Monday, March 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Kelly Jeanne

Today is my little sister’s birthday. She is officially forty-nine years old. She would kill me if she knew I was telling the world about her rapidly approaching entry into old age but I have no worries. Kelly announced months ago, she will never read this piece of crap blog again. If I recall, it had something to do with me being a big, fat, liar and a moron. We often call one another pet names like that. Anyway, just to set the record straight, anything I say on this blog about her, I would say to her face. In fact, most of the time if I have not already said it to her, I make sure to call and read the post to her if for no other reason, to annoy the holy snot out of her. Sisters are the best!

I have already told a story here and there about my youngest sister but today, in honor of her birthday, I want to tell the truth about how I really feel about her.

I remember when she was born, as if it were only forty-nine years ago. I was three and the idea of having a real, live baby doll to play with was better than Christmas to me. The first time I saw Kelly, she was lying on my parent’s bed. I crawled up on the bed and laid down on my stomach so I could stare at her face. I remember kissing her over and over again, amazed at how delicious she smelled….like freshly baked sugar cookies.

A few years later, we had become the best of friends. My whole world consisted of Kelly. She was the one I wanted to play with, swim with, eat and sleep with. We shared a room with twin beds but many a night we would crawl into one bed and play word games. Our giggling would eventually bring our father down the hall to announce, “You girls better go to sleep before you get into trouble.” Our poor parents had no idea how much trouble we would cause them in just a few short years. Oh yeah…..we were outlaws in the making. Bad news. A parent’s worst nightmare. Ok, not really, but we were kind of bad teenagers.

Once we made it to our teen years, things changed. Kelly was extremely popular. She had an outgoing personality and everybody loved her. It was easy to love her. She was cute and bubbly and the life of every party. I, on the other hand, was moody and brooding. I had friends but not like Kelly. I was unsure of myself, feeling insecure and ugly for most of my teen years. I avoided parties and instead, made some very poor choices getting myself into trouble on a regular basis. Kelly accepted that life was good and did well. I was constantly waiting for the ax to fall on my chicken head. Amazingly, Kelly thought I was cool and wanted nothing more than to hang out with me. I pushed her away, jealous of her ability to breeze through life while I felt every day was a struggle. We began to grow apart due to my ugliness towards her.

I married at eighteen and had a life altering encounter with God at nineteen. One of the first things I did was attempt to repair my relationship with Kelly. It wasn’t easy. We had grown apart and trust had been damaged. Through the years, we would grow closer and then fight like two monkeys on the same banana. I suppose you could definitely call it a love/hate relationship. We both seemed to love to hate each other.

Then, almost twelve years ago, Kelly was diagnosed with a brain tumor. It was thought to be benign but later would be proven to be cancer. Over the last twelve years, the cancer has spread. She has had five brain surgeries, uncountable doses of radiation and chemo. She had a total hip replacement and another brain surgery just in the last two years. Kelly has gone through more than I could have ever imagined my baby sister would ever have to endure. It has been unbearable to watch at times. Yet, through it all, she fights. She fights to smile and live and laugh and go on. She has been trapped in her bed for the last few years and yet her lifelong friends still make the trip to spend weekends together. They lay in bed, eating and watching movies and laughing. Nothing has changed. Kelly is still the life of the party even if it is a smaller group and confined to her bedroom.


Kelly and I grew very close when her first brain tumor was discovered. I spent months at a time staying with her. This went on for years and our relationship grew and changed and was more than I could have ever hoped for. Until last year. Last year Kelly and I had a major disagreement over one of my children. She felt she was doing something helpful. I felt she was interfering. It went very bad very fast. We have not spoken much over the last year. When we have called one another, it has almost always ended in yelling and crying along with name calling. It’s like being teenagers all over again only this time we have everything to lose and no parents to stop the madness.

A few weeks ago, a truce was called. We have found a common enemy. Sisterhood is an amazing thing. I can tell you what a dill weed Kelly is and she can tell you what an ignorant moron I am, but God help the fool that tries to pit us against one another. Oh yeah…’s on!

So, all that to say, “Happy Birthday, Dill Weed. I love you like a younger, demented sister and I’m glad you are still here to drive me out of my freaking mind. I just wish you still smelled like freshly baked sugar cookies. I’m just saying…..”

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sundays In My City

Eric and Sheryl love Oklahoma.

Vince and Alison love Oklahoma.


Even little birdies love Oklahoma.

....and Oklahoma loves Unknown Mami. Stop by and tell her.

Unknown Mami

Friday, March 26, 2010

Have You Ever Been Stoned?

I have and I hope to never do it again. Being stoned for the last two weeks has really ruined my mojo. I am behind in everything. I don’t feel like cooking, cleaning, writing or much of anything else. I just want to lay in bed and fade in and out of consciousness. Oh, I occasionally get online, read your blogs and leave my clever comments but the truth is, even that is too much effort these days. I think it is time for an intervention.

Poor wiped out gross looking Stoner

Bob insisted I see the doctor today. He even stayed home to take me to my appointment. The man is wonderful like that. Sure enough, Dr. Ric took one look and listen, checked my blood work from the other day and verified what we already suspected. Kidney stones have taken up residence in my nether regions. He was even good enough to draw pictures for me and use words like, bleeding urethra, swollen bladder and surgery if the stone(s) decide to not pass on their own. Did I mention my kidney stones came with a matching UTI? Very trendy, I know. Do you feel light-headed, nauseous, ready to run screaming from the room? Yeah, me too!

These are actual kidney stones. I hope mine look like this. I am pretty sure I could Ebay them as earrings.

So, there is my weekly whining, moaning and groaning. I know I am so offtrack with my blog and The List. I know all I do lately is complain about being depressed, having the flu and kidney stones with a side of UTI. If I could only look and feel like I use to, I would feel better.

Me, before I was a Stoner

I may be delirious. That is all.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Damn You Ernest Hemingway

I love to write. It is my passion. So why is it then that every time I make up my mind to sit down to write, my head begins to swim with excuses to keep me from writing? If I had the answer to that, well, I would be published! Here is a typical day in my writing life:

7:43 am ~ Wake up with an incredible idea for a story.

7:45 am ~ Jump out of bed and quickly write the main points down so I won't forget by the time I get to the computer. After all, I am 52 now.

8:08 am ~ Decide I better brush my teeth, shower and get dressed before writing. THEY do say it's better to treat writing like a real job instead of sitting in your pajamas all day.

9:13 am ~ After completing the aforementioned tasks, decide I better eat breakfast since THEY say you accomplish more when you start with a healthy breakfast. Spend an hour cleaning the kitchen, fridge, stove, oven and toaster. I hate breakfast and couldn't find anything appealing but figured I might as well get something done while in the kitchen anyway.

10:17 am ~ Head upstairs to write! See the three birds in their three cages and realize I should clean the three cages and feed the three birds first. An hour later I have three clean bird cages full of three happy, fat birds. Haven't written one stinking word.

11:22 am ~ Finally sit down at the computer where I see the power bill sitting on the keyboard. Remember I need to pay the power bill today or I will be writing with pen and paper. So, I get online and pay the power bill. Finally ready to write.

11:39 am ~ Latest news bulletin flashes on computer screen. Not being a Britney Spears fan, I decide I don't really need to know if she is pregnant or not but curiosity gets the better of me and I click on the TMZ link in the "news" bulletin. Britney is not pregnant. I am still not writing.

12:01 pm ~ Decide since it is now lunch time and I didn't eat breakfast, I had better head downstairs and find something healthy to eat. THEY say I will have a better day if I do.

12:03 pm ~ Make it downstairs when I remember I am almost out of underwear. Run to the hamper, schlep the laundry out to the garage, start the first of numerous loads needing to be done since last Wednesday. Read the detergent bottle wishing I had written it.

12:48 pm ~ While in the garage, the freezer catches my eye reminding me I have taken nothing out for dinner. Take out some meat to thaw then realize I have no idea what to make with it once it is no longer a chunk of ice.

1:07 pm ~ Grab a granola bar and a HUGE cup of coffee hoping THEY will not know this is my breakfast and lunch. Head back upstairs to look up a recipe for tonight's dinner on, then I will definitely focus on writing.

1:23 pm ~ Once back online, I remember Rachael Ray has some great recipes, so I surf on over to her web address in the hopes of finding a great 30 minute meal. I suddenly understand the importance of a 30 minute meal after realizing I have just spent two hours cruising through her website. I am starting to hate the written word.

3:33 pm ~ Kids come in the front door from school just as I realize I HAVE to start dinner if we are going to eat sometime during today's date.

3:35 pm ~ Go back downstairs to greet the kids, listen to their day's tragedies and triumphs, start dinner, throw the wet laundry in the dryer and the next dirty load in the washer, set the table, feed the dogs, answer the phone, kiss the husband who just walked in the door, put dinner on the table, clean the kitchen, order kids to baths and beds and finally collapse on the couch.

9:17 pm ~ Sit pondering what it must feel like to be a writer.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

You Want Irish? I Got Your Irish Right Here!

When our son announced he was going to marry his girlfriend, Amy, he prefaced it with,

“Now, Mom, I know there are going to be some things you might have trouble with concerning her family.”

“Like what John? I think I am a pretty open person.”

“Well, they are Democrats.”

“So? I have friends that are Democrats.”

“And her dad is a politician. He’s friends with the Kennedys.”

“Ummm…ok. I know Lamaze breathing. I can deal with this.”

“And they are Irish Catholic. Very Irish CATHOLIC.”

“Jesus, Mary and Joseph … save me now!”

John marrying Amy and marrying into her very Irish Catholic, Democratic politician, Kennedy loving family is one of the great joys of our lives. There has never been, and we doubt ever will be, a better family on the face of this earth than the Brady family. We love them.

I am proud to say, Ellen Brady was my friend. She started off as the mother of my daughter-in-law, Amy, however it only took meeting Ellen that first time to realize she was true friend material. Never has there been a warmer, kinder more welcoming heart than hers. Each and every time we were together, it was always the same; A big, fat, Irish party! Forget that I don’t have a drop of Irish blood in me. All I had to do was eat, drink and be merry and I was Marla O’Hansen in their eyes. I have never felt more loved and accepted.

Seven months ago, Ellen left us. My heart still aches for Amy and her family. My heart aches. I miss her. This year, Amy is honoring her mother by walking in the 3 Day Susan G Komen walk. Here are Amy’s own words:

"On August 13th, I lost my mother to breast cancer. She was an amazing mother, wife, grandmother and friend. My life will never be the same; I miss her every single day. I have tried to participate in a fundraising event for breast cancer every year since she was diagnosed, but this year I'm going to do even more to make sure we find a cure for this disease.

Please support me as I take an amazing journey in the fight to end breast cancer! The Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure is a 60-mile walk over the course of three days. Net proceeds from the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure™ are invested in breast cancer research and community programs."

So, here is what I am asking anyone and everyone willing. Please help Amy make a difference by making a donation. There are two ways: you can go to Amy’s website and make a donation through Susan G Komen or you can go to and make a purchase with 100% of the proceeds going to the Susan G Komen 3 Day Walk, in honor of Ellen Brady’s life.

Would you consider posting this on your blog for others to have a chance to make a difference also? It would be so greatly appreciated.

One last thing, for those of you who are Irish, love the Irish or are loved by the Irish, please raise your Guinness and repeat after me….

Here’s to being in heaven 20 minutes before the devil knows your dead!

Erin Go Braugh!! 

Monday, March 15, 2010

True Confessions and Other Catholic Stuff

I know, I know. I already posted today. A long, whimpering, whiney, witchy post. That was my birthday present to myself. Yeah, I know. I am a strange creature to be sure.

Anyway, as I was checking email tonight, I got a Facebook notice from one of my friends from elementary school. Joanie and I have known each other forever including going through St. Helen's elementary together. That included hiding in the bathrooms from Sister Mary Immaculate, rolling the bands of our uniform skirts to make them as short as Catholically possible before Father Kelley noticed and sneaking off grounds at lunch time to buy candy at the neighborhood convenience store. I won't even mention the truth or dare parties. Father, forgive me for I have sinned..... sweet friend not only wished me a Happy Birthday but backed it up with a photo from my twelfth birthday party at my parents kitchen table. I remember that party, that table, those girls in my mother's kitchen. Staying up all night, hoping John Toppin and Robert Cabrera would try to crash the party. Life was good. It still is good. Thank you, Joanie. I love you like plucked eyebrows in seventh grade.


Today is my 52nd birthday. Big, happy, freakin deal. Do I sound bitter? Sorry, sometimes the truth slips out and the real me shows. I am not a happy person today. I am an angry, bitter person today. There it is. The truth about me. You may all stop reading now. I warned you.

I have never hated my birthday. I always loved my birthday. I reminded family and friends for weeks that one was the past. I always wanted a party with tons of noise and food and people. I relished watching everyone having a great time at my expense. Go ahead. Tell me how old I am. I love a good put down.

But not this year. This year I just want to be left alone to wallow in my mental misery. I have been told by a few people that I love dearly that I am a liar. That nothing I say on this blog is true. That it is all just my twisted, warped perception of things. Well…..yeah! What did people expect this was about…their view of things? I never asked anyone to read this crap. I never asked anyone to believe this drivel. I wrote this for me…..because I was afraid I would forget. I started this blog because I was watching my dad die and I was overwhelmed with fear that when he finally was gone, I would be gone too. So I started to write because I thought maybe it would help keep me sane and alive. I never meant to hurt anyone. I did this for me. I’m selfish like that.

The poor me truth is, something awful has happened to me. When my dad died, all my joy seemed to go with him. I just want to go home. I want to sit with my parents at their kitchen table and listen to them argue. I want my stupid mother to tell me how fat I am and how I have wasted my life. I want my butthead dad to offer me money to lose weight, stop having kids or whatever other manipulative thing he thought he could financially bribe me out of. Those people were sick and I miss them and I am miserable today.


I know feeling sick for five days has not helped my mood or attitude. I also know I need serious mental therapy along with medication. Just ask my sisters. I also know I have come to the end of something I have never come to the end of before. I have come to the end of my childhood. My parents are both gone on my birthday and I am really, really pissed off.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Misery Loves Company

Yep, it happened. All the cleaning and laundry and bleach wasn’t enough to save myself from being caught by the flu. Miserable bugger. I laid down Thursday night and have yet to leave my bed. Wait, that is not completely true. I did have a birds eye view of my toilet and the bathroom floor. What is it about the ice cold bathroom floor that is so comforting when I am so seriously sick? It’s been that way since I was a kid. I know it freaks Bob out to see me laying there, white as a ghost, but it is the only place I can find an ounce of comfort when I am that sick.

Anyway, I am finally feeling fifty percent better. I actually ate a little bit of dinner then immediately wished I had not done so. I will be sticking with Sprite for awhile longer. No worries. I can live off the fat of the land for close to a year I would bet.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sundays In My City

I know I promised you the story of fighting grime and finding Nikki today. The truth is, I never got away from the house today and yesterday was pretty much the same story. What did I do instead?
I took care of grandchildren with Strep Throat.Well, with a little help from Ruby that is.

Then, when the grandbabies went home, Miranda got sick as a dog.

She was so sick, tattoos mysteriously showed up all over her arms.
Poor redneck baby girl. So, the weekend pretty much consisted of cleaning this...

and washing multiple baskets full of these ...

Are you grossed out yet? Yeah, me too!

Unknown Mami

Friday, March 5, 2010

Back To The Future

Sometimes I get very focused on me. How I am feeling. What I think. What I want. It's all about me, me, me. I can almost always tell when I have set up camp in the countryside of Me for way too long. I start to feel very uncomfortable usually followed by a downpour of complete miserable. That's when I know it's time to pull up stakes and move on. So, I am moving on, back to where my heart is the happiest and my focus is clearest.

Back to the beginning....

The List

1. Fast for the 2 billion people who live on less than a dollar a day.

2. Contact your local crisis pregnancy center and invite a pregnant woman to live with your family.

3. Ask your pastor if someone on your church’s sick list would like a visit.

4. Join an open AA meeting and befriend someone there.

This Story Is Still Being Written

5. Adopt a child.

6. Mow your neighbor’s grass.

So, my next opportunity to make a difference is mowing my neighbor's lawn according to The List. One problem. There is not a single blade of grass anywhere in this neighborhood, city or state.....yet anyway. The weather is still too cold for any showing of the green. I can tell you this much. Bob has mowed the neighbors lawn in the past. It actually brought another neighbor out of his house, asking why. There's a long story but here is the condensed version. The lawn being mowed was owned by a less than nice person. The questioning neighbor along with a few others despised the less than nice neighbor. Seeing Bob mowing this guys lawn not only brought neighbors out of their homes, it got them talking. To each other. Kindly. Nicely played, Mr. Bob. You are a smart man. I think I want to kiss you when you get home. Yes, I believe I do.
Anyway, since we are a grassless state for the time being, we will be doing a substitute adventure. We are heading down to the Mission area tomorrow to clean. We'll take trashbags, gloves and camera. I will also be on the lookout for Nikki. Remember Nikki? Whatever happens, that will be my Sunday In My City post. So, check back then. Or better yet, wanna come with us tomorrow?