Thursday, April 29, 2010

Just when you thought you'd heard it all ...

The venerable Peter Yarrow, one-third of the iconic folksinging trio Peter, Paul and Mary, apparently has recorded an ode to his colon entitled “The Colonoscopy Song.” Here he is, courtesy of YouTube. Incidentally, this is definitely not as good as “Puff the Magic Dragon” and I seriously hope Yarrow isn’t holding his breath for a top 10 hit or a Grammy.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sweet thoughts for a Tuesday.

Raise your hand if you think this is the most adorable little animal you’ve ever seen! Meet Einstein, a six-pound baby pinto stallion born last week on a horse farm in Barnstead, New Hampshire. Breeder Judy Smith says Einstein isn’t afflicted with any form of dwarfism like most miniature horses ... he’s just really teeny. AND REALLY CUTE. However, it’s not likely that anybody will be riding Einstein in the near future because even a toddler would probably kill him.
In other news, yesterday I got a killer craving for CANDY (it happens; I’m diabetic) so I visited a swell website called and spent $60 on sugar-free Swedish fish, fruit slices and gummi bears. I realize $60 sounds like an awful lot of candy, but keep in mind ... sugar-free products are pretty expensive to start with, plus you get free shipping if you spend $59.99 or more. So that’s why I did it. Bottom line: sometimes a girl just needs three pounds of Swedish fish. (Sue me.)

Happy Morse Code Day. I’d be willing to bet this is one holiday that Hallmark forgot. Thank you for reading this.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sometimes I just get lazy.

I am without excuse. I know I was supposed to post last week’s lab results, but I don’t want to drive anybody crazy with all this medical hoo-hah ... and I also get lazy sometimes and just don’t feel like writing ANYTHING. In any event, I do have some test results to share if you’re interested. Apparently all I need is a daily iron tablet plus a prescription vitamin D supplement twice a week. My thyroid (and everything else) is just fine. And I’m also pleased to report that my new blood pressure and diabetes meds are working out well with NO SIDE EFFECTS (so far), which is a mighty pleasant change after two years of misery.

Sam and I had a really enjoyable weekend that included several good naps, eating leftovers, sitting on our patio, watching “Sunset Boulevard,” lunch at Saltgrass Steakhouse on Saturday and Pei Wei on Sunday and hanging new wall art in the kitchen. Sam also spent a couple of hours volunteering at Baylor University Medical Center and I added some new features to my Ovation Creative website.

Both of us are always thankful for the nice quiet life we have here. This is a delicious luxury and we never take it for granted. Shalom, y’all.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Waiting for UPS.

I’ve always liked Thursdays, but today promises to be better than most. I’m expecting a ton of UPS deliveries this afternoon, probably within the next hour or so, and I’m so excited I might actually sit in the living room and stare out the window to watch for the truck! Today’s haul will include our new SUMMER QUILT SET and a set of KING-SIZE BED LINENS from, three big BEDDING STORAGE BAGS from Wal-Mart, eight cartons of CLIF BARS from and a new ivory eyelet ELASTIC BED RUFFLE from (details follow). This is so cool I might hyperventilate!

About this incredible new bed ruffle ... it’s only $24.99 and you don’t have to lift your mattress, it just slides over the top like a gigantic skirt with an elastic waist! I’m not even planning to remove the ruffle that’s currently on my bed (for which Sam will be eternally grateful); the new one will sit on top of it. Our bed weighs ten tons, and moving the mattress requires the strength of Godzilla and a few of his best friends. Just mention the words “dust ruffle” in my house and poor Sam has a sour face for three days. (I suspect this has something to do with an experience involving his ex-wife, so I just keep my mouth shut.)
Incidentally, the Howdygram would like to wish all of you a very happy Earth Day. I vote we do something wonderful for our planet and ship the Palin family to Mars. Thank you for reading this.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Good news for a Wednesday morning.

Remember when I promised to post some news after my follow-up doctor appointment yesterday? Well, I lied. Everything took way longer than I expected because the office was surprisingly busy and then my stupid vein kept shutting down when the phlebotomist tried to draw six tubes of blood. I was so happy to finally get the hell out of there I didn’t want to think about doctors or drugs or needles for the rest of the day.

In any event, the appointment went well, and I’m pleased to report that I’m not dying of an exotic blood disorder. As soon Dr. Meyrat receives this latest round of lab results she’ll prescribe whatever I need. Apparently what’s causing all this are very low iron and vitamin D levels, a paralyzed thyroid gland (my interpretation) and low hemoglobin and hematocrit ... even though I’ve been assured that I’m NOT suffering from cirrhosis of the liver or sickle cell anemia. Believe it or not, I actually feel quite healthy right now. And a week ago Dr. Meyrat adjusted some of my maintenance meds (discontinued two and started two new ones) and a whole list of annoying long-term side effects disappeared almost overnight. Once I start taking thryoid medication I’ll feel even BETTER.

In other news, does anybody ever watch “Millionaire Matchmaker” on Bravo? What an idiotic reality show. For those of you who’ve never seen it, Patti owns an L.A.-based matchmaker service for millionaires who can’t find love ... most of them men with abundant personality and grooming issues. Eventually Patti hosts a cocktail reception to introduce each client to a roomful of potential “matches,” which consists of a crowd of eager twentysomethings dressed up like the Real Housewives of Orange County ... usually platinum blondes with spray tans and silicone implants. Every show also includes a scene with Patti in a rage when a client typically picks a bimbo instead of a woman of quality. My thought is, how can he tell the difference? THEY ALL LOOK LIKE CALL GIRLS.

Thank you for reading this.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Weather and storage solutions.

Twenty years ago a TV channel devoted to weather was a very clever idea ... except now we all have computers, iPads and mobile phones and don’t have to sit in front of the television for 45 minutes waiting for the next local forecast. So what’s a weather network to do now that we’ve settled into the second decade of the 21st century? Maybe they could they think about covering HARD NEWS beyond the immediate scope of a natural disaster (even though it’s fun to toss a reporter into a category four hurricane) or try investigative reports on FEMA or volcanic ash or global warming. However, if you’re totally clueless like The Weather Channel, why not just show LAME HOLLYWOOD MOVIES ABOUT WEATHER.

I’m not joking. I turned to The Weather Channel night before last to find out how a local storm was progressing here in Dallas and all I got was Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. Quite honestly, if they’re so damn desperate for alternate programming maybe they could take some stock footage of a disaster and add their own dialog and sound effects, like Woody Allen’s What’s Up Tiger Lily.
In case you’re not sure what this is, it’s a gigantic COMFORTER BAG for storing off-season bedding. Sam and I have huge closets here, but none of our shelves are deep enough for king-size comforters and blankets. So with our new summer quilt set on the way from I decided to research storage options for our winter bedding and found these terrific handled totes on Wal-Mart’s website. They’re 25" square and a foot deep, and according to a bunch of customer reviews (I love reading customer reviews!) they’ll hold a king-size comforter with room to spare. I bought three totes at $9.88 each. I’ll store them in a nice neat row on the floor of our walk-in closet.

As much as I’m enjoying this post, I think I’ll go to bed now. Sam hit the sack three hours ago and actually slept most of the day on Saturday. He said he was just exhausted from a crazy week at work, which is certainly true, but he also hasn’t been feeling very well because he’s sucking on lozenges and carrying tissues. He pretends he’s okay, but he can’t fool ME. I’m a genius.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Springtime in Texas.

I’m up early today for no apparent reason. The sky is dark and overcast, I don’t have anywhere to go, I’m not particularly hungry right now and Sam is still in bed and asleep. I’d love to tell you I’m sitting at my desk listening to the spring rain against my window, but I’ve been too hard of hearing for that kind of thing for at least ten years. The only reason I know it’s raining is because I looked outside.

To celebrate the season I’ve decided to splurge on a new quilt set for the master bedroom because our gigantic winter-weight comforter has been getting on my nerves. (my #1 favorite place to shop) has so many fantastic quilts that it’s almost impossible to make a decision, but here’s the set I finally ordered this morning:
Is this great, or what? It’s a king-size quilt with two king pillow shams for 60% off retail, and I also ordered a set of ivory king-size wrinkle-free sateen stripe sheets on sale for only $39.99. Personally, I think bedding is the best reason to shop on The prices, especially for high thread-count sheets, are INCREDIBLE, plus there’s NO SALES TAX and shipping is just $1 for any size order. Seriously ... even if you buy a sofa, a barbecue grill, a set of pots and pans and ten bowling balls, shipping is still a buck!

In other shopping news, here are three new products I tried this week from Schwan’s:
I’m always on the market for nice snacky things for Sam, but nothing here is exciting enough to write home about, to tell you the truth. The Buffalo chicken egg rolls are okay but definitely not spicy enough, the cheesesteak pouches are stuffed with underseasoned and generally unrecognizable goo, and those fetal chicken tacos are so small you can eat them without chewing. No kidding, they’re maybe an inch long. Who the hell needs MINIATURE FOOD?

Thank you for reading this.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Medical puzzles and a special 80th birthday.

Before I get off on one of my expected tangents, I went to the doctor yesterday and want to take a minute to share a late-breaking medical update. My lab test results are in. The good news is, my blood glucose, cholesterol, trigycerides, kidneys and liver are all excellent, which is a huge relief when you’re diabetic. Unfortunately, I also learned that I’m “severely anemic” (almost to the point of needing a BLOOD TRANSFUSION), my thryoid gland isn’t functioning and my iron level is extremely low. I have to go back to the doctor next week for additional tests so we can figure out what to do next. Let me add that I looked up all of these conditions on and honestly don’t think I’ve got any of the symptoms except for fatigue. For instance, other common indicators of anemia can include difficulty concentrating, dizziness, pale skin, leg cramps, dementia, hallucinations, and hunger for strange substances such as paper, ice, or dirt (I’m not joking about this). As far as I know, I haven’t exhibited any signs of advanced lunacy or cravings for cardstock kebabs. I’ll post again after my next doctor appointment and let y’all know what’s happening.

Incidentally, this morning for the very first time I experienced hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) ... probably because I accidentally took an extra dose of diabetes medication yesterday. It started at 3 a.m. when I woke up disoriented in a clammy sweat with heart palpatations, so I lurched into the kitchen and shoveled a bunch of raisins into my mouth. This happened two more times through early afternoon with increasing intensity but finally subsided. Low blood sugar is a scary thing. Sam was so freaked out he offered to stay home from work, but I convinced him that I had plenty of emergency raisins on hand and just wanted to lie down and take a nap. Nobody has to stay home from work to watch me do THAT.
In other news, Hostess Twinkies are celebrating their 80th birthday today. Twinkies were invented in 1930 in Chicago by Hostess’ bakery manager James Dewar; Margaret Branco, the original “Twinkie stuffer,” filled each cake individually using a foot-pedal operated machine. It’s common knowledge that today’s Hostess Twinkies bear no resemblance to the original creation, as they’re currently made of rubberized polyester filled with whipped caulk. We recommend that you eat a Clif bar instead. Thank you for reading this.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

You know you live in a hick town when ...

... the 32-year-old candidate for Mesquite’s city council sends a letter of introduction to every resident outlining his qualifications for the post: a high school diploma, two years of college and a steady job at Ace Hardware. With a background like that he could even be elected governor of Alaska!

In other local news ... they’re blowing up Texas Stadium at 7 a.m. tomorrow, and for the bargain price of $25 you can still find space to park in the stadium’s lot and watch the former home of the Dallas Cowboys implode. Apparently this is one crowd that loves any excuse to party. There’s a huge tented viewing area, bleachers, catering and VIP shuttle buses running from the Four Seasons Hotel ... but those tickets have been sold out for months. Personally, I’d rather spend my money on a nice brunch at Blue Mesa than drive to Irving, Texas at 7 a.m. and choke on stadium debris, but what the heck. I’m funny that way.

Thank you for reading this. Seriously.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

This is almost like being drunk.

I once read an article that said severe fatigue will make you behave like you’re intoxicated. Know what? I’m here to tell you that’s pretty damn accurate. I haven’t slept in almost 24 hours and anybody who walked into my house right about now would think I just polished off a bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream. If I can get a few neurons to function I’ll tell you how I got into this mess.

Sam worked a lot of hours yesterday. His normal schedule is 2 to 10 p.m., but he was really busy last night at the office with a lot of client hoo-hah and didn’t actually get home until 5 this morning. I don’t sleep when Sam works that late because I keep opening one eye to look at the clock, so I’m in bed but wide awake when he walks in at 5 a.m. And then I can’t get comfortable because my carpal tunnel hand is killing me, so I decide to get up for a while. I go to the bathroom. There’s a giant mosquito thing flying around so I yell for Sam to come kill it for me.

I take some pain medication for my hand and sit at the computer reading my favorite news websites. Then I decide I’m hungry and end up in the kitchen eating American cheese. At 7:15 I finally decide to try going back to bed. This works for about an hour ... until someone rings the front doorbell three times and starts pounding on the door. In a stupor Sam and I both get up and discover it’s FedEx delivering my replacement Epson printer (see yesterday’s post). Swell. Sam signs for the package and goes straight back to bed; I’m wide awake again and end up in the family room watching a creepy British movie from 1933 called “Cavalcade.” I’m so tired I’ve got double vision but my hand still hurts and I can’t fall asleep.

I won’t bore you with too many additional details at this point except to tell you it’s now 4:45 in the afternoon, Sam went back to work two hours ago, and I still haven’t had 10 minutes of sleep. As soon as I finish this post it’s my plan to make some popcorn and lie down on the couch. Either that or I’ll try out for the female lead in “Night of the Living Dead.” Thank you for reading this.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Epson is definitely a class act.

Just a quick update to part of my last post. I called Epson’s toll-free customer service hotline this morning about my non-functioning Artisan 700 inkjet printer ... and my experience was exceptionally fabulous. The service rep confirmed that I had registered my printer online when I bought it, it’s still under warranty, and THEY’RE SENDING ME A BRAND NEW REPLACEMENT PRINTER TODAY for overnight delivery. All I have to do is ship back the broken printer at no cost to me. I can stop hunting for the receipt and I won’t have to shlep the printer to Fry’s for repairs.

Go buy yourself an Epson product. Seriously, this company is a class act.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Crap happens when you least expect it.

First, a quick medical report. MY RIGHT HAND IS KILLING ME. To be honest with you, I always believed carpal tunnel syndrome was a bogus health issue invented by people who manufactured ergonomic mouse pads and wrist braces. Never in a million years did I ever think this was a genuine physical condition that involved real pain. Boy, was I ever WRONG. I’ve been through a lot of crap in my life, like major surgeries, uterine cancer, endometriosis, plantar fasciitis, arthritis and four decades of increasingly serious dental emergencies, and the pain of carpal tunnel syndrome ranks right up there with the worst of it. I CAN’T USE MY RIGHT HAND, which means I also can’t grip the steering wheel in my car, push a shopping cart, lift a fork or spoon, blow-dry or brush my hair, type, move my mouse, hold a pen or hook my bra. I wear a wrist brace 24/7 except when I’m in the shower and try to do some dinky flexibility exercises two or three times a day. The exercises don’t seem to be working. NOTHING seems to be working. I see the doctor again on April 13, so stay tuned.

In other news, my Epson inkjet printer is broken. On Thursday I started getting an error message saying the paper tray is inserted incorrectly, but I know that’s crap because there’s only one way to insert the stupid tray and it doesn’t exactly take a brain surgeon to figure it out. So nothing is printing. This is really a shame for two key reasons: 1) the printer is less than a year old; and 2) it’s still under warranty but WE CAN’T FIND THE RECEIPT FROM FRY’S. Sam and I tore the place apart this morning with no luck. And I’d be willing to bet that repairs would cost more than a new printer. I’m calling Epson’s customer support center on Monday to find out if they have my warranty on file. PLEASE CROSS YOUR TOES AND FINGERS.
Tiger Woods returns to the PGA Tour next week. Let’s hear a gigantic YAY ... all together now! Tiger is playing in the Masters Tournament at Augusta National and the first round starts on April 8. Golf hasn’t been the same without him, and I will be glued to my TV. Anybody who’s interested in watching with me should send an email to reserve a spot on the sofa. Refreshments will be served, but I don’t have any cookies in the house so if you want some please BYO. Thank you.