Friday, May 25, 2007

The Doctors

Most of my friends don't realize that in my heart of hearts, I am a hypochondriac. Everytime something twinges or feels funny, I am pretty sure I have cancer. When I had problems with a skin rash after Asa was born, I was relieved to find out my possible cancer was eczema. And when my tailbone was acting up, I was happy to find out I didn't have bone cancer. I have no idea why I am like this, but I just add it to the quirky things that make me, me. Only twice did I know I did not have cancer. When I had post-partum, I knew it was post-partum. The very first sign of cancer is NOT anxiety, or at least as far as I know. And when I had chest pains, I switched my diagnosis to a heart attack, which it was not. When I was rear-ended, I went forward into the seat belt, essentially hitting all the muscles in my chest.
So this time the "cancer" was in my knee, and slowly traveling down my leg to make my foot cramp. Guess what? I have loose knee caps that wiggle around when they aren't suppose too. What this means is limited squatting and more exercise to beef up my quad muscles in my thigh so the cap doesn't have the space to move around. Eventually I may need surgery but if I take care of myself now, that can be postponed till I am older, like 70. This "condition" is common, and very common in women. So why am I noticing it now if I have had these my whole life? I weigh more than high school (although weight is not huge factor because I am not over weight), I do different activities, and I have a young son that I am squatting to lift (lift with your knees not with your back, etc.). I chalk it up to the fact that I am slowly disinteregrating. Bad back, bad knees, screwy tailbone-I sound like the poster child for Motrin. This time what set my knee off was my gardening last week. See, exercise can be bad for you.
To top it off, I have gained 5 pounds. I am not distrubed about the 5 pounds itself-weight fluctates. However, it is the start of the path to the darkside, to quote Star Wars, and I am making sure to stick to the no treats at night rule. 10 days and counting.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Just a quick note to let everyone know I changed the name of my blog. Now that I get what this is, sort of, I realized that "Beam Me Up" was not a joke everyone would get, and not really how I wanted to represent myself. I often mis-quote Mother Theresa, but her meaning to me was profound-you can't change the whole world but you can change your part of it-and I truly believe that. It takes the pressure off, of having to save the world, but it keeps me responsible for making wise decisions, and impacts, close to home.
So Dena's Corner? For those of you with good memories, Loggins & Messina had a song about Winnie-The -Pooh and some of the lyrics mention Pooh Corner. If it is good enough for singers and fictional bears, it is good enough for me.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

My warm coat of flab

I don't diet. Let me get that out there. The word is DIE with a T. What kind of inspiration that? But I have noticed a few Lbs., or pds. if you prefer, have creeped their way onto my persons. There is a saying that all good dogs go to heaven. Well, all good chocolate bars go to my butt. No offense to those you trying to diet, but I believe that diets are a waste of my time and it is really about healthy living. I can't deny myself the good stuff. It isn't meth and I am not driving drunk. In that contex, a little candy isn't much. But even I know that too much isn't all that great and there are some things I could be doing to help myself out. So, on that note, I just had night 5 of NO SNAKCING AFTER DINNER!!! Clap for me. This has been my downfall. Asa and Nick both go to bed around 9:30pm and I head to the remote (the only time of day I get to touch it) and eat one candy bar as a reward for keeping my sanity one more day. Sleeping after snacking is a huge no-no. Apprantly just the act of going upstairs to bed isn't enough to burn off all the calories loaded in a kit kat bar. Damn, that's a shame. So even though everything that tastes good starts screaming my name around 8:00p, I ignore it and remind myself that I don't have a "no candy" rule for the afternoon. Another goal I have is to drink more water. Not only are there NO calories in water but it is just damn good for you. As my midwife said when I told her I had Gatorade but not much water, she said "Gatorade is Gatorade, it's not water." Plus water is cheaper than any sports drink out there and as my husband told my mother one day, "drink all you want, we have it on tap." My third goal is to exercise more. I am failing miserably at this, although, if I had a nickel for everytime I THOUGHT about walking, I would be retired right now. With Asa a little older, and the weather a little better, this has become my next goal. Again, way cheap to accomplish, and much more satisfying than having to go to the mall again and shop for a larger size of pants (refer to previous blog). As I get good at these things, I will set a new goal for myself. I have several in mind including better cooking and less going out to fast food, but these things take baby steps. I take heart that Rome was built in a day and my butt won't shrink in one day either.

Friday, May 18, 2007

A tribute to Mr. Falwell

I have a lot of thoughts on my mind-that is what happens when you have a short attention span. But what I keep going back to is the passing of Jerry Falwell. For those who know me, you know I am being charitable when I say we had a difference of opinion. And I won't pick apart the dead. Jerry Falwell had family that is grieving right now. For them, I feel bad. But when I read the glowing tributes paid to him, someone said that Jerry Falwell had the ability to work with, and unite, people of all backgrounds. I am sorry, but I think the person who said that, and I don't remember who it was, smokes crack. Jerry Falwell's goal in life was to pass legislation requiring we all live like him. At least that is how I sum up his life's work, and I fail to see how that unites people. Mother Theresa was a person who worked with all different types of people and despite the vast differences in us, I admire her enormously. Hey, she walked the talk and that is an extremely difficult thing to do. But Jerry Falwell's fiery speeches and off the cuff remarks did not endure him to a large segment of the population and that includes me. I can relate to Mr. Falwell though-I want the world to be my way too. If I ruled the world, here is what I would change-
*Christmas would be the third Friday of every December and it would be a national holiday.
*Christmas, Memorial Day, and Labor Day would be actual holidays that EVERYONE got off and not just those of us in the right job. You can shop or eat out another day.
* Paris Hilton would be working a real job, and hating it.
*Public transportation would be free, in every city.
*People who hurt and mistreat children will be sent to prison and actually pay for their crimes. In prison they will be forced to listen to Dr. Lara ALL DAY LONG.
*Families of all types would be honored-no more empty legislation that is suppose to "help" (curfews don't do any good unless it is safe for kids to go home, speed zones in front of schools enforcable at midnight are good because...)
*Professions that help people (police, teachers, mental health workers, fireman, social service workers, etc.) would get the salaries they deserve.
*Chocolate would be free and passed out like condoms.
*The people who agree with war, any war, have to be the ones who fight in it, even if they are a politician.

I can think of more things but I think that is a good start. I guess the moral of the story is I have more in common with Jerry Falwell than I thought, but I still disagree with the commentator who said Mr. Falwell, brought people together. We do not have to agree with everyone else, we do not have to live like everyone else, and we don't even have to like everyone else. But demanding that people be just like us, is not the way to unite everyone else.

Monday, May 14, 2007


Camping was awesome! Asa ran himself ragged, I got to chill by the fire, and we all enjoyed marshmellows. But it got me thinking-why do I love to camp? I never sleep well, I hate being dirty and smelly, and the work of getting all packed up, and then unpacked when you get home, can be daunting. Sometimes it almost feels like self-torture. What brings me joy however, is a campfire at night. Sitting around the ol' flames, looking up at the stars, and talking with friends seems to be what draws me again and again. It is magical at night as the sparks fly up to join their brethern, the twinkly stars. Of course this being Oregon, the twinkly stars can be few and far between but I love the concept, and it makes me happy when it actually happens. Camping also gives us a chance to sit back and take a breather from daily life. There are few people that love tv more than me. I could actually zone out by it all day long and not even blink. But the thought of my ass growing to the dimensions of a couch cushion scare me, and I do not want my son to know the lyrics to "Friends" before he can sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Camping makes us interact in ways we don't have the opportunity to at home. For example, this weekend at our campsite, they had a little museum we went to and learned about history. At 18 months, Asa did not read all the signs. But he had great fun playing with the giant boat steerer thingy (that's latin, trust me) and he touched different animal furs. We learned about "soft". We also learned about the heat of a campfire but that experience was a little more scary. And mommy re-learns what's really important. As much as we love the luxuries of our home, the reality is we can live without a lot. I DON"T WANT TOO LIVE WITHOUT A LOT. I like my soft bed, instant heat, flushable toilet, and constant warm water. But it is always good to remember that things are luxuries, and if my ancestors could live without them, so could I if I had too. I want my son to know this too-as much as our home is a joy, we need to remember how lucky we are to have all the wonderful things that we do. I don't know if he got all that this weekend, but at 18 mos. it was enough to hear mommy giggle when he got ketchup all over himself and chase him with a washcloth. Those little legs can sure hustle when he wants them too!

Friday, May 11, 2007


As the mother of an 18 month old, it is impossible to not at least think about Mother's Day. In all honesty, it isn't my favorite holiday-still! Dying flowers and fattening chocolates are not my cup o' tea. However, it does make me pause to think about the type of mother I want to be. This is a serious question-I could be raising the next Matahami Gandhi or Pauley Shore. Guess which one I want to be associated with? After some serious poindering, I am pretty sure I want to be the type of mother that is thought highly of by my son's FRIENDS.
In college, I thought I was pretty much a nerd and this distressed me. Now, big whoop. I get excited over drool free jeans. But when you are 18, 19, 20 years old this can sting. Everyone would talk about going over to friend's homes, and I never went to anyone's home. It seemed like everyone else had a buddy whose home they could go hang, or "chill", and I never got to go anywhere and "chill". The travesty of it all. But with the hindsight that comes with adulthood I see now that the reason I never got invited over "there" is because everyone was coming to my house. My boring old home, where the dog stank, badly, and there was always cold coke in the fridge, was the place to meet.
My mom never called our ideas stupid, although a couple times she asked us if that was really how we wanted things to turn out. She never complained we stayed out to late, went someplace questionable, or hung out with too many members of the opposite sex. She encouraged every single one of my friends to reach for their dreams (it helped that she worked at the college), and even let a few them stay over night when it was too dangerous for them to go home. She demanded in return that we respect her policies and ideas, let her know where we would be so she didn't have to wonder, and to be safe. Above all else, be safe. It's funny-youth is suppose to balk at restrictions but no one ever complained about having to "report" to my mom. Respect isn't hard to give when you are getting it back.
Let's not get confused here-my mom is not perfect. And we recently had a discussion about what I wish she had differently and what she wishes she had done differently. But since neither my sister nor I are running around emulating Paris Hilton or Britney Spears, I would say she did a pretty fair job. And the highest compliment of all- friends who tell me that my mom is their role model as a parent. That makes me sad, because they should be able to use their own families and can't. But it makes me glad that they were able to find a positive role model elsewhere, even if it is my mom.
So when my son reaches "that age", I hope we are the house that has a million teenagers haning about making to much noise, playing their music to loud, and blocking my driveway. Not only will I know where my son is, but it means his friends feel safe at our house, and every kid should have a place they feel safe. Plus, I might be able to annoy any neighbors I don't like!
Everyone enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Well, it finally happened. Asa had his first bout with illness. I am not sure which is worse-that mommy was gone on her annual scout trip and daddy got stuck with the worst of the bodily fluids, or that Asa had to be sick without mommy present! There is something about mommies when we are sick, no matter how old we get. My male doctor said that when his college freshman son got sick at school, it was mom he called and NOT dad!
Asa has survived to whine another day, but he is haggard looking and has a new found fondness for my knees. He is a little clingy. But this has certainly given me pause and a word of thankful prayer that we are a fortunate family not to be touched by serious health issues. As scary as it is to watch your young son suffer from projectile diarhhea (my eyes are scarred for life with that sight), it is even scarier I am sure to watch them have a surgical procedure and hope for the best possible outcome. I am grateful we got off so easy, and will continue to pray for good health.
Now we turn our attnetion to this weekend as we get ready to go camping. A rarity in Oregon in May-it is suppose to be nice ALL weekend! I can already taste the burnt marshmellows (the only way to eat them) and the dirt on my hotdog!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Okay, I have tried to put it out of my mind but apparently I am scarred for life. I did a very scary thing last Saturday and the unfortnate thing is one day I will have to do it again. I went shopping for pants. I have never had a problem with this before and I don't know if I am getting old or what but $70 for something that defies gravity and rides up my butt doesn't cut it for me. The others made me look like a stereotypical plummer, riding down so I was close to showing crack. I didn't even pull those pair off the rack-if I had a spare $70 I'd be in the bookstore sniffing Mark Twain like an addict. But why are those the major options-way up or way down? So I looked at the cheaper pairs, and saw lots of stuff someone's grandmother would wear with relish. Why is there no inbetween? I am not asking for world peace or equality for all. I just want a nice looking pair of pants that I am not embarassed to be seen in! In the end I settled. After going through every store I could think of (and wasting a rare nice day in the mall) I got a few decent pairs of pants for just a little too much money. I won't get looks from cute boys, but my husband won't look like he found me on a street corner. I guess that is the best I can hope for. But now I know why I see girls walking around in what look like pajama bottoms-that is probably what they are! At a third of the cost jammies don't threaten to fall down during an inopportune sneeze or help hold my boobs up with stiff waist band. Add this to the list of things that will change if I ever become supreme leader of Earth-pants for all!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Well, modern technology escapes me-2 weeks of trying to remember how to get into my blog to post and all I had to do is sign in. Good thing I never pretended to be a genius-I would have been discovered a liar this past week.
This afternoon I was working on my crossword puzzle and I came across this clue: where worship occurs". I am not good at these crossword puzzles but my first thought was: "in the heart." No, that did not fit but it felt right to me, even it is a little sappy.
When my husband's grandma(Madka) was dying of cancer, she asked us to go to church with her but when the day arrived she was to sick to go and we attended without her. One person, I can't remember who, looked at me, a nice Jewish girl and said "I am surprised you came to a Catholic Church." Even though Madka prayed in a church, and used Latin as her base, I am pretty sure her prayers for her family and safety were similar to my Hebrew ones. There are differences to be sure in every religion and I am just as proud to be Jewish as Madka was to be Catholic. But when the sun set at the end of the day, we hoped for the same things, prayed to the same God, and cried the same tears over sad things.
I truly believe that the different religions of the world are one of God's greatest gifts to us. Just as He does not expect us to look the same, or act the same (although we all have to play nice), He also knows that we need different avenues of prayer and when my Good Christian friend attends Easter service, I smile and feel good for her knowing she has does something that made her happy. Now when I take over the world and rule supreme, you know what to expect.