From The Mud Puddle

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Internet: The World At Your Fingertips
This is a quirky little story I wrote for this week's column about something that happened shortly after coming online in 2000.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

You know, having an indoor dog is a trade off. While having a dog inside means you get to see a sweet face like this up close and personal several times a day, you also are faced with a collection of sludge and slime from time to time.

I was reminded of this as I went into the kitchen and sighed at the amount of gunk on the kitchen floor left behind by none other than our sweet Bayley.

Where does it all come from?

As I wiped up whatever that was on the floor that he left behind, I looked around his food bowl, up the wall (going up as far as his body would reach) and along the carpet. I sighed again as I wonder what in the world caused me to delve into this world of having an indoor dog.

Then I remembered my own sweet kids who were nine and seven at the time we finally agreed the kids could have a puppy. Bayley arrived at age six weeks. All I have to do is to look into their eyes and then those of our dog and I am reminded that somehow in all of this....even with all the gookies and gunk that cause me extra cleaning and such, it is worth it. Just look at that face!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Two weeks ago, I had my first mammogram. I posted that I hoped that none of these routine tests and exams ever showed anything, but that I would continue regardless.

Well flash forward to this past Wednesday. In the mail arrived a letter from a local breast imaging office asking me to give them a call because they needed to talk to me. Now I had my mammogram in the office, so this was a great big neon sign to me that something was up.

It's really the last thing you want to receive in the mail after having some sort of screening like this.

I called the breast imaging office immediately and talked to one of the women that works there. She told me that they wanted to get some digital images of one of my breasts for a clearer view (which from what I learned is better than the film version done in the doctor's office) I asked specifically if they found something and she just said, not necessarily. She told me that different breasts have different textures and that sometimes it is helpful to get a better view using the digital machines.

I really didn't feel very assured, but went ahead and took their next available appointment, which was today at 3:10 pm. I really didn't want to wait through the weekend or a few weeks to find out what was going on.

So for the past two days, I've had this on my mind. It really starts to freak you out a bit when you consider your health might be getting ready to take a nose dive into the unknown. For me I would have to add, when your health might be getting ready to take a nose dive again. I've had enough health issues to last me a lifetime, yet know that one day something is going to do me in whether in a few days, a few months, a few years or when I'm 85 or so. I prayed for God to spare me this time. I really didn't want to deal with anything this year. You see, for the past six years, I've had some major medical issue appear in the even years (02, 04 and 06)...and well I would be due again for the other shoe to drop once more here in 2008. You can see, I am very optimistic and all here!

Actually I really know it is all in God's hand and he is sovereign always. But satan really would like to undermind all we know about God's peace when those waves threaten to drag us under ONE.MORE.TIME.


I went today. After feeling like a piece of meat at my gynecologist's office, I really didn't have high expectations for this office either.

I was very very wrong. This office, full of ladies, was wonderful!

It was like each one wrapped their arms around me, as if protecting one of their own. Everyone was so patient. Everyone took care to respect me and maintain my dignity.

Since two weeks ago, the thought has gone through my head that perhaps I should try to find another gynecologist...perhaps even a woman gynecologist. After today, the thought definitely will be in my consideration next year when I need to have my yearly exam. I do not change doctors lightly, and I may explain in a future post how I ended up (back) here in the first and second place one day. they did another mammogram and an ultrasound, assuring me that they did this to most everyone that came in for reevaluation like I was there for.

The doctor came in for my ultrasound and told me that she thought that what she was seeing was a fibroadenoma, a benign cyst in my breast. She wants to see me in six months to reexamine me and again in six more months after that for my regular exam. She assured me that all was normal looking and explained how she knew this cyst she was seeing was not cancerous. She said it was common in "young girls like yourself".

Now I know I love this place...a place where I am considered a "young girl" at 41 of all things.

So, concludes my first mammogram and a followup that made my head spin for the past couple of days....

And with it comes praise for God for allowing this storm to pass me by, much as the other storm the night of my mammogram two weeks ago did.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

So Very Sad

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The 5-year-old daughter of contemporary Christian
music star Steven Curtis Chapman was struck and killed Wednesday by a sport
utility vehicle driven by her brother, authorities said.
The girl, Maria, was
hit in a driveway on the family residence Wednesday afternoon by a Toyota Land
Cruiser driven by her teenage brother, said Laura McPherson, a spokesman for the
Tennessee Highway Patrol.
McPherson said no charges are expected.
looks like a tragic accident," she said.
She said several members of the
Chapman family witnessed the accident, which happened in Williamson County just
south of Nashville.
The brother apparently did not see the little girl,
McPherson said. She did not have the name or exact age of the brother, only that
he is an older teenager.
The girl died later at Vanderbilt Medical Center,
hospital spokeswoman Laurie Holloway said.

Praying for the Chapman family tonight after seeing this story mentioned on Travis Cottrell's Blog

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Lost parrot tells veterinarian his address

Savoring Fresh Strawberries
Just a little bit more of what we did last week when I was taking my bloggy break...
Other photos from that day of my kids and the farm are below

For more of my columns click here

If DialIdol is as correct as they have been in the past, I will be a very happy camper with American Idol's result show tonight.

Monday, May 19, 2008

So it's the middle of the night and I find myself awake.

Figured it was about as good of time as any to reappear from my bloggy break as any.

The Saturday before Mother's Day, I started a post about being alone, and then my family came home and I was no longer alone and so it didn't apply anymore. Thoughts vanished and I never finished that post.

The Monday after Mother's Day, I wrote a post, published it for a few minutes and then really didn't feel it reflected anything that I wanted to post here, so took it down. I repeated the process once more later that day or Tuesday. I have lost track now.

I think that is when I finally posted about testing the first time. Then I finished off the week by reporting we made it through testing. It was a good blog break, a good time indeed to step away for a few days and games online.

You see, during this time, of not having much to say, I was at playing with my cocker spaniel (my kids gave me for Mother's Day) in webkinz world. We had seen other folks talking about it online, but given my kids are older teenagers, we had not experienced it. I had mentioned being interested in it, and so they gave me one that looks remarkably like our dog Bayley. (or at least how he looked when he was a little puppy)

So I am still finding my way around the whole webkinz site. In this process, I went back with my kids (because now they wanted one) and I got one more. When we were buying our webkinz, the lady at the register gave us each a free webkinz panda.(The panda is the webkinz of the month-and so there were many neat things we got once we adopted each of ours) So, I have three in a matter of a week and my kids each have two. My mind is obviously mush.

This whole webkinz thing is a racket, we knew going into it it was a racket. We know still and yet, it is a racket, yet-it is fun, not just for little people, but for older teens and well...their mom!
(Sanity Management folks!)

Last week also was the end of Survivor this season and ....well...the Bachelor, which I admit here and now to watching. I was hoping Amanda would win Survivor, but didn't. I was not invested in Shayne or Chelsea winning Matt's heart (as if it would last anyway)...but enjoyed watching the outcome, even knowing it probably isnt as real as they try to convince everyone it is. We watched Dancing with the Stars Monday and then sadly saw Marissa get voted off Tuesday. We continued with our Reality TV obsession with watching Farmer Wants a Wife on the CW. That show is a hoot as part of what he is judging the girls on is how well they take to doing farm chores like mucking out stalls or milking goats or chasing pigs to be cleaned. We got caught up with Groomer Has It and Hell's Kitchen (which I am not totally sure I like...I'm not really into watching people be belittled like Chef Ramsey seems to do....but am holding out final thoughts as I see it all through) I also have continued to watch American Idol with half interest. I watch with one eye on the TV and one doing something here on the computer if that tells you how invested I am there. I am rooting for David Cook to win it all. Tomorrow starts Deanna's Bachelorette season. We'll watch with interest as we were on Deanna's team to win last fall on the Bachelor when Brad did not pick any of the 25 girls, dumping Deanna right before he proposed (as I believe he was going to do except he didn't get "butterfly love" when he was around her...::eye roll::) We also are watching the Alaska Experiment online and have watched one show of the Verminators.

I also have been watching my site counter for a while, knowing I was nearing 10,000 hits. I was hoping that on the day it happened, I could make a big deal of it. It happened last week when I was somewhat away from the blog, passing without notice. I thought to check it yesterday and discovered that someone from Worcester, Massachusetts was my 10,000 visitor. Whoever you are, there isnt a grand prize...but I did want to say thank you for visiting and being my special guest that day. To everyone who visits, thank you. I appreciate your coming and reading. Thank you to those who comment and join in the conversation here. It is nice to know you all.

Friday, May 16, 2008


Testing is finished...finally...

All we have to do is mail it tomorrow.

I guess you could say that this week I took a bloggy break. I had things on my mind to blog and did attempt it a few times, but as you can see, nothing materialized in a real way.

I'll be back in a day or so, God willing.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Testing this week....

CAT test....

Usually we just do the survey (because we can)

I wasnt paying attention and ordered the whole battery.

So it's going to take us longer this week than planned.

The kids kept saying, "there are more questions this year"

When I finally realized, I laughed...and then apologized through the laughter.

I dont know if they believed my apology was sincere...

I dont know if I was...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

My Mother's Day Column
"Rising up to call her Blessed"
For more of my Columns, click here .
Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

I cut the TV on to watch Survivor at 8pm and soon discovered that it was going to preempted to our local weather. Apparently we are in a tornado watch, with several local areas in Tornado warnings. Lots of severe thunderstorms with hail nearby. Right now things at my house is quiet, but it looks like it is headed our way soon.

I guess the snake my son saw outside a few minutes ago was slithering away to get out of the path of the storm.

Hmm, we are now in a warning in my county, though it looks like it will be an hour before it gets to my side of the county and where I am will not get the brunt of it.

Anyway....I'll catch Survivor online later on, and will pray all will be safe and sound. I continue to flip between our CBS and FOX station, mainly staying with the FOX station.

In other news from today, I had my first mammogram. I must say it was not as bad as I had heard it would be. It was slightly uncomfortable and awkward, and I am slightly sore, but overall just another somewhat intrusive test. I hope to never hear that one of the yearly exams finds anything...but I'll continue with my yearly as they tell me to do. (Just as I'll continue to see my family physician about other problems I have that need maintenance) It's just a part of being healthy I suppose no matter how much I dislike going to the doctor for ANYTHING.
Perhaps the feelings I have towards going to the doctor like I am comes from how much I felt like a piece of meat by the time I went through delivering two babies, miscarrying two, having one ectopic and then a hysterectomy when I was 35. By that point I was done. I did not want to see another needle or finger poke or give them anything else for them to screen. Today, I still felt like a piece of meat, but I blocked out my feelings and listened to the pointless, unimportant small talk my doctor tried to make with me. You would think that after 18 years of seeing this doctor, that he would be able to scan my file and be able to ask other questions or talk about more than how hot and dry it might be this summer. I know, I am just a piece of meat, but at least when I go to my primary physician, I feel he doesn't just look through me, but really cares.

They also informed me that I have good bone structure. How they can tell how good my bones are by my sticking my foot in this machine and letting it emit x rays into me is beyond me...but supposedly they can. I say this tongue in cheek, somewhat...also knowing that I do have a family history of osteoporosis and I do need to be aware of this.

So with both screenings, the mammogram and the bone test, I couldn't help but think of the modern marvel show on the history channel where they talked about the machine that was from the early/mid part of the 1900's that would xray a person's foot for shoe size. At first it was thought as cutting edge, but soon people found out that x rays could be dangerous....So I have to wonder sometimes if the risk of all these scans and tests we go through in life is worth the benefit for the majority of the public. Just a question my daughter and I discussed on the way home today after my tests.

And yes, my daughter went with me today. I teased her that she could hold my hand, but in reality, I wanted her to be aware of what a yearly would be like for her when she begins. Her overall impression was "I hate the wallpaper" (huge hydrangea flowers) and that she was bored.

Me too baby, me too...get used to it-you are to them a piece of you enter the wonderland of woman's health.

And if you are in woman's health, please know...I'm glad for all the advancements. Without them I probably would be dead right now given my history...but I am just tired of them...and I do not like the idea that I have years and years of facing these things again and again...and even more things the older and older I get. Oh joy!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

I don't usually watch Jimmy Kimmel, but...

There is always a "but" isnt there?

Anyway, but I heard that America Ferrera was on there one night and just happened to see that had that particular episode uploaded to their site.

So my kids and I sat here at the computer and one of the first things we see is this guy to the left all wrapped in bubble wrap.

The gag was that the bubble wrap would protect him in case of an earthquake in CA.

Later in the show, another guy doing another skit type thing just kept popping this guy's bubbles.

The whole thing was so absurd.

So anyway, we finally made it to the segment we were hoping to see. Forever though, I will have this image of the guy wrapped in bubble wrap. Jimmy Kimmel made the joke that they could auction him on eBay and mail him anywhere since he is now ready to be shipped.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The biggest thing that doesn't work for me is to make a grocery list. I know for the most part people say that not making a list is a big no no.

For me though, making a list, planning meals, etc really wasted my time and caused a lot of frustration.

So many times I would get to the grocery store with a list and find that the meat that I needed to find for a particular recipe was not there, did not look good or was more expensive than I had counted on (based on the average cost of that meat)

I also could never count in sales on meat or other products with a list. If some particular meat is on sale (especially surprise store sales) or in the bargain meat area, then without a list I can make plans right then and there of the rest of what I'll need.

I also know pretty much what we need when we go to Wal-Mart, Sams, and what other grocery store I find myself in as I gather our food and household goods for the two week period I am shopping. My family is pretty easy to please. We generally buy the same products, in the same amounts week after week.

I also know that with my family, I like leaving a certain amount of meals open ended. I would rather have five to ten meals planned, leaving open the rest for a last minute choice when I have a taste for something in particular. The other nights I go into my stash of food that I have planned.

I know that this doesn't work for everyone, and might blow the budget for some...but for us it works to have the flexibility of not planning things so rigidly. I pretty much know what I am buying and live close enough to the store that I can fill in other meals later. My daughter has a part time job, so it isnt like I have that many days of being at home all day without anywhere to go.

Anyway....Lists, that is what DOESNT work for me this week.

Well that and trying to white water raft. White water rafting is evil. Pure evil! ;)

For more Works Doesn't Work for Me ...

Monday, May 05, 2008

My day started with my husband waking up my daughter for work and my not being able to go to sleep. I was tired, but made it through the day, even on the five hours sleep, way less than I would prefer. My eyes feel droopy now, but as usual, I'll probably wait for my husband to get home from work in an hour or so.

I also took my son to the orthodontist for his consultation. Wow. So sucking your thumb as a baby does reform your mouth resulting in having to wear an extra appliance and $200 more dollars (on addition to choosing which arm and leg I want to hand over in payment) to reshape it later in life. Still and yet, I would not have traded the peace and quiet the thumb sucking allowed us as he comforted himself. We'll deal with what is, which is a real well adjusted teenager that up until he busted out one of his front teeth at age six sucked his thumb. We'll be thankful for him busting out that tooth as it gave us and the dentist reason to tell Christopher his thumb sucking days were over. (and it actually worked ....within two months, he was no longer slipping up and sticking it in his mouth) We'll deal with it all and be thankful we can.

My daughter had braces a few years (getting them off last June or so), but it was a different time and different situation. She had a very straight forward situation, unlike several of the things my son will have to go through to get his mouth in order.

After that, we went to Bojangles to pick up some chicken. Now for those not familiar with Bojangles, Bojangles sells cajun chicken. Basically their whole menu revolves around chicken. So why, for the past three times we have been there in recent weeks have they been OUT OF CHICKEN? It would be like if KFC told you that they were out of chicken. It could happen, but it isnt very likely as it is their MAIN COMODITY! The guy today apologized and told us that a change in management and many of the folks that worked there had really upset the whole balance of people working or being trained. We may have to skip over that place some (which isnt a bad idea generally as fried chicken really isnt the BEST food choice-I admit)

The other really cool thing that happened today was that we received yet another free DVD set from our Pepsi Points. Before you think that we are Pepsi addicts, then know, I enjoy having the small 12 oz bottles when I am at my computer. I prefer that over a cup or a glass mainly because if I knock it over, there is a lot less of a chance I will spill drink on my computer keyboard or other things I have going on in that area. The Pepsi folks had put these yellow code lids on the packs of 12 oz bottles of drink, when they were not suppose to (so we found out later when we stopped seeing them on there) So easily we have saved up over 180 and have cashed most in on the two DVD sets we've received. First we received Pride and Prejudice and today season one of Family Affair came. I loved Family Affair when I was a kid (even though the show started the year I was born) I remember watching it in reruns and probably saw the show a little when it was on actual TV before it went off the air five seasons later. We've watched three of the episodes tonight and my kids enjoyed it as much as I did.

So that was most of my day. How was yours?

Sunday, May 04, 2008

There is a new button on my side bar that looks like this above. It will take you to a few of my columns I've wrote in the past few months. It really feels weird to put this "out there" in the open on my blog. I went back and forth the past couple of months over if I wanted to, and if so how did I want to do this. I may change the format in time, but for now, it's there. (at least until I change my mind! Ekkk)
This almost became one of my "six things", but then I knew if I mentioned it, I'd have to follow up soon with, well...a way to share it. I mean, here I am doing it 24 hrs later.
Am rambling here....can you tell I am nervous ?
There are a few that I have not added yet that may or may not be added at a later date (meaning that you'll just have to keep your eye on that post for any changes)

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The South

That's a Southern accent you've got there. You may love it, you may hate it, you may swear you don't have it, but whatever the case, we can hear it.

The Midland
The Inland North
The Northeast
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

The results are not surprising to me, but the quiz was fun.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

MSM has tagged me to tell six little known things about myself. I saw this tag yesterday and have been wringing my brain to try to think about what is little known that I dont mind sharing about myself. I could either drive away the two or three of you that read and comment regularly (and the four of you that lurk) or attract a whole new crowd of people here as they Google assorted topics. Not sure which is scarier LOL. So with that I close my eyes and type with free abandon my six things:

  • I once danced with a life size pig in a commercial for Henry James Barb-b-que.
  • I run a fan at night for white noise.
  • I kissed the same boy on the cheek day after day, after lunch in second grade when the teacher left the room and we were to have our heads on our desks resting. I stopped after I got a big lip and my dad (not knowing what had been going on) teased me that I must have gotten a big lip because I was kissing boys at school. Never knew exactly why I got a big lip though. Strange. That poor boy probably wondered why all of a sudden the affection was gone.
  • I got to go on the Old Rebel Show a few times when I was very little. It was a local kid's show. As you walked to the bleachers, you passed in front of the camera taping the show that would be shown the next day. You would say your name and how old you were to the Old Rebel and be handed a glass bottle with some kind of carbonated drink to enjoy while watching the show. One of the times my mother took my sister, brother and me, it was my birthday. Because of this, I got to go sit on this table in front of the camera and all the other kids. I was given a big box of Milk Duds.
  • I once was an AOL Host Guide, taught Newbie classes, and did a Homeschool chat before the volunteer program ended a few years ago.
  • My first "real" name is Linda.

Thanks MSM for the tag. I suppose I should tag a few folks here too, but unsure who all of you are that are out there that haven't done this meme/tag...Why not tag yourself and then come back here and post a comment with your URL letting me/us know. Or, if you dont have a blog and would like to play along, leave your six things in the comment section for all of us to enjoy!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

I reached this score last night while waiting on my husband to get home from work.
I hold the top spots on my daughter's brain age 2 game for virus buster-easy level.
I have placed my current high score in my side bar with a special tag I made and will update it as it changes so that you can keep track of my progress.
(because I know you cannot wait to see what I do next )
Rest assured, my teenagers, husband and dog are all well fed. We went to the grocery store yesterday as a matter of fact. Clothes are getting done
(despite the fact that our dryer still is waiting on my husband to have time to fix it)
and everything else is as usual.
I am on a roll, but figure that it will end sometime. Even so, I am happy where I am, even though my daughter says that my score is sick. She only makes that comment because she has been studying for the SAT and has not had time to play much lately.
Such is life.

Which House Character Are You?

More on House. Created by BuddyTV

Which Female American Idol Singer Are You?

More on American Idol. Created by BuddyTV
Adorable, yet dumb?
Ouch LOL