Sunday, March 30, 2008

on a lighter note, albeit deeper...

Lately, here in the gardens we've been thinking about global warming or as Jack now calls it, climate change. As you all know, I am no scientist, since I never completed even a physics class, but I have had several thoughts swirling around in the "global warming" room in my brain and it seems that they will continue to swirl unless I blog about them. Allow me to present my theory relating to global warming:

1. From what I hear and read, it appears that the average temperatures of everything on our planet are rising.

2. It seems very plausible to me that as more and more humans are born on the planet, we as humans consume more and more energy, and expend more and more waste products.

3. Since much of the waste we produce comes from internal combustion engines that are driven by petroleum based products, it seems very likely that at the least, we are expelling more pollution into the atmosphere every day.

4. And that explains why the average temperature is dropping because the atmosphere is more polluted, which restricts the amount of sunlight that warms the earth.

Uh. Wait a minute. That wasn't the way it all worked out in the global warming room. What the hell? It was all supposed to work out that if we could limit the use of petroleum and coal-based products, the air would clear, allowing more intense sunlight to generate energy at solar energy farms in the desert that would produce a clean form of energy that makes me feel happy.

Okay, let's rethink #3. Perhaps it isn't just that we expel too much waste into the air that pollutes and lessens the intensity of the sunlight. Maybe it's that we expend so much energy into the air from all of those internal combustion engines that give off heat that cause the temperature to rise.

Hm. Well, my economics teacher taught me that economists (and scientists, too, I suppose) put their thoughts down on paper, call those thoughts a theory, and wait for others to disprove those thoughts. After some arbitrary length of time, after none of the real smartypants can disprove the theory, it becomes a law.

So, consider the above Gilian's Theory of Climate Change.

Smartypants, the floor is yours.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

about that survey

So, I posted a survey asking which was more outrageous, my mom barging in and refusing to leave the bathroom, or me letting her get away with it.

I note that the results (while a small number--only six, and one of the votes for my mom was my own--but I was just testing the survey to ensure it was working properly), anyway, let me just say to those who thought I was more outrageous for not tossing her out, CLEARLY YOU DON'T KNOW MY MOTHER. OR MY DAD FOR THAT MATTER.

However, after my visit with mom and dad today, Jack and I have decided that enough is enough.

I probably won't have anymore of those entertaining blogs, but I'm sure you're all as willing as me to make that sacrifice, right?

two recently realized concepts

1. Overweight people tend to snore more than just-right weight people. This was confirmed by Jack after much pestering, cajoling, begging him to please tell me if I snore now.

2. There are three things a woman can do to change her physical image enough that people who know her will not recognize her. The three things are change hairstyle, change hair color, and put on 30 lbs in six months. This was confirmed by me yesterday when I went to another work location and while waiting in line in the cafeteria for my sandwich, struck up a conversation with a woman who knows me well enough that she allowed me to use her desk while I was there working on a project for about six months, who reached towards me to turn my employee badge over so she could see my name and my picture from six months ago before she recognized me. I mean really, who needs sunglasses and a moustache?

ps My doctor assures me the weight gain has been caused by one of the medications I've been taking that I no longer take. I am waiting patiently for the pounds to start dropping. Patiently my bigger bottom.

Monday, March 24, 2008

easter in the gardens

That's a picture of my dad taken yesterday--Easter.

Let me just say that while there are many things associated with Easter--some spiritual, some commercial--one of my favorite things about Easter is that it is the traditional first day for potato salad and baked beans each year in the gardens. Yesterday was no exception. We prepared massive quantities of each along with a spiral sliced glazed ham, steamed spring vegetables, and of course, several dozen of the best ever homemade rolls. And to top it all off, all of the family came for dinner--even the wee one who has been so sick came and looked so much better. The meal was a delight, watching the kids joke and talk and eat and enjoy and also watching the grandbabies enjoying all of the tasties at the table. This meal and all it entailed were my favorite parts of Easter this year.

A few weeks ago, I got this hair-brained idea that it would be good to get together with the Jack side of the family and the Gilian side of the family each month for treats. I put together yet another fabulous invitation for each side of the family and mailed them out. Last night was the first get together for the Gilian side of the family. Most of the invitees attended, with the exception of some who had to work, some who had to spend time with their other family, and some who were ailing. It seemed that everyone enjoyed the evening together, which included the cake that Jake Jr selected from the assorted cake options at Costco. I probably would have chosen the cake with the white frosting and balloons and rainbows and sunshine, but he picked out the chocolate with the chocolate swirls and the chocolate roses, which drew the same reaction from every adult woman we passed at Costco that day, i.e., "Oh my, what a beautiful cake!!!" (yes they did use three exclamation marks) Jr was quite proud of his choice. And I have to say that it was as yummy as it was lovely.

The grandbabies in their matching Easter dresses--

And just for fun, a shot of the drummer eating a roll before dinner...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

wee one update

Little Janey is still fighting the RSV at home. Every other day this past week has been spent at the doctor's office or at the hospital, but each time, she has returned home to sleep in her bassinet by her mother's side of the bed.

The visits to the hospital were for suctioning out her breathing passages. I could describe it but choose to just say that while the suctioning is very helpful for her, she totally does not like it at all. The respiratory therapist made a lame attempt to convince us yesterday that it was actually a good thing that she is so small because older kids are bigger and stronger and they usually kick the heck out of their parent's chins while the parents valiantly attempt to hold the child still.

I don't want to leave the impression that he was anything other than very good at what he does. He was kind, competent, and very concerned about this tiny little girl. He watched her so closely after the procedure, trying to decide whether or not she needed to be admitted to the hospital, so when Jessie asked if he would send his own child home if he or she was in Janey's condition, we waited as he carefully considered the options and then responded that he thought she would be okay at home, and yes, if she were his child, he would take her home, knowing that he could bring her back at any time if she seemed to be distressed.

I just talked to Jessie. She and Cory and the girls were walking home from the burger shack across the street from the park that is near their house. They had played at the park and stopped at the burger place for some burgers and ice cream. Janey went along in the baby sling Jessie's friend, Emily, made that snuggles Janey up close to Jessie's body and shields her from everybody.

At the burger shack, Jessie thought she and Breanne could share an ice cream cone, so she got one and started sharing it with Breanne. That's when she realized Breanne, who is less than two, was saying sentences, like, "Mama ice cream please mine!"

The sound of Jessie's voice as she told me about today was so much lighter, so much happier, so full of hope and so much like our Jessie that I think everybody must be on the way to better.

Friday, March 21, 2008

tagged again...

I was just tagged by Shilo, wife of the firstborn and mother of Audrey.

The rules:
1) Link to the person that tagged you.
2) Post the rules on your blog.
3) Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
4) Tag at least three people at the end of your post and link to their blogs.
5) Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

So, six non-important things/habits/quirks about me? Are you serious? Unimportant things about me? Okay, let me think a minute.

1. I have never watched an episode of The Apprentice, Dancing with the Stars, or Fear Factor.
2. Yesterday, while recovering from days and days of suffering with the flu, I watched my first episode of Dr. Phil. I didn't actually see the whole episode because Jack saved me just in time. whew...
3. I like the dark meat part of a turkey.
4. I wish I could speak French, Latin, and Italian even though I've never taken lessons for any of those languages.
5. I need clean countertops.
6. I still can't figure out how to properly apply lipstick or any makeup for that matter.
7. I just can't make myself tag three more people. I took way too much crap for that last tagging episode.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

another thing i've learned while watching daytime tv

Tony Orlando, age 63, has lost 103 lbs on Nutrisystem silver.

Marie Osmond, age unidentified, has lost 40 lbs on Nutrisystem.

Alex Trebek, who says I may know him from tv, is also a husband and father, who encourages everybody age 50-85 to get whole life insurance from Colonial Penn.


number 1 on the list of reasons why i may indeed be on the road to insanity

This morning, still feeling low, I sent myself back to bed. My cell phone rang and like the sleepy-eyed slug that I feel like today, I foolishly answered. It was my mom. She was calling to see how I was feeling and to ask if I wanted a cheeseburger from McDonald's. I said no thanks and she said, "How many? One or two?" I repeated that I didn't really want a cheeseburger, thanks anyway, to which she replied curtly, "Okay. Fine. Bye." And she hung up.

I dragged myself into the bathroom to deal with yet another of the symptoms I'm having with this lousy virus and not two minutes passed before I heard a knock, knock-knock, knock, knock on Jack Jr's bedroom door, followed by muted voices, followed by my mom calling out, "Where are you?" from my bedroom. I said, "I'm in the bathroom, I'll be right out." To which she replied, "I know you are, I can tell" as she knock, knock-knock, knock, knocked on the bathroom door while pushing open the door to see me sitting on the toilet.

"How are you feeling?" she asked. "I'm fine," I replied, feeling totally vulnerable and invaded. "Here, I brought you some things," she said, seemingly unaware of my discomfort from her entrance into what I consider a very private moment. "I'll be right out to look at them," I said. "Oh, that's okay," she said, "Here, just open them now," while she handed me the two gifts she had in all likelihood just purchased from either Big Lots or Rite Aid.

This is one of the gifts, for which I should be so grateful because it is "The 'Original & Patented' Sinus Rinse Kit"--"Created by Dr. Mehta"!!!

And the other was the darling ceramic sign at the start of this post--checkered yellow and turquoise with a gorgeous faux-beaded handle with a saying that will obviously pick me up whenever I see it hanging up on the wall nearest the cat's litter box.

one other thing

I am once again amazed at the tenderness and concern shown by the boys in this garden towards their sister and her family, especially the 11-day-old.

No more than two minutes after I posted my earlier blog, my phone rang and the firstborn was calling for more information about Janey. The tenderness and empathy in his voice broke my heart.

While this family of mine was growing up, there were the usual moments when I wondered if they would all grow up and still enjoy spending time together or if they would all want to be as far away as possible from each other.

I am so glad these adult children love and care for each other.


For those of you who have not read the amazing daughter's comment to my last post, the doctor called back and said Janey has RSV. He said that if she starts having trouble with breathing or eating, they should head to the hospital. Otherwise, they are okay to stay at home with her.

Yes, I am writing this at 2:30 am, and had I read Jessie's post at 12:30 am, I would have called her then, because apparently neither one of us can sleep this night.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

i'm such a baby

Okay, yes I do feel CRAPPY, but I just heard from my amazing daughter that sweet little Janey is sick, apparently with the same bug her sister and I shared, but when you're only 11 days old, it's a REALLY BIG DEAL when you get the sniffles and a heartwrenching-heard-over-the-phone cough (because I dare not visit with this CRAPPY ailment). We await the call from the doctor with the diagnosis.

Even though she weighed 8 lbs at birth, she is still so tiny. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

beware--this will be a whiny post

for the past few days, i've been trying to not post about how sick i am. but today, i give. i feel so sick that i don't even have it in me to use capital letters...

i know there are lots of people in the world who are much more ill than i, but right now, i'm sick and tired and i fear this will go on for several more days if it's at all like the sickness that has invaded the gardens, that all of the guys around here have already had.

(okay guys, now i understand how you could just sit around all day, watching tv and movies, tossing your empty soda and juice bottles on the floor and not bothering to do the dishes, take out the garbage, or take care of the dogs. if you guys wished this on me as a punishment for all of my fretting about the state of tidiness in the gardens, well, shame on you for wishing this on your mom.)

these are my symptoms:

achy body, especially joints, but also every part of me including all of my skin and even my hair. and eyelashes and toes
sore throat
runny nose

today my body has added a new symptom--a large-dog type barking cough. lovely. the only good thing i can see about this ailment is the range of my voice now. not that i was ever a soprano, but now i'm a bass. alto, tenor, baritone, bass. think of a deep rich bronze tone--that's my voice. i have that lauren-bacall-i've-smoked-too-many-cigarettes kind of voice.

if i didn't feel so achy, it could be kinda fun. i just wish i had it in me to wake up jack jr so he could go pick up a soothing cup of chai tea for me...hmmm i think i have it in me to pick up my phone and give him a call...he'll find humor in that and i'll get a cup of tea. very smart thinking for somebody whose brain hurts so much.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

can you see it?

Out in the gardens this morning

Through my kitchen window

I know it's been a long winter, but am I the only one who can still see the beauty? This is the definition of Spring--sunshine, wind, hail, rain, snow and more--all in one day.

Seriously, how great is that?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

i don't know for sure what just happened, but i never thought i'd witness this

Today, I decided it was time to begin the spring brushout of the fat, old, sweet girls.

I am not one of those intelligent people who falls in love with dogs that are covered with eyelash length hairs. Oh no, not me. The first three dogs Jack and I loved were chow chows. The next two were the two we currently love, the collie girls. You may notice a similarity between these two breeds--a beautiful, long outer coat with a soft furry undercoat on a large dog. Which means that both of these breeds require brushing several times each year. Lots of brushing. Lots of fur everywhere.

These sweet old girls wander around, looking pretty good for most of the year, but at least twice a year, they shed their soft undercoats. In clumps. They start looking very neglected if I don't comb out those clumps, since the clumps will stay attached to the long, beautiful outer coat, making it a long, beautiful, matted, not-really-so-beautiful outer coat.

Oh, and did I mention these two girls also have an incontinence problem, so as long as we make sure they get their daily ration of pills, they are okay to be around, but if we miss even a day, it will be time to hop in the shower with them. And let me just say that they love showers as much as entering the vet's office. Which is an entirely different post, but let's just say that not only are they often the biggest, hairiest, friendliest pups at the vet's, the dogs that receive the most attention because everybody loved Lassie, but they are also the most vocal, using the wide range of their vocal skills to ensure that everyone in the vet's building knows that THERE ARE COLLIES HERE AND THEY ARE NOT HAPPY. It's kind of like a two-year-old's tantrum at Walmart.

Over the years, I've learned two tricks to get through the brushing. First, I never expect to get an entire dog brushed in one sitting. Not even in one day. Collies are pretty bright dogs (even though they often forget how long their noses are and hit them on corners and door jambs...) so if I try to brush their whole bodies, they get tired and a bit irritated and try to get up and get away from me and the brush. And they will refuse to come see me for a day or so after the brushing because they remember that I was the one with the brush. (Please know that no dogs are injured in the brushing process. I'm very gentle. It's just that they feel the same way about brushings as they do about going to the vet.)

Which brings me to the second thing I've learned. MILK BONES ARE A DOG BRUSHER'S BEST FRIEND. Collies don't get to their wide-body size by skipping meals. They will eat anything. And I mean ANYTHING. They especially love those large-dog size Milk Bones. I've always thought they would eat and eat and eat those bones and put up with as much brushing as my back could take in one sitting.

Today, my long-held belief about Ginger was shattered. I decided that since Ginger is getting on in years that I would give her as many Milk Bones as she wanted while I brushed her. I got out the box of bones I bought at Costco (a year's supply for any smaller dog...) and began brushing and feeding her the bones.

Ginger will no longer sit still and eat as many bones as I give her until she is completely brushed. Surprisingly, she refused to eat another bone after only 11 bones. I thought she'd eat at least 20 bones before slowly getting up and pushing past me to the door.

I don't know what it all means, but apparently even Ginger has a limit. And it appears to be 11 Milk Bones per brushing session.

It leaves me feeling a bit sad for the old girl. Like the daily ration of incontinence pills, I fear it is yet another sign of just how old she is and how quickly time passes.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

photo study---

Five-day-old feet--


She's melted my already squishy heart...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

for this i am truly grateful

Even though my daughter has had a little glimpse through the crack in my perfect outer shell, which allowed her a peek at my very flawed inner self, she is willing still to include me as she describes the joy she finds in her role as a mother. She includes me in when some amazing new skill is mastered and she invites me in to the everyday of her life and the lives of her children.

I feel so blessed.

Monday, March 10, 2008

what is up with these people?

Since the amazing daughter lives in Provo, I often find myself driving northbound on I-15, headed out of Utah County and into Salt Lake County.

I cannot count the number of times (and I can count pretty high for somebody my age, so let's just say EVERY TIME), okay, so every time I hop onto I-15 at the Center Street entrance, I am almost instantly overcome by speeding drivers. And not just speeding drivers, speeding reckless drivers. With no warning, they are on my bumper, racing around me on both sides and cutting back in front of me and anybody else who has the nerve to drive less than 85 mph. More often than not, I have to slow down to almost a stop when one of these reckless speeders bumps into a fellow reckless speeder, causing a four or five-car pileup, always near Thanksgiving Point.

I just don't understand what the big hurry is about. Are they Salt Lake County residents who can't wait to get out of Happy Valley or are they secretly unhappy Happy Valley residents who can't wait to get over the border to this valley of despair that I call home?

Saturday, March 8, 2008

just in--pics from March 5th

Happy Birthday, one-year-old Audrey!

introducing janey renae kilger

March 7, 2008, 2:30 pm, 8 lbs 18 in., lots of dark hair, healthy. Mom and Dad arrived at the hospital at 11:00 am and Janey made her first appearance at 2:30 pm. Truly a miracle, she is, they are, childbirth. Deeply felt joy all around.


The newest Big Sister...

The Newly Expanded Family...

Three generations of Kilger women...

Mom and the new sisters...

The new family...who's really in charge here???

Thursday, March 6, 2008

and speaking of what sucks

Everybody who has put on 25 lbs since getting their last driver's license two years ago, raise your hand. How about those who've added 15 lbs in the last six months?

Yes, that is me raising my chubby hand with my jiggly arm sitting on my womanly bottom with my thick ankles and calves that no longer fit in boots.

What the hell is going on around here? Sugar says it's all because of menopause, and the internet says it's because of the medications I've been taking, and Jack says perhaps it's because I don't give half of my food to him anymore. Which must be caused by the menopause and drugs...


did i mention

that while visiting with my friends on Saturday, one of my friends was talking about how she is completely computer illiterate and I meant to chime in with her when she said "computer" but for some reason, "cucumber" blurted out of my mouth.

The room went silent, everyone--everyone--looked at me expectantly, and I said, "Uh, did I just say cucumber? Because I meant..." and at that point, I seriously couldn't remember the word, "computer." For a full five seconds. And then I said, "computer" and everyone sighed a sigh of relief and I said, "Jeez, braincramp. It sucks to get old..." and everyone giggled a bit nervously and I said, "Does anybody want another eclair?"

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Saturday, March 1, 2008

why not?

Several weeks ago, this idea started circulating in the gardens. It started out fuzzy around the edges, but by last Friday morning, it had firmed up and become this: Why not invite my four best friends from high school to come to my house for food and conversation? And why not put together some cute invitations and mail them to my friends? And why not include extra invitations for them to send to other friends from high school? And why not mail them last Friday and have the deal today? And since I couldn't think of any reason why not, that is what I did.

Some of my friends and some of their friends (who I knew in school too) came to my house today. We used the pretty grown-up woman dishes that I've collected over the years from my mom and from yard sales--I've never used them before, but I thought that since we are grown-up women, those crystal dishes would be appropriate. We had yummy chicken rollups and fresh veggies and strawberries and also pastries from the bakery at The Store for desert. And we sat in the dining room and grazed and talked and laughed and even shed a few tears, catching up with each other and talking about the ones who weren't there. We all agreed it was a good idea and planned to meet again in a month or two...

Without Jack and Jack Jr's help tidying up and shopping and preparing food, the deal would not have been as successful, because I might have fallen apart and locked myself in the bedroom. But they both pitched in and helped make it easier for me.

Thanks guys. It was lovely.