Friday, March 31, 2006

Here I thought she was just going senile ...

My mom's doctor is pretty convinced she (my mom) has been suffering mini strokes since February of this year.

My mom's been complaining of dizziness since she went to my nephew's bar mitzvah back in February. And you all know whenever I mention my mom, I always mention her bouts of "not remembering a damn thing".

Well, her doctor seems to think she falls into the category of TIA (transient ischemic attacks). Thanks, doc. Now my poor mother has done nothing but worry since she was told on Wednesday.

Now, I looked up TIA and the symptoms. Here are the major ones:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause (source)
She claims she has no numbness or weakness anywhere. I question that. She hasn't had much strength lately, less than normal. Her facial expressions are fine. She's not dragging or favoring a specific leg while she walks.

I won't even touch the confusion issue. I've been saying to Geo, "She seems to get worse by the second." Now we may know why. I already touched on the dizziness, and the headaches are unknown to me.

She had an MRI yesterday and today she is seeing another two doctors.

I told my mom it was no use in worrying about it. If she has it, we'll deal with it. If not, she worried for nothing. I told her if she's worrying too much to talk to God. I said, "That's what you always tell me to do."

She seemed to feel better after I said that to her.

But, I'll admit it ... I'm worried, too.

Naomi Campbell's weapon of choice - the telephone

Okay, anyone who has glimpsed at the news knows that Naomi Campbell was recently brought up on assault charges for hitting her housekeeper in the head with a cell phone. The housekeeper went to Lenox Hill Hospital where she received four stitches. The hospital contacted the authorities. The rest is pure media frenzy.

Of course, Naomi's publicists went immediately into action, declaring the housekeeper was doing this in retaliation because she was recently fired by Miss Campbell. They are trying to play the housekeeper as a vengeful thieving schemer.

The scheming part? As per the publicists, the housekeeper's wound was self-inflicted.

A gash in the back of the woman's skull was self-inflicted. Can you say "highly doubtful"?

But, I mean, Naomi is the real victim here, right? She was being the rational one, and the other woman went postal.

Ummmm, Naomi's past says differently. Naomi, in the past, has admitted she has an itsy-bitsy problem controlling her anger. Really?

"Naomi's History of Violence

2005 Reportedly beat a young female assistant with a BlackBerry in Brazil.

August 2004 Maid Millicent Burton claimed Campbell hit her across the face during an argument in the Park Avenue apartment about packing a bag. Burton also ended up in Lenox Hill Hospital.

May Won a long-running British legal battle with a tabloid newspaper that was found to have invaded her privacy by running a story saying, correctly, that she had visited Narcotics Anonymous.

2003 Sued by a former assistant who said Campbell had thrown a phone at her during a 2001 tantrum.

2000 Pleaded guilty to an assault charge for hitting assistant Georgina Galanis with a telephone soon after arriving in Toronto to make a film in 1998." (source)

Notice a pattern? Naomi and Mr. Alex G. Bell's invention? The two just don't mix.

I have a piece of advice for her next housekeeper: stay away from all forms of telecommunication equipment.

And for the love of God, don't anyone buy that woman a Motorola Razr! That would be like giving an accomplished third degree black-belt a ninja star.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Anyone got a used Chopin statue?

This blog post is dedicated to my blogfriend, Jade. She's gonna have a rough few days ahead of her and she'll need some levity.


Friends of ours ... no, wait. Our friends' kids ... darn, that's not right either. Our ... their ... they have ... hold on.


Our friends Vince and Shell have a son. He is little Vince (at least to us he is). L'il Vince and his wife, Katrina, have a little boy, Austin.

That's the ground work I was trying to establish.

L'il Vince and Katrina mailed a HUGE package to the Dinks which arrived Monday.

We opened it last night. It was Dinks' Christmas gift. This is what she got.

Not what I expected.

Now, here's me thinking, "Lovely. An electronic dust collector that will have batteries eventually leaking in it from lack of use."

Dinks walked over, sat on the stool, adjusted the mic so it was at the proper height for her face, and started mimicking playing the piano. Not pounding the keyboard like some kids do. She actually moved each hand moving up and down the keyboard (the left only so much and the right moved a lot), and had her fingers searching and pressing the different keys.

And singing! She was singing into the mic! It was like we had a young Elton John in the room.

We just might have a budding musician in the works. It wouldn't shock me. She loves music and is fascinated with the piano (my parents have one and she always wants to play it).

Downside: it takes 4 "C" batteries and we have 0 "C" batteries.

Geo is at Sam's Club as I type buying her a pallets worth.

No, I didn't have time to take pics. We'll do that tonight.

Look for them tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Another "should I, shouldn't I" dilemma

For about 800 years now, I've wanted to learn to play guitar. I bought an acoustic Ibanez back in 1990. It never emerged from it's case and I ended up giving it to my girlfriend. At least she knew how to play.

Fast forward about 8 or so years.

My late husband was an accomplished classical guitarist. The man could make a classical guitar sound like a piano. Of course, he practiced about 85% of waking hours and had done so since he was knee high to a grasshopper.

I begged him to teach me. He agreed.

I bought another acoustic. This time a red Fender Dreadnought. The action was smoothe and easy on my tender fingertips. I practiced this time. But I was impatient. I couldn't understand why I wasn't able to play Lindsay Buckingham solos after two months.

Frustration abound. Again, I abandoned.

Then he died.

After his death, I didn't want to do anything. Then, slowly, I realized I could focus on my dream of playing guitar. All I had in my life were my cats and my job. I could throw my extra energy in really learning to play.

I also want to learn the bass. I really love the bass as opposed to the guitar. Something about the tone and the feel of the instrument does something for me.

But I had all these guitars so I figured, "Why buy a bass?"

I gave his most cherished guitars back to his parents, and one of his acoustics to a friend of his. Three remained which I kept. A custom 1972 Guild Starfire III, a maker unknown classical, and his beloved black with white fingerboard Squier Strat.

I love the Squier. The action on it is beyond fantastic. It is the PERFECT guitar for anyone wanting to learn. It is that user friendly.

I have an amp still in my attic. It's a little pratice amp (I forget who made it). I wanted a Pignose but my husband poo-pooed that. He said it was hype. Anyway, I have a stand and cords, too.

You see where I am going with this, dont' you?

It's back. The feeling. The want and desire to play the guitar. But I still want to learn the bass. I can pick up basslines in music quicker than the guitar.

So, do I break out the Endust and clean up the guitar and see if third time is a charm?

Or, do I buy an electric bass? I can get a decent one for around US$199. An amp, gig bag, strings, and other little whatsits will total the bill close to US$350.

It's not a money thing, either. I hoard my weekly allowance (yes, Geo and I have created an allowance for ourselves, so we don't feel liek we work for nothing). So, I have plenty for the purchase.

I know enough about both instruments to make a reasonably intelligent choice.

So, my dilemma is which.

Comments are most welcome.

I'm so glad the week is over

What? What do you mean it's only Tuesday? We haven't even reached Humpday yet?

Oh heck, it's worse than I thought.

Sunday flew by *Zoom*

Monday was a blur.

Honest, I feel like I sneezed on Saturday and opened my eyes to Tuesday.

I know I have to post pics. Geo will take them. Well, maybe I should ask him first. Sound like a good idea?

I have the new hair and I'm getting the clothes and shoes (I had no clue what a slingback was, but at least I do know strappies), but I still show my age.

Not physically but verbally.

I told someone the other day they sounded like a 33 on 45. They just kinda stared and blinked at me. I felt like a fossil. Anyone my age (+/- 5 years) and older would have understood it, I think.

Do they still say something is "the bomb" anymore? I believe that was the last time I was considered hip. Now? I guess I'm about as hip as a shin bone.


So, how's your day been?

Saturday, March 25, 2006

I gol' darn gone and done it

As a precursor, let's just say I haven't changed my hair or clothing or shoe style since forever. I dress preppy, I have conservative shoes, and I rarely go to the hairdresesr.

Streats, my co-worker, gave me some blunt honest criticism last Friday.

"You dress dumpy, your clothes have no color or flair, and long hair does nothing for you, doesn't flatter you, and makes you look older than you are."


"Anything else?" I like punishment.

"Yeah, update your shoes. Spend some money on yourself, girl! You work, reward yourself."

She wasn't being mean. Streats is a good person and very classy. I was asking her what I could do to ... improve myself.

The start of all of that was me sitting at my desk wearing my new glasses and feeling ... off. I bought these new stylish eyeglasses and I felt like I looked silly.

Last year, in Florida, at the Hard Rock Cafe in Orlando, I bought a t-shirt. I ladies t-shirt. I never owned a ladies style cut form-fitting t-shirt. All of mine are unisex.

I liked it. As weird as this sounds (for me), I liked seeing a shape under my clothes.

I never feel like that towards myself, except for lately.

Middle age? Or just wanting to feel different? I don't know. I love my life. I love my husband. I love my child. I love my family. I do everything for them.

But I forgot about me.

So ...

I cut my hair.


And got highlights.

For me, that's unusual.

I even told my hairdresser, "I want a style that's not so conservative. I want ... sassy!"

I hate that word. Yet, I used it. And I liked it.

Oh lord.

Geo looked at my hair when he got home tonight.

His comment?

"You've got bengal stripes on your head."

Thanks, hon.

Then he gave me a kiss.

"I like it. You look good."

That's better ... much better.

Bug-eyed with drool out of the corner of the mouth

It's 11:03 PM.

I'm drinking sugar-free MDX.

I'm watching the Sprout channel.

Melanie is telling a story of two turtles using her hands.

Sweet Jesus, someone please shoot me.

I am a Classic!

Coca-Cola, that is. Hee-hee-hee.

Thank goodness I wasn't a New Coke. Anyone else remember that marketing debacle?

You Are Coke

A true original and classic, you represent the best of everything you can offer.
Just the right amount of sweet, just the right amount of energy... you're the life of the party.

Your best soda match: Mountain Dew

Stay away from:Dr Pepper

Friday, March 24, 2006

Model parents to be released from TN jail

Thomas Gambrell striking the most intelligent look he can muster and Jennifer Hargrove looking like the remorseful person we all know she is.
See what happens when I do random Google surfing?

Parents Quick Release Stun Prosecuters

April 16, 2001: Jennifer Hargrove (above right) gave birth to her child in an apartment bathroom, slit her newborn baby's throat and the daddy, Thomas Gambrell (above left), did nothing to stop her! He claims he was sleeping. Yeah, he slept while a woman was in labor. LIAR!! Both of them ... effing sick twisted cowards! And that's not the worst part, the child lived! The baby was stuffed in a bag and thrown in the trunk of a car. Paramedics called on to the scene (I am still not sure why they were there) took the child and the two moron parents were promptly arrested.

In November 2004, under a plea agreement, each coward got a whole eight years.

The good news: The baby, a little girl, survived. After much rehab, she was put in the care of a foster family. A judge terminated the parental rights of Hargrove and Gambrell (and I thought that would have been the first thing to be done before they even went to trial), and the child was adopted by her foster family.

The crap news: Gambrell, after barely serving 14 months of his 8 year sentence, is out of jail already. And Jennifer will be out of jail soon because the Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole on Tuesday recommended she be released!

I just hope his nuts were cut off and her hole was stapled, glue gunned, crazy glued, and cemented shut so neither can ever EVER have a child again.

South Park is really prophetic?

Here's a snippet from "South Park"s episode number 209 - Chef's Salty Balls

Could it be Trey and Matt had the lowdown on the Brokeback hoedown? Or were they actually Ang's inspiration?

Things that make you go hmmmmmm ...

Thursday, March 23, 2006

My daughter, the hypochondriac

No lie.

Every blessed day since last Thursday, my daughter has been begging to see the doctor for a "check-up".

I ask her if she doesn't feel well.


I ask what hurts.

She points to various parts of her little body. On the side of consistency, she points to her head, ear, and nose all the time. It's very possible. She has been sick everyday since March1st. Stupid allergy season.

I tell her if she goes to the doctor, she can't go to school. She then smiles and says she'll "stay for home".

Ah! I get it now.

The little skiver. They learn so young.

This month has been downright awful

I left work early yeterday for a stomach ache.

Of course, the pain started Tuesday night and kept me from sleeping. So, in reality, I left for both a stomach ache and general dizzyness from lack of sleep.

And I drove. On the turnpike. With the Dinks in the car.

So much for my Parent of the Year Award.

The stomach ache did finally leave after 24 hours of pure suffering.

The solution?

Pepto-Bismol chewables.


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

PA's version of Jessica's Law almost a reality, though one senator thinks the measure is "overkill"

What I feel is a long time coming, a state senate committee has given initial approval for a PA's version of Florida's "Jessica's Law".

You remember Jessica Lunsford? She was that 9 year old little girl who was abducted from her bedroom while she slept, raped, and killed last year. Her murderer? A registered sex offender, John Evander Couhey.


The entire nation saw just how well "registering" sex offenders was in deterring them from repeating their crimes when the news of Jessica's killer was brought to light.

In an albeit too late reactive move, Florida created "Jessica's Law".

And PA will soon have its own version.

The measure will give DA's the power to put sex offenders away for a minimum sentence of 25 years AND the accused will have to where a GPS monitoring system for the rest of their life.

As a mom, I applaud the measure.

But a state senator from Erie thinks the measure is overkill.

Jane M Earll (R) is quoted as saying “I know that there have been incidents around the country where you have someone who’s out on probation or parole who re-offends. But to my knowledge, we don’t have that problem in Pennsylvania.”

Gee, Senator, let me think about what you said for a minute. You're saying that since such an incident hasn't happened here in Pennsyltucky that the law is not necessary. That Pennsylvania should also be a reactive state as opposed to proactive. We all saw how being reactive allowed Jessica to die in Florida. If such a measure would have been in place at the time of her murderer's initial conviction back in 1991, he would have still been behind bars.

Senator, do we really need a dead child on our hands so you can feel the measure is justified?

Anyone who would like to comment on the Senator's comment can do so by writing her an e-mail. Just click on the link above to get it.

One Dumb Dog

One of my favorite vidoes. Is it any wonder that the dog is a blonde?

Note to my blonde friends: That's a JOKE!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Love them or hate them, cats are funny!

Too funny!

It was an e-mail, now it's an annoying tell all


Tv show: None right now

Flower: Roses, Lilies, and Carnations

Alcohol: Beer or Disaronno with seltzer on the rocks

Movie: Grumpier Old Men, Tommy Boy, The Princess Bride

Color: Purple, Green, and Orange

Sport: Football and Hockey

Phrase: I see.

Mall: Roosevelt/Neshaminy/Court and Plaza at King of Prussia/Oxford valley/Willow Grove

Music genre: Everything except soft rock or traditional Christian

Food: Steak and green beans or PIZZA (when I don't care about the calories I'm eating)


Height: 5'6"

Hair color: Dark Brown

Hair length: Short

Hair style: straight

eye color: Brown

Weight: fluctuates between 130 and 137

Personality: have none

Style: preppie but trying to convert to hip with the help of a co-worker and the Bravo Channel


How's life?: Ummm ...

What are you doing as we speak?: typing, ... duh

What are you doing over the weekend?: car inspection, haircut/color

What do you want to do with your life?: raise my child and then retire to the mountains. Or win the lottery

What color is your life?: green or orange

Where are you right now?: work


Have you ever been in love: Yes

Do you believe in love?: Yes

Why did your last relationship fail?: He died.

Have you ever had your heart broken?: Crushed

Have you ever broken someones heart?: Yes

Have you ever fallen for one of your best friends of the opposite sex?: Nope

Are you planning on getting married?: Already did ;)

Are you afraid of committment: Nope


One thing sitting next to you: nothing interesting

Funny story: My daughter said to me in the doctor's waiting room last Monday, "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" Had the place cracking up.

Do you like the color purple? yes

How many cds do you own? Too damn many

Longest phone conversation?: 4 hours

Whos your closest relative? me rents

If you could go anywhere, where would it be?: Disney World or Hawaii


Pepsi or coke?: Coke

CD or Radio?: both

Tommy boy or black sheep?: Tommy Boy

Saturday or Sunday?: Saturday

Single or taken?: So taken

Colored! or black and white?: Black and White

Phone or in person: in person


Have you ever been caught sneaking out?: No

Have you ever fought someone?: Yes

Have you ever skinny dipped?: Yes (I was two)

Have you ever done something you regret?: Yes

Have you ever bungee jumped?: Ah, no

Have you ever been on a house boat?: Yes

Have you ever finished an entire jaw breaker? Yes

Have you ever wanted someone so badly it hurts?: Yes

Repiercing of the ear

Seriously, that's what I did yesterday.

It all started a few weeks ago when the first hole in my left ear started to hurt. Then it started to turn rather red. I don't how I managed but an ear piercing that was over 20 years old had become infected. I swabbed it with alcohol and/or H2O2 and that seemed to work. It scabbed (eww) and healed.

Alas, it healed too well.

Yesterday, I tried to put an earring in the hole.

No go.

I tried again.

It went through the front but not the back.

Upon inspection, it was determined the back of my ear had sealed shut.


I didn't think I had any starter earrings lying around to open the bugger again.

I was wrong.

Found a gold one from ... oh say ... 14 years ago. I unsuccessfully tried to get the top of my left ear pierced at the time. It become really infected and swollen. With the help of a pair of needle nose pliers and some beer, I pried it off. So I guess I kept the unused starter earring as a twisted momento as sorts.

Or it could be I'm a pack rat.

Swabbed the hole a few dozen times with alcohol. Gave the starter earring an alcohol bath. Put the little spear in the hole, clenched every part of my body that could clinch, and *POP*

It is done!

Anyone who truly knows me knows this was quite a feat.

I loathe needles.

But I still want a couple of tats and a body piercing or two (but not the tongue ... no way).

I have since unclenched the various parts of my body much to Geo's happiness.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

To all of my loving blogfriends

Blogger sucks.

It seems some of you can't see my blog, or can see but can't comment. I apologize for Blogger and their crappy servers.

I can't complain too loud. It is a free service. You get what you pay for.

So, if you really want me to know you're still alive and reading the blog, send me an e-mail. If my sidebar doesn't work, just click here. Or if you have a seperate e-mail server than your default for your computer, the addy is

Comcast and Blogger both suck. But at least Blogger is a freebie. Comcast can kiss my backside.

I'm naturally a flirt

You Are a Natural Flirt

Believe it or not, you're a really effective flirt.
And you're so good, you hardly notice that you're flirting.
Your attitude and confidence make you a natural flirt.
And the fact that you don't know it is just that more attractive!

This is true. My late husband used to get so angry with me 'cause I'd flirt and not even realize it. Oooops.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

I'm glad that's over

What a crappy week. Some would say, "If I had a chance to do this week over again, I'd blah blah blah and blah blah blah". Whatever. Personally, I don't want to a do-over for this week. It's done and good riddance.

Yes, I'm a crab.

Dink has a sinus infection. I've been saying that all effin week and what do I hear in return:

Doctor: "It's a virus."

Mom: "And when did you get your doctorate?"

Those at work: "You're just being overly mothering." This was uttered by those with NO children.

Geo: "You're probably right." At least he agreed with me.

I take the Dinks to her allergist on Thursday. I tell him what's been happening. Her checks her out. Checks her ears and nose. Looks in her mouth and eyes. Looks at me and says, "She has a sinus infection."

Big middle finger to all those that made fun of me.

She's dosed on meds and antibiotics right now. I want to be dosed on meds. You'd think she'd share. I guess they teach that in kindergarten. Figures. Two years too young.

I had a killer sinus headache Wednesday. Top it off with a migraine and I couldn't move. I was crying at 4AM 'cause the pain was so unbearable. After an hour of paralyzed suffering, I literally crawled out of bed and went in the kitchen to take drugs. Excedrin Migraine and some of the Dinks Sudafed. She was asleep, she had no clue I was breaking into her stash. After the drugs, I put a hot herbal mask on my eyes and a hot herbal shoulder compress around my neck. The herbs damn near knocked me out with the fumes. But it was relief! I passed out and didn't wake again until 7AM.

I awoke. Work and the rents were called. Since Dink was still battling her "virus" at this time, she was still out of school. At 11AM, we went to my rents home. Dink tortured them as I slept on the couch. Then we went home.

That was my Wednesday.


Like I said, this week was crappy and I don't want a do-over.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Quips and Quotes from Geo

This past Sunday night.

Me: Can you imagine Dinks in school tomorrow.

Me (mimicking a teacher): Now class, I want you to draw what you did this weekend.

Me: And here's our kid drawing a picture of a group of smiling stick figures all with guns.

Geo (chuckling): And a train wreck.

Me (grimacing): Ooooo, I'm sure that would justify a call from the office.


Me (reading the news on Google): Miss Deaf Texas was killed by a train today.

Geo (not even looking up from what he was doing): That's gonna be a country song.


Driving to pick up the Dinks.

Geo: Hey babe, check out the ugly bitch next to us.

Me (trying desperately to avoid eye contact): No, I am not looking.

Geo: C'mon. The bitch ain't looking. Quick, look!

I glance. It's a dog.

Geo (giggling uncontrollably): Got you good!


She knows what really happened - Our Woodmont Train Wreck hike

When I was a little kid, we would drive to see my aunt and uncle way out in Ambler PA. It was a boring ride. Nothing to see but occasional houses and farms. And a horse and a duck here and there.

I knew when we were leaving anything interesting when we passed the Huntingdon Valley train stop on Welsh Road. Once you crossed the tracks, that was it. Sticksville all the way.

The train stopped running in 1983. We can thank SEPTA and their hatchet skills for that.

It was on those tracks, that run along the path of the Neshaminy Creek, that Geo, Dinks, and I hiked last Saturday.

The goal of our hike - the site of the 1921 Woodmont Train Wreck.

The precursor to our hike was a stop at the Bryn Athyn Post Office. Geo had to mail something and he needed stamps. As always, my little chatterbox talked to the postal employee to dig for info.

"So, how long has this building been a post office?"

"It's always been a post office since it was built."

Okay, so the Bryn Athyn rail stop was also the postal mail stop. That little nugget went right into my memory bank.

Railroad bridge along the old Pennsylvania Line from Philadelphia to Newtown PAWe started off at the Pennypack Preserve entrance off of Creek Road. Geo wanted to start from the post office. I told him we could drive down Creek Road to get closer to the crash site. At least I thought we could drive down Creek Road. How the heck was I supposed to know that Creek Road was part of the Reserve? It didn't look that way on my Google map. Ooops.

So we parked the truck, hopped out, threw on the backpacks, and headed down the Creek Road trail through the "spooky forest".

Thank goodness Saturday was a hellaciously gorgeous day. The outside temperature was just right for hiking. It was perfect.

We started down the trail and the real fun began.

For starters, we were on the wrong side of the creek.

"I wanted to start from the correct side at the post office, but nooooo, we had to listen to you. Smart move, babe."

He's such a pain in the butt sometimes.

"I want to go fishing!"

Dinks saw a little girl and her mother sitting on the bank of Neshaminy Creek. The little girl was holding a stick in the water; hence, she was fishing.

"Dink, we're going to see the train tracks."

"I don't want train tracks. I want fishing!"
Bridge stone dating the bridge to 18?7 (I can't read one of the numbers)
The episode lasted for about two minutes. It was settled by Geo grabbing a stick off the ground and handing it to her. "There's your fishing pole." She seemed perfectly satisfied. I thought Geo was nuts for giving her a long whippy stick. A Dinks with a stick is so not a good combo. Thankfully, the child never used her katana on me.
Intersection of Paper Mill and Creek Roads
We walked down to the intersection of Paper Mill and Creek Road. There was a bridge at Paper Mill that allowed us to cross over the creek to get to the train tracks. Thank goodness for that.

These tracks were so grown over it was sad. Now, on Saturday, I didn't realize how long it had been since a train had used the tracks. From the looks, you would have thought it was over 40 years, not 20. The telegraph poles all along the path were either fallen over, splitting apart, or altogether gone. The wooden ties in some areas of the track were crumbly. A lot of spikes were missing. For anyone who has a love for trains and the beauty and nostalgia railways bring, it was sad.

Me and Dinks walking through fallen debris on the tracksOne thing I get a kick out of is finding dates on objects. It gives me a feel for the history behind whatever the object is. I kept looking at the rails and the plates to see if I could find a date stamp. I was 99.99% sure the rails and plates were from Bethlehem Steel Co as were most tracks in Philadelphia. But I wanted to satisfy my curiosity by finding evidence. It was my own personal quest.

We actually ran into a few people walking the tracks. The passers-by would wave and smile and give Dinks a cheery "Hello". We'd wave in kind and Dinks would prominently announce she had a fishing stick. She can be as cute as a bug's ear when the moment suites her.

Along the tracks I kept seeing these signs posted on the trees stating to not trespass on the property for there was a private hunt in progress. Oh joy. We were wearing bright colors so I didn't fear any of us being mistaken for a white-tail.
Looking into Death Gulch heading northbound
We finally reached our destination. There was no mistaking where we were. We had walked the tracks on a straightaway that lasted a few hundred yards and were approaching a bend. We were heading north so the the tracks were straight through a cut of rock, now being known as "Death Gulch", and curved immediately after the rock. Looking at it from a distance, you can almost picture the accident in your mind.

Train one heading north at 30 MPH. It blows by us and heads into the rock valley. Train two is heading south at approximately 30 MPH and is coming to the bend in the tracks. The rock creates the perfect blindspot. It turns and meets head-on with the northbound train.

They collide in a deafening, sickening twisted metal thud.

For an accident in the worst possible location, it couldn't have been timed any better. A hundred yards in either direction and the locomotives could have simply rolled and fell taking the cars with them. But they met at the center of Death Gulch. The locomotives hit and, with nowhere else to go, went straight up in the air and crushed the car directly behind them. We're talking 1921, folks. That was wood cars with stoves for heat. They were moving tinder boxes. It was reported that you could hear the accident from miles away. And there they were, flipped, crunched, and burning.

A view from at top the westside of the Death Gulch rock looking north.  You can see how the tracks bend making the perfect blindspot.We climbed the west side of the Gulch to the top. That is to say, Geo and Dink scrambled while I gingerly walked with paranoia in each step. I didn't forget about those hunting signs.

It was eerie. The bird's eye view.

Nothing is there. No placard. No makeshift memorial. Just tracks, leaves, and the occasional beer bottle and cigarette butt, probably leftovers from some teenage get-together.

We climbed back down to the other side of the rock. Geo and I hopped on the tracks and headed back south towards at starting point.

But not Dinks. She wouldn't budge. She screamed for us to get off the tracks. We never walked onThis is me watching the Dinks as she runs away from the Gulch screaming for her Daddy (who's taking the photo). the tracks in the Gulch. We walked over the rock to the other side and now headed back on the tracks. Dinks wanted nothing to do with the Gulch. She screamed and screamed.

"Daddy! Get off the tracks! Mommy! Get off the tracks!"

We kept telling her it was okay but she walked along the side of the tracks. She refused to touch the tracks while we were in the Gulch. Finally, there were some sticker vines in her path. She couldn't move. Boy, did she wail. Geo walked over, picked her up, and carried her. She writhed and screamed and kicked the whole time while we walked out of the Gulch.

Then he put her down on the tracks just on the other side. She was fine.

Geo asked the Dinks, "Dink, why wouldn't you walk on the tracks?"

She didn't answer.

"Dink, did someone get hurt on the tracks?"

She nodded and half whispered, half said, "Yes"

"Dink, did just one person get hurt or was it a lot?"

"A lot of people got hurt."

We never told her there was an accident at that spot
. I doubt she even knows the word "accident" in the sense of people getting hurt. To her, an accident is peeing your pants.
Dated steel plate from tracks
The walk back seemed a lot longer than the walk to the site. Normally that's backwards. It takes forever to get where you want to go especially when you have no clue where it is, but the journey is much shorter on the way back home. Not in this case. It could be that we had an exhausted toddler on our hands that wanted ice cream. Yeah, that's it.

As we approached the end of the tracks for us at Paper Mill bridge, I looked down and found my goal. It was a plate and it read B. S. Co. S 1923. It was in perfect condition for an 83 year old piece of steel. I found my link to history.

Woodmont Train Wreck post next

It's a long post so give yourself time if you are interested.

I'm really getting into the history of railways. I've found two more train wreck sites that we can go visit. I also want to go to Strasburg to check out A Day Out with Thomas. I'm sure the Dinks will think that would be way cool to meet Thomas the Tank in person. Maybe if some people in my family are interested they'll let me know!

Maybe I'll get so into trains, I'll start a train blog.

Hmmmmm ...

Dink's sick ibid

Lo and behold, the Dinks is sick ... again.

It's the sick everyone has been blogging about. Snotty, coughing, asthma kicking her in the buttocks, slight fever, symptoms seem like they're lasting forever, yadda yadda yadda. I won't bore you with details. A sick kid is a sick kid is a sick kid.

The new one is her complaining of her head and right ear hurting. That would be the first time she's ever talked about a headache. Communication and toddlers - it's a beautiful thing.

I know it's the rapid weather changes we have been experiencing that has her all icky. That on top of her now confirmed allergies plus the asthma. I was the same way as a child (only to a slighty more severe degree - I always had bacterial pneumonia).

What a nice mommy I am. Other daughters get inheritances and doweries. Mine gets a crappy immune system. Sorry, Dinks.

We went to the doc as a precaution. The doctor says "virus". Doctor's always say "virus" when they have no clue. Whatever.

Maybe we shouldn't have made her do that two or so mile hike on the train tracks Saturday. Or the gun show Sunday.


Friday, March 10, 2006

Railroad tracks and gun shows

That just about sums up what we're doing tomorrow. Okay, I'll explain.

Geo discovered a short cut the other day which cuts about five minutes of time off our daily commute (we both work in the same area). A section of the short cut is through what Dinks has dubbed the "spooky forrest". She really likes driving through it at night. She insists she sees ghosts. How cute.

Along the "haunted" route, you pass by a post office, the Bryn Athyn Post Office. Geo pointed out a few days ago that the post office looks like it was a railroad station in a previous life. I asked how did he figured that.

"From the tracks running next to it. Duh!"

Okay, so I lost points on not observing that one.

The next day I looked and lo and behold, tracks! I told Dink and now they are the "spooky tracks". I love her little imagination. So, I got to wondering, "What train used to run on this line?"

Maidink turns to Google® . Maidink discovers something very interesting. My daughter wasn't too far off when she called them the "spooky tracks". The tracks were once part of a rail line that stretched from Philadelphia to Newtown PA. Digging further, I found out that these very tracks are home to
the Woodmont Train Wreck of 1921.

I gave Geo the info. Tomorrow, we are hiking the tracks, with the Dinks, to check out the very spot of the wreck. I'm completely psyched over this. No, I'm not kidding. I love this stuff. And Dinks will think it's great because it's something to do with trains.

Photos will be posted.

I hope it doesn't rain.

After our little outdoor venture, what better way to spend some quality family time than going to The Gun Show at the Valley Forge Convention Center. That's not a typo. Here's the scary part, children under 12 are admitted free. I would think children under 12 were barred. Oh well.

Sorry, no photos will be posted. Photography and recording equipment of any kind is banned. I can tell you are all very disappointed.

To make up for it, I'm insisting we go out to a nice restaurant after the show. I mean "nice". I don't want my food order given over a microphone, received in a wrapper on a tray, or my utensils in platic baggies along with the condiments and a napkin. I'll allow flip charts on the table showing the special of the day, but that's it! We'll see ...

So that's our Saturday. Lord knows what we'll do on Sunday. Dinks and I will head to church, but after that, who knows.

Cars, hot dogs, cards, and Pull-Ups

Francesca has so kindly reminded me that I have plenty to blog about. I keep forgetting about this thing called life. The title of this blog IS Life, Family, et al, so you'd think I'd remember that little nugget of info. Oh well, my bad.

Now the updates ...

Any decisions on the car?

Yes, I've decided to scrap the idea for now. It really was truck envy I was going through. I still look at other cars and wonder about buying a new one (since mine has decided to start making an odd noise just days before inspection). However, there are other much larger financial fish to fry in the Maidink household. My pipe dream of getting some new wheels has taken a backseat for now.

How about the hot dog stand business?

Oh lord, that will never go away. We just got our taxes done and with the money Uncle Sam has so graciously decided to return, we could buy a nice cart. Alas, there are other things to do with any spare cash and owning a hot dog cart is not on that list. For now, Geo has also put that dream on the back burner.

How was Mommy's birthday?

As per mother, it was very nice indeed. Dad bought her clothes that she had already told him about. At least he gets hints. She received her flowers from me around 10:00AM and another parcel around 11:00AM. The second was from my brother in NC. He sent her a pound of Godiva® chocolates. Then Geo called her and wished her a happy birthday. She was thrilled with that. She always calls him her favorite son-in-law. That's when I remind her he is the only son-in-law. The finale was when Dinks and I showed up to deliver a birthday card. Bless the US Postal system. I mailed both my card and the Dinks card at the same time, and Mom only received my card. *sigh* I scooted to the Hallmark® store yesterday, bought the same card, and drove to her house after work so she would have it on her day. Of course, Mom was thrilled to see Dinks. I guess she was happy to see me, though she didn't say anything.

And Dinks! We can't forget Dinks! How's she doing? How's the potty training?

Dinks is doing A-1 fabulous with her training and I'm much better at dealing with her accidents. She really hasn't had any accidents except for the occasional piddle on her clothes from sitting to far up on the toilet seat. But she is a champ! I keep telling her "one more month" and she'll be out of Pull-Ups® . I know that seems long but she still has her little bowel problem. She's much better now at judging her body rhythm; ergo, that's why I feel a month is all she needs to have it nailed down.

Okay, that's it for updates.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Nope, nothing here

Seriously, my mind is completely blank. I can't think of a blessed thing to blog about. Today squished my brain - no thoughts are left.

Not only that, it's boring as heck here.

Except I think my daughter is in the living room singing showtunes in a pretend microphone.

Hmmmmm ....

Should I be worried?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

My annual headache

I got the small version ... I think this is it
Mom's birthday is Thursday. She's gonna be 73.

Every year, without fail, I sit wherever I may be, stumped. I mull the same question over and over in my mind,

"What the hell am I gonna get her this year?"

A card? That's a given.

My mom's the patron saint of Hallmark. She loves buying and receiving cards. Mailing cards is the preferred method of delivery. And they must get there a day or so in advance. And they must be "appropriate".

I know, a lot of rules.

About 10,000 years ago, my brother, W, was stupid enough to buy the woman a "funny" birthday card. The front had a little cartoon fairy and it read, "Each year, the age fairy lightly taps you on your brithday to show you are a year older." The inside read, "Boy, she must have beaten the tar out of you." W was ostracized from all family gatherings for months.

This year, I actually got the woman something and it didn't cause a migraine.
I sent her flowers.

Daisies to be exact. A basket full of multi-color daisies. That's her fave flower.

Normally, I don't do that. I just don't send flowers. It's a personal hang-up, I'm sure.
They'll be delivered on Thursday. I put on the little notecard that the flowers were really from the Dinks. She'll like that.

Of course, I mailed her birthday card yesterday.

Yanni Arrested

It seems Yanni has an alleged temper.

His girlfriend claims he threw her on a bed and jumped on top of her. That almost sounds more like foreplay. Of course, Yanni claims complete innocence.

Yeah, like he's going to be all, "Of course I roughed her up!" Duh!

I'll bet she made a crack to him like, "My hair is prettier than yours!" I can see him getting ticked over that.

Yanni Busted

Dana Reeves Dies of Lung Cancer

This is both eeire and disturbing.

Christopher Reeves Widow Dies of Lung Cancer

He dies October 2004. She's diagnosed with cancer August 2005.

Now, she's gone.

Never forget, there are no coincidences. Ever.

Monday, March 06, 2006

A Kinda Sorta Meme

This came from JustRose's blog. It's a meme that's not a meme. And it's easy (hardly any brain power needed)

put an x in the parenthese for those things you have done in your life:

( x) Smoked a cigarette
( x) Drank so much you threw up
( ) Crashed a friend's car(but into a friend's car!!)
( ) Stolen a car
( x ) Been in love
( x ) Been dumped.
( x) Been laid off/fired
( x ) Quit your job
( x) Been in a fist fight
( ) Snuck out of your parent's house
( x ) Had feelings for someone who didn't have them back
( ) Been arrested?
( x ) Gone on a blind date
( x ) Lied to a friend.
( x ) Skipped school
( x) Seen someone die
( ) Been to Canada
( ) Been to Mexico
( x) Been on a plane
( x ) Been lost
( x) Been on the opposite side of the country
( ) Gone to Washington, DC
( x ) Swam in the ocean
( x ) Felt like dying
( x ) Cried yourself to sleep
( ) Played cops and robbers
( x ) Recently colored with crayons
( ) Sang karaoke
( x ) Paid for a meal with only coins
( x ) Done something you told yourself you wouldn't?
( x) Made prank phone calls
( x) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose
( ) Caught a snowflake on your tongue.
( x) Danced in the rain
( x ) Written a letter to Santa Claus
( ) Been kissed under the mistletoe
( ) Watched the sun rise with someone you care about or love
( x ) Blown bubbles
( ) Made a bonfire on the beach
( x) Crashed a party
( x ) Gone roller-skating
( x ) Ice-skating

Now, answer some questions.

3. Any nicknames? yes, but I ain't tellin'
4. Mother's name? Peggy (seriously. Not Margaret, it's really Peggy)
5. What is your favorite drink? Beer
6. Tattoos? not yet
7. Body piercing? three holes in right ear, two in left ear
8. How much do you love your job (1-10). 8.5
9. Birth Place? Lebanon County, PA
10. Favorite vacation spot? Florida
12. Ever steal any traffic signs? no
14. A, B, C, D, DD cup size? you mean me? I'm a B/C.
15. 2 Door or 4 Door? 4
16. Salad dressing? Caesar
17. Favorite pie? Cherry
18. Favorite number? 12
19. Favorite movie? Grumpier Old Men
20. Favorite holiday? Christmas
22. Favorite food? PIZZA
23. Favorite day of the week? Friday
24. Favorite brand of body soap? Zest
26. Toothpaste? Crest
27. Favorite smell? Wood burning in a fireplace
28. What do you do to relax? Read a book and/or listen to music
29. How do you see yourself in 10 years? 10 years older
30. What do you do when you are bored? Go on my computer and/or play video games

There is no tagging. Do it if you wish.

Jiffy Death Kiss No Longer a Suspect in Canadian Teen's Death

Peant Butter Kiss Wasn't Killer

I remember this article from a few months back. Aside from being bizarre, it kinda struck a chord with me. Geo's niece, who we shall dub Gee, has some pretty serious food allergies. One of the allergies is the peanut one. And she's a teenager. I just imagined her kissing a guy who just ate a Reese's and thought, "If they were dating, surely the guy knows of the allergies." So in the Canadian case, I figured either the boyfriend was a complete ignorant ass, or something else really happened.

The latter seems to be proving itself true.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Happy Birthday, Celena!

My favorite zookeeper, Celena, is one year closer to retirement! Today is her birthday! She's turning the ripe old age of 25! Oooooooo. I don't even remember being 25.

Anyway, GO wish her some happiness!

I meant now ...

Friday, March 03, 2006

Yes, I am amongst the living

I ventured to work today and toughed it out.

Okay, I'm a desk jockey who uses the computer for 85% of my work. But I held in there, dammit!

It wasn't so bad being home this week. The only downside was for the Dinks. Poor kid was pent up in the house with me. I tried to make her life fun, but I failed miserably. How SAH moms do it is beyond my scope.

You know it's sad when your three year old starts to cry, "I want go for school for color". That translated is "Mom, you suck! I want to go to school so I can be with my friends and color!" She never says she wants "to" do something. It's always "for".


She was elated when she got to school today. I wish I could say the same about my job.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Told you I was a math geek

You Passed 8th Grade Math

Congratulations, you got 10/10 correct!

Still ill

Hacking up my lungs. Feeling like crap. Head about to implode. Freezing to death. Brain melting from watching Sprout.

Aren't I just a regular ray of sunshine?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

If it wasn't for fire ants, I'd have no problem

You Are Austin

A little bit country, a little bit rock and roll.
You're totally weird and very proud of it.
Artistic and freaky, you still seem to fit in... in your own strange way.

Famous Austin residents: Lance Armstrong, Sandra Bullock, Andy Roddick

My Linguistic Profile - No Surprise

Your Linguistic Profile:

55% General American English

30% Yankee

15% Dixie

0% Midwestern

0% Upper Midwestern