26 November 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

I know I have not written in a long while. I have been litterally living in the gym trying to get my upper body strength back so I can get back to work in late December. Still, all of you are on my mind and in my prayers! Have a very happy Holiday and let us not forget those on the other side of the world who can not be with their families tomorrow because they our defending ours.

14 October 2008

Pass it On...

Hello friends, received this today from a friend who has a history associated with certain aquatic mammals in the Navy. It brought me to tears...and I promised to get it to as many people as possible. So without further ado:

Your cell phone is in your pocket.
He clutches the cross hanging on his chain next to his dog tags.

You talk trash about your 'buddies' that aren't with you.
He knows he may not see some of his buddies again.

You walk down the beach, staring at all the pretty girls.
He patrols the streets, searching for insurgents and terrorists.

You complain about how hot it is.
He wears his heavy gear, not daring to take off his helmet to wipe his brow.

You go out to lunch, and complain because the restaurant got your order wrong.
He doesn't get to eat today.

Your maid makes your bed and washes your clothes.
He wears the same things for weeks, but makes sure his weapons are clean.

You go to the mall and get your hair redone.
He doesn't have time to brush his teeth today.

You're angry because your class ran 5 minutes over.
He's told he will be held over an extra 2 months.

You call your girlfriend and set a date for tonight.
He waits for the mail to see if there is a letter from home.

You hug and kiss your girlfriend, like you do everyday.
He holds his letter close and smells his lover's perfume.

You roll your eyes as a baby cries.
He gets a letter with pictures of his new child, and wonders if they'll ever meet.

You criticize your government, and say that war never solves anything.
He sees the innocent tortured and killed by their own people and remembers why he is fighting.

You hear the jokes about the war, and make fun of men like him.
He hears the gunfire, bombs and screams of the wounded.

You see only what the media wants you to see.
He sees the broken bodies lying around him.

You are asked to go to the store by your parents. You don't.
He does exactly what he is told even if it puts his life in danger.

You stay at home and watch TV.
He takes whatever time he is given to call, write home, sleep, and eat.

You crawl into your soft bed, with down pillows, and get comfortable.
He tries to sleep but gets woken by mortars and helicopters all night long.

And then you heard the young man whisper to himself to refresh his mind:

"My loyalty to Country and Team is beyond reproach. I humbly serve as a guardian to my fellow Americans always ready to defend those who are unable to defend themselves. I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions. I voluntarily accept the inherent hazards of my profession, placing the welfare and security of others before my own."

If you support your troops, pass this on... REMEMBER our Troops now, and do not forget them LATER.

Please my friends...pass it on.

23 September 2008

Greatest Movie Line Ever?

Now that's an accolade sure to cause some highly animated debate, but it's the title of the video as it was sent to me and I'm not going to challenge it. While I'm not sure if its the best line ever, I would feel no shame granting it a spot in the top ten...maybe even the top five.
So...grab a bucket of butter infused pop corn, the over-priced beverage of your choice, and pull up a chair, my friends. Have a look-see and decide for yourselves.
(And don't forget to stop by the comments section before exiting the theatre.)

16 September 2008

More IKE Picks

If you really want to see the spectacular stuff YouTube has some amazing videos of the eye wall coming in. Since I'm smart enough NOT to be outside during that event, I didn't take any picks or videos. But here is what else I do have for those who care to see... (Facade of strip center near my home ripped off) (Kinda speaks for itself)

(more tree damage one street over)

(What's left of my bank's sign)

(Just another tree) (Someone will be doing fence repair!)

(Down power line - NOT active)
That's it for now folks, if I get anymore good pics I'll post 'em for you.
Be Safe & Count Your Blessings!
Angel Out!

Contrary to Elections past...

This is NOT how I feel right about now. In all honesty, we were VERY lucky in my neighborhood. It wasn't fun with no power or water for three days, not to mention the occasional looters. (One more reason I love my AR-15 and my dog!) Here are some more pics of the damage just in my neighborhood alone. I will be able to take more tomorrow when I go to work with a National Guard POD (Point Of Distribution), but here's what I have so far. As I said, while this wasn't fun, I don't regret staying and I'm glad I can still help those who literally have nothing left but a slab where their home was only a few days ago.

May you all be safe & Well!

(Me waiting in the dark - well , candles, but dark enough!)

(One street over)

(My House)

07 August 2008

Penn & Teller Tell It Like it is!

Don't believe me...see for yourself:

23 July 2008

Well, Hello Dolly!

You know, it's not every day a gal gets a hurricane for her birthday.
Thankfully, this is a Cat 1 storm that isn't expected to do much damage, especially in my neck of the woods. The outer bands have been hitting here all night and it's the kind of rain that makes you want to stay under the covers all day if it wasn't for that darned lightening illuminating everything in the cozy solitude of your bedroom.
So...Hello Dolly and thanks for an early start to my 38th year on this lovely planet.
I wouldn't trade a moment of it, even if I do complain a bit.
After all...I can sleep when I'm dead.
And I am most definitely *NOT* that tired.

20 July 2008


We all have them in our lives...births, deaths, anniversaries, and just those special memories that we keep in our hearts as moments of deep, rich emotion in which to draw in times of need or just sit back and smile as we realize how truly blessed we have been in our lives..
I have one of those, a birthday, coming up next week. I take no shame in my age, I will be turning 38. But more importantly, almost exactly one month ago there was a chance I wouldn't see that birthday. But after meeting with my Neuro team Friday and being cleared for a *little* more activity, I decided to celebrate the two milestones of my healing and my birthday together.
Now, don't fret, I was careful, but I spent 2hours horseback riding this morning. I kept her (Piper- a friends mare,) at a trot, but mostly I let her have her head and we just roamed the hills together. I have to tell you, it felt like Heaven.
Unless something remarkably new comes out of my operation, this is the last of my posts about it. One of the conclusions I came to with Piper this morning is that it's time to move to to more important things in the wold and Lord knows there are plenty of them.
Thank You All for Your Well Wishes and Support...it means the world to me and it too has helped me decide to move on.
God Bless,
Angel Out

13 July 2008

Wish I'd Writen These...

I'm awake in the wee hours lately since a simple turn of my head in my sleep that never woke me before now ensures I won't be returning to bed anytime soon. So, I was catching up on some of my favorite blogs when I stumbled across these little gems. Since I *am* a woman who's been known to have a less than docile temperament at times *and* I am half Scots-Irish, (Hence the temperament,) I loved these letters I found at BLACKFIVE.
The first one entitled "THE IRISH WONDER WHY WE ARE EVEN VOTING" is not only funny as Hell...like all good humour, there's more than a kernel of truth to it.
An email from Ireland to our brethren in the States...a point to ponder despite your political affiliation:
'We, in Ireland, can't figure out why people are even bothering to hold an election in the United States.
On one side, you have a pants wearing lawyer, married to a lawyer who can't keep his pants on, who just lost a long and heated primary against a lawyer who goes to the wrong church who is married to yet another lawyer who doesn't even like the country her husband wants to run.
Then...you have a nice old war hero whose name starts with the appropriate "Mc terminology," married to a good looking younger woman who owns a beer distributorship.
What in Lord's name are ye lads thinking over there in the colonies??
Tony from Ireland
Now this next one is written by a housewife in New Jersey. She is one ticked off lady!
I thoroughly agree with her every word, but I have a special appreciation for her blatant refusal to sugarcoat or pull punches in her writings for the mere sake of being ladylike and polite. I really like her style. Check her out at BLACKFIVE through the link below and I bet you will too.
Just a helpful hint: Her letter is directly below the Irish Letter so you'll need to scroll down a bit to read it.
Angel Out

11 July 2008

Still Here, Still Healing & Still Learning

Sorry it's been so long folks. I've been doing a LOT of physical therapy (2-4 hrs per day,) plus working out on my own so that I won't lose any more muscle tone and strength in my abs and legs.
The good news is, it's working. Granted, it's working VERY slowly, and I won't be 100% till Christmas, but I can do more now with my hand and have 95% range of motion in my neck. Hopefully, now that I can sit up for more than a few minutes at a stretch and am not so drugged that I can't understand half of what I'm reading, I'll be able to catch up on all of your blogs soon. I have missed them a lot.
I did something the other day that *really* gave me some perspective on this whole incident. I'm human, and tend to fall into those "poor pitiful me" moods sometimes, so hoping to get that to end for good, I visited Fisher House and the VA hospital here. We get a lot of overload from Walter Reed and since I used to volunteer there, I thought a visit might do me some good. Well, I don't need to tell you that meeting a 19yr old double amputee will make you more than grateful, but what was amazing was to watch this kid try (and succeed) to cheer me up! I've said it before but this country is more blessed than it knows to have such fine men and women defending her. Once the doctors clear both of us to run. (We can both only walk a minimum of 5 miles a day now,) we made a "date" to start working out together. I'm telling you folks, there is no creature on earth like the American Soldier and I for one am honored to have met this one. (Who will probably run circles around me!) I know that no matter how frustrated I get, I will NEVER feel sorry for myself again. That's a lesson worth a few broken vertebrae in my book.
May you all be safe, happy and well.
Angel Out

24 June 2008

God, Friends & Titanium

I'm not quite sure where to begin this post but I know I need to start with thanking each and every one of you for your prayers and well wishes. You have no idea what they accomplished and they may very well have saved not just my limbs, but my life.
Here's why:
In my last post, I explained how my surgeon and I agreed to "wait and see" before I had surgery. Since the idea of anyone cutting on my neck held little appeal, I was more than willing to try physical therapy and wait right along with them. I posted that on the morning of the 12th. By 2300 hours that same evening I had a new neurosurgeon and was admitted for some serious surgery on June 17th. (It took that long for them to figure out how to put "Humpty Dumpty" back together again.) I noticed the left arm symptoms increasing so rapidly on the 12th, that I went to the E.R. again...but this time, I went to our trauma center. They admitted me so fast because my cervical spine was literally collapsing on itself. I had progressed well beyond spinal stenosis. My nerves were literally being crushed by the vertebrae - hence the loss of motion in my hands. Had it continued for the original waiting period, I wouldn't be here typing this today. Remember that "wonderful" doctor I found? He never returned the pages from the trauma center. Not one of them. But it turns out that was a blessing in disguise. Now, they say it was luck of the draw, but I say it was God who determined that I would end up with one of the brightest neurosurgeons in the state. He ran a lot of tests and took a lot of pictures before deciding how to remedy this little problem and when he did it, he did it right. I now have 2 titanium plates, 8 titanium screws, 2 "donor"* disks and 2 units of O+ holding my neck together. The technical term for the procedure is "ACDF" - Anterior Cervical Decompression and Fusion.
I will spare you the gory details of those 4 hours since the important part starts when I woke up in post-op and was immediately able to use my left hand and arm and saw a 50% improvement in the right one. The latter will come back with time and therapy now that it has a decent blood supply again.
I *am* still on pain killers so I don't want to sit here typing too long, but I wanted to let all of you know that I'm ok and thank you for such sweet comments. As for your prayers...well, I was discharged Friday morning and am expected to make a complete recovery as far as my right hand is concerned well before Christmas. In light of that, I think it is safe to say that God listened.
And for that, my friends...I thank you.
Angel Out

*I'm going to post about organ donation as soon as I am clear headed enough to do so. I've been an organ donor since I could drive...I never imagined I would be on the receiving end of such a loving gift.

12 June 2008

I'm here...just a little under the weather.

Gentle Readers, I apologize for my extended absence. Irony is a funny thing. You see my friends, I was so worried about Dad that I didn't notice that I was having trouble opening my right hand. Once I did, I went to several neurologists and Emergency Rooms who kept referring me back to the other. This went on for almost a month until finally, a wonderful Neurosurgeon happened to be present when my left hand started doing the same thing. This of course led me to another E.R. but this was and is one of the best in the city.
After two MRI's a CT scan AND a PET scan, I was diagnosed with spinal stenosis and two herniated disks between C5, C6, and C7. I am now waiting for neurosurgery,which may take up to several months.
I just wanted all of you know that I miss you and that I have not forgotten about you.
I will blog as often as I can physical limitations provided. (It's *hard* to type when your hands won't work...imagine that! LOL!)

Take Care & God Bless,
Angel Out

13 May 2008

Where in the world have I been?

Hello friends,
It's been a long month since I last posted and I want you all to know that I haven't fallen off the planet, I have been busy trying to navigate the medical/legal/insurance system which is a maze like no other, even for someone like me who has worked in two of these fields. (Not legal - I can only stoop so low)
Dad is doing relatively well considering his condition. I hope to have help with him soon so that I can get some semblance of a life back.
I apologize for this being so short but these days I have to take my free time when I can get it, even if it is three in the morning...
God Belss,

19 April 2008

Warriors...in their own words. Courtesy of ROFASIX

I warn you all now, make sure some Kleenex is in close proximity before you visit this link.
I wish I could claim to have found this on my own, but 100% of the credit belongs to a blogger friend of mine, NOTR, at ROFASIX. In addition to being an exceptional writer, he is one Hell of a pilot. If it's a rotary aircraft he's probably flown it and if he hasn't, it's because it's not in the US arsenal, (though he's probably flown a few of those "others" too.) If it flies at all, he's probably forgotten more about it than some pilots will ever learn.
But above all that, he is a Great man and a Great American which is why I'm making a point of sending you his way - you won't regret it.
His was the third blog that made my daily "must read" list long before I created my own, and if you haven't visited him before, please do. He's a thinking man's man, like many of you folks. (I'm using that as a genderless term, so take no offense Ladies, you'll like him too.)
Yesterday he posted this link: "WARRIORS." It will lead you to a site with an incredible video clip of a current film in production and the story behind it's origins. You will not soon forget what you see. In fact, if more people saw it and remembered, we would not be living as the divided Country we seem to be. That's my humble opinion anyway.
I could be nice and give you the direct link to the movie clip and the site itself, but as my guy, the 1SG, will be happy to tell you in a quote he stole from another movie, "Michael,"...

I'm not that kind of Angel. ;)

Remember what I said about that Kleenex and as NOTR suggests take a moment to explore the site. It may be small but it speaks volumes.

Angel Out


11 April 2008

A gift from my guy...

The subject line simply read:
"Brings a tear to my eye"
and the following photograph, (not of him,) was attached.

How can I not adore this man?

10 April 2008

I need a Dam break!

The road has been a rough one for many recently, so I thought a bit of humor might be in order. Don't know about you but I laughed my Dam ass off.

The Dam Notice

This is an actual letter sent to a man named Ryan DeVries regarding a pond on his property. It was sent by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Quality, State of Pennsylvania.

SUBJECT: DEQ File No.97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec. 20;
Lycoming County
Dear Mr. DeVries:
It has come to the attention of the Department of Environmental Quality that there has been recent unauthorized activity on the above referenced parcel of property. You have been certified as the legal landowner and/or contractor who did the following unauthorized activity: Construction and maintenance of two wood debris dams across the outlet stream of Spring Pond.
A permit must be issued prior to the start of this type of activity. A review of the Department's files shows that no permits have been issued. Therefore, the Department has determined that this activity is in violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Pennsylvania Compiled Laws, annotated.
The Department has been informed that one or both of the dams partially failed during a recent rain event, causing debris and flooding at downstream locations. We find that dams of this nature are inherently hazardous and cannot be permitted.
The Department therefore orders you to cease and desist all activities at this location, and to restore the stream to a free-flow condition by removing all wood and brush forming the dams from the stream channel. All restoration work shall be completed no later than January 31, 2008.
Please notify this office when the restoration has been completed so that a follow-up site inspection may be scheduled by our staff. Failure to comply with this request or any further unauthorized activity on the site may result in this case being referred for elevated enforcement action. We anticipate and would appreciate your full cooperation in this matter. Please feel free to contact me at this office if you have any questions.
David L. Price
District Representative and Water Management Division.

Here is the actual response sent back by Mr. DeVries:

Re: DEQ File No. 97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec. 20;
Lycoming County
Dear Mr. Price,
Your certified letter dated 11/25/07 has been handed to me to respond to. I am the legal landowner but not the Contractor at 2088 Dagget Lane , Trout Run, Pennsylvania ..
A couple of beavers are in the (State unauthorized) process of constructing and maintaining two wood 'debris' dams across the outlet stream of my Spring Pond. While I did not pay for, authorize, nor supervise their dam project, I think they would be highly offended that you call their skillful use of natures building materials 'debris.'
I would like to challenge your department to attempt to emulate their dam project any time and/or any place you choose. I believe I can safely state there is no way you could ever match their dam skills, their dam resourcefulness, their dam ingenuity, their dam persistence, their dam determination and/or their dam work ethic.

These are the beavers/contractors you are seeking. As to your request, I do not think the beavers are aware that they must first fill out a dam permit prior to the start of this type of dam activity.
My first dam question to you is:
(1) Are you trying to discriminate against my Spring Pond Beavers, or
(2) do you require all beavers throughout this State to conform to said dam request?
If you are not discriminating against these particular beavers, through the Freedom of Information Act, I request completed copies of all those other applicable beaver dam permits that have been issued.
(Perhaps we will see if there really is a dam violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Pennsylvania Compiled Laws, annotated.)
I have several concerns. My first concern is, aren't the beavers entitled to legal representation? The Spring Pond Beavers are financially destitute and are unable to pay for said representation -- so the State will have to provide them with a dam lawyer. The Department's dam concern that either one or both of the dams failed during a recent rain event, causing flooding, is proof that this is a natural occurrence, which the Department is required to protect. In other words, we should leave the Spring Pond Beavers alone rather than harassing them and calling them dam names.
If you want the stream 'restored' to a dam free-flow condition please contact the beavers -- but if you are going to arrest them, they obviously did not pay any attention to your dam letter, they being unable to read English.
In my humble opinion, the Spring Pond Beavers have a right to build their unauthorized dams as long as the sky is blue, the grass is green and water flows downstream. They have more dam rights than I do to live and enjoy Spring Pond. If the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection lives up to its name, it should protect the natural resources (Beavers) and the environment (Beavers' Dams).
So, as far as the beavers and I are concerned, this dam case can be referred for more elevated enforcement action right now. Why wait until 1/31/2008? The Spring Pond Beavers may be under the dam ice then and there will be no way for you or your dam staff to contact/harass them.
In conclusion, I would like to bring to your attention to a real environmental quality, health, problem in the area. It is the bears! Bears are actually defecating in our woods. I definitely believe you should be persecuting the defecating bears and leave the beavers alone. If you are going to investigate the beaver dam, watch your step! The bears are not careful where they dump!
Being unable to comply with your dam request, and being unable to contact you on your dam answering machine, I am sending this response to your dam office.


Shut Up & Jump!