early-emergent polyester toxicity

I think I’ve found the origin of my heart problem.

The racing, thumping and quick starting and stopping.

Some doctors say I was probably born with mitral valve prolapse syndrome, but I’m not too sure.

While cleaning out some of my mother’s stuff, I ran across THIS damnable photo.

It’s enough to scare the bejesus out of ya!

I think it started my heart palpitations.

Not to mention the number it did on my visual acuity.

Don’t look if you are prone to seizures.

Or, if you have a sensitive stomach.

Or, if you’ve ever read ANYTHING by Tim Gunn!

That’s right….the Texan!!  He’s responsible.

His checked (skin-tight…woo-hoo) polyester pants.

I was only 19 and the sight of this must have overwhelmed my sensitive cardiovascular and neurological systems. 

It feels so good to place blame where blame is due.

Now, go wash your eyes out with saline.  Grab a National Geographic and stare at the pictures (the topless ones are probably the best).  Anything to erase this troubling image.  Don’t want YOU to end up like me.

Checkered love to all.

what’s in a road name?

Received a sweet note from a friend a few days ago. I was struck by the descriptiveness of the note writer’s street name….Rippling Creek Drive. Doesn’t that conjure up picturesque images?? No way you’ll find a street name like that ’round these arid parts of West Texas.  Any road name including the terms ‘creek’, ‘stream’, ‘springs’, ‘lake’ or ‘shady’ and you know some street namer’s lyin’! Got me wee mind a’wonderin’….how would I describe the roads and boulevards I frequent every single day?  What would I name……

1. Our circle driveway?
Roadrunner Roundabout

roadrunner 001a

Prickly Pear Parkway
Hangontoyerhat Alley
Tarantula Trail
Rattler’s Den Road….too obvious??

2. The nursing home road where Mom lives?
Sundown Lane
Goin’ West Way
Polident Path
Last Leg Lane
Dulocolax Drive
Ancient Avenue

3. The road to my #3 Sprout’s house….where a hot grass fire just missed burning their house down?
Tinderbox Turnpike
Blazing Saddles Boulevard
Great Bonfire Way
Conflagration Course
Still Standin’ Street

4. The footpath to Cadillac Ranch? A popular tourist attraction on Interstate 40 just outside the city limits.

Dead Auto Alley
Gas Guzzler Drive

5.  The internet route to On a Chicken Wing and a Prayer?
Chicken Coop Terrace
Hen House Highway
Rue la Menopause
Heart Attack Overlook
Cock-a-doodle-do Concourse
Winding Wiener Way


What would you name the byway to your house?  C’mon and tell me.

Here’s wishing your week includes a trip down Lover’s Lane.

it’s a blog party

My bloggy friend, Margaret, over at Nanny Goats in Panties had a clever idea. What if all her blog friends exchanged white elephant gifts? What if they all got linked up and wrote about it?

Margaret is cool. She writes about goats and other satirical stuff. I like goats, so I like Margaret and her blog. Does that make me cool? You decide.  I’m so IN, Margaret!

My gift comes all the way from the Left Coast-Sacramento!  My generous gift-giver is Eileen.  You can read Eileen’s blog at


Eileen sent this fun western frame to me. Does it just shout West Texas, or what? My life includes cactus and horses….just like what is on this frame! One can see how something like this might not fit the decor in Sacramento. But out here….where the wind and the buffalo play….where seldom is heard, a discouraging word….O.K., you get the idea.

Inserted this steamin’ hot mildly lukewarm western-y photo of me at the ranch last summer. Perfecto subject matter for this frame, right-o? Whaddaya think, Eileen? I think this gift is WAY too nice to be considered a white elephant gift.
I thank you very kindly.
I sent a gift to another blogger. My gift was truly white elephant.
See what I mean?  Who wouldn’t simply adore having a bright green ceramic goat creamer??
If you care to read about all the wacky white elephant gift exchanges, head over to


 Green goat love to all.

more sun, less stress

I still find the Solar Oven highly entertaining; like a 3rd grade nerd proud of a science project.  Some would say it’s weird…perhaps bordering on the obsessive.  Me…obsessive?…..naaaaaah!  You can see the Solar Ovens here:
***the Sun Oven folks do not know I exist nor that I have made an idol of their oven***

This week is one I’m ready to put in the record books.  Don’t mean to complain, mind you.  Especially in the light of all the innocents who were wounded and killed in Tucson.  Those families have had one helluva week-mine is but a gnat bite in comparison.

Moved my mom into an extended care (nursing) facility this week.  (Hi Mom!)  She reads this blog, so I won’t badmouth the old witch bat too badly.  She would admit the move was stressful.  We (God bless the Texan, his bro, and our niece and nephew) moved her into this very lovely facility.  The staff is nice and trying really hard to please her.  She’s been complaining of back pain…INTENSE back pain.  The pain has been ongoing for three weeks and it puts a huge hitch in her get-along.  This condition is a big reason for her move.  She finally saw the doctor today and he thinks she has a compression fracture in her back.  Ouch and ouch.  We’ll get through it together….like we always do…OK, Mom??  Keep hangin’ in.

Before I went to the nursing home, I placed some pork ribs in the Sun Oven.  Just put a dry rub on them and placed them in this glass dish.  Didn’t put any moisture in the dish-just the ribs.

Doesn’t this dish remind you of your Grandmother?  It does me..love ya, Lucy!

The ribs safely placed in the space ship solar pod.

Returned from the facility and checked on the ribs.  The heavenly odor was wafting around my backyard.  One of these days, I’m gonna find a pack of wild dogs devouring the Sun Oven and it’s contents-but, not today.

While admiring the juicy ribs, the highly interactive wiener dog dropped a prized rock at my feet she had dug up just for me.

Don’t know why there’s a yellow parking stripe on my back driveway, but there it is.  Odd.

Charmed, I sat down and we partook in some rock-retrieving, rock-digging, rock-rolling (with the nose), and general rock whup-ass.

Please do NOT tell her dentist she is playing with rocks!

   Count these moments among my ‘stop and smell the roses’ time.

This is not meant to be a Doxy anus shot.  You are to notice the flying leaves and how intently she is pouncing on the rock…..ears flapping!

Notice the dusty snout?  She rolls the rock with her pointy nose.

Sorry about the crappy focus.  Sometimes the grass is very BAD and must be punished simply for being near her beloved rock.  She tears it out by the roots and flings it side to side.  It must be taught a lesson and stay away from her precious boulder!

These activities are my natural beta-blockers.  How can one have a heavy heart while interacting with a silly, stupidly-serious sausage dog?  It simply isn’t possible.

Oh, and you must see how the ribs turned out.  We’d already eaten a few of them when I snapped this picture.

These would have been perfect with some sauerkraut, if you ask me.  The Texan thinks sauerkraut is nasty, so we didn’t have it.  Made a fresh salad and Pioneer Woman’s Dilly Bread (http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2011/01/jans-dilly-bread/) as the side dishes.  Mmmmm….food….another highly effective beta-blocker.
Press forth into the glorious weekend, bloggy friends.  Have fun.
Juicy, pork rib love to all.

my heart, the watchdog

You’ve been panting with wild anticipation to hear of my experiences with the heart Holter Monitor, no?  To refresh your memory, I was supposed to wear this contraption for 48 hours.

The monitor was supposed to record the hoofbeats of the proud, wild mustangs inside my chest cavity.  It would allow the cardiologist to discern what planet the alien hailed from that was freeing itself from the jail of my breast.  I was pumped (har! cardiac humor)…this was gonna be some kinda FUN.

The helpful nurse at the cardiologist’s office hooked me up.  She gave the monitor a hard slap with the butt of her palm and said under her breath,

‘What’s wrong with this unit?  Maybe it’s on the fritz!’
She then smiled and wished me well and I skipped out exuding confidence.  As was my fear, the first night I awoke in my usual sweatbath and two of the electrodes slid off my chest.  The nurse had assured me,

 ‘If they come off at night, just stick them back on with some tape.  The monitor will resume working.’ 
I stuck them back on, but the readout on the monitor kept reading ‘data not analyzed’.  In the morning, my chest was a mess o’ medical tape as I futiley struggled to get a readout.  Called the dr’s office and a very annoyed nurse told me to come back in to let her look at the unit.
‘What’s the matter with this thing?  We may have to mark it as not usable.  OK.  You’re good to go.  Good luck!” 

I was ecstatic I had the privilege of paying the doctor a bucketload of cash to hook me up to his broken Holter monitor.
The NADIR (that means the worstest) of the heart monitor experience came about one hour later.  I hear a beep from the monitor (located in my pocket) while I am driving my car.  I take the box out of my pocket and it reads….I kid you not…..WATCHDOG ALERT! (with an exclamation).  I slammed on the brakes cuz I didn’t know if I had already died of a heart attack, or if I had committed a crime and was being hotly pursued by the local dogcatcher.  My call to the doctor’s office was a comedy of

‘We’ve never heard of WATCHDOG ALERT!?  Are you SURE it says WATCHDOG ALERT!?  did I forget to tell you guys I love to play heart monitor jokes??

Posing with the coat
sorry…my obligatory Roxy-Doxy photo


But….I digress.
I guess the cardiologist got enough information from the monitor to see a problem.  He started explaining Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome .  What it means.  What I should do.  I couldn’t believe I had an issue with my heart.  He marched me directly into the echocardiogram room where a very nice man looked at my heart with sonogram technology.  Valves busily opening and shutting.  Chambers filling and emptying of blood.  When he turned the sound on, there was lots of watery whooshing and swooshing.  He showed me the mitral valve opening and closing.  A small amount of blood was being allowed to ‘wash back’ into the chamber.  Not a terrible thing, but not the best either.  Lazy, flaccid valve.

I’ve been coming to terms with this (they say common) condition.  At first, I felt kinda bummed.  I’ve been reading about it…I’m understanding it more.  I’m taking my meds and trying to make changes in how I react to stress. 

Here’s where I am today:
Every beat of my heart, before I found out about my MVP, has been because of the grace of the Creator.  I’m content knowing every flawed beat from here on out is in His hands as well. 
Watchdog Alert love to all.

the sun also rises (dough)

Naw, I haven’t been reading too much Ernest Hemingway. 

I’ve been tramping around my yard….proudly wearing my oven mitts….trying to find the most direct line to the sun.  I’ve been cooking in my NEW SOLAR OVEN!!

What’s the h is a solar oven, you ask?  Here’s what it looks like.

Stop here, Mother Ship, stop here!!  The Sun Oven consists of a black box with a glass lid.  All four sides have reflecting shields to magnify or intensify the sun’s rays.  The shiny shields easily fold down to make the oven easier to carry.  The inside of the box is black to better absorb the heat.  The instructions say one can cook almost anything as long as one has enough sunlight.
I tested it yesterday.  Try cooking a loaf of bread on a mid-40 F degree day Mr. Stud Sun Oven!  Whaddaya gonna do?

Well.  Look there!  The oven temperature is 350 degrees and the dough seems to be…..rising In-ter-es-TING.  We shall see……
One hour later.  What do we have here?  A pretty appetizing, golden loaf of wheat bread.  It tasted absolutely magnificent.  A taste of the sun in every bite!  Bread de Soleil.

What about meats?  Can the Sun Oven cook meats?  And baby carrots?   And green beans with pearl onions?  How is it possible to perfectly cook meat with the sun?

I dunno.  Something akin to being inside a vehicle on a summer’s day with all the windows rolled up.  This was our dinner tonight.  I even had a guest.  I served this with the Bread de Soleil.  Told him the entire meal was cooked from the sun’s rays.  In my YARD.  With the gophers.  No electricity lost it’s innocent life in the preparation of this meal.  He was impressed alright.  Shoulda seen the look on his face.  Has she lost her ever-lovin-mind??

I suppose the LARGER question might be “Why are you cooking with a Solar Oven?  Why don’t you just turn on the stove in your home like everyone else in the world?!

Uh….I don’t know.  Very astute question.  I’ll hafta get back to you on that.  Questions like that are why you read this blog.
Warm bread love to all.

the alien is comin’ out

Maybe I’m judging too harshly.  I’m not sure I like it….it’s not what I expected.  Can I send it back? 

No, I’m not talking about a white elephant Christmas gift.  I’m talking about 2011.  I won’t bore you with too many details, but I’m finding my existence kinda…um…stressful.  Nothing happening many of you haven’t faced, but I’m having issues.  Already had several Serenity Prayer 911’s..

2011 finds me with one of these beauties strapped to my chest.

Not my ACTUAL chest.  Did you honestly think you would be so lucky?
It’s called a Holter Monitor.
Your friendly physician slaps one of these on you when you tell him a marching band of ginormous bass drums is using your chest as their practice field.  Or when you complain the alien is finally gonna pop out.  Or when you nickname your heart Secretariat. 
I really am healthy as a horse.  Low cholesterol, low blood pressure, decent weight and good overall fitness.  Maybe my heart knows something I don’t, and it’s suspicious of 2011.  Maybe I’m having a breakdown.  Maybe its the dreaded WHORE-MOANS.  run!! 
Can’t wait to sleep the next 2 nights with the cord-y contraption.  Hope my sweating doesn’t short circuit the mother board.  Hope the Texan doesn’t receive a nasty shock when hoping to get lucky.  Hope Roxy Doxy doesn’t hang herself in it and have to gnaw through one of the electrodes.  Calling Serenity 911!
I’ll keep you posted.  Hope 2011 finds you with no aliens in your chest.
Marching band love to all.