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Movies not to watch while your child is deployed

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Messenger

'nuff said.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PATRISNA 7/22/2010 10:40AM

    I didn't watch that one either. Yesterday I was watching some of those videos on youtube (iraq electric avenue) of soldiers fooling around because they are bored. Some were funny and they made me smile but I kept thinking I hope these guys are all still okay.

Even watching them patroling I realized it was probably similar to when my son was over there. May God bless your son and keep him and his unit safe. Still praying for all the troops.

Comment edited on: 7/22/2010 10:41:40 AM

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WALKINGANNIE 7/21/2010 4:14PM

    emoticon emoticon

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PEGGYJEAN13 7/21/2010 8:58AM

    I'll watch out for that one!

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ANONALEE 7/21/2010 8:41AM


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MSLZZY 7/21/2010 7:37AM

    Guess I didn't miss much! emoticon

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PENNYAN45 7/21/2010 7:32AM

    I can't watch those shows even without having a loved one deployed.

emoticon to you and your son.

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ANDI571 7/20/2010 11:20PM

    Do you watch the show Army Wives? I love that show, and it really shows us what the families like you go through during this time. It makes me appreciate even more the sacrifices of our military and their families. emoticon

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Portions on the plate

Monday, July 19, 2010

All those things you hear about stocking your kitchen with smaller plates and training yourself to recognize portion sizes with your hand, fist, etc. are a good thing. Because, when you go out to eat, like all the news tells you... those portion sizes in restaurants? Bigger all the time. And those portion size rules of thumb work.

My daughter in law and I went out to dinner on Saturday, kind of in honor of my son's birthday, even though he couldn't be with us. We're following those orders he left us to check up on each other. emoticon

We chose a relatively healthy restaurant: Olive Garden. I figured I get the salad undressed and watch my portion size, I'll be fine. And I picked a nice, healthy options: capellini pomodoro (angel hair pasta in a tomato-basil sauce). I had a craving for pasta, it sounded perfect.

And it was... but when the plates arrived, I did my little "a cup is the size of your fist" comparison, I could easily see that there were about 3 cups of pasta on that plate! I immediately cut the plate in thirds, isolating what I would eat from what I would take home for later. Then I concentrated on conversing, and ate slowly, sipping water in between bites.

When I got home, I looked it up on line: and discovered that the entire portion, according to their own web site, would have been 800 calories, or nearly half of my usual daily maintenance level. As it was, I was able to be satisfied and even have a small dolcini (240 calorie splurge), and feel good about the experience.

I ate "enough", and got my take-home box for the rest. I had half of the leftovers last night... and enjoyed every bite. I fully intend to finish it tonight... another satisfying meal to look forward to. Guess you could consider it eating out like a turtle?


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REJ7777 7/23/2010 7:30AM

    emoticon Congratulations on your smart choice! Three meals for the price of one isn't too bad either! emoticon

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THIAGRAM 7/19/2010 9:03PM

  Fantastic! You are a great example! Thanks!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LJCANNON 7/19/2010 6:16PM

    emoticon emoticon
It sounds like you have a LOT to pat yourself on the back for. You did Great!

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WALKINGANNIE 7/19/2010 2:51PM

    Fantastic Sparking Barb!


You were kind to your health and your budget - and enjoyed yourself as well. That's a triple win!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PENNYAN45 7/19/2010 10:36AM

    You are so right about the portion sizes served in our restaurants these days. You got three times as much food as you wanted - or needed!

I think it is terrific that you and your daughter-in-law get together to celebrate your son's birthday while he is away!


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KASEYCOFF 7/19/2010 9:43AM

    I wish more places would let people order the 'children's plate.' I understand why they don't want to: an adult diner who eats a smaller portion - and pays commensurately less - will reflect a smaller 'bottom line' for the restaurant. But I would be willing to pay a little (LITTLE) more and not have the temptation of the 'extra,' or feel as tho I was wasting food. Your solution of taking it home and reheating and so on is a good one, but of course it's not always practical. Wonder how we could convince restaurants to rethink the 'super sizing'? :-)

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ANDI571 7/19/2010 9:42AM

    Good for you. Isn't it great to eat what you want, just in the portions we should have. Then we don't feel deprived. I used to do that with coconut cream pie. I would order it and eat about 3 bites, take it home and have to enjoy for several more days.

You did awesome. emoticon

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MAMOOAUG 7/19/2010 8:59AM

    That's awesome. What a great way to put what you have learned into action.

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MSLZZY 7/19/2010 8:02AM

    The portion sizes are amazing at some restaurants! Glad you did so well. Like getting two meals free and still being satisfied. Less time in the kitchen, too! LOL! emoticon

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Yard progress

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Rain overnight and still a little bit this morning, but that makes some weeds easier to pull.

Here is the fence row from a couple of weeks ago:

And here it is after this morning's tree-killing!

Believe it or not, even in Nebraska, the home of Arbor Day, trees in the wrong spot are indeed weeds. Also updated the background photo, showing a tiny bit of progress there (and of course, the more profusely blooming Asian lillies!

I feel accomplished!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THIAGRAM 7/19/2010 1:13AM

  Wow! You are doing great!

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KASEYCOFF 7/18/2010 5:51PM

    Hey, Barb, you are really making headway - the fenceline is looking good! emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 7/18/2010 5:17PM

    Great! Good job. -Marsha

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LJCANNON 7/18/2010 5:10PM

    emoticonYour hard work is paying off in a beautiful yard. The Bonus is that you burned a BUNCH of calories.

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DONNABRIGHT 7/18/2010 5:03PM


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PEGGYJEAN13 7/18/2010 4:26PM

    We had trees in the wrong place this morning too! The neighbors broke off and landed in our yard last night. We also lost our flagpole and that will need replaced asap. It looks great with less trees, but hard work for you.

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MSLZZY 7/18/2010 12:35PM

    Good job! It looks great! emoticon

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JUST_TRI_IT 7/18/2010 11:48AM

    YEAH! You have made huge progress on that fence!!!

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SHAPNUP 7/18/2010 11:29AM

    Nice job! I don't have a yard to care for, but I feel accomplished today, too, cuz I got my dad's will and powers of attorney finalized. Here's a emoticon for both of us!

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WALKINGANNIE 7/18/2010 11:29AM

    You definitely ARE accomplished! emoticon

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On the lighter side: Getting to Know You!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

OK, Kaseycoff, you're on! I haven't done one of these in a while, and here it is. Feel free to play along, oh, Spark Chums!

WHERE ARE YOU FROM? Born in Nebraska, USA. Lived many places during my career life, but in the end came "home" to Nebraska.

DO YOU HAVE ANY KIDS & IF SO HOW MANY? One child, a son.

WHAT IS YOUR OCCUPATION? The easiest answer is computer programmer/analyst. Like with any profession, there are specialties and specifics that I won't bore you with.

ARE YOU MARRIED & IF SO HOW LONG? Well, I was married for 21 years and 11 months exactly... now divorced, my son says that was a net win. Since he's the mental health professional in the family, I'll take his word for it.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOOD? How can one possibly choose? Right now I'm imagining fresh spinach! But ripe home-grown tomatoes? Heaven! Or how about last night's angel-hair pasta? Yum! What could beat a breakfast of veggie omelet? I think I'll stop now... or I'll have a binge on paper going here.

DO YOU HAVE ANY BROTHERS OR SISTERS? Three sisters and a brother.

WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE VACATION SPOT? I love the beach... and the last time I walked on one was over ten years ago.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE? Again, how can one possibly choose? Chariots of Fire, Apollo 13, Persuasion, Sense and Sensibility, vie with fluffier pieces like You've Got Mail and Gigi... that gives you a flavor!



Complete? Really? WHEN = December 2002; WHERE = in my home office; WHY I realized that remaining married to this man was destroying me, emotionally.

YOUR FRIEND JUST MOONED YOU. ARE YOU GROSSED OUT? When I get done rolling on the floor because they just did something SO out of character... probably not.

WHERE IS THE LAST PERSON YOU KISSED? That depends on what you mean by "kissed"... I'd have to say somewhere in the dessert in Iraq. If you mean romantically kissed, probably in his apartment in upstate NY.

DO YOU HAVE MONEY? I'm not wealthy, if that's what you mean. But I'm also not dirt-poor, or I wouldn't be typing on a computer at home.

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO? My son coming home safe.

ARE YOU EXPECTING A PHONE CALL? May I quote Monty Python? "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!" Ahem. No.

DO YOU HAVE A SONG STUCK IN YOUR HEAD? Other than the one Kasey hoisted on us in her blog? Seriously, it crowded out whatever was there, before.

LYRICS FROM THAT SONG? See Kasey's blog!

DO YOU LIKE TO CUDDLE? Sometimes. Don't often enough.

ARE YOU LISTENING TO MUSIC RIGHT NOW? Nope... unless you count dog snores as music (sometimes they are).


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUST_TRI_IT 7/18/2010 11:47AM

    LOL.. Kasey really did it to us this morning with "the" song! I only have the first few words though!!

So glad that you have enjoyed a REAL life after those 21 years and 11 months. Your son sounds smart!

Monty Python, huh? I am slowly beginning to understand that humor. I am such a late bloomer! He's my DH's favorite!

Fun to get to know you today :)

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ANONALEE 7/18/2010 9:12AM

    Thanks for sharing, Barb! emoticon

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MSLZZY 7/18/2010 6:55AM

    Very interesting! emoticon

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Side trips, wake up calls, paralysis, and all that jazz

Saturday, July 17, 2010

By the way, 26 years ago this morning, I became a mother. At the exact minute, I wrote on my son's FaceBook wall to wish him a happy birthday... yes, I'm into psychic symbolism!

On to the long personal whine about how I spent yesterday, i.e. the side trips, and all that jazz:

Some of you know that I grew up in a religion that "didn't believe in going to the doctor". It does things to your head, if the whole idea of going to doctors is an in-your-head debate anyway.

For some time I've been noticing in the night when I get up to respond to the dog's prompting, that my arm might feel "funny". I mentioned this to my doctor a while back and he asked me if it was always on the same side. I could not give him an honest answer... I'm that unaware. So, I started trying to pay more attention.

Last winter I had a weird thing happen with my middle finger becoming numb on the steering wheel on the drive home from work. When I removed my gloves, it was an icy white, compared to the other fingers. I bought thicker gloves and took care to flex my fingers when I'd stop at lights. That seemed to help that problem.

Anyway, I pondered over these things, but haven't been really doing anything about them. I have an annual physical coming up in August anyway, and started keeping a list so I can address them with the doctor then.

But YESTERDAY, on the way to work, I noticed my right foot start to tingle, and up my right leg. I remembered that my right arm had been doing the same thing when I got up to let the dog out at 2:30 a.m. The arm, well, like I said, I've been kind of ignoring it for a while... but I hadn't sat funny, and the leg added to the arm, and both on the same side. Of course, I walked around the block on the way into the office, expecting it to go away (like when your foot's asleep). Only it didn't. So, here I was at work, two hours later, debating with myself... should I do something about this or not?

Knowing the signs of a stroke, I went into the ladies room and grinned at the mirror. I wasn't lop-sided. I talked to people, and wasn't confused, and I could function, mentally. So I didn't think it could be that. Still, after a couple of hours, and with the encouragement of a work chum, I called the doctor's office and asked what I should do... and the answer came back... "get to an ER and have it checked out".

That is what I did with the rest of yesterday. In the end: they have no clue. They did an ultra sound of my carotid arteries. They did an ECG. They did a CAT scan. They did an MRI to confirm the CAT scan result wasn't anything to worry about. They ended up sending me home five or six hours later with a prescription for baby aspirin and no real results... just instructions to follow up with my regular doctor.

With my upbringing, I feel foolish. I'm still tingling. The next day. I have no clue what is really going on with my body. I kind of want to go back into that comfortable place of denial. The place that says, "You're imagining this!"

I am following the instructions to "take it easy", but there's a part of me that's afraid of how my compulsive side will interpret "taking it easy". How strange to observe oneself in this detached way!

Which brings me to another topic: recognizing what is normal for ME, and accepting that it doesn't have to be Super-Woman. But that will have to be a blog for another day. Here's to "taking it easy" in a rational, non-extreme way, and not freaking out.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUST_TRI_IT 7/18/2010 11:41AM

    Hmmmm. I have had the same thing and it turned out to be pernicious anemia. I don't visit the doctor often... and I usually feel pretty darn healthy so when that sensation began I was thrown off by it. It took a very persistent doctor to finally run the test for B12 deficiency to tell me that this is why I was feeling this numbness on my right side. Now I get B12 shots regularly and it has helped a lot! (I can tell when I do not get my shots as prescribed.)

This is such a complex thing: our bodies! But you are so smart to keep a list of symptoms! It could be so much and I bet your doctor will appreciate your list! They aren't mind readers nor can they actually feel what we feel so when we come in with nebulous information I would imagine it makes their job extremely difficult.

Best of luck on your search for the answer.

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WALKINGANNIE 7/18/2010 11:26AM

    Sorry that you had such a difficult day and that this was part of more general niggling concern. I'm certain that you were right to check this out and to follow it up. It's your body and you are the expert in knowing what's normal for you. Keep vigilant.

Congratulations on 26 years of proud motherhood.


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MSLZZY 7/17/2010 11:18PM

    Better to go check it out than to have something serious happen. Given time, you will get the answers you need. Taking it easy makes good sense. Have a great day tomorrow. emoticon

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ANONALEE 7/17/2010 5:05PM

    My husband and I used to be part of an emergency response team down in Florida during hurricane season and people down there usually felt pretty angry when they spent hours preparing for a hurricane that passed them by and did no damage -- there's something within us that wants to have our efforts rewarded, even strangely, with a diagnosis or some heavy wind at our door.

It has been a huge surprise to me as I've been aging that medical science is not that exact and that there is a mysterious algorithm comprised of timing, doctor, patient and who knows what that gets people to the right diagnosis.

If you can, follow up with your primary care physician regarding these symptoms -- they could be anything from a foot problem (known to cause all sorts of issues with legs and backs) to something systemic, to one of those mysterious things that happens without repeating itself.

I sympathize tremendously with the ER visit (as you know)!

emoticon emoticon

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PENNYAN45 7/17/2010 4:11PM

    It sounds like you had a terrible day yesterday - with all the worry and with all the tests!

At least it's good that now you know it was nothing acute - or else the tests would have shown something.

Keeping a journal of your ongoing symptoms should be helpful. If your symptoms persist, you will be able to put together a better picture to share with any doctor in the future. (And you might want the future appointment to be with a neurologist, a specialist.)

Sometimes I do research on the internet - and sometimes I don't. It all depends on how comfortable I feel looking at and considering all the possibilities.

I completely relate to the problem of "taking it easy" in a rational, non-extreme way.

It feels a little like telling someone to go and sit down and, by the way, don't think about a horse. RIGHT!

I hope you have a restful weekend!


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THIAGRAM 7/17/2010 1:58PM

  Ouch! Sure hope you are ok! MS certainly would not be good neither would a stroke. My mom had a slight stroke a couple years ago and was told she was ok with the MRI and CAT scan. It showed up a couple weeks later on the MRI or CAT scan. They said it doesn't always show up right at first. She has been very blessed and has recovered very well! Sure hope you figure it all out! This kind of thing is not any fun to deal with at all. Good thing you are in good shape as you are dealing with this. I like the way you say to take it easy in a rational, non-extreme way, and not freaking out. Bless you!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KASEYCOFF 7/17/2010 1:34PM

    1) The icy, pale finger sounds as tho it could be related to Reynaud's Syndrome.

2) If it's neurological and only on one side, could this be the precursor to shingles?

3) Knowledge IS power: start researching on the 'net to see what you can find. It's not alarmist, it's just common sense.

You a smart, perceptive lady, Barb. This is a serious enterprise, but not something to fret about. :-) p.s. Let me know what happens.

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VALI_T 7/17/2010 12:54PM

    I was going to suggest that you ask your doctor to look into the possibility of multiple sclerosis, but I see that someone has already done that.

I'm kind of on the opposite side of not liking to go to doctors. I went to doctors a lot as a kid, and I guess that was more or less okay. But as an adult I started finding that something was going on with my health and none of the doctors I went to seemed to give a darn about my symptoms. I'd go to a doctor and say "there's something wrong with me." The doctor would check me over and tell me "there's really nothing wrong with you." I got so darn sick of being treated like a hypochondriac that I just gave up on going to doctors except for my yearly pap smear.

That went on for quite a number of years. Then toward the end of 1995 my left thumb got numb. I tried to ignore it, but then my entire left hand got numb, followed bymy right hand and then both of my feet. I was driving a 120 mile round trip to work every day at that time and it was a pretty snowy winter that year. When I got to the point where I knew that I had to do something about this (or risk getting into a terrible car wreck) I went to the ER at the hospital where I worked. They checked me out and gave me a referral to see a neurologist, who got me in shortly after the start of the new year.

Anyway to make a long story a bit shorter, that's when I got my MS diagnosis. Your symptoms just sound so much like mine that I hope you'll at least talk to your doctor about the possibility of having MS. The thing about the finger turning white is not a typical MS symptom but is definitely something that you need to have looked into. I hope that your doctor is able to give you some answers soon.

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ANDI571 7/17/2010 11:18AM

    Don't feel foolish about going to the Dr. Even one of the disciples was a doctor. You did the wise thing, please take care of yourself and make sure you follow this up. emoticon

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TIME2BLOOM4ME 7/17/2010 10:36AM

    Check out the signs and symptoms of Multiple sclerosis. Maybe a neurologist should check you out. I hope you are ok. emoticon

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