Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Oh, Give Me a Home! Where the Demon Egg-Pods Don't Roam!

Woo hoo, I am on fire!

Hang on let me put that out. Dern sparklers.

I have another in my own mind award winning column in The Douglas Budget this week.

To get you in the mood properly before you read it, sing Home on the Range to yourself, except replace demon egg-pods for the antelope.

Here is pretty picture:

Sunrise in Nevada

It is several days later and Himself has just finished reading this post. He was laughing and laughing, which I thought was strange because it wasn't that funny. Then he started saying, over and over, "Here is pretty picture" in a fake Russian accent and told me I should always let him proofread the posts because I get too excited to hit the Publish button and don't catch all the mistakes.

So naturally I had to defend myself and say I did it on purpose because I think a Boris and Natasha accent is sexy and since I am hopeless at learning German I thought I would try something new and less hard. So it is staying as is. But a fake Russian accent is not as easy as it sounds and now I'm in a sticky pickle. The end.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Dirty Laundry-Cow Wrestling

This is not a cow. Or dirty laundry.

Well, I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. Aren't you glad that's over?

Here is my latest column in The Douglas Budget. It has nothing to do with any kind of holidays. It's mainly about how to wrestle a cow-sized amount of dirty laundry out of a small space.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Because nothing says Merry Christmas like a yarn octopus

Christmas in our truck is nothing if not festive. Actually, I'm kind of mad at Christmas this year, but whatever. The Spirit of Christmas Octopus is a tradition that must go on.

My mother had a wonderfully absurd sense of humor, so when she saw this, uh holiday octopus, at a garage sale several years ago, she knew she had to have it. Actually she knew she had to give it to me because the thing is hideous and what better way to spread holiday joy than by giving ugly things to your adult child that hates everything?

He was our tree topper that year and the next year, then I wrapped him up and sent him back to her with a story about how the Spirit of Christmas Octopus came to be.  The next year, she sent him to my sister, and so began a tradition of sharing the Spirit of Christmas Octopus. He has logged many miles over the years, his yarn is thinning and he's lost an eye, but not his spirit.

The Spirit of Christmas Octopus on the fuel tank.
He may or may not be trying to huff diesel.

The Spirit of Christmas Octopus as hood ornament.
Freightliner should use this in their ads.

The Spirit of Christmas Octopus on the steering wheel.
Good thing we're parked, his eye is not even looking
at the road.

Jas wanted to kill play with the Spirit of Christmas Octopus.
She hates Christmas. Apparently.

Merry Christmas
 Happy Holidays
 Frohe Weihnachten 
May the Spirit of Christmas Octopus be with you. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Motherless Child

Last November my mother suffered a stroke and was hospitalized for a month before being moved to a rehabilitation/nursing home. She spent more than two months there before coming home.

For those long months, she was gone to us. Her mind turned against her, she could speak only gibberish, she didn't know her family or herself. She seemed to only know fear and pain.

Gradually she came back. She recognized her husband, even if she could not say his name. The light in her eyes changed and she knew her daughters and even if the words weren't always right, we knew she was back.

She came home to a life changed. She needed more help than before, physically, but the torment that her mind had put her through, even before the stroke, was gone. She didn't have an easy time of it and there were setbacks, but she was calm and seemed more at peace than any time I can remember, especially in these last few years.

A year later, on Thanksgiving, she got out of bed and fell to her knees. Her blood pressure had dropped precipitously and she was taken to the emergency room. Her breathing was labored and they had to put her on a ventilator, the emphysema that was manageable up until then, had caught up with her. She could not breathe on her own. She never left the hospital.

My mother was a planner. Years ago, she made out a living will defining under what circumstances she wished to live. She and I discussed it many times over the years and I know, without a doubt, that we did what she would have wanted. That we didn't make the decision, we only decided not to block her decision.

Still, nothing prepares you. All the planning in the world goes out the window when faced with the end of a life that you love.

We were with her until the end.  She died on November 30.

Mama was not perfect. She didn't have a perfect husband and she didn't have perfect daughters. But she knew, she knows we love her. Knew it all along, even in the difficult times.

I am happy for her that she is no longer struggling, no longer suffering. I'm also comforted, perhaps selfishly, in feeling absolutely certain that she knew she was loved.

What else could matter so much? If you love someone, make them know it.