Monday, October 5, 2009

another day another dollar . . .

it's a bit personal, but i feel i need to write about this on here. maybe someone else is suffering from the same .
i am 5'7. i weigh 135lbs. i would like to weigh 119lbs, however this has been a long time fictional dream and never one i have achieved. i eat what i want when i want and i don't diet. i come from good hearty peasant stock and i am happy. but, in the back of my mind i am always wanting to weigh 119lbs.
because about 25 years ago i read in a magazine that christie brinkley weighed 119lbs. i think it was about the time she was marrying billy joel, so it was a long time ago. anyway, that weight has stuck in my mind and i have never let it go. i have never been close to that weight. i have weighed this 135lbs since forever and ever and ever amen. it doesn't change. i weigh the same and i am a size 4-8 off the rack depending on the brand. i am happy. really i am.
i just want to step on the scale and see the number 119 flash before me. i don't want to read 135. i want to read 119.
how does one get there?
i don't diet. i don't watch what i eat. i don't count carbs or calories. i eat. i eat what i want. i eat what i want when i want. i eat however much i want until i am full and then i stop.
i don't even know how to begin a diet. how pitiful is that? so, here i am beginning a diet. a diet to try and get to 119lbs. how long will this take? i have no idea. it may take a few weeks? maybe a few months? longer?
i'll keep you posted.

monday . . .

i am now officially a re-entry student. that is the polite term for people over 25 who decide to return to school. it's better than referring to myself as a middle-aged mom deciding to make a career change over 50. i'm not the oldest in the program, but then i didn't expect to be. the average grad student is 42. i think when i was in grad school, the first time around, the average age was 32. i was a young grad student back then. now i am old(er).

school started last thursday and i love it! i love being in school. i love learning. there isn't anything i don't love about it. did i tell you that i love school?

the only thin i don't like is the commute. while i don't live far from seattle, last thursday i left at 3:30pm. bad time to leave. I need to leave here about 2:00, and then go sit in starbucks or the library and do some reading and homework. i'd rather sit studying than sit in traffic.

i spent about 6 hours this weekend doing homework, but i am done with what i needed to be ready for class tuesday. i have two classes. one is an intro to paralegal studies and basically learning the two court systems we have--thoroughly and in depth. the second is legal research and writing. total of 9 hours per week of school and then about 2 hours of study per hour of class. i don't know how i would do it if i were working too. it will work for me though.

re-entry student. i think my blog may have just discovered what it's theme could be. maybe.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

tuesday thoughts

a death in the family is hard. emotionally draining. i'm trying to be there for both the boys when they need to talk. dylan calls and seems to just want to know i'm on the other end of the phone.. i am.
i was going over to seattle to spend some time with zak today, but he called letting me know he really wanted to keep his appointment with his therapist and the he had a lot to do getting ready to leave tomorrow. i'm glad he and dylan will be together with the rest of the family. their dad's family has the required dysfunctional member that likes to stir the pot and triangulate when she breezes into town. i told the boys to protect their dad from her this weekend.
as i am not heading into seattle i need to think about dinner. of course it's already 7:40pm, and i haven't moved into thinking mode as of yet. pizza? frankie's pizza it is. most of the time i live as a vegetarian. not for any reason other than i am a recovered eating disorder girl, and most of the time the texture of meat doesn't sit right with me. but once in a while i do crave a really good hamburger--a really good one. there is a restaurant here in town that i happen to love one particular burger in, but for take out, which tonight is, mr. roll won't go for spending $28 on a take out hamburger. i can appreciate this. my favorite fast food burger would be burger king, but the one we had in town closed up overnight and left. we all miss it. i like the whopper even if i can only eat 1/4 of it! and i have tried the junior whopper, but it is not the same. as much as i would like my fav burger tonight, i think it is pizza. even writing this paragraph didn't convince me i need i burger.
i think i have finally separated myself from jennifer mckinney's blog. finally. it took me weeks to stop reading that trash. i could rake her over the coals here, but i won't. this is my blog after all and i can write what i want, but i'm really not a mean spirited person and that is one of the things jennifer was bringing out in me. she does that. the story telling. the not telling quite the truth or changing it slightly with each telling, as if she either can't remember what she said or she likes knowing that her readers know she changes the truth. whatever. jennifer lives in her own little world of misery. i don't want to enable it. goodbye jennifer mckinney.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

sad news . . .

tonight the call came that one never expects and certainly doesn't to get. zak called me to tell me his granannie died. granannie is his dad's mom, and she was a very special grandma to my boys. dylan called me right afterwards and he was silent. silent in shock. i called their dad and had a long long talk with him. he too is in shock.
granannie and grandpa were both 81. they were on a canoe trip in Virginia, having recently returned from costa rica. they never sat still for long. they had a vineyard in paso robles so they could make wine. always busy. always on the go.
granannie died while they were taking a lunch break, and hiking up a hill. grandpa went ahead to get a picture of granannie with the water and canoe in the background. when he turned around she was on the ground. apparently she had a heart attack and died instantly. doing what she loved to do.
both the boys feel good that they saw their grandparents this summer and had a very good visit with them.
it's a loss to my boys and their family.

Sunday Sonshine

i had a good day today. a day free from the trappings of meniere's disease (MM). i woke up and spent some time lounging around reading "the kennedy women". school begins on thursday so i am on a timeline to get these 800+ pages finished.
mr. roll and i took the dogs out for a long walk. well, at long walk as for as our little town in concerned. we walked down to starbucks and then sat out in the warm sun for about 2 hours talking. talking about the future and what not. i am feeling the need to have some of my family around to help us with mom. i think my saying those words aloud caused mr. roll to lose his breath and catch it. he has never in 11 years of knowing me heard me utter those words in regard to my family.
i have never lived by my family. i left in 1975 for u.c. berkeley and stayed after two graduations. i have never lived by my family, nor have i ever had any desire to. my parents visited us every three months and we visited them on holidays and summers. i called my mom practically every day. the perfect long distance relationship with my parents. my sisters i actually ignored. i was the only one of us to go to college, and then graduate school. i followed the tradition of my mom who had done the same. my five siblings married young and had children. many small children. one of them doesn't even have her GED. i wish she would get it. i was a snob, married to a ph.d and berkeley was our life. i had no time for my sisters. when i saw them on holidays i was remote and distant, speaking when spoken to, never initiating conversations.
that has changed now, thank god. laura and shannon are my safety net. i'm 51, laura is 50, and shannon is 49. come november, laura will be 51, and december shannon will be 50. you can see how close we all are in age. too close.
friday while i was on the phone with laura, i casually mentioned to her that i wish she and her husband, dennis, would move out here. they are in missouri, and they have one daughter living there and three grandkids. they have a son in seattle, and another son in texas. i need laura to move out here to seattle. jake, their son, was visiting them for two weeks and he was talking to them about moving to seattle. i feel like have jake in my corner to talk them into it. there is no work in missouri. laura is a waitress where, in missouri, the average tip is $.50. dennis is a house painter, but no one is spending money now on things like that.
laura was encouraged to think about it. there is nothing for them in missouri. the grandkids can visit on holidays and summer vacations. li suggested we (phil and i) get a larger house we can all live in together. laura will take care of mom while i am in school, and we will pay her for this, just as we pay a caregiver now. laura like this plan.
for a woman who has never wanted to live around family, this seems like it can work. i need someone in my family pick up the ball and help me, and laura doesn't see it as picking up the ball, but as a blessing.

Friday, September 25, 2009

finally friday, i think . . .

this is my sister laura and me, taken last november 1st, in las vegas. i am the taller one with the pink scarf around my neck. it was the evening of mom's 90th birthday party. we are 9 months apart in age, and some would refer to us as irish twins. we've always been close, but in the past we've also had some differences. this all began about the time i was graduating from high school and planning on college, and she has one year left. i went on to college and laura went on to drugs. we lost our connection to each other for a while.
i am #3 of 6 girls, and laura is #4. we are both the middle child, however i my personality is more of the first born, while hers is more of the real middle child. we've never been into all the stuff, and the family calls us the middle girls. 6 daughters--poor dad :)

laura has cleaned up beautifully. oh, it didn't happen overnight. in fact she's been in an out of rehab more times than i probably know about, but she has been clean for 3 years now. the longest she has ever gone. she hit rock bottom, and it was fix herself or die alone. she fixed herself. it is such a joy to see her now. we're close again. we talk. we share. we even complain about the problem sister on occasion.

today began on a stressful note with mom having a panic attack. i calmed her down and gave her the meds she is take when having one and put her to bed to sleep it off. mr. roll was working at home today so i left him in charge and i took off for some alone time at starbucks. i was sitting there with my book in one of the comfy chairs, but i couldn't get comfortable and i couldn't stay with my book from one paragraph to the next. i gathered all my things and went outside into the sunshine, sat down and called laura. she spent 2 hours with me on the phone. she let me vent, and cry, and talk, and then we laughed and talked about happy things. fun things.

today i realized how lucky i am to have her back in my life. sisters.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

thursday it is . . .

thursday does mean that it is almost friday, right? the weekend is almost here.

it's been a busy week in that i usually have very little to do, but this week has been full. between mom being in the hospital and having tickets to all sorts of events i've just not been home a lot in the evenings.

tuesday night was pearl jam. always good. always. always. did i tell you pearl jam is always good? excellent.

wednesday night was the pnw ballet, romeo and juliete. a friend of my son's is a principal dancer with the ballet and she offered us an invitation to the dress rehearsal. we could pick our own seats so we sat in the 6th row, center. beautiful. it wasn't a traditional performance, but rather creative and i did have some issue with that, but the dancing was beautiful. i love the ballet, and every time zak goes i bug him about taking me, and last night he did.

speaking of zak, guess what he is doing today? he's on blake island with forbes top 100 ceo's, hosted by bill gates and paul allen, and the other special guest is the president of japan. bizarre. the company zak works for opens the event center on the island and they are holding the summit meeting there, and they hand selected 10 waiters to go over with them. zak is not a waiter, he is a boson and he manges two boats for the company, but they picked him and he's going. the amazing thing is that each of the servers has their gratuity added on the charge and they each walk away with $1850, and, in the past when bill gates has used the boats for meetings he always gives out envelopes of holding a cash "tip" into the gratuity built into the company charge for the event. sweet.

zak is leaving for barcelona on tuesday, so this little but of cash news came in handy.

they love to travel by boys do. they are planning to go to cuba in november over thanksgiving. i'm not thrilled they are missing thanksgiving with me, but they will be having a grand time together in cuba.

Monday, September 21, 2009

monday . . .

this morning mr. roll and i got up early and headed into the hospital to see mom. she had a stress test and then pictures taken of her heart, and they are keeping her again tonight for observation, and to run partII of the stress test tomorrow. we left to come home about 3;00pm., exhausted, can i tell you how exhausting it is to be at the hospital all day, sitting there doing absolutely nothing. mr. roll and i both had our book and while he was able to read his, i couldn't concentrate for anything. it felt good to come home and collapse on the safe with the house all to myself.
tomorrow morning i will be back to the hospital, and hopefully will be able to bring mom home.
the weather is so warm today and even going to be warmer tomorrow. where is our rain? today is the last day of summer, but i am so ready for fall at this point. we've had such a dry summer and this has produced flies. flies in numbers i have never seen before. we don't have screens in seattle. we don't have insects. we don't have bugs. we don't have things crawling through our homes or flying around driving us nuts. not until this summer. not enough rain to kill them all off and they have procreated by the 1000's. i actually had to purchase a fly swat and fly spray. these flies are making me crazy buzzing all over the place. pesty annoying things they are.
pearl jam tomorrow night. local home grown band and i love them. tomorrow night we will be there. then some night this week we are going to see wicked with my son zak. he needs to tell me when though. we have free tickets to the play as the cast took a tour on zak's boat and he spoke with one of the actors telling her how much we love musicals and when we've been in nyc visiting my older son we can never get tickets to wicked. she offered us great seats and backstage tour, and all we have to do is pick up the tickets at will-call. i like this.
tonight it's just mr. roll and i for dinner, and he has his men's woodworking group, so dinner will be late. he's working on a rocking chair for an auction coming up in two weeks. two years ago he made them one and it went for $2800, so hopefully this one will do well too regardless of the economy. his rocking chairs are mission style and they are beautiful. after the auction he can get back to work on my (our) living room furniture--all mission style. and as for dinner it is chicken enchiladas with a chili verde sauce. very good in deed.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday Sonshine

the mariners won today. mariners 7 -- yankees 1. it was a fun game. graffey hit a home run and had another run in there some place too. alex was booed every time he walked to bat, or walked to the field. alex is not well liked in seatown, and he knows it. in fact i wonder if alex is actually liked at any ball park who walks onto?
before i go on with today let me tell you about robin. robin has just hosted her 200th blog post and is having a giveaway, so be sure to check her out at
we left the house this morning and mom was fine. she was here and i left her instructions to just stay down on the sofa, in the family room, until we came home from the baseball game. the dogs were here with her. we came home from the game and mom was no where to be found, but we did find a card from the fire department in out front door. we raced off to the hospital but she wasn't there. i called the card and the told me they had taken mom into auburn thinking she was having a heart
we raced off to the hospital in auburn and found mom already admitted to a room on floor 3. she was happy to see us when we walked in. they do believe she has had a heart attack, but will know more tomorrow. the doctor doess think she has probably had a heart attack. i am happy to have her a larger hosital then the tiny one here in enumblaw.
we'll know more tommorw.

Friday, September 18, 2009

finally friday, i think . . .

some of my family

i cannot believe i've gone almost an entire week without blogging. not like me at all. while i keep a handwritten journal, i also like to keep this one as a way to connect and make online friends. i don't have a huge reader following, in fact it is quite dismal in numbers, but in spirit it is far greater. i am so appreciative of the readers i have. i like my readers very much.

family. i have started reading "the kennedy women" this week. it's about 1000 pages and begins with bridget kennedy coming from ireland. i am hooked on it. i'm on about page 175, so i have long to go before completing it, but i am loving the history. i am so, in some small fashion, even embracing my own irish history. you see my paternal grandmother, mary kelley, immigrated from ireland in the late 1800's aboard a ship bringing her to a new life in america. wow. i don't know that i have the strength of nature to do what these women did. my family didn't fair as well as the kennedy's managed to, but a family they were nonetheless.

my father was the 2nd of 15 children born to my grandmaother. not close to her at all. in fact, after she divorced my grandfather she promptly dropped her children at an orphanage in southern california and fled to begin her own new life in california. that is as much as i really have ever cared to know about her or her life for a long long time. then a few years ago i was in minneapolis, at the mall of america, with my oldest son dylan and there was a native american dance performance happening in the center. i sat and watched for the longest time and dylan and i began talking about our own family traditions and history. at the time i was also taking a french cooking class and diong all things french, as i had been raised to do by my very french mother and her family. dylan questioned why i never explored the irish side of my self, and my only response was that i didn't consider myself irish only french. i am french.

one only need took at me to see i am very irish. i am a big boned pheasant stock girl. i am not the petite slim girl that all my sisters are. while they are, all five of them, 5'2 ands under, and a mere 85-100lbs, i am a stocky 5'7 130lbs. they like to refer to me as the amazon woman in the family. i am the exact replica of my paternal grandmother, even bearing the same name. i have since, that conversation with dylan, developed a keen interest in all things irish and i am slowly coming to grips with the fact that i am not only of french heritage, but of irish too. and it's not bad. i think it is the french in me that often times makes me cringe at knowing something else has worked it's way into my blood flow. but it is good.

one of the aspects of this kennedy book i am enjoying is the closeness of the family. family is everything. we are six girls, and for the most part we are close. sticking together through it all. we are constance, jennifer, marileigh (me), laura, shannon, kathyn. laura and i are merely nine months apart in age. irish twins as we are called. we are all blondes, and while most have blue eyes, i have green and shannon has brown. we share clothes, we share make-up, we share our lives together. we also get mad and don't speak. laura and kathy were so mad one time they didn't speak for seven years, finally making up with our father passed. how sad to let one small disagreement keep you apart from those you love.

shannon is my very best friend. her children and my children are close to each other. their other cousins they are not so close to, but they would be for them if the need were to arise. family is important to us.
speaking of family, i think i need to call shannon.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

saturday at last

today was so warm and sunny outside. it was the perfect day for a picnic in the park, which is exactly what our church did. we held a sunday school kickoff bbq in a park right by the church, and right in front of the town library. we had lots of those giant air filled jumping things that kids like to much. we had hamburgers and hotdogs and chips. there was also a car show going on downtown so a lot of families were there too and would stop by the bbq for something to eat and the kids could play.
we took our three dogs with us, and mom of course. mom was able to sit and visit with her crowd of friends giving mr. roll and i the rare opportunity to visit with ours. mr. roll bought food bands for the dogs so they too could enjoy a hotdog or two. i appreciated him doing this as i was concerned they would beg, and i didn't want that. the dogs were well behaved and i think people were happy that our doggies didn't disrupt the fun. lucy, our hound, was especially happy that one little girl named hannah spent much of the afternoon sitting my her and rubbing her. lucy was so pleased she even rolled on her back so hannah could get to her tummy. hannah was please when mr. roll told her that lucy must really like her a lot if she rolled on her back.
i enjoyed being able to sit in the sun and enjoy talking to two of my closest friends at church, debbie and judy. we're all the same age and they were my first two friends i made when i moved to this town. debbie's husband troy is mr. roll's closest friend here in town.
book club was on friday afternoon and while i didn't care of the book, "losing julia", i did read it. book club is good at getting me to read outside my comfort zone. there are 9 of us in book club and only two, of the women, liked the book. i didn't, but i did like that the story took place during WW1. i am not an expert on WW1, and i appreciated that this book triggered something in me to read more about about that time period. probably i will look for a non-fiction historical documentary type book to read. i know, how boring can i be.
our book club meets at sip city, right downtown. we do wine tasting while we enjoy conversing about our book. i live in a very small town, slightly south east from seattle. many of the people who live out here commute into seattle for work, including mr. roll, and i will be commuting into UW for school in a couple of weeks. but being a small town and that we meet on friday 4-6, once a month in the wine shop, we often times have fellow neighbors or church friends or simply people we know come in and join us in conversation. it is a lot of fun.
mr. roll and i are trying to decide whether or not to go to the rodeo tomorrow at the fair over in puyallup. i usually love the rodeo, but i don't want to go to the fair on a sunday afternoon--it will be too crowded. i'd rather we go one day during the week when it won't be crowded. mr. roll will take a vacation day and we'll spend the afternoon at the fair. so i think i solved my own problem and we won't go tomorrow. good decision.
i talked to my oldest son dylan on friday too. friday was a good day it seems. he's busy with work. the film he was going to be working on was cancelled due to the studio, or whoever controls all the money, refusing to pay certain high salaries. i'm sure there is a lot more involved, but in essence it was canceled over money and the studio not wanting to spend anymore than they were. dylan then took on a television show. little background . . . dylan has done television work and hated it. after he graduated from college and he moved to nyc he had a job with a&e and he edited "dog the bounty hunter. i can't even tell you how he felt about that show and the people in it. hated it. while at a&e he also did some show about wife swapping and another one a few other reality shows. then he went to mtv and did more reality tv. he finally graduated to film and has been doing film editing for a few years now, and he loves what he does. he's doing this television show and it's not reality tv, and he's enjoying it. the show is called 3rd-rock. he had another film coming up and will be out of the country on that, but in the meantime he is enjoying the tv show. he told me i need to watch it and assured me it is a good show. i will watch it this week.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

wednesday wine

i don't really know why i haven't blogged in almost a week. other than an episode of meniere's on monday i have been doing well, in general.
on monday, being as it was a holiday and mr. roll had the day off, we headed into tukwilla too barnes & noble. i needed to pick up my book club book, "losing julia" as book club is this friday and i hadn't even bought the book yet. good grief, this is not the way i usually operate. and i wanted to see if i could find book 8 & 9 of the sookie stackhouse series. no luck with any of them. losing julia is out of print, so i came home and ordered it on amazon. books 8 & 9 were out of stock, and luckily i had already ordered them from amazon, i was just a bit impatient for book 9 to arrive, and my son wanted me to pick them up for him too.
kindle anyone? have you heard of kindle? do you have one? i got one as a free gift from my son. amazon held some sort of important meeting on one of his boats, and they passed out the kindles to everyone and the leftovers were offered to the crew, and he got one for me too. lucky me. i love it. you simply type int he book title and click to pay $6.99 and it's downloaded immediately. to try it out i downloaded book #8, of sooke stackhouse, and it appeared. it took me about 30 seconds to get used to the book being on a screen and not paper. then i discovered that if i plug my ipod ears into the kindle i get the book on audio. i've never done a book on audio and i have a little trouble staying with the reading so i don't know that i will use it often, but it's still cool. this kindle has been sitting in the pile in my dining room for at least 6 months, and i finally tried it out and i enjoy it. if you don't have one yet, go get one. i say that with no idea how much they cost.
this afternoon we were off to the oncologist to see how mr. roll's tests last week turned out. nothing has changed so we are happy. this is the first time his cancer has pretty much stayed at bay. it seems to be simply sitting there doing nothing. not growing. not spreading. but it is there nonetheless. mr. roll is still refusing chemo as he likes having his life back too much. i like it too and as long as the dr. is agreeable to no chemo, we're good.
you have no idea how much we are appreciating the fact that we can make plans and keep them. as a surprise i bought mr. roll baseball series tickets for the mariners/yankees series coming up the weekend after next. we haven't been able to do something like this in 5 years. it's exciting. this weekend we are going to the cougar game, saturday, at quest field. on sunday we're going to seahawks game. i am not a football fan, but i will go to be with mr. roll and i will love watching him being able to have fun.
my study guide books for the lsat arrived this week. scary looking. mom oh mom, do i have to learn how to think again. wow. i thumbed through and i realize how much studying i need to do before i attempt to take this exam. but i am feeling good at having made this decision to pursue law school. age doesn't matter one bit. mr. roll is so supportive of this decision and i feel so blessed to have him by my side.
speaking of school, tomorrow i have to get registered for my classes at university of washington. very exciting.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

thursday it is . . .

this morning it was pampering time. i took mom and we had our nails done, and i had a pedicure too. mom doesn't like pedicures so she sat with a cup of coffee and waited while i had that. then i had my eyebrows waxed. my gosh they needed to be waxed. i feel fresh and new.
i went by the market on the way home to pick up some groceries. mom was pretty tired from getting her nails done so she waited in the car and rushed through as to not make her sit too long in the car. of course after i got home i remembered all the other items on my list. oh well, i can go back after mr. roll gets home. and i can sneak into the tanning salon too. it's all good.
i love top chef. due to the fact that mr. roll likes to watch something on wednesday nights i watch top chef on thursday. i have episode 3 on right now. some of these chefs are so arrogant and then others i can't fathom how they even made it onto the show to begin with? i always try to imagine what i would make when they're given the ingredients. i imagine how i would react to the other chefs and their temperaments and attitudes. could i remain nice? i'd do better on iron chef, another favorite show that mr. roll and i like to watch together. my fantasy is be a world famous chef. sometimes when i'm cooking dinner, in my kitchen, i pretend i am speaking to a television audience. talking. joking. explaining. it's fun. back the top chef chef's creating something with potatoes.
tonights dinner is an old standby, chicken with cream of mushroom soup. remember this dish? it was a staple when i was growing up, and even when my kids were growing up. i've tried, over the years, to fancy it up a bit by adding garlic, adding sour cream, adding red wine, adding some artichoke hearts. don't get me wrong, all the additions were delicious, but chicken and cream of mushroom soup taste good standing alone. tonight it stands alone. i bought some regular white rice to have with it. i can't remember the last time i made regular white rice? tonight it is.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

wednesday, let's play ball, mariners baseball

and they won. of course it was 0/0 until the 7th inning when the mariners finally scored. we love baseball, and we specially love going to the games together.

last thursday mr. roll came home from work and told me he had a surprise for me. mariners tickets. section 134, row 32--right behind home plate. good.

when we were dating and commuting between berkeley and seattle to see each other every other week, one thing we did a lof of during spring and summer, was go to baseball games. when mr. roll came to berkeley we headed the oakland a's. when i would go up to seattle, we headed for the seattle mariners. and for the record, i introduced mr. roll to garlic fries in oakland, long before they finally arrived at safeco field.
baseball has been not much more than a fond memory since 1991, for us due to mr. roll's cancer. these past few years have been a struggle for him health wise between 8+ surgeries where he is in the hospital for an entire week, and the chemo. the chemo. the ironic thing about the chemo is that it is given to hopefully preserve his life, and yet it makes him feel as if his life is over. it robs him of his health. robs him of a life. robbed him of an immune system so going into crowds was not something he could do. and watching sports on television just isn't the same as being there.
even harder to give up than the mariners, was his not being able to go to his beloved hockey. oh my gosh does mr. roll love hockey. i think it's because he's from minneapolis. all that snow. all those frozen lakes. the frozen tundra it is, and he loved playing hockey. he loves watching hockey. seattle does not have a nhl team, but seattle does have a junior league team, the seattle thunderbirds. we go. we love. we have missed.
i had never been to a hockey game until i met and began dating mr. roll. tonight i am going to buy him (us) short season tickets. october will be here before we know it and hockey season will be upon us.
mr. roll stopped chemo back in december when i developed septic shock. he decided he couldn't be with me all the time and do chemo too. he discussed it all, of course, with his oncologist (who came into icu, while i was in a coma, to see me and to visit with mr. roll, and ended up sitting and talking to him 2 hours. not only is he a brilliant dr., but his bedside manner is the best.) the dr. would have liked mr. roll to start back on his chemo regimen months ago, but mr. roll said "no". he has been on chemo since september 2002, only missing about 15 weeks in these years that he was on a "break". the chemo is hard. he's sick. he lost so much weight. no energy. life pretty much came to a standstill. since he's been off the chemo now he is feeling so good. he feels like he has a life again. so, in agreement with me and his oncologist he has a ct scan every two months and the current tumor is looked at closely for changes. so far no changes. so far it's all good.
we talked on the way home, from the baseball game, and we're ready to step back into enjoying being out in large crowds. or at least baseball and hockey crowds.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

tuesday thoughts

school begins, not granted i don't have children at home but school did begin this week, and i have the stomach bug. yuck. the only time i got up today was to take a shower and go to occupational therapy for craniosacral therapy. it always makes me feel like i've run a 10k, but i also feel better too so i went. i actually feel asleep during the procedure. came home and slept for 3 more hours.
mr. roll came home from work and brought me an oreo mcflurry, which i tried to eat but couldn't. i love soft ice cream and especially dairy queen which we don't have in our little village, so i sometimes settle for a mcflurry. it was the thought that counts. a lot. he also made me some vegetable soup for dinner which i did eat. it felt good to eat and keep something down. maybe i am on the upswing here. i hope
we have tickets to the mariniers game tomorrow afternoon. they are playing the angels. i was hoping they were playing the a's when i first glanced at the tickets--the a's are my team. i lived in berkeley for 30 years and the a's have it!!! it will be fun regardless, i just hope i am feeling better so i can enjoy it.
one of zak's best friends will be at the game too. he said he'd text mr. roll to meet for a beer. he's a smart young man because he knows if he meets up with mr. roll, that mr. roll will buy him a beer. actually this isn't just one of zak's friends, it is also his roommate and our other son.
this is about it for me tonight. not feeling well enough to lay here with the laptop on top of me and try to type.
peace out.

Monday, August 31, 2009

monday . . .

buckwheat blueberry pancakes (recipe below)
i have been fighting the stomach flu for two days now. it started in sunday and today i still am not feeling bed. in fact i haven't even gotten out of bed today. here in bed with my laptop. mr. roll is so good to me when he came in this morning to tell me goodbye, as he was leaving for work, he brought my laptop in for me. he even plugged it in and set it on the bed, within my reach, so that when i felt up to it i could keep myself entertained.

harley is here beside me. laptop is here. i spent most of the day watching all 8 episodes of season three of the tudors. a favorite show of mine on showtime. it could also be called the life and times of henry the 8th. i was disappointed to see that episode 8 came with the demise of thomas cromwell, not because i love thomas cromwell but i love the actor that portrays sir cromwell, james fairn. all good things must come to an end.

tomorrow i am planning to take bear, another of our dogs, with me over to seattle and hang out with zak. he has the day off so we're going to do coffee at peet's, then take the dogs for a walk around greenlake, which is by his house. at some point we'll go to the snappy dragon for food. the snappy dragon is the best chinese food ever--they make their own noodles and their pot stickers are the best i have ever tasted.

when i was in the hospital, with the septic shock, i was eventually moved from icu to a regular room and i remember waking up one afternoon and zak was there and i could smell the most delicious pot stickers. i hadn't been eating much and zak thought i might do better if i had something i really liked so he brought me pot stickers from the snappy dragon and he fed me. as a result of septic shock i lost my motor skills and had to relearn things like walking and feeding myself. my 25 year old son brought me and fed me one of my favorite foods. remembering this makes me cry.

speaking of parents and children . . . i have met an incredible family online. bill and victoria strong and their almost 2 year old daughter gwendolyn. gwendolyn has sma and their blog is about their family and about their fight to educate the public about sma and to fight for a cure. they are truely amazing and i have come to love them, through their blog. they never ask for anything, so don't think my sending you to get to know them about them needing stuff, it's not. i encourage you to go read their story and get to know them. you too will fall in love with them. gwendolyn is precious and her smiles will make your worst day better.

mr. roll just came home from work and came to check on me. he asked me what i felt like having for dinner tonight and i told him buckwheat blueberry pancakes. the look on his face was priceless. you see mr. roll doesn't really cook. he does all things bbg related, but if it involves the stove or the oven he doesn't do it. he asked me to pull out my pancake recipe for him, but i decided to let hm off the hook and let him go to the market and buy a box of buckwheat pancake mix to use. how bad can it be? it won't be bad at all and these pancakes will be made with love, this i know for a fact. i have bags of frozen blueberries in the freezer he can use too. and we have really good pure maple syrup we brought back from alaska.

but because i love to cook, and i am loyal to cooking from scratch i will share my recipe with you. i wish i could remember where i first found it, but i've been using it since my children were little. these pancakes are good.

buckwheat blueberry pancakes
3/4 cup buckwheat flour
3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup nonfat milk
1 tablespoon honey
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 cups blueberries, divided
1/2 cup real maple syrup
in a large bowl whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, beat together the buttermilk, non-fat milk, honey, eggs, and oil. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing only enough to combine them. Stir in 1 cup of berries.

preheat a large nonstick griddle or skillet over a medium flame. Ladle the batter onto the skillet with a 1/4-cup measure. Flip the pancake when it is golden brown on the bottom and bubbles are forming on top, about 1 1/2 minutes. Cook the other side until golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes.

serve topped with more blueberries and the maple syrup.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

saturday at last

chicken wings
recipe is below
i've been cooking all morning, ot at least most of it trying to get things ready to take to the bbq. the chicken wings are done. the guacamole is done, and i have homemade blue corn chips to go with. and then there is the coffee cake, literally. i need to get a shower, but i need to get off my feet for a few minutes too. i do not want an epeisode of meniere's today, so it's best not to get too tired.
last night i managed to stay up until 3:40am reading book #7 of the sookie stackhouse aka true blood series. i am so caught up in these books i can't put them down. you have to understand that these books are completely not me. the book i read before starting these was "the kennedy brothers". i like non-fiction. i like historical novels about europe. i may like that stuff, but i am loving these dead books.

chicken wings (i made 6 dozen wings today so i increased the recipe by quite a bit)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup louisiana hot sauce
1 dash pepper, Ground
1 dash garlic powder
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 chicken wings
bleu cheese salad dressing
vegetable oil, for frying

*combine the flour, paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt in a small bowl.
*put the wings into a large bowl and sprinkle the flour mixture over them, coating each wing evenly.
*put the wings in the refrigerator for 60 to 90 minutes. (This will help the breading to stick to the wings when fried.)
*heat oil in a deep fryer to 375 degrees.
*you want just enough oil to cover the wings entirely -- an inch or so deep at least. Combine the butter, hot sauce, ground pepper, and garlic powder in a small saucepan over low heat. Heat until the butter is melted and the ingredients are well blended.
*put all the wings into the hot oil and fry them for 10 to 15 minutes or until some parts of the wings begin to turn dark brown.
*remove the wings from the oil to a paper towel to drain.
*but don't let them sit too long, because you want to serve the wings hot. Quickly put the wings into a large bowl.
*add the hot sauce and stir, coating all the wings evenly.
*you could also use a large plastic container with a lid for this.
*put all the wings inside the container, add the sauce, put on the lid, then shake. Serve with Bleu cheese dressing and celery sticks on the side.

Friday, August 28, 2009

pioneer women's coffee cake

Pioneer Woman’s Coffee Cake Literally

2 cups flour
2 cups white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) regular (salted) butter
3 tablespoons instant coffee (I did not use instant coffee, but regular peet's coffee and it turned out sooooo good)
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla

1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) regular (salted) butter
1 pound powdered sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons instant coffee (i did use instant for the icing. i used starbucks instant coffee for this since it's not brewed before using and i was worried about using regular coffee, but i will try peet's regular next time)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 to 4 tablespoons heavy cream (add as needed)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour two round baking pans.
Add 3 tablespoons to 1 cup boiling water. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix sugar, flour, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
In a separate bowl, add buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, and vanilla.
Combine above ingredients, then pour into pans.
Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until set.
Allow to cool completely.

Combine all icing ingredients, then ice cake. Chill for an hour before serving.

this cake is so good i actually made two of them this evening. one is to take to a memorial bbq saturday evening and the other is for my mom to have. she would have been sorely disappointed to see watch me take this out of the house without leaving her a piece, not to mention shooing her away from it all afternoon saturday before we leave. i'm not that cruel :)
if you haven't been to ree's site, you must visit her, she is fabulously wonderful. every recipe i've cooked from her site is easy and delicious.

finally friday, i think . . .

this morning i woke up not feeling well at all. meniere's was hitting me hard and even moving my arm made me nausea. i managed to fluff up the down pillows, all three of them, and flipped on the television. the 62 inch plasma hanging on the wall, that mr. roll just had to bargain shop for when one of the electronics stores was going out of business (yes, he and zak went in together with cash and bought these televisions for a steal.) i was in the hospital at the time, having just come out of a coma and off the ventilator and still not really talking, which is the only reason we have a television this large in our bedroom (and family room too.) to my surprise one of my favorite movies of all time was just beginning!!!
where the heart is. can i tell you how much i love this movie? i love it. it's the story of a pregnant teenager who is traveling across country with her boyfriend and he leaves her at a wal-mart in small town oklahoma. she makes a life and falls in love. in 2000, when the movie came out i loved it. i so wanted to meet my own forny and fall in love. and i did when i met mr. roll. i still love the movie to this day and realize i need to buy it on blue ray so i can enjoy it whenever i want on this new television mr. roll bought, along with a blue ray thrown in for free. mr. roll must have been so happy i was preoccupied and he didn't have to discuss this purchase with me :)
that was sort of the end of the fun in today. i was getting dressed and ready to take mom to her doctor appointment when i heard her calling me. i ran downstairs and she was leaning against the dining room wall clutching her chest. i threw on a sweatshirt and flip-flops and got her to the car and raced to the hospital. no time for 911, when we live only 3 blocks from the hospital. i ran in and told them and they raced out to the car to get her. we were out of the house and in the emergency room in less than 5 minutes. no heart attack. no stroke. i have her home and she is resting comfortable.
but can i tell you how tiring it is to sit in an emergency all afternoon waiting for test results? i think it wore us both out.
dinner tonight is simple. it also happens to be one of mom's favorites as she loves breakfast for supper. pancakes and pepper bacon. i have the bacon in the oven as i didn't want to stand there frying it forever and the house smells so good.
after mom goes to bed i am going to bake a coffee cake. not the kind you eat in the morning with your coffee, but a cake cake with peet's coffee in it. we'll take it to a bbq tomorrow. the bbq is for our friends who lost their 17 year old son to suicide in november, and tomorrow would be his 18th birthday. i want to take a gift too, but i'm not sure what to take. i think a big potted plant for their front porch or back patio. i want to be there for them. i also want to take debbie out for coffee this coming week.
it is thundering and pouring out right now. yesterday it was in the 90's. i tell you if you don't like the weather in seattle, wait 15 minutes and it will change.
i am posting the coffee cake recipe right after this, and giving full credit to pioneer woman for sharing the recipe. it is delicious.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

tuesday thoughts

today was a day for errand running. it began when the power was off due to some street work the city is doing n9t far from our home. i vaguely remember the notices they posted on the front door last week to make us aware this was happening, but come on how many people actually note that on a calendar? i didn't. so while i'm in the shower this morning the lights went out. not a big deal. i got my shower and although i couldn't dry my hair i put some gel in it and left it curly all day. since there was no power i decided to take mom and get out of the house and i had plenty of errands to run to keep us busy for a while.
first stop was starbucks where we sat with our coffee and i with my book. i also ran in to a few friends there so that was a nice treat too. mom sat in her cozy chair by the fireplace and enjoyed her coffee and marshmallow square. it doesn't matter what time we go into starbucks mom always has a marshmallow square. she loves them. i was looking forward to have a little down time of reading. i am on the 6th sookie stackhouse "true blood" series book. i am enjoying this series even though it is off the track of what i usually read. sometimes it is a good thing to step outside the norm and life on the wild side of all things vampire and shape shifter and fairies and witches. i only have one more book in the series after this and then i have the new john adams novel waiting for me.
after starbucks it was time for physical therapy. linda was ready for me. i felt so good today and linda commented that i was getting so much better. we spent time at the wellness center using a machine then i worked on my balance and finished up walking around the building three times. i didn't fall or even sway, not one time today. i am getting better and it feels good.
after pt i had to head over to bonney lake to the sprint store. my blackberry broke. it had some message that read "error 120" on the screen and wouldn't tell me what to do with it to correct it. thankfully they fixed it and there was no charge. i lost my entire address book, but it could have been worse i could have lost the entire phone and had to buy a new one. i'll slowly be adding names back in as i run into people i suppose. i did get mr. roll, dylan and zak back in, and two sisters shannon and jeni. i need to back up my phone onto my laptop.
after sprint we stopped at target and then fred meyers to do some grocery shopping. w arrived home about 3:30 and the power came on about 10 minutes later so it was perfect timing.
saturday we are invited to a bbq at the home of the parents, debbie and mark, of one of zak's best friends jon. last november jon's younger brother committed suicide. trevor was 17 years old. i had never met trevor not had i met debbie and mark until the memorial service. tragic. we recently had dinner with debbie and mark and debbie seemed to just need to have someone she could talk about trevor with. someone she could show the shrine in the family room to. someone who wasn't there to judge anyone or anything. saturday will be trevor's 18th birthday and again i will be there for her to talk all she needs to and i will listen. mr. roll and mark seemed to bond over a ps3 f22 game. we're there for them to use us as they need. and i love to cook so i'm planning to take some awesome food along including a coffee cake (not a cake you have coffee with in the morning, but a coffee flavored cake with buttercream frosting). i can't even imagine going through what they have been through. i'll be there.
mr. roll and i are seeing a counselor to help us come to terms with some things in regard to mom. when we first brought her to washington to live we thought she'd get her own home. that wasn't going to be the case as we discovered she couldn't live alone, or shouldn't. she is now 90 and dementia is taking over and taking control. we are not so sure how much longer we can safely even have her in our home and it may be time to begin looking at a care facility for her. i feel so guilty. i feel like my sisters are going to come down hard on me. mind you not one of them has ever offered to even so much as come stay for a week with her so mr. roll and i can go away together. seeing the counselor is helping me deal with it all and put it all into words.

Monday, August 24, 2009

monday musings

today i had a doctors appointment with the nuerologist treating my inner ear disorder aka meniere's disease. more tests. miseable making tests. ok, so i am already dizzy and one of the tests is looking at what makes me dizzy. he puts this face mask on me and tells me to keep my eyes open and then instructs me to move every which way. i thought i was going to throw up. after the testing was finished he took me back into the exam room where mr. roll was waiting for me and i practically fell on him--i was so dizzy. this is no fun. i have to go back for an 8 hour day of further testing and an mri. a necessary day but not one i am looking forward to.

mom's health is not doing so well right now we've had to make some changes in our vacation plans. instead of going away in september we'll take off the week after christmas and probably do mexico or st. bart's. having made this decision feels like a weight off our shoulders. i just cannot leave mom right now.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

thursday thoughts

i'm looking into an lsat course to take. most likely it will be kaplan. for one they are quite a bit cheaper than the princeton review, by several $1000. so, thinking ahead a bit i will start the paralegal certificate program at university of washington in the fall quarter, and then begin kaplan next fall, after i have completed the uw program and am working as a paralegal. i am so happy i was accepted into the uw program, and i love the fact that they consider this a 5th year program and you must have a b.s. for acceptance. good job. that b.s. did pay off, after all these years.
it has awakened this law bug in me. i've wanted to go to law school for so long, i took a nice long break and found my career in social work and i wouldn't trade it for the world, but law has always been in the back of my mind. in my heart. i feel like the time is right. mr. roll is so supportive. he is encouraging me to go for it it--go to law school. it's only 3 years, and when i complain about my age he tells me i'm going to turn 60 in 8 years and i may as well be an attorney when i do. gosh i love this man. how did i get so lucky.
septic shock really has changed my perspective of things in life. i feel blessed to still be alive. so my motor skills aren't what they used to be, they continue to get better each month. god bless my physical therapist, linda, right here in town--she is a miracle worker. i started seeing linda 4 years ago when i, out of the blue, developed frozen shoulder in my right shoulder, and she got rid of it for me. through the course of working with her she invited me to join her newly formed book club and i did. we've become very close friends and i adore her. i was so afraid of going back to pt, after leaving swedish hospital where the pt came to my room to work with me. it was so hard to walk back then and i fell down all the time. forget doing the stairs--hated them. but linda had again fixed me. on tuesday i actually walked around her building and she pointed out i wasn't grinding my teeth, nor was i clutching my sides and digging my nails into my thighs, all in fear of falling and trying to balance myself. i did it. i'm so excited to go back to pt/ot tomorrow and do it again. i'm also ready to dive back into yoga after several weeks off due to another kidney stone on the right side (the bad side for me and the damaged side.)
oh, and my hair is finally growing back in. finally. finally. it's so thin i'll never be able to pull it into a ponytail again, but i have hair coming coming back in and i am thrilled!!! every time i walk past my wedding picture and i'm standing there next to mr. roll with long curls cascading off my shoulders and mr. roll has a head full of brown hair and his beard. wow, things have changed. now i hardly have any hair (but it's growing back in or at least it's not falling out anymore) and mr. roll lost every hair on his body except his beard from chemo. things change us. illness changes us. but we have loved each other through it all.
i have also had opportunity to rethink my life and what i want to do for the rest of it. mr. roll is fighting cancer. the battle continues for us, as it has for the past 5 years. chemo. oncology appointments. it's a part of our life. after leaving social work i have felt so lost. questioning everything. being thrown into a world called macy's as a senior executive. still trying to understand how that happened, and happy it only lasted 2 years before a lay off was inevitable. for this layoff i can thank septic shock--the only thing i can think to thank it for. after months of thought, journaling, praying, talking, i feel good about my decision to pursue a new career as a paralegal.
of course i was settling for this thinking i am too old for start and finish law school. every one but me seems to think i am not too old. i am now there too--i am not too old. why not do what i want to do? i've been given my life to live and i must live it to the fullest doing what i feel called to do. i am not too old. i am excited to do the paralegal program and i am excited to do the kaplan lsat course after completing it. it's a good thing i love school.
of course it's been a long time since i've been in school. u.c. berkeley seems like a long long long time ago. hopefully it's like riding a bike:)
tonight mr. roll came home from work and since i'd already prepared dinner for mom because she was hungry and wanted pancakes, he suggested he take me out. fun. due to mom living with us and not doing so well we don't get out often, so when we do it's always a fun for us and we take advantage of the freedom of a few hours. i tucked mom into bed for the night and went out to dinner. came back an hour later and she was still in bed and fine. mr. roll says this is preparation for saturday night when we head over to redmond to see foreigner and a led zeppelin tribute band. normally i don't care for tribute bands especially since between the two of us we've seen led zeppelin a half-dozen times, but we love led zeppelin so off we go. mr. roll is going to love saturday night.
i got sidetracked somewhere in there and forgot to mention that the specialist neurologist at uw is running tests with the most likely outcome to be a diagnosis of meniere's disease. i feel like a textbook case for this. it feels surprisingly good to have a name for the strange, unusual, and often times weird symptoms happening in me. now to figure out a course of action for a positive resolution to it being there is no cure. i'm also working on diet to rid myself of ever developing another kidney stone.