T.J. Said “Tag”

Just because T.J.  told me he tagged me, I'm doing this. Why? I'm just like that. 

Four Things

4 Films I'd watch again (in no particular order) (only 4? crap)

1. The Shawshank Redemption. Every time I watch this I see something else. As a huge Stephen King fan, this is one of the few books or stories of his that I've actually liked when it got made into a film. I'm a huge fan of Morgan Freeman, too.

2. Fight Club Another one I just see something different in each time. Plus? Brad Pitt. Need I say more?

3. Sliding Doors The whole "what if" scenerio really plays into my imagination. It may not be the best movie ever made, but I find it fun to watch.

4. Se7en What can I say? Brad Pitt AND Morgan Freeman! Plus, it's creepy. I like creepy. Oh, yeah, and the totally unexpected ending. Got me – lots of movies don't. I usually figure them out ahead of time. This one? This one got me. Huge brownie points for that.

4 Places I've lived: (you'll see a pattern here)

1. Des Moines, Iowa

2. Storm Lake, Iowa (when my mom died and I was living with my grandparents for about 3 years)

3. Grinnell, Iowa

4. Ames, Iowa

4 T.V. shows I watch: (again, only 4?!?)

1. Wire in the Blood. New season starting soon. YAY!

2. Doctor Who. I came to this one late, just in the last couple of years. Now hooked thoroughly, however.

3. Torchwood. A spin-off of Doctor Who, it may even be better. Lots of fun with aliens (the space kind).

4. Lost I don't even know where to start about why I like this show. What I hate? Having to wait for the next episode!!

4 Things to eat:

1. Chocolate. In any shape or form.

2. Steak. A very well prepared, rare to medium-rare grilled steak. Yes, I eat meat. I crave meat if I don't have it often enough.

3. Potatoes. I like a good potato. Baked,  fries, hash browns, mashed… mmmm…mashed… s'pose it is the Irish in me?

4. Lobster or crab. It's a toss-up. I love them both with melted butter. No breading, no fancy casserole, no garlic, just give me butter and my fingers (oh, and one of those shell-cracker thingys)

4 Places I'd rather be:

1. Home.

2. Ireland.

3. Home.

4. Home.

4 People to tag:

I'm not gonna tag anyone, because I've seen this out there a bunch and there are prolly lots of you that have done it.

If you are bored and want to do it, just let me know so I can come check out your answers!

That's all '4' now.  (I think T.J. wrote that, but I found it amusing so it stays…)

White Out

I can't believe this weather. I woke up this morning to let the pups out about 6 a.m. and the sidewalk was covered with sleet and it was continuing. Then, when it got light an hour or so later… it was a blizzard! Couldn't even see across the field! Dang it. It was just starting to be a bit more spring-like around here. As of my writing this (about 9 a.m.) there is a couple of inches on the ground, and, yes, even accumulated on the sidewalk and drive. Guess that thought we all have this time of year that "it'll melt right off" isn't going to happen. Crap. This isn't any fun. *Grumble*

Guess I picked a good day to slip in a jammie day, huh?  

Whoops! You Did It Again! (a rant)

Three-and-a-half years ago you "forgot" Begger's Night. Now, dear ex-son-in-law, you've stepped in it again. I realize for many people in the world Easter is a religious holiday. Although you aren't very religious – at least, not that I've noticed – you seem to have missed one very important aspect of Easter. Kids. Kids have this thing about Easter like they do about Halloween. They've been at school, whispering and giggling for the past week about the upcoming holiday. Bulletin boards have been covered with construction paper bunnies and crepe paper eggs. There are anticipated Easter egg hunts and chocolate bunnies and Peeps are selling off the store shelves as quickly as they can be stocked.

My grandson came home from spending his weekend with you. Normally, a very sweet boy… very calm… very. He was not calm, or sweet, or happy when he got home Sunday night. He was upset and disappointed and angry. Very angry. Angry that his dad spent most of the weekend sleeping. Angry that eggs were not colored or hunted. Angry that nothing… n o t h i n g was done to recognize Easter. Just another day.

Luckily, his mom and step-dad were anticipating he would be home that day and had gotten him a basket with some goodies.

Still? I'm really disappointed in you. Just taking care of your son for a couple of days a week and being involved in his life is a good thing, yes. But… there is more than just being a babysitter. You need to be a little bit more aware of what is going on around you and take that word "involved" to a new level. C'mon… he's a great kid. He's really worth it. These are the memories he's going to take with him when he thinks of you. Get your shit together. For both of your sakes.

Bits

  • Thanks, everyone for the help on the last post. I'm leaning toward the Google reader just because I have gmail, but am wondering if there is a way to organize the subscriptions on there? That sounded rather appealing about the Demon one – being able to organize them. Maybe Google does too and I just haven't explored it well enough? I see it is going to be nice once it is set up, but time consuming to set up. In the mean time I may miss some reading just trying to get organized. Story of my life.
  • Spring is slowly creeping into the midwest. We've had a bit warmer temps and the boxelder bugs are thick. We've had a bit of snow here and there, but it is to the point it isn't sticking and the piles we have remaining are looking pretty dirty and sad. I have some tulip or something bulbs just barely coming up (I'm not sure what they will turn out to be until they come up further.) We're starting to get more rain and thunderstorms are predicted for later this week.
  • I am still having shoulder trouble and continuing physical therapy. I did have my 8 week after-surgery doctor checkup (another two hour wait, three minute consult!) and saw the x-rays of my surgery. Amazing what they can do. Truly. I'm still driving. No accidents (knock on wood). I am working about 3 hours a day and just heard one of the guys say he's going to go get soil samples today… that means spring IS officially here. Oh, yeah… also got the hospital bill. Thank God for insurance. Seriously. I'd already gotten part of the bill, and then after having seen this… I honestly don't know how people get along without insurance. Even though our deductible is high, it is so necessary for things like this. It is so scary to think of having young children these days without it. Okay, that could be a whole other post as well.
  • I have an Easter rant, but I'll save it for tomorrow… gotta spread the posts out a little bit!

A Little Info, Please

As you can see – over there – I have quite a few sites I like to keep up on. For the past few months, however, I've been pretty lax in my blog reading. It has gotten into the same compartment in my brain as the Christmas decorations. The one that says "maybe tomorrow". Yea Gods! That reminds me of the woman who wouldn't come out of the bathroom. I'm not quite to that point yet!

At any rate, I hear people talking about "feed readers". I'm thinking that is some kind of a thing that tells you when someone posts something new, as opposed to my method which is to just go down the list, open each blog, and search to see what I've missed or if anything has been posted lately. This as most of you know is pretty time consuming, especially when there may be several who don't update daily or weekly… or who have fallen off the planet entirely without letting anyone know. (I hate when that happens!)

So… my question is this. Do you use a feed reader, and if so, which one? How simple is it to use? Is it pretty reliable? (Okay, that's several questions… bite me.) Oh, yeah, and where can I find it? Does it link to my blog in anyway – I mean, is it a plug-in or something stand-alone?

There. I think that's the gist of it all. I thank you in advance. My time management coach thanks you in advance. (If you believe I actually have a time management coach, raise your hand… I'm going to have to slap you now.)

Warped

I saw this story last week on our local news and had a hard time wrapping my brain around it. For those of you who don't want to jump to the link, it is a story out of Muncie, Indiana, about a man who forced his 7-year old daughter to kill the family cat with a knife. He originally tried to force his 11-year old son into it, but the son hid the cat and put ketchup on the knife, thinking he would fool his dad.

The dad's comment? He wanted to teach his kids how to kill.

WTF?

I can't imagine what this would do to a child. I've heard the horror stories of when parents go beserk and kill the family pet in front of the kids, but to actually make the kids do the killing? It just leaves me sickened.

Choked Up

How many of you have choked while eating? Swallowed wrong…something went "down the wrong pipe"? Coughing, gagging, hacking away until your chest burns with fire and throwing up is a distinct possibility. The nasal passages get swollen almost immediately and a runny nose compounds the situation. You can feel the food sitting right there at the opening to the 'wrong way' and know if you can just cough enough you'll get it up, yet every tentative breath you try to take feels as though it is going to suck it down further where it never belonged.

I've mentioned before how I sometimes do this with saliva. Dumb as it sounds, I seem to 'aspirate' it and it causes me to choke and sputter and carry on something horrible. It can happen at the strangest times, too, with no rhyme or reason.

Last night, though, it was food… but the type of food was what made it so strange. Jello. Plain strawberry jello. As I coughed and coughed I could feel it just there… almost on the verge of coming out, but when I tried to take a shallow breath, it felt as though I was sucking it further in. My mind was racing… wondering if it would just melt, dissolve away. I knew it wasn't exactly stuck in my throat, so hemlich manuevers would be useless. Yet… it caused me all the pain and reaction that a huge chunk of beef, for example, would have caused.

Today I feel like I've had a few rounds with Mike Tyson. My sore shoulders are even more sore as is my chest. I don't think I've pulled anything, just put it all through a massive workout. For a bite of jello, trapped in the 'wrong pipe'. Crazy, huh?

Is it just me or do you guys have weird things like this happen? What's your weirdest quirk?

I’m a Pathetic Irishman

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know today is St. Patrick's Day. Green dye will be thrown in various streams all over the country and green beer will flow like tap water. Ninety percent of the population will claim to be Irish and will sport green on some portion of their body, more than likely with the slogan "Kiss me, I'm Irish". Most cities will have a parade and the day will be a long one. I've noticed when Scandanavian Days come to our part of the county I don't find everyone clamoring for lutefisk!

My family actually is Irish. Cork county, to be specific. Catholic? No. Drunkards? Yes. What can I say? We give the Irish a bad name.

When I was growing up St. Pat's day was my father's favorite holiday, hands down beating Thanksgiving or Christmas. He would take the day off work if it occured on a work day and would take the following day off, too, to recover. His best friend is also Irish and they could out drink a fish.

Once, when I was pregnant with my third, we had planned on having a nice family dinner on St. Pat's. In hindsight, a big mistake. We were going to get the parents together – my husbands' and mine. At that point they hadn't met yet. Everyone was at my mothers' house… except the elusive Irishman. He was still at the local Irish bar where he claimed he would leave and be home in time for dinner. After waiting quite awhile, my mom sent Hubs and I to the bar to find him. He's not hard to find. He's 6'5" tall and towers above most people in any crowd. This was no exception. Wall-to-wall people were crammed into this tiny bar and overflowing into the parking lot where they had a tent set up. We spotted my dad near the back of the bar. Unfortunately, he spotted us, too, and just like a little kid he started running (okay, walking) the other way! I'm seven months pregnant, big as a house already, and trying to squirm in-between people to follow my dad. Finally when we reached the back of the bar we realized he'd escaped… outside… and back in the front!  Needless to say, we split up and finally caught up with him. He wasn't very happy to have to go home and play host.

Over the years this scene would repeat itself, but we learned not to plan anything for St. Patrick's day… it wasn't worth the hassle.

St. Pat's has changed for me. My dad has gotten to the category of "elderly" and is suffering from depression. He rarely leaves the house. We don't encourage his drinking because, ironically enough, St. Pat's was the only time he wasn't a mean drunk. Celebrating for him has become a thing of the past. Here I sit, not wearing a stitch of green. I don't think I even own anything green. I'm diabetic so don't drink. My Norwegian husband doesn't like corned beef, so there will be no traditional corned beef and cabbage (which I happen to love). There was some snow overnight and rain expected to dampen the parade… and I'm feeling about as glum as the weather. It just doesn't seem like St. Pat's to me.

Someday I'd like to go to Ireland. It's the only place outside of the U.S. that I'd really like to see. Maybe then I'd get my Irish back.

It Can Happen Here

With Hubs out of town to sons' race this weekend, youngest daughter was coming to spend the night and hang out with "old mom". She had a ton of laundry she'd brought home to do and I made lasagne and we settled in to watch some videos we rented. As the evening progressed, one of her friends called and guilted her into going out… since it was the first night of spring break and they'd not seen much of each other. I was okay with that and me and my furry companions played some World of Warcraft until about midnight.

Shortly after 2 a.m. a text message popped in on my phone. I keep my phone next to my bed. I jolted wide awake, the old mantra going through my head "no calls during the night are good". Emily sent a message saying the campus was on lockdown. A few minutes later she called me to tell me there had been a shooter spotted in one of the dorms on campus and the alert had gone out that campus was locked down and you were to stay where ever you were.

Small town Iowa campus… with a shooter.

As we spoke, it was decided I would go down and pick her up. Her friends had left and she wasn't in the best condition to drive. The bar owners said people could stay there, they just had to stop serving them. I went out and around town and came in from a direction that wouldn't be blocked and managed to pick her up without incident. She checked the news this morning and found out the shooter had been aprehended around the same time I'd been picking her up, although she never got any kind of a 'clear' signal (something that may be suggested to the security people). They said he wasn't even a student and somehow was in the dorm that you needed a key card to enter.

Scary. Seriously.

Needless to say, I didn't get much sleep last night.