Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I think we're finished

Not sure if it's just that I'm feeling the end of the year, or the end of an era...but I may be finished with this blog.

I've had lots of fun with it, and I get a kick out of rereading the old entries. It's been a diary of sorts for me.

I'm not going to delete the blog, but I doubt I'll add to it either.

Time will tell. After all-----it's a whole new Year!!!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Frosted Windowpanes

It's 8am, and the temperature is hovering at 10 below! We're going for a high today of 4 degrees! Welcome to the first official day of Winter!!

We've had more snow. Beautiful snow. The last batch was light and fluffy and SPARKLING. Everywhere you look, it's glittering and twinkling. Probably because it's little ice crystals, dah! Even though there were 6-7 inches of snow on my car, it was easy to whisk it off. No scraping or chipping. It was like I was removing the snow magically, it was so easy.

Of course with such light snow, the wind is able to blow it around. It's not just going to be cccccccold today, it's going to be blustery. With the wind chill, the temperature is going to be 20 - 34 degrees BELOW 0. (I wish we'd use the Celsius standard)

We both have the day off. I'm sipping hot chocolate while I watch Winter out the window. The sky is clear, so when the sun begins to stream into our apartment, I'll do a little sun bathing. I've a big vat of oxtail soup simmering on the stove. I don't plan to step foot outside today!

I'll just keep humming the Christmas song with the lyric, "frosted windowpanes...."

Update: At noon, the temperature is -6. I don't think we're going to make it to the predicted 4 degrees above 0 today!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Harry Potter

A few weeks ago, I needed a book to read. Looking through my bookcases for a little light reading, I decided to read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I love the first book, and thought I'd read it, the end.

Ha! At the end of book 1, I HAD to go on to book 2... etc ...finishing up with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. This is the third time I've read the last book. The others were read each time a new book came out, as I'd read all the previous books to be prepared for the latest installment. So, I've read the Harry Potter book a number of times.
Again, I was sucked into the stories as though they were brand new. Little details that I'd previously missed jumped out at me, and I was astounded at the number of clues we've been given right from the start!! J.K. Rowling is one of my favorite writers. Every time I read the series, I'm reminded of what a clever witch she is.

I've seen the ads for the new book, but it had escaped me that I was rereading the series in preparation for The Tales of Beedle the Bard. I'm trying to limit myself to one story per day, so I can make it last. Thank you Ms. Rowling for another wonderful read!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

This is my favorite Christmas video. Every year I look for this one, because it always makes me smile!
Turn up the volume, and prepare to be Entertained!!

Looks like we'll be HAVING a White Christmas. Five inches of snow yesterday, and 10 more expected tomorrow. Oh What Fun....

Monday, December 15, 2008

It's cccccCOLD!

So many things happening around the world, and I'm consumed with the Weather. Again? Still?
No, this is NOT Wisconsin. It's the Antarctic, where it's so cold the water freezes the instant it meets the air. It's not that cold here. And while I think it's cold, I was just reading about the North East, and how those people are having really cold weather and NO POWER! That is so much worse than what we're experiencing that it's not even the same category. However, here's MY latest weather story...

Last week we had snow. Lots of snow piled everywhere from clearing the roads and sidewalks. I figured it was the beginning of a long, White Winter. We were having temps in the low 20's. Typical Winter Weather.

Yesterday, a warm front came through. 45 degrees!! and RAIN! Lots of rain. It took those piles of snow down to half their size, and exposed all the dirt and debris under that cover of pretty white.

Immediately behind the warm front, was a cold front. The temperature plummeted to 11 degrees in a short period of time, freezing the rain and melted snow. Oh Boy! With the cold temperatures, came 40mph winds, which brought the temp with windchill in the -20's.

Today it is sunny, but bitterly cold. Even with the sunshine, the temperature is not even a degree. The current temp is .3, and with the windchill figured in, it's -17. I don't have to go to work until 2pm, so I'll be staying in the house. I'm afraid of the cold!

Our Winter Advisory is in effect until later today, when the wind will calm down. Once that happens, the temperature is supposed to go up, enough that it can snow tomorrow. It doesn't snow when it's this bitterly cold, and now I actually WANT it to snow, to cover all these dirty snowbanks with clean, sparkling White!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

12 Days of Christmas

I've always been fascinated with the 12 Days of Christmas. Maybe I'm just greedy, and the thought of all those presents was appealing? I'm not sure what the fascination is, but if I was going to collect anything, it would be things with this theme. Since I'm not a collector, I'll just enjoy some of my favorite 12 Days memorabilia.

This item is one of my all time favorites. I send this beautiful card, designed by Jacquie Lawson, regularly. You can watch it again and again by clicking here:

When I was growing up, in Utah, every year the Salt Lake Tribune would run an article about the actual cost of the gifts contained in the 12 Days of Christmas song. When I began following this article in about 1968, the cost was around Ten Thousand. At the time, it was a staggering amount!

Today, "12 days' gifts would cost $86,609"(by Dan Nephin, Associated Press)

"Given the economic downturn, even the most romantic might balk at the $86,609 price tag for the items in the carol "The Twelve Days of Christmas."

That's this year's cost, according to the annual Christmas Price Index compiled by PNC Wealth Management, which tallies the single partridge in a pear tree to the 12 drummers drumming, purchased repeatedly as the song suggests. The price is up $8,508 or 10.9 percent, from $78,100 last year.

"True loves may take it on the chin for a peck on the cheek," said Jim Dunigan, managing executive of investment for PNC Wealth Management, which has been calculating the cost of Christmas since 1984.

In this tight economy, what's a romantic to do?The creative but cash-strapped shopper might consider some modifications. After all, who needs dozens of birds?
Instead of two turtle doves ($55) why not two Dove chocolate bars at about buck each? Don't have $4,414 for 10 lords-a-leaping? How about a "Riverdance" DVD? Plenty of leaping there, and it's only about $25 on Save a couple grand by skipping the 11 pipers piping and getting a CD of Scottish bagpipe music for less than $20.
"The price of creativity, I think, has to be measured against the value of true love," said Dunigan. "Necessity is the mother of invention. So this year, it might pay to be a little more inventive."While some sources suggest the gold rings actually refer to ring-neck pheasants - apparently, all the birds were for feasting - Dunigan advises sticking with jewelry.

"At least my experience, if you had to lead with something, gold rings probably wouldn't be a bad idea," he said.
They are down about 11 percent, from $395 last year to $350, Dunigan said.But sticklers for tradition might also save by procrastinating. With the economy in its first consumer-led recession since the early 1980s and energy prices falling as of late, prices could come down between now and Christmas, he said.
PNC Financial Services Group Inc. checks jewelry stores, dance companies, pet stores and other sources to compile the list. While it is done humorously, PNC said its index mirrors actual economic trends.For instance, gasoline costs topped $4 this summer, driving up shipping costs for many goods. So a pear tree that cost $150 last year will cost $200 this year. (The partridge is up $5 to $20.)
Luxury items are also up, as reflected by the price of the seven swans-a-swimming, which are up 33 percent to $5,600.
But the faltering economy has also brought down the cost of some items.The three French hens (down $15 to $30) and six geese-a-laying (down $120 to $240) reflect declines in food prices.
The eight maids-a-milking will cost 12 percent more, $52.40 from about $47 last year, thanks to their second annual minimum wage increase.The 10 lords-a-leaping, 11 pipers piping and 12 drummers drumming are all up about 3 percent, reflecting the general average wage increase."

I'm sure there are lots of notable and worthy items to add to my 12 Days of Christmas tribute, but I'll quit with this one.
Last but not least is a tasteless parody on the song done by JibJab. If you press this link, prepare to be offended while laughing, often against your better judgement!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Weather Report

I'm not complaining. I'm merely reporting the conditions. The deplorable conditions!
We got 3-5 inches of snow today. That's ok. It's Winter, It Snows! However, the forecast for the next 5 days is frightening! The highs are in the LOW 20's, and the lows are in the single digits and low teens!
It's going to be a LONG winter if this is any indication of things to come.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Let the Festivities Begin!

Christmas Lights continue to be one of my favorite things about the Season.  Now that it's officially December, I'm posting a light display that should get your interest piqued.  
Turn up the volume, as it isn't the same without the music.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I Remember...November

November marks two of the most traumatic events of my life. One occurred November 30, 1974 and the other on November 20, 1979.

For many years, as November approached, I went into a depression and from the 20th through the 30th, I could barely function.

But I got tired of being a basket case, and finally began the healing process. Each year the pain was a little more manageable, and after 10 years or so, I thought I was nearly healed.

Then Loren came into my life and stirred the pot. As November rolled around to the 20th, I found myself remembering details that I hadn't remembered in a long time. The tears I cried over this literally burned my skin. Think I was ridding myself of toxic waste. Same thing when we got to the 30th.

This happened for the next few years, but eventually I found that all the hurt had been dealt with. All the negative emotion had been purged. The tears didn't come easily, and they didn't burn.

Then I had a year where I was OK!! The next year, I didn't even notice the dates. November came and went without me having any sort of meltdown. Thanks to Loren "picking my scabs" and reopening the festering wounds, I healed thoroughly.

This year, I found myself thinking of past events, and when I looked at a calendar, it was November 20th! No depression, no real sadness, no tears. Just thoughts. And today, I've just realized is the 30th. I'm good. I'm fine. I survived.

The process was long, and difficult, and sometimes I wondered if I'd survive. Sometimes I didn't want to survive. But I did. And If I can do it....Anyone can!
So now, in November...
I remember.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Get Gifs at

However you spend Thanksgiving, may it be relaxing,
full of fun, and I hope you get the chance to Eat Too Much!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Black Friday Shopping

Some of you are AVID shoppers, looking for bargains, and willing to brave crowds, traffic, and miserable weather to get that Deal!

May I make a suggestion.

Amazon is starting Black Friday TODAY! If you use this link
to shop Amazon, you will get bargains AND help me! (I earn a small commission on sales from my link).

So, take a moment and see what sorts of bargains you can get without braving the crowds, traffic or misserable weather.


Great Black Friday Deals. No Black Friday Blues.

This Black Friday link
is the central point to find all the Black Friday deals, including the Gold Box hourly deals featured from midnight to 11pm PST and thousands of products that are on sale for a limited time only.

Thanksgiving Preparation

Thanksgiving used to be my Favorite Holiday. Then I became an adult and had to do the work, and it quickly slipped to number 3 or 4 on my list of faves.

At work (Whole Foods/Prepared Foods Division) we're busy fixing dinner for all those folks that want to ENJOY the day, and not have to slave over the hot stove. From the smells coming from our kitchen, I think they'll have a Great Dinner. We're roasting turkeys as fast as the ovens can bake them. Stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy are being manhandled into containers and everything is being assembled into large boxes that can be carried easily.

The big surprise to me is how many people have ordered the Vegan Dinner! Guess this really is a college town, and lots of these youngsters have strong convictions about what they put in their bodies. (Guess Beer is a Food Group!!) This year we're making a record number of dinners that have a Hazelnut Field Roast as the main course.

Loren and I are both working Thanksgiving Day (5am-2pm). So when we thought about what we want to eat on Thanksgiving, we realized that cooking that whole feast is just not a possibility. Sure, we could order it ready-made, but I was brought up better than that! (LOL)

We're going to cook the feast on the next day off we have. Meanwhile, we decided that we're having an Exotic Picnic for our Holiday Fare. We'll start with Champagne, served with a few wonderful appetizers. The main course is Steamed Crab Legs with drawn butter, served with artichoke ravioli in a sherry cream sauce and steamed green beans with shallots, shiitaki mushrooms and garlic. After more Champagne, we'll have Creme Brulee and coffee. When I tell people what we're having for Thanksgiving Dinner, they pause, then exclaim, "That's Brilliant!"

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

No Complaints

After that first snow, I realized that I can't spend the winter lamenting about the weather. This IS Wisconsin. We're expected to have a rough winter. So, I'm going to try to just REPORT the weather and winter conditions, not COMPLAIN about them.
(Lily Tomlin, in one of her brilliant performances says that the main reason humans developed language skills was because of a deep seated need to Complain!!)

That first snow melted within 24 hours. We had a small snow yesterday that stuck to the ground. I saw some enterprising youngster had used all the snow in their yard to build a snowman! It will probably melt today and tomorrow, as it's clear and beautiful outside.

Our house is toasty warm (heat is INCLUDED in the rent). Mostly we keep the heat turned off because we have south facing windows and accumulate lots of warmth from the sun. The floors (hardwood) seem to be warm from the heat coming up from the basement. One of the things I LOVE about cool weather, is I get to lounge around in my fleece clothing!!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

I'm going to sit right down and CRY!

This is today! I'm looking up the street from my front door!

All summer you'd hear people parroting the prediction, "I hear it's going to be worse this winter than it was last winter!" and I'd want to shake them. It's a basic fact of life that you often GET WHAT YOU ASK FOR! These fools are asking, maybe Begging, for winter to be worse than last year.

I'm not sure I could handle worse. I barely handled last winter. Here's a brief recap for anyone interested: We arrived in Madison on November 1, and had a few light flurries at the end of the month. On December 1 it began snowing and dropped a record 100+ inches of snow on us over the next few months. There was too much snow!

Today I looked out the window and nearly cried.
It is snowing. Big flakes of blowing snow!

And it is sticking!!! Already winter is worse than last year, and we're not even in December yet! I'm going to sit right down and Cry!!!

So far, we've had a couple of mild flurries, but the ground hasn't been warm enough for the snow to stick and accumulate. Fine by me. I check the weather every day to see how the temperature is fluctuating. Unfortunately it seems to be on a rapid downhill trend. The highs this week are in the low to mid 30's, and overnight is in the low 20's. Just last week we had a couple of days of 50 degree weather. I want THAT back, please.
The Camry is a California car. When I moved her yesterday she was sluggish and hard to handle. I could "hear" her grumbling about the weather. I'm right there with you, sweetheart!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Geese Migration

Last week I mentioned to Loren that I really miss seeing and hearing the geese migrating.
In Appleton, our apartment was on some sort of flight path, because you'd hear the geese honking, run to the window and see formations of geese heading South.

Maybe I don't see them fly over Madison because we live in the middle of the city. In Appleton, we were on the edge of civilization. Whatever the reason, I miss seeing the geese flying.

Saturday, on a spur of the moment decision, we went up to Appleton to see friends. It was dark when we left, so we didn't see much of anything on the drive up. However, on Sunday, driving home, it was a fine day and I finally spotted a flock (gaggle?!) of geese on the wing.

Suddenly I began to see the dark ribbons of geese in the sky. There were 100's if not 1000's of geese on the wing. Only thing was, they were flying WEST! What's up with that? As I took my bearings, I realized we were approaching the boundaries of the Horicon Marsh Wildlife Area. They are all headed to the Marsh!

After that, we could see countless gaggles making their way to the Safety of the Marsh for the evening. Watching the dark ribbons of geese undulating across the sky is one of my favorite sights. I never get weary of it, always want to applaud the grace and beauty of the spectacle, and without fail I send my love and appreciation to these graceful creatures as they follow their instincts and make a long, perilous journey season after season.

Realizing I needed pix to post to my blog, we began looking for a spot to pull over. As three different flocks made their way past me, Loren brought the car to a halt, I jumped out and snapped a few quick pictures.

We haven't actually been to Horicon Marsh Wildlife Area. Guess it's going on my list of things to see and do!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

TV Withdrawl and other Dilemas

When the nice Mexican couple came by to buy our bed, they asked if we were selling our TV (32" Phillips regular TV). "No, we're taking it with us," we told them. Well, it didn't get into the first truckload, as it was just me and the Big Guy loading, and I'm not strong enough to carry my side of the TV up the stairs and into the truck. We decided we'd just load it when the guys were there the next day. Well, if you've been reading my saga, you know that the couch fiasco ended with the truck being full to the gills. I don't think we even noticed that the TV hadn't made it onto the truck.

So, on the final day, AFTER the truck has been returned, we realize that the TV is still in the basement. We struggled it up the stairs (I had to stop twice to rest---YES, I'm a wimp!) and out the door to the car. Loren had pulled the car onto the lawn, right up to the door. The TV wouldn't fit into the car!!! So, we dragged it back into the house and it sat just inside the front door for most of the day.

Eventually we had to decided what to do with it. It took all of 5 seconds to decide to call the nice Mexican couple to see if they were serious about buying the TV. They were! So, they came at 8:30 and somehow, Loren and they guy manhandled the TV into the front seat of their car (it's a bigger car than we have). As it was, it had to be rotated and rearranged 3 times so that he could manipulate the gearshift (manual transmission, wouldn't you know!). I have no idea how they got it out after they got home.

So, here we were without a TV. No worry. We've been eyeing the flat screen TVs and thought we'd buy us one with the Rent Deposit we'll be getting back from the old apartment. We thought it might be closer to Christmas when we get it, all the sales, etc. We THOUGHT we'd be OK with that. At first it WAS OK. We were busy unpacking and organizing. Loren started his new job and has been trying to get this schedule shifted from a PM shift to an early morning shift.

But now, less than a week without the TV, we're starting to suffer. We get home at night, eat dinner, then look at each other and say, "Now what?" I miss having something to entertain my mind, something to relax me, something to look forward to!
So, we started looking. We figure we'll have the TV all picked out so that we're ready to buy when the $$$ arrives.

OMG! I've spent HOURS on the computer trying to understand this technology. HDTV, BluRay, Upconverting, Contrast Ratios, resolution, goes on and on. I keep typing the words into the search engine and then reading at least 3 of the articles so I have an overview of the concept.

Looks like we're getting another Phillips TV, but a 42" one this time. LCD, flat screen, 3 1/2 inches wide! Technology has really come a long way.The Oppo upconverting DVD system should make all our old DVD's play in High Definition, so the new TV experience is not going to be anything like the old experience. Guess our TV time out will really make us appreciate the privilege, when it finally comes along.
Soon. Please, soon!!!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Have Arrived, Haven't Settled In....

THANK GOD the move is over. We had the truck for 2-24 hour days, so technically we had it for 3 days, as we didn't pick it up until noon. The first day we loaded up all the small boxes from the office, all the books, the bookcases, and anything else that would fit. Actually, Loren loaded the truck while I kept packing. The truck was full. We unloaded, and planned to get everything we'd hauled put away. NOT! By the time we got the stuff off the truck, all we wanted was to relax and get ready for the next day.

A nice Mexican couple and their two small children came by to buy the bed and the table we've been using for a desk. They wanted the desk I had for sale, but we told them I'd promised it to someone else that was picking it up Wednesday morning. After they left, I sent an e-mail to the couple saying they ABSOLUTELY had to pick up the desk, as I'd turned down a chance to get rid of it!

Before we went to bed, we were looking at all the stuff that still had to be moved, and began wondering where it would all fit. Oh well, we thought if we went to sleep, either some marvelous idea would present itself, or someone might break in and relieve us of half out possessions (the half we aren't attached to, ha!ha!ha!).

Morning came, and with it came the realization that we'd gotten ourselves into this mess (literally) and would have to get ourselves out. Two guys came to help Loren load the furniture. Mostly it went well, until they had to move the sofa. When we bought it last month, Loren and the seller moved it into the house with just a minor hiccup, which was quickly resolved.

Moving it out was a Keystone Cops Caper for sure.
It took all four of us, and the couch was lifted, and shifted, turned and tossed. Eventually it got stuck in the stairwell, dimpled the wall, and after much cussing and sweat, was finally tortured out the door and onto the truck. There was only a small footprint for it to fit in, and of course, it didn't fit. I went back inside and the guys spent another 20 minutes doing the hokey pokey with the couch, until it finally turned itself about and fit. That's really what it's all about!

While that fiasco was going on, the couple ABSOLUTELY came to get the desk. They also took a bookcase and a few little odds and ends. We put LOTS of stuff out on the sidewalk and 90% of it found a new home within hours.

Eventually, most of the stuff was out of the house and on it's way to the new apartment. We lifted, toted, and hauled until I was worn out, and Loren ached in muscles he'd forgotten he possessed. Since we'd sold the bed, we made up beds on the floor and fell into them, exhausted.

The third day was nearly the worst. What was left in the house was the sort of stuff you just don't know what to do with. Loren took 3 loads in the car while I started cleaning. It seemed like an Aegean Stable sort of nightmare, in that I couldn't see an end to it.

Finally at 10pm, the old house was clean, the last load in the car and my bed was calling my name in a very convincing voice. I had to be at work at 7:30am, but it's only a 5 minute drive now, so that is good.

The new house will be wonderful when it's finally organized. Just now there are boxes and piles and clutter everywhere! I took pix, but can't find where I packed the cable to transfer the pix to the just use your imagination. It's a real mess!!! While I was at work, Loren unpacked and organized the kitchen. He did a great job, and I'm not going to change it, much.

It's a lot of new things all at once, especially for the Buy Guy (Loren). New apartment, new car (new to us), new job (Loren got hired at Whole Foods in the Bakery. He'll be learning how to make bread!!!!). Best of all, a new future for the country! Happy Days are Here Again!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Happy Days ARE Here Again!!!!!!!

First thing this morning, we got out and voted. It only took a few minutes!

We've been busy moving, but we kept taking moments to look at the computer to see how the election is coming along. For a few minutes, it seemed sort of bleak, but then the tide began to turn, and as we got ready for bed, they had predicted the election results. WE WON!!!!


I told Loren before we went to sleep that I hoped the results were still the same when I check the computer in the morning.

Lots of celebrating in the Streets here. Fireworks, chanting, laughter, and all sorts of spontaneous happy behavior were the order of the evening. Too bad we were too worn out to participate. I went to sleep happy, and woke up deeply content.
Doesn't get much better than that.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Move is On!

Now that we're writing 11/01, I realize that we have 5 days to accomplish this move!! Did I mention that I HATE the physical part of moving? I do, truly. I've been trying to pack, but I haven't accomplished anywhere near enough.

Selling off our excess furniture is going well. Thank goodness for Craigslist. I'd taken pix and listed several items. The e-mail response was good, and the first week saw half our postings find new homes. Then we realized that the desk we'd listed for sale was injured, and needed to be given away rather than sold.

I e-mailed all the people that had wanted to buy it, told them it was now FREE. None of them wanted it. So, I put an ad on the Free list at Craigslist, and had 47 responses the first day! More responses keep coming, and I just want someone to take it off my hands so I can delete the post!

Guess the bed may go today. We'll be sleeping on the floor until we move, and then possibly on the floor at the new place until we find a bed. I made an offer to someone else from Craigslist, but haven't heard back from them.

Yesterday I went by the new apartment. The woman has moved to CA, and the painters had been busy. I was looking in the windows (yes, I've turned into a Peeper!) and realized it is MUCH smaller than I remember. Could be it looks that way without any furniture to give it perspective.

No more procrastinating, I've got to get packing!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Who Could Ask for Anything More?!

We're having a few days of perfect weather.

The temperature has risen steadily, today it's in the upper 60's, and it's been clear and lovely. At night, it's a bit cold without the cloud cover, but the stars are so brilliant it's hard to complain.
It's been cold and blustery. The wind has blown most of the leaves off the trees. The trees that were left still had green leaves on them. Finally we had a frost and now, the remaining leaves are turning color!
It's quite glorious to see. There isn't much orange, but LOTS of bright yellow, and some red. Most of the red color is coming from the bushes.

Turning Bush

on the other side, becomes

Burning Bush

All over town you can see this vivid crimson and brilliant yellow color scheme. It's really Beautiful against the blue sky.
Goodbye October, Hello November.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Breaking Dawn

Reading the Twilight Series has been a love/hate relationship for me. I began reading Twilight a year ago. Emma, my goddaughter, then 12, had received the trilogy for her birthday and I like reading books the same time she does. I was quite surprised by the book, thought the concepts interesting, and it was a page turner! I had to keep reminding myself that this WAS written for a Young Adult audience, as the characters angst over things drained me a bit.

The year previous, my sister and I were on vacation and she was reading New Moon, with her daughter. She was up till all hours reading, so I figured the book was pretty interesting. New Moon was harder for me to get through than Twilight was. Again, that teenage angst is not something I relate to, as it is so far in my past as to be forgettable, and I have no children to remind me.

I pushed on to book three, Eclipse, because I can't stand not knowing how something turns out.Reading Eclipse turned into a struggle for me. There seemed little to admire in the characters, a lot of whining and faulty logic displayed. The story had turned dark and it made me uncomfortable. But I pressed on, because I thought it was a trilogy and I wanted it to end!! When I finally got to the end, and realized I'd been set up for another book, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

So, I waited for my turn to read the newly released Breaking Dawn.I was 457 on the waiting list in the Madison Library system, but it went by pretty fast. The day I picked up the book, I read 100 pages. The next day I read 150 pages and was still only barely over a quarter into the book. Very quickly I found myself in the same dilemma with this book. I want to know what happens, but reading it is painful. I only have 100 pages or so to go, and I'm dreading finding that this may not be the conclusion. I don't think I can read another of this series.

Oh the other hand, my goddaughter, now 13, loves these books. She is at that age where you Love to Scare yourself! She and her friends are into horror films. I remember that. Being scared made me feel alive (at 13, I didn't know about adrenalin) and I liked to scream. It's very cleansing, screaming. Gets all sorts of stuff out of your system. But I'm not 13 anymore. I know lots better ways to feel alive, I really don't like adrenalin rushes, and these constant reminders of the pain of growing into an interesting person are something I can do without. So it there IS another book about Bella and friends, I'll give it a miss.

That said, I do admire the author, Stephenie Meyer. She is prolific! I've been writing for 25 years, and still have nothing to show for it. Stephenie may not be a great writer, but she is disciplined enough to keep churning it out!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Nose Knows....

The first winter we were in Wisconsin, I caught a cold that settled in my Left Nostril. It wouldn't heal, despite many trips to the Doctor, and several regimes of Antibiotics. Eventually I learned to live with blowing my nose every 15 minutes and often joked about buying stock in the Tissue company.

Last winter, I caught a cold that affected my Right Nostril the same way. The downside of this was that I lost my sense of smell, and when both nostrils clog up at the same time I get claustrophobic. Now I REALLY go through the tissues!

I've tried every "natural" treatment available. They work to a point, then I'm back at the same old place where I can't breath and have to blow my nose continually. The Ear/Nose/Throat doctor wants to do surgery, but I'm leaving that as the very last possible scenario. Meanwhile, I'm tired of taking so many things, and quit all treatments.
Animations - faces 030Today, my nose worked for about 6 hours!!! I've been afraid that my sense of smell may be gone permanently. It was really hard to miss the smells of Spring, and now I've missed the smells of Fall. I work in a kitchen, and have become resigned to not smelling the many odors available all around me. Of course, not smelling means not tasting either. I eat, but it's not enjoyable, as nothing stands out from anything else. I've been eating much spicier food, because the heat is at least a sensation.

Then today, I noticed that I could smell the cilantro I was chopping. It was heavenly. Then I could smell a chicken dish cooking in the oven. I could identify the herbs used in the recipe and the bacon that was coiled around the individual servings. My mouth began watering. Walking by the bins where we throw the used towels (dozens and dozens every day) I could smell the sour, wet smell of them. So, not all the smells were pleasant, but it was so novel to smell ANYTHING!
By the end of my shift, I was back to not smelling. I have no idea what was different. Why it worked. If I did, I'd repeat the process. But now I have hope. If I could smell for 6 hours, then my nose and sense of smell aren't dead. I'll find the way to heal this, once and for all!

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