Friday, February 22, 2013

Facebook is good for something.

I have a number of teenage friends on Facebook, in part because of my husband's job as youth pastor (I love my youth group kids), and in part because I have friends who are now old enough to have teenagers themselves.  (Why, yes, I do feel old.  Thanks.)

I saw this tonight in my newsfeed, posted by the eldest daughter of my friend DocAwk:

Now, the green is her boyfriend.  The purple is me (I prescribed Oreos and hugs last night).  It wasn't until a few minutes ago that I saw the blue comment...her dad.

This, my friends...THIS is a good dad.

I hope Hubby will have this kind of relationship with our girls in another ten years, when they reach this young lady's age.

Doc, I am honored to call you my friend.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tastes Like Chicken

I truly wish I knew how the subject came up at dinner tonight.  I honestly can't remember.

Innyhoo, Medium Fry asked about Pa'ani (otherwise referred to as The Weasel) came to live with us.

"In a bucket of chicken," Hubby said, completely deadpan...and almost completely serious.

"Did he eat da chicken?" Medium wanted to know.

"No," I said.  "He was just in a chicken bucket when he came to our house."

Which was 100% true.

It was mid-July in 2004, my best friend JJ had had her first baby in April of that year, and we were trying—with a spectacular lack of success—to get pregnant.  (And, somehow knowing this is about him, Weasel just came up and curled up next to me on the couch.)  A few days before, I once again knew for sure that I hadn't gotten pregnant.  Again.  We'd been trying for a year and a half with no luck.  I was heartbroken.

Our second-oldest nephew, K2 the Snoring Wonderboy, was visiting for the weekend, and he'd gone with Hubby out to Mville that Friday night, where Hubby had practice for the Southern Gospel quartet he'd been singing with.  So it was just me at home.  And it might have been Saturday.  Whichever.

And, no, I didn't tell the kids the story in this much detail.  Don't you feel spaishull?

Mville, by the way, is the middle of nowhere.  About an hour outside the nearest large city, it's a lot of farmland.  Home to a major grass seed and lawn care company, that's pretty much its claim to fame.  And more farmland.  Farmland means farm cats.  And at Hubby's friend SuperVoice's dad's house (the man could record demos of himself as a quartet and sing all four men's parts), where the guys often worked on their bus, there was nothing for miles around but fields.  It was summer, so the kittens were blooming right along with the flowers.

There was a little orange tabby boy kitten running around there.  We didn't have an orange tabby.  We only had one boy kitty.  Yes, we had enough kitties.  Yes, all of ours were older, fat, and lazy.  No, none of them would welcome a kitten.  I still wanted this little guy, though.

But I refused to beg.  Hubby had said no, and no matter how much my heart wanted to take home even just this one kitten (I would have taken them all if he'd let me), I was going to abide by it even if it hurt.  Badly.

Hubby also knew how badly I was hurting over the fact that we, once again, were not pregnant.

When he and K2 returned that night, I was downstairs in the basement doing laundry.  K2 lumbered down the steps, with Hubby following him, holding a KFC bucket.

I kid you not.

K2 shoved the bucket at me.  "Here.  Tastes like chicken."

Weasel and Twinkles
In the bucket was that little orange tabby farm kitten.  There were tears and squeals (from me) and hissing from most of the felines already in residence, and temper tantrums from Koa, who felt that he disrupted her plot to overthrow the free world.  The little dude had something of a deathwish; he would want a playmate, so he'd scamper up to Popoki (who handled his arrival best), bop her in the nose with his paw, and skitter away, waiting for her to give chase.  Most of the time, Po ignored him.  If he got too persistent, she'd whomp him on the head, and he'd go find someone else to bother.  And when none of the other cats would play with him, Pa'ani would make friends with the stuffed kitties in the house...and play with them.

That part of the story sent the Fries into giggles.

"How did Popoki come?" Medium wanted to know next.

I explained how we'd heard of a family who needed homes for their litter of kittens, and there were four: two brown, one orange tabby, and Po.  Then Medium asked what our other kitties thought.  I explained that Po was our only kitty at that time.

"How did Ke-Ke come?" Medium wanted to know next.

So I told that story: neighbors in our apartment complex had a mommy kitty, a daddy kitty, and now a litter of five kittens.  And when we went to see them, Keiki hurled herself at the armchair Hubby was standing by, clawed her way up to the seat cushion, traipsed to the back of the chair, pulled her way up that, then launched herself at Hubby and climbed up his clothes, all the way to his shoulder...where she curled up, exhausted, and took a nap.  (Ke was the runt of her litter, and would fit easily in my hand at 4.5 weeks old then.)

We went through the others, too: how we'd fostered the mama cat and litter of six kittens that Koa and Minou came from, and I'd watched Minou be born; how we'd gotten Mika at a farm, too, to help ease my hurt after Papa C (Hubby's dad) passed away.

When we got home, I went looking for the box of old pictures that I have.  I can't find some of the earliest shots of Pa'ani, including the staged one I took of him in his chicken bucket, but I found some of them.  And I found pictures of Koa and Minou's litter when they were babies.

I think the Fries will love seeing them tomorrow night.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Best Friends

I've been meaning to write this post for about two weeks now.

As I've been recuperating, I've made sure to surround myself with my closest friends.  Friends cheer you up and send you chocolate (or, like Springrayn, they send you silly T-shirts with sitcom catch-phrases on them and then kitty slippers from another sitcom) and cards and generally remind you that they're still going to love you even though you're grouchy, hopped up on pain meds, and don't move much because all you want to do is sleep.  They pick stuff up for you when you can't bend over to get it yourself.  They bring you meals.

The big flaw in my slaw has been that my best friend JJ lives six hours away.  She's been recovering from surgery too; hers was on her thyroid.  It would have been nice if we could've hung out while we were both stuck at home recuperating!  Her surgery made it difficult for her to talk for very long, so while we talked several times a week, we tried not to talk for long, since I didn't want to stress her throat.  If we'd lived in the same general area, we could have gotten together.  I know I could have talked enough for both of us.  I've done it before.  We read through a series of seven books together, me reading out loud to her.  (You might remember that JJ is blind.)

But that brings me around to my other best friends...the ones that live quietly in my home, on my shelves, just waiting for me to pick them back up.

My favorite books.

When I went to the hospital, I tucked three of my favorite books into the bag I was bringing.  These were books I'd read many times over (something my dad still doesn't get), and opening them up to read again was like visiting friends among the pages.  One of the books was the one my husband refers to as my favorite "feel better" book—the book I pull out when I'm really worried or concerned.  He says he always knows I'm feeling scared or just off if I bring that book out.  The night before the surgery, I brought up the books in my favorite historical romance series.  (Hubby just gave me an indulgent, humoring smile when I explained the piles of books on the bed as wanting my "friends" nearby.  At least he understands me.)


I didn't feel like doing much for the first week that I was home from the hospital.  I took over Hubby's big oversized, chair-and-a-half in the living room as my recuperation spot.  I had my tablet and my phone if I felt the need to email.  I had the TV.  I had my books.

I had been reading The Guardian in the hospital, and continued rereading it after I got home.  Second in Dee Henderson's famed O'Malley Series, it's one of my favorites.  The action starts fast and the suspense rarely lets up.  Within the first 50 pages, there's a murder (a federal judge), a search for the shooter (who remains at large), and a very angry mob boss.

I turned the page to where the angry mobster makes his first appearance in the story as an actual character, not simply a referenced person.

And I jumped back in time, in my own memories, to sitting in JJ's loft den, taking a sip of Dr Pepper before reading on.
"You killed a federal judge!  Just like that...poof! I will kill a federal judge!"
I remembered the intensity I injected into the words as I read them aloud.  It wasn't often, in the books JJ and I had read together, that there was this kind of invective speech. The mob boss was livid, and it was fun to shout out his lines of dialogue as he railed at the shooter.

In that moment, although I sat alone in the living room, it was almost as if I was sitting with JJ again.  I whispered the words aloud in a fiery hiss, and giggled.

Even though we were hundreds of miles apart, my dearest friend had never been closer to my heart than in that moment.

The F Word

Scene: Our kitchen, this morning, as the kids are putting on coats and shoes and getting ready to walk over to school.

Medium Fry: Lawrge, dat's not nice.  You shouldn't say da "F" wowrd.

Hubby, who had been merely waiting for the Fries to be ready, perked up at Medium's somewhat hushed words.

Hubby: What?

Medium: Lawrge said da "F" wowrd!

Large: Did not!

Hubby: What is it?

Medium: Lawrge said da "F" wowrd!

Large [looking somewhat guilty]: Did not!

Hubby: What is it?

Medium: Not a'posed to say it.

Hubby: You need to tell me what it is.

Medium [softly]: Fat.

Friday, February 8, 2013


Hubby left for Winter Slam with his big kids about an hour ago. We dropped him off at the church, and after Medium hugged him goodbye, he said to me, "She's gonna lose that either tonight or tomorrow, you know. She had it turned sideways ealier...and it stayed that way." I nodded, because she'd shown me earlier, and I wished I'd gotten a picture of it. And I was really hoping I wan't going to have to do any pulling.

Well, Hubby was right.

Medium came into the kitchen as I was fixing my dinner. "Mommy, my tooth fell out!"

Sure did. At least she didn't swallow it this time.

Bonus: the pizza pulled it for me!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

YAAAAAAAAAAY!!! *Kermit wave*

I saw my oncologist today for my first post-op checkup.

I sat and waited in the waiting room for probably about 20 minutes—they were busy today—listening to the piped-in easy listening pop hits, and once again amused by the reality that my doctor's office is in a repurposed old mansion.

Very classy.

And very top-forty 40s hits were playing in the exam room, which fit more with the aura of polished gentility that this place possesses.  I suppose, if you're going in for chemo treatments, having them done in the cozy comfort of a mansion would make them slightly more tolerable.

I read a few more pages in my book and then the MA came in to explain that Dr. W. would be in soon to check my incision sites and go over the final pathology report.

I read a bit more and tried not to fidget.

Dr. W. walked in about five minutes later.  And the sweetest words I've heard since this particular adventure began were the first ones to come out of his mouth:

"No cancer."

None.  No little demon cells lurking to ruin my life and health.  Just angry ones that would have blistered into demons had we not cut off their life support.

We high-fived.

And I started texting people as soon as I left the building.

And I stopped at the store on the way home, because this...THIS was something worth celebrating.

I bought an ice cream cake for dessert tonight.

It was yummy.

No cancer.

Still sweeter than ice cream cake.

I'll probably be high on that news for a week!

My Nursemaid

Saturday, February 2, 2013


"You're not watching, Mommy!"

"I'm watching." I set my tablet down and looked at Small Fry.

"Watch this, dude!"

Wait, what?

"Did you just call me 'dude'?"

Small grined impishly. "Yes...dude."

Why, yes, we just finished watching "Finding Nemo." Why do you ask?

Vignettes From The Evening

Hubby and Large Fry are semi-cuddled on the couch, feet towards each other so they can share a blanket.

Hubby: [*pthbbhthbt*] Excuse you!

Large Fry: Daddy! Ew! That wasn't me. That was you!

Hubby: Are you sure? I think it was you.

Large: Daddy! No! Was not!

Hubby: Was too!

Large: Was not!

Hubby: Was too!

Another minute or so goes by.

Hubby: [*phbbtbthbbbpt*] Excuse you!

Large: DADDY!! EW!! That was YOU!

Hubby: Was not.

Large: Was too!

A few minutes later...

Large: [*poot poot*] Excuse you!

Hubby [chuckling]: Very good!


Hubby: Okay, who wants to go get Daddy a soda?

Small Fry: Me!

She dashes out of the room, only to return a few minutes later, hands tucked behind her back.

Small: Daddy, dewre was no more soda. It's all gone. Dewre's none left!

Hubby [suitably aghast]: There's no more? Oh, no!

Small [pulling soda bottle out from behind her back]: I was just kidding!


Hubby [shouting up from kitchen]: Honey, do you need a soda?

Me: Yes!

Small appears in the living room, hands tucked behind her and a suspiciously impish grin on her face.

Small: Mommy, I don't have a soda for you.

Me: Oh?

Small [pulls bottle out and hands it to me]: I was just joking!


Small is in the den. She bends over and puts her hands on the floor, kind of aiming her heinie in Hubby's general direction.

Small: Stinky is coming! [pause] [*POOT*] There it is!

Hubby is rather shocked and trying not to laugh.

Small straightens up and gives him a goobery grin and giggles.


Small: Hey, Mama, how's youwr belly feelin'?


Hubby is tucking the twin Fries in bed. They've already done the usual bedtime prayer.

Hubby: Okay, who's going to pray for good dreams?

Medium Fry: Not me!

Small: I will! Deawr God, please help Medium an' Lawrge an' me to haff good dwreams, an' bless Mama's belly so it feels bettewr soon! Amen!

Medium: No fair! I wanted to pwray fowr Mama's belly! we have to break up that prayer so that each of them can take half.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Nurse on duty.

Mika is very insistent on keeping an eye--or, rather, a paw--on me.