I'm just a girl trying to find her own custom groove in this world without bending to the expectations of others.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Post Op Update

Praises to the doctor for removing my cast and my stitches. The finger is still really swollen and I can't straighten it, not because it's painful to do so, I just can't do it. So therapy might be in my future after all.

As with good news, there always seems to be a BUT. The pathology report showed nothing sinister like cancer, but there was a comment in the report that indicated the cyst or part of it may still be there. I'm not sure how the lab would come to that conclusion, but what do I know.

We're going to let some healing happen and then I go back to the doctor in two weeks. At least for now, with only one finger wrapped, I'm more mobile than I was with the cast on.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Hey Rocky! Wanna see me pull a survey out of my a$$?

Working with the public, especially when it involves their own money, is not for the faint of heart. Strictly knowing this fact, does not necessarily secure smooth transactions between client and broker.

I did everything I could to get all my proverbial ducks in a row before my surgery fearing that I wouldn't be able to do anything during recovery. This included having everything ready for a mortgage closing tomorrow. I made sure the package would be ready, that the title office had all the documents and the lender had cleared the conditions. The only thing the buyer needed to do was find a copy of their existing survey and fax it to the title office. They assured me they had one and they would have it faxed by the beginning of this week.

I get a call from the lender today. "We need a survey on the (insert last name) file."

Thinking that there was a transmittal error at worst, I ring the buyer and ask them to fax it again. "Oh, it turns out we don't have a survey. Is that going to be a problem?"

"Well not for me, but the lender wont give us final clear to close until we produce one and if we don't close tomorrow, I can't guarantee your rate because the lock will expire." They've known this was the deadline for 3 weeks and still have dragged it out not getting me certain documents I've needed.

Anyway, I work my magic and get a surveying company out to the property and they agree to have my survey ready by tomorrow morning. They want to charge $200 instead of $150 though for the rush job. I authorize it without the buyer's okay. Seemingly the right thing to do in this particular situation.

Call up buyer to explain and he's irate that it's going to cost them $50 more dollars. I go from hero to zero in a matter of thirty minutes. Should I kill him or strangle myself?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Fuzzy Limbs on Woody Skeletons

(This is today's view from my office window)
Once a lush green foliated screen,
A kaliedoscope of fall color
turned tangle of gnarly limbs,
Reduced to this icy scene
with buds lying dormant underneath,

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Honorary Mayor

Forty five years ago, a little boy announced his entry into the world with a crackled squawk. He was known as what some refer to as a "blue baby". His little brain had been depraved of oxygen for too long resulting in a compromised mental state. But despite the challenges Dougie faced, he grew to be a warm, generous and funny guy.

He hung out at Hilliards General Store which is the epitome of country stores. The smell inside is one of must combined with lavender and old, dry wood mixed with cinnamon. The creaky, blue wood floor spills onto a covered porch adorned with padded rocking chairs and an ice chest. This is where Dougie passes his time, rocking back and forth in his baseball cap, waiting for people to stop in so he can get their autographs.

Before softball games, my high school friends and I would go to Hilliards to buy provisions for the bus trips and there we would chat with Doug and sign little notes to him in his book. We'd known him since we were little and we just accepted him as he was, never feeling sorry for him. As we got older, some of the boys would tease him indirectly, making sexual comments that he most likely didn't get. Either because he was unable to or because he didn't care, Dougie was not bothered by their subtle jibes and would ask for their signatures despite their laughing.

Over the years, Doug collected thousands of signatures in many different books from friends and strangers alike. Often duplicate names appear in the pages of his journals, sometimes dated a few weeks apart and sometimes years span the entries. Last year, we saw Doug at a birthday party where he asked my daughter to sign his book. Not knowing him, she was a little intimidated by his close proximity to her and his slurred words, but she signed her name anyway giving him a smile and a wave goodbye.

This past week Doug was named Honorary Mayor of the small town of Hilliards, which doesn't even have it's own town council. His campaign signs were plastered on telephone poles in a mile radius of the store. His slogan: "Beware of the Doug". This simple appointment, this small token of responsibility could not have been bestowed on anyone more deserving. Doug has been the one constant Hilliards has seen in this ever changing world.

While the rest of us have changed and evolved, Doug has remained the same sweet innocent person he's always been, collecting names in his journals and greeting all that patronize the store from under his baseball cap with a big cheesy grin.

Friday, January 20, 2006


Well, I felt pretty good yesterday as my hand was numb until 10:30 pm, but today it really hurts. The good news is that my tendons looked good and I probably wont need any therapy. The cyst was not caused by an injury to the tendon shaft, but was growing independantly. I'll have the pathology results on that in 10 days or so.
Today, I just plan on laying around. Be back soon.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


This is Martie with an update on Naive.....she is now home from the surgery and doing very well. They removed a cyst from her finger and fortunately the shaft wasn't damaged that we know of at this point. She is going to be resting and taking it easy for the rest of today (Mother's orders). We will keep you updated further when we have new news!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Something To Pass the Time

When most of you are reading this, I'll be dozing peacefully under the affects of the anesthesia. Until I get back and can report the events of the surgery, I thought I'd leave you with this humorous piece of information. Enjoy. Ruben will especially enjoy this. ;)


One Star Hangover *:
No pain. No real feeling of illness. You're able to function relatively well; however, you are still parched. You can drink 5 sodas and still feel this way. For some reason you are craving a steak and fries.

Two Star Hangover **:
No pain, but something is definitely amiss. You may look okay, but you have the mental capacity of a staple gun. The coffee you are chugging is only increasing your rumbling gut, which is still tossing around the fruity pancakes from the 3:00 am Waffle House excursion. There is some definite havoc being wreaked upon your bowels.

Three Star Hangover ***:
Slight headache. Stomach feels crappy. You are definitely not productive. Anytime a girl walks by you gag because her perfume reminds you of the flavored schnapps shots your alcoholic friends dared you to drink. Life would be better right now if you were home in your bed watching Lucy reruns. You've had four cups of coffee, a gallon of water, three iced teas and a Diet Coke --- yet you haven't peed once.

Four Star Hangover ****:
Life sucks. Your head is throbbing. You can't speak too quickly or else you might puke. Your boss has already lambasted you for being late and has given you a lecture for reeking of booze. You wore nice clothes, but that can't hide the fact that you only shaved one side of your face. (For the ladies, it looks like you put your make-up on while riding the bumper cars.) Your eyes look like one big red vein, and even your hair hurts. Your sphincter is in perpetual spasm, and the first of about five shits you take during the day brings water to the eyes of everyone who enters the bathroom.

Five Star Hangover *****:
You have a second heartbeat in your head, which is actually annoying the employee in the next cube. Vodka vapor is seeping out of every pore and making you dizzy. In fact, you are probably still drunk. You still have toothpast crust in the corners of your mouth from brushing your teeth in an attempt to get the remnants of the poop fairy out. Your body has the lost the ability to generate saliva so your tongue is suffocating you. You don't have the foggiest idea who the hell the stranger was passed out in your bed this morning. Any attempt to defacate results in a fire hose like discharge of alcohol scented fluid with a rare "floater" thrown in. The sole purpose of this "floater" seems to be to splash the toilet water all over your ass. Death sounds pretty good about right now!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Day is Almost Here

I've been dreading it for a while now and not because I'm afraid of the surgery, but because I'm not looking forward to the recovery.

It's only hand surgery, nothing invasive, but it requires more than local anesthesia. I will be sedated for two hours while the surgeon tries to remove a cyst that is in my finger. It's wrapped around the tendons and nerves requiring the longer procedure. I'll have 12-14 stitches and a cast covering my entire right hand. (Yes, I'm right handed.)

For ten days, I'll have to try to take care of a 14 month old with one hand. I'll have some help, but ten days is a long time to have someone take care of your kid. Once that cast comes off, a smaller one will take it's place for 2-3 weeks and then possible therapy. And the cyst will go to pathology for testing.

Seeing as I won't be able to do a lot, I will be very much around in the blogworld. However, I don't know how often I'll post. We'll see how hard it is to type. A friend pointed out that I could use Audioblogger, but I hate the sound of my own voice on recordings, so we'll see. If you don't hear from me for a while, this is why.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Thine Eyes have Seen the Horror

I swear I'm the only one in my house that has eyes. Or ears. Or a brain for that matter.

I've been gone most of this week and today, my first full day at home, I survey the damage.

I'm not making this up either. The library floor is scattered with various plastic zoo animals and the piano bench is sitting at an awkward angle in the middle of the room. The basement dvd, receiver and satellite system are off, but the tv is on, illuminating the room in a phosphorus blue glow. There is an unopened box of Hungry Jack pancake mix in the fireplace next to a yellow oven mitt. A full piece of red velvet cake on the counter - untouched. The dog's water and food dishes are empty. The laundry - I don't even want to go there. There are three used diapers on the bathroom counter despite the fact there is a bag for diapers sitting right in front of the cabinet. There is a plastic Folgers coffee can on the trunk at the top of the steps beside a pile of receipts and the Sunday paper. One sole battery in my kitchen sink, a double AA. A urine spot in my bedroom - I'm assuming from the dog. And a wet towel slung over the back of a dining room chair.

I quit. I give up. I think I'll go on strike.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Found on my daughter's blog

I was pretty suprised to find this and had to share. I know everyone doesn't think he's as cute as I do, but indulge me. :)


Taking Advantage

Sunday was the first day in 15 days that the sun decided to force it's way through the cloudy atmosphere to grace us with it's warmth. According to the weathermen, we were the cloudiest place in the world as of late. And the wettest. We recorded 47 days in a row with some form of precipitation. (Clew, we would have had to commit you!)

At any rate, Sunday was brilliantly sunny and my neighbor decided we should take the girls and make our first trip of the year to the beach. She wanted to show their Brazillian exchange student the big lake. So we packed up, got our cameras and headed to Grand Haven.

We walked about two miles along the board walk out to the pier through the blustery, cold wind. Despite the brightness and warmth of the sun, Old Man Winter was still rearing his ugly head on the water. My ears and cheeks stung in the cold air and my body froze each time the waves rolled into the pier spraying us in a fine mist. My fingers were bright red, save my knuckles which were an odd color of white. By the time we got back to the car, we all had headaches and wild, wind swept hair, but it was still worth enjoying the sun for a while and worth spending time with close friends.

Here's a picture of me and Emily trying to warm up in a little pub with overly chocolatey hot cocoa. Our hair started out in pony tails, but the hair ties were no match for the gale force wind.

Friday, January 06, 2006

A Different Art Form

I don't recall if I've ever talked about this on my blog before, but me and my husband used to build houses. Well, we still do, I just don't do the physical labor anymore.

One time a guy actually asked me with sarcasm dripping from his words, "What do you do? Hand him nails?" But, I've done it all. From the basement sill plates to the vent cap on the roof, I can build you a home myself. I learned how to layout walls, set trusses, rafter, shingle, set windows and doors ~ everything. The only area where I didn't keep up with the guys was in hefting material. I just couldn't carry as many studs or sheets of plywood as them and those 80 lb shingle bags are almost imossible to carry up a twelve foot ladder, but I did it once anyway to prove a point and win a bet.

I came out of retirement, so to speak, when we built our own house two years ago. I don't really miss the physical work, but being on a job site again reminded me of the things I did miss. The first warmth of spring days, how the radio sounds echoing off concrete walls, the smell of pine two by fours when the saw blade hits a knot, the whir of the compressor and the fa-thoo of the nail gun as it's power sinks a 3" nail into the board.

When we designed our house, I told my husband that I wanted a round window on the roof. Well, it's an elliptical shape really, but it's easier to say round window. His reply was, "If you want it, you build it".

So I did. All by myself. Here's a picture of me standing on top of it, having conquered the crazy angles.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Okay, no laughing please...

One of the things I've always wanted was to be able to paint. Not paint for money, but have the ability to whip out some extraordinary masterpiece that I could say I created. I've always been able to draw and put colors together in a pleasing way, but unless it's paint-by-numbers, the skill of painting has eluded me.

About five years I broke down and decided to teach myself as lessons weren't affordable for us at the time. I purchased a few books, some canvases, an easel, oil paints and brushes. I learned what is called the wet-on-wet technique, layering wet paints on top of each other then blending them with a dry brush.

I immediately botched the job when I pulled the dry brush vertically down the picture rather than horizontally. I usually don't get the two directions mixed up, but I did that day and the result was a strange coloration of sky and water.

All in all I was semi-pleased with the final product. Still, it sits in a closet collecting dust never having been displayed on a wall. Here it is, and promise, no laughing!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Three Terrible Shots

"Three terrible shots and one brilliant shot still makes par"

This is one of my favorite quotes from the movie Bagger Vance and the conception for my New Year's declaration.

See, I don't much care for resolutions, New Year's or otherwise. I'm tired of the pressure that comes with setting unrealistic goals and the disappointment and sense of failure afterward when they aren't achieved. Instead, this year I'm going to focus on what not to do. Some of the patterns that I've fallen into or the bad habits that have formed ~ these are the things I am resolving to take charge of. I'm not setting goals of advancement and self-improvement but rather hope to better myself through an alternate mind set. One that focuses more on what not to do rather than on a rigorous new schedule.

Bad habits have a way of sneaking up on you and becoming an integral part of life. So much so that we don't even recognize them as bad habits, even when they start to consume all productive time.

On that note and with the understanding that my time up to now has been "two or three terrible shots", I intend to tighten up my proverbial golf game to make that par. Maybe even an eagle.