Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Finding Dimes...

Mom has been finding dimes for several years. Sometimes in places you'd expect, but often in the oddest places. I remember a few years ago, she had to have an MRI - her second. The first had ended in disaster - she got terribly claustrophobic and had to have them stop and take her out. She was terribly embarrassed. She finally decided her back was hurting so much that she scheduled a second one. She was afraid of not being able to complete it again.

She arrived at the clinic and put on her hospital gown, leaving her clothes in the dressing room. As she walked into the room for her MRI, she remembered she had glasses on. She stepped over to a ledge and laid her glasses down and proceeded with the MRI - and completed it even though she was scared. After it was over, she walked over to the ledge to retrieve her glasses and laying next to them - where nothing else had been before - was a dime.

Some Mediums claim that finding dimes is one way spirits or angels are trying to communicate with us. This next story of mom's sure makes me wonder...

Several months ago, mom mentioned to me that she had lost one of her favorite earrings - it was turquoise and matched a necklace she had bought. She looked everywhere for that earring - and if you know mom, you know she looked EVERYWHERE - the woman NEVER gives up! Mom's carpet is cream color so she even dropped the other earring on the carpet to see what the missing one would look like - still no luck.

Evidently, when Linda was here a few days ago, they were in mom's bedroom and mom told Linda about the missing earring. Then, she said out loud "OK, you can drop dimes, why don't you drop that earring I've been looking for!"

Mom told me this morning that yesterday, she walked into her bedroom closet - and there was the missing earring - laying in the middle of her closet floor.

Koinkydink? I think not. I truly believe mom has someone watching out for her. Your thoughts? Have any of you ever had an experience that kind of freaked you out? I know Sue and Sheri have had several - tell us about them!!!!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Coming Soon - Menopause Meltdown Road Trip 2008

Well, I've always believed that if done properly, armed robbery doesn't have to be an unpleasant experience. - Thelma and Louise

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

So, Um, Say The World Was Gonna End... Maybe In 2012...

Adam came home from school the other day and said, "Mom, all the kids are talking about the world is going to end in 2012."

"HUH?" Where have I been? Got to looking it up on the Internet - I LOVE the Internet! and found that the ancient Mayans declared that the world would end on December 21st, 2012. So, I started thinking, what would I do if I KNEW the world was going to end in just 5 years? Here's my thoughts - and I'd love to hear yours - on your own blog or mine - whatever blows your hair back.

First - I'd find that property to build our family commune and take you all. I hope you'd all come willingly - I would want to have to use force. I wouldn't make any payments on it though - hopefully, it would take 5 years for them to evict us...

Then, I'd start digging a REALLY big hole for all of us to crawl into on December 20th, 2012. We'd be the only survivors.

I'd also find Claude Dallas. I'd tether him to the ground out in the middle of frickin' nowhere so that no one could find him. I think I'd do it in Canada so the grizzlies could kill him off while he's tethered and can't run.

I'd take all of you on all kinds of vacations - put it on the charge card and not pay for any of 'em.

I'd find a camel - and ride it.

I'd have parties for all my family and friends - every weekend! Put it all on my charge card - and not make any payments.

I'd have Ival quit work and Adam quit school.

I'd go to the ocean - and swim with the dolphins.

I'd ride the train to Vermont.

I'd buy pot - and smoke it...

I'd quit caring about my wrinkles.

I'd quit shaving my legs. HA! Big joke! I haven't shaved my legs in years! HEY - it's not that bad! Once you go through chemo and menopause - you're hair just doesn't grow back like it was.

I'd shave my head. Believe it or not - there's a sense of freedom there that you just can't explain.

Ok, I could go on and on - but what would YOU do?

Saturday, November 3, 2007

I Was Given Such An Incredible Gift...

on February 15, 1983. Such a beautiful baby - dark hair and the sweetest face. She was, and still is, my angel.

One of the proudest moments in my life was when Jacki graduated from high school and was given an award. No, it wasn't most popular, most likely to succeed, or prettiest (although isn't she gorgeous???) - it was Most Generous. Out of all the kids in her graduating class, Jacki received the award for being kind and most willing to help someone who needed her. What more could you ask for from a child you've raised?

I feel so lucky that as adults together, Jacki and I have so much fun. I truly love spending time with her. She has a wonderful sense of humor and is truly a happy person. Unfortunately, Jacki is her mother's daughter. I guess it was to be expected. She's the Queen of Nosey - just like me. We have to know what's going on anywhere within sight, at all times. We are not above sneaking, peeking through blinds, or "taking a drive" to spy on whoever or whatever seems interesting or in need of our "attention". While she is genuinely kind, she is not above laughing at another person's "boo boo." Oh my God, I think this is a HORRIBLE family trait - we all have it!!!!

Jacki has grown to be a devoted wife and mother. Her husband Tim and her two kids Allie, and new baby Kole are everything to her.
And she, is everything to me...

Friday, October 26, 2007

Gracie, Gracie, Gracie

At the age of 6 months, Grace and Jake came to live with us. I had no idea the impact she would have on my life. As we grow older, we realize how truly important family is. Grace was abandoned by her biological mother at 6 months - luckily though, Grace had so many family members that loved her as you would love your own child. I'll never forget Jacki telling me once, "Mom, I love Grace so much that I'm afraid I won't love my own baby as much as I love her." Well, needless to say, Jacki had enough love to go around!
Grace was (and is) intelligent beyond her years. She's full of questions and even has a lot of answers! She's polite, funny, and a true joy.

I used to take Grace to a small home daycare here in Hidden Springs. When she began to talk, she realized that all the kids had moms who came and picked them up every day. One day, when I went to get her, she came running up to me and held out her arms and yelled "Mommy!" I was stunned. This was something I had to really think hard about. I wasn't sure how Jake would react and I wondered if it would be harmful to Grace to allow her to call me that. After thinking about it for some time and getting advice from a friend who is a child psychologist, I decided it would be best to go along with whatever Grace wanted to call me if it made her feel more "normal". So, until Jake and Heather got married, I was mommy. I've had SO many people ask me "Doesn't it bother you that Grace has a new mommy?" Nope, I couldn't be happier. She now has her real mommy and I get to go back to being Grama!

Gracie - you are my sunshine - and my little sidekick!

It Was Destiny!

About 2 years ago, I heard about a lady Jake was fond of. Her name was Heather. However, I didn't get to meet her as Jake was getting ready to deploy to Afghanistan. He left, having broken up with her because he didn't think it was fair to ask her to wait for him while he was gone. While he was in Arizona for his pre-deployment training, he blogged about this wonderful woman and how sad he was that he was about to delete her name from his cell phone. Little did he know, that Heather was about to call him.

As it turned out, on his leave home before going to Afghanistan, he and Heather got back together. Heather hadn't met Grace yet but took the time to spend every minute she could with her before Jake left.

You all know how important Grace has been in our lives. We had basically raised her since she was 6 months old and we loved her more than we had ever thought possible. I had already thought about what it would be like when Jake finally met someone he loved enough to get married and Grace wouldn't be in our home anymore. In my mind, I knew that I couldn't let her go if the new mommy in her life didn't love her as much as our family did.

Then came Heather. She didn't jump right into Grace's life. She was wise beyond her years and let Grace get to know her at her own pace - something I'm not sure I could have done! But, it wasn't but a few weeks before Grace fell head over heels in love with Heather.

Although she had her own life and could have enjoyed time with her friends and family while Jake was gone, she chose to spend every extra minute with Grace. Grace would stand at the front window every night waiting. When she'd see Heather's car pull up she'd scream "Hedder! Hedder's here!" None of us could believe how incredibly lucky we were! Not only had Jake found a bright, funny, beautiful, loving partner - but Grace had found the mommy she so desperately needed in her life.

Jake came home from Afghanistan on leave in December, 2006 and he married the wife of his (and our!) dreams and Grace got the mommy she so deserved. Heather, we ALL love you! Thank you for taking such good care of my son and loving him the way I always hoped he'd be loved. And especially, for being the mommy I always hoped Grace would have - I couldn't have let her go to anyone else...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Our Newest Addition...

He's finally here! Welcome baby Kole! He was born October 13th at 12:31 in the afternoon and weighs 5 lbs. 6 ozs. He's having a few breathing problems so he had to go into the NICU, but he should only be there a few days and then be able to go home!
We love him!
Jacki is doing remarkably well and Tim's a very proud daddy!


A couple of weeks ago, we had the LOUDEST thunderstorm roll through Hidden Springs. You could tell the lightning strikes were close. As it turns out, a woman and her two sons and mother were walking along a road just across from us when the woman was struck by one of the lightning bolts. Her mother had to do CPR on her until the ambulance arrived - she was clinically dead. She's now doing better and expected to recover.
This is the resulting rainbow from that storm.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

How Did We Get So Lucky?

Our oldest son Jake - where do I start?

Well, how 'bout when he was little. He was the cutest little boy! Beautiful blond, curly hair with huge blue eyes and eyelashes any girl would love to have. He was such a good child. He never knew a stranger. After my grandmother died, we bought her 100+ year-old house and we lived there for about 5 years. When we first moved in, there was a little neighbor boy, just Jake's age. For about the first month we lived there, Jake would stand outside waiting for this little boy to come out of his house. Then he'd yell over the fence "Hey kid! Wanna play?" Finally, after the first month, he quit calling him "kid".

Jake never did anything wrong when he was little. In fact, he only got a spanking (it was a little swat) once. Ival asked him to do something and Jake was standing on the stairs getting ready to go up. Jake told Ival "You're really pissing me out!" and between laughter, Ival swatted him on the butt and told him not to talk like that.

Jake was a good teenager too. Ok, as far as I know he was. He had several really close friends and their wild nights out would involve going to Sheri's Restaurant to drink coffee - and if they were feeling really rowdy, they'd stop by McDonald's and steal sugar packets.

Jake however, was really bored with school. He got terrible grades in high school and I began to wonder if he was a little "slow". He did graduate, however and went on to college. Again, terrible grades. Then Jake decided that this school stuff just wasn't working out and came home one day to tell me he was joining the Army. Sounded good to me. However, I had NO idea that I was about to become a blubbering idiot! I realized I was fine with Jake joining the military until it came time to actually send him off to boot camp. I cried the entire week before he left and for another week after he left. The thought of someone yelling at such a gentle soul just killed me! Luckily for me though, Jake was a lot tougher than I thought he was. He made it fine through boot camp and was bright enough that they were sending him on to Monterey, Ca to the Defense Language school to learn Korean. But first, they had to do a background check for his clearance and believe it or not, they asked him if he was a Mormon. WHAT? My good child was so squeaky clean that they figured he had to be either Mormon or from another planet because other than a few traffic tickets, the Army couldn't find ANYTHING bad in his background.

Yep, my child was so bright that he was going to become a Linguist with a Top Secret clearance. We couldn't have been prouder.

But, Jake had a bad knee. He did EVERYTHING he could think of to stay in the Army, after all, they had spent thousands of dollars and several years of time, training him as a Linguist. He had finally found his calling. But, it wasn't to be. After all that time the Army discharged him due to his bad knee - but Jake had unfinished business. Almost as soon as his plane landed back in Boise, he enlisted with the Army National Guard where he remains today.

In fact, Jake just got back from Afghanistan. He came home on leave last December and his niece Allie made this sign to greet him at the airport. While he was home on leave, Jake married the woman that I consider God made special for him. Her name is Heather and I'm not going to say much about her now, 'cause she's my next subject! But we all love her. (Grace is coming up on my blog once I get to the grand kids - isn't she adorable!) This picture was taken by a reporter with the Associated Press when Jake came home from Afghanistan for good in February. Are they a cute family or what?????
Jake loves Captain America and I made him a t-shirt with this picture on it.
Jake, my dear, sweet son - you are an inspiration and my hero. I can't wait to see what you do next!

Monday, October 1, 2007

If I Can't Kill Somethin' When I Get There, Then I'm Not Goin'...

Ival and I met when he was 16 and I was 18. He was my sister Linda's best friend. Here's a very short version of how we ended up married: we started dating almost the day we met. We were engaged about 8 months later (he was 17!). Things didn't work out - imagine that! So, I got married to someone else and he committed suicide (not Ival - my first husband). Then we started dating again. We broke up, I got married to someone else and so did he and later divorced. As soon as we were divorced, we started dating. We broke up. I got married to someone else and later divorced. We started dating again. This time we got married and have now been married for 21 years.

We were meant to be together. By the time we finally married, we knew eachother so well that there were no surprises. We both knew what we were getting and to be real honest, I don't think anyone else would have either one of us! But we fit together like puzzle pieces.

You've heard of "Me Tarzan, you Jane." Well, that's not us. I'm Olive Oyl and Ival, well he's Elmer Fudd. The only vacation we've ever gone on where he couldn't kill something once we got there was when we took the kids to Disneyland and Sea World when they were young. I had a really hard time finding a picture of him without something dead in the picture too.
But Ival loves me and the kids unconditionally. He's the proudest father and grandpa I've ever seen. Family means everything to him. I couldn't have asked for anyone better to take care of me when I was going through cancer treatments. He basically treats me like a queen. But, he is Elmer Fudd. When we first moved to Hidden Springs, Ival was out in the yard one day boiling an animal skull. If you want to keep a skull, you have to boil all the yucky stuff off of it - and it STINKS! One of the neighbors walked out and yelled "What are you cooking? It sure smells good!" Oh dear God, if only he'd known what was cooking - and who had moved in next door.
But now, everyone in Hidden Springs knows Ival. He doesn't know a stranger. In fact, someday he says he's going to be the Mayor here. Hey, that would be cool, then EVERYONE could have chickens and other farm animals in their backyards!
I have to admit, I truly look forward to the day we can retire together. We'll be up on an acreage, with a little home, lots and lots of farm animals and right near a river where Ival can step out the back door to hunt and fish. Yep, he's Elmer Fudd - but he's mine! (poor fox)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

She'll Laugh With You, But She'd Rather Laugh AT You!

Kate is the youngest of the bunch. She's always been a free spirit - traveled Europe when she graduated from high school and never afraid to try something new. She was the only one of us still at home when dad died. I was so glad she was there for mom. She seems to make the best of just about any situation - always finding the good in people. She has a beautiful daughter Anna who is lucky enough to have Kate's great imagination.

Kate was the Pastor (yes, even though she's an Atheist) for my brother's second wedding to his first (and only) wife. She NEVER wears t-shirts with writing on them but bought herself this nice drag racing shirt special for my brother's wedding.

Kate recently met David - he loves her. When our family gets together, David often has to go off by himself because he's not too fond of the noise. So I wonder, how on earth does he live with Kate. Of the entire family, she's the loudest! She has this laugh you can hear from hundreds of feet away. To Kate, just about EVERYTHING is funny - nothing or anybody is sacred. The three of us girls seem to have this slight abnormality about us - we tend to laugh at other people's misfortunes - well, only if they don't get hurt too bad. But Kate's the worst of the bunch. If you fall down, trip, fart in public - any embarrassing situation - she's your worst nightmare. Not only will she laugh at the time, but will laugh about it for years to come.
We have these girls weekends once a year. Kate's always the center of our girls weekends - they just wouldn't be the same without her! EVERYONE loves Kate (well, except for a few cranky old farts at work who are annoyed by her guffaws). And as you can see from the picture below, she's the purdiest of the bunch... This was our girls weekend in Joseph, Or. - man we had FUN!
Kate is also the family rabble rouser. Never wanting to follow the rules. She got thrown in jail in Lewiston during her college years for driving without a license. She had too many speeding tickets! The picture below is a PERFECT example of her failure to follow rules. This last summer during our girls weekend, we rafted the Payette River. The cute little guide told us there was only ONE rule. NEVER take your hand off the T of your paddle. DANGEROUS! You can hit someone in the head with your paddle if you don't keep your hand on the T AT ALL TIMES. See Linda's hand next to Kate's - properly holding the T. There's Kate, sittin' with her hand OFF the T - just like she always does - going' by her own rules -even though I continued to point out she was in violation of the only friggin' rule we had on the trip.
And finally, after pointing out her violation for the fifth time - this is what I get.
Yep, that's Kate, she's the naughty one...

Believe It Or Not, She's What I'd Call The Most Sophisticated Of The Bunch...

Other than mom that is. Linda is, and always has been, her own person. In her younger years, she had a rather rebellious side. Always out doing something she shouldn't be doing, but wanted to. She could go to a kegger out in the freakin' boonies - 30 miles from town and somehow, dad would drive up and haul her home. We never did figure out how he found her in such remote places! She may as well have been wearing a neon sign that said "Hey, I'm doin' something I'm not supposed to be here - come and get me!" And, unfortunately for her, dad always did.
Linda and I had our rough times when we were growing up. Then when we became adults, we became best friends. Then we had some tough times again - maybe we're too much alike. But we've now accepted eachother as individuals and I think the world of her.

Linda has two beautiful daughters, Lisa and Andrea. They too are their own special people, as individual as can be - but truly special. I couldn't love them more if they were my own... Then Harry met Sally - I mean Linda met Bob. I love Bob. He hauled her up onto 40 acres just out of town to a little shack with no power and no running water - I was jealous! Somehow, however, every time I saw Linda, she was showered, her clothes and earrings matched her outfit, and she just looked like she had stepped out of a magazine - I guess I'd have to say she has really awesome hygiene!

This is her bird Grace - she's mean.

Yet Linda is always willing to be adventurous and have fun whenever the opportunity arises! What a dork! She's still one of my best buddies and I love and miss her since she moved to Portland.

You da' bomb!!!!

The Original Hillbilly...

This is my older sibling Steve, he's the original hillbilly. In fact, they don't come any more hillbilly than him. This is his best outfit. He wears this top hat only on special occasions - his special occasions include performing a wedding (WHAT???? I'll explain this later), at hunting camp, or on a cruise (yes, he wore this on our cruise). It's scary how much he looks like dad.He was my mentor growing up. He taught me how to tell time, how to fish, how to hunt, and how to cuss with the best of them! We spent many days growing up walking up the creek from out little cabin on Alder Creek in search of grouse or laying on our stomachs in the middle of a hay field popping ground squirrels. He always had time for me.

Steve has a wonderful wife Marlette who he's married twice. She's a saint. She's also the life of the party whenever she's around. Nothing is out of bounds! They have two wonderful kids Billy (named after his grampa Pogue) and Sarah. Steve is such a loving father.About 15 years ago, Steve and some of his friends from Horseshoe Bend started the Church of the Great Outdoors. They are all spiritual people who believe that God created this wonderful earth and in order to honor God, they spend Sundays outdoors - doing what they love most. So, he performed the marriage ceremony for my son Jake and his wife Heather. It was awesome.

When I went through chemo, he shaved his head the same day I had to shave mine. What more can I say about that?

He's definately one of a kind! He calls me at least once a week just to tell me he loves me. I love him more than I can ever say.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

They Say the Nut Never Falls Far From the Tree...

Over the next few weeks, I'm going to tell the story of my family - one by one - and I have pictures of all of you! Naturally, I'll start with the matriarch of the bunch, but by the time I'm done, hopefully I'll have a new grandson to add at the end! I hope you enjoy my thoughts...

Mom is one of a kind. She married dad while he was finishing college. His schooling to be a Game Warden, meant he spent a lot of time in the toolies - which meant mom spent a lot of time in the toolies. In fact, for a short time when my brother was young she lived in a tent.

Mom was the strength of the family. Dad, being a good Game Warden, spent a lot of nights away from home. While he was gone catching the bad guys, mom was home raising the good guys. Yea, I think we all turned out pretty well... Thanks mom.

Dad's death was hard but mom was always so composed. Always a lady, always gracious, always classy.
Now that she's older, she is something else! She's energetic, loves to travel, always willing to try something new (except bungie jumping or parachuting). She's taken us places we never would have seen had it not been for her.

While I can't really see it, everyone says we look alike. I guess we do both have dreadlocks. I only hope to be a beautiful as she is someday!
Mom, you've taught us well. Thanks for everything!


Well, Adam went out to check on his birds when he got home from school yesterday. The little quail was sitting on the nest, all cozy, sleeping with her head tucked neatly up near her wing. He wanted to see how many eggs she was sitting on (she's such a good mommy!) and gave her a little jab. Bummer, she's in full rigger - laying just the way she was sitting on the eggs when the big fat chicken evidently came into the hen house and plopped her fat ass right on top of her. Smothered - dead. So now, the cute little mommy sits on top of the trash in the can, all cozy, sleeping with her head tucked neatly up near her wing. Sigh...

Friday, September 21, 2007

Never Put All Yer Eggs In One Baskit...

The chickins and quail have all started layin' eggs. Elmer fixed 'em up a right nice hen house with 6 nests fer layin' eggs. Unfortunately, they only like one nest. They do however, take turns. Not sure who started this mess but we have one nest with a hole mess 'a eggs in it. The chickin (bein' the biggist) likes to sit on all of 'em. She won't leave til it's time to eat, then she'll run fast as the dickens out to eat, and while she's doin' that, the quail will run in and lay an egg and take over the mutherly duties. The chickin however, don't like that one little bit so she sits right on top of that quail, sittin' on top of them eggs.

If you look at the VERY bottom of the picture, you can see the little quail all squished up right under the chickens wing.

At the bottom of the picture here, you can see the quail a little better (the white bands on her head) - they continue doing this. I suppose someday, the quail will smother... Stupid birds.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Home Security System...

We've installed a new security system - and it didn't cost that much! In fact, you could have one too.

I went to a second-hand store and bought a pair of men's used size 14-16 work boots and placed them on our front porch - along with a copy of Guns & Ammo Magazine.

I put a few giant dog dishes next to the boots and magazines.

Then just to be extra cautious, I left a note on door that reads: Hey Bubba, Big Jim, Duke and Slim, I went for more ammunition. Back in an hour. Don't mess with the pit bulls--they attacked the mailman this morning and messed him up real bad. I don't think Killer took part in it but it was hard to tell from all the blood.

Anyway, I locked all four of 'em in the house. Better wait outside.


Words of Wisdom

When asked for her beauty tips, Audrey Hepburn wrote:

"For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, look for the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone... "

If you ever need a helping hand,
you will find one at the end of each of your arms.

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands;
one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


She stepped in line, just ahead of me. I'm sure she was not much older than I. However, I could tell she was tired and had obviously had a very rough life. Her eyes looked sad. She was small and thin, wearing clothes that were a bit too big. She set a diet pop and pack of cigarettes on the counter. Her voice was as soft as a whisper. Although I stood close behind her, I couldn't make out what she said.

After a few moments, she slowly walked out of the store - leaving the pop and cigarettes on the counter. Even her walk was tired.

I was going to see Jacki in the hospital and had a $5.00 lottery ticket I was going to cash so that I wouldn't have to use my debit card to buy her a coffee from the little shop in the hospital. I like to take her a special treat when I go.

"Didn't she have enough money?" I asked.

Rather disugusted, the clerk said back, "Her credit card is maxed out." It was obvious this frail woman - not much older than I, was a frequent customer.

I cashed in my lottery ticket and thought about paying for the woman's items. No, then I'd have to use my debit card. I paused for a moment, then walked out to my truck. I got in and backed out.

I pulled back into the parking lot and walked inside the store. "I'd like to buy the items that woman just left." Again acting disgusted, the clerk took my money and handed me the pop and cigarettes.

I started watching for the frail woman - not much older than I. She was slowly crossing the street so I pulled over and rolled down my window. "Here's your things." I said. Her sad eyes looked at me in a way I will never forget. She smiled - as best she could, and in her quiet voice she said "Thank you."

I was ashamed I had even considered driving away without paying for the items for this obviously sad and lonely woman - not much older than I. I hope she knows that I cared about her and even though I don't know her, she now has a place in my heart...

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Dear Jacki...

My sweet daughter is on bedrest in the hospital at 29 weeks pregnant. While it would be easy to be depressed, she remains happy and positive. I've added her blog - Blog of the Bedridden Bitch - to my links. You are an inspiration and the joy of my life!

My Sister is Gettin' Married!

And here's the happy couple - ain't they purdy??

Dear, sweet, Lisa and Andrea - I'm SO sorry - but I have to post this picture too.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I Have Been Challenged to a Duel...

In reading Linda's blog "What doesn't kill us will make us stonger," she stated her "fear" of youngest sister Kate. Now Kate talks big, but she's rather a sissy - unless you get her talking about politics, religion, anonymous comments on her blog, head lice, the overly-friendly checker at Albertsons, her boss, her co-workers, her neighbor Ted, or her ex-husband's new girlfriend. But other than that, she is definately a sissy - and I told her so.

So the sissy-sister has challenged me to a duel - at sunrise on September 15 - the morning of Linda's wedding - on the beach at Rockaway, Oregon. She has said she shall go by the name "Puss-n-Boots" (see, even the name she picked out is sissy...) I accept your challenge Kate, and I shall be known as "Twisted Sister" or "Nasty Nancy the Dueling Natzi" - I haven't decided yet. But leave your cotton candy at home - for we shall leg wrestle - on the beach at Rockaway, Oregon - at sunrise - on the day of Linda's wedding - September 15.

And I shall kick your sorry butt...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Third and Final Installment - Toronto Oddities...

Had to save the best for last - I just hope I can explain them...

First came the homeless cyclist. The longer I stayed in Toronto, the more "aware" I became of all that went on around me. While standing on the corner on Day 4, waiting for the trolley to take me back to the hotel, a man came riding by on the street right in front of where I stood. He rode VERY slowly on his very old rickety bicycle. As he passed VERY slowly, he carefully eyed the few of us standing and waiting for the trolley. It creeped me out, but he rode by and then he was gone. After maybe 2 minutes, he came again, from the opposite direction, VERY slowly riding by within a few feet of us - eyeing us again. Holy crap, what's going on here? I was standing on one side of the little trolley stop and couldn't see where he went after he passed by - of course, had I leaned around the stop, I could have watched, but he was gone and I was glad.

ZOOM! Within seconds, he came back from around the trolley stop - only this time, right beside him, he directed a new bicycle with one hand while steering his rickety old one as fast as his 70s tire would go.

What the hell????

Suddenly it dawned on me that he had obviously spied an unattended bike, checked (several times) to see if anyone at the trolley stop was paying attention to it and when he realized we didn't seem to notice it, he stole it as fast as he could peddle. These people never ceased to amaze me!

But the best one was the last one I saw. He was AWESOME! I think Steve would be his best friend...

The day before we left, mom and I decided to ride the ferry across the water to the Toronto Islands. Irene had told us about a great resturant there. We really enjoyed the ferry ride and the island was beautiful. Lots of people board the ferry with their bicycles and from what we heard, one island had a nude beach!

We had gotten off the ferry back on the mainland and needed to call the hotel to see if they could send a car for us. I noticed a phone booth (rememeber those?) and went to call. As it turned out, the phone booth was a "double" and they were both glassed in. I dialed the number while mom stood in the doorway of the booth talking to me. I heard someone talking in the next booth and didn't pay much attention until I heard something about "Hurry up Batman!". I turned to look at the voice and noticed a little guy naked from the waist down, changing from his swimming suit back to his pants. "Hurry up Batman! We gotta go!" "No more Batman!" Uncontrollable laughter. "Batman, get on your bike - we gotta go!"

What the hell?

With big eyes, I caught mom's attention and rolled my eye's toward "Batman" trying to tell her to look. We looked back at eachother trying not to laugh out loud and enjoyed "Batman's" show until he finally got his britches on, hopped on his bicycle, and rode off up the hill, all the while yelling to himself - "Batman" - about how he needed to hurry up and get out of there.

I dunno, maybe you just had to be there!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The Fingerless Begger

After meeting boy/girl on the trolley on day 1, I started looking a little more closely at the people who got off and on the trolley and even those we passed on the streets. Homeless people abound in Toronto but live freely among the business people and those we consider "normal". Every day, somewhere, right in the middle of the sidewalk, I would notice as we drove by, people sleeping. Not off to the side of the sidewalk, next to a building or in a stairway, but right in the middle of where people walked. I also noticed, that most people didn't pay them much attention. Hmm, interesting.

On day 2, on my way back to the hotel, I thought I was a goner. A man who seemed homeless, was getting off the streetcar and walked up to the driver and said:

"I need a transfer, I lost mine" (it costs extra to get a transfer)
"You know I'm not gonna' give you a transfer"
"Look, I lost my transfer, give me one."
"Look buddy, I'm not givin' you a transfer. Now get off."

Homeless man stands in the doorway staring at the driver. Holy crap, I know a gun is gonna come out and I'm freakin' dead.

"You stupid asshole."
"I may be an asshole, but I'm not the one who's got to pay for the transfer am I? Now get off ."

Thank God homeless man didn't have enough money to buy a gun...

Also on this same day while I was working with Irene, we had been visiting and I asked her how she got started in the business of "breast prosthesis." She told me that she had gone to school for a fine arts degree, got bored with that, and started working in medical arts at a hospital. She was doing facial prosthesis and noticed the need for what she's doing now. As we talked and worked I noticed a "finger" in her drawer.

"Can I touch it?" She said "sure" so I picked it up and couldn't believe how REAL it looked! It was amazing! It was an index finger from the middle knuckle down. We talked about it for a minute and she showed me how she had a second finger in her drawer as well. Hmm, interesting.

After getting off the trolley that night, I was walking back the three blocks to the hotel when I passed a young man about 25 sitting on the sidewalk with an empty Starbucks cup held out. The first thing I noticed was that he was missing his index finger! I'm not shittin' ya!

"Can you give me some change?" (They all want change). "I'm trying to raise enough money to get me a new finger." I'm not shittin' ya - he REALLY said that! I swear I laughed the rest of the way to the hotel (and no, I didn't give him any money).

The next day, I told Irene about the fingerless beggar and we both had a good laugh - what are the odds? I did see him again a few more times while we were there and chuckled every time I walked by him.

Tomorrow, I'll tell you about the bike thief and Batman.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Toronto Oddities...

Well, I thought when I came back from Toronto, I'd be telling you about the shopping, sights - all the fun I'd had. Instead, I spent every day - all day with Irene (she's cool). So I didn't get to do much of anything except ride the trolley to Irene's and back then out to dinner with mom. However, those 30 minutes on the trolley each way, each day were so fascinating. So, I'll spend the next few days telling you about Toronto's oddities and how much fun a hick girl from Idaho had with the street people in a city of over 2 million.

One day 1, I found my way up the 3 blocks to the trolley stop where I would get on to ride the approximately 20 blocks to Irene's shop. I'm sitting on my little seat looking out the window when I hear laughter from across the aisle. I turn to see a boy/girl shaking his head and laughing out loud. I didn't want to stare, so out of the corner of my eye, I notice he's wearing bright green flip flops with sequins over the top. By this time, he's quit laughing and turned his head to look out the window so now it's safe to stare...

He's got on a red net shirt (you know what they look like) and bright orange shorts. He has beautiful rings on each finger - the BIG fake diamond ones. He turns to look back my way, so I smiled at him. He mumbles something to himself and laughs out loud again. This went on all the way to where he got off. I thought to myself, it must in a way, be nice to be blissfully happy in a world all your own. I also thought about how fun it was for me to be so easily entertained! Little did I know, that he was to be the most sane of those I would meet as the week went on. It was a FASCINATING trip and I can't wait to tell you about "Batman", "Mouse" man, and the fingerless begger!

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Boob Brigade is Off...

Tomorrow, I leave for Canada. For some reason, since I'm going to Canada for my new boobs, I feel like I'm crossing the border to obtain illegal drugs or something - sneaking. However, I've found out some interesting things about our trip. Toronto has the world's largest underground walkway called the PATH. It connects just about everything we'd want to see or do while we're there - and our hotel sits right on top of it. We're staying in the tallest hotel in Toronto and we're only a block and a half away from the third largest shopping mall in Canada. Holy crap - it just doesn't get any better than this!

Unfortunately, I probably won't have a lot of time to shop. I'll be working with Irene all day long every day but it will give mom something fun to do. I can't wait to see what this is all about. Then, 4 weeks later (in time for my sister's wedding) my boobs will arrive on my doorstep by FedEx. I feel a little weird about that part too...

I'll be back on the 5th and will let you know all about it! Oh Canada - here I come!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Ridin' The Bull...

Every year, my sisters, our mom, and I get together for our annual girls weekend. We're such a mixed bunch - we have a heck of a good time together, no matter where we end up. This year, we did Boise - it could have been boring but it wasn't! In honor of mom's 76th birthday, we floated the mighty Payette River.

About 3/4 of the way down the river, the guide told us about "Riding the Bull." Huh. Sounded like fun. Kate hopped up front first and I must say - I was impressed. She even rode one-handed like a real bull rider, and she had the rodeo wave down pat.

Next was Linda's turn. She was good too.

Looks easy enough. My turn. I carefully crawled to the front of the boat and worked my butt into place. Holy crap, my pants were wet, I found myself sinking back toward the boat. If I pulled myself forward back onto the bow, was I going to pitch forward and fall overboard? I didn't dare fall into the boat - Kate and Linda had done so beautifully. What do I do? Unfortunately, I had no control as my hind end slid further into the watery bottom of the raft. (note however, I do have my left arm up ready for the authentic one-handed ride had I made it that far.)

It was like being a turtle turned upside down. I was squished between the bow of the boat and the first seat and I had this cumbersome life vest on that made it impossible to turn to one side or the other. Thankfully, I was with my family - I knew they'd help me regain at least some sense of dignity by quickly helping me out of this awkward situation. I didn't want our cute little guide to think I was a total fool!

They couldn't stop laughing long enough to help me up, but as you can see, one of them was kind enough to help me put my hat back on.

Again Kate (and Linda) - THANKS FOR NOTHIN'!
Happy Birthday mom!