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11/27/2004  

luna


Last night the sun set in a blaze of hot pinks and oranges. He hovered for a few minutes before dropping out of sight. He disappeared with a flash of light so bright I had to shield my eyes.

Last night the moon rose on clouds of soft pinks and purples. She hung there, large and glowing on the eastern horizon, reflecting pale light on an already well-lit South Florida. People stopped and wondered at the colors this moonrise.

This week has been a spectacular one for the moon. She has dressed herself in a bright white ring, a rainbow and rose with cotton candy clouds.
What could she possibly do tonight for an encore?





 

twiddling thumbs


Lazy week. Or rather a week where I did nothing. I didn't want to. I didn't care to. So I did nothing.

Rick went to the mall with a girl. They hung out there for a few hours, watched the other people out shopping, had some pizza, hung out some more. He had a good time. I was a bit stressed. He's passed a teenage milestone -- hanging out at the mall without parents hovering.

Kari went to a slumber party and then to the ranch today. She rode three different horses. All bareback. She is in major trouble since bareback riding was forbidden until after the holidays are over.

Brooks played computer, drove his truck all over creation (or rather the yard) and conducted his trains around the house.

Robert worked, played softball, got the holiday decorations down from the attic and worked on something out in the garage.

I did nothing.




11/26/2004  

green friday


Pat, my mother-in-law, went out shopping this morning. She was up and out of the house by 4:30. Poor thing now lives far away from convenient shopping centers. I told Tom, my father-in-law, that he had to go with her. She called me at just before 8. She had already been to all sorts of stores and was pretty much done with her holiday shopping. I'm so proud of her.

Now if she can just remember to put gift tags on all the gifts...




11/24/2004  

the grocers on All Turkey Eve


Going to the grocers on Thanksgiving Eve is a big mistake. I knew it would be crowded. I knew people would be nuts. I didn't know that they would be beyond rude.

All registers were open. Baggers were at every line, ready to bag. Everything looked to be flowing nicely.

Until I turned the corner and ran into the lotto line (FL lotto is up to $60 million). I had to backtrack and run through an empty register aisle. As I turned onto the first aisle, traffic stopped. Major backup due to 2 men trying to decide what kind of beer to serve at Thanksgiving dinner and a woman reading the newspaper while her daughter dithered over yogurt options.

Something slammed into me from behind. I just barely managed to keep my cart from whamming the person in front of me. I turned around and said, "Excuse me?!?" The woman who had pushed a cart into me did it again and ground out the word, "Move!" I informed her that as soon as things started moving, I would. She slammed her cart into me for a third time and said, "Move!" I told her not to do it again. While she was preparing for slam number 4, I called information and requested the number for the grocer's. As she smacked me once more with the cart (no, I couldn't move... the aisle was that jammed), I asked for someone to send the manager to aisle 1 as there was a nasty lady pushing her cart into me.

The manager someone managed to push through the crowd to get to me. He didn't even have to ask what the problem was. He watched the woman slam the cart into me again. He grabbed her cart and sent an employee to get the other people moving. As I took my first few steps down the aisle, I watched him escort her out of the store. Later he apologized to me.

On the next aisle two women decided to start a long involved catching-up-with-each-other conversation. I asked them to please move. They ignored me. I asked them again. One woman told me to hold on. I counted to 30, then walked around one woman and moved her cart so I could get through. Both women told me I was being a bitch and totally rude.

Things were fine from then until I hit the produce section. Seems portabello mushrooms were at a premium. One lady tried to take mine out of my cart. I snatched them back and told her to go find her own. "But they are all gone!" I told her that was too bad and that I was very sorry, but she didn't have the right to snatch what she wanted from my cart.

Checking out went smoothly. The bagger bagged things correctly. I was thanked by the cashier. I was thanked by the bagger. I was thanked by the assistant manager as I walked out of the store. What a nice ending to my trip, right?

Wrong.

I had to cross the parking lot, and it couldn't be done. There was a huge SUV blocking the ramp down to the crosswalk. I tapped on the driver's window and asked if he could please move. He informed me that he wasn't moving until his wife was done shopping. I pointed out the numerous signs saying this was a no parking zone, that it was a fire lane, that it was where people crossed the road. He shrugged. I told him he was rude and inconveniencing quite a few people. He told me that in Canada people can park wherever they wish.

Canada? I thought we were in So. Fla!

I pointed out the error in his geography. He gave me the finger. I shrugged, pulled out my cellphone and called the police. Before I even was able to give out the complete address, an officer pulled in behind him and asked if he was a fireman or a Brinks driver.

The man moved his SUV forward enough to let shoppers get to the crosswalk. The officer parked his car and strode forward to write the man a ticket. I told the officer that the man was from Canada and that according to him Canadians can park wherever they want.

We had a good laugh and home I went.




11/23/2004  

steph made me do it


You are 53% Taurus









 

spotted!


Today is Tuesday, thus today was the day we all head to the park to play. Robert and the boys drive to the park. I walk. Today I was determined to be there ahead of them. Just for once. I cheated and did the 2.5 mile walk rather than the 4 or 4.6 mile one.

As I was ambling through the wooded portion of Westridge, a flicker of movement caught my eye. I had to stop. And stare. And wonder. There on a bush heavy with rotting fruit fluttered a gorgeous green and black butterfly. The butterfly was shimmering in the light that managed to pierce the canopy. It's wings easily spread to 4 inches. A huge butterfly to my sulphur-acclimated eyes. I reached for my camera and then realized that Robert was toting it to the park for me.

I stood and watched this wondrous green butterfly flit around the bush. Two others joined in the feast of rotten fruit. After a few minutes all 3 drifted off in their merry way. I resumed my trek to the park.

This afternoon I mentioned the butterflies to Steph and how I'd never seen butterflies like that before. Never. She suggested that maybe they were blown in by one of the many hurricanes this season. Definitely a possibility.

This evening I headed to the bookstore to consult with one of the butterfly tomes. I found my emerald-hued butterfly -- a malachite. The interesting thing is that the butterfly guides at the bookstore list this as a Texas species with the occasional sighting in S. Florida being due to "drift." But then there is this site that lists it as rare here.

Note: These photos do not do the butterfly justice.

Tomorrow I'm heading back to that section of the Ridge to see if they will flit back into my line of vision.




11/19/2004  

sniff


Franco-American is no more. F-A has been retired by Campbells as a label. I'm so sad. Campbells Spaghettios simply sounds wrong. Who wants to eat those?

I want my Franco-American back.

Waaaaaaaaaaaaah!




11/12/2004  

the sling, part 3


We went to Disney to celebrate Kari's 12th birthday and to meet up with Kathryn and her family. Kari and I were at Magic Kingdom and on the monorail at 8am. Real early birds we were. By 8:10 we were in line for Space Mountain.

I was a bit worried that the jarring ride might be too much for Kari and her injured shoulder. She wasn't worried in the least about her shoulder. She was worried about being frightened by the ride.

I giggled and laughed my way from beginning to end. Kari grunted and groaned, whimpered and moaned. Made me feel quite guilty. As soon as we clambered off the ride, I asked her about her shoulder. Kari moved her shoulder gingerly at first and then more broadly. Her eyes widened and a smile formed on her face.

Seems all that jarring moved something the right way. She was still sore, but there wasn't any more deep pain in the joint.

Perhaps the doc missed something with those x-rays? Perhaps she had subluxed her shoulder and it went back in just a little wrong? Whatever. Doesn't matter. What does matter is that Kari's shoulder feels closer to normal





11/6/2004  

the sling, part two


Monday morning:
After 2 days of Kari sitting around with tears in her eyes from the pain of her concussion, her elbow and her shoulder, we couldn't handle it any longer. At 7:30 am I started calling the pediatrician for an earlier appointment. Unfortunately every mother out there was doing the same thing. We were battling for a few morning appointments because waiting til the afternoon was no longer an acceptable option.

At 8:15 I managed to get through, and the nurse told me to come in at 10 am instead of the afternoon. Kari and I arrived at 9:50 and claimed seats by the window. We weren't called back to a room until almost 11. Oh well.

Dr. C. poked and prodded, pushed and pulled Kari's arm straight. He raised her arm above her head. Not once did she indicate that this caused her pain. At least not verbally. She would grimace and bite her lip, then look Dr. C right in the eye and say, "No, it's not bad."

The nurse took Kari to the x-ray room and shot a few pictures of both elbows. There was swelling in her left elbow, but nothing appeared to have been broken, separated or torn. HOWEVER, Dr. C. did say that elbows are very tricky and if she still had pain in a week, we would need to call him to recommend another doctor.

We left under orders to put her arm in a sling and to wrap the elbow. Icing was no longer really important, since we were past the 48 hour mark.

Kari did not like the elbow wrap. It was too uncomfortable, too hot, too itchy, too everything. When I wasn't looking, she would take it off. I was fairly certain that she wouldn't use anything while in school. A sling and a wrap just aren't cool things to have to use when you are in middle school.




 

the sling, part two


Monday morning:
After 2 days of Kari sitting around with tears in her eyes from the pain of her concussion, her elbow and her shoulder, we couldn't handle it any longer. At 7:30 am I started calling the pediatrician for an earlier appointment. Unfortunately every mother out there was doing the same thing. We were battling for a few morning appointments because waiting til the afternoon was no longer an acceptable option.

At 8:15 I managed to get through, and the nurse told me to come in at 10 am instead of the afternoon. Kari and I arrived at 9:50 and claimed seats by the window. We weren't called back to a room until almost 11. Oh well.

Dr. C. poked and prodded, pushed and pulled Kari's arm straight. He raised her arm above her head. Not once did she indicate that this caused her pain. At least not verbally. She would grimace and bite her lip, then look Dr. C right in the eye and say, "No, it's not bad."

The nurse took Kari to the x-ray room and shot a few pictures of both elbows. There was swelling in her left elbow, but nothing appeared to have been broken, separated or torn. HOWEVER, Dr. C. did say that elbows are very tricky and if she still had pain in a week, we would need to call him to recommend another doctor.

We left under orders to put her arm in a sling and to wrap the elbow. Icing was no longer really important, since we were past the 48 hour mark.

Kari did not like the elbow wrap. It was too uncomfortable, too hot, too itchy, too everything. When I wasn't looking, she would take it off. I was fairly certain that she wouldn't use anything while in school. A sling and a wrap just aren't cool things to have to use when you are in middle school.




 

the cost of miscarriage


Original OB = $2,400 for prenatal care and testing

Hospitalization due to needing a D&C after miscarriage = $12,037.00

Second OB who performed D & C = $1,000.00

Total Charges = $15,437.00

Insurance paid $430.00

My cost is $15,037.00.

Outrageous.

Now I'm going to crawl into my little hole and bawl. Then I'll have to figure out how to pay this.




 

the sling, part one


Last weekend:

Jason: Mrs. K-S, Kari has been in an accident. Sam has called 9-1-1.

me: What happened?

Jason: I'm not sure. All I know is that she was thrown to the ground, and Sam called 9-1-1.

me: Where are they?

Jason: Robbin's Lodge. Shall I let Sam know you are on your way in case the EMTs have to transport her?

me: Yes. I'll be there in a few minutes.

At the scene:
Robbin's Lodge is a beautiful little park that few people know about or go to. When we made the turn to go up the long drive, we could see the flashing lights from the ambulance in the distance, a cluster of people on the equestrian field and a group of riders off to the side. We parked and made our way out to Kari, Sam and the EMTs.

Kari was obviously dazed and confused. She was weaving where she stood, clutching her arm and blinking slowly. The EMTs caught us up on her condition. She didn't know anything but her name, our home phone number and that was about it. Her head was hurting. She was having difficulty seeing. She had told Sam that her left arm was hurt, but didn't say anything about it to the EMTs.

me: Kari, are you okay?

Kari: Yes. What's going on?

me: You fell off Mouse. Did you have to scare Mouse like that?

Kari: I did?

me: What's your name?

Kari: Karolyn.

me: Where do you go to school?

Kari: I don't know.

me: Who is your homeroom teacher?

Kari: I don't know.

me: Who is your Spanish teacher?

Kari: Mrs. C....

me: Who is Kupa's favorite horse?

Kari: Lost Reason.

We loaded Kari, her broken riding helmet and her grooming supplies into the van and headed home. We were told to keep an eye on her and to not let her sleep for long, to wake her every so often, to take her to the ER if there was any change for the worse.

For 24 hours we iced her arm and shoulder. We iced her head where bruises had formed when she hit the ground and her helmet was pushed hard back into her skull. We woke her frequently and asked her questions.

Kari claimed that she was never ever getting on another horse. She was definitely never ever getting back on Mouse. She didn't know what happened. She did know that she was in a lot of pain.

She cried because she hurt. She hurt more because she cried. There was nothing I could do for her, except to talk to her and keep her calm.





11/5/2004  

bitterness


This year has had some of the bitterest campaigning I have ever seen. From all sides. In many races. Some of the vitriol that was flung around was deserved. Most was not.

The post-election quarreling and finger-pointing and name-calling does not say much for anyone. Some Bush supporters said the voters went for the candidate with the better morals (or some such rot). Some Kerry supporters have made disparaging remarks regarding the IQs of Bush supporters.

Neither is deserved.

But perhaps the one that horrified me the most was the pairing of two graphics. One showed which states went to which candidates via the electoral college. The other showed the states and territories that allowed slave-holding. The pairing of these graphics wasn't found just on one site, but many.

Posts and stories like this serve nothing but to deepen the divide between the Left and the Right, the Democrats and the Republicans. They alienate one group from the other. They do not further useful dialogue.

And then there are the masses looking at Canada's emigration website. This makes me think of the Cubans coming over on their rafts to US shores and then begging the US to make things right. Do these people truly believe that Canada is the answer to their political prayers?

Stand up for what you believe in. Don't run and expect someone else to do it for you. Don't emigrate to another country thinking this will solve everything. It doesn't. When you complain about the perceived mess this country is in, ask yourself how it happened. Don't place all blame on one person's shoulders or on one administration. Place the blame on the shoulders of everyone: the people who elected and didn't keep an eye on their representatives, the representatives who did things according to their own beliefs rather than the beliefs of their constituents, and so forth and so on.

Look in the mirror and ask yourself, "what can I do for my country?"





11/4/2004  

some days...


Some days I wonder what happened to the man I married. Once upon a time he bore a resemblance to JFK Jr. He was an athlete. He was fun to talk to, intelligent... Just a real sweetheart.

And now?

Check it out for yourself! Oh, the horrible change that he has undergone.







11/3/2004  

some days...


Some days I just want to run away or at least ship my dragonets elsewhere. Today happens to be one of those days.

Brooks dumped dirt all over my clean white tile floor. He decided that water was definitely needed to help clean up the mess. He has now learned that dirt plus water equals mud with the added bonus of one mad mother dragon. I put myself in time out to calm down. He took the time to track mud on the white carpet in the living room.

Yes, I've had it. He's ready to be shipped somewhere else.



But what was it Scarlett O'Hara Hamilton Kennedy Butler said? Oh, I remember. "After all... tomorrow is another day." I must keep telling myself that. Just have to remember to look at tomorrow as a new day rather than a repeat of today waiting to happen.

Eeks!





11/2/2004  

...never give up...



"Emotions are running high about this presidential choice. Take a moment, before you vote, to remind yourself that this republic has weathered worse storms and, thanks to the Constitution, has never failed to recover its bearings and adhere to its principles. Resolve not to let the defeat of your favorite candidate shatter your faith in America or turn you away from politics. There will be another day. Remember the Red Sox." ~David Broder, Washington Post Writers Group


I'm tired. I'm worn out. The bitching and moaning during this campaign has been overwhelming. People around me assume that they know how I'm voting. They forward emails with links or little stories to me and add their own snarky comments. They fail to do any fact checking of any sort. They prefer to believe whatever nastiness is written or said.

These same people, the ones so willing to complain about everything, are unwilling to go out and do anything constructive. Maybe if their candidate loses, they wil get off their butts. Maybe they'll go out and fight for the Everglades, for education, for whatever inspires them.

But I doubt it.

And whomever is elected president will have a tough road to hoe with the people in this country. I pity the man.

He just better not mess with my little section of this country (or the little parts that I love dearly). Oh my, writing many letters to my representatives is in my future.




"Earth laughs in flowers." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson