Friday, August 22

One Year

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Sunday we'll be remembering Lona Halden on the first anniversary of her departure from our lives. Although she is gone she has left a unique legacy that trancends the bonds of flesh.

We created this video from the photos that Lona left behind for us. She left these photos so that we would remember her as she was in life. Vibrant. Brilliant. Beautiful.

Her time with us was too short but we never forget how blessed we are to have had her with us as long as we did. Although we miss her smile, her humor, the depth with which she effected the world, and people, around her, we still have these... the photos that capture her love of life, her joy, and the brilliant wit and humor that made us all love her so much.

Our love for her has not diminished with her passing.
If anything, it has grown greater as we begin to truly understand how she touched our lives. Our sorrow hasn't lessened, but we have grown from what Lona taught us during her time on earth-that love is all that matters, that friendship is the only true currency with value, and that every day should be cherished as if it were your last.

We love you Lona.
We ache with missing you.


Wednesday, July 23

Random Question 1

You’ve just inherited a manufacturing plant specializing in plastics.
What are you going to make?

My Answer:
The world sorry for laughing at me.

What would you make?

Tuesday, March 4

Some Good News

The book is well under way.
The publishers couldn't be happier.

The bad news...
The deadline is March 15th! And I'm still writing, re-writing and editing.

Some days I swear that I can't pull one more coherent thought out of my head, the next day the words come so fast and furious that I can't write them quickly enough. What I have now is such a jumble that I'm not even sure I can re-organize it. What I need is an assistant. And a new mini recorder, mine chose the worst possible time to conk out.

Among the unbound fragments
found after Emily Dickinson's death
is a small slip of paper that reads only,
"But ought not the amanuensis to receive a commission also --"

I'm no Emily Dickinson, but I completely understand.
I've come to believe that dictation is the ultimate act of love.
To have someone who cares for your words enough to make that sacrifice is a precious gift that cannot bear the weight of a price tag, nor can it be given enough gratitude.

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Ramstein Flugtag 1988

Monday, February 18

Home Again


I arrived in the middle of the night. The past couple of weeks have been nothing if not surrealsitic. I've stepped into my past. The visit home was good for my soul. I was able to go back to the places that I lived when I was growing up. I drove those old familiar streets and gazed upon the houses that I lived in when I was little, seeing them through my adult eyes was such a differnet perspective. The houses that once seemed so huge to me now seem so small.

The house that I was born in has now been razed and the corner lot is a vacant expanse of grass in an otherwise full neighborhood. I was told that it burnt many years ago and had to be demolished. Still, I took a picture of where it once stood.

I took many pictures on my trip. I'll share them soon.

But for now I'm working my way back to normal. It was wonderful to feel the embrace of my family. It was even more wonderful to look at the old family photos.

Thank you all for your love and support.

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Wednesday, February 6


I started writing this last night...
But my grandmother passed today at 4PM.
I'll be back soon. I'll finish it when I can.

Grandmother is hanging in there. She's doing that thing that we've seen in the medical field. Rallying one day, then steep blood pressure drops at night. Then she rebounds for a day or so. I haven't told the family because it would break their hearts, but I'm sure that this is the pattern I saw in my paternal grandfather. His last rebound was lovely. He sat up and ate with my grandmother, they talked for a long time, even staying after visiting hours were over. She was so happy when she got home that night, sure that he was on the mend and she would bring him back home soon. He had talked to her about their life together. He said all that he needed to say to her, the things we forget to say, about how much she had brought to his life, they reminisced their humble beginnings and all of their adventures along the way.

In the morning, as she was dressing to go to the hospital, the phone rang. It was the hospital calling to tell her that he had passed during the night.

She said she went to the closet and grabbed a handful of his sweaters and just stood there smelling them. Smelling him. For months she did this. Opening the doors and burying her face in his clothes so she could smell him.

Wednesday, January 23

HNT _ Snow Day Jan 19

We got snow!
Real snow!
Cheyenne and I played in it all day and half of the night!

Not enough to make a big snowman, but we had fun making a small one.

And dressing him up.

Ta Da!

Happy Snow Day!

See the man, Osbasso
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Saturday, January 19

Over The Counter

It's that time of year again and I'm fighting off a headcold, so I thought I'd share some of the things I've learned over the years about the differences in over-the-counter medications.

Recently at work everyone has been having a debate on which brand of over-the-counter pain reliever works best. Some people just use one type of medication no matter what ails them. It's also habit for people to ask for brand names like Tylenol rather than just asking for a pain reliever. But each type of medication has its own benefits, and drawbacks as well.

And some, when combined, have increased effectiveness. For instance, when treating kids, a combination of children's Tylenol and children's Motrin works fastest for reducing a high fever. Never use Aspirin to treat children! It has been linked to Reye's Syndrome.

The differences between over the counter pain relievers

Aspirin essentially enters the bloodstream and looks for prostaglandins. This is the substance that concentrates in an area where we feel pain. It diminishes the amount of prostaglandins therefore alleviating the pain. Aspirin is the best answer for headaches and minor body aches because it goes directly to the source of the pain to relieve it.

One of the side effects of Aspirin is that it is also an anticoagulant, basically a 'blood-thinner', which is why it is recommended if someone thinks they're having a heart attack. It thins the blood pumping through the heart that may have been stopped by blockage. It is not recommended for anyone who already has a blood clotting disorder or for people healing after surgery because it is an anticoagulant and stops the clotting process - for example, if you cut your finger after taking Aspirin it will take longer to stop bleeding because the blood won't clot. It is not recommended after medical or dental surgery.

It is also hard on the upper digestive tract causing heart burn, upset stomach and possibly dyspepsia. Do not take Aspirin if you suffer from ulcers.

Many over-the-counter Aspirin brands, like Goodies and BC powders and Excedrin also contain caffeine to increase their effectiveness in headache relief as do some acetaminophen products--check the label. Caffeine is a stimulant that can cause headaches. A caffeine withdrawal headache is relieved by these medications, but they have also been criticized for causing 'rebound headaches'.

Ibuprofen acts much like Aspirin in going directly to the source of pain, although it is primarily an anti-inflammatory. It works best for arthritis, swelling and sprains and it is recommended for people who have ulcers, acid reflux disease or other digestive disorders that are irritated by Aspirin.

Naproxen is a very strong anti-inflammatory. It is most effective for menstrual cramps and arthritis. It relieves swelling and sprains and its pain relieving effects have a longer duration. Usually about 4 hours longer than the same dose of Ibuprofen.

Acetaminophen is a powerful pain reliever recommended for severe pain in people who cannot tolerate the effects of aspirin. It works well for headaches and it is also a very effective fever reducer. It is the preferred ingredient in Cold and Flu medications. Never take Tylenol or any other acetaminophen product in combination with other over-the-counter medications (ex:Cold and Flu medication) that may also contain acetaminophen as this is the most common cause of accidental overdose. Doctors often use acetaminophen in combination with other drugs in cases of severe pain.

Acetaminophen is not an anti-inflammatory so it has little effect on arthritis or menstrual cramps. It is also one of the most dangerous drugs for accidental overdose which can cause fatal liver damage. It is never recommended to take Tylenol or any other acetaminophen based drug to recover from a hangover because alcohol also puts a strain on the liver and the combination of alcohol and acetaminophen can cause liver damage, and possibly liver failure. Acetaminophen accounts for over 50% of all 'accidental overdose' incidents reported by emergency rooms and is used in more than 100,000 suicide attempts each year. There is an antidote for acetaminophen overdose, but the damage done to the liver cannot be reversed.

Acetaminophen is fatal for cats. They lack the chemicals necessary to break it down. It is also fatal for snakes and has been used to control snake populations.

It is effective for dogs, however you should only give it on the advise of a vet. There is a special version of it specifically for dogs. Overdose in animals is pretty much the same as for humans causing permanent liver damage and liver failure.

The best medicine for blocking pain receptors is created in the brain itself. Endorphins are known to block pain receptors in long distance runners and athletes. I think you know what I'm recommending here ;)
If your husband or wife says 'not tonight honey, I have a headache.' You can tell them that you just happen to have the perfect cure for headaches. Endorphins are also recommended to lower blood pressure and to help prevent cancer.

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Wednesday, January 16

HNT - Junkman's Daughter

Pup and I went shoe shopping together recently.
I really enjoyed having him buy shoes for me.
But not half as much as I enjoyed him taking them off.

We went to Junkmans' Daughter and had dinner at Vortex.

This is our hotel room in NY.

He sent me a text message that says
'Take my hands and we're half way there'

The one before that was so filthy that I can't repeat it here. Something about taking flight 69.

Do you think he's just a big tease?
Should I tell him to put his money where his mouth is?

Happy HNT!
See the man, Osbasso!

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It's Snowing!!!

Not sticking yet, but flurries.

It's a start!

Thursday, January 10

Happy Birthday HNT

It's raining tonight. The weather is cool, but not cold. Just enough to need a sweater and a fire in the fireplace.

I was born at 5:23 AM in Ohio. That night was not so warm. My parents had to fight a snow storm to get to the hospital.

My mother always calls me at 5:23 AM on my birthday.
'Do you know what I was doing at this very moment (??) years ago?
I was holding you in my arms and looking into your beautiful blue eyes for the very first time. I love you, Toot. Happy Birthday.' And then she hangs up and I roll over and fall back asleep with a smile on my face.

This birthday call has become a tradition.
She does it every year. Has been doing it since I was a teenager.
Back then she was usually on the road with a band. I remember the first time she did it I was 17 and she was on the road with SuperTramp in England. The next year she was touring with Bryan Adams and had the whole band sing happy birthday to me as she held the phone over her head.

Now she's retired, but she still sets the alarm clock to wake her in time to make the call.

I plan to do this with Cheyenne when she finally leaves the nest.
Lucky for us both she was born at 9:34 AM.

Happy HNT!
See the man, Os!

*Update- thanks so much everyone. I promise to be around soon. My connection took a dive on Thursday so I'll be around to visit as soon as I can! Sorry about the delay.
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Wednesday, January 9

Holy Cow! Not Huckabee!

Here's the Huckabee Dumond story as told by one of the rape victims, the murder victims family and the parole board.

I'm still reeling over Huckabee's win in Iowa.
Thank God New Hampshire seems to have more sense.
This guy is not only a menace to his own political party, but to Christians and evangelists everywhere.

Ann Coulter doesn't like Huckabee... at all!

Even FOX news doesn't like Mike - And they obviously don't believe his spin on the Dumond parole case.

I don't know what the religious right is thinking in pushing this nomination. This is, without doubt, a party disaster in the making. The Willie Horton case destroyed Michael Dukakis' bid for the presidency. I can only imagine the draconian reaction that awaits Huckabee for the Wayne Dumond travesty.

If you aren't familiar with the story you should make yourself familiar with it. Recently the Huffington Post published the letters that Dumond's victims sent to Mike Huckabee begging him not push for Dumond's release from prison. Including a letter he received from a women who Dumond had raped, with a butcher knife against her throat, while her 3 year old daughter lay in the bed next to her.

In 1985 Wayne Dumond was convicted and sentenced for the rape of a high school student. That student happened to be a distant cousin of Bill Clinton. Mike Huckabee began a personal crusade to get Dumond released from prison. He didn't believe the victim because she was a Clinton relative. He ignored all of the evidence and even told the victim to her face that he didn't believe her.

Victims of Dumond sent letters to Huckabee, then Governor of Arkansas, begging him not to allow the early release of this convicted rapist, but Huckabee continued to pressure the Parole Board for his release. He firmly entrenched himself with the Christian Right who had gotten him elected and, with support from Christian Radio talk show host and Baptist Minister Jay Cole (an old family friend), Huckabee (also a former Baptist Minister) pushed aggressively for Dumond's release. In Arkansas the Christian tabloids had determined for themselves that the case was not about getting justice for the rape victim, but for the victimizer, due to the fact that she was from a powerful and loathed family.

The woman who wrote to him about being raped with her daughter in the bed even went so far as to tell him that she feared that Dumond would rape again, but that next time he would leave no witnesses. Many of his victims wrote that they feared that he would not only rape again, but that he was capable of committing murder.

Huckabee, according to former Aides and members of the Parole Board, continued to push the Board for Dumond's early release. The parole board sent him letters from at least one of his victims expressing their reluctance to release Dumond early, yet Huckabee hammered on. And the radio talk show host continued to spout 'Clinton Conspiracy' theories. And the Christian tabloids continued their campaign to free this poor man, Wayne Dumond, who had been victimized, railroaded, by a powerful and elitist family.

Dumond had been denied parole in Aug. 1996. He should have had to wait a year before being granted another hearing, but he went before the board again just six weeks later. This time he was granted parole. Three of the Parole Board members have gone public about being pressured to parole Dumond. "I signed the [parole] papers because the governor wanted Dumond paroled. I was thinking the governor was working for the best interests of the state. So I signed it."

In 1999 Dumond was set free. He would have served another 25 years if Huckabee hadn't championed his release.

After Dumond's release from prison in September 1999, he moved to Smithville, Missouri, where he raped and suffocated to death a 39-year-old woman named Carol Sue Shields. Dumond was subsequently convicted and sentenced to life in prison for that rape and murder.

But Dumond's arrest for those crimes in June 2001 came too late for 23-year-old Sara Andrasek of Platte County, Missouri. Dumond allegedly raped and murdered her just one day before his arrest for raping and murdering Shields. Prior to the attack, Andrasek and her husband had learned that she was pregnant with their first child.

Mike Huckabee's response:
"There's nothing any of us could ever do. None of us could've predicted what [Dumond] could've done when he got out."

Pardon me sir. That prediction was made. It was made in the letters you received from his victims and it was made by the jury that found him guilty and put him behind bars to keep society safe from him.

From: Balloon Juice
From: Washington Monthly
From: Reihl World View
This post was written by Hot Air on December 5th.
And still his numbers continue to climb.

There's no doubt in my mind that if Huckabee wins this nomination it will rip the Republican Party to shreds.
And I don't think I'm alone on this.

I'd like to say a special thanks to O from Eros Logos for her help with researching for this post.

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Sunday, January 6

Repair Windows Files Using System File Checker

The System File Checker will work in both Windows 2000 and Windows XP
You must have administrator access to use SFC.
*You need to have your copy of the Windows 2000 or XP CD handy because at some point the System File Checker will usually ask you to insert it in order to continue.

If you're using Windows XP you should first try System Restore.
Go to Repairing Windows Using System Restore for detailed instructions.

If the System Restore Point didn't work go to

Then type in sfc /scannow
make sure you leave one space between the sfc and the /
Or you can copy/paste the red words above.
(As soon as you type it in it should start to run. No need to hit enter.)

That will start the system file checker, it will search the system files for missing or corrupted files and replace them with cached approved copies of those files. You can watch the progress bar to gauge how long it is taking.

The cached copies are stored by the Windows File Protection utility. It caches every new Microsoft Windows approved file as it is installed on your computer in a hidden system folder called DLLCache. If SFC can't replace the missing/corrupted files with a clean cache, or it cannot find the DLLCache, it will tell you that you need to insert the Windows CD.

If you don't have a CD this article may be helpful.
Ask Leo: I don't have an installation CD for Windows XP - what if I need one?

The last step, if the System File Checker was successful, is to go to the Microsoft Update page and download the latest service pack. That's the only way to insure you have the latest approved files.

Running the SFC does take a while. It has to check every file in the system and replace the missing ones. Then you may have to insert the CD anyway. That's why I recommend going back to your last system restore point before trying the System File Checker. A restore point when you know that everything was intact.

*There are two other command prompts that you can use regarding system file checker.
These commands work in Windows 2000, but will not work in Windows XP.
sfc /cancel - this will cancel the scan.
sfc /quiet - this will tell the utility to run the scan and replace missing/corrupted files without prompting the user.

Coming up:
How to find the Windows XP files hidden on your computer if you don't have the original disc. This is handy because many PCs now come with the OS already loaded by the manufacturer.
Ways to maintain your computer using free software and built-in utilities.

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Thursday, January 3

HNT - Visiting Pup

This is me riding MARTA to visit Pup.
I usually do park and ride so I don't have to drive home.
The last time I did we had a great time at The Corner Tavern in Little Five Points. I ended up in Conyers at 3AM. Where is Conyers? I have no idea. But I took the wrong train home and that was the end of the line.

I got a ride back with the MARTA train driver, Pedro. If you've ridden MARTA you'll know who he is. He's the driver with the sexy voice who sounds like he's about to break into a Barry White song as he announces the up-coming stops on the line.

That's probably why I didn't realize I was on the wrong train.
Too mesmerized by his voice.

Thanks for getting me home safe and sound Pedro.
You and your sexy voice.

Happy HNT!

See the man, Os.

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