Thursday, July 31, 2008

faces of audrey--no words required

recent lovelies

Favorite local singer: Breanne doing her version of the abc song to me on the phone. If only I could have recorded it, her mouth pressed against the receiver, her sweet, high-pitched voice, every note reminding me, for some reason, of a round, red apple.

Favorite music: Sirius classic vinyl '60s & '70s classic rock cranked up on the surround sound in the house, where you get "Cisco Kid" followed by "Help" followed by "Knights in White Satin" followed by "Captain Jack" and then "Layla" and if I had been in control of the remote, I'd have rewound and played Layla over and over, reliving good memories of that song. While that would have perfect, I would have missed the Joe Cocker and the Marshall Tucker Band and so many others. Sometimes you have to let go, remember, and go on.

Favorite new pretties:

Favorite blooms in the garden:

Favorite little cat louise:

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

don't even get me started

This morning I woke up and my first thought was, "I believe I'm feeling better today." Yahoo.

But I digress.

On the way to work this morning, Jack and I ended up behind a big, sage green Ford Expedition. It was such a pretty color and so smooth and shiny. But the driver was the only person in that ginormous vehicle. The thought of driving such a big, gas-guzzling thing, all by yourself, was astounding to me.

I kept watching the maxi-ford as we drove towards work. The guy driving it was young, maybe in his early thirties, so I wondered what he was thinking when he bought his 300-hp 5.4L Triton V8 engine that according to Ford's website, gets 12 mpg around town.

Jack pointed out that the guy probably uses it to pull his big boat to the lake, and I wondered if he had just taken it to a gas station to fill up its seriously huge gas tank (I tried to find out how big that tank is, but for some reason, that information isn't on Ford's website), but if the tank holds 30 gallons (which will take you 360 miles--the typical distance in a gas tank), it will cost at least $120 every time you go to the gas station--if Ford's numbers are truly accurate...

But the guy drove at least five miles, past several gas stations, so I doubted he had taken it out to fill it up. At one point, I lost sight of monstro-Ford and when I asked Jack if he'd seen it turn, he said no, but maybe it was behind the cement truck behind us that probably gets fewer mpg than the BIGgreenFord. I pointed out that there is a reason to have a big cement truck that gets low gas mileage. I can't think of a reason to have a bigFord when only one person is in it.

About that time, I noticed a couple of guys puttin' along on their little scooters and it wasn't long before my mind wandered to a possible time in the rosy fluffy future when we all drive those cute little scooters and there is nowhere near as much noise or pollution and wouldn't that be just adorable? And we could all have a basket on our scooter for quick trips to the market or post office, but if we are going on a vacation, we could pack up our Scion xA and our Scion would get us places when our scooter wasn't quite enough.

Think of it--a family puttin' down the road in a line, each carrying his or her suitcase in his or her basket and the family dog in the dad's basket--that would be so much better than those pretty green huge gas guzzlin' suvs with the window stickies that have a dad and a mom and a bunch of kids and a dog, don't you think?

Monday, July 28, 2008

wah, wah, poor gilian

how can this be? i find myself once again unable to use capital letters.

no, this ailment is not as serious as jack's recent illness, and likely not even the worst ailment i've ever survived, but man, i'm a feelin' crappy.

you know when you're at work and you can hear a coworker clearing his throat. and then he starts coughing a bit. and by the end of the day, he's hackin' up a lung?

that was my office, three days before my throat started feeling a little scratchy and
then started sending the signal to my brain that it was time to clear the throat.
and by the time i went to bed that night, i think jack must have thought it sounded like my lungs were in danger
because he got up and fetched the nasty
supposed to taste like cherry chocolates
but absolutely does not taste like anything, but nasty medicine
that tricks you into swallowing it because it smells like cherry chocolates and
looks like that red cherry chocolate syrup i adore,
but as soon as it's in your mouth, you know you have been tricked and
your throat instantly regrets sending the 'clear me now' message to your brain and
attempts to close up tight enough to keep the nasty stuff out? but after a while, your cough subsides and you are able to rest.

all i have left to say is, 'jessie, i am so sorry for all of the times i gave you that medicine so you could get some rest from your cough.'

not sorry that it stopped your cough. simply sorry for that tricky looking taste.

so soon

you may remember this post, and look--it's happened already.

and it was janey's idea.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

big pioneer holiday barbeque or it's rappin, snappin, totally hapnin'

As many of you are aware, July 24th is a big holiday in the gardens. It is the day we celebrate the entrance of our forefathers into this beautiful valley, who walked from Illinois to Utah over several months, through the hottest part of the year. That long walk is likely the reason we are such healthy people now--all of the ones with sickly genes died along the walk across America in 1847.

Frequently, our traditional family celebration consists of eating lots of food with several generations of family members and often includes water play and some type of fireworks.

This year's meal included steak, potato salad, baked beans, fresh veggies and fruit, rolls, salad, chips and soda. And of course, dessert--angel food cake with fresh berries and cream. Everything was yummy and perfectly appropriate for the day. The water games did not disappoint.

family matriarch

her firstborn

jack, me, and his mom

jack's sister

her family

the newlyweds

two of her others and one that, in time, may be

wife & child of our eldest (who is behind the camera)

our amazing girl with one of her amazing girls

her husband with the other amazing girl

jr--without whom, nothing, including this party, would ever happen.

the dog

this year's fireworks
(note they are MONSTER SNAPS)

another successful 24th of July party

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

20 things

Since last weekend, I've thought about at least 20 other things my mom commented on during our drive to the property and back home.

I've thought about posting a list of 20 things she didn't comment about during our drive.

But then today we had a conversation that I needed to share with you, gentle readers.

I called to see how she was doing, what was going on, what was new. Before I realized what I was doing, I was answering questions about Jack's health (much better thank you) and his visit to the internal medicine guy yesterday to talk about the "small stroke" the doctors discovered during his hospital stay. Yes, silly me, I told her about the stroke and then she asked all of her questions about his stroke and provided the answers to all of the questions.

And then without warning, she said, "What do you think caused it?" AND MY RED FLAGS WENT UP AND MY SIRENS STARTED RINGING AND MY BRAIN SAID, BACK AWAY, NOW! GET AWAY FROM THE PHONE!!!" But no, for some reason, I stayed on the phone as she said, "You know, he might have had that stroke last fall when he was so upset and stressed about you." I paused (points for that from my therapist) and said, "So now I'm responsible for giving Jack a stroke?" Immediately she said, "oh no, don't you ever think you caused his stroke. You're not God, you can't cause things like that, no one can, people react to things the way they react and are responsible for their own stuff"...and on and on and on.

Until finally, my other line started to ring and I said, "Listen mom, I've got to get that other line. Talk to you later." And I let the phone ring.

Monday, July 21, 2008

handlin' it my own way

A few months ago, I got this crazy idea. For my dad's birthday and Father's Day gifts, I told him we would take a road trip to our cabin property so he could see it. When we told him that we had bought the property, he was excited. It was all he could talk about. We took copies of the pictures of the property we had for him to look at. Before we knew it, he had figured out google earth and called us several times for more information so he could zoom in as close as possible to see as much as he could. He always wanted a cabin in the woods and now his daughter was going to have one and she would let him go there whenever he wanted and he could offer suggestions about building the cabin. And eventually, when it was all finished, he could drive there and sit on the porch and enjoy a cup of coffee. What could be better?

Last Saturday was the day for the drive to the property. We made arrangements to pick up my mom and dad at 8:30. As Jack and I were preparing to leave, I mentioned that maybe I should take one of the anti-anxiety pills my doctor prescribed for just such an occasion. And then I forgot to take the pill. Jack dropped me off at my parent's house while he raced home to pick up some of the wonder pills for me. Thirty seconds after I entered the house, my mom went outside to water her hanging plants and I ask my dad how he was feeling. He said he wasn't doing too bad. I asked about his vision. He said it has been 18 months since his eye doctor replaced his lens with a new one and he still feels like he's looking through a glass of soapy water--the eye doc gave him a prescription that he can't see with but the doc says his eyes just need to adjust and get used to wearing the glasses, which irritates him because he can't see yet and he just doesn't think his eyes should have to adjust to the glasses, the glasses should be adjusted to his vision. All seemed reasonable to me.

Then my mom came in and started on the same old blah blah about how great the eye doc is and what a good job he did and no other doc would have even attempted the surgery and dad just needed to wear the glasses until his vision adjusted to them and by that time, dad was getting all fiery and she was fiery back and finally Jack showed up and I ran to the car for my prescription. Jack brought a handful of them in a ziplock baggie. I kissed him for his thoughtfulness and quickly swallowed one.

We got in the car--dad and Jack in front, mom and me in back--and headed to McDonald's for breakfast. Of course, mom and dad have their routine at McDonald's, so Jack and I ordered and I went to the soda machine to get our drinks while he payed and dutifully followed mom and dad to the best seats in the place.

I wandered around until I found them, sat down, and looked around the table for my food. I said, "Oh, they forgot my apple/walnut salad, I'll go get it." Mom looked at me in surprise and said, "That was yours? I told them nobody ordered a salad, we only wanted the cinnamon rolls, so they put the salad back and gave us our cinnamon rolls."

I headed back to the counter to get my salad and on the way back to the table, realized that my mom was trying to get Jack to try her McGriddle because, "once you try one of these, you'll never want another thing at McDonald's, although they only serve them until 10:00." Somehow Jack was able to avoid a bite of the McGriddle.

As we headed to the car, I took another of the amazing little pills. I believe I begged Jack to let me ride up front with him, but I knew he thought it would be good for my dad to sit up front with him, and I couldn't argue with him about that, so I sat down in the back seat with mom. As we drove, Jack and dad had conversations, mom and I had conversations, and mom and dad and Jack had conversations, whenever mom needed to complete Jack's sentence or correct dad's mistaken memory.

When we stopped at Jessie's so they could follow us to the property, I again attempted to find a different seat, offered to drive for Cory or let Jessie ride with her dad, because really, Breanne would love to ride with me, but once again, no go. I got back in the back seat with mom.

She continued talking and after a while, the wonder drug started to work its magic and I leaned back, snuggling into the seat and closing my eyes. Every time my eyelids closed, my mom would poke me and say, "Look at those cows!" or poke-poke, "Look there's the cemetery!" or poke-poke-poke, "There's the turkey barns!" and of course, I would open my eyes and look because Jack and I have only made that trip about 20 times in the past six months, so I'd never noticed those cows or that cemetery or those turkey barns...

It was like that for almost eight hours until we got back home. OH. MY. HECK. I wasn't just exhausted. I was battered. Physically worn out. Needed a nap. Saturday night. Sunday all day. Today would have been good for a nap.

My therapist is going to give me a D for my actions on Saturday. She will tell me I missed an excellent opportunity to practice the new skills we've been working on.

And I will say, "Perhaps-- but we weren't there now, were we?"

Friday, July 18, 2008

so she said and then i thought

Some readers may recall my efforts at fashion stylin' from here or here. Below are some of this week's attempts:

Wednesday--brown slacks, white tee, pale pink fitted shirt--"You remind me of neopolitan ice cream!"

Thursday--black slacks with pale blue and white pinstripe, deep teal blouse with navy scooped neck band and navy belt--"Oh, did you notice that's navy on your blouse, not black."

Friday--khaki capris, white tee, pale yellow hoodie with the cutest little gathers--"If you're okay with pants like those, then yeh, it's a cute outfit."

my response--

I seriously like looking like ice cream.
I need better lighting and a full-sized mirror in my closet--of course I didn't notice it was navy.
I happen to like those capris, so yeh, it was a cute outfit.

And I didn't even mention the shoes or accessories.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

five things i've learned in the past five years

1. if there's one, there is likely more--bugs, spiders, mice, ticks...
2. kids know what feels real.
3. there's always something to see if you look.
4. life can change in a second.
5. the more you want, the more it costs.

you, dear reader, what have you learned in the past five years? tell me please, i need to know.

i miss you and your insight when you withhold your comments...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I look forward to my first photo of them clasped tightly together.

this memory thing is kinda fun

It has been so much fun to receive and remember memories with friends and family of late.

I have to admit though, that since my brain attack last fall, it seems that I've lost a bunch of my specific individual memories. I remember the feelings I've had about each person who has posted, but as much as I know that we've been friends, had fun together, shared good times and hard times, the specific moments behind those feelings are sometimes difficult to find. And sometimes, I can't determine whether a memory is truly a memory or something I've dreamed or imagined.

That's the part of crazyville--well, one of the parts--that I could do without.

So thanks for restoring the little pieces that I've lost. Surprisingly enough, I do remember the moments you all have mentioned...and really, how do I know I've lost moments if I can't remember them?

Monday, July 14, 2008

the latest blogging flurry

The past couple of days have been a whirlwind of blogging here in the gardens. Somehow it didn't seem quite right to post pictures of the adorably observant Janey in all of the excitement over the new swingset.

This is our quiet little one--the four-month-old.