Monday, June 30, 2008

It's Ebola, Now You're Gonna Die

This has happened before. Must be all the rude transplants from Ohio or something [late edit: this is a local joke, if you are reading this from Ohio, I'm sure you are a very lovely person and please, ya'll come back now, hear?] because my momma would whip my behind with her wooden rice spoon if I ever was so rude to a complete stranger.

The scene, the line at a local store. The time, well enough past my bedtime this morning. My attire, a rumpled pink scrub set with matching hospital ID tag.

Complete Stranger: Eww. What is that thing on your arm?

Me, groggy, sleepy: Huh? (look down at arms, they look like my arms)

CS: That. (points) That big red lump.

Me: Oh, that! That's a PPD bleb. It tests for tuberculosis.

CS: (leans back) You got TB?

Me: No, I work in a hospital and we have to get tested for TB every year.

CS: Why?

Me: Shut up, I'm tired and I have a sore throat.

Oh, wait, I just thought that. We aren't allowed to be rude while in uniform. FloGale would haunt us and give us bone spurs and hurt backs.....wait..hmmm.

Me: Because there is a higher risk of exposure to TB when you work in a hospital so we are required to be tested once a year, more if you work with patients who have or who are at high risk for TB.

CS: But why is it all swoll up like that?

Me: Because I just had it placed half an hour ago and there is an initial local reaction.

CS: But won't you get it if they keep injecting you with it every year?

Me: OMG how fucking stupid is the general public?

Sorry, Flo, just kidding again.

Me: No. They don't use live TB for the tests.

CS: It looks gross.

Me: Thanks.

I guess I should have been happy that CS just wanted to point out how freaking gross the small round spot on my forearm looked. Most people want to show me some infected weeping boil or something equally as nasty and ask my opinion. Or tell me about their hemorrhoids. Or ask me whether they should be taking this or that medication.

Like I'm supposed to freaking know. If you are over 10 days old, I don't know what to do with you.

This is why nurses will kill you if you blow their cover in public, especially when there are old people around.

Thor sez: I yarked up a hair ball in the hall, can you take a look and tell me what you think? I'm thinking I need a better grade of cat food and three times a day brushings, followed by a catnip party.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Loki Sunday

Some times, the world just looks better upside down.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Friday, June 27, 2008

If I Believed in the Devil

I think he would be in advertising. Hands down, next to real estate "developers" (read: destroyers), advertising is the most insidious, slimy, corrupter of values, destroyer of happiness and contentment in the world.

And I note two commercials recently. One which exasperates me with the level of contempt in which the advertisers and their clients hold we the buying public. The second just infuriates me with the level of stupidity they display all the while holding up innocent children and attempting to guilt trip mothers.

First is the new Crest Night time toothpaste. Really. It is specifically designed for night time brushing. So now you need to buy two tubes of toothpaste. And if you fall for that (like we all fell for toothpaste when it was invented) well good for you. You know, we were all perfectly happy with baking soda for hundreds of years until someone figured out it they told us our breath still stunk and we were embarrassing ourselves with our less than pearly whites, we would throw money at them hand over fist.

Second is the beginning of the "green" backlash. I knew it was coming. All those wasteful products out there, the things we spend a little extra money for, they have been hurting in these tight economic times. Combine that with people honestly trying to to the little things they can to help this poor feverish planet, products like Dixie Paper Plates must have seen a drop in sales.

Their answer? The one I hate and despise the most: mommy guilt. Commercial opens with happy, adorable children gleefully playing with well dressed, well groomed, happy carefree mommies. Mommies all start saying things like "I don't care what people think" and "spending time with my children is the most important thing".

Well, garsh darn it, Opie, who doesn't agree with that? You may start humming I Believe Children Are Our Future now.

Problem is, these women are claiming that they are giving up washing dishes so they can spend even more time with their children, and they ain't getting Daddy to do the dishes, no, no, no. They are serving all meals on Dixie Paper Plates which they can then just toss into the trash, easy breezy, and be off to play with their children.

Never mind the trees cut down to make all those paper plates, never mind the pollutants produced in manufacturing the plates, never mind the gas used and exhaust spewed into the air by the trucks delivering those paper plates to your local grocery store, never mind the gas you use going to buy more paper plates every week, never mind the ever increasing garage dumps gobbling up land, never mind the trash incinerators vomiting out toxins into the air.

No, never mind any of that.

Your children won't mind having to live in a treeless land with polluted soil and water, acid rain falling from the skies.

Because you spent five minutes playing with them instead of reusing dishes.

Loki sez: Hush, Thor, you know there is no talking to her when she gets like this.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Okay, huh? Really. James Dobson (shudder), who uses the Old Testament to support hatred and discrimination against a certain segment of the American population, apparently had his staff go hunting through archives until they came upon a 2006 speech given by Barack Obama in which Obama said that it would be hard to govern based solely on the bible because some Old Testament stuff like owning slaves being cool with The Big Guy and eating shrimp and grits being a going to hell offense wouldn't go over so well in today's multi-spiritual America. (Sheesh, what a Faulkner-esque sentence!)

So Dobson (who I've read suggests that young boys take showers with their fathers so these boys can see their father's big grown up penises and have something manly to aspire to) says that Barack Obama should not be "referencing antiquated dietary codes and passages" from the Old Testament that are "no longer relevant to the teachings of the New Testament."

But isn't that where the fundies get their ammunition to continue to spew hatred in the form of "God's love" against gays?

So, do I have this straight? The Old Testament is relevant if it supports your bias, irrelevant if it does not?

Is that how it is?

Loki sez: Eww.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Come Sail Away

My son's half brother and his wife came for dinner Sunday. I love them. They are the best people. They live on a sailboat. She is a nurse and takes travel assignments where ever they want to go. He picks up work at the boat yards. They sail there and live on the boat, saving up money until her assignment ends, then they just sail away to where they want to be. Then repeat the process.

They are now planning a working trip to San Diego and will take the boat through the Panama Canal. After her assignment is done, they are planning to sail to the south Pacific islands.

Doesn't that just sound like such a fabulous life?

I just admire the heck out of them for having the courage to live their lives the way they want to, not the way others say they should.

Maybe some day I will work up the courage to sell it all, quit my job and take off to Prague or Sofia or Budapest. Or Ireland. I'd like to take a travel nurse position in Ireland or Scotland.

I just need to figure out how to get the boys there.

Thor sez: I ain't eating no haggis!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Monday Morning Musings

Christmas in June sounds like a great idea, but slow cooking a turkey in your oven for four hours during the heat of the day doesn't exactly enhance the ambiance of the dining room.

But everyone had fun and it was a big success.

I am beyond sad at the passing of George Carlin. I can't even begin to say. When I was a teen/young adult, he was the first person I heard say out loud the things I was thinking. Made me feel like maybe I wasn't crazy after all.

Thank you for your courage, Mr. Carlin.

Thor and Loki say: Hot in the kitchen? Try hiding under the bed all day!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Loki Sunday

Keep your California Spring Rolls, baby.
We've got the Carolina Loki Roll:

Friday, June 20, 2008

I Stole a Christmas Tree Today

Well, technically I suppose I borrowed it, since I have every intention of returning it.

My man-child has been out to sea since last October and returned to port last week. He is supposed to have leave this weekend so I am planning Christmas in June.

Jason asked me if I didn't think that perhaps a tree would be over the top (he actually used some fancy smarty pants French term but I don't know how to spell it). I gave him my you-ain't-seen-nothing-yet look and informed him that no, I don't think a tree is over the top and furthermore, I fully intend on dragging out the X-mas box and decorating the kitchen and back room at least.

Today I left work and went to the grocery store for turkey and mashed taters and pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, and veggies. I even got a cheese ball because that's what I'd buy for my son every year. If they'd had egg-nog I'd have gotten it although he is the only human in the house who would drink it. Gag-a-rama.

I bought green plates and red cups. Red napkins.

Now if only I could find the Elvis sings Christmas CD....

Thor and Loki say: Our big brother is coming home?

Strange fact: Thor and Loki, especially Loki, love their human big brother. Even though he has never lived here in their lifetime. They run in terror from every other human who comes in the house, even my mom (although Thor is warming up to her). But Danny comes home and it only takes them a few minutes before they are loving on him and sitting by him. I don't understand it.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Thor's Day!

Thor has a signature pose. The cross paw pose. It's actually very versatile.
The classic cross:

The blissed-out yoga cross:

The I'm-too-cool-for-school cross:

The intellectual cross:

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Not a Complete Disaster At This Moment in Time

At work, when asked if there is anyone in labor, and the answer is no, we will say "not at this moment in time". Because there is no creature on earth more superstitious than a nurse. Don't believe me? Just wander up to a nurses' station and say, "Sure is quiet around here."

Make sure your health insurance is up-to-date though.

And so it is with my little experiment in container gardening. At this moment in time it is doing okay.

The tomatoes, having survived an attack of some kind of slimy caterpillar thingies that ate an entire branch of the grape tomato plant, are coming along. I have a suspicion that the raccoon knows to wait until they are beginning to ripen, then he'll come back and steal them all.

We have a cucumber:

Another green bean harvest:

I was concerned about the zucchini because it had only been putting out male flowers but I saw a female flower bud today. The peppers are coming along nicely with several ripening as I type.

I've already dried one batch of herbs and will need to do another batch soon, especially the basil.

Wednesday Weirdness

Loki sez: Thor, why is mommy taking our picture and laughing?
Thor sez: I dunno.

That's all folks. I didn't know it was possible to be this tired. I dozed off standing in line at Bi-Lo this morning. Then drove home, scary, huh?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I'm annoyed at recent commercials in which people at fancy restaurants are served fast food swill and claim they can't tell the difference.

I'm annoyed at not being given a time frame in which to expect my fridge to show up. Should I nap now? After lunch? When? I have a 12 hour shift tonight and I woke up at 0430 this morning. I shall need a nap.

I'm annoyed at Loki who has recently taken to meowing his emergency "Timmy's in the well" meow until I get up to see what the hell is going on and he just wants me to throw his puff ball down the hall for him to chase.

I'm annoyed with both Thor and Loki for the completely random turkey flavored cat food strike they've gone on for no apparent reason other than it is the most abundant form of cat food in the house which means I will have to go buy different cat food so I'm not scraping dried up turkey bits off their plate.

Thor sez: But can you do the annoyed ear point?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Monday Morning Man Bragging

I must say I've got the best fella in the world.

As some dear readers may remember, over the weekend the fridge was taken off life support and moved to hospice where it is slowly dying.

New fridge will arrive tomorrow. (And don't I feel like a grown up - all my kitchen appliances will match!)

So last night I mentioned to best fella that perhaps Monday night we could move the fridge out of its spot so that I might clean behind it and finish off the wallpaper.

The wallpaper.

There should be horror movie music played when those words are spoken.

Long, long ago there was a time called the 1980's. And many people thought that many things were stylish in that crazy mixed up muddled up time. When my brother bought this house, there it was....the wallpaper. They always meant to remove it, but as a busy working couple with two kids they just sort of became accustomed to it. (I think it mind-controlled them. Or their brains just couldn't cope and blocked it all out.)

The very first thing I did upon moving in was start stripping the wallpaper. Like some malevolent being, it had adhered itself so deeply into the grain of the wall that the paper would come loose with only the maximum amount of effort, leaving the glue behind. I tried every technique ever heard of - glue dissolving gel spray, didn't work. Vinegar, didn't work. Steam, didn't work. Screaming at the top of my lungs didn't work. Led Zep at full volume didn't work (but was fun).

In the end it was just me vs. the wallpaper. Womano y wallpapero. Hand to hand combat baby. Ripped off the paper, scraped off the glue, sanded down the walls, washed down the walls, spackled where the wallpaper had ripped great chunks of drywall out with it.

Three months it took me.

But the wallpaper had a small victory. I couldn't move the fridge and frankly, I didn't have the will to move the fridge.

My man did, however. He pulled that sucker out last night and cleaned the accumulated years of behind and under fridge grime.

He left the wallpaper exposed, knowing I had a spray can of Killz and a full gallon of green paint left over. I'm not ripping this stuff down, no sir. I'm entombing it. I don't care how many layers of paint it takes.

How awful is it?

Look if you dare. And picture my long wall and both side walls covered, floor to ceiling.

My wonderful fella knew that it was personal between me and the wallpaper and let it be. But he finished off the flooring with the new tiles I put down a few years ago.

And did a fine job.

Thor sez: What is this painting you speak of? May I help?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Loki Sunday

Because a picture from earlier this week reminded me of it and I find it funny.

Loki yoga:

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Mid-Morning of the Dead

I don't know who is closer to zombie status - me, after a grueling 14 hour shift, the last hour an a half spent just charting on the two deliveries and seven babies I attended to, the trip to Lowe's to purchase the new fridge and now a wee bit of wine with my "supper" or the poor dying fridge itself, groaning out its swan song, fans whirling, food melting faster than a popsicle in Charleston August.

I vote me.

Thor sez: My imitation of mommy.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Bountiful Harvest

Yep, six whole green beans.
We ate them all in one sitting.

P.S. Happy Birthday Harry Potter Michelle!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thor's Day!

In an attempt to curtail the electric bill, Cat TV viewing has been limited to early morning and late evening (because full sunshine on large plate glass for the hottest part of the day tends to heat up the house no matter how many layers of UV film you coat windows with).

Thor, as usual, doesn't even try to understand.

He might miss some big happening.

Like porch napping squirrels.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sometimes I'm Just Insane

There is no other reason for why I signed up to do two extra 12 hour shifts this week. Just insanity.

Or the dying fridge.

Probably the dying fridge.

It is dying because I just spent money on buying a dishwasher. A non-necessity. I just wanted one because I'm too lazy to hand wash dishes anymore.

So I get what I deserve.

A dead fridge.

Which must be replaced.

Loki sez: This won't impact my regularly scheduled meals, will it?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I don't know which irritates me more. That our esteemed elder statesman (and that explains 99% of the problems with the state of SC) Arthur Ravenel called a fellow school board member a bitch or that he thought it was okay because it just meant a "troublesome woman".

Troublesome woman.

And now all we need is John Graham the bastard Altman, oh, don't get offended it just means a troublesome man, on the school board.

Between the two of them, they'll probably decide that all those little girlies don't need no ejacation beyond ninth grade cos all that learnin'll just make them not want to stay home and serve their menfolks and such.

And John McCain, for whom I held a great deal of respect, lost much of it when a woman in an audience he was addressing asked him, of Hillary Clinton, "how do we beat the bitch?" and he did not call her out on it. He just sort of snickered.

Thor sez: This is my imitation of JGA realizing that women and black and brown people are taking over his Pleasantville world.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Monday Morning Mush

I watched a bit of The Discovery Channel's, When We Left Earth, last night. A bit because it didn't begin until 9pm and old fart that I am, I was nodding off by 9:30. I'm sure that it, like The Blue Planet, will be repeated enough over the summer for me to eventually see all six episodes.

The little bit that I did watch left me goose pimpled and a wee bit teary eyed thinking about just what we as a nation accomplished in those years.

We put a man on the moon. Back in the days when a single computer took up an entire room, before faxes and cell phones. Before the Internet and satellites monitoring every inch of the planet.

We said we wanted a man on the moon. We rolled up our sleeves, gave the most talented among us the tools they needed and did it.

So, today. We want independence from imported oil. We want renewable, clean sources of energy.

Can we actually do it or are we going to whine and complain about it?

Are we still the can-do nation who put a man on the moon?

Thor sez: If my cuteness and Mick's smelliness could be converted to energy, we could power the world!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Loki Sunday

Entering any room in this house can be a little mini-adventure. You never know what you may find.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Y'all Know That Having Sex Causes Babies, Right?

Holy popping placentas, y'all. Stop it. Right now. What was going on approximately 36-40 weeks ago?

We've got like ten jillion babies. I used to worry about social security being there for me in my old age, but with the rate of births going on, I'm not so worried anymore. Mini baby boom they're calling it.

I'm going to go have a coma now.

Loki sez: I'm ready for coma time!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Man, Mother Nature Can Be Harsh!

Yesterday evening, I heard a great commotion in the back yard. Looking out the back window, I saw a mockingbird standing in the grass near the bluebird house, doing that wing spreading thing they do. Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird were busy dive-bombing the mockingbird. Meanwhile four sparrows where whirling about, landing on the single stick branch of a river birch that is trying to decide if it would like to grow or not.

Finally, I noticed the little bluebird baby hopping through the grass. Then, with the binoculars, I noticed that there was another bluebird baby already happily flying back and forth between the bird house and the oak tree. There was a third, peeking out of the bird house, not yet ready to make the leap.

I watched, very anxiously, as the grounded baby kept trying to take flight from the ground, mom and pop flying down to encourage him. He straggled through the grass to the base of the oak tree, then proceeded to climb the tree. I was hoping he would be able to fly if he jumped from the tree.

We discussed going out to get him and put him back in the bird house, but I'd seen mockingbird babies straggle through the grass before and finally figure out how to fly and we didn't know if the parents would abandon the whole nest if we messed with one of the babies - putting all the babies at risk.

I turned away from the drama for a moment to finish clearing the dinner table and when I returned to the window, the little baby was back in the short grass near the bird house.

I finished packing away the left overs for my take-to-work meals and when I looked back, the little bird on the grass looked very odd. So I whipped out the binoculars and looked again and let out a Loki-freak-out scream. It was a snake! It was curled up in a ball, squishing the poor little bluebird baby.

Jason went out, but there was nothing to be done for the baby. I told him to kill the snake though. Normally, if it was just a snake in the yard, I wouldn't have bothered it, (unless it was poisonous, this was just a rat snake), but I didn't want the snake climbing up and getting the rest of the bluebird babies. I know he was just doing what snakes do, but still, I put the birdhouse there, I invited them to raise their babies in my yard, I should offer them some protection.

So my hero dispatched the snake. And soon, Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird where swooping down to where their little baby had been. Fledgling in the house began peeking out again, getting as far as putting one foot out, but never gaining the nerve to make the jump. I couldn't blame him, I mean, his brother had just been eaten by a snake!

Flying baby kept coming back, climbing in the house, then flying back out again, having a good old time.

If fledgling falls out, I'm picking him up.

And so, other reason I don't let the cats outside.

Loki sez: Pffftt. I could take out a snake.