Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Movie Trivia Answer 3/28

Well, I didn't stump you guys this week either!

"Saturday Night Fever" was the correct answer, though "Grease" was an excellent guess. I love watching dancing, though grace and coordination are not synonymous with my name. I remember being 8 months pregnant and going to see "SNF" and wishing I could disco. One of my daughter's nicknames when she would bounce to music as a toddler was "Disco Baby".

(And no, the fact that Tony Manero's dancing partner was names "Stephanie" had nothing to do with it! But it didn't hurt, either.)

There are all kinds of lists of best-selling albums, best-selling soundtrack albums, best-selling world-wide versus best-selling in the US, best-selling one-unit versus two-unit albums, etc.

Every list I find puts "Saturday Night Fever" above "Grease", though other soundtracks are emerging as better sellers. Of course, factors such as MP3 players, CDs versus vinyl, more movies, etc. have influenced these lists, but it's interesting to note that even 30 years after their releases, "SNF" and "Grease" still hold their own.

And Julie, although "Titanic" and "Dirty Dancing" sometimes top "Grease", "Saturday Night Fever" is always higher on the lists I've found.

New question on Saturday!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday at the Movies 3/28

Another walk (or something) down Memory Lane here.

The soundtrack to what movie sold 20 million copies and was the top selling album in history until it was topped by Michael Jackson's "Thriller" six years later?

Answer on Tuesday!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Public Service Announcement

In looking around blogland, I see I've not been the only one with the blahs. I don't know if it's spring fever, but my brain has been a desert lately--bereft of anything worth speaking, much less writing. Part of it can be attributed to a small health concern.

Our new insurance requires we have lab work drawn, and if we are outside the parameters with cholesterol, blood sugar, triglycerides, blood pressure and BMI, we must go in and be seen by their nurse counselors on a regular basis. I flunked all 5 categories. (J-Man, that show-off, passed all but one.) Did I post that I showed up for my appointment but the nurse counselors never did?

Being the knowledgeable, but non-compliant nurse that I am, I started myself on Flax seed oil, cinnamon capsules, and back on the baby aspirin, as well as some other supplements. Fish oil is better, but I don't like its frequent reminder that I've swallowed it already. Do you usually sprinkle cinnamon on your fish?

Anyway, I did fulfill my promise to my doc to come in after the results, though I knew what would await me. There is a strong family history of diabetes and heart disease in my family, and I was already borderline on the diabetes. After the standard lecture, I confessed to 3 episodes of left arm pain and one episode of chest tightness since January, occasional shortness of breath, and continued fatigue, which prompted my physician to immediately order a stress echocardiogram, that he wanted to schedule the next day--and give me a prescription for nitroglycerin tablets. Nitro?? ME?? Yeah, that scared the P-Turkey out of me!

The cardiologist couldn't see me for a week, so there was much mental fingernail-chewing until then, and that NTG was in my pocket or by my bedside 24/7. Nothing like a bottle of nitroglycerin to raise your anxiety level.

Last Thurs. was my stress echo, and let me tell you, if I was going to have a heart attack, that would have been it! Walking rapidly up a 12% incline had my heart racing along at the 140 beats they wanted in less than a New York minute! Whew! Am I ever deconditioned!

(That's not me, btw--I wasn't thinking of blogging about this and didn't take my camera.)

The good news is, except for "slightly sludgey" arteries, my heart is in fine shape. The cardiologist, who along with my own physician I see almost daily at work, says it's no wonder I've had chest tightness, with the stressful job we do, and the current hospital politics going on causing more stress.

He also sees exercise in my future. (Apparently he and my regular physician utilize the same crystal ball).

Other good news--my triglycerides have already come down from 321 to 225 since December. They should be less than 150, so there's a ways to go yet. The total cholesterol hadn't changed since then, prompting Dr. S to prescribe Lopid for me, as I am allergic to the statins.

It does bother me that the symptoms might be stress-related. In fact, it slightly offends me that my body would be such a wuss. J-Man and I have been through a catastrophic illness, bankruptcy, foreclosure, a failed adoption, and 2 cross-country moves without chest tightness, so why now? It made me feel like a darned hypochondriac to hear that.

So why do I tell you all this? Because not everyone is aware that symptoms of a heart attack in a woman are different than in a man. It's not always the chest-or-arm-grabbing dramatics you see onscreen even for a man, but the symptoms are even more subtle for women: aching in the jaw or neck, or in the arm, and not necessarily the left side, either. And most women, in hindsight, have remembered weeks of fatigue leading up to the event. As wives and mothers, we tend to minimize and ignore our bodies, or chalk any symptoms up to busy lives or lifting kidlets and heavy tote bags or housework.

Denial? Major aspect of heart disease. Somewhere in our subconscious we believe that caregivers are immune to illnesses and diseases, because by golly, who's going to do what we do? We can't get sick now--maybe later, when the kids are grown and we've reached our 90s. I almost didn't tell my doctor about those incidents, because they seemed so insignificant and I felt a little foolish.

Heads up, ladies. I don't want to scare you--well, maybe a little, if it gets you to pay attention to your bodies. If you're having these symptoms, let your doctor know--especially if you are post-menopausal (check), overweight (check), a smoker (nope), a diabetic (check), have high blood pressure (check), or have a strong family history of heart disease(triple check).

Hmmm, I'm seeing some lifestyle changes in my immediate future.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Movie Trivia Answer 3/21

Several of you guessed this week's answer:

Yep, it was Splash, the 1984 romantic comedy starring Tom Hanks and Darryl Hannah.

Little girls everywhere must have loved that movie, because 12 years later, about the time those little girls started hitting their 20s, "Madison" first showed up on Social Security Administration's list of top 20 girls' names. Beginning in 2000, it has consistently stayed in the top 10, and usually the top 5.

Nancy had a different answer, Hannah and Her Sisters, released in 1986.

I checked, and Hannah first reached the top 20 list in 1994, and has consistently been in the top 10 since 1995. It usually runs neck and neck with Madison. So, although Splash was my answer, I'm going to concede there are two correct answers to this week's movie trivia question.
Congratulations, Nancy--this is a first!

New question on Saturday!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Saturday at the Movies 3/21

Dig back into your memory banks for this one!

This movie is credited with introducing a girl's name that has become one of the most popular names in the early 21st century.

I can't think of any more hints to give you that won't also give you the movie, so if there are no correct answers by Monday, I'll post a hint!

Otherwise, answer on Tuesday!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Quilting Bee

Our quilt guild has smaller groups, organized by location, and our area usually has about 30 ladies attending. In Dec. we lost our usual meeting place, as the clubhouse is being remodeled. Fortunately for us, a local retirement center offered the use of their facility and bless their hearts, they even provide coffee and Krispy Kreme doughnuts! I think they are hoping some of their residents will attend, but this is our second month there and no visitors yet.

This week we had the unexpected pleasure of viewing a quilt dating back to the 1870s! One of the residents, a man who looks like a gold prospector from one of those old westerns, brought in a quilt handed down in his family for many years. I wish you could have seen it. It wasn't particularly gorgeous, but was obviously a planned quilt, not a utility quilt, and was in awesome condition. It was hand stitched of course, with only a little fraying on the edges. I didn't have my camera with me or I'd have photos to post. One of the border fabrics was a turkey red color with a paisley print, only the paisleys were all turned in the same direction and in a straight line--not like the paisleys we are accustomed to seeing. He says he has 19 more, but is moving out soon, so it's not likely we'll get to see the rest. I don't think I've actually seen a quilt that old, though I do have some blocks and a couple of tops from my great-grandmother.

One of the ladies there had a friend who recently died and left her (Pat) all her handwork and accessories. She brought some things in for anyone to take. I took one of the candlewicking books, as I've always wanted to try that, and a pattern for some Christmas items. It was very old (see the photo), but I wanted it for the apron pattern.

Another pattern that caught my eye was one for billowy pants:

Now, I would look like a blimp in these, and besides that, the pattern sizes are too small for me, but I thought of all our younger seamstresses on blogger and how these pants are coming back in style a bit. So, is there anyone out there who wants this pattern? I'd be glad to send it out to you. The sizes are for small through XL and unisexed. If you're interested or need more information, let me know and I'll get it back to you.

Well, the sewing room is almost finished--just some odds and ends to find a place for, and the mirror and bulletin board left to mount. It doesn't matter--I intend to sew SOMETHING today as I am in serious withdrawal. J-Man would like me to hem the pajamas I bought him for Christmas (the nerve), but right now, even that would help satisfy this craving!

Maybe photos tomorrow!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

You guys are awesome...

This is the email sent out by Shaun Groves about Compassion's Global Food Crisis Day last week:

On March 11th almost 500 of you bloggers and almost 1,000 radio stations partnered with Compassion International to raise awareness and funds to benefit those currently affected by the global food crisis. The one day event was dubbed Global Food Crisis Day and it was a success due in no small part to you.
Compassion International's financial goal for Global Food Crisis Day was to raise $1 million. Instead, over 27,000 donors gave more than $3.1 million! And the number continues to grow as donations continue to be processed!
In addition to donations to Compassion International's Global Food Crisis Fund, more than 2,000 children were also sponsored as a result of the many radio broadcasts and your inspiring words on-line.
I couldn't be more please personally with the many articulate and heartfelt posts you all wrote about the global food crisis. And I'm not the only one who's pleased.
"On behalf of all the children and their families around the world who will be blessed by these funds, ‘thank you.' With the cost of many food staples doubling and tripling in value, you have truly answered a huge need for many." - Mark Hanlon, senior vice president for Compassion International-USA.
Great job! Thank you for using your on-line voice this month to mobilize your readers toward life-changing generosity.

-Shaun Groves

If any of my readers donated or sponsored a child, let me give you a cyber hug and a great big thank you!

And if you need more information about Compassion International, there's a link in my left sidebar under "notions and tools", and each day a child whose birthday is that day and is currently unsponsored appears at the top of the left sidebar. What better birthday gift could that child have than to find someone he or she has never met cares about him or her?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Movie Trivia Answer 3/14

I thought I'd see more guessers this week, but folks must have been busy.

In the movie, First Knight, King Arthur promised a kiss from Guinevere to the man who was able to run the gauntlet--which Lancelot not only accomplished, but did so without the heavy armor he was advised to wear.

And the bonus question about when Arthur first knew he was in love with Guinevere is revealed in this exchange as he presents her with the white horse:

King Arthur: We could almost be alone here.

Guinevere: Do you have secrets to tell me?

Arthur: No. No secrets. Just a question to ask.
Do you want to marry me? You don't have to marry me because your father wanted it. Camelot will protect Leonesse, whether you marry me or not.

Guinevere: Thank you. You don't know what it means to me
to hear you say that.

Arthur: So you want to be released
from the engagement?

Guinevere: No. I want to marry you. Not your crown or your army
or your golden city. Just you.

Arthur: Just me?

Guinevere: Yes. If you love me.

Arthur: Do you remember this? (revealing a scar on the back of his hand)

Guinevere: You hurt it in the hunt. I didn't think you'd get a scar.

Arthur: Just a scratch. You wiped the blood away
with a sleeve of your dress.

Guinevere: The sleeve still carries the stain.

Arthur: I never thought until then how sweet
it must be to be loved by one woman. And for the first time in my life, I wanted...

Guinevere: What?

Arthur: What wise men say doesn't last. What cannot be promised, or made to linger any more than sunlight. But I don't want to die without having felt its warmth on my face. Marry the King, Guinevere, but love the man.

Guinevere: I only know one way to love. And that is body... and heart...and soul. I kiss the hurt that brought me your love. (kisses the scar on his hand)

Guinevere and Lancelot fall in love (or maybe, lust) and Guinevere is torn between her husband and his knight. Lancelot decides to leave, and Guinevere surrenders to her desire to kiss him just once. Of course, King Arthur walks in at just this time, and you can see the blow this deals him. He just seems to sag.

But Arthur, as King of Camelot, must put them both on trial for treason--the two people he loves most in the world, who have betrayed him. At the trial, before he can decide whether or not to sentence them to death, Malagant arrives with his army to conquer Camelot, and the fight ensues, beginning with fatal arrows to King Arthur's chest. After Lancelot has killed Malagant, he rushes to where the king has been taken. As Arthur is dying, with Guinevere on one side, and Lancelot is on the other:

Arthur: I feel it now, my love. The sunlight. It's in your eyes. He dies.

Kleenex, anyone? Seeing the words written down, they don't seem to be anything special. Maybe it's that lovely British accent or the period costumes or something, but the scene is so romantic.

Okay, new question on Saturday!

Edited to add this photo for Libby:

- -

Stashbuster Report Week #11

Well, I didn't fall off the wagon this week--I jumped off with both feet! Fabric Shack had a major online sale going on and I surrendered to temptation big time.

Those first two collections are unlike anything I have in my stash--all new style for me--and I couldn't pass it up. The confetti print was just too cute and had so many colors in it that would be apppropriate for a child's quilt, I had to have it.

So here's the breakdown:

Yards in this week: 8
Yards in this year: 8

Yards used this week: 0
Yards used this year: 0

Net amount: -8 yds.

I still haven't finished in the sewing room. Tuesday, the last of my stretch off, I had a doctor's appointment and some errands that had to be done, so I had to give up working on the room. There's more in the guest room closet than I remembered, so more reorganizing is in order before I can move the medicine cart in there.

This week is pretty full, with scattered offdays, another doctor's appointment, quilt bee and guild meetings and at some point, I have to get the tax stuff done. Maybe by the end of the week I can get the room in order and ready to sew again. (Keeping my fingers crossed.)

I had planned to do a selvage quilt for our guild's National Quilt Day Challenge, but didn't get through with the room in time to do any sewing. However, I've continued to cut selvages from the fabrics as I rearranged and stored them, and in so doing, was surprised to see just how many children's fabrics I have. (I should have done this BEFORE ordering that confetti from Fabric Shack.) Also surprising was the amount of yardage I have available for quilt backs; once I got them all together, it was very educational! I re-discovered my oriental fabrics, and fell in love with them all over again. I don't know what I'm going to make with them, but those Kona Bay fabrics have such a nice hand to them that whatever I make needs to be really special.

So that's it. I'm a disgrace to the whole Stashbusting movement this week. Thank goodness it's still pretty early in the year.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Saturday at the Movies 3/14

Today's trivia question comes from the 1995 movie First Knight, starring Sean Connery (yum yum), Richard Gere (yum) and Julia Ormand (lovely).

King Arthur offered a kiss from his fiance, Lady Guinevere, for the man who successfully did what?

Bonus question: When did Arthur first know he was in love with Guinevere?

Answers on Tuesday!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Global Food Crisis Day

Around blogland, I've been reading posts about others who are finding new ways to be thrifty and how the economy has affected them. There are so many resourceful wives and moms out there, and so many dedicated to helping their children understand and participate in thrifty measures. I see moms teaching children to make the most of what they have, while shielding them from the negative spin the media puts on everything. I see recycling increasing, new gardens being planned, families learning what they can really do without, yet drawing closer together. I am so encouraged by the positive mindsets I see in so many places.

And then I read stories like this one. And this one. I realize, if I have food in a pantry, a refrigerator, a freezer, I am considered wealthy by 1/3 of the world's population. And my efforts to be thrifty seem so inadequate.
Today is Global Food Crisis Day, an effort by Compassion International to partner with radio stations, the media, churches and bloggers to educate everyone on the "silent tsunami" affecting so many families around the world. With the prices of staples such as beans, rice, wheat doubling this past year, so many families who were barely surviving on $1.00/day are finding that 80 cents of that dollar must go to food, leaving the other 20 cents to cover housing, clothing, medicines, etc. Droughts have affected the crops. Even something as laudable as our efforts to find another source of fuel--biofuels--is affecting the tummies of children around the world.

I won't ask you to give up your daily Starbucks--most of you have already done that, as well as omitting meals out, eliminating cable TV, shopping thrift stores. But what can you do? Can you give $13? Thirteen dollars will help a child for a month. Can you tell friends and family members about Compassion? Can you find 5 more people to give just $13.00 this month? That's 6 more children who might live because of you. Every 7 seconds a child somewhere dies from hunger-related causes.

Please give.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Movie Trivia Answer 3/7

Well, that one turned out to be not so tough, either. I see I'm going to have to work a little bit harder this next week.

Yes, the movie was 1980's Airplane!, and that line was spoken by Leslie Nielson, who also has the classic comeback:

Stricker: "Surely you can't be serious"
Rumack: (Leslie Nielson) "I am serious, and don't call me Shirley"


Rumack: I won't deceive you, Mr. Striker. We're running out of time.
Ted Striker: Surely there must be something you can do.
Rumack: I'm doing everything I can... and stop calling me Shirley.

IMDB reports it was Leslie Nielson's first comedic role. They also state that the original choice for Striker, played by Robert Hays, was--get this--Barry Manilow! I kinda think he could have pulled it off. I certainly can see him on that dance floor in the white leisure suit, but the beach scene..., well, not so much.

My favorite character: Johnny, the air traffic controller in the tower who unplugs the runway lights. Yes, I love corny humor.

Thanks for playing along!
New question on Saturday. 8^)

Monday, March 09, 2009

Weekend progress

I've been trying to get the sewing room back into working mode. I didn't like the layout before, because once the ironing board was up, the room was just too crowded and difficult to get around. It was becoming a chore to do anything in there, and what was the point of that?
(There are some photos of the sewing room set-up here and here.)

Before moving the fabric back into the room, I've decided to rearrange somewhat. See these rolling carts in the closet?

They've been holding odds and ends of various crafting endeavors: patches, beads, paints, ribbons, etc. Some are being pulled out and will be put on freecycle because I don't use them any more. I haven't done any beading in a while, but still have hopes, so most of that will stay, but will swap places with the fabric in the stackable bins. I've been folding the small pieces and fat quarters of fabric and stacking them in the drawers, while larger pieces and projects will likely go on shelves and stay in bins.

And the top of the closet?

I plan to go through those magazines eventually, pull out what I want and donate the rest to my quilt bee and/or library. If I can, I'll scan the projects into the computer, but that is farther down the road.

But the big item is the rolling medicine cart I brought from the last hospital I worked in. When they became computerized, I grabbed one of the med carts on our floor, complete with locking key.

Currently, it holds a lot of my rubber stamps and tools. I've been debating what to do with it. On the one hand, it's bulky, heavy, hard to roll around and takes up a lot of space in that closet. On the other hand, I'll most likely never have the opportunity to lay my hands on one of these again, and it is a very handy place to keep all those stamps and scissors and inks, etc. I'd just about decided to just empty its contents into more plastic bins to stack in the closet, when the idea came to roll this into the guest room closet instead. It's rarely used, and the cart can still be rolled onto the back porch if needed when guests come. That will free up more space in the closet for the stackable bins, and the rolling drawers can come out into the room.

Clear as mud? That's okay--I'll post pictures when I finish--which I desperately hope will be today. I need to sew!

As for my non-sewing project? Well, it's coming along, but not finished yet, and since the recipient is a reader, I can't spill the beans just yet. Maybe a sneak peak later....

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Saturday at the Movies 3/7

In what classic comedy/farce did this exchange occur?

He: We must get this woman to a hospital.

She: What is it?

He: It's a big building with patients, but that's not important right now.

Answer on Tuesday!

Friday, March 06, 2009


Thanks for all the good wishes, everyone! I have ceased worshipping at the porcelain throne, for which J-Man is grateful. I have never been one who could hurl with grace and dignity. I'm sure he looked at the whimpering, stringy-haired glob of protoplasm on the tile and questioned the wisdom of a certain question uttered almost 38 years ago.

That's okay. I do the laundry. I clean the porcelain thrones. His best option is to keep me around, blubbering mess though I may be.

The snow is almost gone now. Temperatures hit 69 today, and are supposed to be in the 70s all weekend. Check out the weather pixie on the left, there. What a change from Monday! This morning Tandi came running out to greet me as usual when I pulled into the driveway. I scooped up some snow from a shady place, made a snowball and threw it. New Toy!! Wow! Look what the cold white stuff can do!

The snow being wet, it packed down really well, so the shape lasted long enough for her to actually go fetch it, bring it back to the driveway, and bat it around to watch it roll, before it finally succumbed to a couple of good strong bites. Now if it would only squeak...

Well, I have several nights off, so I'm hoping to finish a non-sewing surprise project for a friend, finish arranging the sewing room, catch up on everyone's blogs, and maybe start preparing the taxes. What are your weekend plans?

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Nasty Virus

I've succumbed to a nasty GI virus that's going around. Hope none of you gets it--it's miserable and painful.

See you in a couple of days.

Monday, March 02, 2009

The Day After

Well, it snowed until about midnight--a hard, fast, blowing snow. Cathy, a gal from Louisiana, happily took a ruler outside and reported an unofficial 6 1/2 inches. By morning, cars were up against guardrails, trucks had spun out and were blocking highway lanes, and it took Cathy 10 minutes to open her frozen car door. I don't think she was quite as enamored as she had been at midnight. We had lots of call-ins, so it was almost 11am when I got off work.

This is what I saw:

Getting home was a little easier than getting to work, but the wind was blowing hard, and the roads were still treacherous. Folks were starting to get out and shovel sidewalks and driveways.

After dozing in J-Man's recliner for an hour or so, Tandi and I decided to tackle ours before the temperature drops and everything ices over.

Tandi was beginning to adapt to the snow, running pell-mell through the yard everytime the snow plow went by. I finally had to put her back in the house. There were clumps of frozen snow clinging to her coat, and I didn't know what the ice and snow would do to her paws. She wasn't happy about it, but we just don't have experience with this.

After about an hour, the driveway was clear again.

We didn't lose any trees this time, just a few branches off the oak tree. The Bradford pear trees, which are very susceptible to the additional weight of snow and ice, had just started opening their buds last week:

Tonight the temperature is supposed to plummet to the teens again, so I expect we'll see a few more of these tomorrow:

I'm betting the schools will be closed again.

Sunday, March 01, 2009


Yep, you read that right. March 1, and we are having a blizzard here in the mountains of Western NC--well, in some places. Asheville has almost nothing, but southeast of there, we have whiteout conditions.

I would post pictures, but I'm at work (finally), and don't have access to do that. Even driving J-Man's 4WD in first gear behind a snowplow, I almost couldn't get enough traction to get out of my neighborhood to get to work. It rained all night and all day, so there's a layer of ice underneath the snow. The hospital was on generator power when I got here, but it's been restored within the last 30 minutes.

The hospital has contracted with a nearby hotel to provide us with rooms as needed--and will pay full price of the room if we share, 1/2 price if we decide to stay alone. Not a bad deal. It's supposed to stop before morning, but if it's still bad, and we have power at home, I'll sleep at the hotel a while. If there's no power at home, I'll get home to J-Man, however long it takes. He suffers so when the power goes off, because so does the heat (not to mention running water), and if I'm there, I can drag down the oil lamps for heat and light, and cook on the gas stove.

Tandi is not pleased. She doesn't like anything messing with her "bathroom", nor does she like cold, wet paws. Thank goodness she finally got housetrained! lol I still have to accompany her out there--as if I could make it warm and dry. Or maybe she figures if she has to be inconvenienced, so should I.