Commemorating my children’s milestones has always included taking tons of photographs. I have boxes of them in the basement waiting to be assembled in albums. When they went to college, I framed and hung their first day of school pictures in our upstairs hall. I always smile when I see their eager young faces.
To me, my children are a miracle and I am grateful. Not just because they are amazing, but because I was hospitalized with both of them.
Kelly was positioned face up and I went through horrible back labor. My body fought hard against giving birth to him. It was eighteen hours before I reached four centimeters effaced which is the golden measurement for receiving an epidural anesthetic. Once I could finally relax, I progressed quickly. When he crowned, I had nothing left, no energy at all. My doctor said I wasn’t pushing hard enough and he threatened to perform a Cesarean section. I begged him to give me another chance. I asked Danny to play the cassette tape I brought. Minutes later, Kelly was born to the sounds of Oingo Boingo. Danny filmed the birth. The mirror reflected the overhead fluorescents onto my hooha and the doctor pulled Kelly out of a heavenly white light.
Hours later, I awoke to a crazy strong heart palpitation. Doctors and nurses rushed me to the cardiac care unit thinking I’d had a heart attack. Continue reading →
I met Neville DeAngelou through blogging. He has a podcast on Blog Talk Radio called The Journey. In 2012, he read parts of my blog post about the ten little secrets to a happy marriage. I was thrilled. He has one of the most beautiful voices perfectly suited for radio. Back on April 15th, 2013, he emailed me with a request to come on his show. I responded with a nervous giggle, but never followed up with him. The very next day, I was pulled into the vortex that is breast cancer.
Flash forward one year. I’m back and living the Wild Life! Neville and I reconnected. He asked me to THREE shows for the Author’s Round Table Series. Sheesh! I had to catch my breath as my nerves set in. I agreed and chose Thursday, May 1st, to be recorded through Skype. I’d never Skyped. He wanted me to talk about my Boob Reports, secrets to a happy marriage, and give some blogging tips for a third show. *gulp*
My daughter Courtney became violently ill on Tuesday afternoon. I picked her up from her apartment and drove her to Urgent Care. She convulsed her innard skinnards so hard, she tore her esophagus. Youch!
Dr. McDreamy, (with dimples no less) prescribed anti-nausea pills and a powerful antacid. Courtney came back to the house to recover. It was great timing for me since she helped me with Skype. I planned to postpone the interview if I developed any suspicious symptoms like puking my guts out. Her stomach upset must have been caused by contaminated food or I was extremely lucky.
It’s my birthday! Last year, I looked forward to being a year older. I couldn’t understand why so many people loathe them when we all want to live a long life. That’s the goal, right? We all want to live to be 100! To get there, you have to attain all the numbers in between.
Five days after my last birthday, I had a routine mammogram. I was shocked when I learned I needed an immediate ultrasound. I thought I may not see another birthday. After recovering fully from boobectomies and reconstructive surgery, I still can’t believe I was diagnosed with cancer. I have never gotten used to saying that word.
As I hunkered down with close friends and family to heal, I reassessed. I looked honestly at my life and how I was spending my time. Now I surround myself with people who enjoy my company and support me. I’m excited about my projects and am working hard. Yep. I’ve got another one in the works. I’m sending my book to a professional editor on Monday. Whew!
I don’t feel any different about my birthday this year. I’ve always felt that life is precious. I am grateful to have so many candles on my cake and I plan to add a lot more. I am not a woman who dreads being another year older. I’ve earned it!
Last year’s birthday
There are things I can’t change such as my height, the fact that I will never be a pro tennis player or a rock star, or the fact that I had cancer. But I can be a redhead! I made an appointment and plan to get pampered on my birthday.
Last year, I wrote a list of ways to celebrate. Number 1. was getting together with family. I’m looking forward to a celebratory dinner with them once again, but afterward we’re going to DANCE!
My ordeal was more positive than negative. I’ve learned a lot about myself. With adversity, and the gift of living another year, comes clarity. I know who I am, what I’m capable of, and where I’m going. That’s my birthday gift to myself.
I hope you survived April Fools! April has arrived and another snowstorm is on the way. The joke’s on us.
The worst April Fools’ prank sprung on me was through my computer. GAH! I am very particular about apostrophes so when I noticed one of my tags from yesterday’s newsworthy post read, “April Fool’s Day,” I freaked. I had double checked before typing it. April Fools’ Day is the proper way to write it, but I had typed in April Fools Day without the apostrophe since it was a tag. After mopping the coffee from my desk, I went into edit. No matter how many times I tried, I could not get April Fool’s Day off my tags. I even cleaned out my cookies. Then I remembered that I had noticed it first on my iPad and the edit was still open. I closed it, ran upstairs and then deleted April Fool’s Day, updated it, and added April Fools Day. It still came up as April Fool’s Day. I went back to the post I wrote last year and went through the same process. I may always look like a fool on April Fools’ Day. I have a year to figure out what I’m doing wrong.
Courtney is gradually recovering from her tonsillectomy. Thanks for your well wishes and checking out her blog. Now, I have a sore throat. I think it’s psychosomatic. After noticing a zit on a person’s forehead, one will sprout on mine the very next day! If I’m so good at imagining things into reality, then why can’t I imagine myself in great shape while looking like a thirty-year-old? My imagination only seems to work for zits and sore throats.
“I’ll never turn down a ride from a handsome stranger” – Dianne Fallon – Winner of the March Caption Contest
Speaking of Using and Abusing Me, it’s never to late to add your link in the comments and click on a few. Tell them, “Susie sent me,” and they should click back to your place! There were a lot of new faces in the crowd and I know they would love to meet you.
That’s all for now. I survived April Fools’. I hope you did too!
Were you pranked at all on April Fools’ Day? (See. I know how to write it.)
The Polar Vortex has affected weather patterns and has also changed migration. Geese have been spotted on the equator while Antarctic penguins could be found walking single file along northbound highways.
After record snow this winter, Colorado ski areas are considering staying open until the 4th of July. They plan to close with a bang.
My daughter Courtney had a tonsil and adenoidectomy today. OUCH! Her outpatient surgery was accomplished with a laser in less than an hour! Her tonsils were cauterised with the burning, so she doesn’t have stitches. Recovery time will be cut in half compared to traditional surgery.
Oh yes. I know about the traditional kind. I had mine out in the 5th grade and had an overnight stay in the hospital. The priest came to my room and said a prayer before I went under the much heavier general anesthetic of the day. I awoke disoriented and in terrible pain. There were several adults in the post-operative room and they all appeared DEAD! I screamed or tried to scream. A nurse yelled, “Sit down and shut up!” This was back in the day when “shut up” was a naughty word. I begged for water, but only got a cup of ice chips. When I let them melt in my mouth before swallowing, I puked. It was horrible.
I do remember returning home where I recuperated for a couple of weeks while my mom took great care of me. I ate my weight in Popsicles. My classmates wrote get well cards. Of course there was the card I received from that special boy which looked like all the rest, but was cherished by me.
Courtney is in pain, but is very stoic about it. We’re staying on top of the “good medications,” Percocet, along with a doctor-prescribed magical lollipop. After sucking on it for 15 seconds every two hours, it has the amazing ability to numb her entire throat.
She is twenty-two years old and won’t be receiving cards from her classmates, but she has been getting all kinds of good wishes through Snapchat and Facebook. She chose to have this procedure done over spring break. In two weeks, she’ll be back to snowboarding on the weekends.
The Prize – The winner’s caption will be added to the photo and displayed on the right side of my blog until next month’s contest. The photo will be linked to your blog. Woohoo!
It’s time to vote!
If you are one of the finalists, this is a big deal! Email the link to your friends and family. Blog about it and ask your followers to vote. Post the link on Facebook and Twitter. Have fun and good luck!
The poll closes at 8:00 AM on Tuesday, April 1st!
The next Use Me and Abuse Me blog party starts this Saturday, March, 29th. Be sure to stop by with a link and click on a few. Everyone goes home with new friends. I love it when my friends meet each other!
Courtney created a new blog for a business class and needs 600 views! Help her out and click HERE 600 times…
That’s all for now. I think I heard Courtney call out for another Popsicle…
Last Saturday, Danny and I rode the chairlift with a friendly gentleman. We commented on the the fine weather and fresh snow and noticed his accent. This started a guessing game. He removed his goggles and squinted into the bright sunshine as Danny and I tried to guess his nationality. After naming 8 or 9 countries, we gave up. He said, “I’m Ukrainian.”
We continued talking after we arrived at the top. Then he wanted to guess my heritage. He asked me to take off my goggles and look at him straight on and then in profile. “Irish,” he said, “Your nose gave it away! It’s the same one they drew on Leprechaun’s in books and cartoons back in the day.”
My father always claimed he was full-blooded Irish. Then out of the blue a couple of years ago, he mentioned a Scottish great grandmother who came to live with them for a while. “What?” My mother asked with skepticism and just about fell over.
Knowing that I’m more than 75% Irish (maybe closer to 70% with this recent revelation), always put a spring in my Irish step this time of year. Another part of that spring comes from nostalgic memories.
I grew up in a creative household. My dad was one of the original Madmen and my mom was always whipping something up in the kitchen or on the sewing machine. They started a new and unique tradition. Every year, on St. Patrick’s Day Eve, the Leprechauns visited our house. They were a messy lot and would spill their chocolate filled coins all over the house while we slept. My sister and I searched high and low for the little fellas, but we never found them. Later, my brother joined in the shenanigans.
My mother would bake an apple pie while corned beef, carrots and cabbage simmered all afternoon on the stove top. The scent was heavenly. As if that weren’t enough, she baked soda bread. After my dad returned from work, we would sit down to an authentic Irish feast while traditional music played from my dad’s record player.
I continued this tradition with my own family. For my son Kelly, this is one of his favorite holidays. Every year, he makes an Irish feast for his friends. I am still working on an invitation.
So when I look in the mirror at my pug Irish nose, I smile. I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world, even for a glimpse of those elusive Leprechauns.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
To watch Danny and I dance an Irish jig – Click HERE!
For the more about my family’s fun with Leprechaun’s – Click HERE!
This Sunday, March 9th, marks the beginning of Daylight Saving Time or what I like to call, “You Ripped Off an Hour of My Precious Sleeping Time.” We lose an hour at 2:00 AM when time springs ahead to 3:00 AM. Dawn will break an hour later and the sun won’t slide behind our mountains until 7:02 PM. It will be one of those groggy days which will oddly resemble jet lag. It will creep into Monday morning with an increase in traffic accidents and heart attacks.
I love when it ends in November and I have a whole extra hour to play, but the start-up is killer. I can’t believe one little hour can mess with our heads so much.
I wonder if anyone has ever screwed with time in order to win a war. I can imagine the enemy sneaking into camp and setting all the clocks ahead by one hour. Just think of the mayhem, friendly fire, and subsequent heart attacks.
Did you know that Ben Franklin is responsible for our abrupt and jarring time change? In 1784, he spent some time in Paris and came up with an idea to save on the cost of candles. It’s always about money and sometimes about the cost of wax.
The good news:
Here in Boulder, day lengthens by 2 minutes and 37-38 seconds every 24 hours. For all of you still in the eye of the Polar Vortex, spring will arrive on Thursday, March 20th, whether Weather likes it or not. The 4th of July is less than four months away. How can that be? Time is precise and controlled. It ticks on and on, with concise rhythm and constant meter. Weather is obstinate and unpredictable. It throws tantrums without warning. It has its way, always. It doesn’t care about Time or the season. It’s an emotional monster, a willful child, and a hormonal teenager.
On Sunday morning, when you set your clocks ahead, you’ll be one hour closer to spring. The days will lengthen, temperatures will rise, and snow will melt.
But don’t mention anything to Weather. We don’t want it to become a hot mess.
These captions are hysterical. Some of them got Roxy rolling on the floor laughing. She hasn’t laughed that hard since our family jumped for joy!
My daughter Courtney and son Kelly have made their decisions and the rest is up to you. Vote on the one you like the best and it will get featured on the Wild Ride. The photo of Roxy with the winner’s caption will appear on the right side of my blog. It will be up for a couple of weeks. Cool, right?
If your caption is a finalist, go out and tell your friends and family to come here and vote. Blast it out on Twitter and Facebook. Call your grandma. Email your uncle. Write a blog post. Give the link to your book club, your coworkers, and the random person behind you in the grocery store.
You have until 8:00 AM, Tuesday, February 25th. Mountain Standard Time.
The winner will be announced next Wednesday!
Are you into pet photos on social media or have you hit the saturation point?