Mar 29, 2013

The Crazy Things Patients Say

Caller:  I have a doctor's order that says I cannot eat or drink for 12 hours.  Can I drink water?

Scheduler: Uh, no, drinking water is still drinking something.

Caller:  Ok, just thought that I'd ask.

Scheduler:  You need to avoid dairy products prior to your procedure.

Patient:  Can I have eggs?

Scheduler:  Eggs come from chickens and they are not dairy.

Patient:  Really?

Scheduler:  Dairy products comes from cows.

Patient:  Don't schedule me too early because when I look out mt two favorite windows and it is cold, it makes me freeze to the bone and it takes my a long time to get going. I used to put my children on the heater because they would get so cold.

Scheduler:  Ok I will look for a time in the afternoon for you. 

Patient:  I don't know about technical stuff, but I do know about herbs.  I can kill someone and they would never know what did it.

Scheduler:  (thinking to herself: I wonder if she knows that this call is being recorded?)

Caller:  I would like to schedule a mammy o gram

Mar 26, 2013

Silently, a Flower Blooms

Silently, a flower blooms,
In silence it falls away;
Yet, here, now, at this moment, at this place,
the world of the flower, the whole of
the world is blooming.
This is the talk of the flower,
the glory of eternal life is
fully shining here.

Zenkei Shibayama

Mar 22, 2013

Music of my Youth and a Whole lot of Shaking Going on...

Music is such a big part of my life, especially when I was young.  We grew up listening to Jerry Lee Lewis, Conway Twitty, Elvis, Merle Haggard, and Dolly Parton.  I loved to listen to Donny Osmond, Barry Manilow, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Tom Jones.  I would wake up very early in the morning and put a Barry Manilow record on, singing right along with him while I got ready for school.  It would drive my family crazy.  In those days, we played albums on a record player.  I had one that was portable and I would take it with me outside on the porch so that I could continue listening to my favorite singers. 

Yesterday, I looked at videos of Jerry Lee Lewis on line. As I wrote before, my dad was a big fan of his.  There isn't a record out there of Jerry Lee that my dad didn't have. I found a video that made me laugh, clap my hands, and shake my stuff. Plus Tom Jones was in the video too. I liked Tom Jones as a girl, besides he was gorgeous. While watching the videos, my thoughts took me back to a time when I remember dancing with my mother and brother in the living room. I was a teenager then and dancing with ones mother was not cool. But we didn't care. The music was loud. I grabbed my mom's hand and we would dance to the music together.  The video is from 1969 and honestly, I love going back and listening to this music. It has soul, part of my soul!

Mar 20, 2013

Mark Edmonds: A Photographer, A Painter, An Artist

I have admired Mark Edmonds photography for a couple of years now. He lives in the same town in Tennessee where I was born.  Marks interest in art was piqued when he was a child as he  looked through religious literature and admired the paintings by the masters.  Art is all about light and its usage in the image he discovered as a young child. His father owned a square Kodak camera that only took black and white photographs.  His father took hundreds of pictures and Mark would spend hours looking at those pictures.
Black Velvet by Mark Edmonds
"My first real experience with photography came when I was 18. With my first real job, I bought an Olympus 35mm film camera. I had no idea how to use it, but I did have the determination to learn. There was no going online with photography sites or easy access to the experience of other photographers like today. I went to the library and drove 35 miles to Chattanooga bookstores for the information I wanted. I spent a lot of money on film and processing. I carefully kept exposure logs of the images and settings I used and before long I began to understand how the camera worked and how to compose the images I wanted to take. I moved on to doing double exposures and working with various filters after purchasing a Nikon FM2 and a couple of lenses."

Red Caboose by Mark Edmonds
When he married his wife, he joined the police department.  The instructor advised him to find a hobby. Mark bought a set of pencils and art paper. Then he started drawing pictures and eventually on to portraits.  As time went by and his eyesight not like it used to be, Mark turned to photography as his creative outlet for the second time.  

Winter Pass by Mark Edmonds
His motto: "Art is the manifestation of the imagination. It doesn't matter what tools you use to create it...imagination is the best technique you can carry in your artistic tool box. There isn't a magic button."
Contact Mark @:
Mark Edmonds - Google +

Mar 18, 2013

Illusion of Intimacy

We need to think about the kind of connections we want to have with each other. We are lonely, but afraid of intimacy. Our little electronic and social media devices are so powerful that they not only change what we do but who we are.  They bring the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship.  I think that we are setting ourselves up for trouble. We are getting used to a new way of being alone together, but, also, be elsewhere at the same time. We want to control where we focus our attention.  People are hiding from each other even though they are constantly connected.  Because of these devices our view of what we consider a relationship has changed.  We have Facebook, Twitter, texting, email, and numerous other social media devices.  People are texting at funerals (seriously?). Talking on the phone in the bathroom. Befriending strangers on Facebook. Yet, where is the intimacy? What has happened to the human touch?

In a recent study, there was an old woman pouring her heart out to a robotic seal (paro). It had white fur with big eyes and long eye lashes.  The seal made comforting sounds when the woman bared her soul to the tiny robot.  Somehow she was comforted by this robot.  It made her feel understood, but the machine understood nothing. The old lady was surrounded by people who could have given her this kind of comfort, but opted not to.  However, they cheered a connection between a human and a machine and they thought about all of the possibilities for those lonely people who have no one to share their innermost thoughts with.  We expect more from technology than from each other.  At end of her life, she deserves to have people around who knows her story and can learn from her.  Can a device do that for anyone? What has become of her value?
By Len Barcousky//Pittsburgh Post Gazette
A couple of years ago, when I was going through my divorce, my brother, his girlfriend, and many friends and relatives were at my side whenever I needed them. My brother came over every day and would cry along with me. Those times were and are priceless. I literally would not have made it through such a dark and lonely time without all of them telling me that I can make it.  It is shameful to imagine a little old lady or man with no one to share their heart and soul with. For that matter anyone can be lonely and in need of companionship. Were we not made to be in pairs?

Mar 16, 2013

April 22, 1984 was the worst Easter in history

April 22, 1984 was the worst Easter in history.  Well, at least it was for me.  When I reached my father’s bedside at the hospital, I was in tears.  Upon my arrival, I was totally disheveled.  My hair was standing on end, more people saw the slip underneath my dress than I dared to think about, and someone nearly ran over my felt hat.  

In January, my father was diagnosed with cancer. He was in a lot of pain by the time he was first diagnosed, but it was too late for chemotherapy to help.  Dad was a spray painter for Fruehauf Corporation.  The paint fumes and the two packs a day cigarette habit caught up with him.  By the time April came, the cancer had spread to several areas of his body.  As all children who have had terminally ill parents or relatives in their lives, I hoped for a miracle.  Besides, I am a good friend of God.  We know each other very well.  Surely my prayers for healing will be answered. 

Easter morning, I woke up and got ready to go to see my dad.  He had asked my mom to have a puzzle book brought up to the hospital so that he would have something to do.  Since it was Easter Sunday, I decided to put on my new dress.  It was black with a white collar and it buttoned at the waist.  There were no other buttons to keep the dress closed, because of the way it was designed; I wouldn’t have to worry about being indecent.  I put on high heeled black dress pumps.  To keep me warm, I wore a burgundy coat that came to my waist and zipped up the front.  I had a matching burgundy felt hat with feathers to top off my ensemble.  Admiringly, I looked at myself in the mirror. I looked good.  My dad will surely be impressed with how pretty I looked for him.

The wind had picked up during the night.  By the time morning arrived, there was quite a gale.  It was tornado season.  Even though I live in Indiana, we still get a lot of wind whenever there are tropical storms or tornados anywhere in the country.   I climbed into my car and headed to St. Joe Hospital.  My car rocked from side to side as the wind pounced upon it. The parking lot for the hospital was located across the street.  I found a place to park after having driven around the block several times.  The door of the car flung open wide when I pulled on the handle.  As I emerged from the vehicle my hat started to lift off of my head.  I quickly grabbed it and held it down tight.  The wind blew the flap of my dress open and exposed my slip underneath.  Thank goodness I had a slip on that day; otherwise a lot more than a slip would have been exposed.  With my other hand I tried my best to keep my dress closed, with my purse and my dad’s bag hanging on my arm too.  Another strong gale came along and the hat flew off my head.  I watched in horror as it rolled down the street, imagining that the hat would be smashed at any moment underneath the wheels of a car. Several cars had swerved, narrowly missing my hat.  I ran as fast as I could to get it, all the while trying to hold the flap of my dress closed, which proved to be useless.  My hair was swirling about my head like the funnel of a tornado.  I wasted my time styling my hair that day.  I should have gotten up straight out of bed and came to the hospital.  Surely, I couldn’t have looked any worse than I did just then.  After retrieving my hat from the middle of the street, I focused on getting inside as quickly as possible before another gust of wind swept me away.  I was very upset by the time that I got to my dad’s room. Tears were flowing down my cheeks as I handed him the bag and left without saying a word.  When I left, he called my mother asking what was wrong with me.  She was clueless. 
When I arrived back home, my mom met me at the door.  “Charles called here wanting to know what’s wrong with you”, my mother said to me as I walked into the kitchen.  I told her about my ordeal that morning with a lot of detail and exaggerated emotion.  Then I went upstairs to my room so that I could change my clothes and maybe cry a little more.  There would be no going to church for me that Easter Sunday, because, that day, I was a drama queen. I am sure that my parents had a good laugh though.

Mar 10, 2013

Romaine lettuce that reproduces itself and spring

Last week we had over ten inches of snow fall here in Indiana, that event really dampened my spirits a bit.   Once winter settles in, I wait patiently for spring.  The long dreadful nights are hard when one's spirit craves sunlight.  I had read somewhere that romaine lettuce reproduces itself when you place it in water. I used a small canning jar and put enough water in to cover the bottom of the lettuce stem. After a few days  look at the wonderful results.  I wonder how much it will grow?  This is very exciting!  Spring is so very close now.

Mar 7, 2013

The importance of keys and a damsel in distress

The weather forecasters predicted snow, lots of it. The lady thought that she should go and fill up the car and also buy some gas for the snow blower.  It was cold and dark when she left. The gas station was only three blocks from her house.  Before you knew it she would be back home and in her bed.  She put on her coat, grabbed her purse and off she went.  The gas station was busy when she arrived. She pulled up to the pump and got out of the car.  Carefully she filled the container for the snow blower with gas and then the tank of the car.  When she turned around to get back in to the car she noticed that the car doors were locked. She lifted the handle to the door anyway, hoping that somehow she would still be able to get in. Her spare keys were in the purse that lay on the passenger seat.  "What am I going to do", she asked herself.  She starred at the locked door for a long time hoping that somehow it would magically open.  But no magic happened.  Before panic could set it, she went inside the gas station, hoping for help.  The attendent gave her his phone and she called the police.  "Sorry, Ma'am, the police cannot help you, you need to call a locksmith or a tow truck." she was told.  She found a number for a locksmith and called them.  They would be out within an hour's time. "You cannot cancel", he stressed.  "Why would I cancel? Those keys are my only way to get into the house or my car!", she exclaimed. It was cold, very cold as she waited patiently for her savior to arrive.  Her lips began to chap and her knees started knocking from the cold.  After about an hour the saviour drove up in a purple 4x4.  He grabbed all of his tools and commenced to try and open the door for the lady. Oh, he should have been quick, but wasn't. "Trust me, I know what I am doing", the savior told the lady.  After his third try, the door opened.  The lady cheered.  She paid the saviour $60.00 for rescuing her.  Then she drove home, hoping to never make this kind of mistake again.

Mar 3, 2013

Scotch Eggs

A few months ago while looking around on Facebook, I saw Scotch eggs for the first time.  I had never heard of them before, but they sure looked good.  Who would have ever thought of wrapping a boiled egg in sausage ? You can have these as a snack or part of a meal. I searched for a decent recipe and after several attempts I have found the right way of making them for me.  Besides, I have an English neighbor who helped me out a bit. English sausage doesn't have near the amount of fat in their sausage as we do.  Traditionally, Scotch eggs are fried.  I cringed at the thought of putting something that is already loaded with fat in a deep fryer.  I tried it anyway and failed several times. Each time I fried them the sausage next to the egg didn't get quite done. Then they stuck to the pan. The sausage would be crispy on the outside and nearly raw on the inside. It was a mess. There are three rejects in my refrigerator right now. However, it was just too greasy for my palate. I finally baked them and I am pleased with the result. They are still crispy but not dripping with oil. For those of you who don't eat pork you can use ground turkey or chicken and add some sage and thyme to spice it up a bit.


4 large eggs, hard boiled
1 lb sausage
1/2 - 3/4 cup of breadcrumbs

Preheat over to 375 degrees. After the eggs are cooked, peel and set aside. Take out three plates or bowls.  Add enough flour to one plate to dredge the eggs through. Add the breadcrumbs to the second plate, and the last one is for holding them until you are ready to place in the oven.   Roll each egg in the flour.  Next, divide the sausage into four equal parts.  Press the sausage into the palm of your hand and smooth it outwards.  Place the egg in the middle and wrap the sausage around it.  Pinching together any open spots. Make it somewhat thick but not too thick. Dredge the eggs through the breadcrumbs and place in a baking pan or skillet.  Place in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, turning them every 10 minutes to brown on all sides.  Enjoy! 



Mar 1, 2013

There are many things that I can control...

 "There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under the jurisdiction. I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, ..... I can select what I can read and eat and study. I can choose how I'm going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life-whether I will see them as curses or opportunities. I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts.”

Elizabeth Gilbert