Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Wednesday's Hero

By Indian Chris

SSgt. Justin R. Whiting
SSgt. Justin R. Whiting
27 years old from Hancock, New York
3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne)
January 19, 2008

Staff Sgt. Justin R. Whiting, a Special Forces medical sergeant sustained fatal wounds when his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive devise 16 kilometers south of Mosul, Iraq.

He is survived by his mother, Estelline, of Colorado Springs, Colo., father, Randall, of Hancock, N.Y., sister, Amanda, of DuPont, Wash., and brother Nathan of Dover, Tenn.

For more information on SSgt. Justin Whiting, you can download this PDF file.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.


Looking at my reader when I got home from work today I was up to 106 posts waiting to be read and enjoyed. And all I could do was click on the one’s where I knew I could just look at the pictures. :(

I know I said it last week, but this new position at work is not only kicking my butt, but my brain as well! I will try to catch up with all of you.. er … over the weekend …? I hope.

Monday, January 28, 2008

She will always be my little girl.

At what point do you have to admit that your little girl is all grown up? Is it when they start to drive and begin to be so independent, or when they have their first broken heart? Is it when they pack up and go away to college for the first time? Or maybe it’s when they win a part, or maybe 2, in their university’s production of The Vagina Monologues.

Oh my.

Yes, on February 14th I will be watching my daughter and several other young women talking about vaginas. Okay, I know there is a lot more to it than that but just today Dani was in the student union selling chocolate vagina pops to passersby. All kinds of chocolate too, from milk to dark to some kind of raspberry mousse. I think that’s what she said. Which of course prompted my son to call out in his best imitation of a newsboy - “come try my vagina, get your vaginas here…”

Oh my.

Wikipedia says “The Vagina Monologues are the cornerstone of the V-Day movement, whose participants stage benefit performances of the show worldwide each year between February 1st and March 8th (International Women's Day. The first V-Day benefit took place on Valentine's Day 1998 and many of the local benefits are held on Valentine's Day. The "V" in V-Day stands for Valentine, Vagina, and Victory, linking love and respect for women to ending violence against women and girls. The proceeds from these performances go to programs that work to end violence against women and girls, including crisis centers and women's shelters.

So that’s good.

It’s all so in your face, and it’s meant to be. I understand that. Still, I don’t know how I will feel sitting in the audience accompanied by my son listening to vagina this, vagina that, vagina everything. And while it sounds funny it’s actually not. It’s about violence and brutality against women, as well as how powerful women are and how it is all tied into her sexuality.

So while I know it is serious and thought provoking and socially relevant, there’s still that part of me that’s a little bit squeamish about having all those references to vaginas and everything you could possibly associate with them flying around an auditorium. There’s still a little bit of the urge to say to my daughter, “sh-h-h, it’s not nice to talk like that Honey, keep your voice down!”

But maybe that’s the point.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

I could get used to this!

After getting up at 8:30 this morning, even though I sat around and drank my tea and read blogs, once I started moving I still had plenty of time to get things done. It seems like the hours just stretched out ahead of me and if I had chosen to, I could have gotten twice as much done as I did. But for me, I did a lot. I need to feel like this all the time.

Is this how other people feel? Happy to sit and watch some TV but also perfectly willing to go do the dishes or pull all the bedding off and do some laundry? Vacuuming during commercials and changing the towels in the bathroom as I walk by?

What the heck? I cannot believe it’s only 6:30 in the evening and I have done more than I did the entire 2 weeks I was home from work right before Christmas. Okay, that’s not so hard to do considering I got nothing done during all that time. I enjoyed having those days off, but I was tired and just wanted to sit at the computer, watch TV and sleep.

Once I get my bed made (and maybe take a swipe at the bathroom) and get my tea ready for morning, I will have the whole rest of the evening as a guilt-free reward for being so productive today!

I really hope this isn’t a one time thing, or a fluke. If I continue keeping my hours regular and sleeping well, maybe I can have this much energy all the time. I can only imagine the things I might spend my time doing. Because it just seemed like there were so many more hours available to me in the day!

So I have to ask, is this how other people feel when they get up early (8:30 IS very early for me) on the weekend after a good nights sleep?

I suppose my trophies ARE a bit tarnished ..

Everybody has something they are good at. Something they have worked really hard at or something that comes as naturally to them as breathing. Or – sleeping.

I have always excelled at sleeping. If there was a gold medal, a blue ribbon, or a trophy for snoozing, I would have it. I would have to have a separate room just for my awards; I have always done it so well.

But I have been so tired this past year or so, all I have wanted to do is sleep. I have to force myself to get up in the morning, yawn all day, and daydream about taking a nap as soon as I get home from work. Frequently during the day I can be heard exclaiming “I’m dying here.”

On the weekend it’s not unusual for me to simply not wake up till noon or later. And then – 2 or 3 hours later – curling up on the couch for a nap. Except my naps are like a nights’ sleep for some people. 3 hour naps would be considered the norm for me.

I have always marveled at people who just wake up in the morning – early in the morning, which means any time before 10:00. And not only wake up, actually get up and out of bed. If I wake up early it’s only to trudge to the bathroom or clumsily turn over – and then I’m back to sleep again before you know it.

My doctor suggested that maybe with all this sleeping and never feeling rested, I am not sleeping well. My reaction was “What??? I sleep like a champ!” It never ever in a million years would have occurred to me that I am not actually getting good sleep. Heck, I thought ALL sleep was good sleep!

So when he suggested I try taking something to help me sleep, a test, to see if it would be a different kind of sleep, I balked. “I don’t need anything to sleep, wanna see? I’ll lay down right here on this narrow paper-covered exam table and show you! Just give me 10 minutes.”

I ended up agreeing to his little experiment, more out of desperation than anything else. I am so tired of being tired.

I have been taking mama’s little helper for a week now. Getting to bed at approximately the same time every night, and getting up at my usual time in the morning. I haven’t taken any naps, although there have been days that by 8:00pm I am just waiting for it to be 10:00 o’clock so I can take a quick shower, get my stuff ready for morning, and climb into bed.

This morning, Sunday, I woke up at an ungodly hour. I laid there for a while, looking at the cats that were surrounding me sensing that I was awake and would soon be the bearer of food. I looked at the clock, closed my eyes again, somewhat confused. Confused, because I was awake. I probably could have gone back to sleep if I tried, but I didn’t feel like I needed to try.

I don’t really have an addictive personality, unless you count cigarettes which I did finally quit, and carbs which I haven’t. But I have had diet pills – nah – tossed them in a drawer. Anti-anxiety meds – quit taking them when I felt I didn’t need them anymore. So I am not worried about taking this medication for too long or in a way that isn’t good for me.

It’s only been a week. I don’t want to get too excited. I can’t jump to any conclusions or give my doctor any credit (especially since he’s such a smart-ass) when the experiment is only 7 days old.

But this morning? This morning I woke up all on my own, without an alarm or a cat touching my face with her paw. I didn’t wake up because I had to pee or to turn over. And this morning, I got out of bed at 8:30 am. And not because I had to.

For a lot of people that’s normal. For me? Momentous!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I'm just sayin'

I just have to say something. If I say enough is enough, if I warn you that you are pissing me off, I would advise you to accept the consequences if you continue to push.

Do not ever tell me to not let it bother me because in my mind that does not compute. If you are striking a nerve, one that is raw to begin with, I have no control over how I FEEL when you hit it.

You are the one person I expect to respect my feelings and my boundaries. Do you understand how that makes it worse if you are the one to hurt my feelings? And not listening to me hurts my feelings.

Normally you are so incredibly good at it. That probably makes it hurt more. I’m not used to feeling anything but good things for you and from you and I never expect to feel the need to end a conversation abruptly because you are ignoring what I have said.

It happens so rarely for us. Because we are wonderful together.


Yes, I love you. I have always loved you I always will. That doesn’t change.

I just need a minute, and you need a minute too. Figuratively speaking. I will soothe my raw nerve and you will lick your wounds.

It will all be fine.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The best of both worlds!

I'm tired today. And I'm cold. It's below zero outside and doesn't feel much warmer in here. My furnace is totally working, but it barely turns off these days. I am afraid to see what my gas bill will be!

My new position at work is kicking my butt, I have been going all day without any time for anything but - well - work! I like to ease into it a bit in the morning, but because the 'team' I'm on now is national, some of my co-workers are on the east coast, some on the west, and I'm right in the middle. I know that some of them on the east coast start work at something like 7:00am which means that by the time I get in at 8:30 some of those people have 2 and a half hours head start on me! So I get to work and hit the ground running.

It's not a race, but there is always competition and the feeling that people are looking at you sideways because look how much they have gotten done before you even get into work!

I am glad to have gotten the new position, happy to learn new things and even if I whine I really would rather be busy, this week has just flown by! Still - there is that lingering sense of not being good enough and needing to prove myself. So, I am working very hard.

Before leaving work I started my car and let it warm up for about 10 minutes, and when I crossed the frozen tundra that is our parking lot - got in the car - it.was.still.cold. Warmer than outside, on it's way to being warm, but even my car's heater has trouble keeping up with this cold. Br-r-r-r.

Stopped on my way home and got my hair cut because we all know it's a great idea to expose our ears to the fullest extent when the temps drop below zero! Seems I tend to do things backwards like that. Get the short haircuts when it's cold out and sweat with the hair on the back of my neck when it's warm.

Feeling all fancy with my new haircut I decided to stop at the drugstore. I have been out of makeup remover wipes, cloths, whatever you want to call them. I love the little plastic box where I can lift the lid and pull out a cloth as easily as a tissue. Realizing I was out a couple nights ago there was something like panic. Okay, mild panic. How will I get my makeup off!?!?!?!? As if I wasn't wearing makeup before these things were invented.

It's amazing how spoiled we are, I know I have easily slipped into the simpler way of doing
things. I remember having conversations with my daughter in particular, telling her there were no microwaves when I was a kid. No, there certainly wasn't any Internet because OH MY GOD there weren't even any personal computers back then. Our phones were rotary, cell phones didn't exist, and when they did - they were bolted into your car with a battery the size of a shoe box in the trunk!

I am glad we have all the things that make life easier now, but boy does anyone else get thrown for a loop when some convenience goes haywire, or runs out, or dies? The microwave is broken? Wailing - what will I do-o-o-o??! How will I cook??

Now though, I have a new convenience I am determined to acquire. Whether I can buy it or have to rig it myself, I have to have this. How much time do I spend on my laptop in the evenings? I don't even want to admit how much. So this, this is what I am determined to have. Okay? Even the Mayo Clinic is saying this is a good thing to do!

The object is not to run or even walk fast. The recommended way of doing it is to run the treadmill at a slow walking speed. Slow enough so you can use your laptop effectively, whether for work or for fun, it's 100% better than SITTING behind the computer!

Like I said, I don't know if there is something affordable I can buy, or if I can figure out how to set something up on my own, I have to confess that nothing holds my attention quite like the computer does these days.

This? $6500.00. Yeah, that's not happening anytime soon. At least I think the price includes the treadmill!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Wednesday's Hero

Capt. Lyle L. Gordon

Airmen from the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron at an air base in Southwest Asia prepare a C-17 Globemaster III for an airdrop mission Jan. 14 to deliver humanitarian supplies to coalition forces in Afghanistan

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Going to hell for sure!

Today is cold. I mean freeze the snot in your nose so you hold your breath cold. It's 8F (and the F doesn't stand for Fahrenheit) degrees, and it's windy. All day at work I could hear the wind whipping the flag against the flagpole outside my window.

Living in the midwest I am used to cold in the winter. I am used to measuring the temperature with the wind chill figured in. But today - today it's just going through my bones. I can't get warm!

So I figured it was a good day to send my son out to get some chicken for dinner and put gas in my car. Cause I'm mean like that. He's young, refuses to wear a winter coat, let's see how tough he is!

But sometimes that boy does make me laugh.

Oh, I know it's not funny when somebody dies. I apologize for the tastelessness of this comment ahead of time. But I just had to post it. Besides, I'm pretty sure that the friends and family of the person involved stopped reading my blog a long time ago.

My son came home from work, walked in the door and said

"Jake Gyllenhaal is a widow."

I laughed till I cried.

I'm going to hell for sure.

Monday, January 21, 2008


I am going to re-post something I posted back in August and I will tell you why. WhyMommy is having her much anticipated surgery tomorrow. She has a wonderfully positive attitude and has fought so hard to get to the point where she could be scheduled for a mastectomy, I doubt that I could ever face what she has with such grace and courage. As she goes in tomorrow she will have the thoughts and prayers of countless people in her life and well as a multitude of bloggy friends across the Internet, mine included. There are wonderful things ahead for WhyMommy, this is only a part of her life's journey.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

This is WhyMommy

This is WhyMommy. She is a beautiful, young, incredibly articulate woman, wife, and mother. And she has breast cancer. That, of course is not all that defines her but right now it is the unwelcome focus of most of her days.

She has a type of breast cancer most of us know very little about called IBC or infammatory breast cancer. WhyMommy writes about it here, she can explain it much better than I.

Please read her article. Then, say a prayer for WhyMommy and her family and tell her story to everyone you know. I managed to get to 48 years old never having heard of this kind of cancer and I am sure there are many many people like me out there. We need to educate ourselves and we need to support each other. Thank you WhyMommy, for telling your story and sharing your struggle with us. I'm praying for you.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Even Rome can benefit from a touch of whimsy

Normally, this is what tourists see in Rome when they visit the Spanish Steps:


Stunt leaves famed Spanish Steps filled with thousands of multicolored balls

Stunt leaves famed Spanish Steps filled with thousands of multicolored balls

Cleaners remove colored balls from the Spanish Steps in Rome, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2008.

By Associated Press

ROME (AP) - Hundreds of thousands of brightly colored balls went cascading down Rome's famed Spanish Steps on Wednesday in the latest stunt orchestrated by the man who dyed the waters of the Trevi Fountain red.

TV cameras caught organizer Graziano Cecchini and several others emptying bags full of red, green, yellow and blue balls down the 18th-century steps.

The balls bounced down the steps, filling the boat-shaped Barcaccia fountain in the piazza below in a spectacle that stunned passers-by, who snapped photos and scooped up the balls as souvenirs.

Officials were forced to briefly cordon off the popular tourist spot. Police detained Cecchini and three others, Italian news reports said.

Cecchini, interviewed at the scene, told Italian TV newscast TG5 that he uses "art - if we want to call it art - to stress our malaise."

He said half a million balls were deployed.

Street cleaners later shoveled the balls into garbage trucks and hosed down the stairs to remove strays.

Following his Trevi Fountain stunt in October, Cecchini was placed under investigation for possible damage to historical or artistic buildings.

I loved this! Instead of a prank or a protest or someone trying to make a political statement - this guy just wanted to make some people happy for a minute. Well, sort of. But really - I don't care what the point was. I'm sure the people who had to clean it all up weren't happy, but I would have loved to see the colorful balls bouncing merrily down the steps. What fun! And nobody was hurt!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I am SO ready for this!

For Christmas this year, one of the gifts from my BF was to help me make my bead room into a real craft room. Putting up shelving, getting the proper containers for supplies, and moving everything around so it all makes sense is what I am hoping for.

Playing musical furniture the other night started the process. A previous tenant left the desk we moved into the bead room - in the house. It is ugly, pink, heavy and it is huge. It had to be taken apart to be moved and even the pieces weighed a ton. Put back together in the bead room it takes up a third of the room. Did I mention it is huge? Of course the bead room is fairly small, maybe that’s part of it.

Still, I am so excited about it, I cannot tell you. I am not the most organized person in the world, but I don’t like the chaos of disorganization around me. It makes me cranky. So to take this room that started out as a small bedroom with a tiny table in it and accumulate the amount of beading supplies I have in it, it got to the point where I did not even want to go in there.

Now, I am going to have a room where I can keep my beads and tools, my fabric and sewing machine, my craft books and magazines. Funny, because I never understood why anyone would want a craft room of any kind. I didn’t do anything “crafty” until I reached 40. Then it was as if someone turned on a switch and inside my head I heard; “what are you going to do when you’re old and have no hobbies??” Okay, that isn’t exactly what I heard, but all of a sudden the urge was there. And now the room is too.

I am looking forward to having designated areas for my mailing supplies, my jewelry boxes and my mannequin head, as well as finished unsold jewelry. Of course I don’t *cough cough* have much of that.

Most of all I am looking forward to having a bead room that is a pleasure to walk into because I am not stepping over boxes and bags and where the kleptomaniac cat (that would be Norah) won’t have access to my beads.

I am hoping this change will make me a calmer and more productive beader! Or maybe I should say – make me a beader again – because I haven’t been doing much. For me, organization will breed creativity! Go me!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A different kind of top 10 list

Searching the Internet today I ran across a blog written by a young lady named Sophie called IBS Tales. I copied and pasted this list right from her site because it is all SO true! Having suffering from IBS since I was in high school, I have gone through all you can go through with it. It's embarrassing and unpleasant. But it is.

Top 10 stupid things said to IBS sufferers...

...and the reasons why they're so dumb.

IBS sufferers often have to listen to all kinds of ridiculous comments and suggestions from non-sufferers - some are well meaning, and others are just plain hurtful. Here's my Top 10 list of the most common cretinous remarks that are directed towards us, along with the reasons why they're so dumb.

1. “If it is caused by something you eat then you should avoid that food to feel better.”

Now, on the face of it, this is a perfectly logical thing to say – if you are doing something that hurts you, such as ramming a skewer through your foot, you are best advised to stop that activity.

However, the trouble with this particular piece of logic is that it assumes three things. First, that food is the cause of all IBS symptoms; second, that you know exactly what food is causing the trouble; and third, that you can easily eliminate that food without causing any more problems. None of these things are true.

This particular quote does make me angry because it also assumes that you, the IBS sufferer, are such a complete and total moron that you don’t even have the mental capacity to stop eating, say, oranges, even when every time you eat an orange you get sick. It is just not that simple.

2. “You should go to the toilet before we leave so we don’t have to stop on the way.”

This one shows that the speaker has not really grasped the phrase “irritable bowel”. It is not a bowel that malfunctions but then pulls itself together when we need to go visit Great Aunt Flo. Nor is it a bowel that can be relieved and then put back to sleep.

If I am going to have diarrhea in the car then that is where I am going to have diarrhea, whether I have been to the bathroom beforehand or not.

3. “Why don’t you just try this lovely bread/pizza/chili, I’m sure it won’t hurt you.”

A rough translation of this is as follows:

“Why don’t you just eat a little of this food that gives you stomach pains that feel like there’s a chainsaw-wielding hacksaw-waving madman inside your intestines, I won’t be the one who has to deal with it and I’m a generally insensitive burke.”

Or words to that effect.

4. “Oh yes, my mother had IBS, but she took a pill from the health food store/ate some bran/stopped eating oranges and now she’s cured. Why don’t you do that?”

Oh let me count the reasons. If your mother took one pill and was cured she did not have IBS. If I took one pill from the health food store I might be a bit healthier but I would not be cured of IBS.

Furthermore, to assume that what ‘cured’ your mother’s IBS will cure mine is a little naïve, don’t you think? Does it work that way for any other illness – do all diabetes sufferers do the same thing to cure themselves, do all arthritis patients stop eating oranges and get better?

Do you say this kind of stuff to cancer patients?

5. “Everyone has IBS these days, it’s a result of the high-stress long hours culture.”

Funnily enough, this one I have a bit of time for, and the reason is that anyone who says this is perhaps partly right. A lot of people do find that if they work 60-hour weeks, eat junk food and drink gallons of coffee that their digestive systems protest rather loudly.

However, that, I believe, is different from ‘true’ IBS, for this reason – these people also find that when they stop working so hard and start eating a more balanced diet their stomachs go back to normal.

I eat a good diet, don’t work too hard and never drink coffee and my stomach is still pathetic. A lot of people get diarrhea and constipation from time to time, but they don’t have IBS.

6. “Why don’t you go to the doctor?”

I love this one. It’s partly the idea that, again, the IBS sufferer is so brain-addled that the very idea of going to the doctor has not occurred to them – they’ve tried asking for advice from the paperboy but he really wasn’t that much help.

And I also love the complete naiveté of the person who thinks that doctors cure everything. How on earth did they reach that conclusion? I suppose some people go to the doctor once every five years for hay fever and get given some tablets and get cured. So, naturally, that’s how it works for us as well.

But of course, everyone from the arthritis sufferer to the stroke victim to the Crohn’s disease patient knows that often, all doctors can do is help you manage your symptoms, and sometimes they don’t even do that.

Unfortunately, IBS patients are often treated quite badly by their doctors. This is to an extent understandable – if I was a doctor I would want to have as few IBS patients as possible, because let’s face it, we can be pretty difficult to treat.

However, this does not excuse the fact that IBS patients sometimes come out of the doctor’s office feeling worse than when they went in. They feel like the doctor belittled their symptoms, or implied that if they just stopped stressing over it their problems would go away. Doctors are not the source of a miracle cure.

7. “You’re only talking about your symptoms to get attention.”

To be honest, I’d hope that your wife/husband/friend would never dream of saying this one, but it’s certainly something that has been said by colleagues and acquaintances of suffering IBSers.

And you can see where they’re coming from. If I were feeling unwanted and in need of some attention, the first thing I would do is pretend to have a bowel problem.

Yes, listen up all you lonely people – all you have to do is tell people that you are so constipated you haven’t pooped for three weeks and you get all the attention you want.

8. “I know that you have IBS but if you don’t go to this meeting/go on this trip/take this course then you’re fired.”

Most employers, of course, are not as obvious about it as this, but that’s often what they mean. IBS sufferers often find that they have to take a lot of time off work, and they sometimes miss very important meetings or events.

But what are they supposed to do? Turn up to the meeting and sit there in excruciating pain? Turn up and run to the bathroom every five minutes, while still in excruciating pain? Turn up to the meeting and crap themselves to prove they’re ill?

If they could come to the meeting, they would. And, from what I know, they often do. You’d be amazed at how much sufferers put up with, how much pain and discomfort they can ignore just so they get to turn up to their jobs and earn some money.

If there were a visible sign on every sufferer to show just how much pain they were in then no one would accuse them of malingering.

9. “What do you mean you’re ill again – I thought you said you were feeling better?”

Well, yes, I did say that, but that was last week. This week I feel like death. Next week I may feel like a banana. It varies quite a lot, you know.

You get better after having a cold. If you have IBS you get better periodically and sick periodically, in a lovely little cycle that goes on and on and on.

And, finally, the most over-used phrase in the IBS universe:

10. "It’s all in your head.”

This is, to my mind, just about the most unsympathetic response an IBS sufferer can get. How is it helpful, how is it supportive? What on earth are you trying to say – that if I just had the courage, the self-possession, the huge emotional capacity that you yourself posses, I could control my bowels?

Because, after all, this is how you control your own bowels, is it not? Every day, through a magnificent feat of emotional ability, you direct your digestive system to work smoothly, and if I could just do this too I would be well on the way to good health.

Wait a minute, you say you don’t control your bowels with your mind? What do you mean you just go to the bathroom when your body tells you to – I thought you had a sophisticated mind-bowel control system going on?

So that’s the first thing – bowels are not controlled by our heads. Yes, if you get nervous then you sometimes need the loo, and yes, there is obviously some mind-body thing going on that causes some emotions to affect the bowel.

It is also true that there is a strong school of scientific thought today that says IBS is caused by a complex mind-gut interaction, which leaves IBS sufferers far more sensitive to pain and normal gut contractions than regular people.

But that is not what you are saying, is it? You are saying that my entire IBS experience, for 15 years, through good and bad times, is caused by the fact that I am neurotic. And this is total rubbish.

Not only does this response dismiss all of the theories and evidence for causes such as food intolerance, as well as completely ignoring the fact that IBS sufferers could no more control mind-gut interactions than depressives could control the level of chemicals in their brain, it also places all blame for the illness squarely at the door of the IBS sufferer. “It’s your fault”, they are saying. “Get a grip, snap out of it.”

What a load of old rubbish. If anyone says this to you, I want you to demand a 100-page, scientific, peer-reviewed, footnoted paper on why they think it is true. And then I want you to hit them quite hard with a brick.


You may be reading this and thinking “Wow, this girl is angry!” It may even be that you are a non-IBS sufferer and you have said some of the things listed above, and thought they were perfectly rational and helpful things to say.

And, at the time, with the knowledge you had, they probably were. I do get angry at the way IBS sufferers are treated, but I also know that the vast majority of these hurtful quotes are the result of ignorance rather than malice.

I am well aware that my own knowledge of, say, diabetes is dismal, and if I were faced with a diabetes sufferer tomorrow I might well blurt out some piece of gibberish such as “Can’t you just eat half a mars bar?” and wonder why they took offence.

Basically, we need understanding on both sides. Non-IBS people need to try to understand that IBS is a complex, difficult, embarrassing and long-term condition that can be very painful.

And IBS sufferers need to understand that, if you don’t have bowel problems yourself, you probably don’t spend as much time reading and thinking about them as we do.

If you are a non-sufferer and you’re reading this website because your loved one or friend has IBS, then I would like to say thank you. Just by reading something on IBS you are showing that you care enough to find out more about their condition, and that can be the difference between a helpful friend and a hurtful one.

Second disclaimer

Please don’t hit people with bricks.


Wednesday's Hero

Cpl. Phillip E. Baucus

Cpl. Phillip E. Baucus
28 years old from Wolf Creek, Montana
3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force
July 29, 2006

Marine Cpl. Phillip E. Baucus was the nephew of Montana Senator Max Baucus. He joined the corps in 2002 and was sent to Iraq in March of 2005.

Cpl. Baucus was killed alongside fellow Marines Sgt. Christian Williams, 27 yrs old from Winter Haven, Fla. and Lance Cpl. Anthony E. Butterfield, 19 yrs old from Clovis, Calif. during combat operations in Al Anbar province.

"Phillip was an incredible person, a dedicated Marine, a loving son and husband, and a proud Montanan and American," Sen. Baucus said. "He heroically served the country he loved and he gave it his all."

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.

We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The fun is over!

When my Mom came to live with me for a while about 2 years ago (could be 3 but who’s counting?) I moved my son out of his room and into the back of the house.
It is actually a family room but the main family PC was back there and that’s where he spent all of his time anyway, so I didn’t feel very bad evicting him from his bedroom. It was my Mom after all, and she was going through a divorce and about to have back surgery. It must have been 3 years. I dunno. Regardless, Andy ended up in the back of the house with the PC, TV, stereo, couch and treadmill.

Treadmill? Yeah, that’s where the treadmill was.

It wasn’t long before the family room/lair took on the stank of “boy”, and became an unpleasant place for me to visit, although my daughter would risk it from time to time.

I had lost my will to exercise a while ago anyway, and having the treadmill in the lair was as good an excuse as any to not start up again.

I don’t have that excuse anymore. Last night with the help of my strapping young BF (okay maybe not young, but younger than me) we played musical furniture, moving a bed out of my bead room, moving a desk in, moving the bed to the back of the house for the boy to add his own stank to, and moving the treadmill to the front of the house. The front of the house. Where I live. In front of the TV.

So while I am not confident enough yet to put a number on it, hopefully in the months ahead I will finally make some progress in fighting the weight problem I have struggled with my whole adult life. Exercise has been very effective for me in the past and I know it is what I need now.

I don’t expect to get back the body of a 20-year-old, hell, not even a 30-year-old I suppose. But I do expect to get the body of a healthy woman. That is the most important thing because God knows I’ve been feeling like crap.

That is what I will be telling myself over and over when I force myself to get off the couch (and the computer) and get on the treadmill, and even as I walk and sweat and huff and puff; “I am getting healthy, I am getting healthy!”

Of course I will need to fight the bad behaviors like the urge to reward myself for a good workout with a heaping helping of something really bad for me. Nothing like stepping off the treadmill and into the kitchen for a bowl of chocolate ice cream followed by an ice cold cream soda! Num!

The first few times, I just may end up looking like this - but a lot fatter and not nearly as cute.

** I am playing with my blog background, I thought it would be fun to switch it out now and then. I love the template that was designed for me, but I also knew I would want to mess with it now and then. It's like my hair, I get bored with it quickly.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Internet is a miracle

I wish Al Gore had invented the Internet when my kids were little. There are so many incredible things you can find, activities and games, pictures to color and places to buy cool stuff. The best things are the ideas you can get, sometimes without even trying. I must admit to not being the most imaginative Mom on the planet. Some things I just never would have come up with on my own.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Sometimes it's worth the wait

Cleaning her room is a process for my daughter. It can take several days and always involves much laundering of clothes and throwing away of .. well, things. Lots.of.things. It is also something of an archaeological dig and the finds can be fabulous. Dani, on the phone with her boyfriend:

Honey? I found a light, it looks like a light. It’s in a box and it’s round. Its – it’s a car part Tony. I found a car part in my room.”

She becomes a scientist studying the artifacts she discovers as she digs through the many layers
covering her floor. She finds things she can’t identify and does not remember which frankly, freaks me out a little.

A few books are always found.

I know she's a vegetarian but I had no idea she was growing her own food under her bed!

This guy has been SO helpful!

There are always a few strange things uncovered ... some random Smurfs

...and the occasional family of borrowers.

But what I am looking forward to the most ...

.. is this much stuff ending up on the curb come garbage day!

Unfortunately, something always gets missed!

He IS kind of cute though, isn't he?

I haven't been to Africa

I think I have a sleeping sickness. Sleep is a coping mechanism for me when I am depressed. My whole family is like that actually. Most people toss and turn, I sleep like a baby. And keep on sleeping. But I am not depressed right now. My kids are doing great, I just got a new position at work, the BF is wonderful as usual, I am downright giddy! And yet, I sleep.

I come home from work most days in a hurry to take a nap. Can't wait, love it, actually. But I am not one of those lay my head down, snooze for a half hour and wake up refreshed people. I sleep about three hours, sometimes more. When I wake up I am awake for a couple of hours and then it is back to bed for the night.

I am a night person by nature. If given the chance my hours would probably be reversed from most of the rest of the world. I struggle with getting up in the morning and frequently will try to make sure I get to bed early to make sure I have plenty of sleep and wake up feeling good in the morning. But it seems that no matter what time I go to bed the night before, I have trouble getting out of bed in the morning. Or in the afternoon which the case may be on the weekend.

Today was not unusual. I got home from work at about 5:45, and by 6:15 I was laying down on
the couch for a nap. I woke up about 8:00pm, got up to go to the bathroom and then it was right back down in a groggy heap on the couch where I fell right back to sleep until 10:30.

I know the best thing I can do is to keep a regular schedule. Get up at the same time every day, go to bed at the same time every night, and no napping. Somehow I am never able to achi
eve that, the call of the nap is so tempting and I am so weak willed. But as a result I can sleep hours upon hours and am never fully refreshed. Plus, on the weekend, it's not unusual for me to sleep past noon and get very little done during the day. And to make matters worse, if I allowed myself to do it - I could sleep past noon, get up, be awake for a couple of hours and be ready to sleep again. I rarely allow myself to do that, but when I have - I have slept away whole days.

I haven't been to Africa, haven't picked up any funky little parasites lately, yet I seem to just want to sleep. A lot. And really, I'm not depressed! I promise! I have thyroid meds but really the
doctor says they are practically unnecessary so I suspect he is just placating me. The last time I went to see him I handed him a list of all my complaints and told him I was tired of it, pun not intended, and told him to fix it. I also told him it was his fault, just for good measure.

I guess his Honey-do list is longer than I thought cause it sure isn't fixed yet.

I would like to feel awake like most people do, have energy and get things done. It's a vicious circle, because I know exercise would help. But who can exercise when they are napping? Okay, this is turning into whining and I don't want to do that. But I really would like to feel normal. I know doggone well that I'm not suddenly going to discover more hours in the day, or wake up one day to discover that morning has been moved to later on in the day. It's always going to be early. Sigh-h-h.

Time to go to bed. Nite y'all!

*Just a thought; is it possible I am morphing into a cat? Just askin'.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

A little late ..

Wednesday's Hero

by Indian Chris

Sgt. Frank T. Carvill

Sgt. Frank T. Carvill
51 years old from Carlstadt, New Jersey
3rd Battalion, 112th Field Artillery
June 04, 2004

When Frank T. Carvill told his sister he had been called up to go to Iraq, she was stunned. "Gee, Frank, are you going to be part of the AARP battalion?" she teased.

Carvill joined the Guard in the 80's out of a sense of patriotism. He was a devoted big brother to Peggy Liguori, who still remembers how as kids, he took her to see “Blue Hawaii” and “Born Free” at the movies. He was the longtime pal to Rick Rancitelli who admired Carvill’s “million-dollar vocabulary” and his writing and public speaking skills. In 1993. Sgt. Carvill was working in the WTC as a paralegal when it was attacked. He helped a co-worker down 54 floors to safety. In 2001, he was still working at the WTC. He had just left the North Tower moments before the first plane hit.

Sgt. Carvill was killed when his convoy was attacked outside of Baghdad.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your blog, you can go here.