Monday, March 29, 2010

My mom

I just got off the phone with my mom. She was asking me if I remembered the name of this bakery in Chicago somewhere in my old neighborhood.

my mom: "Do you remember it? It was owned by two women, they made all sorts of squishy cakes (by squishy, she means fancy) for famous people all over Chicago and the world. It was near your old condo, it was girl's name I think. Don't you remember? You lived down the street from it."

me: "I don't really remember going to a bakery nearby our condo. What about it though?"

my mom: "I'm sure you know it. They've been on the food network, I think they are sisters. They do squishy wedding cakes."

me: "Not ringing a bell. What about it?"

my mom: "Oh I think it was on Belmont. Didn't you live off Belmont? If you haven't been there I know you've heard of it. They've been in a business a long time. They bake cakes that look like museums and historical landmarks too."

me: "I can't really recall off the top of my head. But what is the point of the story about this bakery???"

my mom: "It burned."

me: "Oh, that's sad."

So I had to google this and I find out the name of the bakery was "Cakegirls" and while it was off of Belmont, it was about 25 blocks away from where I used to live. My fault for not knowing everything within a 5 mile radius of my dwelling.

Here's the story in case anyone is interested.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

4th time's a charm

Chum off Baytril.
2 days later, going downhill.
Pee and more pee everywhere.
Syringe some up, take to vet's.
Await results.
Kidneys not improving.
Vet prescribes Zeniquin.
Crap. Pill form only.
Pick up pills.
"Here, kitty kitty."
Bandage up my hand.
Take pills to pharmacy.
"PLEASE can you compound?"
YES!
Chicken flavor please.
No, not for me.
Hoping this works.

Apparently this drug is so potent that humans can't even get it on their skin. Can't help wonder what it's doing to Chum as I force it down his little throat.

:(

update: Guess I don't have to wonder what it's doing to Chum cuz he throws it up after 20 minutes. Poor guy.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Foot in mouth/cough drop in hair

This morning I went to the vet's office to pick up a new prescription for Chumley. Though he's eating, drinking and gaining weight, his labs came back and his kidneys are still in bad shape. We're trying a new form of antibiotic and will just go from there.

Anyway, while I was in the waiting area a woman walked in with a 4 month old golden retriever. Of course I have to get down on the ground and kiss this baby and I asked what his name was. She said Sebastian. I told her that I met him before! I said I met Sebastian while walking Wrigley and told her the name of the park. She said that she goes there with him and I said, "Well it wasn't you. It was an older woman. Does your mom walk him?" And that's when I said to myself, You...are...a...DUMB ASS!!

Her response?

"Nope, not my mom. She's my partner."

Woops.

I also had a cough drop stuck in my hair from the night before that would not come out.

Never go to bed with a cough drop in your mouth.

I'm going to bake a red velvet cake now.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

in better news...

Chum is really packing on the pounds. He's almost back to his normal weight, before he got sick due to the fact that I was feeding him every couple of hours for about 4-5 days. Now he's down to about 4 feedings a day which reminds me, I need to get more cat food. We're running another urine test now and in a couple weeks we'll do more blood tests and depending on his levels we may start him on Calcitriol.

Anyway, here is a pic of our beefed up boy as well as some video taken just a few moments ago of him playing with his new favorite banana toy. Wrigs makes a cameo in the 2nd video.



video

video

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Changes

Stability + my life = Non existent.

Fuck trying to make that happen.

'Tis ok. I've learned how to become a chameleon. Sometimes I'm a nice shade of lime green and other times...

a dark, disgusting shade of charcoal black.

Change is good right?

No, not always.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

annoyed

I'm hormonal and annoyed, not a good combo - so while I'm in this state I'd like to vent about it and get it out of my system.

First, I hate when throngs of people not only hog an entire sidewalk but then just stop and stand there for no apparent reason whatsoever other than being utterly fecking annoying. (feck is my new f*ck) This happened multiple times today while running with Wrigs and will continue to happen more often now that it's starting to get warmer. So to avoid sidewalk slugs I run in the bike lane which is a royal cluster FECK because now I have to dodge ball the bikers, rollerbladers, skateboaders, and these random skate paddlers? I don't know what the hell you call them but they are everywhere and they stand on a skate board and paddle the ground using a long pole with a rubberized end. I tried to find some video of this atrocity but can't. Next time I'll take some video with my phone. LOSERS!

Then there's the people who obviously don't have dogs of their own but think your dog is solely for their (or their children's) entertainment. Seriously people? What is it about our look that SCREAMS "stop my dog while we're BOTH in a full on run, his leash clipped to my waist then watch as my head snaps back hitting my spine as I pinball it back to my dog who is now eating gold fish crackers off your kid's stroller tray???" I'm glad you think that's so cute because sure as shit it feels like I cracked a vertebrae in my neck thanks to you. Don't misunderstand, I LOVE stopping to chit chat with people when Wrigs and I are out for a leisurely stroll. But when I'm running full force, staring straight ahead, ear buds and all, I really don't think it's a good idea to jump in front of my dog and ask if your kids can pet him. And so I stand there, out of breath, fiddling with my i-pod strapped to my arm while you start talking nonsense but guess what? I can't hear a word you are saying so I just shout, "WHAT? WHAT?? WHAT???" until I'm able to shut down the music, thus ending my workout. And then your other kid starts screaming cuz my dog just swiped the bagel from her hand and you look at me like I have some heathen devil dog and I want to scream just as loud as your obnoxious kid WHAT DID YOU EXPECT!?!? HE'S A DOG and your kid was waving that bagel in front of his face like some sort of deranged hypnotist. I mean COME ON. I should be the one who is pissed off.

Actually, I am.

But I feel a little better.


Friday, March 19, 2010

Cats and Goldens

This is why I LOVE living with a cat and dog (especially a Golden).

You have to watch this video all the way through to the end. Believe me, it's worth it!

Gabriel & Stanley

What makes a marriage happy?

I'm about to retire my old computer and while purging files I found this piece I wrote for a women's wellness publication, over 2 years ago. Not sure if I'd change much now that I have 2 more years of marriage under my belt, so I'll go ahead and post it on here...


Maintenance for Marriage: It's a S.E.C.R.E.T. (January 2008)

My husband and I have been married for almost 10 years. For some married couples, it's a milestone they'll never hit, for others, just a drop in the bucket. And lately I find myself asking, "What makes a marriage happy?" Maybe that's normal protocol as any couple approaches the 10 year mark or maybe I just want to ensure that we'll at least try to maintain a level of happiness for the future. I guess this would also depend on one's interpretation of the word happy since there are varying degrees, starting with contentment all the way up to fulfilled vitality. Perhaps most people settle for contentment and never allow themselves to experience much more than that. But I truly believe living in a contented state will eventually lead to disappointment, resentment and ultimately, unhappiness. And if you experience just one of those in a marriage, things can start to spiral out of control, pretty fast.

We've read a lot of books on marriage just to make sure we're still on the right track, whatever track that is. Many books talk about communication and how "constructive communicating is the key to a happy marriage." While it does enable you to express your feelings openly and honestly it doesn't help much if your feelings are the cause for your unhappiness. You could be telling your spouse, "I'm not in love with you anymore" or your spouse could be saying to you, "You always put work first. You don't consider me a priority in your life" but yet because you are both communicating effectively that's supposed to solve your problems? It's not that simple. Then there are the books that talk about spontaneity and how it's natural after a certain amount of time for the marriage to become routine and subsequently taken for granted. These books offer suggestions and little pick me ups on how to bring back the spark, whether it's breaking bad habits, spicing things up in the bedroom or having more time alone, away from the kids. And while some of these methods may work in the short term, it's not a guarantee for a lifetime of bliss.

After almost a decade of marriage, I believe the secret to a happy marriage will not be found from reading words on a page or tearing through tissues behind the doors of therapy. So, with some input from my husband of course, I'll explore our own marriage and share some of the things that have worked for us. After all marriage is just that, work. Based on our life together and the direction we want to go here is what we believe is the SECRET to a happy marriage, whatever your definition of happy may be.

Share responsibility:
This one's simple, because not only is it measurable but it benefits each partner once the responsibilities are clearly defined and executed. Whether it's painting a bathroom, taking out the trash or maintaining the household finances, if one spouse is more adept and willing to take on a particular task, then let them. It's important to know what works for each individual and to ensure that the responsibilities are communicated and understood from the start. I used to get angry with my husband when he would load the dishwasher because he'd stack bowls right side up, plates would face the wrong way, glassware would touch, etc. After a few chipped glasses I finally decided that this should not be on his list of things to do. Now that I think of it, I wonder if he was doing it intentionally?? Regardless, he's in charge of all things outdoors and I'll stick to the dishes. We don't try to push each other towards those tasks that we either despise or aren't experts in the field. We each have a fair share of "to dos" in our day to day lives and we know what works for both of us and what doesn't. You'll never catch me mowing the lawn on Saturday just as he would prefer to stay away from cat box clean up.

Erase the fantasy:
This may be hard for some people (especially those who marry young) who have always had that fairy tale idea about marriage. I believe the wedding day can be every bit of that fairy tale, but if happily ever after is not grounded in reality there will be major disappointments and resentments down the line. Life happens no matter what so when bills pile up, work stresses mount, toilets break, kids get sick, no doubt this will effect the overall happiness of the marriage. If you're not able to accept the fact that marriage is not going to be a constant state of wedded bliss then you will be in for a huge let down. Be realistic with your expectations of marriage before you say I do. How you deal with the things life throws at you, together, is an indicator of how successful your marriage will be in the future.

Compromise is KEY:
In any relationship whether it's husband/wife, brother/sister, parent/child, there is always going to be compromise. No matter how much you love someone, there will be moments when you will feel differently about situations than your partner. It could be something simple, for example, where to take your next vacation or it may be something more significant such as deciding to go back to work or continuing to stay at home with the kids. You and your spouse aren't supposed to agree on every challenge that arises in a marriage but it is important to meet somewhere in the middle and find a level of compromise that you'll both be comfortable with. Otherwise one will feel slighted and may even use their feelings of having to sacrifice as a crutch down the line. Sacrifice can be a dangerous word in any relationship. It denotes a void of happiness by doing without something you desire and that's not how you want to view the choices you make in your marriage.

Rewards vs. Regrets:
Make sure your rewards outweigh your regrets. Whether it's personal, professional or marital it's unavoidable in life to not experience some level of regret. Sometimes regrets can weigh on us like a ton of bricks and cause us to doubt ourselves and some of the decisions we've made. And part of being married is accepting the fact that there are going to be regrets but along with regret, comes forgiveness and you have to be willing to forgive yourself or your spouse in order to move ahead. On the flipside we need to be able to recognize the rewards that marriage has to offer and ideally in a happy marriage, the rewards are significant and the regrets, minimal. But, they will be there from time to time and rather than dwell on them and live your life questioning your past, accept them, forgive and move on so you can continue to reap the many rewards that marriage has to offer.

Embrace your individuality:
While one of the benefits of marriage is sharing your life with someone, it's important not to lose sight of who you are as an individual and maintain a healthy level of independence. Remember the things that you used to do that made you happy before marriage and continue to do them (well, most of them). And it's ok to share some of these things with your spouse, if they derive the same amount of pleasure as you. I love to spend hours in a bookstore, just browsing the aisles and then finding a corner to sit and read my selections. This is torture for my husband and I wouldn't want him to suffer through the boredom so I continue to do this on my own. My husband LOVES to golf and could spend all day on the course every weekend. That's not a barrel of fun for me, but I know how happy this makes him so I want him to enjoy it whether or not I do. This often leads to compromise so he gets up extra early to play on the weekends, that way we still have the bulk of the day to spend together, doing things we both enjoy. And most importantly, stay young and have fun!

Treat each other with respect:
Sometimes I feel this is one of the most important virtues, and not just in marriage but in life. When you respect each other on a day to day basis it's hard to take one another for granted. Understandably there are going to be times when we might say or do something that is not coming from a place of love, especially in the heat of an argument, but it's important to choose words and behaviors that are not critically damaging. Personal attacks on character demeans your spouse which can cause a great deal of hurt and it's true, sometimes we treat strangers better than the ones we love the most. Love your spouse, respect them for who they are and remember what brought you both together in the first place and keep that in mind the next time you feel like saying something you might regret. Or just count to 10, sometimes that works too.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

WAY too much TMI...


...but like that's ever stopped me before.

Don't you hate when it's that time of the month and you run out of EVERYTHING so your cart is filled with Super Tamps, panty liners, nighttime wings, feminine wipes (aka "peach wipes" in this house) maximum strength Midol, menstrual cramp heat therapy patches and 6 pounds of chocolate???

Oh and toss in 2 bottles of buy one get one free Tums, a jumbo pack of triple ply, extra soft toilet paper AND a plunger?!? Then watch as the checker tries to keep a straight face while ringing it all up. And you just stand there smiling innocently while the people behind you in line look you up and down like some sort of side show freak. Rule of thumb, always go to a female checker. Always.

When Tom sees the heavy artillery stacked up on the bathroom counter he starts to sing a little song. It's the same thing every month, for the last 12 years but yet, as hard as I try not to laugh, I can't help it. He claims the pads look like surf boards so he'll start to sing (to the tune of Surfin' Safari), "Let's go surfin' now, everybody's bleeding now, come and take a ride with meeeeeeee!" I tell him the last part makes no sense but he says it does because I'm the one "riding the surfboard" when I...you know, place it in its place.

Anyway.

Surf's up.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

going bananas


So the good news is that Chum is definitely getting his appetite back. 2 nights ago he woke us up at 2:40 in the morning HOWLING for food. Then last night at around 3am, he was running around our bedroom, tossing his banana catnip toy (thank you Karen!) high in the air, then pouncing on it.

Tonight at dinner I asked Tom, "Did you hear Chumley playing with his banana toy last night??"

Tom says, "No. But I did hear, 'Tom! Tom! Guess what? Chumley's playing with his banana toy!'"

Then he asked that I please wait until the sun rises before sharing news such as this.

The thing is, I have no memory whatsoever of intentionally trying to wake him.

Seriously, I was still asleep.

(Wrigs is a big fan of the banana toy too.)

random fact: When Tom starts snoring, I make these annoying tongue click noises that cause Tom to shoot upright in bed, look over at me all freaked out and then say, "What was that?!?"

And then I tell him I didn't hear anything.

This happens about 14 times a night.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

How do you pray?


As I mentioned earlier Tom and I have a few loved ones who are ill and for some, things are not looking so good.

We were talking about their circumstances and options and I asked him if we could pray together. He thought that was a good idea. We folded our hands and closed our eyes.

He starts out with "Our Father, who art in heaven..."

My eye pops open, "What are you doing?"

"Praying."

"But you're just saying the Our Father."

"Yes, it's a prayer."

"But how is God going to know who you're praying for?"

"I'm thinking about the person while I'm saying the prayer."

"That's interesting."

"Ok Pope John Paul, how do YOU pray?"

"Well first, I tell God the person's name and where they are, and what their situation is."

"Uh, Laura? Don't you think he already knows that???"

"Yes Tom. I'm sure he does, but I like to give a quick overview so he knows exactly who I'm praying for. It's a big world."

"Go on."

"After I give a brief bio, I talk to him about the person and tell him how good/loving/caring/, whatever their qualities are, and give him a human perspective of this person's life on earth."

"Again don't you think he knows that too?"

"Of course. But that's from HIS perspective. He doesn't judge, he loves everyone. So I just want him to know that we love them too and would like them to continue to stay here on earth, with us, if they are able to heal."

"And if they're not able to heal?"

"Well then God is the only one who can take away their suffering. That's why I don't feel comfortable asking or begging him to PLEASE keep them here with us, if it means a lifetime of suffering for them. That's selfish. Look at it this way, either they are going to suffer as they live out their life on earth, or we are going to suffer their loss when they leave us to live in peace*. No matter what, someone always suffers."

"That's true. So do you want to start the prayer?"

"Ok. Give me your hands." (deep breath, helps me focus) "Hey God, it's me again-"

(Tom interrupts) "Hey God??"

"Oh he's fine with that."

"If you say so."

We held hands and continued to pray together. At Tom's suggestion we ended with an Our Father because he felt that sort of wraps up the prayer session and ties everything together.

Amen.

*foot note: I've never been comfortable with the phrase, "rest in peace." Our soul lives on when we leave this earth so I feel
that saying "live in peace" is more appropriate. And I HATE the abbreviation of R.I.P. It seems insincere and rushed. And it reminds me of a cartoon tombstone
.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

4 years ago...

I retired all of my black pants and invested in an industrial strength vacuum.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Happy Birthday Big GUY!!


Wrigs kept tossing and turning in his sleep last night, which was extremely annoying since he sleeps between me and Tom. I think he's struggling with turning another year older because this morning he woke up and asked me if he could get Bow-tox.

I know that was really lame, I apologize. Ok now he's telling me to get off the computer and make him some pup tarts so I gotta run. He's quite the demanding birthday boy!

Skinny Lil' Chum wishes Wrigs a Happy Birthday too.


p.s. Chumley's birthday gift to Wrigley was a big stinky poo! This is the best gift ever because after a few days on his stool softener, things are finally starting to move!!! Time to party!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Facebook tourette's

Ok you know how in Facebook there's the game, Farmville, that SO many people are addicted to?

Well you get all these updates from people feeding their chickens, growing flowers, selling their sheep, etc. etc. etc.

So today on my news feed it says next to one of my friend's names:

"(Friend who I won't name) is looking for something in Farmville!"

and my first impulse was to write this in the comment box:

"would that be...a life???"

But then I just couldn't click the button to post it. What is it about this game that people love so much? And these are not people who are sitting around all day on their asses, these are intelligent, hard working, people (many of whom are at work while playing this game.) I wonder if I'd get sucked into it as well. Maybe I'll start with Mafia Wars and find out.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Momism

This is courtesy of my sister Beth, via her facebook update:

"My mom called me after a very hectic day and asked me what I was doing. I said that I just sat down to decompress for a few minutes before I start dinner. We talked for a few minutes and then she said 'well I will let you go so you can go decompose.' "

you know how...

sometimes food smells like shit but people will say, "oh don't let the smell bother you, it still tastes really good"

Well guess what, it usually still tastes like shit. Although one exception to this rule is Trader Joe's chicken lasagna. It smells like baby diarrhea but tastes surprisingly good.

update on Chum

He's off the IV fluids, but still on antibiotics, is eating cat food again but hasn't had a normal bowel movement in 10 days. His only output has been 2 hard little nuggets about half the size of my thumb. So now he's on a stool softener, twice a day and he needs to eat small meals every 2 hours until his bowels are regulated. I am blessed to have the flexibility to stay at home to get him healthy again. If I worked outside the home, most likely Chum would be in a worse situation. Not to say I'm a fricking miracle worker or anything, I'm just very grateful for the flexibility I have in my work and volunteer schedule. Chum is requiring a LOT of care but as long as he shows signs of improvement, we'll continue to do everything we can.

So I fed Chum the second round of his stool softener which gets mixed into his food. He ate a couple bites then walked away and before I could scoop in and grab the dish, Wrigs had already gobbled up the rest of it. "Poo Watch 2010" has officially begun for both of them. Wrig's tummy is making gurgling sounds and I am wondering if I should fashion a diaper out of a Shamwow and tie it to his bottom.

One big sign of improvement is that Chum is starting to jump up on the bed again and actually cuddle a little bit. Problem is, Wrigs gets REALLY jealous and has to insert himself into Chumley time. Here he keeps trying to touch Chum on the back so I had to hold his paw. And yes, I blurred myself out of this pic because I wasn't feeling too hot that day so I spared you all some gore.



Here are a few videos taken over the last few weeks. The first one is dark because Chum was inside his "hole" eating some baby food. Listen closely to the "num num nums."

And you'll note in the other 2 videos when Chum is about to throw up, how he'll rush over to the throw rugs. I've learned to keep a few old magazines handy and when I hear his guttural heaves I'll rip a few pages of the magazine and quickly shove them under him. And if you decide to use this trick at home yourself, just make sure to get your hands out of the way. I never knew cat vomit was so warm.

video video video

marital annoyances

Anyone who's been married a while will probably relate to this post in some way or the other. One of the things that Tom does that drives me INSANE is when he can't find something, say, his wallet, or keys or most recently, his wedding ring, instead of asking me if I've seen said objects he'll say, "Where did YOU put my [whatever it is he is looking for]???

It makes me crazy.

So the other day, he couldn't find his wedding ring. It was actually his old wedding ring because this Valentine's day I decided to get him a new band. His original one was in bad shape and honestly, it just wasn't something that suited him. I thought at the time (12 years ago) that it was perfect but after knowing him now so much better, it just isn't him. But, he loves the ring and obviously wants to keep it forever. I drove him into the office this particular day and as he's getting out of the car he says, "I don't know where YOU put my wedding ring, but can you please find it? Thanks. Love you." He didn't even give me a chance to erupt because he was out the door so fast, heading into his office.

The whole way home I stewed about this and was going to have a heart to heart with him and finally put an end to these accusations that I'm always moving his stuff around. Oh and he won't just do this with household things, he'll do it with tools, golf stuff, just totally random objects that only HE touches. But first, I was determined to find his ring. I didn't have to look long because the first place I checked which was his area of the closet, there it was, stacked behind some jeans on top of his box of cufflinks/tie tacks which obviously I did not put there.

So I sent him a text that said, "I found your ring. YOU put it in YOUR closet. YOU'RE welcome."

He writes back "Thanks."

Still annoyed.

The other day I was out putzing in the yard and decided to do some gardening. It was sunny and warm so I wanted to plant some flowers and weed. Tom was golfing and I rarely call him while he's on the course but I wanted to get started but couldn't find my bucket of garden gear (that he obviously put somewhere). So I called his cell and surprisingly he answered (in a whisper because God forbid he disrupt his cronie's concentration) but instead of asking him, "What did YOU do with my garden tools? " I politely inquired, "Do you know where my bucket of garden tools might be?" He sighed a couple times, which meant he was thinking and then he said, "Why didn't you ask me this last night? I'm busy right now and need to focus."

Silly me, I should have known to ask about gardening when it's 40 degrees and rainy, 10 o'clock the night before.

I said "Forget it." and hung up then TORE apart his tool closet looking for that damn bucket. I finally found it.

When he came home he saw me sitting in a pile of dirt, whacking away at weeds and said, "Oh good you found it."

I told him I'll be sure and ask him today, all the things I'll need answered tomorrow so he has plenty of time to think about it.

Ridiculous.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A poem from Bette

I'd like to share a poem written by Bette, (pronounced Betty) a student turned friend, from my creative writing class.

OLD GUYS

There are lots of us out there
Off the charts, out of the loop
Too old to be counted anywhere
Surprise! We're quite a group!

Most of us have our marbles,
Most of us drive and are well.
We read and speak, don't garble
Most of us don't need what they sell.

TV appeals to Baby Boomers
Not to their ancient folks.
You just listen to the rumors.
We know, we've heard their jokes.

The ads forget us after 70
The charts don't go that high.
We'll start our own assembly
Only 80+ need apply.

Bette fell and broke her leg, completely severed the femur in two. She was in her garage when this happened and lay helpless for over 2 hours in excruciating pain, almost to the point of passing out. She realized she had to do something and crawled to grab a long pole (some sort of weeding tool) and then crawled to grab a bamboo stick and fastened the 2 together so she could reach the button to open the garage door. She yelled for almost another hour until her neighbor heard her screams and called 911. She had surgery and is now recovering in the hospital. I spent some time with her yesterday and even though she was medicated and exhausted, she still wanted to talk about writing and poetry. She shared a few poems with me, I made copies of them and wanted to post this one on here. She's one of the most inspiring people I have ever met and I am learning so much from her.

Based on her inventive way of opening the garage door, I nicknamed her MacGyver and she loves it. Her son and daughter in law came by while I was still visiting and she proudly told them her new name and they got quite a kick out of it too. She used to love the TV show and what's funny is so did my Grandmother! My Grandma also loved Simon & Simon and if you happened to be on the phone with her when that show started she'd say, "Oh honey I've got to go. My boys are here!" (meaning they are on the television in her living room.)

Now that I think about it, I bet she had a crush on them.

the last couple days...

Two dear friends here in Seattle have taken ill, both in hospital.

Tom's Dad (who was recovering in rehab after his stroke) was rushed back to the hospital yesterday. Complications with diabetes.

The father of my best friend Frank (Chitown's cousin) is also in the hospital with a very serious condition.

Praying for miracles right now.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Iced Green Tea Lattes

Here is a GREAT recipe for Iced Green Tea Lattes. You can order the matcha powder online or check with your local coffee/tea shops. Some speciality shops carry it.

1/2 teaspoon matcha green tea powder
2 ounces hot water (but not boiling)
2 teaspoons sugar (or artificial sweetener)
4-5 ounces milk
Lots of ice cubes

Mix 1/2 tsp green tea powder in 2 ounces of hot water in a bowl. Stir with a whisk until completely dissolved.

Stir in 2 teaspoons of sugar or sugar substitute (can adjust to taste).

Add in 4-5 ounces of milk and stir.

You can also add a teaspoon of your favorite flavor syrup. If you liked Starbuck's Iced Green Tea Lattes, they used a melon flavor syrup (which has now been discontinued) but that is the flavor that gave their lattes a unique taste. There's even petition on facebook to bring back the melon syrup.

Personally, I think it's a bit too sweet with the syrup, the sugar alone is sweet enough.

ENJOY!!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

wrigs and chum






I'm wearing...

A purple shirt, orange pants and blue and red slippers.

Reminds me of this clip.

ouch

Today I'm a bit hungover. Actually went to the McDonald's drive thru twice this morning because apparently one greasy 2,000 calorie McGriddle just wasn't enough. UGH I'm sick just thinking about all that crap sloshing around in my gut. This hangover sucks because it's one of those that gradually gets worse as the day goes on. But today, I'm grateful it's not sunny because my eyelids hurt. Everything hurts. Even my hair. My hair smells funny too. I keep asking Tom to wash it for me because I can't really move much. I asked if he could get a big bowl of water and pitcher and do it the old fashioned way while I sit up in bed. What does he do instead? He puts golf on the tv and walks away with the remote so I can't change the channel. No respect.

I just yelled downstairs to ask if he would make me some rice. He thought I said "ice" and I hear him going to the freezer scooping ice for me. Whatever I'll take that too.

Anyway there was more I wanted to say but for now I must tend to the jack hammering that is taking place inside my skull.

I'll leave you with this photo Tom took of me and my real life Teddy Bear just a little bit ago.


Friday, March 05, 2010

Wrigley's perfect day

My friend and I took our dogs to the dog park today. It was the perfect day.

Here's Wrigs inching up to the cold, cold water. He's so afraid of it. His friend Bailey, however is a world class swimmer. Can't keep him out of the water.




We tried throwing the ball into the water, just for Wrigs but as you can see once the ball makes contact, he turns and bolts the other way. Such a baby!



He found some friends on land to play with and had a great time running, romping and chasing.



A soaking wet Bailey emerged from the water with a tennis ball and the crowd went wild! They were all on a mission to get that ball.



After the park, it was time to load up the beasts and head to lunch.
"Every bottom in!" I tell them before I shut the door.


They're ready for their next adventure. The two of them get along so great, Bailey even mellows Wrigs out a bit.



But by the look on Wrig's face, I think it was a bit cramped back there.



Time for lunch. What' on the menu?? Sunshine! (seriously did I ever get this excited about sun before? I feel like a crazy person.)


Two good friends, enjoying the day.


We had a couple Marley & Me moments while eating. First of all one of the restaurant employees told us that the dogs couldn't be next to our table, they had to be tied up a little ways away. I showed them Wrig's therapy patch and said that he is still "in-training" and he agreed that it was ok for them both to stay. Then he came back with a big tub of water for them to share and in less than a minute Wrigs got tangled in his leash and spilled the entire tub, water splashing everywhere, all over the ground. Then a few minutes later Bailey saw a dog down the road and tried to run and greet it and yanked the table so hard that our glass water decanter fell over, spilled water all over our table as well as the dogs.

I'm glad Wrigs got to enjoy a special day. Haven't really been able to spoil him much since Chum has been sick. It will be two weeks tomorrow since he has been ill and there are moments when I think he's getting better and then an hour later, he's barely able to move. Maybe this is our new norm with him as he ages, not sure. Just taking it day by day.

Hope you enjoy your day by days too.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Chelsea King


Like so many others, I've been following the story of Chelsea King since the day she went missing. Praying for miracles, praying for her survival, that somehow she would defy the odds and be found alive. When the news broke on Tuesday so did my faith in humanity.

HOW COULD A HUMAN BEING DO THIS TO ANOTHER HUMAN BEING???

There are no words. None.

There are no words because our minds can't even comprehend crimes of this magnitude. We just shake our heads in disbelief. How can we exist in a world with creatures who would do this to another living, breathing, innocent soul? It is inconceivable.

Yet, this is part of our reality.

Before Chelsea's body was found on Tuesday I had been following her site on facebook - friends and family members praying together, posting positive messages in hopes of finding her alive. The site started out with just a few hundred followers. Then over the course of a few days it grew to the thousands. What a great support system to know all these people from all over the world have bonded together and are praying for the safe return of a child they don't even know!

Or so I thought.

The messages that started appearing on her site were absolutely horrifying. SICK SICK SICK people saying the most awful things and uploading graphic images of mutilated women, dead bodies, images of death, satan, just pure evil. And it wasn't just one or two people. It was A LOT of people. And they were also threatening others on the site who were close to Chelsea. It made me physically sick to read some of the stuff so could you even imagine how this would have affected her parents? Her brother? Her friends?

There's no denying we live in a world where evil exists and could be living down the street or right next door. Was this always the case or are we just more aware of it because of our modern mediums? Search any random video on youtube and read the comments and see how quickly evil rears its ugly head. There are people out there who delight in hurting others and have absolutely no remorse for their behavior or actions. And there isn't much we can do to protect ourselves or our children from people like this.

That is our reality.

We must endure the good and the bad while we occupy our space on earth and for some, it's mostly all good, but for others, they may not be so fortunate. But is it really a matter of luck? Who decides that? Is God up there rolling dice or throwing darts for every single human being on earth? Who knows. Nobody has those answers but all we can do is live the best life we know how while we have this blip of time on the planet. Because you never know, nor do you have any control, when it will be taken away from you.

How do you provide words of comfort for families going through a tragic loss such as this? What would you say? I guess I would tell them that their loved one is no longer part of a world were such evil and hatred exists. There is no more fear, no more pain, no more worry, ever again. Their body is pain free, their souls, at peace. And one day, when our time has come (whether through natural causes, disease, an accident or some similar fate that Chelsea suffered) we will be reunited with our loved ones and share in that peace for all eternity.

After all, there has to be more than this world, right?

Makes me think of one of my favorite songs. I've posted it on here once or twice before and I feel the need to do it again. May it bring you peace and comfort in your own world right now.

Maybe there's a World

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

redundant colon


Today was not a good day for my tummy. I had some errands to take care of in the 'burbs and while doing so had another attack of the redundant colon. Luckily, my girlfriend lives close to where I was so I sped over to her house to take care of business. This isn't the first time this has happened and thankfully we're close enough friends that no words need to be exchanged as I go flying through her front door en route to the bathroom. She makes sure the magazines are stocked and even leaves a glass of ice water by the door for me.

I should clarify something about this redundant colon (also called "tortuous colon"). Yes it's a gross topic but it's not all about shitting. When I have an attack I get these incredibly sharp pains in my stomach, abdomen, or sometimes right under my ribs, it varies. Then my palms start sweating and I get really cold and nauseous and sometimes I throw up or dry heave until the pain subsides. The dry heaving is usually worse than throwing up because it lasts a lot longer and is exhausting. So why some of these issues are strictly bathroom related, about half of the time it's just intense pain and nausea and all I want to do is curl up into a ball, which is hard to do inside a tiny stall of a public bathroom.

My gastroentologist prescribed dicyclomine which seemed like a wonder drug for the first couple of months but it's not working so great anymore. Stress exacerbates the issue so I'm sure that's part of it. Ok I know there was a point to this post but now I can't remember what it was. The pain makes me forgetful so if I remember where I was going with this I'll come back to it.

*Update: In April 2011, I was diagnosed with Systemic Candidiasis (in my gut/colon). This has played a HUGE part in these digestive nightmares and for those of you suffering with similar issues PLEASE do some research, find a holistic doctor (if your medical doctor doesn't offer any help), and take control of getting your life back! For more information on what has helped me check out: Live Healthy (nocandidaallowed.blogspot.com). I no longer suffer like I used to and the biggest reason is due to a change in diet which has resulted in less inflammation in the gut. Had I known this YEARS ago, life would have been a whole lot different. But, it's never too late...there is hope and I am confident that at the very least, you will be able to alleviate the severity of your symptoms. Just don't give up.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

a pet peeve


One of my BIGGEST pet peeves is when people buy something for themselves (mainly clothing) and then return it.

Exceptions to this:

-the product is damaged
-the product is uncomfortable (such as shoes that maybe cut into your feet)

But other than that, if someone is shopping for something and he/she tries it on and it fits and he/she likes it, why bring it back?? I just don't get it. I can understand that there are those who may have compulsive shopping habits and if that is the case then I guess that is another issue entirely but for the rest of consumers, if you like it and you buy it, you keep it. For years this has been a hot button and also a topic of debate between me and Tom. Since he's a Nordstrom employee he stands behind their return policy which I have argued is way too lenient. And I've witnessed so many people take advantage of it over the years.

I'm fired up after that Today Show segment from my earlier post and just wanted to get this off my chest.

a momism

My mom called me this morning to tell me about this segment from the Today Show:

Stores sell used underwear

Since I hadn't seen it yet, she was telling me the names of the stores involved.

mom: Macys, Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, The Secret Bra Store (I knew she meant Victoria Secret) and Tom Cruise. They were all included in this hidden camera investigation.

me: Tom Cruise? What the heck was he doing there?

mom: No not Tom Cruise, the person. Tom Cruise the store.

me: (lightbulb) J. Crew??

mom: Did I say Tom Cruise? I meant J. Crews. Anyway make sure you watch this show. And always wash your underwear before you wear it!

Monday, March 01, 2010

update on Jeopardy contestant "Ben"

OMG remember this guy from Jeopardy last week???

"Pretzel footed Ben"

Well he's STILL ON and tonight the story he chose to share with the world was that his friends once put raw tuna in a sock and hid it under his bed which smelled really bad and he ended up taking 4-5 showers a day because he thought he smelled bad! Are you kidding me???

Whenever I have a bad day I'm going to think of this guy and remember it could always be much, much worse.

I feel sorry for him.

9 days and counting

...since Chum has been sick. There have been moments of improvement but they typically don't last for more than just that, a few moments. The hardest part is that he refuses to drink water so we have to give him IV fluids in his neck and that sends him into a frenzy. We bought a muzzle that fits over his mouth but covers his eyes and when I put it on him this afternoon and stuck the needle in, he went berserk twisting and turning out of my grip (luckily I got the needle out in time) but since he couldn't see where he was going he was running head first into the wall then the bookshelf, then the chair, and hurt himself because he hit his head with such force. And the noises he makes, it sounds like he is being skinned alive. When I finally got the muzzle off he jumped at my face but I was able to turn in time and he bit the side of my head. I gave up at that point and was so frustrated because there is nothing I can do to help him when he gets like this.

So tonight if he decides to come out from under the bed I will try a new antibiotic that I got in Ballard today because they are the only pharmacy that can compound the drug, Baytril, into a liquid form. I also got an appetite stimulant in a liquid form because Chum will NOT take pills. So that's on the menu for this evening.

As for food, we've tried everything.

Grilled chicken, fried chicken, seared tuna, steamed broccoli (his FAVORITE!) yogurt, yogurt with pureed veggies, chicken broth, chicken noodle soup, baked potato, crab meat, and of course variations of special cat foods for the "finickiest of eaters" and none of that worked.

The only thing I've been able to do is get him to lick little bits of baby food off my finger and occasionally he'll lick some off a small spoon. And it's not just any jar of baby food, I have bought them ALL and what works is Gerber stage 2 veal, microwaved for about 7 seconds with some Earth's Best Organic Squash mixed in. I'm not sure if it's the smell of this combination together or the taste or what, but this is the ONLY thing that he has somewhat responded to. He maybe has 5 to 6 licks off my finger or 3 little licks off the tiny spoon. But that's it.

If he decides to come out from under the bed I may try (LORD HELP ME) to give him more fluids or I may just try and syringe some water into his mouth. He's supposed to have 150 mil a day and his syringe only holds 1 mil so I'm doubtful I'll be able to squirt that in his mouth 150 times but I will do the best I can.

And as for medications we started with oral clavamox, then ampicillin and baytril injections, and then we found out that he is resistant to ampicillin and we weren't noticing much improvement using the clavamox so that's why we're starting him on oral baytril tonight as well as the oral appetite stimulant, cyproheptadine. And if this doesn't work then I don't know what we're going to do.

Poor Wrigs has been so concerned for Chumley. He lays on the floor trying to put his head under the bed and just stares at him. He wants his crotchety old brother back. And so do I.

Tax Time

I'm preparing our tax documents to ship off to our accountant in California. I found this link that may provide you with some helpful information. Try to scroll through the whole thing because there may be a few hidden deductions you didn't know about.

2009 Medical and Dental Expenses

Did you know you can deduct transportation costs traveling to and from medical appointments?

Transportation

You can include in medical expenses amounts paid for transportation primarily for, and essential to, medical care.

You can include:
Bus, taxi, train, or plane fares or ambulance service,

Transportation expenses of a parent who must go with a child who needs medical care,

Transportation expenses of a nurse or other person who can give injections, medications, or other treatment required by a patient who is traveling to get medical care and is unable to travel alone, and

Transportation expenses for regular visits to see a mentally ill dependent, if these visits are recommended as a part of treatment.

Car expenses. You can include out-of-pocket expenses, such as the cost of gas and oil, when you use a car for medical reasons. You cannot include depreciation, insurance, general repair, or maintenance expenses.
If you do not want to use your actual expenses, for 2009 you can use the standard medical mileage rate of 24 cents a mile.

You can also include parking fees and tolls. You can add these fees and tolls to your medical expenses whether you use actual expenses or use the standard mileage rate.


Tax time is stressful and every little bit helps.

Good luck!