Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Comfort Zones

I just read a quote attributed to glass artist Josh Simpson: "As an artist, it is important to find your comfort zone and then stay out of it."

Seems to me this applies to life in general: cooking, relationships, science.

Not ethics.

Well, not usually.

As a natural born rut person, it is important to get into your comfort zone...when you need comfort. Which,for me as a natural born rut person, is more often that most others.

Perhaps the most important thing is to have a good head on your shoulders, and recognize when and where you need to be. This keeps you out of trouble and out of boredom.

At this point, be grateful that you are not operating on the quantum level, so you can know both (when and where) simultaneously. Although God (who really doesn't play dice with the universe) does have a way of yanking that rug out from under your feet so that you truly recognize the safest place to be is in the center of His will.

If these thoughts appear uncoordinated, it is because I am not a good writer, and it will take me a week to get these into a coherent paragraph.

In the meantime, I am going to go organize all my old files on my new computer. Order is definitely my comfort zone. For the time being, chaos (which is not my comfort zone) reigns on my desk and hopefully it will not interfere with paying all the right bills in two days. Which is not a comfort zone, but merely necessary.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

update #3: toeNAIL

I have had two requests now for how I lost my toenail. (Thanks, Aaron, for pointing out that I needed to add the NAIL to the last post. I did.) That means the rest of you get the story also, whether you want it or not, in all its sordid detail.

The toe story starts out a couple of years ago. Our house internet connection was a wire running from the den to the livingroom. I ran into it with my toenail and it jerked the nail up. I waited for the nail to fall out and regrow, but instead it re-attached itself. But the nail bed got exposed and I acquired a fungus infection -- the toe nail got thick, arched, yellow and ugly. Jack, ever helpful, offered a choice of files from his garage tool box to file it.

Last month, I went over to a friends house to sew. I brought an extra table, which fell on the toe (I had shoes on) when I got it out of the car. This split the nail from front to back, and now I decided that I really need to do something about it -- in the six months or more THAT would take to grow out, I'm sure I can acquire a regular bacterial infection. And it was bleeding.

The doctor (named Murdock, which is also my mother's middle name) took the toenail out on June 7. It was kind of like pulling a tooth -- took only minutes. He said that there is about a 2% chance I would get the toenail back, and if I did it would probably grow in fungusy. But they still, because of policy, refused to let me drive and they took me out to my friend's car in a wheelchair.

We had dinner last week with friends who are chemists, and one was of the opinion that I should have seen another doctor, that fungus infections could be cured. But when they are in the toenail, you are on a regimen of anti-fungals for six months, with a 50% successs rate, and the medications tend to do in your liver. (I'd rather do it in with alcohol, although at a rate of 3 glasses of wine a week, it could take a while.) Science News recently had an article about fungi, and the reason that fungus infections are so hard to cure is because the fungus cell and the human cell look a lot alike, especially from the outside. They also have cell nuclei, while most bacteria don't. (Look for the issue with the pink false color image of a fungus on the front.)

I think we are spoiled by the two week (at the most) regimen for bacterial infections, with the exception of things like TB, MRSA and Staph.

Anyway, I once again have a flat toe, it is kind of red, it looks better than it used to, but not as good as new.

And I still like the computer and hope to get around to pictures in the next post.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Update #2: toe

There are no pictures with this post either, but that is a good thing. (Are you listening, Aaron D?)

It is healing nicely, thank you.

Life without a big toenail is just great if you don't have to wear shoes. With shoes, you discover that little piece of keratin (which, we just learned, is the same material as antlers and horns) provides just enough protection that you don't notice walking. Unless you are stupid enough to wear shoes that are too small or that have pointy toes, and no one has ever called me stupid. At least not for that reason.

Last week, I wore shoes for 5 straight days. I walked around two malls, two zoos, two beaches (does anyone see a pattern here?) and two Mt. St. Helens visitors' centers. Only the malls and the Johnston Ridge visitor center were at all level. This means I was going downhill on two bad knees, and shoving my nail-less toe into the front end of the shoe. At one point I decided to descend to the beach backwards, until Jack said "Watch out for the slug!"

Which wasn't there.

I favored the toe so badly that the left leg began to complain and I began to walk really funny.

I've been wearing flip flops ever since and every body part is happy with me.

Well, except the toe nail, the gall bladder and the wisdom teeth, which I no longer have.

Next order of business: find sandals that I can walk a lot in.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

update #1: computer

There is no picture with this post because we have a new computer. Before all the files could be transferred properly (including the photo editing software), the old computer died. It apparently was jealous of the new computer (an HP Touchsmart, with the entire computer in the screen), and when we had a power glitch the day after the HP came home, the old computer refused to boot up.

On the old hard drive, I had irresistably cute photos of the grandkid and other kids and pets, and these pictures dated back ten years; e-mail addresses; all the exchange student files (most of which I needed to delete anyway, and those that I need to keep I can retrieve); financial files, most of which can be recreated; and more. There are backups, but I'm not sure how old they are.

Jack has ordered a hard drive enclosure, so if the hard drive is not the problem we can get everything back. If the hard drive is a problem, then we have to pay money to get things back.

Ignorance is bliss, and now I am neither.

But I really like the new computer! I will post a picture when we get that up and running. I think the financial bit is first priority, since I really don't know how much money we have.

Monday, June 07, 2010

crawling is mastered

In the course of the normal days events, we discover that crawling is mastered, but balls are not.

The search for edible things in the backyard was hampered by grandpa, who does not even believe that the dog should eat her own poop. The boy only ate grass.

milestones, etc.

One of the fun things about kids is that they keep on growing. At least, through the teenage years you hope they aren't actually regressing. In these pictures you see that (aside from the kilogram of grapefruit flavored gummi bears), that nothing is going to be safe, including your Sunday Afternoon Nap (which I had sense to take on the bed when no one was looking). And that cars are going to be the in thing.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

International Week

Tami's parents and little sister just spent a week with us. Now we know why Tami is wonderful -- she comes from a wonderful family! They are very generous (starting with loaning us their daughter!) and there was a constant little competition about who was going to pay for what. (I won once just by shopping by myself!) He is an engineer and she teaches math and physics, so we could talk technical, which is always fun. They also like to see and do new things, and it didn't seem to matter that it rained a lot. The dog loves them, because they love dogs and would scratch her in all the right places.

Fine loves her quilt, shown here in all it's glory. With Jack doing his usual weird expression for the camera.

We went hiking in the mountains, they went to Fort Walla Walla, we went to a museum about the history of the Manhattan Project, we walked the dog along the river, we talked about everything from concrete to WW2. And of course we compared notes about Tami! Turns out she behaves better for us than them. Go Figure. Never once got to the weather, until they needed to know about what they were heading into today. Thoroughly enjoyable.

They headed back to Seattle this morning, where it is going to rain tomorrow. But that is normal.

(I blame the rain on the Icelandic volcano, which one commentator wants to nickname Ed.)