just wait, it's coming! dddragon presents: Is Anything Truly Random?

Tuesday, May 31, 2005


When we bought this house in 1986, it came with an old fridge (which the DH promptly killed, story later), a portable dishwasher (which was awkward to use, so we sold it) and a large rhubarb plant. The previous owner told us that they had invited the neighbors to come and take some of it, and one elderly couple did come into the backyard to retrieve some. But there was too much for just mere cuttings to do any real damage.

So every year it comes back. I always thought that it was an odd vegetable - after all, all the recipes seem to include something that is designed to take over the taste of the dish. Hilda, our sweet next-door neighbor who passed away about five years ago, would make good rhubarb-strawberry pies. But all you would taste were the strawberries.

But Hilda is gone and we are left alone with the monster rhubarb.

DH decided that this year he would do something with it. I thought he was making rhubarb-strawberry pie, but I was wrong.

He was busy for so long in the kitchen, and the smell that was coming wasn't all that great. I made a comment about it. Then left to run some errands.

When I returned, the aroma of cinnamon weighed heavily all over the whole house.

hmmm ... what did that mean? Turns out that he took my comment about the smell to heart and thought that cinnamon would help.

Help what, you ask?

Rhubarb Jam - that's what he made. It's green. And he made me try it. Shamed me right into taking a taste.

So, feel free to come on by, cause there are several jars in the fridge, and he'll be the only one consuming it.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

My Funny DH

Thinking about yard sales (we had one a week ago and Overshop and others had theirs this weekend) reminded me of something we were trying to get rid of at our sale:

When we moved onto this street in 1986, most of the other houses were occupied by elderly/retired folks. They were, for the most part, great neighbors. Unfortunately, that has meant that we've been losing neighbors lately. And that has meant a couple of estate/auction sales, next door and across the street & down a few doors.

Helen T, the one down a bit, wasn't someone that we knew all that well - she had tended to stay indoors alot, and then was in the hospital or rehab a good bit lately. She passed away last April. But she had alot of stuff that her family was eager to get rid of - old board games, railroad and circus stuff. DH kept coming back to the house with this or that little thing. (NOTE: it's dangerous to be too close to an auction - you can too easily bring things home.)

Then he came home and said, "Don't be mad at me."

"Mad about what? What did you buy?"

"An organ."


"An organ. It was only $5. Can you come and help me get it home?"

The darn thing was quite heavy. Luckily Helen's sons helped us get it on our hand-truck. Then it went into the garage. DH thought we could either sell it or find a home for it (no one else wanted it, and it would have sat on the curb for the garbage truck).

But, as it turns out, we couldn't find a home for it anyway. Churches didn't want it. At the yard sale everyone looked and commented on it, but no one took it - and we had marked it as FREE. We called a couple of charities - Salvation Army and Volunteers of America, but they didn't want it.

Finally, we wheeled it out to the curb, along with an old couch that didn't sell, either. Packed up what was left from the Sale, collected the yard sale signs, and took my MIL out to lunch.

When we came home, both organ and couch were gone!

YIPPEE - the organ has a home, is out of our tiny garage!

A final note about Helen. She was a retired CPA. Helen had told her daughter a few days before her death that it would be funny if she died on Tax Day. And indeed, she did die on April 15. A woman with a sense of humor, right to the end.

Saturday, May 28, 2005


Overshop posted a link to Peter Mehlman's experience while trying to watch a movie.

I'm married to someone who tends to do some of this. While DH doesn't carry on whole conversations, he does let you know when he's figured out what's going to happen next in the storyline. Unfortunately, this seems to be most of the time.

He's also too good at figuring out what I've gotten him as a gift (Father's Day, birthday, xmas, etc.). I even hide the method of payment or get it way in advance, he figures it out. On the other hand, he frequently surprises me with what he's gotten me.

I do have to be careful what I admire: about ten years ago I admired a Disney varsity type jacket. The one I liked so long ago was red w/ white sleeves and had something about Mickey Mouse on the back. Last xmas he got me one that was all black (well, the jacket part was a dark charcoal color), but still had MM on the back. Apparently a couple of days before xmas it was on DEEP discount.

Very sweet.

Even if it's ten years later.

ooooh, here he is, gotta get off this page ....

Friday, May 27, 2005

dddragon Whacking

Courtney has suggested a new game. I've not heard of Google Whacking before, but it's easy; you try to find two words that would result in your blog coming up as the first page given by Google.

Now, I didn't notice right away that Courtney says to use two words, so I was using three and four words. "New Pez for Sis" (my April 28th post) brought up my blog as #1 on the Google page, as does "M.C.O.L. Redux" (my January 12 post). I tried a bunch of other words, but that's all I've found so far.

Soooo ... perhaps I'll just insert a couple of goofy words into the template and see what happens ...


The Kiddies are up in Boston for the weekend with my church's youth / middle school group. Naturally, since they've left, the weather down here is beeeuuuteeeful. Hopefully the weather up there will get better!

Strange feeling, not having to get them to hustle their butts to get ready for school this morning!

(Kiddie A is on the left, B on the right, about six months of age.)

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Kiddies Part Deux

Another funny DH story:
Before I got pregnant, we had been "arguing" about whether to have one child or two. I wanted two, DH thought one was enough. I had some trouble getting pregnant, thus was happy to have whatever I was going to have!

I had had the AFP blood test at 16 weeks as suggested by my doctor, 'cause I was 30 years old. (It detects spinal cord defects.) She had said that sometimes the levels come out funny, so not to be alarmed if I got called back to redo it.

So when the call came, I looked up what that might mean: a defect - which I dismissed, of course; that I was further along than we thought - which I knew wasn't it; or a multiple birth - which I instantly felt was it.

Ya see, I had felt movement, a flutter, recently - and as a first-time mother it was supposed to be too early for me to have felt anything. And my belly had REALLY popped out that week. Hmmm - twins. Made sense to me. But really, what do I know? So I didn't say anything to DH.

The doctor said that she'd do a sonogram and to bring the DH. Apparently she suspected twins, too.

So we get there and she listens hard to the heartbeat (turns out they were in sync in the beginning, which is why we didn't catch on sooner). Then she starts the sonogram. Instantly two heads pop up on the screen.

"Aha," sez she.

"Aha, what," sez he.

"Twins," sez the doctor.

"But we were only gonna have one," sez he.

Honest to god, that's what he said.

I LOVE this story.

Monday, May 23, 2005


Here's what twins look like - born 17 days before the due date; 6 pounds, 3 ounces; 18 1/2 inches long; moments after birth.

Kiddie A is on the left, Kiddie B on the right.

Oh, btw, B was supposed to be A and A was supposed to be B.

How's that?

Hmmmm ... that's a good Husband Messes Up story:

We had to come up with four names, right? The first girl name would be for the first one that we found out was a girl, etc. Kiddie A on the right side (so named 'cause she would've been the first one born) was too squirmy to have gender determined. Kiddie B on the left, was found to be female a few weeks before birth. So I sez to DH, the twin on the left is A, 'cause that's the first girls' name we decided on.

But when the twin on the right was born, she was a girl -- the nurses asked for her name. Dear, dear Hubby thinks "first girl is A...", forgetting that the one on the other side was to be named A.

The next day I pointed out that he had gotten them mixed up. He said, oh, that's right, we'll have to correct that! I said, oh, no we don't - the paperwork is all done and signed!!

So that's how they came to have the names that weren't meant to be for them.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Don't look if you haven't see Star Wars III ...

Okay, STOP HERE if you haven't see it and don't want to spoil it.

I did like the movie - a lot. There is a good bit of nostalgia associated with it for me - I truly was taken in with the first movie, so long ago in the same galaxy. But now that 24 hours have passed, I do have some observations, at least of things that stick out at the moment. Not to tear it apart like some movie critics have, just comments.

There is so much going on that I think that the movie could have been longer to devote more time to each of the different storylines. I would have also enjoyed seeing the characters interact a bit more - giving more time to "flesh" things out.

It sure is a busy movie and you won't be bored, with everything rushing towards the point that would leave the characters waiting 20 years or so, to when we all see them in 1977 in Episode IV: A New Hope. Oh, wait, that was 28 years ago, right?

hee hee

R2D2 is more mobile than ever, and is able to do more to help. The special effects are better and pretty seamless - I'm impressed with the creature that Obi Wan rides as he hunts the Droid General Grievous; it looks like he really is riding that thing. And General Grievous is interesting - a droid with what appears to be an organic heart and a cough -- what's up with that?

Yoda is also more mobile. He is entirely CGI in this film, very well done. I do think, however, that the ol' Yoda that was operated by the Muppet puppeteers had a bit more of humanity about him. But that method would not have allowed for the battle between Yoda and the Emporer, and that's not to be missed!

Hayden Christensen (Anakin) is good at glowering - I guess that I need to see him in other movies to see what else he can do. I do think that Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker showed more emotional and internal termoil as he learns about the Force, what the Dark and Light sides offer, and what paths he has before him and what the results might be.

It's interesting to be so sympathtic to Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader - the Villan of the next three episodes. He has chosen a path that will take him down a dark path, and yet he is trying to save Padme. In the theater, we can't believe that he will actually kill all the Jedi younglings - and yet he does. And when he and Obi Wan have that dramatic battle over and around lava, Anakin/Vader is hurt and maimed hitoniously (I'm using Jamie Dawn's word), we can't believe that Obi Wan just leaves him there, presumably to die alone.

The one thing I, as a mother of twins, really gotta pick at: when Padme runs toward Anakin on the volcano planet, she runs like someone who is NOT pregnant. Later, when she delivers the twins, the twins are too big to have come from a belly that small. (Mine were both 6 pounds 3 ounces, I know what I'm talking about!)

I'm sure that I'll be seeing it again . . . there are things that I'm sure that I missed, the small stuff that is fun to find. Oh, look for the Peter Cushing/Grand Moff Tarkin look-a-like near the end with Darth and the Emporer.

We did watch the ol' tape of Episode IV: A New Hope. Boy, it's fun to watch! And there are some mistakes and glitches in it, as many of us are aware of. But it's still fun.

See SciFi Daily for a good review.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Getting Excited

In about ten minutes we'll be heading out to see Rise of the Empire. We had talked recently about re-visiting old movies and books -- I hope that I like this movie, a little nervous that I won't, after all the hype. (Aral didn't like it so much) But, to be truthful, I'm easily amused and pretty easy to please - my sibs Aral and Lucinda are, oh, what word to use - refined, cultured, worldly, better-read, etc. I'm not complaining, mind you. It's just a fact. Perhaps I'm better off being easily entertained!

I even looked thru my drawers to see if I had an appropriate T-shirt for the occaison (see how silly I'm getting!). I found an Episode 1 Star Wars T-shirt, and am tickled to be wearing it. I still have a T-shirt that I bought 28 years ago (at the Jersey Shore). The picture above is pretty much what is on it. I wore it once, then got nervous that I would mess it up and it's been packed away ever since.

I'm one of the geeks or nerds or whatever that stood in line for HOURS for the first three movies. In fact, Granny stood in line with me for the third one, Return of the Jedi, 'cause it was just coming out when I spent the summer out with her in California. (We've said it alot lately -- what a great Granny she was!)

So, it's T-minus two minutes. Time to feed The Boys (Chatham and Salem) and get in the car and GO TO THE MOVIE!!

Yard Sale

This year's Yard Sale is very different from those of the past. For one thing, I actually didn't lose money on the ad in the paper. I ask everyone for a dollar or two to help pay for it and usually only a couple of peope do it, so I'm behind by $8 or more. But this year several people chipped in two or three dollars (good thing since the ads now cost $17) so I'm either even or a dollar or two ahead.

Most years the DH and I are up til midnight, sorting, pricing, organizing and going thru closets and the basement to see if there's anything more. This year we quit by 10 pm (taking generous breaks, partly to see the Muppets Wizard of Oz movie). And we only got up at 6 pm.

In the past we've had lots of stuff to put out, and Tan Lucy Pez helps by donating stuff from their house. This year we really don't have alot, and Tan didn't either. The big items were an exercise bike that Niks bought and Tan didn't like, and the electric organ that DH brought home from an neighbor's estate sale ("Don't get mad, but I brought home ...."). Both are still here, and the organ may end up in the garbage truck - the local charity thrift store places don't want it, either.

It rained most of the day yesterday, and got very cold last night, and I was nervous about the weather. But today turned out to be very blue and bright, tho' still on the chilly side. We're not gonna get the money we usually do, but more than enough to buy lots of popcorn, candy and soda when we go to see Rise of the Empire.

UPDATE: it is now a few hours later. We put "free" signs on the organ and our old sleeper sofa and put them out to the curb. DH and I went out to lunch with his mom, went to the Salvation Army to try to get some costume stuff for the Kiddies' biographical presentations coming up, and to retrieve the Yard Sale signs.

When we returned, we found both organ and sofa gone! Yippee! The Kiddies have been working hard on their schoolwork all day so far. Miracle!! I'll take these as signs that things are looking up. And now I'm going to take a nap . . . .

Friday, May 20, 2005

The Fun Just Never Ends

Well, this week's streak of bad luck continues.

First, we found out that the Kiddies haven't been keeping up with their schoolwork and may miss their Youth Group's trip to Boston. And that a final exam has been scheduled for one of the days they'll be gone. You can bet that I'll be snapping the whip this weekend. Tears and Stern Words in abundance this afternoon.

Then I got a call from the security firm that my bank uses for the credit cards. She asked if I had attempted to use my credit card seven minutes ago in Romania.

Uh? Noooooooooooooooooo

Turns out that I fell victim to one of the Phish credit card scammers. I feel stupid, but the conterfeit email & website do look just like the real thing. The bank later told me that they've had their eyes opened by this, too. They are amazed by all the apparent work that the scammers have done to do all of this.

Well, since I requested a new ATM card earlier this week 'cause it wouldn't scan anymore, I am without a credit card OR a debit card.

Finally, I'm going thru my mail and see one from Time Warner. I used to work for Book of the Month Club (as Lucinda still does). Turns out that one of the "storage data containers" has gotten lost, so current and former employees' names and social security information could be in the hands of "bad guys." We're advised to have a fraud alert put on our credit lines.

And my DH's brother called to chew him out about something he did or didn't do for their mom. 'Course, the BIL didn't admit that his forgetting to give her medicine at the right time might've had something to do with anything ...

And we're having a yard sale tomorrow (I'm the neighborhood organizer, somehow). To say the least, we're not in the mood. What sells, sells; what doesn't goes to the Salvation Army.

I think I hear the smoothie machine ....

Thursday, May 19, 2005


Barbara blogged about rediscovering Felinni films. She wonders what she would think of them now - would she see them in the same way? Or how will her life journey change how she views them - will she enjoy them? I'll have to check back and see.

But it did get me thinking . . .

There have been movies and books that I've viewed or read once a year, faithfully, for years at at a time. One example of this is The Dark is Rising series, which is now going to be made into a movie. These that I've re-read or re-viewed in this manner I have continued to enjoy, pretty much enjoying them the same way. But last fall I started to read abook that I haven't read in probably a decade. I didn't get very far - I know that I enjoyed it then, because I bought other books in the series. But, boy, it sure didn't strike me as worth reading again now.

Kiddies A and B have been reading American novels at school - what I would call classics: The Old Man and The Sea and The Red Pony, for example. They just don't see these as books that they would ever pick up on their own to read. I'm guessing that most middle schoolers feel the same way. So what would the New Classics be? I'll be curious to see what their reactions are to other books as they go into high school. In fact, I'm curious about what the teachers are using these days.

My SO and I will occasionally bring home a movie that we really enjoyed years ago, excited to share this with our teenage daughters. More often than not, we are disappointed - and so are they! Clearly, what we view as good material doesn't measure up to their standards. They roll their eyes, start making more and more trips to the kitchen for a drink, and finally fade away to their rooms.

An aside: in truth, sometimes the SO and I look at each other and say "we LIKED this?? The last time we tried this, it was 2001: A Space Odyssey. What a disaster! I had forgotten the loooong "artistic" shots. Before that, it was the MacGyver series. SO and I never missed that show when it was on tv! But we watched the recently released DVDs and now those shows seem so silly!

I must say that I am quite pleased that I was able to successfully introduce Kenneth Branagh's Much Ado About Nothing to them. Kiddie B's class read Twelfth Night and she enjoyed it and I used that as the catalyst. In fact, she asked me to buy the DVD, which I promptly did.

What's in a name?

Why dddragon?

When I was in high school, the teacher who seemed to be responsible for handing out all the nicknames dubbed me Dilly Dally Deller (a play on my real name). So from 10th grade on I was Deller or DDD.

I've always been a reader of science fiction and fantasy - I read Stranger in a Strange Land when I was in 4th grade. (Didn't understand all of it, but still liked it.) True, I've always liked horses as many girls do, but somewhere along the way dragons also became my animal of choice, too.

When I went to CalArts for their animation school, many of us designed our own logos for our films. The above sketch is something like what I used, and "dddragon productions" was the name I put on my animation shorts.

I did find it sort of funny that I've got DDD. Or is it ironic?

It's another beautiful day here in Pennsylvania. The Peregrine Falcon chicks that are on the Rachel Carson building in Harrisburg are growing at an amazing rate.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

When It Rains, It Pours

Okey dokey, here's a whine fest -

True, my gall bladder surgery went well. Then I had that panic attack on the 12th (see post) that turned out to be for nothin' (darn not getting better discharge info!)

The pain in my back/left leg that I've had for some years now, on and off for days & weeks at a time (see post 12/4/04) was thought to be my sciatic nerve. The MRI place was too busy to see me, so I finally got in last month. On Tuesday I got the results ... it's not the sciatic at all - I've got Degenerative Disk Disease in two disks and another that is bulging. Oh, fun. I can get a cortisone shot if I want. hmmmmm

Kiddie B was complaining about being itchy yesterday. Benedryl helped. But today the schoool nurse called to say that Kiddie B had broken out in hives all over and maybe should see a doctor. Poor kid! She looked awful - red all over, eyes swollen to slits. Doctor's office said to treat the symptoms until they were gone, then stop the benedryl and see if the symptoms reappear. Ain't it fun waiting to see if your child gets sick?

This afternoon some smoke came out from under the hood of my 1993 Grand Caravan. We've put enough money into it and I don't want to spend another penny. We need to keep it another year before we can start thinking about shopping for a replacement. Well, it got towed and it looks like it's gonna be major bucks to fix it. Luckily, mom & dad (Tan Lucy Pez and Niks Brainy Smurf Pez) are away in VE & ME, so I can use their other car for a couple of weeks. But we just can't afford another car loan now ... we just replaced the SO's old car last summer (I'm very annoyed that he held on the old one so long...). So the plan will have to be my getting up at 5:30 am to drive him to work so that I can have a vehicle during the day and picking him up in the afternoons.

And Monday the SO's mom was found wandering from home. We've been afraid of this for some years now, but especially the last few months - she keeps saying she wants to go home. She'll give the correct address, but doesn't realize she IS at that address. Luckily a neighbor caught her before she got off the block and stayed with her until my bro-in-law could get home. Alzheimers is a tough thing to deal with, and painful.

So my SO is stressed out with his mom, our finances and the frustration of not being able to do much about any of it anymore. Things need to be done around the house - basic repairs, minor updates or improvements that have been put up for years, etc. Looks like they'll be put off for a few more years.

Oh, I'm stressed, too, but my blood pressure has been staying too high lately (heredity has caught up with me early) and I need to try and not let it get to me ... hard to do.

Finally, my Girl Scout troop has been working on prerequisites on their Silver Award project. Had asked the mom who proposed the idea (create a library for a Children's Home nearby) to be the liasion with them. Now I find out (a year and a half later) that they don't need a library. Each building/cottage/house already has a study/resource room. Oh, sure we "could do a book drive for them if we want" - but each girl has to have a leadership position plus a certain number of hours in the project. There's no way 11 girls can have "leadership" plus something like 40 hours in the same book drive. So it's back to the drawing board about what they can do for the project and they need to finish it by the end of the next school year.


Finally, good news. My surgeon says I'm cleared to eat what I want again and unrestricted in activity. So I had a small piece of chocolate cake tonight. UMMMm Oddly enough, the doctor found my gall bladder to be in pretty bad shape (I've forgotten how he put it, "chronic" something). I'm lucky to have had only one attack, apparently.

It was a beautiful day today. Hoping tomorrow will be, too ... good nite, all, and thanks for "listening."

Monday, May 16, 2005

Fresh Look for Spring

Taking a look at Overshop's blog, I see that she's been playing around with new looks. Then I noticed that she said that she gets reports on traffic to her blog. I thought that sounded interesting, so I added a counter code to mine.

Well, it messed up the right side frame and the profile box and other things ... could not get it back to the way it should be, even tho' I simply removed the counter code.

So I experimented with getting a new template (after cut'n'pasting the code in Word so that I could re-insert personal additons, and in case something really goes wrong). It's Spring, time for new things, right? Then I added my old links to get it back where I wanted things ... and THEN I added the counter code again.

Don't know what the difference is or why it all seems to be working now, but it is. So I'll be getting reports on traffic. Should be interesting.

And this means that I spent more time than I should've on the internet, so I better get to my list of things to do.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Aren't Grandmothers Grand?

I just have to blog 'bout my mom, Tan Lucy Pez. Not only is she a great mom, but she's a great grandmother to my Kiddies. Generous to a fault (literally! lol) and fun, she just loves being Granny. When they're selling Girl Scout cookies, she'll buy a case. If they admire something, she'll get it (but not a Mini Cooper -- too small to be safe enough for her taste!)

Well, the Kiddies' youth group at church was selling raffle tickets as a fund raiser for a class trip. Each had 15 tickets to sell at $5 each - so I silently groaned at the thought of selling 30. So I suggested that they ask Granny, figuring that she would buy several.

Silly me.

She bought them ALL.

Yup. Wrote the check, handed it to me and said "fill in the blanks for me."

Well, this morning the kids pulled the winning top four tickets. Suddenly it occurred to me that my mother had bought 30 tickets - and I figured that there was probably about 200 sold. Mom stood a pretty good chance of winning, I thought.

Silly me.

She won TWICE.

Yup. Third and Fourth place. So she recouped about half of what she spent to buy the tickets.

My mom - ain't she somethin'?

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Dodged the Bullet Again

Well, the latest BRAC listing was released yesterday. We were waiting nervously - the Navy Depot in Mechanicsburg (officially NAVSUP) has been spared a total closure on many other occasions. The workforce there has been slashed, unfortunately, but the base itself is still open.

(It is ironic and stupid that some of the people who lost their positions now work as subcontractors at the Depot, making MORE than they did before!)

Thankfully, NAVSUP wasn't on the BRAC list, so my SO will be able to finish out his career at the Depot. Turns out that 11 positions are being eliminated - what the news doesn't tell you is that BRAC is more than base closures, it's reworking lots of things.

As usual, the Philly base is getting MORE people, when they are already too small for the numbers working there. SO sez that they'll have people working in closets. Naturally, since our senators seem to LOVE Philly, we aren't too surprised.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Getting Good Comments

oh, my goodness, look at all the posts! What a great feeling that's giving me! Thanks for all your well-wishing!

I am feeling better, still a bit off in the head from the meds. (some would say that I've always been off in the head, heheh) The Kiddies and SO have made me chuckle a few times, causing me to grab my belly and hold it tight. The Kitties are both trying to lay down on my stomach, too, which is definitely a no-no for awhile!

Mom (aka Tan Lucy Pez) got us a smoothie maker, and the SO made great banana smoothies last night - so raine's suggestion of a milkshake will be followed, sort of! I've eaten so many salads (w/o my favorite dressings) and bowls of oatmeal that a smoothie was wonderful. As I said before, even the flowers are lookin' good - but they're so pretty I've left them alone.

Well, time to start thinking what I might be able to eat for lunch ... lol

Thanks again for all the wonderful thoughts, wishes and comments that you've all left, it really made my day!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Back in the Saddle Again . . .

. . . sort of.

My gall bladder was removed on Monday, outpatient surgery. Felt pretty out-of-it and uncomfortable afterwards, but by the time I got home that afternoon, I was starting to perk up and definitely felt better on Tuesday.

But then on Tuesday night my right shoulder started to bother me. A nurse had mentioned that the gas used to puff/pump up my abdomen might migrate up there, so I figured that was it. Got a heating pad and lay down on the couch (but didn't lay ON that side). At 2 pm I woke up and now my whole arm hurt, from my neck down to my tingling fingers. That didn't seem quite right, but I took a painkiller and tried to get some more sleep. Around 4:30 am my SO came downstairs to see where I'd been. After describing my pains, he called the Health Connect line our HMO provides. After asking me questions and looking at my file, she said "chew an aspirin for 30 seconds and call 911."

Well, that freaked me out.

So, we called 911 - I insisted that they not use lights or sirens. The EMS guys were quite nice and thought that I was doing well for just having had my gall bladder out. I walked out to the ambulance - they wanted me to lay on the stretcher, but I was being stubborn and embarrassed and insisted on sitting on the side bench (not a comfortable ride, I can tell you!).

I kept telling everyone that I was just following the recommendation of the phone nurse (and yes, I do understand their restrictions and liabilities) but that I really thought it was the gas from the operation - but I hadn't expected it to affect me or hurt the way it did. I had laser laparoscopy 15 years years ago and had gas bubble pains then, and this wasn't ANYthing like that. However, once they had me, they were determined to rule out a blood clot or anything else.

Well, after five hours and many tests - now I know what a CAT scan is like - they finally called my surgeon, who said "oh, yeah, that's quite common."

For pete's sake, couldn't someone have called him sooner?

So, my painkiller dose was increased, and now I'm really feeling odd. Definitely "do not operate a machine..." status. Plus I'm drinking plenty of fluids, so I'm visiting the bathroom plenty of times. Oh, what fun.

At least I'm losing weight, which I'm always trying to do. However, friends have been bringing over casseroles and stuff for my family and they SMELL SO GOOD .... and I can't eat them. Are flower arrangements fat-free?

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to everyone who has had a part in raising young creatures, large and small!

Today @ church it was the Youth Sunday service. My two Kiddies played along with the other Middle Schoolers - what a talented group! Kiddie A plays trumpet while Kiddie B plays trombone. There were mother-daughter musical numbers, as well. Since our church is a large A-frame, the entire front of the sanctuary was nothing but blue sky and the tops of trees, with plenty in flower. And as I blog along here, the dear SO is vacuuming away -- a lovely sound, eh?

Friday, May 06, 2005


Cat Howls - check the cat Haiku
Cat Jokes
Cat Jokes, Poems and Photos, many of which we've probably all seen in emails forwarded on to us!
Funny Cat Photos, quite a few are manipulated photos, but still fun to look at

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Horton Hatches a Who!

Actually, the Peregrine Falcon hatched an egg. She's in the way most of the time, but I thought I saw an egg with the beginnings of a hole in it on Tuesday, and yesterday I saw bits of fluff a few times, peeking out from under Mama. Finally, I caught sight of Baby #1.

Actually, there are probably two babies in this picture, but I can't tell for sure. There were four eggs in all, hopefully all will hatch successfully. The babies are scheduled to be banded on May 26th.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

"Proof that Shat is a Benevolent God"

Today I am a Guest Commentator on SciFiDaily, a blog devoted to Science Fiction, and especially to the revered William Shatner. Pretty much any excuse is used to include him: Shat Happens, Invasion Iowa (future birthplace of Capt. James T. Kirk), Rocketman and Tamborine Man as performed by Shatner, his official website and lots of their commentaries are sprinkled with references to him.

Aral, do you remember that I sent you that autograph of his?

ADDENDUM: Because SciFi Daily has retired, I'm posting what they did here:

The following is a guest post from SciFiDaily reader Della Hoke, who offers her story in reverence to this blog's divine leader.

During the early 1980s, William Shatner starred in the TV police drama, T.J. Hooker. One day, while filming in the Valencia/Newhall, Calif., area, he and co-stars Heather Locklear and Adrian Zmed stopped in at a local restaurant during their lunch break. Students from the nearby arts college, California Institute of the Arts (www.calarts.edu), were among the varied diners, many of whom recognized Shatner. Seated at a nearby table, I gathered enough courage to ask him for an autograph. Unfortunately, the actors’ meal had just arrived, so Shatner asked, "Do you mind if we eat first?" Feeling foolish and rude, I returned to my table. Some time later, I felt a tap on my shoulder. Turning around, I saw William Shatner standing behind me. He asked: "Do you still want that autograph?"

How many actors actually go to the autograph seeker? The Mighty Shat is a benevolent and generous god!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


Picked this up from one of the other bloggers I read from The Pope's blog --

The rules are to pick 5 occupations out of the list and complete the phrase. Add a couple of your own occupations to the end of the list then pass it on to at least 3 people:

The List:
If I could be a scientist...
If I could be a farmer...
If I could be a musician...
If I could be a doctor...
If I could be a painter...
If I could be a gardener...
If I could be a missionary...
If I could be a chef...
If I could be an architect...
If I could be a linguist...
If I could be a psychologist...
If I could be a librarian...
If I could be an athlete...
If I could be a lawyer...
If I could be an innkeeper...
If I could be a professor...
If I could be a writer...
If I could be a llama-rider...
If I could be a bonnie pirate...
If I could be a servicemember...
If I could be a business owner...
If I could be an actor...
If I could be an agent...
If I could be video game designer...
If I could be a comic book artist...
If I could be a mime ...
If I could be a domestic engineer ...
If I could be a chimney sweep ...
If I could be a masseuse ...
If I could be a taxi driver (by Brian)
If I could be a priest (by Brian)
If I could be a window cleaner (by Grace)

So ......
If I could be a librarian, I would catch up on all the books I should be reading.
If I could be a comic book artist, I would create comic books for girls that aren't all about fashion and getting boys.
If I could be an innkeeper, I would only work during the summer.

And my additions --
If I could be a pet therapist ... I would get all the latest gossip.
If I could be a taste tester ... I would be in trouble.
If I could be a couch potato ... I would get paid for what comes naturally.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Men Who Look Like Kenny Rogers

Whilst flipping thru the channels yesterday, I came across CMT's "40 Greatest Fashion Statements" show. Looking like it would be good for a few laughs, I watched for awhile. Leather, hats, hair, belt buckles, how tight are the pants, etc. One segment was particularly fun, mostly because it prompted viewers to go here: http://www.menwholooklikekennyrogers.com/. Any you can even get a T-shirt for it!