Sunday, January 10, 2010

Under The Dome

Stephen King's new bestselling suspense novel is Under the Dome. It's a riveting read about a small town community, the corruption, the hidden darkness within people that comes out during stressful emergencies, and the valent effort of a brave few to right wrongs. It shows how out of control people get and the lack of judgment and how people trust leaders without question. It shows how people don't think but act and act badly. It shows how crowds take on a life of its own and how dangerous it is to be in a crowd that's out of control. It shows religious people who weren't so religious on the inside or religious in their behavior.

As I was reading I thought of my favorite artist, Peter Paul Breugel and his crowd scenes of people. I thought about this book looking into the souls of all the people under the dome and looking at all that goes on. Then it made me think of how I feel when I see all the lights of Seattle at night and wonder about all that is going on behind the lighted windows--the drama, the families, the sadness, and people working late. I look forward to the next novel of Stephen King, the master story teller.


My main goal in 2010 is to lose weight, get healthy, and eat healthy. Without my health, I can't accomplish other goals.

My other goals are to read a book or two a week, write every day, work in my garden, quilt, and work on other knitting or sewing projects.

I subscribe to The Writer, Writers Digest Magazine, and Poets and Writers. I have what I need for encouragement, direction, and great advice. I have lots of great books to read. I have the time to write.

I want to expand my raised beds in my garden. Now I have seven raised beds that are four feet by eight feet made out of 2 inch lumber. They are 18 inches high. I want to plant more varieities of fruits, vegetables, grapes, berries, etc. I want to add flowers all over to make it beautiful all year during the growing season.

I volunteer to edit the Alsea Valley Voice. That's a large segment of my time during one week a month. That's my service to the community.

I need to watch out for my husband and concentrate on what I need to do here at home.

Candycane Lane

There is an amazing street named Candycane Lane in Ravenna, which is part of Seattle. Ben and Amanda took us to see the Christmas lights on the evening of the 25th. We walked on both sides of the street along Candycane Lane. My favorite house was the one with the large sign that listed the kids who were naughty and nice. Under the nice list, the second name was "Anna Rose." This is the name of my granddaughter in Seattle who is almost one years old. The house instantly became my favorite. It made me smile and feel all warm inside, even though it was quite chilly outside with patches of ice on the sidewalk.

Photo Letters

I took lots of photos of family while we were in Seattle with family. We left on the 24th and came back on the 28th. It was a great visit.

When I got home, I created and mailed 25 three-page photo letters for family and friends of the trip.

Racha Noodles & Thai Cuisine

On Christmas day for lunch, we went to Racha Noodles and Thai Cuisine on Mercer Street in Seattle. Ben and Amanda brought little Anna and Daniel was with Jodee, his fiance. We had a wonderful lunch all together. I ordered Yum Veggies with brown rice, and jasmine green tea. It was delicious and I didn't have to worry about calories.

For dinner, Ben and Amanda baked a delicious turkey with all the trimmings. It was perfect with almost everyone at the table.


I love trains. I've always loved trains since I was a little girl.

On December 24th, my husband and I boarded a Superliner. We left Albany, Oregon at 1:30 p.m. and headed for Seattle to visit with our son and family for the holidays. I've never been on a Superliner before. It was a double-decker, complete with sleeping cars, and plenty of room. We sat upstairs in one of the last cars in coach. There was plenty of leg room. In fact, the lady across the isle, said that she came from San Diego and was headed to Seattle. She said there was plenty of room for her and her husband. He slept on the floor while she spread out on the seats above. The car ahead of us said "arcade room downstairs." I didn't check it out but I did go exploring a little bit when I was searching for the dining car. It had a formal dining car with reservations and a menu with $17.50 meals. There was also the snack station downstairs with plenty of delicious food to keep you fed during your time on the train. I also found a car where all the seats faced the large picture windows so you could gaze out at the gorgeous scenery and talk with family or friends. One mother was traveling with her daughter to Whitefish, Montana, which is close to Libby, Montana where I was born.

As I was riding on the train thinking as I looked out the window, I was thinking about all the stories on the train and all the people. I was thinking about a novel I might want to ride about a woman who never leaves. The idea reminded me of a wealthy woman from England on one of the cruises we went on years ago who won the cruise miles contest because she never leaves the boat.

We learned about Whitlock, Washington that was announced as the place with the world's largest egg!

I walked by a guy reading a screenplay and another sketching wonderful art. Another young woman had her laptop reading poetry she had written. People read books, and create. Grandmothers visit their grandchildren. Businessmen travel to their meetings. Students go to universities. People attend football games. All the passengers look interesting and have stories to tell. They travel by train because they don't have to fight traffic or the weather. They can spread out and enjoy the ride in safety. It's a great way to travel and my choice.

Second Opinion on PBS

I watched Second Opinion on PBS this morning by accident. I've seen it before. I was switching channels but the dialogue caught my attention and I stayed. The Director of the Undiagnosed Disease Program from the National Institutes of Health was on the show. He spoke about the "enormous number of people here and abroad who come to them without a diagnosis." What caught my attention was when he said, "We fail most of the time." And then to make it worse, he said, "In fact, we would be proud of a 15% success rate." So 85% leave without a diagnosis. This goes back to the numbers about evidence based medicine which sites that 15% of medicine is evidence based and 85% is guesswork. A cooincidence? I think not. The panel of experts discussed this issue and seem to be satisfied with the fact that most of the time there isn't a diagnosis and that as long as you try, it's okay. One of the doctors said, "Even if you are wrong, it's okay because you continue to work toward it." Is it really? When it is your life and your bank account and your house up for sale because of medical bills, it is really okay? When are we going to start demanding excellence, answers, and competence within the medical community? Is it really okay to have to pay for zero answers, mistakes and failures? Wouldn't it be a money better spent to join a gym, eat healthy food, and hire a minimum wage compationate person to be encouraging and supportive?