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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.
Saturday, January 31, 2004  

Today is February Eve, you know, and the day before February Fool's Day. FFD Eve!

February is Black History Month as well as Spay and Neuter Month - no connection. I found this site The Dog Hause with some neat graphics.

12:51:00 PM

Trivia Quiz

More trivial fun and games with the new quiz from the pop culture edition! I actually know most of these this time. (yes, even before I looked at the answers! well, ok, 7 of them, not most) Even if someone answers questions you know, go on and answer. Sometimes we try not to look and answer anyway. Just so you have fun!

1. MOVIE - What movie featured the tagline: "It's the story of a man, a woman, and a rabbit in a triangle of trouble"? (one for you to capitalize on, Scaryduck)
2. MOVIE - What 1991 drama garnered two Oscar nominations for first-time writer/director John Singleton? (what's he been doing lately?)
3. TV - On The Cosby Show what was Rudy's friend Kenny's nickname?
4. MUSIC - What Saturday Night Live mainstay once played guitar for Hall and Oates? (I think he was married to Gilda Radner for a while, too, or did I make that up?)
5. MUSIC - According to a 1990 single, what name should you not use when referring to Whitney Houston? (oh, the possibilities!!!)
6. S&G - What eccentric Philadelphia 76er claimed he was an alien from the planet Lowetron? (say, what?)
7. S&G - What sport is the backdrop to many of Dick Francis's best-selling mystery novels? (a literary sports question just for you, Michael)
8. BUZZ - What actress has TV producer David E. Kelley been married to for over ten years?
9. FAD - What two items did Mean Joe Greene and a child exchange in an 1979 ad?
10. FAD - Name the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. (I learned this when I taught the little gifteds)
11. BUZZ - Magic men Siegfried and Roy founded a protected habitat for what endangered animal? (I know everyone knows this now after the accident but I couldn't resist seeing what alternative answers you might have - it's ok to be tacky if we are funny, right?)

12:39:00 PM

Wednesday, January 28, 2004  
Injustice and just plain wrong

Well, I found out that I have to count yesterday as a sick day even though everyone got out of school. For some reason if it's a planned day off where they have arranged for a substitute and it snows and we get out of school, it doesn't matter. I don't know where this came from, but I don't like it and don't understand it either. Argh!!

2:12:00 PM

Tuesday, January 27, 2004  

Jack Paar died today at 85. I used to watch The Tonight Show when he was host and then later when Johnny Carson was. Paar was a loose cannon at times, and it was a live show. I remember when he walked off one night and didn't return for weeks. He was so funny and unpredictable. Johnny Carson was a class act and set the standard, but Jack Paar began a new kind of TV show.

3:36:00 PM

Free Sick Day

It snowed just enough for us to get out of school on one of my Tuesdays with IVs. Little did I know while sitting there looking out the window at the intermittent snow flurries that it worked out so well - a snow day but I could get out of my neighborhood and do what I had planned! If it snows too much, I can't.

What's going on with you readers? Email or comment and let me know what and how you're doing.

3:18:00 PM

Saturday, January 24, 2004  
Trivia Again

Here's another quiz! I enjoy the witty answers and extra information as well as the fun we have with it. Thanks!

1. MOVIE - In Blazing Saddles what last name does everyone in the town of Rockridge have?
2. TV - What inn employs the barely-bilingual bellhop Manuel?
3. MUSIC - Which Beatle died on Nov. 29, 2001?
4. MUSIC - What group opened its first United States concert with the song "I'm So Bored with the U.S.A."?
5. S&G - What was the NHL's Eastern Conference known as prior to the 1993 season?
6. S&G - What strikeout king and multiple Cy Young winner has sons named Koby, Kory, Kasy, and Kody? (wonder whose idea this was, his or his wife's?)
7. BUZZ - Who was the best man at the wedding of Everybody Loves Raymond star Peter Boyle? (this is a surprise)
8. BUZZ - What's the name of Oprah Winfrey's longtime fiance?
9. FAD - What does RIF mean to school kids?
10. FAD - What company featured a million dollar jewel-encrusted bra in its annual holiday catalog?

3:13:00 PM

Thursday, January 22, 2004  
Anonymous Strikes Again!

I haven't been sleeping well lately until it's time to get up, of course, so I decided to post quotations about sleep. Why not? As with many other activities, if I can't do it, I might as well read about it. Last night I was so sleepy and decided to go on to bed around 6:15. (West Wing was a rerun) I eventually went on to sleep and only got one phone call. It was around 7:30 or so, I think, and I remember quite a bit of it. Not sure how much sense I made on my end and am sure I was uncharacteristically cryptic. I went back to sleep and slept soundly (for me) until around 2:30 this morning. This won't become a habit since those are not the hours I choose to be asleep early on, but it worked out for me last night. Generally this time of day comes once for me unless I've stayed up for it.

Have a quote:

Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleave of care
The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath
Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,
Chief nourisher in life's feast.
~William Shakespeare, Macbeth

A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book. ~Irish Proverb

How do people go to sleep? I'm afraid I've lost the knack. I might try busting myself smartly over the temple with the night-light. I might repeat to myself, slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound; if I can remember any of the damn things. ~Dorothy Parker

I'm not asleep... but that doesn't mean I'm awake. ~Author Unknown

Without enough sleep, we all become tall two-year-olds. ~JoJo Jensen, Dirt Farmer Wisdom, 2002

There is no hope for a civilization which starts each day to the sound of an alarm clock. ~Author Unknown

Nothing cures insomnia like the realization that it's time to get up. ~Author Unknown

People who say they sleep like a baby usually don't have one. ~Leo J. Burke

There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast. ~Author Unknown

Sleep is a symptom of caffeine deprivation. ~Author Unknown

4:05:00 AM

Tuesday, January 20, 2004  
Sounds Like Me

I used to say I was the average American but now know I'm the average Democrat. Janey sent me this article. I'm not sure the link will work, so I'm going to post it here. This is SO ME!! This link is so Molly Ivins!

Op-Ed Columnist: Keeping the Faith

January 20, 2004


At the Iowa caucus I attended, one of John Edwards's people went over to the Kucinich supporters and said if they came over and joined Edwards, they wouldn't have to be vegans anymore. Everybody laughed, and the debate continued. The Dean people played up the war issue; the Kerry people, electability. But eventually, most of the Kucinich folks went over to Edwards, and a great cheer rose up from that side of the room.

The whole exchange was conducted in a spirit of ribbing and good cheer, and it was apparently typical of what happened across the state.

We've learned a lot about the Democratic Party over the past few weeks, culminating with the astounding Kerry and Edwards victories last night. We've learned that the Democratic Party is no longer primarily the party of union guys who want to restrict trade. We've learned that most Democrats are not really furious at "Washington Democrats." They desperately want to remove Bush, but they are not haters. They're not out to punish everybody who voted for the Iraq war resolution.

Instead, if you had to pick a quintessential figure to represent the Iowa Democratic voters who have been showing up at rallies over the past few days, it would be a 55-year-old teacher. She is a moderate, optimistic, progressive educator who wants to believe in politics again. She wants to believe that big changes can still be made in this country, and that big challenges like poverty and the uninsured can still be addressed.

She has some pet peeves. She is upset by the billions of dollars the drug companies spend on commercials, which drive up the cost of her prescriptions. She loathes the No Child Left Behind Act, which threatens to brand her school a failure, even though she and her colleagues are doing the best they can.

But it's the dream of big, history-shaking changes that really inspires her. She wants to talk about the issues that used to be so prominent but now seem never to get attention: urban blight, segregation and the misery caused by hunger and homelessness.

She remembers having faith in that kind of heroic politics when she was young. Conservatives sometimes say that Democrats want to go back to the 1960's of Woodstock and the peace movement. That's not quite right. The quintessential Democrat here doesn't want to return to the angry, disruptive long-hair style of the late 1960's. She wants to return to the confident, pre-counterculture short-hair mood of the early 1960's.

She remembers John F. Kennedy, the personification of the optimism she longs to recover. She remembers neatly dressed idealists infused with a sense of possibility. She's not hostile, as the late 60's/early 70's leftists often were, to the authoritative institutions of American life. Back in 1972, Mark Shields, then a political consultant, advised George McGovern to play up his bomber pilot heroism in World War II. The campaign rejected that advice, fearing it would offend the Democratic base. But now the Democratic Party loves the idea of being led by a war hero.

The other thing about our 55-year-old teacher is that she has been disappointed so many times. The period of Kennedyesque hope was followed by the 1970's, then Reagan and two decades of Republican ascendance. Bill Clinton offered to rekindle her hopes but squandered it all so needlessly.

Like one who has loved ardently but not well, she is now wary about committing to a politician. At first she liked Dean because he offered to bring power back to the people who deserve to have it. But she's had second thoughts because Dean isn't the sort of kind and respectful student she wants in her classroom. She likes the way Edwards talks about visions of new possibilities for America, but without Dean's undertone of menace. She likes Kerry's steady earnestness and is intrigued by Clark.

Most of all, she is cautious and flexible. She wants to be sure that This Is The Guy before she gives her heart away one more time. After a year of being courted, most Iowa voters were still open to switching candidates even on caucus day.

I'm struck by how oblivious this campaign has been to the consequences of 9/11. I'm struck by how the grand idealism of the crowds is out of proportion to the smallish policies on offer. Nonetheless, it's sort of inspiring in this cold Iowa winter to see at least some Americans who have preserved, despite decades of discouragement, a stubborn faith in politics, and the possibility of change.

6:49:00 PM

Monday, January 19, 2004  
News and Stories

I have links to the blogs mentioned here but wanted to point out why.

From one of our regular trivia quiz stars, notice how well he writes fiction. I hope he gets published, so we can buy the books!

For a virtual tour of London, this blog gives it the personal touch.

Sharoney wrote so well about words and language. I'm planning to order Junk English after reading her post.

Interesting about Bush's appearance in Atlanta for Dr. King.

3:05:00 PM


It's been snowing some today which is exciting and pretty but isn't sticking enough to keep us out of school tomorrow. I'd like that since I wouldn't have to use a sick day or have a substitute. The plans are made and on my desk and everything in separate folders for each class though, so it's really OK for tomorrow, I guess. Besides, if we have enough snow to miss school, I might not be able to make it to the hospital since I can't get out of my neighborhood when it snows because of the hills. I could get out very quickly onto the by-pass which wouldn't really be a good idea.

Janey said I sounded upbeat about all the health problems. I wasn't the last two days but am getting that way again. My neck is still sore from the fine-needle aspiration, and it also aggravated the lymphedema and fibrosis. I was pretty bummed out and had to get through that. I feel better about it now but am still really tired of all this and ready to move on past it.

I've been irritated with myself for not getting back on track with my diet. I went to Kroger yesterday to help me with this and plan to watch Dr. Phil today since it's about weight loss. You'd think I'd be motivated enough by the lower numbers it caused before. Guess I'm human!

12:20:00 PM

Sunday, January 18, 2004  
Trivia Quiz

from the Pop Culture edition (used two cards for more to answer)

Have fun! Be creative! No googling!

1. MOVIES - What teen movie includes the line, "My plasitc surgeon doesn't want me doing any activity where balls fly at my nose"? (be nice, now)
2. TV - What all-talk cable network did NBC dump to make room for MSNBC? (I totally never knew about this station at all)
3. MUSIC - Who was the first Spice Girl to release a solo album? (c'mon, Scaryduck, we know you know this one but won't admit it)
4. SPORTS & GAMES - What gory 1992 arcade game featured an announcer who yelled, "Finish him"? (something I did hear about it from students ... I wouldn't have let Brian play it but that's just me)
5. BUZZ - How did Harrison Ford get that distinctive scar on his chin?
6. FAD - What dance has "a little bit of rhythm and a lot of soul?"
7. MOVIES - What was the first full-length animated feature to be created entirely by artists using computer tools and technology?
8. FAD - What was the most popular name for baby girls in 2001? (After he went to Boy's State, Brian said that every other boy must have been named Brian the year he was born)
9. MUSIC - Which Van Halen singer lasted the least amount of albums? (must have been short since I never heard of him)
10. S&G - Whose record did Cal Ripkin break when he appeared in his 2,131st straight game? (another one for you, Michael)

1. Clueless
2. America's Talking (some of your answers were much better)
3. Ginger Spice (Geri Halliwell) She's married to some soccer star, I think.
4. Mortal Kombat
5. Automobile accident
6. The Locomotion (right you are!)
7. Toy Story (my grandson Luke loves it)
8. Emily (depends on the source, I guess ... right?)
9. Gary Cherone (who is he?)
10. Lou Gehrig's

Well done and entertaining!

3:52:00 PM

Saturday, January 17, 2004  
At Least You Have Your Health

When anything happened, Mother would tell us at least we have our health. I've experienced how it is not to have my health for too long now. I'm so tired of going to doctors, having "procedures," filling out forms, worrying about test results, being asked how I feel because there's a reason for it, and needles - especially needles! I have cousins, a brother, and friends who deal with this now as well. Is this what we look forward to after a certain age? Is it a struggle to maintain adequate health in the "golden" years? Someone did say one time that it was all maintenance after 50. I guess so. I'll quit complaining and whining now but just needed to get it off my chest until next time. Then I'll whinge again. (whinge = British expression that fits here)

8:25:00 AM

Thursday, January 15, 2004  
Those Marriage People

I'm not sure who they are, but I heard on NPR this morning about some marriage coalition group advocating marriage because it will domesticate men, protect women from predatory males, and assure children of having two parents. It flies all over me to portray men as animals who can't control their actions because they are at the mercy of their overpowering libidos. Give me a break! By the way, where are these men when you need them? (well, I had to make a joke in here somewhere)

Then there's this article.

They also mentioned Dubya's plan to spend lots of money to encourage people to get married. This is supposed to help the euphemistically labeled "low-income" people. How about more jobs? How about more than 1,000 jobs for the 30,000 unemployed? How about spending our money more responsibly instead of going off on tangents like suggesting that marriage will solve economic problems. Divorce is good for the economy, I've heard. And remember that poster - "War is good for the economy. Invest your son." So he's spending money on the space program, to advertise marriage, this war, and so many other things that it is easy to see how he bankrupted every company he mismanaged and now the country! Yet, so many people like him and will vote for him. I just don't understand it.

11:43:00 PM

Tuesday, January 13, 2004  

Today went well. The Benadryl made me sleepy, so I napped in the chair during the maintenance Rituxan treatment and then slept until 5:30 when I got home. My hand and arm where I had the IV feel heavy and sore, but otherwise I feel fine. Three more of these to go and then one more round, and that should be it! Dr. Spigel said everything looks good. I told him I'd decided that the lymphoma is gone and that even though it typically comes back that I didn't think it would. He said just because it often returns doesn't mean that it would and that he has a patient whose NHL has stayed gone for 30 years. He also mentioned something about lung cancer patients getting an infection that activates the immune system, and while it fights the infection, it also goes after the cancer cells. So maybe that happened with me. Perhaps there is a positive side to the neck disaster. I choose to believe it and have decided that's how it is.

Mother had an appointment with the doctor who did her cataract surgery and got a good report. She came by to see me while I was in the chemo lounge and came back later when I was through. We went to lunch at Applebee's and then went to G & G to take my Rainbow vacuum cleaner to be repaired. He said it was the brushes. Ned diagnosed it correctly just from reading my blog. Yes, it has been out of commission for a long time now which is not a good idea with two cats in the house. The Rainbow distributors are never at their place yet still have a message on their answering machine. They didn't return my calls which is unusual, so I borrowed the Electrolux I gave Brian and Melissa since they'll be gone this weekend to ChattaCon. Brendan's first science fiction convention! Let the geekdom begin!

When I was at Brian and Melissa's, Brendan went through his repertoire for me. He is pulling up, standing, and getting ready to walk. He says "Mama" which Melissa said also means that he wants something. Makes sense to me. Brian is "Baba" or "Ahbah" which would work out well if he calls him Papa, but they're going for Daddy. He also says, "Hi." It was good to see them and get to hold Brendan.

Now about G&G .... have any of you been in there? It's amazing and horrifying. Junk, boxes, millions of vacuum cleaners and sewing machines clutter the place almost to the ceiling. There is a very narrow path through it all. Many of the vacuum cleaners had repair tags on them but lots didn't. Very strange. Mother asked him if people didn't come pick up their vacuums. He said some of them are slow about it. Yeah, I'd say!

11:06:00 PM

Don't Let the Facts Get in the Way of a Good Story

One of the advantages of writing is that it provides an opportunity to rewrite our lives. Those times when we think about what we should have said after the fact and the changes we'd like to have had happen can turn out just the way we want them to. With that in mind, I'm going to revise a conversation I had recently by adding a last line of what I wish I'd said, instead of being silent.

Me: I don't think I'll mention that except to people who really care.
He: Well, that would be a short list!
Me: Hey! There are a lot of people who care about me.
He: Well, maybe not you personally but when it gets down to people who really care, that would be ourselves and those economically dependent on us.
Me: That's a cynical attitude.
He: A realistic one.
Me: I'll just stick with being an idealist.

10:22:00 PM

Saturday, January 10, 2004  
Rituxan Revisited

I begin my next-to-the-last round of Rituxan treatments Tuesday. The last one will be when school is out in the summer. I told Janie about the schedule, so she can get a substitute for me. I let the kids know, so they'll be prepared for four absences. I'll be out the next four Tuesdays, which means I have to plan work that can be done without me. These students will be fine to leave with a substitute and behave really well. I'll use the guilt factor if I have to but don't think it will be necessary with them. I'd much rather be teaching than sitting in the chemo lounge for four hours or so with an IV and nodding off from the Benadryl. I want this lymphoma to stay in remission and believe the Rituxan will help.

10:28:00 AM


Since I've been having trouble remembering last winter, I clicked the archives and read posts from a few months. I did a lot last year - went places, had fun, socialized, read, watched movies, and wrote much more interesting posts than I have since I went back to teaching. So there you have it! I definitely need to quit working. That's all there is to it. Work takes up a tremendous amount of time. Now how to do this, I wonder. Well, let's brainstorm. (sorry Brian) I could retire and have half the money I'm making now. Not an option. I could have a roommate. Where would I put them? I could win the lottery or get married. I mention these together since the odds of either one happening are about the same. Except I'd like to win the lottery.

Apparently I'm using my interesting material in my classes and not on here. I have a larger audience there, however, even though it is a captive one.

This brings me to wonder about those people who come up with those ideas and make tons of money from them. We see them on Oprah's show or featured in magazine articles. Perhaps they designed a new baby bottle or neckties or a cleaning device. That leaves me out right there! Some of them are or people who provide some service no one knew was needed or that no one else thought about. There are all kinds of things! Like Zelda. Earl and I could do something like this if we'd focus long enough and follow through on it. I'll keep you posted, but don't hold your breath!

10:21:00 AM

Wednesday, January 07, 2004  
Trivia Quiz

from the Pop Culture edition

1. In Beetlejuice, what book turns up on Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin's coffee table after their untimely demise? (Brian and I met Larry Wilson the screenwriter at a seminar we attended. He's funny and quirky, just as you'd imagine. He liked us, too.)
2. Whose 1978 variety show had a troupe that included Michael Keaton and David Letterman? (I don't remember this at all)
3. What was the name of the male member of the Carpenters?
4. What city's streets were used to name the spaces in Monopoly?
5. Who did George Harrison's first wife leave him for? (Sadly, I know this. It's the kind of information that clutters my mind)
6. What bar activity means "empty orchestra" in Japanese?

Most of these I happened to know. Yet I can't seem to remember the names of some students I had just two weeks ago.

5:52:00 PM

Lazy Blogging

If anyone would like to be a guest writer here on my blog, let me know and email me what you'd like to have posted. I'll introduce you and give you credit. Just thought some of you might think about blogging but not want to create your own.

I'm not getting enough sleep and haven't gotten back on track with my diet. Taking care of both of these will make me feel better soon.

Does anyone know places in Dickson that will sell lottery tickets? I haven't heard anything about it.

I've posted the answers to the Trivia Quiz.

5:43:00 PM

Monday, January 05, 2004  

Back to school today - no students yet - they come tomorrow. In a burst of energy and organization, I got all kinds of things planned and typed for my classes. I made copies today after the in-service we had all morning. We were in line for the copiers. I'm looking forward to this term.

Things have been more social lately which is good. I've had the best time lately visiting with friends!!

6:36:00 PM

Thursday, January 01, 2004  
Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to you all! I have a good feeling about 2004 and hope it's wonderful for all of us in many ways. I went to Mother's for black-eyed peas and other good dishes. Butch and Janelle were there too. It's a relaxing day with family and friends on the phone and the cats here at home. I feel so much better now than I did this time last year that it hasn't occurred to me to make a list like I did then of all the people my age who are dead. I'm glad to be here and am looking forward to teaching next term, spending more time with my grandchildren, and enjoying life!

4:24:00 PM

Happy New Year!!

I hope everyone has a wonderful 2005.

12:01:00 PM

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