Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Rocks, Docks, and Gutters

It's been a LONG time since I have been here!
To be honest with you....I really did need the break.
I have totally caught up with what's happening on The Young and the Restless.
Luckily, they haven't had a storyline that's included Jill and Colin in a LONG time.
I still think Lily is super annoying....even though she is really pretty.
Cain is cute....but he makes gross mouth noises when he talks.
I'm so happy that summer is here.  My kids are in the musical at school, which means they are gone every afternoon, and since they sleep in until around 30 minutes before they leave, my house is still quiet and peaceful.

Mark has been pounding out as many projects as he can before summer school begins next week.
Like ripping the lattice off the bottom of the deck.

Our deck (dock) currently has no railing or steps (or lattice).  It truly is a dock now.  If only water actually surrounded it.

He has taken on the exciting job of removing all of the rock from around it. (He first shovels it into this fancy contraption he made....shakes all the dirt out, and then hauls the rock to another part of the yard.

This is step one of "let's make the back yard look a little less like rural Arkansas."
We planted perennials in the garden "peanut" too.
He dug all the chives up (or so he claims) since they had taken over.
We will see if they come back next year and kill all our new plants.

Here is the chive (and weed) jungle.

I have no idea what those plants are that look like a tornado hit them.
They were there before we planted the new stuff.
Probably weeds that he left to grow and spread their loveliness.

Speaking of weeds....Mark is currently risking his life on the extension ladder while he cleans out the rain gutters.
All of those super annoying helicopter thingys that fall out of whatever trees reside in our front yard have taken residence in our gutters.
And then they sprouted.
And our gutters now have a gazillion little trees growing in them.
They are kind of cute....but I'm guessing it wouldn't be a good situation in a couple of years.
Or when it rains tomorrow.
You are probably wondering why I am inside typing, rather than outside holding the ladder.
1. I can guarantee that I would be covered in sludge and baby trees if I were anywhere in the vicinity of Mark throwing gunk from the gutters.
2.  I can call 911 much faster when my eyes are not full of gunk from the gutters.
3. It's really hot outside.
4. If he wants me to hold the ladder...he will ask me.
The other day, I was pondering ways to make some extra money.
I am tired of stressing out each month when it's time to pay the mortgage.  You know, that game where you try to decide if you should pay it with the check from the first of the month, or the middle of the month, dependent upon all of your other bills.  For me, it's often dependent upon which part of the month did I have extra gigs that brought in extra income.
I often think "should we just sell this house and buy a cheap little fixer upper?"  When you watch HGTV, they really make it look quick and easy, and the final product is always so cool.  I have no doubt that I could find a cute little house with potential, and choose all of the elements that I wanted a contractor to include to fix that place up.
The thought of it is pretty exciting.  But, would I miss this nice big house?  Or, would this house even sell?  It's a beautiful house....but we did what real estate experts always say NOT to do.  We bought the best house in the neighborhood...not the worst.  Any money we stick into this place isn't going to guarantee us an increase in sale price when we do sell.  Will we be able to break even?  Who knows.
So, I guess I just need to make more money.
I could take on more private students...but that would involve filling up more evenings.  Then I thought....I could be an errand girl!
Once I get my butt out the door, I actually like running errands.  I feel so productive.  My guess is that people who work full time find it a tedious task that eats up the small amount of free time they have.
Who wants to go grocery shopping, run to the post office and drop off the dry cleaning on a Saturday?
Especially if there is someone who will do all that stuff for them during the week.
I know I would love to come home to a stocked fridge.  Hey, maybe I will even include "will put dinner in the crock pot" as one of my services.
I think I just might hire myself!
So seriously....silly idea, or brilliant?
I have to know.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


It's happening.
I'm going through "the change."
I suppose it was inevitable.
I know, I are all thinking "she is a little young for this to be happening, isn't she?"
Well, to be honest...this isn't the first time.
Oh....wait.  I'm not going through that change.....yet.
Although I might as well just get that over with, since we are talking about it.
There really is no point in waiting around.
Anyway, my tastes are changing.
Only right now....I have no idea what I actually like.
I sit in my car, and have no idea what to listen to.
I have a pile of CD's in my car, and have no desire to listen to any of them. (Yes, I am old school.  I don't have one single song downloaded onto my phone...nor do I have whatever cord I need to hook my phone up to my car stereo.  My kids think I'm a dinosaur.)
I probably would be much happier if I just listened to a good Pandora station, and found some new artists to explore.
Maybe I will try that one of these days.
Until then, I will just listen to the same old stuff I have, and be completely bored with it.
Then there is all the stuff in my house.
Some of it I still love (since I just did some re-decorating last summer.)
For a long time, I was head over heels in love with shabby chic.

EVERYTHING had to be distressed, and pastel, and oh-so-chic.
My dream house would have been all white and shabby...with pops of pale pink and aqua.

Yeah....totally over the whole "everything has to be distressed" thing.
I have no idea what I like now.
Onto my wardrobe.
I think I had a pretty specific style a couple of years ago.
I recall getting all dolled up everyday...straightening my hair, wearing cute jeans and boots, and looking pretty hip.

After about six months of that, I realized my hair was getting shorter (since I was gradually burning it off with that damn straightener) so I ended up  chopping it all off.
I guess the effort to look cute every day wore off as well....and now I am a colossal slob.
Two nights ago, the kids and I were getting ready to leave for musical rehearsal. I was walking to the car in my typical Sunday garb, and they both looked at me and said "Are you seriously wearing that?"
I replied "Well...yeah, why?"
Lexie told me I looked like a hobo...but if I didn't care, then she was fine with it.
(I had on baggy sweat pants and an oversized sweatshirt. wasn't my finest fashion moment...but I wasn't trying to impress anyone.  I guess the fact that the entire high school music department was going to be there perhaps called for something a little less pajama like?  I don't know.)
I put some jeans on.
Anyway....I really have gotten to the point where I could care less what I look like in most situations.
I am not trying to get a date.  I am not trying to impress anyone.
I AM enjoying being comfortable...and I like to put as little time and effort as possible into getting ready each day.
I guess that results in looking like a hobo.
So there you have it.
Perhaps...if this whole "eat healthy, and get my butt off the couch" thing results in weight loss, I will try a new look.
Maybe something like "slightly better than hobo."
As for what style of clothing I am into these days...I have no idea.
A couple of years ago...when I decided to chop my hair off, so it would be healthy again...I figured it would be a good time for an actual "hairstyle."

(It was pretty cute...when I was thin.)

(Just a side note...if you have naturally curly are pretty much guaranteed that you will never have an actual "hairstyle." Ever.  You can have it cut any way you want...but it will always just be a big curly mess.)
I attempted to maintain this "hairstyle" for a couple of years....but have since decided to just grow the darn thing out again.
Because, obviously I have no idea what I want to do with it.
In other words....I am just a big fat pile of indecisiveness these days.
I can't even decide if I want to read fiction or self-help.
Do I want a decorating magazine or cooking....or perhaps fitness?
Should I watch a movie....or a TV show?
Eggs...or yogurt with fruit?
If this keeps up much longer, I'm going to have to hire a personal decision maker!
The only thing I never have a problem deciding on is what to wear once I'm done for the day.
It's either the green and white reindeer pj pants (currently wearing)....or the blue christmas tree pair.  Whichever I see first....and are reasonably clean.
Then, a tank top or long sleeved t-shirt...depending upon the temperature.
In other words, once I get home and am done for the day,
I look good.
Not to mention festive....all year long.
Well, I do switch it up in the summer once it gets hot.
Otherwise, everything else in my life is a traumatic decision making nightmare.
It's a miracle that I come up with anything to write about for this blog.
Especially considering that the possibilities are endless.
It's quite fortunate that I don't have to choose from a specific list of topics, and 99% of the time when I sit down to write, I have absolutely NO idea what on earth I'm going to pontificate about.
So, in reality, I don't have to make any decisions at all.
If only everything in life were that easy.
I think I'm going to spend the day trying to figure out how to simplify my life, and narrow down my choices.
That is the problem in America.
We have way too many choices.
Look at any menu in any restaurant.
When we were in St. Lucia last summer, we ate at different restaurants each night, and we always had two options:
chicken or fish
Life was much simpler there.
That is what I need.
Chicken or fish.
There was octopus a couple of times....I stuck with the mahi mahi.
I think it's time to make life simple.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Spare Tires

You know how we all have that one thing that we inherited (and I'm not talking about aunt Myrtle's ugly pot holders) that we just loathe?
And by "inherited" I mean, genetically.
For some, it's their great-uncle's bulbous nose.
Or perhaps your mother's cankles.
Some wish they were tall and lanky, other's wish they weren't.
My least favorite, horrendously unattractive, constant battle, is my waistline.
When I was in high school...I thought it was bad.
HA! Little did I know how I should have enjoyed those measly 101 pounds I carried around!!
Fast forward to college.
Nothing like dorm food, $3 Dominos pizza after midnight, and way too much beer.
I would often have fries and a bagel with cream cheese for a meal.
How did I not know how bad that was?
How did I not realize that I was getting fat??
It's amazing how sheltered and ignorant I was when it came to nutrition and health 25 years ago.
And really sad, because maybe I would have been a bit more pro-active.
Every calorie I consumed seemed to multiply the fat cells in my abdomen.
I can't remember the last time I have worn a form fitted top without something over the top of it to "hide" my spare tire.
I am the queen of layering.
I either layer, or wear something that is flowing and not clingy.
To make matters worse, it would seem that when I am actually in public, it is usually behind a piano...which means I'm sitting.
This means my stomach fat doubles.
When I stand up, I can at least create the illusion of leanness, because I am nicely stretched out.  
When I sit, my lack of a waist creates an accordion like result, in which all of my fat just squishes into a big huge roll.
It is most frightening.  And unavoidable.
Hence, the layering.
Quite frankly...whenever I spot a woman with a tiny waist and flat stomach, I find myself staring at her, somewhat obsessively.  I sit and think "what must it be like to wake up in the morning and know you can put on ANYTHING, and not have to worry about hiding your tummy?!" amazing must it feel to never have that roll of fat flopping over your jeans?  It just must be the most fantastic thing in the whole world.
(And yes...I really do sit and think about these things....a lot.)
I've tried diets and exercise that targets my abs, etc.  But, as these things go, I lose weight everywhere but there.
So, I finally have decided to try a new approach.
I read "Wheat Belly" a year or so ago, and it made a lot of sense to me....but the heck was I going to stop eating bread, much less give up grains all together??!
So that lasted about a week.
Well, I'm back on the horse again.  Only slowly this time.
I've just eliminated bread so far.
I still use tortillas occasionally, and have really backed off on pasta and rice.
I'm also being really careful about my sugar intake.
I think a lot of this stuff triggers my migraines as I'm looking at it as a big experiment, that will hopefully reduce other "big" things as well. ;)
So far, it's been pretty easy....except at night.
Why is everything so much harder at night?
It's like my will power shuts down, and my cravings turn way up.
I hate that.
I have been drinking blueberry tea in an attempt to keep myself busy and not snack.
I am also finding that if I just keep the fridge stocked with some basic ingredients, I can come up with variations of things I like that are easy and healthy.  It's amazing how you can change up a combination of:
spinach, tomatoes, black beans, garbanzo beans, peas, chicken, eggs, salsa, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, yogurt, peppers, cheddar cheese, tortillas.  And I also have apples, broccoli, cauliflower, other fruit and nuts for snacks.
Veggie Salad

Strawberry, Chicken and Spinach salad

Then, late at night, I usually torture myself.
For instance, I will look through my latest Cooking Light magazine (because that is a GREAT idea when you are hungry) or Pinterest (because there is nothing that looks delicious there that will cause you to start salivating.)
Might I suggest that looking at anything involving food while trying to not think about food is a BAD IDEA.
Sometimes I challenge myself.
For instance, while soaking in the tub, I will attempt to read a magazine while eating an apple.
I urge you to give that one a try.
Believe me, it sounds a lot easier than it actually is.
If you can finish that apple without dropping it, or the magazine in the get a prize.
I don't know if I will ever see the day when I will not feel self conscious about my over abundant middle.
I know that it is only going to get harder to lose with I better start the battle right now, since time is working against me already.
I think, more than anything, I just am tired of feeling tired.
I am tired of headaches, and my stomach always feeling upset.
It's amazing how a lifetime goes by in an instant, and I keep saying "Oh, I'll take better care of myself tomorrow."
That really is the bottom line here.
It is time to not just look, but to feel healthy.
I hope it involves finally getting rid of all this unwanted flab....but even if it just reduces it, that will make me happy.
It's so easy to sit around, and eat crappy food all day, because it tastes good, and for some reason, it's really fun. (WHY IS IT SO FUN???)
However, it really does make you feel crappy in the end...and what is the point of that?
In the short amount of time that I have been eliminating processed food and bread from my diet, my stomach issues have almost completely cleared up (and I have had weird stomach issues for at least 2 years) and my headaches have been much better (with the exception of this week...but that was completely hormone related.)  So, obviously, there was something in those foods that my body wasn't tolerating.  I am crossing my fingers that I will find just the right combination of food and exercise that will melt all of the unwanted weight off...and I will look like a 23 year old again.
I will let you know how that goes.

Until then....I will avoid bakeries like the plague, and only go to the grocery store after I've eaten, because we all know what a bad idea it is to go when you are hungry.
And, maybe I will ask my doctor if there is a temporary procedure that could be done to take away my sense of smell.  Because, quite frankly, more than anything, I think it's the aroma of fresh baked bread, and donuts, and cake and everything baked and delicious that drives me nuts.
Maybe I'll just shove cotton balls up my nose, and call it good enough.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Pining for Perfection

I am just sitting here.
Waiting for that 'spring cleaning' urge to hit me.
When I went out to grab the paper yesterday morning, the sun was shining, and it was so nice and warm already....I almost felt it.
But then it went away.
It's probably time to dig out some magazines that inspire me.
This is what I usually have to do.
I get out the decorating magazines, and get myself all revved up to make my house look fabulous.
A lot of the time, it backfires, and I just end up with a big pile of magazines sitting in the middle of the floor, in addition to all of the other stuff that needs to be picked up.
However, sometimes, it actually does work.
Another tactic I use is my organizational/cleaning books.
I have many.
I even own the Martha Stewart cleaning bible.
I can't remember what it's really called...but it is as big as the bible...bigger, actually.
And it pretty much describes, in vivid detail, everything you need to do to make your house (and yard, and garden, and 6 other houses)
perfectly perfect.
Because when you read Martha's want to become Martha.
And she is perfect.
And she knows how to do EVERYTHING.
And as far as we know....she does it all single handedly.
Or so she would have us believe.
And this is why we can feel completely inadequate in life.
THIS is why I always feel overwhelmed.
Because I actually DO want to be perfectly perfect.
I DO want to be Martha...(though I would prefer to look like Penelope Cruz.)
Although I know it is impossible, and completely ridiculous,
I want my house to be spotless and beautiful.
I want my dogs to be perfectly groomed, bathed, and looking dapper at all times. 
I want to make gourmet meals for dinner every day, and have all the ingredients on hand (and actually know what to do with them) to whip up something amazing, should guests stop by unannounced.
And, of course, have beautifully prepared meals ready in my freezer....for those days when I am just too tired to cook, because I was busy pruning the rose bushes, or my pilates class went late.
I want a beautiful garden, and well manicured lawn.
I want a deck that doesn't look like a dock.
I want to send out birthday cards (beautifully addressed) in a timely manner, so they actually arrive ON the persons birthday.
(We sent Mark's mom's gift a week ago.  Her birthday was in January.)
I want my house to always have fresh flowers, and fruit bowl on the table.
And I want it to smell like citrus in the summer, and cinnamon in the winter....rather than dog pee all year round.
I want a calendar, made in advance....that has everything all planned out (like Martha does in her LIVING magazine) so I know when I'm supposed to do all this stuff.
In other words....I need a full time staff.
Now....when I say this is impossible....I am referring to myself.
I DO know people who pull this stuff off. (Renee Johnson, if you are reading this...I'm talking about YOU!)
And do it without a full staff.
However, I'm not sure that these people ever sleep.
Or sit down.
Or eat.
It is a little ironic.
I am 100% serious when I say that I do want to have this "perfectly perfect" existence.....however, my personality (I guess it's my personality?) or my "type" is the complete opposite of the kind of person who can pull this off.
I am not organized, or focused, or detail oriented, or driven.
I am a sloth, remember?
Do they make "Type A personality" pills?
I could REALLY use some!!!
Until then, I guess I will just try eating spinach, or something.
The worst part house is full of artsy fartsy people.
Sam is the closest thing to Type-A that we've got....but he will only use his amazing minimalistic skills on his own room.
He is as much of a slob as the rest of us when it comes to the rest of the house.
Thank God none of us are hoarders...although Lexie's room might make you think differently.  (Who needs a closet when you can throw ALL your clothes on the floor??)
Until then....I will just do my best to emulate Martha.

(Except for that little stint in jail.  I'll skip that.)

Friday, April 17, 2015

Too Close To Home

A couple nights ago, I was laying I woke up in the middle of the night,
and thought "Oh crap....I bed some people found my post about
Mark thinking he had cancer really offensive."
I mean, the story was funny....but the fact that I spoke lightly of cancer might have been a sore spot for many.
That's what I want to talk about today.
I think one of the hardest things we have to face in life is our own mortality.
That, and the fact that everyone we love is going to die as well.
It would be so much nicer if we knew that at some point, everyone was going to win a new car.
That would be a much more pleasant reality.
I have often wondered if it would be easier if we just knew when it was going to happen.
If, when we were born, we came with a little tag that said "Expires in 2054."
At least then we could just live without worrying about it...until 2054, of course.
But, nothing in life is easy.
And there are no guarantees.
Something that has always been interesting to me is that even though we all know that we will die someday, it is something we really have a hard time talking about.
Of course, it's never fun to discuss something that is heartbreaking and painful, but we often bottle up our feelings about it, which, down the line, just causes us even more pain.
 When it comes to disease, it is almost worse.
It's something that is always out there...but once it hits close to home, it becomes a horribly sensitive topic.
I used to joke about Alzheimer's all the time.  I'm sure most of us have made some comment about "losing our minds" or "my Alzheimer's is kicking in again!"
I still do...(only when I say it now...there is a little part of me that is worrying it actually might be true.)
When a disease hits a family, it seems like it becomes the ""elephant in the room."
You don't know if it's appropriate to talk about it.  You don't know if you will offend somebody if you bring it up, etc,etc.
When I wrote about Mark being convinced he had cancer, my intent wasn't to be insensitive.  I have had family members die from cancer.  My mother had breast cancer, Mark's mom lost her ear to cancer, it's everywhere.
What surprised me the most was his reaction to thinking he had this disease.
Rather than maintaining a positive outlook, and waiting to see the Dr, he had decided what his prognosis was (it was fatal) and that was it.
He had lost his will to fight.
This was shocking to me.
You know why?
Because everyone I have ever known who has and is currently battling cancer have been the strongest fighters I have ever met in my life.
These people are out there kicking this disease in the ass.
No matter what the prognosis matter what they have to endure, no matter how crappy they feel...they are LIVING.
And they are so POSITIVE.
I stand in amazement every time I read a post, or run into a friend who is currently in treatment.  They don't look defeated.  They aren't feeling sorry for themselves.  They are out in the world...doing their thing.
That is more than I can say for a lot of perfectly healthy people!
I think this goes for so many illnesses and diseases out there.
There are people fighting battles we have no idea about....because they are continuing to live their lives through their treatment, through their pain, through everything.
I faithfully watch the show Nashville (love this show) and one of the characters was recently diagnosed with liver cancer.  He has been very hesitant to tell anyone about it...he doesn't want to be a burden.  In this week's episode, his daughter asked him why he was ashamed to tell people about his disease.
That made him stop and think for a moment.
Was he ashamed of it?
Or embarrassed?
He didn't want anyone's pity.....but why was he hiding it?
I think as a society, we are so trained to act a certain way.
There are things that we can talk about openly, and others that we can't.
For some reason, being sick sometimes tends to be something that becomes very personal.  I understand that some people prefer it that way.
I do wonder, though, if we just felt more comfortable talking about illness and death (not meaning that all illness leads to death!  Just the two topics!) if we wouldn't be so scared of them.
Unfortunately, both are a natural part of life.  And the latter is something we are all going to face at some point.  Not talking about it won't make it go away.
Maybe if it were a topic that weren't so taboo, it wouldn't feel so sad and scary.
I know that, if a person has suffered for a long time, death is often viewed as a gracious passing.  The person is finally at peace.
Wouldn't it be nice if we were able to get to a place where we could view death as a beautiful passing, whenever it happened?  If those who were left behind were able to just feel peace, rather than that pain of loss?  
I know I would be able to accept it much more graciously if I were able to do that. (That one might be a long shot.)
And when it comes to illness and disease....I often wonder if, rather than becoming sensitive and upset, we start conversations and spread awareness.  We create support systems for the ill and their families.  
I didn't know a thing about Alzheimer's until I was thrown into it.  
I wish I had had a support system in place then, because I had no idea what to expect or what I was dealing with. 
It was so helpful to reach out to the people I could, who had been through similar experiences.  And now, I hope I can do the same for others.
Anyway.  I am sure each and every one of you has, at some point, been touched by the terrible beast that is cancer....or any other disease that has invaded you or a loved one's lives.  
Even though I knew there was nothing wrong with my husband last really did make me think.  I made myself stop and imagine how life would change if we ever were put in that situation. How I would handle things if it wasn't me who got sick (because I knew I could handle that, and have actually thought through that scenario on several occasions before,) but him.
I had taken on the role of caretaker with my mother, but what would it be like if it were with my husband?  How would I handle it if he wan't handling it?  How do you fight for someone to get better if they won't fight for themselves?  Would I be able to be strong enough for both of us and the kids?  How would I manage to keep the household going if he wasn't able to work?  These, and so many other questions went through my head, and I forced myself to think about it.  It's a lot like making a will.  We put it off, and don't want to think about it, because it's depressing, and we don't think we have to worry about it....yet.
I think the best thing we can do is take good care of ourselves, so that if we (God forbid) ever are faced with unforeseen challenges, we are well equipped to take on whatever comes our way.
When I'm feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and are a few things that get me through.
1. Healthy Food

2. Lots of Rest

3. Focus on your blessings.

4. Stay Positive and Calm (however you need, meditate, yoga, aromatherapy,walk, go to your happy place. :))

5. Water with fruit infusions...all day long.


7. Dogs. (Animals will cure ANYTHING.)


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Vanilla or Chocolate?

Isn't it interesting how each day of the week holds their own..."flavor?"
I suppose we could put the days into several categories.
Ice cream flavors, obviously.
Colors, perhaps?
Or a symbol that represented how we felt about that day.
I guess a combination might be the best way to go about you weren't limited, because I don't deal with limits very well.
(Have you ever gone on a car ride with me at the wheel?)
For some reason, Wednesday has always been my least favorite day of the week.
It is the maple nut, yellow brown, caution tape of my week.
I have to wonder if had anything to do with the fact that during my entire childhood, I spent Wednesday nights at church.
Only I didn't just have the pleasure of attending hour long, riveting CCD classes, I also got to stay for an extra hour while my parents went to choir practice.
When you are a kid, there is nothing more exciting than that.
Especially in the winter, when it's dark, and cold, and you can do nothing but just. sit. there.
Perhaps, it also has something to do with the fact that is just 
falls in the middle of the it doesn't seem to serve much of a purpose,
other than to provide the hump in which to get over.
Okay.  I just thought about it.
It's the church night thing.
It scarred me for life.
Which is a bit ironic, considering I have worked in churches for the past
25+ years.
It might have something to do with that awkward time when I was a teenager, and had to play at the CCD Masses.
Obviously, I had no idea what I was doing.  I didn't go to Catholic school.  
I didn't pay attention to the specifics, regarding organ playing, on Sunday.
I did NOT go to daily Mass, so how on earth was I to know that there was only ONE reading before the gospel on weekdays?
Well, here is how I learned.
After the first reading, the reader read the psalm, and I waited for the 2nd reader to come up.  (No one did.)
So, in his oh-so-tactful manner, the priest yells up to me (in front of the church filled with high school students) 
(and yes, it was in a horribly sarcastic tone.)
This is only one example of my Wednesday night fun.
How I went on to become a church lady, I will never know.
Now Mondays.....Mondays are the pralines and cream of my week.
(My favorite flavor!)
Monday is the warm, cozy earth tones, complete with lots of texture.
Knits and fur (faux, of course!!) and velvet.
It's the one day that I try to keep completely commitment free.
There is something quite heavenly about knowing that when the traditional "work week" is starting, I am enjoying my "week end."
Fridays fill the #2 spot for me.
They are the mint chocolate chip....or my latest obsession....plain old vanilla, piled high with mini chocolate chips.
Fridays are a fresh, leafy green.  A breath of fresh air.
Even though I know they are leading to my typically busy weekend, it also means I might actually get to spend some time with my beloved, since he will (hopefully) have the next two days off.
Tuesdays and Thursdays are the cookies and cream....or perhaps chocolate. (Depending on my mood, of course.)
I suppose a soft blue would sum them up.
They are just.....nice days.
Although Scandal is on that spices things up a bit.
And the weekend.....
I often wonder what it would be like to be one of those families who often heads out on mini adventures over the weekend.
Or maybe....just leaves town for the day.
Or maybe....does anything.
However, when you work every weekend, you lose that freedom. weekends become rainbow sherbet.
I try to keep them light and fresh.
Saturday is always up in the air.  Sometimes it's filled with activity.
Sometimes it's completely lazy.
However, whatever I'm doing always has to end by I can go to church.
And I have a strict rule on Saturday night.  I never go out.
In bed by ten.
I think people think I am a loser...or an 80 year old.
However, if I'm not on top of my game the whole time I am playing (or if I'm not paying attention...which is easy to do when you are dozing off.) it's pretty obvious to the 300+ people sitting in front of you.
And the color?  White.
White and fluffy....because Sunday afternoons for me mean one thing:
Nap time.
And my best friends NEVER complain.

And honestly...any day with these two fluff balls is
a turtle sundae (from Culvers!) 
and sunny yellow.
It's pretty amazing how some unconditional love can do that for a person.
Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Weaker Sex

I am going to just cut right to the chase on this one.
There is a reason why God decided it would be the women who gave birth.
And it has very little to do with the fact that our anatomy is more accommodating for it.
Let's face it.
If men had to endure is pretty likely that mankind would not have made it past the first few generations.
One labor experience, they would have called it quits.
And the survival rate of infants back in the day was not so good.
I'm guessing the survival rate of men in childbirth wouldn't have been either.
Don't get me wrong.
I think men are very strong and mighty.
If I were in a dark alley, I would certainly hope I had a big, burly guy to accompany me, as I would feel much safer.
I also know that there are very few pieces of furniture in this house that would have ever made it through the front door without the manly muscles of my husband and his hunky helpers.
When it comes to A LOT of things, yes, women are the fairer sex.
Unless, of course, we are talking about getting sick.
Then forget it.
With the exception of Jamie Frasier (if you don't know who I am talking about, you really need to start watching Outlander....or read the books.  You will thank me later) men turn into ridiculous babies when it comes to illness and pain.
I have 20 years of marriage to prove this fact.
This past week was the icing on the cake.
I have always (in the back of my mind) known that if there was ever a time when someone in my family would experience serious illness, it would have to be me.  There just is no other option.
I am the tough one.
I have mastered the art of surgery.
I have birthed two big babies without the assistance of drugs.
I can handle this stuff.
My husband on the other hand....not so much.
When he gets sick....the world stops spinning.
(I am guessing this is a similar experience in many a household?)
Let me take you through my exciting journey of the past 7 days.
First of all, I need to say that the internet is a blessing and a curse.
It offers up a plethora of information that can be both very helpful, or it can cause extreme paranoia.
Especially when I man uses it to research strange health issues.
Web MD is NOT an actual Doctor.
Why do people not realize this?
Two weeks ago, my beloved noticed a weird sore on the bottom of his tongue.
It was painful, and not something he had had before.
After a few days, it hadn't gone away, so he went to urgent care to have it looked at.
They said it wasn't viral...and said little else...except that they were referring him to an ENT specialist.
And here is where the saga begins.

Here is a photo from the internet that looks a lot like what he had.
Of course, it's a photo of a patient diagnosed with cancer.
So, naturally, he was now sure that is what he had too.

I was a little concerned initially, but, as I prefer to do, insisted that we not worry until we know if there was something to worry about.
The next morning, he woke up with swollen lips.
And started feeling icky.
And the paranoia grew.
By the third day...his tongue appeared completely normal, lips were fine, and I assured him that if it really was cancer, it certainly wouldn't have just disappeared.
However, I, apparently am an idiot, and he was having none of it.
He was dying, and that was all there was to it.
Oh...and he actually was starting to feel like total crap.
This went on for the next two days.
I was ready to just go dig a hole in the back yard for him, so we could bury him without the additional cost of a graveyard plot, but the weather was so wacky last week, and it snowed, so that put the kibosh on that idea.

I had always known he was a bit dramatic over getting sick, but until this point, I hadn't realized I had married a complete hypochondriac.
Now I knew it for sure.
He was certifiable.
However, I continued to play the role of supportive wife, and prayed for that damn appointment with the ENT Dr. to get here QUICKLY!
(It wasn't until the next Monday, by the way.)

On Friday, I was up to my normal morning routine.
(Laying in bed, looking at Facebook on my phone)
and he walks in the bedroom.
(He was supposed to be at work.)
He was completely distraught, and tearing up.
I knew something terrible was going on.
He said "It's time. You need to take me to the ER."

After calming him down, I called the nurse's hotline (because I needed another woman on my side, and I had no desire to fork out a $200 co-pay to have an ER  Dr. give us the same diagnosis that I could give him....he wasn't dying...but I was pretty darn sure he had the flu, and therefore, he just felt like he was dying.)
We went to Urgent Care instead.
He really did feel like crap, and almost passed out in the waiting room.
It's too bad that he wouldn't believe me that he was fine and would live, because I have never seen him that emotionally distressed.
He had gotten himself SO worked up, and completely convinced himself that this was it.
He had a horrible disease and there was no chance of the news being good.
It was probably time to start making those good-bye phone calls.
To make things even more eventful, his nurse was a giant male.
There is nothing like walking your (dying) husband to his room, while this very beefy nurse looks at you like "dude, why is your husband totally wigging out?"
It got even better when he had him lay down on the bed, and tears just started rolling down his cheeks.
The man-nurse grabbed the box of kleenex and said " there anything I can do for you?  I can uh....get you a blanket??"  I just smiled and said "That's okay....we will be just fine."
Shockingly, the Doctor arrived, and assessed the situation, and came up with the exact same diagnosis that I did!  (I knew I should have gone to med school!)
Mark never mentioned his cancer paranoia, so being the excellent wife I am...I delicately brought it up.
"So....this tongue thing.  I know my husband was initially concerned that it could have been something much more....dire...?"
And then a miracle happened.
The DOCTOR said the magic word, without any real prompting from me.
He said "  If that had been anything serious, like CANCER, it wouldn't have gone away, it would have kept growing. 100% isn't cancer."
And the angels sang....Alleluia! Alleluia!  Your wife was right again!
It was Influenza B.
And this is why he felt like shit.
All that was left was for the nurse to come and give us our check-out paperwork.
But right before he came in (like 2 second before)
the tears started flowing again.
I asked what was wrong NOW???
"I really thought I was gonna die!"
[enter big man nurse]
who once again looks at me like "dude, you gotta get this guy to man up!"
[wife grabs paper, and exits....quickly.]
When we get in the car, I asked if he was going to cancel his appointment on Monday, since he now knows he is fine.
His reply:
"No! I need to make sure!"

He is FINE, by the way.

So there you have it.
No need to mention to him the fact that I shared any of this with you. ;)
Maybe just "I heard you had the flu."
We will keep him thinking we all still consider him super manly.
And oh-so-brave.