Author Archives: admin

About admin

I am a Midwestern lady who has taken "the scenic route" through life. The term "intellectually promiscuous" to describe those of us with wide and varied interests, archaeologists of the past and present, readers of all sorts of things, thinkers of deep thoughts, and open minded enough to look at many different view points, cultures, values and opinions. I will also marry for a green card and a full relocation package to a Democratic Socialist country with a strong safety net and great cultural opportunities. I am not kidding.

Om nom nom Mediterranean Potato Foam

Mediterranean Potato Foam

Feb 12th, 2013

by Creamright.

Mediterranean Potato Foam


Ingredients for a 1 Pint Dispenser:
300 g (10.5 oz) potatoes
2 sprigs of rosemary
1 cup whole milk
¼ cup heavy cream
1–2 tbsp. olive oil
1–2 garlic cloves
½ tsp. lemon zest
salt, pepper, nutmeg

1. Boil the peeled and cubed potatoes in salted water with a sprig of rosemary for approx. 10 minutes, drain and leave to stand briefly.
2. Heat the milk with the garlic and a sprig of rosemary and add the cream.
3. Mash the warm potatoes into the hot liquid with a potato ricer (do not puree with a mixer) and stir with a whisk.
4. Season the puree to taste with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and lemon zest. Leave to stand for 2–3 minutes at a low heat. The mixture should have a liquid consistency.
5. Pass the mixture through theiSi Funnel & Sieve directly into the 1 pint dispenser.
6. Screw on one N20 Cream Charger and shake vigorously.
7. Keep the dispenser warm sitting in warm water.  Shake vigorously before serving.


Have I ever told you about the time I nearly got raped in Istanbul?

Have I ever told you about the time I nearly got raped in Istanbul?

A traveler beware blog post by Joabble


The establishment in question

I honestly didn’t know whether to post this under Humor, WTF-ery or where on

Joabble bought a $5 gig for promotion on this site – fair disclosure – and submitted this blog post and photo to me for said promotion. It is definitely worth the read, and certainly an object lesson in why having a local guide or a good grasp of the language might be advisable when traveling. Especially if you are going to get naked and let people touch you in a Turkish bath house. Just sayin’.  Check it out!


Want to help a wounded military man or woman learn to fly fish, tie flies or build fishing rods?

Want to help a wounded military man or woman learn to fly fish, tie flies or build fishing rods?

A catchphrase making the rounds nowadays is “I want to do something to make a difference”. What makes a difference varies from person to person but here’s something that will definitely make a difference regardless of your political persuasion: Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc.

Find out more at Cochran’s Cartoons or at the PHWFF home page.

Project Healing Waters

Project Healing Waters


Happy New Birthday

On January 25, 2013 my daughter was reborn as a healthy, no heart problem present adult.

She has suffered from PSVT Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia since birth in December 1985. No one had any idea she had this till she was born and had heart rates well over 220 bpm. Not healthy for a kid. She spent the first 10 days of her life in the Neonatal ICU at Kansas University Medical Center. Her doctor there was Kenneth Goertz, MD and he still practices at the KUMed NICU.

After that, it was 6 months on a monitor 24/7 plus two different medications every day. The monitor went away when she started to crawl, but the medications stayed until she was at least two. Multiple PVST episodes, ER trips and panicked parent moments happened in that time. The doctors believed she had outgrown the issue while she was in preschool, so we never thought another moment about it until she reached middle school. Around that time she started reporting episodes of rapid heart beat and chest pain. Of course, by the time we got to the ER, nothing was found on the EKGs.

Healthy heart

Healthy Heart Function

The episodes continued occasionally through college but as my daughter reached her 20’s they really increased in frequency. She started feeling faint when they occurred, including while driving. Again, not a great scenario. In the past year they had really peaked. She spent a month hooked up to a monitor and it captured at least 15 distinct PVST episodes during that time. She consulted with a cardiologist who offered her 2 options – cardiac catheterization and ablation of the offending place inside her heart, or be on medication forever. The daughter chose the procedure.

It occurred on 1/25/2013 at Overland Park Regional Medical Center, with Dr. Peter Park as the officiating electro-cardiologist. We were all nervous and in some level of tears while waiting for them to take the daughter into the surgery suite. As the doctor and his assistant were explaining the procedure and showing us the catheterization leads that would be used, I came as close as I ever have to fainting. I got hot and couldn’t breathe and thought I was going to faint even after I sat down and loosened my warm clothes.

Once it was time for her to go to surgery, I really lost it. Sobbing uncontrollably and hating myself for doing so – shouldn’t I be strong and stoic, to give her a good start to this procedure? I failed in that but succeeded in conveying how much I love her and wanted this issue to finally be fixed. 27 years of living with this over her head, always wondering if it will cause her to suddenly drop dead or wreck in traffic or just be an ongoing pest.

PSVT Heart

How a heart with PSVT works, including the accessory channel issue

About 3 hours later – and approximate hourly updates from inside the catheterization suite – we received word she was done and in recovery. About 1/2 hour after THAT, the daughter was ready to be moved to her room. The hospital was keeping her overnight for observation.We were told the offending bit of heart was a “concealed accessory channel” and we all had to Google that. It is a side channel of heart muscle that transmits the electrical rhythm of the heart in ways and to places it should not go, causing the weird heart rhythms. It is called Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome. The ablation procedure had basically cauterized that bit of heart, closing that channel and creating scar tissue over it instead. Now her electrical signals will only go where and when they are supposed to go.

Daughter was on her gurney in the hall with her nurse, sobbing with relief that 1) the procedure was over and she lived, and 2) she was told she was cured. She couldn’t process the fact that this thing was gone, she had never EVER lived a day in her life without it and it was weird. We got her to her room, there were more tears of relief all around. Once I knew she was settled for the day I left her in the more-than-capable care of her husband and her father. All the relatives had been notified of the successful outcome. 27 years of carrying the burden of having given the child this burden were gone. She had been healed.

More importantly, she has another 75 years or more of health and happiness as almost a new person. I thank every deity around us and in every form for watching over her all these years and for giving her the best father and the best husband a girl can have, and for bringing excellent doctors and top technology into her life.  She had a great team in Dr. Park, his assistant and the nurses who cared for her.

May her new life be blessed with health, happiness and peace.


Healthy Heart Forever


Trying Pinterest Stuff, or This is Relevant to My Interests

Like any good fan, I occasionally try things posted on the site. Tonight was dedicated to trying to make my feet less icky callussy crackedy using a supposedly foolproof recipe.


Icky feet

Regular stuff like vaseline and socks overnight, Pedi-Egg and lotion all the time were not working at all. Here is the procedure. I am NOT making this up.

feet in socks


Purple Pedi-Egg. Mine is white. I feel cheated.

First, prepare a 50/50 mix of Listerine or generic and warm to hot water. The mouthwash MUST have alcohol in it, and I would suggest using the cheap stuff in the big plastic bottle. Soak 2 hand towels in the solution while you coat your feet bottoms in shaving cream.  I used Barbasol. It’s $1.50 and it’s for my feet.


Listerine and Barbasol

Wrap a Listerine soaked towel around each foot, then a plastic grocery bag around each foot to catch drips. Chill out for 30 minutes while your feet soak.


Feet processing in Listerine and Barbasol towels

Unwrap feet, scrub feet with the soaked towels and dry off. Liberally apply heavy foot cream. Doing this weekly will supposedly make foot calluses and cracks disappear and you will have baby smooth feet.

I followed the drying off with a good Pedi-Egging before adding the cream. I used a beeswax and milk-based organic hand salve rather than anything lotion or even cocoa butter.

not my feet

Better feet, but still not my feet

Results: Feet are very clean and kind of tingly from the menthol in the shaving cream, I suspect.  Feet are somewhat less cracked. Entire house reeks of Listerine and Barbasol. Even cooking fish in the microwave has not overcome the stench. I’m not sure if this is worth the trade off yet. Make sure to use white or skin colored towels, as other users reported color transfer from the towels to the feet. I’d suggest arranging to not have distractions during the process because staggering around in towel and bag wrapped feet – while hilarious to onlookers – can be dangerous. Safety first.

Suggestions for further research: Find unscented Listerine and use plain unscented shave cream if such things exist. Keep at least 2 of those pink hospital basins around, one for soaking and one for setting the feet while they are covered in shave cream and waiting for the towel. Learn to like smell of Listerine and shave cream.

Bonus previously unreported discovery: Cats do not like the smell of Listerine and shave cream either. I rinsed out the used towels very thoroughly and rinsed out the tub after dumping out the Listerine mix. The towels are hanging in the tub to dry before going in the laundry room. The cats’ food is also in the bathroom and they have an automatic feeder. Usually they run for the feeder when they hear it do the food dump. Not tonight. They won’t go near the place. Interesting. If I could stand the stench, I would cover the counter and tabletop with the mixture just to keep the cats off.

cat feeding

Usual cat feeding behavior at my house

do not want

Cat behavior after smelling Listerine and Barbasol in their food room

Note: Images used are of stunt-feet and stunt-cats. No actual cats or feet were harmed in the making of this post.


Cops: Fake doc used Krazy Glue in butt surgery

Cops: Fake doc used Krazy Glue in butt surgery

That is seriously the excerpt breaking news headline from our friends at for this story. There is so much WTF and WRONG and FAIL in this story I don’t even know where to start.

Florida police: Man posing as doctor gave silicone injections, sealed with Krazy Glue

By Brian Hamacher,

A Florida man is facing charges of unlicensed practice of health care causing serious bodily harm after he injected silicone into at least two patients’ buttocks at a motel room, according to a Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office arrest report obtained Wednesday.

 Calvin Edward Butler, 44, also known as Tamieka Butler, performed the injections at El Patio Motel dating back to June 2012, the report said.
butt surgery bandit

Calvin Edward Butler, butt-surgery Krazy Glue bandit

The first alleged victim, a woman, told detectives in December that she received injections from Butler at the motel four times between September and October, the report said.

The victim said she would disrobe from the waist down and Butler would use a felt tip pen to mark areas on her buttocks where Butler felt she “needed fullness,” according to the report.



I Don’t Even Know 1/22/2013

The expression “when it rains, it pours” has never been more true for my family I think.

We are in the process of moving my grandmother (aged 100 years, 11 months and 10 days) from an independent retirement apartment to assisted living. She was put in the hospital a couple of weeks ago with congestive heart failure, and has been in skilled nursing rehab for about a week. The task of the move  has fallen to myself and my parents, aged 75 and 76. Cleaning out a 100 year old woman’s apartment is no fun. We are talking hoarders here, folks. I took out at least a dozen bags of trash and items to be discarded that *should* have been trash. Then Mom had to cull more stuff and the clothes. Good God, the clothes. Some had not been worn in so long there was dust on them. We packed everything up, and Mom hired an EXCELLENT senior moving company to move the furniture.

In the middle of all this, I am still waiting on my shoulder surgery. It was delayed from 1/17 because I cleverly had a car wreck on the way to the parents to GO to the surgery. Apparently anasthesiologists won’t put you under for at least a week after you’ve been in even a fender bender. Mine happened in congested traffic. Everyone, including me, slammed on their brakes for something. I was the last in line, and didn’t slam fast enough I guess, and slammed into the BMW in front of me. $115 “inattentive driving” ticket and $500 car insurance deductible, and my car should be ready to pick up on Friday.

So, moving Grandma’s stuff in a rental car. That actually proved to be a boon, because the rental has fold-down rear seats and let me carry more stuff than my Civic hybrid. And I suppose having the surgery postponed was also a blessing because I have been able to help the parents with the move rather than being moral support.

Add to this that Daughter is scheduled to have a cardiac ablation procedure to correct Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia, a condition she was born with but which has been worsening. This is set for Friday and will involve surgeons threading a soldering iron up through her femoral artery to her heart and zapping the offending nerve bundle into submission. Sounds un-fun.

Then, yesterday evening after packing some of Grandma’s stuff I went to the parents’ house to chill for a bit. I found their old dog Ebby in bad shape. She had been failing for a while, but just looked horrible. I put the other dog – younger and far too rowdy- in her crate, and lay on the floor with Eb. Using my empath and Reiki stuff (believe it or don’t) me and Eb talked and she got lots of pets. She was in a lot of pain and basically was communicating it was time for her to journey. I talked to my Dad and asked him to see if the vet could give her something for her pain at least.

He took her to the vet first thing this morning and was told it was indeed Eb’s time to go. Ebby, age 13+, passed to The Summerland before 9:30 this morning. This was very hard on the parents, even though they knew her time was close. None of the rest of us who knew Eb dealt with it very well, either.


The Summerland

I filled the day with moving stuff, supervising the movers at the new apartment, running errands for the new place and generally getting the new apartment ready for Grandma to move in on Thursday. Mom went home after the movers left the old place, to be with Dad and grieve Ebby in private, and I notified the kids and my brother of what had occurred.

My cousin is supposed to be coming to town 1/28 to help finalize the move – including any final furniture that needs to come out of the old place and over to my place. This weekend, my sheriff is coming to town to see his kids before training, and I am hoping he can help me move most of that furniture with his Big Truck.

Meanwhile, after all of the activity the past couple of days, my shoulder that is waiting on surgery has flared up into an angry hot mess, and my back may actually fall off. That would be a good thing, because it hurts like hell being still attached and all. Money is non-existent (so buy stuff off my sponsor page and toss me a nickel already!) and not likely to become more existent in the near future. I get a call from my doctor today that my labs were normal except a serious Vitamin D deficiency. Doesn’t that cause rickets or scurvy or something?

Anyway, requires a prescription and not just regular vitamins.  Since Vitamin D is provided by the body in the sun – a situation I habitually avoid either through working nights and evenings, or through being a night owl, AND it is related to diets with protein, I am at risk. Lack of money means cheap eats, which means little protein. Bone pain and muscle weakness are symptoms. Fantastic. I hurt already, who can tell what is vitamins and what is age and decrepitude?  Another symptom is cognitive impairment. How can we distinguish that from my usual level of impairment since the head injury? Is it really possible I dropped ANOTHER 50 IQ points? I am going to need diapers, a bib and a full time caretaker at this rate!  So, there’s that.

To top things off, Son is stationed in Afghanistan, and everybody over there pulls guard duty on the towers. Now, I know the boy is a great shot gun-wise, and smarter than your average bear, but I can’t help worrying a bit about him sitting in the freezing dark and hoping nothing interesting happens. I don’t want the odd Afghan person lobbing anything metallic or explosive in his general direction and would be perfectly happy if he never has to kill anyone. Although I don’t doubt for a second he will if he must.

I am just waiting for more shoes to drop. So are my parents. So are my daughter and her husband. So are the kids’ other set of parents. Probably my Grandma, too.  Somebody asked me how I was holding up. I told her I just freak out for small amounts of time – usually privately – then put my head down and keep trudging forward. The only way out of a bad place is to get through the bad place, and that is kind of where we are right now – trudging through the swamp with the belief that firmer ground and nicer weather are on the other side.

RIP Ebby

Dog Heaven


Religious People Less Driven By Compassion Than Are Atheists And Agnostics, Study Says


Compassion- Learn it, Teach it, Share it

From 5/2012 Huffington Post

By: LiveScience Staff
Published: 05/01/2012 12:11 PM EDT on LiveScience

Atheists and agnostics are more driven by compassion to help others than are highly religious people, a new study finds.

That doesn’t mean highly religious people don’t give, according to the research to be published in the July 2012 issue of the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science. But compassion seems to drive religious people’s charitable feelings less than other groups.

“Overall, we find that for less religious people, the strength of their emotional connection to another person is critical to whether they will help that person or not,” study co-author and University of California, Berkeley social psychologist Robb Willer said in a statement. “The more religious, on the other hand, may ground their generosity less in emotion, and more in other factors such as doctrine, a communal identity, or reputational concerns.”


dog compassion

Compassion to a Dog


Follow my daughter’s sister-in-law’s blog about being an expat in China

CARLY PHYSIOC is a writer and blogger currently based in Beijing. She is a professional expat and, prior to living in China, has lived and traveled through out the United States, Europe and Africa. She holds a master’s degree in Classics from St. John’s College in Annapolis and her writing has appeared in various journals, most recently in Gargoyle Magazine . When she is not at her writing desk, you can find her out and about with her three children trying to discover recognizable food options and avoiding being the cause of international incidents.

Her blog is

A Postcard from Venus… er… Beijing, or, a Polemic on Pollution




A factory burned for three hours on Saturday before anyone noticed.  All that black smoke and stench of the factory fire was smothered beneath the even greater generalized poison of the worst pollution to ever hit the city in the history of its record keeping.

Find the full post here


Bones and jars of the dead unearthed in 3,000-year-old Egyptian tombs

By Alan Boyle,

Archaeologists say they have discovered a string of 3,000-year-old rock tombs in the Egyptian city of Luxor, containing the remains of wooden coffins, skeletons, furniture and canopic jars.

The tombs were dug within the funerary temple of Pharaoh Amenhotep II, who reigned from 1427 to 1401 B.C. during Egypt’s 18th Dynasty. However, the newfound tombs appear to be part of a more recent cemetery. In Thursday’s announcement of the discovery, Egyptian Antiquities Minister Mohammed Ibrahim said they date back to the beginning of a transitional period that lasted from 1075 to 664 B.C.

Ibrahim said a team led by Italian archaeologist Angelo Sesana made the discovery while cleaning up the site in the course of an excavation at Amenhotep II’s temple, on the west bank of the Nile River.


Check out the full article HERE.

Egyptian Antiquity

Four canopic jars are sculpted to represent spirits who guard the internal organs of the dead.                     Photo from Egypt Ministry of Antiquities