DRAFT TODAY, POST TOMORROW: Some posts may be in draft status until I (aka procrastinator extraordinaire) get around to posting them.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The problem with rape.... that women just don't plan ahead for the consequences.  It's like insurance or a spare tire--just be more prepared.  So a pastor from Kansas says no abortions should be provided for women who have been raped.  You may call him a douchebag, but you certainly can't call him Christian, compassionate, or aware that karma is coming for him.  I can't say it better than this.  (excerpted below the transcript)

Rep. Pete DeGraaf, a Mulvane Republican who supports the bill, told her: “We do need to plan ahead, don’t we, in life?”
Bollier asked him, “And so women need to plan ahead for issues that they have no control over with pregnancy?”
DeGraaf drew groans of protest from some House members when he responded, “I have a spare tire on my car.”
“I also have life insurance,” he added. “I have a lot of things that I plan ahead for.”

You know what, DeGraaf? I bet if someone jumped out from behind your car today and raped you, you wouldn't have a fucking plan in place for that. You wouldn’t have a spare tire for your ass while someone mercilessly held you down and disregarded your humanity.

You send the message that rape, like home repair and health physicals, are TO. BE. EXPECTED. Rape away, fuckers, because she’s with State Farm.

It's amazingly awful that there are men who have this attitude.  And get elected.  And spew their vile nonsense into a microphone.  Fuck you, DeGraaf.  And for those who agree with him (or don't disagree with him), rape is NOT okay.  It's not her fault.  She didn't ask for it.  She couldn't and shouldn't be expected to prevent it.  Fuck all ya'll.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Food bits

I keep running across this Paleo Diet; it seems to be everywhere online, but no where in real life.  Here's why: nothing processed--grains, dairy, salt, beans/legumes, potatoes, sugar, and refined, factory-made foods.  That's right, no coffee, tea, beer, wine--no beverage except water.  While I think this is probably the best summary I have seen, I'm pretty sure PD is not for me.

As a relative newcomer to coffee drinking, I read quite a few labels looking for creamer.  I wanted something with a little sweetness so I wouldn't add a ton of sugar.  I decided on a couple of brands, but determined that non-dairy creamer was not for me.  (So I can't do a dairy-free diet!)  I do not expect to drink coffee at most places since I made this decision to avoid non-dairy creamerCOFFEE-MATE is a fine example of an ongoing American trend towards “foodstuffs” instead of food.  Cream, by definition, is a dairy product, and therefore a product labeled as a “non-dairy creamer” is obviously… what exactly? In many parts of the world, COFFEE-MATE must be called not creamer but “whitener,” as the label of “cream” misleadingly implies a dairy product.  I may try half-and-half as suggested, but I am a fan of La Creme.  It keeps me away from the lattes and mochas most of the time.

I have vodka.  I think I'm going to make vanilla extract.  I should grow my own vanilla for it too!  I'm not making my own vodka though.  I think "they" have that down already.

These gluten-free pancakes look AWESOME.  The recipe is from the main ingredient maker, so I have to be a little skeptical, but what if they are AWESOME?  Okay, I'm not eating gluten-free, but I am inundated with information about MS patients improving their health through gluten-free (among others) diets.  Where are my g/f peeps?  Make these and tell me if they are AWESOME.  Bonus: Extra batter will keep in refrigerator in airtight container for up to 3 days.  I think that translates as "convenience food."

So this isn't REALLY a food bit, but egg whites are used in the DIY version of pore cleansing strips.  What a great, inexpensive idea.  It's weird, but it's weird to use the convential strips.  I love how she (not your typical tree hugger--I thought that was me?!) calls it a ghetto-fabulous tip and gives the last step: check for porcupines.  If you've used pore strips--you know what she means.  If you haven't, well, what are you waiting for?  You're skin is disgusting.  How has no one told you that yet?!  Ew, gross, your skin.  Now, check your porcupines.

I have a juicer that my lovely sister got me.  I want to use it more often but just forget.  I originally saw this "green drink" idea from Dr. Oz and Montel Williams.  The Glam Organic Goddess (see pore cleansing strips above) has some super-cool DIY tips that you should check out and DIY for me, but she also has what I'm going to call Green Goddess Juice.  Her tips and tricks may persuade me to try, try again.  Juicer, warm your engine.  Side note to my loyal readers (all 3 of you, thanks, love you much): check out her story.  Project "Save My Ass"...seemed more like the doctors were just taking a shot in the dark, after taking several shots of tequilla or something.  Only 1 of the 5 doctors mentioned ANYTHING about a healthy diet. Girl, I know exactly what you're talking about!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

World MS Day

I'm tired of keeping up on MS related news, but can't stop.  Excerpts, my comments in parenthesis:
  • lack of vitamin D can lead to impaired vascular health, contributing to high blood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular disease. Study participants who increased their vitamin D levels were able to improve vascular health and lower their blood pressure.
  • people with MS have been found to have a wide variety of nutritional deficits.  (This seems like another version of "you have MS, you can't eat anything.")
  • I tire of my body. I tire of my pain....I tire of courage. I tire of strength....My disease is my child. Always tugging on my shirt sleeve. Constantly screaming for attention. Absorbing my time....I’m tired of being a mother to illness. Tired of needing spoons.
  • And then the T-cells did something interesting, something we weren't expecting. In fact, we were expecting the exact opposite response with these cells. (They don't know what they're doing, eh?)
  • if you have already been treated with a chemotherapy regimen for MS or cancer,  you must inform your IR if your seek angioplasty to relieve CCSVI.  These medications can have lifelong effects to your blood, blood vessels and cardiovascular system. (Yes, I am on Campath/Alemtuzamab as described within.)

Agility class

Tonight was the last night of class.  It was a trigility course, which is actually 3 courses next to each other, with a different dog running each part.  We rotated so all our dogs got to run each of the 3 courses.  First was a jumpers course that included a tunnel.  Cassi had to be walked into the tunnel, making it hard to be on the other side of the jump (kind of u shaped--jump, tunnel, jump) for the front cross over the next jump.  I ended up doing a rear cross there.  I was really, really surprised that Teka let me do the rear cross and she went on over the last jump.

The middle course included a discrimination of the A-frame and tunnel, taking the A-frame one way, and then after a jump and separate tunnel, taking the tunnel the other way.  That section also had a jump, with a wrap in between two jumps to go out over the last jump.  A fake front cross helped but that was hard--it's like the dogs thought they were done at the first of the two jumps.

The third course seemed easy for both of them--it was a loop through some jumps, a teeter, more jumps.  The last 3 or 4 jumps were kind of lined up (leaning to the left though) and it was a good "go on" practice.  I hope to get some practice in this summer at home.  I heard the instructors talking about whether to move anyone to other classes in the fall.  I don't think they will move me to Thursday night classes until I can move both Teka and Cassi.  At least that's what I hope.  I don't think either is ready yet, but I think there is some criteria that Cassi is getting close to meeting.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Garden bits

Don’t waste time, money and energy on unnecessary fertilizers.

111 Herbs, Vegetables, Edible Flowers, & Fruit to Plant in Your Kitchen Garden  (I may have posted this already, but I love lists.  This has lists.  And links and ideas about the items in the lists.  For example: Marigolds - Plants these near tomatoes to deter pests. The flowers can be used as a substitute for saffron.)

Stainless steel kitchens.  Why?  Why, I ask?  sigh.  Two ideas for the price (free) of one: Cucumber insides brighten up stainless steel.  A simple paste of lemon juice and cream of tartar polishes brass, aluminum and stainless steel.  Also how to make your own essential oil with herbs.  I will be a DIY-er when I grow up!

I also want to try square foot gardening when I grow up.  You too, can have a SFG in just ten easy steps for the low, low price of supplies.

I just threw my Seventh Generation laundry detergent bottle in the recycle bin.  I could've had a watering can.  There are other gardening uses for old things--aluminimum foil gets rid of aphids, boiling water kills weeds coming up between pavement cracks, coffee grounds can skip the compost pile and go directly to the roses, and green onions regenerate in a small cup of water in a sunny spot.

I would like to label all my roses in a more permanent manner.  Hmmm, popsicles sticks and acrylic sealer.  Or I can use clear packing tape on the current labels and attach to a popsicle stick.  Am I going to have to have a popsicle party?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Green bits

Vegans are destroying the Amazon.  Due to expanded soy planting, deforestation has increased.  I mentioned this tidbit in mixed company and some guy I don't know at all told me that China is the biggest consumer of soy.  I don't know that they are the biggest importer of soy, but whatever, vegans are destroying America.  I'm pretty sure I heard so on the Colbert Report.

The USDA is a government agency responsible for reporting pesticide data, but it is not on schedule to release the latest study.  In addition to asking for the information usually released in January, a request has been made for "documents about communications it has had with the pesticide industry."  Hmmm.

Globally, a third of food produced for human consumption is wasted.  After explaining why less visually appealing produce is thrown away, a suggestion is made to display less.  I think I like it, but it could be hard to implement.

To improve bedroom health: Add a pure wool or natural rubber topper to your mattress. Also, encase your mattress and pillows in organic cotton barrier cloths or zippered encasings to protect your lungs from dust mite allergens. Choose pillows made with untreated cotton, organic cotton (better), buckwheat hulls (great neck support), wool (best at moisture wicking), or natural rubber (97% natural latex). Avoid down comforters (and pillows) because they draw moisture in but don’t dry out quickly and can produce mold. They also attract dust mites. Instead, select a wool comforter for warmth and superior moisture-wicking properties. It’s also very lightweight. (Isn't wool warm? Or is that a myth?)

Vinegar can be used for removing hard water stains as well as killing or deterring ants in the home. For bugs in houseplants: Mix 3 tablespoons of natural liquid detergent into a gallon of water. Pour into a spray bottle and use on your plants once a week as necessary.  Can someone tell me what to put in the live plants throughout our office building to get rid of those friggin black gnats?  The. gnats. are. so. annoying.  Everyone in the office looks crazy swatting at the air.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Red Tent

A friend loves this book, so when I saw it at the library in their discard sale, I picked it up.  And then I decided to listen to it instead!  The Red Tent is historical fiction based on Dinah, the daughter of Jacob.

There were parts that I thought were hard to listen to (graphic) but the story was good, the reading was good, but I thought the very end was a little unnecessary.  The book kept my attention and made me want to read more from this author.  I understand that the author strayed from the biblical tale, but it can stand alone as a story.  I found myself thinking that it would be nice to have a few days every month to be separate from men (and taking care of men!) while hanging out with my sisters.  Jacob had four wives--and although I would not want to share my husband with another woman, I can see some benefits to multiple women taking care of the "household" duties.  I know I certainly could use a wife some most days.  I could see reading The Red Tent again and I recommend it!  (unless you need your fiction to be spot on in relation to the Bible....)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Survey says...

I have completed the NARCOMS survey.  (disregarding any and all "stories" about the non-profit group associated with the survey--good or bad!)

Survey says...

My monthly monitoring survey is completed.  No changes, unexplained bruises, or bleeding.  Whew!

Friday, May 20, 2011

A new car!

I have been drafted into the Prius army.
my Prius next to my Volvo
I will miss my Volvo--it was fun to drive a convertible (until the top broke) and it was a safe tank.  My Prius is shiny and new, fuel efficient, and My Volvo had a tiny trunk since it was a convertible (the top has to go somewhere); the Prius has a huge amount of space in the back and the back seats also fold down for more cargo room.  My Prius does not have a place to plug in USB drives, but I only started using them when we replaced my Volvo stereo with an after-market stereo.  (I had to take the old stereo out to remove a library CD that was stuck.)  My Volvo also had more pre-sets.  My Prius has controls on the steering wheel for the radio and temperature controls.  I will need some time to learn about my new car, but I'm excited to have a working vehicle.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Shoes are calling me.

I made it through the winter without finding or buying the shoes I have been trying to replace for a couple of years now.  My poor dress socks never made it out, except to test that the cheap shoes I bought when I was desperately trying to replace the originals (which were pretty cheap and fell apart) were still uncomfortable.  They were, and they weren't even the style I wanted.  I recently saw someone wearing the style I wanted and she told me what brand.  It appears I can get them online.  I wonder if I should get them now even though I won't wear them until next fall.

When I was in middle school, all the girls wore Chinese slipper shoes in black, sometimes with red flowers on the top.  I wanted them too.  But I never had them.  And by the time I could get them, my feet were too big.  I have found them occasionally in my size but always in prints instead of the plain black that I wanted so badly.

So I saw these Tom's and I think I might be in love.  But I will have to split my love between those and these.  And these.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Never put a used condom in your reusable bag.

I have stopped driving my car.  The brakes are going and the A/C doesn't work, among other issues.  There is enough gas to get to the dealership where I will be picking up my new car next week.  (OK, yes, I'm a little excited.)  As I get ready to give my car a new life (without me), I had to clean her out.  I usually have some combination of these items in my car: library book/book on CD, magazine or newspaper, and coupons.  In my trunk, I have a box of reusable bags.  Yes, I have a box of bags in my trunk.  You never know how many you will need, and if you don't have them in the car, you won't have them.  Well, I do keep one in my purse.  Anyway, stop judging me for my collection of reusable bags.

When I shop, I prefer to bag my own groceries if I can because I know what fits best in what bag.  If someone else bags my groceries, I know they will do a weird or awful job--whether they use my bags or plastic bags.  That's the way it is and has always been; I deal with it.  I wash out some of my bags, but many of them are canvas and I do not put anything "leaky" like meat in them, so I rarely wash those.  (I have had mixed luck with washing--some bags become misshaped or small, and I seem to have lost my favorite one.)

I know I have a lot of reusable bags but they were FREE and I use them.  I no longer look for coupons for free bags, since I have enough.  I was at the grocery with my girlfriends after a pedicure and we got plastic bags except for filling my bag in my purse.  And everyone said they should carry a bag, would start carrying a bag, or do usually bring a bag.  So is it worse to collect reusuable bags or use plastic bags?  I think reusable bags are better in every way.  But there are sanitation issues with them, in particular that people are not keeping them clean.  And I had no idea how much cashiers and baggers feel inconvienienced by them.  (Sorry, I don't care that they take longer--put in more and better self checkout lanes.)

If you use reusable bags (and why wouldn't you--do you hate whales?!), please make an effort to follow Ten Commandments of Reusable Bag Use.  I learned that I should put them in the front of the order (I usually hand them to the bagger or cashier); the rest seem completely obvious to me.  But, just in case you didn't know: never put a used condom in your reusable bag.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Going Green. Or white.

I can't get behind the efforts to convert to CFLs--the squiggly bulbs with mercury in them and poor performance.  So I keep reading about LED technology and waiting for the bulbs to cost less than lunch for two.  I relate to the struggle this author has, wanting to take notice of recent news (like the NYT story she listed, with bulbs around $20, or the story I recently saw about Philips' new bulb) but skeptical of the "too good to be true" ring of the hype.  She lists the pros and cons of LED; fortunately, the cons are improving and are not as significant as "contains mercury."  (I still don't understand why this is NOT an issue for almost everyone, especially environmentalists.)

She gives several tips for choosing bulbs, including logos to look for.  Highlights include looking at lighting design stores, selecting "wattage...“equal to” or “equivalent to” not “similar to” a comparable incandescent wattage" , and testing the bulb after 30 minutes of use (it should not be too hot, or cold, but rather warm to the touch).  There are some notes on dimmers and colors also.

The bottom line is that a lot of research has to be done, "just" to buy energy efficient light bulbs.  Unless my husband decides to go green and research this, I don't think it's going to happen.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Agility class

Course night was fun and I'm tired.  I came home and put an ice pack on the gash in my leg.  As I was carrying the jumps to the equipment trailer, someone told me I was doing it the dangerous way.  So I tried the way they were doing it and promptly rammed the jump into my leg.  Hmmm, which way is dangerous?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My doctor is acting in my best interest. Or for kickbacks.

Merck Serano was sued and the company paid more than $44 million to settle the lawsuit, which alleges that the company paid kickbacks to MS neurologist for prescribing Rebif.  Somehow, the CMSC--Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Clinics, a non-profit group that helps educate patients, is involved.  This is the organization I get a quarterly magazine from, and I fill out their surveys for NARCOMs; they also let participants know of possible trials or surveys that may be a fit.  I don't know that they have any wrongdoing and I'm not, at this point, holding them responsible, but I do think this publicity may put them in the same position that the National MS Society has arrived at, in my opinion.  These organizations provide some very valuable resources and programs for people with MS; at the same time, they are led by people who are increasingly out of touch with what we want or need.

Merck Serano is a company, and as such, should pursue activities to make a profit.  I do not think that pursuit of profit should allow them to manipulate the system to increase their sales by providing kickbacks to doctors.  Frankly, none of the medications available to MS patients is a great option, and deciding between them has to be a toss-up for doctors, but we should be able to expect our doctors to look out for us.  At the same time, I think our "health care system" promotes the unethical practices that are sure to become more prevalent as insurance is the issue addressed rather than the health of Americans.  Since the pharmacy costs for MS patients increases at a faster rate than medical costs, our doctors are even more likely to push us into medical trials if we don't have insurance or our insurance doesn't pay for what we "need."  (Note that pharmacy costs make up almost 60% of overall MS treatment costs--now that is big pharma, ahem, business.)

Under the agreement, the federal government will receive $34.6 million while various states will split $9.7 million.  Timothy Amato, a former business director for Serono who filed the whistleblower case in 2005, will receive about $5.2 million, according to a copy of the settlement agreement.  

Now I think I'm going to join the Wheelchair Kamikaze--I want to vomit.  Seriously, the guy who worked at Serano gets $5 million?  While I can agree that he is a hero for being a whistleblower, I can't see how this settlement is justice for people living with MS.  How is none of this settlement going to MS research and patients?  All these groups, including the government, make the rules for each other, enforce (ha-ha) the rules on each other, penalize each other, and pay each other.  WTF.

I love that so much information is available by blog and Facebook and websites but it can be overwhelming.  I wonder if sometimes things spread too fast, like a virus, or if it's just more effective dissemination of information that causes companies to monitor these information sources and demand retractions.  Time will tell, but a huge settlement certainly implies that there was more to the story than the suit alleges.  I HOPE that the non-profit group is clean, not "money-laundering," as the suit is not against them, but their reaction may raise some suspicions.  I'm also concerned that some of the sources have jumped on the CCSVI bandwagon so quickly.  I'm not saying they shouldn't, but my cynicism has already clouded my opinion of, what may appear to be: one more way for money to be made "treating" MS patients.  *sigh*

Food. Or products formerly known as food.

"Food-product makers" are using wood pulp in our food to make it creamy, keep foods from clumping, increase the dietary fiber content, and substitute for other "raw materials" such as flour, sugar, oil, as well as vegetables that contain fiber.  Cellulose additives are even used in organic food products, as long as it is "powdered cellulose in its least manipulated form."  The author does a bit of a dance around the issue--it's cheap and nothing says it's not safe.  Like other insoluble dietary fibers, it's not digested, so food can be lower fat and bulked up at the same time--and that's great since we have an obesity epidemic.  But how much of that epidemic is caused by the chemicals we're ingesting?  "Powdered cellulose is made by cooking raw plant fiber—usually wood—in various chemicals to separate the cellulose, and then purified. Modified versions go through extra processing, such as exposing them to acid to further break down the fiber."  While that sounds super-yummy, I think I may start grating my own cheese again.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Trial update

I scheduled my appointment for my monthly trial monitoring.  And then I put it on the wrong day on my calendar and missed it.  So it was rescheduled for today.  This one made it onto the calendar correctly.  I remembered this one.  I arrived at Sonora Labs on time and waited for my turn.  There was a screaming kid; I wish I could act like that during some of my visits.  Like when the lab tech took blood from the side of my elbow, by the funny bone.  That's not nice and totally deserves screaming and crying.

Today's blood draw went pretty smoothly, although I felt the needle move when she changed vials.  It kind of hit a nerve briefly.  Ow.  And then it was over.  I had my blood pressure and temp taken there, signed my paperwork, peed in a cup (in the men's room), and got last month's check.  The gal from Hope Research told me that my next visit would be in about 3 weeks and would be the final visit for the trial.  At that visit, I will sign the consent for the extension trial.  She will also be scheduling my MRI around that time.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

So many cars, so little time

My Volvo is falling apart, so we are looking for a new car.  It will be my commuter car, so the primary factors to be considered are fuel efficiency, safety, and price.  I drive on the interstate with big trucks, so I don't want something unsafe.  My Volvo was our first "expensive" car and that has not ended well (maintenance has been very expensive).  And I drive 30 miles each way to work.

Of course the first car to consider is the Prius.  I'm reluctant because one, everyone has one, and two, I understand that the manufacturing is not environmentally friendly.  But it is THE most fuel efficient car, has very good safety ratings, and is reasonably priced.

My husband agreed to work with me to analyze the options and see what else could be possible.  After he worked on a spreadsheet, our short list included a couple of Volkswagons, a Lexus, and a couple of Hyundais.  The Volkswagons were both diesel, which is currently priced higher than other fuel.  While fairly fuel efficient, they weren't as good as the Prius.  And they were manual, which I haven't driven in about 20 years and my husband was not at all excited about.  The Lexus hybrid was the most expensive of the options, but still pretty reasonable and safe.  The Hyundai hybrid also did not match or beat the Prius.  The Hyundai Elantra is not a hybrid but seemed to be less expensive and very fuel efficient for a non-hybrid vehicle.  My BIL has one, but I think he bought it when they were still lower priced.  I test drove one, but the bottom line was that it was about the same price as the Prius, although I'd lose about 10 mpg in fuel efficiency.

Although several people will give me grief (and many more won't agree with our decision), I put a deposit on a  Prius and will be driving one by the end of the month.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Agility class

We had a course tonight.  Teka was sniffing the whole first run.  I'm not sure I really got her ready before we started.  Otherwise, we did pretty well.  I would like to focus on tunnel (especially with distance) and directional jumping (switch, wrap, tight, out) over the summer.  Cassi had fun and did a pretty good teeter as well as a great tire jump.

The course was a jump to the dog walk, left to a jump (front cross before or rear cross after), to another jump, around to a chute then the tire jump, over the previous jump (after the dog walk), then switch to the teeter (parallel to the dog walk).  Then a jump, right turn to another, then right turn into the weaves (parallel to the teeter).  Coming out of the teeter, out left to a jump, go to another jump, right turn to a jump to another, then right turn to a table.  From there, a jump into the left end of a tunnel (set up straight into the right side), up the A-frame, ending with a jump.

I read a training post about "criteria."  Generally, trainers say that the criteria is non-negotiable.  For example, if your criteria is a sit-stay until a certain word is said, they must do that criteria to move on.  I really loved how the trainer says she is the "keeper of the joy."  I think I might change my "agility" blog tag to "keeper of the joy."  It just sounds awesome!

I can see! Well, kind of.

This was my final visit with the eye doctor.  He checked my eyes and I did the one-eyed reading test.  The right eye is as expected and the left eye is as he expected.  That test annoys me because I CAN read the letters (so I do) but they are blurry, not at all sharply focused like in the right eye.  So he pronounces me, with contact lenses, 20/20 in the right eye and 20/25 in the left eye.  When I complained of the blurriness, which can sometimes self corrrect as I focus, he said that is the contact moving around and that may be worse right now due to the extremely low humidity.  I guess I should be using eye drops more.  Or he thinks I should be wearing my contact lenses less.  I think I have the same problem with my glasses (but I don't really wear them enough to test that theory) so he may be wrong.  But I have contacts, will travel.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

How will I ever read all those books?

My home office has been half packed, half unpacked since we moved.  The disorderly chaos was disturbing.  Surprisingly, most of my books made it out of boxes pretty quickly.  The paperbacks went back into boxes during the controversery about what shelving was going where.  Recently, the controversy ended and the shelves were returned to my office, immediately filled with the books from three boxes.  I moved books around and arranged them and rearranged them.  I found myself doing this when I came home extremely upset about something that happened at the end of the workday.  I realize that books calm me.  I love being surrounded by them.  I think, in the logical part of my mind, that I should not have so many books, that I buy more than I can read, that I'm not going to reread many of them so they could go to someone else.  But I love to see them, like little bound opportunities.  Adventures.  Knowledge.  Inspiration.  Possibilities.

So I continue to collect books.  And read books.  And borrow books, which I (almost) always return.  And still, I always want another.  The sad, beautiful fact (is) that we're all going to miss almost everything.  There is too much available for us to read it all, to see it all, to consume it all.  I'm horrible at culling--I like to try some of everything.  So I guess I must surrender!  I read books, listen to audiobooks, read blogs, love Facebook, watch way too much TV and would watch even more if I could figure out how...  I would love to be well-read, but agree with many that I would rather read well.

I think I may start my own "reading list" as I know that some of my favorites do not appear on others.  I have lent and replaced "Watership Down" so many times I lost count.  My grandma sent me a copy of Little Women, Little Men, and Black Beauty; I read and reread those beautiful volumes, which I still have and cherish.  I have lent my copy of Lucky Man by Michael J. Fox to several readers who loved it and lent it, and still gave it back to me.  I read, then bought and reread, then lost in a move and repurchased, the Chronicles of Narnia.  I recently picked up two of the series by Marguerite Henry, who I read in elementary school when I read everything our library had about horses before reading "The Yearling" in three weeks.  I think I was in fourth grade; the librarian warned me that I would have to check it out twice because of the length--no one else understood why I would want to spend my Christmas break with this huge novel.  I have a ton of books I want to read but haven't started (or finished!) yet.  Mosley, Koontz, Cather, Thoreau, so many more are all waiting for me.  So I will keep dipping my cup in the very large ocean.