Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fat Tuesday

What does Fat Tuesday mean to this Lutheran mom with a daughter in confirmation class-- it means pancakes! The annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner.

A whole lot of pancakes. And sausage links-- 300 hundred links.

And not the kind of pancakes we order and sit down in a booth at the Ihop to enjoy. No, it means going to church armed with an electric griddle while a confirmation class of 7th and 8th grade boys and girls mix batter and flip those flapjacks. What's your flavor--blueberry, chocolate chip, maybe plain? Well we served them all. How 'bout some homemade strawberry sauce and a big squirt of whipping cream on top of that half cup of maple syrup and two tablespoons of butter blanketing those flap jacks dusted with powder sugar?

In other words, if you were in the business of having a diabetic coma-- the Lutheran kids had the resources to serve it up.

If the pancakes weren't enough to get me crazy...we had dad's (King Ralph) washing dishes till there fingers shriveled up like raisins. You know they say there is nothing sexier than a man doing dishes. (Oh my gosh King Ralph never looked so sexy in all his life... hold me back ladies.)

I think I need to sleep all this sugar off and wake to 40 days of sacrifice.

I've decided to give up brussel sprouts.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Post Without a Title

When the girls were little I made Oscar night a big deal. They would pull an old formal gown from the dress-up box-- a tug of war was sure to break out for the peach satin taffeta dress Brad Pitt touched in the wedding he and my sister were both attendants for. Then we would all plunk down in the family room around the TV watching who would grab a golden boy.

Some years ago we seemed to lose that old tradition. Every year the girls grew older. Those dresses began to actually fit. There lives got busier. They needed, we need to just watch in comfy pajamas-- prepared to dart to bed in time to grab a somewhat adequate amount of sleep before school [and work].

Tonight is no different. Our tug of war on this day was with the clock--getting the office painted just in time to throw on those comfy pajamas and catch a half hour of the fireworks of red carpet fashion.

And although the office is now a beautiful shade of "happiness" (and I must attest the color truly does exude happiness, for me), I miss the childlike excitement that comes with the night to celebrate not only movies, but fashion with my girls. (Them now knowing the "Brad Pitt" dress was so far from great fashion it was hardly worth the argument.)

But as luck would have it we had a red carpet, minus the red carpet, of our own...getting all dolled up last night as it was the high school winter dance--The Snow Ball. And, as luck would really have it a lite sprinkle of snow welcomed us to the morning (and probably the Snow Ball decorating crew)...luckier yet is that it melted as fast as it fell from the sky by the bright warmth of the sun.

Then M gathered with her gal pals for some pre-dance pictures. The "carpet" they walked was a cement deck and the air was a brisk 27*, far from the warmth of California-- suitable for an outdoor photo session with bare naked legs and exposed shoulders. Their excitement for Anna to experience an American high school dance and a Japenese style dinner at Sho-Gun warmed the air--as good friends do.

Now I nestle in my bed-- cloaked in my purse printed flannel pajamas (they seem fashionably appropriate)-- watching TV and prepare for a Monday with an Oscar hangover...suspecting someones speech will drag on and on making the show last longer and longer. However, I am loving this year's show so much I don't think I will mind one bit if it drags past its allotted time.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I woke to the sound of nature's alarm clock--the chirping of a bird outside my window. Surely singing Brrrr! Brrrr! Birdie. As it is cold outside!

Then I turned on the news and see my friend's business was damaged by fire last night. Yikes!

M forgot her cell phone on the dining room table so I sprinted it down to the bus stop. Nothing like an impromptu track meet (me vs. bus) to get your blood going and your heart pumping.

I have so much work to do for all these fund raisers; the girl's youth group is hosting to earn funds for the youth gathering in New Orleans. Maybe I will pimp our trivia night here. We've got some great categories planned.

I am counting the hours till Friday arrives. I feel like I moved in slow motion all day.

We keep debating if or where to escape to for spring break. Open to suggestions.

I wonder if anyone has read the book The Shack? I stared at it in the book store last week--to buy or not to buy.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Honeymoon is Over

This gall bladder removal; the relationship with the surgeon--feels kind of like a one night stand. We meet. We schedule surgery. I have surgery. I go in for post-op visit. We say good-bye, hopefully never to cross paths again.

Well the vacation [of sort] is over. Tonight I prepare. Tomorrow I re-enter the work world. Still bruised with dissolvable stitches that have emerged from my belly button. (I feel like a dog food bag, pull the thread to open the package.)

It sure doesn't take long to rather enjoy being forced to relax, read a book, watch bad movies and nap.

Then again I miss the hallway exchanges, from squeaky voices, of "Hi Mrs. Avery" and waist hugs from warm hearts of small people. I might, dare I say, miss syrup day in the cafeteria.

So in preparation for possible exhaustion I am preparing dinner for tomorrow (slow cooked pulled pork). All the while plotting my Tuesday nap outside D's piano teacher's house. Cold car, warm coat, hood pulled up and over my head covering my face--doubles as warmth and darkening mask. Thirty minutes of delightful rejuvenation. Even if I look like a dead person in a curb parked car.

I digress.

I just ate a Dove caramel filled milk chocolate candy, yummmmm! The wrapper message says "sleep under the stars tonight". Not exactly an option, or a smart choice--considering the outside temperature. So I take that as a suggestion to wash my sheets. Clean sheets must be the closest thing to sleeping under stars in the winter. Now I wait for the buzz of the dryer to summons me.

Its seems everyone in the house has dispersed to different rooms, different computers, different background noises--TV, dishwasher, iPod music... We are alone with ourselves, yet not alone. The warmth of family is still present. (As are a few dirty dishes in the sink.)

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Be Still My Heart It's February 14

How are you this evening my dear?

Very well. Only I wish you would not call me "my dear".


Cause it's what my father always calls my mother when he is cross about something.

What endearments am I allowed?

Well let me think...Lizzy for everyday. My Pearl for Sundays. Goddess Divine, but only on very special occasions.

And what should I call you when I am cross? Mrs. Darcy?

No. No. You may only call me Mrs. Darcy when you are completely and perfectly and incandescently happy.

Then how are you this evening, Mrs Darcy? Mrs. Darcy. Mrs. Darcy, Mrs. Darcy, Mrs. Darcy....

I ask -- can anyone ever have to much Pride and Prejudice? To much Jane Austin?

The answer is no! Not at our house. We must gather at least once a month to watch Keira Knightly present her portrayal of Elizabeth Bennet.

(Except Friday morning I watched alone. Happily.)

So on this Valentine's Day, the day in which King Ralph and I reflect on the day he asked and I accepted a marriage proposal... I hope he comes home from work and kisses me and says Mrs. Avery, Mrs. Avery, Mrs. Avery....

But I'll settle for "you're the cheese in my macaroni"

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I Think My Dog Wants Me to be A Stripper

Story Set-up: Last Friday morning before surgery I did a load of laundry; basic reason was to secure clean undies for myself...threw in dryer and to the hospital I went.

Monday morning I hear a moan from M and these words followed--"the stupid dog, she chewed a hole in my favorite ten dollar underwear!"

First of all I am unaware we spend ten dollars on a pair underwear. For that price we must have silk Victoria Secret panties in the house and not the cotton four pairs for twenty-dollars. Then the next morning I hear another ugh. Another pair of new panties have fallen victim to the dog's snack attack.

What is it with our dog? Why does she love to eat underwear--girls,dirty underwear. The newer the pair the better. And why not King Ralph's?

It's not like her food bowl isn't brimming with Kibbles and Bits. Could it be her supply of fresh [vole] meat isn't awake and peeking from the ground teasing a game of catch and eat, turning the backyard into a scene of Baghdad.

Yesterday afternoon I took a shower and realized that the girls never emptied the dryer. In there moments of nursing me and setting clean clothes on the bathroom counter...they merely fetched a fresh pair of undies from the dryer each day. So I trudged down to the laundry room, reached in the dryer slipped on a pair of panties and decided...I think today I will accomplish a chore and tossed in a load of towels. Then grabbed some fresh jammies from on top the dryer, tossed my towel wrap in the wash machine and went back to the couch for more rest.

Hours later I needed to use the restroom. There I was astonished, as I sat on the toilet I noticed I was wearing crotchless panties. DAM DOG! She chewed a nice big hole for my yoowho to be all exposed. I could literally slip my hand in the chewed hole and wave a good-bye to this once pair of undies from my desperate pile. Thank God for that--the undies were from the desperates.

But still.


Why can't our dog like chew toys and learn to play fetch?

No, instead our dog wants all the girls in the house to wear crotchless panties.

The dog, I think, wants us to be strippers.


Honey, for Valentines Day I could use new panties.

Monday, February 09, 2009

My Monday, My Tuesday

Usually my week is filled with the sound of young voices, phones ringing...

Not this week.

This week the sounds I hear are mine to chose, mine to fill my head. So, with the rare winter warm spell I have chosen to sit on the deck letting Mother Nature sprinkle her natural healing power upon me--sunshine. Monday. Tuesday.

As sit with a book in my hand and chicken noodle soup on the table; I let myself slip into sounds that surround. I watch my neighbor's magnolia tree sway in the breeze and whisper back--this weather is merely a tease. The song of a bird who must have forgotten to fly south. I hear the ambulances rushing in traffic to the hospital. I hear, oddly, the sound of a lawn mower...or is it a leaf blower? I hear Uli's dog friend, Penny, barking.

Now I hear my bed calling me for a nap.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Feel Goods On the Road to Recovery

Here is just a few things that have passed my time and make me feel like I am resting in the "recovery bed" for good reason:

1. Saturday's Movie Choices: Sarah, Plain and Tall, Skylark (but not Sarah,Plain and Tall:Winter's End), Copying Beethoven and Akeelah and the Bee.

2. Cheddar cheese and Towne House Crackers.

3. M serving me the cheese and crackers.

4. Vicoden with a Milk of Magnesia chaser.

5. An unexpected get well gift basket of yummies from my friend Lisa...a little touch of "Happy Hunt."

6. Ice packs.

7. Pillow surrounds, lots of pillows all around.

8. Naps.

9. Using the text on my cell phone like a service bell-- "ice, ice, ice."

10. Another unexpected-- Princess A walking through the door at midnight and kissing me on my cheek :-)

Now I am going read. To mix it up.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

An Under Anestethic Conversation with Myself

While under [anesthetic] I had a bit of time to strike up a conversation with myself.

keeper: Hey Jo how you feeling

Jo: pretty relaxed

keeper: I know, the lengths we woman will go to get a good nap

Jo: I am not exactly sure this is the kind of nap I was looking for

keeper: are you still thinking about how the nurse who preregistered you suggested you bring along a copy of your Living Will

Jo: I know, freaky isn't it. But, you know when she said that since King Ralph was with me and he knows my wishes...I said I just want pink tulips on my casket. She laughed so she got my point with the nonsense I saw in all that. Humor, I back lashed with humor.

keeper: did you end up wearing a clip in your hair

Jo: Funny! Don't you remember after the nurse asked for my Living Will she told me if they needed to jump start my heart for any reason the clip would be a conductive and fry a hole in the top of my head.

keeper: Oh ya and then she asked if you wanted a hole in the top of your head. I do however see you broke the rule of no makeup.

Jo: Isn't it bad enough that I am laying here naked under this sheet having holes cut in my torso while my organ is sucked out and they stand around suggesting I should have a breast lift, a bikini wax and my eye brows could use a waxing too. Last thing I wanted was them commenting on my under eye bags. Besides that same nurse said when I asked if I shouldn't wear makeup today that she was having some surgery soon and she was going to wear makeup, but not to say she said so. I kept it light and natural.

keeper: sounds to me like since she has you near dead, she wants you like that Uncle of King Ralph's who comes to the family reunion picnics in his suit. Ya know looking good already just in case...

Jo: oh keeper, you are a funny one.

keeper: bikini wax...you should have...

Jo: Shut up. Can't you see you see I am having an organ removed.

keeper: wanna talk about that stimulus package. Say like $40million for condoms.

Jo: do you want them to jump start my heart?!

keeper: Tee-he. Hey girl, did you suggest a little lipo while they have the slits cut in your belly.

Jo: I did, weren't you listening? As I was slipping into this sleep I asked-- the doc said he didn't have those tools with him. I think. Who knows. This anesthetic has me jabbering nonsense I think. I think though ,maybe, I need my fat still to hang so it covers these scars I will have.

keeper: I think your sagging boob is what is going to do the trick for two of those scars.

Jo: keeper you are looking for a good ass kicking aren't you?

keeper: hey, wasn't it nice of Nikki to come down from her floor [above] to say hi-- not just once but twice.

Jo: I know. That's the love I get from my friend since high school who just happens to work at this hospital and loves me.

keeper: I don't want to be the one break it to you but they are filling you stomach with air so the scope can get in and when you wake you are gonna realize this air is a real "killer".

As I awoke it hit me--post-anesthetic nausea (I had to stay till 6pm instead of 3pm) and my stomach is distended with that gassy air in the abdomen--not the kind of gas you can pass with a hellacious fart. It just needs a day or two to dissipate. It is very uncomfortable. I only have three, not four cuts as expected... they told King Ralph it is because I am a small person (ha, who are they trying to kid). These three cuts feel like John Cena kicked my ass with one of those fancy unexpected WWE style full body slams.

The bedside service is great. I am ravenous, wanting everything I can get my hands on-- Ramon Noodle soup, strawberry ice cream, a sliver of a Poor Boy,a couple of Eggo's-- all to give base to the fabulous Vicodin I am popping every four hours. Pain killers can be a beautiful thing--for the right reasons, of course.

And, the Clapper-- the Clapper has turned out to be my God send. There has never been such joy in turning on my lamp as I have found today lounging in my bed--where I will remain most of the next week.

* I didn't eat all that food at one time. I ate, popped a pill, napped, ate, popped a pill, napped...

Friday, February 06, 2009

This is not a test...I've had them all already

This is a not a test. The blogger in voluntary cooperation with the doctors' recommendation is conducting a blogcation due to organ removal of a six percent functioning gall bladder.

Blogging will transmit once the blogger is done counting her stitches and staring at her battle scars.

Monday, February 02, 2009

The Day After

We almost had it. I know this because we all jumped from the couch as the score board turned 20-24. The dream did not progress as desired.

While it is hard to get up this morning and lick the wounds, I must, there is work to be done.

The family graded the evening and issued a report card. Maybe its time to do a little grading of your own.

One of our favorite TV spots was snow cone kid and it is not up for the vote.

Well I need to run I have a date to pencil in the calendar--free Grand Slam at Denny's, Tuesday February 3 6am-2pm (I'll be fighting all of America for a slice of bacon, eggs and a hot cake).

Sunday, February 01, 2009

No Political Signs Please...Sports That's A Different Story

For a while St. Louis felt a little sour when you put football and Cardinals in the same equation. I believe all the Saint Louis Cardinals wear we owned was added to the mass burn pile in 1998 in protest of Bidwell's football exodus. We were a city left feeling angry and betrayed.

Time heals all wounds.

Then there was Kurt Warner.

Again, time heals all wounds.

And, so, I am making a public declaration of my family's allegiance to the Super Bowl team of our choice, in which we will cheer for to the end (win or lose)...and our quarterback. Who can't imagine a "comeback kid" dream story?

So while this family adheres to a rule of no political signs in the yard we break rule for our sports.

Here you have it...in winter's style.

Now, heat up the chili and grill the hot dogs. Football is the main course today!