Wednesday, March 31, 2010

At Least She Is Not Up On The Dining Room Table

In all fairness I did not tell her not to get up on the bookcase to look out the window.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

FYI- It's Trash Day

It's also Doggie Biscuit Day

Monday, March 29, 2010

Let's Talk About Your Health

Nah, let's talk about mine and even though it's of more interest to me than it is to you what I write may just be helpful to you.

Last December I set up an appointment at the health clinic for a check-up and PAP smear. While I was there the doctor asked if I wanted to set up an appointments for a mammogram and a colonoscopy and I said yes. Then while looking at my chart she said that even though I was still too young for osteoporosis did I want to have a bone density scan done so we would have a baseline x-ray for any changes down the road. I hesitated for a moment, thinking about the cost, and then decided it was a good idea.

Let me give you a tip about medical test results. If they mail them to you everything is fine, if they call you on the phone something may be wrong. I was mailed the results of both my PAP and my mammogram but called on the phone and asked to come in to discuss my bone scan results. I knew this was not good but did not worry too much about it since I knew I was too young to have full blown osteoporosis but I did worry about cancer.

The first thing the doctor told me was that my bone scan showed I had osteoporosis, not the beginning stage of osteoporosis, called osteopenia, but full blown osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is diagnosed by comparing your bone density scan to one of a 30 year old healthy adult. The difference between your bone density and healthy bone density is call a T-score. Low bone density is a T-score between 1.0 and 2.5 while anything above 2.5 is an indication of osteoporosis. I had a T-score of 3.0. I am amazed by how quickly I adjusted to this bit of news. One moment my stomach was on a quick elevator ride to my feet and the next, a lovely feeling of calm dropped over me as I accepted the fact that my life had just changed.

Once she told me I had osteoporosis my doctor started questioning me about my family history, had my mother or grandmother shrunk as they aged? Yes, both my mother and my grandmother on my father's side. Did I drink enough milk when I was a child? I hesitated, yes, when I could get it. I also told her I was a low birth weight baby, that I had a severe iron deficiency at age 10, that my sister had been affected by my mother's calcium deficiency when she was born, and that my bones and muscles had always ached. She nodded with each revelation but reacted strongly to the last one and sent me over to the lab to have blood drawn for a vitamin D level check. Vitamin D is important as it helps the body absorb calcium. It turns out I am severely vitamin D deficiency and I am now taking a supplement of 50,000IU once a week.

The change in my body has been miraculous. Within 24 hours I no longer ached, my muscles felt more...the only way I can describe it is more fluid. My body no longer felt like a clenched fist and my brain no longer felt foggy. I also have more energy and my muscles feel stronger. I am also taking monthly medication that stops bone lost and increases bone strength. I will be doing another blood draw in a month to check my vitamin D level and getting another bone density scan in two years to, of course, check my bone density.

All in all, I feel pretty good both physically and emotionally.

Friday, March 26, 2010


The half moon shows a face of plaintive sweetness
Ready and poised to wax or wane;
A fire of pale desire in incompleteness,
Tending to pleasure or to pain:-
Lo, while we gaze she rolleth on in fleetness
To perfect loss or perfect gain.
Half bitterness we know, we know half sweetness;
This world is all on wax, on wane:
When shall completeness round time's incompleteness,
Fulfilling joy, fulfilling pain?-
Lo, while we ask, life rolleth on in fleetness
To finished loss or finished gain.

-Christina Rossetti

Thursday, March 25, 2010

PSST, Pass It On

An Open Letter To Conservatives by Russell King.

Memo To Little Sally Pumpkinhead

Whenever you are outside and become frightened of something do not run into the house and jump up on the dinning room table so you can look out the window to bark at whatever scared you. I don't care how much you look like a championship dog standing on the judge's table at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


And I do get the irony in sending out this message via You Tube and in my own blog.

Monday, March 22, 2010

And It Begins

Republicans Vow Repeal Effort Against Heath Bill

Health Care Reform Passes

According to the House Democrats blog, the changes listed below happen immediately:

* Prohibit pre-existing condition exclusions for children in all new plans;

* Provide immediate access to insurance for uninsured Americans who are uninsured because of a pre-existing condition through a temporary high-risk pool;

* Prohibit dropping people from coverage when they get sick in all individual plans;

* Lower seniors prescription drug prices by beginning to close the donut hole*;

* Offer tax credits to small businesses to purchase coverage;

* Eliminate lifetime limits and restrictive annual limits on benefits in all plans;

* Require plans to cover an enrollee’s dependent children until age 26;

* Require new plans to cover preventive services and immunizations without cost-sharing;

* Ensure consumers have access to an effective internal and external appeals process to appeal new insurance plan decisions;

* Require premium rebates to enrollees from insurers with high administrative expenditures and require public disclosure of the percent of premiums applied to overhead costs.

Now we can spend the next several years watching the insurance companies try to chip away parts of this bill.

*The gap in the Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage plan. Recipient prescriptions were covered by the plan as long as they did not spend more that $2,700 a year. Then they were responsible for paying for their own drugs until that cost reached $6,100 a year. This meant people on Medicare were left paying for all prescriptions that cost them between $2,700.99 and $6,099.99 a year.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

(Sigh) And Not Soon Enough

Oh, the barnyard is busy in a regular tizzy
And the obvious reason is because of the season
Ma Nature's lyrical, with her yearly miracle
Spring, Spring, Spring

All the hen-folk are hatchin'
While their men-folk are scrathin'
To ensure the survival of each brand new arrival

Each nest is twitterin',
They're all baby-sitterin',
Spring, Spring, Spring

It's a beehive of buddin' son and daughter life
Every family has plans in view.
Even down in the brook the underwater life
Is forever blowin' bubbles too

Every field wears a bonnet
With some spring daisies on it
Even birds of a feather show their clothes off together
Sun's gettin' shinery, to spotlight the finery,
Spring, Spring, Spring.

From his eyrie, the eagle with his eagle eye
Gazes down across his eagle beak
And a'fixin' his lady with the legal eye
Screams,"Suppose we fix the date this week!"

Yes, siree, spring disposes
That it's all one supposes
It's a real bed of roses
Waggin' tails, rubbin' noses

Each day is Mother's Day
The next is some other's day
When all is King ....

Milly's havin' her baby!

(Squeals of excitement from the
other brothers and the brides)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Davy Crockett Died Today

Davy, Davy Crockett
The king of the wild frontier

Born on a mountain top in Tennessee
The greenest state in the land of the free
Raised in the woods so's he knew every tree
And kilt him a bear when he was only three

Davy, Davy Crockett
King of the wild frontier

He fought single-handed through the Injun War
Till the Creeks was whipped and peace was in store
And while he was handling this risky chore
He made hisself a legend forever more

Davy, Davy Crockett
King of the wild frontier

Oh, when he lost his love, his grief was gall
In his heart he wanted to leave it all
And lose hisself in the forests tall
But he answered instead his country's call

Davy, Davy Crockett
The choice of the whole frontier

He went off to Congress and served a spell
Fixing up the government and laws as well
Took over Washington, so we hear tell
And patched up the crack in the Liberty Bell

Davy, Davy Crockett
Serving his country well

When he come home, his politicking done
Why the big western march had just begun
He packed up his gear and his trusty gun
And lit out a grinning to follow the sun

Davy, Davy Crockett
Leading a pioneer

His land is biggest and his land is best
From grassy plains to the mountain crests
He's ahead of us all, a meeting the test
And following his legend right into the west

Davy, Davy Crockett
The king of the wild frontier
King of the wild frontier

So did Daniel Boone.

Daniel Boone, Daniel Boone
What a doer! What a dream come-er-true-er was he!

From the coonskin cap on the top of ol' Dan
To the heel of his rawhide shoe;
The rippin'est, roarin'est, fightin'est man
The frontier ever knew!

Oh, Daniel Boone was a man,
Yes, a big man!
With an eye like an eagle
And as tall as a mountain was he!

Oh, Daniel Boone was a man,
Yes, a big man!
And he fought for America
To make all Americans free!

Daniel Boone was a doer!
What a dream come-ah-true-er was he!
Daniel Boone!
Daniel Boone!
Daniel Boone!

Fess Parker, what a doer, what a dream come-ah-true-er was he. Read his CNN obituary here.

A Dying Man (Or Woman) Needs To Die...

as a sleepy man needs to sleep, and there comes a time when it is wrong, as well as useless, to resist.
Stewart Alsop

I know a man who, as his 77 year old mother lay dying in the final stage of breast cancer which had spread to her lungs, bones, and brain, refused to let the doctor give her the morphine she needed to ease her excruciating pain because there was a good change that it would shorten her life. He said, "I would rather my mother lay there for ten more days than to do anything to speed up her death."

She died three days later.

The video below is via Ronni Bennett over at Time Goes By. As she points out, it is a good idea to have "a living will or other kind of advance health care directive and appointed a health care advocate through a durable power of attorney."

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Put down the damn green beer, only amateurs get drunk on my day!

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Sweeter The Juice

All America is in me.
-Shirlee Taylor Haizlip author of the book The Sweeter The Juice.

On the television program The Antiques Roadshow people bring things they or their relatives own to a designated place for appraisal by experts provided by the producers of the show. I am a fan of The Antiques Roadshow and find the most fascinating thing about it the family stories told about the items brought in. So many family heirlooms turn out to not jive with the stories that have been past down from generation to generation. Treasured objects either turn out not to be as old as the now owners were led to believe and/or they have not been acquired where and when the family stories said they were. Tracing my family history has turned out the same way. The stories I've been told may not be true but this is alright since the real stories may be even more intriguing.

As a child I was told that my grandfather's father was a boyhood pal of Adlai Ewing Stevenson (Vice-president under Grover Cleveland and grandfather of Adlai Ewing Stevenson II) and that at some point they made a pact that when they grew-up each one would name their first son after the other. This pact was the reason why my grandfather was named Adlai Ewing Shannon.

The problem with this story is I cannot find anything to support it. I can't even find any record of my grandfather before 1917. I do know where he was born so I tried looking for records of Shannons in the town where his family supposedly lived. I have discovered there were many, many families named Shannon in the region so that line of inquiry quickly turned into a dead end. What I needed were some first names to look up but which ones? I thought about my father and his brothers given names and realized there seemed to be a tradition of passing the grandfather's first name on as the middle name of the first born son. So, if my hypothesis was correct, my grandfather's grandfather's name would be Ewing.

I entered the name into the search box at and found a 1910 Federal Census record for a Ewing Shannon living with his son James in the area where my grandfather was born. This bit of information lead me to believe I was on the right track as James is my father's first name. Then I notice the word mulatto written in the race column. This fact could explain why I can not find any record of my grandfather before June of 1917, he may have decided to step across the color line to pass for white. I have called the historical society in the town where my grandfather was born and they have agreed to do a little research for me whenever they have the time. If this information turns out to be true I am happy to report that my grandmother Shannon will start spinning in her grave.

Monday, March 08, 2010


And it's feels so good
-Peaches and Herb

I see I haven't posted since last Tuesday and part of the reason was a major migraine that knocked me out for almost three days. The other reason is I have been on an Internet hunt for information about my grandparents. If you think the Internet is a black hole of time try genealogy research. I have found census reports, WWI and WWII draft cards, cemetery listings, phone books, and death records that contain my ancestors. I have looked at old high school yearbooks, Civil War records, military pension records, lunatic asylum records, and prison records but so far I haven't found anyone related to me yet.

I did find, a great-uncle I never heard of before who died at age forty-four way before I was born, the second husband of my aunt who's name I had forgotten until I saw it again, the real name of an uncle who I only knew as "Uncle Danny", and the reason why I remember my great-aunt's husband as being very old but nice when I was about three years old- he was, she married for the first time in her forties and he was more than ten years older than her.

So, I will probably be missing in action for most of the week as I get drawn deeper into the hunt for my long-lost relatives. I actually went missing while writing this post when I went to check a fact I had mentioned in the above paragraph. Fifty-three minutes later I remembered I had been writing this post and came back to finish it.

Which I have now.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

"Moving Forward"

—Toyota (USA) advertising slogan, 2004

Remember when I wrote about accidentally putting my foot on the gas petal while trying to step on the break petal of my 2005 Toyota Camry? Well, it just could have been something else.

Monday, March 01, 2010

It's Over

And the always enjoyable giant inflatable beaver.
-Bob Costas during the closing ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Which means I get my life back. I must say I enjoyed watching and that Short Track Speed Skating (AKA Roller Derby on Ice) has become my favorite event. I was there from the opening ceremony, which was great, to the closing ceremony, which was strange. It was like watching the Canadian version of the Hare Krishna (LSD) number from the movie musical Hair.

I was there for the wins, the losses, the upsets, the expected, and the unexpected. I watched skiing, skating, snowboarding, biathlon, luge, and bobsled but not ice hockey or curling, thank God, because that would have left me no time to sleep. As it turns out I am tired enough already. In two more years we get to do it all over again.