Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Chronic Pain - Debunking the Myths

This is a copy from an article from my hospital, The Hospital for Special Surgery.  (the hospitals main website

Please note number 9...

I am including the link and copying the article here:

 Anesthesiology Department - Chronic Pain

Top 10 Myths of Chronic Pain

Philip J. Wagner, MD
Attending Anesthesiologist
Hospital for Special Surgery

Misconceptions about chronic pain can do harm to people with legitimate medical problems.  Patients with chronic pain can and should be treated. Dispelling these damaging myths should raise awareness and encourage more people to seek help with a professional trained in treating chronic pain.

Chronic pain is defined as pain that persists for at least 6 months. It may result from an initial injury or problem, such as a herniated disk, serious infection, or surgery.  There may be an ongoing cause of pain, such as arthritis, scar, or cancer.  Some people suffer chronic pain in the absence of any past injury or evidence of damage to the body. Unfortunately, many people with chronic pain do not get the help they need, and the effects may be devastating, not only for the sufferer, but also for an entire family.

Chronic pain is a huge problem in terms of its human and economic toll -- it disables more people than cancer or heart disease, and the annual cost to society in terms of medical treatment, lost working days, decreased productivity and workers compensation is a staggering $100 billion a year. 


Myth #1: If the doctor can’t find anything wrong medically with a patient with chronic pain, it must be "in their head.”  Maybe they’re crazy.
Fact:  Chronic pain is not “in your head.” It is a legitimate medical condition that can and should be treated. Unfortunately, the exact cause of chronic pain cannot always be found. Pain is a complex personal experience, and not all doctors have received adequate training to treat it.  Pain management specialists are specifically trained to recognize and treat common and unusual conditions that cause ongoing pain. Although not all pain has an identifiable cause, there is an effective treatment for most painful conditions.


Myth #2: If people seek treatment or complain about their pain, it means they’re weak.

Fact:  Seeking treatment has nothing to do with being weak. Many people with chronic pain feel trapped and helpless, and do not want to burden anyone else with their problem. It is important for them to realize that there is no need to suffer because effective treatments are available.


Myth #3: People who take powerful opiate ("narcotic") pain medication become drug addicts.

Fact: Opiates are highly effective for many types of pain and can be given safely. Physical dependence from pain relievers is different from addiction. Drug addiction is characterized by compulsive craving and use of a drug, which results in physical, psychological, and social harm to the user. An addict’s drug use continues in spite of predictable, consistent harm (self-destructive behavior.) The vast majority of people taking opiate medications for pain management do NOT become addicted.  Drug dependence, where the body becomes used to the presence of a drug, can occur with the prolonged use of some pain relievers.


Myth #4: The side effects of opiate painkillers turn people into zombies and can stop their breathing.

Fact:  Most side effects are mild, tolerable, treatable, occur at the beginning of therapy, and fade with time.  Common side effects include constipation, drowsiness, and dry mouth. Careful adjustment of dosages and attention to patient concerns help alleviate most side effects.


Myth #5: People with chronic pain treated with opiate pain medications will have to take more and more medication as time goes by to get the same pain relief (tolerance.)

Fact:  Most patients have stable dosages with time.  Increases in medication dosage usually result from worsening physical or psychological status.


Myth #6: Some people don’t want to get better because they benefit from being in pain.

Fact:  Most people don’t enjoy being in pain. Research shows that exaggerating about pain and malingering are actually rare. Assistance from others when pain limits activities or financial compensation for a work-related injury is appropriate for people who suffer from chronic pain.


Myth #7: Ignoring the pain will make it go away.

Fact:  In most cases, ignoring ongoing pain will not make it go away, and it may even get worse.  It is better to seek help from a caring, experienced specialist when pain persists and becomes a problem.


Myth #8: People should try to overcome their pain by pushing themselves to do things.

Fact:  Knowing one’s limits and pacing oneself can help people manage their pain. Overdoing it and pushing too hard can exacerbate pain


Myth #9: If someone looks good, they can’t be in pain.

Fact:  Many people with chronic pain go about their business and do as much as they can, in spite of their pain.  There are no outward signs of chronic pain (unlike acute pain). Just because people look comfortable does not mean they are not in pain.  This misunderstanding creates much emotional distress for people with chronic pain.


Myth #10: Many people have been to several doctors, but haven’t been helped. They’ve been suffering from chronic pain for so long, they’ll just have to live with it.

Fact: With few exceptions, there is no need for anybody to live with unbearable pain.  A variety of treatment options are available, but it is important to find the right doctor.  Just as people see a cardiologist for heart disease or an ophthalmologist for an eye ailment, pain management specialists are trained to treat chronic pain. Patients should make sure they see a qualified pain specialist to get the treatment they need.  Pain management specialists will listen carefully to the history, perform a thorough physical examination, and may refer a patient for other tests or medical consultations before coming up with a comprehensive plan for care.

Since there are many of us J-landers who cope with Chronic pain, Dan, Karyl, Luanne, just to name a few, I think this is an important read for them and for them to print out for their families.

be well,


It could happen...

Libby has been barking her head off all day today! 

Apparently, three houses down from us they had the nerve to have something delivered which required strange people and a truck.

Libby decided to bark on and off for the two hours that they were there. 

The cats were giving her the eye... tee hee.


My dad started antibiotics yesterday, and today he is definitely improved.  He did get checked by his doc today, just to be sure his chest is clear, and all was okay, thank goodness.  I get worried with him because he had pneumonia twice and never knew it for weeks!

I will be really happy when the bugs leave this house!  We Lysoled and Lysoled... I don't think that is a word but you get the idea! 

I got the new chocolate side bar graphic from my graphics group, cute huh?  

I hope you have all gone to visit Bill, at the Wildcats Lair, (see my entry below) as the rainbow striped, catnip smoking Uncle Kerouac began his visit yesterday!

be well,


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

You have GOT to see this!!!

You have to check it out!!!

Russ, that KC Toon Guy, we all know and love has immortalized me in a cartoon, drawn by his own talented hands!

Go here:  royalty to check out the entry at Russ's cartoon blog!

Thanks again Russ, I love it!  You totally captured my royal essence!

be well,



What matters most...

Thank you, everyone, for your kind comments.

As I put in my tag, and maybe you didn't all see it, this is how having chronic illness effects your life.

Hubby is normally very helpful and very understanding.  I know that this is his frustration with the disease coming out.  He hates that I have rheumatoid arthritis and it isn't something he can fix.  He hates that it isn't something anyone can fix.  (and all of him comments I listed out of context)

Believe me, I don't take his crap lying down, I have been giving it right back to him, but it has been a bad few days, and I have had enough.  (actually, sometimes, I have been lying down, but that is besides the point!  lol)

I needed to come here and vent.

The funny thing is that I thought, no one was commenting at all for hours and hours!  Then, I finally opened my journal and found that AOhell was just acting up and I didn't get the alerts!

Not only did you comment, but you rallied in support to my side like a cat who had been rubbed the wrong way! 


I needed that and appreciate it.  Now, I feel like the little cat above... I will be a lioness again, ready to face the day, and fight!

And, fight I will.  Fight the disease, the fatigue, the soreness.  Fight the frustration I feel, and the frustration that my Hubby feels. 

And, give him another swift kick in the arse if I must!  LOL


In other news, Pumpkin is feeling much better!  She had school today and a Girl Scout meeting.

They had a special activity learning how create homemade make-up! 

I was skeptical at first, but it turned out really nice.  They made perfumed bath salts, bubble bath, body glitter and lip balm.  All from natural ingredients and things you can buy at the supermarket.

For example, the lip balm is plain petroleum jelly with koolaid mixed in for flavor and color.  Very cute! 

Fuzzy is now up and feeling a bit grumpy because he still has a bit of a head cold.  I am going to settle him into bed with me, and read some of your journals now.

Thank you all again...

be well,



Apparently, that is all I am good for these days.

My hubby has taken to telling me repeatedly how disappointed he is in me over the last few days.

'You are old before your time.'

'You sound like an old lady.'

'You are turning into a hermit.'

'You sleep too much.'

'You never want to...'

Must be nice to be so 'perfect'. 

Must be nice to bounce back so easily from being sick.

Must be nice to feel well enough to do whatever you want, whenever you want.

Must be nice to only get 'tired' some days, and not have 'fatigue'.

Must be nice to not have the weather affect your disease, oh wait, that's right, you don't have one.

Must be nice to think you saying these things doesn't cut me like a knife each time.

Must be nice.

I could use some prayers... thanks.

be well,


Monday, February 26, 2007

Everyone needs laughter

Everyone needs a good laugh.  It has been documented in studies to lower your blood pressure, help you heal faster from injury, cope with pain better, and raise your serotonin levels which eases anxiety and makes you generally, happier.

So, here is a journal to help everyone's life be better with a few laughs.

Bill, the Wildcat, has the journal The Wildcat's Lair  up and running again in full swing.  

There you can read about Bill and his wife's adventures in writing, and read book and movie reviews.

But, that isn't the funny stuff.

Bill has a mascot, Frank.  Frank is a black cat with blue stripes and a wickedly sarcastic sense of humor.  Bill has added some new characters of late, including Hip, who is a hippo-dragon. 

Tomorrow, Frank's catnip loving rainbow-striped Uncle Kerouac is coming to visit!  I can tell already, it is going to be a blast!

So please, do yourself a favor, go visit The Wildcat's Lair and do your body, mind, and soul some good with laughter!!!

be well,


Monday with Max

You just have to love Maxine, don't you?

I get to smell wet dog today because...

We got our storm finally last night and awoke to a beautiful blanket of white!  About 4 inches, I would say.  Better late than never.

The kids had a delayed opening for school.  I actually kept Pumpkin home, I would rather she stay in and rest for the day and really get over being sick.

Fuzzy was very disappointed that there was school at all, but he went!  He has a test today on Greek Gods and Goddesses.

I got the call at 5 am from the school and then I volunteer to help make calls, so I then got out my phone chain list and woke up parents for the next half hour.

Hubby got up with me and checked out the weather reports and whatnot, then we both went back to bed.  It took me until almost 7 am to fall back to sleep.  I hate that.

Thankfully, Hubby got up at 8:30ish with the kids, and took Fuzzy to school and I slept in.

And, remember how Typhoid Pumpkin had spared Grandpa??  Not with this second round of plague.  My poor Dad has the whole cold/cough/sore throat thing now! 

Last night at 7 pm, Hubby decided to bake Banana Bread!  I have to say, it is yummy.  I am eating a piece right now.  My potassium came back low in my last bloodwork, so this is a perfect way to get it back up!  Bananas!  Thank you, honey!

Did you watch the Oscars last night?  I did!  I was really happy for Jennifer Hudson, as she won Supporting Actress for her role as Effie in Dreamgirls.  Hubby and I rooted for her during her American Idol season, and I am so happy that she is getting the success and recognition she was denied then!  She has an amazing vocal talent, and apparently, shecan act!

Ellen Degeneres was very funny as the host, without being overdone!  I enjoyed her!

Can you believe that this is the last week of February?  Wow, 2007 is speeding by already.

Enough of my babbling... enjoy your Monday!

be well,


Sunday, February 25, 2007

Mary's Thoughtful Meme/Questionnaire

Okay, so it isn't morning, but I still need my coffee!

Here's a meme from over at Mary's Journal.  Check it out if you can!

Name something you don't have but really want.
I would have to say lots of energy like Cin.  I definitely don't have enough.  Chronic fatigue sucks.

Name something you have but don't want.
Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Sjogren's Syndrome (just the dry mouth part).  Yup, take 'em back... I don't want 'em.

2 favorite material possessions.
--My engagement ring, and anniversary bands.
--My Keurig Single K-cup Coffee Brewer!

What is a relationship breaker for you?
I would have to say lies.

What is the best part of your relationship with your partner?
We know how to have fun with each other.  We are true partners in all aspects of our lives.

Describe what sadness is to you.
I would have to say when the kids are hurt by other kids.  I hate not being able to fix that.

Have you ever been in therapy?

This is my therapy, journaling.  Getting my thoughts and feelings out there.  I did a group therapy for coping with RA when I was first diagnosed for about 2 years.

What is your favorite thing to do as a pick me up?
Go out to dinner alone with my Hubby.  Having that time just for us, usually centers me and gives me a boost to get through all the every day junk out there that can bring you down.

Who made you laugh last?
George Lopez on his HBO special last night.  He did this whole thing about how kids are spoiled now and what it was like to be a kid when he was growing up, and I laughed so hard, I was crying and trying not to wet my pants!  I tivo'd it to watch again with Hubby tonight.

Okay... you are all tagged.  Yes, Russ, that means you, too.  I promise, you don't have to think too hard!

be well,

Saturday, February 24, 2007

My Exhausted Family

Last night, Pumpkin's very bestest friend had her birthday sleep over. 

Pumpkin had come home from school showing signs of relapsing with her cold.  She looked pale and was a teensy bit warm. 

However, I let her go to the sleepover with Motrin and Dayquil on board and just prayed she wouldn't get worse today.

Ha ha.  Pumpkin got home at 10 am and at first, seemed okay.  Looked pale and tired and was congested, but not feverish, but after two hours of tv, she was burning up and her throat was very sore.  I peeked in with the flashlight to find two enormously swollen and red tonsils. 

Wonderful.  Thank goodness our regular pediatrician was on call, and knew immediately to call me in the antibiotic.  Hopefully, the fever will be gone tomorrow by afternoon. 

I'll keep you all posted on Round 2 - Typhoid Pumpkin and the Plague.

The boys and Hubby left the house at 6am this morning.

They had a Boy Scout competition called the Klondike Derby.

For those of you unfamiliar with it, the boys have a sled of supplies that they have to pull from station to station all day as they perform tasks and earn points.

Hubby said it was 17 degrees and windy as heck when the competition started at 7:30am.  Yikes!  Thankfully, the sun was out and the day warmed up to a balmy 40 degrees by noon!

The boys threw tomahawks at targets for points, did firestarting, knot tying, an obstacle course, first aid, rescued someone on a stretcher made of a blanket and sticks, compass reading and orienteering, and baked cookies in an oven made from a cardboard box and aluminum foil.  Our troop ran the firestarting station, and Hubby worked there with our Scoutmaster and two other assistant scoutmasters.

The boys team was called the Weasels, and they even had a flag that their Scoutmaster had made for them.  At the end, they didn't come in the top 3, but they had a great day.  Good team building, as well as learning their outdoor skills.

There were many towns and troops competing, and they all sang a rally song at the end.  The boys' song was 'We are roadkill, we are roadkill, yes we are, we are the animal found dead, under your car.'

I have been treated to many rousing renditions of said song since they came home. 

Everyone was in bed and asleep by 9:15pm, which is early for them on a Saturday night!  Hubby followed by 10pm on the couch!  Poor Daddy is pooped, too! 

Time for me to join them all soon!

be well,


Memories from Back to the Future

Ah yes, life now, versus then...

Pumpkin is watching 'Back to the Future' with Michael J. Fox, on the ABC Family Channel.  The movie is billed as a 'classic' now.  Wow.

I have been lost within some memories of that time while cleaning some 'piles of stuff' in bedroom.

The movie came out July 3, 1985. 

Yes, I remember the exact date.  Why?  I was working at a movie theater then, and it was a huge hit.  The posters all had the date in big letters across the bottom.

At that time, the theater was a single screen family owned business.  An extinct concept now in this suburban area.

I worked there with my best friend/sister of my heart, Kathy.  She was also living with me and my family by then.

That summer was a blast.

All of us who worked there were in our early twenties or late teens.  There was a whole crowd of us who hung out, theater employees, and employees from the other stores in the strip mall where we were located.  Even the two managers that we had were friends and hung out with all of us.

I remember us standing around reciting the lines from 'Back to the Future' with the door open to auditorium, as a competition to see who could do it longest.

I remember deliberately ripping the corners of Reese's wrappers and yelling out to our manager (and friend), 'Whoops, spoilage' and then splitting them with Kathy and our other friend, LeeAnn.  Sometimes, Junior Mints or Nestle's Crunch had a horrible mishap instead.

I remember Kathy dropping the big, heavy, wooden door on her foot and breaking it.  Ouch.

I remember several of our parties after the theater closed and all the customers were gone.  That was the first time I ever went into a men's room and saw a urinal!  LOL  Ah, the mystery of no lines at men's rooms revealed!!!

I remember plugging in our curling irons after hours behind the candy stand to do our big 80's hair!  And, then re-doing our make-up for the evening as well!

I remember our wild after-hours Halloween party when I was a French Maid, and Kathy was a Playboy Bunny!  And, we went out to a club like that, too!  I even pictures of that somewhere, and no, I don't have a scanner!  Ha!

Conveniently, there was a Mexican restaurant and bar as a part of the strip mall.

I remember lots of nights at El Torito with a whole bunch of us having drinks and laughs. 

I remember several slightly buzzed friends melting drink straws over the candle flames and making straw animal scultures while we partied!

I remember one night where several people were challenged to 'eat the worm' in the bottle of Mezcal Tequila, and I remember at least one person doing it!  Ewwwww!  Not me!!! 

I remember going to the local diner at 2am, and all the 'interesting' people there while having an order of french fries with brown gravy!

I remember that carefree feeling of that time...

Nothing to do but have some fun with your friends...

And, wow, what stamina!  Youth is soooo wasted on the young!  What I could do with some of that now!  lol

Thanks for letting me walk down memory lane for a while!

be well,

Friday, February 23, 2007

Color Pyramid of Things UC While at your Computer!

I got this fun meme from Cin over at Bad Altitude.  She has a private journal that I am privileged to visit!   Enjoy!

Things You See While at Your Computer - Color Pyramid

Name 6 red things that you see from where you sit.

1.    Red Delicious apples in a basket.
2.    The Ghostbusters symbol on the dvd movie cover.
3.    The red box of Diamond Crystal kosher salt.
4.    A red silicone oven mitt.
5.    The red nozzle for hot water on our water cooler.
6.    A refrigerator magnet in red from our drug store.

Name 5 blue things you see from where you sit.

1.    The blue nozzle on the water cooler for cold water.
2.    The blue magnet man on the refrigerator.
3.    The blue label on a typing cd that Hammer uses for school.
4.    The blue glow in the water chamber of my Keurig Coffee maker.
5.    The blue US Navy shirt that Fuzzy is wearing.

Name 4 green things you see from where you sit.

1.    The light green olive oil in the bottle of Colavita near the stove.
2.    The label on my Green Mountain Coffee K-cups.
3.    The kitchen towel.
4.    The tissue box.

Name 3 yellow things you see from where you sit.

1.    The kitchen counter. (oh yes, 1970's chic)
2.    The yellow 'How to read a label for a peanut allergy' magnet.
3.    The yellow shirt on a green 'Senor Frog's' magnet from Puerto Rico.

Name 2 purple things you see from where you sit.

1.    The purple grapes on the bread box.
2.    The purple lid of a Sharpie marker.

Name 1 black thing you see from where you sit.

1.    The black front to the dishwasher.

Come play along!

be well,


Thursday, February 22, 2007

My Kids Names and TGIF

Thank you, Chris for this adorable graphic!

Since it came up in recent comments, I thought I would once again do an entry explaining the names of my kids as you see them here in my journal.

As a safety precaution, I only use nicknames for the kids here online.

My Hubby has a penchant for calling everyone by a nickname, whether they know it or not, or like it or not! 

It began in his youth, and he grew up with a crew of names you just wouldn't believe.  To give you a sample, of just a few, there was Big Pie, Little Pie, Cupcake, Pivot, Sidewinder, Pugsly, Frozz, and yes, there are even more.  Some lucky people had more than one!

But, I digress, back to the kids...

Hammer is actually short for Hammerhead for my eldest son.

As a baby when he was really hungry he used to thrash his head about like a shark as you tried to get the bottle in his mouth!  Then, as a toddler, he totally fell in love with the hammerhead shark after seeing one at Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut. 

Fuzzy for my middle son, is from the rhyme 'Fuzzy Wuzzy was a Bear', which I am sure you all know and love.  Middle son has been wearing his head shaved in a crew cut since first grade, and the name has just stuck.

Fuzzy has another nickname that Hubby uses just as frequently, which is 'Frigerator'or 'The Fridge'.  Yes, because he is built like one, much like Hubby!   And, also 'Devil Child' because he loves the NJ Devils and has always been the devilish one, behavior wise.  My little smart alec and prankster. 

Last, but certainly not least, would be our baby, and only girl.  She actually does have a few nicknames that use her name that I cannot share, but Hubby started to call her 'his little Pumpkin Muffin' after he found this really yummy sweet pumpkin muffin at Au Bon Pain in NYC! 

In the journal I have shortened it to Pumpkin, which can also be confusing because we have an all black cat named Pumpkin that we got in October of '95.  lol

Pumpkin also gets called 'The Warrior Princess', like Zena, but imagine with more of a flair, and 'Grandma mini-me' because she is just like my mom.  Scarily so, on occasion!  Another nickname is Brunhilda because she is a Teutonic Warrior Princess, of course.

Have you gotten the idea that she is a tough little girl?  I guess you have by now...  Following two brothers, she was NOT to be outdone, physically, mentally, emotionally, or verbally, and never has been!

So, that is nickname thing for the kids!

Do I have a nickname from Hubby?  Yes, the usual, 'hon' or 'babe' that most wives get, but I have two silly nicknames also.

The first is from the Rugrat years, when our tv was perpetually on Nickolodeon and the Rugrats seemed to be always on the tube!  It is Mommy-Reptar, and he still occasionally will call me that.

The other is from another tv show, this time Cartoon Network, 'Ed, Edd, and Eddy' and Hubby will regularly call me Ed or Eddy depending on his mood!  Ed, when he is more reflective and quiet, and a resounding EDDY at the top of lungs when really happy or trying to annoy me.  Which is a lot. @@

I hope that cleared things up for those of you who asked!

be well,


Another ABC Meme - YAY!

And Another ABC Meme, I got it from Cin, but she is private so I can't link you all there!

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. Worse movie ever or fun?
Great fun!  Haven't watched it in years.... now I know what I will do this weekend!

Blue food. Name three blue foods that you enjoy.
Blue corn chips, blue m & m 's and blue icees.

Cleaning. Do you do a "spring cleaning" around your house?
Bwaaaaaa Nah... just do what I can with my mom's help!

Driving during snow/ice storms. Do you do it?
If there is a need to do so.  I am not afraid of driving in any condition.  Snow is actually fun... One time I drove down the Garden State Parkway in a blizzard to pick up Kathy and then return home so she would be here to party for a weekend.  LOL  Her Firebird was useless in the snow, my little 4 cylinder front wheel drive Turismo hatchback was great!

Edible panties. Ever worn them? Ever licked them off of someone?
I cannot answer this on the grounds that - my kids read this journal!  lol

Flip flops or sandals?
I like both, and only wear Merrells now that my feet are old and I have Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Games. What were your favorite games to play when you were a child?
We played a lot of kickball, jumping rope, hopscotch and tag in my neighborhood.  I loved kickball, still do!

Headline. What is the headline in your local newspaper today?

NJ Transit Derailment No Cause Yet Found

In fashion. Would your friends and family put you on the What Not to Wear show?
Probably. I go for comfort, not fashion

Junk food. What was the last couple of junk food items that you enjoyed?
I had Kettle Cooked Lays Potato Chips on Tuesday night.

Kid dreams. What did you want to be when you grew up? Do you think that kid that you were would approve of how you are living now?
I wanted to be a doctor and a physicist.  Yes, I think that child would be thrilled.  As a mom, I administer to ills and traumas everyday.  And, I have a son who has read physics texts far over my head since the age of 8, so, it was all meant to be. :-D

Lunch. What are you having (or did you have) for lunch today?
I had coffee and 2 slices of american cheese.

Mayonnaise. Do you have a preference?
The one, the only, Hellman's.  Although, I do not put it on sandwiches, just use it in egg salad and tuna salad. 

Near-death experience. Ever been in an accident that you really should not have been able to live through?
No.  Thank goodness.

Olfactory. What scents do you wear and/or keep around your home?
Fuzzy is allergic to most perfumes, so I usually only wear a coconut body spray that doesn't bother him, from Bed Bath and Body Works.  I like vanilla and cinnamon scents around the house.

Personal Assistant. What would you have this person do for you?
Clean my house, of course, and cook sometimes, and that's about it!  lol

Questions. When you are meeting people for the first time, what question do you wish they would not ask?
"Is it a day off of school today?"  Usually, because I have Hammer with me, this question comes up, and then he or I answer that he is homeschooled, and then starts that whole conversation.  And, the weird looks.  Around here, I am considered a bit of a kooky rebel for doing such a thing. 

Reading. Name the book you last finished.
Gone for Soldiers by Jeff Shaara, about the Mexican American war in 1847.  It was excellent, as all his books are, but this one is particularly significant because so many of the character end up opposed against each other in the next book of the Civil War.  (all based in fact)

Sites. What are a couple of websites that you have bookmarked?
I have so many under so many folders it would make your head spin!  So how about I just tell you the folder labels.  I have 'journals', 'shopping', 'homeschool', 'book writing' and 'general'.

Triathlon. If you were in a triathlon (which usually consists of bicycling, swimming and running), what would you want the "sports" to be?
Why Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll, of course!  LOL  I like Cin's answers, but mine would be Coffee Drinking, writing, and raising kids!

Umbrella. Do you use one?
I actually had this on my ABC meme.  I don't have one right now, and I hate to use them!  (I do hate rain more though, go figure)

Vintage. What are some of the oldest things in your house/attic/garage?
My parents?  Bwaaa haaa I crack myself up.  But seriously folks, probably some of the antiques I have.  I have some 100 year old china and crystal, I suppose that would be the oldest.  Most of the furniture I have is depression era.

Winter. Tell me something to like about it.
I love winter!  I love snow!  Snow is magical... the way it transforms your landscape overnight... <sigh>.

XYZ Affair. Do you like French food?
I love crepes, quiche, and most traditional french cuisine, not nouvelle.  Love their cheese and wine, too.  Yum.

Yesterday. What was your biggest accomplishment(s) yesterday?
Getting out of bed before noon and showering according to my Hubby, who is so asking for me to kick his ASS!!!   Anyhow, I wrote about another 500 words in my book late last night, which was today, but before I went to bed, so it counts as yesterday.  Great logic, huh?

Ziti, rice or potato? Fried potatoes, grits or toast? And which do you drink more of: coffee or tea?
Ziti.  Fried potatoes, and coffee all the WAY!!!!  WOOOOHOOOO!

I am done... now you must do it!

be well,


10 Foods you Hate

Ten Foods I Hate

1.     Liver (or any organ meat)
2.    Any whole fish  (I do like Arthur Treacher's though)
3.    Peaches, or anything peach flavored (I don't know why)
4.    Brussel Sprouts  (body snatcher pods, I tell you)
5.    Broccoli  (the smell makes me gag)
6.    Lamb  (gamey)
7.    Veal  (baby calfs? 'nuff said)
8.    Tofu  (wall paper paste)
9.    Cottage Cheese (lumps, ewww)
10.   Caviar  (tried it several times, can't do it, fish eggs eww)

Okay, you know what to do... I want to see your lists!!!

be well,


Thankful Thursday

It is that time again!  CarnivAOL™ time!  And, since I didn't bug you all to put in an entry, it is a short, but sweet, edition.

Go check it out, now.  I'll wait.


Gretchen, at Living in Savannah 2 has up her Thankful Thursday and so, I humbly follow suit. 

(and, I am putting a blogplug to Journals Editor Joe)

1.    Coffee.  I know, I am thanking this to death, but in my life, it just isn't enough, trust me! 

2     Modern Medicine.  It has slowed the mucus down for all of us, otherwise, we may have drowned.  Seriously. 

3.     Educational TV Channels.  Discovery, The Learning Channel, The History Channel, History International, Animal Planet, Science Discovery, National Geographic Channel and the others I am forgetting are all wonderful gifts if you remember to use them!  My kids loooooove these channels, sparked by their parents love of them, I am sure. 

Fuzzy is home sick, and he and Hammer are watching 'Hollywood Science' which is exploring the Bond cars and what may come to be in reality.  Cool.

4.     Roget's SUPER Thesaurus.  I ordered this last week to help me with my novel writing.  It rocks.  The best thesaurus I have ever used.  Really.  All you writers out there should get one.

5.     My kids.  They are funny, smart, loving and silly, everything kids should be!  The Batmobile is going to be highlighted next and they know that I love  Batman!  I just watched it, and remembered how I loved the Batman tv show!  Honestly, I still love Batman!


  Now, the boys were just discussing how the Nutrisystem and all weight loss commercials usually show girls in bikinis because that is all men want to see on tv. 

I guess at 14 1/2 and almost 12 they don't want to see girls in bikinis all the time!  However, they seem to have decided that sometimes it is just fine!  LOL

I kept Fuzzy home today because he had a bad night of coughing and lost quite a bit of sleep.  He will be good to go for tomorrow, I think. 

I can't wait until this plague completely leaves the house!  Maybe this weekend?  Keep us in your prayers!

be well,

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Feh, Serves him right

(I know it is morning... but the graphic fit my situation with hubby.)

Hubby has been afflicted with the plague!  Yee haa!

Normally, I wouldn't be so happy about it, but he came home on Sunday in a cranky butt mood that he decided to take out directly on me.  And, I was quite sick!!!

Then, yesterday am, he woke me up and said he was sorry for being a butt, but then continued to be a big 'butt' for the rest of the day.  Not fun.  And, not nice.

For me or him.

The plague, distributed with a smile by Typhoid Pumpkin, has only spared my Dad!  Dad is very happy with this, as he is usually one of the first kicked to the sidelines in full sickness.

I am doing better.  I still have the cough, and the mucous thing, but not so much in my head anymore.  I am faithfully taking medicine (Mucinex DM, I highly recommend it), and a prescription cough syrup at night so I can sleep.

It knocks me out.  I highly recommend that, too.  Opiates are good.  I have slept about 40 hours of the last 48 hours, at least.

Today, I decided to try to rejoin the world.

Hubby better watch his nasty sick butt or I may just kick it good.  ;-D

That said, the trolls, I mean kids, are all better, except for Fuzzy.  He, like me, gets the 'hanging on' style of cough.  His asthma isn't aggravated too much though, keeping our fingers crossed there.

Pumpkin is going to subject her father to a game of Boggle right now.  I know that he likes this about as much as having his toenails yanked out, so I am going to enjoy it with glee!  Bwaa ha ha ha!!!

That's what he gets for coming home early to rest and being obnoxious to me for the last two days!  tee hee

Sweet revenge!!!  And, he has to smile through it... it is his sweet daughter, after all!

be well,

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Fat Tuesday

Hello there!

Are you partying for Mardi Gras?  Having a little Fat Tuesday madness? 

Dan, over at The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind , is gorging himself on Polish jelly donuts.  Enjoy, Dan!  I would go read Dan's latest entries if I were you, they will make you laugh!

Pumpkin and Fuzzy are home from school.  Today is the last day of their winter break.  Normally, it would be the whole week, but their school is having construction, and school started late, as you may remember, way back in September.

They just ate 7/8ths of a pizza.  They were very hungry.  They have the whole Fat Tuesday thing down!!!  

Fuzzy is now working on a paper for his science class that is due tomorrow.  Yup, nothing like waiting until the last minute! 

be well,

Monday, February 19, 2007

Questionairre about Travel

1. What is the one place take out-of-town guests when they visit? (you can be vague to preserve your anonymity if you like)

I would take them to NYC to see the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center if it is holiday time. 

If not, then to Liberty State Park, in NJ, to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

2. When visiting another city or town, do you try to cram as much in as possible, or take it slow and easy?

We usually fill it with as much as the kids will allow!  About 2 things a day, one in the am, one after lunch, with the promise of swimming at the hotel after dinner, before bed.  That usually cinches their cooperation!

3. When traveling, where are you most likely to be; strolling through a museum, checking out the local shopping, or doing something else?

Definitely visiting a museum or another historical site.  Shopping is usually done on the fly at a gift shop.  Not usually the primary destination.

4. Do you like organized tours and/or carefully planned itineraries, or would you rather 'wing it' and just see what happens?

We usually have a partial plan before visiting somewhere and then add to it.  For example, when we visited Gettysburg in Summer 2005, we knew that one day we would do the Battlefield Tour.   The rest of the time was open, so when we arrived we gathered lots of pamphlets from the hotel, and planned with input from the kids, all our other visits! 

Even meals were made at historic restaurants, might as well kill 2 birds with one stone, if you can!

5. After a trip, what do you find yourself craving most about home?

This is an easy one, always the bed!  My comfy bed!

I hope everyone will come play, leave me a link to your journal if you do!


So, a quick update on my sick house is in order, I guess!

The kids are better.  Fuzzy came home pretty miserable yesterday, but a good nights rest in his own bed, has done him wonders!  He feels much better today! 

Hammer and Pumpkin are also back to normal, just a little remnant of congestion to remind them they were sick at all.

My Mom seems to be holding her own, definitely a bit of a cold, but it looks like Hubby and my Dad have been spared.

Me?  It looks likes the plague is settling in my chest.  I may have to go to the doc's tomorrow if it doesn't start to leave. Ugh.  I would say it is at least bronchitis for me. 

Figures, I get it the worst, but that is the breaks.  Being on drugs that suppress the immune system from wreaking the havoc of Rheumatoid Arthritis means that colds and flus get to do their worse.

I am looking forward to '24' tonight.  Poor Jack, his family (brother and father) are traitors, killed his friends and the former president even; he is so going to need major therapy.

Ah well, signing off for now...

be well,


Sunday, February 18, 2007

I wouldn't spill the coffee...

I am not usually up this early on a Sunday.

However, this morning, here I sit, awake, and on coffee cup number 2!


I guess it is any number of reasons.  Hammer got up at 7am and I checked on him, as I normally would do.  He is much better today, thank goodness.

I headed back to bed.  I hacked and coughed.  And, didn't want to wake Pumpkin, who slept with me while Daddy and Fuzzy were away.

So, here I sit.  Now, Pumpkin is up anyhow, still coughing like Hammer, but better.  It seems the fever part has passed.

I got to bed early last night, around midnight after watching 'Snakes on a Plane' on pay per view.  It was a typical action flick with a happy ending, but it was just the mind numbing entertainment that I needed.

Libby had her usual moment of psychotic barking that brought my Dad downstairs to calm her around 10:30pm last night. 

Thankfully, my Mom avoided any doorbell ringing. :-D


Earlier in the evening, Hubby came home, ate McDonald's with us sickies, then jumped in the shower, and ran with Pumpkin over to her Valentine dance. 

This year Pumpkin actually graced him with 3 or 4 dances before she ditched him for her friends!  lol

Yes, even though Typhoid Pumpkin is still coughing, I sent her to the dance.  Hey, she got the germs she brought home from one of those little trolls at school, and she didn't have a fever since Thursday evening.  Fair enough, right?  lol

Hubby informed me that Fuzzy is sick, too.  No fever, but does have the cough and cold part.  Fuzzy didn't want to come home from camp though, so right after the dance, Hubby headed back up!

He emailed me when he reached the cabin... everyone was sleeping!  All the boys and all the leaders.  It was 10:45pm.

I imagine that Hubby settled into sleep pretty quick since he had a busy few hours driving in, going to the dance, and driving back.

Fuzzy and Hubby should arrive home around 10am-ish.  I miss them and can't wait to give them big hugs. 

We will all have breakfast together, and then I think I will be ready to nap!  I may be back later with a little questionnaire I found surfing the net last night.

be well,

Friday, February 16, 2007

Arrggghhhhhh Adrenaline Burst!!!

You know that feeling you get when the phone rings late at night.... or even worse the door bell rings?

You know that heart pounding adrenaline release as you panic until you know what is going on?

Well, let me digress for a minute.

I have mentioned my nicotine addicted Mom who can't just quietly shoot up in the bathroom, right?

No, we are all so happy and proud , (really, we are), that she no longer smokes in the house, and it has drastically cut down on her smoking.

Of course, this requires her sneaking out quietly for the last cig of the night...

All good right? 


Enter into evidence, me finally getting 2 sick kids to sleep at about 9:15pm. 

Psychotic yellow lab does her usual freak out of barking at 9:30pm because Hubby  (her daddy), isn't home, and SHE is the alpha dog who must now protect me from every car that drives by.

Then, a very tired Dad (grandpa to dog and kids), comes downstairs to settle down insanely barking dog.

At 9:45pm Dad retreats, dog now asleep at my feet, while I finish off a good book.

10:29pm Apparently, Mom has quietly crept outside to do the dirty deed.

10:30pm I get up to check journals and decide rather than take half a pain pill I would drink 1 Corona Light beer, should help me relax and fall asleep with cold medicine already on board. 

Dog sleeping and snoring in family room....


(we have one of those doorbells with the actual hanging brass pipes...)


Dog goes bezerk and my heart is now in my chest, I run toward door and get to living room and foyer find door OPEN, and then see my Mom, cigarette in hand, whispering (no point of that really), 'Ooops I leaned on the door bell!' 

I grab the brass hangy chime things to stop the residual bonging sound...


My buzz.  Gone.  My quiet sleeping insane psychotic yellow lab? Gone.

So, let dog out, she barks and howls and barks some more.  I have to now calm her down with food. 

And, again, did I mention, my nice sleepy buzz is gone???

Replaced with heart pounding ADRENALINE!!!!  NOT CONDUCIVE TO SLEEP????!!!!!

So, I am reading emails and journals.

'Til tomorrow...

be well,

ps... I hope I made you chuckle! ;-D

A Plague Upon the House

Of course, if I did actually hug you, you would have to bathe in bleach or Purell from head to toe.

Yes, the house has been brought to its knees again from Typhoid Pumpkin.  Yes, on the outside she appears to be a sweet, innocent ten year old girl. 

Inside lurks a demonic ability to lay waste to an entire household and beyond.


Only Typhoid Pumpkin can do this to the entire house.

Hubby can withstand the onslaught, as they are cut from the same cloth.

Wednesday, Pumpkin felt a little funky in the am, coughing, nose running and what-not.  By evening, I knew it was not good, she was feverish and cranky.  Yesterday, she was horrible until dinner time when the fever finally broke.  Still tired and sniffly, but better.

Today. she is raring to go and annoyed that I am holding her back from school and dance class.  I don't want her to relapse.  I would probably die if she did.

You see, I am a miserable coughing and sneezing mess.  I lay in bed last night for two hours until I finally was too exhausted to cough anymore and interrupt my sleep.  This morning I felt like crap, but didn't seem to have the fever, just the mucous.... at least, not yet.

Hammer got up around 3am, coughing, sneezing, feverish and miserable.  God bless him, he didn't wake anyone, just waited until 7am to ask for some medicine.  My poor sweet baby.

The boys have another Boy Scout cabin trip today through Sunday morning.  Hammer is not going.  Fuzzy and Hubby will attend, but I have a feeling Fuzzy may not make the whole weekend as he is starting to sniffle and cough.  Ugh.

Hubby actually is driving home tomorrow evening (from an hour west of here) to take Pumpkin to her Girl Scout Father/Daughter Valentine's Day Dance from 7-9pm.   Hubby was going to drive right back up, but if Fuzzy is sick, maybe they will both be home tomorrow afternoon.

If Hubby does return to camp he will be home Sunday at 11am which is good because we have to leave at noon to go to my nephew J's 4th birthday party, an hour south of us. 

That is, if, and it is a very big if, we are all okay to go. 

Usually, when Typhoid Pumpkin starts it, my Mom and Dad get sick, too.  I guess we will see!

I have been coughing so hard my chest hurts.  I hope I don't get, Costochondritis , which is an inflammation of the joints between the ribs and sternum.  Those of us with rheumatoid arthritis and lupus tend to get cursed with it, often when we get a bad coughing thing.

So, prayers, positive thoughts, candle lightings and stirrings, would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!!!  I have to go put my tyvek biohazard suit on now and go attend to the kids!!! lol

be well,


Thursday, February 15, 2007

Thankful Thursday

It is time for honoring the blessings in my life!  Thank you Gretchen, Living in Savannah 2 for bringing this affirmation into my life!

I am thankful for

1)     a wonderful Valentine's Day with Hubby and kids and my parents.

2)     Hammer helping out with his sister today while she is sick.

3)     Fuzzy making the Honor Roll again at school.

4)     Pumpkin having a fabulous report card!

5)     My Dad and Mom and all their love and help, especially at times like this when one of the kids are sick!


As you can gather from above, Pumpkin is sick.  One of her sleepover companions became sick on Monday, so we kind of knew it was coming. 

She has a terrible cough and fever and her body is very achey sore.  We will go see the doc a little later.  Seems to be the flu that is going around the 4th grade at her school.  Ugh.

My dad just came in with Fuzzy who is very excited that he has no homework.  In fact, he is so happy he is just about dancing around me in the kitchen right now.

Ahhh,the joys of youth!  It takes a lot to make me dance around the room!  lol

Libby has been psychotic today.  Barking all day at nothing.  Running around the house and chasing her tail and just generally being crazy!

Well, Pumpkin and I are going to share some Lipton's Chicken Noodle soup right now, so I bid you adieu!

be well,


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours, my j-land friends!

Be lovey and kissey and huggy!

The kids had a snow day, but we were disappointed because it isn't really snow.  It is little round ice pellets and only 3 inches worth.  And, it is still falling.  It is very nasty and windy.  So, more of an ice storm than snow.  :(

Someday... <sigh>

The kids are home though and Hubby stayed home.  That is always nice!

Hug onto your Valentine's human and furry alike!!!

be well,

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Kids o Fun

Well, the snow has arrived in states west of New Jersey, and it is supposed to actually fall here as well. 

That is all I am going to say, because last time it never came!


Fuzzy had to do a rough draft on report for science class on the disease PKU.  Fuzzy decided it was perfectly fine to hand in a typed rough draft without actually having the words, PKU or the full name, on the draft at all.

I sent him back to the computer.

He returned with PKU at the top, and the full name misspelled. 

I sent him back to the computer.

He decided to rant and rave about how horrible I am and that no one would care that it was misspelled.  I told him that HE should care (as well as his teacher) if the actual SUBJECT for the report is misspelled.  He then got so fresh with his answering back that he got grounded from using the computer today or video games.

Even funnier, is that he THINKS that when he tells his father about how horrible I was, that his father will agree and overturn the punishment. 

Now, Fuzzy has tried this before and it has NEVER happened.  Kids.

Pumpkin is upstairs sulking in her bedroom because we are having steak tonight.  She loves steak, but for some reason unbeknownst to parent/grandparent kind, she has decided to throw a hissy about it tonight. 


Hammer is in his  usual wonderful, pleasant, kind, helpful mood.  This child, my eldest, my ONLY teenager gets in a bad mood about 4 times a year.  AND, he is the one with Asperger's Syndrome/Autism.  GO FIGURE.

Hubby will be home late.  Not until almost 7pm.  And, he will wonder why I am cranky!  lol 

The joys of motherhood....

be well,


Monday, February 12, 2007

Monday Monday

Ahhh... coffee... elixir of life...

Okay, enough of that... you all already know that coffee is the only thing that gets me going.

Everyone has been asking about the fondue restaurant so I want to give you all the link!  It is a franchise chain called 'The Melting Pot' and it is awesome!

Here is the link to their home page, you can check for a location near you: Welcome to The Melting Pot  

I highly recommend that you try it at least once!

My Mom took Hammer out to lunch and to keep her company as she got a manicure.  I was going to join them but my hands are really sore, and I didn't feel like sitting at the manicure place.  Mom did offer to get me a manicure, but my nails are short and hands hurt too much.

Here is a link to a quiz I did about me!  It should be easy and fun!

Dawn Quiz Page

Give it a try and let me know how you did in comments!

Have a great Monday!

be well,

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Restful Sunday

Last night Hubby and I went out for our fondue dinner alone.

It was really nice!  We had a four cheese fondue to start that you dip in bread and apples.  It was yummy, the cheeses were asiago, provolone, gruyere, and marscapone.  It had a white wine base and a little garlic, worcestshire, red pepper and pesto.  Mmmmmmmm

Then, after a salad we did the bourgoinione style of cooking in oil.  We had 2 batters to use, a sesame batter and a plain one.  The meats were filet mignon cubes, marinated teriyaki steak, chicken cubes, and shrimp.  Also there were raviolis to cook and potato wedges, yellow squash and other veggies that we don't eat!  lol  They give you about 9 different dipping sauces for it all, too. 

Dessert was the dark chocalate smores fondue!  Dark chocalate melted and mixed with graham cracker crumbs and flambeed brandy.  The dippings were strawberries, pineapple cubes, banana slices, brownie cubes, marshmallows, pound cake cubes and a small slice of cheesecake that you can use a spoon to drizzle the fondue over.

It was heaven on earth!!! 

But, the best part was sitting in the little romantic 2 person private booth, and being able to giggle and laugh and talk without any interruptions for whole meal! 

Romantic and sweet!

Today, Hubby took Fuzzy and Pumpkin to the batting cages for a bit after breakfast.  Fuzzy is turning his eyes toward the baseball season now.

Pumpkin and I played some Boggle together!  It was a lot of fun and is such a great way to build vocabulary and spelling skills without even realizing it!  Fuzzy joined us for a couple of games near the end.

Hubby is in the basement finishing up some framing details.  Soon it will be sheetrock time. 

Honestly, I don't know when though!  Every weekend for the rest of this month and all of next is just jammed full of things going on for the kids and family!  Some weekends, like next weekend, there are three or four things that need to be juggled!  It will be a bit nuts!

Thank goodness for coffee!

I have so many great Valentine's graphics I am trying to use two an entry to fit them in!

I hope you enjoy!

be well,