Sunday, January 29, 2006

Saturday Six - Episode 94

1. Who was the last person you visited in the hospital? 

My daughter was the last person I visited in the hospital. I was present for the birth of my granddaughter about six years ago. It was one of the most thrilling, emotional events of my life. It was a privilege to be asked to be there.

2. How many jobs have you held in your life? How many of those were part of your chosen career field? 

I have held seven jobs in my life, my current one being number seven. The first four were part of my chosen career field simply meaning they were secretarial jobs following my completion of secretarial school after high school.

3. Of those, how many did you leave voluntarily? 

Of my six previous jobs, I left the same number voluntarily and on good terms.

4. Take this quiz (if you haven't already!): What animal were you in a past life? (Thanks to RedSneakz!)

You Were a Zebra You tend to see life in black and white - clearly without filters.
You enjoy being part of a group while maintaining your individuality.

Apparently, I was an entire zoo.  If you keep resubmitting the same birth date, a different answer comes up until you've come to the end of the cycle of choices.  I went with this one because it describes me better than the others.

5. What animal were you expecting you'd be? 

A sloth!

6. Time to pull this tactic again: Your turn to come up with a Reader's Choice Question. What question would you like to see asked in a future edition of "The Saturday Six?" (Don't answer it...just provide the question.)

Okay, it's not original because I know I've read something along these lines somewhere before.

Suppose you're given a box containing a substantial amount of money and it's yours to keep and use however you wish.  If and when you open it to retrieve the cash, someone you don't know in another state, country or perhaps even across town will drop dead instantly.  This will happen only the first time you open the box.  Would you open it? 



Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Tuesday Two - Episode 15


How do you feel about open casket viewings or visitations at funeral homes? Does it bother you to see the decedent or do you feel a more complete sense of closure from it?


If you had a chance to come back long enough to see your own funeral (unseen by the visitors, of course) just to see and hear what was said about you, explain why you would or wouldn't take that chance.

I answer Question A

Finding and accepting closure following the death of someone near and dear to you is important; vital, I think, in order to get on with one's own life. I do not care for the traditional open casket viewing at all. I much prefer to remember the individual as they were the last time I saw them. It is important that surviving friends and loved ones gather together to share memories, grief and sustain each other as best they can. For this purpose funeral homes do provide a helpful service. I don't know why the deceased person has to be present at all. Whether in a casket that is open or closed, stationed in a prominent place at the head of the room, church or wherever, that person is long gone and the knowledge that the shell that's left behind is encased in a beautifully fashioned box gives me no comfort whatsoever. A quiet gathering at a private home works just as well and offers, perhaps, a less unctuous atmosphere. Instead of viewing the body of a person I love and will never see again, I would much rather view a collection of photographs reflecting their life displayed at the memorial.


Monday, January 23, 2006

Saturday Six Episode 93

1. Do any of your friends, family or co-workers know about your blogs? For those that do, did you tell them or have they stumbled upon it by themselves?

I would say just about everyone in my family knows I have a journal. They know because I told them all about it when I began writing; no one stumbled upon it accidentally. I wish I hadn't and if I had it to do over again I wouldn't share the fact that I had an online journal with anyone in my family. If the subject happens to come up among friends or co-workers, I've mentioned that I write in one, enjoy doing so and don't usually expand beyond that.

2. How did you come up with the title of your blogs?

I used to have two journals but only write for one of them these days. I seem to have exhausted my subject matter for the time being for "Musings of a Naturist". The title simply reflects the fact that I became a naturist several years ago and wanted to share my thoughts on the subject. "Musings" is a more melodic, pleasing word than "thoughts" and there you have it. My current journal, "Another Country Heard From" comes from a phrase my mother used frequently while I lived at home with my parents. Often when there was a discussion of some sort going on among family members, someone else not necessarily part of the conversation would pipe up with their opinion and my mother would say, "Ah, another country heard from". Now that I think about it, I suppose it's just a more fanciful way of saying "my two cents" and if there's ever a more fanciful route to take in linguistics, you can safely bet I'll take it.

3. Do you prefer to have many projects going on at once or do you prefer multitasking?

I believe this question meant to ask if I prefer to work on one task at a time or do I prefer multi-tasking. I'd rather work on one project at a time but these days there's often no other way to get things done than to multi-task even a little. I try to keep my multiple tasks simple such as working on a computer entry and doing a load of laundry at the same time; works for me. If the phone rings and I talk to someone, I'm really impressed that I'm doing three things at once.

4. Take this quiz (if you haven't already!): What high school stereotype are you?

What the ??????

5. What was the hardest thing to master when you were learning to drive?

The most difficult thing of all was attempting to learn parallel parking and, in fact, I never really did.

6. How well did you do with that one thing on your very first driver's exam?

When I took my driving test and got to the parallel parking part, I just started to make my first attempt when my test instructor said something to the effect of, "okay, that's fine...that's enough". Yeah! Fine with me and I got my license on my first try and if there's one thing I do not do to this day, it's parallel park and I've gotten along without it very well, thank you.



Sunday, January 15, 2006

A Pleasant Diversion in which I Inadvertently Review a Book from 2002

During all the years of driving to and from work where I worked previously for almost ten years, my commute was short; seven miles each way. It was never quite long enough for much heat to accumulate in the engine to share its warmth in winter and make my chilly drive more comfortable. These days it takes about 35 minutes each way and I've discovered a means of entertainment that's been around for a while--audio books.

My husband started listening to them first. His job takes him all over the county and into the next, resulting in lots of time behind the wheel. After listening to his collection of cassettes for the 25th time, he decided to check out a book on tape. Both of us wondered if listening to a book being read would be a distraction while driving. After the first couple of days trying it out, he announced that listening to a book while driving worked just fine. Since then, he's listened to quite a few. I thought I'd give it a try but I wasn't expecting to get too interested because, in general, I dislike being read to. It always lulls me to sleep and that would just never do while driving. It was a pleasant surprise to find that listening to a book and driving at the same time were very compatible. Also, I never realized that these books were miniature dramatizations enclosed in those small boxes of tapes or CDs.

Reading has always been one of life's greatest pleasures--I have been surrounded by books since birth. There hasn't been much time to read the past few months. These days I read one book the conventional way during my lunch break and at home, a minute here or there, and listen to another to and from work. It was in this way that I finally read the most recent Jean Auel novel in her Earth's Children series. Ah yes, "The Shelters of Stone".  How I'd looked forward to it when I heard it was due out. Her first book, "The Clan of the Cave Bear" was fantastic. The second book, "The Valley of Horses" was entertaining and a lovely rendition of cave porn. What was not to like? The third and fourth ones were tedious and disappointing. I remember thinking, surely it can only be uphill from here when I finished the fourth tome.

Meanwhile, my son had begin to read this series and I, as a parent ever vigilant to encourage any signs of reading, made damn sure a brand new copy of "The Shelters of Stone" was waiting for him under the Christmas tree that year. As is his usual method, my son devoured thebook in about four or five days. I never seemed to have time to get to it. Years passed and then one day I decided it was time to treat myself to Ms. Auel's newest installment of her soap opera about early man. A chapter or two into it was enough to let me know this was going to be a long haul, one of those kind of hauls that wasn't going to be necessarily pleasant. Before long, I abandoned Ayla, Jondalar and the gang for greener pastures. Life is too short to suffer through bad books. When I was younger, I was under some self-inflicted impression that once I started a book, I had to finish it come hell or high water. I'm older and much wiser to think such a foolish thought now but I digress.

I was perusing the county library's catalog of audio books available on CD. There, I noticed that "The Shelters of Stone" was available and thought why not give this another try? Several days later I hauled all 28 discs containing Ayla's latest adventures to my car, ready to be entertained and properly chastised, personally, for initially thinking this was a stinker. The narration was lively, the reader did well supplying different inflections for the various characters but...boring? Oh, unbelievably so. The story could've been condensed like so much soup into a maximum of 10 CDs. I never heard so much redundancy in my life. As I was driving along I kept finding myself thinking, "yeah, already heard that, let's get on with it". I guess I'm a tough audience. I didn't quite make it through the entire book and wasn't interested enough to even think of renewing. That lets you know just how bad this story was. Since I've come this far I'll dig the actual book from my son's bookshelves and finish the last few chapters the old fashioned way.

And the final point of this entry? I'm not sure. When I began this I had a point and was ready to run with it. Isn't it fun to be 52? Welcome to my world. Perhaps it was that almost any book is interesting to listen to when dramatized but there are still some out there that even this lively type of delivery can't save.  No matter. I've got another audio book waiting at the library to be picked up and life is good.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Saturday Six

Image hosted by

I haven't played in a while.  Somehow it's not as fun as it used to be now that everyone has scattered.

1. Do you generally tend to be early, late or right on time? Usually a bit early; always on time

2. Did you belong to any clubs in high school? No. The closest thing I belonged to that resembled a club was being a member of my senior yearbook staff.  I chose to get involved with this only to help while away the time I was separated from my beau. He went off to college in Ohio and I was finishing my senior year of high school. It was a good time filler. If so, which did you value the most?

3. Where was your favorite place to hang out when you were in high school? My bedroom  How often were you there and were you usually with friends or alone?  Every day after school; usually alone and sometimes with friends.

4. Take this quiz (if you haven't already!): What chess piece are you? (Thanks to Charles.)

A Black Rook
You don't have to worry about fancy plans, or sophisticated schemes. You are just on the board to kick some ass and smash some white pieces. You stand by your leaders, and they get worried when you are removed from play. You work best with your buddy, the other black rook, and when you don't have him watching your six, you tend to be somewhat ineffective.


5. When is the last time you played a board game and what game did you play?  About two months ago, a game called Upwards which is a variation of Scrabble (I love word games)  Did you win?  No, even playing in tandem with a partner, it was, though

6. You're called to serve on a jury. Would you rather sit on a capital murder case, a personal injury case, a wrongful death suit or a drunk driving case, and why?  I'd pick the drunk driving case...even before it began, the outcome  would be signed, sealed and delivered.


Thursday, January 12, 2006

Poor, Pitiful Me...Not!

My last post came across as a great deal more pathetic than I intended and showcased me as a brainless nitwit, incapable of grasping and retaining new information, new tasks and new ways of doing things. That just isn't so and I feel the need to attempt to redeem least a little. In truth, I've got a pretty firm handle on the job that I was hired to do. My problems begin when I get back to the Out Patient Department and have to answer the phone (when the receptionist is away from her desk, neither of the nurses in the back--if they're not out and about-- pick up and then it falls on me). There is an underlying understanding which, clearly, I did not understand when I accepted this position that we are all expected to have at least a rudimentary understanding of the overall workings of the front office. Hmm, "the overall workings of the front office" is the key phrase and the cause for my distress and overall stress at work.

I work in a place that is a microcosm within the city it is located. There are 300 plus people living here, all over the age of 65 and their health issues and needs are many, as one would suspect. From the minute we switch our phones back to our office from the skilled nursing desk (which fields our calls from 4:30 pm to 8:00 am when we're closed), they never stop ringing straight up to 4:30 and past that if we don't immediately switch the line back to the main nursing station. It's exhausting! The lady who runs the reception desk is efficient, knowledgeable, kind, helpful and she has been working at this life-care community for the past 19 years. She started as a CNA in the skilled nursing section and has gradually progressed to where she is now. I believe she's been running the front desk for about five years, certainly more than long enough to know what's what about everything. Even more to her advantage is that she recognizes just about every resident who walks through the door and is well aware of their general health problems, who their doctor is, etc. This is exactly what one one expect from someone who has been seeing these folks off and on, day in and day out for so many years. Obviously when you stack her 19 years of experience in general with the entire workplace up against my mere almost five months' worth, I have a great deal of catching up to do.

I am much too hard on myself. I know a great deal more than I did even two months ago. It takes a long time to win over a group of people, gain their trust and begin to develop any kind of a relationship. It occurred to me recently that I'd made more headway than I realized when people began to recognize my voice on the phone and notice and even make mention of the fact that I was off for a day or two. These are very good things and encouraging, too. Throughout the past year, our supervisor (who hired me) has been working to put together a team of individuals who work well within the system and with each other. It's been a rocky period and I arrived smack dab in the middle of it. I think our outpatient clinic personnel has finally calmed down to being comprised of those who intend and are wanted to remain. We get along reasonably well among ourselves and, secretly, I'm thrilled I've made it this far.

It seems I should stop sweating the small stuff and just get through each day one at a time. Like so many quaint adages, this is easier said than done but, by God, I'm going to give it my best shot!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


I've been silent intentionally about how things have been going with my new job, Although I've been working at it for going on five months, it's still very new to me. I think it'll be year or more before I truly have a grip on all that goes on in this extremely busy department. It's been tough going for me and I've spent many an evening in tearful regret over leaving my old job that I knew so well for this one where I'm so often clueless. Yes, it's true I was looking for a challenge, a change. To say I bit off a whole lot more than I can chew would be putting it mildly. I'd like to say that each each passing day it gets easier but that's not the case. It's more as if I stumble around in the fog for a time; suddenly the clouds lift and a few tasks become clear. A light goes on inside my head. It's hard to explain but it's something like that. I don't think I've ever had to say, "I don't know" so many times to so many people. It's not exactly a phrase that boosts self-confidence, believe me. It's been a humbling experience to go from being the top of the line to the bottom of the heap--the proverbial low man on the totem pole. It's been harder than I ever imagined to have gone from being the one who had a handle on just about everything that was going on, confident...complacent to she who knows precious little. I was the one whose mere presence could often bring reassurance to a resident. Of course, that didn't happen overnight but I seem to have forgotten the years I worked through to arrive at that secure position. Yet, I felt it was very necessary to give it up, to move out of that comfort zone. It was too secure, too comfortable.

For a brief time not so long ago, I was thinking seriously of giving up and returning to my old familiar job. One evening after a dinner with some friends, I poured out my unhappiness to a special friend and even as I mentioned the thought of possibly trying to get my old job back, I knew I would not, could not do this. My family would support whatever decision I made but to admit defeat not even six months into a new job would be something I just couldn't do. My pride would never allow such a thing to happen. Almost immediately after my outpouring of misery, my days at work began to get better. More and more things began to fall into place. Was this merely a coincidence? Was I just at a major turning point of understanding and acceptance and hadn't realized it yet? You'd think at my age I would've learned some patience and in many areas, I do have plenty but apparently not when it comes to living up to my personal expectations.

Not so long ago, I was committed to not rushing my life away, to savor every day but I must confess that these days I've been wishing that I could time warp myself into the future (say a year from now) to where I'd feel comfortable with all facets of my job and all it entails. I want to skip to the point when I can look back on all this and laugh at myself about feeling the way I do currently.

Saturday, January 7, 2006

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

There we were, my husband, son and I, on the Saturday morning following the arrival of our visitor, now restored to his proper owner. We were collectively forlorn but guess what? This was the Saturday we had planned to go Christmas tree hunting and with heavy hearts we piled into the car, our usual enthusiasm less than evident. We visited the tree farm where we've found The Perfect Tree for over 20 years. We decided upon the very first tree we saw on our way up the hill to the back forty of the property. Yes, we looked a bit here and there and ran back and forth to compare trees but, in the end, that first tree was perfect. I believe we spent a record 30 minutes at the Christmas tree farm; clearly, our minds were on another matter. On the way home, we passed an animal shelter, the question of whether or not we wanted to pursue finding another cat to call our own was posed and a unanimous yes resounded within the car. My husband turned into the shelter only to find it wasn't open to the public for another two hours. Drat. Our own town has an animal shelter and I knew it would be open when we got back there. We stopped by home, dropped off the tree and drove to the shelter. It was understood that finding and adopting a new kitty would be the family Christmas gift.

Bolstered with the knowledge that our cat really seemed to enjoy having another cat in the house, we trooped into the shelter and made our intentions known. We were led through a door and shown the "cat room" in which a large assortment of cats were housed, all appearing to be under a year old. The three of us slipped through the gate and waited to see what would happen. Some kitties rushed over to greet us, tumbling over one another in their excitement and joy to see a friendly human. Maybe these were the ones who would take us home? Others cast a lazy eye in our direction and many simply ignored us. It was so difficult to choose. We each zeroed in on a cat that appealed to us, traded them around and continued in this fashion for some time.

We were looking for a potential lap kitty--a cat who would be very happy to snuggle with us and want nothing more than accept the love and attention we had to give. Our beautiful Finnegan is a dear but he tends to be somewhat aloof a lot of the time. He loves us, I know, but prefers to hang out nearby. One of our prerequisites for the potential new pet was a cat who would purr easily and often and love being held. My husband spotted her first; a beautifully marked little cat who melted and molded into his arms and began to purr contentedly when he picked her up. After a time, she was passed to me. I got the same response and then I set her down on the floor. My son picked her back up and she repeated this performance. It was very hard to ignore the small black kitten that settled companionably on my shoulder as well as the darling bit of gray fluff that my son had been playing with. We finally decided the little affectionate female was the one for us. All the cats had paper collars of blue or pink to indicate their sex. They'd all been given names, too. Our choice was Camille; an approximate seven month old with a nice enough name but this would soon change.

Next, we had to fill out a lengthy application and were informed that an appointment would be made promptly to spay the cat after which she'd return to the shelter for two days to make sure she was healing properly. She would then be ready for us to pick her up and bring her home. Due to our work schedules, it wasn't until the following Saturday that we brought the newest member of the family home. Once again, our number one cat kept his distance for a day or two and then, in no time at all, the two were getting along just fine. When the day came that I noticed two furry little heads bent down sharing one food dish, I knew for certain all would be well. Our home is now graced with two wonderful cats; our regal, handsome Finnegan who knows exactly how impressive he is and our new addition, Nefertiri who resembles an Egyptian Mau somewhat; hence the name.

Somewhere along the line my husband and I became cat people. We used to be confirmed dog lovers. Is this yet another sign of getting older? We still love dogs but it's with a smile on my face that I write "but cats are so much easier to deal with..."

(Confidential to lisaram:  No fair!  You guessed.  You just knew this was coming, didn't you?)

The Visitor

The day after Thanksgiving which, miracle of miracles, I had off from work, I awoke to the sound of plaintive mewing outside the window. This went on for some time and I finally hoisted myself up to look out to see what was responsible for the sound. I was greeted with a sweet little kitty face peering over the fence which separates our neighbor's carport area from our house. At present the neighboring house is vacant and on the market. The sounds this little cat was making made me wonder if it may be hurt or stuck or something. I decided to go out the side door and investigate. For the past several weeks, we'd been entertaining the idea of getting another cat to keep our Finn company. It bothered me that he had to spend so much time alone while my son was at school and we were at work. I'd read in several places that Siamese are very social animals and their well being benefits greatly from the company of another cat.

With these thoughts in my head, I walked next door, all the while knowing exactly what I was doing and what I was hoping for. Perhaps here would be the kitty who could become our number two cat. No fuss, no muss and instant pet. I found a small, orange tabby rolling on its back looking most appealing and in no apparent distress. The carport area was fenced in but this little animal could easily walk out from between the fence slats...which it did and trotted along behind me back to and right through the side door. It made a bee line for the water and food dishes and began to chow down and then proceeded to make itself quite comfy in its new surroundings. Our cat made for the furthermost recesses of the house and was not to be found for quite some time. There was no identifying collar on this small cat; obviously it had been out in the elements for a few days because it was so hungry and had telltale grease or oil marks on its back, indicating it had sought refuge under a car somewhere during the very cold nights we'd been having. Upon close inspection, it looked to be in healthy shape and friendly. Oh my, you'd think this cat had lived with us for months.

We fell immediately and thoroughly in love with this little cat and within three days the new arrival and our cat were great buds, chasing each other all over the place in a playful manner. We checked the lost and found section of the newspaper each morning dutifully and even went so far as to check out a copy of the city paper to see if anyone was missing a small tabby with beautiful orange markings with an artistic swirl. Nothing appeared and as each day went by, we felt more secure and surer that kitty was here to stay. "One week," my husband said. "We'll give it one week and then take this little one to the vet to check everything out". Little one drifted into our lives on Friday morning. The following Saturday morning my husband looked once again in the lost and found section and there it was: Lost, small orange tabby, very friendly, and so on. Something else caught my eye that morning too. I went outside to find laminated pictures complete with description and plea for its safe return plastered on everything that would tolerate a nail or thumbtack. No doubt about it--the kitty in the picture was the very one we'd taken care of and loved the entire past week. My husband called the number in the notice and within minutes a grateful, tearful, very relieved young woman and her little boy were at the door to take home their "Toby".

Oh, how our hearts were breaking as we gave back her obviously much loved kitty. The woman had been back east for Thanksgiving and whoever was house sitting (or kitty sitting) for her let the cat out accidentally. I think the minute the young woman returned from her trip, she set forth to putting up posters and notified the newspaper; indeed, must have done so just the night before. We were comforted by the fact that the reunion of cat and owner was a very happy one and we would certainly want our dear cat returned to us if he got out. For the remainder of the day and several days following, our cat wandered from room to room looking for his "pal". He had enjoyed having a companion and I'm sure was wondering what on earth was going on. First we bring a strange cat into the house out of the blue and then, poof! it's gone. This gesture of returning that which was not ours was the springboard from which our Christmas spirit for 2005 was launched.

Friday, January 6, 2006

Before I Move Forward, I Must Look Back a Bit

Our family had a wonderful holiday, wrapping up 2005 and welcoming 2006. Two thousand six. Imagine! The very sound of this year (as well as the past six) sounds so futuristic and unreal to me. It evokes expectations of space travel, space stations, colonization of other planets and beyond. Our current technology is very impressive and way beyond my feeble grasp, in general. Somehow, though, I expected something more. I blame watching too much "Jetson's", "2001, A Space Odyssey", and "Star Trek" et al in my younger years. I don't like the way our current year sounds when I say it. It doesn't roll off the tip of my tongue like all the "teen" years I've known since my birth. It's awkward but I'd better get used to saying 2,000-whatever 'cause that's all I'll be saying and hearing until the end of my days.

That being said, let's get on it with it, shall we? As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, my daughter and son-in-law hosted the Thanksgiving feast this past year and they did a great job of it. It was wonderful to be relieved of the work and related hassles to prepare dinner. My daughter was lucky because the guest list was greatly diminished from past years. This worked out well as it gave them the chance to get their feet wet. They planned the meal the way they wanted and didn't feel duty-bound to produce a replica of what my husband and I have put forth year after year. I admire this and it pleased me; however, I think my husband may have been harboring a worry or two about what would or wouldn't be served. He's quite the traditionalist when it comes to holiday meals. Myself? If I don't have to make it and it's served to me, I'm already loving it. My son-in-law offered two turkey choices to his guests, smoked or fried; the turkey, not the guests! They were both pretty tasty but I think I liked the smoked one better. Frankly, a nice little departure from the traditional roasted bird.

They both worked very hard and put a lot of effort into the holiday dinner. I think they enjoyed having the family at their house as well. I don't know who'll be serving up Thanksgiving dinner next time but it surely is nice to have another couple share the load.

Thursday, January 5, 2006

A New Year's Muse

A new year, a time of new beginning--yet another chance to excel at this thing called life. I've never been one to get terribly excited about the start of a new year. I suppose it's as good a time as any to try to put into place and practice new habits, seek new ventures or what have you. I don't make a long list of resolutions that I know I can't possibly keep either. That is nothing more than a well known trap to set one up for immediate failure. I'm very well aware of the improvements I need to make; they're never too far from my thoughts.

One resolution I have made is to try to get back to writing in my online journal. I've been voluntarily absent for some time now. Too many things were happening at once; new job, different hours, difficulties coping with new job, the abrubt misery and overall dissension from so many people over AOL's sneaky little "let's decorate the top of everyone's journal with ads and maybe no one will notice" scheme. Ah yes, that was hugely popular and resulted in a mass exodus of many people whose journals I enjoyed following. There didn't seem to be any spare time to write anything and when I did find some time, it was spent trying to follow links hither and thither to discover where they went. And too, I once again got away from my original idea of writing for myself and fretted too much about whether my subject matter was worthy of reading or not. Who the hell cares? Have I mentioned before that I am my own worst critic? Add to this the fact that I began to think it was wrong and inappropriate to write about pleasant times and things that made me happy. People are dying needlessly in the messy Middle East war, thousands of people have suffered losses beyond my imagination due to hurricanes, floods and assorted assaults from nature which are beyond our control. Anything I might care to write about seemed paltry, superfluous and nothing more than fluff.

Suddenly, I didn't care anymore. It all became too much effort and the very thing which brought me so much pleasure and joy had become a bother, a chore, yet one more thing that had to be dealt with. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that when one feels this way, it's time to stop. And so I did. Now I feel ready to begin anew and continue to create a journal of my thoughts and experiences. This is something I like to do for my sake; if others enjoy reading my bits and pieces, that makes online journaling even more rewarding. I can't single-handedly solve the problems of the world but I can be grateful for the life I've been blessed with and I truly am...blessed.