Conversing with 18 year olds on Facebook

Follows is an exchange that I had with our younger son’s new girlfriend (Emily) and his best friend (Dylan) on Facebook.  Our son starts the thread off with an innocent complaint about the sunburn he got last weekend.  Alasdair went Saturday and Sunday to a big concert at The Gorge in central Washington state – a place where the sun really knows how to shine. It was very hot with little chance of finding shade. The place is a rock wall gorge which forms a natural amphitheater. Like I said – hot. I tried to teach my boys about sun screen but what can I say?  He is eighteen.

The whole thing is just too humorous not to share!


The best things

spring flowers smile
left on the kitchen table
welcome me home
flowers coming home

The best things are people who care about you. Thank you for all your messages the last few days, friends. If words could be flowers, then your comments boosted my spirits as did these plants which friends and family gave me the other day.

The best thing about staying overnight in the hospital is that you can get in the car the next day and be taken HOME. Each day I am becoming more fit for sure! I am now pretty much off the pain meds and regaining some stamina. I’m glad that’s over with! All should be well soon.

How health care works in Canada

I would like to hear from my Canadian friends if they concur with this analysis of the Canadian Universal Health Care system.  Let’s start hearing the real story from people who actually use the Care Card instead of listening to the distorted lies from the insurance companies and Pharma in the US.  (It’s a long shot that we’ll even get close to this system in our present political go around.)  Read the whole letter here at The Dish.  Gosh, do you think common sense will turn us into a communist country?

Someone in British Columbia has this to say:

For that monthly $54 (and with no additional insurance), I have access to a family doctor whenever I need one, to walk-in clinics where doctors treat individuals on a first-come, first-served basis, and to emergency or standard medical care in hospital. And whether it is a quick diagnosis and prescribed antibiotics for an infected spider bite (me) or radical chemotherapy treatment, months of hospitalization and surgery for life threatening cancer (one of my closest friends) – there are no bills for that care.

You simply present your Care Card where you are receiving treatment identifying you as a resident of the province, and you are entitled to whatever care you need as determined by your doctor – not “the government” and not any insurance company. Of course, this care is not “free”. As Canadian citizens, we all pay for this incredible privilege of universal health care through our taxes, which are slightly higher than in the US. But I think about those MasterCard commercials from a few years back – “Piece of mind knowing that you and your family will never be financially ruined by health care bills? Priceless.” There was a long, hard political fight for universal health care in Canada. Man, was it worth it.

Zoe at six months

You are going to do what?


I would hide under the table too.  It does not seem possible but she’s about six months old and it’s high time!  After all, we don’t want to contribute to the overpopulation of unwanted animals around here.  Our kitten Zoe came home from the vet’s this morning after her spaying yesterday.  She is rather tired and not very playful but this evening she seems to be paying closer attention to all her favorite things.  She is all up to date on her shots too.  Thank goodness that is over.  Man, it isn’t cheap either!

Cheerio love

cheerios This is Friday and my random cells are dominating the keyboard — temporarily.  One random item about myself which I feel necessary to share with all of you is that I really like Cheerios.  A lot.  No, no this is not an ad for General Mills.  Even though I’m not so sure they really do scour one’s arteries like they claim…. I mean come on – do Cheerios really soak up the bad cholesterol (LDL)?  Can I see this under a microscope please?

At any rate, I don’t mind.  I like them.  I like them with no sugar on top;  just milk and not necessarily for breakfast.  Breakfast I am not that fond of and I can’t stand mushy oatmeal, so this is a very sensible trade.  Also, just to clear this up:  Honey Nut Cheerios don’t even hold a swift second chance to regular Cheerios.  They are too dang sweet.  Our older son unfortunately can’t stand to buy Cheerios now because I think I must have, dietarily-speaking, offered them up too enthusiastically  when he was little.  Always, always, always with the Cheerios!

Tea Talk

englishteastoregreenAs much as we love coffee at our house, tea is no slouch contender around here.  This is especially true lately as I have been trying to cut back drastically on caffeine – switching almost entirely to decaf.   (I know, I know don’t rub it in.)   I have resigned myself to feeling dull and tired for a few weeks while I go through withdrawal.  So, to ease the transition I have recently been using our French Press to make Oolong tea, which I buy in loose leaf bulk.  I don’t drink Oolong because of its highly publicized dieting attributes;  (although that wouldn’t deter me)  I have been drinking it since I was a child when my Mom would order tea from the Murchies Co. up in Canada.  (Is anyone else familiar with this tea company?)  My Mom would twice a year order exotic blends like Spider Leg which I remember as this most delicate green tea with  long dried leaves which took forever to unfurl but when they did it wafted the most aromatic and subtle aroma. We only brewed this tea on special occasions, like on her birthday for instance.  She also would order  Russian Caravan.  Why on earth she liked this tea, I don’t know and to this day I cannot stand the smell of it. Perhaps it was the power of suggestion but that tea was more than pungent!  It smelled too much like the gravel country road outside our house at Proctor after the neighbor’s cattle had been moved from the east pasture!

Back to good smells:   Last week I was online looking for a source of loose teas since my old supplier went out of business.  The obvious place to go was The Republic of Tea but I discovered them a pretty expensive place to shop.  I rather gave up after their bulk tea was adding up to about $40 in my shopping cart.  Then, a couple days later Matthew  ran into The English Tea Store.   I was able to buy organic Oolong loose leaf tea for less than half the price at ROT.  My son’s fiancee’ was also able to find a replacement for her favorite tea pot which was recently broken at school.  She was tickled to discover the exact color of teapot she had before – a St. Patrick’s dark green.

It is curious to me how much quality family and community time I do centered around my tea pot.  The tea and pot have a very important place at our table.  I’d be very sad if anything happened to it; which is always a distinct possiblity with pottery or items made of fragile china.  So, I can identify with her delight in finding a replacement for a much missed, broken tea pot.  That pleasure is not just reserved for the English or the Irish but resonates in all of us tea lovers.

Cuties with cooties


As some of you might remember, I am volunteering over at the local elementary a couple hours per week reading with second graders.  The two girls I spend time with are truly wonderful, enthusiastic, gentle souls.  We have become fast friends.  Yesterday we read as many books as we could fit into our time slot, but we talk about stuff in between too.  During the walk back to the classroom with Cutie One we meet her desk mate in the hall with her coat on, even though it’s not 3:00 yet.  Her friend tells her that she has head lice and is being sent home:  “LOTS of  ’em.” Three minutes later the counselor called me out into the hall just as I am sitting down with Cutie Two.  “I’m sorry but, um, your Cutie One has head lice too.”  (Crap)  “You didn’t hug her or anything, did you?” Well, no as a matter of fact I didn’t but we were sitting on the little couch together, shoulder to shoulder the whole time…   “Well, it’s not very likely but I’ll check you when you finish with Cutie Two.”

So, off we go to the library while the counselor vacuums and cleans her space and throws all the stuffed animals into the dryer.  Cutie Two and I sit together on bean bag chairs in the library.

Now I want to commend the librarian over there; she makes that place feel really welcoming and comfortable.  I like going there and I hope the girls will end up getting good vibes from the library too.  (Our community library has also been integrated into the school’s system, so there are several visitors per hour from the village using the facilities.  My husband keeps track of all the computers in there too.)

So, back to the Cooties, er um I mean Cuties.  We have a good time looking at Where’s Waldo, which has become the hit book of the week with the girls.  They are fast Waldo finders.  We are now working on finding the Wizard with the Staff and the Scroll.  But, all the time I’m sitting there in the bean bag chair I start feeling kinda’ itchy and scratchy.  I glance towards Cutie Two’s hair while she is bent down staring at the page searching for Waldo.  I don’t see a thing as I scrutinize her scalp.  *whew*  It’s hard not to work closely with second graders.  They are so open and happy that someone is spending time with just them.  And, as Cutie One pointed out:  “I like this place because it’s quiet.” That is something that perhaps I’ll expand on later– the essence of quiet and how we all need it; whether or not we are eight or eighty.

I finish with Cutie Two and the school PT and the good counselor, who has just finished cleaning her room, meet me at the door with smiles.  “It’s just part of working with kids”, says the PT.   “They always bring the head lice kids into my space and tell them to wait there, so I use  a few drops of Tea Tree oil in my shampoo bottle and it works great.” OK, I repeat Tea Tree Oil and make a mental note of it.  I can sense a trip to Missoula coming on this afternoon.  Both of the ladies are sympathetic but the counselor has a worried look that maybe I won’t want to continue.   “It’s going to take more than a few head lice to deter me”  I say as I push open the outside door to walk home.

At home, I enter the front door and set down my bag.  And then everything comes off.  And I head for the shower even though I know it’s useless. Still, I have this great bottle of all organic, herbal shampoo with coconut oil.  And lots of other smelly oils.  I plaster it all over my head and wait for a few minutes.    And, everything goes into the dryer for twenty minutes… or more, on the hot setting.  Those Cooties picked the wrong lady to mess with; I am just OCD enough to make sure that they don’t survive in MY house.

Poor Matt, after we arrive home from Missoula last night (we had a lot of other shopping too)  he patiently consented to check my scalp about four times before bedtime.  “Are you sure?  It feels itchy right there….

No dear, it’s all clean; your scalp and hair are the cleanest I’ve ever seen in my life!  What kind of shampoo do you use; I want it.”

Like I said, they picked the wrong lady.

~ Cartoon is from Married to the Sea.

Collision with a snowboarder

I had a little accident Friday afternoon which left me bruised and with possibly a broken rib or so.  I did not see all 200 pounds of this snowboarder coming until he was right on top of me.  That seems to be the way with some snowboarders (not all snowboarders do this), but some types just appear suddenly and they are usually moving really fast.  I spent most of the day trying to avoid them but obviously I failed– a school from Frenchtown had their ski outing up there yesterday too.


He rammed into me full force from the front and I didn’t even have time to stick out my arms to protect myself.  It was quite the collision.  Mr. Young Snowboarder – where did you come from?   I’m glad though that he was not hurt at all.   (I wish I could say the same.)   Skiing is a bit risky and I totally admit that fact, but I can’t help but feel this incident was avoidable.   It might take me a few days to collect myself; everything hurts right now.  I’m very thankful that a friend was with me at the time.  And, it could have been much worse.  If I don’t feel better by Monday I’ll go in for an X-ray.  (I would go in now but I cannot stand the whole ER scenario.)  I’ll be visiting all of you very soon.  Hugs, Christine


Today might be a milestone depending on how efficient the optician’s lab is with my new Rx.  I have been putting this off for quite a few years but I finally am going into the eye doctor to acquire reading glasses.  So far, the computer is no trouble but I can’t read a thing closer than 2 feet away.  Ever attempt to type sitting two feet away?  I do have long arms, but… oh and signing checks has become a daunting dance on paper with the prescription I have now.  I’m going over to the clear side…..

On a different note, here is an interesting insight into the true beneficial quality of grapes. You know, GRAPES.  They are even of the organic kind – that of which I have a ton. The grapes I don’t know what to do with, the grapes which are still on the vine, or those not processed sitting in the garage. If you want some grapes please come over and get them. They are really, really good for you.

The grapes might be especially helpful this coming week before the elections.  I’m sure everyone’s blood pressure is hopping up and down constantly.  Big media has to keep these elections a horse race to maintain the public’s focus.  Golly, we can’t go two days without that adrenaline rush, now can we?

Stop testing the rats, test us!  We eat lots of grapes and Matthew has had a history of high blood pressure.  I wonder what it is now?  Or mine for that matter.