Sunday, December 30, 2007

Matt MADE my day!

It's true.... He did. This evening while we were eating our shepherds pie, he asked me the question of my dreams right out of the blue. The question: "Name the Forbidden Curses." By the tone of his voice I could feel him challenge my authority, but at the same time I sensed that if I didn't answer correctly his little heart would be crushed. We weren't even on the topic so I think he was trying to catch me off guard.

I am a Harry Potter Freak. My love affair with the books started over 7 years ago when I was pregnant with Sam. I was really sick. I had Hyper emesis gravidarum which means excessive vomiting in pregnancy. I couldn't keep anything down. I lost 60 pounds in one and a half months. When it was found that my kidneys were bleeding I wound up in the hospital for 10 days, being fed intravenously some kind of clear solution and a big bag of white fluid that looked like baby formula, which was full of lipids and proteins. Every day the doctor of internal medicine would check my blood to see where it was deficient before mixing up a new brew.

For the first part of the week my roommate was a crabby, thirty something woman who was jonesing for a smoke. I heard her and this guy who was there to visit her concoct a plan to climb out the window, onto the roof for a cig. I was shocked when her friend had the nerve to ask the nurse if he could help her do this. Of course the nurse said it was out of the question. None of her patients were going to take a puff on her watch and with a fresh incision this was entirely out of the question. Yes, I eavesdropped through the curtain.

For the second part of the week my roommate was a sweet little old lady who had at least one sometimes more members of her family with her 24/7. They were really nice people, but I was so sick and being poked and prodded hourly. And I was so LONELY.

I would wait all day for Matt to get off work. He would come straight to the hospital and stay with me until the nurse kicked him out at night. Then after I cried for 15 minutes he would go home and we would start it all over again the next day. My mom came to visit too and my sweet Aunts. I will never forget a phone call from my sister-in-law, Jeanna. I was so grateful, and impressed, and surprised that she tracked me down. She didn't really know me, Matt and I had been married less than 2 months at this point.

On one of my Aunt Kathy's visits she brought some lotion and some nail polish. She gave me a pedicure. I felt so bad for her. Not only were my feet and ankles swollen to the width of my legs because of all the fluids they were pumping into me, but my legs were hairier than Sasquatch. Even in my malnourished state I was still capable of growing hair on my legs. No wonder I was so tired. Aunt Kathy is a Saint.

Just before she left, she pulled four books from her bag of sunshine. I had her put them on the bedside table and then she left. I had tried to read the first Harry Potter book about a year and a half before but I couldn't get into it. By the time she had been gone 20 minutes I was already feeling desperate, so I cracked the first book open and I lost myself. I sat in that hospital bed and I loathed the Dursley's. My heart jumped when Hagrid told Harry his true identity as a wizard. I itched to slap that smirk off that little Malfoy twerps face. And I giggled with giddiness at Harry's first quidditch match when his wonderful friends made a banner that said,"Potter for President" that was charmed to change colors. I hung on every word. I consider them some of my best friends. I think it's safe to say, J.K. Rowling saved me from depression.

I remember a few days and two books later when the doctor walked into my room. He asked me if I had experienced a numbness or tingling sensation in my pinky and ring fingers. As a matter of fact, I had. He explained to me it was because I spent my days with the inside of my elbows resting on my by then (and I know this is hard to believe) jutting hip bones. This posture was causing muscle degeneration. From then on I had to stop every so often and do some laps around the nurses station while dragging my IV pole along with me.

And so Harry and friends have a very special place in my heart. Yes, I own a wand. Yes, I made myself a scarf in red and gold Gryffindor colors. Yes, I have read each book more times than I can count. I am not ashamed. I answered the question correctly of course, even adding what each curse does and the incantations to go with. (More than he bargained for.) So I put the challenge to all of you. Answer in the comments section, along with your favorite Harry Potter moment. I can't wait to find out.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Book Review - Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst

One word....Depressing. I had high hopes for this book because it was chosen by the Today Show for their Book Club.... It's about a linguist, who loses his wife to a mysterious death,which is ruled an accident, and the only witness is their dog. There are several incongruities that he is not comfortable with, so he decides to devote all his time and energy to teaching the dog to speak - to literally speak English, so that she can tell him the events of the day leading up to and including the "accident". While his reminiscing is touching and the book is extremely well written I couldn't get past the terrible truths and and outcome within. The book has at least two F-bombs, and some inappropriate sexual content.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Book Review - The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Holy Cow! This was a good book! When I finished at 1:05 am (because I couldn't put it down despite being totally tired) I wanted to start over and read it again. My friend Kim, whose blog link is to the left, recommended this book to our Book Club and so we decided to read it for the month of January's discussion. I can not wait!
This is the story of a woman, Margaret, who loves to read. (Someone I can totally identify with.) But she only reads dead authors. She works in her fathers bookshop and is an amateur biographer. When she receives a letter from the most famous contemporary author of her time who wants Margaret to write her biography, things get interesting. The story within the story, the references to other books, and the character development make for a very intriguing read. The story is seriously strange, and I feel like I should warn about a bit of incest.... Nothing graphic though. And the twist at the end is a big surprise that I never saw coming and I'm usually pretty good at being able to predict what will happen, though I don't usually enjoy books that are too predictable. Go figure.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

My Lucky Day!

Today at school around 12:30 there came an announcement over the PA....."This is not a drill. Gather all of your belongings and go to your Home rooms. Once there evacuate the building immediately." Followed by an hour and a half of standing on slushy snow covered grass while we waited for each parent to show up and sign out their students.

All the while rumors were flying. "There was a water leak in the server room that started a fire." "There is a deadly virus going around the school - that's why half the students are absent today." " Did you hear that the PE teacher caught the virus and had to go home early?" "There is an alarm going off that tells us there is a methane gas leak." And so on and so forth.
I have received an email from the principal stating the following:
"The evacuation this afternoon was due to a suspicious odor in the building. We felt it was important to contact the fire department and gas company to have this odor identified. The Alpine Fire District Fire Chief made the determination to evacuate in order to safely conduct tests. After several agencies performed tests in the building it was confirmed that the odor was neither natural gas nor a CO2 leak. It is now believed the odor was caused by a large amount of stagnant standing water that had seeped into the building during this last storm. We have been reassured there is no immediate threat from today's situation."

One thing I find hilarious is that our school is a No Technology school meaning no cameras, cell phones, ipods, etc. Within minutes of the evacuation cell phones materialized out of thin air. I'd say there were over 20. People were texting and calling parents. And I saw four different kids with ipods. One of them had her ipod in her pocket, a small hole in her pocket allowed the headphones through her pocket,up her pants and shirt, down her shirt sleeve putting the little speaker just inside her cuff and she said she puts her elbow on the table and rests her head on her hand and listens to music during her classes. Unbelievable. No - I take it back - I believe.

While it was a bit cold and uncomfortable it was some excitement that has started our Christmas break a day and a half early. That's right, school is closed tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

AHHHHH!! Tradition!

Holy Cow! I can't wait for Thursday! We have been so busy. There is something going in every night this week. And more than one thing on some nights. But it's all good stuff so I really can't complain. And starting on Thursday I get TWO WEEKS off of work. It's going to be so nice. I've got some grand plans of sleeping in, reading, working out everyday, reading, reading and reading. I'm all ready for Christmas and all I have to do is wrap. And bake some cookies for my neighbors.
I am totally looking forward to all our little traditions as well as starting some new ones. We have already participated in some of the yearly traditions and it has been so nice. What is it about familiarity that brings us comfort? Certain songs, smells, tastes, and activities can bring so much peace.
One of the most memorable traditions of my adolescence was my dad giving us a hard time every Christmas Eve. For as long as I can remember we always opened a present on Christmas Eve. Just one. And starting around noon we would start to ask when we could open the Christmas Eve presents. Once we became teenagers and ever since , without fail my dad would say,"We don't open presents on Christmas Eve." The first year he did this we were aghast and really mad. How could he say that, we have always done this. Doesn't he remember? The next year we were on too him. And don't tell him, but I personally looked forward to him playing like he had no idea what we were talking about. I would have been disappointed if he didn't play his little mind games with us. Does that make me weird?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Book Review - Eve's Daughters by Lynn Austin

This book is about four generations of women from one family. It covers customs of the times and how those customs change, but also how the things that make us happy, content and close in our relationships don't change. I had a seriously hard time staying motivated to finish this book, but I don't think it had anything to do with the book. I've just been so busy that I haven't had time to sit (or lay in my bed as I prefer) and read. When I did lay down to read my poor tired eyes would slam shut. So despite my lack of time to really get into this book, I enjoyed it. It was a bit repetitive and extremely predictable, but I enjoyed the Christian theme and the discussion of relationship to God that went on through out the book. I would recommend this book.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Check it out!

My friend Sarah put this on her blog. I loved it. Check it out.

Monday, December 10, 2007

It's Out

The Christmas Stuff is Out. I have to admit I was not looking forward to it this year, which isn't really like me. I have always thought I was a real tree kind of person, but this year I didn't want it. I hate going out to get it(It's been like four years since I went). I hate trying to get it in the stand. I hate vacuuming the needles into February - because we all know they still lurk around for months. I hate watering the dang thing. And besides the tree there are all the little Nick knacks that come out with the ornaments. Like I said, normally I can't wait and I anticipate the fun and decoration. But this year we have been so busy and the house has been kind of cluttered; therefore, I haven't been wanting extra stuff sitting around.

Today, I made Matt pick the tree up on his way home from work. Then, Sam and I commenced to decorate the tree/house while Matt read The Forgotten Carols to us. It was fun. It looks great. I don't know what my problem was. But ask me how I feel about it in a week when all the usual clutter is back.

On a different subject BOOK CLUB IS THIS WEEKEND! I can't wait. Have I ever mentioned how much I love my book club? This month we are discussing the book The Christmas Jars by Jason Wright. I read this book two Christmas' ago and I enjoyed it. It's a quick read and that is why it was a good pick for this busy month. Well, that, and it's a good book.

Book Club is at my house this time, so I guess it's a good thing we put out the Christmas gear.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Sam's Love Life

The other day Sam told me he is in love with someone at school. I asked him, "What does that mean, how do you know you are in love with her?" He said, "Well I told her that I love her." Shocked and amazed that my little 6 year old thinks about this and would feel like he needs to tell her I said, "What did she say?" He told me in a whisper voice that she said, "Don't tell anyone else!" Haha, she is a smart girl..... Keeping her options open I guess. I went on to tell Sam that this is not the time for him to fall in love and that he doesn't need to think about it until after his mission. He didn't seem convinced.

I don't remember worrying about that kind of stuff so young. I don't think it was until 4th grade that people in my grade started telling each other they liked each other and "going around". But I don't remember any talk of love.
Can anyone help me understand this? Fill me in, what do I do with this child?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

"Go clean your room"= Instant Hysteria

Yesterday, Sam asked if he could invite a friend over. I said, " Don't you think you and your friend would be embarrassed to play in such a messy room? Why don't you clean your room today and invite someone over to play tomorrow." So he started the job, and it was a big job, and then after 15 minutes he asked for a break that lasted until bed time and then it was really urgent that he get back to his cleaning job. That was a NO GO.
Fast forward to today. I told him right after school that he had to do his homework and then finish cleaning his room. He begged me to help him. I told him no, I didn't help make the mess so I wasn't going to help clean it up. Then we worked on his homework. When that was done he said he wanted to watch TV. I told him he needed to clean his room first. "Will you help me?" "No."
He stalled for about ten minutes. And then I said if you don't clean your room you can't go play at the rec center. Instant Hysterics commenced. And again he said," will you help me". I said,
"Yes, I will help you learn that cleaning up a big mess is hard work, and so you shouldn't make big messes. I will help you learn this by letting you clean up the mess by yourself."
How a perfectly pleasant and happy child becomes such a wreck in a split second is beyond me. He went up and got to work and about ten minutes later he asked if I would tell him what to do. So I told him to pick up all the dirty clothes and put them in the hamper. A few minutes later he came back and said, "Done... now what." "OK, pick up all the transformers", etc.
I can't help but think that I deserve this. As a young child I shared a room with two sisters. Our room was atrociously filthy. The room was knee deep with junk. We didn't have a light switch and so our lamp was turned on and off with a pull chain. Our room was such a mess that my dad attached a 7 foot chain to the lamp, which hung around the middle of the room, so that he wouldn't have to walk in to turn off the light for us. He attached the end of the chain to the wall by the doorway. Needless to say we didn't get tucked in because it was such a mess.
One day during the summer my mom had had enough. She told us we couldn't go swimming until we cleaned up our room. So we went up and looked at the mess and tried to figure out a way that we could go swimming THAT day, if we had honestly tried to clean it up, it would have taken several days. We lived in an apartment attached to a motel that my parents managed. In our room there was no closet, instead there was one of those nifty shelf/hanger bars with the hangers permanently attached - like you'd find in a motel. So we decided to stack all the stuff up between the floor and that rack. Turns out it went all the way up to the ceiling. This pile of junk had a 5'x7' girth and the ceiling was probably 8 feet high. Then, because it would be way to obvious that we didn't really clean when she saw the pile we wedged a sheet between the pile and the ceiling to hide it. Like that's not obvious. Then we called my mom up for inspection..... AND SHE FELL FOR IT! I couldn't believe our luck. She looked right at the sheet and said, "OK, you can go swimming now." Wow! We were the smartest kids in America. And she must have been the most worn down mother in America.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Answers to the Goonies Quiz

Congratulations to Becky who got them all but one. Thanks for not letting me down!

1. What does the jail warden say at the very beginning of the movie?

"Lunch time. The longer you animals bark, the colder your lunch gets."

2. Name all of the Goonies.

Mikey, Brand, Mouth, Chunk, Data. Steph and Andy are more like honorary members.

3. What is the name of the "bad guys"?

The Fratellis

4. How did Brand earn money for his bike?

376 lawn mower jobs.

5. Why does Brand still need a bike?

Because he flunked his drivers test. But I will also accept that Mouth popped his tires. I guess that question wasn't that clear.

6. What does Chunk say the bullet holes found in a ORV are as big as.?

Matza Balls

7. Fill in the blank: "Slick Shoes ?! Are you crazy?!"

8. Where does Goonies take place?

Astoria, OR

9. What is the name of the cleaning lady who is there to help the Walsh family pack?


10. What is the name of Chunk's dance?

The Truffel Shuffel

11. What is the name of the Pirate?

One Eyed Willey

12. Where do they get the money to save the Goondocks? I'm looking for a specific place.

From the jewels hidden in Mikey's marble bag.

13. What is in Chunks attic?

Old Chanukka decorations

14. What is the name of the Pirate's Ship?

The Inferno

15. What is the name of the reclusive scavenger?

Chester Copperpot

16. What does Mouth say to let his friends know someone is there?

Jerk Alert!

17. Where does Brand say his mommy is?

"Down at the market buying pampers for all us kids."

18. What does Steph say about being in the basement?

" I feel like I'm babysitting, except I'm not getting paid."

Quiz on my all time favorite movie: Goonies.

1. What does the jail warden say at the very beginning of the movie?
2. Name all of the Goonies.
3. What is the name of the "bad guys"?
4. How did Brand earn money for his bike?
5. Why does Brand still need a bike?
6. What does Chunk say the bullet holes found in a ORV are as big as.?
7. Fill in the blank: "___________ _________?! Are you crazy?!"
8. Where does Goonies take place?
9. What is the name of the cleaning lady who is there to help the Walsh family pack?
10. What is the name of Chunk's dance?
11. What is the name of the Pirate?
12. Where do they get the money to save the Goondocks? I'm looking for a specific place.
13. What is in Chunks attic?
14. What is the name of the Pirate's Ship?
15. What is the name of the reclusive scavenger?
16. What does Mouth say to let his friends know someone is there?
17. Where does Brand say his mommy is?
18. What does Steph say about being in the basement?

Answer in the comments section....if you can.