Thursday, February 26, 2009

it's so hard being pretty

Did you know that the Guiness world record holder for the longest fingernails lives in Utah and she was in a car accident, not injured seriously, but broke off her approximately 36" long fingernails? Absolutely true. At least, I read it in a newspaper I got from my mom (after she finished reading it last week) that I was spreading out on the floor for JoJo. Could have happened at anytime in the last three years, but still. My dad is so pleased that mom has a reason to catch up on her newspaper reading now.

Got my eyebrows waxed for the first time last night. Wasn't that big of a deal, really. My mom's always said I'm a baby about pain (like the time in the delivery room when the doc started my c-section and my epidural wasn't positioned right and I told my mom, my support person, that I could feel them cutting and she said (and this is a direct quote, not something you easily forget), "She's kind of a baby about pain, but she says she can feel that." And the room got instantly quiet, the doctor quickly asked for something, which turned out to be a something that numbed my belly instantly, and then they continued with the delivery. So, there you go, I am so not a baby about pain. I didn't even flinch during the eyebrow waxing.

Houseplant Update:

Monday, February 23, 2009

europe, anyone?

Bold the items you have done:

1. Started your own blog.
2. Slept under the stars.
3. Played in a band.
4. Visited Hawaii.
5. Watched a meteor shower.
6. Given more than you can afford to charity.
7. Been to Disneyland.
8. Climbed a mountain.
9. Held a praying mantis.
10. Sang a solo.
11. Bungee jumped.
12. Visited Paris.
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch.
15. Adopted a child.
16. Had food poisoning.
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty.
18. Grown your own vegetables.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.
20. Slept on an overnight train.
21. Had a pillow fight.
22. Hitch hiked. (just messing around with my girlfriends, but somebody stopped. Scared us to death!)
23. Taken a sick day when you're not sick. (define sick?)
24. Built a snow fort.
25. Held a lamb.
26. Gone skinny dipping. (Why am I admitting this when my kids read my blog?)
27. Run a marathon.
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice.
29. Seen a total eclipse.
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.
31. Hit a home run.
32. Been on a cruise.
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person.
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors.
35. Seen an Amish community.
36. Taught yourself a new language.

37. Had enough money to truly be satisfied.
38. Seen the leaning tower of Pisa in person.
39. Gone rock climbing.
40. Seen Michelangelo's David.
41. Sung karaoke.
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant.
44. Visited Africa.
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.
46. Been transported in an ambulance.
47. Had your portrait painted.
48. Gone deep sea fishing.
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person.
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling.
52. Kissed in the rain.
53. Played in the mud.
54. Gone to a drive-in theater.
55. Been in a movie.
56. Visited the Great Wall of China.
57. Started a business.
58. Taken a martial arts class.
59. Visited Russia.
60. Served in a soup kitchen.
61. Sold Girl Scout cookies.
62. Gone whale watching.
63. Gotten flowers for no reason.
64. Donated blood, platelets, or plasma.
65. Gone sky diving.
66. Visited a Nazi concentration camp.
67. Bounced a check.
68. Flown in a helicopter.
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy.
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.
71. Eaten caviar.
72. Pieced a quilt.
73. Stood in Times Square.
74. Toured the Everglades.
75. Been fired from a job.
76. Seen the changing of the guards in London.
77. Broken a bone.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle.
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person.
80. Published a book.
81. Been to the Vatican.
82. Bought a brand new car.
83. Walked in Jerusalem.
84. Had your picture in the paper.
85. Read the entire Bible.
86. Visited the White House.

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
88. Had Chicken pox.
89. Saved someone's life.
90. Sat on a jury.
91. Met someone famous.
92. Joined a book club.
93. Lost a loved one.
94. Had a baby.
95. Seen the Alamo in person.
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake.
97. Been involved in a lawsuit.
98. Owned a cell phone.
99. Been stung by a bee.
100. Read an entire book in one day.

That's 53 so far. A good trip to Europe would cross off a lot more...


Sunday, February 22, 2009

life with jaws

As far as I can tell, JoJo lives for three things in addition to eating, pooping, and sleeping--chasing the cats, destroying the plants, and chewing on me.

She is almost 13 weeks old, and has been our pup for six weeks, and I adore her and she knows it. She is most definitely my puppy. Most often, I feed her and clean up after her and she whines when she can't follow me around the house (biting my feet or hanging off of my pant leg). She seems to identify Jack as the pack leader and everybody else in her world is simply a sibling, another member of the pack to jump on and chew on. And while she loves to chew on her big sheep (it was a gift to Jessie when she was maybe two?) and her little squeaky sheep, her kong puppy chew toy and her old navy puppy, any ball or sock or shoe or slipper she sees, her favorite thing to chew on is clearly me and when she isn't chewing on me, she's leaping around me trying to figure out how to jump up and chew on me.

Most of the time, the chewing is no big deal. But every now and then, she goes overboard and amazes me at the pain those little razor teeth can inflict. For example, the day after she came home with us, she got hold of my index finger with one of her fangs and sliced it open as deep as the tooth could sink in and half an inch long. A few days later, she punctured my other hand, just above my thumb. Next she sliced open my palm. Then she nipped at my belly, through my clothes, leaving a bite and a bruise. I have scabs and bruises and red marks on my arms and legs, hands, feet, fingers and toes, belly and shoulders and elbows. Her latest chomp was last night when she bit through my thumbnail and the skin around it, leaving three spots where teeth had been, one of them right through my nail. Every time one of these really painful nips happens, I think, "Well, this is definitely the worst one yet," and then a few days later, she surprises me with a new one.

JoJo also likes to spend time playing with her siblings, Oscar, Weezie, and Millie. Weezie and Millie are still a bit overwhelmed by JoJo's enthusiasm (and by enthusiasm I mean teeth, feet, and weight). They spend most of their time sitting on a chair or bed or couch, hissing and growling at JoJo, who is usually on the floor looking up at them.

But Oscar is the big brother JoJo always wanted. They chase each other down the hall, around the furniture, and into the basement. JoJo has actually sniffed the end of Oscar's tail and today they touched noses--quite by accident, of course, and the touching was followed by several pawslaps at JoJo by Oscar, which were followed by some crouching and much wagging of the tail by JoJo.

One of JoJo's other favorite things to do is chew on my houseplants. I used to have a dozen or so different plants in baskets and pots grouped around the sunniest rooms of the house, but not any more. When Oscar was smaller, he and Weez liked to frolic amongst the plants and would occasionally toss some dirt or mulch around. But then along came JoJo. She likes to rearrange the plants, tossing the mulch and dirt, shredding the leaves, thinning the plants as it were. Last weekend, I condensed the plants into fewer containers and moved them higher off the floor, in an attempt to rescue them. I had this great plan to create a tile top for a table frame I found at a yard sale so I could set the remaining solo plant on it, but I fear I may be too late...

Friday, February 20, 2009

it was early

this morning i woke up earlier than usual.

so early that it was that time of day when the sun isn't up yet and probably hasn't even opened its eyes.

so early that i heard the silence before i heard the bird.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

two great nights in a row--wait, make that three

Seriously. Great. Nights.

Two nights ago--Spent three hours with Breanne and Janey while their parents went off and did some fun thing without their kids. Some of the highlights:

1. Jack and I have been trying to spend some time with the girls for several nights and Jessie said that when Jack said he didn't feel like going out and I told Breanne we wouldn't be over until another day and we said goodbye, that Breanne had a 'melt down'--"I wanna see gamma" so when I called back a few minutes later and said I would be coming over by myself, Breanne was immediately delighted.

2. Janey was napping when I arrived and when she woke up, I got to get her out of her crib, and she was delighted to see me as evidenced by her smile and blankie sharing.

3. We played catch (Breanne throwing two small balls at Janey and me while I kept my hands in front of Janey's head), read books (Janey, the baby board book about home, and Breanne, the 100 first words for kids book--and she knows every word and the order of each word on each page), Janey practiced standing on the musical sit'n'spin while I said, "Be careful, you're going to fall" (but she didn't), and Breanne warned Janey and me that we'd better come with her into their bedroom before the shark got us (accompanied by chomping noises and arm motions to match the noises).

4. Breanne shared her pincesses with Janey.

5. Janey demonstrated her absolutely adorable self by saying their cat's name over and over--"Ha-zel, Ha-zel, Ha-zel" (imagine her sweet, heart-melting voice).

And there was more even.

Then there was last night. Jack knew that I've wanted to see Madam Butterfly for a long time, so when I mentioned that Ballet West was performing Madam Butterfly (which I discovered while spreading out newspapers for JoJo from my mom, newspapers that were from the past week instead of 2006 like the ones she brought me earlier this week after she finished reading them). Anyway, good guy that Jack is, he bought tickets and we sat on Orchestra, left, row M, on the isle. There were two productions, a ballet from Colorado called, "Gong" that was all about the color and light and shadow and movement with music, and then we watched Madam Butterfly. The music, the movement, the strength of the dancers, I could hardly clap without getting worn out yet they were so graceful and muscular. Amazing.

And then tonight. I arrived home to find a card and a valentine from Breanne--it had been mis-delivered to a neighbor, so it took extra days to get to me. But it was so worth the wait. And also so worth waiting for is the little blonde sitting near me as I type this--the delightful, nearly two-year-old Audrey, who is playing with the pincesses (don't tell Breanne) and the blocks and the puzzles and the tea set. And is a very good picker upper. In more ways than one.

How blessed I am.

Monday, February 16, 2009

on the phone

Today I dialed Jessie's number and after just one ring, a sweet little voice said, "Hawoe?" And I said, "Hi, Breanne, this is Gramma." And she said, "Hi Gamma, what you doin?"

We talked for a while, and just before ending the call, I heard a muffled sound and I said, "Breanne, did you drop me?" [as in, did you drop the phone on the floor?] And Breanne said, "Sorry, sorry, sorry, Gamma--you otay?"

Friday, February 13, 2009

a pretty great state

Today, I drove north for work. Rode along that controversial Legacy Highway again. There are those who don't like it because the speed limit is only 55 mph. There are those who don't like it because it wanders through wetlands. There are those who don't like it because it takes you past numerous power poles and lines and substations.

But to them, I say, phooey.

Driving 55 mph on a road that meanders through wetlands grants the perfect opportunity to spot birds. And I don't mean just any birds. Today I saw plenty of the usual suspects--starlings, sparrows, finches, and those big black ravens.

But I also saw birds of prey. Hawks of all kinds and two kinds of eagles--golden and bald. Flying and perching. Amazing, huge beautiful predaters.

Rodent eaters. Our heroes!

Oh, and to those who drive the Highway and only see power poles and power lines and power substations, I say, "Look up and see what sits atop those poles and along those lines, and see what soars over those substations." Yes, indeed, a pretty great state.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

thoughts from the road

driving home tonight, i wondered--

how long before jack gets home so we can watch the races we recorded from daytona today?

how ever will i be able to use my outside mirrors when they're both covered with frozen snow?

whatever happened to cause that three-car wreck by kearns high school?

is it big gas guzzlin' pickup truck races on 5400 south today or what? all of you diesel racers, get into that gas station right there. NOW. you know you need to.

hmm. i bet the bottom of my starbucks cup will do a fine job of cleaning the frozen snow off of the mirrors...yep, right again.

wonder what it feels like to be a bird in winter. why don't those guys go someplace warm in winter? do they get cold? is that why they huddle up like that on the power lines? do the power lines keep them warm?

can't wait to see my dog.

hmmm. juggalo on the license plate frame in front of me. should i be worried? should we all be worried?

jeez my mouth hurts. don't know if i can go back to that dentist if he's going to numb my tongue instead of my tooth and then drill anyway.

stu sounded better today.

breanne was so funny today when she called and said hi and thanks for the card and what a funny dog picture it had on it and then barked for the rest of the call.

almost home. puppy fetch games and soup and racing. perfect.

and then i'm home and we start the games--

and she chews on me

but seriously, who wouldn't love to come home to this.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

for my 300th post

I can do no better than share the video on Jessie's blog.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

it's been a while

I spent a couple of days in Minneapolis this past week. The thermometer on my rental car said it was 14 degrees outside when I checked into my hotel. By the time I pulled my suitcase and laptop out of the trunk and walked the 100 feet into the hotel, I thought my bare hands were going to freeze and my fingers would fall off. I didn't see any frozen fingers on the ground though, so I sensed that if I hurried along, I'd be okay. I did think longingly about the fluffy gloves I'd bought last year and never worn, even though they are a lovely teal-blue color.

JoJo is adorable as can be and is growing like a weed. I do wish that she would or could remember to not poop on the dark carpet in the dining room especially when a friend stops by, especially when I can't see the poop she left that I stepped in and could smell constantly--because it was stuck in the treads of my boot--as I showed my friend the rest of the house. Lisa, that was my boot, not my entire house that smelled of puppy poo. (Oh, and all of the extra furniture in the dining room and the 'guest room' is for the basement--when we finish it.)

And speaking of weed, Jack signed up for Netflix recently, and one of the options is to download and watch stuff on the computer. We downloaded a Showtime series called, "Weeds." Not a series I can recommend for everyone--drug use, cussing, violence, sexual situations but no nudity that I remember--but, it seemed to me to contain a very strong anti-drug message. I found myself thinking over and over, drugs make you stupid and get you into some bad deals. But still, it is a very darkly entertaining show.

The drummer and his friends came to dinner tonight (excellent chile verde burritos, prepared lovingly by me), as did Stu and Shi and Audrey. And of course, Jack, Jr and I were there for the food and company. One of the drummer's friends entertained all of us after dinner when he decided he could overpower Oscar with his cat-wrangling skills. He and Oscar played slapping hands/paws for a while and then the friend tried to teach Oscar how to play volleyball using a little fluffy cat toy that hangs on the closet door on an elastic string. Surprisingly enough, Oscar seemed to enjoy the lesson, and before too long, sat up on his back legs, and did his best to slam that fluffy toy right back at the friend. We could tell Oscar was enjoying the game because he was wagging his tail.