Thursday, June 30, 2011


*Public Service Announcement (for those who don't know)  ;)

Every so often, I feel as if I haven't done enough with my life, so I take it upon myself to do something to rectify the situation.  Today, I will pass on some knowledge that you may or may not already know.  If you don't know this already, it may save you some time if your doctor ever prescribes a little something for that 'rash' you have.

One of the first things that a doctor will prescribe for psoriasis (for example) is a topical medication.  They can possibly be effective and they are non-invasive, so topicals are a first choice.  The term 'topical medication' seems to be very straight-forward and uncomplicated, right?  WRONG!  I have found that there are, basically, three TYPES of topicals that can be prescribed.

The first type of topical that I'm familiar with is the lotion.  Now, when you think of lotions, you probably think of hand or body lotion--a creamy, free-flowing liquid that is quite a bit thicker than milk.  A topical medicine that is called a lotion is usually thin as water and colorless.  Lotions can be used rather easily on the scalp, but aren't usually used elsewhere on the body.

A cream is another form of topical meds.  Creams usually come in a tube that resembles toothpaste.  The advantage to creams are their being somewhat thicker and are usually quite easy to apply and absorb.  Creams are usually white in color.

The third topical is an ointment.  Ointments are what they sound like--they are petrolatum based and resemble Vaseline, both in color and texture.  The advantage to ointments is that they are great for keeping the skin moisturized, but they are messy and don't absorb into the skin very well.

Many topicals come in more than one form--I have had certain meds in all three forms.  And some work better in one form than in others.  It takes a bit of experimentation to find what works best--and I had many, many years worth of using them to get to where I know one from another.  I hope this little post helps someone at some time.  ;)

(Sorry this is so lame, but I am trying to get back in the groove of blogging on a semi-regular basis.  I certainly hope all of the topics I pick to write about aren't quite as boring.  :D)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Stubbornness--I Has It

If you look up the word 'stubborn' in a dictionary, you probably will find my picture.  I really don''t know if it is because I'm Finn (the Finns I have known through my life are THE most stubborn people around); because of my family genetics (The Father is so stubborn that he didn't talk to his brother for over 20 years (long after he forgot exactly why he was mad at him--maybe)); or if it just comes with living here (you HAVE to be stubborn to continue to live where it is winter for much more of the time than it is summer).  Whatever the reason, I am quite a stubborn person.  And there is no more better example of my being stubborn than when it comes to books and movies.

Whenever I start reading a book or watching a movie, I feel compelled to finish it.  I can probably count on one hand how many movies or books I haven't finished after starting them.  I do know that I only watched about 10 minutes of 'Burn After Reading' before I had to turn it off and couldn't finish 'The Road' no matter how hard I tried.  I'm sure there are others that I couldn't continue with, but they are few and far between--just stubbornness keeps me going.  And I think I'm even more determined to finish a book that I start.  'Gulag Archipelago' is one book that I just couldn't get into--and I tried numerous times with it.  I haven't given up, though--I still may read the entire thing one of these days.  I guess I feel as if I don't want to completely waste the amount of time I have already put into a book or movie, so I keep plodding along--no matter how bad the thing might be.

The other day, I FINALLY finished a book that I had to force myself to read.  And at well more than 700 pages, it really was a grind.  My stubbornness was evident in this act, as the book was the final one in a series of six that began way back in 1980, the year the first book was published.  I just couldn't let all of the time and effort go to waste by NOT reading the final book.  I just hope that it really IS the last one, because I don't think I could do this again.

So, what exactly am I talking about?  The book I just read is called 'The Land of Painted Caves' and it was written by Jean Auel.  This was the last book of her 'Earth's Children' series, which began with 'The Clan of the Cave Bear' back in 1980.  Many people only know this title because of the movie by the same name, which starred Daryl Hannah. 

I really enjoyed 'The Clan of the Cave Bear.'  Now, I don't know if it was because it was so very different, or if my age had something to do with it.  (I really think it was a bit of both.)  And because I enjoyed it so much, I couldn't wait for the second book.   That book came only two years later and the third was published three years after that.  As far as books go, they came pretty quickly.  And considering the author is very much like JK Rowling (of 'Harry Potter' fame) and wouldn't write a book of reasonable length if she was paid to, that quick output is amazing.  Book number four, however, took five years to be published and then we waited for 12 full years for number five.  This last book took nine years to write.  All in all, I have been following the main character for over thirty years.  A long, long time.  And I am more than happy to say good-by to her.

Each of the books in this series is quite a 'brick.'  I don't believe any one of the books was less than 500 pages--and I can use a paragraph to explain the entire series.  Ayla--the main character--is a 'modern' human (Cro-Magnon).  She is orphaned and adopted by a Neanderthal woman.  She learns to be a medicine woman from her adopted mother and brings 'women's lib' to the tribe--she cannot understand why she isn't allowed to hunt, for example.  Of course, this doesn't sit too well with the male leaders, so she is pretty much drummed out of the tribe and has to leave her half-breed son behind for his own good.  After she goes off by herself, she continues to improve her hunting skills and along the way learns to make fire using flint and pyrite.  She sharpens her medicine woman skills and learns to domesticate animals.  Horses are trained to haul stuff and accept riders.  A cave lion and wolf become her substitute children.  At one point, she heals a man who has been mauled by a lion and they fall in love.  She goes off with him and joins his tribe, where she goes into training to be a spiritual leader and medicine woman.  Eventually, it is Ayla who brings the concept of monogamy into the world.  She also discovers how babies are made.  Through her experimentation of hallucinogenic plants--which she has access to with her training to--it seems as if she 'sees' the future and gets a hint of the amount of people that will eventually inhabit the world, highways, and the way humanity will abuse the earth.  And that pretty much sums up the series.

While there were quite a few interesting aspects of these books--there HAD to be or my stubbornness couldn't have compelled me to continue on--this last book could have been at least 350 pages shorter and it wouldn't have taken away from the storyline at all.  The author is VERY descriptive--to the point of absurdity.  And when she has described the exact same thing for the sixth time (plants, animals,) you want to poke your eyeballs out with a pointy stick!  And this is what the first 500 pages of this book was like.  One of the things that was completely absurd was the descriptions of the 'painted caves' that the title refers to.  I understand describing in minute detail one or two of the (supposedly) French caves with pre-historic paintings in them, but to belabor this with descriptions of cave after cave after cave--and I have no idea HOW many there were--is unbelievably painful to read.  As I said, I forced myself to get through this book and WON'T be re-reading this series again.  And that's too bad, because it could have become one of my favorite series of all time.  I'm just happy to move on.

So, do you finish books you start, even if they aren't interesting?  Or do you quickly decide to move on if it isn't your 'cup of tea?'  I'd be interested to hear how others are when it comes to books.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Who Can Hate Summer?

There is a reason why I won't wear a swimsuit--and I have pictures:

Hope your week is good!  :D

Saturday, June 18, 2011


I really don't want to know what kind of clientele you service if you have to put this sign in your window:


Friday, June 17, 2011

Not Always Right

I found this story on the site Not Always Right--and it made me laugh.  Hope you enjoy.

(I have albinism, so I have very pale skin, white hair, and red irises.)
Me: “Hi. What can I get for you?”
Customer: “Are…are you a vampire?”
Me: “Well, my dad is half-vampire.” *laughing*
Customer: “Please, don’t bite me.”
Me: “Ma’am, I’m not going to bite you.”
Customer: “Don’t put any blood in my food either. I don’t want to be a vampire.”
Me: “Ma’am, I’m not going to put blood in your food. I’m not a vampire. We serve regular food here.”
Customer: “Let me speak to your manager.”
(I go and get my manager, and fill him in on what’s going on.)
Customer, to my manager: “Is your vampire waitress going to bite me?”
Manager: “Only if you don’t tip her well.”
(The woman looks completely horrified, but finally ends up ordering and leaving me a 21% tip.)

How can people be so damn stupid?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Follow-Up

Following up the last post about the 2nd granddaughter:  She still is being a Drama Queen.  She walks around the house, clutching her lower belly and whimpering/groaning quietly whenever someone notices her.  Her oldest sister--15 years old--just rolls her eyes.  What a kid.  ;)

This whole thing brings to mind another story.  My oldest sister-in-law went into labor with her oldest.  Because it wasn't time to go to the hospital, she went and sat at my in-law's house, to spend time with her mother--hopefully, to get a little sympathy.  In typical fashion, my mother-in-law was very laid back about the entire thing and continued with what was on her agenda, which included setting her hair.  My s-i-l sat at the kitchen table, groaning and moaning whenever she had a contraction, and said, "But you don't KNOW how much this hurts!!!!" My m-i-l just continued setting her hair and said nothing:  SHE had given birth to five kids--the last of which were twins.  :D

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Our 2nd oldest granddaughter is quite a hoot.  Her goal in life has always been to be a princess--and she still wants that at the age of 12.  She has told her parents that she will never leave home--and after they are 'gone,' her older sister will take care of her.  She is the Drama Queen of all times--EVERYTHING that happens to her is worse than anything that has ever happened to anyone else.  She is a bit of a 'space cadet.'  Her mother will send her to do a chore and five hours later, when The Oldest asks her if she's done, she answers, "With what?"  She is the family 'Informer'--she knows everything that is going on and lets her mom know, too.  Also, she is the 'Recorder.'  I try to give gifts of equal value to each of the grandchildren and this grandchild makes sure of that--she remembers what everyone has received and lets it be known if the next gift to come into the house is of lesser OR greater value.  I can count on her to remember things I have forgotten.

Today, The Oldest called to tell me that The 2nd got her period for the first time.  In fine, Drama Queen fashion, she told her mother:  "THIS is GROSS!!!  NO ONE has EVER had ANYTHING so gross happen to them EVER!!!!"

The Oldest only has six girls to raise--she is going to have so much fun for the next 18 or so years.  :D

Completely Self-Serving

This post is completely, 100% self-serving.  This is to pat myself on the back and make me feel good.  So, here goes:

Earlier, I was at the grocery store and got into a conversation with a woman about the strawberries we were looking at.  She looked very familiar to me--later, I realized I knew her from that very store where she used to work--and we talked more about where we were from, etc.  As it turned out, she was from 'back home' and we were trying to figure out whether or not we ever had come into contact years ago.  After exchanging names and hometowns, she mentioned that she had graduated in 1971.  To that, I responded that I had graduated in 1972.  "Really!?" she said.  "I would have thought you were much, much younger than me!"  Fireworks went off, rainbows appeared, the sun came out, butterflies flew about, flowers bloomed--right there in the grocery store!  I came thisclose to doing cartwheels--and I don't know HOW to do cartwheels!  Talk about an ego boost.  I came home in a very good mood.  ;)

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Interesting Things Seen On Our Travels

Part of our time out-of-town last week was spent shopping.  While I do my best to shop locally, I HAVE to go out-of-town to get certain things.  For example, our fabric stores--of which we have one (2?) and Wal Mart (what a joke)--lack anything that I would want or need for most sewing projects.  So, I need to shop whenever we do our road trips.  K, also, needs to shop away from home, at times, and this is where this post comes from.

K is required to wear steel-toed boots at work.  While they aren't hard to find, K has a hard time finding anything comfortable, so he continues to get the one brand that he KNOWS will fit fine.  It has been easiest for him to get his boots whenever we go to Wisconsin, partly because he works for a Wisconsin company and gets a discount at the store he buys from.  This past weekend found us at the strip mall where the shoe store is located.  Because I had no particular reason to go into the store, K went by himself and I stayed in the Envoy and people-watched.   As I was looking around, I noticed the signage for some of the stores:

You can see there is a Sally Beauty Supply and a Fantastic Sams and a  Game Stop, along with a cash store.  The sign that caught my eye, though, was the blue one, so I needed a closer look:

And there, right in the middle of a strip mall is a place called Any Lab Test Now!  Really?!?!  It just blew me away.  Does ANYONE need lab work done NOW! and without a doctor's order?  WHY would you need this?  Maybe I'm just old-fashioned and think a doctor should be the one to order lab tests, but what do I know?  I guess there might be 'emergency situations' where you need lab tests RIGHT NOW!  Might help in determining your kid's Baby Daddy before the wedding, I suppose.

"Oh, What A Night..."

Yes, I went there with the title of this post.  ;)  Anyway, we saw "Jersey Boys, The Story of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons" on Friday night.  O.M.G.  It was a little bit of a play, a little bit of a concert, all rolled into one.  The performances were incredible.  Joseph Leo Bwarie sang the part of Frankie Valli and was simply awesome--his voice is amazing!  The entire cast seemed to really enjoy what they were doing and the energy reached us all the way in the balcony!

So, this play is (obviously) about the musical group The Four Seasons.  It began around the time Valli sang with the group for the first time and brought us through their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  Most of the show centered around their rise and break-up, with the very end focusing on the change to Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons.  While the storyline was very interesting, it was the music that made the play for me.  I still find myself singing one of the songs at odd times during the day or night--they had some memorable hits, for sure.

All performances at the venue where we were, prohibit any form of electronic recording device or cameras.  Fine, no problem if that's the policy.  But, I never imagined there was a ban on taking pictures of the empty stage BEFORE the play began--but there is.  I decided to take a pic with my phone and as I was trying for a second one, an usher practically had a stroke yelling at me that "pictures are prohibited!!!"  You could have sworn that I was trying to copy government secrets, for crying out loud.  And I'm sorry, but using the excuse that cameras, etc, "may interfere with wireless technology" is very lame as a reason for prohibiting the use of electronic devices.  Just give the REAL reasons:  A GOOD REASON--they can be a HUGE distraction for the audience and actors;  A CRAPPY REASON--it keeps the theater/production company/etc, from being able to make a crapload of money by selling overpriced items to the public; pictures, etc.  But, I DID manage to get a decent pic of the empty stage:

The entire play was done on a very minimalist stage--not many props at all.

At this particular venue where we see plays, we have noticed that 'drinks'--and we're usually talking alcoholic here--cannot be brought into the theater itself.  (Water bottles--without their caps, I believe--are allowed in the theater.)  So, before the play and during intermission, you will find people milling about, trying to finish their beverages before the doors are closed and they are not allowed entrance to what they paid to see.  On Friday, we noticed something different:  cups with lids.

We weren't sure WHAT these were for, but because they were on the wine tables, next to the wine glasses, we thought (and were correct) that they could be used to bring wine into the theater.  Now, we were happy that we were able to enjoy adult beverages of our own choosing while seeing the performance, but the glasses really left a lot to be desired.  First, the lids on the cups that we bought are blue.  And the wine that was in them was a pale yellow.  Imagine this for a second and you can see how much like doctor's office specimen cups these resembled.  Yeah.  The best thing about these is that we can bring them back the next time we go to the theater and have them refilled--and we don't have to purchase the cups again.  YAY!  (Of course, we STILL have to pay for what we want put IN them.)

I'm already planning on what we will be seeing in the future. The theater has announced some of their performances for next season and there are quite a few that should be interesting:  West Side Story, Mary Poppins, Rain (Beatles tribute band), Les Miserables, Million Dollar Quartet (about the one-time recording session that brought together Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Elvis Presley.)  Now, to get K to commit to how many of these we will see...