Monday, April 30, 2007

Tonsillitis, it's not just for kids

I started not feeling well this past Friday. I thought, "oh boy, I made it all winter without getting a cold from any of my students and when the weather gets nice, I'm getting one."
By Saturday I was really feeling bad but could still function(read go out for breakfast and stuff). As the day progressed I went downhill fast. By Sunday I was down for the count. My throat had never been this sore. I literally cannot talk. My throat and neck hurt so bad I could hardly open my mouth to get a spoon full of jello into it. Today Monday, I went to the doctor. Diagnosed with a "rip roarin" case of tonsillitis. I thought that was something mostly young kids and teens came down with, not a finely aged woman like myself.

Now I am a tough cookie and have a high pain tolerance but not this time. It is so painful to swallow I cringe when I do it. You can't believe how much saliva you produce until you can't swallow it. I am getting to the point to where I want to spit it out. I don't even like to spit out toothpaste. I haven't eaten and just had sips of tea for 3 days. I have type II diabetes so it's important to eat. He was concerned that I may end up in the hospital.
Long story short my, doctor sent me right over to an ENT for a second look. Thought maybe I needed prednizone to reduce the swelling. I ended up with a prescription for antibiotics and vicodin for the pain.

Turns out I'm not as tough as I thought. I certainly realize many people suffer through much worse things but this is bad and I'm being a baby. Plus I will be out of work for at least 3 more days.

I looked at some images on the web of tonsillitis and no way am I posting any here. It is positively gross. Instead, here are some cacti from when we went to the conservatory. See those prickly spikes? That's what feels like is in my throat.

ps. It's hard to tpye while hepped up on vicodin.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Let's Go BUF-FA-LO

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the Buffalo Sabres. I've been a fan since the days of Gilbert Perreault, Rick Martin and my fav, Rene Robert also known as The French Connection. I prefer the old style logo, they've changed it several times over the years I guess to make it look more modern. I like the retro look.

I came from a hockey crazed family. We always had pucks in our freezer and I was what was considered a rink rat when I was a kid. Always at the rink to watch games and I worked in the concession stand. In high school I was the manager for the boy's hockey team. A fun job but oh the stink. The bus ride home from the games was eeeewwww.

Number two son is named after a hockey player, although not one from the Sabres but from the rival Boston Bruins.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

10 Happy Foods

I find myself these days getting more of my news from the Yahoo homepage than the newspaper. It seems like exactly what I read on Yahoo is in the newspaper the next day or sometimes days later.

This morning I saw an artice entitled "10 Happy Foods". Just up my alley. I had to see if any of my happy foods were on it. Lo and behold, the happy foods were as follows:

wild salmon, spinach, ground flaxseed, blackberries, omega 3 fortified eggs, sardines, soybeans, beans, brussels sprouts, and a bonus food, sunflower seeds

What the hell??!! I'm not very happy with that list. The only thing I might eat on that list is blackberries. I do eat eggs but just plain old natural ones straight from the hen (well from the grocery store). No omega 3 fortified here.

Brussel sprouts, the yuk factor is pretty high up there. I didn't even know they grew like this, on a stalk. I only know I hated it when they appeared on my plate when I was a kid.

Ground flaxseed. What can I say? It looks like cocoa shells, the stuff my dad used to put around our trees and bushes for mulch when I was a kid.

I don't know what you do with them except sprinkle them on food. On ice cream maybe?

I like seafood. Lobster, scallops, haddock, shrimp, Alaskin king crab I love. I hate clams.
Sardines, never had one and don't plan on it anytime soon. I don't think people really eat them. The only use I have for them is to use the expression, "we were packed in like sardines"

Let me share the list of my 10 happy foods in no particular order:

potato chips with onion dip, Dove chocolate, steak, french fries, biscuits, chocolate chip cookies, haddock fish fry, Lipton diet lemon ice tea, (yes, I know that's not a food) fresh sweet corn with butter, tuna fish and noodle casserole.

Crispy and delicious

Cooked medium, this is what's for
dinner tonight.

Now if eating from list number 1 gives me a couple more years added to my life, I'll stick to list number 2. I may or may not live longer but I will be happy while I'm here.

Need I say anymore?

Plus I see on Yahoo right now is an article entitles, "5 tips to look slimmer".

Friday, April 20, 2007


I've published this over on my other blog last year and thought I'd put it here on A Summers Day. I like it, plus there's nothing in my head right now.

What is it?
How do you define it?
What makes someone beautiful?

Many things in life are beautiful. Things in nature such as the sunrise or sunset. I prefer the sunrise, it's more delicate although I don't see it very often. Not a morning person. Flowers, mountains, oceans, I could go on. These are all visual things.What about things you don't see but hear. I love to hear a new infant crying. I certainly don't want the child unhappy but there is something about a newborn baby cry. Very life affirming. Even better is a baby laughing. Musical and beautiful. The soft words and the love of a mother for her children. The loving words of a lover. The birds singing at dawn. To me these are all beautiful things.

I think there are many degrees of physical beauty. It, beauty, is truly in the eyes of the beholder. Some people are "cute" others "pleasant looking". There is the classic beauty, someone who has never had any surgical help. Think of old time movie stars. Many are false in their beauty. They've been nipped, tucked, pulled, stretched, peeled etc. Demi Moore comes to mind. You can have plastic surgery and ask for someone's nose, lips, eyes, breasts...I have a theory that someday the human race will all look alike.

"Ask a toad what is beauty?...a female with two great round eyes coming out of her little head,
a large flat mouth, a yellow belly and a brown back." Voltaire

You may prefer blondes with blue eyes and porcelain skin or brunettes with brown eyes and cafe au lait skin, perhaps red heads with green eyes and freckles. It is hard to define. But can a person be beautiful without good looks?I feel to see true beauty in a person you have to look beyond the physical. When a person is kind, compassionate and considerate of mankind I think that shines through. Beauty comes from within. Your soul must be beautiful too. Can you find someone beautiful if you've never even seen them? I think so. Take internet friends. After a while you get to know them, their thoughts, opinions, the things they do and yes, in your eyes they can become beautiful. Unfortunatly they could be someone you would never notice in the real world but getting to know someone without seeing them gives you a chance to learn about the "real" person. When you see a couple together and think, "what does he see in her?" chances are he's seen beyond the looks to the deeper person. That in turn makes her beautiful to him.

"Do you love me because I'm beautiful or am I beautiful because you love me?"
Oscar Hammerstein, II

There are lots of beautiful people out there but many, not all, are very self absorbed, think they are superior and down right mean.I'm concerned with people's idea of beauty. Let's face it, most of us don't have a make-up person, a live in hairdresser, a personal trainer, money for new teeth. What we see in movies, on tv, and in magazines is not true beauty. As the average person, we can never live up to that image. Young girls and women think they're not attractive because they don't look like Halle Barry or Angelina Joli. I've got news for you, if you saw them before hair and make-up, and digital inhancement, they'd look average. You may not even recognize them. Click on the link to see exactly what I mean.

A favorite poem of mine by Sam Levenson

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run their fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge you'll never walk alone...
People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed
and redeemed, redeemed, redeemed.
Never throw out anybody.
Remember, if you need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm.
As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands.
One for helping yourself, the other for helping others.

Young love and old love. I saw this couple while in a park one day. They were obviously celebrating something. Whether is was a special occasion or just the fact that they were together. I don't know.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


I am a saver of newspapers. My great-grandmother had saved the newspaper from when the Titanic sank. My parents have it today but it is so brittle you really can't open it and read it fully. The first newspapers I saved are from 1972 when 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team were killed by a Palestinian organization. I'm not sure exactly why I save them. Maybe someone can use them someday.

Between my family and Sean's who were also newspaper savers, we have the papers from the JFK assassination, moon landing, Nixon resignation, space shuttle accidents, US hockey team wins the gold medal and other historic events. Today I have another newspaper to add to the collection.

So many questions arise from this senseless shooting. How could this school not have a plan for lock downs? I work in an elementary school and we have a lock down plan and practice it twice a year. Our high school has one and last year they were in a lock down for 4 hours. Of course the gunman could have been locked in as well.

I understand that Virginia Tech is a huge school and it would be extremely difficult to put a plan into motion but some thought needs to go into one. Not just VT but all colleges and universities. Whether it be sirens on campus or police driving through the streets announcing on their PA systems. In reality, could anything have averted this killing spree? The shooter seemed very determined.

I don't have the answers but considering that these shootings happened 2 hours apart I'll leave you with a quote I saw on CNN that came in as an email from a student. I didn't get his name. "They close the school for snow but not for murder?" In that 2 hour time span could school have been cancelled?

Monday, April 16, 2007

I am speechless.

I am horrified.

I am sick at heart.

Imagine being a parent waiting for the phone call that

never comes from your child at Virginia Tech.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

I need to play the lottery to win the lottery

I watched an interesting show the other night, maybe it was Dateline, I suffer from CRS (can't remember shit) anyway, it was about a man that won the Powerball lottery and all the problems that came about because of the money. The worst being that he was very generous with his money to his teenage grandaughter. She ended up becoming addicted to drugs and was eventually murdered.

I got to wondering what I would do with all of the money if I won. While money is nice and I wish I had more I'm not really materialistic. Back to the topic, what would I do if I had more money than I could ever spend? I'd make sure that my children were taken care of. I'd like to think that we raised them to be productive members of society and not live the high life off the money. I'd take care of the rest of my family, my parents, sisters, nieces, nephews on both sides of the family. None of my friends are loaded, I have a list of people I'd help to pay off or buy a home, maybe college for their children. I'm a sucker for children and old people and animals so much money would be shared with some appropriate charities. I'd make some smart investments, then think about what I'd want. Here's my wish list.

For the summer I'd like a nice beach house on Cape Cod. I've been at least 20 times and always camping. A place where I could spend all summer, be dry when it rains, have a kitchen to cook in and sleep in a real bed...HeavenA nice car to drive around in.

A winter home someplace warm, preferably not in a hurricane zone. Having lived my entire life in the northeast where the winters are COLD, what a luxery to be in the sun and warmth. With a beach right out my back door. I can look for seashells in the morning. Heaven

I love New York City although I don't think I'd want to live there for more than a few months at a time. It would be nice to have a an apartment overlooking Central Park that I could drop into whenever the mood struck me. Heaven

Another nice car to tool around in. Suits me perfectly.
What would you want?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

I originally published this on my other blog so if you came here from there, sorry, it's a rerun.

Today's discussion; Duke Lacrosse players.

The rape charges against David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann have been dropped although Crystal Gail Mangum still says she was assaulted. Miss Mangum has changed her story more than a few times but I think that some slight inconsistencies can be expected in a sexual assault case. It can't get much worse than rape and I assume your emotions will be all over the place . Let me put it out there, I have never been raped so I don't know exactly how one would feel.
The whole case seemed very rushed by prosecutor Mike Nifong. (turns out he was in a very close election campaign) Very early on he declared this a racially motivated gang rape and called the team hooligans. Hooligans maybe. Over the past few years 15 of the 47 boys on this team have been charged with underage possession of liquor, violating the open container law, noise disturbance and public urination. Frat boy stuff but they broke the law nonetheless. Miss Mangum states she was pulled into a bathroom then beaten, choked and raped by 3 men. Pretty serious stuff this time.
The team asserted that they were all innocent of those heinous acts and voluntarily 46 out of 47 gave up DNA samples. The only one not to was a black player and the accuser said her attackers were white. The accused also offered to take polygraphs. I don't know if they did or not.
When the DNA analysis was complete it was not shared with the defense. They had to get a court order to get the results. Turns out that the Lab director of DNA Securities, Brian Meehan, entered into an agreement with the prosecutor Nifong to withhold the results and not release it. Why the hell not I wondered? I knew then something was fishy. If the results matched he would be shouting it from the rooftops. Turns out that the semen, blood and saliva found on Mangum did not match any of the 46 DNA samples taken from the Duke team.
What upsetting about all of this is that these young men have been publicly accused and dragged through the media. I'm sure it was devastating for them and their families. Will this hang over their heads for life? Will it have a long term effect on what people think of them? Will the black community still think them guilty? I don't know. To me the most upsetting thing is that this woman made false allegations of rape. As I said, I've never experienced that but the trauma has to be huge. I do know that it is made very hard for the rape victim to bring her rapist to justice. She is made to feel that maybe it didn't really happen the way she said it did. She has to relive the event in front of strangers, her character is called into question, she is made to feel like she somehow brought it on herself. Rape is not borne out of passion but out of anger. The victim is in the wrong place at the wrong time or sometimes in her own home. So for all of the women and young girls out there that have been or will be raped, people like this woman just made harder to come forward and prosecute. I don't care what color the victims skin is you should not afraid to prosecute the crime if you can. Did you know that the racial breakdown of rape victims is 81% white, 18% black and 1% other races. You can read more facts about this crime at

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Home Alone

I'm out of school for spring break this week, I'm sure it's spring somewhere. Number One son went back to college on Monday and Sean and Number Two are on a Boy Scout trip to Baltimore and Washington D.C. It's just me and Cody holding down the fort. I think that in 25 years I have been home alone over night once or twice. I wasn't sure how I'd I like it but lo and behold, I'm enjoying it. I love peace and quiet. Something I never get at school or home. I can eat when I want to, no one to tell me they're starving and do what ever I want. (well that's not really new or different) While living it up on my own, I wouldn't want to have it this way permanently. I noticed today that I have started thinking out loud, talking to myself.

I've been chatting it up with friends, I've also been productive, cleaning every room in the house top to bottom. aaahhhh chhooooo Another thing I did was the annual spring harvest of the
"le chien epuisent". It was a bumper crop. I reaped three plastic grocery bags of it. As the snow melted our back yard looked like an archaeological dig. As each layer melted, new crops showed up. If you haven't figured out what the harvest is, it's dog poop. Now didn't that sound better in French? Having a big dog = le chien tres grand epuisent!

This is Cody in the kitchen standing next to the table. Told you he's a big boy. He's been sleeping on Sean's side of the bed while he's been gone. I can see a bedtime battle brewing come Friday night when he returns.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Sean and I went to a local garden conservatory a few weeks ago
trying to beat the winter blahs.
Did it work? For an hour or so yes, until we went to the car and the thermometer said it was 23 degrees out. Today I thought I'd just share a few thoughts sprinkled with flowers.
I love flowers, I know, I've told you that before but my favorite are spring flowers. I suppose it's because after a long winter they are the first to arrive. They don't last long but they're beautiful while they're here. One fall I had planted many tulip bulbs and waited all winter with anticiaption. Spring arrived, they awoke from their slumber ready to greet me, well and the sun. Every day I checked their progress. One morning the buds were so full and ready to burst open. Any time they'd bloom. My wait was almost over. That afternoon I check again and to my horror some rabbit had come by and feasted on the buds. Nothing left but stems. For a few years I tried to grow more. Every spring, same thing.
Final score: Rabbits 200 tulip buds
Me: 0 tulips
I don't feed the rabbits anymore.
Daffodils must not taste very yummy. Nothing eats them.

Sean liked these flowers. I don't know what they are.

They grew on a vine in some trees. He thought they looked like they were singing.

Cacti, not your most friendly plant around but interesting none the less.

Monday, April 09, 2007

From Cute to Stupid

I know I've written before about Knut, the baby polar bear in the German zoo that animal rights activits wanted put to death but the cuteness factor is way up there. How can anyone resist him? I can't.

On another note, 25 years ago I would visit my grandfather and watch Wheel of Fortune with him. He loved that show. He had lost most of his vision so I would tell him the letters and the blank squares so he could play along but I would get very frustrated with some of the contestants.

Fast forward to present time. I haven't watched it in years, usually because I'm never available at the time it's on to watch. I watched it tonight and I remembered why it drove me crazy. I don't understand why when a person has many letters up on the board, it's obvious what the word or phrase is and they BUY A VOWEL!! Why are they wasting their money?? They know what it is!! It is so stupid. I can't watch it again. I want to kick them in the ass and say, "smarten up!". Okay, I feel better.

Back to cuteness.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Happy Easter

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks

Baseball's opening day was yesterday. While I'm not a lover of the game, I am a lover of the atmosphere. In my city we don't have a MLB team but we do have the next level down. On a sunny, warm afternoon I like to go to the ballpark and soak up the scenery. The green grass of the outfield cut into the different patterns, the die hard fans, dressed head to toe in their favorite players garb and the silly games the club has the spectators play between innings.

I admire the beer man
who can run up and down the stairs and the food. Oh, the food. Our stadium has good food. You can get just about anything you want to eat there, even prime rib sandwiches. It's not cheap by any stretch and I think it's sinful to charge 4 bucks for a bottle of soda or water that you can get for $1.19 at the store. Sssshhhhhh, I always smuggle my own drink in. At the movies too.

One thing I always bring with me to a game is a book. While I love the atmosphere, the game itself is just sooooooooo slow. Can't they warm up the pitchers along the sideline while the other team is at bat? Why wait until your team takes the field? I suppose that's why they choose people to play the games, to amuse us. Me, I read a book. And I'm not the only one I see doing it.

My favorite baseball is Little League. Both boys played it. Number One was serious about it and was a great first baseman. Number Two, he was all about the dug out and the social part of it. Yes, LL moves even slower than the pros but it was social time for me too. One of us moms always managed to say, "hey, your kid's up!" Some of those nights are my happiest memories. Now the boys haven't played for years but I find out if any of my students play and for what team and will go to a few of the games throughout the season. I always make sure I have a concession stand token for them for after the game.

Plus opening day is another sign of spring which I need because the weather prognosticators say that Easter Sunday will be cold with snow. Jeeeeezzzzz

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Happy Birthday Baby

Today is a happy day for me. Seventeen years ago the best ever April Fool's day prank was played on me. My number two son was due to be born on or around April 15. He arrived on April 1.

What started out as a normal pregnancy turned into a high risk pregnancy midway through. I was admitted to the hospital to spend the last month or so languishing in bed where they could keep an eye on us. Things went down hill more and more each day until finally that baby needed to be born whether or not either of us were ready.

After it was over we found out that his heart rate in utero was 30 beats per minute, normal is 120-160 per minute and I was on the verge of stroking out. Good thing they don't tell you this at the time or that would've been the news to put me over the edge.

While I worried for a long time over him, did his brain receive enough oxygen with such a low heart rate and he weighed only 5 lbs 4 oz. , Number Two turned out fine. Today he is a strapping young lad with curly hair, beautiful eyes (a unique color, teal at times, sometimes aqua), smart (we're waiting to see if he will be selected to join the National Honor Society), kind, compassionate, is a high school mentor to 2 elementary students, works part time and is on the tennis team. His aspirations for his future include going to college and majoring in education.

As a mother I would die for my children, my love is fierce. Both were conceived the non-traditional way and I value them everyday. A year later I asked my ob/gyn if the same thing would happen if I had a third child. I wanted a girl badly. He said he couldn't be 100% sure but most likely it would be another difficult, high risk venture. Then he asked me a question that I never forgot. "Are you happy with the two children you have?" I replied, "of course I am, they're the light of my life." He then told me that while his field of medicine was full of happy events, it is very difficult when a baby doesn't survive but the absolute worse is when he looses a mother, especially if she already has little ones at home. He would strongly advise me to not have anymore children. It was one of the most profound pieces of advice I've ever received. A child without their mother, not to reduce the roll of the father by any means, but children need a mother in those early years.

Back to the birthday boy. Today we are going to see "Blades of Glory" with Will Farrell and then to dinner with his aunts, uncles and cousins. Both sets of grandparents are in Florida right now, they always miss his birthday. :(

Thanks for bearing with me on this kid post. A proud mother cannot help but brag but I know it gets old. Good thing I have only two.