Thursday, July 31, 2008

New Infatuation, So Sweet...

I've discovered a new love of my life, and it is my delightful iPhone:

I have had many conversations over the past few weeks with fellow iPhone-iacs, from the staff at work who texts me to the super cool pediatrician gal I met last week who secretly texts the cute coach of her kid's t-ball team, while her husband sits nearby (purely platonic, she assures me).
With my phone, I'm able to do things I never could otherwise: chat with people on the sly (I've had more conversations with my daughter lately with the unlimited texting than I've had since the onset of adolescence, esp since she's been holed up at camp for 2 weeks and unable to call), send emails any time of the day (I was sending and reading emails over lunch today while I was chatting with my co-workers, yay!), a well as putting the world at my fingertips, any waking moment of the day. It's been tremendous fun.
Falling in love has been an interesting process, fairly uncontrollable, and hard to determine if it's just lust or the novelty of new features, the titillation of trying new things like texting while listening to iTunes, while receiving a call, while reading my favorite blogs-- all at the same, fabulous time.
So functional! So flexible! And I hear there's DOZENS of optional applications I can peruse to make my phone even more splendid:

It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, thinking about all the things I can do with my beloved phone, and I look forward to all the fun it can offer me;-)

So in homage to my new obsession, I include here a montage of my other favorite Apple (Fiona-- whose CD I found the other day while cleaning out the car. I forgot what a complicated, beautiful voice she has, lovely!):

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My body feels different...

It must be all the bike riding. My legs feel more toned, my arms leaner... my ass perpetually sore.
I'm hoping to be able to ride my bike to work tomorrow and each work day over the next two weeks when Jacob is away at camp. It's only 4.5 miles and should take 20-30 minutes, and hopefully won't make me too nasty sweaty for my patients.

Tonight we took a quick ride up to Uncle Harry's for ice cream in an effort to lure Jacob off the computer, and it ended up getting dark much earlier than we anticipated, so we rode home in the pitch black night-- cool!
The darkness of the wooded bike trail was lit up with the occasional flicker of lightning bugs, and it was eerie silent except for the crickets and the sound of our tires on the pavement. And other than the swarms of bugs that went up our noses and in our eyes, it was a great ride (and no, I didn't have any ice cream, but my unsweetened cranberry water was quite lovely, tyvm).

Dinner tonight (minus the bread, I'm going low carb):

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Was a strange one; Jake had his colonscopy and was by far the LOOPIEST patient I've ever worked with. He was like his own intoxicated one man show: slurring his words, repeating himself like 100 times, telling strange tales about hallucinating dogs and whatnot... I saw a new side of him and wonder where that guy lives most of the time 'cause he was reeaally funny.
For a while he was quite insistent on having his picture taken with strange facial expressions, and I couldn't get him to stop fixating on it; I'll post those in a bit.
I don't think Jake and I have ever joked around and laughed like that in all the years we've been together, but it didn't stop us from having one of our classic, old school arguments later in the day, but I'm sure he won't even remember:-)

And today I was able to not only put on my "too tight" shorts, but do yoga in them (because I was too lazy to take them off, mostly)! Ah... starvation, exercise, and the resolution of old teenage angst, always good for the waistline... still 100% glad to have the reunion behind me, fo shizzle.

Monday, July 28, 2008

I promise it'll end soon:

My goal was to get at least 30 miles in today, but as usual, I fell short by the *slightest* margin (28.9 miles, boo), leaving me wanting a little bit more. Story of my life.

Kenosha was quite lovely, as always:

After a very nice segueway, we headed east.

It seems like every trip to Kenosha I take, I have to hit at least two spots: the lake and the cemetery. Odd.
The lure is very pervasive, and I can barely's almost as if I left pieces of myself behind in my hometown that I keep trying to find. That, and my memory doesn't seem to work the way most people's does: instead of having the ability to sit and recall events, I can only catch snippets of the past, usually through alternative means; smells, sounds, randomly seeing something that triggers a memory, or if someone sits me down and helps me put it together. Thus my past is a disjointed collection of songs, feelings, and mystery odors with the occasional dash of solid reality thrown in (usually by someone else).

The lake is easy enough to figure out, no great mystery there:
Once upon a time, the memories were all happy ones and associated mainly with solitude and friends. I have many fond memories of playing on the rocks, sitting, smoking, contemplating...looking out at the water and feeling the weight of the world, as long as I could stand it.
That, and riding in cars and getting chased, fireworks, moonlit walks on the beach, finding places to make out... and then, later:
The store I opened, that guy I met, the ill advised events that occurred afterwards.
I've come to realize lately that it was these events that led me to leave my hometown, even though I can barely remember them any more. But for years I couldn't go to the lakefront without feeling the weight of bad decisions-- lurking in shadows--revealing to me that your world can change in an instant and take a lifetime to repair.
These days, the ghosts rarely appear and I'm finally able to go back in furtive search of those things I lost.

The cemetery is a quite a bit more complicated... so I'll have to finish this thought a little later.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Well, I got gypped out of 4 miles (only got in 16 instead of 20), so I'm hoping to compensate by heading to the Racine/Kenosha bike trail tomorrow and take it as far as I can.

I'm not 100% sure what I got done today, but it sure didn't include any laundry... and I wonder if today will be the day for the poor neglected clothes.

Try this: wear your ipod to your local WalMart and walk around; it's like the soundtrack to the carnival, very surreal.


Today was one of those days when nothing flowed, so if I don't get at least 20 miles and three loads of laundry under my belt tomorrow I may very well lose my mind.

Is tomorrow a north day, or a south day? ... decisions, decisions.

I'm looking forward to getting back to normal, catharsis firmly behind me.
All I can say is, it felt really good to get back home tonight after the reunion. Damn good.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Class of '88:

Blog, or ride my bike? Blog, or clean the house?
I'll try and do them all, but hopefully not at once:

Words can't adequately express how peculiar it was to be in a room filled with familiar strangers; all hopeful, smiling, looking to make a connection with someone else who remembers them as they were in ways they probably can't any longer.

At first I felt somewhat paralyzed with the same fear that's kept me on the periphery all these years, until I found my own personal social butterfly to help me work the crowd....
And you know what?

People remembered me.
Seriously, PEOPLE REMEMBERED ME, and they didn't run screaming in the other direction.

Let me preface that statement for a moment, to explain that I was a most complicated critter back in the day, waaaaay more than I needed to be. And it was a stumbling block, much as it is now.
Being shy takes on many forms: we had our fair share of mousy girls who hid themselves thru conventional means, but I took the alternate approach, shrouding myself under a facade that was in-your-face and faintly whispered "leave me the @#$% alone".
Sad to say, it worked.

So again, the experience of being there last night, opening up to the people, putting myself out there, was exciting and interesting yet made me SAD.

Sad because they were wonderful, because they had so many things to share:
Families; tales of lives off and away, here and there; things they're doing; hopes for the future, who they were in the past.
And sad because I missed so much when I had the opportunity to know them, and didn't.
It was great to see that there was something to like in each and every one of them, as if sufficient years have passed to erase those school day boundaries and we could all just be... people.

Yet I also felt hopeful, since throughout the evening I was struck with a singular thought: we have so much life left and so much more to look forward to, because no matter where we are, it's all still a new beginning.
To a cynical old girl like myself, it's a breath of fresh air and something I'm going to hold fast to over the next few years as I work to take my life in new directions.

I'm really glad I went.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

don't pity me...

Overheard while working in the recovery room today:

Patient (whispering): "Wow, who on earth would ever want to work here? The same thing over and over again--hohum--and all the farting..."

Patient's husband: "Well, at least there's all the soda, juice, and water you can drink..."

Snort! Too funny... I love this job:-)

Getting paid to mess around with impaired farting people all day: it's like a *dream* come true:
To each his own, I guess;-)

On a completely unrelated note, I have a social function to attend tomorrow for which I have serious fashion reservations. True, I could save myself the stress and dress in my usual repertoire:
But most of my nursing scrubs and band shirts are in the wash and all my sweatpants are filthy from the last time I cleaned out the chicken coop. (and no, I'm only kidding: I don't own any sweatpants or a *single* band shirt... I'm evolving into quite the girly girl; I must own 50 pairs of shoes and 20 handbags, most of which I never wear. Egads! I barely recognize myself these days...getting old is hell).
This evening, Jake and I went shopping, which is one of the "true signs of marital compatibility" between us that I haven't often perused (the other was his readiness to hang in the bars at Walker's Point and not get huffy when the boys wanted to make nice. Not sure how that factored in, marriage wise, I just really liked that one).
I was starving and a wee bit testy, which aren't the best circumstances for shopping, which I hate (gar!), but I still came home with an interesting outfit, kindof cute, and fairly *screams* "Kenosha" (how'd that happen when I went shopping in Muskego? no clue. I think I also heard it screaming "go on a diet" but the hunger pains made the message less clear).
My new/old friend Mr T and I were planning on wearing coordinating girdles, but were unable to connect to really verify (which is why I prefer the PHONE over e-mail. Far more direct, especially in a fashion emergency: Methinks my friend has a phone phobia. Personally, I can talk much faster than I can type,with no need for spellcheck-- and it's easier to get the ideas out before they dissappate into thin air. Besides, I'm still not 100% convinced that after all these years he isn't a figment of my imagination and would prefer an actual confirmation that he does, in fact, exist.)
I'm sure the experience will warrant much reflection and hours and hours of blogging, so I should rest up. Grace wants pictures, we'll see.
Wish me luck, my social skills are quite rusty:-)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


There is something profound and necessary in a catharsis, however infrequent. Paths taken, paths not taken; it's fascinating to see where the world can lead and where it hasn't, the benefits of certain choices over others.

It's interesting to consider: am I the same person now as I was waaaaay back then, when I was making the decisions that led me to where I am today?

And the surprising answer is:

Yes, absolutely.

How cool is that?

It's great to know that you're not a victim of circumstance, tra la la.

So where the wind and my nature conspires to send me next is anybody's guess, but I am certain that it will be fully in my control and uniquely mine. Wheeeeeeeee....

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

itchy scratchy

The dang dog must have opened the door in the night; for here I sit, at 5 am, covered in leetle, tiny skeeter bites.

More, later: after some scrounging around, it has come to light that there has been a serious security breach involving the liquor cabinet...
children and vodka, an excellent mix (altho I do remember a certain school field trip involving vodka, orange juice, and some unfortunate printing presses, none of which mix very well either. Oh, and Chichi's-- vodka and mexican food. *So* not compatible... )

And: Maggie's staples came out this morning, and I noticed that she's developed quite the large seroma, bleck. Either it's going to go away on its own, or she's going to have to be knocked out and a have a penrose drain installed. Double bleck.

Ah! Sweet Tuesday, how I love thee...

Monday, July 21, 2008


I just did a reallllly baaaad thing, and I feel confident that, since my husband never reads this, I can confess and perhaps not only feel better but totally not get busted.
We'll see:
Husband wants to take a cross country trip on his motorcycle sometime soon, despite my many protestations. I guess working in the field of healthcare has made it abundantly clear that travelling by motorcycle can be hazardous to the integrity of your skull... after all, who will help raise the children, maintain the property, etc and etc when he's a vegetable (or worse? but maybe that's the WORSE). ANyhoo.
Hubby has an old friend whose kids are grown, life settled down etc and etc, who called this evening to set up plans for their ride (to the Smokies?! Are you f'in kidding me?).
Hubby's not here, so I tell the guy: "Jake has a young family and probably shouldn't go on a cross country ride. Your kids are grown, but mine need their dad for a few years yet. Call back then."
Another black stain on the soul of the Very Bad Wife. I'm sure it will come back to bite me in the butt someday, but I still don't feel too bad about it... tee hee. Just naughty and meddlesome.
UPDATE: I couldn't keep my mouth shut and blabbed my dirty little secret to my guy. He didn't care, and assured me that he has no plans to kill or otherwise maim himself anytime soon:-)


I am in desperate need of a nap, for my past came flooding back to me unexpectedly last night and kept me up to the wee hours... thank goodness for late afternoon lattes, which are always ill advised and are sure to keep me up loooong past my bedtime (happy coincidence?).

It's good to be reminded at least once every 16 years or so that even tho I have no tangible evidence of my lives prior to now, someone SOMEWHERE remembers; that life years ago was more than just a few photographs in a box somewhere deep in the nasty basement, covered with spiders (a major deterrent to reminiscing...).

It's easy to pack up and move on, reinventing yourself every so often and putting time and space between the people you knew, who you were. But you can never fully distance yourself from who you are as a result of knowing them, and the absence will always register as a loss, a hole, unfinished business. It must violate too many laws of the universe to never see the people who helped form you, especially when they're still roaming the earth. How lucky it is that we're all still alive (most of us, anyway) and in a position to connect; but why can't it be easier?
Was there something about our generation, a restlessness perhaps, that kept us moving forward and rarely looking back?

Well, we're all long overdue.
I am so grateful that someone was finally able to make the connection, and a little sad for all the years lost, for all of us.

mon cher vieil ami, c'est pour vous :

and just to mix things up a bit, from the original era:

even tho this version is better (cause all things get better with age, n'est pas?):

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Take a looky-see at what I bought my girl today:


(actually, it's a 1999 Saturn S-Series, woo hoo!)

She's a little rough around the edges, looks like she's been in a few scrapes, but under a fine layer of grime is seriously a *really nice* car.
There's nothing wrong with it that a few visits to ebay won't fix (it needs a new passenger side mirror and some lenses on each side), and the interior is just about perfect (once you washed the yuck out of the cup holders and took a nail file to the scum in the grooves--yecccccccch--it was gorgeous).
Really and truly, it's nicer than the last couple cars I've owned, tee hee, and about $2500 cheaper than most cars in it's class. And I genuinely like that it comes with a few practice scrapes, so the ones our brand new driver applies her ownself won't be as dramatic and/or noticable. Yeah.

OOoooooOOooh! I loves me a bargain, which makes me love this car almost as much as Gracy pants does:-) And of course gives me what every parent dreams of: serious leverage.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Quote of the Day (but only just today...):

(and I'm not sayin' it has ANYTHING to do with me, I swear...)
Read on a blog today:
"Choice" is overrated. The less wise you are, the more choices you think you have, since you don't know yourself, your gifts, or vocation.
Who had more choices, Hugh Hefner or Tim Russert? When you die, who would you rather be thought of as more like?
Narcissus is a jealous god.

Monday, July 14, 2008


First of all, I'm so buzzed from my 1/2-caff-grande-sugar free-latte-on ice that I can hardly move, which makes me wonder if the nice barista-girl full-caffed me by mistake...
It was my celebratory gift to my Girl, who passed her driver's test to-day (wheeeeeeeee), which is of course cause for celebration... da-da-da-daaaaaa!~
But since she's taken the keys and ventured off on her first solo trip I've felt the earth shift and am now *doubly* paranoid about firey crashes, et al.
Hubby and I were just a wee, little bit hoping that she'd not pass, so we wouldn't have to worry about unleashing her into the world, but that's selfish, I know... you just wanna keep them little and safe I guess, in a world that's much too big and scary (at least to parents).

Anyhoo. She has made a 360 degree turnaround since coming home from Lifest; she's all excited about the great projects they were promoting, hanging out with bandmembers, etc and etc. It's fantastic to see her enthusiastic about all things positive for a change, and I hope it lasts and lasts. She even wants to go to youth group again, yee-ha!
Scoff all you like at religion, my kid is 850,000 times happier, more hopefilled, and more contented with her SELF when she has an active relationship with God and church. That, and she's not a flaming, raging, angry force to contend with all the time, which vastly improves her relationships with all the other people in the household...
Happy days!
p.s. 24 some odd mile bike trip yesterday with Jacob and Connor (my nephew). Fantastic ride down by the lake in Kenosha--it was drop-dead gorgeous. I'm going to try and squeeze aother ride in this afternoon...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Flaming Eyeball!

Well, the cake (and the party) was a roaring success! I eneded up making a red velvet cake in a bundt pan, filling the center with cherry pie filling and dark chocolate ganache; I frosted the cake with whipped stabilized ganache buttercream and covered the mostrocity with rolled fondant. Now, while this sounds like a simple enterprize, keep in mind that I had no idea what I was planning, and the humidity was AWFUL! I had to keep putting the cake in the freezer to allow the fillings and frostings to play nice (as they would have on a less beastly day). That, and my new silicone bundt pan made the outside of the cake taste like plastic (at least it seemed like it did when it came out of the pan-- it didn't when we ate it), hence the pie cherries-- I figured if I filled the center with tangy fruit and brushed the cake with the cherry juice, it would diminish the bad taste (mustof worked...). And then my large pastry bag broke, making frosting a glazed cake more difficult, and I couldn't find my spatulas, etc and etc.

It all came together in the end, thank goodness... my only regret is that I couldn't locate any of my pastry brushes, either (the kids have been getting into my stuff, gah!), so the brushstrokes on the eyeball were primitive looking, and I didn't bother brushing any color on the iris to make it look more realistic as I had planned. I would have liked to have colored the pupil better as well, but had conerns that if the paint/coloring had solvent in it, it would have burned a little too much (it's hard to tell, but the pupil was flaming). The goop around the cake was jello powder mixed with baking soda and leftover pie filling gel; I sprinkled a little extra baking soda on it and drizzled lemon juice around the fondant right before lighting the cake, and it oozed and bubbled... wheee! So Jacob got the flaming, oozing cake he requested, minus a few details I would have like to have added if I had more time, a cooler kitchen, and an actual plan;-) I felt like I was on one of those Food Network cake challenges... and the cake was AMAZINGLY tasty, btw.
So the cake was cool, and suprisingly edible (once you peeled off the nasty fondant with the bubbly gook on it-- some kids ate it just to be gross, go figure...)

Jake planned some fantastic games for the kids, too: we had a whipped cream pie eating contest; water balloon launching and toss; a relay race involving a hula hoop, blowing bubbles, chewing gum, and a slip n slide; a balloon busting thingey; silly string war; and a PINATA, wheeeee!
...And then of course, a game of my very own creation, in which the children had to see how much garbage they could collect in the yard, tee hee (where ALL were winners, especially ME-- bwahahaaaaaaaa).
It was the quintessential "All American Birthday", and it was awesome!

Thank god the kids were finally old enough, such that there were no meltdowns, no kids asking to go home, crying about which piece of cake they got, etc and etc, yay:-)


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Vacation Week!

It's been a lovely week of vacation, plus or minus a few minor mishaps... the week started off sloooooowly, and while hubby and the children had no problem with doing nothing, it was driving me CRAZY.
Grace had her Lifest trip to look forward to (and all she wanted to do was hang with her friends anyway...) and Jacob was more than happy to while away hour after mindless hour playing Super Smash Brothers: alone, with friends, with different friends, till late into the nght if we let him. Eventually it got to be near impossible to get him off the dang thing, and he got downright snarly after being pried from the thing, his little fists cramped into claws around the controllers... so the computer's now locked (for the same reason) and the Wii is put away, only to come out when guests arrive (and only if they actually want to play the thing-- since of course Jacob might force them, addict that he's become) or when the first snow falls. Frightening to see you kid become a slave to something, and not so fun to deal with the horrific withdrawal they have.
It's been 2 days, and he's finally finding other things to do without moping and wailing, sigh!

Monday I had to wait for Maggie to get released from the vet; Tuesday we just sort of hung out and went tubing with the kids later in the evening (even Grace cracked a smile-- a gigantic, wet one... which was the biggest smile I've seen on her face in looooooong time).
Jacob started out with the boat going as slooooow as possible, puttering around the lake like it was the slow boat to China, but after seeing his sister get whipped around he finally got brave and let us kick up the speed a few knots.
Good, good times!

Wednesday was spent primarily getting Grace ready for her trip, yawn! I'm just hoping that she remembers who she is this week, and comes home with a different heart.

Thursday was fantastic; we put the bikes on the car and zoomed up to Milwaukee. On our pit stop up at Wheel and Sprocket I almost make a gigantic impulse buy; a shiny new bike I don't really need but completely wanted:
A Townie Commuter
ooooooooooooooooo... ain't she purty:-)

But at almost $600, and almost exactly like the bike I already own (except mine isn't candy apple red, doesn't have color matching fenders or a bike generated light, oh, and the step through, foot forward design is fantastic...) I couldn't justify the purchase, boo.
Sooo practical, and completely no fun, that's me! But when I got to thinking about how much the pretty bike would get dinged up from the bike rack, etc, I couldn't do it. So really, I let the bike go out of consideration for the BIKE, awwwwww. And so true to my cheap self, I think I'd like to find a vintage step thru off Craigslist and fix er up, something simple yet cool for the trails at home.
After a sushi lunch at Whole Foods (which wasn't so great, btw), we parked at Bradford Beach and rode the trails south-- gorgeous! We made a few scenic stops along the way, checking out the new Children's Museum and the Dennis Sullivan (tall ship).
Somehow we ended up in the 3rd Ward, which is just as lovely as I've heard it was: awash in culture, cool restaurants, and fantastic shops... while we were trying to orient ourselves, a very nice bike cop stopped and gave Jacob a free sundae certificate for wearing his helmet, and told us how to get to Bastilles Day without getting ourselves killed (he told us we could ride on the sidewalks to avoid certain death, praise sweet Jesus... he said it wasn't kosher per se, but better than getting flattened by the crazy Milwaukee traffic). Bastilles day was nearly empty, so we got to take full, unfettered advantage of all the offerings minus the crazy crowds. Jacob did some goofy activity and got the photos to prove it:
that kid does a great "running" simulation
He also got to try out the Wii fit, which was silly (and I'm not sure worth the $100 price tag...), and then the dude won a prize for climbing a silk rope a la Cirque Du Soleil... the performer asked for volunteers, and since my guy is completely shy and didn't get the lady's attention, he took it upon himself to mosey under the performer's barricade and climb her rope while she wasn't looking (after all the other kids gave it a go).
It was surprising, yet very exciting to see him being so bold!
He won $3 in "Bastilles Bucks" which he spent on a rosewater lemonade from Aladdin, where we got the BEST EVER chicken plate with garbanzo beans and rice, crazy good! We'll have to figure out where it is and go back for more...
We got utterly lost on the bike ride back to the car, and ended up cruising down a gigantic hill at breakneck speed, hoping to make it back before the storm began. And here's me, having heart failure thinking Jacob was going to lose his balance down the hill and go speeding into traffic.... but he did great.
We got the bikes on the car, pointed ourselves in the right direction (which was harder than it sounds...), upon which time the skies opened up and it POURED, the whole way home.
Yesterday it took a while to get going, mostly because it stormed all morning, and because Jacob was enjoying his lethargy a leeeetle bit too much... getting him motivated was pretty painful for all of us, but when we finally we got a break in the clouds we threw the bikes on the car and headed towards Racine for our last bike trip.
For the most part the trip wasn't too exciting: we got lunch at Shogun, where we were treated to a really cool show by the hibachi chef. The salad dressing was tasty (like a wasabi/rice viniagrette), and the food was pretty good (it was also incredibly $$$ for a little lunch snack, so we probably won't head out there again any time soon).
We checked out the new art installation, the "orbs" or some such thing, got some gelato and then headed back on the new leg of the bike trail, north past the zoo. It was super hilly but scenic, and well worth the huffing and puffing... but we had to head back so we could shop for Jacob's last minute birthday party and pick up his birthday present: a unicycle (cool!).
SO here I am, trying to simultaneously bake/create a cake for the little dude. I have no idea exactly what I'm going to do... I know he wants something that will erupt and/or light on fire... with a request not to replicate the awesome exploding volcano cake from a few years ago (it was pretty kick ass...) while also filling up water balloons, planning an obstacle course, the menu, and doing a couple loads of laundry (and blogging...), whew! Here's to hoping we can pull it off:-)
I think eventually, tho, I need to put some clothes on-- guests are arriving soon, ack!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Bad Day:-(

I am having a *very bad* day and am completely bummed...

(Chicago this weekend was amazing and I'll post some pics later when I'm feeling less dreary.)

I did something stupid this weekend, knew it was a bad idea even, and shore 'nuff, did it anyway. It's another shining example of how fortunate I am to have survived to the ripe old age of 38 with all my parts intact.

Here goes:
Instead of taking my beloved demon pup to the kennel which she hates but is not a bad place altogether, I left her with a co worker, who offered to have Maggie stay for the night. I figured since she has some property, a fenced in kennel and a couple dogs and it was only for one night, Maggie would be happier there than holed up in the smelly old kennel.
When we dropped her off, we were initially freaked out by her gigantic dog, who was acting pretty aggressive towards Ms Maggie, but we had to get going to catch the train and didn't have much time to quibble.
When we went to pick the girl up, she had what appeared to be a cut on her leg-- co worker has no clue how it got there, no big deal--we'll get Maggie home and check it out, clean it, etc.
When I start to clear away the hair, turns out it was a *giant* laceration, about 2 inches long, and deep-- and then I notice that there's more small lacerations on her hips and belly, which start to look an awful lot like a bite pattern. So then it hits me: Maggie was almost eaten by a St Bernard! ACK! Soon after, we notice that she's crying and limping... and I'm freaking out-- she cried throughout the night and wasn't walking well this morning. Sure enough, I get her to the vet and he tells me it's bad, and already infected. She'll need to be sedated and have stitches, antibiotics, etc and etc... poor thing.
And it looked like they were shooting tons of fireworks off while she was there, too, which she's deathly afraid of-- so now, in my lazy ass effort to save a few bucks we have a gun dog who is very likely going to be gun shy, might have a raging deep wound infection, and a gigantic vet bill.
@#$%ing idiot! So here I sit, holed up on a vacation day waiting for the vet to call so I can pick her up, pondering how to approach the co worker: is her dog up to date with his shots? How could she not know he was aggressive and would bite a puppy? (she's having a baby and should probably be a litte worried... esp if she didn't know that the cut was actually a bite). Anyhoo.
It's a wonder my kids are still alive...

That, and we got a notice in the mail that the priest wants to build a 3000 square foot DAYCARE center behind our property. He is not legally within his rights to do so, but since he's richer than anyone on the town board, he's been cleared to break all sorts of rules throughout the years, some of which have become a problem for us. We have incredible drainage and flooding problems due to the GIGANTIC nun mansion he built a couple years ago and paved (which he wasn't supposed to do, because of our water problems, but whoopsie!)-- and where the hell would he put his sign? Right on/adjacent to our property, that's where, with all sorts of people driving up and down that stupid service road all day long (which is not actually a road, and thus has no drainage ditch, etc). Good god, it's depressing. And in light of all the recent media coverage, why anyone would allow priests access to their children is beyond me, seriously.
I need a cocktail, and it's only noon. Boo.
p.s. Ms Maggie, after 20 some staples and $200. Crap.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Best.Bread.Ever. (Strawberry Rhubarb Bread)

Makes one loaf (I doubled it and made TWO):

3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon rum
1 cup flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour (I used all wholegrain white, worked great)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sour cream (used yogurt)
1/2 cup diced rhubarb
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
1/4 cup chopped pecans

1 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 to 3 1/2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Beat together the brown sugar, vegetable oil, egg, vanilla and rum. Combine the flours, salt and baking soda; stir. Add dry ingredients to first mixture with the sour cream. Stir in strawberries, rhubarb and pecans.
Spread into a greased 9×5-inch loaf pan — the batter will be very thick. Combine topping ingredients except the pecans, they should be thick and clumpy; add the pecans last and sprinkle over the loaf.
Bake at 350° for about 55 to 65 minutes, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool at least 10 minutes on rack before removing the bread from the pans.

End your season of strawberry picking with a slice of bread and a strawberry dacquiri, and you'll (almost) forget what a pain it was;-) Sadly, we only got about 7-8# of berries in the freezer (vs 15# from last year), but they were worth every mosquito bite! I'll just have to ration myself...

(My compliments to Smitten Kitchen for the recipe)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

20th Reunion

It's been 20 years (well, a little bit more than 20 years since I graduated early...) since I left high school, and who'd a thunk?
It went by quickly, and mercifully so, as it was far from the highlight of my younger years.
And I barely have an inkling to go to the reunion, since I recognize almost none of the names; and those I *do* recognize I can't remember exactly why... so going and standing in a room of strangers would be the equivalent of spending $$ and time to have a random night out, only with greater expectations that I'd see someone vaguely familiar yet still wouldn't have much to say to them (...and I've had enough of those experiences to know that they aren't terribly satisfactory; tous les dimanches, peut-ĂȘtre?)

The people I *really* want to connect with from school days gone by wouldn't be there-- they'd be the kids who dragged my butt all over Chicago, and the one kid I spent most of my time with-- and where the heck are THEY? No clue.

I get the impression after talking with a long lost relative that this is a time when we begin to take an accounting for our lives, probably the first in a long line of many that are to come as we get older. It's as if the milestone not only bears enough significance in our own minds to warrant an inventory, but is spectacle enough such that we feel the pressure to present what we've created for ourselves in these 20 years to the world for review.

We're 38 now: have we gotten married? Divorced? Remarried? Are our children the same age we were when the stories of our high school lives were written-- or are we struggling our way thru the toddler years, or with the notion that it's almost too late to have children at all anymore?
Did we go to college, take up employment in our field of study, or are we changing careers (this seems common for many)? Does it matter if we stayed at home when our kids were born or if we blazed on thru to continue building our careers as we were encouraged to do as part of our generation?
And what defines us as people: what we studied, where we work, our income? Is who we are made more important by who we married, our children, or where we live?
I dunno.
Is my life more or less important because I decided to skip med school and travel in favor of a family and a life with too many hobbies?
I guess this is my own life's question, and what I have to present to the world: