Just a word of explanation about my absence. I've been having a lot of medical tests, waiting for test results, and learning to deal with getting some postponements from the doctors/surgeons. It turns out I have to have multiple surgeries, which is a big drag...but at least now I have some answers as to what's going on with me. I have also successfully totally changed my diet over to nonfat/lowfat eating. It hasn't totally eliminated the stomach distress that waylays me from time to time, but at least I have gotten the pain to where it's more bearable. Right now, I'm just trying to get ready to go to the hospital, which also includes getting my house ready for me to be gone and some food for my husband to reheat in the microwave. I suppose there is no way to get totally prepared. I have also been stocking up on my stacks of reading material, for that laying around time after surgery. Probably what's going to be toughest is knowing after I recuperate from the first surgery, I'll have to turn around and have another one. Oh well, you know what they say, "what doesn't break you makes you stronger"...or something like that. The upside to all this? I have lost more than 20 pounds and I bet my cholesterol level is the lowest it's been in years. The other downside? I'm unable to drive around looking for those good red dirt road deals. But, I have faith those days will come again. Plus, I have a new little red car to drive when that happens. Unfortunately, the old red dirt road vehicle was getting more expensive to keep up than it was worth, so spontaneously one day, I told my husband we needed to start looking at cars. We found a great low mileage used car that same day and you know what they say, "the rest is history". Plus, I now get 30 miles to the gallon...just in time for higher gas prices. But, it beats the 21 miles I used to get.