Monday, November 24, 2008

What's on my mind this Monday morning...

Spit. Researchers at the Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam have concluded that human saliva made into a solution of 30% saliva (to what else, I don't know) helps heal wounds 50% faster. Researcher Menno Oudhoff says that saliva protein may trigger healthy skin to cover damaged areas. They want to develop a medical cream that harnesses these benefits.

My first thought was to remember how hard it was to fill one stinking vile of spit for my saliva test earlier this year. It's going to have to be a high paying job, this spitting for medical cream production. It's frustrating as heck.

Second thought: Whose spit? Would you buy cream with someone else's spit in it? What about the spread of diseases? Would the sterilization of the spit knock out the wound-healing properties?

I think that if I really, REALLY want spit to help speed my wound healing, I'll spit on my own boo-boos, thank you.


I was cold and having a hard time getting warm, so Pat sent one of the girls upstairs to get his special "when he's sick" sweater for me to wear. It comes down to my knees and I have to roll the sleeves up. It was wonderful. I ended up sleeping in it.

I returned the gesture of thoughtfulness by smearing special heel-crack healing foot balm all over his hands while he was napping. His hands are chapping and cracking badly - probably from fixing our son-in-laws car in the freezing weather - and if this stuff is magical for heels, it should be magical for hands, too. Since he hates to touch slimy stuff himself, I massaged it in while he was asleep. I also put it on him before he left for work this morning. He was like, "Oh, yuk, this stuff is so tacky feeling!" Perhaps I should have spit on his hands and rubbed that in? LOL.


Icicles are falling and the sound is pretty startling.


I got stuck in a sports bra dressing in the dark again. This time I put my head and my right arm through one armhole. It was not fun to get out of.

I then went to the bathroom to put on my contact lenses. I put BOTH in one eye.


Today's workout (and a fine workout it was) is at: Sweat Report

Sunday, November 16, 2008

If money were no object...

I had to answer this question when it was put to me by the Avon District Sales Manager during our meeting the other day. She guides you through a cheesy "Say Hello to a New Tomorrow" packet and this is on page 15. She waits and expects you to check off boxes and then dream aloud.

Some boxes to check:

Buy my own home
Financial independence
Send my children to college
Travel abroad
Swim with the dolphins
Go back to school
Make new friends
Buy a red sports car
Learn to ski
Be recognized by others
Retire early
Show my kids the world

I sat there, stumped. I couldn't imagine that I *really* had to go through this. Yet, there was Lisa, the DSM, saying, "Go ahead. Start checking boxes...and tell me about it."

We already own our home. I checked off "Send my kids to college" and "Financial independence" then put my pen down. She looked at me with that "You're not done already" look so I checked off "Make new friends," but you make "friends" by selling stuff to them?

Lisa looked at me quizzically and said, "What else? Surely there is more!"

Rhianna was with me because she had to be dropped off for her youth event and this woman had called me for a spur of the moment sort of meeting. I looked at Rhianna with a "Help me out here" plea.

Rhianna: "Well you wouldn't travel abroad but you do want to go to those waterfalls that go backwards.

Me: "Oh, the Reversing Falls of St. John! I also want to go to Lake Okanagan, British Columbia." I checked off "Travel abroad" but then qualified it with, "In continental North America." Flying and big ships don't thrill me.

Rhianna: "You want to cross country ski, remember?"

Me: "Oh, yeah" and so I checked it off.

Lisa waits.

Me: "Actually, I'm really very content. I just want more money for Christmas and to pay for Rhianna's large skating bills. She could use more coaching time."

I realized at that moment: I am content. I don't have major dreams of a life full of material advantages. Those things don't thrill me. While I do have some kettlebell lust going on (and had a moment of fear this week that Butch would say kettlebells were off limits), in all honesty, I don't want much. I like things that come my way - no doubt.

I started to wonder if maybe I'm a bit weird. I don't dream about new cars - but if one came my way, I wouldn't mind it. If someone felt like dropping a Nautilus Treadclimber on my front step, I wouldn't refuse.

Material ambitions/goals must not be my thing. I tend to dream about running a certain distance, amazing grandma things that I can one day do, where I'd like to hike, going to the park for free contra dancing lessons, seeing my kids "do things," stuff like that. I guess that I probably dream about being able to afford the kind of wedding that they want... but I also hope that I've taught them well enough to be practical and not "throw money away" on a one day event when it could be used more wisely for a lifelong endeavor.

When we made the choice that I would stay home with our kids and then stay home longer and homeschool them, we through luxury and cushy sorts of extras out the window. I'm okay with that. I never realized just "how okay" until Lisa was sitting there, expectantly waiting for a lengthy want list that I just didn't have.

"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with such things as you have, because God has said—Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5)

"I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content--—whether well-fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:11-13)

"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we certainly can't carry anything out. But having food and clothing, we will be content with that." (1 Timothy 6:6-8)\

I found this neat definition of contentment by William S. Plummer at

It is the disposition of mind in which we rest satisfied with the will of God respecting our temporal affairs, without hard thoughts or hard speeches concerning his allotments, and without any sinful desire for a change. It submissively receives what is given.

For the most part, any discontent I have usually arrives with thoughts of things I feel my children need or want. I'm most likely to become stressed about things I want to provide for them. God has never let us down and they have never truly lacked. They have also always understood the difference between what is important and what can be done without.

Truth be told, I still want kettlebells for Christmas. :) And I did ask Pat tonight, "Hey did you ever think about what kind of car you would like to drive when the kids are all on their own and we can afford it?" He was like, "Uh, no." So we both thought and thought for a few minutes, talked about German cars and then decided..."Maybe we should get matching Chevys." End of story.


On another note entirely, at the gym on Saturday I saw a woman and her husband who I have seen the last two weeks. She was watching me and Rhianna work out, taking quick furtive glances our way whenever we started a new circuit. I found the opportunity to say a few cheery words to her, break the ice and all. She seemed like she didn't know her way around the equipment or machines very well. Her husband tried to show her how to do a triceps press-down and then went about doing his own workout.

She kept sneaking looks our way and then asked me if something we were doing was I invited her to join us next week. She then told me how she had been noticing our routines, how she wants to lose weight, how clueless she was about it all. Rhianna told her I was a personal trainer. I told her how I had just been doing it for free for some friends and hadn't made my business cards yet - and that's when I offered to help her. For free. That's me - Free n' Breezy. (Bonus points for her: She couldn't believe I was old enough to be Rhianna's mother, she thought we were "friends." Whoo-hoo. It's probably good that I wasn't doing my hunchbacked old woman walk from earlier in the week, that would've been a dead giveaway).

You know what? I still felt really good about it. She was so excited. We made plans to meet next weekend. Her name is Michelle - and I'm looking forward to getting to know her. I can't come the other times she works out - she goes at night when the gym is crowded. I don't like mayhem, plus that's family time for me. I will teach her some things that she could do for her other two workouts so that she doesn't feel lost in the gym.

Maybe it's a ministry of sorts for me. God has given me some skills that I can use to help people - I feel that I'd be negligent if I wasn't giving that help when it was in my power to do so. I'm usually there on Saturdays working on Rhianna's upper body strength, so the more the merrier.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tuesday Ten November 11

1. I'm trying out Safari as my browser. I think I like it. Firefox kept giving me grief. I hate IE.

2. My back still hurts. My hips have this strange ache. I've been told it is also a symptom of this bug that is going around. I am annoyed. I don't have time for this back ache stuff.

3. Rhianna and Erin were sick all day yesterday. Vomiting, fevers, body aches, weakness. Too sick to even watch TV much. They just laid around, feeling miserable. I think that Pat might possibly come home today and join in the misery. He did *not* sound good this morning.

4. The back ache did help me get out of the dull board meeting early. I had to stay for the fundraising/budget crisis discussion but since everyone saw me hobble in there, they were pretty gracious about letting me leave. There is this one pit-bull woman who is *not* usually nice (to anyone) and she really doesn't like me since the closed-session ice thing. She's the type of person that scares people and no one has ever "taken her on before" except me. (And I won because right is right and her idea was sheer lunacy. So my winning makes her dislike me even more). Any how, I think she was happy to see me leave early.

5. A study done by the University of Hertfordshire revealed that the overall fitness of ballet dancers was great than that of international level swimmers. I think that has to do with the buoyancy situation. Swimming is easier on the joints, which in turn is easier on the ligaments and tendons. Of ten factors considered such as strength, flexibility, balance, endurance, ballet dancers scored 25% higher. Let's all get a pair of slippers and start plieing and pirouetting!

6. This chair is not doing anything good for my back...but I'm talking to a friend on IM right now and I can't get up.

7. Isn't it great the way women multitask? And they can do it while they're in pain.

8. In fact, an Arizona jogger was attacked by a rabid fox. She ran a mile with the beast locked to her arm because she wanted it tested for rabies. She got to her car, yanked it off, shoved it in her trunk and drove to the Prescott, AZ hospital. A commenter on the article said, "Good thing this didn't happen here in California. The woman would be charged with animal abuse and local homeowners would demand that local government do something to protect them from the wildlife."

9. Maybe we should all be like Gretchen Wilson and say about Victoria's Secret "I can buy the same damn stuff on a Walmart shelf half price and still feel sexy, just as sexy, as the models on TV, I don't need designer tags to make my man want me." Why? Because there is a lawsuit against Victoria's Secret. Angels Secret Embrace and Very Sexy Extreme Me Push-up bras contain formaldehyde. Yes, formaldehyde. The company has admitted it and is extremely sorry that some woman are experiencing itching, hives, welts and inflammation.

Now what reason could there be for putting formaldehyde in a bra?

10. If you don't want the "girls" to sag, then do:

dumbbell flys
dumbbell chest presses
--incline varieties of the above
more pushups (wide stance, narrow, incline, decline, military style)

Actually, studies have shown that letting the twins have some freedom from constricting bras (like Victoria's Secret types that do crazy things) actually helps the ligaments and tendons strengthen

Proper nutrition also helps maintain elasticity of the ligaments and skin.

(Resources: Pierrot L., Evolution du sein après l'arrêt du port du soutien gorge, étude préliminaire longitudinale sur 33 sportives volontaires, Thèse présentée le 19 décembre 2003 devant la Faculté de Médecine et de Pharmacie de Besançon.
[The development of the breasts after discontinuing wearing bras. Preliminary longitudinal study of 33 volunteer sportswomen. Thesis presented December 19th, 2003, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, Besancon, France.]

Bonus thought: I am sick of fundraisers. With the economy the way it is, it is ridiculous to keep asking people to sell cookie dough, candy, candles, subscriptions, etc. I don't like the idea of gambling, but I've been asked to check into these big charity poker nights to raise the $26,000 that the club needs to pay for the uncontracted (yet) reserved ice. Ice time is ridiculously expensive. On one hand, I don't like the idea of preying upon someone gambling away their money on card games - on the other hand, if they are going to do it anyway, it does seem slightly 'better' that the money go to a non-profit group that needs a boost. I said I'd research it. :(

Friday, November 7, 2008

Ooo-ooo That Smell!

That Smell - Lynyrd Skynyrd

This blog is much enhanced with the accompanying mood music.

In parts of southeastern Ohio, down to West Virginia and Kentucky, they have a lot of recipes for squirrel. The thought of cooking and eating squirrel doesn't sound very appetizing to me. However, according to, squirrel meat is becoming very haute cuisine.

Yesterday, I threw in a load of towels and went about cleaning the house. I was in the living room and smelled something much like burning eggs in a frying pan. I know this smell husband and my youngest daughter get a bit crazy cooking eggs on Saturday mornings. Sometimes in their hunger to eat their creations, they put the skillet right back on the still-hot burner and the unpleasant aroma of burning omelet pervades the house. I wrinkled up my nose, but didn't think too much of it as it didn't last too long. Odd snack to be making after I had made a pork roast with onions and apples, but hey...I'm not going to be the diet watch dog.

Early this afternoon I turned the dishwasher on and went about cleaning the house. Darned if I didn't smell that yukky smell wafting around. Later Jenna was sitting on the sofa nursing Layla and said she smelled it, too. I knew no one was cooking anything, so I had the kids start looking around. Would burning wiring smell that way? I had no idea.

We traced the smell to the bottom of the basement staircase. It did not seem to spread any further back. Odd. It seemed strongest not far from the landing. (When you open the door to the basement there are three steps down, a landing and a door to the outside, then the rest of the flight of stairs. Some duct work passes nearby and the water heater is stationed in this area). I began to suspect that something had gotten into the walls and was dying there. But why wasn't the smell constant? I sent Pat a text message and we went back and forth about it for a while.

By the time I had gotten back from the mall with Rhianna, the smell was pretty much gone. I then wondered if maybe it it was just drifting in from somewhere outside. We patrolled the property looking for stinky things. Found none.

I made eggplant parmigiana for dinner and once again loaded the dishwasher up to clean up the dinner mess. I threw some more laundry in the wash. Erin's friend came by to spend the night and I chatted with her mom for a bit in the kitchen. The dishwasher cycle takes about two hours. About an hour into it, I lugged some laundry out into the living room to fold.

That smell. That horrid smell. It was back. I called Pat. He said his nose was too stuffed to smell it. I said, "Baloney. This will open it for sure, it's THAT bad." I made him wait. "Ugffft," I said, "There is a waft of it again." This time he smelled it. Remembering how I said it was very bad on the basement steps, he headed there.

BINGO. He knew the answer. He tapped the exhaust pipes leading from the water heater to the chimney. One spot was not so hollow sounding. He made me turn off the dishwasher and the washing machine, grabbed some tools and set out to take down that exhaust pipe.

Stuck right in a joint was a small, roasted (or roasting) squirrel. Let me tell you, I don't know if they "taste like chicken" but they sure don't smell like it cooking in an exhaust vent! It smelled like burnt eggs in a skillet. Not quite rotten, but not quite right either. It seems that whenever I turned on anything that used the hot water heater (gas) for any period of time it sent hot exhaust through that pipe, roasting the little furry beast.

Unfortunately, I got a look at his little black, burnt face. It was a young black squirrel, much like this one. And no, I was not inclined to take a picture of all its gruesomeness.

Black Squirrel Pictures, Images and Photos

Pat then had to figure out what to do with it. It smell pretty badly once out of the pipe. I think he buried it in one of the trash cans out back. We could quite possibly end up smelling more of him before trash pick up next week.

Now I know that the recipes linked to above aren't for a squirrel still wearing its furry little coat. I'm still not interested. From henceforth, whenever Pat and Erin burn a skillet of eggs, I'm going to wonder: Is it eggs or squirrel?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

On legislating morality...

Morality -
1. conformity to the rules of right conduct; moral or virtuous conduct.
2. moral quality or character.
3. virtue in sexual matters; chastity.
4. a doctrine or system of morals.
5. moral instruction; a moral lesson, precept, discourse, or utterance.

1. concern with the distinction between good and evil or right and wrong; right or good conduct [ant: immorality]
2. motivation based on ideas of right and wrong [syn: ethical motive]

Someone commented on my other blog likening legislating morality to communism. (Since communism is a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state, I thought that was a really silly comparison) . I was thinking about this while chatting with a friend at the skating rink and what follows are my thoughts.

We legislate morality all the time...yes, it is called LAW. Without law, we would have anarchy and no one and no thing would be safe.

We legislate morality when we say DO NOT STEAL, that taking what does not belong to us is wrong. We make laws that protect us from theft. We legislate morality when we say DO NOT KILL and make laws to protect ourselves from acts of violence. We legislate morality when we say that it is wrong to force sexual intercourse on another person and we make laws to punish rapists. We legislate morality when we say if you have a blood alcohol content of over 0.08, you had darn sure better not operate a motor vehicle. We have made laws to protect the innocent from people who drink too much and won't control themselves.

There is Right and there is Wrong. There is no escaping from that fact. There will always be people who try to violate other people by behaving wrongly towards them - and that is why we have government and why we have laws.

Just because it is now trendy and progressive to deny that a human life exists in the womb, we can hear people fuss and bluster about "How dare we try to legislate morality! It is a woman's right to choose!" The same people, I'm banking, would be outraged and horrified if they knew their neighbor put some kittens in a sack of stones and threw them off a bridge to drown. Those people exercise a morality of convenience.

A morality of convenience says that if something like an unwanted pregnancy puts me out in any way, I can throw out my conscience and start declaring that the laws which say "DO NOT KILL" to protect innocent victims no longer matter. I can make morality expendable IF it is to my personal benefit to do so.

It's not too far fetched to imagine how this expendable morality can progress... if the elderly are too tedious and tiresome for us to care for, let's decided they are "post-mature human tissue" and end their lives prematurely. Let us tell ourselves that we're doing them a favor and us as well, as it would be too taxing on our resources to support them. Let's then decide that the disabled are not just different, they're inconvenient - perhaps euthanize them while we are at it. At least the concept would be euthanasia "mercy killing" as opposed to the blood-thirsty ripping of immature human beings from the womb.

Here's a step by step diagram of partial birth abortion... oh yeah, it's the woman's right to choose. Unfortunately, the unborn woman ( or man) child gets to be born by forceps delivery then brutally knifed in the head, brains suctioned out.

Whenever a woman wants to have a baby and she rushes out to get an at home pregnancy test, even if that baby is only a week or two in utero, upon receiving a positive result she happily declares, "I am having a baby!" She begins to dream of the name for this child. She makes plans.

Make it an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy and suddenly it isn't "my baby!" - it is fetal tissue or embryonic materials. This is DELUSIONAL morality. If it is a baby when you want it, it is still a baby when you don't. Period.

It seems that the people I've met in my life that believe that are also generally the ones who think "I have a right to smoke!" and don't care if they are polluting and destroying other peoples' lungs. I've seen this type - driving in the car with their children being forced to breathe in clouds of nicotine and tar. Many times their teenagers end up smoking themselves, thanks to Mom & Dad's great love and pumping them filled with chemicals for so many years. THANK GOD that some places like Bangor, Maine *are* legislating morality in this area. If you get caught driving around smoking with your kids in the car there, expect a hefty fine.

(Many of the above folks are the ones we'll see clamoring for free health care - to pay for the kids they have given asthma to, or to get themselves through their bouts of bronchitis and probably later lung cancer. They want freedom to kill themselves slowly, but don't want the rest of us to have freedom from paying for their stupidity).

I might as well add - if we shouldn't legislate morality, then why are we prosecuting pedophiles? Are we going to let them have "the right to choose" their sexual partner regardless of age? Shall we welcome NAMBLA with open arms? Oh wait, is that too progressive? Maybe after this next presidency or the next, as our country declines even further into its immoral cesspool.

I could go on and on, but I won't. Like it or not, morality has been legislated for years. That's where laws come from - legislating morality for the protection of the people, the property of the people and the livelihood of the people.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Just one more day of it

I can't bear to hear any more about this election. I just want it to be over with. I want the phone to stop ringing and I want liberal junk mail to stopping finding its way to my mailbox.

Tomorrow I will do my civic duty and I will vote. All day I will be sending up prayers that our country doesn't get handed over to a socialist. I will try not to turn on the TV or go to my favorite internet news websites.

When I wake up on Wednesday morning, no matter who wins...I will survive. Even if I completely disagree, it'll be okay because God is in charge. Perhaps we need a few years of another idiot like Bill Clinton. Perhaps we need someone who plans on destroying the economies of West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania and sending our electricity prices skyrocketing, driving us deeper into recession. It'll be okay in the long run because:

Psalm 46

For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to Alamoth. A song. [a]
1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.

2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.

5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.

6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

7 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

8 Come and see the works of the LORD,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.

9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear,
he burns the shields [b] with fire.

10 "Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."

11 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

I think I'll tape "Don't Panic" on my Bible cover in large, friendly letters. (I'd say it's the original HHG2G).