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Word of the Week: cybrarian

Dictionary --Word of the Week

Howdy, Word Nerds! If you’re wondering where my posts have gone, it’s called a busy life on several fronts. So, sue me–I took a brief vacation from writing!

Last week’s WOW was caparison. Merriam-Webster Online says there are 2 definitions:

  1. a :  an ornamental covering for a horse b :  decorative trappings and harness

  2. rich clothing :  adornment

Quite clearly none of my horse owner friends read this blog! Of course, the fact that I rarely (if ever) reference horse stuff here has absolutely nothing to do with that.

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

cybrarian: (sī-ˈbrer-ē-ən) 1. an employee of a circular library 2. a cyberspace librarian 3. Marion the Libarian’s and Harold Hill’s son, Cy.

What’s your guess for cybrarian? Post a comment below to let me know the REAL definition.

Wednesday’s Post: Logging Miles

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The Weirdest Diet on Earth: The Coumadin Diet…


Warning: War & Peace was shorter.

Whether I like it or not (and I don’t!) I am now being forced to change the very eating plan that led to me losing nearly 40 lbs. My doctor has placed me on Coumadin (generically known as Warfarin or Jantoven) in order to try and dissolve a blood clot that is apparently lodged in one of my heart ventricles. It is important for this drug to work, since I am at an increased risk for stroke if this clot doesn’t “evaporate” of its own accord.

Basically, Coumadin is an anti-coagulant of the nth degree and Vitamin K can hamper its ability to help me dissolve this clot. Most people can simply avoid leafy green veggies (I hate salad anyway) and avoid any Vitamin K interaction with Coumadin.

Unfortunately, it is starting to appear I am not one of these people. And finding out exactly which foods are high in Vitamin K is a bit like doing a study in contradiction. One medical source said that alcohol is okay in moderation; another completely contradicts this. One reliable source says that cranberries are not okay and another says they are. So, what’s a girl to do?

Enter The Coumadin Cookbook by Rene Desmarais, MD. Even cardiologists seem to respect the opinions in this book, so I’m trying to live by the list of foods it recommends. But, if you are trying to live on portion control and eat heart healthy foods, this diet will make one shake his or her head. Here are some of the foods that are actually okay on this diet:

Skinless apples (And here I thought the skin gave me more fiber…sigh)

Cinnamon raisin bagels (Oh, and I can put cream cheese on them, too.)

Beans and franks or baked beans with bacon (This would have made my mom happy, but she died from eating a heart healthy diet.)


Biscuits (And yes, gravy with the biscuits is okay. I just made all Southerners happy.)

Bologna (No word yet on whether the bologna has to have a first name, like O-s-c-a-r.)

Bread (of all kinds)

Fruitcake (Yes, the commercial kind, but I prefer Grandma’s more Scottish, refined, tasty and alcohol-free version.)

Twinkies (So glad now for that comeback of theirs.)

Caramels (This will not sit well with my dentist.)

Fudge (Guess what I will be making for Christmas “cookies” this year.)


Hard candies (But if I eat green apple Jolly Ranchers, do I have to take the “skin” off of them first???)

Jelly beans

Plain M & M’s (Never liked the peanut version anyway!)

Starburst Fruit Chews


Cola beverages (The Pepsi-Cola Company just breathed a sigh of relief. So did its stockholders.)

Lucky Charms (They’re magically delicious!)

Trix (And you thought Trix was for kids.)

Apple Jacks

Cocoa Krispies (I banned these from the household the day it required a crowbar to get them off my kitchen floor, thanks to the kids.)

Froot Loops (I suppose this variety is the colorful circular cereal variety and not the politicians in D.C.? I sure hope so, cuz I really don’t want to eat politicians, even if it would be a public service.)

Cap’n Crunch (This will give the hubby an excuse to return to his youth.)

Regular cream

Swiss cheese

Chocolate syrup

Nestle Quik

Cocoa mix

Coffee (yes, even with caffeine)



Corn oil


Regular egg noodles (Spinach noodles are bad)

Egg yolks


Hot dogs


Jell-O (I suppose there’s always room for Jell-O, particularly if it’s endorsed by my favorite comedian.)

Ice Cream (So, I can eat my hubby’s version without any guilt, right?)


Lard (Cousin Vinny would question that with the “ongoing cholesterol problem in the U.S.”)

Milk shakes

Macadamia nuts

Canned peaches

Peanut butter

Canned pears

Apple pie filling (canned)



Ready to eat puddings




Soy sauce


Sugar (Dr. Atkins just rolled over in his grave.)

Maple syrup (Is it Groundhog Day? ‘Cuz I’m thinking it’s time for flapjacks.)


Oh, and using butter (in moderation) is okay, but margarine is absolutely taboo. To be fair, there are some fruits, vegetables, and healthier protein sources than what I’ve listed above. And Dr. Desmarais does advise using the above foods sparingly to take further care of your heart. 

But, I knew my mother was lying when she said I had to eat my vegetables. Thanks for the needless dinnertime torture and emotional trauma, Mom.

Now…you’ll have to excuse me, I have to go fry some bacon in some lard and eat some Froot Loops.

Monday’s Post: Who is a boffin? Yes, that was a hint….

You might also like: 100 Things I Plan to Do Now that I Don’t Share My Home with Teens or Kids 


Lessons Learned from Not Running…



On the day when the Lord was handing out athletic genes, I must have been in the “facilities” because I have zero hand-to-eye coordination and a limited ability to do just about anything else requiring physical ability.  However, as a child, I was blessed with two much older brothers and in an effort to keep me from continually annoying them, they were endlessly running from me and I was endlessly chasing them.  The result:  MaryAnn, despite being vertically-challenged, was a pretty okay runner.  In fact, I’m a bit like Seabiscuit on a track.  Put a runner in front of me and I am bent on beating them.  I may not come in first, but I will probably be right behind the winner of the race.

I used to like running.  It felt like freedom to me.  But, then something good happened.  Isn’t that always the way?  The good stuff in our lives often takes away something else that is also good.  My “something good” was I had children. And guess what happened when running after I had children??? Let’s not go there. It’s not for polite conversation.  Let’s just say it was embarrassing.

So, I got lazy and only walked.  But, thanks to modern medical technology, I can now run again.  Unfortunately, someone forgot to give my 50-something body the memo.  Once you stop running, your body has this very nasty way of vehemently making you pay for ever lifting your feet off soil ever again. So, today I only briefly run…this is even more embarrassing than why I didn’t run.  Thus, I confine my poor excuse for running to my treadmill.  I think it’s safe to say that I am “running away” from “running.”  Fortunately, my Bible tells me I didn’t invent such a trait.  It’s been around for centuries:

Exhibit A:  Jacob.  When you lie to your dad, leave for a long time.  And I mean leave.

Exhibit B:  Moses.  When you kill a fellow countryman, leave for a long time and marry a foreigner.

Exhibit C:  David:  When you tick off the leader of your country, head for the nearest cave.

Exhibit D:  Jonah:  I’d hide in the belly of a fish, too, if God told me to tell an entire city to get their act together…not exactly a way to get yourself elected mayor.

Exhibit E:  Peter:  Okay. So, he didn’t run away literally.  But, would you call lying about your relationship with the savior of the world a resume-builder for founding and leading a church?

The reality is, that doing what God asks you to do, is often a dangerous, difficult, demanding task.  And what do we do? We run…and run…and run…away. It’s so human to do so.  Unfortunately, when we run away, we often miss some very important things:

1. That God is with us.  He knows where the finish line is and how happy we are going to be when we reach it.

2. That God is for us. When we stumble, He will be there with his encouragements, if we are quiet and wise enough to hear Him.

3. That God is before us.  He will point the way (even if He has to hit me “upside the head” to alert me to it).

4.  That God is beyond us.  He can see much more than our immediate and often, limited, perspective.

5.  That God is by us.  He actually takes the time to run with us and beside us, knowing that the journey is much easier with “back-up.”

So, today I’m going to try to do a little running (literally and figuratively) and hope that I can get out of that belly (and quit feeding my own…Grr.) and do a little more of what God would have me do.  How about you?

“Do you not know that in a race the runners all compete, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it.  Athletes exercise self-control in all things; they do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable one.  So I do not run aimlessly, nor do I box as though beating the air; but I punish my body and enslave it, so that after proclaiming to others I myself should not be disqualified.”  —I Cor. 9: 24-26, NRSV

“Write the vision, make it plain on tablets, so that a runner may read it.” Habakkuk 2: 2, NRSV

See you at the finish line. 🙂

Tomorrow’s Post: March Madness Poetry…c’mon, you knew it was coming!


Lessons Learned from Star Wars…

Star Wars

Experts are now saying that one way we could prevent meteors from wreaking havoc on our planet is to use…a death star. No, I’m not making this up. Next, they will be telling us that Luke Skywalker is running for President in 2016. I can see it now…Light Sabers at the party convention! And at the convention party. 😉 So, since I came of age in the 1970’s and happened to inflict my kids with the same love of all things Star Wars, here’s a little reprise of a note I wrote on FB upon the re-release of Star Wars in 3D:

1. You only think you know who your father is.

2. Once you allow someone to put your hair in braided concentric circles around your ears, you will be forever labeled a bit of a nut case. Even if your mom and dad are a tad famous.

3. There are cowboys in galactic space warring. Chief among them is Harrison Ford. And I love cowboys.

4. The force is with you…if you can lift a spaceship in a swamp.

5. Talking backward….wise, you will sound.

6. If your name is Jar Jar, you belong in a jar…with the lid tightly screwed, to prevent escape.

7. I would have needed GPS to avoid crashing into trees in those airborne motorcycles in Return of the Jedi. And even then, I’m not promising much.  I would have been Ewok kibble, for sure.

8. If you want to catch all the one-liners in Star Wars, take your childhood best buddy with you. You’ll giggle your head off. Probably because she likes to add a few one-liners of her own.

9. If you want to watch someone’s eyes bug out watching that ship pass right over your head in the theater, take the eldest DS, who now understands why it’s not quite the same on DVD.

10.  George Lucas should be in charge of the U.S. government. If nothing else, he will be able to conjure up enough special effects to make us think something was actually accomplished.

11. The creatures in the bar strangely resemble my memories of…people I met in college. At a bar. And not in a good way. This might be why I don’t go to bars much anymore.

12. Darth has a really bad allergist. Anyone who can’t control their asthma better than that should be kicked out of the AMA.

13. Never give your two DS‘s light sabers. I learned to move all the lamps out of the living room.

14. You can be around your brother for years…and not know it. See # 1.

15. Karate suits look better with boots.

16. You never know when you might not actually be in a cave.

17. In the future, all cities will have dirt streets again.  Maybe because we’re all racing around voluminous rocky “mountains” in midair.  But people still walk on these dirt streets. Hmmmm…..

18. A huge mechanical-looking orb will be called a star. What? (And will now defend our planet against those nasty invaders called meteors.)

19. Never fight on a narrow walkway with asthma patients. See # 12.

20. The mean guy you know today will be a piece of cake to defeat tomorrow. Because…tomorrow you meet the next mean guy and he looks way crazier than the last guy.  And he has a red face with horns.

With you, the force will be…if you go to the movies this weekend. 🙂

Point to Ponder Challenge: What idea is lurking in your head that you think is a little preposterous, at least in the eyes of the world? Is it really that preposterous or does it just need some tweaking? What would need to happen to find out how to tweak it? Put those steps on paper or in your planner and make at least one happen this week!

Tomorrow’s Post: A Slow Reader at the Cross Roads…