Saturday, January 21, 2006

New Kid on The Block

We have another dog! Buck is Wyatt's littermate and was living with the co-worker who gave me Wyatt.

A few months ago, he asked if I wanted Buck. After a half-second's thought, I said I'd talk to My Other Half, knowing that I wanted Buck. Well, MOH said of course, we'd take Buck. So, my co-worker said he'd talk to his wife (apparently he was the one who wanted to give me Buck and he had to clear it with his Better Half). I didn't hear again, and didn't feel that it was something I should ask about too often. When I did, well, his BH wasn't sure. So we waited.

About two weeks ago, I asked if it would be possible to get another puppy. His BH's mother or grandmother or someone in her family raises Chihuahuas - that's where Wyatt and Buck came from. Anyway, he said, sure. Then asked if we still wanted Buck. I said absolutely! So, after one false start, Buck came home last Tuesday.

He is a handsome young man. Larger than his brother Wyatt, but is solid not a bit of fat on him. Wyatt is a more delicate Deer-type (the poster boy I think), while Buck can't be described as delicate in any way.

This is Buck

Image hosting by Photobucket

and this is Buck and Wyatt - aka the Thundering Herd of Two. I'm sure you see what I mean.

Image hosting by Photobucket

Buck is Daddy's boy and Wyatt is Mommy's. Now, if I could just convince Buck!
Happy Birthday Aunt Joyce!!

Image hosting by Photobucket

I missed her birthday completely! ::hanging head in shame:: I hope it was a wonderful day for you!
An Eye Opener on Ovarian Cancer

Years ago, Gilda Radner died of ovarian cancer. Her symptoms were inconclusive, and she was treated for everything under the sun until it was too late. This blood test finally identified her illness but alas, too late. She wrote a book to heighten awareness. Gene Wilder is her widower.

KATHY'S STORY: this is the story of Kathy West

As all of you know, I have Primary Peritoneal Cancer. This cancer has only recently been identified as its OWN type of cancer, but it is essentially Ovarian Cancer.

Both types of cancer are diagnosed in the same way, with the "tumor marker" CA-125 BLOOD TEST, and they are treated in the same way - surgery to remove the primary tumor and then chemotherapy with Taxol and Carboplatin.

Having gone through this ordeal, I want to save others from the same fate. That is why I am sending this message to you and hope you will print it and give it or send it via E-mail to everybody you know.One thing I have learned is that each of us must take TOTAL responsibility for our own health care. I thought I had done that because I always had an annual physical and PAP smear, did a monthly Self-Breast Exam, went to the dentist at least twice a year, etc. I even insisted on a sigmoidoscopy and a bone density test last year. When I had a total hysterectomy in 1993, I thought that I did not have to worry about getting any of the female reproductive organ cancers.

LITTLE DID I KNOW! I don't have ovaries (and they were HEALTHY when they were removed), but I have what is essentially ovarian cancer. Strange, isn't it? These are just SOME of the things our Doctors never tell us: ONE out of every 55 women will get OVARIAN or PRIMARY PERITONEAL CANCER.

The "CLASSIC" symptoms are an ABDOMEN that rather SUDDENLY ENLARGES and CONSTIPATION and/or DIARRHEA.I had these classic symptoms and went to the doctor. Because these symptoms seemed to be "abdominal", I went to a gastroenterologist. He ran tests that were designed to determine whether there was a bacteria infection; these tests were negative, and I was diagnosed with "Irritable Bowel Syndrome". I guess I would have accepted this diagnosis had it not been for my enlarged abdomen. I swear to you, it looked like I was 4-5 months pregnant! I therefore insisted on more tests.

They took an X-ray of my abdomen; it was negative. I was again assured that I had Irritable Bowel Syndrome and was encouraged to go on my scheduled month-long trip to Europe. I couldn't wear any of my slacks or shorts because I couldn't get them buttoned, and I KNEW something was radically wrong. I INSISTED on more tests, and they reluctantly scheduled me for a CT-Scan (just to shut me up, I think). This is what I mean by "taking charge of our own health care."

The CT-Scan showed a lot of fluid in my abdomen (NOT normal). Needless to say, I had to cancel my trip and have FIVE POUNDS of fluid drawn off at the hospital (not a pleasant experience I assure you), but NOTHING compared to what was ahead of me. Tests revealed cancer cells in the fluid. Finally, finally, finally, the doctor ran a CA-125 blood test, and I was properly diagnosed.

I HAD THE CLASSIC SYMPTOMS FOR OVARIAN CANCER, AND YET THIS SIMPLE CA-125 BLOOD TEST HAD NEVER BEEN RUN ON ME, not as part of my annual physical exam and not when I was symptomatic. This is an inexpensive and simple blood test!


Be forewarned that their doctors might try to talk them out of it, saying, "IT ISN'T NECESSARY." Believe me, had I known then what I know now, we would ! have caught my cancer much earlier (before it was a stage 3 cancer). Insist on the CA-125 BLOOD TEST; DO NOT take "NO" for an answer!

The normal range for a CA-125 BLOOD TEST is between zero and 35. MINE WAS 754. (That's right, 754!). If the number is slightly above 35, you can have another done in three or six months and keep a close eye on it, just as women do when they have fibroid tumors or when men have a slightly elevated PSA test (Prostatic Specific Antigens) that helps diagnose prostate cancer. Having the CA-125 test done annually can alert you early, and that's the goal in diagnosing any type of cancer - catching it early.

Do you know 55 women? If so, at least one of them will have this VERY AGGRESSIVE cancer. Please, go to your doctor and insist on a CA-125 test and have one EVERY YEAR for the rest of your life.

And forward this message to every woman you know, and tell all of your female family members and friends. Though the median age for this cancer is 56, (and, guess what, I'm exactly 56), women as young as 22 have it. Age is no factor.


Well, after reading this, I made some calls. I found that the CA-125 test is an ovarian screening test equivalent to a man's PSA test prostate screen (which my husband's doctor automatically gives hi! m in his physical each year and insurance pays for it). I called the general practitioner's office about having the test done. The nurse had never heard of it. She told me that she doubted that insurance would pay for it. So I called Prudential Insurance Co, and got the same response. Never heard of it - it won't be covered.

I explained that it was the same as the PSA test they had paid for my husband for years. After conferring with whomever they confer with, she told me that the CA-125 would be covered.

It is $75 in a GP's office and $125 at the GYN's. This is a screening test that should be required just like a PAP smear (a PAP smear cannot detect problems with your ovaries). And you must insist that your insurance company pay for it.

Gene Wilder and Pierce Brosnan (his wife had it, too) are lobbying for women's health issues, saying that this test should be required in our physicals, just like the PAP and the mammogram.


The above came to me in email. I haven't vetted it for veracity, but the core message is important: we should know our own bodies and we know when something is wrong. We must take charge of our own health. We know our bodies and must insist on proper diagnosis and treatment when we know something is wrong.

I know I wasn't concerned with Ovarian cancer. I had a total hysterectomy in 1995. I assumed, since I didn't have ovaries, that Ovarian cancer was something I didn't have to be concerned about. You can be assured that I will be contacting my insurance company to see if it's covered, and if not, why not. Then I will insist on this test at my next physical. They draw blood anyway; what's another test?

Friday, January 20, 2006

What Color Olives....

are used to make Olive Oil?
The Question Was....

Where does cork come from?

The top three cork-producing countries in the world are Spain, Portugal, and Algeria.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Fair Tax

Here is an excellent article about the Fair Tax. If you don't know anything about the Fair Tax, this is an excellent place to start. If you are familiar with it, you might find something that you forgot about or didn't quite understand.

If you aren't in favor of the Fair Tax, please take a moment to look this article over and see if it doesn't give you something to think about.

Then go here for more information on the Fair Tax.

Image hosted by

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

About You

Received in email - here are my answers, post yours in comments and we'll find out a little about each other :D

1. What is your occupation? Secretary
2. What color are your socks right now? black
3. What are you listening to right now? Family Guy
4. What was the last thing that you ate? Pasta with meat sauce
5. Can you drive a stick shift? Nope, and why would I need to?
6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? yellow to match my usually cheery disposition
7. Last person you spoke to on the phone? Telemarketer
8. Do you like the person who sent this to you? yes
9. How old are you today? old enough to know better than to answer that question :D
10. Favorite drink? Green Ice Tea
11. What is your favorite sport to watch? Baseball
12. Have you ever dyed your hair? yes
13. Do you wear contacts or glasses? glasses
14. Pets ? 2 cats 2 dogs (WHAT was I thinking????!)
15. Favorite food? Just about anything that is NOT spicy
16. What was the last movie you watched in a theatre? Independence Day
17. Favorite day of the year? Christmas
18. What do you do to vent anger? Replay the situation to be sure that I wasn't the cause of the problem. If I was, take the responsibility for it. If not, then assign the "blame" to the guilty party.
19. What was your favorite toy as a child? probably Barbie
20. Fall or Spring? fall
21. Hugs or kisses? yes, please
22. Cherry or Blueberry? Cherry everytime
23. Do you want your friends to email you back? yes
24. Who is most likely to respond? Not sure
25. Who is least likely to respond? Not sure
26. Living arrangements? condo with husband and pets
27. When was the last time you cried? A couple of years ago
28. What is on the floor of your closet? Better question: what's NOT on the floor
29. Who is the friend you have had the longest? Jesus
30. What did you do last night? Pretty much the same thing I do every night...dinner, computer and TV
31. Favorite smell(s)? fresh brewed coffee, freshly baked bread
32. What inspires you? Life
33. What are you afraid of? not much
34. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers? plain
35. Favorite car? Depends on my mood, sometimes a luxury model, sometimes not
36. Favorite dog breed? Chihuahua!
37. Number of keys on your key ring? I have 2 key rings, one with 2 keys; one with 1
38. How many years at your current job? 24 years in June
39. Favorite day of the week? Friday - the start of the weekend
40. How many states have you lived in? 3
41. Favorite holiday(s)? Christmas and July 4th
42. Ever driven a Motorcycle or heavy machinery? nope
George Carlin (Absolutely Brilliant)


George Carlin's Views on Aging

Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we're kids? If you're less than 10 years old, you're so excited about aging that you think in fractions. "How old are you?" "I'm four and a half!" You're never thirty-six and a half. You're four and a half, going on five! That's the key.

You get into your teens, now they can't hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead.

"How old are you?" "I'm gonna be 16!" You could be 13, but hey, you're gonna be 16! And then the greatest day of your life . . you become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony . . YOU BECOME 21. YESSSS!!!

But then you turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk! He TURNED; we had to throw him out. There's no fun now, you're Just a sour-dumpling. What's wrong? What's changed?

You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you're PUSHING 40. Whoa! Put on the brakes, it's all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50 and your dreams are gone.

But wait!!! You MAKE it to 60. You didn't think you would!

So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50 and MAKE it to 60. You've built up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that it's a day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday!

You get into your 80s and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you TURN 4:30; you REACH bedtime. And it doesn't end there. Into the 90s, you start going backwards; "I Was JUST 92."

Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. "I'm 100 and a half!" May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!!


1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay "them "

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. "An idle mind is the devil's workshop." And the devil's name is Alzheimer's.

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it's family, pets,keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable,improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

AND ALWAYS REMEMBER: Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

And if you don't send this to at least 8 people - who cares? But do share this with someone. We all need to live life to its fullest each day!!


The above is purported to be from George Carlin. I don't know whether it is or not, but it is fun and has more than a grain of truth to it.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Pharmacy Nightmare

Last week I spent a total of four hours over three nights waiting to pick up prescriptions at a local pharmacy. Actually over four hours, but I don't really know how much more.

My Other Half had transferred his prescriptions from the national chain across the street only about three weeks ago. Since the new pharmacy, also a national chain, is on my way home from work, I stopped to pick up some re-fills for MOH Wednesday evening. The pharmacy website where he ordered the re-fills indicated they were ready for pickup. Well, an hour after I arrived at the pharmacy, I finally left. Without at least one of the prescriptions. It wasn't ready.

Thursday, because MOH had the van that day, we both stopped. I "window shopped" around the store and then sat down in their waiting area while MOH alternately waited in line or sat in the waiting area with me. After about an hour (more or less), we left with part of his order that was still incomplete from the night before.

On Friday night I again stopped at this pharmacy. I got in line and asked for the prescription. I was told it would be ready shortly. After an hour and a half, I got in line again and asked how much longer I would be waiting. The young lady behind the counter turned and asked another older lady how long and should she tell me to come back. That's when I interrupted and said I would not be coming back, I had already waited an hour an a half and that I lived in Bradenton (it would not have been a terrible hardship to come back, but a very inconvenient one). That was when the older lady decided to get some information from me. I called MOH on my cell so that I would be able to give information that he would have at hand (like just what I was picking up). He gave me a list and when I told the lady what was on the list, she said they didn't have one of the prescriptions. I still had him on the phone and asked him about it. He described the woman he handed the prescription to and guess what? It was the same lady I was talking to! She also said that he told her he didn't need the tips to syringes that were on the list (both syringes and tips). I asked, why would he say that, this is a new prescription, he doesn't have tips at home, so wouldn't he need them? I know MOH, he wouldn't have told her he didn't need something he needed.

Anyway, it was two hours after I first entered the store that I left. When the lady was bagging my order, she asked if I had one of their customer cards. You know the cards, they give cash back on your purchase. I handed her my card and when she started to hand it back, I told her to keep it, that I had no intention of ever setting foot in that store, or even that chain again. She ended up putting it the bag so I got it back anyway. Maybe she thought I'd have a change of heart?

I have the address of the corporated headquarters and will be writing to them to express my displeasure of their service.

You might notice I didn't name the pharmacy. I don't intend to, but let's say that, in my opinion, the name of the company doesn't stand for (our) customers (are) very satisfied.
Patriot Guard Riders

Their Mission Statement:

The Patriot Guard Riders is a diverse amalgamation of riders from across the nation. We have one thing in common besides motorcycles. We have an unwavering respect for those who risk their very lives for America’s freedom and security. If you share this respect, please join us.

We don’t care what you ride, what your political views are, or whether you’re a "hawk" or a "dove". It is not a requirement that you be a veteran. It doesn't matter where you’re from or what your income is. You don’t even have to ride. The only prerequisite is Respect.

Our main mission is to attend the funeral services of fallen American heroes as invited guests of the family. Each mission we undertake has two basic objectives.

1. Show our sincere respect for our fallen heroes, their families, and their communities.
2. Shield the mourning family and friends from interruptions created by any protestor or group of protestors.

We accomplish the latter through strictly legal and non-violent means.


I haven't joined, I don't know if I will, but this is a group I'd like to spotlight. I like what they stand for. You can visit their website by clicking on this link. From what I see, they do good work.

Patriot Guard Riders, I salute you!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Image hosted by
The Sands of Christmas
By Michael Marks

I had no Christmas spirit when I breathed a weary sigh,
And looked across the table where the bills were piled too high.
The laundry wasn't finished and the car I had to fix,
My stocks were down another point, the Chargers lost by six.

And so with only minutes till my son got home from school
I gave up on the drudgery and grabbed a wooden stool.
The burdens that I carried were about all I could take,
And so I flipped the TV on to catch a little break.

I came upon a desert scene in shades of tan and rust,
No snowflakes hung upon the wind, just clouds of swirling dust.
And where the reindeer should have stood before a laden sleigh,
Eight Humvees ran a column right behind an M1A.

A group of boys walked past the tank, not one was past his teens
Their eyes were hard as polished flint, their faces drawn and lean.
They walked the street in armor with their rifles shouldered tight,
Their dearest wish for Christmas, just to have a silent night.

Other soldiers gathered, hunkered down against the wind,
To share a scrap of mail and dreams of going home again.
There wasn't much at all to put their lonely hearts at ease,
They had no Christmas turkey, just a pack of MREs.

They didn't have a garland or a stocking I could see,
They didn't need an ornament--they lacked a Christmas tree.
They didn't have a present even though it was tradition,
The only boxes I could see were labeled "ammunition."

I felt a little tug and found my son now by my side,
He asked me what it was I feared, and why it was I cried.
I swept him up into my arms and held him oh so near
And kissed him on the forehead as I whispered in his ear.

"There's nothing wrong, my little son, for safe we sleep tonight
Our heroes stand on foreign land to give us all the right,
To worry on the things in life that mean nothing at all,
Instead ofwondering if we will be the next to fall."

He looked at me as children do and said, "It's always right,
To thank the ones who help us and perhaps that we should write."
And so we pushed aside the bills and sat to draft a note,
To thank the many far from home and this is what we wrote:

"God bless you all and keep you safe and speed your way back home.
Remember that we love you so, and that you're not alone.
The gift you give you share with all, a present every day,
You give the gift of liberty and that we can't repay."

Michael Marks: "I freely submit this poem for reprint without reservation--this is an open and grateful tribute to the men and women who serve every day to keep our nation safe.
Image hosted by
Ruth and Her Dinner Guest

Ruth went to her mail box andthere was only one letter. She picked it up and looked at it before opening, but then she looked at the envelope again.There was no stamp, no postmark, only her name and address. She read the letter:

Dear Ruth: I`m going to be in your neighborhood Saturday afternoon and I'd like to stop by for a visit. Love Always, Jesus

Her hands were shaking as she placed the letter on the table. "Why would the Lord want to visit me?I'm nobody special. I don't have anything to offer." With that thought, Ruth remembered her empty kitchen cabinets. "Oh my goodness, I really don't have anything to offer. I'll have to run down to the store and buy something for dinner." She reached for her purse and counted out its contents. Five dollars and forty cents. " Well, I can get some bread and cold cuts, at least." She threw on her coat and hurried out the door.

A loaf of French bread, a half-pound of sliced turkey, and a carton of milk...leaving Ruth with grand total twelve cents to last her until Monday. Nonetheless, she felt good as she headed home, her meager offerings tucked under her arm.

"Hey lady, can you help us, lady?"

Ruth had been so absorbed in her dinner plans, she hadn't even noticed two figures huddled in the alleyway. A man and a woman, both of them dressed in little more than rags.

"Look lady, I ain't got a job, ya know, and my wife and I have been living out here on the street, and,well, now it's getting cold and we're getting kinda hungry and, well, if you could help us. Lady, we'd really appreciate it."

Ruth looked at them both. They were dirty, they smelled bad and frankly, she was certain that they could get some kind of work if they really wanted to.

"Sir, I'd like to help you, but I'm a poor woman myself. All I have is a few cold cuts and some bread, and I'm having an important guest for dinner tonight and I was planning on serving that to Him."

"Yeah, well, okay lady, I understand. Thanks anyway."

The man put his arm around the woman's shoulders, turned and headed back into the alley. As she watched them leave, Ruth felt a familiar twinge in her heart.

"Sir, wait!" The couple stopped and turned as sheran down the alley after them."Look, why don't you take this food. I'll figure out something else to serve my guest." She handed the man her grocery bag.

"Thank you lady. Thank you very much!"

"Yes, thank you!" It was the man's wife, and Ruth could see now that she was shivering." You know, I've got another coat at home. Here, why don't you take this one." Ruth unbuttoned her jacket and slipped it over the woman's shoulders. Then smiling, she turned and walked back to the street...without her coat and with nothing to serve her guest.

"Thank you lady! Thank you very much!"

Ruth was chilled by the time she reached her front door, and worried too. The Lord was coming to visit and she didn't have anything to offer Him. She fumbled through her purse for the door key. But as she did, she noticed another envelope in her mailbox. That's odd. The mailman doesn't usually come twice in one day.

"Dear Ruth: It was so good to see you again. Thank you for the lovely meal. And thank you, too, for the beautiful coat. Love Always, Jesus

The air was still cold, but even without her coat, Ruth no longer noticed.

The email said to pass this along. Please feel free to do the same.

Please Keep Her Going!

Image hosted by

This woman is walking the World for Breast Cancer. Please pass her on so that she can reach her destination. Say a prayer for all those who are affected by this terrible disease. She's walking around the world - via e-mail!!
Image hosted by
Windshield Wipers and God

One rainy afternoon I was driving along one of the main streets of town, taking those extra precautions necessary when the roads are wet and slick.

Suddenly, my daughter, Aspen, spoke up from her relaxed position in her seat. "Dad, I'm thinking of something."

This announcement usually meant she had been pondering somefact for a while, and was now ready to expound all that her six-year-old mind haddiscovered. I was eager to hear.

"What are you thinking?" I asked.

"The rain," she began, "is like sin, and the windshieldwipers are like God wiping our sins away."

After the chill bumps raced up my arms I was able to respond. "That's really good, Aspen." Then my curiosity broke in.

How far would this little girl take this revelation? So I asked.. "Do you notice how the rain keeps on coming? What does that tell you?"

Aspen didn't hesitate one moment with her answer:"We keep on sinning, and God just keeps on forgiving us."

I will always remember this whenever I turn my wipers on.

Isn't it distressing to know that when you forward this message you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it to them. Funny how I can be more worried about what other people think of me than what God thinks of me.

In order to see the rainbow, you must first endure some rain.

Image hosted by

This picture is reportedly by Thomas Kincaid (and is definitely in his style). The comentary is supposedly by his daughter. I don't know if this is true or not, but the picture is certainly impressive, as is the commentary.