Monthly Archives: December 2009

Revisiting 2009 and wishes

About two hours ago I had a blog which more or less chronicled my life during 2009. I somehow managed to delete it before I could post it. I don’t feel like rewriting the whole thing so I’ll just hit the highlights.

I did much more traveling last year than I realized. I spent from a few days before Christmas until New Year’s up in  Chicago and then Peoria visiting with my friend and my cousin and her family.

The friend has been my friend off and on  since fourth grade. She celebrated in October her first year after surgery for stage 4 colon cancer. Her doctor told her at her one year visit that at the time of surgery she estimated that there may have been four months left to my friend’s life. The surgeon obviously underestimated her. She’s always been one to take on any challenge. If things continue to improve, we plan to go together to South Africa in 2011 on a safari. She has loved elephants all her life. It is her goal to be able to see them in the wild. I think we’ll make it.

My cousin had stage 3 breast cancer. She also is a fighter. She’s doing well. The radiation and chemo left her with some long-term health problems, but she’s determined to not let them get in her way of doing whatever she wishes. She has an amazing attitude. She’s happy to be alive.

I had a mere brush with cancer myself. I had a lumpectomy in January. It was so small that the biopsy took out all but 2 mm of the growth. I opted not to have chemo or radiation. I’ll find out next month if I made the right decision. My ob-gyn agreed with me. He felt it would have been unnecessary. I do hope we were right.

The last week in March a first cousin and a distant cousin came down for a road trip to the Hill Country. We had a great time together. I met up with the distant cousin in October of the previous year on an extended family trip to Germany. I had not seen her in close to fifty years.  We decided to explore the German areas of Texas as a follow-up excursion. I had hoped they would see a lot of bluebonnets on the trip down, but the drought really made the wildflowers skimpy this year.

In April right at the end of our trip, a first cousin who lived in AZ died. We only knew that she had ovarian cancer about three weeks. She went in for surgery in March, but the cancer had spread too much. It was really quite a shock. We had also seen her in October of the previous year and six months later she was gone.

I returned to Peoria in June for a cousins’ reunion. We have tried to get together every two years. We arranged to be there for the general relatives reunion the same time. Some parts of our extended family who married young and their children married young, etc. have already started the seventh generation of our family tracing back to my great-grandfather and his wife who arrived from Oldenburg, Germany before the Civil War. My son is only fifth generation. My branch was slow in growing. A couple of cousins have grandchildren old enough in a few years to be starting gen. 7. The oldest in that branch is already 21.

July rolled around and I met a man who told me about his blog. I was interested and took it up myself. I have about 100 more hits before I reach 20,000. That’s in  5 1/2 months of blogging. Some of my friends think the blogging has been good therapy for me. I’m finally sharing my opinions.

Of course the biggest trip of the year was to visit my son in Japan over Thanksgiving when he had a few days off work. We certainly saw a lot in that week of travel. I’ve already blogged about that entire trip starting December 1.

I finally got tired of backaches and headaches so I sought out a chiropractor in August. She had me go though a series of 20 appointments. As a result, my aches and pains for the most part have disappeared. I see her once a month now for maintenance. My car was totaled in an accident six years ago next month. When the guy hit me, my head snapped to the side. I didn’t realize what a limited range of motion I had developed. Now I can rotate my head fully. It was worth the investment.

For the past four years I have been involved with various volunteer projects through my church. This month I have decided to do volunteer work at the county hospital. I was thirteen when I did volunteer work at a hospital before. I really enjoyed it. I’m very much looking forward to doing it again.  That will certainly give me something new to blog about. I’m hoping to be assigned to labor and delivery and pediatrics. I have my interview hopefully soon in the beginning of January.

I have no plans, as usual, for tonight. It won’t be the first time by a long shot. I haven’t seen the ball fall for probably twenty years. Since I no longer drink in the amounts of my youth, I find most NYE parties to be very boring. With that kind of attitude, it’s better that I stay home anyway. All my neighbors will be in the same situation as I am as well. Our street will probably be dark by 9:00 p.m.

If you are having a party, I hope you don’t have to drive or you at least have a designated driver. I find it best to stay off the streets of FW during major holidays. We have more than our fair share of good ol’ boys and girls who think nothing of getting on the road in any condition.

Here’s a wish for you for 2010. If you have lost your job, I wish for you a new one. If you have lost much savings, I wish for you a rebound. If you wish to buy a new home or sell your present one, I wish for you success. I wish for you all the love you can handle, all the success you can achieve, and all the abundance in your life that you deserve. Happy New Year. Namaste. Attic Annie

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The Priests who are Pedophile Monsters Among Us Updated

UPDATE: I just discovered on the internet thanks to ABC news, the site It lists priests and accusations against them. There is a map of the United States on the site. When you click your state, a list of cases appears. I just discovered that there have been ten cases right in my own city over the past several years.

At what age do you tell your child about abusers and what to do about any lewd acts, gestures, or comments? These are people, along with others in authority, that we want our children to respect and not fear. At the same time, we want them to know it is OK to run, kick, scream, etc. if they are in danger. Who knows what to tell children and when?

The news clip was about priests from Ireland who are being shipped to the US to serve. People at a parish in Rhode Island called a news conference. They want full disclosure on any priest that is assigned to their parish. I think it is their right to do so.  AA

Recently I watched a documentary film which was recommended to me. Some friends and I had been talking about how shame, which originated in the story of Adam and Eve, was connected to exposure of sexual organs. Adam and Eve wandered blissfully around the Garden of Eden unconcerned about clothing. 

7Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.   10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” (Gen.3) No one really knew the answer to the original question. Why does exposure of body parts lead in most of us to shame and quick cover up? A question arose as to why the early church placed so many restrictions on behaviors sexual in nature among the parishioners. That led to discussing the child molestation committed by members of the clergy that was brought to light not many years ago. The conversation somehow evolved into the recommendation by someone to watch Deliver Us From Evil. I had not heard of this 2006 film. It is a documentary film about the sex abuse occurrences in the 1970s onward that were covered up within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. In particular it was about Father Oliver O’Grady who, once he confessed to the parents of one of his victims, was simply moved by the church to a different parish in California, and moved, and moved each time his transgressions against the children of his parish came to light. The parents were assured that he would be assigned to a monastery where he would spend the rest of his life. That of course didn’t happen. He was moved merely fifty miles away instead and again, and again. There is no word for the revulsion I felt towards that priest in the film. Since this was a documentary, it was the actual priest who had committed all the atrocities being interviewed for the film. Watch in this trailer how he reacts when he’s talking about seeing children in their underwear and his sexual arousal.  He actually gets a grin on his face. He is walking free in a park as he is being filmed with children passing around him. He was finally found guilty and sentenced to fourteen years in prison but was paroled after only serving seven of them. He was deported back to Ireland but his current whereabouts are unknown. This man is, according to the latest information I can find, still on the loose in some community. He is only sixty-three and possibly still fully capable of continuing his molestations. This is a man who raped a nine month old baby girl. The baby suffered vaginal scarring which will affect her the rest of her life. She of course will not remember what happened, but her body will remind her. I did not find specific references but I am guessing that since there was actual penetration, she possibly would have had to undergo numerous reconstructive surgeries. There is no word to describe this vile “man of the cloth”. I can’t imagine how cunning he must have been to be able to get this child away from her parents for enough time alone to something like that. The mere thought of any human being, let alone a priest, doing something like that to a baby is as sickening as anything I have ever heard of in my life. I know humans do bad things, but I think that is the worst that could possibly happen. I stumbled upon a website that lists some of the cases involving pedophile priests. The bar to the right of the screen is about 1/4″. As you scroll down, the list keeps growing and growing. O’Grady was one of hundreds. The documentary was about three of O’Grady’s victims and their families. At one point one of the female victims states how she was molested and then psychologically molested an additional time when she and her family confronted the church. One of O’Grady’s superiors stated:
“We knew you were being abused, but you were a girl. Had you been a boy, that would have been obscene.” (movie) They dismissed her complaint because she was a girl. How revolting is that? There are child molestation laws on the books. I was unable to discover when they were passed. Evidently many of them had to be established after this debacle. 

Molestation is the crime of sexual acts with children up to the age of 18, including touching of private parts, exposure of genitalia, taking of pornographic pictures, rape, and various sexual acts with the molester or with other children. Incest by a relative with a minor family member and any unwanted sexual acts with adults short of rape may also constirute molestation. 

State laws vary, but generally child molestation, like other capital offenses such as murder, carries a maximum sentence of life behind bars. Some state law requires all records involving cases of child molestation to be sealed. Other states have laws requiring child molesters to be registered as sex offenders. If these laws carry a maximum of life in prison, how could a man with over twenty five counts of molestation walk after seven years? Child molestation is a capital offense. I do not understand how O’Grady’s situation  could have been handled so lightly. 

What betrayal feels like 

 If you have never known what betrayal feels like and would like to know, study the above picture. When one experiences betrayal, it feels like a sword that drives itself through the midsection immediately under the breastbone. It is sharp, deep, and excruciating. There is no other psychological pain quite like it. 

The victims of O’Grady felt overwhelming betrayal by their church. These were devout parishioners who viewed the priest as a person who could do no wrong. They viewed him not as a mere mortal, but with an awe only slightly less than that reserved for God himself. The two women in the documentary who sought an audience at the Vatican were betrayed  numbers of times: by O’Grady, by his superiors, by those who dismissed their pleas because they were girls, and by those at the Vatican who instructed the guards to turn them away. 

Cases like these are a travesty of justice. They put into the spotlight the arrogance of the hierarchy of the church and show the disdain felt towards women by those who are supposed to be the spiritual fathers of the entire congregation. They completely disregard the fact that the victims are children or sometimes their mothers who are as a result scarred for their entire lives. My question is this: In this day and age why do the masses still allow them to maintain so much power? How much longer will the threat held out to them of eternal damnation in the fires of Hell cause them to be blind to what many of these men truly are…monsters?!? 

Namaste. Attic Annie 



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To self: Beware! Uninformed TV buyer on the loose!

Today is TV hunting day. When I first put my house on the market, I had an acquaintance from church come help me do some deep cleaning and rearranging.  I have had stuff in closets and cupboards forever. One of her strengths is organization. She came over and helped me clean out and rearrange. If it is a new organization of people you want, I’m aces at getting the ball rolling, but if it is organization of “stuff”, I rank near the bottom. I admit it. I can find anything in this house in a matter of seconds if the house is in chaos. After she finished with that help, I was completely lost.

The stager had put most of the “stuff” I had on the walls and my bell, owl, and angel collections into closets. The second day that the house was sold, we tackled one of the bedroom closets and pulled out tons of stuff. The bedroom was full of “stuff”. Then I got the phone call that the buyers had backed out. One-fourth of the “stuff” went into the garbage. The rest went back into the closet to be disposed of in a garage sale.

Anyway, somehow at the beginning of this little adventure, after church,  the topic of conversation got around to my TV. She said she’d like to barter for it if I was going to sell it. When I first bought it, it was quite expensive but I was still working then and my son was no longer a major drain on my finances. I treated myself. I love movies. I wanted a big screen. It was a 40″ model that definitely is not flat screen. It sticks out from the wall about 2 1/2 ft. My family room is large enough so that is not a problem. It could be in a new downsized home.  I honestly can’t remember exactly when I bought it, but it  has several years on it.

As long as the house was on sale, she made a deal with me. She would come whenever she could to help keep the house clean in exchange for the TV.  Since flat screens are all that are sold now, I felt I could buy a new one that would take up less space. I agreed to the bartar arrangement.

Well, my house didn’t sell. When she was over here Monday we got into a conversation about the TV. For some reason, she thought it was only about three years old. I think I had told her repeatedly that I wasn’t sure when I bought it. Anyway, she stopped at a pawn shop and talked to the owners. She realized she had agreed to a price that was too high for the secondary market. Even though she had two more days of cleaning left, she decided that was too much.

She had me. If I had to pay her for her time ($20.00/hr) and keep the TV, I’d still have to buy a new TV sometime in the future anyway. I agreed to let her have it for the time she had already worked.

She was going to come over yesterday but Fort Worth had another day of snow yesterday afternoon. By the time it ended, there was only a light film on the ground that started sticking after the ground cooled off enough. Most of the first snow just melted. Nobody wants to move a big TV in that kind of weather. Since the temperature is going to be in the 50s today, I’m sure she will be coming shortly.

I have been watching sales for some time now. Since she has only been coming over on average once a month, I thought I’d have more time. There are so many different makes and models. Every TV manufacturer seems to have about six to ten models. That’s a lot of TVs to choose from if you don’t know what you are buying. I do know I don’t want a plasma. I understand they use the most electricity. A friend told me she and her husband bought a humongous rear screen projector TV. She said that replacement bulbs for the bulbs that burn out are about $100.00 a piece. I didn’t want a TV as big as the one she had nor did I want to keep buying bulbs. I thought I’d get an LCD but I’ve heard about LEDs also. I’d love to have it mounted on the wall, but if I decide to put the house back up for sale, that’s several big holes I’d have to fill in the wall. I’m not good at choosing when I have multiple choices available and have no knowledge of what I am choosing. I get befuddled easily.

My old TV was an HDTV which was a new thing when I got it. No one said that cable or Dish service providing HDTV would cost more than regular service. It did me no good to buy an HDTV. Now they are all HDTVs. I still don’t want to increase my monthly Dish service bill.

My son went with me when I bought the one I have now. I don’t know where he got the information, but he seemed to know an aweful lot of the questions to ask before we decided on a particular model. That is no longer the case. He is somewhere else in the world. I’m striking out on my own. I thought I would buy one on-line but when it came to the credit application, it would not appear full screen. I had to keep moving the bar back and forth to read the darn thing. That didn’t make me too happy so I just closed out all the windows. I’ll be getting dressed very soon and hitting the store as soon as it opens.

Everything’s a trade-off. I was looking for sites that had free shipping and no state tax. Some of them offered “to the curb” delivery. Helloooo! There’d I’d be trying to lug it into the house and setting it up by myself. If it was just plugging it in, I might have managed, but I have no idea where and how to transfer the cable, DVD player and Netflix to the back of any TV. I’m stuck. Life in this electronic age is too complicated. I know a humorist songwriter by the name of Greg Tamblyn who has just released a new album entitled “Analog Brain in a Digital World”. I can completely identify with that problem. Namaste. Attic Annie

As of 1:3o p.m. the deed was done. After I recover from the sticker shock of everything that had to be added on, I may bet excited about having it delivered on Saturday, January 2. Thank God I have three years, no interest, to pay it off. I’ll blog on all the “extras” some other time.

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Shinkansen vs Amtrak…no comparison

Good morning. There’s only three more days before we can kiss 2009 good-bye for good. For me, for the most part it has been an ordinary year, except for my trip to Japan and trying to sell my house. I can’t really think of too many  other events that truly stand out in my life this past year.

There was one thing about Japan that I will have to say truly impressed me. That was during my train rides on the Shinkansen, or Japanese bullet train. I had the privilege to ride on the Shinkansen a couple of times during my trip. It was more expensive than the slower trains, but when you only have six days of travel time those extra hours meant we could see more.

The first thing I noticed, after seeing the post-space age design of the engine that reminded me of something out of Star Wars,  was how clean and shiny the train was. There was no way to tell how old the train actually was. It still looked brand new.

The next thing I noticed inside was how much space there was between seats. The coaches were definitely built for comfort of the riders over the profit of the company. By doing that, I’m sure that their profits are even higher than trying to cram everyone into a sardine can.

The next thing that caught my attention once we were on our way was how quiet and smooth the ride actually was. We were going more than 200 mph but there was no trouble walking up and down the aisle. The only time I found I had to really hold on was when I was squatting in the lavatory using an Eastern style women’s toilet. That was a memory I won’t soon forget.

I have traveled on Amtrak enough times to know how rough a ride it really is. The last time I rode up to Illinois, I  treated myself to a roomette. I awoke after fits and starts of sleep with a bad backache from trying to brace myself during the night in order to keep from what I perceived as an eminent danger of falling out due to the swaying of the cars. On the shinkansen, I don’t remember being aware of any swaying whatsoever. There was the absence also of the clackety-clack  of the train on the track or the sound of whistles at train crossings. In all, even though we spent several hours on the train, it was almost as comfortable as sitting in an upholstered chair in a family room.

The average speed of the current shinkansen reaches over 200 mph. By 2025 a new train will be on-line that will travel 227 mph.

If we were to get with modern travel here in the United States, instead of driving  from Fort Worth to San Antonio in five hours or more, depending on traffic, we could be there, probably in the center of the city in a little more than 1 1/2 hours (266 miles.)

I may be entirely wrong about my attitude, but I can’t find any evidence to the contrary. I believe the United States is still being held hostage by the powerful oil industries. I would love to be proven wrong. Early in the twentieth century, most large cities had much better transportation systems then they do now, ninety years later. In most places we are still enslaved to our automobiles.

It is no secret that Firestone, General Motors, and Standard Oil, among a few others, banded together to rid the nation of streetcars in favor of buses. When cars became less expensive and more average people could afford them, even the buses in many cities became obsolete. Yes, there is mass transit in Chicago, New York City, and Washington, DC, but the rest of the country is woefully lacking.

Every time someone presents the idea of mass transit, someone in the crowd starts shouting, “No new taxes!” and the idea usually gets voted down. Many powerful lobbyists are behind those shouts.

Granted we would not have bullet trains for use within cities, but modern local trains would go a long way to provide more access to transportation. The city of Arlington which sits between Dallas and Fort Worth just got a limited bus service to the Fort Worth intermodal train station last year. They still have no local service. If you look in the yellow pages for public transit in Arlington, you will find limosine services listed. Those that lose their jobs and their cars in that city are in dire straits.

 Most of the bus transportation in Fort Worth is now limited to the areas of the city which mostly serves the low-income population. There are some exceptions, but the bus service does not serve very many local neighborhoods. Dallas began a more modern rail service in 1988. It now has 45 miles of track and is planning on doubling that. They are the largest city rail service in Texas.

With the second decade of the 2000s , US cities have got to start thinking about more mass transit, especially if gas prices should start rising again as they did a few years ago. Right now Fort Worth and the metroplex’s answer to traffic problems is building more toll roads and even turning HOV current lanes into toll lanes. It’s time, I think, to get real.

I heard from a long time friend over the holidays that her cousin is now working with the Japanese in Illinois to establish modern passenger train service to select cities in that state. I applaud their effort. It’s a beginning but it’s about time other large cities started catching up with most of the major large cities in the world.
It is time to stop using freight train lines which slows transportation by Amtrak, the only game in the US, to  complete lengthy stops during the route. It is time to take air pollution seriously. It is time to break the chains that bind us to the antiquated oil companies. What do you think? Do you agree? Namaste Attic Annie


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Now you can protect yourself from shingles

Good morning. I have a suggestion for you while you are in this lull between the two major holidays.

I can remember many years ago hearing that an aunt had gotten shingles. I giggled the first time I heard it. I only knew of shingles as something that was put on a roof. I stopped giggling when I heard how much pain the shingles were causing her for the length of time she had them. I never saw them, but from what I understand she had a rather severe case.

As I’ve grown older, I, of course, have learned more about it. I have never known anyone else personally who has been afflicted with shingles until a childhood  friend who has struggled with colon cancer told me she had gotten a case. The way she described it, I finally was convinced enough to move my bottom into action. She has been on chemotherapy for fifteen months which of course has weakened her immune system. As far as I know, my immune system is intact, but I didn’t want to take any chances.

If you’ve ever had chicken pox, you are at risk of developing shingles some time in your life. I can still remember being sick with that. That’s one of my first memories of being ill with something other than asthma. Somebody tied mittens on my hands to keep me from scratching I had them so bad.

From what I understand, shingles doesn’t make you itch so much as cause you to be in intense pain. The medical name for this illness is Herpes Zoster. If you’ve ever had the pain of a fever blister on your lip, multiply the intensity of that pain to sometimes a rather large area of your body. Once you’ve had chicken pox, the virus never leaves your body. As you age, your immune system tends to weaken. Then it can strike again.

Usually it only affects one side of your body. It can last two to four weeks. That was something else I didn’t know. I thought maybe you would be uncomfortable for two or three days and the discomfort would subside.

My doctor had recommended me getting the shingles vaccine, Zostavax,  probably eighteen months ago or more. I just heard him but was really in no hurry to do anything about it. Then my friend told me about her shingles. A few months after that, I saw a morning show host on a channel and a program I don’t think I’ve ever watched. I was just surfing and landed on that particular show. She was talking about just coming back from a case of the shingles. Hers had affected the whole side of her face and eye. Her eye was still slightly swollen. It had been swollen shut. It wasn’t entirely hidden by a make up job. She also talked about the severe pain. I decided it was time to act. She happened to still be in her 40s because she and another medical guest were discussing her relatively young age to get shingles.

I was planning on getting all my vaccines at once but my doctor recommended I spread them out. I got the H1Ni one week and the shingles vaccine the next.

While I was waiting for the nurse, I was handed a flyer on the shingles vaccine entitled “what you need to know”. I had not idea that the herpes virus  could also cause fever, headache, chills and upset stomach. What really caught my attention was that a shingles infection can lead to pneumonia, breathing problems, blindness, brain inflammation (encephalits) or even death. About 20% of patients with shingles can continue having severe pain long after the rash clears up. If you know anyone with neuralgia, this it it. It’s called post-herpetic neuralgia.  If you are over 60, your chances of developing the neuralgia rise to 40%. At least one million people a year in the US get shingles. That was enough information to convince me I was doing the right thing.

I was given the vaccine in the back of my arm. It’s a subcutaneour injection. I felt very little discomfort during the injection. My arm started hurting a couple of days later. By standing to the side, I could see the injection site in the mirror. The area was slightly swollen to maybe the area of a playing card. In the center of that was a very red rash about 1/2 in. wide and 1 1/2 inches long. It hurt but was not excruciating. I realized that if my body had reacted to the small amount of vaccine like that, I knew I didn’t want shingles anywhere on my body. The literature says that only 1 out of 3 people will have any kind of reaction.

The shingles vaccine has only been around for three years. If you are not up on lastest medical treatments you might not even be aware of it.

Unfortunately, current data suggests that the vaccine only reduces the risk in 50% of the people receiving it, but it can reduce the pain in people who still get the shingles after having been vaccinated. The vaccine is especially  recommended for those over the age of 60.

There are some people who shouldn’t get the vaccine. If you are allergic to gelatin and have ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to it, the antibiotic neomycin, or any other component of the shingles vaccine you shouldn’t get it. However, the flyer I got didn’t say what the other components of the vaccine were. To my knowledge I’ve never had a physical reaction to any medication so that didn’t concern me. Perhaps, however, I should have asked anyway.

Those who have AIDS or any other disease that weakens the immune system or those who are on prolonged use of high-dose steroids should also not get the vaccine. Radiation like chemotherapy weakens the immune system as well.

They suggested that I wait in the waiting room for 15 minutes after the injection. If anyone is going to have a severe allergic reaction, it would occur within a few minutes to an hour after the shot.

This is a live vaccine. It is a choice that someone has to make. There are risks involved, but there are also benefits. It hasn’t been around long enough to determine its effect in the general population other than for those who participated in the field studies. You’ll have to make up your own minds. I have friends who are against any and all vaccines. Personally, I figure anything that can reduce or free me of potential pain is worth the risk.  I get a flu shot every year, I’ve had the pneumonia vaccine, the H1N1 and, because of having moderately raised levels of liver enzymes, my doctor recommended the Hepatitis A and B vaccines as well. I’ve had my first set of those. I go back in a month and then in six months. I’m not looking forward to the last two shots but at least that one didn’t hurt after the initial discomfort of the injection.

My doctor says that doctors are usually the last in line to receive any of the vaccine medications. He recommended I go to the county health clinic. The wait was not especially long. There were also two other women there to get the shingles vaccine. I guess you might have better luck with less of a crowd if you wait until flu season is over. Think about it. I did.

Namaste. Attic Annie


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The morning after…new romance and talk of diets

Well, I did it again. I didn’t prepare my blog yesterday and here it is one hour before I have to leave for church. I’ve been sleeping better at night lately. The doctor decreased a medication I was on. Maybe that is the answer to my frequent bouts of insomnia! Time will tell. He’ll test my blood levels in six weeks to see if the levels are within the normal range. I guess I should start taking notes in a sleep diary or something.

Two things were different for Christmas this year. The candlelight service was canceled and, when I went to my friend’s home, we didn’t have soup and sandwiches. She now has a male friend so she fixed the complete works of turkey breast and several vegetable dishes for him. Of course she didn’t eat the turkey, being vegetarian, but she did have all the others. It just didn’t seem the same.

After dinner we watched a movie called “The Eye”. It was certainly weird at first with its flashbacks but I was able to follow it enough until it finally started to make sense. It will be easier to copy the synopsis than to try to tell you myself.


Sydney Wells is blind and has been so since a childhood tragedy. After undergoing surgery to restore her sight she learns to see again. But soon after, unexplainable shadowy and frightening images start to haunt her. Not knowing if they are an aftermath of surgery, her mind adjusting to sight, her imagination, or something horrifyingly real, Sydney is soon convinced that her anonymous eye donor has somehow opened the door to a terrifying world only she can now see.

The whole thing revolves around the theory of cellular memory. She has received the corneas from another young girl. This time, however, she is also seeing a future disaster that the girl wished to prevent. The shadowy figures are apparitions that appear when someone dies.  There’s not much on the internet about this theory. I do think it would be an interesting topic to pursue. Transplants have not been successful for that many years so of course this topic would not have been studies very often yet. If I ever have to have a transplant, I hope it is from an extrovert, female, healthy eater…perhaps even a vegetarian.

I went to the party last night. It was a nice size group with eleven people. When we had the party at my house a couple of years ago there were closer to twenty. Several of them were dates and spouses of class members, however. We’ve had several people lately drop out of our class.

The “old timers” who were there said that when the group first started several years ago, there were sometimes fifty or more people who attended the class. I’m glad there are not as many people in attendance any more. I really do not like huge classes.

Two of the people in the class seem to have gravitated towards each other. At least it appeared that way last night. They sat very close to each other on the couch. He offered a drink to her, she brought him a couple of chocolate truffles. I didn’t see them arrive, but they left in the same car. I plan to ask a few discreet questions today to see if my hunch is right. If I am, score one for older cougars!

We had a white elephant gift exchange last night. I got a key locator…one of those things if you clap it will beep. That might come in handy when I forget which pocket (my clothes or multi-pocket purse) I have dropped the keys into. I’m getting a lot better at hanging the keys in the proper place when I get home but I’m still not so hot at putting them in the same place in my purse when I go out.

Right before I woke this morning I was having a dream about my purse being stolen and I was stranded in an unfamiliar place. Since my keys were in the purse, the thief also got my car. I don’t know how many times I’ve tried to remember my license tag but my brain is like Teflon. I just can’t seem to recall it. Yet, I can remember the five digit telephone number we had when I was in elementary school before the three number prefix and the three number area code!

In spite of all the carbs I ate last night, my blood sugar this morning was better than I had anticipated. I was afraid to test. Then if it was too high, I’d have to do something additional about it rather than just take my regular meds. It was high, but not enough that careful eating today won’t help bring it back under control.

I have 25 minutes before I have to leave for church. All is well except I’m still rather cotton headed from the quality of sleep I got last night…or maybe the sugar ride I took while I was asleep. It’s time to hurry and dress.

Take care everyone. I hope your holiday, whatever it may have been was safe and heartwarming. It’s time to start my day. Perhaps I’ll have more information about the couple to add when I get home.  Namaste. Attic Annie

PS: Yes, the couple has been dating for two and a half months. She’s almost ten years older than he is, but they feel they have much is common. She’s taken very good care of herself and has had a procedure here and there so is really starting to look much younger. I didn’t ask. A friend of mine did.

There’s a woman in our class that brought up the DASH diet last night at the party and again in class today. If anyone knows someone who has been successful with this diet, please do let me know. I don’t have high blood pressure but I certainly have other issues.

The minister decided we would have our candlelight service today. His talk this morning was planned to be an extension of a very short version on Christmas Eve so we got to hear a Christmas sermon after all…and, although the chapel wasn’t completely dark, it was dark enough for our candlelight to make a difference. Now, I guess if I would go to the store and buy tomato soup, cheese, and bread and make our traditional meal for myself, Christmas would once again be complete.

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Life’s Handbook 2010 edition

Did you ever wish that someone would provide you with a handbook so, whenever you were unsure of what to do, you could just turn to a particular page and there the answer would be staring you straight in the face?

There have been so many times in my life when I truly believe that would have been very beneficial. There are many situations I have found myself in that aren’t covered by this handbook, but I think it would be a good start.

I slept in this morning and then decided to stay in bed to watch one of my favorite shows, “The Closer”. I knew my blog wasn’t prepared,  so I was actively avoiding coming out to stare at a blank screen.

I was avoiding the inevitable. I had nothing in mind on which to blog. Before starting to write, I opened my email. There it was…kind of cheesy and full of information everybody already knows, but when the word fountain is dry, one must use whatever means possible.

An acquaintance  of mine said, “Once you start blogging, you have to make an effort every day to put something on your blog. Your readers will expect it of you.”  I’m not so sure of that right now because the number of hits that I’ve been receiving daily during the past week have fallen well below that which was happening before the Christmas period really began. None of the hits were on the blog that I wrote for the day.

But I made a point of also promising myself that I would try to journal every day. It’s supposed to become a habit, just like every other good habit we are supposed to have. With that in mind, I am passing forward the 2010 edition of Life’s Handbook.

LIFE’S HANDBOOK 2010 edition


1.      Drink plenty of water.

2.       Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.

3.       Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants..

4.       Live with the 3 E’s — Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy

5.       Make time to pray.

6.       Play more games

7.       Read more books than you did in 2009 .

8.       Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day

9.       Sleep for 7 hours.

10.    Take a 10-30 minute walk daily. And while you walk, smile..

Do you ever get dehydrated? I surely do. I’m at the age when I’m drying out anyway but I’d prefer not to make it so evident. I forget to drink water or other liquids during the day. When I look at my skin and see all the extra lines, I know it is time to head toward the glass. It’s seems so simple to sit 10 or more minutes in silence every day, but I don’t always do it. It’s on those days I really feel I should because my mind is on speed dial, but I need to do a lot more practicing to quiet my thoughts. That takes effort.


11.    Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

12.    Don’t have negative thoughts or things you cannot control…Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

13.    Don’t overdo. Keep your limits.

14.    Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

15.    Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip.

16.    Dream more while you are awake

17.    Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need..

18.    Forget issues of the past. Don’t remind your partner with His/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.

19.    Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don’t hate others.

20.    Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.

21.    No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

22.    Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.

23.    Smile and laugh more.

24.    You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree….

I may be lying to myself, but I think I have most of these covered. At least I’m really trying to head in that direction.


25.    Call your family often.

26.    Each day give something good to others.

27.    Forgive everyone for everything..

28.    Spend time w/ people over the age of 70 & under the age of  6.

29.    Try to make at least three people smile each day.

30.    What other people think of you is none of your business.

31.    Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

Since I live alone, if I so choose, I can go a week without going out of my house. I’m trying to change that, but, the introvert that I am, it doesn’t bother me. With Maxine and Dee in my life, it’s getting harder to stay alone. That’s ok. I appreciate someone checking on me once in a while.


32.    Do the right thing!

33.    Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.

34.    GOD heals everything.

35.    However good or bad a situation is, it will change..

36.    No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

37.    The best is yet to come..

38.    When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.

39.    Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

Last but not the least:

40.   Tell someone that you love him or her, show your love, or at least think your   love on a daily basis, whether that person shares your life now or did so in the past.  You never know when those actions will really be needed.

Have a safe week this week. Try to find the good that happened in 2009 for good memories. For some it may be very difficult but please still try. Enjoy your day. My thanks to the nameless person who concocted this list. Only the last one was mine. Namaste. Attic Annie


Filed under Casual conversation, diary, general topics, life, musings, spirituality, Uncategorized