Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Oooh-- Shiny!

Pretty wallpaper in Tim & Carlina's new house. Gorgeous place!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sandy does it!

After an already full day, Tony puts Sandy through her pt paces. This picture is by request, to prove that she's doing what she's supposed to be doing.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Winking Lizard World Tour of Beers

Rick wants to know if I am actuallly getting him that 'Iron Gym' we saw on TV. I looked his array of beers-yet-to-be-tasted, and said, 'Try lifting THOSE!!!!'

Thirsty Boy!

Given the duration of the pose, we suspect this guy was not *actually* drinking from that pitcher. Totally ludicrous. Such a pity he needs to resort to such desperate measures for a moment of attention from his equally pathetic and needy friends.

Children should be allowed to hold their blankies as many years as needed in order to avoid these sad, sad displays.

Friday, December 26, 2008


This looks for all the world like a book for, about, or by Rick and me. So... WE don't have kids because we're too immature, or becuse we're afraid of the competition? *snerk*


This insect is a medium-sized specimen from the order Hemiptera, the order of the 'true bugs'. No other insects outside of this order can correctly be called 'bugs'. I think they're gorgeous. This one, especially.

This beauty is in the family room of my in-laws' house. NICE place to spend the winter.

I'm hoping I got enough detail so I can ID it later, when I'm at home with my field guides.

It's... It's...! THEM.

Innvasion of Hemiptera Gigantoid hits tiny Fairview, OH. Hillarity ensues.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Chritmas Wrapping!

In a medical family, you use EVERYTHING to wrap a gift. Especially if it will make the room howl with laughter and pay closer attention...


Beavis warms Mike's newly received garb! He was egged on by Kate, who was looking for a little canine justice in response for an earlier slight. Nice to see such a rousing endorsement for comfort!


Hilarious. Bob-oh-no-I-mean-Tony (*WINK*) wears these rubber gloves so well, washing up Christmas dinner dishes. Awesome.


Let Heaven and Nature sing!

How 'bout it: our Christmas cactus is actually blooming on Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Daddy reads for the Christmas Cantata at Christmas Eve service tonight. Nicely done!

Beautiful service, too.

It is nice to go to worship with our new bonus family. We filled 3 whole rows! How joyful.


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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Last view of Fairview Hospital for now!

A tiny quilt in the hall near the elevators.

Sandy is going home! RIGHT NOW. She's just been discharged. Tony, Leonor, and I got trained to be her aides by the PT staff.

What a lovely miracle!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Did you like yesterday's post?

CLICK for the classic tale of holiday angst from the Griswold's insane perspective. It's got it all: too many visiting relatives, too many Christmas lights, an overly expensive Christmas gift, a disastrous Christmas feast with gaseous results, and a miserly Christmas bonus. Much as it sounds like one, it's neither a documentary nor a memoir. And yes, it's delivered by the bunnies featured in yesterday's movie.

AND here's the seasonal memoir: "A Christmas Story", via hyper-bunny vision.

Don't shoot your eye out.


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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Another Funny Christmas Movie. It's Short.

Do you like classic Capra movies? The black & white adds an element of class. Clicky for "It's A Wonderful Life" as performed by bunnies with squeaky voices.

At the end of the (extremely abbreviated) movie, there's some bonus footage if you run your mouse over the bunny silhouettes.

Watch, and enjoy. You'll feel like the richest man/woman in the world.


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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Funny. Festive. Fa La La La La! I Keellll Youuuu!

Jeff Dunham.

Jeff Dunham Christmas Special 2008 FULL

Laugh till your bells fall off or your lights burn out. 'Tis the season.


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Dave and Rick (and Cleo... sorta) relive high school memories. Atari! So much fun listening from another room and recognizing 'old friends'!

A Pennyloafer Saved...

...may be a belly laugh earned. Here's a fun game:

Sock and Awe.

Just click on the above title of the game, and a new window will open. I'll give you three guesses to come up with the current event that inspired it!!

It's not just fun, it's habit-forming AND improves eye-hand coordination. So that's not awful, is it? Sounds all American Dreamy.


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Bert hopes Santa will still bring 'nip.

Morg practices plausible deniability.

Cleo inspects the the damage

Friday, December 19, 2008

Stick Figure in Peril!

Stick figures! Now with Bionics!

Mash-up of Marvellousness!! Warning: Tim Burton and Billy Idol. May cause extreme giddyness.

>wipes away tears of joy<

A thing of beauty should not be kept to one's self.

That's the only animated Disney movie I love. All the others (Pixar doesn't count as Disney in my justifiably narrow-minded book; and Lion King is nearly acceptable) can die in a warehouse fire. But Tim Burton is sacred. Billy Idol adds preciousness.

Play again, and enjoy over and over and over!!


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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Life. Sometimes, you have to laugh. Or suffer the consequences.

(please feel free to scroll down the column to find a link to Doug Savage's site for more Savage Chickens.)


In a very recent interview, I heard Carrie Fischer say that if her "life wasn't funny, it would just be true."

I've been mulling that over and appreciating her words.


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Nightmare Before Christmas, Part III: the Our Holiday Descent into Hell. AGAIN. Tour.

Glioma. (glee-O-ma) Noun. A cancer of the brain that begins in glial cells (cells that surround and support nerve cells).

Worse? More specifically, high grade glioma.

We are reminded once again (at high cost) how very precious life is.


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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Lizard World Tour: Last Call

How many more beers did Samuel Smith effing BREW??!??P

Ooh. Pretty label.

We are desperately trying to finish the Tour at the Lizard. Also, a good friend has (in light of a particular diagnosis) advised us to "drink heavily".

I always equated Samuel Smith with Sam Adams, and therefore avoided the Smith vesion. What a sad waste of time and beautiful beer.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

If, for some reason, you ever decide to throw shoes at me...

...I'd like to request Doc Martens.

They're my favorite brand, I need to replace my fave pair of combat boots (LOVE those patented "Bouncing Soles"!!), but the entire line is very expensive. So I've put it off for the past, oh, 8 years or so.

Specifics: VINTAGE 1490 10 EYE BOOT, size 8 (US women's, or 6 in UK sizes) is the combat boot. But I also like:

* Lottie, an 8-eye number similar to the 10-eye combat boot, but painted all over with very delicate little flowers;

* Milly, a lovely slightly dressier boot, yet still casual enough for me. Easily worn with skirts or jeans, this one suits me perfectly! Especially in the wine color;

* Chloe is a shoe rather than a boot. And she's quite a knock out. Be carefull when throwing this one. Though it's a patented Doc Marten sole, which only means great support on the INSIDE of the shoe. I wouldn't want to be on the recieving end of one of these hot pieces of leather and rubber;

* Drew is a sassy variation on the Mary Jane, a shoe I've always loved. I love her even more in blue...

* Olga is a classic flat. What else can I say? A girl's gotta have some staples. Especially when dealing with punk classics.

These are my requests. You know, just in case you ever feel like lobbing a loafer.


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Monday, December 15, 2008


Roseller and Rick!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

BazBiz Cleveland

This weekend was Bazaar Bizarre Cleveland, a craft fair for the quirky and artistically minded. We went, and it was ourfirst time. Verdict? AWESOME.

First, most of what we saw was top notch craftsmanship. The less high quality stuff would have been the highest quality at a church craft fair, so it wasn't bad at all!!

Another great thing about BazBiz was the sheer quantity of friends we saw. It was a startling number. Some I'd expected to see. Some were delightful surprizes. We also made some new friends. Quite a memorable day!

Oh-did I mention we actually got some Christmas shopping done?

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Uh Oh.

She must know she's on Teh Internets. She's got that "I iz Godz gift. Warz mah bow?" look in her eyes.


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Morgan jealously guards the tree skirt.

Or perhaps she is casing the joint for a midnight topple.

Either way, her presence at the base of our Christmas tree is unsettling.


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Bazaar Bizaare

My beautiful friend Xan shows off her mad skilz on the the stilts.

It was wicked crowded, and she was not only sure-footed amidst the crowd, she held a baby AND leant over to exchange kisses with me. She is so awesome!

Everyone needs a Xan in their life, if not the original!


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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Life-sized, no less.

Wow. Giant portait of all the living founders of the hospital. Including several we know and one to whom we are... Shall we say, very close geneologically. It's a really big photo.


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Friday, December 12, 2008

Glad tidings of great joy!

Sandy's brain surgery was a great success. We have seen her. She can move all of her extremities. She can communicate just fine. She makes Garcia-worthy jokes! We are deeply appreciate the very fine care she has been receiving. We are grateful for all of the support from friends and family. She is, too!

We are truly blessed.


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Bearer of good news!

Sandy's out of surgery and groggy. But all went well. We will wait some more to be sure to spend time with her. Whether she remembers it or not!

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Waiting. Room. View. (Sigh.)

So. Hospital waiting rooms. They are not outrageously cushy. This one has no windows. BUT! We are surrounded by family and friends. That alone makes this room instantly warm.

We are watching The Day the Earth Stood Still while we wait for the doc to bring us word about Sandy's surgery. She's done, just needing to be closed. Of course we are right on the edges of our seats!!


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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Outside the elevator

I'll come up for a wisecrack for this...

...How 'bout: "In case of Pentecost, take the stairs"?

Still have to edit the photo.


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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

At the Colectivo Holiday Party

My cookies were disappearing! :-)


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Colectivo Holiday Party!

Celebrating the season with fellow altruists.


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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Tonight's Agenda

We get to attempt normalcy in a holiday season of hecticness and chaos at the best of times, made more insane this year with a family medical complication, by being fans at the Cavs game tonight.

It might be nice to have something to force us to be in one place instead of tearing around at break-neck speed.

Then again, it might just as easily be completely maddening to just sit there, unproductively.


Go Cavs.

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Monday, December 08, 2008

The more I get to know this hospital...

...the more stuff jumps out at me.


I can imagine applying that to an incident involving too many cups of coffee...

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Be ever vigilant against subversive elements! Especially Knitters. (Cue dramatic orchestral sting.)


Go, you Subversive Stitcher, Go!!

Way to catch Homeland Security with their pants pooling about their ankles, Colbert Report!! There's nothing I love more than seeing tax dollars squandered on failing businesses, and NOW, apprehending passport-wielding, tax-paying, law-abiding American citizens.

Thanking the Universe for this one!!


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Sunday, December 07, 2008

More on Sandy's status.

The brain tumor is an encapsulated egg-shaped mass on the right lobe. The neurosurgeon is confident he can remove it with ease. These are all good bits of news.

It does not stop me resenting the hell out of this unwelcome bit of biology that threatens the Garcia holiday bliss.

Prayers. Good thoughts. Positive energy. Send whatever you've got.


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Ornament of Cheerfulness!

The lab at St. John West Shore made this fetching choir of caroling test tubes. So CUTE!


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More on this Christmas thing. Just watch.

Strong Bad just makes me laugh, but take his explanations with several grains of salt. He's not always very accurate.


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Saturday, December 06, 2008

Saturday is for lots of things.

In the autumn, it's for College Football. Today, it's the classic rivalry between Army and Navy. Brilliant! So I've got the game on with the volume down and Christmas music on, while I'm decorating the house for the season.

And I'm getting ready for marathon cookie-baking sessions over the next few days.

What could be more festive???


I've always got an answer for that!

Try this:


These are the folk who originally foisted the Mystery Science Theatre concept of full audience participation with the movie via smart-alecky remarks upon the world. I fondly remember getting my mom ever so gently hooked on this snarky method of watching bad movies.

She's on my mind right now. (She often is, but now especially, with the news about my mother-in-law.)

...and I really need some escapist humor today. This trailer made Rick and me howl with laughter. This is something Mom would have enjoyed, too.


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So, what's this Christmas thing all about, anyway?

Watch, and learn...

Got it? Good.


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Friday, December 05, 2008

Sandy learned she has a brain tumor 2day

So I made comfort food for her son's supper tonight. I hope it helps him.

Today's blogpost on The AntiCraft...

It was long, and I'm proud of it.

Read it HERE.

I just wanted to replicate it SOMEWHERE.


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AntiCraft Meeting: finally done. But I'm still laughing...

Best quote of the night was courtesy Anthony:

"ew. nose mango is the worst."



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Thursday, December 04, 2008

'Tis the Season...

...enjoy it while it lasts.

Ponder this: you think your Christmas is hectic, what kind of picnic do you think Joseph and Mary had for their first Christmas???

(Heard on today's broadcast of The World on NPR.)


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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

We FINALLY Got This Table.


Of COURSE it's not the real Honus Wagner card.

I don't know where that is (someone will enlighten me) (MAYBE. No one reads this blog but my dad and husband.), but it's so unimaginably valuable, that to glue it to the wall would be unthinkable.

Still, it's a nice spot to have a dinner or a few drinks; both, even. I like this table, but I don't ever ask for it. I figure that for each rare occasion we are seated there, provided it's a random gift rather than an engineered favor, it's a special baseball moment shared.


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Has THIS ever happened to you???

Subscribe to Savage Chickens HERE.

I'm fairly certain this happens to me daily.


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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Why the screaming FRACK did she pick PINK????

Originally published in The Atlantic

Soft v hard: YES.

Metal v cloth: YES.

Man-world v Woman-world: YES.

Manufactured v hand-crafted: YES.

Hand-powered v fossil-fueled: YES.

Low-tech v high-tech: YES.

Shiny v matte: YES.

I love studies in opposites. I love the tension, I love the conversation, I love all of the everything. It really excites me. But come on!!! Pink is not exclusively the realm of girlhood, and it certainly doesn't satisfactorily describe "housewife" or "woman", either.

But that's my only problem with it. I would totally ride this bike. Or at least sit on it and submit to being photographed.

Full article HERE.

The artist is Theresa Honeywell, and I like her stuff.

(A late discovery has determined that pink may have been chosen simply out of preference for the color. I just saw a recent photo of the artist which shows her with hot pink hair. I am satisfied!!)


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Monday, December 01, 2008

Coolest. Wreath. EVER.

It's a mix of 'ooh! shiny!' and 'oh! yarn!', which is its own sort of 'shiny' in and of itself, all joined in a lovely symbol of infinity. Bliss!!

'Less Is More'



Pink? REALLY??!? Ok, pink *and* cream. STILL...!

The Birds of Brighton Court

Aren't they lovely! Rick's Great Aunt Faith's rest home. Beautiful voices, too.

December's NaBlo Theme is "THANKS", and I'm Thankful for That.

Once again, it's the beginning of another new and hope-filled month, and that means there's a new theme around which to loosely base my blog posts for a month. I like this, because having a vague focus is a little nicer than having no focus at all. Sort of like the difference between a Hans Hoffmann painting (no focus, very abstract) and one by Claude Monet (blurry, but you can tell they're grainstacks covered by snow in the twillight).

(I get to admit now that I actually prefer the Hoffmann paintings... Contrarian, to the bone.)

Our theme this month is THANKS. And I feel very grateful for that! I tried to adhere to a theme of thankfulness this month, gearing up for the big holiday, but inevitably got distracted along the way. There was so much that happened, so many shiny things and events to catch my raven-like eye. I have no doubt that will happen again this month -- it happens every month -- but I will plunge right in with a good spirit!! I have so much to be thankful for.

In fact, this being the first day of the theme, I shall start with a retrospective of the weekend of Thanksgiving. That's the first thing for which I am thankful.

We had an exhaustive (in the lovliest of ways) schedule of visiting and celebrating. Thursday through Sunday we had at least one major meal with friends or family. I simply love this holiday. It means so much to me to be able to set aside special time to sit down and dine with loved ones, with no electronic device interference, and all attention placed on the meal and the company. Divine.

Thursday was spent with my dad and my new bonus family. Daddy, having gotten remarried in October, now has an extensive family here in Ohio, whereas prior to this it was just me. There were 18 people joyfully, snuggly, LOUDLY! gathered in Ginny's living and dining room! We had a lovely time. It was reasonably harmonius for a family gathering. It was the sort of gathering that we hope builds up over the course of the next several years. What fun!!

Friday was a "leftovers feast" at a friend's house. Except that most of the meal wasn't really leftovers, as he said!! Nevermind, it was completely delicious. Chris is a fantastic cook, and he loves to show off his prodigious talent. We love to heap praise on him and benefit from his skills. Once again, the company was spectacular. We are so rich; not in material wealth, but in those with whom we choose to associate.

Traditionally, most major holidays are celebrated with Rick's family on the Saturday closest to that holiday, as we travel to the farm in Holmes County. It's quite a hike from Cleveland! And one of our favorite places. So that's where we were on Saturday. Warm, wonderful, and wow, were we full!! I love Rick's family. In this context, it's Rick's family: I described my dad and my bonus family above, so the differentiation is solely to keep the sides straight. We are each others' family, and IN each others' families; therefore, each others' families are our own, too. I'm not just thankful for that, I jump up and down for joy over that!!

Finally, this morning we met another group of friends for brunch. It was all laughter and smiles and gentle teasing and good-naturedness and "ooh -- what'd you get? That looks WONderfuuuullllll!" over coffee and juice. Again, our wealth cannot be counted on calculators nor kept in a bank. They really are a great bunch of folk. We'll get to see them again a few times throughout the month, and then there's a party one is having on Boxing Day. Can't wait!!

We have so much to be thankful for, though this year the news and the radio and tv keep telling us instead to panic. They are right that Christmas will be a lean one, materially, and that's ok. We're concentrating on the things we already have, and working on the things we really need, like the means to keep a roof over our heads. We wish we could just open the floodgates and give and give and give, willy-nilly, but we also know that no one wants us to beggar ourselves in the course of being generous. There is a persistent fantasy we share. We see lottery winners, and we both sigh heavily and wish that had happened to us. After we eliminate our bills, we rattle off the ways we would spend the money charitably -- it's pretty well planned now. But this isn't the sort of thing that happens to folk like us...

Still. There are plenty of things and people and events that make me grateful and fill my days. They even distract me from the doom-and-gloom in the news. I'm thankful for that, too.


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