Wednesday, April 30, 2008

WFMW - Relief for Canker Sores

With industrial-level stress and a bad case of the flu already kicking my butt, a painful and annoying canker sore (can anyone say "stress-related"?) was one problem too many this week.

Thankfully I found an easy home remedy that actually works! Just take a plain ordinary tea bag (standard black tea), wet it, and apply it to the canker sore for a few minutes. It literally draws out the moisture from the sore, visibly shrinking it and numbing the pain. Repeat a few times throughout the day.

Tea bags, who'd have thought?

Now if I could just sort out the flu and the stress...

Visit Rocks In My Dryer to see what's working for everyone else this week.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Pity Vote

Take pity on the girl with the flu, would you? Throw a couple of votes my way in Christine's photo contest. There are some truly fabulous photos there and I don't expect to come close to winning, but I'd love to see more than my own single vote there. Who knows, it might even make me recover faster LOL. I'm listed under "Robin".

If you do I promise to try not to cough or sneeze on you. At least not on purpose.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Sick + Stuck in Cafe = Unhappy Robin

The next time we need to have the exterminator in to do a yearly (preventative, thank heavens) spraying, someone please remind me that that means I have to be OUT OF THE HOUSE for the next FIVE hours, so that I can plan appropriately and not just rush out on five minutes notice.

I'm sick and feeling utterly miserable and am stuck in a cafe down the block for another 2.5 hours, when all I really want to do is curl up in bed. Instead I'm stuck here trying unsuccessfully to work as coffee machines spit and hiss all around me, not to mention the woman at the table next to me is apparently a divorce attorney and I've been stuck listening to her discuss some poor guy's divorce all morning.

grumble grumble moan moan whinge

A girlfriend is coming by in about 2 hours, if I haven't keeled over in my coffee peppermint tea by then.

Have I mentioned that this whole scenario is highly unpleasant and making me decidedly cranky?

At least I finally managed to connect to their wireless network, that sucked up a good half an hour right there, albeit a very aggravating one. If I have to sit here feeling too sick to work, I should at least be able to blog, right?

Sunday, April 27, 2008


For Are We There Yet's April Photo Contest.
Christine has started a very cool new monthly photo contest. Hurry up, entries close today and voting is tomorrow!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt: Unique/Funny Signs

Taken on a hike outside Florence, Italy last fall.
This is my first time participating in the scavenger hunt, but when I saw the theme I knew this one was too good to pass up.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Outrageous, Or Not

I'm not a particularly outrageous person, not on purpose anyway. While I will freely confess to being a bit (ok a lot) of a free spirit I don't often consciously cross the line to truly outrageous. I've never dyed my hair pink, or worn fabulous vintage clothing complete with feather boas guaranteed to provoke stares of both horror and envy. I can't belch the alphabet.

Sometimes I wonder if this is a character flaw.

How it might feel to be so self-confident that you would dare to appear in public with shocking red lipstick and a fabulously large hat. To be so far ahead of the trends that you become the trend-setter, rather than the follower. (Or worse, so hopelessly out of touch that you wouldn't recognize and up and coming trend if it jumped up and bit you in the ass. Or is that just me?) I remember a girl named Pam that I knew in high school. She was outrageous. Before the rest of the school knew what New Wave was she had shaved one side of her head. Then she dyed the other side purple. Purple. Pam was outrageous. She'd say anything to anybody. Do anything. Take any dare. I'm not sure she was liked, but she made one hell of a splash. Everyone knew her name. I knew I'd never want to be like her, probably couldn't be even if I'd wanted to, but deep down I did admire her spunk. I wonder where it took her in life.

This week I feel too beaten down by circumstances to even consider putting on an outrageous front (or even an outrageous hat), but I wonder if I could even when things were brighter. If I would dare. If I should do it anyway, just for the release. Say something shocking, or do something shocking, or just wear something utterly extraordinary.

Would it be liberating, or would I be a small girl playing dress-up in her mother's closet? Would I in fact be liberated, or just gawked at and humiliated?

I'm not sure I'm brave enough to find out.

On second thought, maybe I think I'll just stick to my own style, Bohemian and outdated though it may be. I'll just call it timeless. Yes, timeless. Timeless and a bit unique. And utterly me. What you see is what you get. Not outrageous, but familiar and very comfortable.

Not the future of the entire planet, but the future of some very special children

For the two or three of you left out there who don't already read Shelly Tucker's wonderful blog This Eclectic Life and haven't heard yet, Shelly's decided that her Share a Square project to give each child at the Camp Sanguinity cancer camp a handmade afghan isn't enough and she's collecting money to help pay their camp fees too.
Shelly is from Texas, and you know they don't do anything small in Texas. This woman dreams BIG. It costs about $150 to send a child with cancer to camp for a week, to give them a chance to forget about their illness for a few days and just be a child. Unfortunately, for many families with a sick child this is a luxury they just can't afford. Together, we can help them give their children a gift they'll remember forever - a week of pure childhood fun.
There are 140 children attending the camp, so we need to raise $21,000 by June to make this dream a reality. If each of us gives up just one latte or one movie ticket, we can do it. Come on, that's not too much to ask, one latte. Help us send those kids to camp.
Clicking on the button above will take you to Shelly's blog where you can click directly on HER button (right there in the top right corner) to make your tax deductible contribution via paypal, or click on Shelly's link to find out how to mail in a personal check. (I tried to make the button work directly from here but it kept linking to my personal paypal account. Much as I'd love to, I really can't subsidize all of your contributions like that.)
Help send these kids to camp. It's not the future of the world, but it could mean the world to a child with an unclear future.
Thank you.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

No Thirteen for me this week

Life just threw me a major curve ball.

I'm not up for a thirteen this week. I'll be back once I've done some thinking and stock-taking.

PS Family is fine, everyone's healthy and loves each other very much. No worry there.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Winding down, and gearing up - NOW WITH PICTURES

As another spring heat wave hits Israel we are planning a fitting sendoff tomorrow for my parents on their last day with us before they head back to the snowbanks of New England. We're celebrating this sneak preview of summertime in style - the first summer fruits, terribly overpriced but such a decadent change from winter's heavy fare, chilled white wine instead of heavy reds, even a day at the beach planned for their final hours before boarding the plane...

It's been a wonderful visit, a time to reconnect, to rediscover, and above all to enjoy each other. And that we have. We'll be sad to see them go, but quickly enough we will lose ourselves in our daily routine, made busier and more joyful with the return of the sun's warmth which can't help but encourage long lazy afternoons at the playground, weekend barbecues with friends, and Saturday afternoons at our favorite beachside pub. And then, before we can blink, August will be here and we will see each other again.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Conversation with Maya

Tonight, at bed time:

M: Bees and flies are very small.

Me: Yes, they are.

M: They are teeny tiny.

Me: Yes, they're very small.

M: They can't talk.

Me: No, they can't. Only people can talk.

M: They're really small, we can squash them - like this. *mimes squashing bugs between her hands*

Me: Ummm...

Still here, sort of

Parents still in town. Computer time very limited (especially since they don't know about the blog!)

Miss all of you. Back soon...

Friday, April 18, 2008

Happy Passover

A happy and joyous Passover to all who are celebrating.

With love,

Thursday, April 17, 2008

TT - and now, the C's

(Yes, my parents are still here. I'll be back to something wordier next week. We're having a great visit, but it's definitely cutting down on my blogging time.)

They just don't write them like this anymore... Shakespearean insults - the C's.

My favorite is #2. What's yours?

  1. Canker Of A Calm World And A Long Peace

  2. Caterpillar Of The Commonwealth

  3. Cittern-Head

  4. Clamorous Harbinger Of Blood And Death

  5. Clay-Brained Guts

  6. Clod Of Wayward Marl

  7. Close Contriver Of All Harms

  8. Cock'red Silken Wanton

  9. Cream-Fac'd Loon

  10. Creeping Venomed Thing

  11. Crooked-Pated Old Cuckoldy Ram

  12. Curl'd-Pate Ruffian

  13. Cutter-Off Of Nature's Wit

Have you Thirteened this week?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

6.5 Random Things

Myrtle Beached Whale over at Myrtle Beach Ramblings tagged me for the 6 random things meme a while ago, and Lia from Swirling Notions for the 7, so I'm going to combine the two and give you, yes, 6.5 random but oh so fascinating tidbits about my life:

1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE iced coffee. I rarely drink it during the winter but as soon as the weather warms up it becomes my beverage of choice. I keep a pitcher of coffee in the fridge and help myself to it all day long, order it whenever I go out, pretty much all the time. And yet, each spring, I spend the first few weeks wondering why on earth I feel so wired all the time. Yes, I'm a slow learner.

2. I just bought a fitball and am sitting on that instead of on the dining room chair I usually sit on at the computer (when I'm at the dining room table instead of sitting at the island - obviously a ball couldn't replace a stool). I'm hoping this will help my back without having to go buy a fancy office chair that would then clutter up my living room. This way I only have a giant blue ball cluttering up the room, but the kids are having a (wait for it) ball (a ball? get it? I crack myself up sometimes) playing with it so I don't mind as much.

3. I cannot stand fish (the eating kind, not the aquarium kind, I love aquariums). The only fish I can bear to eat are tuna from a can, salmon, and jarred gefilte fish (not the real stuff, it's too fishy). I wish I liked fish, it's healthy, on every menu here in Israel, and supposedly very tasty for those who can stand it. I just can't do it though. No fish for me.

4. When I first visited Hungary eight or so years ago I finally realized that it's not my fault that I have such a weakness for overwhelmingly rich creamy and oh so unhealthy sauces - it's genetic! The proof was right there - I come from an entire country full of cream sauce lovers who wouldn't recognize most vegetables if they jumped off the plate and bit them! Which isn't likely since there were very few vegetables on the menu at all. I have managed to learn to love a lot of vegetables, but the cream sauce thing is apparently insurmountable. It's part of my genetic makeup and I may as well just concede defeat and enjoy it. Besides, it's a lot more fun than the whole self-deprivation thing.

5. I really feel like baking ultra-cute little decorated cookies today, which would be an incredibly stupid thing to do just before Passover, so I'm not going to do it. I will let the cookie decorating book I bought sit there and taunt me until the holiday is over. Bah.

6. I still remember how to make a serviceable origami cup out of looseleaf paper. My kid thought that was a very cool thing.

6.5 I must remember to...

I'm tagging any of you who want to play along - leave me a note in comments so I can swing by for a visit.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Just because I like it

Something about this photograph really appeals to me. I'm not even sure I took it, in fact I'm pretty sure it was my husband, but there's something about the grainy quality of the original that I really like. (By the way, any guesses as to why all the photos from the new camera are uploading at a smaller size and resolution? It's set to "large" but they're showing up small and much less crisp.)
Update: I can't figure out how to post photos at a higher resolution, but if you click on it you'll get to see the actual photo. Try it, it's worth the click :-).

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Fun with the grandparents

We just got back from a great weekend at a cabin up north*. Here's a sneak peak as I head up to bed.

* The cabin was at Moshav Ben Ami, near Nahariya and the Rosh Hanikra Grottos (come back later this week for pictures). It was lovely, and the kids particularly liked the ginormous round jacuzzi tub in my parents' cabin (as opposed to ours, a mere very very large triangular one). If you're curious what a typical Israeli B&B cabin looks like click on the website above, but then go into their Hebrew site for the photo gallery - the pictures on the English site are not at all current. We were in the wooden cabin you see in the background, which we chose because it had both a jacuzzi and a separate bedroom for the kids instead of an upstairs gallery - much easier logistics, especially when you have a child that you still need to take to the bathroom at night.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

TT - How to identify witches, and other very important lessons

It just doesn't get any better than Monty Python, does it?


1. She's A Witch

2. Bring Out Your Dead

3. Three Questions

4. The Black Knight

5. Coconuts (but of course)

6. Holy Hand Grenade

7. Always Look On The Bright Side of Life (are you singing along yet?)

8. I told them we already got one!

9. Bigus Dickus

10. The People's Front of Judea

11. The Ministry of Silly Walks

12. The Fish Slapping Dance

13. The Cheese Shop

Have a great week everyone. I've got my parents visiting so it may take me a while to visit all of you, but I'll get there.

Visit Thursday Thirteen to see what everyone else is counting this week.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Hey, this doesn't suck

Straight out of the camera. So far the preset settings (kids, sports, portraits, etc.) are more successful than my own playing around with apertures and such, but since I have no idea what I'm doing that's not all that surprising.
Lots of fun, and lots to learn.
PS Yes, Maya chose her own outfit, and yes, it does include both a shirt and a too-small sundress and both tights and socks.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Foot Update, for those that have been following along

I finally saw the orthopedist on Thursday. Apparently I have "high arch foot" and after nearly thirty-cough years of living with it it's decided it doesn't like me any more.

I am on ten days worth of oral steroids and have a referral for both 8 sessions of physical therapy and custom orthotics (which I have no intention of wearing until next fall - this is FLIP-FLOP season people!). He told me that they were preventative and that I "didn't have to wear them at home". Since I work from home that covers most of the day, then I can extrapolate kid-fetching and errand-running as "home-centered" activities. The steroids and PT better work, because we're heading into six months of soaring temperatures and there is no way in hell I'm wearing closed shoes every day for the next six months. Not gonna happen.


Saturday, April 5, 2008

The Road to Cinque Terre

Many years ago my husband and I were traveling through Italy with my parents. After visiting Rome and Tuscany and getting our fill of magnificent art, Renaissance architecture and picturesque Tuscan villages we decided a change of pace was in order and headed for the rugged Cinque Terre coast.

Our ultimate destination was the village of Monterosso, one of five coastal villages surrounded by a mountainous nature reserve and, we'd been told, accessible by car only with difficulty. We'd been told that the roads to and between the five towns were not for the faint of heart, which is why most travelers choose to come by train, but we were short on time and we had a car, so car it was.
We got off the Autostrada when we got close and stopped for a coffee. After finishing our coffee we realized we were unsure of exactly how to drive the last few miles. My mother, who speaks absolutely no Italian, decided she would ask directions. She chased down an elderly Italian gentleman walking by the side of the road. He of course spoke not a word of English, but my mother was undaunted. She managed to convey to him that she wanted directions to Monterosso, but of course couldn't possibly understand his response. She was quite clear however on his gestures - he was clearly pointing down a road that headed out from the end of town towards the mountains, and he was laughing. Oh yes, he was laughing alright. My mother, ever the optimist, assumed he was laughing at his efforts at pantomime.
She was wrong.
She conveyed the old man's directions to my somewhat sceptical father; he didn't have anything better to suggest so we headed off in the direction the old man had shown us. The road winding out of town was a small one, one lane in each direction. By the time we'd driven a few more miles, it had narrowed to one lane. It began to occur to us that we hadn't actually seen anyone coming the other way for quite some time, nor were there any other vehicles in front of or behind us. After that, we began passing heavy construction equipment, left idle for the weekend.
Our little one lane road began hugging the side of a narrow cliff, the water shimmering hundreds of feet below. A few more feet and the asphalt itself ended, leaving us bumping along a dirt road. A few hundred feet after that it was apparent that we were driving on a road That. Had. Not. Yet. Been. Built! Moreover, it was too narrow too turn around, and too windy to even consider backing up. We had no choice but to press on and hope for the best. I'm sure my father, a remarkably cool-headed man, would count the next few hours as some of the most stressful of his life. We were surrounded by jaw-dropping scenery but he didn't dare take his eyes off the ever-narrowing track in front of the car, crawling forward inch by careful inch. After nearly two hours we finally reached the other side of the mountain and joined up with a proper road, with pavement and even a sign pointing to Monterosso just a mile or two further. We breathed a deep sigh of relief and headed towards civilization and a well-deserved beer. We hadn't gone a hundred feet further when we saw a sign that made us all gasp - a giant blue sign with huge white letters signalling, what else - the entrance to the Autostrada, just one exit past the one we'd taken!
The moral of the story? Don't ask directions if you can't understand the answer!
The oh so fitting Writers Island prompt for this week was lost highway.

Two Days to NC Day

New camera day that is! That is when my new toy, a brand spanking new Nikon D40 digital SLR, arrives, with grandparents and suitcases in tow.

I'd been growing increasingly frustrated with the limitations of my little point and shoot camera. I would occasionally end up with truly breathtaking pictures, but equally as often I'd get garbage, especially indoors at night (i.e. every graduation or school pageant my children were ever in). (Yes, I realize that most of that is the photographer, not the camera, but allow me my illusions, would you. Besides, this camera really and truly does suck at night.)

A few months ago we (ok, I) decided it was time to take the plunge and head on up the photographic ladder to see what an SLR could do for us. My husband, internet shopper extraordinaire, spent weeks if not months (years, decades...) comparing cameras, checking prices, and finally ordering (only to cancel and immediately reorder from the same company when they dropped the price two days later!) our new baby, complete with an 18-55mm zoom lens, bag and other assorted doodads.

Watch this space over the next few weeks. There are sure to be some spectacular failures as I learn my way around my new toy, and hopefully a good one thrown in here and there as well.

Oh, and a bit of touring, holidays, and visiting with the grandparents as well.

Sunday Scribblings prompt for this week is photograph. Ever since we ordered the new camera, I've been completely frustrated with the old one, so I'm not waxing all that poetic about individual photographs at the moment. Hopefully that will change soon.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Turning up the heat - Passover Recipes

The Jewish holiday of Passover is right around the corner and with it all its difficult and annoying unique and special dietary requirements. (For those who don't know, thoughout the week of Passover, also known as the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Jews are required to eat matza and avoid "leavened" products, known as "chametz". This includes anything made with yeast, anything that rises, all regular flours, rice, beans, corn and a whole host of other restrictions.)

The next edition of the Kosher Cooking Carnival, hosted this month by A Mother In Israel, is devoted to Passover - Passover recipes, recipes for getting rid of all that leftover chametz before the holiday, and all sorts of other Passover preparations.

For my contribution I've got a recipe that may actually compete with my matza balls in the not exactly health food competition (quick MII, you may need to hide your eyes). As I said then, I'm happy to cook fairly healthy, vitamin-laden food all year long but holidays in my house are for tradition, arteries be damned...

Yam Souffle

2 very large yams (those of you in the US can use 1 large can, I've never seen canned yams here in Israel)
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Handful of raisins
1/2 cup coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts
170g (1½ sticks) butter/margarine

  1. Peel and cube yams. Boil until very soft. Cool slightly. (Skip these steps if using canned yams.)
  2. Mix yams, eggs, butter (margarine), sugar, vanilla and a pinch of cinnamon in the food processor until smooth.
  3. Transfer to mixing bowl.
  4. Mix in coconut, raisins and chopped walnuts.
  5. Bake in greased dish for 45 minutes at 350 degrees (180 celsius).

This dish can easily be made ahead of time and reheated. Keeps well.

This is a VERY rich dish, a little goes a long way. If it sounds suspiciously Southern, that's because it is – my grandmother got this recipe, known in our family as Margie's yams, from her Georgia-born and raised housekeeper at least fifty years ago. Since then it's become a well-entrenched holiday staple in all the children's and grandchildren's families, and has now become a tradition in its own right for the Anglo friends we celebrate all our holidays with here in Israel.

Switching gears to a more traditionally Jewish dish, here's an easy no-bake dessert:

Coconut-Apricot Bars

1/2 cup thin-sliced almonds
1/4 cup dried apricots (chopped)
1/2 cup toasted coconut
3 Tbl oil
3 Tbl honey
6-8 oz good quality chocolate chips


Mix oil and honey together until thick. Mix all ingredients together except chocolate. (Note: you can either finely chop the apricots or you can throw them into a food processor for a smoother consistency (I go with this option - it's much faster). Press firmly onto shallow dish, making a thin layer. Melt the chocolate chips and spread on top of the apricot layer. Chill and then cover in foil. Refrigerate. Cut into squares and serve.

And as an extra, this devastatingly good (dairy) flourless chocolate cake is great for Passover, but don't let that stop you from making it all year round! (Oh, and I skip the glaze on top. It's quite rich enough on its own. A few fresh berries are nice as a decoration though.)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

TT - Oh my aching foot

I did something, or rather something happened, to my foot about ten days ago. I didn't twist it, bang it, or injure it in any way I can think of. It's not bruised or swollen and nothing looks outwardly unusual. There's only one small problem - it hurts like a sonofagun. I've got a weird sort of shooting pain any time I try to walk or bend my foot, and now it's also radiating up to my ankle. On top of that my knees, seriously problematic under the best of circumstances and veterans themselves of numerous rounds of tests and physical therapy, are starting to really ache, most likely from the limping I've been doing trying to keep weight off the other foot. It took me a week to get an orthopedist's appointment but tomorrow (Thursday) I will finally be seeing a doctor. Hopefully he'll be able to sort out whatever this is because my parents are arriving for a visit on Monday and not being able to walk would put a major crimp in our plans.

In light of all this, here are:

13 Things I Can't Do Because My Foot Hurts

1. Bounce on a pogo stick
2. Ride a unicycle
3. Dance a pirouette onstage with the Bolshoi Ballet
4. Go barefooting (waterski barefoot)
5. All those fancy figure skating jumps and spins
6. Kick a Super Bowl-winning field goal
7. Put my foot behind my ear
8. Paint a masterpiece with my toes
9. Kickbox
10. Walk a tightrope
11. Perform acrobatics while hanging by my foot from a silk rope
12. Dance the can-can
13. Break a wooden board with my foot, karate-style

Of course I couldn't do any of these things before either, but let's not nit-pick...

Visit Thursday Thirteen to see what everyone else is, or perhaps isn't, up to this week.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

WFMW Redux - Inflammatory Breast Cancer

This week's WFMW is a "greatest hits" edition. Some of the other tips I've given (for things like making placemats out of children's art, bug-free flour, lice prevention, easy birthday cakes and toy swaps) get a lot more hits than this one, but since the importance of this so far outweighs the others this is the one I'm reposting.


I'm taking advantage of the high traffic WFMW to share this very important post from WhyMommy with as many people as possible. In a way, this is truly my best parenting advice - take care of your own health so that you can stay healthy and stay alive for your children. All the rest is window dressing. Important, yes, but it pales in the face of simply being able to be there.

I've talked before about Inflammatory Breast Cancer, and how my friend in the computer is fighting winning the fight of her life right now, but this message is so very important that it bears repeating again and again:


Did you hear that? You DON'T have to have a lump.

Rather than retyping that old post, I'm going to let WhyMommy's words speak directly to you. She says it better than I ever could, because she's living it. It's not just a warning to her. It's the battle for her life.

We hear a lot about breast cancer these days. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes, and there are millions living with it in the U.S. today alone. But did you know that there is more than one type of breast cancer?

I didn’t. I thought that breast cancer was all the same. I figured that if I did my monthly breast self-exams, and found no lump, I’d be fine.

Oops. It turns out that you don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer. Six weeks ago, I went to my OB/GYN because my breast felt funny. It was red, hot, inflamed, and the skin looked…funny. But there was no lump, so I wasn’t worried. I should have been. After a round of antibiotics didn’t clear up the inflammation, my doctor sent me to a breast specialist and did a skin punch biopsy. That test showed that I have inflammatory breast cancer, a very aggressive cancer that can be deadly.

Inflammatory breast cancer is often misdiagnosed as mastitis because many doctors have never seen it before and consider it rare. “Rare” or not, there are over 100,000 women in the U.S. with this cancer right now; only half will survive five years. Please call your OB/GYN if you experience several of the following symptoms in your breast, or any unusual changes: redness, rapid increase in size of one breast, persistent itching of breast or nipple, thickening of breast tissue, stabbing pain, soreness, swelling under the arm, dimpling or ridging (for example, when you take your bra off, the bra marks stay – for a while), flattening or retracting of the nipple, or a texture that looks or feels like an orange (called peau d’orange). Ask if your GYN is familiar with inflammatory breast cancer, and tell her that you’re concerned and want to come in to rule it out.

There is more than one kind of breast cancer. Inflammatory breast cancer is the most aggressive form of breast cancer out there, and early detection is critical. It’s not usually detected by mammogram. It does not usually present with a lump. It may be overlooked with all of the changes that our breasts undergo during the years when we’re pregnant and/or nursing our little ones. It’s important not to miss this one.

Inflammatory breast cancer is detected by women and their doctors who notice a change in one of their breasts. If you notice a change, call your doctor today. Tell her about it. Tell her that you have a friend with this disease, and it’s trying to kill her. Now you know what I wish I had known before six weeks ago.

You don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

P.S. Feel free to steal this post too. I’d be happy for anyone in the blogosphere to take it and put it on their site, no questions asked. Dress it up, dress it down, let it run around the place barefoot. I don’t care. But I want the word to get out. I don’t want another young mom, or old man, or anyone in between, to have to stare at this thing on their chest and wonder, is it mastitis? Is it a rash? Am I overreacting? This cancer moves FAST, and early detection and treatment is critical for survival.

From Robin again:

Everyone who reads this, please, go do your monthly breast self-exams. Don't just look for a lump. IBC is NOT characterized by a lump. Please go right now and read these descriptions of the symptoms of regular breast cancer and inflammatory breast cancer, and if you find anything questionable, please, PLEASE, go see your doctor. Knowledge is power and early detection is critical.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Bliss is...

Toasted blue cheese on homemade bread - open face of course

Sitting with your bare feet in the sand as you watch the sun set over the Mediterranean Sea

Seeing the smile on a new mother's face when she breastfeeds her baby for the very first time

A really good cup of freshly brewed coffee

The freedom to stay curled up in bed a while longer in the morning

Your child spontaneously saying "I love you mommy"

Strawberry cheesecake

Oh hell, any kind of cheesecake

Or for that matter any kind of cheese

The first picnic of the summer

A massage

A meadow full of flowers

What's your bliss?

PS Curious about the girl behind the blog? There's an interview with me up at Damien's Postcards From The Funny Farm today.