Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My lovely pergola.

A brand new pergola, yeah! I found it in the clearance area at Lowes, regular price $297, clearance price $74. SCORE! I do love a bargain! WoooHOOO!

It was perfect for our back patio. I got it home, put it up, used the stakes provided to secure it. I even added extra cement blocks to ensure it wouldn't be damaged by wind. It does get windy on top of our hill. Better safe than sorry, I always say.

I swagged back the mosquito netting on all four sides. Just lovely....(blissful sigh).....a grand sight to behold.

This is my pergola today. Not grand....fractured exposed skeleton .....broken and forlorn.........its carcass crumpled over the fence. It stood for less than one day before the wind took it from me. Why...why....was I too proud? Too pleased with my material gain? (solitary tear slowly slides down cheek, lands softly on keyboard.)

Hold on, hold on.......wait a minute. You there, guy with the horses, get out of my shot! I don't want to show beautiful horses right now. We're being sad over here. Move along please. Don't call out, "Nice night to be outside!" to me. And wipe that smile off your face!

OK, just ignore them. I know his horses are gorgeous with that setting sun on their rumps, but let's focus on the pergola. Pretend they are not over there, enjoying the beautiful fall evening, while we are here trying to deal with my loss. Let's recapture our feelings of sadness. Are you with me? Good.

This is what she looked like in all her glory.

Gone, but not forgotten.....(heavy sigh).

Actually not really gone, some one still has to go clean up that mess. Is that my job? Really? I'm grieving here people. Does no one care? No cleanup volunteers? (....waiting......patiently waiting.......) Did I mention that I have cancer? Three kinds of cancer? (Still no volunteers.......we hear only crickets.) OK, fine, I'll do it by myself! (Mumbles softly under breath, "Jerks.")

I think I will be posting again about my pergola. I have a vague plan to use the corner supports behind my water feature. Maybe I can fashion them into a trellis of sorts. Hmmmm......I think I'll go give The Carpenter a call....ask for some advice about this new project.

I trick a family member!

The Carpenter (middle brother) now tells me to, "Look it up on YouTube." when I ask him for advice on projects.

See, The Carpenter has figured out that what I really want is for him to come to my house so I can then trick him into helping me with whatever project I'm working on. Last week I got him to help plant about 20 trees. Two years ago I got him to build me a house!

Alas... how cleverly he uses YouTube to outsmart me. Yesterday when I asked for advice on how to get rid of the weeds in my rock beds, he told me to check YouTube for this advice from Farmer Giles.

Love Farmer Giles. Love his accent, his clothes and his tip.

Then I got sidetracked and watched this:

And then I watched this: (Turn your volume down if you're at work.)

And then I watched this:

Then I got confused and disoriented, I forgot that my weeds needed killing and took a nap instead.

I'll call The Carpenter tomorrow and tell him I lost Internet access and I need him to come over to tell me how to get rid of the weeds. Do you think he'll fall for it? Do you think he might be reading this post right about now?

Monday, September 29, 2008

YouTube Videos I Enjoy.

If you haven't heard Paul Pots sing Nessun Dorma, you really should give it a listen. The first time I listened to him sing I got goose bumps. It made the hair on my cankles stand straight up. He is performing on Britains Got Talent, their version of American Idol.

I prefer the judges for Britain's Got Talent over American Idols judges. What up, Yo, Yo, Yo, Dog, Yo, Yo know what I mean, Dog? I like Paula, but Randy, not so much. Simon is on both and I like him, he's honest if a bit harsh at times.

This one is funny.

What is your favorite, recent YouTube view? Please, share with me.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Hacked! (Yes, once again the evil (ANGELIC) hacker has struck!)

The last post was written by an evil hacker (beautiful and passionate sister). I might agree with some (all) of the words written, but I want you to know it was ___ posted by me, Slug-A-Bed. (That will teach me to leave my blog signed in on her computer.) The password has (NOT,REPEAT NOT) been changed, don't(so) try it again Carehead (my lovely sister)! (OK, I WILL)

I was born on my(beloved) sister Carehead's 9th birthday. She tells me it was her worst (best in the world) birthday ever! She got no (a lot of) attention. Waaa, waaa, waaa (yeah, yeah, yet another yeah) . Maybe (For sure) she was the one who came up with my hated (beloved) middle name 'Jane'. Hmmm. Maybe she was paying me back for taking her birthday moment in the sun. Hmmm. It's all becoming clear (foggy) to me now.

In high school I was complaining (rejoicing) that I disliked (absolutely loved) my middle name, 'plain (ravishing) Jane'. I was (am) such an idiot (intellectual woman)! The very popular girl (Homecoming Queen) that I was complaining to was named Jayne. Of course her name had the 'y'. That makes it a totally different name right?

Anyway, now each year Carehead and I head for the city on our shared birthday. We get a free dessert at Applebee's. You would think they might become suspicious, both of us claiming the same birthday. No one has ever asked for proof.

My beautiful sister c

My beautiful sister is everything I strive to be in a person. I was the best gift she could ever have as I was born on her birthday! I love you, sis!!


Hooligan 1 behaved very badly in a store yesterday. This post is all about getting even with my lively firstborn! Below you will see H1 in this years class picture. Nice looking kid if I may say so myself. Since this is my blog, I decide that, yes, I may say so.

The picture below, however, is the picture his friends will be receiving in an email later today. I do love Photoshop!

Hee, hee, hee. Check out those ears, that tooth, and the flattened head! I thought the monobrow was a nice touch. Take that kid! YES!!

Hooligan 2 is giggling uncontrollably looking over my shoulder at this picture.

All the books on disciplining children, (I've read them all) say you should be willing to take the same punishment you mete out to your children. So below is a before picture of me.

Now I am giving myself the same punishment I gave H1. I morphed myself into a hideous fat person. Check below for my after picture. How gross.

Check out that nose, the chins, and the thinning hair! Ha, ha, ha!

OK, as you probably guessed, I switched my before and after pictures. Now you know why I stay inside and blog. Don't want to scare people by going out in public. If you read my earlier post about scaring my neighbor, you now have a better understanding of my neighbors fear.

More family fun.

My family and friends like to play a game that is a mix of Truth or Dare and Spin the Bottle.

Every one writes a 'dare' on a small piece of paper, it is folded and put into a hat. We spin a bottle that is in the center of the players. The person the bottle is pointing to when it stops spinning must pick a 'dare' out of the hat and perform the act described.

When writing the 'dares' you have to keep in mind that you might pick your own paper out of the hat. This keeps things from getting too carried away.

Dares we have used:

Put your head in the mailbox and sing, "We wish you a merry Christmas."

Hold hands with the person to your right until the next turn is over.

Give Grandma a hug.

Do the crabwalk.

Dunk your big toe in the toilet.

Kiss Grandpa's left foot.

Run ten steps into the snow in your bare feet.

Sing 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star' as loudly as you can.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I love a stump.

I have admitted to loving the tree below and no one has put me in a straight jacket. I'll go one step further and let's see what happens.

I love the rotting remains of a tree!

I even have it prominently displayed by the front door of my home!

I love the detail in its silvered carcass.

I use it for the desktop background on my computer.

Do normal people get excited about a tree, or a stump?

Friday, September 26, 2008

I fed my Mother-In-Law a worm!

Is feeding an unsuspecting person a dead worm better than feeding them a live worm? Probably depends on the level of decomposition. Anyway, I fed my mother-in-law a dead worm.

We were to gather with The Big Guys extended family, probably around 30 people. I was asked to bring a cauliflower cheese soup to this 'soup and rolls' dinner. I merrily went about preparing it, using only the freshest vegetables. I was trying to impress the new MIL, who is an excellent cook..... and housekeeper....... and wife....... and shopper...... and gift giver..... and friend..... and... and.. and.

It's not pleasant to be a distant, very distant second in comparisons. If you are an unmarried young lady I give you this advice: Marry a man whose mother is a slovenly harridan. You will be golden in your husbands eyes forever. Seriously now, you probably don't want your future children to have a slovenly harridan for a grandmother. Don't take advice from me, we'll all be better off.

So I presented my carefully prepared soup to the group. MIL chose my soup over many other possibles, Grandpa G. (family patriarch) told me my soup was good! I was glowing inside! All was right in my little world.

Then, after she took a bite of my soup, to my everlasting horror, I saw my MIL delicately pull a small white worm from her mouth! Her eyes met mine, she calmly put the worm in her napkin and finished the bowl! She finished the bowl!

I was in shock, horrified and so very grateful she hadn't spit the worm out onto the center of the table while screaming that her daughter-in-law was a freaking idiot loser.

What happened next will live on in my mind as the moment, the moment when I knew that she liked me, she really, really liked me. She went and got another small portion of my worm infested soup! She ate it while making pleasant conversation with the people around her! Meanwhile, I did what I always do in times of pain, and in times of happiness, times of boredom, times of playfulness, times of peace, times of war. I ate. My hands were shaking, but I still managed to eat a delicious cinnamon roll prepared to perfection by my MIL.

Who knew that a little worm (probably hiding in the cauliflower that I had carefully washed), would create this bond with my MIL. Thanks little worm, in a strange twisted way you made my world a better place. After re-living this trauma, I think I'll go get some ice cream.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Look at what this woman found in her yard!

I thought at first it was a hoax, but apparently this 'thing' is real! I want one in my yard!

Be sure to read the comments people left about the post, hilarious! "Mary wouldn't be quite so contrary if she had one of these!" From Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?


Wet your pants family fun!

If you have read some of my previous posts you will have noticed that I enjoy the pain and humiliation of others. I try to incorporate this enjoyment into the games we play when we gather for holidays.

The video scavenger hunt has been a perennial Thanksgiving favorite. It goes like this; you have all your gullible family members form teams, these teams do really dumb, embarrassing things all around our small town, and (this is the tricky part), you get them to video tape themselves doing it and then they bring their videos back and the entire family gets to view the videos. I know what you are thinking, "No family with an ounce of dignity or self respect would do this to themselves." I know! I know! But as luck would have it, my family has no pride, I'm so lucky that way! OK, my mom does have a little, but she's the only one.

We form teams of about 8 people, each team has to be able to pack themselves into a vehicle. With our large family we can usually form about 4 or 5 teams. Their are a few stick-in-the-mud types that don't play. We punish them by leaving the smallest children with them and they get stuck wiping noses and changing dirty diapers. They don't want to play, they must pay!

Each team is given the same list. They need to complete, with video proof, all the tasks listed and the team that completes the list quickest gets extra points. Let the hilarity ensue.

This is a partial list of the things I have convinced my family members to do over the years. Keep in mind the fact that we live in a small community where everyone knows everyone. It ramps up the humiliation factor.

  • Go to the post office. Form a line, hands over hearts, and say the pledge of allegiance to the flag.

  • One team member must go into the convenience store, get three squares of toilet paper from the bathroom, go to the front desk and ask the cashier, "How much for this?"

  • Go to the football field and one team member must kick a field goal. (A ball and stand are provided at the field.)

  • In relay fashion, while wearing the long blond wig, every team member must go down the 'big slide' at the elementary school. Handing off the wig like a baton. (The Barbie wigs were Halloween clearance items I found, every team got one.)

  • Go to the stop light(we only have one). One wig wearing team member must use the spray bottle and cloth provided to wash the windshields of passers-by until someone pays you for your work. Must be a non-family member that pays you.

  • One team member, wearing the wig, must run and touch all 4 traffic lights at the intersection of 14th and Main. (I can still see the young men sprinting across the streets with their long blond Barbie curls flying.)

  • Find a teacher that you liked and thank them for being a good teacher. Ask them for a word of wisdom. (The principal gave these words of wisdom to one of our teams, "Don't play leap-frog with a unicorn!")

  • Do the funniest thing you can think of that is legal and safe.

The last task is by far the best. One team mooned the camera. I believe they were disqualified because it's illegal - Indecent Exposure. Another team went to a man we know who has a long white beard, team members sat on his lap and told him what they wanted for Christmas (he was in his pajamas)! The best and most awe-inspiring was when a team went to the door of our towns scary, 'he may have bodies buried in the back yard but nobody really knows' guy. They brought him a piece of pumpkin pie and wished him a happy Thanksgiving! He was very appreciative and talked to them at the door while he ate the pie. Every small town has at least one of these people don't they?

We have witnessed sabotage, a team stole anther's wig and threw it up into a tree. Another team negligently left the keys in their vehicle while they raced to complete a task. My team took their keys. Hee, Hee. It was dang cold that night! Hee, Hee, Hee. "Hey, we could have taken the car too, you whiners!"

When we all get back we view the videos and wet our pants laughing. Other families in the area have started playing this game at their Thanksgiving parties. What have we started? The next generation of scary, crazy people for our small town? I guess every town has to have them!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


My parents settled in a small farming community in Iowa which has a population of about 3,000. Most of my siblings and I still live nearby. I consider being part of a large family to be a precious gift. We are always getting together, sharing tons of laughter and some sorrows. On my side of the family I have 38 nieces and nephews, including the greats, with at least two more babies expected and also one wedding in the works. We have experienced tragedy twice as we have lost two nieces.

All of my family members are special people and have great stories, but today I would like to talk about my oldest brother's second child. I will call her Blondie. That is Blondie pictured below in color.

Our entire family gathers for all the major holidays and most minor ones, it is rare for a sibling to be absent at Thanksgiving or Christmas. Since we are a large group we try to rent a local community center with a gym and a kitchen. Kids (and adults) can run wild there, playing whatever games they can interest others in; basketball, volleyball, tag, hide and seek, cards or other table games. And we do all the expected holiday food of course. Holidays are a big deal for us.

My oldest brother Don lives the furthest away, about a 2 1/2 hour drive, but they make the trip 'back home' often. So, we were surprised in Dec. of '98 when Don and his family decided to stay at home and not travel down for Christmas. They explained that their lives had been too busy and they just wanted a quiet Christmas at home. My sister-in-law Josie had had a tubal pregnancy earlier in the year and along with that pregnancy had lost any chance to bear children. They were still saddened and reconciling themselves to the fact that their first child, Sarah,would be an only child.

Don is an electrician, Josie works as an RN at a hospital nearby. They both had the holiday weekend off from work. That Christmas Eve., the gifts had been wrapped and they had gone to bed, when for some reason Sarah brought a cordless phone and placed it near Josie in bed. Don and Josie are both notoriously deep sleepers. We have all heard their alarm sounding for what seems like hours, while they sleep on peacefully next to it.

Meanwhile, at the hospital where Josie worked, a woman had driven herself in, given birth to a healthy baby girl during the early morning hours and wanted to drive the 2 hours it took to get back home, before her family knew she was gone. She had kept her pregnancy a secret from everyone. She was divorced and a mom to three children from that marriage and didn't feel she could take care of another child. She asked the nurses to please help find a good home for her baby.

At that time, a baby left at a hospital was considered abandoned and she would be considered a criminal if she left without securing a home for this baby. She couldn't go through the courts and the child welfare system, as this could take weeks or months and would involve lots of paper work and contacts to her home. She was desperate to give the baby to a good family and get back to her life. The nurses immediately thought of Josie and how much she and Don wanted another child.

Social workers were contacted, the hospital attorney was consulted, then finally a nurse was granted permission to call Don and Josie, to see if they would be interested in adopting this precious baby!

When the phone rang at 4:00 AM, it was a miracle they were at home and that Josie woke up to answer the call. Don, Josie and Sarah were in shock, they were overjoyed! Of course they wanted the baby! An attorney who specialized in adoptions was needed to get the paperwork done immediately. Keep in mind this was 4:00 AM on Christmas morning! Josie left at least 20 messages on the answering machines of local attorneys, no reply. The hospital attorney could not help them as it would be considered a conflict of interest, but, he gave Josie the name of a friend who might be willing to help.

This attorney did answer his phone, but turned them down as he was leaving to join his family on vacation. 15 minutes later he called back and said he just couldn't get them off his mind and had to do his part to help with their Christmas miracle. He came to the hospital a couple of hours later with the papers required.

Don, Josie and Sarah were given a small room on the OB floor to get to know their tiny new family member who they named Hannah. The hospital and soon the entire city were buzzing with the story of the Miracle Christmas Baby, the story was told in the local newspapers. Baby gifts, many from complete strangers, were recieved. Most parents have 9 months to prepare themselves and their home for a baby. My brother and his wife needed everything; crib, clothing, diapers, formula, bottles and blankets.

The birth mom returned home and we assume her family never knew that she had given, on that early Christmas morning, the greatest gift that one human can give another. The gift of a child.

(I know I should have saved this story for Christmas, but if you'll remember, I have no self-control.)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Bovine Hair Styles

A couple of years ago, when we lived on a farm, I was responsible for feeding up to 400 head of cattle. The Big Guy taught me everything I needed to know about cattle, except how they did their hair.
When you see them lined up at a feed bunk every day, you begin to realize they all have distinct faces and hairdo's, just like us humans.
Check out these steers at my sister C's farm. I cropped these photos, but no other changes were made.


Aren't these curls too perfect! You know he
would be getting all the girls if he was capable.
(Steers are males that have been altered
so they are incapable of getting the girl,
if you know what I mean.)

Side view of curly top.


He didn't take time to 'do' his hair today.

Reminds me of me. I'm tired too, honey.


Trying to hide in the back with that receding hairline?


The Grunge look here. He had just eaten,
and I didn't give him time to clean up.


Punk Rocker.


This one brings to mind Micheal Jackson.

White face, over 'done' girly shaped nose.


Don't you talk about Micheal that way!

I'll throw your white a** over that fence!


These two use the same stylist.


Ryan Seacrest?


This guy thinks he's so superior. You know he spent hours in front of the mirror getting every hair in place like that! The arrogant prig!


Hey, buddy. Just get out of bed?

Got cotton mouth? Water tank is over on your right.

No problem, glad to help.


His stylist should have paid more attention when they covered 'sublety in highlighting' at beauty school.


Wait a minute, this guy is checking my hair!

OK, OK, maybe I could have put a little more effort into my 'do'. But, we were only going to the farm! You don't have to be so critical man!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Playing at the Farm

I took Hooligan 2 to the farm yesterday to play with some cousins. This was after a long day outside. Notice the filthy legs on that boy!
This cousin stood still for a few pictures.
The others were much too busy.

Do you prefer 'black and white' or color?
I think she is adorable either way!
I love the 'I've been playin' on the farm all day long' hair!

Whadda you lookin' at?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Hooligan 2, elementary art.

This work of art is a self portrait of Hooligan 2
(1st grade). Some orthodontia may be in our future if that's what he sees in the mirror. What's with that third eye? And the two demented red ones?

Again with that mouth. Thankfully, this is not a self portrait. I titled it, 'Pippi Longstockings on Crack.'

This third one is from kindergarten (last year). It was of animals at the zoo.

That's a gun in his hand. Looks like I need to explain that nice boys don't 'pack heat' when they go to the zoo.

"The animals at the zoo aren't the kind of animals you shoot, honey. Actually, you are not allowed to shoot any animals. OK, fine, if a wild, feral beast is attacking us, you may shoot it with your air-soft gun. Put your eye protection on first though!"

At the bottom of the page he explains that the zoo animals are bols (bulls). He likes them because they bcus wyld (bucks wild). I didn't ask what those large, hairy things hanging down well past the hooves were.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hooligan 1

Hooligan 1 has been begging me to write a post about him. He doesn't realize what kind of danger he is inviting into his life.

I always wanted to be a mom. I love kids. I enjoy talking to them, playing with them. I'm not good with discipline though. Self-discipline, what's that?

We wanted a baby for a couple of years before I became pregnant with Hooligan 1. We were overjoyed when we learned we were expecting a girl. I gathered a closet full of frilly girl clothes.

After a brutal 24+ hour childbirth process that ended with a C-section, I was slowly coming out from anesthesia when I heard a nurse ask what we were going to name the baby. I opened my eyes and explained we were going to name her Regan. The Big Guy laughed from across the room where he was holding somebody's baby boy. He said, "She still thinks we had a girl."

The Big Guy was so proud, all my siblings had girls their first time out. He says he 'throws' only boys. I think 'throws' is an animal husbandry term he learned growing up on a farm. As long as he doesn't start applying animal husbandry terms to me, I'm OK with it.

Now girls are as dearly loved and cherished in my family as boys, but keep in mind that The Big Guy is well....big. I am also, shall we say, a woman of substance, yeah, that's what we'll say. So I had secretly been hoping to have a boy to inherit our size genes. 'Big' is not a description most girls want applied to them, unless you were describing their hair during that unfortunate period in the '80s.

I remember Hooligan 1 laying on the floor between The Big Guy and I when he was a baby. I said, "He is exactly what I have always wanted."

He called his pacifier a tee-tee. He made up his own language when he was little. I wish I had written down the words he made up. I remember water was glug.

We love him dearly. He is a true original. (I know every blogging momma in the universe says that about her children.) But Hooligan 1 is truly one of a kind.

At his 'Uncle T' and 'Aunt J's wedding he had almost everyone (over 300 guests) laughing so hard they cried. I know I did. When his 'Aunt D' gave a speech, he went up onto the stage in his little tux and pretended to hold a microphone. He imitated her to perfection. When she read a poem, he pretended to hold a paper and lip-synced reading it. When she started laughing at him, he clutched his little stomach and mimed her laughter. He would bend forward at the waist, then lean his head way back and kick one foot in the air. 'D' was laughing so hard she couldn't finish her speech for many minutes. Every time she would try, he would crack her up again. He was not even 4 years old.

He loved chickens for some reason. He named one of his hens Big Frank Morter Boy.

He had a pet calf when he was 7. He took a picture of her to school where the kids in his class named the calf Lucky. Meanwhile at home, Hooligan 2 and I named him Pie. The calf became 'Lucky as Pie'. I never saw a cuter sight than Hooligan 1 riding his bike up and down the driveway with that calf running beside him jumping and kicking her heels up high!

Two years ago, a bunch of us were watching fireworks. Hooligan 2 was whining and crying because he wanted to go home. This went on way, way too long. Why didn't someone make him stop? Oh wait.....was that my job? Anyway, my dad finally couldn't take it any longer. He set Hooligan 2 firmly down on his own lap and told him to, "Be quiet!" Without missing a beat, Hooligan 1 exclaimed, "Why Grandpa, I never knew you were such a warm, nurturing man!"

About the time he was 7, I became so very, very tired, I had about zero energy for my family, it was that silly cancer thing. A lack of discipline is not a good thing for children. Who knew? Well Hooligan 1 decided that since no one else was in charge of this family, he was taking the wheel. Guess what, a 7 year old in charge does not work. It doesn't work when he is 11 either. It's not totally his fault, but we have kinda run into the ditch as far as following the rules goes.

At the suggestion of his grade school principal, we had him go to a religion based, outdoors man style, discipline teachin' camp this summer. Hooligan 1 learned some valuable lessons about rules and consequences at the camp. He has made many positive changes since he got back.

But, I think it is about time an adult takes the wheel again. Anyone? Anyone? Oh.....that's right, I'm the adult. The Big Guy is still working 16 to 18 hours/day. We are interviewing drivers so we can hire another guy full-time to free up The Big Guy's time for our family.

Since I'm not as tired as I was before taking the lovely new drug Sprycel, I guess I'm ready to assume control. So scoot over kid, I'm taking over behind the wheel now. Oh, yes I am mister! I'm the boss around here! Let go of that wheel boy! I mean it! Right now! You heard me you little hooligan! Don't you give me that look!

Stern warning for my family.

Thank you anonymous for your lovely comment. If you had left your name I could have exempted you from this warning.

I know many of you are reading this, but I need to see more comments.

Your comments don't have to be detailed. I just want to know if you enjoyed the post or not. You can write, "I read your pathetic little blog, it is dumb, dumb, dumb." Just write something.

If you people don't give me what I need, I am going to start writing about each and every one of you! You know I can, you know I will! There are so many pictures I could dig out and post here. Don't make me do it! LOL

BTW little brother 'J' was the one who suggested I start a blog. Regretting that now aren't you, 'foolish boy who let his sister put him in dresses and wigs and take pictures of him'? Hee, Hee, Hee.

If there are non-family members reading this, (Don't I wish! I always wanted to be popular. Dang it, why not me?) I would love to hear from you even more than my family. Unfortunately I don't have pictures of you in embarrassing situations. So I will just ask nicely, "Please leave a comment. Thank you."

I love you all. Thanks for coming. Now go write some comments!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I love my dad.

I spent the day with family today. My dad was along. Dad was quite reserved when we were kids, he didn't talk much. He worked very hard, when he had free time it was usually spent reading. Dad has changed! He talks non-stop now. But I think his language skills have been damaged. Some wires have gotten crossed in his brain, that is my scientific medical diagnosis. These are snippets of conversations with Dad. Keep in mind that Dad often yells what he says.

Dad : "What was her name before she was married? Smith?"
Mom: "Right."
Dad: "She was a Wright?"

Slug-A-Bed: "Dad, have you ever read "Pride and Prejudice?"
Dad: "Fried presidents? I heard there was a president that was only 5' 2". He weighed less than 100 lbs. And one president had 15 children."
Mom: "Read your book."
Dad: "Eat a bun? I don't have a bun. Did someone bring buns?"
(Mom always makes sure he has a book along so the rest of us can get a word in while he reads.)

Slug-A-Bed: "The pickup The Big Guy wanted to buy was sold ."
Dad: "Where did he keep it?"
Slug-A-Bed: "He didn't have it, he wanted it."
Dad: "He WON it?!"

Dad: "I should make an appointment to see Dr. Scott."
Mom: "What kind of Dr. is Dr. Scott?"
Dad: "I don't know any Dr. Scott."

Slug-A-Bed: "'M' had some really good lemon and lime salsa."
Dad: "M had women, wine and salsa?"
(Why wasn't I invited, M? Oh, yeah..... I remember last time. I won't do that again. I promise.)

Elevator = Cultivator.
Double knit clothes = Government clothes.
Seventy or eighty acres = Sedentary acres. (Retirement community perhaps?)

Sister "M" emailed me these jokes, I think they fit nicely here.

Morris, an 82 year-old man, went to the doctor to get a physical. A few days later, the doctor saw Morris walking down the street with a gorgeous young woman on his arm. A couple of days later, the doctor spoke to Morris and said, 'You're really doing great, aren't you?' Morris replied, 'Just doing what you said, Doc: 'Get a hot mamma and be cheerful.'' The doctor said, 'I didn't say that. I said, 'You've got a heart murmur; be careful.'

This is my favorite.

A little old man shuffled slowly into an ice cream parlor and pulled himself slowly, painfully, up onto a stool. After catching his breath, he ordered a banana split. The waitress asked kindly, 'Crushed nuts?'
'No,' he replied, 'Arthritis.'

Sorry about that - cancer update

In my header I said I wasn't going to post my every ache and pain. In my last post I referenced :

  • Bladder Infection
  • Sweating like a pot boiling over on a stove
  • Swollen Abdomen
  • Tender Tummy
  • Being Tired
  • Unexplained Weight Loss (Like that is a PROBLEM???)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Waaa, Waaa, Waaa

Long story short, I had Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML). Normal white blood cell counts are 7,000 to 9,000. Mine was 189,000. Hospitalized for 4 days, went on a wonder drug called Gleevec.

This drug was FDA approved in 2001. Before this drug the life expectancy for people with CML was 3-5 miserable years. With Gleevec many people can live a normal life-span.

Gleevec usually has few side effects. Not so for me. I will not go into detail. I try to keep my promises. Lucky for me there are a couple of second generation drugs after Gleevec. I started on the one called Sprycel about 5 months ago. It is wonderful. CML is under control and the side effects are a lot better. There is a risk of developing drug resistance or the CML could mutate. But for now life is good. We do regular blood tests to monitor the blood counts, once a year we do a bone marrow check.

Interesting fact - Sprycel costs over $7,000/MONTH! Thank goodness for Blue Cross/Blue Shield. I can't believe that much has to be paid out each month to keep me alive. Actually it's a LOT more than that with all my tests and Dr. bills. Scary.

6 months after the CML, I had a chunk of skin cancer removed from my back. Dr. thinks she got it all. Have a skin check once a year. All is well.

7 months after CML, gall bladder removed.

8 months after CML, diagnosed with blood clotting disorders, Essential Thrombocythemia and JAK2 and another I don't know the name of. For now I take a baby aspirin every morning, we're good to go. ET is actually a form of cancer, my paternal grandmother had it, my maternal aunt has it. Dr.'s say it is NOT hereditary. My Oncologist/Hematologist tells me this is more of a threat to me than the CML is at this point.

Did I mention that we sold the farm during this time. I was responsible for all the packing and moving! Including farm machinery, tools and everything you accumulate living on a farm for 15 years! The Big Guy was working his usual 16 to 18 hours/day in the trucking business we had just started. We built a house, I was responsible for all decisions! Thank goodness for family.


Long story even shorter: Turning 40 sucked.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Jan. 29, 2006, I think it's going to be bad news.

It was a Sunday night. The Big Guy and I were sitting across from each other at the kitchen table. I told him I was going to our Doctor in the morning because I was developing a bladder infection. I warned him that I thought I had more wrong than just an infection, "I think I am going to hear bad news tomorrow so be prepared."

I had been losing a lot of weight, which was great, but my abdomen was getting larger and it was tender. When the boys and I would wrestle and rough-house, I would find myself protecting my tummy.

The night sweats were incredibly drenching and had started happening during the day as well. On Christmas day at the in-laws, I remember standing in the kitchen and sweat was coming off my head in a steady stream. I felt like a pot of water boiling over onto the stove. I stood outside to cool off. It didn't help, and believe me, Iowa in Dec. is COLD!

And I was so incredibly tired. It's hard to describe the bone deep kind of tired I had been feeling for the last couple of years.

When I look back now I am thinking, "How blind were you? You had every sign of cancer there is! Of course you were going to have bad news you loser!" But at the time I could almost explain everything away, the tiredness was due to my fibromyalgia, sweats were probably perimenopause, (I was 40 you know!), weight loss was because I was working hard outside with the cattle. The swollen abdomen was a little harder to explain. I thought it was probably a gastro-intestinal tumor.

Have you ever thought about what kind of cancer you would choose if you had to have cancer? I always thought I'd prefer to have some type of tumor. Cut the sucker out and get rid of it man! You can't get rid of your blood, I knew I didn't want that kind of cancer.

The next morning I went to our family Doc..... To be continued.

I'm scaring the neighbors!

I talk with my neighbor "E" occasionally. We converse about kids, dogs, landscaping etc.. He lives across the street with his lovely wife, three cute little girls, one cat and four dogs. My boys and I enjoy playing with his dogs.

BTW his dogs have more of a life than I do. They go canoeing, horseback riding, 4-wheeling, hunting and fishing.

Recently "E" mentioned that they are looking for a new home. I think it's my fault they don't want to live here anymore.

It all started when a lady asked, "You live across the street from "E" right? He has the most beautiful eyes." Now I had never looked at his eyes that closely. I'm on the shy side and don't do the direct eye contact thing very well.

The next time "E" and I were talking I tried to casually glance over and check out his eyes. The casual part must not have worked. He immediately took a couple of steps back and asked, "How is your HUSBAND?" He must have thought I was trying to send him some kind of signal! Maybe he has that trouble often, his eyes were pretty nice.

"E" if you ever read this, please know that The Big Guy is all the man I can handle. Don't be afraid.

I feel sorry for the good looking people in the world, having to fend off the unwanted advances of others. I can only be grateful I don't have that worry.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Thrown by a cow - I probably deserved it.
The Big Guy and I were working with our cows a few years ago when we lived on the farm. I would bring them up to the gate a few at a time. He would swing the gate open to let the healthy ones run past him and back to their yard. He closed it to turn the cows that were having problems with sore hooves into a holding pen. We planned to treat them later.

The Big Guy was getting a little cranky because these cows didn't always go to the holding pen in a cooperative manner. They were in pain, didn't want to run, didn't want to be separated from their lady friends and definitely didn't want to be locked out of their familiar home.

Eventually The Big Guy's crabbiness extended to include me, even though I was being as cooperative and helpful as always.

I understood those poor hurting cows. I felt their pain. They didn't like getting yelled at, they didn't want to be told what to do by this bossy man at the gate.

Anyway, one of these angry cows got past him. As she ran by she kicked her back legs out sideways and nailed him hard in the butt.

Now I don't know why but sometimes another persons pain is extremely funny to me. When I was a kid my dad slammed a car door on his finger, it was very hard for me to control the laughter bubbling up inside me. I am smiling today just thinking about it.

But I digress, The Big Guy had just taken a direct hit to his right buttock. I checked on him, made sure he was OK. I think I said something like, "I can't believe she kicked you like that!"

Inside I was laughing so hard! I was saying to myself, "I can't believe she kicked him like that! That was hilarious! Oh, that was so funny!" Then sternly, "Don't smile, do not laugh out loud." Finally I had to turn away because I could no longer hold back the smile. I am evil like that sometimes.

About five minute later one of those cows I felt such a warm kinship for, fixed her cold, beady eyes on me. She lowered her head and ran full out, straight for me! I climbed the fence as fast as my chunky thighs could move to escape her wrath. Alas, I wasn't fast enough. She hooked her hard head under me and threw me up and over the fence! I landed flat on my back in the dirt. I lay there stunned for many pounding heart beats.

The Big Guy later claimed he didn't see any of it. He said he looked over and wondered, "What the heck? Why is she lying on the ground out there?"

Personally, I think he saw the whole thing and was laughing uproariously inside. And who would blame him. What goes around comes around, right?

At the end of the day, both our bodies and our egos were a little bruised, otherwise we were fine.