Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mama's cooking

Lately my mom has been cooking up some yummy, healthy dinners.

This is awesome, not just because we're eating healthy and eating good, but because my mom is cooking.

It takes her a while and she has to lie down when the pain gets too bad, but still she's doing it.

Monday on my lunch hour, we went into the bank on an errand, then to lunch where we had to walk a block down Main Street (because I can never remember where anything is) and back again.

She was able to do all of this with only a cane which she uses more for balance than anything else.

I realize most 66-year-old women can do these things, but for my mom it is monumental.

Last June, after suffering for months with debilitating back and hip pain, my mom was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer which metastasized to bones and had taken over larger portions of her spine. The prognosis was not good, not good at all.

She was suffering greatly. The pain prevented her from being able to do almost anything but lie on one side in bed.

When I brought her to Grand Junction to live with us, my mom could barely make it from the bed around the corner to the bathroom while using a walker. She couldn't sit for any length of time and walking was precarious and painful.

Luckily for us, she has a great team of doctors at the St. Mary's Cancer Center and was given effective treatments.

Now she walks around the house without even a cane, sits with her computer on her lap, keeps her room, cleans the kitchen and makes dinner.

It is glorious.

Her doctors are thrilled and as am I.

Mama's back and she's making us dinner.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

McCraquette ball

I've been Googling and reading the rules of racquetball.

I think it's important that Bill, Margaret and I actually know something about this game because what we did at the racquetball court last night bore no resemblance to any organized game. Instead, it looked more like a 3-D version of the old video game, Super Breakout.

But we did have fun. The three of us ran around smacking the ball as much as we possibly could. We cheered each other on and I only yelled at Bill a couple of times for trying to detach our retinas.

And it was way better than doing what Margaret wanted to do.

She wanted us to move ourselves around the jogging track ... by jogging.

Jogging is not something that I aspire to do.

I should point out that I'd like to have the aerobic capacity to be able to run for some respectable amount time ... you know, in case I was being chased by some horrible monster or if the ice cream truck was getting away. But I don't really want to be running just for the sake of running.

There's a kajillion things I'd much rather be doing. Number one on that list is lying down ... in my bed ... watching HBO (we only get HBO free for one more month, so I'm trying to get my money's worth — OK, since I'm not paying for it, I'm not actually getting my "money's worth," but I don't want it to go unwatched. Plus have you seen that series "Big Love"? Because holy macarolli, that's a crazy show. )

Really that is the problem that led us to sign up for a membership to the Mesa State rec center — I've been lying down way too much. It's all I want to do.

Bill and I have had gym memberships before and, honestly, I really liked going to the gym. But I felt too guilty being out of the house so many evenings during the week.

Now Bill and I can take Margaret with us to play racquetball (assuming that we actually learn the game. In the meantime, we'll continue playing McCraquette ball with exuberance), swim or even — gag — jog on the inside track.

I shouldn't really make it sound so bad, 10 years ago while pregnant with Margaret, I was a full-time employee of Mesa State College. My assistant and I would use the gym several days a week.

She'd use the machines while I'd walk on the treadmill. Then we'd walk as fast as we could around the then-much-shorter inside track (believe me, having access to an inside track during the middle of summer here while pregnant was essential) for three or four miles.

And I really enjoyed it. I'd like to think that all that exercise was the reason I had such a quick labor and delivery. Who knows?

So now, while I have no intention of bulking up to my pre-birth weight, I would like to achieve my pre-birth aerobic capacity ... you know, in case the ice cream man tries to deny me an ice-cream sandwich.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

In sickness

As I'm typing this, I keep pausing to inhale the steam wafting off my herbal tea in hopes that it'll open my clogged sinuses.

It's that a nice way to start a blog, by painting a picture of a nose full of boogers and sickness? Yeah, well, it's that kind of day.

But I'm trying not to complain.

Trying real hard.

Margaret got sick several weeks ago and it working her way through a second round of antibiotics to get the evil cough to go away.

Sunday, my mom came down with some serious congestion and a loose, phlegmy cough (pretty, eh?).

Bill's trying to avoid any contact with anything we touch, breath on or even look at just in case. I don't blame him. I should've been more diligent.

But for now, I've dusted off the old neti pot, found the SinuCleanse, I'm taking Zicam and drinking herbal tea.

What do you for the common cold?

P.S. On a completely different note, sometimes it's a very good idea to heed the PG-13 rating on movies.

Last night, Mar, my mom and I sardined on my mom's bed to watch Julie & Julia while Bill sat as far away as he could get from the triumvirate of illness.

While the premise of famous chef Julia Child and a young writer seems an appropriate one for 9-year-old, I was sadly mistaken. At one point I had to answer Margaret with a bland, "You don't need to worry about that" when, in reference to a comment made by Julia Child, Margaret asked "What is a stiff cock?"

That Julia was a saucy one on many levels.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Vegas is fun ... who knew

So I'm sure you all know by now, Bill and I went to Vegas.

It was fun, eat drank a lot (you can walk down the street with drinks, just like civilized people should), we ate a lot and I started out my family's Biggest Loser Challenge by gaining one pound (Bill reminded me that I should be happy it's only one pound considered all the eat and drink).

But because I can't leave well enough alone, here are some photo highlights from our trip:

Thursday, January 07, 2010

It's better than a slap in the face

I'm clumsy. I trip over stuff, fall up stairs and start to skid if I even look at ice. Basically, I'm awkward.

Because of this, I decided a while ago to forgo high fives.

I didn't choose to not high five out of malice, but because I'm afraid of accidentally slapping unknowing person in the face.

Also, I used to miss a lot and that just made me feel stupid.

So now when presented with a palm to slap, I have to say, "Sorry, I don't high five."

And you know what?

It bothers people ... a lot.

I realize that by not high fiving, I am rebuffing a socially accepted gesture of affirmation. I'm sorry about that. But still, I should be allowed to not high five, don't ya think?

Many people do not agree. I have been chased down in a vain attempt to force me to high five and there are numerous people who try to trick me into high fiving.


Now, I don't high five on principle. I'll shake your hand when appropriate, hug you if I like you, but don't ask me to slap your hand or I might just miss on purpose.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

I think, therefore, I Twitter

I like social networking. I blog (obviously, eh?), I Facebook and I Twitter.

I can take a picture with my BlackBerry and when I upload it via Ubertwitter, it automatically updates my Facebook status.

In short, I'm a bit of a geek ... well, I don't write code or anything smart like that, so maybe I'm just like everybody else who performs these now-mundane tasks.

Through Facebook, I've been able to reconnect and stay in touch with many family members who I'd normally see only at weddings and funerals, as well as former classmates and long-lost friends.

For me, social networking is fun. I like it — for the most part.

There is a basic code of etiquette to which we should all strive for our online presences. Click here to read Brenda Powell's basic list of dos and don't for social networking.

Here are a few of my guidelines:

First, my kid, my mom and my grandms are all on Facebook. So I do try to keep my posts, pictures, stories, videos, etc., acceptable for their viewing enjoyment.

I break this guideline often.

I have been known to spend a Sunday morning or two deleting unsavory pictures and/or comments that I had posted the night before when my good judgment was clouded by my beer goggles and readily accessible Internet.

I try to make my updates at least marginally funny (to myself, anyway) or informational. I try (and, again, often fail) to avoid posting mundane facts, e.g., "I had lunch with Bill today," "I'm working at my desk," "I'm walking my dog."

All those things are true (well, I'm not actually walking my dog right now. She actually hates the cold. Thank goodness our dear friend bought her a dog snuggie), but in the grand scheme of things, who cares?

If I'm dead set on pronouncing my lunchtime activities, I try at least to include some entertaining tidbit, e.g., "I dazzled the folks in the Chipotle parking lot by falling off the 6" curb today after lunch with Bill."

Still not the most interesting thing in the world, because if you know me, you know that the probability of me falling off each and every curb I'm presented with is pretty high. But at least there was some effort to craft a statement worth reading.

Now while I'm not that interested in reading about what you had for dinner, I am interested in seeing your pictures. I'm a visual person. Don't write that you got a new haircut/tattoo/snuggie unless you are going to post pictures of the aforementioned item. I want to be able to judge for myself whether the haircut/tattoo/snuggie is indeed as awesome as you suggest.

One of my social-networking pet peeves is when people use their status updates to count down to their awesome vacations upon which I have not been invited (Daniel, I'm looking at you!).

While I love to hear what people are doing on their vacays and see pictures of the places they are visiting, knowing that they have 3 days, 15 hours and 29 minutes until their plane lands in Hawaii, makes me hope — just a little bit — they experience a bed-bug infestation.

I post links to my blogs on Facebook and sometimes to Twitter, not because I expect everyone to be interested enough to read them, just so that those that I've "friended" can, if they want to.

Honestly, I'm always surprised when I find out that people actually read my scribblings. That fact alone makes me strive to be more interesting, more funny, more profound.

In the meantime, I only can hope to be less annoying.

Monday, January 04, 2010

From the list of "Things I Do Not Want"

There are a lot of things, stuff, doohickeys that I'd like to have. This is not one of them:

Why don't I want it?

Because it's a teddy bear made out of human placenta.

As a matter of fact, I do not want any object make out of any part of a human person. But thanks anyway.