Thursday, January 31, 2008

Crainial Prosthetic or Natural?

My sister-in-law is going through chemotherapy right now. She has joined the club that no one wants to belong to. Our club has very strict criteria in order to join. You must be either male or female, aged infant to 112. You have to be of any race and live anywhere in the world.

She's a brave gal and I know she'll get through it fine. She has a great attitude and willing to laugh about it all. You have to be able to do that - laugh about every part of it no matter out disgusting or awful it is. I truly believe that while going through cancer, laughter is the best medicine.

I had the most amazing support. My sisters and brother, my in-law family, my mother and husband, my kids, my neighbors and friends, and my best buddy Sue. She's been through cancer 5 times and she's friggin' awesome. Once, she and I had cancer together. I discovered that cancer is a lot more tolerable if your best friend has it at the same time.

She and I both have the same oncologist, in fact, it's the same oncologist that Pam has. He wrote both of us prescriptions for crainial prosthetics. We both got wigs that we occasionally wore, but found that doo-rags were the way to go. They keep your head warm and don't seem to slip around like a wig does. So, for me, getting the wig was good - it's nice to have for special occasions, but for every day - natural is nice. In fact, I still have my wig and hats, once you've joined the club, you never know if you're going to be required to go through initiation again. Maybe someday I'll feel confident enough to donate it to MSTI

So, dear sister-in-law Pam, you now belong to the club that no one wants to join - but you are in such good company. We will all be with you as you journey through the tough times. Laugh - every single day!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

This Is Such an Awesome Website!

Here's the link to the most awesome website. Be sure to read the biography, etc and have the sound on! What a neat kid!

Friday, January 25, 2008

OK, Here's The Skinny... (no offense to those of you who try to tuck your belly fat into your pants)

Here's what I expect from Belize if we go in August. I expect to see beautiful beaches, the most gorgeous turquoise water, quaint stores, and probably not very many tourists since it will be considered hurricane season.

After leaving the beach area, I expect to see the areas of poverty, maybe much like you see in Mexico. Belize is still considered a third world country. But from everything I've heard and read, the people are hard-working and the nicest people you'd want to meet. There are only 4 highways in the entire country and I imagine that no matter which one you travel, you'll see little shacks scattered around. This won't bother me. It would bother me if they were a country beggars. Don't think I could live with that!

I expect to see wonderful jungle and farmland. I HOPE to go there and find out that Ival and I love it. Ival is a dreamer. For the last several years, all he talks about is moving up north someday to retire on a little piece of land where we can build a tiny place and have our goats and chickens and all the other little animals that he loves. There's nothing I'd like better than for Ival to be able to live this simple dream. But I have to admit, while I'd certainly move up north with him, I'd much rather find a place like Belize to have our little acreage. And we can buy 50 acres in Belize a LOT cheaper than 50 acres up north!

Here's a pretty good article I found that you might like to read:

I hope we actually get to go - I can't wait!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

There's A Hurricane Coming! Get To High Ground and BYOB!

Damage Done by Hurricane Mitch

Ok girls, I found this account about hurricanes from an American who lives in Belize - they have hurricane parties down there!

Facts about hurricanes in Belize

Starting June 1, the "Hurricane Season" opens, and the Government starts educating everyone on "What To Do In the Event of a Hurricane." The newspapers give this a lot of publicity, because it helps fill space! Belizeans start thinking about Hurricanes. Unfortunately, so do Tourists.
In Reality, Belize is not Hurricane Central. That honor belongs to North Carolina, in the US. Closely following NC are Florida, Texas, and Louisiana, none of which advertise their hurricanes.

Most Hurricanes don't come anywhere close to Belize. Atlantic Hurricanes generally originate off the coast of Africa, at about the same latitude as Belize. They track west for a while, and then head off northwest toward North Carolina! (see the storm archives of the National Hurricane Center.)

Some Hurricanes do devastate Belize. Hattie destroyed Belize City in 1961 -- 40 years ago. Janet devastated Corozal in 1955 -- 45 years ago. Pretty ancient history, I thought. However, after a forty year break, many hurricanes have threatened Belize and some have damaged us. Of course, the Cayes are more susceptible to hurricane damage than the mainland, just as the Florida keys are more hazardous places to live than Miami Beach.

Reality: Hurricanes are News. The Weather Channel loves hurricanes; the pictures of people wading through water and fighting a gale are a lot more interesting than charts of isobars. They report that "a slow moving hurricane produces torrential rains." In reality, most tropical rains are torrential compared with rain in the U. S. In the flats of Belize, these torrential rains have less effect than they had on the muddy hills of Honduras. Mitch dropped 35" of rain a day on Honduras for 3 days. This phenomenal rainfall devastated the country, as it would any place on earth. But most hurricanes create far less rain than this.

Reality: Hurricanes are Exciting. Just like any medium-sized city in the US, there's not a lot of news in Belize, so the papers start talking about the hurricane season as soon as it starts in June. The government is quick to issue a storm warning, and the people are quick to react. They go off to neighbors or shelters that are on higher ground. The government closes down the liquor stores, but people have already stocked up. Belizeans are quick to celebrate, and this is as good an excuse as any. Having a Hurricane Party - you should plan the hurricane season carefully. Many stores are closed, with the owners nailing up plywood over their windows.

Most importantly, you may want to stock up with Rum and beer BEFORE the warning is issued. After the warning is issued, it is against the law for stores to sell alcoholic beverages. (A local explained "The young men drink and turn into looters.")

Hurricanes are exciting, and if there is some damage, Belize might be able to get some relief dollars, which we can always use. (Can't anybody?) On the other hand, if we don't play down the damage, we won't have any tourists at all. As a result, you will hear a lot of conflicting press reports.

2005 was the worst hurricane season in history, caused by warm seas. (The Caribbean got as hot as 86 degrees) However, all of the hurricanes passed us by, with only hurricane parties and some "torrential rains" to mark their passing.

Another resident writes:

Our reef saves us from utter devastation in big storms and, unlike practically any artificial arrangement, it isn't going to be undercut and washed away. Most of the wave force slams into it and goes straight up in the air. Sixty feet or more sometimes. Quite a sight. But if the tides are high, the tops of the waves come over -- the reef is invisible, submerged, and, wind-driven in the shallow pan of the lagoon, waves give the windward shoreline a considerable pounding. The result is adios to the piers and anything built on them and damage to construction on the beachfront. Mitch never got closer than about 200 miles away, but was such a monster it generated waves that did that much. Hattie, a long time ago, passing virtually over San Pedro, put water over the surface of the island in most places, with waves on top. Still, there were no Hattie deaths in San Pedro, as far as I know. Most of the people rode it out: warning was not that early, and evacuation would have been mostly by sailboat. No, thanks.

But, then, we rarely have forest fires or earthquakes and other California delights. Our rare tornadoes are waterspouts, which have a curious custom of lifting up and hopping over land -- why, I don't know, but it's quite reliable, I've seen it. So if you come to Belize, afloat or ashore, you're probably taking a step up in overall safety. Besides, in contrast to forest fires and earthquakes, the approach or aftermath of a storm brings world class fishing! Trophies off the dock, if the dock's still there!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Pack Your Bags, We're Moving To Belize!

Belize is home to the second greatest barrier reef in the world. It's home of the Blue Hole. Approximately 60 miles (100 kilometers) from Belize City, the almost perfectly circular Blue Hole is more than 1,000 feet (305 meters) across and some 400feet deep.

The hole is the opening to what was a dry cave system during the Ice Age. When the ice melted and the sea level rose, the caves were flooded, creating what is now a magnet for intrepid divers. Today the Blue Hole is famed for its sponges, barracuda, corals, angelfish—and a school of sharks often seen patrolling the hole’s edge.

Belize is a fantastic country with plenty to experience. Not only is it packed with adventure, but it is also easy and inexpensive to get to, English is the official language, and it is a great winter destination as it enjoys a warm winter climate. The population is about the same as Anchorage, Alaska (225,000), and the entire country is about the size of New Hampshire. The society is multi-cultural, consisting of African-European Creoles, Spanish-Indian Mestizos, African-Indian Garinagus, Mayans, and a few Europeans, North Americans, and Asians. Outside of the "troublemakers" in Belize City, Belizeans are, for the most part, genuinely friendly people, who lead a laid-back Caribbean lifestyle. Hurricanes hit about once every two decades.

Cave tubing is something I'd really like to try! Google it! And then there's also the Mayan Ruins!

Here's what one site had to say:

FEEL FREE of racial tensions, rampant crime, daily pressures.
FEEL CONFIDENT that laws won't change at a whim. Belize has a long tradition of private property rights for everyone.
FEEL CONNECTED to the rest of the world with Belize's state-of-the-art telecommunications and efficient postal systems.

As for property appreciation, it has remained steady and strong, and yet there is still excellent value for your dollar. and .... Belize has no capital gains tax, no inheritance taxes, and a fixed currency exchange rate.

Property prices are unbelievable! You can buy 50 jungle/farm acres for $40,000 or if you want beach property, you can buy a 14 acre island for $13,000!

Now here's some more information I've found:

Wildlife consists of (but not limited to!) Howler monkeys, manatees, Frigatebirds, Iguanas, jaguar, ocelot, armadillo, tapir, macaw, toucan, parrots, egret. It's also home to rare orchids and rare species of palm.

If all goes well, we're going in mid-August to look at property! Hope you all want to move to Belize!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

She's A Pretty Little Thing

Yesterday morning I was taking Kole home at 10:15 in the morning when I was run off the road by a drunk driver about 1/4 of a mile from the turn-in here at Hidden Springs.

I had just turned onto Seaman's Gulch heading over the hill when I noticed a car coming toward me veer into my lane.  WTF!  It was almost like it was slow motion but I ran off the road as she passed by me in my lane.  The guy in the truck behind her lifted his hands like he didn't know what to do.  I turned around in time to see her veer back into her lane then back into oncoming traffic where she ran two more vehicles off the road.  As she got right across from the turn-in at Hidden Springs, she evidently gained some sense of propriety and turned on her blinker in order to maneuver a "safe" turn from the wrong lane.  The guy in the truck behind her and I both followed her into the parking lot of the Merc where she slowly and methodically tried to decide where to "park".  She ran up onto the sidewalk, decided she wasn't quite where she needed to be, so pulled onto the grass where she lurched to a stop.  She slumped back in her seat, obviously quite happy she had made it home.The guy in the truck ran over to see if she was drunk or had a medical problem, discovered she was definitely drunk, and took the keys out of the car. He said he had followed her all the way over the hill helplessly watching as car after car was run off the road. He said he flashed his lights and blared his horn all the way over the hill hoping to get her to stop but it didn't work.

I ran in the Merc and called the police, took Kole to meet Jacki, and came back and filled out a police report. And you know what the worst part was? Of all the cars she ran off the road, NO ONE called the police until we did. Was everyone thinking someone else would do it or what?

I couldn't wait until this morning to get on the Sheriff's website to see what she looked like being that drunk. I expected to have some sense of revenge finding a horrid picture - as it turns out, she looks GOOD! It's better than my prom picture! How can someone be over 2 times the legal limit and take a picture like this?

Ada County Sheriff's Office - Arrest Photo

Friday, January 18, 2008

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I Have This Hair...

I hate moles.  I have this little one on the left side of my upper lip that I hardly ever notice.  I've decided that I'm now at the age where I evidently need to pay a little more attention to it.  You see, it has this hair that grows out of it.

Normally, the hair is no longer than the other cute little invisible hairs that grow near my lips.  For some reason, today I decided I should probably check it and damn!  That little sucker was probably a quarter inch long - how long has it been like THAT?  And why is it that only facial moles get those ugly hairs?

I remember once when I happened to scratch my neck and found this hair that was probably, AND I'M NOT EXAGERATING, 3 inches long.  Dear Gob, how long had it been there and why hadn't SOMEBODY who loves me told me about it.  How hard is it to say, "Hey, by the way, you have this big old long, ugly hair growin' outta your neck.  You may want to pluck that ugly sucker."

Be assured, if I ever notice a big, ugly hair hangin' off some part of your body where it doesn't belong, I'll tell you.



Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Corpse In The Chair Was A Dead Giveaway

I found this way too funny article on MSN this morning. Gave me a good laugh! (ok, this is a little creepy, but haven't we all talked about doing something similar to this?)

Cops: Pair wheels corpse to store to cash check

Pair wheels dead man to store to cash his Social Security check, police say

Jan. 8, 2008

NEW YORK - Two men wheeled a dead man through the streets in an office chair to a check-cashing store Tuesday and tried to cash his Social Security check before being arrested on fraud charges, police said.

David J. Dalaia and James O'Hare pushed Virgilio Cintron's body from the Manhattan apartment that O'Hare and Cintron shared to Pay-O-Matic, about a block away, spokesman Paul Browne said witnesses told police.

"The witnesses saw the two pushing the chair with Cintron flopping from side to side and the two individuals propping him up and keeping him from flopping from side to side," Browne said.

The men left Cintron's body outside the store, went inside and tried to cash his $355check, Browne said. The store's clerk, who knew Cintron, asked the men where he was, and O'Hare told the clerk they would go and get him, Browne said.

A police detective who was having lunch at a restaurant next to the check-cashing store noticed a crowd forming around Cintron's body, and "it's immediately apparent to him that Cintron is dead," Browne said.

The detective called uniformed New York Police Department officers at a nearby precinct. Emergency medical technicians arrived as O'Hare and Dalaia were preparing to wheel Cintron's body into the check-cashing store, Browne said. Police arrested Dalaia and O'Hare there, he said.

Cintron's body was taken to a hospital morgue. The medical examiner's office told police it appeared Cintron, 66, had died of natural causes within the previous 24 hours, Browne said.

"He was deceased in the apartment when he was removed by these two," Browne said.

Dalaia and O'Hare, both 65, were being held by police and faced check fraud charges, Browne said.

A call to a telephone number listed for Cintron at the apartment he shared with O'Hare went unanswered Tuesday evening.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

I Can't Believe I Just Did That!

I have this handy little thing called a swivel sweeper. You've seen them advertised on tv. It's a funky little battery powered vacuum thing. Doesn't have a lot of power but it picks up the small stuff.

While I went ot pick up Adam, Rosie evidently decided she wanted to try one of the pistachios that were in the bowl on the island. She did eat the nut but the shell was in tiny pieces all over the carpet. Not wanting to get the big vacuum out, I got the swivel sweeper out.

I warned her. I told Rosie to move. But no, dumb ass dog sat right there. So I was trying to get around her when damn if I didn't suck her tail into the sweeper. It started this high pitch whining, she jumped up and took off running with me and the sweeper attached. I tried to catch her so I could unlatch her tail and finally realized I needed to turn the sweeper off which then allowed me with one quick jerk, to release her tail from the roller.

Adam and I got a good laugh out of it but Rosie will be traumatized forever.