Archive for February, 2010

BFF Week: Day 7

What?? You didn’t really think I was going to reach the end of BFF Week without telling you about:

The Doctor!??  Oops.  That’s probably the remnant from a very interesting dream.  Here’s my real BFF for today:


Okay, now this is just getting silly. One more try:

This is my Joey.  We met about 20 years ago, and have been married for about 18 1/2 years now.  It’s kind of impressive, if you think about it. Our first unofficial date involved us watching a movie with my youngest sister, having dinner at home, and then him laying on my floor and talking for four hours.  I was so not thrilled.  I was also coming down with the flu or a bad cold or something, although I didn’t realize it at the time.  When he found out, he came by my home before heading to the airport to go back home to Buffalo, and brought me a baggie full of Vitamin C, some candy canes, a packet of instant soup, and a Christmas card.  I thought it was really sweet, because even my roommates hadn’t really acknowledged that I was sick. But I still didn’t like him. Oh, no. I liked someone else. Mm-hmmmm.

Yeah. Well, to make a dreadfully long story short, I had my last date with the someone else a few days before my first official date with Joe, and the rest is history.

Here’s what you need to know about Joe: He has an incredibly big heart. If you needed it, he’d give you everything he had, just making sure that there was enough to take care of me. Like the song from Music Man, he’d give you his shirt, and the back to go with it if you were in need. 

The reason he talks a lot is because he thinks a lot. He is very observant and he pays attention to what’s going on in the world. He has ideas about how things could be improved, or why things are going to hell in a handbasket, and he wants to share those thoughs and ideas.

He is ferociously protective of me. I remember when we were still in the newlywed stage, we were in a car accident. I was driving, my cousin H. was in the middle, and he was in the passenger’s seat. A pizza delivery car blasted through a red light and slammed into us. As our pickup spun around and settled to a stop, I heard him screaming, “My wife! My wife!”  I was so moved that his first thoughts were of me. And I guarantee you that even now, 20 years later, his first thoughs are of me.

He’s brilliant. He is the sole reason Izzy and I made it through our last math class in university, thus enabling us to graduate with honours.  He’s a tier four engineer for his company. His job is the equivalent of him playing in the Super Bowl on every assignment, and he rises to the challenge beautifully every time.

I love my husband, love him madly, through everything that’s happened, good or bad. And I know that he loves me, loves me madly, through everything that’s happened, good or bad.

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BFF Week: Day 6

Today’s BFF is no longer with us, but she is no less a BFF for that. Forever doesn’t mean until we die.

I don’t have any pictures of Janine in my computer, but I’ll get one scanned and add it to this post as soon as I do.  Janine and I met right when Joe and I moved to Texas. Her oldest daughter was then a newborn, and she’s got to be in her mid to late teens now. Wow! It does’t seem possible that that much time has gone by.

Janine and I hit it off right away. She had a great sense of humour, and she could talk almost as much as my husband can. Trust me when I say that’s a lot of talking. She enjoyed doing crafts, and I enjoyed doing them with her. I watched her children as they came into the world, each with their own unique personalities, and loved them all. We used to spend Easter breakfast and Christmas Eve together. Our Easter breakfast consisted of a traditional Polish breakfast–rye bread, butter lambs, ham off the bone, coffee cake, hard-boiled eggs, etc.–and Janine loved it. We made Easter baskets for the kids and talked with them about the meaning of Easter.  On Christmas Eve we did stockings for the kids, and used the creche to talk about the meaning of Christmas.  As the kids got older and Janine’s and our circles of friends grew wider, we weren’t always able to spend those days with them, but we still enjoyed getting together whenever we could.

There were times that we drifted apart for various reasons, but it didn’t seem to matter. Whenever we did get together, it was as if no time had passed at all. 

Janine enjoyed collecting frog-themed items, and I always think of her when I see them.  I got her a few while she was still here, and she was one of the reasons I got my zen frog statue for my living room.

She was killed several years ago in a tragic auto accident, that left only her husband and two of her four children living. I know they must miss her every day.

I don’t know when I’ll see Janine again, but I know I will, and it’s going to be just like no time had passed at all.

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BFF Week, Day 5

Here’s another BFF that I have yet to meet, although this is being rectified later in March.

Meet Kellee, my newest sister-in-law.  My brother’s been married and in long-term relationships a few times, and Kellee is the *only* one to ever reach out to his family.  That’s nice.  Plus she’s Polish, which means she knows from kielbasa and pierogi, which is also nice.

Here’s what I know about Kellee:  She loves to do counted cross stitch.  The header on her blog (Freaky Angel; see the link to the right) is from one of her pieces. Wonderful, huh? She’s a good cook. I know that because my brother frequently comments on the stellar meals she serves. She apparently likes to clean, which means if she lived near me she’d be welcome at my house ANY time (lol).   She loves Harry Potter and all kinds of reading and writing, loves movies, and she loves my brother.

No offense, bro, but I’m seriously majorly impressed with a woman like Kellee who can put up with my brother.

Yep, I’m looking forward to March. Welcome to the family, Kells.

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BFF Week: Day 4

Today’s BFF of the day is someone I have known for a good long time. I haven’t quite coveted her children, but I am definitely madly in love with them all. 

Meet Clover.

Yes, that is a stack of books you see there, ready for her to sign a copy for you if you’re at the Hurst NE Mall Barnes & Noble this Saturday from 3:30 to 6 p.m. And yes, this is a shameless plug for my best friend Clover. 🙂

Clover and I met not too long after Joe and I moved to Texas. Her daughter was in nursery at church, and I remember her as the cutest blond who always wore darling dresses and was never too self-conscious to perform. Her son K. was a sleepy baby who irresistibly reminded me of Swee’ Pea. Then along came C., and then S.—S was my baby. If he hurt himself and I was at the house, he came running to me. I can’t tell you how much that touched my heart. And I showed S. to put his hand on Joe’s guitar while Joe was playing, so that he could feel the vibrations.  T. was her last baby, just a few months older than my twins would have been had they made it.

Clover’s the kind of friend who is there for you in the hard times, and she’s also there for you a few weeks after the hard times hit. She recognizes that even though other friends have moved on, and may not be as aware of you and your needs as they were when the hard times initially came through, things are still difficult, and you still hurt, and you still need a bouquet of flowers left on your doorstep. She’s sensitive. She’s amazingly loving.  She’s hysterically funny. We’ve had insane discussions about all kinds of things, and you could laugh so hard you think you’re going to die because you can’t stop laughing long enough to catch your breath. She’s cool with my 13-year-old-boy sense of humour.

Clover is just the coolest person I know. If you know her, you already know this. And if you don’t know her, I’m genuinely sorry for you. Everyone should have Clover for a best friend. I’m glad I do.

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BFF Week, Day 3

Are you sitting on pins & needles, waiting to see which of my bff’s is going to be featured next? Well, wait no more. Meet Jehara!!!

Isn’t she lovely?

Jehara and I first met in university, in a Shakespeare class taught by the totally awesome Dr. Lacy. The only thing I wasn’t crazy about was his fondness for daily quizzes in which he asked the most obscure questions possible to ensure that we had done our assigned reading. Of course we did our assigned reading! It’s Shakespeare! What’s not to love? Nonetheless, no matter how carefully I paid attention to the text, I didn’t particularly see a need to recollect how many hops Cleopatra took through the town (real question).  Jehara and I got to work with another student or two on a scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. (Side note: that’s when I discovered my second favourite tongue twister–“Whereat with blade, with bloody blameful blade, he bravely broached his boiling bloody breast.”) I adored her. I thought she was the cutest, quirkiest person I’d ever met, and I knew then I’d want to be friends with her forever.

And then I didn’t see her again, except when I was over at the theatre department to watch the student projects or when I went to the Stone Cottage to watch MoMentuM’s inaugural season, in which my sister, the incomparable Izzybella, had roles. But I still loved her madly. As Izzy was getting involved in MoMentuM, I asked her to let me know when there was a play that she thought I might do well in, so I could audition. As fate would have it, Jehara chose Gertrude Stein’s What Happened: A Play in Five Acts and Izzy decided I’d be perfect. I summoned up all my courage and auditioned, and the audition process was so fun and completely different from anything I’d imagined. Jehara took a chance on me, and thus initiated my whopping two play theatre career.  More importantly, it initiated a friendship that will never be extinguished.

Jehara has a unique perspective on the world and life, and I always enjoy talking with her and looking at things through her eyes. She’s very artistic. She’s true, loyal, deeply loving, another person who loves unconditionally. She knows how to laugh and be silly–for example, I felt completely comfortable in revealing to her that I like to play and splash in the bathtub when I take baths.  She remembered that, and a few years later brought me a purple bath soap crayon.

She now lives too far away for my liking, but she’s making a new life with her husband. I know that no matter how rarely we get to see each other, there won’t be any constraint or awkwardness when we do get together.

I really love her. She is just amazing. I am blessed to have her for myy friend.

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BFF Week, Day 2

I forgot to mention yesterday, as I was telling you about Izzybella, that her ring tone on my cell phone is Billy Idol’s Dancing With Myself.  Not because she’s always dancing with herself but because I love the song, love Billy Idol and love Izzybella.  I haven’t had a working TV in quite some time (that works for anything but DVD watching, anyway), so I haven’t seen Glee. One day while she was over, and we were being a little silly with You Tube, she started showing me clips from Glee.  My favourite, hands-down, was Artie singing Dancing With Myself as he wheeled himself through the school. Love it. Makes me love the song even more than I already did.

Okay. On to new business.  Today’s BFF of the day is dunh dunh dunh Gypsy Grrl, everyone’s favourite RN!

Gypsy and I got acquainted through a mutual friend’s blog, and it did not take long for us to become fast friends. I got to see her going through nursing school with ardor and passion, as well as dogged determination to make it. Her hard work paid off, as she is now an RN working in a hospital cardiac unit!  I had planned to be there for her capping and pinning in January, but was unfortunately unable to go. She and I are planning a trip later on in the year, and we’re both very much looking forward to it. Sight-seeing will happen, as will much watching the Harry Potter movies and gabbing all night. It’s going to be a hoot.

Gypsy is very true and loyal. She’s open. She’s ferocious in her defense of people she loves. She’s funny. She’s sweet and kind. She’s the reason that I had to change my cell phone plan to get unlimited texting, because we can go for quite some time.

The most important person in Gypsy’s life is her father, who passed away a little over 4 years ago. He instilled a love of music in her, and taught her how to appreciate and admire a good guitar.  Gypsy’s a poet, too, and perhaps that gift came from her father as well.

All in all, Gypsy is someone that I am proud to call my friend, someone who gives me unconditional love, someone with whom I can completely be myself. I love her madly!!!

Please tune in tomorrow to meet another of my cherished BFFs!

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BFF Week

I’ve decided to proclaim this week BFF week. Lemme ‘splain.   A few years ago, when I actually listened to the radio during my commute, the morning DJs were discussing the fact that the woman would frequently refer to her “best friend Lisa” or her “best friend Olivia.”  The guy was bemused, stating that it didn’t seem right to him. Best is a superlative, which means you have one best friend, not multiple best friends. From a grammatical standpoint, yeah, I see what he’s saying. But from a personal standpoint, I’m with her. I have several best friends, and I can’t pick and choose one over any others. Except for my husband and sister, of course, but that doesn’t mean I love my other best friends any less.

The idea for BFF week came to me last night while I was IMing with my brother, and trying to briefly describe one of my besties.  This gives me a chance to share them with you, as well as let them know how much I lurve them!!!  So, with no further ado, let’s start BFF week with my absolute BFF, the Incomparable Izzybella.

She’s going to kill me for using this photo, but there you have it. The awesomeness that is my sister!!!

When I was a kid, I noticed my mother resting her elbows on the dinner table. Being an incurable smart-ass, I chanted, “Mable, Mable, if you’re able, get your elbows off the table,” as I’d learned in girl scouts. I got my butt busted. I also realized that she was not fat, but pregnant. (I was kind of oblivious even then, off in my own little world.)  It seemed that she and the world were convinced that she was going to have another son. Nothing against my brother, whom I love, but I wanted a sister.

I got a sister.

I adored her. I loved picking out her baby clothes, brushing her hair, feeding her, playing with her. The only thing I didn’t love was having to get her out of her crib in the mornings. Let’s just say that if I ever start losing my hair, it will be because of all the hair she wrenched out of my head as she screamed with indignation that I was daring to get her out of bed before the stroke of noon.

As we grew older, I continued to spoil her rotten. Somehow, though, she managed to avoid becoming rotten. She just got cooler and cooler. We fought from time to time, as sisters do, but not too often. Even as a child she was a neat freak and I was a slob, which made sharing a bedroom hell for both of us. Every time we did fight, about halfway through it I started laughing. Here were two people who loved each other more than anything screaming like a couple of fishwives. When I did laugh, she thought I was laughing at her, and got even more upset. That usually led to her stomping out of the room, while I hollered “stomp a little louder!” and she did.  Our most monumental fight was over an onion. Yeah. Long story there.

I don’t know if it was the 8 years between us, or just that we were so kindredly, but I’ve always thought of her as my best friend. She’s always there for me, thick or thin, happy or sad, good or bad. I love her. And she is my bestest best friend, and I’m blessed!!

Stay tuned tomorrow for a chance to meet another of my besties!

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Ou sont les nieges?

Ils sont ici.

This really has been an odd winter for North Texas. Lots of snow (for us), even if it’s not a fraction of the snow they get in Maryland & Virginia.

And I’m sorry I didn’t have my camera in hand when I let the dogs in. Molly’s lush black coat was dotted with white snowflakes and she looked so darling. Scout doesn’t like the snow at all, and he’d already shaken the snow off of his coat.

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It’s Thursday. Whee.

I’m having a helluva rough day today.  Joe’s been gone since early Tuesday morning, and I miss him dreadfully.  I’m finding that the dogs and everything are just too much for me to handle right now on top of work and knee rehabilitation. It’s been rainy since yesterday and my knee’s been hurting more than it has been the last several days. That means more painkillers, more ice, less productivity.

Also, my blood pressure, which used to be fantastic, has rocketed pretty high since one of the meds I take to control the bipolar has high blood pressure as a side effect.  On the advice of my physical therapist, I first called my psych office. The totally awesome nurse practitioner I see told me to drop the dosage of that medicine by 1/3, and depending on how I do mood-wise, we can see if that will help my blood pressure drop.  And my awesome primary care doc called in a refill on some blood pressure medicine. The combination of the two seems to be helping. My top number’s back to being good, and the bottom number is less bad than it was, even if it’s not yet good.  However, I’m weepy. Not sure how much to attribute to the reduction in the one medicine and how much to attribute to just feeling overwhelmed by everything at home while Joe’s away.

Just had physical therapy and I’m continuing to improve, which is good.  Have to keep pushing through the pain to accomplish my goals.

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Taking a Step Back

Not necessarily what I wanted to do, but sometimes compromising helps keep things copacetic.  After valiantly striving for almost a year to follow a strict vegan diet, I’m taking a step back to vegetarian.  Joe’s been so incredibly worried about my health, particuarly while I’m recovering from my knee replacement surgery. If you saw the post-operative diet they gave me, you’d laugh hysterically. Breakfast should be bacon & eggs or sausage, with toast and fruit. Each meal is to be accompanied by a glass of milk, and should have meat.  Yeah. So not doing that.

He’s making sure I get plenty of protein and vitamins. Odwalla is my new best friend, according to him. No complaints. He knows I’m not going to drink cow’s milk at all period end of discussion.  He tried slipping a little into my cereal one day, and I could tell the difference and asked him not to. But I did agree that I would go back to eating some cheese and eggs, at least for now.

He loves me. He wants me to be healthy and he wants me to recover well from the surgery. So I’m willing to compromise for now, until I’m back up to 100% and cooking  my own meals.

On another note, he got an assignment, and left this morning for Florida.  I’m going to miss him. Having Joe home with me for the last two months has been stressful in some ways, but it’s been really really  nice in others. I know he loves what he does, and loves the travel, so I’m going to make the best of it. Today’s my first day alone. I’m a little nervous actually. If anyone comes to the door, I’ve got to make sure to keep Scout on a short leash. He loves to slip out the front door, make water in the front yard, and then run along the street until someone catches him and takes him for a walk. I so can’t do that yet. And we’d be devastated if anything happened to him.

Last night was a rough night, so I’m going to end this now and nap for a little while before I get on my work laptop and have a productive afternoon.

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