Saturday, April 30, 2011

Eat First, Then Breathe

It's been a long time since I've gotten excited about food. Most of what we buy at the grocers is enhanced with either color or flavorings of some kind. The more I look at how our food comes from farmer to table the less inclined I am to eat at all. Naturally, eating is an integral part of living. Much like breathing, we need to eat in order to survive. The problem is, every time we turn around, something we eat regularly is discovered to be detrimental to our health.

Back in the 90's there was a "fitness guru" with a program she called "Stop The Insanity". Susan Powter claimed that she had lost a great deal of weight simply by changing what she ate that made her fat, to a regimen of whole grains and fresh vegetables and fruits. Whether one believes she actually was ever fat depends upon which members of her family you decided was truthful. I never could make up my mind whether I believed her brother's claim that she was never fat, or her Dad's claim that she was. My interest in what she had to say waned due to the controversy surrounding her claims and now I'm kicking myself because of it. Essentially I should have overlooked the weight loss claims and focused on the issue of healthy eating. Had I done so, I'd be much farther ahead health wise than I am now. It may be that the current trend towards Whole Foods and Organic eating finds it's roots in her program. Much of what I am learning is what she was saying 20 years ago.

I figured that there wouldn't be a single thing anyone could find wrong with eating more whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables. Add to that the lowering of fat and I should live to be 100...right? Here I am well into the new habit I've acquired of eating a bowl of either steel cut or old fashioned cooked oats every morning when I find out that might not be as healthy as I thought. The problem seems to be that I'm eating American grown oats. According to this article I read the other day, oats are pure white. What I'm eating is sort of an ivory color. That color in my oats comes from mold. Mold that is intentionally caused simply to create color. I'm supposed to be eating Swedish oats from some company that doesn't create mold for color in their oats. Mind you, those oats cost upwards of $8 a pound plus shipping and handling, and are only available through mail order, online. I'm gonna get right on that. Suuuuure I am.

I look at it this way, so far, after having eaten moldy oats now for close to 5 months, I haven't accused anyone of casting a curse on me. I'm not seeing the devil in my coffee cup, nor am I hearing voices from the bag the oats come in. I'm not feeling that the mole, with the hair growing out of it, that has appeared on my elderly neighbor's face is any indication that she's a witch. I'm not feeling that anyone is out to get me, nor are my brain waves being altered by anything I need to wear a tinfoil hat to protect against. Bonus! The neighbors dog isn't telling me to kill anyone.

I don't have a runny nose. I'm not sneezing, coughing nor do I have a rash anywhere. I'm not tired all the time, I'm getting pretty energetic actually. I do have the normal joint aches that accompany arthritis, but I had those before I started consuming cooked oatmeal for breakfast. Not hardly anything that is being caused by mold. Plus I'm only spending $4 a pound for my oats.

Apparently, I wasn't the only one not paying attention to Susan's admonitions to "stop the insanity" To make up for my lapse, I am paying attention to another one of her catch phrases. "Eat, Breathe, Move". I've eaten, I'm breathing and now I'm moving out to check out a farm where I might be able to purchase grass fed beef, pork, eggs and poultry. I said that if such a place existed in our county, I'd find it. Who knew it might be a mere 15 minute drive away? Now, that's exciting!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Unaccomplished Life

We had a storm on Tuesday here in my area. I have an entire post written about the storm, the flooding, the tornado and how closely I came to getting caught in the thick of it. Then I remembered the real tragedies in the area where tornados are a common thing and wondered why I thought our storm was so special?

This picture is interesting to me due to the buildings pictured in it. The building on the right side of the picture is my doctors office and the gray building on the left is the Health Food Store where I buy my supplements and other things. I was going to go there on Tuesday, but changed my mind or otherwise I'd have been there when that bolt of lightening hit. That's a car it almost struck.

The white building in the background is a cheese factory. You can faintly see the lightening bolt that actually hit it. Blew some tiles off the roof but no one was hurt.

Someone said to me awhile back "Why do you have a blog?" As I sat here reading that earlier post  and what I had written about the storm, I found myself asking that very same question. I decided that had it not been for Mom's death, I wouldn't even know what a blog was, so how do I answer that question?

I had only used the internet once at a friend's house, and suddenly I've got an internet connection and the first thing I do with it is sign up at a blogging site? I don't whitewater raft. I don't travel all over the world. I don't pay the least bit of attention to pop culture unless it's shoved in my face  and yet, I have a blog. Strikes me as being pretty arrogant. The notion that a middle age female of no particular accomplishment seems to think she has enough to say that she needs a blog to say it makes me shake my head in wonder. What am I doing here?

I look back over my life and frankly, it's pretty boring. Mind you, I am not at all discontented with it, I just can't see why I thought it would provide fodder for the blog mill. Yet, for 5 years it has. I am apparently somewhat more amazingly opinionated than I thought I was. That last sentence, by the way, is a bold faced lie. I've always known I was amazingly opinionated, I just never knew that I would be a worthwhile blogger. I just did it. I just signed up on a blogsite and started writing. Then I found out I was supposed to have a goal. Well, I'm not always known for doing things the right way.

Once in awhile I throw caution to the wind and walk up the down staircase. Sometimes I like to exit the entrance. Gives me a different perspective on life. One that I believe will provide me with a blog topic here and there. And if nothing much occurs to me, well, there is always the weather.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Guilty Pleasures

I used to be a wrestling fan. Yes, I knew it was scripted. To me, it was entertainment and something I was raised with. Back in the 50's I used to watch the Saturday noon half hour of wrestling with my Grannie. It was a normal part of my every other weekend stay at Grannie's and Grandpa's. We'd get up around 7, have breakfast, do dishes, make beds, get dressed, do some housework and always leave to go grocery shopping by 9:30. We'd be back by 11 or so with whatever she purchased. That would give us time to put things away, have lunch, set the dishes to soak in the sink and retire to the living room for the 12:30 matinee bouts that were televised back then. In the same way that Mom made sure I understood that Heckle and Jeckle hitting each other with wooden mallets wasn't real, Grannie made me understand that those men in the squared circle were acting.

Since this was such a normal part of my growing up years, I thought everyone knew that the wrestlers we saw on TV were actors playing roles that were physically demanding. I found out, as I grew up, that this wasn't the case. There were people who didn't see it as entertainment, they seemed to see it as a waste of time, or in some cases entertainment fit only for trailer park trash.

The current owner of the WWE, Vince McMahon, took that type of entertainment from it's origins as school gymnasium events to the bigger arena venues by admitting that it was "sports entertainment". He also managed to find wrestlers who looked much hotter in tights than his Dad had. I imagine that was a good thing since as he acquired decent looking men, the storylines started to decline. The good guys (babyfaces) became bad guys (heels) and the stories became mean spirited and in some cases downright ugly. The wrestlers became so arrogant that I could find nothing redeeming in the entirety of it so, I quit watching.

Of course, I hadn't stopped watching until after the character known as Chris Jericho joined the roster. To me, he was just another arrogant blond with a steroid body. A carbon copy of all the other long haired blonds who were wrestling at the time. As a matter of fact, I had named him "Chris Jerkico" I was bored with the concept and uninterested in watching him develop. Imagine my surprise when he was one of this seasons "Dancing With The Stars" cast. I almost decided not to watch it because of that. I'm so very glad I did.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that Chris Jericho had something more going for him than his wrestling fame. He put every effort into learning the dances assigned to him. He listened to criticism without becoming defensive. He admitted when he hadn't done well without making excuses. He looked pretty darned good without his shirt on too.

He was voted off the show last night and I was rather dismayed. Either wrestling fans don't watch DWTS or more guys wanted to watch Kendra shake her booty. Seeing Chris Irvine not playing Chris Jericho when things didn't go well went a long way towards taking away the very bad taste in my mouth that wrestling became. Not enough for me to start watching it again. It's not my kind of entertainment anymore.

Monday, April 25, 2011

One Last Trip Down The Stream

Some, or maybe all of you will have read part of this post at our beloved former home, Blogstream. We're just a few days away from it's disappearance into whatever place in the ethernet that dead blogsites inhabit. I haven't reposted many of my posts from there simply because they were mostly related to things that happened at the time which makes many of them irrelevant today. The music posts I wished to save were all posted here in 2009 when I decided I wanted to leave the stream. The reasons for that move have been buried in the past and no longer matter, however, given the current state of things, I'm very glad I moved those posts. Many of you have had your nose to the grindstone saving your work these past few weeks while I have simply been playing around.

This was a poem I wrote in honor of many of the friends I had made in my early days as a blogger there. I should say the first 6 verses were from the early days. I brought it out and added to it early in 2009. One more verse was added today. By rights, this should be saved and posted here on Saturday April 30, but tomorrow would have been the beginning of my 6th year as a Blogstream blogger so I'm sure you'll understand why I'm posting it now.

Life is full of Second Chances,

And Uninspired Thoughts.
Along The Spiral Path of life,
I wonder, what has it brought?

Whispered Promises, My Mindlessness
Or am I Just Being Me?
Trying Not To Come Undone,
Should we ask Mr. P?

Inside The Flame, a River Rat
In the Pirates Cafe
The Good The Bad The Ugly,
I really couldn't say.

I'm in The Dog House, I believe,
Along with Library Cat.
Whit's Whittling My Nutty Life away,
I don't know where I'm at.

Echo's From The Tomb, I say
My Momma Never Told Me,
I'm Burning the Wick at Both Ends
Oh my, it's Ain't Life Peachy.

Ordinary Stuff from Ordinary People,
Deja Vu All Over Again.
Pets Discuss Their Problems
When will it ever end?

From inside the Inner Sanctum
I gazed at the View From The Bluffs
I've also seen MacKenzies Inner Fire
And I can't get enough.

Lifes Lesson's Endings and Beginnings
The Bits and Pieces of my sleep
Living And Dying in 5/4 Time
It's enough to make one weep.

Touchy Subjects or Strange Phrase Indeed?
Life Is Not One Big Joke.
I think I'll retire to Mr Ornery's Corner
And have myself a Coke.

Bella's Got A Brand New Blog
With Music Music Music.
I'm caught in My Soap Opera Life,
Help! I'm in need of radicaldiscipleship.

There is Ice on the Windshield
And I'm Blogging Along In My Automobile
Is this a quest for One Perfect Moment?
Or is it time for a brand new deal?

No, this is just a Stream of Consciousness
Flowing out like My Life On The River
Trying to catch hold of Moonsilvers Dream
Before I go Streaming Yellow Zonkers.

I'm taking Railroad Street to catch the train.
And I won't be back again.
Beloved Blogstream will soon be gone
And all your memories will linger on.

There are 42 blogging friends represented in that poem. Scratch and Bella both had blogs whose titles are represented twice. I borrowed the graphic for this post from Scratch's last Blogstream post. Somehow a stream in the Autumn of it's life seemed to be the perfect choice.

I'm going to be posting the poem in Blogstream tomorrow as a farewell to my first 5 years as a hobby blogger, and then I will be blogging on over here. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm going to keep blogging until I get it right.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Life's Simple Pleasures

Among the things the doctor has determined about me is that I have abnormal adrenal function. That abnormality is the source of my nighttime anxiety attacks. Caused by excessive production of the stress hormone cortisol. The adrenals are supposed to work in a way that cortisol is produced in the early part of the day, it should peak in the early afternoon and then wane throughout the rest of the day to a lower value. I seem to have two cortisol production speeds, high and higher. Which leaves all that hormone floating around in my body when I need to relax and sleep. This seems to be a common occurance in Type A people and may be why we have type A tendencies to start out with. It also contributes to high bloodpressure. I have a supplement designed to nourish the adrenals and to support their function. I also have a number of supportive measures to help with the issue.

I have stretching exercises that have to be performed in the morning before I begin my day, and then again in the evening before I go to bed. Stretching my muscles uses up some of the cortisol. Meditation also helps, but there are days that I can't find the quiet, alone time to accomplish a meditative session.

I have a high stress job, taking care of people in their homes can be stressful in ways that don't immediately occur to me. Some of that stress is alleviated by the movement involved, but there are days that things go wrong. I see families that ignore their loved one when they shouldn't. They're in denial as to the true conditions of the client so everything the client asks them to do is a burden and they respond to that. I try not to be judgemental, but some days it's more than I can accomplish. I grit my teeth while trying to stay out of the situation, and I end up having an anxiety attack.

When all else fails, and sometimes it does, I have found that filling my thoughts with things that are pleasant to me help me to not focus on the attack, so it's duration is much shorter and quite a bit easier to handle. Sometimes it's a matter of reminding myself that even on the darkest days, good things happen. No matter how bad the day, we always have little pleasures. It's just a matter of stopping to remind myself that they exist and the day wasn't all bad.

The following is a list of some of my pleasures.

Snuggling under the down comforter on a cold night.

Making the turn onto the home street after a hard days work.

The scent of spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove.

The shy smile of the toddler in the shopping cart in front of you in the check out line.

The sight of a crocus pushing up through the snow.

The first bud of daffodil in my garden.

Saying Thank You to someone holding a door open for you.

Returning the favor and being thanked.

Being greeted at the door by your pet acting as if you've been gone for a month.

The hug and wet kiss from a small child.

Hearing the voice of someone you haven't talked to in a while.

The sound of laughter among friends.

The scent of a steak sizzling on the grill.

Cleaning out a pocket and finding money when you're broke.

A smile from someone you love.

The playfulness of a puppy or kitten.

The purr of a cat on your lap

The warmth of a baby sleeping in your arms.

Getting to stay inside on a cool rainy day.

The sound of music.

A good book.


Knowing that you're loved.

Having the ability to recognize and appreciate that life does have it's little pleasures.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Some Facts About Factory Farming

One of the biggest concerns on the part of my doctor is the foods we eat from factory farms. We talk about those farms putting the family farmer out of business, but do we really know what factory farming is?

It actually began back in 1920 when Vitamins A and D were discovered. Add these two vitamins to animal feed and they don't require sunlight or exercise for growth. This allowed large number of animals to be housed indoors in smaller spaces without sunlight or movement year round. Since the animals were so closely confined, it also insured quick spreading of diseases which was dealt with in the 1940's by the development of antibiotics.

Todays animals raised on factory farms are pumped full of antibiotics, hormones and other chemicals to increase productivity. They are confined to small cages with metal bars with artificial lighting, or no lighting at all. They are no longer animals, they are food producing machines. Chickens get their beaks seared and their toes cut so they are unable to fight. Other animal's tails and ears are docked, their teeth are cut with pliers and, of course, they're castrated. Without benefit of pain killers.

The chicken industry alone generates 6 billion whole chickens annually from 60 producers. Animals are genetically altered and bred selectively to produce bigger thighs and breasts. This creates birds so heavy that their bones can't handle the weight. They are bred to grow at such a fast rate that they reach the market weight of 3.5 pounds in just over 7 weeks. Laying hens don't have it any better.

Between 5 and 8 birds are placed in a 14 square inch cage. This, of course, causes aggressive behavior. To combat that their beaks are seared off. Chicks are separated at birth and most newborn males are suffocated in trash bags. The layer hens are subjected to constant light to encourage more egg production. At the end of their laying cycle they are either slaughtered or forced to molt by water and food deprivation, which shocks them into another layer cycle. Many birds become depleted of minerals because of this excessive egg production and either die from fatigue or can no longer produce eggs and are sent to the slaughterhouse.

Pigs, veal calves, dairy cows, you name it, the factory method will apply. Pigs kept in cages that are not large enough for them to turn around in. Veal is actually produced from the dairy industry more than from the beef industry. Bulls born to dairy herds are sent to veal crates where they're pumped full of growth hormones and the ubiquitous antibiotics. If they become upset enough to fail to eat, they're pumped with appetite enhancers like steroids to force them to eat. In the US almost 50% of the antibiotics produced is administered to animals destined for our dinner table. That scares me due to all of the super bugs we're learning about now. They mutated from over use of antibiotics.

All this animal suffering is doing is producing a food supply that isn't safe. Cage cleaning is done by automation since the animals can't be moved. How effective is that automated cleaning? Not overly effective since 51% of tested meats were found to harbor staphlococcus aureus bacteria. In the words of my doctor..."We still have to consider the food source; highly processed animal or plant source with GMO’s (genetically-modified organisms), hormones, antibiotics, fecal-laden, caged environment, saturated with herbicides, pesticides, etc." Yeah, it's not just our meat supply. It's everything we buy in the grocery stores across the US.

It's enough to make me ask myself if the increase in child behavioral problems like ADD, Autism or Aspergers Syndrome has anything at all to do with vaccines and everything to do with antibiotics in our food. How much of all of the chemicals in our food adds to our own health concerns? Is there any evidence that all these chemicals are contributing to obesity? I don't know, but it wouldn't surprise me a bit if it did.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Some Mondays Aren't So Bad

A doctor's appointment I had last week got postponed until today. Of course, I figured it wouldn't go well since most of my Mondays don't. Imagine my surprise when the day went great including the doctor's pleasure at my progress. When something as dangerous as high blood pressure is being addressed without mainstream medications, it is necessary for her to keep track of what's happening. My appointments have been every 4 weeks and because of my remaining stable, I have been moved to 6 weeks.

We talked about the nutrition information site I emailed to her. I told her about finding a source of fresh eggs locally and I'm not sure that they're organic but they are free range. That I can attest to since I saw the chickens out and about. I was driving along at 55 mph and the rooster started running towards the road. I'm thinking OMG I'll hit it, but there is a fence there. PHEW! I can get grass fed beef there too. She's not enthusiastic about the beef, but admits it's better than buying from the chain grocery stores.

In her estimation, I am taking responsibility for my health and doing the right thing for myself. Including the cut in my work hours that I asked for. Two of my clients have been discharged by the county for noncompliance issues. I asked not to have more cases assigned to me right now since I needed to take some time for me. I have a To Do list that isn't getting anywhere with so many work and travel hours. I didn't realize how many hours I was actually tied up with work related tasks.

Company policy is that if we agree to work 30 hours a week we get $1 an hour more than they pay me right now. I was working twenty nine and a half and traveling four and a half. Which makes my working hours 34 per week. The catch is, the 30 hours has to be client care, not client care and travel time. I examined the agreement they propose to their employees and found that in any week I drop below 30 hours due to a client cancellation or an illness on my part, I HAVE to make those hours up or lose the $1 per hour "Incentive bonus". It's not a raise, it's a bonus, something they can take away at will.

This is an area where we have icy highways for quite a few months of the year. So, for that extra buck an hour I HAVE to drive on them to get to the clients even in dangerous conditions. Stressful? Oh, you betcha! Plus, they can give me clients that I have to drive up to 20 miles to and from. I DON'T THINK SO!

I'm taking my loss of 3.5 hours and working my 26 plus 4 hours travel which will give me enough money to pay the bills and have a few bucks for whatever. Part of reducing ones blood pressure is learning how to reduce stress and change how you deal with the stress you can't reduce. I've done pretty well with dealing with it, but I admit, it still kicks me in the butt.

I end up on Friday nights feeling like someone pulled the plug on my energy supply. My muscles all get sore and I begin to feel as if I'm coming down with something. A good nights sleep and I'm fine the next morning. It's like the doctor says, my body is saying ENOUGH. I should listen to it and I am deciding she's right. I'm over 60 with arthritis in my spine, hips and knees. That's a stress that I can't change, but I can reduce it by shortening my hours a little and spending more time with the stretching exercises I'm doing. All in all it wasn't a bad Monday, even if I did find out I'm getting old.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Peel Me A Roof??????

Shortly before noon yesterday the WIND started blowing. There were gusts that reminded me of the Big Bad Wolf huffing and puffing and trying to blow my house down. The trees all seemed to withstand the onslaught and we kept our power through it all. Didn't seem like much by the way of damage happened around here. That is, until Hubby came home a little bit ago.

He had a job to do this morning, got home around 1:30 pm. He breezed into the house, grabbed a quick cup of coffee and told me he had to go to Lowes, but he didn't tell me why. He likes shopping at Lowes, and I just assumed he needed fittings for a job or something. It wasn't until he came back home from Lowes with the sheet metal screws that he told me what was wrong.

I don't understand it because along with the wind, it poured all night long. Nothing leaked into our home, but apparently the wind tried to steal our roof. An entire section of it had lifted from it's anchors and had peeled back. He's out there as I type this, putting it back in shape and anchoring it down again.

It seems to me that we should have heard somehting that indicated damage, but there wasn't anything out of the ordinary. Just the normal creaking and groaning and the sound of the wood stove chimney weaving in the wind. Based on what we've seen, I should have had a flood in my house from the rain.

Of course, now that he'll have it anchored down again, it will leak when we get the next rain. We won't be able to roof coat it again until the weather warms up. Oh well, maybe I'll get that nice rubber roof I've been wishing for. We'll see.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Music Of My Life Playlist

I enjoy many different genres of music, but there are certain songs or groups that resonate with me in ways that have allowed me to enjoy them for much of my lifetime. Some of them were connected with a happy event. Some of them were connected to a time in my life when I was possibly vulnerable and some are just  songs that suggested the sheer joy of life to me.

All of these songs, and many, many others are part of the journey I have taken in the past 40 plus years.  These are the ones that have stood the test of time. The music that will make me turn up the radio or simply stop what I'm doing and listen, and remember. Not all memories are happy ones. There were deaths, break ups, friends won and lost. New loves, old loves and time marching on.

There were probably a hundred more songs that I could include on that list. Groups like The Stones, Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Doobie Brothers, Three Dog Night, Simon and Garfunkle to name a few, but I decided to stop at 50. It's not a top 50 list by any means, it's a put a smile on my face and a song in my heart list.

That is what music does, I think. It comforts when you're sorrowing, lifts you when you're down. It shares with you joy or laughter and always makes you listen. Always.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Result Of Thinking Too Much

Something that I left out of my post "Unrelated Thoughts" was the subject of bullying. It seemed to me that topic deserved more than a paragraph or two. I'm seeing a lot more bullying in Twitter than I used to. There was an attempt by someone to do it to me. Fortunately I'm not an influential Twitter user. The attempt fell short of it's mark simply because I wasn't worth wasting time over. I blocked the person trying it and they didn't create a new identity to continue the attack. Had I any influence, the story might have had a different ending.

I have seen bully attacks on some of the women I read regularly. Two of them were so threatening that the women became fearful for their safety. That was when we found out that the policy towards bullying created by the owners of Twitter would be no protection against it. The Twitter bullying policy is: A...Don't do it. B...If someone is doing it to you, block that person. C...If the bullying episode is that bad, involve your local authorities. However, Twitter doesn't guarantee that it will give requested information regarding the identity of the bully to said authorities.

There is, I suppose, an option D. That would be to close your own account and leave Twitter. That definitely would solve the problem, but is that fair? Isn't that rewarding the bully and punishing the victim? Sort of a mixed message there isn't it? Does that mixed message exist because of online anonymity? I've wondered if the anonymous aspect of the internet gives people the idea that anything goes?

Why is it considered to be all in fun and those who are on the receiving end should get over themselves and get a sense of humor? What about adults bullying kids? There have been criminal proceedings brought against two such women. The incident at Myspace caused the suicide of a 13 year old. The Facebook incident is appalling in that it targeted the family of a dying child.

The internet is the information highway and as such it is also the misinformation highway. One person can post a lie about someone and in a flash that lie can begin to roll down the mountain and like a snowball can become larger and larger until it totally obliterates it's intended target. What is there about the internet that creates these kind of monsters? The idea that because they're anonymous they won't get caught? Maybe it's caused by a society that sends a very mixed message regarding bullying.

We have become a society where the word compromise is equated with caving in or being the weaker opponent. There is no argument that cannot be solved through open discussion and compromise, but that means that some concessions must be made. Depending upon what side of the issue we stand on, somehow we think those concessions have to happen from the other side. All of them. How do we achieve that desired end? From what I read, it appears we're supposed to bully the other side into caving.

In a world where young people kill themselves because they're being bullied, some adults expect the President of the United States to use the White House as a bully pulpit to force the other side of the issue into capitulation. Now that right there is a fine example for our young people to look up to, isn't it? It's OK for adults, especially politicians to bully other politicians. Or for Conservatives to bully Liberals and vice versa. I'm thinking that if we really want to stop bullying and the pain it causes our young people, maybe we ought to look at our own behavior?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Unrelated Thoughts

I love my Blogging Friends. Sarge is finally of the opinion that "Blogspot smokes Tumblr" and Scratch is breaking up with himself. Bella got her kitty back and her computer fixed. The way things are going, I may have to send her a box of Calgon to take her away. Either that or a gentleman with oodles of money willing to support her in the style she deserves. Since I'm flat out of gentlemen with oodles of money, she'll have to make do with the Calgon. Sorry Miss B.


Since I'm no longer sick and no further mice have entered our home, Hubby's sense of humor has returned. I caught him apologizing to Butterscotch over our attitude towards him when he tried to serve Mommy breakfast in bed. Since he was in the same bed with me, I can't figure out why the breakfast in bed was intended for me. It's probably one of those situations where good Butterscotch is his and naughty Butterscotch is mine. I sometimes wish I could be as funny as he is. Shhhhh, don't tell him I said that.


Maybe it's me and my brain isn't functioning as well as it used to, but I can't figure out why the drivers behind me don't seem to understand that they can't go faster than I do when I'm in front of them. I'm no slowpoke driver, but I tend not to go more than a couple of miles over the speed limit. Simple commonsense should tell them that if the sign says 30 miles per hour and I'm in front of them doing 35, they can't do 50 without running over me.

I was on the boulevard technically speeding although I was keeping with the traffic. This guy behind me was so close I could see him shaking his fist at me. It's a four lane, I'm level with the guy in the right hand lane, I need to be in the left lane to make my turn. The guy in the right lane turns off into a parking lot and the driver behind me makes his move. He zooms to the right, and zooms again to the left so soon I had to slam on my brakes to keep from hitting him. He was so involved in his rage, he didn't see the cop pull out of the line behind him. Yup, his ass got nailed. My only regret is that after the scare he gave me, I had to make a left turn before I got to drive by his sorry ass. I almost think I'd have flipped him the bird.


I was so sick on Monday and so tired that I didn't watch Dancing With The Stars. I caught the Results show and was sorry to see that Sugar Ray Leonard had danced his last dance. The show last night opened with the song "Walk This Way" by Aerosmith which I found interesting. It was done with a solo violinist, although in this case it would be more apt to call him a fiddler. It was interesting but so disturbing on so many levels.


Yay! It's Hump Day, and I survived so far. How has your week been going?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Somebody Let The Monday In...They Need To Be Shot

I called in sick today because I have had no sleep and I feel rotten to the core. First off, I read an Alternet article before I shut the computer down last night. In it was the information that a current poll indicates that 51% of Americans believe that President Obama is not an American citizen. That figure is up from 44%. The whole WTF aspect of that blew any chance of falling to sleep quickly, right out of the park. I finally dropped off to sleep somewhere around 1 AM, only to be awakened by Butterscotch.

Why did Butterscotch wake me, you ask? It's like this. A mouse he was chasing decided the bedroom was just the place to hide.

When Butterscotch was a little kitty, under the bed wasn't safe. He could scoot right under there after anything that moved. Now that he's a close to 13 pound adult, under the bed is a great place for small things to hide, he can't scoot under the frame the way he used to. So, he contented himself by running around the bed stopping long enough to stretch a leg and paw under there, but he himself just doesn't fit.

During the race to grab it, Mr or Mrs Mouse, whichever, decided to find a hidey hole by climbing up the underside of the bed linens to hide under the covers. Which is where I found it when I decided that it had been quiet long enough and that mouse had escaped into the bathroom and possibly down the plumbing as it goes through the floor. There isn't much of a gap behind the washing machine, but mice seem to be able to flatten themselves enough that I could hope this occured. I was wrong.

I pulled back the covers intending on climbing back in, only to find mouse wedged up against the wall between our pillows. Like the craven coward I am, I yelped in shock and mouse disappeared down the gap between mattress and headboard. No way am I getting into that bed.

Hubby went into the bedroom to see if he could find it and he wasn't able to, and again, after a suitable length of time, we thought the mouse had escaped. I changed the sheets and we retired to sleep for another 45 minutes. At which point we were again awakened by Butterscotch as he tromped across the top of us to get to the other side of the bed so he could catch the mouse as it tried to escape.

By this time it was 5 AM and nearly time for us to start our day. Hubby grabbed a few extra minutes of sleep on the couch while I sat in my easy chair dozing in an upright position. Mouse made another break for it at 6 AM. This time he made it to the hallway where he was promptly driven up the wall to sit on the top of the bathroom door frame. I was just about to bash it with a shoe when Hubby knocked him off there into a covered container, took him out into the woods and let him go. If it knows what's good for it, entering my home again will not be on it's agenda.

Shortly after Hubby trapped the mouse, I discovered that I had another problem not related to lack of sleep. There is a stomach bug making it's rounds here and it seems to have taken up residence in my stomach. No sleep, numerous trips to the bathroom and I still have to clean the bedroom to remove any traces of what the mouse might have left behind.

Towards the end of the day, when it is safe to do so, I will be making a trip to Walmart for either mouse traps or D-Con depending on just how miserable I'm still feeling. Probably mousetraps, I'd rather not accidentally poison the cat. One thing I know, I will not spend my money on those cute little no kill traps. As far as I'm concerned, the only good mouse is a dead one and I'm too mean and miserable today to consider being humane.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Very Best Of The Sixties Was Found In The Music

Rolling Stone Magazine asked it's readers to pick the Top Ten Greatest Songs of the 60's. Usually the results of lists like this frustrate me because I can think of so many more deserving songs. I have to admit it, but this time, the list is right. The only change I would make is to swap the Jimi Hendrix position on the list with The Who's position.

Top 10 Greatest Hits of the 60's

You will find 10 songs on 10 pages with 10 awesome live performance videos. It just doesn't get any better than this.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

My New Tool

In an effort to make the wisest choice when it came to what foods I should be eating, I decided I needed to know more about the nutrients in each food I consume. I really don't have time to read all the labels when shopping. If the store is busy I could be preventing someone else whose in a hurry from getting to a product they might need. I thought to myself that it would be an excellent thing if I could find out about the nutritional value of a food from home before I went shopping. Amazingly, I can.

Self Nutrition Data, Know What You Eat

We had braised country style ribs for dinner last night. Usually I serve them with a baked potato. I decided to have parsnips in place of potato. Hubby prefers the potato, but for me, the parsnips were a better choice. I get tired of potatoes. Last night, after I had served dinner, I decided to see what nutritional information I could find online. Quite by accident I discovered that nutrition site.

There's more on that site than just the nutrition label. It gives glycemic index for diabetics. It lists serving size, calories and says what is good about a particular food and what is bad. Parsnips are a little high in sodium. It lists the amount of sodium in the serving so I know not to add salt when I cook them. Gives a break down of all the nutrients to be found in the food. It even will estimate ones caloric needs when given the information it asks for.

All I have to do is type the food I'm looking for into the search box. It then gives you a page which includes choices. Things like whether the item is fresh, frozen or canned. Cooked with salt, raw. etc. You just choose the item that is closest to what you're looking for and it gives you all the label information plus other types of information about the item.

For me, this site will be useful when I need to go grocery shopping. I can decide from the comfort of my home if I'm making the wise choices. Also on that site is something that I never thought about. I have arthritis, and some foods have the ability to contribute to inflammation if a condition exists. Some are anti-inflammatory in nature. Knowing which foods are which could go a long way towards helping control the pain and the joint destruction.

With all the cleaning I've done today, my joints aren't happy. I think I'll go run the foods I plan on having for supper past the nutrition sites data finder. Hopefully they'll be anti-inflammatory so I'll be able to sleep in comfort tonight.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Same Old Same Old

Just checked my Twitter and discovered my Progressive Friends bitching about Pres. Obama's decision to allow off shore drilling for oil, keep GITMO open for a few more months and our involvement in Libya in an attempt to establish a no fly zone. Imagine their surprise, since they think they're in tune with what America wants, when they read the latest Politicususa blog. It appears that 67 to 69 percent of Americans agree with those three decisions. As a matter of fact, according to a poll in the Wall St. Journal, where Mr. Easley gets his numbers for that post, the only decision of Pres Obama's last 5 decisions they don't agree with is staying in Afghanistan. 

As the blog pointed out, these favorable figures a year away from an election don't add up to "one term president" as the Progressives and the GOP seem to believe. You can read the post here if you'd like:


Now that I'm all caught up with the news about how badly Pres. Obama is handling things, I'd like to turn my attention to more important things.

1. Bella's kitty came HOME!!!! Three cheers for King Fuzz. Hip, hip, hooray! (Say it two more times please).

2. Organic turkey breast lunch meat at $1 an ounce tastes like...wait for it...turkey breast lunch meat. About the same flavor as Sara Lee, which I'm told isn't as good. Apparently I have fried taste buds or something. Even the cat wasn't interested and he LOVES turkey. Whoo Hoo! Look at all the money I'll save by NOT buying it again.

3. If I plan on getting my Spring Cleaning done before Easter, I'm going to have to start it this weekend. I am so not looking forward to removing everything from the kitchen cupboards and washing everything down. I absolutely hate washing windows. However, I really, really love having a spanking clean home at Easter time. Ok, the truth is, I'd love to have it that way all the time, I just don't really, really love doing it.

4. We are expecting temperatures to finally reach the 70's by this weekend. I am washing my Spring coat as we speak. I should say I am washing the Spring coat that has hung in my closet for the last 3 years because it wouldn't fit on my body. IT FITS! YAY ME! I am accepting all offers for a pat on the back since I'm going to have to save my strength for the Spring Cleaning. *sigh*

5. Since the doctor doesn't want her patients pigging out on ham due to the preservatives and salt involved, we are having turkey breast without the Thanksgiving trimmings this Easter. I am on the hunt for some interesting veggie side dishes to make up for the lack of stuffing and such. I am having cranberry sauce because Hubby won't do without it, and mashed taters and gravy of course. Everything else is going to be different...somehow. Haven't figured it out yet, but I'm working on it.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Dollar An Ounce?

The newsletter from the doctors office arrived with the list of all the farms that I will be buying fresh produce from this coming season. While all farms grow produce using organic methods, not all are certified organic which is fine by me. While I am willing to admit that organic is probably better for us, I'm not always going to be able to purchase certified organic products. Case in point would be the organic turkey breast lunch meat I bought today. It's a dollar an ounce. I have been told that I will be able to taste the difference. We'll see.

I will be able to buy free range eggs, honey, strawberries, blueberries, apples, fresh veggies in season and garlic at farm stands within an 8 mile radius of my home. I now know which farmers markets to attend and which to skip. The ones to skip are farther away, how lucky can I get? With gas prices over $4.00 a gallon as of today here, closer is better. Otherwise, I would have had to buy my produce at the grocery stores that I usually frequent, plus I wouldn't be getting local grown or fresh.

I filled my tank on Monday at a Nice and Easy near one of my client's homes. Paid $3.86 a gallon. Left one of my clients in the city today and passed 3 separate stations all selling at $4.02 a gallon. If, or maybe I should say when gas prices hit $5 a gallon I will be asking for a raise to offset my expenses. I travel 145 miles a week to service my clients. I drive an older car which gets around 28 mpg's. That still translates to around $26 a week just to work. Add to that the need for tires and I might just as well stay home. Except that I need to eat.

My other option would be to dump those clients that cost me a gallon of gas to travel both ways. I have two of them, and they don't have another aide willing to travel to these two clients. Which doesn't mean I'll get a raise. I might get an extra buck or two for doing those two cases specifically. We'll see what develops. All I know is that my costs are going up and my income is staying the same. Something has to give pretty quick, and I suspect it isn't going to be the company I work for.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sometimes It's The Little Things That Remind Me

On Sunday when at daughter's for the grandbaby's birthday party, I was putting ice cream back in the freezer when the top of my head got smacked. Much like Bashful, daughter's kitty, Romeo likes to lie about on top of the fridge.

Since Sunday I have been fighting with a case of the blues. She's been gone since Dec. 22, 2008 but there are times when I miss her to the point where I just want to put my head down somewhere and blat. Of course, I don't do that, I just spend a moment away from others until I have a grip on my emotions.

Butterscotch is a much larger cat. He has strength that she didn't have, but lacks her agility. It takes agility to get to the top of the fridge in my house. Of course, we no longer have that particular fridge either. That one was a 1970's avocado green model, the one we have now is white. Bought it after Hubby got the inside of the cupboard above the fridge finished and the doors back on. It's a perfectly useless cupboard since I can't reach it, and Bashful no longer needs it to hide in. It does look nicer though.

She used to lie up there and when I'd open the door to the freezer, she'd smack me on top of my head with her paw. Sometimes she'd play with my hair for a bit and other times it was to get my attention so I'd scritch her ears. Kitties love scritches you know?

It was a sensation I haven't felt in quite a long time. She didn't have the ability to get up there the last year of her life. Age and I suspect the diabetes had combined to keep her confined to lower elevations. The dresser in front of the bedroom window and the back of the couch was about all she could manage.

I was a bit startled by Romeo's swat. Hadn't any idea he was up there and certainly didn't expect he would do that. Thought I was imagining things until I looked and saw his paw hanging down towards my face. I gave him a scritch until a noise from the other room startled him and he fled the scene leaving me with an ache in my heart where the ghost of Bashful lives.

I took a minute to collect myself and then returned to the festivities in time to watch the unwrapping of the gifts. I stood in a corner with a smile on my face and a desire to arrive at the end of the party so I could go home where the rest of my memories are. She was a good little kitty and I miss her.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

I Shoulda Left It On The Shelf

Invented in 1963 by the Ferrerro Company, those same dastardly people who bring us Ferrerro Rocher candy. It's been around awhile and I never have had any. That changed yesterday when, while getting my organic natural peanut butter, I grabbed a jar of it.

It's a hazelnut spread with a hint of chocolate according to the advertising. So, I'm thinking what's the harm? Something a little different on my organic whole wheat bread. I buy true whole wheat made by a baking company in Herkimer, NY. It's dense, no preservatives and after a day or two gets...well...dry. A little "healthy" spread to moisten it and I'm all set. Right?

Oh yeah! I'm all set. Suuuure I am.

A hint of chocolate? Right! Tastes just like Ferrarro Rocher candy. Yes indeed it does. I believe you could get small children to eat asparagus if you spread this stuff on it. It tastes like Heaven would if Heaven were something we could taste. It tastes like chocolate with a hint of hazelnut. And lots and lots of sugar. I am so in trouble here.

I can envision Nutella and banana sammiches. Strawberries dipped in Nutella. Pop tarts? Buy the unfrosted kind and Nutella them. Celery and Nutella. Oh, oh! Buy those nasty strawberry shortcake sponge cups, spread Nutella in the cup add strawberries and whipped cream. And I can't eat any of those things every day. *sigh*

After trying it on my wheat bread I promptly went to the cupboard and buried it on the top shelf that I need a foot stool to reach. It's behind the big bottles of vinegar and oil so I'll have some heavy lifting to do if I'm tempted.

I do peanut butter 3 times a week on that bread, I will replace that with Nutella once a week and only once a week. Which means giving up my once a week dish of ice cream. I mean to be healthy and to achieve that I have to make sacrifices. If I cheat and have more than one serving a week, I'll punish myself by taking an extra half hour walk up the hill with my new trekking pole. Doctor ordered me to use a trekking pole, I'm quite sure she won't like the Nutella, though. Still, being healthy is all about balance, and I can't get any more balanced than Nutella and a half hour walk with a trekking pole. My hip hurts just thinking about it. Maybe I need to reward it with some Nutella?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Embrace The Change

For those of us of a certain age, change isn't easy. We weren't introduced to computers, or much at all by the way of technology, in the classroom. What we can do with a computer sometimes has passed us by in ways that those who are much younger can't understand. We just try different things to see what works, but we really don't have any idea why it does work or why it doesn't. And there are times when we are faced with the latter rather than the former.

Right now, some of us have had to move from our original blogsite to somewhere else. Our original site was very user friendly. One had to be a member in order to comment on our blogs, and we had to see the site owners advertising. We could only add to our pages things like a list of other websites we enjoyed and the list of the blogs we liked that were members of the site, but it was user friendly.

In order to customize a background we had to hunt the web, download the pic or background we wanted to use, and then upload it somewhere that would give it a code. Once that was done we had to open a feature called palette and then make changes in the html codes in order to change whatever we wanted to change. If you weren't sure what you were toying with, because you don't write code or understand it, well...lets just say things could get interesting.

There was a sense of community there. Like any community there were troublemakers. The site had a home page on which there were listed the "Most Popular Blogs" and at one time there was another place on that page where blogs the owner thought were worthy were listed. It was done by rotation, two or three at a time so you'd see something different each time you logged onto the home page. Problems arose when some of the bloggers didn't see their blogs prominently listed. Didn't mean they weren't there, just that they hadn't gotten lucky. The hue and cry raised by those bloggers with their noses out of joint spelled the end of that particular feature. Unfortunately, "Most Popular" remained. It was a thorn in the side of far too many people and the cause of a number of schoolyard fights. Fights which caused many bloggers we enjoyed to leave. I even left once and started the blog you're reading now. I didn't do much with it because it didn't have that sense of community nor the ease of use my old blog had.

The site never made the owner any money, so things couldn't be upgraded when necessary. It became one of the slowest sites online. Some of us donated money for a new server. Once the new server was purchased, other things started to go bad, and page loads became slower and slower. The site went down a couple of times for a number of hours each time. Finally we received notice that the site was closing as of April 31 this year. It was a sad day for many of us since we hadn't acquired knowledge of any other site. Our former site was so easy to use that we never had a need to do so. Well, now we do.

That's our bottom line right there. We have to make a change. We can do it in one of two ways. Either we stop blogging entirely or we learn to use another blog site without the easy software we're used to. We can look at it as a new adventure, try various places to see what works best for us, or we can sit here and whine about what we believe we've lost.

Nothing is ever perfect in this world nor online. Everything has it's pluses and it's minuses. The best thing we can do for ourselves is look at where we've been in the past with honesty. That too had it's ups and downs. The problem is that we're remembering the positives and failing to remind ourselves of the negatives. They existed. Our old site wasn't any more perfect than anything else is. All that "used to was" attitude does is bog us down. It adds to our frustration when we are faced with something new. Makes it harder for us to make heads or tails of what we're reading, and read we must since this place and others like it are different. Very different, but once we get the hang of it, we'll be all right.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Can I Haz Lessons?

funny pictures - Lazeenez is teh art ob restin
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

I've arrived at Friday wishing I could do a TGIF dance. I'm too tired and I have to work tomorrow. Why did I agree to that? I grant that it's only for 2 hours, but then I have to go shopping for a grandbaby is having her first birthday party gift. After that I have laundry, and housework to do. Stuff that I normally do on Sunday when I have to work on Saturdays. Unfortunately this Sunday won't be available since that's the day of the party.

Maybe I'll feel better after a good nights sleep. Is it bedtime yet?