The First Time I Went Skiing

I was a junior in high school. I was just starting to break free of the horribly shy person that I had been most of my life, and had taken up flirting with one of the guys, Phil, in my Chemistry class. Phil also happened to be a ski instructor at Swiss Valley, a make-shift ski “hill” in Michigan. (It was by no stretch a resort, or a mountain, but it was close to South Bend, which really was the only requirement for most of us.)

One afternoon, after discussing his ski instructing, Phil told me about the ski club that our school had, and he made it sound like paradise. Friday evenings far away from parents, skiing. It sounded fantastic to me. With his promise to teach me to ski, I joined the club, bought a crazy amount of ski stuff (spending most of my savings at the time) and headed out to ski.

I practiced a bit on a small hill (although avid skiers would argue that the whole facility was a small hill) and once I felt comfortable enough, I headed up the chair lift to the top of one of the hills. On my first run I hit the side of a mogul and landed on my left wrist. I waited around for Phil, but he was nowhere to be seen. Laura, one of my friends, stopped by and tried to get me to continue down the hill. I however, would have no part of it. I took off my skis, tucked them under my right arm along with my poles, and I walked down the rest of the way. I am quite certain I looked as ridiculous as I felt, but there was no way I was getting back on those damn skis.

I decided to stop by the clinic at the lodge and have them look at my hand and wrist. It was getting kind of numb and I couldn’t move my fingers. I was told best case, my thumb was broken, worst case – it was my wrist. And although that seemed worse that I had anticipated, I was not at all surprised. It hurt like crazy.

My mom was a nurse at the time, and was working the night shift at the hospital. Phil had to take me to the hospital and hand me over to mom, broken. He did not seem very thrilled with this. And, I am quite certain that right there nixed any chance of scoring a real date with him.

I ended up in a cast for the rest of the winter, but because I had paid so much money for the ski clothes and equipment, I still went every Friday. With a broken arm. Because I am nothing if not cool.

We are off to Breckenridge to ski for the rest of the week. Here is to hoping I don't break my arm...


Moo, Baa, LALALA

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly Plants. - Michael Pollen, Fast Company

I have tried to think of a way to explain my strange eating habits, but I have failed for weeks. I have typed no less than six entries dedicated to my craziness, and they all fail to communicate where the crazy came from or why it exists at all. And although it probably isn’t even significant, I want to document why I am insane and where it all started… OK – so it is too late to document all of that, but I want to focus on the eating, which may be manageable.

I should have seen it coming. I am sure that my family could have predicted it. I have, in fact, been here before. Yet, it hit me from out of the blue.

Shortly after Cassie was born, I stopped eating meat. I had seen the movie Alive and had decided that the meat I was eating every day looked entirely too much like the human flesh consumed in that film. It didn’t take much to turn me off of beef, pork, chicken, and most fish. I couldn’t look at it, smell it or cook it, so it was fairly easy not to eat it. At the time I remember stating to several people that I didn’t mind the killing of the animals, I simply could not eat them. This lasted a year or two, and eventually I started eating meat again, although never with much gusto.

Maybe 7 or 8 years after the “Alive Incident” I had some tacos at a local place in Texas. The ground beef in the tacos was reddish and cool. It was enough to send me over the edge and stop the meat eating once again. I swore off of it for another year or so. And, eventually I came around to eating it again. It had nothing to do with the animals – just my inability to eat something that would have the audacity to bleed on my plate. It was more than I could handle.

Recently, one of the blog writers that I read regularly started writing about how she had made a decision not to eat meat. She was mortified by how the animals raised for food are treated, and was taking a stand. She had linked to some videos, a few articles, mentioned some books and studies. I read a few. It didn’t seem to affect me. And I, of course, thought she had lost her mind. Never mind that I lose mine all the time…that is different! I drafted several emails in my head (never intending to send any of them, of course) to her, telling her how crazy all of the animal-loving, no-meat-eating, change of lifestyle stuff was (in my ever-humble opinion). Thank GOD I never actually wrote any of them…

One day, either at a drive through or the grocery store…it is not clear anymore, I could not clear my mind of the things I had read and seen. And more importantly, I could not justify supporting the insanity that is our beef market. And that was the end of meat for me. I immediately sent the blog writer referenced above an email telling her 1) that she was crazy, and 2) that I had joined her. It started with beef, but escalated to pork, lamb, chicken and turkey quickly.

I don’t think any of this really goes back to me being an animal lover. I say this because when I was telling my husband about my hate for the meat (ha – that sounds so dirty…and sad, if you are him) I even said that if we could find a local farm that raised their animals humanely and killed them humanely that it might not bother me. But, I lied. I don’t want to be near any food that used to be walking around on four legs looking cute. It squigs me out.

Now, I don’t care if everyone else in the family eats meat. I don’t feel like they are doing something wrong. I simply cannot do it myself. I am not a member of PETA, I am not going to petition to save the animals. I am not on any crusade. I just don’t want my food to bleed.


Parenthood, different than I expected.

When I was a little girl I loved pretending. I would name my stuffed animals, play house, plan my future. I had names picked out for my future children (Cassandra and Justin). But the planning ended there. I didn’t ever consider what real life with children, or without them, would be like. I didn’t obsess over if / when I would get married. I simply never had the chance.

I didn’t spend years trying to get pregnant. I didn’t have to try at all. I was married at the age of 21 in August and pregnant by the end of October that same year. 16 months later my second child was born. See? No time for planning. There was no time for anything but diaper changing, baby feeding, and fighting the urge to throw a screaming infant out the window.

Although I don’t really recommend the approach, I think that throwing myself into it all at such a young age helped avoid the expectations I would have faced if we had actually planned when to have our children. I am not sure we would have ever felt like we had enough money, enough patience, enough family to help out, or well-established careers that could handle the impact of family planning. I think the reality of what we were doing would have paralyzed us, rendering us unable to do anything. I do firmly believe that much of that was due to being so young, so inexperienced, and perhaps being with the wrong partner.

14 years later, married to someone new, we actually planned having more children. This was a completely new concept for me. We had to work with a reproductive endocrinologist and face IVF in order to have even a shot at children. Quite the 180. But, again, I don’t recall having any expectations of the children, our marriage, or life in general. We just sort of clasped hands, closed our eyes, and jumped off the ledge together – so to speak. And it was wonderful. But not in the “wow, I have everything I always wanted” sort of way. More in the “I never knew that this insane life, full of screaming toddlers, morose teenagers, wild weekends, poopy diapers, and no real time for myself – and yet, I am ok, and I think I may even like this strange torture” kind of way.


FU Wednesday

Today was fucked from the start. Seriously. It could not have gotten rolling any bumpier and it just keeps getting worse. Todd got up with the boys (as he does every day – god, I love that man) and headed downstairs. Cole, while only trying to be helpful, managed to drop Todd’s computer on the tile in the kitchen, cracking it. That computer is only a few weeks old – purchased to replace the one stolen in Atlanta (I still hate you Atlanta – give us our stuff back!)

Due to some sort of scheduling mix-up, Todd and I ended up having to watch the boys today. We thought that we would have to watch them on Friday, but did not plan on today. Today is a day when we really had a TON of work to do, as we are getting ready to be on vacation 4 days next week. This always results in hectic days trying to get things in order to either complete, or turn over to other co-workers. And – here we were with one of the busiest days all freaking week, and two kids to watch on top of it. I just have to say – that it SUCKS.

It is not hard to watch the boys. At all. What is difficult is having to watch them, work on potty training, answer email, plan budgets and outlooks for work, participate in conference calls for work, make food, stop fights, wrangle toddlers – all of those things TOGETHER just really wore me down to my very last, barely hanging on by a thread, nerve. By 1:00pm I was ready to give those two hellions away to the first person who wanted them.

I am however happy to report that after an hour of alone time, I am feeling much better. So help me god, if they don’t take a nap I will have to kill somebody. Somebody about 3 feet tall who still can’t manage to poop in the god-damned potty.

Letter To My Body

Care of BlogHer

Dear Body:

WTF? You have disappointed me over the years here and there, however recently with the whole deciding not to function and almost killing me over the summer - You are SO FIRED.

Wanted: New body. Current size and shape are fine, however I require a normal liver (so I can have a drink already), normal heart (so I can run without a wanky heart monitor) and none of this other crap going on. ASAP.


Like Father, Like Daughter

I have never understood the father-daughter dynamic. The pull that my daughters feel toward their father, the need to make him happy – these are foreign things in my world, and they have me spinning in circles.

For most families, the dad is the main male role model in the children’s lives. This is where they first learn about interacting with the opposite sex. I suppose that has some merit. What I don’t understand is why. I did not grow up with a father around, and never really had the influence of a male role model in my life. So, I really don't get what all of the hype is about.

My girls value their dad’s affection and opinion above all else. Most definitely above mine.

Cassie has wanted to go to college in New York for years. Her 16th birthday present from us was a trip to New York to look at the schools and decide if she would like it. I thought it was a raging success. She fell in love with all that it had to offer. And wanted to go to school there. However, because her father doesn’t want her to go to school in New York, she is losing interest. He thinks it is too far, too dangerous, too much of MY idea, and not enough of HIS idea. The truth is that it was CASSIE'S IDEA and I simply supported it. There was nothing more to it. She wanted to go – I took her to see it. She decided she liked it.

I have promised to pay for the girls’ college education. All of it. If their dad wants to help, I am THRILLED, and also surprised. But, I will not make them pay for it themselves. It is something that is important to me. So – this being the case, I assumed Cassie wouldn’t think twice about what her dad wanted, or at least not give it much merit. I assumed that she would choose the school she ACTUALLY WANTED TO ATTEND. I was wrong.

Her dad made her apply to a state school. She hates Texas. She doesn’t want to stay here, doesn’t want to go to college here, and yet she is still entertaining the thought of going to the “local school”, which is insane. It meets none of her requirements. Beach? No. Coastal? No. Out of Texas? No. Football team? No. The only positive aspect is that they have 1) a criminal justice major and 2) a good arts program.

There are however other schools that offer a specific criminal justice degree, such as Michigan State, Florida State, Washington State, John Jay, among others. She has applied to most of them. She has already been accepted to Washington State. And this is the one (next to the local one) that she is considering. Do you know why? Because it won’t upset her dad.

Remember now, he (most likely) isn’t paying for college anyway. I am. He is cheap and selfish, and I can see no scenario where he actually forks over a dime for it. Cassie wants to be on her own. And yet her dad’s talons are still deep within her flesh. She is not capable of making a decision that causes a confrontation with him.

Why is it that for both of the girls, their number one parenting priority is to not piss off their dad? They seem to live to please him, although he very rarely is pleased with anything they do. And yet – they persist. They continue to vie for his affection and seem nonchalant about mine. I have to think that this boils down to a father-daughter dynamic that is deeper than I can comprehend.

"We found that eighth-grade girls who said they were not close with their fathers cited a significantly higher incidence of depressed mood than girls who described their relationship with their fathers as close," explains Pamela Sarigiani, assistant professor of child development and family studies, Purdue University. "We expected to find the same pattern among girls who said they didn't get along well with their mothers, but we didn't." When fathers of 12th-grade girls indicated they were feeling depressed, their daughters said they, too, were in a depressed mood. The same correlation was not found between fathers and sons or mothers and their sons or daughters.

Well, isn’t that lovely?


Running Measured

I decided that tonight's run, which barely lasted as long as an episode as Dora, sucked at a level equal to approximately one googol.

Random Ramblings

I am supposed to have today off, however because my financial team hates me, I have had to work through most of the morning and into the afternoon. I still have about 4 hours of work to finish today. ON MY DAY OFF. I am not going to say much more about this subject except that NOBODY LIKES WORKING ON THEIR DAY OFF!


There are more clothes waiting to be folded and put away than I think we own. How does that happen?


It is 40 degrees outside, but because the sun is blazing into the windows, it is a bazillion degrees in this house. If only we could capture that energy and use it for heating our house later. Oh wait. Solar power. Yes. You DO exist.


I went to the ENT today. She claimed she needs to see the MRI films (which they have requested, but do not yet have) before she can decide how to proceed. They took a culture from my ear (oh, now that was fun) and prescribed ear drops (which she actually said most likely won’t help at all). They also did a hearing test, which my left ear failed (underachiever) and that was pretty much it. She said that the MRI may not tell her much since it doesn’t distinguish well between fluid and inflammation – so a CT may need to be done. She will call with the lab results and her interpretation of the MRI. Otherwise, I go back in two weeks. So really, nothing was accomplished. Great use of a few hours…


I am supposed to be cooking dinner tonight, but came to the conclusion at 4pm that I was not going to feel like it. And behold, I do not! I can predict the future!! Carry-out, I love you so.


The wireless here at the house is slow enough that the pony express is starting to appeal to me as a more reliable use of transferring data.


It is after 5 and I am still working, and I am annoyed to the point of wanting to stab my self in the eyes with my pen just so I can have a day off! Would I get a day off for that, you think? No? Figures.


My Exploding Head

Call from ENT office:

I am calling to remind you of your appointment on Monday afternoon.

Yes. I have it on my schedule for 2:00pm

That is correct. Do you have any films that you can bring.

Ummm, no. Just the MRI report that I faxed to you two weeks ago. You know, the one that asked you to call me so that I could be seen immediately based on the findings?

Where was that MRI done? We need to know so we can get the films.

I don’t know – but I would venture a guess that IT IS ON THE REPORT I FAXED TO YOU TWO WEEKS AGO THAT YOU OBVIOUSLY DIDN’T EVEN LOOK AT. HAVE YOU EVEN LOOKED AT THAT REPORT? (I really wanted to point out that if I were typing this to her instead of talking that she would see all of my words in CAPS. And Bold. But figured she would only ask for films of it, and well, I just might explode.)

God – they suck. SUCK. The horrendous sucking sound you most likely can hear if you stick your head outside right now? It is the medical community here in Dallas.

Who's Gettin' Some?

Last night my husband and I had scored a night out by ourselves and were basking in the wonderfulness of it all while chatting over a fantastic dinner at NAAN. We came to the conclusion that Valentine’s day is hands down the most likely day that a person in a relationship will have sex (aside from their anniversary). Of course, Todd pointed out that for the single crowd, New Year’s Eve is the big one…but for the married or involved crowd, yesterday was the day. It felt funny looking around the restaurant knowing that all of those people were gettin’ laid later that night.


In the Matter of Religion

I am not religious. I think I point it out here quite often just to make sure nobody misunderstands me – I AM NOT RELIGIOUS. Got that? Good.

So, given my said lack of interest in religion it would seem odd that I am very bothered by some things that I have recently read. There is one blog where the writer (who I really, really like by the way) was recently pregnant with twins. One of the babies died in utero, and she was faced with having to carry her now dead son while her daughter continued to grow until a point when she could deliver. She wrote something to the effect that she was glad that she didn’t believe in god, because she would have marched straight to the nearest crossroads and sold her soul after this whole thing happened. This didn’t bother me. In fact, I could feel her pain, and definitely could see her point.

What did bother me was another blog where the writer has been very sick for quite some time. She writes about prayer, and believing in God and asking for God to answer her prayers ad nauseam. I found it…tiresome? Fake? Annoying? I don’t know exactly. But when she prayed for a very expensive massage chair and someone bought her one, well, she thanked the holy spirit and God and all of his great creations for listening to her prayers and answering them. THIS…bothered me.

I am wondering why scenario one doesn’t bother me and scenario two makes me want to punch that lady? What difference does it make to me if someone believes that God gave them something that they have been wanting? What harm has that done to me? It has made them happy and supported their beliefs, and yet, it annoys me.

I wonder how someone believes that God would care about giving someone a recliner when there are people walking around with dead babies inside of them. But then, if God is all things to all people, hell…I don’t know – big loop, insert confusion.

In the matter of religion, people eagerly fasten their eyes on the difference between their own creed and yours; whilst the charm of the study is in finding the agreements and identities in all the religions of humanity. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Now if I just throw some of my political views on the table, I can alienate pretty much everyone out there.

What Lies Inside Of You

I hosted a 20th anniversary luncheon today for one of the people who works for me (with me? It sounds so wrong to say they WORK FOR ME – so demeaning, you know?) but as usual, I digress.

Typically for a 20 year celebration, we have an informal company gathering during the day with cake, etc, and then the person we are honoring has a dinner at a place of their choosing with their friends/family/business associates. The evening is spent doting on the person, speeches about their excellence are given, and the event results in happiness all around.

However, this person (let’s call her Kim) had a different agenda. Kim in fact, didn’t want any celebration at all. None. Which, I sort of understood. But, my boss would not concede and all but forced her into having some sort of party. After a few months of asking, then begging, then simply telling Kim she WAS HAVING A DAMN PARTY ALREADY, she agreed to do so – on her terms.

This is where you see the kind of person that Kim truly is, the kind of person that we really all should try to be more like. Kim said that she would have a gathering, but that she wanted:

1) to be unobtrusive to people, so she didn’t want an after hours function at all, taking time away from their family

2) to keep it simply and not spend very much money

3) to not have an excessive amount of food resulting in waste

4) use the event as a recognition of the people who helped her stay with the company for 20 years, not as a celebration of her remaining here 20 years.

Kim waited until everyone had gathered and grabbed some pizza. Then, she began thanking every person that came, and told the group what that person had done for her throughout her career that had made an impression on her, helped her, or encouraged her. She also gave each person a hand-written note with the same information on it to keep.

As I was sitting there listening to Kim talk about all of the influences in her career, and in her life, I was wondering who I had influenced. How many more of my employees would willingly include me in this type of event and have nice things to say about how I encouraged them, was there for them, helped them make important decisions in their lives? I started thinking about my role as a leader, and wondering if it is about time to start taking it more seriously. I could actually make a difference in someone else’s career, help them navigate a disturbingly huge and difficult company, give them the courage to stick around long enough to have their own 20 year celebration…



One of Cassie's latest art projects.

Moving On - Life

I don’t feel like I have a lot to say today. Or yesterday. Maybe the day before that either. Huh. I see a pattern forming. Life is moving on here and things are good. We are continually working on enjoying the moment and not rushing on to some eventual (and fictitious) finish line. There is an unimaginable amount of work involved in this new philosophy of ours, but it seems to be worth it.

I am not very happy with winter. Not at all. It has us taking to our room shortly after the boys go to bed, instead of spending time outside running or on the back porch, or doing anything constructive at all. It is cold and dark, and the cold and dark seems to beckon me, prompting me to do exactly nothing.

Todd and I started talking about writing a book. A history book. I think we may actually do something with this idea, as it appeals to me in a big way. Unlike the sports ideas of late last year, which I have tried to wrap my tiny brain and heart around, but have just not been able to latch on to yet. Perhaps we can use these long winter months in a USEFUL manner instead of wasting them away watching old episodes of Nip/Tuck and Friday Night Lights. Although, they are so very addictive. And trashy. But still, the addictive.



I want a squinch.

That is a squash, Roark. Do you want some squash?

Nope. I want a squinch.

Fire Hazards

It is freezing in my office. In my old office (3 back anyway) I taped up the vents so that no cold air could make its way in. However now the vent and light is one in the same and I would have to tape up the whole light fixture to prevent the damn air conditioner from freezing me out. I think that may qualify as a fire hazard. I could try it and find out.


Red Polymer Dreams

I still vividly remember the drug induced dreams from my time in the hospital. One in particular was a red-cellophane-wrapped strangely Seattle-ish rain-riddled dream filled with house decorating and odd friends and kids and grandparent-type figures and it sticks with me in some long-lost memory kind of way. I wonder if this is a normal kind of thing with drug-related hallucinations? They don’t seem to be fading over time. They don’t get fuzzy like normal dreams do. They don’t recess to the corners of my mind. They just sit there. In exactly the same clarity as the moment I woke up. Reminding me of exactly how strange everything once was.


We woke up Saturday morning in the early morning darkness, dressed, and left without saying more than a few words to each other. Some annoying Cinderella song was playing on the iPod as we got out of the car to pick up our race packets, and I recall commenting on how thrilling it would be to have that circling my brain throughout the race.

We found our bib numbers, race chips, shirts, and headed back to the car. The sun was beginning to come up. I suggested that we not run, go to breakfast and enjoy the day instead. After giving the idea .002 seconds of thought, Todd agreed.

We took back our race chips, got into the car, started the Cinderella song over, and went to Café Brazil.

It was a wonderful day.


Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.

What scares you? I mean, REALLY SCARES YOU? It seems like, as adults, very little scares us anymore. Sure – things like natural disasters, financial devastation, loss of loved ones, their safety – those are all things that sort of loom over-head, I suppose. But are there “things” equivalent to the Boogeyman of our childhood that still scare you in the world?

I remember a time a few years back when Todd and I were running at night. We were on a trail in Ft. Worth out by Bell Helicopter. It was dark, and we were in a remote area, covered by trees which didn’t allow for much light. I can honestly say that it was a bit scary for both of us. I cannot imagine how it would have felt alone, but I think it might have been terrifying. And I think it might have also been exhilarating at the same time.

Why does nothing seem to scare us as adults quite like it did when we were kids, and why do we try so hard to recapture that fear? We pay for horror films, for haunted houses. We WANT to have that feeling that sent us running for our parents protection when we were little. We read Stephen King. We tell ghost stories. We run in the woods. Why? What are we in search of? What are we testing? What are we proving?

Confessions of a Self-medicating Idiot

Yes – this is one of those posts where I whine about my health. You have been warned.

Last week I went to the ENT on the direct instructions of my brain doctor due to the freaky MRI results stating that the bones in my head were infected. After waiting over an hour in a standing-room-only office, I went to the front desk to inquire as to when, if ever, they thought I may be seen. After checking with the nurses station, the receptionist – while refusing to make eye contact – grimly apologized and said that it could be up to a few more hours. Huh.

I glanced at the clock, and then at my agenda for the day. I have a day job. One where they expect me to add value, at least on occasion. Today was one of those occasions. I could NOT hang out in that doctor's office all day and not get screamed at by my boss or my employees – it was just not going to fly. I had deadlines and meetings, and they were all back-to-back and started in an hour and fifteen minutes. I was 45 minutes away from the office. I had half an hour to get the hell out of there.

So – I asked to reschedule my appointment. She glanced at the computer and moved through day after day of full schedules. Then she informed me that there was an opening on Wednesday, February 20th at 1:15pm. *blink* *blink* I handed her the MRI report stating something close to the fact that my brain may be infected and that I have something like 15 minutes to live (ok – I exaggerate - a tiny bit). She looked at it as if it were written in Swahili and handed it back. “So, does the 20th work for you?”

The 20th, in fact, did NOT work for me. I actually have to pick up Cassie at 2:20 on Wednesdays. The one day that did not work for me was Wednesday afternoon. The next time they had opened? Wednesday, February 27th at 2:15. No lie. They had NO OTHER TIME SLOT UNTIL MARCH. And – they would not offer to look any further than that. She said that I could call later and talk to a nurse to see what else could be done. I thanked her (for what, I have no idea) and turned to go. She stopped me, handed me the MRI report, which I said she could keep and give to the doctor – and which she clearly didn’t want to do. I took the report and left.

I then called the brain doctor back and told them the situation. They told me that I could not wait until March to be seen, and gave me a referral to another doctor that could hopefully see me more quickly. I looked the guy up online – and well, I don’t think we would have gotten along all that well. He is interested in the whole mind/body voodoo healing thing – and I am just…not. I really only want to see a medical doctor to fix...medical things. Not mind things. You know? And if he is interested in "spirit" things (as this one is) I am WAY OUT. So – I passed on all that and moved on to someone more interested in just getting rid of infection in bones. My appointment is ... wait for it ... February 18th. Not exactly tomorrow – but beats March. Sort of.

So - prepared to wait it out, I woke up a few days ago with a splitting headache, drenched in sweat (oooh, sexy), high fever, with a big old swollen lump behind my ear (which was continuing to drain crap that smelled like wet dog. Yes, I know – I had you at sweat). I faxed the MRI report to the new doctor, begging for a phone call, hinting at an earlier appointment. No such return call or earlier appointment has happened. Bummer. Being a whiny bitch, Todd and I discussed our options. I hung out moaning a lot and trying to figure out how to get better without actually doing anything about it. Not many ideas surfaced. My options ended up looking like this:

  1. Go to my regular doctor – she would not have touched my ear with a 10 foot pole. She would have made me go to an ENT. I have already been on 10 days of amoxicillin and 10 days of ciprofloxacin. There really wasn’t anything else she could have pulled out of her arsenal.
  2. Go to an urgent care center – they would have sent me home with antibiotics the same as above and told me to follow up with an ENT. Back to square one.
  3. Go to the emergency room – they would have either done the same thing as option 2, or most likely admitted me and re-run the MRI, hooked me up to IV antibiotics, and eventually had me seen by an ENT. I would prefer to be seen by an ENT and given options before being forced into a treatment path that might not make sense.
  4. Do nothing and hope for the best.

I decided on option 4. That is until the next morning when I couldn’t stand the pain anymore. This is when I abandoned all logic, went into the bathroom, pulled out my drug stash and decided to self medicate. I looked through what I had and thought about what might actually help. I decided on a high dose of prednisone (reduce swelling!) and some old antibiotics (start attacking infection!) that I had. 7 hours later I was a new freaking person. Today – I was out of bed early, showered, and at work at a decent hour. My ear hurts. My head hurts. But dude…I feel human. I feel like I might make it until the 18th.

I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone out there afraid of doctors – but I don’t regret my self-treatment option one bit. I did research prednisone overdose and after not finding a single case documented, went ahead and took 100mg, which is the same dose they gave me when I had the rash on my face last year. It completely got rid of the swelling behind my ear and I feel SO MUCH BETTER. I can lean down and tie my shoes without crying. I actually made dinner last night. And gave the boys a bath. And put them to bed. I functioned for the first time in days like I was normal, instead of walking around like a zombie trying to work and function but barely doing anything extra at all.

Now – I have to make it through a ½ marathon on Saturday. Oh – I am laughing so hard as I type this that I think tears are forming in the corners of my eyes… that is so damn funny. Wonder if I will be crying 10 miles into it? Wonder if I will make it 10 miles. Ah - and then there is the marathon I want to run in October. Perhaps I can NOT train for that one too. Oh the humor. It is killing me.


I Believe

  • I believe that there is a God.

  • I do not believe in religion

  • I believe that some people need church to feel closer to god – that they need structure and others around to assure themselves that there is a god. I am not one of those people.

  • I don’t believe that there is a devil. Or demons. Or a real hell. I believe we make up our own hell.

  • I don’t believe everything in the Bible is true.

  • I don’t believe there is only one version of God and that everyone has to believe the exact same thing in order to go to heaven.

  • I am not sure what the afterlife is like or if it is the same for everyone.

  • I believe in free will.

  • I do not believe in fate or destiny.

  • I do not believe there is one true love for everyone.

  • I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.

  • I believe there is a possibility of intelligent life on other planets – but I don’t care.

  • I believe in the G-spot and multiple orgasms.

  • I believe in monogamous relationships.

  • I believe in honesty and compassion.

  • I believe in music.

  • I believe in being kind to all living things.

  • I believe that a physical relationship is key to a lasting emotional one.

  • I believe in freedom.

  • I believe that ALL people are equal.

  • I believe that we are unnecessarily cruel to animals that we eat in this country.

  • I believe that sunshine is a fantastic, wonderful thing that can make almost anything better.

  • I believe that the smell of baby heads and puppy breath can make almost anyone smile.

Baby Grand

I don’t have many things left from my childhood. I have an old mirror that sits in our bedroom that I have owned since childhood – which I hate. It rotates on its stand, allowing fingers to get pinched, kids to get injured, resulting in me cursing at it, swearing to destroy it regularly.

There is a picture of my mother in an antique frame in the front hall.

There are several old civil war and antique books in our library. There is also an old secretary in that same library,

And then there is the baby grand piano. Now the piano is not really old. It is a stand-in for the one that was my mothers prized possession. We had a Baldwin baby grand from before I can remember – something that meant more to my mother than any other possession she owned. She kept it when we couldn’t afford any other thing we had. It meant so much to her...and I never asked why – but I just knew it had sentimental value. I knew by the way she kept it clean, by the way she moved it to every house we lived in, by the way she smiled at it every time she walked by.

After my mom died, I tried to hang onto the piano, I really did. But I had nowhere to store it. I lived in an apartment barely big enough for my husband, our dog and my daughter. I looked into storage places. They were all so expensive. I had to have a climate controlled facility in order to prevent the wood splitting. There was nowhere to put a piano the size of a small car in an apartment. At least not one I could afford. It was difficult, but I finally gave it to my mother's church - so that someone would get some use out of it – vowing to replace it as soon as we had a house of our own and room to put one.

As soon as we moved to Texas I immediately bought a baby grand piano to replace the one we had given away. We could not afford a Baldwin and went with a less expensive option, vowing to get a Baldwin when we could afford it. I will still do that someday.

When my husband and I divorced, it was the one piece of furniture I demanded that I keep – even though I was moving into a one bedroom apartment. I was not going to fall into the trap of giving away something like that again – only to have to wait 10 years to replace it again. So – I lugged it around for years even though I really didn’t have room for it.

And here is the real comedy in all of this…I don’t really even play the piano.

I took lessons for a very long time as a child. And I am a master at right-hand-piano-playing. I can read sheet music. I can play the melody. I can hold my own a little. But I can really not play the piano as it is meant to be played and the damn instrument is wasted on me. The whole thing is a glorified piece of furniture in our home. It serves as a trick-or-treat stand on Halloween. A candle holding fixture around Christmas, and a dust-collecting device the rest of the year.

The cats do like making paw prints on it quite a bit. And the boys enjoy banging out a sonata or two – but overall it is merely a thing that sits in the room intended for a dining room. And I still intend to upgrade this piece of furniture to a Baldwin - which is insane, but it means something to me. And I guess that is what matters, right?

Cole on Fox in Sox

Todd, reading the beginning of Fox in Sox: “Be careful. This book is dangerous”

Cole: "This book is not dangerous. This is a beautiful book…”


On Age

When I was younger, I thought people in their 40s were old. What I didn’t realize was how they felt. How close they still felt to say, 20. At 40 – I don’t feel like there is but a degree of separation from 20 years ago. It is as if I blinked and here I am. When you are young, you cannot imagine that two decades worth of experiences could leave such an impression and yet, leave next-to-no impression at all. Aging is strange that way.

This is not to say that I am unhappy with how old I am, or even that I think about myself in terms of my age really.

A man's age is something impressive, it sums up his life: maturity reached slowly and against many obstacles, illnesses cured, griefs and despairs overcome, and unconscious risks taken; maturity formed through so many desires, hopes, regrets, forgotten things, loves. A man's age represents a fine cargo of experiences and memories. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Wartime Writings 1939-1944, translated from French by Norah Purcell

I think that is true…don’t you? But still...40 years. Wow.


20 Things About Me Monday:

  1. I like it when people are nice, but not when they kiss my ass.
  2. I love raunchy jokes and am not easily offended.
  3. I expect people to do what they are supposed to be doing without me making them do it, or checking up on them. If they need help, they are supposed to ask.
  4. I don’t mind problems, as long as you are interested in helping figure out a solution.
  5. I love a challenge.
  6. I hate the mundane.
  7. I love outdoors. I love summer. It is NEVER TOO WARM.
  8. I hate being cooped up. And being cold. And snow.
  9. I like surprises.
  10. I am honestly scared in haunted houses.
  11. I love music.
  12. My favorite flower is the daisy.
  13. I hate carnations. Enough that if there are any on my grave, I will come back from the dead and haunt whoever (whomever – I just never know) put them there.
  14. If I exercised as much as I think about exercise, I would be in AMAZING shape.
  15. I wish I was still friends with the girls I grew up with.
  16. I hate doctors.
  17. I love all 4 of my kids more than anything I ever imagined possible. I would give my life for one intoxicating whiff of their hair.
  18. I am married to the funniest, most patient, sexiest man I have ever met.
  19. I cannot stand being bare-foot in the house, but like not wearing shoes or socks outside.
  20. I don’t like wearing dress pants, because I don’t think they are as sexy as skirts (GOD - how amazingly shallow of me)

Loss of Memory

I don’t remember the first impressions much. I don’t remember the first time I saw xxx (fill this in with just about anybody I know). I remember the person, the various experiences, but typically not the very first time I met them. I think that is odd. What does that say about me? Does that mean that I give people a chance to make an impression? That I don’t pay attention to the details? That I am self centered? That I live in my own little world? That I believe in person as a whole and not just one instance?

Perhaps it means I have a bad memory.


Good Days

Today was a wonderful day, full of sunshine, laughing, walking, throwing sticks, driving around, having dinner with family, opening left-over Christmas presents and birthday presents, reading, watching the Patriots losing, having the windows opened, and lounging. It really doesn’t get any better.

6 Words Long

I read somewhere a while back about a contest or a discussion or some sort of diatribe about novels that only contained six words. There were several examples, and honestly I don’t remember any of them listed anymore…but I do know that I liked the idea. And, I have thought about it many, many times since. I have discussed it with Todd. I have thought of several. I have wondered about the stories that my six word novels would represent.

I like this idea because of all of the things that the six words don't say. All of the things left up to the imagination, I suppose. I like the mystery and the wonder of it. I like the unknown. And I like it being different for everyone. Yes, welcome to my crazy.

And finally, here is a glimpse into my crazy:

She was afraid. Then she wasn’t.

He was old and he died.

The light turned red, too late.

The shoes sat by the bed.

The ice melted. His heart froze.