shopping in the fat girls section of the clothing store. When I get a grip and DIET, I have managed to lose enough weight to wear a size 8. Which isn't where my body type indicates I should be. I look like death warmed over at that size. Seriously.

Recently I discovered, to my dismay, that my food choices were killing me. Not because I am overweight, but because I am consuming far too many preservatives and other toxic chemicals with my food. Salt is anathema to a person with a family history of high blood pressure and sugar is a death sentence to someone with a family history of diabetes. Guess who has both of those problems in their family history?

Convenience foods make life simpler and easier along with shorter and more painful. Roast beef or pork along with mashed taters and gravy, bisquits, maybe some corn or peas and I'm in heaven. Follow that up with a large hunk of chocolate cake and scoop or two of ice cream and you see my problem?

This past Fall, I went shopping at a large local craft fair. I didn't get to see all of the vendors because half way through the walking around, I was in agony from lower back, hip and leg pain. I limped back to my vehicle, drove myself home in tears. Call that a wake up call and a half.

At 61 years old, I wasn't feeling well because almost every joint in my body was drying up and grinding bone on bone. When it hurts to do anything, you tend not to do anything which makes the entire situation worse. I spent days taking whatever would ease the pain. Not much worked. I was limping through my work day unable to stand up straight.

Sheer determination and a computer on which I could do some research kept me going until I decided that I needed to change my bad habits. I started following the Mediterrainian Food Pyramid making the choice to replace meat and gravy with fruit, vegetables and whole grain. I also started taking a joint supplement called Move Free. The pain eased after a week on it. I had been taking Aleeve or Advil, neither of which is as good as the advertisements claim.

I made some changes because I was in pain without realizing how close I was to dying. Sounds dramatic doesn't it? It is, however, the truth. In January, during a routine work assessment, my blood pressure registered at a whopping 240/110. I was unable to get into my own doctors office and without health insurance it's a safe bet I wasn't going to go to the Emergency Room as I was instructed by the receptionist.

I have the best kind of friends. Ones that grab you by the hand and drag you into the answer to your problem. In this case it's a Doctor of Osteopathy who believes that the body will heal itself if you give it the right tools. What are the right tools? Activity, stress reduction, whole foods and nutraceuticals to support the organs that all the preservatives I've been consuming in my life have damaged.

I'm making changes one at a time and have lost 22 pounds plus lowered my blood pressure to stage 1 hypertension. I was at stage 4 with the higher number and there is no stage 5.

At my age, I'm not taking a journey into hotness, I am taking one into health. Not being perfect, it might be a long journey with maybe a banana split or two along the way. After all, some journeys need a few nuts with whipped cream and cherries to make them better.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

At first, I wasn't going to blog anyplace. Then I realized what I'd be losing if I didn't. First off, there's the title of my original Blogstream blog. It was chosen when I started blogging on April 26, 2006. One month after my Mom died. I'm not nearly as upset by the loss of the blog itself as I was with the loss of the title. Much of what kept me in Blogstream has changed, but the title is my tribute to my Mom and has a meaning to me that others might not fully understand. Honestly, sometimes I don't understand it either.

I created this blog in 2008, in anger actually. The original title was "Gawd Dang Lucky Frogs They Eat What Bugs Em". It was meant to be a place for me to vent my anger, and I had anger. I discovered that anger doesn't make for a great blog. Not that my Blogstream blog was all that great a blog. It had it's moments of lucidity amidst the insanity that was me.

I began to panic over losing the title two days after I knew that Blogstream would close on April 30. I wasn't sure what to do at first, but then I remembered this dormant blog. One whole post in 2010. I started thinking things through and decided that I would continue blogging here. With my Mom watching over me since I brought her title here.

This isn't going to be any greater a blog than version 1 was. I will make one serious change. There will be no political posts here. Those I will reserve for my friend Egaladeist's blog site

This blog will be a journey of sorts. Call it my journey into health and sanity. My sanity, which is something my grip on is tenuous some days. Posts will be about the things I'm learning from my doctor. The lifestyle changes I'm making. My job and the people I meet during the course of the day. My cat Butterscotch will be featured prominently, as always. Which reminds me that I want to go find the pink mouse in Hubby's undershorts post from my soon to be dead and gone blog. Hey! Strange things happen in this house, trust me on that.

Most of my favorite posts from Blogstream have been either archived as drafts, or posted here. I might repost them from time to time. They should be good for a few laughs on those days when life kicks me in the teeth. Who knows? If I keep blogging maybe I really will find that raindrops do make things beautiful. At least, on a blog they can't stop me from having some fun. I'm a girl, I just like fun.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Couldn't Wait

The more I thought of it, the better I liked the idea of a name change for this blog. Suddenly didn't want to wait until May 1 to do it and yet, didn't want to create too much confusion over 2 blogs with the same name. So RMTB2 was born.

Working on deciding whether I want to choose a new template. I'm liking the one I have now, so we'll see. Maybe something new will appeal.

As you can see something did appeal. I guess I'm done decorating. Now, if I could only find a topic to post about. Oh well, there's a lot of time to do that.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wow, You Just Never Know

I guess all good things must come to an end and it just happens to be happening on April 30, 2011. On that date my other blogsite will cease to exist. Thankfully all of the blog posts I wanted to save are all ready archived over here.

I will resume blogging on this page when that happens and will be changing the name of this blog. I started blogging a few weeks after my Mom died and chose my blog title according to something she always said to me when I complained about rainy weather. Although I saw the end of coming, and I'm only mildly saddened by it, the loss of my blog name sent me into a tailspin. Finally realized that on the date Blogstream ceases to exist, I can rename this blog.

So, Lucky Frogs will become "Raindrops Make Things Beautiful" on May 1, 2011. It's my blog title and I like it.