Life, Love, Long Hair, Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth, and other mysteries

All this and more, from a semi-Serbian, slightly sane, former editor for physicians and surgeons, who is the mother of seven kids.


Sunday, 30 December 2012

They Who Feel Too Much

They feel "too much".

They have the power to love deeply, to understand the plight of those they adore, to heal the heartache of whoever reaches out to them.

If they give you their heart, carry it carefully.  If you drop it, you shatter it like glass.  The pieces, sparkling like moonlit teardrops on a broken face, are hard to fit back together.

When they feel hope is lost, they die some more.

Stop all the music.  Songs intensify the pain.

Let the death march begin. 

They don't "get over" being harmed.  It piles up inside, silently - where it cannot be seen, sometimes hidden even from their own sight.

A new lock is added to the door of their heart.

Woe unto those who offend one of these tender beings:  not because the tender beings wish pain upon them, but because of the ways of reaping and sowing.

I pray the torments of the offenders will end when they make things right with the ones they have harmed, and that the broken hearts will somehow be mended by the miracle of love.


 Some related posts:

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

So, This Is "Christmas"

Early in the morning on Christmas Eve, I was in the hospital for blood tests.  This time, it’s a test for a.m. cortisol.  My doctor is trying to figure out if it is Addison’s disease.  I am praying it is just adrenal fatigue, which I have had and overcome before, albeit slowly, as it takes at least a year.

After I was done at the hospital, I went to the grocery store and bought some of my kids’s favorite fruits - mangoes, Oriental pears, pomegranates, boxes of mandarin oranges, and containers of raspberries.

I also bought a few special candies and chocolates, and bottles of Pom pomegranate juice - things my kids love but seldom get to have.


At home, I got my day’s worth of work done before 6:00 p.m., drove my 18-year-old daughter to her dad’s house five minutes away for dinner with a bunch of her relatives, came home, tucked the little ones into bed, and then I sat on the living room floor with Daddy, gently wrapping the gifts I had bought earlier, imagining the joy the kids would experience in the morning.

“What do you want for Christmas” is a phrase that doesn’t make sense to me.  As many in the world assume it to be the birth day of Yeshua, if He is their Lord, He is enough.

He is my Lord, and He is enough for me.  I do not, however, believe that December 25 was the day He was born.  Based on some things in the Scriptures, I suspect it was another day, and based on some things in historical writings, I believe “Christmas” is the “Christianized” version of an ungodly day of celebration, the same as Easter.

Nonetheless, a day does exist where thoughts are tossed around that God came down to Earth in the form of a man.  May the hearts of many be softened to the point of acceptance of why He came to us, what He did on the cross to pay the price for sin, and that that is all that is needed for eternal life.

And, so, sitting on the floor in my weakened state, I simply breathed, and took in the fact that I am still alive.  The silence of the evening was precious.

And then I ate some chocolate.  Yes, yes, I ate chocolate, I did.  Sooooo un-Steenybopper-ly of me, but it is what it is.

I knew my children wanted a tree, but I had no time nor strength to get one.  Daddy said, “Let’s draw a tree on the easel.”

I smiled, and I got the dry-erase pens.  I drew the tree symbol that represents the timber company that gives us half of our family’s income.  We put various Christmas decorations around the edges of our son’s easel, including ones made by the kids over the years, and we hung colourful glass balls from pretty thumb tacks I stuck into two of the ceiling beams.  I also taped to the beams some decorations made by the kids.

   

In the morning, the kids had so much fun seeing the decorated living room and opening presents while Patty Loveless sang "Christmas Time's A-Comin'", and John Lennon sang "So, This Is Christmas".  I got the turkey in the oven, and started work.  No days off for the self-employed barely making ends meet.

Peace on Earth?  I’m not sure that’s possible.  Peace in my heart beyond comprehension, even in the face of illness and whatever else this world throws my way, because I know I am loved with an everlasting Love and will be with the Lord forever?  Yes.



(Song:  "Heaven Came To Earth", by 2nd Chapter Of Acts)


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Thursday, 6 December 2012

Medical Transcribers Underpaid

I'd like some dialogue on this.

I wonder how you feel about knowing your medical details may be shipped overseas to be transcribed, or that your vital information may be mistyped by an underpaid transcriber who is rushing to get through the job in order to make enough money to feed their family.

To be clear:  we who transcribe medical reports from home are underpaid.

I have had a contract with the same company since May 2006 and never once has my rate of pay increased, despite my having requested it a few times.

Furthermore, the rate of pay for my entire team has been decreased twice.

From what I hear from others in the industry, this has been the norm.

I read of one MT who had an increase in pay, though it was miniscule, and her rate of pay is still way below what her several years of experience and excellent skills are worth.

I'd like to hear any information, opinions, and/or questions from those involved with medical transcription, whether you be a medical transcriber, one who is involved in a medical transcription service organization or medical records department of a hospital, one who is involved in a school or course which prepares people to become medical transcribers, or a medical professional who utilizes the services of medical transcribers.

I'd also like to hear from the end products of medical transcription services - patients.  This may well include you, if you have ever been, or are yet to be, to a doctor's office or a hospital.

I will probably have future blog entries on this subject.  For now, I will close and invite comments and conversation.  Please do not be afraid to comment.  I moderate the comments but publish anything that is not spam or abusive.




More of my writing can be read by clicking on the blog entries in the right hand column.  Here are a few quick picks:



Saturday, 17 November 2012

Un-Understood

I am in a state of emotional overwhelm.

I've fought all week against one thing after another trying to steal my joy, faking it in hopes of making it, but now I have finally gone under and feel I am drowning.

I know this is not my normal state and so I am hoping I will come back up gasping for air and find the sun shining fully enough to dry these tears within.

I feel like I want to talk to someone about it, but at the same time I hold back because...

Because why?

I don't know.

Well, I do know, but I don't want to explain.

I know there is nothing anyone can to do fix anything for me, and I don't expect that, but sometimes I wish I had someone to whom I could go who would care.

I am not so unique that the feelings I have just expressed are ones that nobody else has ever felt.

I feel un-understood.

Does anyone even read this drivel?

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Dryer Lint

Those who know me well will know I'm not a fan of Halloween.  My reasons go back to the ancient history of it and how it doesn't mesh with my Biblical beliefs, but when I was a kid, I didn't know about any of that, and I did some silly things.

But have you ever heard of something THIS silly?

Without mentioning any names, I will tell you the story of some girls.

They were two sisters in their early teens.  One was cleaning out the lint screen in the dryer on October 31, when she got the twisted idea to give it to the soon-to-arrive trick-or-treaters.

Her equally twisted older sister laughed maniacally, grabbed some brown paper lunch bags, and started shoving wads of greyish blue dryer lint into them, closing the tops with a few staples.

I heard that the older sister even drew the middle finger on one of the bags.

Apparently, one of the girls filled another bag with an old holey pair of orange socks.

Who DOES this kind of thing?

They saved the "special" bags for certain people, such as the boy from across the road, who was a few years younger than the girls but had always been mean to them.

The girls, with such kind faces, bestowed a bag of dryer lint upon the unsuspecting visitor.

"Heyyyyyy, thanks!" enthused the boy from across the road as he beamed.

"You're welcome," I can hear the girls say as they stuffed their giggles beneath innocent faces.

I wonder what happened to the boy who opened that bag of lint.  Did he even remember who had given it to him?  Did the lemony smell of laundry soap get masked in his senses and confuse him into thinking it was some ghoulish sort of cotton candy?  Did he taste of it and suddenly develop a craving for other types of dryer lint and become a dryer lint addict?

Maybe that boy went on to roam the streets, reaching into dryer exhaust pipes in residential areas, looking for his next fix.  Maybe he wound up in a treatment centre and is still digging through his past to figure out the roots of his addiction.

Maybe, in one of his recovery groups, he ran into another person with a strange addiction - to holey orange socks!

Maybe I've just got a silly imagination.

I like to put a photo or a video in my blog entries, but couldn't think of anything for this one.  So, I asked one of my teenaged daughters, in a serious voice, "Hey, do you know any songs that might be appropriate to put in a blog entry about dryer lint?"

She burst out laughing and said, "Yyyyeah, I'll Youtube that right now, Mom!"

But she DID find something, and here it is:


So, tell me... have your eyes glazed over from reading this, or did you laugh, even a little?  :)


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Monday, 8 October 2012

Quit Eating Sugar - Your Body Will Thank You

I used to catch every cold or sniffle that went around.  I'd get it worse than anyone else in the family and for a longer duration.  Sometimes it would turn into bronchitis, which would stick around for months at a time.

Two things made a positive difference in the above problems:

1.  I went to a homeopath.  They cost a bit more than a medical doctor (here in BC, we have medical coverage so it doesn't cost anything to go to a family doctor, whereas it's $40 to see my homeopath - BUT she spends at least an hour per session with her clients, and if the remedy she gives doesn't solve the problem(s) after a few days or weeks, she will give a different one).

The last straw came when I had a killer sore throat that would not respond to three different antibiotics prescribed by doctors.  It was so bad, I woke in the morning barely able to swallow, and I went to the emergency room twice during those few weeks.

I told my homeopath about the sore throat, and she gave me a remedy that cleared it up in one day.  That was four years ago and it has never returned, and neither have the bronchitis bouts, but I still went through too many colds for my tastes.  (I'd prefer none!)

2.  I went to my naturopathic doctor and he told me to quit eating sugar.  This was only part of the diet he recommended, to address a number of issues, but the omission of sugar has been, I believe, key to my no longer catching every bug that enters my proximity - and I've got seven kids, so there's plenty of opportunity for one or another to bring a virus home, not to mention from my trips to the grocery store etc.

A few times, I had sugar when a virus was going around, and next thing I knew, I was sniffling and fending off a sore throat by snorting and gargling sea-salt water.

It took a few weeks to break the sugar habit that had been in my life for 40+ years, but now, I don't crave sugar at all.  I use stevia to sweeten my green tea and my oatmeal.  Sometimes I will make a stevia-sweetened treat, such as my chocolate almond bark, or I'll add a bit of stevia to a fruit/vegetable smoothie.

I do have the unrefined sugars intrinsic to fruit and vegetables, but those come with the rest of the package required for them to work gracefully within the body to provide their intended health benefits.

I still get the odd cold, but it's nothing like the 6-10 per year I was getting for the first 40 years of my life.

I also no longer eat wheat, potatoes, corn, or dairy products.  Like with sugar, I have had them a few times since quitting them in the fall of 2009, and with almost every instance, something negative happened to my body or my mind, reminding me that what I had consumed was not for the best.

Here are some things I do eat:

chicken
turkey
fish
beef
almonds
sunflower seeds
rice
barley
rice noodles
rice crackers
various soups
various fruits and vegetables
chili
beans
hummus

Of course, there's more, but those are a few of the main ones off the top of my head.

Not only do I not get sick as often as I used to, combined with aerobic and resistance exercise, I have lost all of the difficult-to-lose weight I had gained from my past two pregnancies, and my skin no longer breaks out (unless I ingest some of the offending items).

I'd love to hear about it if you have eliminated sugar from your diet.  I've encountered very few people who have undergone the cessation of this destructive, highly addictive drug.

I dare you to quit.

(Speaking of addiction, here is a song that comes to mind.)

To your health!

Edited April 9, 2013 to add this link from another blogger: 


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Friday, 28 September 2012

Facebook Private Messages on Timeline - SOLUTION

The recent rumors in the past week about Facebook private messages leaking out are true.

And I have a solution for you. 

Here is what I posted to my Facebook Timeline this morning:

Hey, this is "Steeny Lou" talking and not me copying and pasting some questionable info I saw somewhere else. I figured this out myself today. Read it, please, because privacy HAS INDEED been compromised by Facebook, and it may have happened to you, too. I saw it myself on my own Timeline and was pissed right off.

Seriously, snippets from an old PRIVATE conversation I'd had with one of my d
aughters, from Oct 12, 2010, showed up on my Timeline. I commented in my own thread and tagged my sister, as she and I had been discussing this whole rumor about private messages leaking out to our publicly viewable Timelines.

THE SOLUTION:

1. On the top right of your FB page, click the little drop-down arrow.
2. Click on "Privacy".
3. On "Timeline and Tagging", click "Edit Settings".
4. Click on "Who can see what others post on your Timeline?"
5. Click on the box to the right and click on "Custom".
6. Click the dropdown box and choose "Only Me".
7. Click "Save changes".
8. Click "Done". And then you're done - FOR NOW... just be wary of the next unannounced alterations in your privacy from those who "provide" us with this "free" service known as Facebook, and exercise caution in whatsoever you post anywhere on the internet. Big Bro is watchin'.

I tested out the solution by signing into another account, to see if the thread in question still showed up.  I couldn't see it, so I went back to my account and tested further by tagging my other account name.  I signed back into my other account, and the tag was not even received.

And now, a song about paranoia - but a little paranoia isn't such a bad thing:

 (Wow, Ozzy was so young once!)

Have you found any of your private messages showing up on YOUR wall?

Please share a link for this blog entry with everyone.  Our privacy should remain as our privacy.


If you'd like to read more of my writing, much can be found in the archives in the right-hand column of this blog.  Here are a few quick picks:



Sunday, 16 September 2012

I Stepped On A Rusty Nail

A couple days ago, I was driving to an appointment in a town 2-1/4 hours away.

I stopped along the way to take a picture of myself at a place that is special to me and my husband, with my tripod and remote. 

I was sitting on a log, but I found that the remote wasn't quite aiming at the camera, so I jumped off the log to move over, and landed on a rusty nail that was sticking through a piece of wood that I'd knocked off the log a minute earlier.

The nail went straight through my Birkenstock sandal and pierced the soft part in the middle of my foot about 1/4 inch deep.

Can you see the nail sticking through my shoe in the above photo?


I immediately grabbed my foot and applied pressure, as I was afraid it would bleed like crazy, but in retrospect I probably should've let it bleed to help let the bacteria out.

I took my sock off after a couple minutes and blood poured out of the wound.

I hopped back to my car and got some paper towel, folded it up, and put it against the wound, then put my sock back on.

My 3-year-old daughter, who was in the car, asked, "Why are you hopping on one foot, Mama?"

I disguised my pain and fear with a cheerful voice and said, "Mama just got a little owie.  I'm okay."

She was fine with that.

I hopped back to the log to get my shoe.  That things was stuck good and it took some yarding to get it off.

I grabbed my camera, folded up my tripod, put it all and me in the car and drove off.

I was in the mountains, at least a half hour from cell service, so all I could do was keep driving.

When I got in cell phone range, I called 911 and talked to ambulance staff, asking if they figured I'd be okay to keep driving a further hour to the nearest town with medical care.  (I had no idea how fast tetanus could set in.  I was thinking like snake bite or something.)  They said as long as I felt fine, I should go for it, but if I wanted an ambulance, they'd come get me.

Then I called a walk-in clinic in that town where I was headed.  They told me the soonest they could see me would be 4:00, and that I could call one of the other two walk-in clinics or the hospital emergency room.

I used to live in that town.  I'd been to one of the other clinics a few times and I knew their waits were always long, and in a town of that size and busy-ness, I couldn't imagine the other one being any different.

And the hospital was out of the question.  Their wait times are notoriously long, as I've experienced several times at varying times of night and day with friends, family members, and myself.

I had an appointment at 1:30 with my counselor, and had to get back home by 5:00-ish so my husband could take the car to work.

I called my homeopath, and asked her what I should do.  She said Ledum 30 c, but that it was my call if I wanted to go for a tetanus shot.

After my counseling appointment, at 2:25 pm, I headed to the health food store and asked if they had Ledum.  They did not.  I told the guy that my homeopath had some up in my town 2-1/4 hours away, and that I was headed there right away.  I asked if he figured I'd be okay to wait that long, or if I should go for a tetanus shot.  He emphatically said that I should go to my homeopath for the Ledum.

I bought fruit smoothies for my daughter and me, to go with the hummus and rice cracker's we'd brought for our on-the-road lunch,  and headed out to the highway by 2:45 pm.

I called my husband to ask if he could run over to my homeopath's house a few minutes from our place and pick up my remedy, but he had just gotten up and was getting ready for work, so I planned on picking it up on my way home.

Half an hour later, my husband called and said he could go get the remedy.  Whew!  That'd save me a few minutes.

I got home by 5:15.  I had a few quick things to do for the kids, and then I called my homeopath at 5:30, asking how many grains to take of the Ledum.  She said 3, so I popped them under my tongue, got my two youngest kids in for naps, took a bath, and then had a half hour nap myself, as I'd been up since 6-something and was dead tired.

By 8:00 pm, still very tired, I wrote about what happened and posted it on Gentle Christian Mothers - a message board with a lot of like-minded hippy-ish Christian moms like myself, many of whom are anti-vaccination - to see if I could get some opinions, experiences, and/or advice, plus I did a bit of googling to see what I could find.

The conclusion I reached was that there was no point going to the hospital for a shot.  If I was going to get tetanus, a booster would be too late to help me at that point anyway.  Besides, I'd already taken the homeopathic remedy, and I am praying that will suffice.  I have seen a lot of good come from homeopathy, from personal experience as well as in various members of my family.

My foot hurt all the next day when I walked on it, but today it's a lot better.

I'll be watching for any signs of my jaw stiffening up, but praying it doesn't happen!

And if you have any info on the subject of tetanus, please share it in the comments section below.

I thought, "The camera's all set up - might as well take a picture anyway", so here I am in agony, seconds after stomping on that nail.


Tell me - have you, or anyone you know, ever stepped on a rusty nail?  Did you/they go for a tetanus shot?  Did it prevent tetanus?  Were there side effects?  Details please!


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Monday, 20 August 2012

Followup: Abusive Bell Customer Service Rep

This is a followup to the blog entry I wrote in early June concerning the abusive Bell customer service representative.  (That original story is at this link.)

Back in late June, Argyle McArgyle informed me that the National Director of Customer Relations from Bell Canada called him to personally apologize, and to let him know that the abusive rep had been fired.

Sorry I've not updated sooner.  Life's been busy this summer.  Perhaps I will have more blog entries at some future point.




(Heheh, here's a Lego video of Queen's "Another One Bites The Dust".  They also included a clip of "We Are The Champions".  I think both songs suit the subject matter.  It's good to speak out!)

Want to read more of my ramblings?  The archives are in the right hand column, listed chronologically, but here are a few quick picks:


Sunday, 17 June 2012

Abusive Bell Customer Service Rep

WARNING:  Contains coarse language.

Can you believe this?

Someone named Ian, who, at least until a few days ago, was representing the cellular telephone division of Bell Canada, seems to be in need of therapy.

A friend I've known since childhood, whom I've mentioned in another blog entry (this one) where I changed his name to "Argyle McArgyle", was trying to get some help with his cell phone account on Friday, June 15, 2012.  The following is the actual conversation he copied word for word between himself and Ian: 

Bell agent: Updating the Fab 10 contacts take 3 hours to take effect.

Bell agent: Getting a representative to change a contact(s) for you will cost $5.00.

you: ok, well it was a couple of hours ago. i wanted the top to be XXXXX, 2) XXXXX

you: but it was a mistake that i am trying to correct right away. you will charge 5$ for that?

you: seriously?

Bell agent: It's not exactly our fault the mistake happened, right? We'll find out in the next hour if that change took effect though.

you: that's excellent customer appreciation, Ian. lets point out whose fault it is. Never tried to imply it was Bell'

you: Bells fault of course.

you: just thought that Bell might like to be more helpful than penalizing. i see that its not the case.

Bell agent: Sorry but that's the rule. I mean, we've already tried making things easier by putting it on a self-serve application.

Bell agent: I'd say it'd be our fault if we were the ones who originally put the number for you.

Bell agent: As a one time courtesy, I wont apply the $5.00 but you should know better by now.

you: OMG - did you really just say that?


Then, after Argyle closed the chat log, he got the following text from, he assumes, the Bell agent:


To quote Argyle, "customer service excellence" indeed.  Such followup.  Wow.

I can't help but think of the song, "I've Got You" by Dwight Yoakam, which I've posted below.  In case it gets removed, the specific lyrics I mean are:

"I got a letter from the folks over at Bell
Just to let me know my next phone call I can walk outside and yell."



Bell could've been more tactful in the way they communicated with Argyle, and I wonder how much irony there really is in Dwight Yoakam wording things the way he did.  Even if a person is delinquent on payments, customer service representatives should be respectful, as should, I believe, all people.

There's way too much abusiveness in this world.  I hope Ian, or whoever that person was, gets help and changes their 'tude.

Argyle is following up with management, but it will take a few days till it gets resolved, if at all.


Read more of my writing in the right hand column of this blog, ordered chronologically.
Here are a few semi-related and completely unrelated samples:


Thursday, 31 May 2012

My Worst Day In Freedom Is Better Than My Best Day In Bondage Ever Was

When people come to my house, they comment on what a beautiful place it is.

I also get a lot of compliments on how lovely my children are, and how organized I seem to be.

But, OMGarsh, woah, holy doodle, let me tell you it is frickin' HARD.

Yeah, I've got seven children.  Pregnancy and childbirth seven times - big enough deal right there already, right?

And yes, I work from home for a living.  I have to.

So so so so much to do.

So much to juggle each day.

One of my sons has some learning disabilities and I home school him.  We do "relaxed" home schooling, so it's not the ultra-structured method enjoyed by some families who educate their children from home (like I did with my older kids till they were 5, 9, and 11), but still, there are challenges involved.

We have a picturesque location, with a view of rolling hills, trees, and a lake in the distance out our big living room windows.  Horses surround us in non-snowy months (none of which are our own, for which I am grateful, having owned and boarded horses in the past and although I love them, they are more work and expense than I've got time and money to do right now.)

My house looks nice on the surface, with its curved wood walls - Gothic Arch style building - but oh the problems this place has.

Like, I cannot think of one door in this house that has nothing wrong with it.

Some of the closet doors have completely fallen off/apart.

The floors creak with every step you take, except for the basement, which has its own set of issues in its poorly insulated state.

The water softener is from 1971 and has given up functionality to the point that our toilets won't flush properly and we have to plunge the one on the top floor after each use.  I found out today from a plumber that we're looking at roughly $800 for a new water softener, plus whatever he charges to install it, and possibly a replaced toilet or three.

I just got completely out of debt last month except for our mortgage.  Now let's just fix those plumbing problems by throwing them on the line of credit.

The lawn tractor is broken.  I wonder how much we'll have to put on the line of credit to get it back from the repair place.  Meanwhile, the grass on our acre of land is causing me to wonder how many old cars are hiding underneath it.

Property taxes are due in a month.  There's no way I'll have cash to pay for it, so that, too, will have to go on the line of credit and be paid off gradually.

Sometimes I want to go sit on the couch with all my kids around me and just cry.

I dearly wish I had a way to spend more time with them and still pay all the bills.

I'm working on writing a book, but with little to no time to squeeze it in, it's slow-going.  It is my hope, like with any writer, that it may sell enough copies to help ease the financial burden I carry.

My husband's work is unpredictable, and he usually works nights.  So, when he does have work, he's sleeping all day, and my shoes look and feel like those of a single mom, doing just about everything by myself.

I don't write this to say, "Feel sorry for me."

I write this to get some of it out of me.

I wish I had something to anticipate.

Sometimes I feel like I'm going to be overwhelmed forever.

Will the two youngest children ever be out of diapers?

Will my 7-year-old ever learn to read fluently despite his learning disabilities?

Social life?  Ha haha hahaha!  Right.  What's that?

Thank God for Facebook, as messed up of a thing that it can be.

I've been through this before with my first three kids when they were little, waiting for them to be out of diapers and able to read, although in a whole different scenario.  Although I did not have to work for a living, I lived under the rule of a man who expected everything and more from me, and if I didn't foresee his every desire, I paid for it with his wrath.  The details about that will be brought forward in my book, so if you like my writing, keep checking here every so often and you might someday find that such a book will finally be completed.

Although life can be rough at times now, I take comfort in knowing that my most stressful day in freedom from abuse is far better than my best day under bondage ever was.

So, hey, how's your life?  Do you ever feel overwhelmed?
 
To freedom!

(Video:  "You're Not Coming Home Tonight" by First Aid Kit)




If you like my writing, check out some other entries listed chronologically in the right hand column of this blog.  Here are a few links:




Monday, 28 May 2012

Need More To Read?

Holy sheepdip!  I've gotten nearly 6000 page views on my blog since I started it.

I only advertise about it on Facebook and a few message boards I occasionally visit, plus sharing a link with the odd friend, so I'm surprised by that number.

Out of 59 published posts, and all those views, there are only 193 published comments.

I know a lot of them are repeat offenders, too, coz I've got StatCounter.  Don't worry, it doesn't tell me your name and address, but it gives me a rough idea where my readers are located.

I've been crazy busy lately so I haven't been posting much, but if you'd like to read something, you might want to check out another blog I've got, which is a chronicling of my experience with the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred from a few months ago.

And if you do read it, please comment, even if you don't do the workout.

Thanks for reading.  :)

I leave you with this song - "Who Are You?" by The Who:




Bye-bye, y'allz!


More of my blog entries can be found in the right hand column of this page.  Here are a few samples:



Wednesday, 23 May 2012

10 Random Things I Did Today

Idea copied from a fellow blogger, here and also here.

For those who want something to read but are afraid to ask, here is something with little to no educational content.

Ten random things I did today:

1.  After five hours of sleep, I got up.  :(
2.  Made and ate oatmeal (see this blog entry on how I make it).
3.  Did a DailyBooth photo wearing a white polar bear hat with scarf and mitts attached.
4.  Worked my butt off on medical transcription here and there.
5.  Had a nap on the recliner in the couch.
6.  Took off my long-sleeved black hoodie and put on my black Pink Floyd T-Shirt I got from Value Village on the weekend.
7.  Took extra strength Advil liquid capsules with Lady Grey tea to fight a headache.
8.  Ran up and down the stairs multiple times for kid-related things.
9.  Sat outside in the midday sun, on a park bench, on the deck by my office door, talking to my homeopathic doctor about dry skin on hands of one of my kids.
10.  Wrote this pointless blog entry.



While away the minutes and read more of my writing in the chronologically ordered entries in the right hand column.  Here are a few samples:




Tuesday, 22 May 2012

How I Make Oatmeal

I like the title of this blog.  Sounds like something a fourth grade teacher would assign their class.

And it is something the average fourth-grader should easily be able to accomplish.

Here is the healthy way I eat oatmeal.  It's way better for you than that pre-packaged stuff, and cheaper, too.



Step 1:  I get the jar of bulk quick oats, like so:



Step 2:  Take 1/4 cup of dem oats and put 'em in a bowl, like dis:



Step 3: (But really it doesn't HAVE to be step 3 - you might already have water in your kettle... and you could have turned the kettle on already.)

I add filtered drinking water to the kettle because our tap water is not to my liking.




Step 4:  Add 1/4 cup of raisins to the bowl.






Step 5:  Add a nice sized glop of coconut oil to the bowl.  (Tons of info online about the health benefits of coconut oil.  Here's just one link to get you started.)




Step 6:   Sprinkle in some cinnamon (around 1/4 tsp, or however much you desire).



Step 7:   Shake in some Celtic sea salt (I buy the crystal kind and grind some up in a spice grinder every few weeks to keep in the salt shaker).



Step 8:  Add a tiny scoop of organic stevia.



Step 9:  Add boiling water, just enough to cover the whole thing and then some.




Step 10:  After stirring, let it sit for a few minutes (3-5 minutes is sufficient).



Step 11:  Add a splash of organic unsweetened soy milk.  Stir it up and enjoy!



If you are used to pre-packaged instant oatmeal, it may take some time for you to grow accustomed to the taste and texture of this stuff, but for the sake of health, it is worth doing. I love it, but I've broken away from the sugar habit, so, to me, this is a sweet treat.



If you like my writing, check out some more of my entries, which are arranged chronologically in the right hand column of this blog.  Here are a few samples:

Thursday, 17 May 2012

For The Record, My Heart Is Sore

Some days I feel so lonely.

So many things combine to result in a state of being overwhelmed.




Today, my man took our two boys out so I could get my work done.  Our little girl has been napping for a few hours.  I crave this silence sometimes, but then when I get it, I feel aware of how alone I am, and it's not a good feeling.

I'm getting some work done, but I'm thinking too much, and it's mostly about unpleasant sheeyite.

Re-reading one of my blog entries didn't help matters - this one:

Wow, I Love Being Ignored - Don't You? Ugh.

Sigh.

Stuff I just won't write, but wish I could talk to someone about it, and that someone would care.

It's a fleeting moment, surely.

Life does get better, I know.

The waiting is the hardest part, but I don't even feel like looking up that Tom Petty song.  The sad one I already posted above will suffice.


Do you know what I mean?  Do you ever feel like this, where there are some things that weigh you down - things that are hard to explain even if you did have someone to talk to?  And even if you did talk about it, you fear the listener would only diminish your feelings by not understanding because they couldn't possibly?




More of my writing from past blog entries can be found in the right hand column of this page.

Here are a few samples:



Thursday, 10 May 2012

Foiling Your Own Kid's Shoplifting Attempt

In the fall of 2009, I was in the local Save-On Foods with my then-17-year-old daughter, to whom I refer in my blogging as "Nirvana".

I saw Nirvana trying on sunglasses, and she left a pair on her head as she walked away to join me at the check-stand.

While I was standing in line, I jotted a note on the back of my grocery list, which I handed to the cashier when it was my turn.

She silently read it, which said, "My daughter is trying to steal those sunglasses she's wearing".

The cashier gave me a look that said she understood, and then she picked up the phone and quietly spoke into it.

Within seconds, a manager showed up and stood at the front of the store.

As we were leaving, the manager blocked Nirvana's way and said, "Were you planning on paying for those sunglasses?"

Nervi tried to act all innocent like she forgot she was wearing them.

Uh-huh, sure.  Innocent.  I knew she'd done a lot more stealing than just that.

I mean, come on, I've been there myself when I was her age.

And I've paid my dues.

She got off easy.  The manager let her go with a warning, telling her not to come back in the store.

I myself had to work at keeping an innocent face while laughing inwardly over foiling her shoplifting attempt.

I've told the story many times since then, including, a few years later, to Nirvana, who also laughs now that she's far from anything to do with stealing.

How about you - would YOU narc on your own child?

Some things we parents just HAVE to do for our children.  Like they're gonna do it themselves?

YouTube:  "Good Morning, Judge" by 10cc


With tough love,


PS:  Like I said, Nirvana is FAR from her old thievery days.  Read more about her at this blog entry:


Also check out the growing list of entries listed chronologically in the right hand column of this blog.
Here are a few quickies:



Monday, 7 May 2012

The M-Dawg Facebook Repartee


Here we have another Facebook repartee.

My first one is at this link, and, who knows, there may be more still.

As always, I've renamed the characters, including myself.

Argyle McArgyle (I hope he doesn't smack me for having dubbed him that) lived a few houses down the road from me when we were nine until some time after grad.  Although we went to different elementary schools, we did suffer through the same prisons without bars for our "high school" years.

The other main character shall be called Santori Mafioso, who moved to our town from the States and was in my fifth grade class for awhile (also from whom I hope I do not receive a smack for his pseudonym), until he got suspended and moved to another class for allegedly bringing a forbidden substance to school.

One of my friends back then, a New Zealander who I will call Cutty Sark, coaxed me to tell Santori,  "Go home, Yankee".

So, being a bit of a brat, I said it.  (Sorry, San!)

And Santori tried to beat me up.  (See?  The Mafioso name fits.)

Cutty called him a bully, and Santori backed off, albeit seemingly grudgingly.

Anyway, that's the bit of back story.

And to be fair, I have renamed myself as Cowbell Lutefisk.

Consistent with my lifetime of brattery (shut up, Spell-Check, that IS a word in MY books), I started calling Argyle something random - the truth here, I called him "A-Dawg".

Well, I frequently post songs on my Facebook wall, and when I posted something from Led Zeppelin's "Physical Graffiti", Argyle commented to the effect of that being their best album.

One day shortly after that, I ... Well, here's the conversation to explain it: 

Cowbell Lutefisk shared a link (on Argyle McArgyle's wall).
"Yo A-Dawg, I was listening to this in my car today and I thunk-a-you. Yeah, maybe you're right - it may be their best album. So hard to choose, really."

 (Full version of In My Time Of Dying by Led Zeppelin here)

Cowbell Lutefisk Warning:  I was just listening to it on my headset while setting up my work stuff and discovered that whoever uploaded it didn't upload the whole thing. DANG it cuts off improperly. 

Argyle McArgyle It's probably a bit dependent on your mood... 

Cowbell Lutefisk  Good thing I'm not bipolar. 

Cowbell Lutefisk ‎(No offence to those who are). 

Argyle McArgyle  its just a bit more complex. my favourite anyway.  

Santori Mafioso The only reason why this is my favorite is because there is MORE! They are all great in their own way and it is absolutely dependant on your mood. And you don't have to be bi-polar to appreciate this! LOL 

Argyle McArgyle tru dat, M-dawg 

Santori Mafioso Please do not ever call me that again! 

Cowbell Lutefisk snort!!!!!!!!!!! 

Argyle McArgyle sorry m-dawg 

Cowbell Lutefisk yeah, M-Dawg. sorry you gotta be called M-Dawg. 

Santori Mafioso Uh no not really 

Argyle McArgyle  i won't call him m-dawg again. now he is the-one-who-does-not-wish-to-be-called-m-dawg 

Cowbell Lutefisk  Or The Artist Formerly Known As M-Dawg.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

And that's as far as it went.

I hope I don't wake up in the morning to find a horse's head in my bed for having published this.

With a bratty grin,




Comments?  Leave me one in the box below labeled, ironically enough, "Post a Comment".

Read more of my shtuff in the archives ordered chronologically in the right hand column of this blog, or here are a few quick random picks:



Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Is Posting Pictures Vanity?

A reader of my blog has recently commented that they feel it is vain to post pictures on Facebook.

I found it to be a thought-provoking comment.

Here's the comment, which was written in response to my March 12, 2012 blog entry Posting Pictures Can Be Perilous. 

"this depends on how you look at it i dont have the guts to post a pic because i think i am not vain enough to do so face book is all about being vain so all i have to say is good luck with that".

My response was this: 

I don't see Facebook as being all about being vain. For me, working from home, and being busy with the needs of a large family, I have little chance to keep in touch with the outside world, including many family members and friends who live far away. I so appreciate it when they put up photos to keep me apprised of a piece of their lives. Vanity has nothing to do with it when I share pictures. In fact, some of the photos of myself I've shared, I've done so with a cringe, knowing it isn't one of the best ones I could take, but knowing how much I appreciate it when others post photos, I do unto others, ya know? :) 

And hey, you think Facebook is geared towards vanity, check out some other sites that are even more focused on photos, like Dailybooth, Hot Or Not, and Piczo, to name a few I've experienced personally.

Furthermore, now there are also "GIF" sites, like gifyo, where people can click a button to record a short GIF file (which, in case you don't know, stands for "graphic interchange format", pronounced "jiff", and is basically a moving picture that replays over and over).

Here's a link for my favorite GIF - the Snoopy Dance - which I almost posted here but have removed it because it was distracting me while I wrote, so it might also distract others while they read.

But there I go with my digression...

Back to the topic of posting pictures and vanity.

My love for being in front of and behind cameras was alive and growing even back in the 80s.


Is it really vanity to want to show yourself to others?

Is it vanity to want to capture a photo of something that you'd like to share with others?

Are women being vain by putting on makeup to hide their flaws and enhance their features?

Are men being vain by working out and wearing tight jeans to show off their butts?

Should we all wear burqa-like security blankies and hide behind them?

Are we wrong to crave positive attention and have someone say words to the effect of "you're beautiful"?

Are we not wired to love and be loved?

 (YouTube video here, "Circle Of Friends" by Point Of Grace).

Especially with people of opposing genders, it can be awkward to say you like their pictures, lest it be taken the wrong way, unless it's meant to be the wrong way, which, in some cases, isn't the wrong way at all.

The confusion, though, I think, is a side effect of our Hollywood-ized society where compliments are often taken as "hitting on".

Heck, most of the pictures I post receive little to no comment whatsoever, and if I dwell on it, I can feel pretty sorry for myself, and question why I continue putting more of them up.

But then, see my quote above about "do unto others".

Maybe it is vanity, differing in degree from one person to the next.  Like with opinions, mine may not be the same as yours, shaped by our individual life experiences and knowledge.

I haven't answered anything definitively here, have I?  I guess I really don't know the answers.

What are your answers to these questions? 

With love,

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Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Three minutes of thoughts

Do you ever get so tired that the only thing you can think of is the phrase "I'm so tired I can't even think"?

I'm there.  I know that doesn't make sense, but it is what it is.

Am I going crazy?

I was up till 2-something last night, working and goofing around on the computer.

Does everyone goof around on computers?

Sometimes I wish I never met a computer.

But then I probably never would have met any of the wonderful people I "know".

It's like penpals, only so much quicker.

I'm sitting here listening to Anna Nalick's song "Breathe", as I often do when I am feeling like this.

And I thought, "I'll take these few minutes to write anything that comes to mind, because I want to."

If it is of entertainment to anyone else, great.  If not, please stop reading.  You will probably find nothing of interest beyond this line if you've not found anything thus far.

"And I feel like I'm naked in front of the crowd, coz these words are my diary screaming out loud, and I know that you'll use them however you want to."

I transcribed the above line directly from the song while hearing it in my headset.  How fitting.

These words are my diary screaming out loud.

My life is a mess sometimes.

But it gets better.


If anyone's been paying attention, they may remember that I've posted this song at least once in the past.  Here's another version of Anna Nalick's song, "Breathe (2 AM)", done a few years ago by my oldest daughter (on the far right) and others in her music class.

Hugz,



For those who like my writing, there are more entries arranged chronologically in the right hand column of this blog.

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