Thursday, September 29, 2011

Care Bears

I am a lucky lady who is now prepared for any situation, thanks to a care package that just arrived from Patty at 135 by 2012.

Let's take a closer look.

Preparation H to go, just in case of an emergency hemorrhoid outbreak.  Patty, how did you know my mother used to call me (seriously) "Mommy's Little Hemorrhoid?"  I can't believe no one ever called DCFS.  Also please notice the Bacon Bandages.  How can anyone be upset about a little cut when you can slap a piece of bacon on it?  Very helpful for a variety of situations.

Learn to play the harmonica!  I bought something similar 15 years ago on a trip to Florida and entertained my family for hours and hours and hours in the car.  Then, on the plane ride home, I was sitting with my Nana and decided to pull out the old harp and entertain the masses with a little "Oh Susanna."  My mom came storming up to our aisle within a few notes.  If her ears could have shot out steam, they would have been doing it at that moment.  My Nana (and biggest fan) told her angrily, "Leave her alone, Mary!  Everyone's enjoying it!"  They weren't, and my mom confiscated my instrument.  But now I have a new one!  My family will be thrilled!!!!

Now these mice I'm pretty sure were for my mouser dog, Coopie.  He seemed to like them and will be perfect practice for when I move into my new rodent-infested home.

In short, I loved it and my day was made.  I am playing the harmonica right now with bacon bandages stuck to my face, Preparation H on my nether regions and coloring with my left hand.  Patty's right, this should keep me busy for at least 30 minutes. 

Not to be outdone, my friend and former NYC roommate (I'm just going to pretend we had a cold water walk up there for a couple of years) Kate sent me three books last week.  I can't wait to read them and have been delayed by the Myron Bolitar detective series by Harlan Coben.  Kate did NOT introduce me to these because she only reads the HIGHEST QUALITY of literature.  She's like Gwyneth Paltrow or Oprah, in so many different ways.

Sorry to make this short but I have some Yahtzee to play.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Art Attack

Check out my latest completed paint by number masterpiece.  Would you believe that my mother is not interested in hanging it over the mantle?  

"Why would I hang that up when I have REAL art?"   

My poor little heart just fell and broke into a million pieces.  That's the kind of maternal support I know and love.  

Well, I want to be supportive of my mom and display the kind of art that reflects her lifestyle and hobbies, so I'll be hanging this over the mantle at my new home.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Artist in Repose

So for the last few weeks, I have been on complete bed rest.  But Taryn, you may be asking, how does this differ from the previous eight months of your recuperation?  Well, Internet People, I will tell you.  This was how my day went before.

  • 5:30 Awaken, do work stuff from the couch until 9:30 or so.
  • 9:30- 11:30  Sit in chair.  Read.  Sit outside.  Play with dog.  
  • 11:30 Go to Panera for a leisurely lunch
  • 1:00  Go to library
  • 2:00 Physical therapy twice a week.  It's a half hour drive to get there.  Catch up on latest offerings from John Denver on the way there and back.  (RIP)
  • 5:00 Go to Target.  Ride in Handicapable Go-Kart Scooter. 

This seemed very boring back then and I am sure I complained about it.  Oh, dumb me.  This is how my day goes now.

  • 5:30 Awaken.  Roll over.  Work while laying on my left side in bed.  Surprise!  Stock stuff is still boring in bed.
  • 9:30 Big move of the day, going from the bedroom to the living room bed.  Oh the places you'll go indeed!
  • 9:30- 10 PM  Somehow fill the hours in the day while lying on left side in the living room, occasionally sitting for no more than a half an hour, while life happens around me.  
Now, please don't misunderstand, my family is very entertaining.  I have had wonderful friends visit.  I am also filling the hours utilizing my amazing artistic ability.

(Note to gallery owners/operators:  I am available for exhibitions for a reasonable fee)

I feel really lucky to work from home because obviously I would have been screwed.  But, and this may shock a lot of people but I need to be honest here, bed rest is not fun.  My bones and muscles ache, I am epically bored, I am worried about my hip and the Bears lost last weekend.  Oh woe is me. 

So basically I find myself in the weird position of missing physical therapy, eating out by myself and sitting outside in the yard.  My old life of going out with friends, going to movies and plays, going on vacation, walking the dog, bending and twisting, etc etc, seems so far away right now that I don't even miss it.  I thought having to use crutches was a major pain in the ass, but bed rest trumps everything else.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

We have the big winner for the Fisher-Price Zoo.

Yayyy to Patty and her lucky daughter Holly!  Check out her blog here.  Send me an email with your address, Patty!

Also, today is my friend Dani's birthday and I forgot to link to her blog last week.  It's here and it's super inspirational.  She's really close to her goal weight and has been off of Diet Coke for nine months, borderline miracle in my opinion.  Dani and her wife Tori are good friends of mine and I wish I could make the birthday celebration this weekend!  Unfortunately I'll be laying in my living room bed counting cracks in the ceiling, but what can you do?

Today marks EIGHT MONTHS of me being at my mom and dad's house.  I must have pissed someone off big time in a past life.  My cousin told me that he prepped his kids on the way over to the house for the strange sight of me in the living-bed.  "Hey kids.... remember the grandparents in 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory?"  Just call me Grandma Josephine, everyone.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Zoo Wants a Giveaway?

This may look like a staged photo, but I swear on the face of Brett Favre that this is an actual cabinet in my mom's kitchen.

(Helpful note to mental health care providers in charge of my mom's future case:  This is Exhibit A.)

In her never ending quest to bribe my cousins and their children into loving her the best out of all her siblings and also to guilt my sisters and me into finally giving her grandchildren, my mom keeps a collection of toys at her house.  She has been hinting for months that she had "no good toys" and "boring toys," so when Fisher-Price gave me the opportunity to review a product for them, I knew she would disown me if I said no.

Look at the excitement in her eyes when it arrived!  This was slightly tempered a few minutes later when she discovered it did not come with batteries, which in my opinion was revenge for an awful lot of Christmas mornings that I spent imagining what my gadgets could do if only 4 C batteries could be found.

This weekend, we had a barbecue and my mom proudly pulled out her new toy.  The kids were very impressed.  It really is a very neat toy.  It comes with a couple of animals and a zookeeper.  When you put the animals on the little electronic peg that's built into the base, it tells the name of the animal and the sound that it makes.  There are a bunch of cool little features like a slide, a swing, a secret passageway in the trees and a roaring hippo that makes splashing sounds in the water.  Any kid who is an animal nut would love it.

My cousin Lauren, who is adorable (of course) and sixteen months old, played with this thing for almost an hour.  She launched polar bears down the side, swung monkeys in the tree swing and laughed over and over again as I made explosion noises when the zookeeper fell off the playset.  I'm not sure if she learned anything about zoo noises or habitats, but she sure enjoyed herself.

Fisher-Price is having a contest to celebrate the launch of this zoo set.  You can win $10,000 and a trip to New York by submitting a video of your child making animal noises.  Here's my entry.

I have seen some of your kids and I know that they are cute, so pull a Kate Gosselin and start making some money off of them!

I am also excited to be able to give away another Fisher-Price Little People Zoo Talkers playset.  Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win.  I'll pick a winner on Friday by using  No, Mom, you can't win another one of these things so please don't bother.

Fisher-Price provided me with two zoo playsets for review purposes but I didn't let that influence my review.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Bed Bugged

Guess what's back in my mom's living room?

Yep, I'm bed bound again.  Yippee!  I had another appointment with my hip doctor.  He is hip in spirit as well as specialty as I just found out he is the head orthopedic physician for the Chicago Blackhawks.  I am hoping he can help me score tickets because so far he has brought me nothing but bad news.  The PRP treatment I had last month has not helped my muscle tears.  We are waiting three more weeks to see if I am just a realllllyyy slow healer, and I have to take it even more easy.  This is funny because it seems like if I take it any easier, I will literally be a corpse.  But regardless, back to the living room bed for me.

I am trying to stay positive about all of this crap.  It helps to think about how funny a story this will be a couple of years down the line.  "Remember when I tore my butt and hip muscles and had to lay around and do nothing for eight months?  What was THAT all about?  Remember POGS?  What the heck were they thinking??"  It's also hard to feel sorry for yourself when you sit in a waiting room and see people in a heck of a lot worse shape than you are.  Perspective is a valuable thing for us shut ins.

Truthfully, though, I am scared that this won't get better and I don't know what that means for my mobility in the future.  It's hard to think about all the times where I sat inside and watched TV instead of walking around the block or riding my bike to the lake.   It's amazing what I took for granted without even realizing it.  I'm also sad about the events I've missed since January and I'm bored.  BUT... my dad brought this book home from the library this week.

So things are once again looking up.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Things are Looking Up!

I may be lame (PHYSICALLY not in the uncool way) but at least I have won a major award!

I am so happy to win it too, because I have been meaning to do a link page of new (and not so new) blogs I've been loving lately.

This award was given to me by my friend Todd, who is my friend in real life and on The Internet!  You may remember him as the one I went to see Elton John with, or the one who went with me to a crucifixion  reenactment.  I am not sure I wrote about that but it was unforgettable as well.

Anyway, he's my friend and he has a very weird brain.  There aren't too many blogs where the writer begs the spirit of Michael Jackson to come back to life and give him dance lessons.  If there are, I'm not reading them at least.  Check him out.  You will either laugh or worry about him a little bit.

Now, the rules of this award are:

  1. Thank the blogger who gave it to me and link back to him.  Done and done.  
  2. Share seven things about myself.
  3. Pass this award on to 15 newly discovered blogs.

1.  I spent my whole freshman year in high school worried that someone would throw a urine filled water balloon at me.  I am not sure where this fear came from but I was convinced it would happen at any moment. I always had one eye out for a brightly colored pee-filled missile.  Happily, it never happened, at least not to me.  My life once again falls short of what I read in pre-teen novels.  Sigh.

2.  My sister Annie and I go to one Bears away game a year.  We've been to Green Bay, Miami, Atlanta, Oakland, Seattle and Charlotte.  We meet new friends and that leads to pictures like this.

We were almost murdered by Oakland fans and I will never root for the Raiders ever, even if they are playing the Minnesota Vikings in the Super Bowl.  Last year we couldn't go because of various stupid crap on my part and this year isn't looking so good either.  Chicago Bears, if you could play a game in my mom's backyard, I would be forever grateful.  Thanks.

3.  Remember when over a year ago when I talked about how much I wanted to grow something?  Well, in my new house, if it ever goes through, I will have a garden.  I have started already.  Check out my herbs I've grown from seeds!  

Dreams DO come true!  I call them my crops and take a long nap after tending them every day.  The farming life is a tough life, but so rewarding when I have something to mix into my salsa!

4.  Annie makes fun of me because I know at some point I will discover a dead body.  This is not only due to Law and Order episodes making it seem like everyone finds a body while out on a Saturday night.  I (used to) walk the dog early in the morning on the beach in Chicago, and I just accepted that at some point I will find a floater.  I did save a child's life once.  I was in high school and getting ready to make a turn onto the busy street near my house.  Traffic was backed up and I saw a woman hysterically screaming about half a block down.  I parked, ran over and saw her three year old choking in the back seat.  Hell yes I performed the Heimlich like a champ.  Then his mother and I hugged and she told me he was choking on a "DOE- ree- TOE" and I went about my day.  Very surreal.  

5.  Once I put a walkie talkie under Kerry's pillow and calmly announced we had a fire in the house.  She was about four.  She calmly got up and made her bed before slipping out of the house.  My mom was mad but I think it was good to know Kerry would be neatly prepared for any type of disaster.

6.  Another time, my friend Anne and I locked ourselves in the 1st floor spare bedroom at my parents' old house.  We called it the Refrigerator Room because our kitchen was too small to hold a fridge, so we kept it in this bedroom.  Anyway, we were about ten and we made dozens of "milkshakes" out of milk, nutmeg, cinnamon and raw egg.  Yummm.  We forced my sisters to go to the side of the house and climb a ladder to knock on the bedroom window.  Then we'd serve them.  It was like a way less convenient drive thru window.    Shockingly, they loved them, although now they look green when they talk about it, the wusses.

7.  Oh, here's another tidbit of news that is going to make my beloved cousin Missy vomit.  I am going to Florida for January, February and March of 2012.  My dad and I are renting a house.  This will be good because I need a better winter than I had last year.  This will be bad because once again I will be living with my parents.  My beautiful goddaughter Jamie and I are planning a road trip with Cooper right after Christmas.  If you live in Naples, FL and want to be my friend, please email me!


1.  Simply Recipes  This woman has come up with some amazing recipes.  She's better at food photography than me too.  Try the lemon chicken, you guys will thank me.
2.  The Bloggess  Introduced to me by my friend Rachie Pooh, this woman is nuts.  Because of her, HELP is written on all of our bananas.
3.  135by2012  My friend Patty who gets to work out with Richard Simmons!!!!  So jealous.
4.  House of Garbage  This lovely lady went to high school with me and she is a fellow garbage picker.  She is way better at decorating than me.  
5.  And Then Kate  I am linking to my friend and BlogHer2010 roommate in the hopes that she finally updates!  But read back.  She is very very funny.
6.  Motherhood in NYC  You guys have to read this one.  I laugh out loud on a regular basis.  She basically lives in my family, if only we were Russian immigrants.
7.  Suburban Scrawl  Another BlogHer2010 buddy.  She gets exclusive access to the Sears Tower and writes about Chicago a lot.  She's also a great mom to teenagers, which seems almost impossible to me.
8.  Amalah  I scared her so bad at BlogHer by going up to her and saying I felt like she was family.  Um, hello stranger, thanks??  She has three cute boys and she makes me laugh and cry.  That's more than some of my relatives have done for me.
9.  Is This All There Is?  She had a crush on Mr. Clean.  How can you not want to read that?
10.  Poor Lucky Me  Another Real Life friend!  Heather is hilarious, even though she has had a rough couple of years.  Her's is the most honest blog I read.  I love it.

I am totally spent at ten!  If you guys have other blogs you read that you want other people to check out, please mention them in the comments.  Remember, I am very very bored.  I will read anything.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

House of Ill Repute

Oh hey, guess what?  I put my condo on the market.  Yes, in 2011.  In fact the day I put it up the stock market fell 519 points.  Timing has always been my strong suit.  But it didn't matter, because somehow the universe threw me a break and I actually got a contract yesterday!  After not living there for seven months but still paying a mortgage, condo association fees and parking fees, I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders.

So where do I go now?  Well, I am kind of superstitious about going on and on about this since it isn't a done deal yet, but I am a month and a half in to the process of buying a short sale house in the suburbs.  How nuts is that?  I don't want to go into too many details about it just in case it doesn't go through, but here are a couple of pictures.

Looks nice, right?  It really is.  It has a lot of charm, all wood floors, lots of windows, a big backyard and a nice basement.  Butttt..... there are a few downsides too.

It's been empty for almost two years, so it does need a little, um, work.  But the price is right and I like it a lot, plus Cooper will have a fenced in yard and I won't have to walk him which meeeannnnnssssss... I can move out of my parents' house!!!!!!!!  (Sorry, Kate, the exclamation points are very necessary here.)

Not everyone is a huge fan of this life decision.  One of my cousins is adamantly against it, since it means I won't live in the city or live close to her anymore.  For a while, she refused to even look at the listing, but when she came down here to visit me, we took a ride and I showed her the outside of the house.  It was just getting really dark out and we snuck into the backyard, which is huge and has an area separated from the rest by a bunch of trees.

MISSY:  What the hell?  Do they do human sacrifices back here?
ME:  No, I googled.  No murders here in 70 years.
MISSY:  ... None that were reported.

Now she's taken to calling it "The Grove" and hinting that she is having visions that there will be horrific consequences if I move there.  Yes, she's going right to the old "don't buy that house, it's haunted" trick.  I kind of laughed it off... until I showed this picture to one of my friends.

"Hmm.  It looks a lot like that house in "Unbreakable."  Did you ever see that?  That looks like the house where this old guy was brutally murdered."

Gulp.  Then another friend said, "That looks like a creepy old English haunted house."

I think I'm going to borrow some Holy Water, rosary beads and St. Joseph statues from my mother.