Open links in secondary window

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.

Email Joy Durham at

Welcome! Please sign my guest map or guest book. And Comment!!

[my collaborative other blog] MUTUAL ADMIRATION BLOG

[Adoption Blogs & Books]
Adoption Search Blog
First Parents
The Same Smile
The Daily Bastardette
The Guide to Search and Reunion
My Reunion with Kathy

My Family and Friends

Sign In - Plant a Flag!

Free Guestmap from Free Guestmap from

View My Guestbook
Sign My Guestbook


moon info

My Amazon Wish List
[For anyone who wants to buy me a gift or discuss what we like.]

[ Reading & Entertainment ]

Blogroll Me!

Cost of the War in Iraq
(JavaScript Error)

<< current

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.
Tuesday, June 29, 2004  

Yes, I made up a word.

We were discussing odd quirks, irrational fears, and strange beliefs (because of characters in fiction) in class when one of the creative writing students said she didn't like odd numbers and had to put settings on even numbers. I thought this was strange until I noticed that I do this too. Today while driving home and it was barely raining, I kept adjusting the intermittent setting on the winshield wipers and noticed that I kept putting it on even numbers. I do this with the volume on the TV, temperature control, and other things, so I guess I don't like odd numbers either.

Irrational fears at the top of my list are those trenches in the ocean, especially the Marianas Trench which is the deepest part of any ocean. It's almost 7 miles deep - over 7,000 ft deeper than Mt. Everest is high. I can't read about it without freaking out. My breathing, heart rate, toes (curling), eyes (widening), and everything are affected. Two men actually went all the way to the bottom of it in the Trieste. Horrors!! The Pacific Ocean has many trenches as this map indicates, but they are everywhere. This is why I'd rather fly over oceans than travel by ship. If the plane crashes, I'd be dead on impact instead of drowning. I guess I'd still fall to the bottom of the ocean which would be terrifying if I were at all conscious. This gives me nightmares. I definitely have to stay away from Guam.

Another irrational fear happens when a driver in front of me throws a cigarette out the car window because I think my car will blow up when I drive over it. Too many TV shows and movies, I guess. Yet, I think I'm fairly well-adjusted. Denial or delusion?

OK, I've confessed. Now what about you?

5:40:00 PM

Monday, June 28, 2004  

I was just looking at my photo album and plan to update it. I should have the opportunity to take some more soon. If any of you would like to send pictures of you for me add for a while, feel free to do so. I'm going to post some pictures of the house when I get it organized. Even though I'm taking some "before" photos, I'm not sure if I'm brave (or foolish) enough to post them. Only a few people know how bad it is now, and I might leave it at that. Let's just say I could easily be a candidate for the TLC show Clean Sweep.

10:52:00 PM

Saturday, June 26, 2004  
Da Quiz

from the Pop Culture Edition of Trivial Pursuit ... enjoy!

1. MOVIE - What is second prize in the Glengary Glen Ross sales contest? (talk about esoteric)
2. MOVIE - What movie starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane was titled La Cage Aux Folles in a previous version?
3. TV - Until 1993, Lifetime ran instructional programming all day on Sundays for what profession?
4. TV - Whose Party Machine started up after Arsenio Hall signed off?
5. MUSIC - What Patti Smith song was turned into a 1994 hit for 10,000 Maniacs?
6. MUSIC - What rock band is fronted by Paul Hewson? (I have a question for you guys about this)
7. SPORTS & GAMES - What classic arcade game marked the debut of the Nintendo character named Mario?
8. S&G - What prominent politician fell and tore a knee tendon while staying at golfer Greg Norman's house in 1997?
9. BUZZ - What was the first product sold by the "Newman's Own" company?
10. BUZZ - What former First Lady founded a facility frequented by celebrities with substance abuse problems?
11. FAD - What is a winkle picker? (snicker)
12. FAD - What city does the humor magazine The Onion originate from?

6:33:00 PM


I know about the play and movie but not much about horses. Well, in this case, you need to know about names of famous horses. Here's a quiz that I found while searching for the name of Caligula's horse. Of course, I didn't know that off the top of my head. Am I a classical scholar?

Here's the link to the quiz for Famous Riders and their Horses. How did we do? I got 10 of them right. I've never heard of some of those people and can't believe I missed the Zorro question since I watched it regularly - also Gene Autry, Hopalong Cassidy, Roy and Dale, and Sky King. There's so much I don't remember and odd things that I do. I got these right: #'s 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 15, 18, 19 and guessed correctly for 7 and 12. Can you believe the answer to question #2? Who'd have thought that? I never had a clue.

You want another Trivial Pursuit quiz? If so, which edition: "Know-It-All" or "Pop Culture"?

11:16:00 AM

Tuesday, June 22, 2004  
not so bummer

Sheena called and told me to turn on Oxygen, so I got to see the after the show conversation with Bill Clinton. I feel a little better.

6:26:00 PM


I can't believe no one has answered any of the trivia questions but Michael. Has it run its course? Are we tired of it now? Do I need to think of something else to entertain you? Your answers and information entertain me, and what is more important? Yes, that's right! It's all about ME!!

5:35:00 PM

RELIEF and Bummed

I went by to get the air conditioning checked on my car and got it fixed since it only required freon. Thank goodness! While I was there I got the oil changed since it has been way too long. I'm getting two new tires since I don't get them rotated and balanced which erases the tread on them. I always tell myself I'll do better and won't let that happen again, so I'm going to write it in my appointment book and try really hard AGAIN. Some people don't deserve to own cars. I guess I'm one of them.

When I went in there to the car place (Lucky's), the receptionist exclaimed, "So you're Joy Durham!" I looked confused and asked her what that meant. She told me she'd been hearing about me for years and most of her friends had been in Challenge Class. She was in the class with the Amys, Wally, Geoff, Stefan, Mary, Rachel, etc. She told me her name too quickly, so I don't remember it. Then the owner popped his head in the window and asked if I used to teach. I told him I still do. Turns out he was in high school when I taught there. I realized who he was and told him I'd taught his twin sons (Andrew and Anthony) in Challenge Class. See what happens when you teach so long? :-)

I thought Clinton was going to be on Oprah's show Thursday and have been looking forward to watching it and planning around it. Then I got home, called Sheena, and found out it was on today. She said it was really good, too. I watched 60 Minutes and though Dan Rather acted weird and didn't laugh when things were funny, but I knew Oprah would. I'm disappointed. My only hope is that this On Demand feature on cable will let me see it. I haven't used it and just found out about it yesterday when I went by the cable place to pay my bill. She showed me how to use it, and it's sort of like TIVO, but I haven't played with it and don't know. I just hope it will let me watch some shows I missed the way she said it would. Otherwise, I will see if I can find someone who taped it. :-( How sad.

I'm one of those people who would vote for Clinton again if he could run. I also liked Jimmy carter. So there! LOL

5:26:00 PM

Sunday, June 20, 2004  

I'm listening to Prairie Home Companion, and Jearlyn Steele sang "Crazy" on the show. Now she's singing a Bonnie Raitt song "Something to Talk About." I don't know her. She does OK with it, but no one has ever sung "Crazy" better than Patsy Cline did - even though Linda Ronstadt did pretty well, and Mandy Barnett sounded a whole lot like her in the show at the Ryman Remembering Patsy. Was that the title of it? That was really good. Patsy could really communicate a song, and set the bar really high. When he was asked whose performance was his favorite of "Crazy," Willie Nelson said Patsy Cline's. He wrote it, you know. I like to listen to Willie. Mother and I went to a concert he gave at Opryland (wish it were still there instead of Shopryland). He was great and sang for over two hours.

I'm feeling uncommonly good today even though I was up ridiculously late reading King of Torts by John Grisham. I couldn't quit until I finished it. I'm also reading Sea Glass by Anita Shreve which I borrowed from Gena's mother. I wouldn't take it until she promised that it didn't end with a cheap shot the way The Last Time They Met did. That book made me so angry because of the ending that I vowed never to read anything else she wrote. So here I am, and it needs to do better. If it does, I'll read some of the others but not until I am reassured. I was even tempted to write to her, and I've never written to an author for any reason.

I've been cooking today and getting ready for the week. Sunday is my favorite day to listen to NPR. Maybe I'll iron tonight while I watch Clinton on 60 Minutes and the new episode of Coupling. So much to do and it's going to rain all week which might work out well since I have things in the house to do. It's not working out as well as I'd hoped with the class at school since that takes most of the day (8-3). It will be over soon, and I can have whole days at a stretch. At least there are no papers to grade.

How are you doing? Anyone going anywhere or doing fun things?

2:43:00 PM

Friday, June 18, 2004  

Answers are posted to last week's quiz.

I had a great time with Brendan and Melissa. Brendan is talking and understands what is said to him now. He imitates sounds really well the way Brian did. I called Brendan "Brian" only once today, but I know I'll do it again. He's a happy, healthy, adorable little guy who is in constant motion and busy all the time! He loves books and will take one of the many he has over to Melissa for her to read to him now and then. He turns the pages and knows what comes next. OK, I'm gushing but those of you with grandchildren know how it is. I have four very special ones and think they are all just wonderful. We grandparents can't help it, you know.

Those of you with young children, however, would just like some rest and privacy for a little while. I do remember how it was but not that well. I'm reminded when I am around the grandchildren.

10:45:00 PM

Thursday, June 17, 2004  
Quiz Again

I'll post the answers to last week's quiz tonight. I'm at school now and then am going to spend the afternoon with Melissa and Brendan.

1. People and Places - What city houses the world's oldest existing zoo?
2. P&P - Who was elected president even though he publically admitted fathering an illegitimate baby?
3. Arts & Entertainment - What famous artistic pair ran a factory to make and sell their own prints, at ten cents each?
4. A&E - What opera contains the ballet, Dance of the Hours?
5. History - Which Roman Emperor bestowed the rank of Consul on his favorite horse? (anybody know the name of the horse?)
6. HIS - What current U.S. state is the site of Custer's last stand?
7. Science & Nature - What now-outmoded audio device did the Lear Jet Corporation in 1965, with the intention that it be used in automobiles?
8. S&N - What rare astronomical occurrence was observed in the heavens in 1987?
9. Sports & Leisure - What 1950's baseball team is nostalgically recalled in Roger Kahn's The Boys of Summer?
10. S&L - What sport holds a major competition in Talladega? (I was born in Sylacauga, which is in Talladega County, since Daddy worked in a chemical plant in AL during the war.)
11. Wild Card - What answer to a Trivial Pursuit question sparked a heated argument between George and "The Bubble Boy" on Seinfeld?
12. WC - What does a velocipede have if a centipede has a hundred legs and a millipede has a thousand legs?

4:03:00 PM

Tuesday, June 15, 2004  

I've been helping the kids with algebra and geometry along with the occasional English question and rare biology one. Since I'm not a math teacher and don't know the answer to it anyway, I've always told students to just memorize the rules about positive and negative signs, trust it, and work the problems. It's always been weird to me how multiplying and dividing two negatives gives a positive answer no matter how I try to think about it. Someone attempted to explain it to me once, but it didn't work. Addition and subtraction I get and can explain even though I've found it's easier to tell them to go with the sign of the largest number. How can two positives and two negatives equal a positive number when multiplied and divided? Wouldn't that make it just that much more negative? Makes no sense at all. Oh well. I really should be sleeping.

1:13:00 AM

Monday, June 14, 2004  

I've been thinking about this and decided what it's about is that I'm taking a break from cancer. That's why I didn't want to participate in the Relay for Life. First of all, I have a short attention span, so having to deal with something for this long is too much for me. I'm moving on. Just posting what I did yesterday about PTSD made me feel better - sort of got it out in the open so it could leave.

Sometimes I can't remember what season we're in. I call it Seasonal Dyslexia. Usually I'm in the car when this happens but not always. I'll look out the window and for a blank moment have no idea if it's getting ready to be winter or fall or whatever. I look around for clues and try to decide when it is. You'd think this would be easier than it is, but at that moment I can't decide if leaves and blooms are coming or going. I never know when it will strike, and it doesn't last too long. I thought everybody did it until I asked around and got weird looks. So far I've only found one other person who admits being this way, too.

4:14:00 PM


Those Signature Desserts advertised on TV aren't even close to tasting as good as they look. I made one of them and am unimpressed - yuck. It's just as well since I don't need to eat it anyway.

12:27:00 AM

Sunday, June 13, 2004  
Quiz Again

As a tribute to Seabiscuit which I rented and enjoyed last night on DVD, there are horse race questions in the sports section.

1. People and Places - What rock formation on Salisbury Plain was used by the Druids to predict celestial events?
2. P&P - Who was Anna's lover in Tolstoy's Anna Karenina?
3. Arts & Entertainment - How many cavalrymen were in the "Charge of the Light Brigade"? (I taught that first term)
4. A&E - What art movement of the late 1950s and early 1960s drew from cartoons, the cinema, and fast food advertising? (I went to a couple of art history classes at the University of South Carolina with Paige when I visited her several years ago and learned more about this from that professor than I ever had before - very interesting.)
5. History - Which of the original thirteen colonies was first known as "New Sweden"?
6. HIS - What European country did Hannibal's elephants embark from as they were led to conquer Rome?
7. Science & Nature - What two animals provide us with angora? (those sweaters marked our territory at dances when they would shed on the guys' jackets)
8. S&N - What structure in the body includes the nuclear envelope? (what kind of stamp is needed?)
9. Sports & Leisure - Who was the only jockey to win the Triple Crown twice?
10. S&L - What horse came in second to Affirmed in three Triple Crown races?
11. Wild Card - What cartoon character is considered the "World's Richest Duck"? (is he related to Scary?)
12. WC - What word comes from the Greek "magein" meaning "the great science and religion"? (more Greek!)

12:30:00 PM

More than an Adjective

I mistakenly wrote that Janey was an Aussie expatriate, which would require mind reading to understand what I meant. She cleared things up, and I appreciate it. She is in fact an American expatriate who has lived in Australia for around 15 years. Gosh, has it been that long? I plan to visit her in a few years and am looking forward to it so much. It was so good to see Janey when she was here last time and to enjoy our conversations. She's such a neat person and wonderful friend - brilliant, clever, warm, pretty, insightful, and so much more.

I didn't attend the Cancer Relay for Life Friday night but participated last year since I was still in the midst of it all. It's necessary for me to take a break from cancer and deal with the emotional side-effects that have set in. I just wasn't able to go to the relay and felt anxious and scared just thinking about it. Right now I don't want to be identified with things I've survived but to live my life and try to get on with it. I haven't been doing that very well as my mouse finger will testify. Escape is where I've been - playing Spider Solitaire and online jigsaw puzzles while watching TV - it could have been worse except for being sedentary and eating chocolate. When going through something traumatic, most of us do what we have to do in order to get through it. It's later on that it is harder to handle and similar to surviving a car wreck that was almost fatal. So many what-if's and might-have-beens and memories. Post-traumatic stress is probably usual with all this. Almost dying from sepsis affects me the most, but all of it was horrific.

I've been taking anti-anxiety medication (Lexapro - an SSRI - also for depression) for a couple of months. It took a while to get it regulated since I'm a mine canary for meds. At first it made me sleep too much and feel sort of zoned out. I kept cutting the pills in half a few times until I'm now taking a dosage that works and lets me stay awake. I don't plan to keep taking this but will for a while since I needed some help. I was sticking to the diet Dr. Ross had me on which lowered my triglycerides even through Christmas but flipped out during the Rituxan treatments in January and February. Even though I realized intellectually that it was maintenance treatment, sitting in the chemo room with an IV for four hours made me scream in my mind, "I'm going to die!!!" Comfort food and escape it was! I told Dr. Ross that I felt scared all the time and almost cried when I explained all this to him. He said he knew I didn't like to take medication unless I really needed to but that he thought I'd have benefitted from this some time ago. So I'm taking it and am making progress.

The kind of PTSD I have is mostly avoidance emotionally. I don't want any more drama in my life or to get too far from home and school for too long. My emotions are exhausted, and I feel lost. I probably do best at school since it's structured, and discussing literature and writing is familiar and comfortable. That's another reason I decided to work there this summer.

It's going to take time to heal, and I'm making progress. Thanks to all of you for your part in it. :-)

11:45:00 AM

Wednesday, June 09, 2004  

I'm sitting here in the computer lab answering the occasional question. Most questions are about algebra and geometry which I can do - especially at the level they are working on. However, thank goodness for Google! I had to look up negative exponents and refresh my memory that pi are square. (sorry - I've been doing some really bad jokes lately) Some ask about English and the program we're using. Anyway, they are staring at their screens and clicking their mice (mouses?) and accomplishing things (I hope).

I went to see Stepford Wives last night at 100 Oaks. Linda and I met at Calypso before the movie. It had an impressive cast and was funny. We both realized that we'd never seen the original one. Now I think I'll rent it and see how they are different. This one was updated to current times and had some hilarious lines and moments in it. They gave out posters. Mine is going in my classroom which will be odd since the other movie poster I have is from The Hours. I guess people will think I am a big Nicole Kidman fan, but it's just that those two are the only screenings I've attended that gave the audience posters.

Home now after taking the cats to the vet. Brigit has lost a little over a pound, and Columbo has gained that much. He got his lion cut again since he doesn't groom himself properly and is a mess. I try to keep him combed and all, but nothing works after a point. It's OK and then he's rumpled again and has dreadlocks. He's a Rastafurian. (not going to apologize for this one - I still think it's funny) The vet laughed and then said some people have a green thumb - I have a Jamaican thumb. I'll stop but could go on. You're welcome.

8:55:00 AM

Sunday, June 06, 2004  

Went to a baby shower for Angela this afternoon. Saw a lot of family members. Brendan was there walking all around and working the crowd. I took a lot of pictures but managed to erase the wrong card for some senile reason. I can't believe the 20 others are gone. Argh! I have a few posted in the album - the survivors that were on another card. Angela got a lot of really cute clothes for Carter (they're naming him Jacob Carter Durham and calling him Carter, so many of his clothes have his name in them). ;-)

I watched the Tony Awards tonight and got to find out what's on Broadway now. Then Bette Midler was on Inside the Actor's Studio, so it's been a theatrical evening.

10:25:00 PM

Friday, June 04, 2004  
Quiz Again

Answers are on the Squawkbox Comments for last week as usual. Enjoy!

1. People and Places - Who was Iva Ikuto Toguri d'Aquino better known as?
2. P&P - Where would you find the most people known as Bajans? (I think they made this up)
3. Arts & Entertainment - What is the name of the "good witch" in The Wizard of Oz?
4. A&E - What nicknames gave Robert Parker and Harry Longabaugh a place in American history? (I had no idea but am glad to know this)
5. History - What brassy term was used to describe a Northerner who believed in the Southern cause during the Civil War?
6. History - What U.S. act of 1862 gave settlers 160 acres of land? (and not 4 mules?)
7. Science & Nature - How many legs does a "Daddy-longlegs" have? (we call them granddaddy-longlegs)
8. S&N - What fish, once vital to the New England economy, is sometimes called "the beef of the sea"? (sorry, Charlie, not chicken of the sea .... why can't they just be fish of the sea?)
9. Sports & Leisure - What two cities were home to the Rams before they moved to St. Louis?
10. S&L - Who played in the tennis match dubbed "The Battle of the Sexes"? (I watched it and cheered)
11. Wild Card - What "78" ceased production in '58?
12. WC - What English word is derived from a Greek word meaning "medicine"?

7:19:00 PM

Silence is Rare

I haven't had much to say this week. At the beginning of it, I had some nausea thing and felt bad until Wednesday when I took Mother to a retina specialist in Nashville. Dr. Moffatt said her right eye is holding its own and might be just a bit better. The retina has some kind of gel behind it which pulls it and distorts her vision. Eventually it could cause the retina to detach, so they are watching it and monitoring with tests. She's supposed to go back in three months. He said they do laser surgery all the time, and while there is a slight chance something could go wrong that he wouldn't recommend surgery unless her eye gets much worse. We thought that was good news.

Yesterday and today I went to school to help facilitate the Credit Recovery program. We have about 12-14 students right now, and they are working away. Wednesday will be the last day they accept students into it, and we finish by July 2. We had problems with the program (Plato) and had to talk with tech support all day. All kinds of men gave advice, but when we talked with a woman, it worked. Am I surprised? :-) She was Level 2 support, and the Level 1 support guy had us talk with her. She called this morning to see how things were working. She said she'd heard that before about the men and didn't quite know what to think about it.

The other teacher Kim and I are working out our schedules, so it won't be too bad. I enjoy doing it pretty well and might do it again next summer, but I do like the time off. I'll decide when I get there.

7:10:00 PM

is powered by Blogger.
Weblog Commenting by