Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Peace Globe Movement

"All we are saying is give peace a chance ... "

Mimi Lenox of Mimi Writes sent out an email awhile ago about the latest Peace Globe Movement in the Blogosphere that is due to take place on June 6, 2007. In her email she invited anyone and everyone, regardless of political or religious beliefs, to sign a Peace Globe and add it to the ever growing number that have already been signed and posted on many, many blogs of all types and topics. I have visited many blogs that sport a Peace Globe on their sidebars and am sure that there will be many more to follow.

Ex-military though I may be, I do support World Peace and oftentimes wonder why, in the words of Rodney King, "can't we all just get along?" Why does someone always want what someone else has?, why does someone who is a bully and tyrant always want to be in charge?, why does there seem to be so much hate? Sometimes I just don't get it.

I decided that I definitely wanted to participate when, as Mimi put it, "We will storm Blogland again with Peace Globes and identical post titles on June 6, 2007. The goal is to get as many blog owners as possible blogging about world peace on the same day and displaying their signed globes from all parts of the world saying the same thing in the title - Dona Nobis Pacem - translated from Latin to English "Grant Us Peace."

To do that all I had to do was get a Peace Globe, put my name and/or a message on it, ship it off to Mimi, and then post it on my blog. Easy enough, right? Well - not quite. I have the artistic talents of a rutabaga so I asked my very artistic daughter to help me out with this as she has PhotoShopping skills second to none. However, trying to get her to take the time out from doing her own designs and drawings was akin to trying to pull my own teeth! Finally after much nagging (as she put it) and cajoling, she was able to fit me into her busy schedule and came up with the below Peace Globe:

I shall proudly display this on my sidebar and on June 6th will place it in a post with other bloggers all across the globe when "voices" all across the Blogosphere will cry out with the same message at the same time - Dona Nobis Pacem - Grant Us Peace! Maybe if enough people at the same time say the same thing the rest of the world will listen and something good will come of it!

Please join us if you haven't already!

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt - "Water"

This is the Feng Shui water element that I built a few years back when I was attempting to get my house "balanced". A friend of mine in California had brought the elephant out for me as a gift one year because she knew that I liked elephants and collected various types of them.

I wasn't really sure what to do with it for quite some time and then when I was reading a book on Feng Shui, I decided it would make the perfect water element for the southwest corner of the house which is supposed to be my relationship corner. I figured it might do better than the coat rack that had previously stood in its place!

Well ... it hasn't improved my relationship status but it makes for a very nice conversation piece!

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt Participants
1. Becci-PowersTwinB
2. Lazy Daisy
3. tray
4. Connie
5. Autumn
6. maiylah
7. Biker Betty
8. letha
9. Barbara H.
10. Tara
11. Crystal
12. Friday\'s Child
13. Eph2810
14. Gattina
15. pelf
16. Dragonheart
17. lulu
18. Chelle & Chel
19. Amazing Gracie
20. Misslionheart
21. Daisy
22. Coonie
23. chupieandjsmama
24. Patricia
25. Jamie
26. Not Quite Crunchy Parent
27. Beckie
28. pat
29. Gewels
30. Claire Rachael Pitt
31. Ma
32. It\'s A Blog Eat Blog World
33. meeyauw
34. Rach
35. srp
36. Bobbie
37. empress bee (of the high sea)
38. Coffee 2 go
39. expatraveler
40. Arlene
41. TorAa
42. Amy
43. CrAzY Working Mom
44. Lynn
45. Leslie @ My Mommy\'s Place
46. Teena in Toronto
47. Barbara
48. Twisted Cinderella

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Friday, March 30, 2007

We interrupt our regularly scheduled program ...


What We Call the News |Send To Friends | Funny Animations at JibJab

The good folks over at JibJab have come up with yet another funny spoof on life in these United States with their latest video, "What We Call The News". For those of us who grew up watching the evening news with anchors like Walter Cronkite, Harry Reasoner, and Howard K. Smith, men that we felt we could trust to tell us the truth, it's now just totally mind-boggling as to who's not only reporting the news but what passes as news.

I swear, if I have to hear one more lead story that involves Britney Spears or Anna Nicole Smith (God rest her soul), I am going to scream or throw something at the TV! These people are not news - these people are entertainment icons that belong on the entertainment magazine shows that were made specifically so that people who cared could get caught up on the who, what, when, where, how, and why of Hollywood. I, personally, am one of the people in this country who does not give a hoot if Britney Spears booked herself into rehab and then left again the next day or how Anna Nicole Smith died or what fight Donald and Rosie are currently embroiled in.

What I do care about is what is going on in the world or in the country or even in my own State that might somehow affect me. Nothing that Britney or Donald or Rosie will ever do is going to affect my life one iota unless, of course, The Donald wants to feel sorry for a poor single mother like myself who can't make ends meet despite working hordes of overtime and sends me a check for $1 million. Yeah - right! Now THAT would be news!

Maybe it's just me that thinks that priorities need to be straightened out when it comes to what qualifies as news these days but somehow I doubt it.

Anyone beg to differ?

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Forecast for the Upcoming Month

Just for fun I thought I'd post the Chinese Astrology Forecast for April 5 2007 - May 5 2007. Find your year and see what lays in wait for you for the upcoming month!

The Rat
  • 18 February 1912 - 5 February 1913
  • 5 February 1924 - 23 January 1925
  • 24 January 1936 - 10 February 1937
  • 10 February 1948 - 28 January 1949
  • 28 January 1960 - 14 February 1961
  • 15 February 1972 - 2 February 1973
  • 2 February 1984 - 19 February 1985
  • 19 February 1996 - 6 February 1997
Be careful when eating out this April, Rat - chances are, you may be susceptible to food poisoning! You will be better off cooking your own meals at home this month. Aside from this, the Rat person must also be super-careful when signing any legal tenders and documents - you should even seriously consider the assistance of a lawyer if you are unsure. This is because legal problems are potentially afoot for the Rat this April.

Rat people born in 1960 will find themselves a little antagonistic with others, therefore remember to practice lots of patient. Whereas for those born in 1984, curb your spend-happy tendencies this April!

The Ox
  • 6 February 1913 - 25 January 1914
  • 24 January 1925 - 12 February 1926
  • 11 February 1937 - 30 January 1938
  • 29 January 1949 - 16 February 1950
  • 15 February 1961 - 4 February 1962
  • 3 February 1973 - 22 January 1974
  • 20 February 1985 - 8 February 1986
  • 7 February 1997 - 27 January 1998
This month may see you a little sickly and out of sorts - this is due to hectic work schedules, as well as some disappointments that may affect you negatively. Get on your feet double-quick and stay on the course, Ox! This is not the time to give up easily. Backpedal your progress to see where you went wrong, and always try, try again.

Ox people born in 1949 must be careful of injuries to their limbs this month.

The Tiger
  • 26 January 1914 - 13 February 1915
  • 13 February 1926 - 1 February 1927
  • 31 January 1938 - 18 February 1939
  • 17 February 1950 - 5 February 1951
  • 5 February 1962 - 24 January 1963
  • 23 January 1974 - 10 February 1975
  • 9 February 1986 - 28 January 1987
  • 28 January 1998 - 15 February 1999
Tiger, it's going to be a good Wealth month for you this April! You will enjoy lots of opportunities to work on your income, and this is also a month for you to be a little more extroverted with yourself - this will do wonders this April, Tiger. Though this is the case, your colleagues and friends may resent your showing off a little, so keep in mind to treat them extra-special this month!

Tiger people born in 1950 must practice plenty of patience with the underlings at home and at the office, whereas those born in 1974 should steer clear away from high risk investments.

The Rabbit
  • 29 January 1903 - 15 February 1904
  • 14 February 1915 - 2 February 1916
  • 2 February 1927 - 22 January 1928
  • 19 February 1939 - 7 February 1940
  • 6 February 1951 - 26 January 1952
  • 25 January 1963 - 12 February 1964
  • 11 February 1975 - 30 January 1976
  • 29 January 1987 - 16 February 1988
  • 16 February 1999 - 4 February 2000
Minimize the idle chatter and work extra hard this April, Rabbit, since indulging in gossip this month may backfire! This is also a time for you to lay low since you may unfortunately experience some setbacks. Keeping to yourself and maintaining smooth progress will be very beneficial for you this month.

Rabbit people born in 1975 may be caught in a bizarre love triangle that will cause heartbreak, so be careful of third parties this month.

The Dragon
  • 16 February 1904 - 3 February 1905
  • 3 February 1916 - 22 January 1917
  • 23 January 1928 - 9 February 1929
  • 8 February 1940 - 26 January 1941
  • 27 January 1952 - 13 February 1953
  • 13 February 1964 - 1 February 1965
  • 31 January 1976 - 17 February 1977
  • 17 February 1988 - 5 February 1989
  • 5 February 2000 - 23 January 2001
Dragon, try to keep away from eating out this April, since there is a possibility for you to be attacked by stomach flu! You must also refrain from speculative investments and the like. Aside from both of this, it's a good month for you, Dragon.

Dragon people born in 1952 must practice loads of diplomacy in the work place this month, whereas Dragons born in 1964 must do the same, but at home!

The Snake
  • 4 February 1905 - 24 January 1906
  • 23 January 1917 - 10 February 1918
  • 10 February 1929 - 29 January 1930
  • 27 January 1941 - 14 February 1942
  • 14 February 1953 - 2 February 1954
  • 2 February 1965 - 20 January 1966
  • 18 February 1977 - 6 February 1978
  • 6 February 1989 - 26 January 1990
  • 24 January 2001 - 11 February 2002
Snake, stay away from speculative financial investments this April since losses are in the cards for you! Aside from this, everything is smooth running for the charming Snake, especially love-wise. Now is a good time to set off on romantic escapades, but be careful - short tempers are possible, so keep yourself in good cheer at all times.

Snake people born in 1989 must practice a lot of patience with friends and family members this month, since they may inadvertently antagonize you month-long.

The Horse
  • 25 January 1906 - 12 February 1907
  • 11 February 1918 - 31 January 1919
  • 30 January 1930 - 16 February 1931
  • 15 February 1942 - 4 February 1943
  • 3 February 1954 - 23 January 1955
  • 21 January 1966 - 8 February 1967
  • 7 February 1978 - 27 January 1979
  • 27 January 1990 - 14 February 1991
  • 12 February 2002 - 31 January 2003
Horse, if you're planning to cash in on the month of April, do reconsider and you're your money safe for the time being - this is due to the possibility of you losing your investments. If you are currently making a nice profit, you will need to pull the plug now rather than sit on it to see if your funds will double!

Horse people born in 1990 will have to control quick tempers this month - if you feel your good nature suddenly taking a turn downwards in a blink of an eye, simply close your eyes and count to ten. You will be able to control your fiery urges this way!

The Goat
  • 13 February 1907 - 1 February 1908
  • 1 February 1919 - 19 February 1920
  • 17 February 1931 - 5 February 1932
  • 5 February 1943 - 24 January 1944
  • 24 January 1955 - 11 February 1956
  • 9 February 1967 - 29 January 1968
  • 28 January 1979 - 15 February 1980
  • 15 February 1991 - 3 February 1992
  • 1 February 2003 - 21 January 2004
Academic luck is on a high for you this month, therefore Goat people in the midst of exams should definitely capitalize on this good luck period! But, if you are in the middle of making decisions on investments, I would strongly urge you to postpone it to the next month. Aside from this, if you're looking for self-improvement courses and classes, now is the time!

Goat people born in 1979 must be careful when playing sports this month as you may be injured. Goats born in 1991 may have some sleeping problems this month.

The Monkey
  • 2 February 1908 - 21 January 1909
  • 20 February 1920 - 7 February 1921
  • 6 February 1932 - 25 January 1933
  • 25 January 1944 - 12 February 1945
  • 12 February 1956 - 30 January 1957
  • 30 January 1968 - 16 February 1969
  • 16 February 1980 - 4 February 1981
  • 4 February 1992 - 22 January 1993
  • 22 January 2004 - 8 February 2005
The Monkey will have a wonderful time this month, social-wise! But, be careful of your expenditures during these outings, Monkey - and don't go overboard, too! You must be careful of exhaustion due to your hectic partying schedule this month.

Monkey people born in 1944 should avoid making any kind of investment this month, just to be on the safe side.

The Rooster
  • 22 January 1909 - 9 February 1910
  • 8 February 1921 - 27 January 1922
  • 26 January 1933 - 13 February 1934
  • 13 February 1945 - 1 February 1946
  • 31 January 1957 - 17 February 1958
  • 17 February 1969 - 5 February 1970
  • 5 February 1981 - 24 January 1982
  • 23 January 1993 - 9 February 1994
You will be easily distracted by social and entertainment activities this month, perhaps to avoid troubles at home or just to blow off work pressure. Better to spend the time resting than partying every night, Rooster! But, aside from this, your Wealth luck will be quite good.

Rooster people born in 1945 should avoid any financial transactions involving friends or relatives this month.

The Dog
  • 10 February 1910 - 29 January 1911
  • 28 January 1922 - 15 February 1923
  • 14 February 1934 - 3 February 1935
  • 2 February 1946 - 21 January 1947
  • 18 February 1958 - 7 February 1959
  • 6 February 1970 - 26 January 1971
  • 25 January 1982 - 12 February 1983
  • 10 February 1994 - 30 January 1995
The month of April sees the Dog experiences lots of changes! There is a possibility of you moving into a new home, or perhaps even switching jobs. It will be a little disquieting at first, but ultimately you will be able to adapt to this new situation at hand. You may experience some temper flare-ups, but if you control your emotions all will go well. Remember to practice some level of compromise and do maintain harmony.

Dog people born in 1994 may find they are often ill this month.

The Pig
  • 30 January 1911 - 17 February 1912
  • 16 February 1923 - 4 February 1924
  • 4 February 1935 - 23 January 1936
  • 22 January 1947 - 9 February 1948
  • 8 February 1959 - 27 January 1960
  • 27 January 1971 - 14 February 1972
  • 13 February 1983 - 1 February 1984
  • 31 January 1995 - 18 February 1996
Pig, legal matters must not be regarded lightly - if you have to look through or sign any legal documents, make sure you seek professional advice or have them scrutinized by a lawyer before you commit yourself. There is a strong possibility of legal hassles so obey the law and stay on the straight and narrow, even on the road!

Pig people born in 1959 should be careful of sports injuries this month.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Tids and Bits

First off, let me apologize for my lack of writing ability this week. I miss a couple of days and it seems that I have forgotten how to string two sentences together to form a coherent thought! I guess that will teach me to mess up my back and throw off my blogging schedule! Next time I'll have to try blogging while taking the Flexerel and Vicodin - who knows? It might be my best post ever!

While writing this, I have the latest American Idol results show on the idiot box for background noise and I just have to ask - what in the blue hell is wrong with the people in this country that a guy who can't carry a tune in a bucket is still sitting on the stage while other people are facing the axe? Yes, that's right, I mean Sunjaya - he of the very strange hair style and lousy vocals. Why he isn't in the bottom three is totally beyond me other than it just goes to show that despite what Simon Cowell proclaims, this is NOT a singing competition!

Last year Amanda and I watched every show but this year I couldn't tell you who all of the contestants were if you offered me a very large sum of money (which I could really use, by the way!). With the exception of Melinda Doolittle and the rocker-chick-girl who I like but doesn't have a snowball's chance in the Sahara Desert of winning the thing, there really isn't anybody very memorable at all. Even when I have it on, I don't watch it because I just could not care less. Big. Yawn.

Moving on ...

While catching up on my blog reading earlier tonight I was over at Dayngrous Discourse and came across a post of hers where you could find out what sort of "bloglebrity" you are. "To be an A-List Bloglebrity on the Internet, it’s all about the amount of link love you can score" so to find out how you score just click here. Like Dayngr before me, I'm a "B List" blogger and am now proudly sporting my new button somewhere down there on my sidebar! I rather doubt that I could ever be an "A List" blogger as I just have neither the time or the energy to devote to such an endeavor but I know some people that I think might qualify!

Continuing on ...

For those who are interested, I went to see my orthopedic doctor today (a very handsome gentleman with a most lovely British accent!) about my recent back issues and lingering leg pain. Even though my back has been feeling a'ight, I've been having quite a bit of pain down my right leg and around my right ankle that is all too familiar from two years ago so I was expecting to hear the worst. After taking some x-rays and a lot of poking, prodding, and walking around the room on my heels and toes, the doc told me that he thinks it might be just a minor flare-up that will ease with time. Whew! I was really sweating him telling me that I needed another MRI and with my insurance having a $250 deductible, I was already trying to figure out which bill I wasn't going to be paying!

I was sent home with a prescription for Neurontin (for nerve pain) and orders to do some light stretching to see if that helps ease the lingering pain. I'll be going back in two weeks for a follow-up consult and hopefully things will have straightened themselves out by then. Anyone who wishes to light a candle, send up a prayer, or cross their fingers for me are more than welcome to do so!

And finally ...

I am WAY behind on this but I thought it worth mentioning ... back on March 20th, I had my blog reviewed by Billy Mac over at Critique My Blog and he said some very nice things. In it he linked back to the very first post that I did for this blog and even I went back to read it because I had definitely forgotten what I had written all those months ago! Sometimes it seems like I started this just yesterday rather than over 230 posts ago!

It appears that time really does fly!

Wordless Wednesday - Come On Spring!

******************** Grab the code here!

Wordless Wednesday Participants
1. Comedy Plus
2. Skittles
3. Rav`N
4. anyhow
5. Donna
6. Lazy Daisy
7. Robin (Capitulation)
8. Gene Bach
9. aka R\'acquel
10. Dragonheart
11. Kai
12. Shaz@UsDanes
13. macoosh
14. Brian aka hummingbunny
15. LastMinuteLyn
16. Simone
17. faith family & Friends
18. Lori
19. It\'s A Blog Eat Blog World
20. Green Eyed Girl
21. A.J.
22. Rhea
23. Celeste
24. empress bee (of the high sea)
25. Amber\'s Crazy Bloggin\' Canuck
26. Michelle in Mx
27. SargeCharlie
28. Bobbie

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Something to think about next time you're at the bank

I'm still not feeling entirely up to snuff (wow, do these old sayings of mine really show my age!) so in lieu of not posting anything at all, I submit to you the following that I received from a friend in a recent email. Any of you ladies recognize yourself in this?? ...



Drive up to the cash machine.
Put down car window.
Insert card into machine and enter PIN.
Enter amount of cash required and withdraw.
Retrieve card, cash, and receipt.
Put window up.
Drive off.


Drive up to cash machine.
Reverse and back up the required amount to align car window with the machine.
Set parking brake, put the window down.
Find handbag, remove all contents on to passenger seat to locate card.
Tell person on cell phone you will call them back and hang up.
Attempt to insert card into machine.
Open car door to allow easier access to machine due to its excessive distance from the car.
Insert card.
Re-insert card the right way.
Dig through handbag to find diary with your PIN written on the inside back page.
Enter PIN.
Press cancel and re-enter correct PIN.
Enter amount of cash required.
Check makeup in rear view mirror.
Retrieve cash and receipt.
Empty handbag again to locate wallet and place cash inside.
Write debit amount in check register and place receipt in back of checkbook.
Re-check makeup.
Drive forward 2 feet.
Reverse back to cash machine.
Retrieve card.
Re-empty hand bag, locate card holder, and place card into the slot provided!
Give dirty look to irate male driver waiting behind you.
Restart stalled engine and pull off.
Redial person on cell phone.
Drive for 2 to 3 miles.
Release Parking Brake.

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Lost Weekend or My Adventures NOT in Shangra-La


Monty Python and the Holy GrailAs Mark Twain once said, "The rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated" or - better yet - to quote from one of my favorite movies, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, "I'm not dead! I'm getting better!" Least ways I feel better and am finally back on my feet despite, or maybe in spite of, a few grim prognoses from some of the people that I work with who were circling around the potential overtime my absence would produce like vultures around a bit of carrion!

For those of you out there who have also suffered from the occasional bad back and know what it's like to be totally incapacitated for days at a time, I think you understand what I mean about how you feel when you are finally once again able to get up and walk around like a normal human being, albeit a bit more gingerly! Perhaps it's not quite like Lazarus arising from the dead or the mythical Phoenix bird making a glorious return from the fire and ashes but it's pretty darned close as far I'm concerned!

Phoenix bird Even though my back isn't feeling 100% (and probably never will!) I am beyond glad to be out of bed for several reasons; first and foremost is the fact that there really is such a thing as too much of a good thing and too much time in bed is one of them (hey, hey, get your minds out of the gutter!). After awhile there is absolutely no comfortable position that one can attain and what's even more discouraging is knowing that you can't even stand up or sit to alleviate some of the stiffness of laying in bed for too long. Normally bed is a place of comfort and refuge but after several days it becomes a place of torture!

One of the other reasons I'm glad to be mobile again is the fact that Amanda, bless her heart, is one of the world's worst caregivers. Ever. From the time she got home from school on Friday and asked me why on earth I was still in bed to yesterday afternoon when I was finally able to limp down the stairs, not once did that child ask me if I needed something to eat or drink! At one point I did ask her for some toast and you would have thought I had asked her to go on a quest to bring me back the Holy Grail itself (sorry, Monty Python reference again

Monty Python and the Holy GrailThe child could not have heaved a heavier sigh or rolled her eyes higher and for a lousy piece of toast no less! Can you imagine if I had asked for something more?? Nope, I definitely do not see a career in nursing ahead for her!

There were actually three teenagers in the house at various times that could have lent a hand or two as Amanda had Dan and Nicole over visiting but sadly, they appear to be heading down the same career path as Amanda and not one of them is going to be a CNA or home health aide!

At one point on Saturday, I awoke from one of my drug-induced states to see the three of them standing at the foot of the bed looking down on me with grim expressions on their faces while they just stared. "Wow, you look awful" was their pronouncement before they turned and fled back downstairs to take up where they had left off with their PS2 game while I contemplated what the purpose of their visit had been. Briefly I wondered if that was how Scrooge had felt when the three ghosts came to visit him before I remembered that they didn't all show up at once and then I rolled over and went back to sleep.

Last but not least, I am happy to be back on my feet because I was able to go back to work and put in the hours needed to earn that coveted paycheck that I can't live without. I had really wanted to get back to work yesterday but after attempting to get on my feet and ambulate more than ten feet yesterday morning, I knew it was a lost cause. Had I actually made it into work one of my 911 conversations may well have gone:

Me: American Ambulance, what is the address of your emergency?
Caller: I don't feel good at all, I really need an ambulance over here.
Me: You don't feel good? Ha! Let me tell you how I feel!

Nope, calling out and staying in bed for another day really seemed to be the wiser choice as far as my career was concerned!

Anyhow, all that aside, I am happy to be on the road to recovery and because I'm afraid this is a path I may very well find myself traveling down again, I have made an appointment to go see my orthopedic doctor on Wednesday to see what the discs in my back are doing - other than mashing some nerves that don't need to be mashed!

I just hope the next time I find myself feeling like I've been run over by a truck that my youngest daughter Jamie is here because she possesses the nursing skills her older sister doesn't and I might actually be able to get some tea and toast with a lot less hassle!

Finally, to all those who left me words of encouragement and well wishes on this blog, I want to say a very sincere and heartfelt thank you. Your caring and concern really meant a lot to me and I was touched by all of your comments and words of support. For those who might think that the Blogosphere is an impersonal space inhabited by those people who are merely out to tell their own stories and don't give a thought to anyone else, let me just say that couldn't be further from the truth. I have "met" some of the kindest, most caring, sincere people I could ever hope to meet through these electronic pages.

P.S., Kathy - thank you for the kind offer to take the kids to the concert, I know that would be quite the sacrifice for you and if I'm laid up again in May, I will keep that in mind! Also, no, I don't have that poster yet which is too bad because it would have given me something good to look at while I was lying captive hoping for a small crust of toast and a sip of tea!

P.S.S., I plan to get around to everyone's blogs that I've missed very soon! I'm sure I've got a lot of reading to catch up on!

Friday, March 23, 2007

I may be gone for a bit

Why is that just about the time that I think things are going well, something comes along out of the blue and totally derails that particular thought? I would imagine that there is one of Murphy's Laws floating around out there somewhere that applies but right now I'm probably on too many drugs to really remember what it might be.

As some of you may or not know, I had some major back issues just about two years ago to the day that put me out of commission for several months with some of the worst pain of my entire life. This pain was so bad that I wouldn't have even wished it on my ex-husband! After a series of steroid epidural injections in the Spring, I eventually had lumbar back surgery in August of 2005 which seemed to repair the problem. Of course, since then I have been scared to death that I'm going to sneeze or move the wrong way or something and cause a relapse.

Last night when I went to bed, I had a minor backache that didn't really seem to be much of anything but when it came time to try to get out of bed this morning - not possible. The small ache in my lower back had turned into a full blown ache starting in my lower back and traveling down both of my legs. Oh boy ...

back painI managed to hobble downstairs and take a Flexerel and Ultracet (leftovers from two years ago that, thankfully, haven't expired yet) and then I worked my way back upstairs and into bed where I have been since then. I have no idea when I'm going to be able to get back out of bed again as just a simple trip to the bathroom is cause for excruciating pain and I'm in no great hurry to inflict that upon myself. Call me a wuss if you'd like but I don't do real well with pain and try to avoid it whenever possible.

I am hoping that this backache can be attributed to weather patterns (I think there's a storm moving in) or something simple that will clear itself up soon as I can't think of anything that I've done that would cause my back to go out on me again. Granted, once you have herniated discs, you always have herniated discs and no doubt they'll flare up once in awhile so I can only hope that's what this is and nothing more serious than that.

In the meantime, even though I have the laptop and can get on-line, I don't plan on doing a whole lot with it because the medications that I'm taking make me kind of fuzzy around the edges so I'm posting now to say that I may not be posting again anytime soon. I'm definitely sure I won't be doing tomorrow's Photo Hunt but if I'm not feeling too loopy, I will try to get around to a few other people's pages.

Anyhow, just wanted to let folks now what's up (not me!) if I don't have the chance to post in awhile or come by to visit your pages.

Everyone else take care and hopefully I'll be feeling better soon!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Newton's Laws of Motion As They Relate to Getting Up in the Mornings!

I'm not the Science expert in my household - Amanda is much better at it then I ever could hope to be as she is, after all, taking Honors Science at NFA and doing quite well with it. As a matter of fact, I simply took the requisite science courses I needed in school and that was it. Lately, though, I've been giving some thought to a few things of a scientific nature.

These thoughts mostly occur to me when I've swatted the 'snooze' button on the alarm several times and am trying to talk myself into getting out of bed before I'm late for work. In particular, I have been thinking about Newton's "Principia Mathematica Philosophiae Naturalis", or Laws of Motion. Newton's First Law of Motion, the Law of Inertia, states that:
"Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it."
The key point here is that if there is no force acting on an object, or if all the external forces cancel each other out, then the object will maintain a constant velocity (speed of motion). If that velocity is zero, then the object remains at rest. Translated that means that if I simply hit the 'snooze' alarm every nine minutes and make no effort to swing my feet over the side of the bed and propel myself in the general direction of the bedroom door, I am not going anywhere! In other words, objects at rest tend to remain at rest!

sleepingOnce I finally do swing my feet over the side of the bed and start towards the door, I should be able to continue that forward momentum unless there is a force applied in the opposite direction to slow me down. I think what that means is that if I turn around and look at the warm, cozy bed that I just left it could compel me to move backwards and I could find myself climbing back into bed and once again becoming an "object at rest". I believe this is what Newton meant but, again, I am not the scientific one in the family!

After I've actually managed to accelerate myself out of bed, which generally occurs after much mental cajoling, Newton's Second Law of Motion, the Law of Dynamics, comes into play:
"The acceleration of an object of constant mass is proportional to the force acting upon it."
This law concerns force and what causes objects to move and involves a lot of Calculus, another subject that I am not well versed in! Acceleration is the changing velocity of an object when a force is applied to it. According to Newton's Second Law, for an object (me) with a constant mass (weight) to be accelerated requires an external force be applied for the velocity to change. This is the scientific equation of F=m*a or a = F/m.

I believe what this means in relation to my getting out of bed and staying out of bed, is that the smell of freshly brewing coffee (a force) will get me (the object) to move more quickly (velocity) away from the bed. Scientifically speaking, it would be helpful for me to set the automatic coffee maker at night to start brewing coffee at about the same time the alarm clock is set to go off so that the smell of the coffee will help propel me away from the bed once I've managed to climb out of the thing and started heading towards the door.

woman brewing coffeeWhich then brings me to Newton's Third Law of Motion, the Law of Reciprocal Actions or the Action-Reaction Law:
"Whenever one body exerts force upon a second body, the second body exerts an equal and opposite force upon the first body."
Now I haven't quite got this one figured out as to how it relates to my being able to get out the door in order to get to work on time but what I think it might mean is that the caffeine reacts on my state of wakefulness and my state of wakefulness in turn pushes me out the door in the general direction of work. In other words, the caffeine acts and my body reacts. At least that's the closest I can come to figuring all of this out!

woman driving to workSo who says you don't use Science in real life? I use it every single morning when I have the great debate with myself on how long I can prolong the inevitable process of getting up and going to work! My high school Science teacher would be so proud - and yet - so disappointed! Perhaps I should leave the Science to Amanda?

Monday, March 19, 2007

In the beginning ...

I "borrowed" this from The Fire Insider, the blog of one of my friends and former dispatch partners. I told Boukie I was going to re-post it on my blog and he didn't protest so I hope he doesn't mind! Besides, he left us at American to go work at QV Dispatch and we haven't seen him since so I'm not too worried that he'll hunt me down and chastise me severely but if he does at least it will give us a chance to say hi and get caught up other than the times he calls to request a paramedic intercept!

"... In the beginning God covered the earth with broccoli, cauliflower and spinach, with green, yellow and red vegetables of all kinds so Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives. Then using God's bountiful gifts, Satan created Dairy Queen Ice Cream and Magnums. And Satan said, "You want hot fudge with that? And Man said, "Yes!" And Woman said, "I'll have one too with chocolate chips". And lo, they gained 10 pounds.

And God created the healthy yogurt so that Woman might keep the figure that Man found so fair. And Satan brought forth white flour from the wheat and sugar from the cane and combined them. And Woman went from size 12 to size 14.

So God said, "Try my fresh green salad". And Satan presented Blue Cheese dressing and garlic croutons on the side. And Man and Woman unfastened their belts following the repast.

God then said, "I have sent you healthy vegetables and olive oil in which to cook them". And Satan brought forth deep fried coconut king prawns, butter-dipped lobster chunks, and chicken fried steak so big it needed its own platter. And Man's cholesterol went through the roof.

Then God brought forth the potato, naturally low in fat and brimming with potassium and good nutrition. Then Satan peeled off the healthy skin and sliced the starchy center into chips and deep fried them in animal fats adding copious quantities of salt. And Man put on more pounds.

God then brought forth running shoes so that his Children might lose those extra pounds. And Satan came forth with a cable T.V. with remote control so Man would not have to toil changing the channels. And Man and Woman laughed and cried before the flickering light and started wearing stretch jogging suits.

Then God gave lean beef so that Man might consume fewer calories and still satisfy his appetite. And Satan created McDonald's and the 99 cent double cheeseburger. Then Satan said, "You want fries with that?" and Man replied, "Yes, And super size 'em". And Satan said, "It is good." And Man and Woman went into cardiac arrest.

God sighed ........ and created quadruple by-pass surgery. And then Satan chuckled, and created the National Health Service ..."

Sunday, March 18, 2007

So you wanna be a rock star?

Things to do on a Sunday afternoon when you're bored ...

Amanda decided that she was going to spend some time this afternoon taking some new pictures for her MySpace page but before she posted them a friend mentioned that she never posts any in which she's actually smiling but that they were all rather serious. I've noticed this myself but when you're going for the misunderstood-teenage-wanna-be-artist type I suppose that smiling is out of the question!

Not wanting people to think she had bad teeth or anything, and in an effort to appease her friends, Amanda decided to take a picture or two complete with a smile. The way the pictures came out, it was easy to see that she wasn't exactly comfortable smiling for the camera - especially when she was taking the pictures herself!

Before posting the pictures on MySpace, she IM'd a copy off to her friend in Michigan with the disclaimer of "I look stoopid, that's why I don't smile!" Her friend immediately IM'd her back with the response, "wow, you look like Gerard!"* Amanda didn't believe her so Shelby sent her a picture of Gerard she had found on Deviant Art** to show her the comparison.

At that point I was called over to the computer for my expert opinion on the matter and all I can say is ... well ... I guess there is some similarity though I don't think Amanda looks quite as distressed as Gerard does!

Folks? Anyone want to weigh in on this one? Oh, and just for the record, Mom, Amanda knows I'm posting this and was curious what everyone else thought, too!

*for those who haven't been following this blog, that would be Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance, Amanda's favorite band
**picture of Gerard with "akward" misspelling taken from the video "I Don't Love You" and deviated by myanimatedromance

Visual DNA

I filched this from Claire who fliched it from Ryan - feel free to flich it from me! As Claire would say, it's ace and spot-on so have a butchers and see if you aren't chuffed, too!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Maybe I shouldn't have missed that eye exam after all ...

There are 9 people in this picture:
  • If you find 6 your powers of observation are normal.
  • If you find 7 or 8 your powers of observation are above average.
  • If you find all 9 - Very intuitive - extremely observant.
I definitely need glasses or something as I had a deuce of a time getting past six until I picked up the computer and turned it this way and that for several minutes! Amanda, on the other hand, picked out all nine in no time flat!

How about you guys? How did you do?

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt - "Drink"


Grab the Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt code and play along!

This week's photo hunt theme is "Drink" and I decided I should go with the most popular drink in my household currently which is ... tea! There is nothing better on a cold March evening (or any cold evening come to think of it!) than a nice hot cup of tea.

This picture is of a teapot and matching mugs that was given to me by my Great Aunt Del when she was cleaning out her apartment not too long ago. I have a collection of teapots (18 as of last count) and there's always room for more! I also have quite the selection of teas and a lovely wooden tea chest that was given to me this past Christmas to keep them in.

Never let it be said that we are not civilized in this part of Connecticut! Or at least in my small part of it! Now everyone go enjoy their green beer or Irish whiskey or whatever you're raising a glass of to celebrate this St. Patrick's Day! I think I'll have a cup of Earl Grey - hot!

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt Participants
1. letha
2. Amazing Gracie
3. Bobbie
4. Claire Rachael Pitt
5. Barbara H.
6. Biker Betty
7. Ma
8. Stacy
9. tnchick
10. Amy in NY
11. michelle
12. eph2810
13. Friday\'s Child
14. meeyauw
15. srp
16. maiylah
17. Pastormac\'s Ann
18. A.
19. mar
20. connie
21. Lazy Daisy
22. pat
23. Dragonheart
24. expatraveler
25. Gattina
26. Frances
27. Lisa Renee
28. Barbara
29. YellowRose
30. JHS
31. yoshi
32. Stine
33. jenny
34. jean
35. patti
36. Teena in Toronto
37. gewels
38. Holly
39. TorAa
40. Coonie
41. Leslie @ My Mommy\'s Place
42. Beckie
43. Shawna

Get the code and join the Blogroll here!

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Friday, March 16, 2007

The ABC's of Aging

To those who have stopped by and said "hey! there's nothing new here!", I apologize for not having posted anything recently. Things have been a little crazy the past couple of days between the 16-hour shift that I worked on Wednesday to the 2-day class that turned into a 1-day marathon yesterday.

Another dispatcher and I were attending a work-related class in Meriden (about 50 miles from here) that was supposed to be both Thursday and Friday but because of the impending snow storm that now rages on outside, it was decided to do the entire class in one day so that we wouldn't have to drive in the snow. We began at 8:00 in the morning and finished up a little after 10:00 p.m. followed by a long trek back in weather that had become a rain/snow mix. I got home just before 12:00 so that didn't really leave me time to post anything before I literally passed out!

Today I'm relaxing a bit and trying to get caught up on the blogs that I like to read that I haven't had a chance to get to since Tuesday. However, I need to post something new here so that you're not all coming back to the same old stuff! To that end, I give you a new version of the alphabet that a friend of mine in North Carolina sent to me via email. It won't apply to some of you for a few years yet but for me - yep, this sadly sounds more than about right!

A is for apple, and B is for boat,
That used to be right, but now it won't float.
Age before beauty is what we once said,
But let's be a bit more realistic instead...

Now, A's for arthritis; B's the bad back,
C is for chest pains, perhaps cardiac.
D is for dental decay and decline;
E is for eyesight, can't read that top line.
F is for fissures and fluid retention,
G is for gas, which I'd rather not mention.
H is high blood pressure - I'd rather it low;
I for incisions with scars you can show.
J is for joints, out of socket, won't mend.
K is for knees that crack when they bend.
L for libido, what happened to sex?
M is for memory, I forget! What comes next?
N is neuralgia, in nerves way down low;
O is for osteo, the bones that don't grow!
P for prescriptions, I have quite a few,
Just give me a pill and I'll be good as new.
Q is for queasy, is it fatal or flu?
R for reflux, one meal turns to two.
S for sleepless nights, counting my fears.
T for tinnitus; there's bells in my ears.
U is for urinary; big troubles with flow;
V is for vertigo, that's "dizzy" you know.
W is for worry, NOW what's going round?
X is for X-ray, and what might be found.
Y is another year that I've left behind,
Z is for zest that I still have - in my mind!

I've survived all the symptoms, my body's deployed,
And I've kept twenty-six doctors fully employed!!
May your troubles be less, your blessings be more
And nothing but Happiness come through your door!!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Shameless self-promotion (and how you can get your own!)


Who knew that writing a blog could lead to such fame and fortune? Who knew that last sentence was written tongue-in-cheek?

Seriously, though, when I first began blogging I don't think I really knew what I was getting into. Even though it should have been obvious that there were going to be hundreds upon thousands of blogs out there on the World Wide Web I never realized just how many there actually were or how many of them were so good!

There are Mom blogs, military blogs, humor blogs, political blogs, religious blogs, scrapbooking blogs, photo blogs, music blogs, writing blogs, shopping blogs, blogs about blogs. ... the variety is endless! When someone called it The Blogosphere they weren't kidding because it really is universal. Through my computer I have been in touch with an astounding number of people from parts of the world that I never would have had contact with if I hadn't become a blogger. I tell you, there are times when it just "bloggles" the mind!

So with all of those other great blogs out there, how does one go about getting their little ole' blog noticed? Well, that would be where a blog like "5 minutes for mom" comes in. The blog is run by Susan and Janice, twin stay-at-home moms, who have dedicated their blog to "bringing Moms the best in blogging, shopping, parenting, and entertainment". In addition to producing a quality blog, they also have two Internet Shops that they run; "A Rocking Horse to Love" and "Your Pedal Cars and Retro Collectibles Specialty Store".

One of the ways Susan and Janice help you to promote your own blog is by offering to list your blog on theirs. Each listing includes a photo, a description of your blog, and an interview with several links to various locations on your blog. They have an amazing list of blogs, and not just Mom blogs, but a very impressive list of all kinds of blogs. For more info on getting your blog listed click on this link and go see what Susan and Janice can do for you.

Now if you'll pardon me, I need to go wait for the phone to ring with my offer to fly out to Hollywood to go over the screenplay for the movie they're surely going to want to make based on my blog!

... excuse me, Mr. Demille, I'm ready for my close-up!

"So come one, come all to this tragic affair ..."

Welcome to the Black Parade drawing
I thought I would share one of the latest drawings that Amanda did this weekend (in addition to a quite passable big mouth bass that I would be happy to show off, too, but which is no longer in our possession - sorry, Claire!).

As established in Friday's post, Amanda is quite the fan of My Chemical Romance and this picture is one of her tributes to the band.

Of course now she's nagging at me that she wants a jacket like this one (yeah, for the low price of $86 plus $18 shipping and handling) ... I don't think so!!!

If you'd like to see more of Amanda's artwork, go check out her page on Deviant Art by clicking here.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Capulus rumpo ... iterum!*

So … last Sunday I wrote a post about the number of fires that we have had in this part of the country this winter and the impact that it had on one of my days at work. This Sunday, I get to write a post about the fire that happened on the same road as my house and the impact it had on my day at home before I went into work yesterday!

After spending a good part of the morning looking at some great architecture (the theme for the Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt), I had just settled down on the couch with a cup of coffee and some toast while Amanda was in the dining room attempting to draw a picture of a large mouth bass, when we both heard what sounded like a very large truck go past the house. On a Saturday that’s fairly unusual because we live at the top of two very steep hills in the middle of a dead-end road and generally the only large trucks we get are the garbage man or the UPS guy during the week. Though it piqued my curiosity, it wasn’t enough to inspire me to get off the couch and look out the window.

Moments later, we heard what sounded like another large truck in front of the house and this time it was enough to pique my curiosity so I swallowed the last bite of my toast, put down my cup of coffee, and left my comfy spot on the couch to look outside. Imagine my surprise when I saw a fireman hooking up a hose to the hydrant in front of my house while a very large firetruck idled next to him! As Amanda might say – oh snap, son!

Sticking my head out the door, I noticed a very large cloud of thick black smoke coming from the house four doors down while a group of neighbors was gathering in the street. Two things immediately ran through my head – 1) I needed to move my car out of the way (I park pretty close to the hydrant) and 2) I needed to make sure everyone was okay (it’s that whole 911 dispatcher thing!). Of course, first I needed to throw on something more than my robe and slippers!

Looking towards the fire

Grabbing the closest clothes I could find (my work pants, a t-shirt, hoodie, and sneakers with no socks), I moved the car and then went to the gathering of people where one girl was kneeling on the ground and crying. After assessing that everyone had gotten out of the house and was okay, I joined the rest of the neighborhood in discussing what had happened while a multitude of firefighters continued to trudge up the hill.

I knew that an ambulance was enroute as Jen had called from work to make sure it wasn’t my house that was on fire but I was beginning to think that more than one might be needed as I watched the firefighters struggling up an extremely steep hill in full turnout gear with Scot packs strapped to their backs. Knowing how I feel walking up that hill with nothing strapped on my back, I was envisioning any number of heart attacks or incidents of respiratory distress!

Why were they walking up the hill rather than arriving on the back of a firetruck, you may well ask? Well, like I said, we live at the top of two very steep hills on a narrow dead-end road that doesn’t have room for a lot of fire apparatus; plus, there is only fire hydrant on the road. The next closest hydrant is down at the bottom of the main road so once an engine had hooked up to that and driven up the hill dropping hose behind it, there was no way that anyone else could drive over it and come up the hills. This meant that any other responding personnel (fire, police, and ambulance) had to park at the bottom and trek up on foot. And trust me – it is not a fun trek on the best of days!

Pretty soon I saw the ambulance crew arrive pushing the stretcher over the crest of the hill and my heart (and lungs) went out to them! One firefighter had been injured in a fall so they didn’t even have time to catch their breath before they needed to start patient treatment. After getting the injured party loaded onto the stretcher, they now had to start back down the hill which was probably going to prove even trickier because if the stretcher got away from them, the guy on it was going to have one wild ride and he’d have a lot more than an ankle injury to deal with!

At that point, I decided it was time to do more than stand around and talk with the neighbors and offered to carry some of the gear back down the hill to help out the ambulance crew. Due to the incline, I ended up not only carrying the gear but helping to hold the stretcher back until we got to the bottom of the second hill where the patient was loaded into an ambulance and sent to the hospital.

Not being in any great hurry to climb back up to my house, I stayed down on the main road for awhile talking with some of the cops I used to work with and the ambulance crew that was standing by at the scene should additional medical help be required. But I was just putting off the inevitable as I needed to be at work myself in just a little over an hour plus I had never finished my cup of coffee!

View from the bottom

Finally, having no other choice, I climbed back up the first hill and then took some time to catch my breath while I watched one of the engines backing down the hill and rolling hose up as they went. After a couple of moments I began the second part of my ascent and eventually reached the summit and wheezed my way back into the house. Amanda wasn’t having a whole lot of sympathy for me as she walks up those hills every school day while lugging a 20-pound backpack so she just smirked when I collapsed on the couch to finish my coffee. I can’t say that I blame her, had the role been reversed I probably would have done the same!

By the time I was ready to leave for work, almost all of the fire apparatus had left the area though there was one engine still at the scene doing overhaul. The fire could have been a lot worse than it was but the City of Norwich Fire Department had done a fine job getting it knocked down and extinguished before it engulfed the whole house.

Sadly, though, a single mom and her three children are now without a home as a result of a microwave oven spontaneously combusting. Still, it could have been so much worse. Which reminds me, I’ve got to call my insurance agent about that renter’s insurance we were discussing just last week …

If you're interested, you can read the article from The Norwich Bulletin about the fire here and for my more pics (including the firefighters climbing the hill!) click here.

*Translation: Coffee interrupted ... again!