Sunday, June 28, 2009

No News IS Good News!

I just want to say I have not subjected myself to any news from any media source since Friday night. Hence... because I have not seen or read any negative bit of news... it feels great!

I know I can't stay in my little self created protective bubble forever... but it feels great for the weekend. Still..some personal news came to my attention that I am perplexed about... so the bubble isn't impenetrable.

Never the is a relief not to hear all the woes of the world for a few days.

Is that selfish of me?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

It Should be THE LAW
They were no Jiminy Cricket!

I was corresponding with someone elsewhere, discussing lizards as pets and feeding them live food... BUGS and decided I will post it over here too.

Having two boys and living right by a pond, pretty much assured that we would have various living critters of the non human species sharing our home. That would be birds, bugs and bullfrogs as well as turtles, fish and tadpoles and ....the occasional garden snake that was always encouraged to be let go immediately.

Of course we have always had our wonderful family pets.... cats and dogs. (Some day I will discuss them individually and put up pictures.) But then... there was the pet store little vermin type pets that I was just never crazy about... and usually thanks to my husband's acquiescing to pressure from someone half his size.

So on my husband's watch. ..we ended up with a Russian hamster, a white mouse and SECOND iguana. One day I went to feed the white mouse and it bit my finger. I was instantly mad at my husband for that! I realize HE didn't bite my finger..but he might as well have... because he bought the mouse. I refused to do anything with said mouse again. That mouse was lucky we also didn't have a pet SNAKE. " Mouse? Did I see the mouse? Gee.. MYSTERY to me..... " ;)

The hamster was actually cute, furry and friendly... but I still wouldn't have gotten him.

Then we already had Godzilla...the iguana...and so we really didn't need to get a second one... T-rex. Although... I came to like the iguanas and even let them sit on my head. Why? I don't know. ? I guess because I could and they did. In retrospect... considering all of God's creature's have an exit passage... that was perhaps not the most enlightened decision of my life. We also let them climb the sliding door screens, the fig tree and lamp shades. Thankfully..accident free.

I admit... I am the one who caved and got the chameleons... as I was a sucker for the pretty iridescent aqua in their coloring... and I was amused by their suction capabilities on the glass with their feet. I was NOT thrilled...when after I said we could have them... the clerk said we had to feed them LIVE CRICKETS! EWWWWWWWWWWW!

And that brings me to the rest of the story.

I hated the cricket thing for the chameleons. They were that yucky
grayish tan. Well I guess if they were as cute as Jiminy Cricket.. it would've been a lot harder to feed them to the chameleons.

One day... my husband went down to the pet store to buy a bag of 12
crickets and left on table for Jon to feed chameleons when he came home from

A couple of hours later I went to pick up the wall phone and screamed loudly
just as my hand was about to pick up the receiver. A CRICKET was sitting on the

Turns out the bag wasn't sealed right and all 12 crickets were now out having a
free- for- all.. LOOSE in our house..and they were stealthy about it too... because
there was nary a peep out of even one of them.

I hollered for my husband because what else is a skeeved out damsel in distress
supposed to do in such an unnerving situation? I stood frozen by the phone
lamenting about how we'd be overrun by a cricket population if we didn't find

Oh and the phone cricket leaped off when my hand got near him which is
what set off my scream.

With my better half at my side... we managed to find all 12... who had tucked
themselves away in various nooks and crannies in the kitchen. I was the pointer
and he was the catcher. I don't do bugs..ugh!

Well except for Praying Mantis', Lady bugs and butterflies and fire flies... oh and wooly bear
caterpillars .. I will touch them. Oh and I will pick up a Daddy Long Legs by one leg and toss him outside..if my walk to get there isn't too longwith having to carry(dangle) him. Given my near phobic reaction to all spiders..I think that is pretty brave and compassionate of me.

*Having lived with the consequences of entering a pet store with a child... I think there should be a universal law enacted for the protection of said parents.

No adult shall enter the premises (inside or outside) of any pet store alone with their child and especially not with anyone else's child... unless accompanied by another adult who is deemed to be of reasonable and sound mind... thus protecting other innocent family members, as well as the purchaser from the inevitable buyer's remorse and subsequent consequences of having made a wrongful purchase.

Furthermore.... if the purchase of any critter involves feeding said critter any other living critter ... said purchaser should be accompanied by TWO adults whom are deemed to be of reasonable and sound minds.

Friday, June 26, 2009

I'll Be There (a capella)

I'm sorry Michael's life ended as it did.

He was tremendously talented. I have been mesmerized watching his dancing during all the news clips and then videos. This YouTube video portion isn't the best, but the audio is fabulous. A capella singing gives me goose bumps. :) It's mostly Michael singing, with his brothers.

I wish those close to him peace during this time of sorrow.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Another New Urology Blog


I discovered a new urology blog -Urology Clinic News!

I've enjoyed what I have read so far and look forward to going back to read more. I've added this blog to my urology section in my blogroll.

It turns out they have my SeaSpray blog linked as being listed as a top urology blog. I like that... but, while I am in good company with the others listed and I like the title... I will have to leave a comment with a correction.(I did leave a correction in comments, but it doesn't appear there now.)

I have written a lot from a patient's perspective about my urological experiences, with a few generalized urology posts. My SeaSpray blog has been the perfect outlet for me to vent my urologic concerns and/or frustrations ... usually with humor... but also from my heart...depending on the situation I am writing about.

I have written about uro procedures, being stented and unstented, men's urinals(the pictures drew me in :) and foley caths, SDS, pre-op, OR and post-op, inpatient, out patient, ER, Bajingoland exams, office visits both on clinic and office sides, the doctors and staff, my hopes, fears (surgeries) and God knows I have now developed a keen fascination for whizzie winkles. ;)

My SeaSpray blog... really called "SeaSprays-it's a Wonderful Life" (Accidentally omitted SeaSpray's - in the title and can't change it now but is in the URL.) is mostly about things that happen in my life and a good part of it was based on medical because of my urologic history when I began this blog. But I also worked in a hospital for 20 years.. in emergency registration and wore some other hats along the way.

So... that is why I joined the medical blogosphere... because of my personal experiences while working in the medical environment as well as my newly acquired experiences as "The patient".

Well actually.. the first draw was the exquisite humor in the med blogs. Then it snowballed and it has turned into one of my favorite hobbies of all time because I have always been passionate about writing and have found an outlet with my blog... as well as reading and commenting in other blogs. Not only do I appreciate the exquisite humor... but the intellectual discussions... friendship and support along the way.

I see my blog as both. It is a patient blog... but also medical in that I also write from a medical work experience perspective and will be working back in the medical arena soon... although I will keep that separate. I may write about work... but like others have with disclaimers.. it would be more the idea of something, not actual facts or descriptions in anyway identifiable.

I would never compromise an employer or patient's confidentiality... just as I would never want mine compromised.

Actually...this blog is eclectic, in that I write about many different things... but has been most cathartic for me from a patient's perspective. :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Teasing me!
A girl can dream. :)

The sun is totally teasing me! While comfortably cool and haven't used the a/c once... there hasn't been much sun at all...for days... at a time. I am not even tan and the pool water is cold and there hasn't been any sun to warm the water to a decent temp. I don't like bath water... and much prefer cool and refreshing... but this is just plain cold.

We've had more sun today (not much) than in days, but every time I go goes in. Then I get busy inside and it comes out.

Total tease!

I know..getting tan isn't supposed to be good for you... but the best way to get vitamin D is from being outdoors in the sunshine. I do use a spf 30 on my face and neck, but admittedly baby oil everywhere else.

I am confused about sunscreens because some are said to have cancer causing agents in them... or they let the bad rays in or keep the good rays out. I guess I should head over to derm doc (GREAT blog!) for an explanation. :)

Anyway... it's good to rotate your body to vary the exposure during the weaker sun hours.. not mid day. 10 -15 minutes at a time. Although I swim and am in the sun and so do get pretty tan.

I am usually careful though to catch the son before or after the more intense sun rays... unless having fun in the water. You have to enjoy yourself too.

It's 4:39 pm and I am going to try to catch a little sun now.. before it disappears again. :)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Anyone can be a father...

See full size image

"Anyone can be a father... but it tales a special person to be a DAD." ~unknown ~

Happy Father's Day to all the special men out there! :)

I love that picture!

Men with children... so moving.

Those strong hands supporting that little child...also remind me of the ultimate father..the father of us all... our heavenly father who loves us and wants us to look to him for all things.

My friend Pat once told me that if you want to know how loving and forgiving God is... look at yourself as a parent. She said that you don't stop loving your children because they do something wrong. She said your love for them is unconditional.

Pat went on to say... how much more does our heavenly father love us...unconditionally? He is the ultimate parent and the only perfect parent. We may stray from him... but he is there ..waiting with outreached hands to support and guide and love us throughout our lives.

Having pretty much grown up without my father in my life... feeling the sting of his rejection and his giving up on seeing me or sending support... I have to say...Pat's analogy of the ultimate Father... who loves us more perfectly than any human being could... is most comforting and heartwarming.

I am actually so used to not having my father in my life... that I didn't even think of him until someone I was playing scrabble on line with last night asked me what I was getting my father. I thought about father's day on and off all day... plans and presents and never once thought of my father until that moment when she asked that question.

I guess that's a good thing.. but kind of sad. I'm just glad our sons have their dad in their lives... and that cycle is broken. He loves them so very much and it warms my heart to see that... a father's love for his children.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Sigh... Feeling a little down at the moment. This too shall pass.

First...I just want to say that life is good and filled with blessings.

One very special blessing was in my arms for 3 1/2 hours today... beautiful little Wrenna. I got to babysit her this morning/afternoon. :)

She came over with her eyes open today and I was so excited about that. She sleeps most of the time when she is here. She is 3 weeks old today.

I gave her her bottle, changed her a couple of times and had younger son hold her for about 5 minutes while I did a couple of things... but otherwise... I held her the entire time. I sat her up and woke her a little, but she mostly slept. I easily could've put her down to sleep... but I enjoyed cuddling, talking, singing and looking at her so much... and there was nothing else I wanted to do that was more important to me. What a joy.

Then I enjoyed a nice visit with my d-i-l for a while after she got here.

But then...I pulled out a stereo unit... we had given mom. It was one of those old fashioned replicas..but modernized in that it plays CDs and Tapes. She said it didn't work... but everything does except the tapes. Now I wonder if she said that because she was forgetting how to do things and I just didn't know it at the time. ? We got that for her so she could play her records... but she never did. Also got it because it has the old fashioned radio tuners which were easier for her to use.

So I tested it and everything but the tapes work. Well not sure about records.. but not sure where we packed them. And now I just have to find a spot for it...because I can't part with it...for now anyway.

I discovered that a big bands CD had been left in it and so have been playing it since. When I was a teenager... I did not like that music.. but as with many things.. your tastes change when as time goes on and I actually appreciate the music. Of course it is always bittersweet because I cannot hear that music without having family memories stirred up... thinking of Mom, my uncles and their wives. It was their era and I heard the music often... although Mom also liked 50's rock and other things... basically anything she could dance the Lindy to. I have memories of snapping her fingers and dancing around the house when she heard a good beat. :)

So... tomorrow is my birthday. She often told me I wasn't officially my new age until 4:42 in the afternoon. I was born in Jackson Memorial Hospital- Miami, Fl. It must've been difficult for her to be so far from her parents at the time.

Anyway... tomorrow night... we will celebrate and my dear m-i-l is surprising me with one of my favorite cakes she makes. They ALWAYS involve fruit and whip cream. :)

My mom and Aunt Dee will be greatly missed tomorrow night... but we will have our newest family addition here... baby Wrenna Mae... along with her beautiful and sweet older sister 8yr old Devan Cosette. (Cosette pronounced with a z instead of s. I LOVE that name :)

I don't mean to sound like I am complaining or be negative. Just handling the stereo, hearing the music and thinking of my birthday... it was momentarily overwhelming. When my husband came home... I bolted up from typing, rushed over to him.. he barely got in the door and just cried in his arms... crumbled like a little girl... just for a minute. I am grateful I have him to comfort me like that.

Of course...we ALL know... most guys hate it when we women cry... and he definitely fits into that category. But really.... I think they don't have to say anything... necessarily... just hold us close. That works for me anyway and then I felt better.

It is just so weird you know? My whole life... I have heard about the things people experience after a close loved one dies. I was always empathetic and sympathetic. I intellectually knew that I would be sad... that I would miss them.

But you can't really KNOW what it is like until they are gone and it is final. I have discovered that nothing feels as final as death. Now as a Christian... I do believe in an after life and so have the Blessed Hope of continued relationships in eternity... and believe me that knowledge helps. But it doesn't negate the sadness and void.. I feel here... now. I miss my mother.

And like I have heard so many times from other people... sometimes I forget..and I think the phone is mom calling on the other end... to I heard her voice... or I think I'll tell her this news or that.

Phantom thoughts... like phantom sensations when someone has had an amputation.

It must all dissipate in time.

Life goes forward.

Although the last couple of years... she often told me she was thinking about her mother. I never thought to ask why. I just accepted her statement as it was or I'd ask a question about grandma. I wondered why she didn't say it about grandpa because I know she loved her father too. I don't know why I didn't just ask her.

And the aids at the nursing home told me she talked about her mother all the time.

I have wondered why... and what that means. ?

Mom has been at all my adult birthday celebrations since I was 20. I wish I could skip over tomorrow... but I know... we HAVE to walk through these things in order to heal. This past winter... before anything happened to mom... I twittered "How do you get over someone dying" And one of the twittering docs answered with... "You don't. You just learn to live with it."

I can see that he is exactly right.

I am smiling at a sweet thought.. and that is how Devan is our official cake tester at all the birthday parties. She gets to run her finger in the icing of what will be her piece of cake to test it. She takes her job seriously and always gives her approval that it tastes good. :)

Well... I guess this is all I have to say about this for now.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Table Scraps in the Operating Room

Funding cutbacks lead to trimmed surgical procedures...
The credit for pic and comments goes
here. You'll find some funny things there. :)

I hope this wasn't offensive to anyone.

Monday, June 15, 2009

What Happens When Your Town Doesn't Enforce Zoning Laws
See... it won't be THAT big.

I can't really write about this in full... but suffice it to know that we have someone in our community who is in GROSS violation of our residential zoning laws by bringing in and operating an industrial business that could potentially jeopardize our health and devalue our homes.

Did I say this was being perpetrated in a RESIDENTIAL area?

Oh...and on top of that... over highly prized and protected wetlands!

To date... our (not) esteemed public officials have done nothing to close this operation down. A few warnings/citations were issued, but they have done NOTHING to enforce that the business be SHUT DOWN!

May I ask.. .then... WHY do we elect public officials... if not for the protection and well being of the citizens and the town? Are they not sworn in to uphold the laws... to see that they are enforced?

I am confused about this. Perhaps someone could enlighten me as to how this can happen and they are able to get away with not performing their public duties. ??

However... far be it from this enterprising girl to let go of a Golden opportunity to make some money!

I would like to make an announcement.

Since I have been pondering about how to make money... I have decided that in the spirit of the newly found freedoms bestowed to us from our town officials... I want to
put up a mini amusement park in our yard!

Yes.. an amusement park!

I figure a moderate sized roller coaster, scrambler and octopus might be a nice draw. We'll do our best to keep the screaming from abject fear to a minimum.. but hey.. you know.. without the zoning laws being enforced.. what can I say? We'll also keep the rides painted so they don't look too unsightly. I am thinking in keeping with a summer theme...Aqua and Pink would be pretty colors. Think Miami Vice. :)

However, I am not going to worry about the
safety permits... because... well what the heck..the TOWN OFFICIALS won't care!

Oh heck... we won't be concerned about ANY permits... because we know
they're not enforced anyway! for all!

The community shouldn't worry about noise... since the other ILLEGAL business noise commences at approximately 4:30 in the morning. But rest assured... we are sensitive to the noise pollution concern and don't wish to further compound the
situation and so our amusement park business hours will be 12pm to 12 midnight.

If the arcade and amusement lights and noise bother the residents.. I suggest they just
close their windows and curtains... maybe turn on some white noise.

C'mon...we all have to learn to live together...right?

Oh... and while the amusement park will draw it's fair share of traffic into our
lovely country residential community... I want to assure everyone, that with the exception for construction or repairs of said amusement park... there will not, I repeat will not be any large industrial vehicles traversing our roads.... but merely the onslaught of frequent park visitors.

I kind of figure you won't mind if they park along your properties because... well
they have to park somewhere. We all share the planet..right? What's a little and there...a little ZONING LAW on the books...when we know they aren't enforced.

Some people can be so FUSSY... don't you think?

Lest it seem that we are being inconsiderate and in flagrant violation of zoning
laws... I assure you we are not.

Why we give you our word that there will be no clowns in costume walking around the amusement park because we are sensitive to the fact that some people have Coulrophobia which is the abnormal or exaggerated fear of clowns. As owners of said amusement park... I assure you we do not wish to scare anyone with clowns.

See... how we are at least attempting to work with the community for their good? I'm just saying.

And we can't possibly be violating zoning laws with this new project because
the town apparently doesn't have any *enforceable* zoning laws... thus
we can all do as we please with our properties. :)

Seriously though ..I'm thinking if the amusement park doesn't work out... perhaps we
will put in a petting zoo... you know... a mixture of farm and exotic animals.

What's a little elephant call at 3:00 am when the industrial trucks wake us up
at 4:30am? Or maybe a little or BIG wayward llama roaming the neighborhood?

Besides.. the manure from all the animals will come in handy for the

Shoot... it can be communal manure and we'll share with all the
neighbors! See that... the trade off won't be that bad.. loss of privacy and peacefulness in the community... but at least they'll have some manure in exchange for said losses.

I am curious to hear of what future plans other residents may have for their properties since
we no longer have to obey any zoning or environmental laws.

Remember... one always has to look at the bright side! ;)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Male Brains

Movinmeat's Twitter had this to say: re "little sac between my legs" - a friend's 4-y-old asked her if those were his brains. She told him, "not yet." ☜ ROFL

That's really funny. :)

And sooooo cute!!

Sent to Me From a Blogging Friend -Thank You! :)

Live each day to the fullest.
Get the most from each hour, each day,
and each age of your life.
Then you can look forward with confidence,
and back without regrets.

Be yourself - but be your best self.
Dare to be different
and to follow your own star.

And don't be afraid to be happy.
Enjoy what is beautiful.
Love with all your heart and soul.
Believe that those you love,
love you.

When you are faced with decisions,
make that decision as wisely as possible -
then forget it.
The moment of absolute certainty
never arrives.

And above all else, remember that
God helps those who help themselves.
Act as if everything depended upon you,
and pray as if everything depended upon God.

~S.H. Payer~

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Talk About Sea Spray!

Hurricane Waves at Point Pleasant Beach, NJ

I love this picture! It was so awesome to see in person. I think it was August, 1996... but I am not sure. Normally the waves wouldn't be so large and powerful. Talk about sea spray! They were breaking much farther up on the beach than normal.

There was a hurricane down south that was affecting the Jersey Shore tides.

I had brought the boys and a friend of older son's to the shore the day before. Later that night...after we left the boardwalk to go back to the motel...we decided to go on the beach and dip our feet in the water. Well we didn't have to go very far down to the water because the crashing waves were rushing up farther on the beach.

The water was very warm. No doubt the tropical currents were affecting the temperature. It felt wonderful! Younger son who was only about 7 going on 8 at the time, was especially enjoying himself. He was falling down into the water (up on the beach) and having a GRAND time. He was completely soaked. But we really were too because the force of the water just shot up all over our clothes.

We eventually went back to our room for the night.

We were surprised the next morning to find out we weren't allowed on the beach.

And we were both surprised and saddened when we arrived home and heard on the news that two boys around 12 years old were drowned in Pt. Pleasant that day. They were doing the same thing we were doing... hanging out in the white water that rushed up on the beach. It pulled them right out and they couldn't be rescued in time. So very tragic.

When I was a teenager...I remember one beach day when my friend and I were frolicking in the whitewater that washed up on the beach. I was 14 and she was 15. That day too... there was a hurricane down south and we also weren't allowed in the water because of the currents. But the lifeguards let everyone near where the waves crashed. We'd fall down into it, roll around it it and just had the best time thoroughly enjoying the tropically warmed foamy white water.

I had always heard about under tows and rip currents... but I never knew it was possible to be knocked off your feet on the beach and be sucked back out to sea like that.

I prefer beaches with lifeguards. Although..on our honeymoon in the Bahamas (October-1975), we were on a private beach and there weren't any lifeguards. We also experienced larger waves than when we first arrived because there was a hurricane in the islands somewhere that was affecting our calmer waters. We LOVED it as we body surfed and frolicked in the increasingly rougher waters. We were oblivious to any dangers with the currents. Ignorance is bliss.

The only thing that unnerved me was that I had seen the movie "Jaws" (October - 1975) when it first came out 2 months earlier. Admittedly... that had me a little concerned... even though I had grown up by the seashore... frolicking in the waves every summer... without a care in the world... except that we had to wait a whole hour after we ate before we could go back in the water.

That was torture and seemed like an eternity. "Is it time yet? Is it an hour yet? Can we go in yet? When can we go in? Yayyyyy.. we can go in!!!" And then we'd gleefully run back into the the Ocean. :)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Wrenna 7 days old :)

wrennaj64 by you.
I'm telling you..she is so sweet I could eat her up with a spoon! She looks like a little doll in this pic. :)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Written Treasure (Inspired By a D-Day Video)

Uncle Hector by you.
Hector Archibald MacDonald (I know I put this up before, but I love the pic)

I was just looking at a video about Captain William Nation, that was put together to honor him by a nephew he never met. I was moved by his letters and the videos shown.

Here is a link to MSNBC'S videos of the D-Day invasion. So far...I have only viewed #11, which shows film from his 4 years serving during WWII, and video of his nephew showing/reading some of the letters, discussing his uncle and motivations for honoring him and the other soldiers.

It was a moving piece.

I cried.

I cried because it reminded me of my dear uncles, Uncle Hector and Uncle Jim...who both served during almost the entire war. Uncle Hector was in four invasions, with D-Day being one of them. He was a medic in the Army.

I can't imagine what it must've been like to become so war weary after 4 long years. I know my uncle needed time when he came home to disengage from it and then he never discussed it until he opened up with some things when he was in his 80s. I know I have written about him before.

As I watched this occurred to me that I have never seen any of his or my uncle Jim's hand written letters. Not ever. I know they wrote home. Did my grandparents and Mom throw them many people tend to do with correspondence (not me), or are they still tucked away somewhere yet to be discovered?

I know there wasn't anything in Mom's things. Either my uncle or Mom would've gotten my grandparent's personal things. Are they still tucked away in some of my uncle's things that perhaps I missed... just assuming they were boxes of pictures of people I don't know?

Oh...what treasure to find...if only it were so!

I don't ever throw out hand written letters (I would allow for typed as well), or notes. I feel if the person took the time to write... that it is worthy of keeping. Plus it is fun to go back and read what was going on at that time, particularly if a lot of years have passed.

I have an idea for a project. Go through all correspondence, slide them into the hole punched laminate and categorize in a binder. Some people write so much more than others and it would be interesting to see how life evolved through their eyes. Or to read their kind words to you when they were offering support, appreciative, proud or happy for you...especially if they shared their heart about life's events. It means a lot to me when I read old correspondence.

Anyway... I would just love to find their war letters. If they were thrown out...that is a shame. But in we are living it...we don't always realize the value of what is in front of us at the time... or it's potential value in the future.

I was very excited when I found some things uncle Hector wrote about his views on life or his feelings at the time. I was so surprised that he too was a person who needed to put thoughts on paper. Maybe someday..I will share them.

People live on through their words.

Heaven on Earth!

Oh Wow! Wouldn't this just be the BEST set up ever... having this option/locale anytime you wanted... or even if it couldn't be anytime you know you could visit periodically.

This bed set up has to be part of it. This is one of the most relaxing things I've ever seen. Our honeymoon was in the Bahamas and the ocean was right outside our sliding door... really close to us. There was an open grass hut... but nothing like this.

I love the ocean, the sea gulls, the balmy ocean breezes, the misty sea spray gently landing on my face and body, the sound of the ocean waves crashing on the shore with the tide rushing back out and watching things lazily billow with the breezes.

The best sleep I have ever had has been on the beach.

With this set up...I think I'd want to just live in there. ;)

If I could just own that little bit of beach and that bed... I'd be one happy SeaSpray! What a weekend getaway that would be!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Answering Machines -Part I - Backfired! :)

The previous post is the inspiration for this post because it also involves difficulty in hearing, but with intention... for the purpose of a joke.

Except it backfired and one older co-worker friend got mad at me... which in turn caused me to cease and desist immediately!

Do you remember the older answering machines in which a little cassette tape was used to record your messages? Well...I have a little collection of them because I became one of those (to some people) annoying individuals who could never have a normal short greeting on their answering machine.

I was actually inspired by a very funny neighbor and her husband who were constantly putting hilarious greetings on their phone. Well... of course I just had to do the same!

In my opinion... my best and all time favorite one was when I pretended to be the French maid...Fifi Du Fou-fon ...working for the SeaSprays. I can still do it. :) but I'm not talking about Fifi in this post.

Instead... this is about another message in which 2 people got mad at me... my uncle and my former co-worker being the most annoyed. Other people fell for it but laughed that they fell for it. :)

It was simple really.

I left a message with appropriate pauses to let the other person answer. The message opened with my saying: "Hello? Hello?" And then in a nice friendly voice.. "I'm sorry I can't hear you..could you please speak a little louder? What?" My voice more elevated now..." moment please"... at which point I bang the phone on the counter..."Okay.. go ahead... I STILL can't hear you! Hello? HELLO? TRY CALLING BACK!"

Now my friends and family mostly knew it was a joke but not all. My uncle called me from Alabama one day and was thoroughly annoyed and did not see the humor in it at all. I admit that even though I felt bad I angered him and even a little nervous... I had all I could do from chuckling outwardly... because he fell for it. I know..bad SeaSpray. Well not bad..just somewhat impish. It was a joke after all.

I still didn't remove it.

But then one afternoon... while the boys were in school..I decided to lie down for a little nap out in the family room. The phone rang. I screen my messages and I really wanted to nap and figured I'd get it when I wake up. But then it rang again. Then the phone rang a third time... immediately after the 2nd one and so I jumped up concerned it was an emergency.

I got to the phone hearing the AT&T operator's voice concerned I had something wrong with the phone. I quickly picked up to inform her it was an answering machine joke. She told me this man from Pennsylvania had been trying to reach me and was concerned my phone was out of order and so reported it to the phone company.

"Oh boy."

I thanked her for her call and told her I would call him immediately.

He was a very nice older co-worker ... a security guard who had befriended me. He spoke Japanese (married to a Japanese woman) and German and we often had discussions about languages. He was also this beautiful Christian man who was a wealth of information and we'd Have some interesting theological discussions... although I didn't agree with his views entirely. And every so often... would give me cassette tapes of messages various speakers he recorded for me to hear. I still have them.

Okay...I am not going to lie... admittedly... right or wrong... there was still a part of me that was amused it worked so well... but much more so... I did feel bad... because he obviously was concerned for me.

When I came up with this idea...I only saw the "Gotcha.. you fell for the joke! LOL!" factor and never figured genuine concern would also be in the equation.

So I sheepishly called him back and apologized and explained it was just a joke and our phones were working.

Well..this mild mannered man was so mad at me and I don't remember everything he said.. but I do remember hims saying.."I think that's TERRIBLE! I thought something was WRONG with your phone and I called the operator to HELP YOU!"


I apologized again on the phone and I apologized again in person the next time I worked with him. He never did see the humor in it.

I never anticipated that someone might possibly feel like a fool with an answering machine joke ... might just get them a l-i-t-t-l-e bit ANGRY! I just figured my uncle was a lot older and maybe didn't get the humor. I had friends that laughed and said I got them. It was meant to be funny. I loved that telemarketers might fall for it.

It was a JOKE!

Anyway...I never again did a recording that would cause another to get involved..thus putting themselves out there for humiliation.

But I did others and so will continue another time.

I will just say... that when answering machines were new... they were a novelty and it was fairly common to get messages.

I don't do it anymore... but in my heart.... I am.

So..I will continue with Fifi Du Fou-fon, Darla Mae, the aliens, the B-52 bomber, the police and the aliens-space travel, etc., at another time. :)

P.S. If I fell for that...I'd be laughing and tell my friend it was funny. But..lesson learned. :)


See full size image

Here is a link to a Funny post (although sad) from the "Life in the Fast Lane" Blog. Thanks to Dr Rob for twitter linking it. :)

The post is funny, but I do feel for everyone in that situation...especially the urology patient!

I had an experience in the nursing home.....where I was in a similar situation with a woman who is EXTREMELY hard of hearing... although..obviously not a dire one like with the man in the story.

One of my mothers friends also lived at the nursing home.. on the same floor, but opposite wing. They had lived in the same apartment building and shopped together for years. When my mother saw her moving in...she immediately began to help this woman unload her things and assisted her with bringing them up to her apartment. So that is how they became friends.

After awhile, Mom's friend began to fall and because of the frequency and her inability to get up, etc., it became necessary for her to go to the nursing home.

* A little side note. I am always find it interesting how we are all connected in some way... or will be in the future. Not that it means anything... but it's interesting. For years... I worked with this elderly woman's sister-in-law at the hospital. Her s-i-l trained me and I had the privilege of working with this nice woman for quite a few years before she retired. Who would've thought... that years later my mother would become friends with her s-i-l or that I would be wheeling Mom over to see her friend in the nursing home and also see my co-worker again..while we were both visiting them? Funny how things come full circle like that in ways we can't imagine.

Those connections always intrigue me.

So anyway... I would periodically wheel Mom over to see her friend. Her friend was always happy to see her... but sadly..Mom wasn't herself and sometimes came out with inappropriate responses to her friend's comments or was unresponsive and I'd have to prod her.

I still don't know if her altered mental status was because of mini strokes, depression or Alzheimers. And sometimes Mom connected with her... but ever so briefly.

Although... I have to say that the last time I brought her to visit her friend... Mom was responsive, appropriately connecting and making eye contact with her friend. Her friend even commented on how good she looked and I agreed. I was actually very optimistic that day that things were finally going to turn around with Mom's mental status which in turn my enable her to do more for herself. It was a good day. It was a good visit with her friend.

But that wasn't to be because Mom died 10 days later.

I am digressing.

The connection of this post to the post I linked to, is that this friend was so hard of hearing... you had to SHOUT. I still wasn't always sure she heard everything and thought she was just pretending to understand sometimes. And I had written on a pad a couple of times, but usually just tried to shout it out.

I was concerned with one of the early encounters mom and this woman had because of how mom was and wasn't responding to her and I didn't know if she realized Mom had an altered mental status which caused her to behave as she was and I didn't want the woman to feel hurt and think she had done something wrong.

So the next time I went back for a visit... I went to see Mom's friend first. I can very much relate to how the doctor shouting in the post felt...and it is VERY awkward feeling. Of course his topic would be mortifying to shout out(you do what you have to do), but never the less... it was embarrassing and uncomfortable to shout out Mom's medical status to this woman and reassure her how much Mom valued her friendship.


It was probably a 5 minute very loud conversation that felt like an eternity.

I can relate to the frustration at having to yell all your words. This woman's room was at the far end of the hall. When I left... you could hear a pin in one of those old E.F. Hutton commercials. I felt like staff was staring at me as I walked down the hall...well they were. Of course they understood. The residents seemed oblivious. And I am pretty sure they heard me at the nurses station down at the end of the second wing... as well as through the floors and upstairs. Well the contrasting silence caused me to think that anyway.

It was one thing to loudly speak an intermittent sentence or two... but entirely another when you have to speak in paragraphs.

I haven't been back to see this woman since Mom died and she probably knows...but I feel I should go see her and talk with her myself. Maybe the heartspeak between the two of us will speak more loudly than the need for many spoken words.

Today is Mom's birthday and so I find myself thinking about her a lot more these last couple of days. She would have been 86. I know she lived a good long life and is not suffering now.

I miss her.

Happy Birthday mom!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Thank You Ramona!

The following pictures with commentary were taken from Ramona's post about the quilt:

Here is a detail shot of a very soft little puppy with a bone.

Here is a detail shot of the lower puppy. It show the butterflies in the fabric and the fish.

What you don't see is that the back of the quilt is in a pretty pink fabric and it has sweet words running through it. I think all the fabrics are gorgeous and I especially love the butterflies. :)

Here is a link to surgeon, Dr Ramona Bates medical blog .. Suture for a Living and a link to the baby quilt post in which she has these baby quilt pictures up and describes the quilt... this very beautiful quilt.. this most thoughtful and generous gift.

I have to say...I was feeling down that week, but really perked up when I opened Ramona's package and laid eyes on her beautiful handiwork... I was so moved by her taking the time out from her busy life to do this... and in awe of her talent. I have no doubt that God has given Dr Bates a gift for working with her hands. :)

The pictures do not do it justice. The puppies are indeed soft and it's just the most precious quilt and we all love it! :) I gave Devan a sneak peek at the quilt before we went to the hospital and she kept rubbing her hands across the soft furry puppies. :)

Thank you so very much Ramona! :)

Oh! I also just have to add the link to the post where her chocolate lab, Rusty is modeling a surgeon's cap she made. (Check him out! :) Too funny and very sweet! He's got the countenance of a surgeon. Hmm..let's see...what specialty would Rusty be in? :) Not only does Ramona make beautiful and arty quilts, but she also makes caps for surgeons and anesthesiologists.

You can also peruse her blog and check out all the other amazing quilts she has made. :)