Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Attempted felinicide

My husband has only two faults: he doesn't like onions, and he is not a cat lover. I can forgive the first foible, but had I known about his dislike for felines before that uber-cold day in December 18 years ago, it might have been a deal breaker.

I had no idea how deep his dislike for my cat ran until last night I was in the kitchen cooking dinner, and I heard a faint cougar-like scream. Just kidding -- I didn't hear it, because I had the Christmas music turned up too loud. But Susan, who was reclining on the living room couch in her sickish state, heard it. Then SUDDENLY! Tom burst through the front door and sprinted through the kitchen and threw open the door to the garage. And then I saw it: my cat's hindquarters under the closed garage door!!!!

She writhed and screamed pitifully as he leapt down the garage steps and ran to yank on the emergency door release. He lifted the door up. And the cat ran away, leaving desperate scrambling tracks in the newly fallen snow.

Half an hour later she appeared at the back door, begging to come in. I picked her up cooed and kissed her and massaged her spine looking for tenderness or bruising, but she acted like nothing had happened. So far, so good.

Update: late last night I heard an odd tinkling coming from the living room. So I looked through the doorway and what did I see?

♫ Four shoes on the floor
Three dirty socks
Two newspapers
And a Cat in the Christmas tree. ♫♪

I think she's gonna be just fine.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I'd do it all over again

Eighteen years ago today, I married my soulmate. It is without a doubt the best decision I ever made.

Here's a picture of us on our wedding day.

We were pretty hot, dontcha think? Of course, most people are at the ripe old age of 21. Ahem.

And it's a very good thing we were so hot. Because we got married in the Idaho Falls Temple. The Idaho Falls Temple is in Idaho. Idaho in December is a very cold place. And on the day we got married, Idaho was the coldest place Idaho had been in 35 years. The high temperature that day was -12 degrees Farenheit. I know! I am shivering just remembering. I have never been so cold in my life as I was driving to Idaho Falls early that morning, wearing a knee length dress, nylons, and black pumps.

Here we are out in the minus 12 degree sunshine to take a picture to prove we got married in the I.F. Temple. We had to hold our breath so there wouldn't be white clouds of steam in front of our faces.
No one else in the wedding party would even come outside for the picture! So it was just the photographer (thanks dad!), my handsome groom, and me. Family loyalty runs shallow in Idaho in December.

But because we were hot, so we didn't mind. Funny what dizzying happiness does to a person's senses, isn't it?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Recital - Video!!

At LAST! The videos from the Christmas Dance Recital! I know it's taken me three days to get this posted, but I have literally spilt blood trying to get this up. I woke up at 4am this morning and decided to get it finished once and for all!

I'm a little frustrated at the poor quality of the video. You can't really see faces, so I'll describe where my kids and I are at the beginning of each dance. There were ten dances total with kids ranging in age from 4 years to teenagers, but we only taped the ones my family was in. Now I'm wishing I had them all!

The Opener - Lollipop by Mika

Megan is the little blonde girl in the center front, wearing a turquoise sweater and pink mini-skirt, holding an orange lollipop. She has a couple of little solo parts in the song, and had a blast doing that. Nathan is second from right, wearing a red sweatshirt with a blue scarf, holding a yellow lollipop. I know it looks like he has braids... but it's the hat he's wearing, not his hair. :D

Check out the Coffee Grinder move by the boys at the front near the end of the video.

Intermediate Clogging Class - Gummy Bear

Nathan is on the far left wearing Orange. Megan is second from right in Blue. Scottlynn (Crazy Lady's youngest daughter) is third from right wearing Pink. These kids had such a fun time learning and performing this song and I think they did a great job! It's hard to believe that my kids have only been clogging for 16 months. I'm absolutely thrilled with the progress they're making, and they absolutely love it!

Lyrical Class - Song for a Winter Night

Megan starts on the far right. She is the tallest blonde girl in this class. Scottlynn starts on the far left. I think. I have a really hard time telling girls apart when their hair is all pulled up!

Adult Clogging Class - Chocolate

From left to right: Sara in Blue, Erin in Yellow, Amidey (The Crazy Lady) in Green, My Lameness in Red, and Jessica (my fave Sister Out-Law) in Orange. We had soooo much fun with this song. This clogging class is literally the highlight of my week. I love all these ladies and can't wait for class to start again in January!

And NOW.... the REST of the Story!

Remember This Comment from the Crazy Lady the other day?

"Btw - It was fun pinching your butt!"

Here's the incident she was referring to. What the HECK?! I guess she was trying to make sure I would smile through the performance! Well... it worked!

All I can say is, it's a good thing my husband didn't see her do that!

Something happened before the camera started rolling that I desperately wish had gotten filmed: Jessica started out on stage and nobody followed her! Somehow she didn't get the memo that we weren't quite ready. When she realized she was all alone up there, she did a little curtsy and then ran back behind the curtain wondering what the heck was going on?! HAHAHAHAHAHA! Sorry Jessica! Love you!

Like I've said before... the laughter is one of my favorite things about clogging. Good times. Good times indeed!

Anyone in the area who wants to sign their kids (or themselves) up for clogging or ballet/lyrical dance classes, just contact The Crazy Lady!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Recital - Coming Soon!

Dude. I am still learning about converting and uploading videos... so bear with me on the delay. I really am going to post the video, but I want to do it right. So hopefully sometime tomorrow I'll get them up!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

This could be the longest post I have ever published but it is very important so you should read it anyway.

Alternate Title: The Big Day
Alternate Title: Cortisone Shots Rock!

Dance Recital is less than 8 hours away.

I am utterly terrified.

OH! But before I say anymore about that, let me show you a video of my cortisone shot to the knee experience from last week. If you are squicked out by needles you may want to skip this next part. (PSSSST! Hiccups! That would be your cue to scroll down PAST the video.)

Oh and btw - that is NOT my hairy masculine leg in the video. Ahem. Ever the faithful blogger, I was planning to video the procedure, but the camera on my cell phone didn't react well to the X-Ray machine (iow, it was RUINED!) and so I was left without tools to document this wonderful hopefully once-in-a-lifetime experience. So I turned to YouTube and wouldn't you know there are TONS of videos to choose from, but they're mostly male knees. Go figure.

First the doctor drains the knee of extra fluid that has built up inside the joint that is causing the stiffness and pain. Then the cortisone is injected.

My experience was a little more interesting than that video, because when the doctor removed the extra fluid from my knee, my thigh muscles, which due to local anesthetic were no longer under my direct control, contracted and pulled the kneecap down on the needle, which caused me a little bit of concern (i.e. pain), and caused the doctor to admonish me to relax, whereupon I tried my very best to relax but couldn't, even after employing my best active-labor breathing relaxation techniques. So we were in limbo for a minute or two, with the doctor not wanting to force the needle and damage something in there, and with me regretting the whole thing and wishing for sudden, instant, and immediate death. But then she had the brilliant idea for me to bend the knee just a tiny bit, which helped my quad muscles release, which relaxed the kneecap, which ended the pain, which enabled the doctor to complete the procedure, and then it was all over.

Ta DA!

After three days of babying my stupid leg (and getting alarmingly out of shape in the process) the swelling was almost completely gone and I could dance again! Yee HAW!! To say I am thankful for modern technology that keeps me walking would be an understatment. Also, Dr. Melissa McLane at Utah Valley Orthopedics simply RAWKS!!! :waves madly: If you live in Utah County and have a joint injury, go to see her first. You'll love her, I promise.

Fast forward 10 days to today. The good news: My knee is still working great. YAY! The bad news: I feel waaaay less prepared than I did for my last recital. Hence the terror.

I think it's justified. At least a little. Getting up on stage in front of hundreds of people is terrifying even when I'm rock solid prepared. Getting up on stage when I haven't physically been able to practice near as much as I needed to is almost paralyzingly scary. I am literally sick over it.

Everyone keeps telling me not to worry, that no one is expecting me to dance wonderfully so soon after surgery. They tell me they're amazed that I am dancing at all. They tell me not to be so hard on myself. They tell me to just have fun.

And I know they're right. In my logical mind, I agree that I should just relax and not worry about doing a great job and just be happy that I'm walking normally again, let alone dancing, however badly. But that perfectionistic deep-down-very-center-core-of-Who-I-Am has a really hard time playing the cripple card. I don't want to dance well enough for someone who had surgery 7 months ago (which is a nice way of saying "you suck but you have a good excuse so I won't tell you the truth"). I want to dance GREAT! And even though the audience probably wouldn't notice the difference, I notice. And I hate mediocrity, most especially in myself.

But maybe this time I don't have a choice. I've practiced as much as the knee will allow. I am not in control of how fast it heals or how much it will let me do. And at 5pm Mountain Time tonight, I'll get up on that stage and do the best I can, and it will just have to be good enough.

And who knows... maybe it will go better than I think it will. Maybe by some miracle I'll remember all the steps and the formations and I'll remember to look up at the audience and grin like I'm having the time of my life and my knee won't buckle and throw me to the ground and to everyone else it will look amazing or at least not awful.

It could happen, couldn't it?

Friday, December 12, 2008

My Favorite Things

A dear friend sent me this video. If you're a mom, I'm betting you'll like it as much as I did.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Blog Management for Dummies: Scheduling Posts

Have you ever noticed that when you publish a post on blogger, that it posts with the day and time you first began to compose the post? For example, I began writing this post at 5pm on Wednesday, December 10. If I got interrupted (which almost always happens) and didn't get around to publishing until Thursday morning at 10am, the post time would still indicate Wednesday 5pm. This may not matter to you if you blog for fun and enjoyment. But if you blog in the pursuit of words of affirmation and the adoration of your bbffs like I do, you want your post to show the latest time so that it will appear at the TOP of your bbffs' blogrolls so they'll see it right away. If I left the post time at Wed 5pm and didn't publish until Thurs 10am, the post would appear on her blogroll as 19 hours old, which is an eternity in blog years.

So how do you fix that? Easy. Just change the post date and time.

While in the post editor (the place where you compose your posts) click on Post Options in the lower left corner of the editor.

This opens a little menu that allows you to change the post date and time.

This little menu also gives you the option to turn off comments for the post, although why anyone would ever want to do that is beyond me. Comments are a blogger's lifeblood. Unless you really don't want to hear people's opinions about the thing you've just posted. If that's the case, why post it at all then? I'm just sayin'.

If you would like to schedule a post to appear a day or two or several into the future, this is where you do it. Just type in the date and time you want it to publish, and then click on the BIG ORANGE "Publish Post" button like you always do.

Instead of the usual notification that your post has been successfully published, you will be taken to the "Edit Posts" page, with a yellow message that tell you "Your post will be automatically published on 12/11/08 at 6:00 AM". If you look at the top post on the list (which is actually this post), you will see the scheduled post with the date and "scheduled" in red.

Haha... I guess you can also see that I have three posts in "draft" that I haven't finished. When (or if) I finish them, I will have to be sure to change the date and time to a current or future date, otherwise that post will get published in chronological order which would bury it in the past and no one would ever see it. I've done this before. This is why I always view my blog immediately after publishing a new post to make sure that it is at the top of the page where it belongs. If not, I know that I've goofed up on the date somehow.

If this happens to you, just go to the edit posts page and click "Edit" next to the post you want, and then you can go in and adjust the date.

Oh, while I'm thinking about it, here is one other little bit of useful info about publishing. A couple of times I've published posts that I've regretted for one reason or another. Usually it's because I wrote something about my husband that made him grumpy, so to keep my marriage solvent, I went and "unpublished" those posts. It's easier than you think.

Just open the published post for editing, and then instead of pushing "Publish Post", click on the BLUE "Save as Draft" button. This will remove your posts from the blog and save it in your edit post list as a draft. Just like the button said.

You'll probably never need to do it. But just in case, Now You Know. And with knowledge, comes power.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Blog Management for Dummies: Comment Notification

It has recently come to my attention that some people suffer from blogging incompetency to such a degree that they do not have their blog set to email them when they get a new comment on a post they have written. The unfortunate people (who shall remain nameless) in this predicament must stalk their own blog waiting for the first comments, thereby wasting precious hours that could be better spent shopping for and mailing caramacs to their bbff's on the mainland.

As many of you know, when you visit someone's blogspot blog and leave a comment, you have the option of having follow up comments sent to you via email, which frees you from having to return to the blog itself to keep up on the comments that come after yours.

But there is a setting for blog owners that will send every comment made on any post at any time to your email, thus enabling the owner to know immediately when that first comment comes in. This is how it is done.

First, click on the Customize link in the upper right corner of your browser window:

Then select the Settings tab:

Choose the fourth option, the Comments link:

Then scroll down to the bottom of the screen until you see "Comment Notification". Type the email address (es) that you want notifications sent to.

THEN -- and this is VERY important -- press the orange "SAVE SETTINGS" button at the bottom. Viola! Henceforth and forever, you will receive an email in your inbox alerting you to all the witty and clever comments made on any post you've ever posted on your blog. Annoying, rude, and/or boring comments will be sent to your trash folder.

This will free you of having to remember to check the "send follow up comments to your email address" for your own blog. Of course you can still do that, and then you'll get TWO email notifications of every new comment on your blog. If words of affirmation are your primary love language, you may consider this to be a good thing because you'll feel twice as popular as you really are. Embrace the fantasy, I say.

Blog long and prosper, my friends.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Nothing to do but fret

Yesterday I got a cortisone shot in my troublesome knee that decided to swell and be generally annoying with only 10 days to go to recital. The doctor was awesome (thanks to Andrew for getting me in to see her!) and almost immediately my range of motion was improved. She sent me home with some painkillers and an order to stay off it AMAP for 24 hours and told me I'd be dancing again by Saturday. That gives me a week left to get my routines polished before going on stage on December 13. I guess that will have to be good enough.

Yesterday my favorite mother-in-law had breast cancer surgery. The cancer has spread farther than they had hoped, and so she'll have to follow up with radiation and chemotherapy. I am worried about her and wish there was something I could do to help. Sending flowers seems like such a paltry offering in the face of such a serious illness, you know?

Today my best friend's 4-year-old son goes under the knife to remove a thyroglossal duct cyst. I know! I had no idea what it was either. His parents are understandably very concerned about him. I am concerned about my friend. Again, there is not a thing I can do.

So I'll sit here and worry and wait for news while I worry and wait for my knee to feel better. I need a good book or something.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Death by Tuna... almost

For Thanksgiving we traveled to Idaho to visit with my side of the family. We had a very pleasant afternoon at my cute niece's house, eating scrumptious food, playing cards and Wii, and doing puzzles. We then spent the night with my dad at his home.

Friday morning we slept in, dad cooked breakfast, and then the kids bundled up to go out and ride the four wheeler ATV on the farm. As noon approached, we began packing up to return home.

Knowing that we like tuna sandwiches, dad mixed up a big bowl of tuna. Nathan was thrilled and proceeded to make himself a thick sandwich. Everyone settled down to eat lunch. I had eaten a big breakfast and so wasn't really hungry, so I politely declined.

Everyone began to eat, and it was oddly silent around the table. Being absorbed in my laptop, as usual, I didn't notice the furtive looks exchanged among the kids. Then Nathan said, "Mom, do you want the rest of my sandwich?" He had only taken two bites. Strange, for a kid who likes tuna as much as he does. "Why, don't you like it?" He shrugged. "I'm just not that hungry, I guess."

I didn't want his sandwich, so he tossed it in the garbage. A little while later, I noticed that there were four sandwiches with only a couple of bites out of them in the garbage. Hmmmm. Suspicious.

I took a spoon and tasted the tuna. Whoa. There was something seriously wrong with this tuna. At first I thought that dad had made it with mayonnaise or something equally nasty. Then I realized the taste of tuna was overwhelmed by a strong bitter metallic taste! No wonder the kids couldn't eat more than a few bites; I couldn't even swallow the little bit in my mouth!

I mentioned the off flavor to my dad, and he tasted it and agreed that something was wrong with it. "I'll go check the date on that case," he said, as he headed for the basement.

The tuna was old, alright.

How old, you ask?

Well, I'll tell you.

Wait for it.

Sheesh, but you are impatient.

The case of tuna was purchased in...


Ack! My kids ate 36 year old tuna for lunch!

I think my dad is living in a time warp. He still wears polyester shirts from the 70's and sees nothing wrong with that. He just finished restoring a 1947 Garwood boat after 2 1/2 years of working on it. I love ya dad, but let's face it: you are o-l-d. Older than the Moonwalk. Older than Elvis. Older than The Garden of Eden. Older than dinosaurs. Older than DIRT.

I'm older than your tuna. But just barely.

Love you dad! :waves: