The Mind Wobbles

So many things to absorb, think about, deal with and put up with - it simply makes the mind wobble...

Monday, December 31, 2007

Is it over yet?

2007 that is. Because heaven forbid my life should be boring.

I woke up yesterday at around 8:45, we had been out kinda late Saturday night so Hubby was fast asleep. I made coffee, ensconced myself in my big arm chair, turned on the TV to CBS to semi-watch the delightful and mellow Sunday Morning. I also logged on to World of Warcraft and started a quest in a my quest log - Hildalaira, my 'toon, had just banged the kodohide drum to summon a marmot to capture something I needed to get for the quest. All was right with the world. There was nothing pressing that needed to get done, we were probably going to go to Purplepassion's house to watch football and hang out. A perfect Sunday.

Then my cell phone rang. Even before I saw the called ID I knew it was bad because everyone knows my "don't call me before 10 a.m. on a weekend unless it's an emergency" rule. It was the ALF where my mother lives calling to tell me my 84 year-old Alzheimer's ridden mother was found on the floor when they went in to her room with her Cuban coffee and newspaper. They were going to call an ambulance because she couldn't walk.


To make a way too long story short I wound up in the hospital ER from 10:15 a.m. to 6:30 when she was taken to her room. In the interim I cried several times when I saw my mom confused as to what was going on or wincing and crying out in pain until they thankfully gave her morphine and she was able to sleep. It turns out she broke her hip and needs surgery. We're hoping it'll happen Wednesday or Thursday.

I spent most of the day with her today. She is pain-free since she was put on (in?) traction. Because she doesn't feel any pain she has absolutely no idea why she's in the hospital.

Between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. today she asked me why she was in the hospital approximately 84,217 times. Each time I told her she had a fractured hip it was all shock and awe: "Me!?!" "I broke my hip?" "When?" Then I tell her. 15-20 minutes later: "Why am I here?" Second verse, same as the first. And so on, and so on, and so on. I was about ready to ask for morphine for myself. Come to think of it, I still have Vicodin...

Oh yeah - and I have to tell everyone who comes in contact with her to not mention the *s* word - surgery. She completely FREAKS OUT! The thing is my mother understands English perfectly, so through a series of winks, and grimaces, and rolling eyes I have to communicate to the innocent health-care worker to not mention surgery, they have to call it treatment instead.

And this is only the beginning. We still have surgery, 2 or 3 post-surgery days in the hospital, god-knows how long in a rehab facility, and the back to the ALF.

W00T! Happy New Year!

But, still, I know I'm blessed with friends and family who love and support me. And my husband has, as always, been wonderful. Last night he was my rock when I literally fell to my knees crying in exhaustion and sadness. He helped me back up and plied me with a Checkers' chili dog, a Big Buford hamburger, a chocolate shake and Loaded French Fries. Now that's love.

I wish everyone a wonderful 2008. Tonight I'll party with my friends and tomorrow I will resume explaining to my mother that she broke her hip.

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Friday, December 28, 2007

The Lola Shuffle - The "Goodbye 2007" Edition

Hello all...ready for Lola's last shuffle of 2007? We've added a bunch of new music, maybe some of it will shuffle up...

  1. Do Do Do Do, De Da, Da, Da - The Police
  2. Big Girl (You Are Beautiful) - Mika
  3. Freedom is Coming Tomorrow - "Sarafina" Soundtrack (If you haven't seen this wonderful musical (play and/or movie) about a girl growing up in South Africa during Apartheid, do so, it's beautiful!)
  4. The Prayer - Josh Groban and Charlotte Church
  5. Rock 'N Me - Steve Miller Band
  6. When I Come Around - Green Day
  7. No Woman No Cry - Bob Marley and The Wailers
  8. You're So Vain - Carly Simon (So who do *you* think the song is about? I think it's Warren Beatty)
  9. Sweet Jane - The Velvet Underground
  10. Sway - The Pussycat Dolls

Well, there was new stuff in there, so it's all good.

I hope 2008 is full of happiness, love and lots of your favorite music.

Let's get this party started...:)

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Benazir Bhutto - RIP

(click image to enlarge)

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Monday, December 24, 2007

Noche Buena

It's Christmas Eve day. Last year I told you all about Noche Buena, so I don't have to do that again. Today I'm going to talk about how we're spending tonight.

When I was younger, my parents would either host Noche Buena and everyone would come to our house, or we would go to my godmother's house. It was always a big to-do, with at least 25 people and up to almost 40. As the years passed the kids grew up, moved away, got in-laws they had to visit, the older folks passed away, and my parents' generation got old and sick. I'm glad my husband was able to enjoy a couple of the big family Noche Buena celebrations before they stopped.

Since my father died and my mother began deteriorating, and because I'm an only child and don't have kids, we didn't really have a crowd with whom to celebrate. For a couple of years we got together with my mother and had a nice dinner, but now, she can't really stay up late and "being on" for too long overwhelms her. So, what we do is have a big Cuban Christmas day lunch with her at her favorite Cuban restaurant.

We are blessed to have one of my oldest friends who along with her "americano" husband host a big, loud, honking Cuban-style Noche Buena invite us to their home. So tonight we will be having a pit-roasted whole pig that's been marinating since yesterday, along with all the trimmings and lots of wine. We are so thankful that they have *adopted* us. They also have us over at Thanksgiving when we don't go to my in-laws' in Pennsylvania.

Now that Hubby has a more flexible schedule we plan to alternate between Thanksgiving and Christmas in PA. Whenever we're not there, my friend has issued a standing invitation to her house. That is one of the greatest gifts and one for which we are very thankful.

I hope all who read this are blessed to have at least one of that kind of friend.

I also hope everyone has a magical holiday full of love and laughter and that you get all the really important stuff on your wish lists - that's usually the stuff you don't write down and that can't be ordered on-line or gotten at the mall.

From me to you, dear reader..."Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night".

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Lazy Saturday

On this, the last Saturday before Christmas, when according to the news stores and malls are packed with bstling shoppers I have spent the entire day watching movies. I am done with my shopping and almost done with my wrapping - YAY!

So far I've been in Manhattan in the mid-70s for Metropolitan, Nebraska in the mid-90s for Election, the North Atlantic Ocean on a luxury cruise ship for Poseidon and in the early 1800s in England for Vanity Fair. Who knows I may see some more movies before the night is over!

"Metropolitan" was great, "Election" was good, "Poseidon" was a disaster - pun intended - and "Vanity Fair" was really good. I have not yet read the book, although I own it - it will now grow on my ever growing to-be-read list.

So, what have y'all done on this should-be-busy-but-I'm-being-lazy Saturday?

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Friday, December 21, 2007

The Lola Shuffle - The "What I Want for Christmas" Edition

Hello all. I forgot to post my 2007 Christmas list - and since we all know Santa's an avid Blog reader I figured I'd better get the list up ASAP.

But first Lola shuffles...

  1. House on Pooh Corner - Kenny Loggins (Awww...this song makes me happy)
  2. Come Away with Me - Norah Jones
  3. Truckin' - The Grateful Dead (and this song makes me smile a big smile)
  4. Swingtown - Steve Miller Band
  5. Come to My Window - Melissa Etheridge (A classic! I love her...)
  6. Never Can Say Goodbye - The Jackson 5
  7. Get the Party Started - Pink (That's what I'm talking about!)
  8. Pavement Cracks - Annie Lennox (Amazing song, amazing voice)
  9. Island Girl - Elton John (another smile inducer)
  10. Where is the Love - Black Eyed Peas

And now my Christmas List for this year:

  • iPod/CD player with speakers
  • Waring Pro Professional Tabletop Wine Chiller
  • Pedometer with calorie counter
  • Sewing Kit (including basket or container to hold it all)
  • This is Tom Jones (DVD)
  • i-Tunes gift cards
  • TicketMaster gift cards
  • Broadway Across America Gift Certificate
  • Gold hoop earrings (2” diameter)
  • “Have a Nice Decade: The '70s Pop Culture Box” – CD set
  • Gift Certificates
  • Barnes and Noble Gift Certificates
  • Perfume (Red Door, Carolina Herrera, Tressor)
  • Beanbag Chair
  • “Lost” – The Complete First Season (DVD Set)
  • Pee Wee’s Playhouse #1 - Seasons 1 & 2 (DVD Set)
  • Pee Wee’s Playhouse #2 - Seasons 1 & 2 (DVD Set)
  • ”The Sopranos” – The Complete First Season (DVD Set)
  • ”The Sopranos” – The Complete Second Season (DVD Set)
  • ”The Sopranos” – The Complete Third Season (DVD Set)
  • ”The Sopranos” – The Complete Fourth Season (DVD Set)
  • ”The Sopranos” – The Complete Fifth Season (DVD Set)
  • ”The West Wing” – The Complete Second Season (DVD Set)
  • “Sex and the City” – The Complete Second Season (DVD Set)
  • “The Manchurian Candidate” – Special Edition DVD (1962 version!)
  • gift certificate Whole Foods gift certificate
  • Starbucks Gift Card
  • Brookstone Tranquil Moments Plus Sound Machine
  • Candles
  • Incense
  • Frames

Have a wonderful holiday!

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Have Yourself a Wacky Little Christmas

Here are Hubby and Me wishing you a fabulous holiday our own special way...:)

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Dan Fogelberg - RIP

Singer/songwriter Dan Fogelberg died. His music was a significant part of the soundtrack of my life.

I can't think of high school - you know that deep, introspective, light candles, only wear black and listen to *meaningful songs* phase some of us went through - and not think of his songs. A look at the tracks on his 1982 Greatest Hits album will remind you of some of his hits. Very lyric intensive, yet very simple, beautiful stories.

To Dan - as you wrote in the beautiful tribute to your father Leader of the Band
"I thank you for the music and your stories of the road ".

There will be some sweet music in heaven tonight...

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Friday, December 14, 2007

The Lola Shuffle - The "I Had Oral Surgery and I'm a Bit Hopped Up on Vicodin" Edition

Hello yeah, I had all kinds of ungodly things done to my mouth on Wednesday and I'm still sore and a wee bit loopy. Actually the biggest effect Vicodin has had (other than relieving the pain) is that I fall asleep all the time - it's like I'm a narcoleptic. I'll be talking to Hubby, and by the time he responds, I'm asleep.

Anyway - assuming I can stay awake long enough, let's shuffle Lola...

  1. Lonely People - America

  2. All Day and All of the Night - The Kinks

  3. Born in the USA - Bruce Springsteen

  4. The Girl Is Mine - Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney

  5. Magical Mystery Tour - The Beatles (Speaking of Vicodin...)

  6. Shut Up and Drive - Rihanna

  7. The Lady is a Tramp - Frank Sinatra

  8. Don't Speak - No Doubt

  9. Southern Nights - Glen Campbell

  10. Fly Away - Lenny Kravitz

So there you have it boys and girls - the Lola has shuffled.

Oh, and about that "Christmas spirit" - I still haven't found it!

Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas Meme

I got this via e-mail from a friend...if you respond on your Blog, please let me know in my comments.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both, but I'm a sucky wrapper.

2. Tree--Real or Artificial? Artificial

3. When do you put Christmas tree up? Depends...this year I have no idea

4. When do you take the tree down? Last year it was the end of February!

5. Like egg nog? Yes - spiked please.

6. Do you have a nativity scene? My mother collected them and when we moved her to the ALF she had over 270 of them from all over the world. I kept several, the others were given away.

7. Favorite gift received as a child? No question - my Easy-Bake oven

8. Hardest person to buy for? My brothers-in-law

9. Easiest person to buy for? My nieces

10. Worst Christmas gift? They're all good...a gift is a gift!

11. Mail or email a Christmas Cards? Thus far I've always mailed Christmas cards - we'll see about this year...

12. Favorite Christmas movie? Miracle on 34th Street (the original with Edmund Gwenn and Natalie Wood)

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Some time in November

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Absolutely!

15. Favorite food to eat on Christmas? Cuban-style roast pork

16. Clear or colored tree lights? Colored *and* twinkly!

17. Favorite Christmas Song? Too many to name...

18. Travel during Christmas or Stay home? We hope to start going to PA every other year - alternating with Thanksgiving.

19. Angel or Star on Tree top? Angel

20. Open presents on Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas Eve

21. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Stores start pushing Christmas too early

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Saturday, December 8, 2007

John Lennon: October 9, 1940 - December 8, 1980

These words remain as timely now as they did when he wrote them...

by John Lennon, released 1971

Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

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Friday, December 7, 2007

The Lola Shuffle - "The Remember Pearl Harbor " Edition

Nothing much to talk about today...trying to catch up at work and at home after two weeks out. So, I'll just let Lola do her thing...
  1. Babalu - Desi Arnaz
  2. Can't Buy Me Love - The Beatles
  3. Volcano - Jimmy Buffett
  4. Fly Away - Lenny Kravitz
  5. Forever Young - Joan Baez
  6. I Who Have Nothing - Jordin Sparks
  7. Jessie - Joshua Kadison
  8. I Write Sins Not Tragedies - Panic! At the Disco
  9. Lollipop - Mika
  10. Swing - Trace Adkins

Apparently Lola is as scattered and random as I am these days.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Thursday, December 6, 2007

Happy Birthday Everglades!

Today, Everglades National Park turned 60 !

Now, anyone who reads this Blog regularly by now knows I'm not exactly..."outdoors-y". Yeah, I am most definitely "indoors-with-the air-conditioner-on-y". However, I have been to Everglades National Park and even I have to admit it was impressive.

The first time was there I was a kid, but that doesn't really count because, well, I barely remember what I had for lunch, let alone what I did when I was 8 years old. But after I got married I started going somewhat regularly with Hubby because he likes to fish there. [OK people - stop laughing - yes I went fishing with Hubby!] And on several occasions I have dined at the Miccosukee restaurant - and enjoyed their traditional alligator bits and fried frog legs. I may be an outdoors wuss, but I'm not a food wuss!

But most memorable was a couple of years ago when my sister-in-law and her friend were here from Pennsylvania. We actually took a tram tour into the park. It was really cool, the guide pointed out the flora and fauna - lots of alligators, all kinds of beautiful birds, etc. The destination of the tram ride was an observatory tower thing from the top of which you would get a phenomenal view.

The tour guide told our group that there were a bunch of vultures at the top of the tower (better to see their prey I suppose). He then told us that the vultures weren't likely to attack - us being alive and all - but they did have this nasty habit of *throwing up on you* if they were startled or stressed. How charming. He then proceeded to tell us that we shouldn't worry though because he would go up with us carrying a big stick. Right - like *that's* not going to startle the frickin' frackin' vultures!

Well at that moment I decided that I could go my entire life without being vomited upon by a vulture. I mean, really - can you imagine what that would be like, considering what they eat. Needless to say I didn't go up to the top of the tower. Neither did Hubby - I guess that's one of the things that we share and that makes our marriage strong - the desire to avoid vulture barf.

To their credit, I will say that my SIL and her friend went to the top, had no vulture trauma and said the view really was amazing. Well, good for them. For me, I'll continue to appreciate the Everglades for the beautiful treasure it is and continue to enjoy it by eating alligator and watching Hubby fish.


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I'm a Blogger...Hear Me Roar!

Look what Dixie awarded to me! Beside the fact that I was inspired to start Blogging when I read her Blog, I've admired Dixie for a long time for many reasons - needless to say I'm tickled *pink* just like the lion in the picture.

As posted on Dixie's Blog, here's the scoop:

Those people given this award to are encouraged to post it on their own blogs; list three things they believe are necessary for good, powerful writing; and then pass the award on to the five blogs they want to honour, who in turn pass it on to five others, etc., etc. Let's send a roar through the blogsphere! The image at the top right can be copied and pasted onto other blogs. Also, a small size of the award for sidebars can be found over at the writing circle site.

So, what three things do I think are necessary for good, powerful writing?

1) The writer needs to engage me even if they're writing about a subject that isn't familiar to me, or presenting a position I may not agree with. That can range from the misadventures of raising children, to espousing conservative politics.

2) They need to have a sense of humor about themselves. That doesn't mean all their writing has to be funny, they just need to not take themsleves too seriously.

3) They need to be honest. I need to believe that they believe what they're writing.

Now the difficult part...picking five Bloggers to receive this award.

1) Purplepassion at Gimme Patience - this woman is my best friend and most of the time I already know what she's writing about, yet I still look forward to reading her account of it.

2) Robin at Poppy Mom cracks me right up. I look forward to reading about her and Clara Jane's exploits.

3) Troy at Pheasantly Fascinating, like Purplepassion is a *real life* friend, I see him every day at work - yet I look forward to his Blog posts - although he is waaaaaay behind - because of the way his mind works. It's a strange, funny place in there.

4) Curmudgeon at Second Effort - remember how I mentioned a good writer could engage me, even if I don't always agree with their position? Well Curmudegeon is often an example of that. Whether or not I agree with what he's writing, I'm always interested and often learn from him.

5) And then there's Muffy at The Muffyblog. So often I'll read the Blog and find something weird, but fascinating - it's always an adventure!

Check out these wonderful Blogs, if you haven't already...I think you'll like them. And once again Dixie, thank you - you rock!


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Book Review - "A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khaled Hosseini

While I found A Thousand Splendid Suns to be absolutely beautiful, it was very sad. Like Hosseini's The Kite Runner , it takes place in Afghanistan, starting with the Soviet occupation, through the Mujahideen phase and ending with the Taliban government. However, unlike "The Kite Runner" which is the story of two boys, this is the story of two girls.

If you read "The Kite Runner" and thought it was intense, imagine the story of women in Afghanistan. Both of the main characters, Mariam and Laila are beautifully developed - you can clearly see their growth and their depth. There are of course men, and they play key roles - both good and bad - in the lives of the protagonists, but this is definitely a story about women in Afghanistan.

While ultimately inspiring, there is much despair, cruelty and tragedy. There are several scenes that are difficult and uncomfortable to read, but they are not gratuitous. It is worth the sadness, I highly recommend this book. I actually liked it better than "The Kite Runner".


Saturday, December 1, 2007

World AIDS Day and "Thriller"

Today is World AIDS Day. This year's theme focuses on leadership - political and social - to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS. If you read the statistics, they are staggering. The ignorance about basic protection and prevention is staggering. (sigh)

On a brighter - albeit shocking - note: can you believe Thriller is 25 today? I can't. It just doesn't compute.

25 years ago today, "Thriller" was released. I was 19 years old and in college. What an impact that album has had and continues to have. Seven of the nine songs on the album were hits, it won a ton of awards, remains among the top-selling albums ever, and the list goes on. I wrote about my feelings regarding Michael Jackson back in July, so I won't repeat myself. I just thought it was worth mentioning.

But dayum...25 YEARS? The mind wobbles...

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