Wednesday, December 31, 2008

12/31 New Year's Eve

Jane, Pete, Sarah, Joe, Cindy, Cody, Eric, and his girlfriend Julie just left. We played Wii for quite a while. I had a lot of fun, especially making fun of everyone. My animals are up late, so I hope they let me sleep in the morning.

Happy new year everyone. Just 50 minutes in advance.

Monday, December 29, 2008

12/29 Mud puppy

That's what they call crawfish or crawdads on the Gulf Coast. But it's also what I call Gussie. He was outside much too long yesterday and when I finally found him he had been wallowing in the mud caused by the runoff from our sump pump. My mostly-white dog was totally black. And he was having so much fun.

I was angry. Cuss words and "bad dog" emanated from my mouth. Then I started laughing. What else could I do? It was so funny.

I took a picture with my new camera, but must have erased it, because I sure can't find it. Too bad.

So I put him in the tub and the first thing he did was shake. I got him wet and he shook again. There was mud all over my bathroom. I had to laugh again.

Luckily the maids came today. I cleaned it up as best I could and they did the rest.

Now I have to go outside with Gus just to make sure he stays away from the sump pump pipe.

Note: I'd appreciate it if you'd read today's article. Thanks.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

12/28 Back to work tomorrow

These days off have been super. I've gotten to spend a lot more time with my family, which I really enjoy. A few of them have been stopping by to visit and play Wii. And we've been going shopping and out to eat. All the things I love to do. :)

Today is busy busy busy. Have to put all the Christmas stuff away because the cleaners will be here tomorrow. Yikes. Such a mess. There's no where for them to dust because every possible surface is covered with "stuff."

If you get a chance, please check out my daily column.

Friday, December 26, 2008

12/26 An almost perfect Christmas

The only thing that would have made it better is if my own kids and their families were with me. Other than that it was wonderful.

Christmas Eve at John and Paulette's new home was so much fun. As always it's great for so many of us to get together, plus there was actually enough space for us. Didn't feel crowded at all. Two highlights of the evening. One, when Aiden and Ty got in the "Christmas closet" and opened presents from their brothers' stockings. They can't read so luckily didn't pick their own. Second, was Joe's line, "I said bidet, sir." Of course it's not funny reading it, but we even laughed at it again last night.

Christmas Day the sisters got together at Jan's which has become a tradition. I rode with Jane and Pete and got to bring Gussie with me, which always makes me happy. Uncle Bill was there too, with his wit intact. :) The meal was superb, despite the fact that my cranberry salad didn't set. We ate it all anyway.

Of course I talked to my kids and grandkids yesterday, which made the day even more special.

Last evening, Jane, Sarah, Jordan, Joe, and Eric came over and played games. Joe hadn't played Wii before, but he's so good at video games that he caught on right away and did very well. It was fun.

Thanks, everyone, for all the thoughtful gifts, but mostly for the gift of the time we spent together.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

12/23/08 The good, the bad, and the fattening

The good is that I WON THE FANTASY FOOTBALL LEAGUE. It's made up of comedians across the US. They've kept me in because I've been in it several years. I finished third once, but this is awesome.

The bad is that I got stuck in the ice yesterday at Alpha Dog. Elizabeth's husband helped me get out. The "badder" is that I got stuck there again today. Had to call a tow truck (thank you Auto Club). And the tow truck got stuck too. I laughed so hard. Was there 2 hours which wasn't too fun, but still it was funny.

And the fattening was we had a going away lunch for a staff member. Oh my heavens! Still haven't had dinner tonight because I'm kind of full. I'll eat something or else I'll wake up in the middle of the night starving.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

12/21 Video from You Tube

I got this from a friend on Facebook and it's wonderful. About Jesus, and the season. Hope you enjoy it. (It's nice and short.)

Oh, I published another article, this one about Nontraditional Holiday Traditions.

Friday, December 19, 2008

12/19 A Blah Blog

Ever since I started writing the column my blog has suffered. Many of you are probably smiling at that. But tough--here I am.

Things are going well. I love the writing and have been getting a good response. Nothing like having a huge family. :)

But alas, I fell today on the ice--right in front of my house. The roads are okay right now, but the sidewalks are treacherous. Of course it felt like slow motion, of course I cracked my sidewalk, of course every muscle hurts.

But the good news is that I didn't re-injure my back. The pain there is just muscle stuff from trying not to fall. What a joyous afternoon--came home after a Christmas lunch to let Gus out and kaplowee. Down for the count.

So after I write my article for today, it's going to be bed and a heating pad. 'Cause now it's the weekend and there are Christmas presents to be purchased. :) I just received $600 unexpected dollars from various sources, and still haven't been paid from yet. So it's going to be a good Christmas, although most of this will go to buy a plane ticket for LA. Gotta see those grandkids (and Jill and Todd of course).

Must start writing. Love to all. (Ouch.)

Monday, December 15, 2008

12/15 Lots more....

First of all I just posted a new article: Everything I know about gas caps I learned from Vanna White.

Secondly, my Manny Pacquiao article got picked up by his fan site in the Philippines. As of noon today I had 4500 hits. I'm unbelievably surprised. Didn't think they'd pick up my article since the title started with "I don't like boxing." I'll find out tomorrow morning how many total hits I got for the day. Pretty exciting stuff for someone like me.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

12/14 Christmas tree tragedy

I had a wonderful time at my department Christmas party. We played the Wii Guitar Hero and sang karaoke. Great fun.

I came home and began writing my article for last night. I heard a crash. One of the cats (I think it was the baby) climbed in the tree and the whole thing came crashing down. Ornaments and tree parts (an artificial one) were scattered everywhere.

It was so depressing (and it was so late by then) that I just went to bed and picked things up this morning. Haven't put the ornaments back on the tree. Just can't make myself do it.

Those animals are lucky I love them.

Friday, December 12, 2008

12/12 Back home and happy

I was so happy to see my animals. I'm serious--I missed my pooch and kitties. Thanks to Cindy for checking on the cats--I appreciate you so much.

Gussie is sleeping on the floor next to me--being at Alpha Dog always wears him out--and the two cats are jumping over him and climbing on my desk. The cats were thrilled to see me. I wasn't so thrilled. They knocked over the lamp in the living room. I'll have to climb over "stuff" to right it. And of course I was thrilled to see them, just not the almost-damage.

Published a new article tonight. Thanks so much for your support by you checking out my writing. I got nice kudos from my channel manager and he mentioned me in an email to all the health writers nationally. Felt pretty good.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

12/11 Still in St. Louis

I'm at a fancy hotel and in a great training program, but I want to be home with my dog and cats (and my Wii). :)

After our sibling lunch on Sunday, I'm inviting any and all over to play Wii. I do need some competition, you guys. Jeff and Deb, if you come please bring your Wii remote(s). I have two.

Just posted another article. My channel manager just called me. The article tonight is something he suggested, and he called with another good idea. I'm going to write about Manny Pacquiao who just defeated Oscar De LaHoya. Why would I write about this? Because Josh suggested it. And he hasn't steered me wrong yet.

In the meantime I'm still on antibiotics, still coughing, but plan to be totally well by Saturday when I have a work Christmas party.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

12/10 You won't believe this....

But I got contacted by Fox News in New York City to be a guest on their show tomorrow and they wanted to know if I could get to NY. (I think they were paying for it, not sure.)

This was all because of my article about Oprah's weight and how she's now my best friend. I was so excited, but they changed their minds because real news intervened. They did say they may come back to this, but I'm not holding out much hope.

I'll just try to keep writing articles about offbeat things in the news and see what happens.

Thanks a million for your support. Love you.

(Read my column, please...)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

12/9 Oprah and me

Published an article tonight on Oprah and me and what we have in common. Hope you read it and enjoy it.

The class today was good, but I've been teaching this course since 1984, so it's a little boring. No fault of the instructor. She's great. It's just redundant as hell. But I have to take the course in order to be able to teach again.

My back did fine until the last part of the day. Told my instructor I'd have to sit out part of the class tomorrow--the part that requires being restrained.

The room is fantastic though. This hotel has thousands of rooms and only 47 of them occupied. So I have a mini-suite. Absolutely gorgeous.

Monday, December 08, 2008

12/8/08 Travel

Drove to St. Louis today. Will begin a CPI recertification class tomorrow. It will be weird. I worked for the company for 10 years, until 10/06 and I taught this class since 1984 where I worked, so it will be odd to have a "young whippersnapper" teach me. :)

And I'm so grateful my back is good. I'm getting off the pain pills, so I have to be careful of what I do, but that's okay. I'm in a real good mood about my back.

Went to my doc yesterday because I have a sinus infection. What a horrible time to be away from home, huh? But the hotel offers me sleep without having to take care of my animals, or without laundry, dishes, etc. So it's kind of nice being somewhere where people take care of you (for a price). Room service guy, Willie, brought me soup and grilled cheese, but threw in tea and lemon at no charge. What a sweetie!

Time for the shower, and then to training.

Oh, what I discovered about my column on If you don't post every day your ratings don't stay high. So I hurried up and posted last night. We have to post four times a week, but I'm going to try for more. I want to earn a little bit of money.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

12/7 Trying to get things done

Am on my last two loads of laundry. I finally put some ornaments on my Christmas tree. Can't put the angel on without help however. Am trying to get some things done since I leave tomorrow for five days. Have to pack tonight and have to grade papers. But what I really need to do is just lay down and try to get better. I didn't sleep much last night, but did doze today a bit.

Gussie and Allie have been friendly and fun today. Bozie is kind of hiding out. I think she's a little jealous. But at least she isn't as guarded with the new one as she was yesterday. It will just take a while I guess.

Will stop at my doc's office on the way to work and see if I can get fit in. Sure hope so. This thing won't go away.

As a side note, I'm in the playoffs on my fantasy football team (am #1 in our league). Am playing the 8th guy and he's tied with me right now. Sure hope I catch up. I've done well all season. Would hate to lose in the first playoff game.

12/7 Don't get in the doghouse

I absolutely loved this. Men, take warning.

12/7 Lots of things

First of all, happy birthday to my brother John. You're really old!

Secondly, Bozie REALLY hates Allie. Hope that changes soon.

Thirdly, my email is screwy.

And lastly I cannot breathe. Just thought I'd get it in there. I'll have to stop by the doc's tomorrow because I leave tomorrow night for St. Louis.

Omigod, Cindy, I forgot to ask you to come over once during the week to check on the cat(s). Allie likes people, not shy like Bozie. But maybe Bozie's bad habits will rub off on her. Who knows? I'll call you today.

Not a smart time to get a cat, I know, since I'm leaving. But she attacked me with love as I got close to her cage. She's three months younger than the dog and cat--four months versus seven months. I'll celebrate their birthdays together.

I have lots of work to do today--laundry, cleaning up, decorating tree, writing and posting a column, reading and grading 10 papers (each 5-7 pages long). What I really want to do is get a cup of tea and then go to bed. Or else play Wii. I think that would be a good antidote to a sinus infection.

Okay, I'm rambling. Sorry.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

12/6 New member of the family

We stopped at the Humane Society today and I came home with another kitten. Her name is Hazel Alice and am calling her Allie.

So I have Grandpa Gussie (Gus), Grandma Bozie (Bozie), Hazel Alice (Allie). The dog loves both of them but the two kittens aren't friendly yet. I'm sure it will happen soon.

Jane, Jordan, and Sarah stopped by for a while this afternoon and played some Wii games. We had a really good time. Then tonight Sarah and I went to see Twilight. It was really REALLY good.

Now I'm going to continue my coughing regimen. I'm going to set a world record.

Friday, December 05, 2008

12/5 A Wii night

I finally had some energy tonight and put together my Wii console and games. It was difficult because the TV in the living room is so big and I had to plug things in in the back, but I was able to rotate the TV on the table without doing any lifting. I was very proud of myself.

Created two avatars--Jer and Jerilyn. The first one is blonde, the second one gray. The blonde ended up with age 70 on the fitness test and the gray one was 45. Made me laugh. It was sure fun playing, but it will be more fun when people join me.

I have bronchitis again. Am coughing up wondrous things. And the grossest thing of all (don't read if you have a weak stomach)--at the end of the work day I was doing family therapy and trying not to cough. My eye itched and when I pulled my hand away from my eye--it was full of the same gunk I've been coughing up and blowing out. It was the grossest thing I've ever seen. Guess that means I must have a sinus infection or something, so should go to the doctor. Probably will.

Also guess this means I'll have to cancel my invitation for family to come over on Sunday to play games. Maybe my two nurse sisters, brave souls both of them, will still come and play games with me. Although I'm gross, I feel fine.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

12/4 One of the top health writers

For I'm one of the top health writers nationally. I told you it pays to have a big family.

Top Health Examiners

1. Pennsylvania Health Examiner
2. Mental Health Issues and Rights Examiner
3. N.Y. Wellness Examiner
4. Chicago Mental Health Examiner
5. L.A. Hypnosis and Health Examiner

Thanks, guys. You're awesome.

12/4 I'm a homeowner again

After a series of mistakes, mishaps, and miscommunications I finally own my home. Kris and I met at 4 PM yesterday at the abstract office, and they didn't have the paperwork yet from my incompetent mortgage closer.

Despite that, we finished before five. Kris and I hugged outside in the snow and we both said, "Finally." I've lived here eight months already.

We're both very pleased. She's been a great landlord, don't get me wrong, but I want this tax help.

My little cottage was built in 1896, making it 112 years old. (I'll make it's birthday be 12/3/1896--that'll be easy to remember. The third of December is when I bought it.)

We both would have loved to have celebrated with nice dinner and drink, but I had to get to QU and teach the last class of the semester. It went really well.

Cindy did a great job with Gussie while I was gone. And, Cin, thanks so much for putting some salt on my back walk. I wanted to buy some, but couldn't carry it. Anyway, thanks a lot.

Gussie was at the groomer yesterday. I finally found one I like--Buttons and Bows and 24th and Spring. They're open from 6:30 AM until 2 or so. So it's easy to drop him off before work and pick him up on my lunch hour. They did a great job on the "face, feet, and butt" grooming. Yep, I left the rest of him long-haired for now. Figured he had a built in winter coat as a lhasa apso, so I'll take advantage of it. He not only looks like an Ewok, he blends in with the snow and it's hard to see him at night in the back yard.

Yay. I own my home. Love to all.

PS--don't forget to read my new Mental Health Column.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

12/2 Wii and WHEEEEEE!

I looked all over town for a Wii today. Finally a guy in a department store said, "Go to Game Stop. They're the only place that has them."

Sure enough, they had about 20. So if anyone in Quincy, IL is looking for a Wii, just go to Game Stop. They have all the accessories too--except of course for Wii Fit, but they should be getting more in soon.

Plus, I just published another article. I'd appreciate it if you'd check it out. Thanks.