Latest Entries »

Once again, I’ve left it until 11pm to try and come up with today’s blog topic. I really need to stop doing this. Starting tomorrow.

Today, we’re going to play Would You Rather…..My answers are here. Leave yours in the comments!

Would you rather…

…watch Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Wars

read an actual book, or use a Kindle? Kindle – you can carry 500 books with you without hurting your back or having to pay overweight charges for your luggage

…go to the theater or a movie? Generally, a movie, though the theater is good once in awhile, too

…hike or bike? Hike – the dog hates bicycles, and he’s always with me, so….

…drink a Margarita or a Pina Colada? Hmm…tequila gives me a headache, but I hate coconut, so I guess I’d have to go with the Margarita and an Advil

…crash with friends, or stay at a hotel? Depends…do my friends have WiFi and free toiletries?

…vacation in Hawaii or Alaska, and why? Alaska…I’ve been to Hawaii recently, so it’s Alaska’s turn. Would love to see the Northern Lights and experience the long daylight hours of summer. (Hmm…it just occurred to me that this may need to be two separate trips.) But damn it, I wanna go back to Hawaii, too.

…go skiing or snowshoeing? No…I am not a winter sport kinda girl. Though, I’d probably be less likely to break something while snowshoeing.

…travel by plane, train or automobile? I hate to fly, but in most cases the damned plane *does* get you there faster. 

…go to a comedy club or a dance club? WHY CAN I ONLY PICK ONE???

…have a night out or an evening in? I’ve had way too many evenings in lately. Night out, please.

…watch TV or read a book? Usually, read a book. Unless Outlander is on…or The Walking Dead…or Game of Thrones…

…go canoeing or waterskiing? Any time one of the choices involves some type of skiing, my answer is the other one. Canoeing. I am way too uncoordinated to waterski.

…camp in an RV or a tent? RV  “CAMPING” IS JUST SLEEPING IN YOUR CAR! TENT CAMPING ALL THE WAY, BABY!

…use Facebook or Twitter? Facebook. #hashtagsconfuseme

…win the lottery, or find your perfect job? Win the lottery. My perfect job would be playing with puppies and kittens all day. I don’t think that pays much. 

…swim in a pool, or the ocean? Considering I watched my dog take a dump in the Pacific just this afternoon, I’ll take the pool, please, Alex.

…travel by sailboat or cruise ship? WHY DO YOU FORCE ME TO MAKE IMPOSSIBLE CHOICES???

…watch sports or play sports? Is there a third option?

I apologize for the lameness of today’s blog. Maybe tomorrow’s will be better. (No promises, though.)

boboBoBo is a 7-foot tall bear that stands in our front yard. He belonged to the previous owners, and when negotiating the contract to buy our house, one of our few requirements was, “The bear stays.” I mean, he had to…I had already named him and everything. [If you ever watched Muppets Tonight in the early/mid-90’s, you’ll know where the name came from.]

I began referring to the house as Club BoBo…kind of like Club Med, but with rain and frequent 30 mph winds. Club Bobo Conversations are examples of some of the ridiculous things that my mother and I say to each other on a daily basis. One day, if we manage not to murder each other before I have enough material, there will be a book.

Here are just a few that come to mind. So that my mother will continue to feed me, I won’t identify which of us said what…I’ll leave that up to you to decide.

Person 1: Oh, hey…lightning!

Person 2: Where?

Person 1: Um…what?

Person 2: Outside?

Person 1: Do you usually see it somewhere else?

One of my personal favs…this one actually took place before there was a Club Bobo…but it still counts:

Person 1: Pastor cake? That doesn’t sound appetizing. I don’t want to eat a pastor.

Person 2: What’s wrong with pastors? Maybe they have big dongs.

Person 1: I don’t think so.

Person 2: Yeah. Maybe that’s why they love God so much…because he blessed them with large dongs.

Person 1: You know nobody calls them “dongs” anymore, right?

Person 2: Well, back in the day, that’s what we called them. Ding dongs.

Person 1: This is *so* going on Facebook.

You’ll probably be able to figure out who said what with this one…

Person 1: They really have run out of things to make tv shows about, haven’t they?

Person 2: Sure looks that way.

Person 1: Well, I’m just a tv show waiting to happen right here.

Person 2: Yeah? What’s your show about?

Person 1: “Fashionably Undressed, with Cheryl Jones.”

And last, but not least….(I’ve got to save some for the book, folks!):

Person 1: So, just in case I start exhibiting any strange symptoms later…

Person 2: Strange…uh…what?

Person 1: Well, I opened the orange juice this morning, and it didn’t have any freshness seal at all. It was just…gone.

Person 2: That’s probably because I opened it yesterday.

Person 1: Oh, you did? It didn’t look like any of it was missing.

Person 2: I only used about a tablespoon full. I poured it on my apple, so it wouldn’t turn brown.

Person 1: Oh…in that case, I probably shouldn’t have dumped it out, then.

Person 2: You dumped out a brand new bottle of juice? Before you asked the other person who lives here if they’d opened it?

Person 1: Yeah. Well, anyway…I guess I don’t need to keep this anymore, then, do I? (Takes the empty oj container and throws it in the garbage.)

Person 2: Why’d you keep the container, if you’d dumped out all of the juice?

Person 1: So the police could test it for poison if I die, of course.

Person 2: Um…yeah…ok

Two pretty obvious questions probably come to mind after that conversation. 1) Why would you drink the juice if you feared it had been poisoned? 2) If you’ve gone ahead and drunk the (allegedly) poisoned juice anyway, why dump the remainder? Folks, we may never know the answer to these burning questions…

Here we are on Day 8 of my “30 consecutive days of blogging,” and I’m already reduced to telling old war stories. This is what happens when you wait until 10:30 pm to try and come up with a subject, I guess.

I don’t injure myself often, but when I do, it seems to happen in a spectacularly weird fashion. Twist an ankle skiing? Nah…Hit my thumb with a hammer? Not me! Here are just a few of the ways I’ve injured myself (or in at least one case, been injured by someone else) over the years:

  • The dog gave me a black eye. This was the most recent injury, and is represented in the photo above. Rollo and I were down on the beach this summer, and he was off-leash. I bent over to pull the no-slip (big effing joke!) sock out of my shoe for the 17th time, and he – for whatever twisted doggie reason – chose that moment to run past me, bashing me in the face with his rock-hard head as he went. My glasses flew off, and I saw stars. The black eye didn’t actually show up until later that night, though, when I decided that my face didn’t really hurt that much, so it would probably be ok to work out. It wasn’t.
  • The cat dislocated my shoulder. Several years ago, I needed to take my 24-pound black cat, Dillon, to the vet. (Yes, you heard me right. 24 pounds. He was a big boy.) He didn’t fit in the carrier that I had, so I needed to improvise. I put him in a cardboard box and draped a towel over the top, hoping that he wouldn’t figure out that there wasn’t really anything holding him in. Critical error. I made it down the stairs from my apartment, but halfway to the car felt him starting to climb up one corner of the box under the towel. I tried to tilt the box towards me to keep him in, and somehow, my left shoulder dislocated. Next thing I knew, I was on my knees on the sidewalk in front of my apartment building, my left arm hanging, numb and useless, at my side. The cat didn’t even try to run off…he just sat down on the sidewalk next to me.
  • Improper sizing dislocated it again. A few months later, I was in the fitting room in Dress Barn trying on clothes. I started to put a blouse on over my head, but realized that the sleeves were too tight before I’d gotten it all the way on. When I reversed the motion to remove the blouse, that pesky left shoulder dislocated again, with my arms up over my head, basically in nothing but my bra from neck to waist. My left arm was stuck up over my head – I couldn’t get the blouse on or off, and couldn’t lower my arm.
  • I split my lip assembling Ikea furniture. Imagine the scene: a large, heavy box containing a mostly-particleboard desk (probably Hemnes or Klimpen) sitting on the laminate floor of my living room. Me: kneeling on a blanket to cushion my knees on the floor. I needed to move the box, so I leaned all of my weight against it and pushed…and instead of the box moving forward, my knees on the blanket slid backward, causing me to face-plant on the corner of the box. Brilliant.
  • I was hit in the throat with a hockey stick. Ok, so this one is almost a “normal” sort of injury in that it was actually sports-related. We were learning field hockey in gym class in middle school, and I got hit in the throat. What gets me, though, is that I am 5′ 7″, and the person who hit me was never penalized for high-sticking. (You’re not supposed to raise the stick above your waist.)
  • I broke a toe baking cookies. When I was 11 or 12, I discovered that I like to bake chocolate chip cookies from scratch….mostly because I really like the raw cookie dough, and I get to sample it occasionally while I’m baking. A side effect of this, though, is that you tend to get thirsty, and on the day in question, I kept going back in to the refrigerator to get the water pitcher to refill my glass. The last time I opened the refrigerator door, a family-size glass bottle of ketchup fell out of the fridge and on to my little toe, breaking it. (My toe…not the bottle.)
  • I was kicked in the face on the playground. One of my earlier injuries, I was in the 1st grade and we were on the playground at recess. I had skipped kindergarten, *and* had a January birthday, so here I was this scrawny little 5-year old with all of these older kids. Apparently I was walking just a little too close to the swing set, and some kid on one of the swings kicked me in the face as I walked by. The next thing I remember, I was sitting in our classroom with a bag of ice on my face…with no recollection of getting there.
  • I was born with water on the brain. At least that’s what the doctor told my parents on the day I was born. I had water on the brain, and would be brain damaged. Turns out that this was a major misdiagnosis (though some of you may beg to differ) and there wasn’t actually anything wrong with me…but it just goes to show that the weird stuff started from Day 1.

How about you? What’s the weirdest injury you’ve ever had? Tell me about it in the comments!

Ok, so here’s my other dream story – and I promise, there’s no tuna salad in this one. This happened just a few weeks ago…

In the wee hours of the night, I dreamed I was in a hospital waiting room with a woman who wasn’t feeling well. She wasn’t noticeably ill, and the hospital staff did not seem overly concerned by her condition. They told her to sit down and wait, and they would get to her shortly. I was very distressed by this, wanting them to take her back right away for treatment. I argued with them, saying that her condition was more serious than it looked, and that they should not make her wait. (I have no idea what I thought was wrong with her.)

When I woke up, I realized that I recognized the woman from my dream. She was someone that I’d worked with more than 10 years ago. We are friends on Facebook, but are not close – in fact, we had not had any direct communication that I could remember since I accepted her friend request a couple of years ago….not even a comment on a post. I remember thinking how odd it was that I’d dreamed about her.

Imagine my surprise when I logged into Facebook a few minutes later to see if anyone had commented on a post I’d made before going to bed. The most recent comment on that post was from her.

dream

I rarely remember my dreams, and when I do, they are mostly snatches of disjointed images or scenes that make absolutely no sense. (I once dreamed that I was pulling a string coated in tuna salad out of my ass. No lie. There has to be something just a little “off” there, right?) Sometimes they incorporate things that have happened in my life recently, like when I boarded Rollo at a kennel for the weekend and then dreamed that I couldn’t find him. Another time, I dreamed that my ex-husband was building a bomb in my bedroom closet out of a power strip. A few days before I had this dream, I’d been reading Stephen King’s “On Writing,” where he describes writing a chapter of “The Stand” in which a character builds a bomb in a closet. I’d also had some drama at work involving a dead power strip. (This is called the dream lag effect, and is fairly common.)

Every once in awhile, though, I have a dream that makes me go, “Hmm….” Two such occasions come to mind.

When I was about 30, I had a dream about a friend from high school. John moved away during our senior year, and I had neither seen nor heard from him in the 13 years since he’d left. In the dream, we were making out on a couch at a party in someone’s basement. (No, we were never *those* kinds of friends in real life.) I woke up thinking, “Well, that was odd.” I hadn’t even thought about him in years. Less than a week later, I got an email from him.

The second dream happened much more recently, and I’ll tell you about it tomorrow….

(Ha ha….sorry, but I’ve got to come up with 30 blogs this month!)

notrollo

I am a cat person. I don’t think there’s been a time in my life when I didn’t have a cat or two. Currently, I have two – Harley and Dinah. They are 10-year-old sisters that have been with me since they were 8 weeks old….but that’s a story for another day.

Growing up, I never had a dog, and never gave it much thought. I wasn’t opposed to the idea of a dog, it just wasn’t something that we did in my family. Then one day, in July of last year, my bestie sent me this picture and a question. “Want a puppy?”

rolloNow, if you recall, I live in Oregon. My bestie, Sharon, lives in Maryland. Where on earth did she come up with this puppy? South Carolina.

Sharon was visiting her daughter and her family in South Carolina. Her daughter’s biological father lived nearby, and had 3 puppies left out of a litter of 11. This was the second litter for his dog, the first litter bearing a total of 12 puppies. The bio dad let it be known that if homes were not found for these last 3 puppies in the next couple of days, he would take them to a shelter. A kill shelter. These puppies and their mother were living outdoors in a trailer park during the hottest part of the summer. They were covered in fleas. Hearing that they would soon go to a shelter that would euthanize them if they weren’t adopted was the final straw for my friend, and she began to plan.

I never would have gone out and gotten a dog on my own. My mother and I live together, and between the two of us we have five cats. But…the more I thought about it, the more I wanted this puppy. How on earth would this ever work out, though? First, there was the fact that he was on the other side of the country. Then, there was my mother, who was absolutely adamant that we were not getting a dog.

Getting my mother on board took several days of whining, cajoling, and sulking on my part – I basically acted like a 4-year-old that wanted a new toy. And guess what? That shit actually works! While mom never really came out and said, “Ok, let’s get the dog,” I eventually brought her around to, “Well, I guess I can’t stop you.” I took that and ran. Here’s how it all went down. Tell me this wasn’t meant to be!

Sharon had already decided that regardless of whether or not I took a puppy, she was going to rescue all 3 of them, but she was scheduled to fly back home. Unable to take them on the plane with her, the puppies were taken temporarily to her daughter’s house where they were given what was probably their first bath ever, defleaed, and slept indoors for the first time in their lives. Sharon flew back to Maryland as scheduled, and made plans to drive back to South Carolina with her husband the following weekend to pick up the puppies. While all this was going on, I was still working on my mother, but told Sharon and her daughter that if I took him, I was going to name him Rollo. (Rollo is a canine character in one of my favorite book series’, Outlander. I’m sure I’ll blog about these books at some point!) From then on, everyone started calling him Rollo.

Rollo and his brother and sister began the first part of their journey from South Carolina to Maryland on July 17, 2016. July 17th was my daughter Megan’s birthday. Megan passed away in 2014. Oh, and the  puppies were born on May 18, 2016, which was the day my grandmother passed away in 2011 (I hope I got the year right, or I’ll be hearing about that later…).

It just so happened that Sharon was already scheduled to come out to Oregon for a visit on July 21st. She took him for his first vet appointment on Monday, July 18th, where he got his first round of shots and was cleared to fly…provided of course, that he would fit in the carrier. In order to fly in the main cabin of the plane, he would need to be inside a carrier that would fit under the seats…and anyone who’s flown before knows there’s not a whole heck of a lot of room under there! Airline regulations required that he have enough room to stand up and turn around inside the carrier, because he could not come out of the carrier while on the plane. Already weighing in at 10 pounds, it was close. We all spent the next couple of days with our fingers crossed, encouraging Rollo to “think small thoughts” until Thursday.

The cost of the vet visit and Rollo’s plane ticket came to right around $200. I had recently built a website for a friend, who paid me in cash – guess how much? Yep…$200.

So, basically, the planets aligned perfectly, and Rollo has gone from being a trailer park mutt to a spoiled rotten dog with an ocean view. He get daily walks on the beach, and I can’t imagine life without him…(though I imagine I’d have a lot more $$…damn are dogs expensive!)  😀

Oh, and that photo up at the top there? Believe it or not, that’s not Rollo. I took that in October of 2014, almost 2 years before Rollo was born. I have no idea who the dog is, but I liked the picture so much that I hung it in my office behind an old window that I bought. Foreshadowing, maybe?

notrollo2

Don’t worry, though, there are plenty of pictures of Rollo to be found!

rollo3

 

rollo4
rollo5
rollo6
rollo7
rollo8
rollo9
rollo10
rollo11

 

I was looking through old photos tonight trying to come up with today’s blog topic, when I came across this photo:

blog1It was taken in June of 2015, and while I don’t remember exactly what I weighed at the time, I can tell you that it was well over 200 pounds…maybe even over 250. It was a few days before I traveled to Germany and Austria to chaperone a group of singing teenagers, and I was trying to find a dress to wear to the one “formal” dinner of the trip. As you can probably tell from my face, I wasn’t very thrilled by my choice.

That trip was very difficult for me. Flying was quite uncomfortable, and I first had to fly from Oregon to Maryland to meet up with the chorus before flying to Germany. Airplane seats are narrow, you see, and I was not. I got on to each airplane praying that it wouldn’t be a full flight – that I would be lucky enough to get an aisle seat with an empty middle, because I quite simply didn’t fit and needed the extra room. I wasn’t quite big enough for the airline to demand I purchase a second seat…but probably not by much.

Then there was the walking. This was my third European trip chaperoning for the chorus, and the previous two had included a lot of walking. This trip was no different. My feet started to hurt on day 1, and I spent much of the next 9 days in pain. The final straw was when we went to the Prater.

If you’ve never heard of it, the Prater in Vienna, Austria is the oldest (and has to be the weirdest!) amusement park in the world. I’ve always enjoyed amusement park rides, and decided to ride the swing ride. You know the one – a carousel-type thing with basket seats attached to it by long chains. It turns in a circle so that the swings fly through the air. Well, long story short, I had to cram myself into the seat, and spent the entire 3 minute ride being quite uncomfortably gouged by the metal frame. When the ride was over, my ass was literally stuck in the chair! Getting out took some maneuvering, because my feet did not touch the ground, and – being stuck – I couldn’t just hop down. It was humiliating.

I decided then and there that something needed to be done.

In January of 2016, I found that “something” – a program called My Peak Challenge, the brainchild of Scottish actor, Sam Heughan. I’ll talk more about the program itself another time, but I’ve been participating in it ever since, and it’s made all the difference in the world, quite literally changing my life. These next two photos were taken in March of this year, after losing about 90 pounds on the program.

blog2blog3

harley4

I was planning this long, thoughtful, hilarious blog about my oh, so interesting life….but, yeah, that’s so not happening today. Awake at 3:30 am for no good reason, I finally gave up trying to sleep at 5:15 when I got out of bed and decided that I might as well work out. After exercising until 7am, it was time to feed my mother’s cats (she’s out of town), feed my own cats (this has to be done separately, because there are 2 warring factions of felines in this house), fix breakfast, pack lunch and get ready for work.

I ate lunch at my desk so that my lunch hour could be spent taking the dog to the beach for a 2 mile walk in between rain showers. Work ended at 5pm when it was time to once again feed both sets of cats. At 6pm, I left with some neighbors to go to opening night at the local playhouse. I yawned my way through the play, but thankfully it was entertaining enough that I didn’t fall asleep. Got home at 9:30 (I think…losing track of time at this point), then watched this week’s episode of This is Us while tossing the tennis ball (in the house – mom’s out of town, remember?) for the dog.

Still trying to figure out how this 2 paragraph blog took until 12:07am to write. (I guess technically it’s late, but damn it, it’s still Friday until I go to bed. So there.) I need a nap.

In yesterday’s blog, I promised that we’d spend today doing a little catching up after my nearly 3 year and 4 month blogging hiatus. I mean, I’m sure you’ve been waiting with baited breath for me to explain my absence, haven’t you? (Riiiight….) Ok, well, here it is.

You may recall that in March of 2014 I moved from Maryland to Oregon with my mother and my 22-year-old daughter, Megan. Mom and I had decided to combine our two households in order to make it easier to take care of Megan, who in addition to having Asperger’s Syndrome, had developed Epilepsy when she was a junior in high school. (Not that any of this explains the move across the country…apparently we just felt that we needed more of a challenge or something.)

Almost exactly nine months after we moved, I stopped by Megan’s room one evening to tell her goodnight on my way to bed, and found her on the floor. She was not breathing. Paramedics worked on her for over an hour to no effect. An autopsy was done, but did not yield any explanation…the general consensus is that she simply had a massive seizure that killed her before it could leave behind any physical evidence. I had never before heard of SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy)…she had been under a neurologist’s care for 6 years, and never once was it mentioned. In a way, I’m glad of that, though. I spent enough time worrying that she’d have a seizure and fall down the stairs or hit her head or injure herself in some way; knowing that death was a possibility would’ve made it that much worse.

After Megan died, I was pretty much just numb for awhile. The last thing I’d ever expected to happen had happened. Blogging was the furthest thing from my mind. Eventually, when I did start to consider starting back up again, though, I couldn’t seem to get myself to do it. I felt like I couldn’t blog about any of the trivial bullshit that I usually blathered on about without first acknowledging what had happened in some way…and at the same time, I just couldn’t get myself to write that post. This post.

So, here I am, nearly 3 years later, finally acknowledging the elephant in the room. (And no, Megan, I’m NOT calling you an elephant! Geesh!)

megan in seaside

It’s been awhile…remember me? I used to entertain you on occasion with my forays into the cesspool that is online dating, among other things – at least I hope it was moderately entertaining.

Anyway…I’ve been thinking for awhile that I’d like to start blogging again, and what better time than during NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month)? Similar to NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), the object is to write one blog post a day, every day, for the entire month of November. Of course, I’ve almost blown it on Day 1 – I am writing this first post from my bed after nearly forgetting about it entirely.

So that’s the plan…30 days of blogging. I realize there’s not much substance to this one, but it’s late, and I’m tired. Tune in tomorrow, and we’ll do a little catching up.

One down, 29 to go. Wish me luck!