Saturday, April 28, 2007

Let's get Trivial

Now that the little strep bug is under control (see post below), I am feeling much better, one indication being that I am back to pondering odd things as is my normal habit. Anyone can tell you that I love trivia and especially obscure tidbits that would only be very helpful to know if you were ever called to be on a quiz show like Jeopardy or the 25,000 Dollar Pyramid. Usually these little bits of information just swirl around and around in the trivia cortex part of my brain-- waiting for an opportunity to be passed on, because, let's be real, trivia is meant to be shared. For instance, here's one you might not know, I didn't until I happened across this piece of information the other night: In the Major Leagues, brand new baseballs are seasoned with this special mud that can only be found in an undisclosed location in New Jersey on the Delaware River. It's called Lena Blackburne Rubbing Mud. It's true! I read it in the Baseball Field Guide.

It should be no surprise at all to you, then, to know that I love reading the Guinness Book of World Records, or that in the 80's I was huge fan of the TV shows Believe it or Not and That's Incredible! (remember those, anyone?)

Curious minds want to know, after all.

I was a whiz on those trivia games that were popular way back when. When hubby was in college, we loved to go to the neighborhood gathering spot and play trivia games on a big screen tv while visiting with friends. He always wanted me on his team, and we usually won.

But I have to ask myself, in the big scheme of things, what good will any of that information do me in life? I am quite certain that I will never be on a quiz show or in a Trivial Pursuit tournament. Hmmm, well, I guess that leaves writing about it in my blog.

But, being me, still I wondered how well I would do if I were on a quiz show such as the Newlyweds where they ask questions as to how well you really know your mate. Most people like to think they really know the person they married. Now, I have a great advantage to those newlyweds as I have been married to BWH (busy woodshop hubby) for going on 15 years. I know things about him that others might not know: Things like that he likes cinnamon in his coffee; he is listed in Who's Who 2002; he always remembers my birthday but has to ask me how old he is EVERY YEAR! I know lots of little things such as that but even after 15 years of marriage and 17 years of knowing him, I still find out things all the time that I never knew. He recently told me a story from his childhood that I had never heard before (and believe me, I thought I had heard them all! many! times!) I found out one day that his favorite jello flavor is cherry. Something so basic should be already in the trivia databank. Is it important to know these things? I don't know. I just know that there are still little bits of trivia to uncover even after all these years. I wonder about all the things I don't know, except I don't know what I don't know, you know? Luckily for me, love doesn't depend on knowing every last small detail. Maybe that's what makes life interesting, the little things we learn each day about those we love.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Something that's not so pretty

We just discovered something rosy-colored that's not so rosy to have. That would be the nice rosy color of a throat infected with Streptococcus A. Don't let the electron micrograph photo at left fool you. As pop art hung on the wall it may be beautiful, but when this organism takes up residence in your body, it is an entirely different matter. It has been a year since we last dealt with it, but we haven't forgotten how much mayhem this little germ causes. Last year two of our family members had it a total of seven times. That 's a lot of days of not feeling so great and a lot of antibiotic treatment. Not everyone exposed to Strep A will get strep throat, but we are finding that some people certainly have a tendency to get it if they happen to be exposed to it.

If you or your child happen to be one of the latter, here is what you can expect: You will notice a general feeling of malaise, and a marked decrease of activity-- which, for a parent, is a sure sign something is wrong with their child. This will be followed by a headache, possibly a low grade fever and a very sore throat. If your child has tonsils, you will see that they are swollen, very red, and may have white patches. The glands in the neck may also be visibly swollen as well. They may complain of stomach ache or have a noticeable decrease of appetite. These symptoms were personally observed by me as a mom, and also when suffering the same miserable symptoms myself. Now, these symptoms can also be indicative of other diagnoses, which is why you have to go to the doctor for a rapid strep test. If it is negative then antibiotics will not help. If it is positive, then you definitely have our sympathy and we hope that the following information is helpful.

Here are some tips that we have learned in dealing with this nasty little germ. First of all, get plenty of rest-- that is very important! Really, you won't feel like doing much anyway so grab a warm blanket, fluffy pillow, magazine, book or the remote and plant yourself on a very comfy couch. Then, you want to make sure you stay home and away from other people until after you have been on antibiotics for at least 24 hours--- especially stay clear of pregnant moms. Drink lots of fluids, and try to eat something. The best things for a really sore throat are things such as applesauce, popsicles, ice cream, chicken broth, juice, or anything that sounds good and can be eaten without a lot of discomfort. If nothing else, then please drink water-- it will help the healing process and keep dehydration away. The worst of this illness after antibiotics have been started lasts about 24 hours. My son was feeling much better day 2, he was up and talking, eating, playing and basically back to his normal, "wild thing" self --- a little less energetic but much better than the first day.

The next most important thing is to have separate drinking cups for everybody--- this should already be a general rule but one of my kids has a terrible habit of grabbing whatever glass is on the counter and drinking from it despite all my warnings. I got some plastic cups and wrote everyone's name and instructed the entire family to ONLY drink from the cup with their name on it. You will need to buy new toothbrushes for everyone (I would recommend this even for the non-ill family members) We discovered that the strep bacteria can live on a hard surface for up to 15 days. That's a long time, and enough time to finish a course of antibiotics and get reinfected. This step is important-- also throw out the toothpaste as well and buy a tube for each person (I scoffed at this but think about it-- if the toothbrush is infected and the tube of toothpaste is touched to the brush-- that's all it takes). Last year, being my thrifty self, I opted for running the toothbrushes through the dishwasher instead of buying new ones, and guess what? We had a re-infection and another 10 days of antibiotics, so it's not worth it. Another thing to do is to thoroughly wipe all surfaces with bleach-- doorknobs, countertops, the toilet flusher handle-- everywhere a child would normally touch should be wiped. Doing this can help get the bacteria out of your household.

Even the most vigilant cleaning parent can not control the germs that children encounter every day at school. Frequent hand washing and the use of hand sanitizer are a must especially for those kids like mine who manage to catch Strep so easily. However, don't feel badly if you do need a second or third time with antibiotics-- it could be that the first round just wasn't effective enough or it could be that as it makes its way through the school, your child is being re-exposed to it.

I have found a couple of good resources that have a lot of information about the causes and treatment of strep infections:

Saturday, April 21, 2007

When was the last time you....

Since I'm new in the blogging world (as an author, that is!) I thought I would join in the fun and fill out my very first meme. So here goes:

When was the Last Time You ...

When was the last time I ...
1. kissed someone? kissed my busywoodshop hubby goodbye this morning as he took Wild Thing to his track meet.

2. drank coffee? lol right now as we speak. I drink Folger's instant with Coffeemate Vanilla Caramel (it's an acquired taste)

3. read a book? Last night-- I read three stories for Princess and then read my book while I wait for her to fall asleep

4. cursed? If "darn it" counts, then every day just about.

5. had a nightmare? I always dream that I'm back in high school and can't open my locker and I'm late for class (is that a nightmare?)

6. checked your email? 10 minutes ago

7. had a crush? 17 years ago and still going strong!

8. drove a car? yesterday, to a Little League game

9. rode a roller coaster? A few years ago. Hershey Park with the kids

10. took a nap? Last Sunday. I like to catnap on Sunday afternoons.

11. went to the movies? Charlotte's Web

12. drank alcohol? last night *Mike's Cranberry Lemonade*

13. went to a party? Christmas

14. said “I love you"? every night to busywoodshop hubby before we go to sleep

15. cooked a meal? This morning, I made bacon, eggs, toast. I cook dinner every night, last night we had Sloppy Joe's.

16. exercised? What? I'm supposed to exercise??

Friday, April 20, 2007

Think Pink

Welcome to the Pink Victorian, where we see things through rose colored glasses, because, quite frankly, everything looks better that way!

It seems inevitable that with a childhood nickname such as "Rosie from Roseville" that I would end up living in a pink house, does it not? Living in a pink house is not for everyone, however, there are advantages--- such as you can say to people, "We live in the second house on the right, the PINK house." And guess what? So far, we have never had a guest who got lost. I suppose if everyone lived in a pink house that could be problematic, so fortunately for us pink houses are few and far between.

Pink is a joyful color. For example, in the liturgy of the Catholic Church, on the Third Sunday of Advent, we light a pink candle which symbolizes the joy in our expectation of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is called "Gaudete Sunday" which means 'rejoice'. It is on this Sunday that the faithful get a little preview of the joy that is to come on Christmas day. During Lent, there is Laetare Sunday, which also features the color pink (or rose, as our priest says-- he doesn't wear pink for crying out loud!) In the season of Lent, this Sunday uses the rose color as a special sign of joy meant to encourage the faithful through their penitential practices. It is another preview of the joy coming at Easter. It's as if pink is a little signpost showing us that the best is yet to come-- hang on!

That's why I love the color pink. It is a joyful, happy and calming color. Where would roses be without the color pink? Or sunsets? Or little piggies? Pink is the color of a lot of my favorite things; babies, cotton candy, bubblegum, kittens' noses, petunias and yes, even flamingos. Someday I will put one in my yard, just because.

Pink is even used in popular sayings, such as "Tickled pink" which means of course, happy. Or what about "In the pink" which means you're healthy.

Pink is also romantic. I carried a bouquet of pale pink roses on my wedding day. My bridesmaids? They wore pink, of course. The groomsmen and the groom wore pink boutineers.

So welcome to my blog, where the best is yet to be! Through my blog, I hope to add some joy to your day. Until we meet again, may all your days be pink ones!