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Monday, May 24, 2010

How it's Spelled and What it is

That's Fu Manchu.  A mustache that grows down along the sides of the mouth to the chin or below.  Originated with a character in novels created by Sax Rohmer.  Wanna see what was cool back then?  Check it out (along with many other mustache styles) at .  Famous Fu Manchu 'staches include Joe Namath (note, he also wore panty hose in 1970s commercials) and Hulk Hogan.  Yeah, this bad boy is not ever going to make it onto the faces of one of my romantic heroes!  Yuck!

Lovin' Me a Love Song

Okay, I'm a nerd from way back.  Let's just get that said right up front.  I know it.  I'm not ashamed of it (anymore).  And we true nerds can never be de-nerdified.  So, if you look in my car you're going to see the following compact discs:

1.  Trock On - a compilation of songs by bands named for Dr. Who things and about Dr. Who things;
2.  Chameleon Circuit - a super-terrific Dr. Who album, highly sing-able and very funny (to those in the know);
3.  Aaron Jeffrey - the c.d. replacement of my mid-90's cassette tape with one of the most awesome songs showing the harmony of God's word imaginable ("He Is" - it's the last track); and
4.  Any or all of the following:  something by Barry Manilow, something by Rod Stewart, a compilation of Love Songs by various artists from various eras, and Kenny Loggins.

The cooler c.d.s in my car belong to my husband. 

Being the oldest child in my family, I didn't have the benefit of learning to be cool by having an older sibling.  Kelly, my best friend and neighbor when we were little girls, had two teenaged brothers.  My family listened to Tanya Tucker and Willie Nelson, so I listened to Tanya Tucker and Willie Nelson.  Kelly listened to The Guess Who, watched Solid Gold, and followed a local band called Fool's Face.  In elementary school!

Aunt Joyce and Uncle Larry bought me my first "cool" record album (to me, they were just absolutely IT as far as cool - Larry had a fu-manchu [okay, I've never tried to spell that word before and I'm sure that's wrong] mustache and Joyce was always so pretty - they had college aged foreign exchange students living in their home, sponsored the youth group at church - they were just cool).  It was my tenth birthday party and they bought me Debbie Boone's You Light Up My Life album.  Okay, it wasn't The Guess Who, but still, it played on Top 40 radio stations and was NOT going to be heard at the KTTS Listener Appreciation shows I attended with my parents.

So, I got my first cool record album and what did I do?  I turned it into nerdy.  I followed it with an obsession with The Osmonds (remind me to blog sometime about seeing them in concert at the State Fair - I wore purple jeans because it was Donny's favorite color) and Barry Manilow.  The only 8-track I ever called my own was Donny Osmond's Disco Train.  I have a pretty complete collection of Manilow albums and a hefty number of Osmonds plus a few from later years including Dan Fogelberg and two Randy Travis representing a brief lapse into the country scene.  They're mixed in among Bruce's ELO and Deep Purple.  I've just always been a sucker for love songs! 

The best of the best for a nerd like me include:

1.  Weekend in New England (Manilow)
2.  The Old Songs (Manilow)
3.  Merry Christmas, Darling (The Carpenters)
4.  Hard to Say (Fogelberg)
5.  When October Goes (Manilow)
6.  She Should'a Been Mine (Manilow)
7.  Not What You See and I Miss You (Manilow)

Now, just to solidify your picture of me as a nerd, know that I also like soundtracks to musicals.  My favorites are The Sound of Music (because Christopher Plummer was one of my first crushes - what little girl doesn't want to grow up to be a nun in order to find her Captain Von Trapp?), Fiddler On the Roof (do you know the song Do You Love Me??  Awesome!), and, of course, Phantom of the Opera (favorite lyric:  "Say you'll share with me one love, one lifetime.  Say one word and I will follow you. . . Anywhere you go let me go, too.  Love me, that's all I ask of you."  - Oh, can you just feel that orchestration swelling in your chest?!  This is one I sing off-key at the top of my lungs while driving, so if you ever see me at a stop light looking as if I'm having a heart attack, just know it's the Phantom.)

Now, I don't want you to think that as I grew I didn't expand my tastes.  I did.  Widely.  In fact, now I would consider my favorite artist to be Michael Franks.  He's a jazz vocalist who writes the most luxurious and sultry lyrics I've ever heard.  Really, really romantic.  Look him up.  I love jazz music and I find even the instrumentals to be deeply moving, satisfying.  But, the poetry, the lyric - ah.  Therein is romance. 

Sing it or say it, be it Shakespeare or Sinatra.  There's a world of knee-knocking, head-spinning, heart-palpitating, palm-sweating, breathlessness in the right turn of phrase.  I wonder what's on the radio right about now?


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Natalie's First Vet Visit

The dogs I had before Natalie were all family dogs - Mom, Shawn and me.  I was referred to as "Sissy" - as in "Come to Sissy" or "Go wake up Sissy".  With Nattie, I became Momma.  It's great, except it also means that I'm the one who has to take Baby Girl to the vet for her shots.  Fortunately, Daddy was good enough to come, too. 

I'm a firm beliver in the power of prayer and I also believe that God, the Creator of all things - including sweetest Nattie - cares deeply about His creation.  So, I prepared for Natalie's visit to Dr. Brown by praying for her.  But, like so many prayers, what started as for her quickly became for me.  And for Bruce.  I tell you, we were both as antsy as could be about taking her to get her shots!  It was ridiculous! 

Natalie, if you remember, was a stray when she was taken in by Ship to Safe Haven in February 2009.  We adopted her in July.  She was up to date on all her vaccinations and has been healthy since we brought her home.  But, the charts showed it was time for Rabies, Bordatella, and Dystemper shots.  We were concerned because Miss Nattie is very. . . well, anxiety-ridden, I guess is how to put it.  She's wary of people - all people - other than us.  Even when my mother comes for a visit Natalie barks and backs up across the room before finally bolting upstairs and barking from the top.  She does this with everyone.  So, the thought of taking her to a vet's office was not a happy one.  I envisioned our sitting in the lobby, Natalie skidding all over the linoleum floor, barking and backing and causing a scene.  I imagined when the vet came in she'd bark and growl and twist in her harness and cause an even bigger scene.  I feared she'd be upset with us afterward and not want anything to do with us.  I worried she'd have a reaction to the vaccines - didn't matter what kind - I was worried about everything from mild joint aches to hives.

We arrived in this gorgeous Animal Care Center and were taken straight back to the nicest little exam room.  Natalie was fine with the nurse who escorted us there.  We were left alone to fill out paperwork and the same nurse came back.  Natalie decided to growl.  It wasn't really a threatening growl, just a low kind of "I don't like this very much" kind of growl.  Then, it came time to weigh her which required we hand the leash off to the nurse.  Nattie was having no part of it.  She would NOT go with the nurse.  So, I picked her up and handed her to the nurse who took her to the next room to weigh her.  It was nothing more than a couple of minutes, I'm sure, but it felt like a long time and every noise we heard we worried what Natalie was doing back there.  Running amok with her leash trailing behind?  Leaping off the scale?  Worse?

She came back through and wagged her tail at us once we were left alone again.  The next wait seemed interminable.  There was a beeping sound that we heard each time the exam room door opened and for some reason I think it beeped ten times at least before someone actually came through.  When Dr. Brown entered he was quite a shock to our quiet little girl.  He's a delightful man, but speaks up and is quite expressive.  Bruce and I keep a really quiet home, so Natalie's used to the sounds of NPR or a favorite of Bruce's c.d.s, things like that.  I mean, one time we were watching NCIS and Natalie was laying on my lap.  McGee opened a cupboard door and a monkey started screaming.  Natalie's head popped up and she looked at that screen.  Her ears were high.  The monkey kept screaming.  Before I could say, "Bruce, press Mute," Natalie darted around the corner, out of the line of vision and it was a week before she'd go anywhere near the television again.  She is a very civilized dog.  Anyway, long story short, Natalie's healthy and nearly three hours later is showing absolutely no signs of any adverse reactions - either physical or psychological.  Praise God! 


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Calling Senator Champion

Tonight I placed my first ever call to a Senator.  I'm getting radical in my old age, I guess. 

If you'll recall, I attended a meeting back in December to get training to gather signatures on a petition to put an initiaitve on the November 2010 ballot to regulate puppy mills in Missouri.  I gladly donated time to gather signatures and, though I didn't do as much as I personally could have or maybe even should have, the final count was nearly twice the number of signatures needed in order to get the issue on the ballot (about 100 of which I gathered myself on some early Saturday mornings). 

I learned today that a group of Senators working with special interest groups are trying to prevent that legislation from even reaching the ballot - in essence, silencing the voices of over 190,000 voters in their state who asked by their signatures that the initiative be brought to vote and nullifying the state constitution that gives the citizens of Missouri the right to vote - by considering proposed HJR 86. 

If you are a registered voter in Missouri, I urge you to go to the ASPCA Advocacy page at and read for yourself what is being proposed.  Then, pull on your big girl britches like I did tonight and telephone your Senator's office to respectfully request that he or she oppose such legislation.  Be sure you give your name and address so the office will be able to verify that you are a constituent of the Senator's district.  This site has a function that will provide you with the name and number of your Senator if you don't know who that is.  Or, you might find the name here: 

Dan Clemens - District 20 (covers: Christian Co; Webster Co; Douglas Co; Greene Co)- (573) 751-4008

Jack Goodman - District 29 (covers: Ozark Co; McDonald Co; Barry Co; Stone Co; Taney Co; Lawrence Co.) - (573) 751-2234

Norma Champion - Springfield,Mo. (573) 751-2583

You can also listen to a radio spot here:

Whether or not you're a "dog person" - you do have the right to vote.  Make that call.  Believe me, if I could be brave enough to do it, you can!  Make your voice heard and make a difference in Missouri.