Monday, November 30, 2009

A Ureterally Stented, Peri-menopausal, Obsessive-Compulsive With Outdoor Christmas Lights Decorating SeaSpray .....

Suffice it to know that a ureterally stented, peri-menopausal, obsessive-compulsive with outdoor Christmas lights decorating SeaSpray... is NOT the most festive person to be with when helping her with the placement of said light decorations. Fa la la la la la LA! :)

Christmas lights are my favorite thing. I enjoy putting them up and looking at ours and everyone else's all throughout the season. (even in February - Because they're all white, I turn them on during rainy or snowy weather. :) What a fantastic way to celebrate such a wonderful holiday!

Younger son was the one who helped me last night. Actually..we both trimmed the bushes the day before, but I had some sort of virus and had to stop and so we did the lights last night..Sunday night. They had to get done because I knew we'd have bad weather today.

This kid ..of 21 years ..has the patience of a saint. He'd HAVE to... to have put up with me last night. I was all kinds of snappy and whiny. Had to be the hormones and the stent cause I really am not that way... okay..maybe just a bit whiny on occasion... and okay ..maybe a bit hormonal every so often now that the cotton pony is preparing to leave town. But it wasn't fun bending up and down and wrestling with the lights with this stent. :)

First off..and WHY does this happen? ... Six sets ..SIX I tell you ..sets of 100 lights per set did NOT work!!! These were new last year! Changed the fuse ..nothing. All the lights were in the sockets and not burned out. so why does that happen?

Mr SeaSpray saved the day by buying up all the cheap sets of a hundred white lights Walmart had..which was 10 boxes. I was concerned because they were so cheap and not GE ..but he pointed out that I spent more last year and they don't work this year. So I figure he is right..UNLESS ..these go out mid season or something.

Btw ..Mr SeaSpray is NOT Mr Christmas and so that was the extent of his helping with the Christmas lights. LOL! He told me he is a morning person and he'd help me in the morning ..but he knows that ever since 1977 ..I ALWAYS put the lights up at night ..because I am a night person ..and I like to check the progress in the dark.

His saying that is akin to me saying "Oh know I'm a night owl, but if you weed the garden at night...I'll help you." Not gonna happen that way. :)

It is just as well, because he would not have been as patient with me. Younger son is Mr Christmas and so does get into it..although ..he did get a little testy with me too which tells you .. I was being every bit the ureterally stented, peri-menopausal, obsessive-compulsive with outdoor Christmas lights decorating SeaSpray mother. (Oh ..and I mean mother as in Mom ;)

Mercifully.. it was somewhat balmy and there was even a full moon. The moonlight helps when trying to plug things in in the dark and you just don't feel like going inside to get a flash light. We could hear coyotes howling in the distance. The howling coyotes didn't affect the decorating ..just an observation.

Anyway... The crazy making part is when you've decorated a whole section of bushes and realize you don't have enough lights to decorate the largest bush of all at the end. Or when you come just short of connecting to the last strand around the door and the only way to do that is to add another set of 100 lights ..which will then put you over the 500 light limit per the instructions on said lights. Eh..what could going 1 set over do anyway? Just move on to the next section.

A little into the middle section you envision all the lights burning out on the first section. Wait..let's go back. We have to undo them all and start over.

Back to the middle section. Too good to be true. This is going well. "Do you want some hot chocolate honey?" I ask son feeling pleased and in the Christmas spirit.

Wait ..what the heck? Aren't these the same sets from last year? Yes they are. Well why won't this plug go into the receiving plug?? doesn't. Fine do it. See DOESN'T go in! I HATE that! Okay ..take this back off ..yes that one too. I hope we have another one. Oh good. We then redo the last two bushes..but not enough for the largest bush. Okay..rearrange and rearrange and rearrange.. we did it! Still need more but will have to suffice.

By the way .. how is it that 6 strands of last years lights that were completely untangled inside ... became all tangled up during the short walk outside. How did that happen??

We completed the 40 thousandth walk to the road to asses the lights. If you look at the lights with your eyes can see the gaps and rearrange accordingly. The bushes have gotten so big ..that 500 lights a section is nothing. The other set we used last year let you have 600 lights. *sigh*

I put black electrical tape firmly on every open exposed plug opening as we went along and showed son how I take little sandwich bags and enclose each connection in the bag...sealed with duct tape to prevent moisture from possibly getting in. He went back and did all that for me.

Now we usually do the walkway..but had to pull those bushes and never replaced them and so we did the pine tree at the end of the yard. I miss seeing those lights.

Son and I had a" Who's on first and What's on second" conversation about the connecting of the extension cords that went around about 4 times before we resolved it... and it turns out he was right. :) We didn't do it, but now that I found a new box we didn't use.. I may just add them to the big bush. Although I was right about needing 3 heavy duty cords to get to the tree.

Then ..after we just finished wrapping the first string around the pine tree, we noticed a defective light. He removed it and no matter what either of us did ..we could not get any replacement bulbs back into the little socket. Fine! Remove that set off the tree and I will go in and get another one. This tree is halfway to being Woodstock's Christmas tree. It is sparse in sections and I saw it had a problem after I got it home, but thought it would grow out of it. It did not.

So..does anyone know if it's okay to have little white Christmas lights on the dead parts of a tree. Maybe it's not dead .. but just doesn't have any needles in places... what you would call sparce ??

So then I noticed that the way I wrapped the lights around the angel didn't look so good from a distance and younger son said he'd do it tomorrow and went in. I stared at it, walked over and just yanked it up, removed the lights and dispersed them on the bushes. Done!

I have to felt good to finish everything with son by 9pm ..then doing it by myself until 1am or so. I just have to put the bows on the fresh wreaths and hang them and then the outside is done. I may put little red bows on the bushes ..I'll see.

Oh and younger son and I have been having discussions about the validity of global warming and in frustration I blurted out.."Well they better NEVER mess with the Christmas lights! Al Gore will RUE the day he did THAT! I know no one has suggested it ..but they better never even think about it!" Younger son(Chris) just got this big grin and walked away. :)

So ..this ureterally stented, peri-menopausal, obsessive-compulsive with outdoor Christmas lights decorating SeaSpray Mom wants to say ...I really appreciated our son's help last night. Thank you Chris!

P.S. I just had a perplexing thought. The math doesn't add up with the lights.

10 new boxes - 1 with defective light - 1 we forgot to use = 8 new boxes.

5 boxes used in 1st section + 2 boxes on tree = 7 new boxes used.

7 used boxes + 2 unused boxes = 9 new boxes.

10 new boxes - 9 new boxes = 1 missing new box of lights.

The middle section used all lights left from last year.

I can't account for the 10th box.

Sinking feeling ...


What would really happen if we did use 100 more lights then recommended in the instructions? We must've gone over by one set in the 1st section.

Fa la la la la la! :)

***I know I get a little obsessive about this part of Christmas... the Lights... and the Christmas tree .. the size and decorating it.. but that's it. I do know the real meaning of Christmas... the birth of Christ ..God's perfect gift to our world and all of us. It's a time to embrace the message and appreciate your loved ones well as helping others. I love that Christmas inspires people to want to be with the special people in their lives and brings about the spirit of giving. Christmas is a message of God's love for mankind.

Previous Christmas light post written as a newbie blogger :

2006 - PLEASE God - Let There Be Light :)

Friday, November 27, 2009

I'm Thankful For My Good Friend and Her Vanilla :)

This is an on line thank you to my dear friend
Pstamper who I just know forgives me BECAUSE she understands that desperate people do desperate things in their hour of DESPERATION!

I was supposed to have baked the Pumpkin cookies much earlier but then something else came up and I had to put the batter aside and could't finish even though I was all set to bake. Then around 11:30 on Thanksgiving eve ..I finally got the first batch of pumpkin cookies in the oven!

I then proceeded to make the icing. I melted the butter, milk and brown sugar in the pan. I got the confectionery sugar out and then went for the vanilla.

"WHAT???!!! NO VANILLA???!!", I screamed in my brain. I desperately rummaged through the closet and then remembered the last time I used it and emptied the bottle.

I called Pstamper... telling myself if she doesn't answer by 3 rings ..5 rings...or so..I'm hanging up because then she's sleeping and they are going to the church to help with the Thanksgiving meal. She is often up late and has called me late.. but if she didn't answer..then she must be sleeping.

What to do? What to do? I quickly ruled out the possibility of pumpkin cookies without the icing. Mulled over the fact that the icing would still be sweet and who needs vanilla anyway.. but traditionalist that I am .. I decided I had to have the vanilla. I called her cell and the house phone. Then I went to look out my back window because another neighbor I know stays up late but I couldn't see anything through the fog. But just then Pstamper called.

I told her of my plight and then begged her to please go downstairs and get the vanilla and said younger son would be over to get it. I could here she was tired and envisioned her with eyes barely open shuffling down the stairs, through the house and into the kitchen to get the vanilla for me. I hope she got back to sleep.

I am thankful for her efforts. So..not only did she volunteer her time to help feed the alone and or hungry people for Thanksgiving yesterday.. but she saved the day for the traditional (since Thanksgiving 1977) SeaSpray Thanksgiving Pumpkin cookies. I know that pales in comparison to feeding the hungry ..but she did help this friend out and I do appreciate her sacrifice. :)

Oh..and if my thanks isn't enough..I am also attempting to absolve myself of guilt by giving you a plate of cookies this weekend... oh and so you can't have YOUR vanilla back until I finish baking. ;)

Family and Thoughts

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. :)

We had an enjoyable day over at my m-i-l's house.

We were blessed with lot's of good company and good food. We missed the relatives that aren't with us anymore and enjoyed having our newest granddaughter, Wrenna with us for her first Thanksgiving.

Can you imagine that? Being so fresh from God and living on this planet for only 6 months? Her first Thanksgiving and her first Christmas and all the firsts to come. What a joy it is to see through a child's eyes. :)

And it was a joy sharing Thanksgiving with our other granddaughter, Devan, our sons and d-i-l and everyone else. We are all so busy these days.. that it seems we only see the extended family at holidays or special occasions.

For most of my married life all of our celebrations have been mostly with my husband's family because my family doesn't live in the area and for whatever reason.. our parents didn't get together on a regular basis and so we cousins are probably even more distant.

I don't know why my family wasn't as bonded. I KNOW they loved each other and I do LOVE my cousins .. but no one ever gets together. We have very separate lives. I too have been remiss in keeping up contact.

I know much more about my husband's family than my own cousin's lives. I only have 4 cousins. Lee (her husband John), Nancy, Sandy and her son Joshua. That's it for blood relatives on my side. There are no older relatives now.

Actually .. I know I do have a large family on my maternal side ..but as I said.. the older generations let relationships slide and so I don't know any of them. And when my mother left my father and broke all communication with his side of the family..I missed out on getting to know all of them.. and there are a lot of cousins.

But.. it is my husband's family that has taken me in as their own. I have often joked that marrying into his family was like marrying into he Walton's because they were a large, loving family. I have learned a lot from them and believe that their influence has been one of the major influences inspiring me to be a better parent than I otherwise would have been.

My cousins because of unplanned circumstances..weren't able to be at my mother's memorial.. but my husband's family was there. While I understood why they couldn't be there.. and even though we don't see each other for years sometimes...I missed them greatly. I can't even explain why. Maybe sometime I will try.

But in the end.. I think that no matter how much time and distance separates us from our families .. no one can fill the void of their absence. Family is important.

I found myself really looking and listening to our relatives yesterday. I was trying to take in everything about them and I was so appreciative of who they have been in my past and what they mean to me now. I know we don't have forever and I just wanted to savor every moment with all of them. I felt very blessed. :)

On the way home.. still feeling the warm glow of the Thanksgiving day just celebrated... I asked my husband "Do you ever think about .. in a sentimental way.. how blessed you are to have all of your family around you... do you think of it in a home and hearth does your heart fill up with appreciation for family and how enriched your life has been because of it?

He said "No."

"NO? Okay..maybe I am thinking like a girl and being all sentimental ..but seriously.. you don't get thoughts like that when you look around?"

"No..I don't get sentimental."

"Well must feel something? I'll bet you appreciated everyone when you were in Vietnam? You must think something?"

"No ..I don't and don't judge me."

"I'm NOT judging you! I was just wondering if you get the same warm feelings I do... but maybe I am just being girly. I just think you must have warm feelings for more than just the turkey!"

"Yeah.. I love everybody..but I don't THINK about it!"

"Okay so I am just thinking like a female ..but I'll bet other men like writers, poets and some blogging doctors think with feelings."

We pulled into the driveway and that was the end of that ... what must've felt like an inquisition to him. In his mind..he was probably expecting the flood light to shine in his face at any second. :)

Mr SeaSpray hates when I get into these kinds of conversations. I am the *feeling*(yet analytical) personality and so perfectly logical to me.. but not his cup of tea. LOL!

Actually.. he reacts just like men do when you ask them their opinion of how you look. They have that freeze.. deer in the headlights moment while they process how to answer and try to answer with an evasive noncommittal one. :)

Mr SeaSpray has always been very committed to family .. but is not one to speak about feelings. That's okay.. because in the end ..actions speak louder than words. That little conversation was a good demonstration between the male vs female brain. I still think we have the same feelings..they just come out differently.

So.. it was a very nice Thanksgiving day and I loved being with everyone, but I also am missing my maternal side of my family. As I said.. I too have been remiss in keeping up communications and so I am going to make a better effort to get together with my cousins too.

Another Recommendation

I thoroughly enjoyed *this* post written by storytellERdoc! reading his words seemed like he had somehow gotten in my brain regarding these thoughts and put them on paper ..except much more eloquently than I ever could.

I can see I am going to have to try to restrain myself from long comments there ..and we all know that short commentary isn't exactly my strong suit. :)

I have a feeling this doc is going to frequently write posts that are going to move me profoundly in all directions and then I am going to come back here and link and recommend you all go check out the post...and so I definitely recommend this wonderful blog as something to be added to your sidebar or bookmarked. :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

New ER Blog

There is a new ER blog in the med blogosphere - "StorytellERdoc".

The author also goes by the name StorytellERdoc and he had me reeled in with just his profile. I like his writing style and I am certain it's going to be a most interesting blog. He already had me crying with his second post as he recounted for his 13 yr old daughter one of his saddest patients.

Just reading his first couple of posts ...I can see he's going to have some good stuff for us to read.

This doc can write! :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Wednesday night I went to Walmart to have pictures put on CD's and printed out. I have a couple of favorite places I prefer to park and one of them is directly on the side of the building..which usually isn't available. Then I saw someone getting ready to back out and I waited... but then they stopped and so I moved on and pulled in in front of the store in one of the regular aisles.

Just as I pulled in again looked like the car was ever so slowly backing out and so I ever so slowly began backing out ..eying that spot thinking I'd make a dash for it.

Never mind the fact that I already could've been in the store and I'd now have to make a mad dash out of my aisle, past 2 more and hang a fast right to claim the coveted spot. It's kind of like trying to find a way to get that last dish fit in the dishwasher so you don't have to hand wash it.. but by the time you do could've washed it 5 times. Okay it's different ..but sort of like that. :)

So with my eyes focused on the target I backed out ..slowly...slowly ..slowly "are they backing out or what?" slowly...BAM! One "*%*#" expletive loudly uttered! I'm not proud of that. I did that in Cape May too when I was backing out of the motel parking lot and backed right into a telephone pole which should NOT have been there. I wasn't proud of uttering that same expletive either. And my then young son was in the back seat. Expletives are not the norm for me at all ..but evidently ..flare up at a moment of extreme distress and alarm for something stupid.

Son of a gun! Images of seriously dented back of vehicles ran through my brain ...and money ..lots of expense. *sigh* I pulled forward. The other car I had been watching backed out and left. (Were they TOYING with me? ;)

I got out and was instantly relieved to see it was a truck. I figured it would be alright. Sure enough it was fine except for a little bit of white paint on the bumper that the owner could probably buff off. Then with fear and trepidation..I turned to look at my vehicle. It seemed okay until I got closer and saw that I broke the back tail light at the base and the pieces fell off in my hand. *sigh* I put them in my pocket.

I pulled a pad out of my purse and wrote the make and license number of the truck down so I could have the owner paged to the desk. I probably didn't have to but I wanted to let them decide how they felt about it.

So I walked toward the store and when I got to the door, this real tall man was walking out and I don't know what made me do it but I stopped him and said, " you own a truck?"


"It wouldn't happen to be gray..would it?"

Now looking concerned he answered with a cautionary "Y-e-s-s-s."

I quickly stated "Don't worry..It's fine! I just backed into it..BUT there is only a little paint on the bumper. I was just gonna have you paged so you could look at it. I broke my tail light though and hope I can't get a ticket for it. Why don't you look at your truck. I'm sure it's okay and if you think so just wave back at me."

He was very nice. He got over to his truck and hollered back "It's fine and we don't have to call insurance."

(I knew that but just being courteous. I had someone back into and dent the rear end of my T-Bird and it was an ER doc who pointed it out to me when he saw it in the parking lot. I hadn't even noticed because it was dark blue (only a few years old) and must've recently happened. It was fairly significant and I was bummed and thought it was so wrong to do that and take off.)

But then he hollered, "I'm going over to check the damage on yours. It's not bad. All you have to do is go to the auto store and pick up some red tape and it will be fine."

I thanked him and we went our separate ways.

It could've been worse. What if a person was walking behind me? All for a stupid parking space!

I am not strong with parking .. like I can't parallel park. Well .. I can.. but it looks really bad when I get out of the car and see how crooked and away from the curb I am ..and so I guess I can't parallel park. Apparently backing out is debatable too. :)

Anyway.. this one afternoon I pulled into a parking space at the grocery store. the parking lot was packed because it was during the holidays, but this was a good spot. I pulled in too close to the car on my right.. like they would've had to enter their car from the passenger side too close to get in and drive away if I left it like that. (Had someone do that to me TWICE!).

So..I backed out..and I backed out a distance so I could pull in more evenly and this woman who saw me waiting for the other driver to leave and saw me pull in and had to see I needed to straighten out just pulled right in, got out and walked into the store. I couldn't believe it.

I had my elderly mother with me and so I couldn't park too far for her to walk in and out of the store. I saw the woman in the store and told her she took my parking spot and she just commented she thought I was leaving. She lied. She swooped in like an eagle on a marmot!

Now with Black Friday almost here and the busy holiday shopping season over the next month ..we would all do well to exercise more caution while driving AND parking. People do get a bit crazy this time of year.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Mug, the Coat and ..the Pillowcase

It was the pillowcase that just broke me.

Last week ...earlier in the week .. I went to get a Longaberger mug out of the closet to use for my morning coffee. I've had these mugs for years now and have become an avid collector of Longaberger products ..the baskets, the wrought iron and the pottery.

When I see the pottery... I feel happy every time. I love the weight and feel of the coffee mugs, the thick rounded lip at the top and the solid rounded bottom in my hand. The mugs feel so good to hold ..warm, cozy and pleasing. I always look forward to using them.

The Mug:

But as I reached up to grab a mug eyes fell on another mug... one that doesn't belong to any set. It's also pottery and arty looking with the pretty design. My heart felt so sad .. in an instant. No tears.. just very sad and I chose to ignore it and closed the cabinet door.

Last summer, we were all at my m-i-l's ..sitting in the kitchen and about to have some coffee, when my mother blurted out.. harshly that she had asked me for another mug because the Longerberger mugs I gave her were to heavy, but I never got it for her. I reacted..snappily and said she did not ask for a mug or I would've gotten her one and she said "Oh YES I did!" I let it drop ... but I was annoyed.

I was clueless at the time that she was experiencing some dementia and that she was getting weaker so that even a mug was too heavy. I didn't know. She did tell me at one point that the mug was heavy and maybe that was her way of "asking" for another mug and it just went past me. If that was a request..then it was a miscommunication between both of us..which was par for the coarse with our oil and water personalities. We Loved each other though. And I am beginning to understand how non-communicative she was about things...even simple things.

I am a firm believer that anything can be resolved ..if only people will say what they are really thinking or mean..and if they will listen. Listen and communicate your thoughts/feelings. And forgive. But we never got to that point because everything was glossed over and or misunderstood... and usually ..i just distanced.

But..with hindsight being 20-20... oh my gosh.. there are so many things.. I would've let roll off me and I would ask important questions and just be there. My husband reminds me that it was not her personality to do that and it wasn't easy.

So aunt heard the conversation and gave me a mug to give to Mom .. and this is the mug.

Then when she was in the nursing home... this was the mug I would take to the staff break room and fill with a hot cup of fresh coffee and happily bring it back to her. It felt so good to see how much she loved getting that fresh coffee... even though she could hardly do anything for herself and was no longer independent in any sense of the word. She had lost all ability to read, use a remote or even prop herself up if she fell over. Her eyes would light up, she'd smile and always have an appreciative comment. She loved her coffee.

That is a bittersweet memory.

It pains me to look at the mug. I don't want it in my closet. I tried to give it away and I can't throw it out. I guess I have to pack it ..or I could try harder to give it away.

The Coat:

Friday afternoon ..younger son and I were going through bags that had been in the attic and I was deciding what to keep. I unexpectedly opened a big black bag of her winter clothes.

Seeing them was instantly heart crushing.. much worse than the mug. But then I saw it ...the teal green winter coat that she wore all the time ..even though we had gotten her a nicer winter coat one year for Christmas. When I am in the grocery store ..I can almost see her at the other end of the aisle ... in her teal green coat I round the corner. I still avoid the local grocery stores when I can.. because she is supposed to be there .. shopping ..filling her cart with her usual things... but of course ..she is not. But really.. it's like I can just almost see if I looked a little harder..she would really be there and my eyes just can't see her yet. Seeing that coat was like a searing hot poker to my heart and I said... "Oh NO..Mom's coat!" I put my face into the bag of clothes. The inside of the bag smelled just like her. I wanted to immerse myself into it or go lie down and hug the clothes, but company was coming soon. I picked the coat up and held it close to my chest and tears fell softly down onto the coat.. staining it with my tear drops. I put it back into the bag, tied the bag and tossed it and said to put it out in the shed... but don't throw it out. I couldn't say throw it out because that would be like throwing Mom out.. but they really can ... I just can't say it yet. Today, I did have the idea to let her cat nestle into her clothes and wondered if he'd remember and be happy, sad ..or confused. I think he'd know it was her things though. But I didn't bring it in.

The Pillowcase:

Then just a little while ago as I was changing the sheets ..I picked up a pillowcase and remembered Mom gave that set to us for a Christmas present one year. It's not even one of my favorite sets... although it is pretty. I then proceeded to fit the case onto the pillow and stopped mid way. I froze for a couple of seconds, pulled it back off ..hugged it and sobbed.

The thing is ..the mug has emotional memories... the coat absolutely has emotional memories ... but the pillow case ..nothing. All I remember is that she gave it to us and I couldn't even tell you what Christmas.. and it was the pillowcase that broke me.

Obviously it hurts when you lose a parent. It hurts even more (says me) if the relationship was complicated. She's only been gone 7 months... but after the memorial that was finally held in September.. I managed to keep most thoughts of Mom at bay.

Oh they come in .. but mostly they float around nearby..almost feeling them physically for a few seconds, but I quickly dismiss them before they land and grip my heart all over again. Just last week I was going on about how happy I was with it getting dark early, fall and the holidays coming if she never existed ..I didn't even think about her when I was saying these things.

But while holding the pillowcase (I know it sounds dumb), my thoughts of her came flooding in like a dam had burst and then I remembered Christmas is coming...

No more pillowcases, sheets and presents exchanged, no more ornaments... that I shall cherish more than ever, someone else will sit in her place at the table and no more warnings to stop at the corner because the cars come up fast (She said that for twenty yrs), warnings of snow delivered like every storm would be a blizzard or to wear something on my head or I'll catch a cold and no more warm hugs with that little tickling of my side she always snuck in that would always make me laugh and jump back.
All this because of an inconsequential pillowcase!

I miss my Mom.

Ninja cat comes closer while not moving!

I love this and the music with it too.

At first I didn't see it and then younger son said to keep watching... and it becomes more obvious.

Cat's can be so funny. LOL!

Friday, November 13, 2009

3rd Blogoversary

Today is my 3rd

(Is it blogO or blogAversary ..or blogIversary?)

Three years of writing and reading all of your blogs .. oh and commenting. I never planned to do this. I stumbled into the med blogosphere quite by accident while researching urology. I've enjoyed it thoroughly and am quite passionate about this fabulous hobby.

Thank you to everyone who stops by to read, comments, blogrolled me, comments, for your e-mails and most beautiful baby quilt. :)

Thank you for your friendship. :)

I wish I had time to put up a post now, but will over the weekend.

Here is a link to the 1st post I ever wrote, back when I was clueless just how committed (ADDICTED :) I would be to blogging.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

Thank you to all the veterans who have served in all of our military branches....past and present.

Thank you for your bravery, dedication and many sacrifices ...sometimes the ultimate sacrifice ... with your lives, so that we can be free.

Thank you for liberating the oppressed around the world.

Thank you for maintaining the peace both at home and abroad.

Thank you.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Plans Foiled by Unexpected Attempted Break In - SERPENTINE! SURPENTINE!

Scrubs: J.D. and the raccoon (36 sec)

I guarantee you... I would've acted exactly like JD ...only WORSE!

This is funny and not funny and could've been dangerous terms of dying a most hideous death. (I know..that flare for the dramatic in me is rising up again.) This is actually a continuation of yesterday's joke that backfired ..with a twist ...a raccoon twist.

A little while ago, I heard the car doors close which told me that son and husband had just gotten home. So I decided that this time ...instead of actively leaning against the door so that he can't open it... like I did yesterday ..that I would instead unlock the door and open it as soon as I heard him by the door. I thought I'd make it easy this time and greet him with a welcoming smile. After yesterday..that would've amused him. :)

So, I unlocked the door and stood there waiting for them to come up to the door so I could open it for them, be the greeter ..the hostess with the mostest and all that.

They didn't come in.

Then ...finally ..I heard a noise by the door like he was pulling it open and so I wanted to beat him and I swung the inside door open.

No one was there.

What the heck?

So I quickly closed the door.

I stood there ...waiting ...waiting ..and then I thought I saw a figure go past the sliding door in the back, heading toward the front.. but it was so quick that I wasn't sure.

I continued to stand behind the door. I know the sound of the car doors. You always become attuned the vehicles and subsequent sounds when they come near your home and you most certainly are attuned to the family vehicles and car door sounds. I can even tell you what neighbor is leaving or coming home by the sound of their car or where I hear car doors closing.

Still standing there and I am guessing it was about 5 minutes at that point. Perplexed ..yet determined ..I waited.

Then ... I heard a weird noise. Again...again ......... and again.???

So, I opened the door and there is Christopher holding Sneakers our cat. He was standing to the left of the door. Then my husband walked from around the front of the house with a big garden rake in his hands. ?

As I opened the door Christopher said we have to keep the cat in the house no matter what because there is a raccoon by the house.

It turns out that what I thought was my husband opening the door... was actually a BIG raccoon trying to get into our house! They said when they rounded the corner, they saw him trying to pull our outside door open from the bottom. He had his paws underneath and was tugging at the bottom of the door. Then he growled at them and proceeded to attempt climbing up the door shutter. When that didn't work, he then ran a bit to the left and tried to scale up the brick and when that didn't work he ran further into the bushes...which is why my husband got the rake The noise I heard was him (my husband) trying to get the would be perpetrator ... out of the bushes ..which he did and then it was cornered up against the other door on the patio.

So ..I insisted they come in because raccoons are nocturnal creatures and it is either rabid or has distemper. But J, my husband wanted to go back out and watch him. The raccoon had already left but J saw him and began following him up the road... but at this point the critter was only in the field across the street... but was on the move. Son stayed out front road to greet the police and direct them to his father and the masked bandit... or at least point out the direction they headed off too.

So, I called 911 because I don't even know if there is an animal control person working on a Sunday. Also ... some years back ..the police came at 5 in the afternoon in response to our neighbor...a few doors down reporting a drooling raccoon in their tree. The police officer shot the raccoon. So I figured that is what I should do. Call the police.

The 911 dispatcher called back to say they'd be there any minute (best laid plans) and to tell husband and son to stay away from the animal. I hollered out to tell them what she said and then went back to her and said, "I did..but they got all SNAPPY." She laughed and said that's because they're men. I agreed. :)

By the way if I didn't know better ..I'd think that just like in the old movie "The in Laws" that this masked would be intruder had a partner yelling "SERPENTINE! SERPENTINE!" because of how this critter was crossing back and forth over the road onto the different properties going up the road ...while continually looking back at my husband .. I assume to see if he was still following him. this raccoon's effort to escape, he was using the serpentine maneuver. If he had grenades.. I think he'd of been tossing them back at J. :)

The In Laws - Alan Arkin Peter Falk - Serpentine! Serpentine! (1979) (41 SECONDS)

If you never saw this scene.. you must check it out - it's HILARIOUS! :)

Well it wasn't even a couple of minutes when, I called my friend Pstamper to alert her because they have pets too. I also thought the police should know because we have children in the neighborhood. Not that they can do anything if they didn't get it today.. but I thought they should be aware.

By the time the police came ... my husband was halfway up the
road(SERPENTINE! SERPENTINE!) and just as the police got to him, the raccoon ran back across the road... and then into the which point the officer said "I'm not going in to chase him." J didn't think he would but said that he was hoping he could've been a little sooner so the officer could shoot the raccoon.

Then the officer said .."Oh he probably didn't have to be shot. He was probably scared from someone running a leaf blower." He was a young officer and maybe not too familiar with these things. Or..he didn't want to go in the woods. I know... they have more important things to do. But where that Raccoon went in..if he continues..will bring him right to some neighbors with kids and pets.

First off... I didn't here any leaf blowers. And that would be one mighty scared raccoon to leave his comfy wooded area in broad daylight and then scamper to residential houses and try to break in less.


"Hello 911 - I'd like to report an attempted breaking and entering into our home. Description? Well ..he's wearing a mask .. and is covered in body hair.. um fur all over. Uhhh ..on all fours ..he's maybe a foot tall ..but standing upright..I am sure he's at least 2 feet. Any other distinguishing features? Yes.. yes ..he has rings around his tail..yes officer.. I did say tail. But he got away before I could count them. Oh and black gloves of some sort. When he couldn't get in via the front door ..he tried to scale the house... but not before verbally threatening my husband and son. The last time I saw him he was half running and half waddling ..sort of... up the road SERPENTINE fashion ..with my husband unarmed, in hot pursuit"

Unfortunately for the neighborhood, this masked would be intruder is still at large. I will follow-up with a call tomorrow to see if animal control was contacted. We live in the country and so I am sure this isn't the 1st time a sick wild animal has traversed through our yards before... but it is a bit unnerving to think that he was trying to get in the house.

So..when I heard that noise by the door the first time ... and I opened it thinking it was J, but didn't see anyone there... THAT noise ..was actually the raccoon trying to get in the house.

OMGOSH! Do you have any idea what I would've done if that raccoon ran into this house or worse onto and all over me?!!!! I would've acted EXACTLY like JD when the raccoon landed on him in the shower (see top video) ..only with much more HYSTERIA!!!!!!!!! I'd be so hysterical..the raccoon would get even more hysterical and then so would I and we'd feed off of each other in mass hysteria... and so on.

Thankfully ..he didn't attack my guys either!!

And I can't help chuckling that all because I played that joke with the door on J yesterday .. that in trying to make up for it today ... I got stuck waiting there because of this raccoon. :)
I actually have had the rabies series for a possible bat bite. So..I am not sure.. but I think I would only need a booster shot... unless there is a time frame as with tetanus shots. But J and son would've had to do the whole thing.

The SCARY thing about this is... when you have pets that go outside... if they come in contact with a rabid animal..even though they are vaccinated... the family could still catch the rabies virus if they come in contact with the animal's saliva on their pet's fur. I've seen whole families have to get the rabies series because of that.

J to wiped down both doors real good after soaking them with Windex. Actually during warmer weather... we will sometimes have brown droppings streaking downward on the doors or house and that is from the bats who are catching bugs under the porch lights at night. I don't get all squirrelly about wiping the doors immediately. But this was all fresh and right in front of us.

There are so many wild critters around here that I am sure this raccoon isn't the 1st, nor will he be the last to walk through our properties . I just hope not many more animals will become infected. I am also going to call our vet in the morning as I think they may want to know since they are near by in case other owners may be at risk with their pets. Also..I want to know if there are any precautions we need to take..even though our pets are vaccinated and up to date. We have Mom's cat and never had him get shots because he is an indoor cat.

This evening, I wanted to go out to the store but thought better of it since it was dark. I admittedly was feeling a little afraid since the raccoon seemed to be doubling back in this direction earlier and he had already targeted this house. So ... I figured I'd exit our house with a broom in hand ...and then bring said broom with me into the car that when I got back home... I could protect myself when I got back home ..if need be.

I've decided to wait until the morning. But the whole point of the problem is that this is a nocturnal animal wandering about during the day. I wonder how many times we are outside and these animals are just around the corner? We have a lot of bears that pass through here. Now a rabid bear... that is a scary concept. God forbid!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Spontaneously DUMB! (with a stent)

I like to tease.

Some might say I can be impish (in fun) at times, but I prefer to think if it as frisky. :)

Things just pop up and I get the idea/urge..unplanned... to do something as the opportunity presents itself.

I like to tease.

No.. I love to tease.

Practical jokes or frisky competitions ..all in fun. :)

Mom always said (when I annoyed her as a kid/teenager), "You're just like your uncle JIM! You like to TEASE! or "You're a TEASE just like JIMMY!" It was not meant as a compliment but rather said in annoyance or exasperation..although she was closer to him then my other uncle.

Older son Jonathan is just like me..although he doesn't always know when to stop. Hmmm. ...and perhaps the apple didn't fall too far from the tree.

But we are spontaneously frisky ..not the mean kind of teasing.. just annoyingly I guess, but we always appreciate the humor and laugh ..even when the joke is on us. He leaves hilarious messages for me with the funniest impersonations. :) J (my husband) is quite the opposite and isn't quick to see the humor... nor is he competitive. He does have a good sense of humor, but not the practical joke kind of humor. He can actually get a little testy at times when we do these things. :)

A good example with me..when Jonathan (older son) was 16 or 17 and he asked for the Afghan (we were watching a movie) and I went to hand it to him... but ...then didn't let go. He gets this big grin and we are then in a major tug of war... which he won.. but not without a struggle. Chris and I will do it too and he appreciates practical jokes, but isn't likely as us to initiate one.

We have wrestled things away from each other or pushed into each other, had cherry tomato fights, hose fights, snowball fights, tinsel fights, pillow fights, food fights and other pranks, etc. A common one is to sneakily relocate the bowl of cereal (insert your food) while the person returns the milk back to the fridge. :)

These kinds of things would get J mad..and so I don't usually do it.. but today..I heard his key going in the door and I seized the opportunity. The door was locked and so was the deadbolt. So I spontaneously decided to do what I have done with Chris ...who got a big smile when I did it to him a while back.

I decided to lean against the door really hard (on my stented side) feet wedged, body wedged against the door so that he couldn't budge the door when he unlocked it.

He couldn't move it. Then I heard him switching keys and I also heard him with grocery bags moving and thought ..okay.. he's not gonna be laughing at this.. but I held my ground...mind you not thinking about the fact that I have a ureteral stent in me... until he pushed harder again and the door moved a bit but closed.

THEN I thought about the stent.

And so then I was thinking that I had better get away from the door and so just as I leaned away he pushed and I got pushed back and almost fell!

In retrospect ..I should've just hollered.. "Wait.. don't push's me."

So..predictably ..he failed to see the humor in it.

And now my side/flank is aching big time and I think I strained it. When you have a ureteral stent in, you are not supposed to strain yourself, i.e., lift anything heavy, run, jump, play tug-of-war, etc.

I am not the new kid on the block with this. What was I thinking?! Oh wait... I WASN'T!

Now on the up side is that I was feeling good enough to do something so spontaneously dumb and momentarily forgot about being stented. True the meds help with that... but there have been days where I wouldn't have even thought to do that at all.

So.. now I am hoping I didn't cause some kind of damage because I feel noticeably different there.

Actually ..I used to get aggravated when the boys and their friends would purposely try to close and open doors on each other and then they'd be shoving the doors in the opposite direction. I thought that was an invitation to have someone get their fingers crushed in a slammed door.

My friend Pstamper's son would play a joke on her and then blurt out he was kidding. He got that from us. :)

So long as you don't hurt someone physically or emotionally and know when to stop... joking around is fun. And then you know what they say about pay back... ;)

AND... so long as you don't have a medical restriction to keep you from harm.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

New Hat :)

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Here is Wrenna modeling her new hat :)

How CUTE is she?!!!!!

I just love the little critter so very much ..and her sweet big sister Devan!

My very talented d-i-l knit this cute little hat for Wrenna. D-i-l knits beautiful things, sweaters, scarves, socks, and all kinds of things. She's also very talented with graphic arts and much more.

This hat kept her nice and warm at Devan's soccer game. D-i-l always chooses the softest, most amazing yarns.

I'm looking forward to seeing them in a little bit. :)


Monday, November 2, 2009

Get Out and Vote Tuesday - November 3rd

For those of us who have local elections to vote in ... please go out and vote for your candidate.

Here in NJ it's going to be a very close race for governor. EVERY vote counts!!

I did hear something extremely disturbing to me and it's infuriating and it just has to STOP!

Everyone wants their candidate elected.

Someone will win.

And someone will lose.

I can handle that.

But PLEASE ...can't we elect a politician fairly? Without political corruption?

I am finding this ACORN/Affiliates debacle to be extremely disheartening... sickening ...actually.

It just isn't right.

My state is a blue state. The fact that this is even a close race speaks volumes. If the independent wasn't in the race... the incumbent governor would lose by a landslide.

I hope it's okay to do this but this writer explains it better than I ever could. it is an opinion piece from the Wall Street Journal. Here is an excerpt from the article:

Chris Christie's Next Case: Who Stole My Election?


The race for governor in New Jersey is so close in final polls that it may well end up in a recount -- the 1981 election did and was decided by less than 1,800 votes. If there is a recount, you can bet disputes about absentee ballots will loom large. Moreover, if serious allegations of fraud emerge, you can also expect less-than-vigorous investigation by the Obama Justice Department -- which showed just how seriously it takes such allegations when it walked away from an open-and-shut voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party in Philadelphia earlier this year.

Plenty of reasons exist for suspecting absentee fraud may play a significant role in tomorrow's Garden State contests. Groups associated with Acorn in neighboring Pennsylvania and New York appear to have moved into the state. An independent candidate for mayor in Camden has already leveled charges that voter fraud is occurring in his city. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party in New Jersey is taking advantage of a new loosely written vote-by-mail law to pressure county clerks not to vigorously use signature checks to evaluate the authenticity of absentee ballots, the only verification procedure allowed.

The state has received a flood of 180,000 absentee ballot requests. On some 3,000 forms the signature doesn't match the one on file with county clerks. Yet citing concerns that voters would be disenfranchised, Democratic Party lawyer Paul Josephson wrote New Jersey's secretary of state asking her "to instruct County Clerks not to deny applications on the basis of signature comparison alone." Mr. Josephson maintained that county clerks "may be overworked and are likely not trained in handwriting analysis" and insisted that voters with suspect applications should be allowed to cast provisional ballots. Those ballots, of course, would then provide a pool of votes that would be subject to litigation in any recount, with the occupant of New Jersey's highest office determined by Florida 2000-style scrutiny of ballot applications.

Absentee voter fraud is in danger of becoming a hardy perennial in New Jersey. Atlantic City Councilman Marty Small and 13 campaign workers were indicted in September on charges of conspiring to commit election fraud using absentee ballots. One worker pleaded guilty last month. In Newark, five campaign workers were indicted in August on charges involving absentee ballot fraud.

Victor Negron, a campaign adviser for independent mayoral candidate Roberto Feliz, a former director of Camden's public works department, says he's shocked that more than fifteen times the normal number of voters are casting absentee ballots in Camden this year. In the 2005, when the city's voters voted for both governor and mayor on the same day, only 200 absentee ballots were cast. This year, some 3,700 have already been received. At least four voters have approached the Feliz campaign to complain that an absentee ballot was sent to them without their permission or cast for them without their understanding the documents they were signing. I spoke with Uremia Rojas who reports that "a man with a clipboard knocked on my door and had me sign something so I could vote by mail. I was skeptical but signed and got a ballot. I never really wanted one." Says Mr. Negron: "We believe this to be underhanded and a possibly illegal strategy by the Democratic Party to undermine the civil rights of the residents of Camden."

There are additional reports from Camden that Hispanic voters have been misled into voting absentee ballots. So-called bearers who are allowed to collect and carry absentee ballots are said to have encouraged voters to fill out applications for absentee ballots. A few days later, the bearers reportedly return with the actual ballots, which they offer "assistance" in filling out.

Authorities in nearby Philadelphia know about such scams. In one infamous case, a key 1993 race that determined which party would control the Pennsylvania state senate was thrown out by a federal judge after massive evidence that hundreds of voters had been pressured into casting improper absentee ballots. Voters were told by "bearers" that it was all part of "la nueva forma de votar" -- the new way to vote. Local politicos tell me Philly operatives associated in the past with Acorn may now be advising their Jersey cousins on how to perform such vote harvesting.

Elsewhere, an investigation is being conducted into a report that people wearing Acorn T-shirts entered an East Orange hospital near Newark carrying blank absentee ballots and left with completed ballots. New Jersey law allows anyone to pick up an absentee ballot for someone else -- these are called messenger ballots."

"The best hope here is that Christie wins by enough of a margin that these dirty tricks are moot. As they say in sports, put enough points on the board and the refs can’t steal it from you." (different article-source unknown)

On a lighter note ... After going out to vote tomorrow ... I am coming home and making a nice Italian dinner. Lasagna, salad, bread with fresh garlic and Greek oregano from the garden... and not sure what else. I may bake some Toll house cookies... or an apple cake.

We have this tradition on election days ..where I make a good home cooked meal (crock pot if working) and we eat it while watching the talking heads discussing the elections. I usually do a pot roast with gravy and mashed potatoes for the presidential election. Since I don't do pies ..I bought a good homemade apple pie the last time. :) And sometimes I decorate with patriotic ribbons, etc. :)

We will be watching the girls tomorrow night and so that is an added bonus to a nice cozy evening at home. Oh! And I just love that it gets dark early now!!!'s that cozy thing.. (home and hearth... although we don't have a hearth:) and it's an exciting time of year with the holidays coming up. :)

It would be neat to be more politically involved in the future. This time I just got my toes wet ..helping with the phone calls... and I came in at the tail end of it... but enjoyed it.
I just want to add ...that even though I am voting for the conservative for Governor ...I promise you with all my heart ..that if the tables were turned and this was being done by republicans, independents or Martians ...I would be equally upset, disheartened and angered.

In NJ is pretty much a given that the democratic candidate will win... most of the time .. although not always. But ... it is an awful feeling to know that your candidate could very well win... but then be undermined and lose because the election was stolen thanks to fraudulent voter tactics.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Collateral Damage

I was in this room on the computer last night when I heard noise in our bedroom which is just on the other side of the wall.

My husband had said he wanted to go to bed and I asked him to wait because I had clothes and towels to move off of the bed. So ..he said alright. I admittedly was blogging and so time does get past me when in that mode. The next thing I know.. I hear some kind of noise and it was only a couple of minutes since we spoke.

I thought .."Gosh he's being impatient!", but also know when he wants to go to bed... he wants to go to bed.

As opposed to me..I may want to go to bed .. but will find a hundred distractions along the way.

Remember Mark Gungor? (if you read my post on the difference between male and female brains) Men have the one track mind in which they compartmentalize and there is no room for any other thought than that one ... one at a time and women have the spider web brain... they're all over the place with thoughts. Men have the nothing box in their brain.. they really can think of *nothing* and women don't understand the concept of a nothing box in the brain?

Ah... I've just proven my point ..this post isn't about the difference between the male and female brains!

I knew he wanted to go to bed and thought he was already in there moving things I didn't want him to touch because he will put them where it makes absolutely no sense to put them... but they WILL BE off the bed. :)

I was just finishing something and then I hear more noise.

Thump! ...


Still don't get up and then I hear...


What the HECK! I jumped up and went directly to our bedroom. And there he was... the culprit behind the disruption.


All wild eyed looking and a little disturbing... until I saw the mess I made and then I hollered at him to get down.

What in the world was he doing???

He was up on one side of my vanity. He knocked some jars off and some lingerie I had folded and left on the bench onto the floor. He knocked over and broke a pretty ceramic piece that held some jewelery and the jewelery was all over the floor ..rug and hardwood. You know those little tiny earring backs? How tiny they are? And other pieces.

I again in frustration yelled "SNEAKERS"!

Normally he would've been long gone but he stood right outside the door in the hallway and continued looking in.

As I picked the lingerie up I saw that he had mercilessly ATTACKED one of my favorite bras. Covered in cat saliva, pulls and claw holes.


And then this white furry hat I had taken out was all wet with saliva and he apparently fought formidably with that too.

I was perplexed and thinking what ever possessed him to do this.

I LIKED that bra!

And then there it was. It was my fault. I wouldn't have thought it would cause a problem because it was sealed up in a Ziploc bag... which also had puncture marks and saliva on it.


A while back I bought new catnip with a couple of new toys and I keep them sealed up in the bag when not in use to keep them fresh. Earlier in the day, while looking for something ... that bag fell out and instead of putting it back in the closet I brought it into the bedroom with me with the clothes and forgot about it.

And so in his frenzied ... although I am sure very brave skirmish with his catnip bag... he caused collateral damage to a favorite Bra, the hat and my jewelery box that had been a gift. !!

Thank you very much to my Mr Destructive ..I wear it like a badge of a cat!

(I could regale you with stories)

I know ..this time ...the CATNIP made him do it.