Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

I do not make New Year Resolutions. I think that those things are cursed to fail. To be honest with you, as a whole, New Years never really did that much for me. When I was a kid, I got upset one New Year's Eve because I thought that all the music I had enjoyed during the year was now going to go away, because we were starting a New Year. (true story. The top 100 countdown thingy confused me).
As I got older, New Years became a way to make loads of money. I was a much sought after babysitter in our rural area, one of those rare kinds that actually liked playing with the kids. I used to get paid VERY WELL to babysit on New Year's Eve. Then, I became an adult. And I discovered all the idiots who use New Year's Eve as an excuse to get totally bombed, and drive, and shoot guns, and basically, act like the asshats they are. So, I became an anti-social adult on NYE. I stayed home. When I became a nurse, I even avoid scheduling myself to work, because I don't want to take care of the asshats that hurt themselves on NYE.
Now, I don't hate the day. I am coming off sounding like the grinch that stole NYE. I've had people over here for small gatherings, and I have gone to friends' places before and enjoyed the evening. It's just the other people in the world I object to.
Whatever. This post is quickly going downhill.
I will be venturing out tonight, with Mustang Man, and Mustang Girl, to ring in the New Year with assorted friends and their children. I hope, wherever all of you are tonight, in whichever time zones you live in, your New Year is happy, healthy, and safe. Stay away from the drunk asshats. And if you are planning to be a drunk asshat tonight, (which is fine) don't drive! And don't shoot a gun. . . (please?)

Friday, December 28, 2007

The Revolution

This is Susan Brownell Anthony. Her name is widely recognized in the fight for Women's Rights, but I think, when pressed, not many people can actually think of anything concrete she did. This post will explore some of what she did. Her lifetime achievements were vast, however, and to explore it all would take days and pages and pages and pages.

Okay, here we go.
Susan was born in Adams Massachusetts, the second of eight children. Her father, Daniel, was a cotton farmer, abolutionist, and Quaker. Her mother, Lucy, was never a "convinced" Quaker, claiming she was not good enough for the religion. They were followers of the more liberal Society of Friends.
When Susan was six, they moved to Battenville, New York. Susan was to attend a local school, but when the teacher refused to teach her long division because of her gender, her father removed her from that school, and home schooled her himself. Eventually, in 1837 she was sent to a "female semenary", but, her family lost all their money in the Panic of 1837, and she had to come home. She was not sorry to do so. She took a job in New Rochelle, to help ease the family debts. She noted that the male teachers were making four times what she made. Fighting for equal pay was her first foray into the womens equal rights movement.
At 29, she quit teaching, and moved to the family farm in Rochester, NY. From here, she began to take part in conventions and gatherings related to the temperance movement. At this time, Susan, herself, began to distance herself from the Quakers, especially because she noted how many of the Quaker preachers had an alcohol problem. As she got older, she was often chastised by various Christian groups for her non religious tendencies.
Before the civil war, she was very active on both the temperance, and anti slavery movements, especially being raised by her abolitionist father. In 1851, she was introduced to Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Amelia Bloomer. Her and ECS became lifelong friends, and traversed the United States speaking together many times. Susan B. was sensitive about her looks, and speaking abilities, and mostly wrote the speeches, letting ECS deliver them.
Being a long time friend of Frederick Douglass, Susan also made an attempt in 1856 to unite the African American rights movement to the womens rights movement. However, in 1869, the civil rights movement leaders voted to support the 15th amendment, which granted sufferage to black men only. After this, Susan began to devote herself almost exclusively to the women's movement.
In 1868, she first published a weekly journal called "The Revolution". It's motto was "The True Republic- men, their rights and nothing more; women, their rights, and nothing less". Susan was the publisher, and and business manager, while ECS was the editor. The journal supported women's suffrage, equal pay for equal work, and more liberal divorce laws, just to name a few things. In 1839, she also was instrumental in forming a chapter of the Woman's Educational and Industrial Union (WEIU) in Rochester, NY, and raised funds to open opportunities for the women of Rochester to study at the university located there.
1869 rolled about, and, with ECS, Susan founded NWSA (Nat'l Women's Suffrage Association). She werved as oth vice president, and president. In 1890 NWSA merged with another suffrage association, creating NAWSA. This was a controversial move, considering they combined with a very conservative organization, and most of the members had not wanted to combine the two. This created tension between her, and ECS especially. Susan felt strongly that a more moderate approach to the movement was needed, rather then the radical one they had been employing. She felt it was more realistic, and would gain them more in the long run. (She was a fan of catching flies with honey, it seems). She got her way, and NAWSA was created, and, in a stroke of genius (IMHO) Susan pushed for ECS to be the first president of NAWSA, thus, drawing her powerful friend and ally back into the fold. During this time, she also collaborated with ECS, Matilda Joslyn Gage, and Ida Husted Harper to publish "The History of Woman Suffrage". She eventually became president of NAWSA herself, and led her life fighting for it. She formally retired in 1900.
Susan died 14 years before the 19th amendment was passed, giving women the right to vote. She was honored as the first American Woman to have an appearance on a coin the Susan B. Anthony Dollar. (I gave my sister one for her shoe when she got married.) The dollar was made for 4 years, 1979, 1980, 1981, and 1999. Her home in Rochester is a National Historic Landmark, now, and operates as a museum. She died in March, 1906, in Rochester.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

mmmm, kahlua

So I am so hooked now on making my own kahlua, and since it's a great winter drink, I will now share with all of you my method of kahlua creation.
The most important thing in making a good kahlua is using a good vodka. Don't be cheap, people! It makes a difference! I've also been playing with the flavored vodka's, and to date have made a Mandarin Orange Kahlua (really good in coffee, but otherwise, eeeh.)A Chocolate kahlua (once again, pretty good, especially drizzled over dessert) and a Vanilla kahlua (has been my favorite so far). You can make as many flavors as their are flavored vodka. Knock yourself out!

8 cups sugar
8 cups water
10 tbsp vanilla (if you use vanilla vodka you can skip this)
1 cup instant coffee
1/2 gallon vodka (2 750 ml bottles)

Mix the sugar and water, bring it to a boil, then add the vanilla and coffee. Simmer on low to medium heat for 2 hours. Cool to room temperature (this is important. If it's warm when you add the vodka you'll cook off the alcohol. Thats no fun!)
Add the vodka, then store in your container of choice.

Many of the recipe's and places I looked at recommend letting the kahlua sit for a month before you drink it. I've done that with mine, and it's turned out well. I am not sure how it will taste if you just make it, then drink it immediately. I also like to add a sliced vanilla bean into mine at the beginning. Hmmm. I guess I like vanilla. But if I add the bean, I cut back on the vanilla I add.

In other news, I got the stitches removed from the palm of my hand today. My hand is working much better now, but I am still dropping things (not as often) and have trouble with certain movements. The bruising is much less, but the swelling is still crazy. Physical therapy starts next week, and I will go back to work mid February, probably. Sooner if I get really bored, and my hand co-operates.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Wordless Wednesday, Dewey style

This is Dewey, my middle nephew, showing the love to the puppet I gave him. I think he's going to grow up to be a puppet master. When he decides to finally talk, that is.

*photo credit goes to Aunt Tuna, I didn't even get my camera out

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Because it's one of my favorites. . .

Merry Christmas, to all of you! I doubt I will post anything until Wednesday, so, I put this up, because I think it's a fun little read before the holiday :)

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the houseNot a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;The children were nestled all snug in their beds,While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.Away to the window I flew like a flash,Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snowGave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,With a little old driver, so lively and quick,I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roofThe prancing and pawing of each little hoof.As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;He had a broad face and a little round belly,That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,And laying his finger aside of his nose,And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."

Friday, December 21, 2007

for your Friday Consideration

*following post based on Christian learning and philosophy. Hey. Its Christmas. Give me a break. Plus, frankly, the concept of this post intrigued me.* Besides. It's the friday before the big day and most of you won't read this, anyhow.

Picture this.

Your a virgin.

And you have to give birth.

Iknow, Iknow.

But really.

Thousands of millions of people celebrate Christmas. Some call it something different, some celebrate it, and enjoy it, without the religious belief behind it. But it's still Christmas. Christ's Mas.

We wouldn't have it without the help of one, particular woman, now would we?

The Virgin Mary.

She is associated with many things. She is revered by many, and she is controversial. She was a very early 'single mother', because she was not yet married to Joseph when she conceived Jesus. Imagine the stigma back in those days!

She appears in many things. Pieces of toast, potato chips, grilled cheese sandwiches. People have visions of her, where she gives messages to the world. Most recently, she has been heard in Medjugorje,Yugoslavia, where she delivered 10 secrets, of the apocalyptic nature. She also said that after Yugoslavia, she was done appearing. This was a very hot topic of conversation when I was married to the Catholic ex. His Mom was almost a nun, and had a particular fervor for Mary.

Mary had to have been a very strong woman. She was a virgin, she had to give birth that way (ouch!) She also had that 'birthing experience' in a manger, a cold manger, full of itchy hay.THEN she had to see a parade of strangers, all come to see her brand new, wet behind the ears child. Um, HELLO? She just gave birth! No epidural's, people! No nurse, nothing! Except a husband who, technically, was not the father of the child! She raised her son, knowing his life was destined to be a very rocky road, AND, she witnessed his crusifixtion. What a painful thing to have to witness! And she survived it. So I submit Mary as my woman of the week. Without her, there would be no Christmas. (Unless the Virgin Ruth, or Deborah, or Rachel or another woman of Nazarith was chosen. But it might not have been the same. . . )

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I got nothin'

Nada, zip. Even blogger tried to get me to post nothing.The old brain is dry.
MM suggested, in this order
and putting the fun back in dysfunctional Christmas.
But I believe in some form, all these things have been discussed.

Cami frequently discusses her rack, and her husbands love of it. And who can forget that we sent out all those drunken Portland Postcards after we'd each rubbed them on our own, respective racks. (And one,special card that got'teabagged', ). Ahh, Portland. Good times. . .

Cats. Well, hell. they dominate sometimes. Just go down a few spaces and check out Audrey in her Christmas Finery

Putting the fun back in dysfnctional Chrismas-
covered that, too, in Roto-Rooter.

But, there is something else I should mention,actually. Maybe 2 things.
if you are looking for a non-alcoholic pick me up, MM has discovered this drink called "Bawls". It comes in Blue bottles. Blue Bawls.
Despite the name, it's quite tasty. Go see MM's blog to see him with blue bawls on his forehead. Totally worth it.
And, (sorry for ending on a sad note, but...)
A very nice lady whom middle sister was very close to died in her sleep yesterday morning. Her family will miss her terribly. Goodbye, Helen, rest in peace.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


he is in Finland!

MM, being not only stunningly handsome, quick with wit, and exceedingly good with cat wrangling, is also well read, and sent this to me. Huzzah!

Oh,btw. Since I am now using words today. If any of you have the chance to get/try some ice wine (eis wein),DO IT. We had some last night and I tell you, it's nectar. Sooooooooooooooooooooo Gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood.
costly. But worth it.Especially with dessert.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

We should have Roto-Rooter on speed-dial

In my family, a holiday is not complete until something gets broken. Preferably, something plumbing related.
Sure, there is always the talk of the burnt rolls, (grandma does that on purpose,now), the fruit-cake (Uncle Heintz actually LIKES the stuff) and lighting a fire under Santa's ass on Christmas Eve, but to me, nothing says holiday fun like a backed up sink.
For many, many, MANY years, our holiday was spent at the dear grandparents house. Possibly the smallest house, EVER, but, we managed to all wedge ourselves in there.
Her sink was notorious for plugging up beyond repair. I think, basically, it saw us all coming and just gave up the ghost immediately. No matter how we tried to baby it along, not using the disposal, or anything, that sink would clog. One year, Uncle Pebble Beach showed up (DK, better name? Uncle golf god?) and, seeing that we were in sink hell, took up our huge turkey, and washed it IN THE SHOWER. (He didn't care, he didn't have to eat it.). I couldn't quite get past the fact that the turkey shared the same shower as everyone else, Including Uncle B, who though sweet, can be rather, mmm, pungent in the mornings.
Then my Mom, Aunt Tuna, hijacked Christmas for her very own. So we go to her house, now, and watch her lips thin to the point of dissapearing in anger when the family curse follows. One memorable year, I brought the Villiage Idiot with me, and, in true idiot form, he tried to fix it. Without a bucket. Dirty, grody water ALL OVER the floor. I've never seen my mom's lips completely gone so quickly. Luckily, we can laugh about it, now. But then? He was almost sacrificed to the plumbing gods. (Maybe I should have let her.)
So, will I ever volunteer to have Christmas, or Thanksgiving in my wee domicile? Eh. Maybe. (but my Mom has firm control over it, now, and I'd have to pry it from her cold, dead, fingers). But say I did manage that. I'd have a plumber on speed-dial. Or maybe, locked in a closet. . .

Monday, December 17, 2007

Rogue Elf loose in Canada

Troy, is it you?

Now, when South Park attacked our northern neighbors, and Robin Williams wanted us all to "Blame Canada", I refused to do it.
But this is too much!
We all know Santa REALLY lives in Rovaniemi, Finland, with Mrs. Claus, and all the reindeer and elves.
I grew up knowing that Santa was Finnish. And now I share that knowledge with all of you! Because he wants me to. He was here last week stuffing MM's stocking, and he told me to tell. And, no, I wasn't on pain meds!
(believe it or not, I have not taken any in a while....).
So, despite the rogue Canadian's, Santa is out there. In Finland. And that one elf is going to get coal in his stocking, at the very least!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Audrey says 'happy weekend'

Really, thats what she is thinking, here

Friday, December 14, 2007

short, and 1 handed

for anyone wanting to read about my surgery, yesterday, I figured a better place for that was at First Do No Harm, so now I am going to attempt my usual Friday thing. But a short one.

So the holidays are upon us, and I figure this is a good topic for them.

There is this lady named Candy Lightner. She truthfully did not set out to live a life uncommon. She was born in Pasadena, California, and, raised in the "usual" fashion. After attending college, she met and married Steve, a Forest Serviceman. They had three children. Like many marriages, it ended in divorce, and she found herself selling reality in Fair Oaks, Calif.
On May 3, 1980, her life turned for the worst.
Her 13 year old daughter, Cari, was struck and killed by a drunk driver, who did not stop. He hit Cari so hard it was impossible to donate any organs...
The driver had 4 other arrests for drunk driving, including a hit and run the weekend before. The most jail time he spent was 48 hours.
Cari left behind a twin sister, and a brother who, also had a previous accident, hit by someone under the influence of tranquilizers, and has permanent brain damage.
A few days later, Candy learned that the asshat who hit her daughter was not going to serve any jail time. And almost instantly, Mothers Against Drunk Driving was born. Candy quit her job, and threw time, energy and money into lobbying for stricter laws. She did nothing but devote her life to MADD for 5 years, and then realized though she had done much that was good, she was leaving out the most important thing. Her family. She moved on, but MADD continues on, a force to be reckoned with. It is international, now, with over 3 million members. There is also, though, a story out there that the board of directors fired Candy, for having different "goals" for the organization.
Candy, after leaving MADD, realized she had never grieved Cari's death. Doing so, she eventually found herself writing a book, with a co author, about coping. She also continued to give lectures on Drunk Driving, and started yet another organization, the Victims in Action. She also, in what many consider to be a sellout move, eventually became a lobbyist (a well paid one, at that) for a group called The American Beverage Institute", who, ironically, had a goal of NOT lowering the legal blood alcohol level. She maintains that the higher leveled drivers are the majority out there, and cause 80 % of the deaths.
Whatever the controversy that surrounds her, if she "sold out" or not, she still managed to do something that needed to be done, in the wake of her own, personal nightmare. We needed stricter laws and punishment for driving under ANY influence, and, thanks to Candy,and MADD, we got them.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I am home

I survived, and am doing ok. More later!

butterflies and chopsticks

So. Today is the day.
I'd be lying to you all if I said I wasn't nervous about it. The butterflies have been flying since yesterday, to some extent.
Its a very strange concept for me, to be on the other side of the coin, here. I woke up every few hours last night and looked at the clock, mainly thinking "I should get up and drink some water", then I fell asleep before I did that.
My procedure is at 12:45. I can have water until 0845 this morning. I can't really have anything else. So yes, I have a big glass of water sitting in front of me. But if I drink too much water, well. There could be trouble.
On the plus side, MM and I had a really good sushi dinner last night. My only complaint is that they make their rolls so big that I can't really fit a whole piece in my mouth! Especially the Rainbow Roll. If my mouth is too full of good things, how do I slow down and enjoy it? I had chipmunk cheeks every time I put a piece in my mouth. We had the afore-mentioned Rainbow, a California Roll, and a Philadelphia Roll. We also had a dinner, (because, frankly, that meal has to last me until somewhere close to 3 this afternoon). The miso was really good, and we had salad's that had this excellent, kind of tangy dressing on them. By the time the dinner came, (I had teryaki beef, he had teryaki chicken) my right hand had had it, though, and I could not really make the chopsticks go that well. Especially picking up the end pieces of meat. It was pretty frustrating. But I wasn't using the chopsticks properly anyhow. I can't, at the moment. We also learned last night that MM doesn't quite care for Green Tea ice cream.
One of the fun things about the place we ate at, is that they were playing a Godzilla movie on their television. There is something inherently right about sitting there, eating sushi, and watching Godzilla. Sadly, at the table next to us (and right in front of the television) was a gaggle of twenty something, chattering girls who had NO appreciation for my scaly friend. And I couldn't really see over most of their hair. And the one sitting with her back to us? Kept flinging her hair around, in a somewhat close proximity to our table. The sushi was on the other side of the table or she might have gotten a chopstick between the eyes. Even with my left hand I can be deadly!
I am really unsure of what condition I am going to be in tomorrow, and so there is a high probability that my usual Friday really isn't going to happen. I was planning on Susan B. Anthony, and she'd be a long one. Something tells me that my right hand is not going to tolerate that. We shall see. . .
Hopefully, though, the numb, the tingly, and the pain and stiffness are going to (eventually) be a thing of the past. . .
wish me luck! (It will be fine, really it will. . .)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

We are living in a Material World

And the advertising companies would like to make us all believe that we are Material Girls.

Every time a commercial comes on these days, even if it's during football, it always seems to include one of a woman getting a gift from her man. And these gifts are ALWAYS either a car, or diamonds. If I hear 'Every Kiss begins with Kay" one more time I am going to lose it.
Of course, they got what they wanted, I have their ad stuck in my head, right?
But still, really. It annoys me, that in the advertising world, they are representing women as materialistic, I think. Most women I know are not going to be dissapointed if they don't get diamonds, or a car for Christmas.
I, personally, like the gifts that have some thought behind them. I also like anything hand-made. How hard is it to go plunk money down on a counter for a diamond that someone is telling you, commercial after commercial, that you should buy? (It's the same damn necklace every stinking time).
And as far as the car. Unless the man in her life is a millionaire, how are they paying for that car? Month by month. So, Merry Christmas, Honey, I just put us 50,000 into debt for the next 5 years! Yay!
Nope. Not for me, I say. And not for most of the women I know, and am friends with.
And I have yet to see a commercial telling us to buy our men things like ski boats, or fancy watches, or even diamonds.

Monday, December 10, 2007

I lost a day

Sorry about my lack of posting today. I spent the majority of the day chasing down things, having lab work done, and such because the surgeon I saw this morning thinks I cannot wait for surgery any longer and he is having them squeeze me in THURSDAY. As in THREE DAYS FROM NOW.
I will post more tomorrow, now I am going to go get more of my ducks in a row!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

beer bottles? Bah!

Note the look of concentration on my face. I was not going to spill a drop of that wine!

Here, is the elusive MM, proving that his family, too has the balancing skill. See the label on that bottle? Yes, It's 'Ripper Red', a delicious wine created by the family Kaos. . .

And, one last shot of me, balancing the Ripper Red, myself. It's not as easy as it looks, bottles of wine are heavy!
Much fun and hilarity was had with this task. I can't WAIT to see what happens after DK and NK land in Oregon, and the martini glasses are broken out. Dare I suggest that this coming summer, we have a tiki balancing photo?
Ahh, LOL. Good rest of the weekend, everyone.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Lest We Forget

Usually my Friday's are dedicated to the ladies.
This friday, I am going to talk about something historical, that involved women as well. Even sounds like a woman.
Pearl Harbor.
Isn't that a pretty name?
On this date, in 1941, it wasn't so pretty.
350 Japanese aircraft in 2 aerial assault waves had the goal to destroy the Pacific Fleet stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
2 battleships were sank, six more were damaged. The U.S.S. Arizona taking the major brunt. She is still below the water, and 945 of her crew stayed with her. It was deemed unsafe to pull them out.
3 cruisers were damaged.
2 destroyers were sank, one more was damaged.
1 "other" ship type was sank (minesweeper, I think)
three more were damaged.
188 aircraft were destroyed, that was every plane we had there. 155 of them were still on the ground.
The Navy lost 2008 men, 1,177 of them were from the battleship Arizona.
710 Navy men were wounded.
The Marines lost 109 men, with 69 wounded.
The Army/Air Corps lost 218 men, with 364 wounded.
That's 2,504 men lost.

And, civilians?
57 of them dead, including women and children. Children as young as 3 years old.
35 more injured.

It was, indeed, a day of infamy. One that time has "mellowed", and some people have forgotten, or choose not to think about because it did not "affect" them. I wonder, in 66 years, will people be saying that about the September 11 attacks?
There are still Pearl Harbor survivors alive. Not many. I read yesterday, that some of the Arizona survivors chose to be buried with their ship-mates when they passed away. They are allowed this honor, and their bodies, or ashes, sunk to return to their ship. I've personally been to the Arizona Memorial. I was very emotional, and quiet the whole time there. I could still feel the devastation. And looking at all those names, my heart sank to the depths of that cold water.

So, sixty six years ago today. This morning, as a matter of fact. Pearl Harbor.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

LMAO at this one. . .

Which of Santa's Reindeer are you?

Santas Reindeer


Like Dancer you are graceful and elegant. People can't help but watch you when you walk into a room

Find out which of Santa's Reindeer you are at

Fun Quizzes

moi? Merci Beaucoup!

My lovely cousin, CamiKaos, in her selfless desire to share, has awarded me a 'mad skillz' award. For finding the perfect present. I do try.

She has charged us recipiants, however, to go forth and 'award', ourselves. So I will. (Lets see how many blogs are going to have Cami with a beer can on her head on them!)

lets start with MM. He has some serious mad skillz. Most of which I won't tell you about. But he can nudge with power and authority, AND he can even talk about computer stuff at a level I can understand. Now that's a mad skill. He also has an excellent sense of humor. Dark, and sarcastic. Definately my kind of man!

And, David in DC. He has the mad skill of reminding us all of very important things, like what is going on in Darfur right now. Also, he has a hampster the size of a wookie named Ted. AND his son, Monkey boy? Has probably got us all beat in the Mad Skillz department.

Cami already got Celtic Rose, (and, everyone ELSE practically) so I will just have to agree with her on that one. (However, she could share that award with Chad. . .)Though, I have to tell you, CR has many many more mad skillz than her inattention to her blog. One of them, (and one of my favorites) is that she can speak in a perfect Irish Brogue at the drop of a hat, and maintain the thing for a whole day! Especially at the Ren faire. Another mad skill? She is, probably, the friendliest, sweetist and kind person I know on this earth. Seriously. Also? Yesterday was her birthday.

And, lastly, but not leastly, Jamie.
Jamie has mad skillz that I think she wish she didn't have to have. She has mad coping skillz. She has a lot on her plate, but every day, she deals. And finds the positive. I hope you got a good new pair of shoes, Jamie! I'm so exited for you!

Okay, there you have it. I have passed on the love from my cousin, AND a picture of her with a beer can on her head. I'm sure the family is so proud!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

broken? Not really

Reading Cami's blog thinking about my time in the Navy, and about Christmas has all caught up with me, and made me remember things that were well, not forgotten, but tucked into the recesses of my brain. This is one of them.

I was 18 when I went into the Navy, it was the summer after highschool. By November, I was done with whatever training they were going to give me, and I headed out to see what life in "the fleet" was like. My first duty station was Yokosuka, Japan. I went on December 7th, many of my family and friends liked to tease me that I was the ultimate revenge for Pearl Harbor. (hee hee).

Anyhow. I made friends quickly, that far away from home. Some really good ones, some really bad ones. If I remember correctly, I spent my first Christmas from home with a friend named Jewel, and some of her other friends, and we rode a train to an Army base for some event they were having there. It sucked. We had more fun on the train.
The next Christmas, I had a boyfriend (who later became my husband). I took some paid leave days and we spent Christmas, just the two of us, staying in a nice hotel in Yokosuka, and being with each other un-interrupted, which was something we had not been able to do, EVER. We'd been dating for 10 months. I think I took four or five days, and we just relaxed, and wandered, and talked, and it was really like there was no one else in the world but us. (Hey, we were young, and in looooooove- or so we thought). It was a pretty great Christmas. No exchange of gifts, or tree's or cookies (we did have some of his Mom's really good date nut cake, though).
Fast forward to the next year. I came home on December first, and hadn't been home for two years. I had a month of leave to burn up, and was going to be having Christmas with all the family.
Never have I really felt so off kilter. There I was, in the midst of all the Christmas cheer, the tree's the food the presents the decorations the music the family the talk the EVERYTHING.
And, I hated it. Don't get me wrong. I loved seeing the family and friends and all that, but, I'd forgotten how to act, I had forgotten how to do this big thing called Christmas, I'd forgotten the stress of it. I'd forgotten all the commercialism of it. I MISSED the simple Christmas' I'd had in Japan, where it was a celebration just to BE with people, have a nice dinner, and spend quality time with them.
So, there I sat, that first year. Twenty, and lost, in my own family. I tried really hard to pretend that I wasn't. I know I fooled some, but probably not others, the wiser ones who'd been there, the ones who REALLY knew me. (I didn't fool my Dad for one spare minute.). I felt broken, and kind of defective, that I'd forgotten some elemental skill of family.
But I tried.
Many Christmas' have passed since them. I've spent a few more away from the family. I work a lot of them. One memorable Christmas, my grandfather died. It might sound odd, but that one? Was just a little more special, actually.
I love Christmas, the cookies, the family, the gifts, the decorations, the tree. But, secretly, there is still that part of me that wishes we could NOT do all that, and just be with each other. Having a good meal, a good laugh, and enjoying each other's quiet company. It's really nice.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Anchors Aweigh

I am going to demystify something for you.
I am going to tell the tale of what happens, on a Navy Ship, when the Equator is crossed.
There is a tradition, that until you have crossed the equator on a ship, that you are a Lowly Polly wog. Most of you, I suspect, my bloggy friends, are such Wog's. As was I, until one fateful day.
'Wog Day' is a much anticipated day on any WestPac(western pacific) Cruise. The 'foreplay' if you will, starts well before the equator is even neared. It practically starts the first day the ship is underway on said cruise. Because, my bloggy friends, if you've already crossed the equator, and you are no longer a Lowly Polly wog, that means you are a Shell back, and, when the equator is crossed, you get to beat the hell out of the new Wogs, so that they, in turn, might become Shell back. It's the circle of life, Navy life.
So the threats from the Shell backs begin to fly. The closer you get to the equator, the more they fly. 2 weeks before the equator is approached trash starts being saved, and old, orange fire hoses are cut into 'shillelaghs'. (Basically, an arm length piece of hose used to beat the arse of the wogs as they crawl through the ship).
So, Wog day comes. It comes with a vengeance. As a wog, I am hiding, wearing my uniform as prescribed (inside out and backwards)awaiting the Shellback that will find me and my wog friends in our hiding place. A big, tall, dark officer found us, somewhere around dawn. He was dressed in purple and had a mighty arm, that's all I remember. We crawled all over the ship an his command, yelling at times "Cock a doodle do, wake up Samuel Gompers", and, "I'm Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs". (both his choices.)
Sadly, for me, I forgot to get gloves. We crawled a little to close to the engine room level, and the metal floor was hot enough to blister my hands. Purple officer got us out of there and took us down to the 'wog pool', a section of passageway filled with salt water. Here, my bloggy friends, is where my blisters broke open, allowing salt water to flow freely over tender skin. HOLY HELL.
Because I was injured, purple officer set me aside, with my friend Todd's bitch girlfriend who was whining. (I was not whining, I wanted to bea shellback!). My hands were seen to, we went on our way. I was taken to 'wog breakfast'. (Green stuff in a bucket), then, up to the flight deck for the main event. Once there, I passed through the trash shoot (twice, so that a friend could get a picture), then I had to pull the cherry out of the greased belly button of Davy Jones. All around me, other wogs were suffering the same fate. Eventually, I found my way to a smaller salt water pool, where, once I was dunked in, I was no longer a lowly wog, but a Shell Back. Then, my whole uniform was ceremoniously dumped over the side of the ship, and I was free to shower, and wash the 2 week old spaghetti out of my hair.
I'm so proud of my certificate. My one sadness is, I never got to cross the equator again, as a Shellback, to beat virgin Wogs. (But it wasn't worth re-enlisting for).

Saturday, December 1, 2007


Now leave me alone, I'm watching the game. . .

post game edit



I love me some Midshipmen!
we destroyed the Army, for the SIXTH year in a row!

I wish I could somehow explain to you all how much goes into this game. Everything stops for these few precious hours. Every eye is pinned to the television. Bragging rights are at stake. All the Navy bases, all the Army bases. I never personally miss this game day, and I remember how it felt to lose. BUT THAT WAS 7 YEARS AGO!!
Hell, I even had a bet with someone this year that involved a tattoo. (I knew my Middie's wouldn't let me down).

And now, I will have a huge smile on my face, ALL DAY LONG.

thanks, Midshipmen!

Friday, November 30, 2007

She must rely on herself

This is Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
I've always been kind of enamored with her, if the truth be told. There is just something about her story, and how much she did. It's a miracle I've held off as long as I did with making her my Friday lady, but I can hold off no longer. Here we go. Hope my hand can stand up to this one. (yes I am wearing the ugly brace.)

She was born in Johnstown, New York, the eighth of eleven children. Five of her siblings died in childhood/infancy, and her only brother whom had survived died when he was twenty. The loss of so many children made her mother depressed, and emotionally distant with Elizabeth was a child, making her closer to her father, and her two surviving sisters.
Her father, Daniel Cady, was a prominent attorney, and served a term in the US Congress. He later became a Circuit judge, and eventually, a NY Supreme Court judge. When she was young, Elizabeth loved going through his law library, and having debates with his law clerks. She was given a formal education, which was not the norm for girls during that time. She studied latin, greek and mathematics in co-ed classes (oh, the shock!) and brought home many academic awards.
It was around this time that her brother died, and in attempting to comfort her father, she vowed to him she would try to be all that her brother had been, to which her father replied "Oh, my daughter, I wish you were a boy". This devastated her, but with the help of neighbors, and teachers, she focused more on developing herself.
She did attend college, and became an attorney in her own right. She was involved with both the temperance, and the abolitionist movements, and, through her cousin, she met Henry Brewster Stanton. He was a journalist, and antislavery orator, and, eventually became an attorney himself. When they were married, she insisted the word obey NOT be in their vows, and though she took his name, she never let anyone call her "Mrs. Stanton". She always insisted upon being known as "Cady Stanton". Together, they had seven children. (The last one was a surprise menopause baby, and NOT PLANNED!)
Interestingly enough, though her husband was keenly interested in the rights of the slaves, he was not in favor of women's suffrage. As a consequence, in the later years, they lived more apart, then together. They did remain married for forty seven years, however, until he died. When his health was poor, they moved from Boston, to Seneca Falls, New York, where Elizabeth became bored with the lack of society and social intellect she'd been enjoying. She had become great friends with Lucretia Mott, and in 1848, they organized the first woman's rights convention, and held it in Seneca Falls. This solidified her role as an activist, and reformer, and she started being invited to speak at other conventions, where she became friends with Susan B. Anthony, and Amelia Bloomer.
Together, she and Susan B. Anthony became a formidable team. Anthony, being single, and childless (more on her later) was able to do more of the traveling and speaking, since Elizabeth was raising 7 children. Their skills complimented each other. Elizabeth, the better orator, would write the speeches, and Susan would go deliver them! She said of Elizabeth that she "forged the thunderbolts" that Susan "fired". They were friends for 50 years.
After the civil war, the pair began to direct their energies more towards the women's suffrage movement. Unfortunately, Elizabeth, wanting the advantage for women's suffrage, began to rather disparage the civil rights movement, and said many ill advisable things that damaged her own cause, and made rift between herself, and the civil rights movement. She was a proponent of civil rights, however, she just seemed to want to advance the suffrage movement more than the rights of ALL.
She also eventually, caused a rift in the suffrage movement, as well, based on her beliefs regarding religion, and divorce. She felt that organized Christianity relegated women to an unacceptable position in society, and supported divorce rights, as well as employment, and property rights for women. The other suffragists were against becoming involved in these things. Elizabeth even went so far as to contributing to a book called "The Woman's Bible", which elicited a feminist understanding of the scriptures, and tried to correct the fundamental sexism that she saw as being a part of organized Christianity. These were very volatile subjects in her day, and basically, practically got her cast out from the American Women's Suffrage Association.
This did not stop her, though, she went on to write many important books, and speeches, and even sent a congratulatory note to Frederick Douglass, a black civil rights leader who married a white woman in 1884, despite the AWSA being against her doing so.
In 1868, she, with Susan B. Anthony, began to publish a weekly periodical called "Revolution", about women's issues. She worked also, for the next 12 years on the lecture circuit, making enough money to send both her youngest sons to college. Her most popular speeches were "Our Girls", "Our Boys", "Co-Education" "Marriage and Divorce" "Prison Life" and, "The Bible and Women's Rights". She traveled many states, promoting suffrage, including Wyoming, Utah, California, Missouri and Kansas. As she aged, she also began traveling internationally. Eventually, in 1890, the two factions of the women's suffrage movement combined (despite her objections) to form the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). Though she had objected, she became it's first president. (Susan B. Anthony actually intervened extensively to cause this to happen).
Her last appearance for the suffrage movement was to appear before the US Congress. In her speech, which later became known as "The solitude of self" she had this to say

"The isolation of every human soul and the necessity of self dependence must give each individual the right to choose his own surroundings. The strongest reason for giving woman all the opportunities for higher education, for the full development of her faculties, her forces of mind and body; for giving her the most enlarged freedom of thought and action; a complete emancipation from all forms of bondage, of custom, dependence, superstition; from all the crippling influences of fear- is the solitude and personal responsibility of her own individual life. The strongest reason why we ask for woman a voice in the government under which she lives; in the religion she is asked to believe, equality in social life, where she is the chief factor; a place in the trades and professions, where she may earn her bread, is because of her birth-right to self -sovereignty; because, as an individual, she must rely on herself. . ."

She died, in 1902, twenty years before we were granted the right to vote. I think of her on those voting day, maybe when I am feeling to lazy or tired to be bothered to go to the polling booth. Then I get up and go, because she couldn't. And, largely because of her, we can.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

indulge me for a moment

I am just tired, tired tired
of people telling me that I am so lucky to have this hand injury, and all this GREAT time off! Oh the things they could do if they were LUCKY like me to have this time off.

my right hand is numb!
I am dropping half the things I pick up!
And now, I get to wear this lovely, ugly ass brace until I don't know when! And the brace? It won't solve the problem, but it will keep my hand still.
and ps?
I have this wierd, constant burning pain going up the palm of my hand. . .

Oh, and LUCKY that I have been to 2 different doctors this week, and one of them stuck needles all down my right arm, into my hand,and INTO MY NECK, just to tell me when he was done that I was beyond his help, and needed surgery.
And the doc who will do the surgery? He can't see me until Dec. 10th, and then, he will tell me when I can have my ligament cut open so it will stop pressing the nerve in my hand causing said, burning pain. Then, MAYBE, the nerve will not be as damaged as it is (but it will not be the same, he says) and I can start rebuilding the muscle that is wasting in my hand right now.
so yeah, thats lucky.
rather be working.

okay, rant over.

(you all can thank older sister for that one, she just stepped on my LAST WORKING NERVE)

be very careful

and whatever you do, don't name a Teddy Bear Muhammed!

There is a teacher, in Sudan. She's really from England, and she had her classroom of 7 year olds adopt this Teddy Bear. They got to vote on the name. Abdullah was one of the choices, as was Muhammed.
The kids chose Muhammed.
Then, they each got to take the bear home for a week, and write in a diary about the adventures of Muhammed.
Well, someone finally complained about her naming a bear after the prophet.
Now, said teacher is in prison, and is going to be tried, and sentenced. She will either be given more time, fined money, or 40 lashes.
And, she won't be teaching in the Sudan again.
I don't know about you, but. She was working in this country, and aware of their religion and customs. I am not saying she deserves punishment, over a teddy bear. But still, she should have known better than to name ANYTHING after the prophet. Abdullah is a fine name for a teddy bear! If I were her, I'd high tail it back to England as soon as possible, and probably take poor Muhammed with me. I wonder what they will do with the innocent teddy. . .

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Song Lyric Wednesday

We have not done this in a while. . .
and, I am looking for the name of the WHOLE song, not the traditional Christmas song they stuck in the middle of it. As always, whomever gets it first gets to pick a blog topic whenever they wish.
To make it interesting, they can pick one for MM if they want and I will (try) to convince him to blog about it! But he doesn't know I am just tossing that out there. Shhhhhhh ;)
and, get your saucy (or nice) little words over to Cami's, PRONTO! I wrote some dribble and sent it to her, but it was really, really not that good, I know that you guys can do better, and I want to hear Mr. Kaos sing a naughty Christmas song! Come on! It's Wednesday, she needs them by Friday. Go, go go!

a child of the snow
i'm making a snowball
that someone will throw
i'm making a snowman
with charcoal for the eyes
a scarf draped in red
and a derby on his head
here comes santa claus, here comes santa claus
right down santa claus lane
vixen and blitzen and all his reindeer are pulling on the reins
bells are ringing, children singing
all is merry and bright
hang your stockings and say your prayers
'cause santa claus comes tonight
the evening of christmas
presents have been passed
the wood in the fireplace
is glowing its last
i'm closing my eyes now
in my bed i'm snuggling
outside my window
the carolers sing
christmas comes and the snow covers all
trees are decorated with tinsel and lights
mama's in the kitchen making cookies and bread
the children are hungry, they're waiting to be fed
a child of christmas
a child of snow
a wonderful feeling
underneath the mistletoe
and may your christmas
last all year
with laughter of children
peace and cheer
a child of christmas
a child of snow
a wonderful feeling
underneath the mistletoe
merry christmas to you
ding dong ding go the bells
ding dong ding go the bells
ding dong ding go the bells
ding dong ding go the bells
ding dong ding go the bells

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

This post brought to you by the suggestion of MM

Why, exactly, do we put Christmas Tree's in our house? Anyone?

Ironically, Christmas Tree's have evolved from Pagan traditions.
The Norse, and the Celtic Druid's revered Evergreens, because they were the manifestations of a deity, and they never died from year to year, but instead stayed green and "alive" while the other tree's appeared barren and dead. The tree's represented hope for the return of spring.

The druids used to decorate the trees with symbols of prosperity, a fruitful harvest, ect. ect. They would hang coins for wealth, and different charms, like for love, and fertility.
Scandinavians are the first thought to actually bring the tree indoors, because this provided warmth for the native fairy folk and tree elementals could join in on the celebration. The Saxons, a Germanic tribe, were the first to place lights on their trees (in the form of candles. I wonder how many houses THEY burnt down?).

The first Christian use of the Christmas tree came about ion the the 16th century.
In England, in 1841 Queen Victoria's German husband, Prince Albert, brought a tree into Windsor Castle.
America's first Christmas tree sighting was in the 1830's, in Pennsylvania. A church put it up in an effort to raise funds. (See, even then churches were looking for ways to raise money). By the 1890's, we were in full Christmas Tree swing, importing decorations from Germany for our trees.
Then electricity came along, and Christmas tree's started being placed in town squares, everywhere, and the "lighting of the tree" became the tradition that proclaimed the beginning of the holiday season.
Sadly, I think now, seeing the first Christmas commercial on TV (sometime after Halloween) indicated the beginning of the holiday season. . .

So there. That's why we have Christmas Tree's. Don't you all feel better for knowing? Except maybe DiDC, but maybe he can explain the beautiful Menorah to all of us!

and now that you've read this, go over and read MM's description of Black Friday in Podunk. It's well worth the read.

Monday, November 26, 2007


Went shopping and to lunch with Celtic Rose today, the good news is most of my Christmas shopping is done. (Except the elusive Uncle B, he is hard to shop for!)
The bad news is that I am tired. Having constant pain is a very tiring, frustrating thing. My hand doesn't hurt BAD, but it always hurts and is numb. And I'm tired of it.
But we had fun, it was a fun girls day out, and I have dinner with MM to look forward to. Tomorrow I'll make a 'real' blog post!

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Bird Woman

Meet Sacajawea.

She was born in about 1790, in Idaho (before it was Idaho). She was one of the "snake people", or Shoshone tribe. Her name in Shoshone meant "boat pusher". She was stolen during a raid when she was a young girl, and taken by the Hidatsa, where her name meant "Bird Woman". The Hidatsa lived near Bismark, N. Dakota. While she was living there, a French-Canadian fur trader came and bought her, and another female, Otter woman, to be his wives. By the time she was 16 she was pregnant. Her husband joined the Lewis and Clark expedition, and she had her baby at Fort Mandan, where they were spending the winter. The route they chose to take was down the Missouri river. It is noted in the April journals that as they were traveling, a storm hit, and the boat she was in nearly capsized. As frantic people around her worked to right the boat, she calmly gathered all the valuable books and instruments that were floating away. They'd been wrapped in water-tight packages, and suffered no damage.
Many of us are taught that she was the guide for the party. That is actually not true. She only gave advice one time during the expedition, showing Lewis and Clark where to go to find her tribe to buy horses.
In 1805 she was reunited with her Shoshone tribe, only to learn the majority of her family had died. She had 2 living brothers, however, one of them was now the head chief of the Shoshone. He sold them their horses, and schetched them a map through the mountains. He also provided a guide named "Old Toby". With his help, they made it through the mountains, and back to the river to resume water travel.
All the men who kept diaries during the L & C expedition talked about Sacajawea, and her helpful, calm uncomplaining attitude. Captain Clark thought so highly of her, that after the expedition, he offered to have her, her husband and son live near him in St. Louis so the boy could be educated. They did this for a time, but eventually left St. Lewis, leaving their son with Captain Clark, for the schooling.
There is no proof of what happened to her after she left St. Louis with her husband. Western history says that she died in 1812 at Ft. Manuel, South Dakota, of a "putrid fever", and left behind an infant daughter. Shoshone oral tradition says that she did not die, but wandered west for a while, then joined her tribe on the Wind River REservation, and died in1884, after living a long life, and becoming an influential and venerated tribe member. There is a monument to her on that reservation, where she is buried between her son, and her sister's son, whom she'd adopted.

*interesting side note. Every picture I posted did not post well. Maybe she's shy, or felt, as many Indians did, that having their pictures taken would suck their souls out through the eyes. But I tried.*

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, all my blog buddies! It's after midnight, my last minute Pie is done, and I am going to bed. But I wanted to wish you all a good Turkey Day, and say that one of the things that I am thankful for this year, is all of you!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

I am still tingly and numb, so lets stay with the winter theme, shall we?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

oooh, tingly...

I am pretty numb and tingly today
(did too much yesterday?)
so you get a picture instead of words. . . .

Monday, November 19, 2007

Catalogue immersion

I am getting innundated with catalogues. This happens every holiday season. My mailbox was so full of catalogues that the mail man had to find new, and inventive ways to get them all in there. ( I have one of those "stand up" ones common to apartment living.

I will admit, I peruse the catalogues. I find some interesting idea's, and even a few things to order. ( I got a great educational toy catalogue).
I was looking through the "sharper image" one, and something caught my eye.
A breathalyzer.

Now, lets think about this. We all know when we've had too much to drink, and can't drive, right? It takes very little alcohol to get there. Spending loads of cash on a breathalyzer is foolish.
And can you see explaining to a cop that on "your" breathalyzer you were legal, but on his, your not? I am sure those things need calibration of some sort.
And the truly drunk? Will blow on the thing, laugh at it, throw it, and drive, anyhow.

Where this might come in handy, is at bars. I am sure they make disposable straws to blow into, so that no one is putting their mouth on it after someone else. The bartender, when concerned that he/she needs to cut someone off, can administer the breathalyzer, and act accordingly. That makes sense to me. But not your own personal use breathalyzer. It would be funny as hell to give to certain people for Christmas though, just to see the look of shock and confusion on their faces. . .

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Yesterday, I went out for lunch with a friend from work, and since I was in the "quaint" downtown area of Podunk I decided to go into a few stores I like and see what they had. One store has these great little candles that burn forever, and I needed more (because forever expired on a few of mine). So I get a few, and make my way to the counter to be waited on by this pleasant young lady, early twenties, I'd say.
Pleasant until she raised her arms to reach for something.
She had, down her arm, long enough for me to see past her short capped sleeved t shirt
hair. Armpit hair. And it was combed to lay perfectly down her arm! I could see the comb marks in it!
I immediately cast my gaze away from her, trying to look at anything but her arm pits, but it's like a train accident. And every time I looked at her, she was raising her arm to do something and I'd get another glimps of her coiffed pit hair. I almost left the candles. But I survived, came home, then on the IM I disturbed Cami and Sybil with this horrific tale.
If we could squeal and puke over the IM, we would have. We spent a generous amount of minutes discussing armpit hair, and what people do to it. CamiKaos offers that she's even seen it braided and beaded. (I would vomit for sure.) I opined that if I could find a 'pit toupee" I'd wear it to my Mom's for Christmas, braided and beaded. (In Christmas colors, of course, perhaps with an ornament).
But seriously.
What is the novelty in growing arm pit hair? It stinks. I bet within a year this young, otherwise pretty girl will be wearing patchouli (which makes me gag every time I smell it) and dread locks.
The hippie movement lives, I guess...

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Angel of the Battlefield

My friend today is Clara Barton.

She was born in Oxford, Massachusetts, the youngest of 5 children. Always very smart, she was, however, painfully shy. She was schooled at home by her siblings, who were much older than her. Her two sisters were school teachers in trade. When she was eleven, her brother had an accident, and she stayed by his side, nursing him herself for two years, even learning how to handle leeches. (yech.). To further her interest in nursing, her Aunt was a notable midwife.
At 17, she became a teacher in her own right. She opened two different schools, and the second one became so large it needed a "headmaster". Unfortunately, the town council hired a man for the job, not the woman who started the school. By this time she'd been teaching for over ten years. Frustrated,she left, and moved to Washington DC, and worked as a clerk in the U.S. Patent office.
The Civil war started, and Clara quit her job, and began to see to the wounded. She started by getting, and giving supplies, then quickly branched out to riding in the "ambulances" that followed the battles. She even brought her own supplies. She spent the entire Civil War nursing the wounded in the battlefields. After the war, President Lincoln put her in charge of searching out missing Union Soldiers. All together, she was responsible for tracking down 30,000 men. She also traveled the country lecturing on her experiences during the war, and supporting both the Suffragist movements, and the Civil Rights movements. However, her health was severely debilitated related to her hard years of nursing on battlefields, and she ended up taking a "restful trip" to Geneva, Switzerland. There, she saw the "International Committee of the Red Cross", and got involved with them. Disturbed that the United States did not have one of these, she came home, and with sheer tenacity, started one up! It is known, obviously, today, as the "Red Cross". She was president of the Red Cross for 26 years. Then, the organization turned on her (in my opinion) and she resigned because they felt they needed someone newer, and more progressive to be their leader. She stepped down gracefully, and went to her home, where she died, some years later, after complications of a "cold". (I'm guessing she had pneumonia, myself.)
Here is a quote from Clara that pretty much sums it up:

"You must never so much as think whether you like it or not, whether it is bearable or not. You must never think of anything except the need, and how to meet it".

I wonder how many times Clara rolled in her grave after Katrina hit?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

sweet tooth

My Dad, 'Uncle Heinz' (married to Aunt Tuna)has a huuuuuge sweet tooth.
Even chemo and radiation did not inhibit his sweet tooth.
His stomach is tiny now, and he eats the tiniest servings of any main meal put before him. I once saw him eat 2 pieces of lettuce, and a sliver of tomato, and call that 'salad'.
But bring out dessert, and he's your man. Anything sweet. He especially loves Apple Pie.
I do the majority of the family baking at holiday time. Usually, peach pie, (from the summer peaches I freeze), sometimes Pecan pie, and, I do try various Apple Pie recipes. I am still looking for the perfect one, though, so if any of you know of one, send it my way, please~
And cookies. I make countless cookies. I really don't know if I am going to be able to this year, but I am going to give it the old college try.
Anyhow. I love to bake. I get in this almost zen like frenzy, if there is such a thing. Especially with the cookies. I can whip out cookies faster than anything, now, and plenty of them.
Each person I know, who knows my cookies, has a favorite.
Nancy loves the "Russian Teacakes". These are pecan cookies with caramel in the center.
My Mom goes for the Drommar. Those are pecan butter cookies dipped in powdered sugar. (Drommar is the swedish name- "snowballs" they are called here, sometimes.)
Dad likes a plain sugar cookie. Nothing fancy. But he'll eat any cookie I put in front of him.
My personal favorite is the gingerbread. I recently got my Great-Grandmother's recipe for gingerbread cookies. It even involves coffee. It's awesome. Even if it kills me this year, I am making gingerbread. And I have to make the drommar. And. .. and. . . and. . .
anyone want to come to the republic of California and bake cookies? I may need a hand, literally! ;)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I have a confession. . .

I've been holding out on you guys.
Not intentionally. Call it a case of denial, initially, then, after the initial part? Well. Hope springs eternal.

I know I have posted here and there about sore shoulders ect. ect. from work. The pain usually goes away.
The problem is, my pain did go away, but my right hand? Almost totally numb. I can't feel my finger tips, especially my first three fingers. I can't make a fist, I can write, but barely, and it's sloppy. I can type, so far, it just feels wierd. MM had to cut my meat at dinner the other night, and that was very difficult for me to have to admit. But it hurts like a MF'er when I try to do any of those particular things.
So, here is the skinny.
I broke down and went to the doctor, as much as I hate to that. It seems that it's a high probability that I have carpal tunnel, and on top of that, some sort nerve inpingement in my neck.
The sum of it all? I cannot work. I am officially on a medical leave of absence. Until when? Who knows. Until I see the specialist, and we come up with a plan to get me past this. I have this feeling, though, that I am going to end up having carpal tunnel surgery.
Yesterday, figuring all this out, I had my freak out moment. It's scary when someone tells you that you can't work. Today? I am more 'meh', about it. I just want the feeling to come back to my hand. If I can't make a fist, how can I punch someone?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Christmas tree's, redux

I asked Lori, over on Fairytales and Margaritas a question I generally try to ask many many people.
Christmas Tree, live, or fake?
I don't know why I ask this question, but I do.
I love nothing more than a live tree. Even if it sat naked in my living room the entire time I would love it. But it doesn't. (sit naked, that is.)
My mom, in her quest for the "matchy matchy" tree that Lori describes, has given her children all the old, nostalgic tree ornaments, and gotten her matching ones.
My tree is always a hodge podge of those old ornaments, and the ones I've collected over the years. I can tell a story about each and every ornament on my tree, and often think of their stories as I am hanging them. It never fails to bring a smile to my face.
Yes, I get a live tree. But I have learned, that the trees, when they are done gracing my home, get put to use in various lakes, making tree reefs for the fishies. That's kind of cool. I have, also at times, gotten a live tree. Middle sister has lots of property where my tree can go after. But the living trees are not big enough to house my memories. And I don't think I should get a bunch of little trees and put them around the house. But. Actually. That might be an idea. . .

Monday, November 12, 2007

It's a good day. . .

What Do You Know About Veterans Day?

Veterans Day gives Americans the opportunity to celebrate the bravery and sacrifice of all U.S. veterans. However, most Americans confuse this holiday with Memorial Day, reports the Department of Veterans Affairs. What's more, some Americans don't know why we commemorate our Veterans on Nov.11. It's imperative that all Americans know the history of Veterans Day so that we can honor our former servicemembers properly.
A Brief History of Veterans Day

Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday to honor the end of World War I, which officially took place on November 11, 1918. In legislature that was passed in 1938, November 11 was "dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as 'Armistice Day.'" As such, this new legal holiday honored World War I veterans.

In 1954, after having been through both World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd U.S. Congress -- at the urging of the veterans service organizations -- amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting the word "Veterans." With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, Nov. 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

In 1968, the Uniforms Holiday Bill ensured three-day weekends for federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. Under this bill, Veterans Day was moved to the last Monday of October. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holiday on its original date. The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on Oct. 25, 1971.

Finally on September 20, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed a law which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of Nov. 11, beginning in 1978. Since then, the Veterans Day holiday has been observed on Nov. 11.

If you know any veterans, please thank them for what they have done for us.

*oh and I cribbed this info off of a site called They defined Veterans day very well, I thought!*

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Good Weekend

Go look at Bent Objects and have a laugh.
Happy weekend everyone

Friday, November 9, 2007

Ain't I a Woman?

This is Isabella Baumfree. You thought I was going to say Sojourner Truth, didn't you? Well I will, later.
But when she was born, into Slavery, she was Isabella.She was born in New York, one of 13 children, and lived on an estate where only Dutch was spoken. In 1806, when she was about 9, she was sold for 100.00 to another "master" in New York. He was not a kind man, and would beat his slaves regularly. 2 years later, she was sold again, this time for 105.00. to a tavern keeper, then 18 months later sold yet again for 175.00. The wife of her new owner didn't like her, and strove to make her life miserable. She fell in love with a slave from a neighboring farm. His "owners" were having none of that, and beat him severely. He impregnated her, but she never saw him again after the beating. She herself was forced into marriage to an older slave, whom she bore four more children.

In 1799, New York began the process of legislating the abolition of slavery. Her "master" had promised her freedom a year before the state emancipation for good behavior, but later reneged on that promise, saying her hand injury had slowed her down. So she spun 100 pounds of wool, then, escaped, only able to take her youngest child. She found her way to a Quaker family who took her in, and lived with them until the Emancipation of New York was in effect. She learned that one of her sons had been sold illegally, and, with the help of the Quakers, she took the issue to court, and got her son back. While living with the Quakers, she became a devout Christian. In 1829, she moved to NYC and worked as a housekeeper. She eventually, in 1843 changed her name to Sojourner Truth, and told her friends "The Spirit calls me, I must go". So she left, and traveled, preaching about abolition.She found herself in Massachusetts, living at the Northampton Association of Education, an organization founded by abolitionists, and supporting women's rights, and religious tolerance. They were unable to make their small commune work, however, and she ended up having to go back to work as a house keeper. To pass time, she dictated her memoirs to a friend (she never did learn how to read, or write) and a book was then published about her life. In 1851, she went to the Ohio Woman's Rights Convention, and delivered her famous speech, "Ain't I a Woman?" It went as follows:
Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that 'twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what's all this here talking about?
That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man - when I could get it - and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman?

Then they talk about this thing in the head; what's this they call it? [member of audience whispers, "intellect"] That's it, honey. What's that got to do with women's rights or negroes' rights? If my cup won't hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn't you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?

Then that little man in black there, he says women can't have as much rights as men, 'cause Christ wasn't a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.

If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back , and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.

Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain't got nothing more to say.

Over the next decade, she continued to go talk to audiences everywhere.. at one point, someone accused her of being a man, (she was 6 foot tall, very strong) so she opened her blouse and showed him her breasts. During the Civil war, she helped to recruit black troops for the Union Army. She even met Abraham Lincoln while working in Washington. She wrote a song called "The Valiant Soldiers" for the 1st Michigan Colored Regiment, and sung it in Detroit, and Washington.

She died, in 1883, at her home in Battle Creek, Michigan.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

yep,thats me

Malevolent, Intimidating, Explorer-Lacerating, Investigator-Kidnapping Killer from the Isle

Get Your Monster Name

word up

I love words. Words have always intrigued me. I have some that I hate, like poo, and potty. (It drives me nuts to hear grown women excuse themselves to "go potty".)
I don't want to talk about that, though.
Instead I want to focus on words I love. Like "gobsmacked". I know, its a British term. But it just sounds so good. Say it with me, now. Gobsmacked. It sounds great, doesn't it? I cannot use the word often enough. One of the best nights I had in the ICU was the night our British (and favourite) traveler used the word Gobsmacked. I toss in extra u's for her, because I like her that much.
Tulip. I also love the word Tulip. And not because it's my favourite flower. (Another u for my friend, there.. )Just. Tulip.
And how about insouciant? I now think of Cami when I use it. Also, I love the word vivacious.
Stagnant. There is another word I hate. Expectorant is another word I can't stand. Mucous also doesn't thrill me.
'Loverly', though. another favorite word.

So, there are some of mine. Show and tell. What's your favourite word?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

How Bizarre. . .

So I am at work. I was on call for a very brief time, but got called in, and, am here, at work. Looking at strange internet things.
Since I am unable to look at anything You Tube, (blocked by the hospital gestapo), I find myself reading the silly questions asked on the yahoo question site.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it? Pick a question, and answer it. I'll answer one of them myself in comments.

Cool fish?

Losing My Religion by REM or Come Back and Stay, by Paul Young?

Why is the sociological perspective especially important in studying crime?

Is it safe to take Desyrel and Codeine together?

Choosing wine on a first date?

Dates of conception? Confused?

Is it better to live in Australia or India?

Calculate the value of the double integral on D of xe^ydA, where D is bounded by y=0, y=x^2 and x=1 ? (*huh? WTF? is this even english?)

Would you rather be chased by the CIA or Mafia?

When English kids are playing, why do they put on an american accent?

If money is the root of all evil, what is the root of money?

and finally,

Mamahalin Kaya aki ni paul?

Lets help these poor yahooligans out, and answer their questions, shall we? And yes, these are quoted directly from the site. I could not make this up if I even tried. Especially that one question that I think is math. (is it math, or is it alien communication?)

Monday, November 5, 2007

Does this tag make my butt look big?

See that number hanging off my ear? It means I've been tagged. But, I've been tagged by the best, baby. Sybil Law. I am supposed to post the rules for this here tag, too. So, without further ado, rules:A). Link to the person who tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
B). Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself.
C). Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
D). Let each person know that they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Alrighty then. Seven strange things about me. (Isn't this similar to the Eight thing?)

1. My prom date was from the Dominican Republic. He was a foreign exchange student, and we had the best time, ever. Recently (today, in fact) he popped up on Facebook, and he is a lawyer/diplomat in London, England. I am so not surprised.

2. I have a small collection of teapots. Why? Dunno. Just because. And no, I actually don't want anymore. I have just the right amount to sit on the "tea cart" that is a decorative part of my home. One more would upset the balance.

3. I like the cold. Snowy, or rainy days make me very very happy. Hot, sucky summer days do not. (Unless I am at a lake, or ocean somewhere).

4.Quite to the opposite of number 3, when I shower, I like the water very very hot. Always have. If my skin isn't red from the water, it's probably not hot enough.

5. I have, next to my computer, a stuffed cockroach, a sheep, my on call fairy, a miniature wicked witch Madame Alexander doll, 2 dragons, and, "Dave", a new clock like thing that MM gave me last week. He's orange, with arms and legs, and his head is a clock. He's awesome. (Bob is jealous).

6. This is harder than I thought. Hmmmmm.Okay, here's one. When I am making Pulla, I always ask my Great Grandma, Mary, to help me out. I talk to her a little bit, and firmly believe that she sends down good thoughts for my bread, ensuring it will rise.

7. Last one. tick tock tick tock. Okay, fine. It's lame. But here. I hate lemon in my iced tea. I like lemon on other things, but it just doesn't belong in my iced tea. Strangely enough, MM is the same way. We've gotten more than one funny look for that one. . .

Okay. Now for my tagging. I choose. . .
MM, of course. Especially because he hasn't blogged in a while, because he claims to have "nothing" to say. There. I just gave him something to say.

David in DC. I know you've done the eight before. Now, you get to do the seven.

And, Jamie. How about it, Jamie? Seven things. It will be easy, really it will.

Uhm, anyone else that hasn't been tagged? If you want to play along, please, do.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

I am sure my BIL has this up at his house, somewhere. . .

Have a good weekend everyone

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Miners' Angel

This is Mother Jones. Mary Harris Jones to be exact. She was born in Cork, Ireland, and raised in Canada. While living in Ireland as a child, she witnessed the British soldiers marching through the streets with the heads of Irishmen stuck on their bayonets. Her paternal grandfather was hung for being an Irish freedom fighter, and her father was forced to flee for the same activities. She taught for a while in Michigan, and decided she liked sewing better than bossing children around, so she became a dressmaker. Then she moved to Memphis Tennessee, and began to teach again. While there, she met George, an iron molder, who was a member of the Iron Molders' Union. They married, and had four children. then within one week, her husband, and all her children died in a Yellow Fever Epidemic. After this, she went back to Chicago, and dressmaking.
Fate wasn't done with her yet, however. Four years later, in the great Chicago fire, she lost everything.
After this, she started to become involved in the labor movement, wanting to pass on what she'd learned from her husband all those years ago.She also had worked, sewing, for many wealthy Chicago families, and witnessed firsthand the social inequality, and troubles it lead to.
She became involved in the Knights of Labor, and in between working as a seamstress would travel back and forth across the country, to different industrial areas, citing her home as "wherever there is a fight". In 1877, she was at the Pittsburgh railway strike, in the 1880's, she was organizing and running educational meetings, in 1898 she helped to found the Social Democratic Party, and in 1905 she was present when the Industrial Workers of the World was founded.
She was also heavily involved with the struggles of the coal miners, helping to organize the United Mine Workers. She stayed involved with them heavily through the years, and often, when there was a strike, would involve the wives and children of the miners to dramatize the situation. In 1912, she actually lead a march of the miners children through the streets of Charleston, W. Va. and in 1913, she was arrested at a strike, and charged and convicted by a military court of conspiring to commit murder. They sentenced her to 60 years in prison. She was 83 years old. However, the governor set her free. Then she went to Colorado to fight for the miners there. She was arrested and imprisoned twice, during that time.
She stayed active, protesting for and taking care of the miners until she died, just seven months after her 100th birthday. She was once denounced by the US Senate as "the grandmother of all agitators" and was proud of that title. She was also known to say "I'm not a humanitarian, I'm a hellraiser."
So, today is for Mother Jones, the mother of all the mine workers, and then some.

*I think it's worth stating the obvious here that I barely scratch the surface of these wonderful women I've been posting about each Friday. There is so much more to them, but to blog it all, it would be a book, not a blog.*

Thursday, November 1, 2007

tricks and treats

Yesterday, I took a trip to the Grocery Store. Most of you realize how much I loooooove to do that, right?
It wasn't so bad, the old people to me ratio wasn't too high, and I found what I wanted fairly quickly. Of course, it being Halloween, there was actually quite a store full of people after candy. Dumb bunnies. Don't they know that the only crap left in the store on the day of Halloween will more than likely get their house egged? I mean, really.
So I jump into a line with the stuff I had, and though my cart wasn't in the walkway, and there was plenty of room behind me, some lady decided she had to park her cart right next to mine, on my left hand side. She was literally standing right at my elbow. INSIDE MY PERSONAL SPACE SPACE.
Now, I let people in my personal space. But those are MY people I let in. Not some random shopper at the store. Uncomfortable, I move a litte, ensuring that I ram her cart a few times. (Love taps, really). She doesn't take the freakin' hint. Then, the lady ahead of us moves forward. I sigh with relief. I'll be darned if the space sucking old lady doesn't just move right forward, right along side of me! Now I am starting to wonder. Does she want me to just let her go ahead of me? Is that part of her tactics? Getting into people's space to annoy them so they just let her go ahead? I cast my eye over her cart. She's got about as much as I do, not one or two things, but less than a cart full. And it's the principal. So, I stand my ground, grit my teeth, and remain spacially challenged. But then it was my turn to go, and I did, and I swear I heard her gnashing her teeth as I sailed in, and greeted the cashier. Ha, take that you space invading wrinkly old bag!
Then leaving the parking lot, I was serenaded by the high school band, who were having an impromptu concert near the grocery store. The kids were all in costume, the most noticeable one being a french horn player dressed as a box of raisins. I wondered how that kid sat down anywhere yesterday.
There was a little girl playing the flute, and my mind, it slipped back to highschool, when we used to do what they were doing. And all the sudden, I was a teenager again, even if just for a spare moment. Then I got into my car, and drove away. But I was smiling. And it was Halloween.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Wordless Wednesday- Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I want to talk about an all important fixture of Halloween today.
The candy.
We associate many kinds with this holiday. Candy Corn, Smarties, the litte 'Dum-Dum' suckers, just to name a few.
I personally give out a bagged mix that has Tootsie Rolls,(regular, and flavored) Tootsie Pops, and Dots. The kids of my neighborhood like this selection, I've had no complaints or eggs lobbed at me.
But for me. There is one thing I look forward to, every year. I get one bag, only, and even then, I don't eat the whole thing. I take them to work, or give them away to the ankle biters that come trick or treating.
My favorite candy of choice is
the Mary Jane Peanut Butter Kisses.
You know the ones. they come wrapped in orange, and black wrappers. They are now made by the NECCO corporation.
The original, though, comes from a recipe by one Charles H. Miller. He had a candy company that made the original Mary Janes, the "plain Jane's", if you will. They are in a yellow and black wrapper. "Plain Jane's" are good too, but I live for the Peanut Butter ones. Ahem. Anyhow. The peanut butter variety came into life in 1914. The name, "Mary Jane", is after a favorite Aunt in the Miller family. (perhaps, this is why I prefer them? I like to think I am the favorite Aunt of a few boys I know). They are made of molasses taffy, and have that sweet peanut butter spot in the middle.
Some people HATE them with a passion. This, I know. Because I would trade them the candy I hated for their Peanut Butter kisses. It seems, that there is no fine line. Its either love, or hate with this particular candy. I think you can guess which side of the fence I fall on.
So this is my Halloween candy love. Mary Jane Peanut Butter Kisses. I wait for them, all year long.
What's yours?

Monday, October 29, 2007

sense and sensibility?

There is this new, quirky show on television, called Pushing Daisies.
A pie maker can bring people back to life with the touch of his hand. But, he has to put them back into death in 60 seconds, or another soul of equal or greater value will be taken instead.
Pie maker met girl though.
Dead girl.
and another soul paid.
However, now, the next time he touches her? She goes back to death.
Thus, a dilemma.
He loves her. She loves him.
They can't touch each other.
He can't reach out, and brush her hair back from her face.
She can't hold his hand, rub his neck, or even kiss his ears.
No contact. None.
And its not just her. He couldn't pet his dog when he was a boy, either. Same principal. The dog had passed, but he "revived" it, and then could never touch it again.
Out of all the five senses we have, touch is so important.
I love human touch. Just walking by someone, and touching them, lightly. To let them know you care, to tease them, to smack them when they are being rude. To tickle them when they need tickling. (and who doesn't?)
I think I would die if I couldn't touch. I know I would. I'd rather be deaf, or blind, or never smell again than lose the ability to touch, or feel. The thought of it just makes me shiver with the feelings of loss.
In the last episode I saw of the TV show, they'd figured out a way around it, a little. Bee keeper suits. But is that really touching, and feeling?
They had to kiss through a saran wrap barrier. I hate saran wrap. That would NEVER work for me.
And, heaven forbid. Sex.
would a condom be enough? and no touching?
No way in hell.
So, is their relationship doomed? Or can their love survive the loss of touch.
oh, it makes me sad to even consider. Thank goodness it isn't real life.
So, how about you all out there. 5 senses. Hearing, vision, smell touch and taste.
If you had to lose one, which would it be?
And if you couldn't touch the one you loved, what would you do?
I would die. Not by suicide, but by the sheer loss of it.
And the sense I would lose, if I had to choose?
Smell. I'd miss it, sure. But hey, I'm a nurse. I could use a little less sense of smell.