Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat!

I for one am glad it is over!!!

I actually closed up shop with a few pieces left in my witches cauldron. I had enough of the teenagers, kids driven from the other side of town, and MOTHERS looking for my treats. When I said MOTHERS, I meant, MOTHERS. I kid you not.

And then there are the kids that stand at the door with their bags and dont say anything, much less "trick or treat", or even "thank you".

I must be getting old and crotchety, but seriously, other than getting the kids ready, I do not enjoy this holiday at all any more.

Sorry for being such a downer, but I had to vent to someone!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Can you live without em?

Because I am starting to think they are overrated!

I am talking about frick and frack, better known as my troublesome twosome, also known as my kidneys. Because today I am sporting a raging double kidney infection.

And I am not happy about it.

Tag, you're it!

You had better read closely, because your name may be on my list!

No, its not that kind of list, and no, I will not tag you, or you, because you won't play nice in the sandbox if I do. Did you catch the dare? I dare you and you!! But if you don't, you better share some lovin' on me or I will haunt you more than I already do! bwhahahaha!

BUT, you! You are on this list, so I expect some love in return!

Heidi tagged me for two MeMe's. I bet YOU knew where this was headed didn't you? I would utterly enjoy reading what you and you would share, but I know its a tall order to add to your already full menu's. So I will leave it up to you!

And just when you thought I was done... I tag you and you too!
Here are the rules:
Post the rules on your blog.
Write 7 random things about yourself.
Tag 7 people at the end of your post (I tagged mine before, so I suppose I cheated).

Pass on the tag.

7 things:

1. I would much rather curl up on the sofa with my family than hang out in a bar with my friends (even though I love me my friends!)

2. I am an insomniac.

3. I am a recovering chocaholic.

4. I started a jewelry blog, and an Etsy account, and then never photographed the jewelry hence, never sold any. Now instead wear most of it...

5. One of the sales ladies at Coach bought a piece of my jewelry right off my neck (well sort of... she paid me to make an identical piece)!

6. I love live music in small venues (like my club). When in small venues I will listen to ANY kind of music. But on the radio I am very picky!

7. I can't outrun most toddlers (Heidi, I HAD to!)

So please, share with me your 7 randoms. You all know who you are (if you don't then my subliminal "you's didn't work, and you need to go back to the top and re-read my prose)!

The purpose of this next meme is to share five ways blogging has affected you, either positively or is negatively.

Here goes!

+ I have found some really cool and fun and talented people that I love to hang out with on the internets!

- I have bored a lot of people with my lack of wit and wisdom (ok, well not a lot of people, because really, you are the only people who stop by, and now you will probably all leave and never come back!).

+ I have found "locals" who some day I may or not have the pleasure of meeting, but knowing that we have commonalities sure is fun! (ha! you thought that "area" included the far south where you live! ha! ha! Ok, well close enough, I will include you cuz I heart you!)

+ I found support in times when I needed it. I had ears that listened without judgement and was able to share stories to people who saw them from a new perspective.

- I spend WAY more time on the Internet than I should, and I go through withdrawls when I cannot access the internets whilst travelling!

I am not tagging anyone for this one, but if you feel like sharing, please do!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A rock

Jadon: "Hey mom, did ya know...that the kids in my class voted for a rock?"

Me: "what did the rock do? and why did you vote for it?"

Jadon: "no mom, we voted for A ROCK, you know, that guy on t.v.?"

Me: "you mean Barack Obama?"

Jadon: "yeah, a rock"

Me: "B-arack"

Jadon: "I said that... A-rock!"

Me: deep sigh, moving on...

Me: "honey, why did you vote for him?"

Jadon: "cuz I he has a funny name"

Me: "what about John McCain?"

Jadon: "well mom, cuz that guy is too bald to be President"

Ok, well then. If it were that easy we would already know now wouldn't we? Funny thing is, the middle school also chose "a-rock" as their vote.

I don't know what they are taught ahead of time to make a decision, but I guess maybe that old addage "its in the name" is all it takes for our younger generation!

Stellan's Birthday

UPDATED: Check this out!!!!!!


If you ever follow my links, read my not me's, or follow MckMama, then you know who Stellan is. He is the long awaited miracle - that as of right now, should be in his mothers arms. Please say a few prayers that Stellan was born with a strong heart and that God delivered him into their arms safely this morning.

Knowing that in August they were told he would for sure not survive - not even a few more days, the fact that he has come almost full term, survived the removal of the heart medication MckMama was taking to regulate his heart, and the glowing biophysical numbers he has received, there can be absolutely no doubt that God has had His hands in this miracle!

If you want to know more about Stellans story, please visit her blog.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Not Me Monday Part VI

Is it really Monday already? My pal KimD sent me a message this weekend alerting me that I have been lax on posting - yikes... I didn't realize I hadn't come back last week!!!

So it appears that it is THAT time again! Time to confess to all of those things you didn't do last week, and maybe clear some air, get some things off your chest, maybe even share a little TMI, and while you are at it, visit the Queen Mother of "Not Me Monday" - MckMama - as she is winding down to the arrival of her miracle baby Stellan. Can you believe he will be here in 2 days??? When you are done cheering for his arrival, please remember to keep them in your prayers. Pray that God will deliver him into their arms with a healthy heart!

Here goes...

On Monday I did not give attitude toward the publisher of our local very small town paper, only to be called to the carpet for it on Tuesday by said publisher.

I did not in turn call him to the carpet for his rude comments to me via email over an ad I sent him the week before when asking for a price. Read: the comment "what part of 'your' did you not understand?" actually came from his fingertips!

On Thursday I did not make the first call to confront him again for slamming my integrity in public - to one of my friends no less - because he was mad at me for calling his bluff. I truly did not yet get to speak my mind to him as he avoided me at the luncheon I held that he attended just after getting busted. Th'a nerve!

I did not taunt fellow Board Members of the Club after the grant reading on Thursday. I would never tell them some sob story about how harsh the process was in a very melancholy voice. And I certainly did not string them along for a few moments before yelling "WE GOT IT" in the phone. My penance was several expletives hollered back to me, with all of us in tears as we revel in the knowledge that we may actually be able to make it through the winter with little to no pain! Yay us!

I did not wait until the last minute to pack for my trip up north for the Relay For Life Leadership Summit. In fact, I did not wait until 15 minutes before I was scheduled to leave, causing me to be 20 minutes late to pick up my fellow traveller! Nope, I am not a procrastinator. Ok, well maybe just a little (proof is in the pudding, aka, my last 4 "Not Me's").

I did not go to Coach on the way up north and buy a new purse. Nope. Didn't do it. Ok, yes I did. But I didn't mean to. So that makes it all ok! Ok, no it doesn't, but the last two times I went I didn't buy one, so the third time was the charm - and oh was it charming... Imagine my glee when I stepped through the doors to see not 20% off signs, not 30% off signs, but 40% and 50% off signs! Tell me you too would not have caved! I dare you!! I also found a GORGEOUS pink signature small duffle with pink suede and leather for get this - $55 - yes, I said $55 - for my very good friend who had a horrible week. So what if it hurt my check book a little. I saved twice that on the purse I bought for myself!

My new lovely!

Friends new lovely!

I did not come home on Saturday night and immediately fall asleep on the sofa. I did not then crawl straight into bed. Hey, it was 10 pm, and I had been on the road since 3! Give me a break.

I did not however get dressed yesterday until 7. And I DID take a 2 hour nap in the middle of the afternoon.

I cannot believe it SNOWED yesterday. Ok, I can. I live in MN - geesh. I truly cannot believe how windy it has been though... Yesterday our sustained winds here on the prairie were 45-50mph with gusts over 60. We have tree sized branches down in the back yard. Today the sustained winds are only 35 - with gusts upwards of 45-50. I have wondered since, oh, 5 this morning, how my 40# 6 year old was going to get into the school building without blowing over.

I do need to get the kids to school, so I digress...

Have a HAPPY MONDAY!!!!!!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Not Me Monday Part V

I know you have been obsessively checking back to see if I have posted these yet! Ok, maybe not so much, but none the less, here they are!

If you are so inclined to try these for the first time, I DARE YOU!!!! I love to make dare's, because had I found that word on your blog, you would find me taking you up on it. If you take me up on the dare, do me a favor and first read Mckmama's blog (she is the queen you know!) for the rules of Not Me Monday - but only after reading her Not Me's first!

I feel like a commercial with a deep fast speaking attorney belting out all of the legalities and small print.

I did not give Jadon a bath this morning during my regularly scheduled shower time so I could come on line and read MckMama's Not Me's.

I did not start a Monday routine I am having a hard time breaking... that means I did not ask Mantha to once again walk Jadon to the door of school because I was still in pj bottoms.

Last week was full of no I di'int's!

I did not skip Chick Flick at the Club again on Monday because I don't like the board member who was showing it. I also did not feel one bit guilty when my friend (who also does not like her) told me she ended up staying because she felt bad.

I did not give in to the producer of the play who wanted us to change the scope of the Club usage for HER benefit because I am still very upset that she lied to us.

I also did not give in to the board member (that same one from above) who thought her entire family should get in for free at the live performance on Saturday because her husband put the sign up outside (which btw, we all hate!). I did not give in because I have worked my butt off (I wish) painting, constructing and creating for the club for almost 2 years now, and she has sat back and criticized without the manual labor.

I do not hold grudges, I just do not like people using excuses and lies for personal gain.

I did not drive my kids 2 hours (each way) to my aunt and uncles on Wednesday so I could have one morning of no responsibility, only to drive that same 2 hours the next day to spend the weekend - a nice loooonnnnggg weekend - at the lake with them.

I did not RUN, not walk, to Target on Saturday when I heard Jim had a nice big paycheck, and expediently spend a large chunk of it on things we needed but have been putting off because of finances. I did not do it because instead I should have saved it. Ok, maybe I did.

Have I ever told you that lying is my biggest pet peeve? So, yes, I DID go shopping and spent way too much money!

And I did tell one little white lie... But it was a lie none the less...

I lost a gift certificate that my aunt gave me for Christmas. I have been staving off the trip to the scrap book store when we went to visit the other three times this year, but this weekend I couldn't hold it off any longer. So I decided I would not tell her I lost it. Rather, I would tell her I didn't want the kids to come in with me so I could take my time, and asked if she would sit with them (instead they went into the bookstore next door) so I could really shop. I then told the store owner of my problem, and said I would like to purchase a GC and use it myself the same day in case my aunt would walk in. Luckily, the store owner said that she believed me, and while she didnt start tracking GC's until December, she believed that I really did have a GC because I have gotten one every year for the past 10 years. So when my aunt walked in, the lovely store owner pulled out a used GC and pretended that I had handed it to her so as not to raise suspicion.

Needless to say, I will be making a thank you card and sending it to the store owner for saving me a little face.

And my aunt will never have to know. Which in and of itself is technically a lie. But it is not harmful. Because no one lost out on anything.

Well I s'pose I need to get ready for work. I may be back later, so stop on back and see what else I didnt do last week! :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

TV & Politics

As many of you know, I love me some tv. I have my favorite shows. Some I have a hard time missing. Some I dont admit often to watching (Rachel Zoe Project) and some I lust after in public (LOST).

If you are into documentary/real life (not reality) tv, and have access to Discovery Channel, I would love to ask you to check out "Toughest Race On Earth - Iditarod". It is focusing on the 2008 Iditarod race.

My cousin Blake and his wife Jen are dog mushers from Northern Minnesota. I dont know if they will be spotlighted (they are mostly focusing on Alaskan natives), but there is a decent chance at some time in the series they will be, as a tragedy struck them while on the trail this March.

While racing, they stopped to break and snack their teams when a snowmobiler came up on them. While trying to manuever around the team he over corrected and ended up driving over Jen's team killing one of her dogs and injuring another.

They are amazing people who have chosen to forgive the driver of the snowmobile, and after heavy hearts, deep consideration and honor for their loss, they continued the race coming in 50th and 51st, both winning very special awards.

Jen was chosen as Most Inspirational Musher, and Blake set a New Record Time for a purebred Siberian team!

You can read more about them and their team at Manitou Crossing Kennels.

I do not know what races they are running this year, but since pride is something I like to share, I would love to share a little familial pride with you!!!
Then there was politics. I am so sick of the ads, and the slams and the questionable behavior, and the lies and the deceit.

And then this headline pops up on MSN News...

I am still so undecided, and just when I think I know where I am going, there is something else that changes my mind.

Someone I highly respect (who is also a banker, and financial wiz) has always shared my same political values - no ifs ands or butts; someone who cries (ok, well not literally, but I would guess if I asked his wife, she would say that he dances like a girl) at the RNC - yes, I said R - N - C, has shared some very deep thoughts about the crisis we are in and what it means to the election - more specifically, what it does to HIS vote. And while shocked that the word Dem came out of his mouth, what he told me made me think, you know, maybe there is something to be said that while you may have certain beliefs, there has not been and probably never will be a party/nominee/president/leader that agree's 100% in what you believe. Sometimes you have to view a different perspective - see what is really at the heart of the matter. Is it your beliefs, or is it what is best in the overall picture? Is it a unified front in Congress and the Oval Office? Or is it a little good competition?

If it weren't for the most recent economic crisis, I may have chosen to go the route of RINO (Republican In Name Only [even though some people think that is the cop-out way of giving the other party the vote - which I dont agree with, but I dont want to spend all night on this post]). But this person who I highly respect made a statement that now has me considering changing sides - if only for one race, to ensure that where I live is still here in 4 years.

I cant wait until November 15th. It will be over. Hopefully whatever shock there is will start to wear off, and we can start looking forward to holidays that bring family, hope and promise.

Monday, October 13, 2008

3 Birthdays + 3 Weeks + 3 Cakes = My rear is as wide as the mighty Mississip - alternately titled, "My ars is screaming uncle"!

Its not thanking ya'll for it yo!.

So I made a decision. I was going to start on November 1st, but instead, starting next Monday I am going to start a diet. More over, I am going to start the diet that I am supposed to already be on to save my kidney. The diet that includes cutting out dairy, red meat, and carbonation.

I have 3 goals:

1. The obvious - to save my kidney. I know I have another stone - I can feel it. So before it becomes a bigger problem and before I find myself under the "knife" for the 3rd time in a year (ok, actually for the 6th time - since I have had 5 surgeries since last November),

2. The second obvious - to reduce my pain. My fibromyalgia is getting worse. And my sofa cushions are sagging even more. So its time to get off-a-it.

3. Duh! - to look better and feel better.

The first step starts right now... I am going to saturate myself with lemonade (to prevent calcium build up in my kidney - who knew), quit the pop (which has been d.r.a.s.t.i.c.a.l.l.y. reduced since my last surgery in July - but it has been creeping back in little by little). NO MORE CHEETO's for breakfast or any other meal.

Because I have had Cancer, and dont produce calcium the way I used to, I cant go on the complete calcium elimination diet my Urologist said I need to, but I can control where the calcium comes from. So starting next week, red meat is off my menu (well, at least most of the time). I will focus more on whole grains, vegetables and fruits. I will limit my total meat intake to less than 5 servings a week (so that means most days I wont have any meat at all), which in this house is not an easy task.

The positive side of all of this... I am not a big eater. I just dont eat properly. So adding a meal or two (some days I only eat once), will actually be a nice change.

There, now that I have committed myself to a plan, I am off to frost the 3rd birthday cake in 3 weeks! And I sp'ose I will probably have a piece too...

Thank goodness all of my peeps are done with birthdays after today!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Not Me Monday Part IV

Its that time of week - Not Me Monday - on Sunday of course...

Dont forget to check out MckMama the Queen of Not Me Monday at MyCharmingKids!

This was a doozy of a week, so buckle yourself in, and enjoy the ride of brutally honest:

I did not stay in bed longer than I was supposed to 3 out of the 4 days I worked this week. And I did not come back home to get ready for work on 2 of those 3 days only to sit on my laptop and peruse blogs.
I did not eat apple crisp on Monday for breakfast because I tricked my family into believing it was all gone on Sunday. I would never do that!!

I did not almost forget about an important meeting on Monday and then go unprepared because instead I was trying to figure out how to squeak out a longer lunch so I could take a cat nap.

I did not start coming home for lunch so I could watch soap opera's for an hour each day.

I did not try to photo shop pictures of myself from the award ceremony because no one told me how HORRIFIC the pants I was wearing on Wednesday made me look like I weighed 50# more than I actually do (which is a scary number as it is - a number I will not tell you by the way, and a number I did not lie about when I renewed my license a few months ago).

I did not run around town on Friday without showering, and then go to a movie Friday night only washing my hair.

I did not spend all day saturday in my pj's. And I did not take a 2 hour nap mid afternoon.

I absolutely did not clean one iota again this weekend. I really need someone who loves to clean, is pregnant and in a nesting mood, or a tornado (ok, well maybe not that drastic) to come in here and overhaul my house.

I did not cry yesterday when the customer service rep from Target Credit Services offered me a 6 month hardship and reduce our interest rate by almost 20% and reduce our minimum payments by over $80 a month for the next 6 months because of our overwhelming medical bill situation.

I did not deviate from our budget plan so far this month (seriously I did not, I have been really good at sticking to it).

I did not post a post this week that included WAY TOO much information about me and where I live. And while I said I would delete that personal information sometime today I did not, instead I will take some time tomorrow while I am at work (I did not say that - shhhhhhhhhh) to do it.

I did not almost admit to one of my new bloggy friends a really important secret about an issue that I have had during my entire relationship and marriage. Its not what you may think - there is nothing morally wrong, but to me it is a big deal - and it is not his fault.

I did not think about selling our camper this fall, paying off our credit card bills (and maybe even some of our medical bills), and then purchase a new camper in the spring - which would mean taking out a loan to pay for it (which still may not be a bad idea... the interest rate and payments would be much less, we wouldn't have to store it this winter, and we could finally get the new camper we have been wanting to get for the past 4 years).

I did not wish this weekend that somehow a tummy tuck could be covered by my insurance. I did not wonder if there was anyway we could make it "medically necessary" so I could get one now. Its been 4 years since I had cancer, 4 years since my radical hysterectomy and ooferectomy, and 4 years since my scar has been irritated by that lovely post pregnancy, overweight baby skin.

I did not just write too much information that has probably got you all having horrible visuals.

Your turn! TMI and all! It does a body good!!!!!!!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Happy 6th Birthday Buddy!!!!

Happy Birthday Baby Boy!

We always joked about this picture - a lover (kissy lips) and a fighter (clenched fists).

Daddy's nickname is Gator, so everyone we know gave you "gators" before you were born. They even adorned you with the nickname "gatortot". This was your birth announcement picture. Its still one of my favorites!

You and grandpa Bruce belly'd up to the bar!

Simply coined "Super Big Smile".

Just like daddy - shove it all in at once, no care for the small bites. And look what it gets you - black "race track" frosting all over everything! But you had fun!

Great grandpa gave you your first hair cut - just as he had with all of his grandsons and great grandsons. He is in a nursing home now, and his clippers are officially retired, so we were honored to have him cut your curly locks! I absolutely love this picture!

If it was shiny and pink you wore it. It was always your sisters, and it made her mad, but who could blame you, you were adorable in all of it! Of course when you went through that "I want to be a girl when I grow up" we started to limit your pink.
Trains, trains, trains. You live them, sleep them - even wear them. It was nearly impossible to get you out of this number.

Oh the temper. You climbed up, you get down. That was what mommy told you. And you got mad. Very mad. Crying. Screaming. Mad. And mommy just snapped pictures.

Always willing to give someone a lift. Lainie hopped on board and you rode around grandpa Bruces cul-de-sac. Two Mothers Day's in a row, Daddy hopped a ride on your bike while we all walked for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

This was the worst 9 days of my life as a mother. We didn't know why you got so sick, and we couldn't find anything to make you better. Platelet transfusions, IVIG, a Bone Marrow Biopsy and 4 days of steroids and finally, the cure seemed to come. You were so brave!

Two weeks later and looking so much better - the steroids made your cheeks a little fuller than we are used to, but you looked so healthy!!

Your kind little heart saw Mckmama's blog and pictures of her unborn baby boy's name written in different media - so you went down to your Thomas cabinet and brought mommy enough trains to make Stellan's name.

You have waited 3 years for this day - it felt like it would never get here. Just the day before you wouldn't talk to Mrs. R, on this morning it was like you had known her all of your life. My baby is growing up - somedays so fast!

Happy Birthday buddy! I love you this much!

(translation: nothing can get between us!)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The big news

UPDATED: I removed all tell tales of who I am and where I live, so if you know me and want the details of the award, email me! I will gladly share as I am very proud of this little community!
Original post with edits:
As I have said many many times, I live in a very small town - of less than 4,700 people. I am originally from a suburb of Minneapolis, so this small town life was a huge culture shock. But the interesting thing is I discovered that I really had a passion for small town living.

So when I took this job in my small town, I knew that good things would happen. That is not to say that I am making it happen, but I am definitely inventing some wheels and greasing some very squeaky, very abused wheels and making some changes happen. And I am very proud of what I do. Its not often that you hear someone say they take pride in a job that beats them down daily and makes them wonder why they do it. But I know why I do... I have huge passion for this town. And I want it to succeed.

In June I received a call that we had been selected as finalists for an Award, I was giddy. Giddy because I was told that finalists are chosen for: Population under 10,000; showing a progressive plan towards a thriving economy; strong community pride; strong community values; diversity and the willingness to work with diverse groups of people; youth retention programs; and youth involvement in community; and at least one member bank in their town (we have 3).

I knew we had it - we just had to. Because while we met and exceeded most of the qualities, and we working really hard on the ones that needed improvement.

The process to be chosen as the winner was in the form of an application. We had three questions to answer. How we answered them was important. We could have sent bulleted responses that were very specific to their needs. We could have sent para graphical narratives that met their requirements. But I like to think outside the box.

Looking at the task at hand as an opportunity to use my creativity I decided to tackle the project on Power Point. What better way to show your pride than to inject a little history, a whole lot of photo's, and a whole lot of story telling. I made phone calls and got details of projects that I wasn't fully knowledgeable in; I contacted the Historical Society and got good solid information on our history; I called the schools and made sure that they were well represented. Forty pages later I was MORE impressed with what we had done as a community.

And then I took a step back and thought, I really don't have an ending to my story. I am missing something. That last little detail that I found out last night was one of the things that most impressed the people who were on the selection committee.

I wrote a thank you letter.

I submitted the application on June 28th, and then waited on pins and needles.

Fast forward to July 29th. I had spent 3 weeks in and out of the hospital, and was having my third and final minor surgery on my kidney when I received an email from my contact. I still wasn't back at work, and I am really glad she didn't spill it in the email, but rather asked me to call her when I was able to.

On my first day back at work the phone was ringing as I walked into the office. What a wonderful way to be welcomed back!
I work very closely with a department head at City Hall who helped me write portions of the application. Even though her name was on the application, she still had not heard we won. So I devised a little plan. Knowing I had a ton of mail, email and phone messages to go through there was already a set up for a disastrous encounter - fake of course.

So I strategically placed a sign that read "WE WON" inside a manila folder, and atop it laid a report we had worked on that was thorny in nature and had been causing us great angst. I walked across the street to her office, tossed the file on her desk, huffed into the chair across from her, and exclaimed "You are not going to believe the phone call I just received". She looked scared. She wouldn't open the folder, only asking me to explain. I told her she needed to look at the file. Upon opening it she panicked even more as she thought we had ironed out all of the wrinkles. I told her to read on. She did.

Then she saw it.

The folder went flying, and she came running around the other side of the desk, joining me in a little girlie jumping clapping screaming cheering crying jumping giggling clapping screaming dance. In the middle of City Hall.

And that was the story we shared last night as we were presented with the award, and a nice check that our community can use towards a project of our choice.

The wait was full of busy planning. My contact did most of the planning, we just needed to provide the guest list, and help her coordinate our trip to Minneapolis.

They paid for everything. They chartered buses, allowed us to invite as many people as we wanted, paid for gas and mileage for the 4 cars that went separate from the bus, and they even held rooms that they would have paid for had anyone chosen to stay over night. They hired a well known signer song writer to compose a song that included lyrics taken directly from responses made by invitee's when they RSVP'd for the event.

Oh and the the food and beverage. Hand passed hor d'oeuvre's. A four course 5 star dinner, and goody bags packed with amazing gifts. For 50 people from our little town, 30 of their Board members, and several staff members of our local Senators offices.

It was incredible.

And it still is.

And we are incredibly proud!!!

Big award for a small town!

I have been debating since July when I found out we won sharing all about the really cool thing that happened in my really small town. Trying to decide how I share it without sharing too much. Thinking about how I could give enough details to make you say "WOW", but not so many that you would say - I know where you live - neener neener neener.

The really big super fantastic award ceremony was last night in Minneapolis, and today if you are anywhere in the tri-state area, you probably see the glow of pride from all the way over here (just dont look too closely - I have huge bags under my eyes).

So I decided this... For the next 3 days I am going to "tell all" (that gives all three of my readers their own day to read it) and then I am going to remove all "tell tale" signs of where I live.

I wouldn't be so concerned if it weren't for the fact that I hold a very public position in my community, and I use real names on my blog.

But I am THAT excited about this award (and the fact that I played a major role in winning it for the community).

I will post all about it later today, so all three of you (maybe four on a good day, five on an infrequent day), stop back later and see what I am sharing too much of (besides pride and joy!).

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The best line of the Debate tonight...

"You are in the way of my script".

The biggest foot in mouth moment? "That one".

Jes-us - can anyone answer the question laid before you? I think this debate would turn someone who DOES know who they are voting for into an undecided...

And these are the gentlemen who we have to choose to run our country.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Not Me Monday Part III

I am slipping! I am usually on top of this by Sunday, but this weeks "Not Me's" start with a confession:

I did not post on any ones blogs this weekend, in fact, I don't know if I read any one's blogs this weekend.

I did not get dressed until noon on Saturday and 4 on Sunday. I did not shower before getting dressed on Saturday. I did shower on Sunday. (like you wanted to know)

I did not eat a crap load of chips on Friday and Saturday.

I did not hog the apple crisp I baked on Saturday. Nope, I shared. I did not tell Mantha that I wanted to hide the last piece from Jim, and I did not practically beg her to have another treat rather than ask for my last piece.

I did not have said last piece this morning for breakfast. (Ok, I really did not, but I am going to!)

I did however consider having Cheetos for breakfast to keep up with my Monday morning tradition. I did not go to the grocery to buy them because I planned on the apple crisp instead.

I did not wonder at least 3,079 times this weekend why my butt keeps getting bigger - I know why - read above.

I did not decide to blame it on sympathy fat for my pregnant pal Mckmama. I did not because I don't want her to feel bad that I am eating sympathetically for her.

I did not decide not to get ready for work before taking the kids to school so I could come home and see if Mckmama posted her "Not Me's", only to find that she had posted a.lot this weekend. I did not read her weekend blogs however because I wanted to get these done - as I am slipping. I used to be #16-18 on her list, I think today I will be #143. I did not preplan an hour break during my busy work a day schedule to read her blogs from this weekend.

I did not not sleep well last week, and make lots of excuses for why I didn't participate in too many other commitments.

I did not coerce try to convince Mantha she should be a mass server at church. I did not fail miserably at that coercing convincing, I just gave up agreed to let her think about it a little longer before I pressure talk her into it.

I did just look at the clock and notice it is 20 minutes before I am due to report at work, so I had better nip these in the bud and get ready!

Friday, October 3, 2008

12:57 am, October 3rd, 2001

You woke up in pain.

Your nurse came into your room.

You asked for medication.

She left the room.

She returned at 12:55 am.

She sat next to you for the next two minutes. Watching your breathing labor more and more.

At 12:57 am, while she held your hand, you let go and took His hand.
You were gone.

The phone rang at 1:06 am. I had only just gotten into bed not an hour before. I was spent. Jim, who could sleep through a freight train jolted awake and handed me the phone without answering. He knew. I didn't. It took me totally by surprise.

I thought I had prepared. I had spent months knowing the final outcome. I said good bye to you - asked you to put your sword down - just 27 hours before. But then I had this wonderful evening with you.

And now you were gone.

I had phone calls to make.

No time for tears.

I needed to call Bruce and gram. I had dropped her off at your house just 2 hours before. I didn't want to wake her. I wasn't sure I should. But I did.

I called Ted. He was mad at himself for not spending your last night with you. We thought we had more time.

I called your sister Chris - who lived 6 blocks away and asked her to call your siblings... Dan, Cath, Mitz and Ed. I wanted to be the one that told Mary and Nick. She understood. Then she made the most selfless offer - rather than coming with us to say good bye to you, she came to the house and stayed with Mantha.

Then Jim and I drove, what felt like the longest drive ever. It felt like a normal visit - only at 2 am - and then it hit me - just as we turned on Snelling. It hit so hard that I wanted him to take me home. I wanted to not go where we were going. I want it to not be true.
But he trudged onward knowing I wouldn't have it any other way.

Bruce and gram were there waiting. Ted and Theresa arrived just after we did. We gathered at the end of the hall. Waiting so we could all go in together. But then strangely, they told me to go in first. I think they wanted someone to break the barrier, to make it more real - to make it acceptable.

Because no one wanted to accept it.

I took on this role while you were sick. I became the informer and the enforcer.

I went to all the doctors appointments, asked the hard questions, pushed for more results and made everyone in your charge rue the day they came to work in less than fully submissive to kindness and gentle care.

I pulled the non challant Radiologist out of that first appointment and asked him flat out if you were dying. He tried to stay neutral, he tried to be overly technical - but he didn't know who he was dealing with. I remember the look on his face when I, barely 5'1", knocked his over 6'3" down to size - telling him I didn't to subtle, I didn't do sugar coated. I wanted the truth, and while he thought it was best for you not to know, it wasn't his decision to make.

I verbally chastised your Oncologist for arrogantly admitting he made a mistake when he didn't do a bone scan in February. And then I made him tell you your prognosis, and when he would begin to sugar coat it, I would glare him back into the truth. (He still doesnt like me by the way, but I dont care, I dont like him either - I refuse to see him when my I make my annual trip to the Cancer Center).

I took notes, kept a journal, emailed everyone, and made countless phone calls throughout your illness. I took advice I didn't want to, was yelled at for looking at the illness straight in the eye, and not pretending it wasn't really happening. I told it like it was, and called the naysayers out. I made sure that no one, and I mean no one, talked about you in third person - over your bed - like you weren't able to hear or understand what they were saying. I didn't allow myself to get upset or breakdown.

So it was natural to me to cross that threshold first, and report back that it was safe.

I took my time.

It was my turn to grieve.

My turn to be selfish.

I will never forget thinking you looked as though you were sleeping, mouth agape, expecting to hear sounds escape. But there were none. I wanted to crawl in bed with you and never leave. But I didnt. Instead I told you how much I loved you, and I prepared you for what was to come. I promised that no one and no thing could ever hurt you again.

Slowly the rest started filtering in. They didn't stay long. It wasn't easy for anyone.

As we sat together, in that room that people gather in, we all realized at once that this was it.

All I wanted to do was sleep. But I couldn't turn the phone off, I didn't think it was fair to those awaiting the news. I didn't sleep until that next day.

And then came the morning after - a full day after you were gone. I decided I would take Mantha to daycare and work on putting memory boards together. I dont remember the motions, I just remember that after visits to the local Target, Pier 1, Fabric Store and grocery someone finally got brave enough to ask me if I was ok. The night before I had gone to bed in sweats and a shirt that read "bite me". Apparently when I woke up that morning, I did nothing more than grab my purse and my daughter and leave the house. I didn't comb my hair, I didn't check the smudged make up. I didn't change clothes.

In my semi-upscale suburban town I went out shopping with a bang.
My cares were with you, not with me. I did it all for you.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

In a snap!

Who would have known. You spent so many days non responsive. Not to touch, not to sound, not to anything.

I wasn't going to come see you today. I had a church gathering to go to, and I was one of the hosts, so I did not want to deviate from my plans. And then Jim called me. He said that he felt I really needed to go see you today. He had a "feeling" that things were changing, and I shouldn't put it off. I never told him that I had already said good bye to you. But something told him I needed to be with you today.

So I made other arrangements for the party. I called the person I was sponsoring and explained the need to be with you, and I even left work early.

And so much happened. All at once, but in slow motion. I remember almost every conversation. I remember every watchful eye. I remember the entire meal. All of it.

So one thing at a time...

When I got to the Home, gram met me in the hall with a little more pip in her step. A little more excitement. And a SMILE.

What a welcome. You were sitting up in your bed. You were smiling, and you were muttering a few very quiet words. This was only the second time I heard your voice since August. And it was such sweet music to my ears.

And hungry. You hadn't eaten solid food in a month. You hadn't even sat up in bed, or opened your eyes in at least three weeks. And here you were, wanting me to order your dinner.

Your favorites. Like magic, not more than an hour after we asked for them, they were delivered to your room. Maybe they went to get them because they wanted your last meal to be special. Maybe they knew something we should have known. We read the book they gave us. We knew that it was possible you would come back to us - if only for a short time - before you left us for good. We will never know - but amazingly, they had it all. Even the butterscotch pudding.

And you ate it all.

Soon after dinner, you received some special visitors. They had come to visit when you were still in the hospital. But it was really hard on them to see you that way. They weren't sure they could handle seeing you get any worse. But they came. And they were so happy to have made that decision. Because they got the best part of you. We reminisced. We remembered every memory there was to remember. And there were a lot. They were our best family friends. We lived next door to them for 25 years.

As the night wore on, you started to get tired, and a little more obtuse. Now just watching and taking it all in. I remember walking back and forth in the room, and you watching me closely. Because I am who I am, I said "what, do I have boogers on my face?". You just nodded and giggled - sort of silently - and kept watching.

It was fastly approaching late, and gram was having a hard time keeping awake. Your visitors had long since left. And you were getting more and more distant. We knew it was time to let you rest. So we said our goodbyes. Several times. And as you drifted off to sleep, we just sat and stared, in awe of all we witnessed tonight. And finally, we left your room.

And we felt really good about the evening. What an amazing time we had with you. It gave us a new found hope. We spent the entire ride home revelling in all that had transpired.

You were amazing.

What a special night.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Whispers of love

Today, October 1st, 2001, I whispered to you... it was ok.

I thought they would be my last.

You proved me wrong.

But that story is for tomorrow.

Whispers of love...

I love you more than you know. I want you to put down your sword, your battle is over. Go to Him, and be at peace. Run in fields of flowers, and be free. Gaga and Leonard are waiting for you. Its ok to go now, we will be ok. We have each other. And we will see you very soon.

And then I held on for dear life.
And I wept on your shoulder.
And I looked back several times before I walked out your door.
You were so beautiful.
So peaceful.

So loved.