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.

Friday, July 11, 2008

GOOD NEWS (I THINK)I had an e-mail from my doctor today, and


I had an e-mail from my doctor today, and I believe that everything is okay with my toe. I think that the nurse misspoke or that I misunderstood her Wednesday when she talked about the discoloration, and from what the doctor said, it was okay that it be gone by the time I removed the bandage 2 hours later, although I have sent him a return e-mail just to verify that. I probably won't hear from him again until Monday evening to be sure, but he didn't order me to Urgent Care, and I'm sure he would have if he had been at all concerned!

One other matter that we discussed at the appointment Wednesday was the fate of my right big toenail, which he had removed last summer, although temporarily. He asked me if it bothered me and I said it seemed sensitive, so we discussed removing it permanently later on, maybe this fall. I realized when I got home, though, that it's the tip of that toe that's sensitive, where the toenail hasn't entirely grown in yet. My verdict on permanent removal of that one: Not in this lifetime! LOL!

I am relieved to be having little or no pain, although I am wearing socks and sandals as I can't wear my runners for another 10 days. My doctor wasn't crazy about the idea of my wearing sandals because he said every child and grandmother would be stepping on that toe, but when I got home and read the instructions, it said to wear clean, white cotton socks and clean shoes. I was able to dig out and wash white cotton socks but clean shoes? I don't think so. LOL! I would have had to go buy some and that would have been painful right now. So sandals it is and I'm staying away from people as much as I can for the next while.


I was quite riveted to the NW Newschannel last night as they were focusing on the local news in Spokane, which was covering a big fire in the Spokane Valley, near where I went to my last year of junior high and high school. I had to wonder if any of my old classmates had stayed in that area and been affected. One of the roads in the middle of the fire area was Dishman-Mica, and I went to Dishman Junior High. The Red Cross had set up a relief area at University High School, which was my high school's old rival (and not that far from me; I think I lived near the borderline). Today it looked like the fire was under control but 7 homes were lost, which is sad.


I will be working much of the weekend, and that is all right with me. I read a lot yesterday and today, although I can't remember the name of the book right off. It is the first novel of a Korean-American young woman. I also have a movie to watch sometime this weekend. I will be on the computer off and on, you can bet, thanks to Jeff!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

RESULTS OF MY PROCEDUREI don't want to gross everyone out,


I don't want to gross everyone out, so my details may be a bit sketchy for now, but I wanted to fill you in on how my toenail removal went. My toenail had to be removed permanently, which means a much longer recuperation period (4-6 weeks). I may be having a complication develop -- the coloring isn't what I was told it would be, although I wasn't given a timetable on that -- so I have e-mailed my doctor asking him about that as well as another question. I don't expect to hear from him before tomorrow evening, though. If something is wrong, I will have to go in to Urgent Care over the weekend, which I definitely don't want to do. At least, I am having little pain; or else the Naproxen I take otherwise is doing its job. Your thoughts and prayers that the complication doesn't develop would be very much appreciated. My appreciation goes out to all of you who have sent me your best wishes and who have remembered me in your thoughts and prayers thus far. This has been quite stressful for me so I'm praying that the healing will go as it should!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

THE APPEALI am writing from nephew and bookkeeper Nick's


I am writing from nephew and bookkeeper Nick's computer at the office right now, because Jeff's mouse isn't working. I will be bringing my mouse from home down for Jeff as it is almost new and I will also be getting one with the new Dell. Thanks to both Nick and Jeff for the use of their computers.

I am not feeling real well tonight -- nerves about tomorrow and my toenail removal. I will review John Grisham's book, "The Appeal," which I finished yesterday and today, briefly.

I enjoyed the book quite a bit, although I don't think it is Grisham's best. He weaves a skillful story, however. This one was about a small Mississippi town where a huge corporation has polluted the groundwater with chemicals over the years, and by the time it is discovered and lawsuits filed, many in the county have sickened and died. The story is about the up-front and behind the scenes court battle from both sides. I was a bit confused by the ending and it took some thinking to figure it out -- I don't think I was totally satisfied with it, even then. But it is a different twist and John Grisham fans will probably enjoy being surprised.

Wish me luck tomorrow afternoon!

Monday, July 7, 2008

THE DAY I ATE WHATEVER I WANTEDI am on Jeff's computer at


I am on Jeff's computer at work and don't want to be here all night, so I will make this a short entry. I am reviewing Elizabeth Berg's "The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted." She is another favorite contemporary author of mine, and I enjoyed this book of short stories very much. I don't know how old Berg is but I am guessing she may be in her 50's, as many of her stories were empathetic ones about women of about that age. I did a lot of chuckling as well as relating in reading them. She truly has a gift for speaking with a lot of different voices, from many ages, however. It was very enjoyable and another one that I read through in one sitting.


I have gone no mail on another one of my lists, in preparation for my surgical procedure on Wednesday afternoon. This is one I moderate, but I do need to cut down the amount of e-mail I have, since I am without a computer at home. Thankfully, I found another book that I hadn't read, so my boredom will be lessened for now -- a new John Grisham legal novel. Love them!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

THERE'S ALWAYS A CATCHI just went to the Video Professor site


I just went to the Video Professor site to see about ordering their Windows Vista instruction CD's, and I thought what they said sounded really good. I would learn how to use the various new features of Vista as the disks would walk me through them. Then I clicked on the "HOW IT WORKS" section, as required, and found that 2 of the 3 CD-Rom disks would be free and if I liked them, then I would get the 3rd disk for $129.95. Hmmm, isn't that the way it always goes? There's an expensive catch? This is the company that says that they will ship you any program free, via their TV offer. Of course, as a business owner, I know that they have to stay in business and so must make money, but why don't they say that up front? That would be the honest thing to do. Still, I will keep the site in mind in case I decide I need that kind of assistance in learning to use Vista.

MOONDANCE ALEXANDERI watched a neat little movie yesterday


I watched a neat little movie yesterday called "Moondance Alexander," which I got from my Blockbuster Online rental account (I get one movie a week). It was dated 2007 but I don't remember if it ever was in theaters or not. It's the story of a young teenage girl named, natch, Moondance Alexander, played nicely by Kay Panabaker, who finds an obviously-neglected horse that she calls Checkers and takes him home with her. She and her widowed mother live in a country town and although they have a pretty large bit of property for being in town, she must put Checkers in her mother's art studio. She is disappointed when the actual owner is located.

Moondance has a part-time job making deliveries for a local saddlery store and on making a delivery the next day, she literally stumbles upon the farm where Checkers is located. She goes to check on him and meets his gruff owner, Dante, played by Don Johnson. She negotiates a trade with Dante whereby she will clean out his horse stalls in return for riding Checkers -- originally Tinkerbell, but renamed with Dante's okay to Checkers after all.

Moondance has been the victim of snobbery and cruelty of older teenage girls at her high school and as she gets into riding Checkers, later on with Dante, she finds that a couple of them are serious horse-riders, too. Dante has been down on his luck but agrees to train Moondance and Checkers to jump, although he's a pinto and pintos aren't supposed to be able to jump.

I won't have away the ending but I will say that it is based on a true story. It was rated "G", which is refreshing, although I know that -- unfortunately -- a lot of people won't watch "G" movies. I thought it was a cute film and was great for whiling away the afternoon. I have always thought Don Johnson to be handsome, and although he has aged like the rest of us, it was nice to see him in this movie. Young Kay may have a nice future in films.


I heard from my Dell saleslady, Linda, last night and today, and she answered some questions I had (there is plenty of RAM for the Vista program; J.D. or Jeff should be able to easily set up the computer -- don't call Geek Squad, as they are way too expensive). I appreciate her continued assistance.

I saw an ad for the Video Professor on the NW Newschannel last night and I noticed he had a disk instructing how to use Vista. I didn't get a chance to write down the phone number so I will keep watching for it because I want to order that disk. I will check online, too, to see if I can find a phone number for the company.

I have a few other online orders to place today so hope to get to that shortly.


There was news that my friend in Brisbane, Les, has been moved from ICU to a ward. We, his friends, are all very happy about that! I don't know how long it takes to heal from a neck fracture so I have no idea when he will be going home. I do hope he will accept assistance when he gets there. In the meantime, we have sent him flowers through my new friend (and his old one), Mary. I don't remember how long Les and I have been corresponding but it seems like we started in 2000. He has certainly been interesting to exchange e-mails with -- I have learned a lot about Australia through him.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

STRANGE FITS OF PASSIONOne of my favorite authors is Anita


One of my favorite authors is Anita Shreve. I believe I have read nearly every book she has written. They are contemporary works, often including romance and conflict, but definitely not of the "romances" genre. They are very intelligent and well-written. So it was that when I picked up her novel,"Strange Fits of Passion," to start reading it yesterday afternoon, I was quite filled with anticipation, although the title had put me off a little bit and that's one reason why I hadn't gotten around to reading it earlier.

The story begins as a young woman with a baby goes into a small store in the tiny town of St. Hilaire, Maine, to purchase a few items. She has a scarf wrapped around her face and head but it slips off and the others in the store can see that her head is in very bad shape, with terrible bruising. Her lip is deeply split as well. She inquires about a place to stay, and is directed to a small motel in the area, where she stays the night, and then the motel owner, who is very sympathetic and guesses how the injuries happened, directs her to a woman who owns an insulated cottage (it's the dead of winter) on the ocean. The young woman with the baby says she is Mary Amesbury and she claims to have been injured in an accident. The time frame for most of this story is 1970-1971.

As the book unfolds, the various chapters are told through the vantage point of a number of characters, but mostly Mary. Shreve masterfully builds the characterization and the plot suspense, as it becomes clear that Mary is trying to hide from a brutal husband. She knows she can't go to the police -- in those days, not much was known or understood about domestic violence.

There is a sweet romance and quite a bit of tragedy, as well as sickening betrayal, in this story. I was riveted by it and couldn't put it down; I finished it last night. I feel it is a very worthwhile read and I recommend it and Anita Shreve as an author very highly.

I am finding that I am getting low on books now. I do have a movie to watch later on today, so that will be a nice distraction from boredom. I am finding that my sore arm doesn't like Jeff's computer station very well, although it is generally better due to the PT. Perhaps I will be able to find more books when I shop Wednesday morning. I hope so! It's not all that often that I am in the mood to read! Still, I very much appreciate being able to use Jeff's computer on evenings and weekends -- it means a lot to me to be able to write and be instantly in touch with my online friends and my family!

Friday, July 4, 2008



I wasn't sure I was going to be able to blog, as my old computer died and I am using my son Jeff's at work on evenings and weekends. The old Dell was 7 years old, although son J.D. upgraded the memory a couple or three years ago, and so I got good service from it. I have ordered a new Dell and it is going to be shipped on July 15th, so I imagine it will get here the 3rd week in July.

I have unfortunately lost all of my computer graphics, and especially my many fonts used for signature tagging. I have offers of help on that when I get my new computer from members of my tags list, which I very much appreciate! I have lost my graphics programs, although I may be able to reinstall them as it occurs to me that I have them on disks. Whew!

The new monitor has a web cam on it -- cool, eh? I'm not sure if I will use it because I don't always look the best when I'm on the computer. Hee hee!

I have also heard mixed reviews about Vista. I am hoping and praying that I won't have problems with it. I won't have Publisher, but I just used that for correspondence, as the computer will come with Word, so that will be all right.

I have to say my salesperson, Linda Clark, at Dell, was great! I recommend her if you want to buy a new Dell home desktop computer.

I will let you know when it is up and running!


Jeff sent me news yesterday about daughter-in-law Steph and her thyroid cancer. The details are on his blog but basically her nodule is very small. There is no available time for the surgery in August so she will have it in September. That should be no problem. My friend, Sheila, who had this same cancer many years ago and had successful surgery for it, said she was told it was a "benign cancer." That is good to know! Many, many prayers continue -- thank you for yours!


I finished "The Miracle at Speedy Motors" by Alexander McCall Smith yesterday evening, after reading it gradually over the last few months. (I now have time to read at home!) I believe it is number 9 in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, which I have loved so much. This book was no exception. It was such a pleasure to read! Mma Ramotswe, the aforementioned detective, in Botswana, continues her adventures, assisted by Mma Makutsi, her interesting helper in her endeavors. There are many notes of humor in these books as well as a picture of what this area of Africa has been like and is now. The books show human nature in a true light and yet are extremely positive. I hope there will be future ones in this series as well! I recommend them all very highly!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008



A cute little neighbor cat who has been here before. I think she's a girl -- don't know that for sure, but it's my guess. I like her.

Cute neighbor cat

Here was Silver, looking out the utility room window at her. Is it love?

Love through the window?

Not long after that, this fawn appeared near my back door window. I shot the picture through it.

Fawn through my back door window

A few minutes later, a scraggly orange cat showed up out back. I didn't get a good picture of him. (My guess is it was a male -- it looked like it had gone through many a fight.)

Interesting critters!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008



I have just gotten word about more on the situation with my friend, Les, who is in the hospital in Australia. He fell and fractured the C7 vertebrae in his neck. He is having surgery to insert a pin today, and he should recover fully from this without any difficulties. There is concern about what caused the fall and other symptoms that he exhibited that have worried us, his friends who were corresponding regularly with him. We have wondered if he could have had a stroke. I also have thought perhaps he was having some difficulties because of his Parkinson's -- perhaps not taking his medication as directed, which was discussed here by commenters on a previous entry about him and his Parkinson's. He has been in the hospital for just a couple of days. We don't know who found him or how long he had been lying there before he was found. His friends in Brisbane now know of his situation and are visiting him. He is alert and trying to talk despite being on the ventilator.

The story I mentioned that he had told of a developer taking his house was totally false, and his other friends are recognizing that now. I'm glad it's not the case, but I am concerned that he was so convinced that it was fact. Hopefully someone will be able to get to the bottom of why he had that idea. I am hoping that he is able to be checked on regularly from now on -- perhaps there are government health services in Australia that do that sort of thing. Of course, it will be a little while before he is able to go home. He is still in ICU but will be moved to a regular room when he is ready.

Les has a little dog, Katy, and Les's nurse friend, Jenny, in Brisbane, and the other friend I have been corresponding mostly during this process, Mary, in Missouri, have been working on finding out where she is and making sure she is being cared for.

I have to credit Mary with her determined pursuit in finding out what had happened to Les. She was a regular detective! It is so good to have this much information, and hopefully more will be coming out as time goes on.

THE FAMILY MEMBER WITH CANCERJust a note to say that my son,


Just a note to say that my son, Jeff, has posted on his blog today a short entry regarding his wife, Steph's, thyroid cancer. If you have been reading my blog very long, you will know that I posted an entry a few days ago about a family member who has this cancer, but who I didn't feel I could name at the time. Son J.D. has also written and posted an entry about Jeff and Steph's cancer situation, namely insurance, on his Get Rich Slowly site. The couple's appointment to find out more details is Thursday afternoon. I am quite anxious to find out what their schedule for surgery and treatment will be. Many prayers are going up for them, of course including mine.

EL TIGRENot too long ago,


Not too long ago, I noticed the following picture propped up on the window sill of my utility room, where I expect my housekeeper had put it. It has sentimental value to me, so I took a picture of it for my Flickr site and wrote about it, and I wanted to also expand on that here:

El Tigre

This plaque was my first and last decoupage project, done when I was first married to my late husband, Steve. He really liked it and was the one that named it "El Tigre." I told him it was a leopard. He didn't care. LOL! It hung in son J.D.'s room in our old house in Portland, Oregon, when he was a baby. The hanger has come out of it; thus it must be propped up. I love it, regardless!


I saw on the AOL welcome screen yesterday that there is speculation (at least by AOL) that Mitt Romney is the likely choice for John McCain's running mate. I have been resisting the temptation to contribute to Obama's campaign (not much, but something); if Romney is selected, I will definitely do so! There was speculation in the AOL article about Romney that one of his strengths and appeals was that he could raise a lot of cash from Mormons, fast. Does anyone else find this rather scary?