Summer 2012

Summer 2012
BibeauArt of Santa Rosa

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Temp job could blossom...

...into a NEW full time admin position...the other resumes for this not yet posted job aren't as strong as blessed if this works out!!!

The best part is that this Catholic hospital is the 'real deal' and you can feel it. Never been in an office like this before. The company's mission statement includes God in it. Amazing.

Gotta work here.

Pray for me today, to St. Xenia, to anyone, just pray. This would be great for my family and me!

More updates soon, loyal friends!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Job update...kinda shortened

Okay, I like the job, but the lady that I'm temping for decided to come back on Monday. Oh well! However, even with her back, they need me for an additional week. So, instead of a month or so job, I'm at two weeks.

The good thing is that I learned a lot, am still getting 'warmed up' and it feels pretty good being back in an office.

The office question of the day is this - why is it that the air is so dry inside offices? The air is so dry that my eyes are bloodshot within five minutes of being in the building. This always happens. I use all the eye stuff to keep it moist, drink water, get outside, etc., and it barely helps. I don't miss that about working.

When my dogs are barking, well, that's not fun either, but penny loafers ROCK when it comes to jobs like this. I'm a button down shirt and pressed slacks kinda girl anyways. I do wish that I could wear tennis shoes since I'm on my feet a lot at this job, but the dress code forbids it. Why? Not sure.

Forbid things that are comfy and would work in a hot office environment. Beats me, I didn't make the rules.

They could turn down the temp a bit - the mostly 50's women have the heater on like all the time. Wonder what it's like in the Winter?


This a great place to work regardless of my petty rants here. Too bad I'm not staying.

Pray for more good opportunities, prayer folks!

New Car Smell - could be toxic!

I'm one of those freaks who would buy the 'new car scent' because it smells so nice. New carpet doesn't...ugh! Too many toxins - can't breathe.

New car smell - who knew? Well, we suspected.

Monday, September 26, 2005

First Day of Work Completed!

Sorry for the delay in the update - but my silly computer/internet connection was being stubborn this afternoon. Well, what can you expect from FREE WiFi anyways?

I survived my first official day at work, and let me tell you, I'm not 100% yet (as in my speedy self), but I'm on the road.

By 11am, I was ready for a nap - keep in mind that I'm on antibiotics for my lovely cough thing that my son gave me and I'm still in slight recovery from, well, y'all know by now.

The office I'm working for is posh, has all the latest gadgets and is super clean. I also like that we're under total security (being an HR office) so unless we know who you are, you ain't getting in the door.

I had three ladies showing me around today and they even spelled out what I'm to do for the next week. Very detailed ladies.

I've got a computer (to use for scanning of documents) - so I can check my e-mail in the morning, do my work, file things (they're totally behind in this department) and take my breaks (which I never used to do).

Not sure if this job will be for two, three or four weeks - or longer yet. The lady that I'm covering for is on 'leave' and they don't really know when she'll be back. Someone said that I may be here even if she returns, they are so behind.

What I really like about this office - like most of this hospital's offices and hospital rooms - is that everywhere you look there's a picture of one of the founding nuns, the Cross, a Psalm quote or some nun's 1970's art/worship stuff. If you're RC or were, you know what I'm talking about.

It's comforting to me and I'm happy to be in that environment. Something I'm used to - instead of being the only person with a religious thing on my desk.

The women that work there are always talking about 'blessings' and how "God is good" - makes me wonder if some of them aren't nuns without the habit - could be, but I don't ask. Boy, some of them look the part. Takes me back to grade school.

So, that's the scoop. I'm working, hanging in there and trying to keep the protein bars coming when I'm starting to fade.

Thanks for the prayers, everyone! I made it - my first eight hours!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Update on the temp job

I'm asking everyone to thank the Lord for helping our family land me a temporary gig - with such a solid place - but there maybe a possibility that I'll be there for more than a month. This could be a real job with the hospital.

Thank God for little mercies! Our family can sure use this right now - not to mention my sanity!

It's incredible how my son lights three candles at church on Sunday (yes, I finally got it together enough to attend and boy, did it feel refreshing) - my son prays for his beloved 'daddy' with each candle we bought and guess what - things started to work out for the hubby this week. Not magic, just prayers being answered, as usual! We are blessed!

Then, today, my temp agent called me and said that my background and criminal check cleared (not worried in the first place about that one) and then I asked why they went through that part of the process when I'm only a temp. She said that the actual receptionist hasn't been seen for a week or so, and they probably need me for longer - or if I like it, for a real job with them.

The hospital will see if they like me and let the temp agency know if they want to buy out my contract. They're desperate for someone to answer their phones at this point - apparently the hospital itself is sick of answering HR calls. It's becoming too confusing for the hospital to do this (different buildings).

Whatever happens, it's from God and we are so very thankful for all your prayers, support and help. THANK YOU all! Continue praying for us through the Theotokos, St. Xenia, St. John of Shanghai and of course, your patron saint(s).

I start on Monday, first thing! I'm pretty happy about this 'change' - and happy that it's the perfect job for where I am starting at - recovery speaking anyways. Not 100% yet from the surgery, but I'm close!

For those of you who did the Khan test...

273,290 descendants
- you're more genetically fit than 52% of the current population -
273,290. Not bad. You're no Mongol warlord, but to have that many copies of your genetic code running around 800 years from now is pretty impressive.
You're in the lower middle of the scoring spectrum, but, honestly, when you consider that the cheaters, swindlers, and football players of this world are statistically best-equipped to create children, scoring low is something to be proud of.

Whatever that means - It seems that I'm the average joe! Thank goodness I'm not a Mongol Warlord! LOL!

What a weird test - the questions were frank and totally personal at times. Not sure what the math is to get to this number of descendants - but I'm sure mine are skewed due to an adopted father.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Why everyone should love the French

No, not for the anti-war stuff, not for Edith Piaf (one of my all time favorites), certainly not for French Fries (they are not French nor are they created by said people), not for their crazy politics, but I think they invented the 'to die for over the top facial massage'.

My lovely best friend ever, Miss Irene, purchased a totally expensive and totally over the top facial massage for me at this salon that worships at the footstool of some well known French school and spa. I finally got to use it today - and two and a half hours later, I swear I have a brand new face. I smell FABOO and every single ingredient that was used on my dirty face was organic, mixed on site as it was used and smelled like I could have eaten it. Right off my face.

Little motors whirred as the silky brushes lightly scrubbed my face, sonic massagers hit my pulse points and literally made me turn into butter - and did I mention the SMELLS???

Yes, God is good! I've never appreciated the human nose until today.

Breathe it in - thank God for creating the stuff - thank God for creating treatments like these, breathe out.

It was a spiritual experience I think.

I've had facials before, but - Ladies and Gentlemen, NOTHING compares to what the French school of facials can do. Can't pronounce the names of any of the stuff or labels, but I don't care. Slather it on!

The diploma-laden professional that did this procedure on me gave me a sample of the facial creme for my skin texture (and probably age).

I think I'll eat it with ice cream tonight.

Viva La France! Keep that smelly stuff coming!!!

...thanks Miss Irene!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Landed a gig!

Thanks to everyone for all your prayers, good thoughts, advice and to listening to me go on and on about getting a JOB in the past month.

This job is a temporary one, for a month, but it's at the local hospital (which is a Catholic run hospital) in their HR department - and that might mean further work - or more assignments through the temp agency. We'll see.

Today I passed out during the blood test (didn't snack prior to going - silly me!) and had a TB test to be 'read' on Friday. Then, on the 27th I begin my re-entry into the working world.

CP and I were talking about how good this is for me - I mean, yeah, we need the money - but it's more about me getting out of the house and talking to my peers, etc., and so forth. I thought about it and realized that not only am I Miss Independent, but have been since age 16. I've always worked, I've always done SOMETHING - so, being at home doing nothing but resting - well, it's not my thing.

Sure, I'll gripe about work and probably how hard it is to get back into the swing of things (I've known women that have done what I'll be doing soon and so I'm anticipating it) but I'm so thankful to get a job with a place that really appreciates where I'm at and helped me out a lot with my resume (they told me not to dumb it down). It's only a temp agency, but it seems that it may be good for me at this time of my life - and they treat me well. Placing me at a hospital HR center ain't too shabby!

So, again, thanks to everyone for the tremendous support. Of course, I'll keep everyone posted at night here on the blog.

Monday, September 19, 2005

I'm shaking my head - she's a silly girl!

Per Miss Britney Spears, the wise role model for young women everywhere - prior to giving birth to her son this week:

Last month, the singer revealed: "I have a feeling I'm going to have an operation. I don't know why but I hope so." "My mom said giving birth was the most excruciating thing she's ever gone through in her life. So if a caesarian doesn't happen, I'll be like, 'Epidural, please.' "

Okay, so who honestly thinks that a C-Section is an easier way out? Honestly. I realize that celebs (and other pushy, busy women) schedule these oh, so much fun and delightful C-Sections but I'm here to tell everyone that it isn't the 'easy way out'.

Really, truly and honestly. I'll spare this audience the details. Maybe Brit will write a book or show us the 'reality TV' version of her surgery. One thing is for sure, she certainly had more than an Epidural, that's for sure!

Well, Miss Spears, enjoy your new son and that big 'ol C-Section scar, honey!

Not a clockwatcher...

Ever seen the movie 'Clockwatchers'? It was a strange film about temps that work in a strange office (somewhere in corporate America) and how lack of trust, breakdown of communication and well, how friendships in these artificial confines aren't always based on trust and love. Well, that's what I got out of it anyways.

I've never worked with a temp that's been depicted in a movie - I've always either known the person through church OR didn't know the person was a temp. I didn't care. Although there was a lady - a temp - that worked for one company I worked at who deliberately separated herself from us full timers. She really wanted to stay away from us. We smelled nice and were quite friendly - and apparently she didn't understand that you can chat up other employees to get your foot more 'in the door' and get a job - well, perhaps.

She didn't last, by the way.

Well, NOW it's my turn to be the temp, the 'clockwatcher' - but man, am I NOT doing what Miss Non-Social did. This temp job, if it pans out, is at a major hospital in the area and - get this - in their HR department.

How sweet is that?

So, we'll see how that goes, if it goes at all. I find out later today or early tomorrow about TB testing, shots (blood) and all that jazz in order to work at a hospital - although it's not actually IN the hospital building. No matter. I'll do it.

Welcome to the new job climate, Miss Parks! Wow, it's truly different today.

Hopefully I'll be employed tomorrow! Keep praying y'all!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Spreading love and sunshine everywhere in Sonoma County

No, this isn't about sunshine and love in Sonoma County. This is about 'the crone'. Yes, they still exist.

While doing some errands earlier today I parked next to an older vehicle in the handicapped spots (since I'm a red placard carrier til December 24th thanks to my sciatic nerve problem that still flares up) and couldn't help but noticed that this car was totally decorated with bumper stickers. They ranged from very VERY liberal political statements to a whole bunch about 'the goddess' - 'keep your laws off of my body!' ...and why the driver is a 'crone' - and it's 'new' and 'more positive' meaning.

Well, this IS Sonoma County.

In the store there was this strange older lady that I hate to say looked like a Halloween Witch - she had the pointy dark straw hat, wide brim, dark moo-moo looking thing on, strange sandals and weird frizzy black gray hair that literally looked like a wig. She lurked around the store and ended up not getting anything. I know this because she was right in front of me as I made my way out to the car.

The weird thing was not that she belonged to the liberal goddess car (she did) but she seemed to be really ticked off that I was parked in a handicapped spot with a red (meaning temporary) placard - which is what you need in California to park in these spots, officially.

She stared me down as I got into the car and bucked JP and myself up, came around the passenger side window and really gave me one 'crone' like look. If looks could kill! Oh, by the way, she was in a handicapped spot too.

Apparently, unless I'm dragging my foot as a walk, using a walker, cane (that I was using) or wheelchair, it's not always clear why I use my placard that, by the by, my doctor had to send in for, I paid for and gosh darn it, I NEED!

So much for the old crone being Miss Liberal. She's anything but! Perhaps she needs another bumper sticker that states "I think I'm the POLICE." She kept staring at me while leaning against her liberal-mobile, arms folded, until I left the parking lot. I wonder if she was just crazy or thought she was 'catching' someone that was using the placard that shouldn't have.

I could have stopped, showed her my papers and explained myself - but I've got a life to lead, cha-cha - AND, the last time I checked, this is AMERICA - I don't need to show you no stinkin' papers.

Sometimes, people can be so, well, nosy. Sometimes people just have handicaps that you can't see. They may be temporary and they may be with a younger person, so don't freak out when you see someone using a handicapped space with the proper tags - and they LOOK healthy. We are sometimes in a lot of pain although we look MARVELOUS on the outside.

Don't hate me because I'm beautiful and have that prime handicapped spot, now, lady!

Rant at a end. I promise! Tune in next week for the carpool lane issue - when a mother is driving with a child in the back seat - does this count for two people in the car? Is it OKAY to use this lane when you are not going to work with kids in the back seat? Hmmm. Hopefully Miss Liberal won't see me.

Just kidding! Sunshine and love!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

It can't be this hard to get a call back on a job, can it?

I'm a bit depressed today. Just a tad bit, and cranky. I've done my best to snag a measly call BACK on a job since the middle of last month and I'm not hearing that phone ring.


Could it be that the job market out here (although they advertise for people) is that depressed. Could it be that I've been out of commission for way too long? Could it be that I'm married, over 30 and have a kid that's keeping the jobs at bay?

OR could it be that I'm just expecting what USED to be in the job market of four years ago?

Could be all these things, could be none of these things.

Temp agencies are happy to see you come in the door and treat you like a Queen, but they don't come-a-calling as they promised. I've gotten ONE call from this temp agency that promised me the world and well, let's say that they 'job' they had was for two weeks, totally weak and the hourly wage wouldn't really be worth it with all the gas I would waste just getting there.

There's gotta be a little clerical job for me somewhere around here. I even 'dumbed' down my resume for certain positions I've applied for on line - to no avail. I just keep getting those postcards and letters a week later from these same companies saying I'm 'overqualified'.

Maybe I should take 'basket weaving 101' off of my resume too. Ha!

Well, gotta start somewhere - so I'll be attending the local job fair to see who shows up and if there's anything worth chasing after. All I can think of is this - if it's that hard to get a job right now, imagine how hard it is to scrounge up a date for Saturday night these days?

Ugh! I don't even want to think about it!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

September 11th - remembering those who were lost to us

Lord have mercy on them and their souls. Those that died, those that were left behind (family, friends, co-workers) and those that still hurt because of this awful tragedy that should have never happened.

I was on one of my 'not watching TV' kicks when we lived at the church - and all I remember was getting up really early in the morning due to our son not sleeping past 6am (ever) - to hearing my priest banging on the door saying that we had to hear what just happened on TV...watching it was like watching a made for the big screen movie - didn't seem real at all.

We watched the horror unfold in almost slow motion. The camera people didn't even know where to shoot - things were happening so fast in real time.

I didn't know anyone that was hurt or killed in all of that mayhem that day, but it didn't matter. Everyone in the world felt the ripple effects of this - well, all of us but those who planned the whole thing.

They say it should have been much worse - but either the terrorists were stopped or that they chickened out. It's hard to imagine 'worse' when it was bad enough for all of us to begin with.

May God have mercy on those who were needlessly lost to us - for those innocents on the planes and for those people who rushed into the buildings to help - regardless if they made it out alive.

May God Bless America - and Memory Eternal to those who are no longer with us.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Donations being taken locally for Katrina and tomorrow? Next year??

Today as I drove JP to the doctors (just me being overly motherly regarding a big cough with my little man), we noticed a huge trailer with a sign regarding local donations to be driven over to shelters here and nearer to the Southern areas hit by this recent hurricane and for anybody going to be in need from the newer hurricane if it hits the Carolinas.

It was being run by a local Christian Mission group and boy, were they organized. NEW stuff was being collected on one side (in packages or with tags attached) and GOOD used stuff (which of course I had!) was being accepted, BUT you had to go through your bags with a volunteer and show them what was kids stuff, womens, mens, etc.

Being the Martha Stewart that I think I am, I had already washed, sorted and folded everything. JP donated some clothes and some newer stuffed animals that he had duplicates of and any clothing that my Aunt gave us (kids stuff) that my friends didn't pick up on due to size or colour were donated. Anything that was 'holey' or stained didn't make the cut, for that's not something I'd wear, so, well, you get the picture.

They have a huge bin for NEW socks (kids and adults) and underwear. Apparently there's a shortage and there's no way you're gonna accept USED stuff in this category for you or your kids. These people have been through enough already - no time to be cheap.

Then I had a thought - why don't we do this as a community for the homeless more often - or do this for the single mothers on welfare more than just on Christmas? Why don't we have a local contact at our local church for donations OR rummage sale intake monies to go to major shelter needs (like in the South right now) or normally to the local battered women's shelters, the Pregnancy Counseling Centers, the Salvation Army (who does wonderful work with the Lutherans in this area to help rehab the men and women with substance and drinking abuses) - why not?

Then I thought of the Jesuits. The 'rule' with them is this - nothing belongs to you - it's from God - give it away. Books, clothes, furniture, cash, help, jobs - well, what 'ya got on 'ya? Give it away. No, not only the monastics either. This means the lay folk too.

I thought about all of this while driving around this morning.

Hmmm. It may become my new 'thing' keep things like this in front of people's faces, to ask for donations of GOOD stuff - clothing for example - or to get kids involved so that they don't forget their peers who face these needs. AND let's not forget that we all - in life - run into problems or need help from time to time. Pride keeps us just above the poverty line at times and keeps our butts at work, but as Christians, caring for others is our JOB.

Period. I don't care HOW the people 'got poor' or how they're just 'low lifes' or whatever I've heard over the years for 'why these types of people need to learn a lesson' - blah, blah, blah. Been there, done that.

Silence the judging and inner critic and HELP someone, anyone, today. NOW.

Today is a great day to start. Tomorrow you may be a person in need.

May God have mercy on us all today! -- and happy belated feast day - I didn't post anything about the Birthday of the Theotokos on Thursday! May She have mercy and pray for us all.

Friday, September 09, 2005

My 'Russian Grandfather' and my going back to work...

Well, folks, this may be my last 'free Friday' to go shopping with my elderly friend that I call "grandfather" and he's not happy about it. I told him that I should be working next week (not sure if it's gonna be temp or perm work yet) and all he heard was 'less time out and about' with him. He ain't happy about it - but wants to go celebrate anyways - 'whatever makes you happy' he says.

My friend is an elderly gentleman that our family has basically adopted since A) he refuses help from anyone at our local church and B) he likes us. So, if someone asks for help, you are to give it per St. John Chrystostom's teachings - and it's more fun than just 'giving help' anyways, so we can't count it as charity. Too much fun and too much like family now.

I'm not happy that his heart and heart valves are starting to slow up as I gear up to go to work, but I pray and try to keep in touch with him as much as possible. He loves it when I visit him at his house - he prepares pastries and fresh decaf coffee for me with the flavored sweeteners that I NEVER purchase for my house (way too fattening). He serves me in his cluttered home on his best china with his best silverware. My coffee cup at his house is his favorite one - a white old cup with a commemoration of a rebuilding of an Orthodox Church on the front.

He shows me all (and I mean ALL) of his Navy and Army photos, documents, letters, awards (he's pretty decorated for a Russian guy, first generation) and of course, photos of his beloved wife who was tragically taken from him here in Santa Rosa a LONG time ago by the car of a drunken driver. Her name is Margaret if you're into praying for those who have fallen asleep.

It has been agreed that when (or if) this friend of ours needs to be taken care of at home in his last days/weeks/months, that I am the person to help and coordinate this effort (no, I'm not a nurse, but I can use a phone and get one for day shifts!). His family is depending on me to contact them (out on the East Coast) and to help with funeral stuff (which this man already has all of the particulars paid for and we even wrote his obituary!). He didn't plan for flowers at his funeral, but I told him that he didn't have a choice - any grandfather of mine gets flowers!!! In typical fashion he said "whatever makes you happy - I won't be there!" - followed by a hefty laugh.

So, with my 'new' adopted grandfather I get a 'second' chance almost. This man is not like my real grandfather at all - this man is Russian (my grandpa was Swedish), he's much shorter than my grandfather, he doesn't wear dapper hats like my grandfather, he doesn't like any music but Orthodox Church music (my grandfather was a trumpet player for the big bands back in the day and LOVED music), and he likes talking about religion, politics and family things with me (my grandfather would talk to me about art, music, boxing and 'what's wrong with today's music'). The only thing that they do share are these two things - stubborness that comes with age and that they served faithfully - in their sections of the U.S. Military.

Oh yes, and keeping everything - never tossing things out! Even things that should have been tossed a long, LONG time ago.

It's nice to actually speak to an elderly person about what they have planned for their funeral, their family - their things - when they die. This grandfather is very open and realistic about death - I think it's because he's Eastern Orthodox (his father was a priest) and he's dealt with death a few times already in his life - all within his faith.

Of course, I'm being positive about my grandfather friend - I keep telling him that he'll be here for the next 20 years at the very least! He laughs and says "Maybe, but I still would rather have you not working! I'm rather selfish in my old age!"

If you don't have your own grandparents - go out and adopt some - or one. It's rewarding and worth it. Just don't tell them that you're going back to work - they may not be that happy with you - for at least five minutes, anyway.

If you could pray for this 'new' grandfather of mine, I'd appreciate it - his health ain't what it used to be and, as he says he 'ain't no spring chicken' either. His name is Konstantine. Thanks, everyone!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The cutest thing...

...that I saw today was my friend/hairdresser and her hubby with their new baby - all of 2.5 weeks old and about 8 pounds. Cute, petite, quiet, gassy and QUIET. Having a son with colic who weighed in at 10 pounds fresh from the womb, it was so refreshing to hold this little, tiny baby named Tessa.

No, I'm not getting 'baby fever' - I'm done! AND, it's nice to hold a baby for a half and hour and give it back to it's parents for poopy patrol. Always being surrounded by boys and men in my life, it's nice to see some pink frilly stuff in a small, cute package!

Finally! I have someone to knit girl stuff for! Hooray!

Then there's my aching body after a really light workout - I'm to visit the gym again tomorrow and am already asking my hubby 'um, when does it start to feel good?' - because I can't remember it's been that long! I used to LOVE going to the gym and spending some time there doing some good, but it's such a hard climb uphill again.

My abs are crying and Advil won't help. Time for some protein shake help! How DOES Lance Armstrong do this stuff on a bike day after day - I asked myself this as I attempted THREE minutes on the silly Reebok cycle bike machine on level one. I think I finally reached for the STOP button and walked on the treadmill. Gone are the days when I would do the Elliptical machines for an hour!

Tomorrow will be a better (and painful) day! ;o)

I did find the most interesting shoes to help eliminate my sciatic back pain - check it out at: -- I'm eyeing the white tennies for my walking routine. I tried on a pair today at a local store and I'm IN LOVE! My back felt 100% better in only a few minutes. Yeah, they cost a small fortune, but they are official orthopedic footwear and from what I hear - most insurances will cover a percentage of the expense. If you're pregnant - I don't see how you can live without them.

Next week - possibly starting into the work force again. Where will I be placed? Will it be temp or perm? Oh boy, there's a bunch of stuff that I know I can write about observing the young 'uns at work in today's workplace!

Yes, I'll be nice. Just keep the chocolate and mochas coming, Dad! LOL!

Return to the gym - pain! agony! owie!

Yesterday I went to the gym and did LITTLE weights for the upper body, ab stuff and a little cardio. My legs, which always work well with weights (strong from years of dance and aerobics) were 'out of order' and refused to push 40 lbs.

Sigh! Back to the basics with me!

So, I did a little workout and felt nothing - and had to escape the mouthy lady who followed me around my area for 15 minutes. Poor thing - she's an older lady with all kinds of health problems, but I'd like to finish my workout, thanks. So, I felt fine yesterday and crashed last night. Forgot the protein shake!

This morning - THE PAIN! THE LACTIC ACIDS! Gosh, it's so darn hard to get back into the gym routine again. Is it as you age it gets harder?

Sigh! Back to it tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Back from Stanford - feeling much better!

For those of you who haven't heard yet - I've been given a clean bill of health from the ROCK STAR doctor in Stanford, Dr. Camaran Nezhat. He is hopeful that this is my last Endo surgery. Of course, there may be adhesions that we have to deal with from time to time, but those can be 'delayed' by proper eating, and the proper medications (the ones that don't make me woozy!).

So, today, I'm off to the gym. The gym is where my leg first went 'out' on me and I noticed the pain - finally. The pain was probably there for a while, but I'm SUPERWOMAN and love to blow it off - kinda like Monty Python - 'oh, not at all, it's just a scratch' - as the actor's leg falls off.

Trust me, my husband has had enough of that sort of behavior, and I think I have too.

Actor's head falls off - 'Nonsense! Just a trifle - come back and fight!!!" - head rolls around on the ground with blood squirting all over the place.

Yeah, I'm done with that.

The cool thing is that this time I have all these gross photos of the surgery (inside) and a whole surgery 'report work up' that outlines what happened and who was there, etc. Apparently I was operated on 'in the round' - meaning the whole surgical team, my doctor and half of Stanford medical students learning about surgery were there checking it out.

Hope I didn't know anyone there. LOL! No, they kept my name out of it and my face was covered. If I were young, innocent and single, I'd have a problem with it. Look, I've had how many surgeries now? A c-section with half of Sonoma County there and well, after a certain age, you don't worry about that sort of thing in a medical setting. It's a fact. Surgery = nudity.

So, having said that, let me go to the gym to get those abs in better condition and to shape up a bit. Bathing suit season isn't that far away, right? Ha ha!

Thanks to all for prayers, kind wishes, checking in with me and especially to my hubby for being there for me through all of the surgeries, emergency room visits and LOVE!

Some people are just not getting it...

There's a singer named "Jay-Z" who's dating that Beyonce singer (and makeup model) who just came out today saying that he agrees with Kanye West (sp) another singer who is best noted for his recent angry remarks that President Bush 'does not care about black people'. He cites 'free speech' in America. Okay, fine. I can deal with free speech - it's what Jay-Z (not his real name, of course) said after that.

Jay-Z says that he's getting together with "Diddy" - another guy that can't use his real name apparently - to start a relief fund for future acts of nature - ONLY FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS.


The radio personalities who were discussing this on their news segment wrapped it up nicely saying "oh, well, so if there's a poor or displaced white guy next to the black guy, well, we haven't learned anything from history - so pass him up."

We're trying to get rid of racism, folks, not help it along!

Boy, I'm hoping the angry folks who are spouting this kind of stuff off cool off soon and read up on MLK or the latter teachings of Malcolm X. Or, here's an idea, pick up a Bible and read what Christ says about how we are to treat one another.

Lord have mercy on us in these strange times!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

More on the previous post...genetics, race, etc.

Here is a link to get a taste of Spencer Wells who's PBS special is totally worth watching. This is the scientist who works on trying to connect us all to a common ancestor. I found his special on PBS very interesting - check out this link to get a taste of what he's about. He may not have all the answers about where we come from, but it's facinating stuff to know if you're interested.

How many 'races' of people are there?

Answer: ONE, the Human Race.

Heard that on the radio today, some talk show radio thing here in San Francisco as I was driving to Stanford. It was refreshing to hear someone (finally) say that IF we are to place blame for what went wrong in NO, we should be looking at the MAYOR of the flooded city - who, by the way, has 'abandoned' his post for now. There was a general plan for a category 4 hurricane and it did include evacuation of the poorest folks - no matter what colour they were. Of course we were shown a most horrifying photo of the hundreds of long buses that were to be used for that purpose STILL SITTING IN THEIR ORIGINAL CITY OF NEW ORLEANS PARKING LOT...flooded...apparently the Mayor didn't think he was gonna need them?? The photo was shown last night on FOX news - I think the photo was from the AP wire.

Sigh! I think the 'mayor' is out of a job now - or should be. I'm so sick of people blaming the President. It's ignorance. No, I didn't vote for Bush or run his cheerleading quad here in California, but before these people scream that the President didn't do 'his job' they should go back to the 11th grade and learn about their Government - and what's legal for the Cities, States vs. the Federal Government. Sheesh! It's not as clear cut as these critics are making it sound and it's always been that way. Always.

Anyhow, back to the 'races' of people and my tricky question of the day. Hearing that question on the radio today made me think about a PBS special about a researcher who traced the human DNA back to a tribe in some really REALLY remote village somewhere in Africa. It was an incredible journey with an interesting result - we all come from the same 'Adam' - or the same guy, basically, sometime a long time ago. The skin colours are scientifically related to the amount of sun (or distance from the Equator) a human being was exposed to over time. As tribes adjusted to life, they ventured OUT into the world (up North, mostly) and their skin tones were adjusted accordingly.

Skin colours, tones and some features may be different, but it's all the same in the beginning and the end. Now, I'm a Christian and believe in the Bible. I don't say that I totally understand or 'get' Genesis (and am not looking for a debate, by the way) but I never read that God created Man and then created a sub-par 'man' in a different colour. Sure, he shook things up for us at the Tower of Babel, but for some reason, for the most part, we as humans can deal with language barriers better than visual or colour barriers.

Enter Christ in the New Testament. NOWHERE in any of his teachings did this Jewish man say that racism was cool. Quite the contrary. I especially remember this "Love one another" - I don't read or see any hate or separation in that statement.

I pray that everyone may reach for the colourblind status in this world - and drop the race card. NOW.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Nino learns to publish photos!, in honour of this new skill I've obtained (or rather, thanks to my father in law and his powerful DSL hook up and photo collection) here's my first picture pride and joy, JP! Here he is with his NHL colouring book (...what?! I'm from Canada!) learning how to colour and having fun this Summer! Now I can post photos of my ARTWORK so you can see I'm not just talking about painting!

In honour of Labor Day...the true story!

Here's an article I found on MSN today regarding Labor Day - why do we honour this in America and why on this day? Here's the answer!

Enjoy...and happy Labor Day 2005!
Why Do We Get Labor Day Off? Raise a glass to the desperate politicking of Grover Cleveland.

By Brendan I. Koerner (from MSN site)

Cleveland's desperation is to thank for Labor Day
. The nation will observe Labor Day this coming Monday, allowing millions to enjoy the waning days of summer, as well their last chance to wear white pants without earning a "tsk tsk" from Miss Manners. How did this early September holiday get its start?

Though President Grover Cleveland declared Labor Day a national holiday in 1894, the occasion was first observed on Sept. 5, 1882, in New York City. A parade was organized by the city's Central Labor Union, a branch of the Noble Order of the Knights of Labor, a secretive labor union founded in 1869 by a clique of Philadelphia tailors. Historians still debate over whom, specifically, to credit with the idea of a holiday dedicated to the workingman.

Some say that Labor Day was the brainchild of Peter J. McGuire, co-founder of the American Federation of Labor. Others argue that Matthew Maguire, the CLU's secretary, was the holiday's mastermind and that he doesn't receive proper credit because he ticked off the mainstream labor movement by running for vice president on the National Socialist Labor Party ticket in 1896.

According to Ted Watt's The First Labor Day Parade, the September date was chosen because it coincided with a Knights of Labor conference in New York, thus guaranteeing a sizable turnout for the festivities. Though the event wasn't particularly festive, at least by today's standards: It resembled a protest far more than a parade, with CLU members required to march in support of the eight-hour workday. (Those who ditched faced fines.)

The CLU held the event again the following year on the same date. In 1884, however, the organization shifted gears and mandated that Labor Day take place annually on the first Monday in September. In 1887, Oregon became the first state to make Labor Day an official holiday, with Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York quickly following suit.

For a while, Labor Day had stiff competition from May 1. In 1884, the American Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions declared that, by May 1, 1886, the eight-hour workday should be in effect across the land. When legislators and employers failed to comply in time, the result was a general strike and the bloody Haymarket Riot in Chicago, which caused the deaths of eight police officers and led to the hangings of four labor activists.

Though May 1 became an important day for Socialists and Communists, state governments and less radical labor leaders feared that the date was too emotionally charged.

In 1894, after President Grover Cleveland ordered the brutal suppression of the Pullman Strike, he realized that he had to do something to curry favor with the labor movement, which viewed him with contempt. Worried that a May 1 holiday would encourage rabble-rousing in commemoration of the Haymarket Riot, he followed the lead of several states and made the first Monday in September a federal holiday in honor of the workingman. The political maneuver didn't achieve its desired effect, however: Cleveland lost the Democratic Party's 1896 presidential nomination to William Jennings Bryan.

Bonus Explainer: May 1 wasn't forgotten, however. In the 1920s, it became known in the United States as Loyalty Day, and it's still observed with an annual presidential proclamation that asks all government officials to take the not-so-outlandish step of flying the U.S. flag above their buildings.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Being thankful...for the little and not so little things

Just wanted to post that I'm thankful for my family near and far, my hubby and my sweet son, my dear friends, for my remodeled nice and clean home we live in and especially for the little things in life.

A hot bath, a piece of good chocolate, your favorite song just starting on the radio, the calm and peace one gets during the Liturgy (even if it's only for a few moments - with a kid!), your favorite pillow, the sun coming through the thick fog on a weekend morning, warm sand between your toes right at the end of Summer -- and today especially - the blessing of having clean water at the turn of the wrist in your own home, healthful conditions to raise a family, food a plenty, and one's own health.

After seeing the problems with Katrina/NO and beyond I can't really do anything (launder clothes, go to the grocery store and walk through aisles of bottled water) without thinking of the victims - no matter what the politics or poor planning. What's done is done, right or wrong (and we all know it's horribly wrong). When I pick up a bar of soap, wash my hair, bathe my son at night, clean my kitchen - I see the faces of the women, men and their children in the squalor of the now shut up Superdome or as I lay in bed at night in my Pillow-Top Serta 'all the bells and whistles' mattress nice and warm, I think of the elderly people laying on the sidewalks - if they're alive anyways.

What brings things into perspective is this - prayer and reliance on God. My friend Laura wrote a post about reliance on God for all things and it helped remind me of what's important. Thanks, Laura!

In times like these, one has to be thankful for anything one has - and to say the Jesus Prayer, over and over.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Where are Katrina's babies?

Well, to give you a heart-wrenching idea, here's what I read in my local paper through the AP (wire service) today:

"At Touro Infirmary Hospital "those mothers were just giving my medics their little day old babies. They were just looking at us with fear and horror on their faces," he said. "We would put four of them in an incubator and just fly them out. They're scattered all over the country now. We couldn't keep track of where everyone was going." All the babies had ID bracelets on, so their mothers would presumably be reunited with them. A spokesman for the hospital later admitted it has little idea where it's evacuated patients were."

Oh Lord! Lord Have MERCY on these mothers and babies! My heart just sinks when I think of this.

Friday, September 02, 2005

FYI...a company that is matching Katrina donations dollar for dollar

Wanna make a donation that goes directly (100%) with no administration fees taken out at all AND it's doubled by the CEO of a major US company? If you already haven't donated to the Red Cross, Salvation Army or to whoever gets the donations for tonight's NBC rock fest/event, check out Melaleuca for this donation.

You can call them at 1-800-282-3000 if you're interested. They don't have a website set up for donations yet and you don't have to be (or ever be) a client of theirs to do this.

Haven't heard back from the OCA on what they're doing for assistance to the Katrina areas - I actually e-mailed the humanitarian director yesterday with a nice letter asking what they're planning on doing. They have a great program that they do each year called The Christmas Stocking Project that helps kids in Russia and beyond - so I asked if they were doing something like that for the kids in the affected areas. I also asked if they were planning on doing a donation drive or something around Thanksgiving - collecting alms with the kids, fundraising, etc.

I know that the local OCA church we have here is offering a percentage of their yearly end of Summer festival to the Katrina efforts, which is great, but wasn't sure what our OCA was doing as a whole. I'm sure they're gathering up ideas and getting ready to launch something - or at least a statement on it.

Not sure if any of our churches were caught in the Katrina mess, but if so, shouldn't there be a drive to help them rebuild?

And, no, I'm not the woman for the job, I'm just a good idea pusher. LOL! Ask my poor friend Jenn-Irene about that! Poor dear!!! I would sign her up for everything - THEN tell her about it later. OR she would find out through someone else about her 'task'. Needless to say, I was called on the carpet for this one many times and I think I've improved - or have I Miss Irene? LOL!!! I truly hope so!

On the job searching front, it's going slow, no calls back yet. Sigh! However, I got antsy and signed up with the local VOLT temp company down the street. It's ironic that it's in the same exact building that my last major company occupied. Apparently the building has been cut up into sections now (not all my old company anymore) and is now occupied by Intuit. Yeah, the software people. I may be temping for them in about a week or so. It may prove to be a long term thing, who knows?

It was interesting and kinda funny going through the 'Prove It' testing software for WORD, PowerPoint, basic office skills, spelling, typing, ten-key stuff. Although I've been out of the loop for four years (not dead, just a bit dormant) I scored pretty well - 75%-85% came out for all the tests, even math! I gave the interviewer lower than normal expectations for a Executive Admin, and she was thrilled with my scores. Now we wait for the jobs. Wonder if it's changed out there?

Of course I dressed nicely for the interview and then was told that it was Casual Friday. Ooops! Well, I never did well on Casual Fridays anyways. I look better in nice clothes although there were the days where one had to wear jeans and a polo shirt for some awful relocation of an employee or computer set up. I wasn't the type of gal to wait for IT to get it together and finally show up a week later to set up some poor soul. Now I am - no more crawling around on the cubicle floor hooking up some ungodly piece of equipment, thanks. I'm too old and dignified for that! LOL!

Happiness is fitting into some of your old business attire and knowing that your waistline has returned under the cover of darkness. Not to mention that the menswear look is back in again - and I'm all set. See, just hold onto your standard look for four years or so and WHAM! it's in style again!

I hope everyone has a safe Labor Day weekend - and keep praying for our neighbors - you know who they are. If you don't, turn on CNN and watch the horror show.

Lord have mercy on us all! St. Xenia, pray for us!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

New Orleans and the 'Boulevard of Broken Dreams'...

On NBC either tonight or sometime this week there's a music collaborative to gather funds for our brothers and sisters in New Orleans and the surrounding areas.

I think the theme song should be Green Day's 'Boulevard of Broken Dreams'...bittersweet and current enough to carry the week out while watching CNN/FOX.

...which I've turned off for now. I can't watch it anymore. Is there any good news in this tragedy? It feels like when I read my first Greek tragedy - that hollowed out feeling as you read more and more and see the characters go further and further down the wrong path. The big difference here is that in reading something you can put the book down and calm down a bit knowing that it's 'only a story contained in a book'. What we're seeing and reading in the papers today on day four of this mess isn't a story, it's way too real and that's painful. Even if you're not connected to someone over there. You're a human being, it hurts, you are connected.

Today CNN showed a woman with her little baby, couldn't have been more than 6 months old (maybe?) and the little guy was flopping around like a rag doll. The mother was crying that it was getting harder and harder to wake him up.

I swear, my whole body froze when she said that. Forever in my heart, mind and soul will I see this little baby flopping around almost lifeless in the richest country in the world on day FOUR of this disaster.

One of my favorite singers, Harry Connick, Jr. who has big ties (and family) in the Big Easy area went back to see what happened and boy, was he not thrilled. People laying around in the streets who may or may not be asleep (possibly dead), lack of control and food, water, help - it's all there and it's gotta stop.

If you watch the concert tonight, donate something, anything to help these people. It's a bit late, but they need it and will need it for a long time.

Maybe for Christmas and Thanksgiving this year we should have a collection with our immediate families instead of buying lavish, un-needed gifts - that way we can do something, give something, help those in need and maintain the spirit of the holidays ahead.

Just a thought.

Go to this site RIGHT NOW and prep yourself and your family on what you would need in case of ANY type of natural or other (God forbid) type of disaster.

It may never happen, but why take that chance? IF something were to happen to your family right now this very minute, are you prepared - at all? I know I'm not.

Also, it's helpful to program your cell phone(s) with emergency numbers. In your directory/phone book, place a contact name as "ICE"...all emergency workers/police, etc., know this contact code name to be your personal emergency number in case something happens to you (car accident, medical emergency, etc.). It's so they know who you are, who to contact in case you are non-responsive. That type of thing.

My family doesn't have any of these things done at this moment, but let me tell you - by watching CNN and FOX and seeing the Hurricane victims in such despair and hearing the pleas of the government and FEMA to BE PREPARED in any way you can, you bet I'm gonna prepare in some way.

I love my family and believe that this is the least I can do for them and for myself. To my family and friends who read this, PLEASE be as prepared as you can by doing a few things to help yourself, your immediate family members and to make things easier for everyone if something were to happen.

You don't have to be in Florida, New Orleans, New York or San Francisco to be prepared. Anything is possible, anytime.

Pass the information along to anyone you care about and continue to pray for everyone in the wake of Katrina.

Most Holy Theotokos, Save Us!