Sunday, August 27, 2006


This is Jenny. She is 25. We will call her brave. Only she is not feeling very brave right now.

You see, she has had epilepsy since childhood. The epilepsy precludes her from getting a driver's license. So she walks and takes public transportation everywhere. One day, in 2001, she was crossing the street (in the crosswalk), as a pedestrian, of course. A truck ran a red light and hit her, throwing her about 15 feet. Her right hand has never recovered and she now has intense chronic pain.

She is a programmer and depends greatly on her typing skills to earn a living. She is clever, though. She has learned to type with a modified keyboard with only her left hand. (My left hand is just about useless.) She filed a lawsuit with the at-fault-driver's insurance company. After three years the case finally crawled to the courts.

Then in September of 2004 she was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma. That is just about the scariest diagnosis to get. They gave her five years. She has gone through immunotherapy with the interferon stuff but she couldn't finish it because it made her have bad seizures besides making her feel really awful and tired. This was on top of the court appearances. The stress from the lawsuit and chronic pain probably contributed to her lowered resistance and may be the reason the cancer was able to take hold. When the bad guys found out she had cancer they tried to lessen the amount of her award because her expected lifetime earnings would now not be as high as before because cancer shortens people's lives, don't you know? She settled for a paltry amount because she just could not make it through all the added stress. Then her boss laid her off because she was not productive enough.

En moved up to stay with her and help by driving her to the many doctor appointments (and now work commute). Fast forward a little. No one can keep Jenny down. After being out of work for some months she couldn't stand the inactivity any more. She applied to and was hired by Microsoft.

To see an example of her work, click on the apple.
(turn the volume down first)

She is now working on some games for the site.

So far her CT scans and/or MRIs have come back clear--no recurrences of the bad stuff. Every time something changes she fears the worst. Right now she is having trouble breathing. It could be just a cold or something more. She is scheduled for a CT scan this week.

She is a very intelligent and talented and scared young lady.

And she needs your prayers.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Me! Me! Me!

Happy Birthday to me!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

1000 visits

My 1000th visitor was someone in Guadalajara, Mexico!

Quilt trip

Gramma and I want to make a quilt for a bride to be married in November. That's good, plenty of time.

It all started several weeks ago. Gramma suggested that she and I should do just that. I agreed. A few days later I read in the flyer that comes from the local community college about a course that they were offering, for free, on a kind of quilt I had never attempted before, a double pinwheel. Something new. It intrigued me.

We attended the first class. They needed more students to keep it going so I called Soup on my cell and she came running over. (The class is held about three blocks from her house.) Now there are enough students. We listened to the instructor instruct us on how to choose fabrics for this particular quilt. We even learned stuff. We bought two books between the three of us.

Gramma and I raided the enormous stash of fabrics in Kedge's shoppe. Why spend $$ when this stuff is calling out to us, right? Decisions, decisions. We were getting swirly headed just looking at the stuff. Then Da called and reminded me that a bidder for our yard work was scheduled to arrive in a half hour. Eeeek. We weren't done choosing. I grabbed a bunch of promising fabric and herded us all out to the car and to Gramma's bank (she needed cash) and then my bank (Ta needed a deposit). We even managed to make a quick stop at JoAnn's to take advantage of a coupon expiring that day and I bought a set of squares to square the squares with. So far so good. I dropped Gramma and Lithelady at Chuggy's and hurried home for the bidder.

Now this is the same guy that was scheduled to come a few days ago and he didn't show up for hours. Then he called and had some excuse, I forget what, and so softhearted Da rescheduled him for later. I got home just in time, I thought. Three hours later he showed up. Oh well. I'm not impressed with him, to say the least.

But I do have my own stash of fabric, too. It is even bigger now that I have raided the shoppe. I was feeling frustrated so I organized it. It is all measured and stacked in order of yardage. See my measuring marks on the table and Chase keeping me company on the sofa?

This quilt is a challenge, but I like challenges. The colors, values and "reads" must be just right or it won't "work". In my stash there is either not enough or there is too much of any suitable fabrics for this quilt. We will have to buy more.

Gramma informed me that she doesn't want to do the double pinwheel anymore. She doesn't want to go to that class either. She wants to do the good, old, reliable double Irish chain.

I will probably do both.


More globbers

We have a new addition to our ever expanding mess of globbers: Teenuh.
And we have a long awaited reactivation of an old globber: Trucker.

Check out the links to the right--------->

Reading all these blogs ought to keep us out of trouble well into the night. Or afternoon. Or morning.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

No bid

Here I sit waiting for the first guy to come and make a bid for the clean up of the back yard. It is starting to get to me again. Ten years ago I would be out there doing the clean up or most of it. Now about all I can manage is to make a list of what needs to be done. I have designed it to be mostly low maintenance/low water use but since the irrigation is what needs the most attention it is not as low maintenance as I would like.

Things are dying.

My favorite flowering shrub, a blue hibiscus (Alyogyne huegelii), succumbed to the heat this year. That made me very sad. Even dead it is pretty, in a dead kind of way.

Maybe I can get the irrigation system revamped so that there will be enough moisture to the right places to get things to grow thick enough that the weeds can't make it through while the pretty things get what they need. Then it will truly be low maintenance as the weeds are what make all the work.

It is so pleasant to just stroll the paths pulling a weed here or there and not have to see a whole hillside of dead grass/weeds between dead shrubs. Why do the weeds survive so well while the supposedly low-water-need plants don't?

SAJ spent a few days here and very kindly got me a bird feeder. It looks nice in the white garden, doesn't it? Only a few white flowers are blooming now and none of them are near the feeder. Oh well. Getting the feeder from SAJ gave me the incentive to put up another feeder that my kids got me a while ago. I put it up on the back patio where I can watch the birds from the family room. The birds haven't discovered either one yet.

The first bidder will not be getting the job as he has not shown up yet. He is 2-3 hours late. That is very bad if he wants my business.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The first birthday of the season

A happy birthday to my sis, Kafryn. For 15 days she will be two years older than I am. Wheeeee. She has the first birthday in the original family. Now we have birthdays all over the place. I need to make a chart or something. I have everybody's birthday and anniversary in our home meeting on a spreadsheet. I got it by being obnoxiously nosy. I can sort them every which way. I need to do that for this crazy extended family of ours, too, so.... Email me a list of the pertinent dates of anybody even remotely connected to us and I will compile a list. What I will do with it, I don't know but it will be fun to have. It will also be fun to see who is connected. Those poor, poor people.

Oh yeah, Cupcake, has the same day. A happy birthday to you, too, Cupcake!

P.S. If you don't give me the year then I will just add ten years to what I think it is. And if you don't submit anything then you won't have a chance of getting your hands on the final project, whatever it turns out to be.

(BTW I love to organize data.)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

lab results

That was fast. I already got the results from my blood tests done yesterday. Kaiser sent them at 3:39 am!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

the Expressway

Today was not my favorite day. I got up at my usual late hour, showered, and set off for Kaiser. I had no breakfast because I was going in for a 14 hour fasting blood test. I took my morning pills with water, though. I had had a midnight snack of cheese and crackers and grapes so it was not difficult to fast until 2 pm. I went in that late because I had an appointment at 2:45 for a class on the different tests for colon cancer. Ewww, yuck. I don't even want to think about them. My doc says that Kaiser likes to start them at age 50 and I am almost 51 so it is time to start already, already.

So I'm driving along on Ramona EXPRESSWAY going expressly fast for no reason except that everyone else is going expressly fast, too. Go with the flow, and all that. I'm not late, just driving along. Then I see a black and white car do a U-turn and start following me with red and blue lights flashing! Oh, plaahh. I pull over and fumble in the glove compartment for all the right papers. Do I have the registration? It's due soon, is it expired? No, Da would never let that happen. Why are the dates on the insurance card so old? Will he notice? Where did I put the current one? What about that car ahead of me that was going even faster? At least the picture on my driver's license is decent. Does he care? I patiently wait for him to go back to his black-and-white and do who knows what. He comes back and gives me all my papers back along with a long yellow slip. Guess what? I got my third ticket in 34 years of driving. I hate driving even more now. He tells me to drive safely. What? I'm going to be bad now? I carefully turn on my turn signal (En would be proud) and get back on the expressway that is not really an expressway to me anymore and continue on to Kaiser. I carefully go the speed limit and ignore all the tailgaters. I feel like waving the long yellow slip at them as they impatiently pass me. I remember how I impatiently passed people like me all the time.

At Kaiser I have enough time to get a LARGE hot mocha before going downstairs to the lab for my blood test. I need consolation. They put so much whipped cream on top that I cannot attach the lid to it so I just lay the lid on top of the whipped cream and hope that it doesn't make a mess as the cream melts into the coffee. I cannot drink it until after the test. Thankfully, I am the only patient in the lab and get to go right in, no waiting. They take my blood and I can drink my mocha.

Down the hall and around the corner is the conference room for the class. I am not the last one to arrive. In fact, I have time to do some embroidery as I wait. I love whipped cream. I already know everything they are teaching. Except I didn't know that one can refuse any test. I thought one has to do what the doctors say. Hmmm... In my mood I think refusing all tests is a good option. I don't feel like doing what I'm told to do anymore. Why must I drive 55 mph, anyway? At the end of the session I sign up for the most invasive test because it only needs to be done once every 10 years. And they use sedation. I need sedation. I find it ironic that I resent being forced to drive safely as I sign up for cancer screening. Do I want to live or not? I am so NOT ambivalent. Now I just have to find a driver that is willing to give up 6 hours of their time for me since they won't let you drive home afterwards because of the sedation. Really, I don't need to be sedated. I just need to find someone else to drive because I quit.