Friday, August 13, 2010

I'm Just Gonna Dump !

I don't usually blog about how yukky I feel. I try to keep this blog my "little happy place." Another place where I pretend to be who I want to be - funny & happy & optimistic.

But I feel rotten. I can barely move my neck, my lip hurts because I have a cold sore, and I'm sweaty and exhausted.

Taken separately, I can handle these things - I'm pretty used to the fibromyalgia body pain stuff, and can usually handle it by using my favorite combo: massage and narcotics. Being sweaty and exhausted isn't particularly out of my league either. But the cold sore...

The cold sore pushed me over the edge. For most people, a cold sore is an irritating little blemish. For me, a cold sore is a potentially massive agonizing open wound that leaves a scar, as verified by the 1974 memory on my bottom lip. The first tingle strikes unimaginable terror in my heart. Really.

So today, in the midst of my ick, I naturally searched for a flickr photo of a "garbage dump." And again, I am humbled and embarrassed by what I found.

Pictures of Indian kids sorting through rubbish for scraps of food or stuff to sell. Proving that one can always find some good mixed into the bad - one man's trash is another man's treasure.

Photos of bagged garbage - once people's prized possessions - piled against flood-ravaged homes. The sign of communities coming together to rebuild. Optimism and hope.

And this photo "ice cream man at the garbage dump." Showing me that even though life can be full of crap, you can make a life in the middle of it.

But I still feel rotten.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Bed...

Everybody's into the whole vampire thing. The craze, started by a book written by Stephanie Meyer, has been going on for about 5 years, and I just never understood it.

I mean, I was always attracted to The Bad Boy as avidly as is anyone with double-X chromosomes, but when the vampire with smoldering (golden) eyes & glittery body and his Native American enemy crashed onto and destroyed the literary scene, I was righteously disgusted. It was my duty as a former English lit. major to stand up for elevated prose, for goodness sake!

But before long, every Earth woman above the age of 2 had either read the first Twilight book or had it read to them by their panting mother, sister, Aunt, Grandmother, or babysitter, and I swiftly and firmly moved from disgust to anger.

Didn't these women know how silly they acted? Getting all swoony over a stupid vampire named Edward Cullen? I was embarrassed for them. And besides, c'mon! If you're looking for a hunk, check out that Malfoy kid from the last Harry Potter movie! He doesn't need any glitter, baby!

But I digress.

I finally decided I had no business judging something I had not seen, so I gave in & watched the first movie made of the series: Twilight. And I hated it. Loathed it. I thought it was the worst movie I'd seen in my life. Bad special effects, badly-acted characters, sketchy plot.

Then my dear, innocent, impressionable young daughter (oh, okay, she's 25) read Twilight and, although she disliked the movie as well, enjoyed the novel and convinced me to read it. I didn't loathe it as I did the movie, but I didn't much like it. You'd think that the author was a 12 year old girl rather than a religious mother of several young children. The drool almost seeps from her lengthy and repeated descriptions of how delicious and sexy and amazing and handsome and scary and dangerous Edward is. I think I even spit up into my mouth a few times.

So why, oh why, did I go to the last movie, Eclipse? I guess I really WANTED to like it. It was surprisingly unbad! However, my feelings about Edward have not changed. He might glitter. He might run fast. He might smolder. He might even look nice when he threateningly sneers at the Native American boy - who turns out to be (tick tick tick) A WEREWOLF....

but I, Patricia Underwood, now howlingly swear my allegiance to Jacob forevermore.

Friday, June 4, 2010

New Neighbors

Originally uploaded by floridapfe
My dream has come true.
It is Mark's nightmare.

We have a mama skunk and 3 (or 4!) of her babies living under our shed and I am thrilled. We saw the mama leading the babies across the neighbors' lawn and across their porch last evening and then found the babies scratching the ground for food outside our back door last night.

They are the cutest dang things in the world!

Scott decided to look in the back yard at about midnight and one started coming toward him. When it saw Scott, he stopped and dove at the ground and clawed it as a show of strength, and then came closer. He clawed again, then got really brave and "attacked" Scott's shoe. Then he backed away, and hit him again.

Now this thing is tiny. A fuzzy Nerf football with a bottle-brush tail that looks as though it is coming right out of it's back. Not exactly threatening.

Scott stood and laughed as this little thing hit him about 4 times as it moved in an arc to get closer to the shed. Finally it just turned and waddled away to his hole!

Poor Mark is sure that we're not only gonna get sprayed, but that within a few months we'll be overrun with skunks. Our 2 cats are already comfortable with them and wait by the windows and door for them to begin their evening hunt for grubs and bugs.

And I am putting out watermelon rinds and looking forward to them being wonderful little friends.

Famous last words.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I'm a quitter - on my way to being a loser.

What WOMAN! I'm so stinkin' proud of myself I could burst. But not of fatness. Nooooooo. I'm popping out of my buttons because I quit eating sugar.

Sugar. My life has BEEN sugar for what .... oh.... 48 years or so?

I love all things sweet. Ben & Jerry's ice cream. Grocery store cakes with greasy roses. Toaster Strudels - several times a day. Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper. Gummy bears & worms. Spoonfuls* of Nutella. Large spoonfuls. (*See, I think it should be "spoonsful" but Mr. Spell Check disagrees. Idiot.)

I have lived on sugar for so long that I really dislike fruit. Oh, I can handle watermelon & cantaloupe, maraschino cherries, strawberries smooshed up with lots of sugar, and Fuji (the sweetest) apples with Jiff (which is bazillion% sugar) Peanut Butter.

But I've committed to 1 week without sugar. No sugary treats, no syrupy canned fruit, no sweetened juices, no jam or jelly, no kid's cereal. No Nutella. No cookies. No cake. Did I say no sugar? **GASP**

And I'm on day 3 and I'm feelin' good, feelin' strong, givin' 110%, takin' the ball & runnin' with it, and bringin' it home, baby. I have high hopes for a long run of this. Pass day 7 and not look back. My goal is to learn to like fruit, figure out how to make good food a priority ... and in the process feel better and ... bonus: maybe lose weight.

And I've gotta say, so far it's not that hard.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

And God saw that it was good.

I gots me a new camera last week. I've taken about 150 pictures (and deleted 70 of them). Photos of the cats. The plastic plants that decorate the house. The textures of our recliner and curtain. The camera-shy (thus, usually posed) family.

But the jackpot was our back yard. I played with the lavender bushes, the roses, the cherry tree. But my favorite photos have to be the ones I snapped of the funky guava blossoms.

I've noticed that there is not a single man-made thing that can compete with the beauty that God has created for us on this Earth. And when I look around and admire His wonderful gifts and offer my thanks, I feel His smile and hear Him whisper, "You're welcome. Thank you for noticing."

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Nose Droppings

Water Breathing Dragon
Originally uploaded by Sangudo
I'm married to a doctor named Mark.

It's always good that I'm married to Mark*. It's sometimes awkward that I'm married to a doctor. Because I'm arrogant enough to argue with him.

Take today. (Please. Ba-BOOM!) I've had a stupid sore throat and chills for about a week and have spent the entire time in my jammies curled up in a fetal position.

I'm mighty sick of it all, so earlier today I held my little mirror in front of my face, cranked my mouth open as far as it would go & shined a light into the deep recesses of my pain. It was red and I was glad. Glad, I tell ya. Because redness means it's not "all in your head."

Then Mark goes and looks and tells me it's not inflamed. WHAT? He goes on to say that I probably have allergies. Well, I won't even GO into that part - Okay, I will...I've had allergies forever, and this ain't no allergy. But, just to be fair, I squirted the requisite nose spray into my nostrils.

Because Mark doesn't always love my joke,

"And you call yourself a doctor..."

*hi honey. I love you forever.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Water Color

water color
Originally uploaded by Nora Al_F
I've decided that I want more color in my life.

Nothing symbolic here. No allusion to variety or excitement. Just literal COLOR.

I want my life to be full of bright, uplifting, joyous colors.

And I shall be happy.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Non-Fat Yarn

I think I've mentioned these in past blogs, on facebook, in conversations, my prayers, and on grocery lists: CUPCAKES.

Intellectually, we all know that cupcakes are just, uh, cake. Cake with frosting. They're just little. So what's the point?

Well, I'm glad you asked. Here are my theories, but remember, I'm no expert.

1. Cupcakes are portable. Not like stick-em-in-your-purse, or even popped into a baggy, of course. Just "no plate necessary," fingerable treats that leave the other hand ready for the milk.

2. Cupcakes can be made without dirtying pans, as well as enjoyed without the burden of silverware.

3. Cupcakes just SOUND happy. Say it with me. CUP-CAKES. Fun, huh?

4. Cupcakes are a blast to decorate. Frosting, fondant, sprinkles, jimmies, sugars, glitters, and them silver ball things that when you're a little kid you aren't sure if you should eat them cuz you don't know if they're food; and then when you decide to bite one, it feels like it will break your teeth so you're still not sure if it's food, but you chomp anyway and feel like a grown up when you realize you've conquered the mystery. (My silver ball dawning was in 1st grade - but then, cupcakes weren't the norm on the ranch.)
But I digress...

5. Cupcakes can be made of stuff besides flour, etc! Yarn, felt, clay - heck, I've even seen them made from plaster of paris. Of course, those aren't quite as tasty.

6. Cupcakes are WAY more fun to look at then regular cakes. Sure, most of them can't hold a candle to a wedding cake, but you've got to admit that you don't see a lot of pictures of Betty Crocker's sheet cake showing up online.

I've listed a few reasons why Cupcakes absolutely rock. Now I admonish YOU to take a few minutes to ponder what Cupcakes mean to you.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

People-Control Pills

Birth Control
Originally uploaded by visual28

About a month ago, Sidney's former "bosom friend" - the girl who played Diana to Sid's Anne of Green Gables - posted a message to Sidney on her facebook page congratulating her on her marriage and the upcoming birth of her baby. Sidney was less than happy. Much less than happy.

It was not the first time that "Diana" had done something like this. And not the first time that she apologized over-sincerely - and then turned the situation around and blamed Sidney's reaction on misinterpretation and over-sensitivity. I got a message from a friend in Montana who had heard from her daughter - who lives in Los Angeles - that I'm going to be a grandmother. So because of a "joke," I have good friends 3,000 miles away wondering why I haven't told them about my child's upcoming parenthood.

And I'm so overly sensitive that I'm hoping someday somebody comes up with a pill that will shut the mouths of the "Dianas" of the world.

Friday, May 14, 2010


Originally uploaded by fabbriciuse
Ya ever get that thing where you start out with achy shoulders and then it moves up to a neck that you stretch and crank and rotate but it doesn't work so the ache climbs up to your temples, then turns into a pain and starts throbbing in the deepest innards of your head then makes you nauseated?

Got that as we speak.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Originally uploaded by mobpon

Stupid night.

Last month I made a reservation through ORBITZ for our 3 day stay in San Diego. Today, I found out that they made our reservation for THIS month - day. after. tomorrow.

After speaking to "Aries" (an Indian man) in Manila for 25 minutes, I was more confused than ever. And so was Aries. He had the reservation listed on his computer for next month as well.
He tried to contact the Marriott, but was unable to get through - even though it was 2 o'clock in the morning - not exactly "crunch time" for the front desk guy. Once I told him that I had already spoken to the man, he asked me to make a conference call so the three of us could work it out!

Idiot that I am, I woke Mark up. Turns out that we can't do a conference call using our good old home phone. I finally gave up on Orbitz and cancelled my reservation, then called James back at the Marriott and re-reserved!

Even though it was a huge hassle, it turns out that I got a lower rate ($18 less per night) than I had gotten through Orbitz. Now I can buy 30 churros at Disneyland!

My biggest problem now that the hotel is taken care of is that after being on hold for 20 minutes, I've lost my love for Pacabel's Cannon in D.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Made the Reservations!

Stephanie is graduating next month, and Sidney & Scott (DUH!) and I are going down for the gala. I booked our motel accommodations today, and wanted to show a photo of where we're staying. But I thought this photo of the University of CA San Diego library was a lot cooler.

Yeah. Good choice.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

No scallops for me!

053/365 - Passport
Originally uploaded by armiller007
It was the trip we'd planned for months -

Mark has a yearly medical conference, and this year it is being held in Vancouver, BC, Canada. We had looked forward to it and were excited to have some time together away from 'reality.'

We were packing and preparing on Friday night to fly out on Saturday afternoon. The conference finishes up on Tuesday morning, but we decided to take an extra night for some "us" time, and fly back on Wednesday afternoon. I had checked the weather forecast and was really nervous because there was a chance of snow. SNOW. I haven't been in snow for 4 years, and my body starts to spasm when it hits 50, so I was preparing for the worst.

While I arranged the rows of thick socks and sweaters in my suitcase and pondered which coat to take, Mark opened our little safe to get my passport. Suddenly, he said, "Well, you don't have to worry about it any more" and tossed my passport to me across the bed.

So much for my evenings in a nice hotel, schmoozing with old friends, and dinners of scallops (I had actually dreamed about scallops!) in fine restaurants.

It expired in June 2009.

There are 2 very good things that have come of this:

1) On Saturday afternoon, I was hit HARD by the flu. The sobbing, cramping, feeling like death flu.

2) We're supposed to fly to Spain in November. If I would have found my expired passport the night before THAT trip, I would have jumped off a bridge.

So I'm looking at it like it's a good thing. And chanting, "Spain.Spain.Spain.Spain."

Friday, January 22, 2010


Originally uploaded by!
Oh, how I love farming.

I don't care if it's -20 degrees or a scorching mid-summer day. I can spend literally hours digging, planning the budget, seeding the soil, and purchasing outbuildings.

I happily move fence posts and corrals, check the barns for newborn calves, brush the horses, clip the sheep, and milk the goats. I gather eggs, share them with my neighbors, and pluck the feathers from my geese, turkeys, and ducks.

My neatly planted trees are harvested regularly, and I gather lovely bunches of flowers from my greenhouse and sell them from my stand.

Somehow I even find the time to tend to my own big yard - trimming the hedges and big evergreen trees, as well as tending the flowers - after shooing the cats out of their shade.

And all while sitting on my big butt - t.v. blaring in the background.

Aaaaahhhh, FarmVille-fantasy.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Forget the Chiuhuahua

Well, this is what we got. Only a very, very sick one.

Her name is Andie, and we found her 9 days ago at the pound. She was spayed the next morning & we brought her stoned, limp, stinky body home.

Where she proceeded to pee, poop up Giardia parasites, and eventually cough up 1/2 of a lung. After a 2am trip to the 24 hour veterinary hospital, we found out that she had pneumonia and was gonna die like a dog if we didn't put her into isolation with an i.v. drip, yadda yadda for $2500 - $3500. And she might die anyway.

For the most part, we opted to care for her at home - pushing ringers lactate subcutaneously, feeding 'pill pockets' of antibiotics, sprinkling powder onto her food, and thumping her sides.

When things started to look pretty hopeless, she ended up spending 2 days (with a night at home in between) in the hospital where they did the same thing. For a lot of money.

She liked us better.

Unfortunately, our house smells like an infected spitoon because for 2 days she choked and choked and choked and choked and we wiped and wiped and lysoled and scooped and hosed and bleached and cried and yet....


Potty training aside, things are looking up.

Monday, January 4, 2010


Presley Paige
Originally uploaded by KariMogensen
I'll come clean.

I prefer big dogs. I have always considered any dog under 20 pounds a 'drop-kick dog.' Not just useless, but unworthy of the breath that they steal from REAL animals.

I've especially despised Chihuahuas. I've always found them yappy, unsmiling rodents who dart up to you so fast that your ankles are bloody before you've had time to take evasive action. Unless they are mincing and wiggling on your lap, slathering kisses into your mouth as their smiling owners say, "Oooh. He LIKES you!"

Kill them all. Stupid dogs. Stupid owners.

But then I met Mocha. My cousin's totally, un-nasty TINY dog. I had no idea that Chihuahuas can fetch little balls. That they are fierce and fearless at tug-of-war and play-growl like they can whip a 200 pound man. That they really CAN be taught not to eat the neighbor lady.

And they are soooo stinkin' cute when they get sleepy and their yawns are so big that they almost turn inside out.

I want a Chihuahua. And I would only let it bite mean people who call them 'drop-kick dogs.'

I guess you can teach an old lady new tricks.