Posted in Musings and Mutterings

It’s Been Awhile


Tonight was the kick-off for Hubby’s weekend of birthday celebration. We decided to go to a local bar that’s just 2 blocks from our house with the intention of sitting in the sunshine and having a beer or two.

This bar has a deck with heaters that sits so high, it’s close to the foliage of the trees and overlooks a river. It’s a nice place, but the service has never been stellar. That’s ok, we weren’t in any kind of hurry. The clear blue sky, crisp air and sun illuminating the yellows and reds of the leaves was stunning, and it was nice to watch a solitary leave tumble through the air here and there.

We used to go to this bar every Friday night for a few years. We even had a special table, but then we stopped going right around the same time my son stopped being the dishwasher. We had many a fine night there, laughing and talking with friends. In fact, Hubby celebrated his 40th birthday there.

While we were enjoying the air and the sights, a group of military personnel arrive and set up next to us. Soon there were quite a few there in many different uniforms. My back was to them, but Hubby had a clear view. He started smiling that smile he has as he watched them gather. When I asked what he was smiling about he said, “Brown shoes.”

He saw the look of confusion on my face and continued to tell me that brown shoes were part of the Naval Aviators uniform and had been since the dawn of time (or at least Naval Aviators). Hubby grew up near a military base and the military has played quite a role in his life, even if he’s never been active in the service. He continued to educate me on the subtleties of the military fatigues and uniforms.

Did you know that square-ish green/khaki digi cammo is army and blue/grey/khaki with a swirl is Air Force? Neither did I. And there was some discussion about patches and their meanings as well.

One of the gentlemen was being awarded a special plaque. (a dagger embedded into a green computer board) We didn’t focus on what they were saying but after the presentation and another beverage, Hubby got up and walked over to two of the men in the group and I heard him say, “I just want to thank you for all that you do every day. As a person who has his father’s name on the wall over there, what you do is very important to me. Thank you.”, and then came and sat back down. (Hubby’s father was killed on the Uss Liberty, which was part of the NSA in the 60s)

1. That was awesome. And you could hear in their voices that the men were very appreciative of his show of support.

2. Hubby is a pretty shy guy when it comes to opening up and showing who “he” is. This was near and dear to his heart and  took a lot for him to do. I was proud of him for doing it.

The rest of the evening paled in comparison although I have to say the conversations that went on around us which varied from cyber-security, new age spiritualism and hunting was pretty interesting as well.

Tomorrow we hit the track!

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

That’s Just Not Right

Patrons at nightclub TLV in Tel Aviv, Israel w...
Image via Wikipedia


I joined a gym again.

I figured it was time to get the muscles all happy again, now that my leg has healed and I’m all better.

My new gym is next to a restaurant called Pollo Fuego. (Fire Chicken)

Pollo Fuego apparently likes to use a ton of onions in their food and it’s becoming clear that they start to cook them up around 10am. The air is redolent with the smell of those nasty bulbs. I now know that I MUST attend the gym and be finished, prior to 10 am. It’s a great motivator, actually. (if you are new here, I’m allergic to onions)

Today I got nice and sweaty and I felt really good, but I was redolent as well. And I smelled just like Pollo Fuego. Eww.. that’s not right. BO and the smell wafting from a restaurant shouldn’t smell similar. It confuses ones mind. What if I catch a whiff of myself and get hungry. Could this sweating thing become contradictory to my workout efforts? Will I have an allergic reaction to my own pits? I think it’s best not to dwell on this for too long. I did find this, however, so if you like to learn useless bits of info, take a look.

Researchers from a Swiss company called Firmenich asked 24 men and 25 women to go in a sauna or pedal on an exercise bike for 15 minutes, to collect armpit sweat. The  smells were then rated by “independent smell assessors.” (Wow, that must have been a fun job!) Of the two groups, the scientists agreed: Women had the more “unpleasant” smell.

The researchers also discovered why women’s sweat smelled like onions: The female sweat had ten times the level of an odorless sulfur-containing compound than men. It turns out that when this sulfur compound is mixed with bacteria under the arm, it creates a chemical called thiol—and this chemical is known for smelling like onions.


Men on the other hand, had increased levels of an odorless fatty acid, which gives off a cheesy smell once it mixes with the armpit bacteria. To find out why the bacteria influenced the odor of the sweat, the researchers performed sensory analysis on lab grown skin bacteria and found that men and women have a different bacterial make-up.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Sorting – AGAIN!

I had just gotten used to Windows 7 and had customized things, through trial and error,  just the way I liked it. I had bookmarks set, email settings right, passwords saved and all was wonderful. Until..

Until I had to reinstall Windows again. I did save the majority of what I needed, but the trick is to figure out how to put it all back together again. It’s almost as if someone put all the components into a big box, shook it around for a bit and then dumped it all out on the counter and said, “Here, figure this out. Oh, and by the way, I changed a few things and a couple of names, so.. yeah… good luck with that!”

Slowly, this evening, I’ve been doing exactly that. And for fun, I figured out how to put a music and file sharing box on my WordPress blog. I’ve heard there were some who couldn’t click my link to and I wonder if you tried to copy and paste the url if it would work. Slowly, the next incarnation of Snippets and Tidbits (and hopefully the last one) is coming together. It’s been fun to put it all together.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

The Picture’s Story

I needed a bit of a helping hand this evening with a blog post. I found some prompts and chose this one…

“Post a photograph that means something to you and then tell us why you chose it. (It can be your photo or someone else’s.)”

This is a photo of me and my grand-daughter, Lillianna.  It was taken in August of 2006 when my then best friend and I traveled to visit my daughter and her girls. My daughter was just starting a custody battle with the father of her first two children and Lilli’s father. At the time this was taken, the other two grand daughters  were happily playing in the pool and my friend was sitting next to me  and snapped this photo. It’s one of a few all time favorites of mine for a number of reasons.

1. The look on Lilli’s face is priceless. She’s so expressive here, with a look that seems years beyond her small little body.

2.  I look natural. I’ve got a baby in my arms, I’m giving her a kiss and I’m happy.  Even though I was worried about the situation, I had family  and friends with me and I knew I was well-loved. In a rare and unguarded moment, this photo shows my love and attachment.

3.  I know who was sitting next to me. (You done good on this shot, lol)

4.  I only have one poorly printed copy of this photo, which makes it even more precious. As you can see, it’s out of focus, grainy and has some obvious printer lines through it. I printed it out long ago, but through various crashes and data issues, I think I’ve lost the original digital version. This is a scan of the paper photo I have.  Just like I’ve lost a ton of music to various issues and ignorance, I’ve lost some photos, too. I’m lucky I have this paper version, but if the person who took it happens to have a digital copy, I’d be forever thankful if you could send it to me.

5. The probability of my request never being answered in number 4 is what makes a number 5. There are some people who touch you deep down inside who you think will be with you forever and then, they aren’t. There is no blame, no guilt, no finger-pointing, just nothing. They aren’t there, they aren’t available and sometimes, for no other reason than you really liked them for who they were, for the things you shared (like this snippet of time) the easy conversation and the laughter you had,  you miss them.

6. This picture is a small slice of time right before things went pretty sour. My daughter lost her custody battle and all three grandchildren were taken from her about a year later and the person who took this photo was gone not too long after that. When I look at Lilli, I think of that sunny afternoon at the pool in front of my daughter’s apartment. The girls were splashing and playing in their floaty suits, having a ball with some friends. They were happy. Lilli was warm and soft and felt so good in my arms. Shortly after this photo was taken, my friend was holding Lilli and was singing Barney songs to her. She tugged on her ears, gave him a look and put her head on his shoulder. It was an  innocent, trusting, sweet and memorable moment.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Football and Relationships

Growing up in my childhood home, you got used to the TV being on. My dad worked the 3-11 shift and watched TV, particularly sports, or napped on the couch when he was home.

It was not uncommon for the TV to be on during a Sunday dinner. IF Dad chose to come to the dinner table, his seat was arranged so that he had a clear view of the TV set if he sat a little straighter. If he was too involved in his game, he might take his food to the living room table while Mom and us children ate at the kitchen table.

The TV was always LOUD. Very loud. It was offensive, in-your-face, drowning-out-your-own-thoughts loud. Dad was very focused. He was very much into the game, and there was many a fork full of peas that went flying across the kitchen when he didn’t like a call, or thought an error had been made. He’d erupt into an enraged critic, letting all know how he felt about the situation with a fist to the table or copious cursing and impassioned commentary  causing us to jolt at the kitchen table, our peas launched off our utensil by the unexpected rage and volume.

This is not a blog about the horrors of my father, nor his love for football, but I can’t say that my past didn’t color my present. He loved the game. He had season tickets to the Washington Redskins. He collected team paraphernalia and football was a part of his life. I get that some people are fans, some use football as a time to bond over a similar event, some are fanatics and some just like the community. That’s ok. I accept that and respect that these feelings exist.

I hate football, and I’m not a huge fan of sitting and watching TV for long periods of time. Is there anyone who didn’t see this coming?

OK, maybe it’s not fair for me to say I hate football, because I really don’t think I hate the actual game. What I find disturbing about football and TV is that they were the chosen focus of my father. Maybe a bit more of a clarification would be, that I become disturbed when I see others promoting their love of the game above their personal interactions with those who do not.

I get that some fans love the game and collect the paraphernalia and enjoy getting together for an event. All points well taken about how football can enhance your personal relationships.

But when choices are made to put a game above time spent with people who perhaps are not quite the fanatical fan that you are, I find that upsetting. If you tell me that you can’t come to a Sunday afternoon birthday party for your friend because you can’t possibly miss a game, I’m going to look at you as if you’ve grown another head. Especially if you also tell me that there is no excuse for me to miss spending time with you on your celebratory day.  Hello?! Priorities?

Because that’s really what it’s all about. You will always have time in your life for the things you make a priority. If you choose a group of strangers known as a football team playing against another team your priority, there is always time. If you make sitting on the floor and playing games with your kids a priority, then that’s what it is. So what if there is a game on that you are missing, that time you have with the children and their games  is all you really have. The here and now.

I love my family and friends and  would prefer to spend time with them above all other things.  My life is now, not after the game is over. I choose now to focus on the people that matter to me, not just during commercials or a break in the action.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Less and Less and MORE

I’m liking this new format less and less. No blog stats, difficult to get around, the themes don’t seem to be forgiving and in their attempt to make all simpler and more creative, they seem to have done the exact opposite for me and sucked the life right out of my love of blogging on MySpace.

I’m now hunting another playground. I still have my Multiply account, but I’m looking for a place where it’s easy to get to, you can read my stuff without an account and still leave comments if you want to (Can’t with Multiply) and is search-able on the web. I think I may have found a new home, but I’m not sure yet. I’ll definitely leave you guys a link if I do move and will keep checking over here to make sure it’s available for all. Or just cross-post from my new home to here. I could do that, but this doesn’t feel like home for me anymore. Blech…

I’ve wanted to do this for a while now, and this whole My____ change has finally pushed me into action. Last night, for 3 hours, I searched the web for a way to export all my blogs from here to another place. Guess what>!, it really can’t be done. There is one guy who wrote a script that will do it for you, but you need Java something or other and I didn’t have it. Being a big weeny and being afraid of infected downloads, I decided not to opt for the program and the java plug-in I’d need. In stead I did it all the old-fashioned way. I cut and pasted 471 pages of my MySpace blog into a word document. (I did find a program that pulled an RSS into a XML file or some such, but it only took part of each blog and that wasn’t what I was looking for AT ALL.)

Did you read that up there? 471 pages and over 100K of words. That’s a lot of freaking writing – and I loved all of it. And apparently, since I’ve got about 15-20 hits a day on my blog and was well over the 2800 views recently, a few others have liked it as well. YAY and THANK YOU! I’d still write if no one read it, but there is a little selfish thrill I get when I know someone has taken the time to read what I’ve written. It’s like making friends while I’m not physically there. (um, yes, we’ve established that I’m a bit odd – revel in it like I do!!)

Since I’ve gathered all the MySpace blogs for safekeeping and posterity, I went over to Multiply and thought about saving all of those as well. There are actually some that I would post here and then post there, but I think out of the 445 blogs (not pages, BLOGS) I’ve written over there, about half of them are duplicates, which means half AREN’T!!  And then I turn my head and I see my travel notebooks that I write in with an (sharp intake of breath here) INK PEN when I’m travelling and think… should I transcribe those? Would the stories be complete if I omitted all the other paper journals I used to keep? Would I have to change my name if I transcribed those? LOL… and what will I call this gigantic gathering of all things written by Sharon? (SCARY??) Because I’m realizing just how freakin’ prolific I am as a writer. Maybe not Pulitzer prize-winning, but it was never supposed to be that kind of writing, I’ve written far MORE than I’d ever realized.

So, what shall we call it?

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Flipping for TP

Eeek! I have 27 minutes to compose and post or else I will be behind in my attempt to post every day in November. That’s right, folks… you may potentially be able to read my silliness every day this month. I bet you are shivering with antici—— pation. (Rocky Horror reference – would it be wrong to admit that this was the first year in all the times I’ve watched RH that I actually checked out Frank N Furters junque?)

Curled up in front of me and in between my arms, as I try to reach the keyboard and type around her, is my cat Bess. Many of you know Bess already. She’s been my bestest bestie for 16 years now and will be going in tomorrow morning for her 5th cancer surgery. We’ve removed all of her right breast tissue, and now we are starting on her left. Poor thing. I think she knows something is up, because she’s been lovey all day long. If you could spare a good thought for a little fuzzball of love, I’d appreciate it. (and with that description, she indignantly stalked off)

Where I work, there are more females than males, so the facilities get much more usage. The maintenance personnel have been notorious about not leaving adequate TP for the bathrooms. And no hand towels. I never know when I come in, if there is going to be enough paper products for the evening and have frequently sent Hubby off to purchase items at the store nearby. But we pay our rent to this building, so having to buy our own TP and hand towels can become annoying. One day, when there was a plethora of tissue in the men’s room, I took a few rolls and put them in our supply cabinet so they’d be there when needed since I could install this kind of system, and it would still be empty…

This evening, the gentleman who cleans up a bit before we leave, told me that we were out of tissue in the ladies. I had to use one of my rolls earlier in the evening for the unisex bathroom, so I was hesitant to give up my precious commodity. As I waffled between kind person who wants others to not get stuck without tissue and the bad person who wanted to tell him to just leave it empty, he asked me if I wanted him to flip for it. And because I found the irony, I called TAILS.

I guess tonight was not my night for hoarding tissue, because I lost. How much you wanna bet when I go next week, I’ll be sending Hubby off for tissue again.

And how many of you are scratching your head and thinking, “Did I *really* just read a blog about toilet paper?” Well, yes you did,  and I thank you for it. I promise tomorrow we will not denigrate any farther into the realm of personal hygiene and I’ll be able to impart words of wisdom, hilarious – or at least raucous anecdotes, and perhaps a bawdy tale or two.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

It’s Time for my Annual Review

Not my favorite thing, but I guess it’s necessary. I’m certainly thankful that it’s not my job to review others. I’d be a constant bundle of nerves if I had to confront people every day, whether they had a positive review or a negative one wouldn’t make a huge difference, it’s just the act of meeting them for a “discussion”.

I guess the onus of knowing that basically you are either the judge or being judged just doesn’t sit well with me. Sure, I understand that if someone is doing poorly it’s better to let them know so they can improve, and likewise, if they are doing a stellar job, you want to let them know how great they are doing, but ugh… it’s the uncertainty of what will be said that gets me.

I think I’ve done a good job this year. I’ve handled more and I feel processes that have been put into place are proving successful. If I can just slash the head off that ugly beast called Worry and Doubt, then all will be well. I’ll let you know later today what the verdict was.

UPDATE: The verdict was moot! Seems that my review is not going to occur today after all… or is it… the reviewer never confirmed with the boss. Huh… go fig.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Moderating Anxiety

I’ve been diagnosed with a fairly rare condition called hyperparathyroidism. What this means is I need to find a surgeon to remove a smaller than pea sized parathyroid gland that’s gone rogue and grown a nodule/tumor. Tricky part? It’s not a common condition and parathyroid glands can be tucked away in any part of your neck and chest.

Luckily, they think this is an upper right gland, so hopefully they have a good idea of where to dig around. And that’s just it. They cut a 4-10 inch incision into your neck. Then they go where they ‘think’ it might be and they dig around to find it while you are out cold and things are breathing for you. Nope, not the way I want to have this done.

There is a newer procedure called MIRP, or Minimally Invasive Radio Radio-guided Parathyroidectomy, that uses the same radioactive dye I had for the scan and then a special blunt tipped probe to zero in on the gland and remove it. It uses light anesthesia and a sedative, has a higher success rate and a lower complication rate (oh, like having the wrong gland removed, or damage to you vocal cords) and most people go home in about 2 hours. Um, yep… sign me up for that one, please.

The problem is that there aren’t that many surgeons that do this. Because this is a fairly rare condition and the probe is over $150,000.00 and a surgeon is required to take time off for training in this procedure, there aren’t many out there doing it. I have an appointment with a general surgeon next week, but I’ve put a call in to ask how many parathyroidectomy surgeries she’s done before I follow through with her. I did find a few doctors who do this in PA and GA and FL, which I would make an appointment with if I can’t find someone through JHU that does this. (You’d think JHU would have SOMEONE or something similar, right?)

Right now, it’s the wait and see game and I know this is a universal test of my ability to moderate and regulate my anxiety and worry and so, that’s what I’m gonna do. Breathe, relax and go with the flow… all will be well.. it always is. Happy, healthy, calm and strong

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Not Clicking

Not Clicking

There is a trunk in my living room that has brass edges. Recently, I’ve taken to absent-mindedly running my long-ish toenails (ewwwwwwww) over the edge of the brass and producing a clicking sound. This was driving Hubby INSANE, so he finally told me to get a pedicure.

Ladies, you can thank me later for this newly found way to get your man to offer to pay for and sanction a pedicure.

So today, I go in to get my pedi…

“You want design?” she asks.
“Yes, please. Can I get leaves?”
“No, leaves…. like on trees.”
“Lines, yes, yes.”, while nodding head vigorously.
“Leaves, from trees, like in Fall.”, I say as I demonstrate my hand version of leaves falling from a tree.
She laughs, smiles and nods her head again.

I’m not sure she got what I was asking for but decide that I’m not really worried about it and I’m going to see what she has in mind soon anyway, so I might as well wait.  This is what I got… so what do you think? Lines or Leaves?

How about fish blowing bubbles behind sea anemone and a golden squid approaching from the right, ’cause that’s what I see.

In other news, I went and picked up the films for my appointment with the surgeon. Not sure I mentioned it, but I did find out that the scan I had last Monday shows a nodule on one of my parathyroid glands, which means surgery. Bleh… I’ll let you know how that saga goes when it’s time.

We met with the draftsman tonight to see if our dream home is plausible. Seems like everybody we discuss our thoughts with, kinda gets the bug for this building. No complaints here! He said he was very interested in the design and working with us on this unique project. The best part is seeing Hubby’s eyes light up every time we get a tiny bit closer to his dream.

I joined Nablopomo again for November. I think the last time I did this was in February. Not sure why I promise to write every day for an entire month, except the fact that I like doing it.

CRAP! Just remembered that tomorrow is Election Day. Uh oh, better go check out that list of websites I’d been procrastinating about.