A headline that makes you go hmmmmm…..


Hi Everyone!

I saw the following headline on a web site today – “An Airport That Even Pilots Don’t Like to Land In.”  How many of you besides me wonder who else besides pilots would be landing in an airport?

Have a great day!

Nancy

Church of the What???


Good morning Everyone!

Last weekend, Mark, Kayla and I went to Huntsville to attend a recital given by one of my sisters, who is a gifted soprano.  The recital was at her church, so as Mark and I were looking for the church’s address on our Garmin.  Mark asked what I was looking under, and I told him “Church of the Nativity.”

In the back seat of the car, Kayla (who fades randomly in and out of conversations these days with often hilarious results) said suddenly,” That’s a terrible name for a church!”

When asked to explain, she said,” The Church of Negativity? Who would want to go there?”

It took Mark 3 blinks and me 5 to contain our amusement where we could calmly explain that the deletion of two letters changed the meaning from something unpleasant to something wonderful.

She did roll her eyes at me when I announced after the explanation, “Coming soon to a blog near you!”

Have a great day!

Nancy

Time Matters


Good morning Everyone!

Elegant Mantel Clock

NIGHT BEFORE:

Picking up necessary medication after work: 20 minutes.

Putting bag with necessary medication down in the house somewhere:  10 seconds.

Greeting husband and daughter:  5 minutes.

NEXT MORNING:

smiley-frowny-face_17913_

1st sweep of house for bag containing necessary medication:  5 minutes. 

smiley more frowny face

2nd sweep of house for bag containing necessary medication:  5 minutes. 

more frowny face

3rd sweep of house for bag containing necessary medication: 5 minutes

angry face

4th sweep of house for bag containing necessary medication:  4 minutes, 45 seconds.

relief 2

Being saved by 15 seconds from calling husband and daughter and throwing monumental (unfair) hissy fit about stuff being moved without knowledge:

Priceless!

Have a great day!

Nancy

Accents and Impressions


Good morning Everyone!

“I’d never have been misled; I’d have known Jesus was the Messiah.”

I have to chase that thought away every time I watch a dramatization about the New Testament.

To help myself do that, I pictured Jesus speaking to the priests.  Jesus’ accent would have been the accent of a Galilean peasant, fisherman  or farmer.

To get some idea of how that would affect the ruling class, imagine you are in a large, prosperous church where the worship services are choreographed to the second (and I’m not being critical here; we all worship in our own way) and broadcast on television for the unchurched and shut-ins.  The choir has sung, the offering’s been taken, maybe even communion has been offered, and then, just as the preacher stands up to give the benediction and dismiss the congregation,  a man dressed in clean but run down clothes walks down the aisle and whispers to the preacher.  Surprised, the preacher looks out at the congregation, who can see the dilemma the preacher is in – should he let this man speak or does he keep the service on schedule ?  With a sigh, because he truly is a man of God, the preacher decides to take the high road for reasons even he can’t explain, and steps aside to allow the man to speak into a microphone.

Some in the congregation shift restlessly on their cushioned pews, ready to be gone.  Some are curious, trying to figure out what is going on.  Some are disgusted – why on earth didn’t that man wear nicer clothes?  Didn’t he know he was entering a church?  A few are hoping to see the Holy Spirit in action and accept any additional teaching God intends to share through this speaker.    The TV crew is tearing their hair out, the broadcast schedule completely shot.  Except for the rustle of church programs, a few shuffling feet, and some coughs, the sanctuary is silent.

The man begins to speak – and while his voice is melodious, he has the thickest country accent (stronger than Gomer Pyle) anyone there has ever heard, or an accent that comes straight from the toughest slums in the nearest big city.  He isn’t speaking “church lingo” (although he is learned enough that he could) but straightforward stories from every day life to tell his message.

How many of the people in that church would be able to get past the man’s accent to hear what he had to say, let alone understand it?  How many that made it past the accent could make it past the everyday, homespun stories? How many would feel that the man, with his shabby appearance and strong accent, was desecrating their sanctuary and making fun of them?   How many would be open to anything that man could teach them?  Who among them would be brave enough to leave everything they owned and follow Him simply because He asked them to?

Before I judge the people of Jesus’ time, I think I would do well to answer those questions about myself first.

Have a great day!

Nancy

Maternity Fraternity


Good morning Everyone!

Copyright Protected by www.clickartonline.com.  Used with Permission.

Copyright Protected by http://www.clickartonline.com. Used with Permission.

We were driving around a shopping center this weekend to find an American Eagle Outfitter – Kayla had thirty dollars burning a hole in her pocket.  On our way to the store, Kayla suddenly piped up with “Gee, they must be really big to have one of those!  I didn’t know they had a college here!”

Mark and I asked together,” One of those what?”

She said,” You know, one of those places where college boys get together and have parties. ”

We were dumbfounded for about 5 seconds until light broke through our befuddlement.

We then took a few minutes to explain that the difference between the words “maternity” and “fraternity” was more than just spelling.

Maternity.  Copyright Protected by www.clickartonline.com.  Used with Permission.

Maternity. Copyright Protected by http://www.clickartonline.com. Used with Permission.

Have a great day!

Nancy

Meet Mr. Belvedere


Good morning Everyone!

Meet Mr. Belvedere, the latest addition to the growing list of buskeys (and buskey photos) people are kind enough to share with me.  Even better, Mr. Belvedere’s friend, Sara, has one of those rarest of photographs – a picture of a buskey as a puppy!

Puppy, basset hound, husky, buskey

Mr. Belvedere at 10 weeks old! Who can resist those puppy eyes?
Photo Credit: Sara Kyser

Sara works at a shelter, and is responsible for temperament testing all of the shelter dogs, so she also had more training than many of us on managing a buskey.   Belvedere sings, howls and talks, and is very smart.  He likes to play a “find-it” game and food games with Sara that use the exceptional sense of smell he received from his basset hound forebears.

basset hound, huskey, buskey

Mr. Belvedere at Two Years Old
Photo Credit: Sara Kyser

Belvedere is the first buskey I have “met” that is not, ummm, shall we say, vertically challenged.  Sara says he looks sort of like a basset hound on stilts, being long, tall and thin, with the loose skin around his neck and the long nose of a basset hound.  He also has the smelling acumen of a basset hound.

He is full of personality, another trait most buskeys share.  In addition to his vocal talents, he likes to play in the sprinkler and in water.  (Something I am not at all sure our Mandy would do – although I have seen her step and then sit in a bowl of ice water that we left on the porch once when we had to leave the dogs outdoors in the summer.  We did that several times that summer, and it took me forever to figure out how they managed to splash the water everywhere while we were gone!).

Mr. Belvedere also gets along very well with the other dogs in the household.  In this picture, he is napping with his brother.

Dogs, basset hound, husky, buskey

Mr. Belvedere and his brother together Photo Credit: Sara Kyser

Sara had his DNA tested and it came back as 1/2 basset hound and 1/2 husky, with pure bred parents as far back as the DNA people could go.  

Sara has noticed, and been working with, a tendency to “resource” guard, which she believes comes from his husky half.  It’s good to know that he does that, because I have often been frustrated watching Mandy take a good 45 minutes to eat the same bowl of dog food that Darwin could scoff down in about 10.  She waits until everyone else (people included) are done eating in the morning before she starts.

Sara also wanted to share the following with anybody intending to intentionally create the buskey mix (or, for that matter, those of us who were just lucky enough to match up with one at a shelter somewhere.)  This is what she wrote:

He can be a bit of a husky with handling, somewhat sensitive. I have worked on this and resource guarding issues from the time he was a pup, and continue to this day. I mention this because I think it’s important for people to understand that both hounds and huskies are known to have resource guarding issues. Huskies are known to be difficult to handle in general. Crossing these two breeds makes for an amazing, funny, intelligent dog but positive training is essential, and they might not be for the first time dog owner.

As you may recall, one of the readily identifiable characteristics of every buskey I have encountered so far is a strong independence streak, which is why the positive training is needed.  We have noticed that streak in Mandy, also.  If you tell her “bad dog” about something, she looks at you thoughtfully, as if to say “that’s an interesting point of view,” then goes ahead and does what she wanted to do originally anyhow.

Mr. Belvedere, however, was lucky enough to find someone who knows how to train him – and I think Sara thinks she was pretty lucky, too!

Have a great day!

Nancy

Top Things That Irritate Me at Fast-Food Drive-Thrus


Good morning Everyone!

fast food window

Cartoon Credit: http://www.clickartonline.com
All rights reserved

I use fast food drive-thrus far more than I should.  Here are some of the things that irritate me the most:

1)  The failure to follow simple rules of etiquette.  The words “please”, “thank you” and “you’re welcome” shouldn’t be considered archaic and outdated!

2)  Giving me a regular Coke when I ordered a Diet Coke.

3) Worse, giving me a Dr. Pepper or Diet Dr. Pepper when I have ordered a Diet Coke.

4) Those drive-thrus that deliberately plot against me by giving me the correct drink 20 times in a row than failing to give me the right drink the one time in 21 trips that I do not check the drink before I pull out of the drive thru.  (How do they know?)

Soda cup

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All rights reserved.

5)  When did ketchup and napkins become luxury items doled out in dribbles?

6)  Getting my order wrong.  Especially when I don’t realize it until after I have left the drive thru window.

7) Putting a sign up ordering me to turn off my windshield wipers when I pull up to the window.  I do it anyhow, of course, just to be polite, but I don’t appreciate being ordered to do so.

8)  Being called “sweetie”, “honey” or “darling” by people half my age.

Graphic Credit:  www.clickartonline.com All rights reserved.

Graphic Credit: http://www.clickartonline.com
All rights reserved.

9)  Receiving a deluxe hamburger with only cheese and pickles on it when I asked for a deluxe hamburger with everything on it except cheese and pickles.  I think the cook who did that not only bore a grudge but a sense of humor.

10)  Asking me for my order, then only entering the first thing I say after I give you the entire order.  Then asking me again, only to enter the second thing I say while I give you the entire order.  Repeat ad nauseam.

Have a great day!

Nancy

Hell’s Itch – No Laughing Matter


Good morning Everyone!

My Easter Sunday plans did not include spending the afternoon staring with concern at my daughter writhing on the floor, rubbing her back on a towel and crying.  We had just returned from a five-day trip to the beach that morning. While we were there, Kayla spent one glorious five-hour stint in the water playing with some friends she had made that morning and wound up with an equally splendid sunburn on her back.  Until Easter afternoon, it had been pretty much like any other sunburn, but what Kayla was experiencing then was a whole different order of magnitude.  There was no doubt in my mind that she was sincere but I couldn’t figure out what was going on.

Mark woke up just as I was getting ready to take her somewhere for help, and suggested instead that I first give her Benadryl and some Tylenol.  I did, and it seemed to help for about an hour and a half, then everything started all over again.  While Kayla was calm, we asked her what it felt like, and she said when the itch got bad and she started crying, she felt like she had a thousand knives stabbing deep into her back, causing great pain and a deep, burning itch.  When the itch started to come back after an hour and a half, we gave her two Advil and I took her to our local Doc-In-The-Box.

Apparently, arriving at 5:30 p.m. on Easter Sunday when the clinic closes at 6 ensures swift service.  Kayla was their only patient.  I was a little annoyed at the doctor because I didn’t think she really was taking Kayla and me seriously, but she did consent to give Kayla a shot of Benadryl and prescribe a stronger antihistamine in case the Benadryl didn’t work.  She also told me to get some Cortisone cream and Benadryl cream to put on Kayla’s back.

I called Mark at 5:55 – the prescription had been called into our local pharmacy, which closed at 6, and Kayla and I were about 30 minutes away – and he won Father-of-the-Year award for making it to CVS in less than four minutes to pick up the prescription.

We were fortunate that he was able to do so, because about 10:00 p.m., by the time the Benadryl shot had worn off, Kayla came into our bedroom and woke me up to tell me that her back had started itching again and she wanted me to put the cortisone cream and Benadryl cream on her.  I carefully applied the lotions, but by the time I finished, she was back to writhing in agony again and begging me to take the lotions back off.  Mark woke up because he heard us.  After I wiped the creams back off as best I could,  we had Kayla take an Aveeno oatmeal bath.  (Another remedy suggested by the doctor.)

After she got out of the bath, her back had calmed down a little again, so the three of us sat up for a while.  While we sat,  I did what any stumped parent would do – I googled “intense sunburn itch.”  The results surprised me.

Apparently, there are a number of people out there – adults as well as children – that have experienced the same thing.   The people who have had this happen to them called it either “Hell’s Itch” or ICI – short for “insanity causing itch.”  The medical sites didn’t have a description of it or a name for it, but I know from our experience with Kayla that it exists.  All of the stories I found on the internet described the same symptoms that Kayla had experienced.  One sufferer was a former marine who admitted that he was embarrassed that this – whatever it is – had brought him to his knees.  Another was a former paratrooper who said the same thing.  The adults who described it said that it felt like fire ants were crawling underneath your skin, constantly biting you.

A very important point to remember if you encounter this is that all of the normal sunburn remedies – aloe vera, cortisone and antihistamine creams – only make the itch worse.

There were only three things that seemed to help the people who experienced this – and two of them were the opposite of what you would do for a normal sunburn.  The first remedy that gave most people relief was to take a scalding hot shower for at least 15 to 20 minutes.  The second remedy was peppermint oil, which is not something I keep on hand.  The third remedy that helped was the prescription antihistamine.  The brand name for it is Aderax and the generic is something like hydroxidine HCL.  With Kayla, basic pain relievers like Tylenol and Advil also helped, although without the antihistamines the most they did was take the edge off.

Hell’s Itch only happens to someone who has acquired a decent sunburn to some area of the body.  For reasons no one was certain of, about 48 hours later, each sufferer experienced an unbearable sensation that ran in waves over the places that were sunburnt.  Even if you are one of the 5 – 10% of people who ever experience this, it doesn’t happen every time you get sunburned.  Some people will experience it once and then not have it happen again for 20 years, even if they get sunburned in the meantime.  In almost everyone, the symptoms subside on their own after 8 to 48 hours.

All’s well that end’s well, of course, and by Tuesday, Kayla was back to normal.  Still, I wanted to share this with you in case you ever end up on the floor yourself writhing with this unbearable sensation, or, even worse, someone you love does.  As for me, I think I’m going to buy some peppermint oil and keep it on hand, just in case.

Have a great day!

Nancy

Memories of a Sweet Dog


Hi Everyone!

I can still remember picking Tyra out at the Humane Society.  We had lost our first dog, Shadow, about a year before, and our other dog, Woof, didn’t like being alone, so we decided to see if we could find a second dog so she would have some company.  Woof didn’t like the shelter much; it was too noisy and loud, so we put her back in the car and returned.  (It was February 14, so the weather was not an issue.)  The first run we encountered had two dogs in it, and two placards with their names on them attached to the door.  One of them said “My name is Tyra, and I know how to sit!”  Mark looked at both dogs, said sit, and one of them, a pretty dog with black hair and white, brown and tan markings did.  (She rarely sat on command after that, but the one time in her life it counted, she certainly did!).  We asked the shelter volunteer if we could adopt her, and the attendant said, “I think that’s an excellent idea!”

Adopted Dog, Shelter, Homecoming

Tyra’s Second Day at Home

No matter how hard a kennel or shelter tries, dogs that reside there acquire the very potent “Eau de Dog” scent, so as soon as we got her home, we popped Tyra into a bathtub, and washed her. From then until the day that she died, that dog never put a foot onto the tile portion of a bathroom in any house we resided in. Apparently, we had inadvertently scarred her for life!

Every dog has a unique personality, and Tyra’s outstanding characteristic was her eagerness to please – not in the goofy, sloppy, wonderful way a lab does, as if his whole world revolves around that instant in time his owner asks him to do something , but in her own quiet, determined way.  She had been left at the kennel by her first family because they had a baby and no longer had time for her.   I always had the impression that she was determined that would never happen again.  Of course, she couldn’t know at first that our family has one firm rule about adoptions of any animal, canine or human – once you’re a member of the pack, you’re always a member of the pack – but I suspect she caught on after a while.

She adapted quickly and well, as this picture from that first summer show.

Dog, photograph, sleeping in the s

Tyra in the back yard in Montgomery

Even better, Woof regained the ability to sleep in the sun and be happy even when Mark and I weren’t in the yard.

Dog, Sleeping in the Sun, Old Dog

Woof in the Back Yard When Tyra was There

We didn’t know it at the time we adopted Tyra, but she was not going to be the only new member of our family that year. In mid-November, at long last, the people at the Alabama DHR told us that they had a child they would like us to consider taking in as a foster child, with hopes that we could adopt her eventually. By December 1, 2004, Kayla had come to live with us. Here is a picture of all five us right about then:

Family Photo

Family Photo

We all had new experiences to share that winter, including the dogs experiencing the joys of having a child on the floor with her Dad and a bunch of Lincoln Log train tracks.

Dogs, Child, Play

Train Tracks, Family and Paws

Kayla and Tyra bonded quickly.  It really helped Kayla understand what was going on with her when we could explain to her what happened to Tyra – and it helped Kayla trust us to keep loving her when she saw how we loved Tyra.

Kids, Dogs

Kayla and Big Dog

Sweet Kisses

Sweet Kisses

There are so many things that made her unique – like the fact that even when she was old and blind, she could hear you peel a banana from 50 yards away and arrive instantly to demand her fair share, or that the only time I ever knew her to intentionally go after another person or dog was when she thought one of us was threatened. She did it twice – once when she thought another dog was attacking Woof, and once when Kayla was four and answered the door when the doorbell rang, then screamed because she didn’t recognize the person there. That time, Tyra had four teenage boys treed on the trunk of their car in the few seconds it took Mark to fly from the back yard to the front door himself. I felt sorry for the boys – all they wanted were directions. Both times, there was not a mark on either the dog or the boys when all was said and done but she had made a believer out of all of them!

Her story here came to an end on March 22. We hadn’t really thought we were that close to the end, even though she was 14, but that weekend she simply couldn’t seem to lift herself up off our wooden floor or go down the stairs at all, so I dropped her off at the vet’s that day, afraid of what I would hear.  When the vet called me back, I think I knew what she was going to tell me before she said it.  Tyra’s back had many osteophytes on the spine that had grown to the point that they were impinging on her nerves. Dr. Mitchell explained that Tyra would be in constant, worsening pain from then on, and we made the only decision we could.

I am comforted by the thought that Tyra knew without a doubt that we loved her; Mark, Kayla and I all made it to the vet about 1/2 hour in advance so we could be with her, petting her and telling her how much we loved her, and then it was time.

I also expect that it was only seconds after leaving here that Tyra was with Shadow and Woof –  trying to help Woof explain to Shadow exactly what Mandy looks like.

Sleep well, sweet Tyra Belle.

Nancy

Error Messages


Good morning Everyone!

Uh Oh!  Photo Credit:  www.clickartonline.com

Uh Oh!
Photo Credit: http://www.clickartonline.com

Anyone who uses a computer has encountered error messages.  While the worst of these is the blue screen of death – a blank page with a single “>” blinking in the top left corner, other messages make me certain that either the computer or its engineers have a warped sense of humor.

Message One:  Windows has encountered an improper argument.

Every time I get this one, I think,”Join the club.”  I didn’t realize that Windows was raising a 13-year-old too!

Message Two:  The trust relationship between this workstation and the primary domain is broken.

Really?  What did the workstation do?  It must have been bad – the primary domain was unrelenting.  Candy, flowers, cards and sweet messages were not sufficient to restore the trust relationship.    A shotgun blast at the primary domain would not have done so either – although it would have been cathartic both for me and the workstation!

Message Three:  Please do not turn off or power down your computer.

This message does not appear during regular business hours, when I will be using my computer for hours  but only when I am trying to turn my computer off so I can take it somewhere with me.  The odds of the message appearing and the amount of time the computer wants me to wait are directly proportional to the degree of my lateness.

Honorable Mention:  Please begin walking to turn the machine on. 

I received this message from an elliptical exercise machine – while I was walking on it.  Exercise is hard enough without a trash-talking machine!

Have a great day!

Nancy