Friday, May 31, 2013

The Burial

Such a hot day to revisit the old barn.  The door is loose and swings open almost by itself when I release the metal latch.  The bright sunlight outside blinds me to the dark blankness inside.  It feels cooler and I relax in the shelter from the hot air.  Eventually my eyes adjust to the faint contrast of slices of sunlight as they filter through cracks and holes catching dancing dust fairies which hang above the earthen floor in stasis.  Their glimmer is the only movement in the quiet stillness all around me.  There are two empty but familiar stalls staring at each other on the far end of the building.  An old bit of rope hangs from one wooden support post.

It is so stale inside as if nothing alive has been here for hundreds of years.  This is odd because there is only weathered wood between the bird and insect noisy traffic outside.  There must be mice and dark beetles at home in small corners and behind the wooden boxes stacked to one wall.  I tilt my head to one side and listen, carefully and with slow intent.  Such a peaceful quiet is foreign to my city ears and I hear just a soft creak as the big door moves when caught by the small summer breeze.

It is not how I remember it at all.  This was once a busy place with milking cows, an old tractor with its insides open and undergoing constant repair, swallows leaving their mud bowl nests under the trusses to dive bomb the dogs beneath them, and above it all, unseen, was a loft of sweet smelling hay.  There was always movement and sounds and animals grunting. 

I cross the uneven earth and test the first step of the wooden ladder to the loft.  It holds very firm as does the rest of the ladder as I climb it slowly to the very top avoiding splinters from the edges of the wood.  I pull my knee over the edge at the last step and scoot up onto the floor.  There is no hay, just dust and pieces of wood.  The large door to the hayloft is gone and light floods the area making it easy to see that some animal, probably a vulture or barn owl, had recently made its home here.  It smells faintly of must and poultry.

I sit with crossed legs at the edge of the loft door, the hot sun on my arms, my eyes in the shade and look across the land.  It is fallow and growing mowed weeds these days.  Colored wildflowers fight for attention in the center.  It still looks familiar.

That crazy summer floods back in my memory.  I had learned that I was a woman by the way the young boy we had hired for the summer watched me out of the corner of his eye.  It was an uncommon electric feeling that fed my soul and changed everything I did each day.  It changed how I wore my hair, how I walked, and how I modulated my voice.  We got to know each other over the weeks in between heavy-duty chores and lost our self-conscious pretenses.  We shared lemonade, jokes, and a swim in the river down by the cherry trees.  We loaded bales of hay onto the wagon and laughed as we grew sweaty and tired by sunset barely able to walk back along the dirt road to the house.  By August, we held hands and kissed and he smelled of raw corn or green grass and soap.

Then we almost made love one afternoon in this loft.  He was the one who pulled away at the last minute as he felt my body give in and my arms welcome him close.  He was the smarter one, and I was the thoughtless romantic.  He had three years on me and plans for another three years.  I was still into romance novels and gossip and another boring year of high school.

It is tempting to think what might have evolved if we had made love.  I am old enough now to know what a tragedy that might have been back then.  That foolish romantic in me is long gone.  I never heard from him or about him after that summer.  It was as if he was a character in those romance novels I read and had faded into a fictional fog with the end of the summer.  It was as if he did not really exist except in my imagination.  It was as if he was a canceled summer series on television.  It was as if that girl did not exist either, because I was someone else now.  I had responsibilities, I was sophisticated, I was working on a plan.  I had buried that silly child somewhere far away like a faded valentine or pressed corsage that doesn't look quite as wonderful as it did on the day it was given.  Today I was a foreigner in a foreign land.

(Bits and pieces are true, of course, but the story is fiction.)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Are We Having Fun Yet?

Yes, it does break the rule of thirds!

While we enjoyed our son and fiance's visit over the holiday weekend the recent holiday Monday itself we spent canoeing.  We have been so busy with volunteer and social obligations that we have not taken the time to get the canoe out on the water before the mosquitoes and warm weather make it more of a trek rather than a trip.  We took the smaller canoe and that meant loading less paraphernalia.  The canoe itself gets balanced on hubby's upper back and transferred to the top of the car where he climbs up and ties it off in 4 places.  The landing was only 20 minutes away.  Still at our age we feel blessed to be able to do this.

I am 66 and proudly taking no medications.  I am beginning to feel arthritis creep in after I exercise or do yard work and my getting up in the morning would give you a laugh as I hobble to the bathroom.  Once the joints are warm and greased I can do almost anything including touch my toes with no pain.  I do get a bursitis in my left shoulder if I exercise too much and that can last all week.  As I age I have noticed a nasty cough that catches me by surprise if I am not keeping up on my fluids and my less than stellar eyesight is most annoying as I love photography.  My desire to lose weight continues and I run on the elliptical about 6-9 miles a week, lift heavy (10 pound) weights and do stretching.  I do some yoga, but must be careful as I can push it too much and then regret the joint and tendon pain for days.   Still, I think I am very lucky for my good health at this time in my life.

Hubby has always been very healthy as well, except for problems that started years ago.  He was diagnosed with prostate cancer and while some men are doing the watch and wait, he had the radiation seed treatment and by the year's end he was pretty much back to normal except for check-ups through these past years.  That was 6 years ago and his appointment last week was his last as they now have declared him cancer free.

About 10 years ago hubby also started having problems walking and seemed to be stumbling often.  He is a reasonably athletic person and was able to recover without falling to the ground most times, although it did make for some interesting acrobatic moves on his part.  I thought he was just being careless as he talks a lot when he walks.  Then he got intermittent numbness in his hands and the eventual diagnosis was stenosis of the spine.  This meant the canal that carried his spinal cord was narrowing in places causing the nerves to be pinched.  If it was left untreated and got worse he could be paralyzed down from wherever the stenosis begins.  In his case it was his neck!  He went in for spinal surgery and had the back part of four vertebrae removed...yes that now his spinal cord rests in the open channel and is covered by muscle only.  I exaggerate not at all when I say he was out of the hospital the day after surgery and home and walking with a neck brace in the suburban neighborhood where we lived within days.  Within weeks he was back at work part time.  He was determined that this would not set him back one inch.

By the end of the year we were hiking, canoeing, bike riding and continuing our fairly active lifestyle once again.  Unfortunately, now years later. the stenosis has returned as it sometimes does.  His neck is too stiff to turn too far to either side when driving,  it hurts if he hits a bump while riding the bike, and he is being careful many times by wearing a neck brace.  He does the assigned exercises.  The doctor has recommended painkillers and Valium as a muscle relaxant and are taking a wait and see approach.

Hubby is being brave, but having a science background, he tends to be more analytical and also understands anatomy very well.  I put off the images that you know flit across my mind on occasion, and try to make him be more careful as we age together.  None of us knows what the future will hold, and we only hope that we hang on until the very last laugh or scoff depending on our mood.

Old age is not for the weak of heart or spine, it seems.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Spam You!

Get a clue!  I dare you to prove that you have made one dollar in this enterprise of driving us all into an irritating frenzy of pushing the "remove forever" key.

If you praise my blog post or say it is unique among all you have read or wonder how I have been able to market myself so well, your comment will be marked as spam and deleted.

If you say you are committed to my cause, praise my writing style or ask if I would like advice on getting search engines to find me more easily, your comment will be marked as spam.

If you ask if I know that my text is running off the screen and  tell me I may need to change browsers and ask that I visit your site at the very end AND provide a link, your comment will be marked as spam...and thus deleted.

If you write in barely acceptable English using bigger words, stilted grammar and clearly do not know how to write a comment post you will be marked as spam.  You will not force me to use word verification for my busy readers no matter how many times you comment!  I can see through you!  I win.  You lose!

My HTML will trump your XML.  The ICMP will find your traceroute TCP/IP  ASAP if enough of us complain about this system!  You can Phish and Pharm all you want but we will win in the end because we use blood and hearts to fire our electricity and catch our readers.

But since you are a soulless computer and select me via a random algorithm clearly ignorant of the fact that this stupid spamming does not bring anyone to your site, and you will not actually read or understand this post anyway, I can only hope for more successful spam blocking via another computer filter developed by someone else with blood in their veins in the future!  It is the war of the computers while those of us with hearts hope a server gets unplugged.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Dinner with Wine and Water

 While continuing to explore the issues of water in this country I was very disappointed to learn that this liberal environmental state that I live in has the worst water pollution in the country! Thirty-three percent of our sources have some pollution.  I guess I am going to have to start some letter writing on that.  Years ago when rivers outside of Cleveland would catch on fire due to pollution we had no regulations on what and how much disgusting byproduct that could be dumped into them.  They were gigantic toilets that became someone's problem downstream...we naively thought.  Under Richard Nixon's administration, Congress passed the Clean Water Act which  began the slow uphill climb to make industry and agriculture take notice of how they were treating our waters.  Then as the years passed we learned that we as individuals also bore the guilt of this and had to change our lifestyle.

When you are focused on an issue it creeps into your conversations with others.  Hubby had done some connection recently across space and time and this connection resulted in a last minute dinner guest the other day, which throws this anal retentive into a bit of a tizzy.  I was busy reading up on my state's water plans instead of cleaning house.

Anyway, as usually happens it all worked out very well in the end.  The elderly gentlemen brought both white and red wine!  We had fried oysters from the dock, bruschetta on French bread and roasted summer vegetables with herbs.  I made an easy strawberry cream cheese pie with fresh strawberries from the garden for dessert. We drank lots of water and wine.

Our guest was a business man whose main focus in life was using some scientific biochemical technology he developed to help people in both our country and through-out the world to filter things on surfaces and through substances, including water!  He might be an idealist without a chance in hell or he might be a man with a viable mission in life, I really could not tell.  He seemed very nice, straightforward and honorable...a deacon in not one but two churches!

He had recently returned from Poland where he was working but also assisting with a high school science fair outside the city of Krakow.  He had been assigned several children who were working on a water filtering project.  They were trying to filter radioisotopes from drinking water.  When he asked why they had selected this project, they explained that their drinking water was making their people sick from the radioactive particles in it!  He was shocked and also greatly saddened to see these young scientists working on such a tragic problem.   Then as a scientist he had to explain that filtering the drinking water was one small step as they were showering their bodies in this same water and it would be absorbed through the skin as well.  This was not Japan after a tragic earthquake, but Poland where the former footprint of the USSR is still ugly and the black market is more than healthy.  In Japan they are monitoring the radioactivity from the earthquake, but in Poland it is from the lack of regulation from their old power plants.

As a liberal voter I am big on environmental regulation, and I know that means a greater cost in whatever I buy to offset the greater burden to the business owner, but at least it is a transparent choice and I accept, that with our growing population, it will become a more expensive way forward.  We may own less fancy technology and less of it, but our eyes will be open, our lungs will be clear and our organs will be healthy and our children will thank us.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Dinosaur Pee

Do you know where your drinking water comes from?  Many people think that it comes from the kitchen sink faucet or the refrigerator filter nozzle.  When I lived north in this state, my drinking water came from the Potomac river.  It was pumped to a filtration plant where they added things like chlorine (a chemical poison) to kill any nasties that might be growing in it before it reached my stomach.  It tasted OK and it smelled OK and we survived.  We did have to let the chlorine out-gas before we added it to our Koi pond, though.

Many of the nearby well populated communities in the area pulled their water from underground.  They went down just deep enough to get to the first water table, as that is the cheapest when you are pumping for a city.  This water was less than 100 years old.  It was water was made from filtered rain, but went through some pretty disgusting soil before it was collected and then treated by the water plant.  It could have come from some grandpa's toilet!

Today my water comes from an aquifer about 400 feet beneath my land.  A geologist told me the other day that my water is very old and goes back to dinosaur times!  It has sat in that underground lake for many thousands of years.  It probably was created from rain washing over dinosaur poop and pee before we were a twinkle in evolution's eye!  It is very safe to drink, and if you do not mind the hydrogen smell that occurs when we get lazy and do not treat the pipes, it is water that can be added directly to fish ponds or drinking glasses.  I find this mind-boggling.  According to the USGS "Ground water may flow through an aquifer at a rate of 50 feet per year or 50 inches per century, depending on the permeability of the soil above it. But no matter how fast or slow, water will eventually discharge or leave an aquifer and must be replaced by new water to replenish or recharge the aquifer.  Thus, every aquifer has a recharge zone or zones and a discharge zone or zones."  These aquifers vary.  "Rocks that yield freshwater have been found at depths of more than 6,000 feet, and salty water has come from oil wells at depths of more than 30,000 feet.

Water is a finite resource.  We have become addicted to corn for food, food additives and energy, a crop that sucks up water like a sponge and we plant it across the land.  The drought across the U.S. has left water tables in Texas and Kansas and Colorado almost empty now.  Farmers go deeper and suck up sandy water and ruin their pumps in their desperation to grow a crop.  Yes, they are switching to milo and other crops that require less water, but it may not give us enough time to replenish that underground water source.  Refilling that large aquifer would require hundreds if not thousands of years of rains.  There has been a 30 foot decline in the water level.

We are now moving into the Anthropocene epoch, a term coined by scientists because we are changing the climate and resources of our planet so rapidly.  An International Geosphere-Biosphere Program paper says, “On average, humanity has built one large dam every day for the last 130 years.” It adds, “Tens of thousands of large dams now distort natural river flows to which ecosystems and aquatic life adapted over thousands of years."  We are sinking river deltas and removing wetlands which are natural barriers to inland flooding and you can see this on the news everyday.  People in North Dakota are now fighting over water resources (even though they are still in abundance) to continue expanding their fracking industry which makes them one of the primary energy states in the nation.  Let us hope they run out of gas before they tap into the Great Lakes.

Some even blame some of the tragedy in Syria to the lack of water management.  Their dictator (he who shall not be named) took land and gave it to his friends and they farmed it so vastly and carelessly that they ran the small farmers off their land because they could no longer get water from the ground.  Then drought ravaged 60% of the land even more moving 800,000 farmers and herders into poverty.

Water is precious and we must protect and use it wisely.  Writing this has made me thirsty.  I am going to go drink some dinosaur pee.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Let Us Get Our Feet Wet

I live near the Chesapeake Bay on a river that feeds into it.  Five major rivers flow into this bay and numerous tributaries also dump water into this largest estuary in the United States.  Two theories hold strong for the formation of this bay.  One an asteroid collision or two a giant glacier.  If you are a numbers person, the Chesapeake Bay is 200 miles long. fed by 48 major rivers, and fills from 100 tributaries that drain across a 64,000-square-mile watershed.  These are rivers that run by highways, cities (including the Nation's Capital), subdivisions, and farms.  These are rivers that collect lawn fertilizer, farm pesticides, and runoff from highway oils on their rush to the sea.  The fertilizers from farms are one of the worst pollutants creating huge algae blooms and eventual die-offs falling to the bay bottom and resulting in dead zones where oxygen does not exist.  And the average depth of the bay is 21 feet..not very deep at all.  In fairness to farmers, they have reduced their use of fertilizers over the years through better practices.

Cow poop and pee plus packing of the shoreline...not so good for the river.
Two thousand seven hundred plant and animal species attempt to live in and near the Bay.  At one time there were so many oysters in this Bay that the water was completely filtered, ALL OF IT, in a week!  One Algonquin Indian translation of the word Chesapeake is "great shellfish bay."  That was when you could wade into the water and see your feet---I am guessing if you did not cut your foot on the many oysters shells.  "Such huge numbers of shellfish had a major impact on the environment.  Oysters are filter feeders, which means that they remove nutrients from the water as they siphon it through their gill system.  This filtering process removes the phytoplankton and other small organisms that grow in the water.  In essence, each oyster is a small, water-treatment plant that cleans the water passing through it as it feeds.  The cumulative effect of millions and millions of oysters feeding each day was to keep the waters of the Chesapeake clear and pristine.  Biologists have estimated that when the English settlers reached Virginia and Maryland in the 1600s, oysters were filtering the entire Chesapeake Bay once a week.  The result was waters of remarkable clarity, even down to depths of twenty feet or more."  Those days are past as we have less than 2% of the number of oysters growing in the Bay.  They have died off due to disease from pollution stress and also disappeared from over-harvesting.  Work is ongoing to restore oysters to the Bay... a slow, but perhaps ultimately successful process if we get a handle on the pollution and get better cooperation from the oyster fishermen which is a different species than the oyster farmer.

We have a former state senator, Bernie Fowler, who was an avid fisherman as a young man, and noticed the declining clarity of the water on the Patuxent River when he would wade in each spring just north of where I live and try to see his feet.  In 1988 this 'wade-in" became an annual tradition to remind people of the declining clarity of our waters and also gave energy to a movement where then Senator Fowler sued the Environmental Protection Agency for its lack of enforcement of pollution laws.  The Bay is no where near healthy, but at least has stabilized in its decline and Senator Fowler has brought it to the public attention.  He is now 89, but still does his wade-in.

Pinkney Island, South Carolina, protected shoreline
Since we live in the 'critical area' I only fertilize my flowers and perennials with a slow release food and I am super conservative with pesticides and fungicides.  I am removing those plants that require too much spray to survive.  We still keep a few fruit trees that are demanding.  We no longer fertilize or herbicide our lawn so it can look like a golf course.  It does look like mowed weeds and we have allowed more clover to take over.  The clover is good for the soil and rabbits like clover to eat instead of my flowers.  If you live in a first world nation and fertilize your lawn, allow run-off from your roof, are not careful when you fill your lawn mower with gas or any endless number of things that hurt our water quality...remember that like fossil fuels clean water is also is a finite resource.  (My next post is on drinking dinosaur pee...really)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Treatment

I had absolutely no idea what to expect upon getting a facial.  I did know that I would have to remove my glasses and earrings, but when the young lady took me to the dressing room and told me to take everything off down to the waist and wrap a towel under my arms when I emerged, I realized this was going to be a much more intimate experience than I had anticipated.   My purse and watch and jewelry went into a locker with the key on a cord given to me to wear around my wrist. 

When I entered the room for the facial the key was placed in my bathrobe pocket as I took it off and hung it on the door.

The woman, maybe in her early 40's,  who gave me the facial was from Hungary originally (thus the European Facial ?).  We started out with a nice warm chat about paprika and getting fresh spices and other things as I nervously drove the conversation.  Eventually she got me to shut up and she had me lie down on a soft white hospital type bed.  I had neglected to put on the plastic slippers when I changed clothes so had to remove my shoes as she carefully tucked me under a warm sheet and wrapped my feet snugly.

My  hair line was wrapped with cotton and my whole head wrapped in a nice fragrant towel.  The first treatment was  a minty soap wash on my face, neck, shoulders, arms and hands!  Next was a body scrub of some type which was rubbed in and then rinsed away.  Then (since I had my eyes covered for most of this) I think they put on some kind of oatmeal mask for the face and neck and I sat under a warm steamy wand while she massaged and creamed my arms and hands before placing them in warm mittens.  She was mixing stuff behind me as I sat under this fragrant steam bath for about 10 minutes with my hands so cozy.

Then every thing was washed away once again and she applied a cold cream.  I mean a COLD cream.  I guess that is where the term comes from, because this felt like it came out of the refrigerator! 

Then came a 10 minute massage of my face with this cream.  It was really wonderful!  Firm in the beginning and ending with such a gentle touch I could not really tell when she had stopped!  I was allowed to rest for a few minutes before she once again removed all the stuff from my face with various cloths and tissues.

The next step was a little startling.  She covered my eyes in some fragrant damp tissue and then brought a bright light over my face and I began to feel little stings.  I realized after a time that she was squeezing my black/white heads with some tool and cleaning all of my pores.  It was not the most pleasant experience, but I have a high pain threshold, so sat back and endured and felt just a little embarrassed...I mean, how much money would they have to pay you to squeeze someones pimples?

Then there was one last wash with something else with a more flowery fragrance and a gentle pat dry and I was done!  I did not get a chance during that day or the next day to look closely at my skin, but I did feel really clean and refreshed and I would do it again if I was not so cheap!

My daughter had finished just a minute or two before me, so we were completely in sync to head out for the rest of our day.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Breathe Deep

Yep, it was one of those whirl-wind weekends.  (I think I get one every year.)  At my age it takes me a full day to really recover three days of full social contact.  When I pulled into the yard I could feel the blood pressure lower as my green lawn, my little blue bird couple and my tons of blooming iris greeted me in full spring glory.

I got home mid-afternoon on Sunday in the lovely sunshine and all was well until I saw two very healthy bunnies mating in the front yard under the pyracantha bushes.  Amazing, as the pyracantha has very nasty thorns.  It reminded me of the Tar Baby story, and if you do not know the Tar Baby story, don't worry.

Anyway, the spa day was full and expensive, but I would do it all again in a minute to spend time with my princess.

Check-in at the spa.  Ready for facials and massage!  (I could do a whole post on my first facial!)

This is where you relax after the massage and before the facial.  It is an old building that has been there for over 50 years although the spa has been in existence for about 15 years.

Then there was time for sitting under spring blooming trees and conversation.

And time for a walk and some window shopping.

And time for a long tour of the Torpedo Factory Art Center which is a famous place in Alexandria.

Then we arrived at the restaurant EVE and sipped some wine while waiting for our table.  We were eating early and yet the place was about a third full!

We were placed in the long room and had the whole place to ourselves for most of the dinner.  Notice the nice chandeliers above.

And like all good girls we celebrated the day with exotic drinks and exotic desserts before heading home and back to reality where we had to pick up two of the grandkids who were waiting for us at their older brother's Cub Scout meeting.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Social Queen

Busy weekend for this old lady starting this Friday.  I invited my daughter to a Spa afternoon.  We are getting facials and she is getting a European massage and I am getting my hair low-lighted and then cut.  It is a fancy spa place, and daughter selected it, because I would not know a good spa from a health juice bar.  Then we are heading to a nearby fancy restaurant in Old Town Alexandria.  It is a difficult place to get reservations, according to daughter, but I did not have difficulty.  Of course our reservations are at 5:45 which is not exactly prime time so that we can get home to assist hubby with the children.  I will be spending a lot of money, but it is my daughter's birthday and she is worth a fortune to me and I cannot take it with me anyway.  I will take photos to post, not to brag, but for my own memories if you do not want to see.

The next day we are decorating daughter's house for a movie-themed bridal shower for my son's future wife.  This is a big expense as well and I need to help with a check.  (I am absolutely apoplectic at how much money this generation spends on bridal showers and bachelorette parties to say nothing of weddings and honeymoons.)

After the shower I will be spending the night at daughter's house and then heading out to a "mom's brunch" a short drive away as I join my future daughter-in-law and her mother and grandmother at an informal gathering.  

This long weekend my life is like a movie, I know.  Such a social life does not happen often to me, but I have no regrets that I am surrounded by such special people 

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Touching Base

Lots and lots of April showers (except it is now May) that has brought the May flowers.  Above is one of the many varieties of columbine that are blooming right now.

The tree leaves are no longer light lime green but changing to shades of malachite, jade, moss, and emerald green.  It is supposed to rain more today, but I see the sun fighting its way through now and again and when it turns the lights on, it seems too bright for my eyes since we have had nothing but gray for a while.

I have been in the house for two straight days except to run outside and take a few photos between the rain drops.  I am getting over my desire to hang out with my peaceful aloneness and I am pushing myself to head out to run necessary errands today.  After I exercise, of course.  

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Thursday Thoughts 13 # 39 -- It has been a long time.

  1. Blogs are like children.  If you have too many that you follow, you cannot give each one the attention that it deserves.
  2. I love cowboy boots and own two pair...but I don't wear them as often as I should or could because I am afraid of getting them dirty and if I am home alone, I cannot get them off!
  3. I was away from the house for two days and asked hubby to do one thing while I was gone - clean the microwave oven.  While I was gone he vacuumed the whole house, did three loads of laundry, cleaned the bathrooms, but did not touch the scum in the microwave! (Is this bitch ever happy?)
  4. I was discussing the difficulty of weight loss with my daughter and she said she was sure if I just gave up bread I would lose weight.  In the spirit of self-defeat I am going to try that for as long as I can just to prove her wrong.
  5. Over a week later my bouquet of mixed cut flowers from hubby is still in beautiful condition.  It has taken 42 years of marriage...but he finally gets me flowers from the florist rather than the grocery store.
  6. I really do like being alone and if I was not afraid that it was a possible mental defect, I would rarely leave the house.  I will be really all alone this coming week, and I am a little sad about it.  Am I never satisfied?
  7. Since I have a cable DVR I rarely channel surf in the evenings.  It all waits for me just exactly as I have arranged it on my elitist list.  Thus I was both shocked and surprised to see that I had recorded some program that set a contest of people trying to get wheels of cheddar down a hill on a sled.  Boring.
  8. As a follow-up to the above, it depresses me to no end that people who watch the most popular shows on TV may also vote. 
  9. After returning from Mexico and drinking their coffee, I cannot seem to find a brand that satisfies me anymore.
  10. I am still boggled and trying to understand the message that only 10% of the cells in our body are human cells.  I guess the message is that we are more connected to nature than I had hoped.
  11. A distant but long time friend died last week of a rare but nasty brain disease similar to Alzheimer's and left behind a sweet and smart wife.  I cannot stop running the scenario through my head on what I would do if this had happened to me.
  12. Next week I am taking my daughter to a spa for her birthday as her choice.  I never go to spas and will be getting a facial for the first time in my life.  I got my first pedicure in my late 40's.  It all seems so decadent to this former farm girl.
  13. I am thinking I should not do these Thursday 13's unless I really make an effort to structure them around a theme!  So lazy.