"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. " -Helen Keller

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Shut Your Whore Mouth

...and other fabulous things to wear on your chest.

One of my favorite bloggers is holding a most excellent contest. Aunt Becky of Mommy Wants Vodka is giving away a t-shirt from her ever expanding line of profanity laden t-shirts.

Head on over to Aunt Becky's and ENTER.
Also, do any of you shop at Victoria's Secret? I got 3 gift cards in the mail from them (1 for a free pair of lace waist hiphuggers, 1 for $10 off a bra, and 1 for a free VS umbrella with a $60 purchase) and I won't use them since they don't carry my bra size. They are available to the first person who wants them.

The Blogging From A to Z April Challenge

My lovely friend Lynn over at Wistfulgirl's World posted about the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge and luckily, for me, it was just in time for me to still sign up. Arlee Bird, the originator of this fun and exciting blogging challenge says
The premise of the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge is to post something on your blog every day in April except for Sundays. In doing this you will have 26 blog posts--one for each letter of the alphabet. Each day you will theme your post according to a letter of the alphabet.

You will only be limited by your own imagination in this challenge. There is an unlimited universe of possibilities. You can post essays, short pieces of fiction, poetry, recipes, travel sketches, or anything else you would like to write about. You don't have to be a writer to do this. You can post photos, including samples of your own art or craftwork. Everyone who blogs can post from A to Z.
Since I've been in a bit of a bloggy funk and don't feel I've had the normal inspiration to post, I decided to kick start my blogging mojo by participating in this challenge. Whose going to join me? Hurry on over and sign up. Today's the last day to join.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Back from the computer graveyard

A post brought to you in bullets (which almost got used to kill the recalcitrant computer) ...

*Once again, my wonderful computer geek husband has saved our computer from the junk heap. There are still a few things to be reloaded and a few things to figure out (like why, oh why is WeatherBug insisting on displaying itself in the task bar along with the normal lower right hand corner of the screen display) but, overall, the computer is 100% again..

*It is seriously wrong and unfair that after two days of 85 degree weather less than a week ago, we are now facing two nights worth of freeze warnings. What happened to in like a lion and out like a lamb?

*It's also seriously unfair that those two gorgeous warm, sunny days happened while we were all sick and now that we are well, it is cold and rainy...ugh.

*I am still tweaking the gloves I am making. Have to take the fingers back off and make them a bit shorter.

*Speaking of crafts, I finally got pics from my friend Sheila of the quilt she is making. I've seen it in person and the pics don't really do it justice. She still has to put the layers together, quilt it, and put on the binding. Sheila says it will be done in about a week. First and last picture are clickable for enlarged viewing.
You can see a better close up of the corner blocks in this post.

I apologize for my lack of substantial posts during ICLW but the computer issues could not be avoided.

Friday, March 25, 2011

uPrinting Winner

Yay for brilliant husbands.  Vic got the computer up and running in time for me to announce the winner of the uPrinting Postcard giveaway. I can't post a screen shot from random.org because I don't have any of my photo editing software back up but I can tell you who won.  The lucky winner is Keiko Zoll from Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed with comment #14.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Gremlins Are Back...

I should have heeded the warning to not feed them after midnight. My computer is frakked up again.  It may be tied to the multi-day battle against the virus we had not long ago, but it may not.  So, I'm going to be out of touch until sometime tomorrow.  The hard drive on the beast of a desktop is going to be wiped and everything will have to be reinstalled.  But, on the more positive side of things, we have all the parts to get my laptop up and running again. So, for the next 12 to 24 hours, we are going to be stuck with only one computer.  After that, we should be back up to 3 'puters.

Hasta la bye bye and I'll see y'all soon.

More Fluff For You

I promise, I really, really promise to write a post of substance and meaning later today but I just have to share this with you. Jen of EPBOT and Cake Wrecks brought this gem to my attention and it appeals to the girly, geeky, Disney loving side of me. See, there is this guy, Nick Pitera, who entertains himself and others by creating these amazing videos and has had his cover of at least on Disney hit go viral. Nick's latest, and possibly greatest video is titled "One Man Disney Movie". So, sit back, hit play, and, as Jen said, "get ready to have a big ol' pixie-dust sprinkled grin on your face for the next eight and a half minutes:"

BTW, that really and truly is him voicing each and every one of those roles...and can you believe the mad editing skillz he has. SO MUCH FUN!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Is it just me...

or does the man in this picture say deranged lunatic or possibly unabomber instead of responsible psychology graduate student?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Crafty Me - NSFW

Honestly y'all, I had plans to be witty and wonderful this week but I kind of feel like I'm struggling to keep my head above water. I am feeling a lot better but it's taken almost a week and my house is in chaos and I have so very much to catch up on. So, I hope you don't mind but I'm going to show off the crafts I told y'all about yesterday.
Spermity Sperm
Spermity Sperm and Beanis the 18+ inch Penis
(BTW, don't you think the sperm looks sort of like a Snork head)
Beanis the Penis - side view
Pi Necklace
glove in progress

I hope y'all got a good laugh from this.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday Miscellany

I know I saw that title somewhere recently but I can't remember where to give credit where credit is due...sorry.

Welcome, welcome to all my old friends and to any new ones I may make during ICLW. I'm going to do my very best to have a great week commenting and visiting a bunch of blogs but my best intentions seem to get derailed lately. So, to kick off ICLW, here's a bunch of random stuff (Sorry, my brain is still too addled by germs and the time of night for much else).

I am still sick...boooo hiiiisssssss. I have a lingering cough that I just can NOT shake.  What makes this all the more frustrating is that next weekend I am suppose to go camping with Joey and his cub scout den. I really need to be well before then.

I stuck with it and finished The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman. This was the book I mentioned on Friday that I was having trouble focusing on because by chapter 5 I figured out who the bad guy was and another major plot twist. I am really glad I stuck with it because there was so much more going on in that book than I had realized.  It was definitely worth reading and I may have to look up some of the author's other books.

I've been being all crafty and stuff lately. For those of you who hang around a lot, I know I promised you pictures of Sheila's quilt but I've been having camera issues (as in it is still MIA) but she's going to email me some pics so I can share the splendor she is creating. Also, I made a Pi necklace...the one with the beads not the numbers. I'm going to have to make at least two more because my mom wants one and Joey wants one too. Also, do y'all remember my post about the adult themed crochet designs? Well, a dear friend requested a Beanis (the first crocheted item in the post) in the most inappropriate colors I could think of. I just finished her Beanis the 18 inch Penis and it has a bright red head, a blue/red shaft, and balls in varying shades of blue. She says she's going to display it in her china cabinet. And, I am crocheting a fabulous pair of gloves. It kind of sucks that I'll have to wait until next winter to wear them but it gives me time to get the design to work correctly.

I'd also like to ask for continued prayers for the family friend with pancreatic cancer...only, now we are back to not knowing if it's cancer or not. The doctor's at Duke couldn't decide if it was but wanted to start her on chemo and radiation just in case (because pancreatic cancer is such a bitch to treat). Well, that logic didn't sit well with her and she went off to Johns Hopkins for a consult with the two top pancreatic cancer specialist. Well, even they couldn't decide if it was cancer from the scans (and they even called in a whole team of specialists) so she is going up to Johns Hopkins this week to have a biopsy done. Evidently, there are a multitude (I think they said 11) of variations on pancreatic cancer and they all require their own specialized approach to treatment. So, hopefully the biopsy will not only tell them if the two masses on her pancreas are cancerous or not but, if they are, which variation needs to be treated.

On a lighter note, I am hosting a uPrinting giveaway of 100 custom printed postcards. Please enter.

Also, if you like to read, check out the info about my 2011 Book Challenge and, if it sounds interesting, click on the sign up page tab under my header. The more, the merrier.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

uPrinting Postcard Giveaway

I am thrilled to be hosting a giveaway for uPrinting,com again. They truly are a company with awesome company with great customer service. This time, the giveaway is for 100 of their custom print postcards. You can put any picture you want on the front of these. They would be a great way to get Christmas cards on the cheap or to print a special event announcement on,  Actually, they would be fabulous for just about anything you can dream up.
All opinions expressed in this post are completely my own and, as a thank you for hosting this giveaway, I will be receiving the same prize as the contest winner.

Giveaway Prize: 100 Postcards for One (1) Winner
  • 5" x 7 " 14 pt cardstock gloss
  • one side printing only
  • 2 business day turnaround on your order 
Shipping: Free UPS Ground Shipping
Eligibility: Limited to US Residents,18 yrs old or older.

Entering this giveaway is simple but remember that EACH CHANCE REQUIRES A SEPARATE RESPONSE. What do you have to do to enter...
  1. REQUIRED: visit uPrinting,com and tell me what other product you would most like to order
  2. Like uPrinting on Facebook
  3. Tweet (or share on facebook) this giveaway and provide me the link to your tweet(can use this entry once a day) - Win 100 custom postcards from @dragondream , @uPrinting , and @Giveaway_blogs http://bit.ly/fGj1cZ Entries close on 3/25 #giveaway
This giveaway is open from now, 3/20 through11:59 pm on 3/25. The winner will be announced the on 3/26. Spread the word and enter.

Friday, March 18, 2011

boek, գիրք, kitab, кнігі, liburua, βιβλίο, bok, книга, buku, หนังสือ, grāmata, książka, הספר

As mommyodyssey said this morning "What’s that jibberish in the subject line you ask?" Well, given our titles are different, our answers are too.  All those words mean book (what...don't believe me...copy and past any of those into Google Translate and see what you get).

I want to talk about books today. I'm going to warn you ahead of time that this post may be scattered and random because I'm writing it with a germ addled brain...well, composing it with a germ addled brain and typing it with fingers controlled by said germ addled brain.  Ugh, now I have this vision of a brain sitting in front of a keyboard while trying to type despite having no appendages to hit the keys with.

What are you reading? Do you like it? I'm reading The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman. So far, it's an easy, rather engaging read...not something I would hang onto and read over and over but good. However, I've hit a snag in reading it.  At about 5 chapters in, I figured out who the bad guy is and who she was years ago. This has me itching to flip to the end and confirm what I already know. Would you be able to resist the lure to find out or would you give in and read the end? It is distracting me horribly from the book.

What are you looking forward to reading? There are two books coming out soon from two of my favorite authors and I can't wait to read them. Remember when I begged you to go out and get a copy of The House on Teacher's Lane? Rachel Simon has a new book called The Story of Beautiful Girl coming out in the beginning of May and Rachel has done me the honor of putting an advanced copy into my grabby hands with nothing required except an honest review. Considering her past stellar efforts and the rave reviews this is already getting, I CAN"T WAIT to read it!

I also am really looking forward to reading Devil's Food Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke. It's the latest book in a murder mystery series that Marty and I both like.  I do have to admit, these books raise an interesting question. Why exactly do people continue living in small, quiet (albeit fictional) towns like Lake Eden when they have murder rates that would make a larger city ashamed? And, why do authors describe a town as small and quiet and then have more than one murder a year set there?

Do you prefer "real" books or digital ones? Do you have an e-reader? Which one and would you buy it again? I've really been thinking hard fantasizing about getting an e-reader and I've also been debating the merits of a dedicated e-reader vs. an iPad with the e-reader apps downloaded onto it. The fabulous ladies over at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books reviewed a bunch of e-readers last fall - the Bookeen Cybook Opus, the Kindle III, the Sony Touch PRS-650, and the BN Nook - and, frankly, while the reviews are great, it did nothing to narrow down my choices. Heeeeeellllllpppppppp! I already buy digital books so I know I like reading them that way. Despite my adoration of real books (or maybe because of it),I know this is a purchase I'll make eventually. The shelves in my house will thank me (they are already filled to bursting with books).

And last, but definitely not least, have you signed up for the 2011 book challenge (click on the cute little tab up under my header)?

Ooops, I lied.  This is last. If you participated in the 2010 Book Challenge and want a chance to win the quilted tote that is almost ready to be claimed, go comment HERE and let me know how you did.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly...

The Good...
  • Joey found my keys which have been missing for a while.
  • Marty took over cooking dinner tonight.
  • My mom is going to be in town Saturday and is going to take us to dinner and out for ice cream.
The Bad...
  • I've spent all day coughing but thought I was feeling better.
  • My mom was originally going to come today but didn't get out of work as early as she was suppose to.
The Ugly...
  • I still feel like SHIT. I let my medicine wear off because I thought I was doing better. I was sadly mistaken. The minute the tylenol/motrin was out of my system, my fever went back up and I started shaking. (which is why Marty took over cooking and an additional reason we are going to see my mom Saturday instead of today). I am sitting here in gorgeous 66 degree weather and have a thick fleece hoodie on.
Make me smile,  help entertain me...tell me something happy or funny.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

If I made the rules...

If I made all the rules, here are the rules I would live by...
  1. A woman can be sick or she can have her period. It is cruel and unusual punishment to have both at the same time.
  2. When a woman is sick, she gets access to a universal mute button. This universal mute button would mute everything and anything around her which would give her the peace and quiet to truly sleep. If she has a family, they would continue to interact with each other but from her perspective they would be silent (think of muting a television...the show doesn't stop but the noise is gone).
  3. I will do many things to help the environment. I rinse, reuse, recycle, and cut many corners to save energy...but, do NOT ask me to give up my plastic tampon applicators. Having my period is enough of a pain (literally and figuratively) without having to deal with uncooperative cardboard applicators.
Ummmm, I am sure I had more rules to live by but my brain is too addled by germs to remember them. Do y'all have any suggestions?

A Fantasy Shopping Spree

Jen from In One Ear is the winner of the EdenFantasys giveaway. I hope she has a wonderful time shopping.

And, the rest of y'all stay tuned...it won't be long until another post goes up.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Brick Wall

About 2 pm today, I ran into the proverbial brick wall. I was (and still am) so damned tired that it is all I can do to stay awake. Multiple nights of sick children and interrupted sleep have truly driven home the point that I am no longer 20 yrs old. All around me were the sounds of a normal afternoon...video games being played, the dogs barking in the back yard, Gabe making gross jokes about something. With all the noise swirling around me, I was still so tired I could have gone to sleep then and slept until tomorrow but, damn it, I couldn't. I had to stay at least semi-coherent because I have 3 kids who either want or need me around. Suddenly, it hit me just how blessed I am.

Despite their transient childhood illnesses, my boys are strong and healthy.

Despite the chaos and noise, there is a sense of peace and well-being in my house. Everything is how it should be.

Despite the exhaustion, or maybe because of it, I realized how lucky I am to be available to my kids whenever they need me.

I sighed in contentment, propped my eyelids open with toothpicks, and went on with my afternoon.

Go check out the other perfect moments at this week's Perfect Moment Monday on Write Mind Open Heart.

Happy Pi Day Y'all

Hope y'all are having an awesome Monday and a great Pi Day.  Sorry I've been absent but we've had the creeping crud around here. Poor Gabe got sick Thursday night and had to miss his field trip on Friday and a friend's birthday party on Saturday. Gabey was feeling mostly better on Sunday. We had a glorious 6 to 8 hours where we could claim everyone was healthy and then Joey got sick. Poor Joey spiked a temp of 102.4 and couldn't hold anything down. He didn't get a whole lot of sleep last night but is doing significantly better today (no pukage in about 6 hours).

Back to Pi Day...the geeky side of me revels in a day that corresponds with a mathematical term like Pi. In fact, if there were any justice in the world, I would be buying this necklace to celebrate Pi Day...
Sadly, the version this gloriously geeky necklace made by RGB Laboratory is only available in Japan and the version made by The Robert Christopher Company is way out of my budget. Luckily, I found a cool, and imaginative way to soothe my geeky need for Pi. A 7th grade math teacher came up with the coolest idea for making a Pi necklace. She had her students assign a color to each digit including zero and then they strung colored beads that corresponded with the digits of Pi. She also suggested using a larger or specialty bead for the first 3 in Pi. This is what she came up with to demonstrate the technique to her students...
I think I might have to make a Pi necklace (or maybe 2) today.

How was your weekend? What's on the books for you today? Are you baking Pi(e)?

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

An Asshat Who Deserves The 9th Circle Of Hell

People who write viruses and put them on kids' game sites deserve to rot in the 9th circle of hell.  Thanks to an asshat of that ilk, I have spent the entire day getting reconnected to the internet and clearing the viruses off my computer. You know, part of me can admire the programming prowess it takes to produce a piece of code that allows a site to function seamlessly yet can wreak total havoc on others. But, the bigger part of me is royally pissed off that some little ass clown had nothing better to do with their time than create a virus that attacked and made my connection to the internet unrecognizable. I have cleared the virus off my computer twice (yeah, it got through a second time thanks to that frakking site) and I hope it is up and working for good.

I was also ready to consign all electronics to the 9th circle of hell along with the asshat virus writer.  Yesterday, the trackball on my beloved crackberry quit spinning to the right. It would got up.  It would go down. It would scroll left for so long it felt like I should have come back to where I started. It simply would not go right...that damned liberal thing.  I guess the crackberry had a little talk with the trackball after it heard my ranting and raving and cursing because miraculously the trackball decided to abandon the left leaning tendencies and returned to being a free thinking independent. There may have been a few threats to take a hammer to the computer and dismantle the crackberry...or there might not have...I'm just sayin'.

So, at one point, I had a dead laptop (yeah, the fucker died again...for good this time), a virus laden 'puter, and a recalcitrant crackberry. Since 2 out of the 3 have been restored to functional status and the beloved laptop has a weekend date with Vic the computer repair husband, my tenuous grip on sanity has been maintained. If someone could just tell me where my camera and keys disappeared to, all would be right in my corner of electronics heaven.

More Than Just A Sex Shop

That's right y'all. It's time for me to tell you about my favorite adult site... EdenFantasys. EdenFantasys has a quick and easy slogan...
Sex toys - EdenFantasys adult toys store
but, I have a bone to pick with that. EdenFantasys is so much more than just a sex shop. EdenFantasys is an entire community. There is, of course, the sex shop but there is also EdenTube with all it's videos and EdenCafe. But, I have to go back to one of my favorite features over at EdenFantasys...the workshops. There are two fabulous workshops coming up. A workshop on Women's Health is happening on this Saturday, Mar. 12th, at 7pm. They will be covering fitting your bra properly, how to properly do a breast exam, and how adult toys might affect us healthwise. The other workshop I'm really interested in is one on DIY Vodka Infusions on Mar. 21st at 8pm. I know you can make your own vanilla extract using vanilla beans and vodka and I can't wait to see all the other fun flavors you can make.

Once again, I plan on passing on the $55 gift card EdenFantasys has offered me in exchange for writing about them. This giveaway is only open to those 18 yrs old or older and the gift card will be given away next Wednesday, Mar. 16th. Entries close 11:59 on Mar.15th. All you have to do to have a chance to win the gift card is comment here and tell me something you like about the site. If you click on the banner above, it will take you over to their main page. Dig around a little and share something old or new that I might have missed.

You can get an extra entry by tweeting (or posting on another social networking site) this once a day
Check out the fabulous EdenFantasys #giveaway from @dragondream http://bit.ly/e1AJF3
 and commenting here with a link to your tweet.

And, FCC peeps, all opinions are completely my own and are in no way influenced by the awesomeness of EdenFantasys.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Miscellaneous Musings

In other words, Random Shit...LOL.

Vic came home from work with the coolest thing the other day. Vic's dispatching partner evidently likes to sketch when things are slow and he draws some kick ass caricatures. Mike sketched an awesome caricature of Vic. It was done on lined paper so I used my photo editing program to get rid of the lines but, other than that, this sketch is exactly as Mike drew it. BTW, that band over the head and thing in front of Vic's face are parts of the headset he uses at work. The picture is clickable so you can see a bigger version of it.

I know if y'all are like me, gas prices are decimating your monthly budget. If you have a Kroger Plus card to help save money on groceries, it can save you money on gas too. Kroger and Shell have teamed up to get us a discount on gas prices and you can check out the details on the Shell web site.

I'm going to my crafting group today. Hopefully, I will have a quilt update/pictures from Sheila to share with you later.

I need to start exercising regularly. Anyone want to be the person to crack the whip until I get myself into a regular habit?

Sometimes, I think my procrastination habit has seriously hindered me. I have so many fabulous ideas that I mean to get to later and sometimes later never seems to come. I think I'm doing myself a disservice by not getting my ass in gear.

So, what's your take on the Charlie Sheen train wreck. Are you thoroughly sick of it or are you perversely fascinated by the train wreck or, are you like me and wondering where the hell you can get some of that high powered tiger blood? Bwahahaha

Did you know today is International Women's Day? Today, Egyptian women are taking the revolutionary step (for them) of marching to protest the fact that the new Prime Minister only appointed one woman to his cabinet (read the full story). Dame Judy Dench (as M) and Daniel Craig (as Bond) put out this video...
What are you going to do to recognize the day...and what do you think of the video? It kind of blows my mind that sexy Daniel Craig can look so hot as a woman.

What randomness is on your mind?

Monday, March 07, 2011

Perfect Moment Monday: I Wanna Be Just Like Him

Welcome to Perfect Moment Monday sponsored by Lori over at Write Mind Open Heart. Lori says that "Perfect Moment Monday is more about noticing a perfect moment than about creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between."

Saturday was an absolutely beautiful day. So, I loaded Gabe and Joey into the van and Jennifer (my sister-by-choice) and I took  them to the Kids Together Playground. These two pictures I was lucky enough to get capture the perfect moment...

Go check out the other perfect moments at this week's Perfect Moment Monday on Write Mind Open Heart.

Did Armageddon happen and I just missed it?

Either that, or hell must have frozen over.  'Cause what happened tonight simply is beyond the realm of possibility.  What, pray tell, happened?  I had a problem with my cell phone...and, we all know what crappy customer service cell phone companies have.  The first guy I got on the phone made me think this was going to be a battle. He basically said "Well, yeah, we screwed up but I can only offer you back half your money because that's all I am allowed to do." I cranked up the bitch factor a bit. I was still being pleasant but let him know I wasn't going to roll over and go away.  When I got the manager on the phone, not only did he resolve all the problems, he refunded more than what I was out. Holy shit was I stunned. This time I can honestly say "Thanks AT&T. You did good."

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Fuck Cancer

Can I just say that cancer sucks? A dear friend is back on chemo because of mets to her bones. It's hugely fucking unfair that she beats her original prognosis only to have it rear it's head this way.

And, I just found out yesterday that a family friend, someone who frequently spends holidays with my family, has pancreatic cancer. Even at it's best (stage 1), this doesn't have a great outcome...and she has a 14 yr old daughter. 


ps...I'm sorry if you aren't in a place where you wanted to read a mini-rant.  This truly isn't what I sat down to write but it's what came out.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Gratuitous Cuteness

I'm currently brain dead because Gabe has had a few rough nights sleepwise (I think he's hit a growth spurt). So, instead of trying to write coherently, here is some gratuitous cuteness...
laundry kitties...Butterball and Freddy
dismounting the balance beam at The Little Gym
upside down Gabe
Gabe the Bubble Boy

An Amazing Little Girl

See this beautiful little girl...
Her name is Lizzie and her mom, Jen of In One Ear, is a dear friend of mine. I got an email from Jen today directing me to a new blog she set up for a project Lizzie is spearheading. See, Lizzie wants to raise $1000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and, for every dollar you donate, she will fold one of those gorgeous little origami cranes she is holding and will write the donor's name on a wing. When she is done raising money, she will have a chain of 1000 cranes with 1000 names to donate to the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation along with the money.

I beg and plead of you, I know money is tight. I know a bunch of you are helping me with another project but, dig through your purse or look under your couch cushions and gather up one dollar. Head on over to Cranes4aCure and email Lizzie and her mom Jen (the email address is at the bottom of the post) to find out how to donate that dollar. While you are there, take a minute to click on the follow button. That way, you will get to see a picture of each crane as Lizzie makes them. Help this amazing little girl reach her goal. I have $5 I am planning on sending in...one dollar for each member of my family. Whose going to join me?

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Life From Scratch

Sometime back in late 2007 or early 2008, I was making my way back to blogging. I found my way to Melissa's blog, Stirrup Queens, and was completely hooked and felt like I had found a community I truly belonged to. Well, our brilliant and beautiful Melissa recently published her second book, Life From Scratch.
Life From Scratch is a truly amazing book. Melissa has created a book populated with characters that feel like they could step off the pages. Rachel seems like such a real person. She is someone I can imagine sitting and dishing with over a cup of coffee. Rachel's relationship with Arianna felt comfortable and familiar...like the relationship I have with my best friend. Melissa's humor punctuated the novel and made me laugh out loud quite a few times. I found myself pulling for her heroine Rachel and the end of the book left me wanting more.

The lovely Lori over at Write Mind Open Heart is hosting  the Life From Scratch book tour and she sent out a list of questions for us to focus on and to help us explore the book. Here are the ones I chose...


Did you see yourself in any of Rachel's situations or relationships? In what way? Rachel's situations differed greatly from anything I have ever experienced but I really identified with her relationship with Arianna. As I said before, the relationship reminded me of my relationship with my best friend and sister by choice. Rachel and Arianna are always there for each other whether it's a drama moment or a lets go out and have fun. They can call each other at any moment for any reason and know the other one will be there. Rachel and Arianna have known each other long enough and well enough that they are thoroughly comfortable in any situation and that is a relationship to treasure. My best friend is just like that. Even though the characters are so different than us, I love seeing our friendship and sisterhood in a book.

If you have to take up a hobby after a life changing event, what would it be? Have you ever wanted to just try something new? If I ever had to take up a hobby after a life changing event, I'd love to immerse my self in creating couture clothing. It would build on skills I have yet it would force me to learn an entirely new skill set. It would also let me look absolutely fabulous all the time!

Rachel learned more than one lesson in the course of this novel - which one impressed you most and which one could you relate to most? I think the biggest and most important lesson Rachel learned is that you HAVE to communicate your wants and needs. She discovers that one of the major reasons her marriage fell apart is that both she and her husband made assumptions about what the other wanted and they both made huge mistakes in assuming the other knew what they needed. Rachel wanted and needed time with her husband and he thought she wanted the life style his job allowed. Rachel's husband felt trapped by their life style and spent more and more time at work to support it and she thought that meant he cared more about the job than her. By the end of the book, they were both taking risks and talking about their HUGE miscommunications.

Life From Scratch was a fun, easy read that hid some deceptively deep messages. I for one can't wait to read Ms. Ford's next book.

Life From Scratch is available in both paperback and Kindle formats. Buy one to read and one to give away. Spread the fun and enjoyment.

To continue to the next leg of this book tour, please visit the main list at Write Mind Open Heart.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Advocating for Yourself

You are your own best champion.  Repeat after me...YOU ARE YOUR OWN BEST CHAMPION. Those of us in the ALI community, especially need to subscribe to this belief. Doctors, officials, or people with an alphabet soup after their name are not infallible and can make mistakes. I was lucky when I was going through my IF journey. My doctor and his wife had been IF patients themselves and this made him very willing to listen to suggestions and ideas for treatment.  In my case, I was the one who found the article in a medical journal that supported the need for lovenox in my case. Never hesitate to research your treatment or question a doctor if something doesn't feel or seem right.

Advocating for yourself can and does extend into other areas of your life. In our case, we recently had to advocate for ourselves with our pharmacy.  For many, many years, we had our prescriptions at CVS Pharmacy. Up until 2 yrs ago, we never had any problems with them.  In fact, up until 2 yrs ago, I would have recommended them to anyone. But, it went downhill 2 yrs ago and never recovered. Despite our telling them a million times that we did not want to fill our prescription for 3 months at a time, they did it every time forcing us to wait while they repackaged things. Then there were times that they didn't contact our doctor when they should have which meant extensive delays in filling Vic's meds...and you just can't do that with diabetes meds. But, the fatal blow to our relations ship with CVS pharmacy was when they tried to give us less and less medicine despite Vic's dosages staying the same and our insurance coverage staying the same. For example, until this crap started happening, one of Vic's insulin prescriptions would net him 5 boxes of medicine. Well, out of the blue, without warning, CVS gave us 3 boxes when we filled the prescription. Vic's dosage had NOT gone down. His doc had not changed his prescription. When we asked CVS about it, they blamed it on the insurance company. This is where we had to advocate for ourselves. We had to be our own champions. Many people would have just accepted that at face value and bitched and groused about those damned insurance companies. Since we knew when the insurance coverage had been updated, we knew this SHOULD NOT be the problem.  We checked with human resources at Vic's work and they confirmed that our insurance coverage hadn't changed so that shouldn't be causing problems with filling the meds. So, that meant someone at CVS was either totally incompetent or was completely dishonest and was ripping us off. Vic's endocrinologist was so incensed by what was happening that he said he was going to report CVS to the state pharmacy board. I don't know if it was just the store we went to or if it is the whole pharmacy chain but something was definitely rotten in Denmark and CVS lost some faithful customers. We've moved all our prescriptions to Walgreens and it is so nice to pick up Vic's meds and have everything be perfectly correct...all the meds present and accounted for and the price correct.

The moral of all this is...know your rights, know your coverage, research your situation, and stand up for what is right.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Geekfest Linkage

Hey y'all...I am feeling compelled to share some awesome links I ran across in the past few days.

Have you ever dreamed of seeing the Sistine Chapel? I would love to go and explore every painted inch of the place but, sadly, a ticket to Rome isn't in my budget. In a move that stunned me, the Catholic Church actually did something progressive and modern and has an extremely hi-res photographic representation of the Sistine Chapel on the Vatican website (yes, Virgina, the Vatican really does have a website). While it isn't as good as seeing it in person, you can go from a perspective like this...
to a close up so clear you can see the cracks in the painting surrounding the God and Adam scene...
That is pretty awe inspiring. One small warning, the Vatican website has embedded music that can not be turned off.

And, you know all that unbelievably wonderful amateur photography that National Geographic always features. Well, now you can play with them.  That's right, NatGeo has a Slide Puzzle generator and a Jigsaw Puzzle generator that works with any of the huge number of amateur photos featured on their site. Truly a fabulous time waster.

Finally, did you know digital cameras have been around for $35 years? I had no clue they had been around that long. There is a cool video that shows cameras through the age.

Got any fun links to share? The geekier, the better.