Monday, March 31, 2008

CLOVERFIELD???When my Australian friend


When my Australian friend Lynne sent me the above Ziggy cartoon, she expressed puzzlement about what it meant and I didn't have a clue. As always, Google was my friend and I found out what Cloverfield is. It's a movie, and according to the site linked to in the preceding sentence, it's coming out on DVD on 4/22/08. Basically, it's the story of a monster attack in New York as told from the point of view of a small group of people. So I guess these Ziggy aliens are wanting in on the action? That's my guess, at any rate. ;-)


Today is one of those annoying days when the mail is very late in arriving. (You can see how unexciting my days can be, when getting the mail is one of the highlights.) Mainly, I'm expecting bills, but it's always good to get them paid and out of the way for another month. In the meantime, I guess I'll do another thing I do at times when I'm bored -- spend money online. I do need the items I will buy, however: blood test strips and stamps. I also have a birthday gift advertisement from Just My Size tempting me as well, offering $3.00 shipping if I buy in the next couple of days. I wish the mailman would come and save me from myself! LOL!

Sunday, March 30, 2008



I believe that the signature tag above is totally wishful thinking, even though there are a few flowers (mainly daffodils and camellias) blooming outside my house. None of the variety in this graphic, though. It has been quite cold here, enough for people to wonder when Spring is actually going to get here. We've been in the 40's F during the days and around freezing at night. It's still flannel pajama time!


My Australian friend Jen sent me an e-mail directing me to a site where she had recorded her voice to go along with cat pictures, and she gave me permission to post the URL. I love hearing her Aussie accent, although she thought she sounded more like a Brit. You can hear it by going here. It's really cute!


I watched -- or rather, tried to watch -- the movie "A Death at a Funeral" yesterday evening. It is a British film, and on the jacket it was called "a jet black comedy", which should have warned me when it came time to watch it. I managed to stand an hour of the 90-minute movie, and I was pushing it at making it that far. The movie is rated "R", which should also have warned me, as I prefer to watch films with milder ratings, although once in a while I let an "R"-rated movie slip through, as I did with this one. For me, it's not the actual rating so much as the content and why the movie has been given that rating that makes the difference. At any rate, it definitely was not my thing and I don't recommend it to anyone. I will be giving it 1/2 star when I rate it on Blockbuster Online, and that's being generous.


After writing about hypersensitivity yesterday, I guess venting helped me to reach a state of forgiveness of the person who had annoyed me with her comments on that subject. Today, I am feeling less bothered by her or what she had said. I did discuss the subject privately with another friend, who added to my evaluation of why people are hypersensitive that some people are just born that way and it's part of their natural personality. So it was good to have that input from her, especially as she is a person who is qualified due to her education to make such judgments.


When Lynne sent me the above Ziggy, she included the comment that this kind of thing happens in Australia, too. ;-) It sure does here! LOL!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

FAMILY TREESA friend in Canada e-mailed me


A friend in Canada e-mailed me an article about the familial relationship between Barack Obama and Dick Cheney a day or two ago, which I didn't bother to dig up for this post but instead found the same information at another online site, here. In joking around with this friend about family trees, especially since we both had been members of a church that emphasizes genealogy for use in proxy ordinances in their temples, she said that her step-father (and I don't know what his religious affiliation was) had traced his lineage back to Charlemagne, and that was what my maternal grandfather claimed to have done as well. My Grandpa said that doing so brought our family into the lineage of the kings of Europe and thus to the Bible and back to Adam. I remember being shown a scroll-like, long piece of paper with the genealogy back to Adam written on it in calligraphy, when I was told this. I have no idea where the scroll is now -- perhaps one of my sisters found it and took it home with her after Mom's passing several months ago. It's kind of funny and interesting to be related to kings, but I am sure that the royal blood has been watered down so much that we in my family are nothing more than average joes. ;-)


I don't know if I have written about how hypersensitive I have sometimes been in the past, but it has been somewhat of a curse at times. I had talked about it on one usually-supportive chat list quite a while ago and -- as things tend to go on that list with some of the members -- the subject has been discussed on and on, ad nauseum. One of the members who drags subjects on forever said yesterday that a person who was hypersensitive suffered from selfishness and pride and the answer to their problem was to care more about others. That brought me to a bit of a boil but, as is my habit, rather than argue and start a flame war on the list, I just deleted her post but not without thinking in the process that she was very tactless and unkind. What do you think about hypersensitivity? Can it be the product of emotional abuse in a person's life, from parents and/or a spouse? Or is it indeed a sign of selfishness? If you have opinions, I would like to hear them, although I hope you will be kind in the process. ;-)


The current grounding of large numbers of jets by Delta and American Airlines to check the electrical bundles on them, resulting in a lot of passengers being stranded in airports, brought back memories of my flying experiences around the first of January. As I have already written in detail about them after I got home, I won't repeat them here, but I can truly empathize with the people who were waiting for long periods of time. I didn't have to wait due to inclement weather in Salt Lake for my jet back to Portland nearly as long as some other passengers did; there were individuals waiting for that plane who had been there for 10 hours or more.

I have been thinking about how much we trusted those airplanes, and believed and hoped they were safe. I think that, if I were wanting to fly during this time of grounded jets, I would have mixed feelings; I would not like waiting a long time for a flight, as passengers lately have been, but on the other hand, I would be glad to know that the airplane I was on was as safe as it could be.

I'm just glad that I am not having to fly now, or any time that I know of in the foreseeable future.


When my friend Lynne sent me the above Ziggy cartoon, she had to explain to me what it meant. She sent me a link to a site showing cargo pants, which have all the pockets in them. LOL! I guess I'm kind of out of it when it comes to men's fashion trends.

Friday, March 28, 2008

GREAT FLICKR FEATURES!At my online friend Dawn's suggestion,


At my online friend Dawn's suggestion, I went to the chili dog picture I had posted on Flickr that had been labeled by some unkind soul there as looking "NASTY" and I was able to delete the comment he/she had made. In the process, I was given the option to block that person and I did so. There is a whole list of things in relation to my pictures that this person can no longer do. It was most gratifying!

Then I went to my spaghetti picture and did the same thing. As I went through that process and reread the comments from this person (RealityFood or some such name), I was once again struck by how rude and mean the comments were. It was my pleasure to block this person, as well.

I was thus able to move both of these food pictures from being viewed only by Friends and Family to being viewed by everyone again.

As a result, I think I will go ahead and post my picture of the Black Bean Salsa I made the other day to my Flickr site. I hope it doesn't result in anyone saying how ugly the salsa looks but at least now I know the Flickr weapons I have with which to fight back!



It is my privilege to know and to write here about another remarkable woman, Lynne, who is an Aussie who has touched my life in very special ways. I have referred to her before because she sends me the fun Ziggy cartoons, and I well know her enjoyable sense of humor. Today I am devoting much of my blog entry to her, because since it is the 29th there, she will be getting up in a while and then readying herself for a ceremony that symbolizes a great accomplishment: graduating with her Bachelor's Degree in Theology. She talks about this in a blog entry that is eloquent and beautiful, which I could never paraphrase, so I would hope you will go to the link at the beginning of this sentence to read what she has said about attaining this honor and what has motivated her to do so.

Have a wonderful day, Lynne!


The Ziggy is funny to me because it has seemed like there was a Starbucks on almost every other corner in the big cities. Even in my small town, there is a Starbucks store in a strip mall and then just across the parking lot from it, there is a Starbucks bar in the Fred Meyers superstore so you can get a latte while you shop, if you so desire. I have heard that Starbucks was having some trouble but I'm not sure exactly what that is. Perhaps over-expansion?


I heard the funniest line on CNN last night, and I wish I knew exactly who to attribute it to, but it was from one of several panel members who were, I believe, on Anderson Cooper 360, although Larry King had a similar discussion. Because I have to be so vague about it, I will just paraphrase the person, who said -- in essence -- that Hillary Clinton's comment about Barack Obama where she said you couldn't pick your grandmother but you could choose your pastor (referring to the retired Rev. Jeremiah White) could also be turned back to her, saying that, yes, you couldn't pick your grandmother but you could your pastor and your husband. The person making this comment elaborated that Clinton chose to stay with her husband despite the obvious problems he has had, while Obama chose to be loyal in some ways to his former pastor.


I want to get this posted before too much more time elapses and then go downstairs to see if my sleepiness will produce much of a nap today, which hasn't happened in the last couple of days.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

MY LITTLE SISTER'S 50THIt's difficult for me


It's difficult for me to believe it, but my youngest sister, Kathy, turns 50 today. You would never know she's that age by looking at her, as the picture below, taken near the first of January with my Uncle Lincoln and Kathy's and my niece, Sarah, shows. (She is on the left.)

I was almost 10 years old when Kathy was born. My mother became terribly ill with an initially-undiagnosed bleeding stomach ulcer and almost died not long after that. We had help from church people at first as Mom recovered slowly but people get on with their lives and so I was pretty much left to take care of this infant at a young age. I loved her very much and I felt very nurturing towards her. I remember stroking the side of her face when she was crying to try to help her go to sleep, and that generally worked. As she grew, we became fairly close. That has continued.

Here are pictures of her when she was young:

We do not live very near each other, as she is in San Francisco and I am in northwestern Oregon. We did see each other at Mom's funeral in Idaho and northern Utah near the first of January, as I have related here at that time. She was a good support to me as I know now that I was basically in shock at that time.

She was able to go back home and pass her nursing boards, and now she is looking for work. She has the compassion and understanding of people to make an excellent nurse.

I will likely send this to her, so I will just add to the wishes I have already sent, a big Happy Birthday, Sis!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008



I'm going to switch gears here today and have my entry be about food, and particularly the black bean salsa recipe I am typing in and that is pictured below. I received the recipe from Shannon on my Genchat newsgroup. It is delicious!


Makes 8 1/2-cup servings

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, minced

Mix above ingredients and boil 2 minutes, then pour over the vegetables listed below.

1 cup whole kernel corn
1 cup chopped tomatoes or red bell pepper (I used cherry tomatoes)
3/4 cup chopped sweet onion
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

Enjoy salsa with tortilla chips (I am using Fritos scoops) or serve on top of a green salad with 2 Tablespoons low-fat sour cream.

--Holly Marsh via Shannon

I haven't had this salsa with the chips for my afternoon snack yet but I plan to do so in a little while. Shannon says it gets better as it sits in the fridge.

I didn't put this photo and recipe on my Flickr site because I've gotten kind of tired of people commenting that my food doesn't look good. I think that the darkness of some of the photos I have posted has something to do with the Corel Paint Shop Pro X program that I have to use to upload my pictures. So it is just being put here for you, my friends and readers.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008



I hope you all have had a chance to read Gattina's comment on my last post. It is very funny! And also, presents a good point, that Europeans have a hard time understanding the fuss about religion here in the U.S.

Religion is indeed a big deal throughout this country. It has become a very big political football during this presidential campaign, and I'm sure we haven't seen the end of that.

As far as I feel about religion, I have friends and loved ones of many different religions and I accept them as they are, although there are various beliefs -- such as transubstantiation or strict pacifism -- that I could not accept for myself. I am glad we have freedom of religion in this country, so that individuals are able to believe what they wish.

Where I draw the line is when a religion is dishonest about what it believes, especially if there are secret ceremonies that the person coming into that church is not told about, as I believe they should be, from the very beginning. It's like the analogy of cooking a frog -- if you put a frog into a pot of hot water, it will jump right out, but if you put the frog into a pot of lukewarm water and gradually increase the heat, you will succeed in cooking it.

So straightforward religion, I can accept. Truthful religion, I can accept. I may not feel that such churches are exactly right for me, but I can respect those who belong to and attend them. I recognize that strong beliefs are often a buffer against times of trouble.

I think this is pretty much my viewpoint in a nutshell. Perhaps I will think of more to write about religion in general in the future. But I think this describes how I feel for now. To paraphrase a saying that I believe comes from Star Trek's Spock: May you believe long and prosper.


Today is my oldest son J.D.'s 39th birthday! I know he and his wife Kris were planning to travel to San Francisco this week and I don't know if he will have his laptop with him or even time to check in on blogs, but I want to wish him a HAPPY BIRTHDAY, and maybe he will see this wish when he gets back.

J.D. was my only normal delivery, after a pretty reasonable time of labor (13 hours). Steve wasn't allowed in the delivery room so the doctor took J.D. out to see him after he was born. Steve said the doctor "flipped" J.D.'s lower lip and that J.D. gave him a rather resentful look. He seemed to be more alert to what was going on around him than a lot of newborns.

It's hard to believe it was that long ago. Time certainly flies! I'm grateful for J.D. and his thoughtfulness and consideration as a son. May you have a wonderful birthday and many, many more ahead, J.D.


It is also my tags list owner Connie's birthday today, and my friend from the tags list, Jeneane's, as well. I haven't heard how Connie is doing for a while and I miss hearing from her. I will definitely be posting a birthday wish for her to the list today, in case she might see it. And sending a greeting to Jeneane (also known as JR).


It is clear and cold today. I will make the trip to Costco for the business and myself in a little while. I'm pretty much glad that it isn't raining today, although there was frost on the ground when I got up. So much for weather forecasts, eh? LOL!

Monday, March 24, 2008

NO RESERVATIONSI was really looking forward


I was really looking forward to watching "No Reservations", as I like Catherine Zeta-Jones a lot, so I was happy to settle down with a bag of smart-pop popcorn Saturday evening and start watching it. I had seen previews but they didn't prepare me for the sadness at the beginning of the movie. It hit a bit close to home and so I had to take a break from watching it after a while before I could get back to it.

I was glad I continued viewing the film after my time away from it as the character of Nick, played by Aaron Eckhart, was a very enjoyable one and played very nicely off of Zeta-Jones' well-acted character, Kate. And Abigail Breslin was great as Kate's young niece, Zoe.

Kate was a chef who became confronted with a close family tragedy as well as her own feelings and actions in the restaurant where she worked, especially after her boss hired Nick to work there as well.

It ultimately was a rewarding movie and I enjoyed it very much. I recommend it highly.


There has been a lot of fuss about Sen. Barack Obama's former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and some very controversial comments he has made in sermons in the past 6 or so years. I have been debating whether to write about my own opinions regarding what Rev. Wright said and Obama's response. For some reason, I feel too tired today to get into it. Maybe tomorrow, or next week, or -- if it remains an issue -- next month. I still support Obama, and that is, I suppose, the bottom line at this point.


Many years ago, when I was a Mormon, I attended temple ceremonies where I took death oaths, agreeing by my affirmation and acting out, various ways in which I would suffer my life to be taken if I ever revealed what I had experienced there. (In my own defense, I had no clue before I got into that situation what was going to take place.) I left the Mormon church in 1984 with my late husband, who had also gone through these ceremonies with me, and my children, who didn't go through the ceremonies -- thankfully, the endowment ceremonies were only for adults.

I had basically forgotten about the ceremonies, especially as my mother wrote me in 1990 and I also learned from an ex-Mormon newsgroup I was on that the death oaths had been removed. This was a great relief to me, mainly as far as what my Mormon relatives were now experiencing in the temple endowment ceremonies, as by then I had no desire to go back to the Mormon church, even though that change had been made.

At the time we left the church, there was a family in Salem, Oregon, who also left, and they were interviewed and a large story about them was published in the Salem newspaper. In it, the husband said that he was afraid for his life, due to having taken the death oaths in the temple. He was worried that a fanatical Mormon might want to make him pay for breaking that oath. I thought he was probably being quite paranoid, although I could see why he might have those thoughts and feelings. (He worked as a prison guard, BTW, so he was not generally a fearful guy.)

Fast forward to the other day, when I took my mail out to the mailbox and a man with a tightly-tied hood was walking up the road not far from me. I looked at him briefly and smiled slightly, but his responding look was one that made me feel that he held nothing but ill will towards me. I looked away and got my newspaper and hurried back into the house. It had been hard to tell who he was, but I thought he looked like a Mormon neighbor from down the way. I felt quite scared and actually totally creeped out. Paranoid? Maybe. But I felt my aloneness here at home more keenly.

I have started locking my doors during the day, rather than only at night. That probably is just good sense, anyway. Most likely, if it was that neighbor, he was harmless. However, there are some nuts out there and I have wondered if a fanatical Mormon who was a bit off his rocker and who had taken those death oaths and knew that I had, as this man would have known about me, might not take it upon himself to make me live up to the oaths that I had taken in the temple those many years ago.

I know this probably sounds like a story fit for a Dan Brown novel, but if this guy was trying to scare me, he succeeded. I will likely not be writing so much about Mormonism, at least by name, although I might still allude to experiences I have had without naming the church.

(It's kind of interesting -- I was feeling sleepy, but in writing about this, I must have gotten my adrenalin going, as I am not feeling tired now at all.)

I was wondering, too, if the new LDS church president inherited a Nixon-like enemies' list from the one who just passed away. I am just kidding about that, though. Likely no one in the Mormon hierarchy knows or cares about my little blog. Still, I am going to act prudently and try not to give a reason for anyone to hate me because of what I am saying about a religion.


Socks is up on the monitor right now. She has been a lot better since that one episode of scratching and biting the other day. I am going to be getting off here and taking her downstairs with me in a little while, so she doesn't have a chance to start getting aggressive like she does sometimes due to causes unknown. (Perhaps she can't resist my flying fingers as I type on the keyboard?)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

HAPPY EASTERI love the Easter


I love the Easter story in the Bible. It is precious and beautiful and gives me hope for a life after this one.

I grew up with not so much always hearing the story of Jesus and his resurrection on Easter Sunday, but at almost any time of the year. On Easter, we mostly got Easter baskets when we were kids at home, and I envied my friends who got clothes as gifts on Easter. However, as best I can recall, Mom made us girls Easter dresses. Some of them I liked; maybe even most of them. There was an occasional dress that I disliked -- Mom's taste was quite a bit different than mine. (When we would look at patterns in the pattern books, I always wanted dresses with lots of ruffles, while Mom's conclusion was invariably: "Too much work.")

I followed the family pattern and got Easter baskets for my kids, filled with fake grass and lots of candy. And then I wondered why J.D. was having extensive dental work done at the age of 5.

I think I ordered Harry and David baskets for the grandkids last year, but this year I sent cards. With the economy as it is, I couldn't justify spending so much money on Easter goodies and besides, there's that dental thing still.

I didn't grow up experiencing a big family Easter dinner, and my late husband Steve apparently didn't either, because we never had one in our home. I think it's a nice tradition for people who do have one. Certainly, Jesus' resurrection is something to celebrate.

My Easter today is quiet. There is a lot of list conversation about it online, and I received an e-mail from my neighbor across the street, wishing me a happy Easter and telling me that she and her husband had hosted an Easter egg hunt for their grandkids there yesterday. I hadn't noticed so they were apparently fairly quiet about it. What a nice thing to do, and it was also sweet of her to also write and tell me about what they had done.

I have been in the mood to celebrate my Easter with fried ham steaks and buttermilk pancakes with unsweetened blackberry jam this weekend. (The blackberry jam is yummy -- better than the maple syrup that sends my blood sugar skyrocketing -- and I was rewarded this morning with lower blood sugar than I've had in a while.)

This morning may have been a bit wet for those in the area holding Easter sunrise services. It is raining just lightly; I don't know how it was when the sun came up. One place that used to have sunrise Easter services was the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm east of Woodburn, Oregon. I had never attended their service, although I had heard about it from a young friend from church, who said her family always went to it. I didn't notice anything about a service at their site this morning, so maybe that has been discontinued.

I need to catch up on my Easter-oriented e-mail, on my various lists, so I will head on back to my Yahoo account and do that, praying in the meantime that Yahoo will cooperate today, where it seemed to have a few little glitches yesterday.

Saturday, March 22, 2008



Where I live, in northwestern Oregon, the first signs of spring begin with the daffodil leaves and stems coming up, starting in mid-February. By the time I noticed them this year, around the first of March, the daffodils were starting to bloom. They are lovely, as the picture here shows:

This spring's daffodils 2

The following is a photo of blossoms on a tree to the south of my driveway. I have no idea what kind of tree it is, as it bears fruit that reminds me of what a crabapple ought to look like but many years ago, when my mother- and father-in-law lived here and I lived down the road, I picked some of the fruit from this tree, thinking they WERE crabapples, and tried to make jelly out of them. My father-in-law chuckled royally about that and said that they most definitely were not crabapples. I can't remember what he said they were. But the blossoms are pretty! LOL!

Tree blossoms -- unknown

Part of my lawn is covered with brown leaves, and in spots, little violet-like flowers are coming up through them, as below:

Violet-type flowers coming up through old fall leaves

Just about my favorite sign of spring, though, is when the camellias planted on the north and south sides of my house come into bloom. It seems that those on the north side are blooming more profusely and earlier than those on the south side. The following pictures are of a group of camellia flowers from the north side of my house, and then a single blossom on the south side. (Regarding the spelling of camellia, I have looked it up and it can also be spelled "camelia", but my spell check seems to favor the spelling with the two "L's" in this post.) It's wonderful when the camellias bloom because I can see them from my kitchen window and that particular plant has grown so tall, reaching the top of the house, that I can see camellia flowers from my upstairs office window as well.

Camelias -- blossom and in bloom

Camelia blossom

It has been known to snow in March in the past, and I once got a picture of my camellia flowers with snow on them, but I am thinking positive that this year, there will be no snow in March. ;-)

At the Round Robin Photo Challenge site, you will find links to other blogs participating in this challenge. Their entries are always creative and interesting!

Friday, March 21, 2008



The other night, past both Socks' and my bedtime, Socks was here in the office with me. She wandered around for a while, then settled down between my keyboard and monitor and started going after my typing fingers with her extended claws, which stuck into my skin. I tried to get her to stop and she started biting me. I had time to end the e-mail I was writing to a friend with the comment, "Socks is being a monster," after which I picked her up as she continued to claw and bite. I set her on the office bed, turned off the light, went out and shut the door.

The next day, I mentioned the above episode to several of my online friends. This isn't the first time I had complained about her biting, I might add. An online friend suggested in response that since Socks continued to bite, it might be a good idea to take her to a cat psychologist or animal behaviorist of some kind.

I thought about it but I had to conclude that Socks has in general gotten better and it is rare that she attacks my hands like that. Also, living out in the country, there aren't cat psychologists in the area, and in fact my even broaching the subject with my vet might easily bring a reaction of amusement.

I think I can figure out on my own why she reacts like she does, and it very likely could go back to her being abandoned by her mother when she was so tiny, and having to adjust to my household with two established cats in it, especially Stevie, who acts like she's queen of the roost and started off disliking and showing her displeasure towards Socks from the very beginning. These are just my ideas, though -- if anyone has any other good ones or any solutions, please let me know.

I have thought about trying to give Socks away but I am attached to her and I have seen great improvement in her, and especially, I wouldn't want to inflict her biting episodes on anyone else.


There is a great deal of significance to me in the cross graphic above, as I have been thinking a lot about today being Good Friday and what that means in the Christian world. There are various ways of marking it in different churches, especially with a service. My church, Zion Mennonite, will be having a communion and foot washing service. I attended this service once many years ago, and although I understand the meaning behind the foot washing (as Jesus washed his disciples' feet), I found that I wasn't real comfortable having someone wash my feet. I guess that was my own particular quirk -- it just felt too personal to me. Also, it seemed like most of the women had arranged in advance to do the foot washing with a friend, which hadn't occurred to me, so I wound up with a lady who I thought was nice but who I didn't know at all well. Being a rather shy person, I would have felt better if I could have done the ceremony with a person that I knew and considered a friend. I had a Catholic friend tell me this morning that Catholics also do foot washing, which I had never known. It's all very interesting and meaningful, but I prefer to observe it from a distance.


The following picture was sent to me by my son Jeff and is the original of a copy that he sent to Shutterfly to have thank you notes made up for gifts from granddaughter Emily's 2nd birthday party on February 23rd. I had scanned in the shot from the thank you as I thought it was so cute and sent it to a myriad of friends, thinking that I wouldn't be able to blog it since it was a Shutterfly-produced card. I mentioned this to Jeff via e-mail and that's when he sent me this original, which he said would work fine on my blog, so for those of you who didn't see it, here is the picture of Emily with her thank you sign:

I was happy to receive a lot of responses to my mailing it out last night, with e-mails coming in from family and friends I haven't heard from in a while. Answering them will keep me busy for a while!


Sen. Barack Obama was in Portland for a rally this morning. I watched a little bit of his speech during times when I was taking brief breaks from being on the computer. I like him a lot. He is the only political figure I can think of in recent years who I would have even considered attending a rally to see and hear. However, I do get bored with political subjects quite easily, so at least -- here at home -- I can turn the channel if I find my interest waning quickly. LOL!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

YAY FOR CHASE!I have two personal credit


I have two personal credit cards with Chase, one of which I use all the time and the ot6her is rarely, if ever, used. Late yesterday afternoon, I got a phone message regarding the one that I don't use, and in the process of listening to the message on my voice mail, I managed to cut it off. I immediately dug out my card and called the customer service number on it. I was asked identification questions and then connected with the Chase security department.

I was asked if I had used the card to make a purchase of $2.01 on March 17th. I said that I hadn't. Once more, I answered the security questions and then I was told that the card had been canceled, and a new one would be sent within 5 days. I also will receive a fraud form to fill out and send back. There will be no need to pay for the charge.

At first, I didn't understand why the charge was so tiny, but then I remembered that often ID thieves will try a small purchase to see if they can get away with it, and if they do, they will go on and make large purchases. I'm glad that Chase was on the ball and caught this case of fraud!


Yesterday wasn't the best day in other ways, too. On my Flickr site, someone posted a comment to the picture I have there of a chili dog I made one day for dinner. The commenter said they were into chili without beans and that the chili dog in the picture I had posted looked "NASTY"! How kind and considerate this person was, right? (Heavy sarcasm here.) I immediately handled the situation the way I did with the Italian lady who didn't like my spaghetti and who was very insulting about it -- I changed the setting on the chili dog picture so that only friends and family can view it. I foiled him/her. Hee hee!

Then last night I received an e-mail from a friend in which she tried to negate what the grief counselor had told me to do in listing the good and bad areas of Mom's parenting. This lady told me to "Just forgive." Her pronouncement bothered me at the time I received it but I slept on it (and had a good night's sleep). This morning, in thinking about it, I was angry. I dealt with it by telling her that of course I will forgive Mother but the grief counselor is a professional who knows what she is doing.

I also had an e-mail from my sister Kathy yesterday who said that the house market in Twin Falls is good, as far as the future sale of Mom's house goes, but that with the expenses that need to come out of the sale, us kids might wind up having to pay some of the final costs if the sale of the house doesn't cover them. Ack! I have savings but I hope that this doesn't come about; or, if it does, that the costs aren't too much.

So I have been dealing with some heavy-duty feelings. Perhaps I need to be less open in general about what I am going through regarding the grieving process. If I write less about it here, that will be why.


I had a commenter yesterday invite me to write about my experiences with Mother, and I went to his site (thanks, Greg L) and saw that he is wanting stories with an inspirational slant. I'm not sure that my story fills that bill, especially as it is still ongoing during the grieving process, but I will think about it and see if I have a story that I could write and submit. He said that they don't have to be all positive as long as there is a lesson learned in the story.


Hopefully, today will be a better day, although I expect my light bill. I doubt that it will be nearly as high as in recent months, due to my turning down the heater in the pump house as well as being able to use the one here in the office less. Here's hoping!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008



I wrote a few days ago that I had used some light mayo from my fridge that, when I checked the jar label afterwards, said the expiration date had been 02. I was very surprised and shocked by that, especially since it didn't taste bad and I didn't get sick.

I threw the jar out and today I bought the replacement. When I checked the jar, the last numbers on the expiration date were again 02. Before them were the numbers 1010. (That had to be for October 2010.) So I dug through the garbage and found the coffee-ground-covered bottle of light mayo that I had thrown out. The expiration date on it was 0307 (March 2007). No wonder I hadn't poisoned myself with it! Whew! The old jar was still ancient enough to leave in the garbage, as it had to have been bought a couple of years before the expiration date, like the new jar was.

In telling an online friend about the old light mayo when I thought it had expired in 02, her first thought was to say there must be all sorts of preservatives in it. Even for it to last two years, of course there are some preservatives there. They don't bother me as much as the thought of suffering from salmonella poisoning does, though.

Another online friend mentioned once that she wouldn't buy mayo because it would only last a week or two in the fridge. I didn't have a response to her post, which was on one of the blind lists I'm on. I wasn't the expert on the aging of mayo then that I am now. -G- I don't know what kind of mayo she was getting (she lives in Canada) but it should have lasted a lot longer than that.

At any rate, I felt much safer eating my egg salad sandwich for lunch today. If anything disturbs my system in the next few hours, it will likely be the Glucerna chocolate caramel bar I just ate. ;-)


If I'm remembering correctly, I paid $3.39 a gallon for gas this morning at the Shell station in town, and filling from just under 1/2 tank, it cost me about $36.00. Thankfully, I don't have too far to travel in the coming few weeks, until my coast trip the 13th to 16th of April. I will have to be prepared to pay a lot more for gas during that time, as I like to drive along the coast and once again see the lovely seaside vistas.

I came home from running my errands and not long after that, the propane truck came to fill up my propane tank. I am on the company's budget program so I wasn't too alarmed by the $435.00 for the 155 gallons it took to fill the tank. I was concerned about the 51 gallons left on my budget program, and I was left wondering what happened when those were used up. (My educated guess is that I will be paying a higher price for whatever amount of propane may be needed over and above those 51 gallons, as I expect I will have one more fill of the tank before summer.) At least, they once again remembered to come and fill it without my having to call and request it. Bully for them!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008



For some reason, today my cats Socks and Silver were romping and chasing and jumping all over (including on me) when I tried to nap, and thus I have wound up back in the office, running on adrenalin like I do when I am unable to rest as my medications command. I know napping isn't really an interesting topic but hopefully the pictures I took of those too little ruffians will make up for boring you in regards to my nap-time. ;-)

The picture below is what I found when I went downstairs a little while ago to see what those two kitties were up to. They were not in their usual spots in the living room, but instead Silver was on my bed and Socks was on my dresser, getting into old camera stuff (my old camera case, containing my old film camera, is up there, plus my old digital camera).

Inconsiderate cats

A little later on, I spotted Socks on one of the cat perches in the living room as shown, followed by Silver burrowed in pillows on the couch -- both of them were in poses that I hadn't seen before. I guess this is their day to be original.

Socks on her perch

Silver burrowed in pillows

Sometimes I call them "naughty cats", more in jest than seriousness, but today I think they pretty much approached being genuinely naughty! LOL!


I have nausea now and again and I wonder if it is grief-related; I didn't ask during my appointment yesterday. I was told that if I could get out of bed and function, I was doing okay and that I was on track with what is expected after a major loss. (For those who don't know, I lost my mother on December 30th.) The counselor, Susan, said that replaying certain aspects of what had happened over and over again in my mind was very normal, too.

I was quite surprised when I mentioned now knowing if Mom had been fair in her will or not, or if she had left me with less of an inheritance due to our religious differences, and Susan recommended that I check with the Executor, my brother Frank, to find out as long as I could word what I said so that it was obvious I wasn't after money. I wrote him a note last night, saying exactly that about money, but that I wanted to know for emotional reasons, and received the answer from him this morning that we were all treated the same in the will. He indicated that there may not be much to share, and I can imagine that to be the case since the house is quite small and, when sold, there will be final expenses to come out of the sale amount. I do feel much better just knowing. Frank said to ask him any other questions I had, but I can't think of any more.

I was also given an exercise to do and the name of a helpful book, which I have ordered. I may do the exercise this afternoon or evening; I haven't decided. It may help to settle my mixed feelings down.

I asked her if she thought it would help me to talk about what I was experiencing with online friends, and she said that was entirely up to me. I have spoken with some people about it online but up until now I felt somewhat protective of what she and I talked about yesterday. I love my online friends and family but whether they mean to or not, some can get preachy or judgmental, and I get aggravated when that happens.

I will be going back to see her, most likely for the last appointment, in just over a month. It will be the week after I return from my April coast trip, which is something I am very much looking forward to despite the price of gas to drive out there.

At any rate, it was good to know that I'm on track in my healing process. Susan mentioned how very significant a mother is in our lives, and thus the difficulty most people have with that death, and actually that it is harder to heal when there are mixed feelings. I had heard that before and it seems to go along with what I am experiencing.

I ran a few errands this morning, and I am noticing that I seem to be more relaxed and less anxious these days, although I would still rather stay home (which, of course, isn't possible with my work and my personal needs for food and household supplies). Perhaps part of the tremendous anxiety I experienced for so long was due to Mom's many-year fight with kidney disease, and thus the dialysis she had to have. I felt similar anxiety when Steve was ill for 9 years with his chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

At any rate, I would encourage anyone who has suffered a difficult loss to have grief counseling. Susan is a social worker, and I don't believe they're too hard to find. In my HMO, they seem to be well-versed in bereavement issues. So far, I am very glad that I went in to see her yesterday. It's great when someone like this gives me a nudge that sends me in a beneficial direction.

Monday, March 17, 2008



It has been kind of a long day, with my appointment this morning and before that hunting down a year-at-a-glance 2008 vacation calendar for the business (which took stopping in two separate office supply stores). I came home and was on the computer for a little while, then realized a nap was definitely necessary. So I'm late posting this entry. I want and need to do so before St. Patrick's Day is over!

As the title states, I have no Irish in me at all. I have English, Swedish, Scottish, and maybe even some Norwegian blood (way back there) in me. I've always had a sense of fun about St. Patrick's Day, though. If I'm not mistaken, I used to make pancakes, tinting the batter green, on St. Patty's Day when the kids were young and at home. I guess I've always had somewhat of a weird sense of humor and been a little odd as a mother. LOL!

For those of you who are even a wee bit Irish, my best wishes are with you for a fun St. Patrick's Day! I envy you your corned beef and cabbage -- I will be back to eating a chicken breast (the last one I still have from the most recent batch I cooked) and a baked potato.


Speaking of food, I hard-cooked some eggs the other evening and the next day, I got hungry for an egg salad sandwich made with the low fat mayo I had in the fridge. After I had made the egg salad and eaten the sandwich, I decided I had better check the expiration date on the jar of light mayo as it seemed to me that I had had it for a long time. Sure enough: The expiration date was September '02. LOL! I'm lucky it didn't make me sick! Amazingly, though, it is still good -- it looks like it's supposed to and tastes fine. Despite that, it is on my list to be replaced when I go shopping tomorrow afternoon or Wednesday morning!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

THE GAME PLANDue to some


Due to some recommendations by a few online friends, I put "The Game Plan" in my Blockbuster Online queue a few weeks ago and it was sent to me this past week for watching. I had time last night to view it and my concluding feelings afterwards were mixed.

It stars Dwayne ("The Rock") Johnson as a selfish star football player who is confronted by a young girl played by Madison Pettis, who contends she is his daughter and is able to prove it. Naturally, the bulk of the movie consists of his trying to win a championship game while dealing with the fact that he has a little daughter, and it is done in a rather Disney way (but then it is a Disney movie) -- sometimes silly, generally unrealistic and exaggerated, but little Madison is a cutie and does a very good job in her role, while "The Rock" turns out to be a better actor than I would have expected.

One point that was brought up by a couple of my online friends after they watched it was that, if children viewed it, their parents should explain and elaborate on "The Rock's" key saying and mantra, "Never Say No." These friends felt it was important for children to know that sometimes it is important and necessary to say no. I think that would be a good thing to discuss with children who see this movie. As for me, I just have my 3 cats in my household, and although Socks was on top of the television set the other evening and looking down at the TV screen in fascination, I don't worry about the effect of this movie on them (although I wish sometimes that they knew the meaning of the word no). ;-)

I will probably give "The Game Plan" 3 1/2 stars out of a possible 5 when I rate it on Blockbuster. So take that as you will.


The Ziggy cartoon above was once again sent to me by my friend, Lynne in Australia, and we both had the same reaction to it. I looked at it and concluded that it portrayed a very frightening idea, and then I noticed that Lynne had written a note below it, saying how scary it was. LOL!