Saturday, December 31, 2005 a few hours

Vacation gets me into a rut of napping...knitting...sleeping...reading...watching get the picture. Sadly, I have to return to reality on Monday (ie Philly) and to that place called work on Tuesday. So, here are my resolutions for 2006

1) Floss. I know this is my resolution EVERY year, but this year, I mean it.

2) De-Clutter. One room per month for the next 8 months. Included in decluttering is coming up with a system for organization and staying decluttered. Simplify...Simplify...Simplify

3) Knit a (successful) lace shawl for Annie's wedding

4) Be a gorgeous (haha), kick ass, graceful bridesmaid to Money and Annie.

As I reflect on 2005, a few things stick out in my mind---here are the ABC's of 2005

a) The re-enactment of the Michael Jackson trial on E!/which was even better in England because they don't censor anything (like the accusers name!) in England.

b) British TV stinks. All the good stuff is on BBC America. Really.

c) My world has changed since traveling overseas.

d) Three beagles is the magic number.

e) I suck at lace knitting (see resolutions above).

f) I am really getting into English Tudor history. Scary. But I did buy the mock chopping block at the Tower of London.

g) I never want to have another dental abscess/emergency root canal/need for Vicodin that involves teeth.

h) I love Baseball. The Phillies made it fun all the way into September, something they haven't done since I've lived in the town. Now if only we could win a championship...

i) Philly with Eagles fever (ie right before the SuperBowl) was CRAZY! I just wish there would have been a parade.

j) I finally PUBLISHED AN ARTICLE! Well, I am not sure if this counts to 2005 as it won't be published until Feb, but I did all the work in 2005. For all interested in a generalized snooze fest, you can find it in the North American Clinics of Anesthesiology special edition on Palliative Care.

k) Yes, my 13 year old cousin REALLY did declare at the breakfast table the other morning, "when did the Pope die?" Seriously. But what struck me about the Pope's death, and the death a few days earlier of Terry Schiavo was the "publicness" of their deaths. Since most American's fear dying alone, I guess they didn't need to worry about that since the entire nation/world was on the death watch for days. It really was a shame.

l) I cannot be a foster mom for BREW. Exhibit 1, Luther. He now lives at the Joyhouse.

m) I hope Maggie is a healthy dog. This year, I dealt with the death of Maxwell, Gus having serious back problems and Molly having Cushings disease. Even if Maggie has "something" I know I can deal with it as a good doggie mom; but I need a break. I'm in the process of joining "Dogster" in hopes of meeting a like minded beagle daddy looking to make a beagle Brady bunch.

n) I love being Auntie Bach.

o) Fall is Cape Cod is the best time of year. I vacationed during this delightful time with my good friends, Jen, Sammy, Alex, Jenni, Cesi, Jules, Tige and AnneMarie. Those, were GOOD TIMES. And man, can Jenni and I cook. I can't believe we didn't gain like 1000 pounds when we lived together all those years ago in the Fairfax...all those "bedsore" nights with Cinci Chili...

p) I may enjoy playing Scrabble, but I suck at it. At least that is what I thought until I discovered my sister CHEATS!

q) Netflix is the greatest thing ever. If only I could send back my movies from July.

r) I miss my girls from knitting circle!

s) I host a damn good knit-a-rama

t) I will never ever again make the "circle of friends" baby blanket. It might have come out nicely, but what a PAIN IN THE ASS. I'll stick to solo projects.

u) The sinuses are a body orifice I could do without. Getting the sinus probe shoved up them is the worst medical procedure ever short of...

v) A cortisone shot in the right shoulder, rendering me unable to move my arm for 2 days. Bursitis my ass.

w) The Philadelphia Parking Authority can KISS MY ASS

x) I love ice cream. We have had an onslot of yummy ice creams choices added to Philly in the past several years; so, here's to, Capogiro, Scoop deVille, Ben and Jerry's and Cold Stone. I remember when my choice was walking to Baskin Robbins at 40th St. Oh the shows Maxie used to put on there while eating his cup of strawberry banana

y) Marathon Matzoh Ball Soup is my current comfort food of choice.

z) The discovery of Omaha Steaks. In what other country can you get fresh cow, pig, lamb etc delivered right to your door, packed in dry ice! I never have to leave my house again!!!

Well, we couldn't go out to eat at the Oyster house tonight (Dad didn't make reservations) so of course we ordered Chinese...I plan on being asleep before the clock strikes midnight. So Happy New Year to all. And please, may the Eagles win just one more game tomorrow.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Festivus at the Joyhouse

Eight dogs.
Six humans.
One Romba!

Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah to all from Cape Cod. It was massive wrapping paper carnage yesterday morning as we tore through the cornocopia of gifts left by one fat man in a red suit.

Here are some photos of our time here at the Joyhouse thus far:

Maggie and Luther chase the Romba through the Great Room.
Dad has named his Romba "Lorena." I have no idea why.

Grandma models her socks. I think they look PERFECT!

The "twins" hang out in the "slammer" while we open gifts

Luther discovers presents and, even better, wrapping paper!

Mom has had enough of the family togetherness thing and pulled out the knife.

Dad and Harry get their HOWL on.

The gift extravaganza

Mike models his knitted hat and scarf

Maggie is exhausted by this thing called "Christmas."

Dad shows off his new Phillies boxers. Why he is wearing them on his head, we will never know.

All in all it was a very lucrative Christmas...though that doesn't seem like the right word to use to describe the haul I received. I was most surprised by my new set of pots and pans. Thanks momala! I also got lots of books, gift cards, knitted gauntlets, and of course, my traveler's map of the world that will soon adorn the livingroom at my house. I'm sure more silly photos and tales from this holiday break will follow.

Also we watched "The 40 year old Virgin" last night which was hysterical.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

I feel good (insert James Brown song)

Finished shopping tonight for our adopted family.
This is a shout out to all my collegues (Social Workers, CRC's and RN's on Ravdin 9) who helped make Christmas brighter for this needy family.

I literally have a CAR LOAD full of goodies for the kids and managed to get a nice gift card for the family to Target! Great job everyone and on behalf of our adopted family, thank you.

Also thanks to St Bernadette's Church in Drexel Hill for supplying food for the holidays for this family.

Three more days until to get knitting...still have to finish daddio's gift!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Tales from a long lost blogger

Where have I been you might ask?
1) Recovering. The Levo is this sinus infection's savior. I'm much better and starting to enjoy the holiday season. Sadly, I'm not going to be able to take my clinical exam as planned before the new year, as I just haven't been able to study. And I've missed a few parties and going to New York to see my friends. But, ultimately and finally, I am better

2) Making cookies with my girls, Car and Elizabeth. Thankfully I forgot the camera for the actual during the cookie making festivities, as, during a quick trip to the bathroom, I noticed I was covered in cookie dough. But I did snap these shots of my share of the loot. I think we made 30+ dozen cookies. BOY, ARE THEY YUMMY!!!!

We made multiple types of cookies, including, Chocolate Crinkles, Snowballs, Peanut Blossoms, Gingerbread, Candy Canes, and of course sugar cookies. It was hardcore.

3) Knitting and trying to finish the last of the holiday gifts. It is lovely, but boring the crap out of me, which is why I'm less than interested in working on it.

This busy week includes our work holiday party, an emergency trip to the dentisit for a broken filling, Santa with the Wynnes, shopping for and delivering the gifts for our adopted family, packing, wrapping present, cleaning and driving to Cape Cod for a "good old fashioned Griswald...I mean Christmas. So if the blogging is few and far between this week, that is why. I'll be sure to take the camera to the Cape and document the highway robbery...I mean present giving and Sunday morning.

And so to all, a blessed Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Joyous Kwanza, fruitful New Year and HAPPY FESTIVUS

Christina, Molly, Gus and Maggie

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Bigger than Dengue

It's official...I blew through the first round of antibiotics and am still wickedly sinus infected.
They brought out the big guns yesterday, levofloxacin. I must say I'm starting to feel more human, but decided that even though I am going to be coached about my calling out sick again, it was the best thing to do for me and for my patients.

On another, fantastic note! We have Harry's pathology back. He DOES NOT have cancer! The three pound monstrosity they removed was a benign lipoma! So the original smear was a false positive! Dad says this is the best Christmas gift we could have received, and I couldn't agree more.

Back to recuperation

Saturday, December 10, 2005

for my CRAZY knitter friends

I was at EMS on Penn's campus yesterday and they are selling off all their mannequins...just in case you needed something to block on! Sadly, they didn't have any heads for my hat blocking requirements

Happy Holidays from the Beagles; Part 1

I snapped these photos this morning while the kids were still a bit groggy and allowed me to adorn them with a cheesy Santa Hat


Aunt Trish had to help with Maggie's photo shot as she kept trying to eat the hat!

I'm a shy elf!

Also, here are grandma's finished socks. I've decided that Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock is my FAVORITE sock yarn!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Revenge of Christina

Thank you Allison Kelsey for telling me to take an Ambien last night. Seems what I REALLY needed to get over the dengue was a good nights sleep! I'm FINALLY feeling much better today! I'll be sure to take one again tonight to guarantee I am wide awake and enthusiastic while dealing with the second "winter storm" of the week!

Harry is doing fine! He had his surgery on Monday and returned home Tuesday. The vet estimated the tumor was about three pounds. They seem optimistic at this point as the tumor was encased in muscle and did not seem to have spread. We wait now for the pathology and what is next. My mom was happy to report that Harry snuggled with her Tuesday night and I heard him howl this evening while on the phone with the parental units.

Plowing through yarn at a feverish pace, however, can't post photos of anything as most recipients of knitted gifts read my blog. My father is having a great time "discovering" all of the things we have bought him for Christmas. Dad, there are still two weeks to ago. If you keep this up, we are taking back everything...EVERYTHING. I have a lump of coal for you if you keep this up.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Nose transplant

I'm hopeful about the woman in France who received a face transplant because I am going to need a nose transplant. If I don't stop blowing it soon, I swear it is going to fall off. Please forward donor information to knitty delicious.

At least I can knit and sit around and wait for it to snow. My prediction is 3 inches...but by the way people were freaking out at the grocery store, you would think we were going to get 3 feet. Yes, I managed to drag myself to the store for some more chicken soup and sunny delight. Probably not the best idea, but I've got the staples.

Crap, I've got to blow again

Friday, December 02, 2005

Revenge of the DENGUE

I feel like ASS again. This time however, it is a raging sinus infection causing multiple ingestions of mucinex, ibuprofen and augmentin. Maggie is in beagle heaven, chewing and disposing of pieces parts of Kleenex throughout the house.

As far as Harry is concerned, we are a bit more optimistic. The xray's did not show any mets to his bones/organs and his blood work was great. So Harry goes under the knife Monday afternoon. He'll stay overnight at the vet hospital and then will return to the Joyhouse to recoup after. So think good thoughts for Harry Monday!!!

Almost finished with sock number two for grandma! Just have to finish the toe decreasing and then do the grafting. Also making good headway with Mike's scarf. So, all in all, keeping ahead of holiday knitting and looking forward to what is next for me; finishing Cherry Tree Hill Sweater, Sammy's 5th Birthday Sweater, Fair Isle Mitts (thanks Allison for the pattern!), and socks for daddio. To my amazement, I noticed he had nearly worn through his Princeton Tiger Striped socks from Christmas two year ago. So, I'm ripping the gloves out I was making with the other coveted skein of tiger stripe yarn and making him another pair of the beloved socks. Anyone have experience with using reinforcing yarn? Though, where the sock wore out was on the bottom just below the heel on the bottom of the foot...would such reinforcing yarn work there, or just on heels and toes?

Well I'm going to attempt to lie down now, though every time I do, my sinuses go BONKERS and start to throb. If only I could learn to sleep upright...

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

In sickness and in health

We Bach's love our beagles no matter what. Today we were faced with a new challenge. Harry has been diagnosed with sarcoma (cancer). He will undergo further testing on Thursday to be sure that he is appropriate surgical candidate for removal of the tumor (yes, it is the thing I found while dogsitting). If it has not metastized, he will have surgery next Monday. I must give kudos to mom and dad for being realistic and honest about how much they want to put Harry through. For now, we will continue to try to insure his comfort and quality of life. Momala and Dadala, remember you always have an oncology social worker on call. Thankfully, Harry certainly has no symptoms and at this time isn't in any pain. I think our primary goal is to get through the holidays with Harry. So think good thoughts for Mr Harry Reilly and his sibs/counsins...

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

additional thanks

19) My brother in law Michael. No wonder how much the Lions suck, you are a loyal, loving fan who knows all the words to the fight song. It is even better when he has had a few beers and sings it!

20) Alcohol; specifically the mixings for my current drink of choice, the Appletini; vodka (I prefer vanilla vodka), green apple pucker schnapps and butterscotch schnapps. Yum.

21) My mother's words of wisdom, "nice is as nice does." It really does work, even if you don't mean it.


"We can only by said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures." Thorton Wilder

On this Thanksgiving Eve, I thought I would write about things I'm grateful for

1) The notion that Maxie is waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge. Even though he is gone, I have wonderful memories of our last Thanksgiving at the JoyHouse. Max ate a motherload of turkey. I hope you are having some tomorrow big guy.

2) Maggie. No she can't/doesn't replace Max, but she is pretty damn cool. I love you Pie.

3) Gus and Molly. The "children of the corn." Thanks for grieving with me. I didn't feel so alone.

4) Sunday night TV especially Dr McDreamy

5) Abby, Justin and Julianna and their parents. Almost all safe arrivals, but happy, healthy babies.

6) The Wynne's. I love being Auntie Bach and that our friendship has grown so much since you became parents. Thanks for letting me be part of the family.

7) Yarn. ('nuff said)

8) My friends. You put up with all my quirks and for that I love you.

9) Dad for being the best dog sitter around

10) Mom for being my favorite travel companion

11) My IPOD for keeping me from hearing all the crazy people on the bus in the morning

12) Allison because you love America's Next Top Model and I love to chat with you about it

13) LOST

14) Cake from Genardi's

15) Luther, Harry and Murphy for being the other three beagle-amigos. Luther, I'm so glad you brought some more energy back to the old men and to mom and dad.

16) My new bed, washer and dryer

17) For some days remembering just why it is I became a social worker (like today)

18) That this is NOT my dog

This is Sam, the World' Ugliest Dog, who died this week at almost 15 years old.

and for these things, and I'm sure there are more, I say


Monday, November 21, 2005

Knitting Sunday

Yesterday rocked. I hung out with my bud Trish and we did some supreme knitting.
I finished my kicking NORO scarf. Here I am modeling it:

And here is Luther modeling it:

And here are Gus and Maggie

And here is Trish with her new project, a hot NORO sweater,
She is so crazy she finished the back already --- about 5 hours of knitting time. Trish is HARDCORE!

She enjoys knitting with Gussy on her lap!

To top the day off we had a dramatic reading of my favorite, politically incorrect children's book

Clearly, the days are just packed!

Saturday, November 19, 2005


I know I've been missing the last few days. It has been a bizarre week; dominated by the arrival of the rest of the "BACH BEAGLES," Murphy, Harry and Luther, for a week at my house while my folks head to Florida. It is totally WILD KINGDOM here. Luther and Maggie play incessantly; rarely stopping to nap with the rest of the couch potatoes. Harry is getting in there with them now, which reassures me because I found this enourmous growth on him last night that wasn't there when he arrived. It looks like a fluid collection just above his paw. He doesn't seem to be in any pain, nor is it limiting his Harry-esque behaviors. He gets to meet Dr. Soli on Monday, just to be on the safe side.

Today I took an interesting and extremely frightening knitting class, "Fixing lace and cable mistakes." I love Grace. She has incredible patience and the coolest techniques that just make sense. Imagine a swatch with the ten middle stitches dropped down ten rows. Then imagine fixing it without ripping the entire thing back ten rows. This is what we did in class. I melted down after the stockinette, cable and the first lace swatch---but all in all I learned some techniques that will at least avert disaster until I can make it to the yarn shop.

So, to all of you whom I declared, "they call it a breakup because it is broken," to today. Thanks for letting me air my feelings. I'm not trying to influence anyone, but wanted to share why you might not see me as often. Of course, you can always find me here at knitty delicious .

n jjhghjl, <------ Luther gave the computer the paw and typed this all by his beagle self!

I'm going to sit by the fire and knit tonight...
And by the way, nice win BUCKEYES!

Monday, November 14, 2005

New Stuff!!!!

Photos of the new futon (which completes my knitting zen garden on the first floor) and the new bed

Gus on the new bed---I have to lift him onto it as it is SO tall. It towers over the nightstand

Maggie sacked out on the new bed; she is the only dog who can jump on to it

Gus and Maggie ready for bed

The new Futon

Molly REALLY does sleep in the closet

Maggie = Snoopy

Friday, November 11, 2005

From Croatia with Love

What a special Friday Treat! Matt Lauer's fantastic journey "where in the world in Matt Lauer?" took him to the Dalmation Coast of Croatia. Sure, it may be hailed as the next great Riviera, but who cares? Goran is from there.

I love you Dr Luka...even more when you are strolling through the streets of Dubrovnik with international hottie Matt Lauer.

Thanks for the pitter-patter this early morning (since I got up at 430am!!!!)

Thursday, November 10, 2005

RIP Shannon

Holy CRAPTASTIC LOST was awesome last night. My biggest complaint was not enough naked Sayid...but I guess we can't get everything we want.

So, the the producers/casting directors, I am MORE than available to be the new love interest for the scorned iraqi. I'm the alter ego of Shannon-short, stocky and dark haired. Teehee.

So here's to you Maggie Grace...and to Michelle Rodriquez' bad ass self for taking her out. Frankly I was tired of listening to her whine.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


The day got brighter as it went on.

I talked to many about my more holding back. Emotionally incontinent with Kava. Thank you Kava.

Picked up Ambien refill on way home; plan to take soon.

Received letter from Leukemia and Lymphoma Society--picked to go to support group facilitators conference, all expenses paid, in MIAMI, in January! GIDDYUP!

Mom and I are going to Ocean City the weekend after Miami for scrapbooking weekend! MORE FUN AND GAMES!!!

Things are looking up...slowly.
I am not going to jump of a tall building....harm myself etc.
And tomorrow, knitting.


I am wicked crazy frustrated with my sleep issues
I was up ALL FRICKIN NIGHT last night...I would doze off and then wake again. It was horrible. And the TV last night, oye. Did you know that with appropriate investments and a training course from "INVESTMENTS 3000" I can make an average of $30000 a month.

I had a moment though this morning and realized that last night's episode of insomnia was the result of workplace related anxiety that is making me ill to think about. On top of it, I didn't process what had happenend with anyone last night, thus internalizing all of these negativities and anxieties about how/if I can continue to work at HUP if some things don't change.

I draw parallels to my education (pre-college), when I was BORED at school, didn't complete assisgnments, pay attention in class (ADD) etc and was then pigeonholed into the "average" group of students. I am bored at work. I cannot continue to operate in this capacity much longer. When given a ray of light, to work more closely with the SYMPAC team, I was hopeful. This hope was dashed in a one hour lunch meeting by one psychotic person who clearly doesnt play well with others. All in all, I'm feeling stuck in the mud, unchallenged, bored, anxious, and without much hope that it can or will get any better. OYE

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Crossing the Line

Today, I crossed the line.

I moved from knitting in Rittenhouse Square, to knitting in Clark Park.

I allowed Maggie to gut the mallard

I finished the first of Grandma's socks for Christmas

And I bought Molly a sweater. Really, I bought it for Maggie, but it is too big for the little one. I think it looks just right on Molly.

I also did too much only one day into stage three of the dengue fever...Now I've got to go back to bed...

I forgot, here is a shout out to my bestest friend in the world, Ana. Congratulations on your engagement to Jeffy-Boy! I can't wait until the WT Wedding!

dengue fever: stage 3

I've entered stage three.

After taking an Ambien(full 10 mg strength) and sleeping upwards of 12 hours, I am feeling a BIT more functional but still pretty worn out. I think I will have to do the same thing again tonight and continue to try to sleep this out of my body.

Did everyone see Wendy (www:// on the news????
Nice defense girl...
I will never get over the "there is only one way to give a blow job."

On knitting notes, when you are sick and lay on the couch all day, there is an disproportionate amount of time to think about and to knit. I finished grandma's first sock last night...grafting and all. It looks awesome. I also started by school products cashmere hat and continue to work on Mike and Ali's xmas gifts. I've got to start dad's, but I need size two double points which means, darn, a trip to the yarn shop.

I have to go blow my nose.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Yeastie Beasties

I'm clearly paying Dr. Soli's rent. Gus was at the vet today; aside from being deemed a "drama queen," as he thrased about during his pedicure, he has a massive ear infection---full of yeast and bacteria and white cells. It's shasta mcnasty. So he's on two (oral) meds and a lovely ointment I have to shove in his ear twice a day. POOR GUSSY!

Day 4 SEPTA strike...this officially bites major ass. I really can't afford to keep driving and paying for parking. I mean, I'm lucky, at least I have a car. According to the news, they are not meeting until Sunday, but at that point, the city and state policitians are sitting down with them to try to force an agreement. How long can they keep this up with no pay, no health insurance?

I'm am officially getting my first cold of the season and am bordering on miserable.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Insomnia sucks.

What stinks even more are these pharmaceutical companies who insist on constant advertisements for Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata et. al. on every channel, all night long.

Between that and "Elimidate," my options for late night wide awake television are extremely limited. I'm tired (literally) of being laughed at (figuratively) because I'm awake all night long.
I need a DVD player in the bedroom so I can watch commercial free, non mocking TV at 4am.

That is all.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

A Girl and Her Appliances

I've done so much laundry and I'm so in love with the washer and dryer.
Heather took these silly photos of me right after the washer was delivered on Saturday and I was working on the inaugural load.

And Still More Photos

Sammy, Auntie Bach and Alex

Sammy's Ruby Slippers


More Photos...

Halloween, SEPTA and the like

This damn strike stinks; and it is only day 2. SEPTA can bite me.

Halloween rocked, here are the photos of my posse to prove it!

Julianna D. poses with her pumpkins

Alex; my fang man

Juliana as Raggedy Anne

Sammy; my fang woman

And last but not least, Justin "Dragon" Muttreja