Friday, December 14, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Mmmm, the bodice of the dress looked lighter than that. Here's the picture that came with the pan:
My lettering is a little uneven, but so is most of the girl's at the party! Do you know how confused I got cause the picture is reversed to the layout of the cake?!
The eyelashes and pupils were supposed to be black, but I was forking out the money for the proper Disney Princess dye set so I didn't want to buy black as well. The skin colour is called Copper and was way too peachy. I think I should have smoothed her lipstick like the instructions said, LOL.
Lucy got upset when Megan blew out the candles while we were singing! There was only two small pieces left at the end. So, now you know, Cinderella can easily feed 13 young kids, LOL.
No one threw up, only one girl cried, no one smashed the wall during the pinata (they have pull ribbons now), and amazingly, not one cup of juice was spilled! So I guess it was a success. The great thing was Saturday morning though. Huey and Lucy played for hours quietly in their room!
Friday, November 9, 2007
Why Can't I Own a Canadian?
Dr. Laura Schlessinger is a radio personality who dispenses advice to people who call in to her radio show. Recently, she said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22 and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following is an open letter to Dr. Laura penned by a east coast resident, which was posted on the Internet. It's funny, as well as informative:
Dear Dr. Laura:
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other specific laws and how to follow them:
When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15:19- 24. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?
I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?
A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?
Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?
Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?
I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? - Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.
Your devoted fan,
Still having some pain today. The diarrhea has changed but my poops still float (giardia blocks the absorption of fat so it all comes out in the poop!).
I went to band practice last night. I got cornered by the director who asked if I had gone to school in town ".......or where did I study music?....." so I had to fess up and say I had indeed studied at university. I was hoping to be a big slacker in this group. In the Guelph Concert Band, the repertoire was very challenging and slacking was not possible. But this group is more at the advanced high school level, and as the director is a high school music teacher too, I thought there'd be a million flute players like usual.
But no....there's a grade 11/12 girl and her aunt (average), and a young boy (grade 8?) who seemed a little different and I found out last night he came to Canada from Russia only a couple years ago. Can't tell from his speech, but when the sign up sheet came around, he had to take it to his father, and sometimes he doesn't seem to understand some directions. He's a very early beginner player though and most of the music is too hard for him, but he's trying. And last night there was another grade 10 student, but she wasn't outstanding.
I've been reflecting back to when I was in grade 10 and I would have played my buns off to get a good position/chair and this music wouldn't have been too difficult. But then again, I'd practice at least two hours/day. It was surprising though how I could seem to be so good at one level, but once I got to university (and not even the top music school in Ontario by far), I was way down the ladder. And where are those players today? Not too many who graduated with a B.Mus have careers in music.....Anyway, it's fun being back in a concert band, even if I don't get to slack off and he wants me to be a pillar of timing, tuning, and articulation, LOL. I was feeling pretty beat by the time we finished last night!
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
She genuinely felt bad for me, which was nice to see. Pity when you're sick won't cure anything, LOL, but when a medical person says "You've had it really rough" you feel somehow like you're getting good care.
It turns out I have Giardia. Yup, beaver fever. But also can be caught in public pools and food sources--the parasites can survive even the chlorination of city water supplies! It blocks the absorption of fat, resulting in the horrifically smelling gas and diarrhea. I'll be on antibiotics for 10 days and will still feel sick and 'unwell' for at least two weeks (so much for going to the Royal Winter Fair again). My stomach will need several months to heal and I need to avoid dairy. Many people become lactose intolerant after Giardia.
So, it's not Crohn's Disease, and it's not viral, and it's not even bacterial I think. Hopefully my Giardia are not anti-biotic resistant which is becoming a big issue with them. And hopefully I can keep this weight loss off!
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
So the doc felt my tummy, it didn't hurt this time, and said my liver results were high, probably from being dehydrated. She thinks it's viral but if it doesn't clear out soon, she thinks I should have a colonoscopy and she wanted some more bloodwork done.
I pretty much scratched Crohn's off the list on Monday night as Huey was quite sick with diarrhea! Then, on Tuesday morning, he threw up. The doc looked at him too, he had no fever and no pain when she felt his tummy (despite having had tummy pains on the weekend). For the rest of the afternoon, we drove around, went to the lab but it was closed, went to the bulk food store where he suddenly perked up, especially after a handfull of candy corn. We dropped off a bag of baby hats (including two pumpkin hats) to the hospital, and went up to Camilla Valley Farm for some yarn. By the time we got Lucy he was fine, and after school we cleaned out the pumpkin guts, but I could feel myself getting worse.
But not worse in the tummy way! A cold or something was settling in. Monday night I was hot and cold and had bizarre scary dreams--very unusual for me. Tuesday morning I still was fluctuating hot and cold. By the time Rob came home Megan was clearly sick with a runny nose and the two of us were flaked out on the couch. Rob took Huey and Lucy to the school Fall Fair, and Megan fell asleep on the couch. I vegged, sweated, talked to my Ma, shivered, watched TV, etc until bedtime. It was not a good sleep, and I slept in this morning and Huey was late for school. He didn't eat all his breakfast.
Once home, I was trying to take some vitamins and my meds, when I started having trouble drinking the cold water. I started gagging and then throwing up. And up. And up. That's so odd for me. I so rarely do that, but that's the second time this year! I think the anti-nausea medication on the ship must have really helped keep me from puking! For awhile after that I felt worse, but now I'm feeling not bad, except for this cold. So hopefully I am getting better--or at least my stomach is.
Over (Canadian) Thanksgiving, I became ill---nausea, stomach pains, and then the lovely diarrhea. I RARELY get issues like that. On October 4th, I had an eye exam, and the usual drops to dialate my eyes. But they took forever before they began to contract again (the drops went in around 2:40 and at 6:30 I was still very dialated) and I was getting nauseous--from the extra sun, I thought.
Thanksgiving Monday was really bad, but then I felt better for a few days. But on the Thursday, it all came back. We had to leave for the airport at 2:30AM Saturday Oct. 13 (we were going to leave at 3AM but Rob forgot to pay the hydro bill). I was nauseous and couldn't eat.Over the week, I was all shades of green. The diarrhea would come and go, slowed by Imodium which I hated using but I wanted to enjoy our trip!
But by the time we got back on Saturday, there was no stopping it. I couldn't eat, or drink, and could feel myself getting dehydrated. I'm usually a big water drinker, so I was feeling BAD.
Yesterday I got in to see the doctor, who thinks it's a bacterial gastrointeritis. Similiar to a 'stomach flu' but bacteria instead of viral. I guess viruses have fairly short lifespans (well, except for HPV and HIV), and bacteria love to multiply. I took one antibiotic late Monday night and one Tuesday morning, and had NO bowel action until about 4:45pm on Tuesday! I'm less nauseous, and most importantly, I can get fluids down again.I'm the only person I know to go on a cruise and lose weight. But my clothes are still tight; I guess from bloating (oh, the gas has been horrible. Totally horrible. Imagine my fear with a 3hr plane flight?).
Monday, October 29, 2007
Chicken pox vaccine associated with shingles epidemic
Medical Research News
Published: Thursday, 1-Sep-2005
New research published in the International Journal of Toxicology (IJT) by Gary S. Goldman, Ph.D., reveals high rates of shingles (herpes zoster) in Americans since the government's 1995 recommendation that all children receive chicken pox vaccine.
Goldman's research supports that shingles, which results in three times as many deaths and five times the number of hospitalizations as chicken pox, is suppressed naturally by occasional contact with chicken pox.
Dr. Goldman's findings have corroborated other independent researchers who estimate that if chickenpox were to be nearly eradicated by vaccination, the higher number of shingles cases could continue in the U.S. for up to 50 years; and that while death rates from chickenpox are already very low, any deaths prevented by vaccination will be offset by deaths from increasing shingles disease. Another recent peer-reviewed article authored by Dr. Goldman and published in Vaccine presents a cost-benefit analysis of the universal chicken pox (varicella) vaccination program.
Goldman points out that during a 50-year time span, there would be an estimated additional 14.6 million (42%) shingles cases among adults aged less than 50 years, presenting society with a substantial additional medical cost burden of $4.1 billion.
This translates into $80 million annually, utilizing an estimated mean healthcare provider cost of $280 per shingles case.
After a child has had varicella (chickenpox), the virus becomes dormant and can reactivate later in adulthood in a closely related disease called shingles--both caused by the same varicella-zoster virus (VZV). It has long been known that adults receive natural boosting from contact with children infected with chicken pox that helps prevent the reactivation of shingles.
Based on Dr. Goldman's earlier communications with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Goldman maintains that epidemiologists from the CDC are hoping "any possible shingles epidemic associated with the chickenpox vaccine can be offset by treating adults with a 'shingles' vaccine." This intervention would substitute for the boosting adults previously received naturally, especially during seasonal outbreaks of the formerly common childhood disease.
"Using a shingles vaccine to control shingles epidemics in adults would likely fail because adult vaccination programs have rarely proved successful," said Goldman. "There appears to be no way to avoid a mass epidemic of shingles lasting as long as several generations among adults."
Goldman's analysis in IJT indicates that effectiveness of the chickenpox vaccine itself is also dependent on natural boosting, so that as chickenpox declines, so does the effectiveness of the vaccine.
"The principal reason that vaccinees in Japan maintained high levels of immunity 20 years following vaccination was that only 1 in 5 (or 20%) of Japanese children were vaccinated," he said. "So those vaccinated received immunologic boosting from contact with children with natural chickenpox. But the universal varicella vaccination program in the U.S. will nearly eradicate this natural boosting mechanism and will leave our population vulnerable to shingles epidemics."
For decades it was thought shingles increased with age as older individuals' immune systems declined. However, Goldman's new research shows this phenomenon seemed primarily due to the fact that older people received fewer natural boosts to immunity as their contacts with young children declined.
Gary S. Goldman, Ph.D. served for eight years as a Research Analyst with the Varicella Active Surveillance Project conducted by the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (LACDHS). The project was funded by the CDC.
About Gary S. Goldman, Ph.D.: Currently serves as Founder and Editor-in- Chief of the peer-reviewed medical journal Medical Veritas (www.MedicalVeritas.com). Has recently authored five manuscripts concerning varicella, herpes zoster, and capture-recapture published in the European journal called Vaccine.
Research published in the International Journal of Toxicology, 24(4):205-213, Universal Varicella Vaccination: Efficacy Trends and Effect on Herpes Zoster. Also, Vaccine, 23(25):3349-3355, Cost-benefit analysis of universal varicella vaccination in the U.S. taking into account the closely related herpes zoster epidemiology.
I found this report on Children of God for Life; a fairly militant pro-life/anti-vax website. While I don't support much of the website, it has an interesting perspective on vaccines--particularly the ones (13 at present) that are cultured onto aborted human fetal tissue. No matter what your 'pro-life/anti-choice/pro-abortion/pro-choice' stance, it's still something to think about.
Friday, October 26, 2007
What is it about cruising that attracts so many travelers to the seven seas? Is it the opportunity to see the world? The remarkable cultures waiting to be experienced in exotic ports of call? The promise of a perfect family vacation?Or is it the 1,400 lbs. of lobster?Cruising has long been associated with delicious, abundant food, so just for fun we asked what it takes to supply a typical week-long cruise on Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas, the largest ship afloat. Here's what is consumed every 7 days:
234,000 appetizers; 105,000 meals and 300,680 desserts
20,000 lbs. of beef, including 69,000 steaks
12,000 lbs. of chicken
4,000 lbs. of seafood; 2,500 lbs. of salmon and 1,400 lbs. of lobster
65,000 lbs. of fresh vegetables and 35,000 lbs. of fresh fruits
5,800 lbs. of cheese
28,000 fresh eggs
18,000 slices of pizza
8,000 gallons of ice cream
1,500 lbs. of coffee and 1,500 gallons of milk
11,500 cans of soda; 19,200 bottles and cans of beer and 2,900 bottles of wine Weighing in at 158,000 tons, the 5-star Freedom of the Seas currently offers alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries out of Miami. For more information on upcoming Freedom of the Seas cruises, click here.
How much of that did I eat? Not too much! Rob had several slices of pizza...every day!