Wednesday, October 1, 2014


Tomorrow I am getting a mammogram and it always makes me feel vulnerable and a little bit scared because of my immediate family's history with having breast cancer. I never knew my maternal grandmother because she died when my mother was very young. It's a dark shadow that hangs over women in our family when we have mammograms or when we find a lump like the doctor once did many years ago. This happened while I was trying to wean my eldest daughter. I couldn't explain to her because she was a young child and it was confusing for mommy to go to the hospital and not be able to nurse. 

Fortunately, the lump was benign. Fear, and I was afraid as well as guilty about weaning my daughter with these circumstances, can be a paralyzing emotion that prevents us from knowing even if the knowledge is painful. It is, however, better to know a painful truth and be able to act on the hard knowing than to be ignorant and at the whim of an indecisive fate. So, in the words of the late Molly Ivins, "Go. Get. The. Damn. Mammogram. Done." 

UPDATE/ October 29, 2014 After two rounds of mammograms and an ultrasound, I had a Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy (FNAB). Essentially, with the FNAB, the doctor first looks on the ultrasound to see where the cyst is situated, then marks that area of the breast  with a pen that will not fade when she washes the area with an antiseptic. She puts draping around the breast to keep it sterile after the antiseptic, numbs the breast with a local anesthesia, and gels again so she can use the ultrasound wand that is in a sterile plastic bag. The nurse maneuvers the ultrasound wand and the doctor uses a hollow needle connected to a syringe hooked up to tubing and sticks the needle into the breast near the mark. The doctor guides the needle with the ultrasound and withdraws fluid from the cyst, collecting it through the syringe's suction. The cyst usually collapses because it is basically a fluid-filled membrane. Then the cyst fluid is sent off to a pathologist to see if the cyst was benign or cancerous.

My FNAB was this simple process, it did not hurt, and I was able to resume my normal activities immediately. It was fascinating to watch the needle inside of me, to see the cyst as it collapsed, and to feel a pop inside my breast as the needle poked the cyst. However, the most important thing was getting the call from the breast care center. The cells came back normal. I don't have cancer. I have, instead, an appointment to follow up on my treatment in six months. Don't be afraid of the procedures you may have to save your life. "Go. Get. The. Damn. Mammogram. Done." 

Picture Credit: T.W. Rolleston. The Tale of Lohengrin. New York : T. Y. Crowell, 1910
Cornell University Library, The Fantastic in Art and Fiction

Monday, May 12, 2014


Feels Scorecard....Okay, RumpBelle is official and Belle's daddy approves! They're happy, at least for the moment. Next on the romantic leader board: Emma and Hook, after going on a journey, a journey back in time, are finely a pair...of idiots! It seems that Emma has her mother's curse of meaning well, but not doing well by being kind-hearted and rescuing a prisoner slated for execution. What did you say your name was? Maid What? From Sherwood where? Oh... No more canoodling for the Evil Queen because things got sort of complicated on the relationship front. Almost would make anyone wish for winged monkeys. Meanwhile, Emma brought something or someone else back from the Enchanted Forest and it's going to get very cold in Storybrooke and not just for the Evil Queen's Regina.

Saturday, May 10, 2014


The Wicked Witch is dead...or is she? What was that green haze emitting from the jail cell after Rumple smashed the big Z to bits?  Nothing seems to stop the Green Meanie, not even a bucket of water from Miss Gale of Kansas. Only one episode of Dorothy? Baum would have been disappointed at his character being just a plot twist. 

Another big question for OUAT, on the eve of the season finale, is the off-again romance between Emma and Hook due to the savior's loss of magic powers through a kiss of life to save the drowning pirate. David is going to be soooo angry that Emma saved Killian, especially when her loss of the magic powers endangered his newborn son by damaging the magic force field. Emma's got some 'splaining to do to Henry's uncle when the baby grows up. OUAT relationships are becoming more convoluted with new family members of all types, because it's officially RumpBelle. The characters are getting married! Las Vegas? What are the odds that Regina will be an officiant to the Dark Lord and his sweetie? Yes,  we know that we're being set up for Belle's disappointment and ongoing line in the series, "I trusted you!" that she drags out after Mr. Gold has pulled out a heart, turned a threat to glass, or otherwise slaughtered someone. Watch the Lady, Belle or you might miss something in Season 4!

Sunday, April 27, 2014


What can we say? Any episode with Henry in peril falls flat on its scripted face. The only bright moments were Regina glowing after a snuggle with her Sherwood stud and her wickedness looking perturbed when she couldn't get through the magic door in the forest to see Ga...whoops, Glinda, the good witch. Yes, we were rooting for the winged monkeys (the ex-Sleeping Beauty and her Prince) when they wanted to capture Henry but hélas, he is still with us. Not so Bae, who managed to pull himself out of his father's mind long enough to send a message to Hook with the remembering potion for Emma. We wonder what Freud would do with that interesting scenario! 

Sunday, April 20, 2014


The B*tch was Back! Oh Cora, even as a ghost, you're just a nasty gal. Yes, Z's baby daddy was a chance tavern encounter with faux prince and low-life gardener who didn't put his spade in the right place. Meanwhile, in Storybrooke, Zelena still isn't getting lucky. Rumple tried to get his dagger but she didn't get his, alas. Another lonely night for Greenie picking lice off winged monkeys and moping about younger sis who's off the charts with her stud from Sherwood. Trope true that nice bad girls finish first and bad sad girls finish last.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


The B*tch is Back! Disney is giving its viewers, in next week's episode, a resurrection to remember and we're not talking about the sadsack spiritual flick floundering worse than Ariel without her magic bracelet. It's also not about some obscure guy dangling on a tree. No, we're talking about Bada** and Busty Bedazzler,Queen Cora in Storybrooke's last hope to tame First Spawn and Green Meanie, Zelena. Maybe there will finally be answers about Z's baby daddy. Hook? I'm setting my DVR and can't wait to see the fundies have a, uh, talk with a man about a horse over the timing of her evil Maj's return.

UPDATE, UPDATE, UPDATE! We'll find out why Cora abandoned Zelena in the next episode. However, it's already pretty obvious Cora was digging for gold, but not Rumple. And who's Z's baby daddy? Hook? The late and lamented Bae? A random encounter into the woods? Careful the wish you make, wishes are children...

Sunday, April 13, 2014


David/Charming is not adapting to modern life well.Baby furniture, alas, is not within his swashbuckling skills. He also needs to brush up on the grand-parenting lessons.Joy-riding with a grandson who still can't remember him, and taking out mailboxes with the sheriff's truck while his preggers wife looks on,says mid-life crisis in bold letters. Just don't tell mayor Regina about the damage. She's busy being big sister in the dark arts to her sometime rival Emma. And, yes, we're so amazed she hasn't called Ms. Goldilocks "Dorothy", with how modest her Majesty thinks of the trainee's self-magical-confidence. Emma has had the power in her all along, much like the little girl from Kansas. If only her Charming father had a brain...

Meanwhile, Hook has troubles of his own; namely taking a lot of cold showers to bury his feelings for Emma Swan so it doesn't ruin the magic. He has it bad, but not as bad as Zelena, with half her problem being, well, she doesn't have another half except for winged monkeys and what do you have except litter boxes, hair in the food, body odor, and lice? She should talk to Granny, the resident matchmaker, who knows (courtesy of Ruby) all the eligible men in Storybrooke. Gran-Gran could find someone to cool the big Z's fire, and not just with a bucket of water.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Bae is not coming back. The funeral scene was heart-rending, and leaves the field open for Hook/Emma...or does it? Meanwhile, Robin Hood literally has Regina's heart, when she left it to his care before her fight with the green meanie.

It's hard to like Zelena, even though she has the most tragic back-story ever with a mother who abandoned her and  a souse foster father. The big question is who's her baby-daddy? She has a bitch, Cora, but who is the sire? It can't be Rumple because he would have remembered anything with Cora. Hook? That would make him Regina's step-dad. Night root... Our brains hurt.

Sunday, April 6, 2014


Poor Bae, and poor Regina. Poor Emma and Henry. Poor Robin Hood. Bartender, a little bit of the night root please. This was a depressing episode.

The question is who really did in Baelfire? Was it sacrificing himself? Did Hook get his you-know-what into Bae when he gave his rival for Emma's affections a "brotherly" hug in the hospital? Did our favorite pirate backstab him with the hand cleaver? Or did he slip Neal a mickey (not mouse), to sedate him before he did a strange transformation in the forest? Is Bae really dead?

And now for Regina. Girl, you have got to get over yourself.  He's hot, you're hot. Light a fire. It might be an excuse for Emma to throw water in your direction and take out Zelena. The next episode should answer some burning questions in the Wicked west showdown of the season.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


Prince Charming  is having new daddy anxieties in both the Enchanted Forest and Storybrooke, a problem that manifests in nightmares. He starts to hit the booze but is interrupted by an encounter in the stables with Robin Hood. And why is he there? To assess the Charmings' horse flesh for re-sale purposes? After a buddy 'thanks man' moment over brew, the Prince decides to go after another picker-upper in the form of a "night root". In the haunted forest, next to the magic mushrooms.

Meanwhile, in Storybrooke, Emma and the others are searching for the Wicked Witch. Zelena has her own plans, such as stealing the night root from Rumple's shop to make a magic potion to take David's courage. Hmm, it's becoming less OUAT and more AA, with the plethora of souse and substances to occupy Storybrooke's characters.Yes, we are talking about you, Regina and Robin Hood. Whiskey is not the magic potion as it is advertised, notwithstanding you were so close. It's not the tattoo that's off-putting, it's the venison scent from raiding your forests without results for either one of you. All the lush, however, doesn't stop Charming from rescuing faint-hearted maiden from yon, muscaria amanita -shaped, tower. Perhaps being a hero again will clear David's head and make him think twice about tipping a bottle.

Sunday, March 16, 2014


Well, dearies, there were a lot of surprises in this episode. The green-skinned witch, Zelena, had a big reveal for Regina when they met. Hey, we're related! Regina was not so impressed with the news and her response was, yeah, bring it if you're going to war with me.  My bet is on the Evil Queen because she grew up with her doggess mother and had Rumple for a tutor in the Dark Arts. Sissy dearest had just Rumple. Plus, Regina has hunk and handsome in Robin Hood and Zelena only has flying monkeys. Try to keep your witch's unmentionables warm at night with those things!

Meanwhile, in Storybrooke, no one remembers how they got there or how Snow White got knocked up. Poor David will have to take it on faith that it was good. And his memory is one of the things missing in Storybrooke. People are disappearing and with the rash of people turning into flying monkeys, Dr. Whale needs to go to vet school.  Regina and Emma play Nancy Drew to flush out the wrongdoer and, in the meantime, start a tentative friendship. But how long will this last with the return of a key character?

Sunday, March 9, 2014


THW is excited about the newest season of OUAT. When we last left Storybrooke, there were some tragic and amazing, mostly tragic, turn of events for our cast. Rumpbelle fans were heartbroken to see how the Dark One's lady love is now suddenly and horribly single after patching up her relationship with Mr. Gold. Poor Neal, on the other hand,  is not only fatherless, he is also Henry-less and Emma-less. The latter is not Hook's fault,and not by the yard he would have liked to hang his rival on to twist in the wind. Regina is Henry-less, but she,to her dismay,is also Emma-less with her rival taking Henry to New York.

Emma during all this is memory-less, as is Henry, and even a surprise buss on the lips from Hook returning to our world has failed to jog her amnesia. What they say about pirates and women must not be true. The new season promises new alliances, breakups, hopes, and heartaches and THW will be reporting on each twist and turn in plot.

Thursday, February 27, 2014


Where has the time gone? It's been a few years since we have posted happy birthdays on this blog. We are that much, and six days late for wishing actor Alan Rickman happy birthday! We have been too busy with moving, going through changes in the family (some sad), plowing through novels (editing chapters) and dealing with the dreaded flu.

However, in the 'tween time, we would like to pause, as we do every year, to wish Alan Rickman a Happy Birthday.

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Monday, February 24, 2014


UPDATE: 2/23/14


1.Mary hooking up with Branson.

Golly, Charles Blake is a toff! With a baronetcy and one of the largest estates in Ulster! And a home invader for Prince and Country!  He should have fun conversations with Branson. We're beginning to like this guy because he has criminal tendencies for the right, although short-lived, reasons for saving Prince Eddie's bacon. Meanwhile, is Branson getting cozy with Edith after being caught in a dubious castle tour with what's-her-name-schoolteacher from the village? Michael, come home. Edith may not know it, but she's on the market!

2.Anna and Bates. 

Bates, what else did they teach you while you were in the pen? Is fancy handwriting and pilfering the extent of your criminal talents? Yes, you saved the royal bacon by forging the note as well as doing a little five-finger discount in Sampson's coat pocket, but will His Lordship allow you near the silverware again? 

3.Edith finding someone who is not old, married or gay.

Poor Edith. The baby girl is with another family but that's  not going to stop our regal Brenda Starr,from being with the child, and her mystery man. World War II is on the horizon, in 1923, with mention of Michael being beat up by a group of Brown Shirts. However, nothing can thwart someone who has already survived Switzerland with Rosamund. Grab your black orchid, ace reporter, and go find your Basil!


Baxter and Mosley?! Who would have thought? It's sweet. They are as warm together as Mrs. Hughes and Carson holding hands and walking into the waves at the beach. Fight for her, Mosley! Give Thomas hell because he deserves it!


Rose has somewhat redeemed herself for Prince and Country with her failed attempt at retrieving the scandalous letter, but we're still glad she got hers.

8.Violet outliving everyone in the Abbey. It would be great to see Maggie Smith having the last word because she does that so very well.

The Dowager may not have the last word over Mrs. Levinson. After all, being an American is only one of Mrs. Levinson's lives.


Barrow really needs a boyfriend  to occupy him. Does he have a thing for Branson or is it just jealousy of his moving up in the world? Seriously, Thomas needs "it" more than Lady Mary.

DEPARTURES: Goodbye Alfred, now a chef at the Ritz. We wish you luck! Goodbye Ivy, going to America as an English cook. Have fun, although Daisy is better! And still single, Alfred! Good riddance, Mr. Green and bon voyage to incriminating tickets in Bates' overcoat. Lord Grantham does not need to know about this, thanks to Mary and a convenient fireplace!

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Saturday, February 22, 2014


Season Finale This Sunday!

UPDATE: 2/13/14

Note:Post Delayed Due to Flu 

1.Mary hooking up with Branson.

The fellow radical met cute with Branson is still no great looker or dresser. In the meantime, we are tortured with a slow pissing match between Charles and Lord Gillingham who look too alike to be serious contenders. It's the Bobbsey Twins at Downton Abbey!

2.Anna and Bates. 

Poor Anna. Yay! Mr. Green is dead. Serve the Rocky Mountain oysters, Mrs. Patmore! There is, however, some mystery about his unlamented demise. Run over by a lorry, the culprit probably the ghosts of  Downton actors past.  But wait, what has Bates been up to in the meantime? Was he seeing a man about a horse in Yorkshire or is he a vengeful killer? How can we be sure this guy lives in a cottage and not a motel? It's mash-up time, but not just for the late and now decaying Green, with the Abbey looking more like Midsommer Murders or an episode of Sherlock. Where, oh, where is Benedict Cumberbatch when you need him?

3.Edith finding someone who is not old, married or gay.

Poor Edith. She is taking a sojourn with Rosamund to the Swiss Alps to, um, improve her French. No one should go through hell like that for a fictional unplanned pregnancy. My dear, if you waited around long enough, there's always the Adoption of Children Act in 1926 that will allow you to adopt your own child and legitimize him or her.


Baxter and Mosley?! Who would have thought?  It's sweet.


Rose, you bitch. Jack Ross deserves someone better than a racist who used a black to get back at Mummsie Dearest. We were glad to see your face crumble when you got the "Dear Joan" letter from a decent man.

8.Violet outliving everyone in the Abbey. It would be great to see Maggie Smith having the last word because she does that so very well.

The Dowager would make a great prosecuting attorney with the way she cross-examined Edith and Rosamund about their Swiss self-improvement course. Her next vict...project should be Bates. Oh, and isn't she giving the knowing look to Isobel when the man-friend sent the Mrs. Crawley flowers? Dr. Clarkson should contemplate doing unnecessary surgery to take out the new rival. Where is John Nettles or Neil Dudgeon when you need them?

10.The last and most important wish for the series is that Thomas Barrow has a holiday in London so he can spec out some of the "pansy clubs" and meet the man/tran of his dreams. Putting an advert in the Link magazine for him is the kindest thing Mrs. Hughes could do for this under butler of unusual temperament. Wouldn't he enjoy a place where he could listen to Sam Lanin's Famous Players,'"The Man I Love" while dancing with a lithe someone of his own persuasion? 

Well, it seems that our favorite gay under-butler had a modern time in America. Very modern time.

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Monday, February 10, 2014


UPDATE: 2/10/14

1.Mary hooking up with Branson.

Pigs. Tom has met someone. A fellow radical but no great looker or dresser. And Mary has fallen for the new land agent, Charles...but wait, Lord Gillingham has returned! 

2.A baby for Anna and Bates. 

Poor Anna. Mr. Green is back again. And Bates knows her secret. Advice: Mr. Green better hide his gonads or Mrs. Hughes is going for the carving knife. Rocky Mountain oysters are on the dinner menu tonight, Mrs. Patmore!

3.Edith finding someone who is not old, married or gay.

Poor Edith. Having the baby is the best way when your fiance has flown the coop and it will be your one shot at happiness. At least, there's someone in the nursery at the end of the day.

4. O'Brian and Braithwaite are gone.

Baxter (can the writer use anything but "B" names or is he trying to to tell us something about lady's maids and female dogs?) needs to understand that she is skirting the edge of Mrs. Hughes' patient and could be on the same platter as Mr. Green.


Rose is needs to be a little less bubble and more earth. Her relationship with Jack Ross is lovely but on perilous ground for that era. Let's hope it won't end tragically.

8.Violet outliving everyone in the Abbey. It would be great to see Maggie Smith having the last word because she does that so very well.

Oh goody! She did not die, yet. Her Ladyship couldn't be deathly ill, because neither heaven nor hell would take the Duchess. And she's bonding with Mrs. Crawley. Awww, it's like looking at sleeping kittens.

10.The last and most important wish for the series is that Thomas Barrow has a holiday in London so he can spec out some of the "pansy clubs" and meet the man/tran of his dreams. Putting an advert in the Link magazine for him is the kindest thing Mrs. Hughes could do for this under butler of unusual temperament. Wouldn't he enjoy a place where he could listen to Sam Lanin's Famous Players,'"The Man I Love" while dancing with a lithe someone of his own persuasion? 

America. Handsome stewards on the ship. Gay clubs in New York. Yum.

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Saturday, February 8, 2014


UPDATE: 2/10/14

1.Mary hooking up with Branson.

Fellowes has added yet another red-in-the-face herring for Mary to be miserable over while Tom has said something to the effect that it is unlikely that another earl's daughter could love him. PLEASE don't tease us with heavy foreshadowing! We all know where this is going...hopefully!

2.A baby for Anna and Bates. 

Poor Anna. It looks like she can't be a mum, but thank goodness it wasn't a Mr.Green baby.

3.Edith finding someone who is not old, married or gay.

Poor Edith. Any man that she falls in love with won't stick around or there is some other disaster to alter her path to the altar.

4. O'Brian and Braithwaite are gone.

The current lady's maid situation is just as bad as with Braithwaite and O'Brien. Cora should learn to dress herself for dinner.

6.Rose and Jimmy?

Rose is going  for the jazz brother. I hope Rosamund learns to take that medicine. Meanwhile, Jimmy is learning the meaning of "No!" from Ivy. I can't see that relationship going anywhere. Teach him to S.I.N.G, Ivy!

7.Sybil Jr. and George.

Don't they look cute with their perfectly matched step-parents? And aren't they the lucky ones?

8.Violet outliving everyone in the Abbey. It would be great to see Maggie Smith having the last word because she does that so very well.

 I do so love her spatting with Mrs. Crawley. They could go on the stage together. 'What is a stage? Is it like a weekend?' The preview for this weekend makes me nervous. No, she can't be deathly ill, because neither heaven nor hell will take the Duchess.


Timing (and devious head housekeepers), it's what gets you the job. I still think the term hapless describes him.

10.The last and most important wish for the series is that Thomas Barrow has a holiday in London so he can spec out some of the "pansy clubs" and meet the man/tran of his dreams. Putting an advert in the Link magazine for him is the kindest thing Mrs. Hughes could do for this under butler of unusual temperament. Wouldn't he enjoy a place where he could listen to Sam Lanin's Famous Players,'"The Man I Love" while dancing with a lithe someone of his own persuasion? 

No person of Barrow's inclination on the horizon but lots of male eye-candy hanging around Mary. The job still does have perks. However, it's time to write in a man-hunk for our fave under butler.

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014


This article is for those who found the recent episode of Downton Abbey about sexual assault to be offensive to their sensibilities.

Grow up, and then talk to your daughters and other important female people in your life about rape.

Let them know you will be there for them if someone sexually assaults them.

Don't hide in your self-centered pity-pot of armchair viewership and bemoan that your feelings are hurt from Julian Fellowes' fictional depiction.

This type of assault happens to real women, irregardless of age or class, every day of the year.

Let the female people in your life know they can be brave and tell a caring person in their lives.

Be a caring person in a victim's life. Help her go through the often intimidating medical and legal process of reporting a rape.

More importantly, let those you love know that they should not be ashamed of themselves when they are victims of this type of assault.

Please remember: Rape isn't about sex, it's a crime.

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