Monday, December 29, 2008

I feel like Keanu Reeves in The Matrix

There's a scene in one of the Matrix movies where the Keanu Reeves character  either catches and/or slows down bullets coming at him  at break-neck speed.  I felt like I cheated death, too, today when I got my "no news is good news" report regarding the state of my head. 

Lots of blood product where there used to be brain. 

When I get good news, or no bad news. I always hesitate to get too excited about it.

After all, the law of averages may kick in.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today's my mom's birthday. She has sort of lost interest in celebrating them, but she is special to us, so we have forced the issue.

I cannot say enough great things about my mom. I obviously wouldn't be here without her. She has been a big support to me on my journey with my illness.  She is a woman of tough German stock, who is nurturing at the same time. In  her day, she was a heck of an athlete, could bat a softball out of the park, with a beer in one hand and a cigarette in her mouth.  That's tough.
I did not get the athletic genes.

She is also an artist and carpenter.  One of my favorite Christmas gifts as a little girl was a kitchen hutch, with table and chairs that she made with her own hands! She also drew a frame from a Peanuts cartoon freehand, and turned it into a jigsaw puzzle.

She raised to kids while going to nursing school and then working long hours as an RN.
Finally, she is beautiful, inside and out.

So here's to you, Mom! Happy Birthday!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

I'm Pregnant!

Now that I have your attention, I will explain the new baby in question-- is a kitten. Our son has wanted a cat since he visited his aunt and her cats, but we had hamsters and we're unclear as to whether our son is allergic (to cats).

The hamsters have gone to meet their maker, so we decided to explore the notion of adopting a kitten.

Thankfully, we found a place that will let you bring a cat back if things don't work out. But we are sincerely hoping we can keep her.

We will get the kitten Monday.  Her name is Sprite, a gray and white fur ball. When we had cats before, we had to find other homes for them, on account of the fact they were peeing on the carpet and we had a baby ready to crawl.

I would like to say for the record that I was not altogether on board with the adopt a kitty idea. I don't want our son to get attached to a pet we can't keep. I'm hoping for the best--that things will be different -- that we can be better pet owners than we were the first time.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Let it snow 2008

It looks like this will be our first very white Christmas in a long time.  Today we got some pictures our our son playing outside with his friend and her baby sister. As of this writing, we have 12 inches. Here is a slide show I made of 2008 snow.



Merry Christmas!
video

Sign Up For Total Drama Island!

 One of my son's favorite cartoons is called Total Drama Island.  It's like an animated version of Survivor.

His goal is to make enough money to buy an island and produce his own show there.  He plans to make the money by either playing lottery scratch-its or winning a puzzle called Eternity.

I wish him luck with that.

He's so confident of  his plan reaching fruition, that he's drawn up a contract for potential participants.  It goes something like this:

To get in, you must be 6-12 years old and do the following:
  1. Get a parent signature to let you go to an island for 12 weeks;
  2. make a video that is five minutes long and show your best skills (Simon, are you reading?);
  3. bring NO technology or pets;
  4. bring clothes and bedding and finally
  5. bring your drama!
If your audition is one of the best 20, you can go! Please give your tape to Austin Jones.

Here are the signature slips:

Dear Parents:
If you sign, your girl or boy will be gone for 12 weeks. For more info  you can call------and get your kids off your hands!  
____________________________
Signature

Also bring clothes and bedding and no tech whatsoever!

Sounds tempting doesn't it parents.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Eden--the plumber and fire-starter

Today's lesson, boys and girls, is on how NOT to treat your in-sink garbage disposal.  I learned this lesson the hard way. I was attempting to put coffee grounds down our disposal, when the sink started filling up with this brown sludge. I did what any intelligent person would do--I kept the water and disposal running.  

Then after about two minutes, I looked down below to find the pipes spewing coffee. I screamed for towels and buckets--and a number for a plumber.

The plumbers, even in the bad weather, came the next day. They installed new pipes and a garbage disposal, but not without giving me a lecture, and a $700 bill.

"Ma'am, I don't want to insult you or anything, but you shouldn't be putting coffee grounds down your disposer.  I mean, you can, but just a little at a time."

Now somebody tells me! My husband tells me the disposer is my Christmas present. That seems fair.

Meanwhile this was not my only kitchen disaster. I was making bacon and eggs for my son and his friend. I microwaved the bacon and put it aside. Then I fired up the pan to make the eggs, and the flame caught the paper towel on which the bacon was. Son and friend freaked, but I found everything I could to smother the fire and finally put it out.

You may think these are accidents, but really I'm just trying to get out of cooking Christmas dinner.


Friday, December 19, 2008

A 12-year-old's perspective of the opposite sex

Call me biased, but I find our nephew Simon quite entertaining.  He's an expert on a number of things--including surviving school dances. 

I was born a dork, and will probably die a dork, so at my first school dance, I wore purple headgear--yes purple--knee-highs and a band-aid on my knee.

SiGuy's first dance went better, but it still made an impact.  Watch as he gives advice.

Simon's other piece of wisdom--no "kissies" until 7th grade.

Stir Crazy After All These Snow Days

I remember when I used to like snow--many, many moons ago when I was a schoolgirl. I was always hoping we'd get a snow day, and thus, a day off school.

Now it's my boy's turn to be a kid.  "Three Weeks," he's been saying in reference to the the long Winter break  he is getting from school, due to the weather.  This includes one week of snow days, plus the previously scheduled time off for the holiday.

Yes, he has been out in the snow, playing with his neighbor sledding down our hill. He and his friend have actually been enjoying shoveling our (steep) driveway.

But when he's been inside, he has been going crazy, as have the rest of us. My husband grew up in a suburb of Chicago--bad weather central--so he just laughs at what we consider bad weather here in the Peoples Republic of Oregon. Nevertheless, he hasn't been out much.

As for me, if I'm going to go out, I do my best Clint Eastwood and ask myself, "Do you feel lucky, punk?"

Well, do you?


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Snow Day on Television

Once again, I was reminded of one of the reasons I left television news--snow.  Yes, snow.  About Wednesday of this week, the local news stations got in position, with their "storm teams" reporting on the "winter blast" that was coming--any day now.

That was four days ago. The snow actually came today--Sunday.

Mark my words, the day some weather forecaster said the word snow, some news director began telling rank and file staffers that they would have to work all day, even the A-list anchors. 

I'm watching the news yesterday morning--Saturday, and there's the A-team.  The weather forecaster looks like he wants a paper bag to put over his head.  He predicted snow beginning that morning.  A camera cuts to a live picture of a major highway. One of the anchors says with a bit of spite, "I don't see anything."

I laugh silently (yes, that's possible). Then the anchors "toss it" to a reporter literally on the street, or highway to be exact.  They say something like:

Wennison Baldald is standing by live at the top of Solisbury Hill--What's it like there,     Wen?

Baldald says something like: Well  Jack and Jill, It's cold on Solisbury Hill--about 40 degrees. As you can see, it's not snowing yet, but when it does, it will be a nightmare here.

Back to Jack and Jill: OK, thank you Wen.  Now let's go to Mountain Girl, who is standing 
by at The Lodge at Mount Crumpet, where it actually is snowing. We're told the ski season is expected to open, but if you go skiing today,  you'll face whiteout conditions and be risking your life. Mountain Girl, are you still alive?

Mountain Girl says:  Thank you Jack and Jill for your concern.  Yes, I'm still alive, but as you can see I'm as cold as hell, and my privates froze off about an hour ago. Please ask our boss what I did to deserve this.

Jack and Jill: Oh Mountain Girl, you didn't do anything wrong.  We do this to all the new hires. Stay warm in the blizzard conditions, Mountain Girl. Weather Geek is here with the very latest on our "arctic blast".  So WG, when will we see the blizzard conditions that Mountain Girl just spoke about.

Weather Geek:  Well Jack and Jill, I've been studying the computer models and looking at satellite pictures and I can tell you for certain--that I have NO CLUE. It all depends on where you live. May I add that I have one of the few jobs where I can be wrong and still get paid. Back to you, Jack and Jill.

Jack and Jill:  Thanks WG.  That's all we've got for now.  Of course we will give you new information about the incoming arctic blast, when we think we have information you need to know. Otherwise, we'll see you tomorrow, when the storm actually gets here. Thanks for watching!

THE NEXT DAY

Jack and Jill: Winter has arrived and we have team coverage of the arctic blast we've been promising you. Let's go to Weather Geek to find out just how  long this "blast" will last.

Weather Geek: Well Jack and Jill , now that the bad weather is actually here, the weather service has issued a winter storm warning for the area. And I don't think we're gonna warm up soon. In fact we'll have record cold temperatures in the area--temperatures we haven't experienced since the Eisenhauer administration. I'm guessing school will be closed tomorrow, but that's not part of my job.

Jack and Jill:   That's right WG, it's ours.  You can watch our promos during this newscast for the school closures we plan to have coverage of tomorrow. But now, lets go to our   helicopter in the sky for a birds-eye view of this winter wonderland.

Copter in the sky:  Thank you Jack and Jill.  The reporter (or whoever it is) sitting in my cabin looks like hell, because he needs air sickness pills, so here's a quick shot of him. Now let's take a look down below where his barf will soon be landing. It will sure make that pretty snow look terrible.  By the way--we're working but everyone else should stay off the roads.  Back to you Jack and Jill.

Jill:  You know Jack.  I drove in today, but I'm hearing rumors that the boss wants to go 24 hours with this. He's watching the other stations, and that's what the competition is doing. On the plus side, he's going to throw us a pizza party and put us up at a local hotel. I love room service breakfast don't you?

Jack:  Don't we have to be in at 5am tomorrow morning?  I don't think we'll have much time for breakfast, but would you like to get a margarita with me after our four hours on the air?

Jill:  Sure, it will be noon somewhere, right? Since I won't be home to make my husband dinner and tuck my kids in  tonight, I just want to take this time to say "I love you" to my family, and sorry that I can't be with you because of my all-important job.

Jack: And I just want to say to my wife who just had  our twin boys --both of whom have ear infections and are projectile vomiting.. I'm sorry  I can't be there to give you a break.  Remember, I love you.  I'll see you in a few days when we get to stop covering the storm. Remember you chose to stay home with the boys, and besides, I can't breast-feed.

Jack and Jill:  Right, where were we. Yes, let's go live again to the  The Lodge at Mount Crumpet, where our cub reporter Mountain Girl has been standing by all weekend. Mountain Girl, Mountain Girl! Can you hear us?

CUT TO SHOT OF A FROST-BITTEN MOUNTAIN GIRL
Jack and Jill: Mountain Girl, your face is blue.  You look like you need medical attention. 
Our helicopter, with the strange man in it, is on its way to transport you to a local hospital. We certainly hope your are alright. On the other hand if the storm dissipates, our producer will need a new lead story. 




Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's Christmas Again

What's on your Christmas list this year?  At the top of my list this year-- for the third-year running--is a NEW HEAD.  Mine is clearly broken--this year in more ways than one.  I have had a cold since the beginning of the month. I feel like the hole I have in my head is filled with mucus. In the meantime, we are hosting a party this weekend, with upwards of 30 expected to attend.

This will be my first chemo-free Christmas and for that, I am thrilled--So thrilled that I made this Christmas message, from my family to yours.

The Basement Shuffle

We have a daylight basement, which is more like a junkyard, filled with model train sets (my husbands hobby), multiple computers, and stacked boxes of sh*t. Somewhere in the midst of all of this is a bed for guests, because we like to make people feel at home, putting them in the center of our junk heap.

One weekend, my husband put together some shelves for the boxes, and pulled them over to one side of the basement, to make room for my son's desk and computer.

Days later, as I'm blogging, he drags the shelves and boxes back to the other end of the basement.

I say to him, "Have you been smoking crack again, dear?"

He explains that he's now trying to clear the area around the bed, as his mom will be coming for the Christmas holiday. 

We still have trains to move, and maybe someday I can get into our crawl space again. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Happy Birthday SiGuy!

It's my nephew's 12th birthday. He said he didn't want gifts ( I made a donation to the Oregon Food Bank in his name).

Nevertheless I wanted to use this blog to pay tribute to my sister's son, who is normally a quiet young man, except when he does this;


or competes in a talent contest before some very hostile judges.

Despite my sister's preference to have SiGuy's birth be a private matter, I was there when he came into the world, and I am blessed to have him as my nephew.