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Howdy. We've moved from Cayce, but St. Elizabeth of South Rose Hill or Lizette de Waccamaw de Sud just don't do it for me.

Saturday, July 29, 2006


(the food, not the Southern expletive.)

So, I've had flare-ups in a couple of chronic conditions this past spring. At one point, one of these issues (it's ovarian, let's leave it at that) seemed to be the cause of increased fasting blood sugars. So, in addition to treatments for my neurologic, gastrointestinal and reproductive systems (I know, TMI), we added an endocrine system medication.

After a month, the blood sugar levels got even worse, and I now own a glucometer. I expect to also get another ICD-10 code at my next visit: E11, or ICD-9 250.2 (Non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus.)

Can't say it's a complete surprise, given family history and personal build (I like to say that I've been carrying around my grandmother since her death in 1978--it's the least I could do in tribute to her...) However, onsets of things like this tend to be diagnosed when you're feeling the ill effects of having the untreated disease. I think that I'm saying that I had been feeling pretty awful much of the spring, and so I wasn't prepared to deal with the news at first.

My GYN's office had called with the concerning lab results and told me to see my regular MD ASAP. (Note to self--gotta get a new doctor...) I got in the next day, and got the "you'll be fine, just take this new pill, watch what you eat and check your blood sugars twice a day" talk.

No time given to ask questions (nor was a referral given to a diabetic educator or endocrinologist when I asked about one--"We can manage you here.") No info given on (1) what I should eat, what must be avoided, do I focus on carbs or glycemic indices, etc., (2) what times would be best to check blood sugar levels--I suggested AM fasting and PM postprandial and he said that sounded OK, or (3) what levels might be appropriate for sugars at those times.

(Yes, I'm a nurse, but I don't specialize in internal medicine, plus practice guidelines have changed since my graduation. We all need to have questions answered.)

He did say to me that I'd probably be like most folks he knew with Type II and that I'd probably be able to eat cheeseburgers and drink Pepsis in no time.

He said "Cheeseburgers." To me. Gotta get a new doctor.

So, I've been checking blood sugars 2-5 times a day, trying to learn to correlate symptoms with levels. I've spent all my internet time looking at ADA recommendations and learning the differences between whole blood and plasma glucose levels. I've tried to figure out how to fit meal plans and carb allowances into a vegetarian diet, while learning to deal with side effects for new medicine number three for this month.

Izzy has been a godsend. He got home from a visit to his brother in Austin just after I got the glucometer. He's helped me look up things, order cabling and download programming to tracking meter readings on the PC, and not said anything when, despite following what seems to be good advice, morning or evening sugars go too high. We're in this adventure together.

Note to self--gotta keep this husband.

Talent on Loan from ...

Ditto heads know the next word is "God." Something I was given to think about during a homily nearly two weeks ago before a spate of light blogging.

Our Padre likes using bits from a daily devotional book (that I must have misplaced when tidying up before Mom came over for diner...) in his homilies. On the 16th, he concluded with a line from Amy Welborn that went something like "God, help my talents to point others to you."

Sounds pithy enough, as in "duh, our talents are gifts from God that should be used to direct people to God." And maybe most folks never forget this, but it can be hard to remember when you help lead music at an early Mass. It's certainly much easier to worry that the talent (in this case singing ability) sounds OK, that we don't miss entrances or cues in the liturgy, etc. On the several recent Sundays when we've sung unaccompanied, there's also been the concern about pitches, timing, etc.

All of that becomes concern about performance. And while there is plenty in Scripture to support doing Well what we do for God, it shouldn't be so that no one complains. It should be so that people are given yet another opportunity to reflect on God's love for them.

Tomorrow we hear how God worked through Elisha and later how Jesus demonstrated God's power, both through feeding multitudes with small loaves of bread. I wonder how much of the original gifts of time, grinding and kneading, baking and packing were still evident in the multiplied loaves? Was the baker's craftsmanship still there in the texture as loaves were pulled apart and eaten? Were they still warm?

The offerings were good enough to give to God, Who blessed and used them to His glory. God, help my talents to point others to You.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Happy Anniversary, Izzy!

Thanks for the past 23 years. I'm so grateful God brought us together. I cannot imagine any other life...puns & all.

All my love,

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Busy, Busy, Busy

Very busy week, lots to write about but no time while actually doing it all.

More tomorrow (?) as I start a week off.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

It's not quite S.O.A.P.

(Snakes on a plane, for those not in on this bit of culture)
...but it's a heck of a lot better than the rest of today's news.  Is this WW3 or WW4?
A power outage that blacked out about 2,000 customers in Las Cruces is being blamed on the combination of a snake and a bird.
The customers lost their electricity Tuesday after a bird dropped a bull snake on a power line, shorting out the line, El Paso Electric Co. spokeswoman Teresa Souza said.
"I know that's weird. ... I've never heard anything like that and I've been working here for 10 years," Souza said.
She said she did not know how large the snake was, and she would not speculate on what type of bird dropped it.
Power was restored in less than an hour.
Maybe we can get the birds to start dropping snakes on other targets...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

And now abideth…



and Charity, these three;

But the greatest of these is charity. 1 Corinthians 13:13.

In his blog of the same (Latin) name, Gashwin Gomes writes about the attacks of 7/11 from his location not so very far away from Mumbai, remembering the Mumbai attacks of 1993, as well as violence in other places.

I recall that spring day back in 1993 with crystal clarity. We were leaving college, and I looked up to the left and saw a plume of black smoke darkening the sky, from the Stock Exchange. Ambulances and fire engines screaming up Mahapalika Marg. The gaping hole in the Air India building. The crater at Century Bazaar. It's what immediately came to mind when I first heard about 9/11. And Madrid. And London. It's etched in the brain, hard-wired. Heart beat increasing. Adrenalin pumping. This is terror. This is the power of evil. An ordinary day stained red. Life twisted and broken and shattered.

Prayers requested by Gashwin and offered for the 160+ commuters who didn't make it home.

Re-assigning meaning, again, for 7/11

I’ve planned to write this evening about 7/11/79, the day Skylab fell harmlessly to earth over the Australian Outback. We’d all been worried for weeks about where it would land as its orbit decayed. There was a bit of fear, and plenty of morbid humor as the world wondered what city would be struck by a flaming ball of space debris.

Izzy and I met the summer of Skylab. July 11 was likely the 4th Wednesday in a row that we’d gone to a small fundie youth Bible study (“Youth Ranch”) with his best friend from Texas, who had moved to the square mile town where I went to high school. We were hanging around together, enjoying a summer of doing little, building (slowly…) a friendship.

Friend from Texas worked in a grocery store, which became one of the places we’d hang out. Ever had a plum omelet? Ever had one cooked on the hotplate that grocery stores use to seal cellophane wrap around produce? I’ll bet not.

Izzy & Friend from Texas decided that the world having been spared from destruction was a good reason to celebrate, and there should be a party at that evening’s Youth Ranch meeting. Friend from Texas asked the bakery lady in the grocery store for a “Welcome Home Skylab” cake. Bakery lady had, sadly, not heard of Skylab and so was (1) unable to appreciate the peril in which she had lived, and (2) unable to design much more than a silver and white cake with “Welcome Home Skylab” and (as I recall) some sort of silver blob on the top.

We brought the cake to Ranch, and made a personal memory. 7/11 went from convenience store to day of relief. Every year since then, Izzy and I have celebrated Skylab every July 11th, and the fact that not everything we fear comes to pass.

This changes now. Not the certainty and faith, but the meaning of the day.

7/11 joins 7/7, 3/11 and 9/11 as days of senseless tragedy.

It leaves the realm of calendar entries and joins days of televised retrospectives.

Retrospectives that can only happen after the raw pain subsides---something I’m sure many Mumbaikars cannot imagine today.

Monday, July 10, 2006

C/D/A/B: Meds & Back to School Supplies

Back to the drugstore this evening--yay! Toxic meds approved!

On the way out, I varied my route to Door C just a bit and found myself walking down an aisle stocked with Back-to-School supplies. Now, I'm sure this drugstore has a few scissors, crayons, pencils, spiral notebooks, construction paper, pencil holders, maybe even compasses & protractors available year-round. But they don't have burgeoning shelves with vibrant red, green, yellow and orange must-haves, plus neon poster paper and glitter pens.

School supplies always evoke a nostaligic response in me. I could almost imagine heading back into an elementary school classroom in something plaid with a new sweater. Everything will be just perfect in my new class if I have all new supplies and accessories. Something left over from those days makes me love spending time in get-yourself-organized stores.

Heading back into the 90+ heat and mondo humidity and I no longer wanted to wear the plaid wool skirt. Maybe next January.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Ever Wonder...

why you never see "Flight of the Bumblebees" performed by elementary school handbell choirs?

Four Doors to Leave

So, I go to the pharmacy closest to my office Friday to pick up my "black box" drug. Being as this drug can seriously maim or kill me, I can only get it with an original prescription (check) signed by a Glaxo-approved specialist (check) with a special Glaxo-provided blue sticker (check) if my specialist's office remembers to call the insurance company to once again approve this month's 30 pills (oops, no check.)

Since it's after 5, there's no way to call the Dr.'s office to get them to call the insurance company...this happens frequently, so I'm getting used to it. It's not as if I can just waltz down the street and locate another Glaxo-approved specialist whose office staff have better memories.

So, as I'm walking mostly empty-handed out of the pharmacy, I have more time to notice the doors.

My route through this store is pretty unvarying. Out of the car, usually parked next to the bus stop, then in through Door A. Door A opens automatically & is marked as Entrance Only. I then head through interior Door B, which also opens automatically, letting me into the store.

Then it's back to the pharmacy to drop off my prescription, go sit down, come back up to either pick up & pay or find out that I won't be getting my meds today. Either way, I leave through Door C, which is marked as Exit Only.

Here's where the weird part comes in (besides my having taken the time to make a schematic of my drugstore.)

My approaching Door C causes it to open, and then Door D opens to let me out onto the front sidewalk. However, I don't really want to go through Door D, since it's less convenient to the West Parking Area. I turn and take one step towards Door A and it opens--even though Door A is marked as entrance only. By my 2nd step towards Door A, Door B has also opened, inviting me back to spend the store bonus bucks I've just earned from my purchases.

Almost everyone who comes to the pharmacy when I do parks in the same lot. We all leave the same way, and 4 doors open for each person each time. I'm not quite sure how this saves $$ on air conditioning or heat.

A/B and you're in. C/D/A/B and you're out. Sometimes it's just odd enough to comment on.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

July 4 Fireworks

We had quite a display on our little street once again this year.  The local CBS affiliate covered at bit of the prep--leaving before any actual explosions occurred.  (They must have been pretty sure things would go well, since they titled the piece: Cayce Fireworks are a Crowd Pleaser.)
Before the hour-long show, bunches of my family arrived at our casita for dogs, chips, beans, etc.  Izzy grilled, then led the kids in throwing snap-n-pops, smoke bombs and other incendiary devices.  They all listened pretty carefully to him and no one got hurt,  I should mention that this is the same family that had skeet shooting at two 11 year old bday parties this past fall, so these kids have had the virtue of listening to adults around dangerous stuff drilled into their heads.. 
Just before dusk, bottles of insect repellent came out and chairs, coolers and babies were carried to the park down the street.  There were 26 of us, I think, from 11 months through AARP member.  Little ones watched the fireworks when not climbing or sliding on the park equipment, or digging in the sand.  The adults oohed and aahed and enjoyed sitting back.  I tried to converse with a friend of a friend from church--let's not try that again while explosions are happening 50 feet away (what I mis-heard was just too embarrassing...)
Afterwards, back to our house for strawberry shortcake, cookies, ice cream, and more sugary beverages (aunts & uncles are allowed to do that sort of thing.) Then outside for more fun with bottle rockets and sparklers, plus a few other big boom items. 
The kid cousins visiting from Arizona had never been able to set off fireworks (illegal where they live) and I think quite a memory was created.  The impression I take away from yesterday is of the perfect ending to a small town Independence Day.
Hope various folks' 4ths (& at least one's 1st) were memorable.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

And speaking of Episcopalians...

Izzy accepted a new position, teaching Latin at an Episcopal day school just across the river from us. Until we acquire a pontoon boat that (1) can be transported by and (2) can itself transport the motorcycle, the 3 mile direct route will take him about 8 1/2 miles each way.

We moved everything from his current classroom to his new space yesterday--multiple trips of loading up boxes into the Saturn, heading to the new school for unpacking, then repeat. It almost felt like we were sneaking away on a Saturday with no one around, taking down posters, emptying shelves, re-claiming our microwave, even.

Izzy's new classroom (one of those portable learning cottages) has windows! He won't have to lock the doors each time the bell rings. He can open windows or doors for ventilation. He'll wear thermal lined pants because he wants to, not because his classroom's temperature (regulated at the District Office about 10 miles away!) is 60 degrees.

There's always a trade-off--so far the main one for him will be teaching just north (so occasionally downwind) of what the students call "the poop factory."

He's going from probably the best public school in our area to the top private school (err, "Independent School.") Yet another adventure. Give him a congrats when you get a chance.

More on Episcopalians

Izzy pointed me to a computer security blog with lots of squid-related content (where does he FIND this stuff?) that seems pretty excited about the elevation of Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori of Nevada as presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church.

Turns out:

A former research oceanographer who studied squid, octopuses and creatures living in marine mud, she was a second-career priest who was ordained in 1994.

The jokes have begun (not the ones about the dissolution of the Anglican Communion, but these):

One wag noted that the study of invertebrates makes Bishop Schori supremely qualified to rule the ECUSA. She's studied oysters and squids...this is a mental picture that I really did not need. Is this a case of 'squid pro quo'?

Do you suspect that ECUSA elected an oceanographer as its primate in recognition that it is floundering?

More from the Comments:

Holy mackeral! Oh My Cod!Perhaps we should form a Shad-hoc committee to study the "Squid Researcher Ordained Priest" (SRAP) syndrome? These fish jokes are giving me a haddock. I'd better Clam up. Wonder if she did it just for the Halibut? Or maybe on Porpoise?

...her election could lead to a squism in the church.

". . .an oceanographer as its primate. . ."
How did we get from invertebrates to primates?

"How did we get from invertebrates to primates?"
Practice, practice, practice.

Bit of humor for a Sunday.