Friday, September 28, 2007


Went to visit Granddad last night. My son and his 2 year old cousin spent the whole time giggling in the adjacent sitting room. It's been so nice to have the space. Granddad seemed to be feeling kind of peaceful. We asked him if the kids were making too much noise, and he told us that the giggles sounded good to him. Laughter has always been music to Granddad.

My mother wasn't there. Earlier in the day, she slipped on the freshly mopped floor in Granddad's room and fell and broke her wrist. She is heart-broken that she had to go home. She needed to spend a night in her own bed though.

He is able to swallow now. I'm relieved that he can actually have some food instead of just what they can put through an IV. They will be moving him to the hospice facility sometime soon.

My mother asked us to email stories about Granddad to help comfort him and Nana. I will share what I wrote here:

I will never forget summer time when Mandy and I would go and stay with Nana and Granddad. Granddad would see us in our swimsuits ready to play in the sprinkler and say, "Now you boys don't get wet." We'd put our hands on our hips and tell him emphatically that we weren't boys. He'd just smile with that ornery twinkle in his eye. Of course, you would have to have a sense of humor to not only survive living in a house full of Bullington women, but to invite 2 grand-daughters to take over your basement as their 'apartment' as we called it. He had seemingly limitless patience with our coffee table concerts. We would sing into hair brushes or flashlights while standing on the coffee table in the basement.
I remember Granddad's van. The grandkids liked to sit in the very back because when you hit a bump you would float out of your seat. To this day I still think of those as Granddaddy bumps. We would land and giggle and he would laugh with us. I always felt safe and loved when I was with Nana and Granddad.
I was so happy when Granddad retired and they moved to Yukon. As a teenager, I would often escape there when I wanted to feel at home but didn't really want to be around my parents. I liked to sit on the porch swing and talk to Granddad while he filled the bird feeders and cleaned the bird bath. I could talk about anything with them.

I owe much of the person I am today to the time I spent growing up around Nana and Granddad.

It's been so hard to watch his health deteriorate. He's always been one of the strongest people I know. His sense of humor is still there though. I honored to get to hold his hand and offer him some comfort. And I'm glad I inherited enough humor to make him crack a smile.
He's always been a sort of pillar in my life. I'm so glad that his suffering is nearly over, but I wish I didn't have to lose him for that to happen.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Family-Part 2

There have been so many ups and downs with this whole thing. I just don't know how to feel. I'm very upset and either crying or near tears most of the time. I don't want to lose GrandDad, but it would be horribly selfish to want him to keep going in his current condition. I don't even want that in my most selfish inner self. It's so painful to watch him suffer like that. I trust that God is in control and has the absolute best outcome laid out for this. I really do. But I have to say that this emotional roller coaster is torture on all of us. I know that often we have to fall down completely before we can accept that God is picking us up and carrying us through.

I think that old footprints poem that so many people have hung in their homes is missing something. At least in the case of someone as stubborn and hard headed as I am. In mine, there includes marks of limping and crawling and trying claw ahead on my own and then the mark left by my body in a heap before I just let God pick me up and carry me through. Either that, or there is some kind of big stick that he used to knock me out laying on the side of the path. But that's because I'm stubborn and really do think that I can do it most of the time. I'm proven wrong regularly. I'm just too thick headed to get the idea.

God, I give up. I can't do it. Please carry me.

We got the biopsy results today. He has lung cancer. The doctor gave him 2 months to live provided there are no further complications. He said there were no treatment options given his weakened state. He said to give him whatever he wants. If he asks for a hamburger, the instructions are to try and let him eat it.

So I guess that's it. I'm glad we know that he's going home. I'm really going to miss him. I can't put into words how much.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


I have to apologize for not making an entry yesterday, but I have a good reason. But I want the 5 of you that read this to know that I really do appreciate you and don't want to slight you any randomness that crosses my mind. I wasn't funny or cynical or especially sarcastic yesterday. I may not be today. For one, I was sick. My stomach was upset and I had major vertigo. Hard to type on moving keys. And I swear, I had not been drinking. I'm a little better today. The world is not spinning so I can deal with the spiny urchin that appears to have taken up residence in my stomach. It's really not that bad, I'm exaggerating for effect. But that really wasn't the biggest reason I didn't make an entry. I could have griped and moaned and acted pathetic so you would feel sorry for me. Although the sympathy is nice, I really don't need it.

Shortly after I got home, my mother called. She was telling me that they are transferring my granddad from one hospital to another for a biopsy. My granddad has been sick for some time now. He had a bad fall Memorial Day weekend and nothing has been right since. He spent the summer going between hospital rooms and a nursing home. We all really thought he was doing better though. Last Friday, he got to go home. The summer's ordeal has left him weak, but he has been going through rehabilitation and could get around to a limited degree. Although nervous, we were all glad to see him get to be home. On Saturday, he was in so much pain that they called the ambulance. In the ER, they discovered that he has three compression fractures in his spine. There is a nifty sounding procedure for that involving a balloon and cement. If it works, it should give him immediate pain relief. In the work-up for that, they found a couple of spots in his liver that they fear could be cancer. The big scary C word. They transferred him to another hospital to do a biopsy. The frightening part about it is that he has grown so weak that just putting him under the anesthesia is a major risk. There is a definite possibility that he will not wake up. They have signed a Do Not Resuscitate order. Everyone is in agreement that it is time. So we spent the afternoon to evening with the rest of my family in the hospital.

Granddad still has his sense of humor. Without that, what do we have left? He made jokes with the doctor and all of us. He can't wear his teeth right now and is hard of hearing, so he is very difficult to understand. He's glad to have all of us around. He may be having hallucinations, but he still has hit wit.

He has a really great doctor. This guy had really done his homework and studied Granddad's records before he arrived. He has phenomenal bedside manner. He welcomed all of us into the hospital room and talked to all of us. He didn't make us go away while he talked to Granddad and asked him all the medical history questions. When he started that, Granddad smarted off to him saying that he had all the records, he didn't need to ask. Said with a smile. The doctor laughed along with us. The doctor said to Granddad, "As long as you are here, you are Dad to me. And I will treat you that way." He also told him that he may be the captain of this ship, but God is the admiral and whatever happens, God is the one running the show. Then he joined hands with all of us and prayed. He signed the form saying that it is a medical necessity for Granddad to have a private room. He let all of us ask questions and talked frankly with us. He told us what he knows and what he does not know. He said that if we needed to talk to him, to leave a note on Granddad's chart. He told us that he would rather give no information than wrong information, so he would call when he was sitting in front of the chart. I was so very impressed. This doctor helped with a lot of stress for all of us. It was very emotional and everyone cried. He asked Granddad that if God were to call him home whether or not Granddad wanted the doctor to try and bring him back. Granddad very clearly said no. We know the time we have left is likely short. It is wonderful that God sent us a doctor that will handle it with such sensitivity, dignity and respect.

I heard from my mother today. They will not be doing the biopsy until tomorrow. The doctor thinks that Granddad may have double pneumonia. Since Granddad has refused a feeding tube, if he's got it, there really isn't anything they can do. We hope the prognosis is better, but that's in God's hands.

It's just not in me to rant about current events or just stream random thoughts. Please bear with me. We will return to our regularly scheduled programming soon.

Update: He can't swallow. Not water or pudding. They are deciding now whether or not to do the back surgery. Realistically, there wouldn't be much point. They probably will not do the biopsy. They are making arrangements with hospice to make him comfortable

Friday, September 21, 2007

Cat Pictures

I got the most reader response when I posted pictures of my cats. I guess you like them. Here's another few pics

Ferrule has Frootbat Ears!

Looking all sweet and innocent

I have some really bad pictures of Ferrule that I took with my cell phone the day I rescued him. Maybe I will post that story sometime

Thursday, September 20, 2007


I'm in a decidedly sour mood today. There are biological reasons for this which I will not go into on the internet. Yes, I have standards of decency. Some things just should not be blogged about. Rather, I am going to apply my acerbic sentiments to stuff I read in the news.

Doctors may not start widely prescribing exercise as a depression treatment just yet. But for patients who are motivated to try exercise, it could be a reasonable option, the study authors say. Ref
Let's get this straight. Studies are showing that there is a chemical free way to treat depression, but doctors would rather give patients a pill. Figures. Exercise is likely the magic solution to many problems plaguing the world and the US in particular, but it's exceedingly difficult to profit monetarily from it. Sure there are health club memberships and equipment to sell, but that doesn't create the returns that drugs and side effects do. I'm pretty sure the net worth of Merck is far higher than Gold's gym. And yet you can treat obesity, depression, heart disease, and the dreaded muffin top syndrome without needles and chemicals by putting in some time at the gym.

And we move on to People magazine:
Alternative-rock icon Eddie Vedder spearheaded a '90s Seattle musical sound around adolescent angst. Ref
Spearheaded? You've got to be kidding me. If by 'spearheaded', they mean 'sanitized for the masses' then I could buy that. Yes, Pearl Jam has sold a lot of albums. I suppose the voice coaching with the Swedish Chef really paid off for Mr. Vedder. But the alternative-rock icon that should be credited with spearheading the Seattle sound should be Kurt Cobain. Every generation has it's music, 90's rock just so happens to be the music of mine. Pearl Jam produced alternative rock for the mainstream, which is arguably the antithesis of everything alternative music was about. But at least he thinks he is a good father. We can all rest easy. Maybe he will stuff his mouth with cotton and produce another gem for us all.

Dissenting views are welcome. But as I have yet to receive any, I will continue to assume that I am right and everyone agrees with me.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


I don't watch TV. I know, weird right? I missed Brittney's *ahem* comeback performance. Yeah, I've seen it online. It was bad. Seriously though, she was never good in the first place. She was just a gyrating mass of over-exposed flesh. Honestly, I've read enough about the supreme awfulness of it and the pathetic people defending her. That's the thing with Hollywood annoyances, they aren't real and if you ignore them, they really will go away. Hollywood types survive on attention alone. It doesn't matter if you are hurling vile insults at them with your acid tipped comments. How many times have you ever heard about an attention starved media icon? You don't. It's bad for ratings. They don't care whether or not you like it, they just want you to watch. The train wreck factor applies in the the entertainment industry.
I do watch movies though. And I love a good anime. We're up to 3 shelves of anime DVD's. I have warned you that I am a nerd right? When the IRS paid back the interest free loan we gave them last year, we took the money and bought a high definition projector. It's so cool. And there is just something seriously awesome about seeing the images of giant robots 3 feet tall. Ichigo's sword really is freaking huge on a 91 inch screen painted on the wall. And the best part about it is, I never have to see an anime heroine 20 pounds over-weight prancing around in bikini that is 2 sizes too small. They would never draw her that way. It's just not hot.


I don't know why all the comments are not showing up. I'll check with Blogger. I've not rejected any comments that have been submitted. Luckily I've been troll-free

Apparently it is a known issue. If you click the link to post a comment, you can see all the comments. They just don't show up if you are only trying to read and not post

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

In the News Today

There are some great ones today that I just can't resist commenting on. I have to tip my hat to this guy. He actually posted Belgium for sale on eBay. Too bad the ad was taken down. Brilliant political statement. I love the creativity and satire. And I would love to own Belgium. Mmm Belgian chocolate and beer could be Jennifer's chocolate and beer. What a happy, happy day.

And speaking of selling off a country to the highest bidder, one of our presidential candidates was in the news today. We haven't really heard anything from him in a while. I was beginning to worry that he had given up. In an effort to buy the American voter, Obama uses the old promise to lower taxes. Of course everyone wants to pay fewer taxes. That's an easy one. And it sounds wonderful on the surface. Everyone want to be Robin Hood. Tax the rich and give breaks to the poor. I'm not rich by any stretch of the imagination. I certainly wouldn't mind though. But I feel that as a US citizen, I have an obligation to pay a fair share of taxes. (No the current system isn't fair either, but I"m not going there today. Not enough time during my lunch break). Hand outs will not fix the economy. If you tip the full tax burden onto the upper class, then where is the incentive to get ahead? Personally, I think that if I work hard to earn more money, I should get to keep it. I thought working for a good life for yourself and your family was once the American Dream.

Onto the subject of making money. The New York Times has decided to end it's paid subscription service for it's online news in an effort to make more money. Sounds backwards, but it's brilliant really. More and more, people are getting their news online. I personally haven't bought or even read an actual newspaper in years. I can get online and get news about absolutely everything everywhere in just a few keystrokes. And it doesn't add to the clutter in my house. Fantastic. And the best part is that it's free! I don't pay for news online, and I am not alone. So they are giving up $10 million a year in subscriptions, but they've opened themselves up for twice that many readers easily. People don't spend their money on information, they spend it on stuff. Stuff that they learn about from the ads around the news articles. Which ad space would be more attractive to you, one seen by a limited group of subscribers, or one available to the world?

Tell me your thoughts, comments are always open. And remember, tomorrow is International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Oh No! Where's Waiter Rant?

I"m looking for my regular dose of cynicism. I want to laugh at the day to day happenings of someone I don't know. I want to reminisce about my days in the food service industry. But alas! this morning there is no Waiter Rant. Sniff. It was just there yesterday. I miss it already. I'll look for it again later

Whew! It's back! I was so worried

Monday, September 17, 2007

New Shoes!

Something you should know about me is that I love shoes. Fantastic, fabulous, high-heeled, high-fashion shoes. I can't help it, it's in my genetic make-up. I am a quarter Filipino after all. I know, that's tacky. Seriously though, I love shoes. So when I saw these beauties on a shelf on Saturday, I absolutely had to have them. They are Charlie Horse by Luccese, and they were on sale. Big sale. I got them for $25 a pair. So I bought 4. 2 pair for me, 2 pair for my mother-in-law. Here's the other pair.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Visitor Appreciation

Wow! I am so excited. I see that this blog has been visited by several people from The Daily Kitten. In addition to the people from the United States, I've had visitors from the United Kingdom, the Neatherlands, and New Zealand. All I can say is thank you guys! I have gourmet coffee, nice vintage wine, and wonderful stinky cheeses for you all to enjoy. And without further adieu, the thing that brought us all together in the first place, pictures of kitties. Please leave comments, I publish everyone that isn't a troll.

this is Ferrule giving the camera some love. Really, he likes to play with the camera strap.

And here is Emerson. Looking at the camera so he doesn't have to put his face in the cat butt in the background.
More to come as I have time. Love you all!!

These 2 were very special ladies. They were farm cats that lived at my great-aunt's place. They were sisters and always had their litters at the same time and would raise the babies together. This picture was taken in 1990. The lovely Meezer sisters had disagreed on where the babies would be. We spent the afternoon watching one mom carry them to the well house and the other carrying them back out to the barn. My aunt finally decided to shut them all in the well house so she could keep an eye on them. In answer to a question, both moms would nurse whatever babies latched on. You couldn't tell which mom they belonged to. Pretty lucky kids I think.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Could I just get a pill for that?

I've decided that being a wife, mother, full-time employee, and starting my own business is just too hard. It's outside the norm. It's challenging and stressful. Rather than rise above it and strive to succeed, I'm going to do what the rest of the world does and look for the answer in pill form. There are so many to choose from. I'm sure there is something for me. Or maybe I can just find a sympathetic doctor that will prescribe me some cocktail that will make the world shiny and happy. I"ll wash it all down with a cocktail of a different kind. Mmm blissful normalcy.

Do I have any complaints that someone hasn't made a pill for? Hmm, lets explore that. I'm a high energy person that can't stay in my preordained box. Bingo-there's Ritalin for that. There's one down. Sometimes I just can't find the motivation to get out of bed in the morning. Well there is a wide range of anti-depressants to choose from that will help with that. Too passionate? Probably manic; there's another medication for that. I often have trouble going to sleep, but there's Valuim (among others) out there for that. I just don't see the world the way other people do. Can you give me a conformist pill?

And don't forget my family. Children learn in elementary school that pills solve problems. Kid is disruptive? Must be ADHD. Husband is high energy and aggressively ambitious. Well look, there's a family history of ADHD! We're going to need pills for the side effects of all the pills too.

No wonder we live in a modest house with original art on the walls done by people that live inside. It isn't normal for a couple that got married when they were barely 20 to still be madly in love nearly 9 years later. A house full of projects in various stages of completion? Well that doesn't fit the standard.

Can I get a pill to put me way over me head in debt? Will it make me support sweatshops by shopping at Wal-Mart? How about getting me hooked on reality shows and following the antics of Britney Spears? Will it make me gain weight? Being my size certainly doesn't fit with the norm. Why not just make me believe everything I hear on the news too? Then I will be able to make an informed decision in the next election.

Since we can't medicate the masses to make them extraordinary, lets medicate the extraordinary to even the playing field. Sign me up! There's far less responsibility in being a follower.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Mmm Massage

In my office, we have some nice perks. There are soda fountains in all the break rooms, and there is a gym upstairs. We've got reasonable internet access. Makes it nice when I don't want to go out for lunch. Which since I carpool with my husband and he has the car, is most days. I've written all my blog entries from work so far. (Sorry I missed yesterday, just got busy with other things)
Today I took advantage of a new perk, the chair massage. Twice a week, a massage therapist comes in and sets up her things in a conference room. We pay $1 a minute to get a chair massage. Oh so very nice. I sprung for 20 minutes today. I really needed it. I am feeling much better now. My fingers are all tingly and my typing speed is suffering for it. At the moment though, I really don't care. There is still a knot in my shoulder, but it's not a big as it was. And I can turn my head without wincing. So I am going to consider that an improvement.
For anyone that does not already know, I've been in several car accidents (not my fault, apparently I am really unlucky). In all of them, my neck took the bulk of the injury. When I was in elementary school, I was doing flips in a moonwalk and got bounced in such a way that I landed on my head. All of this has resulted in degenerative disc disease between my C5 and C6 vertebrae (or neck in layman's terms). I learned this in my x-rays from my last car accident which took place in November of 2006. We were hit in the passenger side door by an idiot that decided to make a u-turn while we were beside him. I was in the passenger seat. Like I said, I'm unlucky. My doctor told me there wasn't anything I could do about it right now and gave me pain pills. Idiot. This is the age of the internet, information is only a few keystrokes away. I've yet to find a new doctor, but one thing that was recommended for DDD was massage therapy.

So I got a massage today. It was nice. Hopefully I will sleep better tonight.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Thinking about today

There is so much to write about today. I almost can't make a decision. I originally thought I would write about the new Pope's chastising of Europeans. There is plenty of fodder for a rant there. Yes, God told us to be fruitful and multiply in order to populate the world. The world is populated. Over populated actually. He says people are being selfish, but I don't see him pitching in on college tuition, helping with homework, and attempting to schedule parent teacher conferences around a full time work schedule. But no, I'm not going to focus on that one.

I could talk about my opinions about the iPhone and the price drop. But it seems everyone else with internet access has done that. Hmm, how many of those articles have been written entirely using thumbs as so many are carrying little computers on their hips? I'm sure the next news story I see will be all about a rash of a new repetitive motion disorder a la carpal tunnel paralyzing the thumbs of generation X. I will admit that I am guilty of some thumb typing myself, but I've yet to make a blog entry that way. The blog is young though and so is my new Blackberry 8830.

There were so many news stories I thought maybe I could share my slant on until I saw this one. Suddenly everything else seemed so trivial. Call me a hopeless romantic but these kinds of stories warm my heart. While everyone else is critiquing whatever Bush or a presidential candidate said, this reporter decides to focus on something completely outside the sensationalist realm.

September 11, 2001 will always be remembered in solemn ceremonies across the country. Quite possibly the world. In our homes, offices, and even online communities, we will talk about how we experienced those events as they happened. The news will again show buildings collapsing as though the image was not permanently branded in our collective memory. And as human beings we need to go through that. We need to remember the pain together. We need to share it. We must move on, but we must not forget.

In the shock and pain of 9/11, ordinary people did something extraordinary. People dropped the facade and did whatever they could to help. Across the country people organized to send help in the form of care packages and skilled rescue workers. Prayers were lifted up for our fellow citizens whom we had never met. It didn't matter, we were a true community on that day and for some time afterwards. But as these things always do, it faded. We went back to our regular routines. My challenge to anyone that takes the time to read this, is just for today, remember that we banded together as one and try to feel like that again. The banner at the bottom of this post will take you to a site with some great suggestions on how to commemorate this day.

The animation may or may not work. It should take you to

Ack! I missed Monday

Ok, I hate Monday's anyway, but I'm really trying to keep up with writing this. And then I see that most of my hits were from Monday. I'll have to write something good to make up for it. I'll find something worth writing about. Maybe you'll get a bonus entry for Tuesday! I actually have to do my day job for now though.
Oh yeah! By the way------Warning! Shameless Advertising----it is time for fundraising for my son's elementary school. They've caught up with the times and started online sales. Follow this link
If for some reason that does not work, type this into your browser:
Grandparents get upset when you don't share this information. Readers get annoyed when you do. Don't feel obligated to buy anything no matter what category you fall into

Friday, September 7, 2007

Chess Club

Ah chess! Everyone thinks of a sophisticated, thought-provoking game. It is not generally thought of as a pursuit for the masses. The mental image is that of 2 old men playing for hours in the neighborhood park. Imagine my surprise when I took my son to school for his first day in the first grade when I saw about 10 chess boards spread out in the elementary school cafeteria.
This is the home of the #2 ranked chess team in the nation. Who would have thought you would find it at an elementary school in this rundown neighborhood? Here is a group of kids, many of whom qualify for the free or reduced lunch program, playing "the King's Game" and quite well I must add. This school is very focused on war between blacks and whites but it has nothing to due with race.
"The Blue Hoard," as they've been dubbed, swarms into state tournaments and takes home wins. These kids are not just the gifted and talented, and they are a long way from privileged. Here chess is the great equalizer. These kids are good, but they don't brag about it. As Mr.Nichols says, "They learn sportsmanship. We teach etiquette is number one. Anything that Dennis Rodman ever did on a basketball court is not OK."
This year, the chess program got even more ambitious. Or they have possibly lost their minds. Previously, chess was open to 5th graders only. In August of 2007, they have introduced Chess Academy. Now chess is open to 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. Provided they meet the requirements, they will all be eligible to play in the in state tournaments. The first night of chess academy was chaos in the cafeteria. 9 large plastic chess pieces were lost on a linoleum floor. But I looked across the sea of chess boards and saw my 3rd grade son shaking hands with his opponent before commencing his game. He's not a good student. He has the intelligence to be, but not the drive. But he will be a good chess player, and we are hoping that will inspire him to work at is schoolwork.
Yes, they will need money. Yes, donations are tax deductible. Yes, everyone involved needs their head examined. I'm not requesting money, but I can provide information on where to send your donations if you are interested.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Inaugural Blog

Well here it is, without fanfare nor shattering of champagne, my blog. Carefully pouring champagne into glasses and proposing some type of toast is far more my style anyway. No one wants to clean sticky alcohol and glass shards from their web page. Especially one so nice, new, and clean.

So I suppose I should start by telling you something about myself. I'm a wife and mother. I have a full time job doing accounting. I am starting a web design business on the side. Feel free to visit AƱoranzas de Costa Rica to see a work in progress. I've also set up mostly to keep up with family and friends. That's very likely how you found yourself here. Someday soon there will be a site devoted to my design endeavors.

I don't really know what I will wind up writing about here. I'm sure I will write about what it is like starting my home business. I'll write about my family. I may even decide I need to blog about the news. I won't promise that you will always be entertained, but I'm not holding a gun to your head making you read it either.

All that said, have a cup of coffee and enjoy the time you spend here.