Simply ordinary observations from an ordinary person - sometimes having to do with health care issues, sometimes not. Topics will change as my attention wanders. Yours probably will too....

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Coughin' the night away

Have you tried buying over-the-counter cold medicine lately? If not, here's a piece of advice. Pretend like you're going to the airport instead of the drug store and take your photo ID!

Because of really, really bad luck I've been sick for the past 10 days. I know it's 10, because I've been counting each one. In order to get through the Christmas celebrations, I needed heavy duty cold medication. So far I've consumed one bottle of cough syrup, one dose of Nyquil, one package of Sudafed, and one large package of throat lozenges. The coughy syrup was useless, the Nyquil turned me into a zombie with nightmares, and the Sudafed allowed me to breathe through Christmas dinner. I'm sucking on a throat lozenge right now.

But buying that stuff was not easy. I had to show ID each time and provide my signature. The Sudafed was the most complicated - I had to get that from the pharmacist and sign a ledger book like notary publics' use. Apparently I did not appear to be a meth-head because I was allowed to buy it. Whew!

Yesterday, out of sheer desperation and low oxygen levels, I purchased a "neti pot", upon recommendation by my wholistic health friend. The helpful sales clerk offered a demonstration but I declined. How hard can it be to pour water up your nose? Anyway, I will save you all the gross descriptions but I felt like I was undergoing self-induced waterboarding! I haven't been brave enough to try it again today and I don't see any huge improvement in my condition either.

I just turned down an invitation to go out for cocktails tonight. Now I really am feeling miserable.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Two Thumbs: Up or Down?

I walked out of a movie this afternoon, which I haven't done anytime in recent memory. I'm a rather careful movie goer and most of the time make good picks. But this one caught me by surprise.

The critics said "Best Audience Picture of 2008", "A Soaring, Crowd Pleasing Fantasy", "A Movie to Celebrate", and more. I'd seen the director and the actors interviewed on TV, watched a trailer, read the reviews, and thought I understood what I was going to see. Wrong!

Slumdog Millionaire has an R rating for "some violence, language, and disturbing images." A more accurate description would be "scenes of torture, debilitating poverty, deliberate mutilation of a child, murders, abuse, and extreme neglect." That was only the first 45 minutes. I couldn't take it - I'm not naive about third world countries and slum conditions but this was brutal. It just seemed wrong to be watching it during Christmas vacation and my friend and I agreed to cut it short.

The really nice theater attendant said about 4 people per showing have the same reaction, and that the film is lighter and more positive in the 2nd half. I will have to wait for the DVD. Maybe on a smaller screen, where I can skip thru entire scenes, it will be easier to watch. I'm not sure.

But it felt very good to walk out onto an American street surrounded by clean, well-cared for children enjoying the freedom of their winter break. Ironically, I suppose the effect the movie had on me is indicative of great film making. I will take a deep breath and try it again, but not on a big screen. Not to discourage anyone else, but make sure you're prepared!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry merry merry....

My goodness. Looks like my blog went on Christmas vacation while I was playing hostess, tour guide, and party goer. I'm feeling a bit licked clean - sort of like my mini-trifle dish here which was once filled with a Gingerbread, Toasted Almond, and Lemon Curd trifle. (My own invention and it was awesomely delicious as you can see from the dish. Ooops. I typed crud instead of curd. It was lemon curd!)

Things are almost back to normal now. The crumbs are vaccuumed, leftovers wrapped, wine glasses washed, bathroom restocked, recycling bin filled, and tree skirt straightened. The out of town visitors have departed, and it's just me, the cats, and new Sony Bravia flatscreen TV in the house tonight. I plan to light the new lavender spa candle, put on the new cushy socks, open one of the bottles of wine, and watch a DVD. Sounds nice doesn't it?

But what the heck - the credit card statement arrived today. Party poopers.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Heavenly Posts

I was without my computer for three nights this week, which felt a bit weird. How dependent I've become on my internet hobbies! However, it also gave me time to finally look at the manual for my new digital camera and play around with it. So here are more (better) angel pictures!

NOLA gets featured again - her first shot was not as flattering.

Now you get the full effect of her "do"!

This one is Battenburg lace. Very pristine.

She's a Country Girl - made from patchwork quilt scraps.

Hand painted wood, with lace accent. She looks Russian or Eastern European to me.

A definite favorite. She always hangs front & center on the tree. Painted wood with metal wings & stars.

An Obama girl - her banner says "Vote for Change, 08" Just kidding - it really says "Joy to the World". She's lovely.

Another one of lace - pleated top to bottom this time.

A group shot.

A forest angel - she's painted to look like a birch tree.

Very pretty for something made of string and ribbon.

Serene and old fashioned - she's a bit Edwardian.

Haute Couture of Heaven: thin, rich, and elegant.

OK, there's 12 - one for each of days remaining until Christmas. That's probably enough angels for one site!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Droppin' Shoppin'

I shouldn't be allowed in the stores right now. I took today off from work and drove 35 miles to one of the nicer malls in my area. The goal was to find something festive to wear to the company holiday party, which is this Saturday night. I've known the date of the party for 9 months, but still, it always seems to creep up on me and just like every other year I'm scrambling for an outfit again. Anyway, I had very good intentions.

But after 3.5 hours at the mall I had 2 lipsticks, a miniature Noel pitcher, a holly print tablecloth, spiced cedar foaming bath wash,and 3 pieces of Analon cookware! (These were not gifts either - all for me!) Everything except the lipstick was on sale. According to the store, I saved well over $100.00 on the cookware alone. However, if you noticed, I seem to have been in every department except clothing.

So I took my purchases to the car, stopped for a bite to eat because by then I was starving and then began the clothing search in earnest. Nothing fits right after lunch - I know that. In the end, I bought a cool black & white scoop neck cotton top, on sale for $29.99. But unless I can channel Scarlett and get creative with a tablecloth, I still have nothing to wear Saturday night. Aaarrggggh!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Angel Baby

Well it took 6 hours but the tree is up and looks very beautiful, if I do say so myself! Actually, I could say it looks downright heavenly since it is covered in stars and angel ornaments.

Thirty years ago, before angels became trendy and new-agey, a friend gave me a beautiful little porcelain angel ornament. The next year I bought another one. Then I started collecting angels on a casual basis. Now I have over 100 -- more than enough to do an entire tree. Each one has a story. Some were gifts, some were handmade, some were purchased on my travels. Here a just a few pictures:

She started it, with her porcelain perfection!

Bringing Tidings of Comfort & Joy

She's from New Orleans, LA. Her pigtails don't show well, but they're angelic.

She's Latina, from San Diego/Tijuana and is hand cut,hammered tin.

A Native American Angel, from Cody WY

This beautiful baby is afraid of hot water. He's all pasta, even the tiny little stars on his (wooden) head. I've had him 25 years, with only one little chip!

Hand crocheted by my sister, around a wooden clothes pin. So sweet!

Ribbons and bows - so simple!

Ginger's from the Great Smoky Mts. in TN. She's the only one who came with a name.

Nature Girl - she's a fir cone from the beautiful Pacific Northwest

Animal Kingdom - an angelic cat is an oxymoron. She's more likely to have horns than a halo.

I have about 80 more - but isn't Christmas fun?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Viva Las Christmas!

Either the Christmas season or the Las Vegas mob has arrived on my block. I'm not sure which. Three of the younger dads in the neighborhood appear to have an informal "my display is bigger than your display" competition running and the houses are lit from the curbs to the roof tops. Truly, they do resemble miniature Vegas casinos!

There are inflated Santas, snowmen, elves, candy canes, trains, and gift boxes. There are moving, grazing white deer. There are cone shaped trees and icicles and Noels and Merry Christmases. There are hedge covers, lawn stakes, wreaths, garlands, and stars. If Home Depot sells it, it's here!

This will give me an excuse to try the night time feature on my camera. But it's too cold out tonight. I'll try it on Saturday, just in case the guys install a few more features over the weekend.

Sometimes I wonder tho - aren't children getting confused about Christmas images? When I was little, we only had the Nativity scene and Santa. One year Macy's in SF had Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Pluto. That just did not seem right.
Anyway, the season has started. I hope the energy grid in my neighborhood survives the next 4 weeks. : - )0