Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Cripey as the New Zealanders would say.........

Today was not my day. After the day I had Monday I thought things could only get better. Today proved that might not necessarily be true. I got all spruced up today and went to work wearing my new blazer that I had purchased last winter but finally had the sleeves hemmed on. A black skirt, black blazer with the fringe and red stripes. Wore a red turtleneck and looked pretty good I thought. We were having a meeting at work and the boss was providing pizza and drinks. An entire office full which is rare. Here I am sitting across from the doorway of the meeting when I get a phone call from our IT person. He had to quickly hand up so I hung up the phone which is on the wall in the media room and my butt slid just shy of the leather chair. BOOM! My but hit the hard floor first followed shortly by my head. Did I mention that my blood thinner was working overtime and I was NOT supposed to get injured this week? I began to feel panicky but kept it under control. I was SOOO embarassed as everyone began to come in to see how I was. To think I wore a skirt for the fall. Sheesh. I assured them I was ok and I only had an hour left to work so I finished up the sheets I was working on and left. I am sore. My hand, arm, leg and head. I came home and my son was here. Trust me the nut didn't fall far from this old acorn. He was worried silly and wanted me to let him take me to an ER. I told him that I was ok. He got a light and shined it into my eyes to see how my pupils looked. He assured me that they had no signs of anything wrong. I called the internist who told me not to worry unless I began to have symptoms such as a rapidly intense migraine, throwing up, visual disturbances or loss of consciousness. This is the killer. It's Rob's dart night. I refuse to tell him and have him miss it. It's the only thing he does for himself. I will bite the bullet and watch Shrek DVDs to keep myself entertained. At least it's not two years ago where I would have had myself dead and buried by now. I'm a lot tougher than even I realized I was.
On a different note, some of you have noticed I removed Duffy's picture. Sorry but I was unable to decode the html and make the font big enough to read. I have tried installing the previous flower template I used and that won't load even though I did everything the same. I have uploaded the template to a URL and it still isn't showing. AT this time I am giving up on a fancy blog and going back to the standards.
I see that AOL put on a disclaimer about the ads. TOO LITTLE TOO LATE. They have made it really easy to leave them. Every IT person I talk to says they have the worst service and all the downloads they send are bad for your computer.

Monday, November 28, 2005

A day that kept going downhill

Did you ever have a day that just seemed like nothing went right?
That was my day today. It started nice and early when I got out of bed about 7:30 with a stiff neck. Drug myself downstairs for coffee when I realized that I could not remember how to get to where I needed to go for my mammogram. Called the place and got stuck in a phone system where you could not talk to a person. I was able to press a button and get directions, vague as they were. Was running late but managed to get there on time. I fill out the papers and they ask where I had my last one done. I tell them with the same group but at a different location. They want to know why they don't have the last one. I explain that a surgeon used them to remove a lesion and suggest they call him. His office claims they sent them back to the xray group. They promptly inform me after turning over the script that they will NOT do my mammogram. Why I ask. Because now that they KNOW I had a cancerous lesion last time, I must have a DIAGNOSTIC mammo instead of the screening mammo. Well, why didn't anyone tell me this I ask. They inform me that a doctor must be present for me to have the diagnostic exam. They will reschedule it for Dec. 8 and if I can't bring the old one, I must cancel.
OK...on with the bone density. By the way, since I didn't have both procedures done on the same day that means I pay TWO copays. Ok I say. I just want to get out of there and find where my old films are. I call the hospital where they did the surgery. Yes, the surgeon left them in the OR and they put them with my other Xrays. Thanks. I will go right over to get them. I called my mother hoping she would offer to drive. I am now so keyed up I was shaking. All the talk about cancer and the fact that they want a doctor there in case they find something has me a bit shaken. My father is yelling in the background. He is in a terrible mood, just like he was on Thanksgiving. I quickly hang up without asking her to go with me.
I get the to the hospital parking lot and spaces are at a premium. I spot a woman who is obviously on chemo slowly making her way to her car.I wait to take her spot. She took a long time but I was patiently waiting when someone behind me, I would guess her to be about 80 began to scream at me to get out of her way. I roll the window down and explain that I am waiting for the woman's spot on the right. She then throws her car into reverse and hits my rear bumper. I jump out of the car, with complete disbelief. I examine my car and it seems to have sustained no damage. Judging by her bumper, she has done this before. I tell her she needs to practice patience. By now my spot is clear and I pull in. As I walk through the area towards the xray file room, I see the blood lab and realize I am a week late in getting my blood tested for the coumadin level. I pop in and hand them my card. They inform me that the card has expired and I must go to registration again (every three months) and re-register. I bite the bullet and do it. Back to the lab and now there is a wait to have my blood taken. They finally do it and I make my way to the file room to find Doris, the supervisor who was the one bright spot in my day. I thanked her profusely for searching quickly so I would know if I would have to continue contacting other doctors instead. I can see that she is not used to being thanked.
I left there and decided to run into the mall and use a coupon to buy a much needed black belt. I get it and shoot home. I walk into the house and see the cardiologist's number on my caller I.D. Not a good sign that he called so quickly. I know he sees patients on Tuesdays. I call his office and the nurse tells me to hold on he will be right on. He informs me that my level is much too high. The INR level determines how quickly your blood will clot, or not. In my case, with an artificial heart valve you want the blood to be close to 3. I am usually about 2 - 2.5. Never 3. Because I have one of the newer valves, that's acceptable. Apparently my level today is just under 5! Never been this high before. I can't take my medicine tonight. He jokingly asks if I have been using my coumadin recreationally. HMMMMM NO.
What can happen with a level this high is many things, none of which are good. If you get in a car accident, you might hemmorage. If you get hit in the head you might. NO shaving.....anything. Be careful, no knives. If only I had a plastic bubble to confine myself to. I must get it rechecked next week. And he's lowering my overall dose. I hate this drug. Every other drug you take interacts with it. Last month I began taking Crestor to lower my cholesterol. It's possible that is what caused it to go so high. Whatever did it, I have to take a few common sense precautions for the next week. No knives.....I guess that means I don't have to cook for a week. There's always a bright side to everything. The trick is lookin for it. So, I am glad that today is nearly over. Glad that Rob will only be working until 5:30, not 7 as he had originally thought. Glad my car didn't sustain any damage. Glad that I found my elusive mammo films. No matter how bad any day is, there are always a few things that turn out OK. Now I just hope that my mammogram shows nothing. Time to have some tea and relax with my furboys.

Saturday, November 26, 2005


Today I received my Duffy template from Aman. Am experimenting trying to figure out what color font looks good on this dark background. This is my baby, the cutest puppy in the world right? Oh yes, it's like kids, everyone thinks that there's is the best looking. I happen to love this breed of dog, Shetland Sheepdogs. He's my third but first male and first biblack. The others have been the brownish color called Sable. He's a handful, keeps me moving! But I love him so much. When I saw his first picture at six weeks old my heart melted.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Recovering from Thanksgiving

I have come to the conclusion that if you're going to cook for five people you might as well invite up to twenty. The clean up is the big thing for me. I have to find the tablecloth, enough clean silverware etc. Then when it's all over you have to reverse the procedure. Washing so many pots and pans. I love to cook but don't like the clean up afterwards. Fortunately Rob did most of that for me.
This morning I have been trying to sort and tidy up my computer desk. I make notes, later I have no clue what they were referring to. I sorted through many of them today and decided to toss most of them. Fortunately in the clean up I was able to find the html code to put music in an entry. I love music. There are few times that my mood cannot be comforted by music. I have an eclectic collection of vinyl records and CDs. I like Irish pub music, I like classic rock, I like some ballads and even classical music. The only music I never listen to is jazz. Rob loves jazz. I took a class in college and tried to acquire a taste for it but I never could get into it. I did develop a passion for classical music and opera then. This professor was so wonderful. He introduced everything in such a way that you were willing to try anything. I couldn't believe how many punk rockers he introduced to classical who developed a real interest in it. For that class we went into New York and saw the opera Madam Butterfly. It was an incredible experience. It made me realize something, if you haven't tried something you can't know you don't like it. I began to try new foods I had never tried and found that I liked them. That's the beauty of learning. You're never too old to try something new. You never know what wonderful thing you might discover. Today, at least for me, marks the beginning of the Christimas/holiday season. I have friends who celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah. I buy cards for both and gifts for both. This is the season that I will listen to and enjoy The Messiah. What emotional music. It never ceases to amaze me. I wanted to incorporate music in this entry. It's nothing seasonal but an unusual live version of Runaway Train by Soul Asylum. If you'd like to give it a listen Click here to hear music

Thursday, November 24, 2005


I am going to copy an article that was in IRISH AMERICA MAGAZINE Dec/Jan 2006 issue and written by John Cusack. I found it very interesting. (Many people do not realize that the Irish were treated very poorly when they first came in droves to this country to escape the starvation in their homeland. )
In 1621, the Pilgrims, just arrived in the New World, had no idea how wild their new frontier could be. Winter arrived and with it came starvation, death, and the idea that maybe it was time to give up and go back to Europe where the strict confines of politics were easier to deal with than the utter randomness of Mother Nature.
The real story of what happened next is all but lost.
On February 20 of that same year, a ship called The Lyon arrived and delivered much needed provisions which helped sustain the humble colony. The ship was sent over by a Dublin merchant whose daughter was married to one of the Pilgrims.
Grateful for their salvation, the Pilgrims dubbed the following day, February 21, a Day of Thanksgiving.
Over 200 years later, President Lincoln decreed the day a national holiday and moved it to the 4th Thursday of Nov. The pilgrims' amiable relationship with the Native Americans became the focus of the holiday, and the true origin of the 1st Thanksgiving remained misconstrued for 75 yrs.
The Boston Post, the largest paper in New England at the time took up the story in "The Observant Citizen," a section of the paper which discussed a wide range of topics. An unsigned article appeared appeared in this section which mentioned The Lyon as the ship responsible for the first Thanksgiving, by the writer claimed that the ship had come from England or Holland.
Irish organizations in Boston were outraged and cited anti-Irish bias as the reason for the paper's failure to mention Dublin as the true port of origin.
The writer of the article later acknowledged that he had made a mistake and promised to make a correction in the paper the following Thanksgiving. The correction was never made. Time quelled the public outcry, and the true origin of the first Thanksgiving is all but forgotten.

I have much to be grateful for today. The fact that I survived cancer, my heart surgery, my son survived leukemia. I am grateful for my home that is modest but filled with love and hospitality. I am grateful for a person who shares my life and fills it with love and caring. I am grateful for the friends that I have. I am happy for the many friends I have met thru the internet in both chat rooms and journals. You have all added to my life in ways you might never realize. I am grateful for my friend Laura who has been an endless supply of caring and kindness. I wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving and I hope you will all pause for a moment and think of the many blessings that you have as well. Peace to all, especially today.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

A Lovely New Look

My husband Rob found a great place here with more templates.
These were designed by Aman. Very talented guy. I just love this new look so much better than the other template. It takes time and patience to get used to a new format. I certainly wish that I could figure out how to do a few things that I have not been able to....yet. I keep telling myself: "Time and patience grasshopper." :) Although I have been able to post in my AOL journal the changes they made have brought problems into my computer which I still cannot get rid of. One is that I am frequently getting run time Error messages. Have searched through Microsoft webpages and not sure what is going on. Never happened before AOl's journal page changes. I am thinking it's coming from my office program. My computer is freezing. I have run numerous virus scans and Spybot and am finding nothing. It's just a conflict of something I am sure. Am thinking the only way to truly eliminate it will be to dump AOL altogether. It's Sunday and it's brisk here today. I have so many things to do today but haven't made it past the computer room so far. I am having my parents over for Thanksgiving. My one brother is in upstate N.Y., the other two are going to their mother-in-laws. We were invited to my friend Roz's which is so much fun. She has a huge crowd which includes her three beautiful daughters and their spouses and her grandchild, Maisey. After a feast they play games and a grand time is had by all. Roz is an extended part of our family. I am thinking I will have dinner for my parents early and then when they leave we will go to Roz's for the after dinner festivities. I keep thinking this may well be my Dad's last Thanksgiving. He has slowed down drastically and the doctors say he is in congestive heart failure. Half a year ago they speculated that he had two years left. It's sad to see your parents in this state. No matter how much baggage you have with them, you always hope that things will be resolved while they are still alive. With my Dad, I accept that he will never "get" me. Although it makes me sad, I finally accept it. He was born into a different world and will never understand what it's like to be a woman. Although he clearly favors his sons I'm the one who found him doctors and helped him through his open heart surgery. I have to be content in knowing that I have been a good child despite the fact that it was never appreciated. I had so hoped when he went through the same heart surgery I did that it would open his eyes. Sadly, that never happened. The inner child realizes that validation will never come. I think I can finally accept that but it's been a long and hard road to arrive at this destination.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Devils Rule

It's a lovely Saturday here in Jersey. Had a great time last night at the Devils game and arrived home with a puck. They beat the Canadiens and it was an exciting game. They were tied at one point but our Devils triumphed. The one downside of the game was our seats. Although we paid $140 for them, and $10 to park we were in nosebleed land. Rob had taken care of getting the seats and I ASSumed (we all know what the root word there is) that he had used the Devils ticket office He had purchased them from Ticketmaster. Big mistake, they didn't allow him to choose the seats, just the general area. No doubt, we had the highest row in our area. It was 15 rows up into the top tier. I do NOT like heights. I cannot say that strongly enough. If you would like to know why I can tell you. When we were young children I tagged along with my older brother and his friends. When we lived in Norfolk, Virginia, my father was stationed there,my brother decided to pull pranks in a nearby apartment building. He would ring the door bells then hide by lying down on the stairs below the landings. One day I followed along and joined him. When I looked down ( I was face down)from the stair which was metal and like a gate, I saw the huge drop down. I became terrified. I could not speak or move. My brother went home and got my mother who carried me home. I couldn't speak or move for hours. That feeling has never left me. I have been to the Empire State Building many times but I cannot go near the edge of the roof. It's a terrible feeling. I did force myself last night to face my demon. I grabbed hold of the railing and slowly began the ascent to Mount Everest. My heart was pounding. My chest felt like it had a one hundred pound weight on it. At times I thought "I can't do this" but the adult subdued the inner child and I did. When I got seated I took an anti anxiety pill that I keep for just such emergencies. In time I began to relax and enjoy the game. It is disappointing that the good seats are so expensive now. I got spoiled. One of my wealthy friends had season tickets for the ninth row. Periodically she would give them to me and my son. They were right behing one of the goal nets.

On another topic, I am getting sick of some people saying that people were over reacting to leave AOL because of the banners. What some of these people do NOT know is that since those banners were implemented my technical issues went over the top. The first day they appeared ended my ability to post. For two days I was able to sign on through a different browser but now I can no longer do that. Often I cannot even make comments in other journals that are getting posted. It's not just about the banners, although that is a very valid issue. The crux of the matter to me is this: AIM people get free journals and with that, they have to bite the bullet and have the banners. John Scalzi wrote that the paying customers would not have the banners. What the poor business people at AOL might have chosen to do would be to give people an option of having the banners at a reduced rate. Well, AOL has made my decision to leave much easier for me. They have been unresponsive to my questions and complaints. No problem. Thank you Blog Spot for a banner free journal. I have had Verizon DSL for four years with no issues or technical problems. You see AOL, you needed me, I didn't need you. Companies who are successful should know that.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Fritz Perls revisited (a 70s flashback)

I just read something interesting and wanted to share it. Remember Fritz Perls?
During the 70s he had a quotation that was made into posters (somewhere I still have one)

I do my thing, and you do your thing.
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
And you are not in this world to live up to mine.
You are you and I am I;
If by chance we find each other, it's beautiful.
If not, it can't be helped.
Fritz Perls

Apparently someone felt that he missed the relationship boat and wrote this which he felt much better described how relationships should be.

Beyond Perls

If I just do my thing and you do yours,
We stand in danger of losing each other and ourselves.
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations;
But I am in this world to confirm you
As a unique human being.
And to be confirmed by you.
We are fully ourselves only in relation to each other;
The I detached from a Thou
I do not find you by chance;
I find you by an active life
Of reaching out.
Rather than passively letting things happen to me,
I can act intentionally to make them happen.
I must begin with myself, true;
But I must not end with myself;
The truth begins with two
Walter Tubbs

I found this very interesting. It's a fine line between not giving enough and giving too much of oneself in a relationship. A line that often needs refining as time goes on. When I was forced to give I was angry and resentful. Now that no expectations are made, I find that I give out of want and I give freely and unconditionally. Instead of looking to the other person to fulfill my needs, I am more concerned with meeting his. No pressure, no obligation just wanting to please someone who does so much to make me happy and secure.

Making the best of things

Last night I sat here and cried. I feel like the night before graduation when you worry that your friends will all move away and you will lose touch with them. I am hoping that my many friends from J-Land will visit here, keep me posted with their new blog addys and via emails. I am glad to see some have already stopped by.

Today I am going to treat myself. My friend Laura and I haven't seen that much of each other recently. I have been going to school or working each day. Today I was scheduled to repeat a class but I didn't feel it was necessary and so I blew off school to have Laura come and visit. I need it. I need the kinship of a friend today. We will hit a few of our favorite bargain stores and then we are getting our hair colored with my new stylist. A real girls day. Tomorrow I have to work and then in the evening we are going to a hockey game. I am trying to focus on the good, fun things that are going on.

Last night I was realizing that I'm a person who doesn't like change, even when it's positive. I fall into my patterns of comfort and once I have established them it's hard to change them. I still have friends from childhood. I stayed way too long in a bad marriage because of fearing the changes that would take place, particularly financial changes. I have survived, and frankly, I am stronger for them. I have learned that I can eat cereal for dinner if necessary. I can economize in ways I never thought possible. Gone are the manicured nails but they have been replaced by a feeling of self worth and peace in my heart. What a good trade off.

I got married the day after I was 17. I never had a chance to live alone. To date as an adult (until after my divorce), to grow up as a normal young woman would have. Instead I found myself always trying to live up to expectations that were totally unreal. I could not fit into the mold that ex designed for me. There were countless years of me trying when younger, then revolting against it as I matured and became the person I now am. I was never accepted for who and what I am by him. I went against my family in getting the divorce and had no support from them in any way. Even they admit now that it was the best thing I ever did because I am finally at peace, and experiencing contentment. I've survived a lot and keeping it all in perspective, I will survive this too. Besides that, the weekend is coming. :) Peace be with you.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Another day of disbelief

It's been another day and I am still furious at the Powers that Be at AOL. I have given them an ultamatum. Ten days and if the ads are still there I am not just deleting my AOL journals but my accounts will be cancelled. I pay for one for my son as well. Having worked in customer service most of my life I am shocked at their stupidity.

Tomorrow I was supposed to go to school for a repeat of a class but I'm not going to bother. My friend is coming along and I'm going to my new hair person tomorrow night. She's going to try him as well. On Friday I work but then Friday evening I am thrilled to be taking my husband to see his first NJ Devils hockey game. It's a belated anniversary present. He was a Bruins fan when living in Rhode Island. So far the Devils are not doing that great this season. Often they start off badly then improve. Although I am glad that there is hockey to view this season, I have residual anger at them for what they pulled last year. I hope they can win Friday and rejuvenate my spirit.

I just figured out how to post a pic here. You go up to the top next to spell check and click on the picture icon. For all my former AOL buddies, be patient and soon we will be doing all the things here that we did over there. Maybe more. Remember that sometimes when a door shuts a window opens......we can be so busy looking at the door that we miss the window. Be open to new things. Welcome all my AOL friends who have joined me here. We will always be in touch because you have become for me a family of sorts. The ones that I chose.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Welcome to the new digs!

It's a sad day when AOL has pimped us out for months and then all of a sudden shows such total disregard for our journals.......and then they wonder why people are moving to other journaling venues? Besides that I am relieved in many ways. I had stupidly made my original journal using my real name and some potential employers had read my journal before I caught on to that. My real name can be used exclusively for business ventures and this can be just for my blogging. I am hoping all that feel this way will flee AOL like the Israelites fleeing Egypt. In life there are times where you are abused, but I'll be damned if I'll pay for that abuse. Show me some respect AOL, I've showed you the money for nearly ten years.