Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas wishes. And gift cards.

My husband asked me the other day for a Christmas list.  I hemmed.  I hawed.  I wrote a total of:  two things.  One, a good pair of silver hoops for everyday wear (read:  days when I'm too lazy to look at my earring "shirt" and find something color coordinated) and also a soft, comfy black cardigan.  Oh, I may have mentioned "a ring" too.  In that silly, girly, breathy I-want-sparkly-jewelry sort of way. 

Are there other things I want?  Sure there are.  However, I'm the one who does the most Christmas shopping (I'm a control freak) and when I see something around Christmas time that I want, weeeeeellllll, pretty much I get it. 

Case in point...ordering from Kohl's online today.  Got everything I needed for other people but WHAT'S THAT???  Pajama pants with penguins on them?  Yes, please.  Click!

I'm a procrastinator.  I don't do my Christmas shopping like a lot of people, which is to say that I do it much later.  As of right now, I'm only about 50% done and instead of being out shopping right now...I'm writing.  And thinking seriously about a glass of wine.  But really, my kids are old enough now that they would rather have gift cards.  And how long does it take to go get a gift card?  They don't run out, they're always the right size, and the kids really, truly appreciate them. 

I buy gift cards as opposed to the jeans or shirts I would get them once upon a time that would sit in their closets, tagged, until they were outgrown and given to Amvets, mostly because those ba$tards at Plato's Closet buy everyone else's stained, torn clothing but not my new stuff that has tags on it.  People at Plato's Closet, pay attention.  Stop buying crap from your friends. 

I buy gift cards for the kids because I don't have a personal shopper.  Because I am not very good at picking out things that my children would actually wear.  The only things I'm pretty safe buying for them are camisoles (for the girls, and maybe one for me) and funny t shirts (for the boy, and maybe one for me).  I don't really have any sort of sense of style or color matching ability.  What this means is I wear black pants a LOT.
 
Popular gifts for the youngsters:  McDonalds gift cards.  Victoria's Secret gift cards.  Walmart, or Target, or Plato's Closet gift cards (for those children who like Abercrombie jeans without the Abercrombie price).  Gas station gift cards.  A gift card at virtually any store that would actually prevent me from picking out actual clothes, thinking, "Oh, (fill in name of unfortunate child) would just love this.  It would look so great on them.  So smart.  She/he could even start a fad."*

*Note to my mother:  nothing that you said would start a fad actually STARTED a fad. 

And of course, in their Christmas stockings, it's pretty standard:  candy, scratchoff cards, body wash, a Christmas Pez thingie.  An orange.  A candy cane.  Hope they're not looking at this because then they'd know what's in their stocking.  Again.  For the fifth year in a row.

(Actually, thinking about this, why the orange?  Why, because my mother used to put one in my stocking.  Sometimes we'd poke the candy cane IN THE ORANGE and suck out orange juice.  We were hardcore like that.  I also remember my sister and I getting Leggs.  Remember?  pantyhose in the egg container?  Good times.)

No matter what you gift your children with, or how soon or late you shop, it's a wonderful time of year for sharing with friends and family.  That's my focus.  In the hustle and bustle of baking, shopping, holiday parties, etc, it's really easy to lose sight of that.

And that leads me to remember one more thing that is on my Christmas list, every single year...that my family stay happy and healthy.  It is really the most important thing in the world to me.  Every year I hug my family a little tighter.  And next year, there will be a little granddaughter to celebrate with!  I am literally quivering with joy.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

And thus ends the gynecological trifecta.

Who says gynecologists aren’t fun?  Me.

If you haven’t read about my recent invasive trans-vaginal ultrasound or even more invasive, painful biopsy, please do so now.  It will prepare you for the next chapter in the hopefully closed book of my female health.  I’ll just wait here.  I have some wine, anyway. 

Oh, are you back already?  Ok.

At the end of Fun Female Field Trip Part 2, I discussed the next step my doctor thoughtfully laid out for me in my pursuit of gynecological wellness, also known as “being able to get some sleep at night and quit worrying” syndrome.

I was assured, repeatedly, by two nurses and the doctor, that the test I needed to have to determine why I was surfing a never-ending crimson tide was quick and most importantly, painless.  This test would be done with water and ANOTHER trans-vaginal ultrasound.  I learned a long time ago not to Google things of a medical nature but I would have Googled the shit out of it if I could have remembered the name of it.  I didn’t remember the name of it because my mind had blocked it out.  It tends to do with traumatic experiences. 

For those of you who skipped ahead and didn’t read the other posts, obviously you failed in “listening and following directions” in grade school.  A trans-vaginal ultrasound is just fancy talk for an ultrasound wherein you can’t pee for approximately a week in preparation, and then a gigantic “wand” is used to view what’s going on from the inside.

Ladies, beware and trust me on this.  If you enter an ultrasound room and there’s both gel and a “wand” covered with a fresh condom, you can bet money that wand is taking a trip to hoo-hah land.  It’s messy.  It’s uncomfortable.  It’s embarrassing.  And in my case, it was inevitable.

The day of my test, I was sick with anticipation but just wanted to get it over with.  Surely anything I was imagining was far worse than what actually would happen.  What’s a little water, after all?  I like swimming and baths.  I got to the doctor’s office at 12:45 p.m. for a 1:00 p.m. appointment, and was immediately weighed (a story for another day) and unceremoniously tossed into a back room.  I was handed a sheet and given a look that clearly said you know what to do.

There I sat, getting more and more nervous, for 45 minutes.  45 minutes is not a very long time if you’re going out for ice cream, seeing a movie, or getting a massage.  However, if you’re naked from the waist down under a tiny sheet, and more importantly if you’re me, it’s a very long time.

The nurse finally came in and explained that Doctor (they always do that, too, don’t they?  Call them Doctor like you or I would say “Tom” or “Ray”) was delayed at the hospital but would be in shortly and sure enough, within a few minutes, she was there.  Let the festivities begin.

I knew I was in for an hour of fun when I heard the word catheter and uterus used in the same breath.  Oh, joy.  I was subsequently speculumed and although they tried strenuously to put the catheter where it belonged, it wouldn’t go.  I have to give them snaps for effort, however.  Those ladies were determined.  I have the scars to prove it. 

However, their amusement was bought to a halt when water ran everywhere except into my uterus.

They figured out pretty quickly what was wrong, adjusted things slightly and YEP, YEP, OH YEAH, THERE’S THE WAND.

Silhouette Sorceress by Sattva/freedigitalphotos.net
um, not that kind.
She meandered around down there for a few seconds, but couldn’t visualize whatever it was she was supposed to see.  Because I had been put in this room and abandoned for a very long time, my bladder was too full.  Oh, sorry, totally my fault.    

Great.  Tools that recently were inserted were now un-inserted and I was told that the hallway was “pretty deserted” which was a good thing, considering the sheet I had to hold around me was the size of a tissue.
I took care of business, hopped back up onto the table, and the speculum process began all over again.  Once she was able to visualize the actual area she wanted to see, Doctor was very complimentary about my bladder emptying.  (I have been waiting for years for someone to compliment me about that very thing.  Good things come to those who wait, people.  Good things come to those who wait.)

Doctor fusses.  She harrumphs.  She seems very annoyed and finally says to her cohort in torture, “Go get (name withheld).  She can work the wand while I push the water.  I need to be able to visualize the complete uterus and blahbitty blah, blah, blah blah” which I didn’t hear because my brain was stuck on work the wand.

I have nothing against Germans.  I myself am part German.  However, the woman (and I use the term loosely) they pulled in to assist with my procedure was half German and half agony aficionado.  She took “work the wand” to new levels. 

I exhausted all my deep breathing techniques and Zen thinking and concentrated only on crab climbing backward up the table to get away from my persecutors.   At this point, I’m not sure what was so attractive about having this done in the doctor’s office as opposed to in the hospital under my good friend anesthesia.

I hear the German say, “I see zee problem, Doctair.  She haz zee floppy oss.”

I finally find my voice.  “Hey, that’s a little personal, lady!  I’m right here!  It’s only floppy because I just haven’t been able to work out much lately!!”

I’m ignored.  No surprise there, because apparently (TMI, turn away now if you haven’t already) she was saying “floppy os” which is Latin for “mother of three.”

Finally, FINALLY, they see what they need to see.  And then some.  And it’s all normal.  Which is great news but I still have three women all standing between my legs, while more sensitive regions are covered by this tissue sized sheet.  Oh, wait, no, they’re not covered because the sheet has been pushed up for maximum humiliation and embarrassment.  (Or for them to be able to see, but I’m totally going with the humiliation thing.  I’m still bitter.)  Um, we're done here.  You can go now.

The two nurses finally, finally leave the room.  Doctor pats my leg comfortingly (she thinks) and says, a glint in her eye, that I’m probably just going through early menopause.  “Don’t worry.  You won’t ever have to see me again.” (#youbetyourfloppyosIwon't) A chirpy laugh burbles out of her and I think, of all the people on my shit list, you’re at the very tippy top right now.  I will do everything in my power to stay away from this office.

I am holding back tears, mostly angry tears because I’m pissed that my roundhouse kick to the German’s butt missed. 

I settle for letting the air out of her tires on my way to get ice cream and a 45 minute massage, floppy os be damned.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Fun female field trip (not really) Part 2

Part deux 


After my last medical visit a la the ultrasound from hell, I wanted to know when I’d find out what was going on in my “downstairs area”. 

Me:  How long will it take to get the results?

Them:  at least a couple of days.  Rest assured, you’ll have plenty of time for worrying.

Me:  (heart hammering in chest) Ok.

It didn’t take a couple of days to get the results.  The phone rang the very next day, less than 24 hours after the ultrasound, while I was lost in Naperville trying desperately to find Edwards Hospital, so that I could make it on time for my mother’s gall bladder surgery. 

It’s never good when they don’t waste any time calling you with the results. 

I listened to the results with half an ear while On Starring and Bluetoothing, watching desperately for street signs, looking for my turn, catching various words here and there out of the speakers.  Abnormal.  Hyperplasia.  Polyp.  Cyst.  And my absolute favorite, Biopsy.

I’m sure you’re all wondering how serious this really was.  And the answer is:  It was very serious because I was really, really lost.  When I finally found the hospital, I told all this to the valet parker boy, who actually yawned when I told him what an adventure finding the hospital was.  Your tip is going to suck, buddy.

Three hours I waited with my sister and stepdad for Mom’s surgery/recovery time.  Three hours is quite a bit of time to freak out reflect on the doctor’s choice of words.   

The hospital aide came out to tell us that Mom wanted coffee, and she wanted my stepdad to make it because he knew how she liked it prepared.  We all knew then that mom was recovering just fine. **

My biopsy was schedule for two weeks from that day.  Two weeks have never gone slower. 

Biopsy day


Two weeks have never gone faster, and before I knew it, the nurse called me to take two ibuprofen before the procedure, because I’d get a little crampy.  That day, I learned something vitally important.  What you think is crampy and what I think is crampy are two vastly different things.  The nurse on the phone advised me to take two ibuprofen before the procedure.  The nurse I actually saw that day in the room of horrors procedure room felt bad that I didn’t have the afternoon off, even though I sit down at my job. 

Of course, I took my cue from her facial expression, (pity mixed with compassion and a side order of sympathy) stiffened up, and unfortunately stayed tense the entire time, making it even far more difficult for the doctor and far more painful for me.

Doctor:  Relax! 

Me:  I’m trying!  (I am not trying.  I'm not relaxed at all, and I don't know how anyone could be.)

I had the biopsy.  Here’s what I think they used... 


ntwowe/freedigitalphotos.net
There were many more sharp things sticking out of the tool they used on me.

…but it felt much larger. 

Me and my new friend Cramps went back to work that day for a couple of painful hours, then went home and curled up on the couch where I would spend the rest of the night milking this for every single second I could. 

It worked.  I got pizza that night.  And a nap.

They told me I’d get my results back within a couple of days.  I selfishly hoped that I wouldn’t get them back on my birthday, so I could sail through my 46th birthday blissfully ignorant of anything biopsy-related.  They granted that wish and called me the day after.

This time it was with a good word:  benign.  It even sounds nice in your mouth.  Say it with me:  Beeeenine.

Despite the pleasant tastiness of that word, I have to go back and be poked, prodded and ultra sounded one more time, and then my doctor will make a decision on what to do with my whiny self at that point.  Obviously, the female issues are being caused by something and they’d like to find my tolerance for pain figure out what it is. 

I’d like for them to figure out what it is too.  There are some *cough activities cough* that we’d I’d like to resume.  While I’m still young.


***My mom:  recovering nicely.  Her surgery that day was at 10:45 a.m.  She was home drinking coffee at her kitchen table by 3:30 p.m. looking for all the world like we just popped in for a visit.  It was amazing and we're all glad she's ok.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Rockford Area Haunted Houses

What do these three things have in common?

Spitty, lipsticky kisses on the lips from Great Aunt Martha.
 
The biology test you completely forgot to study for…and it’s today.
 
Not being able to remember if you logged out of Facebook before your mom borrowed your laptop…and you may or may not have said a bad word or two.  About her.

The thing they all have in common?  They are all things that make you frightened, or in the case of Great Aunt Martha, a little bit skeeved out.

If you like being scared, however, you must love the onset of Halloween and all that entails…like haunted houses, anyone?


Ok, this one looks fun.  I like the spider and the witch.

There are several in the Rockford area.  First, the Karnival of Karnage…forever a frightening favorite.   Days they’re in operation:  October 31st and November 1st from 7pm to midnight. Held at the Boone County Fairgrounds.

Next up, the Fear Asylum.  Although why anyone would willingly go to a place where you know you’re going to be chased by chainsaw wielding clowns, or be startled into screaming by something in the dark grabbing your ankle…well, no way.   If you’re up for it, though, their hours are: 7 to 11 pm, October 29 & 30th, and 7pm to 12am on October 31st and November 1.   

And of course, there’s the oldie but goodie, the Fright Fest at Six Flags Great America.  What a fun place to be.  If you're over 40, might want to think about having some sort of bladder protection.  Six Flags Fright Fest is open Thursday October 30th from 6pm to 11pm, Friday October 31 from 5pm to 11pm, Saturday November 1 from 11am to midnight, and Sunday, November 2 from 11am to 9pm.

If you’re even thinking about going to one of these places, perhaps you need a cat scan of some sort.  I’m not saying, I’m just saying.  If I’m ever in the mood to be scared, I check prices on heartworm medication for the dog or open the electric bill or count how many days until Christmas.  That usually does the trick for me and I’m breathing into a paper bag in no time.

However, I’m a little bit (a lotta bit) older than the kids who like to frequent haunted houses, so kids…go for it and have fun.

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fun female field trip. (Not really.)


For those of you who are squeamish, please, for the love of God, look away now.  Don’t read any more.

For those of you who yearn to live vicariously through me…please, pull up a chair.  Let me tell you about my day.

At 45-almost-46, my baby factory has been shut down for quite some time, due to the fact that I had my tubes tied after I had my youngest daughter almost 20 years ago. 

I am now 240 months postpartum; I guess I should work on getting the baby weight off.  (#tryharder)

About 2 months ago, despite having my tubes tied, I exhibited every single symptom of pregnancy.  Sore boobs, lack of period, bloating, mood swings, nausea.  In short, I was really, really fun to be around.   When I say really, really fun to be around, I am lying through my teeth.

Just when the symptoms made me think I should go buy a pregnancy test, (despite the slim odds) or a priest for my exorcism, what should happen? 

Aunt Flo came to town.

And the flipping bitch didn’t want to leave.

I asked her nicely to leave.  When that didn’t work, I pouted.  I threw fits.  I threatened.  I drank.  I bribed. 

My family wisely hid the knives behind the furniture. 

I finally said Uncle.  I went to the doctor, explained everything, was examined, had blood drawn, levels tested, and a negative pregnancy test.  All tests normal.  (Praise God.)  So far, so good.  She then started me on something to help staunch the…well…you know.  Besides the referral to an actual gynecologist, I thought that was the end of that.

Except that I had to get an ultrasound today.  And not just any ultrasound, mind you. 

(*here's where I would normally insert a picture.  However, I don't have any pictures from the events of today that would be appropriate here.  After all, I don't know you that well.)

The medical test from hell started when I had to drink 48 oz of water from 12:30 until 1:00 pm.  I’m quite the water drinker.  I drink water all day long.  However, drinking this much water in ½ hour was enough to make even me gag.

I parked the car at the hospital and despite having my legs crossed tightly the entire time was able to get to the ultrasound department.  It was approximately 7.5 miles from where I parked.  I was afraid I was going to be late.  The panicked staccato taps of my high heels on the tile floor took my mind off how badly I had to go to the bathroom.

Chris has a bad day


The first part of the test was uneventful.  I greatly enjoyed the warmth of the ultrasound gel on my lower belly.  It was very soothing.  The room was quiet and the light was dim and I would have fallen asleep except for the excruciating pressure on my straining bladder.

When the test was over, I was led to the bathroom and told to take my time.  I peed as if I hadn’t seen a toilet in a month.  The relief was immediate and immense.

The ultrasound tech was hiding in the hallway and sprang out at me when I exited in the bathroom. 

Her:  “Are you ready for the second part of your test?”

Me:  “Do you mean the part where I walk down the hall and find the exit?”

Her:  (chuckling expansively) “Silly you.  The second part, the internal exam.”

Me:  (smile fades, face pales.)  “No.  No, I'm not ready for that.”

Despite the elfin size, her iron grip lead me directly back into the room, where I am forced to “take off everything below the waist, but if you want to leave your shoes on you can.”

Leave my shoes on?  Really?  And take everything else off?  I have on black high heels, no pantyhose.  The thought of being nekked below the waist except for black high heels was a bit…pornographic to me.  The shoes came off with all the other below the waist things, and I was grateful that I had a cute pedicure.

Funny what you think of, grooming wise, when you’re having an internal ultrasound.  My feet were not the only thing I had groomed, and I was glad.

“You’ll feel a slight pressure.”  It was the only warning I got before the “wand” was “inserted” by Vlad the Impaler.

She apologized for the “pressure” over and over while applying said pressure and also for the fact that a couple of times I choked on it as it was coming up my throat.   

Finally she finished up and withdrew the entire 3 feet of wand.  I am thrown several dry washcloths to absorb all of the gel.  I feel like the guy in the shower in “The Crying Game.”

She escorted me down the hall.  I noticed that she kept looking to the right and left.  

Me:   “Did you lose something?”

Her:  “No.  I’m just looking for the right sized broomstick.  You’re not my only ultrasound today.”

***

Stay tuned.
*I went home and told my friend Lambrusco all about it. 


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Infinitely Sweet...more pictures to drool over!

What is fall bringing with it this year besides lower temperatures, frost on the pumpkin, and defrosting your car’s windshield in the morning?  As far as Krystine Vermeer of Infinitely Sweet is concerned, it’s “Stripes, Stripes, Stripes.  Chevron is still hanging in there.  Prints in general are pretty hot this season.  Long maxi skirts are here for a while too.  Knitted sweaters, dresses and cardigans are perfect for fall and winter.  They keep us warm and look stylish.  And now, with knits as a trend, there are plenty of knitted items available, in all possible colors, prints, and lengths.”

can you believe the choices?

 I have to photobomb a little bit here; bear with me.  There are so many good pictures I'm having a hard time picking just a few. 


Cool, right?  You never want to leave.

Infinitely Sweet is participating in the Cider and Cinnamon weekend at Edgebrook Shopping Center, Rockford, IL, so you could drop by there and see what I'm talking about.
  
 
decisions, decisions.







One more, if you will bear with me...
    
Bring your jukebox money.  You'll want to spend it on this instead!!!
oh, yes.





Thursday, September 27, 2012

Infinitely Sweet, Rockford, IL, pictures as promised...


As promised, here are some pictures that go along with the Infinitely Sweet article (part one.)  For some reason, the Examiner.com website is not allowing me to do a slideshow, which I planned out meticulously, and then am unable to use. 

The result is that I'm going to photobomb my blog with pictures and link this up.

Let's start, shall we?
 
Squeal!  Rockford Sock Monkey clothes!!! 
 This side of the store makes me want to go get a bunch of babies and dress them up in these adorable clothes.  Is there anything cuter?

Check out these headbands:


these little girl headbands are absolutely DELICIOUS.   And quite artfully displayed, as well.


And these socks!  Can you believe all of these socks?  Could these things be any more adorable?  I wanted to buy all of them.  Thankfully I had the small car so I wouldn't have been able to fit them all in.  Plus, I just rearranged my own sock drawer. 



And these!  There are little dresses of all shapes and sizes and colors.  Not to mention, there are accessories to match.



Hair bow, anyone?  How about a hat or a barrette?


 At any rate, I am doing an article in a couple of parts on Infinitely Sweet.  I really love going in that store, both for drooling over all the baby clothes and seeing what's in style for the fall on the teen/tween/junior side. 

But that is a story for another day.


****Examiner...get your slideshow uploader to work.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Survivor kicks off the new season by voting off...

spoiler alert...(don't read if you don't want to know who was voted off.)

Joe and I have been looking forward to this day for quite some time.

It's the day the 25th season of Survivor starts!!!

We look forward to a lot of other shows, but those are a post for another day, because tonight was all about one show.  Survivor.

We had beer--Michelob Ultra, 95 calories, 2.6 carbs.  We got two pizzas from Papa Murphy's--cowboy pizza, it was delicious, so don't ask about the calories or carbs.  It's the night Survivor starts, dammit.   We did skip the cookies, however.  Only because there aren't any.  We're not saints.

We selected the exact place on the couch we should park ourselves for maximum viewing pleasure...and then of course the dog had to go out, three times.  The pizza was delicious, the beer refreshing, the dog aggravating, the show interesting.

We marveled over how well you get to know the players now as opposed to other seasons, where the players were all nameless rabble until the final 10 or so.  Then you got to know them really well.

Not this season.  We got to see the good, the bad, and the ugly tonight, right off the bat.  I discovered that Jonathan, one of the medical evacuees who was allowed to return, sounds exactly like Alan Alda.  We like the petite brunette with the short hair who is a sex therapist.  We did not like the blond in the yellow bikini (a student, who ran track, and was miss former teen whatsit) or the brunette in the yellow bikini (a know-it-all investment banker, lying that she's an executive assistant.)   They're too giggly and have no idea what this show Survivor is all about...and didn't even recognize Lisa Welchel, who played Blair on Facts of Life. 

They probably weren't even born when that show was on.

Russell, another evacuee bought back, said he refused to take the leadership role, all the while forcing himself down the throat of his fellow campmates as...their leader.

No one else really stuck out, except for Zane, whom I we pretty much hated on sight. 


Jeff, welcome back to our humble living room.  Where you belong.

He was an idiot from the beginning, making alliances within the first 40 seconds with every single girl on the island.  Then making other alliances with other people.  And telling everyone everything.  Every time he got a shot at being on camera alone, he crowed about how he owned the game.  Apparently he's never seen Survivor, because everyone who's ever said he "owned the game" in fact did NOT own the game and were quickly sent home.

Zane was no different.  Bye Bye, Zane! 

Stay tuned for next week, when there will be a different delicious dinner, a new episode of Survivor, perhaps a new and unique place to sit on the couch but most importantly, we'll be one week closer to Halloween! 

And I'll be waiting.  AAAaarrrgghh, Maytee!



Soooooo ready for Halloween.  11 more days til D-Day...Decoration Day.




Friday, September 7, 2012

A week in review: 7 days in the life of Poopwa Foley

Sometimes, I hear conversations and/or phrasing that make me laugh, or things I think are interesting, or far fetched, or ghastly, and I write them down immediately, because I'm always thinking of YOU, dear reader, and how to entertain YOU. 

I just reread this and realize I should be honest.  I'm not writing things down for you.  No, I write them down because I'm on the downside of 45 and forget EVERYTHING.

Case in point.  Last night, my daughter told me that she was going to be working 12-6 today, Friday.  Around 5:00 pm, I begin to freak out because I have called her twice with no answer, and there is no response to my texts.  I have completely forgotten that she is working until I get her text which says, and I quote, "I'm working LOL."  I quickly called off the search parties.  In less than 24 hours, I managed to not only have a conversation with her about her hours for today, but turn around and panic when I don't hear back from her, because I didn't remember she was safely at work, ignoring her phone, because she's working.  At her job.

Yes, I'm getting old.

However, here are some of the things that have happened lately that I have managed to write down and remember for yens:


so. beautiful.  so. hard. to. take. a. good. picture.
 1)  The moon last Friday night.  It was awesome.  This was taken right after we got home from seeing the Bodeans at the "On the Waterfront", around midnight. 

**

2)  An argument between my two oldest children.  Those arguments used to be over toys, or tattling, or the TV station they were watching. 

Argument 12 years ago:

    "Mom, he took my Barbie." 
    "Mom, she's watched this already, can't I watch my channel?"

Argument now:

Oldest child (son, 23) tiredly makes his way up the basement stairs.  My husband and I and my daughter (21), are sitting on the couch.

    Boy:  My knees are so sore.

    Girl:  Maybe if you weren't on them so much they wouldn't hurt.

    Boy:  (long pause) I can't think of a comeback right now, but when I do, it's going to be f*****g epic. (bedroom door slams)


Still trying to think of something f*****g epic.  It's going to take a while.

**

3)  This unbelievably thoughtful gift my husband got me.  He recently discovered 'the Ebay'.  We set him up a Paypal account and I slid a pamphlet on computer addictions under his pillow. 

But look!  Look!  A poster of one of my most favorite movies about witches!  In a beautiful frame we bought on a shopping trip together!


"Fall in love whenever you can." - Sally Owens
Oh, I will, Sally.  I will.
 To go along with that, I also have a shrine area where I have that paperback and also an adorable beanie baby, a black cat, wearing a witch hat. 

I know!

Possibly the finest literature ever.  And a cat.  On my nightstand.  Before I took this picture, I removed all of the used Kleenexes, cough drop wrappers, and dog hair-y earplugs.  You're welcome.
 **

4) Sunday I made a lovely bean and pasta soup, recipe courtesy of my sister.  I took a picture of the soup but it looked too much like barf so I left that off.  Better luck next time.

** 

5)  I am pretty sure I have a story that's going to be in a book coming out the end of next month.  Stay tuned for more details, like when I actually know for SURE.  However, I made it through the first round and now they're going to send it to me for editing, so...keep your fingers crossed for me.  I'll know more in a few weeks.

**

I think there were a few more things that I wrote down so I would remember. 

However, I forgot my notebook out in the car and the garage door is already shut, so that's that.

I'll have to start a new list of things to remember.  Number One will be to get my notebook out of the car.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Sinus infection? No thanks. Oh, wait, I have one anyway? Great.

It has to be a cosmic payback for publishing the post on the spider in the ear.  Right? 

Last week after sniggering over all the comments on Facebook about people being afraid to sleep at night because a spider might have climbed in their ear as they slept, I realized I myself had an itchy ear.

As stated on Facebook, I really did rinse my ears out with peroxide, effectively killing anything that might have been in there (hopefully) and succeeded in making myself so dizzy I almost fell over in the bathroom.

I missed work last week on Tuesday because I felt so crappy; dizzy, flushed, really headachy...you get the picture.  Since then the pressure in my ears has increased, making it sound like I constantly have a crackling faulty speaker in my head.  And it HURTS.  Like someone took a baseball bat and cracked me in the face.  Not here, or here so much...but right here.


not here, or here so much...but right here.
 Last night, went home and was in bed by 5:30 for a 1.5 hour nap...then back in bed at 9:30pm, still not feeling well.

I dragged myself into work even though I felt icky, flushed, feverish; thinking I could gut it out.  Around 11am I cried "uncle" and made an appointment with the doctor for 3:30 pm.  Which was more like 3:45 pm.

She peeked in my right ear, very routinely.  However, she took an uncomfortably long time looking in my left ear, the source of most of the crackling.  So long, in fact, that I found myself wondering what in the heck could be that *cough spider cough* interesting in there.  I found myself spiderbabbling.

She stepped back, tiny hand on tiny chin.*

"Do you have a pet?"

It's a spider it's a spider it's a spider it's a spider it's a spider

"Yes, why?" (It's a good thing she took my blood pressure before this line of questioning.)

"Is your pet as black as your shirt?"

OMGOMGOMGOMG it's a BLACK spider

I try to appear relatively calm as I tell her we have a black lab who as recently as last night (and every night, as a matter of fact) sleeps on the pillows of our bed.

"Puh" and "puhppy"

"You have a black dog hair in your ear."

"Get it out." I command.  Just in case it's a spider imitating a dog hair, or perhaps she can only see one of its legs.

"It will come out by itself.  No Q-tips.  No ear plugs."  Does she not know Q tips are a necessity of mine?  And that from time to time my husband, maybe, possibly snores (lightly, mind you, sort of a "puh" exhale) and that if I don't have earplugs in, I will hear every single "PUH"?

In her musical voice, she says, "perhaps the ear plugs may have had a dog hair on them when you placed them in your ear."  Oh, yuck.  Note to self:  throw away all ear plugs.  Because I don't place them in my ear, I JAM those suckers in.

Long story short, she checked me out thoroughly, told me I had a fever (I KNEW I WAS SICK) and a sinus infection and put me on antibiotics.  For those of you who don't know, Schnuk's pharmacies fill a lot of antibiotics for free, regardless of insurance.  Lovely pharmacy.

They also have Q tips and ear plugs.

*I LOVE my doctor.  She is awesome. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What? I can't hear you; there's a spider in my ear

Years ago, it was a popular myth that the average person swallows eight spiders in their lifetime, all while sleeping.

Eight. Spiders.

freedigitalphotos.net
Although, I'd like to think you'd wake up before swallowing this.

After poking around on the internet for a while, where every single thing you read is true, I ran across the snopes website where it debunks that theory.  In fact, most of the information that I read said that it is very unlikely, nay, HIGHLY unlikely, that you would ever swallow a spider while asleep. 

Sweet dreams.  Or not? 

Just because you may not swallow one doesn’t mean one couldn’t crawl in your ear and take up residence there, thinking it a wonderful, dark, comfortable cave that he and he alone discovered. 

This actually happened, and it probably wasn’t the first time this happened to someone.

A few days ago I ran across this very story complete with a picture of the offending spider peeking out of a woman’s ear canal.  This woman in China went to the doctor after having an itch in her ear for five days.  The doctor who treated her was probably delirious with happiness.  After looking into thousands of ears, this finally wasn’t a routine ear infection…something COOL was actually in there!  Luckily (for us) they were able to grab the camera and take a picture of the gentle little creature, who was just minding his own business, thank you very much.

I will never sleep again.

Recently I was in our bathroom at home when I felt a tickle on my thigh.  I thought it was a stray hair and idly brushed it away.  A few seconds later, I felt that same tickle and when I looked down, there was a wicked looking black spider ON MY LEG.  Probably waiting to see if I needed a new roll of tissue paper. 

True fact:  if a spider is going to scare the crap out of you, the bathroom is the place to be.

Outside our house, however, is up for grabs, spider wise.  We have spiders near our house in the bushes that make a cool, tunneled web.  When I see these, I think of when I was lots younger and my brother and I would make an afternoon of good times out of finding ants and throwing them into the lucky spider’s web.  You’re welcome, Mr. Spider! 

At my office, we get daddy longlegs, which I carefully coach into climbing onto a pad of paper and then throw them outside where they will live to grow even longer legs.  Recently, our IT guy saved all of us from certain death when he killed a huge, hideous spider, after declaring… you know what…this spider looks like a biter.  He was probably right.

I’m sure spiders serve some purpose, killing other bugs and whatnot, but I only like to run into them around Halloween.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

A bitter rivalry

Sometimes, I just let them fight it out.  It's interesting to note, however, that the one that is yellow and green (which, coincidentally is the Packer color scheme) ends up on the floor most mornings.

Odd.

the Bears potholder like to be in front, too.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

People can be so nice!


freedigitalphotos.net
my new stuff almost looks like this.  almost.

So, I ran to Old Navy today, in search of t shirts that didn’t smell like my last twenty workouts and shorts that weren’t coming apart at the seams, like the ones I’ve had and worn for the past four years during the summer. 

Wandering the aisles, I found some colorful, non smelly t shirts and was looking at shorts when this girl snuck up on me and here I was, all ready to do battle with her over the last “Miami Bunny” t shirt in neon lime green, when she just leans over and gives me $20 in Old Navy cash.  She said “I saw that you have quite a few things and I can’t use more than one coupon today, so here’s my other one, today’s the last day of the sale.” 

Then the little fairy godmother scurried away.

Now, I’ve experienced lots of things in various local establishments.  I’ve seen parents yelling at their kids in stores.  I saw a man shoplift not one but two or more bottles of cologne, not ten feet from the cashier, on Christmas Eve.*  I’ve seen certain teenage girls racing around our grocery store playing cart tag and acting more like two ten year olds than 18 and 16…(A & M, I’m talking to you) but this was a new one.

I’ve given people my place in line, and once gave someone a $5 coupon, but this chick topped that by saving me 40% on my new “I’m gonna workout” clothes.  For no reason, other than to be nice. 

So here’s to you, girl with the dark hair who wasn’t actually honing in on the t shirt I wanted.  I’m sure you’re (not) reading this, but I wanted to thank you anyway.  And you’re welcome to that shirt because although I hid it behind my back when you came by so you couldn’t have it, I tried it on and it was too tight in the boobal area.  It’s back on the shelf.

You’re welcome.

*That Christmas Eve thing?  I did tell the manager but since she didn’t see it she couldn’t do anything.  I like to think the gentleman in question got coal in his stocking.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I've got the power!


jennifer ellison/freedigitalphotos.net
I'm sure the storm looked exactly like this.  However, I was snoozing.

Our power went out at 5:30 this morning, in the midst of an enormous, rainy, loud, crashing thunderstorm.  Unconcerned, my husband and I snuggled a little tighter, listening to the soothing sounds of the rain, which we could hear ever so much better because the central air conditioner and our ceiling fan were not moving.  Le sigh.

Soon, thanks to the stagnant air, “snuggling” became “sticking”.   We untangled ourselves and hurried to get ready for work.  (We take showers at night).  I couldn’t see to put on makeup and had no power to blow dry my hair.  No problem, I thought.  I’d doll up in the car and straighten my hair at work in the bathroom.

First, though, my husband and I had to deal with something we didn’t think would be an issue, to wit: 

a)      The side door to our garage is always locked. 
b)      The big garage door won’t go up when the electricity is out. 
c)      You can’t open it by hand unless you’re inside the garage.
d)     You can’t get IN the garage unless you have a key for the side garage door.
e)      We can’t find the key for the side door, and….
f)       My car is in the garage.

He tried all the keys we had.  None worked.  We sipped furiously on our tepid, weak coffee, plotting our next move.

I tried unsuccessfully to McGuyver the lock with a Swiss army knife and a bobby pin but decided I’d better quit screwing with it before I snapped the bobby pin off inside the lock, making a bad morning even worse.

Long story short, we found the garage key.  Sometimes, luck is on your side.  Or hanging up on the key rack.

This marks the second time in a week that we’ve lost power…last Wednesday night; ten minutes after I had applied hair color to my head and eyebrows, a furious thunderstorm came ripping through the neighborhood, knocking our power out.  I ran shrieking into the bathroom to wipe the color off my eyebrows, ensuring I didn’t turn out like Burt & Ernie. 

Hair, I could fix, recolor, cut, or hide under a hat.  Eyebrows?  Not so much.

Dominos made dinner tonight, as the power was still out at dinnertime.  However, the power came back on (let me say that again, because the words are so delicious, the power came back on) around 8. 

Thanks, Dominos.  The pizza was delicious.  Thanks to Com Ed for getting the electricity up and running again.

I’ve got the Power!!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Time is a fickle thing...

Why is it that time seems to go so fast? 

I find there are just not enough hours in the day to get everything I need to get done...done.

Sometimes when I am planning to sit down and write after work or on the weekend, I notice the bathroom needs to be cleaned.  A co-worker mentions a clothing drive at Hilander.  Our black lab is shedding the equivalent of one dog per day; I see black tufts of it floating into the corner.

While I do like to "keep house", it is not my passion.

Writing is my passion.

Finding quality time to write is hard.  That's what I say.

I believe everyone would agree with me when I also say that if I were to have an entire Sunday alone to write, I wouldn't. 

I'm being honest.

I would clean the bathroom.  Sort the clothes.  Vacuum.  Talk on the phone.

When only an hour or two is left until dinner, and my house is satisfactorily clean, I suddenly find the "zone", where everything I put on paper is golden

Time flies during those moments until I realize I can hear everyone's stomach growling, including mine, and off I go to the kitchen to make dinner.

I am upset with myself because I had the entire day to write and I only used a portion of it.  No one really cares if the bathroom goes one more day or if they have to reuse their last bath towel.  It's just my excuse. 

Why is that?  Do other writers do that?  Why am I compelled to, say, clean the microwave when I get a big chunk of time to write?

I tell myself sometimes, I'm brainstorming.  I'm developing my characters.  I'm plotting out the next great American novel.  I'm not, though. 

I am procrastinating.  I'm being lazy. 

I'm afraid.

I'm futzing away my time, only to get aggravated later when I have to rejoin the real world and put the computer away.  I think, bitterly, I never get time to write.

The honest truth is, I have plenty of time to write.  Yes, I work full time.  Yes, I have a family, a house to clean, laundry to do, a husband whose hand I love to hold.

I also have best sellers floating around in my brain.  Great characters that are just clamoring for attention; funny characters jockeying for the same thing.  Plot lines that would delight, amaze, and thrill you.  Amazing screenplays that would have theater lines out the door, should they ever come to light.

Don't I owe it to myself to let that creativity come out? 

It doesn't matter whether or not anyone likes it.  I write for me; I write to please myself.

do have time to write.  I just need to be disciplined enough to take it.

I need to face my fear of failing.  I also need to face my fear of success.

I think I need to quit standing in my own way.