Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Time flies when you are having fun!

The days are going by so fast that I'm getting dizzy! I could swear to you, it was Sunday only two days ago, not a whole week ago, and now it's Sunday again.

I thought I would post yesterday but I was in an organizing mood instead. Now that I'm working I don't have the leisure time I used to have. I used to be able to clean the house for a while, (OK, well, maybe just straighten, not actually clean) and then have plenty of time to play.

Now my life is rolling so quickly because it seems like all I have is a few minutes in between working, cooking, and laundry, before I have to go to bed again. And those extra few minutes -- which most people would probably use cleaning -- I prefer to surf the web, or lately read. Oh yeah, I also have time to go to scouts most weeks -- and I have been keeping up with a few tv shows. But HEY! I need to have SOME fun, don't I???

So what HASN't been happening around here is straightening or cleaning the house, and the "stuff" has been getting pretty deep. So yesterday I started cleaning, and so I didn't post.

Now, after you've been reading this whole thing, you're probably thinking to yourself -- who cares?

I know. It's really boring. I barely care myself. But I was about to drown in "stuff", so it's a good thing. Even if it is boring.

It would be more interesting if I could post a before and after picture, but I would be embarassed to have you see how bad it was. And for those of you who have been here before, you've gotta know that if it would embarass ME, it's BADDD!!!!

Anyway, I'll try to post something more interesting later. But right now, I feel like throwing more stuff away. And I've gotta act on that while I still feel the urge!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I like the moon


I don't know why. In the last few years, I've felt more of a relation to the moon.

My grandmother was Mohawk Iroquois.

My Grandmother decided... for some reason, now gone to the grave with her... that my indian name was going to be "Full Moon." I always disliked this as an indian name. It seemed too random. My Indian name was supposed to be meaningful, and Full Moon seemed to be not too meaningful. It seems like something picked at a moment's notice when my mother (being not an indian, but interested in her baby's heritage,) would have asked for an Indian name.

I never asked my Grandmother WHY my name was "full moon."

Anyway -- I'm more into the full moon lately, and I appreciate my name more now than I did when I was a child.
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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Cooking Demonstration


Cousin Joan, my Godmother, demonstrated cooking techniques from the old days.
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Uncle Glen


Uncle Glen had his artifacts at the museum to demonstrate Mohawk (and a little Mic Mac) culture.
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Winter Moon

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October Beach Weather


It was a beautiful day yesterday, so we headed down to Point Pleasant. The surf was really pounding! It was nice and warm, although no one went swimming -- it wasn't THAT warm. I'm looking forward to fall, but a little more summer doesn't really hurt...
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Saturday, October 20, 2007

I guess I'm used to it.

I must be used to waking up at 5:30 now, even though it never FEELS like I'm used to it. Because this morning, even though I had three really large glasses of wine last night and felt groggy as anything, and even though I hadn't gotten to bed until sometime after 1:00 AM, and even though it was still dark, and even though my alarm clock wasn't on, I still sat bolt up right in bed at 5:30. Thinking I had to get up and go downstairs.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Still in the middle of a funk.

I'm still in the middle of a funky mood, but that's not to say that I'm actually depressed. Just funky.

I've decided that even though I THOUGHT the ages of the 50's would be the hardest, I was wrong. I'm entitled to be wrong, aren't I? Anyway, it seems that the 40's are a lot harder than I expected. Being 43 sucks. I thought middle age would be fine, but being 50, would be "old," which would be hard.

Being 40 turns out to be much more difficult because it isn't young anymore. But really, I don't feel old yet. But I am. I am old enough to be the parent of someone who is actually already an adult. I remember being 17, like Frankie is now. I was an adult. At least, I thought I was. Frankie is already an adult. Maybe not 100 % sensible, but certainly an adult.

I didn't count on being old before I actually FELT old. But I am and I do.

So here' s hoping that at age 50 I'll already be past all this bull shit, old enough to know better, young enough not to care... for real.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Wednesday Hump Day

As everyone knows, Wednesday is the hump day of the week. And that makes Wednesday Morning the absolute worst part of the week because it's an up hill climb over the hump.

So now it's Wednesday at noon. Is that the peak of the week, because it's all down hill from here? Doesn't feel like it. Still feels like a hump to me.

Who was the guy eternally condemned to push a boulder up hill, only to have it roll back down when he reached the top -- was that Sisyphus or something? I'll have to google that later.

Happy hump day.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Into the Wild -- the book...

I just finished reading "Into the Wild", a non-fictional story. I read the book because I saw the movie, and I saw the movie because Eddie Vedder did the sound track. It all comes back to Pearl Jam, right? Actually, though, I am really glad I read the book, and it has nothing to do with Pearl Jam.

The sound track is great. I've had it on heavy rotation for a few weeks already. It's not so much "hard" rock as other Pearl Jam stuff is. It's rather haunting and melodic or something.

The movie was great too. It had some beautiful, amazing cinematography, gorgeous scenery. It isn't getting any screen time near my house, or I would go see it again. It isn't the kind of thing that most people want to go see for light entertainment. Not a lot of dialog, not the "shoot 'em up" kind of action, although I would say there was a lot of action... Not the happily ever after kind of ending that you would like, because it was TRUE. What you got was a true to life ending.

I couldn't imagine what the book was going to be like, because the movie was so visual. There was a very strong underlining meaning, but I really didn't understand how what I saw (and heard) was going to be worded in a book.

In spite of the fact that I heard the sound track and THEN saw the movie, and THEN read the book, the book really did come first. I wish I had read the book first. There was a lot of philosophy in the book that came across in the movie, but in a simplified way. I got so much more out of the book. I can't wait to see the movie again!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Using blurry photos


Whenever I get a photo that I really like, except for the fact that it is really blurry, I like to play with it in Picasa so I can make it look funky. Why trash a perfectly good photo, when I can make it look like I meant for that to happen?

I like this one better now than I did when I took it. Sometimes I'm into a slightly psychedelic look.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Where is AUTUMN?

Yup, I'm still stressing, in case anyone is wondering. (see previous post.)

Anyways... I wanted to write SOMETHING, so usually when you don't know what ELSE to talk about, the weather is a safe topic.

It's October 11th and it's still kinda hot out. What's with the weather? I'm ready for fall already!

The trees around here are still mostly green. All of my plants -- even the weeds -- look chewed up by bugs. I'd like a few crisp fall days now, thank you very much! Then I can start to get into a halloween frame of mind.

I should pull out the halloween decorations. But it still feels like September.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Everything on the Internet is an OPEN BOOK.

I sometimes have these vaguely paranoid feelings. Everyone dislikes me, they are laughing at me behind my back, they are talking about me. These feelings are very hormonal, I think. (And about half the time, I think they are accurate. Everyone really is laughing at me. The other half, I figure no one is really interested enough in my problems and what I am doing, because they are too worried about themselves. Both halves are probably correct.)

Sometimes, I am worried about things going on in my life that I don't know how to control. The things I am worried about go around and around in my mind, and I can't think about much else. I tend to be a very boring conversationalist when this is happening.

Sometimes, because of the stress and the paranoid feelings creeping over me, I want to write a ton of stuff here about what I'm worried about -- or what I did -- or didn't do -- to get some feedback from someone who will tell me I'm NOT an idiot, or I'm right to be stressed out, or whatever. And I really enjoy writing on the blog, and I would love to unload a whole lot of stress here on the web. Have I got STORIES for YOU!

BUT... BUT... BUT... I have to keep remembering that here on the internet everything is public record. And I really don't want to write anything that will be inappropriate and linked to my name for ever. Or anything that will let all of YOU people know why I am an idiot, so you can laugh at me too. Or bore you to tears with MY problems, when I know everyone has their own problems.

And I don't want to complain or stress about my kids, because then THEY might read it and stress themselves.

So some days, I have a lot to say, but I can't really post it. But since it's all I can think about, I can't really post anything else, either.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

I thought I needed a photo here.


So even though it's not a full moon tonight, I'm posting this one.
I need to take more photos tomorrow,I think. If the camera battery isn't dead.
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Saturday, October 06, 2007


I must admit, I am a lurker.
Lurking is what you are doing when you are reading people's websites but not commenting. Not letting them know you are there.
I love to surf the web, from one site to another. Blogs, web sites, shopping, music, my space, you tube. I'm all over the place.

Usually, I would like to comment. But when I start to write something, for some reason everything I start to write sounds wrong. Often I just give up on commenting when I lurk. Especially when there are already a hundred other comments there.

I surfed in to this web site:
DUTCHCORNER: Treasure to share#links#links#links
which is a site full of beautiful thoughts ...
and found this poem by Khalil Gibran, which is very appropriate for my children, who are getting old...

By Kahlil Gibran

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, "Speak to us of children."
And he said: Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable

It is a beautiful poem. I didn't find it, Marje from Dutch Corner did. I had heard that one line before, "You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth..." But I had never read the complete poem.

Anyway, I did comment this time... but I'm not good at that. So if you find me lurking at your site, please realize it's usually not because I don't like your stuff -- I don't comment because I really don't know what to say.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Crohn's Research Info

The article that follows is information about the new information they are getting about how and why Crohn's works. Since we did the walk-a-thon, I believe we've helped pay for some of these advances -- and I thought I would let you all know! Here is YOUR money at work!

Crohn's Research Info

Research - The Latest News
Third Quarter, 2007

Dear friends,

In recent months, we've gained additional important insights into the specifics of how Crohn's disease develops. Having identified many of the genes, immune factors, and bacteria that combine to cause the disease, we're now beginning to understand how these "disease partners" actually work.

Let's look at this emerging picture from several viewpoints:

Bacteria: Normally, the colon and the lower portion of the small intestine are "colonized" by a complex variety of bacteria, viruses, and fungi—collectively called the microbiota. Most of these are harmless, but occasionally, a bacterium can undergo a change and become virulent. Researchers are beginning to understand precisely how a common bug like E. coli can turn aggressive, and how it manages to attach itself to and invade the cells lining the small intestine where it can trigger Crohn's disease in genetically susceptible people.

Immune Dysfunction: Once virulent bacteria invade the intestinal cells, the immune system typically kicks in and mounts an attack to clear them. That's what happens if you're healthy. But if you're genetically predisposed to Crohn's disease, your immune system may get its signals crossed and overreact, leading to uncontrolled inflammation, or conversely, fail to kill the invader, leading to persistent infection.
As we've recently come to understand it, the immune dysfunction seen in Crohn's disease may manifest itself as:

1. a decrease in a person's ability to kill bacteria;
2. an overactive T cell response to bacteria and bacterial antigens;
3. an inability to tolerate the presence of commonly tolerated bacteria; or
3. changes in the intestinal cells that make it easier for bacteria to attach to them.

Genetics: Interestingly, the most recent gene to be implicated in Crohn's disease is ATG16L1, which codes for a protein involved in a process known as autophagy. The word "autophagy" literally means "eating oneself." In biology, it can be understood as the digestion within a cell of materials produced by that cell or from a bacterium engulfed by the cell. In people who have an abnormal variant of ATG16L1, the immune cells responsible for killing bacteria may not be up to the job, and bacteria may resist being destroyed.
The discovery of ATG16L1 fits almost uncannily with recent insights into what goes awry in at least some types of Crohn's disease. A defect in ATG16L1 may lead to problems with autophagy, while a defect in NOD2—the first Crohn's susceptibility gene to be discovered, in 2001—may impair the ability to kill bacteria through another route: by causing a deficit in the secretion of defensins, proteins that specialize in bacterial killing. These two genetic defects correlate with two different routes into the development of Crohn's disease, and with the new molecular insights described above.

It is hoped that a more detailed picture of the biology of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis will shape the search for improved therapies. The more we understand about the many factors that lead to the uncontrolled inflammation seen in these diseases, the more we can target "upstream," pre-inflammatory processes for treatment and nip inflammation in the bud.

Clinical News: One highly promising treatment for Crohn's disease, called natalizumab, has received preliminary endorsement by the FDA's advisory panel and is awaiting final approval. Natalizumab is an antibody against alpha-4 integrin, a protein involved with the recruitment of immune cells to the site of inflammation. Natalizumab blocks that recruitment process, thus short-circuiting the inflammatory response.
If approved, the new drug could be a welcome alternative for people who have not responded well to anti-TNF agents. Currently approved for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS), natalizumab was briefly taken off the market because three people developed progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a rare brain infection, while taking the drug. For this reason, natalizumab is being used in a very select group of patients with MS who are being monitored very closely for side effects. It will be used similarly in people with Crohn's disease if it receives final FDA approval.

The drug's safety issues have drawn attention to a far broader problem: the anti-inflammatory therapeutic strategy itself. By damping down inflammation, a key function of the immune system, the medications used to treat inflammatory diseases may put patients at risk for infection. The risk may be small, but we should and can do better.

All in all, the news is encouraging. We've already got the big picture, and now we're homing in on the details. And the details are what we need to more fully understand if we're going to find our way to better treatments and, perhaps sooner rather than later, a cure. Please continue to support our efforts to the greatest extent you can. The quality of life of millions of people depends on it.

R. Balfour Sartor, M.D.
Chief Medical Advisor
Crohn's & Colitis Foundation

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Happy 17th Birthday, Frankie!

Frankie is 17 years old today.

Actually, this photo was taken yesterday. I decided to have his cake yesterday, the day before his birthday, because today he was taking his drivers test. I assumed that if he PASSED his test, he might not want to be home. And if he FAILED his test, he wouldn't want to talk to anyone.

Well, he passed.


On the plus side, he did stay home. His friends are all busy anyway, it is a Tuesday night after all.

By the way -- the wine in the glass in front of him isn't his. I'm not letting him drink. It's mine. I'll be needing more wine now, I think.

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Monday, October 01, 2007