Friday, October 26, 2007

Thermograms in the Chippewa Valley!

Breast Awareness
(You have been warned!  :-))

I'm *soooooo* excited! I've been trying to find some place that does thermograms in the Chippewa Valley since we moved up here three years ago, and now I'll be having one done on Tuesday here in Eau Claire!!! 

Last spring, My doc ordered a mammogram as a follow-up to a breast exam after I complained of a "whining", aching breast. I later asked a nurse where I could have a thermogram done. Apparently no where around here since she seemed so totally unfamiliar with it, as many people, including healthcare workers seem to be, now.  It's really strange, especially since thermograms have been used since the 1950's.  

This nurse tried to scare me into going for the mammogram even after reminding her that a) it's not always accurate, b) cancer doesn't show up on these x-rays until it's been in your body for at least 4-5 years, and c) mammograms don't show Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC), the deadliest form. Deadliest because it spreads quickly, is sometimes symptomless, and is often misdiagnosed as a bug bite or rash (that doesn't respond to treatments).  Thermograms do pick up on IBC loud and clear!

Being hypersensitive to light, sound, taste, etc, I can hear and feel radiation which makes my head feel really odd. (Yes, I have to leave the room when using a microwave, too.)  When I *did* go for that x-ray, afterward I wanted to remove my head, throw it as far as I could, and run away in the opposite direction. Not too many people react this way or would even understand, but as my sister reminded me, florescent lights in large stores like Two Guys years ago used to leave me with a headache, nausea, and disorientation. So, how I reacted to radiation was of no surprise to her. (It's so nice to be validated!) 

Once again, I'm a little unnerved because my cystic breasts are hurting, and of course I'm thinking the worst. Reports on mammograms, at least mine, are evasive, reporting that, "it's in the 'normal' range"--whatever that means! I'd been praying for a near-by place to have a thermogram done after recently finding that the closest ones listed were 3 and 4 hours away. Then, my ever resourceful chiropractor (Dr. Dan of Tenold Chiropractic) heard of a lady who travels the midwest doing them!

Pam Ryerse, a clinical thermographer, will be in Eau Claire starting this Monday, and I've scheduled an appointment for Tuesday am! Thermograms can detect cancer very early on, and because no radiation is used, you can have them done as often as you like or need. I need that peace of mind! 

Breast awareness events free to the public will also be taking place at these times and places:
*  Wholistic Healing and Arts  119 Regis Ct.  Mon, Oct 29, 6:30pm, Tues, Oct 30, 12:00pm
*  Gaia Massage & Yoga 112 East Grand Ave.  Tues, Oct 30, 6:30pm
*  Path to Health Massage 310 South Barstow  Wed, Oct 31, 11:30am

To schedule a thermogram with Pam, call Joyce Sobotta at:  715-828-0117

If you miss this opportunity, Pam plans to be back in our area in about three months. A thermogram is an impressive tool that can also be used to help diagnose many other diseases and conditions all over the body. 

For more information on thermograms, please visit Pam's website:


Tuesday, October 23, 2007


We lost our super 14 year old "puppy" Charlie two years ago, today. He was such a super dog that just loved the kids. He loved everyone! Charlie and his "sister" Rocky, our shy little kitty, were the best of friends and used to sleep next to each other on the guest bed. Every neighbor we had that had a dog he'd get them to run back and forth the length of the fence separating them. A well-worn path would be created on both sides!

One of his closest puppy friends was a dog named Candy. They were both the same breeds--Golden Retriever, Collie, and German Shepherd and were the same age. Candy was more orange and looked more like a Retriever while Charlie was darker and had Shepherd markings and a white Collie tipped tail. But he was his whole life what the shelter described him as: goofy!

We got him from the Hinsdale Humane Society in Hinsdale, IL. His family had just dropped him off and, unbeknownst to us, was it the "observation before adoption" section. When we went back there, Charlie picked out Don. I was "okay", but the doleful eyes, leaning into the fence, and plea went out to Don. I don't know if he knew that we were from the same pack, but he picked out Alpha!
Hard to believe from these pictures, he had short fur for the first three years of his life! Every year after that, he got fuzzier and fuzzier. Much later in life, he earned the title "Fuzzy One". When my parents would come to visit from NJ, my Dad would take him outside to brush him. They both loved it! They were best buddies from the very beginning.

When we started our family, I would know Charlie had totally accepted his "siblings" when he'd plop down on the floor next to them and chew his bone. With our oldest, he loved to very carefully trip her by purposefully and gently grabbing her leg with his paw. It was so funny to watch! His tail would start wagging as he'd smile and then kiss her. The older the kids got, the more he adored them and the more they loved him. It was really hard for all of us to lose Charlie. --LKR

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Walk in the Woods and Wetlands

"Mom! Hey, Mom! This way, this way! Let's go this way!" Oh, I forgot, I did. She has an agenda, today, she does. We're going onto trails she's never walked before, we are! An adventure we're off to, what fun! What fun!

We'll start off on the usual paths, we will. And be linking unexplored trails to the ones we know well, too, Mom said. Lowes Creek County Park has many trails for bikes, "leave it joggers", hikers, and us poochies on leashes. I love to come back here, I do!

We've walked for quite a while, we have. We usually don't walk this fast. There's always too much to smell and see, so we usually stop a lot, we do.
But, not today!

I love walking through this part of the park, I do. It's so peaceful and tranquil. The leaves are pretty too,they are. Mom likes it too, she does.

By now we are out passed the trail "Red Flint". It
turns into lots of other trails, it does. Mom's figuring out which is what and where they lead. But she knows exactly were we are, she does. If we go further east, we will be out by 93! See that blue in the top left corner? That building is on 93!

Remember Mom's blog on Waste Research and Reclamation Environmental Services? This is the back of WRR that was on fire, it is. That big black tower had huge flames coming from it, it did, and was on tv. It made really big news!

I remember it well, I do. It's not that often Mom takes me out before 7AM! But this day she did for sure, she did!

I got to see those thick black clouds of smoke, but mainly just sniffed the air. I doubt one of you would have smelled it where we lived, but Alpha sure did, he said.

He had been on 93 and got to see the huge balls of fire pouring
from that tower right over there, he did.

Mom believes we are now where the polluted wetlands are. They got even more toxic after this fire, they did.

I got a drink back here. From standing water, uh oh. We just had rain, we did, but Mom was not too happy. Neither was my vet when he found out, he wasn't. "Deer ticks and toxic water--not very good", he said, shaking his head.

But pretty things still grow here, they do. We saw lots and lots of late blooming wildflowers and weeds back here! And pretty yellow butterflies and bees, too!

Look! See?! Take a peek at this, please do! Mom saw this and took two blurry pictures, she did! She said it freaked her out, it did. I did not smell what she saw. I was busy watching what Mom calls "leave it joggers", I was. But it does look like a man by the door, doesn't it, you think?

We're heading back now, we are.
Mom and I bring home little deer tick from here, we do. They are small and hard to find, even when they get bigger this time of year.

Mom forgot to put natural tick repellent on us both. She makes it with essential oils in olive oil, and it's always worked well for us, it has.

We're back to where we started from, we are. This is one of the paths us locals take to enjoy these trails. Many bicyclists ride these trails and can get in at several places.

I need another drink, I do! I can't wait to get home, I can't! We've been out here for three fun hours!

We're almost to the van! We're almost to the van, we are! I can't wait to go bye-bye in the van! We live only one block away, but Mom drives us here, she does. I don't stay in my yard, I don't, so she drives us to this local's entrance. I do think she's right, I do. If I smell my scent walking here, this would become part of my big backyard too, it would! --Mister Poochie

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Use the Force...!

Isn't this sweet?! We were guinea pig sitting for my daughter's friend during part of the summer when my youngest daughter Hannah took this picture. This little girl's name is Hermie, and we all just
loved having her around!

My son had been looking for someone to play "Star Wars" with. If only Hermie could have picked up this light saber... .

"Use the force, Hermie. Use the force!"


Saturday, October 13, 2007

A Spotted Trio at Dusk

Right before dinner, this evening, a trio of deer were spotted in our neighbor's yard. We get them all the time, according to our neighbors, the telltale hoof marks seen throughout our yard, and disappearing vegetation!

Even though they come smack up to our house, we do not see deer that often. The largest part of our property--where they frequent the most--is on the north side where we only have one window. And, unfortunately, that's located in the laundry room, all the way down stairs!

Bow hunting season has already started in our neck of the woods. Admittedly, I do enjoy venison. It's the slogans like "Bambi must die" that bother my inner child. Deer--with tongues hanging out of their mouths--displayed on top of the same car or truck for days doesn't sit really well with me, either. My hubby, who grew up in WI, says these trophies are a normally expected--and accepted--sight, come fall.

Hunting wasn't really that big where I grew up in northern NJ. My first real exposure to it was when a neighbor my sister and I babysat for cautioned that if we wandered down into their basement with the kids, we might find some deer "parts". And, on our way to school, we could see deer skins hanging outside on the cloths line over their fence. My friends, sister, and I would cringe as we'd walk by.

These photos are my trophies so that Bambi can live! (I'm posting three so you'll know they're real, not those lifelike statues seen in people's yards that I get fooled by!) Hunting is not for the faint-of-heart! --LKR

Friday, October 5, 2007

There's Fungus Among Us!

All of these mushrooms were found and photographed on our property, but there were even more! I used my fun-to-use Canon S3 IS and my daughter's sharp little Nikon Coolpix L4 to capture these images. Both cameras do a nice job with macro, however since I don't use a tripod, they're not as sharp as they could be. Thought they were interesting enough to share.

Just a reminder: many wild mushrooms are poisonous. --LKR

This big, beautiful mushroom on the left flattened out in a matter of days to look like this on the right. I've never really studied fungi to see how much they can change over the course of time. Found this very interesting!

The conical trio on the left did not want to stay in focus in front of the lens. I would have dusted off my trusty old Pentax K1000 if a) I had any unexpired film for it..., and b) if any of my lenses had been cleaned. They used to take regular trips down to the Jersey shore with me, and as a result, have a bit of gritty sand in them, especially the telephoto.

This mushroom always freaks me out when I first stumble upon them. They are rosier in color than others, and smoother, and just look too close to flesh! The way they pop up out of the ground, concealing their stem, adds to my initial alarm. It just looks wrong, you know? Over time, they turn brown.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

We've Needed the Rain!

It's so strange--our grass looks greener than it did during the summer months due to the amount of rain we've had, these past weeks. With last night's showers, we got close to an additional inch of rain. If you don't look at the trees, it looks more like spring after a good soaking than fall! --LKR