Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year :)

and this was filmed almost 40 years ago... just something to think about...

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Move Over Baby Jesus~ (another true story)

Asher and I were going to my mom's apartment to take care of a quick errand on Thursday.


I knew he and his brother had been there the week before with their mom, my sister Robin, to help decorate "Gram's" Christmas tree. As we walked (Asher bounced) down the hallway to Gram's door I asked Asher about their visit last week.

Me: "Asher, did you and your brother help decorate Gram's tree this year?"

Asher: "Yep Aunt Nonna! It looks really good!"

Me: "Well, {STOP RUNNING!} did you put lots of pretty decorations and lights on the tree?"

Asher: (Glances over his shoulder to look at me and says) "Nonna, we put lots of fun things on the Christmas tree! When we we get to Grams's apartment I'll show you the SATAN ornament we put on it!"

Me: {Taken aback-??? }" WHHHATTTTT???!!! What kind of ornament?" (Surely I misunderstood something!)

Asher: "Yes- Gram has an Angel of Satan on her tree- I will show you!!!"

At this point I am perfectly bewildred as we walk through Gram's door. Asher bursts past his Grandmother and runs to the tree pointing..."Look Nonna, there it is! The Angel of Satan on top of the tree!"



I turn to my (God fearing and Jesus loving mother) with a look of utter disbelief and I shake my head as I say, "Mom, do you have ANY idea what he is talking about?!"

My mother, equally surprised, catches her breath and pauses for a moment, then she says, "When Robin and the boys were here last week unpacking the decorations your sister came across the old Angel we used to put on top of the tree when you girls were little."

I cocked my head and said, "You mean the slightly singed Angel that used to light up? The one we cut the wires out of because it almost caught fire one year?"

Mom grinned and said, "Yes, that's the one. When Robin pulled it out of the box she looked at it and casually stated,

"Hey, there's the Angel from Hell that could have burned the house down!"

Apparently little Asher was listenening a little more closely than she realized.


*I'm long overdue to visit all of you and catch up- hugs and thank you for checking in on me :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Naughty Thanksgiving~ (again ;)

I know I've posted this before- but enjoy :) (If any of you actually do this to your bird- please send me a pic- I would love to see it! I might give it a try this year :)

1 whole chicken or turkey
1 large lemon, cut into halves
sprig of rosemary
salt and pepper to taste
butter or olive oil, whichever you prefer

Heat oven to 350 degrees

Rub butter or oil over the skin of the chicken/turkey until it is completely coated.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and any other seasonings you prefer.

Take a knife and gently separate the skin from the breast meat;

Slide lemon halves under the skin with the peel side up, one on
each side. This way the juice from the lemon will release into the breasts.

Place sprig of rosemary into the chicken/turkey.

Cover and bake for 30-45 minutes. Remove cover and continue
to roast until juices run clear, basting every 15-20 minutes.

If you've followed these steps correctly, your chicken/turkey should
look like the one in the picture.

Bon Appetit!




Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thursday night~

It's storming like mad...Ida is showing her backside as she moves north and east.

I have a fire in my fireplace, made BLT's for dinner, and had a sip (or 3) of diet pepsi and Sky.

Interesting how safe and warm I feel despite the storm that swirls around me.

The racoons probably feel less comfy- despite trying to be guests in the garage- Margaret would not hear of that (matron kitty of the house).

All the 'coons left (for evidence) were wet footprints...proof enough. Gus, however, is my buddy- and I wish him well on this stormy night. (Food is on the deck pal!)

Mom called me tonight...her heart beats too fast. The doctor made note of that fact today...but I knew it from spending a whole weekend with her. She wears out so quickly.

She said she was fine and just had a new med to add to her long list of pills, but I know what it all means...

Enjoy today. Enjoy the sound of the wind as it sweeps past you in your warm house. Love the creatures who wander upon your path. Tell your mom, or kids, or friends, or pets you love them.

The only life you can significantly change is your own. Be happy, or sour, longing , or the end the game is all yours. You are responsible for your own happiness.

Sleep well tonight dear friends. I will- knowing especially that I have known what it is to be happy, and to be loved~


Wednesday, November 04, 2009

23 million dollars~

It's all yours. Think about it. 23 million to spend however you wish...
what would you do with it?

As I began to write my list I thought of how I would help my family, and of setting up trust funds for all the kids close to me. I would give my mom a new home, or one attached to mine, and I would find someone to help me reshape my 40 yr old body :)

And I would travel. Travel everywhere. Plane, trains, cars, and boats!

But the first order of business should probably be to launch my company
"Mayden Gobal Communications". This would be the parent company of:

"Mayden Inspiration" (cards, stationary, inspirational items, etc),
"Mayden Heaven" (cookies, fudge, and goodies),
"Mayden USA" (scarves, baby hats, knitted blankets, and hand-made items by artists), and
a magazine/newsletter which would publish travel, restraunt, and hotel reviews, as well as promote the various branches of my company. I don't have a name for the magazine yet, although "Mayden's Voyage" might not be a bad idea :)

However, with all that said- I don't need 23 million to launch a company.
I just need to do it.

Hmmm~ what do you need/want to do?

A Question~

Ok...can anyone explain to me why someone would spend $23 million (of his OWN money) to win a job that pays less than $150,000 a year? Seriously.
I can understand spending that kind of money to become the next President of the USA, but Gov of NJ??? What sort of kickbacks make that kind of investment worth the risk?
BTW- the investment did NOT pay off...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


In my verdant lush summer garden- I discovered several creatures who had taken up residence. Everything seemed to thrive in my green little corner, and I took a bit of delight in observing the frogs, plants, and 8 legged crawlers who had made a home in the space I cultivated for myself.

One spider in particular was a lovely brown fatty. She was in the process of ensnaring a fellow creature when I spied her. She was wrapping him up in a tight silky bundle for a lovely snack later. I watched her intently.

In an instant-- it occurred to me she was oblivious about such things as the BMI index, or how many grams of protein she could consume in a day, and I am fairly sure the idea of eating broccoli never crossed her mind.
She had NO idea how fat she was.
And for a moment I was jealous.

Jealous of a spider.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Random Wednesday Post

"If you see ten troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you." -- Calvin Coolidge

It is possible tough, that the ONE trouble which finds you is a doozie and not to be underestimated.

Just sayin'~

Hope you all are having a good week! :)

And /t- a special note for you:

·(•°;o?§§¿o;°•)· & ·(•°;o?§§¿o;°•)· ;) ♥♥♥!

(where else in the whole wide world can a person flirt in code- except in this forum? :) (well, maybe if I was a spy??? Hmmm!:)

Friday, October 16, 2009

"Ode to K9" (love personified? :) Aug 06)


Friends...on July 21st a duel was settled, and my heart was claimed by K9. As I face the end of our 30 days (Monday) - I will tell you he has indeed claimed it fully~

Dearest Pup, my Beloved, Smoochable One-

This is by my hand- and from my heart.
Painted upon the soul- in pigment that will not fade.

For you....

"Ode to K9"

Faithfulness personified…
Is all she ever wanted~
Lovers had claimed her treasured heart,
But left her soul quite haunted…

Promises made but never kept~
Mayden’s beating heart discarded…
Left alone in the bitter night…
Only wanting to be guarded.

A Wooing Poet, a Romantic Dandy,
Or a Rottie for her to choose…
Words alone, Wine, Gun, or Bone-
It seemed that Mayden couldn’t loose.

But the pooch prevailed…He wagged his tail,
Mayden loved him with all her heart-
Their 30 days have come and gone…
The Voyage ends, and they must part-

Though we laugh, and kiss goodbye,
And reflect on memories we shall keep-
Such love and joy will show itself,
In the tears that Mayden weeps~

Good bye sweet one…I love you so
And you know I always do-
In my home, my arms, and in my heart,
There is ever a place for you…


Farewell K9…thank you for everything- but mostly for your friendship, wisdom, and all the ways you made me feel special! Love you pooch! :)
I will EVER be YOUR Mayden In Waiting~


For K9- a companion piece for your Part 3 post~ :)

"Steadfast and Devoted Attachment" ~ And a Winner...
(forgive my use the improper noun "He" :)

K9 was Fidelity Personified,
He knew no other way to live.
He simply loved the Mayden,
His allegiance was his pleasure to give.

The Detective- Beguiling and Charming,
Waxed long about being true,
About Harmony, Trust, and Alchemy,
And something about "Bondo" too~

But often he was discovered-
Chasing hoop skirts and ladies on the net...
On bended knees he proclaims adoration-
But Fidelity? Mayden is looking for it YET.

Boneman dared not try his pen,
Against 3 in a duel over One,
Yet Fidelity seemed a virtue he grasped,
If submitted- Perhaps he'd have won!

Part II
The Maydens View

The Sun and the Moon in their courses,
The deepest roots of the tallest tree-
Not for a moment do these elements falter,
This is "Fidelity" to me...

Ever working and ever waiting,
My thoughts alone belong to thee.
My heart (and flirtations) held in reserve for you,
This is "Fidelity" to me...

A Passion that burns and leaves it's mark
On my heart for the world to see~
Your words and mine- 2 joys combined,
This is "Fidelity" to me...


The Contest is nearly over~
And I fear there's a tie for 1st place!
The Pooch and the Wine Glass have said it best,
And Percy too has run a good race!

However, Cosmo has turned up missing!
And so Pup- Wilt thou be mine???
I know you're a dog- but you are precious-
Rag shaker, morse code breaker....


K9~ if the winner :)

Mayden says-----/GRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!

Part IV
A Loving Condolence...

Percy, you swayed and wooed me-
And your attraction can not be denied,
And if I told you it was easy to judge the 3,
Surely my friend-- then I would have lied!

But I saw how you eyed the lovely Miss Eyre,
And the Lady Wordsmith has captured you too-
And this Mayden feels it would be terribly unfair,
To Imprison a man such as you!

A kiss I give you as you go-
Your words have given me much to mull over...
And I hope after 30 days or so...
You might show me your Taurus Revolver??? ;)

*smooch* to you Percy, and thank you for being the reason all of this took place to begin with! :)

Especially for K9 :) A Pup needs "Sunshine"

Good heavens...I LOVE that dog!!! :) Smooch to you friend, and finally, a rub on that belly!!! ;)

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


I discovered an old blue suitcase when we moved my mom earlier this year. It was a suitcase full of treasure. Not a kind of loot I could take to the bank, or sell at an auction...the kind of treasure that has no estimable dollar value. The kind of gold that makes your heart skip a beat- and then beat 3 times faster.

The kind of treasure which gives proof to all the stories you heard as a child.
I found a suitcase full of negatives.
Like any good treasure I had to sit for hours and sort though piles of stuff. Ages spent looking at one reversed image after another. My mom was born in 1950 and I had never seen a photo of her taken before 1953. My grandparents were, supposedly, mad and smoochy in love when they ran away to get married. Grandma was 17 and I think Grandpa was 19 or 20.

mom, summer 1950

Grandpa was in the service and they went to Hawaii when my mom was 8 or 9. I saw her grass skirt a long time ago, and held her Hawaiian baby doll with long black hair and dark skin when I was a small child. I think mom still has the Hawaiian baby doll, but many other things disappeared in the divorce, and in the 3 moves from the big house my family owned, before it too was lost. The old blue suitcase survived though.

There were images of my grandparents I had never seen before. I believe there are a few pictures of my great grandmother who was a half-blooded American Indian. (Blackfoot maybe?)
I will ask my mom if she knows who they are...but I have to wait. I'm presently having the negatives scanned ($5.00 each!) and then printed, and I am making a family album for my mom for Christmas.
I can be patient for a little bit longer, but if you want to know what I'm up to these days- here is a little glimpse.

It's my mom, on the big Island, in her grass skirt.
Talk about a treasure!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Way to say No~

After pre-school on Monday I picked up Asher (my 4 yr old nephew) and took him to the park for a picnic lunch. He'd had a wonderful day at school and was his normal chatty-happy-self. We talked non stop in the car on the way to the park and I learned some interesting things. For example, he told me what he wanted for Christmas:

A skateboard with a Pokemon animal catcher, and

A Robot that makes cotton candy :)

When we arrived at the park and sat down to have lunch we began talking about his school day. Apparently the music teacher was telling the kids about Sign Language and going over a few common words and how to make the motions. Asher's mom has been teaching him how to Sign since was was a baby, so the lesson was pretty easy for Asher as he knew several of the words already.

We talked about how to sign "I love you",

However, with Asher being a HUGE Spider Man fan, he explained to me that hand sign was also the way to sling a web ☺

Next we talked about the word "Yes", and how it looks as if one is knocking on a door. He agreed and we practiced the sign while knocking on the table and saying "yes- yes" who is it? lol

With a burst of enthusiasm he grinned at me and said, "Aunt Nonna, do YOU know how to say NO in Spanish???

I smiled at him and said, "Why don't you tell me?"

This is what he did...

I laughed so hard I almost fell off the park bench! I hugged him and said, "I think I love Spanish!"
I DEFINITELY love Asher!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The moment of transformation~

"As they sang the hobbit felt the love of beautiful things made by hands and by cunning and by magic moving through him, a fierce and jealous love, the desire of the hearts of the dwarves.

Art by Chickory/K9

Then something Tookish woke up inside him and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking stick. He looked out the window. The stars were out in a dark sky above the trees.

He thought of the jewels of the dwarves shining in dark caverns. Suddenly in the wood beyond the Water a flame lept up- probably somebody lighting a wood-fire - and he thought of plundering dragons settling on his quiet Hill and kindling it all to flames. He shuddered; and very quickly he was plain Mr Baggins of Bag-End, Under-Hill, again."

But of course the story does not end there~

I, myself, fell under the magic spell of Tolkien again this week. His words are transforming. I must be a close relative to Bilbo :) (My height and weight alone are almost proof!) Along with his desire for an adventure he also loves his comfy little home. As in my house the tea kettle is a friend, and my tomato garden is a sanctuary. I worry (yes, I do) over my plants when I'm gone for too long, and I fuss about someone making sure the racoons get fed every night. One of the coons, Gus, lets me pet him from ear to tail when he comes up to feed. His mother and brothers have seen me just as often, but still scurry away when I open the back door.
(and trust me, I have not forgotten my lesson from the chipmunk!)
I read Tolkien and something in me stirs. The volcano of words with in me have been fairly well dampened this summer with losses, and surgery, and once tiny kids sprouting into adults before my very eyes...but he wakens the fire. Thank goodness.
Both Lewis and Tolkien were favorite authors of mine as a child. Their stories take me back to a time where hiding in a book was a good way to avoid some unpleasant things- like a house full of kids, dirty diapers, an no air conditioning. What could be better than sitting under a big tree with Bilbo as my guide, or Lucy- and tromping through a forest towards a dangerous foe- all while living in the heart of an ever growing and busy city?
Someone asked me yesterday, "What is your passion? How do you make a difference?" The question was posed again in another form from one blogger to another...with an urgent message of "invest yourself in something that matters". The message was for me as much as it was for anyone.
Yes- I'm a mom, therefore the investment of myself has been in my children, but much like the tomato garden, the investment is paying out . They are almost grown and act accordingly (well, most of the time! lol) I'm almost grown too :) (and still struggling with acting accordingly!) The moment of transformation awaits, and the journey probably won't be a quick one, but aren't we all on a similar path in that regard? Some are just further along the path than others.
I expect to meet some ill tempered Dwarfs, and a shape-shifter or 2, and most likely I'll run into a beastly dragon with a clever sense of humor...but doesn't it sound wonderful all the same? Aren't the elves, and the treasure, and the friendships worth the peril?
I think so.
~I know so~

Monday, September 21, 2009


Ever had a day where you wanted to curl up with a good book- and almost nothing else?

Well aside from playing with my 4yr old nephew, and picking up my daughter early from school, and cooking dinner...

I did sneak in an hour of reading in bed :)

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Back soon~

The words are brewing in my head again- finally...
But until they're ready- have some Veggie Beef Soup-
I call this one "Health in a pot"- (and it's not part of ObamaCare) grrrhhhhahahaha!

Some of my fresh tomatoes did end up in this- and it was DELISH!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

3.5 years of blogging~

And what it's taught me-

*Appearances aren't always what they seem.

*A blog-friend who connects with your heart is as real as your dog or cat.

*You will draw to yourself what you send out into the blogosphere.

*Some people will walk away because you lose your entertainment value.

*I didn't know I had entertainment value.

*Some will love you because of the way you smile.

*Some will take the time to find out if your smile is as real on the inside as it is on the outside, and so have I.

*Some bloggers will call or text.

*Some will give their mailing address.

*Some will send a surprise in the mail.

*Some will invite us into their homes.

*Some will show you a glimpse of their heart- when in day to day life they keep it very concealed.

*Some will lie.

*Some will take your thoughts and feelings hostage.

*Some will give much more in return than you ever invested- because you were honest and real...and those are rare gifts in this day and age.

*Art is created here, in this medium, like none other I've seen.

*Truth is revealed here, in this medium, in ways I've never experienced before.

*Loss- of a blogger's pet, or parent, or spouse...or the death of a blog friend, is as deep and painful as losing anyone in hug-space/meatspace/real life. If you haven't experienced this for yourself, if you stick around, you will.

*Movies your blog friends suggest will stay with you and will always make you think of them.

*Dishes you cook taste better if a blog friend sends you the recipe.

*Cookies you mail are more fun to send to blog friends than I ever dreamed possible.

*I cheer for my blog friends sports teams.

*Bloggers who whine are not fun.

*Bloggers who speak their mind frankly (and don't give a f*ck what others think- hat tip to JL4 and K9) encourage me. Always.

*Bloggers who take the time to write what they learn from a difficult situation, or how to cope with the hard things in life we must endure- are inspirational. Even when they fail.

*Actually, I've learned more from reading about failures in life than I have about winning, or success.

*The real spirit of a blogger will eventually show itself.

*Love in the blogosphere is real, and special, and I wouldn't trade it, or you, for anything the world has to offer.

I love my blog friends. How else would I have ever found any of you?

Things in my part of the world are fine, just busy with the kids going back to school next week. My mom's kidney function is down a little more, but she's in good spirits and I go back to the Kidney specialist with her late next week.

My laptop died in March/April and I finally got a new one- so Yeahhhhhh! Not having one has really stunk- and I'm happy to be all set up in my office again- and slowly restoring links, but it just takes time.

Hugs and be well friends. I'll be around for a visit soon! :)

Thursday, August 06, 2009

A New Day~

This is my wish for you:

Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so you can believe, confidence for when you doubt, courage to know yourself, patience to accept the truth, and Love to complete your life.”

-Author unknown

Saturday, August 01, 2009


This is a re-post, in honor of a friend...

Recall with me, for a moment, how it feels to stand before something enormous--
Like the sea, when the beach is empty; or the sky at night full of stars over a quiet plain.

I stand- awestruck- at the vastness that I am trying to comprehend, and yet I know that I can not comprehend it. The enormity of the ocean, or sky, or mountainside, seems to fill up my being- as if these that take up so much space must claim my space as well.

My mind, especially when viewing the ocean, likes to use the word "nothing" to describe it, as in, "nothing but sand and water as far as the eye can see", but of course, it's NOT "nothing". It's actually everything, or everything at the moment. The sea is not empty, nor is the sky, nor are the mountains. And when standing before them they eclipse and absorb me too.

Is this the "something" in our life experience that prepares us for death?
When I think about death and the finality of it I have the same feelings as when I stand before the ocean...It's huge, it's will, or can, swallow me.

I ponder death...I peer, though not too closely, because I am not able.
And even if I were able I'm still not sure I would; and what I think I can see is deceiving.
It seems tranquil and quiet, but I strongly suspect otherwise.

What I know of death is the same as what a person knows about the ocean from a photograph...or better still, what they don't know, what they can not see.
The vastness, the depth, all the huge and tiny things swimming just beneath the suface, things that one could never imagine, existing right there under the rippling blue green water.

One of my childhood friends died in 2000, she was 33.

She had battled cancer off and on since she was 12, and finally the treatment caught up with her. She passed into death, and when I saw her--in her casket-- this friend I had loved and laughed with, she was no longer there. What remained was a shell...her spirit was gone. She got caught up in the tide and was swept out, past the surf, past the big waves...way out there...where I can not reach her.

Sometimes I think of her and of all the things we learned together as children...and I wish I knew, or understood, what she knows now.

I stand at the shore and I feel so small. I stand under the midnight sky and I feel so tiny and transient.

Is it work, or family, or love that makes us feel more permanent and less temporary?

Or is it simply that we long for the country of our eternity...which is not here...and we will never feel as though we quite fit in because we are not supposed to?

I understand more this year about death than I ever have- and the one thing I do know is that love is greater than death and I take great comfort in that.

My love is never wasted.

It might be mis-understood, or not needed, or even unwanted...but it's never wasted. What I send out into the world, what I invest in others- comes back to me.

Death can not contain it, or stop it. I know that for certain...and I'm thankful.



You will be greatly missed JL4

Friday, July 31, 2009

A Coon Tale~

Creature of bedtime stories,
Rarely seen in the light,
Sleeping all day in a hollow log-
Venturing out into the night.

Skeptical, but fearless,
The dark forest is your home,
Mine is at the edge of yours-
And lucky me, You Roam!

Curious and hungry,
You scout for vittles on that deck of mine,
And I'd say you aren't too picky-
'Cause the cat-food suits you fine!

A friend or theiving foe?
Ring-tailed cat or fox?
Leaves no dish unemptied,
Turns over every box!

And when I sneak upon you-
For I can not help to have a peek,
At times you pause to look at me too,
Then scamper away on tiny feet.

My dears- you are always welcome,
I will fill the bowls just right-
And I'll wait at the kitchen window,
For your enchanted visits every night :)

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Birds and the BEES

"An advanced lesson- but less about the birds and more about the BEES!"
-The Honey Man ♥
I found myself one day last month with a Bee Keeper.

Not just any bee keeper... the "Honey Man" is a dear family friend who invited me to join him while he drove from one farm to another to check on his Apiary's (bee hives). He was preparing to gather honey.

I have known this particular bee keeper, "Mr. Tom", for over 20 years and we are related distantly by marriage. We spend time together almost every summer, and I normally see him during the Christmas holidays too. Well into his 70's- he's wise, careful, energetic, thoughtful, funny, and I've always admired his enthusiasm for life. Needless to say, I was impressed when he began telling me about his adventures in bee keeping a few years ago, and I indicated I would like to see his operation.
My request was granted one day in June.

Now first let me say that I am not particularly frightened of bees, although I have a "healthy" fear of them...they do have stingers after all. Some people are terrified of the little buzzing creatures, but I'm not. Snakes are a different story.
The 45 minute drive to Mr. Tom's house was gorgeous. The landscape was of green fields full of corn, soybeans, and tobacco. Loblolly pines, Mimosas, Oak , Hickory, and Elm trees stand together undisturbed on the edges of the growing fields. I always marvel of the breathtaking beauty of North Carolina near the peak of summer. Cool streams, gorgeous blue skies, stately trees whose age I can only guess, and bountiful crops which bear the fruit (and veggies) of the labor of men. I wondered "Could heaven be more lovely than this?"
Upon arrival we wasted no time going to the first set of Bee Hives.

This is not the actual Bee Hive, my camera died, but this looks almost exactly like the ones we were dealing with!

Under a shady grove of trees, with no extra apparel (meaning no hat, no gloves, no mesh protection of any kind) Mr. Tom set about the delicate task of taking the lid off the first hive, with his smoker in hand, and began inspecting it. Within a distance of 60 feet or so there were 4 active hives and at any given moment we were surrounded by no less than 300 bees flying around, but none seemed interested in what we were up to.

Mr Tom moved with confidence and skill. At no time did he flinch when a bee landed on him. He simply brushed it away and continued on with his work of checking the Super and pulling out the wooden slats inside to check the honey and to see if it was properly sealed. Honey which is completely sealed by the bees will last over 100 years (or more) and never spoil.

It was an amazing process. He showed me what the baby drones looked like, and the difference between them and the worker bees. The worker bees are all female, the drones are all males and their only job is to mate with the Queen. Wonder of wonders, he was even able to show me the Queen in one hive which is usually difficult to do. Even I, a lay person in such matters, was able to spot her when he pulled out the slat she was on. I took it as a good sign.

The average hive has 5,000 to 20,000 bees inside! When the smoke is pumped into the hive the bees make a sound akin to a massive vibration. It's hard to describe the sound, but it's not a noise I will ever forget. The smoke is meant to calm the bees, which it does, but the noise they make made me wonder if we wouldn't get swarmed, but alas, we did not.

I stood next to Mr. Tom most of the time. His confidence boosted my own and before I knew it I was helping him smoke the bees, inspecting the honey slats, and over all having a remarkable hands on learning experience. A few bees landed on me and I simply brushed them away.

The last 2 or 3 hives we visited were on another piece of land up the road a mile or 2. These bee hives were in direct sunlight and the bees seemed to be a tad more aggressive than the ones we had been dealing with earlier. No matter, the Honey Man and I moved in, got the smoker ready, and began inspecting the hives.

I was fearless. I was helping. Then the owner of the property arrived with his wife to see how things were going. They kept their distance, noting their fear of being stung. I just smiled and said. "Thing were going well so far!"

Within a few minutes of my confident statement the Honey Man was stung on the ear! He pulled out a can of "Hot Shot Wasp Spray" from the back of his truck and sprayed the tip of his ear after I removed the stinger. I'm not sure what's in "Hot Shot" that takes the sting out, but it seemed to work. Mr. Tom barely paused before returning to the hive, and I returned with him.

Unfortunately a few minutes later one little bee got a tad too friendly under the brim of my visor, and as I tried to brush him away-
He stung me...right on the tip of my nose!

Needless to say it must have seemed like I was praying because the first words out of my mouth were, "Jesus! It stung me!!!" The pain was unlike anything I ever expected. My eyes began to water profusely, and while I wanted to rub my nose, (which was also watering!) the stinger had to be removed first, which the Honey Man did very quickly. Next he grabbed his can of Hot Shot- and my first thought was "Wait, I have asthma...what's in that can of chemicals?"- but honestly at that moment I'd have let him douse me in toxic waste if it would help the pain.

He sprayed some of the foam on his fingertips, graciously, and applied it to my nose. It did help. I don't recommend anyone using the stuff on their face, but it helped- what else can I say?

It took about 10 minutes for the awful throbbing in my nose, and for my eyes to stop running (NO, I was not crying! :), but as soon as I could see clearly again I went right back to the hive of the offending bee (but this time with the mesh hat on) and finished helping with the job at hand.

I figured if you have to get back on a horse as soon as you fall off of it, the same must be true of handling bees...mindful that I've never been stung by a horse before!
Aside from a minor headache and funny numbly feeling in my upper gums, I was fine. I couldn't even tell where I had been stung, but trust me, I could feel it!

Of course the reward came later the next week when I went back to Oxford to help process the honey from the comb, which was a sweeter and less dangerous adventure, but an adventure all the same. From all the hives Mr. Tom owns or operates he gathered several gallons of honey, which he sells for $10.00 a pint, and I assure you it's worth every cent! It's even worth getting stung, but I'm probably the only one who thinks so! :)

As you can see, from a photo of me at the beach the following week, my nose is fine.

And if you want some honey- send me an email, I know exactly where to get it :)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Anesthesia~ the foggy land between here and there...

For good reasons, which I don't care to explain in detail, I arrived at the hospital on Friday morning for an outpatient (gyn/girl stuff) surgical procedure.
General anesthesia was required because the procedure is rather painful, but luckily the recovery time is fairly quick. I was nervous. Very nervous. I don't scare easily, and while there was nothing to really be afraid was personal and private- and strangers were going to see parts of me that I don't expose to the general public. "Sigh...I know, I know"- those Dr.'s and nurses see it all the time, but they don't see ME all the time. It wasn't an issue of pride, it was an issue of modesty. Well, mostly.
I suppose in this era of pantiless Paris Hiltons and wardrobe malfunctions my feelings might be a tad old fashioned, but they are my feelings (and body) after all. I also suppose that if I were shaped like Paris I might not mind being so exposed...but I'm not. Really NOT.

Once I was being prepped for my IV- I asked if someone could hook me up to a large Mojito, as this usually seems to help me with modesty issues :) I was informed that the mint leaves tend to clog up the plastic tubing in the IV line, at which point I said I would be happy to chew on the mint leaves if that would help. It was 8am and whether the OR crew was glad to have a patient with a sense of humor...or were concerned I was a lush- they promised the IV drugs would be better than a Mojito. They were true to their word.

I remember nothing between the moment they slipped the oxygen mask over my face and the moment I awoke in a good deal of pain, wondering if someone had left me alone with wild monkeys who poked me in the gut. Yeooowwwch!

The staff did all they could to manage the pain, but what couldn't be managed was my mind. I've had some interesting experiences with pain meds after surgery (hallucinations) but anesthesia seems to open some strange closet doors I have in my head. (no monsters though, because I have only ever know the friendly kind!)

While in the OR recovery room I thought (dreamed) I was sitting at my desk. Someone walked up to me and asked me for a pen or pencil, of which I have many, and with my left hand I was searching my desk drawer for the writing instrument. However, when I opened my eyes (because I couldn't find anything) I was merely reaching around under the sheets of the OR bed and pulling on the metal bar at my side. Thankfully no one seemed to notice. They did notice when I tried to pull the blanket over my head, but I have no idea why I did that. Maybe I was looking for a Mojito? lol
Once they moved me to the regular recovery room I drifted in and out of consciousness. At one point (and in a great deal of pain) I felt like I needed to find some information about the procedure I had just gone through. I was standing with a group of medical students who were looking at a wall (trying to read) which was covered in Latin. I stood there for a long time looking at the wall. Some of the words I understood and some I needed to copy into a note book. When I woke up (probably looking for a note book) I was in bed looking at the BARE wall of my recovery room. I was rather disappointed.

I probably had 10 or so of these dreams/visions, or commercials, in my head during the time of my recovery- but unfortunately I can't remember them. I do recall some were worrisome to me...dreams where I had forgotten something important, or I failed to do a vital task, or I was lost- or worse, one of my children were lost. I would wake up in a panic and then have to remind myself that it was just a dream...just a dream Cora.

I didn't have the presence of mind to relay what I had seen, not that any of it would have been coherent or logical. The next time I need surgery though I am going to ask whomever is with me to stand near me and listen to what I say and ask me questions to validate and/or record what I'm thinking. Who knows, there might be a story in there!

I'm home and resting now. I am definitely over the worst part of the pain issues, but still struggling with feeling a bit green. I think by Sunday afternoon I will feel almost normal again. I hope so~
Tomorrow my plans are to listen to the Golden Ganesh (I can hardly wait!!!) and read a great many blog posts which I have missed. Thank you for your thoughts and hugs- both past and present. I look forward to catching up with you all very soon <3>
(PS- any and all "Post-op" stories you have to share are most welcome! :)