Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Another Survey

1. What time did you get up this morning? 8:30
2. Diamonds or pearls? diamonds - but I'm not really into jewelry of any kind.
3. What was the last film you saw at the movies? That political one - Farenheit somethingoranother.
4. How do you express your creativity? Painting, sometimes writing.
5. What did you have for breakfast? Nothing yet - but I'm thinking I'll have a breakfast burrito.
6. What is your middle name(s)? Terry
7. What is your favorite cuisine? Mexican
8. What foods do you dislike? Turnips, brussel sprouts.
9. How many books do you read in a year? 50 to 100.
10. What is your favourite CD at the moment? I've got a set of CDs - folksongs from the 60s.
11. What type of car do you drive? 2001 Toyota Echo
12. What personality characteristics draw you to people? Compassion, honesty, humor.
13. What characteristics do you despise? fake people, liars, manipulators, predators.
14. Favorite item of clothing? anything comfy; sweats.
15. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? Italy, Greece, British Isles.
16. Favorite brand of clothing? Anything thats fits right - I am definitely NOT brand oriented.
17. Where would you like to retire to? Close to family.
18. Favorite time of the day? Morning - when my computer works best and I still have energy.
19. What was your most memorable birthday? I don't remember how old I was, but I was a kid and we had a party at which we had a great relay where we had to sit on balloons to pop them.
20. Where were you born? Los Angeles, California
21. Favorite sport to play? racketball.
22. What fabric detergent do you use? Wisk.
23. Coke or Pepsi? Coke, diet, decaffinated.
24. Are you a morning person or a night owl? I'm more a night owl.
25. What is your shoe size? 8
26. Name your pets? Dog: Jet, cat: Piddles.
27. What did you want to be when you were little? Teacher, writer, artist.
28. When is your birthday? Feb. 14th

Shampoo? Head and shoulders
Soap? Dove
Summer/Winter? Summer
Favorite Advertisement? The cell phone ad in which mother and daughter yell really nice things at one another.
Magazine? Discover
TV shows? News, Desperate Housewives, Brothers and Sisters, Gray's Anatomy, Studio 60, Ugly Betty.

****RIGHT NOW*****************
What are you wearing? Dark blue sweats
Eating? no
Drinking? Orange juice
Thinking about? Getting cleaned up and dressed nicely to go volunteer at school.
Listening to: My computer reading what I type.
Book you are reading: Summer at Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs

**********THE LAST 24 HOURS**************
Cried? No
Laughed? Yes
Met someone new? No
Cleaned your room? Not likely
Drove a car? Yes
Created something? About half of an ATC landscape.
How many hours sleep? 8 or 9

*************DO YOU BELIEVE IN* *************
God? Yes
Santa Claus? Nope - I got in trouble in 8th grade for telling another girl (when she asked) that there was no Santa. I should have told her about the stork too - the next year she dropped out of school because she was pregnant.
Destiny/Fate? Presbyterians are supposed to believe in predestination, but I have a lot of trouble with that. To me it conflicts with freedom of choice.
Ghosts? Not really, though I try to keep an open mind.
True love? Yes.

**********FRIENDS AND LIFE**********
Who have you known the longest of your friends? Mother
Who do you go to for advice? That depends on what I'm asking. Daughter or sister for fashion advice. Ex for auto or electrical advice. Mother for parenting advice.
When do you cry the most? When I read a really sad book.

Tag - you're it!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Crib Sheets

It just occurred to me: You know you are all grown up when "crib sheets" automatically means cloths to cover the baby's crib, rather than papers used to study for - or cheat on - a test!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Monday when I walked into the hall I had a surprise. Right there on the floor by the bathroom was a snake, which had clearly been killed in an encounter with my cat.

It was on its back, had blood about the head, and a big gash in its belly.

I took its picture, then decided to flip it, thinking maybe to paint an ATC later, making it seem more alive.

I grabbed it by the tail, with only a bit of kleenex to protect me from snake boogers, and flipped it quite easily. It really did look better right side up, if one ignored the blood on its head and the bump of the belly gash. I took the photo, then I went off to put my camera away.

When I came back, I did an immediate U turn, and fetched the camera once more - because that dead snake was moving down the hall toward my living room! I took its picture as it turned the corner.

Then I got a paper sack and a pencil. I nudged the snake into the sack with the pencil; then took it outside and set it free amid the weeds under the fence.

When I returned an hour later, there was no sign of our friend. Perhaps a bird got it - or perhaps it slithered away to a safer place.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

A Good Day

Today was a good day! Ron and Michelle and kids came to Lodi, and brought baby stuff with them. They not only gave it to me, they hauled it down, carried it in, and set it up! The only problem is that now Margo's room is a bit crowded - one would have to crawl into the bed from one end.

Here is the changing table, with some crib sheets stored on the bottom.

Here is the crib, and a nice comfy rocker, complete with footstool. Michelle says she has spent months in that rocker!

Not only did they set the baby room up, Ron did bunches more. 1) He checked out my washer, which has been leaking. I'd thought it was just a loose hose, but Ron diagnosed something more severe. He recommends a repairman; Michelle recommends buying a new washer. 2) He put salt in my water softner, which will hopefully decrease the amount of lime scale I'll need to fight for the next month or so. 3) He filled the bin with dog food, so Jet won't starve. 4) He emptied that darned trash compactor that threw my back out. Luckily, it did not attack his back. Finally, 5) they took me out to lunch at Strings.

Ian is really growing up fast! At lunch he ate like a big boy, managing his own fork quite competently - especially for a lad of only 2 1/2. Already he knows his colors, and can count to 15, and is speaking in sentences! I can't always understand everything he says, but he's saying it. I'm impressed. Here is a picture of Ian at his birthday party, when he did not appear to be nearly so adept at the use of a fork. (Dumb me, I didn’t think to take new pictures of anyone today.)

The girls are going to a new Christian school, rather than the public school they'd attended before. They really like the school, says Lauren. Shelby just got back from a week long school retreat - team building, social studies, science, crafts. Neat stuff.

Saturday, October 14, 2006


Today I woke up feeling pretty good. So I dressed for around the house, and started trying to get things done. I started the sprinkler on the lawn, fed the dog, then came in and decided to pull the trash out of my trash compactor and toss it in the garbage bin.

Bad mistake. As I pulled, I suddenly both felt and heard a loud POP POP POP POP POP across the base of my back. OUCH! I leaned against the fridge until the pain diminished a little, then I very carefully stood upright. Whew - I managed it. Wasn't sure if I'd be able to. I staggered into the living room, found the number, and phoned my chiropractor.

Thank goodness! He was in, and could see me. I picked up my purse and keys, and hobbled directly to my car to drive to town. I did not stop to put in teeth, to put on bra, or even to brush my hair. I needed help one hell of a lot more than I needed to look decent.

Doctor Gerard adjusted my back, then gave me an ice pack treatment with electrical stimulation. He instructed me not to sit too long; to get up and walk around frequently. He told me not to do any heavy lifting - not a necessary admonition, as at this point I couldn't if I wanted to. And he told me to use ice packs at least 4 times a day, until I come back Monday. I've been following instructions, to the letter. I've never thrown my back out like this before - and I most certainly don't want to do it again.

But the trash still sits in the trash compactor... where I suspect it will stay for some while.

Saturday I plan to drive to Vacaville, meet some ladies from my ATC group, eat lunch with them, and then drive home again. Suddenly it seems like an incredibly ambitious project. Wish me luck.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Blame my gall bladder!

You may have noticed my absence the last two weeks. Blame my gall bladder.

Sunday and Monday I felt rotten. So Tuesday I phoned in sick to the school I usually volunteer at, and instead went to Kaiser. I got my regular shot, then went to Medicine 1 complaining of vomitting, diarhea, pain, and swelling. I didn't see my regular doctor, but I saw a couple of others. They gave me a bunch of tests and a couple of saline IVs, then sent me home.

Wednesday I got my regular shot, but did not see any doctors. My regular doctor talked with me on the phone, saying it was probably my liver, and would probably clear up on its own; I didn't need to schedule another visit, though the definitive liver test wasn't in yet.

Thursday I helped chaperone a field trip as I'd promised. And shat my pants in the middle of the Titanic exhibit in San Francisco. I washed up as best I could, and bluffed it through.

I scheduled a visit for Friday despite my doctor's advising me not to, because I was still swollen and nauseous and I still hurt. By then the liver test HAD come in, saying "Nope. Not the liver." So they had me drink two awful Barium smoothies and did a CAT scan. (I got even by vomitting their Barium back at them all over the waiting room. Oddly, after that demonstration I got much better service.)

They had me in hospital soon after they finally diagnosed the problem Friday night, but couldn't even do the surgery until Sunday mid-morning (though I was told "within the next hour" from 1pm Saturday through 10:30pm Saturday). They wouldn't even let me rinse my mouth out with water until Tuesday, when they put me on a clear liquid diet. Finally they sent me home Wednesday.

Except for a visit home to feed dog and cat daily, I've spent most of my time since release either sleeping at Mom's or trying to get the meds mess straightened out at Kaiser. (The surgeon "inadvertently" cancelled all my regular medications.) I only moved home all on my own this afternoon. It's back on the phone to Kaiser Monday, and they want another blood test Monday or Tuesday - but oncology doc needs to clarify WHICH blood test.

I'm to go back to Kaiser this Wednesday for a follow up with the surgeon. Hopefully he'll get my staples out.

So now I'm home, and I'm weak and tender and moving very slowly and carefully - but I seem to be healing fine, and things are looking up.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

6 things most folks know about me

I was tagged to tell 6 things people do NOT know about me - but couldn't think of a single thing my daughter and most of my friends do not know. So instead, here are 6 things most folks know about me.

1. I love art, and am currently into making ATCs for trade. All of the ATCs and postcards I've made are stored at http://www.flickr.com/photos/focus_/

2. I love reading, and read all kinds of fiction.

3. I love nature, and get a rush of joy when I see new spring wildflowers, any wild animal from lizard through grizzly bear, or the night sky.

4. I have a webpage http://www.lodinet. com/pappy/ index.htm but ever since I got my new computer I have no way to update it, as my old program is obsolete.

5. I was raised on a farm, and still cannot drive past a farm without trying to identify the crops being raised, and noting the differences in agricultural practices since I was a kid.

6. When I listen to music I tend to play the same songs over and over and over and over until it drives everyone around me crazy.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Tag??? I always loose at tag.

Here I am, tagged, and no one in reach to tag back. Everyone's out there, either already tagged, or jeering, "Ha! You'll never tag ME!" So I guess I'll pay the penalty:

10 years ago: I was married, had been married for 20 years, and expected to stay that way for the rest of my life, even though I was well aware that my marriage could be a lot better. I was worrying about my daughter - a 13 year old girl, need I say more? - and got into online stuff as much to maintain communication with her as for any other reason. I was teaching, putting 10 to 13 hours per day into my job. I was always sleep deprived.

5 years ago: I completed my divorce. I was miserable, feeling like a complete failure in my personal life. My daughter was getting married to this guy from New Zealand that she had met online. I went through that empty nest thing. I was still teaching, putting 12 to 15 hours per day into my job. I was always sleep deprived. But I had control of my own finances at last, so that facet of my life was coming under control. I refinanced, put a new roof on my house, and put up siding. And I bought myself a new car - the first brand new car I've ever owned, a Toyota Echo, that suits me perfectly. I was 100 pounds overweight.

1 year ago: I'd been diagnosed with MDS, and consequently I had retired from teaching. To my surprise, I was enjoying retirement. My daughter had just introduced me to ATCs, the hobby that now obsesses me. I had lost 110 pounds, but gained 20 back... so that I was about 10 pounds over my ideal weight. I was never sleep deprived. I went on a cruise to Alaska with my sister.

Now: MDS continues to be controlled by meds, and is advancing unexpectedly slowly, thank the Lord. I'm still enjoying retirement. My car is paid for. My weight has held steady for the last year. I'm a proud grandma! Life is mighty good.

5 songs I know all the words to:
Fuzzy Wuzzy Was a Bear (child's song)
Oh, What a Beautiful Morning (and most of the other songs in Oklahoma, South Pacific, My Fair Lady, and several other old Broadway musicals).
My Paddles Clean and Bright (camp song. I know bunches of camp songs.)
99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall (I never much liked beer, but I know the words and can sing the song, albeit off key.)
What a Friend I Have in Jesus (and a bunch of other hymns)
Poppy, Golden Poppy (I sing this one to Margo, mainly to get her goat.)

Ooops. That was 6.

5 snacks I love and wish I could eat:
Rice Krispies Treat (Can't ever eat them because I'm allergic to rice.)
Potato Chips and dip (fattening fattening fattening but yummy; I eat it ocassionally, but try not to give in more than once every 2 or 3 months)
Cheese cake (fattening fattening fattening but yummy; I eat it ocassionally, but try not to give in more than once every 2 or 3 months)
Pie - lemon merangue, pumpkin, grape, apple, berry - I love them all. Luckily I'm too lazy to cook them and too responsible to buy them, or I'd be 200 pounds overweight in no time at all! I eat them only on festive ocassions like Christmas and Thanksgiving.

Only 4 - but I had 6 songs, so it evens out.

5 Places I'd run away to:
Italy / Greece / Mediterranean. I'd love to see it - and its art - once before I die.
England / Ireland / Scotland. I've read so many authors from there that I'm curious.

Was that 6 or 2?

5 things I'd never wear:
high heels - I used to, but always hated them, and I never want to put them on again.
a parachute - unless the plane is crashing, I thoroughly intend to stay aboard.

That's enough. Though I don't expect to wear a girdle or a wedding gown ever again, I can see a faint possibility.

5 favorite TV shows:
Desperate Housewives
Gray's Anatomy
Those "Anyone Can Paint" how-to shows, though some I like more than others.
Lawyer shows, like The Practice.

5 greatest joys:
Family and friends
Art / painting
Piddles (my cat) and Jet (my dog)
Seeing wild animals, like the lizards, birds, and cottontail rabbits that live in my yard.

5 favorite toys:
Paint set
Jigsaw puzzles

Tag 5 people:
Nope. I already talked about not doing that at the top of this post.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

And now I've got a blog?

I didn't really want to create a blog, you know. I simply wanted to comment on Princess Ladybug's blog. But to do that I had to sign in. And to do that, I had to have an account. And to do that, I had to have a blog address - and Focus, Focus.R, Focus_Ret, and Hmmmm didn't work. Just making a comment wasn't as easy as it should have been, and it had consequences. The most obvious consequence is that now I've got a blog, and am going to feel obligated to say something here from time to time. Sheesh!