Friday, July 18, 2008

13 YEARS AGO TODAY . . . It seems very remarkable to me that


It seems very remarkable to me that 13 years have gone by since my husband Steve passed away. It is amazing how the time has flown. I'm not going to get into the events of that day -- they're too sad. B ut it is truly a day that I remember vividly.

We were married for 27 years. Living alone after he ws gone ws a new experience for me, because I had gone straight from my parents' home to marriage to him. It isn't easy living by myself -- I think a person can become quite eccentric -- but I have absolutely no interest in forming a relationship with anyone.

For one thing, I don't know who would put up with all my computer time! LOL! But I don't think I do the relationship thing very well -- I didn't have good role models and I get easily stressed.

A new friend who I met due to our mutual friendship with Aussie Les has been married to his wife for 38 years. He says he attributes that to, at times, a lot of working at the relationship. I totally respect such long-term marriages.

Steve's and my 27 years weren't short. I especially enjoyed our last 3 years, and the time we spent on our sailboat. I have many good memories to offset the sad ones of the day.


I want to apologize for my critical remarks yesterday about my neighbor who didn't quote me on the yard work. It is his own business the way he wants or needs to run his company. Also, I may have misunderstood my other neighbor, who told me about the fencing work.


This will be my last blog entry, as it stands right now. I have so many health issues that I need to take a long break.

Thursday, July 17, 2008



My son J.D. and DIL Kris will be out tomorrow, when J.D. will hook up the new computer. I am very much looking forward to having that done. I hope it will all go well.

I plan to go shopping in the morning. I am a bit nervous due to my toes and feeling somewhat vulnerable about them but I will be very careful.

I did write the podiatrist who worked on my toe this week an e-mail with several concerns, as my regular podiatrist is out until after 7/21. I hope to hear back from him tomorrow.


I have been thinking that, in the interest of fairness, I should write about something positive regarding a Mormon neighbor (for those of you who don't know, I am an ex-Mormon, and Mormons often don't like ex-Mormons very well) who had made me feel uncomfortable when I saw him walking out on the road a few months ago. I had written about it here -- I thought it was quite strange. A couple of weeks ago, however, I saw him coming out of a local store as I was going in and I just missed catching his eye. I think he wanted to be friendly -- he seemed disappointed. Mormonism still isn't for me, but I very much appreciate this bit of kindness on his part.

That still doesn't make up for the Mormon neighbor who refused to get back to me with a quote on yard work. Another neighbor hired him to put up a fence, however, and he charged 3 times what he quoted, so maybe it's just as well, eh? ;-)

One reason I am sensitive about the attitude some Mormons have towards me is due to a comment my late mother made to me once, after I left the Mormon Church, saying, "I have lost a beautiful daughter." That was very hurtful!

I do still have good friends among the Mormon folks, and I love my Mormon family members.

I leave it to God to judge people of any religion.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

ANOTHER SURGICAL PROCEDUREI had to have more toenail surgery


I had to have more toenail surgery today, this time on my right big toenail -- just along one edge. However, it is still deadened, so I expect that it will start feeling pretty rotten before long. I may not be able to be online tomorrow night; I certainly don't expect to work. This is not fun! So long until maybe Thursday!

Monday, July 14, 2008

REALITY SHOW COMPETITIONSAfter watching the newest


After watching the newest installment of the "Design Star" reality show last night on the Home and Garden Network, I have to vent about something that bothers me regarding this show and most reality competition shows. I believe the aspect that bugs me is a symptom of something disturbing in our culture. Granted, I have watched my share of reality shows, presently and in the past, such as "American Idol," "Survivor," and the "Next Food Network Star," but in some ways they are about as innocuous as watching a train wreck.

On "Design Star" this season, there has been a woman, Tracee, who all the other contestants seemed to find vastly irritating. Granted, she had a big mouth sometimes, with a gift for saying the wrong thing, and she could look unflatteringly smug and confident when it was obvious to the viewer that her butt was on the line. She made some bad decisions about the competition redos that reflected poorly on herself and others who happened to be on teams with her, although up until last night, most of them seemed to make it through to the next round. Last night, however, it was quite apparent to me that one of the unspoken goals of the other four remaining contestants was that Tracee be gone.

I was empathizing with them and feeling amazed at the self-destructive things that Tracee was doing, when I stopped myself. I couldn't believe that I was actually almost rooting them on. Since when have people become disposable, even if they are disagreeable? And I had to think about how this is one thing about reality TV competitions that I truly dislike, and why I especially don't watch "Survivor" any more: All the back-stabbing and double-dealing and scratching each other's eyeballs out, emotionally if not physically.

If I was reading the reactions of the other competitors right (and that could be a big "if"; after all, I'm not a mind-reader), they got their wish, as Tracee was one of two people booted last night. I think, though, that I wasn't exactly blind to what was going on, because Tracee's parting comment after exiting the studio, through her tears, was that she was going home to friends, family and clients who loved her, and who were these people to her? No one.

One of those who had been most firmly against Tracee and most vocal about it (I can't even remember his name -- Mark?) was also told to exit the studio for good, so she may have gotten some satisfaction from that.

Although the host of "Design Star" is a Brit, Clive Pearse, and "American Idol" originated in England and features a famous Brit, it seems to me that there is a very disturbing American tendency on reality TV competitions -- which have grown like wildfire -- to consider people as expendable.

I find it ironic, too, that some of the winners of past competitions on both HGTV and the Food Network had shows for a short time and then disappeared. Probably the biggest next Food Network star competition winner is Guy Fieri, but I think he's the only one who I see out of a number of previous winners. (I fell asleep last night before the Food Network competition at 10, so I don't know who was eliminated.)

With all of this said, I am not sure that I am able to bring myself to stop watching the HGTV and Food Network competition shows. At least, the judges of those appear kindly as much as possible, as opposed to good old Simon Cowell. Perhaps I am a hypocrite. But at least I recognize that there is this problem with our society. A friend of mine once compared the reality shows with the ancient Roman practice of throwing people to the lions, but I don't think it's that bad. Is it?

TWO REVIEWS FOR THE PRICE OF ONEWithout a computer at home, I


Without a computer at home, I have had quite a bit of time to read. Consequently, I have read two books in the last three days. They were both riveting and difficult to put down. Each introduced me to a different world.

The first was "Free Food for Millionaires," by Min Jin Lee, a young Korean-American writer. This was her first novel, and it has been highly acclaimed. The world it opens up is that of the Korean-American community in New York City, as seen through the eyes of the heroine, Casey. She has been raised a Christian but by adulthood is a closet one, if at all. She lives quite a free lifestyle as she becomes involved with several boyfriends and the high-flying world of investment banking. She is an interesting and strong character -- she loves fashion and especially making hats with her personal flair, although there isn't a strong demand for them. It is a book about love but also about growing up, maturing and forgiveness. Unfortunately, it was a bit on the sensual side for me, but other than that, I enjoyed it a lot.

The second was "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen. It paints a vivid picture of the world of the traveling circus in the Depression Era. It is told from the viewpoint of Jacob Jankowski, both as an elderly man and in his reveries about his youth and the circus years. This one I read today -- I couldn't put it down. Again, there were a few details that were difficult for me to read but they were apparently accurate to the era, according to the research done by the author. I love elephants, so this was a great book for me.

Now I am out of books except for a self-help one, but that might be a good change. ;-)


There is news on my friend, Les, in Australia. He is able to sit up and eat now, although his talking is still garbled. He has a sore, possibly from lying on the floor (they think he might have been there for two days). I don't know what his future has in store. My grandfather had a bad stroke and he fully recovered except for numbness in the tips of his fingers, which frustrated him badly, but my grandmother was there to button his shirts and so forth.


I am doing fairly well. I scared a friend by telling her that I was rinsing out my foot-soaking pan with Clorox water, as she felt that could be harmful to my toe. I told her that I rinsed out well afterwards but she alarmed me enough that I quit using it and am using a bit of alcohol instead. Then the looks of my toe also scared me yesterday so I called the after-hours Urgent Care advice nurse -- I thought it could be infected -- and she called my doctor, who was fortunately on call. He told her that these things almost never got infected so I was most likely fine, and she relayed the message to me. After asking me a few questions and her liking my answers about what was happening, it sounded like things were as they should be and I hung up feeling very relieved and happy. Just tonight, though, another friend who I had told about the Clorox water rinse e-mailed me an article about how even slight contact with broken skin by water containing bleach could be damaging, which has me a bit nervous. I don't think that I have done anything that could permanently harm my foot but I am sure glad I quit using even the well-diluted Clorox rinse on the soaking pan!


It continues to be too warm for me here. I keep waiting for the cool-down they say is coming, but so far it hasn't arrived. I will be glad if and when it does! But it is summer, after all, and so things will generally get worse before they get better. I am a spring and fall person!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

AN OLD CONTROVERSY, REVISITEDYesterday I watched the movie,


Yesterday I watched the movie, "The Golden Compass," which I had rented from Blockbuster Online. I was very curious about it because of all the controversy last year, when it was released into theaters. (I had also listened to parts of it -- when I was awake -- during the ride to Bend with son J.D., DIL Kris, and her sister Tiffany when we went there for Thanksgiving last year, as J.D. was playing the book during that time.)

The story is about a young girl named Lyra Belacqua, played by Dakota Blue Richards, some of whose young playmates have been disappearing, taken by people called the Gobblers. Lyra's uncle is Lord Asriel, played by Daniel Craig, and he has been targeted for death by a member of the ruling body, and she saves his life. Not long after that, a lovely woman named Mrs. Coulter (Nicole Kidman) visits and invites Lyra to go with her to the north, but not before Lyra is given a supernatural tool -- the last remaining golden compass -- which she is to keep secret.

In this universe, which is called a parallel universe to ours, each person has not an inner soul but an outer one, which is in the shape of an animal. Lyra's continues to shift shape, as she has not decided on a permanent one for hers yet. These animal-shaped souls are called daemons (pronounced demons).

As the story progresses, it becomes quite plain who the heroes and the villains are. The battle is between good and evil.

My biggest impression of it was that it was totally fiction, and should be viewed as such. I do feel that the author was tweaking Christians, especially excitable ones, by having the souls be outside rather than inside the bodies and having their name pronounced "demons."

Actually, the movie was generally panned by critics and I thought the ending left a person totally hanging. Maybe the producers were leaving an opening for a sequel; I don't know. I am not sure that I recommend it, just because it wasn't all that great a movie. But I'm glad I saw it and have formed my own opinion about it, especially due to all the hullabaloo about it last year.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

MY NEW COMPUTER HAS SHIPPED!I was very happy to get an e-mail


I was very happy to get an e-mail from Dell yesterday telling me that my computer has shipped and should be here on Wednesday, 7/16! That is much earlier than I had expected! I am hoping that one of my sons, J.D. or Jeff, will be able to hook it up for me soon. Then it's a matter of learning to use Vista. I plan to check out the inexpensive tutorial that an earlier anonymous commenter mentioned and see about ordering it today.


I heard from my podiatrist this morning (which was nice of him) not to worry about the coloration I was concerned about, and that everything sounds fine. He said that if I had any more concerns, to call Monday. I don't think I do. So hopefully the gross entries are all behind me now! ;-)


I got my work done this morning in 1 1/2 hours -- faster than I expected -- after having worked an hour last night. The weekend is now mine to be on the computer, read, or watch my movie.