Thursday, December 24, 2009
I'm doing screwy things more and more. In polite society, this could be considered "eccentric". In the medical field, it's considered problematic. In my head, it's frighteningly scary.
I have a pretty glass vase filled with gaily colored little gem stones. Thousands of gaily colored little gem stones. I use this vase to stick my lip liner and other cosmetics in that are pencil shaped. The other morning, I discovered my toothbrush there. As if that wasn't bad enough, I blamed Peter. If you know Peter remotely, he didn't even bother to defend himself. He just looked at me out of the tops of his eyes and continued what he was doing. 'Nuff said.
I repeatedly call my dog by my grandson's name. Nice.
I have to help my brother drive from Ohio to California in January. Ohio. To. California. I hope he can read the map. And I certainly hope he doesn't expect me to FOLD it.
Merry Christmas Eve my friends.
I wish you a joyous holiday full of family and friends who love you for who you are and nothing more or less...cause that's the best there is!
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
I made up a game called "Tickle Spider". It's about what you imagine. My hands are tickle spiders. I run and chase the boy, but only just behind him, and then throw him on the couch (after several close calls) and then tickle him gently on the neck and sides...and sometimes on the piggies.
Everyday when I'm there, he will spontaneously look at me and say, "*Gasp*, chase me tickle spider!" Who could possibly refuse? Now, with the recent diagnosis of his asthma, as well as his over-the-top excitability, we have to stop playing when I can hear him wheezing. THAT'S when the game settles down and it's quiet time. He just gets soooooooooooo into it.
Today, after we played awhile, he ran into the kitchen and told his mom, "Mama, Moo Moo scares me!"
Without hesitating a moment (which is her gift), and keeping a perfectly straight face (another gift), Ms. Em says to her son, "Really Clark? Because she's short and weighs about 90 pounds. She's also old. Soon you'll be able to kick her out of your way with one leg. Now go play with Moo."
And how was YOUR day?....
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
I just want to say to the person who put chocolate, gummy bears and cinnamon together....thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
And I want to ask you this: What possessed you to do it? Have you no moral compass? Did you not consider the ramifications of your actions? Did you not consider the weak wills and lack of resolve that your product would encounter? Well?
I hope you can sleep with yourself...because I know for a fact that I, for one, will be sleeping with your product...night after night after night, until it is gone...thanks chocolate-covered-cinnamon-gummy-bear-inventor. Thanks a lot.
Monday, December 21, 2009
So naturally, I've been putting my three words together. I've never been good at stuff like this. And when I do finally settle on the words, or answer to the quiz, or whatever, I'll revisit it and think, "Doh! I could have said this, or that, or the other" and I feel bad, or stupid, or inadequate, and just DARN THIS RUMINATIVE NATURE!!!!!!
Anyway, three words, three words, three words....aarrggghhhhhh.....yeesh, this is difficult....do I go with profound? funny? wise? pithy? sarcastic? cute? What if I'm misunderstood? I don't always speak my "voice". I am very often misunderstood. And anyway, who is so one-dimensional that three words can sum up an entire existence? Twitter-why do you mess with my life like that?
You want three words? I'll give you three words...here are three words that sums it up for me!
EM: I like the balloon idea. Lots of balloons with weights.
EM'S MOM: Cool! Yea! Fill the room with tons of balloons. Use different coins with different weights, like quarters, nickles, dimes, cause they all have different weights and the balloons would all be hanging at different levels. That would look so cool!
EM: Well, we could attach different sized weights to the bottom of the ribbons and that would do it too.
EM'S MOM: Oh! You want to attach ribbons? That would be pretty!
EM: What did you THINK we were going to do with the balloon?
EM' MOM: I was seeing orbs. You know, big silver orbs just kind of hovering.
EM: ORBS? Christmas orbs? That's right Mom. Everyone thinks of orbs when they think of Christmas. *looks around* Is everyone signed on for the big Christmas orb event?
MOM: Oh *laughing*. So, you want a Christmas that appears less drug-induced?
EM: Yea Mom. Magic, but without the drugs.
Our consensus was, "we want them to fart glitter, not poo their pants"...and that summed it up.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
At around 4:00 in the morning (if memory serves me correctly), I woke him up and told him to take me to the hospital because it was time. His hangover was still hanging....over..... But we got down there and around 7:00 a.m., Mr. Bubby arrived, at 10 1/2 pounds, gorgeous as all get out...fair, blond, and blue-eyed....just like two of my grandsons are today. He was a sight to behold. The first and only grandson...wow....
So...since I probably wont post this tomorrow....Happy Birthday my firstborn son....happy 29th birthday. I love you so much. Your dad's feet didn't hit the ground for days. The doctor laughed the entire time I was in the hospital because of your dad's reaction. I was so happy to have my boy...and your sisters! Yeesh....they adored you....and they still do....
As we've said for years, the party doesn't happen until Bub walks in the door...
Don't get started on the memories: the bravery when protecting your little bro, "our" song on the radio when you were little (which can still make me misty), "not only are your ORIGINAL eyes gone", brekken, the IQ points, the arguments, the love, the compassion and the charity.
Don't get me started.
Friday, December 18, 2009
1. WRAPPING PAPER OR GIFT BAG? Anyone who knows me and my super left-handedness will BEG me to use a gift bag...although I love a prettily wrapped gift. My sister used to do it professionally as I was growing up and they are still works of art. She is gifted....I'm...not. She received all of the creative, artsy, genes...plus all of the beautiful Irish genes...I just got what was left over...
2. REAL OR FAKE TREE: Again, I don't care...my environmental self argues with my traditional self, so I typically go with the fake. My Jewish dad was so tolerant of this tradition...we grew up in a Catholic neighborhood so he did a bang up job of showering up with Christmas, including the tree. We always had the biggest, gaudiest tree on the block. A couple of years we even had that big, silver tree in our picture window with the rotating green, red, and blue lights that caused the tree to change colors? Remember those? I think department stores used them a lot...It was very "George Jetson-y"
3. WHEN DO YOU PUT UP THE TREE: As I recall, I think the tree went up a week or so before Christmas. It just made the kids so dang hyper....yeesh....all those little yappers going off at the same time....of course, now I look back and it sounds like music....we would decorate it and have fun, but when the kids woke up on Christmas morning, it was covered with candy canes and many years, there were balloons strewn about and glitter where Santa walked. This often hid the fact that the gifts were lean...just the fact that there was more "visual" stuff happening was satisfying to them...so much fun....
4. WHEN DO YOU TAKE THE TREE DOWN: Now? I take it down on the 26th..bah! humbug!. For real, I'll yank that sucker down the next day if I can. When Peter and I first got married, I did exactly what my father did and it blew Peter's mind. He came home from work and there was our real Christmas tree, out on the curb, complete with the lights still on it, waiting to be picked up. Frugal Peter went nuts. He came in dragging the tree AND the lights saying, "Did you know this was in the gutter!?" I replied, "Of course I knew it was there! I dragged it there. Why would you bring it back in here?" He couldn't believe it. I explained that the lights are a dime a dozen and why store them and mess with them when they're just a pain in the neck? Get rid of 'em! I think he got light headed on that one.
5. DO YOU LIKE EGGNOG: yes...oh yes....
6. FAVORITE GIFT RECEIVED AS A CHILD: Let me tell you about Christmas at the Katz house. It was sheer magic. Crazy, sheer magic. I wish it for all children. Some years, the gifts came from the far wall to the middle of the room, if you can possibly imagine such a sight greeting two little kids and a big sister (who was in on it)....just magic....One year in particular I asked for a doll called a "Shrinking Violet". Looking back she was just a big doll with a flat butt that could sit on a shelf. Not so special...but I loved her because I "saved" her all the time. I would design these elaborate IV systems with needles and threads. She always had leukemia and I would stick needles in her arms and legs and save her life every day. I was a sheroe. How come no one ever thought that was weird?
7. DO YOU HAVE A NATIVITY SCENE: I have a one piece carved olive-wood scene of Mary and Joseph with Mary holding the baby Jesus. That's all...but I keep it out all year. However, it's packed from the move.
8. HARDEST PERSON TO BUY FOR: Peter.
9. WORST CHRISTMAS GIFT YOU EVER GOT: Hmmmmm....odd....I don't believe I've ever received a really bad gift...I'm really trying to remember office parties, etc and I can't think of one...I'll keep trying...
10. EASIEST PERSON TO BUY FOR: Mom. Gift certificate to Steinmart OR a restaurant that she loves...or something really sparkly....
11. MAIL OR EMAIL CHRISTMAS CARDS: Mail. I love snail mail.
12.FAVORITE CHRISTMAS MOVIE: A Christmas Story....I howl every time I see it.
13. WHEN DO YOU START SHOPPING FOR CHRISTMAS: I see things all year long that make me think of people I care about...all. year. long.
14. HAVE YOU EVER RECYCLED A CHRISTMAS PRESENT: Like regifted? Or actually used and then gave it as a present?
15. FAVORITE THING TO EAT AT CHRISTMAS: I do enjoy eggnog. I love Christmas cookies. I enjoy the love that goes into Christmas cooking in general....and there is a lot of enthusiasm and love that goes into it, don't you think?
16. COLORED OR CLEAR LIGHTS ON THE TREE: Don't care, just lots and lots of lights. lots. many. thousands.
17. TRAVEL AT CHRISTMAS OR STAY HOME: Well...this year I'll be traveling ON Christmas. Flying to C-bus all day and spend my momma's 90th with her.
18. CAN YOU NAME ALL OF SANTA'S REINDEER: No. And I will confess something here. I thought reindeer were fictional animals until I was in my 30s...yea....
19.ANGEL ON THE TREE TOP, OR A STAR: It just doesn't matter.
20. OPEN THE PRESENTS CHRISTMAS EVE OR MORNING: We always opened one on Christmas eve and then the rest on Christmas day. So....whatever works....
21. MOST ANNOYING THING ABOUT THIS TIME OF YEAR: People who refuse to go with the flow and remember the reason for the season. If everyone is being nice...please be nice....
22. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT CHRISTMAS: I like the memories and I like watching my kids make new memories and new traditions with their families. I like sitting back and taking it all in as the generations transition. It's a nice place to be. :)
23. HOT CHOCOLATE OR CIDER: Both, but in separate cups....
24. WHAT DO YOU WANT FOR CHRISTMAS: Really? Wow. Well, my daughter survived a hideous automotive accident and it turns out she was pregnant...so we're expecting another beautiful baby next summer, my son made it through his medical challenges this year, my twin grandbabies reached their first year without major incident and in fact, have thrived (thriven?), my stepson is on his way to serving his mission in 2010, my husband is working, looks like Mom is hitting her 90th on January 4th and I'll be there for that, we all survived a lot of loss and we're still standing...I think I'm good.
25.(I made this last) FAVORITE CHRISTMAS SONG: Oh...don't get me started on Christmas songs....they were my "church" growing up....I learned about Christ through Christmas carols....after I was baptized (in August!!!) I was filled with the Spirit, but I didn't know any hymns, so I would rock my babies on my lap, sweating profusely, and sing carols, because they were the only religious songs I knew and I wanted to express my faith somehow...my poor neighbors...but to answer the question...hmmm...there were a couple. I loved Little Drummer Boy when I was little because it made me feel like I was good enough, if that makes sense. And if anyone knows me, they know I like to rock...and I've "rocked" all my life...yea, I was one of "those" kids...and in the winter time, at Christmas, when the snow was deep, I would sit at the base of one of our big picture windows after dark, when it was cold, and I would hear "Silent Night" in my head...and I would imagine that Mary, the most perfect Mother in the world, was rocking the baby Jesus in our backyard...and I would rock with her...me and Mary and baby Jesus...rocking....
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
MOM: Debbie, I need you to do me a favor.
MOM: I found Ellen's "e" thing so you can write her a letter.
MOM: Here's what I want you to say.
ME: Wait, wait, wait. Do you mean you found Ellen's email address? And you want me to write her an email for you?
MOM: That's what I said!
MOM: Here's what I want you to write. "Dear Ellen, I love you. I have always loved you. I want to see your face before I'm dead. I want to see you by cane, by wheelchair, or by casket. I just love you!" Can you send that for me?
MOM: You know. I watched her shows when NO ONE watched her shows.
ME: Really Mom? Cause she's been pretty pop--
MOM: Yes, even when no one watched that one show of hers, I was right there. I just love her and I need to see that adorable little blue-eyed face of hers before I die.
ME: You know, I live in California, Mom, and you've never been out this way to see me...ever.
MOM: Well, I'll get out there for Ellen, by cane, wheelchair, or cask--
ME: Got it.
MOM: Now, if Ellen asks you if I want anything, you just tell her "No. I have everything I need and I'm not doing this to get anything."
MOM: Remember, if she asks what I want, you tell her nothing.
ME: I'm on it.
MOM: But if she stays after you about it and almost pesters you, tell her I really miss the pinky ring my late husband bought for me, that I lost. Tell her that.
ME: Gosh Mom...I just don't think that El--
MOM: Tell her I really miss my husband.
ME: You bet.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I'm not going to concern myself until Peter starts saving his own urine and begins wearing tissue boxes for shoes...maybe then...
P.S. Peter has NO idea I've posted this. I took these photos from my library. Drum roll please...
Sunday, December 13, 2009
So, the twin grand babies are now one year old. I can't begin to mentally and spiritually digest what their little family has gone through in that time. To simply bullet point the significant events doesn't do them justice and who would believe it anyway? Here's the thing about our family, we dislike drama, despite the fact that it follows us everywhere. And here's the other thing about our family, we will always get back up. It may take us a minute to dust ourselves off, but given some (brief) time and perspective, we're all, "Wow, THAT was a hit. I need a hug and then I'm going to check what's in the fridge."
I was going to explain their trials; the bed-rest, the struggle to save the babies in-utero and the gut-wrenching ultrasounds, the deaths of both grandfathers, the loss of a job on the day that they signed for their first home (bye-bye home), the new job, the new house, the babies' developmental milestones, Mommy's letters to the babies (oh my gosh, the letters)...all that....
But no. Everyone, but more importantly, "they" as a family, decided to move forward a year ago. And they have. Moved forward. With every seeming set back, they have indeed looked ahead. When their faith has been tested, they have submitted themselves without questioning, without resisting. They have simply endured with patience and unity and love. Eli's Dad, Don, used to say what an example they were to him. That he would look to Eli for the right thing to do and the right way to be. He would not be disappointed.
Happy birthday to Charlie and Olivia. What a year it has been...with every trial, there has been twice as much laughter, and don't get me started on the gratitude...and they are ready for the next year...and the next...and the next....come what may, they are ready.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Here's David "wrestling" a Joshua Tree....sure....
We thought this rock formation loosely resembled the Sphinx....loosely...
The fog rolling into the valley gave the above photo an other-worldly feel....
I love pictures of road leading off to who-knows-where. It makes me wonder where it leads.
I love the line of green in this photo...
Just more big rocks.
More other-worldly feeling landscape stuff...
All in all, a great day with David and Peter...We love Joshua Tree and always look for an excuse to go there...
Friday, December 11, 2009
Today, Em and I were seated next to each other on the couch relaxing and talking. Clarkie came up and climbed up between us dragging a big, warm blanket. He said, "I'm cold" and proceeded to snuggle down between the two of us. We happily accommodated him as he wiggled and situated himself down in the middle. Emmy stroked his head and I rubbed his feet and we tucked him in with the blanket. I mean....really! Sitting there between his Mom and his Grandma, getting kissed and hugged and all warm with the blanket....who wouldn't want to be him? Heck! I want to be Clarkie.
But the glorious thing about being a grown-up is this: it's so rewarding to give the love, maybe funner to give than to receive it. There's a time and place for receiving, certainly, and no one ever outgrows that...but being able to give love so freely and unconditionally nourishes the giver so much more than I ever realized. Maybe that's the consolation prize for old age...."Way to go kiddo...your teeth are falling out, along with your hair, but your heart is golden and your spirit's A-O-K".
Who would have thought that getting into Heaven could be so fun?
ME: Doov, if you didn't know me and saw me for the first time, would you think I was just thin or maybe skinny, like you know, too skinny.
DAVID: Oh...thin. Well, skinny. Wellll, thin skinny...maybe more skinny. JUST EAT SOMETHING, WOULD YA!!!
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
I was tooling along up to this 3-way-stop and an unfettered green helium balloon, kinda sorta on its last leg, was floating through the intersection. I had my earphones on and was already in a good place emotionally so there I was, stopped at the sign, watching this floaty, blowy, green orb making its way through the neighborhood stop. What was interesting was the reaction of the other two drivers. Each of us drove slowly and deliberately around the balloon. It was like we were afraid to disturb it. Obviously we were all adults, but we each appeared to be transfixed by this lighter-than-air traveler. We stopped, waited, turned, maneuvered, anything to avoid the balloon and allow it to continue traveling. When the balloon finally passed through the intersection we each traveled on our way and we were all smiling. It was just a little bit of magic in the middle of the day, shared by some strangers who got to be children for a few moments while stuck in the anonymity of our cars. Magic.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Anyway, we picked him up last night and he'll be spending some time here while he goes to various job interviews and job fairs. I hope Peter can keep up. Doov is only 11 months younger than me. We grew up in a Catholic neighborhood. Back then we were called the politically incorrect term of "Irish twins". That was interesting. The only Jewish family for miles around. The kids in the 'hood regularly accused David and I of killing Christ. The first time it happened, I ran into the kitchen and asked my mother if it was true. She was cooking and she didn't even turn around to look at me. Her reply? "Tell them they want the Italian family down the street". Perfection.
Anyway, being that close in age (in fact, part of this month we'll be the SAME age), we tended to do everything together, as you can imagine. In fact, last night, at 2:00 in the morning, we were eating soup and during the course of conversation I quoted a line from a Bugs Bunny cartoon that's probably over 50 years old. I said, without any context whatsoever, "You meet so many interesting people" in a nasal tone and east coast accent. David started laughing because he immediately got it, but I'm relatively certain Peter was lost as to meaning. It's going to be an interesting 8 days here at the casa...."I say, I say, I say...."*
*Foghorn Leghorn (for the uninitiated)
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Okay. Here's the deal. Here's what I've been avoiding. The THING. IT. Here's why I've been posting light-hearted, happy, kinda sorta funny stuff. I don't want to go to the place in my head and heart where I can "let go" about what happened to Em. I try to avoid drama as much as possible and that's why I'm just going to stick to the facts...the trauma without the drama, if you will. Let's see how that goes.
Emily was involved in an auto accident the Friday before Thanksgiving. She was at a standstill waiting for the light to change when a young man (18 yrs old) reached down for his cell phone, accelerated, and hit her stopped car while traveling 70 mph. Her car traveled a city block. The jaws of life had to cut her out. The car is totaled. Had her children been in the car, which they were supposed to be, they would not have survived. Had she not suffered her miscarriage some weeks ago, she would have been 5 months pregnant. Big "ifs". Incredibly big "ifs".
She suffered multiple fractures-in her neck (yes, Em has a broken neck-but the news is good), her second rib (fractured in the back) and she had 25 staples in her head and the E.R. physician still managed to miss a few spots that needed sutured, including a HUGE GAPING WOUND at the occipitocranial junction of her head. Nice. Her spinal cord is intact. She is still suffering from her concussion and memory is a consistent problem. At night she gets to choose between sleeping on the side of her lacerated scalp or broken bones. But she's alive to make the choice. SCORE!
Most of the time, she and I are laughing. Sometimes we are weeping in gratitude and awe of the tender mercies of the Lord. The rest of the time I spend burying an incredible amount of emotion---swallowing all of the guilt for not being here when it happened, not being able to take her pain from her, sublimating my anger at a young man who, after breaking my daughter's neck due to his freaking cell phone continued to text his friends while sitting outside of her hospital room (I know, I know, he's young and was probably freaking out), and caving to the unfathomable, almost crippling level of gratitude that I carry with me constantly...CONSTANTLY...
I cannot take a step or a breath without being acutely aware that I have, right now on this earth, all four of my children with me. All four. I'm also keenly aware of how perfectly fragile and fleeting these mortal relationships are. But I am comforted in knowing this: that this is not the end and if I would have lost my daughter that day, I would not have LOST her. And this is all I can write without crippling and inconsolable tears, once again, of gratitude-to a most kind and gracious Heavenly Father and most noble and loving Savior that allows for families to be eternal and never-ending and whose power transcends, without question, 18-year-old boys with cell phones who some may think have the power of separating us from our loved ones, but who have no power whatsoever...
Friday, December 4, 2009
“Stop laughing at your brother! Can’t you see he’s trying to get a dumpling out of his nose?”
Mom:”What is this?!?A condom!?!?Are you sexually active?!(Holding up a yogurt wrapper with the silver side facing her)
Me:”Ummm…That’s a yogurt wrapper, mom..”
Mom:”(turns the label towards herself) ohh…well..Don’t let me catch you eating in here!!”
(This particular comment garnered 13 "sassbacks"
“I must have been on drugs when I did this! …It looks like something a hobo would do!”
- My grandma, looking at an old piece of embroidery.
You can’t get a cat, a cat would pee in the butter and not tell you
Parents(talking to me and siblings): All we’re saying is that we would and will accept any of you if you’re gay!
(parents look pointedly at me)
Me: I’m NOT gay!
Mom: But Honey! It’s okay, just say it! it’s nothing to be ashamed of!
“Where is your pornography section?”
- My father, upon entering the bookstore I work in for the first time.
Mum: “He was one of those people who wear black tight jeans, with that weird hair that covers one eye. You know……..nemo.”
My mum as she walks into my room: “It smells like incest in here. Oh no wait, incense! INCENSE!”
We were being loud in the car when my Dad said
SHUT UP I CAN’T SEE!!!! (personally, I almost understand this...)
Grandma: This baby isn’t as cute as her sister is. She’s going to have problems in life.
Me: She’s seven hours old?
me: why are you pushing the buttons on the phone so hard?
grams: well the phone number is on the other side of the river so you have to push harder to send the signal all the way over there.
Gran: “Well, no wonder he needs pills to get an erection! They’re in separate bathtubs!”
- My 90 year old grandma, after watching that Cialis commercial.
“Great grandma? Do you think my dress is too short?”
“Not at all, honey. You’re young. Your mother just doesn’t remember what it’s like to be young. She always was a bit conservative. Unlike your grandma. Now, she was a hussie”
The website is: http://crazythingsparentssay.com/