Meet My New Old Friend, Acupuncture!


Picture from the delightful Mandara Spa on Norwegian Cruise Lines

My Brain’s Too Full, full of (mostly) excuses, a bit of fear, a bit of grief, a bit of overwhelmedness.

And i’ve missed you.


What made this Missing You worse was thinking of you each day when I’d hear on the radio a commercial for healing foot pain. This commercial specifically names (boo, hiss) Plantar Fasciitis (“PLAN-ter fash-ee-EYE-tus), the delightful feeling you’ve got the sharpest Lego ever molded stabbing the heel of your foot/feet.

Why did I think of you? Why does that commercial bother me? Because I tried them, and other things. And because Plantar Fasciitis (PF) is common, and if you have it, you might be curious how I got rid of it:




Disclaimer: First let me say here I do not know the intricacies of acupuncture; this post shouldn’t keep you from seeking Proper Medical Attention. This info simply offers another option to consider if you are suffering.



from the Mayo website: “Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the fibrous tissue (plantar fascia) along the bottom of your foot that connects your heel bone to your toes. Plantar fasciitis can cause intense heel pain.”

A Little Back Ground:

My first PF relationship, a dozen years ago, was finally cured by my sister’s (a non-medical professional) advice: stretch. Before rising from bed, I’d lift my leg straight up, bend my toes toward my face, to stretch the plantar fascia. Finally, after weeks of these stretches, it went away.

So long, don’t write, I won’t miss you.


But then in early 2015 the plantar fasciitis returned. Unexpected. Uninvited. My foot wasn’t being stretched, cuz I wasn’t swimming, cuz I was recovering from carpel tunnel and “tennis elbow” surgeries.

No problem, undesirable guest, I’ll just stretch You away!


But it got worse! My feet wouldn’t hurt for just a couple steps when I got up to walk, but all the time I walked, and all throughout the day.




     Same Idea, stretch that fascia!     






Abbie Carter

Brand Expert

Max Figueroa


Not my poster, not my body  

Well, you know how it goes, and I am not complaining…

I am grateful for all the medical opportunities we enjoy in this country. 

And I know there are people who have it much worse, both the physical problems and the “run-around” with the medical and insurance communities.

Having said that…


Got Persistent Pain?

1) Visit the doctor and get the referral
2) Find a podiatrist who takes your insurance and go see him/her
3) Hear him/her say, “You have plantar fasciitis. Here’s a referral for physical therapy.”
4) Find a physical therapist who takes your insurance and go see him/her.
5) Go to PT twice a week until it goes away (or)…
6) Get frustrated and give up. 

After several months of PT …

Stretches and exercises and extremely cold treatments and an hour later my feet just want to be up in my lay-z-boy for the rest of the day.


After 3 months of this twice-weekly physical therapy, I stopped going. Quitting PT may not have been the best decision; it’s just what I did. And to be honest I’m not a very good example at all because I didn’t do faithfully (or even very much) my exercises at home.


After two years of PF and PT and PoDiatrist, I was desperate for another (non-surgical) solution.

“Leave us alone,” my feet screamed

Marguerite Underwood


Rebecca Sims


Now’s the Good Part: 

   Not the cruise ship’s brochure

Enter Acupuncture! 

But first I enter a plane, a boat, and a Spa.


In September of 2016 I wore my sensible shoes and fashionable old-lady black compression socks on the plane to Boston, where our cruise ship would depart.

Once on board, we scurried to the Spa Area to make appointments for massages, my hub’s favorite thing to do without me. The Spa peeps also chatter you into a tour to hear about all their pricey treatments, including Acupuncture.


The acupuncturist, a Marine veteran who studied acupuncture after it cured his pains, gave me a brochure of “Ailments Acupuncture May Help”. One ailment was Plantar Fasciitis, my feet’s companion, which I don’t leave home without.


I got to thinking… acupuncture costs about $500 for 3 treatments, plus discounts if you book more, and before midnight, you get a set of steak knives. (Beware the sales pitch).


Hmm. $500 is about what I’d spent on 3 pair of Good Arched Shoes. What I might have to spend again on PT/PD visits. I’ve tried “everything” else except surgery.


Not my Acupuncturist … and not his finger

Marguerite Underwood


Rebecca Sims



  Not my acupuncturist, not my legs 

well, Sign me Up! 

The rest is easy. I saw him 3 times over the next week or so of the cruise. My feet didn’t feel particularly different after the first session, but somewhere during the 3 treatments, the PF left and hasn’t returned. Hallelujah!

And I still don’t exercise much.

I still marvel at that healing. If there’s a quack, a medical fraud anywhere, you’d think they might be on a cruise ship, where a negative social review probably wouldn’t harm them. But nope, it worked marvelously.

And I want to share it with you!


15 Pointy tips about acupuncture!

But remember please my ignorance about the how’s and why’s of  this ancient art…


Note skinny needles with colored “handles” 


(1) I’ve been to 4 different acupuncturists, and depending upon the area you need treated, you’ll need to take off your clothes. Of course he/she should leave the room, and you should have some sort of drapery, like a gown or sheet.


(2) When I went for a nagging hip issue, she wanted to also add needles to do an overall balancing My Chi whatever whatever first. (I should pay attention to that) but really I think, Just make my pain go away already!


(3) Your acupuncturist should be willing, (perhaps after the initial overall treatment mentioned above) to address/poke you with needles for several issues, if the source points/meridians? are in different areas. So be prepared to share all your aches: migraine, congestion, feet, hands, etc.


(4) For PF he put the very skinny needles in the back of my leg, where the nerves run up from the foot. I don’t remember any in my feet, but that was a while ago. So expect they might place needles in a new area from your more recent non-acupuncture treatments. 

Use sterile, disposable needles

Needles may be placed in strange places on yer bod…

5) Depending on your ailment(s), it may take more than one treatment!! Especially if you continue to do the same motions and behaviors that created that ache.


(6) Now I must admit sometimes a specific needle may sting just when it’s inserted. That could mean it’s hitting just where it needs to hit, or perhaps they can adjust it if you notice (while they’re placing other needles) that the discomfort isn’t going away. The key is to talk to your needle placer. 


(7) After they insert the needles, they’ll probably leave the room so the needles can do their thing for about 20-30 minutes, (which may depend on the area). So you may get a little nap out of it.


(8) If your back is being treated, you’re gonna be half naked. Be sure to tell them if you’re feeling chilled, as they may have a heat lamp, light-weight foil blanket, heated table etc. Better to ask them to cover/heat you up before they leave the room. You need to relax, not shiver.


(9) He/she may offer to turn on some aromatherapy (smelly oils diffusing in the room). If it’s already going and you don’t like it, ask to turn it off or move it before your session. 


(10) I would recommend agreeing to  spa music (soft instrumentals) or having your own relaxing music to cover outside noises like phones/doors/other customers’ yakking about their chi, chai, and feng shui.

   Furry man feet, not mine

            No more silly walk!


11) I asked if she had to insert the needle farther in for “heavy” people (thinking stupidly that it had to hit the nerve close to our skeletons). “It depends,” she replied, but it’s not in the nerve (yeeow! too painful) but something about where the meridians are relative to the surface of the skin?? So don’t assume it’ll be (too) painful. 


(12) Use social media reviews to find the right fit (person, place, methods, philosophy). You probably know and can ask people who use alternative medicines; we don’t have to embrace (or know) about it all  to benefit from some. 


(13) My acupuncturist sticks tiny bead magnets in a kind of tiny square bandage inside my upper ear after I’m done. I don’t know why, but it’s part of the cost, so hey, I’m game. 


(14) Invariably they’ll have some vitamins/supplements etc to promote, so be ready. I do take the anti-inflammatory supplement, but you can certainly decline it then (or when you run out). Sometimes just say I’m starting slow, let’s see how the acupuncture goes. Or I say my husband won’t let me buy anything. Ha ha. Jk. He’s the softie who first bought the anti-inflamm.


(15) Speaking of my husband he says he feels much better now that he’s having acupuncture. And he’s an old country hick. Give it a go, I say. What do you have to lose? 


And Hey! Let me know how it goes! 

Not my happy feet not driving this way. 

Again, a Disclaimer: I am only writing this post to present another option to you, an option I found, with this particular ailment on this particular body, at that particular time, to be particularly helpful.




A Pokey, Puncturing Poem


Someday in the future,

I may think this post is particularly


and nincompoopy,

because then I’ll know more


about Accurate Puncturing,

and my qualification to speak of it

will be more than

“It worked for me.”

But for now

this lame attempt will suffice

to share what might help you,

my friend.



Welcome 2019! Time for Focusing…

greetings patient readers,

This is the time of year when the Texas weather decides what we do: 

On cold rainy days, we pack the Christmas decorations.

On warm days, we clear the dead timber out back.

And so far, this year, every day, I consider throwing my unreliable PC and laptop into the Big Brush Pile, waiting for a dry day to Burn That Sucker Down.



To be honest, my absence here is part computer/laptop malfunction frustrations/avoidance (CLAMFA) and part Binge-ing on DVDs from holiday gifts. (Season 3 of The Last Kingdom and Season 2 of Timeless).

By the way…

Living in the sticks means there’s no streaming from Netflix/Hulu/Roku/Hari Kari. (I don’t see how you people who can stream just about whatever you want, get anything else done.) 

Before the Christmas season…

we went cruising around the Caribbean, down to the Panama Canal and back, of course, still on the Atlantic side. I was going to share some fun lessons with you, but all my inconceivable, geek-stumping computer problems have caused me to rethink priorities. What’s most important to write? So no more frivolous, fun posts! 

In 2019 I’m going to start focusing on more serious topics. But! Since I had fun writing the following, why not share it? Then we can get down to business with the next post. (I know! Boo!)


so Why is our cruise news to you?

Well my dear husband, fearing bandits and rustlers (and the odd hooligan), was loathe to announce our absence from El Ranchito.


I see his point, but if I’d announced our impending trip, I would have simply mentioned that we hire a very conscientious young man to house/pet/sheep sit (careful there). Let me tell you about young Attila.

He would do anything to protect our property. Anything.

Attila’s joining the Navy soon. He’s big and works out to be in even better, bone-crushing, ship-shape… shape.

He practices target shooting out back, and spends his evenings tenderly cleaning his guns and watching our war movies. His friends (Genghis and Kroll) drive over to practice knife (and hatchet!) throwing, create violent video games, compare assault rifles, and crush six packs of beer cans against their six pack abs.


Before we left, Attila came over to get the deets (details for you older generations):

Me: (stretching my 5′ 7″ frame on tippy toes to give him a hug) Thanks for coming so early.


Attila: No problem, ma’am. I know the sheep’ll be lambin’ soon, and you’ll want to show me how you protect the plants if it freezes.


Me: (noticing what he’s carrying) Cool, you brought a stack of the 5 Home Alone movies. Have you seen ’em yet? I doubt you were born when the first one was made. (1990!)


“Yes, ma’am, I’ve seen ’em all several times.”

“So it’s a Christmas tradition to watch ’em again?”

“Not really, they just inspire me while I’m booby-trappin’ your house against burglars. You don’t mind if I assess the layout and utilize the unique available resources, do you?”

Me: No, not at all, have at it. But I hardly think anyone will come way out here.



“Yeah, but if they do, I like to play with them… keep ’em busy tryin’ to get in the house while I supply my positions outside.”

Me: (laughing) Oh, and do you plan on calling 9-1-1?

“Yes, ma’am, once the bad guys realize defensive elements are in place, I usually shout to ’em that I called the police.” (He chuckles) “It’s more fun givin’ the bad guys hope they’ll get rescued before I catch ’em.”

Me: Oh, you have a SOP (standard operating procedure). Good. Cuz I suppose it would take a while for the police to get out here.


“Yes’m. I want to give the cops a fair chance to catch ’em first. Um, do you mind if I ask Genghis and Kroll over to brainstorm the best defense and a gradual, escalating offense?”


“No, not at all. That sounds fun, to come up with the best ideas.”


“No, Ma’am, don’t mean to disagree. It’s more like they help me be a little more humane. Have better fire control. Not so trigger-happy.”


“Uh, OK, Attila, you do what you need to do to be safe. Just clean up when you’re done and remember, cold water gets the blood stains out.”


“Yes, ma’am. I learned that early.”

Ha ha ha. I’m exaggerating. A little.


When I read this to my sons, the Marine rolled his eyes, shook his head, and sighed, a veritable hat trick of embarrassment for his idiot mother.

They asked, “Who is this guy you hire, and his friends?” and laughed when I told them they were their old classmates (one who legitimately is big and going into the Navy!)


“Hey!” I defended. “They’re serious hombres! They’ll mess you up!”


Snickers and guffaws. It was going to be a rough holiday.


Hope yours was great.


And Welcome to 2019!


Full Brain goes mental in the Dental Chair


Went to the dentist for a cleaning last summer. Still processing the brain waves.

Ya know, those chairs are quite inviting if they’d seat you, turn the lights off, and leave for an hour.   

The young technician actually offered me a little pillow to put behind my neck.

Then she cranked me upside down, dropped a lead apron on my fragile body, and shoved a metal frame into my mouth before snapping (quick as a glacier moves), four X-ray pictures. 

The pillow was for my comfort.



As the blood rushed into my already full brain, I began to think extra fast. Because…


Dental cleanings give us lots of time to think. The problem is, your brain can’t travel far, cuz you need to be alert enough to move your head to the right when she says to do so. And then there’s the questions.


Why do they ask questions when their fingers are in your mouth? And not even ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions.


Tooth Tech: “How much rain did you get?”

Horizontal me: “ughrumf”

TT: “Are you goin’ anywhere on vacation?”

HM: “uh hu, fararado.”


There’s just no way to chat politely with fingers in your mouth. Grunting is allowed, but frowned upon by bystanders whose lips can actually make a frown. Lips which are yanked apart, mashed, and smothered with latex cannot frown.


I got to thinking…

If you only see some professionals twice a year (thankfully) like the dentist, how can they remember your name?

I’ll bet these people who know your personal business, I’m talkin’ your mouth/teeth/tongue/gums/wiggly stalactite thingy business, like the dentist, probably think of you like this:


The receptionist/claim filer: “Good Morning! (Ms. Stingy Insurance).


The input/X-ray tech: “C’mon in, take a seat, (little Miss Gag-Reflex, I’m gonna have to run between the machines so she don’t puke).


The Actual Cleaner: “Good Morning, how are we today? (Ms. 4 crowns, needs to floss more).”


The Dentist: “Good Morning! (Ms. second mandibular molar with the intermedial crack that better hurry up and break so I can crown it.)”


Actually, the folks at my dentist’s office are a pretty friendly bunch. The dentist doesn’t really want my tooth to crack, or so he claims. But I saw him parking his truck and my crown would certainly finance a sweet upgrade.

To be honest, it was a well-used pickup, dusty and dented. This is good because my dentist is already young, tall, dark and handsome, so a clean truck would make him all-around unbelievably too purty.

When he talked to me, I thought of his dirty vehicle so I wouldn’t be so intimidated and awestruck. Ha ha, I’m joking. I thought about how much insurance won’t pay if I gotta get a crown….

Now that I’m thinkin’ clearly, with less blood rushing into my brain, can you imagine dating a dentist? It isn’t enough to worry about, oh, say, your own breath-smell, but what if they are prone to say, cuz their cute self can’t help it, “You have spinach in your third bicuspid?” Or after a passionate kiss, “Hmm, your flavor’s off. You might have a cavity.” Or as you say good night, they’ll advise, in their I-can’t-help-myself-I-love-you-so-much, most professional voice, “Be sure to floss and wear your mouth guard.” Gee, so romantic.

While I’m at it: Does your dentist have a big television that shows not just those annoying Dental Hygiene commercials, but also the inside of your mouth? In color?  The TV hangs in the corner of the ceiling so you can watch them scrape away at your teeth then hose ’em down.

That way you can feel like you’re drownin’ and watch it, too. Let’s use all our senses at once!

My former dentist (many states ago) had that TV set up, and one look made me gag. Career Dental Experts may be fascinated viewing a glistening saliva-red gaping maw, but for this particular owner it was just too disgusting.

Which prompts me to say, cuz I’m cheap, if you’re gonna bill me for that gooey mess, turn it off! I don’t like paying to be grossed out for no good reason. Gimme a reason, and maybe…




But my dental peeps really are a great crew, so I’ll mention them personally, as a sort of testimonial advertisement: there’s Ms. White Cloth Mask Chic Hair Style, Miss Blue Mask Nuclear Powered Headlight, Ms. Short Hair-Fancy Fingernails at the computer, and Dentist Dr. Cute E. Pie Dirty Truck.


What does your brain think about in the dental crank ’em back chair?





Yoga Hijinx: Twisting the Body and Mind 








During various physical therapy non-happy hours, I’ve heard lots of people complain they got their own injuries from Fun Things like tennis, baseball, skiing, etc. I must be doing something wrong.

My wonky joints are rewards from painting ceilings, raking leaves, shoveling, wheel-barrowing. Work.


So how should I exercise to end my sessions at the PT torture chambers? (cue Asian music)


I’m convinced I need to practice yoga, and do it consistently, or at least enough to justify my flashy spandex leggings and cushy floor mat. I will yoga in the privacy of my home until I can change poses with minimum noise (grunting, groaning, and the occasional faint, feminine fart).



But first a Word about motivation…


When I used to swim, all the necessary prep time created a gradual commitment. I’d get in the car, drive to the gym, approach their computer, remember my password, not be able to sign in, ask the lady what my real password is, sign in, get changed, and shower my make-up off. As I approached the edge of the pool of cold water, I’d figure, “Well, I’ve come this far, I may as well jump in.”


But when I yoga at home, the only preparation involved is moving enough junk out of the way to lay down my mat. And one interruption, say, a phone call, or playing Pet Doorwoman, and all motivation is gone. It’s just too easy to roll that mat right back up and hide it behind the chaise lounge before I’ve realized I’ve decided to not yoga after all.


So when dragging my heels pre-yoga, I motivate myself by dragging up some cute spandex leggings, and think, “Hey, if I’m this reluctant, I’m gonna feel really good afterward: muscles will grow, fat will dissolve, recycles will sort themselves, and junk mail will stop.”


I gush on, “Hey, after yoga, I’ll be in a good mood! I’ll have done something to postpone the onrushing decay. I’m also yoga-ing for my kids!” Because once I truly fall apart, they’ll have to hoist me into the car, onto the toilet, etc. I’m putting off the days of grossing them out with detailed updates on my bowel functions. With that generous thought I put a DVD in the player.




Truth be told, I like my yoga DVDs: the music and cinematography are gorgeous. I even like the petite li’l Asian gal who bends herself into every letter on the keyboard and the hash-tag, too. While I’m loathe to crank my body into unnatural positions, she’s encouraging and doesn’t intimidate.


But let’s face it: she’s Gumby Girl, and I’m more like Dr. Frankenstein’s newborn monster: used parts freshly jolted from rigor mortis.


Best of all, Gumby Girl describes the positions really well, sometimes adding how this or that move helps a particular part of the body. She promises, “This is good for the lower back,” or, “This massages the intestines, and helps with constipation.”

When a pose “helps the pancreas,” whatever that does, it’s rewarding to imagine these awkward twists will make my organs chug away for another half century.


So let’s recap: I need to yoga and I’ll feel better for having done the yoga. So what’s the problem? Well, the reality is, after yoga, I find myself in a snarky, twisted mood, and rascally toward any petite flexible being who says fun words like “feets” and “buh-tocks.”


(Note: I am not making fun of the way she speaks English, which is a bat-crazy language: I wish I spoke Chinese as well as she does English. I just happen to like words, esp. when they’re silly).


One Pose I Can Do… Falling Flat on My Face is Natural

And why am I in a twisted mood post-yoga? 

 You see, in the privacy of my home, I mouth off to the instructor.

I confess, I am not an exemplary student. Yoga sessions go like this:


Gumby Girl: “You might not be able to hold that plank position, so lower your knees to the floor…”

Me: “Already there, sister.”

Gumby Girl: “Now move your nose to the back of your right knee.”

Me: “Riiiggght. You put your little nose wherever you want, baby.”

Several grunts later:

Gumby Girl: “Using your abdominal muscles, lift your legs over your head.”

Me: (abdominal muscles busy supporting my lungs’ hearty laugh) “Well, that ain’t happenin’.” (Instead I use a rocking motion and momentum to get my legs up, and strain the fingers holding my southern hemisphere unnaturally northward. After wobbling through the leg exercises, imperiling the fascinated, spectating pets, I fall, splayed on the welcoming mat.)

Gumby Girl: “Now let’s do Lion Breathing. Exhale with your tongue out, look to your third eye, and roar like a lion.”

Me: (stops posing and looks at t.v.) “This I gotta see.”

She explains about breathing, raising the suspense, then she opens her mouth, and emits a tepid “Ahhh.”


Her lion’s roar sounds like what we produce for the doctor checking our throat: “Ahhh.”

I’ve raised teenage boys. We live in the country. I can roar like Balrog in the mines of Moria.

Gumby Girl doesn’t explain any more about the third eye, but she’s rolling hers up, exposing the whites. I try and end up cross-eyed. My third eye must be above my nose.

The eyes must be a Major Yoga Move, because another yoga teacher, Gumby Boy, instructs, “Soften your eyes.” Snort. I don’t know how to soften my eyes, but I can “roll them” pretty well.


Now despite my natural fall into snarky twistedness, I want to be a professional, serious yoga student. (Cough) well, as far as I can be. So I consider, earnestly, just how does one soften her eyes? 

Soft eyes are kinda like …. poached eggs (a little stomach growl there). Poached eggs, with cheese and toast.

Never a quitter, I can’t do the soft eyes, but I can do the poached eggs. I heave myself off my cushy mat and turn Gumby Girl off before she ‘roars’ a piteous protest, “Ahh! Don’t leave, Esteemed Elder! We have not finished! Ahhhh! Ahhh!”

 A twist to the right and left and up to the brain…


Minutes later, poached eggs are eyeballing me from my plate. Yum. I may be in a twisted mood yoga-wise, but I’m eating healthy: eggs have protein! Ahhh. Little roar. Munch munch munch. Purrrr…

But a little guilt sneaks in… maybe I’ll give Gumby Girl and her petite feets another try tomorrow. (little roar)

Surely as I practice yoga more and more, moving my feets and buh-ttocks will be easier, and my mind and mood will soften along with my eyeballs. 



Inspired by SEALs

There is no shortage of books about SEAL teams, and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you need to catch up. SEAL stands for SEa, Air, and Land, which is where these guys (or operators) operate. SEAL teams of Navy men are called on by their military betters to do dangerous and mostly dastardly deeds for their civilian betters.

I remember a time when SEALs and other Special Operations, or as we In The Know say, “Special Ops”, (Army’s Delta Force, Rangers, Green Beret, the Marine Corp’s Standard Issue Marine, etc) would never talk about their capabilities or missions anywhere outside their dens, let alone write books or make movies. But apparently ya gotta make a buck.

And I’ve enjoyed handing my bucks over to learn about these guys and their world. For example, and the Big Takeaway from this post is…

I know from reading Marcus Luttrell’s book, Lone Survivor, and watching the movie, that Navy SEALs are unique, like the other Special Forces guys, in that they Don’t Give Up. The word “Quit” isn’t part of their vocabulary.


A close friend of mine, who looks remarkably like My Sister, hasn’t seen the movie Lone Survivor yet, and until she has, at least once or twice, she will remain “The Sister Whose Name I Won’t Speak.”


A while back I read Eric Blehm’s book, Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team Six Operator Adam Brown. The late SEAL Adam Brown seems to have brought that “Never Quit” drive to a new level: he kept aiming for, and attaining, new goals (like getting a college education), goals that challenged him even more in an already demanding SEAL job.

Oh— I misspoke: he did quit; he quit an addiction to crack cocaine. It constantly called him back, but he mastered it.

And he mastered shooting —passing the extremely demanding Sniper School— after suffering a slow, painful death in his right eye from getting “dinged” by a high-velocity paintball. Keeping his SEAL rating and Sniper School required completely changing his shooting stance so he could use his left hand to “slowly squeeze that trigger” to coordinate better with using his good left eye.

Then he mastered shooting fast and deadly with his left hand when his right fingers were amputated (then reattached, later) in a Humvee accident. No one in the entire Noble History of Warfare has succeeded in maintaining such high (lethal and humanitarian) standards with his non-dominant hand and eyeball.


As Adam adapted to those physical limitations (for which many people suggested he leave the service), he also—simultaneously—as in, at the same time, decided to try out for the ‘upper tier’ Big Time Team of the SEAL world, (basically, Seal Team Six). Apparently, trying to join the upper echelon of the SEAL world is a goal many ‘regular’ SEALs don’t attempt because the failure rate is pretty high.

As an aside, here I must admit using the words “failure rate” about warriors as proficient and committed as  SEALs sounds unpatriotic and a bit foolish…any minute they’re gonna bust down my door and make me retract the insult…. “Ahh! I’m deleting as fast as I can!”

Anyway, Adam graduated to that upper tier, those Most Excellent Warriors, those most likely to be called on for the toppest, secretest, coolest assignments. And I’m impressed all over again. Which begs the question…

What is it these people have? Do they learn it? How much does leadership affect it? Are they born with it, like some Endurance Gene?

At the Labor and Delivery Ward:

Doctor: Don’t push any more, Mrs. Brown!

Mrs. Brown: I’m not! He’s crawling out! He won’t stop!

(Baby leaps out, doctor stops his freefall)

Doctor: Whoa, there! Mrs. Brown, it’s a boy, and he’s Gung Ho!

(Doctor turns the baby right side up) And he’s got gills! And webbed feet! A true Frogman!

(Gives the baby to the nurse)

Nurse: That classic Furrowed Brow Intense Stubborn Expression means he’s bound to become a Navy SEAL!

The best part is, whatever “it” is they have, they aren’t keeping it secret or hoarding it. When I read about exceptional warriors, and their sacrifices, it inspires me to be a better person. To try harder. Whine less. Operate less by my feelings, and more by my convictions. I want to Live Better, as a quiet gift back to them. And I think Adam, and all the others, would be glad for me, and satisfied.

Simplistic? You betcha.

How do you feel, what do you think, after reading (or watching about) Special Ops Forces (SOF)?


Credit where Credit’s due: WaterBrook Press published the book, and I snagged the color pictures (better than scanning the black and white in the book) from

Oh, the Fun of Country Living!


You might want to put down whatever you’re eating, cuz this is going to get buggy gross, in a scientific, exterminator, anti-pestilence but helpful sort of way.


When we returned from a recent vacation, I was making coffee one morning, half asleep, sans eyeglasses. I did a double-take… what’s that??! A scorpion in my porcelain sink, under the stainless steel rack. You ain’t in the Hilton anymore, girl.


Now I’m awake. I peer closer.


Yuck. What’s that freaky mini-dinosaur doing in there? Since he’s not washing the dishes, he’s gonna die. But how? I can’t hose him down the drain, cuz of the drain guard; one of his crooked legs will hold on for dear, undrowned life. And I can’t squish him in the sink, cuz I’ll just have to scoop his mashed body out (shudder). Here in the country we don’t have garbage disposals, which his crunchy exoskeleton would probably break, anyway.

Grossed out and wide awake now, I remember how to get this prehistoric pest out with minimum fuss.


Have I got News for you! A gift! A great, wise, Life Hack for you who reside with undesirables of the tiny variety. 


Sticky Traps! They go by various names and brands, but they serve the same purpose: once the pest ventures aboard the sticky goo, they’re stuck. For goo-d.

Sticky Traps are a simple piece of medium weight cardboard with a mighty adhesive on one side. Some are ingeniously designed to fold into a box shape (sticky side in) to catch rodents and other vermin, and to keep them from view of the tender-hearted among us. 

And now for a commercial break (don’t touch that dial):


[rattling squeaky noise]

Pouty Lips: “Furry Bear, what’s that noise in the back room? Go check it out!”

You: “Don’t worry, Pouty Lips, it’s just a rat, or maybe a stout mouse, struggling in the New and Improved Sticky Trap Sticky Box!”

Pouty Lips: “Oh, that’s horrible! How could you?!”

You: “No, Pouty, it’s better when they roll. Now their fur is really trapped and they’ll never get out. Bwa-ha-ha.” 

Now Back to the Episode of The Scorpion in the Sink…

I cast about for a somewhat unused Sticky Trap, cuz the fuller ones are harder to bend against the sink’s curved wall, and something gross might fall off.  I gingerly extracted a relatively unoccupied Trap from under our antique Hoosier cabinet, conveniently located in the kitchen. I brought it to the sink, lifted the rack a bit, and pressed the Sticky Trap against the scorpion! Ha ha, there he is, stuck on his back, now ‘playing dead’ with his nasty bony legs in the air. Success!

Just for fun, I blew on him and sure enough, his legs beat the air ferociously, thrashing to his heart’s content (if he had a heart), but to No Avail! Since there was plenty of vacant real estate on the trap, I carefully carried/flew him on his Magic Carpet Ride back under the Hoosier cupboard.

As you see, I’ve cleverly discovered how to use the Sticky Trap in a non-traditional way: off the floor. 


But wait!  you ask, “Are there more ways to use it?”

Yes! And I’m So Glad you asked!

Besides placing Sticky Traps on the attic or basement floor, where the higher species often may not travel, you can use Sticky Traps where you actual live!  I just place them under my furniture, where I’m not apt to step on them myself. Sometimes I’ll position a wire cake rack over the pad, if I’m concerned the precious kitties will inadvertently step on one. And just to ensure quick coverage, I’ve been known to place Sticky Traps next to a nightlight. That’s when the party really starts!


Wait! There’s more! Got troubles with wasps and other flying critters? Don’t want to spray your windows? Don’t want to whack your plants and other windowsill decorations? Just press the sticky side upside the pest, and Presto! No more airborne menace!

How about those bowls of seasonal fruits that draw tiny fruit flies?

No problem! Merely place a bit of soured fruit on top, and Voila! The little gnatties can’t help but stick! Call the kids, and wave the Sticky Trap over the bowl for family fun!! You’re bound to catch a couple slow flyers. You’ll be an Ace in no time!



The beauty of Sticky Traps is they’re non-toxic (to the species who matter) and quick and clean and flexible! No need to spray chemicals to drown some miserable mite! No messy guts and (heaven forbid) microscopic babies to wipe up! Simply—lightly—press, and remove!

Think that’s too easy? You’re right! In fact, Sticky Traps are quick, silent, and unobtrusive! Simply place one under your furniture, and forget! Depending where you live (and how often you clean), your Sticky Trap may remain in place for months, or until all the sticky space, usually just the edges, is occupied.

Sticky Traps have no harsh chemical smell. Worried about the smell from leaving insects on the trap? You won’t have to, unless your name is Peter Parker, or you have Insect Senses! Once one bug is stuck, they all come. Bugs are guaranteed to smell the decay, especially from a soft-sided salamander. They’ll come to investigate, just to be ensnared with their potential snack out of reach! Oh, the beauty of being at the top of the food chain!



Need another reason to choose Sticky Traps? They’re economical!

No need for expensive exterminators! We hired the professionals for years and the scorpions flourished! (The Bug Men must have been spraying the Vermin Fertility Beverage.) When we changed companies, to the More Toxic One, the scorpions disappeared, which was great! Unfortunately, every quarter when it was time for the Professional to return, we had boxes and luggage and inherited stuff along the walls where he sprayed. Who has time to rearrange furniture and vacuum for the exterminator! Just lay a Sticky Trap and walk away!

Best of all, there’s no wiring involved! No bulky, expensive batteries to replace after one cootie catch! Once you snag one unlucky pest, chortle with glee as you fly their frantic, feeble, fighting carcass back under your furniture to catch the rest of the curious (or cannibalistic) clan.

A Testimonial:


Before we renovated our house, Sticky Traps were our Exterminator of Choice due to a poorly enclosed porch. (“Honey, do you see the outside through the bottom of the old door?”) One day I found a snake, yes, a real reptilian legless worm thing, stuck to the trap. (See the incredible picture!) No, I didn’t let it stay there and rot, I asked my son to take it out (yes, still stuck to the trap, don’t complicate this, friends) to separate it from its head. When my son reluctantly obeyed, ha ha, he accidentally, and I don’t blame him one bit, tilted the trap, and Shazzam! The scorpion, which had enticed the hapless snake earlier in the night, plopped into Mr. Snake’s mouth. Ahh, The Last Meal.

Legal Disclaimer:


OK, to be honest, I really didn’t give the Sink Scorpion a Magic Carpet Ride… transport from the sink to under the Hoosier obviously changed elevation, and swerved a bit, but there was no Magic involved, except Human effort balance, navigation and aiming. There was no great thrill or enthusiasm; I didn’t say, “whoosh” and he didn’t go, “whee!” (Although he might have gone ‘wee’ out of sheer terror and being upside down and all. I don’t know how scorpions tinkle). I just want to be clear on that ride thing.

Don’t email me for your own ride. 

An Extra Tip:


And because You Read Before Midnight, here’s an Extra Tip!

If you place sticky traps, oh, say under a bed in your guest room, be sure to remove them before guests visit with their own bona-fide, legitimate pets. Oh, the hilarity when my son’s cat discovered our innocent sticky trap under the bed…in the middle of the night. Ree-owr! The thrashing! The chasing! The lingering adhesive goop. The marathon Cat Toilette (Grooming) Session. Hey! There’s yet another use for Sticky Traps: get rid of your unwanted Guests! Say goodbye when your guests’ Precious Furr-babies get  stuck again and again!

 Honoring our fighters, pilots, and friends

Recently I attended a memorial for Air Force Academy classmates who’ve passed away. We sang the sobering, haunting hymn, “Lord, Guard and Guide the Men (& women) Who Fly”. A classmate spoke, remembering those we’ve lost, and reminding us of the shortness and unpredictability of life. Finally, adding to the tears, was a moving recitation of the inspiring “High Flight” poem, printed way below. With this in mind, ….


Let’s have a little fun remembering My Dad, the “World’s Best Fighter Pilot”

Allow me to “log into my blog” my Warrior Dad’s obituary, an oldie but goodie. (To be honest, after my sister polished my first draft, it’s better, but not as funny. Just saying.)


It’s said our friends and warriors are truly “gone” when no one remembers them. I like to think they are honored when we speak their names. And I bet my dad, like all veterans, will enjoy your learning part of their story. 

Saturday, 17 January 2015, Daniel McIntosh, of Mountain Home, Texas died peacefully in his sleep, no doubt ‘putting out his hand, and touching the face of God’.

As the self-proclaimed “World’s Greatest Fighter Pilot,” he flew the coveted, ferocious F-105 Thunderchief “Thud” in “I Can’t Wait to Go” for not one but two tours during the Vietnam War.

His career spanned We Have Lost Count how many states and three continents including tours in the Very Cold War, West Germany, Thailand (Land of the “I Can Reach Vietnam by Sunrise”), and three happy years as the US Air Force liaison with the Air Force of the “World’s Best Allies,” South Korea. He retired as a Colonel in 1980, just in time for hunting season.


His medals include: the kick-butt Legion of Merit, three Distinguished Flying Crosses, two Meritorious Service Medals, twenty-five Air Medals (“cuz I got shot at A Lot”), the Vietnam Service Medal with five Service Stars (“cuz I served a lot”), and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross (“cuz that’s me, Gallant”).

Col. Mac was among a select few macho pilots chosen to stomach a visit to the White House, where President Johnson had the honor of shaking My Dad’s Hand. He was a proud member of the original (“I Fly North of the Red River to Hanoi”) River Rats Association, the NRA (“Get your concealed carry permit, kid”) and the Kerrville Hangar of Quiet Birdmen, a (currently) testosterone-laden aviation group founded in 1921.


The Colonel is survived by three loving, patient, compassionate daughters and their spouses. Dan was grandfather to 10 stunning grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren who sadly won’t know the delight of rolling their eyes at his anecdotes. He is also survived by his Big Sister, The Esteemed Matriarch, Carol of Driftwood. He loved her for absorbing all their parents’ Liberal Genes, so none would taint his Conservative DNA. 


The family will hold a Private but Not Very Quiet Remembrance Ceremony in Austin.  Interment of his ashes will be at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio. Memorial contributions should be applied to your beverage of choice, and Hoisted in Honor of this American Hero.

HigH Flight

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,

 And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

 Sunwards I’ve climbed and joined the tumbling mirth

 Of sun-split clouds – and done a thousand things

 You have not dreamed of – wheeled and soared and swung 

 High in the sunlit silence. Hovering there,

 I’ve chased the shouting wind along and flung

 My eager craft through footless halls of air,

 Up, up the long delirious burning blue

 I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,

 Where never lark, or even eagle, flew;

 And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod

 The high untrespassed sanctity of space,

 Put out my hand, and touched the face of god.


                                                                               by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.







Religion: Awful or Awesome

My brain’s not only too full, it must be full of rocks or nuts for me to write about religion! Could there be a more divisive topic, awful or awesome, and sometimes both, and even neither, just… mediocre or lukewarm?  


Allow me to ‘splain why I’m gonna. (The word ‘splain is a reference to the hit movie Princess Bride, so don’t get in a huff just yet! There’s more to come!).

My First 50 Years


We can’t blame my religious beliefs on my parents. There were the occasional Easter morning visits to the local Lutheran church, and I’m not saying that’s because my mother enjoyed dressing her daughters in the latest groovy 60’s fashion ensembles.


Boogie over to 1980, when I was a freshman cadet failing classes at the US Air Force Academy. They assigned me an Academic Adviser (an officer in the Air Force, not another cadet), who invited my needy, confused self to a Friday night Bible Study.


There I saw fellow cadets who seemed to have something I wanted: real (sober) joy. I kept attending and have always thought I became a Christian that year. But I didn’t obey Christ, or even think about knowing Him. I only knew some things the Bible said, but the demanding, in-your-face-world of the Academy was beating me down. Survival was the goal. By graduation, I wasn’t attending the Bible Study or church.








By 1985, I was living without God and spinning out of control. Thankfully, I turned once more to God, rededicating my life to Him at the local Lutheran church.

Fast forward 30-some years. As a Christian, after going to Bible Studies, teaching Sunday School, homeschooling, doing missionary work, and surviving a cult-ish place, I entered a time of depression.

I’ll tell the rest of that amazing story with posts called “Loved from the Pit.”



Because I’ve lived without God so much, I often argue with myself about Christianity to make sure it’s the real deal, and therefore worthy of following. I think God likes when I do this; He can handle it. The practice of giving reasons for what one believes is called Apologetics, and I’m gonna write about it. I gotta figure this stuff out, cuz I don’t want to miss anymore, or be misled and hurt again. Maybe we can struggle through that together. I’m no expert, but I know One.


Emmanuel Moments

One reason I’ve been a Christian so long is because I’ve seen God work in my life, and no, not His physical Being, but in circumstances beyond coincidence, or “the odds”. I call those times or ‘signs,’ “Emmanuel Moments” or for short (not intended to offend!) E-momes). Emmanuel means “God With Us” in Greek (spelled Immanuel in Hebrew. It’s in the Bible in Matthew 1:23.)

This is one reason my depression was so difficult. I knew that I knew God existed, I just couldn’t figure out why He made and used me so poorly. (I see it differently now, of course! Hang in there!) So you can bet I’ll be writing about those pivotal Emmanuel Moments, and other times where it seems He just wants to let me know He’s with me, and cares, and I’m on the right track. (It won’t seem so hokey once you’ve read a few.)



I gotta warn you, I have a strange sense of humor, but I’ll keep it in check and will never mean it to be disrespectful you or God.  I love the Lord and I don’t think He’ll mind if we have a bit of fun with the Gift of Humor He gave us, and shows in His own Book.

I’m not ready to write about other religions. For now I’m concentrating on my own. 

Ready to explore Christianity, and what that means in real life? Brain too full? Yup.




First Post for




Relationships: To Be Known and valued

scientists should proclaim: Relationships affect 100% of our day.

You’re thinking, “No way. I don’t think of or interact with people all the time.” And there you’d be wrong (but thanks for playing!) Ask anyone with a new car: relationships also include inanimate objects, too! In fact, now that I’m on a roll, we “relate” to abstract things like dreams and goals and fears, and even time, like “the good ol’ days.” And how all these relationships affect our lives, determines our quality (and even quantity!) of life. But you already know that. 

I counted > 50 Types…

of relationships with people, institutions, and animals. Add the step-people and ex-people, and currently dead people. What? Yup, I’m still a daughter to my dad, who’s passed away, yet he still affects my thinking. (In fact, way too many people can affect our thinking!)

My Husband Attracts Kids Wherever He Goes


Thanks to Social Media…


we’ve got relationships of a sort with teachers, coaches, classmates, and bullies.

People who “knew us when,” but maybe we aren’t that person anymore.

We have friends with whom we feel ‘safe’ and belong, and contacts we may never know very well, which could be a real loss.  

I’ll write about…


dating (waaay before this swipe stuff), husbands and wives, kids (not my own, of course!), friends and the not-so-friendly. Friendship wasn’t modeled in my childhood home, so I’ve stumbled and offended and sadly lost friendships over the years. 



       Classmates and Sons

              Fan Shenanigans

The Point…


of most relationships (if we aren’t trying to use someone for our own benefit), is to connect, to be known and valued and appreciated for who we are, not what we can do. Many of us settle for the latter, but I think we crave the former. 


As a Christian, my best relationship is with God. My worst is with myself: I want to be a wise, encouraging advocate, but sometimes end up being a foolish enabler, then a harsh critic. (I’m working on all that!) I might even be in denial, too, but how would I know?

Can you think of a relationship I missed?  Oh, duh, hours later, cuz my brain’s too full, I realized….

You’re my newest relationship! Thank you so much for reading my blog!