Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What I do when I'm at work.

This is what I do at work (you know, besides working) - I count weeks on a calendar. Of the last 62 weeks, I’ve worked an accumulative 32. True story.

Here, I’ll show you the breakdown:

22 full weeks out (three surgeries, 9 weeks out, 6 weeks out and 5 weeks out + 2 weeks of vacation time)

16 weeks part time (6 weeks, 7 weeks and then 3 weeks part time for recovery from said surgeries)

That’s 38 weeks out of the last 62 that I haven’t worked full time. Granted 16 of them were part time, which means that my total out has been 30 weeks of the last 62, but I think 38 sounds more impressive so I'm keeping that number.

This is how I cope with working 40 hour weeks, by counting back to figure out how many weeks I haven’t worked this year. As sick as that may sound, it makes me feel better.

Just call me Pollyanna.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The latest

It has come to my attention that when I don't blog on a regular basis, friends and family start to worry.

As in... Is everything okay? How are you feeling? Do you have something exciting going on and don't have time to write? ... Did you meet someone and are dating again?

The answers are: yes, fine, no... just work... and - uh - no. No, I sure didn't.

Here's the thing, folks. I went back to work. 40 hours a week, like a real grown up person again. I'm really trying to focus on the positives (you know, like a full pay check), but these full days are KILLING me. (Mostly because I want to take a nap between 2:00 and 4:00. Sad, but true.)

This weekend I did some fun stuff:

I went to Toby Keith's Bar & Grill and had myself a fried twinkie. (It's true.) They are not as delicious as I thought they would be. I was expecting something a little sweeter, I think. ... My recommendation, if you go to Toby Keith's and are in need of a dessert food, go with the brownie. But first have them warm it up for you. (And yeah, I know which dessert is better because my friend Christian and I ordered one of each so we could have a contrast/comparison dessert tasting experience. You know how much I love to be able to taste and compare foods, right? Well, so does Christian and she's a good enough friend to support me in my need for scientific dessert food research.)

I had sweet potato tater puffs. (Yeah, that was the name on the menu.) They're basically tater tots, but made with sweet instead of regular potatoes, and then they're shaken in cinnamon and sugar when they come out of the fryer. Holy smokes, folks! DELISH! (Better than the deep fried twinkie.) I would go back to Toby's just for the sweet potato tots - no joke.

I treated myself to a bucket of theater popcorn and the monkey movie.

It was FANTASTIC! ... Seriously, it was really very good. (I'm not going to lie, I was pretty much sold on the idea of going to this movie as soon as I realized James Franco was the scientist guy, but after multiple reports from trusted sources (like my mother), I was in.) So good! I was literally on the edge of my seat during the big fight scene. And while I do spend a lot of my time on the edge of my seat, due to not wanting to put undo pressure on my tailbone, this was the kind of "what the heck's gonna happen next?!" front-of-the-seat behavior. It was good. Really good!

I cleaned my bathroom AND my kitchen.

I (gasp) made my bed. (First time I could remember fully making my bed in months. I think I may have made it the morning I went in to have the tailbone procedure done - but I'm not sure. If it wasn't then, it may have been in March. Not even kidding.)

I washed, folded and put away two and a half weeks of laundry. (I know, because I counted the pairs of underwear when I was done. I'm sick like that. I love to know how many days it's been since I've done laundry, and that's always a sure-fire way to know.)

I sure didn't vacuum. (I thought about it, though. I even moved the kitchen chair that's been holding my laptop for 3 weeks from the living room back to the kitchen in preparation of vacuuming, but when push came to shove I decided I'd rather sit than push the vacuum. Surprised? ... No, I didn't think so.)

I went to 3+ hours of church. Yup, I'm counting choir practice and a fireside tonight in my + hours. The way I see it, I just bought myself 2 hours off some church time in the near future. ... I know, I know. I should repent for even thinking such a thing. Maybe tomorrow, because tomorrow's another day. (Look at me, channeling Scarlett O'Hara there. A red flag that I need to repent and change my behavior/thought patterns, to be sure.)

I watched some really bad TV (Netflix doesn't always know what's good for me, and it's a shame that I'm too lazy to get up and turn off the tv sometimes) and some really good TV (I found that Leverage season 4 current episodes stream on TNT's website).

I ate a lot of peaches and blueberries and grapes (but not at the same time, because that does not sound delicious AT ALL!).

And... that's about the gist of my weekend. Super big/fun stuff, right? Family members who'd been worried that my life was all exciting and dramatic and that's what was keeping me off the www need not be alarmed. My life's as mundane - and my carpet's as filthy - as ever.

Stay tuned for a possible cookie comparison taste test coming later this week. (Seriously, I bought Grasshopper cookies for the sole purpose of doing a blind taste test against Thin Mints.) This is the excitement in my life. I'm sure you can hardly wait for me to share the results.

In the meanwhile... I'm off to bed. Why? Because I have to be a responsible person and get up and go to work tomorrow. Welcome back to the reality of Monday morning, Evans. Oh, and welcome back to the boring details of my life, readers. You know I love ya! :-)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Aunt Marie to the rescue!

It's 9:00 PM on a Friday night.

This is what I want for dinner. (Yeah, it's 9:00 and I'm just eating dinner. So what?)

That's right. Olive Garden's Steak Gorgonzola Alfredo. Be still my beating heart (and clogged arteries). I love it so!

This is what I'm eating for dinner.


Yeah, Aunt Marie's frozen fettuccine + a 1/3 carton of blue cheese is so totally not the same thing. But at least there's some goopy high-calorie sauce. ... And a lot of blue cheese. (A winning combination, if you ask me!)

I do love frozen food. ... Don't get me wrong, I like restaurant food WAY BETTER, but at 9:00 on a Friday night, after working a 40 hour week, there's something incredibly satisfying about sitting down with a bowl of pasta and Dr. Cal Lightman that I can't quite put my finger on. (Oh, wait. Yes, I can. It's carbs, covered in cheese + a super smart scientist guy with a British accent. This is way better than any of my recent dates in my real life!)

Here's to Aunt Marie and Netflix! They make me a happy girl. :-)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

My knees hurt

And not because I've been spending too much praying. ... Uh, no. No, that's definitely not why.

I'm not sure why they hurt, but I'm thinking it might be because I've been spending 10 hours of my life at a desk the past few days. Or maybe it's because I haven't been spending enough (read: any) time walking. ... Or, my favorite excuse, maybe it's because I had radiation treatments a year ago that aged my body an approximate and virtual 30 years.

I love to blame radiation for all of my ills.

Why? Because I like to think I'm not doing anything wrong in my life that would make me feel like such an old woman (except for maybe I do eat too much fried chicken).

Also, radiation DID do a major number on me. The good news? Most radiation side-effects fade 12 months after treatment ends - and I will hit that 12 month mark 4 weeks from today.

This time last year, I couldn't keep more than 4 saltines down. And even then, I had to medicate after every meal/snack so I wouldn't projectile vomit every bit of water and cracker in my system.

Six months ago today I found out that my body had gone and grown another tumor. (Read: the cancer was back.) I found out that I had a new tumor and that I would have to have abdominal surgery (AGAIN!) in the same day. (So not my best day ever.)


Those things having been said, I think I'll keep my creaky and achy knees. I can eat food other than saltines and Ritz, and I'm cancer free. Who gives a flying leap if my knees hurt at the end of the day?

Life. It's all about perspective.

I think I'll go kneel on my achy knees and give a little (by which I mean short, not small or inconsequential) prayer of gratitude for my aches and pains.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Variation on a theme

I've told you how much I love barns, right?

I do. I love them!

I always love barns. It doesn't matter where I see them - on the side of the freeway, driving through a small town in Utah, in period/retro pieces of art and/or puzzles. (All true examples of where I've seen and loved barns.)

But my favorite barns are the barns from my childhood.

Check this out. It's in my Top 5 Favorite Barns of All Time. Why? Because I totally used to sneak into it and play for hours on end when I was little.

Yup, I said "sneak into it". I was totally not allowed to play in this barn. My mom didn't know I was there, and the owners didn't know I was there, either. Do you see the little door, on the right side, about a third of the way up the wall? Yeah, that was on hinges, and I'd totally open it (with a nail or a sharp stick, if memory serves), throw my school bag into the hay and then crawl/shimmy my way up the wall of the barn, then I'd throw myself into the barn and disappear from sight.

The day that the Pearce girls caught me in there was one of the worst days of my life.

It's true. In fact, I may even go so far as to say it's on the list of The Top 5 Worst Days of My Childhood. It was super traumatic. The oldest sister was wearing beaded/braided barrettes in her hair. I remember, because her hair was long and dark and shiny, and with those beaded barrettes, I was afraid she was gonna go crazy on me and scalp me or something, like her Indian ancestors. (The irony? She was caucasian. I don't think she had an ounce of Navajo blood in her. But her hair was long and dark and shiny, and her barrettes were of a south western motif and I had a pretty powerful imagination - as I'm sure you can imagine.)

Anyway, I had to stop playing in the barn after that day. (The thought of possibly being scalped is a scary and motivating thing for a girl who freaks out over the sight of blood.) But I never stopped loving the barn.

Here's another pic from a different angle.

Ahhh... Weathered barn wood with ivy crawling up the side. Does it get better than that? I think not.

Home. Barns. Memories of the day that I literally (okay, figuratively) escaped with the hair on my head. ... I love them all.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Today's Top 10

The Top 10 Reasons Why I Love Being at Home:

10. Sleeping with the window open
9. The combined sounds of crickets chirping and ball games at night
8. Bits' slices
7. Night is black (and my parents live on one of the best lit streets on town)
6. Trapper's pie is only a phone call away
5. There are 4 cartons of ice cream in the freezer at any given time
4. I can't leave the house without running into people I know (and love!)
3. Chips and salsa is a valid (and popular) meal choice
2. Quoting movies with Mom and Dad
1. Barns

I'm not even kidding. I love barns. I love the old wood, the history, the falling-down-ness of them (and that the owners just kind of let them fall apart instead of tearing them down and rebuilding, there's something beautiful in that),

This is one of my favorites. Check out the wood jointing. Isn't that beautiful? I've loved this barn my whole life, and it seriously only gets better with age. ... The way the sky shows through the slats in the ceiling, where the roof has fallen? Gorgeous!

I love being home!

I think I'll go have some ice cream now. (Blue Bell's Summer Berries is the latest, and possibly greatest, love of my life.)