Archive for March, 2012


After 3 1/2 days of abject misery, my foot is so much better. Thank goodness! Joe seems to think I was making too much of it, but all I can say is he’s not the one with 8 pustules on one foot. I’m just sayin’.  (Honestly–I think it’s because I had so many bites on that foot. I had some bites on the other foot, and one on my right calf, but they didn’t hurt anywhere near the way my left foot did.)

I read a truly dreadful book while I was soaking last night, but it was one of those hideous train wreck books that you don’t want to read but you have to find out what happened even though you hate everyone in the book. Ugh. I don’t recommend it. And the language and sex and violence? Nasty. Do teenagers really talk that way all the time, and do they really have sex all the time? I mean, I was a teenager once upon a time, and my hormones were as fast and furious as anyone else’s, but I definitely didn’t talk the way the teenagers in this book did. I’m not telling you the name, because I don’t want anyone to read it because of me.

Anyway, lots to do today. Just checking in to report that I have a lovely lack of itchy pain on my ugly fire-ant scarred left foot. And that means I won’t be mellowed out all day because of having to take Benadryl every 3 hours. Woot!


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Foul little beasties, they are.

I mean, think about it. You get stung by a mosquito; you get a little red bump and it itches for a little bit, but you put some tea tree oil on it and it stops itching.

You get a regular ant bite; you get a little red bump and it itches for a little bit, but you put some tea tree oil on it and it stops itching.

But you unwittingly stand for a few minutes in a fire ant bed, when you’re wearing flip flops and shorts, and what happens? You get swarmed by fire ants. It takes a minute or two (if you’re wearing flip flops and shorts) to get all of the ants off your foot, your leg, your flip flops, etc.  And you get a little red bump and it itches like mad. Well, if you stand in the fire ant bed for a few minutes, and if you’re like me, you get 15 red bumps and they itch like mad. So you put some tea tree oil on it, and you get maybe 2 minutes of relief. Then you spray it with lanacaine, and you get maybe 15 minutes of relief. Then you spray it with lanacaine again, and there’s no change. In the meantime, your foot doesn’t just have little red bumps, it has huge red welts and it gets swollen, and you take Benadryl and you put Benadryl cream on it and it doesn’t help at all.

Then the next day you call your doctor who says to use hydrocortisone (I got Cortaid spray) and keep taking the Benadryl. So you do. And for a little while, you have no pain. But the Benadryl wears off while you’re asleep, so you wake up to find that you’ve been scratching your foot against your sheet while you were asleep, and it’s itching and hurting like mad. So you take some more Benadryl and spray your foot a few times with the Cortaid, and eventually drop back to sleep again. Repeat that two more times, which makes for a really tiring night.

Then you go to work and take some more Benadryl and spray some more Cortaid, and you’re actually feeling pretty good until you look at your disgusting foot and see that one of the sores has already burst, and the others look just nasty. But you’re glad to have some relief.

Then you go to lunch, and you don’t take more Benadryl before lunch because you can’t drive when you’ve taken Benadryl. And 15 minutes into your lunch break, you realise your foot’s starting to hurt again, and you cuss because you let your Benadryl wear off. By the time you get back to your desk so you can take some more Benadryl and spray the Cortaid on some more, your foot is in full-fledged painful itchy fire ant hating mode.

I’ve been back for 40 minutes. It’s only barely starting to get a little relief. I’m embarrassed to admit how much scratching I did–not with my fingers, but by friction (e.g. rubbing my foot against my blue jeans).

Fire ants: 15

Faith: 0


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  1. Pour some out on your desk on a napkin (or a plate, or grab a handful or however you like to do it).
  2. Sort them by colour/flavour.
  3. Line them up by colour/flavour in groups of two’s.
  4. The flavours you don’t like (like liquorice), throw them away.
  5. Sort the other flavours in order from most to least.
  6. Start eating them flavour at a time, in two’s. If you have an odd number of any particular flavour, match it up with the next odd one that you find.
  7. Any flavour for which you have an equal number of jelly bellies, eat them so that your favourite flavour comes last.
  8. If you have one jelly belly left over all by its lonesome, throw it away.

This post brought to you by Obsessive Compulsive Disorder 101 (mild version, but still).

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My nephew Chase had Cystic Fibrosis. If you are not familiar with the disease, it is a debilitating disease. Here’s a brief description from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation website:

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide). A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that:

  • clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections; and
  • obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food.

Trust me–it’s far worse than that brief description conveys. Chase was diagnosed when he was a toddler, and thereafter a good portion of his life was devoted to various treatments in an effort to extend his life as long as possible. He spent long days and weeks and months in the hospital. But somehow he managed to retain a healthy kidlike attitude to a certain degree, despite his illness. He knew how to milk it for all it was worth, and I know his parents struggled with a desire to indulge him as a way of compensating but knowing that they had to draw a line at the same time.

When Chase was little, he was being a stinker like only he was able to do, and his mother, driven to her wits, told him he was a little shit. “No!” he insisted, “I’m a big shit!”  Not too long before he passed away, he was, once again, being a big shit, and when I said that to Clover (not in so many words), he gave me an injured look before leaving the room. What? He was being a big shit that day!

There has been a lot of research done in an effort to not only find the cause of cystic fibrosis, but to find a cure for it. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation does an amazing job in raising funds to fight CF and support children and families who are struggling with the very real effects in their lives.

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Is…Hope in Action

Until we end this disease, our team will work tirelessly to extend and enhance life for those with cystic fibrosis by functioning as: 

  • Research pioneers, blazing new trails in drug development;
  • Fund-raisers, securing the money needed to support the fight against CF;
  • Advocates, keeping CF a top priority in government, industry and research;
  • Stewards, using your donations to help fuel the creation of new drugs;
  • Caregivers, linking patients and families to specialized CF care; and
  • Helping hands, offering support, information and resources.

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Is…Building on Success

  • When the Foundation was established in 1955, children with CF rarely lived long enough to attend elementary school. Due in large part to the Foundation’s aggressive investments in innovative research and comprehensive care, many people with the disease can now expect to live into their 30s, 40s and beyond.
  • In 1989, CF Foundation-supported scientists discovered the defective gene that causes cystic fibrosis — a monumental breakthrough on the road to a cure.
  • The Foundation played an integral role in the development and FDA approval of four therapies that are now a routine part of treatment regimens for many with CF. The Foundation is actively supporting nearly 30 potential new treatments currently in development — that’s more than in the entire history of the disease. One groundbreaking potential drug that treats the underlying cause of CF will be submitted for FDA review in late 2011. 

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Is…Still Making Progress

We are proud of our achievements. But, we still have much to do. Learn more about what the Foundation does to fight cystic fibrosis and how you can get involved.

If you’ve never had a disease this grave touch your life, you are so blessed. Hug your children, your siblings, your parents. And then please consider making some type of donation to CFF.  There are dozens of ways you can help, whether it be with donations of time or money.

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Good Intentions

Well, I sort of did some of the stuff I intended to. Like yesterday, after work. I went to the store and got the stuff I needed to make my homemade cleaning supplies. Woot!

Um, I also went to a different store and got a fantastic black storage trunk (really cheap), some pictures to hang on the walls, and I forget what else.

Good Intentions

So this morning I got awakened at 7 freakin’ a.m. on a Saturday!!!  Yeah, even when he’s on another continent, my husband has made it his mission to ensure I don’t sleep in on Saturdays. Boo.  But it was nice talking to him, so I shouldn’t complain too much.

Then I dawdled a lot. I mean a LOT. I played Words with Friends and played with Emmylou and dawdled some more. And then I went out. I decided to go to the British Emporium and get a desktop TARDIS for Soquel, only alas, they didn’t have any. But I got a few other little goodies. And I decided to do what I’ve been intending for ages, and explored the little antique shop next to the British Emporium. Love it! I picked up a really pretty black candelabra. And there’s a lamp I’m dying to get for our new living room but it was expensive enough I didn’t do it. I’ll definitely be dragging Joe there next weekend, though. I want that lamp.

And I went to World Market and bought some more stuff I didn’t need. And on my way home I stopped at Cozymel’s for lunch (and ultimately dinner). And then I came back to our flat and cleaned half of the living room. Then I plopped on the sofa and watched 5 DVR’d episodes of Criminal Minds. I love SSA Derek Morgan. You love him too, even if you don’t know it.

Seriously? What’s not to love?  And while I’m at it, you also love Spencer Reid. Don’t know him either?

And Hotch has a new girlfriend, and it’s great watching him smile. And Rossi, and I adore Garcia, and oh heck, here’s everyone:

This is really a fantastic show. Great writing, great acting, great character development. It’s always a little sad for me when I find something I enjoy this much and then I get all caught up and I’m ready for more, but there’s no more for me. Fortunately, it will start back up again after March Madness is over, and it got renewed for an 8th season. So I get to enjoy the awesomeness that is Criminal Minds for a while longer yet.

So I didn’t do even a smidgen of the cleaning I intended to do, and that I need to do. But I have another day left in the weekend, so there is hope. I’ve got the laundry piled in the hall ready to get washed.  Don’t give up on me just yet. Must say, though, it was nice being really doggone lazy today.

Speaking of lazy, Emmylou has spent most of the day lounging on the patio. I made her come in when it got dark, promising her that when we move back to the house she can sit out in the backyard all the time. I just looked over and she is lying on the sofa, totally pooped out. Let me be more specific: She is on top of my awesome white blanket from Ikea, and under a pillow. Lap of luxury much?  She ate a can of puppy chicken stew, and some gravy dog biscuits, and a greenie, and her tummy is full and happy. I hope she’ll be ready to go to bed when I am.

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Just Now…

current time: 11:43am
in my mug: a delicious ice cold beverage
in my belly: Potato soup and fresh strawberries
in my ears: the whir of my desk fan and a silly song that’s going through my head
in my bag: The usual suitcase full of stuff, including wallet, bills, cell phone, Gas-X, crumpled up receipts, change and loose bills that need to go into my awesome Dalek bank.
feeling good about: realising some of the tremendous changes that I’ve made over the last year
feeling bummed about: all the cleaning I have to do this weekend and how I’m behind with some reading that needs to get done, and the fact that my car A/C does NOT need freon, but that the compressor isn’t switching on and wondering how much it will cost to fix it
thinking about: the insane legislation being passed in Arizona, the even more insane Rush Limbaugh and his hate-filled rhetoric against women, wondering how I can make a positive change in the world, and wondering what Joe will think when I get an Obama sign to put in the front yard of our house when we move back home.
So tomorrow’s the big clean. I never did get around to shopping for my cleaning supplies this week. I sort of went home and vegged. So today when I get off work I’m going to the store, with my list of recipes for homemade cleaning supplies, and I’ll get them mixed up and ready for use first thing in the morning.

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I think I can.

I think I can.

I think I can.

I think I can.

I think I can.

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My favourite Jehara (she’s also the ONLY Jehara) has a Back to the Land project going this year.  I thought it was a wonderful idea, and I had every intention….yeah, yeah, yeah.

So January’s project was to bake bread. And I did, honest and truly, I did. I made vegan sweet potato drop biscuits, and they were good. My photos? Well, I think I took some with my camera phone. I’ll have to look through and see. If I can find any, I’ll post them. Okay? Okay.

Then February’s project was to make bagels. Well, see, the thing is, I can’t really eat bread. Definitely can’t eat bagels. I can eat toast, a wee bit, as in one slice. So making bagels didn’t make a lot of sense for me, and she was oh-so-flexible and said any kind of bread project, but there you have it. I didn’t do it. But just to show you that I’m not a complete loser, I made beef stew the other night the way my grandmother taught me, and it was good.

March’s project is to make a homemade cleaning product. So I have done my research, and I have some recipes, and I have almost a full week without my husband to get in my way. I shall go to the store after work today, and get some supplies, and I shall work on getting some cleaning done while he’s gone. And because he always comes home cranky and says I didn’t do anything, I’m taking before pictures. Oh, yes, I am. And I’m going to take after pictures, so that when he gets our flat crapped out again within a day of arriving back home, I can show him photographic proof of what I did and what he does. So stick that in your pipe and smoke it!

I’m not planning on posting any before pictures here, but I will come back and show some after pictures and tell you how the products worked for me. I’m even going to be adventurous and make homemade laundry detergent (assuming I can find the items needed to make it).


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Let There Be Gas

TMI alert. If you get grossed out by farts & burps, read no more. (more…)

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Job Interview

I’ve applied for a supervisory position at work. Just had my interview (telephone). I’m telling you–job interviews are stressful at best. But when you’ve got tummy troubles already? Wowza!


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