In short, here's my problem:
Data from short- and long-term follow-up studies indicate that thigh pain is a significant complication after apparently successful cementless total hip arthroplasty. In most cases, reported symptoms are mild to moderate, resolve spontaneously or do not progress, and require little or no therapeutic intervention. However, persistent thigh pain may be a source of dissatisfaction or may present as severe, disabling pain. Possible causes include bone-prosthesis micro-motion, excessive stress transfer to the femur, periosteal irritation, or a mismatch in Young’s modulus of elasticity that increases the structural rigidity of the prosthetic stem relative to the femur. Thorough diagnostic evaluation of thigh pain is essential to rule out prosthetic infection or loosening, stress fracture, or spinal pathology as the primary source. Treatment options in the aseptic, well-fixed femoral component include medical management, revision of the femoral component, or cortical strut grafting at the tip of the implant.
(Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons)
Through a process of elimination and some nuclear medicine studies that have shown some loosening of the tip of the implant, my surgeons have determined that a cortical strut graft may, I repeat, may relieve the persistent four-year pain. The procedure, while used commonly after a fracture or to stabilize the femur before a hip replacement in an older patient with thinning bone, has not been used on a wide scale to alleviate post-op thigh pain in THR patients. The results have been mixed. But there is currently no other course of action...and if this doesn't work, then I will just have to live with the pain until such time as other components of the hip fail or are compromised and it needs to be completely redone.
The procedure consists of using a piece of cadaver bone in sort of a collar shape and partially encircling the femur with it at the level of the tip of the implant, about half-way down my thigh. This is then surrounded by metal bands to secure it tightly and give it the best chance to "grow" into my own bone. The hope is that this will stabilize the portion of the bone/stem that is either loosened or that is failing to "give" due to the great difference in elasticity between bone and metal.
The diagram to the left is the best I could find. It does not show a hip implant; rather it shows an allograft being used to correct for a defect in the femur. But the procedure is similar. The pink piece is the donor bone that will eventually graft into the host bone.
The x-ray on the right shows a completed strut allograft in a patient with a hip replacement. The bright white portion is the prosthesis. The thin white bands are holding the donor bone in place. So this will resemble my x-rays when my procedure is complete.
One of the obvious questions is whether there is a possibility of rejection. My surgeons' response and my own research indicate that this is not a problem as it would be with live tissue of some kind. There is very little "living" tissue in cadaver bone and treating for the tiny possibility of rejection would present larger risk than rejection itself.
So...there's about the extent of what I know. The science behind it fascinates me; but more than that the hope of some permanent relief encourages me to undergo one more "swing" at this thing!
The doctor wouldn't give me any percentages on his hopes that this surgery will eliminate my pain, but he thinks the chances are better than even and it's the only thing left to try other than redoing the whole hip. And that brings risks of its own and I think I'd have to having even more pain than I currently have to submit to that.
Your prayers are appreciated, for the procedure itself, the recovery, and that the timing will leave me capable of fully participating in the holidays, making a trip to see my newest grandchild, due in early December, and carrying on the school year without getting really out of whack.
And all you HOPE gals, maybe we can string this out long enough to get another "handicapped" table at WholeHearted Mother :-)
I'm still thanking my merciful Father for allowing me to get great news about my eyes. The glow is still all around me despite an otherwise rough week. School had completely fallen apart by Wednesday morning, and I really didn't do much to try to redeem it. It happened to have been a fairly light week anyway, so we'll double up on a few things this week and we should be okay.
I used some of the downtime this week to get second quarter Tapestry of Grace (Year 1) books ordered. Looking ahead to the topics, I think it's going to be a very enjoyable study: The Indus Valley, Hinduism, and Buddhism; Ancient China, Confucius, and Taoism; Ancient Americas; Early Greeks; Conquest and Settlement of the Promised Land and the Neighboring Cultures.
My new laptop arrived on Tuesday, and I'm just now getting my life transferred over. Really, I'd have preferred not to do this...the new one is nice but not that much nicer than my old one, and changing settings, figuring out Vista, formatting email, and transferring files is such a pain. Here's hoping this one lasts me longer than 2 1/2 years. (And you know you're getting old when you start thinking in terms of how many more computers you'll probably need before you die!)
I am now 4/6 of the way through listening to Atlas Shrugged. And no, dear math students, I am not reducing the fraction. It sounds much more substantial to me than 2/3. This thing is a monster (52 hours and 19 minutes)! But what a novel...the layers, the writing, the philosophy, all are intriguing and spellbinding. Yesterday, for variety, I also started the audio of The Thirteenth Tale. I hope I'll be able to end up recommending it because so far, it's very good.
This afternoon, some of the kids and I attended "Oz with Orchestra."What a delight! The Majestic Theater is one of the most gorgeous places I've ever been...the kind of thing no one designs or builds anymore. I was spellbound. The performance itself had a few bugs, like the music slightly lagging behind the movie and some of the music being so loud you couldn't hear the dialog, but for the most part it was done quite well. The kids in our group really enjoyed it and behaved spectacularly well!
Seems I'm forgetting a snippet or two, but if I remember something later I'll post again. In the meantime, snip, snip...and have a great week!
Okay, this I appreciate, having already thought of SOME of these. (No, I hadn't yet tried hubcaps or my Crocs...)
BUT THIS?? I'm trying to think of a situation in which I would resort to such a thing. If my oven isn't working, we're gonna have Kraft Mac 'n Cheese, or go out for a burger, or...
...or of course stick with our old standby of taking a drive to the Hill Country and cooking our dinner under the hood as we go.
Now where's that number for Pizza Hut?
It's not just California.
It's not just the U.S.
But it's scary.
"Mom and Dad" as well as "husband and wife" effectively have been banned from California schools under a bill signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who with his signature also ordered public schools to allow boys to use girls restrooms and locker rooms, and vice versa, if they choose.
The bills signed by Schwarzenegger include SB777, which bans anything in public schools that could be interpreted as negative toward homosexuality, bisexuality and other alternative lifestyle choices.
There are no similar protections for students with traditional or conservative lifestyles and beliefs, however.
Yes, folks, you need one of these. One for each car, van, SUV, motorcycle, skateboard, refrigerator....Get right over to Enjoy the Journey and get yours!
(And yes, Granny WILL be checking up on you.)
It's what my eyes look like.
Normal. Healthy. Disease-free.
For those of you who didn't know this yet, for the past four or five months I have lived with the fear that I was developing Macular Degeneration...if you aren't familiar with it you can look it up because I'm too happy right now to go back and describe it.
I don't have it. It runs in my family, and I could still get it someday, but what I have now has nothing to do with MD. The visual symptoms I have now are related to a sort of structural thing going on, but nothing pathological at all.
So while I've been fairly preoccupied lately with the possibility of going blind, I feel today as if I've been acquitted and get out of jail free :-)
Thank you to all of you have prayed and been so supportive as I've waited through this. And now, I'm going to go make myself something really decadent to celebrate...maybe a creme brulee!
Advertising Age has an interesting article this week, and the news is good...unless you happen to be a current or aspiring restaurateur:
For the first time since June Cleaver donned pearls and aprons in the 1950s, the percentage of women choosing to work outside the home has been flat to down for several years running. Not coincidentally, the number of meals purchased at restaurants per person has stopped growing too, for the longest sustained stretch in the 23 years NPD Group has tracked the number.Here's AdAge's take on the trend:
The decades-long rise of women in the work force -- and the related rise of meals bought from restaurants -- has ground to halt and begun to reverse since the turn of the millennium. The numbers have gotten little attention, and they fly in the face of conventional wisdom, but their ramifications are huge for restaurant, supermarket and food marketers.
Women's participation rate in the paid U.S. labor force topped out at just above 60% in 1999 and again in 2001 but has fallen since then, according to the Labor Department. Restaurant meals, fueled for decades by the migration of moms to the work force, also topped out at 211 per person per year in 2001 according to NPD and likewise have been bouncing lower since, hitting 207 this year.
For restaurants, it means an end to a demographic gold mine that fed decades of growth. For supermarkets, it means a reversal of a trend that fueled decades of decline and may even help savvier operators gain an edge in their long-losing battle against Wal-Mart. And for package-food companies, the trends offer a chance to gain ground on restaurants for the first time in decades.
I'm not a demographer, so I'll leave the actual statistics to those who are. But I am going to quibble just a bit with the interpretation of the stats. I'm not sure that I'm seeing a direct correlation between the decrease in working mothers and the downturn in restaurant business. I tend to think that the increase in eating at home is more across-the-board than that. I'm not sure of all the reasons, but I think families, moms in particular, have been affected by warnings about fat content, poor health practices in restaurants, the fragmentation of family life, and many other factors that are encouraging them to go back home for dinner.
I'm a "SAHM." And I love to cook. If I wanted to, I could structure my life so that I was cooking most of the time. But it's not just women like me that are rediscovering the joys and benefits of cooking at home and staying out of the fast-food and buffet lines. Even those of you who work outside the home or have home businesses or other heavy demands on your time are, I believe, right in there on the movement to cook at home. Why else would we be seeing the proliferation of trends such as:
Bulk/freezer/Once-a-Month Cooking. You can't be in the blogosphere for long without running across cookbooks, tutorials, web sites, and equipment specifically designed for a family to cook enough in a weekend to last a month or more.
Meal Preparation Station franchises like Super Suppers, Dream Dinners, Meal Makers, or locally-owned and operated stores where you can go and assemble a week's worth (or more) of meals from recipes you choose and ingredients that are pre-chopped, measured, etc. You then freeze for later quick preparation.
Mixes and packaged ingredients sold "party-style" for main dishes, breads, desserts, even salad dressings allowing for meals that feel and taste like "from scratch" but can be cooked very quickly at the end of a day. Homemade Gourmet and Tastefully Simple are two of the entries in this field.
Grocery delivery services like Netgrocer.com, Schwan's (an oldie but getting a new look from a lot of folks), and even Amazon.com, as well as many local supermarket chains that will deliver for a flat fee. Sadly, the grocery monopoly in my local area has kept this from being available to me.
All these options are being fueled not so much by stay-at-home moms (because many of these options aren't cheap and would be impossible for some one-income families) but by working moms who don't want to eat "by default," who want a dinner around the table even at the end of a busy work day and would rather spend their food dollars in ways that foster instead of fracture family time.
Are you finding faster, cheaper, easier, or more satisfying ways of feeding your family? Tell me about them in the comments!
(Katherine, over at Raising Five, beat me to blogging this today, so go read her comments too. If you're a busy mom and you can only read a few blogs, this should be one of them anyway, IMO!)
Good thing we're a people with a sense of humor. Sheesh.
(This guy is a favorite of mine...maybe not for the White House, but...)
(Well, late Monday, but it's still Monday!) Today was a nice blend of school work with the kids, work deadlines, and chauffering grandkids to Tae Kwon Do and enjoying the chilly fall weather. I'm always energized by the chill, so today was a decidely better day for me than yesterday!
Over the weekend I ordered my Christmas wrap. Current is my favorite, hands down, for their heavyweight paper, their jumbo rolls (40 ft long for 6.99!) their tags and seals and stickers that match everything, and their exceedingly tasteful collection (okay, along with a few silly designs).
Do you guys know about the Amazon.com Friday Sales? If you don't, you should! Check every Friday for great deals on toys, kitchen stuff, linens...it's fabulous! And especially this time of year!
Okay, so what about that Republican debate last night? I continue to be so impressed with that guy they say doesn't have a chance...all I can say is "I HEART HUCKABEE!"
I am SOOOOO proud of my kids. The school year goes remarkably, encouragingly well in all areas. Shelley's concerned about her chemistry class but I'm so proud of the way she's trying and sticking it out in a subject that does not come easily for her. John Caleb is excelling at algebra, and Tim's just having a great year in all respects, continuing to scare himself by liking grammar :-)
I finally got an appointment with my orthopedic surgeon who's just returned from Iraq, so I'll be seeing him on the 30th and hoping for the earliest possible surgery date so that I can be back on my feet, literally, by Thanksgiving. Thankfully my pain has been low in the past four days but I know better than to get too excited about this part of the pain cycle after four years. Maybe soon there won't be any cycle!
Our prayers are with those affected by the fires in southern California, including our friends the Burkes who have just been notified of mandatory evacuation from their home. Many have already lost their homes, belongings, animals and livelihoods and more are sure to come. God, have mercy...
Thanks to all of you who read and commented on Saturday's food post. It was not easy to write and I'm sure many read and turned away, but I wrote what was on my heart and prayed that God would direct it to the heart(s) that needed to think about the issue. I'm blessed by those of you who chose to respond. And if you didn't, it's still not too late. (And don't be afraid to dissent!)
A belated snip, snip, and blessing for a wonderful week for all of you!
Writing is a funny thing. It can rarely be forced, and when it is, it's usually not pretty. It's not a good day for me to be writing. No reason in particular...just a state of mind that doesn't lend itself to chattiness, or writing, or trivia. Just one of those days.
Maybe this week, Monday snippets.
But even if I'd been in favor of the bill and disappointed today at the Dems' failure to override, I pray I'd have the honesty to be vocally appalled at this:
At 59, it's that old college try
Sul Ross player goes 37 years between games
ALPINE, Texas - Mike Flynt is a very senior linebacker - a real upperclassman.
Thirty seven years ago, back when Richard Nixon was president, Flynt was a junior footballer at tiny Sul Ross State University with a nose for fighting and a hard head.
After one scuffle too many, he got booted from the team he loved, a fall from grace that became one of his life's great regrets.
So when Flynt, 59, was reminiscing over some beers at a class reunion a few months ago, and a pal said that maybe he could get his last season of playing eligibility back, it wasn't a punch line to the AARP member - it was an eureka moment.
On Saturday night, Flynt capped a personal fairy-tale of second chances and redemption when he returned to the gridiron as his aging ex-teammates, his grown children and his grandson cheered him on.
Flynt's first round hadn't ended so well:
Way back in the day, Flynt was a pretty good player - but not such a good person. He was on the first state championship team at Odessa Permian, the Texas high school immortalized in the book "Friday Night Lights." After bouncing around junior college, he wound up at Sul Ross State, which at the time competed in the tougher NAIA division (it is now a division III school).
Flynt was an emotional leader on the 1969 Sul Ross team that scored the only win that season against Texas A&I, which won two consecutive national championships. But a brawl in the dorms prior to the start of the 1971 season - which by Flynt's admission came after more than a dozen other scraps - ended his playing career.
But there is redemption...
Flynt stayed in sports, working as a strength coach at Texas A&M, Oregon and Nebraska. He embraced the Christian life, thanks to his wife Eileen - with whom he's raised three children in their more than 35 years of marriage. But he never got over the feeling that he'd let his own football dreams slip away.
During this year's class reunion, he said he confided in his former teammates, "Do you know how many times I cried over that? The funny thing is, I still feel like I can play." One told him he should try. Soon, Flynt was begging for a final shot at football glory.
Former teammate Wilson warned him that he might get his rear end kicked. His wife thought he was kidding. When they figured out he was sincere, they got behind him.
"I was frustrated with him one day and said, I feel like I'm married to Peter Pan!" Eileen Flynt said. "But I realized how much it meant to him. And I knew that if something meant that much to me, he'd support me all the way."
Flynt is working toward a master's degree and enrolled in classes in management and the history of sports.
Isn't that great? Now, what can I go back and redo...?
Full story here.
(Oh, and The Papa says he might try that too, but he wants to say he could take more grandchildren to the games.)
...because of the wonderful things he does!
I never cease to marvel at the staying power of a musical that debuted in 1939, adapted from a book written in 1900. We're one of millions of families smitten with The Wizard of Oz and can't get enough of the movie, the music, the trivia, or the stuff (as evidenced by Shelley's Amazon wish list).
On the 28th, we're going to be part of a group going downtown to the Majestic Theatre to hear the San Antonio Symphony present "Oz with Orchestra," described thusly:
Watch the complete Academy Award-winning MGM musical starring Judy Garland with her original 1939 studio recordings, backed by live music performed by the San Antonio Symphony. Follow Dorothy, the Tin Man, the cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow and Toto down the Yellow Brick Road in the version of The Wizard of Oz on the big screen.
We're wondering: does entertainment get any better than this??
Sorry, but if I'm going to eat a rodent (and I'm not) it would be a rabbit and not a squirrel.
Tim (age 11): Mom, wanna look at these new superhero pictures I've just
[Let me know if you lost that link to Easy Grammar LOL]
I am not an alarmist.
If you come to me with warnings about yeast in your food or artificial coloring in the jell-o or radiation coming from your TV, I'm likely to pat you on the back and tell you to loosen up--I'm just not going to live scared of everything and neither should you. We are ALL "terminal" and I think the stress and worry over some of this stuff will shorten your life as much as any smidgen of pesticide on your apple peel.
That said, I am beginning to be concerned about lead. My kids aren't small enough that this should be an issue any more, but many of you have little ones that suck on their crib rails, put toys in their mouths, and come into contact with many different products that have recently been found to contain unacceptable levels of lead. And lead poisoning is cumulative: the more sources your child is exposed to, the more dangerous it is.
This morning I was made aware of a home test you can now perform on the items in your environment that might be possible sources of lead. If I still had children under six, this would be a priority for me, as would a check for lead levels in their blood. It's nothing to mess around with...check out this link and give some serious thought to testing the items most likely to find their way into your precious kids' mouths....
Evidently I've overdone it a bit with my leg this week, so I'm paying today. Didn't make it to church since I could barely make it to the bathroom sink this morning. I've rested and written a bit, worked with new software and made some school plans...all things I can do whether I'm mobile or not.
Okay, call me crazy. While all of you are blogging about your favorite reality TV shows and House and Office and Grey's, I'm waiting with baited breath for tomorrow's debut of the Fox Business Network. I know, I'm hopeless. Helpless. It's not just my age, I don't think, and it's certainly not my interest in all our personal wealth LOL...I am just fascinated by Wall Street, by the economy, by the Fed, and okay, by Dagen McDowell and Stuart Varney. I will try and resist the urge to give you weekly updates.
One update I will give you: I am smitten with my new home office system. It has helped me work better, faster, smarter, cleaner, and enjoy it a lot more. I'm talkin' everything from homeschooling to photo organization to correspondence to bills to work assignments. My kids love how they can come in and sit across the desk from me with their work and have plenty room to spread it out (and I'm getting better at reading upside down). The old computer chair I'm using isn't very comfortable or good for my leg, so that's one of the next things I'll be replacing, along with a nice high chair for John's new elevated project table/desk.
I've noticed the kiddos, both first and second generation, sneaking into my bathroom to see how fast the bathtub is filling up. (See last week's Snippets.)
I'm still toying with my trial period of the bulk cooking software. I made up a sample cooking day from several of the recipes I used in August, and when I printed out the ingredient list that you take to the store, it said I needed a total of 288 teaspoons of mozzarella cheese. Huh? Maybe this software is still in Beta? I have two more weeks to decide if it's worth buying. My initial read is yes, if I can work out enough of the kinks that I won't be driven to insanity by measuring frozen shredded hashbrowns in tablespoons...
I've been encouraging the Papa to nurse our ancient van and Suburban along with monthly nickel-and-dime repair bills (okay, $400) and to wait to buy anything new until next summer before our road-trip vacation. I've never been one to be chomping at the bit for a new vehicle as long as we have ones that will get us where we need to go, and especially when we don't have any car payments. Yeah, well this morning I saw this, and all of a sudden I am very impatient to go looking. No, I don't THINK I would ever succumb to buying a Ford, but they sure are out front on this as far as I can tell.
And what is this nonsense about it being developed for Generation Y, which includes all of my B team kids but none of the A team? Hey, I'm about Generation K.2, I think, but I don't think any of my teens would be any more excited about Sync than I would!
Am I the only one who's thankful to shop with my fingers instead of my feet? Every few months I find a new reason (parking problems, sore feet, extra taxes, high gas costs, crowds, rude clerks) to stay out of stores and malls, and better ones (my sweet UPS man who swears I keep him employed, easy comparisons, shopping carts that stay full until I decide to hit "purchase", Amazon Prime) to shop from my laptop. So when I saw this story about increasing attempts of stores to
Snip, snip, that's all for today. Have a great week!
It's been a bittersweet week.
Several people, several families in my world have experienced various kinds of trauma, heartache, and crises in the past few days. And because I have the privilege of being linked to these precious folks in lots of different ways, their pain has become my pain. That's the bitter.
The sweet? Because I'm part of a community of believers that is so tightly linked and so faithful to each other through thick and thin, I've had the indescribable blessing of watching the New Testament Church at work. Yes, at times it's been under attack through all this, but its members have functioned in ways that glorify the Father and testify to His grace and compassion.
I speak here in larger terms than just my local church body, although they are certainly a part of the community I'm describing. I'm speaking of a whole circle of believers, friends who worship in a variety of congregations but know that their true identity is found in the Church with a capital "C". Each day these folks lay down their lives for one another in ways large and small and never seem to grow weary in that service. Their ministries to one another come in too many forms and shapes to list here tonight, but each act of love and concern, each link in the chain, blesses my heart beyond measure and inspires me to a greater faithfulness.
Behold, how they love one another....
Officer Drops Suit, Placed On Leave
Woman Broke Knee After Slipping On Puddle
CASSELBERRY, Fla. -- A police sergeant on Thursday dropped her lawsuit against a family that was filed after she slipped and fell at their home during a 911 call, and she was placed on leave by the Casselberry Police Department.
Sgt. Andrea Eichhorn, a 12-year department veteran, was removed from duty with pay while the department reviews the incident.
Cops arrest teen, seize weapons from home outside Philly
Police say they seized an arsenal from the home of a 14-year-old boy who may have been planning to mount an on Plymouth Whitemarsh High School in Plymouth Meeting, Pa.
Colonial School District says the boy, who has not been publicly identified, wasn't enrolled at the school. The Inquirer says he has been home schooled for the last 18 months because of bullying by his classmates.
There's nothing about taking a troubled teen out of school and bringing his books home that will make society or his former school any safer.
Colonial School District says the boy, who has not been publicly identified, wasn't enrolled at the school. The Inquirer says he has been home-schooled for the last 18 months because of bullying by his classmates.I'm sure that we'll hear, over and over ad nauseam, that he was homeschooled, and that is certainly not a fair characterization...not if comparing to what we normally think of as homeschooled kids (especially since upwards of 30 weapons were found in his bedroom). But regardless of how fair the publicity will be, it's a good time for us to be reminded that no method of education is a panacaea.
...this one has my jaw on the floor.
Cop who fell on the job sues family of baby who almost drowned
CASSELBERRY - In January, 1-year-old Joey Cosmillo wandered into the backyard and fell into the family pool. When his mother hauled him out, he wasn't breathing. Rescuers were able to bring him back to life, but he suffered severe brain damage and cannot walk, talk or even swallow.
Now, his family faces another burden: One of the rescuers, Casselberry police Sgt. Andrea Eichhorn, is suing, alleging the family left a puddle of water on the floor that afternoon, causing her to slip and fall.
Poor thing, because she helped keep this baby alive she may need to take some Aleve:
Eichhorn, he said, is a victim. Her knee aches, and she will likely develop arthritis.
Regardless of whether the parents bear some blame for an unguarded pool, this suit is patently absurd. And if a judge doesn't throw this woman out on her
School District Tells Homeschooler She’s Learning Too Fast
The Gilbert (name changed to protect privacy) family’s daughter, due to extenuating circumstances, was behind one grade in school. The following year, to correct this, the daughter worked doubly hard and completed two grades in one year!
At the end of the year, Mrs. Gilbert submitted two assessments so that her daughter could advance to the correct grade and be back on track with her peers. The evaluation was exactly as it should be, and the family was encouraged by their daughter’s determination to make up for lost time.
Unfortunately, the Gilberts were distressed when they received a response from the Escambia County School District to the evaluations sent. The letter stated that the district was unable to accept two year-end evaluations for a homeschool student in one year, and that they would not promote the student to the 10th grade, regardless of the fact that the 10th grade evaluation was already submitted.
The letter included their school “policy” to show that two evaluations could not be accepted in one year for the same student as per the Escambia County Pupil Progression Plan.
Some things just don't need comment. Sheesh.
You can read the rest here.
What I *want* to say is, "Yeah, well ALL the schools started a month before you did, and they are having Mystery Meat and Mixed Vegetable Mash for lunch today and the kids are getting on the school bus before you even get out of bed. Would you like to do that too?" But I don't. Because I'm afraid they might be struck with temporary insanity and decide that all that might be better than having to get up and do their math on Columbus Day. And that's not an option. So I'm keeping my mouth shut.
Even since I've been typing this post, another scholar appeared at the door saying, "Mom, why DO we have to do school on Columbus Day?" I started to blurt out about the Mystery Meat, but I don't want to take the chance that they'd ask me what that was they ate last night.
Anyway, off we go to celebrate ancient Italian explorers by hitting the books...
Oh, and Happy Birthday, Marsha :-)
So this afternoon was our first official fall clothes shopping trip. Took Shelley for sweaters at Old Navy and she found some really cute things. (I'd love to think she's going to get as much good out of them as we got last year, but come on, two real winters in a row? I don't think so.) Bethany will be next, and then it will be the boys' turn...
When I was a senior in high school I wanted to go to ORU in the worst way. My parents said no, not if they were paying for it. I was kind of bummed and I wrote a letter to the school asking that they pray that there would be a way that I could attend there. My young and naive mind got a real shock when I got back a form letter that they send everyone who writes with a prayer request, and it had nothing to do with anything I had said. From that day on I had a sour taste in my mouth about that place. And through the years I have thanked God for parents who had the sense to tell me no. Watching the unfolding scandal that now engulfs ORU, I continue to be grateful. What a shame.
Half of our bedroom is now an office. But both The Papa and I are very happy with it and think it is going to streamline our lives a lot. This afternoon I'm going to sit on the floor and transfer our files to the new filing cabinet and then just smile at how organized my life is. It's nice that I'm only feeling the need to keep about 10% of the hard copies I used to, so filing is becoming less and less of a chore. The other nice thing is the pungent smell of new wood in here :-)
Finally, finally, our beloved Fighting Irish won a game, and what a game! We went in 0 and 5 to play a team (UCLA) that was 4 and 1, and we beat them 20-6. So I'm wondering, if we win every game from here out, could we still make a bowl? (Hey, USC lost to Stanford yesterday, so miracles happen!)
The Amazon boxes full of Christmas presents started arriving this week. This is the time of year when my UPS man thinks about just bringing a sleeping bag and setting up shop in my house since he's here so much. Well this year, not anxious to repeat the total disaster of last year, I asked the Papa to do some prep work before we stored the boxes in the usual place: the bathtub. I know, I know, but since I'm not really able to crawl in and out of a tub and since it's very large and keeps things out of the way, I use it for storing Christmas presents. I wasn't going to use it at all this year since I'm still scarred by the losses last year, but Lyric suggested that we duct-tape the plug in the tub and then line it with plastic trash bags. This might be the only time in my life I've ever said yes to duct tape.
I have found some neat software for organizing bulk cooking days...I'm still on a trial run and I'm finding bits of time here and there to try and teach myself how to use it. But it has some fabulous features...lets you print out different reports for your cooking day, like how many and what kind of containers and freezer bags you will need based on your recipes that particular day, prints out separate lists of ingredients you need for cooking day vs. the ones you will need when you actually prepare and serve the thawed dish, makes lists of which small appliances you'll need, and has a feature that will make the calculations automatically for doubling, tripling, or even making 16x a recipe. It does have a bug or two--I quadrupled the size of a recipe (just playing around with the software, not actually in the kitchen) and it told me to bake it in a 52x36" pan LOL. However, on the container report it correctly said "4 13x9 pans". Anyway, if I successfully use it, I'll do a real write-up and link for those of you who might be interested in trying it out.
Happy Birthday to John Caleb, our 8th (and next to last!) teenager. I love having teenagers so am glad to have another one in the house. 'Course I loved him when he was 12, too! John Caleb is very attentive to his mother and is the first one, after The Papa, to bring me a cup of tea or hold the door open for me or check to see if I need anything when I'm sick. Gals, he's gonna make a great husband! For now, he's a joy to have around the House.
Snip, snip, time to get on the floor and get at those files! Happy Sunday!
Are there any issues for you where you can't stand the folks on either side? I have a few of those, and here's one.
Lawmakers in two California cities are discussing unprecedented legislation this month that would widen a growing voluntary movement by landlords and resident associations to ban smoking inside apartments and condos.
Next Tuesday, the City Council of Belmont is scheduled to cast a final vote on an ordinance that would ban smoking in apartments and condos. The measure, which won initial approval last week, could trigger fines and evictions if neighbors complain and smokers don't heed repeated warnings.
No, I don't want to be around cigarette smoke...not in a restaurant, not in an airplane, not even on a sidewalk. But the whole banning smoking thing really bugs me, mostly because I can find good reasons to despise either side (not the people, the arguments!). I get just as mad at the anti-smoking crusaders as I do at the smokers' rights activists and sometimes wish they'd all go up in...smoke.
And we're talking in your own apartment? I know, that nasty stuff seeps through the walls and wafts onto the balconies. I wouldn't want to live next to a smoker either, but do I want the town telling its citizens they can't use a legal product in their own homes?
Next it's butter and cream. In your own kitchen.
Tell me what YOU think.
All right now, just yesterday afternoon I was working in the kitchen with my Nano in my pocket (still working my way through Atlas Shrugged), and now I read this:
iPod Set's Man's Pants on Fire
ATLANTA -- The new iPod Nano is hot. But one Douglasville man said his old Nano got even hotter -- hot enough to burst into flames.
“So I look down and I see flames coming up to my chest,” said Danny Williams.
Williams said the burn hole from the pocket of his pants marks the spot of his 15 seconds of flame. He said he had an iPod Nano and an glossy piece of paper in his pocket. He believes the paper shielded him from being burned.
“I’m still kind of freaked out that after only a year and a half my iPod caught fire in my pocket,” said Williams.
Guess I'm gonna be more careful! Although I do have to say that MY iPod Nano is PINK, and I do think that a pink iPod would have the manners not to do such a discourteous thing as catch fire while on my person, don't you?
Huck Finn must be spinning in his literary grave. Just recently a Colorado Springs, Colorado elementary school banned tag during recess, joining other schools that have prohibited this childhood pastime. Upon hearing this, I thought about the movement to ban cops and robbers, musical chairs, steal the bacon, and the kill-joys’ most frequent target and this writer’s favorite childhood school game, dodge ball. Then there’s the more inane still, such as the decision by the Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association to prohibit keeping score in kids’ tournament play.
There are many ways to describe this trend. One might say it’s a result of the Left’s antipathy toward competition, the increasing litigiousness of the day, or the inordinate concern with self-esteem and hurt feelings. Then, if I am to speak only of my feelings, the word stupid comes to mind. Really, though, regardless of whether the motivations are good or ill or the reasoning sound or not, at the end of the day I find a conclusion inescapable. Slowly, incrementally, perversely, boyhood is being banned.
When the venerable game of tag is banned and replaced with yoga, and a 2nd grader is suspended and criminally charged with making a terrorist threat for pointing a paper gun at his friend, folks, we're in big trouble as a society. And not because of the threat from Islamo-fascists.
hat tip: The Papa
(Especially the one who's prone to say, "Mom, when am I ever going to use this algebra, huh?")
Even without math, ancients engineered sophisticated machines
Classical texts reveal new insights into the history of catapults, balances
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., October 1, 2007—Move over, Archimedes. A researcher at Harvard University is finding that ancient Greek craftsmen were able to engineer sophisticated machines without necessarily understanding the mathematical theory behind their construction.
Recent analysis of technical treatises and literary sources dating back to the fifth century B.C. reveals that technology flourished among practitioners with limited theoretical knowledge.
“Craftsmen had their own kind of knowledge that didn’t have to be based on theory,” explains Mark Schiefsky, professor of the classics in Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences. “They didn’t all go to Plato’s Academy to learn geometry, and yet they were able to construct precisely calibrated devices.”
The balance, used to measure weight throughout the ancient world, best illustrates Schiefsky’s findings on the distinction between theoretical and practitioner’s knowledge. Working with a group led by Jürgen Renn, Director of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, Schiefsky has found that the steelyard—a balance with unequal arms—was in use as early as the fourth and fifth centuries B.C., before Archimedes and other thinkers of the Hellenistic era gave a mathematical demonstration of its theoretical foundations.
“People assume that Archimedes was the first to use the steelyard because they suppose you can’t create one without knowing the law of the lever. In fact, you can—and people did. Craftsmen had their own set of rules for making the scale and calibrating the device,” says Schiefsky.
On second thought, maybe all the good math-less stuff has already been invented, so we'd better keep 'em in the books...
Ever anxious to encourage those of you who have other voices from your extended families, the educational establishment, or your own fears whispering that you're harming your children, holding them back, etc. by homeschooling them, I submit one of the latest pieces of evidence that this revolutionary movement is changing our nation, at least academically, for the good.
Those of you who know my heart know that my primary reason for educating my own children has not been academic. Perhaps at the beginning it was, but I got over it :-) And I hesitate to say or do anything that would encourage parents to make test scores the chief end. Nevertheless, much of the ammunition against the homeschooling choice has come couched in academic rationale, so it's good, I think, for us to keep abreast of the truth: homeschooling works.
Success proving critics wrong
October 1, 2007
When you hear stories of high academic achievement by home-schoolers, it's routine for opponents to try to minimize the results by asserting that not all home-schoolers are required to test over the same testing instruments.
Their goal is to show that home-schooling isn't a viable educational alternative that can benefit a large number of children. If they concede that point, and recognize the broad success of a home education, then one of the pillars of public education, teacher certification, must be questioned.Home-schooled students taught by noncertified parents, who score higher than public school students taught by certified teachers is a hard pill for the education establishment to swallow.
What's the latest pill they're going to have to "swallow"? The number of homeschoolers receiving National Merit Scholarships and placing as finalist and semi-finalists. Testing over the same instruments as public and private school students, homeschoolers are showing up in the top ranks in ever greater numbers. More telling, however, they are showing up in greater and greater percentages, proving that the movement is maturing and taking its place as a real contender even by academic measurements.
It's October! For those of you living in the greater San Antonio area, here's a list of some events and activities open to us during this month...whether you are looking for a great family outing, a fun date night, or a place to take out-of-town visitors, you'll find it in San Antonio!
Bugs! A Rainforest Adventure
See the world of insects, magnified up to 250,000 times on a giant screen at Aztec on the River. 3pm every day, with additional 12:30 and 6:45 showings on Fridays and Saturdays.
Dora and Diego's Garden Adventure
An interactive exhibit at the San Antonio Botanical Garden, featuring Dora and Diego, where children will enjoy learning all about gardens and gardening.
Here Be Dragons
The Institute of Texas Cultures explores dragon lore in cultures around the world and how it came to Texas with early settlers. See Draco, the animatronic dragon the breathes smoke!
Come on, this was the original High School Musical! Sing and dance your way back to the future at the Josephine Theatre.
Closet ABBA fans unite! Enjoy the music and the story following the quest of a young bride-to-be as she discovers the identity of her father. Majestic Theatre
Chalk It Up
Have a budding artist that would like to participate in creating a giant sidewalk mural? This event is open to kids and also features the chalk art of many local artists. Sponsored by Artpace.
Twelve Angry Men
Broadway Across America bring the classic, suspense-filled play to our city. A great study in human nature as well as the justice system. Majestic Theatre.
Boerne Festival of Arts and Music
Food (CHILI)! Shops! Live music! Auctions! All in the quaint setting of Boerne, the town with the cutest shop names in the country. Cibolo Arts Council.
Oct. 27 (and Nov. 24):
Houston Street Fair and Market
Live music, performances by area artists, handmade crafts, and wonderful food will delight every member of the family. Houston Street Fair and Market.
Sunday Luau Jam
If you can't get to the Islands this fall, at least you can get a taste. These folks are the real thing. Reservations are required for the dinner and show, which include a hula performance. 3-7pm, Adults $18.50; keiki ages 5-12 $10.00. Don't forget to pick up one of their gorgeous fresh flower leis! Aloha San Antonio