Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Tomorrow Begins The Season Of Lent

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday which in the Catholic Church is a day of fasting and abstinence that marks the beginning of Lent. Practicing Catholics will go to mass and receive a sign of the cross in ashes on their foreheads to remind them that they come from dust and to dust they will return. The ashes are from the burning of the palms from last year's Palm Sunday. Most often these days, the ashes are ordered from companies that supply liturgical items for Catholic churches. So they will come in little containers that help keep everything neat and easy to distribute.

Catholics are ususally easy to spot on Ash Wednesday and are used to people letting them know that they have "dirt" on their forehead. To Catholics this day marks the beginning of 40 days of prayer and preparation for Easter. Abstaining from meat on Fridays is only a portion of what we do to prepare. Many people sacrifice during Lent something important to them. Other people will try to do more for others. The whole point is to focus on prayer, repentance, and sacrifice and to go beyond what we would normally do to acknowledge Christ's sacrifice for us.

Normally during Lent there are extra daily masses. I like to make as many of the lunchtime masses as I can. But I also like the quiet morning masses. There is something comforting and peaceful about morning mass. It is a good way to start the day. It is too bad that I don't take advantage of it more often during the rest of the year.

So if you see any "dirty" foreheads tomorrow, be sure to wish them a meaningful Lent. And don't forget that Passover comes just before Easter this year. It is a day that should be meaningful to Christians and Jews alike. Shalom! Peace be with you!

Less Fog But More Picture Fun

I really enjoyed posting the pictures the other night of rodents that remind me of fellow bloggers. So I thought that I would have a bit more fun with it tonight.

First, I would light to post one for Ron Southern of The Rat Squeaks. Sometimes you find a picture that says it all. This is definitely a good one for him:

Now Rachel from Sliding Though Life is another one that is captured by a picture. This one is for you Rachel:

I was afraid that it would be difficult to find just the right picture for Rainey Pete from Rainey Pete's Unbalanced World... until I found the following photo. You gotta agree that is has a remarkable resemblance for some strange reason...

Now here is where I started to run into some difficulty. There are a couple of characters that require more than one picture... actually several. Happy and Blue 2 presented me with a bit of a challenge. Not to be undone, I have selected several that I think highlight the various characteristics of his personality... First there is this aspect of his personality:

Then of course, there is a smattering of this:

But perhaps my favorite representation of him is epitomized by the following picture:

And now I come to perhaps the most difficult personality that I have attempted to illustrate so far. Mark of Meandering Musings Muster Madness is one of those people whose personality is not very easy to capture... it is kind of out there floating around and you never know what will pop up. Out of desperation, I have chosen a series of pictures to try to embrace as many of his personality quirks as possible. I will let the pictures speak for themselves!

Monday, February 27, 2006

Well That Explains It!

As I posted earlier, I went to the dentist this morning. He sent me back to the endodontist. It seems that the root canal looked fine... still a bit of infection, but that will get better with the antibiotics. He did however find the culprit for the continuing pain. It seems that I had a small piece of bone that was working its way to the surface and had caused an ulcer and the continuing pain. It just happened to be right next to the cracked tooth and the site of the root canal. He gave me a shot of novacaine and dug out the fragment.

So I am still popping the Darvocet tonight, but hopefully the pain will slack off now. I ask you, what are the odds of something like this happening? And right next to the same tooth? At the same time as I needed the root canal? Now I am feeling the area with my tongue and wondering if there is another fragment in there working its way to the surface! Just how lucky am I?

More Fog Induced Fun

I already went to the dentist today and have been referred back to the endodontist. Seems I have some drainage in my linguinal (sp?) fistula or something like that. So at 3:00 today it is back to pain palace for another go-round.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

For Photograhy Lovers

Just a quick post here. I found this blog when looking at who had visited my blog recently. So far there are no words, just exquisite photographs. Give it a look. You'll love it!

More Rat News

Tonight I have a more serious post for you. The following is from an article about the benefits
of rats to humans:

People in different countries are training rats to either become a bomb or tuberculosis detection rat or even a search and rescue rat. In a National Geographic article, “Bees, Giant African Rats Used to Sniff Landmines”, which can be seen on their website, authored by Maryann Mott , it is reported that Giant African rats are being trained to locate land mines. According to the Landmine Survivors Network in Washington, D.C., an organization that provides peer counseling and prosthetics to victims throughout the world, “An estimated 80 million mines lay buried in more than 60 countries. Each day 50 people, many of them children are killed or injured” (4th paragraph). Bart Weetjens, who is the director of APOPA, the Belgian research company that trains the African Rats, informs us that in Mozambique, 20 rats were recently used to search for explosives and “Rats are able to detect most types of mines.” The article contains to inform us that as pouched rats only weigh between 1.5 to 3 pounds, they do not trigger the mine and are trained to walk on a leash. When the animals smell explosive material they scratch or bite at the location (10th paragraph).

In yet another example of rats helping humans, is in the area of Search and Rescue. Emily Singer from New Scientist, wrote an article titled, “Rats’ brain waves could find trapped people”, in it she states:

“Rats have an exquisitely sensitive sense of smell and can crawl just about anywhere. This combination makes them ideal candidates for sniffing out buried survivors. For that, the animals need to be taught to home in on people, and they must also signal their position to rescuers on the surface” (2nd paragraph).

This is being done with electrodes being implanted into the rats’ brain.

(Source: New Scientist)

As the article unfolded, it went on to inform me that signals from the permanently implanted electrodes would monitor the rat’s brain activity. Software on the surface will recognize when the rat has found a human and this will inform the search and rescue teams on where to start digging.

The same company that is training rats to sniff out landmines is also training them to sniff out tuberculosis. In “Ratting Out Tuberculosis” in Science magazine, Constance Holden writes, “Researchers in Africa are training rats to sniff out tuberculosis in human sputum. If the furry sensors prove reliable, they could process samples many times faster than human technicians do” (166).

"How wonderful it is that people are seeing that rats can be trained to help people. In order for people to overcome their prejudice, the first thing that needs to happen, is that the common public needs to see that rats are not the sewer dwelling, evil killers, but can indeed be trained to have purpose in our society. I am just flabbergasted that people have no issues or hesitation about spending thousands of dollars training dogs or dolphins to sniff out bombs or cancer but heaven forbid to training a creature with an untrue, unfounded, stigma. I will be the first one to admit that rats cannot replace dogs for all jobs. If I ever find myself stranded on a mountainside, trapped in after an avalanche, I really am going to wish for a dog to come to rescue me, not a rat. However, if I am trapped under hundreds of pounds of rubble after a building has collapsed on me, in my opinion, my chance of survival might go up if there was an animal small enough to crawl thru the tiny spaces to try and find me."

I found this information while looking for rodent images through Google. I like to highlight any information that sheds light on the reality of rats and what they are capable of doing for humans... besides being adorable pets. Hopefully, you took the time to read it.

Fog Induced Fun

While the pain in my mouth is worse now than it was before the root canal, it does not seem to bother me very much at night. This morning when I woke up I had no pain sensation at all... until I stood up and started to walk... then wham, it hit like a ton of bricks. So I quickly popped another Darvocet. Yes, I fear that I am becoming a junky. I will also become a very poor junky if I miss much more time at work!

So, I have decided, in my pain-killer fog, that I will post about something a little different. I am tired of the tooth subject, as I am sure you are as well. So I am going to start posting some rodent pictures that remind me of some of my blogging buddies. Who better to start with than that rodent loving farmer, Cliff Morrow, his pal Ralph (Homespun Headlines), and the rest of the blogging Morrow clan.

So this one is for you and Ralph, Cliff...

and this one...

Ralph Campbell and Cliff Morrow

this one is for Dan Morrow...

this one is for Marty Morrow...

and this one is a very special picture just for Cliff... sorry though, no bananas...

Yes this idea is has a lot of potential for fun posts. I wonder who I will target next? Hmmm...

Saturday, February 25, 2006

If Things Don't Start Getting Better Tomorrow, I Might Become An Addict

Yesterday, I thought that I would be able to skip the Darvocet today. Nope. I still get waves of severe pain. I am beginning to think that there is something else going on in my mouth... maybe another cracked tooth? I am getting very tired of this, as I am sure you are getting very tired of reading about it!

I went to work for a few hours today to try to make up some of my lost time from this past week. I had to take a Darvocet while I was there because the pain got so bad. Then I had to fight off the brain fog to get any work done. I went to Mass at 4:00 pm so I will be able to stay home in the morning. I am not planning to do anything specific tomorrow, but on Monday I will be at the dentist office and wherever else I need to go to get this mouth mess cleaned up! I will also run out of Darvocet by Monday if I take the regular dosage. So either this junky gets more drugs, or somebody better figure out why I am still having so much pain.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Tooth Truth

So this is the rest of the story...

The rest of my day on Wednesday was not fun. Wednesday night was unpleasant to say the least. Thursday morning at 7 am I was at the on call dentist right on time! By this time it felt like the whole right side of my face was throbbing. The verdict was that I have a cracked tooth with an infection. The endodontist fit me in right away and did a root canal.

This root canal was not a fun thing. I used the same endodontist that I used last time, and he is very good at what he does. He is also very kind and does his best to eliminate any pain. I had extra novacaine shots (this is normal for me when working on my back molars) and topical pain reducer and still had a lot of pain. Most people have 2 or 3 nerves in their back molars... I had 4 he had to dig out... same story as last time. This time around I have had a lot more pain. I'm not sure why. But if anyone else tells me that the nerves have been removed and therefore I should have no pain or that they never had any pain with their root canal I am either going to shoot myself or them! Well, not really, but I might scream... or not. More likely I will grit my teeth and crack another molar! Sheesh, people, give me a break... not another crack! I have enough stress in my life already!

So I missed work yesterday except for an hour when I went in to get payroll checks printed. It was all I could handle while on the pain medication. Today I went in to get them distributed and do some catch-up on other work. I didn't get that much done, so I will be going in to work tomorrow to try to finish up this week's work. It should be a productive day since most of the office staff will not be there.

I think that by tomorrow I will be back to just ibuprofin for pain relief... the Darvocet makes me so dopey, and I don't think I should need it another day. I will stay on the antibiotics until they are gone. When my regular dentist gets back on Monday, I will contact him about getting the crown done. After insurance the root canal cost $435.00. I will also have a big chunk to pay for the crown. Fun, fun, fun.

That's it so far. It's enough excitement for me!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Not Fair! Not Fair!

I have a rip-roaring toothache, and I am not a happy camper! I have never had a toothache like this before... even when I had to have a root canal done because of a cracked tooth with an infection did I have this much pain.

I want sympathy. I want relief from the pain. I want my dentist to get his butt back into town to take care of me now! I was up most of the night with this stupid tooth and then finally got to sleep around 6 something this morning... don't remember exactly. As soon as I woke up again, I called my dentist's office. Voice mail came on indicating that they were in fact open, but probably busy on the phone and to please leave a message. So I did. They did not call me back.

Instead of taking a shower and getting dressed, I waited for my phone to ring because I did not want to miss the call. Finally, I called again. The receptionist I know was not there (I think she is out having a baby or something) and some twit answered the phone (can you tell I am not in the best frame of mind over this?). She was unaware of my message because she hadn't bothered to check for any... as indicated by her flashing light!

At that point she informed me that my dentist was out of town and would be back Monday. Today is Wednesday! Would I be interested in seeing the on-call dentist? Of course I was. So she told me to come right away and they would fit me in somewhere. I told her it would take me a bit to get there because I still needed to take a quick shower and get dressed. Of course that could not be accommodated and she thought it hilarious that I was not yet dressed. Perhaps had she returned my call things would have gone differently.

May she have a toothache one day and have someone laugh at her after she has been up all night and then not have her urgent phone call returned. I was not happy. Since I could not be there within 10 minutes, they would not see me until tomorrow at 7 am. Another night of tossing and turning with a toothache. Sigh. I am usually much more patient with people. Double sigh. Okay. I will try to adjust my attitude and not blow the "offense" out of proportion. Sigh. Sigh. Sigh. Ouch!

Back to popping the Aleve. Maybe I will have a few stiff drinks before bed tonight to numb the pain. Going to the dentist with a hangover... now that should be pleasant!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Rhodent Recipe

Here is the recipe that a couple of you requested. I originally got it from my Aunt Johanna. Please note that this is the original recipe. When I make these mushrooms, I usually make much more than 1 lb and increase most of the seasoning amounts. (Ralph... please remember to add the lemon juice to suit your taste!) Very often I do the main part of the recipe and instead of marinating for 8 hours, I marinate in the refrigerator overnight... then all I have to do is reheat them and finish with whatever extra seasoning I think I need to add.

This recipe is a favorite at our house for the holidays. I usually make enough for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in one batch...5 to 6 lbs. I have big eaters and a big group! Get the largest fresh button mushrooms you can find... they shrink up a lot!

Mushroom Individuals
(basic recipe)

      • 1 lb. fresh button mushrooms
      • 1 T butter
      • 1 clove garlic, crushed
      • 1 tsp dill weed
      • 1/2 tsp salt
      • 1/4 tsp pepper
      • 1 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
      • 1 T sherry
      • 1 cup sour cream
Clean mushrooms. Melt butter and add garlic. Add mushrooms to butter and add dill weed, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and sherry. Cook for 20 minutes. Pour small amount of mushroom liquid into sour cream and blend. Pour sour cream over mushrooms and mix thoroughly to coat mushrooms.

Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight to marinate.

Place in chafing dish and heat. Use toothpicks for serving.

If you do not have time to marinate for at least 8 hours, increase the amount of lemon and sherry and marinate as long as possible before heating.

Okay, so that is the basic recipe. I always put in extra garlic, sherry, dill, and lemon juice... and then maybe a bit more sherry. Let it reduce down before adding the sour cream, and it is ever so yummy! I just can't help it. I learned to cook from my father, and he never followed a recipe. He firmly believed in tasting as you go! You also get the pleasure of enjoying the food twice! Yes, I need to lose weight! ;o)

Alphabetical Info

  • A is for age: 56
  • B is for Booze: Mimosa
  • C is for Career: accountant / bookkeeper
  • D is for Dad's Name:? Robert
  • E is for Essential items to bring to a party: a smile and friendly attitude
  • F is for Favorite song at the moment: Set Me As A Seal On Your Heart
  • H is for Hometown:? St. Petersburg. Florida
  • I is for Instruments you play: in the past... clarinet, piano, guitar
  • K is for Kids: 4
  • L is for Living arrangements: separated living in the same house with my soon to be ex-husband
  • M is for Mom's name: Alice Ann
  • N is for Name of your future children: that would have to be grandchildren... none yet
  • O is for Overnight hospital stays: 4 births +3 others
  • P is for phobia(s): things in the water (gulf, ocean, river, lake)I cannot see (like sharks and alligators) poisonous snakes
  • Q is for Quotes you like: "We're all fine. Everything 's fine here..." Han Solo
  • R is for Relationship that lasted the longest: Jay 35+ years
  • S is for Siblings: Betsy
  • T is for Time you wake up: depends on how late I've been up & how soundly I've slept
  • U is for Unique trait: I can touch the end of my nose with my tongue
  • V is for Vegetable you love: English peas right out of the garden, carrots, green beans, tomatoes
  • W is for Worst trait: disorganization
  • X is for X-rays: chest, abdominal, teeth, head, hands
  • Y is for yummy food you make: mushroom individuals (with sour cream dill, lemon, and sherry)
  • Z is for zodiac sign: capricorn

Monday, February 20, 2006

<:8 )~

I have added a couple of new links to my list. Anyone interested in quilting will enjoy Tropical Screamer & Tropical Dreamer. Hilarious chicken stories... specifically "Sam" stories... will keep you chuckling when you read Roosterhen Diaries. I will be adding a few more over the next couple of days. What IS it about chickens? Right now I am off to lug some things into my storage unit. Ugh.

<:8 )~

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Google Your Needs

I discovered this fun idea while searching through some blogs. Unfortunately, I cannot remember which blog it was and could not find it again to give the person their due credit for this idea. Basically all you need to do is Google your first name followed by the word needs. I found the result quite amusing. Below are the results of the search...

  1. Peggy needs... a vacation.
  2. Peggy needs... some good luv'n.
  3. Peggy needs... help selecting some fish.
  4. Peggy needs... no introduction.
  5. Peggy needs... it bad.
  6. Peggy needs... your financial support.
  7. Peggy needs... as many walkers as she can get.
  8. Peggy needs... to stop the killer before the death toll rises.
  9. Peggy needs... research funds.
  10. Peggy needs... to work on her speaking.
  11. Peggy needs... to put down the crack pipe.
  12. Peggy needs... an editor or more coffee.
  13. Peggy needs... a little rest.
  14. Peggy needs... to know.
  15. The last thing Peggy needs... is a fella after what she has been through.
About 7 or 8 of these were fairly accurate, but the rest...

Here are some results that should have been on the list!

  1. Peggy needs... a maid.
  2. Peggy needs... to lose some weight.
  3. Peggy needs... to find a new place to live.
  4. Peggy needs... to get out more.
  5. Peggy needs... a steaming hot cup of Jamaican Coffee.
  6. Peggy needs... a maid.
  7. Peggy needs... a new computer.
  8. Peggy needs... to save more for retirement.
  9. Peggy needs... more self-discipline.
  10. Peggy needs... a better vacuum cleaner.
  11. Peggy needs... to lose some weight.
  12. Peggy needs... a maid.
  13. Peggy needs... to finish her filing at work.
  14. Peggy needs... a raise.
  15. Oh yes, I meant to mention that Peggy needs... a maid.
Okay. So in all honesty, some of these are more wants than needs. No harm in dreaming, is there?

Saturday, February 18, 2006

I Think I May Have Come Up With A Solution

I have mentioned before that Thursday night is "girls' night out" and that I have a great time when we get together. This past Thursday was no exception. We had quite a few laughs about things in general and the men (husbands and sons) in our lives. I won't go into details about all that we discussed, but I do want to highlight one topic because I think I have figured out a solution to a neverending battle between the sexes.

No, I am not referring to whether or not the toilet seat is up or down. If you have ever had brothers, a husband, a father, or had to enter a public restroom used by men, you may understand. Why is it that men cannot seem to avoid getting pee on the bathroom floor and/or dripping down the sides of the toilets they use?

It's not like the target is too small. Inventors have even attempted to make the target easier to see...

They have also tried to appeal to mens' interests and egos...

After contemplating this mystery, I have narrowed the issue down to one key psychological factor that if addressed properly could revolutionize men's toilet performance. This factor is summed up in the word competition.

Yes, men seem to love competition...

In fact, it seems to be one of the reasons that the areas around urinals in public restrooms get so bad... men are so interested in checking out each others' equipment to establish their place in the pecking order that they tend miss the intended target.

Just think about it... this competitive nature plays a role in many of the activities that men enjoy. For instance, men that play golf concentrate very hard on getting that ball in to a hole that is much smaller that a toilet...

And what about pool? Men are quite earnest about sinking the proper ball in one of those relatively small openings in the pool table!

Aiming for a target is also important in games that men enjoy like darts and tennis. In tennis, not only does the ball need to connect to the center of the web of strings on the racquet, but also to the desired point on the opponents side of the court.

And what man doesn't occasionally participate in garbage pail basketball? Yes, men like the idea of showing how they can hit the target.

Now the question that came to my mind was how can this competitive nature of men and the whole target idea be utilized to improve men's toilet manners?

Simply putting a target in the toilet bowl would probably not be enough to energize that competitive nature. No. What we need is a toilet that not only has some sort of a target, but we also need this toilet to keep score! Yes! Some sort of flashing scoreboard. You know, one that will keep each male's best score so that he can keep trying to better that score and also keep the scores of each male that uses the toilet so that the best scoring male can be readily ascertained. You might need to include a reset button just in case they want to add someone to the competition... like a visiting male relative on vacation.

Just think how proud the best scorer will be! You may never need to worry about pee on the floor again!

Yup. I got this all figured out. Anybody you know working on a patent?