Does Sanity Trump Balance?

About 10 or 15 years ago, every expert on working motherhood began talking about the need for "balance" between work and family. Following the work-work-work 1980s and 1990s, the new concept of "balance" was critical to accomodating work and family demands. The term helped women (and eventually men, too) justify asking for jobs with minimal travel, bosses who understood the importance of taking one's child oneself to the pediatrician, a nanny who didn't spit nails if you had to stay at work an hour late, etc.

But like so many phrases that become overused, "balance" has become a vanilla-flavored catch-all. In a recent New York Times Life's Work column, After Baby, Boss Comes Calling, reporter Lisa Belkin wrote "This growing demand for balance, or what I prefer to call sanity..."

Her words made me realize: I don't want balance in my life. I'm not a see-saw. No day feels "balanced" between my need to brush kids' teeth, help with homework in the car on the way to school, pick them up from school on time six hours later and on the way home make a last-minute stop to buy a white twin sheet for the 4th grade Greek play while frantically returning client calls from the West Coast as I signal to my three kids to be quiet for just another minute. My life usually feels just plain crazy. I often think this blog itself should be renamed "Totally Unbalanced."

Grandmother and public school teacher Jane Juska captured the beauty behind "unbalance" in her pragmatic Mommy Wars essay:

In a life with children, balance does not exist. Once you're a parent, you can figure you'll be out of whack for the rest of your life...Children are not born to provide balance. Children are made to stir us up, to teach us how angry we can get, how scared we can be, how utterly happy, happier than we'd ever imagined was possible, how deeply we can love. Children turn us upside down and inside out; they send us to the depths and heights of ourselves; but they do not balance us.

So what do you think? Has "balance" outlived its usefulness as a work-family construct? What do you want more of in your life? Time with your spouse, yourself, your children, your dog? Love? Inner peace? Money? Someone to do your laundry? Does "balance" have anything to do with our lives today -- or do we need to invent a new goal to shoot for?

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  June 1, 2007; 7:10 AM ET  | Category:  Free-for-All
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Prima!

Posted by: catlady | June 1, 2007 7:22 AM

deuxieme!

Posted by: educmom | June 1, 2007 7:34 AM

trei

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 7:36 AM

quatre

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 7:40 AM

Everything I needed to know I learned in kindergarten.

Posted by: I can count too | June 1, 2007 7:42 AM

Perhaps what we are really seeking is the concept of 'moderation' as described long ago by Socrates. In each sphere of activity, there is a danger of excess and a danger of deficiency. It's the 'middle ground' that leads to virtue. [e.g., an excess of confidence leads on to be rash, while a deficiency leads to cowardice -- but the middle ground yields courage.]

There is value in one's career, one's family, one's spouse, one's self -- but an excess or deficiency in focus moves one away from the desired middle ground. It's not that we try to balance these items [any more than one tries to balance rashness and cowardice with the hope of obtaining courage], it's that we try to discover our middle ground on each.

Posted by: A Dad | June 1, 2007 7:45 AM

I would LOVE some sanity, especially this week. Son #2 graduates tomorrow, and I have spent every spare moment this week shopping, cleaning and preparing for the small family party planned for tonight. Of course, grades closed and the summer class started this week too, but right now he comes first.

He goes to college August 11th, so I only have 10 more weeks with him. I keep wondering if he really learned all the life lessons I taught him -- will he eat well (OK, he learned that one), is he really so sexist that he will find a girl to do his laundry (or is he just pulling my chain), will he be smart enough not to get drunk and do something stupid, or to be around when someone else is? Is he going to have too much fun, end up with a 1.9 GPA and lose his scholarship, like his brother did? Am I going to get a phone call from some girl's father? Did I actually do a good job over the past 18 years? Am I worrying over nothing?!?

Sending a child off to college is like taking a final exam for an especially hard class; you may have been working diligently all along, but you cram for the exam anyway and you do go a little nuts.

OT:
Maryland Mom, I read your recipe for banana split cake...and it is missing chocolate! Do you not put chocolate syrup on it? Everything's better with chocolate, right?

Posted by: educmom | June 1, 2007 7:52 AM

Educomom - thanks for reminding me to relish the relative ease of my 4 and 6 year olds. It must be terrifying! Good luck.

Posted by: moxiemom | June 1, 2007 8:05 AM

Now that I moved away from the city I really don't think about balance much. My life is pretty quite and balanced.

What else would make me happy: world peace and securing my third oldest nephews's dorm room for the fall.

educmom good luck with your party.

Posted by: scarry | June 1, 2007 8:13 AM

educmom |

I sent my last kid off to college and was adjusting to being a single empty nester, then boom - 3 weeks later - 9/11!!!

Posted by: Ninotchka | June 1, 2007 8:15 AM

i love the little bit of the Juska essay. Although I think non-parents will also feel like that sometimes too!

I don't think the "balance" idea has outlived its usefulness-- but I don't see it's construct as a "See-saw" with one side representing work and the other side children. It is not a binary thing-- it's all encompassing of several pressures that the individual takes on his or herself-- family, community, work, hobbies, etc.-- so more like balancing while standing atop on a ball.

Posted by: Jen S. | June 1, 2007 8:17 AM

I think I WOULD be terrified if I had time to think!


Posted by: educmom | June 1, 2007 8:17 AM

What I want more of is TIME. Time to spend with my husband, my kids, myself. Unstructured. Unscheduled. And as the great JT says "Time may be money but your money won't buy time." I have learned this since returning to work.

Gotta get back to it!

Posted by: WorkingMomX | June 1, 2007 8:19 AM

Was your child attending college in NYC?

Posted by: To Ninotchka | June 1, 2007 8:21 AM

To Ninotchka


"Was your child attending college in NYC?"


No, but most of her dorm mates were from NYC and some lost family members. It was pretty heavy for 17 & 18 year olds to handle. It's amazing how some of the young can bounce back from tragedy. Good life lesson.

Posted by: Ninotchka | June 1, 2007 8:26 AM

I'm so sorry to hear of your daughter's friends' terrible losses. People don't bounce back totally, but sometimes enough to return to keeping going.

Posted by: To Ninotchka | June 1, 2007 8:33 AM

I just wonder if it gets any easier when they're both out of the house. Will I worry because I don't know, or will what I don't know not hurt me? When #1 left, at least I had #2 around to distract me.

On the plus side, my grocery bill will be next to nothing, and my washer should last another 20 years.

Thanks for the good luck wishes -- I think the party will turn out fine (I tend to stress a bit when I get ready for company).

Posted by: educmom | June 1, 2007 8:38 AM

I just want a little more time to blog!

Posted by: Father of 4 | June 1, 2007 8:41 AM

"Was your child attending college in NYC?"

Posted by: To Ninotchka | June 1, 2007 08:21 AM

Our child was attending college in NYC at the time of the Arab terrorist massacre at the World Trade Center. In fact, his college was not only in New York City, but in New York County, too -- Manhattan. He looked down the avenue and he could see the smoke from the burning buildings.

As far as we can tell, there were no ill effects: no inhaled debris dust as far north as he was living, no psychological "trauma" or post-traumatic stress. In fact, our son's grades were better in the years after the Arab terrorist massacre than they were in the years before it.

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | June 1, 2007 8:42 AM

Ninotchka,

I feel for your daughter and her friends. It's so hard to watch people you know and care about suffer through a tragedy. Did the campus counselors help at all?

On a lighter note, what was the best part of having a really empty nest?

Posted by: educmom | June 1, 2007 8:43 AM

You couldn't just write 9/11 instead of injecting inflammatory language, could you? The events of 9/11 were bad enough without you rubbing salt in everyone's wounds.

Posted by: To Matt | June 1, 2007 8:47 AM

For me, it is about both balance and sanity. I am passionately drawn to a number of things -- my world would have a huge hole in it without my children in it, but it would also be incomplete without my job. But then again, as I mentioned yesterday, I also need down time to disconnect and curl up into a mental fetal position.

"Balance" is big-picture -- I need to be doing several different things to feel like a whole human being. "Sanity" is little-picture -- I need downtime every day to keep my head from exploding. So how do you find time to do the things you need to stay in balance, without ruining your sanity? Well, it's like Brian's blog yesterday: you set priorities so that you focus your time on the things that matter the most long-term, and give yourself permission to say no to everything else.

In my own experience, the kind of thing that makes you feel like you're losing your sanity isn't the really satisfying stuff -- I've never once heard my husband complain that he's spending too much time in the woodshop and it's driving him nuts. It's the logistics of getting the kids to that 4th practice of the week, or the need to run the bake sale at the school, or whatever other stuff you're doing because you "should."

So I just deal with that stuff by avoiding as much of the "shoulds" as possible. I see this as part of the whole "keeping up with the Joneses" mentality (which is NOT just about material things!). When the whole rest of the neighborhood has these fabulous Christmas decorations up and we don't even have a tree yet, I start to feel like I "should" be better at prettifying stuff. When everyone else is sending their kids to multiple camps or lessons, I start to wonder if I "should" be as well, if I'm doing my kids a disservice by not signing them up for more.

But I can't live up to other people's expecations, and I can't expect to be "perfect" in anything, much less everything. So I've just had to learn to tell that little voice to shut up. We do as much of that "optional" stuff as we can comfortably fit in with our family life and career goals. So sure, we'll go get a tree and decorate it, because we can do that as a fun family activity. I'll bake cookies with my daughter, because I enjoy baking, and we can do it together. But I'm just not going to spend hours standing on a ladder hanging Christmas lights, because I'd rather spend that time on other things that are more important to me. So instead, I just admire the skill and effort of the other people in the neighborhood who are really good at that sort of things.

Posted by: Laura | June 1, 2007 8:49 AM

to to matt:

I think he was just trying to stress what many people have forgotten. And that we don't want people flying planes into buildings ever again.

Posted by: atlmom | June 1, 2007 8:59 AM

No, Matt's always got an agenda.

Posted by: To atlmom | June 1, 2007 9:01 AM

As for balance, I think I am much less stressed about things after going back to work. Believe it or not. I have let go of having the best meals on the table for dinner (we still don't eat much processed food, tho - it's in the freezer for just in case).

No one's life is ever balanced. Usually things come in waves. I lost my mom, my job, my apartment, the guy I was dating didn't want to date me anymore, in a short time. Got the best job ever, several months later, found my now DH then got married, etc.
So whenever things are horrible, it seems they will eventually get better...And, they will eventually get worse.

Posted by: atlmom | June 1, 2007 9:04 AM

educmom

"On a lighter note, what was the best part of having a really empty nest?"


Don't know if these are the "best parts", but some good parts are:

Money - for the first time in 36 years of working, all of my salary is mine to do with as I please (kid's college, etc. is fully funded) utility bills drop, grocery bills drop

My financial contributions to charities & causes have increased greatly

Time - again, all of my free time is mine to do with as I please

My volunteer work for charities & cause has increased greatly

I'm poised for a new beginning to my life.

Posted by: Ninotchka, | June 1, 2007 9:05 AM

"rubbing salt in everyone's wounds."

No salt here, the truth is the truth.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 9:09 AM

Let's see... Tonight I am finally having a real date with the husband in almost 11 years. First, it was school and no money, then it was kids, a lot of traveling and trying to built a career. Now the kids are a bit older - almost 5 and almost 8. We realized a couple weeks ago after spending a couple of hours togheter running errands without the kids that we actually really like each others company. We've probably gone on date a total of 10 times during the past 11 years. I don't see how we survived this. Tonight however, we and another couple are planning a "fanncy" night out. We are not planning on coming back to pick up the kids until after midnight - we have finally found a great baby sitter, or is it we are just more comfortable living them for this long now, or is it after focusing on career building, child rearing during the past 10 years we suddenly realized there's an us, hey look! we like each other, wooooooo.

Posted by: hmm | June 1, 2007 9:10 AM

I meant to say: i've let go of a lot of things, one of them being meals on the table.

I am much more organized - we make trips to target once every few weeks, rather than almost daily. And the supermarket, not as often either. Especially with the veggies and fruits direct from the farmer.

But I've let go of the kids doing the 'perfect' stuff. Before, we probably couldn't afford what I wanted them to do, and now we're slightly less flexible on camps and such, but that's okay - he doesn't have to do them all, etc.

Posted by: atlmom | June 1, 2007 9:10 AM

"On a lighter note, what was the best part of having a really empty nest?"

1. You can actually find food in the refrig.

2. A lot less laundry to do.

3. House does not get near as dirty,

4. Items are where you put them.

5. The house is QUIET!

6. You can watch what you want on TV or not watch.

7. You can mostly take satisfaction in the transition of your child from a child into adulthood.

8. No mystery dents on the cars.

A lot of other good stuff. Look at it this way, for 18 years we groom our children to be adults, now is the time to enjoy the fruits of our labors.

Posted by: Fred | June 1, 2007 9:15 AM

Geeze, Matt - maybe your son wasn't traumatized by the attacks, but you seem to be. I like to think of people like you as the ignorant american...yeah, that's it - whenever I use the word ignorant, I'll modify it with the word american - that will really hit home, huh?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 9:17 AM

"I think he was just trying to stress what many people have forgotten."

Sometimes we forget the real meaning and power behind words and phrases [like 9/11, genocide, and holocaust] -- at times it's useful to speak plainly when we refer to them. Kudos to Matt.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 9:21 AM

"to to matt:

"I think he was just trying to stress what many people have forgotten. And that we don't want people flying planes into buildings ever again."

Posted by: atlmom | June 1, 2007 08:59 AM

What part of "Arab terrorist massacre" does the anonymous "to matt" take issue with? Fifteen out of the nineteen men who flew the planes were from Saudi Arabia. They were Arabs. They attacked a country -- the USA -- with which Saudi Arabia has always been at peace. They purposely killed civilian people in peacetime with the aim of terrorizing other people -- the American government -- into changing its policies. That makes them terrorists. They killed nearly three thousand people in Manhattan. That makes it a massacre.

As for "inflammatory language" -- atlmom has my intentions dead right. I think the American people are right to be inflamed against the Arab terrorists who burned 3,000 Americans to death. If my language makes Arab terrorists feel bad, then maybe they'll learn not to fly planes into buildings ever again, as atlmom writes. That's my agenda.

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | June 1, 2007 9:23 AM

A Dad, Your post was spot on. Moderation in all things is the key to a happy life.

Posted by: Roxanne | June 1, 2007 9:24 AM

Matt's agenda is that those Arabs needed to be converted to Christianity, because devout Christians would never attack anyone, or at least not anyone in the US, except maybe abortion clinics, right?

Posted by: To 9:17 | June 1, 2007 9:26 AM

Wow, that's pretty obnoxious, 9:17. You attack, and you don't even sign a name.
How nice of you.
So what if he was affected? It doesn't seem enough people were affected by what happened. We all go on our merry way, unwilling to think that more attacks like this are being planned daily.

They want to kill us and no one wants to believe it.

Posted by: atlmom | June 1, 2007 9:26 AM

Newsflash: I doubt that Arab terrorists read this blog. So you're just wasting your breath here.

Posted by: To Matt | June 1, 2007 9:28 AM

"I think he was just trying to stress what many people have forgotten. And that we don't want people flying planes into buildings ever again."

Sure, but I thought Matt's post was obnoxious. Why include the word "Arab"? Nobody has forgotten what the terrorists did on 9/11 and who they were, but to mention specifically that they were Arab is only to incite people. The vast majority of individuals in Arab nations are peaceful and disgusted by what happened on 9/11.

I highly doubt Matt would have charecterized Timothy McVeigh as a "caucasian" or "North American" terrorist.

Posted by: londonmom | June 1, 2007 9:29 AM

I don't believe he said anything about converting anyone. I've never felt he was like that. And I'm certainly not a christian (something that most people around here are well aware of, possibly).

It would be nice if other muslims would say that what the terrorists are doing is wrong, but at least 25% of them think suicide bombers are OKAY. Just released poll, last week. I am not surprised, but am flabbergasted at that.

Posted by: atlmom | June 1, 2007 9:29 AM

I thought I'd share this:

http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/caregiving.html#pregnancy

Seems to be very pertinent to today (and really every day's) topic. (I had jumped to the Pregnancy Discrimination bookmark, but the whole notice is there).

Posted by: ilc | June 1, 2007 9:30 AM

Matt don't worry about it. I don't think anything you said was bad. You just stated what happened. I saw nothing about converting them to Christianity. Where did that come from

Posted by: scarry | June 1, 2007 9:31 AM

It would be nice if other muslims would say that what the terrorists are doing is wrong

What about the Moslem Arab Americans serving in our military in Iraq, Afghanistan and other nations in the Middle East?

Posted by: To atlmom | June 1, 2007 9:32 AM

So, after you become a parent you stop being an adult? Who are the parents here? It amazes me that infants, toddlers, kids and teenagers are running the show. In reality, the parent should be in charge until the kid turns 18. Until that time the parent is legally and financially responsible for the kid. After that, kick them out of the house and let them be on their own. If you did a good job, you don't have to worry. If you screwed up, it's on your head.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 9:33 AM

The vast majority of individuals in Arab nations are peaceful and disgusted by what happened on 9/11.

Really, I swore I saw a bunch of them jumping up and down and smiling on tv on 9/11.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 9:33 AM

I completely agree that balance is not an accurate term for what I'm seeking. Personally, I think its something intangible, where nobody is drawing a thick, black line between my work and my personal life. Somedays it is natural that either work or family will take precedent. I would just like to have the pressure valve loosened on feeling that they are "competing" priorities, and more that they are complementary parts of my life.

Posted by: Single mom in SS | June 1, 2007 9:35 AM

Okay, let us move on

Posted by: closer | June 1, 2007 9:36 AM

Before you spread hate, see the debunking of a whole bunch of rumors like yours at http://www.snopes.com/rumors/dunkin.asp

Posted by: To 9:33 | June 1, 2007 9:40 AM

Really, as long as I'm supporting them, I'm in charge. If I'm paying for college, or housing them til they get on their feet, even if it's after they're 18, then they're mine.
I make the rules, since I pay the bills. If I'm happy, maybe I wouldn't charge them so much in rent - if I'm unhappy, the rent goes up. Yeah, it sucks, but that's the real world.
So what if they'd 'hate' me for being 'mean.' No one else is going to love them as much or look out for them as much as me.

Posted by: atlmom | June 1, 2007 9:41 AM

to 9:33 - ummm...yeah, but that doesn't mean the majority of Arabs are terrorists or support terrorism. I somehow doubt that the "bunch of them" that you saw on tv are the norm. Though I'm sure there are many of you out there who seem to think the entire Arab population is against the US. But that is just sad and ignorant.

Posted by: londonmom | June 1, 2007 9:42 AM

And thus Leslie has assured the longevity of this blog. By beating the dead horse of "balance" until it became so much dust, and finally declaring it dead and useless, and substituting "sanity" as the worthwhile endeavor in its place, she has introduced the next product we need in our lives, and we will spend subsequent blogs discussing "sanity" (rehashing and associating "sanity" with breastfeeding, daycare, daycare, and daycare) until it too, much like balance, becomes overrated, outdated, and we all become a bunch of babbling psychotics riding on jumping sharks, spurred on by nazis, of course...

The long range conspiracy at work here is of course to undermine our views by labeling anyone who disagrees with the media as insane, and not just out of balance. Once society embraces this new model of sanity, a new class of outcasts will be created and subsequently rounded up and persecuted for not being conformist sheep. ;-P
New slogan:
If you don't agree, you're crazy!

LOL

Posted by: Chris | June 1, 2007 9:44 AM

How can something be a rumor when you saw it with your own eyes? How can it be hateful when it is the truth?

I know because liberals like you say so.

Posted by: to To 9:33 | June 1, 2007 9:44 AM

Balance for me would mean that I don't feel like I am letting everyone down constantly. I work part-time, but there is constant, neverending pressure by my boss to work more hours. My work assignments and deadlines are the same as the fulltimers. If I had balance, I wouldn't have my boss showing up in my office to have an "important meeting" just as it is time for me to rush off to get my son to his physical therapy appointment. I wouldn't have to put my kids in the crappy town-run afterschool program - the only one our school will transport to - because I would be able to get out of work in time to meet the bus. My kids would be able to play on the afterschool sports teams or do science club. If I had balance, I would be dealing with a school system that respected working parents and didn't have half-days every time we turn around, or only schedule conferences in the middle of the day. If I had balance, I would have time to mow the lawn and prune my rose bushes, tasks I love, instead of paying people to do it for me. Right now, I feel like my whole life consists of disappointing people, including myself.

Posted by: ratgirlny | June 1, 2007 9:47 AM

Has anyone here gotten that email forward making the rounds claiming that Islam is incompatible with being a good American? It's supposedly written by a professor somewhere. What a load of bigoted garbage.

Posted by: Just wondering | June 1, 2007 9:50 AM

You are a moron. That is not what I was talking about. I also didn't say all Arabs; I said the ones I saw on TV. To think that people in other countries love us is really naïve especially after we stick our noses in everything.

Posted by: to To 9:33 | June 1, 2007 9:51 AM

Fifteen out of the nineteen men who flew the planes were from Saudi Arabia.

So the US attacked Iraq.

Posted by: To Matt | June 1, 2007 9:53 AM

Well, Chris, I am always up for a discussion of breastfeeding!

Last night, Frieda and I were researching adiposity in infants, in particular the difference in adiposity between breast and bottle fed infants from 0-3 months of age.

Posted by: Fred | June 1, 2007 9:55 AM

If Leslie really thinks it's a matter of sanity, then she's prejudiced against people suffering with genuine mental illnesses.

Posted by: To Chris | June 1, 2007 9:56 AM

if my baby is born on Sept 11, will that do terrible harm? I REALLY don't want that to happen, but I suppose one way of looking at it is that if I make a big deal out of it it's just letting the terrorists win. My due date is Sept 12-- maybe I should just really try to keep my legs crossed on the 11th? (Trying to bring some levity here . . .)

Posted by: Jen S. | June 1, 2007 9:59 AM

Show of hands, everyone who really believes Dan Bartlett is leaving the Bush White House to spend more time with his family.

Posted by: Re Dan Bartlett | June 1, 2007 10:03 AM

ratgirlny, don't beat yourself up. See Laura's fabulous post from yesterday morning. We're all doing the best we can. The people who look like they're doing it all are furiously treading water under the surface. . .

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming . . .

Posted by: WorkingMomX | June 1, 2007 10:06 AM

if my baby is born on Sept 11, will that do terrible harm?

If you invite Matt to your child's birthday parties, it sure could.

Posted by: To Jen S | June 1, 2007 10:10 AM

I think a lot depends on how easy it is for you to shift focus.

If you can go from one thing to another easily, remembering all the little details along the way and preforming at a level you're comfortable with then you can have balance.

If you can't, then you've got to work harder.

I'm not sure if it's psychologically healthy to be able to drop one thing completely and move onto another all the span of 24 hours. You get all chopped up inside.

So a lot of this "balance" is living with all these loose ends.

Posted by: RoseG | June 1, 2007 10:11 AM

if my baby is born on Sept 11, will that do terrible harm?

I wouldn't worry about it. Lots of people have birthdays on Sept 11.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 10:12 AM

I did see a video of Osama bin Laden chuckling and laughing over the huge kill when the WTC collapsed. The terrorists didn't plan on the buildings collapsing from the fires. They really got more than they planned. They were very happy about that.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 10:12 AM

Chris, you are brilliant!

Posted by: experienced mom | June 1, 2007 10:13 AM

I did see a video of Osama bin Laden chuckling and laughing over the huge kill when the WTC collapsed.

Regardless of whether Osama chuckled, he was pleased. So why hasn't Bush gotten him after nearly 6 years?

Posted by: To 10:12 | June 1, 2007 10:16 AM

what WorkingMomX said.

You can only do so much before you can't do any more. Think of all the things you *are* doing. How much your kids love you and don't care about the stuff you're *not* doing.
How luck and will have gotten you to where you are - how you provide food and shelter and love for everyone and are doing your best.

How you should enjoy this time rather than wondering what *else* you could be doing.

How great a job you *are* doing, not how much more you *could* or *should* be doing. How you really couldn't do more, and you shouldn't beat yourself up for that.

Posted by: atlmom | June 1, 2007 10:17 AM

Fred- Is your wife a researcher or an LC? I'm curious about the adiposity. I'm having some problems with my milk supply, so I've had to supplement with formula, which I HATE. I've been looking at the ingredients in all the formulas, trying to pick the best one, but I can't help but think of all of them as chemically modified milk for cows. I'd be curious if she has a preferred formula.

Posted by: atb | June 1, 2007 10:21 AM

"Time may be money but your money won't buy time."

I have to disagree with this on some level. Money allows us to take time off. We could live on my salary alone, but then we couldn't afford vacations or dinners out or movies. Money allows us to take breaks from the endless chores and responsibilities.

That's how we acheive balance. We take time off to visit family and friends. Without money, we couldn't afford to see them.

BTW, I much prefer the term "balance" over "sanity." We are sane people. No matter how hectic our lives got, we would still be able to think rationally and logically. We are lucky to have escaped the history of metal illness in our families.

Posted by: Meesh | June 1, 2007 10:23 AM

Wife is an LC. I have never asked her about a preferred formula. I don't think that I will.


I maybe should have written that we were looking for a research paper on adiposity since one of her co workers had a question on it (Frieda wanted a scholarly article on it) and she, being a Luddite, does not know how to use the internet. We did find a study comparing adiposity in breastfed vs. formula feed infant. Yet another bit of knowledge that will do me no good other than to answer general question on a blog!

Posted by: Fred | June 1, 2007 10:30 AM

"Time may be money but your money won't buy time."


Money buys the time for people to be SAMPs.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 10:30 AM

ATB,

I will also ask the obvious question, have you talked to your pediatrician and or a LC about your supply problem? This is yet another question (like bleeding nipples) that a Dr. or LC can help you with.

Posted by: Fred | June 1, 2007 10:34 AM

I know a person born on April 1, one born on Halloween, and two born on Christmas Day. They all seem to be perfectly normal, except one Christmas woman flaunts her money, diamonds and Vegas winnings. She's certainly not Christ-like ;-) Now unless you're totally obsessive/compulsive about horoscopes, I don't think a child's birthdate makes a bit of difference.

Posted by: to Jen S | June 1, 2007 10:34 AM

So the bloG would be renamed "ON SANITY"? ;)

Posted by: pATRICK | June 1, 2007 10:34 AM

"Matt don't worry about it. I don't think anything you said was bad. You just stated what happened. I saw nothing about converting them to Christianity. Where did that come from"

Posted by: scarry | June 1, 2007 09:31 AM

It came from a column by Ann Coulter (Cornell '84):

"We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity."
[Town Hall, September 14, 2001]

It sure didn't come from me. Miss Coulter wants to convert them to Christianity? So they can do what the Orthodox Christian Serbs did at Srebernica, namely, massacre eight thousand Bosnian Muslims? That's unworthy of a Cornell graduate.

As a believer in First Amendment freedom of religion, I don't wanna convert anyone to anything. Miss Coulter is wrong to want to force Muslim nations to live according to Christianity, just as many a neocon do-gooder is wrong to want to force Muslim nations to live according to Secular Feminism.

Believe what you want. Just don't kill civilians in peacetime in order to scare their government into changing its policies. That's terrorism.

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | June 1, 2007 10:34 AM

"I highly doubt Matt would have charecterized Timothy McVeigh as a "caucasian" or "North American" terrorist."

Isn't Timothy McVeigh generally characterized as a "home-grown" terrorist?

Matt has his opinion and he is entitled to it. He is stating how he sees the situation. I don't see where he is inciting anything.

Posted by: justme | June 1, 2007 10:35 AM

"BTW, I much prefer the term "balance" over "sanity." We are sane people."


MEESH, we all think so but how do we really know? That is my big problem with growing old, if you become insane or out of it with alzheimer's do you really know you are slipping?

Posted by: pATRICK | June 1, 2007 10:37 AM

pATRICK,

I hope that you saw the great honor bestowed upon you yesterday by Frieda. Look at the closing entires to yesterday's blog. We await your acceptance speech!

Posted by: Fred (and Frieda) | June 1, 2007 10:38 AM

"It came from a column by Ann Coulter (Cornell '84):

"We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.""

Anything ANN says should be taken with a grain of salt. Pure soundbite shockvalue. Yawn

Posted by: pATRICK | June 1, 2007 10:39 AM

Fred, I've asked 2 LCs about my supply (use a hospital grade pump and fenugreek, sleep well and relax). I'm still making my rounds of the peds in the office, so I'm still deciding which one I should ask about formula. The last I saw was not particularly attached to breastfeeding, and suggested nestle good start. At the time, I wasn't using formula, so I didn't come prepared to talk about it. Doh. I'm going to call the LC today for other reason, so I'll ask her. I was just trying to get as many opinions as possible.

Posted by: atb | June 1, 2007 10:41 AM

pATRICK,

I know (by painful family experience) that some people who are afflicted by Alzheimer's are aware of what is happening somedays.

I do not write this with any humor intended.

Posted by: Fred | June 1, 2007 10:41 AM

altmom

"Really, as long as I'm supporting them, I'm in charge. If I'm paying for college, or housing them til they get on their feet, even if it's after they're 18, then they're mine."

Weird attitude - I feel the same way about my cats (as much as any one can be in charge of cats).

My kids - very few strings are attached with my financial assistance. Maybe because I don't need to be "In Charge" 24/7.

Good luck with calling all the shots for your kids "then they're mine." Don't expect to see them much when you're in the Old Folks Home!

Posted by: Ninotchka | June 1, 2007 10:42 AM

pATRICK,

I hope that you saw the great honor bestowed upon you yesterday by Frieda. Look at the closing entires to yesterday's blog. We await your acceptance speech!


I wonder how many "save the hymen" shirts I could sell outside one of those "purity balls". ( Which I think sounds a little weird too if you catch my drift)

Posted by: pATRICK | June 1, 2007 10:42 AM

atb,

Frieda has seen cases where milk production is not adequate and the mother does need to supplement. Please don't feel alone about this! It happens.

Posted by: Fred | June 1, 2007 10:45 AM

"Time may be money but your money won't buy time."

I have to disagree with this on some level. Money allows us to take time off. We could live on my salary alone, but then we couldn't afford vacations or dinners out or movies. Money allows us to take breaks from the endless chores and responsibilities.

That's how we acheive balance. We take time off to visit family and friends. Without money, we couldn't afford to see them.

BTW, I much prefer the term "balance" over "sanity." We are sane people. No matter how hectic our lives got, we would still be able to think rationally and logically. We are lucky to have escaped the history of metal illness in our families.

Posted by: Meesh | June 1, 2007 10:23 AM


Meesh, I don't think you can understand that money can't buy time until/unless you are not working like SAHMs don't work. Then you'll get it.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 10:46 AM

pATRICK,

It depends if the tee shirts are pink or some other color!

Posted by: Fred | June 1, 2007 10:48 AM

"I know a person born on April 1, one born on Halloween, and two born on Christmas Day. They all seem to be perfectly normal, except one Christmas woman flaunts her money, diamonds and Vegas winnings. She's certainly not Christ-like ;-) Now unless you're totally obsessive/compulsive about horoscopes, I don't think a child's birthdate makes a bit of difference"

I would agree that being born on a significant date won't make a difference to a child. But,if you are alive and something significant happens on your birthday, your future birthdays will forever be entwined with those memories. I know someone with a 9/11 birthday who no longer has a birthday that is "just a birthday". She remembers everything about 9/11/2001 every anniversary.

Posted by: nona | June 1, 2007 10:51 AM

Bravo, Leslie!

You hit the nail on the head when you suggested that this blog is totally unbalanced. I have just about given up wading through the nonsense to find the jewels of wisdom some posters share.

Today's piece is the best I've read in a while. Just because the term "balance" has been overused doesn't mean its outlived it's usefulness. As I'm teeter-tottering along, in those moments of balance I find glimpses sanity. What I want is more moments, more glimpses. I'm going to keep pursuing balance, believing it is possible. Keep writing and providing encouragement.

Posted by: Yo Mama | June 1, 2007 10:56 AM

Maybe the issue is not whether we have managed to achieve balance in our lives, but whether we are pursuing "the good life" (however we choose to define it). Speaking of which, Peter Gomes's book, The Good Life, might be interesting reading for some folks who puruse this blog.

Posted by: Murphy | June 1, 2007 10:56 AM

educmom:
"I keep wondering if he really learned all the life lessons I taught him -- will he eat well (OK, he learned that one), is he really so sexist that he will find a girl to do his laundry (or is he just pulling my chain), will he be smart enough not to get drunk and do something stupid, or to be around when someone else is? Is he going to have too much fun, end up with a 1.9 GPA and lose his scholarship, like his brother did? Am I going to get a phone call from some girl's father? Did I actually do a good job over the past 18 years? Am I worrying over nothing?!?"

Have you told him your worries? If you are in the car with him sometime, even on the way to school, this would be a good time to at least let him know your concerns. Preface it by saying he doesn't have to respond or reassure you. He can't do anything about your worries, but he can at least know how parents really feel and react rather than you having to be mom all the time. The time for your lessons is almost done, unless he asks for advice.

I was the last to go, like your son. I know I would have appreciated that from my mom. All I got was crying when she dropped me off at school, which just turned me off. Because of that, all I wanted her to do was leave. Tell him you will still worry, but tell him not to.

Posted by: Working Dad | June 1, 2007 10:57 AM

Meesh does have a point - if you have the money you can hire a housekeeper, buy in the close in neighborhood to ease your commute, find better day care, (you stress less about the work emergency if you are comfortable where your child is), etc.

Also, for the married couples it can allow one spouse to cut back.

And if the money is a windfall, a lottery or inheritence, it can buy you the ability to quit work,

What it can't buy you is more than 24 hours a day - so if the craziness comes from having the kids in to many activities, (or lots of kids in different activies) and your inability to say no when someone asks you to help with the bakesale, and the school play, and the church beautification committee, etc. then no money can't help.

Posted by: Divorced mom of 1 | June 1, 2007 10:57 AM

"We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity."

Yawn. It's been done before. Remember the Inquisition? And the treatment of Amerindians upon settlement of the "New World"?

OT to catlady: any idea why, upon moving, my two cats would completely switch personalities? I moved yesterday, and the small, sweet, meek one is now hissing at the former b*tch-cat, who is burrowing under a blanket and appears frightened. Little cat has even taken to "guarding" the food bowls and my bed (previously b*tch-cat domain), and b*tch-cat is afraid to approach.

Posted by: Mona | June 1, 2007 10:58 AM

Pigs must have flown somewhere.

Matt's initial post was neutral and his rejoinders have been rational since the troll-mortar attack.

trolls, stop high-jacking the board to flog your personal beliefs.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 10:58 AM

atb,

A bit more on inadequate milk production. Good that you are using a hospital grade pump, there are pumps which are more effective than others. The frequency of pump use will make a difference in supply and there are some other techniques to stimulate supply. There is a specific prescription drug which is used to start and stimulate supply, obviously, you would need your dr. to give you this. So ask the pediatrician if it is suitable to your case. Good Luck!

Posted by: Fred | June 1, 2007 11:00 AM

Hey, That's my line.


Fifteen out of the nineteen men who flew the planes were from Saudi Arabia.

So the US attacked Iraq.

Posted by: Rosie O'Donnell | June 1, 2007 11:02 AM

. . . and even more on inadequate milk production. atb, you could try "Mother's Milk" tea, which has fenugreek in it and is widely believed to stimulate milk production. I drank at least 3 cups a day when I was trying to build up my supply with my first. Because of my c-section and lack of relevant knowledge about breastfeeding, I didn't realize how to do it and my son was almost exclusively on formula but I forced myself to keep at it, and he was on 100% breastmilk by 8 weeks.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | June 1, 2007 11:03 AM

My brother commited suicide on my birthday. Do you think that I really feel like celebrating it anymore?

Posted by: a regular but anon for this one | June 1, 2007 11:05 AM

Can we get off the viciousness with the 9/11 thing already! Whenever we start talking politics all the naive egocentric-types start coming out of the woodwork with their axes to grind. We don't all share the same DNA, we don't have the same life experiences, and we therefore react differently to things. That's life. If you want your opinion to be seriously considered then try building a little trust with your fellow bloggers, rather than attacking their perspective with your verbal hatchetsaw.
I thought Leslies blog today was nice. Personally, I can't even imagine having any sense of balance with three kids to care for. Maybe balance is an issue with kid #1, survival the challenge with kid#2, and sanity at issue with kid #3. I'd like to hear how that plays out for those with more than one child.

Posted by: rumicat | June 1, 2007 11:05 AM

"We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity."

Yawn. It's been done before. Remember the Inquisition? And the treatment of Amerindians upon settlement of the "New World"?

MONA your take on history never ceases to make me laugh. Indians were never converted to christianity despite some well meaning efforts. You ought to watch "Bury my heart at wounded knee" Very interesting. The idea that indians were just peaceful victims is near and dear to many liberals but the truth is much murkier than that. The truth is that islam has been hijacked by vicious killers and no amount of PC whitewash will change that. The sad part is that the vast majority of peaceful muslims are being irreparably harmed by the actions of their "brothers".

Posted by: pATRICK | June 1, 2007 11:05 AM

Matt I think Ann is crazy and you said nothing that should have people calling you ignorant. I saw her talk about global warming one time and she sounded like a complete idiot. I can't believe she makes all the money she does.

Posted by: scarry | June 1, 2007 11:07 AM

Rumicat
"Maybe balance is an issue with kid #1, survival the challenge with kid#2, and sanity at issue with kid #3. I'd like to hear how that plays out for those with more than one child."

And just plain zombie (ism) with #4!
It is just a good thing for Frieda and me that #4 is sweet natured even though he is 15.

Posted by: Fred | June 1, 2007 11:08 AM

Atb:

What I did was to pump or feed the kid every three to four hours. If the kid was hungry in between, then I would give him formula or pumped milk.
Only let the kid go for 10-15 mins each side.

This lets you get your supply up and so you can recover in between.

Good luck

Posted by: atlmom | June 1, 2007 11:08 AM

pATRICK, I have no idea if older people losing their sanity are aware of it. In my family, the people who needed medical help were aware that they will "mess up" if they don't take their medication.

Anon at 10:46, if you say so. I was unemployed for 6 months, so I know exactly what it's like to not have money to travel. I also know what it's like to feel the need to keep the house spotless, gourmet dinners on the table, and everything in its place because that was my job. It was stressful and I never got a break. Comparing the two situations, I have more time now because I can afford to take a break and, more importantly, let myself take a break.

Posted by: Meesh | June 1, 2007 11:09 AM

My grandfather's birthday was December 7 but they were too poor to celebrate with anything more than a homemade birthday cake anyway. No hired clowns, no rented moon bounce, no trips to Disneyworld. The conspicuous consumption of this blog turns my stomach.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 11:11 AM

rumicat - I hace 3 kids. I don't find the number of kids to be the issue. I would feel just as unbalanced with 1 child. My problems stem from the conflict between an inflexible workplace on the one hand, and a school system that thinks every family has a stay-at-home parent on the other.

Posted by: ratgirlny | June 1, 2007 11:13 AM

"pATRICK, I have no idea if older people losing their sanity are aware of it. In my family, the people who needed medical help were aware that they will "mess up" if they don't take their medication."

MEESH,I spent this weekend with my parents and my dad (79)seems more and more like a picture slowly fading away. He talks very low and grasps for words and tails away his sentences. This from a man who his whole life had a very commanding voice and presence. It is very sad and alarming.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 1, 2007 11:14 AM

Before I forget. offtopic to catlady. I think it was you who was watching the black donnellys. If so, you can watch the rest of the season online. If not, then sorry because I can't remember who was watching it. :)

Posted by: scarry | June 1, 2007 11:15 AM

Fred, I used to think (before my daughter) that people with four kids were crazy. Now I see them for the heros they truly are, I'm particularly impressed by the ones who do a good job raising their kids. You guys must feel like you're coming to the end of a long marathon. I think all the zombie years will pay off though, with the big holiday celebrations to look forward to and all the future grandkids to admire.

Posted by: rumicat | June 1, 2007 11:18 AM

pATRICK, I'm so sorry. I absolutely dread experiencing that with my parents.

It's easy to say "aging is a natural part of life," but that doesn't make it any easier to watch.

Posted by: Meesh | June 1, 2007 11:19 AM

On a lighter note, my husband comes home from a business trip today. I will be looking forward to some more balance now that he's back to help with chores. There are a few things that take two people that had to wait until he got back. We can finally wash the stinking dogs!

Posted by: Meesh | June 1, 2007 11:23 AM

pATRICK, hang in there, and I would suggest looking for a support group. My aunt, who is in her late 60s, has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. No surprise to the rest of the family, but still extremely sad. We are all coping the best way we can.

To the general blog population, another book recommendation: "Aging With Grace" by David Snowdon, a pupil of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. It discusses the findings of the nun study and why in the nun population there are many more centarians and many less who suffer from Alzheimer's. I found it to be fascinating.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | June 1, 2007 11:29 AM

rumicat - my parents have six, even though I'm one of them, I still think they are crazy. Though, all of us are self-supporting, no issues, still talk to each other (although it is sometimes with raised voices) and the fist granchild is due on Sept. 1st. I guess they did a pretty good job, they're crazy, but did a good job.

Posted by: fed worker | June 1, 2007 11:32 AM

"if my baby is born on Sept 11, will that do terrible harm?"

Ok, to quote Dave Barry, I am not making this up. My youngest brother's birthday is on Pearl Harbor Day. I always felt sorry for him, because it was such a somber day -- the only foreign attack on American soil since, well, before it was America.

That all changed in 2001: my other brother's birthday is September 11.

Makes me a little edgy when my own birthday rolls around every year. . . .

Posted by: Laura | June 1, 2007 11:34 AM

A long marathon is a good comparison to raising children. Some make it to the finish line, others drop out.

As I said in my guest blog, you never stop being a parent but your role does shift. Frieda and I are taking satisfaction in seeing the early adult years of our children. (Of course, it helps that none of them live at home anymore!)

I suppose we will have grandchildren one day but this is not in the near future. This is not an issue that we have ever raised with our adult children. I remember that my parents never once asked, "
Where is my grandchild?"

We do look at the 15 yr old and say, we have to go through the teenager years again!!! Such is life.

Posted by: Fred | June 1, 2007 11:35 AM

Laura, Laura, Laura

"the only foreign attack on American soil since, well, before it was America."

What about the War of 1812?

Posted by: Top Cat | June 1, 2007 11:38 AM

Please note: "Arab" and "Muslim" are NOT interchangable terms. For example, there are significant numbers of Christian Arabs and South-Asian Muslims

Posted by: boston liz | June 1, 2007 11:39 AM

ratgirlny, I'm with you on the school system thing. But whenever anyone suggests that summer break schedule or school hours change to accomodate the lives of people today (most of whom with shool age kids are working) the traditionalists throw a fit. We don't use children for farm labor anymore, and the days when kids could roam all over the neighborhood exploring their world in the summer and after school are over. Most kids watch 20-30 hours a week of TV, probably more than that in the summer. Of course this probably won't change until the current generation of video-game addicts, who will undoubtedly have less nostalgia for their own electronic childhoods, have kids of their own. Of course, I could be wrong...

Posted by: rumicat | June 1, 2007 11:42 AM

Please note: "Arab" and "Muslim" are NOT interchangable terms. For example, there are significant numbers of Christian Arabs and South-Asian Muslims

Did someone say it was?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 11:47 AM

Top Cat -- ummm, errr, oops. My bad. This is why I was an English major, not a history major. How about "in a really really really long time"?

Posted by: Laura | June 1, 2007 11:53 AM

"Top Cat -- ummm, errr, oops. My bad. This is why I was an English major, not a history major. How about "in a really really really long time"?"

That reminds me of my sister, I was in gifted History and Poliical science and she kept getting the nazis and communists mixed up, to my eternal frustration.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 1, 2007 11:56 AM

Fred, the fact that you don't have grandkids yet is probably a sign that you did a good job with your kids, emotionally settled ones usually take their time. I thank you on your children's behalf for not asking for them!
Fed worker, wait till you have kids, I know it's trite, but you will see your crazy parents in a whole new light. They will seem like crazy superheroes, rather than just plain crazy. Congrats on your soon-to-be niece or nephew.

Posted by: rumicat | June 1, 2007 11:57 AM

"I think he was just trying to stress what many people have forgotten."

Sometimes we forget the real meaning and power behind words and phrases [like 9/11, genocide, and holocaust] -- at times it's useful to speak plainly when we refer to them. Kudos to Matt."

While I'll agree with you that at times it's useful to speak plainly, we need to choose the right words. Words like "Arab terrorists" are the type that contribute to fear and ignorance....and what you get are incidents like what happened after 9/11 when a Sikh was killed...or the war in Iraq.

Posted by: MV | June 1, 2007 11:57 AM

pATRICK

"That reminds me of my sister, I was in gifted History and Poliical science and she kept getting the nazis and communists mixed up, to my eternal frustration"

I'd rather know your mixed up sister than an arrogant jerk like you who doesn't know how to spell Political, however gifted you claim to be. I've yet to see any evidence on this blog.

Posted by: Rosie | June 1, 2007 12:01 PM

I have to ask - does anyone bother to stay on-topic here? The blog post was interesting, but it seems like 75% of the responses have nothing to do with it.

Posted by: ratgirlny | June 1, 2007 12:04 PM

Ever watch the dog whisperer? Ignore and/or redirect, works with people too...

Posted by: rosie | June 1, 2007 12:05 PM

rumicat: I meant crazy for having the six and saying the would have had more if they thought they would have been able to afford it.

And thank you. My sister is having a girl, who will most assuredly be spoiled, and get my dad wrapped around her little finger by the time she's 6 months.

Posted by: fed worker | June 1, 2007 12:05 PM

I know a man who today continually refers to Germans -- all Germans -- as Nazis. That is highly insulting to me since half of my ancestry is German and those ancestors came to America in the early 1800's. That's comparable to saying all Americans belong to the Ku Klux Klan.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 12:08 PM

Thanks rumicat - my sister is having a little girl.

Posted by: fed worker | June 1, 2007 12:08 PM

Some of the people on this blog need to give the dog whisperer a good 30-minutes of their time (National Geographic channel, Friday night I think). When bad behavior occurs the thing to do is ignore and redirect, rather than feeding into the nonsense. Works on people too.
Now what about that sanity-balance thing. Anybody got anything to say about that while I'm waiting for the plumber to show up.

Posted by: rumicat | June 1, 2007 12:10 PM

Not sure why it posted twice, but there you go.

Posted by: hmmm | June 1, 2007 12:10 PM

ratgirlny,

No.

Posted by: Fred | June 1, 2007 12:11 PM

"MEESH, we all think so but how do we really know? That is my big problem with growing old, if you become insane or out of it with alzheimer's do you really know you are slipping?"

pATRICK, from my own experience dealing with a relative that had Alzheimer's, at the onset of the disease, she did know that her mind was slipping. And that was sad.

Posted by: MV | June 1, 2007 12:12 PM

rumicat

"When bad behavior occurs the thing to do is ignore and redirect, rather than feeding into the nonsense."

You've just disregarded your own advice!

Good luck on the afternoon sex with the plumber thing!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 12:13 PM

"I know a man who today continually refers to Germans -- all Germans -- as Nazis. That is highly insulting to me since half of my ancestry is German and those ancestors came to America in the early 1800's"

Tell the guy! Not me!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 12:15 PM

I was going to write about Zelda today (I still think I will rename Frieda to Zelda) but someone brought up the War of 1812. So without further nonsense

The Cultural Tidbit of the Day
(Historical Division)

The last battle of the War of 1812 was the Battle of New Orleans. This battle (Jan 1815) was fought after the Treaty of Ghent (Dec 1814) was signed ending the war. They just did not have the internet back then. The battle was fought on the Chalmette Plantation located about 5 miles from Bourbon Street.

A gasoline refinery stands on some of the grounds today and Katrina flooded this whole area.

Posted by: Fred | June 1, 2007 12:21 PM

rumicat

Does your name have any connections with felines?

ratgirlny

Do I want to know what's up with your name?

Posted by: Top Cat | June 1, 2007 12:21 PM

atb:

Have you tried to increase YOUR water consumption? I was never a great producer, but I did see an increase in my milk production when I increased the amount of water I drank each day. This is especially important now that we're heading into summer weather.


pATRICK:

My sympathies regarding your Father. The last years of my Father's life were spent battling alzheimer's and parkinson's. I recommend the book "Final Gifts" by Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley. "Final Gifts" was a tremendous resource for me. The book discusses how older folks approaching their final journey tend to start thinking in pictures instead of in discreet thoughts, and that this is why they have so much trouble communicating verbally. After I read this book, I was able to have short, but meaningful, conversations with my Father more often than not. Our visits the last year or so ended up being very positive interactions instead of both of us frustrated and in tears.


Posted by: MAY | June 1, 2007 12:23 PM

top cat. I have three cats, but no time for them anymore, also have a few dogs, which you probably inferred from my previous post. I adopted one of my cats and was reading a book of poetry by Rumi on 9/11, so something good happened that day as well. I like to remember that. I think remembering the good stuff is what makes us strong.

Posted by: rumicat | June 1, 2007 12:32 PM

Hey Top Cat,

I hear that you have a substantial amount of adiposity between your ears!

Posted by: A Plumber | June 1, 2007 12:33 PM

Well, time again to post some links to some interesting blogs that track the spread of terrorism and terrorist links to rampant PC intolerance.

http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/

http://www.vigilantfreedom.org/910blog/

www.worldnetdaily.com


Posted by: Chris | June 1, 2007 12:38 PM

Alabama Preacher..........

"Someone in this Congregation has spread a rumor that I belong to the Ku Klux Klan.
This is a horrible lie and one which a Christian community cannot tolerate.
I am embarrassed and do not intend to accept this.
Now, I want the party who did this to stand and ask forgiveness from God and
this Christian Family."
No one moved. The preacher continued, "Do you have the nerve to face me and admit this is a falsehood?
Remember, you will be forgiven and in your heart you will feel glory.
Now stand and confess your transgression." Again all was quiet.
Then slowly, a drop-dead gorgeous blonde with a body that would stop traffic rose from the third pew.
Her head was bowed and her voice quivered as she spoke,"Reverend there has been a terrible misunderstanding.
I never said you were a member of the Ku Klux Klan. I simply told a couple of my friends that you were a wizard under the sheets."
The preacher fell to his knees, his wife fainted, and the congregation roared!

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 1, 2007 12:40 PM

"...In 1814 we took a little trip..."

Posted by: war of 1812 | June 1, 2007 12:40 PM

Thanks for the breastmilk advice, all! I think the major hurdle is that I'm pumping during the day, and it's just not as efficient as the baby. I've tried 3 pumps, and the one I now use is the LC's favorite and really does work the best. The funugreek works surprisingly well, but you have to take so much that you end up smelling like cheap maple syrup and sweating profusely. (Breast ducts are modified sweat glands. Can that be the Scientific TOTD?) I probably don't get enough sleep or enough to eat, but I do try. I'm actually waiting on a call from the LC now. I didn't realize how attached I'd be to breastfeeding. I'm EXTREMELY relieved that DD will take formula, but it just doesn't sit well with me to give it to her.

Posted by: atb | June 1, 2007 12:41 PM

atb, no one cares but you. really.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 12:42 PM

ratgirlny

Are you still around?

Posted by: Fred | June 1, 2007 12:43 PM

I have almost always felt off balance ever since my son was born, even though friends have complimented me on how I seem to be able to keep things "balanced". What IS balance? I think the definition is unique to each person. I try to create balance in my life each day by asking myself...

If I were to suddenly end up on my deathbed with my mind intact, would whatever I'm stewing about show up as a regret in my life if I did/didn't do it? If the answer is yes, then I pursue the matter. If the answer is no, I really try to just let it go. Most times I'm successful, sometimes I'm not.

Posted by: MAY | June 1, 2007 12:44 PM

along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississip

Posted by: Fred | June 1, 2007 12:45 PM

"Right now, I feel like my whole life consists of disappointing people, including myself."

Aint that the truth. ratgirlny, you described my sentiments to a t.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 12:46 PM

I found this:

His prename, Francis Scott Key, was given to him to honor his distant ancestor who wrote the National Anthem. Fitzgerald's father, Edward Fitzgerald, was from Maryland

I know his wife died in Maryland after him, maybe they simply wanted their bodies to be together? So they buried him within the state? Was there simply not enough money, or a fear that there wouldn't be enough money to eventually bury them together, out of Maryland?

Posted by: to Kudzu | June 1, 2007 12:46 PM

Posted by: | June 1, 2007 12:42 PM

Hey, don't be ugly!

Posted by: Fred | June 1, 2007 12:48 PM

to Kudzu, if I recall correctly, it was a family plot, i.e. already paid for and all the relatives were buried there. Their daughter later agreed with a non-profit org to reinter the bodies in their current graves.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | June 1, 2007 12:49 PM

ratgirlny

One poster named Legal Eagle posted what seems to happen on this blog everyday. Look at about the 11th entry.

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/onbalance/2007/04/emergency_childcare.html

Posted by: Fred | June 1, 2007 12:53 PM

Fred

ignore and redirect.

ignore and redirect.

ignore and redirect.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 12:53 PM

to 12:43- Can you hear me sobbing at my desk because you hurt my widdle feelings? Let me be the first to tell you how seriously lame your trolling is. Why do people who aren't clever even try to troll? I'm all for a good burn. Just because your mom told you were smart and funny doesn't make it so.

Posted by: atb | June 1, 2007 12:55 PM

May, I feel less balanced since having a child, but also more optimistic. I realized I have to be to keep it together, plus I want to set that example for my daughter. Somebody said something about that Nun's longevity study. I haven't read the book but I know that the optimistic nuns lived longer. I don't know how to integrate that way of thinking into the deathbed priority setting, which is undoubtedly useful. Can you still be optimistic and still spend time thinking about your deathbed from time to time?

Now that you guys have started it, how does the rest of that 1814 song go?

Posted by: rumicat | June 1, 2007 12:56 PM

I thought it was exercise, discipline then affection (Dog Whisperer).

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 1, 2007 12:57 PM

Atb:

Have you tried the avent hand pump? I know it's not electric, but it works REALLY WELL. As well or better than some of the electric ones (they actually also came out with an electric one, but I don't know anything about that one since it came out as my second was being weaned).

Really - read the reviews on amazon/babies r us website. It's great and may help. I bought a used one on ebay for a good price.

Posted by: atlmom | June 1, 2007 1:00 PM

"I thought it was exercise, discipline then affection (Dog Whisperer)."

KLB you're right! I love that show! I love the South Park episode where he was one of the characters.

Posted by: MV | June 1, 2007 1:01 PM

KLB SS MD

"I thought it was exercise, discipline then affection"

Followed by Purity Ball, Virginity Pledge.

Posted by: Wavda | June 1, 2007 1:04 PM

Working dad:
Thanks for your post. I have told him about my concerns, and he tells me I don't have anything to worry about. When I'm feeling more sane, I'm pretty confident I got it right with #2, but I know I'm going to worry anyway.
Besides, I might cry all summer, but I won't cry when I'm dropping him off.

*That is my big problem with growing old, if you become insane or out of it with alzheimer's do you really know you are slipping?*
I hope not!
Seriously, my grandmother went through it, and my mother is going through it (Mom started very young, with a series of seizures/mini-strokes). I don't think my grandmother ever realized her faculties were slipping, but my mother DOES know, and I know it scares her to death. It scares me too...

Ninotchka,
Actaully spending your money on yourself...
Fred,
Food in the fridge, things where you left them...

Wow, it DOES sound like the good life!

Posted by: educmom | June 1, 2007 1:07 PM

Thanks for the feed-back on FSF. I didn't know we were related until a cousin did a genealogy study about 10-15 years ago. We do share a common relative with a lot of Maryland history. No family stories or gossip to tell since none of us ever met him or Zelda, and most of it has been written about anyway. Their daughter, Scotty, used to write for the WaPo.

Posted by: Kudzu on lunch break | June 1, 2007 1:08 PM

Can't have affection before Purity Ball :-)

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 1, 2007 1:08 PM

I know many people in the NY area who agree with the position below regarding the events of September 11. I refer to it as September 11th when speaking, though I may have made the slip myself. I was struck by the prevalence of "9/11" as I read through this morning's comments. I'm reminded to be more conscious of terminology going forward.


From the website respecttheday.com

Mission Statement:

We are a group of Americans who believe it is inappropriate for politicians, the news media, and our friends and family members to refer to the events of September 11, 2001 as "9-11" or "9-1-1." We believe that abbreviating the date is disrespectful to those who lost their lives and trivializes the magnitude of the events of the day.

How do you refer to today? Do you say "6/1" or "June 1"?

We don't refer to Christmas as "12-25," Valentine's Day as "2-14" or Pearl Harbor Day as "12-7." Have we become so lazy, so busy, or so used to shorthand that we cannot take the time to say September 11? Why would we shorten and simplify a date so powerful in American history as September 11?

Certainly we understand that "9-11" became popular shorthand for the day because our national emergency phone number is 911. Although it may be convenient, and catchy, now is the time to give the event, the victims and everything associated with September 11 the gravity it so deeply deserves.

We respectfully ask that the media, the politicians, every American and the world Respect The Day of September 11, 2001 and refer to it with the dignity and respect that comes not from shortening or abbreviating it, but by saying "September 11."

Posted by: Marian | June 1, 2007 1:09 PM

rumicat:

I don't dwell on the idea of my deathbed every waking moment. I just do that when I'm stewing about something and I'm trying to make up my mind as to whether or not that something is worth pursuing. So, for me, I think this actually helps me to be more optimistic in the long run because I end up spending a lot less of my time and energy spinning my wheels over what someone else might think/say about me. To be honest, the term "dwell" doesn't really apply to me any more. I've used this "tool" for so long now that I just stop and think, "regret or not?", I decide and then I usually just move on. For example, I know I'm NOT going to think on my deathbed, "Shoot, I really regret not throwing a full-blown 1st birthday party for my son with a moonbounce, a clown, and everything else my neighbors did for theirs..."

Posted by: MAY | June 1, 2007 1:13 PM

atb, no one cares but you. really.

I care atb and I had the same problem.

Posted by: scarry | June 1, 2007 1:21 PM

educmom

When I entered the "real" empty nester phase - last kid moves out of house on permanent basis- and I knew I would probably spend the rest of my life living alone - I went through a weird kind of almost teenage phase.

Everything was all about me. All the money was for me, all the time was for me, all the rooms in the house were for me, etc. Me, me, me. It felt very strange to be #1 on the list after 36 years.

Posted by: Ninotchka | June 1, 2007 1:22 PM

Mona asked: "OT to catlady: any idea why, upon moving, my two cats would completely switch personalities? I moved yesterday, and the small, sweet, meek one is now hissing at the former b*tch-cat, who is burrowing under a blanket and appears frightened. Little cat has even taken to "guarding" the food bowls and my bed (previously b*tch-cat domain), and b*tch-cat is afraid to approach."

We've never moved since getting our original cat, so I have no first-hand experience. Advice books re what to do about cat-sitting if one is going to be away agree that cats tend to do better if allowed to stay in their home with a cat-sitter coming in to take care of them than if they're packed off to a kennel (which evidently many dogs don't mind). Then again, at one extreme, I've occasionally encountered folks at airports with their cats in tiny underseat-sized cat-carriers, who contend that their cats are so emotionally adaptable that they'd rather go away with their people than stay home (though I doubt mine would).

And Scarry wrote: "Before I forget. offtopic to catlady. I think it was you who was watching the black donnellys. If so, you can watch the rest of the season online. If not, then sorry because I can't remember who was watching it. :)"

Your memory is excellent! Will check it out -- thanks for thinking of me -- you brightened my day :-)

Posted by: catlady | June 1, 2007 1:22 PM

May, thanks for the repsonse. I'll have to try the "regret or no regret thing". Who remembers what happened on their first birthday anyway?
Of course now the question, will I regret on my deathbed not hearing the rest of that 1814 song...
Question, how do exercise, affection, and discipline apply to this blog?

Posted by: rumicat | June 1, 2007 1:23 PM

"atb, no one cares but you. really.

I care atb and I had the same problem"

And I don't care. Now, are we all going to post our opinion on whether or not we care?

Posted by: nona | June 1, 2007 1:25 PM

How's this for balance, or sanity? Hamas Kindergarten Graduation in Israel. "What is your path?" "Jihad!"

"What is your most lofty aspiration? Death for the sake of Allah."

I bet they get participation awards too...

http://the-american-israeli-patriot.blogspot.com/2007/06/kindergarten-graduation-gaza-style.html

http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/016713.php
comments at this site are great!

Posted by: Chris | June 1, 2007 1:26 PM

scarry

"I care atb and I had the same problem"

Of course you do. You have something to say on every subject under the sun! It is truly amazing!

Posted by: Adolf | June 1, 2007 1:30 PM

I think it's safe to say that claiming "no one" cares was wrong.

Nona, etc- Believe me, I couldn't care less about you, either. Sweet, huh?

Posted by: atb | June 1, 2007 1:31 PM

So does eveybody else Adolf. I was just being nice which is more than I can say for other people on this blog. If you don't like a post just skip it, you don't have to be rude.

Posted by: scarry | June 1, 2007 1:32 PM

Ninotchka: mom went thru that too - after the separation with dad. It was all about her. I was fine with it, as I was in college (and eventually moved in with her). But it was definitely different/strange to see her like that when my whole life it had been, for her, about everyone else.

Posted by: atlmom | June 1, 2007 1:34 PM

pATRICK asked: "That is my big problem with growing old, if you become insane or out of it with alzheimer's do you really know you are slipping?"

Oh my yes, pATRICK, people with Alzheimer's can be aware of their slippage for quite a long time. They get very frustrated at not being able to recall words, or to remember to do things correctly as they once did (and took for granted). Sometimes they'll lash out at others merely from their own frustration. It's simply heart-breaking all around.

Posted by: catlady | June 1, 2007 1:35 PM

atb,

a little snippy, are we? i never said I don't care about you - I don't even know you. I don't care about the subject. I've seen more than I ever care to about BF on this blog.

Posted by: nona | June 1, 2007 1:38 PM

Fred, One of the interesting details the docent mentioned during our tour of the Chalmette Battlefield was that the sugar cane fields were cut so that their sharp points pointed toward the direction from which the British were coming, so they suffered brutal razor-like cuts while traversing the fields. I like to think of it as better warfare through Agriculture ;-)

Posted by: catlady | June 1, 2007 1:39 PM

'We don't refer to Christmas as "12-25," Valentine's Day as "2-14" or Pearl Harbor Day as "12-7."

'We respectfully ask that the media, the politicians, every American and the world Respect The Day of September 11, 2001 and refer to it with the dignity and respect that comes not from shortening or abbreviating it, but by saying "September 11."'

Posted by: Marian | June 1, 2007 01:09 PM

I refer to Pearl Harbor Day as "Pearl Harbor Day," so that no one will forget. And I refer to the events of September 11, 2001, not as "9/11" or "9-1-1" or as "September 11," but as "the Arab terrorist massacres" -- also, so no one will forget. I intend to evince respect for the terrorists' victims, and contempt for the terrorists and for the feelings of anyone who might sympathize with the terrorists.

'We all go on our merry way, unwilling to think that more attacks like this are being planned daily.

'They want to kill us and no one wants to believe it.'

Posted by: atlmom | June 1, 2007 09:26 AM

Thanks, atlmom! I believe it, and I won't forget. We'll remind Americans to fight against the name of terror, till the last white line is passed.

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | June 1, 2007 1:42 PM

"The Battle of New Orleans," by Johnny Horton

In 1814 we took a little trip
Along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississip.
We took a little bacon and we took a little beans
And we caught the bloody British in the town of New Orleans.

[Chorus:]
We fired our guns and the British kept a'comin.
There wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago.
We fired once more and they began to runnin' on
Down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.

We looked down the river and we see'd the British come.
And there must have been a hundred of'em beatin' on the drum.
They stepped so high and they made the bugles ring.
We stood by our cotton bales and didn't say a thing.

[Chorus]

Old Hickory said we could take 'em by surprise
If we didn't fire our muskets 'til we looked 'em in the eye
We held our fire 'til we see'd their faces well.
Then we opened up with squirrel guns and really gave 'em ... well

[Chorus]

Yeah, they ran through the briars and they ran through the brambles
And they ran through the bushes where a rabbit couldn't go.
They ran so fast that the hounds couldn't catch 'em
Down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.

We fired our cannon 'til the barrel melted down.
So we grabbed an alligator and we fought another round.
We filled his head with cannon balls, and powdered his behind
And when we touched the powder off, the gator lost his mind.

[Chorus]

Yeah, they ran through the briars and they ran through the brambles
And they ran through the bushes where a rabbit couldn't go.
They ran so fast that the hounds couldn't catch 'em
Down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.

Posted by: catlady | June 1, 2007 1:42 PM

Actually, I was wondering if everyone was now going to chime in with their opinion since scarry chose to reply rather than ignore the original comment. That happens quite a bit on this blog. someone relates a personal experience, then, instead of discussing the blog topic, many other posters just relate their own personal experience. Or, an unpopular comment is made and then there is extensive time agreeing/disagreeing rather than staying on topic. Going off topic is fine too. But the back and forth over stupid remarks is just a waste of time.

Posted by: nona | June 1, 2007 1:43 PM

Oh my yes, pATRICK, people with Alzheimer's can be aware of their slippage for quite a long time. They get very frustrated at not being able to recall words, or to remember to do things correctly as they once did (and took for granted). Sometimes they'll lash out at others merely from their own frustration. It's simply heart-breaking all around.

Watch for the angry mask to become a permanent fixture. Very few Alzheimer's patients become more pleasant.

We had neighbours who both ended up developing Alzheimer's. Mrs. had it first, and her personality got more and more and more angry & combative. After she was diagnosed and it became apparent she needed 24/7/365 care, she went to an Alzheimer's ward. Mr. visited her daily; meanwhile he was starting down the same path. It was very sad. She died first, by that time he was barely able to function but refusing to leave his home. He attacked his daughter when she visited a few times, finally she was able to get him into a nursing home.

Now might be an excellent time to ask many questions regarding the family lore.

Good luck, it's not easy on anyone.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | June 1, 2007 1:43 PM

catlady

"sugar cane fields were cut so that their sharp points pointed toward the direction from which the British were coming, so they suffered brutal razor-like cuts while traversing the fields. "

Ouch!!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 1:44 PM

. . . we took a little bacon and we took a little beans
and we fought the bloody British in the town of New Orleans.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | June 1, 2007 1:44 PM

Yes, the rude poster always tries to turn it around on the person they attacked. It's this blogs way of life. Nona perhaps if you don't want to read about breast feeding, maybe you should find another blog or just skip the posts you find offensive. Replying to scarry who was just trying to defend atb is a little low.

Posted by: to nona | June 1, 2007 1:44 PM

Ah, the irony...

Posted by: atb | June 1, 2007 1:47 PM

To ratgirlny:

I also sometimes feel like I am failing to live up to expectations at work and home as well- such as when I need to rush out of work on time to pick up my son, and there is still work to be done and co-workers have to fill in for me; or I have a sick kid who needs me and I am at work..many times I feel like I really need to be in more than one place at a time.

But I try not to beat myself up and try to feel good that I am actually managing to maintain some kind of balance and that I have my priorities straight. I strive for the moderation that was mentioned earlier. I know there has to be some give and take on all fronts and determining what is really important to me. For example, I made a decision to change jobs to lessen my long commute and be closer to home. I am hoping this eases some of the pressure I feel.

All in all, I feel good that I am taking care of my family and can also enjoy working. Its not easy and some days I just want to hide, but I know I just have to keep going and remember the good things I have in life.

Posted by: MDMom | June 1, 2007 1:49 PM

atb = all time b*****.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 1:49 PM

Look, scarry said she cared, and I said I didn't. What's low about that?

Posted by: nona | June 1, 2007 1:51 PM

Sorry nona,

I like ATB and just wanted to let her know that she was cared about and that she wasn't alone with her problem. I usually try to ignore rude posts, but sometimes I give in when I find them particularly distasteful. I don't know why it annoyed you so much because we are always off topic anyway

Posted by: scarry | June 1, 2007 1:51 PM

Yes, the rude poster always tries to turn it around on the person they attacked. It's this blogs way of life. Nona perhaps if you don't want to read about breast feeding, maybe you should find another blog or just skip the posts you find offensive. Replying to scarry who was just trying to defend atb is a little low.

Posted by: to nona | June 1, 2007 01:44 PM

What is "low" about a reply? Is this girl scout camp?

now we are telling someone to go elsewhere because they're bored with breastfeeding comments? I'm bored silly with defensive, snippy beasts like atb, but I'm not going to tell her to go elsewhere because she'll stick around like the plague. I can only hope she finds a new hobby.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 1:51 PM

atb = all time b*****.

Posted by: | June 1, 2007 01:49 PM

And you are?

Posted by: Maryland Mother | June 1, 2007 1:52 PM

all time breastfeeder? Yes, that's me!

Posted by: atb | June 1, 2007 1:52 PM

"In a life with children, balance does not exist. Once you're a parent, you can figure you'll be out of whack for the rest of your life...Children are not born to provide balance. Children are made to stir us up..."

I agree with the first part, but not necessarily with the part about children being made to stir us up. I don't think the lack of balance is because kids are there to help US live better lives. I think that the lack of balance is because human kids are generally pretty needy for a really long time. Good for them but draining for us. One could shed the last drop of one's blood for them and still feel it wasn't enough. That's the drive towards the survival of the species. In one sense, we could all achieve better "balance" by deciding to do much less for our kids, but do we really want to do that? For most people the answer is no.

Posted by: m | June 1, 2007 1:52 PM

and just think how mundane our lives would be without the silliness that are our kids. of course, everything could be neat and perfect, but is that really what makes us happy?

by the way, this is not to knock anyone with out kids. or anyone who likes things neat.

Posted by: atlmom | June 1, 2007 1:55 PM

Dang, catlady beat me to it. And adding to the mea culpa on the whole War of 1812 thing, I have LOVED that song since I was a little kid. D'oh!

Mona: Forgot about your cat Q. FYI, mine did that, too. I think it's because my condo was the dominant cat "territory," so losing that was hugely traumatic, whereas the more submissive cat was more used to not being in "his" territory, since it was never his to begin with. If that makes any sense. I felt so bad for the big guy (#1) -- he went from Master of the Universe to not even coming upstairs for the first 2-3 days, shaking like a leaf the whole time. But of course, within a few weeks, he got his mojo back (still dumb as a post, of course).

Posted by: Laura | June 1, 2007 1:55 PM

ATB: All Time Blogger

Whose next!

Posted by: scarry | June 1, 2007 1:56 PM

Hey, Laura, we can sing along together!

Posted by: catlady | June 1, 2007 1:58 PM

Mona and Chris- I meant to tell you this last week. Slate did a slideshow article on "I haz cheezburger." I apologize if the spelling is wrong on that, but I'm not a cat. Lolwalrus is way better.

Posted by: atb | June 1, 2007 1:59 PM

Compromise - instead of Arab Terrorist say Al Queda - specific group who claimed responsiblity - Like saying Nazi instead of German Facist. And considering there are Al Queda members who aren't Arab (ex. the shoe bomber)more acurate anyway.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 1:59 PM

No, no, Scarry, you got it wrong.

It's, "Who's on first!"

That's it, classic movie night, tonight! I've decided to make the banana split cake, but I'm going to use brandy to moisten the graham cracker crumbs for the crust.

Join me.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | June 1, 2007 1:59 PM

Ninotchka and Atlmom,

I can see having a little of that teenager/selfish thing going on for a while after they both leave. One thing they tell you in Al-anon -- it's really OK to be selfish sometimes.

I've never been too, too kid-centered, but it's still going to be an adjustment for the boys. Not that it will change anything, but I do wonder how they'll react!

Posted by: educmom | June 1, 2007 2:00 PM

Did anyone else see today's article on the 40th anniversary of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"? Some people sure are getting old -- LOL!

Posted by: catlady | June 1, 2007 2:04 PM

Maryland Mother I do love cake and pretty much anything else that is put in front of me these days.

Posted by: scarry | June 1, 2007 2:09 PM

a friend has just been diagnosed with early on-set dementia. he's not even 60. he is very aware of it and yet because of his dementia is unaware, if that makes sense. part of the problem is the type of dementia he has. perhaps i should say that he knows he has dementia and that knowledge does not stop the disease from progressing. i know that i didn't type that very well. did it make sense?

Posted by: quark | June 1, 2007 2:11 PM

"I'd rather know your mixed up sister than an arrogant jerk like you who doesn't know how to spell Political, however gifted you claim to be. I've yet to see any evidence on this blog."

ROSIE, you fit your name quite well I must say. Attacking people on typos is a sign of intellectual surrender. After reading some of your posts perhaps you should stay home. This is the big leagues and people who only can post about typos are really out of their league here.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 1, 2007 2:14 PM

Yes, you make perfect sense. Go to the Internet to check for Alzheimer's organizations for info, maybe try to find local support groups for family and friends in your area. Good luck.

Posted by: To quark | June 1, 2007 2:16 PM

Check out "The Ballad of New Orleans" song

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Battle_of_New_Orleans

Check out Johnny Horton, who made it a 1959 hit, married to the widow of Hank Williams, Sr.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Horton

Posted by: A little Bit Country | June 1, 2007 2:19 PM

Maryland Mother,
The banana split cake doesn't have chocolate in it...why not?? Are you an anti-chocite?
Instead of brandy to moisten the crust, maybe kahlua (sp?) or Godiva liquer...

Posted by: educmom | June 1, 2007 2:20 PM

"I'm bored silly with defensive, snippy beasts like atb, but I'm not going to tell her to go elsewhere because she'll stick around like the plague. I can only hope she finds a new hobby."

Post your name, strident posts like yours that are anonymous merely indicate that you are a coward.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 1, 2007 2:21 PM

Alzheimers questions - there are medications (don"t know the name off the top of my head that can help delay the symptoms - my uncle takes one and it has helped a lot.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 1, 2007 2:21 PM

Thanks catlady for finishing the song. I only knew the first line, but Fred picked up on it too.....

Posted by: war of 1812 | June 1, 2007 2:24 PM

KLB, you're right re Alzheimer's meds -- although I believe they don't actually reverse the process, just slow it.

Posted by: catlady | June 1, 2007 2:26 PM

No, I love chocolate. My kids hate nuts so I'm also thinking of drizzling chocolate over the fluffy (or ice cream) topping. Of course this means it'll be a frozen rather than refrigerated pie.

And of course there will be two pies made. One will be for everyone, one for the grown-ups!

I don't know about kahlua with pineapple. I've had pineapple dunked in chocolate (gilding the lily, in my opinion), but kahlua?

KLB,

Are you thinking of Reminyl?

Posted by: Maryland Mother | June 1, 2007 2:28 PM

mona,

does this mean you're in California now, i.e. your cats survived the flight?

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | June 1, 2007 2:28 PM

I don't hink my dad has alzheimer's. I could be wrong, he could have a precursor or he could just be getting old. It seems weird to me because I only see him every 3-6 months and he seems smaller and older everytime. I guess someday my son will be thinking the same thing as i do, where did my big strong dad go? Getting old is tough.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 1, 2007 2:31 PM

(Please don't flame me: I am not trivialising Alzhemimer's; just trying to provide an animal perspective on it)....

Did you know that vets have a drug for "Dog Alzheimer's" (a.k.a Canine Cognitive Dysfunction)? It's called Anipryl. I believe it is very similar to some of the uman medications.

Posted by: NW vet | June 1, 2007 2:32 PM

Yo, War of 1812

Wasn't the Ballad of New Orleans featured on one of the "Davy Crockett"
TV episodes / made for TV movies?

Posted by: A Little Bit Country | June 1, 2007 2:32 PM

.....not exactly certain, I think that show was just a few years before I was born. Maybe Fred or Catlady know (not implying they are old, or anything, ya know)

Posted by: war of 1812 | June 1, 2007 2:34 PM

I just wonder how you would know your dog had Alzhemimers?

Posted by: scarry | June 1, 2007 2:35 PM

To A Little Bit Country: The Ballad of Davy Crockett was an entirely separate song. As was the one about Mike Fink, king of the river. Google away!

Posted by: catlady | June 1, 2007 2:35 PM

To war of 1812: Hey, show a little respect your elders!

Posted by: catlady | June 1, 2007 2:37 PM

I just wonder how you would know your dog had Alzhemimers?

Posted by: scarry

A lot of similar characteristics to humans. Change in personality, getting lost at "home", etc.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 2:38 PM

Well, just as you would your relatives--they start behaving differently and in a confused manner. I once had a dog who would wander into a corner of a room, and then couldn't find his way out of it (and previously he'd been great at agility). Other signs are sometimes loss of bodily functions (not due to physiological factors), but just forgetting their house-training.

In 10 years of being a vet, I haven't used Anipryl a lot, but it does have its place. I am hopeful though because research is continually being done to come up with new therapies for Alzheimer's.

Posted by: NW vet | June 1, 2007 2:39 PM

scarry- They have a mouse model of depression. The mice don't run on their wheel much and sleep a lot. No joke.

Posted by: atb | June 1, 2007 2:39 PM

Dog alzheimers - not recognizing its owners.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 1, 2007 2:39 PM

War of 1812

There are reruns......

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 2:39 PM

It might be good (Kahlua on almost anything is good). Maybe the godiva is better -- or maybe Frangelico, or Bailey's...any suggestions welcome!

I'm starting to think my dog has Alzheimers -- she sits by the door, walks out, looks around, walks back in, sits by the door...

Posted by: educmom | June 1, 2007 2:40 PM

Apologies tendered to you and Fred, Catlady, I meant no disrespect!

Posted by: War of 1812 (aka NW vet) | June 1, 2007 2:41 PM

tcatlady

"To A Little Bit Country: The Ballad of Davy Crockett was an entirely separate song. "

I know. That is not what I was referring to in my question.

Posted by: A Little Bit Country | June 1, 2007 2:43 PM

That's terrible about the dogs. I've had dogs my whole life and never seen anything like that. That is so sad. I bet people lose dogs that way if they get out and can't find their way home. Is it more prevalent in some breeds than in others?

Depressed mice, who knew?

Posted by: scarry | June 1, 2007 2:43 PM

Apology accepted, NW vet. Just remember that someday you'll reach my age -- but only if you're lucky, considering the alternative...

Posted by: catlady | June 1, 2007 2:44 PM

"In 10 years of being a vet, I haven't used Anipryl a lot, but it does have its place. I am hopeful though because research is continually being done to come up with new therapies for Alzheimer's."

NW VET, Just curious, As a vet, what do you think of ever increasing (usually expensive) procedures for animals. I was reading about kidney transplants etc for dogs I think. Do you usually support this or try to interject some perspective?

Posted by: pATRICK | June 1, 2007 2:44 PM

Fred ain't 55 yet! But he does remember watching Davy Crockett on a black and white tv!

BTW, Fred never is bored talking about BF!

"Better warfare thru agriculture!" That just might be the post of the day!

Posted by: Fred | June 1, 2007 2:45 PM

Yes, scarry it is sad to see it in dogs, but seeing dogs (cats, horses) age is so bittersweet for me anyway (mine or other people's).


Even sadder to see people age, like pATRICK's father. (It has always been my contention that to be a vet, you really have to like people, too, because you treat people as much, sometimes more (!) than the animals themselves).

pATRICK, the new treatments are there. As a vet, I can tell people about them, and let them decide--that's my role. I can't decide for them, because I do not know their financial situation, nor how much/little that animal means to them. If they ask my personal opinion about what I'd do if it were my animal, even then, I might run into some thorny issues.

The clientele I have mostly worked with cannot afford kidney transplants, dialysis, etc. but some do go for chemotherapy for pets that have lymphoma, for example.

Posted by: NW vet | June 1, 2007 2:51 PM

patrick, the probability of getting alzheimers increases with age. it could be some other kind of dementia or it could be mal-nutrition. don't laugh. something about vitiman b absorbtion can cause dementia like problems.

Posted by: quark | June 1, 2007 2:51 PM

Or, if you prefer, Better warfare through botany.

Posted by: catlady | June 1, 2007 2:52 PM

Thank you catlady, for accepting my apology. It's good to know that I am not on the edges of the pack (now if only Fred won't banish me to a cave somewhere)

Posted by: NW vet | June 1, 2007 2:54 PM

Do you usually support this or try to interject some perspective?

Posted by: pATRICK | June 1, 2007 02:44 PM

what perspective would one interject? I don't expect my physician to interject perspective prior to writing my prescription for cholesterol medication.

A kidney transplant is a life-saving procedure. We're not talking about liposuction for cats.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 2:55 PM

Fred,
Food in the fridge, things where you left them...

Wow, it DOES sound like the good life!

Posted by: educmom | June 1, 2007 01:07 PM

And not one car has been totaled since #3 left. (#4 is too young to drive yet!)

Posted by: Fred | June 1, 2007 2:56 PM

this may be the single most boring day on this blog ever! How about this -- I think rebuilding New Orleans is a mistake. I think Katrina should serve as a reminder about how foolish we are to think we can fix everything. I say, lesson learned and let mother nature have New Orleans.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 2:56 PM

"How about this -- I think rebuilding New Orleans is a mistake."

How about this -- I want to sing the Ballad of New Oleans.

A one, a two.

In 1814 we took a little trip...

Posted by: Alamo | June 1, 2007 3:03 PM

"I say, lesson learned and let mother nature have New Orleans."

Posted by: | June 1, 2007 02:56 PM

Following that line of reasoning, here are some cities that also should not be rebuilt, Parts of Los Angeles, San Francisco, parts of Florida (Pensacola), any town destroyed by a tornado in the mid west, cities in Missouri from Cape Girardeau to the north. I am sure that I can think of some more places.

Posted by: Fred | June 1, 2007 3:03 PM

I say, lesson learned and let mother nature have New Orleans.

Posted by: | June 1, 2007 02:56 PM

On that logic, don't rebuild after the next earthquake in California; the next hurricane in Florida, South Carolina or North Carolina; the next mudslide anywhere in Central America; or the next tsunami wherever it might occur.

It would be much more convenient for us if the Inuit relocated to somewhere more developed. Make 'em move.

Sense of place and heritage are overrated.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 3:03 PM

Not only is there a mouse model for depression, thanks to the macaque genome project, it's been found in rhesus as well.

SS = most prone to depression
LL = least

Posted by: ALF target | June 1, 2007 3:05 PM

FYI

(The research underlying the following press release is published in the May 22, 2007, issue of Neurology®, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.)

In people with mild cognitive impairment, up to one drink of alcohol a day may slow their progression to dementia, according to a recent article. Mild cognitive impairment is a transitional stage between normal aging and dementia that is used to classify people with mild memory or cognitive problems and no significant disability.

Researchers evaluated alcohol consumption and the incidence of mild cognitive impairment in 1,445 people. They then followed 121 people with mild cognitive impairment and their progression to dementia. The participants, age 65 to 84, were part of the Italian Longitudinal Study on Aging and were followed for three-and-a-half years.

The study found people with mild cognitive impairment who had up to one drink of alcohol a day, mostly wine, developed dementia at an 85 percent slower rate than people with mild cognitive impairment who never drank alcohol.

"While many studies have assessed alcohol consumption and cognitive function in the elderly, this is the first study to look at how alcohol consumption affects the rate of progression of mild cognitive impairment to dementia," said study authors Vincenzo Solfrizzi, MD, PhD, and Francesco Panza, MD, PhD, with the Department of Geriatrics at the University of Bari, in Bari, Italy. "The mechanism responsible for why low alcohol consumption appears to protect against the progression to dementia isn't known. However, it is possible that the arrangement of blood vessels in the brain may play a role in why alcohol consumption appears to protect against dementia. This would support other observations that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol may protect the brain from stroke and vascular dementia."

The study did not find any association between higher levels of drinking, more than one drink per day, and the rate of progression to dementia in people with mild cognitive impairment compared to non-drinkers.


Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | June 1, 2007 3:06 PM

To pATRICK and NW vet, One of our considerations in rejecting extreme procedures for terminally ill animals has been that, unlike humans, a cat or dog cannot understand the concepts of time and delayed gratification, only its own immediate pain and misery. If the cure isn't pretty sure-fire, such procedures as chemo (or transplants) may be more like torturing the animal for the human's selfish motives. (Though I'm sure someone somewhere can cite an example where they all lived happily ever after).

OTOH, several years ago we were prepared to have a cat who'd stopped eating and drinking euthanized owing to a huge mass that showed up on x-ray. But since cat wasn't all that old, the vet suggested exploratory surgery to examine the area first -- and if it was cancer, since the cat would already be under general anesthesia anyway, he'd just administer the lethal dose without waking the cat. DH and I agreed, although we thought the prognosis would be hopeless, so went home and dug the cat's grave in preparation for the inevitable. Turned out the mass was just our fat-cat's blubber, no tumor at all.

Long story short, cat just came in from his post-lunchtime prowl and wants his mid-afternoon snack -- and make it snappy! See ya later.

Posted by: catlady | June 1, 2007 3:06 PM

Didn't the British burn D.C. during the War of 1812?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 3:06 PM

ss = ?
ll = ?

Please define terms

Posted by: to Alf target | June 1, 2007 3:06 PM

So should we be trying to hook Alaska back up with Russia? There is a big difference between towns hit by tonados and building a city BELOW sea level. You don't have to be an engineer or genius to know that that is a bad idea. Frankly, I'd be comfortable with both Florida and California dropping off the continent.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 3:08 PM

Yep Fred and don't forget the people along the Ohio River who get flooded.

Patrick, I wish that someone would have given my parents some perspective after one of our beagles was shot. They spent 200 dollars trying to fix him up and it didn't work. That was a lot of money to us, but we loved that dog. He got out during deer season and a hunter shot him though the privates. It was horrible. We put him to sleep a month later.

Posted by: scarry | June 1, 2007 3:09 PM

"The study found people with mild cognitive impairment who had up to one drink of alcohol a day, mostly wine, developed dementia at an 85 percent slower rate than people with mild cognitive impairment who never drank alcohol. "

Can I have a couple of cigarettes with that drink of wine?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 3:09 PM

Wow, what a strange blog for me -- I've had that quote from Jane Juska (cut out from an article) taped the inside of my kitchen cabinet for years. Now I know where it came from!

Posted by: Arlington Dad | June 1, 2007 3:10 PM

Yep Fred and don't forget the people along the Ohio River who get flooded.

In case you haven't noticed, they don't let people build on flood plains anymore! DUh.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 3:11 PM

Smoking decreases oxygen in blood flow to brain. Not helpful for dementia.

Posted by: Can I have a couple of cigarettes with that drink of wine? | June 1, 2007 3:12 PM

"Do you usually support this or try to interject some perspective?

Posted by: pATRICK | June 1, 2007 02:44 PM

what perspective would one interject? I don't expect my physician to interject perspective prior to writing my prescription for cholesterol medication.

A kidney transplant is a life-saving procedure. We're not talking about liposuction for cats. "

I will tell you then. Having expensive treatments to mildly prolong an animal's life that may die anyway (after many tests,procedures etc)is what I ma alking about. I think that vet's have an obligation to remind people that animals do die and sometimes treatment is not the best thing for anyone. A humane death is sometimes better than treatment after treatment. I wonder how many people subject their pets to unnecessary treatments in order to escape reality.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 1, 2007 3:12 PM

There's a lot of things that will crop up more and more as we age. It's not confined to the overall aging of the human populace.

Not to minimize anyone's troubles or family issues, but grey horses almost always come down with melanoma. It doesn't always kill them (but it can). To the best of my knowledge, all grey horses over the age of 10 show evidence of it upon necropsy or rendering.

That doesn't mean a horse of a different colour CAN'T develop melanoma. I lost a wonderful horse, a chestnut, to it. It wasn't discovered until she had a sudden & acute attack of colic--we were able to get the vet up to examine her and we had to quickly put her down, she was in too much pain even if we could have gotten her to Virginia Tech. He gave her a massive dose of painkillers, did a quick rectal and told us she was riddled with it. No lumps under her tail (typical presentation) or elsewhere. And of course, she had gone down fast and rolled hard before we were able to get her up, so she had a small intestinal torsion to boot.

It was just so sad. She was relatively young, compared to some of our other horses too.

At least we were able to have her destroyed quickly & bury her on our property. I still miss her.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | June 1, 2007 3:13 PM

Since we're onto heroic ballads that I enjoyed growing up:

Born on a mountain top in Tennessee
The greenest state in the land of the free
Raised in the woods so's he knew ev'ry tree
Kilt him a b'ar when he was only three
Davy, Davy Crockett, king of the wild frontier

Fought single-handed through many a war
Till the enemy was whipped and peace was in store
And while he was handlin' this risky chore
He made himself a legend forever more
Davy, Davy Crockett, the man who knew no fear

He went off to Congress and served a spell
Fixin' up the Government and the laws as well
Took over Washington, so I heard tell
And he patched up the crack in the Liberty Bell
Davy, Davy Crockett, seeing his duty clear

When he came home his politic'ing was done
And the western march had just begun
So he packed his gear and his trusty gun
And lit out a-grinnin' to follow the sun
Davy, Davy Crockett, leading the pioneer


Johnny Horton's still better, though.

Posted by: Laura | June 1, 2007 3:14 PM

Well, then, I guess we all need to move to Montana!

Posted by: Fred | June 1, 2007 3:14 PM

pATRICK, I agree that it's really tough to let go of a companion animal, because they're family members too. But at some point, most of us know when the time has come, and what's the right thing to do. It just hurts like hell.

Posted by: catlady | June 1, 2007 3:15 PM

Well, then, I guess we all need to move to Montana!

wild fires

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 3:15 PM

You don't have to move to Montana, just don't ask for my tax dollars when you build a house below sea level or in a known flood area and it gets destroyed.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 3:15 PM

"Smoking decreases oxygen in blood flow to brain. Not helpful for dementia."

Boo Hoo!

No sex for me, no cigarettes for me, but I can have one glass of wine a day and MAYBE I won't go Ga-ga.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 3:17 PM

If only we could direct were our tax dollars went.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 3:17 PM

So should we be trying to hook Alaska back up with Russia? There is a big difference between towns hit by tonados and building a city BELOW sea level. You don't have to be an engineer or genius to know that that is a bad idea. Frankly, I'd be comfortable with both Florida and California dropping off the continent.

Posted by: | June 1, 2007 03:08 PM

I'd be comfortable with every state west of the Mississippi River dropping off the continent. Is our personal comfort - or lack of discomfort - the best criteria for valuing the hometowns of other Americans?

We thought New Orleans was an important port for some significant part of US history. Let's not devalue it in such a cavalier manner.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | June 1, 2007 3:17 PM

I think that vet's have an obligation to remind people that animals do die and sometimes treatment is not the best thing for anyone. A humane death is sometimes better than treatment after treatment. I wonder how many people subject their pets to unnecessary treatments in order to escape reality.

Posted by: pATRICK

Actually, if people ask the vet they are usually happy to provide some perspective. I'll let NW Vet tell us if she is under some sort of obligation by AVMA to tell people this sort of thing.

But I will say this, many vets do offer the information, but a lot of pet owners aren't hearing it because they are in shock. This is also why it's good to write things down or bring someone with you to your oncologist (for example). There is going to be a lot of information given, but you are unlikely to process it all immediately.

Actually, this is something to keep in mind as you navigate things with your dad.

Have a complete list of all his medications, UTC & OTC, include any vitamins or supplements. Heck, shove EVERYTHING into a bag!

Have some questions written down in advance. Don't drop a topic until you have it written down and answered as fully as possible at that time.

Be prepared to call & come back regularly, as questions & events come up.

Try & stay sane yourself. This is more easily said than done.

If your father will do it, now would be a great time to buy a "Grandparents Journal" (or make one) and have the kids interview him regularly. Go through the old photos and get them into albums, particularly the ones that have no information, or very little.

It's long and hard and you have my utmost sympathy. I'll even offer you a cyber-shoulder if you find it helpful.


Posted by: Maryland Mother | June 1, 2007 3:20 PM

MN is right and where I come from there are coal mines and power plants along the river. People have to live where they work. I mean god forbid something happened to DC, you would want it built again right?

Posted by: scarry | June 1, 2007 3:20 PM

Laura

Davy Crockett was pretty cool and how about that Daniel Boone?

Posted by: The Alamo | June 1, 2007 3:22 PM

Anyone who builds in a flood plain gets what they deserve, repeatedly. Will they never learn?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 3:23 PM

We thought New Orleans was an important port for some significant part of US history. Let's not devalue it in such a cavalier manner.

It might be a good place to have a port, but it is stupid to build below sea level. I'm sure all New Orleanians are nice people, but it is still a dumb place for a city.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 3:25 PM

It might be a good place to have a port, but it is stupid to build below sea level. I'm sure all New Orleanians are nice people, but it is still a dumb place for a city.

Posted by:

And what of the Netherlands?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 3:26 PM

*inhales* *blows in the direction of 3:12*

I have a full pack if anyone wants to bum a virtual smoke.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 3:26 PM

"I wonder how many people subject their pets to unnecessary treatments in order to escape reality."

pATRICK, you're right on that one. We dealt with that with my cat (my pre-baby baby, if that makes any sense). He was losing weight, we thought it was his teeth, and so we were stunned when the vet diagnosed total kidney failure. I started grasping at straws, so the vet suggested we could put him in the hospital for an intensive 3-day treatment; that IF that worked, we might be able to keep him alive with daily medicine and injections; and that if we did all that, he MIGHT get another 3 months to a year.

It was really hard to deal with the suddenness of it, and I spent the next couple of hours desperately wanting to try the treatment to see if it gave him a chance. But I finally realized that it would have been for me, not him. He HATED the vet, HATED medicine or shots, hated for anyone but me to touch him. And since I would be the one giving him all those shots, he would lose his one "safe" person to boot. As much as I wanted to keep him around for me, I just couldn't do that to him.

I'm sorry for your loss -- it's never easy.

Posted by: Laura | June 1, 2007 3:27 PM

Anyone who builds in a flood plain gets what they deserve.

Anyone who lives in DC in this day and age gets what they deserve too. See how rude you sound?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 3:27 PM

"stupid to build below sea level"

Tell that to the Netherlands (25% of the country is below sea level)

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 3:28 PM

"If your father will do it, now would be a great time to buy a "Grandparents Journal" (or make one) and have the kids interview him regularly. Go through the old photos and get them into albums, particularly the ones that have no information, or very little.

It's long and hard and you have my utmost sympathy. I'll even offer you a cyber-shoulder if you find it helpful."

MARYLAND MOTHER, Thank you for your generous offer. Unfortunately, my parents are not the kind of people to do these things. They have substantial assets(business, property etc) and I can not even bring up any type of plan with them (father gets angry, mom doesn't want to do any planning). I am in finance and cringe at the problems I know they will face with this lack of preparation. Somehow they will muddle through.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 1, 2007 3:28 PM

Not under any obligation via AVMA to provide or not provide any info one way or the other. It is all considered professional judgement. A vet is, however, liable for any treatment(s)s/he performs himself/herself, and so, most of us carry malpractice insurance.

When I discuss treatment options with owners, invariably the question comes up about how long will this proong my pet's life, how much will it cost, etc. I am not God. I can provide my knowledge and skills to the best of my ability, and let the owner decide. I gently recommend when I think the time has come to let go, and if the client resists, I try to find out why (other than the obvious reasons). It's hard to lose "someone" be they animal or human (and no, I am not equating animal and human life), because both are important.

If the owner is in shock, I can give them the info, and then talk with them again later, once it has "sunk in". (Believe me, I spend a lot of time every day on "call-backs" to people who have 'phoned while I've been on cases.)

I also am never insulted by owners who wish a second opinion. As in human medicine, a second opinion is never a bad idea.

Posted by: NW vet | June 1, 2007 3:30 PM

You know, this applies to people too. I modified the original posting:

Having expensive treatments to mildly prolong a person's life that will die anyway (after many tests,procedures etc)is what I ma alking about. I think that doctors have an obligation to remind people that people do die and sometimes treatment is not the best thing for anyone. A humane death is sometimes better than treatment after treatment. I wonder how many people subject their family members to unnecessary treatments in order to escape reality.

Any first-hand perspectives & experiences with pet insurance? I mean, we have medicare to supplement our elderly relatives.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 3:30 PM

O.k. Holland - stupid place to establish a country. If I buy a house in a known high crime area, should I be surprised or complain when I get robbed? We have people without healthcare, childen with empty stomachs and you people honestly think spending billions rebuilding a city below sea level which me may or may not be able to guarantee will survive another storm is a prudent use of funds? C'mon.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 3:31 PM

You have no sense of irony, I see.

Posted by: Anyone who lives in DC in this day and age gets what they deserve too. | June 1, 2007 3:31 PM

*inhales* *blows in the direction of 3:12*

"I have a full pack if anyone wants to bum a virtual smoke"


Thanks. Ah! Smoooth. Now if I could only have some sex.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 3:31 PM

Let's look at the states in 2007 that have had a Major Disaster Declaration issued. This declaration opens the doors to federal aid for recovery for the state, county, municipality or individuals. (not necessarily for all categories at once.)

Alabama
California
Connecticut
Florida
Georgia
Illinois
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Massachusetts
Missouri
Nebraska
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Dakota
Texas
Vermont
Washington
West Virginia

So where should we live?

Posted by: Fred | June 1, 2007 3:32 PM

I'll have the sex and then the cigarette. Better that way.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 3:33 PM

So where should we live?


NOT UNDER WATER unless you are a fish.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 3:34 PM

"I'll have the sex and then the cigarette. Better that way."

Agree. But don't have a sex partner, so I'll take the smoke now.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 3:35 PM

Pros and cons of pet insurance--

Like most things: it depends.

If you have the income and can afford it, then by all means, do it--you know your pet will get old and inevitably need treatment (though there are limits on what they'll pay, just as for humans).

If, however, you are not into heroics (think of the human equivalent of a living will or final directive), then it isn't for you.

The beauty of veterinary medicine is not only does it keep our companions healthy, it's on the forefront of finding new therapies for people, too (which is how I jumped into the conversation today--mentioning dog Alzheimer's. By the way, there is a transgenic mouse model for human Alzheimer's that shows promise).

Posted by: NW vet | June 1, 2007 3:35 PM

http://content.karger.com/ProdukteDB/produkte.asp?doi=89891&Typ=pdfdirect

Very short.

Posted by: ALF target | June 1, 2007 3:39 PM

Have a good weekend, everyone! Afternoon cases call my name.

Posted by: NW vet | June 1, 2007 3:39 PM

You have no sense of irony, I see.

Better than having no sense at all.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 3:40 PM

pATRICK

"Post your name, strident posts like yours that are anonymous merely indicate that you are a coward."


I'm confused. How does posting anon make someone a coward? On the Net?

Posted by: gutless coward | June 1, 2007 3:40 PM

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070412141025.htm

And yet another.

Posted by: ALF target | June 1, 2007 3:42 PM

pATRICK

"Post your name, strident posts like yours that are anonymous merely indicate that you are a coward."


"I'm confused. How does posting anon make someone a coward? On the Net?


Posted by: gutless coward | June 1, 2007 03:40 PM "

Because anon posts don't hold you accountable for what you say. That's why.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 1, 2007 3:44 PM

NOT UNDER WATER unless you are a fish.

Posted by: | June 1, 2007 03:34 PM

Well, I certainly hope that you practice what you preach and do not live in an area that any natural disaster could strike. And if a disaster occurs, I would hope that you would personally refuse all gov't money and lobby your respective local and state gov't not to accept other people's tax dollars.

Posted by: Fred | June 1, 2007 3:48 PM

"Because anon posts don't hold you accountable for what you say. That's why."

Um, excuse me, but is pATRICK your legal name? How about giving us an address and phone number where you can be reached? You're just as anonymous as everyone else, if not more annoying.

Posted by: check yourself | June 1, 2007 3:48 PM

We've used our engineering capacity for a couple of centuries now to find ways to build cities where we want to live and work, whether or not it makes sense in light of the environment. The most glaring two examples are D.C. and NYC. DC was a swamp. Most of lower Manhattan didn't exist. Both were created by dumping a whole lot of dirt to fill in a river.

I'm not comparing the relative value of DC and NYC vs. New Orleans, but we shouldn't kid ourselves that its principled to say don't rebuild New Orleans because it's below sea level. The insurance industry is going to control where rebuilding occurs.

When I get to stop subsidizing the corn industry, you can stop subsidizing the rebuilding.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 3:53 PM

"You're just as anonymous as everyone else, if not more annoying. "


Not quite, neither is MN, SCARRY,MONA,PITTYPAT,FRED etc. They are monikers that can be held accountable. They have views and posts that can be read, political views that can be critiqued etc. Anon posts have none, they don't have the courage of their convictions to even post a net name and therefore they are cowards or to the less charitable-TROLLS. As for the annoying part, that like beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 1, 2007 3:55 PM

pATRICK -
We may not always agree, but I think you're virtually beautiful (along with MN, Scarry, Mona, KLB, Maryland Mother, Pittypat, and Fo4).

Posted by: dotted | June 1, 2007 3:58 PM

I guess that I am ugly then?

Posted by: Fred | June 1, 2007 4:00 PM

O.k. Holland - stupid place to establish a country. If I buy a house in a known high crime area, should I be surprised or complain when I get robbed? We have people without healthcare, childen with empty stomachs and you people honestly think spending billions rebuilding a city below sea level which me may or may not be able to guarantee will survive another storm is a prudent use of funds? C'mon.

Posted by: | June 1, 2007 03:31 PM

Sometimes a gutless coward is like pornography. We know one when we see one. The whole, everyone's anonymous on the web argument is particularly stale. Every blog is a large-scale conversation.

on the other hand, sometimes an anon post is nothing more than an oops, like when I posted at 3:53 without signing a moniker.

Fred, you are not only beautiful, you show remarkable self-restraint and let the facts do the talking.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | June 1, 2007 4:03 PM

...and I don't exist even virtually? (sniff, sniff)

Posted by: catlady | June 1, 2007 4:03 PM

oh Fred, you know already without me saying it....blush blush blush

Now that stupid song by that guy with the tinny voice whose name I can never remember is flashing through my brain "you're beautiful"

Posted by: dotted | June 1, 2007 4:04 PM

I'd LOVE a virtual cigarette.

Quitting is the pits. I would invite you all to my pity party, but you probably wouldn't want to come. It'll just be me, sitting by myself eating my low-fat, low-cholesterol diet, not smoking, not drinking hard liquor... it'll be a pretty sad sight.

Posted by: Meesh | June 1, 2007 4:04 PM

I guess that I am ugly then?

Posted by: Fred | June 1, 2007 04:00 PM

I saw a movie that reminded me of you, it was called "Breastmen", with David Schwimmer. ;).

Thanks, DOTTED!

Posted by: pATRICK | June 1, 2007 4:05 PM

sniff sniff, me too....okay, catlady, okay...I hit submit way too soon obviously.

my cat has been refusing the clean litterbox and is doing his business in the spare bathtub...any hints on how to stop it?

Posted by: dotted | June 1, 2007 4:07 PM

"We have people without healthcare, childen with empty stomachs and you people honestly think spending billions rebuilding a city below sea level which me may or may not be able to guarantee will survive another storm is a prudent use of funds?"

Damn, and here I thought the argument was about building below sea level and all along it was about "what's the most prudent use of funds". The most prudent use of funds would be to shut down the federal government forever, give whatever funds it has back on a pro rata basis, and watch the country flourish.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 4:08 PM

"The whole, everyone's anonymous on the web argument is particularly stale. Every blog is a large-scale conversation."


BINGO, congrats MN, well done!

Posted by: pATRICK | June 1, 2007 4:09 PM

Dotted, I'm afraid this is a question for NW vet. Our problem is a cat so housebroken he comes in just to use the litterbox, then promptly wants back outside again.

Posted by: catlady | June 1, 2007 4:11 PM

atb,

Maybe you would like to tell us what your LC said?

Posted by: Fred | June 1, 2007 4:13 PM

anybody have great plans on tap for the weekend? Carousel maybe for some? Zoo? Picnic?

Posted by: dotted | June 1, 2007 4:13 PM

It'll just be me, sitting by myself eating my low-fat, low-cholesterol diet, not smoking, not drinking hard liquor... it'll be a pretty sad sight.

Posted by: Meesh | June 1, 2007 04:04 PM

Meesh - why forego the hard liquor?

You have my utmost sympathies and I'll be looking for my invitation to your pity party in my virtual mailbox.

you waited for your husband to come home so he could suffer along with you in the process, LOL? I only laugh because I"m the spouse that has survived 3 spousal attempts to quit. It takes true love.


Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | June 1, 2007 4:14 PM

my cat has been refusing the clean litterbox and is doing his business in the spare bathtub...any hints on how to stop it?

Euthanasia.

Posted by: just kidding | June 1, 2007 4:15 PM

"anybody have great plans on tap for the weekend? Carousel maybe for some? Zoo? Picnic?"

Ice skating with my daughter. Just a regular skate, not a PURITY skate. LOL

Posted by: pATRICK | June 1, 2007 4:16 PM

Warning pATRICK - only serious skaters (or ones falling in love with the sport) on the ice this time of year.
Which is something I never understood - people complaining how hot it is and looking for someplace cool - why not go stand on a sheet of ice? Better for you than going to the mall (not conspicous consumption) or a movie (physical activity)

Posted by: sk8trmom | June 1, 2007 4:22 PM

pATRICK,

You know, Dr. Dobson does recommend taht fathers date their respective daughters . . . *snort*

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | June 1, 2007 4:23 PM

*sniff sniff*

Posted by: atlmom | June 1, 2007 4:24 PM

pATRICK

"Anon posts have none, they don't have the courage of their convictions to even post a net name and therefore they are cowards or to the less charitable-TROLLS. "

Yes, those cowards who post anon when revealing childhood incest, drunken spouses, drug addicted kids, and monster bosses really lack the courage of their convictions!!!!

Your cyber bravery is a shining example for all of us schnooks.

Posted by: gutless coward | June 1, 2007 4:28 PM

"Yes, those cowards who post anon when revealing childhood incest, drunken spouses, drug addicted kids, and monster bosses really lack the courage of their convictions!!!!

Your cyber bravery is a shining example for all of us schnooks. "

Well, well maybe you are not a gutless coward after all. You brought up a good point and posted a moniker. Feels good to come out into the light doesn't it?

Posted by: pATRICK | June 1, 2007 4:31 PM

DON'T READ THIS IF YOU'RE NOT INTERESTED IN BREASTFEEDING.

Fred- SOSO about supply. She thinks all formula's the same so long as there is no increased vomiting, no rash, and no bloody stools. Everyone basically says you-dun-good, and if you have to use formula, your kids will still go to college. I need to hear that more than anything. Sigh.

Posted by: atb | June 1, 2007 4:32 PM

Your cyber bravery is a shining example for all of us schnooks.

As opposed to your shining cyber cowardice, of course.

Posted by: To gutless coward | June 1, 2007 4:36 PM

Coming in at the end. Plans include the last soccer game of the season and a party afterwards. Probably the pool. And a few loads of laundry at least.

Craving chocolate cake right now. Sigh.

Posted by: Emily | June 1, 2007 4:36 PM

Meesh

"It'll just be me, sitting by myself eating my low-fat, low-cholesterol diet, not smoking, not drinking hard liquor... it'll be a pretty sad sight."

Yep, that's me for the rest of my life.

I'm starting to regret all the sex I turned turned down when I was single.

Dang!

Posted by: gutless coward | June 1, 2007 4:37 PM

I'm starting to regret all the sex I turned turned down when I was single.

But at least you got to attend the Purity Ball.

Posted by: To gutless coward | June 1, 2007 4:40 PM

pATRICK

"Feels good to come out into the light doesn't it?"

You sure are a dumb one. Morphing into yet another cyber persona....

Posted by: gutless coward | June 1, 2007 4:41 PM

"pATRICK

"Feels good to come out into the light doesn't it?"

You sure are a dumb one. Morphing into yet another cyber persona...."

Whatever you morph into, I will still be pATRICK,right or wrong for everyone to see, not a troll like you.....

Posted by: pATRICK | June 1, 2007 4:46 PM

The Ballad of Davy Crockett

Music: George Bruns
Lyrics: Tom Blackburn

Born on a mountain top in Tennessee
greenest state in the land of the free
raised in the woods so he knew ev'ry tree
kilt him a b'ar when he was only three
Davy, Davy Crockett, king of the wild frontier!

the country was big when it was new,
the best man were big and there yarns were too

and the tallest tales folks belived were true
so the more they were told the more they grew
davy davy crockett king of the wild frontier

history remembers the name of his gun
and some of the deeds he really done
but most of his deeds for freedom and fun
got turned into legend and this here is one
davy davy crockett
helping his fame spread wide

had alot of furs that he aimed to ship
and he set his mind for a river trip
when a braging boatman gave him some lip
a claimin there was no man he couldent whip
davy davy crockett
tangleing with big mike fink

he dont take nothing from no man at all
the louder they brag the harder they fall
the tougher they are the louder they squall
when they get what fer in a free forall
davy davy crockett king of the wild frontier

aint no trick to pulling a keelboat
we can beat mike fink with anything that floats
we got to hang while we learn our oats
then be able to handle our keelboats
davy davy crockett
raceing with big mike fink

he keep his word about his victory
so it went down in history
so mike stayed king of the river u see
and a real good friend he turned out to be
the country was big when it was new
and their yarns were to
and the tallest tales folks beleived were true
so the more they were told the more they grew
davy davy crockett helpin his fame spread wide

the deadlyest devil he ever met
catching river pirites in there net
was a pirite so mean made a braveman sweat
when ever there names are remembered yet
davy davy crockett walking into there trap

little harper bad as a man can be
big harper worse then a pirite can be
blood sam manson was the worse of the three
blamein the injins for there deviltry
davy davy crockett headin for tennessee

kept his promice to mike and his crew
kept his promice to the indian chief to
for the river was clear all the way throu
and blamein the injins was provein untrue
davy davy crockett king of the wild frontier
davy davy crockett
makeing up with big mike fink
In eighteen thirteen the Creeks uprose
addin' redskin arrows to the country's woes
Now, Injun fightin' is somethin' he knows,
so he shoulders his rifle an' off he goes
Davy, Davy Crockett, the man who don't know fear!

Off through the woods he's a marchin' along
makin' up yarns an' a singin' a song
itchin' fer fightin' an' rightin' a wrong
he's ringy as a b'ar an' twict as strong
Davy, Davy Crockett, the buckskin buccaneer!

Andy Jackson is our gen'ral's name
his reg'lar soldiers we'll put to shame
Them redskin varmints us Volunteers'll tame
'cause we got the guns with the sure-fire aim
Davy, Davy Crockett, the champion of us all!~

Headed back to war from the ol' home place
but Red Stick was leadin' a merry chase
fightin' an' burnin' at a devil's pace
south to the swamps on the Florida Trace
Davy, Davy Crockett, trackin' the redskins down!

Fought single-handed through the Injun War
till the Creeks was whipped an' peace was in store
An' while he was handlin' this risky chore
made hisself a legend for evermore
Davy, Davy Crockett, king of the wild frontier!

He give his word an' he give his hand
that his Injun friends could keep their land
An' the rest of his life he took the stand
that justice was due every redskin band
Davy, Davy Crockett, holdin' his promise dear!

Home fer the winter with his family
happy as squirrels in the ol' gum tree
bein' the father he wanted to be
close to his boys as the pod an' the pea
Davy, Davy Crockett, holdin' his young'uns dear!

But the ice went out an' the warm winds came
an' the meltin' snow showed tracks of game
An' the flowers of Spring filled the woods with flame
an' all of a sudden life got too tame
Davy, Davy Crockett, headin' on West again!

Off through the woods we're ridin' along
makin' up yarns an' singin' a song
He's ringy as a b'ar an' twict as strong
an' knows he's right 'cause he ain' often wrong
Davy, Davy Crockett, the man who don't know fear!

Lookin' fer a place where the air smells clean
where the trees is tall an' the grass is green
where the fish is fat in an untouched stream
an' the teemin' woods is a hunter's dream
Davy, Davy Crockett, lookin' fer Paradise!

Now he's lost his love an' his grief was gall
in his heart he wanted to leave it all
an' lose himself in the forests tall
but he answered instead his country's call
Davy, Davy Crockett, beginnin' his campaign!

Needin' his help they didn't vote blind
They put in Davy 'cause he was their kind
sent up to Nashville the best they could find
a fightin' spirit an' a thinkin' mind
Davy, Davy Crockett, choice of the whole frontier!

The votes were counted an' he won hands down
so they sent him off to Washin'ton town
with his best dress suit still his buckskins brown
a livin' legend of growin' renown
Davy, Davy Crockett, the Canebrake Congressman!

He went off to Congress an' served a spell
fixin' up the Govern'ments an' laws as well
took over Washin'ton so we heered tell
an' patched up the crack in the Liberty Bell
Davy, Davy Crockett, seein' his duty clear!

Him an' his jokes travelled all through the land
an' his speeches made him friends to beat the band
His politickin' was their favorite brand
an' everyone wanted to shake his hand
Davy, Davy Crockett, helpin' his legend grow!

He knew when he spoke he sounded the knell
of his hopes for White House an' fame as well
But he spoke out strong so hist'ry books tell
an' patched up the crack in the Liberty Bell
Davy, Davy Crockett, seein' his duty clear!

When he come home his politickin' done
the western march had just begun
So he packed his gear an' his trusty gun
an' lit out grinnin' to follow the sun
Davy, Davy Crockett, leadin' the pioneer!

He heard of Houston an' Austin so
to the Texas plains he jest had to go
Where freedom was fightin' another foe
an' they needed him at the Alamo
Davy, Davy Crockett, the man who don't know fear!

His land is biggest an' his land is best
from grassy plains to the mountain crest
He's ahead of us all meetin' the test
followin' his legend into the West
Davy, Davy Crockett, king of the wild frontier!



Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 4:46 PM

atb

DON'T READ THIS IF YOU'RE NOT INTERESTED IN BREASTFEEDING.

"Fred- SOSO about supply. She thinks all formula's the same so long as there is no increased vomiting, no rash, and no bloody stools."

This was the LC speaking? She sees the situation first hand so go with it.

The MOST important thing is that the baby is thriving irrespective of feeding method. I am sure that you or your pediatrician keeps a chart on weight vs. age for your child. I will not even tell you about the poop charts that Frieda shows me to determine in part if a baby is thriving and the wet diaper count. (Yes, people do chart wet diapers, it can be very necessary sometimes!)

Two references you can look at are "The Womanly Art of Breast Feeding" and the La Leche League "The Breastfeeding Answer Book." The answer book is geared more towards LC's.

Good luck in any event and remember that bottle feeding will not necessary condemn your child to a CSS! :)

Posted by: Fred | June 1, 2007 4:56 PM

atlmom-
heart you!

I'm off to the pool. time for a neighborhood get together.

Posted by: dotted | June 1, 2007 4:57 PM

Fred

Poop charts! Wet diaper counts!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 5:03 PM

Fred

Poop charts! Wet diaper counts!!!!

Posted by: | June 1, 2007 05:03 PM

Ohhh, absolutely! Some individuals even weight the diapers to determine output! There is a lot more to being a LC or hubby thereof than just "hook her up!" I hear about this s*** everyday!

Posted by: Fred | June 1, 2007 5:26 PM

Thanks, atb! I check icanhascheezburger.com every day, and I'm considering submitting a few of my own. I love that site!

Thanks for answering my question, Laura. I figured it was something like that. I feel bad for big cat too, simply because it's so not like her to be so skittish.

And thanks to all of you for not confusing me with nona. What a hateful person. I know I have my annoying side, but I hope I'm not openly insulting to anyone! :-) Happy Friday!

Posted by: Mona | June 1, 2007 5:31 PM

"mona,

does this mean you're in California now, i.e. your cats survived the flight?

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | June 1, 2007 02:28 PM"

Actually, no...my roommate wanted to move out early when he found I was moving to CA, so I am renting a friend's basement for the summer. The move will be at the end of July. I'll ask my vet whether to sedate them; I'm leaning toward yes because I can only imagine the mayhem when I take them out of the carriers to go through security...

Thanks for asking! :)

Posted by: Mona | June 1, 2007 5:34 PM

"my cat has been refusing the clean litterbox and is doing his business in the spare bathtub...any hints on how to stop it?"

Try changing the type of litter you use. My cat used to refuse to cover her waste, would scratch the outside of the pan or the floor after eliminating, and would run around like crazy when she was finished. I found out that she probably didn't like the texture of our litter (Feline Pine, which I liked very much), so I changed to the sand kind, and she uses it without fail, and covers up as well. Sometimes cats just decide to stop liking their litter, for whatever reason.

Posted by: Mona | June 1, 2007 5:45 PM

Meesh,
Hang in there - you can do it! I did it a year and a half ago. If you want a list of my tricks I will post it - if not, fine too. It is worth it.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 1, 2007 5:54 PM

"If you want a list of my tricks I will post it - if not, fine too. "

I'd like to see a list of your tricks, young lady, LOL.

Posted by: MN | June 1, 2007 6:06 PM

MN, Leave it to you to catch me on that. I knew as soon as I hit send I had written it way wrong.
I sit, lie down, speak, roll over and shake hands for those inquiring minds who need to know. I am also housebroken.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 1, 2007 6:08 PM

KLB,

and here I thought we'd discover you were running an escort business on the side - you know, one of those where there's no sex for pay, just companionship and good conversation.

(a straight line like that will always be too good to be ignored :>)

Posted by: MN | June 1, 2007 6:20 PM

I was just waiting to see who it would be - my bets were either Fred or dotted or MN.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 1, 2007 6:23 PM

KLB and MN, you guys are cracking me up!

Posted by: catlady | June 1, 2007 6:24 PM

Did anybody out there catch the Starter Wife with Debra Messing on USA last night?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 1, 2007 6:25 PM

catlady,
We are here to please and entertain (but not for money).

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 1, 2007 6:26 PM

KLB, when there was a spelling bee on television?

Posted by: catlady | June 1, 2007 6:27 PM

I was in a spelling bee once and have terrible memories. I couldn't ever watch one on tv.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 1, 2007 6:28 PM

KLB, it's called stage-fright, and we've all suffered it at one point or another in our childhoods, so you're in universal company.

Posted by: catlady | June 1, 2007 6:33 PM

Tell that to the poor little 10 year old girl up on stage with tv cameras staring at her, bright lights in her eyes. I remember the word to this day. And it was more than a few years ago.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 1, 2007 6:37 PM

P.S. to KLB: I was in a wide variety of school music groups all while I was growing up, and hit my share of bad notes at school assemblies and concerts. A few were so cringeworthy that I still remember them vividly after all these years, usually during nightmares.

Posted by: catlady | June 1, 2007 6:40 PM

I had a sort of different experience. I was so horribly shy as a kid, couldn't have a conversation with anyone. Never spoke. But I LOVED theater. I took dance, acting, etc, and loved to be on stage and loved the butterflies and the feeling of performing. I guess it was sort of an outlet for being so shy and not interacting with so many people.

And a way to get out of the house...

Posted by: atlmom | June 1, 2007 10:21 PM

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