Welcome to my blog. Thanks for coming! One day I hope my little piece of internet real estate will be home to lots of family photos, pictures of my scrapbook and card art, with some random thoughts and memories posted on a somewhat regular basis. Mostly my world is very predictable, but occasionally some excitement will find me, so visit often. Who knows what useful (or useless) information you may find here.


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

This Is Why I Hate Numbers. (Follow Up To Previous Post)

Okay, I TOLD you people I don’t do numbers. As my smart-alecky daughter so gleefully points out, the math is all wrong in Mr. B’s formula. It’s not $425,000.00 to everyone, it is $425.00. I’m so sad. It looks like he’s about as good in arithmetic as I am. He divided 85 billion by 200 thousand, not billion. So, I guess I will have to contact my senators and tell them “Never Mind”. I’ll go rip up my deposit slip now.

Bailout Alternative

Well, here we go again. Another round of partisan attempts to solve the financial mess we’re in. I had intended to go back into the break room and catch President Bush’s speech this morning, but I figured I’d have plenty of opportunities throughout the day and evening to see it. Actually, maybe my energey would be better spent attempting to contact Mr. Bush or Senator McCain to alert them that the solution to the problem was reached a couple of weeks ago by a gentleman named T. J. Birkenmeier. Perhaps you received the same e-mail, as I’m sure it went viral. I received it several times- but it was totally worth it. It is too good to miss, so in case you didn’t see it, I’m hijacking it for my blog. These are very unsettled times for our nation's economy, and I think most Americans agree that something has to be done. The greatest challenge will be to agree what course of action will best facilitate recovery. I like the plan laid out by this guy. Of note, the e-mail outlining his strategy started circulating prior to the most recent 700 billion bailout proposal, after Freddie and Fannie, and in the midst of the AIG deal. This "plan" is based only on the 85 Billion related to AIG. Imagine what the numbers would be if applying this to the 700 Billion figure. I considered trying to crunch the numbers to see what it would be using the 700 billion figure. I gave up on that idea quickly, though, because all those zeros caused a searing pain deep within my brain, I found my eyes twitching, smoke coming from my ears and a strange drool appeared about my lips. I don’t do numbers. Anyhow, here’s the plan. (Disclaimer- for all my friends who think in absolutes, I am aware that this was created tongue-in-cheek, so please don’t e-mail or comment with all the ways that it couldn’t work. Besides- let me just enjoy the simplicity of the plan and pretend that it would work. Sounds great anyway!)

Subject: The Birk Economic Recovery Plan
I’m against the $85,000,000,000.00 bailout of AIG. Instead, I’m in favor of giving $85,000,000,000 to America in a We Deserve It Dividend. To make the math simple, let’s assume there are 200,000,000 bonafide U.S. Citizens 18+. Our population is about 301,000,000 +/- counting every man, woman and child. So 200,000,000 might be a fair stab at adults 18 and up.. So divide 200 million adults 18+ into $85 billon that equals $425,000.00. My plan is to give $425,000 to every person 18+ as a We Deserve It Dividend. Of course, it would NOT be tax free. So let’s assume a tax rate of 30%. Every individual 18+ has to pay $127,500.00 in taxes. That sends $25,500,000,000 right back to Uncle Sam. But it means that every adult 18+ has $297,500.00 in their pocket. A husband and wife has $595,000.00. What would you do with $297,500.00 to $595,000.00 in your family? Pay off your mortgage – housing crisis solved. Repay college loans – what a great boost to new grads. Put away money for college – it’ll be there. Save in a bank – create money to loan to entrepreneurs. Buy a new car – create jobs. Invest in the market – capital drives growth. Pay for your parent’s medical insurance – health care improves. Enable Deadbeat Dads to come clean – or else! Remember this is for every adult U S Citizen 18+ including the folks who lost their jobs at Lehman Brothers and every other company that is cutting back. And of course, for those serving in our Armed Forces. If we’re going to re-distribute wealth let’s really do it...instead of trickling out a puny $1000.00 ( “vote buy” ) economic incentive that is being proposed by one of our candidates for President. If we’re going to do an $85 billion bailout, let’s bail out every adult U S Citizen 18+! As for AIG – liquidate it. Sell off its parts. Let American General go back to being American General. Sell off the real estate. Let the private sector bargain hunters cut it up and clean it up. Here’s my rationale. We deserve it and AIG doesn’t. Sure it’s a crazy idea that can “never work.” But can you imagine the Coast-To-Coast Block Party! How do you spell Economic Boom? I trust my fellow adult Americans to know how to use the $85 Billion We Deserve It Dividend more than I do the geniuses at AIG or in Washington DC. And remember, The Birk plan only really costs $59.5 Billion because $25.5 Billion is returned instantly in taxes to Uncle Sam. Ahhh...I feel so much better getting that off my chest. Kindest personal regards, Birk T. J. Birkenmeier, A Creative Guy & Citizen of the Republic
Isn't that a great idea!!! LOVE IT!!!! I'm going right now to fill out my deposit slip.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Baby Leyland!!

It seems impossible that Leyland is turning two today! We had a great party yesterday with family and friends who came to share the celebration with us. Click here to see a few photos of the Birthday Girl!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Obama's Victory

If/When Barak Obama wins this election (and I believe there is a very strong possibility of that), he can attribute only part of the victory to good campaign strategy. Part of it can be attributed to dumb luck. Actually, at this particular point in the campaign, he can save his money. McCain is practically handing the office to Obama on a silver platter. No, I haven’t suddenly become an Obama supporter. I do not like him. There is something deep in my gut that bristles at the thought of him as President. Again, not based on his race or even his age. Some of his campaign promises are easy to like, and for some people, he is “The Savior” of these troubled times. But not for me. Unfortunately, McCain’s attitude of late- arrogant, grumpy, elusive, demanding, doesn’t sit well with me either. What I know about politics wouldn’t fill the thimble of a piss ant, but I do know that he is putting people off- even his supporters. Charlie Gibson got Sarah pretty good, and the media have enjoyed the whole “Bush Doctrine” deer-in-the-headlight look, but hiding her and not allowing her to speak seems to be backfiring as well. She is a very intelligent woman, but of course she cannot know everything- yet. I have faith that she is well capable of learning and becoming excellent President material. (Think: Palin 2012!!) Now the whole bail-out dilemma. It is admirable that McCain is willing to suspend his campaign efforts until the issue is resolved. But senator, you have backed yourself into a corner by saying you won’t attend tonight’s debate unless there is a resolution. Now what are you going to do? This is a huge thing, this 700 billion dollar proposal. Get it right. Give yourselves time to make sure you have all the bases covered. Do it once, fix the system so that it never happens again. But- you may not be finished by 5:00 tomorrow evening. Obama will be at the debate venue. So will all the media. What are you going to do now? If there is no resolution, will you just be a No Show? Oh how your critics will love that!! If there is no resolution, and you change your mind to attend anyway, won’t that be seen as wishy-washy and promise-breaking, and provide additional fodder? I admire your determination to settle the financial crisis that has befallen us, but the conditions of attendance that you have laid out are, in effect, digging a deeper hole from which you must emerge. Come on. Get back in the saddle and be smart. Don’t hand us over to Obama. Fight for us.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Can't You Just Call 911?

When Whitney was a youngster, she had this annoying habit of banging on the bathroom door while I was in there. Never mind if I was relaxing in a hot bath, plucking my eyebrows, or shaving my legs. It happened almost every time. Of course it was always something of utmost importance, like… “Mom, can I have something to eat?”, “Mom, guess who Kate is going out with?”, “Mom, Jessica’s sister is getting married!”, “Mom, can Brittany spend the night?”, “Mom can I go out for soccer this year?”, “Mom, where are my band shoes and black socks?” Okay, you get the picture. I could never quite get her to understand just how serious I was about wanting to be left alone. What part of a locked door didn’t she understand? Finally, I came up with something to help her put it into perspective. One evening before bath time, I made sure I had her undivided attention. Holding her eye contact, I spoke very clearly and with great authority. “Unless you are vomiting blood or the house is on fire, do not bother me while I am in the bathroom.” Quite effective, I must say. This tactic also works quite well with my mom. I have used it on quite a few occasions, not the least of which is season premier or finale of my favorite TV shows. Well, mom is out of town tonight, but if she were here, I’d be giving her The Warning. The day has finally arrived. The day Grey’s Anatomy fans everywhere have awaited for months now: The Season Premiere. So do me a favor. Between the hours of 9p and 11p EST tonight, please don’t call me or knock on my door unless you are vomiting blood or the house is on fire. And only then if you absolutely can’t manage without me. I’ll be with you at the next commercial break.

Dinner On The Deck

Well, that was the original plan. David was working last night, so DJ and I decided to have Girls' Night Out. Then we decided to have Girls' Night In. Whatever. Just some time to sit and visit, uninterrupted by Mr. David, Miss Whitney or the babies. Normally we would go over to Snellville and enjoy some fine Italian cuisine at Provino's, but we decided since so many of our gas stations were empty, we'd better hold onto our gasoline and stay in town. So the plan was for pizza, salad, and dinner on the deck. The puppies were a little hyper after a tragic event that resulted in Lou having to be put to sleep, and we decided to eat inside to avoid being the target of their hyperactivity. So, after a near-perfect half-green-pepper-and-onion(me)-half-pepperoni(DJ) pizza and a scrumptious salad, we headed out to the deck. I have several "favorite places", and let me tell you that DJs deck is near the top of my list. I love to go over early in the morning and sip hot coffee and watch and listen as the world wakes up to another day. It's a rare occasion that I get to do that, so I savor every moment. DJs deck is also a great place for the neighbors to gather. Come one, come all- golf carts and little doggies in tow. It is also the location of the hottest, best-tasting grill east of the Mississippi. Well, pretty much west of the Mississippi too, as I have only traveled west of the Missippi on two occasions, and neither time did I enjoy fine food such as what comes off David's Grill. I am not EVEN interested in an Outback or Longhorn's steak after tasting the ones he cooks for me. And I can't even talk about the yummy chicken with grilled shrooms, onions, and (I don't know what kind) cheese. My mouth is watering even now. Okay, so I digress. Back to DJs deck. So determined were we to sit outside and enjoy the evening that we didn't notice at first how cool the weather had become. DJ went inside and returned with two blankets, and we wrapped ourselves up inside them and rocked away the evening, venting, talking, and laughing. Old codgers that we were, we couldn't make it much past 8:00, so I left DJ to watch House, and I headed on home to work a bit before watching the President on television. It was a great evening. I'm so glad fall has arrived. It's my favorite time of all. And now I'll just look forward to our next Deck Adventure. Ahhh.. simple moments really are the best!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


A while back I was doing a Google search on some articles relating to health care in America, for a post I’ll be writing in the future. As is the case with many of my searches, clicking on this link leads to clicking on another link, and sometimes I find myself so deep within the bowels of the information highway I’m not sure I’ll ever find my way back to where I started. One such adventure lead me to a blog called “Running A Hospital”, which piqued my interest, for obvious reasons. The post that day was talking about insurance reimbursement issues, and the author used as an example a patient with scleroderma, a rare, terminal, autoimmune disease. She spoke of this woman’s incredible courage and the phenomenal blog that she had created. It is called “Diary Of A Dying Mom”. So of course, I clicked on the link to her blog. I have been absolutely blown away by this gal. I am mesmerized by her ability to articulate what she is feeling, by her love for her family, by her selfless gifts to them, by her strength, her courage, her sense of humor. After reading the first few posts (reverse-chronology) I decided to go back to the beginning of this particular blog and start there, to follow the progression of her illness, and her thought process. There are some people with whom you come into contact who have a profound impact on your life and your thoughts. Let me tell you, this woman has touched my life in an incredible way. Some of her entries are not for the faint of heart, as she is obviously dealing with a very debilitating disease. I have laughed and I have cried as I have come to “know” Michelle. There was one particular post to which I felt compelled to comment. Part of what I said to her is that she is not only teaching people how to die, but most importantly, she is teaching people how to live. You’ve perhaps heard the question: “If you knew you only had three days to live, what would you do?” Followed by: “So why aren’t you doing it?” Michelle doesn’t know the day or hour of her death, but has had a very long time to prepare, and to prepare her family. Yes, parts of it are very sad, and though I’ve never met her, I know I will feel my own personal loss when there are no more blogs to read. However, the inspiring, encouraging, humorous, courageous and yes sometimes-frightened, real-person outlook that she has far outweighs the sadness I feel when reading her blog. I look forward each day to seeing her post… though I fear the time is coming when there will be no more posts. Today’s entry states that she is entering in-patient hospice for a few days to get started on the program, then return home. Below I have copied the profile portion of her blog.

I'm a 39 year old mother of 2 battling a rare autoimmune disease called scleroderma. Until December, I was a professor in the School of Public Health at UNC. I deal with the topic of death head-on in an unflinching way. I believe that, as a culture, we shy away from anything surrounding death and, consequently, deprive ourselves of all the lessons inherent in the dying and grieving process. We ignore the reality that death is as much a part of life as birth. My posts cover the gamut of human emotions because, as an Italian American, I have always had a "rich" emotional life. While many posts are sad just as many are comical. This is not my version of "The Last Lecture." It is my heart, my thoughts, my joys, and my fears as they unfold along this journey. My hope is that you will find some of it useful on your own life's journey. I hope that sharing my experiences will help not only those struggling with terminal illnesses but also those who are blessedly healthy.

I invite you to visit her blog, Diary Of A Dying Mom, get to know her, pray for her, and reap the benefits of her profound wisdom on the process of not just dying, but living! [Of note- know in advance that her language at times is strong, and her religious views might not coincide with yours or mine. Your ability to look beyond these differences will determine the degree to which you are blessed by her.]

Thank you, Michelle, for the lessons you have taught me. My prayers are with you as you enter this phase of your journey. CathyB

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Very Nosey Little Girl

I’ve heard of being “nosey” before, but this is ridiculous. Leyland has become obsessed with her nose. As in- putting things in there. And then pushing as far as her little finger will go, making sure to get it just out of our reach. Oh, there have been various and sundry items retrieved or sneezed from the caverns of her little face. Besides the crumpled coloring-book (probably Elmo) paper and Rice Krispy kernel a few weeks ago, there was the episode of the chocolate chip (or raisin, we’re not too sure), cheese toast, unidentified crumpled morsels of paper, and who knows what else. Yesterday while driving home from lunch with her step-mother, Whitney saw that Leyland had found a rogue French fry somewhere in the car. As in old, and hard. Ewwww. Thinking she was going to eat it, Whitney scolded her and told her to put it down. Yep, you know where this is going. Right up her nose. By the time Whitney was able to safely get the car off the road and get to her, she was cramming that fat little finger of hers far into the recesses of her little nose. The French fry was gone. Using a special light, we were able to see just the tail end of the offending potato, but couldn’t reach it. We rummaged through our craft tools and found an instrument that we thought might not cause too much trauma, but after one quick try, we were afraid to do anything else. The pediatrician on call said she had to be seen, so off to the emergency room Whitney goes with both kids. (I was the lone transcriptionist on duty and could not go with her) Fortunately Lynn, her step-mom, was able to meet her there and watch The Little Man. Thankfully the emergency room wasn’t packed as usual, and they were seen fairly quickly. Who knew- the solution to the problem was to stick an air compressor hose up her other nostril, give a quick, pressurized blow, and out shot the French fry!! It was about 1.5” long. Of course I can’t stand for her to be in discomfort or pain, but I had hoped the experience would be traumatizing enough to stop her from ever doing it again. But Whitney said it wasn’t so bad, and Leyland didn’t even have time to cry, so I guess that whole traumatizing-her theory just was not to be. ….sigh…. I just talked to Whitney a little bit ago and she said this morning’s buried treasure was a sticker from a children’s book. Honestly. I don’t know where she finds these morsels of things to put up her nose. We are watching her like a hawk, and keeping all things noseworthy out of her reach. I wonder if they make tiny little filter screen things for little noses?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

If Such A Thing As Grace Exists

Well, of course grace exists. It is one of the basic foundations of my faith. There’s a song by Avalon called Orphans of God. I heard it for the very first time last night at ensemble practice, and I was blown away. I’m going to Rhapsody today to see if I can download to a CD. (I’m too impatient to wait for our “repertoire” CD.) Here’s a few lines: (and you can here it on my playlist here)

"Who here among us has not been broken
Who here among us is without guilt or pain
So oft’ abandoned by our transgressions
If such a thing as grace exists
Then grace was made for lives like this"

Grace. Sweet, Amazing Grace.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Peyton's Party

A few weeks ago, we celebrated the second birthday of my great-niece Peyton. It was a lovely afternoon, and the girls had a grand time playing in the water. Leyland ended up soaking wet, but she had a blast! Below are a few photos. Aren't they adorable??
Peyton, the birthday girl!

Friday, September 12, 2008


HAHA! Gotcha!! My nephew Ryan and I are currently engaged in a fabulous political “conversation”. I do not call it a debate, because I am ill-qualified to argue many of the points he raises. What makes it so interesting is that, if you are into applying labels to people, he would be the liberal, and I the conservative. Ryan is an exceptionally gifted writer (yes, Aunt Cathy is allowed a certain bias here!), and has a way of intriguing me to learn more about politics and social issues, to become better able to articulate my own thoughts, and to examine those policies with which I disagree, as well as those with which I agree. If you’re interested, you can follow our “conversations” here and here. And, following the format of the post originated on his site, I’d like to offer:

The Number One Reason Not To Vote For Obama:

Because he is black. Okay, now… before you call Jesse and Al, hear me out on this one. (I am laughing because anyone who read those words is probably in need of the Heimlich maneuver about now.) You may recall from an earlier post I related that at the tender age of barely 18 (by a three-week margin), I cast my very first vote for President in 1976. It just so happened that a Georgia peanut farmer was the Democratic candidate. Now I’m a native-born, peanut-lovin’ southern girl through and through. Of course I voted for Jimmy. What was the rationale behind my vote? Well, he was a good ol’ boy from Georgia, of course!! Why would I vote for a yankee Republican, when I could vote for a home boy? Well, now that rationale makes no sense at all to me. It’s kind of like watching Dancing With The Stars. The very first season, first few episodes, it was fairly obvious that Kelly Monaco wasn’t a Dancin’ Queen. However… she was one of the leading stars, at the time, of the soap opera General Hospital. I daresay, without her huge following of fans, who loved her General Hospital character, she would have left the show within the first several weeks. But are we all not guilty sometimes of rooting for that person with whom we identify the most, regardless of their talent, their expertise, their knowledge and/or experience? A year or so after each season, who can remember who won Dancing? (Even though I rarely missed an episode, and loved Kelly as “Sam” on General Hospital, before writing this post, I couldn’t remember her real name and had to look it up!) Who can remember the details of the bridal gown, or the reception menu at a wedding you attended two years ago? Can you recall the name of Miss USA from three years ago? From last year? Nah, probably not. Where am I going with this? I am concerned that many black people, so excited to have a black candidate, will vote en masse, simply to put a black man in the White House. Because They Can. I’d venture to predict that the black turnout will be far greater this year than ever before. Let me be perfectly clear. I have no problem with a black President. There are two black Republicans for whom I’d be far more excited about than I am about John McCain. The color of his skin is not an issue with me…. Except for how it will be an issue for previously uninterested, uninformed black voters who will make it an issue. White people are accused of racism on a daily basis, sometimes merited, sometimes not. Will not these black voters to which I refer be executing their own form of racism? I will firmly state that I respect the vote of every citizen who does even a slight bit of research, who at least watches the news or reads the newspaper. Black America- exercise your right to vote, and vote for the candidate of your choice. But please do not vote for Barak Obama simply because he is black. You may be surprised to learn that some of his liberal policies are not in your best interest. Support him if you understand what you are doing. I have no problem with that. Just know that, unlike the (forgotten) lovely wedding gown or the (forgotten) winner of the Miss USA contest, four or even eight years from now, our vote will STILL matter (if it ever truly matters in the first place), and we will not forget for whom we voted.

By the same token- to you southern-born “good ol’ boys”, I implore you not to vote for McCain with the sole purpose of defeating a black man. Do your homework. The mentality that you don’t want a black man for President is the mentality that could one day elect a Hitler, or worse. A few of you might even find you agree more with Obama than with McCain- though I suspect you will have difficulty seeing beyond his race enough to fairly examine his platform. I voted for Jimmy because he was from Georgia. I will have to excuse that to immaturity. 1980 found me a bit more cautious with my #2 black pencil when I entered the booth and found I could no longer vote for the good ol' Georgia boy, no matter how much I love peanuts. So, my mantra for this election continues to be: Get off your keesters, do some reading, watch the news, watch the debates, and then vote for whomever you agree with the most (or disagree with the least!) Remember, though, that voting for Obama because he is black makes about as much sense as my voting for Jimmy in '76, or women voting for Hillary just because she is a woman, or Baptists voting for Mike Huckabee simply because he is a former Baptist minister. These are indeed tough days in which we live, and I think we all agree that change is long overdue. Okay, I promise to take a break from all things political for the next few days and find something else to talk about. :-) Happy Friday!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Day That Will Live In Infamy

Today marks the anniversary of one of the darkest days in American History. Through the years we have marked time by certain events, whether tragic or triumphant. In the recesses of my memory there is the picture of my mother weeping over the assassination of JFK. Though not so excited about it at the time, I remember now with fondness watching the first moon walk. I was a part of desegregation in the early 60s and remember the names of the first three black students who came to my school. Other events in history prompt us to recall where we were and what we were doing at that precise moment in time. While nursing my baby and watching television, I learned of the space shuttle Challenger tragedy. When the Columbia was lost I was doing contract work in a local orthopedic clinic. I was walking out of the post office when a neighbor told me of the OK City bombing. Four years later I learned of the Columbine shootings during lunch break at my home office. Then there’s that awful September morning in 2001. I was sitting at my desk at home, going about my usual daily routine, when there came a frantic, persistent knocking at my door. My neighbors Jackie and Tommy, looking very somber and worried, brought the news of the plane crashes. Their TV was out, but they had seen news blurbs about it on the internet and came over to watch the television coverage. As the events unfolded and it became evident that it was a deliberate act, and as the nation scrambled to respond and to prepare for who-knew-what, my first thoughts were of my family. Whitney was in high school, and I was worried that she would be afraid, worried that schools would be put on lock-down, worried that something would happen and I couldn’t get to her. Worried that my parents would be afraid. Worried about our nation’s future, and what the coming days would bring. We sat glued to the news on that dreadful Tuesday morning, and as we watched the towers crumble, saw the terrified, dust-covered men and women running through the streets, it was as though we were watching a scene from a horror movie. Could this really be happening? In AMERICA?? We watched as thousands lost their lives… all on live television. It was a horrific sight. For days and days, a little box was inset on the TV screen, cameras pointed at Ground Zero, as it would be called. People all over the world watched. Watched, hoped, prayed for survivors. Days passed and it soon became evident that no more would be found. Still, families and friends stood vigil, holding pictures of loved ones in the hope that someone had seen them. A new sense of patriotism and love of country was born amid the smoke and debris that day. Our heroes ceased to be sports figures and rock stars, and we paid homage to the brave public servants who tried valiantly to tame the chaos and save lives, many of whom lost their own in the process. To say that our world changed that day would be the understatement of the century. The events that transpired that quiet morning have forever shaped the way we conduct our business, how and where we travel, and the way we view our Muslim neighbors, both here and abroad. Religious profiling? Absolutely. Fair? Perhaps. Expected? Yes, I think so. That thought is post-worthy in itself and will not be examined today. Political or religious differences aside, let us pause for a moment today and reflect on the changes brought about that day, and purpose in our own life to be the best person that we can possibly be, and to make our life count for something. Pray for our nation, pray for our leaders, regardless of party affiliation. Pray for America to regain the strength and respect that once would have prohibited such an evil act. And support your local volunteer fire department! God Bless America!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Mission Accomplished!!!

Vacations are a wonderful thing- until you come back to work and have to play catch-up. I was very excited to leave my office on Monday afternoon with a clear desk. From the moment I returned on Thursday until mid-afternoon on Monday, I was drowning in charts. Finally the moment came when I hit “save” for the last time, and all the dictation was complete. By 5 pm all my charts were returned to their proper place and I could finally walk in my office without stepping over stacks of folders. Mission accomplished!! Now I’ll spend the remainder of this week playing catch-up on financial files and legal proceedings. Sadly, I have no benefits with my PT job at St. Mary’s, so my days off there will result in my paycheck being about 50% short of usual. Ouch!! In addition to that little inconvenience, my STMH computer is giving me problems and I had to go into the hospital on Monday night to work my 6p to 11p shift, and drop my computer off with the IS folks. Hopefully they will be able to solve my Dolbey (transcription software) issues and I’ll be able to work at home in my jammies again. I’ll be pulling another extra long shift on Thursday evening, 6p to 11p, instead of 6p to 9p, and I really prefer to work those late hours in the comfort and safety of my home office. I don’t mind going in to the hospital occasionally to work, since I’m already in town for my day job anyway, but it kinda messes up my rhythm to hafta do it several days in a row. At any rate, it feels good to at least have my AOA dictation files current, and now I can concentrate on working collections accounts and closing out last month’s numbers. (Don’t laugh, DJ, you know how those numbers just KILL me!) Birthday party preparations continue. It’s going to be really cute. And speaking of cute, here’s a couple of photos for your enjoyment.

The Little Man

Above- The Little Man and his Mommy
Below- Leyland and Mommy

Below: Leyland Just Being Cute!

Monday, September 8, 2008

I'm A Nerd!

After a frustrating evening of work-related technical difficulties resulting in a shorter-than-normal shift last Thursday, I settled in to watch the RNC. I was little hopeful that Sen McCain's "stage presence" could even begin to compare with Gov Palin, or the keynote speakers at the DNC. Starting out albeit a little slow, I was delighted to see him maintain composure and build to a crowd-roaring climactic closure, even as a few "unruly" attendees tried to disrupt the speech. Okay, so call me a nerd, but I just love watching the candidates put on their Sunday Best performances. I looked forward to each evening's coverage of the conventions as the high point of my day. Not just the RNC but the DNC as well. The Obama-Clinton-Biden-Obama speeches were every bit as inspiring/revealing as were the Thompson-Palin-McCain speeches. (Though I am a bit partial to the Palin speech and rate that one as best of all) To be clear, I have long felt that neither Obama nor McCain would be the most optimal choice for President. Obama less so than McCain for obvious reasons. Young, charasmatic, eloquent and articulate, Sen Obama's lack of experience, his senate voting record (or lack thereof), the empty promise of change without revealing a working game plan, and quite frankly his arrogance, makes him, IMHO, a dreadful choice as our President and Commander-In-Chief. As stated in an earlier post, Obama Is Right- in that America needs change. That I will not argue. Given a few more years to prove himself in the Senate, and giving himself time to actually "do" something that can actually be considered an accomplishment, perhaps Sen Obama might be a more acceptable candidate. There are some Americans who will vote Dem or Rep just because that's what they've always done, regardless of the candidate or platform. There are other Americans who, like myself in 1980, will at some point cross the party ticket in order to vote for the person they believe to be best for the job. It is to those hesitant Democrats and undecided others, that I pose this question. If it were not for the cement blocks tied to his feet (President Bush and the current administration), or if John McCain followed on the heels of a successful Republican presidency, would you hesitate to cast your vote for him? It is unfortunate that Sen McCain is being weighted down by the negative popularity of President Bush. Absolutely- there needs to be shakedown in the current administration. It will be an uphill battle. While I still believe that there may be other better-qualified men for the job, I am now convinced that Sen McCain is the better of our two choices to fight that battle. I believe there is enough maverick in him to tackle the challenges that lie ahead. I am thankful for the Information Highway, political publications and media coverage (ewww did I actually say that?) which allows us to arm ourselves with information and make an educated choice. I'm enjoying spending a tiny bit of time each day getting to know the candidates and what makes them tick. Many of my lunch hours are spent poring over Time, Newsweek, Snopes, and various Google searches on different issues. I've even programmed NPR into the tuner in my car!! I'm most thankful, though, for an Inquiring Mind that inspires me to read and research information on my own, not letting these different media sources form my opinions for me. So my challenge to all Americans is this- Do Your Homework. Vote for the candidate of your choice. Voice your opinion in the voting booth or don't bother voicing your complaints later.

Friday, September 5, 2008

No Place Like Home!

Well, except the beach. It is nice to be home, though. As much as the beach is my favorite place in the world, I missed the babies so much that I was actually excited to go home. They missed me too, I could tell ;-) It was a bummer being without my phone, and I worried that I might go into DTs or something, but I managed quite nicely. The weather was fabulous, and spending time with Mom and Dad was an extra special treat. My mom spoiled me to no end, and I think she enjoyed it as much as I did. Karey will appreciate my packing skills- I packed a bag with books, SB magazines and some MT reference material that I intended to study, and planned to do a Photoshop tutorial while I was there. The bag easily weighed 50 lb. How silly of me. I perused a couple of scrapbook mags, but didn't even touch anything else in my bag. I found a paperback on the end table, and read through that in two afternoons, then the next day read an entire James Patterson book in one day. My mom laughed at me for taking that heavy bag and then reading something that was already over there. Oh well. I had my "friends" with me if I wanted them. Corey did two months’ worth of growing while I was gone, and Leyland’s IQ shot up another 20 points. Whitney is getting their portraits taken on Saturday. Leyland is also going for her two-year portrait. Good Grief- it seems like last week we were drooling over her one-year portraits. Time has flown! We’re getting ready for the birthday party. This year the theme is Elmo and Abby. We’ve found some really cute things. Watch for pictures of the big day!! Jessica and Corbin came by for a visit, and he is growing like a weed too. The boys are so cute together! Leyland has this really nice play yard where she entertains herself or watches DVDs or PBS when Whitney needs her to be confined while doing chores, etc. Everything is portable these days, and this play yard folds up and away very nicely. There’s a pad-thing that fits in the bottom that, when removed, folds around the contraption. (There are no sheets in the entire universe to fit this thing, so I have to work around it with safety pins and hospital sheets to keep the pad covered and clean.) Little Miss Nosey has discovered that she can fold up one side of the pad and hide things underneath. We have found all manner of loot underneath there. Lately she has been fascinated with an Elmo coloring book, but then she started ripping the pages to shreds, and hiding the swatches under the pad. Whitney called me one day at the beach saying that Leyland’s nose had been running all day long. While we were talking I could hear her chasing Leyland around the room, trying to clean her nose. When she finally caught her, she saw a booger. One thing Whitney cannot stand is a booger in Leyland’s nose. Of course it doesn’t bother Leyland in the least, and she doesn’t understand why Mommy won’t leave her alone. Finally the dirty job was done. However, instead of a booger, it was a piece of crumpled up paper!!!! Oh My!! Whitney is freaking out, wondering what else she has stuffed up there. Knowing how she likes to hoard things in the play pen, we’re just worried that everything will now be nose-bound. Portable storage, if you will. Yesterday it was a Rice Krispy. Where, oh where did that child find a single Rice Krispy? So if you’re missing anything smaller than a marble, let me know and I’ll get the flashlight and look in her nose. Ahhhh….There’s No Place Like Home!!!