Saturday, November 29, 2008

I need you!

It's a long story, but I had a funky Thanksgiving, missing 4/8ths of my family (that includes cousin Mary), so when Friday came I moved right into Christmas, playing Christmas music long before I usually do, thinking of a time when all 8 of us plus will be together. I can only hope that I won't get sick of it before Christmas, but I don't think so because we'll be so blessed to be together.
Anyway I have a burning question for all of you readers (some weeks I get up to 63!). I know there are a lot of lurkers out there, which normally I don't mind, but now I want to know - What's your favorite Christmas album???????
Here's mine for today:

I'm sooo grateful to Davi who comments nearly every day on my blog and Lynne who sometimes jumps in.
What about the rest of you? I'd so love to hear from you. Two of my favorite bloggers, Davi and Jane LaFazio, have both said, "I live for comments." I don't feel that strongly, but just this time couldn't you pleaaassse join in? And if not, maybe you could email me and tell my why because I'm wondering if I have the settings wrong and it's too difficult.

Right up there with Jon Katz

I think this photo Derek took of Lila and Murphy is extraordinary.
Thank you thank you!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Gifted Man

If you love animals or nature, or, even better, both, please check out this blog:
Jon's photos are breathtaking and his words uplifting. He's also a columnist forSlateMagazine . The name of his column is Heavy Petting. Gives you an idea of his wonderful sense of humor.
Here's a sample of a couple of entries:

November 24, 2008 - To those of you who struggle with fear, or sadness, or who are worried, or who need encouragement to live your lives, and don't always get it, take heart. Lenore has a message for you, as do I. Don't take yourself too seriously too often.
It will be okay, the world is filled with joy and sorrow, and but also love and hope. So smile. Lenore, the Hound of Love, has more power than markets or money. If you look at her, you will smile.

I've been looking for the last color in the woods, as the leaves turn and the temperature drops. I found these two far out on the path this afternoon, and a few more behind them. This might be the last color for awhile, until I come across something else.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

At Thanksgiving

I'm so thankful all my family and friends who Stand by Me!
You're always in my prayers.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Blessed Day

A Closer Look

Use # 100, from the chapter, labs as gurus:

This text is from

A gift to myself

This 1995 Lucy Rigg calendar was a steal on ebay - 95 cents.
I can envision such lovely envelopes.
Just a reminder - don't throw away old calendars - they make marvelous envelopes. I can show you how if need be.

Unexpected Surprises

Along with the lovely heart from Janet, three more gifts brightened my day:

sweet angel wrapping paper from thoughtful Tracy - more envelopes for sure!

a visit from Mary and Jilly brought this touching book!

Sherry shared this premier issue of Living Crafts - full of great ideas, especially the felted hearts.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

what a lovely surprise

My heartfelt friend, Janet, sent this beautiful piece to add to my heartstone collection. It's by far the most colorful!

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Originally uploaded by Sir Nadroj

cute, huh?

Laugh out loud funny

I'd almost forgotten how much I love NPR's This American Life.
I happened to catch a repeat episode on my ipod: How to win friends and influence people.
The intro about Paul Feig and the first segment, by David Sedaris, are both hilarious.
198: How to Win Friends and Influence People

Stories of people climbing to be number one. How do they do it? What is the fundamental difference between us and them?

Paul Feig is the recent author of the children's book, Ignatius MacFarland: Frequenaut!.

Host Ira Glass talks with Paul Feig, who as a sixth-grader, at the urging of his father, actually read the Dale Carnegie classic How to Win Friends and Influence People. What he found was that afterwards, he had a bleaker understanding of human nature—and even fewer friends than when he started. (9 minutes)

Act One. To Make a Friend, Be a Friend.

David Sedaris has this instructive tale of how, as a boy, with the help of his dad, he tried to bridge the chasm that divides the popular kid from the unpopular...with the sorts of results that perhaps you might anticipate. (14 minutes).

Act Two. Stay in Touch.

After the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, U.S. diplomats had to start working the assemble a coalition of nations to combat this new threat. Some of the calls, you get the feeling, were not the easiest to make. Writer and performer Tami Sagher imagines what those calls were like. (6 minutes)

Song: "Calling Countries," Boomtown Rats

Act Three. People Like You If You Put a Lot of Time Into Your Appearance.

To prove this simple point—a familiar one to readers of any women's magazines—we have this true story of moral instruction, told by Luke Burbank in Seattle, about a guy he met on a plane who was dressed in a hand-sewn Superman costume. (13 minutes)

Act Four. Just Be Yourself.

Former TAL producer Jonathan Goldstein with a story about what it's like to date Lois Lane when she's on the rebound from Superman. Jonathan Goldstein is currently the host of CBC's Wiretap, and the author of the novel Lenny Bruce is Dead. (13 minutes)

Song: "Mr. Pleasant," The Kinks

yea, it came!

I metJennifer at the Harvest Festival and loved her art with affirming words!
I special ordered JOY in red and it came yesterday.

A lovely day in second grade

Wyanne was genuinely happy to be back with the kids - and vice versa!

Can't wait to see Lila in this

This little baby shrug is featured on the Christina Skye Romance Novel website, christina skye
The heroine of Christina's new book, "Code Name Blonde", is a knitter as is Christina. The pattern was developed to give the readers a chance to knit and dream of exciting adventures.

Sleep Study Results

I've been delaying posting my results as I wanted to better understand them (requiring extensive internet research) and to be able to mark up my polysomnograph to point out specific results (but that also would require too much learning time) so I'll just do the best I can with what I've got.

These are the numbers doctors use to tell you where you fall in the scheme of things:
Apnea/Hypoxia Index (AHI) is the number of events/hour. 5-15 = mild OSA, 16-30 moderate OSA, >30 severe OSA.
OSA stands for Obstuctive Sleep Apnea.
I'm the the mild area with 13.
I'm also asymptomatic. I get up easily in the morning and am not overly tired during the day.
The little green lines at the bottom show how many apnea events I had and you can see on the right hand side, I had significantly less while wearing the CPAP mask.
I have several choices of treatments:
doing nothing
losing weight
sleeping on my side
wearing a mouth guard
wearing a mask.

The mask would probably guarantee me the best sleep, but I found it quite daunting. I can fully see, though, that it would make all the difference to people who fall in the severe range and if that were my case I wouldn't hesitate.
I'm pretty sure most people have some level of apnea, but many are in denial. There are so many other body parts/functions that need fixing that sleep goes on the back burner, but, in reality, if you fix your sleep, it results in fixing some of those other problems like high blood pressure and acid reflux (which fortunately I'm not bothered by).
I am going to try the mouth guard and see if it makes any difference in my snoring. There was one incidence during the night where my oxygen flow dropped to 70% (shown in the little blue lines across the top), not a good thing.
I'm going to post some links to give you more detailed information and I do urge anyone who thinks they might have apnea to talk to their doctor about it.
All in all, it wasn't quite as fun as I thought it would be, and I was glad I didn't have to go to work the next morning, but I would certainly do it again if it would make a difference in my health.
video from mayo clinic
talk about sleep

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Easy Way to help

At La Costa Canyon High School, there is a class that is focused on making a difference in the world. The class members are hoping to raise money by collecting books to make education (schools) better in Uganda .. See link for more information schoolsforschools
What they need: BOOKS
Their goal: 250,000 of them (yes- a quarter of a million)
Deadline: December 17th, 2008

What kind of books? ANY kind- kid books, grown up books, fiction, non-fiction, books on tape, books on CD, self help, good books, boring books, school books, etc… The only books they cannot take: phone, moldy or damaged ones.

Here's Rod's contribution:

Let me know if you have any and I'll see that they get delivered to the right place.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Just some thoughts gleaned from others while searching for something for Cindy's website.
"Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he's been robbed. The fact is that most putts don't drop, most beef is tough, most children grow up to be just people, most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration, most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. Life is like an old time rail journey...delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, & jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas, and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride". Gordon B. Hinckley

I'm always reminded of this, from Fr. Tim, in the Mitford books:

Ephesians 5:20 - In All Things Be Thankful

This was taken from esermons:
Back during the dark days of 1929, a group of ministers in the Northeast, all graduates of the Boston School of Theology, gathered to discuss how they should conduct their Thanksgiving Sunday services. Things were about as bad as they could get, with no sign of relief. The bread lines were depressingly long, the stock market had plummeted, and the term Great Depression seemed an apt description for the mood of the country. The ministers thought they should only lightly touch upon the subject Thanksgiving in deference to the human misery all about them. After all, there was to be thankful for. But it was Dr. William L. Stiger, pastor of a large congregation in the city that rallied the group. This was not the time, he suggested, to give mere passing mention to Thanksgiving, just the opposite. This was the time for the nation to get matters in perspective and thank God for blessings always present, but perhaps suppressed due to intense hardship.

I suggest to you the ministers struck upon something. The most intense moments of thankfulness are not found in times of plenty, but when difficulties abound. Think of the Pilgrims that first Thanksgiving. Half their number dead, men without a country, but still there was thanksgiving to God. Their gratitude was not for something but in something. It was that same sense of gratitude that lead Abraham Lincoln to formally establish the first Thanksgiving Day in the midst of national civil war, when the butcher’s list of casualties seemed to have no end and the very nation struggled for survival.

Perhaps in your own life, right now, intense hardship. You are experiencing your own personal Great Depression. Why should you be thankful this day? May I suggest three things?

1. We must learn to be thankful or we become bitter.
2. We must learn to be thankful or we will become discouraged.
3. We must learn to be thankful or we will grow arrogant and self-satisfied.

Friday, November 7, 2008

To mask or not to mask?

Due to concerns from a loving husband and a caring friend, this is where I found myself last night - the Sleep Treatment Center at Scripps Clinic, Torrey Pines.
I checked in at 8 p.m., overnight bag stuffed with pjs, slippers, tons of catch up reading material and a sense of adventure, paving the way for others....
These are the lovely accomodations, far from the Ritz, but not uncomfortable.

Les, my efficient technician proceeded to give me the details, hook me up from head to ankle, leave the room, give me directions over a mike from some unknown space, remind me to sleep on my back as best as I could (never easy for me!), and wish me good night.
By this time, it was 9:30, far past my bedtime, but I was reluctant to turn out the light. I worked a crossword puzzle, partially, then browsed a few catalogs. I was pretty sure I wouldn't fall asleep in my usual seconds, but I decided to get on with the night so plunged myself into darkness.
Here I am with all my wires and belts.

It seemed a long time before I fell asleep, many Hail Marys said.
During his initial explanation, Les had informed me that he might wake me up in the middle of the night to try a CPAP on me. I wasn't really sure what that was,
but I wasn't happy with the thought that if he didn't try the CPAP on me, I'd probably have to come back another night. By this time it didn't seem nearly so fun and I was questioning my sanity for putting myself through this.
Sure enough, 1 a.m. Les is right there with the lovely CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine - the dreaded mask!). Once again he suggested that he'd get the best readings if I slept on my back - rats!
It took a bit of practice breaths, but I did get the hang of it before too long. I actually did go back to sleep till my favorite hour of 4:20. All you people who make fun of me - if you ever do one of these you'd be wishing you had my gift. I called out to Les - "Can I get out of here now?" Happily he said yes.
Here I am just before he started ever so gently ripping tape off my face, legs, hair.

Shortly thereafter I was on my way home with great appreciation for my lovely own bed with the two happy to see me bodies reclining there.

So why did I do it????
When I retired one thing I resolved to myself was to get my body back in better shape. It's been an uphill battle, made far more difficult by my deep love of food and wine. However there are a few things to do that are easier than others - get a regular check-up, mammogram, eye exam. If following through on a sleep study will reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke, I'm willing to do it - I'll even wear a mask every night if required. I have so many loved ones who are dealing with major illnesses. Being majorly ill is a full time job with NO perks and NO fun. Retirement has made me realize how much fun there is to be had in every day and I'd like to continue having fun for a while.

I realize I've included no real info on what sleep apnea is, but I will when I find out if I actually have it. Stay tuned for results on Tuesday.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

This is an event not to be missed!

It's been a pleasure to watch Cindy McQuade become one of the most talented artists I know.
This is an opportunity to see her one of a kind works of art.
Annual Holiday Glass Show and Sale
Sunday, Nov. 16, 2008
noon till 5
13644 Winstanley Way
San Diego, CA 92130

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's so hard to read through tears

This was an exceptional book, proven by the fact that I was moved to tears through much of it.
It tells the story of a young girl torn from her family because she contracts leprosy. While a novel, it's a testament to those for whom this was real. It begins in the late 1800's, and spans decades of the harsh treatment of those who suffered.
*****from me!

No frivolity on this entry from PW!

Pioneer Woman brings me joy each day writing about her life on an Oklahoma ranch, tending to the needs of her family, Marlboro Man, the four punks, numerous in and outlaws, the dogs, cows and other random visitors.
Today she inspires me on a different level. Marlboro Man and their daughters are on a trip to the Dominican Republic with the group Compassion. Please take the time to read their story.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I can only hope on Wednesday...

we will all be on the same side again and moving forward with kindness!

Wasn't Norman Rockwell a man who could catch us at low moments and make us laugh at our foibles?

Saturday, November 1, 2008