Thursday, November 8, 2012

Moose amore

This big guy finally came to eat the pumpkin innards we threw in the yard for him and his friends. Bob beat him to to the punch the first night and ate his fair share of pumpkin guts. Surprisingly, I didn't wake up to the charming sound of him regurgitating the latest treasure he ingested onto my carpet as I usually do. I'd read that pumpkin can be soothing to a dog's stomach and it seems to be true in this case. Thank goodness.

I love the way moose have to get on their knees to eat things off the ground. Those long legs are a bit of a hindrance when the prize is ground level. His head only reaches to about the second floor. I suppose this is why their natural diet consists of bushes, branches, and things that stick out of the snow.

It also seems their natural diet includes my flowers. At least they waited until they were dead this year.

After his snack he peered in the window to see who was spying on him. I was still out on the porch watching him watch us.

My friend Lori that was visiting had left a mere 12 hours before this bull showed up. She had been waiting to see a moose. We saw a cow and her calf earlier but I was bummed that she didn't see this handsome guy. 

He came back later that evening with lady friend to finish off the jack o'lanterns that had been sitting there frozen since Halloween. No need to worry about our pumpkins getting rotten and moldy this year. They froze and hour after we stuck them outside and stayed that way. This bull was feeling pretty amorous towards his lady friend and I seriously thought we were about to witness some birds and bees moose action on our front walk and was worried that they would crush the bench that they kept running around. That would definitely be a first. Lady friend rebuffed his advances, or at least had the good sense to find someplace more private where they weren't being spied on by a family of four and their two watchful dogs, and wandered off into the woods with him close behind.

I hope it works out better for you next time, pal.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


My gorgeous friend that I've known since she was born came to visit. She and my father share a birthday. Our parents were out to dinner celebrating my dad's birthday when her mom went into labor. So when I say we've known each other since birth I'm being literal.

She has come to visit me in every state that I have lived in. No small feat considering I've lived on the Gulf Coast and the Gulf of Alaska and in between. Many many miles she has traveled to see me. She's one of those lifelong friends that has helped me get into trouble as many times as she has helped me get out of trouble. She's the one who convinced me that her parents were ok with us smashing all the eggs from the chicken coop. Really, we could throw them against the wall of the coop to see what happens, she says. We found out what happens.What happens is that her parents were not ok with that.

 But she is also the one who bought me a pregnancy test and forced me to take it and held my hand and let me cry and drove me to the health department when I found out I was pregnant in college. She told me everything would be alright. She was right. Now I have the most beautiful family in the world.

 I flew home six months ago to be in her wedding. I've never been more excited for a wedding than I have been for hers. I'd never seen her happier in my life. Her joy was my joy and no one deserves that happiness more than she. We are very different. We spent much of our childhood arguing the way sisters do, but we have the common bond of shared childhoods, joys, and heartaches. She conjures up a fierce sense of loyalty in me that I have reserved only for family. Which makes sense because she is not just a childhood friend. She is Aunt Lori to my kids. She is family.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


All my Michigan friends and family are posting first day of school pictures of their kids today so I thought I'd join the party. I'm a little late considering my kids started school nearly three weeks ago but better late than never is my motto.

Speaking of better late than never, I made my husband a very happy man when I finally finished this project that I started nearly over a year ago. He just loves all my half finished projects taking up shelf space in his garage. It makes him all warm and fuzzy.

I fell in love with the wooden sunburst mirrors that had suddenly become very popular but didn't really want to shell out the money for one. I found several tutorials online for mirrors made with wood shims. I used some of their ideas, added a few of my own, and I'm pretty happy with the finished project. Even DH is pretty impressed with it but I think he's mostly impressed that I have actually finished it.

So what started out as several packs of wood shims eventually became this. Buy way more wood shims than you think you'll need. Or be smarter than me and actually do the math and figure out how many you'll need before you go back to the store for the third time to get more.

This should have taken me about a weekend to make, and if it had, I may have actually been on trend instead of behind, but I still love it. I still love chevron too and I'm not ashamed to say it even though the home decorating blog world has moved on to newer and trendier things.

My favorite part of this whole project, by far, is the movement of all the thermostats to one side of the wall. Whoever built this house put three thermostats spread out over this whole wall like some strange homage to thermostat. I couldn't hang anything there. You try decorating around that.

See them all lined up neatly and out of the way? It makes me ridiculously happy. If you are lucky enough to be married to a handy man, then you have someone who can dig through walls and go in crawl spaces and rewire things like this with out burning the house down. I am one of those very lucky ladies. The very luckiest of all. 

Now to get to all those other projects that I've started. DH could use the shelf space.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Beaching it

After three days of warmth and sunshine we finally decided to go to the "beach" with the kids. Gravel bar along a lakeshore may be a more appropriate term. My sister and I arrived with our troops and were greeted by clouds and warmish weather. We were sent on our way with a light shower. Oh well, you take what you can get up here. The kids were brave and jumped right in the cool lake.

So far I stand by my resolve to not actually immerse myself in a body of water in this state. If the water temperature suddenly rises I may change my mind. I'll live vicariously through my children until then.

Monday, July 16, 2012


DH and I don't have many photos of just the two of us, so on a trip to Denali last month I gave the camera to Princess Blondie and had her snap a couple pictures. I learned two things. Don't give the camera to short people. You'll look like you have a Jay Leno chin. And second, my son is an expert photo bomber.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Thanks for the memories

Oh, Alaskan slip n' slide. You are the best entertainment I get all summer. 

 Your frigid Alaskan well water on warm summer days induce squeals of frosty surprise,

draw in shocked breaths,

prompt peals of surprised laughter, 

and contort faces into shapes before unseen.

 You make babies happy,

 and cautious,

 and snuggly,

 and  most importantly, tired.

Thank you.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The new 20

I've decided why I don't like doctors. Every time I go in for one thing and they find something else that's wrong with me. I went in for one problem and came out with two more. It's like being swindled by a shady mechanic. (Except my doctors aren't shady at all. In fact, for the first time in my life since the family doctor I had when Sonny Boy was a baby, I love both of my doctors. Military doctors are an acquired taste.) This time I went in for an MRI to see what was wrong with my neck and back and discovered I have a cystic lesion on my thyroid. More doctor appointments made to follow up with that. Blood work ordered to check out thyroidy things only to discover that I have low vitamin D levels. I now have to take 5,000 IUs of vitamin D a day. Until today when I got the super concentrated vitamin D pills I had to take a literal fistful of pills each morning. An even dozen. I felt a little geriatric. I guess it's glimpse into my future.

I thought 30 was supposed to be the new 20, and yet today I took a fistful of pills, had an ultrasound on my thyroid, and discovered I have two protruding discs in my back along with a slight case of degenerative disc disease, which is apparently normal for my age(?!). Thirty, I'm disappointed in you. You are not living up to all the hype.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Panic button

I had to get an MRI today. Two actually, and a bunch of x-rays for my back. Two years ago I fell and hurt my back while carrying my nephew across an icy parking lot. Using my super human auntie strength I kept my nephew from harm but my back and pride took a beating. Soon my leg started feeling weird and tingly and I started freaking out thinking I had deep vein thrombosis but prayed I was too young for that. The urgent care doc told me it was swelling and should go away but to see a doctor again if the numbness didn't subside. I put off actually doing anything about it because I generally don't like doctors, but mostly I just don't like picking up the phone and making appointments.

So now it's two years later and my sister told me I finally needed to get my butt to her back doctor. She promised he was really nice and what do you know, he is! Pretty sure she's just tired of hearing me complain about my back. His first order of business was x-rays and MRIs, since I've never had any done, to rule out anything catastrophic like tumors. I love it when doctors use words like catastrophic and tumors. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. He didn't lose any points though because he somehow convinced TriCare to actually pay for the MRI. That is no small miracle.

As I was talking with my doctor about having an MRI done he asked me if I was claustrophobic. I had flashbacks to childhood when I was buried in a hole up to my neck in our sandbox by my brother. I think I even helped him dig the hole with a post hole digger. My oldest sister used to pin me down, tickle me, and lick me until I finally screamed enough to get rid of her. I remember wrestling with my brother with these giant floor pillows in the basement. I also remember being on the bottom of that pile of pillows with him on top and being pretty sure that I wasn't going to make out alive. There is a picture of me, maybe 3 or so, wrapped in blanket, stuffed in a box (or perhaps a laundry basket) and then, just to make sure I couldn't escape, I was tied in it. At least they left my head out. Then they pushed me around the house like a bobsled. I'm just glad I didn't go down any steps.

So answering the doctor's inquiry of my claustrophobia, I said, "Ummm... yeah, a little." His response: "Well, it's important to hold really still while you're in there." That was not the "here, take this sedative" answer I was hoping for.

I showed up this morning for what I was assured by my  nurse sister would be a short MRI. I first lay on the table and the tech informs me that they have to put this metal bar over my neck to get a better picture. So now, not only am I going to be sent into a little body sized tube, I am going in strapped to the table by my head. Awesome. I've got headphones blaring Colbie Caillat, I'm sliding in the coffin sized machine making more noise than a construction sight,  my head is strapped to the table, and please don't move, not even a finger, because that actually moves muscles all the way up my shoulder I'm told. Then I start wondering if I had in fact removed all of my jewelry. I have visions of a forgotten earring getting ripped out of my body. What if something metal was accidentally left in me from surgery long ago? That stuff happens. Why did the questionnaire ask about tattoos? Wasn't there a Mythbusters about tattoos exploding in MRIs? Maybe they just burned. The panic button is of little comfort.

I'm surprisingly unaffected by the small space, what is killing me is trying to hold still. I thought I was doing a pretty good job, but then they had to do the first one again because it was blurry. Moveyour arms to the side please, they are moving as you breathe. Then, after the second one was blurry--try not to take such deep breathes, just take shallow breathes, but still breathe, she tells me. Sheesh, now I'm afraid to breathe. I'm afraid to swallow because it will move my neck but I desperately need to. I feel like I'm about to drown in my own saliva. I wish I had one of those spit sucker things like the dentist uses. A muscle twitches in my side. Then in my arm. Then I notice how tense all my muscles are. I try to relax but realize that that would make me move. I try to distract my self from my breathing, and swallowing, and twitchy tense muscles. Try to think happy thoughts. I don't know if the tech actually got a decent shot of my neck or if she finally gave up and moved on to my lower back. Needless to say, I was in there for much longer than I anticipated.

I knew I just needed a sedative. Who knew that I needed it just to hold still? I guess I'm not as claustrophobic as I thought I was, although my siblings tried their best. At least I didn't need to use the panic button.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Long Night

A couple weeks ago I thought my Sonny Boy had appendicitis. Of course I sent him to school anyway. I'm that mom. The one who sends her kids to school when they say their stomach hurts. In all fairness, at that point I thought he was sore from gymnastics. I asked specifically if he thought he was going to puke, he said no it only hurts when he moves. That doesn't scream stomach bug to me. Besides, if he had to stay home he would miss his Christmas party at Scouts that evening and I would have to miss my Christmas party for preschool. Missing a party is the true test of sickness in a kid. He thought he would be fine for a party so off to school he went with 42 reminders from me to tell the teacher, tell the nurse, tell anyone who would listen if he truly thought he was sick and I would come get him.

He made it through school with two trips to the nurse and some antacids in his stomach. By the time he got home though he was pasty white with a slight greenish tinge. It still only hurt when he moved, but now the pain was only in right side. It also didn't help when his angelic sister punched him in that exact spot because he somehow slighted her. That dropped him to the floor in tears. This is also about the time that I have to go get pizza for the Scouts Christmas party at my house. My sister was coming in the house to check him out for me as I left to get the pizza. (Everyone should have a nurse for a sister. Just saying. It comes in mighty handy.) She said call the doctor. The thing was he had no symptoms except for the severe pain in his side. No fever, no vomiting, etc. I called the doctor and she said well, bring him in if that's what you think it is. Well, I don't know if that's what it is. That's why I'm calling you! I was feeling a wee bit frazzled. It was apparent. I don't have a poker face. I figured I would just give him some time and see how he was doing. He recovered enough from his sister's punch to sit through the party and seemed to be feeling all right so I just sent him to bed. Here's how the night progressed:

I started doing internet searches on appendicitis. I should know better. Every time Web MD tells me I have cancer.

I woke Sonny Boy up at 10:00 from a very peaceful sleep so I could rush him to the ER so he wouldn't die from appendicitis. Web MD decided he had it.

It was the easiest trip to the ER I've ever had. He was sent right back in to a room. We had two great nurses. They were funny. They seemed to think maybe he had appendicitis too. I felt pleasantly validated. Crazy likes company.

The doctor did not seem as sure. What do they know? He ordered x-rays and labs anyway. I like it when people placate me.

Sonny Boy's response to the news that he would get x-rays: "Yes! Finally!" He has apparently not led a full life yet because he's never needed x-rays or even stitches.

His response to the blood draw and urine sample was less enthusiastic but he is always a compliant little trooper.

We waited for a long time for the lab results. I read an entire Captain Underpants book to Sonny Boy. I really enjoyed that part. So did he.

Labs and x-rays reveal his appendix is fine. Just severe stomach cramps. My boy needs more fiber in his life.

We head home at 1:00 a.m.

I get pulled over at 1:10 a.m. Bummer.

Headlight is out. Bummer.

Can't find my proof of insurance. Only two expired ones. Bummer.

Did find the manual to my camera that I've been looking for since August. Yay!

I also found a spare headlight bulb. A burned out headlight is a chronic problem for our car.  We come prepared.

The very nice officer believed me that I really did have insurance and told me to get a copy of the current insurance in the car and get the headlight fixed. I didn't even have to give him my sob story of spending the night in the ER with my sick son. Yay!

Finally get home and give my boy the meds they gave us at the hospital. Make it to bed around 2:00.

I now pay my kids a dime for every water bottle they drink and everybody gets wholegrain high fiber everything.

The end.