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Ramblings from a Southern liberal, Boomer, single parent, grandmother, reunited birthmother, cancer survivor, pop-culture observer, retired teacher

Most dramatic lymphoma posts are from June 2002 - February 2003 archives.

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The Waking

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I cannot go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree, but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me; so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.

--Theodore Roethke


Joy's Updates - Straight from the Horse's Mouth.
Wednesday, December 31, 2003  

I'm Chebley Nuttock to one blogger. To another I'm a den mother. Whatever I'm called or not labeled, I appreciate being linked. Thanks to all of you who did! It was an unexpected honor. :-) Some of the linkers are Alistair, Karl, Bored Brit, Veralynne, Sharon, and Miel. If I've left anyone off, please let me know.

10:34:00 PM


Earl and I didn't win the lottery again. I was hoping Butch & Janelle and Earl & I would win it since it had gotten over $200 million. Would have been very helpful. I do about as well with lotteries as I do (did) with men - probably the same odds.

10:31:00 PM

Trivia Quiz

Here's our last quiz of 2003 and the first of 2004, depending on when you see it. As always, guess, be correct, be clever and witty, add information, but have fun with it all! Kathy gave me the Pop Culture edition of Trivial Pursuit for Christmas, so I'm using it. There are different categories on this one.

1. Movies - Where was Rain Man allowed to drive slowly?
2. TV - Who played sensational aide Billy Bob Davis on the John Ritter sitcom Hearts Afire?
3. Music - How many times does the word "MMM" appear in the title of Crash Test Dummies' song?
4. Sports/Games What 1980s soft-rock band had an arcade game, featuring animated band members?
5. Buzz - Charlton Heston has described that what would have to be pried from his "cold dead hands"?
6. Fads - What is Ali Landry better known as?

I know #'s 1, 2, and 5. No clue about the others, so I peeked at the answers.


1. In the driveway
2. Billy Bob Thornton
3. Four
4. Journey
5. His gun
6. The Doritos Girl

4:32:00 PM


I posted new pictures of Kathy and the children and Brendan. I had such a good time at Kathy's. It was a really comfortable, relaxed, fun visit. I watched Finding Nemo with the kids and enjoyed it. Kathy does such a great job taking care of three children, keeping the house clean and organized, doing laundry every day, managing schedules, cooking, and everything! The children are well-loved and in good hands. I continue to be amazed by our reunion and relationship. I wasn't sure I'd ever see her again, much less be part of Kathy's life. Wonderful, huh? :-)

3:31:00 PM

Tuesday, December 30, 2003  

I just got back from visiting Kathy and had a great time. I watched Finding Nemo a couple of times with the grandchildren. It's good, and we had fun watching and commenting. I'll post some pictures and tell more about it tommorrow. I stopped by Brian and Melissa's on the way back and got to hug, kiss, and be with all four grandchildren and both children. How good is that! Brendan started saying, "Mama" on the Winter Solstice.

11:33:00 PM

Friday, December 26, 2003  
Quotes About Children


What's done to children, they will do to society.

Karl Menninger


Once you bring life into this world, you must protect it. We must protect it by changing the world.

Elie Weisel


If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do well matters very much.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis


The illusions of childhood are necessary experiences, a child should not be denied a balloon because an adult knows that sooner or later it will burst.

Marcelene Cox


The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any.

Fred Astaire


If while you are a child just one someone loves you uncritically, then you will have love to give for the rest of your life.



Remeber, when they have a tantrum, don't have one of your own.

Dr. Judith Kuriansky


It is better to bind your children to you by a feeling of respect, and gentleness, than by fear.



The world talks to the mind. Parents speak more intimately — They speak to the heart.

Haim Ginnot


The best inheritance a parent can give his children is a few minutes of his time each day.

O. A. Battista


4:44:00 PM


I hope all of you had a Christmas that was as good as the one I had. We had all the family there and enjoyed playing games, eating, and visiting. We opened presents and had a good time watching Brendan chew the bows at his first Christmas. Next Christmas we'll be having a babelicious baby fest! Amy and Chris are having a girl in April, and Angela and Andy are having a baby in August. Angela thinks it will be a boy. We'll see.

Brian and Melissa stuck around all afternoon, so we got to spend lots of time with them and Brendan. It was great! He's about to crawl, sits, and stands while holding on to fingers. Brendan is a happy, healthy, secure baby. They're doing a great job with him.

I'm going to Kathy's next to see them. I'm really looking forward to that. I talked to her on the phone yesterday and wished them a Merry Christmas. They were putting batteries in new games and assembling toys. Mark's mother spent the night. I'm really glad since her husband died a few months ago, and holidays are really hard - especially first ones. They had a good marriage, traveled a lot, did all kinds of fun things, and were really happy. I think they've been married around 10 years, so she was around my age, I guess, when they got married. She's such a good person and wonderful grandmother.

I put new pictures on the photo album. Then I'll have more after I visit Kathy. Check them out. Click to make them larger. To family - right click to save for yourself.

1:48:00 PM

Tuesday, December 23, 2003  
Winter Solstice

Winter is officially here and longer days are beginning. I can't help but think about a friend who said she got married on the longest night of the year but was complaining about it.

I like having four seasons and experiencing the changes with each even though fall and spring are my favorites. I lived in Charleston, SC, for a few years and missed the colors of fall, trees that lose their leaves and are uncluttered with Spanish moss, snow, and hills. There were two seasons there - hot and muggy or cool and damp. I enjoyed living in Virginia Beach. It was really neat seeing snow on the beach and experiencing how different the ocean feels in the winter.

We all have a sense of place where we feel at home and the weather suits our clothes. There's something about central Arizona that I love. I discovered that low humidity is the secret of happiness. I feel so good there, have energy, can breathe, and am fascinated by the way it looks. When I retire, I'd like to spend more time there. There's England of course and those other places I liked on our trip to Europe. Going back there is something else I hope to do. There's nothing like experiencing a place and learning about it by being there.

I like the lush greeness of Tennessee which is the result of all this humidity. Ironic, I guess. My family and many friends are here, so it's home. I'm not sure about my sense of place. Perhaps I need to travel more.

11:50:00 AM

Sunday, December 21, 2003  
Cleaning Problems

I have a scary feeling my Rainbow vacuum cleaner is about to burst into flames. While ago when I was vacuuming with it, I smelled a sort of scorching smell. When I looked at it, there was a flickering light very similar to a flame-like spark though the opaque casing over the motor. Anyone know about this? I'm going to call the Rainbow distributor tomorrow and take it there for them to check. I hope they can fix it soon and that it's not very expensive. I really do like that vacuum cleaner - especially with cats! Here I am finally vacuuming, and it seems on the verge of combustion! So of course I want to clean now that I can't use my vacuum cleaner. Wish it luck!

3:18:00 PM

Saturday, December 20, 2003  
Happy Holidays!

First day of vacation for me today!! I hope all of you have a wonderful holiday season with family, friends, and whomever! I appreciate all of you who read my blog and keep in touch. This is an interesting experience which has introduced me to some really neat new people, reacquainted me with some I wouldn't have heard from, and maintained communication with those I have been in contact with. So thanks for reading! I'm glad to know you.

1:57:00 PM

Tuesday, December 16, 2003  
Trivia Quiz

Here's our weekly trivia quiz. Feel free to answer, make witty remarks, and give any additional information you feel inspired to share. Everyone is welcome to participate!

1. PP - Whose temple did Samson pull down once he regained his strength?
2. AE - What movie marked the directorial debut of Rob Reiner?
3. HS - What Mexican revolutionary was pursued by American troops under General John Pershing after raiding a town in New Mexico?
4. SN - What term describes the amount of work done by one newton acting through a distance of one meter and equal to then million ergs? (Who gives a fig? I had to say that.)
5. SL - What sport, outlawed in three states, requires sponsorship, years of training, and the purchase of bells and a glove?
6. WC - What company had promotional vehicles built with special steamer systems that would emit the aroma of hot dogs?
7. MV - This film was set in the South, spanning 25 years from the 1940s to the 1970s. The film features the tender portrayal of the relationship between a Jewish woman and her chaffeur. Dan Ackroyd plays Boulie Wertham, a frustrated son.

8:18:00 PM

Good News

At the risk of sounding like that man on the commercial who goes around telling everyone he's lowered his cholesterol, so have I! I had an appointment with Dr. Ross today after school after having blood work done this morning before school. I've been on that low-carb diet outlined in Protein Power, the book Dr. Ross told me to read. At least I was on it until I had the flu when I couldn't eat for a while and still mostly want bland food - chicken noodle soup, crackers, turkey sandwiches, and such as that - with carbs. To my credit, I've left off sweets, Cokes, pizza, potatoes, and dairy products as well as most other things high in carbs. When I told Dr. Ross this, he asked why he thought something else was going to follow. So I said, "However, it's grossed me out to think about meat and eggs and most food." He recognized my outstanding ability to rationalize. I really am good at it and can rationalize anything. I told him I was going to get back on this as soon as I could face that food.

The wonderful thing is that even not doing this according to plan, my cholesterol went from 216 to 180, glucose from 156 to 99, and triglycerides from 694 to 179!! Yea!! When I go back to see him again in 3 months, all those will be even better! They lowered because of diet, not meds. That's one of the many things I really like about him. Most other doctors would have put me on meds and not have mentioned diet as a first treatment. I'm so glad I happened upon him and that he's my internist now. I really do like him and his approach to healing. He said our goal is to get me off the blood pressure meds, too, which I'm all for. I'm not taking hormone replacement therapy now and didn't have much trouble during the transition. I guess my body really doesn't need them now since I became psycho before without them. My goal is to be off of any medication as long as possible, and now I have a doctor who has that same philosophy. Yea!!

They are having more problems getting blood from me than they used to, and Butch's and my veins are awful. They hide, roll over, and play dead. We inherited them from Mother. Now after chemo they are even worse. Chemo burns veins on the inside and leaves scar tissue. I asked if they ever get back to normal, but he didn't know. Dr. Spigel is always so positive that it's hard to get him to tell about bad stuff. I'll try to get it out of him. The phlebotomist said they get better after 18 months to 2 years, so I hope she's right. I haven't found anything about it online yet. Chemo is controlled poison, so it does much more than kill cancer cells.

I rambled on, didn't I? I was thinking this morning how easy it is after a while to become a "professional" patient. Sorry!!

7:59:00 PM

Sunday, December 14, 2003  
We're Doomed!

It turns out that chemobrain has merit as a condition. Studies have shown that chemo decreases IQ and that people who have had it don't do math in their heads afterwards. For some reason, chemobrain is worse for women with breast cancer than with lymphoma. I've wondered just what side-effects chemo has and what it will do to us long-term.

Then on top of this, information is out now on the effects of mercury in tuna and how it causes brain damage. I've eaten tuna fish salad very often in my life and still do. I've also spent many years drinking Diet Cokes from aluminum cans. More brain damage and who-knows-what from aspartame and the can! Lymphoma is on the list of related diseases.

So here we are (as Charlie commented in our conversation last night on the phone) created to require food and water to live, and what we eat and drink kills us. We can't eat, drink, breathe, or anything else without risk. What do we do about it?

3:34:00 PM

Freak Out

There's an article in The Onion about a substitute teacher who went ballistic with a 3rd period freshman class. Hmmm, it made me think about my own 3rd block freshman English class who were the only ones that both substitutes complained about when I was out sick with the flu. She exclaimed to me when I got back that they acted like she wasn't even up there. I told her I understood perfectly and was glad she had them do write-offs. One of the students overheard the sub talking to the principal about them. The principal told the sub they were my delinquent class but that I loved them anyway. It takes a lot of energy and firmness to control them. I've asked them if they have ever been in school before or if they came in from the wild and just decided to attend school this year. It doesn't phase them. They don't have appropriate school manners. I know what that substitute in the article went through, and she's right about not getting paid enough to put up with this. Amen!

3:24:00 PM

Friday, December 12, 2003  
Marriage and other Institutions

I was thinking about some married couples other day and couldn't believe they are still married after 20 or 30 years or more. I remember conversations with one or both of them years ago and how miserable they were - not to mention how they acted with and to each other. I realize many people are shocked when people get a divorce and so am I in some cases; however, I'm more surprised that some keep on with the endurance contest. Really odd to me. Perhaps their expectations are low. I did read somewhere in a blog (Subversity's, I think - if not, please let me know) that expectation is the foreplay of disappointment. I agree since others don't follow our scripts and we set up unrealistic expectations.

Maybe that's my problem with relationships. I expect too much from them. They should be easy though and not such a struggle (power and in general). Most people treat strangers better than the person they've chosen to love and put before others. Seems that what happens most of the time is a meshing of neuroses that intensify the problems each person has. They seek out someone who will reinforce how they think they deserve to be treated and what they are used to unless they get help and move past it. I grew up in a functional family and am fairly well-adjusted. It's hard to find someone else who is and isn't still in one of those good marriages. Although I'm some people's worst nightmare since I'm an old lady who lives alone with cats now, it's not that bad. Compared to some alternatives, it's great actually. I'm not lonely and can be as busy or lazy as I want to be.

The definitive book on relationships is The Missing Piece Meets the Big O by Shel Silverstein. Despite the provocative title and its being shelved in the children's book section, that book speaks volumes with line drawings and few words about personal growth and relationships. Check it out.

10:08:00 AM

Tuesday, December 09, 2003  
Trivia Quiz

Answers to the trivia quiz are posted now under the quiz. Thanks and well done! Here is the new one. :-)

1. PP - Who is considered the Father of "Organic Architecture"?
2. AE - What train did Cary Grant take from New York to Chicago in North by Northwest?
3. HS - What was nicknamed "Fat Man" and "Little Boy"?
4. SN - Who said, "God does not play dice with the universe"?
5. SL - What do you call a golf game that pays for each golf hole you win?
6. WC - What was Gravel Gertie's relationship with B. O. Plenty in the Dick Tracy comic strip?
7. MV - Judd Hirsch has a small "fathering" role. In this science fiction saga, alien ships visit Earth. This holiday turns into a visit from outer space.

5:49:00 PM

Sunday, December 07, 2003  
'Tis the Season to Shop

I've had a pretty good weekend. I met Sally and a friend of hers at House Blend Saturday morning for some shopping and lunch. It was fun. Jeremy said he could tell we are related. I'll just leave it at that since he wasn't referring to our appearance.

Two more weeks and we're out for Christmas break! YES!! I don't have a very good attitude, do I?

7:42:00 PM

Wednesday, December 03, 2003  
Trivia Quiz

1. PP - Which territory/state was known as Franklin until 1796?
2. AE - What was the full name of the aunt in the Nancy comic strip Ernie Bushmiller drew for over 50 years?
3. HS - What humanitarian clause did Thomas Jefferson strike from the Declaration of Independence because of popular pressure?
4. SN - What is another name for a killer whale?
5. SL - What were red and white on football fields before they were changed to yellow?
6. WC - What item did a boxer throw into the ring to symbolize he'd had enough during the sport's early days?
7. MV - This film focuses on the 54th of Massachusetts. The movie is based in part on letters from Commander Robert Gould Shaw. Morgan Freeman's character was previously employed as a gravedigger.

Answer, make up clever responses, enjoy! Join in and take a chance!

9:17:00 PM

Tuesday, December 02, 2003  
Heigh-ho Heigh-ho!

Yes, I'm going back to work tomorrow. It would be nice to think they'd give me a break, but they are after all teenagers and aren't quite human. Two days with a substitute is approaching critical mass with them, so I need to get back. My fever is down to normal now, but I'm still really weak. I plan to sit in my tall chair behind my podium quite a bit. One of the kids asked me why I had one of those chairs and none of the other teachers did. I told him I bought it myself. He said, "Oh, then we'd better take care of it since it's yours. I see why you don't want us sitting in it." Odd bit of logic. They are drawn to that chair for some reason and most of them want to sit in it and roll around. I told them where they could buy one just like it, but that's not the same. It's just a tall office chair, so I don't have to stand all day but am tall enough behind the podium while we're going over assignments. I usually walk around when I'm explaining things and write on the board. Aren't you glad you know this?

2:49:00 PM

Monday, December 01, 2003  
Killer Flu

I didn't go to work today and will be off again tomorrow. I hope to go back Wednesday. My fever has gone down, and I feel really weak. Some people get this flu again. I hope I don't! I hate it! It's really awful!

I have some new pictures from Thanksgiving at Mother's in the photo album.

Do I need to discontinue the trivia quiz or perhaps post it every two weeks instead of weekly? There isn't as much participation now, but that might be because a couple of the ones who did answer are busy now.

9:23:00 PM

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