Monday, December 28, 2009

Birthday Revenge - Part I

This is one of 3 pics that will go up at the end of this little birthday revenge saga. :)

"Vengeance is mine" ..thus sayeth the Lord.

I can appreciate the wisdom behind God saying that and he's right.. but sometimes..just sometimes vengeance is oh so sweet least for birthday retaliations. ;)

I am dedicating this post to my friend Debbie ..AKA Pstamper , since her birthday was in November.


I may have told this story on this blog.. at least in part. I'm not sure...although I know I did in some other blog comment sections. Either way..I'm telling it again! ;)


Birthday Revenge - Part I

It all started about 4 1/2 years earlier than Debbie's 40th birthday. Well actually even earlier if you consider my being influenced with practical jokes by my often times hilarious/impish emergency room co-workers. I definitely went through a practical joke faze during the 90s especially ...because of them. Anyone who has ever worked in the emergency environment knows what I'm talking about. Actually..I should say medical environment because other departments play their jokes too. :)

*I think it is a healthy outlet to release the stress/tension that comes with the work. There is nothing like a hearty, nearly gut busting laugh to clear the tension and then forge as usual.

Anyway thing the hospital staff was notorious for was decorating with black balloons, etc when someone was turning 40. Over the hill decorations would be strung up everywhere. :)

So I decided that for Mr SeaSpray's 40th birthday ..I would decorate the house with black balloons, streamers and over the hill stuff. I giggled every time I thought about it. :)

This one morning.. I decided to call my friend Donna who is absolutely one of the funniest people I have ever met in my entire life. Her guidance counselor seriously told her she should go into comedy. Even during the worst challenges of her life..she'd have you laughing.

I thought she'd love my over the hill 40th birthday decorating idea.

Um ..noooo ..she did not. I actually thought she was kidding when she raised her voice and said how awful it was, it wasn't funny and for my birthday..she'd be putting tombstones in front of my house. I was laughing and she was mad ..and then I eventually caught on that she was serious and so I let it drop. But..I was really surprised.

Well turned out that she was very sensitive about her age..which was the same as my husband and so she was turning 40 that same year. And it It turned out that she and her 2 sisters all lied about their age by about 5 years. She told me that even her sisters had her confused. I'm actually not 100% sure she is Mr SeaSpray's age..she may be a year younger ..or IS she???

So.. I forgot all about that and as planned ...gleefully decorated the house in black decorations... chuckling in thorough amusement as I pondered the surprise. :)

Well ... let me tell you fell very, very flat.

No one appreciated the humor and so it ended up being a downer. Mr SeaSpray's family is very quiet and reserved and they just looked around without even a smile and seemed perplexed. Mr SeaSpray said he didn't care..but he didn't laugh either.

You'd think I decorated for a funeral ..well in a way..I guess I did ..with the black and all.

Usually ... after a party bask in the afterglow of a fun event and I like to leave the decorations up a couple of days because they're fun, festive and a reminder of a good time.

I remember sitting on the sofa after my family went to bed... looking up at the black balloons and streamers running across the beams ... and thinking it all looked so depressing and ugly. I took everything down IMMEDIATELY!

Maybe it was all the florescent lights at the hospital that countered the dreary effect of the black ..or maybe because everyone there were kindred spirits with their teasing senses of humor, always ready to crack up at good joke ... but that was the last time I ever decorated with black in our home!

However ..the saga continues .. because my friend decided to make good on her threats ..and so not to be outdone ... of course there just had to be subsequent birthday retaliations. :)

To be continued ...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Up ..Up and Away! :)

Last week I got a really funny Christmas card from a friend who works in a photo studio. Every year I look forward to her Christmas cards because they are usually these gorgeous pictures of her two now adult girls on beautiful sets and sometimes she is in the picture too.. also a pretty lady. :)

The photographer is excellent and quite creative. People come up from Manhattan to her studio for pictures of their children/family. One of my favorite pictures of my granddaughter was taken by this photographer during Easter with a live bunny and a beautiful set.

Anyway.. I opened this Christmas card as I was walking back toward our house. When I saw it I just busted out laughing because it was so apropos knowing my friend's fabulous sense of humor. And the set was quite creative.

My friend's two adult daughters are driving the sled ..holding on to the reigns. You can see the back end of the reindeer. They are lifting off and are contrasted by the beautiful night sky, mountains and the house with Christmas lights and decorated tree below.

What makes this picture hilarious is my friend holding on to the sled, with her mouth wide open (side view) and legs dragging behind as she is lifting up into the night sky with them. My friend has the best sense of humor and is like "Lucy". :)

I wish I could show you!

So..even though I knew she was working, I decided to leave her a message right then because I knew she'd enjoy hearing it when she got home. I was laughing about her card and telling her how much I loved it and kudos to her boss for her creativity, etc. .. although it turns out D. (my friend) had the idea, called it "Up...Up and Away" and the graphic artist enhanced it.

But then in the same breath I said.. "I know this is your busy time of year with the studio ..but when things settle down..we need to get together and talk about our dead mothers." And then I got a little weepy and then laughed at the absurdity of the call... which made me laugh harder... which I know would've caused her to laugh. I think they have medication for that? ;)

Gee talk about a cheerful little earful!

I knew that the instant she heard the invite to get together so we could talk about our dead mothers ...she would crack up. Ha ha! And she did. Then she told me she "penciled that right into her agenda! Only YOU!" :)

So ..we will get together after the holidays to catch up on our lives with each other, play scrabble and to talk about our mothers. :)

I hope this didn't seem disrespectful because obviously I loved my mother.

She was always so good to my mother and with her usual zany humor.. would cause my mom to laugh heartily.

We are good friends that never get to see each other anymore. She used to live next door but now is a few towns away and works in another area. But..when we connect.. we pick up just like we saw each other 5 minutes ago. And let me tell you..we have shared some good laughs even during some of our more challenging times in life. We both have personalities that can see humor in most things and sometimes life is just so absurd have to laugh.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

" Merry CHRISTMAS!! GRRR!! " :) (revised)

I mentioned in the previous post that I cheerily delivered a Christmas food basket to my doctor's office the other day. I LOVE Christmas so much! People said Merry Christmas in the Lobby and in the elevator and of course we all said it in the doctor's office.

*One of my favorite parts (there are many) in the movie "It's a Wonderful Life" is where at the end Jimmy Stewart is both gleefully and gratefully running around Bedford Falls in the falling snow shouting "Merry Christmas!" all the way to his home. (I wanted to live in Bedford Falls :)

I wonder if I have Christmas genes coursing through my veins? Anytime I have labs drawn in December and the techs tell me they see miniature reindeer in my blood and that the're especially easy to detect because the of the festive red glow in the vials. Rudolph? Hmmm ...I wonder if there is an ICD-9 code for that? What is the diagnosis?

But I digress ... my point is that it's a wonderful spiritual holiday (original meaning) and fun to to participate in the festivities of the season. Anger is the last thing that would ever run through my 'visions of sugar-plums dancing through my head" brain. It is a foreign concept at Christmas... well except for thoughts of an enforced PC Christmas where the original meaning of the Christmas Holiday is sanitized or you are met with silence if you dare to say Merry Christmas because people don't know how to respond. Or politics can put a damper on it and so it's important to flip to the Christmas music instead. And even those things would not cause me to lash out at another person ..SQUAWKING in a shrill voice. YIKES!

So ...after leaving the office ...I headed down to Costco to pick up some things for Christmas dinner and some presents. The parking lot was packed, but I held out hope there might be an open spot close to the store and sure enough I found one.

Luckily a woman was just walking up to her car (parked in a great spot) to unload her items. I lowered my window, said "Hi!" and said that I would take her carriage and could she please put it behind the car right next to her. She smiled back and said "Sure!" (Saved her the trouble of bringing it back and ensured that I would have a carriage because when it's packed like that..carriages can be scarce.)

She got in her car and was getting ready to leave..when this other woman and young girl come walking up ..and wouldn't you know it...the carriage was behind HER car. "No big deal, the woman is leaving.", I erroneously think.

Not exACTly. This woman walking up began SQUAWKING...I kid you not SQUAWKING "Who the h*** would leave a shopping carriage behind someone's car?!! You DON"T leave a carriage there!" She was SQUAWKING ..and if she was a real bird..her wings would be flapping and her body would be lifting off and landing repeatedly. She really morphed (in my mind's eye) ...into a little black bird flapping her wings while rising up and down on the pavement. ;)

Okay.. I understand.. it would seem to be a rude thing to do or thoughtless. I was just about to explain, when the woman backing out ... lowered her car window and said she put it there.

(For the first time I am chuckling about this as I type because I can just imagine how apoplectic SQUAWKING woman's brain was becoming in those seconds ... (LOL!) as her mind was attempting to compute the fact that not only did this woman admit to leaving it there ..behind HER car, but is cheerily admitting it and backing out to LEAVE!!!)

SQUAWKING woman's back was to me now and I couldn't hear everything she was yelling (She was really yelling but sounded like squawking because of the pitch), but it wasn't fair for her to be yelling at this other nice woman when she had responded to MY request to leave the carriage there. Btw ..what are the odds ..that in that whole parking lot of PACKED cars...this would be the car that the owner comes out to at that moment? Maybe I should've gone out and bought a lottery ticket.? I'm just sayin.

Anyway ... Quickly(cheerily) came to the aid of nice woman and in a friendly voice said "Excuse me? I'm sorry ... she was helping me." "I DON"T CARE!" "No you don't understand, *I* ASKED her to put it there." "She could've put it over there!" (She gestured toward in between the two vehicles. I had initially thought of that but then thought that I might not be able to pull in easily. I didn't know how much space was between the two cars) Admittedly in a now frustrated tone I said "I didn't know if it would fit for me to get around. She's leaving right now!"

SQUAWKING woman SQUAWKED some more but I zoned out because the other woman backed out and then with a big smile she said a purposeful directed at me with a smile "Merry Christmas!" I said "Merry Christmas to you too and THANK you!" She drove away.

Then I only had eyes to pull into that spot. Oh and there was a carriage in between our two vehicles and so putting a second carriage there would've gotten in the way of pulling in.

I opened the car door without getting my purse because I just wanted to get the carriage away from the back of her car and she was still SQUAWKING about us "Making a BIG deal about it!" (REALLY? WE were making a BIG deal? I didn't say that though.) "Well you were mad.?", I said.

And then as I go to get the carriage which she had pushed behind the car on the other side of me (I guess using her logic THAT was logical?), She SQUAWKED "I WAS NOT MAD!"

Then seeing the carriage was alright behind the other car I went back to get my purse (my back was to her), I reached in to pick it up and in the most SHRILL voice she angrily SQUAWKED "Merry CHRISTMAS! MERRY CHRISTMAS!", as she stomped (okay stomped is an assumption on my part but I bet she did), to her side of the car.

I ignored her.. didn't even look at her. I did notice the daughter sitting with a poker face in the front seat staring straight ahead and I felt sorry for her. I would've smiled sweetly at her if she had looked my way.

I was so glad to just get away from that woman though. And she didn't come out with stuff to unload into her car. I guess she just wanted to zip right out of there ..understandably ..but her tirade slowed us all down. I honestly didn't think I did anything wrong by asking the other woman to place the carriage there. If that were me coming up to my car..I might be a bit irked at the insensitivity to leave a carriage there but not mad. And certainly ..the second the lady explained.. I'd smile and say "No problem I'll put it right here for you." :)

No wonder we don't have world peace! If even these little things set us off. ???

Maybe she was PMS-ing. Or Peri-menopausal... having some hormonal assault on her brain.

Or maybe a loved one died, she didn't have money for Christmas or some other sad event in her life. Maybe she was struggling ..seriously struggling with something important and that carriage was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.

I remember a time when I was the young girl quietly sitting on the passenger's side of my mother's car. I remember her coming back to the car and breaking down and sobbing because the check from our aunt from Florida wouldn't clear for 3 days.. and we didn't have any food.

So..we never know what is really going on with people.

I am an eye contact person and I never wear my glasses or contacts except for driving. So..unless I am up close to you..I can't really see your eyes. I can see you have eyes and maybe the color, but I mean your pupils and what feelings are going on with you ..unless I am right there... I can't read your eyes.

Maybe if I had been closer to her..I would've seen something besides the anger. ?

Hindsight being 20-20 ... I wish I had walked over to her and looked right into her eyes and just said a heart felt "I am sorry and we didn't intend to cause a problem for you", and then wished her well.

And if I am really honest about this... I do think the nice woman and I did mean to wish each other "Merry Christmas" .... b-u-t ..there was a hint of sarcasm in our voices as we united in in our effort to make the point "It's CHRISTMAS lady - lighten up!" And no doubt that exacerbated the woman's temper and perhaps caused her to try to save face and the only way she knew to do it was to yell more. Of course..she also could've said .."Hey ladies..I'm sorry ..rough day."

I am not proud that I used Christmas as the conduit for the sarcasm pointed at her either. And emotions can run high for many of us during the holiday season.

On a lighter note... the last thing I had to pick up was the cat litter which I think weighed forty ponds. I am not supposed to pick up more than 20 or 25lbs with this ureteral stent in. So I did hang out by the cat litter until a man came by.

I stopped him and asked if he could please lift the big cat litter container into the cart for me because I wasn't supposed to lift more than 20lbs right now. He graciously hoisted it into my cart. (Gotta just love men and their muscles ;) He asked "What are you gonna do when you get to your car?" I said "Oh ..I'll wait for another nice man to come by." :) We both laughed and I thanked him. :)

Then ..when I got out to my car ..there were no men ..anywhere to be seen. But next to me there was another girl and her mother older girl. She walked their carriage back and I stopped her and asked if she could please help me lift this into the back. She graciously agreed and I said "1,2,3" and together we lifted it in. I thanked her, we wished each other a Merry Christmas and I left after they did.

*Even though I was annoyed at this woman and thought she acted ridiculously .. we just don't know what is really going on under the surface of what we are able to see. Maybe that was the real her... a shrill squawker. But I missed an opportunity... when I could've walked over to her and kindly wish her well. It might've helped her in some way.. or not. But apparently my self preservation mode took over and I really just wanted to get away.

Regardless ..I really do hope she is alright and that she really does have a good Christmas.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

PMS Platter or Death by Chocolate, and Attitudes :)

I love to add these little chocolate liqueurs to baskets and plates of cookies. I buy them at Costco during the Christmas season and since I first bought them..the box is half the size it used to be... for about the same price. I wish they had a Gin and tonic flavor. ;)

Merry Christmas!! :)

I LOVE to say that with sincere enthusiasm and did at the medical office yesterday. It's such a beautiful and festive holiday!

Yesterday, I dropped off (what has now become an annual tradition) ... a Christmas basket and plate of chocolate goodies for the urology office. I know I always say this, but they are such a wonderful group of people and my urodoc is excellent and he has always taken good care of this patient.

I took pictures this time because I really like what I did with this big Christmas plate. I definitely added more this year and had to make two trips to go back out to get the basket too. I wanted to do something really different this year ..but have had some personal distractions and my creative juices just weren't flowing. And so the baked goodies were just basic ..pumpkin cookies, Toll house cookies and mint brownies. And gourmet candies (chocolate liqueurs and these really decadent chocolate squares filled with mint, caramel, etc., as well as cheese, crackers, healthy wholegrain chips, ranch dip, hot cocoa and popcorn.

Last minute I got the idea to put the mint brownies sprinkled with powdered sugar in cupcake holders and then I sprinkled them with little red, white and green Christmas decorations. The Christmas plate curves upward on the outer part and so I fanned (alternated by foil color) the little square chocolate candy just underneath the brownies all the way around. Then with them curving upward, I placed the various little chocolate liqueur bottles fanned out on top of those all the way around. It looked really pretty. After that I placed a few brownies on top in the middle with a few liqueur bottles standing upright in the middle. Then wrapped with clear wrap. (Had I thought ahead..I would've gotten the pink or green plastic wrap and I forgot I bought foil Christmas cupcake holders) After that I tied a festive wire bow around the whole thing. The ribbon has snow men, snowflakes, sparkles, and is very pretty. Then the last thing ..I placed two gold, oval Merry Christmas stickers on each side on one side of the plate.

I have never done up such a pretty plate before and just really got into it. Now I am going to do plates like that for others too..just not as big. (They have a lot of staff :) It was fun to do. The plate itself is a heavy decorative glass plate and so this alone was heavy to carry inside. There was no way I could've placed it on the basket and carried both because that was one heavy plate of chocolate.

One of the women said it was a lot of work ..but it was fun work. And the house smells so good with all the baking. I heard we are supposed to get snow this weekend and so those are perfect baking days. :)

I don't know why ..but I definitely created a PMS Platter or Death By Chocolate ... all a matter of perspective. :) I am more of a cinnamon girl myself... or mint.

It was definitely the go to plate if you're pms.. ing. ;)

Then I put the pumpkin cookies in the Silver Bells Christmas basket and covered them with the pretty Silver Bells wooden lid, Put toll house cookies in a Christmas tin, the ranch dip and Boursin cheese in a small Christmas Longaberger with ice, crackers, bag of healthy wholegrain chips, cocoa packets and popcorn bags dispersed and all in a big Christmas Longaberger basket with leather handles. And then tied another pretty snowman ribbon around the entire basket. ( I love that ribbon btw :)

They are always so enthusiastically appreciative which warmed my heart. It is so much fun to use the Longaberger baskets because I am a collector of Longaberger baskets, pottery and wrought iron. Not that I would part with them..but they do go up in value because they periodically discontinue certain pieces.

I love these baskets and some of the women there collect them as well and so it is just fun to be able to use these and show them to people who appreciate them and I trust leaving the baskets and pottery with them. Ha Ha! You'd think I was talking about leaving my kids or something! :)

One of the women commented that I really use my baskets and I really do..they are functional. I told her that just like playing house with dolls..when I bring the baskets of food there..I get to play Longaberger. :)

(You would have to be into the product to understand.)

I know I've said this before too, but for any new readers ...I bring them food at Christmas to say "Thank you." It's a thank you to urodoc for his professionalism ...all the time, energy, hard work, patience with this patient, compassion and dedication he has consistently demonstrated throughout his care. It is a thank you to him because despite the fear I have sometimes felt depending on what was going on.. I have felt safe and well taken care of under his care the OR, hospital and in the office. That is saying a lot with the uncertainty of this. Every patient should be able to have this implicit trust in their doctor. I am a grateful patient.

It is a thank you to his partners because even tho I have had minimal interactions with them..I like them too. They have always been helpful, courteous and pleasant.

I know what I am talking about when I praise these doctors because I have experienced ... um...less than stellar care from a couple of docs and I know of personal experiences other people have had with physician encounters.

And it is a thank you to the clinic and front office staff because they have always been so supportive, comforting, compassionate and every bit the professionals they are. And ... while urological procedures and conditions aren't fun and can be embarrassing ..that south of the border stuff ... they are a sweet, fun group of people and have made this experience bearable.

I really could not imagine having to do all this stuff with the ease that I have .... if it weren't for this amazing group of professionals. I am sure anyone who has had any medical condition that has required them to repeatedly go to the office and other places understands exactly what I am talking about.

Staff can make a visit pleasant or dreadful or even if what will be done in that visit is dreadful ...staff can still soften the negative experience with their attitudes with and around the patients.

There is medical staff ... and then there is ...medical staff... the latter group being the really good ones that care. safety and well being comes from God... but I believe he works through physicians, nurses and other medical professionals along the way.

*Thank you Pstamper for picking up the chips and popcorn and thank you for waiting for that plate of Pumpkin cookies. Now you see.. I have the platter down pat (no pun intended) and will have a nice one for you in time for Mike coming home if not sooner. :)

** One thing though ..I may have screwed up a bit in that last night as older son was sampling the baked goods I kept out for them ..he said that not everyone likes nuts and I didn't think to ommit the nuts from a portion of the baked goodies. I am nuts for nuts and just added them right into the batters. I hope they all like nuts. :)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Tradition of the Pink Mouse

This is the real Christmas mouse I saved and put on our tree every Christmas as a reminder.

I think this is the 3rd year I am putting this post (true story) up ..except now it means even more to me because I need a reminder that things will work out ...that difficult situations do get better and to never give up.

And also because after all these years... I have never forgotten the many kindnesses that were extended to us. Love, Hope and Faith .. I am praying these things will prevail..regardless of circumstances.

Faith is believing in things not yet seen.

I put the following post up last year and there is also a link to Dr WhiteCoat's sweet post, both of which I think demonstrate the importance of caring and showing compassion to others. :)

Per Dr. Whitecoat's suggestion...I am posting what was a comment in his post "What Life is All About" over here in my SeaSpray blog. But before I get to the comment I just want to add a few things.

Those of you that know us, know what was going on at the time and it was a l-o-o-o-o-n-g 20 months. This post is about something that actually happened toward the end of the ordeal but there were other acts of kindness done from the beginning..right on through to the end. (I will talk about those sometime too)

Every note, card, letter, word of encouragement, all food, gifts and anonymous gifts were greatly appreciated and are still remembered even today. For as many words as you see me put down in these blogs...sometimes there are people or things that they have done that move me so deeply... that I feel anything I do, say or write can never truly convey the heartfelt gratitude I have felt and feel even now. This is true of things in my past and it is true with things that have been going on in the present. My entire life has been filled with people that have been blessings in various ways.

During this particular time...a judge befriended me. He had nothing to do with anything nor did he have any future influence on the case. He was a complete stranger that overheard a conversation in a public place that I was having with someone. After introducing himself he gave me his number that I could reach him anytime anywhere in the country and this was before cell phones were readily available. Believe me I called him and we'd have long conversations and I'd sob and sometimes he'd even get me laughing and he was so kind and he gave me hope. One night he said to me, "You know...I don't know what it is about you but you make someone want to help you." I don't know why either. I am just me and no one special and oh so flawed too.

Some people said that encounter was a coincidence, a chance encounter... but I believe it it was a "divine coincidence" because his support was one of the things that gave me the strength to follow through and keep going. It helped to know he was in the background. There were other key people too. And above all... I know it was God working through these people to help sustain us in various ways through the difficult times.

The reason "It's a Wonderful Life" is my favorite movie and is also why I named my blog the same is because I love and thoroughly believe the main message of the movie which is that we all are important. Each and everyone of us can and do make a difference in this life, affecting the present AND the future. It is an awesome thought when you take the time to really ponder it. And is a responsibility... because we never know when even the simplest things to us may mean the world to someone else... or crush them like the proverbial final straw that breaks the camel's back. We don't know what is really going on in someone's heart...what burdens they carry. Are they lonely, grieving a loss or maybe they are stressed, hurt and angry or afraid but they live in their worlds of quiet desperation behind masques of smiles or stoicism. I am sure Whitecoat shoveling that driveway warmed someone's heart and who knows who else that random act of kindness will ripple outward toward?


Comment I left on the Whitecoat Rant blog:

Our family received an anonymous act of kindness and it made me crazy wondering who had done it. It was back in the early 90s when we were going through that legal case I already mentioned a while back and we were definitely strained financially.

It was New Years eve and we had some friends and family over for dinner. My husband took a call from a man who said UPS left a package in our driveway. UPS wouldn’t have been delivering then. Anyway, my husband brought in this huge box that was wrapped and addressed from Santa.

There were two other children there aside from our two boys. Well the kids tore into that box and it was the box that kept on giving. It was FILLED UP with stuffed animals, games and also a cool toy gun that older son loved.

It took a couple of years for me to figure out and then our neighbor down the road was discussing something else and I put two and two together and so I asked him directly if they were the ones who did that. He tried to maneuver his way out of it but he evidently couldn’t get past my gazing right into his eyes searching his spirit to see if it matched his words. It didn’t and he owned up to it. Maybe I shouldn’t have done that but I just wanted to know.

One of the stuffed animals in the box was a small pink mouse. I took that for a decoration on our Christmas tree as a reminder of that wonderful act of kindness which was symbolic on many levels. To this day I still put it on our Christmas tree to remember how God brought us through a difficult time and to remind us that he sometimes works through people and that we should remember to do the same for others in need. That night after the kids opened the box I said “This is God saying…"Hold on…I am working on this.” and he did…he fixed it. :) That was New Years Eve 1992. I still remember that act of kindness and others and have reminded our sons that just as we were helped in our time of need, to remember how good that felt and to do the same to help others when they see a need. Younger son was a baby, 2 years old when it started and he was 4 on this New Year's night... but I have told him often to teach him about giving. :)

Another Dr Cox Rant :)

I was just watching Scrubs and thought Dr Cox' rant on McSurgeons was really funny. :)

*PAUSE the Christmas music on sidebar first.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Think of It As GRILLED! :)

See ..the really IS grilled cabbage!

The other night I had this craving for cooked cabbage. So I decided to make that as the vegetable to go along with the rest of our dinner.

I was sauteing it in a little olive oil, salt and pepper and added some water to steam as well. then I came in here to blog write the last post.

The next thing I knew... Mr SeaSpray asked me if the cabbage was burning. Now my senses told me that might be the case but I said "'s not burning."

I jumped up from the computer, hurried into the kitchen... feeling really bummed that this cabbage I so very much craved ..might very well be burning and even though only on bottom would affect the overall taste. So I quickly added some cold water to loosen everything and I didn't stir it, but placed the lesser well done cabbage directly into a bowl. Added some smart balance and mixed it into the cabbage.

In reality ..the cabbage was dark brown at bottom of pan and then there were some charred pieces here and there... but not bad.

So when Mr SeaSpray and son came in ..I enthusiastically said the cabbage isn't burned ..just grilled! Think of it as grilled cabbage. :)

Charred in some places ..that is like grilled right?

They didn't complain and I let them have the best and took what grilled cabbage was left in the bottom of the pot. It really did have a kind of grilled taste.

I told them I was surprised the water cooked down so fast..but a more accurate statement would've been to say.. I didn't realize I was blogging so long... like go into another world blogging so long ..long. :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas Tree - Lipstick Connection :)

I can't believe we got the tree already and so easily and uneventfully.

We got it and put it up on Sunday ..which amazes me ..because I have never put a live tree up so early (December 6th) because I leave it up 2 weeks after Christmas and always figured it would look like the Peanuts -Snoopy and Woodstock Christmas tree ... bare ..with all needles on the floor from being so dry. That happened one year.

But the guy at the lot said it was just cut in PA on Friday and would be good to the end of January. It looked very full and fresh.

But ..first I will backtrack to my boeuf du jour plan... the plan that was supposed to lull Mr SeaSpray into total Christmas bliss and compliance .. meaning no testiness in going out to get the Christmas Tree.

First off ... I didn't think we were going out for the tree on Sunday ..but younger son called me in the morning to say that the lot we wanted to buy a tree at ..looked like it only had 3 big trees left
and for me to be ready when they came home so we could go get one.

I was going to say ..well tell Dad to buy one ... but then remembered the tree the *one* Christmas I let him do that. It was a small tree if you were the size of one of Snow White's Dwarf friends. Need I say more? (I did go along and act happy about it though) It was a short... short... cute little tree. :)

Then I was going to say.."Well tell Dad to come back and we will get a tree now", but thought better of that because they had plans.

I just said "O.K."

Well I didn't have time to get a pot roast all succulent looking and get ready. So ..I settled on chicken..chicken breasts. They were frozen (the pot roast would've been too) and so I began simmering them in the pan with sage and a big onion and some water.

*If you haven't had time to cook, but want the house to have the aroma of something good being cooked... simmer an onion... add some spices. With the onion, sage and chicken was beginning to smell good and so I took my shower, etc.

About 15 minutes before they'd be back, I decided to brown the breasts and turned up the heat a bit...but then I got side tracked and so the next thing I know the fire alarm is going off because I was now burning the darn breasts instead of browning. That smoke went everywhere and did NOT smell very good. I quickly put water in the pan and fortunately ..that was good enough to loosen any burned particles and the chicken just ended up being a dark brown. I quick put the ceiling fan on and cracked the sliding door open and cranked open the bow windows in the kitchen. The alarm stopped and even though frigid air was coming in..the smoke was clearing. I threw a fresh onion in the pan with more fresh sage and simmered again, closed the windows and door... just in time. Mr SeaSpray and son came in ..just as everything was smelling better.

As soon as he walked in ..I did a Vanna White and lifted the pan lid to show him the chicken and commented on how juicy it will be later to have with the football game. He agreed and seemed pleased. (Ha! he also could've been humoring me because I was obviously trying to please him! :)

Ho ho..hi ho to get the tree we go! Oh WAIT! Wrong song! Fa la la la la la la! :)

It snowed the day before and the scenery was beautiful. It was so cold that the snow was staying on the branches. We weren't even out of the driveway yet when I exclaimed... "Oh! LOOK at those cottons of puff!" Mr SeaSpray cracked up at my obvious mix-up of words. This was good ..we're all leaving laughing. :)

Well my gosh! Buying the tree couldn't possibly have been more pleasant. They didn't have any big Frasiers (my favorite..strong non-pricking branches, pretty color and last) ...but they did have a big Douglas fir ..about 8 1/2 feet and for only $68.00 dollars! At another place we frequented ..that tree would've easily been over $100.00 dollars. At first I hesitated ..because I really wanted more firm branches ..but Mr SeaSpray had pulled this one out and it is a beauty. He and son liked it and so that is the one we got. It is a bit wider then I usually get ..but doable.

Mr SeaSpray ... liked the people selling the trees so much that he said we should bring them a pizza and soda. He has never done that! I don't know if he was just downright giddy because we got the 1st tree *he* picked out, in a lot not even 5 minutes away, it was a pretty tree and cheap ... and the people were very nice and the money goes to a good cause... a local Catholic school... or if the gently simmering almost burned .. but not burned - just dark brown ... chicken, back home had sedated him ..arresting the Annual Resist Buying the Christmas Tree Disorder (ARBCTD), that I spoke of in the previous post. (ARBCTD). I'm gonna go with because the people were so nice and because it was all done so quickly and easily. That chicken was no succulent pot roast. :)

So ..we got the fresh cut on the bottom and upon arriving home placed the tree, unwrapped in the stand filled with water outside. We couldn't bring it in because I still had to clean out the closets the tree would be blocking for the next month or so.

When we got inside ... feeling extremely happy about this ... I enthusiastically kissed Mr SeaSpray on the lips and I knew he'd wipe it off cause he doesn't like the sticky feeling and I am guessing he also doesn't like wearing cranberry lipstick ..but ...I also kissed each side of his neck and so my lip prints were left there. I was secretly chuckling because I knew he'd wipe that off too... but he was engrossed in football and so he wouldn't see the lip prints in the mirror until later at some point. But ..he and son were watching football then.

Not only were my cranberry lip prints on each side of his neck.. but they sparkled! Ha ha ..because I topped the lipstick with this pretty gloss that has colored sparkles in it.

Festive ...although I'd wear it anytime.

I knew he will be slightly annoyed ..but chuckle when he saw that I did that. :)

Fa la la la la la! :)

Chris will help me put the angel and lights on tonight. I want to hold off on the decorating until the weekend ..when Devan comes over. Hopefully she won't get snowed in like last Saturday. But I want to let her help put the stockings up and with some of the other decorating too. Christmas music, popcorn , hot chocolate and a Christmas movie too. It is so much fun to see Christmas through a child's eyes. :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Operation "Le Boeuf du Jour" :)
A girl's gotta do...what a girl's gotta do!

In a previous post I mentioned that Mr SeaSpray is not Mr Christmas. He's not. But he always helps me with cooking, cleaning and errands when I need it because company is coming. And he's great about getting things down from the attic and putting them up there.

That being said ...he is perfectly content to let me do the shopping for presents and wrapping, write out the cards, baking and do all the decorating ..inside and out ..which I enjoy doing. I enjoy all of it. Well I do ...providing I find the right presents, am not up until 3 am on Christmas eve wrapping the presents, cards get done and I don't burn anything and the lights work... then I enjoy it. :) However... he does one very important thing that I am perfectly content to let him do and that is put the Christmas tree in the stand...NOT a fun thing to do.

I am already reminding him when we will go buy the tree. Why... I must be mentioning it 3 times a day now. Still ..when the moment comes.. he will exclaim "WHAT?!! We're getting the tree NOW?!!!"

I think they call that selective hearing and/or selective amnesia. It hits Mr SeaSpray during the Christmas holiday. He suffers from Annual Resist Buying the Christmas Tree Disorder. (ARBCTD)

It's actually become a Christmas tradition with us after 34 years of marriage... his acting as if he heard we were getting the tree that day ..for the 1st I blindsided him or something. He either deserves an Academy Award for his performance of shock, or he has ARBCTD ... caused by an annual malfunction in his brain which is triggered when he hears those two little words ... Christmas Tree... and I think it's the latter. :)

I wrote about this previously ..but I am again going to attempt to sedate Mr SeaSpray ..hopefully rendering him totally compliant regarding going out to get the tree. I will do this by cooking up the most succulent pot roast I can make. Tilt the lid a bit just before he comes in the door and let the beefy aroma assault his senses into total compliance. Then as he walks by ...I will lift said tilted lid so that his eyes can take in the carnivorous pleasure that awaits him ...after he has the tree up in the stand.

You have no idea what a carnivore this man is. They say a the way to man's heart is good cooking ..and I will just add that in Mr SeaSpray's case .. to his brain. You should see his expression when he takes in the appearance of the almost done to perfection boef du jour ..along with the tantalizing aroma wafting through the house. I'm really serious.

So ... that's the game plan anyway... assault Mr SeaSpray's carnivorous senses... sedating the the ARBCTD trigger..thus enabling the SeaSpray's to leave the house gleefully on their quest for the perfect Christmas tree.

Obviously the aroma will fade but I have a plan for that. I am going to sprinkle a bit of le boeuf du jour pan drippings onto my shoulders and behind my ears and make sure I am up wind of Mr SeaSpray. I hope it's breezy! And I hope there aren't any loose dogs arounf ..or bears. But to seal the deal to speak... I am cooking the roast with a cheese cloth over the pot, kept in place by the lid. Before he sees the roast..I will remove said cloth and place it in a sealed Ziploc bag. Then at the first sign of lack of Christmas spirit as he dances each of the 40 ten foot trees in the lot around for me to compare... I will remove the beef scented cheesecloth and wave it into the air behind his head. I'll have to play that by ear... ha ha or wave it by ear. ;) Also..I will remind him of just how tender that succulent roast is going to be. "Honey ..I know this is the tenth tree we've looked at and theres oh ..maybe 30 more, but BOY that ROAST is sure gonna taste gooooood... and s-o-o-o tender too. Mmm... That's it ..take that out too ..your so strong the way you twirl it around... did you see how good the pan drippings looked ..gonna make a delicious brown gravy."

Okay all know I'm teasing about the cheesecloth ..right? Oh and the drippings behind my ears too..of course.

But admittedly ... I'm not above reminding Mr SeaSpray about the succulent le boeuf du jour that awaits him at home ...once we (he) gets the Christmas tree set up. ;)

T'is the season to be jolly ... fa la la la la la la la la!

*If curious are a some posts that explain why I have concocted such an elaborate plan...Operation "Le Boeuf du Jour" ... to facilitate a cheery Filled with Christmas Spirit Mr SeaSpray while searching for the perfect Christmas tree. :)

Timing is everything. ;)

O Tannenbaum - Post 1

Post In Between The Tannebaums (SHOCKED?)

O Tannenbaum Post 2

O Tannenbaum Post 3

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I'd RATHER be NAKED and getting a PAP TEST

Steve Martin & John Candy "going the wrong way" highway scene in Planes, Trains and Automobiles. (The highway scene is one of my favorite scenes in movie. Steve Martin having to pry his fingers out of the dash board after having gripped it so hard while experiencing dire fear connects to this post. :)

I was a whirlwind heading out the door this morning, but on my way out the door I stopped and blurted out to Mr SeaSpray who was home today for an early lunch... "I'd RATHER be NAKED and getting a PAP TEST then doing this!! I'd RATHER be doing any thing than this.. well not a stent removal..but definitely NAKED and a PAP TEST!!! I HATE going to the dentist!!!"

Then out I went.

I didn't give him a chance to respond. Not that there is any response.. but I wonder what he thought? Well he knows how much I hate going to see the dentist.

And it wasn't even the dentist. I was only having my check-up and cleaning with the hygienist.

But ..they use those instruments of torture that they probe with and scrape and then the pasty cleaning stuff -procedure tickles. I feel like a Mrs Jeckyl/Hyde in the chair. The perk is the room is decorated for children (Disney always makes me happy :) and there is a big window and so I like being able to see outside, although the windows in the other rooms are much better because you can see pretty fields, birds and the weather.

The entire day of the appointment I have this abject fear building in me until I am at the check out desk.

The worst pain I ever had there was when the dentist while working on a root canal ..hit a nerve. Instant tears and I cried out... and I was really mad at him but didn't let on ..other then maybe the scowl that would've been irrepressible.

I did the exact same thing with my first two ureteral stent removals. Tears an instant reflexive action while simultaneously crying out. I would categorize both the ureteral stent removal and hitting a nerve in a molar at the same pain level... a TEN on the pain scale chart.

The only thing worse .. but would still be a 10 pain..would be to pull the ureteral stent out through the exposed nerve in the tooth. Fortunately ..that won't happen ..I'm just sayin.

My fingers were pressing so hard into the chair arms and she was only taking the x-rays! I'm kidding. :)

But they were pressing really hard into the chair arms when she was probing ..because that's how I handle the mounting fear. I gouge the chair arms. It's like being in a game of Russian Roulette. You never know which probe with that probing instrument of torture thingy.. is going to cause you to want to eject up and out of the seat, right on through the ceiling and through the roof like some cartoon character. Gripping the chair keeps you grounded and yet somehow helps brace against the pain...along with barely breathing as you wait in dreaded anticipation.

I've heard tensing your body makes it worse but I can't exactly do breathing exercises to try to relax and override any uncomfortable sensations. I'd be hyperventilating before she finished and I don't think it will work anyway with that water tool in my mouth ..could get pretty ..WET.

Breathing rhythmically would help though.

As I reclined almost upside down (stent felt good) ..with my eyes closed .. I was thinking that I wished they just gave me that happy gas or whatever they do. Just knock me out completely and they could do whatever they want. heck ..they could hang me upside down from the ceiling and let raccoons lick my face for a prep and I wouldn't care... but this being awake for these dental procedures is just not fun. Novocains don't bother me. It is that awful, really intense tooth stuff they do that is so unnerving pun intended. only hit one sensitive spot... although the water in the cleaning tool was really hot at one point. But then I still had to make it past the dentist who comes in and does his own probing and for some reason is more adept at evoking the extreme responses from me. However he didn't do any of that... maybe because he knew I was coming back. :)

I told him I'd rather be getting a pap and he laughed and said "Not today..we have to schedule that in." LOL!

Unfortunately..I have to go back Tuesday for TWO fillings. How can that be? I use an electronic tooth brush, floss and mouth wash ... oh and never drink soda. I am good about brushing. My cousin says we have soft teeth. I don't know if that is a real dental condition though.

I told him that next week ..I don't care if I have a lot of stuff in my mouth and can't talk ..I want him to give me his opinion about all the politics going on right now. ( We've had some interesting political discussions when time allowed and his political monologue will get my mind of the dental work. :)

Ha! Once I told him "You're LUCKY I didn't BITE you!" He said "That's okay ..I'd bite you back." :)

So..I survived the cleaning appointment .. but Mr SeaSpray actually had to go in and have a tooth pulled tonight. I should say ..Mr SeaSpray ..aka Mr stoic .. who puts me to shame. I enjoyed listening to him talk after coming home. Too funny when all numbed up! :)

I asked how the appointment went..feeling really bad for him. He said "It was nothing. I didn't even know he pulled the tooth out! I told him I didn't know he pulled the tooth out and he (the dentist) said "I didn't know I pulled it out either."

That's funny! :)

* * * I very much appreciate dentists and all the work they do so that we can maintain good dental health, for fixing dental emergencies and so we can have nice teeth. :)