Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Being Well-Hydrated

I have to have a procedure called a lasix renal scan next week. When the nurse was setting up the appointment for me, she said, "We want you well-hydrated for this test. Drink lots of clear liquids before you go."

I said, "You mean like gin and vodka?"

She firmly replied, "No, like water."


Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Person Vs. Party

I watched the President's address on Iraq tonight and it served to remind me of the current "challenge" I'm working on. From time to time, I select a topic and redirect my thoughts to that subject when I find myself thinking about unpleasant things. (An example is an earlier post, Pain Vs. Pain, in the March archives.) Right now, the PC (personal challenge) I'm thinking through is Person Vs Party in national elections.

I have always voted for the person I felt best suited for a position. So why am I rethinking that stance? It seems to me, that at this point in time, individual officeholders have conceded their personal identity to jump aboard the party bandwagon. I can't remember a time when government has been so polarized. So my dilemma is: Will an individual vote reflect his/her conscience and that of his/her constituency or will he/she vote the party line? If most representatives of the people are going to follow party line, then I must vote for the party rather than the individual. The fun in my PCs is that nothing is black or white.

When I was growing up, politics was black or white, Democrat or Republican. I grew up in a Republican household in a Republican-dominated area. (In fact, I was nineteen years old before I realized "Damn Democrat" was two words.) My husband was the opposite: his was a Democratic household in a Democratic stronghold.

Ah, the innocence of childhood! Adulthood brings such mistrust of labels.

Monday, June 27, 2005

"Golden Links" Welcome

I have neglected my blog recently as I became caught up in health issues---my mother's, my husband's, my niece's and my own. Upon reflection, I realize this has had the effect of sharply narrowing my world to trips to the hospital, nursing homes and doctor's offices. Now it's time to get back to the greater reality.

The rest of the world is still out there. That big, exciting, mysterious, funny world with all it holds for me to discover. So here I go again. As E. H. Chapin said, " Through every rift of discovery some seeming anomaly drops out of the darkness, and falls, as a golden link, into the great chain of order."

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Bloomfield Blooms Posted by Hello

Bloomfield Blooms

The photo is a bouquet from my sister's garden in East Bloomfield, NY.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Forrest Gump.....

After the stress of the past few days, it's about time for some laughter. One of my favorite stories involves Forrest Gump.

The day finally arrived. Forrest Gump dies and goes to Heaven. He is at the Pearly Gates, met by St Peter himself. However, the gates are closed and Forrest approaches the Gatekeeper.

St Peter says, "Well, Forrest, it's certainly good to see you. We have heard a lot about you. I must tell you, though, that the place is filling up fast, and we've been administering an entrance examination for everyone. The test is short, but you have to pass it before you can get into Heaven."

Forrest responds, "It shor is good to be here, St Peter, sir. But nobody ever tolt me about any entrance exam. Shor hope the test ain't too hard; life was a big enough test as it was."

St Peter goes on, "Yes, I know, Forrest, but the test is only three questions:
  • First: What two days of the week begin with the letter T?
  • Second: How many seconds are there in a year?
  • Third: What is God's first name?"

Forrest leaves to think the questions over. He returns the next day and sees St Peter who waves him up and says, "Now that you have had a chance to think the questions over, tell me your answers."

Forrest says, "Well, the first one--which two days in the week begin with the letter 'T'? Shucks, that one's easy. That'd be Today and Tomorrow."

The Saint's eyes open wide and he exclaims, "Forrest, that's not what I was thinking, but you have a point, and I guess I didn't specify, so I'll give you credit for that answer."

"How about the next one?" asks St Peter. "How many seconds in a year?"

"Now that one's harder," says Forrest, "but I thunk and thunk about that and I guess the only answer can be twelve."

Astounded, St Peter says, "Twelve? Twelve!? Forrest, how in Heaven's name could you come up with twelve seconds in a year?"

Forrest says, "Shucks, there's gotta be twelve: January 2nd, February 2nd, March 2nd.........

"Hold it," interrupts St Peter. "I see where you're going with this, and I see your point, though that wasn't quite what I had in mind.........but I'll give you credit for that one, too. Let's go on with the third and final question. Can you tell me God's first name?"

"Shor," Forrest replied, "it's Andy."

"Andy?!" exclaimed an exasperated and frustrated St Peter. "OK, I can understand how you came up with your answers to my first two questions, but just how in the world did you come up with the name Andy as the first name of God?"

"Shucks, that was the easiest one of all," Forrest replied. "I learnt it from the song..........ANDY WALKS WITH ME, ANDY TALKS WITH ME, ANDY TELL ME I AM HIS OWN...."

St Peter opened the Pearly Gates and with a smile said, "Run, Forrest, run!"

So you see, there are rewards for thinking outside the box.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Whadda Week!

It all started with a 3:00 A. M. phone call on Tuesday morning. My mother was being transported to ER with severe breathing difficulties and a lack of response. I flew off to the hospital and spent the rest of the night there until relieved by other family members about 8:00 A. M.

Fast forward. On Thursday, about 4:45 P. M., I felt, rather than heard, a thud. Lee had fallen and was in great pain. I called an ambulance. He was taken to the ER where x-rays revealed that he had both fractured and dislocated his shoulder. An orthopedic surgeon was called in and he managed miracles to avoid surgery.

The problem is that the injury is on his right side. His left side was left weakened by a stroke when he was six months old. Without the use of his right arm, he is virtually helpless. He can't feed himself, get out of bed, go to the bathroom---well, you get the picture. So when he is released from the hospital next week, it is off to a nursing home.

And of course, my medical problems remain. I have appointments with two more specialists in the next couple of weeks. So we are facing a trying time ahead but I have no doubt that we will get through this too.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Let Reason Reign

Due to a situation that is another story, we ended up living in a mobile home park. It was the best thing that could have happened to us. We've been here now for over four years and they have been wonderful years. Lately though, we have noticed a lot of discontent in the park and have made a few observations regarding why.

The park owners are a group removed from the area. To represent their interests on site, they hired two men; let's call them Bob and Jim. Bob and Jim live here in the park with the rest of us. Their job is to keep the park safe and clean for the residents and they do that by enforcing the park rules. The park rules were written by the park owners and must follow state law. You may read the state law on the internet. One of the laws does say that all rules and regulations must be enforced uniformly.

But let's keep this simple. The facts are:
  • Bob and Jim didn't make the rules but their job is to enforce them equally for all of us.
  • Without supervision, unhealthy and unsafe situations can arise quickly in a small community like ours. For example, trash on any site can attract rats that could affect all of us. Another example, cars improperly parked can create hazardous conditions that could affect walkers and drivers.
  • Bob and Jim are paid a set wage. What they earn does not depend on how many rules they enforce. But you can bet they would lose their jobs if they didn't enforce the rules.
  • I don't see Bob and Jim getting rich with this job. Prove it if you think otherwise. (What's the rumor I heard about them keeping the money for the dog fee? How stupid!)

Look around you, neighbors. We live in a beautiful setting, largely made possible by these two men who work hard with little thanks. Let's be reasonable. If you have a problem with the regulations, take it up with the people who made those regulations---the park owners. Your lease has all the contact information. Remember that old adage: don't kill the messenger. Join me in being grateful that we have very reasonable messengers. Thanks, Bob and Jim.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Reason-able Cats

Who says you can't reason with cats?

Getting our cats to come in from the porch at night used to be a nightmare. We have a screened-in porch that the cats love. In fact, they love it so much that it became a battle every night to get them to leave it. First we would call them. They would ignore us. Then one of us would go out and plead with them to go into the house. They would ignore us. Then we yelled at them to go in. They would ignore us. At that point, things turned nastier. We would pick up the fly swatter and threaten them with it (we called the fly swatter a "whip"). They would ignore us. Then it got physical. We would try to whack them with the whip and they would run under furniture to escape us. Obviously, we weren't going to win that battle.

Finally, in disgust, I said "Okay, Ryder. You tell me when it's time to come in." I left them alone. In a few minutes, Ryder came in and meowed at me. Eventually, I realized that he was telling me that it was time to come in. As soon as Shasta saw him in the house, she came in.

This became the nightly routine and continues just like clockwork every day between 9:00 and 9:30 pm. My husband says that Ryder wears a tiny wristwatch that he uses to keep on schedule. You have to agree that this is a more pleasant picture than the former one of two old, fat people chasing cats with a fly swatter.

Peace now reigns in the Russo household. And it's all due to our two reasonable cats who were made an offer they couldn't refuse.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Hummingbird Beacon

Last night while a neighbor was sitting on the back porch with me, a hummingbird zoomed in unexpectedly. That means I don't have a feeder out yet. But because there was a bauble hanging with a red stone, we assumed that had attracted the bird. A few minutes later, a second zooming occurred and then I realized the bright orange tee I was wearing might be the attraction. Judi remarked that she hoped a hummingbird wouldn't land on my shelf looking for nectar. When a rainbow formed and I leaned over the railing to see it, a third hummingbird flew in within a foot and hovered at menacingly close range to my orange top.

The moral of the story? If you're not prepared to host hummingbirds up close and personal, don't wear certain bright colors.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

GM vs Microsoft

I just read and copied this from a blog named Archive. Unfortunately, I do not know the author's name.


GM vs. Bill Gates

For all of us who feel only the deepest love and affection for the way computers have enhanced our lives, read on.

At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated, "If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon."

In response to Bill's comments, General Motors issued a press release stating:

If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics (and I just love this part):

1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a day.

2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.

3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.

4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.

5. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive - but would run on only five percent of the roads.

6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single "This Car Has Performed an Illegal Operation" warning light.

7. The airbag system would ask "Are you sure?" before deploying.

8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.

9. Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.

10. You'd have to press the "Start" button to turn the engine off.

- posted by cries havoc @ 7:49 PM


This is a very interesting blog. Read some of the other entries.

Break Down

I thought that title would get you. It may be a little misleading. What I mean is---today I broke down and did what common sense has been telling me for some time. I went to Wal-Mart and used one of the electronic carts to move around the store. It meant swallowing a considerable amount of pride but it was either that or I would have no crossword puzzles to work on tonight. And as any crossword puzzle addict would tell you, no sacrifice is too great when it comes to replenishing your supply. Now I hope I won't become addicted to riding electronic carts..........