Monday, May 30, 2011

Thank you!



Yeah, I don't think I can say it any better than the pic above already did.

Happy Memorial Day, ya'll!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

I am SUCH a word nerd!

I read this book yesterday:



And this morning, I woke up talking to myself in really big words. For example, instead of walking in circles this morning, I meandered in a circuitous route. (True story. I actually thought those words. I had a sleepover at Jo's last night and woke up early this morning and couldn't get back to sleep. Instead of walking my own neighborhood this morning, I left her house shortly after 6:00 and walked myself in circles for an hour until it got too hot to be outside any longer.) And while I was walking in circles, I was thinking in big words. Not intentionally, mind you, but because vocab is contagious, and yesterday I read this incredible book with such wide and glorious language that I am still swimming in words.

Honestly, I do love words. And as a word lover, I so loved Ella Minnow Pea. I mean, I loved it! I laughed out loud at the premise. I giggled at the formal bordering-on-dictionary-needing words used at the beginning of the book. I was intrigued by the way they were able to modify language with the missing letters. I snorted at the spellings of the days/months shown at the top of the letters. I had to read the last few chapters/letters out loud, so I could hear what had been phonetically written, to be sure that I didn't miss even one syllable of what was being said. ... I marveled at the lesson in censorship and totalitarianism, and the dangers thereof, taught eloquently with such a simple tale.

Ah... Words. I love you so. More than anything else in my life.

I love it when I wake up, thinking in big words and still digesting a read from the day before. I can't think of anything I love more than that.

Books are my life.

The End.

PS ~ Many thanks to my girl, Myra, for having sent this book in lieu of flowers when I had surgery last June. Too bad it took me almost a year to read it. (I blame the medically induced lack of attention span, as well as the recent need to take many naps, for my not having gotten around to this book sooner. For shame!)

The End. (Again.)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Be still, my beating heart.

We all know that sometimes I'm a dirty old lady. I'm pretty sure I've told the world, more than once, about my love of one Zac Effron.



(Seriously. The eyes. Are ya kidding me with how blue they are? I swoon.)

Anyhoo... So, I'm a dirty old lady sometimes. Get over it.

But here's the thing... This time, I am really in love. Like, for reals. With three Italian teenagers who sing unlike any American men I've ever heard.

Be still, my beating heart.



Holy moly, am I in love with these kids. So much so that I want to dust off my passport and head to Italy... uh... tomorrow. (I figure if Italian boys can sing like that, who knows what Italian men could do.)

My stars. I am in love!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Progress Report

I'm halfway there, folks. I've been back at work for two and a half weeks and I have two and a half weeks to go until I go back out for surgery. Which means... Wa-freakin-hoo, it's hump day! :-)

And here's how it's going - I'm alive. Not thriving, mind you. But not dying, either. Work's been really good about letting me work half days (I do love a surgeon who won't let me work a full day when my ability to sit isn't as predictable as it should be). I'm pretty tired, I'm not going to lie, but I'm making it. I usually start the week out strong, by Wednesday am kind of tired, Thursday's long and Friday's downright painful, but then I have the weekend to recover and start fresh again on Monday. When my shift was changed from a 4x10 Mon-Thurs shift to a 4x10 M, Tu, Th, Friday shift back in February, I just rolled my eyes, gritted my teeth and bore it. Now that I'm working on a part-time basis with a body that feels awesome about half of that part-time week, I'm loving the break that having Wednesday off gives me.

So, I'm making it. I've already gotten through half of what I'd thought had the potential to be the longest 5 weeks of my life. I'm super grateful for friends and family who've run to the store, done laundry and checked in just to see how I'm feeling and coping. I know this is going to sound a little sick, but I'm actually kind of excited that I only have 2 more days this week, then 2 more weeks before I go back for the next surgery. This has been a long, long year, but I feel like there's a turn around the corner. (I just need to get my next surgery done and let my bum heal so I can enjoy whatever's coming, yes?)

Thanks for tuning in, folks. I'll continue to keep you posted. (You know me. The only thing I love more than a list, these days, is a progress report.)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Logic, according to me.

Most of you have met my boyfriend, Jane.


I so love Patrick Jane, of The Mentalist fame. I mean, I soooooo love him!

That being said... when I was surfing through my Netflix TV on DVD options and saw an ad for The Guardian, which ran from 2001-2003, you know I had to put it in my queue. Why? Because it's like the younger years with Jane. Also, it's a show about lawyers. And if my recent stint of watching The Good Wife, Season One, in less than a week is any indicator... I have a bit of a fascination with the law right now. (Listen, these people have good vocabularies and like to verbally mix it up and prove their point for a living. For reasons that I can't adequately explain, this fascinates and intrigues me. Not to mention... all the men are in suits and ties, all the time? It's like my own personal version of heaven.)

Anyhoo... The Guardian. It's a good time. I mean, it's not the best written show ever. The character development is all over the map. You love them, then you hate them. It's a little weird, in that there's no clear protagonist, but hey... They're all in suits and ties, and Simon Baker's leading the cast. What's not to love?

But I digress. The purpose of this post was to give you a little insight into the way my scary little brain works. (And, no, I'm not talking about the suit and tie thing. Anyone who knows anything about me knows that I love a man all dressed up.)

So, here's a pic of three of the leading men. Of course, Nick Fallin is front and center (delicious, no?), with his father to the left and his legal aid boss to the right of him.

Behold:



As I was watching an episode last night, there was a pretty intense father/son scene. They were kind of getting into it, and I was thinking "Gosh, they did a good job casting this show. I mean, it's totally believable that Nick is Burton's son!". Why did I think they could be related? I'll show you.

You may recognize, in this this circa 1982 shot, the man who plays Burton Fallin:



Yeah, that's Simon & Simon. Burton was previously known as Rick, the cowboy Simon brother.

Now, the question is why did I think they'd cast The Guardian so well? Because A.J. Simon was a blond. Thus, Nick Fallin being a blond made perfect sense. Like, A.J. Simon and Nick Fallin being blond was some kind of genetic link in Nick being Burton Fallin's (fake, tvland) son. For about 2 minutes, I thought it was pure casting genius to cast an attractive blond man as the son of an aging/balding gentleman who'd had a blond brother back in the 80's.

What the heck?

Yeah, I know. I amaze even myself. (And yes, I actually thought this through for a few minutes before I realized I was being nutty and they're just the cast of a TV show.) Egads. Sometimes, the way my brain works scares me. Other times, I'm just grateful for TV on DVD and I don't give anything other than the power suits and ties a second thought. (Okay, truth be told, that's most of the time. I do heart an expensive suit.)

Okay, enough of that. Disc 1 of Season Two came in the mail this afternoon, and I have something to do other than write blog posts. You know, really important stuff, like dissecting the DNA links in the cast. (I do love me a good science experiment. Heh heh heh.)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thanks. ... I think.

This afternoon, at work, one of the twenty-somethings who sit by me came in, took one look at me, smiled really big and said, "Wow. You look really young today."

Taken off guard that someone a good decade or more than me thought I looked young, I responded with, "I do? Thank you!".

He just stood there, looking down at me and smiling, then he cocked his head half-way and said "Yeah. Really young. ... Like, six."

Awesome. A much-younger than myself co-worker thinks I look like a 6 year old today. Too bad he didn't see me in the fuchsia T and kelly green cords I wore yesterday.



I wore *this outfit over to Jo's yesterday, thinking I was pretty cute and colorful in my Spring ensemble. ... Until I took a look in what Maggie (her 3 year old) had dressed herself in - a hot pink sweater and bring green pants.

Oh, well. Yesterday, I dressed like a 3 year old. Today, I look like a 6 year old. Maybe tomorrow I'll hit Sweet 16. We'll see.

*And yes, this is the outfit that got SOAKED through to the skin on my walk yesterday. ... A word to the wise: Do not wear baggy corduroy pants out for a walk in the rain. They're monumentally heavier when they're wet, and they get plenty soggy when a cloud bursts right over your head and you still have to walk a mile (in the rain) to get home. (And yeah, they're flung over the back of a kitchen chair, where I put them to dry out last night. I'm an awesome housekeeper like that. Don't judge.)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Two Dozen. Long-stemmed. Pink. ... On the fat side.



These lovely pink roses go out to my lovely mama. My computer came down with a virus on Mother's Day, so I was unable to post anything Mom-specific on that special day. Of course, I still called her, as I am wont to do on an almost-daily basis, anyway. (I'm not even kidding. Jude and I are pretty tight. I love her, in case you hadn't noticed.)

Today, I was thinking about my mom. Specifically, I was thinking about what a great example she has been for me, for so many people, on so many levels: selfless service (a quality I did not inherit - it seems that neither nature nor nurture could turn me into a "really, really nice Mormon lady" a la Ude), a happy disposition (which I do my best to emulate every day of my life), a cheerful attitude (again, I try, but my mother, I am not), and a ready laugh (this I can claim as well). My mom never complains. It's a little inhuman sometimes, how cheerful and pleasant she can be. But a Stepford Wife, she is not. She is truly good and patient and loving. She is long-suffering and kind. She is everything good in the world, and every bit of me that is even a little good or kind or fun is there because she is who raised me.

Thanks, Mom, for setting the bar so high. Thanks for loving me, for loving everyone, so completely. I'm super glad your heart rate never slowed to zero, that you've been here for my whole life. I love you! (Enough to send you two dozen, long-stemmed pink roses... on the fat side. Virtually, if not literally. But really, that's only because we all know that you'd probably have to pay for them, living as I am on a part-time salary right now. You, you, you. (And your pocketbook.) That's all I ever think about.)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I survived!

Now I think I'll go take a 4 hour nap, which should work out splendidly. I'll wake up at 7:30 for dinner, then go back to bed at 10:00.

My life is so exciting, isn't it?

The End.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Heigh-Ho!

That's right, folks, it's come to that. ("That", being going back into the workforce.) It's been 6 weeks and 1 day since I had surgery (and I'm pleased to report that I can now sleep on my side all night long - glory be and hallelujah! - I may still struggle to lift a full gallon of milk and wearing heels makes my core feel like it's about to spontaneously combust, but at least I can lie on my side).

My advice to you: Don't ever have your abdomen cut open, specifically in a vertical line from the top of your ribcage down past your bellybutton. It may be the only way to remove certain types of tumors, but still... it hurts and the recovery is long and arduous.

My further advice to you: Don't grow a tumor. Don't. Don't even think about that. Not growing tumors will most likely save you from said surgery, which will make your blog/public journal a lot more fun for your readers. (I know that mine get a little sick of the carnage from time to time.)

So... I'm returning to work, bright and early tomorrow morning. I may even sing like I'm a dwarf. (But only because I like to say "dig" over and over and over again in a silly voice. Not because I actually work in a diamond mine.)

As some of you are aware, I had hoped to extend my medical leave to have a secondary procedure done. As a result of my previous surgery and bed-ridden-ness, I have Pilonidal Cysts (cysts on the end of my tailbone) that have become infected and need to be surgically removed. If you're the medical awareness type and would like more info on exactly what these are, click here. There aren't pictures (though I'm sure you could find them, if you're a sicko who's into that kind of thing), but there's a little write-up/explanation of what they are.

Let me just tell you - they hurt. Miserably. And the longer I was down flat on my back and/or bum from surgery, the worse they got. (Again, there are not words for how grateful I am that I can now lie on my side.)

Anyhoo... I'd hoped to have surgery this month to have them removed, then return to work in June once I was all healed up, but that was not to be. The new plan is to return to work now, and work through the second week of June, at which time I will qualify for FMLA again, then I'll go back out on a secondary medical leave and have the cyst issue remedied. (As most of you are aware, I'd exhausted by FMLA in 2010 with a similar tumor-removal procedure, and my employer, out of the goodness of their hearts, granted my initial 6 week medical leave to have surgery in March of this year. Bless them forever and ever for giving me unpaid time off work that they didn't have to give. I'm so grateful.)

I'll be working limited hours, because... uh... because I can't exactly sit for a 10 hour shift these days. Work has been incredibly gracious and understanding of my limitations, as have my insurance companies. The plan is that I'll work the next 6 weeks on a part-time basis, and then go out for approx 4 weeks to have another surgery mid-summer.

My life is a zoo. A medical zoo. By the time I have this next procedure done, I will have had 3 surgeries in 12 months. Two of them were incredibly invasive. (The third is just a little awkward. But whatever gets rid of the pain, man.) Prior to June 2010, I had never been cut open, I sure didn't have any tattoos (thank you, Radiation, for those 5 tats on my tummy), I had never taken prescription pain meds, I had never had a scar over 1/2 inch long.

Boy howdy, has the last year set some new parameters for me. I have been sicker than I would have ever thought possible. I've had to learn to live with pain that was previously unimaginable. I've learned a whole new definition of "poor" (you try not working for 3 months of the year, two years in a row and see what it does to your budget). I've had relationships change (and some die), because I wasn't well enough to put as much energy into them as I had been able to do previously. ... At the same time, I've learned that being sick doesn't mean that you have to be miserable, and that even when you're in pain you can choose to be happy. I've learned that a very small amount of money is enough, as long as I pay my tithing and use what is left for what it needful. The relationships that have withstood the test of time (and me being sick and unable to go and do) have strengthened. I am closer to my friends and family than I ever have been. Having been limited to what contact I can make by phone or by internet has brought me closer to my people than I ever was when I could pick up and go and do.

Relationships have been redefined, money has a different value to me, I am infinitely more aware of the importance of choice - because sometimes (oftentimes) the only choice any of us has is how we react to what snow cone we were given. (For the record, I would have chosen a grape snow cone. That sure isn't what I got, but it's what I would have chosen. I heart purple syrup.)

The last few months, the last year, really, has been hard. But it has also been good. I testify that the Lord really doesn't give us more than we can handle. I know this, because He has helped me handle things on a day to day basis that were previously unimaginable. I know that there is a greater measure of good than bad, in all of our lives, if we but look for it. In the face of trial and affliction, I have seen more blessings than I had ever been able to see before. I've always loved the scripture about there being opposition in all things, but I have an entirely new likening for that scripture in my life. I know that He will never let what is hard outweigh what is good. There is always an opposition, it's an eternal law. Hard things happen, but so do awesome, incredible, happy and even easy things. When I have looked for the opposition (or opposite) of what I have struggled with, I have found more light and more peace than I had ever experienced before. I have so very many blessings, in large part, because I have been so very sick.

Of course, I still recommend not growing a tumor. (Seriously. Don't do it.) But here's the thing - having grown a tumor (and then another one) changed me. I have always liked to think of myself as a happy girl, I have always tried to find the upside or funny things in life. But it wasn't until, literally, the only choice I had in how I felt was in how I let my spirit react to what my body was going through that I realized how incredible agency is, and that the Lord is always there, even in the tiny, little, otherwise unnoticeable and insignificant details. I love Him, and because of Him, I can do whatever it is that I need to do.

And this week, what I need to do is to go back to work. So I will. And it will be hard, but it will be doable. And I only have to do it for 6 weeks. I just may have to complain about my bum from time to time. (I know how much my mom loves it (heavy sarcasm there, folks) when I put really personal and sometimes gruesome details on my blog, but the thing is... no way am I the only person who has to deal with this stuff, and if it will help any one single person to know that they aren't the only person who has cysts on their tailbone, I will totally talk about it.)

So, tomorrow I'm off to work. For a nice, short, half-day. (Look at me, pep-talking myself.) And then I'm pretty sure I'll sing all the way home. Why? Because my life is a musical. (Besides, it's a fun little ditty that everyone should get stuck in their head from time to time.)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

I have the best mom!



It's true, I do. I have the best mom! She is the most fun to talk to or play with, the best little apron and dress alterer, the best maker of cheese sauce on toast, my favorite person to share a lb of M&M's with. She is the best walking companion (besides the walker itself, which you know has a place near and dear to my heart), the best movie watching partner, my favorite person to just hang out and be with.

She was here for just over a month after my surgery. Just like the first time, she stayed with me in the hospital for the full week I was there, and then came home and slept on my couch until I was strong enough to boil my own spaghetti water and put my own dishes into the dishwasher. How lucky am I (how lucky are we?) that we got to spend that huge chunk of time together? Again. (I tell you, one of the - few - perks of having major surgery twice in one year is that I get Judy all to myself.)

I love my mom. I love her so ridiculously much. I'm so glad we're family and friends! The older I get, the more I realize how incredibly blessed I am to have the relationship that I have with my mother. She is the #1 Mom, and I'm so glad she's mine.

I believe it was Abraham Lincoln who said, "All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother". Amen, Abe. Amen.