Friday, December 31, 2010

2010: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

As the year draws to a close, and hinges at a beginning, I am grateful.

I am grateful that this year is over, because it has been unspeakably hard. I am equally grateful that it happened, because I have a new perspective on life, and a greater appreciation for the importance of finding joy in the day-to-day, regardless of what that day holds.

I am grateful for the refining and defining summer that I had in 2010.

I am more grateful than ever before for my friends and for my family. I had literally dozens of people come out of the woodwork, who offered and then forced me to let them help me. I've always known I had great family and friends. I am now humbled by how truly great they are.

I am grateful for the tiny glimpse that 2010 gave me into the number of lives that have been affected by mine. It is amazing to me, the sheer number of people who have called, texted, emailed, written, Facebooked or otherwise contacted me in the past few months to check in, touch base, and let me know they care. George Bailey, I am not. There was no Clarence to show me what the world would be like without me, but one of the greatest blessings of my life has been to be able to see and feel the reach I have had, as people reached out and back to me in the past six months. My life will never be the same. Thank you, all of you, for giving me that gift this year.

I am grateful for the clarity that being sick brought me. That which has always been precious to me (family, friends, the gospel - life) has become truly treasured.

I am grateful for my health. I am grateful for where I have been, because I survived it. I am grateful for wherever it is that I am going, because now I know that I am strong enough to go there.

I am grateful for my life, for this year, and for this holiday season. Having lived through the hardest summer/fall of my life has made this the most incredible winter I have ever seen.

2010 gave me many, many gifts. It has been the hardest year of my life. It has been the best year of my life. And with that said, I welcome 2011. May it carry all of the joy of 2010 forward, and leave all of the crap (stool softeners and all) behind.

Amen.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Girl! Come your hair!

So, remember a few weeks back when I tweeted that I was looking more than a little like Bellatrix Lestrange?




Yeah, I wasn't kidding. Hand me a wand and a nasty look to put on my face, and I'm pretty sure I'd be all about killing people for The Dark Lord.

Good night, nurse! WHAT IN THE WORLD?!

Yeah, so... I'll be going back to blow drying my hair and straightening it for a few days/weeks. It takes a while, and we all know I'd rather be lazy and just let the curl take over... But when a look like this comes out of my head, I start to get a little bit worried that I might make children cry.

Good grief!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Tradition!

Tradition!

Yeah, I totally just had a Fiddler on the Roof moment. Please forgive me. It's probably because I'm all caught up in the creative energy of Christmas Eve Tree Pizza night. (You know how I can get. I just start randomly singing songs. Like my life is a musical or something.)

So, some of you may have heard of the Christmas Tree Pizza tradition we have here at the Evans house. For those of you who have not, I'll enlighten you. We don't do a fancy dress-up dinner for Christmas. We don't cook a ham or a turkey, or eat anything that requires silverware. Oh, no. We make homemade pizza - usually on Christmas Eve, always in the shape of a tree. It's a good time to be had, for sure! (Carbs loaded with cheese - what's not merry about that?!) We've been making tree pizzas since... Oh, at least since I was in high school. We all get our own pizza to decorate, and there's no limit to what you can/can't do.

Here, let me show you a sampling:

This is Mom's Nativity Pizza (aka: religious art). Please note the pineapple halos over Joseph, Mary and Baby Jesus' heads.



This is Tyler's bacon pizza. Yeah, that's raw bacon he has stretched across the top of his pizza. (What can I say? We all love to eat little piggies! *Snort!*) He is my brother, and even though it sounds/looks weird, I wouldn't be surprised if his pizza wasn't super delicious. (I do, after all, know what bacon does to food. It makes it better. Always.)



This is my snowy Christmas tree pizza (aka: traditional/american art). It's all veggies, sprinkled with parmesan cheese. Why? Because a) I enjoy parmesan cheese - kind of a lot, and b) I thought it would look super cool. It totally made me burst out into song - "Snow, snow, snow, snow... SNOW!". (Again, sometimes I think my life is a musical. If you made a pizza like this, you might be tempted to think the same.)

This is Katie's pizza (aka: interpretive art). Please note the zig-zagging red and green bell pepper trim. Awesome, right? My sister - she's a lot like Picasso.

And... Here's the Nativity Pizza again. With faces. To quote my mother, "Mary has such a comely smile". (And how about that Jewish nose? ... Just cracked myself up.)


Merry Christmas! I hope all of you had as much fun bonding with your family as I had bonding with mine tonight. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year!

*Oh, and I'm sorry that the pizza pics are sideways. I'm sorry if any of you hurts your neck, having to adjust to the side view. I swear, I changed the format on the computer before uploading them, but it just didn't stick. (Just when I was in need of a Christmas miracle, too!) Awh, well. They're still fun.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Well said, Dudley. Well said.

Mom and I watched The Bishop's Wife this afternoon. I so love that movie! It's magical! (And I'm not just saying that because Cary Grant's wearing a suit through the whole movie - and a long coat for a large part of it.)

The end always makes me cry. On so many levels. I love the decorating of the tree. I love the softening of Mrs. Hamilton. I love the line "there are a few people who can make it Heaven, here on Earth". I love the Bishop wanting to punch Dudley out. I love the church scene, when the professor doesn't recognize Dudley - the angel who changed his life. But most of all, I love the sermon that Dudley wrote and the Bishop reads at Midnight Mass.

Tonight I want to tell you the story of an empty stocking.

Once upon a midnight clear, there was a child's cry, a blazing star hung over a stable, and wise men came with birthday gifts. We haven't forgotten that night down the centuries. We celebrate it with stars on Christmas trees, with the sound of bells, and with gifts.

But especially with gifts. You give me a book, I give you a tie. Aunt Martha has always wanted an orange squeezer and Uncle Henry can do with a new pipe. For we forget nobody, adult or child. All the stockings are filled, all that is, except one. And we have even forgotten to hang it up. The stocking for the child born in a manger. Its His birthday we're celebrating. Don't let us ever forget that.

Let us ask ourselves what He would wish for most. And then, let each put in his share: loving kindness, warm hearts, and a stretched out hand of tolerance. All the shining gifts that make peace on Earth.


Amen, Dudley! I love you (and I'm not just saying that because I have an affinity for men in long wool coats)!

May we all be a little bit better about remembering to hang His stocking, and to give the best gifts this season.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Reason #723 why there's no place like home for the holidays



Note: I did not eat all of these. (My mom ate that square-ish one. And at least two others.)

See's. They make the holiday happy.

The End.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

My kind of mud pie...

A few days ago, I posted something about how it's the little things in life that make me happy. It's true, I think. The little things are actually the big things.

Behold, that which brought me exceeding joy today:



Yeah, that's dried mud. I mean, it's dirt. But once upon a time, it was mud that got baked into little cakes of dirt in the hot Arizona sun, so when I walk on it, I hear the creaking, crackling sound of dirt clods breaking up. I love that sound! I've loved it my whole life. I used to walk home from school as a kid, looking for dirt that had dried in these weird little patterns. It was the most fun thing for me to be able to make dirt crunch when I walked over it.

Today, I went on a walk and saw a patch of dirt that had baked itself into these little mud cakes. You'd better know that I walked right into it and stepped on as many pieces of dried mud/dirt as I possibly could.

My once-white tennis shoes are a little worse for the wear, but my soul is happy.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

It is. And do you know why? Because I can now justify listening to Christmas all day, every day. Also, I can watch any old movie I want to, as long as there's a Christmassy theme involved. Since I put the tree up last week, I've watched:

Holiday Inn
The Polar Express
A Boyfriend for Christmas
Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus
Miracle on 34th Street (the original, of course!)
White Christmas
Little Women
While You Were Sleeping
Christmas in Connecticut
Fred Claus
Elf (twice)

And tonight - glory of all Christmas movie glories - I am all set to start It's a Wonderful Life.

I figured that was an appropriate movie to send me off into my weekend. *I tell you, it IS a wonderful life! (I'm pretty much the luckiest girl in the whole, wide world!)

*There aren't words for how much I love having sole control of the dvd player in my household. If I had to share the entertainment-choosing power with someone, they may want to watch non-Christmas TV every once in a while, and that wouldn't be nearly as much fun for me!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's the little things in life, I tell you...

Like noodles.



Noodles make me happy. They do. (They can't help themselves. It's because they're carbs, and all carbs make me happy. It's true.)

But what makes me even happier than noodles out of a bag? Noodles that I made my own self with eggs and milk and flour (and salt and pepper, because I channel myself a little Helen Evans when I'm in the kitchen).

These puppies are about to go into a pot of leftover gravy and turkey from last weekend. I thrill at the thought of turkey noodle soup over mashed potatoes. (Again, gravy laden carbs on top of mashed carbs with butter. What's not to love, folks?)

I tell you, it's the little things in life that make a girl happy. (And jiggly. But who cares?)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!



May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey be plump
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.

May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize.
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!


Happy Thanksgiving, People! I love you!


(I also love pie. Maybe more than I love you, I'm not sure.)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I'm grateful

For lots of things. 'Tis the season for that sort of thing, so I thought I'd make a list. (You know that I am a lover of lists. Any excuse to make one is good enough for me!)

I'm grateful for:
Aunt Marie (Callendar's) Razzleberry Pie
Potatoes and Gravy
Good Books
Fabulous Friends
Modern Medicine
European Chocolate
Cousins
My Siblings
Extra Blankets
New Hairspray
A Cancer-Free CT Scan
New Kittens (that don't live at my house)
Christmas Lights
Hot Chocolate
Sunday Dinner
Hugs and Kisses
Babies
Girlfriends
Movies
Popcorn
The Gospel
Faith
Prayer
My Health
Parents
The George Foreman Grill
Betty Crocker Mini-Delight Chocolate Cakes
Freedom
Dictionary.com
PW's Short Ribs Recipe
Roasted Almonds
Cinnamon Rolls
Facebook
The Red Velour Robe
Arm & Hammer Toothpaste
Mom's Homemade Bread
My Laugh (because it reminds me of my mom on a daily, and sometimes hourly, basis)
The Cloud Bed
The Examples of My Friends
A Girl Named Zippy (best book ever - if you haven't read it, fix that in your life!)
Microwave Popcorn
Ibuprofen
Tylenol PM
Stool Softener (yeah, still... don't judge)
Cream (both heavy and whipped)
Shredded Wheat
Pain-free Days
The Ability to Roll and/or Bend Over
Having Sufficient Stomach Muscles to Wear Heels Again
Extra Pillows
Rain
Turkey and Cranberry Sauce (the kind from a can - delish!)
Warm Chocolate Chip Cookies
My Nieces and Nephews
My Testimony
My People
My Life

For all of this and more, I am grateful.

The End.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

What I'm doing this weekend



That's right.

I'm going to Disneyland. And renting a wheelchair. I have special needs, and I don't care who knows it! (Also, rumor is that if you have a wheelchair, you go to the head of every line. Of course, I'm pretty sure the doctor's note I have will do that for me, too... So, maybe I won't rent a wheelchair. I'm gonna see how long I can stand/walk before I make the decision.)

Viva la Disney, people!

* Artwork courtesy of Judy Evans. (She called this "Laurie at Disneyland, with California hair" - because our hair gets WAY curlier in CA than it is in AZ.)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Happy National Bundt Cake Day!



Go forth and bake a cake! (Preferably a bundt cake, unless you don't know what that is and/or are afraid of the hole in the middle like the Greeks.)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

How do you know it's November?

Because I have an eternally open box of these on my kitchen counter.



Breakfast, lunch, dinner, midnight snack... Any time's a good time for a cherry cordial, people!

I am usually a stickler for pricier chocolate (this we know: Laurie is not a cheap date), but there's just something about these stupid Queen Anne chocolate cherries that brings me joy. Maybe it's the memories of fighting my siblings (and/or parents) for the last one. (Maybe = absolutely in this context, btw.)

Happy Month Before Christmas to me! :-)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Oops, I did it again!

Please pardon the Britney Spears reference, but check this out:



What's that? Oh, that's a gas nozzle and hose lying on the ground by my car. How'd it get there? Oh, I drove off with the stupid nozzle in my car - AGAIN. Awesome! (The upside? This time around there wasn't a group of sweet Mexican men to heckle me. "Hey lady, you broke thee ting!" I know, it's not much, but I've found that it's best to be grateful for the little things.)

This is what happened:

I stopped to get gas on my way to work.
I went in to get breakfast while my gas was pumping. (Cheetos and lemonade, for those of you who wonder what I like to eat for breakfast on gas station days.)
I walked out, put my breakfast, my purse and myself into the car.
Drove off.
Heard popping sound.
Muttered expletives (because I know the popping sound that the hose makes as it pulls away from the pump - I know it very well).
Drove back into gas station.
Parked my car.
Got out, drug the nozzle and hose up to the pump.
Walked into the gas station to tell the attendant that they needed to close down pump #12, as it had been incapacitated by yours truly.

Awesome.

I walked back into the gas station and the cashier (from whom I had purchased the aforementioned 44 oz lemonade and grab bag of Cheetos) asked if she could help me. I told her that I just wanted to let her know that I'd driven off with the hose from pump 12. She gave me a one-eyebrow-raised look and said "It's a good thing you don't have to go to traffic school for that kind of thing, isn't it?".

Like she knew I was a repeat offender or something. (I was at a different gas station this time, even.) All I can think is... it either happens a lot, and that's what she always says, or word gets around and I need to start buying gas on the other side of town.

My life, it slays me.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A musical review, courtesy of my friends at YouTube

I tweeted last night that I have a new singing boyfriend. It's true, I do. I went to see Straight No Chaser (I always want to punctuate their name - that's how obsessed I am with commas - true story) and oh, my word. The kid singing lead vocals on this song? Be still my beating heart. (And I'm not just saying that because he's singing a Mraz song. Though that would have been enough to do it...)



The Lady Gaga Medley? Oh, my. I laughed my fool head off. (I just wish the video was a tad bit clearer. The dancing - and kitty-cat arm moves - hysterial.)



Who loves a deep bass voice? I do, I do!



And who loves a good Michael Jackson cover? Uh... me. (Seriously, one of my fav things about this group is how they take songs from totally different periods/genres and fuse them seamlessly. Oh. My. Gosh.) Check it:



Most people know them for their Christmas stuff:



But seriously, check out their other stuff. Their new album? Seriously, A-MAZING. (And I'm not just saying that because I want you to support me in my new romance.) There's just something about an A Capella group. Straight No Chaser, they make me swoon.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Have I ever told you how much I love sweet potatoes?

I haven't? Well, shame on me for keeping my love for all things sweet potato hidden under a bushel.

I'm going to make that up to the sweet potato here and now by writing them a poem:

Sweet Potato

I love you so.
I love you made into french fries.
I love you baked.
It mattereth not to me whether you are salted and peppered or covered in brown sugar, as long as you are smothered in butter first.
I love you salty.
I love you sweet.
Basically, I just love you.
So much.


Now that you know my love of the fair sweet potato, you can imagine how much this made me drool. (Both figuratively, and - I'm sorry to say - literally.)



Be still, my beating heart. (And gushing taste buds.) I think I may have found the holy grail of all sweet potato recipes. (Can I get some back up on wanting to substitute cream for the milk? Anyone? ... Anyone?)

Uh, yeah. I'll be making these this weekend. (You know, when I'm not working 10 hour days and I have time to cook delicious food and enjoy life again. Until then, it's Cereal-For-All-Meals-R-Us here at Casa de la Laurie.)

The End.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

She LIKES red!

Okay, okay. Who's kidding who? She loves it, actually.

Behold, my birthday present to myself:



It's red, it's shiny, it's sparkly, it's a little ostentatious, and it has a diamond center. This sucker had my name written all over it. You know I had to have it.

Happy Birthday to me! :-)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

You don't mess with God's girl...

I have a Facebook friend...

Okay, wait. I just saw The Social Network this weekend, and I now hesitate to use that phrase, lest any of you think that my FB friends are just people I friend so I can raise my friend count, and not people I actually know. Let me re-word that.

I have a friend, with whom I went to high school, that posted the following video footage on Facebook.

That's much better, right? It sounds like he's an actual friend, not like he's just a Facebook friend. Not that I've actually talked to him - outside of FB - since high school. But I would if I could. ... And I'm not just saying that because he recently spent a year in Afghanistan and has very nearly perfect punctuation in all of his status updates. (We all know how I love a man in uniform - almost as much as I love a man who grammars. Be still, my beating heart.)

But I digress. (Like anyone wants to hear about my cyber crushes on men I went to high school with, anyway.)

The reason I wanted to post this video is that I thought, quite frankly, that it was AMAZING. I watched it a few weeks ago, and it's been on my mind off and on since then. Abortion is one of my own personal hot topics. (I would like to take a moment and publicly thank the Evers family for their contribution to the world. I love that the precious feet pins were my first awareness that babies are babies, end of conversation. I'm grateful for the examples of good men and women everywhere who stand up and say, and then do, something for the children who would be victims of the silent holocaust. May I be a little more like them. Amen.)

This woman's story? It's incredible. Her message? It's inspirational, on so very many levels. (Let alone the against-all-odds way in which she came into the world. Listen to her. She is a woman full of gratitude, living in a body with challenges the likes of which most of us will never know.) I am amazed by her.

I am awed by the story of her life. I am humbled by her testimony. I am strengthened by her will to make a difference in the world. Bless her. (I'm pretty sure He already has, over and over again.)



Saturday, October 16, 2010

Today, I'm eating like it's October.

So what if it's a sunny 88 degrees outside, the birds are singing and the winter grass is just starting to come in? I decided I was going to act like it was October today.



That's right. I made stew. In my magical pan. (I heart this pan. And Santa, who gave it to me.) I had to turn the A/C down (and the ceiling fan on) so I wouldn't overheat while eating - thankyouverymuch - two bowls of the stuff, but it was worth it. You just can't beat the warm and delicious feeling of stew in October.

*Oh, and yeah, I know, that's not the most appetizing picture of food you've ever seen in your life. There's a reason I'm not a food blogger, people. When lunch is ready, and it looks and smells delicious, I'd rather eat it than take a break and photograph it. So, what you get is a picture of a pan that used to be full of stew.

**Also, I'd like to state for the record that Millie and I have a lot on common: My stew can stand on its own two feet, too. (112 points to the first person who can call out the name of the movie I just referenced.)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

When was the last time you went "Wahoo"?



Have you seen the movie I.Q.? If not, you must. It's one of my faves. This is one of my favorite scenes. I tell you what, Ed Walters makes my heart go pitter-pat. He does. I love him. I also love the old men. With all their talk of "does time really exist?" and their prejudice against Ze Rat Man, they slay me.

Seriously, this is one of the most fun movies I own. It didn't get a lot of press when it opened, and I've found that not a lot of people know it. (Which is tragic, since it's about the most quotable thing since.... Since... Well, since You've Got Mail, which you know is up there with Thoroughly Modern Millie and Dan in Real Life when it comes to quote-ability.)

Rent this movie. Netflix it. Borrow it from me. ... Whatever it takes. Just promise me that if you haven't seen it, you will. (I could really use having someone around who knows what I'm talking about when I reference The Seven Sacred Pools, okay?)

I heart Ed. I'm pretty sure I'd have been telling him "I love you. I. Love. You." only a few days after meeting him, too. He's adorable. He asks good questions. He does a pretty ridiculous Brando impersonation, and he likes ice cream cones. Ed rocks. I'm pretty sure he'd make me go "wahoo" (and I mean that in the most respectable way, of course).

Monday, October 11, 2010

Celebrating early

For those of you who were not previously aware, this is my birthday month. In fact, we're officially in the 10 Day Countdown to National Laurie Day. It's true. ... I love my birthday. L-o-v-e, love it! And there's nothing I love better than an excuse to celebrate early.

To fully appreciate the beauty of the birthday accessory I used tonight, let me tell you a little story - complete with show-and-tell pictures. (Visuals - they're how I roll.)

As some of you may recall, my friend Jenni came in July. It was a time of much good times and laughter, conversation and bonding, Panda Express and shopping. It was pretty much the best of times. (Every time I get some good quality time in with Jen is the best of times. I love that girl. So much.) ... Anyhoo, when Jen came, she brought along a little early birthday present for me. (This is why I love her. She gives me birthday presents in July. Now, there's a pal!)

Here is what she gave me:



It's awesome, isn't it? Yeah, that's a hot pink satiny shower cap covered with chocolate brown lace. You can understand why she thought of me when she saw it in a boutique this summer... Satin and lace are basically symbols of everything I stand for.

But what Jen didn't know/realize was that there'd come a day when I needed to shower, but didn't want to get my hairs wet, and I'd actually use said shower cap.

That day was today. Behold:



Super sexy, no? ... No?

Okay, okay.... So maybe it's not super sexy, but it is super fun. (And how awesome is it that I have pajamas that totally match The Most Incredible Shower Cap in All of the Land? Pretty awesome, I know.)

Happy early birthday to me! :-)

*Note: My arm is not skinny. It looks a little skinny in this pic, because of the angle of camera, but I promise you all that it is still soft and squishy and the very opposite of skinny. Don't you worry and/or send out the authorities to take me away and force feed me cheesecake so as to fatten my arms back up. Again, I repeat, the skinny-ish arm is an optical illusion.

**Further note: On the other hand, if the authorities are now force feeding people cheesecake in order to fatten them back up, maybe you should give them a call. I could use some o' that - STAT - before I have to alter/take-in one more article of clothing.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

This cake has a sweet spirit



I know, I know, it's not much to look at... but trust me, this cake has a sweet and delicious soul.

For those who looketh upon the outside of a cake and judgeth it shall not receive the untold blessings of sweet and tart lemony goodness which lie therein.

Thus saith The Prophet Laur


This cake? It's so good. I've been trying several lemon cake recipes lately (have I told ya'll how glad I am that I can eat again?), and at the end of the day, I had to come back to the lemon jello cake I grew up with. This sucker? It's the best thing EVER. (And one of the things I love most about this cake is that it's a little different than your standard jello cake. The box of jello gets dumped into the mix and baked in the cake. It's a springy, delightful little cake because of that.)

So, if you like lemon at all... Make. This. Cake. Today (or tomorrow). You won't regret it.

Lemon Jello Cake

1 package yellow cake mix
1 small box lemon jello
4 eggs
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup oil

Glaze
2 lemons (juice and rind)
2 cups powdered sugar


Mix cake mix, jello, eggs, water and oil for 5 minutes. Pour into greased/floured 9x13. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes. When cake comes out of the oven, prick cake with fork and then pour glaze in a thin drizzle over the cake. You can use a knife or spatula to spread the glaze so it gets into all the nooks and crannies. (This may cause some of the top of the cake to lift, don't worry about that. Remember what The Prophet Laur said about the outward appearance of the cake - it mattereth not.)

Note: If you only own one 9x13 cake pan and it's at your friend Jo's house (as mine was), you can definitely bake this cake in a sheetcake pan - just remember to shorten the baking time to 20 minutes. Also, I'd recommend upping both the lemon and sugar count in the glaze. You want to have plenty of tart and sweet goodness seeping into your cake, so go with 3 lemons and 3 cups of powdered sugar. You won't regret it.

Further note: When pricking the cake with said fork, try not to let your fork go all the way down to the bottom of the pan. It's okay if you hit the bottom of the pan a few times, here and there, but you don't want all the fork holes to go all the way down, or the glaze will all go through your cake and it will make the bottom all soggy. (And who likes soggy cake bottoms? Not me, that's who.)

Now, go forth and bake.

It has been commanded.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Yeesh, I'm crazy in the AM!

It's a known fact that I wake up more than a little bit crazy, yes?

This morning was no exception. (In my defense, I'm gonna say that I must have had some kind of dream that brought this line of "reasoning" on. ... And, yeah, I put that words in quotations, because we're using the word reasoning in the loosest terms possible.)

I woke up this morning with the most overwhelming gratitude that I hadn't been born during the Puritan age. Why? Because if I had been, I would have surely died from the tumor. It would have grown and grown and grown until I wasn't able to breathe, and then I'd have died. ... But, worse than the dying was knowing that, before the tumor got so large that it actually choked the life out of me, I'd have been branded with a scarlet letter (listen, I was looking more than a little pregnant right before I had surgery), and that would have mortified my mother. ... And then I remembered that if I'd lived my life with the same timeline, I'd have been 35 before I grew the tumor and we all know I would have been burned as a witch in my 20's - either because a) I'm a stubborn, opinionated woman who has a penchant for speaking her mind, or b) my eternally chubby legs make me the best floater in the greater Phoenix area, and we all know that women who could swim were burned at the stake. (Not that I can swim. I sure can't. But boy howdy, can I float...) So, I guess I wouldn't have had to deal with being a Hester Pryne-alike, since I'd have been burned alive ages before the tumor even started to grow. What a relief!

Honestly.

This is what I thought as I got out of bed this morning and walked to the kitchen to get a drink. These thoughts, in this order.

My word, I'm a crazy woman.

But the good news is, I'm alive. Why? Because the tumor came out. And also because I wasn't born until the mid 1970's, well after the time that women were being burned at the stake for being weird. Phew!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Me and my rich fantasy life

I have a new schedule at work, which translates into I have new co-workers. (Long story short, they reconfigured some of the shifts - and my old Thurs-Sat shift was changed to a Fri-Sun shift. I now work M-Th. It's a killer, working a 4x10 shift when I was just getting used to a 3x12, but hey... it's still better than all those years I spent working 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.)

But I digress. The point of this post was not to drone on about my new schedule. The point was to tell you a funny work-related story.

So, without further ado...

On my first day on the new shift, we all went around and gave our names. At the end of the circle, this skinny kid said his name was Alex, and I thought to myself, "Hmmmm. Alex is kind cute. In a weird way, he reminds me a little of Pasha. He's younger and skinnier, but he's looking a little familiar to me. How bizarre."

(We all remember my deep and abiding love for Pasha, right?

Fast-forward two days when I see Alex has been copied on an email sent to me, and his last name ends with 'sky'. Uh, hello, people. That's a Russian last name.

Yup, Russian... Just like Pasha.

Eek!

No wonder I thought he looked a little Pasha-like!

I've officially joined the ranks of 30-somethings who have crushes on children. I'm pretty sure Alex is only 22, and I don't even care. (Listen, he reminded me of Pasha in the first place - and then I saw his last name. Oh, my.)

The End.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

He's so quotable



I'm not sure which is my favorite line:

"I almost ordered a Russian bride once. You know, a Czech-mate."

"Hiding would be building a fortress out of my comforter and then dowing a fifth of scotch... But, apparently, that's considered unhealthy."

"Hey. I'm a wise-ass, not a jackass."

or

"What, exactly, are you supposed to be?" - "A space cowboy."

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Interesting. Veddy, veddy interesting...

You know how I like to take quizzes that give me an insight into my psyche, right?

Oh, you didn't know that? Humph. I guess that means you don't really know me very well. Or maybe you forgot that about me. (Shame on you.)

Because it's true. I love to take personality quizzes. They're pretty much my favorite? Why? Because it's amazing to me that answering a few seemingly random questions will compute an answer that's totally dead on.

People fascinate me. (Also, I fascinate myself. Or rather, the accuracy of some quizzes/profiles do.)

Check this site out. It's pretty cool.

And, in case you were wondering, here's what it had to say about me:

For you, creativity is first and foremost a form of expression: it creates a special link between the internal and external worlds. It allows you to get a grasp of your powerful emotions, by moulding them into a physical form. In fact, the most important thing for you is to be able to release your emotions. You need to be able to touch them or look at them in concrete form, and to do that you have to find a way to make them come alive. This is how your desires and anxieties take shape. Keeping things bottled up creates a tension that can only be resolved once you have expressed how you feel. This means you have to be strong enough not to let yourself get swept away by chaotic impulses; if you turn your creative urges on everyday life — making a picnic, singing to the baby, choosing what to wear — you can express yourself while staying rooted in reality. Creativity is principally cathartic. It relieves a deep need, an almost primal, archaic impulse. For you, being creative is about having the power to give form to something you feel, to those deep personal issues that are often raw and disorganised. For these reasons you are usually attracted to art that demands physicality, that allows you to express what’s inside, and that unites spontaneity, strength, freedom, power and movement.

Huh.

Amazing.

How do these quizzes know me so well? I am an emotional girl. Also, making stuff is totally a release for me, it always has been. Whether it's making sugar cookies, scrap-booking, or blogging, I always feel better - more at peace, even if it's just more at peace with my own self - afterwards. I've actually used the word "cathartic" to describe my need to make totally detailed sugar cookies at Christmas, or a lattice topped pie crust, before.

I am, once again, amazed at the accuracy of the one of these little tests. Take it, let me know what you thought about what it had to say about you.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Type-cast?

Yes, I'm afraid he may well be.

Here he is, circa 1983, as Dr. Theodore Glaser in an episode of Scarecrow & Mrs. King.



(Yeah, I know. Awesome quality photo, eh? That's because I took a picture of my TV with my cell phone. ... Ridiculous, the levels I will stoop to. But that's how important it is to me to warn the world about this guy. I had to have physical proof to back up my bad guy theory.)

And here he is, circa 2002, as Adelai Niska in an episode of Firefly.



Okay, okay. So after looking at his history on IMDb, maybe Michael Fairman isn't a totally bad guy. I mean, he's played a lot of roles for me to think it's even possible that he's been the arch-nemesis in all of them. But still... he did play one heck of a creepy villain in two of my all-time favorite TV shows, so I'm kinda stuck thinking he's a bad dude.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Food, glorious food!



I've been singing this song all week. I'm not even kidding you. I've been singing it in my head, in my kitchen, in Jo's kitchen, in my car (gosh, it's good to be able to eat Taco Bell again - don't judge), at work. I'm telling you, this has been the theme song of my life this week.

After 3 months of having Cream of Wheat for at least one meal a day, I'm telling you... I was a little sick of gruel. ... Not that I really think Cream of Wheat is gruel. I actually find it delicious and enjoyable. But it is a little gruel-ish, if you think about it (plus that's a nice visual to go along with the song, you must admit). Anyway, I was beyond ready for solid food.

I've been experimenting with food for just over a week now, trying this and that to see how my stomach will react and I'm pleased to tell you that I can handle just about anything these days (as long as I have my friends Pepcid, Gas-X, Tums and Rolaids handy). As we all know I am a lover of making lists, here's a little show-and-tell listing what I've eaten (and rejoiced over) this week:

*Chips and salsa (and what a glorious reunion it was!)
*Tacos (with equal portions of meat, cheese and salsa - delish!)
*Peaches (I literally gave thanks to God that I was able to sneak in on the end of peach season ... you can't beat a good peach!)
*Hawaiian Haystacks (with cheese and tomatoes and green onions - it was a dream come true!)
*Hot fudge milkshake (Bless (my favorite aunt) Cindy for teaching me about the difference in hot fudge and chocolate shakes, lo those many years ago at Ripples.)
*Taco Bell bean burrito, with extra red sauce and sour cream (it was a little bit o' heaven wrapped up in a flour tortilla, I tell you)
*Lemon cake (and the angels sang)
*M&M's. Lots and lots of M&M's.
*Guacamole. Taquitos covered in guacamole.
*Salad Olive Garden's all-you-can-eat salad, to be precise. Oh. My. Word. It was the best thing I've ever eaten in my life.
*Spaghetti (I can't tell you how I've craved spaghetti for the last 3 weeks.)
*Mama Spinato's Fresh Spinach calzone. (If you've never eaten there, go now. I mean, N-O-W. And order this calzone. It will make you swoon. Also, you'll get strong, like Popeye.)
*Texas Sheetcake
*Green beans
*Carrots. Lots and lots of carrots. (I think I may have eaten more carrots than M&M's this week, and that's A LOT.)
*Cucumbers
*Hot wings
*Sonic's Lemon Cream Slush (I can't tell you how happy I was to be able to get in on the half price cream slushes. Delish!)
*Shredded Wheat
*Raspberries
*Goat cheese and crackers

I tell you, it's been a good week. Food is good. I mean, it is so good. I'd remembered that I loved chips and salsa, and I knew I liked spaghetti (A LOT), but when you've gone months and months without the really good stuff, and then you can eat it again... Holy moly, food is good.

So, I have been singing.


Oh, food! Magical food! Wonderful food! Marvelous food! Heavenly food! Beautiful, glorious food!

Amen.

I'm flashing back to the 70's, something fierce

A few days ago I tweeted in something about my bizarrely Dharma Initiave-esque outfit. I had gotten dressed in my room (where there is no mirror, thankyouvermuch) and walked out and laughed out loud when I saw my reflection in the bathroom mirror.

Holy 70's Get-Up, Batman!



Check me out. Yellow/brown/white plaid top, brown corduroy pants, and see that daisy that's pinned to my belt loop? Yeah, that was in my hair. Truly, I was very much a child of the 70's that day. It was pretty hilarious. (So funny, in fact, that I took a picture of my clothes to put on the blog. I'm just that nuts, I guess.)

A few days after my Dharma wannabe outfit, I somehow ended up with Angel hair. (Not the pasta. I'm talking actual Angel hair, as in Charlie's Angels. Specifically Jaclyn Smith aka Kelly.)



As I spent hours (literally, hours) in the bathroom as a preteen, dipping my head and then throwing my head back and tossing my hair, trying to capture "the look", you can imagine how excited I was when I accidentally ended up with Kelly's hairdo on Sunday.




Glory be and hallelujah, my hair FINALLY looked like Kelly's! Who cares if the show started in 1976 and it took me until 2010 to get the look? Not me, that's who.

I soooo have Angel hair now. Watch out world, next thing you know I'll be punching people out like I'm the bionic chickadee.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Help!

I've ... well, slumped, for lack of a better word ... and I can't get up!

Yeah, I'm not even kidding.

I slouched too much on my couch while yet again getting some quality TV time in with my friend hulu.com, and now I'm stuck.

Painfully and hopelessly stuck.

I kid you not.

Here's how it happened. I started watching Glee online. I was tired. I started in a sitting-up-cross-legged position, but as the episode wore on, I uncrossed my legs and slumped down a little into my couch. (Don't judge. My couch cushions are very pillow-like and this is a comfy way to sit.) Then I commenced watching episode two. (This is, after all, why I put off watching shows until there are multiple episodes on hulu. So I can chain-watch them.) I slumped further. And further. And further. Until my bum was about at the edge of the seat cushion. (Those of you who know myself and my couch know this is, indeed, a very deep slump for one as tall as me.) And then the second episode ended and I realized what I had done.

I had gotten myself so far down into my couch cushion that I couldn't sit back up. Why? Because I (sadly, still!) lack the stomach muscles to get myself from a reclined position without the use of my arms (and I was towards the middle of the couch - too far to reach for either arm of the couch to pull myself up against). Oh, and I have this stupid computer in my lap - which I am too tired/weak to move - so I can't use my legs as a bearing to pull my weight against either.

I'm stuck.

I can't think of how to get the computer off my lap without just letting it slide down my legs onto the floor, which I know doesn't sound like such a great plan... But I can't use my legs to lift myself up until I get the computer off my lap.

Oh my gosh, this is ridiculous.

I laughed out loud at myself, then was bummed there wasn't anyone here to a) laugh at me with me, as well as b) maybe help me get off the danged couch.

And then I decided to blog about it. You know, since I'm stuck here with a computer on my lap anyway.

My life is, in a word, awesome.

Or maybe, to use another, ludicrous.

Oh, wow.

I'm starting to wonder why I typed this. And yet, here I am... still typing. I think I'll just hit "publish post" and then try to dig my way out of the couch.

In the future, I'm going to be a little more careful in how I sit. Geeze Louise.

The End.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Don't you think daisies are the friendliest flower?



I do, and so does my friend Kathleen Kelly.

I went by the store to pick up a few things (you know, like milk and bread and peaches and ... erm.... a vacuum) and I saw this bunch of daisies for $10 and I squealed like a little girl.

I love daisies. I especially love them in this blue vase. I'm feeling very Kathleen Kelly in my little apartment right now.



Now if I could just find a Joe Fox ("F-O-X") of my very own. He could bring me flowers because he wants to be my friend (and also because I am the one single person who fills his heart with joy). I'd go shopping with him at the farmer's market and I'd tell him that I hope his mango's ripe. We could fight about what movie to rent on Saturday night. If only...

Until then, I'll buy my own daisies. Why? Because they make me happy.

The End.

Monday, September 20, 2010

My boyfriend's back!

Cue the music, folks. My boyfriend's back.



I so love him.

The End.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Cousins and cinnamon rolls

Last Saturday, I had 3 of my very favorite things in my house.

1) My cousin Shelly
2) Baby Taylor (How cute is he? I totally love him!)



*Note to self: stand up before someone takes your picture. Or at the very least, take a moment to straighten your shirt so you don't look like a lumpy mess. Honestly.

3) Cinnamon rolls from Cousin Julie



Ahhhhh... I heart my cousins. And their babies. And their cinnamon rolls.

Much thanks to Julie for making me some fabulous cinnamon rolls and to Shell and Scott for being the collective (and figurative) pack mule who brought them to me here in Arizona.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Guess who graduated?

With high honors, no less?



Yup, that'd be me. After 27 radiation treatments, I got to call it quits. (And then I heard choirs of angels sing.)

(And I know you're all wondering if they ever give diplomas/graduation certificates with less than "high honors". I really don't know. Or care. All I know is, I'm done. And the angels are singing. Amen.)

And look what else I got? A lovely cancer survivor pin. I'm gonna make sure and wear this on the first awkward post-cancer first date I go on. Then it'll be me who's making unusual and what-the-heck-do-I-do-with-this-person conversation, and not the dude who thinks that dresses are more comfortable than pants. (I kid you not, I once had a dude try to convince me how much more comfortable dresses are than pants. On a first date. Yeesh...)



I kid, of course. I mean, not about the pin. Or about being a cancer survivor. I really did get the pin, and I really did survive cancer (*crosses fingers*). But I won't be wearing it on a date. This summer isn't the kind of thing one wants to bring up on a first date. Also, I don't want to make light of cancer, since she's a bitch. I hate her and wish they'd find a cure, like... yesterday.

(I know Mom, I swore. In writing. Which is kind of naughty. But I do hate the cancer. A lot. And that is why I wouldn't ever really make light of it. Ever.)

Anyway, the radiation is over. (Did someone queue the Hallelujah chorus, or is the singing just in my head?) Hooray! Now I just need to let my sad little body heal so they can do a CT in 6-8 weeks to be sure that it's really gone. (For those of you who may wonder why I have to wait for the CT - my body is beaten and bruised, and burnt beyond recognition on the inside. I have some swelling and redness that's visible on my upper stomach, but what's really killing me are the radiation burns on the inside of my body. I didn't feel them until Tuesday of last week, which in and of itself is a blessing, but boy howdy, can I feel them now! The worst of them is a burn that's about the size of the palm of my hand located in my lower right abdomen, just below my bellybutton. It is excruciating, and the worst pain I've felt all summer. (To put that into perspective, I'd like to remind you that I have a 13 inch incision down my middle. I'm telling you, the burns hurt. Horribly. I wouldn't wish this pain on my worst enemy... which is saying a lot, because anyone who knows my inner 12 yr old knows I could (and sometimes do) wish a whole heck of a lot of pain on my enemies.) It'll take another week or so until the burns will heal completely (they're already better than they were this time last week - I haven't screamed even one time today, which is an improvement). The CT will take place at the end of October/first of November. By Thanksgiving the results will be in and I'll know for sure that I won't need more radiation, and by Christmas I should be feeling "good" again. (I've been told that in 3-4 weeks after radiation, the residual radiation will have eked out of my body - that I'll have more energy and be able to digest food again - but it can take 2-3 months to really feel like a normal person.)

So... By my birthday I should be able to eat cake. By Thanksgiving, I'll know if the cancer's really and truly gone. By Christmas, I'll be singing along with Holiday Inn while I eat a pound of fudge (it'll be just like old times, man). I can hardly wait.

But for now... I'm a radiation graduate who's in proud posession of a cancer survivor pin. And that's totally enough for now.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Looky there... it's my 500th post!

Seriously, folks, I talk (type) a lot. I am not kidding. (Of course, you know me and/or my blog, so you already knew this.) This is my 500th post. Wowza. The good news? I'm not going to list 500 things for you. (I'm pretty sure that there was collective sigh of relief heard around the world as I typed that sentence.) No, I'm not going to list 500 things that I love, but I am going to show you 5 things that made me happy today.

This baby. Her name is Sally, and I love her.



She is the best medicine I've had all summer long, and Jo is such a good friend that she lets me hold her baby all day long if I want to. (And today, I did. I got there at 9:00 and left at 6:00. All I did all day was sit and hold Sally while I talked to Jo. It was pretty much the best day ever.)

These Sobe drinks. I double dog dare you to try and find more joy for $1.


Especially if I put it in the freezer for a couple hours, so it starts to get icy. You can't beat a cranberry/grapefruit Sobe that's been frozen and then shaken so it's full of icy woofendoofers. Delish!

This song. Every time I hear it, I smile. It's poetry to me.



What do I love about this version of the song? The intro. "Love, baby. Love." Amen, Pops.

This movie. I love Dan (everybody does, you know).



And, okay, I have to show you this part because it's basically my favorite part of the whole movie - except for maybe the bathroom/shower scene - oh, and the bookstore scene and the breakfast conversation that ensues over the muffin that's the size of a small planet - and the dinner scene, "this corn is an angel" - and the "YOU ARE A MURDERER OF LOVE!" scene - and the "I'm in the 4th grade, I can make things up myself" car scene - not to mention the guitar and the singing in the family talent show. (Okay, okay. So, I love the whole freaking movie. I can't help myself, it's fabulous. If you haven't seen it, you must.)



I swear, if I ever have kids, I'm gonna have to sing to them about little piggies. The "wee, wee, wee, wee, wee, wee, wee..." part at the end of the song makes me laugh out loud - every time.

Cinnamon rolls. Specifically, Cousin Julie's cinnamon rolls.



You may recall that I've gone on and on about her cinnamon rolls before. They are, in a word, divine. And her sister, my sweet cousin Shelly, is coming to Arizona for the weekend. Praise all that is holy and good in this world, Shelly has room in the car for a special treat from Julie to me. When I talked to Julie tonight and she gave me the option of plain cinnamon rolls, pecan cinnamon rolls and/or pecan and craisin cinnamon rolls I had to say "yes, please" to any and all of the above.

Life is good.

Amen.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Missy Moo Got Married!



I'm not sure why these pics are so tiny, but they're cute, so I'm posting them anyway. Just go and grab a magnifying glass if you need to. ... It's worth it, I promise.

This is Kate and Alex, for those of you not there and/or acquainted with my new brother-in-law.



Kate and me - in the dressing room, back when our last names were the same.



Mom and Moo.



Kate's best friend and maid (or matron - whatever) of honor, Ana, had bubblewrap brought in for the reception. (Katie had said, back in high school, that she wanted to dance on bubbles at her wedding. How cute is Ana to remember that?)

This is Kate and two of our nephews, dancing their hearts out. Super cute.



Here are the sibs and parentals - and Alex.

Right before this picture was taken, Tyler told Alex that it was just family. Alex, bless him, looked a little shocked, but he backed out of the picture... That was when Tyler bust out laughing and was all "Dude, I was kidding!". We all (by which I mean: my four brothers and I) cracked up laughing. It was very reminiscent of the scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding when Toula takes Ian to the big family dinner and Nick threatens him and then says "I'm kidding... But I'll kill you... I'm kidding... But I'm serious". Hilarious. (To us, anyway.)



And here we have The Brothers holding Katie. Note Tyler faking that he's not strong enough to hold her up. Also, Spencer is cracking me up in this pic. Oh, and Kirk, holding a foot, because there wasn't anything else to hold on to. (Brett's just standing there, looking pretty.)



Kate and The Haze. (She is such a cute little kid.) We heart bubblewrap.



Here's a fun shot of Kirk's fam. His kids? Adorable.



And here we have a fun family shot of Spencer's fam. Again, these kids? Adorable. I love them!



It was such a fun, albeit exhausting, day. Kate was beautiful (as you can see). It was fabulous to have all six of us home and in the same place. My mom's two sisters came, and so did my dad's brother and sister. It was a little like a mini-reunion, with cake. (I would recommend adding three tiered cake to any and all social/family gatherings. Cake makes everything better.)

I love my sister. Congratulations, Moo!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Just what the doctor ordered.

Literally.





I have been ordered to drink high calorie, sweet and icy drinks.

Or whatever it takes to meet my minimum gallon of water/liquid a day. I'm in big trouble with the radiation oncologist. Why? Because I'm dropping weight like a crazy mad woman. (Or more like a cancer patient, actually.) Seriously. Every time they weigh me, I've lost weight. (Between 3-5 lbs a week.) This week when I had my little check-in update I got a major lecture on not eating/drinking enough. I told him (for about the 700th time) that I'm eating all I can eat, and drinking all the water I can drink. ... And that's when he told me he doesn't care what I drink, as long as it's wet. (That's a quote.) In fact, he told me the higher calorie drink, the better. (Whatever it takes to maintain my weight, or something like that.)

Enter my love of Sonic. Add to that love the fact that there's a conveniently located Sonic on my way home from the doc. Multiply that by the time of day I have radiation treatments (read: it's Happy Hour) when I'm on my way home. ... And what you get is a delicious, icy treat for Laurie Monday-Friday. The bummer is that the cherry limeade is off the table (no carbonation for me these days). But I've been making friends with the cranberry slush this week, and all is right in the world.

Here's hoping I don't gain 3 lbs this week from the consumption of sugary, icy goodness. (Then again, I wouldn't get in trouble for gaining weight. I don't think...)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Stuff that makes me gag

Lately everything and its dog is making me gag. Seriously. Everything. (Or almost everything, anyway.) So, I thought I'd make a list of all the things that have made me gag (literally) in the last few days. (You know how much I like to make lists, right?)

Soppy wet mud (blech)
The smell of garlic (specifically, the smell of garlic on someone's breath)
Pictures of food (no more PW Cooks for me...)
The lines on the road (the freeway is especially bad)
The smell of tomato soup/spaghetti sauce
Both the sound and smell of hamburger cooking
Sayid slitting the Samurai's throat
Stinky diapers
Wilty Sunflowers
Tempe Town Lake - in its current empty state (all that mud - gag)
The smell of french fries
Sliced ham
Green grapes
Lemonade
Ibuprofen (sadly, I heave every time I swallow pills these days)
Greasy hair
Really cold water
Hot chocolate
The sound of egg shells breaking
The smell of my deodorant (TMI? Sorry)
Season 6 Claire's hair (blech)
The sound of the water splashing in the pool
Bending over and picking stuff up off the floor
The constant burping
Thinking about eating cheese - ever again
Accidentally seeing a bruise (I try not to look at them)
Waking up
Trying to go to sleep
Radiation

Now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure it's really just the radiation that's making me want to heave at all moments. Seriously, that poison that they're shooting at my guts every day is about to do me in. I so hate having a queasy stomach. (But at least the Zofran keeps me from actually puking. I have that to be grateful for. ... God bless Zofran, and the doctor who gave it to me. Amen.)

Monday, August 30, 2010

I seek him here, I seek him there...

You know how sometimes I wake up and look in the mirror and think "Holy crap! I look like a celebrity!"? Yeah? Well, it happened again.

Check me out:




Before I show you my celeb look-alike for the day, let me just say that whenever I wear this robe, I have to giggle a little bit. You see, I had one of best/most sincere compliments of my life when my friend Jenni was here this summer. I came out of my room, wearing this robe, and she gasped and said that this was such a great color for me, that it made my eyes greeney-browny. (True story.) Now if only I could find more than a robe in this color - you know, a dress, or a top or something a little more suited to public wear - maybe I could find myself my very own Sir Percy Blakeney. I'm pretty sure that no man would be immune to my charms, my big hair and my greeney-browney eyes...

Behold, my celeb look-alike for the day (in my own - very wild - imagination, mind you):






Now, if I could get my crazy hair to be just a little bit bigger (it's lacking some size about the sides), maybe I could snag myself a seemingly foppish Englishman who spends his free time saving French nobles from the guillotine. (Also, he's a bit of a poet.)



Sir Percy Blakeney. Be still, my beating heart.

If you've never seen The Scarlet Pimpernel circa 1982, put it on your Netflix - STAT. You will not be disappointed. I promise.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

We have so much in common.

We both grew up poor. Except I think that I was probably poorer, in that he had two parents who were teachers and I only had one parent who was a teacher. (With that math, his family had twice as much money as mine did.) Another big clue that he was richer than me is that he had a bike with a banana seat. I wanted a bike with a banana seat, but we couldn't afford one, so I'd go over to Christa Maxwell's house and ride her banana seat bicycle and pretend it was mine. (What can I say? I've always had a rich fantasy life.) Her bike also had a basket. A basket, complete with plastic flowers wired to the front of it. And shiny streamers that came out of the handlebars.

But I'm not bitter.

Really, I'm not. Why? Because we were both poor. I think having that in common is going to go a long way into helping us forge a relationship that will stand the test of time. (For example, when I was in Jr. High, my brother and I would walk to the gas station - it was the only "store" in town - and we would get a 32 oz refill and a firebomb for 25 cents.) Do you see how much Nathan and I have in common? ... All of the talks we could have about what we could get for a quarter when we were kids, it's staggering. (Just wait until I tell him about the soda machine at the feed store. You could get 3-4 cans of soda for a quarter there. --- Not that the price was "4 cans for a quarter". Oh, no. The machine was broken. I would put a quarter in and just keep pushing the Red Creme Soda button until the cans stopped coming. On second thought, maybe I won't tell him that one. It doesn't speak well of my ethics, come to think of it.)

I like to think that he'll tell these stories to our children:



I love him - and Legos.

The End.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bippity-Boppity-BACON!



I tell you what, this clip makes me laugh out loud. Why? Because I so love bacon.

In truth, this whole routine makes me laugh out loud. Seriously, the man is HILAR!

I would like to thank my friend Kimmie for bringing this dvd over to amuse me in my time of Radiation and confinement. (Okay, so I'm not really "confined", but I'm too flipping tired to go anywhere or do much, so the stack o' movies she brought over was super nice.) This stand up dvd is pretty much the funniest darn thing - EVER. Probably because I, too, am lazy. And indoorsy. And love bacon.

Jim Gaffigan, I totally heart your humor.

And now I think I'll go and make some bacon and eggs for lunch.

The End.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Who do I love?

Captain Mal. Dr. Adam Mayfair. Kevin Callis. Dr. Jim Pomatter. The Holy Avenger. Captain Hammer. Joey Buchanan. Richard Castle.

(And by association - literally, association - my friend James. But that story will come a little later.)

Nathan Fillion. That's who I love.



Did you see that wink? ... Be still, my beating heart. Also, the man carries Oreos around with him?! And I'd thought that I couldn't possibly love him any more than I did before I saw that clip. Help me, Rhonda.

And because the bit with the ice cube makes me laugh out loud, I am including this little beauty.



Sundays. They are the best day for watching youtube videos of my fav celeb boyfriend. I heart Sundays. (And Nathan.)

The End.

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Progress Report

Today, I hit the halfway mark for the radiation treatments. Three weeks down, three to go. Halle-freakin-lujah! And I thought it would be fun to give ya'll a little recap of what I can (and still cannot) do these days.

It's been just over 8 weeks since surgery. I still cannot roll over. I understand most babies learn to roll over between 3-5 months. ... My abdominal muscles aren't as strong as those of a 5 month old baby. Awesome. (But I can lie on my side now, thankyouverymuch.)

I can shave my own legs. (I just heard a whoop of "hooray!" around the world.) Life is good. (Any day now, I should be able to clip/paint my toenails again. Ya'll are looking forward to that day as much as I am, I'm sure.)

I can lift a gallon of milk. (I know, that's not one most of you would find impressive. But trust me, it's a big deal.)

I can wear a 1 1/2 in heel - but 2 inches is too much and they make my stomach hurt. (Oh, the muscles we women use to balance on our girly shoes. It's so funny to me.)

I can get out of a float in the swimming pool. (For a while there, I had to swear off the pool. The first time I went swimming, I got stuck in a float and for the life of me could not bend in half to get out of it. It was terrifying - and hilarious. I can now float and un-float at will. I bend in the middle again. Wahoo!)

I can't carry a heavy purse. (As ridiculous as I know that sounds, it's true. The weight and bulk of my normal-sized purse isn't comfortable. I'm the queen of clutches these days. Any of you who are familiar with my usual purses can imagine how hard it is for me to carry a bag that will only fit my phone and wallet in it.)

I can sleep through the night. (The fact that I can sleep more than 4 hours at a time is still thrilling to me. Now that I can fall asleep on my side, I fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer than I'd been thinking would ever happen again. ... One of the "perks" of radiation is that I'm pretty tired. As in, I'm sleeping for 9-11 hours every night these days. - My usual is 7, maybe 8. It's mind blowing that not only can I sleep through the night, I can sleep until 8:00 or 9:00 in the AM.)

I can't eat ice cream, cheese, grapes, or more than 4 baby carrots at any given time. (This last week, I've tried to play with the diet. I've experimented with the foods on the forbidden list and have found that, uh... yeah, there's a reason I'm not allowed to eat fruits, vegetables, or anything with a dairy base. Awesome. The good news? I can keep 4 baby carrots down. They don't seem to cause any major issues - as long as I only eat 4, once a day. Hahaha.)

I'm off the prescription pain meds, and am down to only 3 doses of ibuprofen a day. (I feel less like a druggie, which is good. For a while there, I was wondering if I'd need to join a support group for Percoset Users Anonymous. ... Not that I'd be all that "anonymous", seeing as I've pretty much told the whole www that I love the stuff and it was my best friend for weeks after surgery.)

I'm walking less and sitting more. (They'd told me, when I started radiation, that I'd be tired. I had no idea how tired I'd be. I mean, I was tired after surgery, but it was different. This tired is a funny thing, because I sleep for-freaking-ever at night, but still wake up with just enough energy to sit still all day. The good news? It won't last forever. And I'm re-watching the entire series of LOST.)

I'm not eating chocolate. At all. Which, if you know me even one little bit, you know is STRANGE behavior. It's on the forbidden list, and is pretty much the one thing I have truly steered away from. (Why? Because if chocolate made me sick, it might ruin our relationship forever, and I just can't take that kind of risk.)

So, like I said. It's been 8 weeks since surgery - and I'm 3 weeks into radiation. This whole mess of a surgery oriented summer is more than half over. On the one hand, it's been fast. On the other, I don't even remember what it was like to eat/feel/sleep like a normal person. Hardcore digestive issues will most likely set in next week, as they'll be changing the radiation fields. (They've been hitting the same spot(s) for the last 3 weeks. The next 3 weeks will have varied treatment fields and strengths, to make sure they've hit not only the original tumor area, but any surrounding areas that were affected as well.)

I'm doing well (as long as I don't eat cheese, grapes or other forbidden foods - hehehe). I'm taking anti-nausea meds every day, and they're helping. I sleep a lot, which I figure will help my stomach muscles heal so one day (hopefully soon) I can roll from my back onto my stomach and over again. Radiation is halfway over, and as much as I do enjoy the techs there telling me how cute I am every day, I'm looking forward to the day that I don't have to go back. ... Maybe I could get a new "Laurie, you look cute" support group going to take their place. I wonder if I could get James to talk to Nathan about heading that up. Hmmm... I'll get right on that. Tomorrow. After 9:00 AM, when I'm awake again. :-)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

We're famous!

That's right, we're famous. And yeah, that's pretty much a big, fat "royal we". (Since Darth Vader was long ago incinerated, I am the only living creature who can enjoy the fame.)

Get this. I saw my surgeon today and asked, just for kicks, how big the largest tumor he'd ever removed had been. He smiled his smirky little smile (those of you who've met the good doctor can envision this, I am sure) and said ... "Years ago, I took a really big tumor out of an older gentlemen. It was big. It was really big. But yours was bigger." Awesome! I told him I'd felt a little like I'd won the tumor lottery, knowing that I'd had the biggest tumor in his life. He laughed, outright. (This is a major win. Love the doc like I do, he is not a laugher as much as he's a smirker.)

One thing led to another, with all our tumor/cancer talk, and as we were talking about both the size of the tumor and the chance of return, he said something about the panel of doctors at the cancer conference having said that radiation should decrease the chance of return.

What?

What was that?

There was a panel of doctors talking about my tumor at a cancer conference?


Why, yes. Yes, there was.

It turns out that one of my many oncologists (my new life - it cracks me up, how many 35 yr olds do you know who have a team of oncologists? I mean really...) presented my case at the cancer conference, and there was a panel of doctors who sat with him and discussed treatment options. Across the board, radiation had been the prescribed treatment. ... It's good to know that I'm not wasting my time, lying on that radiation table for 10 minutes of my life every Monday-Friday.

When I called my mom to tell her the great news - that one of her kids finally has a serious claim to fame - she said "You're a freak." My response? "I'm not going to take that personally. It's not like you're a medical professional." Hers? "No, but I do know a little something about genetics." Hahaha!

So, we're famous, Darth and I. (In cancer circles, anyway.) I really did win the cancer lottery. I have a 13 inch scar, 5 tattoos, and was the subject of much discussion at the most recent cancer conference. The only thing that could make my life better? If I knew if I'd been added to a medical journal. I'll have to see what I can do about that.

It's awesome to be famous.

The End.