Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Untold Stories of the ER

The Evidence!
When God created Man, (specifically the nose) do you think He had any idea of the possibilities?  These fine instruments (in all shapes and sizes) are not just for breathing, or enjoying the smell of freshly baked cookies.

I know I cannot be the only one who has dealt with polyembolokoilamania.  We always wonder why a person would do this and even more so, are tasked with controlling our own reaction,  Just so you know, this is not a rare occurrence.

My first time being exposed to this behavior was when my sister Katy left her three girls with me for a few hours.  I recall that we were no more than 15 minutes into the first hour, when then three-year old Pammy promptly stuck a bead up her nose - so far it could not be "blown" out.  Initially, panic was setting in, but in those days I sported some VERY long fingernails.  I sat that little girl down on my lap and creatively worked the fingernail on my little finger, halfway to her brain to retrieve that bead.  There would be no emergency room visits on my watch.

So Megan called me last week.  She was on her way to pick up Averie (much adored granddaughter) who had somehow managed to evade detection during lunch, as she pushed corn so far up her nose, it could not be seen with a flashlight.  Straight to the emergency room for her, where after much stress and drama (from Averie's viewpoint) the corn was extracted.  The next morning when they were getting ready for the day, Megan asked Averie if she was planning on putting corn (or anything else) up her nose.  22 month old Averie replied very solemnly, "no corn".

When I was around ten, I remember a fly found its way into my ear.  IT WAS TERRIFYING.  The buzzing noise was real.  Luckily, my mom was able to help the fly "find its way out" with only the use of a flashlight.  For those of you who know me well, my thought process had already progressed to ear removal surgery to get the pest OUT!!!  

Who has enjoyed the show "Untold stories of the ER"?  If so, you are more than aware that adults place interesting objects in various orifices, that more times than not, eventually need medical intervention to have same removed.  What could be more humiliating?  With my limited knowledge, I am praying these are not the same kids that started with beads, corn, etc. up the nose.

Research shows that those identified as a serial killer, generally had some similar type behaviors that began in childhood.  While there is a huge difference between objects in the nose (or elsewhere) it just goes to show you, some behaviors start early.

I don't know everything about polyembolokoilamania, but this much I know for sure.  I will NOT suffer from this disorder.

Until next time,

your pal,

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

"You can't handle the truth"

Brain Games!
Who participates in Trivia Question of the Day (via email)?  I receive two questions a day and at times, am embarrassed by how I could miss something so easy; and at other times - amazed at my ability to recall.

Today's title comes from a screaming Jack Nicholson in an oldie but goodie "A Few Good Men".  I got this question right  - more because of Jack Nicholson than the movie (I am a fan)!

But then I started to ponder.

Who remembers growing up with the following instructions of things you never were to ask/talk about?  I clearly remember being told it was impolite to discuss religion, politics or money.  So we didn't.  Can you imagine?

The downfall of our society may have begun (in earnest) when social media was introduced. EVERYTHING posted is open and subject to interpretation and comment (whether it is "on topic" or not).  I believe the veil of anonymity is the emboldening factor.  Everyone thinks they know "the truth", and just like a car accident with three witnesses, the truth has many versions.

I remember when myself and three co-workers participated in a fundraiser for the United Way.  This was probably about 8-9 years ago but I remember it like yesterday.  We did a routine to music and all of us wore those rubber masks that cover your entire head.  We were all political figures (I was Hillary Clinton if you can believe that).  It was a lively parody involving interpretive dance moves. We were so much more animated as we hid behind the mask.  It was very empowering.  (video still available on You-Tube somewhere).

The mask of social media often unleashes venom and hate.   Most of the commentary I read involving anything that goes down the road of controversial, is filled with such opinions.  Yet, (thankfully) I rarely know anyone who is posting.  It's open season out there.

And I go back to things that used to be considered personal - finances, religion, politics.  You are not allowed an opinion - opinions are interpreted as "positions".  You are vulnerable to personal attack, bullying, in some cases, threats - if you "dare to be different" than the expectation.  It doesn't matter how you present your case, you have already lost.

I participate in social media but I still follow rules (manners) instilled in me since childhood.  And one I always follow; "if I wouldn't say it out loud to the individual posting, it doesn't need to be shared."

I don't know everything but what I do know is this.  The world would be a kinder place if we all followed those guidelines.

Until next time,

your pal,


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Ahoy there, matey⚓️

So right now I am somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico on my first cruise. My shipmates include Mr. French, Madison and Robert; plus 3,000 of our closest friends. 

We had a situation that caused the ship (Carnival Liberty) to return to shore within a couple of hours from departure. I am happy to report it did not involve any of us. 

Our first Fun Day at Sea kept us so busy we didn't even swim. Activities included Bingo, Ladies Day of Pampering, More Bingo and the Piano Bar sing-a-long, to name a few. No winners at Bingo but I did win the raffle for a free excursion for two!

Today we had an excursion in Yucatan, "Sacred caverns visit plus snorkeling. Wow!  I really liked snorkeling and this was another first for all of us.  We had an amazing lunch, visited local artisans and made it back to the ship before it sailed!

Tonight we participated in Game Show Mania.  If you wanted to participate, you put your name in.  Madison took the liberty of entering me.  It was set up much like Price is Right, with first person to 500 points wins. (3 contestants).  My name was called on the first round. After running up there as if I won the lottery (arms raised high and screaming), our host made me run back up the aisle (all the way to the back) high fiving all the way. My competitive streak paid off tonight as I was first to 500 points. Victory secured!

We are now anxiously awaiting the start of the Love and Marriage show at 10pm. Then it's off to bed for an early morning departure of Catamaran sailing,beach and fun in Cozumel. 

I was a little leery of the cruise life but I am all in now. 

Until next time,

Your pal,

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Putting on the poker face

Have you ever been around someone that did NOT have a poker face?  In other words, without a word, and just one look at their face, you knew whether or not they were "picking up what you were putting down" a positive or negative way?  

I think we can all agree that kids aren't born with this ability, it is a skill that must be acquired (and fine-tuned) over the years.  Recently, at an Athletic Banquet where daughter Madison received an award (MVP-Offense for Softball), her coach talked about knowing what Madison's position was (on any given subject) by looking at her face.  (don't worry, honey - this technique can be improved).

I have been told I have an excellent poker face.  Regardless of the situation, I can portray a totally passive facial expression, while on the inside I can be screaming, crying, cheering, denying and/or calling b.s. on whatever is being presented.  It is a technique I particularly focused on during my internship days while working on my Masters of Counseling Psychology.  Many times, the information being shared was quite personal and painful.  My frequent worry was that I might start crying with a client (not encouraged).  I learned to distract myself when emotions ran high by turning my head slightly to the left and looking up.  If the situation turned dire, I also became quite adept at listening AND running a grocery lists through my head.

Now let's talk about the other side of that same coin.  


This can be as simple as an eye-roll, wink or mimicking whoever is speaking (out of sight, of course) or doing body interpretations along with the faces (think
Obviously my friend is sharing "a face" in this instance
harikari).  I have a number of weapons in my arsenal.  Now, if I am mimicking, obviously I think I am the class clown and am prepared to be called out for it.  I try not to be mean-spirited with my antics; I just like to entertain.  I also have been flat out told that by some of my work buddies, that they will not look at me during particular topics in the meeting.  # hurtful.

So I was attending a conference in New Mexico last year about this time.  I knew NOT A SOUL and in those instances, I am a bit introverted.  While the topic being covered was necessary, it was not riveting.  All of a sudden, the woman next to me started laughing.  I looked over and she said "your facial expressions are killing me".  Wow.  I did not realize that I can be graphically facial without an intended audience until that moment in time.  I wish I could report that this discouraged me......but I can't.  And I did make a new friend (thanks, Gina)

So, this is your take away from this little blog.  If I am making faces, all is good.  I want you to "pick up what I am putting down".  I really like that saying.  If you see me listening with a passive expression, then my reaction belongs to no one else but me!

Until next time,

your pal,

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Long weekend update

What a "memorial" of a weekend.  With Madison graduating, we had the pleasure of having all her siblings (count them -five) along with their significant others, the grand kids, Terry's sister Wendy, niece Joslyn and her husband Wade, my sister Katy and her husband (Tony) and finally Madison's best friend from Kansas City - Kenadee.  Plus those of us who already live here!!

All the grand kids-Tall to Small
All of us ate too much, some of us drank too much, but none of us had a bad time.  The grand finale day (Sunday) was a reception at The Oasis for Madison, followed by family time at the house that evening.  The weather was fairly cooperative and the pool was put to the test with swimmers of all ages.  The house was full and so were our hearts.

As quickly as they arrived, the departures seemed equally swift.  Almost everyone left Monday morning. which allowed me to transition into recovery mode (through Tuesday).  The weather was appropriately dreary.

The only negative I suffered during the whole weekend happened on Monday - my Fitbit failed me.  It had been showing signs of wear and tear for the past couple of weeks, but was still faithfully tracking my every step.  Then suddenly, without warning, Karibit flat lined.  This means that every walking workout, steps throughout the day and staircases climbed since that time are not "official".  I have no record of them ever happening.  And we all know that if it isn't counted, it isn't happening.  Sigh.

So I went back to work on Wednesday, leaving Ethan and Nathan (two oldest grandsons) at home still enjoying time in Austin with daughter Marissa.  Madison still has Kenadee (thanks Tami and Jerry) with her for a few more days.

And I am still walking around without credit.  Luckily it doesn't impact my ability to report (type) and I am hopeful that a replacement will be arriving soon.

Until next time,

your pal,

Look past the water stains

Here comes the sun!!! Despite the streaked window, the sunrise was beautiful.  I would have missed it had not a co-worker said "Com...