Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Injury

Have you ever seen the movie Fargo? Remember the bloody scene in the snow?

Well, yesterday, we came home to our backyard snow looking like that scene in Fargo. There was blood everywhere. Lots and lots of blood.

Okay, maybe it wasn't quite as bad as that scene in the movie.

Oh, and it was dog blood.

Here's what happened----

The girls and I came home later than normal because I had a meeting and they stayed in the aftercare program at their school for the first time ever. When we are not home, we confine the dogs to the laundry room which has a dog-door leading to our fenced backyard. The dog, the injured one, was nursing his wound in the snow when we found him.

I checked him out and found that he had cut his paw. It was deep, very deep. But it was clean and straight. Not at all jagged.

I decided not to do my usual thing---which is to panic---and instead, I remained calm, wrapped his paw in bandages made from torn old towels, and waited for my husband to come home and give his opinion on whether or not we needed to take him to the vet.

In the meantime, I was trying to get the dog into the laundry room so I could check him out and to help contain the blood to the linoleum flooring of the laundry room.

My girls had other "plans." They twice opened the door that leads to the rest of the house just in time for the dog to notice and run into the house trying to escape from my examination. On his first escape, this led to dog blood on the carpet in my dining room, and on the second escape, led to dog blood going up the carpeted stairs to the room the dog perceives as his den, which also happens to be my closet.

Amongst the chaos, I still managed to remain calm. I guess there's a big difference between your child bleeding profusely and your dog bleeding profusely because had this been one of my children, I would have definitely been panicking by now.

And then J accidentally slammed her finger in the door, right at the same time that I was trying to corral the dog, and she started screaming. I got her some ice but then must have said something like, "Here, honey, you hold it. I've got to get the dog into the laundry room," because she then said, between sobs, "Mommy, do you care more about the dog's boo-boo than mine?"

Oh my poor baby!

"Of course not," I said soothingly. "I care much more about yours, honey. Are you okay?"

Later, I realized she had asked me the much easier question of dog versus child. Had she asked me the much more difficult question of child versus blood-stained carpeting, I may have paused and in my hesitation may have mistakenly given the impression that I cared more about the mess than about her poor wounded fingers. Ahem.

Finally, my husband arrived and was able to examine the dog.

"Well, I'm not really sure about dogs, but if this was a human, he'd need a lot of stitches," he said.

So, being of the pioneer spirit, and uhm, wanting to save ourselves the $150 that the vet would have surely charged us for arriving after-hours, we sutured the beast ourselves.

We put down a few towels. Then attached a bright shop light to shine directly on our surgical "table." I held down the dog while D stitched him up. During the procedure, I whispered sweet nothings into the dog's ear like, "It's okay," and, "Good dog," and I think it was the nicest I've ever been to this poor dog. D numbed his foot with an injection of lidocaine, I cut off the fur around the wound, and then D cleaned the site and stitched him up. Six stitches. Then we applied antibacterial cream, wrapped it in gauze, and stuck duct-tape over the whole thing.

It was awesome. We were like rock stars. Pioneer rock stars. Truly, I wished I'd had a camera.

Everyone was calm. The situation was under control. The dog was seemingly pain free for the time being, and we saved ourselves the dough we would have had to pay the vet had my hubby not had the know-how to pull this procedure off.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

I Love My Kids

When I was a kid, I was allowed to eat anything and everything. I grew up on Twinkies, HoHos, Fruit Loops, Snack Pack puddings, fruit cocktail in syrup, Strawberry Quik, Kool-aid, Hi-C, you name it, I was allowed to eat and drink it.

Not just allowed, I was encouraged to eat it. We had everything in our cupboards. We were the envy of the town. We had Suzi Q's, Frosted Flakes, Fruity Pebbles, Cheetos, Fritos, and Hostess Cupcakes.

That's right, my friends, we were the envy of the town.

My kids? They are seriously deprived. Every single food item I mentioned above, they have never tried.


So last week, in another one of my diet-deprived moods, I started talking with my girls about the things I had when I was a kid that they have never tried.

And I promised to buy them a Twinkie so they could try one. They were thrilled. On several occasions since then, they have asked me, "What was the name of that food you ate when you were a kid?"

"Twinkie," I told them.

They were intrigued. They wanted to taste this elusive treat that only I had had the privilege of tasting.

So, yesterday, I bought them some Twinkies. Just a two pack. I was drooling just looking at them.

Oooh, they used to be my favorite. But I haven't had one in, oh, about 25 years. I had visions of my girls loving me forever since I allowed them to share in this unbelievable treat.

And guess what?

They didn't like them.

I mean, they didn't gag or anything while eating them (like O does when we make her eat vegetables she doesn't like), but they didn't even want to finish them.

Can you imagine?

They didn't even want to finish a Twinkie?

A Twinkie is not that big afterall. I could eat one in about, oh, one bite.

But no. They were not that interested.


Does this mean all that healthy food I've been exposing them to, because, let's face it, half the time they don't eat it, does this mean that all the food I've been preparing for them, all the meals I've been presenting to them, does this mean all this has paid off? Does this mean that they actually prefer "real food" to food that's been shelf-lifed to last through a nuclear holocaust?

Oh my stars.

I love my kids.

And I must be doing something right.

Pat on the back. Sigh of relief.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Here are the books and magazines that are currently on my nightstand----

1. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
2. Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell
3. In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan
4. Cooking Light, March 2008--cover: Fabulous, Fudgy Mint Brownies
5. Cooking Light, Jan/Feb 2008---cover story: Winter Comfort [Foods]
6. Sunset, Feb 2008---cover story: Slow-cooked Comfort

Okay, there's a couple more items (the Boden Spring 2008 catalog, Summer People by Brian Groh) but are you noticing a trend here?

Yep, you can even tell from my nightstand that I'm on a diet.


Thursday, February 14, 2008

You Know You're On A Diet When....

So I'm at the gym. I'm being good. I'm on the elliptical machine and I'm staring at CNN on the TV. Yep, that's right. Being double good---working out AND watching the news.

But then my eyes wander over to another TV, about two TVs away, where the Today Show has been playing and see a vision. A vision so lovely it stops me in my tracks.

It's a closeup of a warm, inviting-looking beef stew. I see chopped pieces of juicy beef. Bright green peas, some potatoes, carrots, and a delicious sauce. Just like your grandma used to make.

Mmmm. Mmmm. Mmmm. The vision is melting in my mouth. I start day-dreaming about what I'm going to have for lunch. I wonder if I have any beef at home? Could I make something like this?

I start to salivate.

And then I see it. The slogan for a dog food company.

That's right, dog food.

I'm drooling over dog food over here people. I need help!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Open Marriage

Does this even happen anymore? Does anyone believe in this crazy practice today?

I thought open marriages died out at the same time as wide collars, polyester pants and sideburns. But I guess not.

Earlier this week, I found out that my friend, the one who I suspected of having an affair, is still having her affair, albeit at a greater distance, since he moved to a city far from her. But she's been taking a lot of trips. Trips by herself. Trips that land her in the very near vicinity of the man she's been sleeping with. The man her husband apparently doesn't know she's sleeping with.

I also found out to my shock and dismay, that the married man she is sleeping with is practicing the deplorable ritual of open marriage.

That's right, folks. Open Marriage.

Or at least I found out that he and his wife used to practice this. Whether the wife knows about it at this time is unknown. But she's been comfortable with it in the past.

So when another friend and I questioned over and over, "How does [the wife] not know?" We were asking the wrong question. Oh, she knows alright. She's just okay with it.

Can you even imagine?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Our Barnes and Noble Days

On Tuesdays, I have a cleaning lady come to the house. It's best if the girls and I are not around while she's there. We just get in the way, and worse, I feel like I should be helping her.

A bit of guilt?

So to relieve myself of such feelings, we came up with a wonderful plan. We spend the time at Barnes and Noble. I love this idea because it also relieves two other guilts of mine---not spending enough quality time with my girls, and not spending enough time reading.

So on Tuesdays, J and I pick up O from school and head straight to Barnes and Noble. There, we each pick out a new book, and sit in the cafe. We drink tea, we share a treat, and we read to each other from our new books.

Lately, my girls have been obsessed with the American Girl series books. Each week is just enough time to need the next book in the series, so we pick out a book and devour the words, and pictures, while we nosh. The girls also take interest in what I'm reading and ponder what they might read when they are grown women. Sharing this time together, just the three of us, has become our tradition.

And we love our Barnes and Noble Days.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Super Tuesday

I always cry on election day. There's just something about it. Something about the whole country coming together on the same day to do something positive for our nation. I cry about being a part of something bigger than myself. Something that requires a collective.

And then there's the fact that we even have the right to vote. We are lucky. Not everyone has this right. People die for this right and sadly, many take it for granted.

I remember the time that we, meaning the people of the State of Illinois, elected the first African-American female senator, Carol Moseley-Braun. I was driving from Chicago to Michigan that day, having already voted earlier in the day, when they announced the results. I was alone in my car, but still, I cheered. Then I cried. It was a momentous occasion.

Today, we could do something similar. Today, people all over the country are coming together to vote for who they want to be on the general election ballot in November.

Will we, for the first time, vote for a woman to be the Democratic nominee for president? Will we, for the first time, vote for an African-American to be the Democratic nominee for president? I am praying that we do. This is an incredible opportunity. It is an incredible time in the history of our country.

Yes, I voted and I cried. And yes, I was humbled by the experience.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Yurt

Today we had a perfect winter day activity planned. We were supposed to join a good friend and her daughters, with 11 girls in total, to celebrate her daughter's 8th birthday. Her plan was a wonderful one. We were to all slap on either cross-country skis or snow shoes and hike/ski one beautiful mile into the woods to a good old- fashioned yurt. There, we would have a birthday party. On our backs and on sleds we would have pulled and carried presents, hot cocoa, a birthday cake, and lots of yummy snacks. After we had a wonderful time of opening gifts, eating cake, and toasting our good fortune with hot cocoa, we would again don our gear and hike/ski the mile back.

It was to be a glorious, old-fashioned, beautiful winter holiday. A kind of day like our dear blogger friend Heidi often has in the snowy wonderfulness of Norway, albeit much shorter than her typical adventure.

But alas, our fun was cancelled. Cancelled due to the unbelievably enormous storm we are experiencing at the moment. 50 mile an hour winds, heavy snow downpour---that kind of storm. The kind of blowing snow that makes a trek through the woods with 11 kids and loads of gear on your back and sleds not much fun, not to mention the potential dangers involved in driving there in the first place.

Sigh. Maybe next weekend.

Friday, February 1, 2008

5 Things Meme

Crystal over at My Family Gossip tagged me for a meme. I am to list 5 material things that I want and 5 spiritual/meaningful things that I want.

Five Material Things---
1. To complete the renovation of our family room. Lack of money or rather the amount of money we're paying out to Uncle Sam soon, has delayed our project. Eventually, it will be painted, new blinds will arrive, built-in bookcases will be installed, and I will have a new desk. We do already have the new sofa and chair and they are wonderful!

2. To fix the bumper on my car. It's the leftover from my accident. The insurance company has given us a check, it's just a matter of getting it into the body shop and I haven't gotten around to doing it yet. I drive too much to be without my car for even a day!

3. To drop the 19 pounds I feel I need to lose. Read about my trials and tribulations, and those of others, over at Life on 20 Points a Day.

Honestly, I can't really think of anything else. I do not want for much. I guess we are pretty lucky.

Five Meaningful Things---
1. A new job for my hubby. He's combing the county for a new gig. He is leaving no stone unturned. But we are hoping for a lot---a job with the same or better money, same or better benefits, and considerably less hours. Yes, indeed, we want it all.

2. Health and happiness for my whole family. Sounds corny, yes, but I swear that everytime I blow out birthday candles or throw a penny into a fountain, this is what I wish for.

3. Strong, sensitive, compassionate, generous, loving, happy, and healthy children. More than anything in the universe I want my girls to grow up with these traits.

4. World Peace. Seriously. I'm not going for Miss America over here or anything. I truly want the war in Iraq to end and I want presidential candidates NOT to say things like Guiliani said in his concession speech---"brute strength is the way to peace."

5. For our country to elect our first woman president or our first African-American president. What a wonderful moment that will be!

p.s. I'm posting over at Life On 20 Weight Watchers Points A Day and it's consuming a lot of my thoughts and energy these days. Check out my posts here, here and here.