Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

21
Aug

Maizie’s Musings: A Word from the Mom Person…

I am busy taking a nap today, so I’m going to let the Mom person have access to MY keyboard just this once. If I’m not satisfied with what she writes, I’m taking it away from her.

Dear Maizie Fans:

Our family has learned some sad news. Maizie has cancer.

She has had several benign growths removed recently, but the last one was malignant and she has other lumps on various parts of her body. We have elected to let nature take its course.

While we could pursue treatment for her, it’s costly and doesn’t have a great success rate. Maizie has handled the multiple surgeries well, but since she’s been such a great dog, we can’t bear to subject her to the difficulties that normally ensue from cancer treatment.

She is still a happy girl and often gives us her “cute puppy looks” when it’s playtime. She still jumps up and down when one of her favorite people arrives. She can’t wait to jump into the “big water bowls” when she gets a chance. She is eating pretty normally and still fond of chewing on bones.

23
May

Log Rhythms: Door Staining…

While we were acquiring flooring, cabinets, counter tops, appliances, and plumbing fixtures, we were still existing with few interior doors. There are no hallways in the cabin to utilize every inch of floor space, so not having bedroom and bathroom doors all this time was often a problem.

If the hubby and I were the only ones there, it really wasn’t a problem, unless neighbors or contractors came without warning. But if our awesome family came to help, it really made things awkward for all of us.

Even for our little cabin, there were a lot of doors. Eleven interior doors had to be stained and sanded 3 different times. Since both sides of a door have to be treated this way, that makes for 6 different rounds of sanding and staining per door, or 66 rounds total.

Trying to sand and stain one side while another side is drying is very difficult for even the best do-it-yourselfer. Based on all of these factors, we decided to have our interior wall staining crew price this job. It turned out to be a very reasonable price and within a weekend, we had doors installed!

14
May

Word of the Week: agon

Good evening, Word Fans! (Okay, so I’m late with this post…)

Last week’s WOW was blench. Merriam Webster Online says that blench means: to draw back or turn aside from lack of courage or to flinch. Ummm….this begs the question: Why not just use the word flinch??? It’s the same number of letters. In fact, with the exception of two letters, it’s the same friggin’ word! Clearly, MaryAnn is not a part of the word wizarding team at Merriam-Webster when they’re deciding what words to label “archaic” in their dictionary. I suppose now that most of us look up the words online anyway, deleting out-of-use words from the dictionary is not a particularly cost-saving venture anymore. But, still!

This week’s WOW is agon. Why do I have this weird feeling all my favorite MIP readers are going to know this one??? Heck, I feel like I should know it, too, so here are my guesses (both serious and not so serious) for agon:

agon (ˈä-ˌgän) 1. the condition or state of someone or something being gone 2. how a Southerner refers to processing cheese and/or wine 3. all gone 4. argon gas once it has started dissipating (Think about it–it will hit you later.)

What’s your definition of agon? Comment below with your guess!

Wednesday’s Post: Cabinetry at the Cabin

You Might Also Like: Word of the Week: blench and Word of the Week; sacerdotal

18
Mar

Maizie’s Musings: 10…

I complained to the Mom person about not being allowed on her laptop. She said I wasn’t allowed on it because I shed too much and she’s writing yet another paper for some certification she’s working on. (PLEASE–do not give her any other ideas about getting more certifications…whatever those are…I don’t get my head scratched nearly as much when she’s getting one.)

The only papers I have ever cared about were the ones they let me use when I was a pup. Even then, I was sequestered to the cold tile floors of the house. NOT my idea of fun. I used to pout about it, but it never seemed to get me released from paper-and-tile-land. They did let me on a warmer floor when they realized I had chewed all the furniture legs in paper-and-tile-land.

But, according to some other papers (According to the Mom person, these papers cost a lot of money and have something to do with a Kennel Association. I don’t get how dog kennels get together or even why they get together, but apparently these kennels have a lot to talk about.) I am about to have a rather monumental birthday.

07
Jul

Log Rhythms: Stains that Don’t Need to Be Laundered

Shed porches going on!

Shed porches going on!

Howdy, Cabin lovers! As I type this the hubby is out at the Reserve and is ensuring that the builder has all he needs to continue finishing the exterior of the cabin. This week’s projects include putting on “shed porches” over the exterior porches on the cabin, installing electrical wiring, putting bracing on the load-bearing trusses and cleaning the exterior logs.

I didn’t think that there would be a lot of “aesthetic” decisions to be made at this stage in the game, but I’m wrong! For the shed porches I needed to tell the builder which way I wanted the under side of the roofing to be laid. There are even several ways to do the corners and I’ll be honest, I may regret what I decided! But, it’s probably not an “end of the world” decision.

In a few places we are having “upside down T” trusses made by a local welder since we selected more detailed trusses in the front and back of the cabin. Even the size of the brace holes is a decision as well as how many holes per brace and the placement of these holes. One also has to decide the finish color and the type of bolts or screws used to brace these trusses.

29
Feb

Word of the Week: anabasis

Good morning, fellow Word Nerds! Last week’s WOW (Word of the Week) was thrasonical. Thrasonical, according to Merriam-Webster Online is: of, relating to, resembling, or characteristic of Thraso. Uh-hunh. Okay. Who or what the heck is Thraso???  Thankfully, Merriam-Webster gives us some information regarding Thraso as follows:

Thraso was a blustering old soldier in the comedy Eunuchus, a play written by the great Roman dramatist Terence more than 2,000 years ago. Terence is generally remembered for his realistic characterizations, and in Thraso he created a swaggerer whose vainglorious boastfulness was not soon to be forgotten. Thraso’s reputation as a braggart lives on in “thrasonical,” a word that boasts a history as an English adjective for more than 440 years.

That was your English and History lesson for today. This will improve your next Trivial Pursuit game??? (Does anyone even play Trivial Pursuit anymore?)

This week’s WOW is anabasis. Here are my guesses for anabasis:

anabasis: (ə-ˈna-bə-səs) 1. based on a Frozen heroine 2. basic analogue 3. basal analysis

What are your guesses for anabasis? Submit a comment below this post to let me know! (I have a feeling all you smarties out there are going to know this one!)

Wednesday’s Post: Clarification...

You Might Also Like: Word of the Week: thasonical and Word of the Week: bouleversement

31
Aug

You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby….

syringeAnyone remember back in 2013 when I was told that I had to self-inject myself in the stomach twice a day??? If not, go here to remind yourself.

Now, I’m on to a new adventure with this little phobia of mine. As one of my many health adventures, I have to deal with the ever-present possibility of anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a fancy way of saying that when I’m allergic to something, I usually wind up in the ER looking like some neanderthal wanna-be. My face swells up; I can’t talk (Some would call that a good development.); and I’m itchy from head to toe. I seem to do this at really random times with no appreciable pattern.

For example, I left my university office one day (air-conditioned, mind you!), got in my air-conditioned car in the middle of an asphalt parking lot, drove home, got out of my car in my own garage, walked into my air-conditioned home and then went into full anaphylaxis. How did that happen? What triggered that? Apparently, the culprit was the vacant lot across the street that hadn’t been mowed in several months. It was rife with ragweed in full bloom. Silly me–I neglected to put the garage door down before exiting my air-conditioned car for 30 seconds. And my allergic reaction to that was basically similar to a tsunami mixed with a tornado.

Thus, I began getting allergy injections twice a week back in 2004. I would like to tell you that I no longer need such injections, but that would be making the assumption that my body acts like every other homo sapien’s on the planet and by now, you surely know that that is just not true.

Now that I’m traveling more often, this twice-a-week allergy shot thing just doesn’t jive well with my current schedule. Plus, nurses are not usually fond of giving allergy injections and are busy people doing REAL nursing, so they only give allergy injections during certain hours on certain days. In my lovely state they’ve also added the requirement that a doctor has to be on-site. Why? Good question–would you please ask that the next time you visit with your local politicians???

So, I had my favorite doctor recommend a place where I could learn to give myself allergy injections. Yes, Phobic MaryAnn actually asked how to give herself allergy shots. Now, you may think that this is no big deal after the stomach shot deal, but you would be wrong. With those shots, the syringes were spring-loaded so that once they were fully injected, the spring-loading mechanism would retract the needle out of my body for me.

With allergy shots, you don’t get this little advantage. To boot, the stomach syringes also came pre-filled with the correct amount of serum. With allergy shots, I would have to fill the syringe myself and not get air in the needle, etc., etc., etc. This may not be a big deal to you drug addicts, but it’s a rather large deal for Ms. Phobia over here.

So, for the past three weeks I have been trying to learn how to give myself thigh shots. All the little steps required to do this right and remembering them in order is enough to make me run screaming into the doctor’s office hallways, except that it might scare the little children assembled there.

No one forewarned me that it might be necessary to wear short shorts after shot attempt # 1. That right thigh hurt like a mother for at least 3 days. I think I may have emptied a rather large-sized bottle of Aleve on that one. (There goes my liver.)

Attempt number 2 seemed to be much better, but I glanced down at my left thigh at the end of the day and it was pretty misshapen. Apparently, I had been scratching it through my clothing without realizing it all day. The good news? It made my thigh muscle look much more impressive. (I don’t think this is listed as a benefit from allergy injections anywhere. Perhaps they should add it???)

Today I pushed the injector (for lack of a better term) too soon and gave my skin a good portion of the shot. Awesome. My thigh skin was not impressed.

But, in some sheer delusionary moment, the nurse handed me a pile of syringes, the shot log sheet, some alcohol prep pads and my serum and out the door I went. I’m told that I push the syringe rather fast (I personally don’t think one can be too fast doing this nonsense–I just want it to be over with!). We might want to report her to the medical board for such obvious malpractice.

So, if you hear a scream coming from Texas next Monday, it’s just me giving myself my first allergy shot solo.

The next challenge? Trying to get syringes through TSA at DFW. May God have mercy on my soul.

09
Feb

Word of the Week: zeitgeber

Good morning, Word Lovers! Last week’s WOW was solatium. Merriam-Webster Online says that solatium is:  a compensation (as money) given as solace for suffering, loss, or injured feelings. So this means that when I lose my keys for the 49th time, I should get paid??? If so, I think this is a practice which needs more emphasis in our culture!

This week’s WOW is zeitgeber. Since I never took German and this word definitely has that “flavor,” this could get really interesting for my definition guesses:

zeitgeber: (ˈtsīt-ˌgā-bər, ˈzīt-) 1. the acne on Goober’s face (the younger generation just said, “Who’s Goober?”) 2. the person who pops the acne on Goober’s face 3. gawking at acne in Berlin

I warned you it would be interesting. What’s your definition guess for zeitgeber? Go here to tell me all about it!

Wednesday’s Post: Word of the Day!

You Might Also Like: Word of the Week: solatium; Word of the Week: crepitate; Word of the Week: deracinate; and Word of the Week: anodyne

30
May

The Real Memorial Day…

Memorial Day

For those born after the 1960s this little statement may come as a shock: Today is really Memorial Day. Yes, today. Once upon a time (before 1968) Memorial Day was always celebrated on May 30th (at least in northern states). This little factoid was drummed into my head because it was part of an inside family joke. My dad, the naval officer, knew he would forget his wedding anniversary and thus, chose (with the permission of his bride–aka Mom) Memorial Day as the day to get married. Unfortunately, for Dad, the U.S. government chose to make Memorial Day the last Monday of the month in 1968.

If Mom and Dad were alive today, they would be celebrating anniversary # 72. They made it to # 61 in 2003, but Mom passed away a short time after that final anniversary. They accomplished that despite the odds. Both of them grew up in the Great Depression. Mom became a war bride, marrying her handsome naval chaplain less than 6 months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Dad traveled the world at the behest of the U.S. Navy and was assigned to some significant posts–becoming the chaplain for an all-African American Seabee unit (a rarity for a white officer in those days) and ministering to those who were on troop transport ships going from Seattle to Korea in the Korean War. In the former post he discovered that many soldiers in the unit were unable to read. Dad, who always maintained that God loved everyone, took it upon himself to teach them to read.

Meanwhile back at home, Mom had more gas rationing stamps because of her husband’s status in the military. She took it upon herself to take people to the doctor, to the store, to church and for other errands just so they wouldn’t have to walk. Some of her “hitchhikers” were pregnant military wives themselves and in Washington, PA (where Mom lived in the beginning) where hills are frequent and steep, this was a real help.

When Dad finally made it into the reserves in the mid-1950s he resumed his studies and while working full-time, managed to acquire his Ph.D. in Christian education. This, too, was a feat, since Dad had grown up in a humble country home with no indoor plumbing. Mom was always his faithful, supportive wife and helped out at the churches he served in whatever way was needed. If the church needed a Sunday School teacher, she taught. If it needed a President for the women’s group, she served. If they needed an organist, she played. If they needed a choir director, she led. One of my earliest memories is of my mom (who would tell you readily that she had no artistic talent) painting a brightly colored-mural on the walls of an elementary classroom in our church. Such things were rather novel in those days. When it was time to pay for two boys to go to college, Mom returned to work part-time to help meet the additional financial need. But, home was not neglected–she taught me to cook and clean and always had a “menu” with instructions for dinner ready for me when I came home from school. She even got one of those new-fangled microwaves (Anyone remember Amana Radaranges with an actual dial?) to make the dinner preparations a little easier for me.

Even after Dad retired and they moved to San Antonio, Dad still preached at various churches when the minister was on vacation or had a family funeral to attend. He managed to pass the IRS tax preparer’s exam and helped people prepare their tax returns each year, often without any compensation. He converted the Navy Retirement Center’s newsletter to a computerized process–again, a rarity for retired military personnel at that time.

Mom always kept her home immaculately and one afternoon, late in the day, she was informed that a military couple needed to marry before the groom needed to “ship out” the next day. Mom quickly put away the Sunday paper, changed into dressy attire, lit some candles and created a nice ambiance for the couple in less than an hour. The couple was absolutely stunned at how Mom made her home special just for them.

In between these activities Mom and Dad still managed to spoil my three children as they grew up. Mom would “hide” toys around her house for my kiddos to find when they visited and made “napping nests” for them on her living room floor out of blankets and couch cushions. Dad was always willing to cart them off to museums, movies, Sea World and Fiesta Texas when they were around. A child’s wading pool was always in the back yard for the early years.

The examples of “servanthood” and sacrifice go on for “miles” for this couple and I am proud to call them my parents. So, if my eyes mist up a bit a few days after our nation celebrates Memorial Day, you’ll have to forgive me. May 30th will always be my Memorial Day. Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

Monday’s Post: What’s the definition of this week’s word?

You Might Also Like: The Anniversary; Eulogy for a Brother; We’re Still Losing this War; Why I Stopped Writing; and Another Kind of WOW

20
Jan

Another Kind of WOW…

I know my WOW (Word of the Week) readers are hoping to see the new WOW for today and learn the meaning of last week’s WOW. However, I’m afraid I can’t oblige right now. I’ve been reluctant to write about this because it is not my story to tell, but someone else’s. And I want to respect that person’s privacy.

However, someone very dear to me is struggling mightily against a vicious, vicious enemy right now: esophageal cancer. And while I have been a huge proponent of fighting breast cancer because of losing my best friend to that disease, I am now awakened to the fact that esophageal cancer is a far more devastating disease because of its mere location.

Without much warning esophageal cancer can quickly block a very important function in one’s body: swallowing, digesting and providing your body with nutrition. This creates horrific complications and yet, surgical removal of the tumor is also very risky. While this person is valiantly trying to get through this battle, he is fighting increasingly more difficult odds simply because a lack of nutrition to the body creates a multitude of problems.

The survival rates for esophageal cancer make the survival rates for breast cancer look great, even though that I know that those who fight that cancer have no less an easy route to survival. But, this has awakened me to an area of cancer that desperately needs funding, research, and support systems for those who fight it.

Contrary to popular belief (or at least my erroneous belief), you can be perfectly healthy, not smoke and still wind up with this cancer. It is increasing in the U.S. in men at alarming rates and no one knows why. This person was, indeed, perfectly healthy prior to this diagnosis and looked as if he would live a good 15 to 20 years more, at the very least. But, now that is deeply in doubt.

Thus, with great reluctance, yet again, I am going to suspend writing the blog posts for MIP for a while. His care is rather demanding at this point and he deserves my full attention. I hope you will understand and forgive the lack of posting. And when we are successfully past this chapter of his life and mine, I will be back, in full force to bring you my normal “insanity” here at MIP.

I hope you will return to MIP when I resume writing, but of course, that is completely your choice. But sometimes, some things are just more important than learning a new word for a new week.

May God be gracious to you and those you care about. And yes, those of you fighting your own struggles are still ever in my prayers and thoughts.

Until we “meet” again…