Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Very Busy Christmas

YO HO HO! Little stinkwad.

This is probably the best pic that Frank and I have ever had done together.

Wow! Color Frankie happy here. Not easy to pin all four of them down together for a picture; and this came out wonderful. A real Kodak moment. Philip home for Christmas, Rachel here on Christmas morning - what a great day it started out to be. What a busy, busy week it has been.

These chairs were a hit for the kids, too bad I didn't get one for Philip. They love them.

Since the kids went to their Dad's this year on Christmas Eve evening, we decided to have them wake up on Christmas Eve morning and open up their gifts - without their knowing of course. That is the sucky part of divorce; switching the holidays every other year. But we make do with it, and it worked out fine. It was a very long holiday.

Lexi and Bri fell asleep at 10:30 - AM! How sweet is this, they also crashed at, rather Bri crashed by 7 pm the night before, and Lexi had been asking to go "night night" by 6:30. I wasn't sure if we just bored them or if they were totally exhausted. They were running constantly; from my house, then to Daddy's and back; then to Uncle Joe's and back here. By the time Tuesday came, they were so ready to go home, Lexi was growling (literally) and Bri had their bags packed and at the door.

But not before she could perform Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer with Frankie. And Joey played his violin, and even Vanessa got in on the act, naturally, being the performer that she is.

All before a live studio audience; "Uh, wake up, Larry. Larry, wake up, Larry!"

Anyway, it was very cute.

The very hot item this year was the digital photo frame; which we bought for Nonno and Nonna. I liked it so much, that Frank bought me one. I can't wait to be able to have some fun with it. I still have to get over and show them how to use it. I loaded photos from Italy, and their grandkids in Ohio and all over in it. Lot's of fun. Next, I will put Bocceli on it for them, as I got his new CD!! Good stuff.

My Dad also got my Mom a new digi frame AND camera set! GO DADDY! They will be coming to our New Years party, so hopefully, she will be sporting her new camera. (We were putting wine in Lexi's soda here) Look at the size of my Mom's wine glass!

The prince of all things smelly opening his gift. He is soooo disgusting.

Me and my beautiful girls.

Me and Frankie and his brother Joe.

hey, this is how I feel now. oh, and have been pretty much for the past two weeks. Can't seem to shake the migraine at all. Went for a little infusion drip on Friday and have been steadily taking my abortive, without much improvement. Hmmm, now what?

Time to go make some greens and beans soup. Poor Phil isn't feeling good today. They went to The SU game and he's feeling sick to his stomach. Hopefully, he'll feel better soon. It sure is good to have him home.

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are pain-free


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tomorrow Philip will be driving home. YEAHHHHH!!! We can hardly contain ourselves, we are so excited. This past weekend, we decorated the family room/his room for Christmas; so he feels welcome and it feels homey to him. I hope it does.

He's so funny; when I talked to him on Saturday, he told me that he expects a home-cooked meal on the table everynight because he mentioned to his buddies that I'm a good cook. Ear candy. He is a charmer. I did tell him that I am planning a nice, big turkey dinner for him on Thursday, as he missed Thanksgiving. He wants the stuffing and mashed potatoes and gravy. He is going to make collard greens. I can't wait. His Father is just beside himself. Oh:

On Sunday, they will be freezing their butts off at a Giants gamePhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket and having the time of their lives together. For the life of me, I cannot understand why these players don't have a covered stadium; or WHY they subject themselves to playing in those conditions. Hey, it's not like they can't afford the stadium! Right

Oh, I almost forgot, Rocco's daddy, Bull; is ok. They were able to save his leg! We will be visiting him while Philip is home, and Maxwell, the house dog. I will be sure to get pictures. I'm told there may be a possible litter coming after spring. Not by my idiot dog, but by Maxwell. Who, incidentally, seemed about as bright as Rockhead. They say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, right? They have the same - Daddy. Let's not forget, he chewed his way (gumless) through his kennel to get to his bit*h. Talk about dedicated. Men!

Well, off to finish up some more dreaded freaking shopping and beating off the weirdo's who circumvent around my dying carcus as I reach for the last of the good bargains out there. Wish me luck.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Pretty things

This is the Blue Jay that sits at the top of my tree, looking down over the other pretty birds and bird-like items in my tree. Note the non-traditional topper I chose for my tree. Sparkley and iridescent pheasant feathers with gold spakley ostrich feathers.

How adorable is this little house? I actually have two, the other is red brick. So, so cute. They were on my tree when I was a little girl. On the bottom, it says, "Made in Japan" - which shocked me when I unwrapped it this year. You just don't see that! When I was a little girl, things were made, well, in Japan.

The peacock and quail are new to my collection this year. Oh, and so is that little gem there.

The white dove was a gift from a friend last year, and because it came the day after Christmas (when I take down my tree), this is the first year it hung in the tree.

The Santa face on the Goose egg came from a patient a very long time ago; when I, um, worked. You can't see from the picture, but it has tiny little, itty, bitty candy canes and gumdrops on it.

This is trying to hide the smell of the poly that is STILL filling the house.
This concludes the tour of Christmas here today.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

this room = migraine

This room has become TOXIC. Literally. Label this under, "What was I thinking."
For the past three freaking, justkillmenowsomeone, PLEASEJUSTGETITOVERALREADY!!! three. days; we have undergone a quite beautiful , in the very end I might add, process of finishing the hardwood floor in Cinderisa's room. And as beautiful as it really is becomming, it is killing me. Really, what was. I. thinking??
This IS winter, right? December 11. STINK, that means today the Ultimatum is on the shelves!!! And I am in my pj's, out of Toradol, waiting for my nurse to call me with the "joyful news" that there will be a chair available for me at the infusion center tomorrow. Which means a few things; I can't get out when I want to because I NEED my Toradol, and I desire (oooh yummmy) the Ultimatum. I don't want to miss the call. Oh, then there's the many reasons why I shouldn't drive right now thing. moving right along............
Again; WHAT! WAS!! I!! FREAKING!!!!! THINKING????? It's quite amazing how you can actually, or rather, I can feel the fumes in my body now. Today, the final coat went down. It is penetrating my shoulder blades now, as I type this. My ears have been in a constant banging-like sensation since yesterday, a sort of back and forth ringing and pinging sound/pain duo their performing. Think of this as a very loud and obnoxious version of JINGLE BELLS (CRASH!!!!! ZZZZZZZ) JINGLE BELLS (ZZZING!!!!)
Just sort of bouncing back and forth from right to left; I'm the crash in between the two cymbals. Rather, my head IS the crash my ears are making. If that makes any sense.
Oh, here's the killer, my migraines, that used to be only right sided; they must have been, well bored and lacking space, so they've decided to take up a little loft in my left side as well. So much for the old; one-sidedness in migraineland. I've never been one to follow the rules, so why here, right.
At least I don't need to go out today. More stormy weather coming. Unfortunately, I may miss yet another Christmas party tonight. I may just refuse missing this one. I missed out on one Friday night due to the monster.
As my Christina says, when she gets punished for her brattitude; "It's not FAIR!" In this case, it really isn't fair. But then again, I think of little Eric, who doesn't have his Mommy this Christmas - and I suppose I can live another day with the monster in my head. Because when it comes down to it - THAT is what's not fair.
As far as the rest of the floors go, they WILL wait until spring comes; when the windows, ALL off them, will remain open for the duration of the renovation. And I can leave the house. Who will take me in?
Oh, tomorrow is the day that Bull (Rocco's Daddy) is having his leg removed. Wish him well. Stupid dog. Did I mention - NO PUPPIES!!!!! I know, true bummer. ..........

Friday, December 07, 2007

2 hats, 1 ugly dog

Yes, he's festive and overly excited. Poochey lip and all. Oh, and no, it's not my official Christmas card. What will we think of for New Years? Any ideas out there? Oh, Cesar please come save this poor dog from our wrath of terror. (I will have bottle of wine waiting) oh, hi there Illusion. No, Frank, I won't give out your bottles of Phantom. what kind of name is that anyway? Illusion?

Update on the sperm-donor up there: His girlfriend had a (I'm dying here, I can hardly contain myself from giddiness); false-pregnancy. Can you stand it? So while poor Frankie and Philip are secretly (NOT) planning their little puppy-to-be entering my home, Miss Sweetie fakes a pregnancy on them all. I think I should send her a Scooby Snack via the big man in red.

On a very sad note, though; here's how "smart" these dogs are; Bull, our favorite of the bunch - who weighs in at a whopping 140 pounds, and jumps 6-8 feet straight up, decided a few months back to chew his way (yes, chew) through the wire kennel into the female bully's to, ahem, get some. He lost pretty much all of his teeth in the process of his little escape and had suffered such a major infection, that he now is losing his front leg - due either to cancer or bone infection.

Since these dogs carry most of their bulk in their front quarters, this is going to be very difficult for Bull. And Glenn, the breeder. Bull, is gorgeous. The female that he studded with, never did carry out her pregnancy, she will be spayed due to complications. I thought I had pics of him, but I do not. Well, at least not digital. So picture a gummy, three-legged, dark version of Rockhead, only bigger and darker. Pitiful, isn't it. Poor Bull. I have a feeling we will be taking a ride North this weekend. I'll be sure to get pics

For now, I need to get off my duff and continue my shopping, ugh. I hate. shopping.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


It appears I've been tagged. Several times, I might add. And there's no way of getting by it, so here goes:

1. When cleaning my, or your, or any vehicle of the dreaded white fluffy cold falling stuff right now, it must must MUST be completely cleaned off. For me. Windows especially. The top of the car/van, hood, trunk, mirrors, lights - all of it. I need to see where I'm going, I'd like to see what's coming behind me. I believe people who simply use their wipers ONLY to brush the snow should be ticketed. They are a menace on the road. And a serious danger. You really can't see much through just the wipers.

This crazy snow-clearing makes Frank absolutely insane; as he is not the most patient person in the home when it comes to, well, leaving the house. When I'm the one clearing the off the van or car. It doesn't bother me to clean it off, mind you; but it bothers him a LOT that I spend such quality time dusting off every square inch of it. It's quite comical.

2. Back to the wipers - I use a LOT of windshield wiper fluid in the winter. I like my windows to be super extra clean and sparkling clear of debris and dirt and salt. I want to see where I am going, where I have been and what idiot is flying up on my rear end ready to blow me off the road is approaching. I am also very insistent if I am a passenger, I like MY side cleaned. It really does weird things to someone with neurological problems to see the crazy dirt patterns on the window, trust me. It's a very strange trigger for aura.

3. I am terrified of falling on the ice, so I make itsy bitsy teensy weensy small steps so that I don't fall. These little steps will probably make my falling much worse. At the very least, the sliding will be much more, oooh how do I put it, not graceful, but choreographed, yes that's it. Please just catch me if you're there. Somebody sign me up for Dancing with the Starz. (Terri??)

4. Today was a half day for the kids; but because I like to play tricks on them, today I got Christina, because she is easy. I told her I received an email from the district that said only the HS got to have the half day - hee hee. So she made her lunch, and grudginly went out the door. I told her to "have a rotten day," like always. Then told Nicholas what I did. We usually toss one of Frank's slippers or Rocco's chew toys in her bookbag before she leaves. I think this was much more fun, since she will be telling the kids on the bus that they have a full day of school. She is a lot of fun. Maybe I'll let her shovel when she gets home. Or make cookies.

5. It is taking me waaaaaaaay too long to paint this room:

and I'm not changing the color of the room. Just painting the trim. Oh, and fixing, did I mention that I am FIXING the trim. Oh, yes I am doing some repair work. The ginormous window in the front which had been replaced and had the woodwork removed, was pretty gouged up. It's not pretty. But fixable. To me, it's an eyesore, Frank says to just sand it out, prime and paint and cover with curtains. But i just grumble inside as I look at it. It's a mess. Saturday the floors will be refinished. Then, she will have a fresh slate to mar and gouge all herself. What am I thinking? This will, afterall, be Cinderisa's room.
Things that used to take me a weekend, now take me a month or more. The bare blue wall will feature a (hopefully)cool design with colors and squares and geometrical shapes that should send me right into migraine attack mode and my trusty infusion center.
6. I talk to people in public. Especially the not so nice people. AND I smile at them. Lord knows, they need a smile more than anyone else.
7. I am the gullible person who believes every stupid email I receive. The first time. But after several generations of the same thing, I finally catch on and delete if my spam isn't working. Like right now. I try not to forward to everyone on my list, but sometimes, I can't help myself. sorry.
8. here's the killer; for those of you with weight issues, I do apologise and comiserate. Frank has issues that he, too struggles with, as do I. Although, mine are waaaay on the other end of the spectrum; (I can feel the darts coming) gulp; I have trouble gaining weight. Muscle-mass weight. And it's no fun, really. Because, being in the little bubble I'm in has seriously depleted my weight. Exercise increases my migraines. Now that is fun. So what to do?? Yes, walk the dog, I know........ I feel the hate mail coming.
enough said. I have work to do in the big blue room.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

More on the Migraine-Stroke Link

Migraine Might Bring More Than Meets the Eye
Posted 11/27/2007

Marian C. Limacher, MD

Migraine with visual aura was associated with stroke risk in young women.

Migraine has long been recognized as a risk factor for stroke. To clarify this relation, researchers conducted a case-control analysis using data from the Stroke Prevention in Young Women Study; 386 women (age range, 15-49) who had experienced ischemic stroke were compared with 614 matched controls. Women were classified as having no migraine history, having probable migraine without visual aura, or having probable migraine with visual aura (PMVA); visual aura was defined as "seeing spots, lines, or flashing lights around the time of probable migraine, or ever experiencing loss of vision."

A total of 145 ischemic strokes were identified in women who had PMVA, yielding a 50% greater likelihood of stroke compared with that in women who did not have migraine. However, probable migraine without visual aura was not associated with likelihood of stroke. PMVA significantly increased the risk for stroke in women without a history of hypertension, diabetes, or myocardial infarction. The minimally adjusted risk for stroke of undetermined cause in women with PMVA was 1.6 (95% confidence interval, 1.1-2.3), but other stroke subtypes (large-artery atherosclerotic, cardioembolic, and lacunar) were not significantly associated with prior PMVA.

In an adjusted analysis, neither smoking nor oral contraceptive (OC) use had independent effects on the association between PMVA history and incident stroke. However, women with PMVA who smoked and used OCs had sevenfold higher odds of stroke (95% CI, 1.4-22.8) compared with women with PMVA who did not smoke and use OCs. Among the few women reporting a first PMVA within 12 months of stroke or of study enrollment, the odds ratio for stroke was 6.0 (95% CI, 1.9-18.6).

The results of this population-based study confirm a substantial risk for stroke in young women who use OCs and smoke, especially for women with PMVA. The suggestion that new-onset PMVA is associated with stroke within the first year bears further study and could call for heightened assessment and standardized screening for this form of migraine.

— Marian C. Limacher, MD

It sure does make you stop and think now, doesn't it! I must say this; in the worst of my absolute worst migraine attacks, my fear has always been exactly this right here. Why? Because of a previous tia. At the age of 37. 37!! I do NOT smoke. Nor do I use OCs.

At the time, I had(over) used the injectable type of triptan, as prescibed, by an unknowing doctor (that I no longer use) THANK YOU TERI!, anyway - educate yourself with your medication. With your physician. Pharmacy. What you put in your body, who you trust to take care of you. It really does matter.

You wouldn't let someone put sugar in your gas tank right? Are you treating your body with the same regard?

May you have a healthy, and pain-free day

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Coming Home for Christmas

Christmas with DuoWest! Vocalist Steve Sugihara, along with DuoWest regulars Ian Ginsburg-cello, Sherry Lenich-piano will perform Jim Brickman's "Coming Home For Christmas" with this special slide show put together by Steve and dedicated to our troops safe return home to their families, along with many other Christmas favorites December 7th in Scottsdale AZ. Details at This particular recording was done at home on a multi-track recorder during a practice session.

And because I'm just slightly link illiterate, and youtube and computer usage; my thanks to Steve for putting this beautiful link to my site.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. We will be welcoming our own Marine home for Christmas this year, for the first time in two years. Please, when you see a service man or woman; hug, salute or at least thank them. It doesn't matter if you support our government or our politics, just support their efforts. Their sacrifice truly is our freedom.