Tuesday, September 29, 2009

This is too Funny!!

This is one of the funniest things I have seen in a while. But I do feel sorry for the poor guy.  He obviously didn't want to be where he was and then a bug flew into his mouth.

***Language may not be suitable for everyone's ears***

Source: www.youtube.com

Guy shows his true side after swallowing a bug on air. Goes from Dave Chappelle's white reporter to Chris Tucker in an instant

Monday, September 28, 2009

We Love Our Animals

As you know by now - I am a public health person  - I have worked in the field my entire adult life.  So I can't let today go by without a post about this... Today is World Rabies Day!!

Rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. The vast majority of rabies cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) each year occur in wild animals like raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes. Domestic animals account for less than 10% of the reported rabies cases, with cats, cattle, and dogs most often reported rabid.

Rabies virus infects the central nervous system, causing encephalopathy and ultimately death. Early symptoms of rabies in humans are nonspecific, consisting of fever, headache, and general malaise. As the disease progresses, neurological symptoms appear and may include insomnia, anxiety, confusion, slight or partial paralysis, excitation, hallucinations, agitation, hypersalivation, difficulty swallowing, and hydrophobia (fear of water). Death usually occurs within days of the onset of symptoms.

Over the last 100 years, rabies in the United States has changed dramatically. More than 90% of all animal cases reported annually to CDC now occur in wildlife; before 1960 the majority were in domestic animals. The principal rabies hosts today are wild carnivores and bats.. The number of rabies-related human deaths in the United States has declined from more than 100 annually at the turn of the century to one or two per year in the 1990's. Modern day prophylaxis has proven nearly 100% successful. In the United States, human fatalities associated with rabies occur in people who fail to seek medical assistance, usually because they were unaware of their exposure.

If you love your pets make sure they are vaccinated agains rabies.   Thanks to CDC for the information about rabies!!

I stay rabies free. I avoid wildlife.

Friday, September 25, 2009

New Old Car

Or old, new car. Hell, I dunno. But what I do know is that I have another car in front of my house and I think that I own it.

Well here is the whole story... One of my friends at work recently fell on some hard times... When he needed someone to keep his beloved dog because of a nasty divorce - we took in the dog (for over a year) and when he needed a car, during this time I loaned him one of mine. So when he was having some major issues with his car - I loaned him one of mine again. That was 2 years ago!!!!

I am a SUV kinda gal now and usually drive a Jeep. But I also have a 1998 Pontiac Grand AM that I bought new. It's now paid for and in excellent condition, so I keep it around - just in case.

My friend and his wife only have 2 cars.  His was having some major problems. So when he came to me and asked if he could borrow my car, I didn't hesitate to help out.  He was looking for another car.  He told me once he found a car and had it checked out I'd get mine back. He did find a car - but ya'd just have to know this guy... He wanted to have his "new" car checked out, drive it a while, make sure it was OK.  That process took a good six months.  THEN, my car blew a head gasket - not a good thing to have happen to a car!!  My friend has a friend that is a decent mechanic so he talked to him about fixing the car.  Problem was by then the weather ws getting cold and the mechanic can't do a lot in the cold weather because his garage isn't heated.  Early spring comes - still no car.  Now the mechanic is in Florida, because over the winter he go laid off from his real job, he can't work in his own garage because it is too cold.  So finally in July the weather must have warmed up enough, the mechanic came home and my car was towed to the mechanic.  The mechanic only works nights and weekends because he does have a real job (which he'd been called back to). Along the way I got progress reports and just knew I'd get my car back soon.  Finally about 3 weeks ago - I got news that my car was done and back in my friend's possession. But now he wanted to clean it up before he returned it.  So this past Friday night was the night!!!  I was sooooo excited - now we'd finally have a spare car.  My friend returned my car and I must say I think it came back in  better condition than it left.  He replaced the head gasket, the serpentine belt, the battery, a tire, a sensor of some sort, replaced the transmission fluid, all of the coolant, windshield washer fluid, vacuumed it, cleaned out the trash, gathered up all the change I had spilled all over AND washed it!!!!! Wow!

Wonder if he wants to borrow my Jeep for a while?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Button, button

Earlier this week I did a post on my infatuation with craft supplies, in particular jewelry making items (though it doesn't stop there).  Anyway....

My friend Mary Ann likes to show me things that she has made.  So on one of our quilting dates she showed me this bracelet she had made.  It was gorgeous!! - looked almost like a charm bracelet. She explained that she had made it from some buttons (who knew!), but they were special buttons she had gotten them from her aunt and the aunt had recently passed away. hhhhmmmmmm..... so, it got me thinking....

One of my fondest childhood memories was going to my grandma's house.  In one of her closets, she had a big glass jar that was full of buttons.  Where she acquired all of these buttons I don't know (but trust me - I inherited the hoarding gene somewhere) - many of them she cut off clothes that had long since worn out.  That jar was a source of fascination for me.  I often asked her to get the jar out of the closet so I could play with the buttons.  I would dump the entire jar out and sit on the floor and play for hours with these buttons.  It'd try to match them up and find as many of one kind as I could, I'd even make up games with them.  I'd pick out the pretty ones and just spend time looking at them.  I'd run my fingers through them just to feel them. There were plain ones, sparkly ones, even ones that looked like flowers. For some odd reason I loved those buttons. 

When my grandma passed away in 2000, I asked my grandpa if I could have the jar of buttons.  I brought that jar home and have used it as a door stop for the past 9 years.  But it has always been out where it could be seen.  Right now it is proudly displayed in my craft room.

So, that very night after I saw Mary Ann's bracelet, I hauled out that big ole jar and I started going through the buttons, finding ones that I could use to make my own bracelet.  OK, so I'm a copycat - and pround of it!!  It took about 30 buttons in all, but I now have a button bracelet of my very own:

I really love this bracelet - I wear it frequently. All of the buttons I used in the bracelet came out of that jar. So all of the buttons are antiques - well I played with them over 40 years ago and I know that may of them are older than that.  But everytime I wear the bracelet I think of all the fun I had playing with them at my grandma's house and I just think of her in general.  I am sure she would love it knowing what I did with some of those beautiful buttons.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Marietta, Ohio

I am in lovely, historic Marrietta, OH for a conference!

For the past 20 some years I have been on the planning committee for my professional organization's fall conference.  This week it's time for the confernce again.  Woo Hoo!!  I actually look forward to it every year. In all the years I have been doing what I do it has never stopped being fun.  This meeting is the same way.  We put a lot of work into the conference.  But it's like old home week too.  We get to see friends we haven't seen in a while, hear good speakers, and enhance our professional growth. Oh yeah and when the day is over there are the hospitality rooms to enjoy (all I can say is Thank God I don't have to present anything)!  I am looking forward to spending sometime in historic Marietta.  Southeast Ohio is beautiful in the fall.  Tonight we get to have our dinner aboard the Valley Gem Sternwheeler as we cruise the Ohio River.  I am hoping that the weather co-operates and that it will be nice.  After dinner, I hope to just relax after a long day of conferencing.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

It's Fall!

Today is the first day of Fall!!  My very favorite season.  I am lucky enough to live in Ohio, where we see the dramatic changes in the seasons.  The changes have already started.  Kids are standing on the corners and the big yellow school buses are out in force.  Soon the leaves on the trees will be changing to the vibrant orange, red, gold and brown colors.  The morning air will have that fresh, crispness to it and evenings will once again have that familiar nip. For that transition period we can shut off the AC and open the windows and air out the house before winter sets in.  My cats love the open windows.  I am off to Marietta, OH today to attend a conference for the next couple days.  Marietta is beautiful anyway, but southeastern Ohio in the fall is spectacular.  I'm so excited!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

The first step is admitting it...

Hello!  My name is LeeAnn and I am a hoarder. (OK whew! Got that off my chest) 

If my background doesn't give it away, my profile certainly does.  I am a creative type person and I love crafts.  I love to shop and I spend my money on clothes (a topic for another day) and my craft habit. 

I owe my creativity to being an only child.  Since I didn't have brothers and sisters to harass play with when I was younger I had to learn to entertain myself when my friends weren't available.   So I learned to sew, draw, paint and do a myriad of other things.  I was always spending my allowance on fabric and drawing books whenever I had the chance. 

One of my BFFs and I get together periodically to quilt.  She knows how I am about crafts.  So she's always showing off these necklaces and earrings she has been making.  Then she made me a cute bracelet for Christmas.  She knows how I am about jewelry too (dangit Mary Ann!!)  So, she tells me how easy the things she had made were and that I should get into it - I would enjoy jewelry making. What she didn't know is how obsessive I really am (though the 5 bags of fat quarters should have clued her in).  To make matters worse my VBFF also was starting some jewelry projects (but hse is always much more motivated than I am and actually finishes stuff).

Well I love crafts and I REALLY love jewelry.  So it seemed like a natural progression. I decided to dive into jewelry making. But in my obsessive little mind I think that I have to have everything that I might ever need and have it on hand - just in case I have a brain storm and want to make something in particular.  I can just go to my supplies and find everything I need.

So every chance I get I buy beads, findings and other jewelry supplies.  I go on vacation, I seek out the bead stores and buy beads.  Everytime I make a trip to JoAnn Fabrics for something I have to look at the beads and buy beads. To make it easier to deal with all these beads I have been trying to organize this stuff, because in order to make things, you have to know what you have and where to find it.  After all summer of organizing and drafting my VBFF to help organize when she was visiting (Susan I know you are out there - THANKS!!) I STILL don't have these damn beads organized and put away.

So I threw them all in a pile the other day, just to see what it looked like.  Mt. Bling!!! This is what it looks like.  

I would hate to think how much $$$ is in that pile!  Not to mention all the really lovely pieces I would have if I actualy did something with this stuff.

In the 3ish years that I have been buying jewelry supplies here is what I have actually made:

So, I have come to the conclusion that I am a hoarder - I like to buy beads and collect them - but I don't actually do much with them. They sure are pretty though!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Weekend Yard Sales

Why do we have such an affinity for other peoples junk???????

OK, maybe it's just me!  I love yard sales, flea markets, tag sales, thrift stores, and "antique stores".  Anywhere you might find someone else's used junk for sale - I am so there.

Our routine most weekends, is to get up on Saturday morning, go to Waffle House for breakfast and then begin to seek out yard sales.  Nothing better than doling out hard earned money for something someone else was getting rid of.  We do get some items that are just too good (and are cheap) to resell on eBay.  Hey - if the original owner is too lazy or too dumb to utilize eBay - I'm certainly not too proud to invest a little time and effort (it pays for those trips to Waffle House and then some).

Admittedly I do keep my fair share of stuff. Never mind that we moved last year and I donated at least 5 truckloads of shit miscellaneous to the Kidney Foundation.  I got rid of all that stuff - now I need some new!!  And who can pass up a bargin??? 

A few weeks ago we went to a yard sale where they had clothes - lots of yard sales have clothes, you say - yeah but these were nice plus-sized clothes (and sometimes they are hard to find).  I ran over to the line where the textile treasures were hanging, I was almost giddy, and sorted through them and  began yanking items off the hangers as if I had won a shopping spree at Saks.  I wound up with 4 tops and a pair of pants.  As I carried my trophies away - I kept muttering about the good deal.  And everytime I wear one of the items I can't resist telling whoever will listen - I got this at a yard sale - I paid $0.50 for it!!!

Now, sometimes we don't do so good.  Last Saturday we hunted around at some yard sales and came up empty handed.  We had all but given up and went to run the other errands that we had to do.  We were on our way home, late in the afternoon, and we spotted a church that had table set up outside - Yes there is a God!! and He brought us to a sale at one of His houses.  We shopped like that was the last sale of the season.  Here is a picture of our bounty:

It is September and soon it will be too cold for yard sales.  But we have our contingency plan in place:  We hit the Thrift Store circuit!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

This Registers High on the ICK! Scale

***If you don't like the mention of bodily functions you might want to close your eyes today.***

I have worked my entire life in public health - no I'm not a doctor or nurse.  But before that, I learned at a very young age about the importance of handwashing.  Handwashing is one of the single best things you can do for yourself to protect against germs.  This fall, as the Swine Flu (oops I mean H1N1) reappears with a vengence, you will be reminded over and over again about the importance of, among other things, simple handwashing.

But my attention, via another board I read, was brought to the fact that there are people who don't wash their hands.  But, whats worse is  that some of those people actually FAKE it!!!!!!  (OK - There are certain things that just invite faking - but handwashing??) EEEeeeeewwwwww!  Is it really worth faking?  It only takes a minute and isn't all that difficult.  There is at least one website dedicated to those who partake in "Fake Handwashing".  There may be more but after reading the posts at this one site, my 50 year old heart just couldn't take anymore and I didn't look any further.  (If you're interested in seeing it I can send you the link - I do't want to post it here because I really don't want to promote it in anyway)

By reading the posts, it sounds like teenagers who think it is funny.  Apparantly there is some sort of sport to it - they go to the bathroom and then leave without washing.  They brag about going through the motions by running water and rumpling up towels to make others think they have washed.  OMG!!  I get the whole "pee is supposedly sterile" thing but there is other stuff down there that isn't and no matter how clean you are or how careful you are - there is a potential for contamination.  And I get that your hands get dried out in the wintertime - that's what hand cream is for! What bothers me is that they aren't just putting thierselves at risk - but those around them because other people may touch the same surfaces (like the bathroom door handle).  I have never been one to be particularly bothered about what a person chooses to do to themselves - but when it affects other people - then I mind (thus the public health regulator in me).

Over the years I have constantly been amazed at the lengths people will go to get out of doing certain things things.  But this one takes the proverbial prize!!  I just had to rant about that somewhere and get it off my chest - I feel better now!  Thanks for listening!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Meet the Kitties!

Something you will learn quickly about me is that I really like love cats!  Real cats, pictures of cats, figurines of cats, basically all things feline.  We are fortunate (to hear them tell it) enough to live here with 3 of the little furry critters.

We have:

AJ - He is a sweet 11 year old tabby. His mom was a persian, so he has semi-long hair.  He is every bit a cat, but is the only cat I have ever owned who truly acts like it loves me.  He follows me around and he sleeps by my pillow every night.  He is always willing to assist with whatever I am doing.  As a matter of fact he is the Chief Supervisor on this Blog project!
Barney - Originally, his name was Bad-ass Barney when he was a kitten because he seemed fearless.  But his name morphed into Barney Boo because he is scared of everthing.  Only thing we can figure is that is he so gorgeous that he is afraid someone will catnap him so he is just a big coward about everything.  Barney is a full-bred silver chinchilla persian and has beautiful, long silky fur. 
Harley - He is a big orange tabby and though he is the youngest of the bunch he pretty much bullies the others around.  He is the typical alley cat! He was rescued from an alley behind the local Post Office when he was about 5 weeks old. Though he would not want the cat union to know about it - he acts like he is truly greatful to have been given a home and taken in from the alley.
I had a really long weekend over Labor Day, taking extra time off work to do some things I that I wanted to do.  One of those chores was giving all 3 of the cats a bath.  Yes! Cats do need an occasional bath - they smell like cat food and their fur gets all separated looking.  So they went from what you see above to this: 
Harley - after he came out of hiding - he yelled - nnnnnnnnooooooooooooo! through the whole bath procedure.
And YES - that thing that makes its way around the internet about giving a cat a bath is all true!!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!!

Hi!!  ::tap:: ::tap::: ::tap::  Is this thing on?

Today is my 50th birthday.  That in itself is an amazing accomplishment.  I look back on my life and wonder how I managed to make it this far. After all I grew up in a time when cars didn't have seat belts, we didn't wear bike helmets, and ritalin wasn't readily prescribed.  So, I'm thinkin' it's been by a sheer miracle!  But the truth of it is probably because I had a wonderful mother and grandparents who helped point me in the right direction.  I have fantastic friends who have seen me through the good, the bad and the ugly (and not necessarily in that order).  I share life with a guy I absolutely adore.  I have a career that has never stopped being fun for me (even after 27 years).  So maybe it is luck and I am one of the luckiest people on the planet.

But seriously, 50??  That's a half century!!!!  My mortgage will probably outlast me.  And, oh yeah, I got the AARP membership app in the mail last week - very funny. Ugh!!!  Someone recently told me that 50 is the new 30.  hhhmmm  that has some appeal.  I always considered my 30s to be the best because by then I knew who I was, what I wanted, i was responsible and grounded. So if I could just maintain that it won't be so bad. 

I also keep hearing that it's certainly better than the alterrnative.  Since there is only one alternative that I know of - that's probably right.  Afterall, it could be worse - I could be a teenager again! Therefore, I won't cry, I won't whine, I won't go back to bed and refuse to get up.  But I do, however, refuse to just embrace it without a fight.  I will hide the gray hair (I forget what color my hair is supposed to be anyway), I will fight the wrinkles, and I will buy only cute reading glasses.  I will face this 50 thing with as much courage and grace as I can muster. 

If all else fails there is comfort in knowing that Geritol has a high alcohol content.