Thursday, September 30, 2004

PoP Update
Dad seems to be improving slightly today. He did tell me to ask the nurse if he would make it through the night....but the good thing is he seemed a little more lucid. He is experiencing aftertaste when he eats, which leads me to believe he still has anesthesia in his body. Perhaps that is the cause of his trouble. He keeps pulling out his oxygen, which has also lead to low saturation levels. And, he pulled out his catheter. All I can say about that is, "EEEEEEEOOOWWWWWWW!!!"

Tonight he asked me where I was staying. I told him I was staying at my house, and he asked where that is. I told him it is in Oklahoma City and asked whether he remembered going there before. He said no. But he also asked about James and the boys, so he's not completely out of it. His nurse, who has known him 4 years, said he did not recognize her last night. But, he did seem to recognize her tonight. He is extremely tired and is still in pain. His incision is nearly a foot long across his chest, starting under his arm. He said he feels like he was run over by a truck. No doubt.

Anyway, I'm a bit more optimistic tonight. I'll take the boys to see him tomorrow and update you again.

This is the kind of photo that turns your week around. Its Spencer in his VBS fish hat and his all-time favorite Sonic giveaway: froggy sunglasses (worn upside down and a little low on the nose). I just found this film yesterday and got it developed today. Perfect timing.
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Is This Right?
2:15 in the afternoon and I'm running errands. The streets are jam-packed with school busses and high-school kids driving badly. At 2:15? Are children leaving school at 2:15??? Why? Surely there is more to learn. And most of them will be going home to empty houses to watch trash television or surf the net. Or worse. Does anyone out there know why school is dismissed so early?

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Not So Good
I went to the nursing home today. Dad is in the skilled care unit now. As soon as he saw me he demanded I remove the tape that was holding his head to the bed. There was no tape. There was no restraint of any kind. He didn't believe me. "Jan!" he scolded, "get me out of here." I lifted his head to prove there was no tape. Finally convinced his head was free, he argued he was otherwise stuck to the bed. I searched, but found no restraint. I told him he was not restrained, but I needed him to stay in bed and let people take care of him. He told me not to talk about people taking care of him. A tear rolled down his face.

I talked to his doctor. He said he most likely had brain damage from lack of blood flow to his brain just prior to surgery or during surgery (or both). He said some people regenerate and some don't. We just have to wait and see.

As I said in an earlier post, I had expected this sort of thing to happen eventually, but I didn't expect to be catapulted into it. I certainly didn't count it as a possible outcome of the surgery. So, I'm in a bit of shock right now. And I'm out of words.

Earth, featuring Colin's favorite continent, Africa. Placed on my pillow this morning by the artist himself.
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Colin drew these flowers for me to help me feel better.
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Dad has been moved back to the nursing home. He moves from a somewhat-lucid state to non-responsive. He was giving them trouble last night and they called to tell us they may need to restrain him. He's fine physiologically, but for some reason he is disoriented. The hospital was hoping he would do better in his normal environment, but so far that is not the case. More later.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Up to the Minute News
First of all, dad's okay (kind of)...but I'll get to that in a moment.

The morning started off all wrong. I got Colin dressed and ready for school with scrambled eggs and toast in his tummy and everything. We sat on the porch and waited for his carpool ride to arrive. When she drove up, she got out to ask me about my dad, and Colin ran off. I assumed he was getting something he had forgotten and talked to my friend for a moment. When it was time to leave, Colin had disappeared. We looked. We called. We yelled. We looked more. No Colin. I told my friend to leave so she wouldn't be late, and I went inside to search the corners of every closet in the house. I began to panic a bit, thinking he may have choked or something and couldn't respond. This has never happened before. He loves to hide, but he loves jumping out to scare you even more. There was no jumping out!!! I called James at work to see if he had any ideas where to look. Not really. At this point I was in tears.

The phone rang and it was my friend. "I've got Colin," she said. She couldn't really talk, but she told me she gave him a speech about why his hiding was a really bad idea. It turns out he had hidden in the garage because he doesn't like the car seat in their car. When she pulled out of the driveway, he emerged. But she saw him from the street and came back to get him. I guess she just threw him in the car and left for school! She couldn't reach me because I was on the phone with James!

This little incident put me over the emotional edge. I was now in a near-coma state of mind! Thank goodness a friend invited me over after school. I sat on her couch all afternoon until I came out of my fog. I was on the edge of tears all afternoon. I guess the ordeal with my dad caught up with me the moment my son was missing. Too much emotion! Anyway, thank you dear "A" for the afternoon. You saved me!

My dad has had a difficult day. Really, its the nurses who are suffering. He keeps telling them they are torturing him. He's pulling at his wires, taking his oxygen off, and trying to escape the hospital so they will quit bossing him around. The day nurse called me around two to tell me he seemed a little "off" so they were going to do a CAT scan of his brain. She didn't tell me he was acting belligerent. The night nurse called me for help, though. That was the right thing to do. I talked to him on the phone and told him to leave the stuff alone until I got there, and he did. Seeing me really calmed him down. I stayed tonight until he was fast asleep.

He really did seem "off." He's acting like I've been expecting him to act when he reaches the advanced stages of Parkinson's, which is to say he will seem like an Alzheimer's patient. He may have a personality change and have trouble remembering and understanding. That's how he seemed tonight. I wonder if this one week's activities have thrust the Parkinson's disease progression forward, or if he's just having trouble dealing with the anesthesia. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

PoP UpDate
Dad made it through surgery. He did go into cardiac arrest on the operating table, but they pulled him through. His pacemaker is working beautifully. His pulse is now 60, a wonderful upgrade from 20. Everything seems fine except he is in considerable pain. I think he's in more pain than is normal. They keep injecting him with morphine, so he's been very sleepy. Hasn't eaten since Friday lunch. One nurse estimated his pain this afternoon as a 10 on a 10-point scale. Worse than having a baby, she said.

Another nurse told me he asked my dad this morning, "Do you know where you are?" My dad replied, "I'm right here." That's my dad.

The plan is to send him home tomorrow. I'm hoping for Tuesday. He's getting wonderful care at the hospital. Two nurses for three patients. Can't beat it. And salmon for dinner...when he's ready to eat. Heck, I'm ready to move in!!

Thanks for those of you who have called and emailed. I am blessed.

Friday, September 24, 2004

No Karaoke Tonight
I'm just not in the mood. Today took a sudden turn. Sudden, but sudden turns are beginning to seem familiar to me.

Dad's nursing home called about 3:30 to say they were sending my dad to the hospital in an ambulance. He's been falling more than usual this week and today he turned white just before he fell. His nurse tried to take his pulse, but couldn't get more than 30 beats a minute, so she called the ambulance.

I met him at the Oklahoma Heart Hospital emergency room. He was pale and weak. Barely audible. Scared. The nurses were a little frantic because they couldn't figure out why he had two bumps on his head and two bigger bumps on his chest. I explained the deep brain stimulators and they were able to continue on with their work except they couldn't get an EKG because the stimulator's batteries were causing interference. I gave them the Medtronic phone number and they got a rep on the phone who told them to hold him down when they turned the batteries off since he might convulse off the bed!! I've seen doctors turn the things off many times and he has never convulsed, so it was a bit comical to see 5 nurses holding him down while they turned it off! Of course he didn't even flinch.

Anyway, they took x-rays and ran a bunch of tests, finally determining he'll need a pacemaker. Because he already has two battery packs in his chest, they'll have to use an extra-long catheter and place the pacemaker low. They don't have an extra-long catheter (at a heart hospital!!), so we have to wait for one. Maybe tomorrow afternoon. Maybe Sunday.

All this seems fairly routine, but with a heart rate of 20/min and a DNR order, I feel as if we're teetering at the edge. The nurse grilled us on the DNR order to make sure we understood what it meant. It was pure torture to sit there next to my dad while life hangs in the balance and discuss exactly when we give up. Its hard enough to discuss when you're healthy. But when you're looking down the barrell, its painful as hell. He decided to stick with the DNR. Life in a nursing home at age 64 will probably do that to you.

And...just a side dad's room is across the hall from the waiting room. Last year I walked into that waiting room to be with my friend Bob while he waited on his dad. I walked in 2 minutes after his dad had died and witnessed the full effect the news had on his family. The memory was too much for me tonight.


From my house to yours.
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Just kidding.
But I don't live too far away from that house....

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Who Needs A Debate????
Not me! These laugh-out-loud photos sum it all up!
Always and Forever
Well said.

This is from the masthead of a weekly paper I recieve every....Thursday. Previously, the tag line said, "Serving Oklahoma City's beautiful people." At some point (recently), it was changed to serve the affluent people. Interesting change. I wonder what prompted it?

Anyway, this paper serves mostly to stroke the egos of the affluent. It is full of color photos taken from parties attended by the "in" crowd. I confess to looking through it each week. Its a quick update on who's who and what's happening. I don't know how the errant copy makes it to our lowly mailbox each week. (Maybe a left-over from when it served the "beautiful" people.)
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Today's edition of Friday contained an article about the Hood family home and included this "Christmas" card from "days gone by."

Where shall I start? Let's does one determine it is a Christmas card? Oh, yes, the pine tree. There. I see it. And.... ok, yes, it is "from our house to your house." How delightful. Houses are now (excuse me, were) sending seasons greetings to one another!

Seriously now, this card revulses. It is impersonal. It is pompous. It is completely lacking in warmth or sentiment. What is the point? If I had made the mistake of sending this card on some terrible day when I, in error, found it acceptable to make a callous display of my wealth, I would spend the rest of my life hoping my friends had forgiven and forgotten. This family saved the photo for years and then published it in the paper for all to see!! I don't know this family. Perhaps they are sweet and benevolent people who have been seriously mislead. If so, I hope a true friend of theirs will give them some straight talk.
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Monday, September 20, 2004

Wasted Days and Wasted Nights?
Several casual conversations over the past week have gotten me thinking about the importance of education, no matter what the ultimate use of such education may be. It is rare, but I occassionally hear a woman say something to the effect that her education was wasted because she now "just" stays home with her children. I couldn't disagree more.

I have many friends who stay home with their children, among whom there are microbiologists, attorneys, accountants, and doctors. These women are some of the best mothers I know. They teach their children to love learning. The go on family field trips that are entertaining and educational. They model confidence and intelligence, which will serve their children well in more ways than one. First of all, the children feel a certain measure of safety knowing their mothers can handle a wide variety of situations and, secondly, the children take on some of that confidence themselves.

The influence on the educated parent's children is not the only positive aspect of a learned adult population. Higher education strengthens the fabric of a nation. We make better decisions at the polls and on committees. We grow better crops. We make better products. We produce better leaders. We rear better children. No amount of education is wasted simply because the educated person does not engage in industry for profit.

Friday, September 17, 2004

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Thursday, September 16, 2004

Dude Ranch Casserole
2 1/2 cups cooked, cubed chicken
2 cups shredded cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can Ro-tel tomatoes and green chilies
1 can diced green chilies
3/4 cup green onion
1 dozen flour tortillas, cut into 6 triangles each

Mix everything except reserve 1 cup cheese and 12 tortilla triangles. Spray casserole dish, add mixture and cook at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top. Tuck tortilla triangles around the edges. Bake 5 more minutes. Let casserole rest 5-10 minutes before serving. Serve with tortilla chips and salsa.

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This is a rare piece of art by Colin. It is rare because he normally works only with Veggie Tales or flags. At one point it was all about the alphabet, but those days are long gone. This is a depiction of Noah's Ark. I never saw him make it, I just found it on my desk one day. The thing art aficionados should notice is that he cut his stickers so that only the portion of each animal that should be showing is showing. My favorite thing is the fish bowl sitting on the edge of the boat.
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Noah saves the fish
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details details
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This is a delightful photo I just found yesterday: my uncles Jim and John with an accordian!This is the first I've "heard" of any accordian talent in the family, so I'll have to do some investigating into the matter. This photo would have been taken circa 1950.
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Go! Now!
You really should be reading Lileks everyday. But, if you're not, today is a good day to start. Today's post is particularly entertaining, with sound memories from the 60s, incredible photography of Ivan, and strange UK animation. Don't miss a link, its all good.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

A few months ago James picked up a sample CD for me. It was a promo for the upcoming release of a "new" artist, Rachel Fuller. The music is a mix of classical and...well, Rachel. It is intriguing music that gets in your head and pulls you in. It is a mixture of dark and light, despair and hope. It is real. If you'll just go here and click on media & downloads, then choose "Into My Heart" you'll see what I mean. At least I think you will. Let me know if you like it.
For your viewing pleasure, I have posted some images from around my home. Since not all of you can visit, you can at least see a little bit of the surroundings I choose for myself. I'll start doing this on a regular basis because I know you're just dying to see this stuff!

Lait pur Sterilise by Steinlen
My friend Bruce bought me this print at a garage sale for 25 cents. Not only do I love the print (the subject matter, the vivid colors, the French...), I was pleased that he thought of me and charmed that he didn't mind giving me a 25 cent gift. It is still one of my treasures and hangs beside my desk, smartly fitted with a red matte and simple black frame.
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Idylle Enfantine by W. Bouguereau, 1900
"One has to seek Beauty and Truth, Sir! As I always say to my pupils, you have to work to the finish. There's only one kind of painting. It is the painting that presents the eye with perfection, the kind of beautiful and impeccable enamel you find in Veronese and Titian." --William Bouguereau, 1895

I saw this painting in the Denver Museum of Art nearly20 years ago. It stopped me in my tracks. The print does not do it justice, but is lovely just the same. I purchased it and it hangs here in my office where I can enjoy it every day. Click on the link above to see more of his heavenly paintings.
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I wanted to show these to you when my figs were ripe, but I only just now figured out how to do it (long story). So, here are my figs. Man, they were good.
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Observations on Motherhood
  • You can spot a mother by the race car stickers on the back of her pants.
  • Mothers can get excited about a new addition to the box tops for education collection.
  • Mothers are never alone in the bathroom.
  • When mothers go shopping with their friends, they often end up shopping for children's clothing.
  • Nothing is better than a child curled up on a mother's lap.
  • Mothers may be seen wearing strange jewelry, hats, or nametags from time to time. Their children made them, you see.
  • Mothers can be quite proud (and relieved) when their children begin to dress themselves, even if the clothes are worn backward, the socks inside out and shoes on the wrong feet.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Rock and Roll
Sorry the bloggin' has been so light. I've been working in my yard, trying to transform the barren earth into a little bit of paradise. I've got a large, empty flower bed just outside the door. Its shape is oddly familiar to the shape of the bed my mom used to let me plant in back in my Iowa youth. I've been digging up honeysuckle roots for weeks and finally, Sunday, pulled the last of them out (I think). I got a large roll of weed barrier and laid it out on top of my newly-turned soil, then headed over to the rock store I've been dreaming about for about 15 years. I love rocks. Don't ask.

The boys and I roamed around the rocks for nearly an hour today trying to settle on the perfect boulders for our garden: a few large ones for the middle of the garden, about 50 smaller ones for the border, and one for under the roof-water drain. We carried them home in our van and began placing them until I couldn't lift another rock. Off again to Home Depot for mulch to cover up that grey weed barrier. We filled up the van again and dashed home to complete the garden. (Well, kind of complete). The garden is sparse, with a few mums, pentas, rocks, aster and a large crape myrtle. But it looks so much better.

I still have a long narrow bed to plant along the side of the drive, but I feel as if I've accomplished the bulk of my task and I am quite satisfied! Colin and I sat on the porch this evening after the sun went down. We admired our work and enjoyed the cricket lullaby while the last of the warm summer air gently lifted our hair to cool us. (And we talked about why it doesn't matter if Beethoven was stinky, but that's another blog post for another day!)

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Lessons From Colin
Colin and I have been talking a lot this week about allergies and what causes them. It is difficult to explain to a 5-year-old, especially since I barely have a grasp on it myself! Today I found a website with illustrations of the sinus cavities and other things inside the head and throat. We examined it carefully and noticed how the teeth were set, where the brain is, what an eyeball looks like, how big the tongue is and the way the food and air streams intersect in the throat. I told him that was the reason I ask him to be careful not to take large bites and to chew before he swallows.

At dinner, I noticed Colin taking one strand of spaghetti at a time. All of a sudden he started breathing loudly. "What are you doing?" I asked.

"I wanted to make sure the spaghetti was not stuck in my throat so I was testing if I could breath!" He then went on to explain things to his brother and daddy. "If you get food caught in your throat, you can't breath or talk or eat. But you CAN die. And you can die pretty fast. You wouldn't have much time to do anything else!"

I hadn't told him that, but I guess he's no dummy.

This is the Kitterman family. The girl on the far LEFT is my great-grandmother Josie Kitterman, later Stonecipher. Most of her great-grandchildren looked like her, except my brother and me.
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Friday, September 10, 2004

Its Karaoke Friday Night!!

I Think I Love You
(The Partridge Family)

I'm sleeping
And right in the middle of a good dream
Then all at once I wake up
From something that keeps knocking at my brain
Before I go insaneI hold my pillow to my head
And spring up in my bed
Screaming out the words I dread ...."I think I love you!"
(I think I love you)

This morning, I woke up with this feeling
I didn't know how to deal with
And so I just decided to myself
I'd hide it to myself
And never talk about it
And did not go and shout it
When you walked into the room ....."I think I love you!"
(I think I love you)

I think I love you
So what am I so afraid of?
I'm afraid that I'm not sure of
A love there is no cure for
I think I love you
Isn't that what life is made of?
Though it worries me to say
I've never felt this way

I don't know what I'm up against
I don't know what it's all about
I've go so much to think about

Hey! I think I love you!
So what am I so afraid of?
I'm afraid that I'm not sure of
A love there is no cure for
I think I love you
Isn't that what life is made of?
Though it worries me to say
I've never felt this way

Believe me
You really don't have to worry
I only want to make you happy
And if you say
Hey, go away, I will
But I think better still
I'd better stay around and love you
Do you think I have a case?
Let me ask you to your face

Do you think you love me?"
I think I love you!" (I think I love you)
"I think I love you!" (I think I love you)
"I think I love you!" (I think I love you)
"I think I love you!" (I think I love you)
"I think I love you!" (I think I love you)


Thursday, September 09, 2004

Now, Be Kind
Thought you mind enjoy this little coloring book from the humanists' website. I found interesting the page with the lesson, "Be nice and fair to everyone, including people who are different from you," especially when compared to the collection of buttons they have for sale. Here are a few quotes:

"Buck Fush"
"Back Stabbing Trash Talking B**ch Slapping Christian"
"Bush is a dumba**"
"Make the scary Republican go away"
"Somewhere in Texas there is a ranch missing an a**"
"All religions are fairy tales"
"A village in Texas has lost its idiot"
"Daddy's little war criminal" (with photo of George W.)
"Back off! I'm allergic to Republicans"
"Christians should stay out of politics or be taxed"
"Compassionate conservatism is an oxymoron George Bush is just a moron"
"Bush Satan 2004"
"Guilt, fear & Mass Insanity. 3 Cheers for Christianity!"
"I've got nothing against God, it's his fan club I can't stand"
"It's your hell, you burn in it"
"Stop using Jesus as an excuse for being a narrow-minded, bigoted a**hole."

So, children, learn your lessons well. Treat everyone nicely WITH THE EXCEPTION of Republicans and those who believe in God. Don't ask questions, they will only confuse you with their silly talking. But, understand, you must be nice to everyone else. Okie Dokie?

Of course, the whole website brings up several questions about resolving inconsistency. For one thing, humanists seem to hate Christians, but they love Kerry. Have they heard he is Catholic??? And humanists elevate the idea that each person should think for herself (humanists like that feminist talk), but you better not even consider the idea of being humanist AND Republican. They'd have to tar and feather you. Oh, wait, they don't like that stuff, either. No tar, no feathers....oh, I know....they would belittle you and demean you. They'd call you "a**hole" or "narrow-minded." That should keep you quiet!!

My favorite line is, "Christians should stay out of politics or be taxed." Okay, let's take a look at this one. First of all, I didn't know I was exempt from taxation!! Wow, I should get a big refund, then, shouldn't I??

Okay now, why is it that Christians should stay out of politics? Ah, yes, because our views are different than those of the humanists. Right? But humanists don't believe in God or gods, so why are Christians (not Buddhists of Muslims or Jews) singled out for this button? Was it just easier to fit on the button? (wait, they did manage to get a lot of words on that last button) Would the wearer of this button argue that nobody who believes in God should be involved in politics? Well, if so, that is shocking indeed. If the wearer is simply speaking out against Christians, all I can say is, "Where is the humanist acceptance of diffeing views?" I just don't get it.

Perhaps the button is really directed at organized church involvement in politics. Well, churches who operate as non-profit entities may not engage in political speech (see IRS Publication 1828). But then again, no other non-profit entities may engage in political speech, including those the humanists embrace. So, once again, what is the point?
For All You Relativists Out There:
I'm not sure what it will take to convince some people that all beliefs/religions are not morally equal. If 9/11 didn't do it, I suppose nothing will. Maybe Beslan brought them closer. Somehow I doubt it.

For me, its clear that some beliefs are WRONG. Some are simply not true, others are additionally immoral. It is patently clear that not all religions can co-exist peacefully. If one religion believe taking innocent life is to be rewarded and another considers it a mortal sin, there is no reconciliation to be had.

But, I digress. What I really want to let you know is that celebratory parties are being planned. The celebration of death and destruction will be held on September 11th in East London, barring intervention, of course. And the revelry doesn't stop with the celebration of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America! Oh, no! Guests will also be treated to a viewing of the latest atrocities in Beslan. Well, isn't that special.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Heh Heh Heh! Foiled again!
This site was found by a googler today. He (I presume "he") was looking for "Nekked girl pic photos." Google had me listed number three with these teaser lines:

The Happy Homemaker. Thursday, August 12, 2004. Peek A Boo! ... drug rooms" and the girls get drunk in their own ... looking for a specific photo last night and came across ... from the shower all wet and nekked. Parenthood, with all ...

Well, that piqued his interest! I'm sure he was sorely disappointed when he found my wholesome site!!

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

This week's extracurricular activity.
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Way Back When

Me: "Spencer, would you like a hamburger.?"
Spence: "Sure. But with no pickles. I don't like pickles very much. But, I used to...when I was big."
Me: "When were you big?"
Spence: "Um, I think it was last Friday. But then my house got burnded up so I moved to Oklahoma City. And I carried my cat all the way here. And I scooped her up out of the burnded house and ran as fast as I could and I carried her all the way here."
Me: "Wow. Where did you live?"
Spence: "Across the street. Way across the street. But now I live in Oklahoma City."

Monday, September 06, 2004

This is Spencer's drawing which I just found on my desk. I'm not sure what it is, but I'm going to call it, "Visits in the Night."
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Colin's cut and play art. Pretty good, huh? From left to right are the Veggie Tales' Junior, Vicky, Larry Boy and Alfred.
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I'm ill today, so I'm just sitting at my desk scanning in photographs from my family's past. This one is my great grandfather Roger Hagan taken around the turn of the century.
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This had me laughing out loud, despite the terrible, no good day I'm having today. There was no permalink, so I just copied it for you (from Saint Kansas):

Interesting new drug trial:
Are You Afraid of Large Containers of Condiments?

Trial Information
Summary: Rapid Treatment for Bigboxophobia using Realichex®.

Are you afraid to enter large, one-story buildings with parking lots?
Do you harbor a secret fear of 55-gallon drums of Miracle Whip™?
Do you have nightmares in which liberal friends spot you naked at Wal-Mart?
Have you ever considered clipping a coupon? Aborting a child?
Are you hearing voices, noises, or blue light specials?
Do you use words like “progressive” to describe yourself?
Have you entertained delusions like these:

I felt like…. I'll never leave my house because I'll have to care for these children. I'll have to start shopping only at Costco and buying big jars of mayonnaise. - Amy Richards, New York Times Magazine [on why she aborted two of her triplets. -ed.]

My wife an I used to tell ourselves that we’re the kind of sophisticated urbanites who would never trek across the river to shop at some enormous, soulless warehouse store; then we got our baby and decided there’s nothing especially sophisticated or urbane about paying premium price for diapers…. Come for diapers, next thing you know, your're walking out with a 10 gallon can of olive oil and a 20 pound tin of rice crackers. - Scott Simon, NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday

If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, you may be eligible to receive FREE confidential treatment with an investigational medication called Realichex. Participants who complete the study receive a $250 Wal-Mart gift card and a month’s supply of Wendy’s chili!
Call today to determine your eligibility. All calls are confidential.

Patient Inclusion/Exclusion: At least 18 years of age.Manhattan area only. Journalists currently undergoing treatment for inflated self-importance especially encouraged to apply.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

New York, New York
One of my favorite websites (which I've unintentionally failed to put on my daily reads list) is Forgotten New York. The site chronicles the details of New York City, such as lamp posts, cobblestones, bridges and signs. My favorite categories are the bridges and lamp posts. I'm going to see if I can get the webmaster to do doorknobs and post boxes.

I have never been to New York City, except when I rode through on a bus once. I would love to go. I'm not interested in Broadway, restaurants, or shopping. I would like to go to Central Park for 2 or 3 days and spend a few days walking around the city like a regular New Yorker. I think autumn would be the best time to visit. I love Forgotten New York because it affords me the chance to see the details I want to see even though I can not go just yet. It also increases my desire to go!!
More on the siege here (via Drudge). I don't think the story mentions that the terrorists are Muslim. And the Australian Prime Minister says it well: "The use of innocent children in such a brutal and indiscriminate way is a reminder of the evil heart and the evil mind of the terrorists. It's a time when people all around the world must think of those things that divide good from evil and right from wrong. No political grievance can justify such behaviour."

The hand of a surviving child after the massacre in Russia.
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Friday, September 03, 2004

I just read an article about the seige of a school by Chechen separatists in southern Russia. It is sickening (the seige, not the article). I nearly collapsed just reading about it. In particular, this information brought me to tears:

"Reuters said six bodies lay covered with white sheets near the school
gates, and parents filed past lifting the sheets to see whether their children
were underneath."


If the Shoe Fits, Its Your Platform
You can find the platforms of the democrat and republican parties here, listed side by side for easy reference.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

The Condiment Guy
Okay, this is kind of funny, but I actually think its cool, too. This guy collects condiment packages. I've got no problem with that. In fact, I think I'll send him some!
Family Visionary
Last spring James and I attended the Family Vision Workshop and found it to be an incredible experience. Greg Gunn is on fire for families and he truly inspired us to make plans to get our family where we want it to be. The focus is on creating a vision, complete with mission statement, family verse, family motto, family nights and yearly plans for each member of the family. The plans include reading lists, activities and lessons to learn. You can't walk away unchanged or uninspired. Greg and Mark (the founders) each have many children (7 and 6, respectively), and their children are clearly best friends with their siblings. The next workshop will be September 24th in Oklahoma City. There are other workshops around the country. Please consider going. You won't regret it!!

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Well, That's a Surprise!
Hmmm. I just found out I'm Catholic!! Wow. You could knock me over with a feather.

Earlier this week, Dawn Eden posed a question about the beliefs of Catholics on the subject of salvation and the thoughts of protestants about the conversion of protestants to Catholicism. Most every response she received was from a Catholic, and most pointed out that those who believe in Christ are actually all members of the Catholic church, the "one, true (non-denominational) church."

I have never studied Catholicism, so I was shocked to discover that I might actually be Catholic. Of course, I do not consider myself Catholic in the least. In fact, I disagree with most of what I know about the Catholic church, including the intermediary nature of the church, the status of the Pope, sainthood and prayers to saints, the additions to the Bible through the Catechism and other writings/rules, and the idea that Christ established the Catholic church through Peter.

I know a good portion of my readers attend the church of Christ or a protestant church. Dawn has closed her comments, but I'd appreciate you responding to me on this topic, especially since many of you are far more educated on these things than me.

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