Friday, December 29, 2006

"Walking" boot

The quotes were intentional, though I guess that sort of indicates that I'm less than happy with the boot, which is *not* the case! I'm relieved to not have a cast, or, worse yet, surgery!

Saw the Orthopaedist, who, with an additional x-ray involving him actually FLEXING MY ANKLE (mercifully brief, thank God), confirmed that I have indeed fractured the right tibia near the ankle, and may have also had a little bone fragment tear off with the ligament or tendon that was connected to it. I don't know if that means I'll have additional treatment later, or if it's insignifcant. What I do know is that I have to wear this thingie for at least a month, until I go back to the Orthopaedist.

Hubby went to work this morning at my insistence, but was able to leave at noon to come home. He's running a few errands, including picking up my Lortab prescription (another reason to be thankful), but should be home any time now. Needless to say, our New Year's weekend will not be a very active one, at least physically. But hey, I'm cool with that. This could be a LOT worse. I truly believe I am fortunate not to have injured myself worse, considering the possibilities.

I truly hope the rest of you stay safe this weekend (and always, actually). Feel free to regale me with any amusing tales you may have, whatever the subject, as distractions will be much appreciated!

Take care, lovely people. 2007 is going to be a good year -- I can feel it in my bones. (typed with only a trace of irony there)


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Just call me Grace

So, after a lovely Christmas and safe traveling, we made it home last night around 6pm. Apparently, there had been rain while we were away. (Cue ominous music) I got out of the car and retrieved a couple of bags to carry inside. I began to walk down the slope beside the driveway when my left leg took off and my right leg didn't. I ended up prone on my big ass, bags still intact, but right leg bent underneath me. When the bending was occurring, there was probably also a little breaking going on.

We got me inside somehow and immediately began RICE -- rest, ice, compression and elevation. Then my darling sweet hubby ran to the pharmacy and brought home all kinds of devices to wrap or otherwise encase my ankle. We continued RICE and ibuprofen all night, and went to my doctor's office this morning. I figured that since I wasn't dying or in excruciating pain, it wasn't an emergency and could wait till the morning. The PA I saw sent me for an x-ray, thinking it may only be a sprain. However, he phoned us within about 30 minutes of leaving the facility saying that the Radiologist thinks there may be a tibia fracture going on here.

So, I'm laid up, for the first time in my life, and really, *really* don't like it. Tomorrow I see an orthopaedist, who, fortunately, is the same Doc who beautifully corrected hubby's DeQuervain's Tenosynovitis a couple of years ago. My PA said that he wanted me to just go ahead to the Ortho because the Radiologist said they could do a CT to determine if the bone is actually broken, but that considering the extent of the injury, the Ortho would probably cast it anyway. Oy vey!!!

New Year's Eve won't find me tripping the light fantastic this year, but still, things could be worse! I hope that having a cast will make maneuvering around a little easier. Using crutches is quite difficult when you've never had to use them before. I'm trying to learn not to feel guilty about asking for things from hubby, but it's difficult not to when you're so dependent on someone else! Lucky for me he's an angel, and the most good-natured guy on the planet. Y'all keep him in your prayers as he nurses me through this period of, let's say, adjustments. lol

And for heaven's sake, BE CAREFUL! I know this accident was relatively unavoidable -- I didn't trip or even lose my footing -- it was just a simple matter of wet leaves, wet grass, and wet mud combined with an unsuspecting person stepping on such.

Oh! I just realized! Now I'm just like my local blog celebrity SuburbanTurmoil! Except for the gorgeous, young & pregnant parts, of course. Be sure to check out her blog if you haven't already. She has a much better story about breaking her foot than I do anyway.


Monday, December 25, 2006


It's been a while since I've felt like writing, but not necessarily because anything is "wrong". At the moment, actually, things on all fronts, or at least all the ones that really matter, are good. We are currently at my middle sister's home, waiting for dinner to be ready. Her son, my oldest nephew, has been enjoying all of his presents, and everyone's scattered throughout the house, doing their own things. My brother and his family are on their way over, as well as my sister's oldest stepdaughter and her fiancee'. Her mother-in-law is on her way, too, so it will be a full house.

After dinner, hubby and I are driving over to spend the night with my aunt, who was recently widowed. She wouldn't agree to coming over for the holidays, not wanting to "burden" us with her grief, so hubby and I just decided we'd take ourselves to her instead. Luckily, she was happy about that, so we're looking forward to a nice, if tearful, visit.

We've been to visit several friends and got to take a nice drive out to the beach Saturday just before sunset. Hubby got some beautiful shots of the water and sunset, and a cute little couple took our picture together, and we reciprocated. :) What a pleasant, peaceful afternoon! A little time to ourselves, alone with no agenda! Novel concept, that!

Hubby will be working hard this week, but we look forward to a quiet New Year's celebration, eventually. He may actually have to work over the weekend, which is very uncommon, but there's a big project reaching the finish line and he's been the architect of the report that's being produced and which may be used as part of a political platform in the next year. Hence the time crunch for him. Tough as that part is, it's important, good work that will benefit the citizens of our state, and then by proxy our country and our world. I'm so happy for him to have such a meaningful thing to do!

Here are my wishes for you all:

Love in great abundance -- both coming your way and going out from you
Peace -- peace -- peace -- in all things and with all people.
Success -- whatever that means to you.
Understanding -- of yourself, most of all, but also of the others you come into contact with. Try walking a mile in their shoes...
Interest -- monetary, if you're lucky in that way, but mostly interest in LIFE. We're not getting any younger, people....this is the BIG one...GO FOR IT while you have the chance.
Hope -- this too shall pass, really!
_____________ -- whatever it is that will satisfy your soul.

Thanks for stopping by this year -- it's been an experience, for sure! Maybe next year I'll actually write about something outside of my own self. lol I'm sure anyone who reads here would appreciate that!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Family Matters -- Part Deux

In my previous post, I mentioned the weird side of the family. Weird is not always a bad thing, I know, but in this case, the weird part is the hurtful part.

Two illustrations follow. I'm not sure which qualifies as the more screwed up, but I'm leaning pretty much 50/50 at this point.

Illustration number 1:

Tuesday afternoon, people were gathered at my Aunt's home, doing all sorts of things. My other Aunt, who lives about 80 miles away, and her older son came, one would think to pay their respects. Present were my Aunt, my Mother, and my brother, and some other friends of my Aunt's. Apparently, my cousin came to my Mom and out of the clear blue sky said: "I heard that so-and-so (who used to work with my Dad) said Uncle Robert (Dad) was lazy at work." Yes, you read that correctly. My father, his Uncle Robert, DIED in 1979. The person who said whatever it was that turned into this craziness also died many years ago. So, in other words, there was absolutely NOTHING TO BE GAINED by saying this to my Mother, MUCH LESS in the very home of our Aunt whose husband had JUST DIED RIGHT THERE and who considered my father her best friend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Illustration number 2:

My oldest cousin (now 60) was someone I used to adore and worship as a child. I thought she was the most beautiful, talented, creative, funny person I'd ever known, and I wanted to be like her so much! I babysat for her 3 children for quite some time when I was 12-13. At some point my Dad arranged for her to give me piano lessons, which I really, really wanted. But, like every beginning traditional piano lesson, the things they wanted to teach you to play were boring, and I saw absolutely no connection between what she tried to teach me and they kind of music I wanted to play, so that eventually fell by the wayside.

I learned yesterday that this cousin has written a book, and in this book she discusses family matters. In this book, she mentions a lot of people I'm familiar with, of course. My Dad was mentioned twice, both times either positively or neutrally -- no big deal. But there were other people she talked about that didn't receive such benign treatment. Like OUR Grandmother -- her mother's mother and Aunt Betty's mother. She talks about Grandmother not doing any thing for her, like having no memory of her reading to her or anything. That could have been because Grandmother was probably barely literate at best, and also because cousin's father, a raging alcoholic, wouldn't allow my Grandmother to visit them much, if at all. And he certainly didn't want his wife and kids going up to her house. So I'm thinking that didn't provide much opportunity for being read to.

She also talks about her sister and our half-aunt, who apparently lived with her family for a while. What she talks about is her own jealousy, though I'm pretty sure she didn't mean it to be so transparent. She complains that her sister, the youngest in the family, always got pretty clothes and everything she wanted. As to our half-aunt, she whines that when that half-aunt was staying with them, she could and did eat whatever she wanted, got whatever she wanted, etc., while Cousin was stuck with the dregs of her own upbringing. Yes, what hideous character flaws these girls exhibited by allowing their parents to treat them differently than Cousin was treated!

The crux of this book is supposed to that my Cousin is apparently the world's greatest Christian, and if she can be one, so can everyone else. She discusses her children's drug addictions and bad choices; she talks about other people's bad times; she talks about her father being a very mean drunk. She parades this information through this tiny little book as though it were some kind of badge of honor. It seems to me as if she's trying to make herself sound noble, and put upon, and somehow better than everyone else. This is a common theme in her family, I believe. The one sister she has is over this way, near Aunt Betty, while all the rest of her family live, I kid you not, in a kind of compound. Cousin and husband have a nice, normal house. Cousin's mom lives on the property in a mobile home, and raises chickens, in the back yard. This is a suburban area, I might add. Daughter and husband at least recently lived in a built-on apartment to Cousin's house. Oldest son has his own home, because he's married with a billion kids. Youngest son is married with no kids from this relationship. Apparently, he got a girl pregnant when they were about 20 and cut of all ties with their baby girl when the Mom married a man who wanted to adopt the baby.

Cousin puts these things, and many more, out there for all the world to see. I wonder what her kids think of that, and I wonder if she asked anyone's permission. Being a blogger who sometimes talks about real-life people and who values my own privacy, I am very, very sensitive to telling things I have no right to tell, so this really blows my mind. I don't get how someone has the nerve....

I think it may be hard to see some of these folks at the funeral Friday. I told my mother that, if I hear anything remotely like what male cousin said about my Dad, I will be having a retort. Count on it. Grown, supposedly Christian people should know better than to disparage a woman's late husband in the first place, especially if he's your UNCLE. But to compound this egregious behavior, saying such a thing right there in the home where a death had just occurred is absolutely and completely unacceptable. And you know, I just don't handle things like that quietly, for better or worse.

There is more to say about other things, but they will have to wait for another time. My emotions are full, and everything seems very tender. I wish I didn't cry so much. I wish I could sleep. I wish I didn't have a constant headache. I wish my baby was here. I wish I could explain to people how important it is to love each other, and to be kind to one another, or, at best, not to intentionally hurt other people, especially in families.

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.......

Family Matters

I'm writing this post at 4:30 AM at my Mother's house in Florida. I'm here because my uncle died Tuesday. There was no question but that I needed to be here with my family, though my husband was unable to join me. His presence always calms me, because he is always looking out for me, and I know that he's always on my siding, understanding me in ways my family can't begin to, mostly because I don't spend every day with my family. Also because I'm just different.

Funerals are very strange occasions, at least in my family. You see cousins and aunts and uncles you only see at such things, but when you do get together, it's fun and happy and poignant and depressing and crazy and loving and ridiculous. Does everyone have the weird side of the family -- the one group that's different from all of the rest of you, whom you can't figure out and continue to be shocked by and amazed at? Well, my family has that. I hadn't known how profound the differences were until today.

First of all, the uncle who died was an uncle by marriage, but I am pretty sure that we all took him as our blood when we first met him. I remember that day. My Aunt Betty had been widowed the year before, and I had spent a lot of that summer with her. This Aunt is everyone's favorite -- she was my Dad's favorite sister, and they were best friends. I couldn't appreciate what that meant until recently when I began to experience an increased closeness to my own precious brother. I can't imagine how she's missed my Dad all of these years, but I would imagine that her husband, Uncle Fred, had a lot to do with helping her heal.

She brought Fred to meet my Dad just 2 1/2 months before he died. She wanted his approval, and she more than got it. No one could not love Fred. My Dad whole-heartedly agreed that this was a quality man and that he would be very happy if they married as soon as possible, and in our home, if they would. They did. :) We were all thrilled.

These 27 years have seen lots of events in our family -- births, deaths, and assorted other joys and tragedies. Aunt Betty and Uncle Fred were there for them all. And it wasn't just for our family -- they were there for everyone. Very active in their Baptist church, they ministered to any and everyone who crossed their path, and not in a preachy way, either. They were real, and they knew how to do real things, and most especially they knew how to make each of us kids feel special by making a point to come see us when we came from all over to visit Mom here at her home. Mind you, they live 40 miles away, so this wasn't just going around the block for them, but they never missed us. They were with us every Thanksgiving and Christmas and anytime in between that any of us could get together. A visit to Aunt Betty's always garners something to take home, usually vegetables she'd put up in the freezer for later. Just this Thanksgiving I made collard greens that were sent home with me blessed with Aunt Betty's love.

You never saw Betty without Fred. They did everything together, happily. He loved her to distraction, and she loved him right back. Fred had several medical problems through the years -- heart problems, back injury, circulatory issues, etc. But somehow he always came through. My brother called him "The Bionic Man", and I can't say that it's an inaccurate description.

At the end of October, out of the blue, we all learned that Uncle Fred was diagnosed with lung cancer. I think he used to smoke a long time ago, but if he did, he'd given it up at least 20 years ago or more, so that wasn't an immediate factor. However, my guess now is that Fred knew something was up a while back, but didn't choose to address it. Several choices he made now seem as though he knew he had little time left on this earth. How does that seem to happen so often when people have terminal illnesses?

With the diagnosis and description of what was done to him in the ER and hospital stay, it was pretty obvious that his cancer was pretty far gone. My husband and I made the decision to come down here, right away that weekend, to visit him, and I'm so very very glad we did. We picked up my sister on the way and all went to see Uncle Fred. There was already a hospital bed my Aunt had arranged in the living room to look out the glass doors onto the lake, which was such a perfect thing to do. The weekend we visited he was able to be up and to eat meals at the table if he chose to. He chose to. This is the first and only time I can remember when Fred wasn't dressed very nicely and when he didn't smile at all. It was heartbreaking.

When he returned back to his bed after the meal, I joined him, followed by my husband and sister. I wanted to spend time with just Uncle Fred, without Aunt Betty within earshot, because I knew I wanted to say some things that I was pretty sure I couldn't get through without crying. I was right. He started out by telling us that when he was in the hospital and they learned his diagnosis/prognosis, he made the decision to have his implanted defibrillator disabled. I was stunned, but glad to hear that they were being realistic, and I told him that I thought that was a very courageous and wise decision, and that I couldn't imagine how hard it must have been. There were tears in his eyes now, but he was under control. He proceeded to talk about dying, and told us that he wasn't afraid of death, but he was worried about what would happen to Aunt Betty when he was gone. This was something I could address with absolute certainty! I told him that, first of all, we loved him so very much, all of us, and that he had been the best Uncle and role model anyone could ask for. I then told him that he didn't need to worry about Betty -- that rather than people fighting over who *had* to take care of Aunt Betty, we'd be fighting over who *GETS* to take care of Aunt Betty, and that's the honest-to-God truth. He said he was very grateful to hear that. Both my husband and my sister chimed in to support my statements, and I know we all felt better knowing we'd said all that we needed to say to him while he could still converse with us and (hopefully) derive some peace.

That was during the second weekend in November. We're coming up on the second weekend in December, so you can appreciate the speed with which we lost our beloved Patriarch. Since that weekend, family members and friends have been constant companions to my Aunt. My mother, step-father and brother were taking turns spending the night there when my cousin wasn't there himself. In fact, it was my brother who was awoken at 4:30AM on Tuesday morning because Aunt Betty could tell the end was near. They called our parents, who came immediately. They were all at his bedside when he passed away at almost 8:00AM. My sweet brother called me almost immediately afterwards, moved beyond words, but filled with love and appreciation of the great privilege he'd just been given. He'd had that heart to heart talk with Fred, too, which is a new thing for my bro. Folks, I'm here to tell you, that boy has turned into a fine, fine man.

So tomorrow I will go to my Aunt's house and sit there while the rest of the family is at the visitation. On Friday, the day he'll be interred in our former hometown, about 80 miles away, and I will attend those events with my siblings, other family members, and the bajillions of friends they had. I have not done a good job not crying so far, but I hope I can keep it together Friday. I want to do Uncle Fred proud.

Sitting here writing, I have a few tears in my eyes, thinking of how much I love this wonderful, sweet man, who joined our family wholeheartedly, never thinking of us as separate from them. He told us directly at our last visit that we had meant as much to him as his own grandkids, and that he loved us all so very much. He also told us that he'd recently been asked about his advice for someone about to be married. He said he told them that marriage is not a 50/50 proposition -- it's a 100/100 thing. Each person has to give 100%, regardless of what the other person was doing. I thought that was a very wise statement, and one I have believed in my own life for a very long time. I think his description of a good marriage is the same as that for a good family, or a good friendship -- if each person gives 100%, everybody wins. And really, isn't it your family and friends that you WANT to treat better than anyone else?

Oh, my sweet Uncle Fred. There is a big hole where you were, but the recollection of the love you always showed us -- constant, abiding, and true -- will remain in our hearts and color our lives for ever. May you rest with the angels -- they must be rejoicing to have one of their own back home.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Election 2006 is over, and there were quite a few changes made, thankfully. The Republicans no longer control the Congress, which is a marvelous turn of events. I'm disappointed, however, that here in Tennessee people apparently were swayed enough by racist advertising to make what I feel will soon be apparent to be the wrong decision. Not only that, but we also wrote discriminatory language into our constitution, like a lot of other states did, unfortunately. Not those lovely people out there in Arizona, though! They chose to see this matter for what it is -- one of civil rights. Naturally, those opposed will see it a bit differently, but it is what it is.

Today I am generally just a bit down in the dumps. There have been so many family issues to deal with lately involving illnesses and deaths. Hubby and I are planning to visit my uncle who's been diagnosed with lung cancer this weekend. I want to see him while he's still as much of himself as he can be. I also want to be there with my aunt. My heart aches for her -- this is the second husband she's lost. Both were long-time marriages, though, and both were happy. I know she has a good attitude and a strong faith, but imagining one of them without the other is just impossible.

There is a new/old issue with a family member wanting us to help pretend that the Emporer's new clothes are stunning, when we can see for ourselves that he's just as nekkid as a jaybird! It's hard sometimes to stand one's ground when faced with such passionate please to do otherwise. My request to hubby today: Can't we just run off????

My youngest sister, though, is doing very well, all things considered. She's working, has arranged for childcare for the little ones, and now is collecting the child support due her, though none of the back payments have been made yet. Still, with the child support, what she can make on her job, and some additional assistance in the form of food stamps or something, perhaps, she should be able to make it on her own. My Mom will finally get to go home, and things will return to at least a semblance of normal. If sister can keep things together, this will be the greatest gift our family could ever receive.

I hope the days to come will be more hopeful and more light-filled. That may sound all hippie-ish, but I really mean it. Life is pretty heavy a lot of the time, and I think we all could use a little more light.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Nearest Book

This is from Prairie Bluestem's blog:

1. Grab the nearest book.

2. Open the book to page 123.

3. Find the fifth sentence.

4. Post the text of the next four sentences on your blog, along with these instructions.

5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest!
From "The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook":

"...of the shaft of the ulna. For massage, use a supported thumb or a ball against the wall. There may be more than one trigger point, the worst one being roughly half-way between elbow and wrist."

Now go out there and MASSAGE, people! :D

Monday, October 30, 2006


If you've been reading this blog recently you know that a lot has been going on in my family. The good news is that my youngest sister is doing well, beginning a new job, and making nice friends in her community. The children seem to be doing well, and my oldest niece is attending art therapy, which I think will be very useful for her for a number of reasons. On that front, all is going pretty well. Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers for us all during what has been a very rough time for so many.

There have been losses this year -- my mother's brother, my friend's grandfather, and my hubby's former father-in-law. And there have been gains -- my late husband's niece had her first child last week, something for which we are all celebrating. :) Now I need to finish that blanket I've been knitting for her!

Now we face the mortality of a much-beloved family member, an uncle who entered our lives when our Dad died in 1979, when we were all kids. He was kind of a guardian and protector of us all during that time, so each of us feels our own closeness to him, and to our aunt, our father's favorite sister. Though this particular uncle has had health issues throughout the time we've known him, I guess I just never considered his not being with us any more. This man is so steadfast, so quiet, so loving and so strong -- it's very difficult to believe that he won't pull out of this one. But, no one escapes the ultimate culmination of one's life, so we must adjust.

Sad as I feel about my uncle, I know this is just part of life -- a necessary part. I am reminded that even a seed must die in order for a flower to grow. I hope the flower that grows from this beautiful seed is the flower of compassion and purposefulness -- compassion for other people's suffering, and purposefulness in expressing our feelings for one another. It's important to tell people you love them, even when you don't get along. Y'all know how that is, right? You can love someone without necessarily liking them, or at least I think you can do that. :) Anyway, I hope to practice being more expressive as time goes on. And I hope you do too.

York apples, wherefore art thou???

Why can't I find York apples anywhere near me??? Oh, the pain!!! I love apples, regardless, but I most especially love York apples.

I first had them at Halloween of 1992, and I've craved them ever since. Yorks are tart, but have a sweet finish, and are absolutely perfect for Caramel Apples. Hence, the reason I *need* them.

If anyone knows of a place where I could order them and have them shipped here, hollah! I need me some Yorkies!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

And the hits just keep on comin'....

Well, after a very emotional week at hubby's late wife's father's funeral, I was unprepared to learn Saturday night that my favorite uncle was diagnosed Friday, unexpectedly, with inoperable lung cancer. Apparently, my aunt thought he was having a heart attack (I don't know the full details -- this is what my mother told me), and took him to a hospital in Pensacola, FL, where their doctor said that he was virtually certain that this was lung cancer. I'm sure a chest x-ray was involved, but I don't know what else could have been done. I'm also sure they're waiting for the work week to begin to figure out what, if anything, should be done.

This uncle married my aunt in 1979, just before my father died. This aunt is my father's favorite sister. Her first husband died about a year or so before, of lung cancer (he was a smoker), and my Dad really worried about her being alone. She met future uncle in late May, and they were married on his birthday in late June. Apparently, my Dad was the only potential obstacle, with my aunt wanting his blessing on the relationship. Dad invited them over to see what this guy was like, and he passed with flying colors. We all fell in love with him, and we love him more now that we've had these years to get to know him.

This uncle is the sweetest man I've ever met. He's always kind, smiling, soft-spoken, and thoroughly in love with my aunt. It's hard to imagine a time when they weren't together. My Mom told me last night that he said he always thought of us as his own kids, as we were closer to him than his actual daughter was/is. All I know is it's impossible not to adore him.

I hope this is it for the year, bad news-wise. I'm not ready for this, and I don't think I can handle a whole lot more of these soul-thumping events. Be kind to each other, y'all, and be sure to say what you NEED to say to each other, like "I love you", "I'm sorry", "You mean the world to me", "I wish I could see you more often", and "You always have my complete support, no matter what."

Monday, October 23, 2006

On the road again...

Hubby and I flew back to Nashville last night around 7:30pm. We were gone for 10 days, traveling about 1400 miles by rental car around Minnesota and Wisconsin, combining several missions -- spreading ashes, attending a class, and a mini-vacation.

Tomorrow we leave for central Indiana, this time to attend a funeral. His late wife's father, age 90, passed away Friday night, due to complications (pneumonia) after a fall that fractured a vertebra in his back and produced a brain injury due to a whiplash-type effect. (I think that's called a "coup/contra coup" injury, but I doubt I'm spelling that right.)

Hubby has been asked to be a pallbearer, and to play the piano at the service -- not the stuff from the hymnals, but something original. He will gladly perform both functions. In his former father-in-law's obituary, my hubby is listed as one of those surviving him, which, of course, is a designation reserved for family. Needless to say, he was touched and honored by this inclusion.

Background: when we first became engaged, and then married, his late wife's sister and niece most definitely did not approve -- they thought it was "too soon". They said some pretty ugly things about me, and about us, and I never thought they'd come around. I'm very happy to report, though, that I was wrong. :) I offered by phone the other day to keep the niece's 4 year old daughter for her while the funeral activities were going on, because I figured someone had to do it and it might be a way to "make points". Today the niece called me herself to ask if I didn't want to join the family for all the stuff?? She thought I should be with them, and if I wanted to keep her daughter busy for a while at the visitation, that was cool, but she didn't want me to miss out. Talk about a lovely surprise!!! I'm so happy to have, I guess, earned my place with them. They realize now that hubby is not abandoning them, not by a long shot. He will continue to be the same loving son-in-law he's always been -- phoning weekly, visiting as often as possible, etc. This is a lovely, precious turn of events.

We plan to return home on Thursday, and I hope we'll have at least a few days' peace. I also hope neither of us have need to turn around and do another road trip right away, as much as we both love those. You know you're getting older when you value your sleep more than you value the next adventure. ;)

Peace to all y'all. Be good to each other, and please remember -- life is short. There are no do-overs at the end. Say what you need to say now, and be kind. You'll never regret that.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006


At about 4pm on Friday, October 13, 2006, I completed a promise I made years ago. My late husband, Lance, asked me to promise that I would eventually spread his ashes at the Headwaters of the Mississippi. He asked me to do this upon numerous occasions, and, of course, I agreed. I never imagined that it would take seven and a half years after his death, or that I would perform this task with the help of a new husband.

It was incredibly windy in Minnesota the day we made this journey. It had snowed the days prior to our arrival, and a little of the icy stuff was still on the ground this day. Did I mention that it was windy??? It was WINDY! The wind cut through clothing as though it were not even there. I don't recall ever being so cold.

There was a young family with two little boys at the site shown above when we first reached the headwaters, so we waited until they were out of sight before getting down to business. I had wrestled these last weeks with what to say or do that would feel meaningful when I sent him on his final earthly journey. I met with my minister several times, discussed it with my therapist and close friends, and thought I knew what I was going to do. In the end, I just knelt down at the water's edge, and gently opened the bag. I took a deep breath, cleared my head of distracting thoughts, and began to slowly allow the powdery ash to enter the clear waters. All I said in the end is "Godspeed". It seemed to fit. According to information at the visitor's center, it takes a drop of water approximately 90 days to travel from this location to the Gulf of Mexico, so I figure that by around mid-January, Lance Winger Peterson, 1954-1999, will be on his way into the warmer waters of the Gulf and then on out into the wider world.

The site is beautiful, peaceful, and feels as though it is a very spiritual place, which is only appropriate. I don't think Lance had ever visited here personally, and I don't recall why he wanted to be laid to rest here. However, having now experienced this place for myself, I know I will be back -- not to visit 'him', but to commune with the universe, as hippie-like as that sounds.

Prior to arriving at Lake Itasca State Park, I saw a multitude of deer along the way, and, much to my surprise, ELK! After spreading the ashes, though, I caught sight of a Bald Eagle, resting atop a tree, and, just as we drove by, lifting off in flight. Color me superstitious, but I found that significant. In Native American lore, the Eagle symbolizes strength, power and is considered to be the closest being to the Creator. According to the information I found here:

The Eagle feather, which represents duality, tells the story of life. It tells of the many dualities that exist in life, such as light and dark, male and female, substance and shadow, summer and winter, peace and war, life and death. It reminds us of the teachings that Opposites are extensions of themselves like two opposing hands of the same body.

That makes sense to me, and is very fitting.

Having executed my final act of love for my late husband, I feel a sense of peace and personal satisfaction. There were times when I wondered if I would ever be able to travel to a place so far from where I live and do the thing that he would never know whether I ever did or not. I'm glad I had the strength not to just let this slide.

In closing, I do want to say how important it was to have my precious husband, RunawayImagination, with me throughout this event. He has never been anything other than supportive of me and has been able to somehow maintain his own objectivity throughout. He has never indicated, even when asked point blank, that he had any feelings of jealousy or irritation when Lance was spoken of. Though he knows how very much I loved my Lance, he also knows how much more I love him, because of my previous wonderful relationship. I am very grateful to him for all that he is, and, when the time comes for him to perform this task for his late wife, he will know that it can be survived and that I will support him in the same ways he's supported me. He's a good man, y'all. They don't come any better. That means I've been amazingly lucky twice in one lifetime.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Sinful blogging!

Today I was made aware that, according to the Restored Church of God, blogging is sinful!!! Oy vey!!! I can't believe there is actually a sin I didn't already know about!!! Oh, the pain!!!!!!!!! If you think you can handle it, check out the article here.

I'm surprised at how surprised I was to read this. I should know better. After all, aren't I the one who says "People are stupid. And I hate them."? Yes, I think that's me, and yet, I find this position too difficult to let sink all the way into my brain.

I plan to respond to the article here, at least, if not in a letter to the author. I doubt they realize they irony in their method of communication, and how everyone who searches for the word "blogging" will be referred to their page as well as to actual blogging sites. lol

Peace, y'all. Seriously.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The music meme, from the lovely GirlMD

Seven songs I'm into right now:

1. "When You Say Nothing At All" -- Allison Krause -- because I saw her perform on PBS tonight.

2. "Coyote" -- Joni Mitchell

3. "Life short. Call now." -- Bruce Cockburn

4. Beatles medley -- Richard Smith & Julie Adams (classical musicians here in Nashville who happen to also attend my church)

5. "Statesboro Blues" -- The Allman Brothers

6. "Light on in the Kitchen" -- Melissa Sigler (my dear, sweet friend and amazing blueswoman)

7. Happy birthday!!! Cuz mine is tomorrow! Wo0t!!!

Better Gay than a Pedophile, huh?

I admit to being anti-Republican party as a rule. I also admit to being unabashedly supportive of fully equal rights for homosexuals, and destigmatization of this group of human beings. That all being said, I suppose it only follows that I am 100% outraged by and offended at the absolutely transparent, childish and dangerous behavior of said Republican party around the Mark Foley catastrophe.

Let me get this straight -- Mark Foley was abused by a clergyman when he was a teenager, which is somehow related to his attempt at coercion of teenagers for self-serving sexual purposes. And then the admission that he's gay somehow explains why he was hitting on male teenage pages. This 43 year old Republican, who's been a member for the house for nearly 12 years, now comes forth with the information that he had been molested by a clergyman. On the ABC News blog of Brian Ross, we find the following:

Mark Foley was sexually molested by a clergyman when Foley was between the ages of 13 and 15 and "wants you to know he is a gay man," his lawyer, David Roth, said late Tuesday. Mr. Roth said the disclosure was part of his client's "recovery."

Asked why the former congressman did not reveal this information sooner, Roth said, "Shame, shame."

"As is so often the case with victims of abuse, Mark advises that he kept his shame to himself for almost 40 years," Roth said.

I do understand the idea of shame, but I also understand the idea of pedophilia, which is attraction to and/or sexual gratification related to being with a child, a minor. It *really pisses me off* that this man who is supposed to be an example to all of us, but especially to the minors who work in the House and Senate, would like to somehow avoid negative public sentiment regarding his perversions by "revealing" an alledged incident of child abuse in the form of pedophilia at the hands of a clergyman, and admitting his sexual preference. It seems to me as though he and his attorneys are trying to divert attention from his reprehensible and ILLEGAL actions.

Homosexuality is demonized by many in our society already. Trying to somehow associate Mark Foley's homosexuality with his seductions of teenagers is a sick, perverted attempt to deny his own personal responsibility in this matter. Homosexuals who are adults are attracted to other adults. Heterosexuals who are adults are attracted to other adults. Extrapolate those out for kids. Now, when thinking of Mark Foley and his recent behavior that goes back to 1998, reportedly, please keep in mind that normal adults, homo- or heterosexual, want to be with other adults.

That's all I'm sayin'....

Monday, September 25, 2006

Here! Here! Here!

Thank you, all of you who've written to check on me lately. :) I am very grateful for such kindnesses! I am fine; I had to go to my sister's unexpectedly last week, but everything's fine there, too, for the most part. She still needs a job that will be compatible with daycare, and needs to collect child support from her ex. I think her first official check will be in October, but he owes her directly as well. I believe she's having to sue him for that, which bites.

It was so good to see Mom and the kids. I took Mom to breakfast and out shopping one day, which was great for us all. We really got to talk, and she seemed to really enjoy herself. As soon as Sis gets a job and daycare, Mom is going home. She's quite ready, as she should be. She's been up there going on 2 months now.

I will post more soon, but I did want to make this entry so that I wouldn't worry anyone else unnecessarily. How lucky am I to have friends who check on me when I don't show myself after a while! :)


Friday, September 15, 2006

Needing input

I have a big job to do in October. I have to scatter the ashes of my late husband. I am a little freaked out about this, which surprises me a little. I thought I was a little tougher than I am, apparently.

Yesterday I met with my minister, who was very helpful. As a minister, and especially as a Unitarian minister, she's had many experiences involving the scattering of ashes, and is truly one of the most loving people on the planet. She spoke with me, and cried with me, all very gently, and offered good suggestions for some readings I might consider, as well as music and other things that might make this occasion more spiritual and memorable.

Though Lance was very specific in his request to scatter his ashes at the headwaters of the Mississippi River, which is in Bemidji, MN, that was his only request. He didn't care how or when I did it, he just wanted it to be done eventually. So, that puts the details squarely in my court.

Lance was an amazing man who loved poetry and music. He wrote volumes of poems, which I hope to publish in his memory one day. He loved, listened to, and created music -- he knew more about musicians, too, than anyone I've ever known. Some of his favorites were Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Leon Russell, Chick Corea, Jaco Pastorius, and a host of others. His favorite poet was Richard Brautifan, whose works I plan to browse through to see if I can find a particular poem that might be suited for this occasion.

So, with all that said, I'd like to ask -- do any of you have any input into what I can do to mark this event memorably? I'm up for anything you might offer, and I sincerely want this information. Naturally I'll be thinking of things myself, but I think that the more folks I have contributing to this effort, the better.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Remembering Joseph P. McDonald

Now doesn't that look like someone you'd want to have as a friend, or maybe even a cousin, or brother? Based on what I've learned about Mr. McDonald in preparing this post, I think that he did more than just look the part of a buddy.

Here are the facts:

Name:Joseph P. McDonald


Residence:Livingston, NJ

Occupation: broker, Cantor Fitzgerald

Location: World Trade Center

He was also a husband, a father, a son, and a friend. He was the age then that I am now. He left behind wife Denise, and daughters Kathleen & Bridid. I can't imagine how they've missed him, but I've tried. I was widowed myself more than 7 years ago now, but I haven't forgotten how that felt. Still, it's a little different in Mrs. McDonald's case.

Below I'm pasting two articles and their URLs, if you'd like to see where they might lead you. I hope you rest in peace, Joseph P. McDonald. No matter what, you deserve to.


In high school, Joseph P. McDonald played baseball well enough to catch the attention of major league scouts. He was a standout on the basketball team, too. In college, he proved himself a bruising presence on the rugby field. And later, he learned to play golf well enough to humble any business associate who dared to join him on the links. But in recent years, the athletic endeavors that mattered most to him were the hikes he took on Sundays with his wife, Denise, and their daughters, Kathleen, 10, and Brigid, 7. And the games his daughters played for the Livingston Soccer Club and the Livingston National Little League. And the hours he spent in the swimming pool, letting the girls climb on his back and then tossing them giggling into the air. "His athleticism was God-given, and he had a good time with it, but it didn't define his life," said his father, Dr. Joseph P. McDonald of Sparta. "What defined his life was his marriage and fatherhood. He was an exemplary father. He never went anywhere without those girls." Mr. McDonald, 43, of Livingston, was a partner at Cantor Fitzgerald Securities. He was at work at the World Trade Center on the morning of the terrorist attack, and has not been heard from since. Born in Brooklyn, Mr. McDonald had lived in Livingston since 1989. He was a 1979 graduate of Carleton College in Northfield, Minn. Mr. McDonald worked for many years as a broker of financial services at two affiliated companies in New York -- Garvin, Guybutler Ltd. and Garban LLC. -- before joining Cantor Fitzgerald three years ago. "He had the kind of job on Wall Street where there was a lot of pressure to socialize," said Mr. McDonald's brother, Paul. "But it was always more important to him to be with his daughters, even if that meant giving up some opportunities." Mr. McDonald was a former member of the Lake Mohawk Golf Club. There was a time, his brother said, when he played two rounds of golf every weekend. Though he hadn't put his clubs away altogether, he had cut back to two or three rounds a summer. "He had kind of stopped golfing to spend more time with us," Mrs. McDonald said. "And when he wasn't with us, he was usually with his parents." In addition to his wife, daughters, parents and brother, Mr. McDonald is survived by three sisters, Nancy Mahoney of Clinton, Mary Jean O'Sullivan of Phillipsburg and Maura Waugh of Sparta, and two other brothers, James and George, both of Manhattan.

Brainy, Brawny, Balanced

To mere mortals, people with natural gifts seem to stroll down easy street. Certainly Joseph McDonald appeared that way. He towered over his six siblings athletically and intellectually, said his brother Paul.

A perennial captain, he had the generosity of soul to pick the dorky kids for his team. During high school he was courted by scouts for Major League Baseball, but he chose college.

As he aged, Mr. McDonald was no longer the best athlete, but he was usually the smartest. He could always figure out a way to win. And winning was everything.

Most people knew him as a modest, funny, social fellow. Those closest saw an occasional moodiness that would come upon Mr. McDonald, 43, a bonds broker at Cantor Fitzgerald. He felt, said Paul McDonald, that he was not fulfilling his potential.

But about three years ago, Mr. McDonald suddenly got it. He stopped competing with himself. He cut back the socializing with clients and embraced the family: his wife, Denise; his daughters, Kathleen and Brigid; his parents, Joseph and Mary. Weekends he hiked with the family and coached girls' soccer and softball in Livingston, N.J.

"He accepted that there were other ways to define himself," Paul said: he seemed imbued with faith and fresh joy, and he strolled with the lightness of a man who had found his way to easy street.

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 23, 2001.

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Endocrinologist, the Dietician, & I

My very wonderful family doc sent me to an Endocrinologist to explore treatment options for the symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, which I've known I've had for about 17 years now. More than likely, I started experiencing these symptoms initially as a teenager, but back then, things were different. Now there is, apparently, a vast body of knowledge available to healthcare providers that wasn't known then. I'm about to tell you what I've learned about myself and the new options out there. To be fair, I'm about to discuss things like menstrual cycles, so if you're uncomfortable reading about "stuff like that", stop now. :)

First, some of the symptoms of PCOS:

# infrequent menstrual periods, no menstrual periods, and/or irregular bleeding
# infertility or inability to get pregnant because of not ovulating
# increased growth of hair on the face, chest, stomach, back, thumbs, or toes
# acne, oily skin, or dandruff
# pelvic pain
# weight gain or obesity, usually carrying extra weight around the waist
# type 2 diabetes
# high cholesterol
# high blood pressure
# male-pattern baldness or thinning hair
# patches of thickened and dark brown or black skin on the neck, arms, breasts, or thighs
# skin tags, or tiny excess flaps of skin in the armpits or neck area
# sleep apnea―excessive snoring and breathing stops at times while asleep

Now, I don't have all of these symptoms, but I do have a great many of them. I'm not diabetic, which is a great thing, but i DO seem to have insulin resistance. My cholesterol was higher than we wanted it to be at my last physical, I do have well-controlled hypertension, and I'm most certainly overweight.

I started my menstrual cycles around the age of 10, which is pretty young, I know. I do not recall a time when I had normal cycles. By the age of 16, I was placed on birth control pills, due to my irregularity. At that time, I had been bleeding, though not heavily, for about 3 months straight. Prior to the 3 straight months, I didn't have a period for about 6 months, with absolutely no chance that I could have been pregnant. I remained on the pill for most of my 20s. There was a time, though, when I was not on the pill and I did get pregnant unexpectedly. However, I miscarried at about 3 months, and didn't realize I was pregnant until that happened. I was actually glad that I miscarried, though, because I knew I didn't want to have children with my then-husband. I definitely got back and stayed back on birth control pills until just before I remarried. I would have been very OK with having children with my second husband, but it just wasn't meant to be.

My PCOS was diagnosed as the result of a Laparoscopy performed on me in 1989, when I was about 26. I'd been having a lot of abdominal pain that was not otherwise explained. I had test after test, from CT scans to an IVP (to check for possible kidney stones), but they all came up negative, so I had my first surgical procedure. The OBGYN who did the surgery stated that my ovaries were covered with cysts and that one of them bursting was more than likely the cause of my pain. I am now 43 years old (44 in less than a month!!) and only got pregnant that one time. I do not want children now. Treating PCOS for me is about overall health, not fertility.

So, the Endocrinologist spoke with me for a long time. I told him my psychiatrist had initially suggested I try to get a prescription for Byetta, an injectable drug given to those with pre-Diabetes or Tyep II Diabetes most often. She also has PCOS and felt it would help me lose weight, in addition to probably making me feel more energetic. I told my family doc, and she agreed to send me to the Endocrinologist, who also hooked me up with the Dietician in his office for metabolic testing.

The results? I have a very fast metabolism and that, get this, I DON'T EAT ENOUGH!!! Now ain't that a kick in the pants? lol All of my life has been overshadowed, it seems, by diets, and trying to eat less and lose weight, but nothing ever worked long term. Sure, I could lose weight for a month or two, but then, even if I stayed on the diet, I would just stop losing. Now I weigh enough that, again, get this -- I NEED 2100 - 2500 CALORIES A DAY TO LOSE WEIGHT!!! Why, you may ask? Because our bodies reserve calories to use for the essentials, like heart beat, brain fuction, respiratory function...and when you weigh more, you need more calories to keep things like that going. Basically, my body thinks I've been starving it and has revolted.

I tried the new Weight Watchers (TM) a few years ago and did well (for a short time, as always), but I still remember some of the basic caloric info I learned while on the program, which will be helpful. But even then, I had a hard time eating enough for my daily "allowance" of points from foods. I need to concentrate on eating at least twice a day (go figure!) and trying to get the right amount of calories WITH nutrition. Sure, I could eat cake or have a milkshake or something like that, but that would kind of defeat the purpose. Using the Byetta, I *have* to eat in order to use it -- it doesn't help to take it after meals. You must use it between 10-20 minutes before 2 meals a day. I plan to start it Sunday, and will let you know how it goes.

If any of you have any information regarding PCOS or Byetta or anything else I've listed here, please chime in. I'm so surprised by how much has changed when it comes to knowledge about the human body in such a short time. I'm also very encouraged to know that there are people out there working on new treatments for conditions that have definitely lacked good treatment options.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN & Madison, WI

Hubby and I have to be in Minneapolis - St. Paul and Madison, WI during mid-October. Does anyone out there have suggestions for fun places to go or good restaurants to try? We need tips!

I so hope the trees will be colorful and the weather nice! Fall is my all-time favorite season and I'm thinking up at those latitudes we should see color more intense than down where we are at that time of the year. Ooh! Getting excited!

Is it September 7 already???

News from the recent past:

1. I just learned of an organization called Angel Food Ministries, that provides low-cost groceries to anyone who chooses to ask for them. Their web site has the details about where they have a presence and what they do. The food is name brand and fresh -- no day-old bread or whatever. Good quality meats are provided, as well as other items, and there are opportunities to purchase "specials" when available. The cost of a box of groceries? $25!! And they accept Food Stamps (EBT), which definitely makes it attractive for those on limited budgets. I believe the "catch" is that they put religious literature in their boxes, but I personally don't have a problem with that, so I'm thinking most of the people who might avail themselves of this service wouldn't mind that either. Hey, when you have a limited income, something like this could mean a world of difference.

2. Why are families so complicated? Especially the adults????

3. Kokomo, IN was beautiful this weekend when we visited hubby's late wife's parents. Her sister picked up the parents from their nursing home and brought them to her house, which was theirs until they began to need so much care. They sold it to surviving daughter for $1, and she's now sold her old house, redecorated parents' house, and is living there with her husband. She had a nice cookout for us all, and we were really glad to get to spend some time with them all.

4. Had a surprise visit from Mom and the 2 nieces, ages 8 and 2. The 2 year old is very very independent, which makes for many challenges, but she's so damn cute she is able to carry it off. I still hear her little voice saying "Ooots!!" when she dropped something, instead of the usual "oops!!" that other people say. lol She also learned to say my actual first name, or the shortened version of it that my family uses, which is a big step for her! She also mastered another difficult word, and is clearly developing by leaps and bounds. The 8 year old is so very sweet and smart -- spending time with her is delightful. We took the girls to a local kids' museum and let Mom stay home and rest without kids for a while. She really enjoyed that, and needed it badly.

5. There's more stuff but nothing that significant that I can think of, or that's easy to share here without a billion pages of background material, so I'll leave it at this for today.

Y'all be good to each other,

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Life and stuff

Having the weight of my sister's court appearances out of the way, hubby and I got to actually ENJOY each other for a change. This past weekend was busy busy busy!

On Saturday, we attended a training session for teaching Religious Education, AKA Sunday School, at our church this fall. We have the 1st and 2nd graders, which should be fun. :) Our church has a "Safe Congregation Policy" which means that there are always, without exception, to be two adults together when there's a child present, so hubby and I will teach together. We also have two other folks with whom we'll rotate teaching duties, and he and I will also rotate who is the Lead and who is the Assistant. Hopefully, this will keep everyone from reaching burnout.

Saturday night was just a quiet evening at home, which, again, was a very welcome respite.

Sunday, though, was a day-long funfest! First there was the leisurely breakfast of actual breakfast foods -- toast, bacon, eggs -- yum! Then church -- the annual Water Communion service. This involves everyone bringing with them water they've collected on their travels this year. We brought a bottle we filled up in Illinois when we were with Sis. We all pour our water into a large bowl and say aloud the name of from where this water was brought. Then, after singing, blessing the waters, and basically feeling very much at one with the other folks in the sanctuary, we go outside to the Columbarium (place for scattering ashes) and pour the water around and inside the boundaries of this area, again saying a blessing. It's surprising how refreshing and healing this exercise is. It's something I look forward to each year. Here's the info from the Unitarian Universalist Association explaining the Water Service:

The Water Ceremony, also sometimes called Water Communion, was first used at a UU worship service in the 1980s. Many UU congregations now hold a Water Service once a year, often at the beginning of the new church year (September). The service usually goes like this:

* people bring small amounts of water from places special to them (a lake they swim in, their own well, a place they vacation, their bathtub, you name it).
* during the appointed time in the service, people one by one pour their water together into a large bowl.
* as each water is added, the person who brought it tells why this water is special to them.
* the combined water is symbolic of our shared faith coming from many different sources. It is often then blessed by the congregation, and later boiled and used as the congregation's "holy water" in child dedication ceremonies and other such events.

There are examples of the text of water ceremonies at

After service, we joined friends at a new gay-owned cafe for lunch and had a marvelous time. From there we hit Borders to buy some gifts for hubby's late wife's parents, whom we will visit this weekend. They're both in the same room at the nursing home now, so we want to be sure to visit when we can.

From there, we drove around town to some areas we weren't familiar with and really enjoyed seeing where the roads took us.

The big event, though, was Sunday night. We were very privileged to attend the Bruce Cockburn concert at 3rd & Lindsley, one of the great Nashville venues for live music. It was awesome in the extreme! His lyrics speak to our conscience, which is sometimes disturbing because they are so true and right. I'm going to copy/paste an example below for those of you who are not familiar. If you haven't heard him, I highly recommend you check him out.

It was so good to feel normal and do normal things! Sunday was the first full day that I felt "good" and like myself. I had a great time, all day, with no periods of stress or distress, for that matter. I have to follow up with my doc this week, which will be good, because there are some things we need to set up for the future, like more PT. But now that the big events (Marriage Equality Summit, Sis's court dates) are out of the way, I think things will improve all the way around, I hope, including physically.

I will be updating my blogroll soon -- I am waaaaaaaaay behind on that. If you haven't seen this in my previous posts, be sure to check out Suburban Turmoil, written by a fellow Nashvillian (?). Those of you who are moms will definitely discover a kindred spirit; those who are women will discover a kindred spirit; those who love to laugh will discover a kindred spirit; those who.... You get the picture. I am so glad I discovered Lindsay through our local alternative paper, The Nashville Scene.

Peace, out, yo -- y'all take care!


Tell the universe what you've done
Out in the desert with your smoking gun
Looks like you've been having too much fun
Tell the universe what you've done

Tell the universe what you took
While the heavens trembled and the mountains shook
All those lives not worth a second look
Tell the universe what you took

You've been projecting your shit at the world
Self-hatred tarted up as payback time
You can self destruct-that's your right
But keep it to yourself if you don't mind

Tell the universe where you've been
With your bloodstained shoes and your dunce's grin
Got to identify next of kin
Tell the universe where you've been

Editors Note: This song, Tell the Universe, was first played in front of humans on 30 November 2003, at Hamilton Palace in Hamilton, Ontario. It was played again on 5 December 2003 at the Empire Theatre in Belleville, Ontario. Tell the Universe, is played on the charango.



She said she wanted me
I had to let her know
It was never meant to be
And she had to let it go
She was pissed and hurting
But what was I supposed to do
I did not love her, but it's
Different when it comes to you

Lamentations everywhere
All the colours turned to blue
Desperation laid her bare
She told me everything I could do
She told herself a story
That flat out wasn't true
She made me feel sorry
But it's different when it comes to you

I don't want to go home tonight
I want to turn loose my lust
I want you to squeeze me tight
Do the things that we discussed
I bring you my broken self
With zero hidden from your view
I don't usually do that but it's
Different when it comes to you
I didn't know I could do that, but it's
Different when it comes to you

Sister sister

Well, folks, I am happy to report that my sister retained primary physical custody of her children, and was awarded enough child support to definitely make a difference in their quality of life when Sis becomes employed. They've settled into a little 3 bedroom duplex in a small-townish suburb of St. Louis, and there's a Metrolink (St. Louis' light rail system) just around the corner from them. I believe this area will offer them greater opportunities than they would have had where our Mother lives.

On the other hand, the started harassing her from basically a couple of days after the order was made (of course). Sister has so far faithfully notified the police of the harassment, and has been telling him that he "needs to learn the terms of the order forwards and backwards, because we're going exactly by the terms of the order." (Yay sis!!!) I still fear for their safety, but so far he doesn't know where they live. Her attorney instructed that her address not be released to him due to previous harassment from him. They meet at a neutral location to exchange the children, and sis is allowed to have a 3rd party make the transfer, which is a good thing. This keeps ex from being able to intimidate her in person. This week when the transfer is supposed to be made, there will be a police officer accompanying her or whoever due to the harassing phone calls. Also, a police officer can make sure, per the order, that he has his own child restraint seats for each of the 3 kids.

He was supposed to have had the kids this past weekend, but on Friday, he called our Mom to say he only wanted to get the girls on Friday night, and wanted to get the little boy on Saturday. They stood their ground and said no, either you get them all, or you get none. He opted for none. Then he called Saturday to ask if he could take the oldest daughter to a movie, and again was told no, we're going strictly by the order, which pissed him off (naturally).

I do believe there is reason to fear him, but there's nothing I can personally do about that. I feel satisfied in my heart that I've done all I can or should do so far. I believe the attorney has informed them (sis and Mom) clearly of all that they need to do to follow the terms of the order and to use various legal remedies to resolve problems that may arise with the ex.

Sis is attending AA and has found at least one church that she likes in the area, but said she's going to be visiting others. Though she seems to be attracted to the more fundamentalist-type congregations, I am only concerned that she find a community to be a part of with her children. I hope she will take her attorney's advice to return to school and complete her degree in speech pathology, or whatever she chooses. Her biggest hopes for a better future are sobriety and education.

Thank you all for your support, thoughts and prayers during what was a very difficult time, and what may blow up again. I really appreciate having such kind and thoughtful friends, in real life and in the blogosphere. :)


PS -- We didn't even get called to testify because the attorneys worked things out in advance! Oy!!

Monday, August 21, 2006


Well, as usual my body betrays me. I had to get worked in to see the doc today because I've had GI troubles for about 5 days now, and I can't take the chance on being ill while traveling. The diagnosis was Gastroenteritis, but I believe there will be a colonoscopy scheduled in the not too distant future. :( Actually, I'm not worried about the procedure, based on what I've seen with hubby and what he's said about Versed. It might be cool to be loopy for a day.

I did tell the Nurse Practitioner who saw me today that I've been under a lot of stress lately and felt that these symptoms were related in great part to that. I did have a temp of 99.6, so I guess there could be some kind of other thing going on too, but I still think the GI upset is pretty much all stress-related. Bleah.


My ex-brother-in-law is officially stalking my sister, apparently. Somehow he discovered the hotel she was staying in while arranging to move in a house that falls within the 25-mile radius of the union hall as stated in their divorce decree. I knew this would happen -- when we went up there for the initial court appearance I insisted we stay a good distance away from the courthouse, etc., because he's the type that drives around, drives around on the hunt, as it were.

I was visiting my sister a few up there a few years ago and we went out to dinner. After about 30 minutes there he comes strolling in, straight to our table. He said he's been in the bar and saw us come in, and just wanted to say hi. But when we entered the restaurant, there were just a couple of people at the bar, and he wasn't one of them.

My sister said she can virtually guarantee he's living in a tent out a campground (!!! Can you believe that???) and has no permanent address. She believes he's waiting for her to move in somewhere, which she did today, and then he'll settle somewhere nearby, so he "can be involved". Sis said she is going to do everything in her power to beg the court not to let him have her address, and to investigate whether or not he has one of his own. Good grief at the tawdriness of this whole issue, you know?

Hubby and I leave around noon tomorrow to go up there, so I can be available to testify about abuses I've witnessed. This is not the kind of trip either of us wants to take, but at least I have hubby to stand beside me. He's such a good man -- the antithesis of the ex b-i-l.

Rest in peace, Nikki

This post is in memorial to my friend Karen's cat, Nikki. She was one hell of a kitty.


Thursday, August 17, 2006

It's Thursday, and I can't think of a title

There's so much going on these days that titles just escape me. There is no one theme for my life lately, other than not being in control of it. I'm betting there are plenty of folks out there who can relate to such a state of being.

Pardon the graphic nature of this next statement, but last night I woke up from a deep sleep with an upset stomach, and found myself in the bathroom throwing up into the garbage can while being perched on 'the throne', having similar expulsion issues on the other end. I have no idea why this happened, other than the ubiquitous descriptor "nerves". Not feeling sick today, but I do notice feeling a bit anxious, maybe a little hypersensitive to stimuli. I know this is because my cup runneth over at the moment, and should resolve once the situation with my sister's custody battle is resolved.

This week I need to send out some follow-up/thank you notes to the folks who attended our Marriage Equality Summit a couple of weekends ago. On the plus side of that, I've already seen a notice that one of the groups in attendance is holding a 'house party' for the folks, which tells me the event worked well. I doubt I can attend myself, but I'm so happy to know that our efforts actually pay off. :) Perhaps Tennessee will turn the tide against discrimination against our LGBT brothers and sisters.

Also, I hope to have a resolution to a problem that my prescription drug company is giving me about my medications. They are really trying my patience, and therefore adding additional stress, by not being clear about what is necessary to get two prescriptions filled. The bottom line is, they insist that, in order to cover the filling, the drugs must be written for generic rather than name brand (Neurontin, Effexor XR). They've said that the dosages given are not in compliance with their standards or whatever they call it. However, there doesn't seem to be a problem if they're what the real problem is is that they don't want to cover name brand items. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!! The doctor's office is being so very helpful and kind about this -- I hate wasting all of their time on this because it's not a direct benefit to them. They don't get paid for this -- the pharmacy does -- so they don't have to be as nice as they're being. Bless their hearts, seriously.

Next week I may testify against the man who terrified me in October. While I'm not necessarily afraid at this point, I do feel anxious. I believe him to be a very dangerous person, as he's demonstrated in the past. I wonder if having to deal with the consequences of his own behavior will send him off the deep end and prompt him to hurt my sister or the kids. Every day you read where some guy, even under a restraining order, hurts or even kills his family. I'm not so naive as to think that can't happen to my family, and I don't think I'm overreacting. These things do happen, and they happen to good people.

So, therein lies some of the turmoil I find myself experiencing. I'm trying to maintain my center by deep breathing, staying in the present moment, and relying on those who demonstrate that they care for me. Pouring out my feelings, as best I can, here is a help, but by and large, only the passage of time will do the trick.

Let me hereby wish for all of you that your lives are peaceful and joyful, or that at least your hearts are peaceful and joyful. Oh, and that the heat continues to be knocked down a little bit! :) It's been positively gorgeous here in Nashville lately.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Catching up

Well, it's been interesting the last week or so. It's hard to know where to begin. One positive thing I can say is that we finally got some rain! Hallelujah!!! My plants are looking better, less stressed, and though it's still hot, it's not as hot as it was a week or so ago.

Saturday was the memorial service for my friend's son. RunawayImagination has a great deal of information about it posted already, so I'll just link you to that post if you'd like to read about it.

Of course the biggest event of the last week was our last minute trip with my youngest sister, kids, and mom to deal with her first court date in the custody dispute between her and her ex. The bottom line appears to be that she must move back to the state in which her divorce was granted, due to the agreement she signed stating she would not move my niece (she only had one child then) more than 25 miles away from a certain point. However, she will be asking for a change in that agreement. She's having, though, to respond to her ex's charges of taking the kids out of state and of being an unfit mother. She is alleging (truthfully) that he is actually the unfit one, so this will be figured out in the court system.

Monday I received a notice from sister's attorney that I am being called to testify in this case. I wish I didn't have to do that, but if it will help, I'm willing. Hubby is taking off work *again* to go with me, though I assured him I'd be OK. He doesn't trust sister's ex (neither do I) and wants us to all be safe, so he'll accompany us to court. Maybe ONE DAY we'll actually get to take his vacation for things WE want to do, instead of using the time for other people's benefit!

After court was over last week, the attorney wanted to see my sister to go over things about the strategy they intend to use to fight this. I knew someone needed to take notes, so I asked hubby to go with her. Fortunately, hubby is an excellent note-taker, and deals with attorneys day in and day out in his position as a consultant with the state. He and sis went to the attorney's office and waited two hours to see her, but then spent at least 2 hours with her, which was massively helpful. Tonight there is to be a call from the atty to my sister, and sister plans to 3-way call hubby so he can make notes again.

It's funny -- in January my mother told me she was "mad at" us for "telling them what to do", yet had they done what we said then, we wouldn't be dealing with this now. She has actually said that they are very appreciative of all that we've done and will be very happy to have our help again, if we're willing to give it. I guess they were living in their own little made-up reality that apparently did not include paying attention to the laws of the land. The ex-brother-in-law also doesn't seem to pay attention to the law, especially when it comes to restraining orders, so I have to admit I'm a little nervous about coming into contact with him so directly again. He certainly saw me accompany my sister to court, but when he hears me testify against him, that could stir things up.

This guy continues to phone my sister, and leave messages on my parents' answering machine. Yes, that's right -- knowing that we're going to court even he persists in trying to control my sister. The message he last left on my parents' machine? A song, played in its entirety: "I've Got A New Girlfriend". Juvenile? Yes, of course. Stupid? Absolutely. That's what makes him dangerous.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

For your laughing pleasure....

It's an overcast, humid day here in Nashville, and we are going to be attending the memorial service for my friend Melissa Sigler's son this afternoon. I definitely needed some humor ahead of time. Check out that link for a laugh.

More posting/catching up later. Been out of town till Thursday night and then dealing with family until midday Friday. Lots to report.

Monday, August 07, 2006

The tag, from GirlMD :)

Ha! I've been officially tagged, thanks to the lovely and talented GirlMD, whose blog I've been enjoying for a while! Thanks, Doc!

Ladies and gentlemen, my lists....

The book that changed my life: "What The Bible Really Says About Homosexuality", by Daniel A. Helminiak is one. There could be a million and a half answers to this question, really.

A book I've read more than once: Belying my southern heritage, "Gone With The Wind". Belying my intractable nerdiness, "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, plus "The Hobbit".

A book I'd want with me on a desert island: "SAS Survival Handbook: How to Survive in the Wild, in Any Climate, on Land or at Sea", by John 'Lofty' Wiseman (Yes, I looked it up!)

A book that made me laugh: "Naive. Super." by Norwegian author Erland Loe. I only wish I could read enough Norwegian to have enjoyed it in the original language.

A book that made me cry: I can't think of one recently, but I'm sure that's happened once or twice or a million times.

A book I wish had been written: "How To Figure Out What You Want To Be When You Grow Up, Wrkinprogress!"

A book I wish had never been written: Warning: the following answer is definitely controversial. Read at your own risk!!! Possibly the Bible, based on all of the terrible things that have been or are being done in its name.

A book I am currently reading: "Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life. How to Finally, Really Grow Up", by James Hollis Ph.D.

A book that I am meaning to read: The Iliad and The Odessey

Five bloggers I'd like to tag:


Plus Annie!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Poetry type -- need input!

Here's what *I* think my poetry type should be:

I am, of course, none other than blank verse.
I don't know where I'm going, yes, quite right;
And when I get there (if I ever do)
I might not recognise it. So? Your point?
Why should I have a destination set?
I'm relatively happy as I am,
And wouldn't want to be forever aimed
Towards some future path or special goal.
It's not to do with laziness, as such.
It's just that one the whole I'd rather not
Be bothered - so I drift contentedly;
An underrated way of life, I find.
What Poetry Form Are You?

Here's what my actual type was:

I'm terza rima, and I talk and smile.
Where others lock their rhymes and thoughts away
I let mine out, and chatter all the while.

I'm rarely on my own - a wasted day
Is any day that's spent without a friend,
With nothing much to do or hear or say.

I like to be with people, and depend
On company for being entertained;
Which seems a good solution, in the end.

Gimme some help, here, people -- which do *YOU* think I am? (Thanks to NeuroticIlliniFan for putting this on her page for me to steal, as usual!!)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Pet Peeve #1 (today)

Waiting 6 weeks for an appointment with a specialist, then showing up on time, and waiting 2 hours before even being called to go back. Even worse -- fasting for this appointment, which was at 10 am.

Upon making another appointment (4 weeks away), the person behind the counter apologized. I told her she didn't need to, it wasn't her fault. She fairly heaved a sigh of relief and said "Most people don't realize that." I assured her I remembered when I sat behind that desk, too.

Then I was told that, because I will be having a new patient exam, I should plan to spend 2 hours with the doctor. Well, that might have been helpful to know a while back. Part of the reason I couldn't wait was because I had an appointment with another doc to get an injection into my shoulder.

And to make it all a little worse, hubby had taken off work today to go with me, so we kind of wasted half a day of leave time.

However, the injection wasn't even felt, even thought it was into my shoulder joint, so props to the physiatrist with the excellent aim. :)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Wednesday whimsy

Wasn't that a great post title? I wish I could live up to the 'whimsy' part, but at least it sounded cool for a sec.

Saw the Physiatrist Monday. To cut to the chase, he wanted to know what bothered me most at the moment, because we couldn't get into everything on this first visit. At the time, and most of the time, it was my right shoulder. At PT they thought it might be referred pain from my bone spur or bulging discs, but this doc said it was a totally separate issue. He said there seems to be something going on with my rotator cuff, which has nothing to do with my neck. So that was interesting. He sent me for a shoulder x-ray, and I'm taking those films to him tomorrow, when I'll probably get a cortisone shot. He gave me a prescription for Daypro, but it appears to have wreacked havoc on my digestive system. No more Daypro for me! Didn't help any in the first place.

Tomorrow I also get to see an Endocrinologist to see where I am in terms of having PCOS. I'm not diabetic, but it is thought that I am insulin resistant, and I've been taking a diabetes drug for that for a couple of months now. However, I don't notice any difference taking the max dose of this, so I'm going to be evaluated for another one. I really don't know what to expect from this kind of doc. I'm going to just have water in the morning, along with my normal meds, in case that will save me another visit to have blood drawn.

Still don't know for sure if travel is in my plans for next week. In case I haven't mentioned it, hubby is going with us, too. Big relief for me.

Got a call last night from the president of the local blues society asking if I could help them with some stuff. I gladly agreed, thinking this could help hubby alot, just by my knowing more people in the music biz. This also may help us go out more -- if we go to blues shows or concerts and write a review/take pix, they'll either get us or reimburse us for tickets or cover charges. That might make a big difference in some of the shows we'd attend, you know?

Help me make it through Sunday afternoon. The marriage summit is Saturday, and our guest speaker is going to deliver the messages on Sunday, and I am his official 'person' until all of this is over. I'm proud of what I've accomplished, though it doesn't seem like that much now. This will definitely look good on my resume, provided a blue employer is reading it. lol

Oh, hubby is taking the day off to go with me to all of these crazy appointments tomorrow. I'm so glad he said yes when I asked. :) I never ask him to do things like that, but I realized that if I get a shoulder injection, it might be better to let someone else drive home. Actually, that might not matter at all -- I've never had anything like this done before.

So, peace out, y'all. Wish me luck. :)

Sunday, July 30, 2006

I'm a geek.

I love to take tests, especially online. Here's the latest one I've found, from Harvard, regarding Moral Sense. Let me know what you think.

Oh, and if you know of any other interesting, unusual, unique sites with tests or whatever, let me know about that, too!

It's been a while...

I know it has been quite a while since I posted anything of substance here, but I thought I'd *try* to remedy that today. I am being a bad girl and skipping church, except when you're a Unitarian Universalist, that whole concept really doesn't even exist. Thank goodness!

There's really been a lot going on lately, and I am not sure how to tie all of this post together, or even if I should. Life is filled with random crap, isn't it? Things that just don't all 'go together'? Or maybe that's just me! Ha!

First and foremost, it's been frikken HOT. I hate hot. I hate sweating. I hate having a red face when I try to survive away from air conditioning. I am a wimp, I know, but this is a life-long affliction for me. At least it's almost August, which means it's almost FALL, my favorite season. Woohooo!


Yesterday, hubby and I were interviewed on a local radio station about the upcoming Marriage Equality Summit being held at our church next Saturday. It was a very cool experience -- not at all nerve-wracking like I thought it might be. I even listened to the CD of the broadcast they recorded for us, and was surprised and very pleased not to have sounded like an idiot. I even didn't hate the sound of my voice. That's got to be a first!!

I will be so relieved when this thing is over. It's been in the planning since October of last year, when we first began discussing the then-possibility that an amendment to our state constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman was going to be on the November '06 ballot. As a social justice-oriented church, we knew we had to get involved. Being the then-Chair of the GLBT+Friends Committee, much of the responsibilities fell on me. Through this, I became acquainted with Jack Senterfitt, who is the Senior Staff Attorney for Lambda Legal, Southeastern region. He spoke at Vanderbilt University here, his alma mater, regarding marriage equality, and right then I knew he had to speak for us. We planned a "summit", where we could gather folks together from all the UU churches in Tennessee, and learn as a group how to canvass, how to spread the word, and how to get out the vote. One thing lead to another, and now we have not only Jack speaking, but also a couple of folks from the Tennessee Equality Project, as well as our minister and the now-Chair of the GLBT+Friends committee, who is the Education Coordinator for one of Vanderbilt's largest health clinics. We have music, we have food, we have child care -- we have people needing a place to stay, people with questions about other things to do -- and we have media, which I hope will include news stations from around the city.

I am very proud to have been the major player in this. No matter what else I do, I can say that I was instrumental in coming up with and planning this event, not to mention doing the majority of the 'legwork' involved. I know in my heart that I am on the right side of this issue, and that history will show that this was the correct position to take.


I've been in PT now for several months, for both upper and lower back issues, and it has helped a good bit. Recently I found that I have several bulging discs in my neck, which my doctor actually wrote to me "equals a small herniation". Ummm.... Anyway, tomorrow I see a physiatrist about, I think, pain control. I'm really not sure exactly why I'm seeing him, other than my doc said this guy is a back specialist and should be able to help. I looked up information about physical medicine/rehab docs, aka physiatrists, and learned that, for one thing, they don't do surgery, for which I am amazingly grateful. My understanding is that these docs deal with the actual mechanics of the body, being able to do things like prescribe orthotic braces and such, as well as doing injections if necessary.

I don't want injections in my back, period. I am just scared to death of that. I'm afraid of that little slip that goes from therapeutic to paralysis. I don't know why I'm afraid of this -- it's not like I know anyone it ever happened to. I guess my reasoning derives from other needle experiences I've had. Here's one that I think illustrates this: I was having an EGD (upper GI) a few years ago, supposedly done by the "best" GI in town. The prep work was being done, and the injection of anesthestic substance, I'm guessing Versed, was done in the top of my hand (easiest place to get a vein, and no, it doesn't hurt or bother me there). When we got into the room for the procedure, the doc sprayed a numbing agent into my throat (another really scary aspect for those of us with anxiety/panic symptoms that include feeling as though one's throat is closing). He then began to try to put the tube down my throat. If you've ever had this procedure done, you may be wondering how I remember this. Well, I remember the whole thing, because THE ANESTHESIA *NEVER* WENT INTO MY BLOODSTREAM. There was a bigger than golf ball sized knot on my hand, where the anesthesia apparently was injected into the surrounding skin, rather than into the vein. I was petrified and crying on that table, trying to pull the tube out so I could tell the doc I was still awake, but he had nurses literally HOLD ME DOWN and continued to snake it down my throat. I saw and REMEMBER the whole procedure -- I guess the plus side is that now I know what my esophagus and stomach look like.

So, in conclusion, some doctors can be really MEAN and hateful and not at all compassionate, or even aware of what's going on with a person. I can't help but be afraid something like this could happen again, so I'm afraid of getting injections into my back.


My youngest sister is probably going to have to go to court on August 9 to deal with custody issues around her children. That means she will have to travel from Florida to Illinois which is a looooooooong trip. I have agreed to go with her to court, because she just simply can't go alone. Our mom will keep her children for her, so it will just be the two of us. I feel OK about it, though I will most certainly be talking with my therapist before going for a 'shoring up' session. I'm not afraid of the ex brother in law in court, so that's not something that's very concerning. One thing I will be a little anxious about is when we're not in court. Maybe we'll just come back to my house (5 hour drive) instead of staying around there, even if it's late.

Y'all, I have to tell this. My middle sister "A" reads this blog and I don't want to upset her, but still, I have to get this off my chest. So, here goes. Back 3 or so years ago when my youngest sister and her husband divorced, she left him in Illinois and moved to Florida, where our parents are. She did not work and had no money of her own. Her husband said they could both use the same attorney, which I advised my mom and sister against. Still, they decided not to get their own attorney. His version of the divorce papers stated that my sister could not take my niece out of state, nor could my niece live more than 25 miles away from his union hall. And my sister signed this. And my parents READ THIS AND SAID THEY DIDN'T THINK THE EX HUSBAND WOULD BE "UGLY" ABOUT IT, SO LET HER SIGN THIS DIVORCE AGREEMENT WITHOUT EVEN CONTESTING THAT. All this time I'd thought my sister alone was aware of that clause, which was bad enough, but when I found out just recently that my parents knew about it and didn't think it would be a problem, I nearly disintegrated in incredulousness.

Last October when my sister left this guy AGAIN, my husband and I came up with a list of things to do/not do, based on the DIRECT EXPERIENCE we had with a domestic abuse situation involving his daughter, and the information we'd gathered from professionals in fields that deal with this frequently, as well as my own experience working in a foster care/adoption agency. Well, sister went back to this idiot after Christmas. In January my mother confronts me with how it pissed them off that hubby and I 'tried to tell them what to do', implying that we were being smartasses and that they didn't need any help, thank you very much. Since then, however, I have received an apology from my mom, not that it makes any difference, and not that she will always be sorry.

Two months after my own husband died, I bought my mom a plane ticket to come visit me for a weekend. Mom wasn't big on visiting me before, and still doesn't often, but it's more than it used to be, for what it's worth. On that weekend visit 7 years ago, my mom told me that I'm intimidating. I've talked about this before here, and I wish it didn't still sting a little bit when I think about it. What I've learned in the meantime, and what was reinforced by that last story I told regarding the divorce decree, is that my mother meant that she feels 'less than' around me -- she thinks I'm smarter than she is or whatever, which maybe I am in some ways. Still, that doesn't make ME intimidating. It just makes me different from her.


My step-daughter continues to hate my guts. Her children's birthday (twins) was July 4, and, as always, I helped hubby pick out their gifts, signed the card, etc. This year, the thank you card was ONLY addressed to hubby, so that's pretty clear, don't you think? I do try not to let this bother me, but it truly hurts my feelings that this apparently spoiled-rotten selfish brat of a woman can be so childish. I want to respond in a hurtful or retaliative way, but I know that's not right. Still, I admit to daydreaming about what I would say, or what hubby would say, that would put her in her place and then also make this situation right. I do live in a fantasy world, don't I?


Next week there will be a memorial service for my friend Melissa Sigler's son Bruce, who, at age 27, passed away of a heart attack. Yes, a heart attack -- no drugs involved, no foul play -- just a heart attack at age 27. Y'all, life is short, and you do not know when your number will be up. Please, tell those around you that you love them -- don't wait. I don't care if they think you're weird for doing it -- just do it. You will feel better and have a better life because of it. No one can say "I love you" too often these days.


In October I get to go with hubby to Madison, WI for a week. He's attending some sort of conference or class at the university, and we're staying in the ritzy conference center there. We'll go up a few days early, though, flying into Minneapolis, so we can drive up to Lake Itasca, and, per his wishes, scatter my late husband's ashes. It will be good to get this done and know that I carried out my promise to him, even if it seems crazy to me.

We plan also to get tickets for Prairie Home Companion while we're there, and we already have tickets to Michael Feldman's "What Do You Know?" Yes, we're NPR freaks. I can't wait! I also can't wait to find Scandinavian stuff and cheese. I think hubby will concentrate on the beer.

In December we're going to celebrate our anniversary with friends who were actually married on New Year's Eve last year. Our anniversary is 12/20, so this works out well. We'll be heading up to Buffalo, NY, believe it or not, stopping in Cleveland, OH so hubby can finally see the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (Don't forget to sign that petition for Leon Russell!!) I visited there a few years ago and could have stayed all day. I hope there will be SOME snow -- not the whiteout blizzard conditions that can come from the lake. I don't know where exactly we'll spend NYE -- maybe Niagara Falls? Wouldn't that be romantic and cool???


I think I've caught y'all up on the major stuff now. I need to try to write more often, and I will work on that. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to those of you who've written to either ask about me or encourage me to write more often. It means so much!!!

Peace out, yo.