Thursday, August 31, 2006

Marrying In Canada? Think Twice

When I talked to A last night, she told me that they STILL have not received their marriage license from Canada--this is ONLY 5 months AFTER they got married. I think she is on the verge of panicking--after all, she cannot change her name or be listed as a wife until they have the proof that they are married! While the wedding was so much fun, this waiting is just plain crazy. She is going to wait just a little while longer and then she will start writing e-mails and letters and making phone calls. That is, if she can figure out WHO she is supposed to talk to! (She also said that this is the LAST time she will get married in Canada! :))

Another One...

I got an email from A the other day and she announced that they have a new dog. Let's see, this means I am grandma to 3 dogs, two cats, four girls, one boy, and step-grandma to one boy. Is it a wonder that I CRS most of the time?

Here is a picture of A's two dogs:We met the one on the left when we were in St. Paul. The one on the right is the new addition. They both are Australian shepard mixes. (Had to post a pic of my grand-dogs!)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Just Another Day

"Dogs come when they're called; cats take a message and get back to you later." - Mary Bly


--Well, I watched Prison Break last night and, still it is holding my interest. It really is almost totally different from last year, as they are now out of prison--so I don't know if the same level of quality writing will be sustained. I AM a little pissed off about some of the really far-fetched stuff. (SPOILER ALERT) Sewing the hand on--by a VET!!!!--was a little off-the-wall, but I will stay with it. Hopefully, they will keep things like that to a minimum. And I am SURE that they will be bringing Veronica back--I'm totally convinced she isn't dead--after all, they brought Abruzzi 'back from the dead' last year. Oh, well, watching Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell is worth the hour spent--even if the storyline isn't the best!


--Instead of going with K to trivia tonight, I went and did some shopping. I sure wish it would have been as much fun as trivia! Wal Mart was so terrible, again, that I WILL be getting in touch with the manager tomorrow. And this has NOTHING to do with the students! The last couple of times I have been in that store, they have had only about 4 or 5 checkouts open--out of 25 or so that they have! You wander up and down the aisle, looking for a checkout that has less than five people waiting AND YOU CAN'T FIND ONE! Tonight, I waited for almost 30 minutes in line and that is too freaking long. At this point, there is nothing that I get at Wal Mart that I can't get elsewhere, so I may be doing a one-woman boycott if things don't change soon. The only bad thing: Wal Mart is open for 24 hours and the other stores around here aren't. Bummer.

--This weekend is Labor Day weekend and I will be at home, doing nothing, by myself. K is scheduled to work on Saturday and Monday, and it looks like he will be doing an overtime shift on Sunday. The annual blues festival is this weekend and I had hoped we could go, but doesn't look like it. Oh, well, maybe next year.

--I took the plunge tonight and bought myself some Mederma. (Damn stuff is expensive!) This is the stuff that is supposed to help scars heal and look better. The scar that was left from when I cut it a few weeks ago, is not doing too well, so I thought this might help. I sure hope so, otherwise I may have to see a doctor to do something with it--it may be a hypertrophic scar. We'll see. More fun times at the doctor's.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Coming Soon To A TV Near You

(DISCLAIMER: This is something that hasn't happened--YET.)

Announcer: He confessed…He was extradited…He was let go. Next week on Oprah: John Mark Karr! (fade out)


Morning Talk Show Talking Head (looking intensely serious): This morning we are talking to Oprah Winfrey. She has caused quite a stir by announcing that John Mark Karr, the man who confessed to killing JonBenet Ramsey will be a guest on her show. Good morning Oprah.

Oprah (looking just as serious): Good morning, MTSTH.

MTSTH: Let’s get right to it. Why would you put this man on your show? And during sweeps week?

Oprah (looking even more intensely serious—if possible): The man disgusts me, as he disgusts everyone. I just want to get him in that chair and ask him “Why?” This is the question all of America wants to know. I just want to understand what was going through his mind. I want to understand what kind of sickness he has to do such a thing. We all want to know, and I will ask him the questions my viewers want answered. (now, getting a totally innocent look on face) And this has nothing to do with sweeps week—this was the only time we could book him…(and more lying drival we don’t need to think about.)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Bad For You

"Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this." -- Anonymous


I am really waiting for 'them' to come out and say that yogurt is very bad for a person's health. I EAT yogurt, simply because it is supposed to be good for you, but it is NOT the first thing I gravitate towards when I go into the frig. I have a problem with food that you can never tell when it has gone 'bad.' Really now, unless you have had that carton in the frig for months, does yogurt EVER go 'bad'? I remember, years ago and before home yogurt-makers, The Mother would make it as my great-grandmother did: by leaving a bowl of milk with a spoonful of 'start' mixed in, on the kitchen counter. For days. This caused the milk to sour and ferment and coagulate. Isn't this just milk gone 'bad'? So, if what you are eating is food gone 'bad,' then it can never go 'bad' again. It is just is so confusing and the only way to get out of this is just to declare that yogurt is not good for people. End of discussion. Unless, of course, you want to talk about sour cream...

Saturday, August 26, 2006

In The News

Here are two news stories that I missed this past week:

--Olympia, Washington. The raccoons are out of control. They are rampaging and killing cats. The citizens don't have a clue as to what to do about them varmints--they seem to believe that hand-wringing is a good choice. To read the whole story, go here. Be sure to read the comments that are posted--some of them are just hysterical. You probably will come away from reading them with the same response as me: shaking your head and wondering what is wrong with people! (The comments are in reverse-order from when they were posted--scroll to the bottom and work your way up.)

Here is my take on the matter. If the raccoons are killing your cats and rampaging around your neighborhood, this is what you do:

1. QUIT FEEDING THE RACCOONS!!! Do NOT put food out for them specifically. Do NOT leave domestic animal food out for the raccoons to go after. Put your garbage cans in secure locations so the raccoons cannot get to them.

2. If the raccoons are killing cats, then KEEP YOUR CATS IN THE HOUSE!!! Is that such a hard solution?

3. Hire someone who KNOWS what they are doing--such as someone who has actually hunted raccoons--to come and get rid of the problem. Yes, it will probably involve guns and shooting the poor defenseless animals (sarcasm there), but IT IS BETTER THAN BEING BIT BY ONE OF THEM! (One woman WAS bit and underwent rabies shots.)

I guess I just figure, if there is a problem, deal with it! Quit whining and saying 'oh, woe is me!'

--Chicago, Illinois. O'Hare airport. A man has been charged with federal disorderly conduct following an incident where he was accused of trying to take a bomb aboard an airplane. Turns out, his 'bomb' was actually a penis pump. When asked to identify the object, he whispered what it was to the security officer. The officer said the man claimed it was a bomb--the man said he told the officer it was a pump and that the officer misheard him. All of this took place because the man was with his mother and didn't want her to know he was taking a sexual aid with him on their trip to Turkey. The whole story can be read here.

My question is this: How big is the male ego that a man won't admit--to security personnel, in this day and age--that he is carrying a sex aid. Rather, he would allow them to believe he was carrying a bomb so that his mother wouldn't know he needed help when it comes to his sexual performance. Granted, it would be embarrassing to have people know of your 'short-comings,' but isn't a little embarrassment better than a possible prison sentence?

Use Meds AND Get Dead

"Some people say that cats are sneaky, evil, and cruel. True, and they have many other fine qualities as well." -- Missy Dizick
(the quotes have NOTHING to do with my posts--I just like them! :))


As I 'revealed' several posts back, I have psoriasis. Anyone who watches TV has seen the commercials for a 'new and better way' to treat the disease. Well, the new way is a drug that is injected under the skin and it works on a person's immune system--as psoriasis is an auto-immune disease. This has had an amount of success and I was very happy when they first came out with it: maybe a way to go into complete remission! WRONG! As of now, I will not be going that route--going to the tanning salon has helped me a lot, so I will continue with that. I received, in the mail, a packet containing info on one of the biologic treatments out there and I thought I would give you an idea as to why I won't be using the new treatments any time soon. (As if you asked or REALLY want to know! :))

Now, I'm not saying that using this stuff is wrong for EVERYONE--we all have to make our own choices. What I am saying is this: a person has to do a lot of research and soul-searching before agreeing to use this stuff. The side-effects are rather frightening. (I won't mention the name of the particular drug I have paperwork on--suffice it to say, all of the similar drugs have the same side-effects.) Here we go (and this is just what the company ADMITS to): serious infections--including tuberculosis and sepsis, nervous system disorders, blood problems--including symptoms that resemble lupus, heart problems, allergic reactions, malignancies, injection site reactions, upper respiratory infections, and headaches. YIKES--scary stuff!

After pondering the list of side-effects of what I WON'T take, I thought I would look at the side-effects of the stuff I AM taking. Just as scary! Here are some of them: headache, sore throat, nosebleeds, hair loss, stomach upset, dizziness, cough, nausea, hallucinations, fever, irregular heartbeat, easy bruising or bleeding, seizures, heart attacks, stroke, blood clots, blurred vision. OMG! And the meds I take are older, not 'new' or 'experimental'--and they are for non-life threatening conditions/diseases (or easily treatable): allergies, high blood pressure, thyroid, etc.

I guess it is true what is in one of my drug-info sheets: a person MUST discuss with his/her doctor all of the side-effects vs. the benefits of any medication. Some people will accept whatever side-effects there are just for the benefits of the medication and some will not. I have weighed the benefit vs. side-effect factors of what I take and am comfortable with my choices. I also have decided against some drugs because of the same factors. It all comes down to this: everyone makes their own choices--as it should be!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Does Anyone REALLY Care?

Here are a few of the 'BIG' stories that are going around and my question remains: Does anyone REALLY care?

--Tom Cruise is soooooooo boring and every story about him is just really getting on my last raw nerve. Don't read the stories, you say? Unfortunately, you can't get away from them! Here is just ONE of the more than 1000 articles that Google news has about the latest that has been happening to him. Just go away, Tom, just go away. (He could have left with dignity, but it is too late for THAT!)

--Okay, so I DON'T watch reality TV--except for Project Runway. But I am really tired of the 'controversy' surrounding Survivor. JUST. LET. IT. BE!!! This would be a non-issue if people would leave it alone! It is a FRICKING reality show--GET A LIFE!!!! Why, oh why, does EVERYTHING have to be such a big story?!?! Here is one person's 'problem' with the new season.

--Now, I LOVE watching the stars. I find the night sky absolutely fascinating. Come on people, does anyone REALLY care if Pluto is a planet or not? WHO is actually ever going to see the thing--and how will it EVER affect any of our lives? I'm sorry, but other than screwing up my scientific knowledge from school, whether Pluto is a planet or not is a total non-issue. But, then again, for some it is a BIG issue. Here is the story.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

A Couple of Videos

"I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals." --Winston Churchill



--When my daughter, A, was younger, we saw a cartoon on Nickelodeon that quickly became a favorite. I have now found the video and here is a link to "The Cat Came Back." Hope you enjoy and hope it may bring back memories!

--Today on mental_floss they had a post about the woman with the world's longest fingernails. While seeing the picture was bad enough, they have a video of her and another woman with long nails that is really rather disturbing--actually, it was disgusting. I threw-up a little in my mouth. If you want, you can see the video here and, also, read about the world's longest fingernails.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Hump Day Funny

Thank you, Yoopergirl, for the following. (And, girl, I have missed you! Welcome back!)

No Nursing Home for Me

About 2 years ago my wife and I were on a cruise through the western Mediterranean aboard a Princess liner. At dinner we noticed an elderly lady sitting alone along the rail of the grand stairway in the main dining room. I also noticed that all the staff, ships officers, waiters, busboys, etc., all seemed very familiar with this lady. I asked our waiter who the lady was, expecting to be told that she owned the line,but he said he only knew that she had been on board for the last four cruises, back-to-back.

As we left the dining room one evening I caught her eye and stopped to say hello. We chatted and I said, "I understand you've been on this ship for the last four cruises".

She replied, "Yes, that's true."

I stated, "I don't understand" and she replied, without a pause, "It's cheaper than a nursing home".

So, there will be no nursing home in my future. When I get old and feeble, I am going to get on a Princess Cruise Ship.

The average cost for a nursing home is $200 per day. I have checked on reservations on a Princess and I can get a long term discount and senior discount price of $135 per day. That leaves $65 a day for:

1. Gratuities which will only be $10 per day.

2. I will have as many as 10 meals a day if I can waddle to the restaurant, or I can have room service (which means I can have breakfast-in-bed every day of the week).

3. Princess has as many as three swimming pools, a workout room, free washers and dryers, and shows every night.

4. They have free toothpaste and razors, and free soap and shampoo.

5. They will even treat you like a customer, not a patient. An extra $5 worth of tips will have the entire staff scrambling to help you.

6. I will get to meet new people every 7 or 14 days.

7. T.V. broken? Light bulb need changing? Need to have the mattress replaced? No Problem. They will fix everything and apologize for your inconvenience.

8. Clean sheets and towels every day, and you don't even have to ask for them.

9. If you fall in the nursing home and break a hip you are on Medicare; if you fall and break a hip on the Princess ship they will upgrade you to a suite for the rest of your life.

Now hold on for the best! Do you want to see South America, the Panama Canal, Tahiti, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, or name where you want to go? Princess will have a ship ready to go. So don't look for me in a nursing home, just call shore-to-ship.

ps: And don't forget, when you die, they just dump you over the side--at no charge.

Thanks To mental_floss

Today on mental_floss, they have Tuesday Turnip. The author types in a random term or phrase into Google search and then blogs the results. Today's Turnip is 'six out of every ten.' Here are the results:

(Everything in quotes is lifted from the mental_floss blog.)


"In the US, six out of every ten couples buy a diamond ring for their engagement.

Six out of every ten Americans are overweight.

Six out of every ten apples you eat are grown in Washington

Six out of every ten new jobs are computer-related.

Nearly six out of every ten Protestant churches now have a website. That is up from just one-third of all Protestant churches in 2000, an increase of 68%.

Six out of every ten commonly-used English words are derived, directly or indirectly, from Latin.

About six out of every ten US smokers started smoking before age 14. Nine of every ten smokers became addicted before reaching age 19.

Six out of every ten children killed in crashes are unbelted.

Six out of every ten Americans live in areas that violate federal air quality standards.

Only six out of every ten… children will graduate from high school in New York – the third highest dropout rate in America.

And my personal fav, only ’cause it’s so darn controversial (drum roll…): According to a survey conducted by Barna, about six out of every ten adults (59%) favor teaching creationism while less than four out of ten (38%) do not want it added to the public school curriculum content."


Now, MY question is this: If the majority of people feel as if Creationism should be taught in schools, what is the problem? While it is part of this great nation to not trample on people's rights--theoretically?--when did it become the right of the minority to dictate what is going on? Just a great controversy to ponder on 'hump day.' You're welcome! :)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Little Bits

--There is a place in San Luis Obispo, California that is called BubbleGum Alley. Since 1960, people have been placing used chewing gum on the walls of this place and continue today. In some places, the gum is 15 wads thick! Here is a link to some pictures. Yuck!

--Sebastian is a long-haired, black Persian cat. He has a bit of a dental problem--he has quite an underbite. His owner is a dentist who was concerned over the fragility of his lower canine teeth. The owner decided to fix the problem by putting gold crowns on said teeth. No comment. Go here for the whole story and a picture of Sebastian proudly displaying his crowns.

--Here is a site where you can plot all of the states you have been to and then see them colored on the map of the US. It is fun to see all of the places I have been to, but it sure is more impressive looking than it actually is--I have driven through quite a few states, not actually 'visited' them. There also is a map where you can plot the countries you have been to, but as I have only been to TWO, I won't even bother with that one. :) Here is my map:


Saturday, August 19, 2006

And Now Playing...


I just finished my list of shows to be taped for the next week and it seems the fall premiers are beginning. On Monday, Prison Break will start its second season--can't wait! I hope it will be as good as the first season was. I know, it was totally implausible, but it sure kept your attention--and it isn't too hard to watch Wentworth Miller, either!

The movie Slap Shot is going to be celebrating its 25th anniversary shortly. The reason I even mention this is, the Hanson brothers will be here in October as a promotion for our local Junior 'A' team. One, I want to see the movie again--I just may have to buy it--and two, I sure hope we get to the game when they are here. It should be fun!

Friday, August 18, 2006

And Now We're Home

We got home around 4:00 this afternoon. It really wasn't a bad ride back--the traffic wasn't too bad and we only got lost once. I would rant over how K doesn't listen to me and that is why we get lost, but this is absolutely no one's fault! We got lost in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. Now, this is a small town--smaller than ours--but there just is no way to get in and out of the place easily. Every single time we have had to go there--and K's sister lives there--we get lost. It is understandable when we visit the sister, as they live off of the beaten path near one of the gazillion lakes in the area and you even have to negotiate some dirt roads to get to their house, but the business/city area is no easier to navigate. I told K, as we passed the same spot for the third time, that being in Rhinelander is like a bad episode of The Twilight Zone--you can get in, but you can't get out! I must say that part of the problem is the fact that Wisconsin has to be the worst place in terms of signage--or lack thereof--in the entire US. You can drive for miles and miles and not know just what road you are on. Then, when signs ARE posted, you usually are PAST them when you realize you needed to make that last left turn. A very, very hard state to drive through. I will plot our course more carefully next time--we will avoid Rhinelander at all costs.

On Thursday we went to the outlet mall and I was very disappointed. While there WERE 100 stores, there wasn't all that much I was interested in. I managed to find a few good deals, but not as many as I had hoped. We got to see the animal hospital A works at and got to talk to her boss for awhile. His niece has moved here with her husband recently--she is a dermatologist and he is a cardiac surgeon--and I had just been making plans to move from my dermatologist to her. I guess this proves (hold on, cliche coming) that it is really a small world!

While I am very happy to be home, I can never just walk into the house and unpack and relax. The house ALWAYS looks as if the cat threw a wild party while we were gone--that is the only explanation for the amount of fur everywhere. I had to vacuum before I could do anything else. She is very happy to have me home--she will not leave my side for longer than a few minutes--when she goes and eats--and will "talk" to me frequently.

I don't know if we will have any time to do much of anything when we go back next month. We will be there for one less day and will try to do something with A and her husband. But the concert WILL kind of throw things off. Maybe we'll be able to have a couple of meals together, but probably not much more than that. And I know A will probably want us to get together with her in-laws, but I just don't know how we'll have the time. Oh, well, what happens, happens.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Not At Home

Tonight is our second night in St. Paul and we still have tomorrow night to go before we head home. I didn't do a post last night because I was so tire and had a headache--I guess I really am not much of a traveler. We really didn't do much yesterday--we found our daughter's house and visited with her for a time and then drove around to get the lay of the land. We had dinner and then went to sleep.

Today we were running around all day. We found a 'regular' mall and walked through it. There was nothing more than what you would find at any mall, but it killed some time. We got to visit with A and her husband and then we went to the Mall of America. I was very impressed by the size of the place--there is an amusement park, complete with Ferris wheel, in the middle of the mall. We walked through the entire place--I THINK!--and then came back to our room. After we had dinner, we went to see if we could find the Xcel Center so that we will know where to go when we come back for the concert. As it is, the Xcel Center is right in the middle of downtown St. Paul--just a stone's throw from the capitol building. We didn't have much trouble with traffic, but it was early evening and there wasn't anything going on at the Center. Thank goodness we will be staying right next to the Center when we come here next month--we won't have to worry about driving after the concert. Considering the Center holds almost 20,000 people, I think traffic just might be a tad ridiculous.

Tomorrow we will be going to the outlet mall that is about 45 miles north of here. We should be able to get the grandkids some school clothes and it always is an added bonus if I can find something for myself! I'm going to be Super Shopper tomorrow--there will be skid marks on my credit card! This mall is supposed to have almost 100 stores, so I should be able to do all sorts of damage to my credit card--but everything will be on sale and/or at a discount, so I actually will be SAVING money. Tomorrow evening, A will show us where she works--at an animal hospital/clinic--and I will be able to see some of the animals she is always telling me about. It will have to be a fairly early evening, as we will have to get some sleep so we can get an early start on Friday morning. Then, it will be back home again.

So far, the trip has been nice--I even have been pretty good when we have been in heavy traffic. (I don't do well when there are 4 lanes of traffic going in both directions! I AM a small-town girl, after all.) K has NOT listened to my directions only a couple of times and that hasn't even caused too big of a problem. This seems to be a nice city and I would like to be back fairly often--of course to see A and her husband, but also to do some of the other things they have to do here. I would like to get to the zoo and there are some museums that would be great to go to, but that will have to be another time.

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Mighty Mac...BOOM?

Great, now this story is going to be all over the news and that means people are actually going to find out WE ARE HERE! Seems some guys were arrested downstate and the authorities say they were planning to blow up the Mackinac Bridge as a terrorist attack. I'm sure we will be hearing more about this in the days to come. You can read the story here.

CHIPMUNK UPDATE: A chipmunk was upstairs, again. We watched it go down into the basement and saw where it left the house. K boarded up the spot where it left. About 30 minutes later, the 'sticky trap' caught a chipmunk at the top of the basement stairs. Was it the same chipmunk? Was it a different one? Is there more than one way for them to get into our house? We have no answers. Stay tuned...

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Pets

Several days ago, Miss Fire posted about a problem she has been having with a roaming cat. I left a comment at her site, but I wanted to expand on what I said.

First, I don’t want this to become dog-people versus cat-people. I am an animal lover who owns a cat. I like the fact that cats are independent—this is the main reason I have one. At this point in our lives, a dog just isn’t what we want—maybe someday…

Our town has an ordinance against animals roaming free—both dogs AND cats. This is as it should be. I don’t think my cat has any more right to be in someone else’s yard than someone’s dog (or cat) has a right to be in mine. Whenever our cat is outside, she is on a leash. There have been times, of course, when she has slipped out of her harness and run off. This usually is a very short-lived event. We have had dogs come to our house with broken leashes, so neither animal is immune to running away from home.

These days, we have three dogs and one cat that frequently are in our yard. None of them have been invited. The cat hasn’t done any damage—yet. Several years ago we had a cat spray our back door, but this cat's bad behavior is that it drives MY cat crazy. Just because it hasn’t done any damage doesn’t mean I want it in my yard—and if it uses our yard for a litter box, then it covers its deposits as cats usually do. The dogs, however, regularly leave their calling cards—and they are NOT small dogs! This is a problem at any time, but in the spring I REALLY don’t want to see a winter’s worth of dog droppings after the snow has melted! NOT fun. They also like to ‘mark their territory’ by peeing on our recycling bins—not appreciated by me or my husband. Other than them not being 'good neighbors,' I really like the dogs—they are friendly and, otherwise, well-mannered.

Now we come to the question ‘What do we do about these animals?’ For the most part, not much. When K sees one of the dogs crapping in our yard, he will tell the owner and ask them to come and clean it up. Shouldn’t we call animal control? Probably. BUT, we are in a small city and rank has its privilege—by this I mean, one of the dog’s owners is a local celebrity and another dog owner is a local politician—and not much happens when a report is made. The third dog’s owner also owns the cat and he and his wife are friends with the animal control officer. They also don’t have children, have very good jobs, and own rental property in town—in other words, they have money and don’t care if they have to pay any fines. (That is, WHEN they get fined.) These animals don’t roam anywhere but in the neighborhood, so it wouldn’t take much for someone to determine who ‘turned their animal in.’ Several years ago a former neighbor got into it with these people (the couple who own the dog and cat) about their animals and it got very nasty—to the point that there were people in the neighborhood that took sides in the entire argument. Not fun.

Most of our neighbors have at least one pet and their animals are NOT a nuisance. The only time we MIGHT see the animals are when they are being taken for a walk—or when we visit at their house. MOST of the pet owners here obey the laws—as they should. The occasional—okay, NOT so occasional in one instance—barking is something I put up with. If a dog is barking at night, I have my windows closed and the air conditioner on, so it isn’t a problem for me—and there usually isn’t any night barking. But, for the most part, our neighbors are very considerate when it comes to their animals being ‘good neighbors.’

My whole point in this post is this: roaming animals are a problem, no matter if it is a cat or dog. BUT, we cannot blame the animal for what comes naturally. The blame rests completely on the owners. Animal owners should be responsible—too bad there are a lot of them that are not.

The AWWWWW Factor To The Nth Degree

Just HAD to post a link to Cute Overload again. They have some pics of a rabbit and white-tail that are not to be believed. Unfortunately, the permalink doesn't seem to be working, so you have to go to the main page at Cute Overload and scroll down. (Can't figure out what I am doing wrong--if anyone has any suggestions, please let me know!) If you want to go "AWWWWWWWW" for the rest of the day, get there quick!

Same Old, Same Old

It has been a couple of days since I posted about the chipmunk in our house, so here is an update: it is still here. As of today, it has been upstairs at least 3 times--this afternoon, for one. I CANNOT figure out how it is getting up here. It is NOT getting up from the basement door, so it has to be coming through one of the numerous rodent-sized holes in the floor: for example, the holes around the hot-water pipes in our heat runs. Of course, the queen-of-the-world (our cat) has just decided that this is a new member of our household--SHE DOES NOTHING but looks at it and walks away! And it has nothing to do with the fact she has no claws--it is just that she is so lazy. I'm sure she wants ME to get the damn thing and present it to her to play with--just like with flies and other bugs.

Anyway, K put down a live trap for the thing and the following morning he saw evidence that the food had been eaten--and NO chipmunk was in the trap. The trap was too big--the chipmunk didn't weigh enough! (This was the smallest live trap he could find.) So he decided 'no more Mr. Nice Guy' and went out to get a rat trap--he was done worrying about killing the damn thing. The following morning, the chipmunk had set off the trap and escaped none the worse for wear! I think the thing is too smart for its own good. I told him we HAVE to have the thing out of the house before we go out of town--I just don't know what we will do with all of our food if a chipmunk is allowed to have full access to the house. After all, it's not as if the cat will do anything about it!

Friday, August 11, 2006

FYI

Facts about psoriasis
According to the National Institutes of Health, as many as 7.5 million Americans have psoriasis—a chronic, noncontagious skin disease that causes itchy, painful, red patches. It's a common disease that can develop in anyone, regardless of age, gender or race. It can affect nearly every aspect of a person's life.

During Psoriasis Awareness Month in August, and throughout the year, the National Psoriasis Foundation educates others about the disease. Psoriasis isn't contagious, but awareness is!

Psoriasis is not contagious.
People with psoriasis often face discrimination and embarassment in public places. They're turned away from hair salons, swimming pools, health clubs, clothing stores and restaurants, simply because others fear psoriasis is contagious. It's not. You can't catch psoriasis from someone else. Psoriasis lesions are not infectious and pose no threat to the health or safety of others.

Psoriasis is not a rash.
Some people think psoriasis is a cosmetic problem. In fact, psoriasis is a genetic disease that starts beneath the skin's surface. The immune system sends faulty signals to speed up skin cell growth, causing thickened, scaly lesions on the skin.

Ten percent to 30 percent of people with psoriasis also develop psoriatic arthritis.
Psoriatic arthritis is a potentially disabling condition that causes pain, stiffness and swelling in and around the joints. People with psoriatic arthritis may have difficulty sleeping, using their hands, or walking, sitting and standing for long periods of time. Just getting through the day can be an uphill battle.

Psoriasis carries a serious physical and emotional burden.
According to researchers, psoriasis causes as much disability as other major diseases, including cancer, arthritis, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and depression.

The emotional toll of psoriasis can be just as much of a burden as the physical aspects. People with the disease may feel hopeless, helpless, depressed and isolated.

There is no cure for psoriasis, but there are effective treatments.
Over the past several years, many new treatments have been developed for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. But some people give up on treatment because of cost, hassle or a feeling of hopelessness.

Psoriasis is a lifelong disease, with alternating periods of flareups and clearing. People with psoriasis often face a lifetime of trial and error to find a treatment that works.


On a personal note: I have had psoriasis since I was 18 years old. So far, most people would not know this by looking at me, as I am able to cover up most of my problem areas. I have a mild to moderate case of psoriasis and, as of right now, my disease is mostly of a cosmetic nature. I have not been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis as of yet, but I think I am beginning to develop it and it is only a matter of time before it becomes a problem. I am hoping there will be a cure within my lifetime. I offer these facts as a way to educate people and, hopefully, keep one person from suffering any embarrassment because of a condition they cannot control.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Another Meme--by way of Red and Red

Found this on Red's blog, who found it on Red's blog (though I don't know where this Red's post went!), so I thought I would give it a go!

Do you sleep with your closet door open or closed?
Have to keep the doors on the closet closed or the cat goes into the farthest corner to sleep—then I can’t find her forever!

Do you take the shampoos and conditioner bottles from hotels?
I always take the ‘amenities’ from hotels—I donate them to the local women’s shelter when I have enough.

Have you ever stolen a street sign before?
No—nothing I ever thought of doing.

Would you rather be attacked by a big bear or a swarm of bees?
I guess I would have to go with the bear—I have a deathly fear of bees.

What is your biggest pet peeve?
WAY too many pet peeves to even begin to list them!

Do you ever dance if there's no music playing?
On occasion—but the cat looks at me funny, so I don’t usually. (It is REALLY sad when the cat looks at you as if you have lost your mind!)

What's your favorite scary movie?
The first Alien movie—scared the bejeebers out of me!

Where would you bury hidden treasure?
Most anywhere in the UP of Michigan—I’m STILL convinced there are many bodies buried up here that haven’t been found yet!

What is your "song of the week"?
Still listening to The Best of Chris Isaak before falling asleep and John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton when I’m driving—so they are my ‘CDs of the week’ instead of ‘song of the week.’

Is it OK for guys to wear pink?
I guess whatever floats your boat…

What movies could you watch over and over and still love?
Secondhand Lions, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dreamhouse, Men In Black 1 & 2, all of the Matrix movies, Animal House, Blues Brothers, Arsenic and Old Lace—just a partial list. All of these I could watch any time.

Were you ever a boy/girl scout?
Was a brownie, then was a girl scout years later—but not for too long. I also was in 4-H.

What is your usual bedtime?
No usual bedtime—I’m an empty-nester night owl, so your guess is as good as mine!

When you were a kid, what did you dress up as for Halloween?
I really can’t remember any of my costumes from when I was a kid. I DO remember The Mother and me dressing up as male and female hoboes after I was married—we went around to see if anyone knew who we were. None did.

Who is better... Leno or Letterman?
Always have been a fan of Leno, but he is starting to wear on me—don’t watch him as much as I used to.

Occupations you wanted to be when you were a kid?
Telephone operator, doctor, medical researcher…don’t remember what else.

Cheetos or Fritos?
Cheetos, Fritos, Doritos, Funyuns, chips, pretzels, popcorn…tell me to stop at any time!

Astronomy or astrology?
Astronomy—I LOVE to watch the stars. My youngest daughter and I always waited for the meteorite showers every year so we could go out and watch the ‘falling stars.’

Is there a profession you picture your future spouse doing?
He is my present—and only—spouse and I only imagine him retiring in the future. God helps us all!

How well would you adapt to living in an Amish community?
Me, girl geek, living WITHOUT a computer, TV, VCR, DVD player, MP3 player, PDA, cell phone…yeah, RIGHT!

Put your iPod on random. What song comes up?
I DON’T do iPods—I have a Zen Micro! And the song that would come up most often is Layla by Eric Clapton—I have it in there multiple times.

Do you burn incense?
Haven’t for YEARS. I always remember The Mother burning it to hide the smell of cigarette smoke—this was when she pretended not to smoke.

Hot tea or cold tea?
Either way—depends on the time of year.

Tea or coffee?
Usually coffee—but we are really getting into the whole tea thing, also.

Can you swim well?
Barely.

Can you hold your breath without manually holding your nose?
Ah, YEAH.

Which are better, black or green olives?
Don’t care for olives, but will, on occasion, eat black ones.

Do you have any godchildren?
The Brother’s youngest girl is my godchild—I wasn’t allowed to be for the three oldest because they were baptized Catholic.

Red Roof or Econolodge?
Never been in either.

Do you like to go camping?
You’re talking to the one who couldn’t have made it at Woodstock because there were no showers! Camping and me—won’t happen.

Are you suddenly realizing that maybe you're more high-maintenance than you're willing to admit?
Older I get, the more high-maintenance I am—and I’m worth it!

If your parents are still married, do they have a good marriage?
I guess—don’t talk to them much, but they have been married 52 years, so I guess they are okay with each other.

What is your favorite episode of Fresh Prince of Bel Air?
Never was a real big fan, so I have no answer.

Watching And Waiting

The chipmunk is still here--in my pantry. K has the back door open--just hope no more chippies come in--and is waiting for it to leave. It isn't working, as he has been waiting and watching for about a half hour. And, of course, the lazy, good for nothing cat of ours is upstairs having her post-nighttime, post-morning-snack, early-afternoon nap. This, of course, is before her early-evening-snack, mid-evening nap. Which in turn occurs before she has her main meal and main sleep of the day. She has a good life. And she still doesn't do a damn thing for her room and board!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Feeling A Little Squirrelly

Actually, that should read 'chipmunky'. Yep, we have had another critter in the house--this time a chipmunk in the basement.

I heard something making noise in the basement this morning. When I went to look, the cat greeted me at the bottom of the steps and I continued to hear the chipmunk chirping--obviously she had been stalking it. I got K out of bed to go and look, but he didn't see anything. We waited awhile and then just came upstairs. We hope--too optimistically, I'm afraid--that the little bugger found its way back out of the house. Of course, K still has to work one more night shift, so I will be alone if the damn thing decides to come upstairs. Oh, fun. I can't wait for winter when all these things will be hibernating--as long as they aren't hibernating in the house!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Living and Breathing...HOCKEY

We live and breathe hockey here in the UP of Michigan. We are much closer to Canada in the way we regard hockey than most--if not all--of the other states. For example: C is talking about putting their boy in hockey this year--he just turned two! Just to warn my readers: I WILL be talking hockey A LOT this year.

Our town is, once again, going to be home to a Junior 'A' hockey team--they will start their season (at home) on 23 September. I hope to attend many games. Junior 'A' hockey is for players in high school through 20 years old--this is a way for them to improve their skills before going onto college or pro teams. It is a very big deal that we have a team of this caliber here--this is a great opportunity for local players (of sufficient talent) to be able to stay closer to home and play at this level. I'm really hoping they will have the amount of support (mainly financial) needed to keep them here for a long, long time.

The local university plays the university from our 'home town' every year for a series of games. This year it looks as if we will be able to attend--K's work schedule is cooperating. K's sister and niece--who works for the 'up-north' university--come into town to attend the game and we go together and work out our friendly rivalry. Of course, I'm a bit conflicted: original home-town team versus present home-town team--I just go to watch good hockey, which it usually is.

I don't know if we will be able to attend any Red Wings games this year--they ARE awfully expensive and we would have to travel almost 500 miles to get to a game. It actually is closer for us to go to St. Paul when the Wings play the Wild. Pretty sad. I still am bummed out to think the Wings will be in the same arena we will be seeing Clapton play--playing a pre-season game--just three days after we are there. Damn! Oh, well.

Specially for RT: Sorry I won't be able to lord it over you when the Wings beat the Flyers, but they just aren't playing in the same conference--DAMN! You KNOW the Wings would mop up the ice with the Flyers! (And don't think for a second I haven't noticed you stalking me across the blogosphere trying to start trouble! ;) Go WINGS!)

Not Much Going On

I have really felt out of it since this weekend. I just feel tired and not wanting to do anything. Don't know why--I guess I just get emotionally exhausted whenever I have to be within 20 miles of The Family.

I dropped off the gift at the shower on Saturday and got the reception I expected. Not even going to get into it. I have to admit, though, that I came away with a great feeling of jealousy--the gifts on the table for The Niece were more and bigger than A got for her wedding gifts. A got enough Tupperware to choke a horse and I doubt The Niece got one piece of Tupperware--the boxes were WAY too big. Oh, well, A didn't do things the proper way: she lived with her husband before getting married, he doesn't have a "fantastic" job, she doesn't have a "fantastic" job, she wasn't given an "outrageously expensive" engagement ring, her and her husband didn't build a "fabulous" home, and she didn't get married in The Parent's church. The Niece did it all the correct way, so, I guess, she is being rewarded. Enough of that.

Looks like K and I will be taking a trip to St. Paul, MN next week--this is where A and her husband live. I have never been there, so it will be fun. K wanted to get there before we go back for the concert next month--he said it would be a good idea to at least know WHERE we are going! There is an outlet mall--yes, I WILL shop--about 45 minutes from A's house, so I can't wait. K wants to do some school shopping for the grandkids.

Got to see all of the progress C and her husband have done on the house--I can't believe how much better it looks. They should be completely moved in within the next day or two. We helped out a bit on Saturday and K went back again on Sunday. We have given them so much stuff from our house, that it is starting to look empty--and I am LOVING it! I guess we will stop now as there just isn't any more to give.

For the next few days it is supposed to be cooler--today we barely got to 70 degrees--YAY!!!! I just can't wait for fall. The cat is happy, too, because we had the windows open all day and she got a chance to sit and look outside--AND have the wind blow in her face. The rest of the week is jam-packed full of fun for me: K is on night shift, so I get the house to myself, I have to decide what day I will call and make my 60 minute appointment with my internist (yippee), and I have a hair appointment on Thursday. My heart just can't take all this excitement! Hope your week is more interesting.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Insurance

Please, don't get me wrong--I KNOW we have it pretty good when it comes to our insurance coverage. The problem is, we USED TO have so much BETTER coverage than we have now. Every contract, the union gives so much more back to the company, and it always seems to be our benefits. Anyway, I just want everyone to know how grateful I AM for what we have, but I still have to rant about our insurance.

Dental coverage. Orthodontics are only covered--50%--for anyone under the age of 19. I passed that a loooooooong time ago. We had to pay for my braces out-of-pocket. The bitch of it is, I didn't get them for the cosmetic appeal, I got them because of my TMJ and chewing problems. Of course, the problems I had were JUST beginning, so they weren't HORRIBLE medical problems when I decided to do something about them. But, our insurance (as most of them don't) doesn't pay for preventative, only pays to FIX a problem you actually have. Of course, it costs LESS to pay to prevent damage than to wait and try to fix the problem AFTER damage has been done--but insurance companies don't see the logic to that. (I must say, though, we DO have 100% preventative in terms of 6 month check-ups. They DON'T pay for adults to get fluoride treatments, though.) Now, I have gone back to grinding my teeth while I sleep--took awhile after the braces were removed, but I'm doing it again. At the rate I am going with the grinding, I will, eventually, break at least two of my molars and need them to be restored. Gold crowns--which is what I will need when the two teeth need to be fixed the next time--cost about $800 each. Our insurance company pays about 50% of the cost of a crown. To keep me from breaking my teeth, my orthodontist had a night guard made for me. This cost $400. The insurance sent me a letter yesterday refusing to pay any of the cost. But they would GLADLY (well, maybe not gladly) pay at least $800 to have at least two teeth fixed instead. It doesn't make sense to me.

I got my bill from the hospital for when I had to have the stitches in my leg. They charged $435. $200 went for the use of the room and $235 went for the doctor to put in 4 stitches. I still haven't gotten the statement from the insurance company. I don't have a clue as to how much of that bill we will have to pay. Every year, the insurance seems to change to a certain extent, so I NEVER have a clue as to what our out-of-pocket expenses will be. Every time I think I know what is going on, a statement comes and blows my thinking right out of the water. I THINK we will have to pay 80% of the bill, but I'm not sure if we have met our deductible yet. And I don't know if an ER visit is looked at differently than a regular doctor visit. And to top it all off, this is the first year we have to deal with this new insurance company. Oh, well, it should be interesting. Between my mouth guard, ER visit, and the crown that K is having done in the next month, we have a chunk of change going out. Yay. I love medical expenses.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

'Hound Dog' Bests 'Teddy Bear'

I saw this story on the morning news and just had to laugh--along with the entire TV crew and 'newsreader'! In England there is a teddy bear museum with many valuable teddy bears on display--one of them a bear owned by Elvis. This museum had great security: a doberman named Barney. Barney went nutso overnight and, while on a rampage, destroyed many of the bears. Now, the story itself isn't really funny, it's the pictures (actually, I saw tape on the news) of the poor dog--he looks like Mel Gibson (I'm not knocking Mel, it is just a good reference) should have looked the day after his arrest: contrite, embarrassed, and drooling! Read the entire story here.

Remembering...

I thought I would write a list of all of the world events I remember. These are all things I distinctly remember--NOT something I read about and THINK I remember when they happened. This will be the first part of my list. And, by the way, this proves just how very old I am! :)

--the day JFK was shot
--the Summer of Love
--the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show
--women’s lib
-- "Make love, not war"
--the Vietnam War
--hippies
--the peace movement
--draft dodgers
--the sexual revolution/free love
--the “Pill”
--1968 Democratic National Convention
--Martin Luther King, Jr. assassination
--race riots
--anti-war demonstrations/riots
--Robert Kennedy’s assassination
--Jimi Hendrix rendition of the Star Spangled Banner
--LSD and pot
--Woodstock (but after the fact)
--the Detroit Tigers’ 1968 World Series win
--psychedelic EVERYTHING
--Janis Joplin dying
--Jimi Hendrix dying
--Jim Morrison dying
-- ‘Mama’ Cass Elliot dying
--John Lennon being shot
--the first man on the moon
--Nixon resignation
--disco (but not too much—I was listening to hard rock)
--the Monkees
--oil crisis of 1973 and 1979 (gas rationing)
--The Godfather
--The Exorcist
--Deep Throat
--pocket calculators
--Watergate
--Saturday Night Live

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Just Ranting

I am going to be self-indulgent again and rant about The Family. This is just a warning to those who would rather not read my selfish goings-on.

One of The Nieces is getting married on 2 September and her bridal shower is this weekend. Naturally, I have been invited to said shower. I will be expected to give a gift for this, as well as for the wedding. Ordinarily, I have no problem with giving gifts and I usually go above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to purchasing special gifts. This would be the time for me to give very special gifts. Except...

My youngest just got married and had a celebration party 'back home' (where The Niece lives, will be married, and will live after she is married) two weeks ago. A and her husband got some nice gifts and a nice amount of money as gifts--just as they should have! This was a party for, mainly, relatives and I have given THEIR kids gifts for years and it was time for them to give something to one of mine. And they came through nicely, EXCEPT...The Brother, his wife, their THREE adult, working daughters, one fiance of one of the daughters, and their school-aged daughter, all gave ONE card and ONE check totaling $50. Six working adults came up with $50 for The Brother's ONLY sibling's child--and all but the fiance live in the same house. I feel as if this was a slap in my face--this amounted to less than $10 per person--and don't forget: THIS IS FOR A VERY CLOSE RELATIVE!!! My husband and I give AT LEAST $25 (usually more for a close relative) for a graduation gift--and we are a single-income household! To top it all off, our closet friends gave A and her husband that same amount of money as a present, but THEY ALSO GAVE HER A SEPARATE GIFT! And these people are not relatives!

Now, my question is: Was this a slap in the face? Do I have a right to be hurt? (I only know about this because A, very sheepishly, told me about it while we were talking. I had asked her, point-blank, what they had given her. And, she was hurt.) Is this a 'tit-for-tat' situation? I know I can't get away with NOT giving gifts for this wedding, but do I just give a token gift and be done with it? I really am leaning towards the 'give a gift, but nothing too special and DEFINITELY not expensive' idea. Anyone with any ideas? (And, yes, I know there is the 'taking the higher road' way of being, but with The Family I am too tired to do that anymore--it doesn't work and it is just plain exhausting.)

Just Bits

--I actually think this is kind of a neat idea: An egg company in the UK has developed an ink which can be imprinted onto eggs. This ink will become visible when the egg is cooked to perfection. You can read the story here.

--Okay, I love my cat--and I AM an animal-of-all-sorts lover--but I think this may be a bit too much. You can now buy FLAVORED BOTTLED water for your dog. Only $7.49 for a 4-pak. And this is going for an animal that will regularly drink out of a toilet bowl if given the chance. Right. Although, I DO have to admit I think Frosty Paws are quite a cute idea!

--The Red Wings have FINALLY signed a starting goalie: Dominik Hasek. Can't call him a NEW goalie, as he has played for Detroit before--AND helped them win the Cup in 2002. He is 41 years old and has been plagued with injuries in the past, so who is to say what he will be able to do this season. Chris Osgood will be the back-up goalie. I realize the age-thing helps a lot in terms of maturity and the ability to play under pressure, but the Wings HAVE to start thinking about getting some younger players. I thought with Yzerman (41 years old) retiring and Shanahan (37 years old) leaving, they would only have Chelios (44 years old) to worry about in terms of age--but I guess not. Now, they will have at least 8 players aged 35 or older. Yikes! Really, hockey is so very hard on the body that it can't possibly be considered an old man's game. I still have hope for the season, though. (Oh, Lord, help me--I ACTUALLY called someone 44-years-old, OLD! I am ashamed.)