Nice to see you!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

When it's time to look for a nursing home

I was on the phone with my mother the other day when she locked herself out of the house. Our conversation went something like this.

"Honey, I need you to call your dad and tell him I'm locked out. He can't hear me knocking."

"Mom, why don't you call him?"

"I can't, he's on his cell."

"Why don't you call him on his cell?"

"I don't have a phone."


"Mom, you are on the phone with me. I will hang up with you and you can call him."

"I CAN'T call him, he's on his cell phone."

"Mom, if I hang up with you, then you can call him on his cell."


One of these days I'm going to go home and find my dad stuck on the roof and my mom locked in the garage. I know it. I'm beginning to think my grandmother is the sanest person living in that house.

Unfortunately, she won't hear either one of them calling for help.

One of my least favorite things


Piles of snow on my table.

And my BBQ.

And my car.

Snow deeper than my chihuahua. Okay, deeper than my chihuahua's hanger-downer, which means he doesn't want to go outside to potty. And really, can you blame him? No man would enjoy that. I tried to put him outside and he gave me the stink eye. I actually had to shovel a square for him to do his business in.

How long til spring?!

A Thanksgiving Feast

I love Thanksgiving.

On what other occasion do you actually starve yourself all day and then intentionally wear your stretchiest pants so you can spend the evening wallowing in gluttony?

Best Holiday Ever!

Here's our bird before its encounter with the oven.

Here's Ramona cheating before dinner.

This is an extremely unflattering picture taken of me after dinner by a 9 year old. (I was dared to post this picture. I swear I don't leave my house looking like this. Usually.)

And since Ramona made me post that picture, I would like to post this one of her enjoying sparkling apple cider directly from the bottle.

We are such ladies.

And once again I bring you Anthony, 30 seconds before waking up and demanding pie.

Happy Thanksgiving! May your bird be moist, your stuffing savory, and your pies calorie-free!

Sunday Gravy

Italians are weird.

I make spaghetti like a normal person - tomato sauce, tomato paste, diced tomato, Italian seasonings, garlic, sugar, ground beef and black olives. You know, normal.

Anthony, on the other hand, makes a standard tomato sauce, and then adds every animal he can find at the butcher shop.

Sausages, meatballs, ribs, pork - you name it. Cook 'em up.

Then add it to the sauce.

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble.

And indigestion. Don't forget the indigestion.

But it is tasty. Anthony makes FABULOUS meatballs.

Mangia! Mangia!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Happy Birthday, William

William would have been 39 this Saturday.

He would have been, but he will never be.

He will never be 39, or 40, or 50. He will miss the experience of creaky joints, memory loss, gray hair, and cataracts. He will never watch his friends and family die of old age and sickness. He will not sit in a rocker in a nursing home with no one to visit him. He will not yell at kids to get off of his lawn or wear his pants up to his ribcage or develope an intolerance to spicy food. He will not complain about politicians or argue about politics or religion ever again.

He will never have to deal with the crushing loss of having your best friend, your husband, your support and conspirator die. He won't know what it feels like when the other half of your spirit is gone, how hard it is to get up in the morning, how hard it sometimes is to just breathe. He won't lie awake at night asking pointless questions to which there is no answer, with his mind running in circles like a gerbil on a wheel, endlessly. He doesn't blame everyone - doctors, family, friends, self - for not fixing him. He won't have to pay bills, go to the doctor, argue with his wife or mow the lawn ever again.

He won't have to deal with any of that anymore.

But he'll also miss Christmas. And Halloween. And birthdays. He won't be there for the births of nieces and nephews. He won't father his own children, or be a grandfather. He'll be absent at summer BBQ's, camping trips and fishing at the lake. He can't laugh at new movies, or go to concerts, or read new books. He's missing the final Harry Potter movie. He will never sleep late on a winter morning or take an afternoon nap on the couch with his wife. He doesn't hear how loved he was or how much his friends and family think about him. He can't play fetch with his dog anymore.

But all of these things still happen. The sun keeps coming up every day. The seasons keep changing. We keep getting older. The world refuses to stop and acknowledge that William is gone.

I miss my friend. I miss my husband.

Halloween Happenings

What a lovely holiday we had. We made caramel apples. They looked like this when we first made them.

Then something horrible happened, we're still not sure what, and we ended up with apples sitting in puddles of caramel.

We carved pumpkins.

Lots of pumpkins....

The Grim Reaper went Trick or Treating.

Actually, that's Ramona. No pictures of the Grim Reaper. I thought that was close enough.

And the teenage zombie chased me around the house until I knocked her out in the front yard.

Just kidding.

Anthonys father and step mother were in town visiting, so the guys spent some quality time together.

And us girls played games and visited and cooked and visited some more. It was such a wonderful week of time spent with his family. Poor Ramona had to feed 10 people almost every night. Good thing she's Italian. She's made to feed people. It's what she does. And I must say, she does it very well. And she sends home leftovers. I like that, too.

Next up - Thanksgiving. Ramona's cooking that, too. Tee hee.

Death does not become her

November roses. No, really. We've had several frosts, there are no leaves on the trees, everything is dead, but look at my roses.

The rest of the garden however looks like this.......

Sleep, perchance to dream....of blue skies, warm rays of sun, and tiny green shoots pushing up from the ground, waking up. Hey! Wait a minute.... Those are weeds!

Sigh. Even in my dreams......

Live v. TV

Anthony took me to my first ever live football game to see BSU. I was VERY excited! Finally, I get to be right where the action is, cheering with the other fans, sharing in the comraderie of the Bronco Nation.

I planned it all out. I packed blankets and warm clothes. I made plans for dinner and arrangements for parking our cars. I must have called Anthony 4 times to make sure he didn't forget anything and that he would be here on time. Did I mention I was excited?

So, he picked me up and we went to dinner at a Seafood restaraunt up the street from the stadium and then we came back to my office parking lot to meet the bus that would drop us off at the game. We stuffed ourselves into our extra clothes, grabbed our blankets and hiked off to the bus stop. This is about the time I realized I needed to use the restroom.

We climb onto the cute little bus packed with other excited BSU fans, and trundle off to the game. We get dropped off right at the road in front of the stadium and start heading through the parking lot. Oh! Thank Goodness - Port O Pottys!! Never thought I'd be so happy to see one of those. Dang. Private use only. Hundreds of Port o Pottys, and all belonging to the alumni tailgaters. Whimper. Okay, I'll have to wait until we get inside.

Holy moly! Look at that line to get in. Don't think about it. Just concentrate on getting through the line and then worry about a bathroom. Anthony asks if I'm enjoying myself. I smile like a lunatic. Not about to complain after he went through the trouble of getting tickets. It'll be fine once we get in. And eventually, we do. I make a beeline for anything resembling a bathroom while Anthony figures out where we are seated. Ahh, relief. Now I can enjoy myself.

Look! We're seated in the end zone! How cool is that?! We'll get to see the guys up close and personal. Well, we COULD see the guys if the people in front of us weren't standing up. Why are you standing? You paid for SEATS!! If everyone sat down, then everyone could see. But no, the people in front stand up, so we have to stand up, so the people behind us have to stand, so on and so forth. Screw that. I'm sitting down until something exciting happens. Hmmm...that guy in front of me is wearing John Elways jersey. Right color, wrong Bronco team. Is it raining? I think I feel rain....

From the shouts of the crowd I learn that we must be winning. It's all very exciting. I occasionally catch a flash of blue and orange running in some direction on the field. Apparently the guy 2 people down from me doesn't like the way the team is playing though, because he keeps shouting at them and calling them names and telling them they are stupid. I assume he's on OUR side - he's wearing our colors. I don't find him helpful. On a side note, my butt is frozen to the metal bleachers and I know I just got hit by a raindrop. Anthony asks if I'm having fun - of COURSE I am! I say enthusiastically. This is GREAT!!!

Oh thank God, it's halftime. Anthony brings me hot chocolate. It makes a great handwarmer. I wander around for awhile and then go inside the stadium because, guess what? It's raining!! I knew it! So I hang out nice and dry for awhile. Poor Anthony is sitting out in the rain waiting for me to get back so we don't lose our seats. After it tapers off I go back to the bleachers and snuggle up with Anthony. He asks if I'm cold, if I'd like to go home. I say no, of course not, I'm fine. He says we'll see how it's going by the end of the third quarter and if we're still winning, maybe we'll head home early. I say okay.

Fifteen minutes later, five minutes into the third quarter Anthony looks at me and says "I'm cold and hungry. Can we go home?"

So we did. We came home, I made some dinner and we watched the rest of the game on Tivo, warm and dry and comfy in our living room. I was able to see the entire game, hear the announcements, and follow what was happening.

Live action is over rated.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What friends are good for

Friends will get up at 7am on a Sunday and drive 45 minutes to your house to help you surprise-paint your mothers bedroom.

Friends will spill paint on the drop cloth within 2 minutes of beginning to paint, and will leave said puddle there and just walk around it.

That same friend will then step in the spilled paint, giving you a reason to laugh at them.

You will return the favor later by stepping in the paint puddle, too.

Now you are even.

Friends will reset your circuit breaker box for you when you get paint in the outlet holes and blow the fuses.

Friends will help you get all of this done by 1030am so that you still have the whole rest of your day to enjoy yourself.

I heard you were going to a movie.....

I have to go home and clean house.

Hey, if YOU were any kind of friend you would give me your movie tickets and go clean my house.



It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

The perfect fall day begins with a Chai Latte and a slice of pumpkin bread. This is consumed while I drive through the fields and backroads to get to Linder Farms where we are going pumpkin picking. (For the record, I would like it noted that my pumpkin bread is better than Moxie Java's, thank you very much!)

I met up with Anthony's sister and 2 nieces and family friends with their children and grandchildren in tow. We trod through the dirt parking lot and into the farm to begin our search for the perfect pumpkin. They had lots of attractions that we could pay for, but being cheap we chose to entertain ourselves with free things. These included, but were not limited to, burying childrens heads in dried corn, taking pictures of unruly children, and making fun of each other. (When Ramona asked why it was that they invited me places, I was forced to remind her that I'm the one with the camera and that's why they have to put up with me. No one else remembers theirs.)

We got to hop onto a wagon loaded with straw to ride out to the pumpkin patch. You would think the kids would be excited by this, but they all look like they're on the Bataan Death March.

We picked out a bunch of pumpkins to take home (I got three) and then stood around in the rain waiting for the wagon to come pick us back up. Meanwhile, does anyone know why children always seem to pick out pumpkins that weigh three times as much as they do? You know who's going to have to carry them, right? Well, in this case, it was Henry. Isn't he just the big, strong man?

After unloading and paying for our pumpkins (holy moly! 17.00 for three pumpkins!), we headed back to Ramonas for lunch and visiting. We now have a stack of pumkins in the garage awaiting their carving day next weekend. I can hardly wait!

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Nice things Anthony Does for Me

I recognize that I'm not the easiest person to live with. Most people aren't easy to live with. We all have our days and no one is perfect. And there are plenty of times that Anthony and I have wanted to strangle each other. So for absolutely no reason, I would like to take a moment to say thank you for all the nice things Anthony does for me.

Last night I dropped my 8.00 digital camera batteries into the kitchen garbage can. Which was full. Anthony got them out for me.

Speaking of garbage, he also retrieved my brand new knife from the outside garbage can when I dropped it in there with a dead mouse. (See Feb post about mice)

He stops on his way home from work at 11 at night when we run out of a)dog food b)ice cream c)cottage cheese, or d) something for his dinner because I didn't make anything.

He went to the pharmacy 15 miles away twice in the same day for me when I was sick.

He buys me practical gifts to keep me safe, like a Blu tooth for when I'm driving and a car charger so I'll always have service. But then he buys me pretty jewelry, too.

He loves my pets and takes care of them and spoils them.

He takes care of my cracked heels better than any spa ever could. And then he doesn't yell at me when I run around barefoot and he has to do it again.

He lifts heavy stuff and carries it around the yard until I figure out where I want to put it.

He ALWAYS cleans the cat box.

He will do the grocery shopping for me when I don't want to, and he always gets everything on the list.

He doesn't judge me when I say I'm on a diet and I cave and have pizza.

He tries really hard not to say anything when I'm driving us somewhere and I take all the backroads because I don't want to drive on the freeway.

He shares his free movie tickets with me.

And most importantly,


Football Loyalties

For the past few years, I have been a BSU fan. Go Broncos! And they are doing really, really well. Our quarterback's up for the Heisman, our guys are drafted to the NFL on a regular basis, our Coach is phenomenal. Most importantly, he's teaching these boys to be gentlemen on the field and teaching them good sportsmanship. Showing off when you score a touchdown? You're benched. Get in a fight on the field? Benched. We had one game this season where half of our first string was benched. Yes, we're there to win games, but Coach Pete isn't putting up with that kind of crap from these boys. And if they lose a game because they're behaving badly? Well, so be it.

I bleed blue and orange. I do. I watch every game. I wear one of several BSU shirts every Friday to work before a game day. I dread the day when we lose a game - because it WILL happen eventually. That will be a sad day for Bronco Nation.

HOWEVER - I have one conflict. I grew up in Nevada. I went to UNR (however briefly). So every Thanksgiving I have to sit through the torment of watching BSU and UNR lock horns and I don't know who to root for. I would LIKE to see UNR win....but then I'll be sad that BSU lost. I would also like for BSU to stomp all over UNR, but then I'll feel like a little part of me got beaten down, too.

How do men do it? I swear I have watched games (Fiesta bowl 2007 anyone?) where I just about had a stroke and had to leave the room because I couldn't watch anymore. This year I have a plan. TIVO. Then, if it gets to be too much, I can fast forward to the scores. Yes, I know it's cheating, but I can't stand the suspense.

Sometimes I miss the days when I just stayed in the kitchen and brought out sandwiches and did laundry while the guys sat in the living room watching the game. Now I'm the one yelling at the TV.

And I still have to get my own sandwich.

Something you never see

Here's something you'll probably only see once this football season.

It's Anthony.

Do you know why he's cheering?


I figured I'd better get this picture now. (I don't think there will be another opportunity this season.....)

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Wonder what the spider is thinking........

Look what I grew!

I am so proud. I actually got some stuff.

Purple Podded Pole beans, green beans, and cherry tomatoes.

Green beans, tomatoes, bellpeppers and lemon cucumbers!

All right.

I grew them.

I picked them.

They are sitting on my counter staring at me.

Now what?

Y is for Yellow

And yellow is for fall......

Crisp mornings, warm afternoon sunshine, fresh apple cider and glazed doughnuts..... I love fall.

There is hay drying in the fields.

Late season Black-Eyed Susans.

Not my corn. But I wish it was. All ready to be harvested.

I turned my heater on this weekend.



You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have the facts of life.....

Truer words have never been spoken.

Horrible incident in my home Tuesday night. I get home, I let my dogs into the backyard, go into my room to change my clothes. I hear screaming. (No, not from somebody viewing me changing my clothes, thank you very much.) I run out into the backyard and hear my neighbor screaming "No, oh God stop, leave her alone." The "her" in question was my chihuahua. What she was yelling at were her two German Shepards who were trying to tear my dog in half. (From what I was able to learn later, the Shepards had broken a board on the fence and when Izzy stuck her head through, they grabbed her and dragged her in.)

There is no greater feeling of impotence than standing on one side of a fence while your dog is being torn apart on the other side. Thankfully, my neighbor got to her dogs quickly and my dog came back through the hole in the fence while I was banging on the womans front door screaming at her to give me my dog. I finally located Izzy under my bed and was forced to make the decision to reach in and grab her, knowing that it was about the stupidest thing I could do. Having said that, I did it anyways and was rewarded by her fangs going through my hand between my thumb and forefinger. I dragged her out, switched my grip and was promptly rewarded by having her try to tear a finger off of my other hand. I got her to the sink to start to wash her off so I could see how bad it was. Believe me when I say that is difficult to do with dog fangs buried to the bone in one of your hands.

God bless my vet who drove in from 30 miles away, after hours, with two staff members to come take care of her. Amazingly, although she had a dozen bites in her throat, chest, stomach and genitals, none had punctured into her rib cage or abdominal cavity. They did manage to pull on her so hard that they seperated the skin and muscles in her chest, causing an extremely painful air bubble and extensive bruising. After clean up, pain shots and antibiotics she was on her way home. And I was on my way to the doctor.

Anthonys sister had actually dropped everything and driven over to help me as I was both a basket case and wounded. She drove me to the doctor where they cleaned my wounds, bandaged me up and gave me 100 pills that I have to take within the next 10 days. I wish I was exaggerating, but it really is 100 pills. Every 6hrs. Apparently dog mouths are dirty. Imagine that. (I've personally seen them dine from the cat box, so this came as no surprise to me.)

On the plus side, I'll have a really cool scar and can tell people that a Chihuahua tried to rip my finger off.

On the good neighbor side, my other next door guy, Steve, came over and fixed my fence and the only payment he took was a bucket of green beans and some tomatoes. Of course, this was after he chewed me out for not coming to get him when all of this was happening. I'll take it. Steve's a good neighbor.