Monday, January 31, 2005

"Heart month" is starting....

New PSA to run in the Wall Street Journal on Monday, Feburary 7th. The woman is Kathy Kastan, President of WomenHeart. I am so impressed with these women who were brave enough to show their scars. We were all photographed by Rhoda Baer in the D.C. area last year, and the series is expected to win some awards. It was an incredible experience.

Mine is similar, featuring Lily, and I'll let you all know where and when it will run.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Slug-bug blue!

Happy Birthday Dad!

We used to play a car game called 'slug-bug' when I was a kid. Whenever we saw a VW bug, we would punch each other and call out the color of the car. We kept daily tallies of our points, and convertibles were worth 10 points. One of my favorite childhood memories (from about age 8) is of my father, driving with me and my sister in his '57 Chevy, through a Volkswagen dealership. He had made us close our eyes, and when we were in the middle of the lot, he began driving in circles and yelling out all the colors he could see. Of course we were near hysteria, and couldn't claim a single point because we were giggling and squealing. A rarely confessed Gaiagal fact is that me & Dad were Wisconsin State Bowling Champs in the father/daughter category.

He would have been 65 years old today. Smoking sucks.

Fairy Moon

Took the kidlet to a folk concert today at the Connecticut Audubon Society featuring Maria Sangiolo. It was a huge hit with all the kids: book reading, acoustic sing-along songs, and the creation of a fairy house. Lily was a great participator, as she always is. We bought her latest CD, Fairy Moon. Maria Sangiolo Songs about fairies and such. Lily sat in the car in our driveway until the CD had finished, and then we played the favorite songs over and over in the house. I fear for Maria the next time we see a performance. My daughter is loud. The sweet book read at today's activity: Fairy Houses Four seems to be a magical age for fairies, Lily is focused on them. We have several houses in our yard for the wee folk, and she says sometimes they sneak into the house. For friends of the fey: The Leprechaun Watch: a web cam focused on a fairy ring in Ireland. Be sure to report any sightings. Faerie Jewelry Faerie Magic: Feri Tradition A couple of authors I've read and recommend: Francesa De Grandis T. Thorn Coyle

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Programming Language Inventor or Serial Killer?

Can you tell the difference between a coder and a cannibal? It seems I know my Javabeans from the fava beans, the slashers from the slash-dotters. 8/10 Wanna try it? Swiped from Olivia


Another snow day today! No school for Lily, and full moon gathering cancelled for tonight. At least I cleaned the house in preparation for tonite, so I don't have to do that. I believe we'll be making valentines. I've been shopping a bit, I need a new suit. I have a couple of national TV gigs for heart month coming in February. I never go to the mall, but I may need to. I just don't enjoy shopping with a 4-year old. Everything in the stores is pastel now. Not my colors. Did you know that there are specific colors that look better on camera? Black and white suits are not great. I'm looking for something in an olive green, slate blue, or eggplant. I'm realizing that I likely won't find that at this time of year. I'd like to post the new WomenHeart PSA here, but I don't know how.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Share your secret

Sunday, January 23, 2005

The many hairstyles of the 80's

Melissa dared me, so here are some 80's photos. What a bizarre, fun time. 1986: With friends from high school in Wisconsin. I'm the one with big hoop earrings. Don't know where any of those people are now. 1987: During my short stint as a blonde. Made the big move from WI to the East Coast after one semester of college. Here I am on the NYC subway. Slowly moving out my punk rock phase. I loved that shirt! Wonder what happened to it. 1988: I was a nanny for a family in CT that had this private jet. We were on our way to their home in Bermuda for a month. Spent a lot of time clubbing in NYC at that time of my life. The Tunnel was a favorite. 1989: With Leslie. Where exactly did we think we were going dressed like that? Underage, and in Hartford. I don't remember, but I'm sure we had fun. Obviously, Lester is the one who modeled. And still does. I'm looking forward to posting some of her husband's work here soon. I have to find a photo of my husband from the 80's. You know, pastel jacket, jazz shoes, and skinny tie? While digging through this stuff, I came across some old cassette tapes. Mixes I had put together with friends. One is labeled "Classical Music at 78rpm". I vaguely remember driving around quite pleased with ourselves listening to that. Sheesh.


The State of Connecticut is closed. Most everything, except those newcasters who are live talking about the snow in the studio, and then cut to the 10 different "journalists" who are on the scene in 10 different towns who say, "yes, snowing here, too." I think they were on all night long repeating the mantra: it's a blizzard, stay inside. What a boring job. When we woke up (on the second floor), this is what the windows looked like. Each morning I let Willow out the door into our fenced back yard. This morning when we tried to open the door, the snow had drifted to a level well above her head, and she couldn't get out. So I bundled up, and we started another snowed-in day by going out to the front yard together. It's quite pretty, but I'm glad John does the shoveling. It's still snowing....time to get out the crafts!

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Cellular Memory

The concept is that every cell in our body holds memory. Events, emotions, even past lives are stored up in our cells. Even if you don't buy into what Sylvia Browne has to say on the subject, the fact is that many transplant recipients develop new, very different personality traits post-transplant. Everything from a new musical talent to a drastic change in food preference. Ask anyone who works regularly with transplant patients. My husband has had 2 transplants. The first kidney came from his brother, and he didn't notice any difference in how he felt in any way: physically, mentally, or emotionally. That kidney was taken over by disease fairly quickly, and he went back on dialysis. Several years later he had a cadaveric transplant. He developed a fear terror of falling through ice. He's been a hockey player all of his life. He had that transplant in February, and did recovered very well. He spent the rest of the winter in short sleeved shirts, he was always hot. Later, we found out that the donor had fallen through the ice on a lake while riding an ATV. 13 years after the transplant, those new traits haven't diminished. He won't play hockey on anything but a rink, and he's always warm. Could these be some leftover memory of the final moments of the donor? Kinda creepy. It wasn't until last year that we looked up the newspaper article describing the accident and death. It messed with his head a bit to know the guy's name and age. A few more stories regarding this phenomena: A spiritual look Thoughts from a physical therpist The Skeptic Report

Friday, January 21, 2005


This is Lilybean sleeping right now. If this is the way she conducts herself in slumber, well, just imagine 7:00am. And I wonder why I'm so damn tired.

Segregation issue

Although we don't encourage it, this is how it is at my house: white ones on the bed; black ones on the couch. Everyday.

Thursday, January 20, 2005


That with which I was entertained today: Robert and Shana Parkeharrison via Spongebob's sexuality called into question by conservative groups worried about Mr. Squarepants' effect on our impressionable youth. Holding hands with Patrick and the use of the song "We Are Family" are both cited as tell-tale characteristics of a homosexual sponge. Ancient fake cat mummies. Really. both via WitchVox Squirrel Liquor Decanter Just go look. I don't know what else to say. found at DRT

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Babysitter needed

A couple of movies on my list: Mar adentro (The Sea Inside) directed by Alejandro Amenábar (The Others) Un long dimanche de fiançailles (A Very Long Engagement) starring Audrey Tautou of Amélie. What the Bleep Do We Know?

Saturday, January 15, 2005

S&M Activities

You may not guess this about me, but I love to dance. Salsa and merengue in particular. I have a few friends that I can occasionally coax into attempting to salsa (these are not easy dance moves for gringos), and we went out last night. First to a new bar in Hartford called Barcelona, which we heard had "Latin Night" on Fridays. Well, it's a nice bar, but their version of Latin night was a Spanish language rock band, and not a very good one at that. So we headed off to Azucar (the now favorite dance spot in town) for some dancing. I love the club, the music, the Mojitos, and all those sweaty people dancing. It's also very refreshing to know that if one is asked to dance, it is not an evening commitment. It's simply a dance. We were the only gringas in the place, and I'm so pleased that my friends enjoy the music and club so much, too. Really. Imagine me trying to get another suburban white mom to come with me. "Come on! They play only salsa, merengue, cumbia. I'll give ya a lesson before we go. No, it's safe...they search everyone as they come in. It'll be great!" I took a month's worth of salsa/merengue lessons while in Spain about 10 years back, and got hooked. I ended up as the instructor's assistant to demonstrate moves for all of his classes. He was Colombian, and a fabulous dancer. I am not quite so fabulous, but I can follow lead well, and I have no fear. I really enjoy Albita's music. Listen long enough to hear her voice. Wow. If you want to learn the basics of salsa and / or merengue dancing, check out this site.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

A smile?

Thanks to Bsti's fun find posted over at Chapel Perilous, I am slightly de-grumped. Go see for yourself. I dare you not to laugh, or at least grin uncontrollably. Amazing Cat Collection

Please wake me when it's over

Is there some odd astrological thing happening? I've felt in a haze for the past week, and with the unexpected bad news from friends, I was hoping this week would look better. Well, Sunday ended with my kid looking like a Klingon. She was sledding with dad in the back yard, and he pushed her tube sled right into a fence post. She bounced off, and stuck the corner of said post with her forehead. Her entire forehead, even eyebrows, were swollen. John felt understandably terrible about having propelled his daughter to a head injury, and was grumpy and a bit panicky. So, like usual, one of us stayed calm. OK, usually it is only one of us that is calm, but to this point, it had never been me. I spoke with the pediatrician and got the list of things to look for, and pulled out the directions to the local children's hospital. We had to wake her every couple of hours and be sure she was coherent. I found myself doing that strange bargaining with the universe...."please, let her be OK, I'll never complain about playing Chutes and Ladders again...." She's fine. Proudly showing off her deformity at preschool Monday morning. Monday started with finding my large black kitty Coletrane breathing rapidly. Of course, all I could think of was 'heart failure'. And that I'm way overdue for his vaccines, and what I lousy pet owner I am. One emergency vet visit and $300 later, Coletrane and I are home with an asthma diagnosis. We are going to treat him with inhalers. I've never heard of such a thing, but you can be sure that if there is a strange ailment out there, some being who lives with me will get it. Today, you ask? How about a little pink eye? Me, of course. I'm not positive that is what is happening, but my eye is red and gooey. Disgusting. Add to it a dose of monthly cramps and bad attitude. I'm headed for a nice bath and early bedtime tonight. I'm sure that is best for everyone in the house.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

I love words

An interesting article on the origins of some English words posted over at the Witches Voice:
Many English words have fascinating histories The word "bless," which has Christian connotations for many of us, had pagan origins, coming from an old German word meaning "to sprinkle with blood."
I find language fascinating. I've always been interested in other languages, but it wasn't until I started learning French in college that I tuned into English. Having learned two romance languages (and dabbled in Italian), forced me into a new perspective of the language I've always spoken. Now I have a four-year old who expands her vocabulary daily, and reminds me that much of what is 'correct' is not logical. I often speak with people who do not speak English as their first or preferred language. I am conscious of idioms, word order, and random meanings that seem to make no sense. Words come from all sorts of places, and I love to search out an origin of a phrase or expression. Bank teller is one. Well, I did some searching and found that to tell used to mean to count. So the meaning of to tell changed, but the phrase bank teller stuck around. In Spanish, the verb contar means to tell and to count. In French, compter = to count, and raconter = to tell. One little example...but it is just the sort of thing filling my head if I have a quiet moment.

Sparkly day

The whole yard is dripping with ice today. This is the upward view from my front door. Lily and I have been sliding around the ice-covered snow. John's business is keeping him running, he's working 7 days a week now. I guess I can't complain about that? This past week brought some unfortunate new for two friends. One has been listed for a heart transplant. She has the same disease I have, only was misdiagnosed for several years. Her story so far is unbelieveable, she has surpassed all expectations. I'm confident that she'll get a new heart and do very well. The other woman was the only friend I had when I moved to MA. She is French, and her husband is Spanish, and they have 5 lovely children. She was good to me. She hosted 2 baby showers for me, one at the school we taught in, and another at her home so I could get to know some local moms. She was one of only two friends who came to visit Lily in the hospital when she had open heart surgery. Well, she and her husband have split, and he was recently accused of sexual assult by one of his teenaged daughter's friends. The lawsuit involves some $16 million. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it, there is one layer of hideous on top of layers of awful, terrible, sickening, gut-wrenching. Hoping next week brings positive news...

Friday, January 07, 2005


After 2 days snowed in, the sun is out today and the sky was blue this morning. It was a beautiful morning with everything coated in ice. Lily did some sledding yesterday, I think we may head out again. She can stay out in the snow for much longer, but my feet freeze. I've been in a bit of a funk this week, I think because the new public service announcements are done for WomenHeart. It's photo of me and Lily, and the lead copy is "Her father's eyes, her mother's heart disease. " ouch. Well,'s not like I don't know that I likely passed my faulty cardiology genes onto her. But seeing it in print is disturbing. I agreed to the project, and the message is powerful. No regrets. Just feeling a little off emotionally this week. If I can get WomenHeart's permission, I'll post the new PSA here.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Constant battle

Me: Get your finger out of your nose! Her: Mom, this time I'm trying to put one back in!!

Another gift?

A box arrived in the mail today from my father-in-law. Before I explain what is in the box, you need to understand a bit about the gift-giver. John went 15 years or so without speaking to him, so their relationship is less than ideal. A few examples, and you'll get the picture: John had his first kidney transplant in 1989, and the surgery was immediately followed by a rejection/infection episode, and shortly after the disease took over the kidney. He spent 3 months in the hospital. Dad never visited. Our daughter was 5 months old before he ever met her. He stopped by one day last week to pick up something he left at the holiday party. He never even asked to see her. He did attend Lil's birthday party this year, and gave her a card wishing her a happy 5th birthday. We aren't really bothered by him, mostly we chuckle. He does have a habit of making LOUD racial slurs at every gathering, which I have taken to calling him out on. And he has been making more of an effort in his own odd way. I could write a book, but you get the general idea. Back to the box. It contained holiday gifts. 3 red polo shirts embroidered with the name of my father-in-law's yacht. I've visited the boat only once. It strikes me as odd to give a gift personalized to the gift-giver, not the recipient. And the idea that I would have a polo shirt, never mind red, with a large boat's name covering my left breast, is sorta silly. Take a look. I don't know what the name stands for. I am hopeful that the shirts were given in the spirit of sharing his boat, not that we are to become crew.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Smoking bottle

Got the inspiration from a great craft blog, You'll Poke Your Eye Out!, for this smoking bottle. It's an incense burner, and the necklace type thing hanging around the bottle actually balances a stick in the bottle. The smoke comes out of carefully drilled holes, and the mess stays in the bottle. Fun project. Complete instructions here.
Buy your own bumper sticker here. via pesky apostrophe