Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Duofilia Has Moved!

Duofilia has grown up! Please visit my new site at www.Duofilia.com. Make sure to change any links, trackbacks, etc., that you may have.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Have a Great Weekend!

Sorry about the dearth of posts lately. Having a Lyme week and very, very tired and migrainy. Hopefully I'll snap out of it by next week. I have to work Sunday and Monday (you know when cousin Bob gets sick off of the crab salad that was left out too long and gets sunburn and steps on a nail and calls a nurse who's waiting by the phone on Memorial Day? I'm the nurse), so no hopes of a soon recovery, but I'll get there.

Had a scare today with little Syd. She had immunization yesterday and is having the hot red spot on her leg from the DTaP, that is expected. But then today the redness spread considerably. And then the thing that got me anxious was today when she started acting very irritable and then starting wailing and holding the back of her neck and complaining of neck pain. If she had just whined a little and said her neck hurt I would have just monitored her, but the wailing and irritability was very concerning so I took her to her doctor's office and got there just before they closed. By that time she was acting totally normal (so the doctor probably thinks I'm a nut!) and he said her red leg was still within the expected range of an immunization reaction, rather than cellulitis. So I'm very grateful.

We are back home now and at this very moment Sydney is playing the piano like a little mad woman, so I think she'll make it.

So to y'all, have fun, stay safe, and don't eat that salad. Hope you have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Happy Birthday!


Sydney and Summerlyn turn five!! Whoohoo!

Here's their happy faces when they got their bikes. Yes, we took them outside and didn't let them ride in the living room. They had a birthday party the day before their birthday and had a blast with their buddies, a total of six girls and one boy. Oh the noise!

Friday, May 19, 2006

New Theme Coming!

Just to warn y'all, I have a new theme on its way in the next few days. I'm so excited, it looks awesome. My favorite web boy has been working on it and has done a fabulous job despite the fact that I've been a very demanding client.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Three Link Thursday

Having taken my 4 1/2 hour CPR recert today, I am reminded how valuable that everyone, not just health care providers, learn these life-saving techniques. Those of you who haven't taken the CPR class -- do it! Those of you who took one years ago -- take it again! There's been a lot of significant changes to the guidelines. Learn to save a life.

Red Cross' CPR site.

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American Heart Association's CPR site.

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A story to get you inspired.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Best Day Spa & Salon

Ok, I'm not a high-maintenance kinda girl. I think I've made that clear in the past. But I am very picky about who cuts my hair. I have searched for a good stylist for years and when I find one they are MINE and have no right to move, retire or die.

Several years ago I found Zena at what was then Nature's Day Spa. She's brilliant. About two years ago she started her own salon called Desirant. It's a lovely space with great ambiance and special services. For instance, for a manicure your hands aren't soaked in water but hand cream. For a pedicure your feet are placed in a copper basin while someone else stands behind you massaging your shoulders.

Zena had to have neck surgery last year and now only does one or two clients once a week. I'm a bad client because I'll go without cuts for months and then want one NOW. She wasn't available for my NOW so I reluctantly agreed to have someone else at the salon cut my hair. That stylist did an acceptable job overall, but didn't trim the top layers short enough. After a couple days I called the salon and requested a fix.

So I went in today and got yet another stylist, Sarah. I liked her immediately and she did a fabulous job. She started with the aromatherapy head massage, which is standard for Desirant, Washed, cut, styled my hair perfectly and ended with a hand massage. And I was charged ZERO for all that. Zena, Sarah, Desirant, you rule.

I normally avoid glamour-type shots like the plague, but I came home and David was so infatuated with my hair that he took some pictures which actually turned out farily well, although you can't see the cut as well as I'd like. Plus my ankles are swollen. Ok, I'll shut up now.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Scorcher!


It was 98 degrees today, whoohoo! Summer's a comin'!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day!
















Northern view from our property. Little white church with steeple far in the background.















Western view. That's my dad on the riding lawnmower. He's not waving but is examining his babies (fruit trees) for the slightest sign of pestilence. Every worm fears the wrath of Richard the Pruner.















Eastern view. I need a fancy camera, this just doesn't do justice to the golden tones from the setting sun and the vivid greens and blues. It was like God was saying Happy Mother's Day just to me.

David, the girls and I decided to go on a walk tonight. He'd shoveled manure for me all day and I worked all day fixing people's owies. It was nice just walking in the quiet of the country. Ok, there was the sound of the lawn mower, but that's acceptable. The girls were wearing my sandals and so had to make big shuffling steps. Holding their little hands and breathing the fresh air, the scent of cut grass and lilacs. A little piece of paradise.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Happy Sabbath!



So we're sitting in church and Summerlyn is on my lap, facing me, looking around and wiggling. The girls are quiet in church but you can't keep a 4 y/o from wiggling. Constant nonstop movement until bedtime.

I noticed that she was focused on my chest and I looked down. She had unbuttoned the top two buttons of my blouse and pulled it wide open. I don't think Summerlyn would normally do that, she understands privacy well enough, but I think she was just not thinking, just in her own world.

I gasped and pulled my shirt closed quickly. I was fortunate for two reasons, 1) because she was on my lap the pastor wasn't able to see what had happened, and 2) I was wearing a camisole underneath, otherwise my flesh-toned bra might have caused some of the myopic little old ladies to pass out.

Afterwards we had a potluck. I'm a good cook and I like to experiment. Yesterday I was tired and so threw a casserole together off the top of my head. Since the casserole would be warmed in the church oven, I decided not to cook the diced potatoes before hand. I added mushroom soup and mushrooms and garlic. Nothing fancy.

So when we went down to the potluck I looked for my dish on the table and at first couldn't find it. Until I realized it was sitting there right in front of me. I'll call it the Black Slop of Death. Yes, the combination of not cooking the potatoes plus the grayness of the homemade mushroom soup made it black and grey. Afterwards, David said he saw it and avoided it at all costs. So did nearly everyone else. I had some, perhaps as a little self-punishment, and it actually tasted just fine, but man, it looked repulsive. Actually, looked a little like cuitlacoche, a corn fungus delicacy eaten in Mexico (check out this link only if not easily nauseated), only more dry than slimy.

After we ate (other food) we drove to Leach Botanical Gardens. The girls had a great time exploring all the paths through the gorgeous woods. I used to know a lot of plant names but sadly have lost a lot of that data. It's such a beautiful day, perfect temperature. I don't want to go to work tomorrow. Oh wait, if I stay home I'll have to help David shovel manure into the garden, so I think I'll be content to commute tomorrow.

Hope you all are enjoying the day. Get some fresh air and sunshine and spend time with your families.

Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein, then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice. Psalm 96:11-12

Thursday, May 11, 2006

A Mouse Murder in America


And then David screamed.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. You see we have this lovely little lady cat named Sera. She's in her 80s, although you wouldn't know by looking at her. She believes kittenhood rules and plans to stay their permanently. Several times a week she goes hunting in the middle of the night. The fact that she is an indoor-only cat is a non-issue. She and her brother Toby have a toy box and by morning every toy is scattered around the house.

Often, she select a particular juicy bit of prey, usually in the form of a glitter ball and breaks its neck. She then delivers it to our bed, meowing her "mouse meow" all the way through the house to announce her victory. If we're awake we tell her what a good and thoroughly vicious cat she is. She sits and grooms herself with pride.

Early this morning she was making a ruckus in our room. Digging in stuff, crawling under the bed, shaking things, all the while doing her mouse meow. Groggily, David told her to knock it off. Yes, ferocious animal. Whatever. Hush.

At a closer look though, we realized she was a predator on a mission. She crouched staring under shelves near our bed. David turned on the light and shone a flashlight under the shelves.

"A mouse! A real mouse! A MOUSE!"

I shut the bedroom and bathroom door so the mouse, couldn't get out. We flushed the mouse out and Sera took off after it.

That's when David screamed, "it touched my hand!"

That little thing was fast and soon it was behind the dresser. Then a box. Then the fan. Then the dresser again. David crouched on the other side of the dresser holding a wastebasket to catch it and I pulled back the dresser on the other side. Sera dashed in and the mouse skittered toward David. He slammed the wastebasket down.

"Got it!!!"

He crouched there, looking at the wastebasket, wondering what to do next. At that point I noticed Sera behind him in the corner of the room. She was having the time of her life, running in tight circles and

tossing a mouse in the air.

"Um, honey. You don't have the mouse."

He turned around, and indeed, Sera Queen of Ferocity, had the mouse. Unlike us, however, her plan was not to remove the mouse from the premises. To her, the mouse was entertainment. Oh, she'd get around to eating it, but what's the hurry? She chased the poor thing in shocked little circles, stunning it with her paw or jaws when it got too active. Sera was having the time of her life.

We felt bad for Sera and for the tortured little mouse. So David captured it with the wastebasket again (for real this time) and it was, well, disposed of. I went back to bed. David got ready for work. And Sera, serene in the fact that she had saved the universe, curled up with me.

Tonight she gets tuna.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Friends and Enemies: Update

I got a call from my best friend who I believed no longer wanted to be friends due to drifting. I wasn't home at the time and she left a message telling me it was all a mistake and that she wanted very much to remain friends with me. I nearly cried when I replayed her message. I called her back and also got an answering machine and told her how happy I was. To Henry if you're listening -- I love you always!

Friday, May 05, 2006

The Academy -- Part III

Part I and II

I have a rich Seventh-day Adventist heritage. Yes, we're the oddities that observe Saturday instead of Sunday. My great-grandfather was a conference president for many regions (Arizona, Nevada, Jamaica) and for many years. He’d be the main speaker at the old-fashioned camp meetings and his wife, my great-grandmother, had a lovely voice and sang solos and led the hymns. Like many preachers he neglected his home-mission to focus on his evangelistic-mission and as a result all of his children grew up to be agnostics, except for one son, my grandfather, who is atheistic.

Somehow, despite my father’s extremely unloving upbringing, or perhaps because of it, he began to search for deeper meaning. He started listening to his grandparents preach and soon after he married my mother, they were baptized into the SDA church.

Like every demonimation, the SDAs have their own peculiar set of traditions and cultures. One of them is to send one’s kids to academy for their high school years, and many of the academies are boarding schools. The conference SDA church has massive worldwide educational and health systems, second only, I believe, to the Catholic’s systems. One could send their child to the academy in your own town, or you could send him to one in India if you wanted. At some point in middle school, every SDA kid is asked, “Where do you want to go to academy?”

I went to a SDA school from 1st to 7th grade. For 8th grade I lived with my now grown sister for about six months and went to a one-room school house. That was a psychotic experience to unbelievable to write about, so I won’t. I returned to my old school for 9th grade and faced the question, “where do you want to go to academy?”

Public school was never in consideration. It pretty much didn’t exist for us. All of my friends were Adventists and the few neighbor friends I’d had that weren’t were so different from what I was used to that I couldn’t fathom going to a school with them. I wasn’t raised to feel like I was better than anyone, so I didn’t think that. But the kids outside my regular circle were vastly different than me. Often equally nice, but they tended to be much more sophisticated, meaning they knew more about the world than I did. I’m not talking about world events or cultures, but the stuff they didn’t teach in schools, like sex, for instance. We knew about sex, but they had the Cosmopolitan version, with details. They also wanted to party. Oh, so did we, but our version had adult supervision, sherbet punch and Uno. Theirs were considerably different. In my twenties I attended parties, but I’ve had to get the adolescent version explained to me by my husband David (he was one of them). While I know it is typical for most kids, it still blows my mind that his parents didn’t know, or appear to care, where he was just as long as he was back by the set curfew time. I can’t tell how foreign that was to me as a teenager. While I had my rebellious phases I never felt smothered by them.

I wanted to go to Auburn Adventist Academy in Washington. Mainly because it seemed far away, but not too far away, and I had friends who were going to go there. My parents disagreed, as parents will. AAA was too expensive, and getting too rowdy, or so they heard (I think they heard right). Some friend had told them about “self-supporting” Adventist schools. These schools were not run by the Conference so were smaller, cheaper, and supposedly more godly. I believe that some are. Ahem. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

So AAA was out and “self-supporting” was in, much to my great dismay. I waited for my parents to find the one they wanted and fill me in. California? Canada? Right.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Three Link Thursday

You 90-year-olds out there complaining about your age? You ain't nothing but whippersnappers.

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Ok, here's a way cool link. The best web cam I know of -- live feed of an eagle's nest. If it's dark that's because it's night in Alaska so wait to look at it during daylight hours.

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And finally, a link that only Tina will understand. Yes, you, the silent reader.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Soy / Rice Milk and Malnutrition? NOT!


Normally, I don't use my blog as a forum to express controversial topics. But I have been inflamed! I am so irritated by the media. Read my whole rant before you make a judgement, please.

In the article I read today is entitled "Health: Does 'Milk' Hurt Kids?" Mary Carmichael reports that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently discovered TWO cases of children who were malnourished and an unknown number of undernourished children. These children were also consuming rice or soy milk and so Carmichael states the CDC blames the malnourishment on the rice/soy milk.

Error

1. This article does not tell us what the children's complete diets consist of. Are they eating only Nilla Wafers and soy milk? Or hot dogs, Skippy and rice milk? Well, then, DUH, the children are going to be malnourished, but not because of the rice/soy milk -- because they are not getting a varied diet of fruits, veggies, grains, and legumes. Many parents make the mistake (I've counseled them for years) of believing that their infant/child automatically a) won't like whole grains and veggies, and 2) naturally prefer "children's" foods, i.e., refined foods marketed to children. While those parents mean well, they don't realize that is a fallacy ingrained into our brains by the media. Babies will learn to love what is given to them over and over. By the time they are toddlers, bad habits are fully learned (but not irreversably).

This article implies that rice/soy milk itself is cause of malnourishment, as if a child, otherwise eating a complete balanced diet, would become malnourished simply because of the rice/soy milk. Any lay person (and many health professionals) could easily come away after reading this article, that rice/soy milk should not be given to young children of any age.

2. While not mentioned, the article makes the silent implication that the child should be drinking cow's milk instead. More on that later. (Side note: Did you know that the only studies (that I know of, and I've done a lot of research on it, that state that dairy helps people lose weight were funded by the dairy industry?)

Facts

1. Rice/soy milk should NOT be used as formula. Infants, particularly under 12 months of age require breast milk or formula which is specifically formulated for the nutritional needs of infants. Most rice/soy milk packaging states that on its label, but perhaps it does need to be more prominently displayed. (BTW, cow's milk should never be given to infants under 12 months, either, as it causes gastrointestinal bleeding and is specifically formulated to make an 80 pound calf grow to 1000 pounds in one year, not for the highly complex brains of humans).

2. If human babies required the lactated secretions of another species (cows, goats) to live, then why do other cultures that don't consume dairy have healthy babies, children, and adults, such as Japan? Nor do those cultures develop osteoporosis at the rate Americans do, either. Dozens of studies show that cows milk leads to obesity in children and is linked to Type I diabetes. I could really go on a rant about cow's milk here, but I better hush.

Bottom Line: Infants and toddlers are becoming malnourished because of the lack of nutrition in their overall diet, NOT because of rice/soy milk. Secondly, parents who give their infants anything other than breast milk or formula as their primary source of nutrition need to be educated.

I'm done now. I'd like to take this moment to say that I have lots of friends and family who give milk to their kids and I've never made an issue out of it, as I think it's inappropriate and a self-righteous attitude certainly won't get anyone to do their own research. Eat/drink what you want, just educate yourselves, that's all I ask.