Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Grab the kleenex...

Today as I watched my sweet puppy asleep by the fire, I thought about how many years we will get to share with him. This made me think about him 10+ years from now and then wonder where we'll all be at that stage in our lives. So of course I got a little teary eyed and just held him tight and tried to stay in the present.

So, anyone else in need of a good cry? Then click on the link below and listen to this song about an aging Golden Retriever.

  • Golden Oldie

  • In case you're not able to listen here are the lyrics:

    Golden Oldie
    (music: Heather T. Strong & lyrics: Kate Connick)

    The calendar betrays my dog.
    So cruel in its measures.
    Old timers, few and far between;
    Golden oldies are real treasures.

    Eyes have gotten cloudy.
    Legs, now stiff and slow.
    Her pretty silver muzzle
    Shimmers like the snow.
    She doesn't have much longer,
    But she doesn't know.
    She doesn't have much longer,
    But she doesn't know.

    Fetch the paper. Fetch the ball.
    Youth can't be retrieved.
    Heart is willing, spirit strong.
    But time won't be deceived.
    It marches on and takes its toll
    The wounded heart will grieve.

    So many lost too early,
    Felled while in their prime.
    So lucky, I, to have been blessed
    With precious, borrowed time.
    She rests beside me on the floor.
    This golden dog, I do adore.
    Thirteen years, but I want more.
    Thirteen years, but I want more.

    Fetch the paper. Fetch the ball.
    Youth can't be retrieved.
    Heart is willing, spirit strong.
    But time won't be deceived.
    It marches on and takes its toll
    The wounded heart will grieve.

    This golden dog has come to be
    An essential part of me.
    The day will come to say goodbye.
    I'll curse the gods and ask them why.
    If only time could be denied.
    If only time could be denied.

    Fetch the paper. Fetch the ball.
    Youth can't be retrieved.
    Heart is willing, spirit strong.
    But time won't be deceived.
    It marches on and takes its toll
    The wounded heart will grieve.
    Until it catches up to us,
    We will not concede.
    Until it catches up to us,
    We will not concede.

    For anyone who's ever loved and lost a pet, I apologize for bringing tears to your eyes. Just love the ones you have while you have them and appreciate each and every day you can. Same goes for people too.

    Not sure what to get the kids for Christmas?

    Well here's an interesting toy set I found while shopping at the discount store Tuesday Morning, (not really ON a Tuesday morning, it was actually a Wednesday afternoon, although I have shopped in the store on a Tuesday morning just so I can say to Tom that I went to Tuesday morning on Tuesday Morning!! I don't know why that makes me laugh, it appears I am the only one that finds it funny. Anyway, back to the toys!

    This particular little doll set caught my eye so I had to buy it. It's from Germany although the loving plastic couple pictured on the box don't really look German to me.

    I was drawn to this box for many reasons. At first glance the woman appears to be holding some sort of a spear. Is she going to use it as a weapon? Or even worse, as some sort of bedroom toy with her husband? It really confused me and I stood there in the store perplexed staring at the box while other shoppers started to stare at me. After careful consideration I convinced myself it was just a giant sized candlestick and headed for check out.

    Then there's the husband...

    He appears somewhat shell shocked as he stands there clutching his red book (a bible perhaps??) as his wife comes at him with the giant candlestick in hand. I guess that's why the next scene on the box shows him ducking for cover...

    This was another picture that caused me some confusion. What the heck is underneath the night stand? Is it a monster sized coffee cup or is it a human waste receptacle because this set does not include a bathroom? I would think if it was some sort of a drinking mug that the toy makers could have at least made this closer to scale. It's big enough to fit over the man's head for pete's sake!

    Then there's the woman apparently getting ready to join her husband in bed but not before she puts HIS slippers away in a drawer. Can't this lazy bastard put his own shit away? And is this the best place to keep slippers? I mean if he has to get up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night does it really make sense to walk across the cold floor barefoot and stumbling in the dark over to the armoire, then bend over and pull open the heavy drawer to rummage through it's contents until finally, ALAS!! You have your slippers.

    I guess now he can walk over to the toilet mug and do his business. Or maybe THAT'S why they keep it right by the bed. Ok, now I get it.

    There's a Fly in my Bloomers

    I'm not really sure when or even how this started, but my best friend and I have this ongoing joke about gigantic bloomer underwear. Occasionally we mail each other a big pair for birthdays, Christmas, or just unexpectedly to make each other laugh. We also sort of "doctor" them up a little bit by attaching some rather unpleasant items like fake poo, spiders, or anything else disgusting and gooey. So today as I'm about to head out for an afternoon walk I stop to check my mailbox and low and behold, there sits a package from Becky! I'm so excited that I can't wait until after my walk to open it so I tear into it right then and there on my front porch. I pull out the largest pair of woman's underwear I have ever seen! And, they are covered in gigantic fake flies that she hot glued onto the panties! Nice touch! So I'm now laughing out loud sitting on the rocking chair on the porch when I think I hear someone call my name. I have my headphones on (listening to Christmas carols of course) and I look around but don't see anyone so I figure I must have been mistaken. I continue to rummage through the package and pull out more fun stuff, slimey gooey eye ball candy and realistic gummy rats! So now I'm really cracking up and am holding up the giant bloomers in admiration when out of the corner of my eye I see my neighbor coming towards me saying Hello. I quickly fold up the bloomers and cover up the candy and pretend that I'm just going through the mail. I'm convinced it's only a matter of time before the neighbors band together and start a neighborhood watch committee specifically to monitor our house.

    Here's a pic of the underwear for you all to enjoy. And Chumley agreed to pose next to them so you can all get an idea of just how BIG they are. (sorry for the out of focus shot though, Chum only agreed to one photo)

    She even glued the flies to the inside of the panties...

    I will say she is a pro. I'd also like to mention that Becky's Mother actually picked out these particular bloomers for the sole purpose of sending them to me! So it appears that now she has an accomplice. But not to worry, I already have my retaliation panty in the works. I call it O.B.B. (Operation BIG Bloomer). Stay tuned for updates....

    A Cake To Remember...

    Yesterday I had a birthday celebration among friends which then turned into a tree decorating party. Aside from the tree almost toppling over after all the ornaments were hung, it was a very pleasant evening and I am blessed to have such warm and considerate people in my life. My friends had to get creative since the cake was not pre-decorated with frosting but used Happy Birthday candles instead. They didn't have any candles to spell out my first name so instead they just scrambled the letters in Happy Birthday to come up with this:

    For those of you who may not be able to see it, it says "Hapy Birdy Pat". Some even sang "Hapy Birdy Pat" to me. I guess you can understand now why we all get along so well.

    Thank you Mayumi, Aaron, Kristen, Jenn & Jason for making my birthday special. (And for putting up with Wrigley's obnoxious barking and Chumley's teddy bear romps.)


    Tuesday, November 28, 2006

    Find the toothbrush...

    Chumley has a habit of knocking things off our dressers, night stands and countertops so we have to make sure to keep them clear, except for lamps, books and non breakables. So this morning I hear him banging around in my bathroom at 5am! There's really not much he can break in there so I just let him be and try to get back to sleep. When I finally get up this is what I see....

    He managed to slam dunk MY toothbrush right into his shit box. For a split second I actually thought about washing it off, but then changed my mind. We keep a stash of extras for overnight guests so luckily I was able to brush my teeth with a clean brush. I will now use this one to clean the grout in the bathroom which by the way, needs a good scrubbing. So that just saved me from having to buy a new grout brush. Thanks Chumley!!!

    Friday, November 17, 2006

    You've Lived in Minnesota Too Long if...

    I can't focus much today so I'm just going to post an old list that I wrote a few years ago about living in Minnesota.


    1) The morning weatherman states that the high for the day will be in the low 40's and your immediate response is, "Finally!!! T- shirt weather!" (or husband's response...."Great! Convertible weather!")

    2) All of the employees at the local liquor store know you by first name and suggest a frequent buyer card program named in your honor.

    3) A fun night out consists of dinner and a frozen fruity drink at Applebee's followed by a lengthy trip to Home Depot to check out the latest and greatest in snow removal technology.

    4) You have conversations with the squirrels on your patio.

    5) You have shopped in all the 10,000 stores (including kiosks) at the Mall of America at least once.

    6) You no longer laugh hysterically at the sight of your ultra-hip urban husband riding in circles as he tries to figure out how to maneuver the riding lawn mower.

    7) It has become part of your daily routine to put on your thermal underwear, wool socks, 2 sweaters, thick pants, down coat, fur lined boots, hat, scarf, gloves and ear muffs for the trip to the mailbox. And, neighbors are used to hearing you curse and punch said mailbox, if the mail has not yet been delivered.

    8) You have spent the night in a booth at Panera Bread because as you were enjoying your morning muffin, a snow storm hit and you sat there stubbornly and said "I'll just wait this one out a while."

    9) While sitting outside trying to enjoy a warm summer evening, you wonder why it appears as though the neighbor kids are pelting you with grapes. Upon further inspection, you realize that it's just the start of mosquito season.

    10) Your golf deprived husband tries to set up a golf driving range in the garage but quickly abandons that idea after smacking himself repeatedly with the ball as it ricochetts off the walls and floor.

    11) In conversations with others, you are now able to contribute your own personal experience on one or more of the following topics: hunting a deer, hitting a deer, being chased by a deer, or cleaning up deer droppings in your back yard.

    12) You actually begin to think that driving your car into the middle of an ice pond would make for some fun entertainment.

    13) It takes you 2.5 hours to get dressed and ready for a day of skiing, 1.5 hours to drive to the giant "hill", and costs $45 for a lift ticket that you use for approx. 8 minutes, before realizing it is humanly impossible to ski between the months of Nov - March.

    14) You've made the mistake of going to the Mall of America on a weekend day and have spent over an hour searching for your car in the entirely wrong parking structure.

    15) The sight of a snow storm in mid May no longer causes you to fall to your knees and wail like a baby.

    16) Your husband informs you that he's going to participate in the Hot Dog eating contest at the Minnesota State Fair.

    17) Three months out of the year your husband golfs before work, during lunch, after work and putts in the yard before bedtime to make up for the 9 months lost due to frozen earth.

    Wednesday, November 15, 2006

    Why Door Stops Were Invented...

    Once we got the dog we realized that we needed to get an industrial sized power vac to pick up all his fur that sheds. So Tom installed one in the garage (it's like the kind you see at car washes) and it has an attached 30 foot hose so we can drag it around the family room and kitchen pretty easily. It works great but I always DREAD using it because I have to prop open the door leading to the garage and it NEVER stays open because of this stupid door stop. Half my time is spent running back to the door to re-prop it open because it always shuts during the vacuuming process and clamps down on the hose.

    So today I'm getting ready to haul out the 30 footer and I use this little piece of wood with a suction on the bottom to prop the door open. The door stays open for all of 3.5 seconds and as I start to drag in the hose, the door slams shut. I struggle with this for quite a while and now several minutes go by and I'm sweating and swearing and I haven't even started to vacuum. I realize that if I remove the stupid door stop then I will be able to open the door completely and then wedge my wood piece all the way under the door so that should secure it better. So I do that. And it works! I'm finally able to start vacuuming and I do it for the first time without the door ever slamming shut!

    I finish vacuuming and return to the garage to store the hose in it's place while the door stays in it's welcoming, wide open position. I think to myself, "Why do we even need a doorstop? This is working out fine. I'll just be extra careful when I come in from the garage, as not to thrust open the door with any force." I decide that this is the way to go and I head back into the house so I can finish cleaning. After a few minutes I'm low on paper towels so I head back into the garage to our supply stash and carry in a bunch of rolls. My arms are pretty full so I'm just able to feel for the doorknob with my hand so I turn to open it and then kick open the door with my foot.

    Big mistake.

    So I'd like to dedicate this blog entry to Osbourn Dorsey who not only invented the doorstop (cir.1878) but also developed improvements for the standard door knob (thanks Google). This leads me to wonder if there exists a doorknob encased in some type of a rubberized coating. I think that's actually a great idea. It's like having two inventions in one! I'm going to have to do a little more Googling on this. But first, I've got some patching up to do.

    Tuesday, November 14, 2006

    You know it's holiday season when...

    The cat's wearing his light up scarf and the dog's got on the santa hat.

    Although Wrigley looks more like a Shriner than Santa.

    HAPPY START OF THE HOLIDAY SEASON TO ALL!! I know it's early but I just couldn't resist. =)

    Who Loves Cookies?

    I've entered into the world of baking and now selling dog cookies. Here are some pics of the cookies and the packaging. I make a couple different kinds, bigger cookies for big dogs called, "Tender Lovin' Cookies" and then for the more petite canines I make what I call "Dainty Dawgs." The store that is carrying them now loves them and the owner has already asked that I start making more with Christmas packaging. Wrigley has been my taste tester through all of this and he is quite happy with my latest hobby. Actually, so is Chumley.

    Monday, November 13, 2006

    Chumley's Toy

    I have a new favorite band....
  • Chumley's Toy

  • (Ok I'm not really into this kind of music but I LOVE the name of the band. I can't wait to order some t-shirts!!)

    Sunday, November 12, 2006

    Inappropriate Dinner Conversation

    A while ago Tom and I attended a dinner party and were wedged between two guests who started to have this conversation below. "Man 1" is about our age and "Man 2" is quite a few years older....

    Man 1: Dude, your daughter is really growing up.

    Man 2: I know. It's scary.

    Man 1: She's SMOKING!

    Man 2: What? Cigarettes? Did you see her?

    Man 1: No, not smoking smoking. She's smoking HOT!

    Man 2: Oh, I see what you're saying. Ok then.

    Man 1: I saw her the other day and almost didn't recognize her. She must have been coming back from the beach or somethin' 'cause she just had on a tiny little bikini top and skirt and MAN!!

    Man 2: (just nods and takes a large swig of his beer)

    Man 1: And my buddy was over and he said to me, "Damn! I'd hit that!"

    Man 2: Ahhh well, please let your buddy know that she's only 15 years old.

    Man 1: Well she looks at least 19. You know, with the way she's filled out and all.

    Man 2: Yes, I know. I've seen them. HER! I've seen HER blossom over the last year.

    Man 1: Boy, is THAT an understatement!!

    (Man 1's wife now interested in the conversation)

    Man 1's wife: What are you guys talking about?

    Man 1 and Man 2 exchange looks. Sip beers. Say nothing.

    Tom and I finally add to the conversation and in unison blurt out, "Sports."

    Then we politely excuse ourselves and burst into fits of laughter.

    Friday, November 10, 2006


    Ok so I have ANOTHER poo bag story from today, but this time I was not wearing one in my hair. I'm going for my walk and enjoying the unusually foggy day when just up ahead of me is a man and a woman (without a dog) stopped at one of the public poo bag stations. I watch as the man grabs a fist full of blue poo bags and then quickly starts walking away. He tries to wad them up in his hand but there are so many, maybe about 20 or so, that there is no way to conceal them. I pick up the pace a little and as I pass them I look at the man, then I glance down to his hand holding all the bags and I say, "How Rude." I continue walking ahead of them and I'm just so steamed up. So I call Tom so I can vent to him but he's en route to the office and doesn't hear his cell. Then I call my mom at work and I'm talking LOUDLY so the poo bag thief can hear me. By this time I'm pretty far ahead of them and I tell my mom that I just have to confront them.

    So I stop and stay on the phone with my mom as the man and woman approach. I ask them "What are you planning to do with all those bags?" The man keeps walking at a fast pace but the woman stops and says, "Um pardon me?" I ask again, "What are you guys doing with all of those bags?? Those are for people with dogs, so they can pick up their poo along the way. Why did you take so many?" The woman says back to me rather defensively, "Well we use these to pick up poo. We always do this. We're not stealing bags, if that's what you're implying!" I find this extremely hard to believe because who in their right mind picks up other dog's shit as they take their morning stroll? Also I know that the woman is lying because there were a few poo mounds on the side of the grass and even on the sidewalk that they walked right past after stealing the bags.

    By now some other people have stopped to listen to our conversation and this whole time the man is not saying a single word. So now I'm even more worked up because not only are these people thieves, they're pathological liars! Trying to stifle my rage, I take a breath and calmly say, "Well I work for the park district and we've noticed that the bag supply has been going down quite a bit lately and we're just trying to figure out the reasons why." Where that came from I have no idea. I felt like I was on poo patrol. By this time the man is yards away not paying any attention to our conversation and the woman then says, "Well that's not what we're doing. We like to pick up poo as we walk along the lake." I just had to walk away after that. Now I've really heard it all. But I sure hope these people didn't see me the other day when I had the poo bag tied around my ponytail.

    As I went for my stroll this morning, there was a thick heavy fog that settled almost all the way down to the ground. It was hard to see even a few feet ahead and the dense fog cast an eerie silvery white glow all over the neighborhood and the lake. As I walked along I pretended that it wasn't fog, but millions and billions of tiny snow flurries making their way down to earth. Of course it's hard to pretend it's snow when I'm wearing light cotton yoga pants and a short sleeved t-shirt but still I tried to convince myself that it was snowing all around me and it was just unseasonably warm.

    The picture above was taken from our kitchen window on one of the first snowy days in Minnesota. I found it on our big old home computer where we used to store over 5000 photos. About a year and a half ago we had an iPhoto tragedy and it sickens me to say that we lost about 3/4 of those photos. Ok I shouldn't say "lost" but we (alright, "I") accidentally deleted them when I was trying to download the photos onto a disk to free up space on the comptuer. This is one of the few remaining photos we have of our life in Minnesota and looking at it today really takes me back.

    This is the time of year when I miss living in the midwest the most. The weeks leading up to Thanksgiving and then Christmas were my favorite time all throughout childhood and even still, today. I love the temperate climate and the outdoor lifestyle living in S. Cal offers but there's just something missing during this time of year. If I could just have a few days of cold crisp windy air, a rainbow of changing leaves, the smell of smoky wood fires burning in all the neighborhood fireplaces and of course a few snow flurries, then my winter craving would be satisfied. But until then I'll just have to play pretend on those foggy mornings as I walk around the lake.

    Thursday, November 09, 2006

    Does Anyone Else Do This???

    So sometimes when I’m bored I like to ask my husband hypothetical questions and see his thought process in the works and hear his reasons for answering the way he does. On a lazy Sunday afternoon, while we’re laying next to each other watching stupid golf tournaments on tv I’ll ask, “Would you still be with me if I had no arms or legs?” Typically one would ask some type of a follow up question or two such as… “Were you in some type of car accident that caused you to lose your limbs?” Or “Were you born that way and I fell in love with a torso and decided to marry you anyway?” These seem like logical questions to ask when posed with this sort of random question, but not for my husband. Instead he furrows his brow a bit and purses his lips together for a few seconds and comes up with…”Would you still have a mouth?” I answer that yes, I would still have a functioning mouth. And he says, “Then yes… I would.” I smile and nestle comfortably into his arms secure in the knowledge that he married me not just for my able body, but for my conversation skills.

    One of those days....

    I knew it was going to be one of those days when I accidentally chewed a NON-chewable vitamin. I've started taking several vitamins a day and for variety I bought a chewable vitamin C and a chewable multi-vitamin. Apparently one of the non chewables got mixed into my chewables and it tasted like I had licked the underside of a rusty port-o-potty. Not only did the gag reflex kick into full force but my lips, gums, tongue and insides of my cheeks felt like they were being eaten away. I don't know what the heck is in these vitamins but I don't think they are made for human ingestion. I am grateful we don't have taste buds in our stomachs!

    "The King" & Tom

    Tom met his idol this last week, Arnold Palmer the golf legend. He also got to play a hole (of golf) with him and was absolutely thrilled. It was a day he will never forget. He lives, breathes and even dreams of golf. I kid you not, I have actually seen him mimic the golf swing in his sleep. I'm glad to see that his hard work (if I dare call it that- is golfing 2 or 3 times a week really work??) paying off. He's really improving his game and his passion for the game is never compromised. You can enter our house at any given moment and there will be at least one television tuned to the golf channel. Reminds me of a list I came up with about a year or so ago...

    Here are some of my observations on how to tell if your husband is addicted to golf:

    1) He purposely buys a portable, wireless TV so he can watch golf during lengthy visits to the bathroom.

    2) While dining at a restaurant, he asks for a pen so he can sketch on a napkin a detailed replica of each hole played to relive the day's highlights - and uses table salt for the sand traps.

    3) He comes home from just finishing 36 holes, puts the golf channel on TV and sets up his astro-turfed putting green in the living room while reading "Tips to Improve your Short Game".

    4) He can't recognize any of his golf buddies unless they are wearing khaki pants, a polo shirt and a sun visor.

    5) The local golf shop calls concerned when he hasn't been in the store for more than 6 days.

    6) He has a set of clubs in the car, at work, and at every distant relatives house so he doesn't have to check his "good clubs" at the airport when visiting.

    7) He can't remember the year he got married but he can recite the scores of every Master's player from the last two decades.

    8) He can't find his way to the closest post office or dry cleaners but can give strangers on the street detailed directions to every golf course or driving range in a 150 mile radius.

    9) Below zero temperatures, rain, snow, sleet, or flaming diarrhea will not stand in his way of a golf game.

    10) Obnoxious, loud banging sounds coming from the dryer no longer cause you to panic as you realize he left golf balls in his pant pockets yet again.

    11) You have never taken a vacation without a third party: his clubs.

    12) When in a heated argument, the two most horrific and threatening things you could ever say to him are, " Keep that up and I'll break your Shaft in half". Or "I'm canceling your subscription to Golf Digest."

    13) He mimics the golf swing motion in his sleep.

    14) He has 2 subscriptions to Golf Digest - one for work, and one for home.

    15) He could be asleep on the couch, mouth open wide and snoring....(loudly) with a golf tournament on TV and the second you quietly change the channel, he wakes up grunting, "Hhhrrrghhhh, hey, put that back on! Sergio was 6 under par on the 17th hole about to hit his second shot 3 feet from the pin for a birdie!" (And freakishly, he'd be right.)

    16) The words "bogey", "birdie", and "eagle" are as commonplace in his vocabulary as "this", "that" and "the".

    17) You can no longer go on a miniature golf date because he was banned for throwing his putter into the clown face and yelling profanity in the presence of 7 year old boy scouts.

    18) Every single compartment or pocket in his car has become a depository for golf balls, tees, ball markers, gloves, mini pencils or grass stained socks.

    19) He will RSVP "NO" to out of town weddings if they happen to fall on a "critical" golf tournament weekend.

    and lastly.....

    20) Never agree to a trip to the golf store with him unless you are prepared for a traumatic experience. You may just fall asleep in one of the wing back chairs while he shops and demos clubs, totally unaware of your absence. When you wake up 2 hours later drooling and clueless as to where you are, try not to panic. He should remember that you came to the store with him and may come to look for you in another hour or so.

    Wait, One more...

    21) Your TIVO memory is constantly full because every Saturday and Sunday it is set to record 8.5 hours of golf.

    Wednesday, November 08, 2006

    "All I Want for Christmas are 3 New Teeth"

    Remember that song? Well I'll be singing this tune in about a month. I am getting 3 new teeth! That is my Christmas present from Tom this year. I am very excited but also petrified.

    When I was 13 I had never lost a baby tooth on my upper left side. Well I'm a freshman in highschool and one morning I awaken to find this hard blob protruding out of the roof of my mouth. It was very painful and started to break through the skin so I went to the doctor. The doctor had no idea what the heck it was and told me to see my dentist because it looked like it could be bone. I went to my dentist who had been practicing for about 30+ years and he took xrays and was utterly gob-smacked at what he saw. I had my adult tooth coming through but it was attached to another phantom tooth! These 2 teeth had fused together and were also attaching to the bone of my current baby tooth that had not popped out of my mouth. He said I would need extensive oral surgery to have it all removed. I'm guessing it was maybe a week or so later that I had the surgery because each day the protrusion started to get worse.

    The surgery was the most painful thing I have ever had both physically and emotionally because since the 2-tooth-anomaly had fused with my baby tooth I had to have that removed as well. So here I am a freshman in highschool, toothless on one side. You couldn't really see it unless I smiled or laughed really hard, so needless to say I kept my mouth shut most of the time. I had to go toothless for about 6 months to allow for the giant gaping hole that was now the left side of my mouth to heal.

    When it was time to reconstruct that side I had to have what is called a Maryland Bridge put into my mouth (no clue why it is called that, is there a bridge in the state of Maryland that is made from teeth?) There was a lot of bone loss from the initial surgery so I was told I would need more reconstructive surgery to fill in the gaps but after all of this I just wanted to be done. My dentist told me that this bridge should last me about 5 years and once I am 18 and my mouth is fully developed then I would need to have it replaced. Well 18 came and went and so did 20, 25, 30... well you get the picture. I was absolutely terrified to have to go through another event like this so I just kept putting it off. I had made consult appointments with my dentists back in Chicago to have the procedure done and at the last minute I would chicken out. Well now, I am ready. I think. I don't know. Ok as I'm typing this I'm starting to feel my nerves quiver! Ok deep breaths.

    So yesterday I met with a dentist out here for the first time in 3 years. (That does not mean that I had not been to a dentist in 3 years, I used to go home to my dentist in Chicago (LOVE HIM!) but since this procedure will require several visits I am going to have to stay local.) After talking to the dentist and his staff yesterday for 2 hours and going over all the options, I decided on a 3 unit bridge. They will remove my current bridge (which by the way the dentist was AMAZED it held up for 20 years.) I told him a few years ago it started to come apart from the back tooth and somehow I was able to fix it with small pliers and fixadent. I think he thought I was kidding at first but then I told him that I'm always prepared for it to come apart at any given moment so I always keep the pliers close by. I'm not sure what he thought after that...anyway! I digress!

    I will have my current bridge removed and then will have the 2 teeth on either side of the missing tooth shaved down to nubs and then a 3-toothed contraption will fit in the hole and the surrounding 2 nubs. I will not require any oral surgery (as opposed to having an implant) so I am very relieved about that. And the best part is I will not have to be toothless (or teethless) for a day. He will make me a temporary set of choppers while the porcelain permanents are being made. I'll be able to remove the temporary set (sort of like dentures) and I'm thrilled about this because we all know what fun there is to be had with fake teeth!! I am even contemplating taking our Christmas card photo sans the teeth. Oh Tom is going to be in a for quite a treat. This may be the best Christmas present he's ever given me. Thank you honey!!

    A New Fashion Statement?

    I was taking my morning walk along the lake which I realized is the best way to start my day. I like to go around 7am before the sun is hot and just take in all the sights of nature. The path along the lake is filled with people and I love smiling and saying "Good Morning" to all the fellow walkers and runners. Well this particular morning I am on a mission. I am determined to walk myself up into a light jog so off I go. I secure my hair into a ponytail and after about 10 minutes of walking I start to pick up the pace a little. I am feeling pretty good so I step it up a notch and pretty soon I'm jogging!! I feel great! (for those of you who don't know I have a bad back and have not been able to jog for about a year and a half).

    As I'm trotting along, smiling and nodding to the people I am passing I feel my ponytail start to slip a little. I make a quick adjustment and continue on my way. Again it's starts to slip. I'm a little frustrated but I don't want to stop my pace. I make the ponytail a little lower figuring it will have less surface area to fall if it's at the nape of my neck as opposed to the top of my head and then continue on my way. I sort of rest my hair in the hood of my jacket so it doesn't bounce around as much and after a couple minutes it starts to fall into my face. I realize that I have lost my hair band. I stop and check a few feet behind me, I reach around to my hood and shake it a few times to see if it may have fallen in and nothing. I try to tie my hair in a knot which actually works but after a few pounds on the sidewalk it comes undone. So I look around the hillside for a long weed or skinny palm that may have fallen out of a tree, anything to help tie my hair back because it's extremely annoying to try and jog with hair falling into my face. There is nothing to be found.

    So I walk. Then up ahead I notice the doggie poo bag stations that are placed every 1/2 mile or so along the lake. I don't have the dog with me so I figure I would look like a poo bag thief if I just took one by myself so I wait for some people to pass before I grab for the bright blue bag. Once I get it, I quickly sweep my hair into a ponytail and use the bag to tie it into place. I can see my reflection in the sidewalk as I walk and the two ends of the bag are sticking out several inches from each side making me look like a complete idiot. But I don't care, I can jog! I'm jogging and I'm passing people and smiling along the way as the bag flaps noisily in the wind. Then all of the sudden I catch a whiff of the bag and start to feel sick to my stomach. These bags are scented with this extremely strong deodorizer that starts to make my eyes water. It's sooo bad. I try to ignore it and keep jogging and just breathe out of my mouth. I do that for a while but now I'm so paranoid that I'm going to catch a whiff of the bag that I screw up my breathing and start to get stomach cramps. At this point I'm close to home and I really don't want to quit, I want to finish my jog all the way so I tough it out.

    As I turn onto my street of course I see several of my neighbors as they are either outside gardening, sending their kids off to school, or just milling about. So I wave and smile and go on about my business with the shiny blue poop bag sticking out from all sides. I'm sure it's nothing they haven't seen before right?

    Tuesday, November 07, 2006

    Something to think about...

    The other evening Tom and I attended a charity dinner/auction/concert to help raise money for prostate cancer. It was a fun night filled with lots of surprises and of course what makes it even better is that it all went towards a great cause. After dinner ended we were all escorted into a private room for a special surprise concert. Tom and I got prime seats close to the stage and settled in our seats to wait for the musicians to perform. As the room was filling up space was limited. There was still a little space at our table since Tom and I were the only ones sitting there and this woman comes up and asks if she could stand there and watch the show. We said sure no problem.

    The music starts and she settles in and we all exchange smiles and then both Tom and I quickly look back at each other and raise our eyebrows in unison. The woman had a huge glob of meringue right smack dab in the middle of her nose! I know it was meringue because earlier in the night I had devoured a little lemon meringue mini pie and as I bit into it the meringue stretched for inches and then settled nicely on my upper lip once it finally came apart. Within seconds Tom gestured to alert me of my glob so I quickly wiped it clean. We assumed the same thing must have happened to this woman. So now it's really uncomfortable because Tom and I are trying so hard to avoid any face to face contact with this woman. He leans over to me and says "You better tell her." I turn to look towards her and she is not looking back at me but she is intensely focused on the stage with a huge grin on her face, clapping along and be-bopping her whole body to the music. All the while the meringue stays right in place on the tip of her nose. I quickly turn back to Tom and say "I can't! I just can't!"

    Then I plead for him to do it because he is much better at these sorts of things he has a way of making everyone feel comfortable and is very diplomatic about something like this. Plus he has NO problem telling me when things are on my nose, IN my nose or anywhere about my face whatsoever. Actually I think he delights in telling me these things. So while the concert is in full swing Tom and I are not even paying attention to the music, this has been the topic of our discussion for a good 5-8 minutes. Finally meringue nose's husband appears and joins the table. It's too loud for conversation so we all exchange smiles and Tom and I relax a little now that he is there because he would obviously tell his wife about the white glob attached to her nose. Well minutes go by and it's still there. Tom and I take turns glancing back every so often to look and even after an hour it's STILL there!! Now, we're pissed. We then sneak some glances at the husband and no wonder he didn't tell his wife, he is too busy checking out every other woman in the room.

    After an hour or so the woman leaves (possibly to go to the bathroom) but never returns. On the long drive home I was still a little worked up about this so I needed to vent to Tom. I told him how disrespectful it was of the husband to not say anything to his wife. Tom said maybe he didn't see it? I said maybe so but then that got me even more worked up because that meant for over an hour he didn't even look at his wife in the face. I'm not sure what is worse. A husband who doesn't tell his wife she needs to check herself for: spinach in teeth, boogar in nose, mascara in hair, arm pit stains, panty line fix, fly wide open, crumbs on chest, (these are just a few that come to mind on a daily basis in our life) or a husband that just doesn't bother to LOOK at his wife. It really made me reflect on our own marriage of over 8 years and how we continue to interact with each other. We grow together everyday and I'm still amazed at what I learn from him. As with any marriage, nothing is perfect and sometimes it's hard work but I am happy to say that at least he's still looking. I love you Tom.

    (p.s. Tom would like me to add "Nose Hair Check" to the list above. Gotta love getting older!!!)

    Sunday, November 05, 2006

    Me and Josh Kelley...

    One of my all time FAVORITE musicians! I did not even recognize him with this wooly mammoth beard. Not sure it really suits him but I'll let it slide for a while. He's still "Amazing" either way! (only Josh Kelley fans will get that joke)

    Saturday, November 04, 2006

    Anyone know a plumber?

    Why is it that the majority of our Home Remodeling Projects start with (or result in) a crisis? Tom comes home from a trip the other day and notices some water in the garage. He asks me if I've ever seen it there before and I say no but I did notice some standing water on the bathroom floor which is adjacent to the garage a couple days ago. So we head into the bathroom but there is no water to be found. We checked under the sink and in the shower and behind the toilet and there was no leak that we could see. Then I thought I heard a drip, drip drip. Tom and I turned off all the lights because the humming of the lights was causing some noise and then I was able to pin point a drip in the bathroom ceiling. I jumped up on the countertop and realized then that the entire counter top was soaked with water. We figured the drip was coming from the ceiling and may have been sliding down behind the mirror so Tom removed the mirror and this is what we found...

    The wall appeared somewhat soft to the touch in some parts and Tom shook his head and said, "This is not good." I asked him if there was any way we could tackle this project after Thanksgiving because we have five family members coming here and the last thing I want is for our house to be torn to bits. He did not appreciate that question and went about his path of destruction into the bathroom. Part of me thinks he really enjoys this because it gives him a chance to use his tough guy tools. So I left him alone and then came back to this...

    He still couldn't find the leaky pipe and I reminded him that I had heard the leak in the ceiling so he removed our 1984 light panels and this is what we found....

    Tom was back in action with his gear and hacked away at the ceiling for a while and I kept myself busy baking dog treats. Several moments later I popped back in just to see this...

    The leaky pipe was then discovered and Tom had to make an HDR (Home Depot Run) for some more tools and repair items BUT so far it's holding up ok. In the meantime we've decided to redo that bathroom since half of it is already torn apart. We just have to decide on what exactly we are going to do so until then it's going to have to look like this....

    At least we don't have termites.

    Friday, November 03, 2006

    The Headless Husband

    This is Tom in serious concentration reading the manual on how to install blinds. Of course as I sit across the room, I can't pass up this photo opp. Damn! If only this was a week earlier. He could have won the Halloween costume contest!

    Life is Good

    Dinner tonight consisted of a Fluffy Crust Pepperoni Pizza and an ice cold Pumpkin Spiced Ale. Ahhhhhh. Hopefully no bathroom episodes to report on later in the evening.

    My Grandmother, My Friend

    Ice Cream get what you pay for

    So I'm at the grocery store yesterday and have an intense craving for some ice cream. I look around at all the choices and my mind is on information overload. As I stand there, freezing my assets off trying to make a decision I think to myself let's try something new. I am somewhat picky when it comes to trying new ice creams and I don't want to spend $6 on a tub of frozen cream that's going to end up tasting like a freezer burned gooey syrup. So I decide on the grocery store brand for only $2.98. It's called Bear Claw and it's rich dark chocolate ice cream with chocolate coated nuts and a caramely ribbon all mixed in.

    I scooped out a couple small scoops for a mid day snack and my taste buds were pleasantly surprised. No sooner had I put the finished bowl on the counter for my cat to lick when my stomach started making some rather unpleasant sounds. Then my palms started to sweat and I started to feel light headed. Into the bathroom I go and BAM! Let's just say I don't have to worry about all those fat grams and calories adhering to my thighs. Everything came out just as fast as it went in. I'm not saying this wouldn't have happened with a more expensive brand of ice cream, it very well could have but I have never had anything happen this fast. At first I was thinking I will never eat this ice cream ever again but actually, the more I think about it, it's not such a bad idea. If I get to enjoy the flavor of it, and it satisfies my craving, then really, I have the best of both worlds. I can eat as much as I want and have it slide right through my digestive track, bypassing my ass cheeks and thighs along the way. I like my new found diet, as long as there is a bathroom close by.

    Now I have a taste for a nice Chianti...

    Where's the Beef?

    I have yet to find a place here in California that makes an authentic Italian Beef sandwich. Although, a Portillo's recently opened up in LA but it's quite a drive. Italian Beef was a staple back in Chicago. You could go to just about any restaurant and it would be on the menu. I am having a craving for one right now. Last time I was back home I had to take a picture of my Italian Beef sandwich before I devoured it in a matter of minutes. I still refer to this photo often when the craving hits. After living here for over a year and after Tom and I had searched high and low all over S. California for a REAL Italian Beef sandwich, we just couldn't take it anymore. He decides to order a GIANT vat of Beef, sauce and rolls from the old Portillo's in Chicago. It arrived just in time for the holidays. We made pots of the beef and just went to town. I ate 2 gigantic sandwiches and was in heaven, eventhough I almost burst. Later that night when I was trying to sleep my stomach started to churn and gurgle. I got up just in time to make it to the toilet where I spewed out the entire contents of my stomach. Tom told me, "I told you so. I don't know who you think you were trying to stuff in those 2 huge beefs." He was right but I just couldn't help myself. I was sick the following day and couldn't keep anything down. But if I had to do it all over again I would.

    A Day at the Beach

    Not sure what to post on my blog yet, so I'm just rummaging through some photos. This was taken at the beach (obviously!) where Tom (my husband) and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary. It was a fun day. I had a couple mid morning glasses of champagne and was definitely feeling the effects!

    First Day of Kindergarten

    Hello my name is Laura.

    Testing testing, does this work?

    After several unfinished attempts, I've decided to start blogging again. We'll see how long this keeps up. I'm guessing once a month??? I just want to see if this will actually post. And if it does, Great. If not, then I'm done with blogging.