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Archive for July, 2009

The rain has stopped, the sun is out and I am on my dial-up, for a while at least. I have been kicked off twice, so I shall type fast. This morning I had a party line on my phone. Thank you SOOOOOO much AT&T, for this wonderful service.

I am working industriously on the book stuff. I have a printed manuscript and am passing it around the family for each to read and critique. It’s interesting the different things they each find.

Irritating Little Chihuahua has a new phobia. My mother purchased three recliners for her apartment and sent home the rocking love seat and reclining chair that she had to our house. We now have a leather couch, a sofa bed, a love seat, a huge old broken down recliner of my dad’s (I just can’t part with it) and my mother’s recliner. They are all in the frontroom although working their way to the dining room and it is mom’s chair that is half in and half out that is frightening the dog.

She seems alright with the chair being there and has even braved jumping up on the love seat. However, if anyone sets in mom’s recliner and reclines, feet up, the dog becomes a quivering mass of jello. She tries to hide behind my back, or forces herself into my arms, no matter what I am doing.

But, perhaps it is inherited. I hesitate to tell this story on myself, but what the heck. Last night, I woke up on the floor. Seriously! And, no I had not been drinking or doing any drugs. I do not remember falling out of bed. I just woke up on the floor, kind of under my table-matic, whatever it is that my computer sits on.

The worse part is, I sort of woke up and realized I was on the floor but that I could not get up. I believe I dozed off at that point and woke again and realized my arm was wet, so I reached up and moved my dumped water glass and went back to sleep again. I believe it was three tries before I got myself up off the floor. This morning, needless to say, I was really tired and slept late.

And, as if that was not enough, or maybe there is some connection, I dreamt that I was having a baby and that Severus Snape was the father.  (Sorry, all you not Harry Potter people, he is a great character, but I would not want to marry him.  Lupin maybe but not Severus.)   I was going to die after the baby was born and he was there, with his van, taking things to his house because he would be raising the baby. 

Okay, maybe I need to quit sleeping with my headphones on and listening to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at night.

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I think I presumed too much with yesterday’s post. Like, the fact that not everyone has had the experience of taking three poorly home schooled children into their home and trying to get them up-to-date with the real world.

Now, let me say this before I get home schooler’s hate mail. I have seen parents who did an EXCELLENT job home schooling. It can be the best thing in the world for some kids. I would have probably thrived with it, myself.

However, that is the best of home schooling and what my three guys had was, well, NOT the best of home schooling. It started out fine. I think it is much easier to home school a third grader than it is a thirteen year old. By the end, with ten (at the time they left) children in the home, schooling became a three month out of the year project.

It is not just the home schooling, it is the isolation of the life they lead and when they hit that age, where they should have had a friend nudge them and say, “You stink, go use deodorant.” or even when they should have had a friend to ride their bike round and round the block with, there was no one there.

What they had was work, and chores, and work. That is not to say work is wrong for a kid. Far from it. I think kids need chores and to learn responsibility and to do things for others. BUT, kids also need fun and they need friends. They need to talk to kids their own age without mom listening into every conversation or picking and choosing those friends.

These guys have had a real hard time telling the good guys from the bad guys in town and they have never ridden their bikes around and around the block with their twelve year old friends. But, the youngest guy is putting a lot of miles on driving his car up and down the drive.

I guess it is something he needs to get out of his system. So, we try not to say too much about it but do tell him when to stop.

All three of these boys have a Clinical Psychologist to talk through their problems and when you have been locked in a closet for a month, with a five gallon bucket for a toilet, there is a lot of talking going on there. Hopefully!

And, to further clarify, when you have grown up like that, isolated from a range of other kids your age, except for the occasional other home schoolers, you can be a bit behind in maturity and drive your car up and down the drive instead of driving your bike around the block.

Now, in fairness to him, he is really excited to have a job and now a car he has purchased with his own money. He will be getting his permit soon and he will be in heaven, because, in Brown County, “a man ain’t a man without a truck.”

Go figure!

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What do you get when a home-schooled, isolated boy, who is five grades behind in his schooling, comes to live with you, attends four years of school, gets a summer job and buys a car, before he has a license?

A hole in the ozone layer from him driving his truck up and down and up and down and up and down the 400′ driveway. 

Where are my ear plugs??????

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mattress

This is from the California case where the 16 year old threw up alcohol and had viagra type of a drug in his system; then strangled on his own vomit and died.  Beside being a good example of NOT doing bowls of pills parties (which no one knows if this was or not because, obviously, no one is going to admit it), I use this as an example of NOT collecting evidence.

Shouldn’t this mattress be in plastic or something? 

Okay, I watch too much CSI.

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 halfbloodsmall

What can I say about Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince? Out of five people in my house: one has not seen it, three did not think it was as good as the other movies and one, ME, absolutely loved it, and since it is MY blog.  I get to rave about it.  I have seen it twice now and would be happy to go again. Give me a call, if you would like company to see it.

1. The cinematography was awesome. This is the hardest one for me to explain, but I felt like it was shot in real life, rather than as a movie with actors. I am guessing it has something to do with filters.  The cinematography was outstanding.

2. It was funny, in just the right amount. And, a lot of that can be credited to the increasing acting talents of the actors. Harry (Daniel Radcliff) is just hilarious when under “lucky potion” and the same for Ron (Rupert Grint) when under a “love potion.”   Hermoine (Emma Watson) was excellent also and showed a warmer, more relaxed side of Hermoine.

3. I loved Jim Broadbent as Slughorn, although it bothers me a bit that he isn’t padded to more fit the description J.K. Rowling gives. But, he so fits the character that it doesn’t take long to get over missing the extra padding. Ie: his stomach did not precede him.   He plays the part to perfection. 

4. Ron’s girlfriend, Lavender Vane is it? and I am sorry I cannot remember the actresses name, but she did an excellent job also. And, that part could have been sooo overdone. But, it was perfect.  Freddie Stroma, as Cormac McLaggen just made you cringe, he did such a great job as the boy with the crush on Hermoine.  We’ve all known a character like him.  (Thank you, Review – Half Blood Prince « Mariannabelle’s Weblog for reminding me.)

5. And, while we are on actors, I am glad to see a “character driven movie again. I think that may be what made it flow so nicely, as opposed to a couple of the other movies, where it was like watching independent scenes.  One being “Goblet of Fire.”

6. I loved the way the shots worked for the close ups of Dumbledore and Slughorn. Slughorn’s makeup really added to the drama of the shot.  Like I said, the cinematography was outstanding.

7. The isolation you felt for Draco Malfoy was heart wrenching: unlike every other movie. You may have felt sorry for him previously, with that father, but he was such a despicable little snot nose that you hated him.  This time around, your heart ached a bit for him.

So, I, for one, in this house, absolutely recommend Half Blood Prince, my only drawback would be a spoiler, but they did something at the end that I just do not understand. It was dramatic and a wonderful scene but it really puts them in a bind when it comes to several continued subplots for the next film. I mean what about poor Hedwig and all the things in the trunk, that are needed???????

To be fair, and give the other three house members their side, although they should get their own blog for that, right?  Anyway, It was mentioned that this is not a good “stand alone” movie.  Even the opening scene would leave someone confused who had not seen the previous movie.  One person felt too much time was spent on Draco Malfoy’s search to fix the cabinet and that Snape’s state-of-mind was not shown enough.

I need to go now.  I have discovered my very own personal giant Acromantula in the downstairs bathroom.  Gosh, I am glad it did not grow any bigger.

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I love to travel, well actually I just love to be “there,”  wherever there is.  I am not a fan of the ‘getting there’ part.  I used to travel, marketing my artwork, cross country by car: sleeping in the van, shampooing in rest stops.  Now, I am opting for some type of teleporting transportation.  Come on, Obama, get us high speed trains.

Okay, we have airplanes and I do so love to take off in an airplane, but, as I have stated before, I hate being trapped in a steel tube.  It’s just not fun once you have been through lift off.   I’m not deathly afraid of plane wrecks, even though I have been in a plane that “lost” it’s engine.  The Lost Engine to Hawaii – Part three « Savanvleck’s Weblog

I am not sure whether I wrote about our overabundance of luggage on that trip and I am too lazy, obviously, to read all ?five? posts about Hawaii to see.  So, I will quickly recap what might not have been caped at all to begin with.

It was my mother’s dream trip and I got to ride along.  She found sets of luggage and purchased each of us a set.  They each had a large bag on wheels and a small bag that was eitheron wheels or I could strap over the handle of the large bag,  and then some little bags to put inside.  Me, not thinking (what’s new you say!) that mom was getting weaker already at that point and I would have to do all the tugging of luggage. 

Oahu one was no problem.  We got to our hotel and that was it for the week.  By the time we took Hawaiian Air to the second island, I had definitely had my fill of pulling four suitcases.  Why didn’t the travel agent mention there were laundries in most of the hotels.  Obviously, I am not a world traveler.  What I am, is an overpacker.  So, the next morning, on the Big Island, I drove our rental car to a post office, purchased two boxes and went out to the car and filled them up with clothing we were not going to wear.

It helped a lot, cost as much as one plane ticket and we received our clothing back about a month after we landed back on the mainland. 

Crazy Aunt Purl tells us how she travels light.  This is what I want to do, if and when I fly again.

Shortly after our Hawaiian trip, I cut out an article on how to travel light.  It is somewhere.  As I remember, you can fit two pair of dress slacks, one skirt, one basic black dress, a few bits of underwear, a one-piece bathing suit (with the right type of top to it), and a sweater, all in basic black and tan, along with four knit shirts in brighter colors and make yourself four hundred and twelve different outfits.  Or something like that.  You bring a pair of sandals that do duty as slippers and shower shoes and, if they are sparkly enough, evening shoes and you’ve got it made.

Me, I’m opting for wearing hiking boots, blue jeans, tshirt, over shirt, sweater and jacket on the plane.  I am padded enough for a minor wreck and warm enough when we hit 20,000 feet after leaving tropical Hawaii., that I will still be warm  And, I can probably find a way to stretch my wardrobe to five hundred outfits with it.

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I get very angry when I see the commercials telling people how we must “not let government come between us and our doctors.” 

I hope people realize that you already have two things standing between you and your doctors:  money and insurance companies.  The insurance companies are a profit organization, so do you really think that they are going to care that you need a $2,000 MRI?  Do you have the money to pay for a $2,000 MRI? 

What that means is, if you are older or have DNA at all similar to mine, that you are going to fall by the wayside.  I went with only a very tiny AARP insurance policy for several years and during that time, I developed heart problems.  My DNA is very faulty folks, but my problems are all controllable and treatable.  However, with my inadequate insurance, I almost died. 

You know, in this developed, advanced country.  With the “best medical care on earth.”  With insurance companies leading the way.  With government standing out of being between me and my doctor.  I had a doctor’s office tell me I was just suffering from stress for two years and, as soon as I paid the $1,000 off for my treadmill stress test, they just might order another test for me.  They even went so far as to call me up to come into their office one day and, me, fool that I am, driving there thinking “They’ve found out what is wrong with me.”  Only to be told that they did not want to see me for three months. 

Yes, they called me up to come in to tell me not to return for three months.  I was told that there was nothing wrong with me but stress and they did not want to see me in their office for three months; even though my blood pressure was 20 points different from one arm to the other, even though I was having heart palpitations and pain in my left arm, shoulder and jaw.  AND, they had the nerve to charge me $50 for the visit that I did not ask for.

Seven days later, I had emergency heart surgery.  I had a spasming artery and, you know what?  Their cardiologist had told me he thought I might have a spasming artery but added, “I only work here.”  In apology for the treatment I was not getting. 

St. Francis Hospital did not care that I did not have insurance.  They said they would work that out later, today was about saving my life, and they did.  Their doctor knew I did not have anywhere near adequate insurance but he ordered a Cardiac Catherization and when I woke up from it, I was admitted to the hospital and listening to the surgeon, who was out in the hall and on the phone rescheduling other patients to do my surgery.

Frankly, it is time that someone come between us and good medical care, and make sure we all receive same.

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I have now slept for two days, mostly round the clock.  I do not do well on sleep deprivation and had to catch up.  I keep hearing “I walk the Line” playing over and over in my head. 

Oh, that is JCountryRock and his guitar.  Whew!! I was beginning to think I was worse than I thought.  As much as I love to hear him sing or play guitar, I think there may be a limit to times he can pick the same song out over and over.  However, I do it too when I practice violin, so I shall keep my mouth shut or put my headphones on.

We are being treated to Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince tomorrow.  JCountryRock’s girlfriends parents have purchased tickets for three of us to join their family to see Harry Potter on Sunday.   The fourth of us, EMT, is off  at some biker campout. 

Now, just so there is no confusion, this is a “BIKER” campout, not bicycling campout.  My mother was a bit confused and wrote me back and said, “I didn’t know he was into biking.  That must be fun.  I would love to do it.”  And, I had to write back that the most fun thing he mentioned was someone making soup, offering him some and him looking down and swearing there were toenails in it.  No, I did not tell my mother that, nor about the “other” really fun thing of being flashed by twentyeleven girls already.  This is his version of going on a vision quest apparently.

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I have now uploaded a new banner.  It is JRock on the pond, he’s the pasty white kid, in the canoe, who is supposed to stay out of the sun, or he becomes the lobster in the pond.

The pond is approximately 30 ft by 100ft and 30 ft deep in the center.  I don’t think it takes him more than one or two pushes to actually go end to end, but he enjoys it. 

What to do?  What to do? 

Wonder how bad I would mess up my web page if I worked on it at 1:00am???  I’ll let you know.

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11:48 pm, I just noticed

Someone stole my links.  I had links on my blog and they are gone.  How do things just disappear?

The list to do when I have had a full nights sleep is growing:

  1. Reinstall text-to-speech
  2. Find my links and put them back on my blog

By 8:30 am, I will have a very long depressing list

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