I caved a few weeks ago and went to see a doctor to get an antibiotic.  It goes against much of what I believe, which is, if you can avoid an antibiotic, do it.  One should reserve that stuff for when it might really be needed.

Long story short, I ended up with a sinus infection sometime in March; woke up Easter morning to an awful smell that I would later find out was only something *I* could smell.  (If you have ever had a dog with hot spots, imagine that smell (and taste), in your head, all the time).  I chose to fight the infection on my own with some good old, self-produced, antibodies.  I did okay for a couple of weeks and then had an allergy flare up; managed that a bit but it all ended up in my lungs too.  A few more weeks of that and I realized I needed to do something because I was desperate to not have this infection while traveling (no body wants to share this crap).  So...to a medical person I went...

If you ever hear me say, "I'll just pop into a Walgreen's clinic instead of hitting up my doctor", stop me.  I am in no way saying or indicating that the Walgreen's clinics are bad.  I an just not a particularly patient individual, that is all.  So anyway, after seeing a medical professional, and getting my prescription, and then taking it for the designated 10 days, I haven't had any signs that I have an infection anymore.  Thankfully.

Hopefully I can be spared the need to have anymore of those for a long time.  And to be honest, the whole point of my writing ANY of this down is that I might be able to one day be able to recall the last time I would have had an antibiotic.  I was asked during my appointment and thankfully couldn't actually recall!

Also, there was a terrifying report over at Reuters...  http://reut.rs/25ozTXH


Talking Pets

For years, I had voices for my pets.  They each had their "own voice" and they spoke quite differently...Bella cursed way more than my ever patient and disciplined Riley would ever think to do.

When at home, I just spoke out in "dog voice" whenever I felt like it, or rather, whenever my dogs felt like it.  Sometimes, around close friends and family, I would use "dog voice" as well.  But to anyone else, not so much.  In fact, one time I mentioned I used "dog voice" to a friend and he asked me what they sounded like and I couldn't do it.  I was embarrassed and my whole face was red and felt like it was on fire.  I just couldn't voice my animals.  But in the privacy of my home, there were conversations to be had!

I miss this, and sometimes still use "dog voice" to speak for Bella and Riley from beyond the grave.  Mostly Bella, mostly cursing.

However, this voice of my animals has always been around.  As a kid, my stuffed animals talked, and walked, and each had its own voice.  One might have guessed I would become a puppeteer one day.

My stuffed animals are mostly long gone save for the few special ones sitting on a shelf near my bed.  My animals are sadly gone as well.  But, there is a kid at home and that kid has a beloved stuffed dog named Boo and a beloved blanket named Mr. Snuggles.  And those two characters speak plentiful.  Especially Boo who loves donuts, sleeping, his own version of kung-fu that he calls kung-boo, and most important, his beloved kid.  Boo, a bulldog, talks a lot and sometimes when he isn't talking the kid will say, "mom, make Boo talk and move".  And so this dog comes alive with his own voice and his own character.  I puppeteer him around on a lot of adventures and daily tasks and to be honest, I can't imagine doing things without the silly thing.  I have even caught myself speaking in Boo's voice IN PUBLIC.  Alas, it's fun, and I enjoy it, and it'll probably stick around well past my kiddo's toys too.

......what was that?  What made me think of writing this down?  Oh, well, yes....a colleague said the word donut, and in Boo's voice, I said aloud (as if Boo where here), "Donut, did someone say donut??"

Ah well.



RIP Beastie Bella

I feel a little more dead inside now that I've had to say good bye to me dear sweet bulldog Bella. She was my "discount" dog with a crooked tail that ended up at the vet more times than can I care to admit over silly things and serious things alike. She was my heater at night, and my beggar at meal time. I will miss her tooth gauge and her snoring. I have a million wonderful and funny things I could say about her but like Riley who died less than a year ago...I just want to keep them all to myself. I will forever miss you Beasta!


Automatic Transmission

A year ago this time I bought a new automatic transmission car.  

A bit of a background, I learned to drive on a manual transmission car. For a short period of time my mom had an automatic car that I would borrow and so, while I say I ONLY drove manual transmission, it's mostly true. I would borrow my mom's car when I went to places where I needed a more reliable vehicle than my old Ford Ranger...I had also rented some automatic transmission cars too...so, I mean,it's not as though I had NEVER driven automatic transmission vehicles, they just weren't my everyday usage. So anyway...

After having only driven a manual transmission car for a long time (skipping the real number there), up to last year, here is my one year assessment of the A.T.:
  • I STILL try to shift. Either my hand is floating and swinging at air over the space where my shifter used to be, or my foot is jamming into the floor board where my pedal used to be.
  • I forget to put the car in park often; lucky for me, the car is smart and won't turn off until it tells me over and over (...and over) that I'm not in park.
  • It is way less entertaining to drive but way better in stop-n-go traffic (my knees thank me).


Serial Season 2 Episode 7

If you are listening to the Serial season 2 podcast and you've listened to episode 7 where Bowe Bergdahl's friend Kim Harrison reacts to his joining the US Army, then you'll understand the passion of a mom, so to speak, towards her child who just enlisted in the Army.

This episode brings back a memory of when I was 17 and pondering my future.  One of my forerunners for a period of time was the US Army.  I went as far as taking the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) at a military processing center.  It, at the time, was this huge leap in managing my own life.  I made this choice.  I went to the recruiter.  I went to take the test.  I went and talked about where I wanted my future to go...

As you might imagine where I'm going with this story, my mom did not want me to enlist.  She didn't really want me to go anywhere, but generally speaking would have supported my choices.  But the US Army?...that was just not something she was into for me.  She told me this, tried to get me to see both sides of the token.  I vaguely listened.

Then one day (a day we look back on and laugh about), the Disabled American Veteran's (DAV) called our home asking if we had any stuff to be picked up as we were regulars, so to speak.  If you're unfamiliar with the DAV, they will come to your home and collect small household items and clothing donations.  We tried to give something every time they called on us.  On the day noted that they called, my younger brother answered the phone.  He was young then and confused the message...he understood something about the military and what he thought he heard as "Steph" (instead of stuff), and this all happening in the morning.  So he goes to my mom with a legitimate concern that the military would be coming to pick up Steph in the morning.  My mom flipped out, worried I had signed some papers and not told her, or not understood what I was really doing and signed papers anyway...she even went so far as to call the recruiters to yell at them for coercing me.  It's all fuzzy now, the memory of how everything went down and what all was said but I knew then that my mom had real concerns about me joining the military.  She knew me better than I knew myself I guess...and well, I never enlisted.


Criminal Podcast, Episode 4

"...if a child is intelligent enough to formulate a question they deserve a truthful answer [...] life is often not very pretty but by the same token it is often extraordinarily beautiful..." Linda Vernon, Criminal Podcast, Ep4 speaking about explaining death, and things to her daughter Kathleen Vernon



Like Being Back in School

When it happens to be 9:30 pm the night before you owe your child's teacher a party supply sign up sheet and your printer will not print...just draw the damn thing...

Frankly, it looks better anyway.  Stupid printer.