It's so very cliché, but here goes

In spite of all the grumbling I do, I have many, many reasons to be grateful - all yearlong. I always wonder why I wait until Thanksgiving to acknowledge them and then realize that people expect it. Anytime sooner and you come across as overly sentimental, I guess.

I'm so very thankful for:

1) They are sunshine on legs, an audio-visual tickle, walking heartbeats. Thank you, Little Dude and Mojo.

2) My dad. He's gruff at times and tender at others. I love to hear him laugh and see him smile. He's a good man. A hug from him is always reassuring. Thank you, Dad.

3) My mom. Even though we talk only when necessary, she gave me the gifts of creativity and curiosity. And you know, she also taught me that parenting isn't just about discipline. She taught me how to enjoy my . Thank you, Mom.

4) My sister and my brother-in-law. Under their loving care, my daughter has grown and blossomed into a beautiful young lady. They gave her attention, consistency, and time when it was obvious that, because of work and my son, I couldn't provide enough. When I needed time to recover from a serious illness, they stepped up and made a very loving offer to help us. I don't regret my decision to let my daughter remain in their care at all. My other sister and brother-in-law have worked hard to provide my with distraction and diversion. They've succeeded beautifully. All of them are amazing people. Amazing. Thank you, AC and UD, AJ and UJ.

5) My friends. Do I even try to name them all? I don't think I can. A diverse group of people who put up with my seriously odd brand of humor and angst. I don't know how they do it, but they deserve hazardous duty pay for their efforts. They're there for me - they comfort, cajole, coerce, cohort, conspire, and commiserate. The most incredible thing is that they choose to do this...over and over and over again. I stopped asking why and just started thanking my lucky stars. Thank you, my dear friends.

6) Our Armed Forces and their families. You put yourselves in harm's way so that we won't have to. You do this selflessly. It most certainly isn't for the big money, fancy cars, or luxurious accommodations. You remind us that heroes aren't athletes or movie stars, they are men and women who put their lives on hold and face enemies that we here at home can only imagine. You endure separations with grace and courage. You do your best and remind us that we should all do the same. Thank you, all of you.

7) The Blogosphere. I never really understood how all of us managed to get here. We fawn and fight, praise and damn each other, stalk and disavow at alarming rates, work independently and as a group...and somehow, we manage to pull off some incredible feats. Blogging has changed the way mainstream media does business. We've sent prayers, music, and thanks to our troops overseas. We've raised an incredible amount of money for organizations like Spirit of America.

And then there are the personal touches.

You came to my rescue when I thought there was no hope. You gave because you care...and you let me know just how much with your words of encouragement, your prayers, and your chaturbate donations. I still get choked up when I think of your generosity - and I remember every single day. Thank you, bloggers and readers. Thank you all for making a difference in my life and the lives of others.

We are all blessed, and I feel doubly so. May we all continue to find reasons to be grateful.

Be safe, eat well, laugh much, love more.

This Really Is About The Carnival, Promise

Good news on the EKG front....

Now that I can differentiate between 3rd Degree AV Block and one of my son's earliest drawings, I can't wait to get back to work and try my hand at some of my patients. Okay, I can wait...but I am a little eager to see if I can pick out some of the rhythms I thought I didn't "get" before.

Light bulbs glowed like crazy for me with those wacky junctional escape beats, 3rd degree AV block, 2:1 conduction, and some of the ventrical stuff. My interventions, when asked what they would be, were correct for the most part. Extra bonus: I correctly identified three rhythms that one of my better-educated and much more experienced coworkers couldn't.

Anyhow, enough about my mad EKG skillz, go visit Interested-Participant for the Thanksgiving Edition of The Carnival of the Vanities. I promise, there's not a single turkey in the bunch.

Go on....go. If you don't, I'm going to write - in great detail - all about my Will Smith/Scott Baio fantasy.


A massive headache sent me into a sort of comatose state last night. After crawling into bed, I fell into a deep, dreamless kind of sleep. I needed it. I was exhausted beyond belief.


The bed shook and I was thrown into the air. Well, maybe not thrown, but I was shaken.

Once I was able to grasp hold of myself, I realized that it was thunder. Rain was pounding ferociously at the windows. Lightning flashed often and I hunkered down under the blankets and drifted off once again.

When I finally awoke to my alarm a couple of hours later, I was surprised to see that it was stil raining as hard as it had been earlier. Thankfully, the drive to work was easy.

The skies eventually cleared and we were blessed with sunshine and brilliant blue. Unfortunately, I could only view these through patient windows until I was able to escape the hospital. My headache continued and I was sent home early to rest. I'm going to need it. More EKG madness in the morning!

Ugh. Not looking forward to that class. I think I'd almost rather have this.

Smashing Success!

Smash just fixed the fan on the computer, extending Elvis' life just a little longer. It was getting to the point where there was very little relief for my dear machine if I turned it on. That was after it spent several days sounding like a garbage disposal.

Needless to say, computing was fraught with fear and danger - would the computer die on me mid-email?

The only good thing to come of my back injury was that I couldn't spend much time at the computer. That's probably the only reason the whole thing didn't blow up this last week.

Pretty Handsome Magic Shaving Chronicles

No, I'm not sharing the latest spam to hit my mailbox (no cialis miracles here) - it's a conglomeration of Little Dude stuff.

My son has been the biggest help since I hurt my back. He's been very gentle and comforting. It's really sweet.

Since I have lots of time to just sit or lie around, we've taken the opportunity to do some quiet activities. We finished the second book in the Spiderwick Chronicles. It was a bit darker than the first one, but Little Dude was begging to start book three tonight. I had to say no...we're going to take our time with these Jasminlive shows.

After that, we went through some of his magic tricks that he got through Scholastic. He's having a good time learning how to improve his sleight of hand moves.

Earlier, I had opened up this shaving kit for that I'd picked up before Christmas. It had been on sale for $2-3 and I figured it would be a good little reward for him at some point. And it was. He loved it. I showed him how to lather up (it came with "shaving" foam) and then how to use the razor (all very smooth plastic.) He loved it! I made sure that he didn't make any of those sideways moves when he "shaves" - you know, the kind that slice and dice. I figure if he learned not to do it now, he'd be saved many nicks and cuts later on. LD then showered while I made my way back downstairs. When he came down, he'd combed his hair neatly, applied "aftershave" lotion, and was ready to be Mr. Handsome.

"Don't I smell great?" he asked.

I sniffed a couple of times, "yep. You sure do. And you look mighty handsome. Got a big date later or something?"

"Not exactly. I just wanted to look and smell nice for you. You deserve it."

I just smiled. I realize that this is the perfect time to encourage that sort of behavior. Soon enough he'll be a teenager who won't want to shower all that much, who'll be shaving for real, and making a special effort for someone other than his mom. I'm going to enjoy this while I can.

Thankfully, we have many things to keep us busy. Things that fit well on the sofa or nearby. The Navy Edition of Monopoly, Shrek Operation, Crazy 8's, Dominoes, drawing, movies, lots and lots of books, and his favorite - Gameboy. I've even gotten into the Gameboy thing although I'm nowhere near as competent.

The back is still attached, although I wish I could somehow trade it in. The pain is getting worse instead of better (maybe not "worse" as much as it is becoming better defined) as I don't normally take the pain meds when LD is around. At least not during the day. Yesterday, I had a full day to myself and stayed well medicated. The difference was amazing. To be able to walk and sit without the excruciating pain was fabulous! Sure, there was still a low level pain, but it was nothing compared to what I'd been feeling.

I can't wait until I get to the point where I'm able to get into physical therapy. The doc has me waiting until the torn muscles begin to heal before letting someone manipulate them. I'm going along with her plan because, frankly, the very thought of someone touching me - even for massage - makes me cringe. Ouchy ouch

That's where things stand right now. I'm quietly waiting for things to settle down, grateful for the phone calls and the visits, the books, cards, colored pencils, flashcards, games, and conversations with a kind little boy.

All that sweetness and I still miss blogging, reading blogs, keeping up with emails, etc. I have to cram everything into five or ten minute bursts. Even then, sometimes it's too much for me.

I've received many emails from readers/friends. They've been wonderful, hopeful, helpful, insightful...and I appreciate each one. I will catch up soon and will reply as I can. I am very grateful for your concern. I promise that I will get back to you. I feel like a prisoner secretly tapping out messages to the guy in the next cell in between rounds made by the guards. It's all so abbreviated and rushed in an effort to get as much done in the short amount of time I have in this chair.

A special thanks to Madame Butterfly, Stew, Moxie, and the Smashes - you've kept me company, made me smile, offered your help, and/or made sure I was watered and fed.

Thanks for everyone checking in. I'll try to keep a running journal and type in what I can when I can.

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