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Archive for November, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008…

and what I wound up being most thankful for.

When Thanksgiving comes around every year, I think we often think about all the regular things we are thankful for…our blessings…the food…our health…

and that is where things went all wonky donk this year.  Before the Longhorn even made it home this year, she had herself a scooter accident and broke her ankle. 

and suddenly, my first and foremost thank was the thank that my girl, my favorite blonde Longhorn only had a broken ankle.  I mean, seriously, when you know your favorite blonde Longhorn is on a scooter in AUSTIN…and the next thing you hear is that she was in a wreck…let’s face it…you go to the dark side.

So, when she came crutching down the hall today, well, my heart just leapt out of its cavity.  My girl, aside from the broken ankle, was fine.  I couldn’t feed that child enough food.  When she was done with the real food, I fed her some fruit salad.  and pecan pie. 

and I have never been so happy to wait on someone in my life.  Seriously.  I have people who want me to wait on them every day, but this day, this day that my Longhorn was actually injured and needed waiting on…

I was all on it.

I think that there is little worse than knowing that one of your children are hurt and far away and you can’t help them…so that when they are back in your atmosphere, you just want to smother them with food and love and blankets and water and anything they need. 

It’s been a stressful weekend for me.

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Mother Bird here, glad to report that my firstborn is officially a fledgling.  Her spot in the nest is still sort of full of stuffing and pieces of string, but we’re in the process of cleaning it up to make room in the nest for the ever present other baby birds who still frequent the nest.  Mostly, I want that nest area back so that I can let people actually come into the front room of the nest without it being full of the oldest baby bird’s flotsum. 

Since I have been sick for like, EVER, I haven’t gone to see her new nest as of yet.  I can’t wait to see it in person.  I tell her all the time I am going to come to her house and dirty up her dishes and leave them here and there…and then, just LEAVE.  muwahahaha.  Anyway, it will be fun and I will take she and her roomie a plate of brownies as a welcome out of my home present.

Now, onto other news…and news that is almost as exciting to me…nay, MORE exciting to me.  Today I got my taste and smell back.  As I said earlier, i have been sick for like EVER and with said sickness came a sudden loss of any ability to smell or taste.  Hope that my favorite senses, taste and smell, would actually return came last evening while I was doing my Thanksgiving shopping at Walmart and could smell the coffee on the aisle and the fabric softeners on the laundry aisle.  I tried not to get my hopes up too much, but then tonight, as I was making the beef stroganoff I COULD SMELL IT…and then I COULD TASTE IT.

Which means, people, I will be able to taste Thanksgiving dinner.

Hallelujah.

Now, next subject, regarding the past subject.

Do ya’ll always make the same stuff for Thanksgiving dinner? 

I ask because ours is always, ALWAYS THE SAME, and I spent a good deal of time sick on the couch watching Food Network because I couldn’t sleep in the bed because I would cough so much upon trying to sleep that i disrupted the Mr and frankly, it was just easier trying to sleep sitting up…

At any rate, I watched Rachel Ray and Paula Deen and the Barefoot Contessa and The Neelys and the almost Homemade chick, and OMG I was like OMG my Thanksgiving Dinner is SOOOOOOOOOOBORING. They were making rutabaga and celery root mash and roasted carrots and rubbing their turkeys with this herb and that herb and they pour honey and stuff over the turkey bird…and I would question my menu in the wee hours of the night while I lay there on the couch coughing my guts up.

Here is our menu, without fail:

  • Turkey, roasted, rubbed with olive oil and salted and peppered.  Period.
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Green bean casserole
  • Broccoli and Rice Casserole
  • Sweet potatoes with the obligatory marshmallows on top
  • Dressing
  • Gravy
  • Obligatory cranberry “jelly” or “sauce,” or this year i have added the option of whole cranberries
  • Deviled eggs
  • Pecan Pie
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Fruit Salad, with and without stuff.  The Longhorn comes to the kitchen and does her own.
  • Rolls, duh
  • and this year, in celebration of my taste coming back, i am making myself a big ol’ bowl of Pink Crap, which I think is called something like Cherry Pie Salad, which is chock full of cherry crap and pecans and pineapple and pecans and cream cheese and evaporated milk.  I am the only one who eats it and i eat it for breakfast for days after.  it is awful and probably awful for you but OMG so delicious.

This year we will have an added special attraction because The Teacher, who doesn’t live here anymore, will actually be bringing a dish of her choice, which is a sweet potato casserole, so that is exciting and new…

but my menu…could it be more blah blah?

But dammit, the kids love it!  so, what are you going to do?  We aren’t talking about high end chefs here looking for their palates to be challenged. 

what i am dealing with are children who have been off to college who are STARVED FOR REAL FOOD and food that is comforting and Thanksgiving-y.  And the Boy absolutely loves the whole holiday table and the sitting with all of his sisters and his mom and dad and the family prayer and just the whole thing of it. 

so, once again, this year, i will prepare all the family favorites and pass on the rutabaga and celery root mash and roasted carrots and barbecue gravy and the apple cranberry dressing. 

And while i won’t make the pages of Bon Apetite, the kids will be stuffed and happy, as will I.

and, another upside is that this year mama has a dishwasher.  WOOT.

So, boring menu or not, I’m excited to have all the kids here to feed. 

Pass the boring turkey and broccoli and rice casserole.

Happy Thanksgiving, ya’ll

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First, the back story…and there always is one.

When I was growing up in GR, I was the only child of an older, single mother…an older, single, very overprotective mother.  I was her entire world, and other than the kids she babysat, i was her company…her confidante…and her highest priority in life.

That said, she held the reins way tight for just as long as she could.  I didn’t really get to go do much as a kid.  And when I did get to go to sleepovers, she always reminded me on my way out the door that I’d still have to do my chores, etc. the next day so don’t come home thinking you can sleep all day because you didn’t sleep tonight.

Which basically meant that I always hit that door running…and never really looked back. 

I was the kid at church camp that never got homesick because I was just alwasy so thrilled to be out of the house.

Okay, so that’s the back story.  Let’s hit the fast forward button when I had kids.

When I had my girls, it was one of my first and foremost priorities to let them have fun…let them be kids…let them go to sleepovers and have sleepovers and be loud and dance and sing and watch movies all night and eat popcorn and pizza and drink soda…

and be kids.

And i think they have good memories of all that when they were little girls.

So, when they got older, in their teens, and went to parties and sleepovers and what not, and we had curfews to deal with, the only criteria was that parents had to be there and they had to call me from a land line so I knew they were okay and where they were supposed to be.  I always tried to let them go and have fun and be kids and while they knew i trusted them to do what they were supposed to do, they also knew that I had the capability of making sure they were.

I’ll never forget the evening that I let the Teacher go to the coffee house with her friend, Alicia.  My friend, Jackie, was here and she was very vocal about how she would never let her daughter, the same age as the Teacher was at the time (16) go to the coffee house.  I remember saying that I thought it was important to let them have some independence and have fun as long as they never gave your reason not to.

I gave the Longhorn the same freedom. 

Neither the Teacher, nor the Longhorn, ever gave me reason to doubt them…so, I continued to allow them to have fun.

And, i am here to say that neither of them ever once were ever late for curfew and they never felt it necessary to lie or sneak around.

So, today, the Senior, who is always going to be my baby girl, went to see Twilight with her friends after school.  At 6:30 or so, she called to tell me how awesome the movie was and to ask if she could hang out with her friends for a while.

And i have to say that my immediate reaction in my brain was like hang out til when, like 8???

But then i had to check myself and remind myself that ‘my baby girl’ is a Senior in high school and will be going off to college in the fall…well, next fall.  So, i swallowed hard…

and told her to be home by 12 and to have fun and to check in occasionally to let me know where they were, which she did…

and she was home by 10:30.

So, i’m not scientist, but I’m thinking my parenting philosophy has worked in the past and is still working. 

This is what i’m going to tell you guys who have young ones…be careful…be smart…be trusting of your children unless they give you reason not to…and watch them respect you and respect your rules…

and you will have kids who will not be starving to get OUT…to struggle for the ability to breathe…and to exert their independence. 

Just let them get out, let them breathe, and let them be independent and responsible and i think you will find that they might do all that happily…and maybe you will get to have your Senior come home and tell you all the silliness that she and her friends did…play on the playground…ding dong ditch Luke…flirt with the Ag boys in the Kroger parking lot…and get hot chocolate from HEB. 

I really, really wish that mother had given me a little more freedom.  I really wish she hadn’t made me fight for every bit of independence.

Yet, I appreciate the fact that I took my growing up experiences and applied them to my own daughters so they never felt so strangled at home to make stupid decisions.

It makes me happy.

Really happy.

and I really hope that when the Boy gets older, i will afford him the same opportunities to go and live and be a kid and have fun, so that he will be as smart and responsible and trustworthy as his sisters were before him.

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Taste Watch 2008

still…nothing.  No taste.  No smell. 

Yet, still hungry. 

Yes, I am, apparently, the one human being on the planet that doesn’t lose their appetite if they can’t smell or taste anything. 

Which is why, I guess, that in my history I have never, EVER lost weight during any illness I have ever had EVER. 

Yes, I am the one human being on the planet that still manages to be hungry and want to eat even though I can’t smell or taste one damn thing.  Which sort of made me giggle in the drive-thru at KFC today, while I was ordering the Big Box for lunch and they asked me what i wanted to drink…and I actually pondered for a bit. 

Lemonade?  Pepsi?

Hell, just give me a sweet tea.

Though, when I tool a big swig out of the tasty drink…

I GOT NOTHING

They could have put gutter water on ice and I wouldn’t know the difference.

And let me tell you, as someone who adores the abilty to SMELL and TASTE…this is DRIVING ME CRAZY.

I mean, historically, I smell EVERYTHING.  Even stuff that is nasty. 

That dishrag in the sink that looks sort of iffy? 

I smell it and think OH GROOOOOSSSSS

But not now.  Since I CAN’T SMELL. 

STILL

I am seriously beginning to wonder if it will ever come back…

I mean, for real, people, think for a moment about how your life would be if you couldn’t smell…or taste.

You like the way your husband smells when he gets out of the shower?

You like what your coconut shampoo smells in the shower?

You like how your kitchen smells when you are making spaghetti?

Well, borrow a page from my (temporary) book

and realize just how insane it makes you not to be able to smell those things.

gah, i just want to taste something.

they weren’t lying to you in science class when they told you that smell is directly related to taste

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For my whole entire life, smell has been very important to me.  My earliest early smelly memory is the blankie that I slept with back when I still sucked my thumb.  To be sure, it wasn’t just the smell of the blankie, but also the silky lining of the blankie that imprinted on my young mind.  But from then on, all of my most potent childhood memories seem to revolve around my sniffer.  

When I was 8 and walked home from Glen Rose Elementary School for lunch, when I walked into my house, i was always greeted by the most glorious aromas.  My mom always made the most glorious food (and she is in heaven right now doing cartwheels because someone is still down here talking about how glorious her food was).  While other kids ponied up to the hot lunch at school that amounted to hamburgers or pizza or fish sticks, I got to walk down the block and be greeted at my doorstep by the aroma of chicken and dumplings or fried chicken or pot roast or sweet and sour chicken.

And on extra special days, when the humidity was just right, mom baked bread…and let me tell you that there is nothing more welcoming than those aroma fingers (remember the old cartoons?) that waft you inside to the goodies when your mom is baking bread.  It really is just like in cartoons…

Now, at the time, I sort of wished I could just sit and have hot lunch with the rest of the kids, because, well, I was 8 and i just wanted to be like everyone else.  It took me a long time to appreciate those lunches of my childhood. 

But, as I got older, i realized what a treat that was…that opportunity to go home for lunch and eat food that your mom fixed for you. 

Kids now don’t get that choice…there is no more walking home for lunch, even though the Boy could very easily come home for lunch.  The thing is, is this, if he did come home for lunch, he’d get a grilled cheese or Ravioli…decidedly NOT the scrumptious lunches of my childhood.

Point of the story?

SMELL IS VERY IMPORTANT TO ME.

Which makes the fact that I have not smelled or tasted anything since the onset of this dreaded disease I have had for two weeks now.  The last thing I remember actually tasting was the horrid stadium nachos nearly two weeks ago when I was at the Senior’s Senior Band night.

How tragic would it be that the taste of stadium nachos was your last taste?

And I’m really, at this point, beginning to wonder if with all this coughing and what not over these past few weeks that maybe i’ve blown a brain bleed or something so that my olfactory system is KAPUT.

and I’m not even kidding.  I am getting concerned.

My nose is not even stopped up anymore.  I can breathe with the best of them. 

Yet, i can’t smell shit.

Literally.

The hall bathroom, which houses the litter box, smells like NOTHING.

Our plumbing is jacked up and I just helped Rob do the whole rotorooter thing and smelled…

NOTHING.

And while you might not appreciate your sense of smell as much as i do, you have GOT to appreciate how bizarre it is to do the litter box without smelling ANYTHING.

The weirdest thing, for me, has been that i can sense spicy and sweet and salty, yet, I can’t TASTE THE FLAVOR OF ANYTHING.

AND I AM HERE TO TELL YOU THAT IT IS MAKING ME CRAZY.

Suck a Hall’s mentholyptus lozenge?  Taste it?  NO.

Make your world famous spaghetti..the same spaghetti your mother made for you?  Smell it?  NO.

Eat garlic pickles?  Taste them?  NO.

Salsa?  Taste it?  NO.

Peppermints?  NO.

My beloved morning coffee?  NO.

I can NOT smell or taste ANYTHING.

AND OMG. Thanksgiving.  I cannot imagine for a second sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner without the ability to SMELLLLLLLLLLLLL IT.

So, come Monday, i’m here to say that if i still can’t smell or taste, my butt is going to be in the doctor’s office (that made me sick to begin with) and i will be demanding a CT scan of my brain to find out why I CAN’T SMELL OR TASTE EVEN THOUGH MY HEAD IS CLEAR.

OMG.  I can’t imagine a life without smell….

acck.  send me smelly vibes, please

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Do y’all remember the movie Outbreak?  If I remember correctly, it all started with a monkey that was infected with a horrible malady.  I remember this scene in a movie theater where one of the patrons sneezed and GERMS spewed forth into the whole movie theater…thus advancing the epidemic.

When this little disease I have came on, I was quite sure it was allergies…or just a regular little cold.  I certainly didn’t think it was anything contagious, or I certainly would not have gone to my hair appointment on Friday and spread the germs to Kim, my most favoritist hairdresser EVER.  I mean, she has a BABY for crissake and I would never compromise the baby’s health…or Kim’s.

Little did I know that whatever that annoying hack was was going to morph into THIS…and by ‘THIS,’ I mean a cough that absolutely tears me in two…and head congestion that makes it impossible to smell or taste or enjoy food…and YET, I still EAT FOOD, which is why I never lose weight when I’m sick.  Rather than saying eh, I can’t taste anything, I say TASTE QUEST…I’m going to try EVERY DAMN THING UNTIL I CAN TASTE DAMMIT.

At any rate, I certainly didn’t think back last Friday that i was actually SICK.

The actual SICK came on Sunday. 

And is still hanging around.  In fact, now I can’t hear out of my right ear, which is driving me absolutely up the dadgum wall.

I can deal with the cough.  I can deal with the head congestion.  I can deal with snot.  I can deal with the body aches from coughing my lungs up…

But I cannot deal with having an ear completely clogged up…

So, who knew that what would finally get me into the doctor’s office would be a “clogged ear.”

Unfortunately, what i know will also happen is the fact that they are finally going to properly diagnose me with high blood pressure…

and really, that’s not unfortunate, as it really needs to be addressed, even though I have really tried to pawn off every past high BP reading to anxiety or pain…while, I have always known that I really do have high blood pressure.

I’m 44.  I know my body.  I know that my ear is clogged.  I know that I am coughing up my guts. 

But what I know most is that changes are going to have to come that i am not ready for.

But if they can make my ear unplug, that will be a plus.

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As we were scanning TV channels, after we’d watched our usual Friday night Ghost Whisperer and The Price is Right Military edition, it came down to Numbers or 20/20.  We don’t watch Numbers, so that wasn’t really an option.

So, we watched 20/20 and the Pregnant Man.  And while I won’t go on about the logistics of the gestation of the Pregnant Man’s baby, i will say this…

These people, this couple who clearly have loved each other for a long time, wanted to have a baby and did, the best way they knew how.  And my overwhelming feeling was who am I to feel uncomfortable about that…or judgemental.

To me, all I see is a couple who love each other and want to have a baby…WHO, by the way, is the most delicious little bundle of LOVE EVER.  AND, i was fascinated by the fact that the mom, who was unable to have a baby because of a previous hysterectomy, went into full-on lactating mommy mode and is able to breast feed the wee babe.  HOW COOL IS THAT?

It’s like this…to me, however different this situation is and however inflammatory people find it, if you have gay or lesbian friends who you love, and who have had babies…how can you hold this couple in a different light and be all GROSSSSSSS A PREGNANT MAN…IS IT A MAN EVEN?!?!?

Nah.  all that isn’t for me.  for me, in my mid-40’s calm, I prefer to be happy for that family.  And it is a family.  You can’t have watched the 20/20 and not saw the same family I did. 

Is it a different family? 

Sure.

But is it a family that doesn’t deserve to be recognized? 

Nope.

I have got to say that I love this time in my life.  I embrace so much this tolerance and appreciation I have acquired as i have gotten older.  I have learned from previous mistakes I’ve made when people I have loved have come out to me and I acted like an idiot, way back when in my 20’s.  I can only apologize again for that close-minded girl I was back then.

Anyway, as it turns out, The Pregnant Man is PREGNANT AGAIN because they want precious Susan to have a sibling.

and when they made the announcement and Barbara was speechless, as the happy couple smiled, all I could do was smile and say YAY for y’all.  and, dammit, kudos to Thomas for wanting to go through all that again so soon after the last time.  If I’d gotten pregnant when I had a 3-month-old, I would have been…

not smiling.

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