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I know I haven't been around much lately.  Frankly, I've been trying to avoid political arguments -- I have too many things going on in Real Life to get sucked into that.  I've been working on projects and raising a litter of Belgian Sheepdog puppies.  The latter is like having quadruplets, only you can't diaper them.  Most of my time presently is spent working with them, cleaning up after them, playing with them, and recovering from the same.  

One reason I bred my Violet is because of her temperament.  She is unbelievably sweet, especially for this breed.  I've had people who know this breed well tell me repeatedly that she needed to be bred, just to get that temperament into the gene pool.  She also made a fabulous therapy dog after my spine surgery a few years back.  Some of you may remember all of that mess.  I'm delighted that all of her puppies have turned out to be this sweet.

But another reason why I bred her is because I thought I could produce pups that would make good therapy and assistance prospects.  And I promised FloridaSNMom that she and her family could have one of the puppies from the first litter, the one best suited to this work.  It's been pretty tough figuring out which pup would be best, because all of them are terrific.  But one is particularly well-suited:  sweet, snuggly, a true Velcro pup, gentle with the cats, unfazed by wheelchairs, very attentive, and extremely smart and agile.

There's just one problem:  getting her from Maryland to them in Florida.

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Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:56 AM PST

Thank you all

by Noor B

Saturday night's fundraiser blew past my hopes.  The full amount raised was $760 dollars, give or take a bit.

I've transferred enough to my bank account to more than cover the check for the oil delivery that will arrive this afternoon.  The car insurance renewal is done and paid.  I'll be able to get to my massage therapist and physical therapist this week, my health permitting, as well as go back to see the doc-in-a-box to have my lungs checked again.

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I have resisted this for months, and finally, I have to swallow my pride.

My husband is working, and if things had stayed okay, we'd still rock along.  But things aren't okay.  I need more medical care.  It's just not in our budget.

Nearly three years ago, I was in a car wreck.  I ended up with a herniated cervical disc that required surgery.  The discectomy and fusion surgery itself was successful, but there have been problems that have kept me from getting back to full steam.  Lingering depression, keloidal tissue compromising my reach and strength, and now a two-week bout of flu and pneumonia have me pretty flat.  

And now the killer:  our heating system is a boiler unit that runs on heating oil.  It also supplies our hot water.  It just ran out.  I found that out around 4 PM, when I went to clean up a bit and put on fresh pyjamas.  I bathed out of the sink with ice-cold water.  

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Maryland Juice broke this Monday, and I just found it.  Better to share late than never, I guess.

Rosen is out of the race for the Democratic ticket.  Period.  End of line.  Teapublican incumbent Dr. Harris is probably having a great laugh over this one.

Dr. John LaFerla, the Democrat who narrowly lost the nod in the primary, says he'll run a write-in campaign.

Yeah, my hair is on fire over this cluster!*@%.

Details below the flip.

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For a few years, I owned a Prius.  God, I loved that car.  But it got creamed twice, and I couldn't get a wire crate large enough for my dog into it.  I traded it in for a used RAV4, so I'd have the dogmobile I really need.  

But damn, I miss the gas mileage of the Prius.  And I can't afford the new hybrid RAV4.  I figure I'm stuck with stinky gas mileage.

Or am I???

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Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 02:12 PM PDT

How much is a painting worth?

by Noor B

Specifically, how much is it worth in a split donation, half to the Obama campaign and half to Wendy Rosen's campaign?

Take a look below the orange arabesque, tell me what you think, and I'll tell you why I'm asking the question.

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Tue Jun 05, 2012 at 09:29 AM PDT

The least among us

by Noor B

Somebody hit a kitty in front of my house, in the early hours of the morning.  When I found her, rigor had already set in.  Whoever hit her left her there for dead.  But I don't think she died all that quickly.

And before anybody starts in on me, yes, I know today is recall election day in Wisconsin.  I would like you think about this:  how we treat the weakest among us speaks volumes about the kind of people and the kind of society in which we live.  Whether someone actually decides to do the right thing when it's actually easy tells me a lot about people, and what we can expect of them in their functioning in society.  Right about now, I am ready to rip somebody apart because what this lovely little morning incident tells me about the people in this town.

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Have you ever heard of the Highwaymen?

No, it's not an obscure indie band.

It was an ad hoc group of African-American artists during the civil rights era, documenting the Florida landscape they loved, in oil on board.  They got their name by walking and driving up and down US Highway 1, peddling their paintings in office buildings, on street corners, in vacant lots next to the cheesy fruit-n-souvenir stands that used to dot the lonely stretches of road between towns.  

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Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 08:32 AM PST

Dear Markos (an open letter)

by Noor B

Markos, I have tremendous respect for what you've accomplished with this site.  Even when you make mistakes, I usually feel sure that your intentions are the best possible.  This is still true even with this tactic.

I strongly disagree with your tactics in this case. And it's not because I've the good ol' XX chromosomes.

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Sat Dec 31, 2011 at 05:00 PM PST

WYFP: Resolutions Suck

by Noor B

Yes, they do.  And I'm not making any this year.

WYFP is our community's Saturday evening gathering to talk about our problems, empathize with one another, and share advice, pootie pictures, favorite adult beverages, and anything else that we think might help. Everyone and all sorts of troubles are welcome. May we find peace and healing here. Won't you please share the joy of WYFP by recommending?
Poll

So, are you falling for this New Year's resolution BS?

12%4 votes
0%0 votes
12%4 votes
36%12 votes
6%2 votes
0%0 votes
24%8 votes
9%3 votes

| 33 votes | Vote | Results

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Sat Dec 03, 2011 at 05:42 PM PST

WYFP: Holidays Approaching Edition

by Noor B

I am not ready for Christmas.

I am not ready for Yule.

I am not ready for New Year's.

I am losing my everloving mind.

WYFP is our community's Saturday evening gathering to talk about our problems, empathize with one another, and share advice, pootie pictures, favorite adult beverages, and anything else that we think might help. Everyone and all sorts of troubles are welcome. May we find peace and healing here. Won't you please share the joy of WYFP by recommending?
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Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 05:54 AM PST

A shot across Rick Scott's bow

by Noor B

Many of us who are current or former Florida residents have been aghast at the actions of Rick Scott and his wrecking crew.  I can't -- and won't -- speak for my compatriot Florida "ex-pats", but maybe things are starting to look up, just a bit.

Follow me over the orange arabesque for the heart of the matter.

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