Thursday, June 30, 2011

New Conversations

J and I have started hanging out with our neighbors and new friends a lot more lately. These are people who are not Christians, many don't have children, they are not from our church, they are not from the adoption world, and some of them we don't really want to talk about our work with. 

So what does that leave for conversation......????
Not much!

We didn't realize how integrated our lives have been for the last 12 years. We used to work and play with the same people in Tulsa. Even in Chicago, my friends were J's friends from work first and vice versa. 

It has been far more challenging to keep conversation lively and interesting while avoiding our pet conversations. It's a good thing. We are reaching out to people we would not have been friends with typically. I like that I am meeting new people and learning about different lifestyles. It feels like we were in a relationship bubble all this time. 

Don't get me wrong. We still love our friends that we have done life with. This is just a branching out and expanding. It's fun. I highly recommend it.

So, what do you talk about when you are with your friends?
Do you find yourself in a conversation bubble?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Medical Detective

I finally went for my mammogram a few months ago. They told me I really need to get them the film from last time for comparison. That was 3.5 years ago and 3 states away!

In the meantime, my then-doctor merged his private practice with a large practice consisting of over 15 offices in the greater Tulsa area. Then he left patients altogether to go into medical research. And I moved to Chicago. The place that was supposed to have my records were not able to help me. Scary. Where the Hell are my medical records?

Anyway, I couldn't get through to the doctor's office. So, I did a Google Maps street view to get the name of the medical office building where I had my last mammogram done. From there, I did a Google search to determine the name of the organization that did the test. 

I called them and was told my films would be at the main hospital. Okay. I called the hospital and guess what?! They had my booby shots and were able to send them to Chicago that same day!

It pays to be a detective....

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What Can You Do?

Well, I don't know what you could do if your husband and kids are gone at the same time, but here is a rundown of what I did, out-of-the-ordinary, in the 3.5 days I was left to my own devices:

- finished "reading" 2 audiobooks,
- finished reading a book on iPad
- had a massage,
- proofed 3 stories,
- met with my writing group
- hung out with a new friend,
- helped a friend,
- worked, worked, worked,
- 3 loads of laundry,
- cooked my meals for the week,
- slept in.

If the kids were here, my list would have started, ended, and been consumed with servicing their needs. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Hurts Like Yesterday

Every once in awhile you get to meet a really incredible person. 
And sometimes, if you are really lucky, 
that person thinks you are pretty special too. 
One of those people in my life passed away a year ago on Sunday.

Grandma Barbara was one of the nicest, sweetest people who didn't say a bad thing about anyone in the fifteen years I knew her. 

She welcomed me into her family and her heart as if she had been my grandmother from birth. 

In 2008, Grandma was diagnosed with cancer.
She fought courageously for 2 years. 

I have wonderful memories of Grandma laughing,
making our favorite dishes and desserts, playing with our kids,
taking us to dinner, giving us hugs. 

It's all normal stuff but we only have memories now.
Sweet, delightful memories.

Knowing Me Knowing You - June '11

It's once again time for the monthly interview project - knowing me, knowing you, from my dear friend, The Fairy Blogmother.

1. What's you're favorite kind of chips? 

Let me see...J bought some gourmet chips a couple weeks ago. They are my new fav. But I don't know what brand they are.

2. Have you read Gone With the Wind? 

They made a book out of the movie??? Get out!

3. Do you sleep on your front, back or side? 

I used to sleep on my right side but now I sleep on my left side.

4. Do you own a pair of white pants, shorts or capris? 

Hell. No.

5. On any given day would you rather wear heels or flip flops? 

Flip flops. This is how you can tell a Chicagoan from a tourist on Michigan Ave. There are 2 seasons in Chicago - flip flop season and Ugg season.

Head on over to The Fairy Blogmother to see her answers....

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Boys

The Boys
Motor Mouth (7), FedEx (21), Mountain Man (19), Book of Eli (17)

I was flipping through some pics my sister shared with me online. Here is a pic of my parents' 4 grandsons, taken at Christmas 2010. All but my Motor Mouth share the same dad - my oldest brother, Donuts.

Doesn't it look like Motor Mouth is a "dummy" and FedEx is the ventriloquist?

I'm going to throw this pic in...
Femme Nikita, Mini Me, Donuts, Shaq, Motor Mouth

These are 3 of my kids' favorite people in the world. They LOVE my brother's wife, Femme Nikita. Mini Me is forever FaceTiming with her cousin, Shaq, who is my brother's youngest daughter.

Father's Day 2011

Yeah, I know, this is a week late. However, we actually celebrated Father's Day with our kids 3 weeks ago because we knew they would be out of state on the real day. And they celebrated Father's Day in Mini Me's class 3 weeks and 2 days ago. So, you see, dates mean nothing to us.

The kids in Mini Me's class were told they could dress like their Daddy for the day. Mini Me was disappointed when J did not put on one of my dresses and go to school with her. For real.

Mini Me and J - Twins!

This is what they did in the classroom instead of doing her "works" like they were supposed to.  

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Kids Are Alright

Through a series of events, our children will be spending the summer in Tulsa. Here is a glimpse based on text messages to me from J's mom:

June 12
Mini Me started crying last night and said she wanted her mommy. We told her maybe we could find a bus in the morning and send her back. She wanted to know who would be with her. We said she could go by herself. She went into "Miss Instructor" mode, informing us that children can't travel by themselves. They have to have an adult. She still missed her mommy and her mommy sings lullabies to her. We sang "You are my sunshine" while Grandpa pulled on her legs. She was his sunshine. That made her giggle. Then we sang "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and with that her head rolled back and just like that she was out.

They did swim vigorously for about an hour and a half. Grandpa had to carry her upstairs. We had been singing and rocking in the rocking chair. The girls are still asleep. Boys have been up for awhile. Planning our day. It is rainy here. [Branson, MO]

[pic of Grandparents and 4 grandkids in a water ride at Sliver Dollar City]
American Plunge. First time. Second time Grandpa Fly Guy chicken out and videotaped us. Third water ride today. We are soaked!!!

June 13
Just got home and the van is completely unloaded. Kids are fine. They've all been running from room to room, getting reacquainted with the house.

June 15
Have been closed in with 5 little ones, watching "Night at the Museum."

[Later that night]
We've been at the farm. On our way home now. They've been on the trampoline, riding the 4-wheeler (slowly) and playing with the puppy and kitten. They are worn out.

June 17
Motor Mouth and I were talking about an hour ago about his reading and looking for his books. I'm sure they are here....Packing to go to the farm for the next 2 nights.

There are several bird nests here at the house and I taped a hand mirror to a broomstick so we could see in the nests. One was empty. On had an egg and one has 5 baby birds. Very little, eyes not open yet. Motor Mouth thought they were so cute and funny. We could hear their parents making angry noises.

Grandpa Grandpa gave Motor Mouth a fishing pole for his birthday. Grandpa and Jazz had bought some bait and went over to Grandpa Grandpa's pond. They caught several fish and when they moved an old boat to see if it worked, there was a water moccasin under it. Grandpa killed it. Motor Mouth thinks they are going to stay up and fish all night. He has his heart set on catching a great big catfish. That would make his summer for sure. I told him we needed to get him a summer journal so he could keep track of all he will have done. With spaces for drawings and pictures that we print.

Found 2 books. Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Star Wars Jedi Quest.

June 22
All kids are watching "Astro Boy." We have yours, 2 of Faith Chick's, and Cousin M.

Mini Me had a bloody nose last night. Really bloody and drippy. She and Grandpa were tossing her boot and it hit her nose. She's okay. I think Grandpa was pretty shook up.

June 25
We are on the way home from Cousin K's [cattle farm in western Oklahoma].

Kids all fished at Cousin K's friends' pond. Cousin M caught 4 perch. The pond is overstocked with them so he catches and throws them away up on the bank. Mini Me sees this. Hikes up the bank. Brings it back to the edge and chunks it in. Then she had to wash her hands in the water.

A little bit later, she brought a grasshopper to Cousin K. She told him "I caught it all by myself." Little pause. "And I squashed it all by myself!" I thought Cousin K and I were going to fall off our bench - after she walked away!

The kids are alright.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Our building is unique in that all but three units have patios attached by walkways outside. The parking garage is open to the main floor patios. Countless times when going to/from our car, we have heard one neighbor BLASTING loud music.

What has been most disturbing about the extreme loud music is that it is played late at night, next door to a family with a now preschooler and a newborn baby. We often marveled at the audacity of the insensitive single woman who would play such offensively loud music, irregardless of her neighbors.

Last night, in conversations with one of the HOA board members, we learned the truth about the music. Turns out, the "insensitive" woman is actually masking the sounds of her next door neighbor beating the crap out of his wife while the kid screams and cries.

I can attest to having seen Chicago Police at that unit and in our building on more than one occasion. I thought maybe he was a gang member or they were calling about the loud music. I will tell you that if the beatings are the impetus for the loud music, the husband beats her often. Extra sad because she just gave birth to a new baby and I know the music was blasting many times during her pregnancy.

There are many details we don't know for sure but it is a good reminder that appearances may not be accurate and you never really know what is going on with the people you pass.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Widney Woman Update - June 2011

Here is what I've been doing these days...

 Family portrait


 Visiting a sick friend in quarantine

Reading to my kids

 Watching my garden grow

Loving Chicago

Family Friday Nights


Monday, June 13, 2011

Moral Police

I'm getting sick and tired of everyone playing moral police on other people's sex lives. What someone does sexually does NOT determine if they are good at what they do in their career. Case in point: Tiger Woods. The guy was bedding half the continental United States and winning - truly winning, unlike Charlie Sheen...

Seriously though, do you want to be judged at work by the way you drive your car, how you raise your kids, how clean you keep your home? If you are a reckless driver, you must be a reckless employee who makes poor, hasty, and/or not well thought out decisions. If you spank your kids and your boss does not, you should be fired! Oh, and isn't your level of cleanliness a sign of your mental state? Tell me, do you want to be fired for what kinky things you do in (or out of) the bedroom? Keep in mind inter-racial marriage was illegal in many states less than 40 years ago. So was oral sex.

My point is, people say that a political figure's sex life influences his/her job. I disagree. If you are a minister that has sworn to uphold certain moral standards set by your religious affiliation, then yes, you should be judged on your sex life. But I don't see how a politician, actor, athlete, or business leader's sex life has any bearing on their job. I don't see why they should lose their job for it.

That's all I want to say about that. That's not all I have to say, but that is all I'm saying right now.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Harold and the Purple Crayon

Have you ever read this book? Did you read it as a child? 
Was it read to you? Have you read it to your child? 

I LOVE Harold. I LOVE this book. 

I remember Harold and his creativity. What an imaginative boy. Harold taught me that it is okay to draw outside the lines and to create your own story. As I've gotten older, I have forgotten the lessons of this book. Far too often, I have allowed family, friends, society, employers' standards to overshadow my own personal desires. 

Yesterday, I purchased Harold and the Purple Crayon as much for my children as for me. I'm going to leave this book on the coffee table as a reminder to me that I need to create my own life. I can't allow what others will think of me dictate my life choices. 

Right now, I'm at a crossroads in my life. I'm at a stage where I need to make some tough decisions. 
Maybe I will purchase a purple crayon...

Saturday, June 4, 2011


This afternoon, my sister got a phone call from me in which there were muffled noises including screams and wailing.  Concerned for our safety, she wanted to call the police to help us but realized she did not have our address so she drove to my parents' home where my dad and brother were told of the situation. She had hoped to get the address from my mother. She was still listening in to my life.

My phone rang a couple times but I didn't feel like digging it out of my purse. J's phone rang a couple times. It came up 'Unknown Caller' so he didn't answer it. When he checked the voicemail, it was my dad who NEVER calls me or J. So for him to leave a voice message on J's phone. Extreme circumstances.

When my sister called back I was in panic mode. I KNEW something must be wrong with my mother. Why else would my father have called me AND J. And why would my sister be calling now also?!

Turns out, I purse dialed my sister. What she heard was Mini Me freaking out and crying - screaming and wailing. Why? Because I told her to come to my room so I could see what she was wearing. Instead, Mini Me wanted to 'describe' the outfit remotely. Me telling her to come show me brought on a meltdown.

My family loves us!!! How incredibly sweet and kind of them to be so concerned for our safety. As nice as their concern was, I'm not looking forward to the 22 minute cell phone bill for purse dialing Canada.