Thursday, May 31, 2007

Hide and Seek

This is a little game of Hide and Seek. If you look real good, and I mean REALLY good, you can see a small creature in the picture. (hint, it's NOT the frog) Maybe if I give you say, another angle.......
Does that help? Let me just say that it was 90 degrees yesterday at 3:15 when I took this picture. Here. In my garden.

He was trying to evade the sweltering heat; and he is just too adorable for words. He did eventually make his way out, forgetting what he was doing.

We have come to realize that Bosco suffers from short-term memory loss. No joke. If he is outside, he will come to the door and beg to come inside; followed IMMEDIATELY, by the cries to go outside. Only to start over again by walking the length of the sidewalk, falling over, rolling, and coming back to the door and the crying again begins. This is an all day occurrance with Bosco.

At first we thought maybe he had a little kitty screw loose. But he just really resembles Dory the fish from Nemo. Short-term memory loss. Actually, Bosco and I don't really fall far from the same tree afterall. I find myself going from door to door and room to room, wondering why and where and what in the world I was doing, where I was going! What AM I doing next??? And why? I don't really remember. I just look at Bosco, he meows and rubs my leg. We walk to the door and wonder together. Maybe I should hide under a bush! Go figure - HA!

And as if parenting couldn't be any more fun!!! Tomorrow is the "Semi" at Cinderisa's school. Why they have this event really is beyond me actually. She is 14, in 9th grade. When I was in school, (here I go sounding like. my. parents. again.) right, we had the Jr. and Sr. Prom/Ball. no semi or anything like. We had dances once a month, which were fun.

Now, they have the Semi. Girls are expected to glam it up, parents are expected to allow it! For reasons, I won't spell out, we decided not to. Naturally, Cinderisa isn't going to this ball, and she is crushed. I understand her being very hurt, misunderstood, and all that goes into the teen feelings. However; I'm not for the manipulating teen parent-to-parent, shall I say parent-against-parent rally she is bribing. In this case. So she is, shall I say, learning a very hard lesson in teenhood. And I in parenthood. Either way, it sucks. She wants me to cave and let her go, because, afterall she has, as she says, "learned her lesson."

A part of me wants her to go and have fun with her friends and all that goes with it and on and on; but there is the conviction of the reasons WHY we said, "no" in the first place. To those reasons, we must stick. Sometimes parenting just plain out - SUCKS!

But I love her too much to fold. And though I cringe when I sound like my parents, I suppose it's a parental ring; and she too will jolt to it. So until her Jr Prom and Sr. Ball come around, she is going to have to wait, like we did, or I did.

Really, why must they rush to grow up? Why can't they stay little a little longer? She is going to be 15 this year! She only has three years left of high school, and I cannot believe it as I am writing this. It really does fly.

Yesterday, she said she was seriously considering teaching Special Needs Children. Well no kidding Miss Marisa. It is such a gift this child has been blessed with. And not only her, but the kids she works with on a daily and weekly basis in school. She has been working with Special Needs kids since the elementary level. It doesn't surprise me at all. She has a true heart, a caring and loving heart for them. And not just for Special Needs children, but for children in general.

Unlike the Cat Mawler, she will play with Nicholas and Vanessa - actually play with them. Yes, she gets irritated with them, she is 14! But she is generally nice to them. Chris, not so much. It's a battle for her to be nice. at. all lately.

Girls are mean. Boys are icky. Parenting is sucky business. At least Philip will be home tomorrow night! He will be able to toss in some reality to the big picture for them. I'm sure of that.

Here is someone sweet and lovely: This is Zio Corrado from Italy!

He will be with us for another month. Lastnight, we took him to Marisa's band concert. He enjoyed it, although he was very frustrated because he couldn't see her. She plays the drums, and she is in the waaaaay back of the orchestra. Their drumline also performed, which he really enjoyed. He is obsessed with Walmart, so I will be taking him there today to get more pictures developed. He has a seriously cool camera.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Marisa's First Parade

Memorial Day

This was the only flag I saw flown at half mast. I guess we were the only little village that did so. When I saw that American flags were replaced by swasticas, not once, but twice; not only did it make my stomach turn, but it enraged me. Where are the cowards now? Why do they do it in hiding? If they have something so loud and hateful to say, why not do it with a voice and a face?

Like Mother, Like Daughter. I believe that is the saying. Anyway, she marched in her first parade on Saturday, and I took lots of pictures. So she made a funny face for this one. Stinker.

This is Cassie, Marisa's friend. The 'other' blonde. I took lots of pictures of her, too. This first one, she smiled. By the end of the parade, she was rolling her eyes at me. Some vets, and a very serious picture of Marisa/aka/Cinderisa.

so serious. not wanting to be photographed.

A smiling picture of Philip at the beach in NC last week! He will be here in just a few days. Doesn't he look great? (oh, yes, girls he is single!)

Here he is with his Dad, Frankie. We cannot wait to have him home. We are so proud of this young man, and all of our soldiers; past, present and yet to serve. We humbly thank you all.
I had the great priveledge of taking down his yellow ribbon on Saturday. His Nonna wanted to leave hers up until he could see it. I suppose some will leave theirs until all of the soldiers return. Perhaps, I may invest in another for that reason. For now, I will go without, for OUR soldier is home on American soil. We will; however, continue to pray for those who are not.
Hey, on a bit of a good note; I am feeling some relief from the procedure I had last week. YEAHHHHH! Next week I go for an Occipital block and schedule the same procedure to be done on the left side. The residual stiffness is wearing off, slow but sure. And the spike is fading to a more dulling blow than the rather searing kind it usually sends. Hopefully, this will last for the three months it promises. One can only hope. If not, well, it doesn't.
He still is talking about the stimulator, and I must say, I'm a bit more reluctant to do so. As in, not at all interested. Thankfully, so is my insurance company. Naturally. No shock there.
Ok, time to feed the animals.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Pretty Little Migraine

The pretty things that migraines are made of: they usually start with little specs and sparkles;Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket remember, you're not sure if you see that distant light. You know you don't want to see it; and as sure and as fast as it appeared, it is just as quickly gone. With eyes closed, you search for it.

With modern technology, being what it is, I used Photbucket, and these are the prettiest pictures I've come up with, and the closest to my own aura to show you, my internet blog friends just what it is to live a moment in my migraine. No two are alike. And for those that experience them - WARNING! SOME ANIMATIONS DO AGRIVATE MIGRAINE!

Once the spark and/or spec, or little light has had it's fun and games with it's disappearing act, it has now decided to bounce around just a little and add some color and sound. I have no sound effects.

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Now this little gem usually only comes in red and a muted grayish yellow. And is always and I mean, ALWAYS, followed by nausea. (like now, if I look at it, it's making me real queazy.) There is also the sound of a screaching, distant brake, not like anything I've ever really heard before. It comes on the right side, pierces my ear - to the effected side, of course - and is followed immediately with the most intense and excrutiating blow to back of my neck, which then is followed by a force trying to work it's way from the back of my head and out of my eye. And at no great speed, I might add. It is all in a very slow and agonizing motion.

At the moment, my shoulder blades seem to be trying to touch each other and in unison, are trying to become one and grow into , oh I don't know, my eyebrows maybe. The tension that has been building from lack of sleep, cryoanalgesia (pleaseohpleaseohpleasework!!!), everyfreakingday stresses (not even going there), and just plain tired of feeling like this day after day after freaking day.

No, don't get me wrong, I do have good days. And I do thank my Lord for them. But I hate dreadfully the bad days. Oh, here's a great picture!
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The spike in the lower part of the picture; that is the one that drills the top of my head on an almost daily basis! Yes, that is the one. Slowly, and steadily it is pounded and pounded into the top of my head. And I cannot touch it, for it brings more pain to touch. Just leave it alone.

This morning when I got out of bed, there was darkness on my right side, followed by the numbing; in my mouth and down my arm. The sparkles and the spirals were there all night, along with the tension and the blows to the back of the head. I do believe that it may take some time for the procedure I had done on Thursday to work it's magic. Hey, if not, ther's always the infusion center.

In reality, I am tired of filling my body with drugs. I resent the idea that I must depend on so many of them to get through the day, to ward off just a little more pain. And sometimes, most times, it does me no good.

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This is what today is looking like. It's sure looks pretty, doesn't it? As long as you don't suffer the fate of Migraine it does. But if you stop and stare long enough, or better yet, if you just take a quick peak, if you're one of me, it quickly sickens the stomach and brings on the pain. The numbing and tingling. The distant stare begins. I wonder if the person who made these pictures suffers like I.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Cryoanalgesia - what fun, what fun!

This is the Probe! Actually, I saw the probe my doc used and it was twice as long, seriously, as this one. No kidding. Twice as long. I'm not sure why; and I'm not sure why I looked. This was the second time I've gone for this procedure, and I believe it's working. I suppose that's why I've gone twice. At least it's taking some of the edge off. I think.

It's also possible I may have it done on the left side. Call me crazy, no seriously, call me crazy. The first time I had it done, I opted out of the Versed. The Versed, although a wonder drug for making one extra sleepy and forgetting what's going on; exagerates my migraines. So this time - Just give me the Versed already. I'll deal with the migraine, and I did. Like always, every stinking day OF MY LIFE! oh, boo hoo.

So in short, here is what he does: Versed, yum, (at first). Then he makes this nice incision in my occipital lobe. Yeah, the back of my head - oh I have lot's of curly hair, which he is jealous of and makes comments of shaving me each time he sees me. He's bald. He is not shaving me.

Then comes the fun part, more Versed to get, uh comfy and stupy, but still feeling pain. The long probe has now entered the back of my skull to freeze the nerves that are causing me so much freaking PAIN!! Wait, so is the probe. AH AH AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!! Zap zap zap.

So is it worth it? I suppose I'll find that out over the next few weeks. As for now, the pain on my left side is becoming more unbearable, and I'll be getting an occipital block on the 12th and he'll be scheduling me for the cryo (yipee) on that side.

Here's hoping it WILL work, as we are planning on vacation this year. Which means driving to Virginia Beach, despite the outrageous gas prices. Hello Scopalomine; hopefully, good-bye to some car-sickness. I don't travel well. At all.

This year we are taking Vanessa with us; and I can't wait. She has never gone and she is so excited. We haven't been in two years; as last year I was just too icky to travel. This year shouldn't be too bad. I can't wait to go. No, I can't wait to BE there. I'm planning on sleeping on the way there. Frank is a dream, he drove the entire trip! I should probably drive some of it for him this year if I'm feeling better.

Oh, and better news; if the pain gets too unbearable, the infusion center is up and running. And I've utilized it. It's so much better than going to the hospital. So so so much better. Those days, I hope, are over. I can only hope. As for my meds, I'm just praying they'll continue to do their trick; because, there really is nothing left for me to try. As I truly have tried every round out there. Every. round. available, that is. for me. Outside of allergies and adverse reactions.

Enough of me. So, in honor of our faithful vetertans - like my grandpas and dad, Philip, etc - hang a flag, go to a parade. Which reminds me, our Marisa will be in a parade on Monday. her first parade. She is playing a snare drum. Watch for pictures.

Happy Memorial Day. One week for our Philip to be home with us. YEAH!!!!!!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Just for fun

My song was The Ballad of the Green Berets by Staff Sgt Barry Sadler. How patriotic, considering Philip coming in today.

If you can't get enough of Mark Wood:

So you've always wanted to work with Mark Wood up close and personal and learn some of his amazing violin methods? Well, here's your chance!
JULY 6-7: MARK WOOD CAMP - Chicago, IL. There's still some room to be a part of this amazing experience which is open to all string players from a variety of ages and skill levels! The weekend will culminate in a wonderful concert event!! Call 815-467-7698 for FULL details and pricing information.
JULY 16-21: International Fiddle School at Vanderbilt University - Nashville, TN
JULY 23-28: San Diego Mark O'Connor Strings Conference - San Diego, CACLICK HERE FOR MARK'S COMPLETE CALENDAR!

While in Oswego, NY where he spent a week working with students as part of our Electrify Your Strings program, Mark met physics professor Dr. Altman, who found his 7-string fretted Viper to be a PERFECT vehicle to demonstrate some incredible physics theories!CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO!

By the next newsletter, we'll be continuing to update our Electrify Your Strings website with TONS of photos, stories, video clips, etc. from the 2006-2007 "Orchestra Rocks" tour that is just winding down... But for now, visit our "Experience" page (click on link below) to see (and hear) for yourself some of the amazing schools we've visited this year...Visit the EYS website!
Many thanks for being a part of the Mark Wood & Wood Violins community! Stay tuned for MORE EXCITING NEWS...Visit the official Mark Wood website for all the latest updates!
So, yes, I'm putting in my plug for Mark Wood. I believe he is doing something completely wonderful for educating our students. Learn about his cause. He sets kids on fire for music; something that is fast fading from many school districts. It came close to ours in my Freshman year.
I wish for you all, a wonderful weekend.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Guts, Gizzards and Gonads...Oh My!

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Ah, the arrival of Spring. Tulips, Daffodils, Petunias, Dandelions. Yes, I do love the sunny, yellow Dandelions. A fistfull of them, when they come in from the front or backyard, is my absolute favorite.

I am not opposed to their smiling faces on my front lawn. Frank, on the other hand, is. The kids delight in them as they turn into, what we call, "blow flowers." They pick them, and make a wish, before they blow their little seeds across his lush green carpet of lawn. I'm just sure that Frank cringes each time he sees this.

With Spring also arrives the little bunnies. The baby bunnies; hopping along the flower beds, eating the clover, and the little buds of early springtime flowerheads. And along comes the Evil Kitty, Miss Nala; and the baby bunny is no more. No, the sweet little Thumper has not only been killed, but dismembered. Again.

This should not be a surprise to our family, but each year, at this time, it is. With the arrival of the first pelt of baby bunny, we all feel the same discontent toward her. We look at her with the same disregard.

Yesterday is when it happened. With the baby bunny, that is. Three days ago, maybe four, we saw the little field mice. One on the deck, one on the porch. Two weeks ago, there were the chipmunks. We've come to expect this from the cats. Not so much Bosco; he just plays with them, throws them in the air, just mice mostly. But Nala, she has the killer instinct down. Waay down - deep. Like Hanibal Lechter deep. Scary.

The kid's step-mom was quite terrified when she saw the chipmunk laying on the porch, dead, with his little teeth and paws - all dead-like. At first she was all sad, until I told her what happened. "Cat." To which, she just grimmaced, "OH! Nasty." I tried to explain the difference between the two cats, but she doesn't like cats. at all. So it didn't really matter. She was just mortified by whole deal I think. So Frank just bent over with a grocery bag and took care of the little thing. That may have grossed her out a bit, too.

Good thing she didn't see what Nala did yesterday! Overheard in my house: "Mom, Nala got a baby bunny!! Well, part of one, I think. Yep, it WAS a baby bunny!"

Then there was lots of yelling at the cat. They refused to let her in the house. She decided she wasn't going to come in anyway, she had to show me MY prize. Thankyouverymuch, Miss Naly. Off to the deck she scampers away. to dismember her bunny.

This morning, Marisa again refused to let her in the house. And as I looked out on the deck, I could see what remained of the bunny; some intestine, guts, and the other assorted insides and pelt. As if that wasn't gross enough, when Rocco went outside, he decided to dine on it. I hate. that. dog!

OK - speaking of dogs: Did anyone catch this stupidity this week??Implants for Neutered Dogs!! No kidding. They are called, get this, Neuticals - testicular implants for dogs that look and feel (cause I need to feel fido up) like the real thing - are said to boost a pet's self-esteem by replacing what was lost.

Made from polypropylene (at $119 a pair), solid silicone ($249)OR liquid-filled "ultra-plus" model ($889). Neuticles were intoduced in 1995 by Misouri inventor Glenn A Miller. He claims more than 230,000 pets in 49 countries have "Neuticled."

Are you KIDDING ME???? I can't wait to have Rockhead neutered! But that will be the day before I implant ANYTHING back into those hangers. I'd put a pic up of those rocks, but I'd probably lose my site.

On a better note - Philip will be coming home on American soil tomorrow!! Halleluia!! Thank you to all of those who prayed for his safety. Please continue to pray for our military, for our country. He will be home with us in 2 weeks. His Dad, Mom, Sis, Niece and even his Uncle from Italy are all meeting him in NC on Saturday. We are putting the finishing touches here on his room/family room right now.

Monday, May 07, 2007

A Chronic Blankey

If you suffer from chronic pain, or any chronic illness; and throw in a little wrench to your day - like say bronchitis; it makes things........interesting. If you add in oh, let's say um, the flu for instance, now we're talking vacation. A week, maybe two, if you're lucky - all to yourself - on the couch, then the bed, then the couch.

Of course, neither is comfortable, what with all of the body aches, the chills, did I mention the spinal pain?? I don't ever recall having pain running the length of my spine before like that. I didn't know I even had a spine really, but it's quite lengthy for someone of my stature (five feet) short. And the muscles that seem to unfold and wrap themselves around me; I felt everyone of them. For five straight days!

Now, for those of you who don't suffer with migraines; I know what you're thinking! "Duh, take Ibuprofen, dummy!" The thing is, I really can't. Well, I can't take too much due to something called rebound headache; which for me, is quite terrifying. And I've been there. However, after day three of absolutely NO relief from my heated cornbag, I caved. I took three - and they worked! It was like taking Morphine that one time in the hospital for my migraine. An instant of relief. Aahhhhhhhhhh!!!! But it came back. Naturally.

Guess who else came back! The storm. The dark and terrible storm of migraine has reared it's ugly head, and refuses to leave.

That is just par for being chronic. It comes on quick, it triggers the monster, and it's slow to leave. Whatever "IT" is.

I have been a mumbling fool the past 2 weeks. That is, when I can stay awake. I can't concentrate to make a sentace. I don't feel like I make sense. Simple things are seeming very difficult.

And it starts with that little itty blue pen dot of a lihgt. You're not sure if you see it at first, you know you do, deep down. But it's only there for a split second before it's gone. You wait to see it again, looking, searching, but you don't see it appear. Then you hear it, searing out of the distance, to the right. And it pierces the inside of your ear like the tine of a fork; sharp and jagged, cold. Louder and louder as it pierces. As it digs deeper, you feel the force of another object in the top of your head, like a railroad spike hammering in; 'BANG! BANG! BANG!' Topped off by the blow to the back of the skull that vibrates for the remainder of the day. No more light. No more sound. Your stomach is now reeling. The monster is back. You've been wrapped again in your chronic blankey. Migraine.