Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day!

This is the day we remember our fallen soldiers, those who have given their time, energy and, ultimately, their lives to protect and serve their nation and the democratic principles on which it is based.

No matter your political leanings or feelings about the various administrations that come and go, this is something we can all agree on. These are people who deserve our respect.

I'm proud to say I have a (retired) member of the military in my family and, despite our loving political "discussions" :-), I have nothing for respect for him and those like him who volunteered to serve. Politics dictate where they're sent and why, but honor, courage and loyalty keep them there doing their job.

We salute you.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Brainwashed by Eurovision

There's no other explanation - it must be Stockholm Syndrome. Oh no, even the name taunts me!

The first year I was here to hear about it, 2008, I was confused. What the heck? Why? What's the point? And why a turkey?!

The second year, I remember turning my nose up in disdain at the silly Europeans and their weird song contest with the silly costumes and the bizarre dances and the totally unnecessary hoopla.

This year, bring on the Eurovision Song Contest! I actually set the DVR to tape it, found myself twittering about it, and was insulted (insulted I tell you!) that we in Ireland weren't allowed to vote tonight.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday Pearls

"Hope" is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tunes without words
and never stops - at all.
- Emily Dickinson (via Criminal Minds, Series 5: Mosley Lane)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Ode to the Neti Pot

Yes folks, this post is about... wait for it!... my nose. Nostrils, honker, beak, face flusher... you name it, it's been the bane of my life since I first got my cat 13 years ago. (Mwahh, love you sweetie!)

I hate being stuffed up all the time! Hate it, hate it, HATE IT!! But, there's only so much I've been able to do about it. Despite the years of allergy injections, purchases of hypoallergenic bedding and trials of various medications, the core problem has never gone away. Really, I'm just not willing to kill off my cat, no matter if my sinuses would sing hallelujah and throw me a party :-) Evil and object of cursing by my friends and family she may be, but she's MINE darn it!

My latest attempt to fix the darn thing is to try out a Neti Pot I bought online on eBay. It's actually not a pot per se, more of a plastic jug with a nozzle on the bottom, but it fits the general definition I guess - implement for nasal/sinus irrigation. I've been using it for a full week now.

It's sort of an odd sensation, usually people try to keep water out of their nose, but it actually doesn't feel bad once you try it the first time and it's dead easy to do. The process happens almost completely on its own without much work on my part. Gravity and pressure does it all. All you have to do is bend over the sink a bit and tilt your head, and voila!

The good news is it works. Ok, it's slightly gross, especially the first few days with all your old crustiness is getting flushed out, but it's certainly no worse than have to blow your nose multiple times a day. Ugh. Since I've bought it, I've cut my use of nasal spray/medication almost two-thirds, my savings in tissues is immense and, need I say it?, I can breathe!

I actually received my new best friend in the mail the day after I started having the early symptoms of a cold/flu. By that morning, it had moved into my chest and I was doing the wet cough, low grade fever, general crappy feeling thing. I was not a happy camper. The last time this happened, just 2 months ago, I ended up in the A&E (ER) in the middle of the night because I just couldn't breathe! Lucky me got told I don't "technically" have asthma, which is kind of good to know, but didn't help when I thought I was going to die because my chest was so tight. I did get my very first Nebulizer treatment and a brand new inhaler. Yeah for new experiences, right?

Thankfully, this time turned out differently. After I started using the Neti last Monday, the cold symptoms retreated rapidly from my chest and, in fact, were almost gone the next day. My fever and fatigue symptoms abandoned ship as well. I still have a cough hanging around from nasal drip, but it's episodic and never lasts long.

I have to say, for a homeopathic remedy - albeit one that's been used regularly by Indian devotees for centuries - this thing is working wonders! My goal is to eventually get off medication completely and to NOT be asked almost daily "do you have a cold?" That would be nice. So would not having to think about how my nose is working at all.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Friday Pearls

Experience is a brutal teacher, but you learn. My God, do you learn.
- C.S. Lewis (via Criminal Minds, Series 5: Risky Business)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Friday Pearls

Anything you can not relinquish when it has outlived its usefulness possesses you.
- Mildred Lesett Norman

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Resistance is Futile

The assimilation continues... sorta. Today I spontaneously and unselfconsciously asked my (office) Team mates, "Shall we have a spot of tea?"

Now, I'm no longer surprised by my capitulation to the dominance of the tea break. Or to the gentle, questioning mode for making a suggestion. But, where the heck did "a spot" come from? That's the British style, not Irish.

Maybe, it's too much U.K. TV. Or maybe I'm just resisting the humiliation of actually hearing myself suggest we get "a cuppa". All I know is it's a battle zone inside my head and the U.S. ain't winning!