Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Lost In Translation

I don't believe I have ever posted this story. If I have, sorry. Hope you enjoy.

As I have said before, my great-grandparents never learned to speak English--despite the fact they lived here in the US for over 60 years. Actually, they really didn't need to learn, as they lived in a part of the country where a great many Finnish people lived. (The UP of Michigan has the largest concentration of Finnish people outside of Finland.) This didn't cause too many problems for them, unless they were confronted with the telephone.

My g-grandfather never used the telephone very often. I'm not sure if it was because of his lack of being able to speak English or a distrust of technology. There were, however, times when he HAD to answer the phone. He had quite a unique way of doing this. The phone would ring, he would pick up the receiver and announce, "Nobody home." (in an EXTREMELY thick Finnish accent), and hang up. End of phone call.

Great-grandma, however, used the phone every day. With her love of gossip, I don't believe she could have been apart from the phone for an entire day. She did fine, usually. And one day she had trouble. For some reason, she wasn't dialing the number she wanted correctly--she kept getting the recorded message "The number you want cannot be completed as dialed. Please dial the operator for assistance." After getting this message several times in a row, g-grandma got extremely frustrated, screamed in the phone "I don't give a shit your sister," and banged the receiver down. Obviously, she mistook 'assistance' for 'sister' and let the 'operator' know, in no uncertain terms, that she really doesn't care.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Just Call Me Betty Crocker

I don't bake. At all. Anymore. K and I certainly don't need to eat the stuff--we both need to lose way too much weight--and I just don't feel like spending the time doing it. But this wasn't always the case.

The years we gave Christmas gifts to every person we know (and some that I'm sure we DIDN'T know), I would bake and give the baked goods as gifts. And I was totally crazy in the amount of stuff I would bake. This is my list from years gone by:

  • Nisu-12 loaves (this is Finnish cardomon sweet bread)
  • Cranberry bread-6 loaves
  • M&M cookies-2 batches
  • Sugar cookies-1 batch
  • Peanut butter kiss cookies-2 double batches
  • Spritz cookies-1 batch each of three flavors
  • Caramel corn-4 batches
  • Chex party mix-8 batches
  • Fudge-4 batches
  • Peanut brittle-2 batches
I just get tired writing that list. A bit nuts, right? And I did it every year for way too long. If I didn't have at least 10 dozen of each of the various cookies I made in the freezer by the second week of December, I was way behind. As it was, I didn't finish up my baking until a half hour before the last gift had to be delivered on Christmas Eve.

And all of that is over. This year I made my mustard sauce, Oreo truffles, ham & cheese crescents, cowboy caviar, mulled apple cider and ham & pineapple cracker spread. Period. I really like this minimalist attitude I have developed.

As is the way it is supposed to be, my Christmas baking tradition has been passed down to the next generation. While both of my girls do a lot of baking, I only get to sample what The Youngest does. Her 'big' gift to us every year is a basket of baked goods. And I must say, she does me proud. This year we got: 3 different kinds of cookies, caramel corn, Chex mix, nisu, cranberry bread, and prune AND apricot pinwheel tarts. I am so impressed with her: She makes pinwheel tarts and I have never made any in my life. And this is despite the fact that they are a big Finnish tradition here.

Piwheel prune tarts are one of the things that most of us just can't wait for at Christmastime. You start with a sweetened pastry dough and cut out squares. You then cut the squares so that you can fashion piwheels out of the pastry. Before folding the edges in, you put a spoonful of a prune mixture in the middle of the pastry square. (To make the mixture, you boil prunes till soft. Then you add a bit of lemon juice and sugar and mash. Also, some people prefer apricots instead of prunes, so a lot of people make both kinds.) You then fold in the edges to make a small pinwheel-shaped pastry and bake. (All of this prep has been made much easier with the manufactured tart cutters that are now available.) After baking, some people drizzle a bit of a glaze on top--as my mother-in-law did. These are the greatest things in the world to eat--if they are made correctly. And The Youngest makes them correctly. I am absolutely in awe of her skills. And I ate more than half of the tarts--both prune AND apricot.

And now for too much information: My body is not liking what I did to it, still. That is the one thing I DON'T like about these--I eat WAY too many, WAY too fast. And I pay the price for many days after. But that is what the holidays bring--too much indulgence. And that isn't too bad a thing, as long as it ends in a reasonable amount of time. ;)

cookie love

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Maybe Later

A month or so ago we heard the news that K's nephew's oldest daughter was pregnant. She was finishing up her last bit at the university and was on her way to begin her life and she got side tracked a bit. Last night, we got the phone call that she lost the baby. He was 17 weeks old, about 6" long and perfect in every way. There is no explanation as to what the problem was and there probably never will be. I am incredibly sadden by this because it brings back memories of C losing her first son 7 years ago. I want to DO something to make things better, but know there is nothing I CAN do. It is hard to feel so powerless. This just brings another depressing element to the Christmas season for K's family. (His Dad died a couple of weeks before Christmas, so that anniversary is always there.)

I have a few ideas for posts, but they tend to be whimsical and humorous--emotions I'm not feeling at the moment. I'm sure things will be better tomorrow. Stay tuned...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

All WILL Be Well

As I sit here enjoying my last cup of coffee before the frenzy that is Christmas Eve begins, I am quite content. The Youngest and her husband got here late yesterday evening and we have had a wonderful visit so far. They have gone to do some last-minute walk-through of the mall and The Husband just got out of bed. (He did his last night shift last night.) The house is quiet and peaceful. I know, however, that through the next few days I will go through every emotion there is. There will be anger, sadness, joy, rage, love, and above all, melancholy. This is as it always is with me and always will be. There will be many days of contemplation over the next few weeks--as always happens at this time of year. But as of this moment, I am content and know I will be fine.

I want to wish everyone a wonderful Christmas. To those who sent personal greetings to me, I'm so sorry I didn't get back to you--but know you are in my thoughts. Eat, drink, and be merry--because the beginning of January, we ALL will be on diets!

And remember the REAL Reason for the Season!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Not Even A Lump Of Coal?

I'm deep in my holiday depression, so I might as well continue with very depressing posts. Today is no exception.

I LOVE getting presents. I have no guilt admitting this. While I like giving things to everyone I love, I almost think I enjoy receiving more. I'm like a little kid when it comes to getting things. Just the thought that someone made the effort to get me something that I would like, is heartwarming. I realize a lot of this comes from not getting exactly what I wanted when I was a child--The Family didn't have all that much money--and I wait to see if the present I open is something I really, really like. Much of the time, I am pleasantly pleased with what I find. Almost as many times, I am not very happy. There are far too few people--read that as 'family'--who don't put much thought into what I might want. (My friends read me very well and very, very few times am I disappointed in what they get me.)

This year there will be no presents under the tree for me--other than the possibility of something from The Youngest and her husband. Nothing comes from The Oldest and her family. I realize that they are on an extremely tight budget, with eight in the family and only part time jobs, but still. She talks about the kids making homemade gifts and she tells me about the name exchange they participate in with The Family, but nothing comes into our house from them. While I have insisted on backing off to an extent, we provide an awful lot of money and articles cost-free to their household. It is our decision to buy things for them, but I'm beginning to feel very much taken for granted these days. I am pretty positive that The Mother and The Father don't go without gifts from my kids and grandkids--ever. And I am just as sure that they don't provide hardly anything to The Oldest and her family. But still, they are treated more like her parents than we are. It hurts--deeply.

So, where does The Husband come into the picture? There will be nothing from him this year, either. At the beginning of the month, he suggested we buy a computer as our Christmas gift to ourselves--and I agreed. However, I changed that to TWO computers, as I would NOT be happy with our laptop if I have a new desktop to use. And it is hard enough for the two of us to share the desktop we have, so we really need separate computers to keep a happy home. (The laptop we have was a mistake for us to buy. We spent too much and didn't get anything more than someplace to play basic games. Live and learn.) While I knew I could get two computers for what he wanted to spend, upon further research, I KNEW we couldn't live with anything that basic. I am so over getting 'the biggest, fastest, most powerful' computer, but I won't get the bottom of the barrel, either. So, because of less than $500, I haven't ordered the computers. We can't come to an agreement on how much to spend. (Really, all he has to do is go up on what to spend and I can come down a bit--it could work.) And there will be no gift for me this Christmas. This year will suck eggs, big time.

And, what does this mean for The Husband, in terms of what is under the tree? Well, I won't be going all out as I usually do, but I WILL be putting gifts under the tree for him. I can't stand to think of anyone going without having gifts to open on Christmas Eve--and I won't allow it to happen. Maybe I should get myself something to open, just so I won't feel left out? :|

Part of the problem I have with not getting presents is the fact that The Husband and I are very much ignored throughout the year. IF we get cards--only from The Youngest, I might add--that is the extent of how we are acknowledged at special times through the year. This includes birthdays, anniversary, and Mother's and Father's Day. Thing is, I KNOW in-laws and The Parents are NOT ignored on their special days, because I have seen the presents purchased for them. It is so hard to not show how bitter I feel at times. It is so, so hard to not feel appreciated by your own kids. It is like a dagger through the heart--literally.

Now, I didn't post this so that people will feel sorry for me. My blog is a place for me to vent, that is all. I'm a big girl and will survive this year, just as I have survived all of the rest of them. Mid-January, the latest, I will be fine. Until then, I will wallow in self-pity. We all need to wallow at times--mine just happens at this time of the year.


(I realize I will feel like an absolute ass on Friday if things turn out to be different than this scenario. And I WILL admit my mistake, right here, with face red as Santa's suit. But I don't believe I will have to swallow my pride and admit my mistake. I've lived with these people way too long to not know how they are. Such is life. :|)

A Little Late...

I had my first cry of the season tonight. It is a bit later than usual, but it definitely won't be the last before the new year. I hate this time of year.

Sad

Monday, December 21, 2009

Scrinchy

I'm NOT in a good mood. It started yesterday and I'm not sure why. All I know is that the scrinchiness has finally set in and I am absolutely sure this will be the suckiest Christmas I have ever had. It just doesn't feel as if anything is going to go right. And I am on schedule to get everything done in time and everything. Damn. I hate feeling like this--and, unfortunately, I am very rarely wrong when I get these feelings. It is probably a lock that this Christmas is going to suck eggs--big time.

Grrrr

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Pointless Wondering

I ordered something for my girls and myself for Christmas. Of course, I get to use MY gift before they even open theirs, but whatever. The gift I got us is called a Droodle. It is a notepad that can be used in wet/damp situations--like in the shower.


I have ALWAYS had great and wonderful thoughts while showering--change the world type of things--but have always forgotten them by the time I got where I could write them down. My mind wanders so much when I do things unconsciously--LIKE showering--that I needed something in which to write down these fantastically wonderful thoughts. And so I bought myself a Droodle. And it wasn't too soon, because I had a great thought last night.

The indigenous people of the US are called Native Americans. WHAT do they call the indigenous people of Canada? Are they also called Native Americans?

Now, after reading that, aren't you THRILLED that I can write down my every thought while showering? :D

(Seriously, though--are the Canadian indigenous people called Native Americans, too? I REALLY want to know!)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Merry Christmas--Politically

Saw this during my rounds of the Gore* and thought it was pretty good.


Christmas cards sent to my friends of different persuasions:

To All My Democrat Friends:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or explicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2010, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere . Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

To My Republican Friends:

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Kind of the way things are these days. :D



*Also something I picked up on my surfs--alluding to Al Gore saying he 'created' the internet.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Quite Cute, Actually



So, the above little critter is kind of cute, isn't it? Well, that is a plush, very, very enormous, representation of the swine flu virus. Still cute? I think so. Anyway, someone came up with the idea of making viruses into stuffed toys--and they are sold here. I think having some of these in a doctor's office would be a hoot! I have every intention to get the 4 menageries for The Youngest, so she can display them at the clinic where she works. What a fun way to remind people to get heartworm meds for their dogs!


(I'm sorry if I have posted about this site before--which I think I have--but it is just too fun to not post about one more time.)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Interesting

I mentioned a while back that my GYN of more than 25 years has retired. This left me with having to find a new doctor and I decided to just go with the one who inherited all of his files--at least I'll see her for one time and decide whether I stay there or not. I made my yearly appointment for next month and yesterday I received an envelope in the mail from the office. Inside were papers that need to be filled out along with a 'welcome to our office' letter. It was the standard stuff--parking directions, where they are located, etc--until I got to the end of the letter. It stated that the office is completely scent-free and I am to abstain from wearing any perfume or scented lotion for my appointment. Is this something new that doctor offices are doing or is this a bit of a fluke with this office? I have never heard of this before. So many questions come to mind.

  • I wear perfume every day of my life--just something I do. It is like breathing for me--totally a habit and not something I consciously do. If I inadvertently put some on before going to the office, will they ask me to leave and make a new appointment?
  • Is this policy due to a worker's allergies or is this for their patients' well-being?
  • Does this mean that the office personnel are deodorant-free? Or have they figured out that you CAN buy unscented deodorant?

While I do have an aversion to over-powering perfume/aftershave/cologne, I get physically ill whenever I smell a 'natural' person. Even 'good, honest' sweat tends to nauseate me. I'm hoping there will be none of that in that office.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Do It All Over Again

After all of the cleaning I have been doing lately, I am finding that I have to start all over again. My cat is dropping fur faster than a Christmas tree drops needles on December 26th! I am very close to changing this:




To this:


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Octopus

Very, very, very fascinating article and videos on octopi at National Geographic. It shows an octopus carrying around a coconut shell to use as a shelter when needed. The octopus seems to be an even smarter creature than chimpanzees when it comes to using tools. Quite interesting and the video is just great.



The full video is at the National Geographic site.

OMG!!!

I have no problem with people owning guns, even though we have none. I feel it is the right of every citizen to have them if they want. And I think I side more with the NRA than with the 'left' on registering, etc. But really, I think this just makes Americans look like a bunch of yahoos!



And they even have a website. Really...is this a problem for most people? I'm assuming this commercial was shown regionally around the US because I never saw it before and I see most of the stupid commercials and infomercials with my living vampire hours and all.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Saturday Night

The night was all about hockey. We got to the ice arena with plenty of time to spare, making sure to get 'our' seats. I really didn't need to worry, as the university had men's and women's basketball games going at the same time--against a local rival. Attendance at the hockey game was down by about 150, but a decent crowd, nevertheless. Announced attendance was 724.

I was a bit concerned with how the Rangers would play. This was the third game in as many days for them. I know the guys are very young, but that many games will take their toll, no matter how young/old a person is. And they didn't play up to their abilities. While they lost by only one, they only scored once on eight powerplay opportunities--NOT good. And they didn't get their first goal until the third period! I was beginning to worry that they WOULDN'T score. And the first goal was the reason for it being a special night.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, this was the 2nd annual teddy bear toss. As I hadn't been to one before, I had no idea how the whole thing worked. I knew the teddy bears were to be tossed on the ice after the Rangers' first goal, but that was all. As I said, I was getting concerned that there would be no goals and the stuffed toys would have to be tossed at the end of the game, but the guys came through at the beginning of the third and scored. Almost before the horn sounded, to signal the goal, people started throwing the toys through the air. (I thought there might be an announcement, but it didn't come.) It was quite neat watching the ice get littered with toys--and as far as I can tell, no one got hit. I KNEW my throwing arm wasn't as good as it used to be, so I had K toss our contributions--and even HE didn't get them very far onto the ice. I now know that I never would gotten them over the boards. Once the rain of toys was done, the Ranger players themselves went around and gathered them up. They picked up at least two large garbage cans full of toys. Not a bad showing for only the second year. (I will post final numbers when /if they are announced.) I REALLY wish I could have taken a video, or at least a picture--but everything happened much too fast for me to get it done.

Even with the final score, the night was fun. We got to see good hockey, I didn't freeze my ass off--I had to wear TWO sets of Cuddle Duds to pull THAT off--and we got to contribute to a child's happiness in a roundabout way. And then we came home and watched the Wings win THEIR game, so I was a pretty happy camper.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Saturday Funny

Everyone knows I'm not an Apple fan and I have no intentions of ever getting an iPhone. And I do find the 'there's an app for that' commercials a bit annoying. I will NEVER see one the same way again.




HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! (via icanhascheezburger)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Teddy Bear Toss

Since starting my hockey blog, I don't post too often about hockey here. I am making an exception today. Tomorrow night we will be attending the Rangers' 2nd annual teddy bear toss--and I HAD to post pictures of the bears that I will be tossing. I have two of them because we didn't get to the game last year.




All of the stuffed toys will be donated to the hospital, fire departments, and police departments to be given to children in stressful situations. This should be a fun night.

Christmas Decorating

I finished my decorating today! YAY!!!! And I'm only two weeks later than I usually am! BOO!! But, I am done. So I decided to post some pictures.

I currently have two Christmas-themed collections that I regularly add to. One of my collections is angels. Right now I am displaying two shelves full, but I still have quite a few more angels that I DON'T put out. I just don't have the room to put them all out. I have my favorites and unique angels on display.



My other collection is Nativities. I have fourteen and seem to get at least one new one every year. I only have one 'traditional' Nativity and several vintage ones. Each one is unique in some way.



It took me years to finally get the centerpiece for my dining room table the way I wanted it. I have done this for the past few years and still am not tired of it.



Finally, this is our tree. All of the ornaments I made myself, including the tree top angel. One of these years I plan on making a garland, also, but that probably is just wishful thinking on my part.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

HA HA!

Yeah, It's Winter

Today K and I had hair appointments and thank goodness the weather quit blizzarding. (I don't think that's a real word, but it says what I want.) I'm not sure just how much snow we got over the last 36 hours, but it was a lot. Everything is covered and K had to do quite a bit of shoveling this morning. And it is always a learning experience to go out and about after the first big snowfall of the year.

After our appointments, we needed to go to the grocery store. K parked the Envoy and I opened the door, stepped out, and promptly fell on my ass. Actually, it was more on my tailbone. I don't think I even got all of my weight on my foot when I went down. I hit a snow-covered ice patch and went down for the count. I'm lucky my head didn't go backwards, cause I would have hit it on the running board, possibly knocking myself out in the process. While I wasn't seriously hurt--at least it doesn't seem so at this time--my jeans were wet through in several places. NOT very comfortable, at all. And what gets me the most: I was wearing snow boots--which I RARELY do--when I fell. I thought that was one of the reasons to wear boots and not sneakers or some other non-snow compatible footwear. Ah, the joys of living in the Great White North*.

As we were driving home, we were following a young woman driving an SUV. She's lucky she was driving a 4-wheel vehicle, because that is the only thing that kept her on the road for as much of the time as she WAS on the road. The first time she spun was going around a corner. As she started turning the 90 degrees, she lost control and wound up facing the direction she just came from. She just looked at us, smiled, and turned back in the direction she wanted to go--just as if this is an everyday occurrence. (Actually, after watching her driving, it probably IS!) She continued in the direction we were going, turning another corner--which she navigated okay--onto a straight street that leads into town. Things were going relatively well--she kept driving through the snow on the side of the road that the plow left--and suddenly she was spinning out of control once again. This time she missed a couple of mailboxes by two feet and wound up with the front end of her vehicle in the snowbank. Thankfully, the banks aren't that high yet, so she was able to back her way out--after three attempts, I might add--and with a wave and smile in our direction, she was on her way once again. I really don't think she made it to her destination, but I'll never know. We turned at one corner and she kept going straight. I very much doubt she ever has driven in snow before.

Adventures in winter living--sounds like a good title for my life here.



*Yes, I know that Canada is the Great White North, but most people think we ARE part of Canada, so I use the term to describe us. Deal with it. ;)

Just A Short Visit

STILL trying to get the house ready for Christmas. Yesterday and today I finished up the cleaning and tonight I started the decorating. Hopefully I will finish tomorrow. I'll be trying to post a bit more regularly after I'm done. Until then, enjoy this:




And no, I don't plan on decorating like this. ;)

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Three Blondes Sharing One Brain

The Oldest and two of her girls were out running errands today. They had to stop at the local hospital to make a delivery to an employee there. Once in the hospital, they went to the elevator in order to go to the second floor. On the second floor, they walked past the six-step staircase they avoided by using the elevator. Oldest said she looked around just to make sure no one saw what dumb-asses they were. :)

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Damaged Goods

And things just keep on getting better. Everyone that reads this blog knows how much I am not a fan of the season. I have been trying to get the house cleaned up and ready for the decorating, but circumstances are not what I want. And here I go, making a short story very, very long.

First, we'll start with my OCD kicking in. I decided to begin my cleaning in our bedroom--not a large room and it doesn't take all that much to get it in decent shape. While cleaning, I decided to do a bit of downsizing and started to remove a whole bunch of 'dust collector'-type stuff we had hanging around--tchotchkes and the like. It worked so well, that when I got to the computer room and sewing room, I figured I would just plow ahead. And I went overboard.

(It was right after the bedroom that I went and cleaned the upstairs bedroom--otherwise known as 'the cat's room.' Other than cleaning up enough fur to make three more cats, nothing very exciting happened.)

My sewing room was a disaster. I have a banquet table in the room--for me to use as a cutting table, etc--and I couldn't see one inch of the top of it. To say there was a lot piled on the table, is an understatment. So, that is where I began--and I went from there. I purged and packed and rearranged and stored within an inch of my life. When I was done in the room, it actually echoed--but it felt so good to have the room cleaned, that I moved on to the computer room.

Our computer room is also our 'office,' so every piece of paperwork that we save is stored here--and every bit of office supplies that a household could ever need. We have a rolltop desk on one wall and a computer desk/center that takes up the most of two other walls. And each of these were piled with unfiled and unsorted stuff of all kinds. And to take it a step further, I had decided to change the 'decor' of the room from whatever it was to a hockey theme. We needed a place to put all of our hockey keepsakes, mementos, and paraphenalia, and the computer room was ideal. This, of course, meant some more purging. Things went quite well, until I was very close to being done--and then IT happened.

I never wear shoes in the house. At the very least, I wear my Birkenstock sandals--without socks. Just my preference and no other reason. This has, on more than one occasion, caused me a lot of problems. Not wearing shoes was what caused me to break my toe, for example. Anyway, there I was when the book began to fall--the heavy, oversized book. Of course, it landed on the top of my foot. The corner of the spine of the oversized book fell on my foot. Immediately, the spot where the book fell turned black. And it hurt. But I was able to continue on with the cleaning, so I did. The following day, I did laundry and got the packing done for our road trip. And on Friday, I walked through stores all day long. We visited with our friends and went to eat and at the end of an extremely full day, I finally took my shoes and socks off so that I could shower. And then I saw it. My foot was black and blue from the ankle all the way to the toes--and it hurt so much to flex my toes that I almost cried. Needless to say, I didn't walk too well today. The only bright spot: my foot doesn't ache when I am at rest. This has put my schedule behind and now I don't know WHEN I will finish decorating the house. I don't need this.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Going Missing

I will be missing in action for a few here. Yesterday I realized that I needed to do a bit of decorating around here and jumped in with both feet. Unfortunately, my OCD kicked in and I have made MUCH more work for myself than is necessary. While I KNOW I have to clean before decorating, no one said I need to completely re-do two rooms! Yes, I am tearing apart my computer and sewing/craft rooms--purging and organizing as I go along. So, between the cleaning, decorating, and a road trip this weekend, the time on this machine will have to be brief. Have a great next few days and I'll be back with a vengeance next week. But then again, I may be back before then--who ever knows.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

THAT'S Why...

I've really never been one to worry about my age. Other than the limitations of my body, I have always thought age was 'just a number.' Most of the time I don't mention my age because almost all of the people I 'talk' with online are younger than me--and I don't want to be dismissed as 'that old lady.' ;) So, why have I been so obsessed with my age lately? I finally figured it out: my birthday was coming up. And that day is today. I decided to end my constant age talk with today's post. And now I present you with: Things I Am Older Than and Things That Are Older Than Me.

Things I Am Older Than:
  1. Disneyland
  2. MTV and (basically) every artist that is on there
  3. NASA
  4. CNN
  5. Facebook, Twitter, the internet, Apple, and Microsoft

Things That Are Older Than Me:
  1. CBS (the TV network)
  2. legalized gambling in Las Vegas
  3. the pyramids of Egypt
  4. dirt
  5. the Rolling Stones

And now, for the first time ever online, I will reveal my age. On this day, 28 November 2009, I am celebrating my 55th birthday. I REALLY feel old writing that. :D

(I have a 'hockey version' of this post over at my other blog.)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

How Things Have Changed

With all of the talk about health care and reform, my thoughts will go to health practices of the past more and more. And, of course, my family has been in the middle of some of the weirdest.

**********

My great-grandmother never learned to speak English. I really don't remember how much she understood, but I usually communicated with her in my limited Finnish, so I'm sure she understood as little as she spoke. As is very common in my family, my GGM had blood pressure issues, so she had to see a doctor on a regular basis. And because none of the local doctors spoke Finn, The Mother had to go with her to her appointments. During one of her physicals, the doctor noticed that GGM didn't have any tonsils. Considering she was born at the end of the 19th century, it was a bit unusual, so the doctor asked when and where did she have the surgery. The Mother translated back that she said she was given turpentine to drink and that she swallowed them because of it. Of course, the doc asked The Mother to ask again, as he was quite aghast at the answer and was sure she didn't understand the question. Upon further questioning, my GGM insisted that she swallowed her tonsils after drinking turpentine. The doctor told The Mother to 'let her believe what she wants.' Actually, turpentine WAS used as a folk remedy for several things--one of which was for sore throats. :)

**********

Back in the 1950's, one of the secrets many housewives had was their addiction to speed. But then, it wasn't a secret from anyone but the menfolk. The Mother, along with her aunts, cousins, and friends, were all using 'diet pills' on a regular basis. Each of them would go to the nearest Dr Feelgood, get a prescription for amphetamines, and then distribute the pills among the rest of the group. When everyone had gone to one doctor--and it was too soon for them to get another prescription--they would find out through the grapevine who the next liberal doctor was and make their appointments accordingly. This went on for quite some time. The Mother was so wired, that she would be up at 3:00 AM, cleaning the UNDERSIDE of the kitchen table with a toothbrush. One day, The Father had enough and took her pills and flushed them down the toilet. Other than her having a major meltdown, she somehow managed to get through the withdrawal on her own.

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Smoking, of course, is the biggest bug-a-boo to continue to haunt some people. (As an ex-smoker, I would beg everyone NOT to start. However, I feel everyone has a right to smoke if they want and I'm sick and tired of the witch hunt against smokers.) This hatred for smoking hasn't always been the case. After The Mother gave birth to The Brother, her obstetrician pulled out his cigarettes, lit one for himself and one for The Mother, and they shared a quiet moment together. This was in the recovery room of the hospital! Talk about different times. Actually, when I gave birth to The Oldest, smoking was still allowed in our hospital. While I wasn't allowed to smoke in my room, I was able to go to the father's 'waiting room' and smoke to my heart's content.

**********

When I was in 9th grade, I had plantar warts. I'm not talking one--the entire ball of my foot was covered in them. It was so bad that I was limping. And because we weren't allowed in the school swimming pool if we had plantar warts, I wound up in the doctor's office to have them removed. (I was pleased to not have to swim, but as swimming was a requirement for my phys ed credit, I needed to get back in the pool.) As my infestation was so bad, the doctor could do nothing in his office. At the time--and probably still to this day--the standard way of handling plantar warts was cutting them out. The doctor said to remove the warts from my foot would require surgery and THAT would require removing a good part of the ball of my foot. (Was this true? Who knows.) So, the recommendation was x-ray therapy. (This wasn't such a far-fetched idea. At the time, acne was also taken care of with x-ray therapy.) I went in once a week for a month and got my warts zapped with x-rays. It worked. After a couple of months, the warts just peeled off of my foot--and I suffered no amount of pain because of it. However, I wonder how much damage has been done to my body over the years because of x-rays. Between the chest x-rays I had as a child, the x-ray therapy, my working in a dentist office (where I took x-rays), and all the rest, I'm sure I have been exposed to more than what I should have.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Eh?

Why do I have the feeling that this is something I could read in our newspaper? :D




from failblog.org

Friday, November 20, 2009

Not Always Right

And this story is NOT from the website.


The Youngest works at the Northside Animal Clinic. Down the street from them is McDonald Animal Hospital. Yesterday, the following happened.

A couple walked in with their (obviously new) puppy.

Woman: Hi. We're the Smith's and we have a 2:30 appointment.
Youngest (after checking the schedule): I'm sorry, but you aren't listed. You probably wanted the McDonald Animal Hospital down the street.
Woman (glaring at The Youngest): This IS the McDonald Animal Hospital!
Youngest: *speechless*

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Over 15,000

At some point during the last couple of days, the 15,000th visitor came to this blog. And I'm sure, once they read a little while, MOST of them never came back. ;D

Monday, November 16, 2009

In The News

Just a couple of WTF? news stories that I feel compelled to comment on. You have been warned.

I know this isn't particularly NEW news, but with the movie coming out this past weekend, I feel it is timely. The movie 2012 is about the destruction of the world. Beyond that, I don't know much more about it. Landmarks of all kinds are 'shown' to be toppling over, falling apart, etc, etc. This includes religious landmarks such as a Buddhist temple and St Peter's Basilica. What you WON'T find being destroyed in this movie is any Muslim landmark. NONE. And why is that? Because the director was afraid for his life.

Roland Emmerich said:

"Well, I wanted to do that, I have to admit," he says. "But my co-writer Harald said I will not have a fatwa on my head because of a movie. And he was right... we have to all... in the Western world ... think about this. You can actually... let... Christian symbols fall apart, but if you would do this with [an] Arab symbol, you would have... a fatwa, and that sounds a little bit like what the state of this world is. So it's just something which I kind of didn't [think] was [an] important element anyway in the film, so I kind of left it out."

(I'm thinking the word 'not' in the quote where he says "my co-writer...said I will not have a fatwa..." was a slip. Otherwise, the rest of the quote makes next to no sense.)

And conservatives are considered nut cases when we opine that many branches of Islam want to destroy anyone with a different view than they have. But a Hollywood director says he won't 'offend' Muslims for fear he might get killed and the liberals didn't jump all over him. WTF???

Here's the whole story.

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And Barack is off and running in another part of the world once again. It will be interesting to see how long he stays in Washington when he gets back this time. I don't EVER remember a POTUS being out of Washington as much as he is. I guess he wants to get as many of those frequent flyer miles as possible. WTF???

Big News

The Oldest's husband goes deer hunting every year--this is their main source of meat for the winter. (There's no accounting for taste, I guess--I HATE venison.) Anyway, last year my 13-year-old granddaughter went hunting for the first time and got her first buck. Today, we got the call that she got her second buck. Second year hunting and on the second day of hunting season, she got her second deer. What a girl.

Celebrity Sighting

A friend and I went to a restaurant tonight and I had a celebrity sighting--maybe multiple sightings. At least I think I did.

This past week the USOEC (United States Olympic Education Center) at our local university was the site of the speed skating world cup. Speed skaters from all over the world descended on our town to compete in order to get a spot in the upcoming Olympics in Vancouver. I know nothing about speed skating--and I'm not too interested. As far as the winter Olympics are concerned, the only thing I'm waiting to see are the men's and women's hockey competitions. Period. As far as speed skating, the only person I know that competes is Apolo Anton Ohno--but doesn't EVERYONE know him?

(For those who DON'T know, this is Ohno.)




So, back to the story. As my friend and I walked into the restaurant, a group of people walked in ahead of us. They were NOT speaking English and one of the young guys had a jacket on which said 'Latvia' across the back. I'm assuming this was my first celebrity sighting. Shortly after this, another young guy walked into the main dining area and several people began to applaud. I'm assuming this was my second celebrity sighting. He then went and talked to the couple who began the applause and sat down for a bit of a conversation. After this guy left, another one went to the couple's table and greeted them. My third sighting, I guess. The couple was SO excited to meet these young men--and talk to them--that I have the feeling they were a big part of the US Olympic team. And that they did very well this past weekend. I REALLY wish I knew who I saw. I could have been REALLY excited.

Friday, November 13, 2009

WTF??

This isn't very new, but it still confuses me. I usually love commercials that feature animals, but this one is just wrong.



Unless my vet suggested it, I don't think I would be on the lookout for a food for my cat to make her 'poop' better. She does that very well on her own. ;)

Nothing In Moderation

My dear friend Meleah put up a post the other day about her unfortunate and inappropriate use of some ingredients and the consequences. Go here to read the very funny story. This lead me to a story of my own.

Since starting on Enbrel, I have found myself with a cupboard full of creams that I no longer use. One of the medications is called Tazorac. Tazorac is not only used for psoriasis but also for acne, fine lines and wrinkles, and to help skin tone and texture. Considering I am a woman-of-a-certain-age, I figured it would do me good to begin using this regularly. At least it couldn't hurt. So, for the past few months I have been using it on a fairly regular basis until I got the flu, when everything went by the wayside. A few nights ago I decided it was time to get back on schedule with the stuff, so I applied it before going to sleep. The way Tazorac works is almost like a mild chemical peel--and this means that the skin on your face will peel like after a sunburn. Of course, this presents a whole new problem: how to rid your face of the peeling skin. I figured I had the solution when I used an exfoliating sponge to scrub the peeling skin off. WRONG!!! I found that scrubbing at new, tender skin is not a good thing. I managed to scrub right through the top layer of skin--in places--and was left with areas that oozed. AND my face was the color of my Red Wings jersey: stop sign red. I probably would have been better off having a flaky face.

Now, while thinking of this story--and berating myself for being so damn stupid--I realized that I come by my stupidity honestly. My family has the tendency to do nothing in moderation. I think the family motto is "Kill or Cure." And I have stories to back this up.

The Mother has always been one who does nothing in moderation. One day she woke with the beginnings of a cold. By the afternoon, she barely was able to stand, so she needed to do something. While I'm not sure what the reason was, she called our neighbor and explained her situation. Our neighbor told her that he had some homemade wine and if she heated it up and drank it, she could take a nap and feel better in a few hours. She sent The Brother to pick up the more than half-full pint-sized Mason jar of homemade wine. Once she got this jar, she proceeded to pour the ENTIRE amount of wine into a saucepan, heated it, and drank it ALL down in one long gulp. The Mother is a teetotaler and the wine hit her quite hard. She literally CRAWLED the ten feet from the kitchen stove to the living room couch, where she passed out for about four hours. And she felt fine when she woke up. Of course, she could have KILLED herself, but the end justified the means, so all was okay in her mind.

My great-grandfather also believed in kill or cure. Just before he went into the medical care facility, he was pretty much confined to his upstairs bedroom because of rheumatoid arthritis. The Mother went to the house almost daily to help out my great-grandmother in taking care of him and the household. One day he was suffering from a chest cold and had asked The Mother to get him some Troutman's Cough Syrup. I'm not sure how much alcohol was in this stuff, but as a child, I thought it was pretty vile tasting. The Mother brought the bottle of Troutman's--the BIG one, so she wouldn't have to get him another bottle too soon--and a spoon and left it with him. When she was halfway down the stairs, he called for her to come back. When she got to his room, he handed her the spoon and the empty bottle. He had drank it all. He, too, was a teetotaler. He, too, slept it off.

And then we get to my great-aunt. Where do I begin and which story do I tell? How about the time she almost caused her nose to become frostbitten because she kept rubbing it with ice cubes. She did this to 'shrink' the pores. Or the time she caused her feet, up to her ankles bones, to turn brown by soaking in hot water with way too much bleach poured in. THIS she did in order to soften the calluses on her feet. I guess the best example of kill or cure is when she had a chest cold. (Are we seeing a pattern here?) She was feeling poorly and had quite a tightness in her chest, so she figured the best thing to do was to make a mustard plaster, place it on her chest, and lie down for a half hour. Everything worked out well except for the fact that she fell asleep--for several hours. When she finally woke up, her chest was covered in first- and second-degree burns--along with very large blisters all over her breasts. For a week afterward, she couldn't wear a bra and had to pin soft cotton handkerchiefs to the inside of her dress, just so she could continue to do what she needed to. Of course, she didn't see a doctor, but with all of the self-medicating my family did, is this a surprise?

So, as I said, I come by my stupidity honestly. I have had great role models.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

More TV Talk

The scheduling of TV show premiers is quite different today than it was years ago. I remember waiting for the fall premier week. All of the new and returning shows would begin in the same week and continue with new episodes till May. Then we would get summer programming: either re-runs or some kind of alternate programming. (Does anyone remember the daily gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Republican and Democrat national conventions every four years? Now THAT was entertaining TV. {sarcasm abounds}) Today, we get new 'seasons' every few weeks all through the year. I'm not too sure whether I like this, or not--but I have learned to adjust. Two new shows will be starting soon and I am anticipating them to become hits.

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The first show I'm waiting for will premier this Sunday on AMC. It is called The Prisoner and is a miniseries reworking of the 1960s British cult hit. Here is what the website has to say about it:

In November, AMC will present The Prisoner miniseries, a reinterpretation of the British 1960s cult hit series that starred and was co-created by Patrick McGoohan.

The Premise : A man, known as Six, finds himself inexplicably trapped in The Village with no memory of how he arrived. As he explores his environment, he discovers that his fellow inhabitants are identified by number instead of name, have no memory of any prior existence, and are under constant surveillance. Not knowing whom to trust, Six is driven by the need to discover the truth behind The Village, the reason for his being there, and most importantly -- how he can escape.

Jim Caviezel (The Passion of the Christ , The Thin Red Line) will play the role of Six; and two-time Oscar nominee Ian McKellen (Lord of the Rings, The Da Vinci Code) will co-star as Two.


I remember the original series and think that may have been one of the reasons I love sci-fi and fantasy so much. (Of course, the other reason is Star Trek, but we won't go there. ;))


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The second show I can't wait to see is called Men of a Certain Age. It will be on TNT and begins on 7 December. I think one of the reasons I want to see this so much is because Scott Bakula is one of the stars. I have had a crush on him since Quantum Leap--and he is one who seems to get better with age. And this is what the website says about the show:


John Lennon once wrote, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” For three men entering the second act of their lives, those words are starting to hit home in TNT’s newest original series, MEN OF A CERTAIN AGE. This wry drama stars Emmy® winner Ray Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond), Golden Globe® winner Scott Bakula (Quantum Leap, Star Trek: Enterprise) and Emmy winner Andre Braugher (Homicide: Life on the Street, TNT’s Salem’s Lot). It marks a return to series television for Romano, who created MEN OF A CERTAIN AGE with Everybody Loves Raymond Emmy winner Mike Royce. The two serve as executive producers, along with Rory Rosegarten and Cary Hoffman.

MEN OF A CERTAIN AGE, from TNT Original Productions, is set to debut Monday, Dec. 7, at 10/9c, following an all-new episode of the network’s hit series THE CLOSER. The premiere episode is written by Romano and Royce and directed by two-time Emmy winner Scott Winant (thirtysomething).

MEN OF A CERTAIN AGE explores the unique bonds of male friendship among three men experiencing the changes and challenges of mid-life. They have been best friends since college but now, in their 40s, are navigating through the second act of their lives. Joe (Romano) is a friendly, slightly neurotic, recently separated father of two who had dreams of being a professional golfer. Now he owns and runs a party store. Terry (Bakula) is a laid-back, handsome actor who seems to breeze through life (and women). Lately, he’s spending more time working as a temp than as an actor. And Owen (Braugher) is an overstressed husband and father of three who endures constant criticism from his father, for whom he works as a car salesman.

These friends face very different challenges. Joe, who currently lives in a hotel, tries to connect with his kids and is dipping his toe in the dating pool, while also struggling with the gambling problem that may have ended his marriage. The unmarried Terry scoffs at domestic issues but sometimes wonders if his own single life is all it’s cracked up to be. Owen does everything he can to climb the sales board at his father’s car dealership and keep his cool over the seemingly endless renovation project in the home he can barely afford. Through it all, these men are there for each other when it counts.

I think this will be good--at least it has the potential to be good. Andre Braugher was one of the reasons Homicide: Life on the Street was such a good show.

Monday, November 09, 2009

LOL For Monday


via I Can Has Cheezburger

TV Talk

I don't remember if it was during the first season or just before the second started, but I found the show Mad Men and fell in love! Last night was the third-season finale and WOW!

Mad Men is a show set in the 1960s about an ad agency in New York--and all of the people who work there. I think what got me hooked at first was seeing all of the period clothing and furniture, etc. It is unbelievably well done. It really takes me back to see all of the characters chain-smoking and drinking in their offices. Gone are THOSE days, for sure.

*spoiler alert*

So much happened in the show. The 'big guys' left the ad agency to begin a new one. Betty left for Reno to get a quicky divorce. Joan came back to help start the new agency. Several of the old agency's employees were taken away to the new one. Many, many things happened that I didn't see coming.

While a lot of people feel badly for Betty--and I guess I do, too, in a way--because of Don's behavior (especially his many, many affairs), I can't completely blame him. She is such a stuck-up spoiled rich bitch and has always had an air of superiority when it has come to him. And she REALLY let it come to the surface after she found out his 'real' story. Now, I'm definitely NOT an advocate for violence against women, but I really wanted him to slap her silly last night when he found out about her sneaking around with her new guy. She just acted way too superior and really needs to be taken down a peg or two. When someone talks about a woman being an 'ice princess,' the character of Betty Draper is the perfect example. (And the actress who plays her is brilliant!)

The character of Pete is such a weasel, that I almost wish he would just go away, However, he makes for some great conflict. He is so whiny and sniveling that I can barely stand seeing him on screen. (Again, a great performance by the actor. However, I don't know if I EVER will be able to watch the actor do anything else without cringing.) His wife is playing the part of the 'power behind the man' to perfection.

I think this show is quite an accurate portrayal--to a certain extent--of what was going on with people involved in corporate America in the '60s. With all of the changes going on in the show, I can't wait for the next season to begin.

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My real guilty pleasure--as far as TV shows are concerned--is Sons of Anarchy. It is all about a motorcycle gang and it is now in the middle of its second season. I really think this show taps into my inner sense of always wanting to be a 'bad girl'--even though I always was too afraid to actually BE a bad girl. :)

It is always interesting to see Katey Sagal--aka Peg Bundy--in a serious role. She plays the Queen Bee to perfection--NOBODY craps on her or her family and gets away with it. A very, very tough individual. It is hard to watch her character when she is vulnerable, as she IS so tough--and Sagal is very good. Another interesting casting is Ron Perlman--aka Hellboy and 'Beast' from the TV series Beauty and the Beast. He is Sagal's second husband and the leader of the 'Sons.'

This show deals with a lot of violence and quite a bit of sex. There are times I'm amazed at what I am seeing, as this is NOT on a pay channel. The relationships between the characters is what keeps me going back--and the story lines can be very compelling. While I'm sure this is extremely exaggerated, it is interesting to see the inner workings of a life style I have no experience with. I hope this show is on for quite a while.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Very Amusing--and Clever

Our next door neighbors used to decorate their house at Christmas. Now, when I say decorate, I mean DECORATE!! They had so many lights on their house/garage, that I said we could read in our living room without turning on our lamps. I always loved what they did and it never bothered me. (The neighbors across the street, however, were not amused. I do think that is why the lights went up every year, just to piss them off. The across-the-street-neighbors find something to complain about ALL. OF. THE. TIME.) Unfortunately, our neighbor developed back problems and had to discontinue decorating. And it has made me very sad--we just don't have the same feel at Christmas anymore.

All of this leads to this picture:


I wish I would have been clever enough to think of this all those years ago. What a fun neighborhood!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

First of The Year

Woke up this morning and the ground was covered with snow. It HAS snowed before this, but nothing has stuck till today. Of course, it is pretty much melted by now, but I think this means I can finally put the can of Raid away for the year.

Fly Swat

Thursday, October 29, 2009

World Psoriasis Day

Today is World Psoriasis Day. This is an annual event to bring awareness to this infuriating disease. As I have mentioned ad nauseam, I suffer from psoriasis and try to dispel myths about it whenever I can. Here, from the World Psoriasis Day website:

About psoriasis


Psoriasis

Nearly three percent of the world's population endure the symptoms of psoriasis. Many tolerate constant pain from cracking and bleeding skin. They bear the humiliation of continually shedding scales that litter their clothes and surroundings. They struggle with the disappointment of treatments and the lack of a cure. Some wrestle with a crippling form of arthritis, called psoriatic arthritis. More than anything, they sometimes bear the brunt of public rejection because of the misunderstanding surrounding the disease.

Yet, much of the world's population finds psoriasis a trivial matter requiring little understanding or sympathy. Sometimes they even find it humorous and enjoy a chuckle over the "heartbreak of psoriasis" an advertising tagline made popular in the USA. Some people still equate psoriasis with being unclean or self imposed and shun those who bear its mark. When, in fact, many people with psoriasis isolate themselves because of such a deep sense of shame.

Psoriasis associations from around the world give people the tools to cope with this troubling disease. They rebuild people's hope and give them the support they require. IFPA provides the reinforcement to build better psoriasis associations, gives member associations a global voice to campaign on behalf of those who bear its mark, and the unity that strengthens everyone's ability to support research that will someday find a cause and a cure for these diseases.

What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a life-long skin disorder that causes red, scaly patches called lesions to appear on your skin. The lesions can show up on any area of the skin. There are several different kinds of psoriasis.

Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of psoriasis and it is characterized by red-looking skin lesions topped with silvery white scales.

Guttate psoriasis is also fairly common and it is characterized by red, small, dot-like lesions covered with silvery white scale;

Pustular psoriasis has blister-like lesions of fluid, which is not infectious, and intense scaling. It can appear anywhere on the body, but often it appears on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.

Inverse psoriasis is very red lesions with little or no scales and appears in the skin folds, such as the arm pits, creases in the groin and under the breasts.

Erythrodermic psoriasis is rare and looks very red and swollen, lots of shedding of dead skin, and painful.

About 30 to 50 percent of people with psoriasis also get psoriatic (sore-ee-attic) arthritis, which causes pain, stiffness and swelling in and around the joints. This type of arthritis most often affects the hands, feet, wrists, ankles and lower back.

Who gets psoriasis?
Psoriasis affects nearly three percent of the world's population. It can develop in males or females of any race or age. It often appears between the ages of 15 and 35, although it can strike at any age including infants and the elderly.

What causes psoriasis?
No one knows exactly what causes psoriasis. Doctor's believe it is related to the body's immune system and that it is genetic, meaning that it can run in families. In people with psoriasis, the immune system is mistakenly "triggered" causing skin cells to grow too fast. The rapidly growing cells pile up in the skin's top layers, leading to the formation of lesions on the surface.

Right now, there are many psoriasis associations around the world supporting research to find out why people get psoriasis and how it can be treated or even cured.

How bad can psoriasis get?
Psoriasis can be limited to a few areas of the skin (mild), or it can be moderate or widespread and severe. A normal skin cell matures in 28 to 30 days and sheds from the skin unnoticed. Psoriatic skin cells mature in only three to four days. They "heap up" and form scaly lesions. Psoriasis lesions can be painful and itchy and they can crack and bleed.

How do I know I have psoriasis?
A physician usually makes the diagnosis after looking at the skin. Occasionally a physician examines a skin biopsy under a microscope. Pitting of the nails is sometimes a sign of psoriasis. There is no specific medical test for psoriasis.

Is psoriasis contagious?
No, people cannot catch psoriasis from someone else.

What are some of the myths surrounding psoriasis?
Unlike other ailments, psoriasis can be seen on the skin and often people guess at what is wrong. They wonder if the lesions might be contagious, which they are not, or that the person who has psoriasis is unclean, overly nervous or high-strung, which they may be, but that is not the reason they have psoriasis. Sometimes they may believe the person who has the skin disorder did something to cause psoriasis to appear but that, too, is also false.

Psoriasis is a disorder stemming from a physical defect just like other disorders, such as arthritis, asthma, diabetes or nearsightedness. It is very important to educate the public about psoriasis and not allow myths to spread.

What are the chances of getting psoriasis?
It is not possible to predict who will get psoriasis. Heredity (the genetic transfer of features from parent to child) plays a role, but some people who have psoriasis have no obvious family history of psoriasis.

Is there a cure for psoriasis?
Not yet. Psoriasis is a disorder that most often needs lifelong treatment. And because there are so many different medications for the disorder, it may take some time before the right treatment or combination of treatments will work for an individual. Sometimes psoriasis becomes worse (called a flare) than at other times. In some cases, psoriasis can go away on its own for a period of time, which is known as a "spontaneous remission."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Week Two

There really is very little reason to blog when nothing is happening. And the reason for nothing happening? H1N1 flu. Yes, I'm beginning week 2 of the siege. And I'm supposed to have a mild case. Which, I guess, is true--at least compared to most other people. I'm still experiencing fever off and on, every once in a while I try to cough up a lung, and I can't stay upright any longer than a newborn baby, but I could actually be worse. I, at least, don't have a high fever or the aches anymore--which were never that bad--and I don't have much of a headache, so I'm doing better than most. I talked to my doctor's nurse yesterday and was told to 'ride it out'--I guess there is almost a 100% chance of relapse with this thing. I was feeling better on Saturday and by Sunday was back to feeling like crap, so I guess I'm doing the normal thing. But this, too, shall pass.

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One of my favorite shows right now is 'Castle.' It is about a mystery writer who helps the police with investigations, as research for his newest series of books. Not a ground-breaking concept, but the writing is quite good and very, very witty at times. I don't know if I would have started watching it at first, but I'm a big Nathan Fillion fan--he plays the main character. Last night's episode was the Halloween one and the show started out with Castle trying on costumes for his annual Halloween party. And the costume he started the show out with? He was dressed as Malcolm Reynolds. Malcolm Reynolds was the character he played in the sci-fi show 'Firefly' a few years ago. It was done very, very well and was one of the funniest moments I have ever seen on TV. Of course, one would have to be a Nathan Fillion/Firefly fan to appreciate it. ;)

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My new washer and dryer was delivered yesterday. Quite impressive. Of course, I had to try it out immediately. Seeing laundry washing through a window is fascinating. This is a whole new experience and I came close to putting a chair in front of the washer just to watch a cycle or three. ;) It does seem as if it will take longer for clothes to WASH, but the time should be made up with the decreased drying time. I'm amazed that the washer re-distributes the clothes when it senses an unbalanced load--but it does cause the cycle to last quite a bit longer. The other thing that amazes me is the small amount of water that is used--probably no more than what I use to do dishes by hand! And it seems as if the washing is much more gentle than the normal agitators. After the wash is done, the clothes come out quite wrinkle-free and not tangled at all. (I used the regular water-extraction cycle, not the high spin--yet.) It will be interesting to see how I feel about this in a couple of months.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Just Another Update

It's been two days since I posted about being sick and now it IS official: I have flu. I'm taking Tamiflu and have to quit using Enbrel until I'm all better. Luckily, I haven't been terribly sick--just sick enough to not be able to do anything but lay around. :/ And, according to all of the news stories, I have H1N1--as does everyone who is sick here in the North Woods. And believe me, there ARE sick people here. Across the UP, schools and activities have been canceled for days and will not resume into next week at least. I am lucky, so to speak, because I had the swine flu vaccine back in '76, so I am not getting the full force of the virus. (That is what one news story claimed, anyway.) My biggest worry now is a secondary infection--and I'm monitoring myself very, very carefully. I don't want to have to go two or more weeks without giving my injection--I have to be 100% healthy before I start up again. Today I'm not feeling any worse than I have through this whole thing, so I'm expecting to get better soon. Next thing on my agenda--after I'm well, that is--is to find somewhere to get the seasonal flu vaccine. Very, very hard to find here.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hoping For The Best

I'm sick. Well, getting there, anyway. My head is funky and my throat is scratchy. The eyes feel 'sick and tired' and I'm wanting to go back to sleep. I have a little tickle in the throat and cough periodically. And I DON'T have a fever. I'm thinking I don't have flu--I'm HOPING I don't have flu. This is the first time I've been sick since going on Enbrel and I'm a bit scared, to say the least. (There are SUCH horror stories!!) Anyway, I will monitor myself closely and get to the doctor's ASAP if fever hits. I hope to update this blog as things happen.

Paint the Rink Pink

The hockey community--at all levels--has embraced breast cancer awareness as a cause. Our local Junior team does its part in raising awareness and money for our hospital's cancer center. This year was the third annual Paint the Rink Pink game and all proceeds go toward the purchase of a new Linear Accelerator and dedicated CT simulator for the hospital. The first two years, over $35,000 was raised.

Before the game, pink merchandise is sold. Here is a picture of this year's shirt--which I bought to wear to the game.




A couple of things were different with the game this year. First was very apparent: the ice was pink in color! Quite a different look, for sure. It wasn't too much of a distraction because it took on a more regular 'white' color as the players skated around, but I found it very difficult to see the lines through the color. I'm sure it wasn't a cake walk for the officials! Here is a picture of the Rangers doing their pre-game skate.





One other thing that was different this year was that one of the refs was a female! She was the first female to officiate a breast cancer awareness event.

During the first intermission there was a celebrity goalie trying to deflect pucks shot at him. The 'goalie' was the CEO of the hospital and the shooters were employees (I believe) of the hospital--possibly associated with the cancer center. Before the game, we were able to guess how many pucks he could deflect and from the winning guesses, one person was picked to win a flat-screen TV. I didn't win. ;) And here is the goalie and shooters:





The Rangers won the game by a score of 2-1. It was too close for me to be too calm, but it all worked out in the end. The attendance at the game broke a record for the NAHL (North American Hockey League) at almost 2,500 people. The place was quite full.

After the game, the jerseys that the players wore were auctioned off. This year, I managed to get one. I was pumped! One word: believe EVERYTHING you ever hear about the smell of game-worn hockey clothing/equipment. I cannot describe what this jersey smelled like. It was still wet, of course, when we got it home and I thought it would be less pungent after drying out. Not even close. However, washing it DID get it to smell good. :) I can't wait to wear it to a game, but I may not do that till next year's Pink Game. My new jersey:





The final amount of money raised hasn't been determined yet, but I'm sure they broke the record. The evening was much fun and it helped a great cause.

Updating, Updating, Updating

The last time we 'talked,' there were several things going on with me--or about to go on. I guess it is about time to update my reader(s) about what is happening.

--When I last posted, my dryer had just crapped out--for good. It had been giving me trouble for a couple of weeks before, but it finally died on 2 October. I am still without dryer. But it--along with a washer--is coming. Next Monday I will have a new Maytag front-loading washer/dryer delivered. And I can't wait. They weren't cheap--even though we got a good deal on them--but the energy/water savings should help defray the cost. And this is what they look like. (I ordered the pedestals, but everything will be white, not red.)




I am kinda pumped!


--Let's just get the sports out of the way. The Tigers pissed away their chance to go to the playoffs, but they played lousy the last few weeks of the season, so I didn't expect much from them. The Wings have been struggling this early in the season and it is getting a little old, fast. They are much, much better than they have been playing--and things aren't 'fixed' from last year, so I'm getting into the pessimism very early this year. My highlight where sports is involved is our local Junior hockey team--they are at the top of their division with a 10-2 record. We have been going to as many games as possible and I will put up an extended post about the last game we were at a bit later.


--We managed a road trip a couple of weekends ago and it was one of our better shopping trips. Old Navy had SO much that I liked, so I bought it all! ;) I can go months--even a year or more--without finding anything in that store, but when they actually have something that will fit me and that I like, I usually buy more than one. I had planned on starting to buy the grandkids their Christmas-gift books, but decided to just order them instead. That way, I won't have to slog through the store, searching for what I/they want.


--Last week we had a new window installed in our kitchen. It was the last one we needed to do since moving into this house. I really like it and don't know why we waited so long! However, the first replacement windows we did here are now over 30 years old, so we could actually replace all of the replacements. Owning a home is a never-ending source of spending money.


--I called my doctor's office two weeks ago and told the nurse that I was done with the newest blood pressure med. I didn't get any call back from the dr, so I guess he's just waiting to see me in December. I finally feel as if the side-effects of the drug are leaving me. Thank goodness. I still haven't been able to get a fly shot--there is such a shortage around here. I must get one--and possibly the H1N1, also {shudder}--because of being on Enbrel, but I don't know when it will happen. Up north--where K and I grew up--the swine flu is in full force. Schools there--as well as elsewhere in the UP--are closed because so many kids are sick. This just makes me want to stay closed up in my house for the next six months!


And how have things been going with you???

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Not Always Right

One of the stupidest, but funniest, things I have ever read:

Me: “Thank you for calling [clinic], how can I help you?”

Customer: “I’d like to know how much it is to descent my cat. He was a stray that was eating our other cats’ food and we decided to keep him.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. We can’t de-scent a cat. He may be spraying to mark his territory, and if he is, we can neuter him.”

Customer: “I assure you my cat has scent glands! He backs up to furniture, marks them, and if you startle him, he will turn around and try to mark you! And he’s mean too! If you try to come near him, he growls and tries to bite.”

Me: “Ma’am, cats don’t spray when startled usually. Are you sure it’s a cat?”

Customer: “Well, yes.”

Me: “What color is it, ma’am?”

Customer: “Black and white.”

Me: “What do his markings look like?”

Customer: “All black with two white stripes down its back.”

Me: “Ma’am, that is not a cat. That is a skunk.”

Customer: “Well, you have obviously never seen a cat before!” *hangs up*


via Not Always Right

Friday, October 09, 2009

Just Stopping By

We are out of town for the night and will be going to the hockey game when we get home on Saturday. This means I won't be back on here till some time on Sunday or Monday. Hope you all have a good weekend!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Another Reason NOT To Watch The News

I haven't really watched a news broadcast for the last two years or so. I quit at some point during the last presidential campaign--just couldn't take all of the hype and pushing of non-issues. Tonight I had the news on, basically because I wanted to listen to a story about the swine flu vaccine. After the story, I left the channel on as background noise. And then the story came. A big enough story to make the national news broadcast--a place where we as citizens are supposed to find out what is going on in the world. And the story? Bo, the dog, has shit in Airforce One. More than once.

Excuse me? This is a story that needs to make the news? No wonder I don't get my news from the TV. And some people wonder why viewership is going down.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

More New Sites

It has been a good few days for new websites--or, I should say, new websites for me. Here are some that are good for a laugh--or a shudder.

--Awful Library Books

A couple of librarians run this site. It is all about library books that should be in NO library. It is quite fun to look at the outdated stuff that some libraries keep on the shelves.


--Lovely Listing

This site has property listings that are, shall we say, a little less than great. Actually, the properties are a bit strange. I am amazed how much people are asking for piece-of-shit properties, but I guess location might be the reason. This site is interesting, to say the least.


--peopleofwalmart.com

This site really needs no introduction--the title says it all. Be prepared, when you go there, to see things you NEVER wanted to see. It is all pictures taken of people who shop at Wally World. I don't think I will ever go back to WalMart--I'm afraid I may find MY picture there some day. :D

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Yucky Weekend

Things happening lately have lead to a rather yucky weekend. First off, I am on another blood pressure medication and I don't think I'm doing so well. Just before our trip to the Twin Cities, I had an appointment with my internist. Once again, he wasn't happy with my blood pressure. He figures, since I'm on BP meds, my 'white coat syndrome' shouldn't rear its ugly head when I go to the office. The numbers don't go up THAT much, usually, but he doesn't want them up at all. So, he prescribed a new med. I don't do well whenever he increases my meds--he has done it before and I have bad results. I have been taking 1/2 of a pill every day--as per his instructions--and haven't been able to try the whole pill because I'm not getting used to the 1/2. I'm feeling quite fatique and just not able to get things done unless I push myself. And if I actually do too much one day, I'm not good for a couple of days after. I'm supposed to go in and have my BP checked after 4 weeks, but I don't think I will be on the pills that long. I will be going off of them this week--after talking to the dr's office. This is the second time he has increased my dosage and the second time I've had the same reaction. And I was feeling so good BEFORE he went and messed with my meds! Sometimes my doctor pisses me off--even though I adore him!

And, of course, the other pissy thing happening this weekend is sports related. The Wings lost both games in Sweden and the Tigers pissed away their playoff spot.

With all of the hype over the Wings playing in Sweden, you would have thought they would have put forth a better effort than they did, but noooooooooo. With eight Swedes on the team, the Wings are practically the Swedish National team--and they sucked eggs in both games. I hope this isn't a preview of what's to come this year. It could be a VERY bad season for me.

The Tigers were, just recently, seven games up over the Twins--well on their way to clinching the Central and a playoff spot. HA!!! They played like a minor league team in the last couple of weeks, losing their lead completely, and now they have to face the Twins in a game to determine who gets to the playoffs. If I didn't want to see if--and that is a very big IF--the Tigers could win the pennant, I would just say they don't deserve to go on. They haven't been playing like they actually WANT to win, so...

To make things even better, my dryer crapped out on Friday night. In the middle of doing laundry. It has been giving me problems for a couple of weeks--it would stop in the middle of a dry cycle--but other than having to run up and down to the basement every half hour or so, I was able to get the laundry done. Well, on Friday it completely stopped heating, as well. Now we have to figure out if it can be fixed or if we need to go out and get a new one. Yippee! Another added expense.

The only bright spot in this whole mess is our local Junior hockey team. They won their two-game series this weekend, which puts their record at 7-1 and keeps them in first place in their division. I don't know if we'll get to see them again before the Pink game, as we will be on a road trip for part of next weekend. It would be nice if they didn't have to go so far for their away games, but they are at home almost every other weekend. It helps to keep it a bit fresh for us.

I'm hoping this next week will wind up a bit better. It will be a bit hard, considering I have to 'have it out' with my doctor, have to go and get my flu shot, and have to get ready to go out of town for the weekend. I want to have hope that the Tigers will win the game, that the Wings will win beginning Thursday, and that I will have a dryer so I can wash clothes before I have to pack on Thursday. At least I have the road trip to look forward to on Friday. And some very adult beverages.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

New Sites...For Me, Anyway

I have loved the LOLCats and LOLDogs sites for quite awhile. Just recently--yes, I'm not too observant--I found out that there is a Cheezburger network with a lot of other LOL sites. You can find news, sports, graphs, and more. It never fails that I have a good laugh while reading one or more of these sites. Today I found a graph that is particularly true:




Funny stuff!