Figuring out what I wanna be when I grow up.
Oop..I AM grown up...

Friday, July 30, 2010

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted

Ah, who likes the Go-go's?

Anyhoo, I am surrounded by piles and piles of stuff. The house is a disastrous mess as well, as I have left the little people to do as they will. Why? We're going on vacation tomorrow for a week in a trailer at a touristy funland by the lake! Hooray! Hooray!

Who the hell am I kidding? There is NO HOORAY in me right now. I'm freaking tired! I have to wash and fold about three more loads of laundry. Then I have to pack clothes for me and for each of the kids. I have an organized bag of bed linens in the tv room, a bag of bath and beach towels, a MEDICINE bag filled with stomach soothers, analgesics, bandaids, sunscreen, bug spray etc, a bag of extra shoes and jackets, a bag of (earth friendly! Yay, me) cleaning supplies. There is a laundry basket on the floor that I have begun to fill with grocery essentials, and all the while my brain is saying stuff like; "toilet paper, paper towels, portable cd player, beach toys down the basement...blah, blah, blah, blah..."

We still have to buy all the groceries, and the pop and the juice, and the frozen burgers, and the buns (note to self; write "buns" down on the grocery list). Must not forget the weiners for the campfire, nor the marshmallows, even though toasted marshmallows are SICKENING AFTER APPROXIMATELY TWO. Oh merciful heavens! I can't forget the vodka!!! Better throw in sweet lady whisky too.

Lists! Lists! LISTS!!!! Argh! So, I'm racing around doing all this and hoping soon THE MAN will clean the squiggly bug out of the cooler. Yeah, that will be great. And as I'm running around like a grouchy mom idiot, the kids, as I mentioned, are busy quietly trashing the house. Here's my favourite part: my daughter decided to wreck one of my thin sterling silver hoop earrings, which I've had since I was 15. Yes, they are perhaps my favourite pair of earrings, and since I'm not much of a jewellery gal, and have very few things I actually really like, I did indeed turn into THE HULK when I saw the poor, broken thing.

Must stop thinking about it. Blood pressure rising again...

So dig this: the main bed in the trailer is a king-sized bed. Well I don't have king-sized sheets, so off I went to a local Ikea rip-off store where I was THRILLED to discover a set of king sized sheets--both fitted and flat, with two pillow cases for 15 bucks! WOO HOO! "Bedding is final sale," the cashier informed me. Yeah, yeah, whatever. No problem. Then I got them home, and read the label. Why is it that reading doesn't ever happen in the freaking store? They're 100 percent polyester! YUCK! Polyester?!? I didn't even know they made sheets out of polyester! How sweaty and gross would that be to sleep on? Not to mention that when I took them out of the package, they look like shiney grey disco sex sheets. Oh, ick. So, when the MAN headed off to the great Wal of Evil, I asked him to get a fitted sheet that contains FREAKING COTTON. I told him; "these sheets are gross, and will eventually become your hallowe'en costume."

Waaaa--my back is sore.

You know why vacations are so great? Because the packing SUCKS SO HARD!

See y'all next week!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Flowers, Flowers, Flowers!

Hooray for gardens! Hooray for flowers! Hooray for beauty!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Blech Monday

People, let's all join hands for a moment and talk about THOSE DAYS we all sometimes have. You know--the BLECH days. They sneak up on you, and before you know it, you're quagmired in one. They're usually preceded by a super productive day. Yesterday I cleaned the house like an unbridled maniac. It looked fantastic. I made my favourite meal: spaghetti and meatballs. I LOVE making meatballs. Very soothing. Anyway, I whipped around with unbelievable efficiency until I was a great sweaty mess. Then, two of my girlfriends came over and we had a lovely time in my back yard drinking fantastic vodka cocktails (pic coming soon). I felt pleased with myself. I had accomplished a lot, and my house and garden looked fab-o-lous.

And then Monday rolled in. I'm super tired. I haven't done the lunch or breakfast dishes yet. They are sitting in cold soapy water in the sink, so it looked like I was about to make an effort at some point, but then PFFFFFT to that. I'm not wearing ANY MAKEUP. Big deal, you say? Well, perhaps you've forgotten a little decade called THE EIGHTIES, in which I came of age, and in THE EIGHTIES, one never freaking left the house without lipstick on. Enh, whatev. I'm wearing my GIVE UP SHORTS: white, elastic waist is almost completely SHOT. I never did my hair either. Then I had a long nap. Then I woke up and felt both yuck, and had a very sore lower back. Yeah, I love the sore back. Lurv it. There's no better way to feel like a broken down wreck than to have a sore back day. Incidentally, I never ever had back problems prior to having my daughter Ella. But that's neither here nor there.

Aren't these days boggling though? I mean, how come one day I am a pillar of strength and energy and the next day I'm 90? How does that happen??? In other news, in my great obsession to track down the root of my fatigue and other mental/physical malaises (ha ha, that sounds very melodramatic), I happened to stumble across "perimenopause" and its accompanying symptoms. Could it be that I'm experiencing the joyful path to menopause? Could it? COULD IT? People, you all know that once again I'm thinking of that idiot pamphlet I got in grade six: "It's Wonderful Being a Girl." Blech, and double blech.

So, I was sitting outside in a lawn chair, wincing every now and then and suddenly an image of me on the couch, as reflected in the full length front hallway mirror suddenly uploaded: big, doughy moon face, triangle hair. Blech. Here was another low point: sitting in the lawn chair and getting my daughter to drag over the one near by because MAMA GOTS A SORE BACK. Holy cow. Okay, so, enough of that. For my own health I'm going to A) make an effort at dinner B) WASH THE DAMN DISHES--ALL OF THEM C) put on some mascara and lipstick, and D)--no, that's too many. I can handle the first 3. I was going to put on some more attractive shorts, but eff that.

Lousy Monday.

** while boiling noodles to add to my leftover sauce (effort dinner, yeah right), I was doing some further pondering of self, and came to the realization that perhaps the mental blech-ness is due to the following:

* the kids were away at their grandparents' for two days, and while I missed them terribly, nobody called me poo head, I slept in till 9 in near perfect silence, I never had to shout; "stop FIGHTING, YOU TWO ARE ACTING LIKE IDIOTS," and I spent most of Saturday afternoon setting up my daughter's doll house so that it appeared that the little cat and bear families were in the living room enjoying a pleasant cup of coffee (and all this while "Twilight" was on the telly! So much fun!)

* it occurs to me that in the past year I have made 600 peanut butter and jam sandwiches, and have stirred nearly 1200 glasses of chocolate milk. Yeah, the numbers speak for themselves.

So, it's all making a little sense.

Friday, July 23, 2010



the first time you were stung by a wasp, a bee, a hornet

the scorch of the black driveway in summer under small, dirty, bare feet

the itch and bite of your first bra

awful birthday cakes at parties for school mates

a rainbow after a storm, lit brilliantly by the sun, on a black, ominous sky

the feel of your body before it ever carried a person

the comforting feeling of carrying a new person

how scared you were at the top of the roller coaster

that second before you plunge downward

the first time you slow-danced with someone and didn't wait for the song to hurry up and end

aimless teenager days of being with friends, with nowhere to go

the feel of searching through warm, soft dirt and finding the potatoes you've grown--lots of them

that cup of coffee by yourself

making rose petal perfume in a little plastic bucket

mud pies baking in the sun

hide & seek as dusk turned to dark, and fun became creepy as you waited and waited for someone to find you

you, after a bath, in clean pyjamas, in clean sheets, with a clean comforter and a book

the first book that lit your imagination on fire

really, really good spaghetti and meatballs

that person in your life who can always crack you up

the mysterious smell of puppies

the first good apple of the fall

that who you are isn't so bad after all.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Let There Be Music

The very first band I was ever interested in was Queen. I was 9 or 10 I believe--in other words, just before I became so obsessed with Duran Duran that I prayed that Simon Le Bon would wait till I was old enough so that he could marry me. Seriously.

I have always had a passion for music. In our family we've always loved all different kinds of music, and have been familiar with a very eclectic array of artists. When my brother was in grade 9, he liked "Big Band." That didn't seem weird to me, but when I blurted it out to a guy I had a crush on in grade 6 (a guy who wore shirts with "Ozzy" and "Quiet Riot" and "The Doors" on them), he questioned whether or not my brother was a weirdo. If I'm remembering correctly he might have eloquently asked; "is your brother a FAG?" Geez.

When I think of various memories of my youth, many of them are tethered to a song; sitting up in the front seat with my dad because I wanted to go everywhere with him when I was little and hearing "Rhinestone Cowboy," or "Hey, did you happen to see the most beautiful girl in the world." I remember hearing "Shake your Booty" by KC and the Sunshine Band, and feeling horrified yet hysterically amused because I was sure KC was singing; "shake shake shake, shake shake shake, shake your BOOBIE, shake your BOOBIE!" My parents would always put on the same K-Tel Superstars album in the 70's whenever they'd have a party. I would thumb through my parents' records and study the Beatles for ages. I can see me and my 16 year old brother cruising around in the family station wagon, with his stereo plugged into the cigarette lighter blaring out Led Zeppelin. Listening to Enya in my boyfriend's (now my husband) crappy rented room during the university years. Fast forward to me driving to work in suburban hell, pregnant with my son, and every time I play "So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad)" by the Everly Brothers, the little baby kicks like mad. If you don't know the song, go HERE and have a listen to this guy sing it. He's great! I just happened to find this while searching for the original on youtube. Couldn't find the original, but what a pleasant surprise this gentleman was. I lurv this song, so I'm a little bit swooning.

After I'd had my daughter Ella, it was winter, and I was trapped inside a lot, with a three year old son. To pass the lonely hours we would of course listen to music. I seriously considered writing a letter to Jim Cuddy to thank him for keeping me from losing my marbles.

One day out for a walk, not many weeks after my Mom died, I had my ipod plugged into my head, and Morrissey's "Every Day is Like Sunday" popped up next on the random shuffle. The Smiths was one of my favourite bands in highschool, because, like so many other teenagers, I so related to the bleak and melodic melancholy that Stephen Morrissey profferred. Great song--really. The ironic thing is, that the song is, well, kind of a downer, but hearing it that day lifted me completely. I hadn't listened to his stuff in a long time, and it was like hanging out with an old friend.

I won't go into my Duran Duran years, because I know a lot of you just might cringe, but I am not ashamed. I loved Simon Le Bon with the kind of passion that only a 13 year old girl has. Damn him! Why couldn't he have waited for me? I don't care that he was nearly 20 years older than I! Waaaa! WAAAAAAA!


Still to this day, when I hear Pink Floyd, I immediately think of my boyfriend and first love, who died when we were both 20 from cancer. I chose the song "On the Turning Away" to be played at his funeral. Give it a listen, people. I'm playing it now Dan, never forgotten, my friend.

Music. I have a binder filled with pages of song lyrics. Do people realize that great poets are also the musicians we listen to, and that these musicians are unwittingly real poets?

I have a stack of cd's that were my Mom's, that I now can't listen to. Geez, if I'm flipping through cd's at a music store, all I have to do is glance at the latest Michael Buble album and feel ineffably sad. If I listen to "The One Who Really Loves You" by Mary Wells, it so speaks to me of my mother. This was just her type of music, and of course, she loved the song too.

The kids love music now too--especially my son. He knows more about the British Invansion bands than I do. In the past three of his six years, he has worked his way through The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, and lately he's really been digging The Hollies--among many others. He also knows many, many classical pieces, and really enjoys listening to THIS so often, I could scream now when I hear it come on the computer.

We have "dance parties" when we're bored, which means that we put the ipod on shuffle, and I dance around like a frenetic idiot while both kids bounce against the back of the couch. Music, music, music, I can't seem to get enough of it.

So, I'm going to end this off with a song that popped up tonight during our dance party, that I have always been nutty for. I really dig the lyrics too, so I'll post them, and you can sit back, wind down, have a listen, and read the lyrics. "Tie yourself to the mast, my friends, and the storm will end."

Good night, y'all.

"One Day" By The Verve

One day maybe we will dance again
Under fiery skies
One day maybe you will love again
Love that never dies

One day maybe you will see the land
Touch skin with sand
You've been swimming in the lonely sea
With no company

Oh, don't you want to find?
Can't you hear this beauty in life?
The roads, the highs, breaking up your mind
Can't you hear this beauty in life?

One day maybe you will cry again
Just like a child
You've gotta tie yourself to the mast my friend
And the storm will end

Oh, don't you want to find?
Can't you hear this beauty in life?
The times, the highs, breaking up your mind
Can't you hear this beauty in life?

Oh, you're too afraid to touch
Too afraid you'll like it too much
The roads, the times, breaking up your mind
Can't you hear this beauty in life?

One day maybe I will dance again
One day maybe I will love again
One day maybe we will dance again
You know you've gotta
Tie yourself to the mast my friend
And the storm will end
One day maybe you will love again
You've gotta tie yourself to the mast my friend
And the storm will end

(lyrics found at )

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Picture Says a Thousand Words

Take a look at this picture for a moment or two:

This is a picture of my great grandfather, his first wife, and their young family. My grandfather is the little boy standing closest to my great grandfather. Look at how beautifully everyone is dressed. Gladys, the little girl standing on the left, will have died from tuberculosis in 1933.

This picture was taken, I believe, in 1915. It was taken as the last family photo, before my great grandmother died from tuberculosis. The entire family knows that she is dying.

Now, take another look.

The Week In Review

happy homemaker Pictures, Images and Photos

Blech. What a week. Well, it would appear that I can't NOT blog about the little things that come and go in my life, for better or for worse. I just finished my coffee here, and it looks as though there are no takers for the second cup still warm and enticing in the pot, so I may have to just load up on caffeine today. And why the hell not? I'm utterly burnt. So, let's look back upon the week:

* Sunday afternoon to Wednesday evening: Computer is out of commission due to karen being a moron, and visiting questionable adult websites, and ignoring the virus software's warning that the site karen is visiting is bad, bad, bad. "Yeah, yeah, that's what YOU'RE here for McUseless," karen said arrogantly. Then, the big bad box popped up indicating a virus had indeed infiltrated the system. In a blind panic, karen tried in vain first to scan it into oblivion, then opened her wallet, armed herself with her credit card and forked out eighty bucks for new virus software. This was actually Saturday night, and so karen enjoyed a four hour anxiety attack complete with shivering under several blanket in bed for a while, and all because karen's stress card appears to be MAXED OUT THESE DAYS, and the slightest unresolved issue now flips karen straight over to THE DARK SIDE. Alas, it was too late by the time the new anti-virus stuff was purchased, and by Sunday afternoon, the computer was happily shutting itself down and rebooting with no human assistance.

* Wednesday: karen revisits valuable lesson; just because a child is SIX does not mean he is completely competent in bathroom hygiene. It is always shocking to see one's bath towels covered with poop, because somebody figured the towels might be more effective than toilet paper. For the record, people, that kind of stuff makes me want to turn around and march straight out the door, wordlessly, never to return again. It is also disheartening to have to say the following: "NEVER EVER WIPE YOUR BUM WITH THE BATHROOM TOWELS AGAIN."

* Thursday: had a pleasant, relaxed, incident-free visit at my sister's with the kids. She made dinner, and I highly enjoyed the pork roast and super yummy roasted potatoes. Nobody choked on any toys either, so, hooray.

* Friday: brother in law and his girlfriend were in town and called to say they'd be dropping by. Spent a frantic, sweaty hour and a half cleaning the house--flinging from room to room like a great, headless chicken, and shouting ineffectual encouragements such as; "KIDS, HELP ME CLEAN UP! YOUR UNCLE IS COMING OVER WITH N., AND WE DON'T WANT N. TO SAY; 'EW, THIS HOUSE IS A MESS, HOW EMBARRASSING!'" Had a nice visit meeting bro in law's girlfriend, but must note here that she is still in her 20's, likely wears clothes from the SINGLE DIGIT sizes racks, and is gorgeous in an exotic way. This left karen feeling frumpy and very, very much her age (if not older) for the rest of the day, and reviewing the image of herself in her white shorts and t-shirt over and over again, with her messy, second-day-clean hair. While karen is thankful that she at least didn't come out in her MOM PANTS (ie; beige capris), she may as well have been carrying out a tray with lemonade and cookies.


After this pleasant yet slightly disheartening event, karen and her kids are trucked over to a lovely park with a great big wading pool/fountain, wherein the children all have a wonderful time for TWO AND A HALF HOURS, as karen bakes in the sun, wishing she were at home in the ac'd house drinking something with vodka in it. All the while karen's father sits in a lawn chair in the shade and gushes; "isn't this great? Isn't this a wonderful place for the kids? Isn't it lovely down here?" karen thinks that she too could have a good time, if she could lounge back all day, and not have to stand pool side making sure the children don't bash out teeth on cement or get carried off by the ne'er seen pedophile. Luckily karen's sister is also there, but she's not nearly the curmudgeon that karen is, so although they can share their MOM MISERY at times, karen's sister clearly is having a perfectly good time. karen once again damns her innate tendency to be a malcontent.

And so it is now Saturday, and what I really, really want to do is spray flowers with fertilized water, and have nobody bug me for ANYTHING. Let's see if it happens.

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

4 Days Without a Computer Makes karen VEEEERRRRRY UNHAPPY

Ye Gods, how I hate change. To coin an old and ridiculous expression; this computer had more viruses in it than you could shake a stick at. Shake a stick at....seriously, that expression is making me want to go out and punch some random person. Okay, okay, too harsh. Just the same, the C drive is like an empty house now (no pictures, no pirated music! SNIFF!, no loving folder titled "blog photos"), as it has been harshly reinstalled with NOTHING.

To make matters worse, let's just say again that I HATE CHANGE. So, I'm never, ever going to choose the new-fangled "windows XP" appearance setting for my monitor/taskbar/toolbar displays. I will only ever have "classic setting." There's one problem I'm experiencing now, and I'm just about to hand it over to the man, so he can apply his calm, rational, Spock-like self to fixing it: the default font for the whole computer is squidgy and teeny, and just plain ugly to look at. Also, when I logged into my blogspot here, my pictures are all stretchy and stupid looking--you know, like when a wide-screen movie is viewed on a square TV??? NO ME GUSTA!

There are a few things I need in order that I might stay sane:

1. my one daily cup of coffee MUST be excellent.
2. nobody can bug me while I drink said coffee
3. someone else has to get rid of spiders, centipedes, bees, and other large, unidentifiable bugs
4. never mess up my eyebrows (yeah, even just thinking about someone brushing their hand DOWNWARD over my face is making me grimace)
5. the computer must always be running smoothly, and unaltered so that I can play my word scramble/scrabble games AS NEEDED
6. the top sheet of the bed must be tucked in to the mattress with a hospital corner, so that The Man (who sleeps like a maniac) can never randomly kick it out in his sleep, and wind himself up with it, leaving me either unsheeted at the feet, or completely without a sheet.
7. NO hairs stuck in my fancy bar of patchouli scented soap
8. NO toys, dollies, stuffed animals in my room, except for TEDDY, the bear I've had since I was three, who must be mashed against the left side of my face while I sleep to form a barrier of sorts, thus protecting me from rogue breezes of night breathing
9. I must always be able to find my keys and sunglasses
10. never pinch my nose. I freaking hate that.

Okay, so I must turn this computer over to my husband now, to make everything better. I've got a wicked headache just from the stress of accepting that I was the guilty party for visiting...ah, shall we call them "questionable" websites, and ignoring the anti-virus protector's pop-up warning of "THIS SITE IS BAD! IT CONTAINS HARMFUL VIRUSES, SPYWARE AND ADWARE. LEAVE NOW."


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Nevermind Being Stressed, Look at My Bathroom!

Okay, okay--that last blog was slightly scary and icky. Heavy on the ick, actually. I like to go for the light-hearted more than the hot-cold, I-feel-sick-worrying-about-cancer, type of approach, so let's all take a moment to have some deep breaths, and enjoy my scrumptious bathroom! Hooray! Incidentally, this is because I've been inspired by my cousin Pam's blog, "French Buttons," and all the other lovely decorating blogs I've been looking at lately, like "Cranberry Cottage," and "Razmataz." Let's face it--women like pretty things, and we like making our homes nice and cozy. Incidentally, these blogs make me want to immediately run around, tidy up my junk pile, and set out a vase of flowers instead of whine about how sick I am of hearing; "mom, I need a snack." So, I'm going to take a break from griping and moaning, and go for a little AESTHETICS! HOORAY!

Isn't it serene and fab? Okay, I wish I had before pictures of it. Picture this then: an off white, very shiny paint, some painted metal, cheap cabinetry, a floral border up at the top of the walls, and a admittedly charming toilet paper dolly, hiding an ancient roll of pink butt wipe with a crocheted dress. And then after that, a brick-pinkish brown room, and finally repainted a nice, creamy flat white with my plants on a slightly distressed shelf that was my grandmother's and some lovely old fashion-y cabinets. Love that room. Makes the rest of the house look messy though. Oh well! As soon as I find a USB cable in this embarrassing mess, I'll upload some pics of my garden. There, don't you all feel better?

Have a good weekend!

A Needle In The Neck Is Not Good Times

People, people, people--how tired I am of thinking about the butterfly-shaped gland at the base of the throat known as the thyroid. For those of you who have not had to either obsess over or even think about your thyroid, it controls how quickly the body uses energy, makes proteins, and controls how sensitive the body should be to other hormones (see Wikipedia; "Thyroid" for the rest of it, and all the juicy details).

If you have an over-active thyroid gland, it is "hyperthyroid," or, if you feel sh*tty and tired and generally revolting all the time, you would then be "hypothyroid." If you would like a check-list of hypothyroid symptoms, go HERE

So, for years I have been JUST under the treatable level as far as my thyroid is concerned. Doctors keep sucking blood out of me, and telling me that my thyroid function is "normal," which is dismaying when I have nearly all the symptoms listed. Back when I lived in suburban hell, I had a fantastic doctor. Dr. L prided herself on being "the queen of the thyroid." This meant that she was particularly good at squeezing people's necks and discovering nodules. She also remarked wryly that thanks to her, she has a whole slew of patients who now walk around with neck scars (thyroidectomy). During one physical, she gave me a little paper cup of water, told put her hands around my neck and told me to swallow, as she squeezed (mildly strangled) my throat. Yup, I had a nodule. And so off I went to the specialist, AKA, arrogant endocrinologist for a biopsy.

The way they obtain a biopsy is as follows: either locating the nodule by feel or by ultrasound, and sticking a needle in your neck into the thing to suck out cells for examination. A NEEDLE IN THE NECK. The euphemistic terminology for this is "fine needle aspiration." This is the doctor saying; "the needle is so tiny. It feels like a MOSQUITO BITE. No, you don't need me to freeze the area first--that would hurt WORSE than the needle." Oh wait, that is what the doctor told me. And yet, who wants a needle in their neck? Arm, back, fine--but please, not in my neck. All I can say is that it did NOT feel good. It didn't hurt, precisely, but it felt WEIRD; like a needle was touching a part of my inner body that never ever should be touched. Shudder.

So, in the past five years, I have had two needle biopsies and two ultrasounds on my neck. All tests told me my nodule is not cancerous. Phew, right? Well, maybe... At one point, an ultrasound revealed that my nodule had gone DOWN in size. Well, that's not cancerous then, right? I was happily trucking along in my I'm-so-tired-all-the-time-I-don't-know-how-I'll-make-it-through-another-day state, and then my husband went for a physical.

Hmm...turns out he had a nodule on his thyroid. Large-ish. His specialist advised him to get the whole works yanked out, unlike my watch-and-wait approach. Of course I was worried. I figured that it was better to have one's thyroid, than to have a vial of pills to replace it. If you have your thyroid removed, you have to take medication (typically, "Synthroid) every day for the rest of your life, without fail. Scary stuff, thought I. But, the man is stubborn, and there was no arguing. He had no symptoms, no need to flop into bed at 2 in the afternoon, no half hour morning crying sessions because he's "too tired, and just can't do this WAAAAA, WAAAA, WAAAA!" And so off he went and had it all removed. He spent two nights in hospital, and was told not to lift anything for a few weeks, and just take it easy. He had a bit of discomfort after, but no real pain. I was also pleased to find that he felt NO different taking the medication than he did with his thyroid gland in place. No different. Imagine!

And so now the suck-o news: the nodule that was removed with his thyroid was cancerous. MON DIEU! I had been worried. Women are far, far more likely to get thyroid nodules than men are. Why is this? Probably because we're a hot mess of rising and falling hormones all the time. Why are so many people developing thyroid problems now anyway? Well, I'm going to point at the elephant in the room--namely: OUR POISONOUS ENVIRONMENT. The poor thyroid just sucks that crap up.

Apparently though, in the doctor world, thyroid cancer is "nothing to worry about." It has a very high cure rate. They figure they got everything out of him anyway, but to be on the safe side, he has to have the standard treatment of radioactive iodine. For 2 weeks prior, he must have a totally IODINE FREE DIET.

I, karen the dumb-dumb, shall explain: thyroid cells love iodine, and need it to function well. Iodine is found in table salt, egg yolks, sea food, and milk products. And so, he will be able to have none of that for two weeks, as he must starve his body of iodine in preparation. THEN, they will inject him with the yucky, radioactive iodine, thus killing off any potentially remaining bad thyroid cells. Boo-yah.

And so now I am freaked. The man is not worried at all, just thinks of it all as a nuisance. I, on the other hand, now get to walk around with a nearly constant feeling of dread in my stomach, because I seem to be a little maxed out these days since my Mom died. Also, I desperately wanted to phone her for advice, as she knew ALL THINGS MEDICAL, and might as well have been a doctor. I need her counsel, and I need to know what to do about myself! And so, I am off to my doctor's in a couple of weeks to get her opinion on what I should do.

Ladies and gentlemen, go to your doctors and have them wring your little necks to find out if y'all have any lumps and bumps riding on your thyroids. It's a lot more common than you might have realised.

**picture reference: "Follicular Thyroid Carcinoma"

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Discouragements Abound!


 /dɪˈskɜrɪdʒmənt, -ˈskʌr-/ Show
[dih-skur-ij-muhnt, -skuhr-] Show IPA
1. an act or instance of discouraging.
2. the state of being discouraged.
3. something that discourages: Poor health and poverty are
grave discouragements.

Well, here's a discouragement right off the bat: I'd better make lunch for the kids and blog later.


First, for the kids' enjoyment, while serving them lunch, I tried to sing my own corrupted, spirited version of Shiny Happy People:

Quiet happy children eating lunch!

and was interrupted by my son: "Can I have more cheese?" I am completely under-appreciated here, people.

Anyhow, when I think of the word "discouragement," I think of it as something that just kind of slumps my shoulders; in other words--a bummer. For instance, as I was sorting laundry a couple of hours ago, it occurred to me how much it sucks to be starting a new batch of laundry without having put away the last clean batch. Also, I went to the beach yesterday with my sister, our kids, and my dad, and today had a monster pile of sand/yucky super green lake plant coated dirty towels, bathing suits and beach blanket. Also, I have two bags full of stuff that hopefully will be put away before the end of July. Sigh.

The biggest discouragement, however, happened to be right there at the beach. It was actually a nice day, and the kids had a fantastic time. Yes, it was another day of work for moi, who, as the mother figure, got to stand there in the knee high water, sucking it in, and saying constantly, "Ella, here," and "Jack, in front of Mummy, please," and "Ella--you're swimming too far away," and "Jack, we all have to stick together," and "Ella. Ella. ELLLLLLLLAAAAA!" You catch my drift. So no, it wasn't the day in general, because that was pretty good, and even with the freaking hour and a half drive to get there, the kids were great. What was getting to me was all the young women walking around in bikinis, and even if they were a bit chubby, they all had great stomachs.

My stomach has been demolished by my two large children. My son was 8lb 12 oz at birth, and my daughter was 9lb 11 oz. And I, pregnant, was a great fortress of a woman. So, after having my son, I was a giant relief map of stretch marks. Then in between my son and my daughter, I had my gall bladder yanked out through my belly button (eeew! That is NOT an EXIT POINT!). Then, with weakened stomach muscles, I became monstrously huge whilst pregnant with my daughter, and the top half of my stomach muscles lovingly separated from the bottom half. So now, even though I feel like I'm fairly fit, unless I suck it in, the top half of my stomach sticks out and makes me look pregnant. I can't think of anything worse for a woman's vanity than looking pregnant when one is NOT pregnant. A couple of doctors have dismissed my lamentations about my sticking out stomach; "you can have fat UNDER the muscle, you know." Yes, yes, I know I'm not thin. My thyroid is fairly useless at this point, as I have whined on about many times.

By the way, is that photo of me pregnant with my daughter not completely disgusting? Mon dieu! Good shock value though! I can proudly say that I'm not that hideous now. Twice, I have had people mistake me for being pregnant. Once was at a wedding over two years ago. I thought I was looking HOT in a funky top, black pants and some killer high heels. The wedding was for a coworker and friend of my husband's, so lots of his work people were there. We were seated at a table with Jon's boss, and when we came in to sit down, she patted my stomach and said; "so are congratulations in order? Is this another little buddy for Jack?" "Nope," I replied, "I just haven't slimmed down from having my daughter yet." She was mortified. GOOD. I went to the bathroom, hung my head in discouragement for a while, and then spent the next solid hour trying not to cry. The second time this happened was at my mother's funeral. A cousin of mine, who is lucky I truly like, asked me if congratulations were in order, as she and her brother had determined I "had a glow" amongst other things. I said; "[cousin], I'm not pregnant. I'm just fat. Please spread the word; 'karen's not pregnant, SHE'S JUST FAT.'" Seriously.

So, as I was saying, there were all those young girls sauntering across the beach. They almost all had fantastic looking stomachs. I envied them. I coveted their teeny tiny pots. I knew that chances are good that they complain about their stomachs, and think that because they have the tiniest of protrusions in their middles, that they are "fat," and that their stomachs are "gross," and that they probably hate their bodies since that is what young women DO. I wanted to pull them aside for a conference. "Listen girls," I would say; "appreciate your bodies now, because you could have a couple of kids and look like THIS!!" At that point I'd show them the whole works, complete with the loose, go-nowhere skin at the bottom. I miss my old, chubby, smooth skinned tummy! WAAAAAAAA! I MISS IT!

And while I'm in my little self pity boat here, I've decided that I freaking hate THE TANKINI. Tankini--ppffft. That is definitely part of the MOM UNIFORM. All the young girls wear bikinis, or two piecers or sexy one piece bathing suits. They also wear short denim shorts. Moms, on the other hand, chop their long hair off, wear tankinis on the beach (basically, blousy shirts that come down low over those regrettably tight bottoms), and buy khaki capri pants. Blech. I actually stopped wearing my capri pants, after trucking around town and noticing all the mommy types wearing those instead of shorts. Well geez, if I wear short shorts now, I'd get a rash right at the point whereby my thighs are never NOT in contact with one another.

I should be beyond all this, and I guess I'm supposed to look at my GLAD BAG lower half and say; "well, this new body symbolizes a beautiful journey into becoming a mother." Nuts to that! I want to be slightly chubby with a sexy bathing suit and long hair again!

And to think I'll be at the beach again at the end of the month, and those girls will be everywhere. Discouragements, truly, abound.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

It's Wonderful Being a Girl?!?

***WARNING: this blog is filled with semi-frank, OOGEY talk about MENSTRUATION. You have been warned!

I wish, OH how I wish, I could find an image of the completely asinine pamphlet I received from school in grade 6. I think it was grade 6 at least... Anyway, I have searched and searched online in vain, and it may have triggered memories for some of you girls too. It was a pamphlet all the girls were given after a lovely session of SEX ED. On the front of, or inside the pamphlet, as I recall, was a drawing of a girl applying lipstick, and flowers swirled all around her. The pamphlet was titled:

It's Wonderful Being a Girl

and it was filled with info on all the non-wonderful SH*T we girls would soon enter into. It told all about menstruation; cycle of, what to expect, necessary parephernalia, etc. It even had this retarded little Q&A section at the end. I'm going by memory here:
Question: "what happens if a boy asks me to go swimming?" (girl's world has temporarily come to a screeching hault thanks to her PERIOD, and clearly she doesn't wear tampons)
Answer: "Just tell him you can't. He'll understand."

GOOD ONE! Did anyone ever meet a 12 or 13 year old boy who did understand? As I recall, all the boys in my class were so mystified by menstruation, that they never had a clue if you vaguely told them; "I can't go swimming." "Why not?" "Because I can't!" "BUT WHY???" That Stupid pamphlet--now every time I'm curled up into a ball of pain on my bed, hugging a hot water bottle and waiting, JUST WAITING for that ibuprofen to kick in, that pamphlet floats into my head. Every time I'm scrubbing stains out of EVERYTHING, I think of that pamphlet. I also think of it whenever I'm sobbing for no apparent reason a few times a month. Good times.

Let's travel back to when I was 11 and first started to learn about this crap. I learned all of it from school. There was no way in hell my mother was ever going to sit down and have a rewarding conversation about body junk with me. She was from an era of secrecy and shame about involuntary bodily processes. Dirty, dirty, girls! So, I guess I did learn something at school eh? Anyway, all the boys got to go to the library, where they had an eye-opening earthy chat with the principal, and the girls got to suffer through a torturous horror film about a young girl's journey into womanhood. I don't recall a lot about that movie, but I do remember being totally freaked when they showed the old maxi pad and belt contraption (nearly obsolete by the time I journeyed into womanhood). I thought; how on earth am I ever going to be able to figure out how to fanangle that??? It looked as complicated as stringing a guitar. Terrifying. Then the movie ended and we all got that magical little pamphlet. It was like a ticket into a secret society, and my unwitting, naive girlfriends and I couldn't WAIT to get in. Poor little fools.

I was the first of all my friends to get my period. What's hilarious is that one of my friends was JEALOUS. CAN YOU IMAGINE? I felt like I was somehow special. 26 years later, I don't feel so freaking special anymore. Now, here was the problem: the pads were kept downstairs in the pantry as I recall when I was growing up. Because this was A GREAT SECRET AND EMBARASSMENT, each month I'd have to wait till the COAST WAS CLEAR, and scoot down to make off with some feminine protection like some kind of thief. Ridiculous.

I always liked the urban myths that travelled around through my highschool years. There'd always be a horror story about SOME GIRL who GOT HER PERIOD IN CLASS and she was always, always wearing white pants, or white shorts, or a white skirt. Oh, the mortification!

Recently when my red buddy showed up, I decided that I am officially sick of it. Yeah, that's right--sick of it. Normally I don't think about it much because it's an unavoidable fact of life. It also seems to be an unavoidable fact of life that a girl will schedule every vacation and important event to directly coincide with their periods, and every girl will have to haul a small suitcase full of LADY LUGGAGE in addition to their clothes and toiletries. That's right--an entire bag dedicated to tampons and pads. I dropped 30 bucks at the drugstore recently, and it was all on TAMPONS AND PADS. Now that ticks me off. We HAVE to buy the stuff, but it's expensive. Grumble, grumble. I suppose I could buy the cheaper stuff--the nice economy pads I grew up using, but now in my older age I like nice details like "ultra thin," and "wings" and "dry weave" and other f$cked up details. So, I don't get the large, generic bag that screams MAXI PADS. Also, even though I'm getting close to 40, and really should no longer give a crap, I still inwardly sighed when the cash with the shortest line was worked by a young guy. Hey, she's got two boxes of tampons (one: EXTRA HEAVY FLOW, HOORAY!) and two bags of the longest pads that we sell (too bad they don't sell any that sweep from belly button to top of the crack). Super! Maybe I should have added a laxative to the pile just for fun. Sigh.

But like I was saying; I'm tired of it. That's nearly 30 years of bodily inefficiency if you ask me. Think about it: 26 years of menstruating, and 2 kids. GET A CLUE, BODY! How come at some point my body didn't just say; "hey, she's really not using this thing, so I'm just going to dry it up and SHUT IT DOWN.

I've got a vacation coming up this summer, and what do you know--the first day of my vacation, on the calendar, has a little star beside the date. I think we all know what that star indicates, don't we girls. Despite my efforts of mental imaging and meditation, I'll be packing that extra bag.

But what am I complaining about?? IT'S WONDERFUL BEING A GIRL!


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