Sunday, November 6, 2011

Long May You Run

There are some tough things about breathing. Really tough. Things like people you love struggling to breathe and people you love no longer breathing. Those two things alone make breathing for me harder than it should be, in my opinion anyway. Another reason, I am thankful I am not God, even though I think I am most days. Rambling thoughts, I know.

Anydiddle, my little sister Kelly continues to struggle to breathe. Over the last few months she has been hospitalized twice, had her lungs drained three times if I remember correctly and is generally feeling not so great. That’s the crapola part of it. The awesome part however is, she still has a completely bad ass attitude, a wicked sense of humor and a tongue that will whip any unsuspecting bystander. Oh yeah. I am talking like a frog on a fly. Zap! I so love my baby sister.

I am rarely happier than when I am on the phone with her, trying to outdo one another with our sick comments, laughing like the demented bad seeds we are known to be. I am meeting her in Houston in about a week. It’s a trip she is not looking forward to. She is sick and feeling it. She is expecting more bad news. She has nothing to look forward to from her view of it. I am looking forward to every minute of it. Why? Because I will be with her. I will be able to see her, kiss her red hair from a bottle and annoy the crap out of her the entire time with my aggravating ways and stupid observations of life in general. She, in turn, will pretend I am a pain in her ass while trying not to laugh. But she will laugh. I will make sure of it. No matter what.

Kelly brought up the possibility of what might be said by Dr. Gloom at this next visit. It was nothing good. I am not discounting any of her ponderings. She knows her body best and I am sure she also knows the best way to prepare for whatever is coming next. All I know is this. I get to see my sister. That’s all that matters to me.

Bob is sitting here as I type, playing his guitar, singing Neil Young songs to me. He knows I am feeling punched in the gut lately. He also knows Neil always makes me smile. Like now. The song he is crooning makes me think of Kelly.

Long may you run.
Long may you run.
Although these changes
Have come
With your chrome heart shining
In the sun
Long may you run.


I know it was written about his car but it still makes me think of Kel and smile. Long may you run, sister. Chrome heart and all. See you in Houston. You have been warned.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Mommy Wisdom

So, I stopped on by to check my email only to find a bazillion emails from people worried about my mental state. Seriously, now you worry? If you have ever read this blog in the past you would have surely realized that crazy runs all through these veins of mine. What I’m trying to say is, thank you and I’m fine. No need to worry about me. Feel sorry for my sister, my friends, that poor guy that’s married to me. As for me, I am fine and dandy and moving along. My last post was nothing more than a momentary mental meltdown that I had to expunge from my head before exploding. Seriously. Life is good even when it’s not. 

I noticed something interesting. People felt really bad for me or they kicked me in the ass. Which do you think made me feel all warm and fuzzy the most? Now, I am not saying kind words fell on deaf ears. I truly and sincerely appreciated every one of them. They made me cry because people care and that’s always a good thing. It’s just that I am ashamed I made people feel bad for me. Like I said, feel bad for the people I love that are truly suffering. They deserve all the love, prayers and compassion this world has to offer. I deserve a straightjacket. Just ask my sisters.

I started to wonder, why is it that kind words shame me and kick in the ass words comfort me? The answer was easy to find. My mother. My mother was a kick you in the ass person. It was how you knew she loved you. She was the first one to tell you the truth you didn’t want to hear.

“Have you gained weight?”

“Those people are not your friends.”

“Is that a pimple on your nose?”

“You are too big to wear that outfit.”

“You can be very funny when you’re not being ridiculous.”

“Stop feeling sorry for yourself. You can be such a martyr.”

Yeah, my mom had the gift of encouragement. Even so, the stinking truth is, she was always right. I hated that about her when she was breathing. I miss her desperately now that she‘s not.

Anyway, I am still working way too much but I do have a plan to make some changes. Ok, I am planning on a plan to make some changes. Hey, we martyrs have to take things slowly. It’s how we roll.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Better Than A Hallelujah

There’s a song by Amy Grant titled Better Than A Hallelujah. It’s a good song in my book. It speaks to my heart these days. A few of the lyrics really speak to me specifically right now.

“The tears of shame for what's been done
The silence when the words won't come
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes.


We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful, the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah.”


Those words say it all for me right now. They speak to my heart and speak my heart. I just have no words of my own. Not to speak. Not to write.

I have been completely overwhelmed by the kindness of so many who have written to me and called wondering where I am. Why I am not writing. Asking how my sister, Kelly is. Thank you and I’m sorry. I’m sorry for not writing back. I’m sorry for not returning your calls. I’m just sorry.

I am living in silence because the words just won’t come. I honestly work 12-14 hours every day six days a week. Partly because I am trying to succeed but mostly because I am trying to hide.

My sister is not well. We speak very little. I have changed from the caregiver of the family, the one everyone asks for when they are not feeling well to the one to avoid. I am a miserable mess, no help to anyone including myself. So I work. I am good at working hard. I can hide there. I am funny and witty and nobody knows the truth of what a beautiful mess I am inside. That’s all I have to say about that.

In the last six weeks, I have spoken to one of my best friends in the entire world once. Just once. Why? Because her husband is dying and I can’t take it. I can’t take the pain of losing him and seeing Lori hurt.

In the last six weeks, I have learned another friend, Dick is dying. Have I called or written? No. This man is a brother to me. His daughter is a daughter of my heart. I love them. I want to call. I want to write. All I hear is the silence of my heart so I do neither. He may never know the truth of how he has affected my life because I can’t find the words or the courage.

My dog died suddenly a few weeks ago. Just up and died. She was only three. Fat and healthy, driving me crazy one day and dead the next. I sat in the darkness of my closet and cried. I cried like I haven’t cried in a very long time. I cried that my stupid dog died before I knew what was happening. Before I was ready. I cried because I can’t talk to my sister. I cried because I can’t talk to Lori or Mike or Dick or Janneke. I cried because I am a coward and not ready. I am not ready.

God, is this a melody to You? Is it? Because this is the honest cry of my breaking heart.





Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Paying It Forward

Twelve years ago, we were hit by a tornado on May 3rd, 1999. It was a life-changing experience and one we will never forget. I wrote about it once and once was enough so I’ll post the links if you’re interested in reading about it.








Anyway, yesterday a terrible tornado blew through our little town, destroying one hundred homes and killing some of our neighbors just a mile or so north of us. It was déjà vu at it’s worst.



Piedmont Tornado, May 24, 2011

 

Today, I took half the day off hoping to help in some way. I am so thankful to be able to say we found a way to help. We met a couple that has no family in the state and lost everything including most of their pets yesterday. They will be staying with us while they try to figure out how to walk the path before them. It won’t be easy for them, but I can say without a doubt, they will make it. I know because I did.



As this husband and wife drove through our gate for the first time, I immediately recognized the look on both of their faces. It was the same look Bob and I wore for weeks after May 3rd, 1999. It’s a mixture of shock and pain and disbelief. It’s a look I’ll never forget and yet I am thankful for that because that means I can understand it in others now. There was a time I would have begged to forget. I am grateful to remember now because I know there is a way through it all.



When they exited their car, Bob and I hugged them and cried with them. It’s such an interesting thing to meet strangers and yet have an immediate connection with them. Shared pain can be a strong bonding compound I suppose. We showed them the farm and held their hands as we walked and talked. They both cried and thanked us repeatedly for our hospitality. That’s when it hit me like a sledgehammer. They saw our offer of help as if it were some big act of kindness. But it wasn’t and isn’t. It is the beginning of healing for them and the tail end of healing for us. We are being given an incredible gift. One we never asked for and didn’t see coming. We are being given the gift of paying it forward, of doing for others what was done for us. The days ahead won’t be easy but they will be worth the journey. I'm absolutely sure of that.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I Have A Sister

I have a sister named Kelly. She is my younger sister. She is my first memory.


My mother lays my newborn sister on her back on my parents bed. I am laying on my stomach, head resting in hands, repeatedly criss-crossing my bent legs with excitement. I am positioned at the top of her head, nose buried in her tiny wisps of hair. She smells like freshly baked sugar cookies to my three year old nose and I cannot stop myself from repeatedly kissing her head. When she looks at me and smiles, my heart races and I report this amazing feat with the typical toddler glee of a new big sister. My mother says she is too little to smile yet and it was gas. I know better. I know I made my sister smile and it sinks deep within my heart.



There have been fifty years between that memory and today. Fifty years of growing up and immaturity, laughing and crying, fighting and defending, standing and stooping. Fifty years that seemed like a hundred on some days and only a few moments on others. Fifty years.



Fourteen years ago, Kelly was diagnosed with Hemangiopericytoma. An extremely rare cancer. So rare in fact, the best doctors in California misdiagnosed it as a benign brain tumor. It wasn’t until ten years later, they finally realized what it actually was. The news was not good. They had only seen minimal cases due to it’s rarity and no one had survived past ten years. There was really no known treatment that could change that. Or so they said.



My older sister Char and I jumped online and researched Hemangiopericytoma, hospitals that dealt with it and doctors who specialized in killing it. We found MDAnderson. So, for the last four years we have met in Houston every three months. There have been major surgeries, clinical trials, tears, fears and laughter. Oh Lord, has there ever been laughter.



Last week, I flew to Houston to meet my sister Kelly at MDAnderson. She had a bad feeling about this trip. She kept saying it every time I called beforehand. I did what I am known for doing. I made light of it, changed the subject, made her laugh.



I called Kelly last night on my way home from work. I wanted to know if she had heard anything yet on the test results. She had. I knew before I even asked. I knew. I knew in Houston. I told my brother-in-law when we were walking over to get Kelly from her MRI.



“David, something just isn’t right. Maybe I’m just tired and I can’t put my finger on it but something doesn’t seem right.”



I made David promise not to tell Kelly what I had said as if that would make it go away.



Last night on my drive home from work, I called Kelly like I almost always do.





“Hey Kel, how ya feeling?”



“Fine.”



“What’s wrong?”



The radiation in March had worked well on her spine. The brain tumor had grown but not drastically. She could have a seventh brain surgery to remove the tumor…again. That was the good news she said.



“ Weinberg said my lungs are bad. They couldn’t handle a surgery.”



“What? Your lungs are bad? Your lungs aren’t bad.”



“Marla, the tests say my lungs and liver are bad.”



“Ok, so what are they going to do. How are they going to fix this?”



“Three more months of chemo, then back for results. If that doesn’t work, there’s nothing more they can do.”



I rarely cry. It’s the hand my sister dealt me awhile back. Everyone was always crying over her and she did not want me crying. She wanted me to make everyone smile again. So I did. For the last fourteen years. Until last night.



I screamed at my baby sister on the phone last night. I pulled my car over to the side of the road and I screamed through burning, hot tears.



“You cannot leave me here alone! You cannot! I can’t do this without you!”



“Marla, you’re not helping.”



“I don’t care, you can’t leave me here. I can’t talk to you right now.”



We both hung up without another word.



I dreamt about Kelly last night. It was a dream about something that had happened in Houston last week. We were in the hotel room getting ready for one of her appointments. She was having trouble with her right hand and said she thought one of the doctors was probably right. She believed she would be paralyzed and unable to write one day.



“Whatever Kelly. You never could write anyway.”



Kelly started to cry and said, “You just don’t want to hear the truth.”

I dreamt about that conversation last night. I dreamt about how I felt punched in the stomach at her words because they were true. I saw myself in the dream, doing what I had done in reality.



As I stood next to her wheelchair with my arms wrapped around her, I buried my nose in her red hair and kissed the top of her head repeatedly.

Monday, May 16, 2011

See Ya Later, Alligator

Well, like I said yesterday, here I am in Houston with my sister Kelly and her husband David. Today was the usual: blood specimens, MRI and CT scans and lots of paperwork. Oh sure, there were the typical moments of ridiculousness like when they attempted to coerce her into the rectal CT again. She wasn’t going for it this time either. Party pooper. As for running her into the elevator wall, well, it wasn’t totally my fault. The man that held the door open for me smelled really good and I lost my sense of direction for a moment. Old men that smell good remind me of my dad and then I get all melancholy and forget things like stopping before I walk Kelly and her wheelchair into the elevator wall. As for the laughing, I could have stopped if Kel would have stopped telling me to stop. Telling me to stop laughing only makes me laugh more. It’s a common physics fact, or something. Besides, it’s not like she got hurt and even if she had, we’re in a hospital. What better place to get hurt? Duh!



Just another little pet name my sister has for me?



Anyway, that’s not what I want to write about tonight. No, I have something much more riveting to tell you. I have discovered one of the most amazing, incredible, fascinating studies of humanity ever known to man. No really, stay with me, you won’t regret it. Ok, you probably will but stay with me anyway.






Not having cable TV at home, I find myself flicking through all the channels every time I am here at the Rotary House. They have a bazillion channels full of foolishness. It can be quite entertaining. So last night as I was flicking away, I came across this show.






If you have never seen Swamp People, you don’t know what you’re missing. This show is brilliant. I mean, seriously, any show that has to use English sub-titles when the people being filmed are English speaking so to speak, well, that is my kind of entertainment.

Now, before you PETA family members of mine go psycho on me for watching this show, I will admit the shooting of the gators made me sad. Especially when they show the little gator paw slowly dropping down into the boat as the pre-historic beast gives up the ghost. Poor humongous, slimy creature that would eat my face off in a nano second if given the chance. All you wanted to do was munch a stray dog or two, attack an unsuspecting Cajun fishing on the bank now and then and maybe grab a bunny snack once in awhile. And for this, they shoot you. Well that and the big bucks the ladies will pay for a purse made out of your hide.






Rest in peace, monster gator. Not one inch of you will go to waste. As for tasting like chicken, I’ll just have to take the Swamp People’s word for it.



Sunday, May 15, 2011

Pass The Prozac Please

It has been 26 days since I last blogged. When I finally stopped by to see my long lost blog, I was actually shocked to realize so many days had passed. If you would have asked me, I would have thought it might have been a week since I last wrote some amazing piece of crap to post. This got me to thinking. What in the world could I have possibly been so consumed by over the last 26 days that I would neglect my love of writing?


In the last 26 days I have:



~ been promoted

~ been trained and trained and trained and trained on my new position until my head is ready to EXPLODE!

~ worked 1373 hours

~ laughed until I cried

~ cried until I laughed

~ worked 1373 hours

~ read two books

~ paid 17 bills

~ worked 1373 hours

~ brushed my horse three times

~ screamed at the dogs 48 times

~ had a daily conversation with Harley the African Grey 26 mornings

~ worked 1373 hours

~ done 13 loads of laundry

~ dropped 2 van loads of treasures at the thrift store

~ made dinner 6 times

~ eaten 26 granola bars for breakfast

~ drank 103 cups of coffee

~ worked 1373 hours

~ watched late night Star Trek reruns 26 times

~ watched The Office late night reruns 26 times

~ watched the ceiling 26 times because I couldn’t stop thinking late at night

~ lost three pounds

~ gained three pounds

~ lost three pounds

~ gained three pounds

~ lost three pounds

~ run on the treadmill once

~ been thrown violently from the treadmill once

~ left the house by 8 am 20 times

~ walked back in the door by 9 pm 20 times



Oh yeah, and worked 1373 hours!!!



I could possibly be hitting the point of pure exhaustion however I am too tired to be absolutely sure.

One last thing I might mention. I flew to Houston today and you know what that means. Three days with my sister. Things could get interesting. If I can stay awake, that is.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Potpourri For $1000, Alex

I have so many things to tell you but who’s got time to write a meaningful post these days? Not me, that’s for sure. Oh, I can write meaningful crap, believe you me. My writing has made grown men cry. Just ask my husband. Anyway, I just don’t have the time right now to be meaningful so instead, I am writing a potpourri of a post. Yeah, that’s it. A post full of flowery this and that sprinkled over all the stinkiness of life. And like potpourri, this post will make you think I have spent hours working on this mess when actually, it’s just a pan of lavender scented Lysol slid under the couch. I may have just given away one of my many cleaning tips but anyway, here is what I thought you should know today.


My sister is trying to kill me. No, seriously, she is. I want it in writing for all the world to see so when she succeeds there will be witnesses to the crime. Remember, you read it here. She is trying to kill me. How do I know? Simple. I hate to fly. She keeps making me fly to Houston to meet her at MDAnderson. She even buys my plane ticket for me. On Southwest Airlines.



This Southwest Airlines. The one with the moonroof.
What? Airplanes aren't suppose to have moonroofs?
TELL MY SISTER THAT!



When I called her after the news hit the airwaves regarding Southwest’s “mishap”, I very clearly stated that I hated flying, did not want to fly ever again and definitely not on Southwest Airlines. Then I got this in my email today.



Another round trip ticket to Houston.
Or is it a one way ticket? Hmmmm?



I’ll show her. I am going to take out a million dollar life insurance policy before they drag me kicking and screaming onto the plane. That way, Bob will have money to prosecute. You have been warned, Kelly Jeanne.


Call me a chicken. I don't care.
They don't fly without a lot of squawking either. 



Speaking of my sisters, they have informed me I am not funny. They have also informed me that my writing is not appreciated as it is mostly a crock of something or other. Oh yeah, well I beg to differ. I have received a precise message from above clearly disputing these false allegations.





Read em and weep girls. You can’t fight Confucius.





The fortune cookies have spoken.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dear Diary ~

Dear Diary ~




It’s been three months since I started my new job. Can you believe it? Three months. Time really does fly the older you get. The funny thing is, I feel younger the older I get so time flying by must wipe away some years from your mind. Just another one of my deep thoughts.



Anyway, this job has really opened my eyes to so many things. Having been raised in the church most of my life, including nine years of Catholic school, well, let’s just say I may have been a bit sheltered to certain parts of life. Oh sure, I have volunteered plenty, worked with the homeless, fostered children, you know, the usual fairly safe sort of things. But no, this job has taken me to an entirely new level of dealing face to face with humanity.



Did I ever mention, dear diary, that I am working in the inner city? No seriously, it’s what us white folk refer to as “the ghetto” thanks to Elvis. Other folks refer to it as “the hood”. My customers refer to it as home. Interesting people, my ghetto, hood, homie, customers. I should probably be quite frightened of many of them and yet I am anything but scared. I actually find myself relating to them more each day. Take for example the other day.



Bob had stopped in to take me to lunch. Seconds before he walked in the front door, one of our regular customers entered the store and stomped up to the counter demanding my immediate attention.



“Hey! Here yo money! I aint buying nuttin else from y’all neither! Y‘all discriminatin me!”



“Well, hello Shemika. Thanks for bringing your payment in. Now, tell me about the discrimination that is leading you to no longer do business with us.”



Shemika then went on to tell me how although she desperately needed an 82” television, our store manager would not sell her one. The unreasonable reason he gave? She had no money. I immediately empathized with her in regards to the obvious unfair treatment she had received and offered her a bottle of water and some cookies to help calm her nerves. I also told her I would be happy to sell her an 82” television as I steered her towards the 19” version. By the time she left the store, we were besties forever.



“Dang girl, you a crazy white girl. I gonna tell all the sistahs bout you. We stick togetha. We gonna buy all our @&%* from you.”



She then turned to the other two male managers who had been watching the scene unfold and yelled,



“Yeah, that right. We gonna buy from the crazy, white girl. We all done with you two.”



As my new bestie walked out the door with great, triumphant attitude, I turned to my manager as a line from Tyler Perry slipped from my lips before I could stop it.



“That’s in the playa handbook.”



Yes, dear diary, it’s a new day for this Catholic school girl. I think Bob is a bit concerned about this new colorful side of me. I just hope the gangsta don’t get up in my grill about all dat.



XOXOXO,



Marla


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

So Much To Write, So Little Time

I am having a terrible time finding the time to write these days. My new job is kicking my butt. Six months ago that would have been a good thing but now that my butt is thirty-five pounds smaller than it was back then, well, there is just not as much to kick as before so I am feeling the effects more profoundly. Have I mentioned I've lost thirty-five pounds? Oh yeah, I am awesome now. Men fall over when they see me. Women want to be me. Children marvel at my lack of girth. I'm amazing. How amazing? I'm glad you asked.

I am so amazing now, that one of our biggest customers finds excuses to come into the store just to "visit" with me. I am unmercifully teased by my co-workers about this gentleman's obvious crush on me. Take for instance what happened on Monday.

"Well, hello Mr. X! I didn't expect to see you back so soon. How can I help you today?"

"Hey there sugar! I thought I would just stop in and have a look around."

That's when my boss stepped in with this brilliant line.

"Look as long as you like, Mr. X."

Upon hearing this invitation from the general manager of the store, Mr. X stood and stared at me, smiling adoringly, to which I stood and stared back, smiling crookedly as my manager and co-workers walked off snickering. Idiots.

Let them laugh, I say. They are just jealous. I mean, what girl wouldn't want an older, toothless, long-haired, hippie calling them sugar and smiling adoringly at them at least three times a week?


Jealous, I tell you.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

You Smell Like A Monkey

Well, she did it. My little sister turns 50 years old today. Plenty of people said she couldn’t do it. Most of those people were doctors. Idiots! They watched her go through six brain surgeries, a total hip and femur replacement, brutal back surgery including rods and bolts and who knows what else. Then there was the chemo, the radiation, steroids and drugs that would have surely killed a person with any sense. Luckily for us, my sister never had the sense to give up. She is, after all, a Casas/Walter. What is a Casas/Walter, you ask? A fighter!




Speaking of fighting, here are some of the things I am thankful for today on Kelly’s 50th birthday.



~ I am thankful for a sister that is well enough to drive me insane with her constant interfering and bossiness.



~ I am thankful for a sister that is well enough to answer the phone when I call, give me advice I don’t ask for and get mad at me when I don’t take it.



~ I am thankful for a sister that refuses to give up whether it’s about getting her point across, getting people to do things her way or living through another day.



Kelly, I cannot imagine my life without you in it. I know I have threatened to never speak to you again, smother you with a pillow as you sleep and crimp your oxygen hose. Ok, I know I have also posted unflattering photos of you on this blog, written things about you that make you look beastly and maybe even exaggerated a time or two in regards to your fangs. In my defense, I just can’t help myself. You make it way too easy to do. Stop playing right into my evil, blogging fingers and I’ll quit. Maybe.



Anyway, I love you and hope today, your 50th birthday, is everything you want it to be and more. I hope you find nothing but happiness in the days ahead with the people you love the most. I hope I’m one of those people. Most days.





One last thing! Please send Kelly a birthday wish.
Make sure and tell her I sent you.
It will drive her crazy make her day.  :-)



Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sundays In My City

Sundays in my city is about
hanging out with the people you love.





It's about playing inside when it's chilly




and outside when it's not.




Sunday means telling the same old stories,




singing the same old songs




and loving every minute of it.

Sundays in my city is about hugs





and dinner,




laughing




and relaxing.




The best part about Sundays in my city however is the napping.




Stop by Unknown Mami's blog 
and tell us what's happening in your city.





Unknown Mami


Saturday, March 26, 2011

We Got It Goin' On At Least Eight Times A Day

I work in a store where there are a bazillion televisions, all playing the same video all day long. That means that whatever is being played that day will repeat approximately eight times while I am there. Not only will I see the video eight times a day, I will also hear it eight times a day. The last two weeks I have seen and heard Bon Jovi Live at Madison Square Gardens eight times every stinking day. My brain has been Bon Jovied at least eighty times in the last two weeks. Eighty freakin times, people.





The first few days of listening to Jon and Richie were great. My co-workers were even making fun of me because of how much I was enjoying the music. I was constantly movin and a groovin to the tunes. For a few days anyway. Then I started wanting to scream every time the dang thing came on. I mean seriously, I get it. The boys are pretty and great to dance to but please, enough already.




Jon Bon Jovi, you are a middle aged man. So shake your money maker all you want, you are still old. The women who have been throwing their undies at you all these years now wear Dr. Dentons. Do you really want those flying through the air like massive parachutes? I mean, come on already. Face reality, man. And Richie Sambora. Please. You give love a bad name, bad name.




I might just be tired and cranky. Yeah, tired of listening to two wrinkled, old men try to convince me I was born to be their baby. All I want to do when they start singing is Runaway. When I heard Whole Lot of Leavin for the fifth time today, I could only nod my head in agreement. Please, leave already. I really try to Keep The Faith but It’s My Life and having to listen to this day after day is no Bed of Roses. This constant diet of Bon Jovi is Bad Medicine. I may be Livin On A Prayer right now but I have to hope there is a Disney movie in next weeks line up.



Anyway, Have A Nice Day.




Friday, March 25, 2011

Time Waits For No Blogger

One of the really tough things about having a blog is that I am constantly writing posts in my head. I write them in bed late at night while Bob snores like a freight train next to me. I write them driving to work, on my lunch break, at the bank, in the bathroom and while counting down the drawer at the end of the day. I also write them in the middle of family conversations, while taking my shower, visiting the dentist or just about any and every other scenario you might imagine. It’s maddening but I have not a clue on how to stop. The truth is, I have always written in my head like this, since I was a kid. The only difference now is that I post many of these musings on the Internet for all the world to see. I wonder what Freud would say about that? Probably not much since the guy is dead. Just pointing out the obvious, folks.





The other tough part about being a mental writer is …wait, that doesn’t sound right. Anyway, the thing that drives me madder than I already am is that I have some pretty interesting things going on in my life and in my head. Stuff some people might actually want to read if only to say, “Can you believe the crap this chick writes? Unbelievable!” There is where the difficulty begins and ends. Actually living this insanity on a daily basis, writing it down in my brain and then not being able to find the time or energy to actually write it down. I am honestly not whining about not having time to write. I honestly don’t have time to write lately. It’s starting to annoy me because of all the stories being written in my brain. It’s seriously getting crowded in there.



Anyway, I have been thinking of ways to find more time to write.



1. Hire a servant. He must cook, clean, do farm chores and laundry. Grocery shopping is expected. He would also have to do all the extras like remember birthdays and throw elaborate dinners because that would also be expected. It would be crucial that he be ready, willing and able to jump in the car and take the soon to be 13 year old and her friends on their constant excursions. And listen to their ear-splitting laughter while driving without driving off the road or into a brick wall. Although he may consider both options just to shut them up, he would not be allowed to exercise either option. He would also have to keep a smile on his face at all times while making sure everyone in the house is clean, fed and happy. I would want him to be sort of like a wife, that way I wouldn’t have to pay him either.



2. Clean out our bank account and run away to Europe where I can sit at a little sidewalk café, eating hunks of cheese and bread while writing the memoir of my life. This might not be a viable option however as I believe a ticket to Europe might possibly cost more than $83.47, so scratch that.



3. Get up two hours earlier every morning so I can be alone with my thoughts and write. The only problem I can see with this option is the getting up at 5 am part. I sincerely doubt my brain would be awake. Although, now that I think about it, my writing might be a whole lot better if I wasn’t actually there when it happened. This could work.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Who Needs Disneyland?

A few nights before Kelly left Oklahoma to head back to Houston, she took us all out for dinner. She is extremely generous like that. You never want to say you like something or need something because sure enough, the UPS man will be at your house a few days later. Anyway, we all went to Mimi’s Café and had a great time eating, visiting and laughing as usual. When it was time to go, we realized the infamous Oklahoma wind had kicked in and Kelly had left her jacket in the van. Bob, being the best husband/bro-in-law ever, took his jacket off and slipped it on my sister as she sat shivering in her wheelchair. Finally ready to face the quickly cooling air, I ran to the van, pushing Kelly in front of me. I am not saying I pushed her in a straight line exactly because, well, if I was in a wheelchair I would want it to at least be a fun ride while being pushed so I did unto my sister as I would wish done unto me. She did not appreciate my extreme sense of kindness and willingness to emulate one top notch rollercoaster ride. Some people have no sense of humor.




Anyway, once at the van, we realized Bob had the keys and was nowhere to be found. We also realized his flimsy little windbreaker was not breaking the wind. We came to this realization through hearing Kelly’s teeth chattering during her tirade about me trying to kill her by pushing her off the curb or something along those lines. Whatever. Being the amazingly kind, considerate and selfish, I mean, self-less sister that I am known to be, I took off my heavy coat, wrapped it around my poor, little, shaking, baby sister. That’s when it happened. As I dug through my purse, trying to find an extra set of keys that would hopefully open the van door, Kelly began to slowly roll away. Towards the parking lot. With moving cars in it. As soon as I realized, through her shrieking, what was happening, I turned and made my way to her before she entered any actual danger zone.



“Oh my gosh! You just tried to kill me!”



“Whatever. You’re fine.”



“If I had rolled into that passing car, I could have been killed. What were you thinking?”



“I was thinking I better get my coat back before it gets blood on it. That’s the only coat I own.”



“When is my flight home?”

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Possibilities

This week has been one of extreme highs and lows to say the least. The lowest low is what has happened and continues to happen in Japan. Watching the news and seeing the faces of suffering is more than my brain can comprehend at times. I cannot begin to imagine living through what the Japanese are now dealing with. Every time I turn the news on and see those beautiful, stoic faces, I think of the multiple Japanese exchange students who lived with my parents and with Bob and I through the years. I cannot help but wonder where Noriko, Yoshi and all the rest are today. My heart aches for the entire country as I know many other hearts do as well. I especially find myself sad when I see the elderly, so confused and alone, having lost everything. How I wish we could go rescue them and make it all ok again.

So what to do? Having gone through our own loss in the May 3rd tornado of 1999, I remember all too well the incredible kindness of so many. One group stands out in my mind and that is the American Red Cross. They were there from day one providing for all our immediate needs and continued to be there for months after. Looking back, I really don't know what we would have done without all their help and the help of so many others. I bring this up in the hopes that you might consider giving to the Red Cross as a way to help those in Japan. Please consider it. We can all make a difference together.


Now for the highs of this last week. Kelly spent the entire week here in Oklahoma with my family. It was wonderful. She was wonderful. I didn't want her to leave. Ever. She did leave however, yesterday. Her husband, David, flew in late Sunday night and they both flew to Houston early Monday afternoon. Then late this afternoon, Kelly went through her clinical trial radiation procedure. My stomach was in a knot all day and I had a bit of trouble thinking about anything else. Anyway, finally this evening, I was able to get David on the phone and immediately asked how Kelly was.

"She's great!"

"Really? Great?"

"Yeah, we just got back to the room and everythings good."

I told David I would call Kelly tomorrow and hung up the phone feeling relief flood every pore of my body. This was a high well worth waiting for. 

MDAnderson is the only hospital worldwide running this particular trial at this time. Kelly is only the fourth person to undergo this procedure. The risks were explained to us as definately there but the possible positive outcome is where our focus remains. Where it will always remain.

Anyway, this last week with Kelly provided for some very entertaining moments. Who knows, I just may tell you a few of them in the days ahead.

Goodnight.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

It Just Keeps Getting Better and Better

Sorry I didn't get the promised update posted yesterday. Seems the hospital had Butts and Ashes blocked as I could not get on no matter how many ways I tried. I actually found this rather amusing. I mean, seriously think about it. This place is brimming to the rim with butts and, well, you get it. I understand I am often found by people searching for pictures of butts. I could verify that for my readers by telling you some of the search phrases used by people. Oh yeah, it's all here on my dashboard. But then you would all be completely disgusted with me instead of the usual tolerably disgusted and I wouldn't want that to happen so let's just say there are some sick minds out there on the web and obviously MDAnderson thought I was one of them so they blocked me. Until today anyway.

So anyway, if you don't mind, I will update you on The List tomorrow because I seriously need to update you on Kelly today. I mean, this is not an opportunity that comes around just any old day and I don't want to miss this chance to make fun of  update the latest on my poor, little, helpless sister. Yeah, that's it.

Ok, so Kelly is no longer considered a candidate for surgery on the cancer that is eating away her vertebrae so dangerously close to her spine. This whole scenario has been quite distressing, of course, to all of us. Then last week, MDAnderson called and informed Kel that she had been selected to participate in a clinical trial. She would be the fourth person to go through this procedure and they felt she should see good results from it. She agreed and so here we are back in Houston.

This time it is just Kelly and me. Why our family would entrust my baby sister into my hands is inconceivable to the sane mind. Like I said in this post:

Let’s think for a moment about all the people who have moved in with me or I moved in with them so I could take care of them:

Aunt Sisi ….dead.

Bob’s mom, Lucy….dead.

Our mom….dead.

Uncle Louie….dead.

Our dad….dead.

Face it. My track record for keeping people alive is nothing to brag about.


Anyway, they still picked me to be her traveling companion/caregiver/hospital jester/slave. I can proudly say, I have not killed her. Yet.

So this morning she went in to be fitted for her full body sling and face mask. No seriously, she really did. She had to wear nothing but a pair of socks, biking shorts and a sports bra. Then they placed her on this special foamy pad thing, molded it to her body, wrapped her in plastic wrap, sucked all the air out of the wrap until she looked like she was shrink-wrapped and that's when the real fun began. They then placed this warm, wet mesh looking thing over her face and upper chest and let it harden until it looked sort of like this.



That's when all the crying and hyperventilating started. They thought it would be better if I waited in the other room at that point since I couldn't stop. I'm kidding. I was just fine. Except for the wanting to drag my baby sister off that contraption, run down the hall screaming and hide her somewhere safe. Other than that, it was all good.

Anyway, an hour later she was all fitted and fine and ready for her actual treatment next week. So, here we are getting ready to head back to the airport to fly to my house for the next week. Did I mention I HATE FLYING??

Oh, one other thing. Her newest doctor, the one over this whole clinical trial thing, is a big, tall, drink of Chemo. No seriously. We thought McDreamy was all that until we met McSteamy.


 
Dr. Blue Eyed, Six Foot Five, McSteamy


What a great personality. What a good sport when I told him about the blog and McDreamy. What a guy to do a little happy dance when he heard he would now be crowned McSteamy of Butts and Ashes. As long as he didn't kill my sister. She added that part to the deal. He agreed to her terms so it's all good.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Amelia Earhart Flew and Look Where It Got Her

I am running around this morning like a headless chicken, trying desperately to get ready in time to head to the airport. My sister Kelly is heading back to Houston today and I am meeting her there. It seems like just weeks ago that we were there because we were. Have I mentioned how much I hate flying? How it makes my hands and feet sweat, my head swim with vertigo and my stomach turn to knots and that’s just thinking about flying? It gets worse once I am actually on the plane. Let’s just say, I am the gray-faced, white-knuckled, hyperventilating woman you never want to sit next to when you fly. You’re welcome.



Um, yeah. I already feel better about flying. NOT!!!


So here is the latest dealio with Kelly. It has been determined she is not a candidate for surgery after all. She has, however, been accepted into a clinical trial. Remember, this is MDAnderson, the nations #1, best and brightest, cutting-edge, top shelf, yada yada yada, leading cancer research hospital in the Universe. Or something like that. The fact is, four years ago when every “leading” doctor and hospital in California was telling Kelly, “There’s no hope. You are history, sister. Buh Bye”, my older sister, Char and I were researching like crazy, desperately trying to find another answer. We found that answer at MDAnderson. Not only have they kept Kelly alive and kicking these last four years, they have also given us hope in some of the most hopeless situations. God bless em. Oh, and God bless Dr. McDreamy, too.


The actual McDreamy of MDAnderson. I hear he has skills, ladies.
 MRI skills, Gamma Knife skills, brain surgery skills.....


Speaking of McDreamy, do you think it’s wrong that I recently told him we call him McDreamy and that I blog about him as such and that I post his picture on the web for all the world to see? Kelly got all weird and embarrassed when I spilled the beans to McDreamy about my two, old, wrinkled sisters obsession with him. She also turned three shades of red when I told him how much I appreciated their obsession as it made for great blog fodder. His reaction? The dude was excited. Absolutely giddy, I tell ya. He loved it. Couldn’t wait to tell his wife. Wanted to know how many readers I had, etc. So McDreamy, if you are reading this, I would like to say thank you for keeping my little sister alive. I am grateful, even on the days when I would like to strangle her, I am still thankful. I would also like to say you’re welcome for the free advertising on this blog. You may want to remember that when you invoice her next bill. I’m just saying.




Ok, so I need to go finish the laundry and get my bag packed. Then I need to find a valium or two. Oh, and by the way, I will be updating The List on Monday. I have a thing or two to tell you all on that front. Life is never boring when you’re me and that, my friends, is the truth.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Two Days Late But Not A Dollar Short

Ok, ok, so I know I was suppose to post this on Monday and today is Wednesday. Working these long hours is not conducive to blogging. They aren’t fitting in so well with eating, sleeping or laundry either right now. I may need to get a real life one of these days but for now, I’ll just be thankful I have a job.


So without further ado, let’s get to the winner of the $45 CSN gift card. My sister Kelly read through all the great comments and called to announce the winner. I knew the minute I answered the phone who she had picked because she was laughing so hard she could barely breathe. As a matter of fact, she mentioned something about losing control of certain bodily functions upon reading the winning comment. Of course, I reminded her that at our age, not much was required to produce that effect. I’m just saying. Anyway, take a gander at the winner and see if you can keep a straight face. I mean this gal makes me look normal. I love her.



I post this knowing full-well I'll probably suffer the wrath of PETA for it....

My sister (who is 4 years younger than I am) and I were often left to our own devices growing up since my mom was divorced and working full-time and going to school. Both of us really wanted a dog but my mother refused and finally compromised and let us get gerbils.

Being little girls (I was 10 and she 6) we were afraid to pick them up with our hands and would often grab them by their tails when we took them out of their aquarium. One day we were playing with them and my sister grabbed one of the gerbils by his tail and said "Hey, watch this" and proceeded to swing Mr. Gerbil around like a lasso by his tail. All of a sudden Mr. Gerbil became a tiny furry missile and shot across the room landing on the wall. I looked at my sister and she had this stricken look on her face and was holding one skinny gerbil tail in her hand.

Both of us were speechless and horrified. I ran and picked up Mr. Gerbil who was quite stunned by the sudden smack into the wall and probably feeling quite a bit of painful remorse at the loss of his tail. We took him in the bathroom and I cleaned his little stub and we used Band-Aids to fix his tail. My sister cried the entire time, these big honking sobs, and I kept telling her "see, he's fine, he'll be okay". He actually was...of all our gerbils, "Stubby" lived the longest.

My sister and I both work in the same place now...she's a police sergeant and I'm a dispatcher. I'm actually known as the "instigator" at work...they call me "the pot-stirrer" and the "liar" because I often tease my coworkers.

SHEL,

YOUR COMMENT ROCKED MY WORLD
AND
MADE MY SISTER PEE HER PANTS.
FOR THAT ALONE, YOU DESERVE THE $45 CSN GIFT CARD.
ENJOY!


Sunday, February 27, 2011

This Could Explain A Lot

I spoke with my sister Kelly today and she is ready to pick the winner of the CSN $45 GIVEAWAY tomorrow. She is especially ready now that I finally told her she is picking the winner. Maybe she should read this here little blog more often so she can keep up with the things I am volunteering her for. Anyway, remember to enter as tomorrow is your last chance. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment telling me the craziest thing you and your sibling, (they can be actual, inherited or chosen), have ever gotten yourselves into. Come on, you know you want to.

To finish off this tell all contest, I thought I would repost something I wrote way back. It's a little story about something horrid I did to my sisters. It's still one of my favorite and all time best practical jokes ever played on them. So far. Here ya go....


Have you ever done something that you knew you really should not do, but you also knew if you didn’t do it, you would always wish you had? Yeah? Me too!


A few years ago, one of my aunts passed away. It was very sudden and sad for so many reasons. One of those reasons was her husband, my dad’s brother. When I got the call that Aunt Audrey had died and Uncle Louie had been taken to the hospital because of his heart, I got on the first available plane to California. My sisters and I were responsible for Uncle Lou since he and Aunt Audrey had “adopted” us in their will, not to mention, we loved that crazy, old couple. As I flew out the next morning, I wondered how my uncle would ever live without his wife. Eleven days after arriving in California and bringing Louie home to live with my dad, my uncle passed away in his sleep. I remain thankful to this very day for being able to spend those last days with him.


Surely, you can imagine the stress of dealing with two deaths in twelve days, not to mention having to clean out a house full of fifty years of junk. Then there was selling the house and closing accounts, notifying family and friends. It would have been overwhelming at times if my sisters and I had not had one another. Even so, we did get a bit crazy here and there along the way. Case in point:



I had taken care of Aunt Audrey’s cremation but had not picked up her ashes yet. I was too busy taking care of my Uncle Louie, who was obviously not doing well. When he passed away so soon after Aunt Audrey, I ended up having to retrieve two boxes of ashes at once. My sisters would have no part of the ashes thing, so they did all the administrative stuff. Driving back to my dad’s house with my aunt and uncle buckled in the backseat … hey, I did not want to take any chances of a Stephen King type event on the freeway … I started to get irritated. How come my sisters always get to look good, smell good and take care of the easy crap, while I am always wiping butts or driving dead people around? That’s when I began to devise my plan.



My aunt and uncle did not want a funeral. They specifically stated in their wills that they were to be cremated and the ashes sprinkled at sea. I had taken care of the cremations and my sisters had made the arraignments for the sprinkling at sea with the Neptune Society. When I arrived home and found my sisters had gone out … probably for a nail or hair appointment or some other stupid girl thing … I placed my aunt and uncle in the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet and went to work.



First, I ran out to the front garden carrying a plastic bowl and big spoon with me. I quickly filled the small bowl half full with the fine, powdery dirt in my parent’s front planter. Next, I ran back into the house and dug through my mother’s junk drawer finding exactly what I was hoping would be there … chalk. I placed the chalk in the bowl with the soil and grabbed a potato masher out of the pottery crock on the counter. As I mashed the chalk into the soil being careful to leave just the right size and shape pieces, I literally began to sweat with anticipation. For a split second, I imagined my mother standing next to me ready to thump me upside my head in the hopes of knocking some sense into me. Luckily for me, my mom had died two years earlier or she would have killed me right then and there.



Once the bowls content was the exact color and consistency of what I imagined people ashes might look like, I grabbed three plain, white envelopes from the desk drawer in the foyer along with a blue, ink pen. Carefully writing each of my sisters names along with my own, one on each envelope, I could only imagine their faces when this was over. I then slowly scooped a few spoonfuls of “ashes” into each envelope, sealed them and placed them in the bottom drawer on top of my aunt and uncle. I laughed out loud, knowing Lou and Aundrey would have loved this! I quickly cleaned up all the evidence and ran upstairs to change and wash up.



No sooner had I come back downstairs, when my sisters walked in the kitchen door. They were happy and chatty as always and had even brought back dinner for all of us. As we sat eating in the kitchen, my older sister asked if I had picked up Uncle Lou and Aunt Audrey. When I said yes, through a mouthful of coleslaw, both their faces dropped.



“Where are they?”



“In the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet.”



“Why are they there?”



“Where would you like me to put them?”



“I don’t know but somehow the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet just doesn’t seem right.”



“Ok, I’ll go get them and we can put them anywhere you two would like.”



At that last comment, they both began screaming, “No! Don’t bring them in here! Leave them there!”



That’s when I did it. I went into the dining room, opened the bottom drawer, took out the three envelopes and took them into the kitchen. I placed one in front of each of us and sat back down.



“By the way, the people at the mortuary gave me these. They are for the service on the boat, you know, when we go to sprinkle the ashes.”



As they each reached for their envelope, my oldest sister asked, “What are they?”



“They’re part of the ashes.”



Both my sisters literally threw the envelopes on the table screaming.



“Don’t be ridiculous, you two. It’s not like they had cooties. All we have to do when we go out on the boat is stand at the railing, say something nice, tear open our envelope and pour. Simple.”



My little sister sat staring at me shaking her head. My older sister looked completely horrified and made it clear, that was not going to happen. That’s when I grabbed my envelope, ripped it open and poured some of the “ashes” into my left hand.



“Look! It’s no big deal. It’s not like they’re going to bite you.”



My sisters jumped up and looked at me like I had completely gone mad, yelling, “Have you lost your mind? What are you doing?”



I replied, “Crap, now I have ashes all over me.” I then reached out and wiped my hands on the front of my oldest sister’s sweater. I truly thought I had killed her by the look of terror on her face.



Falling to the ground, unable to breathe from laughing so hard, I believe I heard “Idiot” right before I heard the front door open and then slam shut.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Decisions, CSN Giveaway and Childhood Mayhem Revisited

I spoke with my sister Kelly yesterday. It looks like some decisions are close to being solidified. She has pretty much decided to go ahead with more chemo and with the surgery. I am happy. So happy I could cry. Ok, I did cry after we hung up because I surely was not going to cry on the phone with her. No way. As I have said many times, crying is a sign of weakness between us sisters. The underbelly of the beast. Cry and the other sisters will go in for the kill. I'm no fool so no crying until that phone hit the cradle then it was Niagara Falls. I hate that my baby sister has to go through more of this cancer crap but I am happy. There is hope again.


Speaking of my baby sister, don't forget she will be picking the winner on Monday for the CSN $45 gift certificate. From Legos to LCD TV Stands, CSN has it all with over 200 online stores to browse. All you have to do is leave a comment telling me the craziest thing you and your sibling, (they can be actual, inherited or chosen), have ever gotten yourselves into. The comment that Kelly fancies the most will be announced Monday the 28th. How easy is that? Well, easy until your sibling finds out you told the world about them. Then it gets really interesting. Believe me, I know. Anyway, to kick this into gear, I am reposting a story I wrote last year about a little incident when Kelly and I were kids. Enjoy!


I was thinking about my mom today. I was remembering how mad she would get at my sisters and me when we were little. I never could understand why she made such a big deal out of things. I mean, seriously, we were just little girls doing little girl stuff. It wasn’t like we were biting the heads off of bats and knocking down old ladies on the street. That came much later in life. Although, there was that one incident with the new furniture.


My mother was very frugal. My dad was just the opposite. While my mother sat at the kitchen table for hours clipping coupons and planning the route to the seven stores she would hit to save a dollar, my dad was out buying the latest and greatest gadgets and gizmos the world had to offer. My mom wanted to drive her car into the ground while my dad was off to London on the Concorde. They were quite the pair, those two.


When my father finally talked my mother into new living room furniture, it was an event in our home. The green scrolled velvet high backed chairs with matching Mediterranean couch and fancy hi fi in the cabinet that matched the end tables which matched the coffee table which matched…. Well, you get the picture. Then there were the new lamps to complete the ambiance of the place. There was the giant round ball looking thing on one side of the room but on the other side, are you ready….on the other side was the three foot naked angel lamp. Yeah, you read it right.


This amazing creation of a living room was really more like a museum to us. We were not allowed in there. It was for company. Adult company. Not us. “Do you girls understand?!?!?!?!” Now think about that. You have a room in your house with all new stuff in it including a three foot naked angel lamp and then you say stay out. What do you think is going to happen the first time you leave your little darlings home alone while their dad is on the Concorde and their mom is hitting seven stores to save a buck?


So we decided to build a fort in the museum living room that fateful day. First, we got rope from the garage. My sister Kelly tied one end of the rope to the giant round ball looking thing on one side of the room while I tied the other end of the rope to the three foot naked angel lamp. Once we got the rope just the right height, we ran to our bedroom and pulled the blankets off our beds. Running back to the museum living room giggling with excitement, we each grabbed an end of the first blanket and threw it over the rope. Imagine our surprise when the giant round ball looking thing on one side of the room and the three foot naked angel lamp on the other side of the room flew off their matching Mediterranean tables and came crashing down onto the coordinating green shag carpet.


By the time our mother arrived home with her value crammed grocery bags, the blankets were back on the beds, the rope was back in the garage and the giant round ball looking thing on one side of the room and the three foot naked angel lamp on the other side of the room were back on their matching Mediterranean tables. It was years before she ever noticed the glued back together body parts. That is the very good thing about a room rarely used. It buys you time to live.


What made me think about this story today? As I was putting away the last of the Christmas decorations, something caught my eye in the nativity. Baby Jesus is missing an arm and I am pretty sure his head was not on backwards before Christmas.


Darn kids!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Week Seven of The List, My Sister the Instigator and A CSN Giveaway

On my drive home from work tonight, I had decided to quit blogging, slink off into the real world and pretend I had never started this whole writing thing. Of course, as I was thinking this through, I was writing the blog about it in my head. I fear I am doomed to continue to write the crap that ferments within my brain which means people somewhere are doomed to continue to stumble upon said fermented written crap and read before they realize how deep the fermentation is. For this, I apologize.


The List


7. Volunteer to tutor a kid at your local elementary school.
(Try to get to know the kid’s family.)



Well, I had this one all figured out until tonight. A few weeks back I met a teacher who works in one of the inner-city schools. When I mentioned The List and specifically wanting to find a kid to tutor she was thrilled and said to call her as soon as I was ready. Then tonight when I got home, my 12 year old told me about one of her new friends in the neighborhood who is having a miserable time with life right now. Actually, the entire family is suffering through more than any one family should have to face at one given time. Now I am thinking maybe this is the kid and the family I am meant to reach out to. So, that is the plan this week. I am going to march myself right over there this week, introduce myself with some home baked goods (bribery, I know) and see what happens. Have I ever mentioned that I am an extremely outgoing person on the outside but on the inside I am a constantly, quivering coward who just wants to stay home and hide from hard stuff? There, I said it. Now you know the truth. However, I am also one of the most competitive people I know and failure makes me miserable so in order to not fail at this mission I have undertaken, I will be door knocking later this week. Oy!



Now about my sister, the instigator. Kelly is home resting and feeling better now that she is back in her own bed. I call her just about every night on my way home from work. Most of the time the conversation revolves around the insanity at my workplace. Kel and her husband are franchise owners of the same company I work for only I am in a corporate store. You would think that would automatically mean I am in one of the good stores and it’s a crap shoot with a franchise. I mean seriously, some of those store owners are whackos, I’m sure. (Remember who I said owned a few? hint hint) Anyway, the truth is, the corporate store I am in could seriously be perfect fodder for a reality show about humanity at it’s strangest level. Oh yeah, I know I’m in that mix but still, you wouldn’t believe the half of it. Again, ask me about the cockroach guy. Seriously I dare ya.



As usual, I digress. The short of it is this: there is some drama unfolding in my store right now with me as a key player. Shocking, right? My sister, the instigator, has decided to get involved in a sneaky sisterly, keep your mitts off my sister or I’ll poke your eye out, kind of deal. Oh yeah, this could get interesting. I’m hoping all that blood boiling cures her cancer and we can open our own store together and finally show these people the right way to do things. I mean, Kel might be sick and I might be tired but think about it. Two sick and tired women are a deadly combination not to be taken lightly.



Which brings me to THE CSN GIVEAWAY! CSN is an online store that knows how to roll. From Legos to LCD TV Stands, there is no drama involved in shopping the aisles of CSN’s more than 200 online stores. One lucky Butts and Ashes reader will win a $45 CSN gift certificate. How you ask? Leave a comment telling me the craziest thing you and your sibling, (they can be actual, inherited or chosen), have ever gotten yourselves into. No siblings? You can have mine. You’ll have plenty to write then, I promise. Anyway, my sister the instigator, will then read through them all and pick the one she fancies the most.



Here’s your chance to pretend your me and put it all out there for the world to shake their heads at. Come on and spill the goods. It could earn you $45 to buy a gift to send with that apology letter you‘ll owe your sibling for spilling the beans.



The winner will be chosen next Monday, February 28th. Only US whackos can win. If you are an out of the US whacko, and I am not naming names glen comment anyway. Kelly is easily impressed and could possibly be moved to send you something as well. I’m just saying.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Meaning of Significant

I have been thinking about the word significant a lot these last few days. Webster’s says it means important, noticeable, caused by something other than mere chance. People use the word to describe the person they are sleeping with this week, the raise they hope to get next week or the weight they need to lose by next month. Doctors use the word to scare the holy hell out of you and help you prepare for what lies ahead. All I know is I have come to hate the word. I find significant an absolute insult to my psyche.


Brain tumors show significant growth.



Tumors on the spine show significant growth.



Lung and liver tumors show significant growth.



The only significant thing that has come out of this last week in Houston with my sister is this: I cannot imagine going through what she has gone through. I cannot imagine what she now faces. I cannot imagine my life without her.



I am significantly sad.



Dr. Doom has recommended “trying” more chemo of a different flavor with a side of radiation possibly. Dr. McDreamy feels more surgery on the spinal column is in the cards. Kelly is not sure what she will do. She is home with her husband and her menagerie. Life is good for her there. Beyond that, the rest of us are waiting for her decision. Waiting and praying and hoping for a miracle of significant proportions.


Kelly and McDreamy