DaGoddess @ 17:00


Believe it or not, that brilliant reflection of a Cross on the dome of the Church is not the result of a filter or any trick added in after the shot. The symbol of the Cross is always present. The gold tiles upon the dome were not arranged in any manner to cause the light to reflect in that way. The tiles themselves are the same as the tiles used on similar churches around the world. Only a few churches are lucky enough to have this Cross appear. Ours is one of them.

To be surrounded by beauty and gentle hearts all morning, to read of the suffering of Christ on the Cross made my complaints seem so petty. It’s always good to put things into perspective every once in a while. Today was ideal for that.

Junior Choir

DaGoddess @ 16:22

My little choirboy and the other members of the group sang beautifully today. They are the first Junior Choir for our church and they did a wonderful job.

From our Lamentations, as sung by Little Dude and the rest of the Junior Choir:

Every generation
to thy grave comes bringing,
dear Christ, its dirge of praises.


Greatly blessed Joseph
buries now the body
of Christ the Life-Bestower.

Taught the inner mystries,
he like a mindless servant
betrayed the Well of Wisdom.

(LD’s favorite part)
He that sold his Saviour,
sold himself as captive,
that crafty traitor Judas….


Operation Thank You

DaGoddess @ 19:38

Today we took to the streets once again to thank our brave men and women for their service. Our merry band, LD, KM, and myself, met at the North Gate at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, signs in hand.

Much to our delight, we had several new faces amongst us. It was a real pleasure to meet the author of Carpe Bonum, one of the younger Carpe Bonums, and the author of Neptunus Lex. It’s so much fun to meet new people, even more fun to meet those who share your pride and gratitude toward the military. Bonus points when they turn out to be such good folks. Extra bonus points when they bring along someone Little Dude’s age like CB Jr. Super extra mega points for showing up after a very rainy start to the day.

As always, we had many people honking, waving, thanking us, and some even yelling “you’re welcome!”

There’s really no way to explain the feeling you get as someone thanks you for standing around with a sign, warriors turning to look at you with broad grins and waving hands mean so much. Families who have spent many months without their loved ones telling you that your hour and a half or two hours of holding a flag and some cardboard means something special to them touches you in a way that goes beyond description.

No matter what the rest of your day or week has in store for you, for a few moments, you’ve made someone else feel good. And you’re doing it with a good group of people.

I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to participate in Operation Thank You. I hope you’ll join us next time (or start your own in your neck of the woods.)

Crossing the Intimacy Threshold

DaGoddess @ 01:21

Of all the Holy Days, Great Thursday* seems to be overlooked more often than not. I’ve never understood why. The most famous of betrayals occurred on this day.

But what really draws me to this day is the act of Christ washing the feet of His followers. It is not just the act of washing, it is the intimacy and humility of this particular deed and how others saw His actions.

Perhaps it is not as easily written as it is felt for me. Bear with me for a moment.

Christ gave of Himself to His disciples in a manner that some thought below Him. And, it was as much His actions as the reactions of those who received His ministrations that appeal to me.

As a nurse, tending to patients, it is sometimes not so much what I do as how it is seen by the patient. What one patient finds too intimate another may find it provides them some great comfort. Whether it is the washing of hair, face, or feet, each person has a threshold of intimacy. It’s the same with family and friends.

Take my father. Visiting with him while he’s incapacitated, he tries to hide his urinal. He doesn’t mind showing me his scarred knee, but he doesn’t want me to see anything else related to his current dependent-on-others state. In a way, it’s almost silly. I do this for a living. I’ve seen this and much worse. Still, as my father, for me to see or do anything more is crossing a line that would make him very uncomfortable. For his daughter to tend to him (not that there’s muc I could do) would be a violation of his parent code for “how things should be.” I have to respect that. It’s just the way he feels.

That is his intimacy threshold.

As you go about life, you learn what is doable with some and off limits with others.

Religion and Faith aren’t any different. What is comforting to one, is an affront to another.

The point is, in our every day actions and care, some people will take issue with our offerings and some will be grateful that we have taken the time to acknowledge their needs. We give as we can, hoping that our intentions are readily accepted. Some will see our actions as arrogant, others will see them as humble. No matter what, your intent should be pure and genuine, and you should always keep in mind how your offerings are received. Don’t be afraid to give, be aware that not everyone will accept your gifts in the same way.

This is my very simplistic attempt to relate what this day means to me, in both a religious and a practical sense. What makes sense to me, what brings me comfort, may not be something that sits well with you.

As my Holy Week* wraps up, I thought I would share this with you:

On Great Thursday the focus of the Church turns to the events that occurred in the Upper Room and at the Garden of Gethsemane.

In the Upper Room, while at meal, Jesus established and instituted the mystery or sacrament of the holy Eucharist and washed the feet of His disciples as well.

The Garden of Gethsemane calls our attention to Jesus’ redemptive obedience and sublime prayer (Mt 26.36-46). It also brings us before the cowardly, treacherous act of Judas, who betrayed Christ with a kiss, the sign of love and friendship.

* Greek Orthodox Easter falls on May 1st this year.

Full article continued below



Song of the Basenji

DaGoddess @ 18:10

“What do you want me to sound like?” Little Dude asked.

“How about a fish,” I suggested. It had been motormouth city since I’d picked him up from school. Two hours later, I was pretty much at my limit.

“Okay. Fish done. What now? What do you want me to sound like now?”

“A butterfly, please.”

“Mom, you just keep picking quiet things! That’s not fair.”

I smiled. “Yes, it is!”

After twenty minutes of this game, he begged and pleaded for a cat or dog to imitate.

“Okay, be a Basenji.”

Needless to say, the next few minutes were full of breed discription and silent glaring.

I thought it was hysterical.

By the way, what’s green and sings?

Apropos of nothing, from the creator of comes poetc.com. It’s really cool!



DaGoddess @ 20:41

Who could have a hardened heart when this is staring back at you?

Little Dude 007

Little Dude 010

Little Dude 014

Photo Friday entry for

Baby Got Balls

DaGoddess @ 19:53

“How big is your bladder?” my dear son asked me one night a few weeks back.

I told him it all depended on how much urine the bladder was holding. “It’s like a balloon. If there’s a lot of fluid in it, it gets big. If there’s not a lot in there, it’s smaller.”

“So, if it’s empty, how big?” he asked.

I made a circle with my thumb and index finger. “About this big most likely. Why?”

He looked at me with all the seriousness an 8-year old can muster. “Well, I have these two things that are like balls down here…” patting his groin.

I had to keep myself from laughing as I moved his hand up just a little higher. “This is where your bladder is. Those ‘balls’ are your testicles, sweetie. And, guess what? Some people do call them balls.”

“They do?”

“Yes, they do.”

Mr. Wide Eyes then asked what testicles are for.

“Your testicles produce sperm when you get a little older. Sperm is half of what is needed to make a baby.” I figured I’d offer up a little more information because I knew he’d ask.

“How does the sperm get from your testicles to where the baby is made?” Little Dude asked.

“Inside your body are these little tiny tubes that are all coiled up. They go from your testicles, meet up just below your penis, and then there’s just one tube. It takes the sperm from there to the end of your penis. It comes out there.”

LD didn’t believe me. He started to ask another question and stopped. Several times.

I asked him if he wanted to know more.

He looked at me and frowned. “Is this the part where girls are involved?”


“No, thanks. I’m done for now. I just really wanted to know if these balls were where all my pee is stored.”

“Nope, not there, buddy.”

“Okay, good. I don’t think I want to be playing with these if that’s where the urine is. I didn’t want to squeeze them and end up peeing my pants because of it.”

“Oh, okay.” What else could I say? “Um, just make sure, if you’re going to play with them that you do it at home and not out in public, okay?”

“No way, Mom! I wouldn’t do that. These are mine. I don’t want anyone else to see them.”

Yeah, yeah. He says that now. In a couple of years it’ll be a different story. And I’ll be ready to deal with that when the time comes.

Boys are so much fun.


Exhibits C and D*

DaGoddess @ 22:02

Ex. C:

Little Dude knows every verse, every word of “Don’t Fence Me In.” I did not teach him this.

Ex. D:

Tonight, he won a carwash kit in the weekly Cruise Night drawing. Someone offered to trade him for a huge box of Oreos. He said “no, thank you.”

* Lost? the scoop.


Do you know how hard it is to get a nicotine patch to stick to a monkey?*

DaGoddess @ 17:27

About as easy as it is for me to restore my archives or install the comment closing script into my template.

I’m rapidly approaching my 3rd anniversary of blogging. I’d really like my archives back, but no one seems to know how to do it.

And, after 125 comment spams, I’m missing the old script that used to allow me to close comments after x number of days.

Sometimes it’s hard to be a blogger. Sigh.

* Bonus points for anyone who knows from whence the title came.


Got Belly?

DaGoddess @ 23:26

Do you have a belly? Are you willing to share a photo of it? Nothing X rated…just a revealing shot of your tummy….for a chance to win music and a spot on a website banner?

Leave a comment with a valid email and I’ll send you details.

Extravasation and Vasospasm

DaGoddess @ 21:27

Good news on my dad. He came through the surgery without a hitch. He’s in very little pain and has been up and walking since yesterday. He seems to be in really good spirits, which makes me feel pretty damn good. My dad should be heading off to the skill nursing facility tomorrow morning. We may go see him, if he’s up to it.

I had injection #2 yesterday. I wasn’t as sedated as the previous epidural and I recall yelling, “HEY! I can feel that! That’s not what I would call GOOD, you know?” Considering that I had meds on board, I think that was rather restrained. Of course, the worst part was after the procedure when the headache and the nausea kicked in. They gave me some Percocet. Good, good. But the nausea grew. They gave me some phenergan I.V. – except that they did it as a push med, undiluted. Now, there’s something you never want to experience. Imagine having battery acid shoved into your blood vessels at a high rate of speed. That would pretty much describe the sensation that improperly diluted and administered phenergan brings. The vasospasm was instantaneous. The extravasation comes a little later. Today, my hand and arm are sore, swollen, and discolored. I’ve tried just about everything to reduce all the above.

Paying taxes is a rather similar experience. Not so much when they come out of your paycheck, but when you discover at the end of the year that you owe money that you don’t have….that’s kind of the same feeling as a harsh substance coursing through your veins.

One simple rule all nurses should follow – at all times – ALWAYS check a drug book for the appropriate dosing and administration guidelines. I am very aware of what phenergan (and many other medications) can do if not given correctly. It doesn’t matter how many times I give the med, I still double check the guidelines. It may seem like overkill to you, but when you have the responsibility of administering medications that can harm someone (and every medication has that potential), you are the only thing that stands between the med drawer and the patient. It’s your job to check. (Hey! I’m the #2, 6, and 7 search result on for phenergan extravasation! Exciting, eh?)

I won’t even bother to finish the tax analogy here. It’s too painful.

Other news

Proof that I have the strangest children –

Exhibit A: My daughter is currently in 7th grade, right? She’s already working on plans for 9th grade. She wants to go to a different high school than the one she’s supposed to attend. Why? Because she wants to take Auto Shop. There’s only one school in the district that offers it. Auto Shop. My daughter. Go figure. And right after she announced that, she was showing me a pair of high heels she wanted.

Exhibit B: My son spent part of this evening voluntarily doing multiplication and division problems. He’s done 10 pages and just started working on more. I have offered him a reward for every 5 pages that he completes. Nothing big, just a piece of candy and a sticker. After the second set of 5 was done he told me he didn’t want candy, he wanted something healthier, like carrots. Carrots it is.

Not child-related, but since it’s Tax Day, it falls under the category of Dependent, but not Deductible: I need to go get my dad’s bird ready for bed. He’s been quiet this evening and I’m beginning to think he’s settling in nicely. I’d like that. He’s normally a free range cockatiel, if you can believe that. My dad lets him roam his house at will. The bird’s favorite place is the bathroom, where he can admire himself in the mirror all day long. He’s currently unpinioned so, come next week, we go see Auntie for a wing clipping and allow him to return to a life of vain preening. Whatever keeps the little feather-head happy.

Have a good weekend! And, birthday wishes to Tommy Castro! 50 years old? WOW!

Thanks to Georgia, Acidman, Velociman, and Parkway Rest Stop Jim for the call from the blogmeet! No shots had been fired and everyone was having fun….so all’s well in bloggerville.


Bandwidth, Anyone?

DaGoddess @ 10:02

Anyone have server/bandwidth available? The kind that could support streaming music?

Shake, Rattle, and Roll

DaGoddess @ 04:07

We just had a nice little….er…medium-sized trembler. I happened to be up. Even if I hadn’t been, this would have awakened me.

How do you know it’s a real quake? When your heart sits in your throat and won’t come back down.

Two minutes later and half the neighborhood is active.

Magnitude: 4.0


Needles and Pins

DaGoddess @ 21:46

Gradually coming back to life after the injection today. Thank God for sedation! I don’t remember anything after they started the Fentanyl and Versed.

I’m sore, cranky, and my throat feels somewhat tight – all normal for this procedure.

The injection was to the epidural space instead of the nerve root. I’m not sure exactly which steroid they used, but I can always ask for copies of the notes later.

The numbness and tingling continue. I still have muscle spasms, too. Time is both my enemy and friend. The true test of the effectiveness should be apparent within a couple of days. For now….I wait.

Special note of thanks to the incredible Muffin, Anton. While I was off playing with needles, he restored my sidebar. Things are still wonky, but now I can surf blogs on occasion! WOO HOO! I am so lucky to have him helping me out.


Miss A Little, Miss A Lot, Kinda Sorta, Help Me Out Here

DaGoddess @ 21:41

There are things that you never want to miss out on, and other things that you just don’t care about. That’s a part of life, isn’t it?

Since the moment my site went into the transfer-transition mode, I realized how much I missed writing and posting photos, how much I relied on my blogroll as links to my friends, and how much I was missing out on. At the same time, my back injury prevented me from spending much time on the computer and I just sort of pushed all that to the back of my mind. There’s not much you can do about certain things in life. You worry about the most pressing and move on.

It’s been over a month now since that happened and other things have definitely taken over in my world. Some of you care, some of you don’t. And, that’s okay. Some of you come here to check on me and/or Little Dude, some of you only want the latest Protest Warrior activities. Whatever your reasons for stopping in, you’ve most certainly not been entertained by much lately. For that, I apologize.

Truth be told, I’ve become more comfortable with the off and on, occasional update to the website thing than I had thought. Getting things back to the way they once were seems like such a low priority when there are bigger things in life that I must handle. Still, there’s a bit of guilt when I get kind emails from friends wondering what’s going on. Don’t get me wrong, I love that connection we have. It means the world to me! But, I’m often left wondering how to manage everything and still take care of myself as I know is necessary.

Healthwise, I have some major hurdles. I begin the first of several injections this week. The doctors are hoping that the injections will reduce the inflammation around the spinal cord and the nerves that lead elsewhere. With less inflammation, perhaps I’ll feel better. No matter what, I’m still looking at the possibility of surgery.

I’ve never been one to get too frightened over the prospect of an operation, but then again, I’ve never had anyone saying they wanted to go into my back and fiddle with my spine. My sister’s had it done – more than once. I’ve cared for patients who’ve undergone these procedures many times. Still, this time it’s my back and my pain and I have to come to some sort of peace with this. Living with uncontrolled pain is more than I can take most of the time and I’m coming around – sort of. My resolve waxes and wanes depending on the pain level and the effectiveness of the meds. You know how it goes. There’s a saying that nurses and doctors are always the worst patients. It’s true. As much as I try to be a patient patient, I fail miserably. I hate the unknown as it relates to me. I hate that I don’t have more control over some of these things.

The lack of control seeps into other areas of my life as well.

Little Dude and my daughter have both been shorted on their time with me. Outings have been rather…..brief. Grumpy Mommy has made an appearance or two. You name it. It’s disappointing that I struggle at doing the simplest of things with them. They’ve been wonderful though. God bless them for being so sweet and caring.

Perhaps the worst part of all of this down time is the fact that I’m suddenly unable to help those who need me most.

My father is having surgery next week. Instead of coming right home, he’ll be heading to a rehab facility – think skilled nursing facility and the type of patients you normally encounter there and you have mounting guilt. Sure, I can go visit and encourage him, but I can’t take care of him the way I’d like to.

But let’s not stop there. Today….today. Right about the time I was reaching for the phone to call Mrs. Smash and ask for her help on Thursday, the phone rang. It was Smash. Smash was in the hospital. My hospital.

My friend, one of the dearest people in the world, was lying on a backboard in the emergency department. And I wasn’t there. Even worse, I won’t be there in an official capacity to help her through this. Once again, I found myself wishing I could be anywhere but here. I asked Smash if I should head down. He said no, that she was off to imaging for further testing. I thought about what she was experiencing. I know, intimately, how it feels to be the patient waiting for answers. How it feels to be lying there, in pain, trying to be stoic, waiting for relief, hoping that someone will say it’ll all be fine and things will be back to normal after a short nap. All I wanted was to go and wave a magic wand, making things instantly better. But, that hasn’t been one of my talents, now or ever, and I knew that I had to wait to hear more, just like everyone else.

Mrs. Smash is doing better now. I know she’s in good, more-than-capable, experienced hands. I know she has some of the best doctors and nurses looking after her. I’m still not there to help, but I know that those who are charged with her care will do everything possible to keep her warm, safe, and as comfortable as possible under the circumstances. Maybe things will look better in the morning and the doctors will allow her to return home. That remains to be seen. Should she be up for company tomorrow, I will do whatever it takes to get there and bring her a smile or two. In the meantime, please….say a prayer for her to make a speedy recovery. That’s what I’m doing.

I can’t do all the things I want to do these days. Blogging has always taken a backseat to life, but now…..now, more than ever before, I know this. If my posts are infrequent, I apologize. But, I want to feel better so that I don’t have to stand on the sidelines when the people I care about need me. I want to be there for them. In order to do that, I have to let some things simmer, other things grow cold, and allow still more fade into the background – all in the name of getting stronger and getting back to work.

In the big scheme of things, as much as I miss blogging and the wonderful friends I’ve made online, life has reared its head and demanded my attention. I’m not giving this up…no. I’m simply hoping that you’ll understand where my priorities are and why I’m not updating my site or visiting your site and leaving comments like I have in the past .

I’ll ask you again to say a prayer for my friend, Mrs. Smash. If you’d like to leave comments for her, please do so. If you would like to pass along words of encouragement for Smash, I think he’d like that. You can stop over and check his site for updates.

Me? If you want to get in touch with me (I’d love that and I want to know what’s happening with you!), it’s best to email me at dagoddess – at symbol – “gmail.com” (seems that all my other email is AWOL and I don’t have the time nor the patience to figure out why.)

Thanks for your prayers – for me and for the Smashes. Every kind thought is always appreciated.