Tuesday, June 30, 2009

tuesday thoughts

happy anniversary mr. roll

7 years ago today we were married.

after 5 years of long distance dating, we made the a covenant before god, our family, and friends to love honor and cherish each other or as long as we both shall live.

i still remember everything about this day.

especially the smile on mr. roll's face as i walked out onto the deck to join him.

to become his wife.

to become mrs. roll

mr. and mrs. roll

i do.

i still do.

and i would do it all over again.

happy anniversary to us.

Monday, June 29, 2009

"Not Me" Monday

i really do find myself an impeccable fashionista (lol)

on a week long trip to chicago with my 25 year old son, i did not come out of the bathroom, in our hotel, and ask him to help me hook my bra every morning.

after bible study thursday night i was talking to several friends and the conversation turned towards bras--something we all wear. we were discussing our favorite labels and i spoke up about wacol, my personal favorite and i must own 30 of them. my friend linda lifted her shirt to show us her new bra from victoria secret, and then i did not, without even thinking, lift up my shirt to show my standby wacol . . . oops, no bra. i did not go off to bible study with nothing on under my t-shirt and sweater.

weight loss can be a good thing unless it's sunday and i am working in the garden. i did not lose my shorts while weeding the side yard. nope, that did not happen.

tonight, making burgers for dinner, i did not slip leftover sliced beets onto mr. roll's burger and no tell him/warn him that i did this. sometimes it's just hard to toss things out, especially when i find them delicious, but mr. roll is doesn't.

that about does it for me tonight.

enjoy your week everyone.

monday musings

ever feel like a slug? i woke up this morning feeling energized and excited to get to yoga. i made coffee, dressed, and headed out the door. i had thought i'd walk over but the decided to go to the tanning salon while i was out so i drove. feeling guilty as i pulled into the parking lot taking up a space and seeing the back of my house as i exited the car and walked to the room. guilty i say.

kurt was scheduled to come over and take care of mom today so i had the day "off". well, i was so tired from yoga i didn't go to tan thinking i would go later in the day. i came home and fell fast asleep and woke up at 4:30pm. i slept from noon until 4:30p,. that is rediculous, but i have to believe i needed the sleep. i had all kinds of things on my agenda for the day and didn't do any of them.

i appreciated having kurt here with mom so i could sleep undisturbed. i'm still tired tonight and i hope i am feeling much more alert tomorrow.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday Sonshine

great day today. mr. roll and i helped out at our church's "faith in action sunday". faith in action is something we do in our community by going out into our community and doing projects. today we worked at garrett park, right by our home. mr. roll painted the baseball backstop and i did hospitality. hospitality included offering treats of cookies and cupcakes, lemonaide and ice tea to the skate boarders in the park, and anyone else there too. there were about 50 of us working throughout the park and it was true fellowship in the community.

afterwards i had to stop by the market to pick up a few things for dinner tonight and 3 different people said they saw me at the park working and said how good the park looked after we all finished. they wanted to know what church we were and thanked us. one gentleman even said he might come to church next saturday night. god in action.

mom wasn't able to come today, but she stayed home and down just like i asked her to. this afternoon she sat outside while i worked in our yard. she kept telling me she wished she could help me, but i assured her i was fine and to just stay put on the deck. after a while she came in to take a nap. i followed her about 5:00pm.

i was fine until i tried to use the weed whacker. my left should blade was not letting me win over the weed whacker. tonight i am so sore i can hardly stand it. septic shock has left me as half the person i was before december 08. i can't do simple things anymore.

tomorrow morning i start my yoga classes. i used to do yoga and then when i went back to work my schedulke was so crazy i couln't keep the class schedule. i am so excited to get back to it. i am basically a different person physically now though and they have a class just for people like me called "gentle/thereputic". it's for people who have a serious illness or recovering from one. septic shock certainly counts there. i'm going 3x's a week. after i get aclimated back into yoga i hope to be able to add tai chi to my regime. i want so badly to be in better shape and the only way for that to happen is for me to get up and make it happen. my doctors are encouraging me and suggested yoga and tai chi.

it was also fun today to spend time out in our yard with mr. roll. we mowed and weeded and cleaned up things. fun to do it all with him. it was a good day together.

a beautiful day weather wise too. sunny and so warm. i made a pot roast for dinner which didn't exactly fit the weather, but i knew i would be tired and pot roast is a simple slow cooker meal. it was perfect. so perfect in fact that lucy helped herslef to the leftover 1/2 roast sitting on the kitchen counter. bad girl she is.

we make our own dog food so when i make a pot roast i make a couple or more roasts at one time to make dog food with. tonight mr. roll gave lucy some gravy but she got no meat with her. harley and bear, on the other hand, had their bowls filled to th rim with delicious put roast mixed with grains. happy dogs they are.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

saturday in seattle

it's been a very good saturday.

first we were invited to attend a dance recital for the son of good friends. i want to sign up for ballet. do you think there is a teacher out there who takes middle aged women? i can onl yhope there is.

we took mom with us and she was able to sit through it all. she did get a little figgety after the intermission, but settled down and was quiet. it's like taking a 3 year old along. the difference is that babysitters are available for a 3 year old, and not for a 90 year old. mom is 90, but when you ask her how old she is she responds, "i am 90 years and 7 months." how on earth she remembers that is beyond me, but she does and it makes me smile.

after we came home mr. roll wasn't feeling very good. cancer sucks. he went to rest on the bed and i headed outside to straighten up the deck off the family room. that turned into watering the tomatoes and peppers, and then i started pulling weeds. after being gone for so long between las vegas and chicago, the yard is in dire need of attention. i've been trying, but there is just so much to be done so today i picked a section and began weeding. well, i hadn't changed my clothes from the recital so my linen skirt quickly became riddled with mud. i hadn't planned on doing so much, but once i get out there in the yard i just get carried away.

gardening is my love. i feel free out in the yard. soaking up the vitamin d. my skin turning a golden brown while my hair lightens to a white blonde.

tomorrow we are volunteering, with out church, at garrett park. i baked 100 cupcakes to take along. we are working in the park and then bbqing lunch for the skate boarders in the park and neighbors surrounding the park. mr. roll and i enjoy doing this with the church.

tonight, at church, i volunteered to help with vacation bible school doing the refreshments for the week. i also volunteered to be on the "green team". i haven't been involved in the church for some time and i am nervous abot stepping back in, but it is time. god be with me and help me live up to what i am signing up for.


Friday, June 26, 2009

friday feelings

farrah died. cancer sucks.

mr. roll has cancer. he was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer, and told he had 6-18 months right after our first anniversary. i can still remember clearly my conversation with the nurse on the phone telling me that i needed to get him into the doctor for some tests and my telling her we were set to leave for lake tahoe, so couldn't we do it when we got back to seattle. she said, "mrs. roll your husband has cancer and you need to cancel your vacation." i will remember those words for the rest of my life. talk about a life defining moment. cancer.

i sobbed through 'farrah's story" tonight. sitting here with mr. roll watching it. he was silent. so silent i couldn't hear him breathing. i sobbed. uncomfortable that i was crying in front of him. i don't cry over cancer in front of him. i am a rock of sorts. not really. i hate cancer so much.

it's 5 years later and mr. roll is still here. he still has cancer. research has improved 9thank you katie couric) and every time we are told there is nothing more to do, research develops and it works. the cancer is still there though always out smarting the research. cancer sucks.

farrah showed the world what it really is like to live with this disease. it's not fun. it's not easy on anyone. not the patient. not the family. it's hard. it's controls our life. but i am happy we still have a life.

good job farrah. rest in peace angel.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

thursday thoughts

While I have been blogging for some time now I don’t feel as if I have ever had anything to say that is of any importance to the rest of the blogging community. At least not anything of importance to anyone but me, i am after all not raising a child with a terminal illness, nor am i suffering from a terminal illness, so how can my story even remotely compare? It cannot. I recently switched from xanga (land) to blotspot and I find the blogs a lot more interesting here. A lot more relevant to life in general, I find myself most fascinated with the story telling blogs; stories about overcoming tragedy in life.

But what about my story? I have yet to come across someone writing about being in the throes of the “sandwich generation”. Do most people even know what this is? Do they know what it implies to be in the “sandwich generation”? Do people know how hard it is? That just when you think you are to the point in life when life can become all about “me” it doesn’t? It becomes all about caretaking, again. But this time the caretaking is harder and more insistent, and there are no babysitters to help when you need a break, or need a date with your partner. Caretaking becomes a 24/7 job with no end in sight. And the end is not something you ever want to think about happening.

My story begins back in June 2002. June 30th to be exact, the day I married Mr. Roll. Mr. Roll and I met back in 1998, and finally the day arrived when he would take me as his bride. We left the next day for Hawaii and the beginning of a wonderful life together.

Thanksgiving was on the horizon and we invited my 85 year old mom, who lived in southern California to come stay with us through both Thanksgiving and Christmas. She did, leaving on January 6th 2003. About a month later she called and after telling me how much she missed us and how lonely she was I suggested she sell her home and move to Washington. She did. On May 23rd, she moved to Washington to live near us.

Near us never came to be. Mom moved in with us and we became aware that living on her own was no longer an option for her, or us. She would be living with us. We hadn’t been married one year and we’d lost our freedom.


Here we are 6 years later still trying to understand how we arrived here and still trying to have time alone together. We haven’t progressed well on either front. Mom is 90 now and pretty much glued to me 24/7. Does she need to be? No. Does she need care? Yes, but not 24/7 care. We also pay a caretaker to come in and help, but mom is insistent that she be with me every other minute of the day.


Our 7th wedding anniversary is coming up next week and we will try to get out eating, and celebrating our day. Mom will have a fit about it. She’ll complain and she will cry eventually throwing a temper tantrum over the fact that we do not want to take her with us. She will do everything but understand that this is our special day and we want to spend it together.


What is today like? I just returned from a trip to Chicago. I went there with my youngest son. It was a good trip and just what I needed to regain myself from the care of my mom. But returning comes with consequences. Mom expects me to devote myself to her now and take not a minute to myself, not even an unaccompanied minute to use the bathroom in solitude. Not even to get a drink of water in less than 10 seconds or she is up looking to see what is taking me so long to get back to her. Today is a day spent in the family room with mom. She sits on the sofa playing solitaire and I sit with my laptop.

There must be other people in blogland that are experiencing this phenomenon called the “sandwich generation”.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

saturday in chicago

zak and i are in chicago. we had to be at the united center at 5am for the bginning of the american idol audition process. it was thankfully quick and painless. he goes back on monday, again at 5am to perform for the producers. god willing we will then be on the way to los angeles. god willing. god knows how this all turns out and it is so hard to not know ourselves. praying is all i have at this stage and always.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

thursday thankfulls

american idol. i am a proud mom. zak is auditioning. he's wanted to do this for years now and if he doesn't do it now he will be too old next time. it's a one in a million shot, but it doesn't matter. he's doing it. he can say he tried. i am a proud mom, i am.

he booked us into a beautiful hotel (every mother should have a gay son:). we're going to see "wicked". the 5 days we are there will be filled with fun. they will also be filled with sitting in the humid heat in line praying that he gets to go before the judges. whatever.

i'm going to miss mr. roll. it seems like i just returned from las vegas after being away for a month and now i am off again. i think when i return frm chicago i want to plan a trip for us. maybe a river trip in utah? on a blog i read (cjane) she wrote about rampant modesty in utah. what is rampant modesty? i'm from berkeley and modesty is not rampant in the bay area of california. now i am in seattle and while modesty is not rampant it's not berkeley either. yes, i think it's time to put together a river trip to utah for mr. roll and myself.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

wednesday wantings

today has been a day of drivin and errand running with a few important visits thrown in too. mom and i both had doctor appointments. mom's to check-in after her stroke and heart attacks. for 90 years old she is doing incredible! i wish i could say the same for myself. my blood work i had done weeks ago is showing i am low low low in b-6, b-12, potassium, magnesiam, calcium. not a good thing at all. i now must go in once a month for a follow-up and a shot. i don't like shots. not at all. but i also don't like the thought mf my heart giving out on me from the lack of potassium.

i spent the entre day with mom, and tonight i am ready to send her to bed. too bad she won't go. the repeated questions are driving me nuts. asking me when i'm going to chicago literally every 15 minutes. asking when i'm going to chicago literally every 15 minutes. follwoing me around the house to ask me when i'm going to chicago lierally every 15 minutes. i can't handle it much more. i'm always torn between whether to tell her anything at all due to her excessive manic obsessive behavior which she carries in her head and cannot let go of. what i wouldn't give for a quiet day in my home to straighten up and work in the garden alone. peace and quiet. i honestly don't remember what it's like. sandwich generation, that is what they refer to this state of living as. in the big picture i can say that i don't have boomarang children. they graduated from college and secured great jobs in the field of choice and never move back home after graduating.

i'm really not a horrible person, i'm just in need at an hour of solitude in my day. i thought mr. roll and i would be celebrating out life together doing all kinds of wonderful things together all the time. not. mom moved in with us when we'd been married 6 months and we can count, on one hand, the number of times we've had time alone together since. the kid are raised, graduated from college, and out on their own and it is our turn now. sandwich generation. nothing prepared us for this.

it's odd how one person in the family seems to be the 'one' that takes on aging mom and dad. it's nothing that is spoken of and decided on. it simply happens and it's 'you'. in the case of my family it is 'me'. me. me. not a simgle offer of help from the siblings. nada. nothing. just me. they get by with aphone call once a week. i take care of their mother 24/7 and the offer a phone call on sunday to say 'hi' with no offer to help, or come stay with her so mr. roll and i can go away for a week or two. we can't even go spend christmas with mr. roll's family in minneapolis because we have mom with us, and my sisters are too busy at the holidays with their won families. what is wrong with this?

it's been a grumpy day and i am tired and ready to forget about it. i want my mom to head to bed so i can spend some time with mr. roll just sitting and being quiet watching movie. dreaming.

dinner tonight is pot roast. it's mr. roll's favorite dinner and since i'm leaving town friday i thought i'd make it for him. i'm serving it over mashed potatoes. it's cooking in the oven, where it has been for the last 6 hours, and the house smells so good. when mr. roll came home from work the first thing he said was "pot roast?" and he had a huge grin on his face. i do love this man.

i wish i could share how to make my pot roast, but i simply toss things in--literally. the only basic is 2 white onions, 2 carrots, 4 celery, salt, pepper, red wine, beef stock. and then it depends what i have on the spice rack--rosemary, oregano, bay leaf, etc. always brown the pot roast in vegetable oil before adding everything else. i then either do it in the slow cooker or the oven depending on how large the roast is. today it was too big for the slow cooker and i had to use the oven. i still need to do the potatoes and biscuits. good dinner tonight.

Monday, June 15, 2009

monday musings

i'm on a new kick to declutter my home. seriously decluttering. i did this two years ago and it was the best feeling in the world to begin tossing things into the back of the truck to haul to the dump. i didn't throw everything away, no, i sorted through things and i had a weekend yard sale and donated all the money to world vision. it felt good.

this time i don't think i have the energy for a yard sale, but i am giving most of the things away. i have boxes of yarn packed up to mail to a friend in west virginia, and boxes of clothes packed up to mail to sisters and friends across the country. there is some furnitue to put out on the weekend with a "free" sign on it, and if no one takes it on saturday we'll take it to donate at the ministry outreach program in town. it feels good.

today i woke up and i knew what i needed to do. i had been putting it off for week, but i could no longer find other projects to occupy my time. it was time to steam and vacuum the carpets and wood floors. why do i put this off? i mean the floors looks beautiful when i finish and it's not that difficult to do them. i keep standing in the dining room looking out into the living room at the carpets and smile--the carpet looks so fresh and clean. i love a clean home (which isn't always how my home looks.)

we've been back from las vegas for a week today and mom seems to be doing better everyday. for a 90 year old woman, never sick a day in her life, having a stroke on the plane to las vegas and then 3 heart attacks at the hospital, well she's recovering amazingly well. god has blessed her this is for sure. her right hip is bothering her so that she can't walk very well and is using her walker, but i pleaded with her to stay off of it today and she did, so that tonight it is feeling much better. now if i can just get her to take it slow for a couple of more days so it can really heal up.

tonights dinner was "tortilla soup with cheese quesadillas". this tortilla soup is the best soup i have ever made. mr. roll loved it. mom loved it. i loved it. i even left my son a message to stop by and collect the leftovers so he could share in our love of this soup.

tortilla soup

soup ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onions
4 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped, 1 pasilla pepper seeded and chopped, and 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons creole seasoning (you can find this in the spice asile of your market)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
6 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 - 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 cups vegetable oil, for frying
6 stale corn tortillas, cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips
1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and chopped, for garnish
5 green onions sliced, for garnish
Chipotle Crema, accompaniment (recipe follows)
soup directions:
in a dutch oven melt the butter on medium-high heat.
dd the onions, garlic, peppers, salt, cumin, and coriander, creole seasoning and stir for 5 minutes. add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. simmer for 20 minutes.
add the chicken and simmer for 5 minutes.
add the cilantro and lime juice, and stir well.
continue to simmer on low until ready to serve.
tortilla strips:
heat the oil in a heavy pot or electric fryer to 350 degrees F.
add the tortilla strips in batches and fry until golden and crisp, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
Season with the salt if desired (i don't.)

Ladle the soup into 4 or 6 serving bowls.
Garnish each serving with the diced avocado, sliced green onions, the fried tortilla strips, and Chipotle Crema.

chipotle crema:
1 cup sour cream
3 or more (depending on how spicy you like it) tablespoons chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (you can find this in a small can on the hispanic food section, of your market)
1/8 teaspoon salt
crema directions:
blend ingredients together in food processor on high speed until smooth.

i originally came by this recipe on the food network via emeril lagasse. through the years i have changed it up and spiced it up. it is the best soup and it's good any time of year.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday Sonshine

it's been too too long since i've posted on my own blog, although i have commented on a lot of blogs during thi time. i guess i just haven't felt connected to this one. haven't bonded with it yet. i gave up, but i have missed my random writing and thoughts.

this weekend mr. roll whisked me off to leavenworth for an overnight. it's the first time we've been off overnight in almost 3 years. too long. too long indeed. we had one of mom's caretakers stay with her saturday morning thru sunday afternoon, and off we went. it was wonderful being together and out of town alone enjoying each other and talking and laughing together. we didn't spend a lot of money, we simply enjoyed each other a lot :)

it seems that as things have taken a turn for the worse with mom, we've managed to realize we need to devote time to each other and not neglect our marriage. the last thing i want to have happen is for mom's health issues to be the demise of my marriage and i know my mom doesn't want this. we have been so blessed with angel cregivers and i need to let them take care of mom while mr. roll and i take care of our marriage and concentrate on each other.

leavenworth was so fun. the barvarian town in eastern washington. it's as if time stood still and we stepped back into it upon arriving. the weather was perfect, the german sausages were everywhere as were the bakeries, and the beer pubs. the only downside, if you can call it that, was that the bed in our hotel was very european and that means it was a "full" size bed. imagine mr. roll at 6'5 sliding into that small bed? i suggested that i sleep in one and he in the other so he had more room but he frowned on that idea. he wanted his wifey next to him. although he did fall off the bed in the middle of the night, and i woke up startled by the loud thump when he hit the floor. he said he was fine and was soon back in bed snoring. i never really went back to sleep after that afraid he was going to roll off again. full beds are not very big, and we are used to sleeping in a king bed (because he is so tall, or we would much rather have a queen size bed so we could be closer all the time.)

on friday i am leaving for chicago with my son zak. zak is auditioning for american idol. he's wanted to do this since the show first began, and decided at 25, that he'd better do it now or never and the cut off age is 28. zak sings. he graduated from washington state univeristy as a music major--piano and performance. he has no false hope of even getting to the judges, but he wants to at least try. i of course think they would be fools to ignore his talent and good looks! i am mom after all :)

our choices for audition cities were boston, atlanta, denver, los angeles, chicago, and probably a few more i can't remember. we've never been to chicago and we love to 'do" big cities so we are going there. pray.

it's good to be back.